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News / Spicejet – the low-cost carrier with big ambitions for cargo

News / Spicejet – the low-cost carrier with big ambitions for cargo

first_img SpiceJet’s foray into freight marks a rare occurrence – a low-cost carrier (LCC) significantly adapting its business model to operate a freighter.Not only that, but the India-based firm is doing it in a market littered with the dreams of past freighter operators.SpiceJet has now received its first converted 737 and is set to start services on September 18.Called SpiceXpress, it is not limited to the domestic market – it is planning routes to Hong Kong and Kabul, as well as Amritsar, Delhi, Bengaluru and Guwahati, and will operate four freighters next year. “The economy is growing very rapidly,” chairman and managing director Ajay Singh told BloombergQuint in a video interview.“It is surprising to see no freighters available at all – there are just five in India. We felt there was a requirement for dedicated air cargo services.”He cited time-sensitive shipments, high-value goods, pharmaceuticals and perishables as key commodities.SpiceXpress has big plans. Mr Singh explained that the carrier would grow from 15,000 tonnes of capacity to 27,000 tonnes initially, followed next year by growth to between 40,000 and 50,000 tonnes per month. Over the next few years, the carrier expects capacity of some 100,000 tonnes.“I think that’s a good size to be,” he said.“We are an airline, and we can do low cost,” said Mr Singh. “We have a record of providing a high-quality service. There is significant demand within India.”He added that the carrier would continue to evaluate route options.Interestingly, Mr Singh spoke of the addition of cargo in typical low-cost carrier terms; despite the significant investment in freighters, he talked of cargo as an “ancillary revenue” – a term normally used in LCC circles for baggage fees, other additional funds raised from passengers and, where applicable, a smattering of freight or mail in the belly. The revenue from freighters, however, can hardly be called ‘ancillary’.In common with many LCCs, Spicejet is not an IATA member. While it is still able to participate in CASS, it will cost a higher entry fee to join.Spicejet follows Brazil’s Azul as an LCC moving into the freighter sphere. The carrier announced in April it had leased two 737-400Fs to be delivered in the second half. That announcement was swiftly followed by a similar one from Philippines carrier Cebu Pacific, which is planning to operate two ATR-72-500Fs freighters.Low-cost carriers have traditionally been wary of carrying cargo. As analyst CAPA stated in a report: “Air cargo is often an afterthought for low-cost airlines. While cargo is important for most full service network airlines, it has typically not been viewed as a core component of the LCC model.“Some LCCs refuse to carry cargo, worried it would increase turnaround times and costs, outweighing any revenue gains. Several LCCs outsource their cargo capacity to third-party specialists, generating revenues that typically account for less than 3% of total revenues.”But it added: “Cargo can be a much bigger revenue contributor for LCCs with little cost or risk if managed appropriately. The Philippine LCC group Cebu Pacific provides one of the best examples of an LCC cargo strategy that fully leverages the potential benefits.“Cargo has consistently accounted for 6% to 7% of total revenues at Cebu Pacific – even before the airline group began operating widebody aircraft.”In the fourth quarter of last year, SpiceJet’s ancillary revenue was 10% of its total, although there was no breakdown for cargo. One media outlet reported that SpiceJet made some $33m from freight operations in 2017, on total consolidated revenues of Rp79.3bn ($1bn) – suggesting a far higher proportion from cargo.And again in a difference from cargo-carrying belly LCCs, SpiceJet is offering its customers a wide range of products, from door-to-door to hour-based deliveries. But despite Mr Singh’s mention of perishables, there is no cool chain offering listed, with most products focused on security or delivery time – so far.Which is more achievable, in the short term at least, for an LCC. By Alex Lennane 11/09/2018last_img read more

Linkin Park’s New album Takes a Heavier Turn

Linkin Park’s New album Takes a Heavier Turn

first_imgShinoda notes that fans shouldn’t expect this to be the heaviest album of all-time of any band. This is just the heaviest and loudest Linkin Park album to date.-Brittney Borruso www.facebook.com/rockstella[via Rolling Stone] Linkin Park’s new album The Hunting Party comes out June 17th, followed by their tour with 30 Seconds to Mars. What we can expect is a heavier metal sound that pays homage to the aritsts that inspired nu-metal.Mike Shinoda says on the direction of this album,“We need to weed out a lot of the soft, emo kind of approach to our music, and we need to weed out anything that feels aggressive for aggressive’s sake. We’re not 18-year-old kids making a loud record – we’re 37-year-old adults making a loud record. And what makes a 37-year-old angry is different than what made us angry back in the day.”Shinoda realizes that commercially, this direction might be challenging, but he believes in his music. Fed up with the indie music available now, he turned to the music that predated his band and inspired him to begin it. “I was thinking, what albums predated nü-metal,” he says. “Without these albums there wouldn’t have been Linkin Park.”Not only did he draw inspiration from these bands, Refused, Helmet and At the Drive-In, to name a few, he invited them onto the new album. Page Hamilton, vocalist of Helmet appears on “All for Nothing,” System of a Down guitarist Daron Malakian provides some guest riffs on “Rebellion” and rap icon Rakim appears on “Guilty All the Same.” Shinoda discusses how the teaming up with Rakim occurred,“I got on the phone with Rakim and explained our M.O. and told him how rock music has gone in this direction that we, at this moment, don’t feel comfortable following. He responded by telling me how his experience in hip-hop has been similar. Because rap music is so poppy, he can’t see himself making those kinds of records. It was at that moment, we realized we had a lot in common and I knew the song was gonna work.”last_img read more

Gateway development divides Mission City Council candidates during forum

Gateway development divides Mission City Council candidates during forum

first_imgNick Schlossmacher and Scott Babcock had disagreements centered on the Gateway project.The development of the East Gateway land played a major role in the forum for Mission city council candidates Tuesday.At least two of the candidates in the contested races took direct stands against the current Gateway project and the use of any tax incentives for its development. Nick Schlossmacher said he is not in favor of the current plan and that it should not qualify for tax incentives. It doesn’t fit with the mixed use development requirements, Schlossmacher said.Scott Babcock, Schlossmacher’s opponent in the Ward 2 race, said the sales tax incentive for the Gateway does not hurt the city, but he acknowledged that residents don’t like the plan. The project may not deserve property tax incentives, Babcock said.In closing remarks, Schlossmacher said the big difference between himself and Babcock is their stand on the Gateway. Babcock voted in favor the preliminary site plan twice as a member of the planning commission. Babcock responded to Schlossmacher’s remarks by saying the difference between them was that he had done his homework. The Gateway vote, he said, was an issue of following the rules.Schlossmacher also claimed the support of current Ward 2 councilor Amy Miller.Kristin Inman, who is challenging incumbent Jennifer Cowdry, also made her opposition to the Gateway and tax incentives known. She said the planned Walmart does not meet the “spirit” of the mixed use zoning and she opposes the use of the TIF and CID for the project. She cited the public opposition to the project as well.Cowdry, who has voted in favor of the site plan on the council, said she couldn’t make a determination about the TIF and CID until she heard the analysis from the city’s financial advisers.Ron Appletoft, who is running unopposed in Ward 4, said tax incentives are an important tool for luring new business to the community, but the key is the development and whether it enhances the community. He said if residents are not in favor of a project, tax incentives would not be appropriate.Incumbent Pat Quinn in Ward 1 is unopposed and did not appear at the forum.The candidates also responded to questions around housing revitalization, financing street and stormwater projects and critical initiatives facing the city. The Gateway project, streets, business support and park amenities were often listed as priorities for the candidates.Brian Brown, chair of the government affairs committee for the Northeast Johnson County Chamber of Commerce, moderated the forum. Candidates were provided questions in advance of the forum.Kristin Inman, Jennifer Cowdry and Ron Appletoft fielded questions from moderator Brian Brown.last_img read more

West Coast Senators introduce bill to ban oil drilling off Pacific coast

West Coast Senators introduce bill to ban oil drilling off Pacific coast

first_imgU.S. Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer (CA), Maria Cantwell (WA), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Patty Murray (WA), Ron Wyden (OR), and Jeff Merkley (OR) have introduced the West Coast Ocean Protection Act, legislation to permanently prohibit offshore drilling on the outer continental shelf of California, Oregon and Washington.According to a joint press release published on Wednesday, the legislation, first introduced in 2010, would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to permanently protect the $44 billion coastal economies of the three states, which support nearly 650,000 jobs in California, Oregon and Washington.“We cannot afford to put California’s coastal economy at risk by drilling offshore,” Senator Boxer said. “More than half a million California jobs and more than $34 billion in annual economic activity depend on a pristine coastline, and we owe it to current and future generations to protect our coast from a disaster like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”“We must protect our coastal communities, economies and ecosystems against the risk of an oil spill.  In addition, the threat of seismic activity along the Cascadia Subduction Zone increases the probability of a catastrophic oil spill in the Pacific Northwest,” Senator Cantwell, ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said. “Millions of people rely on the outdoors for their livelihoods, so we must stop offshore drilling and preserve the pristine nature of our coastlines.”“Offshore drilling carries real risks, and an accident would be catastrophic for California’s environment and economy,” Senator Feinstein said. “This is why I’m very happy to join with Senator Boxer and other colleagues on this legislation to permanently ban offshore drilling on the West Coast.”“It would be reckless and short-sighted to open up our West Coast waters to oil and gas drilling, which is why I stand by my longtime opposition to these efforts,” Senator Murray said. “We’re still seeing the long-term consequences of the tragedy in the Gulf Coast in 2010, a painful reminder that our environment and our economy need strong protections to prevent another disaster that would impact our region for years to come.”“For decades, the ban on oil exploration off the Pacific Coast has been a boon for fisheries, recreation and the Oregon way of life,” Senator Wyden said. “I’m proud to join the other West Coast senators on a bill to reinstate permanent protections for our shores, the wildlife and local economies that depend on the coasts of Oregon, Washington and California.”“Millions of Oregonians depend on clean ocean waters. This vital resource sustains jobs in our state’s fishing, shipping, and tourism industries and we can’t afford to put the state’s economy at risk just to pad the profits of big oil. This moratorium will ensure that Oregon’s coastline is protected for generations to come,” said Senator Merkley.The West Coast Ocean Protection Act includes clear language stating that “the Secretary of the Interior shall not issue a lease for the exploration, development, or production of oil or natural gas in any area of the outer Continental Shelf off the coast of the State of California, Oregon or Washington.”[mappress mapid=”2741″]last_img read more

‘Named and shamed’ minimum wage offender hits back

‘Named and shamed’ minimum wage offender hits back

first_imgA south-coast firm has hit back after being named as one of 70 employers that failed to pay workers the national minimum wage.Department for Business, Innovation and Skills minister Jo Swinson (pictured) today published the names of companies failing to comply with the minimum wage requirement.Among them was criminal firm Rowe Sparkes Solicitors Ltd, which was noted to have ‘neglected’ to pay £530.96 to a worker.But the firm, which has offices in Portsmouth and Southampton, said it was acting legitimately and that the government has not even responded the firm’s offer to explain its case.In a statement, solicitor Tim Sparkes said the firm had employed an apprentice under a one-year contract in December 2011 at a rate above the apprenticeship minimum.The apprentice was signed off by her college in October 2012 but remained on the same contract after advice was taken from a human resources consultant about her status and pay rate.But following an investigation, HM Revenue & Customs found the firm had under-paid the employee, leaving Rowe Sparkes with just the option of taking an appeal to the employment tribunal.‘As an SME we decided on an economic basis to pay the amounts calculated by the HMRC,’ said Sparkes. ‘In doing so we made it clear that we in no way accepted HMRC’s determination.’The solicitor added that the firm was notified on 3 February of BIS’s intention to publish its details and invited representations. Despite making representations the following day, the firm never received a reply.The government has now named 162 employers since a new regime of exposing those in arrears came into force in October 2013.In the latest round of employers named, between them, these 70 employers owed workers a total of more than £157,000 in arrears and have been charged financial penalties totalling more than £70,000.Swinson said: ‘Paying less than the minimum wage is illegal, immoral and completely unacceptable.‘Naming and shaming gives a clear warning to employers who ignore the rules, that they will face reputational consequences as well as financial penalties of up to £20,000 if they don’t pay the minimum wage.’The 70 cases have been subject to investigation by HMRC, with one company – East Midlands Crossroads care provider – owing more than £37,000 to 184 workers.Employers have a duty to be aware of the different legal rates for the national minimum wage, which are currently set at £6.50 per hour for adults over 21 and £5.13 per hour for 18 to 20-year-olds. For apprentices the hourly rate is £2.73 an hour.Employers found to have broken the law are issued with a notice of underpayment and told they will be named.Employers have 28 days to appeal to HMRC against the notice, and if they do not appeal or unsuccessfully appeal, BIS will consider them for naming.last_img read more

VIAVI Showcasing 5G and IoT Network Solutions at MWC Los Angeles

VIAVI Showcasing 5G and IoT Network Solutions at MWC Los Angeles

first_imgViavi Solutions is showcasing enhanced test instruments, automation and monitoring to enable customers to manage network complexity, meet performance targets and minimize cost at MWC Los Angeles from Oct 22 to 24.The mobile communications industry is in the midst of unprecedented transformation, with standards bodies still finalizing 5G core specifications while carriers are rolling out radio access networks around the globe. VIAVI has enabled leading network equipment manufacturers and service providers to validate 5G base stations in the lab and supported field technicians as they’ve installed and verified initial network deployments. Now we’re introducing the next level of solutions to help them grow their footprints, from single instruments to manage multiple generations of technology, to antenna alignment tools addressing the unique requirements of 5G and IoT.VIAVI is showcasing the following solutions at MWC Los Angeles:CellAdvisor 5GSince its introduction, the CellAdvisor 5G base station analyzer has been used by Tier-1 service providers around the globe to verify 5G NR functionality and performance in the field. Now, VIAVI has expanded the capabilities of this trusted solution to enable RF engineers and cell-site technicians to efficiently deploy and maintain 3G, 4G LTE, LTE-Advanced and 5G cell sites with a single instrument. Enhancements include LTE/LTE-A FDD and TDD signal analyzer functions; cable and antenna analyzer modules; and support for the VIAVI 4100 series of OTDR modules. The CellAdvisor 5G solution eliminates the need for field workforces to carry separate instruments to validate 5G, fiber, coaxial cables, and antennas.3Z IoA – IoT for AntennasAs 5G and IoT networks utilize a far broader range of frequency bands than previous generations and employ more sophisticated technologies such as small cells and massive MIMO beamforming, antenna alignment becomes vital to network performance. Minor obstructions can render cells unusable and can occur after antenna installation. 3Z Telecom has introduced IoA – IoT for Antennas, cloud-enabled remote monitoring of alignment sensors attached to antennas, detecting and reporting alignment changes in three dimensions – azimuth, down-tilt, and roll – in real time.RANtoCoreOne of the biggest challenges facing NEMs and service providers as they launch 5G is validating network performance against continually changing and maturing 3GPP specs, with services, core and RAN elements from different suppliers. The VIAVI RANtoCore portfolio provides end-to-end agnostic network testing, mitigating these challenges in the lab, and building confidence that 5G and 4G services can run concurrently. The TM500 Network Tester can emulate thousands of 5G and 4G UEs simultaneously, including low-complexity IoT devices and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). TeraVM Core Test and TeraVM Core Emulator enable complete, end-to-end 5G NSA and SA base station and core network testing and validation, simplifying the development lifecycle of gNodeB (gNB) base stations and associated core nodes such as UPF for a more agile, 3GPP-compliant network, supporting the shift of core functionality to the network edge. TeraVM also offers 5G core testing at scale – emulating tens of thousands of 5G gNodeBs, over four million users with 200 Gbps throughput, all registered in under one minute.Fiber Test for 5G5G is not only driving more fiber to radios, but it is also driving a higher order of multiplexing on limited fiber links. Service providers will need to choose from a multitude of deployment options for 5G fronthaul, based on asset deployment cost, use cases, and technology – including dark fiber, passive WDM, WDM-PON or Time Sensitive Network (TSN) based Ethernet switching. VIAVI will showcase its leading portfolio of fiber inspection and test instruments, including the FiberChek Sidewinder and SmartClass Fiber MPOLx, which combine ease of use, speed of test and automation to improve field technician and contractor efficiency even as networks get more complex.These 5G-ready solutions from VIAVI will be on display at MWC Los Angeles from October 22-24, 2019. Attendees can also visit 3Z Telecom at Hall South Stand 1035. Click here to know more about MWC Los Angeles.last_img read more