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Slowdown shadow on air traffic to and from India




Air travel to and from India during January-March quarter of this calendar year grew at slowest pace of 3.8 per cent in the last four years pointing to slowdown in the economy.

The latest data compiled by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) shows that both foreign and Indian carriers together flew 16.4 million passengers in this period compared to 15.8 million in the corresponding quarter last year.

Compared to this, the airlines had clocked 11.3 per cent growth in 2018 over the previous year when they had flown 14.2 million passengers. In 2016 and 2017, the traffic growth was 9.32 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

Aviation industry experts said the slower growth this year is a result of multiple factors ranging from Jet Airways pulling out their operations, slowdown and lean season.

“There are multiple reasons for this. Jet Airways has, of course, dented because it reduced capacity on international routes in those months. But even other airlines are not going 100 per cent full. Economic slowdown, I think, is one of the important factors,” said Rajan Mehra, CEO of Club One Air and former India head of Qatar Airways.

“It’s not just travel. People are not buying cars, they are not buying consumer goods. So, I think slowdown in the economy is probably a much more important factor than Jet pulling out. People are travelling less. There is overall a sense of the economy softening up,” he added.

Following suspension of Jet Airways operations, both local as well as foreign airlines have mounted capacity to fill the gaps. Among the local carriers, SpiceJet and IndiGo have aggressively expanded their capacity on foreign routes. Some of the foreign destinations that have been the focus of airlines are Dubai, Singapore, London and Bangkok.

Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia) of Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said Jet Airways operations had declined a lot in the fourth quarter (January-March of 2019). Besides, launch of international flights by some LCCs (low-cost carriers) also got delayed.

“There was no reflection of a slowdown during January-March. The Q4 is basically a weaker period. So, it is a combination of many factors,” Kaul said.

The DGCA data, however, show that the share of Indian carriers has been gradually on the rise in last few years. The share of Indian and foreign carriers in the total international passenger traffic during the first quarter (January-March) of the year 2019 stands at 40.7 per cent and 59.3 per cent respectively.

“In the same quarter (Q1) of the year 2019, the share of Indian and foreign carriers was 39.5 and 60.5 per cent respectively,” the DGCA said in its latest analytical report on international traffic.

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Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar decided not to visit ED office today



The National Congress Party Chief Sharad Pawar on Friday told to media outside his residence that he would not appear to Enforcement Directorate office today.

“I have taken the decision not to go there (ED office) in view of the potential law and order problem it could create and cause inconvenience to the general public. I will decide when to go again at an appropriate date,” Pawar told  to media who have gathered outside his house here.

The 78-year-old veteran leader described the ED case against him as “politically motivated”.

Reportedly, the ED said, Pawar doesn’t have to come, they will call if its needed.

On ED notice Pawar said to media ,“I don’t want to create law and order situation in the state. The decision was taken after deliberating with the party leaders”.

“I don’t want to create law and order situation in the state… The decision was taken after deliberating with the party leaders,

As per report,Mumbai police commissioner Sanjay Barve has visited to Pawar’s residence to request him to not step out from his residence.

The Mumbai Police have slapped Prohibitory Orders in at least seven areas ahead of Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar’s suo moto visit to the Enforcement Directorate office here on Friday.

In a late-night order the police have imposed the ban under Section 144 of the CrPC, banning assembly of five or more persons.

OnTuesady, the ED has registered a money laundering case against Sharad Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar, and several other politicians and officials in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam worth around Rs 25,000 crore.





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12-yr-old dies after snake bite In New Delhi




A 12-year-old boy died after he was bitten by a snake in east Delhi’s Geeta Colony area, police said on Saturday.

According to a senior police official, the boy has been identified as Deepak Kumar, a resident of Safeda jhuggi cluster in the area.

“The incident took place on Friday night when Deepak was sleeping at his house. He was taken to the Hedgewar hospital by his parents,” said the police official.

“The hospital called us and informed about the incident at around 6.30 a.m. on Saturday morning. A post-mortem was conducted at Sabzi Mandi mortuary and body was handed over to the family,” he said.

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BCCI officials and cricketers pay tribute to Arun Jaitley





Just like the political world, the cricketing fraternity too was saddened by the demise of former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley (66), who passed away after prolonged illness at the AIIMS here on Saturday.

Not just a political leader of repute, Jaitley also served Indian cricket as BCCI Vice-President and President of the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Considered a vital cog in the BJP’s functioning over the years, Jaitley’s untimely passing away saw condolences pouring in from cricketers and officials.

Taking to Twitter, former India opener and now a BJP MP from East Delhi, Gautam Gambhir, wrote: “A father teaches u to speak but a father figure teaches u to talk. A father teaches u to walk but a father figure teaches u to march on. A father gives u a name but a father figure gives u an identity. A part of me is gone with my Father Figure Shri Arun Jaitley Ji. RIP Sir (sic).”

Virender Sehwag also expressed his grief, saying: “Pained at the passing away of #ArunJaitley ji. Apart from having served greatly in public life, he played a huge role in many players from Delhi getting an opportunity to represent India. There was a time when not many players from Delhi got a chance at the highest level but under his leadership at the DDCA, many players including me got a chance to represent India.

“He listened to needs of the players & was a problem solver. Personally shared a very beautiful relationship with him. My thoughts & prayers are with his family & loved ones. Om Shanti (sic).”

V.V.S laxman expressed his thoughts, tweeting: “Saddened to learn about the passing away of Shri #ArunJaitley ji. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and admirers. Om Shanti! (sic).”

Noted news anchor and current DDCA chief Rajat Sharma also paid tribute, writing: “#ArunJaitley , my dear and close friend for 5 decades, is no more. In his passing away, #India has lost an able administrator, a fine jurist and an incorruptible politician. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Om Shanti. @arunjaitley (sic).”

BCCI President C.K. Khanna said: “It is indeed a very sad day for the whole of India as we have lost Arun Jaitleyji to a long and tough battle with health…A truly humble, self-made man who rose to greats heights, and has etched a place for himself in the history of modern India, with his genius, grit, charisma and commitment! It is a deep personal loss for me…Our association goes back to our college days in Shri Ram College Of Commerce where we worked together, he as the President, and me as the General Secretary of the College Union.

“I also had the privilege of inviting and closely working with him in the Cricket Administration in DDCA and BCCI. His contribution in the field of cricket shall be remembered forever…Today the Nation has truly lost a great Statesman and I have personally lost a very dear friend…May his soul find peace. Om Shanti!!”

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