Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Kingfisher regains No.2 spot...IndiGo ahead of AI

Indigo Airlines has gone ahead of Air India by carrying 1.71 lakh more domestic passengers than the national carrier in January this year.

Vijay Mallya-controlled Kingfisher Airlines has regained the no 2 position as compared to its competitors IndiGo Airlines and Air India. Jet Airways along with its budget arm Jetlite continues to be at the top

Indigo Airlines has gone ahead of Air India by carrying 1.71 lakh more domestic passengers than the national carrier in January this year.

The total domestic passengers carried by the Scheduled Airlines of India in January, 2011 were 49.36 lakhs. It may be recalled that the total domestic passengers carried by the Scheduled Airlines of India in December, 2010 were 52.13 lakhs.

The break-up for the month of January, 2011 is as follows:

Air India (Domestic) – 7.79 lakhs, Jet Airways –8.54 lakhs, Jet Lite – 3.72 lakhs, Kingfisher – 9.61 lakhs, Spice Jet – 7.05 lakhs, Go Air – 3.15 lakhs, IndiGo – 9.50 lakhs.

The percentage share of the carriers in the month of January, 2011 is as follows:

Air India (Domestic) – 15.8%, Jet Airways – 17.3%, Jet Lite – 7.5%, Kingfisher – 19.5%, Spice Jet–14.3%, Go Air – 6.4 % and IndiGo – 19.2%.

The seat factor of the domestic airlines in the month of January, 2011 was:

Air India (Domestic) – 69.3%, Jet Airways – 73.9%, JetLite – 74.6%, Kingfisher Airlines – 86.5%, Spice Jet – 82.6%, Go Air –83.3% and IndiGo – 88.6%.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Air India to seek 10k cr equity support to tide over crisis: Ravi

MUMBAI: The cash-strapped national carrier, Air India, will seek more than 10,000 crore as equity aid to tide more than its financial crisis and turnaround operations, stated the civil aviation minister Vayalar Ravi. "I am looking at a holistic process and not a piecemeal product to problems," he stated in Mumbai after a meeting with Air India unions.

Ravi , who met the finance minister on Wednesday using a request to include 2,000 crore equity infusion package inside the forth coming budget, stated the choice to raise more than 10,000 crore inside the government was taken at a recent review meeting.

He also stated that there will be a review on management claim that 65% from the turnaround plan were implemented.

Management and unions ought to occur forward to lessen the financial concerns and less-than-satisfactory operational performance of Air India, the minister said. He was in Mumbai to meet the trade unions to consume stock from the issues that confront the ailing airline.

The minister met representatives of some unions on Wednesday and others are slated to meet him on Thursday.

"Three main issues have emerged after the talks with employees, 1 could be the dilemma of differential salaries (between employees of erstwhile Air India and Indian) as well as the reduction of profitable routes from the airline as well as the integration of human resource inside the organisation is yet to consume place," stated Ravi.

The pilot unions of each Air India and erstwhile Indian met up from the minister. Although the Indian Airlines union will meet him once more with grievances, the Indian Pilots' Guild of Air India apprised him of differential treatment in comparison to expats and salary issues and mistreatment in between other issues faced by them.

Other unions that met him were the Indian Airlines Officers Association (2,500 members), Indian Airlines Technical Association (3,500 members) and Air India Aircraft Engineers' Association. All the unions wanted to know the financial viability from the airline as well as the plan for equity infusion.
Source: Economic Times

Gomti Yatra from March 27

LUCKNOW: A group of river water conservationists and activists will take up the cause of pollution in Gomti by organising a Gomti Yatra from March 27 to April 2. The activists, belonging to various non-government organisations, will also do sampling on at least 200 spots to assess pollution levels in the river.

A river water conservationist, Venkatesh Dutta, said the yatra will start from the point of origin of Gomti in Pilibhit and end at the point in Ghazipur where Gomti merges with Ganga. The yatra will cover a distance of 900 kms.

Dutta said the samples collected would be tested in laboratories of institutes like Central Drug Research Institute to prove their authenticity. River scientists from some US agencies too would be asked to provide inputs before and after sampling is done.

The yatra is sequel to the Ganga Yatra which was taken up by river water conservationist Rajendra Singh. Singh, popularly known as `Waterman of India', covered the Ganga through a stretch starting from Gaumukh in Uttarakhand.

A retired superintending engineer from the irrigation department, JM Gupta, who is now part of the campaign, said the purpose of the www.yatra.com is to spread awareness among people about Gomti and its conservation. "Until people participation is ensured, the river would never be able to revive itself,'' Gupta said.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ajay Singh looking to do a SpiceJet with MDLR

Right after exiting the board of low-cost airline SpiceJet last year, Ajay Singh has initiated the system of investing in another carrier — the beleaguered MDLR Airlines — hoping to breathe new life into it.

New Delhi-based MDLR, a regional carrier, stopped operations in November 2009 after defaulting on lease payments to BAe for its Avro RJ70 aircraft.

According to a source during the know, Singh, who had promoted SpiceJet along with London-based NRI Bhupendra Kansagra, has sought the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s permission to select up around 23% stake in MDLR.

“He (Singh) has employed towards Ministry of Civil Aviation to purchase stake in MDLR Airlines to revive its operations. The software program is becoming processed and the ministry has sought clarifications over a source on the fund,” mentioned the source.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not disclose the price at which Singh was buying the stake.

MDLR, which began operations in March 2007, was founded by Gopal Goyal Kanda, a politician from Haryana, and is wholly owned by Murli Dhar Lakh Ram (MDLR) Group.

The company’s schedule airline operating allow has turn out to be defunct as all of the aircraft in its fleet have been deregistered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for over a year now. However, its airline operating allow is nonetheless valid.

Singh could not be reached over a phone for your response plus a text message sent to him remained unanswered.

A senior executive with another airline, who did not desire to be named, mentioned even if Singh succeeds in owning stake in MDLR, he will have to begin operations from scratch.

“He will have to get brand new aircraft, set up new engineering and maintenance facility and begin all over again. It will be like setting up a brand new airline, except for applying for the airline operating permit,” he said.

Despite stepping down during the SpiceJet board in August last year, Singh continues to keep around 5% stake during the budget airline even after media baron Kalanithi Maran bought over a majority stake of 37.7% in Spicejet.

Singh, and also the Kansagra family, had re-launched the bankrupt Modiluft Airlines in 2005 after taking it over from industrialist SK Modi, who operated the airline in partnership with Lufthansa in mid-90s.

SpiceJet fought a lengthy legal battle with Modi to settle a dispute over 11.5 million shares on the airline, which the Modiluft promoter claimed have been nonetheless owned by him.

Modiluft was reincarnated as SpiceJet, and is these days the second-largest budget airline after IndiGo, having a marketplace share of 12.9%.

Source: DNA India

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Air India gives in, sacks COO of low-cost arm

Despite protesting to the end, the Air India management today finally gave in to pressure to dismiss Pawan Arora, chief operating officer of Air India Express, the low-cost international arm with the federal government carrier.

An AI spokesperson confirmed Arora had been asked to go and said S Chandrasekhar, director (finance), would assist Arvind Jadhav, who is chairman and managing director of both AI and AI Express, till the time a new COO was appointed.

Arora’s appointment was embroiled inside a controversy, following data surfaced that he had been earlier removed from a position of test pilot by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The civil aviation ministry had then asked the AI board to reconsider the appointment. Questions had also been raised about non-renewal of Arora’s flight instructor licence.

Arora joined the airline in October and his appointment was cancelled inside a board meeting a month after. In the meeting, the independent and federal government directors had asked the management to cancel Arora’s appointment.

The management did not and even defied a letter inside the ministry asking it to eliminate Arora. This evening, however, the ministry issued fresh and final orders, asking the management to eliminate Arora.

The airline management is calling it unfortunate and autocratic. “Neither the management nor Arora was allowed or asked to justify (his stand) in any with the meetings. If we are asked to justify now, we will do it and put the situation for the require of the professional COO for AI Express,” said a senior AI official.

The official said it was not a very good factor that another person was chosen following interviewing 170 candidates after which suddenly asked to leave. Arora did not eat calls on his cell phone.

“Such decisions will impact the standing Air India has and also the range of applicants will fall drastically following we call for applications again,” said the official.

Arora did not eat calls on his cell phone. He had served the Indian Air Force for 18 years worked with Jet Airways, Paramount Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and IndiGo. He also served at the DGCA in your year.

CAE Inaugurates Training Centre in India

CAE inaugurated its new aerospace and defense complex in Bangalore on February within the presence of representatives of India's airlines and defence forces, Canada's High Commission to India, along with company executives and employees. Located around Bengaluru International Airport, the complex is headquarters for CAE's operations in India and residence to a majority of its India-based employees.

During the 116 000 square-foot complex, CAE designs and develops defence training systems for India's defence forces and operates an engineering centre of excellence where visual databases and other software components for CAE's simulators are developed. The facility also houses CAE's Bangalore aviation training centre, the very first independent aviation training centre in India.

The six-bay capability centre currently offers Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 pilot training on three CAE-built full-flight simulators. Over 1,500 pilots trained at the centre last year, such as pilots from Indian-based airlines such as Air India, Go Air, IndiGo, Kingfisher Airlines, Spicejet and commercial pilots from the Indian Air Force. Other customers include Fly Wings Aviation and SriLankan Airlines. The training centre is component from the CAE-Airbus Training Services Cooperation agreement.

India is of strategic significance to CAE as well as the new aerospace and defence complex demonstrates the Company's commitment to India. CAE has been active within the Indian market for your past 40 years, beginning from the sale of simulators, and now offers comprehensive training items for India's civil aviation and defence markets. CAE's workforce in India has grown from 13 employees in 2004 to over 300 today.