New Delhi :In a bid to woo business class passengers on its international flights Air India is considering providing laptops to its premium travellers, its chairman and managing director Pradeep Singh Kharola said.
The move is geared towards improving the airline’s passenger load factor or seat occupancy in business class which often sees almost half the seats going empty.
“In our long haul flights business class can be a money spinner for Air India. Our passenger load factor is only 50 per cent on these flights. We will try to see how to increase that, perhaps offer better quality of services. If our in- flight entertainment is not doing well, then we are thinking of alternatives. Laptops to business class passengers is a possibility,” Kharola told reporters.
He added that a decision is yet to be taken on whether these laptops would be offered to passengers only when the in-built video screens are not working or as an additional perk for premium travellers.
Air India flies Boeing 747, 777 and 787s as well as Airbus 320 on its international routes. While the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner in Air India’s fleet offers state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment, there are complaints about dysfunctional monitors on older aircraft.
The new CMD, a 1985-batch Karnataka cadre officer, who took charge of Air India last month, also said that the plan to introduce a direct flight to Los Angeles is very much on.
“We are working on (plans to connect) Los Angeles. Long hauls are doing very well, we might be thinking of increasing frequency on the long haul routes both towards Australia and the US,” Kharola said.
He added that Air India will be getting three new Boeing 777s by February and while two of them will be used for VVIP purposes, the remaining one could be used for flights to Los Angeles.
“These planes were bought a long time ago and they have to be used. The airline exists and we have to manage it well,” he explained the rationale behind adding new destinations while the government is working on modalities to divest its stakes in the airline.
Kharola also said that details on how the two B777s earmarked for VVIP operations will be operated are still being finalised, adding that availability of pilots for these planes was an issue.
Air India has tied up with three foreign banks, i.e. UAE- based First Abu Dhabi Bank as well as Standard Chartered Bank and Mashreq Bank, to avail short-term loans for acquiring the three Boeing 777 aircraft.
In 2006, Air India placed orders with Boeing for 68 aircraft. Of these, the state-run carrier has already taken the delivery of 65 planes.
In 2010, the delivery of three B777-300 ERs was postponed due to the downturn in the global aviation sector and in 2015 Air India decided to induct these aircraft.
The Union Cabinet last year gave its in-principle approval for disinvestment of Air India and constituted an inter-ministerial panel to work on the modalities of the stake sale.
Sensex sheds 298.82 to close at 38,811; Nifty shrinks to 11,650
Mumbai: The benchmark BSE Sensex erased early gains to end 299 points lower Thursday as investors booked profits after stocks soared to record highs after BJP’s strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls.
Sensex and NSE Nifty went on to record highs even as Lok Sabha election results showed that PM Modi-led NDA leading on over 300 seats. However after the euphoria during the morning session, Sensex shed 298.82 to close at 38,811 and Nifty shrank to 11,650 on the closing bell.
During the day, the Sensex hit the 40,000 mark while the Nifty crossed the 12,000-level for the first time ever. However, the indices succumbed to profit booking towards the fag-end of the session.
The 30-share Sensex tumbled 298.82 points, or 0.76 per cent, to close at 38,811.39. Similarly, the broader NSE Nifty settled 80.85 points, or 0.69 per cent, lower at 11,657.05.
IndusInd Bank was the biggest gainer in the Sensex pack, rallying 5.23 per cent, followed by Hero MotoCorp, Coal India, Yes Bank, PowerGrid, ICICI Bank, HCL Tech, L&T, Kotak Bank and Bharti Airtel, rising up to 1.56 per cent. On the other hand, Vedanta, ITC, Tata Motors, HDFC twins, Bajaj Finance, Sun Pharma, Tata Steel, TCS, ONGC and Infosys fell up to 5.53 per cent.
Riding on a massive Modi wave sweeping through most parts of India, the BJP was set to return to power Thursday as it led in 298 seats while the Congress trailed far behind with 52, according to trends released by the Election Commission for all 542 seats that went to polls.
“Markets were initially enthused to see the election results falling in line with the exit polls. However, the run up to the D-day was so sharp that it turned out to be a sell on news phenomenon,” said Devang Mehta, Head – Equity Advisory, Centrum Wealth Management.
Participants would now be keen to know the future course of action for bringing the economy back on track, solution to the liquidity situation, the union budget, onset and progress of monsoon in June and most importantly the earnings trajectory, he added.
According to traders, weak cues from other global markets and a depreciating rupee also weighed on investor sentiment. The rupee depreciated 37 paise to 70.04 against the US dollar in afternoon trade. Globally, bourses in Asia ended in the red.
Indices in Europe were also trading on a negative note in early deals. Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was trading 1.79 per cent lower at USD 69.72 per barrel.
Silver up on increased offtake; gold steady
New Delhi: Silver prices rallied by Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg in the national capital on Thursday, while gold held steady, according to the All India Sarafa Association.
Traders said silver prices rose on pick-up in offtake by industrial units and coin makers at the local spot market. Globally, spot gold was trading marginally higher at USD 1,276 an ounce, while silver was slightly up at USD 14.53 an ounce in New York.
In the national capital, gold of 99.9 per cent and 99.5 per cent purity dropped by Rs 10 each to Rs 32,670 per ten 10 gram and Rs 32,500 per 10 gram. Sovereign gold, however, held steady at Rs 26,500 per eight gram.
Silver ready surged Rs 200 to Rs 37,400 per kg, while weekly-based delivery fell by Rs 66 to Rs 36,234 per kg. Silver coins held flat at Rs 79,000 for buying and Rs 80,000 for selling of 100 pieces.
India PC mkt declines 8.3 per cent to 2.15 mn units in Jan-Mar qarter
New Delhi: Personal Computer (PC) shipment in India fell by 8.3 per cent in the January-March quarter of 2019 to 2.15 million units, registering a year-on-year decline for the third consecutive quarter, according to research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
Besides, big commercial deals, market remained weak due to weak consumer demand, high inventory from previous quarters, and supply issues for Intel chips.
Shipments in the consumer segment saw a 26.5 per cent dip in the said quarter compared to the year-ago period. The commercial PC market saw a total shipment of 1.35 million units in the said quarter, a growth of 7.3 per cent over last year.
“The announcement of central elections on March 10, 2019 resulted in the model code of conduct coming into immediate effect further resulting in a delay in execution of government projects and impacting the commercial segment,” IDC said in a statement.
However, IDC expects the overall PC market in India to witness a growth in the second quarter. The commercial market is expected to pick up post new government formation in May, while the consumer market is expected to pick up largely driven by back to school campaign by vendors and online sales.
HP maintained its leadership position with an overall market share of 28.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, followed by Dell (25.9 per cent), Lenovo (25.2 per cent) and Acer (11.7 per cent).
The notebook PC (laptop) category accounted for 61.4 per cent of the shipment and witnessed a 9.8 per cent year-on-year decline.