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   You must have read that yesterday... (May 12, 1990)

You must have read that yesterday, after a long lay-off, when the fly-by-wire A-320s were reintroducted on the domestic routes, the Delhi-Bombay flight could bnot take off because the compressor vane was faulty. The stand-by A-320 was then tolled in, but this also had to be abandoned because it has starting problems. Finally, passengers were flown by another aircraft.i was talking to a senior Indian Airlines official about these unfortunates mishaps, condoling with his.

The official wiped the tears from his eyes and said: "We do not know what more can we do, we have tried eveything. We grounded the aircraft for more than six months, checked and re-cheacked them, held judicial inquiries, sent the pilots for retraining, changed the commanders, changed the civil ariation ministroduced the A-320s, there are snags."

"Well, never mind," I said. "Nobody can say you did not try."

"But that is exactly what the press and the public are saying, that we do not know how to fly such sophisticated planes and we should not have bought them," the official said, tearing his hair. "Tell me, what else can we do?"

"They say that the instrument landing systems at out airports are old fashioned. Why don't you change them?" I said.

"What do you think we have been doing!" the official said, looking hurt. "Of course, we have changed them. We have got new landing systems, they are called land-by-wire. But what use are they! The first plane we try to fly from Delhi to Bombay and it develops all sort of snags."

"What will you do now?" I said. "There is nothing left for you to change, unless you change the new civil aviation minister. But the new civil aviation minister. But he will change automatically when the government falls."

"There is something we can change," the official said. "We can change the passengers. It was been brought to our notice that when we fly refugees from Kuwait, free of charge, naturally, there is absolutely no trouble and the A-320s we fly oaying passengers on our domestice routes that the problems start."

"Then you are changing the passengers to ensure sfae flight of the A-320s," I said.

"Well, yes," the official said. "The only problem is that there are no more Indian expatriates left to be flow out of Kuwait.

"Then what will you do?" I asked.

"Well, we have to wait till Saddam Hussein attacks Dubai and Bahrain and other sheikhdoms in the Gulf, then we will be back in business," the official said.

 
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