Air India has been losing a lot of money for some time now. Even merging with Indian Airlines, a fellow state owned carrier, has not been able to improve performance. Many analysts blame the rise of no frills airlines like Kingfisher, Spice Jet and Jet Lite. Advertising hoardings around the country for such organisations claim you can fly for little more than the cost of a train ticket (which is already extremely cheap).
But I know the real flaw of Air India is that its dishing out too many curries. No matter how short the flight, they seem to stick a spicy dish or two in front of you. There is no need for a curry, rice and chocolate pudding on a 45 minute from Mumbai to Goa, for example. And when I flew a few days earlier from Delhi to Goa I ended up getting two meals (they must has considered it two flights because of a touchdown in Mumbai en route). All totally unnecessary.
Delivering hot food on such short flights also creates hysterical scenes in the cabin. The air stewardesses have to almost throw the meals at passengers as they race down the plane with the trays. They then do another trip to pour a cup of coffee. Then they have to clear it all away again. And if there’s a bit of turbulance in the middle of proceedings, they even need to check that everyone has fastened their seatbelts.
Even the ultra staid and traditional British Airways has done away with food on short flights to compete in price with the likes of easyjet. Perhaps Air India should do the same to save on costs. But you’d hope they know their customers. It maybe be that there would be more drama (than delivering the food) in the cabin from complaining passengers. Personally I’d just settle for poppodom!