Spokespersons from Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines have said that they have suspended operations to and from Western destinations due to closure of airspace after the eruption of a volcano in Iceland
All long-haul flights between India and Britain, the US, Canada as well as some other European cities were cancelled or indefinitely delayed today as airspace remained closed over several North European airports due to drifting ash from a volcano in Iceland, reports PTI.
Spokespersons of Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines said that they have suspended operations to and from these destinations due to closure of airspace.
All West-bound flights of Air India were suspended from this afternoon for the next 48 hours, a spokesperson of the national carrier said.
Similarly, Jet Airways announced indefinite delay in its flights to London’s Heathrow airport and its European hub Brussels that were scheduled for departure today.
These included onward flights from Brussels to JFK Airport in New York, Newark and Toronto, a spokesperson said.
Due to closure of Heathrow and Brussels Airports, Jet Airways has announced an indefinite delay of its flights bound for Europe.
A spokesperson also said that Jet Airways was working with the authorities to obtain the required permission to reschedule the flights at the earliest and said all penalties for cancellation or rescheduling of travel plans have been waived.
Kingfisher also cancelled four flights between London (Heathrow) and Delhi and Mumbai scheduled today.
Passengers have been advised to call the airline office to know their flight schedule before proceeding for airports, officials said.
Ash clouds from the Icelandic volcano continued to hang over European skies today shutting down major airport hubs like Frankfurt, London and Paris for the second day.
The British Air Traffic Control has prohibited aircraft from entering certain parts of airspace over the UK as flying ash can compromise visibility and debris can be sucked into the engines of aircraft.
RIL’s stake would be over 26% in the cargo airline; details still awaited on the capital being infused
The Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries today forayed into the aviation space as a “strategic investor” with over 26% stake in cargo airline Deccan 360, reports RIL.
While the companies did not disclose the quantum of investment, RIL said that a wholly-owned subsidiary would provide “growth capital” for the new cargo airline.
Later speaking to reporters, Capt Gopinath said that RIL’s stake would be over 26%, but below 50%. He, however, declined to comment when asked about the amount of capital being infused by Reliance Industries (RIL).
"We want to make it clear that it is not a sale. We would rather say that they (RIL) have invested in the company,” Capt Gopinath said, adding that RIL would have two nominees on Deccan 360’s five-member board of directors.
“We were in talks with some private equity players and some other potential strategic investors, but we chose Reliance, not because theirs was the highest bid, but because of (the) strategic advantage of this deal,” he said, but did not elaborate further.
Capt Gopinath said that the company has 300 employees, while it has a network of 60 franchises with an additional workforce of 1,500.
As many as 3,000 applications were received when the company invited franchisees to join it, he added.
“We believe that our collaboration with Deccan 360 will see a transformation in the logistics domain in India,” RIL's chairman and MD Mukesh Ambani said in a statement.
RIL’s investment would help Deccan 360 increase its air and surface network coverage across the country, the company said.
Deccan 360 is already present in 50 cities and would expand to 100 cities in the next 12-18 month, Capt Gopinath said.
He further said that RIL and Deccan 360 would start discussions from Monday to finalise the areas of potential cooperation.
Deccan 360 is developing a 50-acre hub at Nagpur in Maharashtra and currently has eight freight aircraft covering 15 airports and a fleet of over 300 trucks and 850 vehicles nationwide.
Capt Gopinath is credited with pioneering the low-cost passenger airline service in India and had previously founded Air Deccan, the country’s first budget air carrier, that he later sold to industrialist Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher Airlines.
The self-regulatory body for advertising has introduced amendments in the codes for auto and foods & beverages advertising
The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), the apex self-regulatory body that observes advertising content, has introduced additions to the codes for advertising of automotive vehicles and foods and beverages (F&B). The addition is directed at depicting safe, secure and healthy practices in advertisements.
“The additions to the ASCI advertising code is in line with the swift changes happening in the Indian advertising and marketing world. The recent set of guidelines for automotive vehicles and F&B seeks to make advertising content safer and healthier for the general public,” said Alan Colaco, secretary general of ASCI.
He also added that the number of complaints concerning automotive and F&B ads had risen, which resulted in ASCI tightening norms.
Earlier, there were no rules for automobile advertisements. But due to the recent changes in the automotive industry in India and its depiction to the potential viewer, ASCI has added fresh rules.
The recently-introduced guidelines for automotive vehicles’ advertising prohibit the portrayal of violation of traffic rules in any manner, showing reckless speed or manoeuvrability that could harm the driver, passengers or general public. The code is directed at promoting safe practices such as wearing of helmets, fastening of seatbelts and not using mobile phones while driving.
The code also discourages ads that show stunts or actions without a readable cautionary message on the potential dangers of the stunt.
“ASCI realises that cutthroat competition among products and the need for uniqueness can sometimes lead to senseless exaggeration and depiction of unsafe practices,” Mr Colaco added.
The code addendum on F&B advertising disallows advertisements from depicting personal changes in intelligence, physical ability or exceptional recognition unless scientifically substantiated.
It also adds that nutritional and health-benefit claims in F&B advertisements must have a substantiated scientific backing, including those ads for food products nutritionally designed as a meal replacement.
The recent addition in the F&B code also specifies that messages in ads to children must accurately portray the products in a manner that is in keeping with the child’s ability to understand the message. The code stresses on the importance of parental care and guidance in making the right choice for children.
The F&B code also prohibits advertisements and promotions from portraying over-consumption in any way. It also prohibits visual F&B presentation to be any different from its actual material characteristics.