Monday, October 23, 2006

India's little airlines

Like bunnies.

When I was in Pune (1998 - 2001), Jet Airways was the new kid on an airline block that had eaten or run out its previous upstart arrivals. A true competitor to the behemoth that is/was Air India/Indian Airlines (domestic + international arms of the same beast), Jet challenged Air India's years of market dominance that had rendered Indian airtravel neither sexy nor fiscally feasibile.

You took the train.

Then along comes JetAir with foreign trained management and a yellow rose for every female customer and flash new planes and India's a-flutter. Suddenly, flying's an option.

I imagined all the desk clerks, asleep for decades in the Air India main office in Nariman Point - a cavernous two-story affair with desks sort of wherever - dusting themselves off as they came to.

Now, Jet Air's as legit as they come, the choice of all - but the little upstarts are nipping.

I took a tiny, 5 plane, upstart to get here - GoAir (handsome website but professionalism begins/end with the site's design) and now have my choice of 5 or so, that I can book myself, on-line and with no huge financial slap for being a foreigner.

Favorites based on name/logo:
Kingfisher Air - owned, run and using the very same logo as the popular beer of the same name. Their matching motto: "Fly the good times." I fly them tomorrow to Chennai.
And the meeker Air Deccan whose motto "Simplify", and logo of upstretched hands, seems to represent a wholistic spa or aid group.

Stay tuned for which gets to booking Chennai - Delhi.

C - still in Cochin but wrapping up

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