Category Archives: Aviation

AAI receives bids for privatisation of six airports; Jaipur, Ahmedabad gets maximum interest

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 32 technical bids for privatisation of six AAI-owned and operated airports in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Mangalore and Guwahati. The 10 bidders include companies like GMR group and Adani Enterprises. Jaipur and Ahmedabad have received maximum seven bid each while Lucknow and Guwahati have received six bids each. Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram have got three bids each. AAI will open the financial bids on February 25. The winning bids will be announced on February. The other companies include Autostrade from Italy, UK based AMP Capital Investors, I Investments from Mauritius, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), Sanna Enterprises and PNC Infrastructure. The operating, management and developing rights for the six non-metro airports would be awarded to the bidder with the highest per-passenger fee for domestic travellers. The six airports would be leased out for 50 years instead of the 30 years during the previous round, 12 years ago, when the AAI had opened the Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai airports for privatisation. As of now, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Cochin are the only private-run airports in the country. (With inputs from PTI)

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Europe-India airline seat numbers grew by 12.9 per cent in 2018

India is only the ninth largest country market outside Europe for international airline seats from Europe in 2018, reports a study by CAPA – Centre for Aviation. However, if North Africa and the Middle East are excluded, India is Europe’s number four long haul market, behind only the US, China and Canada. Among these leading long haul markets, Europe-India seat numbers grew fastest in 2018 versus 2017, with an increase of 12.9 per cent compared with 6.7% for the US, 10.9% for China and 7.3% for Canada. The annual seat capacity from Europe to India has enjoyed strong growth in each of the past two years, increasing by 9.4% in 2017 and 12.9% in 2018. The total number of seats (one way) in this market reached 5.0 million in 2018 (compared with 45 million for Europe-US) – a 30% increase from the low point of 3.8 million in 2013.

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Majority of aircraft orders slated for delivery to IndiGo

Out of the 1123 aircraft that are currently on order for India, a bulk of them are slated for delivery to IndiGo, according to a recent ‘Project Rupee Raftaar’ report by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The numbers are evidence of the optimism and positive outlook for the sector, providing some insights as to the near-term evolution of the market. There are range of new and alternative investment and alliance or partnership structures emerging globally which add a new dimension to the industry, as airlines try to and new and innovative ways to expand their networks and their product offering. In some global markets, the changing industry structure is one of consolidation rather than expansion.

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GoAir CEO Cornelis Vrieswijk quits; Jeh Wadia to be interim chief

Cornelis Vrieswijk, Chief Executive Officer, GoAir has resigned from the post within nine months, citing personal matters. The airline said Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, will be discharging the additional responsibilities of the CEO, till it finds a successor to Vrieswijk. The Dutch national joined GoAir only last June after the departure of Wolfgang Prock-Schauer in December 2017. “At the nominations and remunerations committee meeting held by the board recently, Vrieswijk expressed his desire to relocate to Amsterdam since his family was not wishing to settle down in Mumbai,” the company said in a statement. Vrieswijk has over 25 years experience in the aviation and travel industries with stints at Thomas Cook Group and Transavia Airlines. Source: PTI

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Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reappointed Air India CMD

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. Lohani headed the carrier from August 2017 to September 2017 when he was moved to the Railway Board as the chairman, from where he retired in December 2018. It was during his tenure that Air India made its first operating profit of ₹105 crore in FY17 since the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007. Touted as the ‘Turnaround specialist’, Lohani’s appointment will be crucial after Air India’s failed divestment attempt last year. This year, the government has already decided to transfer over Rs 29,000 crore of AI’s huge Rs 55,000 debt to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), along with the airline’s assets like real-estate and other subsidiaries of Air India. Lohani succeeds the 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola, who earlier this month was appointed as the Civil Aviation Secretary following the superannuation of RN Choubey. Source: PTI

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Mumbai airport’s on-time performance grows by 12 per cent

GVK Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the company that manages Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), recorded an increase of 12 per cent in the average on-time performance (OTP) of the last seven months. Mumbai Airport informed about the increase in On-Time Performance (OTP) of aircraft flying in and out of Mumbai. MIAL has undertaken several initiatives, along with the stakeholders to improve the OTP. As part of the initiatives, MIAL started measuring the time taken for carrying out each activity by the airline with a view towards optimising the aircraft turn-around time. These activities  covered AME establishing contact with the pilot, connection of aerobridge to the aircraft, passenger boarding and de-boarding, catering loading and un-loading, aircraft fueling, aircraft cleaning, etc. Thereafter, a critical path analysis of the activities was prepared to arrive at “minimum time required” for the aircraft turn-around. This was shared with the respective airlines, to enable the airlines understand the areas where there was scope of improvement to reduce the overall time taken for the aircraft turnaround. On completion of five years of operation of T2, the terminal has accounted for 25 per cent growth in Air Traffic Movement since 2014 and has reduced Runway Occupancy Time (ROT) from 65 seconds then to 47-49 seconds now.    

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Metro cities to have multiple airports: MoCA

Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, revealed that Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi will add a fourth runway along with two more passenger terminals. Apart from that, Hindon Airport, which is on the outskirts of Delhi, will be operational by March. He further revealed that Jewar airport will be another airport near Delhi that will be operational by 2022. In fact, with the speed of work going on at Navi Mumbai airport, it is likely to be operational from 2022 too. Bengaluru airport will also be adding a second runway and a second terminal. A new terminal has been commissioned in Chennai too, he shared.

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CAPA India Aviation Summit discusses opportunities and challenges of Indian aviation market

CAPA India Aviation Summit, underway in Delhi, saw in presence stalwarts of the aviation industry, including airline heads, airport representatives and stakeholders from around the world. Peter Harbison, Executive Chairman, CAPA – Centre for Aviation, welcomed the delegates and said, “The Indian aviation market has a huge potential and is one of the fastest growing aviation markets in the world. However, there are a few challenges which need to be taken care of. We hope the summit puts across facts and figures that the industry can use for its benefit. We saw a good attendance from major Indian aviation players at the summit and we hope the brainstorming on issues and trends will help the industry at large.”  

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Boeing appoints Salil Gupte as India head, effective March 18, 2019

Boeing has named Salil Gupte as its India head, effective March 18, 2019. Gupte succeeds Prat Kumar, who was appointed Vice President and Program Manager of Boeing’s F-15 fighter aircraft programme in November last year.  He will be based in New Delhi and report to Marc Allen, President of Boeing International. Gupte will join as President of Boeing India from the aircraft maker’s wholly-owned subsidiary Boeing Capital Corporation, where he served as Vice President. In his new position, Gupte will advance the development and execution of Boeing’s strategy in India, integrate business activities across company’s commercial airplanes, Boeing defence, space and security, its global services, and lead the growth and productivity initiatives in India. He will also manage Boeing’s partnerships with the government and business stakeholders with a team of over 3,000 employees and joint venture personnel located across the country. His leadership will extend to cover Boeing’s large supply chain presence in India, its engineering and technology centre in Bengaluru, and Boeing joint venture with Tata in Hyderabad. “I’m thrilled to be joining my colleagues at Boeing India during such an exciting time, when the business is growing exponentially and we are building the future of global aircraft manufacturing, services, supply chain, engineering, technology and innovation, right here in India,” Gupte said. Besides Boeing, he has also worked with Citigroup and Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the aviation and infrastructure sectors. Source: PTI

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India becomes fastest growing domestic aviation market 4th year in a row: IATA

The domestic aviation market in India has registered the fastest growth for the fourth year in a row in 2018, according to a recent report by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The year-end aviation data analysis by IATA revealed, “The India domestic market recorded the fastest full-year domestic growth rate for the fourth year in a row (18.6 per cent), followed by China (11.7 per cent).” In fact, India recorded its 50th consecutive month of double-digit annual growth in October. Other than India and China, Russia (9 per cent), USA (5.1 per cent) and Brazil (4.8 per cent) were among the top five fastest growing domestic air travel markets. According to the IATA report, globally, revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose by 6.5 per cent in 2018, slower than the 8 per cent growth registered in 2017.  

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