Maruti Suzuki has launched a new Auto Gear Shift (AGS) variant of Ignis. The new Ignis lineup has been launched with an automatic gearbox. The Ignis was launched in January this year and has seen decent sales. About the newly launched variant, the Ignis Alpha AGS is the latest model to have a two-pedal technology in its portfolio. R.S Kalsi, Senior Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited said, "Our premium urban compact vehicle IGNIS has been created for millennials, a none of a kind brand in the Indian market. Automatic Gear Shift (AGS) on the IGNIS, so far offered in the Delta and Zeta trims, has been widely appreciated by customers and accounts for 27 per cent of IGNIS sales. We are now offering AGS in the top trim as well - IGNIS Alpha. We expect this to strengthen brand IGNIS and enhance the popularity of AGS amongst millennials." The Ignis Alpha (AGS) petrol is available at a price of Rs 7.01 lakh, while Alpha (AGS) diesel is available at Rs 8.08 lakh(ex showroom across India). Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) posted a 20.6 per cent rise in total sales in July at 1,65,346 units as against 1,37,116 in the same month last year. This is its highest-ever monthly sales. The previous best was in April this year when the company had sold 1,44,492 units. The company's domestic sales increased 22.4 per cent during the month to 1,54,001 units as against 1,25,778 in July 2016. Last month, sales of mini segment cars, including Alto and WagonR, went up 20.7 per cent to 42,310 units, from 35,051 in the year-ago month, MSI said.
An upcoming mobile application-based passenger service from Kolkata, TYGR has teamed up with pink autos to provide mobile based services. The application-based service scheduled to commence from this month. Women will now have chance the book a pink auto from their mobile phones in case they are stuck somewhere late in the evening and are unable to get any public transport. "Pink autos were launched to provide a hassle-free travel alternative to Ranchi's women. TYGR will significantly improve the safety of passengers travelling within the city," Aditya Poddar, founder and chief executive officer of the service, said. TYGR's officials claimed that their tie-up with pink autos has created India's first application based passenger service dedicated to women. Ten pink autos have been roped in under this service. Passengers can book autos present within a three-kilometre-radius of their location. An official from the company, Sanjeev Singh said, "The base price per ride will be affordable for everyone and services will be provided from 9am till 9pm."
The Supreme Court on Friday directed SpiceJet to pay Rs 579 crore in a share transfer dispute case in the wake of change in the airline's ownership in 2015. A bench headed by Justice Rohinton F. Nariman rejected SpiceJet appeal against the July 3 order of the Delhi High Court that directed the company to deposit with its registry Rs 250 crore in cash on or before August 31, and balance Rs 329 crore by way of bank guarantee. The case relates to a dispute arising out of non-issuance of warrants in favour of KAL Airways's Non-Executive Chairperson Kalanithi Maran, after the transfer of firm's ownership to Ajay Singh, the current controlling shareholder of SpiceJet. Maran and KAL Airways had transferred their entire 58.46 per cent stake in SpiceJet, totalling 350.4 million shares, to its co-founder Ajay Singh in February 2015, leading to a change in airline's ownership. Under the share-purchase agreement, KAL Airways and Maran were to receive redeemable warrants in return for the Rs 690 crore they spent on SpiceJet towards operating costs and debt payments.
Union minister Nitin Gadkari today said driverless cars will not be allowed in India as it will lead to joblessness. The road transport minister further said that instead the government will focus on training drivers as adequate driving skills can provide employment to about 50 lakh people."We will not allow driver-less cars in India. India suffers a huge shortage of 22 lakh drivers...Cab aggregators take advantage of these. We are not going to promote any technology or policy that will render people jobless," Gadkari said. He said the government is planning to introduce a cab aggregator platform where commuters could choose any mode of transportation like electric four-wheeler taxis or two- wheelers. The government will only be a facilitator in this but the platform will bring in more competition and help commuters to have affordable public transportation, he said. Also, he said that the government will promote electric vehicles but would not allow its imports and rather would urge all major automobile companies to manufacture this as per ''Make in India'' drive. Besides, the government is also planning to introduce and make GPS and satellite tracking mandatory in all public and private vehicles. Besides, plans were afoot to transform public transportation in the country and replace 1.8 lakh buses across the states with luxury buses, the minister said. "Talks are on with World Bank and Asian Development Bank (ADB) to help India to replicate the London Transport Authority Model where all the public transportation buses would be replaced by luxury buses and a common man can travel in them by paying about 40 per cent less price as compared to current fares," said Gadkari. He said double decker and other luxury buses would be introduced where there would be facilities on par with flights. The project would be complemented by building state-of- the-art bus ports on the line of Indian airports and a special National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) wing with an equity of Rs 500 crore would be set up to undertake this. The government plans to construct 25 bus ports pan-India at present, he said. Also, there has been changes in the e-rickshaw and carts designs to facilitate transportation of goods.
Jet Airways has asked junior pilots to furnish surety bonds worth up to Rs 1 crore and serve the airline for at least five to seven years, union sources said. The development comes at a time when many of its junior pilots have been asked to take 10 days off every month, a move that would result in up to 30 per cent pay cut, as part of cost saving measures. Sources at the National Aviators Guild (NAG), the pilots' union of Jet Airways, said the bond requirement has been communicated to the junior pilots. These pilots have been asked to furnish surety bonds worth Rs 1 crore and the development also comes as the airline has "unilaterally" decided on salary cuts for them, , sources said. "No new bonds (have been) asked for. It is just a pattern that has been introduced," a Jet Airways spokesperson said. He was responding to a query whether the airline has asked its trainee pilots to sign a bond amount of up to Rs 1 crore. The spokesperson was also asked the junior pilots have to serve the airline for 5-7 years and face encashment of the bond in case of failure to serve that tenure. Sources at the NAG said plans to meet the airline management this week to discuss the pay cut proposal as it has been done in a unilateral manner. Jet Airways has more than 200 junior pilots, including those undergoing training. "As an interim measure, we shall be offering you a Lifestyle Work Pattern which entails 10 days block off per month with the appropriate remuneration... This will be effective from August 1, 2017," the carrier said in a letter to many junior pilots last week. The NAG would be taking up the matter with the management soon, sources added. On July 20, Jet Airways said that certain developments in the market, including that in the Gulf region, as well as its continued efforts to enhance internal efficiencies, have resulted in the review of network, fleet and crew utilisation. Consequently, as a proactive measure, the company has made interim alignments to its crew work patterns, which will be reviewed in future, in line with network growth, the spokesperson had said.
MiG corporation chief : India showed interest in the most advanced 4++ generation MiG-35 fighter jet
Russia is keen on selling its new fighter jet MiG-35 to India with the MiG corporation’s chief saying the country has evinced interest in the aircraft and talks were on to understand its requirements. Chief Executive Officer of the MiG Aircraft Corporation Ilya Tarasenko said that after having presented MiG-35 in January, the MiG corporation began to actively promote the aircraft in India and in other parts of the world. “We are proposing supply of the aircraft for tenders in India and we actively work with its Air Force in order to win the tender,” he said while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the MAKS 2017 air show here. The MiG-35 is Russia’s most advanced 4++ generation multipurpose fighter jet developed on the basis of the serial-produced MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 combat aircraft. Asked if India has expressed any interest in the MiG-35, Tarasenko said, “Of course they have.” MiG aircraft have been used by India for almost 50 years and MiG corporation proposes its new products to India among the first countries and intends to continue supplying India with its most modern aircraft, the MiG chief said. Asked about the current status of the proposal of the aircraft to India, he said, “We are in the negotiation stage where talks on technical and technological specifications that MiG can present to India and the requirements that India has for this aircraft were taking place.” “Since this is a very new plane, it will still take some time to negotiate on exactly what India needs and adjust the product to it,” he added. Talking about the cost of the plane, Tarasenko said it was economical due to the after-sales services being offered along with the aircraft. “We propose not just the aircraft, but also training for its use, as well as after-sales servicing where we take upon the responsibility to service it for 40 years,” he added. He stressed that in comparison to its competitors, the prices offered by MiG were 20-25 per cent cheaper, making it an attractive option for those who wish to purchase this aircraft. Highlighting the main features of the MiG-35, Tarasenko said its technical specifications were close to a fifth generation aircraft, namely its flight capabilities, its new weapon range and defence systems, including stealth. “I would like to note the demand for this aircraft for our own air force, as well as our foreign partners. The plane is light, multi-functional and has high manoeuvrability,” Tarasenko said, adding that the MiG was also offering special commercial terms to its partners. He also stressed that the plane was fully Russian-made with Rostec companies like United Engine Corporation (UEC), KRET and Technodinamika participating in the project. At MAKS 2017, the MiG-35 grabbed all the limelight as it took to the skies and enthralled the audience with breathtaking manoeuvres like the tail slide, barrel roll and the nesterov loop. Belyaev Mikhail, the Lead Test Pilot of MiG-35, told reporters that the main feature of this aircraft was the new on board equipment and the new quality of weapons — air-to- air, air-to-ground and air-to-sea. “Compared with the basic version of the MiG-29, it is a new aircraft, new airframe, fly-by-wire, glass cockpit, adapted for night vision goggles…new engines, more power, more fuel, new on board equipment and new weapons,” said Mikhail, who was earlier this year presented the star of the ‘Hero of Russia’ by President Vladimir Putin for bravery in piloting and testing of aviation equipment. Asked if it was easier to fly MiG-35, Mikhail said new tasks were required for such an aircraft so one needs to learn these. “On the basic level it is not that difficult to switch from MIG 29 to 35 as the plane remains the same. It is still a light simple plane. The combat tasks that can be achieved from this plane are much more serious and much more complex,” he said. “More combat tasks can be achieved from this plane than with the MiG-29. So it will take time to learn new tasks and to adapt,” he added. An overhauled MiG-35 multi-role fighter completed a successful demonstration flight at the MAKS 2017 air show, with Russian officials saying the first combat-ready plane will be delivered to the Air Force next year. Tarasenko also noted that around 30 countries are using various modifications of MiG-35’s predecessor, the MiG-29, and that “talks are already ongoing with potential buyers.” The fighter jet features improved flight and technical characteristics, the most advanced on board radio-electronic equipment and a wide arsenal of air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The flight tests of MiG-35 fighter aircraft began on January 26 and the plane’s international presentation was held in the Moscow Region on the following day.
German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz launched AMG GLC 43 Coupe in India priced at Rs 74.8 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). "This new SUV Coupe is going to be a key addition to our 43 AMG line and will be instrumental in further popularising the 43 AMG range to a new customer base," Mercedes-Benz India Managing Director and CEO Roland Folger said. The model combines elegance of a coupe with dynamics of a sports car and versatility of the Mercedes-Benz GLC, he added. "We are confident that this brand will be well received by our elite Indian customers," Folger said. The petrol-powered vehicle produces 367 HP and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in mere 4.9 seconds. The new model is the 8th product launch by the company in India during the year. The vehicle comes with various features including all wheel drive, electric sunroof and LED light system. Commenting on the sales performance during the current year, Folger said: "It has turned out to be a golden year for us". In the first half of the year, the automaker has sold 7,171 units in India, its best performance till date. "We are confident that we will lead the luxury car segment this year as well," Folger said. In order to further push AMG brand in India, the company plans to add two new AMG performance centres at Chennai and Kochi, he added. The company currently has AMG performance centres at Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad.
Apple will help take Indian railways to the next level. Trains speed to be increased to 600 km per hour
Eyeing trains speeds of 600 km per hour, the government is working with global technology firms like Apple to help take Indian railways to the next level, Union minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday. The railway minister also said the government's premier think tank NITI Aayog had approved the ministry's Rs18,000 crore proposal to increase speeds of the Gatiman Express on the two busiest corridors, Delhi-Mumbai and Delhi-Kolkata. With this approval, the speed of the Gatiman Express would increase to 200 km per hour, the minister said at an event organised by industry chamber ASSOCHAM. "You can yourself imagine how much travelling time this will save." Sharing plans for the future, Prabhu said the government had six-eight months ago called major technology developers working on increasing train speeds to more than 600 km per hour. "We are already working with companies like Apple... technology will not only be imported in India but will be co- developed in India," Prabhu said. Safety was also an important concern and Indian railways was planning to use self-propelled coaches that can detect rail fractures through ultrasonic technology, the minister added.
In a year’s time, Indian flyers can browse the Internet and log on to sites like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. This inflight connectivity, which was hitherto available only for defence personnel, will be offered by State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) and International Mobile Satellite Organization (Inmarsat). “In about a year’s time, we will open satellite phone services to private companies and persons, as well as offer Internet facility on flights and ships,” said BSNL chairman Anupam Shrivastava .
Air travellers would get data via a Wi-Fi router. This will be facilitated through antennas which will link it to the nearest satellite. The bandwidth would be provided as per the tariff rolled out after necessary regulatory approvals, Shrivastava said. BSNL has already received the go ahead from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
Satellite-based phone services in India were, till recently, offered by Tata Communications (TCL) after it acquired state-run Videsh Sanchar Nigam (VSNL) in February 2008. The Tata Group company has been offering limited satellite services. But this is now being transitioned to BSNL which is now the only player to have the licence to provide satellite phone services in India.
“We are the sole licensee to provide satellite services. Inmarsat has tied up with BSNL and has already installed their equipment on our premises after being tested for law enforcement,” a top BSNL executive said. The company has also already applied for the International Maritime Organisation licence.
The state-owned telco has already asked existing Inmarsat satellite phone users to migrate to the new network by July 31. The ongoing transition of network and subscribers from Tata Communications to the new network will be completed by August, Shrivastava said.
The satellite phones, as part of this shift, would come to the telco soon and have new SIM numbers. The first phase would involve the transition, which is expected to conclude by August end, followed by the stepping up of the network’s broadband capacity and finally extending this capacity to aircraft and ships, Shrivastava said.
US-based aerospace systems provider Honeywell, in a recent finding, estimated that ‘connected aircraft’ would be a $7-billion opportunity with as many as 25,000 airplanes expected to offer Internet connectivity by 2025. INMARSAT was set up under the United Nations in 1979 and India was one of its founding members.
Jet Airways, India's second-largest airline by market share, has asked dozens of its junior-ranking pilots to accept 30-50 percent pay cuts, or quit, as it moves to bring down its costs, according to two sources and letters seen by Reuters. Jet Airways has proposed salary and stipend cuts in letters sent to pilots earlier this month, saying it was forced to take such steps as it was "intensely focused on fleet and network rationalization". The move, to be implemented from Aug. 1, is likely to impact up to 400 pilots, said the two sources, who asked not to be named. A third source close to the development said Jet had to make some work adjustments with pilots, as it has rationalized its network given weakness in the Gulf region and improved fleet utilization. Jet Airways, which has the highest cost structure among all the major private-sector carriers in India, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jet Airways has struggled to keep a lid on costs in one of the world's fastest-growing aviation markets where competition from low-cost carriers such as InterGlobe Aviation's (INGL.NS) IndiGo and SpiceJet (SPJT.BO) is on the rise and is putting it under pressure. The Indian airline, partly-owned by Etihad Airways of the United Arab Emirates, is also facing headwinds in the international market due to uncertainty in the oil-rich Gulf region which is hurting its revenues.