Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Jet Airways leads domestic airlines growth

The Indian aviation sector continued its upward swing in November, carrying 4.88 million passengers in the domestic segment, compared to 4.62 million in October 2010, even as Jet Airways emerged the top performer having a 19.2 per cent (or 9.34 lakh passengers) marketplace share.

About 46.8 million passengers utilized domestic airlines in January-November 2010, which shows an 18.9 per cent growth compared to the similar period last year, based on details released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Jet Airways had the greatest percentage share of the domestic marketplace of 19.2 per cent (9.34 lakh passengers) even though its sister carrier Jet Lite had a 7 per cent share (3.43 lakh), which adds as much as a total 26.2 per cent marketplace share.

Kingfisher Airlines was second having a 19.1 per cent (9.32 lakh) marketplace share, followed by Indigo with 17.3 per cent (8.43 lakh) and Air India with 17.1 per cent (8.36 lakh). Spice Jet recorded a 13.3 per cent share (6.50 lakh) even though Go Air brought up the rear with 6.9 per cent (3.37 lakh).

The seat issue was the greatest for IndiGo (91 per cent), followed by Spice Jet (87.5 per cent), Kingfisher Airlines (86.7 per cent), Go Air (85.4 per cent), JetLite (82 per cent), Jet Airways (77 per cent), and the lowest for the national carrier Air India (76.9) per cent.

The overall on-time performance of the domestic airlines for November 2010 was 76.4 per cent.

Airlines set to take off after turbulence

The year 2010 was each a year that saw a silver lining in addition to dark clouds within the aviation industry. Except Air India, which continues to face difficult times, other airlines started a steady march on the recovery right after the slowdown many years of 2008 and 2009.

What ought to be a huge relief on the Indian aviation authorities could be the fact how the US did not downgrade the Indian safety regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation, to sub-Saharan Africa levels. The final nod for the second airport in Mumbai right after a delay of three many years and the opening of new T3 terminal in New Delhi were a large plus for travellers.

But just as very good news was flowing in thick and fast right after 2 many years of gloom, the worst fears of aviation came real with India witnessing 1 of its worst ever air crashes on May possibly 22. Air India Express's flight 812 crashed at Mangalore airport, killing 158 from the 166 men and women on board.

The crash, coming amid fears which started within the troubled 2008-09 that some crises-ridden airlines may perhaps not have even adequate income to maintain their fleet airworthy, led to intense financial surveillance from the carriers. The scrutiny once more revealed that except Air India, most other critical airlines' fortunes were showing changes—thanks to a double-digit growth in domestic air travel.

This is borne by the fact that 2009 saw 445.1 lakh men and women flying inside India. But the January-November 2010 period itself saw that figure getting left behind with 468 lakh men and women flying in India. Considering about 50 lakh men and women fly in December, 2010 may perhaps witness a 16% rise more than 2009. "This growth is likely to be even more pronounced, next year, from the economy searching up. So the large upside for the year 2011 is that most airlines, barring —of course—Air India, could come to be profitable again. But simultaneously the large worry is rising oil prices with crude touching $90 a barrel. This may perhaps force fare hikes and affect air travel growth," mentioned a senior ministry official.

That worry apart, financially airlines are searching to fly to the black. Financially-strained Kingfisher got approval to restructure its mounting debts. The country's second largest low-cost carrier (LCC), SpiceJet, was finally bought more than by a south-based group with deep pockets, signalling the end of income crunch, and it, subsequently, also began overseas flights. Similarly, the largest LCC, IndiGo, is all set to launch an IPO and start international flights next year. In fact, the aviation market came a full circle this year. The sacking of 450-odd Jet Airways cabin crew staffers had signalled the beginning from the global meltdown-induced crisis for Indian airlines in 2008. This year, Jet contacted all its sacked staffers and about half of them have joined back within the past few months.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Good Airline Service at Affordable Fares

The airlines has set its typical high and tries difficult to compete with AC coaches of Indian Railways which speaks significantly for the affordable and economical cost of its Flight tickets. As well as the most remarkable factor is that SpiceJet has been awarded with World travel industry Award 2009. Moreover, Skytrax, in the year 2007, voted it as essentially the most low-cost airline in South Asia and central Asia region.

There is 2 aircrafts selected by this airline for fleet in order to have the greater accuracy ion maintenance and offer low fare for the passenger. The 2 aircrafts are Boeing 737-800 with 189 seats and Boeing 737-900ER with 212 seats. The aircrafts provides you a safe, simple and enjoyable journey.

SpiceJet Airlines covers numerous destinations across India touching numerous cities just like Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Jammu, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune and Srinagar. They offer cheap air tickets for numerous well-known destinations just like Kolkata-Delhi-Kolkata, New Delhi-Goa-New Delhi, Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai, New Delhi-Hyderabad-New Delhi, Bangalore-Hyderabad-Bangalore, Mumbai-Bangalore-Mumbai, New Delhi-Mumbai-New Delhi, Bangalore-Kolkata-Bangalore, Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai, New Delhi-Chennai-New Delhi and Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai.

SpiceJet offer various choices for each a corporation trip including a pleasure trip. They get all of the maintenance aid by KLM and assure you for safe and dependable flights. All of their staffs are well trained and experienced to offer essentially the most feasible service and ensure the maximum comfort for the travelers.

SpiceJet assures you for your great service in the most affordable price. Its main functionality is to offer essentially the most of services inside your budget. They assist you to save lots of dollars that you can invest on some extra shopping or foods although your journey. You are should enjoy the journey should you know you happen to be owning essentially the most deal and that as well without the need of compromising of the standards of services. There are numerous on the net travel services to assist you to of the ticket registration for Spicejet flights. So why delay, go ahead and book your ticket to your most versatile journey of your life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Air India, Jet Airways to Lease 35 Airbus Planes

NEW DELHI -- Air India and Jet Airways India Ltd. have agreed to lease 35 planes of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. NV's Airbus from leasing companies.

Flag carrier Air India has decided to lease 10 A330 planes and 15 A320s, Airbus said inside a statement late Monday. Jet Airways, India's biggest carrier by industry share, will lease 10 A330s.

Airbus said the 25 planes that Air India plans to eat on lease have a list acquisition cost of $3.1 billion, while the 10 planes chosen by Jet Airways have a list acquisition cost of $1.9 billion.

A spokesman for Airbus said the deals are, however, possibly being done directly on the leasing firms and are unlikely to give new firm to Airbus.

"The carriers will choose an engine supplier and also a leasing business during the near future," Airbus said.

Indian carriers have started to eat new planes on lease or order new aircraft as demand for air travel rebounds during the global economic slowdown of 2008 and early 2009. Budget carrier SpiceJet Ltd. last month ordered 30 turboprop aircraft from Canada's Bombardier Inc. for $900 million, adding to a $2.7 billion order for 30 Boeing Co.'s 737-800 planes placed in July. An additional budget airline IndiGo has received government approval to buy 150 Airbus planes.

Ragini Chopra, a spokeswoman for Mumbai-based Jet, said the airline is planning to eat the 10 A330s on lease to expand its international operations.

"We are in talks with numerous leasing firms for your aircraft," she said, but declined to elaborate.

The first two A330s are going to be leased among January and June 2011, while the sleep are going to be leased in 2012 for use on long-haul routes, said another Jet Airways executive, who declined being named.

"We are finalising our international expansion plans," the executive said. "We think demand is rising and this really is the proper time to deploy additional capacity."

Jet has already leased four ATR turboprop planes during the aircraft-leasing arm of U.K.-based Investec PLC. A couple of additional ATRs will join the fleet next month.

Air India executives weren't promptly accessible for comment.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jet Airways Announces to Launch Daily Non-Stop Flight From Milano Malpensa To New Delhi

Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, today announced that it will commence daily non-stop flights from Milano Malpensa to New Delhi from December 5th, 2010 in code share with Alitalia, producing Milan the twenty-fourth international destination on Jet Airways’ network.

Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways, said: “We consider Milan a strategic destination, getting the company and commercial center of Italy. India, an emerging marketplace with a booming economy is a youthful and vibrant marketplace that holds beneficial potential. Jet Airways and I consume pride in bringing a taste of Modern India to Italy. Based on our experience in Europe, with a direct flight we expect the marketplace to grow by 30%. During the very first month we already have 89% occupancy on the new flight from Milan. We are therefore incredibly optimistic about this flight. Our product and our service inside air and on ground are anything incredibly special, warm and distinctive and we’re certain that the Italian marketplace will enjoy this”.

Rocco Sabelli, Managing Director of Alitalia, said: “We are incredibly happy to jobs with Jet Airways. This agreement represents a incredibly essential development for Alitalia. Connecting Italy from the principal worldwide destinations, reinforcing our leadership position inside Italian marketplace and our offer of intercontinental flights from Milan is a further step in our strategy. Alitalia stands out as the very first SkyTeam airline for getting signed an agreement with Jet Airways”.

“I am particularly happy from the new daily direct flight to Milano Malpensa – New Delhi operated by the largest Indian airline. This link will support to strengthen the relationships in between our market, wherever only the North West recorded 50% of exports to India, and a single from the major globe powers with powerful economic growth” – mentioned Giuseppe Bonomi, Chairman, SEA Milan Airports – “Malpensa confirms its leadership inside relationship with East Asia thanks also to this new flight activated inside a short time thanks our trade policy that has brought sure results: today Malpensa connects 168 destinations, reaching 86 cities outside Europe and 110 airlines”.

Jet Airways’ new flight, the only a single to offer a daily direct link in between Italy and India will connect Milan, the fashion and type capital from the world, to historic New Delhi, the capital of India.

Effective 5th December the flights will operate towards the right after schedule:

9W 141 / AZ 7082 Milano Malpensa/New Delhi: 21.25-09.55*

9W 142 / AZ 7083 New Delhi/Milano Malpensa: 13.20-18.00 (*the next day)

The airline will likely be utilizing its contemporary Airbus 330-200 aircraft configured in a couple of classes, with 30 seats in Premi√®re (Business Class seats that can be converted to 180° lie-flat beds) and 190 seats in Economy (ergonomically created seats for much more space and comfort).

Jet Airways’ and Alitalia’s guests will likely be able to experience the new state-of-the-art Terminal 3 of New Delhi Airport and achieve over 42 destinations on Jet Airways network in India. New Delhi, thanks to its strategic geographical location in between Italy and Asia, is an ideal gateway for guests from Italy to travel beyond India to other Jet Airways destinations just like Colombo, Bangkok, Kathmandu, and Dhaka. The airline will thus provide its guests a seamless travel experience as soon as transiting at New Delhi Airport.
Jet Airways Konnect

Friday, November 26, 2010

Jet Airways on a hiring mode

Mumbai: A controversy pops up among the two leading airline industries which include Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines wherein the latter has blamed the former of recruiting 50 Kingfisher benched pilots as co-pilots. Jet Airways denied the recruitment and commented that Kingfisher has voluntarily enable individuals pilots off due to no immediate requirement.

The Naresh Goyal controlled India's largest personalized carrier by marketplace share also plans to hire some experienced pilots as commanders within the competitor. The very first batch in the 29 benched pilots has already joined them. The airline has also confirmed the amount of pilots sent.

Due for the assumption of facing an opposition within the management, the airline has planned to maintain a meeting on 30th of November, so as to discuss the new recruitments. "How can we permit pilots to arrive and fly with us once our personal pilots aren't given their due, aren't promoted and the salaries have not been reinstated post the revival," stated a disgruntled pilot, who did not would like to be called due to the sensitivity in the matter.

Due to this kind of reactions, a huge opposition is expected within the serving pilots to your newly recruited pilots.
With the growing demand for air travel, Jet nevertheless has hiring plans as based on the marketplace estimates, Air travel is set to grow by 20-25% within the year ending March 31, 2011.

Although Jet leads with a marketplace share of 26.2% followed by Kingfisher of 19%, Jet Airways has had no choice but to hop pilots from its rivals Air India and Kingfisher since the manpower resources have not kept pace with its growth in aviation industries. Pilots must be trained with an experience of a few flying hours before their recruitment.

For the newly recruited pilots from Kingfisher, just a week's long training is adequate to your transition to fly Jet's A330 from Kingfisher's Airbus A320. As informed by the marketplace executives, Jet's management is looking forward to hiring around 300 much more commanders more than the next three years who have more than 3000 hours of flying experience,although the airline entirely declined to give the definite figure.
Source: Silicon India

Kingfisher Gets Okay for Debt-Equity Swap

Kingfisher Airlines' board has approved a debt recast plan that seeks to convert some of its debt into equity. The move will aid the company reduce its interest burden and stem losses.

Kingfisher will convert lenders' loans of as much as Rs. 1355 crore into shares. It also plans to convert founders' debt of as much as Rs. 648 crore into share capital. Kingfisher's balance loans is also repaid to lenders over nine years with a moratorium of a couple of years, it added. The airline plans to problem convertible and redeemable shares to lending banks as well as founder entities in line with its debt recast plan.

It plans to problem as much as 57.5 crore redeemable preference shares and as much as 78 crore convertible preference shares to its consortium of lenders. Its board also approved issuing as much as 64.8 crore convertible preference shares to founder entities United Breweries (Holdings) and to Kingfisher Finvest India. Under the debt restructuring package, lenders can also sanction a lot more funds as well as non-fund-based facilities, Kingfisher said. The package firmed up following a one-time relaxation in restructuring guidelines sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of India, the airline said.

Tata Motors reportedly plans to set up a second factory in Bangladesh, one of its main export destinations for commercial vehicles, in six months to cater to growing sales of smaller and light commercial vehicles.

Separately, Tata Motors reportedly plans to launch compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered trucks within the medium and heavy segments for your domestic marketplace within a year.

Communications Minister Kapil Sibal mentioned on Thursday, 25 November 2010 cellular number portability across the country is going to be implemented from 20 January 2011. Mobile number portability, which allows users to keep their phone number even if they switch operators, was to be introduced in all telecoms zones by 31 March 2010.

The board of Money Matters Financial Services will meet today, 26 November 2010, to select the futures course of action following the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 arrested the Money Matters' chairman and a couple of other officials and also the senior executives of three state-run banks and other financial organizations inside a loan bribery case.

In a statement towards stock exchanges, Money Matters mentioned the board meeting had been called to discuss the matter in detail and select the next course of action. The CBI has mentioned that Money Matters acted being a mediator and facilitator of corporate loans and other facilities by bribing bank officials.

Money Matters mentioned the company will like to assure its shareholders, buyers and company associates that the company firmly believes in ethical practices in all company dealings. The company is fully co-operating with CBI and within the legal proceedings, it said.

Paras Pharmaceuticals has reportedly shortlisted the bids of Piramal Healthcare, Emami and unlisted Taisho Pharmaceutical Co to sell a controlling stake. As per reports, Emami could emerge the winner with its final bid of Rs. 2950 crore.

SKS Microfinance has reportedly occur under the scanner on the Insurance Regulatory Authority of India for deviating from guidelines set by the regulator on commissions and claim settlements.

Glodyne Technoserve's board approved sub-division of equity shares of Rs. 10 each into equity shares of face significance Rs. 6 each. The board also approved raising funds through equity and other methods from domestic and overseas markets.

Pratibha Industries has raised Rs. 50 crore through equity shares issued to Van Dyck, a unit of ChrysCapital V LLC. The company issued 38 lakh equity shares on preferential basis at Rs. 92 a piece to Van Dyck, it said. In addition, it issued 16.3 lakh compulsory convertible participatory preference shares at Rs. 92 a piece to Van Dyck, it added.
Soruce: India Infoline

Friday, November 19, 2010

Air India sacks COO with unsafe track record

Pawan Arora has been sacked as the chief operating officer of Air India Express, the low cost international arm of Air India. The decision was taken by the full AI board, which met the following on Thursday. Sources mentioned AI COO Gustav Baldauf has protested for the civil aviation ministry against Arora's removal.

"Baldauf selected Arora and is unhappy in the decision to sack him. We have told him it's up to him to decide what he wants to do," a top ministry official said.

Another high-profile appointment — of Stefan Sukumar as chief of training — is also under the scanner, having a two-member committee getting formed to glimpse into the "process of recruitment" and submit a report for the board within a fortnight.

In an action-packed day, AI CMD Arvind Jadhav and three independent directors — Air Chief Marshal (retd) Fali H Major, FICCI secretary general Amit Mitra and Ambuja Realty chairman Harsh Neotia — met civil aviation minister Praful Patel just before proceeding for the board meeting.

Thereafter, the Board unanimously decided to sack Arora, over a grounds that a number of issues about him weren't known at the time of his appointment — as reported very first by HT.

Arora joined AI on October 11. On October 22, HT exposed the truth how the Director General of Civil Aviation had removed him from four key flight-safety posts just before he joined the national carrier.

On November 1, AI's independent directors met the PM's main secretary TKA Nair to tell him they have been "misguided" and "kept from the dark" about Arora's record.

It also emerged that Arora was the chief reference for Baldauf, inside a report by a headhunting agency hired to short-list candidates to your AI COO's post.

Within months of Baldauf taking over, Arora was produced AI Express COO. Each earlier worked together in Jet Airways Konnect.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Air India pilot's 'sleep inertia' caused crash

The senior pilot of an Air India jet that crashed in May was asleep for most with the flight after which produced critical errors since he was disoriented after waking up, based on Indian news reports.

The crash on May 22 in Mangalore, India, killed 158 men and women after the jet overran the runway and plunged off a cliff.

Capt. Zlatko Glusica was captured loudly snoring on a cockpit recorder, the accident investigation found, based on the Hindustan Times. The Associated Press confirmed the account from a federal government official who spoke on condition of anonymity since the report had not been presented towards the Indian Parliament.

After waking, Glusica did not respond when his co-pilot H.S. Ahluwalia repeatedly urged him to abort the landing.

Indian investigators stated that Glusica was suffering from "sleep inertia," a condition that can be deeply disorienting when an individual is awoken suddenly from deep sleep, based on the reports.

The accident may be the most clear-cut instance yet of the crash caused by a tired pilot and might affect the debate during the United States more than how to adjust pilot schedules to reduce fatigue, aviation safety experts say.

"This is almost a smoking gun," stated Curtis Graeber, a fatigue expert and consultant who specializes in pilot schedules.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has observed that fatigue played a role in several accidents, but has had to rely on circumstantial evidence. In the crash of the commuter plane on Feb. 12, 2009, near Buffalo that killed 50 people, investigators raised concerns that each pilots had not slept the night before, but stopped short of citing fatigue as being a cause.

Graeber and others could not recall a case wherever a pilot involved in an accident had been recorded even though asleep.

Two pilots on board a go! airlines flight in Hawaii on Feb. 13, 2007, fell asleep for at least 18 minutes, and their commuter jet flew past its destination, but the crew awoke in time to return to your safe landing.

In June 2008, an Air India aircraft headed to Mumbai flew past its destination with each pilots asleep. They landed after being awakened by air-traffic controllers.

The Federal Aviation Administration, under orders from Congress to address pilot fatigue, last September unveiled sweeping changes that would require longer rest periods for pilots. The proposal has met fierce opposition from airlines and some pilot unions.

John Cox, a retired airline pilot who works as being a safety consultant, stated he expects the Air India crash to be cited during the debate more than U.S. regulations.

Cox also cautioned that other factors might be blamed for ones India crash. For example, the co-pilot could have woken the captain earlier and been far more assertive, he said.

"This flies during the face of professional training," Cox said. "What has happened right here is tough to understand."

Cox and Graeber stated that the factors identified during the accident appear unlikely to come during the USA, wherever co-pilots are trained to speak up if they have safety concerns.
Source:USA Today

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Kingfisher Airlines cuts losses by 45%

Private carrier Kingfisher Airlines has reduced its September quarter losses by 45 per cent to Rs 231 crore as against a loss of Rs 418.77 crore inside the exact same quarter a year ago. The airline saw a 24 per cent improvement in operating revenues, driven by a growth in aviation demand, focus on improving network profitability, and various cost reduction initiatives.

Sales have grown 24 per cent to Rs 1,382.72 crore when compared with Rs 1,112.70 crore. Meanwhile, shares in the business gained 2.06 per cent to close the day at Rs 81.65 on a Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday.

Domestic revenues stood at Rs 1,038 crore compared with Rs 989 crore in Q2 FY10. This was a 5 per cent improve in income despite 18 per cent reduction in ability (seats offered). International revenues have been at Rs 345 crore compared with Rs 124 crore in Q2 FY10.

“This performance was despite 11 per cent reduction inside the quantity of departures. The overall EBITDA margin to your quarter improved to a certain 4 per cent inside the unfavorable 24 per cent reported inside the exact same quarter last year. These results have been delivered despite an estimated loss of more than Rs 73 crore because of unplanned grounding of aircraft. Adjusted for this loss, the EBITDA margin would be 8 per cent to your quarter,” said the airline in a filing towards BSE.
Source: Indian Express

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SpiceJet Q2 net profit at Rs 10.11 cr

SpiceJet has declared its second quarter results. The company’s Q2 net profit was at Rs 10.11 crore versus loss of Rs 101 crore, year-on-year, YoY.

Its income from operations was up at Rs 603 crore versus Rs 449 crore, YoY.

The company's trailing 12-month (TTM) EPS was at Rs 2.75 per share. (Jun, 2010). The stock's price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio was 32.05.

The latest book value of the company is Rs -7.99 per share. At current value, the price-to-book value of the company was -11.03.
Source: India Earnings

Air India empowered to take decision on hiring employees says Praful Patel

NEW DELHI: The Civil Aviation Ministry on Tuesday mentioned how the Management of Air India was empowered to take any choice during staff selection, right after reports that some of its Board directors had opposed appointment of Pawan Arora as COO of its low-cost arm Air India Express .

"If there is any controversial appointment, I am sure that Air India management and Air India Board will take a right decision. It is a question of an Air India employee, so allow the Air India management and board take care of these issues," Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told reporters here.

He was replying to questions on reports that some of Air India's independent directors had raised objections on the appointment of Arora as well as the functioning of its top management.

He asserted that there was "no controversy" within the board's independent directors meeting top officials within the PMO to discuss the trouble on functioning of Air India.

Yesterday, the five independent directors with the business -- Anand Mahindra of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd , Ficci's secretary general Amit Mitra, Ambuja Realty chairman Harsh Neotia and former air chief Fali H. Major-- met Prime Minister's Principal Secretary T K A Nair and reportedly expressed their anguish over the appointments being made by the company.

They also met Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel today and briefed him for the meeting with Prime Minister office.

"There is no question of any controversy. Independent Directors wanted to meet me and they had courtesy call. They have been on the Board for over six months and they wanted to share their views with me," Patel said.

Apart within the trouble of Air India COO, difficulties relating to Air India's financial position, debt case and human resources are also understood to have occur up for discussion within the meeting with TKA Nair.

Source: The Economic Times

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Go Airways flight makes emergency landing

A Go Airways flight from Lucknow to Delhi Friday morning made emergency landing at Patna Airport due to bad weather.

The incident took place at Jai Prakash Narayan International Airport, Patna when the flight SG-352 was on its way from Lucknow to Delhi, the officials said. The flight was diverted to Patna after dense fog at Delhi airport.

All the passengers were exited safely from the flight after its landing at the airport.

No causalities or mishappening had occurred, the officials added.

The passengers created ruckus at the airport when there was no information about the next flight by the Airport Authorities.

It is mentioned that it was the third case of emergency landing in the last couple of days.
Source: Samay Live

Monday, October 25, 2010

7 Mumbai-bound flights diverted

Hundreds of passengers on board seven city-bound flights were forced to country at other airports on Friday night because an Air India flight from London was stuck on the taxiway paralysing operations for nearly an hour. Six flights had to become diverted to Ahmedabad and one was sent to Hyderabad.
after vacating the principal runway, the pilot of flight AI 130 informed the air targeted visitors control that he was unable to move the landing gear with the aircraft as a result of suspected hydraulic failure.

A Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson, mentioned that airport staff saw smoke emanating within the landing gear. “The staff sprayed foam on the gear and passengers were safely deplaned,” the spokesperson said.

At that thing air targeted visitors control officials were using only the principal runway. They had to switch for the other runway because the exit within the principal runway was blocked by the Air India flight. By then, several incoming flights had already aligned themselves to country on the principal runway.
As soon as the ATC official announced the transform of runway, these flights had to re-vector their position mid-air.
In addition, airport ground staff also takes about 30 minutes to switch runways because one end with the principal runway is under repair. By the time the ATC cleared the secondary runway for operations, flights decided to country at a neighbouring airport.

“At least a dozen flights were circling around the airport,” mentioned a senior air targeted visitors control officer. Airport sources blamed runway repairs.
Source: Hindustan Times

Emirates Wins CAPA Airline of Year Award

MANILA, Philippines – Emirates was referred to as the winner of the prestigious Center for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) Airline of the Year Award for 2010 at a gala reception in Singapore recently.

Air New Zealand's Rob Fyfe was referred to as CEO of the Year. The awards ceremony was held as component of this year’s seventh annual Asia Aviation Outlook summit, showcasing airline and airport CEOs from about the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions.

The CAPA Airline of the Year is awarded on the carrier that has had the most effective impact on a development of the airline marketplace in the region, establishing itself as a leader, and also the benchmark for others to follow.

It is the second time Emirates has won CAPA’s coveted top award getting previously won in 2005.

“Emirates’ achievements in the past year had been extraordinary, as the most profitable and fastestgrowing airlines in the world," mentioned CAPA chairman Peter Harbison.

"Emirates’ influence on competitor airline strategy continues to increase, as it aggressively enters new markets and expands others and demonstrates leadership in highquality passenger service."

Harbison mentioned Emirates’ development has contributed to Dubai’s surge in the rankings of the world’s biggest international hubs, from 26th location in 2001 handling 12.4 million international passengers to sixth location last year with 40.1 million."

"The CAPA Airline of the Year for 2010 is specific to acquire a lasting and irreversible impact on a evolution of the worldwide aviation and tourism industries.” (EHL)


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jet Air's India passenger traffic in Sept up 37%

Jet Airways Ltd, India's largest private carrier by sales, mentioned its domestic passenger targeted traffic in September grew 37.1 percent on the year ago, whilst its international targeted traffic rose 36.4 percent.

Jet Airways has now posted 11 consecutive months of growth in passenger traffic, it said.

The group, which includes low-cost carrier JetLite, includes a marketplace share of 26.9 percent inside the country's aviation sector, it added.

Source: Sify

T3 of IGI airport to start operating from Oct 30

NEW DELHI: As soon as domestic operations begin inside integrated terminal Three (T3) on October 30, about 70% of domestic site visitors would be moving on the new terminal. Although 3 roads will consume passengers up to the Haj terminal — NH-8, the tunnel road that will be made operational by this month-end and the road from Gurgaon — only 1 road from that thing will bring about the main terminal, posing a site visitors nightmare.

A team inside civil aviation ministry led by joint secretary Alok Sinha inspected operations at the airport on Tuesday. In accordance with sources, officials pointed out that site visitors chaos would probably result right after domestic operations on the 3 main carriers — Air India, Jet Airways and Kingfisher — shift to T3. ''The tunnel road will open with only two lanes at supply and that ought to not be a problem. However, just right after the Haj terminal, after all site visitors would be pushed onto 1 road, site visitors jams will probably be a huge issue,'' stated sources.

Sources also stated that whilst everything was on schedule at the domestic side on the terminal, the entire airport experience will probably be marred if difficulties like site visitors aren't sorted out. The first four gates at T3 will probably be dedicated to domestic carriers and officials are worried that the starting on the ramp would often be crowded and keep up other traffic. A meeting is probably to be convened among Delhi International Airport (P) Ltd (DIAL) and site visitors police on October 25 to formalise a site visitors plan.

''The other issue highlighted by ministry officials was that of passenger transfer, among international and domestic and within domestic. DIAL is planning to convert IGI into a hub on the lines of Singapore and Dubai. That is a first for India and there can't be goof-ups. The issue will must be sorted out by airlines and the ministry will also keep a meeting with them right after the site visitors issue is sorted out,'' stated officials.
Source: The Times of India

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Mumbai FC gun down Air India

Since its launch four many years ago, Mumbai FC had not managed to beat Mumbai football’s powerhouse, Air India. Manager Henry Picardo, a former Air India player, kept dreaming in the result.

And that dream couldn’t were realised at a far better occasion than from the final in the Nadkarni Cup. Mumbai FC defeated Air India 2-0 to win the championship at the RCF ground, Chembur, on Monday.

Ebi Sukore Theophilus’s strike from the 40th minute followed by a superb back volley from striker Pc Lalawmpuia from the dying minutes clinched the 104th edition in the tournament for Mumbai FC.

It looked like an I-League encounter over a local tourney as each the sides play from the national tournament. The intensity was high as there was high quality action and drama involved. Some comical errors from the referees added on the excitement.

However, they also raised question marks over some of the decisions taken by them. From the very first half, several Air India players argued in the referee over the rules during a free kick. However, it was resolved amicably.

For most in the opening period, each sides played both equally well, doing inroads to the opponent’s half but they could not capitalise on the opportunities that came their way.

Five minutes ahead of the very first half whistle, Air India’s Samson Singh committed a foul from the box, which resulted inside a penalty kick for Mumbai FC. Ebi obliged by tapping the ball in without having any issue leaving Air India custodian Kunal Sawant, a mere spectator.

Second half as well had some exciting moments as the ball went over the horizontal bar quite a few times, but a 90th minute back volley strike from Lalawmpui finished the game in style in Mumbai FC’s favour.

Picardo, who was in-charge in the team from the absence of coach Khalid Jamil, was all praise of Lalawmpui.

“He is recognized for that. That goal from him sealed the game for us,” mentioned Picardo.

He mentioned he is happy, especially, mainly because his team had defeated the power property of Mumbai.

“It was dream arrive true. Since our team was launched four many years ago, we had never defeated Air India. Beating this sort of a big and tough side gives you high. As far as winning the tournament is concerned, it'll give us a improve ahead of the I-League begins.”
Source: DNA India

Maran launches SpiceJet open offer

Delhi-based low-cost carrier SpiceJet’s new promoters SunTV chief Kalanithi Maran and his business KAL Airways has launched an open supply to acquire an additional 20% stake from the low-cost carrier on October 18. The supply will open on October 18 and close on November 6, said a filing over a Bombay Stock Exchange dated October 13.

In June, the Chennai-based industrialist had clinched a deal to acquire a 37.7% stake from the low-cost carrier for Rs 739.57 crore from American investor Wilbur Ross, his investment organizations as well as the Kansagara family-promoted Royal Holding Services.

Recently, Maran elevated his stake from the budget airline to 25.12% by obtaining 7.42% much more stake via off-market transactions. Shareholders are going to be accessible Rs 57.76 for every share they retain in SpiceJet, translating into a 3% premium more than the closing cost of Rs 56.05 on June 11, 2010. This would involve an outgo of close to Rs 480 crore, taking the overall deal size to Rs 1,220 crore as Maran and his company KAL Airways had clinched the deal to pick up a 37.73% stake in SpiceJet at Rs 47.25 apiece.
Source: Financial Express

Jet Airways criticised for 'encouraging' animal abuse

New Delhi: Jet Airways has been flooded with e-mails and calls following the September trouble of their inflight magazine, JetWings, printed an article on bull fighting. An animal rights organisation has written towards the airline, prompting the latter to apologise.

For NRIs, India has now arrived

The Federation of Indian Animal Protection Organisations mentioned in a statement Tuesday: 'We have been incredibly disturbed to see Jet Airways glorifying photographs of matadors tormenting bulls with banderillas sticking to their bleeding backs in their magazine.'

Responding towards the organisation's calls and e-mails, Manech Davar, executive publisher said: 'We do understand the elements raised by you and would not wish to find as an organisation and publication that encourages unjust endeavours. We assure you that there wouldn't be any more features on the same in JetWings.'

Luxury first-class flying

The organisation mentioned that in Spain, the Canary islands outlawed the sport of bull fighting way back in 1991, followed by Barcelona and Catalonia, which have been centres of this tradition.

'There is growing condemnation of bullfighting throughout Spain, across the EU and on the world,' the statement said.
Source: Sify

Monday, October 18, 2010

SriLankan Airlines to acquire seven new aircraft by 2011-end

COLOMBO: National carrier SriLankan Airlines today stated it's going to soon purchase its first brand of new aircraft in more than a decade among the seven aircraft it plans to eat delivery of by 2011-end.

They include 5 Airbus A320's, such as three brand new aircraft, and 2 Twin Otter float planes.

"We will likely be celebrating an important new chapter during the history of SriLankan Airlines on the arrival of this big number of aircraft within a short period," SriLankan's CEO Manoj Gunawardena today said.

He stated this would permit the airlines to a lot enhance the passenger service. "This will give us the ability to fly to more cities during the Subcontinent, Middle East and Southeast Asia, and to also enhance ability to existing destinations in these regions," he today stated in a statement.

The last time Sri Lanka's National Carrier took delivery of a brand new aircraft was in June 2000, after it received the last of six A330-200's.

The three brand new aircraft are scheduled to be acquired from May-November 2011, and will sport the latest comforts and entertainment systems, such as Audio-Video On Demand (AVOD) in each Organization and Economy Classes.

"These three aircraft would be preceded by 2 other A320's, that are probably to come in December 2010 and early 2011," he said. All 5 aircraft would be on operating leases at quite attractive terms of monthly payments.

In addition, 2 Twin Otters are to be acquired for the re-launch of its domestic support SriLankan Air Taxi this winter.

The airline can be exploring the possibility of obtaining at least another long-haul wide-body aircraft to launch services to more new destinations in Europe and the Far East, Gunawardena said.

"Our fleet expansion plans are usually updated to aid Sri Lanka's swiftly growing tourism industry, even though keeping in mind the financial requirements on the airline," he said.

Sri Lanka's national carrier started a re-fleeting programme shortly after its management changed hands (when Government got the controlling stakes) in April 2008, obtaining three A320's in 2008 and 2009 to replace old aircraft.

A wide-body A330-200 was also added on the fleet 2 months ago. These seven aircraft will join SriLankan's fleet of 13-- three A320's, 5 A330's, and 5 A340's-- with a global network covering 49 cities in 31 countries.

The twin-engined A320's operate to destinations during the Subcontinent, Maldives, Southeast Asia, and parts on the Middle East, even though the A330's and A340's operate on the Middle East, Europe, and the Far East.

Source: The Economic Times

Malaysia Airlines wins top aviation awards

Malaysia Airlines has been known as 'Asia’s Leading Airline' and 'Asia’s Leading Business Class Airline' by more than 185,000 industry professionals inside a global poll conducted by the World Travel Awards.

Since its inception in 1993, the winners with the award are certain by industry professionals from more than 160 countries who cast their votes for companies they consider to become the greatest in travel, tourism in addition to hospitality merchandise and services in Asia.

Malaysia Airlines Regional Senior Vice President, South Asia, Azahar Hamid said, “We are delighted to become acknowledged by travel professionals as Asia’s leading airline. We are committed to continuous assistance improvement and delivery, and these awards are testament on the tough work and outstanding performance of employees in providing Malaysian Hospitality to our guests.”

Malaysia Airlines has won a string of awards in 2010. This year, the airline was accredited with "Staff Service Excellence for Asia Award 2010” and “World’s Greatest Economy Class Award 2010” by Skytrax. It is also known as the “Best Airline in Southeast Asia” by GT Tested Awards, Global Traveller Magazine and ranked 7th inside Top 10 Airlines Worldwide category for Greatest in Travel Poll 2010 by Smart Travel Asia.

Source: Indian Express

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Emirates flight makes emergency landing at Kochi

A Dubai-bound international flight of the Emirates airlines Tuesday made an emergency landing at the Kochi airport in the southern Indian state of Kerala, after it developed a technical snag after take-off, a senior official said.

"The Koch-Dubai Emirates flight with 205 passengers and 14 crew on board took off from the Nedumbassery airport at 04:30 a.m. but made an emergency landing at Kochi airport 30 minutes later, after the pilot spotted a hydraulic system failure," the official said.

The plane was immediately taken to the parking bay for a thorough inspection and the passengers have been shifted to a hotel, the official added.

Source: Xinhua

Maran buys 7.4% in SpiceJet

NEW DELHI: Sun TV owner Kalanithi Maran has bought 7.4% equity in SpiceJet for Rs 135 crore, taking his direct stake to 25%. SpiceJet informed off-market transaction in a filing to BSE. This is part of the deal happened in earlier this year, when Maran had decided to buy US distress fund owner Wilbur Ross and airline promoter Bhulo Kansagara's combined 37.7% stake.

After raising his stake to 17.7% last week, Maran and his aviation arm KAL Airways has now bought about 2.9 crore shares for Rs 47.25 apiece. He has an option to acquire another 20% stake through an open offer. Following the acquisition by Maran, SpiceJet's CEO Sanjay Agarwal quit the airline and joined Kingfisher. SpiceJet appointed Neil Raymond Mills as its CEO. Mills was recently part of thestartupteamofFlyDubai , a low cost associate of Emirates. Before that, he was part of EasyJet.

There is a growing speculation that Maran may be eying Wadia Group-owned GoAir. At present, SpiceJet is India's second largest LCC with a 12.6% market share, behind IndiGo at 16.4%. GoAir had a share of 5.7%. So acquiring GoAir will make SpiceJet the biggest LCC in the country.

Source : Times of India

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

SpiceJet Aims for International Operations Breakeven in 2 Months

Low-fare airline SpiceJet is seeking at over 80% load factor (which means over 8 out of 10 seats on a flight becoming full) inside first month of beginning daily flights between Delhi-Kathmandu including a breakeven of international operations inside first two months.

The airline’s first international flight, between Delhi and Kathmandu, took off on October 7 as well as the daily Mumbai leg is slated to start in March.

SpiceJet’s optimism on load reasons is remarkable, because there are already seven flights a day between the Capital and Kathmandu by carriers including Jet Airways, JetLite, Air India, Kingfisher and Nepal Airlines. Chief Commercial Officer Samyukth Sridharan claimed inside a chat with DNA that SpiceJet will likely be offering the lowest fares on this sector.

“Being a low-cost carrier, we will remain focused on providing the best prices to customers. We have accessible tickets at nearly half the existing cost on Kathmandu and Colombo,” he said.

Sridharan mentioned that SAARC is really a hugely underserved market, particularly by low fare airlines. Even though domestically, 7 out of 10 fliers board low fare carriers, only three in 10 do so on international routes because of the absence of low fare options.

Obviously Saarc is really a large visitors driver for this sort of airlines now.
SpiceJet is offering 1 way ticket to Kathmandu for as smaller as Rs 3,453 (all inclusive) versus an average fare of Rs 5,500-6,000 on other carriers. But travel agents factor out that aggressive pricing will, in all likelihood, be phased out gradually and an all-out fare war on a Delhi-Kathmandu sector was unlikely.

“Legacy carriers may well improve their fares somewhat to attract fliers but a extended word fare war seems unlikely for now...this is aggressive very first pricing,” TAAI president Rajji Rai said.

Meanwhile, Sridharan mentioned that SpiceJet Booking plans to operate up to seven daily flights every to Kathmandu and Colombo inside next six months since it seems to connect more Indian cities to Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Besides, the airline plans also to start flights to Dhaka and Male within a year. SpiceJet will be the first Indian low fare carrier to fly internationally with from New Delhi flights to Kathmandu and from Chennai to Colombo.

Besides the Delhi-Kathmandu service, a daily Chennai-Colombo return flight was inaugurated on October 9.

Now, the airline can also be thinking connections from Kathmandu and Colombo to Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Bangalore for later.

Source: DNA India

Monday, October 11, 2010

Shortage of aircraft grounds school's tour

Mumbai: A holiday tour of 180 students from a prestigious Mumbai school to Chandigarh is in limbo as Kingfisher airlines is short of aircraft. The red-faced tour operator and the airline are now desperately trying to think of a way of making the tour happen without any inconvenience.

"We had booked 180 students from the Chaturbhuj Narsee Memorial School on Kingfisher Airline's Mumbai-Chandigarh flight and back, in July. The travel date is October 23, yet on the first of this month the airline informed us that they have cancelled their direct flights," said Anil Garg, managing director, Tour India tours and travels.

The students were to fly to Chandigarh on October 23 on flight IT-3601, and from there proceed to Shimla, Kullu and Manali. "The airline is asking us to go by their Mumbai-Delhi flight and then take another one to Chandigarh. But they fly smaller aircraft ATRs on the Delhi-Chandigarh route, which do not have the capacity to fly 180 students. They want us to take the students in 2-3 batches," Garg added.

The tour operator is also concerned about the rise in expenditure if they follow the airline's advice. "We will then have to reach Delhi a day in advance, which will further drive up accommodation costs. If we buy tickets from other airlines after a refund, it will cost us Rs8.85 lakh more than what we paid," he says.

When contacted, the spokesperson for Kingfisher airlines confirmed the details but said they were still working on a solution. "An Airbus 320 that was plying on that route has problems with its right engine. So, we have temporarily shut down the route and will start it again after the aircraft is back in service. We will soon be able to come up with a solution on this issue," he said.

Source: NDTV

Air India cover for $9 billion

Mumbai, Oct. 10: ICICI Lombard General Insurance has won the bid to insure Nacil’s aircraft fleet for $9.1 billion. Nacil runs Air India.“We submitted the bid on September 15. The bids were opened on the 16th and we got the final mandate on September 21,” Rajive Kumaraswami, head (risk & reinsurance), said. The national carrier had called for bids as the earlier $8.9-billion cover was to expire on September 30.

NSE move

New Delhi, Oct. 10: advanced discussions with the London Stock Exchange group to launch Nifty in the UK. The two bourses are in talks to evaluate options for cross-listing of their key indices (NSE’s Nifty and UK’s FTSE 100 Index) on each other’s platforms.

FDI details

New Delhi, Oct. 10: Maharashtra and the National Capital Region accounted for over 50 per cent of the foreign direct investment during April-July, the industry ministry’s data showed. Maharashtra attracted the maximum FDI at $2 billion, while Delhi’s NCR, including parts of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, received $1.71 billion.

Gold import

Mumbai, Oct. 10: India’s gold imports have zoomed 30 per cent to 34.8 tonnes in September from 26.8 tonnes in the previous month even in the backdrop of skyrocketing prices.

Trade panel

New Delhi, Oct. 10: The government’s 45-member trade advisory board, which includes Anand Mahindra and Pawan Munjal, will meet on October 19 to discuss the export scenario amid persisting sluggishness in the global economy.

Source: The Telegraph

Thursday, October 7, 2010

SpiceJet takes off as Kalanithi Maran hikes stake to 17.7%

SpiceJet rose 2.65% at Rs 79.30 at 9:11 IST on BSE after Sun TV promoter Kalanithi Maran and his unlisted aviation firm Kal Airways acquired 1.93 crore shares, or 5.03% equity in the firm as part of the deal to acquire 37.7% stake in the firm.

Meanwhile, the BSE Sensex was down 5.10 points, or 0.02%, to 20,537.98.

On BSE, 4.45 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against an average daily volume of 41.33 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock hit a high of Rs 80.25 and a low of Rs 77.70 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 81 on 13 September 2010 and a 52-week low of Rs 32.40 on 28 October 2009.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 5 October 2010, gaining 6.61% compared with the Sensex's 12% jump. It outperformed the market in past one quarter, gaining 41.11% as against 17.01% rise in the Sensex.

The mid-cap low-cost air carrier has an equity capital of Rs 385.22 crore. Face value per share is Rs 10.

The shares were acquired on 5 October 2010 through an off-market transaction. Maran's direct holding in SpiceJet now stands at 17.72%. In June 2010, Maran and Kal Airways had agreed to buy 37.7% in the carrier from US investor Wilbur Ross and Royal Holdings Services, held by the Kansagra family, for Rs 739 crore at Rs 47.25 a share.

SpiceJet's net profit soared 109.6% to Rs 55.22 crore on 34.9% rise in net sales to Rs 707.86 crore in Q1 June 2010 over Q1 June 2009.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

IndiGo’s big IPO may lead to re-rating of airline stocks

Mumbai: India’s leading low-fare carrier IndiGo, run by InterGlobe Aviation Pvt. Ltd, is planning to raise $500 million (Rs2,215 crore) through its initial public offering (IPO), the highest ever for an Indian airline, and this may lead to a re-rating of airline stocks, said sector analysts.

Shares of Jet Airways (India) Ltd, Kingfisher Airlines Ltd and SpiceJet Ltd are traded on Indian exchanges.

The IPO is scheduled for the last quarter of the current fiscal ending March 2011, said two persons close to the development. One of them is an airline executive and the other is an investment banker.

IndiGo has hired five investment bankers, including JM Financial Ltd, Credit Suisse Group AG, Citigroup Inc., UBS AG and Morgan Stanley for the proposed IPO.

Ahead of the IPO, IndiGo is looking at an equity placement that could result in dilution of promoters’ stake of as much as 25%. Last week, the company conducted investor roadshows in Hong Kong and Singapore for the equity placement.

“The exact details of the proposed IPO are yet to be finalized but IndiGo is planning to raise 10 times its earnings,” said one of the persons mentioned earlier. He added that the low-fare airline, which held a 16.4% market share in August through 188 flights across 22 destinations, will raise more than the Rs1,899 crore that rival and full-service airline operator Jet Airways raised five years ago.

Aditya Ghosh, president of IndiGo, did not return calls made to his mobile phone nor did he reply to text messages.

“The IPO is expected to leverage the success story of IndiGo,” said Kapil Kaul, India chief of Sydney-based aviation consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, adding that the airline’s valuation would set the benchmark for industry stocks.

“This could be significantly higher than low-fare airline stock and even higher than full-service carriers such as Jet Airways,” he added.

A successful and large IPO by IndiGo could put pressure on other stocks of airline companies such as Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines that are also competing to raise funds from the market.

On Monday, airline stocks took a beating, with all three listed airlines losing value even as the Bombay Stock Exchange’s benchmark index, the Sensex, rose 0.15% to close at 20,475.73 points.

SpiceJet slipped 3.25% to close at `74.40, Jet Airways—India’s largest carrier by traffic—fell 1.26% to `806.15, and Kingfisher fell 1.75% to `73.05.

Since January, Jet Airways has risen 45.74%, SpiceJet 31.1% and Kingfisher 15.59%.

Read more:

Airline industry's second quarter net profit $4.4 bn: IATA

NEW DELHI: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) Monday reported a net profit of $4.4. billion for the international airlines sector and outlined a positive growth trajectory for the industry.

"With more airlines reporting second quarter results, the total is now up to US$4.4 billion, following US$1.9 billion losses in first quarter (Q1)," the industry body said in a statement.

According to it, the first and second quarter net profits were US$5 billion better than the previous year and it expects the third quarter would be the most profitable one for the industry.

It further said that it expected the industry to make a profit of $8.9 billion in 2010, compared to a loss of $9.9 billion loss in 2009.

IATA, which represents 230 airlines comprising 93 per cent of scheduled international air traffic, has revised its previous estimate. In June, IATA had said it was expecting $2.5 billion profit.

The improved outlook for 2010 is being driven by a combination of factors. On the revenue side increasing demand and disciplined capacity management are leading to sharply stronger yields pushing revenues higher. At the same time, costs remain relatively stable.

Earlier, the association had said that the Indian carriers will pare their losses this year to $400 million, from the $1.7 billion in 2009, as passenger and cargo traffic increase and fuel prices remain stable.

Source: The Economic Times

Flight 3 hours in Air Despite Bomb Alert

KOLKATA: A Singapore Airlines flight with 225 passengers and 39 crew on board was forced to remain airborne for three hours after the captain was alerted of a bomb threat on Sunday evening.

The pilot of flight SQ 61, Johny Alberto, was somewhere over Amritsar when he received the LASP (land as soon as possible) message from Moscow air traffic control. His first option was to touch down at Delhi, the nearest airport for the wide-bodied Boeing 777-300 ER. But as the Commonwealth Games (CWG) opening ceremony was in progress, permission was denied and the aircraft directed to Kolkata nearly three hours away.

For the veteran commander and experienced cockpit crew who had made many long-haul flights across the globe, the 2 hour 45 minute journey to Kolkata seemed the longest of their lives. When the plane finally landed in Kolkata at 11.43 pm, Alberto heaved a sigh of relief. All along, the only thought that was haunting him was "what if...".

"Had there been a bomb on board the plane and had it exploded before reaching Kolkata, the authorities in Delhi would have had a lot to answer for. Though a Notice To Airmen (NOTAM) had been issued in view of the high security and restrictions for the CWG opening ceremony, an emergency landing should have been allowed," said an experienced captain.

According to former director general of DGCA Kanu Gohain, an emergency situation like this requires the pilot to land as soon as possible at the nearest available airport at which a safe approach and landing is assured. "If the pilot received the alert at 9 pm and was around Amritsar, Delhi was close by. It was directed to Kolkata due to closure of Delhi airspace. Had the NOTAM not been there, Delhi was the obvious landing choice," he explained.

Veteran pilots felt the NOTAM, issued to ensure that there was no panic among foreign participants and delegates at CWG, could have been extremely embarrassing for the entire nation had a mishap occurred with flight SQ 61.

On Sunday, the flight on the Houston-Moscow-Singapore sector departed on its last leg on time. Shortly thereafter, the customs office at Moscow airport received a call that claimed there was a bomb on board the plane. The message was immediately relayed to the Singapore Airlines headquarters. The latter alerted the pilots over the AirCraft Analytical System ( ACAS) on the aircraft.

When the pilot sought permission from Kolkata ATC, it was granted after a consultation with DGCA. With less than two hours in hand, the airport went into a flurry of activity. Central Industrial Security Force and other agencies like the Bomb Detection & Disposal Squad (BDDS) were notified. A remote bay at the Madhyamgram-end was readied and Singapore Airlines officials called to the airport. "Singapore Airlines did not have a flight from Kolkata on Sunday and hence the officials had to scramble from their home once they got the news," said Kolkata airport director R Srinivasan.

Read more:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Airline debt recast hinges on RBI cues

The debt restructuring of domestic carriers Kingfisher Airlines and Paramount could be delayed, as banks have decided to approach Reserve Bank of India for fresh sweeteners. Bankers said that in response to an earlier request, RBI had allowed a second debt restructuring for aviation companies. But the package does not address the issue of provisioning — a key element to the plan.

Whenever the interest rate on a loan is reset or the tenure is extended to soften terms for a borrower, banks have to treat the arrangement as restructuring. This requires higher provisioning. Banks now want RBI to allow them to treat the restructured aviation loans as a standard asset, which requires lower provisioning.

They had cited the example of the real estate sector and the special dispensation given at the height of the financial crisis to argue their case. The banking regulator, however, allowed only a marginal relaxation in provisioning.

Bankers said the benefit of a second restructuring would only be available to a few lenders, as most had not yet reworked the terms of earlier loans. “This is hardly a benefit. We will wait until we get an exemption from higher provisioning,” said the head of a public sector bank. Another banker said lenders would take up the issue with RBI again.

While there is no consortium arrangement in lending to airlines, most large banks have an exposure to Air India, Kingfisher and Jet. The restructuring will be particularly crucial for Kingfisher. The promoters of Paramount, on the other hand, are looking to repay the airline’s debt from accruals from other group companies.

In the case of Kingfisher, the proposal includes allowing a two-year moratorium on short-term debt, lowering the interest rate and converting part of the domestic debt into external commercial borrowings or cumulative convertible preference shares. The airline had a combined debt of Rs 7,413 crore at the end of December 2009. It posted losses of Rs 1,647 crore at the end of March 2010.

When the proposal for industry-wide debt restructuring was last sent to RBI, central bank Deputy Governor Usha Thorat had told a gathering of bank chiefs and government officials that bank balance sheets were looking healthy enough for them to meet the burden of higher provisioning. Soon after, RBI had allowed banks to go for a second restructuring.

Source: Business Standard

Air Iindia flight makes emergency landing in Kochi

The Airbus A 310 aircraft was on its way to Riyadh from Kochi via Kozhikode. It took off from Nedumbasseri at 4.30am and landed at Kozhikode to pick up the rest of the passengers. The carrier left Kozhikode at 6.45am and after about 45 minutes the smoke alarm went off, an official spokesman said.

The captain told the passengers not to worry and that he was returning to Nedumbasseri. Both pilots were Indians. By about 9 am, the plane landed in Kochi and fire tenders were rushed to the aircraft. All emergency services had been kept on alert. There were a total of 197 passengers - 11 in J class, 180 in economy class and six infants - besides 10 crew members on board the plane. There were only about 40 passengers when the plane left Kochi. The rest of them joined from Kozhikode. They were shifted to hotels and the aircraft was tugged away for inspection.

Engineers scanned the body and found a malfunction in engine number 2 on the right side of the aircraft. Official sources said it will take at least a day to fix the error.

Passengers, who came out of the aircraft, said they had panicked after being alerted about the fire. The airconditioning in the plane had also gone off, they said. Experts however, said passengers might have felt so as the plane during an emergency landing, climbs down at a faster rate than it does under normal conditions. This creates a difference in cabin pressure which results in uneasiness for those inside.

Yet another passenger said he felt like the aircraft had begun a free fall and that there was no way to escape. Air India later announced that the passengers were put on board a flight summoned from Mumbai and sent to Riyadh.

Source: The Times of India

SpiceJet to make good revenues in holiday season

On an average, airlines companies stock have given more than 30% returns in the past two months. Compared to Jet Airways and Kingfisher Airlines, SpiceJet is the least indebted and most profitable one in recent quarters. Due to its low-cost carrier business, the company has been able to cash in on the increasing passenger growth and slight softening of crude oil prices.

In the quarter ended June 2010, the company’s net had an extraordinary jump of more than 100% to `55 crore. In the past six months, there has been a 22% growth in passenger traffic. The buoyancy is expected to continue in the remaining quarters of FY11 given the impending holiday seasons in the third and fourth quarter.

GROWTH PLAN: The company will begin its international operations from this month. The company would retain its focus of a low-cost carrier model and concentrate on South Asia. The company would start its first international flight from Delhi to Kathmandu (base ticket price `1499) on October 7, followed by flights from Chennai to Colombo (base ticket price `999) on October 9. For this expansion, the company will add 30 Boeing 737-800 to its current fleet size by 2014.

At present, the company operates 21 aircraft and it will add 30 aircraft to its fleet size by 2014. The company would have to invest around `12600 crore for the expansion. In the current fiscal, the company would add seven aircraft. This would stretch the company’s balance sheet to a large extent considering the fact that it is the least indebted airlines company. At present, Jet Airways India has a debt of around `13,000 crore, while Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet have debt of `5765 crore (as of FY09) and `438 crore (as of FY09), respectively.

Various reports suggest that since Sun TV’s chief Kalanidhi Maran is perceived to be at the helm of the company after acquiring a 37.7% stake through his firm Kal Airways, funds may come from Sun TV Network. At present, Sun TV Network has a cash of around `424.2 crore on its balance sheet. Hence, a part of these funds may come in handy for SpiceJet’s expansion.

More so, the company has internal reserves of around `587 crore. This would also help the airline not overstretch its balance sheet and at the same time carry on its expansion plans. On the other hand, the company may also resort to qualified institutional placement (QIP) for raising funds to foster its growth. In the past few quarters, SpiceJet has reported a load factor (a measure of capacity utilisation) of more 80% and hence going forward with the holiday season, the possibility of increased revenues is higher for the company.

More so, with its new international operations, it would be able to cash in on the holiday season.

Source: The Economic Times

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kingfisher Airlines appoints Sanjay Aggarwal as its CEO

S.R. Gupte, Vice Chairman, will continue to Chair the Executive Committee of which Sanjay will become a member with immediate effect.

Kingfisher Airlines has announced the appointment of Sanjay Aggarwal as Chief Executive Officer

S.R. Gupte, Vice Chairman, will continue to Chair the Executive Committee of which Sanjay will become a member with immediate effect.

Sanjay’s most recent assignment was as CEO of Spicejet Limited which he successfully turned into profit. He has a good understanding of the Indian Aviation industry and the various unique business imperatives in India.

Prior to joining Spicejet, Sanjay was COO of Flight Options, the world’s second largest private jet provider. He also spent four years with Marriott International as Senior Director – Information Technology, Strategic and Operations Planning.

Sanjay has also worked for US Airways for six years and brings with him a unique blend of Airline and Hospitality experience which is the hallmark of Fly Kingfisher Airlines.

Source: India Infoline

Jolt to Mihan as AI cargo service grounded

NAGPUR: While chief minister Ashok Chavan is trying to push Mihan, there is another shocker awaiting the prestigious project. National carrier Air India is almost ready to dump its freighter services that were supposed to use Nagpur's Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport as hub. Announced in 2007, the project was to be launched by converting Air India's old Boeing 737s into freighters.

Air India was supposed to launch the cargo services connecting six major destinations through Nagpur. It would have greatly added to the appeal of Mihan. However, the cash-strapped Air India seems to have abandoned the plan. In fact, it has offered the reconfigured aircraft for sale. This development is another jolt to Mihan after the India Post recently discontinued its 'night airmail service'.

A local Air India official, requesting anonymity, said the company had planned to operate AI's reconfigured aircraft in phases from Nagpur. However, plans have not fructified and now management has decided to shelve the project.

Another official in Mumbai said, "AI plans to sell six Boeing 737-200 freighters which were converted for cargo operations in 2007," he said. Apart from these aircraft, the airline had converted four Airbus A 310-300 into freighters at a cost of $ 40 to 50 million. Now Air India Airlines has invited tenders to sell all these aircraft, he said. AI General Manager, corporate communication, Chandrakumar however denied that plans for freighter service were cancelled. He said the 8 aircraft on sale were 20 -years-old and the sale had no relation with the project.

"The project is in pipeline and a decision will be taken in board meeting," he said. AI's cargo head Anita Khurana said she was not aware of plans to sell freighter aircraft. However, she said that the freighter service from Nagpur was on hold.

Source: Times of India

Kingfisher to launch $250 million GDR issue

Kingfisher Airlines would launch a $250-million GDR issue shortly, and is also in the process of restructuring of its debt with a consortium of bankers, Chairman Vijay Mallya said today.

Speaking at the annual general meeting and later addressing reporters, the UB Group Chairman Mallya said the debt recast is expected to be completed in the "next month or so," which would be immediately followed by the GDR issue.

Stating that RBI has sanctioned the debt restructuring plan, he said the Airlines is currently working with the consortium of banks on recasting the entire debt.

"In broad terms, about 30 per cent of the total debt would be converted by banks into capital," Mallya said, adding, the UB Holdings which held its AGM earlier today, passed a resolution to convert Rs 735 crore of loans also into capital.

"There would be an interest reduction to an average of 11 per cent," he said. The Airlines would now have to make the repayment over a period of nine years, with a two-year moratorium.

Mallya added that the debt restructuring package also calls for Rs 900 crore of additional facility to be provided by the banks to the Airlines.

Once the debt restructuring exercise is completed, Kingfisher would immediately launch the $250 million GDR issue. "....We are completely committed to fund-raising (GDR issue) immediately after the bank restructure is over".

"...We are going to be in the US next week with some preliminary road-shows. We have already met a whole bunch of investors in the US, Europe, Hong Kong and Singapore...All of whom have expressed strong interest in investing in Kingfisher", Mallya said.

He said Kingfisher is now casting its net "further and wider" to make sure that when it launches the issue, there is sufficient investor interest to subscribe to it.

Clearly, Kingfisher has a clearcut direction and financial road-map which is it's working on, he said.

On alteration of debt-equity ratio after the debt recast exercise and GDR issue, Mallya noted that it depends on the price at which Kingfisher issued the shares.

Source: Business Standard

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Air-Traffic Growth Slows, Suggesting Peak Has Passed : IATA

Air-traffic growth slowed for a second month in August, suggesting that a recovery in demand for flights may have peaked, the International Air Transport Association said today.

The gain in passenger traffic eased to 6.4 percent compared with a year earlier, down from 9.5 percent in July and a high of 11.9 percent in June. The figure matches the lowest growth rate this year in January, with the exception of April, when a volcanic ash cloud from Iceland closed European airports.

IATA more than tripled its forecast for full-year airline earnings to $8.9 billion on Sept. 21, citing the strength of a recovery in demand, while cautioning that profit would fall back in 2011 as cuts to state spending sap consumer confidence.

“The rapid improvements that we saw earlier this year are behind us,” IATA Chief Executive Officer Giovanni Bisignani said in today’s statement, predicting “a tougher end to 2010 as government stimulus monies run out.”

Traffic grew fastest in the Middle East in August, rising 12 percent, with Europe expanding 5 percent, North America 5.3 percent and the Asian-Pacific region 6.2 percent, IATA said.

Cargo-traffic growth may have peaked in May, when it increased 34 percent, today’s figures suggest, with August’s advance of almost 20 percent the lowest increase since then.

“The bounce from restocking is over,” Bisignani said. “We do not yet see the strong consumer confidence needed to sustain the expansion with spending.”

Source: Bloomberg

SpiceJet Expands Domestic Network; adds Madurai

MADURAI: Low cost carrier SpiceJet on Monday expanded its domestic network by adding Madurai as its 20th destination and announced a fleet expansion programme over the coming years to meet the growing domestic demand.

The first flight with over 150 passengers from Chennai landed here this morning as the 'cultural capital' was included in the list of one of the major low-cost airliners in India.

The airliner will now operate services between Madurai and Chennai, connecting onwards to Delhi and Mumbai.

Company Director and CEO Kishore Gupta told reporters here that the airliner had placed orders for 30 new aircraft with Boeing starting delivery in 2014 as part of an "aggressive growth plan".

"We hope Madurai's good fortune will give us the launch that we want," he said.

Already having presence in three cities--Chennai, Coimbatore and Madurai--in the state, SpiceJet was mulling adding one more city but that was yet to be finalised, he said.

Two flights will connect Chennai-Madurai daily and it will be connected to Mumbai and Delhi via Chennai.

International operations (Delhi-Kathmandu and Chennai- Colombo) were scheduled to start from October 7 and 9, respectively.

These sectors would be relatively easier in achieving break-even and expansions would be in place after consolidating the company's presence in this route, he said.

Chief Commercial Officer Samyukth Sridharan said the airliner currently operates 22 flights and said another seven flights would be added over the next 14 months.

As part of the expansion plans, SpiceJet Airlines would mull connecting cities such as Lucknow, Thiruvanathapuram and Indore, which were not on its destinations right now.

He said the airliner intended to increase its passenger strength from 65 lakh last year to 85 lakh this year.

He said that today's launch was a result of passengers' demand for connectivity to Mumbai and Delhi.

To a question on the Foreign Currency Convertible Bonds (FCCBs), Gupta expressed hope that it will be completed by the year-end, subsequent to which south Indian business magnate Kalanidhi Maran's stake in the company will go upto 37 per cent.

Source: The Economic Times

Air India to Implement SAP ERP Package for Better Efficiency

MUMBAI: The Air India Board on Tuesday approved the implementation of the SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) project.

The implementation of the ERP project is in line with the business objectives and strategy of the company for effecting a turnaround, a press release said here.

SAP is the largest provider of ERP solutions world-wide and has been preferred by more than 115 airlines.

SAP solutions support the core business of airlines in passenger services planning and development and also MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) functions.

The implementation of the SAP ERP package would help Air India in strategic decision-making, monitoring and control systems, the release said.

Besides, integration of key business functions in the erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India Airlines, the package would also help in seamless integration with other systems and ensuring availability and consolidation of critical data and information,

At the same time, the airline could aim for improved profitability by availability of real-time information on route network and profitability, it said.

It would also help in reduction in costs especially in inventories across various areas.

Source: The Economic Times

Kingfisher Trying to Rope in Former SpiceJet Official

MUMBAI: Vijay Mallya-owned private air-carrier, Kingfisher Airlines is in talks with a top former executive of the budget airline, SpiceJet to take him onboard and a final decision on the issue is expected shotly, sources said.

"The former Chief Executive Officer of SpiceJet Airlines, Sanjay Aggarwal, and Kingfisher Airlines' Chairman, Vijay Mallya are in touch for quite some time. A meeting between the two is slated for later this week," industry sources familiar with the development said here on Wednesday.

If the talks fructify, Aggarwal may be appointed for a top job in Kingfisher as early as October, they said.

Aggarwal, who is credited with flying SpiceJet into profit in FY 10, the first time since its inception in 2005, quit the job in July after Chennai-based media baron, Kalanithi Maran bought 37.7 per cent stake with a 20 per cent open offer, following the US investor deciding to offoad his stake.

If Aggarwal comes onboard, his immediate task would be to turnaround the debt-ridden, loss-making airline, sources said.

Aviation industry research and analysis provider, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) in its mid-year review of the domestic airlines in July this year had stressed on the need of CEO and COO in the airline.

"In order to ensure that the airline (Kingfisher) pursues a disciplined turnaround, a new organisation structure needs to be established with the induction of a CEO and COO," the report had said.

As on March 31, 2010, Kingfisher Airlines' debt stood at Rs 6,000-crore, the largest for any domestic private air carrier. Besides, the company posted a loss of Rs 1647-crore in FY 10.

Even in the first quarter of the current fiscal, airline posted a loss of Rs 187-crore.

Source: The Economic Times

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Compulsory pre-flight breath analyser test on cards

Pilots and cabin crew of all International and domestic flights operated by Indian carriers could be subjected to compulsory pre-flight breath analyser test as the civil aviation regulator seeks to make air travel safer.

A draft of the rules unveiled by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suggests that all crew of flights originating in India as well as foreign destinations should be subjected to pre-flight medical check-up for consumption of alcohol.

At present, only 60% of the crew, both cabin as well as cockpit, undergo random checks by scheduled operators. The drive is intensified only during festival season and New Year.

“For scheduled operators, this percentage shall be on a daily basis and for other operators like non-scheduled ones, air taxi operators, state government aircraft operators and private category operators, the percentage is be worked out on a 15-calendar day basis,” said the draft regulations.

The cabin crew will be subjected to the test twice during a flight. If any member tests positive, he or she will not be allowed to operate the flight.

Refusal to undergo the check-up will also be considered alco-positive, says the civil aviation requirements. Any member attempting to evade the test procedure by leaving airport premises before undergoing the complete test procedure will be considered to have tested positive,” the new proposal says.

The DGCA has also proposed tough action on those who fail to clear the breath-analyser test. “First-time offenders and any crew member refusing to undergo the medical check-up will be kept off-duty “and his license will be suspended for a period of three months.”

The licence of the crew will be “permanently cancelled” if they are tested positive during the pre-flight medical check-up for a second time.

In case an instructor or examiner or check crew tests positive, they will lose their rating for at least three years.
The civil aviation regulator has also proposed a post flight medical check on the crew, which should be done during their duty hours after disembarkation of passengers, and if found guilty their licence will be surrendered forthwith.

The Economic Times

Jet Airways inks Rs 283 crore deal with IBM

Jet Airways, country’s largest airline in terms of market share, on Tuesday announced a deal worth $62 million (approximately Rs 283 crore) for 10 years with IBM to outsource its business transformation and information technology services.

Under the deal, IBM will absorb IT employees of the domestic airlines, said M Shivkumar, senior VP, finance of Jet Airways.“The outsourced model will help us maximise our revenues.” said Mr Shivkumar. Nearly 45 employees of a 58-member IT team will be shifted to IBM. Some will be accommodated in other sections while a few people may leave Jet.

Jet Airways will look forward to leverage IBM's domain knowledge of the global airline industry and its technology leadership to meet the group’s business transformation objectives, the company said in a statement.

The Naresh Goyal-led company, was until recently using its inhouse technology to meet IT requirements.

IBM will now support Jet Airways with IT Infrastructure and application support services, including employee transition, data centre operations, central helpdesk support, server and storage operation.

The Economic Times

Air India Plans to dry-lease 4 Airbus A-330 aircraft

Air India is planning to dry-lease four Airbus A-330 aircraft to service some of its medium-haul international routes, airline sources said on Monday.

"The purpose of taking A-330 aircraft is to deploy them on medium-haul routes or on sectors which have 7-8 hours of flying, like Hong Kong," the sources said, adding "though we are leasing only four aircraft now, our actual requirement is that of ten of these planes."

Currently, the national carrier has two of these wide-body planes in its fleet which are operating on the Jeddah and Shanghai sectors.

The leasing period of the A-330s would be one-and-a-half year to two years, the sources said. Under the dry-lease arrangement, the lessor provides an aircraft without crew, insurance, ground staff, supporting equipment and maintenance, all of which has to be taken care of by the lessee.

The routes on which these A-330 aircraft would be deployed are being finalized, the sources said, adding that the delivery of these leased planes would have to be made between October 2010 and September 2011.

The decision to lease these Airbus planes came in the wake of delays in the delivery of Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the US manufacturer for which Air India has sought compensation.

Air India had placed orders for the delivery of 27 Dreamliner aircraft even when the project was on drawing board in 2006. It was to receive the first aircraft in 2009, which would now be delivered by 2013.

Following the delay in the delivery of B-787s, Air India has planned to take on lease ten A-330s, besides several A-320s and turboprop ATR planes to meet its requirements. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Now, Airlines Pay up for Hassling Fliers

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: Following a DGCA directive, airlines have for the first time compiled figures for the number of passengers affected by delays, cancellations and denial of boarding passes despite arriving at the airport on time: A staggering 46,228 flyers in August alone.

And this isn't even a comprehensive list, for Air India and Jet, two of the largest domestic carriers, are yet to comply fully with the directive.

As a result of the findings, in a first, 13 of the 71 passengers who were wrongly denied boarding passes were compensated in the range of Rs 3,000 and Rs 5,000, apart from a full refund.

The airlines, including Kingfisher, SpiceJet, IndiGo and Go Air, faced delays of over two hours in August. While the four airlines have a combined market share of 54.7%, Jet-JetLite and AI (domestic) that enjoy the remaining 45.3% domestic slice have not said how many of their flyers faced delays of over two hours.

Industry sources say these numbers could have crossed a lakh had the two majors, Air India and Jet, complied. Jet, like other airlines (except AI), admits to providing meals and refreshment to passengers inconvenienced by delays. Some said they put delayed passengers on other flights.

Similarly, 5,178 domestic passengers who were supposed to be airborne in August were left stranded by sudden cancellations. Kingfisher, SpiceJet and Go account for this collective figure. Interestingly, Jet and JetLite have told the aviation ministry that none of their passengers were affected by cancellations.

This despite the fact that DGCA figures show the overall industry flight cancellation rate was 3.1% last month. But JetLite and Jet topped this list with 10.5% and 6.6%, respectively, of their flights being cancelled. DGCA is going to seek an explanation from Jet on this.

And, finally, of all domestic airlines, only Kingfisher admitted to having denied boarding to 71 passengers. AI did not give any figure. Denial of boarding occurs when airlines overbook to make up for last-minute no shows. Kingfisher told the government that 13 such passengers were refunded and compensated while the rest 58 were accommodated on other flights.

Source : The Economic Times

Air traffic up 19.3 pc; Jet Airways leads

MUMBAI: Passengers carried by domestic carriers rose 19.3 percent to 33.9 million passengers in Jan-Aug with Jet Airways recording the highest market share among domestic carriers, government data showed.

Jet Airways and its budget arm, Jetlite, recorded a combined market share of 27 percent in August while Kingfisher Airlines had a 20 percent share of the aviation market. State-run Air India had a 18.3 percent market share and budget airline SpiceJet had a market share of 12.6 for the month, data from the federal civil aviation ministry showed.

Seat factors for August - historically a lean season for carriers - dipped for Jet and SpiceJet. Jet recorded a seat factor of 70.4 percent in August compared with 73.8 percent in July while SpiceJet's seat factor fell to 70.3 percent from 76.8 percent. Kingfisher recorded a seat factor of 80.9 percent from 79.3 percent last month, the data showed.

Source : The Economic Times

Thursday, September 16, 2010

SpiceJet's $2.7-b fleet expansion cleared for take off

Delhi based low-cost airline SpiceJet has been given in-principle approval by a Government committee to import 30 Boeing 737-800 aircraft. In July, the airline had signed an agreement with Boeing to purchase the 30 aircraft at an estimated value of $2.7 billion.

The airline's proposal for import of aircraft was among the several cleared by the Empowered Committee of the Ministry of Civil Aviation that gives airline operators permission to import aircraft. The Committee also cleared a proposal of IndiGo Airlines to import 14 A-320 aircraft during calendar year 2011-12. JetLite too has been allowed to import two Boeing 737-800 aircraft in November.

SpiceJet, which currently has 21 Boeing 737 aircraft, plans to induct 30 Boeing 737s over four years beginning 2014. The aircraft acquisition deal was announced shortly after the Sun TV chief, Mr Kalanithi Maran, acquired a 37.5 per cent stake in June.

“We expect domestic demand to grow at 16 per cent during the current year and to sustain a 12-14 per cent annual growth going forward in the medium term. This growth will necessitate significant capacity induction and the fresh order will ensure that the airline will remain in the growth story in the Indian skies,” the airline Director, Mr Kishore Gupta, had told newspersons after the deal for acquiring 30 aircraft was signed.

The low-cost airline reported a profit after tax of Rs 55.22 crore for the quarter ended June, 2010, compared with a profit of Rs 26.34 crore for the same quarter the previous year.

SpiceJet, which carried 54.46 lakh passengers during calendar 2009, has flown 37.25 lakh passengers during the first seven months of the current year.

The airline, which meets the Government requirements of having completed five years of domestic operations and having a fleet of 20 aircraft for starting international flights, has been permitted to start international operations. It plans to launch regular services to Dhaka, Male and Kathmandu. It also plans to expand its domestic network, officials had indicated in July.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Kingfisher, BA enter code-sharing agreement

Kingfisher Airlines Monday said it has entered into a code sharing arrangement with British Airways (BA) under which both the carriers will use each other's flight network to and from India, Sri Lanka, Britain and Europe from Sep 15.

A code sharing agreement allows one airline to use another's flight code on its own ticket, thus allowing its passengers to travel on the other airline's flights. Such a move helps carriers to expand their network without actually incurring costs of deploying its own fleet.

"The codeshare with British Airways will mean that our guests from India will now be able to fly seamlessly to nine new European cities," said Vijay Mallya, chairman and chief executive, Kingfisher Airlines.

According to the airline, its code will be placed on nine BA routes from Heathrow to the British region and continental Europe, while BA's code will be placed on 11 domestic Indian routes and one route to Sri Lanka operated by Kingfisher Airlines.

This is the first time that BA has entered into a code sharing agreement with an Indian airline.

Jet to deploy no-frills planes on short global routes

The country’s largest private carrier by fleet size Jet Airways is ready to take on FlyDubai and Air AsiaX on short-haul international routes with the airline is readying strategies to deploy its no-frill arms JetKonnect and JetLite to counter the competition.

"Operating JetLite and JetKonnect on these routes is absolutely an option. We have three guns in our waist-holster," a Jet Airways official told FE. Asked if the airline had enough jets to be operated by JetKonnect and JetLite, the official said,"Aircraft is available. We can always lease it."

Jet Airways, JetKonnect, its all-economy, no-frills service, and JetLite have a combined fleet strength of 112 aircraft and operate over 500 flights daily. While JetKonnect and JetLite operate services for the price-conscious customers, Jet Airways serves the full-fare passengers. The airline launched JetKonnect to take on no-frill carriers like IndiGo and SpiceJet. After the global financial crisis hit the domestic industry, companies started tightening their travel budgets forcing employees to travel by low-cost airlines. This resulted into passengers shifting from full-fare carriers to budget airlines.

After the world economy started improving leading to demand for international travel some of the no-frill international carriers have launched very attractive fares. For example, Air Asia recently offered a promotional fare of Re 1 (plus taxes and other charges of Rs 475) on Delhi-Kuala Lumpur route. FlyDubai also announced cheaper fare on Lucknow-Dubai.

"With domestic airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet putting plans in place for foreign operation Jet may have to look for alternative model on Middle East and South East Asian routes," Amadeus India managing director Ankur Bhatia said.

Bhatia said that Jet would be able to compete with airlines like Air AsiaX only when they hub passengers in India and then disseminate them to other destinations. "Jet Airways has major advantage of strong and robust domestic network," he said.

Source: Financial Express

Jet Airways is the Most preferred airline for business class

In an awards ceremony held in New Delhi on 8 September, 2010, Jet Airways, the premier International airline of India, was declared the "Most preferred airline for business class". The event was hosted by Indian business channel CNBC AWAAZ and One Stop Shop, one of the country's fastest growing e-commerce businesses. This is the fourth year that CNBC AWWAZ has held the awards to honour the country's tourism ancillary and best in class travel.

The award was presented to Jet Airways representatives by India's Honourable Minister for Tourism Kumari Selija. In response to receiving the honour, Jet Airways said:

"The CNBC Awaaz Travel Awards 2010 are widely respected across the tourism and trade industry and we are delighted to receive this honour. At Jet Airways, we are committed to offering our guests the very best travel experience in the skies, and awards such as these stand testimony to the quality of our services and encourage us to further raise the bar in customer service excellence."

Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 90 aircraft, including 10 Boeing 777-33 ERs and 12 Airbus A330-200s. Flight paths include the whole of India, as well as several International locations such as New York, Brussels, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dubai, and the UK.

From the UK, Jet Airways flies to and from several airports including Birmingham, Glasgow, London Heathrow, Belfast International and Manchester, with destinations including New York, Hong Kong, Calcutta, Delhi, Mauritius, and Bangkok.

GoAir eyes early A320 delivery, to fly more

Wadia Group-promoted low-cost carrier GoAir on Monday said the airline was in talks with Airbus to advance the delivery of 10 planes within a year. GoAir has an all-Airbus fleet comprising eight aircraft. The airline will add two new Airbus A320s in the next two months. It had ordered 20 Airbus planes in 2006 for $1.2 billion. The ten remaining aircraft are to be delivered by April 2014.

"We are hopeful that the delivery would be preponed by an year to March 2013," said Kaushik Khona, CEO, GoAir.

The airline also announced the addition of four new destinations — Patna, Pune, Leh and Lucknow — to its domestic network, signalling its intent to focus on mini-metros and Tier II cities.

Go Airlines had no plans to fly abroad as the airline did not meet the basic criteria of having a minimum fleet of 20 aircraft for launching international operations, Khona said. The company was hopeful of breaking even in another one-and-a-half years but did not have any plans for an initial public offering, he said.

The airline's focus was to strengthen the domestic network. At present, it runs 1,162 weekly flights connecting 19 stations.

Khona also criticised Air India's desicion to reduce fares on 48 domestic routes by 3-23 per cent. "All other airlines would feel the pressure and everybody will suffer because of this."

Source: Hindustan Times