New Delhi: Low-cost airline Indigo plans to phase out its employment of foreign pilots in the next few years, even as it plans to hire 100 cabin crew and up to 50 pilots in the near future.
The airline also plans to increase its network to 20-21 cities and enhance frequencies on its existing routes in the next one year. It currently operates in 17 cities in the country.
“As we grow in size, pilots within the country would like to fly with us. Gradually we will have only Indian pilots. It saves us manpower costs too to have only domestic pilots,” IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said.
Flight timings: Indian airports among worst
New Delhi:India’s three busiest airports at Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore are among the top 10 in the world with the most number of delayed flight arrivals and departures, with Mumbai on top of the list in 200 busiest surveyed by ‘Forbes’.
Based on data from Geneva-based Airports Council International (ACI) and consultancy FlightStats, operated by Conducive Technology Corp. in Portland, Oregon, US, Forbes said only half of Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport flights arrived on time in 2008.
Nearly 51% flights were on time at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport and 60% at Bengaluru International Airport.
Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport (54% on time); Orio al Serio Airport near Bergamo, Italy (61%); New York LaGuardia (62%); Newark Liberty International (62%); Birmingham Airport in England (63%); London’s Luton and Heathrow Airports (both 63% on time) were the others that followed.
China’s Beijing Capital International airport had most delayed departures, with only 47.86% flights departing on time. Airports in Japan and Korea maintained their “constant” performance, said Forbes.
Global coffee exports down by 1%, India soars
New Delhi:Global coffee exports declined slightly by 1% to 14.14 million bags in the first two months of the crop year 2008-09, even as India’s overseas shipments rose by 9.6% to 300,000 bags.
India exported 227,000 bags of robusta variety of coffee and 81,581 bags of mild coffee during the current coffee year that runs from October to November, the International Coffee Organization (ICO) said in a statement. One bag is equal to 60kg.
On international coffee prices, the coffee body had said in a recent report that prices fell by at least 17% in the first two months of the crop year affected by the financial crisis.
Pakistan build-up on border causes concern
Poonch: Pakistan has deployed several brigades along the Indo-Pak border in Jehlum-Chenab and Chenab-Ravi corridors in recent days, sparking concern in the Indian Armed Forces, defence officials said here on Sunday.
The forces have been withdrawn from Pakistan’s troubled north-western tribal belt where they were battling Taliban to put pressure on the US, which has been pressing Islamabad to act against terrorists operating from its soil, and diverted to the border with India, they said.
Economists divided over IIP figures for November
New Delhi:After contracting for the first time in 15 years in October, industrial production may again shrink in November due to the dismal performance of exports and auto sectors, say some economists, even as others feel it may recover and stage a growth.
Industrial growth figures would be released on Monday.
“The IIP is expected to grow at -2.3% in November due to dip in exports and manufacturing activities,” HDFC Bank Ltd chief economist Abheek Barua said.
However, many economists say that IIP would be positive in November due to the base effect. Base effect refers to the impact of last year figure on the numbers of this time.
Shale gas: ONGC to tie up with Schlumberger
New Delhi: State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC) would tie up with multi-national oilfield services provider for exploring shale gas potential in the country. Shale is fine-grained sedimentary rock from which hydrocarbons can be extracted. At present, there is no data available on shale gas reserves in the country.
“ONGC is tying up with Schlumberger for assessing the availability of shale gas in the country. There is no data available about shale gas reserves in the country,” principal advisor (energy), Planning Commission, Surya P. Sethi said on the sidelines of a conference at Petrotech-2009.
Shale is one of the number of “unconventional source of natural gas” like coal bed methane (CBM), tight sandstones and methane hydrates.
RIL says ready to start gas output by Feb end
New Delhi: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has informed the government that it will be ready to start gas production from its eastern offshore KG-D6 fields by end February, ending the fuel deficit faced by power and fertilizer units.
The company’s chief executive officer for oil and gas, P.M.S. Prasad, on 9 January wrote to the petroleum ministry informing that gas output from KG-DWN-98/3 or KG-D6 field in the Krishna-Godavari basin off the east coast, was on track to start production by February-end.
Petroleum ministry officials said the government had last week asked Reliance to give in writing the date by which the company would be ready to start production.
In response, Prasad wrote to the ministry that RIL would be ready for gas production by end-February “subject to weather and marine conditions”.
Bangladeshis without visas not welcome: HM
New Delhi: Indicating stricter measures to check illegal immigration from Bangladesh, home minister P. Chidambaram has said nationals from that country have “no business” to be in India without permission.
He also said there is “no reason” why a large number of visas are being issued to Bangladeshis every month.
Noting that illegal immigration was causing “unexpected” demographic changes in Assam and West Bengal, he said, “I don’t regard a Bangladeshi as a Muslim or a non-Muslim. He is a Bangladeshi. He has no business to come to India unless he has a visa. He has no business to live here unless he has a residence permit.”
Avesthagen to raise Rs150 cr from PE firms
New Delhi: Life sciences firm Avesthagen Ltd is looking at raising around Rs150 crore to fund its expansion plans after deferring the initial public offer (IPO).
“Looking at the present market conditions, we are postponing our plans to go for an IPO instead we are now talking to private equity players to fund our programme,” Avesthagen chairperson and managing director Villoo Morawala Patel said.
Khurshid says alliance with SP still possible
New Delhi:Despite the Samajwadi Party (SP) unilaterally announcing candidates in over half of the seats in Uttar Pradesh, senior Congress party leader Salman Khurshid said on Sunday he hopes that an alliance with it was still possible and wanted the SP to understand the “difficulties” of Congress. “Both the Congress and SP need to work together in Uttar Pradesh. The SP should understand our difficulties and learn working in coordination,” Khurshid said.
Soren to resign today, names Champai leader
Ranchi: Jharkhand chief minister Shibu Soren said on Sunday he will resign on Monday.
“I will resign tomorrow and after resigning I will appeal to all UPA allies to accept Champai Soren as their leader,” Soren told reporters here.
His announcement came amid mounting pressure to resign and clear the political uncertainty that arose following his defeat in Tamar bypoll.
Tourist arrivals likely to fall in Jan-April: PHDCCI
New Delhi: Tourist arrivals in India is likely to fall by 30% in the first four months of 2009 in the backdrop of slowdown in major economies such as the US and the UK and Mumbai terror attacks, a survey said.
“Economic slowdown and terror attacks in Mumbai have badly hit tourism industry in India. This will impact tourist arrivals during the January to April period that will fall by 25-30%,” the survey by PHDCCI said.
Demand in the tourism sector is down, basically because the key western source markets like the US and UK, have been badly affected by recession, the chamber said.
Number of tourists to India in the first six months of 2008 had shown an increase of 11.1% at 2.72 million over the corresponding period a year ago.