Friday, October 09, 2015

IndiGo plans midnight flights from Oct 15, Spice to follow

India's LCCs finally see some merit in launching late night/early morning domestic flights. This festival season, IndiGo is launching 42 new domestic weekly flights which will operate at late hours while SpiceJet is also planning some late flights during the upcoming winter schedule. IndiGo will start these flights from 15 October between Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bengaluru and Delhi-Chennai sectors. Flight 6E 154 from Mumbai to Delhi departs a 2 am in the morning of 16 October and its scheduled landing time is 4.10 am - this flights seems to be competing with a Jet Airways flight which departs Mumbai at 2.30 am and lands in the National Capital by 4.35 am. As of now, Jet is the only airline with any late domestic connections. Jet Airways currently operates 8 late night/early morning flights. A spokesperson said fares were generally lower for these flights but did not provide specific details. Late flights are popularly known as "red eye" flights in the United States since these operate from one coast to the other and passengers arrive early morning, sleep deprived and red eyed. Some of the flights IndiGo and SpiceJet are planning may qualify for this nomenclature. Red eye flights typically offer 40-50 percent lower fares but it remains to be seen if either of the Indian LCCs can price in such significant discounts into their late night offerings.
09/10/15 Sindhu Bhattacharya/CNBC-TV18

Air India cuts down staff-per-aircraft ratio from 300 to 108 in 2 years

Mumbai: Air India has successfully reduced its air the air-craft-to-employee ratio from 300 per flight to 108, cutting it down by almost two-third in the last two years and im proving on the time its aircraft remain in Jet Airways, on the other hand, has 130 employees working towards any given flight. According to officials of the national carrier, the reduction has a direct benefit on passengers with efficiency peaking. "It has increased turn-around time for every flight and increased the number of hours an aircraft remains in the sky," an airline official told Mirror.

Air India's reduction is commendable when compared to a ratio of 127 per plane at Lufthansa (38,000 employees: 299 aircraft), 140 at Singapore Airlines (14,000 employees with 100 aircraft) and British Airways 178 employees per aircraft. An Air India official explained that the carrier has a fleet strength of 115, ranging from wide-body and narrow-body to regional jets with employee strength of 20,000.

According to the airline, the latest ratio - a key performance indicator - brings the national carrier almost on a par with some of the global competitors including the likes of Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.
09/10/15 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror 

SpiceJet to add 6 planes in a month, launch 41 more daily flights

New Delhi: Setting out an aggressive growth path for itself, low-cost carrier SpiceJet on Friday said it will add six additional aircraft to its fleet over the next month.

With this increase in fleet, SpiceJet will be able to augment its winter schedule by operating 291 daily flights (up from current 250), add 10 new sectors and 30 new frequencies and 22 connecting flights.

Among the newly added sectors, those effective from October 25, are Ahmedabad-Goa, Mumbai-Varanasi, and Varanasi-Hyderabad while the flights for Khozhikode-Dubai and Amritsar-Dubai routes are set to commence operations from November 15.

The airline has reinforced its frequencies on multiple routes such as Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Chennai, Goa-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Kolkata-Agartala, Mumbai-Kochi, Hyderabad-Mumbai, and Chennai-Madurai. New onward connections added to the existing network include Pune-Srinagar, Delhi-Madurai, Mumbai-Madurai and Ahmedabad-Coimbatore.
09/10/15 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

SpiceJet may post decent earnings with cheap fuel and funds

ET Intelligence Group: Is SpiceJet on the cusp of a turnaround? It's a question that could be on the minds of many investors with fundamentals and circumstances going in favour of the low-cost carrier. The listed airline, controlled by Ajay Singh since January, posted profits of Rs 71 crore in the June 2015 quarter thanks to a drop in oil price. An old hand in the aviation business has pledged 33 per cent of his stake to banks to raise money to repay loans. This was after a consortium of investors he led infused Rs 800 crore in the company.

The cash helped SpiceJet lower its debt to Rs 1,100 crore from Rs 2,000 crore. Post fund infusion, the airline's focus has been to contain costs and improve ancillary revenues (earnings from cargoes etc) which have grown to 13 per cent of the top line from 6 per cent six months ago. Also, the company has stopped acquiring aircraft aggressively.
09/10/15 Rajesh Naidu & Jwalit Vyas/Economic Times

Centre asks Air India to hire more pilots, cabin crew

New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry has asked Air India to hire more pilots and cabin crew after it found that the national carrier is still reeling under a shortage that is resulting in delay of flights.

The recruitment process, which will begin with the carrier ascertaining the number of people required, comes shortly after Air India hired more than 900 cabin crew members and 220 pilots. The airline has a strength of 3,500 cabin crew members and 1,500 pilots.

"The civil aviation ministry has asked us to hire more to tide over the problem of availability of pilots and cabin crew for flights. The ministry asked us to carry out hiring after the operations department complained about the unavailability of crew," said an Air India executive, who did not want to be identified.
09/10/15 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Delhi International Airport keen on bond issue to repay bank loans

Mumbai: Delhi International Airport (DIAL) is among a growing list of companies that want to pay bank loans before term and shift to cheaper market borrowing. The company plans to raise more than Rs 1,000-1,500 crore from the bond market to repay a portion of its high-cost loans, two senior bank executives told ET.

Money raised through this route will be 150 to 200 bps lower than the bank rates. "The company has approached banks for a no-objection certificate to raise money through private placement of bonds," said an executive. The bank pays an annual interest of 11.5 per cent to its lenders.
A DIAL spokesperson said, "The points raised are speculative in nature and as a policy we do not comment on speculative news." While banks have lowered their base rate in recent weeks by 25 to 40 basis points, the bond market continues to be a cheaper source for borrowing. For instance, a triple-A-rated corporate can raise money at 8-8.25 per cent from the bond market, lower than State Bank of India's base rate of 9.30 per cent.
09/10/15 Sangita Mehta/Economic Times

Srinagar “International” Airport!

Recently the State Tourism Department while celebrating the World Tourism Day arranged a panel discussion on the World Tourism Organisation’s theme for the current year, “A Billion Tourists, Billion Opportunities”! A number of travel industry representatives participated in the discussions on the topic. Most of the speakers were of the view that Kashmir is an ideal destination for the global high-end tourism. It was felt that for maximum economic benefits it is better to attract up market international and domestic high end tourism than to go for mass budget tourism.To protect the ecology and environment which in the first instance are the main attraction in case of Kashmir, one has to plan for “Sustainable Tourism”!

There are two main requirements for attracting high-end tourism apart from the basic necessity of peace. The first is the accessibility and second is the suitable infrastructure. Given that the ultimate peace in Kashmir may be a long distance away, we can still attract tourists provided we have the requisite facilities. The present global situation rarely affords total peace in any part of the world. In the given circumstances, the one kind of tourism which has extensive possibility in Kashmir is the adventure tourism. The adventure tourist is already prepared to face the nature’s hazards. Some man made hazards do not discourage him much! In the peak of militancy, Kashmir continued to host very high end adventure tourists from Europe and America for heli-skiing.
Then we need suitable infrastructure for high end tourists. They need high class accommodation and transport.
08/10/15 Mohammad Ashraf/

GoAir told to pay Rs 1 lakh to aggrieved family

Chandigarh: After a family of four suffered harassment, misery and inordinate delay on part of GoAir, the UT Consumer Disputes The redressal forum has directed the airlines to pay Rs 1 lakh to the aggrieved family.
The awarded amount includes refund of Rs 70,000 for loss of one night stay at Hotel Taj Fort, Goa, Rs 20,000 compensation on account of deficiency in service and causing mental and physical harassment to the complainant and Rs 10,000 as litigation costs.
The complainant, Tarlochan Singh, a resident of Sector 4, Chandigarh, purchased an inclusive package of air travel-cum-hotel stay for three days/nights for four persons from GoAir and Bajaj Travels in Sector 17 and paid consideration amount of Rs 2,10,000 on January 6, 2015. The package comprised of air travel by Go Airlines from Chandigarh to Goa and return with a stay at Hotel Taj Fort, Aguda, North Goa. The air journey was to commence on February 17, 2015, by flight No.382/371 of GoAir  with scheduled departure at 11.30 am from Chandigarh to Mumbai. The flight was cancelled by GoAir at the last moment without announcement of any reason nor were they told about the schedule of the next flight. Thus, the complainant was made to wait for the entire day on February 17, 2015, without any definite information for the next flight to be boarded. The complainant and his other three family members were ultimately accommodated in flight No. 384/379 which departed from Chandigarh at 1900 hrs, thereby, causing a delay of seven and half hours. The complainant reached at the Mumbai-Goa Airport by 10 pm. instead of reaching by 1.30 pm on that day.
08/10/15 Aneesha Sareen/Tribune India

More flights likely to city from Delhi, Mumbai

Jaipur: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) and Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) have written to various airlines to bring big aircrafts for the upcoming Resurgent Rajasthan summit. Airlines have also been urged to increase the frequency of flights between from Jaipur to Delhi and Mumbai. Since the summit is also coinciding with the tourist season, the authorities have also asked the airlines to increase the frequency between other tourist destinations, including Udaipur and Jodhpur.

AAI, Jaipur officials held meetings with the DGCA, state government to ensure that delegates and investors should have a hassle-free travel to Jaipur.

According to sources, a protocol office would also be set up at the Jaipur airport to receive and facilitate the delegates and investors.
09/10/15 Times of India

ATR aircraft meant for N-E diverted to Bengaluru: Arunachal CS

Itanagar: Arunachal Pradesh has claimed that the Union Civil Aviation Ministry had deprived the North Eastern state, in terms of development, by diverting a 72-seater ATR aircraft meant for the region to Bengaluru.

The ministry has recently procured five such aircraft for Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, out of which one was meant for the North East.

The ministry had reportedly diverted the aircraft to Bengaluru depriving the region, Arunachal Pradesh Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi said here yesterday.

Negi raised the issue before the team of Rajya Sabha Assurance Committee led by its Chairman Hussain Dalwai, who was in the state capital on a two-day visit beginning October 7.
The chairman, however, assured him to take up the issue with the concerned authorities.
09/10/15 PTI/Business Standard

How Chandigarh new airport will bring new opportunities for real estate Industry?

Chandigarh: The city beautiful, Chandigarh has been a great lure for the realtors since years. And now, with the new airport, things are being expected to change more rapidly in the Chandigarh real estate market.
The commencement of new airport in Chandigarh is expected to be a shot in the arm for real estate development in Chandigarh and likely to bring sales back to life.
It started in October 2011, when CM Parkash Singh Badal urged our former PM Manmohan Singh to lay the foundation stone for the airport. After undergoing many ups-and-downs, and disputes, finally in the last month, i.e. September 2015, PM Narendra Modi inaugurated the new International Airport in Chandigarh (Mohali).
08/10/15 Punjab News Express

Political parties demand extension of Kannur airport runway to 4,000 meters

Kannur: While the Kannur International Airport Limited (KIAL) authorities are slowly overcoming hurdles to extend the runway length to 3,400 metres, various political parties have started raising demands that it should be extended to 4,000 metres to meet international standards.

According to the BJP district committee, there was a plan to conduct a survey for a runway length of 3,950-4,000 metres in the initial stage, but some vested interests, including the Kochi lobby, apparently intervened and the runway length was reduced.

"In the present situation, the Kannur airport could be developed to international standards, for which the runway should be 4,000 metres," said BJP district president K Ranjith. "We will bring this to the attention of the Union civil aviation minister and also a memorandum would be given to chief minister Oommen Chandy," he said.
09/10/15 Times of India

Indian airports going solar in near future

India’s commitment towards climate change is not just verbal or literal, but practical. Recently, the Cochin International Airport became the world’s first completely solar-powered airport.  The 46,000 solar panels installed at the airport make it an absolutely power neutral facility.
The idea of powering entire airports through solar energy was ridiculed a few years back. But various advancements and achievements in the field of solar energy have made it possible.
But India Inc. is not willing to stop at Kochi. More airports across the country are taking the greener route. The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose airport in Kolkata is set to have a 15 to 20 MW solar energy capacity unit soon. The project will take care of 60% of the airport’s power needs. The funding for the same has been approved and allocated.
In addition to this, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) has announced that major airports in the state of Rajasthan will also set up solar power plants which will account for a part of their daily power needs. The Jaipur airport, where a 100kW rooftop solar project is already up and running, is planning to install a 1.8 MW ground-based power project. Similarly, airports at Bikaner, Jaisalmer, and Jodhpur are also mulling over the idea of switching to solar energy.
09/10/15 Skymet

ISRO eyes a global role in satellite navigation

Bengaluru: The Indian Space Research Organisation has unveiled plans to gradually make its regional satellite navigation system global — akin to powerful position-telling systems such as the U.S.’ GPS and the Russian GLONASS.

ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar said four of the seven Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) satellites are in orbit and the last three spacecraft would be added in orbit by March 2016. The IRNSS would provide self-reliance in the strategically important area of position-related information, he said at a users’ conference on global navigation satellite systems on Thursday.

The focus now was on completing the regional constellation and extending it to South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries. “After that we will look at taking it gradually over the entire globe, may be in less than a decade. It could be done by adding a set of regional satellites over adjoining countries. We are working towards this with other countries – [South] Korea and the Gulf nations, to name a few,” Mr. Kiran Kumar said.
09/10/15 Madhumathi D.S/The Hindu

Ethiopian Airlines offers discounted fares from Mumbai

In line with the commencement of double daily flights between Addis Ababa and Mumbai effective October 26, 2015, Ethiopian Airlines announced the introduction of special offers for travel from Mumbai to Addis Ababa and back on specified flights. As per the release, the offers include 50% companion fare, additional baggage allowance on business and economy classes, promotional fares for business and economy classes and double miles on tickets from Mumbai to Addis Ababa for ET Sheba Miles frequent flier program members.

The 50 % companion fare is applicable for travel between Mumbai (BOM) and Mombasa (MBA), Nairobi (NBO), Hargeisa (HGA), Djibouti (JIB), Juba (JUB), Khartoum (KRT), Entebbe (EBB) and Tel Aviv (TLV)  for sales until October 30, 2015 and travel commencing  from October 26, 2015 until December 31, 2015. Offer is valid for travel only on flights ET641 Mumbai- Addis Ababa (BOM-ADD) and ET640 Addis Ababa- Mumbai (ADD-BOM) and direct connecting flights.

Indian Navy conducts drill at Mumbai airport

The Indian Navy conducted a major drill to test procedures and practices, at the Mumbai airport yesterday. The Simulated Submarine Casualty Exercise (SMASHEX) commenced at 4.30 am near gate number 6 of Mumbai airport. An aircraft, IN238, four containers, two cranes and a forklift were part of it. Fifty Navy officials participated in the exercise under the supervision of a commander who wound it up at around 6 pm. A senior official said that it had been on for a few days. SMASHEX is an exercise to test procedures and practices required in the very unlikely event of a submarine search, escape and rescue. It was solely conducted by the Indian Navy without the involvement of security agencies or police.
09/10/15 Neha LM Tripathi/Mid Day

2 more sensors set up at Mumbai airport to measure aircraft operation noise

Authorities recently installed two more noise sensors as part of its comprehensive Noise Monitoring System to monitor and measure the noise generated due to aircraft operations.

According to airport officials, two permanent Noise Monitoring terminals (NMTs) have been installed outside airport premises in landing and take-off path of the main runway. One mobile NMT was earlier installed in the airport premises.

The development seems significant in view of a research report released in 2013 by British Medical Journal, revealing that people living close to an airport may face increased risk of cardiovascular diseases due to constant noise pollution caused by the aircraft movement.
09/10/15 Daily News & Analysis

Barbados and India sign air services agreement

Bridgetown, Barbados: Barbados and India have signed an air services agreement, which will allow for easier travel between the two countries.

According to minister of tourism and international transport, Richard Sealy, the agreement, which allows for full fifth freedom rights, would redound to the benefit of both Barbados and India.

He signed the document along with high commissioner of India, Murugesan Subashini, on Tuesday.

The minister explained that fifth freedom rights were essential for far flung destinations, as it would allow airlines designated by Barbados to transport passengers to Mumbai and Delhi in India and some points beyond.

Conversely, an airline designated by India can transport passengers to Bridgetown and points beyond. It also allows for designated airlines from either country to transport passengers from intermediate points. Sealy added that this should broaden Barbados’ tourist base and attract persons from non-traditional source markets into the country.
09/10/15 Kim Ramsay-Moore/Caribbean News Now!

Yatendra Kumar Appointed CVO In AAI

New Delhi: IAS officer Yatendra Kumar was here today appointed as Chief Vigilance Officer in Airports Authority of India (AAI) for three years.

Kumar, a 1996 batch IAS officer, is presently serving in his cadre state, Tripura.

The Appointments Committee of Cabinet has approved the proposal of Ministry of Civil Aviation for appointment of Kumar as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) in AAI for an initial deputation period of three years, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training said.
09/10/15 iGovernment

119 star tortoises seized at Chennai airport

Chennai: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel recovered 119 live star tortoises from a 23-year-old passenger at Chennai airport on Thursday. Thameem Kaja Kareem, a trader from Mannadi in the city, was stopped while trying to board a Malaysia Airlines flight to Kuala Lumpur at 11.45 a.m. CISF officials said they detected the tortoises while screening his baggage. The tortoises were concealed in his clothes.
09/10/15 The Hindu

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Charter operators may put small towns on aviation map

New Delhi: The aviation ministry is planning to allow non-schedule operator permit (NSOP) holders or charter operators to have a timetable like schedule airlines and fly from metros to non-metros and within small towns, in a move that is aimed at bringing flying within the common man's reach. With 126 NSOPs in India -which include India's biggest corporates like Reliance, Adanis, Tatas and Jindal Steel -this hitherto unserved sector could witness an unprecedented spurt.

"Those who wish to convert will have to commit a minimum number of flying hours on each aircraft as they will be allowed to rent out their planes for charter also," said an aviation source.

The new aviation policy being finalised by aviation secretary R N Choubey will have the complete blueprint of this ambitious plan. But it is learnt that the SCAs will have to bid for routes, in which even schedule airlines can participate.
08/10/15 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Air India to raise Rs 700-cr bank loan to pay for six Dreamliners

New Delhi: National carrier Air India plans to raise $110 million (around Rs 700 crore) from banks/ financial institutions to part-fund its acquisition of six Boeing Dreamliners, which are to be delivered to the airline in the next fiscal.
The state-owned carrier currently has 21 Boeing 787-800 (Dreamliner) planes in its fleet.

"Air India is pleased to invite your bank/financial institution to submit a fully underwritten offer for Pre-Delivery Payment requirements (PDP) for six B787-8 aircraft," says the tender document uploaded on the airline's website on Tuesday.
As per the terms of agreement signed with Boeing Company, Air India has to pay 10 per cent of the gross cost of the aircraft as advance payment 12 months prior to delivery, the tender document said.
The six aircraft are to be delivered to the carrier between April 2016 and March 2017.
At present, the list price of a Boeing 787-8 is about Rs 1,400 crore.
07/10/15 Business Today

Jet Airways offers seat pre-book scheme for domestic, international fliers

Mumbai: Jet Airways on Thursday offered a scheme to its domestic and international fliers under which a passenger can pre-book a seat of his choice by paying an additional amount of up to Rs 800 over and above the ticket price.
"The Seat Select scheme is applicable for window, aisle and middle seats from row 11 to 15 and for exit row 24 of the economy cabin," Jet Airways said in a release. "The business class passengers, however, can avail the facility at no extra cost," it said. "The preferred or choice seat can be pre-booked anytime between 331 days and up to 48 hours prior to departure," it said.

"'Seat Select' for exit row 24 will be available for travel from October 12," it said. The Seat Select option provides Jet Airways guests another means to plan their travel as per their choice with greater ease and convenience. "We are confident that this latest initiative from Jet Airways will prove to be extremely popular with our guests," Jet Airways senior vice president for commercial Gaurang Shetty said.
08/10/15 Business Today

Air India improves employees utilisation; saves on costs

New Delhi: In a major boost to its cost saving efforts, Air India has managed to bring down the number of employees per aircraft by almost two-thirds to 108 compared to 300 more than two years ago.

The state-owned airline's aircraft-employee ratio stood at 1:108 in September, in turn helping it to significantly save on costs, sources said.

This figure translates to 108 employees for every aircraft of Air India, which has fleet of more than 100 planes. The airline has little over 20,000 employees.
The latest ratio -- a key performance indicator -- brings the airline almost at par with some of the global competitors including the likes of Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, they added.
07/10/15 PTI/Economic Times

Govt may provide sops to airline MRO industry

The government is considering providing sops to boost the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry in the aviation sector. Sources have told CNBC-TV18 that the Prime Minister's Office has sent a note to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) last month, following consultations with the industry, asking it to consider viability of allowing concessions for the MRO industry. The MRO industry is estimated at USD 700 million in India but only 5-10 percent of MRO work is carried out in India as the current tax structure renders operations about 50 percent costlier than in neighbouring countries -- Indian carriers usually send their aircraft to countries like Sri Lanka, Malaysia or Singapore.
08/10/15 Ronojoy Banerjee/Moneycontrol

IndiGo named CAPA low cost carrier of the year at World Aviation Summit

Kolkata: IndiGo Airlines has won the CAPA Low Cost Carrier of the Year award at the 2015 CAPA Aviation Awards for Excellence held in Helsinki. IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh received the award from Centre for Aviation (CAPA) executive chairman Peter Harbison.

The carrier was selected by the judging panel for its ability to thrive in an extremely challenging market. The judges were particularly impressed by IndiGo's leadership team.

In its thirteenth year, CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence is one of the most prestigious accolades in airline industry and are a global benchmark for airline excellence. The awards are intended to reward airlines and airports that are not only successful but have also provided industry leadership in an always changing environment. Only eight awards were given out this year.
08/10/15 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

Govt gives wings to airstrip project in five towns in Karnataka

Bengaluru: The State government has revived its much-delayed plan to construct airstrips in small towns across Karnataka.

After realising that the private sector is shying away from investing in aviation projects, the government has now decided to take up construction of airstrips using its own resources. It has set up an Aviation Cell under the Karnataka State Industrial Investment and Development Corporation (KSIIDC) to take up airstrip projects with technical assistance from aviation experts.

KSIIDC managing director Naveen Raj Singh said the government had given clearance to construct no-frills, low-cost airstrips at Kushalnagar (Kodagu district), Chikkamagaluru, Karwar (Uttara Kannada district), Raichur and Vijayapura.

An airstrip is estimated to cost Rs 12 crore to Rs 15 crore, depending on the length of the runway. The plan is to construct airstrips of one to two-km length with a small terminal. However, their operation and maintenance will be handed over to the private sector, he added.
The plan to construct airstrips in 11 towns under public-private partnership model was approved in 2008 and the Infrastructure Development Department (IDD) was entrusted with the responsibility to implement the plan.
08/10/15 SahilOnline

The Killer Chopper

After a brief lull the “killer copter” is back making the headlines again. Northeast has seen a series of crashes involving the Pawan Hans Helicopter Limited (PHHL). The recent crash in Arunachal Pradesh killing Tirap Deputy Commissioner Kamlesh Kumar Joshi, not only made the mass deem it as a ‘killer chopper’ but also raised pertinent questions on why such services have not been terminated yet.

The Pawan Hans, a helicopter service company based in New Delhi, has a history of fatal accidents attached to its name. As a result, just like the cases of the erstwhile MiGs of the Indian Air Force, Pawan Hans, a public sector company, has transformed into some sort of ‘Flying Coffin’ with people becoming very reluctant to use its services. Besides providing helicopter services to ONGC to its off-shore locations among its wide array of services, Pawan Hans also offers ferry services to the remote corners of the Northeast.
08/10/15 Northeast Today

Court Rules Favourably on Hyderabad Airport Tariff Petition: GMR

New Delhi: GMR Infrastructure on Thursday said the Andhra Pradesh High Court has allowed collection of tariff at the Hyderabad International Airport, as was collected earlier.

The airport is operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), part of the GMR group.

According to a regulatory filing by GMR, GHIAL had filed a writ petition with High Court at Hyderabad, seeking approval to collect tariff/airport charges as was being collected prior to April 1, 2014.

The writ petition was filed pursuant to the policy direction by the Civil Aviation Ministry to adopt 'hybrid till' with 30 per cent cross subsidisation for Hyderabad airport and pending compliance, the filing to the BSE said.
08/10/15 NDTV

Air India improves employees utilisation; saves on costs

New Delhi: In a major boost to its cost saving efforts, Air India has managed to bring down the number of employees per aircraft by almost two-thirds to 108 compared to 300 more than two years ago

The state-owned airline's aircraft-employee ratio stood at 1:108 in September, in turn helping it to significantly save on costs, sources said.

This figure translates to 108 employees for every aircraft of Air India, which has fleet of more than 100 planes. The airline has little over 20,000 employees.
The latest ratio -- a key performance indicator -- brings the airline almost at par with some of the global competitors including the likes of Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines, they added.
07/10/15 Times of India

Air Vistara offers Odia Cuisine on Delhi-Bhubaneswar Flights

Bhubaneswar: Good news for Odia foodie travelers, Air Vistara has introduced Odia food dishes its in-flight menu. Air Vistara has introduced popular Odia dishes to woo Odia customers. It included popular dishes like – Guguni, Maccha Tarakari, Chenna Poda, and Chenna Kofta.

Air Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has started it Delhi to Bhubaneswar services on Oct 1. Within a week of its launching services, Air Vistara has added Odia cuisine into its in-flight menu to woo Odia customers. Other players like GoAir, Indigo and Air India have been offering continental and Indian dishes to travelers with no stress on local flavours.
08/10/15 Odisha News Insight

Tata hands over first air-to-air refuelling structure

Hyderabad: Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) on Wednesday handed over first air-to-air refuelling pod structure to Cobham Mission Systems (CMS) for use on Airbus A400M.
The product has been developed at TASL facility here under a relationship between the two companies.

CMS had selected TASL in May last year as a strategic partner for the manufacture and assembly of Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) pod and centreline structures.
"Today marks the official handover ceremony of the first two 908E pod structures assembled by TASL and destined for use on the Airbus A400M," said a statement by TASL.
The ceremony held at TASL facility was attended by officials from both the companies and a contingent from the British High Commission in India.
Russ Bradley, senior vice president, strategic sourcing, Cobham Plc, Alan Ephgrave, VP, general manager, Cobham Mission Systems, Sukaran Singh, CEO & MD, TASL and Masood Hussainy, vice president & head aerostructures, TASL attended the ceremony.
07/10/15 IANS/Business Today

Poor response may leave Mysuru without air service

Mysuru: Air service to Mysuru may be suspended after the Dasara season if the schedule of the lone flight is not changed, authorities at the airport here fear. The service to Bengaluru was launched on September 3 after a gap of nearly 10 months.

The occupancy rate for the Alliance Air flight to Bengaluru is picking up but the same is not the case with the return service, said Manoj Kumar Singh, the director of Mysuru Airport.

When the flight from Bengaluru landed here at 6.40 am on October 6, there were just two passengers besides five crew members. The response for the Bengaluru-Mysuru flight is so poor the occupancy hasn’t touched the two-digit mark as yet.

On September 4, there was just one passenger, whereas the aircraft can accommodate 48 fliers. Passengers cite inconvenient timings and high fare as main deterrents.
08/10/15 Deccan Herald

AP eyes site clearance for Bhogapuram airport by next month

Visakhapatnam: With an eye on speeding up the proposal to set up a greenfield international airport at Bhogapuram, the AP government has appointed energy, infrastructure and investment secretary Ajay Jain as the chairman of Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Limited (BIACL), a special purpose vehicle set up in May this year to execute the airport project.

According to highly placed sources, the AP government is also gunning for the site clearance from the civil aviation ministry for the Bhogapuram project in the next one month.

According to GO RT 20 released on Wednesday, the AP government is also planning to issue orders to appoint a fulltime managing director for BIACL, who will be the project proponent for the Bhogapuram Airport.

At the same time, the AP government has accorded permission to the BIACL MD to submit proposals to commercial bankers to seek loans to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore to meet the cost of pre-development activities such as land acquisition, relief and rehabilitation, community activities and also provision of external utility infrastructure such as approach roads, water and power to the project site.
08/10/15 Manish M/Times of India

Therapy Dogs To Help Passengers Calm Down

There's nothing like an airport to trigger phobias. Fear of flying, fear of people, fear of wide spaces, and then fear of cramped spaces (i.e. inside the flight).
Mumbai Airport's international terminal just did a tiny thing to make a huge difference - they've appointed two trained therapy dogs, the Hindustan  Times reported. US airports have long been placing therapy dogs at airports ever since a fear of flying became common after 9/11. These two Labradors are still sniffer dogs, but they've been trained by Pune's Animal Angels Therapy Centre to sniff out your fear. “The feedback to our pilot project which started 10 days ago was overwhelming. People did not expect such an initiative,” a Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson told the Hindustan Times.
8/10/15 08/10/15 Kunal Anand/

Bhogapuram airport: nod given to BIACL to seek loans

Hyderabad: State government on Wednesday gave its nod to Bhogapuram International Airport Corporation Limited (BIACL) to seek loans to the tune of Rs. 1500 crore to meet the costs towards pre-development activities.

At the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the newly incorporated BIACL held recently, the corporation was authorised to seek loans from banks/ infrastructure lending organisations/ financial institutions to meet pre-development costs for land acquisition, R & R and provision of external infrastructure such as approach roads and water/power connection, among others. The board also requested the government to post a full-time managing director for smooth conduct of its operations.
08/10/15 The Hindu

Urgent needs force the IAF to accept flawed home-grown aircraft

The Tejas is back. India’s first – and smallest – lightweight, single-engine supersonic multiple-role combat aircraft is set to return. That's because the Narendra Modi Administration has decided to induct at least seven squadrons of home-made Light Combat Aircraft into the Indian Air Force.

It's a somewhat contentious decision. The IAF had wanted to acquire 36 fighter planes from Dassault Aviation SA, but the central government turned down the request. On the face of it, this might be construed as an attempt to boost the much-vaunted Make in India programme, but a funds crunch may also have something to do with it.

As an official from the Defence Ministry told The Economic Times, "The IAF needs to have a minimum number of aircraft at all times. The LCA is our best option at this stage, given our resource constraints." Indeed, the Modi government has constantly stated its goal of cutting of the IAF's inclination for imports. India is at present the largest importer of foreign arms in the world.
07/10/15 Shadab Nazmi/

Nepal airlifts 66 tonnes of aviation fuel from Kolkata

Kathmandu: Nepal on Thursday airlifted 66 tonnes of aviation fuel from Kolkata to overcome an acute shortage of petroleum products as Nepal-bound cargo trucks from India have not been allowed to enter by Madhes-based political parties for the past fortnight.

Nepal continues to reel under severe fuel shortage as agitating Madhes-based parties have blocked all entry points to press Kathmandu to address their demands.

A Nepal Airlines Boeing 757 airlifted the aviation fuel to boost the stock of Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) amid growing worries that fuel shortage could force the grounding of domestic airlines.

“The airlifted aviation fuel will be used for our domestic airlines,” said Nepal Airlines managing director Sugat Ratna Kansakar.
08/10/15 megha/Free Press Journal

Brain-dead Keralite's heart airlifted to Chennai

Thrissur: The heart of a 29-year-old brain-dead man was airlifted to Chennai today after being harvested at a hospital here.

A team of doctors harvested the heart, liver and kidneys of Ashokan, a native of Cheruthuruthi here, at Daya hospital this morning.

Relatives gave consent to donate the organs of Ashokan, who met with an accident in Kochi on September 27 and had been in an unconscious state for several days. He was declared brain-dead in the wee hours of today, hospital sources said.
08/10/15 PTI/Business Standard

Indore:First Green Corridor transports liver to airport in 10 minutes

In a first for the financial capital of Madhya Pradesh, the Indore administration successfully created a 'Green Corridor' and transported a liver to the city's Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport within a span of 10 minutes. The liver would be transplanted in a patient in Delhi.

The ambulance, which carried the liver, covered a distance of about 10 km and reached the airport in 10 minutes. After completing the formalities, the liver was safely placed in a Delhi-bound private aircraft, he said.
The liver belonged to Rameshwar Khede, a Khargone resident, who was declared brain-dead 12 hours after sustaining injuries in a road accident yesterday, he said, adding that the victim's family agreed for the donation.
08/10/15 Daily News & Analysis

Vistara ties up with FWSTC for practical training to employees

Tata-SIA airline Vistara today said it has tied up with Gurgaon-based Flywings Simulation institute for practical training in Safety and Emergency Procedures (SEP) for its pilots and cabin crew.

The state-of-the Flywings Simulator Training Centre (FWSTC) provides aviation training solution to the industry.

"We are pleased to announce our partnership with FWSTC and provide an opportunity to our personnel for undertaking their sophisticated training programmes. Our employees will immensely benefit from FWSTC's practical, in-depth and specialised aviation training solutions to be able to efficiently deliver service excellence," Vistara chief executive Phee Teik yeoh said in a release.

The country's latest full service carrier has been authorised by the aviation regulator DGCA to conduct these trainings with FWSTC.
07/10/15 PTI/Business Standard

India’s Vistara uses wireless IFE as stopgap to connectivity

Delhi:  India’s refusal to revoke its rule – at least for the moment – to permit live inflight connectivity over Indian airspace forced SIA-Tata owned startup Vistara to seek interim solutions, says the carrier.

A Vistara spokesperson tells RGN that while Indian carriers are collectively trying to convince the government to permit Internet on board, clearances are still required from the country’s ministries of civil aviation and telecom.

To ensure passengers get value-add on the full-service carrier and as government clearances do not come easy, Vistara tapped defense contractor – and IFE newcomer – BAE Systems to install its IntelliCabin wireless IFE solution on its Airbus A320s. This is not a live connectivity system. Wireless IFE systems stream content from an onboard server via wireless access points on board the aircraft. The content is pre-loaded and cached. The system will be installed on the nine-strong fleet of aircraft that Vistara intends to operate by the first week of January 2016.
08/10/15 Runway Girl Network

Will fast-track expansion of Jammu Airport: Mufti

Srinagar: To address the issue of space crunch at Jammu Airport, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Wednesday said the government is committed to acquire additional land for expansion, which will pave way for its upgradation on the pattern of Srinagar Airport.
He said the issue was discussed threadbare during Civil Military Liaison meeting held recently in which it was decided that the Army and the Civil Administration will exchange land which will enable the execution of work on expansion of the Jammu Airport.
The Chief Minister said this while speaking during supplementaries in the Legislative Council during Question Hour today.
Elaborating further, Mufti Sayeed said Jammu Airport is choked due to space constraint for which it needs immediate expansion to ensure safety and comfort of the passengers. He said it has been his concern since 2002 and he will take up the matter with the Defence Minister so that the issue is settled is expeditiously.
07/10/15 Scoop News

Is India Ready to Share Its Civil Airspace with Drones?

The world is engrossed in integrating Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into their national airspace. In  yesteryears, it was the sole preserve of the military and was flown in segregated airspace. However, with the burgeoning civil market, where UAVs would conduct crop survey, electric transmission line checks, deliver Blue Dart parcels, medicines, pizzas et al, civil and military airspace would have to be shared. Major work to draft rules and regulations is underway in the US where UAVs will transit civil airspace by end-2015. Transit on international air routes is the next logical happening and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is deep into framing Standard Operating Procedures to ensure safe, mixed, manned and unmanned aerial traffic. Weapon carrying unmanned vehicles would also share the common airspace, bringing a host of safety issues to be addressed.
Where does India stand in the world-wide thrust for integrating UAVs with civil passenger traffic? While the first baby steps towards Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA) by manned civil and military aircraft have been taken, the issue of UAV integration is infinitely more complex and requires urgent attention of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
08/10/15 Manmohan Bahadur/New Indian Express

Officials inspect 8 garbage sites near Dabolim airport

Vasco: Complying with the directions of the South Goa Collector, a team headed by Mormugao Mamlatdar Laxmikant Desai inspected eight major garbage dumps in the vicinity of Dabolim airport on Wednesday.
According to information, Desai and officials of the Indian Navy, Airport Authority of India (AAI) and panchayats of Sancoale, Chicolna-Bogmalo, Velsao-Pale and Chicalim visited the garbage dumping sites at Dabolim, Santerant, Chicolna and Zuarinagar. They were surprised to notice the huge amount of garbage dumped close to the airfield.
08/10/15 Herald

Key member of CIAL gold smuggling gang held

Thiruvananthapuram:  The shadow team of the city police held a fugitive wanted in connection with the sensational case related to massive gold smuggling through Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) at Nedumbassery. The police identified him as Kunhayan Kutti, 40, of Kakkattummal House near Kayanna Bazar, Perambra in Kozhikode.

The Union Finance Ministry had issued a lookout notice in his name after he went absconding over two months ago. The police have detained him invoking provisions of Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act. He was sent to Poojapura Central Jail on Thursday.

The gang involving Kutti was suspected to have smuggled over 360 kilograms of gold out of CIAL through carrier passengers. The police had earlier arrested nearly 35 persons, including airport ground handling staff, jewellery shop owners and carriers. Though Kunhayan Kutti too was nabbed earlier, he managed to escape from the police custody.
08/10/15 Rejith Balakrishnan/Times of India

Gold Biscuits Seized From Flight at Karipur International Airport

Kozhikode: Two gold biscuits were seized from an Air Arabia flight at Karipur International Airport today, officials said.

On a tip-off, a team of DRI sleuths, who checked the plane found two gold biscuits worth more than Rs. 30 lakh concealed in a plastic bag and kept under a seat.
07/10/15 PTI/NDTV

12 Held at Indira Gandhi International Airport for Visa Fraud

New Delhi: A dozen fliers were held at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in New Delhi today for allegedly travelling on fraudulent visas to Abu Dhabi.

Officials said the incident occurred around 3:00 am at terminal-3 of the airport when sleuths of CISF intelligence wing detected the suspicious movements of a flier, identified as AH Ansari, as he met three others in the immigration area.

They said further interrogation of Mr Ansari revealed that he was travelling on a tourist visa to Abu Dhabi.
CISF and immigration officials subsequently asked him to produce the return ticket, as required in case of a tourist Visa, upon which he produced an Air India ticket of October 20.
08/10/15 PTI/NDTV

200 star tortoises seized at Chennai airport, two carriers detained

Chennai:  Security personnel at the Chennai airport on Thursday seized 200 star tortoises while they were being smuggled to Kuala Lumpur. Two people were detained for interrogation in this connection.

Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (Southern Region) officials, who are investigating the case, said two carriers -- Ziaudeen (48) and Ashraf Ali (23) -- came to the airport to board flights to Kuala Lumpur. One of them was to board a flight in the morning and the other one was to board flight at night.

The final destination of the tortoises was Jakarta in Indonesia, officials said.

The consignment was handed over to Ziaudeen and he brought Ali to accompany him to Kuala Lumpur. For this the smugglers assured them Rs 15,000.
08/10/15 P. Oppili/Times of India