Air India needs to leave 51 people off every flight from Mumbai, India to Newark thanks to giant billboards that force planes to make a rapid ascent on take off, reports Anurag Kotoky at Bloomberg.
The 16-hour direct flight on the Boeing 777-300 ER requires the plane to fly with a full fuel tank.
To allow for a full tank and a rapid ascent, Air India has to fly 15% below capacity, a move that has lost the airline $US1.6 million a month.
“On the highway to the airport most of the billboards are located on top of or between residential high-rises. While some of the tallest are to be found 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the hub, in a residential neighbourhood 2 kilometers away at least 15 billboards can be found along a 600-meter road — peddling an eclectic mix of affordable suburban homes, the latest Bollywood movie and deals on domestic flights.
…All but two of a total 15 billboards were removed, minister Siddeshwara told parliament in reply to a lawmaker’s question today. The two billboards are under litigation, he said.”
What makes this worse is that Air India is the recipient of a Rs 300 billion ($4.6 billion) bailout from the central government.
The airline hasn’t posted a profit in eight years. It sold seven of its 16 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and leased them back.
And as if these woes weren’t enough, a rat was found on board a flight from Kolkota to Delhi, though the spokesman denied previous reports of “scores of rats,” found on board that flight.
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