Archive for August 14th, 2006

India can’t dare cross the LoC: Musharraf

August 14, 2006

Pakistan President General Pervez Musharraf has said India can never dare to cross the Line of Control (LoC) and attack interests in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

He said no country could dare think of attacking Pakistan. Pakistan was a peaceful, proud and sovereign nation and no country could threaten it.

“No country can dare to think of attacking Pakistan. No one will dare to cross the Line of Control. We are a peaceful, proud and sovereign nation and no one can threaten us,” The Nation quoted Musharraf as saying. “We do not threaten anyone nor do we accept threats from anybody,” he added.

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Seminar on job opportunities in the aviation sector

August 14, 2006

The Madras Flying Club (MFC) on Saturday organised a half-day seminar on job opportunities in the aviation sector, the requirements, training period and its costs, and the expected emoluments.

“The flying profession currently in India is not only in great demand but paying too. What you need is a three dimensional view: correct perception, a science background, management skills and above all aptitude and discipline to become a good pilot,” said A. Ranganathan, a senior Boeing Training Commander.

“It is a very challenging and interesting profession. But, what Indian pilots lack is discipline and professionalism,” Capt. Ranganathan said.

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‘Indo-US nuclear deal infringes on our independence’

August 14, 2006

Eminent nuclear scientists have issued an appeal to India’s parliamentarians, asking them to insist on the ground rules for the Indo-US nuclear deal at this stage itself, since they believe the deal, in the form approved by the US House of Representatives, infringes on India’s independence for carrying out research and development in nuclear science and technology.

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Claims for lost baggage

August 14, 2006

Amendments to Carriage by Air Act will strengthen the rights of air passengers 

In an earlier column, I had discussed the scientific theory about the rings of Saturn being composed entirely of lost airline luggage and the case of Shruti Majumdar, who contributed to the Saturn rings when she travelled from Delhi to Chennai some months ago. I had specifically discussed the current airline policy on compensating consumers for lost, delayed or damaged baggage on the basis of the “weight” of the baggage and stated that the Indian law on this issue, the 1972 Carriage by Air Act, sanctions this generous airline policy.

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Can air travel security curbs work in India?

August 14, 2006

Commitment to aircraft security and strict enforcement is necessary. The exemption list has to pruned to the original five categories and everyone has to go through security, irrespective of their position. 

The terrorists’ plot to blow up aircraft has engendered an immediate security response in airports world over. The Indian authorities have responded too, but with certain relaxations. Can these work?

A determined terrorist cannot be stopped unless there is total commitment to security rules. Unfortunately, there are far too many loopholes in our system.

In the 1980s, when hijack-prevention measures were being taken worldwide, Indian authorities had issued a circular on pre-departure security at all airports. The circular, signed by the Minister of State in the Home Ministry, exempted only five categories of people from the security-check. They were: 1. The President and the Vice-president; 2. The Prime Minister; 3. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; 4. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha and 5. The Governors.

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Indian’s route to higher profit

August 14, 2006

State-owned carrier Indian has posted a net profit of Rs 65.61 crore in 2004-05, up from Rs 44.17 crore the previous year. The airlines’ latest annual report that was tabled in Parliament this week shows that the airline carried more than 71.31 lakh revenue passengers, up from a little more than 59 lakh revenue passengers carried during the previous year.

The data show that Indian carried more than 54.32 lakh domestic revenue passengers in the domestic skies and more than 16.98 lakh international revenue passengers, bettering its own performance of the previous year (when it had carried 42.78 lakh and 16.21 lakh passengers respectively).

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Terror in the air

August 14, 2006

One major attempt at mass murder has been foiled by Britain’s Scotland Yard and MI-5, but terror remains a clear and present danger to the world. Undoubtedly, the forces of evil are on the ascendance going by the audacity of the plot — to bomb over the Atlantic some 10 aircraft on the UK-US route that would have killed thousands of passengers. Even more worrisome is the sophistication of the instrument — liquid explosives carried in handbags defying detection by normal airport security procedures.

The perpetrators may be fundamentalist and obscurantist but surely they are not wanting in technical knowhow or ingenuity. This will make their detection increasingly difficult. Air travel will become painfully cumbersome as the restrictions on hand-baggage get even more stringent. Passengers and airlines will have to put up with some more irritating procedures thought up by the rightly paranoid airport security set-ups world over, but especially in the US and the UK. Significant delays at airports are inevitable but hopefully, for the sake of the airline industry that is making a slow turnaround, will not be bad enough to put off travellers, particularly businessmen.

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AI, Cargojet enter strategic ties

August 14, 2006

Air India and Canada’s Cargojet have entered into strategic marketing and operational alliance for transportation of air cargo to and from the Canadian market. The alliance, which came into force this month, is expected to boost movement of air cargo between Canada and India, it is felt. Through this alliance, Air India hopes to access the air cargo markets of Western and Atlantic Canada as Cargojet has strong presence in a number of locations running coast-to-coast network in Canada.

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Now fly from Delhi to Helsinki, non-stop

August 14, 2006

 Finnish carrier Finnair will launch a non-stop service between Helsinki and New Delhi from next month, complementing the rapidly expanding business ties between Finland and India. The flight, billed as the shortest direct connection from Northern Europe to India, would take just six-and-a-half hours and the inaugural flight is scheduled for October 30, a statement from the airline said Sunday.

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Private twist to airport makeover

August 14, 2006

The government is planning private sector participation to upgrade 35 non-metro airports. The move would virtually open up business avenues for Indian companies interested in this field. Till recently, the government’s strategy was to allow the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to exclusively develop non-metro airports. Efforts are now on to let in private players here, highly-placed government sources said.

The policy shift means increased opportunities for foreign investors, too. Officials hope that this will translate into more foreign direct investment (FDI) for airport development. 

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