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State-Run Airports Authority of India Pitches for Adding its Airports for Foreign flights

The bilateral discussion for traffic rights is done by the government with different countries

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The national airport operator has chalked out aggressive expansion plans. Pixabay

The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) wants more of its airports included as point of call in the bilateral discussion for traffic rights with countries in the Middle-East and Southeast Asia.

The public sector agency raised the issue in a meeting chaired by Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola but has failed to get instant positive response with the latter stating that such move would depend on bilateral interest and reciprocity.

“It involves bilateral interest with other countries and need to be examined by the concerned division on case-to-case basis to ensure reciprocity and balance of interests while extending any such concession,” Secretary Kharola is learnt to have observed.

An AAI official said that many of its airports have enough capacity to handle more passengers and airlines. He further said that in case of insufficient passenger and cargo traffic, the airport capacity remains under-utilised.

State, Airports, India, Foreign Flights
The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) wants more of its airports included as point of call. Pixabay

Out of the 27 Indian cities from where international operations are currently being carried out, five cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kochi — account for about 70 per cent traffic.

“The bilateral discussion for traffic rights is done by the government with different countries. While AAI has no role in it we can be part of the discussions as observer,” the official added, noting that there was precedence to it.

The AAI manages 125 airports, which include 18 international airports, seven customs airports, 78 domestic airports and 26 civil enclaves at defence airfields. The national airport operator has chalked out aggressive expansion plans given that government sees 1 billion fliers by 2035.

“The guiding principle for the government should be passenger interest and convenience while negotiating more traffic rights with foreign countries,” said Dhiraj Mathur, Partner, PwC.

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Bilateral traffic rights allow airlines of the respective countries to launch new flights and add capacity on foreign routes. With rising passenger demand there has been pressure on the government for enhancing traffic rights with countries like Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong.

As per latest official data, as many as 91 international carriers which include six Indian and 85 foreign carriers connect the country with 56 countries through 343 routes. (IANS)

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India Sold Over 204 mn WiFi Devices in 2018: Report

The market research firm predicted smartphones would continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base

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As many as 204.5 million WiFi enabled consumer devices were sold in 2018, with mobile phones contributing close to 90 per cent of the sales, a new report said on Tuesday.

According to market research firm techARC, WiFi sale of enabled devices is expected to grow at 8 per cent in 2019 with sales touching 221 million units, primarily led by smart and connected devices for home and office automation.

“The future lies in wireless highspeed connectivity and WiFi offers one of the most reliable and affordable alternatives to it. We have seen so far WiFi enablement through legacy IT and communications devices like laptops, routers and smartphones.

“This is now shifting to other consumer electronics like TVs, lighting, ACs and refrigerators. At the same time, it’s also penetrating into automobiles as well as other traditionally dumb IT peripherals like storage devices,” Faisal Kawoosa, Founder and Chief Analyst at techARC, said in a statement.

Nigeria, Population
Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

In terms of active user base, the research firm estimates India is having close to 600 million consumer devices being used for communication, productivity, entertainment and other smart and connected use cases.

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The market research firm predicted smartphones would continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base.

However, the growth will be seen more in smart TVs including streaming devices as well as other home automation/smart devices leveraging WiFi connectivity. (IANS)