Imagine a restaurant where the number of employees exceeds the number of seats. Would be a very expensive restaurant indeed. Now imagine an airline where the number of employees exceeds the the number of seats. Actually, you don’t have to imagine that one as India has two such airlines where all the employees cannot be seated in the planes simultaneously. When the two state-run airlines merge shortly, they will have about 132 airplanes — my estimate is around 20,000 seats — and 35,000 employees.
Of course those airlines are costly. The losses are paid for by Indians who don’t even fly because what goes down the tubes as operating losses are not available for other purposes.
I don’t see what business the state has to be in the commercial airline business. But then, what do I know. I don’t understand what it means for the politicians to have their own private airlines. I don’t comprehend the thrill that comes from spending tax-payer money on a whim. Such as changing the name from Indian Airlines to Indian and then repainting the entire fleet of 70 or so planes for tens of crores of rupees just before they merge it and have to repaint the whole fleet a few months down the line.
If your politicians need their own private airline to keep themselves entertained, you might be a Third World country.