The history of mergers in the Indian aviation industry is replete with failures.
“No merger has been successful till date in the Indian aviation industry, whether you take Sahara, Air Deccan or Kingfisher,” Vardhan said. “I believe they should have given these organisations a chance to stand on their own feet.”
So, now, you’re merging three loss-making companies and hoping to turn it around, he said.
According to Frost & Sullivan’s Singh, it has been largely accepted in the market that Vistara offers better service than any other carrier, but it is exactly the opposite for Air India. Therefore, merging those two is more likely to hamper the brand than offer some advantage, he said.
The Maharaja of the Indian skies may not be eyeing the crown just yet, with IndiGo maintaining a strong grip on the throne for several years now. But, even to become the second biggest, in terms of market share, the airline will have to pass through some difficult times.
Even the revival plan Vihaan—which means dawn in Sanskrit—suggests it will be darkest before the airline can see the first rays of light.