zoom Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) plans to enhance its Asia/Vietnam Roll-on/Roll-of (RoRo) service in an effort to “accommodate increased demand for RoRo transportation to Vietnam.”According to the company, the service enhancement for North Vietnam port includes high-frequency, fixed day and direct calling from all Asian ports.Port rotation for Trunk Line Express Service, Asia/Vietnam Line is as follows: Jakarta (Indonesia), Singapore (Singapore), Port Kelang (Malaysia), Laem Chabang (Thailand), Ho Chi Minh, Haiphong, (Vietnam).K Line has changed the service’s Northern discharging port from Vietnamese Cai Lan to Haiphong.The company said it will deploy the 12,308 dwt vehicles carrier Jasa Bakti as well as one additional vessel.The service is expected to start on October 16, 2016, with the vessel’s arrival in Laem Chabang.The service frequency will be changed from one sailing to two sailings per month.
Two German shipping companies that owned and operated the general cargo ship Nils B pleaded guilty to an environmental crime in US federal court, admitting that they knowingly failed to keep records related to the discharge of sludge into the ocean.W. Bockstiegel Reederei GmBH & CO. KG and W. Bockstiegel GmBH & Co. Reederei KG MS NILS B pleaded guilty to one felony violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for failing to accurately maintain an oil record book for the 1998-built ship.Namely, the firms failed to disclose that oil contaminated water had been discharged into the ocean from the vessel without the use of pollution prevention equipment.On August 5, 2014, personnel from the United States Coast Guard boarded the vessel after its entry into the Port of San Diego, California. Once onboard, the Coast Guard discovered that the crew had failed to keep an oil record book for a significant period of time, modifications had been made to piping coming from the oil water separator, and oil was discovered in discharge piping that should not have been present.The defendants, in pleading guilty, admitted that the oil record book on board the vessel did not disclose any discharges of sludge between the time that the overboard discharge valve had been cleaned and its entry into the Port of San Diego in August.According to the plea documents, the company and the United States agree to recommend that the Court impose a total criminal penalty of USD 750,000, of which USD 250,000 will be a community service payment.Sentencing is scheduled for November 3, 2016.
zoom Representatives of exporters and importers from around the world, the European Shippers’ Council and the Global Shippers’ Forum, have joined forces to advance and protect their members’ interests in the face of unprecedented change in the global container shipping industry.The move was made amid shippers’ fears that the contraction of the shipping market into a small number of alliances and the use of vessels with a capacity of over 18,000 TEU will reduce their choice of carrier and the quality of the services delivered as “carriers operating within such arrangements cannot compete among themselves with regard to the agreed capacity, sailing frequency, transit times, ports of call and service level.”In its paper “The Implications of Mega-Ships and Alliances for Competition and Total Supply Chain Efficiency: An Economic Perspective,” Global Shippers’ Forum offered a range of options for national and regional competition authorities on how to approach the regulation and oversight of the new shipping alliances.Namely, the paper states that competition authorities and regulators should ensure sufficient independent competition on key trade routes, given that the emergence of alliances has produced barriers for new entrants and has made it nearly impossible for independent lines to compete on some trades.Additionally, GSF said that competition authorities should repeal existing exemptions from antitrust laws and implement effective monitoring of alliances, including direct intervention to preserve competition where appropriate.“I am delighted that ESC has joined GSF in order to promote and defend shippers’ interests at global level. GSF has made the voice of shippers heard in the UN agencies responsible for the regulation of the maritime sector and supported many of its member associations in advancing more transparent regulation of the container shipping industry in their home markets,” Bob Ballantyne, GSF Chairman, said.
zoom Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT), part of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), plans to start operations at its recently completed terminal in Webb Dock, Melbourne, Australia, in January 2017.In 2014, VICT signed a 26-year concession with the Port of Melbourne Corporation to build, operate and expand the container terminal at Webb Dock East.The new terminal at Melbourne’s Webb Dock will introduce fully automated operations from gate to quayside and deliver an estimated capacity of 350,000 TEU in its first phase.Phase 1 of the terminal will have one berth of 330 meters fitted with three post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes, 23.7 hectares of yard and off-dock area with fully automated operations from the gate to the quayside.The terminal will be able to handle vessels with a capacity of up to 8,000 standard containers. Servicing the terminal will be a 10 hectare empty container park with a working capacity of around 200,000 standard containers annually.The second phase, planned to be operational by the end of 2017, will deliver an additional two post-Panamax ship-to-shore cranes on a second 330 meter berth.When fully developed, the 35.4 hectare terminal will have a total of six post-Panamax ship-to -shore cranes on 660 meters of berth, and will be able to handle up to 1.4 million standard containers annually, with the empty container park’s capacity rising to 280,000 standard containers.
zoom Singapore-based Keppel Shipyard is on track to deliver a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel to Yinson Production (West Africa), a subsidiary of Malaysia’s integrated offshore production and support services provider Yinson.The spread-moored FPSO unit was named John Agyekum Kufuor during a naming ceremony held at the shipyard on February 3, 2017.Purchased by Yinson in 2014, John Agyekum Kufuor was converted from a tanker into an FPSO.“FPSO John Agyekum Kufuor is our 27th conversion project for Africa, and 125th overall,” Michael Chia, Managing Director (Marine & Technology) of Keppel O&M, said.John Agyekum Kufuor will be chartered by ENI Ghana Exploration & Production Limited (ENI Ghana) to process oil and gas from the Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) block located in offshore Ghana.The FPSO has a storage capacity of 1.7 million barrels, with an oil processing capacity of 58,000 barrels per day. It has a design life of 20 years without dry docking and can be moored in an average water depth of 1,000 meters with a total topside weight of almost 15,000 tons.Keppel Shipyard said that its work on the FPSO included modification work, new equipment installation, as well as installation and integration of the FPSO process topsides.
zoom Olso-listed bulker owner Songa Bulk ASA has entered into an agreement to acquire a Kamsarmax bulk carrier built in 2011 at Sanoyas in Japan.The 83, 494-DWT vessel will be delivered during the fourth quarter of 2017, the company said.The shipowner plans to establish a wholly owned subsidiary to take delivery of the vessel.The latest purchase brings Songa Bulk’s total fleet to 13 vessels, which have cost USD 236.4 million so far.These include 2 Capesizes, 8 Kamsarmaxes and 3 Supramaxes.Earlier this week, Songa completed a tap issue of USD 45 million in its Senior Secured Callable Bond Issue, the net proceeds of which have been earmarked for the financing of additional bulker acquisitions.The total nominal amount outstanding in the bond following the tap issue will be USD 120 million.“The additional USD 45 million from the tap issue will let us continue to grow the fleet in line with our strategy. We still find the risk reward ratio attractive in the dry bulk space and we expect to add additional vessels to our fleet shortly,” Arne Blystad, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Songa, said commenting on the tap issue.
zoom During the mandatory antidrug underwater inspections in Venezuela prior to sailing, an increasing number of alleged incidents has been recorded, according to Venezuela’s P&I correspondent Venepandi.Namely, Masters of the ships being inspected were subject to extort and blackmail by the divers appointed by the terminals.Venezuelan local authorities established mandatory underwater inspections prior to sail overseas a few years ago within the efforts to fight drug smuggling. The inspections were introduced due to the recurring incidents with narcotics or other foreign objects being either attached to the ship’s hull, placed in the rudder trunk or inside any grid.The inspections must be usually covered by the terminal and the diving crew or company is also appointed by the terminal.“Unfortunately, we’ve recorded an increase number of incidents in some ports locally (specially Puerto Ordaz and Puerto la Cruz) with divers reporting, upon completion of the inspection, that either nuts, bolts and/or pin lock were found missing with the subsequent request to the Master to pay in cash to replace all the missing parts prior vessel departure or, in case of refusal, request the authorities to arrest the vessel on a basis that the underwater areas were ready to place foreign objects such as drugs,” Venepandi informed.The authority further said that the divers could be a possible cause for the parts to be missing and that therefore they have been doing this practice as a way to extort the vessels and receive extra cash in foreign currency for carrying out the parts replacement.To prevent such incidents from taking place, Venepandi informed that if no objects were found, the Master may simply refuse to pay the divers for the reinstalling of the parts as the ship-owners have the right to repair the ship anywhere else.Additionally, a verification may be conducted, with the presence of the National Guard if possible, upon each diver in order to ensure that they do not carry any tool they could use to remove the parts and blackmail the Master later.Further measures include appointing private divers and informing the P&I correspondent immediately in order to ensure that proper actions are taken timely and delays or arrest upon the vessels are avoided.
zoomImage Courtesy: St. Simons Sound Response Salvage workers have removed over 106,101 gallons of fuel from the capsized car carrier Golden Ray as of October 1, according to the United States Coast Guard.Following earlier reports of oil discharge, the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command (UC) deployed divers to locate and secure the source of the spill.Skimming vessels continued to recover oil from the water while survey teams monitor shoreline impacts.The officials added that the operations to lighter the vessel are ongoing. The UC has 14,700 feet of containment boom deployed to protect sensitive areas, while cleanup personnel and equipment “are strategically staged and ready to respond to any impacted shoreline.”“The Unified Command has maintained a posture to be able to rapidly respond to any discharges from the vessel, including by skimming, booming, and shoreline cleanup,” said Chris Graff of Gallagher Marine Systems.“We’re now using these preparations to implement a rapid and thorough cleanup of impacted areas.”Specialists continue to actively monitor air and water quality around the vessel, Jekyll Island, and St. Simons Island.“Department of Natural Resources and the entire Unified Command are deeply concerned by any pollution impacts. UC teams are on scene to respond to discharged oil and work quickly and safely to protect the St. Simons Sound,” Jed Hewitt, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, said.Image Courtesy: St. Simons Sound Response
Premier John Hamm expressed sorrow on the passing of MLA JohnChataway. The 57-year-old former provincial cabinet minister died thismorning, Dec. 31, at a Toronto area hospital as a result ofcomplications from a stroke suffered earlier this week. Mr. Chataway taught for 29 years prior to his election as MLA forChester-St. Margaret’s in 1999. He also served 14 years as amunicipal councillor and was active in many volunteerorganizations. His extensive work for the Chester HeritageSociety garnered provincial recognition. He served terms asminister of human resources, environment and labour from 1999 to2001. Re-elected in 2003, Mr. Chataway served as a member of thelegislature’s public accounts, law amendments and veteransaffairs committees. “John Chataway was truly a man for all seasons – longtimeeducator, heritage enthusiast and dedicated public servant,” saidPremier Hamm. “Whether it was championing the preservation of OakIsland or helping a charity raise money as a volunteerauctioneer, John’s talents will be missed by many. “On behalf of all Nova Scotians, Genesta and I would like toextend our deepest condolences to John’s family and friends,particularly his brothers Rick and Chuck and his sister Joan.”
Organ and tissue donation is one of the greatest gifts you can give. This message came across loud and clear at the Transplant Atlantic 2007 conference I attended last week in Halifax. Organ and tissue donation and transplantation is critical to the health and well being of many Atlantic Canadians. Like more than 50 per cent of Nova Scotians (484,991), I have registered with MSI as a donor. These numbers are encouraging and I believe there is more we can do. To help with this, last fall we created a new provincial program — the Legacy of Life: Nova Scotia Organ and Tissue Program. The program aims to make sure all Nova Scotians will know about organ and tissue donation and will choose to donate. Thanks to a dedicated team of professionals, families and clinicians we have been able to accomplish a lot. Last year, many Nova Scotians received the gift of life with 146 transplants being performed. Hundreds of Nova Scotians also have improved quality of life thanks to 1,500 donations to the Regional Tissue Bank, with 549 of those passed on to Nova Scotians. We want every Nova Scotian to know about organ and tissue donation and hope they will choose to donate. Organ and tissue donation can create some good from a tragic situation. This can be a very difficult time for families, so it is important that you talk with your family and make your wishes to become a donor known. Ensuring that Nova Scotians have access to every potential organ and tissue donation will help save or enhance many lives. Although the new provincial program is in its infancy, so far part-time organ and tissue-resource nurses have been hired in all health districts, a review of organ and tissue legislation is underway, and communications and professional education working groups have been established. In the year ahead, we are going to continue our efforts to get the message out there about the importance of organ and tissue donation. To become an organ and tissue donor in Nova Scotia you sign up through your health card. If you haven’t signed up already, I hope you will make the choice to mark your health card to say you’ll be a donor. To the thousand of Nova Scotians who are donors, thank you. -30-
Le rapport sommaire des résultats des évaluations et des examens provinciaux pour l’année 2007 est maintenant disponible. Le septième Rapport annuel de la ministre aux parents contient les résultats des évaluations et des examens provinciaux de la Nouvelle-Écosse pour les élèves de la 12e année en mathématiques, anglais et physique, qui ont déjà été publiés, ainsi que les résultats récemment publiés, par école, des évaluations des apprentissages en mathématiques au premier cycle de l’élémentaire, du Early Language Literacy Assessment, des appréciations du rendement en littératie à l’élémentaire et des appréciations du rendement en littératie au premier cycle du secondaire. « Ces évaluations donnent aux parents, ainsi qu’à l’ensemble du système d’éducation, des renseignements importants sur l’apprentissage de nos élèves, sur les domaines où les élèves ont besoin d’un soutien supplémentaire, et sur la meilleure façon d’investir pour assurer le succès de tous les élèves, » a dit Karen Casey, ministre de l’Éducation. Le rapport de 2007 contient également les résultats des évaluations nationales et internationales en matière de langue, de mathématiques et de sciences. Les élèves de la Nouvelle-Écosse ont obtenu de bons résultats dans plusieurs sujets, ainsi que dans diverses évaluations nationales et internationales en 2007. Les évaluations démontrent toutefois qu’il existe encore des domaines où des améliorations sont nécessaires, notamment en mathématiques. Le rapport peut être consulté en ligne à l’adresse www.ednet.ns.ca . Des exemplaires du rapport seront disponibles dans les écoles cette semaine.
The province, the federal government and municipality are investing up to $92 million in infrastructure improvements to build better communities and create more jobs for Nova Scotians. The governments of Nova Scotia and Canada announced today, Oct. 19, they will consider the Halifax Central Library project in Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) as a priority for infrastructure funding consideration. Both governments also announced funding under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund to support sewer-system improvements in Cape Breton and road initiatives across the province. The joint announcement was made by Premier Darrell Dexter, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Bill Estabrooks, federal Minister of Transport and Infrastructure John Baird, federal Minister of Defence Peter MacKay and HRM Mayor Peter Kelly. “I am pleased that this government continues to fulfill the commitments we made to Nova Scotians to maximize federal infrastructure spending,” said Premier Dexter. “Today’s announcement is providing much-needed infrastructure improvements, employing Nova Scotians, creating economic growth and making life better for people from across this province.” The funding for sewer-system improvements and road initiatives will be provided under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund. Both governments have agreed to work together to ensure that these funds are delivered quickly and efficiently so construction can begin as soon as possible. “The federal government recognizes that libraries are important public spaces and learning centres,” said Mr. Baird. “We are proud of these investments, which are on top of the $14 million we committed for Halifax and Cape Breton just last month.” “Building infrastructure is critical to the economy of Nova Scotia,” said Mr. Estabrooks. “These projects translate into more jobs, steady employment and better infrastructure to support local business and industries.” The sewer-system upgrades will improve the quality of sewage treatment, while the road initiatives will upgrade road conditions and increase road safety for drivers. The province will include these on its annual capital plan for the $25 million per year provided by the government of Canada for core infrastructure priorities in Nova Scotia. The total estimated cost of these improvements is $37.1 million. “As the regional minister for Nova Scotia, I am proud to be a part of these infrastructure investments that generate economic and employment opportunities across the province,” said Mr. MacKay. “These initiatives are important to Nova Scotians, creating various benefits that they can enjoy for years to come.” The Halifax Central Library, intended to replace the current Spring Garden Road Memorial Library, will serve as a resource centre for HRM residents, help drive the economic revitalization of the downtown area and be a new attraction for visiting tourists. The 109,000-square-foot facility will include a larger book collection, additional meeting and study rooms, a 250-seat auditorium and technology areas for computers. Canada is setting aside up to one-third of total eligible costs for this project, to a maximum federal contribution of $18.3 million from the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund. Nova Scotia would provide $13 million and HRM would contribute $23.7 million toward the project, which has a total estimated coat of $55 million. Federal funding would be conditional on the project meeting all requirements under the fund and the signing of a contribution agreement with the province. Beyond today’s funding announcement, the government of Canada is taking important steps to support economic growth. Canada’s Economic Action Plan is accelerating and expanding the existing federal investment of $33 billion in infrastructure across Canada with almost $12 billion in new infrastructure stimulus funding over the next two years.
A new website will help Nova Scotians experiencing a family breakup, domestic violence or other legal issues to be better informed about the law, processes and services that make up family law in the province. Justice Minister Ross Landry officially launched www.nsfamilylaw.ca today, July 17. “A family breakup is a challenging and emotional time,” said Justice Minister Ross Landry. “Our hope is that this website will help families be better informed and make this difficult time a little easier.” The website is a collaborative effort by the Department of Justice, Department of Community Services, Legal Information Society of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society, Nova Scotia Legal Aid, Canadian Bar Association, Capital District Health Authority and the Executive Office of the Nova Scotia Judiciary. It offers information and resources about family law in Nova Scotia, including separation and divorce, custody and access, child support, mental health and family violence. “This website and the range and depth of information it provides Nova Scotians is a game changer,” said Tim Daley, president of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society. “It affords everyone an excellent source of information on the law and processes around family matters, and will benefit many Nova Scotia families as they deal with the difficult issues arising out of separation and divorce. “We should be very proud of this site and the commitment it represents to improving access to justice in this province.”
The province has reached an agreement in the case of a young Nova Scotian woman living in long-term care who received an insurance settlement. The insurance money was awarded for the young woman’s care after she was permanently disabled in a car crash. The agreement is the result of ongoing discussion with the woman’s family, legal representatives and Community Services. The details of the agreement are confidential. “This case has weighed heavily on my mind and the minds of staff,” said Joanne Bernard, Minister of Community Services. “We are pleased to have a settlement, and we’ll continue to partner with the family in caring for their daughter’s long-term needs.” The department is reviewing policies to provide more clarity for these rare cases so other families don’t have to go through a drawn-out legal process.
Nova Scotia’s tourism industry had its best year in history in 2016 and its third consecutive year of growth. In all, 2.2 million visitors came to the province last year, an increase of eight per cent, about 170,000 more visitors, over 2015. Tourism revenue for 2016 was an estimated $2.6 billion, an increase of five per cent, $125 million, from the year before and a 28 per cent, $575 million, jump from 2010. “The tourism sector is extremely important to Nova Scotia’s economy, employing people in rural and urban communities across our province,” said Mark Furey, Minister responsible for Tourism Nova Scotia. “I applaud the collaboration and hard work of tourism operators and others in the industry for making 2016 a record year.” The major areas of tourism growth last year came from the United States, up 14 per cent, and Canada, up eight per cent. The province saw an increase in visitors from Atlantic Canada, 62,000 more, Ontario, 56,000 more, and Western Canada, 14,000 more. Growth from overseas markets was up two per cent. Visits by air rose by 11 per cent. “The Ivany Report challenged the tourism industry to double revenues by 2024 to $4 billion and we have embraced that goal,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, board chair of Tourism Nova Scotia. “Tourism businesses and organizations are rising to the challenge. They’re aligning with the strategy, driving innovation and delivering unique and memorable experiences for visitors.” Susan Downey Lim is one example of the creativity and innovation in Nova Scotia’s tourism community. Ms. Downey Lim’s operation has evolved from a seasonal tour business to a diversified, year-round series of businesses, including Grape Escapes NS Wine Tours, Taste Halifax Tours, which includes Beer Bus, and a new venture called the Chain-Yard Cidery on Agricola Street in Halifax. “As a tourism operator, you have to put yourself in your customers’ shoes,” said Ms. Downey Lim. “We need to be irresistible. That means you have to have great ideas, collaborate with others in our industry, and have the courage to take some risks.” The province also saw strong growth in room nights sold to 2.6 million, up four per cent from 2015. Cape Breton had the biggest jump, up 16 per cent.
“Survival of the fittest” – the term coined by biologist Herbert Spencer after reading Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, enforces that evolution is pivotal to survival. This undeniable fact is relevant not only for living beings, but also for material objects like infrastructure and business. An establishment which moulds its methods to match the evolving mood, survives. Those who can’t are quickly erased. And the world’s most crisis-prone industry, Aviation, bears strong testimony. Also Read – A race against timeLatest has been the crash landing of India’s oldest private airline – Jet Airways – which cancelled all operations on April 19, 2019, for an indefinite period. No one knows if Jet will ever dot the Indian sky again. Like every other business that has shut its shop, Jet Airways too left a trail of despair and incomplete dreams, still hopeful against difficult odds. Back in the 1990s, the meteoric rise of Jet Airways and its owner Naresh Goyal was discussed elaborately through the corridors of Indian Aviation. Goyal created it from scratch and soared high with his airline before the sharp descent began. There was a time when he paid hefty packages to pilots; but since 2018, the airline had been struggling to pay salaries and had reportedly failed to make payments for leased aircraft. Moreover, the company made losses across quarters and its total debt accumulated to Rs 8,00 crore, which, according to few reports, may add up to Rs 11,000 crore. It was not even able to pay airport fees to the authorities. As a result, more than 23,000 employees are now jobless. Also Read – A Golden LootTrouble did not show up suddenly on Jet Airways’ door. It took years of financial mismanagement for it to reach this horrendous fate. Running the company with losses, getting short loans to cover those losses and, despite being a full-service airline, trying to compete with low-cost airlines are a few reasons that led to Jet’s nosedive. Banks too are guilty as they condoned early signs. They kept extending loans to the airline despite knowing that the latter would fail to repay. Additionally, it has also been alleged that the profitable routes, which were once given to Jet by UPA government, were allocated back to Air India by the NDA government. Those prime routes, which once made Jet the ‘King in Indian sky’ and Air India the pauper, has now turned tables. Jet was piled with many miscalculated steps too. One of those would be the acquisition of Air Sahara in 2007 for Rs 1,450 crore, which according to industry experts was overpriced. Experts blame Chairman Naresh Goyal’s management skills too. Until March, he was unable to assign a strategic investor. He has also been accused of making bad investment decisions and failing to address the company’s deteriorating financial predicament while borrowing heavily. Later in the same month, he was forced out and lenders took control of Jet. Recently, Naresh Goyal was not allowed to leave the country as the Ministry of Corporate Affairs issued a lookout notice against him. Despite these hiccups, experts and agencies paint a bright future for the Indian aviation sector. The rise in the working group and middle-class demography has positively affected demand. As per International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Indian aviation sector is poised to become the largest in terms of passengers ferried by 2024. Passenger traffic grew at 16.52 per cent year-on-year to reach 308.75 million in FY18 (financial year 2017-18). During January-March 2019, Indian airlines carried 464.47 lakh passengers, which is 2.53 per cent up from the same period of 2018. Moreover, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry, which accounts for 13-15 per cent of total revenue, may grow over $1.5 billion. Indian aviation sector could see Rs 1 lakh crore worth of investment in the coming five years. As of March 2019, India has 103 operational airports. To handle rising air traffic, the Indian government has envisaged increasing the number to 190-200 by 2040. Even the number of aircraft is expected to grow to 1,100 by 2027 from the current 620. After seeing these data, there remains no doubt that the Indian aviation sector is among the world’s most promising and sound in terms of investment. But what about the current picture which is marred with patches. It seems the façade is deceiving. Though demand has increased, Indian airlines are still not able to recover their operating cost. SpiceJet made a meagre Rs 50 crore profit in the third quarter of FY19. Indian aviation market leader Indigo too made a Q3 profit of Rs 191 crore, 75 per cent less than what it made in the same quarter of 2018. However, it has reported a five-fold jump in its Q4 profit, which stands at Rs 589.60 crore, but credit for this surge goes to the grounding of Jet Airways. And then, there is the hopeless case of state-run Air India, which keeps churning taxpayers’ money to invisible avail. GoAir, Vistara, and Air Asia are not in good shape either. Most are running in losses and their future looks as gloomy as Air India’s and Jet’s. The Indian aviation sector has been plagued by the same issues over years, but for no apparent reason, it has failed to find a concrete solution. They keep blaming fuel prices and rupee depreciation for their own deterioration. It is understood that variables like fuel prices and currency values are beyond any airline’s control. As any of these prices shoot up, airlines make losses. But they could have learned from the past (Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airline bit the dust in 2012 with debt, fuel prices and rupee depreciation being the primary reasons) and prepared for an unseen situation. For example, most IT companies get 80 per cent of their revenue from the overseas market and have devised plans to protect themselves from volatile currency movements. However, no airline company has put a credible currency plan in process to avoid unseen volatility. Most importantly, the price war between airlines is a culprit for their pitfall. Each wants to fill 100 per cent of their seats by offering cheap tickets, which do not even cover their operating costs. They still have not learnt the art of balancing volume and value. They are so focussed on capturing market share that they have completely forgotten to ensure profit. They are literally pulling out passengers from buses and trains to fill their seats for throwaway prices. The government’s apathetic attitude towards the sector is also responsible for its stagnation. They are not even addressing fundamental needs of the sector like tax reduction on fuel, for which airlines have been appealing for a decade. Relatively high taxes make jet fuel in India around 40 per cent more expensive than the rest of the world. The government had once decided to place Aviation Turbine Fuel under GST, but the proposal is still in the pipeline. It could have reduced fuel price significantly. When fuel price is low, an airline can make money even with cheap ticket prices. Experts feel that cumbersome regulation like Route Dispersal Guideline (RDG), which mandate airlines to fly a certain percentage of flights in smaller, unprofitable air routes, drives up costs and introduces inefficiencies. Pilot shortages are also hitting hard on the operational front. According to CAPA Centre for Aviation, there are 7,963 pilots in India. India would need 17,164 additional pilots in the next 10 years. This will lead to wage bill rise, the second biggest cost chunk after fuel. Aviation is a high-cost industry, but the Indian consumer is extremely price sensitive. Airlines will have to keep their ticket price either equal to operating cost or more to keep flying. The government could also help the sector by reducing taxes on ATF or bringing it under GST. It can also reduce airport lending charges and other taxes. It has already done some favour by allowing FDI in the industry. Now, it can look into high rates of MRO charges which cause airlines to head to China for maintenance. The government might do its part, but for real solution, airline companies have to work together. They will have to sort their priorities between value and volume. It is evident from data that passengers are here to stay. They now know the perks of air travel and are getting accustomed to it. So, they must not be too conscious on this front. They might lose a few passengers, yes, but they will at least survive.
New Delhi: Vijay Kumar Tyagi was appointed as the Chief Vigilance Officer of Punjab National Bank from 1st July, 2019. Prior to this appointment he was heading Foreign Direct Investment Section as Director ( on deputation from SBI) in Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Govt of India. He has been a career banker, spanning 35 years in various leadership roles in India and overseas in the areas of International Banking business, Corporate credit, managing key client relationship and banking regulatory compliance in multiple jurisdictions. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHis Responsibilities involved chairing the boards of overseas subsidiaries and representing State Bank of India (SBI) as director/ Shareholder’s representative in various regulatory jurisdictions, like Nepal, Mauritius, Indonesia, Botswana, Bhutan,USA,Russia, Canada and UK. Vijay Kumar Tyagi has led various roles as Regional Head (Indian banking), Country Head, Director and Chairman on Boards of overseas subsidiaries, and as General Manager ( Retail Banking) in International Banking Group of SBI for 7 Years . He was also instrumental in setting up SBIs subsidiary in UK. In addition he has also been Chief Operating Officer and DY CEO Nepal SBI Bank, Ltd, Kathmandu, Nepal.
NEW DELHI: Differences between the promoters of the country’s largest airline IndiGo came into public on Tuesday with Rakesh Gangwal alleging serious governance lapses by co-founder Rahul Bhatia who had earlier termed his demands as unreasonable. With the issues brewing for nearly a year, Gangwal has sought markets regulator Sebi’s intervention to address the problems. In a filing to the stock exchanges, InterGlobe Aviation, the parent form of IndiGo, said its board of directors has received a letter from Gangwal and Sebi has also sought a response on the letter. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepThe markets regulator has been probing the matter since reports surfaced about differences between the promoters in May, sources said. “Sebi has in the meantime asked the company to give its response to this letter by July 19, 2019, with which the company will comply,” the filing said. Alleging that the company has “started veering off” from the core principles and values of governance, Gangwal has said that even a “paan ki dukaan” (betel shop) would have managed matters with more grace. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsFlagging concerns about certain questionable Related Party Transactions (RPTs), Gangwal said the shareholders’ agreement provides his long-time friend Bhatia unusual controlling rights over IndiGo. “Beyond just questionable Related Party Transactions, various fundamental governance norms and laws are not being adhered to and this is inevitably going to lead to unfortunate outcomes, unless effective measures are taken on Wednesday,” the letter said. Gangwal and his affiliates have around 37 per cent stake in InterGlobe Aviation while Bhatia and his affiliates (IGE Group) have about 38 per cent. After Gangwal wrote to the board seeking an extraordinary general meeting, Bhatia, on June 12, opposed the proposal. Bhatia wrote to the board alleging that the genesis of Gangwals’ angst was his “hurt ego” and refusal of IGE Group to entertain his “unreasonable demands”. In the June 12 letter, Bhatia alleged that Gangwal had an hidden agenda and had made a package proposal and was not willing to discuss the RPT issue in isolation. IndiGo is the country’s largest airline with a market share of 49 per cent at the end of May. The carrier has more than 200 planes and operates around 1,400 flights daily. Already, the aviation industry is grappling with multiple headwinds, including the shuttering of once-storied Jet Airways due to cash crunch. Rooted in a deep trust built over a decade-long friendship and no desire to have any meaningful control of the company, Gangwal said he had entered into a shareholders’ agreement that provides Bhatia unusual controlling rights over IndiGo. The IGE Group’s rights include those to appoint three out of six directors, nominate and appoint chairman, CEO, president as well as a voting arrangement that requires Gangwal and his affiliates to vote alongside the Group on appointment of directors, as per the letter. “While we aren’t questioning the independence of the current chairman in his decision making, we are questioning the designation of such an individual as ‘independent’. “The process of appointing an Independent Chairman at IndiGo is the classic ‘Hobson’s choice’ and a sophisticated way to circumvent Sebi rules…,” the letter said. In a statement on Tuesday, Gangwal said his letter lists out certain serious concerns regarding governance matters at IndiGo. “We are big believers in the long-term potential of IndiGo and its business and operational model. However, we also firmly believe that IndiGo can only realise its true potential and be a world class company if it has both – a world class business and operational model as well as world class governance standards,” the statement said.
London: Novak Djokovic watched his Wimbledon semifinal opponent’s shot hit the net tape, pop in the air and slide over for a winner that tied things at a set apiece. Centre Court spectators stood and cheered, perhaps thinking Roberto Bautista Agut was ready to keep this one tight, after all. Walking to his changeover chair, Djokovic nodded and waved his racket, then his right hand, at the crowd, sarcastically encouraging folks to get louder, as if to say, “Yeah, good for him and good for you. Enjoy it while you can.” Also Read – Dhoni, Paes spotted playing football togetherSoon enough, the defending champion was bellowing and shaking his fist after putting away an overhead to go up a break in the third set. Moments later, he was ending a 45-stroke baseline exchange — the longest on record at Wimbledon, where such stats date to 2006 — with a backhand winner to save a break point. Djokovic eventually overcame Bautista Agut 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 Friday to reach his sixth final at the All England Club. “I had to dig deep,” Djokovic said. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian OpenIn Sunday’s final, he will seek a fifth Wimbledon title and 16th Grand Slam trophy overall when he faces either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Those two great rivals were scheduled to face each other later Friday in their first meeting at Wimbledon since the epic 2008 final won by Nadal, 9-7 in the fifth set as darkness descended. “Of course I will watch it,” Djokovic said of the day’s second semifinal. “My coaches will probably see the whole match. I’ll definitely see parts of it. I’m a fan of that matchup, as well. Federer-Nadal is one of the most epic rivalries of all time. So it’s fantastic to see them play today.” The opening semifinal was played under a cloudy sky and with a breeze that topped 10 mph, occasionally bothering the No. 1-seeded Djokovic. It was his 36th career appearance in the final four at a major tournament — and the debut in that round for Bautista Agut, who was seeded 23rd. Even HE didn’t really expect his visit to the All England Club to last this long: The Spaniard was supposed to meet a half-dozen of his buddies on the island of Ibiza this weekend for his bachelor party. Instead, those pals were sitting in a guest box at Centre Court on Friday. “He was not really overwhelmed, so to say, with the stadium and with the occasion. He played really well,” Djokovic said. “First set, he was still probably managing his nerves and he made some uncharacteristic unforced errors. But later on, at the beginning of the second, he established himself.” After a flat forehand return winner off a 107 mph serve on the very first point, Bautista Agut certainly did lose his way for a bit. Djokovic won 14 of the next 18 points while pulling out to a 3-0 lead — and he didn’t need to produce much magic to do so. Just one of those initial 14 points came via his own winner; 10 resulted from Bautista Agut’s unforced errors. But the second set saw a shift. Djokovic stopped his until-then successful tactic of offering some variety and heading to the net when he could. His forehand also became problematic, while Bautista Agut couldn’t seem to miss a shot. Bautista Agut already beat Djokovic twice earlier this season. Could he do it again? No, largely because Djokovic rediscovered his best abilities. He came up bigger in the longest points, eventually holding a 29-17 edge when they lasted at least 10 strokes. Once his volley winner found the net tape and trickled over to cap the third set — turnabout was fair play, in this instance, after the way the previous set ended — the outcome seemed inevitable. Djokovic broke to lead 2-1 in the fourth, and again for 4-1, then needed a handful of match points to seal the victory. Whether he faces second-seeded Federer or third-seeded Nadal next, it will be the 22nd Grand Slam final involving two members of the Big Three, and the seventh at Wimbledon. One of that trio will be the champion at an 11th consecutive major tournament and for the 54th time in the past 65.
New Delhi: Air India suffered a loss of Rs 430 crore in the four-month period when air space was restricted by Pakistan after the Balakot air strikes, Civil Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri informed the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, the minister said the government was committed to privatisation of the national carrier, but is working on a turnaround plan for making it profit-making before it is privatised. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHe said that 40 per cent of the operating expenses of the airline is on fuel and other geo-political factors and the closure of air space by Pakistan cost the airline dearly. Puri also expressed happiness over Pakistan opening its airspace on Tuesday after four months of closure following the air strikes by India on terror camps in Balakot. “Air India has suffered a loss of Rs 430 crore in the last four months of air space being restricted by the neighbouring country. We are happy that the air space has opened now,” he told the house. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsIn response to the privatisation plan, he said “the government has announced that it is committed to privatisation of the airline. But, in addition to this we have a turnaround plan to make the airline profitable.” “We will be ending this year with an operating loss of Rs 74 crore. But in the next year, the airline is projected to make profit,” he said. With regard to query about Air India assuring employment to its pilots in case of privatisation, the minister said the airline has pilots who are full-time employees as well as those on fixed term contracts. “Air India has a total of 1,677 employees, of which 1,108 are permanent employees and 569 are on fixed-term contracts. The process of hiring is an ongoing process and we are in the process of filling up vacancies that were advertised earlier,” he said. Puri said in June this year, the airline has again advertised for 192 slots, but at any given point of time “we ensure there are no slots which are lying vacant”. He said the airline hired pilots keeping in view calculations of slots and requirements in the next three to five years. He said with regard to recent reports of DGCA acting against pilots for violation of rules, the airline regulator is taking strict action as per fresh guidelines issued by him ever since he took over the ministry in the new government. “I hope the message would have gone to all the airlines that no violations would be tolerated,” he said. In his written reply, the minister said no new post of chief Pilot has been created in Air India. “However, in terms of Directorate General of Civil Aviation requirement, there is a Chief Pilot designated for each type of Aircraft in the fleet as per CAP 3100-Air Operator Certification Manual. Further, the post of Executive Director (IT) already exists and currently there is no post of Executive Director (Properties & Facilities) in Air India,” he said in his written reply to the Rajya Sabha.