Altitude Sickness

Kamal Kishore / Reuters

GATE GRIDLOCK: Modern airlines such as Kingfisher are hamstrung by antiquated facilities on the ground

It is one of life's recurring unpleasant moments that Rajiv Mehta, owner of an interior-design company in New Delhi, has come to dread. During Mehta's frequent business trips in India, his flight often approaches its destination only to have the pilot announce that the plane will have to circle the airport for a while—not because there's bad weather or a mechanical glitch, but because of congestion on the ground. Mehta's plight is shared by thousands of his countrymen. Thanks to India's economic prosperity and the booming growth of its airline industry, more Indians are flying today than ever before. But they...

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