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