Strike Ends, but India's Airline Woes Continue

Air travelers in India let out a collective sigh of relief on Sept. 13, when Jet Airways, the country's second-largest private airline, negotiated an end to a five-day strike by nearly half its pilots. But for the rest of India's airline industry, that just might be terrible news. In an industry plagued by too many planes and too few passengers, the past five days may end up being its most profitable. As soon as Jet Airways started canceling flights on Sept. 1, competitors moved in hungrily on its 25% market share, doubling and even quadrupling ticket prices for last-minute buyers. "Break even? We raked it in," says the chief operating officer of a competing airline, who asked not to be named because India's airline regulator had frowned on the practice. "All the industry needs is for one major airline to go out of business, and the rest of us will be fine."

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