08 Aug 2018 17:37 IST

Turbulence in the air

A poetic take on fluctuating fortunes in the airline industry

Rising costs, primarily of fuel, and the inability to pass these on to customers due to cut-throat competition and capacity additions in the sector resulted in plummeting profits for all airline companies in the March 2018 quarter, and things seem no better now. All the gloom and doom in the skies brought out the bard in our columnist, who penned this elegiac verse on the vagaries of fortune.

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Ominously, the skies turn gray

Airlines’ financials dangerously fray

Ardent investors hope and pray

But many are fleeing, not brave to stay

***

The largest bird in the domestic sky

IndiGo saw its June quarter profit dry

Jet, SpiceJet are also likely to fry

However much they may try

***

The squeeze was coming, it was clear

Dismal March numbers gave cause for fear

But off danger, the airlines didn’t steer

And now, they are paying the price, very dear

***

Oil went up, the rupee slid down

In rising fuel bills, airlines began to drown

But with cheap tickets they went to town

The smile until December quickly became a frown

***

Why, oh why, did airlines not hike their fare?

At mounting costs, why just stand and stare?

Wouldn’t that have helped their losses pare

A no-brainer all right, but they don’t quite dare

***

Crazy competition ties down their hand

As planes and seats galore keep joining the band

The flood’s just started, umpteen more to land

The ground soon risks turning into quicksand

***

All this as passenger numbers continues to soar

Stark irony this, it strikes to the core

Roaring traffic, yet losses pile up more

A bird or two could sink, be washed ashore