Archive for February, 2007
Private sector insurance company Cholamandalam MS General Insurance has won the mandate to provide non-aviation related insurance cover to Air India for 2007-08.
“The airline has managed to bag a 25 per cent reduction in the insurance pay out while there has been an increase in the cover being provided. The cover will be to the tune of about Rs 1,800 crore,” an official said without divulging exact details of what the airline payout would be.
Vice Admiral J Mudimu, Chief of the South African Navy, is on a visit to India from 26 Feb to 03 Mar 07, at the invitation of Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of Naval Staff of the Indian Navy. This is his maiden visit to India after taking over the reins of the South African Navy. The visit of Admiral Mudimu is part of the regular exchange of high-level visits between the two friendly countries.
Utilising some of its newly inducted assets like unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), airborne early warning helicopters and cutting edge missiles, the Indian Navy has validated its new warfare doctrine during an exercise conducted off the country’s west coast.
The just-concluded TROPEX (Theatre-level Readiness Operational Exercises) 2007, the navy’s largest annual exercise, commenced on Jan 30 and saw the participation of all the force’s major combatants, as also significant elements from the Indian Army, the Indian Air Force, and the Indian Coast Guard.
European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and US-based Boeing, which have already together secured orders worth Rs 45,000 crore from state-run Air-India and Indian Airlines, apart from huge orders from other Indian airline operators in the past two years, are both fine-tuning their business strategies to penetrate further into the Indian aviation market.
For one, the two companies are highlighting new innovations in their aircraft to woo customers. Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president of sales, Boeing, said, “We will be launching 747-Intercontinental, an aircraft which guarantees fuel efficiency. Our customers, especially Indian operators from whom we expect more orders, will be benefited.” He added that the aircraft, equipped with modern technology, can land even at airports devoid of modern infrastructure, as is the case with many airports in India. Airbus’ innovation pertains to lower training period and transition time. Aircraft from the A320 family are designed in such a way that a pilot transitioning from an A320 family aircraft to the larger A330 and A340 needs only eight working days for cross-crew qualification (CCQ) instead of the 25 working days for a full type rating training course. “The annual savings in training and from the reduced transition time can be up to $500,000 for each new Airbus aircraft to be added to the fleet,” Sanjay Kumar, a senior analyst with Airbus, said.
The introduction of dynamic pricing for passenger fares for the first time by railway minister Lalu Prasad may have been aimed at competing with low-cost airlines, but the carriers are in no mood to accept the challenge and bring down the prices further. Low-cost airlines maintain that their fares for most of the sectors are still below the railways’ AC first-class and AC two-tier rates.
Rather than announcing an across-the-board cut in passenger fares, Prasad has brought in a dynamic pricing model, offering fare cuts according to peak and off-peak seasons. According to the proposal, there will be a 3% reduction in AC first-class fares for the peak season. For the non-peak season, it will be a 6% cut. For AC 2-tier, the peak and non-peak season reduction will be of 2% and 4%, respectively. AC 3-tier (new coaches) saw the maximum cut in fares with peak and non-peak season reductions of 4% and 8%, respectively.
Travel portals are increasingly catching the fancy of private equity (PE) players what with investments in this fast emerging business segment registering a 100 per cent jump.
Industry analysts point out that PE investments in travel portals touched Rs 180 crore in 2006 against Rs 90 crore in 2005. Meanwhile, individual investments have also doubled to Rs 300 crore from Rs 150 crore in the past one year.
“But that is not all. In the next two years, the online travel portals will invite a PE investment of Rs 200 crore. Today, the online travel market is pegged at Rs 4,000 crore and by 2008, it is estimated to be a Rs 10,000 crore market,” they said.
Satyam Computers has forged an alliance with $30-billion US global defence and technology company Northrop Grumman for expanding its footprint in the global aerospace and defence market place. Both companies will jointly bid and provide high-end engineering services to global players in the aerospace and defence space.
For Satyam, the MoU will enable it to deepen its presence in the domain while Northrop will benefit from the Hyderabad-based company’s strength in providing engineering, development and consulting support as an offshoring partner.
The Aldeasa-ITDC combine has bagged the Mumbai International Airport’s duty free retail contract for Rs 571 crore for the next three years. Aldeasa is a Spanish duty free major.
Others in the fray included DFS Group, the Nuance Group AG-Shoppers’ Stop joint venture, the Alpha Airports-Future Group consortium and the Dufry-Interglobe combine. Last month, the Alpha Airports-Future Group joint venture was awarded the duty free contract for the Delhi International airport for Rs 500 crore.
Private carrier Paramount Airways, which has a strong presence in South India, would enter the Western Indian skies by the end of this year and add 15 more aircraft to its kitty in the next three years.
Talking to visiting reporters here after the launch of Paramount’s fourth flight in the Chennai-Madurai sector last evening, company’s Managing Director M Thiagarajan said the airline would try to provide maximum number of services across the cities in the Western region.