Sunday May 6 2007 02:22 IST
CHENNAI: AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa on Saturday alleged that Chief Minister M Karunanidhi’s family and Sun TV were planning to launch an airlines soon.
“They have already bought two planes. More aircraft will also come. Very soon there will a Sun Airlines,” she said, releasing copies of the licence granted to Sun TV to import two aircraft.
Directorate General of Foreign Trade had granted the licence to Sun TV for the purchase of a Bombardier Challenger 605 aircraft for Rs 140.19 cr and one pre-owned Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft for Rs 96.75 crore.
She said Sun TV had applied for the licence on December 12, 2006 and the licence granted on Jan 5 this year.
This was yet another instance of Karunanidhi and his grandnephew and Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran using their positions with the Central Government to promote their family interests.
Sun TV buys two Canadian aircraft
Sunday May 6 2007 00:04 IST
CHENNAI: The Sun TV is importing two Canadian made aircraft at a total cost of Rs 236.94 crore purportedly for the domestic and international travel requirements of its senior officials and directors.
The licence for the import of these aircraft was granted by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade on January 5 this.
In his letter to Sun TV Foreign Trade Development Officer Atul Kumar said the licence was being granted for the import of “one brand new Bombardier Challenger 605 aircraft for Rs 140.19 cr (31,152,758 US Dollars) and one pre-owned Bombardier Challenger 604 aircraft for 96.75 crores (21,500,000 US dollars) for private use.”
While the Challenger 604 has a range of 7,551 km and can accommodate upto 19 passengers, the Challenger 605 has an increased payload capacity of 91 kg, which will allow either an additional passenger or extra fuel to be carried for greater range.
Releasing the copies of the Sun TV's application and the DGFT letter, AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa alleged that this was yet another instance of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and his grandnephew and Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran using their positions with the Central government to promote their family interests.
Sun TV is controlled by Dayanidhi Maran's eleder brother Kalanidhi.
Jayalalithaa charged that though Sun TV had filed its application only on December 12, 2006 it was processed at ‘lightning speed’ and the licence granted in three weeks.
In its application, SUN TV said, “The pre-owned Challenger 604 is being purchased as an interim solution only, since the delivery of brand new Challenger 605 will be in August 2008. The same will be replaced as soon as the new aircraft is delivered.”
But Jayalalithaa alleged in a statement that the purchase of the two aircraft was only a prelude to the launch of an airliner (Sun Airlines).
She charged that Karunanidhi and his family had very little time to attend to issues like Cauvery, Palar and Mullaiperiyar disputes, especially now that they had “taken to the skies.”
Sun TV, in its application, said it proposed to use foreign crew initially for operating the two aircraft, but Indian pilots, who have already been located, would fly them after getting training at the Bombardier's facility in the US and Canada.
The New Indian Express