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Major airlines protest against hike in fuel price

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Indigo
Photo: http://www.bangaloreaviation.com

Four major domestic airlines have escalated their protest over the 12 per cent increase in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices effected this month, refusing to pay the revised prices and seeking a Rs. 2,500-crore refund from oil marketing companies for failing to pass on the benefits of falling crude oil prices since 2014.

“Without prejudice…kindly note that the payments that are being currently made are to be treated as ‘under protest’ and thus our member airlines reserve the right to pay as per the rates prevailing in February 2016,” said a joint letter to oil companies signed by airline promoters Nusli Wadia (GoAir), Naresh Goyal (Jet Airways), Ajay Singh (SpiceJet) and Rahul Bhatia (Indigo).

The joint letter to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation chairperson and managing director Nishi Vasudeva, Indian Oil Corporation chairman B. Ashok and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited CMD S. Vardarajan was sent on March 16 on behalf of the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA).

“FIA seeks your co-operation and support to allow our member airlines to withhold payment of increased amounts due to the recent increase in ATF prices by 12 per cent, until the matter is conclusively determined in a transparent manner,” the promoters said in their letter seen by The Hindu.

The airlines have urged oil marketing companies to disclose the “ambiguous” and opaque price discovery mechanism they used for setting ATF prices. They argued that air fares have remained high as oil companies had not passed on the benefits of the continuous fall in global crude oil prices since 2014. “… As a result, you profited… wherein the airlines are still struggling,” they alleged, and sought a Rs. 2,500-crore refund.

 Credits: The Hindu

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Air India Shuts Delhi Based HQ as Employee Tests Corona Positive

The headquarters will remain shut for 2 days

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Air_India Dhaka
Air India headquarters in Delhi will remain shut for 2 days as an emplyee was tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. Wikimedia Commons

National carrier Air India on Tuesday shut its national capital-based headquarters, Airlines House, after an employee was tested Covid-19 positive. Accordingly, the building will be shut for two days for sanitisation work.

Under the safety protocols, work places of those employees who have tested positive required to be shut and sanitised to prevent the spread of the virus. The test report of the employee had come out last night.

“One of the employees attending office at Airlines House has tested positive for covid 19,” the airline said in a statement. “As Air India accords top priority to safety and wellbeing of its employees, the building will be closed for two days for sanitisation, adhering to protocol. All support is being extended to the employee concerned”.

In an unrelated development, five pilots of the airline, who had earlier tested positive for coronavirus, have now tested negative for the infection.

Air_India_Boeing
The test report of the employee had come out last night. Wikimedia Commons

The new results were obtained after a re-test was conducted on the positive cases under Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of the airline. The pilots had tested coronavirus positive when 77 pilots of the airline were tested on a priority basis on Saturday.

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All the five pilots didn’t have any symptoms and would be home-quarantined in Mumbai, people in the know said. These pilots operated Boeing 787 Dreamliners aircraft, and were tested to be deployed for duty under the Vande Bharat Mission to ferry back Indians stranded abroad.

The national carrier has also been engaged in transport of essential medical supplies amid the pandemic. Starting May 7, Air India has been engaged in one of the largest rescue operations in the world, whereby 64 flights would bring back over 14,000 people stranded in 12 countries in 7 days.

Many Indians have already arrived in several cities under the Mission. (IANS)

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Realme increases Smartphone Prices in India Post GST Hike

"We sincerely hope you will continue to support not only us but also the whole smartphone industry, for more amazing technologies and surprises in the future," the company said in a statement

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Realme
According to the company, the COVID-19 pandemic has highly impacted the smartphone industry, leading to a price hike of components and supply shortage. Pixabay

Chinese smartphone maker Realme on Wednesday announced that it has increased its smartphone prices following the Indian government’s move to increase GST rate from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, which came into effect from April 1.

Realme 6 (4GB+64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 12,999 will now cost Rs 13,999 — up by Rs 1,000. Realme X2 (4GB+64GB) which was priced at Rs 16,999 will now cost Rs 17,999 — a price hike of Rs 1,000.

Meanwhile, Realme XT (4GB+64GB) which costs Rs 15,999 will now be available for Rs 16,999.

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Realme
Chinese smartphone maker Realme on Wednesday announced that it has increased its smartphone prices following the Indian government’s move to increase GST rate from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, which came into effect from April 1. IANS

“We sincerely hope you will continue to support not only us but also the whole smartphone industry, for more amazing technologies and surprises in the future,” the company said in a statement.

According to the company, the COVID-19 pandemic has highly impacted the smartphone industry, leading to a price hike of components and supply shortage.
Additionally, the Indian rupee rate has been continuously fluctuating and facing depreciation currently.

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“The value of money smartphone players like realme which have been very price competitive and refrained from increasing any prices thus far, will have no choice but to increase the prices to match the GST hike,” said Neil Shah, Vice President, Research at Counterpoint. (IANS)

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Price Of Smartphones increase in India Due To GST Hike

The novel coronavirus which has already hampered smartphone manufacturers 2020 plans in India owing to supply chain issues has also forced them to postpone new launches

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Smartphone
The novel coronavirus which has already hampered smartphone manufacturers 2020 plans in India owing to supply chain issues has also forced them to postpone new launches for an indefinite period. Pixabay

Several smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Xiaomi, Realme and Vivo on Wednesday increased prices of their devices in India due to the GST hike from 12 per cent to 18 per cent which became applicable from April 1.

The most popular iPhone 11 (64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 64,900 will now cost Rs 68,300 — up by Rs 3,400. Another hit model iPhone XR (64GB) which was priced at Rs 49,900 will now cost Rs 52,500 — a price hike of Rs 2,600.

The Rs 101,200 iPhone 11 Pro (64 GB) is now priced at 106,600 while iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB) which costs Rs 111,200 will now be available for Rs 117,100. The iPhone 7 (32GB) which was earlier priced at Rs 29,900, is now priced at Rs 31,500.

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With the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, increasing the GST on mobile phones from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, industry experts had indicated that it would hit the industry and brands would not be in a position to absorb this impact.

Chinese smartphone maker Realme announced that it has increased its smartphone prices following the Indian government’s move to increase GST rate. Realme 6 (4GB+64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 12,999 will now cost Rs 13,999 — up by Rs 1,000.

Realme X2 (4GB+64GB) which was priced at Rs 16,999 will now cost Rs 17,999 — a price hike of Rs 1,000. Realme XT (4GB+64GB) which costs Rs 15,999 will now be available for Rs 16,999. Tarun Pathak, Associate Director, Counterpoint Research aid that this was expected as OEMs don’t have much choice than increase the prices.

Smartphone
Several smartphone manufacturers like Apple, Xiaomi, Realme and Vivo on Wednesday increased prices of their devices in India due to the GST hike from 12 per cent to 18 per cent which became applicable from April 1. Pixabay

“With thin margins and a strong dollar along with ongoing slump in demand due to Covid-19, it is going to be tough for OEMs. The handsets OEMs will also let go some of aggressive promotional offers too,” Pathak told IANS. Consumers are likely to settle for a similar upgrade as against their previous purchase. “This will impact the overall revenue of the smartphone segment especially now looking at the possible economic implications of Covid-19,” he added.

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The novel coronavirus which has already hampered smartphone manufacturers 2020 plans in India owing to supply chain issues has also forced them to postpone new launches for an indefinite period as online retailers have prioritized their operations and services keeping the essential services in mind. (IANS)