APAC region overtakes US in air travel growth

During 2009, intra-APAC travellers numbered 647 million compared to the 638 million who travelled within North America, including domestic markets

The growth in air travel in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has eclipsed that in the largest aviation market of the US, with the airline industry in the eastern part of the world preparing to show a comeback by drastically reducing its losses, reports PTI.

In its report, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that in 2009, intra-APAC travellers numbered 647 million compared to 638 million who travelled within North America, including domestic markets.

"By 2013, an additional 217 million travellers are expected to take to the skies within APAC," the IATA has estimated.

It said that the global aviation industry was expected to reduce losses from $11 billion in 2009 to $5.6 billion in 2010. The loss reduction is being led by APAC’s carriers who are expected to see their losses shrink from $3.4 billion in 2009 to $700 million in 2010.

"APAC’s prospects are improving faster than other regions," IATA's director general and chief executive Giovanni Bisignani said at the Singapore Air Show.

The region's two biggest growth markets—India and China—faced "completely different circumstances", he said.

"India's challenge is to reduce costs and improve infrastructure, while China is adjusting to new global trade patterns," Mr Bisignani said, but warned that in the longer term, APAC would also face global challenges including environment, security and liberalisation.

Noting that APAC was a diverse and dynamic region with great potential, Mr Bisignani said the region's governments provided over $10 billion in bailouts to airlines in the first quarter of the year.

Speaking on the potential of the region's aviation sector, he said that there were three aircraft seats per year for each of the 300 million people in the US.

But China's population of 1.3 billion was served by only 0.3 seats per person and India's 1.1 billion population has only 0.1 seats available per person.

"The global air transport industry will triple in size when Asians travel as much as those in the US," he said, adding that the region was also home to two of the world’s top five airlines in terms of profitability.

The IATA chief said that over the past decade, China replaced Japan as APAC's largest player, having a fleet of 1,400 aircraft compared to Japan's 540.

He, however, said that Asian aviation would not reach its potential "if the airlines are constrained to old ways of doing business". The ASEAN aviation industry was preparing for regional liberalisation of market access by 2015.

"It is important that the target date is met. This is already well behind the industry-leading developments in the US-EU Open Skies agreement. Second stage talks will conclude this year with ownership being the most important issue," Mr Bisignani said.


HCC seeks foreign tie-ups for expressways

HCC will tie up with international players for mega-expressways, to tap investments and obtain operational expertise

Hindustan Construction Co Ltd (HCC) is planning to tie up with international players to bid and develop mega-expressways that the ministry for road transport & highways will award in 2010.

“We have not tied up (with any player), but are in the process of talking to various people,” said Praveen Sood, group chief financial officer, HCC. 

The ministry plans to award around six mega-expressway projects with a cost of around Rs5,000 crore for each mega-expressway.

“There are two to three parties that have already shown interest in these projects. These investments would be at a special purpose vehicle (SPV) level,” said Arjun Dhawan, president, HCC Infrastructure.

As these projects will require huge investments and expertise, HCC is planning partnerships both for finance and operations. “There are two types of people whom we are talking to. One would be for financial tie-ups. These (partnerships) would be with players who would invest in the project with expectations of returns of roughly 20% and they would typically not be taking part in operations,” said Mr Sood.

He further said that the second type would involve players who may want a joint venture with HCC or operations and management (O&M) players, who would contribute to the operational aspects of these projects.

“Thus, two kinds of partners will come in—one at the level of the project and the other at the level of the holding company,” added Mr Sood.

Speaking on the timeline for awarding the mega-expressways, Mr Sood said, “There has been some announcement in the pipeline, but no major decision has been taken so far.”

HCC is also planning to have separate ventures with various players for each mega-expressway.



Shadi Katyal

7 years ago

It is indeed a good idea to have some European and Japanese partnership as such partners may provide better and latest technology as well as keep the hands of local contractors hands out of cookie jar.

Indian investors corner Dubai property sales

Indian investors were responsible for the biggest chunk of real-estate sales in Dubai in 2009. Nearly a quarter or 24% of sales by value in the city involved Indian investors

Indian investors were responsible for the biggest chunk of real-estate sales in Dubai in 2009, a new study has revealed, reports PTI.

The figures, included in FutureBrand's Gulf Real Estate Study, showed that nearly a quarter or 24% of sales by value in the city involved Indian investors.

The data, supplied by DUBAIFocus in association with Dubai Land Department, also reveals that UK property buyers finished second with their 21% share. Investors from Pakistan and Iran grabbed the third and fourth spots with their 12% and 10% contribution respectively.

Buyers’ search for high-quality construction was cited as the biggest reason for investing in Dubai, with nearly 19% of respondents stating this factor as their highest priority.

Innovation (15.6%), building great places to live (6.8%) and the ease in working with developers (6.7%) were also seen as important factors by prospective buyers, according to the research. However, the need to deliver projects on time just got a 0.2% rating from respondents.

In November, research firm Proleads said that some 1,845 projects worth a combined $657 billion were still active in the UAE despite the impact of the global slowdown.

The study of the civil construction industry in the country showed that 69% of the total projects were ongoing (not cancelled or delayed).



Ataurrahman Cholavaram

7 years ago

Commenting on the civil construction industry in Dubai, showed almost 69% of the total ongoing projects either not cancelled or delayed..is all due to the crude oil price which nosedived to about $60
Things will go better as the price of oil in international market is slowly but surely recovering

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