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Old May 15th, 2005, 04:26 AM   #141
drwho
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Air India comes back to Canada after two decades


http://www.zeenews.com/links/article...146&newsid=BUS

note: This is the first time AI is comming to Toronto 20 years after the bombing of AI-Kanishka.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #142
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Is the bombing linked to the conflict over Kashmir?
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:30 AM   #143
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^ No not at all .

It was linked to an insurgency movement in Punjab , an Indian state .

Btw , this is good news for Indians !
Air Canada has already started direct flights from Toronto-Delhi last year

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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #144
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I see. Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully, there will be some competitive pricing, yeah? But the AI flight has 2 stops!
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Old May 15th, 2005, 09:52 AM   #145
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Air Canada has been trying to encourage US citizens in the Northeast to fly to India through Toronto. There is significant demand on the route since several hundred thousand Indians live in the Toronto area. There were even reports of an upstart airline from the Indian community to begin flights to Asia.

More information on the Air India 182 Bombing :
http://archives.cbc.ca/IDD-1-70-1018...investigation/
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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:00 PM   #146
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Yes there is quite a large number of Indians (especially Punjabis) living in the Toronto area. I find it quite surprising that there were no Toronto-Delhi direct flights until last year! This Toronto pic (credit to Lucky 24; the original thread is here) says it all:



But it's inevitable as the aviation sector in India opens up and traffic mounts - not only from Indians returning home but hopefully also from people going on business.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:01 PM   #147
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Interesting BBC article that warrants a close look.

India's overstretched airports
Quote:
Across India, airports - many of them built by the British during WW2 - are overstretched as the country goes through an aviation boom.

Air traffic across India has grown by 30% in the past eight months after the government changed the country's aviation policy, allowing more airlines to begin operations.

At the start of the year, India had five airlines operating scheduled services within the country.

By the end of the year, another five are expected to have begun operations.

International flights have also increased after recent decisions to modify existing agreements governing the number of flights between India and countries such as the United States, Britain and France.

By the winter of 2006, there will be 56 flights a week between London's Heathrow airport and Mumbai and Delhi.

Recently, the Singapore government asked India to consider increasing the number of flights between the two countries from the current 53 per week to 212.

"Where is the space?" one senior airport official asked in private, throwing up his hands in despair.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4540631.stm
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Old May 15th, 2005, 12:10 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
I see. Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully, there will be some competitive pricing, yeah?
To be frank , even though I am Indian , I try to avoid Air India . It has some of the worst flight attendants around in bland interiors of 747's
Its just like Indian govt - very bureaucratic and sluggish .

Not that other Indian airlines are bad . Jet Airways (& now the new airlines I assume) have some really beautiful chicks around on board with world-class interiors .

My 2 cents

Quote:
But the AI flight has 2 stops!
Ya ! Air Canada has a direct non-stop 15 hours flight for toronto-delhi

Last edited by innoncent_monster; May 15th, 2005 at 12:18 PM.
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Old May 15th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
I see. Thanks for the clarification. Hopefully, there will be some competitive pricing, yeah? But the AI flight has 2 stops!
Actually those two stops make very good sense.

Amritsar is the holiest city of Sikhism, so it's either home or a lot closer to home than New Delhi to a lot of the Punjabis settled in Toronto and presumably also Birmingham.

See what this BBC article (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4548547.stm) says..
Quote:
India's national carrier Air India has launched its first flight linking the Sikh city of Amritsar with Birmingham in the UK and Toronto in Canada.

Three flights a week will cater for the growing numbers of Sikhs and Punjabis travelling to their ancestral homes from North America and the UK.

The first 10 flights from Raja Sansi airport are sold out, officials say.

The service is expected to boost religious tourism around the Sikhs' holiest shrine, the Golden Temple.

Airport makeover

Sunday's inaugural flight was flagged off by the federal civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, and Punjab's chief minister, Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Punjabi community has long demanded a direct air connection between their home state and Western countries where a large number of them are settled.
So, this will help AI capture a large share of the market - because a lot of traffic on the New Delhi-Toronto sector is generated by overseas Punjabis, who then have to go through the inconvenience of taking a long road trip to reach their home city in Punjab.

This will now change.
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Last edited by nova; May 15th, 2005 at 05:36 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 05:43 PM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwho
So here it is.. the AI777 in Toronto:

http://www.400scalehangar.net/faheem/ai777-1.jpg

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Last edited by nova; May 20th, 2005 at 04:27 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:44 PM   #151
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India's Jet Airways Q4 net profit soars 60 pct

BOMBAY, May 17 (Reuters) - India's top domestic airline, Jet Airways Ltd. , reported a 60 percent rise in quarterly profit on Tuesday and said controlling costs would be a priority this year as competition increases in the booming market.

Jet, with a 43 percent share of the domestic market in Asia's fourth-biggest economy, said net profit was 1.33 billion rupees ($31 million) and total income rose 27 percent to 12.22 billion.

"Fuel prices rose by 31 percent during the year and service taxes were applied to navigation charges and catering costs as well, but we managed costs through greater aircraft utilisation, and by raising passenger fares by 10 percent twice in the year," said Saroj K. Datta, Jet's executive director.

Prior to the results, Jet shares, listed on local exchanges in March, ended flat at 1,289.95 rupees in a weak Bombay market.

After the Indian government recently eased rules to allow some domestic airlines to fly overseas, Jet began flying to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and is launching services to London this month and to New York next month.

It expects international routes will account for 10-15 percent of its turnover this year.

"Margins in international operations are lower, but input costs are also lower as fuel costs and landing and navigation costs are lower, while aircraft utilisation and the load factor are higher," Datta said at a news conference.

The airline, which has a fleet of 42 aircraft, has leased three Airbus A340-300 aircraft for its London and New York services, and recently said it would lease an additional four A330-200 aircraft for its long-haul operations.

The airline is facing increasing competition at home with the launch of discount carriers such as SpiceJet Ltd. and Kingfisher Airlines and a handful of others waiting in the wings. But Jet believes it will maintain its dominance.

"The scope of low-cost carriers is limited, as only 8 percent of the cost of airline operation is not dependent on the business model," said Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Prock-Schauer. "We all pay the same high fuel costs and high airport landing and navigation costs and there are limited parking slots, as well." ($1=43.5 Indian rupees)
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:54 PM   #152
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British airline bmi launches flights to India
17 May 2005

BOMBAY, India (AP) - British airline bmi on Tuesday began flying between London and Bombay, with officials saying they were keen to fly to other Indian cities as well.

"We are committed to bringing greater value and choice to a market that has been underserved," Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of British Midland plc, bmi's parent company, told reporters.

Last year, the Indian and British governments agreed to open additional air routes and allow higher air capacity between the two countries.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic already operate several flights a week to India.

On Tuesday, Bishop said it was courageous on the part of the Indian government to open up the market to competition. "Allowing greater direct capacity between India and the Britain will now benefit both British and Indian carriers," he said.

The Bombay-London flight, which is now made four times per week, is the first long haul service operated by bmi from Heathrow, its main domestic and European hub, in London.
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #153
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India's SpiceJet takes off, sees profit in 6 months

NEW DELHI, May 17 (Reuters) - Low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet Ltd. said on Tuesday it would launch cut-rate domestic flights this month to lure travellers from popular train services and expected to post a profit within six months. SpiceJet will operate its first commercial flight on Monday. Its three Boeing 737-800s will be all-economy class.

"The fares will be slightly higher than AC (airconditioned) train fares," chief executive officer Mark Winders told Reuters.

"We believe there is a tremendous opportunity in the low cost model in India. The air market is dramatically underserved here."

SpiceJet said its most expensive fares were 55-60 percent cheaper than regular full economy fares of competitors such as Jet Airways Ltd. , India's largest domestic airline. SpiceJet will also offer more than 9,000 seats for as low as 99 rupees ($2.30) each for the first 99 days of operations.

Rockbottom fares by SpiceJet and rival Air Deccan Ltd. are helping the nascent and newly liberalised market expand on similar lines as Europe, which surged after the entry of carriers such as Ryanair and easyJet .

Winders expects cheap fares to fuel expansion in India in the same way rockbottom tariffs stoked its mobile telecoms sector, the world's fastest growing wireless market.

He said SpiceJet will have six planes by the end of the year and may lease more to meet demand for air travel, forecast to grow 20 percent annually over the next five years.

"I'm hoping we will see a positive contribution to profit after six months of operations," Winders added.

About 19 million people travelled by air in India in the fiscal year to end-March, according to industry data -- just a fraction of its billion-plus population.
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Old May 25th, 2005, 12:03 AM   #154
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Budget airlines to fly on non-metro routes
23 May 2005
The Economic Times

MUMBAI: The air-route network in India is so poorly developed that deciding where to fly is almost like throwing darts on the map, says Alex Wilcox CEO of Kingfisher airlines, which launched operations earlier this month.

"It is amazing that Amritsar is connected to Singapore and Birmingham but not to Mumbai," he says. Servicing metro routes and large cities have been the focus for airlines in the past decade, but a major fall-out of the new airlines starting up will be the opening of dozens of new and previously unserved routes.

Leading the pack is the Delhi-based low cost carrier SpiceJet, which is launching this Tuesday. "We will have no direct flights between the metros," says SpiceJet director, Ajay Singh. The airline is targeting traffic in the non-metro cities but with large populations and heavy railway usage. "Would you imagine that there is no flight connecting two large towns like Ahmedabad and Bangalore," he asks.

There are surely thousands of people who would want to travel by air directly between these two cities. SpiceJet is starting off with Delhi-Pune-Mumbai and Delhi-Ahmedabad-Mumbai and will later move to Delh-Goa and Pune-Bangalore.

All these routes are currently underserved, he says. Air-Deccan has already opened up several new sectors connecting Coimbatore, Belgaum and Hubli in the south and Nasik, Bhavnagar and Surat in the west. The airline is planning to roll-out an even broader network once it gets in more aircrafts.

Incidentally, the ministry of civil aviation guidelines require airlines to operate 50% of the total seats offered on metros on non-metro city routes (like Ahmedabad, Pune), 10% of the seats have to be offered on routes connecting to cities in J&K and the North-east and 1% of the seats on intra-north east or intra-J&K routes.

The story was similar in Europe, when low-cost airlines were first launched in '97, Ryanair and easyJet, the pioneers, mimicked American budget airlines such as Southwest and ValuJet (now AirTran).

The essential elements of the business model were - a single-type fleet of planes, fast turn-rounds, use of cheap secondary airports and enticingly low fares that rose only as a flight filled up.

Dozens of point to point routes were developed throughout the continent. Tourism revenues went up significantly in several towns in Italy and Spain after they were linked to large European hubs by the LCCs.

Airline sources predict the same can happen in India if trips to tourist towns like Jaipur, Udaipur and Agra can be made available at low affordable rates to millions of our countrymen.
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Old May 26th, 2005, 03:43 AM   #155
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Unsafe! India's airspace has many gaping holes
Rajat Pandit
25 May 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: If you thought that surveillance of India's airspace was impregnable, think again. There are still "many gaping holes" in the country's radar network to detect intrusions by hostile aircraft or missiles.

The situation is particularly alarming in central and peninsular India because most of the existing surveillance systems are tasked for monitoring the western and northern borders, which have "higher threat perceptions".

Vast swathes of airspace in central and peninsular India are "quite bereft" of surveillance, especially in the arena of medium-level and low-level radar coverage.

On the western and northern borders, too, more airborne radars and low-level transportable and light-weight radars are needed to bolster coverage, say sources.

"Effective air defence requires an overlapping and integrated network of low, medium and high-level radar coverage to ensure timely detection of air intrusions, which can then be neutralised," says an IAF officer.

The multi-layered Air Defence Ground Environment System (ADGES) network, responsible for managing India's vast airspace, for one, needs to be swiftly upgraded. IAF, for instance, needs around 110 low-level surveillance radars but is making do with 38 at present.

The indigenous satellite-based reconnaissance and surveillance system, a Rs 1,050-crore joint ISRO-DRDO project to augment surveillance over the country's airspace, is also running behind schedule. The Cabinet Committee on Security, incidentally, has now extended its timeframe to January 2007.

Similar is the fate of the Integrated Air Command and Control System project, which basically involves integration of Airports Authority of India's radars at Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata with IAF's air defence network.

Even the first of the three contracted Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) will arrive in India from Israel only in September 2007. There is also a dearth of airborne platforms like Aerostat radars, which are basically sensors mounted on blimp-like large balloons tethered to the ground.

IAF should ideally have an "healthy" mix of the cheaper Aerostats and the more expensive AWACS since they can detect cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft much earlier than ground-based radars. "We need around a dozen Aerostats but we have inducted only two (from Israel) so far," said the officer.

IAF also wants to induct static phased array radars, coastal radars and over-the-horizon radars, with corresponding anti-ballistic missile systems capable of neutralising missiles with range up to 2,500 km.
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Old May 27th, 2005, 04:58 AM   #156
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India, Germany agree on more flights
26 May 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: There's more cheer flying in for the globe-trotting Indian. India on Wednesday liberalised its bilateral agreement with Germany, increasing more than three times the number of flights operated between the two countries. This analysts say, will bring down air fares on the India-Germany route.

Both the countries have agreed to increase weekly flights between the two countries to 50 one-way from 16 now. The increase would, however, come into effect in a phased manner, government officials said.

"Under the revised agreement, designated airlines of each side would be permitted to operate a total of 42 frequencies per week in each direction from 2005 winter. This would be hiked to 50 flights a week in each direction from 2006 summer,"an official said.

The revised Air Services Agreement was finalised after two days of talks between the two nations. The existing route schedule would also be amended to provide German airlines access to Hyderabad, Goa and Kochi as additional points of call in India. Indian carriers would also be given access to three additional points of call in Germany.

"Within the capacity entitlements, designated airlines of Germany will be permitted to operate a maximum of seven flights to any city in India, excluding Delhi. The German carriers will be permitted to operate a maximum of 20 frequencies to/through Delhi, in a phased manner,"the official said.

India has also agreed to extend, by summer 2005, the permission granted to Lufthansa to operate five additional frequencies (two to Bangalore and three to Hyderabad) on a provisional basis.

Both the sides will meet again in mid-2006 to further discuss air services matters, including the use of Airbus A380 aircraft.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 02:38 PM   #157
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Business Times - 30 May 2005

India to simplify entry for air travellers

(NEW DELHI) Long queues at the immigration counters in international airports in India, especially in metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai, could become a thing of the past when a new system is introduced later this year to provide hassle-free entry to foreign and Indian passengers coming from abroad.

Following persistent demands by the Tourism and Civil Aviation ministries, the Home Ministry has issued a notification to introduce the 'Advanced Passenger Information System' (APIS) from Oct 1, the Press Trust of India reported yesterday, quoting official sources.

Under the scheme, passenger manifests would be sent by the airlines to the immigration authorities in India as soon as a flight takes off for an Indian destination.

This could help pre-checking of the passengers and their faster clearance even before the flight lands in the country.

The move is part of the overall efforts to enhance facilitation to foreign tourists, including the recently-launched 'Swagat Seva' pilot project at Delhi's IGI Airport.

The authorities are also planning to have separate counters for Indian passport holders returning from abroad.

Tourism Minister Renuka Chowdhury has taken up the issue with the Home Ministry and has held several rounds of meetings also with her Civil Aviation counterpart Praful Patel.

Moves are also afoot to integrate the passport, visa and immigration services in a gradual manner, the sources said.

All these steps together would help reduce the immigration clearance time and ensure better security checks.

Training programmes for immigration officials have already been initiated to enable them to provide service with a smile without compromising security, they said.

There are about 67 immigration checkposts (ICPs) in the country at 22 airports, 30 land ports and 15 sea ports.

The Bureau of Immigration controls these posts at Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Amritsar, Wagah and Attari.

The hardware to provide expeditious immigration clearance has been upgraded at Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore airports and work was in the process of completion at Kolkata, Mumbai, Goa, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad airports, the sources said.

Passport reading machines are to be installed at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata, and also in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode in a phased manner.

The future plans of the government include the introduction of bio-metric smart cards for frequent flyers.

These smart cards, which would have information about the passenger on the chips, would be issued to Indian nationals.

The smart card holders would be able to pass through the immigration counters without human intervention as all the information would be immediately available on the cards, the sources said. - Bernama

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old May 30th, 2005, 03:14 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Unsafe! India's airspace has many gaping holes
Rajat Pandit
25 May 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: If you thought that surveillance of India's airspace was impregnable, think again. There are still "many gaping holes" in the country's radar network to detect intrusions by hostile aircraft or missiles.

The situation is particularly alarming in central and peninsular India because most of the existing surveillance systems are tasked for monitoring the western and northern borders, which have "higher threat perceptions".

Vast swathes of airspace in central and peninsular India are "quite bereft" of surveillance, especially in the arena of medium-level and low-level radar coverage.

On the western and northern borders, too, more airborne radars and low-level transportable and light-weight radars are needed to bolster coverage, say sources.

"Effective air defence requires an overlapping and integrated network of low, medium and high-level radar coverage to ensure timely detection of air intrusions, which can then be neutralised," says an IAF officer.

The multi-layered Air Defence Ground Environment System (ADGES) network, responsible for managing India's vast airspace, for one, needs to be swiftly upgraded. IAF, for instance, needs around 110 low-level surveillance radars but is making do with 38 at present.

The indigenous satellite-based reconnaissance and surveillance system, a Rs 1,050-crore joint ISRO-DRDO project to augment surveillance over the country's airspace, is also running behind schedule. The Cabinet Committee on Security, incidentally, has now extended its timeframe to January 2007.

Similar is the fate of the Integrated Air Command and Control System project, which basically involves integration of Airports Authority of India's radars at Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Kolkata with IAF's air defence network.

Even the first of the three contracted Phalcon AWACS (airborne warning and control systems) will arrive in India from Israel only in September 2007. There is also a dearth of airborne platforms like Aerostat radars, which are basically sensors mounted on blimp-like large balloons tethered to the ground.

IAF should ideally have an "healthy" mix of the cheaper Aerostats and the more expensive AWACS since they can detect cruise missiles and low-flying aircraft much earlier than ground-based radars. "We need around a dozen Aerostats but we have inducted only two (from Israel) so far," said the officer.

IAF also wants to induct static phased array radars, coastal radars and over-the-horizon radars, with corresponding anti-ballistic missile systems capable of neutralising missiles with range up to 2,500 km.

Actually this guy Rajat Pandit is known to be an idiot in the defence cirlces. He is known to create problems when they don't exist.

In this article too, he proves to be an idiot.

India's two main adversaires are in the west(Pakistan) and the north-east(China). Obviously, the air defences are high in those areas.

For the south, how does it matter if the air defences are weak. Who is going to attack India from the south?
Sri Lanka: 0 chance
Singapore:0 chance.

Nobody else is there to attack India from the south. And btw, Indian Navy can make up for the so called "weak" air defences.

babystan03 and hkskyline, thanks for keeping this thread alive .
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Old May 30th, 2005, 06:42 PM   #159
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Indian Flight Agreement To Boost Lufthansa - Handelsblatt
30 May 2005

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)--An aviation agreement between the Indian and German governments will help Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA.XE) secure expansion plans for its lucrative Indian routes, Handelsblatt reports Monday.

The agreement will allow Lufthansa to fly daily to all five of its Indian destinations all year round, the paper says, adding that Lufthansa's Indian routes contribute to 22% of the company's total Asia-Pacific business.

Newspaper Web site: http://www.handelsblatt.de
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Old May 31st, 2005, 12:00 AM   #160
elitecavalier
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HariR
Actually this guy Rajat Pandit is known to be an idiot in the defence cirlces. He is known to create problems when they don't exist.

In this article too, he proves to be an idiot.

India's two main adversaires are in the west(Pakistan) and the north-east(China). Obviously, the air defences are high in those areas.

For the south, how does it matter if the air defences are weak. Who is going to attack India from the south?
Sri Lanka: 0 chance
Singapore:0 chance.

Nobody else is there to attack India from the south. And btw, Indian Navy can make up for the so called "weak" air defences.

babystan03 and hkskyline, thanks for keeping this thread alive .

Yes I agree, this article is just plain BS...
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Will Durant, (1885-1981) American historian: "India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all".
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