Reuters blog archive

from India Insight:

Fare wars over India: You win, airlines lose

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

Indians like it cheap -- be it a car, a phone call or airfare. If that plane ticket is about 25 percent cheaper than a train ticket, you can imagine the rush to buy.

Airlines in India are doing just that. Jet Airways, until recently the biggest Indian carrier, offered 2 million tickets at nearly half price in a “goodwill gesture”. Its website crashed soon after, just as SpiceJet’s did when it offered a million tickets for just 2,013 rupees  last month. That led many to believe the offer was a hoax.

I was lucky to book a New Delhi-Guwahati return ticket for March, paying just 3,578 rupees compared to the 13,047 rupees I paid for a one-way ticket as recently as November, and 4,420 rupees for the cheapest round-trip ticket on the Rajdhani Express, India’s premier long-distance train.

No doubt reduced fares are excellent news for consumers. But does it make business sense?

from India Insight:

PETA offers Kingfisher a vegan lift

One of the many benefits of vegetarianism, so animal rights activists say, is that it cures impotence. To that end, the global rights group PETA is offering a way to give flagging Kingfisher Airlines a lift.

The airline, once the flashiest in the Indian aviation industry with well-groomed hostesses and gourmet food, is struggling to stay upright after running up a debt of about $1.3 billion. It has been wooing investors, pleading with banks and sounding out anyone who could help.

from The Great Debate (India):

Should the govt rescue Kingfisher Airlines?

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has summoned top executives of Kingfisher Airlines to explain a large number of flight cancellations, even as civil aviation minister Ajit Singh  rules out providing any aid to the loss-making airline.

Kingfisher has so far failed in efforts to get fresh equity capital. Banks own about a quarter of its shares after the company's debt was  restructured early last year. And the State Bank of India has refused to lend further if the airline did not infuse fresh equity.

from India Insight:

Kingfisher – A Shakespearean Comedy or Tragedy?

State Bank of India Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri took recourse to the Great Bard when asked about what the banks, who now own a substantial portion of the debt-hobbled airline Kingfisher Airlines, would do about its exposure.

"Much ado about nothing," Chaudhuri said in response to the media frenzy, in a reference to the Shakespearean comedy about two pairs of lovers who are caught in a web of misunderstanding.