Jet Airways cancelled more than half its flights for a second straight day after its hundreds of its pilots continued to remain on leave. Some 206 planes remained on the ground while 432 pilots reported sick again as part of their protest over the airline’s firing of two of their colleagues over formation of pilots union.
Later in the day, Jet Airways started talks with the union of pilots that is on strike even as its chairman Naresh Goyal threatened to shut down the airline. The strike has cut Jet’s domestic bookings from the usual 23,000 to 14,000.
Kingfisher Airlines has problems of its own. Oil company Bharat Petroleum has filed a winding up petition in the Karnataka High Court to force Kingfisher Airlines to pay it some Rs300 crore it owes for jet fuel. The move comes at a time when the Kingfisher’s owner Vijay Mallya is out of the country and arbitration between the two companies on fuel is already under way in the Bombay High Court.
Bharat Petroleum plans to spend Rs3,000 crore on oil exploration and expanding its plants this year. Bharat Petroleum bought a 12.5% stake in a field in Indonesia this week and plans to drill nine wells at its overseas fields this year.
Another Indian company is hunting for fuel overseas. NTPC has hired the Macquarie Group to help it evaluate a possible coal mine purchase in Indonesia. NTPC has been trying to find coal assets abroad to make up for shortages in domestic supplies.
Anil Ambani’s RNRL is now questioning the government’s role in the pricing of gas. The move is part of its response to the special leave petition that Mukesh Ambani’s RIL filed in the Supreme Court in the gas supply dispute between the two companies. Besides questioning the government’s gas pricing, RNRL’s petition also accuses RIL of changing its stance on the memorandum of understanding that laid down the rules for splitting Reliance businesses between the two brothers.
BSNL and MTNL are considering buying a controlling stake in Kuwait’s Zain telecom. Zain is Kuwait’s biggest telecom operator, and the deal is worth about $14 billion.
Standard and Poor’s economist Subir Gokarn has a word of caution for central banks. He says they must maintain low interest rates until consumer and company spending reach levels that can sustain economic growth. Gokarn is currently in the running to become a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
Reducing emissions could prove costly for India. A new report from McKinsey says that if India wants to manage its emissions growth, it will have to shell out between 1.8 and 2.3% of its GDP between 2010 and 2030. The study says that by 2030 India’s emissions will have gone from about 1.6 billion tons CO2 equivalent in 2005 to between 5 and 6.5 billion tons by 2030.
Markets continued their rise on Wednesday. The Sensex shot up 60 points to close at 16,184 and the Nifty went up 9 points to end trade at 4,814.