Category Archives: Aviation

MOCA to review plans to sell Air India

Three weeks after not being able to attract any bids for the debt-ridden Air India, The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) is set to review its plans to divest the national carrier. Speaking at a press conference to announce the initiatives and achievements of the Ministry in the last four years, Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, said, “The government’s plans to change the decision of disinvestment of Air India stands as it is. However, since no bids came till May 31, which was the last date for expression of interest: we will review the conditions of disinvestment. We have a committee headed by Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, to review the plans for Air India and regular meetings are being held to come to a decision on that.”  

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IndiGo tops on-time performance in May: DGCA

IndiGo has recorded the highest on-time performance of 80.9 per cent in May 2018, according to a report by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). On-time performance of the scheduled domestic carriers has been computed for four metros including Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai by the regulator. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “On-time performance is core to our business and is one of the three values that IndiGo stands for. We are indeed happy to record 80.9 per cent OTP for 6E flights operating out of country’s busiest airports including Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. We thank our over 48.53 lakh passengers who flew with IndiGo in May 2018.  IndiGo will continue to provide an on-time, courteous and hassle free service, and affordable fares to our customers, as always.” IndiGo was also ranked as 4th most punctual airline globally in the mega airline category by OAG, air travel Intelligence Company. In its annual review – Punctuality League 2018, OAG included on-time performance for the world’s Top 20 busiest domestic and international routes. IndiGo was ranked 4th amongst Top 20 mega airlines and 9th amongst Top 20 Low-cost carriers (LCCs) by OTP.

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Vistara receives 21st aircraft, now eligible for international operations

Vistara has received its 21st aircraft, an Airbus A320neo powered by CFM engines and the airline is also eligible to start international operations now. The new aircraft will be deployed to further strengthen the airline’s domestic network. Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara, said, “There’s great excitement amongst all of us at Vistara, as we prepare ourselves for taking the next leap in our journey to fly international. The arrival of our 21st aircraft makes this phase even more special. It enables us to strengthen our network further, which gives us the opportunity to offer more choices in terms of frequencies to our ever-growing base of loyal customers.” Vistara’s A320neo aircraft comes in its unique cabin configuration of 158 seats (8 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy and 126 Economy Class) as well as other industry-first features, for which the airline calls it #NotJustAnotherNeo. Vistara has consistently raised the bar in the Indian aviation industry and has flown over 9 million customers, and today serves 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week.

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Air Odisha connects Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh with new services

Air Odisha has started its services to Chhattisgarh from Andhra Pradesh, as it launched a flight to Jagdalpur from Visakhapatnam through Raipur. The services launched under the Udan regional connectivity scheme were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing. “We are happy to announce the launch of our new routes in Chhattisgarh connecting with Andhra Pradesh. The UDAN scheme is an excellent scheme initiated under the flagship of our Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi which would aid to the growth of the economy where a common man can also now travel more affordable and convenient way and we are delighted to be a part of this historic moment of nation’s aviation sector,”Shaishav Shah, Managing Director of Air Odisha’s & Executive Director of GSEC said. “In terms of outright benefits to the passengers and travellers, Raipur -Jagdalpur (288 km by road) travel time of 15 hours by train and 6 -7 hours by road shrinks to a mere 40 minutes that to at a cost of Rs 1,670,” the Air Odiaha said in a release. UDAN is to let the common citizens of the country fly by making the air travel affordable and widespread and Air Odisha is able to materialise this goal. With every passing month Air Odisha is adding more regions to its radar for better connectivity in the towns.  In this context commencement of regional connectivity scheme in towns like Jagdalpur, Raipur, Vizag continue to demonstrate Air Odisha’s growth.  

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Cathay Pacific celebrates 10 years of operations from Chennai to Hong Kong

Cathay Pacific Airways recently celebrated its 10th year of passenger flight operations between Chennai and Hong Kong. Since flights were launched in 2008, more than 600,000 passengers have travelled from Chennai and approximately 39,000 tons of cargo have been carried. Cathay Pacific began passenger flights with four weekly flights in 2008 operating an Airbus 330-300 aircraft. In 2010, to meet the increasing demand from both business and leisure travellers, the airline expanded to daily operations. The airline has also launched bonus Asia Miles for every round trip or one way journey from Chennai to North America, Asia or Australia between June 15 and 15 August 2018. Rajesh Menon, Cathay Pacific’s Regional Sales and Marketing Manager – South Asia,  says, “We are delighted to have completed 10 successful years of operations from Chennai. We began with 4 weekly flights and in a few years were able to expand to daily flights due to the great potential Chennai offered. Our flights have catered to a wide segment of passengers that include corporate travellers, holiday makers, VFR traffic and students, travelling to the popular destinations of Hong Kong, San Francisco, Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney to name a few. Chennai continues to hold tremendous opportunity with the growing economic developments in the state. We are excited about our future prospects and look forward to offering our passengers a life well-travelled with our products and services.”

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Ethiopian Airlines takes delivery of 100th aircraft to Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines has taken delivery of its 100th aircraft, Boeing 787 Dreamliner, once again leading the way in fleet expansion and modernisation in Africa. As part of Ethiopian Corporate Social Responsibility commitments, the new aircraft has ferried medical equipment from the Seattle-based NGO, Direct Relief, to St Paulos Hospital in Addis Ababa. The shipment includes surgical stools and other medical supplies to be used for both teaching and patient care. Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde GebreMariam, remarked, “It is an immense honour for all of us at Ethiopian to reach the milestone of 100 aircraft. This milestone is a continuation of our historical aviation leadership role in Africa and a testimony of the successful implementation of our fast, profitable and sustainable growth plan, Vision 2025. Over the years, Ethiopian has been investing heavily in fleet modernisation and expansion, which is one of the pillars of Vision 2025. Ethiopian was the first African Airline and second only to Japan to operate the B787 Dreamliner in 2012 and the first carrier in Africa to usher with the Airbus A350 XWB in 2016. Ethiopian was the first to avail jet service in the continent back in 1962, and operated the first African B767 in 1984, the first African B777-200LR in 2010, the first African B787-800 Dreamliner and B777-200 freighter in 2012 and the first African A350 in 2016 and the first African B787-9 aircraft in 2017. Ethiopian now operates one of the youngest and most modern 100 aircraft, with an average age of less than 5 years.

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India to become 2nd fastest growing nation for passenger traffic: ACI

India has been projected to be the second fastest growing country in the world for passenger traffic by the Airports Council International (ACI) in its traffic forecasts between 2017-40. ACI has put Vietnam at the top position with a 8.4 per cent growth rate, followed by India at 7.5 per cent and Iran at 7.3 per cent. China has been placed at the 8th position with 5.9 per cent growth rate. In its forecasts, the ACI said by 2022, passenger traffic in emerging economies like India would surpass advanced economies. By 2040, international passenger traffic would attain parity with domestic traffic, meaning more and more number of people would travel off shore with heightened economic activities, it said. By 2022, passenger traffic in emerging economies would touch 5.4 billion, slightly ahead of advanced economies at 5.3 billion. Source: PTI

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Airport services highest revenue earner for AAI

According to Airports Authority of India’s Annual Report 2016-17, aeronautical revenues for AAI are dominated by ANS charges (Route Navigation Facilities charges and Terminal Navigational Landing charges) whereas its non-aeronautical revenues come from commercial operations at airports like retail, F&B, car parking, other concessions and rentals in terminals and city side premises. Lease revenues from major airports like Mumbai, Delhi, etc accounts for significant contribution in AAI’s revenues. Contribution of cargo revenues to AAI’s total revenues remain marginal. AAI registered growth of more than 15 per cent and 22 per cent in its revenues and profits after tax respectively in the financial year 2016-17 as compared to the financial year 2015-16. Main factors for increase in revenue are increase in route navigational charges and terminal landing charges; increase in landing, housing and parking charges; increase in passenger service fee; increase in other revenue like trading concession, rent and services, cargo, UDF and other miscellaneous revenue.

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Qatar Airways to apply for launch of an Indian airline

Qatar Airways will soon move an application to launch a full-service airline in India for domestic operations, according to its chief Akbar Al Baker. He said the proposed airline would be fully financed by Qatar’s sovereign fund and would have Indians heading the board. Baker, who has been Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive for over two decades, was recently elected as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). “We will move the application soon. I don’t know really by when because it (the process) takes time,” he told on the sidelines of the IATA Annual General Meeting when asked by when the application for a licence would be moved. Noting that the process is on track, he said the proposed carrier in India would be a full-service one and the investment would be done from the sovereign fund of Qatar’s official investment arm. Qatar Investment Authority manages the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. It was set up in 2005 to manage the oil and natural gas surpluses and its assets under management are estimated at USD 335 billion, a lot of which have been invested overseas for a variety of purposes.  It was in March 2017 that Baker first mentioned about its plans for a carrier in India. Source:PTI

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GoAir appoints Cornelis Vrieswijk as the new Chief Executive Officer

GoAir has announced the appointment of Cornelis Vrieswijk as the new Chief Executive Officer. He will be reporting to the Chairman, Managing Director and the Board of Directors of GoAir. Vrieswijk is a seasoned global executive and a consultant with over 25 years of experience in aviation and travel industry. He has rich experience in driving ventures, transitions, turnarounds and large-scale projects for diverse and multifaceted organisations with emphasis in aviation/travel and aircraft maintenance industry on a European Stage. He has significant expertise in international business development, operational streamlining, aircraft engineering & maintenance and process automation. Commenting on the occasion, Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir said, “Vrieswijk will work with the Board and leadership team to expand and implement a range of strategic initiatives to lead the airline into its next phase of growth. I am confident that Cor will help scale GoAir further and establish it as a most profitable low cost carrier in the highly competitive Indian market.” Commenting on his appointment, Vrieswijk said, “I am truly honoured to join this dynamic airline and see myself closely working with the entire GoAir team in realising its objectives. My primary focus will be to grow the airline to a strong position and modelling the desired changes for further growth and expansion.” Vrieswijk is a management graduate from Catholic University Nijmegen.

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