The cover of this week's Flight International - with the coverline So Where Did It All Go Wrong - depicts a rogue's gallery of Indian airlines. Just a year or two back India was seen, like China, as an air travel sector that would just go on expanding exponentially. A flurry of new airlines launched to capture what was expected to be a lucrative fast-growing market.
Today, that dream has gone sour. Start-ups such as Kingfisher are fighting for their lives. Others are struggling. Inadequate infrastructure and India's sclerotic regulations have been blamed, but many wrong business decisions have also been made. We look at what did go wrong for India's promising aviation sector, and whether it can be rescued.
The feature is part of a package on India, in which we also examine the prospects now for Dassault after winning the country's MMRCA combat aircraft contest. Is victory for the Rafale over its Eurofighter Typhoon rival a done deal? We also look at India's business aviation sector. Despite increasing ranks of ultra-wealthy, time-poor business people, it is still hard to fly private jets in India, thanks to government intransigence and unnecessary red tape.
In news, we reveal why 2012 could be a make-or-break year for Bombardier and find out why the handover of the first 747-8I marks a new era for the jumbo jet. There is the latest on the oxygen supply problems that could force a redesign of the F-22 cockpit, and the repercussions of the reversal of the decision by the US Air Force to order the Embraer Super Tucano trainer over its US-built Beechcraft AT-6 rival.
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