same sets of variables were measured among the customers of the two airlinesunder study. Fliers who had flown any of the two airlines could answer thequestions pertaining to those airlines. The objective of this study was tounderstand the satisfaction levels of the airline customers.
The Indian Aviation IndustryIntroduction
Air India was set up by J.R.D. Tata, who ran it successfully until it wasnationalized in 1953. In the 1960s the “Maharaja”, as the national flag-carrier was affectionately known, was flying to 32 destinations (it now flies to 46destinations) and making profits.For many years in India air travel was perceived to be an elitist activity. This view arose from the “Maharajah”syndrome where, due to the prohibitive cost of air travel, the only people whocould afford it were the rich and powerful. In recent years, however, thisimage of Civil Aviation has undergone a change and aviation is now viewed ina different light - as an essential link not only for international travel and trade but also for providing connectivity to different parts of the country. Aviationis, by its very nature, a critical part of the infrastructure of the country and hasimportant ramifications for the development of tourism and trade, the openingup of inaccessible areas of the country and for providing stimulus to businessactivity and economic growth. Until less than a decade ago, all aspects of aviation were firmly controlled by the Government.In the early fifties, all airlines operating in the country were merged into either Indian Airlines or Air India and, by virtue of the Air Corporations Act, 1953this monopoly was perpetuated for the next forty years. The DirectorateGeneral of Civil Aviation controlled every aspect of flying including grantingflying licenses, pilots, certifying aircrafts for flight and issuing all rules and