Domestic airlines still do not want to have any serious competition from "outsiders" and are scared that Air Asia and Tata-SIA will be able to perform better and possibly take away their business
The Court case filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dr Subramanian Swamy will be actually heard today (1st May) against both Air Asia and Tata-Singapore International Airlines (SIA). Dr Swamy has contended that foreign direct investment (FDI) in fresh start-ups is not permitted and his stand was that civil aviation ministry only allowed foreign airlines to invest in existing domestic airlines, and not in new enterprises like Tata-SIA!
Led by Jet Air, IndiGo, Spice Jet and GoAir, through the Federation of Indian Airlines have been lobbying to prevent the launch of the above two airlines, claiming that the airline industry is estimated to have lost, so far, Rs53,311 crore from 2006-07 and the rupee depreciation has also added to their woes financially. How and why these carriers go about giving discounts is an altogether a different matter to write about.
Simply put, these airlines do not want to have any serious competition from "outsiders" and are scared that Air Asia and Tata-SIA will be able to perform better than themselves, and possibly take away their business. Their defence for giving discounts is to ensure full occupancy of their flights, particularly during lean periods. This is partially correct.
It would be interesting to see what would be their stand, if BJP comes to power at the centre? Will they stop and over-rule the approval process that has taken place so far, as far as Air Asia and Tata-SIA are concerned? This remains to be seen.
It may be recalled that, early in April, the civil aviation ministry issued a no objection certificate (NOC) for Tata-SIA. Earlier, the Home Ministry had given security clearance to Board members of this company. As usual, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will have to give clearance for various operations manuals before issuing air operators permit (AOP).
The CEO, Phee Teik Yeoh has moved from Singapore International Airlines to Tata-SIA and all preparations are afoot for this airline to take to the sky, possibly in the third quarter of this year, when the festive season will commence in the country.
Air travellers in India can look forward to good service and at competitive rates when both airlines take to the sky and give value for money!
(AK Ramdas has worked with the Engineering Export Promotion Council of the ministry of commerce. He was also associated with various committees of the Council. His international career took him to places like Beirut, Kuwait and Dubai at a time when these were small trading outposts; and later to the US.)
A woman was killed and at least 11 others were injured in a low intensity blast in one of the coaches of the Bangalore-Guwahati superfast express at Chennai
At least one passenger was killed and 11 others were injured in two bomb blasts in two coaches of the Guwahati-Bangalore super-fast express (Train no 12509), minutes after it entered the Chennai Central railway station on Thursday. The police have detained a suspect in connection with the blasts.
Tamil Nadu DGP K Ramanujam said after the Railway Police registers the case into the explosion, the investigation will be taken up by a Special Investigation Team (SIT). "It is not a major blast. It is suspected that Chennai could not have been target of those who were behind the blast because the train was running late. Some other location could have been the target," he said.
The victim has been identified as Swati (22) from Guntur who was travelling from Bangalore to Vijayawada. Four passengers are said to be critical and have been admitted to the Government Hospital. Of the others injured, most have injuries on the legs, while one person has a neck injury.
The injured have been identified as Murali (37), Krishnapant, Soren Pant, Santh, Bijan Kumar (24), Uma, Abdul Khan(24), Shihabul Haque (22), Vimal Kumar, Hari (21), Altaf Khan admitted to Government Hospital.
Police say the explosion was reported shortly after the Guwahati Express pulled into platform no9 at the railway station at around 7.30am. The blast has damaged three coaches (S3, S4 and S5) of the train.
A team of National Security Guard (NSG) and explosive experts is likely to be sent to Chennai to join in the investigation into the blast. NIA team from Hyderabad is being rushed to the blast site.
Railway Board Chairman Arunendra Kumar said a dog squad, medical teams and RPF teams have reached the spot. "It seems the blast took place under a berth and one passenger has lost life in the blast," he said.
Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has also ordered a CB-CID probe into the explosions.
Nifty should manage to close strongly above 6,700 for gaining back strength
On Tuesday we had mentioned that if the Nifty manages to hold itself above 6,700 for the next two trading sessions, we might see the index bouncing back. On Wednesday up to 11am, both the BSE 30-share Sensex and the NSE 50-share Nifty managed to rise higher. However, it started losing strength and by 1.35pm it entered in the negative zone. Towards the fag end the indices came back in the green for a few minutes but for the fourth consecutive session both Sensex and Nifty ended lower.
Sensex opened at 22,518 while the Nifty opened at 6,725.The indices tried breaching Tuesday's high. Sensex reached up to 22,680 while the Nifty reached upto 6,780. Sensex hit a low of 22,285 and closed at 22,418 (down 48 points or 0.22%) while the Nifty hit a low of 6,657 and closed at 6,697 (down 19 points or 0.28%). The NSE recorded a higher volume of 105.05 crore shares.
Except for Auto (0.38%), PSU Bank (0.35%) and FMCG (0.09%) all the other indices on the NSE closed in the negative. The top five losers were Realty (5.46%), Infra (2.46%), Nifty Midcap 50 (2.09%), Smallcap (1.64%) and Midcap (1.30%).
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 19 ended in the green. The top five gainers were Hero MotoCorp (3.27%), Tata Motors (1.94%), ONGC (1.94%), Asian Paints (1.57%) and Dr Reddy (1.44%). The top five losers were DLF (9.30%), Tata Power (3.40%), Bhel (2.95%), Sesa Sterlite (2.62%) and Bharti Airtel (2.09%).
Of the 1,554 companies on the NSE, 397 companies closed in the green, 1,096 companies closed in the red while 61 companies closed flat.
ONGC was in the news as Vietnam has offered two more exploration blocks to ONGC Videsh, in addition to the five already offered as said by the government and industry officials. ONGC was in the top two gainers in the Sensex 30 pack.
In spite of registering growth in revenue and net profit for March 2014 quarter, Bharti Airtel was among the top four losers in the Sensex 30 stocks.
Superb March quarter results of Indian Overseas Bank pulled the stock 12.35% higher on the BSE to close at Rs61.85. The bank was the top gainer in 'A' group on the BSE.
Realty stocks were pulled down on Wednesday. DLF, Unitech, HDIL were among the top five losers in the 'A' group on the BSE.
The oil ministry will declare new gas prices only after the Election Commission (EC) formally notifies the election result that is expected on May 17, senior government officials said. The new gas price formula, which was approved by the cabinet last year, would almost double its rate to $8.40/unit from April 1. According to the formula, gas prices will change every quarter depending on fluctuations in international benchmarks.
US indices closed in the green on Tuesday. US consumer confidence dipped in April but remained near a six-year high, while home prices rose in February, suggesting the economy continued to regain momentum after a winter lull. The Conference Board said its index of consumer attitude dipped to 82.3, the second-highest reading since January 2008, from an upwardly revised 83.9 in March. A report showed the S&P/Case-Shiller composite index of home prices in 20 metropolitan areas rose 0.8% in February on a seasonally adjusted basis. Except for Hang Seng (1.42%), Seoul Composite (0.15%) and Taiwan Weighted (0.91%) all the other Asian indices closed in the green. NZSE 50 (1.64%) was the top gainer.
The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), one of Beijing's top government think tanks, has revised its 2014 GDP growth forecast down to 7.4%, below the official 7.5% target, and says that growth could slow down to as low as 7%, state media reported on Wednesday.
The Bank of Japan refrained from expanding stimulus. The BOJ stuck with targeting an annual increase in the monetary base of between 60 trillion yen and 70 trillion yen ($683 billion) in a decision released today.
European indices were trading in the green while US Futures were trading flat.