Category Archives: Business


India to ban phones which do not display radiation levels

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From September 2013, India is most likely to ban import of all mobile phones which do not display their radiation emission levels. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade will be issuing a notification asking for mandatory disclosure of specific absorption rate (SAR), as a pre-condition for future handset imports.

The handsets will have to display the SAR value, which stands for the radiation level emitted by a cell phone. This is somewhat similar to how the International Mobile Equipment Identity number is available on handsets imported into India. The radiation of handsets varies from phone to phone and is measured in terms of SAR level.

New rules were announced in 2012 and the radiation limit for imported handsets is pegged at SAR value of 1.6 watts per kg. Rita Tiwathia, the additional secretary said, “DGFT may be requested to notify import of mobile phones with the prescribed SAR value in continuation to its earlier notification, prohibiting import of cellphones without the IMEI number”.

The industry experts who are present at the meeting expect the DGFT notification to come within weeks as the new handset emission rules will come into effect on September 1, 2013. Representatives of Nokia and Samsung have claimed that their handsets have a provision to display the revised SAR value.


Airlines in US collect record baggage fees

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Recent reports state that airlines in the US have collected more than $6 billion in baggage, as well as reservation change fees from passengers in 2012. This has resulted in the highest amount of fees since they become common five years back.

However, commuters should not expect a break anytime soon. Such fees collected from the passengers, like charges for boarding early or picking prime seats, have helped the airlines to return to profitability. Back in 2008, airlines started charging for the first checked suitcase and since then the fees have gone up.

Typically, an airline charges $25 each way for the first checked bag, $35 for the second checked bag and the rates vary with various overweight or oversized bags. The only condition that remains is that the government requires the airlines to report revenue from baggage and change fees. This summer, it is possible that the passengers will have to shell out some extra money.

In recent times, Delta, American Airlines, United Airlines and US Airways raised the fee for changing a domestic flight reservation from $150 to $200. This fee, along with many others, was introduced in order to offset the rising fuel costs, which amount to most of the operational costs.


Jet Airways to buy more than 100 planes

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Indian carrier Jet Airways might soon order more than 100 planes from Boeing and Airbus at the Paris Airshow. The news was revealed by a leading aviation consultancy.

A report from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation states that Jet has already confirmed an order for 50 737 MAX planes together with up to 10 777-300ERS from Boeing. The CAPA also said that it expects an additional order of 50 Airbus A320 neo planes which will be used for Jet’s low-cost unit.

Jet Airways recently agreed to sell 24 percent stake to Abu Dhabi’s Etihad in a deal worth $380 million. The spokesperson for Jet Airways was not immediately available for comment. For many months there has been a speculation regarding an order of 100 planes by Jet Airways, a deal worth some $10 billion at list prices.

But the report still remains unconfirmed. Moreover, in recent times Boeing was gripped with a controversy due to its Dreamliner 787 aircrafts which had to face a global grounding. Later the company offered a lithium ion battery replacement, after which airlines across the globe are bringing their aircrafts in to work.


Rise in demand for petrol cars to benefit Maruti Suzuki

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Trend of buying petrol cars is slowly picking up as the price difference between the diesel and petrol is slowly narrowing. The recent development might be good news for Maruti Suzuki and might also put some pressure on the sales of Mahindra and Mahindra.

In recent times, the global crude oil prices have fallen which has led to a decrease in prices of petrol by ten percent and at the same time, the oil companies are continuing to hike Re. 0.50 in prices of diesel. By now, the price difference between petrol and diesel has fallen to Rs.17 per litre which is the lowest since the deregulation of petrol.

One report states that, at the current fuel prices, the cost of ownership is lower for the petrol vehicles when compared to the diesel vehicles. The trade-off is expected to be in favour of petrol until the difference between petrol and diesel increases to Rs. 25 per litre. This report notes that the price differential could also lead to faster-than-expected recovery in the sales of petrol cars.

The shift to petrol cars might also affect the sales of Mahindra and Mahindra as most of its passenger vehicles are diesel engines.


Air India to resume operation of Boeing 787 Dreamliners

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Indian airline carrier Air India has decided to resume domestic operations with the Boeing Dreamliner aircraft as early as next week. The aircraft were grounded for about four months due to a battery problem and the company has replaced the old batteries with the newly leased ones.

Sources from the airline said that the Air India board had met and was briefed about the progress of making changes in the batteries of the six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, which are owned by Air India. The first domestic flight will take place next week, after being replaced with a new package of lithium ion batteries. Some sparks in the battery of two of the aircraft owned by the Japanese airlines had led to the grounding of 50 Dreamliners worldwide in the month of January 2013.

The board has decided to replace 14 Air India owned and 5 leased aircraft, which were 20 to 22 years of age. The leased aircrafts would be then returned to the lessors and the ones which were owned by Air India would be phased out gradually.

The process will begin by the third quarter of this financial year and would require about 10 to 12 months to be complete.