Archive for the ‘Special Ones’ Category

Public sector competition coming for low-cost airlines

March 2, 2007

Private sector low-cost domestic and international airlines could soon face competition from the newly merged Air India and Indian.

The Government is considering a proposal to create a low-cost airline arm of the proposed merged entity to operate regular flights not only within the country but also to international destinations.

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Big shopping for armed forces

March 2, 2007

11.6 per cent hike in the Defence Budget sees the IAF and Navy get Rs 10,200 crore and Rs 1,965 crore, respectively, to buy aircraft.

The UPA government increased its defence budget by 11.6 per cent largely because the previous year’s allocation of Rs 89,000 crore could not be spent in time.

Defence spending went up to Rs 96,000 crore from the previous year’s budgeted allocation of Rs 89,000 crore. However, documents reveal that what was actually spent was just Rs 86,000 crore. Therefore, in real terms, the increase in the current budget is 11.6 per cent or Rs 10,000 crore.
A sum of Rs 41,000 crore has been allocated for capital expenditure against last year’s budgeted figure of Rs 37,500 crore. This indicates that the Ministry of Defence had spent some, not all, of the capital outlay, as the revised estimates put the expenditure last year at Rs 34,500 crore.

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World Cup visit to Windies just got cheaper

February 25, 2007

There’s hope for thousands of cricket fans who desperately want to catch the Men in Blue up, close and in person during their Caribbean sojourn for the ICC World Cup, but are forced to think twice due to the high cost of tour packages and travel costs.

A sporty Maharaja has now come forward to fly at least four to five charter flights between Mumbai and Barbados starting March 10, and the Cup final. “If India reaches the finals, we may even consider flying some more direct flights, depending on the response of the cricket fans,” said an Air India spokesperson.

The charters — wide-bodied Boeing 777 or Boeing 747 — could seat around 400 passengers, and would take around 15 hours to reach Barbados, including a technical halt in Europe.

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Job seekers crowd the cockpit

February 25, 2007

Pilot shortage and the lucrative pay packet that the offers is attracting people from myriad backgrounds to fly commercial aircraft. And it’s not just air force and naval officers who are ready to make a career switch but also dentists, architects, software engineers, flight pursers et al who are looking at flying as a new career.

According to industry experts, the average age of such professionals joining a flying school is 35 years. Sample this. SpiceJet has a former truck driver from Canada flying one of its planes. Another one is a former chartered accountant.

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‘Airports here on a rapid growth curve’

February 25, 2007

John D Kasarda is an advocate of the theory of ‘airport cities’. The theory, better known as Aerotropolis, has an airport as the central figure in the commercial development of an urban city with the population and business revolving around it—much similar to the ancient concept of planning cities around ports or crossroads.

The distinguished professor of management and director of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School says that cities built around international airports are better positioned for global trade and competitiveness. “The role and development impact of major airports are changing dramatically, and those in Asia are leading the way. A reason behind this development is that major airports here are much newer than most of those in the West with many located on large greenfield sites that are surrounded by a considerable amount of developable land. These permit city planners and developers to leverage airports’ new role as multimodal, multifunctional commercial development engines attracting businesses,” he elaborates.

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Want to buy a wing today?

February 25, 2007

A man, who by his own admission is passionate about his aviation business, Manav Singh also keeps in touch with ground realities by indulging in another passion of his—eating dhaba food while zipping around the country.

Singh, who is fond of the ‘Great Outdoors’ is a pioneer of sorts in the country. He introduced the concept of chartered aircraft through a new company he registered in 2004, called Club One Air of which he is the managing director. He also introduced the concept of fractional ownership of an aircraft in the country in August 2005—almost a decade after he started his aircraft business.

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`Intelligent` plans for major airports: AAI

February 25, 2007

The roadmap for modernisation of Kolkata and Chennai airports is nearing completion and civil aviation ministry officials are already upbeat about the new “intelligent” and IT-enabled terminals coming up at major airports across the country.

“We are awaiting a report from the Tamil Nadu government regarding land acquisition. We are likely to get the report in the next two to three weeks.

“As soon as we get it, we will move the Union Cabinet on modernisation of Kolkata and Chennai airports,” Civil Aviation Secretary Ashok Chawla told reporters after inaugurating the “Inter Airport India” exhibition here.

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Tata-Changi JV to modernise Chennai, Kolkata airports

February 21, 2007

The Tata Group and Singapore’s Changi Airports International have agreed to jointly bid for the modernisation works of airports at Chennai and Kolkata as also vie for similar projects in non-metro airports.

“We are partnering with the Tatas to get the contracts for modernisation work in Kolkata and Chennai airports,” confirms Changi (India) Vice President Ng Tim Peng.

While the Tatas will hold a controlling 51%stake in the joint venture company, Changi would own the rest, he said, adding that “we are open to other partners with the right skills and expertise joining us in this venture”.

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TCS’ defence, aerospace designs set for takeoff

February 21, 2007

Software services major TCS says it sees defence and aerospace as its next big global opportunity in engineering and design outsourcing.

Quite a few standalone and offset prospects from defence and civil aviation deals already hover over Indian businesses.

TCS, for its part, will see a spurt of activity on these two fronts, according to its senior officials.

While Tata group companies are not new to defence or aerospace work, these areas are said to be the group’s priorities after its automotive success.

Globally, aircraft majors are cutting production cost and time to market; “Aerospace is the next wave of opportunity. Increasingly, TCS will play a very deep role in this space,” Mr Regu Ayyasamy, Chennai-based Vice-President, Engineering & Industrial Services unit, told Business Line.

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Pvt cos may get nod to develop airports

February 18, 2007

In an attempt to attract private investment and to overcome problems of land acquisition, the Centre may allow private companies to develop airports with no equity participation from the government.

The civil aviation ministry has suggested that private entrepreneurs, who possess the required amount of land, be allowed to build greenfield airports in the country. Asking the finance ministry and the Planning Commission to ‘revisit’ the policy on airports, civil aviation minister Praful Patel said land acquisition for special economic zones was facing major hurdles at present.

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