Thursday, March 30, 2023
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Govt move to cap air fares will bankrupt airlines. Sector needs to discover demand, supply, pricing

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Modi government’s decision to cap air fares, even if only for three months, is retrograde. The aviation sector, like all others, has suffered a serious blow from the lockdown. Airlines should be allowed to discover demand, supply and pricing. Such decisions, popular as they might be, will only bankrupt airlines.

Nepal hurts itself by becoming a pawn of Beijing and taking on India

Nepal has gone overboard by escalating tensions with India over a border dispute and the coronavirus crisis. An invisible Chinese hand behind this is obvious. Under pressure over Covid, Beijing is back to its old tricks. India can manage that relationship. But Nepal is hurting itself by becoming a pawn.

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  1. Feel a deep and abiding affection for the brave people of Nepal. One hopes the two sides can find a graceful solution that is fair, fraternal, mutually respectful.

  2. As a principle, price should be set by the market. However, as far as airlines in India are concerned, they have often failed to strike a perfect balance. Many have tried to increase market share by offering discounted tickets, undermining the long term viability of the industry. Equally, when in a position to do so, they have felt no compunction in gouging people who are stranded or make last minute travel plans. When civil aviation opens after a two month break, with attenuated capacity, famished managements will grab what comes their way. Analogous to Karnataka raising taxes on liquor by 60%. A three month period of stabilisation, with the government – also the owner of an airline – setting reasonable bands would protect the interests of flyers.

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