Friday, January 28, 2011

Flight grounded after fire scare

After becoming airborne for 10 minutes, a Hyderabad-bound flight with 27 passengers and 5 crewmembers had to build an emergency landing yesterday

A freak accident caught the city in the wee hours yesterday as the Kingfisher Airlines Bangalore-Hyderabad flight IT 4817 had to country back shortly after its take in off. The 27 passengers and 5 crewmembers on board have been reported safe and deplaned in the craft immediately. The flight that was scheduled to depart at 7.25 am was delayed due to a technical snag and took off at 7.40 am.

"An early boarding was announced and we had boarded the craft at about 7.05 am after which a technical snag was declared and we have been disembarked. Once in the bus we have been told the difficulty was resolved and boarded the craft again. 5 minutes after take in off the appropriate engine started out sputtering," stated a passenger.

"The passenger seated ahead of me called the airhostess for attention who in turn called the pilot. The appropriate engine was turned off and the flight had to build a landing back in Bangalore. No data regarding the technical difficulty or the turbulence that followed was announced," he added.

In an official statement from Mumbai, Prakash Mirpuri, VP, Corporate Communications, Kingfisher Airlines Limited, declared, "Shortly after the flights to Hyderabad took off from Bangalore, the commander received a warning alert. The cockpit crew took needed action as per established procedures and as a matter of abundant precaution decided to return to Bangalore immediately.

The aircraft, an ATR 72-500, landed safely in Bangalore at 8.40 am in which the 27 guests and 5 crewmembers have been promptly deplaned. The aircraft is becoming inspected thoroughly including a flight safety team will carry out a detailed investigation into this." A normal flier of the airlines said, "I fly at least as soon as or twice a month. I would even avoid Kingfisher flights if possible."
Source: Mid-Day

More flights to remote areas likely

The aviation ministry is planning to expand the scope of existing route dispersal guidelines for airlines that define a dozen key metro routes from the region according to air traffic

Indian carriers may be asked to increase connectivity to remote areas on the region inside a move that could raise prices for airlines even as it aims to evenly distribute the growth in domestic air traffic, which crossed the 52mn mark last year. The aviation ministry is planning to expand the scope of existing route dispersal guidelines for airlines that define a dozen key metro routes from the region according to air traffic. Airlines need to ply at least 10% of their total metro flights on routes covering destinations that are not well connected and are a smaller amount profitable, including Jammu and Kashmir, the North-East, Lakshadweep, and also the Andaman and Nicobar islands. "The targeted traffic has elevated more than the years and there is a situation for revising these metro routes. Kochi-Bangalore and Bangalore-Hyderabad are also at par in terms of targeted traffic now," mentioned a ministry official, who declined being named. "DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is getting asked to appear into it and rework."

The regulator defines high-traffic metro routes currently as Mumbai-Bangalore, Kolkata-Delhi, Mumbai-Kolkata, Kolkata-Bangalore, Mumbai-Delhi, Kolkata-Chennai, Mumbai-Hyderabad, Delhi-Bangalore, Mumbai-Chennai, Delhi-Hyderabad, Mumbai-Thiruvananthapuram and Delhi-Chennai. If, for example, Kochi-Bangalore and Hyderabad-Bangalore are added to this list, the amount of flights that airlines ply on a smaller amount profitable routes will simultaneously increase. Civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi needs the definition being widened to cover such routes, the ministry official said. In 2009, DGCA had banned national airlines from buying seat-miles from so-called regional carriers to meet regulatory requirements, as Mint reported on 24 April. Wadia Group's low-fare carrier GoAir bought seats from Gurgaon-based MDLR Airlines Pvt. Ltd in 2008 after it was unable to meet route dispersal requirements as it was focused on just flying metro routes then.

Most national airlines including GoAir prefer these metro routes, which provide far better passenger targeted traffic and yields, besides helping to save prices as aircraft maintenance facilities require not be based at multiple airports. Any move to widen the metro route definition is likely to force all airlines to rework their schedules in line on the new guidelines, that are likely to come up for consultation soon. An official having a domestic carrier confirmed how the matter has been discussed with airlines, but called it illogical and against the recommendations on the Naresh Chandra panel report of 2003 over a aviation sector. The report, offered over a aviation ministry website, had advised that "route dispersal guidelines need to be abolished" and airlines need to be allowed to assistance the routes of their choice, according to commercial considerations.

It had also advised that "the federal government need to provide explicit subsidy support-preferably from the general exchequer and supplemented by a sector-specific cess of 5% on airfare and proceeds from the privatization of airports-for providing essential, but uneconomical services, and award it via a method of minimum subsidy bidding". The creation of a non-lapsable important air services fund was an ideal solution for this, it said. None of these recommendations had been employed so far. "Where there is no demand on Kolkata-Silchar, they want you to put jumbos. You happen to be forcing the industry being sick," mentioned the airline official. You'll find other constraints at such low-traffic destinations, he said. In Srinagar, for example, wherever the amount of daily flights have elevated drastically through the years, this official pointed offered are no night-landing facilities, leaving tiny scope for more flights to consume off or state following sunset.
Source: India Infoline

Monday, January 24, 2011

Non-refundable ticket cancellation: Airlines to return money

Inside a big relief to air travellers, domestic airlines have agreed to refund passengers all prices barring the base fare if a non-refundable ticket is cancelled.

However, passengers can avail this facility only if they cancel their tickets two hours previous to the flight departure.

"At a working group meeting held recently, the airlines have agreed to refund passengers for non-refundable ticket as well.

"The civil aviation secretary has already sent instructions to all of the airlines in this regard,"Air Passenger Association of India (APAI) President D Sudhakar Reddy said.

The decision, that would offer succour towards passengers, was taken at a meeting of the working group of the Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council which is heading into problems relating to bringing transparency in fixing of airfares and protect buyer interests.

Reddy, a member of the group representing passengers' interests, mentioned the airlines have also been told to appoint a nodal officer to especially deal with this sort of issues.

Apart inside the base fares, fuel surcharge, passenger support fee, user or airport development fee and taxes are another components that an airline charges inside the passengers.

As per the decision, all these components would be refunded in case of cancellation of the ticket.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the six-member Working Group, which comprises all stake holders— airlines, DGCA, buyer groups, market experts, of the Aviation Economic Advisory Council held on January 18 in New Delhi.

Besides passengers, the group comprises representatives of travel agents, Air India ane no-frill carrier IndiGo.

"After discussions, the DGCA gave a presentation towards Council as well as the Working Group on a problem right after which airlines agreed towards proposal," Reddy said.

Reddy mentioned that APAI has also demanded inside the government that it must do away of the support tax on tickets which it introduced inside the last budget.

"We have asked the government to abolish the support tax on air tickets because it is against the International Civil Aviation Organisation norms and not in line with international practice," Reddy said.
Source: DNA India
Author: International

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Airlines to Hire 5,000 as Aviation Boom Returns

MUMBAI | NEW DELHI: Indian carriers will hire at least 5,000 professionals across categories this year — pilots, cabin crew and airport ground staff — buoyed by the recent boom during the aviation sector which saw high attrition and retrenchment following the onset of the downturn in 2008.

“Airlines had pulled out at least 20% ability during the industry during the downturn. That ability was restored last year and we see airlines adding another 20% ability this year and would be hiring 4,500-5,000 individuals this year,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO of aviation consultancy company Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, South Asia.

The Indian aviation sector will grow by 18-20% this year, said aviation industry experts. Among airlines, national carrier Air India Airlines and low-cost airlines IndiGo and SpiceJet will add more than 1,000 this year. “Our flights will go up to 350 flights per day from 221 currently. We are during the technique of hiring 200 pilots, 400-500 cabin crew and as many airport ground staff this year at IndiGo,” said Aditya Ghosh, president, IndiGo.

Demand for pilots is rising because of the dearth of professionals. Airlines are chasing expats as the aviation regulator has allowed foreign nationals being employed as pilots till December 13, 2013.

“The fact these days is that all airlines in India are asking for foreign pilots and no single agency can supply those people many numbers. Airlines in India have asked all agencies that these pilots needs to be recruited on an urgent basis,” said somebody directly involved with hiring of expats, requesting anonymity.

In all, airlines are looking for about 230 commanders on an immediate basis , based on recruitment agencies. “We are searching to hire 500-600 pilots to meet the demand,” Jet’s chairman Naresh Goyal had said recently. Jet, which seems to add 49 aircraft, need 100 commanders alone to meet its international expansion plans. Jet Airways , during the downturn, had fired 1,800 flight attendants only to re-hire them following protests and political intervention. It also slashed salaries by up to 25% at greater levels.

GoAir, which plans to add 20 aircraft by 2014, will hire 250 individuals this year with 100 every for cabin crew and ground staff and 50 pilots. The only airline that doesn't look being on an expanding spree stands out as the Vijay Mallya-promoted Kingfisher Airlines . The airline pulled ability by 22% during the downturn, losing pilots to competitive airlines.

Aviation experts, however, feel that the modern-day hiring spree usually do not translate into greater salaries because of inflation and other costs. “Salaries will only go up by 15-20% on an average,” said an expert.

The staffing agencies are conservative in their demand projections. “2010 was a recovery year, which saw world-wide-web addition of 1,500 people, but 2011 is a boom year and we’ll see world-wide-web addition of 3,000 individuals or more,” said Kamal Karanth, MD, Kelly Services India, a global staffing company. Out of these 3,000, two-thirds are going to be cabin crew as well as the sleep are going to be a mix of engineers and pilots. More than the following 5 years, the growth in hiring are going to be among 100% and 200%.”

Source: India Times

Monday, January 10, 2011

Flight from Delhi cancelled, several others delayed

LUCKNOW: Dense fog enveloping the Amausi airport continued to disrupt flight movement on Saturday. Even though one domestic flight from Delhi remained cancelled, an international flight from Dubai was diverted to Jaipur.

According to reports, a GoAir flight, G8 351 with a scheduled arrival at 6.30 am remained cancelled. A Jet Airways Konnect flight 9W 2637 with a scheduled arrival at 6.45 am arrived virtually seven hours late even as visibility problems plummeted to near zero. The flight from Delhi arrived at 1.50 pm and departed only by 2.37 pm.

Likewise, a Kingfisher flights with a scheduled arrival at 8.30 am arrived at 12.30 pm and departed at 12.54. One more Kingfisher flight IT 3169 from Mumbai to Lucknow with a scheduled arrival at 8.55 am arrived only by 11.50 am.

Meanwhile, a Fly Dubai flight was diverted to Jaipur. The flight was scheduled to arrive at Amausi airport at around 7.45 am. However, the flight was diverted to Jaipur. The flight finally landed at Amausi airport at 3.40 pm and went back to Dubai at 7.30 pm.

Airport officials stated that even though visibility situation eased from the afternoon, it was back to haunt flight movement late on Saturday evening. In fact, some of the flights which have been scheduled to arrive in late evening had already started arriving late.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

International reporting time for domestic flyers?

NEW DELHI: With airlines flying record loads since the Christmas weekend and the rush peaking now, airlines have advised passengers to verify in earlier than usual at crowded airports. SpiceJet passengers flying out of Kolkata this weekend got text messages to report three hours ahead of departure time — the reporting time for international flights! Jet Airways has asked flyers to achieve airports 2 hours ahead of departure time.

"In view of enhanced security at all airports by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, Jet has requested all its guests to verify in early to avoid congestion at airports and also allow flights to depart on time. Guests have been advised to report 2 hours ahead of departure time," said a Jet spokesperson. Airline sources say that domestic site visitors is growing incredibly sharply and airports that have not seen expansion are merely unable to cope from the site visitors figures. "In smaller airports like Goa, the security verify line for outbound passengers beings from arrival terminal itself. Kolkata is also choked. Airport expansion plans are taking off at a incredibly slow pace," complained a senior pilot.

While airlines find it difficult to hold on time performance with passengers stuck in serpentine security queues even when it's flight departure time, flyers are suffering too because of poor infrastructure.

Source: India Times