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