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