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