Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Chandigarh flights up, fares too

MUMBAI: Two more airlines announced special flights between Mumbai and Chandigarh for cricket fans who want to watch Wednesday's semi-final between India and Pakistan, but experts say prohibitive air fares may deter most fliers.

Both Kingfisher and Jet Airways announced they will operate one flight each from Mumbai. Jet will operate a flight on Wednesday at 3.50 am from Mumbai which will return from Chandigarh at 7.30 am on Thursday. The Kingfisher flight will leave Mumbai around midnight on Wednesday and return from Chandigarh on Thursday.

Airlines may have thought it prudent to cash in on the cricket fever, but industry experts feel the attempt comes too late in the day, especially due to the high fare on these flights. A one-way seat to Chandigarh on the special flights is between Rs 20,000 to Rs 24,000. "GoAir, which added two extra flights on Sunday, has empty seats as the demand has now watered down,'' said Jay Bhatia, managing director, Tulsidas Khimji travels. "On Tuesday, just a day before the match, there have been no queries for Chandigarh,'' he added. Bhatia said that this is primarily due to exorbitant fares. Also, it is too late for anyone to plan travel.

"No one would wait till the last minute to book tickets or make travel arrangements. Most people booked early. Those who could not find a seat booked a flight to Delhi and then decided to take a taxi to Mohali. It is a cheaper option,'' said a Fort-based travel agent. "Only those willing to spend more than Rs 40,000 on travel and who waited till the last minute booked on special flights,'' he added.

Rajesh Rateria, managing director, Cirrus Travels, said the demand for tickets had died down. "Till Sunday, there were a lot of queries and bookings for Chandigarh. Even Monday saw last-minute planners rushing to buy tickets though they were expensive. But even with two more flights available on Tuesday, there are few buyers,'' Rateria said. A Kingfisher official said the airline had managed to sell only 30-40 return seats on the new flight by Tuesday noon.
Source: Times of India

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

DGCA orders review of 4,000 pilot licences

The back-to-back arrests of an IndiGo and an Air India pilot for forging mark sheets to become eligible for ones career has prompted Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to order review of 4,000 licences, specially those people issued inside past one year.

Air India’s JK Verma was arrested by Delhi Police on Saturday for allegedly with a forged mark sheet to procure the mandatory airline transport pilot’s licence, while Parminder Kaur Gulati, 38, of IndiGo Airlines was suspended following a hard landing and arrested on March 8 in your similar offence.

“We have received complaints against a couple of more pilots — Meenakshi Sehgal of IndiGo and Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR [both are absconding],” commissioner of police (crime branch) Ashok Chand said on Monday.

“Gulati’s landing procedure had some deficiencies. As soon as I took a contemplate her record, it was a shock that she had obtained her licence on the basis of mark sheets which were not authenticated,” director general of civil aviation EK Bharat Bhushan said.

“Suspecting the same in some other records, DGCA undertook a detailed investigation. So far, there were four cases and a couple of were apprehended,” he said.

The problem has arrive up even as the government searches in your replacement for Bhushan.

Not willing to eat chances, specially mainly because DGCA issues all pilot licences and is in-charge of regulatory issues pertaining to aviation safety, efficiency, and continuity of air transport, such as formulation of air law framework, the government released an advertisement last week generating it mandatory for all aspirants to submit “integrity certificates” and statements of minor or major penalties imposed on them inside preceding decade.

All applications must be submitted within 45 days with the release with the ad.

Apart from integrity certificates, the stress this time is on recruiting a professional. During the past, mostly bureaucrats have headed this crucial office. As per the advertisement, an applicant must have about 12 years experience in aviation, flying, aircraft, engineering or airworthiness.

Of these, minimum five years must were spent in administration and finance disciplines at senior management levels. Possibly, a lesson inside recent chief vigilance commissioner episode that caused the government major embarrassment?
Source: DNA India

Monday, March 14, 2011

SpiceJet plane suffered bird hit: officials

JAIPUR: A day after a SpiceJet flight from Jaipur to Ahmedabad produced an emergency landing as a result of a snag in 1 of its engines, senior airport officials and also the airline's ground staff concerned have said the aircraft suffered a bird hit.

Following the incident, the Airport Authority of India, Jaipur, has intensified measures to scare the birds away even as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has yet to ascertain the lead to of the engine problem.

As part of the measures, AAI has elevated the frequency of firing guns to produce bubbles of LPG gas during the air to scare away the birds besides inspecting the runway by a team during the air targeted traffic manage just before each plane lands or takes off.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Indigo Airline woman pilot held for faking documents for licence

NEW DELHI: An Indigo Airline woman pilot was arrested for obtaining a pilot's license on forged documents, police said on Wednesday.

"Parminder Kaur Gulati, 38, was held from her residence at Kirti Nagar area in West Delhi Tuesday," said deputy commissioner of police Ashok Chand.

Director of training & licensing of civil aviation department DC Sharma filed a complaint that Gulati had obtained an airlines transport pilot license (ALTP) on forged document.

The complaint came after Gulati was grounded following an incident of hard landing of Indigo Flight-6E-332 at Goa Jan 11. Director general of civil aviation (DGCA) has set up its own enquiry panel.

"They found that she had submitted forged result card of pilot license examination," said the officer.

"She had failed in air navigation paper and was absent in the paper of radio aids and instruments in January 2009. She again appeared in April and July 2009 sessions, but failed both the time," said Chand.

She submitted forged result card of passing air navigation and radio aids & instruments to DGCA April 11, 2009 and on November 16, 2009 she was issued an ATPL.

Gulati completed her bachelor of science from Khalsa College of Delhi University in 1995. In 1997, she got private pilot license from Delhi Flying Club and she then her commercial pilot license from the same club in 1998.

In May, 2006, she joined Air Deccan as co-pilot and in November, 2007 she joined Indigo Airlines as co-pilot.

"After getting ALTP in November 2009 on forged document, she became a captain in GoIndigo Airline," said Chand.

Source: Times of India

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Airlines owe Rs 1,122 crore to AAI

Airlines operating within the country owe Rs 1,122 crore to Airports Authority of India, Lok Sabha was informed today.

The dues of Airports Authority of India (AAI) against Air India as on January 31, 2011 are Rs 720 crore, Minister of Civil Aviation Vayalar Ravi mentioned inside a written reply.

For Kingfisher, the figure is Rs 257.62 crore, Go Airlines - Rs 6.77 crore, Interglobe Aviation Ltd. (Indigo)- Rs 13.29 crore, Jet Airways - Rs 38.49 crore, Jet Lite (India) Ltd Rs 13.96 crore, Spicejet Ltd - Rs 16.99 crore and Paramount Airways - Rs 4.88 crore.

For others modest or non-operating airlines the dues stand at 50.13 crore.

He mentioned the matter of pending dues is taken up by the AAI with respective airlines from time to time .

The Minister mentioned steps have been taken to increase the facilities at the airports which include modernisation of Chennai and Kolkata Airports, development of 35 non-metro airports of the terminal buildings having state-of-the-art passenger facilities, user friendly amenities, very good ambiance and satellite based navigation system.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Airlines stocks lose altitude as crude oil spikes

Spicejet Airlines, Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways are down on worries that surging crude oil prices will hit their operating as well as financial performance.

Shares of Spicejet is currently trading at Rs37, down Rs2 or 5%.The stock has hit a high of Rs. 38 and a low of Rs. 37.

Kingfisher shares is currently trading at Rs. 38, down Rs1.40 or 3%. The stock has hit a high of Rs. 39 and a low of Rs. 37.

Shares of Jet Airways is currently trading at Rs. 424, down Rs17.75 or 4%. The stock has hit a high of Rs. 432 and a low of Rs. 421.
Source: indiainfoline

Air India COO Baldauf resigns; carrier faces pilot strike

Air India COO Gustav Baldauf resigned last week after controversial comments produced on the Indian government's role in AI, in accordance with numerous news reports from India. The Austrian native, who became the first to preserve the COO title inside the airline's history once he joined last April, told The Indian Express in an job interview how the Indian government "should not be involved in day-to-day [AI] operations" and was "too prominent" in AI decision-making. According to the reports, airline management deemed the comments out of bounds for an Air India Airlines executive.

The departure from the COO is not the only sign of tumult at the struggling carrier—AI also faces a capacity strike by former Indian Airlines pilots set to start on March 9. In a letter to employees sent March 3, AI Chairman and MD Arvind Jadhav did not reference the COO's departure but expressed concern more than the looming strike by the Indian Commercial Pilots Assn.

"It is time for all of us to strive and work towards the a growth path which would take in the company out of its supply issues and strengthen the hands from the [Minister of Civil Aviation] to resolve various issues amicably," he said. He also cited the airline's progress in its restructuring and integration of Air India Airlines and Indian, for instance "making operational profits due to the fact November 2010."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Emirates becomes world's third largest airline

With only 144 aircraft in its fleet, Emirates has just become the world's third largest airline by capacity, overtaking US carrier United and behind only Delta and American Airlines.

Emirates' rise up the capability charts comes thanks towards airline's decision to use only the world's largest planes. Emirates already has 15 Airbus A380 superjumbos in its fleet, having a staggering 75 more to occur -- plus 53 stretched Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, with 49 of those nevertheless being delivered from Seattle.

Business travellers can expect to see significant growth in Emirates' routes and flights because of the new deliveries, with Australia certain being on a list for more flights and bigger planes.

Emirates includes a capability advantage in comparison with other airlines due to the fact Dubai is really a convenient geographic hub for flights in between Australia and Europe, Africa and also the Middle East. Stops in Bangkok and Singapore on some Australian routes mean that Emirates is really a great choice for travellers to southeast Asia as well. Search the airline to enhance direct alternatives to Dubai, connecting times to major European and African destinations, and for more alternatives for stopping en route.

Plus, continuing flights across the Tasman -- as the only airline to offer Very first Class and a single of the few to offer international calibre Company Class -- make Emirates an attractive choice from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to New Zealand. Expect more flights and higher capability for these flights inside the future.

So where's Qantas inside the rankings? Back in 15th place, behind Air China and only slightly ahead of European low-cost carrier Ryanair, according to the latest facts inside the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

Emirates is probably to drop down the capability table inside the short term, though. United Airlines' numbers don't include the fleet of Continental Airlines, which merged with United but is nevertheless reporting separately. Joint reporting will push the merged United-Continental up to the top of the list, knocking Emirates Airlines back to fourth place.

However, Emirates won't stay in fourth place for long. The enormous growth spurt that 75 A380s and 49 777-300ERs will bring will add practically 60,000 seats to Emirates' capacity.

And that is not even counting the 70 big Airbus A350s. Emirates has yet to announce a seating plan for ones A350, that is Airbus' competitor to Boeing's 787 Dreamliner. But it is probably being on the 270-320 passenger mark: bigger than the A330s flown by Qantas and soon being introduced by Virgin Blue.