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Convulsions in The Hindu Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Shanti and Sadhana through Music Discoms deserve better… Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks IAS invades NDDB... Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked How Air-India loses customs... Tribute Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Sweet news for TN sugar mills Road development slows down Kulandai was a giant Waning interest in public discussions… Strengthen the base... MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Fortune for Indian Airlines Quality silica from Neyveli London, London Narayan Poor quality of university VCs Which side are you, Montek? There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! PC’s preference for professionals to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Tribute – UCAL Selvan… Medical costs hit the roof... Fuel for thought A proud Madrasi Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Kinetic Karnataka Recognition to role of NBFCs.... TGS- The king storyteller A glass full of corruption Shipping woes of Chennai companies PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Of course, Gujarat is vibrant A welcome initiative by the judiciary Fortune 500 review Another Indian music maestro at the UN He saved millions from starvation... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders IPL - no surprise this scam Robber barons everywhere Where a state respects its litterateurs… Preserving for the future Delhi is distant… Modi and the lady Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Multi-faceted Venkat When nations steal growth from one another… S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities More heat than light No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Breaththrough in malaria control Readers' Mail Building loyalty through the stomach A more liberated TN… Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Delhi is distant Towards speedy justice Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Mersal magnified More Shakti to resource mobilisation... A yen for wastage… Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Roaring Ro-Ro facility Boy, can you beat these? Five star activism stalls development activity An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The Swadeshi Trump Polls and promises CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. When the President was rendered homeless… Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Tough task taking states together Cutting the nose to spite the face Wise Presidents Pharma – overdose of copying …and of a popular trade leader Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Things happen by accident and not by design... F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Russi Mody – a tribute Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Music happens Adharma of opposition politics The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more ONGC at KG Basin Parliament in paralysis... Align crops to agro climate endowments… The sea- saw battle continues... Kudos to NDTV... Tribute – M V Murugappan Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Haul over the coal The few handicaps... Nuclear power at the nucleus Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Solar, solar everywhere … Plummeting profits of PSBs Muffled voices for merit… Return to king coal for urea... Revving up the manufacturing sector Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai GM Technology at last! A professional at the helm of IRDA... A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science CII projects higher growth… Contrarian cousins Should we change the official year? IPL type auction for VCs? Make standards certification mandatory... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more An enemy’s enemy is a friend When online building permits work…. R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Moily’s bold thrust He continues the focus on social amelioration TIAM turns a full cycle The nuclear option Why this malaise in medical education? Solar thermal shines… Vibrant Gujarat CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Protest masters... Noble nonagenarians... EEC at the National Media Centre Shale gas and its shallow future The rise and fall of Annamalai University Banning booze... TELANGANA at last…BUT An inexplicable neglect The power-full Hindujas The star of Spencers is no more Tatas moving out of urea production... Put expensive assets created to use... No engine for this car L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles This scant respect for Law Telangana in top gear… CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Engineering seats go abegging Making ‘my Amaravati’... Come elections, come advertisements... Sri Lanka votes for change SoA @ 80 New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Gay abandon in pricing Delhi returns to BJP Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Paytm karo... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Demise of a media baron... Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Computation of GDP – conundrums continue The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Secularism and anti-Hinduism More Shakthi to Das’ elbow Silver Years of Madras Musings TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Welcome GST Mu Sigma – is no more A think tank for Chennai Delhi Chalo... Quality education through the PPP mode Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS The Jan Dhan bonanza Cement prices continue to rise… More tributes to GR China invests in India Small units prefers to remain small... The rise and rise of KCP The balancing act When Ratan Tata visited SRM Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Editor's Notes Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Modi storms Silicon Valley Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... The why of tax incentives Editor's Says Tax agriculture A friendly business group Maximising the micro pricing … Tatas moving out of urea production... Revive development banks... Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Intellectual of rare qualities Valli, they are more marginalised The brown list of Venkitaramanan Airlines in India: cost and space Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai For whom the bell tolls? EVM is tamper-proof B H Kothari - a tribute Gas is the way forward Build close rapport with business leaders Streamlining mandatory third party cover TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership The Gulf aviation boom Where is Rajaji? Welcome focus on core competence Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Sweeter prospects for sugar Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector West Bengal: mindless malignancy GNS - 100: our first subscriber No Maha Koottani in TN... When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Why land prices zoom in TN? Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ When small is no larger beautiful.. Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Funding the un-funded S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Rahman at CIC Auto components surge… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure…
 
Fortune for Indian Airlines

In the 1950s and 1960s, several countries in Asia and Africa were gaining independence. The first things these countries did were  (a)  invent a flag (b) decide on a national anthem and (c) establish a national airline. But setting an airline and efficiently managing it required both resources and management skills.

The Gulf countries witnessed a huge surge in their incomes post the 1971 oil crisis. Most of these countries are small with little natural resources, except oil. With their sparse population, managing big business was an additional problem. With the oil prices zooming, several of these thought the civil aviation sector, employing manpower from across the globe, can be a lucrative business. Several oil-rich countries set up their airlines in quick succession.

Saudi Arabia, the largest producer of oil and Kuwait were among the earliest. In subsequent years, one witnessed several airline companies established in the Gulf region – Emirates, Gulf Air, Etihad Airlines... These countries also built modern airports. Dubai emerged among the largest of these and competed with the likes of Singapore and Hong Kong. The Gulf airlines, buoyed by oil wealth, went for a large fleet of modern aircraft. Emirates was one of the earliest to go for Airbus 380 aircraft, the largest in operation.

The location of the Gulf, en route to Europe and the US, was a significant advantage. Airlines in the Gulf attracted customers from India, used their home base as their hubs and offered non-stop flights to Europe, the US and other far off places and compete with the established airlines in Europe. In this, they found the large Indian air travel population an extremely attractive target for custom. The sloppy performance of India’s cash-starved national carrier Air India coincided with the surge in air travel from India, and these became great opportunities for the Gulf carriers. Through hubs like Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha, these Gulf airlines offered convenient and often shorter duration flights to the US. Etihad Airlines went one step further in establishing the US immigration and customs department at Abu Dhabi. This helps complete formalities of immigration and customs in the transit time and enable passengers to arrive at US airports as domestic travellers.

The traditional hubs in Europe, Frankfurt for Lufthansa, Heathrow for British Airways or Charles de Gaulle for Air France, have been rapidly losing custom to these airports in the Gulf. These Gulf airlines also offer airfares at extremely competitive rates. Thus, the boom enjoyed earlier by the European airlines has substantially declined giving space to these airlines from the Gulf.

In India, a corresponding change is not taking place at an equal pace. Air India continues to operate international flights from the Mumbai and Delhi hubs. This means passengers from other cities are aggregated in these two hubs. For long, there has been a demand for Air India offering direct flights from the south, but it has not taken place. Two decades ago, Lufthansa started offering direct flights from Chennai, then extended these from Bengaluru and Hyderabad to Frankfurt and then to dozens of destinations in America, Europe, Africa and elsewhere. Private airlines like Jet Airways and later Kingfisher held promise of expanding its destinations to Europe, the US and other places. Again these were constrained by their resources needed for large-scale acquisition of aircraft and for maintaining and improving the services. Kingfisher crashed out.

Jet Airways joined hands with Etihad as an equity partner and has been able to increase its custom for foreign travel. IndiGo and SpiceJet thrive on local custom.  Tatas entered with a lot of promise, simultaneously setting up two airlines – one a joint venture collaboration with Singapore Airlines and the other with the budget airline AirAsia of Malaysia. These are in the process of getting licenses to fly abroad after the recent amendment to the 5/20 rule, which stipulated a minimum of five years’ experience in operation and at least 20 aircrafts.

Indian companies need much larger resources to benefit from the massive increase in the number of air travellers.

The new aviation policy provides exciting prospects to trigger entry of more operators in the Indian aviation sector.

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