Category Archives: Aviation

IATA allows agents to make payment settlements later without penalties

An official statement by IATA has said that travel agents can make payment settlements later without penalties, in the wake of the global crisis of COVID-19. The statement read “For travel agents, we’re allowing settlements to be made a bit later, without penalties. While remittance periods have been kept in accordance with BSP Calendars, we are taking a flexible approach and preliminary figures confirm this, showing that default rates in 2020 are a bit below the year-ago period—despite the stresses on the system in 2020.” In addition, recognising the fact that it may be difficult or impossible to get audited financial statements, or arrange a financial guarantee, “IATA is offering to extend deadlines for these statements by up to a month.”

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DEX Aviation appointed all-India GSA for Alitalia

DEX Aviation is now going to represent Alitalia as GSA (General Sales Agent) for India. According to a statement released by DEX Aviation, the company has become the nationwide GSA for the Italian carrier starting 1st April 2020. Lucio Rigo, Country Manager- India, Alitalia, said that they are hoping that things normalise soon and the industry picks up again, so that they would be able to serve Indian passengers again.

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Ticket refunds could amount to $35 billion for airline industry: IATA

According to the latest data provided by International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline industry could be staring at an estimated $35 billion of ticket refunds. This, clubbed with significant fixed and semi-fixed costs of which many cannot be avoided over a short period of time, can amount to the airline industry using up to $61 billion from its cash reserve in the second quarter (Q2) of 2020. This comes after IATA’s impact assessment released earlier, which showed that the industry was looking at a net loss of $39 billion in Q2 2020.

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International flight operations can re-start in calibrated manner post lockdown: MoCA

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C), Civil Aviation, has said that they will be looking at resuming international flight operations on case-by-case basis once the lockdown period is over after April 15, 2020. They will be looking at which countries these flights are coming from. “The Government direction has been very clear that the lockdown is till April 15, and after that we will be considering the resumption of flights on a case-by-case basis. Even flights that will bring Indians back would not be allowed to come, until the lockdown is lifted.”

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MoCA launches ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights for movement of essential supplies

As part of India’s fight against COVID-19, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights for movement of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond. Under this initiative, 62 Lifeline Udan flights have been operated during the five day period from 26th to 30th March 2020, transporting over 15.4 tons of essential medical supplies. 45 out of the 62 flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. The carriers involved in Lifeline Udan operations include Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force (IAF) and Pawan Hans. Support is being provided by Airports Authority of India (AAI), AAICLAS (cargo and logistics subsidiary of AAI), AI Airports Services (AIASL), PPP airports and private ground handling entities. Private carriers like IndiGo, Spicejet and Blue Dart are operating medical cargo flights on a commercial basis.

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Airlines to post quarterly net loss of $39 billion, witness 71% fall in demand during Q2: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has published new analysis showing that airlines may burn through $61 billion of their cash reserves during the second quarter ending 30th June 2020, while posting a quarterly net loss of $39 billion. The analysis is based on the impact assessment released by IATA, under a scenario in which severe travel restrictions last for three months. In this scenario, full-year demand will fall by 38 per cent and full-year passenger revenues drop by $252 billion compared to 2019. The fall in demand would be the deepest in the second quarter, with a 71 per cent drop. Revenues are expected to fall by 68 per cent. This is less than the expected 71 per cent fall in demand due to the continuation of cargo operations, albeit at reduced levels of activity. Variable costs are expected to drop sharply—by some 70 per cent in the second quarter—largely in line with the reduction of an expected 65 per cent cut in second-quarter capacity. The price of jet fuel has also fallen sharply, although we estimate that fuel hedging will limit the benefit to a 31 per cent decline. These changes to revenues and costs result in an estimated net loss of $39 billion in the second quarter.

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KLM shows its True ‘Blue Spirit’

With the Coronavirus spreading across the globe, the airline industry is severely impacted, and KLM finds strength in the heart-warming messages that they have been receiving from across the globe on social media. In the video shared by KLM, the airline is urging everyone to stay united and strong irrespective of their nationality and support each other. The video is a culmination of KLM’s ‘Blue Spirit’ showcased during difficult times and highlights how they have been pioneers in aiding help to those who need it the most. The airline championed in importing 8,50,000 masks, brought thousands of people back home and provided 150 iPads to patients. With an expansive support team of 850 volunteers, KLM was answering questions of customers across the globe and helping them during this crisis which has gripped the world. KLM urges everyone to take out a moment to express gratitude to everyone in the airline industry who are doing everything they can to help bring back passengers home safely.

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Indian aviation could lose up to Rs90 crore a day with operations shut down

According to ICRA estimates, considering the operating expenses of the Indian aviation industry in FY2019 and that 35-42 per cent of their expenses are fixed in nature, it is estimated that the industry will report a net loss of Rs 75-90 crore per day of shutdown of operations. While some airlines have sufficient liquidity and/or financial support from a strong parentage, which will help them tide over this disruption, some airlines, who are already in financial stress, will face serious troubles.

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9% growth in domestic air passenger traffic in February: DGCA

According to the latest data provided by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan-Feb 2020 were 251.50 lakh as against 238.56 lakh during the corresponding period of previous year, thereby registering annual growth of 5.42 per cent and monthly growth of 8.98 per cent. The passenger load factor in the month of February 2020 also saw an increasing trend primarily due to airlines offering promotional fares resulting in increased demand.

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Lufthansa Group carried out repatriation flight to Delhi on 25 March’20

On 25th March 2020, a Lufthansa A380 aircraft departed at 12:45 pm CET as repatriation flight LH9912 from Frankfurt to Delhi. It arrived at around midnight at Indira Gandhi Airport in Delhi. The return flight, LH343 to Frankfurt, departed from Delhi at 1:30 am local time. It brought German citizens back home at a time when no international flights were operating to and from India and most air traffic worldwide had come to a halt. “Carrying out repatriation flights and bringing people back home is the responsibility that Lufthansa Group airlines bear being part of the critical infrastructure in the home countries of Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Belgium said George Ettiyil.” For us being able to operate the repatriation flight with the A380, it was very helpful that Indian authorities decided to extend visas of foreigners in India last week.” Since 14 March, Lufthansa Group airlines, Swiss, Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa and Eurowings have flown about 220 special flights back to the home countries of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium, involving more than 40,000 holidaymakers. Over 70 further flights are already in preparation. Clients are and have been tour operators, cruise operators (mainly return flights from the Caribbean, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and North Africa) and the German Federal Government (Federal Foreign Office). Wide-body aircraft, namely the Boeing 747, A380 and Airbus A350 are being used to provide as much capacity as possible on these return flights. “These are challenging times for everyone – we are in this together with the Indian people,” said Ettiyil. “Together with them, we are looking forward to the day when regular travel will return to their country.”

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