Fri, 12 Aug 1994

Does India benefit?

This is in reference to your article about the Air India/Lufthansa agreement.

As a frequent traveler around the world on various airlines I have studied the airline business (of course a layman's knowledge).

It was with a very heavy heart that I read about Lufthansa's advance into India and Air India's rightful market (The Jakarta Post). Air India used to be one of the world's leading airlines--long ago I admit. The take over by the "State" spelt her decline. The same "State" ties her hand and foot and then tells her to compete.

This is like devastating your own family and bequeathing your wealth to the neighbor's children. I understand foreign carriers like Lufthansa send 98 percent of their earnings from India to their home country, I also understand that Lufthansa don't only carry passengers to Frankfurt (is there so much traffic to Germany?) but to the USA as well--not rightfully Lufthansa's market out of India.

If we have to sell our market why not do it at a good premium--that's what business is about. Need our resources be sold for a mere US$ 10 million? A silk exporter in Bangalore says they sent home almost 20 (twenty) crores ($ 6.2 million) on their cargo freight last year.

Lufthansa's earnings in India are enormous. Lets not sell out India. If you have to sell India, sell her 5000 year old civilization for the price it's worth. Let us be real business minded. Remember we are the second largest country in the world with plenty of talent.