Sunday, May 22, 2016

AirAsia launches Travel & Service Centre in Maldives

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AirAsia launches Travel & Service Centre in Maldives
Exclusive promotion available only at Maldives ATSC with 20% discount to selected
AirAsia & AirAsia X destinations


MALE, 22 MAY 2016 – AirAsia strengthened its presence in the paradise islands of Maldives with the launch of the first AirAsia Travel & Service Centre (ATSC) today, which is operated by All H Maldives Private Limited.

The centre was officiated by Honourable Mr Moosa Zameer, Minister of Tourism Maldives; Mr Hussain Jaleel, CEO of Civil Aviation Maldives; Mr Ibrahim Shareef Mohamed, Commissioner General of Customs Maldives; Mr Adil Moosa, Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company; Mr Abdullah Rasheed, Director Air Transport Maldives Civil Aviation Authority along with Ms Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad.

In conjunction with the launch of this ATSC, AirAsia is offering an exclusive promotion with 20% discount off selected AirAsia and AirAsia X flights such as Siem Reap, Shenzhen, Wuhan from Kuala Lumpur and other routes such as Johor Bahru to Guangzhou, and Bali to Darwin and Perth. The promotional fares are available exclusively at the ATSC in Maldives from today until 29 May 2016, and guests are able to travel from 1 June 2016 until 31 August 2016 with this promotion.

Aireen Omar, CEO of AirAsia Berhad said, “We are pleased to further strengthen our presence here in the Maldives with the launch of AirAsia Travel & Service Centre. With its central location in Male, it is an added convenience for guests who are not able to book their AirAsia flights online.”

“Our direct route connecting Kuala Lumpur and Male has also shown a strong track record since we started operations last October, with an average load factor of 85% on both ways. We are proud to connect all of our guests from across our extensive route network which covers over 100 destinations into Maldives through Kuala Lumpur, which is one of our biggest hubs, as well as a transit hub for our Fly-Thru guests,” added Aireen Omar.

Moosa Zameer, Minister of Tourism Maldives said, “Since the commencement in October last year, AirAsia has played an integral role in connecting Malaysia and Maldives, maintaining a remarkable load factor. I am very happy to see AirAsia’s contribution in making the “2016 –the visit Maldives Year” a success”.

“The AirAsia Travel and Service Centre will make travel smoother and more ideal for the passengers with AirAsia’s vast network choices and affordable fares. It would also increase the visibility of the AirAsia services throughout Maldives and I congratulate AirAsia and its local partner All H Maldives Private Limited. Partnerships like these are example of opportunities available to the private sector that would drive the engine of Maldives Aviation sector”.

The AirAsia Travel and Service Centre is a one-stop centre offering services such as flight bookings to all AirAsia and AirAsia X’s extensive route network, as well as hotel and tour activities. The service centre acts as another convenient booking channel and features flexible payment methods for guests such as cash or credit card, supplementing the popular online services already offered on

The first ATSC was launched in Malaysia back in March 2011, and has grown its presence throughout Asia with outlets in the Philippines, Thailand, China, Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and now Maldives. All ATSC outlets are operated by licensed third-party agents on behalf of AirAsia Berhad. The centre in Maldives is AirAsia’s 94th outlet in the Asian region.

Keep updated with AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities via Twitter ( and Facebook (

Piyush Goyals – Long Power Cuts, High Cost, 1.1% Vill Electrified

Piyush Goyals – Long Power Cuts, High Cost, 1.1% Vill Electrified
May21, 2016 (C) Ravinder Singh
I met him Piyush Goyal three years ago in run up to the 2014 LS
Elections and told him that most of his claims on River Linking are
FALSE – we exchanged cards – I sent him details but he didn’t
acknowledge. MoP ought to Focus on Efficiency & Maintenance.
BRPL – 10,000 MW, Peak Load 2570 MW – Annual Average 1300 MW
Just at the time PIB Press Conference was interrupted by power cuts in
spite of 2X500 KVA and 2X750 KVA standby gensets. We in my block were
also experiencing Several Unscheduled Power Cuts plus Brief Tap
Changing interruptions.
One of the Circuit Breaker was tripling due to Overloading. BRPL
average electricity billed is less than 10.5 BU approx – therefore at
Distribution Transformer level average load is just 1300 MW only but
has Connected Load of 10,000 MW approximately [9000 MW March2015] and
peak load yesterday was 2570 MW.
I was found after 4 days that another Lane was experiencing TRIPPINGS
for hours until some staff would Switch on The Breaker – On Fourth day
BRPL decided to Take Out The Breaker and Directly Connect the LT
section serving about 50 Consumers with over 1200 MW of Connected
Load. Unskilled Staff had no Special Tools and Just Taking out Damaged
Breaker 2 Hours when new CB could have been replaced in 15 minutes
68,851 MW Capacity Off Line, Not Serving May Peak Demand
In 2 years MoP added 46,543 MW But in last 4 Years of 12th Plan 98,182
MW was added.
All India avg load is 124,510 MW, has 298,059 MW Gen. Capacity
[March2016]. India required 100,000 MW Load served by 150,000 MW
When Max Demand growth in 4 years of 12th Plan was just 21,763 MW –
MoP installed 98,182 MW of New Generation Capacity and as Generation
growth was 26.28% Capacity growth was 49.12% in this period pointing
Growth- Capacity Added 23.4%, Online 17.4%, Outages 35%, Generation 15% , , ,
May2016 Monitored Generation Capacity 302,833 MW which two years ago
was 245,393 MW [23.4%]. On May14 2014 Capacity On Line was 162,910 MW
and Outages 50,963 MW, On May17,2016 Capacity On Line was 191,279 MW
[+17.4%].  Outages were 68,851 MW [+35%]. Generation was 126,680 MU in
April01 to May14, 2014 period, this for current year was 145,765 MU –
Last two years MoP electrified 7,108 Villages which is just 1.1% of
all villages and population served could even be less say 0.2%.
Ravinder Singh, Inventor & Consultant, INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, New Delhi-110016, India. Ph; 091- 9871056471,
9718280435, 9910693464
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power,

Will you add your name, Naresh?

Naresh, will you stand with Hillary and me against the NRA?

Taking on the gun lobby:
Naresh —
On January 8th, 2011, a man stood three feet away from me in a grocery store parking lot, aimed a gun at my head, and pulled the trigger. I survived. But six innocent lives were taken that day, including a 9-year-old girl.
I don’t get angry about what happened to me. But I am angry that so many Americans die every year because our leaders refuse to do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands and reduce gun violence.
Yesterday, Donald Trump addressed the NRA’s national convention — that crowd cheered his every word, but now it’s our turn to show that we’re all standing with Hillary to make our communities safer from gun violence. Will you add your name to show you’re with us?
The gun lobby has repeatedly blocked commonsense reforms like strengthening our life-saving background check system and holding irresponsible gun dealers accountable when they break the law. They have a lot of power in Washington — I saw that in Congress. But I know this team is strong enough to beat them if we work together.
So join Hillary and me in this fight. Add your name to stand with us and stand up to the gun lobby — let’s fight together to make Americans safer:

Thank you,
Hillary needs you now more than ever — chip in $1 to join more than one million grassroots donors standing with her:

India-Israel Relations,Jerusalem Calling

May 20, 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bilateral visits to the United Arab Emirates (August 2015), Saudi Arabia (April 2016) and Iran (May 2016) are an affirmation of the government’s continuing efforts to correct the anomaly of limited high-level contacts with West Asia. Despite the significant stakes India has in the region, high-level contacts have been few and far between. The previous prime ministerial visit to the UAE, for instance, was 35 years ago, while Dr. Manmohan Singh’s 2010 visit to the Kingdom, India’s biggest energy source, occurred after a gap of 28 years. High-level interactions between India and Israel have equally been limited, with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s September 2003 visit yet to be reciprocated.
India-Iran interactions have been a bit more frequent, with Singh visiting Tehran for the NAM Summit in August 2012, while Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a bilateral visit in 2001. President Mohammad Khatami was the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2003, while his successor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visited India in April 2008. Modi also met with President Hasan Rouhani in July 2015 at the side-lines of the Ufa Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), during which he was extended an invitation to visit Tehran. Modi’s upcoming visit to Tehran therefore reciprocates the bilateral visit of Ahmadinejad in 2008.
It was only on May 17 that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced that the prime minister would be visiting Iran on May 22-23. The visit assumes significance given that it comes nearly 10 months after the July 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was agreed to by Iran and its key interlocutors. The JCPOA successfully capped a decade-long process of finding a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear imbroglio. Given that India was a significant Iranian oil importer, it was uniquely affected by the unilateral ‘secondary’ sanctions measures targeting Iran’s oil exports imposed by the US and the EU.
As a result of these sanctions and a blanket EU ban on the import of Iranian oil by its member countries (effective from July 2012), India remained one among six countries that continued to import Iranian oil; the others were China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Tukey. But the volumes of such imports declined drastically. In 2009-10, for instance, Iranian oil accounted for 13 per cent of India’s total imports (in terms of both quantity and value). This declined to about six per cent in 2014-15. Sanctions also affected the payment mechanisms for Iranian oil imports. India and Iran are expected to come to an understanding regarding the transfer of more than USD 6.5 billion owed to Iranian oil companies during Modi’s visit.
The JCPOA not only removed restrictions hindering the purchase of Iranian oil, but also held out the prospects of an increase in Indian investments in the Iranian energy infrastructure, and progress on efforts to bring to fruition projects like Chabahar. Modi’s visit follows the visit of Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in April 2016, while Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari had visited in May 2015. Pradhan had visited Chabahar too, as will Modi, reiterating India’s resolve to translate into reality its long-held commitments to help develop the port to better cater for India’s regional needs. Gadkari had indicated in December 2015 that Indian companies could possibly invest as much as Rs. 200,000 crore (nearly USD 30 billion) in the Chabahar Special Economic Zone.
Modi had visited Saudi Arabia from April 2-3, 2016 (on his way back from Washington after attending the Nuclear Security Summit), a visit which incidentally was also announced by the MEA only on March 22. The Prime Minister was presented the Kingdom’s highest civilian honour by the Saudi King. The visit was a reaffirmation of the importance of ties with Riyadh, which is the biggest energy source for the country. India-Saudi relations had hit a few rough edges in 2015. A diplomatic row followed a September 2015 incident involving cruel treatment meted out by a Saudi diplomat posted in New Delhi to his Nepalese maids. Another incident involved injury suffered by an Indian maid working in Saudi Arabia, whose hand was allegedly ‘chopped off’ by her employer. In a tweet on October 9, 2015, Foreign Minister Swaraj called the injury the maid had suffered “unacceptable”.
Apart from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and now Iran, Modi had visited Antalya, Turkey for the G20 Summit in November 2015. The stage is therefore now set for his possible visit to Jerusalem in the near future. Swaraj had in May 2015 indicated that Modi would visit Israel, ‘though no dates have been fixed’. The absence of an Indian defence ministerial visit to Israel, despite the significant defence linkages, looks even more jarring. To be sure, robust institutional interaction does take place between the national security establishments of the two countries. As many as eight chiefs of defence staff from either side have visited the other country. However, Israeli officials and policy makers have often expressed the desire for greater interactions at the highest political levels. During the visit of Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna in January 2012, his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Lieberman (now incoming Defence Minister) hoped that such visits would be more frequent.
Modi’s visit to Jerusalem would fit the pattern of a pro-active foreign policy agenda being followed by the government. The prime minister, for instance, has visited nearly 40 countries since he took office, while the foreign minister has visited seven countries of the West Asian region between September 2014 and April 2016. In contrast, UPA Foreign Ministers Salman Khurshid and S.M. Krishna made a combined total of eight trips to the region during the entire second five-year term of the Congress-led coalition from 2009-14. Further, a Modi visit to Israel would be a reaffirmation of the ideological connect that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has always advertised it shared with the Jewish state as well as with its muscular national security choices. It has to be pointed out though that full diplomatic relations were established by a Congress-led government and nurtured subsequently by both Congress as well as BJP governments.
Modi visiting Jerusalem on top of his visits to Dubai, Riyadh and Tehran would be a re-affirmation of India’s diplomatic ability to pursue multiple national interests by manoeuvring between countries who have difficult or non-existent relationships among themselves but who share important relationships with India. It is pertinent to note that while Vajpayee hosted Sharon in Sepember 2003, he had also received Khatami in January that year. Two months after hosting Sharon, Vajpayee went to Syria in November 2003 for the first such visit by an Indian prime minister in more than 15 years. Given the robust Israeli help in meeting India’s defence needs for the past two decades and more, it remains to be seen if Modi would extend an invitation for Israel’s longest-serving Prime Minister to be a Chief Guest at one of the three Republic Day celebrations during the remainder of his present term.
Views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the IDSA or of the Government of India.

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