Categories
People

Love in the time of cholera….

So, one of my very good friends for a long time announced that he got married to his girlfriend of a year today morning. I was not ready for this, to be honest. What was otherwise meant to be a normal, fine day despite the hang over of last night, turned on its head in a matter of minutes. Yes they have been going out and everything for a year, but to be out of Facebook, friends for almost 6 months and come back on, announcing to the whole world of his wedding was indeed Jab We Met level dramatic.
I am not heartless enough, not to feel happy for the guy. I am happy for him ofcourse despite the fact that he hurried off to get it legal at 24, instead of living life a few more years and getting it done a bit later. This indeed portrayed the naivety with which people decide to get married out of the blue. Not all of these work, if you ask me. And then, in no time, you are trying to “make it work“. Well, I hope he doesn’t have to go through this now.
But it was not the whole marriage bit which had shook me. It was something else. I am not quite sure they had invited family over for the occasion. Maybe he had his own reasons not to be having them – I have no clue. But then, I was imagining the predicament of the parents who are not invited for the special occasion. They bring you up, buy you all the good things in life, set your life up in more ways than one and they are returned the favour of not being invited for their kids wedding. How befitting. They will indeed forgive him, if need be because that’s how nice people they are. My thoughts are with them, today.
Categories
Airlines Airports Transportation

Master Degree Thesis: The Intitiation

Working TitleExploring the prospect of operating low cost carriers and legacy carriers from the same main airport terminal by interventions on the revenues generated by the airport. 
 
ProposalThis thesis strives to explore the prospect of operating low cost carriers and the legacy carriers out of the same main airport terminal. In doing so, this thesis also strives to explore a possible correlation of reducing the aeronautical charges for low cost airlines at the main airport terminals by seeing the potential of the airport to cover up those reduced charges by the expected increase in the non aeronautical revenue that the airport stands to gain by this measure.
 
Literature Review: A large amount of the existing literature on these aspects have been consulted and referred to, on the course of this work. It is believed that while the secondary airports seem to be a solution for the low cost phenomenon, it can be seen only as a solution, which will keep things at bay in the short term (Forsyth., 2007). Many airports which serve the LCCs maybe unable to take any advantage of the economies of scale which are bound to come up with the booming low cost revolution. Local authorities may believe in subsidising as a means to attract more traffic which will stimulate the local economy. But this might not be a stable solution for the secondary airports which may simply use subsidies to finance lower charges to win traffic from main airports with spare capacities, since it will lead to a misallocation of traffic (Forsyth., 2006).
On the argument for low cost carriers using the main airport terminals, it has been observed that there is no statistical difference between a passengers flying by a low cost carrier or one who is flying by a legacy carrier (Manzano, C., 2010). This has been observed in the study involving 7 Spanish airports. The passengers flying low cost have the probability to make a purchase or consume food and beverages before a flight. (Manzano, C., 2010) There is mixed evidence which proves that passengers on low cost carriers are no more ‘budget shoppers’ at airports, particularly because low cost carriers do not have in – flight catering, thus requiring these passengers to make purchases for food and beverages before the flight (Graham., 2009). Further studies on Canadian airline companies Westjet (low cost carrier) and Air Canada (legacy carrier) by McDonald and Gillen (2003) have shown that while a Westjet passenger spends an additional C$6.20 at the airport while an Air Canada passenger spends C$1.22. This has been attributed to the fact that low cost carriers do not provide in – flight meals and thus have higher chances of passengers purchasing Food and Beverages from the airport terminals. Another reason is due to the fact that a major portion of the passengers flying low cost carriers are leisure travellers who are expected to spend more than the passengers flying by legacy carriers, thus increasing the revenues at the airports.
De Neufville (2006) explores further on the aspect of accommodating low cost carriers in main airports – both as a means of describing the problem at hand and a possible solution for the same. According to him, the managers of the main airports have not formed a consensus about how to deal with the rise of the low – cost carriers. Some airports have taken a no compromise decision when it comes to providing cheap facilities while some others have started work in that direction (cheaper landing fees, budget terminals, refurbishment of old terminals etc.). He also describes the inevitability of the situation at hand and expects the main airport managers to show merit to the rising trend, by providing differentiation in the products they offer to the airlines as a possible solution to this problem.
Literature regarding the methodology to be proposed has been studied in detail as well. James (2009) discusses on a framework for developing categories of simulation models related to strategic, operational and tactical problems of an airport terminal. The airport terminal under the study was the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) situated in the southern Indian state of Kerala. The simulation software used was Extend (of Imagine That Inc.). Brunetta and Jacur (2001) conduct a similar study by creating a new flexible simulation model adaptable to the various airport configurations for determining the capacity and delay experienced at airport terminals. The validation of this model, called AIRLAB has been conducted by comparison with similar research on the Milan Malpensa Airport, Italy.  
 
Methodology: The methodology being proposed for the current work shall involve interviews being carried out of the experts in the field of aviation – possible both academia and industry. Main actors in this process would be the airport managers of airports across Portugal and the rest of the continent on the basis of availability of information and the willingness of the professionals in sharing the information for the purpose of this study. Economic Models shall have to be resorted to, to determine the expected change in revenue from Non Aeronautical revenue by operating the low cost carriers out of the main airport terminal instead of the existing low cost terminal or the secondary airport.
 
A word of thanks already for Prof Juergen Muller of the German Aviation Performance (GAP) Project (Berlin School of Economics and Law) for being kind enough to mail his work for reference and possible inspiration on this regard. 
Categories
Europe People Travel

Copenhagen Trails

Copenhagen was amazing. And it sure reiterates the difference that people speak about when Scandinavia comes into their minds. Despite the fact that it is one of the most expensive cities in the world, locking heads with Oslo (Norway), it is every bit worth the experience. The tall sloping roofs as seen above are a highlight to counter for the snow, the city is mad about cycling (55% copenhageners commute by cycles, and that’s about 800,000 people daily). More pictures and details in the subsequent posts.

Categories
Europe Opinion People WTF!

Inducing Happiness: The European Way

It is the process by which people tend to “induce” happiness into their lives at the cost of their fellow beings and then feel good about it rather than deriving happiness by “making” it happen by means of your sincere deeds – quite the European way as I have been observing since September.
Thing is simple. A few weeks ago, I received this mail from a friend based out of Lisbon which read like this:

Hello guys.. As you know I am leaving for the States next week. You guys have been really awesome and I have no words to express my gratitude for all the support and love. I sure am gonna miss you all when I am in Boston. I was thinking that it would be good if we can all meet up one last time for a dinner. I will be very happy and fortunate to have you amidst the company of me and my friends, during the last moments of my stay in Portugal.

I propose that we meet on Saturday at around 2000 at <Restaurant Name> <Address>. The choice of the cuisine is meditteranean as most of you would prefer, includes <general menu>. And the cost per person would be around 20 euros, not more than that inclusive of drinks. 

This man in the letter included  the “You guys have been awesome….my gratitude..support and love“, ” I would be very happy and fortunate….” and then delivered the sucker punch by announcing the “cost per person….” sentence – all in the span of 5-6 lines of the same letter. And letters/mails like these come, every other week.
Well if he was so happy and fortunate and sad that he would miss all of us, he should have hosted a dinner and paid up the expenses by himself. Atleast that is what is done if you are genuinely happy back where I hail from. You invite your friends and spend a wonderful evening with them, spreading laughter and cheer and then you make it even more wonderful by being the perfect host and appreciating their decision to spend quality time with you. I would pay to do this, but then my idea of not believing in celebrations makes life a lot more easier. Why do it when you want to “induce” rather than make it happen by itself?
So to sum up, I ended up going for the dinner because he has been a wonderful man and for the sake of his happiness, I ended up spending 20 euros (1350 INR). That is the price that I burn to see a smile on his face and make sure everything is right between us. Am I happy doing this? Well, you know by now….
Categories
India Opinion

Dear BCCI,

A letter from an anguished cricket fan, seeing the state of affairs of the game and the callous attitude of the governing body…

For the sake of the future of the game in this country beyond Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, please ensure that you take a leaf out of Cricket Australia is forcing them to take off, towards other aspects of the game. When they could get rid of Ricky Ponting – arguably the greatest ever after Tendulkar and Lara, despite him scoring two centuries inclusive of a double in the recently concluded test series, you could man up to do this as well. Make no mistake when I say this – Sachin is god as far as I am concerned, but the time has come to look beyond him, to the rest of the guys in the team.
And its not that our subjects have been performing exceedingly well as well. So it should be making your job a lot more easier. The time has come to put off your selfish materialistic mindset about the game and work on motivating the average Indian to take a lot of pride from the wonderful game. As of now, I don’t see myself watching the game anymore after Tendulkar is done and dusted and I hold you completely responsible for my decision. The main reason being that you have never thought of looking beyond the “fab four” when it came to marketing the game into the billions. Maybe it was due to the fact that they could single handedly drive the country into euphoria. But then, what needs to be realized is my views on watching the game post the Tendulkar era are echoed by millions of fans the world over. And if you don’t step up to act on this aspect, as an ardent fan of the beautiful game I am afraid to say the future of Indian cricket looks very very bleak.
And I do not understand the reasons for your haughtiness and arrogance when it came to the abiding by the Woolf Report, your constant opposition to the ways in which ICC affairs are conducted and your persistent opposition to DRS. And it doesn’t end there. Your refusal to set up an inquiry into the double whitewash and your constant bragging about winning the world cup at home turf as a compensation for the shame caused in England and Australia is shocking, to say the least. It tells me how much you care for the future of the game. And when Sahara bailed out of the mess, you went the extra mile in ensuring they got back on track. This at a time when, you had wasted no time in driving the Kochi Tuskers out of the IPL in the name of some financial irregularities. And we all know it was the money more than your concerns of a long term alliance that made you hold their asses for cover.
Sadly, the plot keeps getting thicker and thicker. I wish there was a government legislation which could force you to clip your wings and come under public scrutiny. It is the case with countries like Sri Lanka and South Africa and they seem to be showing results when more able administrators have stepped in. That said, I do hold you completely responsible for taking the game to this level, take no credit away from you. But I also hold you responsible for bringing anguish, frustration and a sense of grief into the average joe out there, who is afraid the good times are slowly getting over.
Yours Sincerely,
An-ardent-cricket-fan-who-is-afraid-for-the-future-of-the-game