We all have our airline preferences and good reasons to be liking them or not. One of India’s mainstream newspapers DNA published a column by one of their regular columnists titled “A frequent flyer’s notes on airlines and airports.” The columnist is a French citizen based in India, and has some quirky views on the airlines of India. It seems he has good reason to believe that Kingfisher Airlines is still the best airline in India, in spite of whatever trouble they are going through right now. Here is his reasoning:
Whatever has been said about Kingfisher, it’s the top airline in India: it has the newest wide-bodied planes, the prettiest airhostesses, the best service on the ground and aboard and the best business class. One can dislike Vijay Mallya’s style, but he had the ambition to give Indian passengers a real treat after the drab decades of a state-controlled airline, even if he saw too big. He is also a patriot, wanting to put India on the world map, whether with his F1 racing team, or his airline.
In my view, a dyeing airline which strands hundreds and thousands of passengers every day, has planes fitted with IFE but no money to pay for them, only 1/4th of its fleet in the air, and quite clearly, a foot to mouth existence, does not deserve to be on top but right at the bottom.
He goes on to put Indigo in the second spot, but look at the rationale!
Indigo comes second. Its Airbuses are even newer than Kingfisher’s; its airhostesses not so pretty, but still quite charming and it is the most on-time airline
The writer clearly does not know his stuff. On one hand he is talking wide-bodies, like the Airbus 330s that Kingfisher has in the fleet, and then he is comparing these with Indigo’s fleet which only has A320s. He further goes on to talk about Jet Airways.
Jet Airways, in my book, comes after Air India and Indigo. Its domestic fleet is ageing, its jets are narrow-bodied, mostly Boeings 737, where you have no leg space in economy if you are a big person, its staff is often arrogant and its business class is overpriced. Contrary to Mallya, who has chosen to be in India, Naresh Goyal lives in a palatial house in London with five Roll Royces and has never shown any kind of patriotism. True, Jet is quite reliable and on time and it has a wide network, but Goyal’s choice to cash in on international routes rather than domestic may be a fatal mistake.
The comedy does not stop here. a 6 year old fleet is not considered old anywhere in the world, especially if he would do an apple to apple comparison with Air India which he favours, which has a 10 year old fleet on an average.
You may want to read the complete article to know more, but I think to rate airlines on the basis of the Air Hostesses is not really a humane way to look at airline service quality. I’d have been happy if he compared airlines on the basis of the service quality of the crew and the quality of the hard product (i.e., the seat) but to compare it on the basis of such biased parameters, is just not done. Do let me know what do you think of this comparison Mr. Francois Gautier makes.
And just so that he knew if he was reading this post, I did my homework and Kingfisher is not exactly the airline with the most seat pitch either!
The link to his works once again, with acknowledgement to DNA