Altitude Adjustment

Long delays and jammed airports knock India's soaring airline industry back down to earth

RAJIV MEHTA, OWNER OF AN INTERIOR-DESIGN company in New Delhi, has come to dread his frequent business trips in India. Typically his flight approaches its destination only to have to circle the airport because of congestion on the ground. Thanks to India's economic prosperity and the booming growth of its airline industry, more Indians are flying today than ever. But they are enjoying it less, because more than half of all domestic flights are delayed 30 min. or more. "We needed this boom because people need to travel and we need choice," Mehta says. "But in some ways [air travel] has...

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