Archive for October, 2006

Budget tourism package

October 31, 2006

Malaysia Tourism and SriLankan Airlines have jointly announced a “value-for-money” package for tourists from India. The offer involves a four-day three-night package for a visit to Malaysia, priced at Rs 17,333 for one, inclusive of all taxes.

The package, which was announced on Monday , will be valid till December 20, and is specifically targeted at the outbound tourist traffic from Kerala. Three nights accommodation in Kuala Lumpur in a four-star hotel with daily breakfast, airport transfers, return economy-class ticket from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi or Kozhikode is part of the package, in addition to half-day sightseeing tours. The package is launched in association with four leading travel agents from Kerala, a press release issued here said.

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Emirates to expand Mumbai call centre

October 31, 2006

Emirates Airline has decided to expand its global call centre facility in Mumbai and treble the number of staffers to around 400.

Emirates’ Vice-President for India and Nepal, Mr Salem Obaidalla, told a news conference that the airline would spend around Rs 8 crore to set up a new facility in Mumbai and increase the number of employees to around 400.

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Int’l air fares to stay soft this season

October 31, 2006

With outbound air travel capacity increasing by over 30% in the past one year, air fares out of India are likely to remain competitive in the peak season of November to January.

Factors like the launch of Finnair’s flights from Delhi to Europe, carriers like Emirates flying in bigger aircraft to India and Air India Express launching its services to Singapore from Chennai, are likely to keep fares soft this season. “Outbound passenger growth, this busy season, is likely to be in the range of 15-20%,” notes Ashok Fenn, president & CEO, Interglobe Air Services.

However, industry analysts point out that airline seat capacity over the past one year has grown on an average anywhere between 25-40% depending on the sector.

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Air Deccan Q1 net loss at Rs 43 cr, sales soar

October 31, 2006

Deccan Aviation, the parent company of low-cost carrier Air Deccan, has seen its topline zoom by 187% year-on-year for Q1 ended September 30, ’06. The board also approved of the company’s foray into the air cargo business through a wholly-owned subsidiary arm.

Air Deccan, whose financial year runs from July to June, posted a turnover of Rs 536 crore in Q1 as compared with Rs 187.8 crore for the same period in ’05. The net loss for Q1 stood at Rs 42.9 crore. Air Deccan said rising fuel costs, addition of seven new routes, lean travel season besides rising personnel costs hit the company’s profit.

Captain GR Gopinath, MD, Deccan Aviation, said: “With our strong market share, we are confident to cut down our losses, while going forward. Our fleet expansion plans and new route openings will be the force propeller for our future growth and profitability, besides insulating us from the turbulence in the domestic aviation.”

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Air Deccan launches Madurai-B’lore flight

October 31, 2006

Low-cost carrier Air Deccan has announced that it has launched daily direct flights from Madurai to Bangalore from today.

According to a company statement, this would be the airline’s second service from Madurai as it already operates Madurai–Chennai–Madurai regular services. The airline had increased the number of its passengers to three million in the first half of 2006-07 as against the same number of passengers that it carried during the whole year of 2005-06.

For the Madurai-Bangalore flight, a 72-seater ATR-72 aircraft, the company is offering special fares under the ‘dynamic bucket system’. The flight will depart from Bangalore at 17.15 hrs and land at Madurai at 18.45 hrs. The flight will depart from Madurai at 19.00 hrs and arrive at Bangalore at 20.30 hrs.

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No job loss, assure airlines chiefs

October 31, 2006

Employees promised protection of salaries and seniority. 
 
The chiefs of Air-India and Indian Airlines have written to their respective employees, assuring that there will be no retrenchment after the merger of the two state-owned aviation companies. 
 
The letter also promises protection of salaries and seniority. 
 
“I would like to assure you that HR issues are a top priority with the government and the board and management of the two companies and any retrenchment of personnel as a result of the merger has been categorically ruled out,” Air-India chairman and managing director Vasudevan Thulasidas said in a letter to the employees. 
 
A similar letter has gone to the Indian Airlines’ employees from the company’s chairman and managing director V Trivedi. 

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QuEST Expands into Aerospace Manufacturing

October 31, 2006

QuEST, a leading provider of engineering services, offering end-to-end product development and engineering solutions, today announced the expansion into Aerospace Manufacturing through a fully owned subsidiary ─ QuEST Machining and Manufacturing. QuEST Machining and Manufacturing will provide precision machined components to aerospace companies.

QuEST Machining and Manufacturing signed a 10 year strategic agreement with Magellan Aerospace, one of the world’s largest aerospace suppliers. Magellan Aerospace is QuEST’s first major aerospace customer for manufacturing. Under the agreement, QuEST Machining and Manufacturing will provide Magellan Aerospace with manufacturing of components such as landing gear parts for the Boeing 747, 777 and 787 programs.

This venture by QuEST brings together the manufacturing technology, assets, and experience necessary to provide value added manufacturing solutions in the rapidly growing Indian aerospace industry and help its customers meet the offsets requirements.

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Belgium set for India’s nuclear quest

October 31, 2006

Belgium, a member of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), on Monday indicated it was ready to take a “constructive” approach to India’s quest for global civil nuclear cooperation.

“India has not made any official request to us for our support (on the India-US civil nuclear deal) in the NSG,” Patrick De Beyter, the Belgian ambassador to India, told reporters here ahead of Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt’s six-day visit beginning Thursday.

“But if the request is made, we are ready to consider it constructively,” he stressed. He, however, clarified Belgium doesn’t have any official position on the issue.

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CSU to collaborate with India’s national space agency

October 31, 2006

Colorado State University is poised to sign a Memorandum of Understanding this week with India’s national space agency to collaborate on the study of remote sensing of precipitation.

Tony Frank, provost and senior vice president, is visiting India with a small contingent from CSU to finalize the agreement with the Indian Space Research Organization and to further develop relationships with Indian industry and government partners.

“We don’t work in a vacuum at Colorado State – we cooperate with partners worldwide to find solutions to global problems,” Frank said.

As part of its strategic plan, Colorado State is committed to growing areas of study that address global challenges and creating international partnerships to face those challenges. The university has sought like-minded institutions that share its vision and values for higher education in areas such as China, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.

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Rs 100-crore hypersonic test facility to come up at VSSC

October 31, 2006

In what would give considerable thrust to India’s long-term space race strategies, a hypersonic test facility that can test speed up to Mach 12 speed is set to come up at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

The facility, which is to be installed at a cost of around Rs 100 crore, will materialise in a year, VSSC Associate Director Dr V Adimurthy told this website’s newspaper on the sidelines of the 20th national aerospace conference which began on Sunday.

What’s special about the new facility, which is being developed indigenously, is that it will be the first one in the country that can test speed up to Mach 12.

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