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Air India may raise loans against Rs 2,500 cr GoI guarantee

After failing to find a bidder in its previous term, the Modi 2.0 government is working this time on war-footing to sell Air India to a private player.

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New Delhi, Oct 9 : State-run Air India hopes to meet its fund requirements by raising loans against the government guarantee for Rs 2,500 crore and run its business smoothly till the sale process concludes.

“We have not decided on further loans from banks. We have the Government of India (GoI) guarantee for Rs 2,500 crore and if needed, we may raise some loans,” said a top Air India official wishing not to be named.

The airline has been put on the block by the government as part of its disinvestment target in FY20. A ministerial panel led by Home Minister Amit Shah is likely to decide the terms of sale in coming weeks.

As the disinvestment process is underway, the airline has been directed to freeze all appointments and hold on promotions. In the wake of the stake sale, fleet expansion is also on hold.

The airline has, however, expanded its network in the last few months, connecting more cities locally and internationally by bringing back its grounded airplanes into operations.

“We have not taken any new plane for adding flights. We are repairing the grounded aircraft and putting them back into operations. We have not incurred any major expenditure on it,” the official quoted above said.

The Shah-led panel had met last week for the first time after their reconstitution but did not take any decision. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had said after the first meeting that second meeting will be scheduled shortly to take decisions related to disinvestment.

Among many issues on the meeting agenda of the first meeting was transferring more debt, over and above Rs 29,464 crore decided earlier, to Air India Assets Holdings Ltd (AIAHL) to make the deal attractive for private parties.

The government plan to sell Air India failed last year as no private party showed any interest in buying a majority 76 per cent stake on offer. The prospective buyers stayed away from the bidding finding some of the terms unfavourable.

After failing to find a bidder in its previous term, the Modi 2.0 government is working this time on war-footing to sell Air India to a private player.

Air India is currently surviving on a Rs 30,000 crore bail-out package cleared by the UPA-II government.

(Nirbhay Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])

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Sensex over 50K mark as Biden, Budget fuel fast recovery hopes

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Positive global cues and expectations of healthy quarterly results, along with that of a supportive Union Budget FY22, powered the ascent of India’s barometer index — the S&P BSE Sensex — to cross the 50,000 mark on Thursday.

However, the barometer index dipped below the psychologically important mark due to profit booking at the end of the day’s trade.

The Sensex closed at 49,624.76, lower by 167.36 points, or 0.34 per cent, from its previous close of 49,792.12.

It opened at 50,162.05 and touched a fresh all-time high of 50,184.01 points.

The Nifty50 on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) also touched a new record high of 14,753.55 points. It ended the day’s trade at 14,590.35, lower by 54.35 points, or 0.37 per cent, from its previous close.

Earlier in the day, Sensex crossed the 50,000-mark.

Coming a day after Joe Biden’s inauguration as US President, the BSE Sensex mirrored its Asian counterparts in having a gap-up opening.

In fact, the positivity sentiment led it to open above the 50,000-mark. The gains of the last 5,000 points in Sensex has come in just 32 trading sessions.

Moreover, expectations of an even faster economic recovery on the back of the vaccination programme have been cited as other factors for the up-move.

Besides, easy liquidity conditions across the global have been funnelling into India’s market, as FIIs shore up their stakes and pump-up this rally.

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Mi India’s Republic Day Sale: List of TVs, Smart Bands, and Smartphones available at Huge discounts

Flipkart VIP, Amazon Prime, and Mi VIP Club members will be able to take advantage of this sale from January 19, a day before.

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Mi India has announced the Republic Day offer. The sale offers huge discount offers on a variety of products including smartphones, smart TVs, and Smart Bands.

Mi India’s Republic Days offer sale will start from 12 noon on January 20, 2021, which will continue till 11.59 PM on the night of January 24, 2021.

This offer can be enjoyed on the e-commerce sites Amazon, Flipkart, and Mi.com. Flipkart VIP, Amazon Prime, and Mi VIP Club members will be able to take advantage of this sale from January 19, a day before.

Mi Smart Band 4

Selling Price – 2,299

Sale price – 1,899

Mi TV Stick

Selling Price – 2,799

Sale price -2,299

Mi Box 4K

Selling Price – 3,499

Sale price – 3,299

Mi LED TV 4A PRO 108 cm (43)

Selling Price – 24,999

Sale Price – 23,999

Mi LED TV 4X 50

Selling Price – 34,999

Sale Price – 33,999

Mi Watch Revolve Midnight Black & Silver

Selling Price – 10,999

Sale price – 8,999

Earphones (TWS) – Mi True Wireless Earphones 2C

Selling Price – 2,499

Sale Price – 1,999

Earphones (TWS) – Mi True Wireless Earphones 2

Selling Price – 3,999

Sale price – 2,499

Mi Beard Trimmer 1C

Selling Price – 999

Sale Price – 799

Mi Smart Water Purifier (RO+UV)

Selling Price – 12,999

Sale price – 9,999

Redmi Earbuds S

Selling Price – 1,799

Sale price – 1,499

Redmi Smart Band

Selling Price – 1,599

Sale price – 1,299

Redmi 9i (4+ 64GB)

Selling Price – 8,299

Sale price – 7,999

Redmi 9 Prime (4+64GB)

Selling Price – 9,999

Sale price – 9,499

Redmi Note 9 (6+128GB)

Selling Price – 14,999

Sale price – 13,999

Redmi Note 9 Pro (4+128GB)

Selling Price – 15,999

Sale price – 13,999

Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (6+64GB)

Selling Price – 16,999

Sale Price – 14,999

Mi LED TV 4A PRO 80 cm (32)

Selling Price – 14,999

Sale Price – 14,499

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Dogfight: Airlines unleash deep discounts to dominate the sky

IndiGo’s Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer Sanjay Kumar said: “Low fares always helps stimulate the demand for the travel period far out and works as a part of airline strategy.”

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New Delhi, Jan 19 : Fare wars induced deep discounting has reappeared in India’s aviation sector, as airlines seek to augment cash reserves, consolidate market share and bring back more capacity.

The first shot in this war of extremely low prices was fired recently with most airlines commencing their sales offers.

The development comes around a year since Covid-19 lockdown devastated the sector.

Industry insiders, however, now believe that the roll-out of anti-Covid-19 vaccination programme will give a boost to air travel.

Besides, some of the travel period offered under these schemes are beyond the current expiry of the fare cap imposed by the Centre.

IndiGo’s Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer Sanjay Kumar said: “Low fares always helps stimulate the demand for the travel period far out and works as a part of airline strategy.”

“These sales stimulate traffic among extremely price sensitive customers and helps airlines meet overall objectives.”

The latest passenger traffic data from the sector regulator DGCA indicate that the growth in passenger volumes is not yet adequate enough for a revival in the airline sector.

The aggregate passenger traffic in December 2020 at 73.27 lakh was still 43.7 per cent lower on a year-on-year basis.

“Lack of adequate demand in the post festive season along with higher available capacity has therefore, led a drop in passenger load factor for some of the airlines in December 2020 on a sequential basis vis-a-vis Nov 2020,” said Suman Chowdhury, Chief Analytical Officer at Acuite Ratings & Research.

“Such a scenario is possibly leading to a deep discounting strategy from airline companies. This involves sale of seats over the next few months through an attractive discount or add ons to ensure higher PLF over the next 1-2 quarters.”

Nevertheless, deep discounts are expected to hurt the already fragile financial condition of the sector.

“It will have an impact on the profitability of airline operations which has already been under losses in the last few quarters. In our opinion, however, passenger demand will witness a significant improvement in the next few months with the tapering of the Covid infection rate as well as the progress on the vaccination,” Chowdhury said.

Apart from ensuring a minimum PLF in the coming months, experts contend that deep discounts will trigger liquidity enhancement for airlines.

“Low airfares this month indicate the expected dip in travel post holiday season in December. Airfares in Jan across key routes have decreased 15-20 per cent MoM,” said Rajnish Kumar, Co-founder & CTO, ixigo.

“Heavy discounts being rolled out by major domestic and international airlines will definitely woo travellers who are planning vacations this year. With government caps ending on March 31, the discounts will attract flyers to plan their trips in advance and accelerate recovery in bookings to pre-Covid levels this year.”

On the other hand, the government has till now permitted the industry players to operate at 80 per cent of their pre-Covid capacity.

The operational capacity deployment level is expected to reach pre-Covid mark by the end of calendar year’s first quarter.

“In the current scenario of impact on demand due to the pandemic, while some aircraft continue to be grounded, the passenger load factors (PLFs) of airlines have also been impacted despite the lower capacity,” said Kinjal Shah, Vice President, ICRA.

“Thus, airlines have to take a calculated call on fares and its impact on demand.”

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at [email protected])

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