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WhatsApp message on Lok Sabha election dates fake: ECI || Haryana INLD leader Rathee shot dead || Indian reporter dies in apartment fire in New York || Trump wins South Carolina primary || Air Mauritius aircraft snag: 200 passengers suffocated for 5 hrs || UP constable exam cancelled after paper leak || Bank robber caught by woman cop in Jaipur || 15 killed in UP tractor trolley mishap || Death for Haryana wrestling coach in murder case || - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Indigo to join race to acquire more aircraft, but where are the pilots?

Are the Indian skies ready for a cut-throat competition? Reacting to Air India's mega deals with aviation majors Airbus and Boeing for acquiring 470 new aircraft, rivals Indigo and other carriers are planning to place orders for 1,200 planes. India is already facing a severe shortage of experienced pilots. Experienced pilots cannot be produced instantly! As it takes about 8 to 10 years' flying to enable one to operate modern long haul aircraft, the new arrivals will stay in the hangars! Even those currently on the rolls will need type rating and more simulators. There have been cases in the recent past as also in the late 2000s of planes being grounded for want of pilots.

NEW DELHI, Feb 17: Not to be left behind, Indigo and other Indian airlines are planning to acquire a larger number of aircraft following the mega deal of Air India with Boeing and Airbus early this week. They are reportedly going to place orders for around 1,200 aircraft in the course of the next year, beating Air India's record of 470, it is learnt.

However, an aviation agency has warned against a repetition of the situation when several aircraft had to be grounded due to shortage of crew during 2005-2008 and even recently. Besides the demand for crew like pilots, engineers and air traffic controllers, airport capacity and airspace availability also need to be taken into account while deploying a large number of aircraft.

Air India will need 6,500 more pilots for 470 planes being bought new in a mega deal with Airbus and Boeing, according to sources. Currently it has a fleet of 113 aircraft and even with 1,600 pilots the airline is facing a shortage to operate them. Air India subsidiaries Air India Express and AirAsia India together have 850 pilots for their 54 planes while Air Vistara has 600 pilots for 53 planes it has. Widebody A-350 will require 30 pilots per plane used for long haul while a Boeing widebody 777 needs 26 pilots. An Airbus A320 or Boeing 737 Max requires 12 pilots. Pilot requirements vary depending on the weight and length of the plane as well as the nature of operation.

According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), India is emerging as a major global aviation market. “India is, perhaps, on the cusp of a long- awaited and historic change...it may finally be set to take its place as the global aviation market of the 21st century," it said.

Tata Group-owned Air India is buying 470 planes for which orders have been placed with Boeing and Airbus manufacturers. The mega deal is worth over $80 billion. The first batch of the planes in the deal will arrive by year-end and the last in 2032.

In the largest-ever deal announced on Tuesday, 250 planes will be Airbus that includes 210 single-aisle A-320/321 Neo/XLR and 40 widebody A-350- 900/1000 while 220 planes will come from Boeing, 190 of them 737 Max, 20 Dreamliner 787-9s and 10 777s. Airbus 350 and Boeing 777-9 are widebody for long haul.

It is also reported that the mega deal has an option to buy 370 more planes from the aviation majors in the next decade. Air India's current fleet has over 100 planes comprising of Airbus A319, A320, A320 neo, A321 as well as Boeing 777 and Boeing 787.

Hailing the deal, French President Emmanuel Macron said “The contract that Airbus and Tata Sons signed this morning marks a new stage in India and France’s strategic partnership."

US President Biden said the sale of over 200 Boeing aircraft will support over a million jobs in the US and help Air India meet its transportation demands.

Secret negotiations for the mega deal were going on for about a year. With the deal finally done in talks at London on Tuesday, Air India can look forward to taking a top slot in international aviation. While India's largest airline IndiGo has around 500 planes, US' American Airlines has over 900 planes. Airlines in India have over 600 Airbus and Boeing planes flying at present.

Tatas had regained the ownership of loss-making State-run Air India in a process of privatisation last year. The Government had taken over the airline, which originally belonged to the Tatas, in early 1950s soon after India's Independence.

Tata Sons chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in a statement, “This order is an important step in realising Air India’s ambition to offer a world-class proposition serving global travellers with an Indian heart. These new aircraft will modernise the Airline’s fleet and onboard product, and dramatically expand its global network.”

He said, "Air India is not just another airline. It is a national project. It holds the hopes and aspirations of millions of people."


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The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The ISRO said on Thursday evening that after rolling out from Vikram lander to the Moon's surface in the previous night, Pragyan's rover mobility operation commenced during the day on Thursday. The exploration has started.

Chairman Somanath said everything is working very well.

The rover will mainly study the mineral composition of the moon, the ions and water ice***, its atmosphere and any seismic activities.

Chandrayaan-3 had successfully landed on the Moon's south pole on Wednesday at 6:03 pm as per schedule, making India the first country ever to touch down on the polar surface.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

“All subjects directly connected to the people should be shifted to the State List. Particularly the subject of education. Only if this is done can cruel exams like NEET be abolished,” Stalin said. Education was moved from the State List to the Concurrent List with the 42nd Constitution Amendment made by the Central Government in 1976.

Decentralisation has been at the core of Tamil politics since the times of CN Annadurai. Stalin indicated there will be political changes in the offing.

TAILPIECE: While the Centre and the States are at loggerheads, it takes a different cognitive acumen to know that entrance tests are not the way for students' admission to courses.

A University of Florida Professor, Harrison Hove who was on the flight, posted on social media that the incident was "terrifying." He said, "I've flown a lot. This was scary ... The photos cannot capture the burning smell, loud bang or ear pops ... Something failed midflight and depressurized the cabin."

As recently as Tuesday Craig Robertson had posted on Facebook: "Perhaps Utah will become famous this week as the place a sniper took out Biden the Marxist." Biden was scheduled to make his first visit to Utah as President Wednesday afternoon.

  • Let's Go! The legal immigrants should be allowed the flexibility to change jobs and travel without obstacles. Doing away with the country cap on Green Cards only can do this easily.
  • Bureaucratic delays in the US legal immigration system are also a drag on the country's economy while leaving so many families in limbo, the Congressmen argued.
  • In fact, the country cap was introduced to ensure diversity of immigrants as well as to prevent monopoly by any one country like China leading to distortions in the American culture and politics in course of time.
  • In any which case, it is high time the US straightened its convoluted immigration laws for their own convenience and to allow the immigrants their basic rights!

Maruti is recalling 87,599 S-Presso and Eeco vehicles to inspect and possibly replace parts in the steering system. All reputed companies around the world do recall their products when a defect comes to light.

Meanwhile, a question arises why just in about a year so many accidents have taken place involving Mercedes sent to India while the car has won safety awards abroad? In most cases, the vehicle collided with divider, while manoeuvring a turn. Was there a split second delay in the steering system coming to a grip when at high speed? Did anybody in India bother to study a pattern in several of these accidents that took place one after other?

Former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died when his Mercedes-Benz-SUV hit a divider in Gujarat. Cricketer Rishabh Pant's Mercedes-Benz-SUV rammed a divider in Uttarakhand and smashed. It went up in flames but he escaped with injuries. Brother of PM Narendra Modi, Prahlad Modi's Mercedes-Benz-SUV met with a similar accident in Mysuru. And many more.

  • Experts blame violation of the Visual Flying Rules (VFR) for most of the chopper crashes in the mountains as the leading cause. VFR means fly only visually - because of the lack of navigation aids in remote areas or unreliability of GPS-like aids in hilly terrains or a remote manipulation of instruments in cases of sabotage - as the topography plays havoc especially in the monsoon (mid-June to September).
  • Even when VFR is followed, most crashes occur due to CFIT (Controlled Flight into Terrain) - that is, everything else is OK but the aircraft collides with hills or trees hidden by the clouds. This also occurs mostly in the monsoon.
  • On Tueday with Manang, the chopper was brand new, pilot was highly experienced. But it hit an 'invisible' tree and then crashed against a hillside. This CFIT occurred when the pilot tried to dodge patches of clouds even as he was following the VFR.
  • Simply put, everyone knows flying in the hills during the monsoon is risky, but the companies want to make more money in any which case. This type of tragedy is very frequently invited in the Indian hill State of Uttarakhand as well, where pilots are even made to fly without the mandatory rest.

The new offer will enable H-1B speciality occupation visa holders in the US to apply for a Canadian work permit, while also offering study and work permit opportunities for their family members accompanying them.

The selected applicants will be granted an unrestricted work permit for a maximum period of three years. The IRCC will entertain 10,000 applications. The window is open for one year.

  • Curfew was clamped on areas in Paris on Thursday lasting till Monday. The police apprehend an escalation of volence in the coming days. There will be "actions targeted at the forces of order and the symbols of the State", they said.
  • Under present law, the police have brute powers to deal with traffic violators. Young Nahel was shot point-blank by a cop for purported traffic violation and an anticipated crime.

Way back when on June 20 EST after searches were launched, India Travel Times had, on an analysis of the data available, indicated the probability of Titan undergoing a sudden and massive implosion (inward collapse) at great depths. (SEE: Titanic expedition goes missing: A ray of hope from sounds of bang) Now videos taken by a Canadian robot that reached the floor on Thursday evening, June 22, has confirmed it. The fragments are lying scattered. Horizon Arctic's ROV robot found the debris 1600 ft from Titanic bow.

The submersible imploded at 500 metres above sea bed, if we go by our calculations. The water pressure it had to withstand at that point was 2,345 kg per sq inch. The hull was not built to take that, as per the court cases fought by concerned people at the time of building the sub and going by the details revealed in the cancellation of booking by at least one ocean expert.

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