Kingfisher faces more turbulence, over 30 flights cancelled

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to Kingfisher asking why it had not taken the regulator’s prior approval to curtail its flight schedules as required by the Aircraft Rules, 1937

New Delhi: Cash-strapped Kingfisher Airlines got into more turbulence on Thursday by cancelling over 30 flights for the fourth consecutive day even as some pilots and cabin crew did not turn up for duty by reporting sick, reports PTI.

Thousands of passengers across the country were inconvenienced by the cancellation of flights and in some cases paid a premium of 20%-40% to travel by other airlines.

Over the past four days, the Vijay Mallya-owned airline has cancelled more than 120 flights maintaining they were taking some aircraft off their schedule to add business class seats in them.

Asked about reports of 100 pilots quitting Kingfisher in the recent past, its CEO Sanjay Agarwal told PTI that this had happened over the past seven months. “We have over 650 pilots on our rolls now.”

“We decided to reduce frequency in some of the routes where we had multiple flights like Delhi-Mumbai or low passenger load like Nanded-Mysore,” he said, adding the entire exercise was part of route rationalisation to ‘improve profitability’.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to Kingfisher asking why it had not taken the regulator’s prior approval to curtail its flight schedules as required by the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

“We have explained that cancellations were temporary in nature because we have cancelled flights only up to 19th November. We are also rationalising our frequencies,” Mr Agarwal said.

Asked whether there was any plan to close down the airline, he vehemently said “no. The question does not arise.”

Airline sources said 30-odd pilots and cabin crew have not reported for duty in the past few days on grounds of sickness. The payment of October salary and allowances of the airline staff has been delayed.

The airline has suffered a loss of Rs1,027 crore in 2010-11 and has a mounting debt of Rs7,057.08 crore.

Kingfisher’s flight schedules have also been severely hit with three oil companies —HPCL, IOC and BPCL—stopping granting credit to it for lifting jet fuel and asking it to make payments on a daily basis.

Industry sources said the airline has grounded eight of its leased turboprop ATR aircraft.

The cash-strapped carrier also has unpaid dues to the operators of airports and other agencies, which have been putting pressure on it.

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DLF Q2 net profit dips 11%; raises Rs245 crore from asset sale

Commenting on the result, DLF said: “The company witnessed muted sale volumes as its previous product offerings received a strong customer response and it did not have much unsold inventory”

New Delhi: India’s largest realty firm DLF on Thursday reported a 11% decline in consolidated net profit at Rs372.41 crore for the quarter ended 30th September, mainly due to higher tax expenses and interest charges, reports PTI.

The company had posted a net profit of Rs418.38 crore in the year-ago period, DLF said in a statement.

Consolidated net sales during the second quarter, however, rose by 6.9% to Rs2,532.41 crore from Rs2,369.02 crore, it added.

DLF said it has raised Rs245 crore during the last quarter from sale of non-core assets and expects to garner Rs615 crore by selling land parcels having development rights of 2.9 million sq ft in this quarter.

The company’s debt has increased from Rs21,524 crore at the end of June quarter, but did not mention any figure.

The net profit fell during the quarter as the company’s tax expenses doubled to Rs147.49 crore from Rs73.41 crore in the year-ago period. Finance charges rose by 21% to Rs526.30 crore from Rs433.76 crore in the review period.

Commenting on the result, DLF said: “The company witnessed muted sale volumes as its previous product offerings received a strong customer response and it did not have much unsold inventory.”

Sales volumes were further impacted by the delay in the approvals of the new launches, it added.

DLF raised Rs245 crore in last quarter from selling its non-core assets, taking the total realisation from such sales to Rs410 crore till September in this fiscal.

It further said: “Definitive agreements signed for the sale of Noida IT Park and documentation is at an advanced stage for the sale of the Pune IT SEZ ... Final completion on both these transactions are expected in the current quarter.”

The company expects the momentum on the non-core assets divestment plan to continue with increasing traction in the proposed sale of its hospitality assets, which would further help in moderation of its debt levels, the statement said.

Besides, the company hopes to raise Rs615 crore in this quarter from selling 2.9 million sq ft of land.

“The company has progressed well with its non-core divestment program with two FSI (floor space index) land sale transactions under closure and select transactions for sale of commercial assets at an advanced stage. Proceeds from these are expected in the current quarter,” the statement said.

DLF plans to sell its super luxury hospitality business Aman Resorts for about Rs2,000-Rs2,500 crore, sources had said.

Till the last fiscal, the company had raised Rs3,070 crore from sale of non-core assets such as hotel plots and plans to raise another Rs7,000 crore in the next 2-3 years to reduce its debt that stood at Rs21,524 crore by June-end this year.

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Indian PC market grows by 29%

“A number of festivals helped drive demand in the consumer market in India. The third quarter was the best quarter in the history of the Indian PC industry as overall PC shipments crossed 3 million units for the first time," said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner

Bangalore: Combined desk-based and mobile PC market in India has totalled nearly 2.5 million units in the third quarter of 2011 registering a 13% growth compared to the same period in the last calendar year, thanks to a number of recent festivals, reports PTI.

Noted technology research firm Gartner, Inc said “this growth was primarily driven by the mobile PC market which grew 29% year-on-year in the third quarter of 2011.”

“A number of festivals helped drive demand in the consumer market in India. The third quarter was the best quarter in the history of the Indian PC industry as overall PC shipments crossed 3 million units for the first time," said Vishal Tripathi, principal research analyst at Gartner.

The consumer segment accounted for 55% of PC shipments.

“However, we need to be cautious and should not expect the same success to be replicated in the fourth quarter. After the post-festive season there will be sluggishness in the market,” Mr Tripathi said.

All the major multinational PC vendors experienced double digit growth in PC shipments in the third quarter of 2011.

Multinational brands contributed more than half of the total PC shipments with shipments from Acer, Dell, HP and Lenovo, the top four vendors, representing 51.1% of the market.

Local vendor HCL accounted for 5.6% of PC shipments. It was the only vendor in top five to register a year-on-year decline in shipments in the third quarter, Gartner said.

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