Independence Day celebration: Air India offers discounted flights from Gulf cities to subcontinent

Independence Day celebration: Air India offers discounted flights from Gulf cities to subcontinent
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Updated 09 August 2022

Independence Day celebration: Air India offers discounted flights from Gulf cities to subcontinent

Independence Day celebration: Air India offers discounted flights from Gulf cities to subcontinent
  • The promotional tickets can be bought from Aug. 8 until Aug. 21

DUBAI: Air India is offering discounted one-way flight fares for passengers departing from its Gulf routes to celebrate India’s 75th Independence Day on Aug. 15.

The promotional tickets can be bought from Aug. 8 until Aug. 21 and are valid for travel until Oct. 15 this year. Although there are limited seats for the promotion, travelers nonetheless are still allowed 35 kilograms of check-in baggage and eight kilos of hand luggage.

Travelers coming from Saudi Arabia’s major cities – Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah – destined for the Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad can take advantage of the one-way direct flights for only $133.33 (500 riyals). A quick check on the airline’s website indicates the normal pricing for a one-way flight from Jeddah to Delhi tops over a thousand riyals.

Air India, which was taken over by Tata Group in January after winning the bid for the airline late last year, has about 81,000 seats per week in its Gulf operations including that of its budget segment via Air India Express.

For passengers departing from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in the UAE, and bound for Indian cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kozhikode, Cochin, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, Air India has pegged the one-way promotional fare at $89.86 (330 dirhams).

Passengers from Kuwait to Chennai and Mumbai meanwhile can purchase their tickets at $119.44 (36.65 Kuwaiti dinars); those flying from Doha to Delhi can have their flight tickets for $137 (499 Qatari riyals); Delhi-bound passengers from Bahrain can avail the cheaper seats at $160 (60.3 Bahraini dinars) while those flying from Muscat to Mumbai, Hyderabad and Kannur can avail of the $93.89 (36.1 Omani riyals) flight tickets.

Passengers out of Muscat to Delhi and Chennai pay $169.3 (65.1 Omani riyals) for their discounted tickets.

Air India, which held around 17 percent of India’s international airlines market in 2021, is aiming to regain lost ground and is planning to add 200 more aircraft to its current fleet of about 128 planes.

The Gulf market, where a large population of non-resident Indians work and live, is dominated by international airlines like Emirates, one of two flag carriers of the UAE.


Oil target cuts free up capacity in case of crises, OPEC head says

Oil target cuts free up capacity in case of crises, OPEC head says
Updated 14 sec ago

Oil target cuts free up capacity in case of crises, OPEC head says

Oil target cuts free up capacity in case of crises, OPEC head says

DUBAI: Oil output target cuts agreed by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, will leave producers more supply to tap in the event of any crises, OPEC Secretary General Haitham Al-Ghais told Al Arabiya TV on Friday, according to Reuters.

OPEC+, which includes the 13 members of OPEC and 10 allies led by Russia, agreed on Wednesday to lower their output target by 2 million barrels per day.

OPEC’s de facto leader Saudi Arabia said the move was necessary to respond to rising interest rates in the West and a weaker global economy.

The decision was criticized by the US where the White House said it was a sign the group was aligning itself with Russia.

US President Joe Biden also faces mid-term elections next month in which high energy prices are a hot topic.

“This was not a decision from one country against another, and I want to be clear in saying this, and it’s not a decision from two or three countries against a group of other countries,” said Ghais.

“There are strong indicators that there is a high possibility that recession will happen, we decided in this meeting to be pre-emptive.”

Western nations worry higher energy prices will hurt the fragile global economy and hinder efforts to deprive Moscow of oil revenue following its invasion of Ukraine.

EU sanctions on Russian crude and oil products are also set to take effect, in December and February, respectively.

Asked about the sanctions and a EU proposal to cap the price of Russian oil, OPEC’s Ghais said he could not comment.

“The truth is, the shape of these proposed sanctions is not quite clear, and how they will be implemented is also unclear, so we cannot comment.”

Ghais also said OPEC+ does not target prices: “We are not targeting a price, we are targeting a balance in supply and demand.”

 

 


OPEC+ output cut decision to sustain markets, not raise prices: Saudi Energy Minister

OPEC+ output cut decision to sustain markets, not raise prices: Saudi Energy Minister
Updated 12 min 27 sec ago

OPEC+ output cut decision to sustain markets, not raise prices: Saudi Energy Minister

OPEC+ output cut decision to sustain markets, not raise prices: Saudi Energy Minister

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy has insisted an agreement to cut oil production by two million barrels per day was made to sustain markets, not to raise prices.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman made the comments after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, faced criticism for agreeing to reduce its output from November, with US President Joe Biden calling it “a disappointment”. 

The minister said in a press conference after the OPEC+ meeting on Wednesday that “our current priority is stability in the market in terms of demand and investment.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, he went further, responding to suggestions of prioritizing profit directly.

“That mantra maybe could be acceptable if it is meant to be that we are deliberately doing this to jack up prices and that is not on our radar, our radar is to make sure we sustain markets,” he told Bloomberg.

Oil prices have not surged compared to coal and gas thanks to the OPEC+ and the effectiveness of its decisions, Prince Abdulaziz added.

The group's goal is to create a disciplined market that serves its real objective, as liquidity in the markets was affected by sharp fluctuations that caused prices to surge, according to the minister.

Prince Abdulaziz also indicated that there is currently no need for an additional cut in oil production by Saudi Arabia, as the agreement is considered good and appropriate for the current time.

“I said it in the press conference that in order for us to be attentive we have to be certainly assertive, preemptive and we have to be proactive,” he said.

The minister moved to quell suggestions that Saudi Arabia was the driving force behind the production cuts, insisting that the decisions taken in the group are unanimous and taken with the participation of all members.

Prince Abdulaziz said that the risks to the market come from strength of the dollar and higher interest rates.

He also indicated that it is not possible currently to judge the impact of the decision to set a price cap on Russian oil, until the passing of the next two months, given the state of uncertainty and lack of details and until the situation becomes clearer. 

He added that it will then be possible to clarify the reaction of players and producers and accordingly make better decisions.

Lack of clarity on price cap adds uncertainty, he said, adding that uncertainty could go either way.

“Our hope that people can bring more certainty in many aspects, certainty in terms of interest rates, in terms of growth, in terms of foreign exchange, in terms of what this issue from Bargo caps and the rest of it including the zero covid policies,” he said. 

The situation is now incomparable to any other throughout his 35-year career in the sector, according to the minister.

Prince Abdulaziz noted that even during the pandemic period, the market faced one variable which is COVID while currently, the market is facing a number of issues whose impact on the market may be positive or negative or a combination of both.

“It is a variety of convoluting uncertainties and they could go astray altogether, and to the positive side, or the negative side, or it could be a combination,” he said.


Tawadul Group awards $36.7m contract for fit-out works in new HQ in KAFD

Tawadul Group awards $36.7m contract for fit-out works in new HQ in KAFD
Updated 45 min 33 sec ago

Tawadul Group awards $36.7m contract for fit-out works in new HQ in KAFD

Tawadul Group awards $36.7m contract for fit-out works in new HQ in KAFD

RIYADH: Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co. has awarded a SR137.98 million ($36.7 million) contract for fit-out works to its new headquarters in King Abdullah Financial District, according to a bourse statement.

The contract was given to Riyadh-based Construction & Planning Co., the statement said, and covers fit-out works for some designated floors in the new Riyadh HQ.

Tadawul Tower has been designed by Japan’s Nikken Sekkei and will host the Saudi stock exchange, major banks and financial institutions, according to the Nikken Sekkei website. 

The construction and equipment works at the KAFD are nearing completion and have reached their final stages, Al Arabiya reported in May 2022.

The Public Investment Fund's KAFD is located in the heart of Riyadh and covrs an area of more than 3 million sq. m..


Britain launches oil, gas licensing round to boost domestic supply

Britain launches oil, gas licensing round to boost domestic supply
Updated 07 October 2022

Britain launches oil, gas licensing round to boost domestic supply

Britain launches oil, gas licensing round to boost domestic supply

LONDON: Britain launched its first oil and gas exploration licensing round since 2019 on Friday to try and boost domestic hydrocarbon output as Europe weans itself off Russian fuel, according to Reuters.

The British North Sea, home to the global Brent benchmark grade, is an aging basin where oil and gas production has fallen from a 1999 peak of around 4.4 million barrels of oil equivalent to around 1.5 million boed.

Britain is hoping to increase domestic supplies as it grapples with record high energy prices which have forced it to plow billions of pounds into schemes to help limit the impact on homes and business and to curb spiralling inflation.

In the new licensing round, the North Sea Transition Authority is offering 898 blocks, encouraging applications especially for the Southern North Sea where hydrocarbons are close to existing infrastructure allowing for swift development.

Depending on the number and quality of applications, around 100 licenses might be awarded, the NSTA said.

It estimates the time from oil or gas discovery to production has fallen significantly in recent decades to around five years.

While hosting the COP26 climate summit last year, Britain decided not to join an alliance of countries vowing to stop new oil and gas projects on their territory.

The government says continued oil and gas production does not stand in the way of its aim to build a carbon neutral economy by 2050.

“Security of supply and net zero should not be in conflict,” NSTA chief executive Andy Samuel said.

Greenpeace said the focus should be on insulating homes better and growing renewable power.

“New oil and gas licenses won’t lower energy bills for struggling families this winter or any winter soon nor provide energy security in the medium term,” Philip Evans, energy transition campaigner for Greenpeace said.

“More fossil fuels... solve neither of those problems but will make the climate crisis even worse.”

The government is reviewing its plans on how to reach its carbon neutral goal with a renewed focus on energy costs for businesses, energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg, who has previously expressed skepticism about the need to fight climate change, said on Sept. 26.

“Ensuring our energy independence means exploiting the full potential of our North Sea assets,” Rees-Mogg said.

Britain imported close to 40 percent of its energy last year, according to government data. In terms of oil and gas, British fields provided around 38 percent of its gas and 75 percent of its oil demand, according to the OEUK offshore industry body.

Oil and gas firms can apply for licenses until Jan. 12 with licenses expected to be awarded in the second quarter of next year, the NSTA said.

 


Chipmakers weigh on European shares; focus on US jobs data

Chipmakers weigh on European shares; focus on US jobs data
Updated 07 October 2022

Chipmakers weigh on European shares; focus on US jobs data

Chipmakers weigh on European shares; focus on US jobs data

BENGALURU: European shares slipped on Friday, led by semiconductor firms after weak earnings and forecasts from Samsung and Advanced Micro Devices, while recession fears lingered amid signs that central banks would remain aggressive with policy tightening, according to Reuters.

The continent-wide STOXX 600 index was down 0.3 percent, as of 0800 GMT, in line with a downbeat Asian trading session.

The index closed lower on Thursday after minutes from the European Central Bank’s last meeting fanned fears about the state of inflation in the euro zone and aggressive policy moves to tame it.

All eyes are on the US nonfarm payrolls report, due at 1230 GMT, which will show job growth likely slowed in September, although overall labor market conditions remain tight, providing the Federal Reserve with cover to continue hiking rates.

“The reason this data set is a big one, arguably the biggest since markets began to unravel, is because the data will show if the Fed’s enthusiastic interest rate hikes are now being felt in the jobs market,” said Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

“Today’s news will shape the Fed’s monetary decision in November.”

The STOXX 600 had rallied earlier this week after a smaller-than-expected rate hike by Australian central bank and softer US economic data spurred hopes of central bank pivot. The index has gained 1.9 percent so far in the week and is on pace for its best weekly performance since late July.

Meanwhile, data showed German retail sales fell more than expected in August, while industrial production contracted as supply bottlenecks remain due to pandemic-related distortions and the war in Ukraine.

Among stocks, European chipmakers fell after South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and US chipmaker AMD signalled the chip slump could be much worse than expected.

Infineon, BE Semiconductor, Soitec , Nordic Semiconductor, ASML, STMicroelectronics and ASMI dipped between 1.6 percent and 2.9 percent, dragging down the broader tech sector by 1.7 percent.

Adidas lost 2.8 percent after the German sporting goods maker put under review its business partnership with rapper and fashion designer Kanye West.

Renault jumped 3.7 percent to top the STOXX 600 index after ODDO BHF upgraded the French carmaker’s stock.

Credit Suisse rose 3.3 percent after the lender said it would buy back up to 3 billion Swiss francs ($3 billion) of senior debt securities, making a show of strength as it seeks to reassure investors after a tumultuous week.