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The brown list of Venkitaramanan A rich pool of talent not utilised…. Another Indian music maestro at the UN EEC at the National Media Centre …and of a popular trade leader PC’s preference for professionals Contrarian cousins For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model London, London Narayan Alexa – Talking Wikipedia He continues the focus on social amelioration Banning booze... Roaring Ro-Ro facility Airlines in India: cost and space TIAM turns a full cycle S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal A proud Madrasi Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Permanent secretariat for TN GIM Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Things happen by accident and not by design... Haul over the coal Mu Sigma – is no more Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Vibrant Gujarat Editor's Says CII projects higher growth… Delhi is distant When online building permits work…. 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A welcome initiative by the judiciary A more liberated TN… GNS - 100: our first subscriber Welcome focus on core competence Fuel for thought Moily’s bold thrust A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Delhi Chalo... Silver Years of Madras Musings CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Demise of a media baron... TELANGANA at last…BUT Cement prices continue to rise… Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform GM Technology at last! When small is no larger beautiful.. Computation of GDP – conundrums continue When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Plummeting profits of PSBs Build close rapport with business leaders The balancing act All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Put expensive assets created to use... How Air-India loses customs... Auto components surge… More heat than light No Maha Koottani in TN... Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Return to king coal for urea... Solar, solar everywhere … Shanti and Sadhana through Music SoA @ 80 Breaththrough in malaria control This scant respect for Law TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership The Swadeshi Trump New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… B H Kothari - a tribute EVM is tamper-proof Towards speedy justice Music happens Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Boy, can you beat these? The why of tax incentives Modi and the lady Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Shale gas and its shallow future WTO Meet: resolved to meet again When the President was rendered homeless… Gay abandon in pricing Delhi is distant… Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Why this malaise in medical education? Building loyalty through the stomach Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Making ‘my Amaravati’... Tribute A glass full of corruption ONGC at KG Basin Multi-faceted Venkat TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector Funding the un-funded Paytm karo... An enemy’s enemy is a friend TGS- The king storyteller Come elections, come advertisements... Increasing non co-operation of state leaders TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Marketing expert Balagopal is no more No engine for this car The star of Spencers is no more Align crops to agro climate endowments… Make standards certification mandatory... Road development slows down Which side are you, Montek?
 
How Air-India loses customs...

I have in the past mentioned the failure of the national carrier Air-India to derive the maximum benefit out of the boom in air travel. Post the 1990s the massive increase in traffic was initially grabbed by the European giants like Lufthansa and British Airways. Surprisingly, despite bulk of this traffic moving towards the US, large American airline companies have not tapped this business. They have been content to leave the huge potential to be exploited by their partners in the airline alliances like Star Alliance.

After 2000, synchronising with the improvement in technology to fly over long distances with bigger aircraft, countries in the Gulf region focused on the airline business. These countries created productive infrastructure on the ground and invested massively in sophisticated aircraft.  With vast areas of land available in these desert kingdoms, in quick time sophisticated ground facilities were created. In quick succession Emirates, based in Dubai, Etihad in Abu Dhabi, Gulf Air in Bahrain along with their older counterparts of Saudi Airlines and Kuwait Airlines, have been investing massively and winning handsome custom. With much lower airport landing and takeoff costs and with the ability to fly non-stop over long distances, these airlines have been able to earn a lot of custom from Indians travelling to the US, African and European countries and other destinations.

Mounting losses with the consequent inability to invest continuously in the acquisition of new aircraft in large numbers, Air-India has been missing out this boom. Many of the bilateral agreements with several nations have been benefiting its partners and not so much Air-India. The corporation is yet to come out of the effects of its merger with Indian Airlines, loading it with an enormous under-employed workforce, diversified aircraft and ineffective management with bureaucratic control. Its once huge market share within the country has suffered severe erosion. With the recent new policy that permits newer entrants in the business to fly overseas, this competition is bound to intensify further.

Despite the large custom from South India, Air-India doesn’t offer direct, non-stop flights to Europe/US. The passengers are ferried to Delhi/Mumbai for such direct flights entailing higher travel time.

The policy of continuous recapitalisation by the government has mostly gone to keep the airline afloat. A bold new plan to revamp the finances and infusing substantial fresh capital can still enable this Indian icon to regain some of its past glory.

 

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