Thursday, October 30, 2014

Aviation minister orders probe into fare discounts, predatory pricing

New Delhi: Are consistent low fares and discounts attracting more flyers in India?
The jury is still out on that but one unintended consequence of airlines' frequent fire sales has been severe displeasure of the Civil Aviation Minister A Gajapathi Raju. The minister now wants a probe into the entire business of frequent fare discounts. A senior ministry official told Firstbiz that the present system of discounting fares by  airlines reeked of "predatory pricing" and needs to be checked. He said the minister will not be asking aviation regulator DGCA to conduct a probe but task officials of the ministry to do this.
"We do not want to hurt the business of airlines. But at the same time there should be transparency in fares. How many seats are available for a particular discounted fare should be known to passengers before booking. Also, how can airlines sell below cost? If this is not predatory pricing, what is," this official wondered. He asked not to be identified.
How will fares be probed? Will airlines have to now publish fares within limits set up by the ministry? This practice - of preparing pre buckets or a range within which they could move for each domestic sector - has been tried earlier under the UPA2 regime but did not really work.
On their part, airlines have often rebutted charges of predatory pricing by saying that they know why they are offering consistent low fares (to stimulate demand). In short, they have virtually told the ministry to mind its own business and let them mind theirs.
30/10/14 Sindhu Bhattacharya/First Biz

Airlines say budget carriers' price war to take toll on sector

New Delhi: Full-service airlines have flagged up concerns about the financial health of the domestic aviation industry on account of frequent flash sales announced by budget carriers. Taking note, the ministry of civil aviation has resolved to monitor discount schemes announced by domestic airlines and look at measures to curb predatory pricing.

A senior official in the ministry said, “The airlines have raised concern about budget carriers offering fares below the cost price. The airline industry is already burdened with heavy losses and we are looking at ways to ensure Indian carriers do not go bust on account of following such a practice.”

The ministry is considering constituting a team to monitor discount schemes. “The concern is all these schemes have not been initiated by financially-strong carriers,” added the official.

The industry has seen a spate of discount offers since January, most by SpiceJet. The frequent flash sales have forced others to lower fares to remain competitive.
30/10/14 Sharmistha Mukherjee/Business Standard

Companies hit as DGCA bans use of drones to provide services on security fears

Banglore: Several companies have had to stop using drones to provide services such as aerial photography after the aviation authority banned the operation of these unmanned vehicles in civilian airspace until regulations are in place.

The decision has set back plans of companies offering a variety of services using drones, including those by online retailer Amazon to deploy them to speed up delivery of products to consumers, according to defence analyst Debajit Sarkar of research firm Market Info Group.
Mumbai-based Airpix, with clients such as Reliance Energy and builders Kalpataru and Omkar Realtors, had to stop offering its flagship aerial photography service since the Directorate General of Civil Aviation issued the circular earlier this month.

"We have reached out to DGCA and we are yet to figure out what to do," said Shinil Shekhar, the 25-year-old cofounder of Airpix.
30/10/14 Krithika Krishnamurthy & Malavika Murali/Economic Times

MH370 passenger’s family sues MAS, government bodies

Kuala Lumpur: A suit will be filed against Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and several government bodies over the missing MH370 and its 239 passengers.
Passenger Jee Jing Hang’s next of kin have appointed law firm Rusmah Arunan & Asociates to represent them in the suit which aims to obtain the truth behind what has happened to the Beijing-bound flight.
In a statement today, the suit’s co-counsel, Gary Edward Chong, said the firm would be filing the suit at Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry tomorrow morning.
“We will reveal more details and background of the suit after the filing.”
He said among the causes of action raised in the suit was negligence in the investigation conducted by the defendants — MAS, the Department of Civil Aviation, Department of Immigration, Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Malaysian government.
The statement also quoted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s March 24 speech which concluded the search for the missing flight as it was said to have ended its journey in the southern India Ocean.
30/10/14 The Rakyat Post

AirAsia and Air Costa join IndiGo Air profit league - others in the red

Due to the extremely competitive fare structures offered by bus operators and Indian Railways, AirAsia is making losses on its Bangalore-Chennai run. However, on the other four routes that it operates, it is making a profit. This was disclosed by Mittu Chandilya, CEO of AirAsia, on the sidelines of the SITA India Aviation Forum recently.

AirAsia, the low cost, no frills carrier, has two flights daily from Bangalore to Goa and covers Cochin, Jaipur and Chandigarh, and all these routes are in profit. Air Asia expects to announce two new routes and the service is expected to begin in November.

According to Mittu Chandilya, they plan to induct 10 more aircraft next year, taking the total fleet to 15, it currently operates 2 Airbus A-320s. Originally, they had planned to cover only tier II and tier III towns and cities, but due to intense competition, they may break ground to cover wider territory. New Delhi is most likely to be the next airport they will look to cover. Details are expected shortly.
While IndiGo has been making waves this year, they have already declared a profit for the year ending March 2014, which is the 6th continuous year of profits. They have plans to embark on a mammoth expansion plan, thanks to the $ 2.6 billion finance from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, for purchasing 30 aircraft.
30/10/14 AK Ramdas/

Low- fare carrier Flydubai seeks more seat entitlements

Mumbai:  Flydubai, a stateowned low-fare carrier of the UAE, wants more seat entitlements to fly to India's smaller airports which have nascent demand for travel to west Asian countries, said its senior executives.

"We have very few seats to India. India is a place that demands more flights. The enhance of bilateral rights by 11,000 seats was highly appreciated, but we need more," the airline's CEO Ghaith Al Ghaith told ET. Earlier in the day, the carrier announced the commencement of flights to Mumbai.
It will fly five times a week to India's financial capital, taking its total weekly frequency to the country to 25. It also flies to Delhi, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow and Trivandrum. Earlier this year, India and the UAE enhanced bilateral air traffic rights to allow weekly carriers additional entitlements of 11,000 seats.
30/10/14 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

RFQ deadline for Navi Mumbai airport extended

Mumbai: Bidders for the construction of the Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA) have been given an extension period of six weeks to submit their Requests for Qualification (RFQ) application after they sought more time from the City and Industrial Development Corporation (Cidco), the nodal implementing agency for the project, to form joint ventures to bid for the R14,574-crore airport project.
The concerned parties will now have to submit the RFQ by December 10 from the earlier planned date of October 30.
This is the third time Cidco has extended the RFQ submission date after the civil aviation ministry approved the revised tender document for the proposed Navi Mumbai airport in July. “This is the final time that the RFQ submission time has been extended on the request of bidders who have asked for more time to form joint ventures to bid for the airport project,” a senior Cidco official said.
30/10/14 Finacial Express

Carriers ready to operate flights, submit EoI

Andal: Three regional airlines have submitted Expression of Interest (EoI) to operate flights from Durgapur to cities like Ranchi, Patna, Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Kolkata, Bagdogra and Cooch Behar from the Andal airport near Durgapur.

On October 15, the three non-scheduled opertors — Pinnacle Air, Spirit Air and North-East Shuttle — have submitted EoI to the state transport department after the progress review meeting of Durgapur Aerotropolis at Kolkata a few days ago. Pinnacle Air has a Falcon 2000 LX and Cessna CJ2+. Spirit Air has a Cessna Sky Hawk and Cessna Sky Caravan while North-East Shuttle operates Dornier aircraft.

At the progress review meeting, transport principal secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay had hinted at the government's keenness to get the airport operation, at least for a test flight, during the investor meet — Bishwa Banga — scheduled in Kolkata from January 7 to January 9, 2015. Though the airport is unlikely to get an operator's license till next March, the test flight with a sub-20 seater plane will serve as a symbolic take-off that chief minister Mamata Banerjee is keen to showcase at the meet.
30//10/14 Debajyoti Chakraborty/Times of India

Changi raises stake in BAPL to 32.2 %, to run the airport for 15 years

Kolkata: Within two months of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee visiting Singapore to seek investments, Singapore-based Changi Airports International has raised its stake in the upcoming airport city project at Durgapur to 32.2 per cent.

Changi Airport India, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International, had earlier picked up a 26 per cent stake in Bengal Aerotropolis Projects (BAPL), which is executing the airport city project at Andal near Durgapur in Barddhaman district in West Bengal.

“This was discussed during the chief minister’s Singapore visit in August. This certainly means reposing faith in the project as well as in the state. There is infusion of fresh capital. It was in the form of a rights issue to the tune of Rs 50 crore,” Partha Ghosh, promoter and managing director of BAPL, told Business Standard.
30/10/14 Business Standard

Amid sniping by rivals, France aims to close Rafale deal by early 2015

New Delhi: The geopolitical wrangling and heartburn over India's mother of all defence deals, the lucrative $20 billion MMRCA (medium multi-role combat aircraft) project, is still not over. First, it was the Americans, then the Europeans and now, the Russians.

Even as India and France inch forward to stitch up the contract for acquisition of 126 Rafale fighters for the IAF, Russian ambassador Alexander Kadakin last week publicly questioned New Delhi's decision to go in for the French jets. The Rafales can be "swatted like mosquitoes on an August night" by the Russian-origin Sukhoi-27s, now being inducted by China, said Kadakin.

On Wednesday, it was French ambassador Francois Richier's turn to hit back. He criticized "grumpy competitors", who had lost out in the MMRCA competition after extensive technical and commercial evaluation, for using "bad language" against the French fighter's combat capabilities. Rafale's "long-range strike capabilities" have been amply demonstrated in conflicts ranging from Afghanistan to Iraq, said Richier.
30/10/14 Rajat Pandit/Economic Times

Government’s plan has an air of hope

Puducherry: Almost nine months after the sole airline to operate flights out of the city wound up services, the territorial administration has dangled out a hard-to-resist incentive to attract private operators to the sector.

Under the new scheme launched under the umbrella of tourism promotional initiatives, the Puducherry government will offer Rs. 1,000 each for an aggregate of 200 seats on a daily basis, subject to a cap of 50 seats or a sum of Rs. 50,000 per fixed wing or rotary aircraft.

The incentive is valid for a period of six months and its subsequent renewal would be decided by the government.

The incentive applies to flights and chopper services from “Pondicherry/Karaikal to other destinations and from other destinations to Pondicherry/Karaikal. It shall be only in the form of Rs. 1,000 per seat per carrier per day from Puducherry and from Karaikal.’’

“The incentive will apply irrespective of the occupancy level on the flight,” a top-ranking government official said.
30/10/14 M. Dinesh Varma/R Sivaraman/The Hindu

Etihad Boosts India Network With Additional Flights To Mumbai, Delhi

Abu Dhabi carrier Etihad Airways announced that it is launching triple daily services to the Indian cities of Mumbai and New Delhi, to keep up with increased demand.

Both cities will be upgraded from their current double-daily frequencies, with the third daily flight to Mumbai starting on February 15, 2015 and to New Delhi on May 1, 2015, a statement said.

The airline said that the move will provide business and leisure travellers with more options between the UAE and India.

James Hogan, president and CEO of Etihad said: “India is expected to become the world’s third largest air passenger market within the next 20 years, and we are focused on providing travellers with the best possible offering into and out of the country.

“Already in the first half of 2014, more than 620,000 passengers flew on our India services, a substantial increase of 51 per cent year-on-year. The launch of triple-daily services to Mumbai and New Delhi, our most popular routes in India, will allow us to meet growing market demand.”
30/10/14 Gulf Business

Sky is the Limit as Pudukai Groom Flies In on Rs 15L a Day Chopper

Pudukkottai: Talk about making a grand entrance. Residents of Aranthangi here were left wide-eyed and open-mouthed as  a bridegroom arrived by helicopter — hired for Rs 15 lakh a day, with an additional Rs 50,000 for each take off — for his betrothal.

The bride was later taken to the groom’s house, where the wedding is scheduled to take place, in the same chopper.

Arumugan and Kannagi, a couple from SR Pattinam, a small, sleepy hamlet near Karaikudi in Sivaganga district, had settled in France four decades back. The couple have two sons and a daughter, and their younger son Gowthaman’s marriage was arranged with Banupriya (29), daughter of Shanmuganathan, a retired deputy block development officer of Ezhil Nagar, Aranthangi.

The wedding is scheduled on Thursday at SR Pattinam, and the betrothal was held at Ezhil Nagar on Wednesday. To everyone’s surprise, Gowthaman flew to the bride’s house in a helicopter, accompanied by his parents and a girl child.

A huge crowd of onlookers gathered at the spot where the event unfolded. Gowthaman reached the place around 12.10 pm though the crowd waited from 9 am around the helipad, erected near the Aranthangi Government Hospital, close to the bride’s house.
30/10/14  S Kumaresan/New Indian Express

Jet Airways to fly from Abu Dhabi to Goa

Panaji:  Goa tourism can now hope to increase free independent travellers (FIT) segment of tourists to Goa as another direct flight from the Middle East starts from next month. From November 14 onwards, Jet Airways is starting a direct Abu Dhabi-Goa flight.

Currently, direct flights to Goa from four destinations from the Middle East such as Dubai, Kuwait, Sharjah and Doha are available.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) director at Dabolim airport, K Srinivasa Rao, confirmed the starting of a direct flight from Abu Dhabi.

Francisco de Braganca, president of travel and tourism association of Goa (TTAG), said this will certainly boost tourism in Goa, and it is "good news" in view of predictions of a likely fall in the charter arrivals to Goa for this season.
30/10/14 Times of India

Azim Premji pushes for use of IT to improve Indian aviation sector

New Delhi: With growing aviation activities in the country, Wipro founder Azim Premji today called for the formulation of a comprehensive IT master plan to manage flights and airports and increase passenger convenience.

At a meeting with Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju here, Premji suggested that there was a huge potential for using IT to improve airport activities and security, officials said.

The noted technology entrepreneur said that increased use of information technology would go a long way towards reducing costs and improving passenger convenience and asset management, besides leading to faster turnaround of airplanes.
30/10/14 PTI/Economic Times

80% occupancy on Mumbai-bound flights

Aurangabad: The combination of leisure travellers and political workers heading to Mumbai for the oath-taking ceremony has pushed up air ticket sales for the two airlines offering connectivity between Aurangabad and the state capital.

The airlines, which usually report about 50% sales, have recorded over 80% bookings for next couple of days for the Aurangabad-Mumbai flights. Three flights take off from Aurangabad to Mumbai daily. Jet Airways flights are scheduled at 6.50 am and 8 pm, while Air India flies at 5.20 pm daily.

Ajay Deshpande, an executive with a private tour operator, said, "As of now, there is good occupancy for the Mumbai-bound flights. The combination of vacation travellers and political workers is well for the airlines. On other days, the average occupancy for the Mumbai-bound flights remains comparatively less."
30/10/14 Times of India

More Air India flights from Mangalore likely

Mangalore: Air India may introduce flight services between Mangalore and Pune, Delhi and Hubli via Bangalore, according to Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP.

He told presspersons here on Thursday that the proposed Mangalore-Bangalore-Delhi and Mangalore-Bangalore-Pune flights were likely to start soon. The new sectors have been chosen as they were found viable in view of the significant passenger traffic between Mangalore and Bangalore; Bangalore and Pune and Bangalore and Delhi.
30/101/4 The Hindu

Nagpur-Mumbai ticket rates go skyhigh for swearing-in

The swearing-in ceremony of the new Chief Minister of the state, Devendra Fadnavis is expected to bring a large number of supporters from Nagpur, his hometown.
Right on cue, ticket fares have shot up for flights between Nagpur and Mumbai.
According to the travel website, passengers from Nagpur eager to attend their leader’s swearing-in ceremony at Wankhede stadium on Friday evening will have to shell out anywhere between Rs 11,000 to Rs 28,000 for a flight ticket.
For Thursday evening, the fast-depleting tickets’ fare ranged from Rs 11,000, offered by Jet Airways, Rs 15,000 by Air India to as much as Rs 28,000 for a one-way ticket (non-stop flights).
In fact, the automated alert system of the site was quick to point out that if the customer had flexible dates, travelling on Saturday (November 1) could help them save as much as 50 per cent.
30/10/14 Neha LM Tripathi/Mid Day

Car catches fire at airport parking lot - no casualties

Mangalore: In a shocking incident, a car which was on the move near the parking lot outside the Mangalore International airport caught fire which was later put off by airport fire personnel, here on Thursday, October 30.
The car was severely damaged in the fire. KA 03 ME 6237, belonging to Sri Ventures caught fire in the evening hours of Thursday outside the Mangalore International airport.
It is learnt that the driver, Raja Sheik had come to collect the daughter of the car owner and about to park the car in the parking lot. The driver was alone in the car during the incident. He saw the smoke being emitted from the car first and then the car catching fire.

Hajis’ airport ordeal ends

Jeddah: Some Hajis from the Indian state of Assam, who had been stranded at Jeddah’s airport for the last four days because of a technical snag in their flight, finally flew out Wednesday night.
Their flight was originally scheduled to depart from Jeddah on Sunday.
Earlier, the distraught pilgrims spoke to Arab News narrating their ordeal.
“We just need to know when we can fly so we can inform our families to receive us at the airport back home,” said Abdul Aleem Choudary, a pilgrim from Assam.
“We performed Haj without any hassle but this delayed departure due to technical issues is really frustrating,” said another pilgrim. He added that pilgrims’ luggage had already been sent to the cargo hold and they had no change of clothes.
The snag-hit flight, scheduled to arrive in Jeddah on Saturday, was grounded in Fujairah resulting in the delay, official sources told Arab News. The aircraft is part of the Air Asia fleet, an outsourcing agency of Air India for Haj flights.
“This is our third journey to the airport to board the flight to Goa,” said Mohammed Sabir before boarding the bus to the airport in Jeddah on Tuesday. He was due to travel last Saturday.
30/10/14 Arab News

Dabolim needs coordinated policy: Group tells CM

Margao: Goans for Dabolim Only (GFDO) urged the state government to formulate an "all-encompassing coordinated policy" for development of Dabolim airport to its full potential.

GFDO wished chief minister Manohar Parrikar good luck in his initiative to petition the central government to make more land available at Dabolim airport from the Navy for parking of aircraft. The group said that "it would be in the interest of proper professional planning, if the CM would hand over a long-term master plan for Dabolim airport to the defence ministry, requesting the total amount of land it would require, rather than approaching it with piecemeal and short -term requirements".
30/10/14 Times of India

Jackal comes calling at Kochi airport

The airport here today received an unusual visitor when a jackal sauntered into the operational area, taking everyone by surprise.

The animal was noticed by bird watchers at the airport.

Immediately a trap was laid and the animal caught and handed over to the forest officials, Airport Director A C K Nair told PTI.
30/10/14 Daily News & Analysis

Mumbai International Airport Bags the Prestigious Golden Peacock Award 2014 for Sustainability

GVK Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL) has bagged the prestigious ‘Golden Peacock Award for Sustainability’ for the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). The award was presented at a specially organized “Golden Peacock Awards Ceremony”, on Wednesday, October 29 2014 at House of Lords- UK Parliament, Westminster in London.
Considered the greatest recognition of corporate excellence in areas of innovation, quality, sustainability, training, governance, environment management and corporate social responsibility the Golden Peacock Awards assessed the applicants on the basis of an exhaustive set of parameters covering a wide range of issues  and programs concerned with the Triple Bottom Line of the Business, also called the ‘TBL’ or ‘3BL’. Key to Sustainability the concept of ‘TBL’ means that the business success is defined not only by monetary gains but also by its environmental and social performances. In the current scenario, transparency about sustainability of organizational activities is of prime interest to a diverse range of stakeholders that include business, labor, non-governmental organizations, investors, accountants, and others. The idea of “Award for Sustainability” encourages initiatives in promoting sustainable development amongst organizations and rapidly accelerates the pace of stakeholder oriented improvement process.

Passengers miss flight after arguments with AI officials at Chennai airport

Bangalore: A group of passengers at the Chennai airport on Thursday had a harrowing experience and missed their flight to Bangalore following an argument with the officials.
Madhan Ramakrishnan, Delivery Manager with an MNC, along with other passengers who were to board an Air India flight to Bangalore today morning missed their flight after they had an arguement with the AI officials.
It all began when Ramakrishnan along with other passengers were at the AI ticketing counter waiting to check in. "We were asked to go from the domestic terminal to the international terminal to board our flight. They told us that the flight would take off from the international terminal.
Since the distance from the domestic to the international terminal was about 5-10 minutes walk, we all walked to the other terminal. Upon reaching the international terminal we were told that the gate had closed and we couldn't board the flight," Ramakrishnan told OneIndia.
What followed next was a series of arguments between the passengers and the AI officials. The passengers tried to reason with the officials saying that they were asked to come to the international terminal.
30/10/14 Sandra Marina Fernandes/One India

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Delhi ATC to provide real-time weather to pilots by next year

New Delhi: To better prepare pilots for bad weather conditions, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is planning to provide real-time weather data to airborne aircraft. For this, the AAI will integrate weather radar data of the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) with Air Traffic Control (ATC)’s radar system. Currently, the IMD provides weather data to ATC through phone call, message or fax. Air traffic controllers then relay it to pilots. Currently, aircraft use primary radar data, which provide weather data with some useful snapshots only up to 60 miles. By next year, however, weather data will be transferred via software by means of a new integrated weather system (IWS) platform. This would be available in all ATC towers, allowing pilots to get real-time weather for all phases of a flight.
30/10/14 Geeta Gupta/Indian Express

Civil Aviation Minister asks Air India to fix short-haul aircraft that are not in flying condition

New Delhi: Perturbed over Air India's delayed flights, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati has asked the carrier to fix all short-haul aircraft that are not in flying condition by March next year.

The aviation minister met heads of all departments, including Chairman and Managing Director Rohit Nandan and Joint Managing Director Nasir Ali, to understand why the airline's flights were behind schedule.

The minister was informed that one of the key reasons for the delay was the high level of grounded aircraft. He warned Air India Engineering Services Ltd to fix these planes by March or heads will roll at the company, a senior ministry official said.

The ministry and the minister have received a lot of complaints from Members of Parliament who flew with the airline during the past few days, the official said.

The national carrier, which has a fleet strength of 108 planes, operates 54 aircraft from the Airbus 320 family, of which nine are grounded for want of spares.
29/10/14 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

DGCA proposes minimum 3 aircraft for non-scheduled operators

Mumbai: The recent proposal by aviation regulator, directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA), that a non-scheduled operator should have a prescribed minimum number of aircraft, if implemented, would lead to closure of at least 80 operators from among the total 120, resulting in more than 4,000 people losing their jobs, claimed an association representing private charter operators.
Moreover, international companies would take advantage of the shortage of small aircraft in the commercial sector and dominate the charter business in India, the association added in its response to the proposal sent to DGCA, on Wednesday.

Will operators get time to increase fleet strength?
Yes. They have been given a year's time to replenish the strength of their fleet. The letter by Rohit Kapur, president, Business Aircraft Operator's Association (BAOA), to DGCA chief Prabhat Kumar is in response to DGCA's recent circular, which states that operators with less than three aircraft would not be permitted commercial operations.

Prabhat Kumar was not available for comment.
"This appears to be a knee jerk reaction and would severely impact the growth of the general and the business aviation sector, forcing a large number of operators to shut shop, resulting in massive job losses," said Kapur.
29/10/14 Shahkar Abidi/Daily News & Analysis

BAOA opposes DGCA's proposal to prescribe minimum three aircraft for NSOPs

Delhi: The Business Aircraft Operators’ Association (BAOA) today said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's (DGCA) proposal to prescribe operation of a minimum of three aircraft for non-scheduled operator permit (NSOP) holders would severely retard the growth of connectivity to regional and remote destinations in the country.

In a statement here, the BAOA said the proposal was also contrary to the policy of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA).

The association said a majority of NSOPs operate only one aircraft and are looking forward to deploying them on remote routes. "It would be in the best interest of aviation industry to frame regulatory requirement in conformity with the policy of MoCA," it said.

The statement said the proposal would in no way reduce the safety oversight responsibility of the DGCA, which appeared to be the purpose of the amendemnt.

It would, however, result in closure of 80 of the 120 NSOPs in the country, leading to more than 4000 layoffs in the general and business aviation (GA/BA) sector, it said.
29/10/14 Net Indian

Air Asia plans to induct 10 more aircraft next year

Bangalore:  Budget carrier Air Asia plans to induct 10 more aircraft next year that would take the strength of its fleet to 15.

"I think realistically we may do ten aircraft by next year. January and February, probably we won't have many. Ten more aircraft next year, taking the total tally to 15 aircraft," Air Asia CEO Mittu Chandilya told PTI.
He was speaking on the sidelines of unveiling of Bangalore Raptors official team jersey ceremony in the presence of ace Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj who is conducting the Champions Tennis League (CTL).

Chandilya, also the owner of the Bangalore franchise of CTL, said the airliner planned to put in place one aircraft- a-year plan. "It depends upon when the aircraft are ready because our schedules are very tight and by next year we really want to have one-aircraft-a-year plan."

He, however, said there would be no change and variations in the type of aircraft the airliner plans to induct. "There will be no change and no variation in the type of aircraft to be inducted. We will induct A-320s which will be a mix of ceos (current engine option) and neos (new engine option)," he added.
28/10/14 Economic Times

Indian Haj pilgrims stranded for 80 hours as plane held up in Fujairah

Jeddah Indian Haj Mission’s flawless and excellent services for the pilgrims got tainted with the 11th hour mess caused by the country’s national carrier Air India that resulted in pilgrims being stranded for nearly 80 hours in Jeddah.

Indian Haj committee pilgrims bound for Goa and Guwahati on board the last two departure flights from the Haj terminal of Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport are stuck in the city for three days due to ‘non-availability of flight.’ According to reliable sources, the mess ensued following Air India’s act of subcontracting flight service to a Fujairah-based company, which does not possess adequate number of aircraft and crew. After a long wait of 80 hours, 235 pilgrims bound for Goa on Air India Flight AI 5086, which had been scheduled for Oct. 25, finally took off at around 9.30 p.m. on Tuesday. The plane for Guwahati, scheduled for Oct. 26, will leave on Wednesday evening after the return of the AI 5086, according to Firoz Khan, manager of \Air India, Saudi Gazette reported.
29/10/14 Two

Goa to seek more parking space at Dabolim airport

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will take up with the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Civil Aviation(MoCA) in New Delhi, a proposal seeking more space for parking at the Dabolim international airport which comes under Naval jurisdiction.

Mr. Parrikar, who is scheduled to fly to New Delhi for this purpose on Wednesday, said in Panaji on Tuesday that this aspect of additional space at the already saturated Dabolim airport assumes significance as his government has received a proposal for a hub from Air Asia.
28/10/14 Prakash Kamat/The Hindu

Indian national dies at Bandaranaike International Airport

A 51-year-old Indian national died while being admitted to the Negombo Hospital after he collapsed due to a sudden illness at the Bandaranaike International Airport today.
Police said the deceased was on his way to Trichy, India from Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
 “The deceased had fell on the airport corridor and died while being admitted to the Negombo Hospital,” the Police said.
29/10/14 Daily Mirror

Indian Haj pilgrims stranded for 80 hours as plane held up in Fujairah

Jeddah Indian Haj Mission’s flawless and excellent services for the pilgrims got tainted with the 11th hour mess caused by the country’s national carrier Air India that resulted in pilgrims being stranded for nearly 80 hours in Jeddah.

Indian Haj committee pilgrims bound for Goa and Guwahati on board the last two departure flights from the Haj terminal of Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport are stuck in the city for three days due to ‘non-availability of flight.’ According to reliable sources, the mess ensued following Air India’s act of subcontracting flight service to a Fujairah-based company, which does not possess adequate number of aircraft and crew. After a long wait of 80 hours, 235 pilgrims bound for Goa on Air India Flight AI 5086, which had been scheduled for Oct. 25, finally took off at around 9.30 p.m. on Tuesday. The plane for Guwahati, scheduled for Oct. 26, will leave on Wednesday evening after the return of the AI 5086, according to Firoz Khan, manager of \Air India, Saudi Gazette reported.
29/10/14 Two

Jet Airways reply to clarification sought by the exchange

The Exchange has sought clarification from Jet Airways  with respect to news article appearing in The Financial Express on Oct. 27, 2014 titled "Etihad drops plan to lease Boeing aircraft from Jet".

Jet Airways (India) replied stating, "We wish to inform you that Etihad has already denied it. Etihad has also issued the clarification in this regard.

Etihad Airways has denied reports that it has dropped plans to lease aircraft from Jet Airways. "We already have two Boeing 777-300ERs and two Airbus A330-200s in operation under dry lease from Jet Airways, and are finalizing plans to introduce a further two aircraft before the end of the year."
29/10/14 IRIS

Tigerair increases connectivity on Chennai-Singapore route

Chennai: Singapore-based budget air carrier Tigerair has announced two more weekly flights between Chennai and the city state from December.

"The airline has added two additional weekly flights on this route that will ensure more convenience for travellers from and to the city", a company statement said today.

Tigerair currently operates seven weekly flights between Chennai and Singapore. The two additional weekly flights will come into effect from December 4, 2014, it added.

"The decision to increase frequencies to Chennai is in line with the upsurge in travel demand. The increased flights will give travellers from India a greater option and opportunity to visit Singapore," said Robert Yang, Commercial Director, Tigerair.
29/10/14 PTI/Business Standard