Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Civil aviation ministry fails to take flight

Uncertainty looms large over the expected key civil aviation policies and decisions of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

The sector is waiting for the government to take decisive steps on aviation policy, new flying abroad rules and route dispersal guidelines.

The draft rule for airlines to fly abroad, scrapping the incumbent 5/20 rule, was unanimously opposed by sector players. At present, airlines need five years of flying experience, along with at least 20 aircraft, to fly to international destinations. The government decided to replace it with a credit-based system, linked with route dispersal guidelines. After sending the proposal for inter-ministerial consultation, the government reportedly formed a committee to look into the ministry's proposals.
26/05/15 Somesh Jha/Business Standard

India Air Traffic Management. Unique CAPA report: the ATM system and AAI's plans for integration

The most comprehensive (170 page) report ever produced on India's ATM system reviews the structure, governance and operation of Air Navigation Services in India. The global vision and plans set down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the global Air Traffic Management system are also described and considered in their context for India’s air navigation services provider (ANSP), the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

India is the ninth largest aviation market in the world by annual seat capacity and CAPA projects it will be the third largest aviation market in the world by 2025. Today, approximately 80 Indian airports handle scheduled services, operated by nine domestic airlines, with a combined fleet of some 400 aircraft.
26/05/15 Unique CAPA Report

Airport privatisation: Airport Authority of India extends deadline for submitting bids

NEW DELHI: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has again extended the deadline for submitting bids for control of four airports, further delaying their privatisation process.
The private players can now submit their applications for short-listing till July 1, the AAI said today.
The AAI, which invited 'Request for Qualification (RFQ)' to handover the management, operations and development of the state-controlled airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad and Jaipur last year, had earlier extended the date for submitting the bids from March 24 to May 26.
25/05/15 PTI/The Economic Times

SpiceJet Bombardier Q-400 fleet pilots get 20-25 per cent pay hike

NEW DELHI: Budget carrier SpiceJetBSE 1.09 % has hiked the salary packages of its Bombardier Q-400 fleet commanders by 20-25 per cent, bringing them on par with Boeing pilots, sources said.
The move is also aimed at arresting the increased migration of such pilots to the cash-rich gulf airlines, who offer attractive pay packages, they said.
The Gurgaon-based carrier currently has a fleet of 34 planes - 19 Boeing 737s and 15 Bombardier Q-400s operating over 235 daily domestic and international flights.
25/05/15 PTI/The Economic Times

Lost hope to recover money from Kingfisher Airlines: United Bank of India

As per a PTI report, United Bank of India, the state-owned lender, has become the first of the 17 lenders to publicly admit that it no longer expects to recover its dues from the beleaguered Kingfisher Airlines Ltd (KFA).

Interestingly, the Kolkata-based lender was the first bank to attempt to get Vijay Mallya, Chairman of KFA, tagged as a wilful defaulter. Mallya and UB Group, however, challenged this tag in the court. The lenders have so far been able to recover just about Rs 1,000 crore from KFA out of their over Rs 7,500 crore exposure (excluding penal interest), since they recalled the loan in February 2013, by selling pledged shares in group companies.

"Now, nothing is happening on the Kingfisher account and we are not getting any amount. We may ultimately get a few more crores by selling that building (Kingfisher House in Mumbai) and other collaterals", P Srinivas, Managing Director and CEO, United Bank of India said.
26/05/15 TravelBizmonitor

Air Asia Begins Operations From New Delhi

Air Asia, the budget airlines which began operations almost an year ago in India, is now flying from New Delhi. Initially the low cost airlines had started operations only in the Southern part of India covering places like Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi.

However, the Delhi operations are well and truly underway; this pretty much confirms the entry of the airlines into the Northern Indian region with New Delhi set to act as the base. The logical next steps would be to connect the airlines to the Western and Eastern part of the country more comprehensively. Currently the fleet of Air Asia stands at 5 Airbus A320 planes out of which the standout plane is called "Pioneer" with livery that is dedicated to JRD Tata given his massive contribution to the industrial sector of India and given the stake that TATA holds in the Airlines, it is totally understandable.
25/05/15 Arpit Verma/GIZMODO

Promoters of AirAsia to pump close to Rs 100 crore equity in few months

MUMBAI: The promoters of AirAsia India have pumped in close to Rs 100 crore equity into the company and increased its authorised share capital by more than three times in the past few months, according to official documents and two persons familiar with the matter.

"We had aimed to be a $30 million company (in terms of authorised share capital). Part of the investment was put in last year and the rest this year," said one of the people cited above.
26/05/15 Anirban Chowdhury/The Economic Times

Mumbai: Delayed, Air India fliers create chaos at T2

Around 50 passengers who had arrived from Bangkok created an unruly scene, shouting slogans against the national carrier after their onward connection to Ahmedabad was delayed for around 3 hours
Around 171 passengers travelling by Air India (AI) from Bangkok to Ahmedabad via Mumbai on Monday were forced to wait for almost three hours before the onward flight took off for its final destination.
26/05/15 Neha LM Tripathi/mid-day

Monday, May 25, 2015

‘Gulf carriers rule Indian aviation’

NEW DELHI: India does not have 'genuine' low-cost carriers (LCC) as there are no budget terminals in the country. Low fares advertised by LCCs are mainly 90-day advance fares and very few can actually plan their trips so far in advance, Tata-Singapore Airlines JV Vistara chairman Prasad Menon told TOI in a freewheeling interview. The Tata Group insider sounded a word of caution that Gulf airlines are ruling Indian aviation and that the government must make it easier for new airlines to fly abroad to counter their dominant role here.
25/05/15 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

Civil Aviation Ministry not to regulate airfares after analysis, okays price structure

NEW DELHI: The civil aviation ministry has dropped its plan to regulate airfares. The decision, which spells a relief for airlines, came after the ministry's analysis of lowest and highest fares showed fares have come down or only marginally increased in the past few years.
The ministry has decided against regulating fares even as members of Parliament and a parliamentary panel urged it to put in place a mechanism. Its analysis since January-March 2014 on six key routes showed fares have lowered or marginally increased.
25/05/15 Mihir Mishra/The Economic Times

Predatory pricing a 'big issue', says aviation minister, favours airfare cap

Making a case for the capping of economy class airfares, which skyrocket during peak travel seasons and hit rock bottom in lean periods, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma has said that "predatory pricing" by the airlines is a "big issue" for passengers.

"Predatory pricing by the airlines is a big issue. A large section of the public and even parliamentarians have raised the issue that the airlines charge Rs 30,000-40,000 for a ticket when a passengers has to travel in some emergency," Sharma said.
24/05/15 PTI/dna

Five parachutes that entered Mumbai airport airspace were remote controlled: Report

The five suspected parachutes seen in the Mumbai airport airspace on Saturday were remote or radio-controlled, reported a leading daily.

The report cited sources from three different agencies to say that the five unmanned objects were controlled, adding that the PMO's office has asked various agencies to investigate the matter. Agencies including the Indian Air Force, Navy, Intelligence Bureau and Mumbai police have been asked to probe and submit a report.
25/05/15 dnawebdesk/dnaindia

PPP members protest over name of international airport

The controversy over naming the upcoming international airport met with another hurdle as members of the People’s Party of Punjab staged a protest on Sunday demanding the name of the upcoming international terminal at Mohali be changed from ‘Chandigarh International Airport’ to ‘Shaheed-E-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport’.
The protest was organised by the district youth wing of the party outside the international terminal’s entrance in Mohali. Around 11 am more than 50 party workers gathered there and staged a dharna. Later, they met Mohali DC TPS Sidhu’s at his residence and handed him over a memorandum and sought for the state’s intervention in the matter.
25/05/15 Gagandeep Singh Dhillon & Karthik Kumar/The Indian Express