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