Tag Archives: Ministry of Civil Aviation

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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AAI invites bids for operation of services under UDAN 3.1

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) have issued a notice inviting bids to operate as many as 30 routes under Round 3.1 of the UDAN regional connectivity scheme. AAI and MoCA decided to consider an additional bidding round under UDAN 3.0 to include priority/cancelled/crucial routes which have not been covered under UDAN Scheme so far. Routes available under round 3.1 includes routes connecting unserved, underserved airports and unserved routes connecting served airports. Bids have been invited for routes such as Guwahati-Tezpur, Guwahati-Passighat, Port Blair-Hutbay/Havelock/Neil Island, Raipur-Bilaspur, Patna-Hazaribagh, Hazaribagh-Kolkata, Hissar-Chandigarh, Hissar-Jammu, Kargil-Leh/Jammu, Srinagar-Thoise and Rewa-Jhansi/Bhopal among many other routes. For the first time, the centre has also bid out routes for Lakshadweep islands including Agatti-Mincoy and Agatti-Kavaratti. According to the notice, airlines opting to bid for these new routes shall not receive any “exclusivity of operation” right as is given to airlines under previous UDAN routes coupled with any additional concession apart from funds through viable gap funding. The government has invited bids till February 22, 2019 after which it shall award the routes to airlines on February 27, 2019. It has set a deadline of six months for the airlines to commence operations on such routes from the date of award to the airline. Centre, on January 25, released 235 routes that were awarded under third phase of the scheme. Certain routes, however, were yet to be finalised in consultation with state governments and were withheld by the ministry  

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Around 55 per cent of all seats in India market are offered by low cost carriers

The growth of the LCC market for India has been significant, according to a recent ‘Project Rupee Raftaar’ report by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Around 55 per cent of all seats in the market are offered by low cost carriers (LCC). Focusing on the domestic market alone, the LCC share of total seats is almost 70 per cent. While the share of LCC seats offered on India’s international routes is much smaller, at just under 25 per cent, this share has risen from essentially zero in 2004. Arguably, the emergence of LCCs has facilitated the democratization of air travel and fueled aviation growth, albeit in various ways across different markets. In emerging markets, LCCs have broadened the market and allowed more people the opportunity to fly for the very first time. In more mature markets, LCCs have deepened the market allowing people to fly more often.

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UDAN goes international by launching flights from Guwahati to Bangkok and Dhaka

The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme is set to fly international. The results for UDAN 3 were announced recently, and Suresh Prabhu revealed that for the first time, international routes have been introduced under UDAN by launching flights from Guwahati to Bangkok and Dhaka. Both these routes will be served by SpiceJet. Prabhu said, “It’s going to be a major game changer as these connections would bring North East closer to the rest of the world. As a result, there will be a tremendous scope for tourism and economic development in the region.” Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, revealed, “The state government of Assam had asked us to conduct bids for connecting Guwahati to the neighbouring countries and we are happy to announce that Guwahati is now going to be connected with Bangkok and Dhaka, which are the international UDAN routes which have been awarded.” It was revealed that SpiceJet has taken a very competitive underwriting of the seats. The per annum VGF would be Rs 11 crore, which would be borne by the state. Having set the service frequency at seven-times-a-week, the government has given a flexible template of starting with thrice-a-week service, which will then be increased and finalised within six months.

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Over 80 countries participate at 1st Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai

The first edition of Global Aviation Summit 2019 witnessed participation from more than 80 countries. Being organised from January 15-16, 2019 at Grand Hyatt Mumbai, the summit themed on ‘Flying for All’ is touted to be the first-of-its-kind that will cover a diverse range of topics – from domestic aviation market, drone policies, infrastructure investment, freight and cargo policies, aviation financing and much more. It has attendance from more than 100 global CEOs, 35 exhibitors and more than 1200 delegate participation. The inaugural session saw keynote speeches by Sandip Somany, President, FICCI; R N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council, International Civil Aviation Organization; Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry; Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra; and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.

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MoCA’s upgraded version of AirSewa to address flight delays and other issues

Union Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha have launched an upgraded version of AirSewa web portal and mobile app. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier launched AirSewa web portal and mobile app in 2016 to address issues like flight delays, problem in refunds, long queues, inadequate facilities at airports and complaints of lost baggage by air passengers. Speaking during the launch, Prabhu said, “I would like to congratulate all the stakeholders for the launch of upgraded web portal and app of Air sewa. In a matter of few more months, we’ll be launching another upgrade for the same.” Sinha said, “AirSewa 2.0 upgrade came after two years of initial launch. And, I would like to thank and support all the stakeholders in the ecosystem as this wouldn’t have been possible without the support.” The upgraded and improved version of AirSewa operates through an interactive web portal as well as through a mobile app for both android and iOS platforms, and will offer people a convenient and hassle-free air travel experience. With around 30,00 app downloads and 75,000 web portal hits, AirSewa 1.0 was received well and helped significant number of air passengers to get their concerns resolved. The ministry felt the need for development of an upgraded version of AirSewa to provide a superior user experience with enhanced functionalities including features like secure sign-up and login with social media, chatbot for travellers’ support, improved grievance mangement, including social media grievances, real-time flight status and detailed flight schedule.

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FICCI-Yes Bank releases Knowledge Paper on tourism infrastructure

Highlighting the foremost areas of developing a robust tourism infrastructure and the current scenario of tourism in India, FICCI in association with Yes Bank has released a knowledge report titled ‘Tourism Infrastructure Investments: Leveraging Partnerships for Exponential Growth’, during the Tourism Investors Meet 2018 held in New Delhi. The It also features facts and figures pertaining to the tourism sector and suggests recommendations to establish India as a global tourism hotspot. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, unveiled the report during the meet along with Bhupesh Rathore, President & Head – Strategic Government Advisory, Yes Bank; Dr Jyotsana Suri, Past President, FICCI & Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee; Dipak Deva, Co-chairman, FICCI Tourism Committee and Rahul Chakravarty, Consultant – Tourism, FICCI. Rathore also gave a presentation focusing on the potential and development of tourism across various sectors of the industry.

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Travel and tourism investment to rise by 6.7% per annum over the next 10 years

Travel and tourism investment is expected to rise by 6.7 per cent per annum over the next 10 years to Rs 5,546.3 billion in 2028, according to FICCI-Yes Bank Knowledge Paper titled ‘Tourism Infrastructure Investments- Leveraging Partnerships for Exponential Growth’. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, said that the tourism and civil aviation ministries are engaging continuously to identify solutions and implement them for the growth of both the sectors. “The way forward is a focused approach for evolving tourist places under the aviation connectivity scheme and expanding existing routes under UDAN scheme including helicopter routes in hilly and north-eastern regions. This will provide good infrastructural support to the tourism sector,” said Padhee. She also added that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is working to remove bottlenecks in remote and regional areas by providing proper navigation means, technology, better security and safety. Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI & Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee and CMD, Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, in her address said that increasing connectivity will boost tourism, adding that ‘one flight per day to Khajuraho will build the demand eventually’. Dipak Deva, Co-Chair, FICCI Tourism Committee and MD, SITA, TCI & Distant Frontiers also presented his views on the growth of tourism in the country at the 4th Tourism Investors Meet held in Delhi.

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No charges on air ticket cancellation within 24 hours of booking

Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced the Draft Passenger Charter, which defines the rights of the passengers, under which Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, informed that there will be a lock-in period of 24 hours post booking for passenger, allowing them to cancel or amend the ticket without any charges. However, he said that this waiver will not be eligible for a ticket booked 96 hours (4 days) before the departure of the flight. It was also revealed that if the airline is at fault for any delays or cancellation, then under no circumstance the airline, or the OTA or agents who has booked the ticket, can levy cancellation charges which are more than the total of basic fare and fuel surcharge.

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MoCA looking at 20-min benchmark for immigration

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is looking at a benchmark of 20 minutes for passengers at immigration, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation while addressing a gathering at CAPA Conference in Mumbai via a video link. Speaking about the steps taken at the Delhi airport in response to the recent spike in international travel, Sinha pointed out, “We recently saw a dramatic spike of 30 per cent in international travel in the winter schedule, particularly at the Delhi airport. Mumbai did not grow as much due to slot constraints. But these are two airports where we are facing some congestion. In response to that, we along with the Ministry of Home Affairs acted swiftly by increasing capacity for immigration officers as well as immigration counters at the Delhi airport. In Mumbai however, we are much more constrained even though we have added capacity, although it is not at the same level as Delhi. We are thankful to Ministry of Home Affairs for acting so swiftly. Our benchmark as far as immigration is concerned is 20 minutes. If anyone has to wait more than that, then we are not doing our job well.”  

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