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BawliBooch
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Indian Politics Megathread

Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:01 am

It can be difficult to have a discussion on Aviation - Civil or Military - without discussing the politics of it.

How do we discuss Air India disinvestment without mentioning the roll-on effect on the economy and its implications in the elections next year? Our mod's don't like this.

Hence this thread to discuss the politics.

As always - keep it civil please.
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle! on twitter @Banwaarilal
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Fri Oct 19, 2018 2:08 am

Spicejet is surviving purely because their owner Ajay Singh is close to the Supreme Leader!

Ajay Singh worked on Supreme Leader's election campaign and was the genious who coined the now infamous "Ab ki baar" campaign slogan. He was suitably rewarded with control of spicejet by kicking out the Marans.

Spicejet was owned by the Maran family who also owned the Sun TV network and had close connections with the UPA which was in power from 2004-2014. After the change of Govt in 2014, The airline was grounded overnight allegedly for non-payment of dues. They had a 3 month lien from fuel companies like all airlines in the country do. But immediately after the Govt changed in 2014, state owned fuel companies suddenly took the call that the airline would have to be put on cash & carry - meaning pay fuel bills immediately. It effectively meant the grounding of scores of Spice flights. The Maran's saw the writing on the wall and sold off to Ajay Singh. voila! The state owned fuel companies restored the 3 month line of credit and the airline was flying again!

SpiceJet flights grounded as oil companies stop fuel supply

That could happen again with Air India and Spicejet.
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle! on twitter @Banwaarilal
 
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binayak
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Fri Oct 19, 2018 4:52 am

Good one.
However do remember to keep IndiGo /Spicejet enthusiasts away!!
Then we can have complete discussion of real politics behind Indian aviation.
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:22 am

There has been some discussion about a possible stake sale in the troubled Jet Airways.

I have tried to look into the complicated Jet ownership saga at the beginning of my career hoping for a big story. In particular, we were looking at the "Dawood" angle - the allegation that infamous mafia don based in Dubai, Dawood Ibrahim was the actual owner of Jet Airways and mafia money was propping up the airline. In the interest of full disclosure, one Delhi based politician Sahib Singh Verma was actively goading journalists to chase the Jet Airway's-Dawood ownership story. This got particularly aggressive after the murder of Thakiyudeen Wahid, the owner and CEO of jet's main competitor at the time East West Airlines. Wahid was shot dead by the mafia in broad daylight when he was travelling to work. While SSV was wining & dining journalists (including yours truly) to pursue the story, Another politician from the same party, Pramod Mahajan otoh was actively dissuading journalists, and when that didnt work bullying editors into dropping the chase.

To be sure, we tried very hard but found absolutely nothing! I am pretty sure Goyal was doing some pretty major jhol with all the complicated network of holding companies regd in different tax havens and a lot of cross holding thing going on. Jet had access to seemingly endless supply of cash coming from somewhere. They were flying 737-300/400's at a time when all the competition was flying 737-200's. Expensive game. Where was this money coming from? Goyal also found the money to buy back the stake held by Kuwait Airways & Gulf Airways. Again, where was he getting the money from? As my editor said in closing, "Unethical but not illegal". I am given to understand, that Jet cleaned up a lot of this complicated tangle around 2005. Perhaps the Emirati Sovereign Funds were swapped in at that time?

The same thing applied to Kingfisher as well and now applies to Indigo. Holding companies registered in tax havens doing deals with other companies in which they have cross holdings, SLB's being done with the same bunch of Leasing companies with familiar names - again registered in tax havens. Interesting that names of holding companies that popped up when we were looking into Kingfisher are showing up again when we look at Indigo! Exact same bunch of names! Hubli Leasing, Oceans Air, Ocean Aviation, Magic Aviation? Who really owns these companies?

What is the common thread here? Money is being funneled into India from holding companies registered in tax havens. But how are these companies getting this money? Aircraft are being bought & sold by leasing companies whose exact ownership is unknown But we can trace a pattern.

My gut feeling is that airlines are using slush money from politicians who are funneling money into these tax havens into holding companies who are then routing it back to India. I also believe that both Kingfisher in the past and Indigo now have investments from the same bunch of individuals - one of whom was a former Civil Aviation Minister. So ALL airlines in India are using Taxpayer's directly or indirectly! :P

Any rookie journalist out there who is interested in pursuing this story further? If we cant get it published by a mainstream newspaper in India, we can try to get it out through a Canadian newspaper. Or at the very least, a wikileaks style blog.
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle! on twitter @Banwaarilal
 
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binayak
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:39 am

At least it was wise on the part of goyal to leave dependence on the slush money in 2007 . A reason why it kept flying even after its terrible state during GFC.
Kingfisher succumbed to its fate and the current "star" of Indian aviation does all those things in a large scale unlike the previous players . They'll never learn!! Will they?
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:13 am

BawliBooch wrote:
I have tried to look into the complicated Jet ownership saga at the beginning of my career hoping for a big story. In particular, we were looking at the "Dawood" angle - the allegation that infamous mafia don based in Dubai, Dawood Ibrahim was the actual owner of Jet Airways and mafia money was propping up the airline. In the interest of full disclosure, one Delhi based politician Sahib Singh Verma was actively goading journalists to chase the Jet Airway's-Dawood ownership story. This got particularly aggressive after the murder of Thakiyudeen Wahid, the owner and CEO of jet's main competitor at the time East West Airlines. Wahid was shot dead by the mafia in broad daylight when he was travelling to work. While SSV was wining & dining journalists (including yours truly) to pursue the story, Another politician from the same party, Pramod Mahajan otoh was actively dissuading journalists, and when that didnt work bullying editors into dropping the chase.


It slipped my mind when I was typing the original post - its been 22 years since actively working on the story - but every link in the mess of chains we checked out while digging into the Jet story seemed to end at Pramod Mahajan, his personal secretary Vivek Moitra, or someone connected to these two personally. It was too much of a coincidence and put into perspective PM's attempts to stop the journalists from pushing. The major financial cleanup at Jet Airways in 2005-2006 happened just immediately after Pramod Mahajan's murder and the suspicious death of Mahajan's secretary Vivek of a Drug OD. Another Coincidence?

If it matters, Pramod's son Rahul Mahajan was a pilot in Jet Airways whose aviation career was cut short after a hard landing/runway excursion incident at HYD. Finally Mahajan's secretary was found Cocaine OD'd in a bathtub with Rahul Mahajan.
Pramod Mahajan's secretary dies, Rahul in intensive care unit

Another from Vir Sanghvi
Pimps, fixers & tentwallahs

Another coincidence wonly! :P
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle! on twitter @Banwaarilal
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:13 pm

Good thread BowliBooch. It is getting difficult to have an honest discussion in the upside down world of a.net where fact is a fiction and fiction is a fact. It is funny how civil aviation discussion was centered around die AI die, now realized AI is not going to go away, they are after 9W.

Why can't they find a way to survive and prosper rather than betting on someone going out of business.

I read the term roundtripping but not clear how it works. Are some airlines using the same technique to generate working capital or using some other techniques?
 
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binayak
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Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:42 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Good thread BowliBooch. It is getting difficult to have an honest discussion in the upside down world of a.net where fact is a fiction and fiction is a fact. It is funny how civil aviation discussion was centered around die AI die, now realized AI is not going to go away, they are after 9W.

Why can't they find a way to survive and prosper rather than betting on someone going out of business.
?


Well what better can you expect from enthusiasts according to whom an airline whose non fuel cask has been increasing exponentially is "well run ".
BTW their favorite airline has recently posted a loss of 652cr inr.
They'll keep on comparing the cask of LCCs with FSCs although never see the gap in rask of the two.
The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today
 
dtw2hyd
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:15 pm

After blaming competition for not going out of business even after extensive CDPL (Capacity Dumping and Price Lowering), Indigo management is disappointed at its employees.

This is getting better by the day.
 
dtw2hyd
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Mon Oct 29, 2018 1:46 pm

Allegedly, Trump refused Modi's invitation to be the chief guest at India's Republic Day.

Somebody's feelings will be definitely hurt.
 
dtw2hyd
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:58 pm

Opinion about the AI debt restructuring story.

For the proposal to get the Modi's approval, it should meet two conditions

1) Does it help Modi to win more seats in parliament?
2) Does it help the State of Gujarat?

Neither condition is true, so Modi is not going to waste money on AI.

Also, the two planes worth $580 Million are a total waste because Modi is not going to the US anymore, as long a Trump is president of the USA.
 
dtw2hyd
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Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:11 pm

Re: Indian Politics Megathread

Fri Nov 16, 2018 3:35 am

What is the scoop with TATA-Jet alliance? There is an upswing in media coverage. Who is behind this choreography?

Also, there is news about Modi's involvement. It appears TATAs are asking Indian banks and Airport Authority will take a haircut. With Rahul on Rafael/Ambani case, I doubt Modi will ask PSBs to take a haircut to help TATAs

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