Equity control is imperative
At first, it was the Congress party and its allies in the government which hurriedly created a new Air India by merging the country's two strong public sector domestic as well as regional and foreign carriers, Indian Airlines and Air-India. The unusual government action, followed by another commercially unviable decision to suddenly acquire a large number of expensive new aircraft for the airline, financially overburdened the new entity with unnecessary large foreign debt. The airline was forced to overbook its fleet, run with excess post-merger manpower and little management autonomy. As if the then civil aviation minister were also the chief executive of the airline, the Air India board and its chairman cum managing director appeared to be only a rubber stamp. The public sector airline was run more like a small family-owned private enterprise. The only attitudinal difference was that neither the minister nor the government cared for the future of the enterprise after their exit.