With the entry of new low-cost carriers Vistara and AirAsia, the domestic aviation landscape has undergone a sea change, resulting in increased competition to Jet Airways and SpiceJet.However, Jet Airways is likely benefit more from the changing business picture in domestic aviation compared to budget carrier SpiceJet.Although Jet Airways has seen some pressure in the domestic market due to new entrants, it witnessed an increase in traffic for international routes. Currently, low-cost airlines occupy 63% share in the local market, The Economic Times reported.On the other hand, SpiceJet, which is facing a stiff competition from other budget carriers, has witnessed a decline in market share to 9.4% in the March quarter compared to 19% in April-June quarter 2014.Debt-ridden budget carrier SpiceJet has turned profitable for the first time in seven quarters posting a profit of ₹22.5 crore in the March quarter. But analysts said the turnaround is mainly because of cost cuts and not due to increase in traffic.SpiceJet, India’s fourth-largest airlines by market share, has also cut the fleet size to 35 from 53 earlier. The low-cost airlines currently operates 20 Boeing 737s and 15 Bombardier Q400 turbo prop planes.However, the scenario is quite different for India’s second largest airlines Jet Airways, which sees over 55% of its overall revenues from the international routes. Also, Jet Airways faces less competition in the international segment.Jet Airways accounted for 40% of ‘outbound and inbound traffic to and from India’ during the 11 months ending February 2015. Its market share also increased to 13% in 2013-14 compared to 1% in 2003-04.Experts say that Jet Airways can also use its partnership with Etihad Airways to make Abu Dhabi as India’s offshore hub by rising its global footprint.Besides, Jet Airways’s international traffic is likely to gain from the restrictions laid out by the government on the new carriers, Vistara and AirAsia.Jet Airways has reduced its losses to half and increased its revenues by 11.2% in the past two fiscal years.
Local tobacco trader Momtaz Uddin of Mohishkhocha, Aditmari upazila in Lalmonirhat district, presents a brass boat replica to state minister of social welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmed upon his joining AL for the third time. Photo: Prothom AloLocal tobacco trader of Mohishkhocha, Aditmari upazila in Lalmonirhat district, Momtaz Uddin, 60, joined the local Awami League on Monday. This is the third time he had joined the party. He joined the Jatiya Party once in the past and joined BNP (Bangladesh Nationalist Party) twice.Momtaz, son of the late Soimuddin from Barghria village in Aditmari, is famous in the area for altering his political affiliations often.A ceremony, held to celebrate his latest change, was attended by AL member of the parliament of Lalmonirhat- 2 and state minister of social welfare, Nuruzzaman Ahmed. Momtaz presented him a brass boat replica, the electoral symbol of AL.He spent Tk 1.8 million on a feast for 20,000 people and erected six extravagant gates for the celebration.Momtaz said, “It’s true that I have shifted my party allegiance several times, but I don’t want to do it anymore. Awami League is the best political party in the country, the most people-centred party. There is much scope to working here, so I return again and again. Pray that I do not have to change it again.”The grand feast yesterday included beef and mutton along with pilau. About 300 persons wearing special T-shirts made for the occasion were busy cooking and packing the items.Momtaz Uddin spent Tk 1.8 million on a feast for 20 thousand people. Photo: Prothom AloMamunur, son of Momtaz said, ‘My father loves to treat people and so he bought five cows and 15 goats to treat the special guests and the local people.”Momtaz made his first move from Jatiya Party to AL in 2011. Later, when he was denied his wish to become the union AL president in 2012, he joined BNP. Again in 2016, before the union parishad polls, Momtaz went back to district AL. However, failing to gain the AL ticket for the polls, he returned to BNP that year.Momtaz joined AL for the third time Monday evening at the ceremony at Mohishkhocha multipurpose high school and college compound.State minister Nuruzzaman, as chief guest, said, “Awami League is a development-oriented party. New faces as well as those who left the party before may join. We want to serve the country together.”AL general secretary and district council chairman Matiar Rahman along with the district AL vice president Sirajul Haq were special guests there while Nabiar Rahman, the union AL president, presided over the programme.Abdul Mazid, member of the ward-4 at Mahishkhocha Union Parishad, observed, “Such an extravagant programme was never held over here before.”Nuruzzaman Ahmed, an auto-rickshaw driver at Bargharia (Sardarpara) said, “Only Momtaz Uddin can say which party he is going to join at any time. Only he can say how long he will remain with AL.”*The piece, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English, by Nusrat Nowrin.
US President Donald Trump walks across the tarmac after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Morristown Municipal Airport in Morristown, New Jersey. Photo: AFPDonald Trump’s administration ramped up the pressure on North Korea on Sunday ahead of a week of high-stakes diplomacy at the United Nations, warning Pyongyang will be “destroyed” if it refuses to end its “reckless” nuclear and ballistic missile drive.With US officials and their allies scrambling to find ways to contain an increasingly belligerent Pyongyang, the US president will address the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and then confer Thursday with his Japanese and South Korean counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting.Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-In spoke by phone Saturday night and pledged “stronger pressure” on Kim Jong-Un’s regime, the South’s presidential office said, adding that the North must be made to realize that “further provocation” would put it on a “path of collapse.”The Security Council last Monday imposed a new raft of sanctions on North Korea-but their impact depends largely on whether China, Pyongyang’s ally and main economic partner, will fully implement them and on Russia, which is hosting tens of thousands of North Korean workers.Washington’s ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, kept up the rhetorical pressure ahead of the upcoming meetings in New York, asserting that if the North should pose a serious threat to the US or its allies, “North Korea will be destroyed.”Trump’s earlier warning he would rain “fire and fury” on a recalcitrant North Korea, she said, was “not an empty threat.”“None of us want war,” Haley added in an interview on CNN. “We wanted to be responsible and go to all diplomatic means to get their attention first. If that doesn’t work, General Mattis”-the US defense secretary-“will take care of it.”Enforcement in focusAs the US and its allies emphasize the diplomatic track, South Korea is also deploying a state-of-the-art US missile defense system. In their latest call, the White House said Trump and Moon had committed to “take steps to strengthen deterrence and defense capabilities” of South Korea, offering no details of how it might do so.Analysts say that in the event of hostilities, millions of people in the Seoul area-as well as the 30,000 US troops in South Korea-would be vulnerable to attack by the thousands of artillery pieces the North has positioned near the border, with potentially staggering casualties.So far, every effort to persuade the North to back away from its fast-developing nuclear and missile programs-including its most powerful nuclear test yet, on September 3 — has proved futile, at times even seeming to prompt new acts of defiance from Pyongyang.The North’s latest show of resistance came when it launched a long-range missile over Japan on Friday, just four days after the UN Security Council had passed a tough new package of sanctions.At the request of the United States, the Security Council will hold a ministerial-level meeting Thursday on ways to enforce the latest sanctions, which include an export ban on textiles, freezing work permits to North Korean guest workers and capping oil supplies.‘Rocket Man’Haley said sanctions had already provided a “punch in the gut” to Pyongyang but that strict enforcement was crucial.Separately, Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, agreed that “the critical thing is going to be to get all countries, every one, to do all they can to enforce those sanctions, to do everything they can, short of a military conflict, to resolve this problem.”But if diplomacy and economic pressure fail, he added, “We have to prepare all options.”Pyongyang, an insular country with few outside contacts, says it needs nuclear weapons to protect itself from “hostile” US forces and is determined to build the capacity to deliver a nuclear warhead that could hit the US mainland.North Korea said Saturday it was bent on nothing less than military “equilibrium” with the United States.As his administration continued its efforts to rein in the North, Trump himself gave a more unbridled account of his latest diplomatic contacts.“I spoke with President Moon of South Korea last night. Asked him how Rocket Man is doing. Long gas lines forming in North Korea. Too bad!” Trump tweeted, apparently finding a new nickname for Kim (McMaster confirmed that that was probably Trump’s intention).Whether there are gas lines is unclear; very few people own cars in North Korea, outside military and government officials.