Air Bubble: Vistara eyes operations to Paris, Frankfurt

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By Rohit Vaid
New Delhi, Sep 26 |
Even as uncertainty looms over a possible second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, full-service air carrier Vistara is eyeing opportunities to expand internationally under the ‘Air Bubble’ transport agreements.

According to Vistara’s Chief Commercial Officer Vinod Kannan, the airline is reviewing opportunity to ferry passengers to and from Paris and Frankfurt using its recently acquired Dreamliner aircraft.

Last month, the airline commenced ‘special, non-stop’ flight operations between Delhi and London’s Heathrow airport by deploying its Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft.

“In less than a month since starting our services to London Heathrow, we have been seeing a reasonable demand on the route,” he said.

“In view of this reassuring response, we have increased our frequency from three to four flights a week between Delhi and London, effective September 27, 2020.”

“We are reviewing the opportunity to operate similar flights to Paris and Frankfurt as well which will also be operated by the Dreamliner.”

Accordingly, the airline is also exploring additional, viable revenue-generating opportunities including that of long-haul charter flights.

In terms of domestic sector, Kannan observed a steady return of demand, especially to major metro cities.

“We are now operating at 40-50 per cent of our pre-Covid capacity and look forward to increasing flights to around 60 per cent of our pre-Covid capacity,” Kannan said.

“While demand is still far from pre-Covid levels, it is improving consistently which is an encouraging trend and gives us confidence.”

Vistara had recorded an increase of 15.2 percentage points in PLF between July 2020 and August 2020.

The airline had a PLF of 68.3 per cent in August 2020.

Besides, Kannan cited that most of the pent-up demand was exhausted in the first few weeks of resumption of domestic air travel.

“While in most cases it is still directional, the demand we see now, especially to major metro cities, is a sign of a gradual return to normalcy. The safety and hygiene measures being followed by the industry are helping restore people’s confidence in flying,” Kannan said.

“We now see that people are starting to travel for business, to meet friends and relatives, and in some cases, even taking leisure trips.”

Significantly, Kannan’s assessment that a consistent build-up in traffic has been witnessed belies the theory of pent-up demand driving sequential traffic growth.

“We have been constantly monitoring passenger demand and have been scaling up our operations in a calibrated manner,” he said.

“We are currently operating over 80 flights a day and plan to increase to over 100 flights per day by end of this month.”

In the pre-pandemic period the airline was flying close to 200 flights daily in domestic sector.

Furthermore, he noted that leisure travel is expected to pick up around the festive season, but the pace of traffic will largely depend on health and safety measures as well as state requirements.

Additionally, he pointed out that the airline is leveraging all viable opportunities for cargo services to maximise revenues.

“We continue to carry commercial cargo on our scheduled passenger flight and on a few sectors, we have operated special flights carrying cargo on seats as well,” he said.

(Rohit Vaid can be contacted at rohit.v@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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An actor must be thick-skinned: Kriti Kharbanda

An actor must be thick-skinned: Kriti Kharbanda

New Delhi, Oct 27 | Giving up and sitting back has never been an option for actor Kriti Kharbanda who insists that as an actor it is important to be thick-skinned in order to survive. Adding that for an actor, there are always enough people to put him/her down, but very few who will motivate, she says, “You should be your biggest cheerleader. The moment you give up on yourself, the world will refuse to help. And when one decides not to, nothing in the world can break you. Before my big hit, people would say, ‘she won’t last’. However, I refused to pay any heed to that, and focussed on the positives — there were many still willing to put money on me. Then came the life changing hit. But it happened to me only because I didn’t give up and kept going.”

Kharbanda who will be seen in Bejoy Nambiar’s ‘Taish’ along with Pulkit Samrat, releasing on October 29 on Zee 5, says that the director managed to bring out the best in her and the role was both challenging and intense. “It is unlike anything I have done before. ‘Taish’ has introduced me to a very different side of my acting abilities. Working on this film has taught me several things which I would like to imbibe and utilize while working on other projects too.”

Expecting that the film will precipitate more work, the actor who made her acting debut in 2009 with the Telugu film ‘Boni’ and has worked in Kannada, Hindi and Telugu language films does not really see any drastic contrasts between the industries in different regions. “It is all about the the people you work with. I have had good and bad experiences everywhere. There is never a guarantee that if you are working within a particular region or with a production house, everything will be smooth or bad. For me, it has only been about personal growth, no matter which language I have worked in. How I used to understand and respond to a situation — I wouldn’t react the way I did five years ago, considering one matures with age.”

Excited about the kind of cinema being made by a newer crop of directors working on a smaller budget and willing to experiment with narratives, the actor who starred in films like ‘Veerey Ki Wedding’ and ‘Pagalpanti’ says she is always on a lookout for roles that pose new challenges. “So many talented people coming from across the country are coming forward with novel stories. I would love to be part of those tales.”

As one witnesses major films being released on OTT platforms, Kharbanda says that while an actor would love a theatre release considering the experience it offers to audiences, in times like these, premieres on digital platforms are understandable. “Well, if theatre releases are not happening, this cannot mean that we would stop working. Also, it makes all the sense to support the producer if he decides that the future of the film is on an OTT platform.”

For someone who does not mind spending time at home, the lockdown was not really brutal. “I am glad that I managed to learn several new things during that time including playing the piano. The idea is to constantly think ahead. The lockdown taught me to prioritize my physical and mental health. We now know not to take anything for granted.”

All set to start shooting for her next film ’14 Phere’ to be directed by Devanshu Singh, Kharbanda adds, “I have also signed something else, which should be announced by the last week of November.”

(Sukant Deepak can be contacted at sukant.d@ians.in)

Source: IANS

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Bookshelf: Books that spotlight children's mental health

Bookshelf: Books that spotlight children's mental health

New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANSlife) In these unprecedented times, when isolation fatigue, gloom and the fear of losing a beloved has also come to grip children, taking care of their mental health is of paramount importance.

Here’s a list of books that address the various emotions children struggle with, and can be companions to them during the hard times.

‘The Room on the Roof’ by Ruskin Bond

A classic coming-of-age story which has held generations of readers spellbound! Rusty, a sixteen-year-old Anglo-Indian boy, is orphaned and has to live with his English guardian in the claustrophobic European part in Dehra Dun. Unhappy with the strict ways of his guardian, Rusty runs away from home to live with his Indian friends. Plunging for the first time into the dream-bright world of the bazaar, Hindu festivals and other aspects of Indian life, Rusty is enchanted, and is lost forever to the prim proprieties of the European community. Written when the author was himself seventeen, this moving story of love and friendship, with a new introduction and illustrations will be enjoyed by a whole new generation of readers.

‘Who Stole Bhaiya’s Smile?’ by Sanjana Kapur

Bhaiya does not feel like playing these days. Could it be because of his new monster friend Dukduk, who is always hanging around him. No one in the family takes Bhaiya seriously. But Chiru knows there is more than what meets the eye. A story about the lingering effects of depression. The book is illustrated by Sunaina Coelho.

‘Hearts Do Matters’ by Anita Myers

What the world needs now in these times is love. ‘Hearts Do Matter’ supports children and adults through the losses and grief in their life. It teaches us that even when loved ones cannot be with us, we can feel their presence in our hearts. The new release is a beautiful picture book about a little girl who has a very special relationship with her mother. Her mother promised she would always be with her, and she shows in the book that she kept her promise in the most loving way.

Source: IANS

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Yotta infrastructure to invest Rs 7,000 cr for data centre park in UP

Yotta infrastructure to invest Rs 7,000 cr for data centre park in UP

Mumbai, Oct 27 | Hiranandani Group subsidiary Yotta Infrastructure on Tuesday announced to invest Rs 7,000 crore to set up a 20-acre hyperscale data centre park in Greater Noida.

The company said it has received necessary approvals from the US government for the park that will house six interconnected data centre buildings offering 30,000 racks capacity and 200MW of power.

The construction for the first building will commence in December.

“Yotta’s vision to support the Digital India initiative just received a big boost with the inclusion of our northern India campus that will enable us to address India’s growing need for data sovereignty,” said Dr Niranjan Hiranandani, Co-founder and Managing Director of the Hiranandani Group.

In July, Yotta launched the world’s 2nd largest tier IV data centre in its Navi Mumbai Datacenter park.

The company has also inked an MoU with the Tamil Nadu government to set up a campus in Chennai at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.

“We expect our NCR campus to be operational with the first building before July 2022.

“It was a very natural choice for us to look at NCR to set up our third facility after Navi Mumbai and Chennai, given the growing needs of enterprises and intentions of hyperscale cloud service providers for expanding their availability zones in this region,”: said Sunil Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Yotta Infrastructure.

Yotta is a managed data centre service provider that designs, builds, and operates large-scale hyperdensity Data Center Parks in Navi Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi.

Source: IANS

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