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Sunday 2 December 2012

Jet Airways Etihad deal will be win-win in Global Aviation Recession

As talks of a possible buyout of Jet Airways by the Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways gather steam, this is a good time to look at the reasons why the deal makes sense for both parties.

First Etihad Airways. In a bid to expand its global presence and counter the threat from its neighbours’ fast expanding global airline Qatar Airways and the Dubai-based Emirates, Etihad has, in the last year or so, either acquired or raised its stake in at least three international airlines. In June this year, the airline acquired a four per cent stake in Virgin Australia for close to $35.6 million and indicated that it was keen to raise its holding to 10 per cent.


This was followed with Etihad raising its stake in Germany’s Air Berlin to 30 per cent, acquiring a 40 per cent holding in Air Seychelles and a three per cent stake in Ireland’s Aer Lingus.

Industry analysts say that the Jet-Etihad match is a perfect one, especially for the cash-strapped Jet Airways. “Should the deal go through, it will be a win-win situation for both the airlines and passengers. The Indian carrier will get access to much-needed funds, a global network, latest technology and best management practices. The global carrier will get access to traffic originating from India’s interiors. Indian passengers will gain from increased competition that is expected to lead to better offerings, seamless travel through code-shares and cheaper airfares,” says Amber Dubey, Partner and Head – Aviation, KPMG.

At the same time, the tie-up will provide Etihad an opportunity to tap into the fast growing Indian outbound market. In addition, it will mean that Etihad will not need to wait for the Indian Government to allow it to operate more flights into India because of a cap on bilateral air service agreements with other countries.


The benefits of tapping into the outbound Indian market will be huge for both Etihad and the Indian economy. For instance, a recent Emirates-commissioned study highlighted the economic advantages for the domestic economy if the Government allows it to operate up to 80,000 seats a week from India from its current entitlement of about 57,000.

Many point out that the tie-up, if it happens, will cement old ties that Jet’s promoter, Naresh Goyal, has with the region. When Jet Airways took to the skies, Kuwait Airways and Gulf Air invested in the airline. It was only when policies here changed that Jet purchased those stakes from these two foreign companies. Now that foreign airlines are allowed to invest in Indian carriers, Jet Airways can again turn to this region for the financial support it needs.

Incidentally, Jet is not the only carrier looking to partner with a foreign airline. Low cost flier SpiceJet is also said to be in talks with foreign airlines. It was rumoured that another low cost airline, Air Asia, was eyeing SpiceJet.


The Malaysian airline has, however, said that it is neither in talks nor is it interested in picking up stake in an Indian carrier. SpiceJet had earlier also said it was in talks with airlines in the Gulf region.

There are various reasons why Indian carriers are looking at possible tie-ups with foreign airlines. To begin with, Indian banks are refusing to lend them any more funds. It is expected that the latest policy change will help bring in much-needed funds into the cash-strapped and deep-in-the-red Indian carriers. In Jet Airways’ case, Eithad is expected to be issued fresh shares with the money so raised bolstering the carrier’s finances.

A look at the latest finances of Jet and other listed carriers shows why such tie-ups are essential. Jet Airways’ net loss shrunk to Rs 100 crore in the September quarter from Rs 714 crore in the year ago period backed by a forex gain of Rs 70 crore and a jump in operating income. Similarly, SpiceJet posted a net loss of Rs 163.52 crore for the quarter ended September 30 against a loss of Rs 240 crore in the comparable previous year period. Incidentally, after five consecutive quarters, all Indian airlines posted a net profit of Rs 56 crore in the first quarter of the current financial year. Though these are positive signs, they still have a long way to go before they start making money.


Of course, the fit between an Indian carrier and a foreign one has to be perfect. This is why many feel that unlike the Jet-Etihad tie-up, the one between SpiceJet and Air Asia would not have worked. “The operating model of the two airlines is different. Air Asia deploys a single aircraft fleet while SpiceJet has a two-aircraft fleet. Besides with the current financial health of SpiceJet, this might not be the right time for Air Asia to invest in it,” said an aviation analyst.

Government officials further point out that any stake sale is unlikely to provide any immediate benefit for the flying public. “The reason behind the policy change was to provide some comfort to the airlines. It is hoped that with the policy change the airlines will not only get access to funds but will also be able to tap in to international airlines’ management expertise,” said a senior Government official. Of course, it will be a while before all this translates into any benefits for flyers.

Why a Jet-Etihad deal will be win-win
Hindu Business Line
The Malaysian airline has, however, said that it is neither in talks nor is it interested in picking up stake in an Indian carrier. SpiceJet had earlier also said it was in talks withairlines in the Gulf region. There are various reasons why Indian ...
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Hindu Business Line
Delta eyes Virgin Atlantic swoop: Sunday Times
Reuters India
LONDON (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines, America's largest airline, is plotting to take control of Virgin Atlantic after making a secret approach to the British carrier's Asian shareholder, Britain's Sunday Times reported. Delta (DAL.N) is understood to ...
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Flight attendants lobby airlines for carry on baggage 'incentives'
The Australian
THE days of passengers being able to carry luggage on to planes for free could be numbered with the Flight Attendants Association of Australia pushing for an overhaul of current baggage arrangements by airlines. Cabin crew claim they are regularly ...
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Engine of Pakistan flight with chief justice on board catches fire
Times of India
The Pakistan International Airlines flight PK-308 bound for Islamabad, was ready to take off on the taxiway here when fire broke out in one of its engines causing panic and scare among the passengers which included the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry ...
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Aspen travelers seeing fewer airline seats
Aspen Times
ASPEN — With Frontier Airlines out of Aspen's air-service picture, the overall number of airlineseats coming into the Aspen-Pitkin County Airport this winter will be down 20 percent. That said, there is room to move as many passengers in and out of ...
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Amtrak, airlines took Hurricane Sandy hit
Daily Press
But at least two airlines with Peninsula service and Amtrak's passenger rail line incurred serious losses. In a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, dated Nov. 26, US Airways Group, Inc., gave notice the company estimates a $30 million ...
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Jet seeks govt nod to lease two A330s
Business Standard
... two Airbus 330-300s to deploy them on the Mumbai-Newark (US) route as part of its A330s fleet replacement plans. The airline has written to the government to allow it to lease two Airbus A330s to induct in its fleet, chief executive Nikos Kardassis ...
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Great Year-End Travel Deals By Malaysia Airlines
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 (Bernama) -- Malaysia Airlines is offering exciting airfares through its Year End Sale (YES) from Dec 3, 2012, Dec 17, 2012 for travel from Dec 5 this year till Sept 30 next year. This is a great opportunity for travellers to start ...
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Chinese airline in buyout talks with Cargolux
China Post
Beijing -- An unnamed official from HNA Group, the parent company of Chinese Hainan Airlines Co. Ltd., said the group had initial contacts with European cargo airline Cargolux Airlines International SA regarding a possible acquisition.
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New ideas for airline fees discussed at local conference
Los Angeles Times
After all, the world's biggest airlines are expected this year to collect $36.1 billion in revenue for food, drinks, wireless Internet service, roomier seats and checked bags. But the airline industry is not resting on its money-making laurels. At a ...
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Jobless Rate Spikes in Euro Bloc, Returning Recession

Did the recession begin in July? If so, expect an ugly 2013!
Fabius Maximus (blog)
Summary: Many US economic indicators have fallen off their peaks, some entering typical pre-recessionary levels. That's bad, since the fiscal deficit and unemployment are already atrecessionary levels. That's a ugly place to start the downturn. And ...
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Metro economies show recovery from recession
Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas ranked No. 6 and No. 14 in the nation for economic performance from 2011 to 2012 and No. 71 and No. 106 in the world, respectively. The rankings from the Brookings Institution highlight the two areas' ...
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Personal income grows by fastest pace since recession
Scranton Times-Tribune
Personal income for those in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metro area grew in 2011 by the fastest pace since before the recession. Income from all sources for the region increased by 3.94 percent to $36,889 per year, according to data released Monday by ...
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Prosperity across the South is hiding a recession in much of Britain
Even during the very depths of the 2009 recession – the sharpest, deepest and longest-lasting in living memory – the eastern half of inner London didn't see its nominal economic output contract at all. Regional disparities of this sort aren't unusual ...
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BCCI oblivious about the word 'recession', its surplus never went below Rs 50 ...
India Today
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is among the few fortunate entities for which the word 'recession' does not exist. Even when the recession was at its peak a few years ago, the Board's net surplus never went below Rs 50 crore. This is ...
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India Today
The 12 biggest companies paying workers the least
During the recession, layoffs and benefits cuts were widespread. More than three years after therecession ended, pay hikes or improved benefits have not materialized at most of the 12 companies. Yet, nine of the 12 companies have been profitable the ...
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Poland's economy slows in third quarter
The News International
WARSAW: Poland's economy slowed faster than expected in the third quarter, owing primarily to doldrums in Germany with some analysts predicting a deeper slump in 2013, but no recession. The third quarter saw adjusted growth on a 12-month basis slide ...
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'Triple-dip' recession fears grow but more quantitative easing unlikely
SIR Mervyn King, the departing governor of the Bank of England, is unlikely to deliver an early Christmas present to the UK economy this week despite the growing threat of a “triple-dip” recession. The bank's nine-strong monetary policy committee (MPC ...
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Jobless Rate Spikes in Euro Bloc, Returning Recession
Arutz Sheva
The dismal news reflects a return to recession – defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth. “The level of unemployment in Europe remains unacceptably high,” said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission. Almost 19 million ...
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Arutz Sheva
100% Recession Risks – A Follow On
Forex Pros
Professor Piger updated his recession probability model that caused so much attention early November (See “Debunking 100% probability of recession“). As we forecast last month, the probability index undertook a “revision” of epic proportions as ...
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Saturday 1 December 2012

Amazon thinks big data was made for the Cloud

For Amazon Web Services Chief Data Scientist Matt Wood, the day isn’t filled performing data alchemy on behalf of his employer; he’s entertaining its customers. Wood helps AWS users build big data architectures that use the company’s cloud computing resources, and then take what he learns about those users’ needs and turn them into products — such as the Data Pipeline Service and Redshift data warehouse AWS announced this week.

He and I sat down this week at AWS’s inaugural Re: Invent conference and talked about many things, including what he’s seen in the field and where cloud-based big data efforts are headed. Here are the highlights.

The end of contstraint-based thinking

Not so long ago, computer scientists understood many of the concepts that we now call data science, but limited resources meant they were hamstrung in the types of analysis they could attempt to do. “That can be very limiting, very constraining when you’re working with data,” Wood said.

Now, however, data storage and processing resources are relatively inexpensive and abundant — so much so that they’ve actually made the concept of big data possible. Cloud computing has only made those resources cheaper and more abundant. The result, Wood said, is that people working with data are undergoing a shift from that mindset of limiting their data analysis to the resources they have available to one where they think about business needs first.

If they’re able to get past traditional notions of sampling and days-long processing times,  he added, individuals can focus their attention on what they can do because they have so many resources available. He noted how Yelp gave developers relatively free rein early on the use of Elastic MapReduce, saving them from having to formally request resources just “to see if the crazy idea [someone] had over coffee is going to play out.” Yelp was able to spot a shift in mobile traffic volume years ago and get a headstart on its mobile efforts because of that, Wood added.

Data problems aren’t just about scale

Generally speaking, Wood said, solving customers’ data problems isn’t just about figuring out how to store ever greater volumes for every cheaper prices. “You don’t have to be at a petabyte scale in order to get some insight on who’s using your social game,” he said.

In fact, access to limitless storage and processing is a solution to one problem that actually creates another. Companies want to keep all the data they generate, and that creates complexity, Wood explained. As that data piles up in various repositories — perhaps in Amazon’s S3 and DynamoDB services, as well as on some physical machines with a company’s data center — moving it from place to place in order to reuse it becomes a difficult process.

Wood said AWS built its new Data Pipeline Service in order to address this problem. Pipelines can be “arbitrarily complex,” he explained — from running a simple piece of business logic against data to running whole batches through Elastic MapReduce — but the idea is to automate the movement and processing so users don’t have to build these flows themselves and then manually run them.

The cloud isn’t just for storing tweets

People sometimes question the relevance of cloud computing for big data workloads, if only because any data generated on in-house systems has to make its way to the cloud over inherently slow connections. The bigger the dataset, the longer the upload time.

Wood said AWS is trying hard to alleviate these problems. For example, partners such as Aspera and even some open source projects enable customers to move large files at fast speeds over the internet (Wood said he’s seen consistent speeds of 700 megabits per second). This is also why AWS has eliminated data-transfer fees for inbound data, has turned on parallel uploads for large files and created its Direct Connect program with data center operators that provide dedicated connections to AWS facilities.

And if datasets are too large for all those methods, customers can just send AWS their physical disks. “We definitely receive hard drives,” Wood said.

Collaboration is the future

Once data makes its way to the cloud, it opens up entirely new methods of collaboration where researchers or even entire industries can access and work together on shared datasets too big to move around. “This sort of data space is something that’s becoming common in fields where there are very large datasets,” Wood said, citing as an example the 1000 Genomes project dataset that AWS houses.

DNAnexus’s cloud-based architecture

As we’ve covered recently, the genetics space is drooling over the promise of cloud computing. The 1000 Genomes database is only 200TB, Wood explained, but very few project leads could get the budget to store that much data and make it accessible to their peers, much less the computation power required to process it. And even in fields such as pharmaceuticals, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels told me during an earlier interview, companies are using the cloud to collaborate on certain datasets so companies don’t have to spend time and money reinventing the wheel.

No more supercomputers?

Wood seemed very impressed with the work that AWS’s high-performance computing customers have been doing on the platform — work that previously would have been done on supercomputers or other physical systems. Thanks to AWS partner Cycle Computing, he noted, the Morgridge Institute at the University of Wisconsin was able to perform 116 years worth of computing in just one week. In the past, access to that kind of power would have required waiting in line until resources opened up on a supercomputer somewhere.

The collaborative efforts Wood discussed certainly facilitate this type of extreme computation, as does AWS’s continuous efforts to beef up its instances with more and more power. Whatever users might need, from the new 250GB RAM on-demand instances to GPU-powered Cluster Compute Instances, Wood said AWS will try to provide it. Because cost sometimes matters, AWS has opened Cluster Compute Instances and Elastic MapReduce to its spot market for buying capacity on the cheap.

But whatever data-intensive workloads organizations want to run, many will always look to the cloud now. Because cloud computing and big data — Hadoop, especially — have come of age roughly in parallel with each other, Wood hypothesized, they often go hand-in-hand in people’s minds.

AWS re:Invent 2012 IT pros have few cloud computing security concerns
LAS VEGAS -- Even though Amazon Web Services Senior Vice President Andy Jassy admitted this week that cloud computing security is the No. 1 concern of potential AWS customers, attendees at the company's inaugural re:Invent conference expressed ...
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Business units control cloud strategy: Survey
ITWorld Canada
The benefits of some type of cloud computing – be it basic email or a database of contacts, if not going whole hog – have been demonstrated for some time. Among the potential benefits is that it can take a load off IT department staff, letting them ...
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ITWorld Canada
What is cloud computing?
ihotdesk - IT News
Cloud computing is a term which has been banded around in almost all circles in recent years, but many firms still fail to grasp what it really is and how it can be beneficial to them. Put simply cloud computing is a system where data and applications ...
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How to Know When It's Time to Move Your IT to the Cloud
Greater Lansing Business Monthly
Another clear advantage of cloud computing is that it scales much more easily than in-house systems. If, for example, your business is growing or if you have a seasonal business with peak times, you no longer have to worry about running out of ...
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Why Amazon thinks big data was made for the cloud
According to Amazon Web Services Chief Data Scientist Matt Wood, big data andcloud computing are nearly a match made in heaven. Limitless, on-demand and inexpensive resources open up new worlds of possibility, and a central platform makes it easy ...
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How Jim Geiger piloted Cbeyond into the cloud computing era
Smart Business Network
Of course you've heard the overused phrases 'cloud computing' and 'cloud services.' Everybody wants to be offering cloud services today. But, indeed, we are.” Geiger explains Cbeyond's move into the realm of cloud-based technology in terms of “boxes.”...
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Smart Business Network
Cloud Browsers May Place Businesses at Risk, University Research Finds
Midsize Insider
According to research at North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon, "cloudbrowsers" pose a potentially serious threat to users. They can be exploited to perform substantialcomputing tasks anonymously. Now that many cloud-based ...
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A Foot in the Cloud
This past week, at Telx Marketplace, a conference for data center services providers and their customers, experts on cloud computing strategies pointed to developments and opportunities in the cloud that can affect how reference data will be handled ...
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IDC's 2013 tech predictions: Mobile devices, emerging markets drive growth
Computerworld New Zealand
The most significant IT trends of 2013 are familiar -- mobility, cloud computing, social technologies and big data -- but the new year will bring a new urgency as enterprises look for vendors to move past exploratory roadmap stages and deliver ...
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Managed Service Provider Week in Review
The Complete Managed Services Resource
The managed services and cloud computing arenas drew closer this week, with Cisco's major announcement that it would be consolidating its managed service provider (MSP) and cloud computing programs. The merger is being done to eliminate ...
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Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Indra K. Nooyi is the President and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo

Indra K. Nooyi is the president and chief financial officer of PepsiCo. Best known for its Pepsi soft drinks, the international powerhouse that Nooyi oversees is actually one of the world's largest snack-food companies. It makes and sells dozens of other products, including Doritos-brand chips, the Tropicana juice line, and Quaker Oats cereals. Nooyi is one of the top female executives in the United States, and is also believed to be the highest-ranking woman of Indian heritage in corporate America.

Joined Rock Band

Nooyi was born in Madras, India, in 1955, and was a bit of a rule breaker in her conservative, middle-class world as she grew up. In an era in India where it was considered unseemly for young women to exert themselves, she joined an all-girls' cricket team. She even played guitar in an all-female rock band while studying at Madras Christian College. After earning her undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, and math, she went on to enroll in the Indian Institute of Management in Calcutta. At the time, it was one of just two schools in the country that offered a master's in business administration degree, or M.B.A.

Nooyi's first job after earning her degree was with Tootal, a British textile company. It had had been founded in Manchester, England, in 1799, but had extensive holdings in India. After that, Nooyi was hired as a brand manager at the Bombay offices of Johnson & Johnson, the personal-care products maker. She was given the Stayfree account, which might have proved a major challenge for even an experienced marketing executive. The line had just been introduced on the market in India, and struggled to create an identity with its target customers. "It was a fascinating experience because you couldn't advertise personal protection in India," she recalled in an interview with the Financial Times 's Sarah Murray.

Nooyi began to feel that perhaps she was underprepared for the business world. Determined to study in the United States, she applied to and was accepted by Yale University's Graduate School of Management in New Haven, Connecticut. Much to her surprise, her parents agreed to let her move to America. The year was 1978. "It was unheard of for a good, conservative, south Indian Brahmin girl to do this," she explained to Murray in the Financial Times. "It would make her an absolutely unmarriageable commodity after that."

"Behind my cool logic lies a very emotional person."

Could Not Afford Suit

Nooyi quickly settled into her new life, but struggled to make ends meet over the next two years. Though she received financial aid from Yale, she also had to work as an overnight receptionist to make ends meet. "My whole summer job was done in a sari because I had no money to buy clothes," she told Murray. Even when she went for an interview at the prestigious business-consulting firms that hired business-school students, she wore her sari, since she could not afford a business suit. Recalling that the Graduate School of Management required all first-year students to take—and pass—a course in effective communications, she said in the Financial Times interview that what she learned in it "was invaluable for someone who came from a culture where communication wasn't perhaps the most important aspect of business at least in my time."

Pepsi v. Coke

The rivalry between Pepsi, the flagship product of Indra Nooyi's company, and its Atlanta, Georgia-based competitor, Coca-Cola, is one of corporate America's longest-running marketing battles. In the United States alone, the soft-drink industry is a $60 billion one, with the average American consuming a staggering fifty-three gallons of carbonated soft drinks every year.

The battle between Coke and Pepsi dates back almost as long as each company's history. Both emerged as key players in early decades of the twentieth century, when soft drinks first came on the market in the United States. In the 1920s, Coca-Cola began moving aggressively into overseas markets, and even opened bottling plants near to places where U.S. service personnel were stationed during World War II. Pepsi only moved into international territory in the 1950s, but scored a major coup in 1972 when it inked a deal with the Soviet Union. With this deal, Pepsi became the first Western product ever sold to Soviet consumers.

The battle for market share heated up after 1975, when both companies stepped up their already lavishly financed marketing campaigns to win new customers. Pepsi's standard cola products had a slightly sweeter taste, which prompted one of the biggest corporate-strategy blunders in U.S. business history: in 1985, Coca-Cola launched "New Coke," which had a slightly sweeter formulation. Coke consumers were outraged. The old formula was still available under the name "Coca-Cola Classic," but the New Coke idea was quickly shelved. This incident is often studied by business-school curriculums in the United States and elsewhere, along with many other aspects of what is known as "the cola wars."

Coke is the leader in market share for carbonated colas, but soft drinks remain its core business. Pepsi, on the other hand, began acquiring other businesses in 1965 when it bought the Texas-based Frito-Lay company, and has a larger stake in the food industry.

Nooyi did not earn a second M.B.A. from Yale. Instead, her degree was a master of public and private management, which she finished in 1980. After commencement, she went to work at the Boston Consulting Group, a prestigious consulting firm. For the next six years she worked on a variety of international corporate-strategy projects, and went over to Motorola in 1986 as a senior executive. She remained there for four years, leaving in 1990 to join Asea Brown Boveri Inc. as its head of strategy. ABB, as the company was known, was a $6 billion Swiss-Swedish conglomerate that made industrial equipment and constructed power plants around the world.

Nooyi's skill in helping ABB find its direction in North America came to the attention of Jack Welch, the head of General Electric. He offered her a job in 1994, but so did PepsiCo chief executive officer Wayne Calloway. As she told a writer for Business Week, the two men knew one another, but Calloway made an appealing pitch for Nooyi's talent. He told her, she recalled, that "'Welch is the best CEO I know.... But I have a need for someone like you, and I would make PepsiCo a special place for you.'"

Nooyi chose the soft-drink maker, and became its chief strategist. Soon, she was urging PepsiCo to reshape its brand identity and assets, and became influential in a number of important decisions. She was also a lead negotiator on the high-level deals that followed. The company decided to spin off its restaurant division in 1997, for example, which made its KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell holdings into a separate company. She also looked at the successful plan by Pepsi rival Coca-Cola, which had sold of its bottling operations a decade earlier, and had been rewarded with impressive profit margins on its stock performance. Pepsi followed suit, and the 1999 initial public offering of the Pepsi bottling operations was valued at $2.3 billion. The company kept a large share of stock in it, however.

Pointed Pepsi in the Right Direction

At PepsiCo, Nooyi has been the chief dealmaker for two of its most important acquisitions: she put together the $3.3 billion-dollar-deal for the purchase of the Tropicana orange-juice brand in 1998, and two years later was part of the team that secured Quaker Oats for $14 billion. That became one of the biggest food deals in corporate history, and added a huge range of cereals and snack-food products to the PepsiCo empire. She also helped acquire the edgy beverage maker SoBe for $337 million, and her deal beat the one submitted by Coca-Cola.

For her impressive dealmaking talents, Nooyi was promoted to the job of chief financial officer at PepsiCo in February of 2000. It made her the highest-ranking Indian-born woman among the ranks of corporate America. A year later, she was given the title of president as well, when her longtime colleague, Steven S. Reinemund, advanced to the position of board chair and chief executive officer. Reinemund had said he would only take the job only if Nooyi came onboard as his second in command. "'I can't do it unless I have you with me,'" she recalled him telling her, according to Business Week.

Upon taking over as president and chief financial officer in May of 2001, Nooyi worked to keep the company on track with her vision: "For any part of the day we will have a little snack for you," she told Business Week in 2001. The company sold a dazzling range of snack foods and beverages, from Mountain Dew to Rice-a-Roni, from Captain Crunch cereal to Gatorade-brand sports drinks. It also owned the makers of Doritos-brand snacks and Aquafina bottled water.

One of Corporate America's Top Visionaries

Nooyi's success in the business world landed her on Time magazine's list of "Contenders" for its Global Business Influentials rankings in 2003. Many watchers predict that she will someday head one of the company's divisions, such as Frito-Lay, or its core brand, PepsiCo Beverages North America. In early 2004, there were mentions in the press that Nooyi, who still wears the occasional sari to work, was being considered for the top job at the Gucci Group, but she denied rumors that she had been talking with the Italian luxury-goods giant.

Nooyi serves on the board of trustees at the Yale Corporation, the governing board of Yale University. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut, not far from PepsiCo's headquarters across the state line in Purchase, New York. At home, she maintains a puja, or traditional Hindu shrine, and once she flew to Pittsburgh after a tough session with Quaker Oats executives to pray at a shrine there to her family's deity. Her predictions that her American graduate education would hamper her marriage prospects proved untrue, for she married an Indian man, Raj, who works as a management consultant. They have two daughters who are nearly a decade apart in ages, and Nooyi occasionally brings her younger child to work. The former rock guitarist is still known to take the stage at company functions to sing. Her job, however, remains a top priority. She watches championship-game replays of the Chicago Bulls to study teamwork concepts, for example, and admitted to Forbes journalist Melanie Wells that she strategizes 24-7 sometimes. "I wake up in the middle of the night," she told the magazine, "and write different versions of PepsiCo on a sheet of paper."

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Capt Robert “Vince” Herrick a Hobby Pilot killed in Blair in Ercoupe 415-C Air Plane Crash

Robert “Vince” Herrick had a love of flying that was second only to the love
for his late wife, family members said.
A pilot for 60 years, Herrick at age 92 still enjoyed flying his 1946
Ercoupe 415-C in the vicinity of his hometown of Nickerson, Neb.
“He flew for pleasure, and that's probably what he was doing yesterday,”
Steve Fauss, his son-in-law, said Friday.
“It wasn't uncommon for him to fly every day the weather was nice.”

Herrick, who had the use of only one eye, was about 25 miles east of his
hometown Thursday in his Ercoupe when it took a nose dive about 5:15 p.m. into a storage lot at the Woodhouse auto dealership in Blair.

The crash killed Herrick on impact, authorities said.

The Ercoupe is classified as a light sport aircraft.

According to Federal Aviation Administration regulations, a person with a valid pilot's license may continue to fly light aircraft as long as he or she maintains a valid motor vehicle driver's license, which was the case with Herrick.

There are no age limits on flying as long as a pilot's medical clearance is up to date, Tony Molinaro of the FAA said.

Pilots flying light aircraft are not required to receive annual or biennial medical examinations, though a pilot must fulfill any medical requirements of his driver's license. Pilots are not required to file flight plans for recreational planes.

Witnesses said the single-engine plane was flying unusually low and clipped power lines near the storage lot before the crash. The aircraft avoided the main part of the dealership, which was open for business.

No one else was injured.

The Washington County attorney has not yet released autopsy results.

The Ercoupe is stable and easy to fly, said Skip Carden, executive director of the Ercoupe Owners Club in Timberlake, N.C.

The twin-tailed aircraft, weighing 800 pounds when empty, is considered “incapable of spinning and really hard to stall,” Carden said.

The Ercoupe carries just 14 gallons of fuel and has a cruising speed of 108 mph. Its stalling speed is about 55 mph.

“Those planes were built for anyone to fly,” Carden said. “They don't have foot rudder controls, so that makes it a good plane for amputees to fly.”

Fauss said Herrick lost an eye many years ago in a shop accident, but he would still fly his plane regularly.

“That guy flew more single-engines than anyone I knew,” said Quentin Marquardt of Nickerson, who used to hangar next to Herrick at the Scribner State Airport. “He might keep them for two weeks and then trade them. He just loved to fly.”

Herrick stayed active as a member of the Nickerson Village Board and built a park for the town's children dedicated to the memory of his wife of 62 years, Birdie-Belle. He also owned a cattle insemination business in Nickerson until retiring at 65.

His funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Moser Memorial Chapel, 2170 N. Somers Ave. in Fremont.

Herrick's survivors include daughters Roxie Fauss of Nickerson and Saralee Hocking of Beemer, Neb.; son Bob Herrick of Salisbury, Tenn.; and brothers Lynn of Brady, Neb., and Harlan, Ted and Norman, all of North Platte.

Congo Plane Crash Kills 30 Near Brazzaville
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Cathay Pacific Airlines sees strong demand in India's Aviation Market

International carrier Cathay Pacific is growing fast in India and sees strong demand in the aviation market in the country despite world aviation being at its low point, a top airline official said here Saturday.
Tom Wright, Cathay Pacific country manager, South Asia, Middle East and Africa, said the airlines was ahead of its competitors in India. He was talking to reporters while announcing the launch of direct flight between Hyderabad and Hong Kong.
Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific became the first airline to connect the two cities. It will operate four flights a week.
The first flight from Hong Kong will be given the traditional water canon salute on arrival at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here Dec 2.
The Airbus A330-300 aircraft will have both business and economy class configuration.
"The potential in this market is tremendous. The influx of IT and pharmaceutical companies into the city has made Hyderabad one of the fastest growing markets. We already see strong corporate and student traffic and believe there is real potential for leisure traffic," said Wright.
Hyderabad became sixth city in India to be served by Cathay Pacific and its sister airline Dragonair. Cathay Pacific operates to Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai while Dragonair has daily flight to Bangalore and the recently launched four-time weekly service to Kolkatta
With the launch of this flight, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair together operate 46 flights a week between India and Hong Kong
"This addition reinforces our commitment to the Indian market and I believe in its potential for long term growth," Wright added.
"From our perspective this has been a strong year. We added two destinations and increased frequencies to Chennai. We are growing fast. Even though the world economy is slowing down and India's GDP too falling down to 5.3 percent, we still see a strong demand."
Wright said the flight from Hyderabad not only connects the city to Hong Kong but also to mainland China, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and other destinations in North America, North Asia, Japan, Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

Describing Hong Kong as best gateway to the rest of the world, he pointed out that Cathay Pacific has a huge network of 170 destinations in 42 countries.
GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) CEO, Vikram Jaisinghani said the launch of the flight was a momentous occasion and would meet the long felt need of travelers from Hyderabad.
The addition of Hong Kong will be the fourth destination in Far East Asia after Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok.
He promised best service to the Cathay Pacific, which started cargo operations on Hyderabad-Hong Kong route in May this year.
Sunil Puri, a representative of Hong Kong Tourism Board, said the flight would bring Hong Kong closer to Hyderabad. The travellers from the city earlier had to spend five hours flying to Delhi and other cities to catch a flight to Hong Kong.
Puri said as 'Asia's world city', a shopping hub for all sections of people and tourism centre, Hong Kong is an attractive destination for Indians.
"The fantastic thing is that Hong Kong is a visa free country. You don't require visa to go to Hong Kong. All your require is a passport," he said.