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Indonesian airliner crashes into waters off Jakarta with 62 aboard, including 10 children

In December 2014, an AirAsia plane crashed into sea en route from Indonesia’s second biggest city Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 people aboard.

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Srivijayair Indonesia

Jakarta, Jan 10 : Indonesia’s Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has confirmed the crash of a Boeing 737-500 plane of an Indonesian airlines with 62 people on board that lost contact with the air traffic controller.

At a virtual press conference held on Saturday evening, the minister said the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 heading from capital city Jakarta to Pontianak city in West Kalimantan province crashed into the waters off the Seribu District in north of Jakarta, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to him, the plane was believed to have crashed near the district’s Laki Island and Lancang Island, part of the Thousand Islands chain.

The plane departed from the Soekarno-Hatta international airport in Jakarta at 2.36 p.m. local time. According to Sumadi, the last contact with the plane was made by aviation authorities four minutes after its takeoff.

Read : Search and rescue operation underway in Indonesia after a plane loses contact

Search and rescue operations underway were hampered by the bad weather. Workers of Indonesia’s National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) have found debris and cables suspected to be of the ill-fated aircraft.

Boats and aircraft from various Indonesian agencies were involved in the search.

Sumadi said that President Joko Widodo has instructed rescue workers to maximize searching efforts.

Basarnas spokesman Yusuf Latief told Xinhua that about 100 rescue workers were at the location, and his agency has sent its ship equipped with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to search for the wreckage of the aircraft at the sea floor.

An investigation into the plane crash was launched by the Transportation Ministry.

Earlier, Captain EKo Surya Hadi, commander of Trisula coast guard ship, told a local TV that human body parts and debris of the plane were discovered.

“We found body parts, life jackets, avtur (aviation turbine fuel) and debris of the plane,” he said.

Sumadi said that aboard the Boeing plane were 50 passengers including seven children and three babies, and 12 crew members.

On October 29, 2018, all 189 people aboard were killed after a Boeing 737 Max plane of Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea shortly after taking off from Jakarta.

In December 2014, an AirAsia plane crashed into sea en route from Indonesia’s second biggest city Surabaya to Singapore, killing all 162 people aboard.

Business

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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Preparing for Landing

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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India

PM flags off 8 trains to Statue of Unity in Gujarat

He said many routes including Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Janshatabdi will have attractive ‘Vista-Dome Coaches’

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Sardar Patelt Statue

New Delhi, Jan 17 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday flagged off eight trains connecting major destinations in various states of the country with the Statue of Unity in Gujarat’s Kevadiya, via video-conferencing.

The trains will connect Kevadiya to Varanasi, Dadar, Ahmedabad, Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin, Rewa, Chennai and Pratapnagar. These trains will facilitate seamless connectivity to the Statue of Unity.

During the programme, the Prime Minister also inaugurated the Dabhoi-Chandod Gauge converted Broad Gauge railway line, Chandod-Kevadiya new Broad Gauge railway line, newly-electrified Pratapnagar-Kevadiya section and the new station buildings of Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya. Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal were also present on the occasion.

The Prime Minister said that, perhaps, for the first time in the history of Railways, trains have been flagged off for the same destination from different corners of the country.

While addressing the audience, the Prime Minister said the train connectivity will be beneficial for tourists coming to see the Statue of Unity in Kevadiya and it will also help in changing the lives of the tribal community of the region.

“The connectivity will bring new opportunities for jobs and self-employment,” said Modi, adding “one lakh tourists will visit Kevadiya everyday after improvement in connectivity”.

The eight connectivities include Dabhoi-Chandod-Kevadiya comprising of 50 k electrified section, rightwards arrow Pratapnagar-Kevadiya section comprising of 80 km of electrified section, rightwards arrow Vistadome coaches for scenic journeys, Chandod-Kevadiya New Broad Gauge Rail line, right-pointing triangle Dabhoi-Chandod Converted BG Rail line, right-pointing triangle Pratapnagar-Kevadiya electrified section, and Right-pointing triangle new station buildings of Dabhoi, Chandod and Kevadiya.

Mentioning that one of the Kevadiya-bound trains is originating from ‘Puruchi Thaliaivar’ M.G. Ramachandran Central Railway Station, the Prime Minister paid tribute to Bharat Ratna and Tamil film icon ‘MGR’ on his birth anniversary.

“This will benefit both the tourists and local Adivasis as this will bring new avenues of self-employment and employment. The railway line will provide connection to places of faith like Karnali, Poicha and Garudeshwar on the Narmada.”

Continuing with the development journey of Kevadiya, the Prime Minister asserted that Kevadiya is no longer just a small block in some remote area, as it has come up as one of the biggest tourist destinations of the world.

Dwelling at length on the transformation of Indian Railways through goal-centric efforts, Modi said that apart from traditional role of passenger and goods transportation, railways is giving direct connectivity to places of tourism and religious importance.

He said many routes including Ahmedabad-Kevadiya Janshatabdi will have attractive ‘Vista-Dome Coaches’

He also presented Dedicated Freight Corridor as an example of change in approach from earlier times. This project was under progress and between 2006-2014 work was done only on paper with not even a single kilometre of track laid. Now a total of 1,100 kms are about to be completed in the next few days, he said.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that it is being ensured that the Railways remain environment-friendly, mentioning that Kevadiya station is India’s first railway station to start with green building certification.

He also stressed the importance of “Aatmanirbharta” (self-reliance) in railway-related manufacturing and technology which is yielding good results now.

The Prime Minister stressed the need for skilled and specialist manpower and professionals to meet the requirement of the Railways’ transformation.

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Travel

Boeing assisting with investigation in Indonesia flight crash

Indonesian authorities have downloaded the flight data recorder (FDR) belonging to the crashed Boeing 737-500, the country’s National Transportation Safety Committee said on Friday.

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Srivijayair Indonesia

San Francisco, Jan 16 : American airplane giant Boeing has said that its technical experts are assisting with investigation in last week’s Sriwijaya Air plane crash.

“Boeing technical experts are assisting with the investigation and we continue to offer any support needed during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“Our thoughts are with the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 crew, passengers and their families,” Xinhua news agency quoted Boeing as saying.

The Boeing 737-500 passenger aircraft with 62 people aboard slammed into the Java Sea on January 9, minutes after take-off from Jakarta en route to Indonesian city of Pontianak in West Kalimantan province.

Indonesian authorities have downloaded the flight data recorder (FDR) belonging to the crashed Boeing 737-500, the country’s National Transportation Safety Committee said on Friday.

As many as 239 body bags containing human remains had been retrieved and 12 victims have been identified after forensic examinations in the police’s hospital as of Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has retrieved data from the flight data recorder (FDR), but the search team is still looking for the aircraft’s CVR.

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