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