Monday, January 23, 2017

Russia's Pobeda approved for flights to India

Pobeda (DP, Moscow Vnukovo) has been approved by Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviatsia) to commence scheduled flights from Ekaterinburg and Astrakhan to Goa, India. Each route is limited to once per week. The agency announced the decision in late December.

The airline has not set a start date for flights nor announced on what equipment they will run. Pobeda (Russian for "Victory") is the low cost arm of Aeroflot (SU, Moscow Sheremetyevo) and runs services using a fleet of twelve B737-800s.

Goa will mark the tenth international destination for the carrier, which services Russian domestic routes as well as scheduled international services to Almaty, Baku, Bratislava, Cologne/Bonn, Girona, Larnaca, Memmingen, Milan Orio al Serio, and Tbilisi.

Goa is a popular beach-side tourist destination which every year welcomes a large influx of Russian visitors arriving on charter flights. Russia's recent economic downturn has seen a decline in visitor numbers, however Russians still remain the top tourist demographic, according to numbers quoted in The Hindu.
23/01/17 ch-aviation

Delhi airport bags Corporate Social Responsibility award in aviation sector

GMR Group-led consortium Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL) on Sunday said it has bagged the prestigious Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility in the aviation transport sector for 2016.

The award was presented on Friday at a special presentation ceremony during the 11th International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility, a DIAL release said here.


"The award reaffirms our commitment towards achieving exemplary results for our society while following the best practises," DIAL Chief Executive Prabhakara Rao said.

The Golden Peacock Awards were founded by the Institute of Directors, India, in 1991 and are globally regarded as a benchmark of corporate excellence.

The National Quality Award Scheme was instituted to encourage total quality improvements in both manufacturing and service organisations in India.
22/01/17 Business Standard

Juhu runway extension impractical as stilts in sea will flood beachfront areas

As India's domestic air passenger traffic continues its double-digit growth, the one big question that surrounds Juhu airport is whether it can play a supporting role and take some burden off the lone, congested Mumbai airport?
Officials of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are divided on the issue. Top officials in the AAI headquarters in Delhi believe Juhu airport can be developed to decongest, to some extent, the Mumbai airport.After the private consultancy firm submitted a report that wasn't technically sound, AAI appointed another firm, this time for an indepth study on how best to use the Juhu airport.
But Mumbai air traffic controllers say the only solution is construction of the Navi Mumbai airport. "AAI pays crores to consultants who haven't told us anything that we don't already know. The first consultancy firm they hired over six years ago didn't even have a technical expert and they submitted a poor report.Why was that firm hired? It's a racket that needs investigation," said Mangala Narasimhan, AAI deputy general manager, aviation safety.
Senior air traffic controllers explained the technical problems that make the Juhu plan financially unfeasible. The plan is to extend the Juhu main runway into the Arabian Sea on stilts to make it long enough to accommodate ATR aircraft (Jet Airways and Air India together have about 35 ATRs). Currently , only small aircraft and helicopters operate out of Juhu. "If the runway is extended to 1,700 m, then the threshold will need to be displaced by 1100m. So effective landing length available won't be enough for ATRs (see graphic)," said Mangala.
23/01/17 Manju V/The Times Of India

Air India aims at consolidation and expansion

Speaking recently at the update and outlook meeting of the PATA India chapter, Lohani said that aviation and tourism goes hand in hand. “Air India still has a lot of legacy issues which needs to be resolved. There were two different carriers merged in 2007 and it brought a lot of issues. There were many differences between the two companies in terms of work culture, areas of operation, compensation, working conditions, entitlements etc. We want to settle these issues. We are looking at consolidation and expansion both. In the last one year between December 2, 2015 and December 1, 2016, we added four new international destinations which is a big thing for any international carrier - Delhi - San Francisco, Delhi - Vienna, Ahmedabad - London – Newark, Delhi –Madrid routes. We are waiting for the arrival of few aircraft; some 787s are arriving. 777s will come in the first quarter of 2018. We plan to try to fix some new destinations. We plan to fly to six new destinations in 2017 i.e Washington, Toronto, Tel Aviv, Stockholm, Kenya or any other destination in Africa. We are looking at Frankfurt – Mumbai route. We have got the requisite clearances for direct international flights to Singapore and Bangkok from Chandigarh and they have been scheduled to take off before the end of March 2017. We are looking at adding six new international destination in 2017 and another six in 2018,” Lohani said and added that apart from 8 eight aircraft which is coming, we are also looking at at least inducting five more new wide body aircraft.

On the domestic side, Lohani agreed that having old fleet is one of the problems. “We have to retire these aircraft. We are adding 14 aircraft to our fleet in 2017. We have an order for 22 right now. The basic plan is to induct 100 aircraft between now and March 2020 to take the total fleet size to 230 from the current 132. We are working on Connect India programme of the Ministry of Civil Aviation. We have got eight ATRs. We will have a total of 23 ATRs by December 2017. We are looking at connecting Jaipur- Bikaner, Jaipur - Jaislamer, Bhopal – Indore –Raipur - Jabalpur. We will be launching similar operations from Mahrashra and Karnataka and all this is going to happen in 2017. We are looking at making Bengaluru or Hyderabad a hub for ATRs,” Lohani informed.

He said that the domestic expansion will be taken care of by Alliance Air. “It’s a regional airline. We expect it to turn around in 2017-18. We are very aggressive on that,” he added. He informed that Air India is going to launch first garland flight of India. In January this year, the carrier will launch Kolakata- Raipur- Indore- Ahmdeabad- Jaipur – Delhi flight which will star flying in return direction the next day. “We are looking at Dehradun, Pant Nagar, Lucknow, Bhopal, Patna,” he said adding that airline is a tough business, very different from hotel. “We posted an operational profit Rs 105 cr last year. This year we hope that operating profits be couple of hundred crores,” Lohani opined.
23/01/17 Murari Mohan Jha/Travel Trends Today

MADC’s ad for jobs at new airport irks villagers

A storm is brewing in Purandar village once again.
The Maharashtra Airport Development Company Limited's (MADC) recent advertisement inviting applications for various posts for the proposed international airport in Purandar has left the villagers shocked and dismayed.
On Wednesday, the MADC had put out an advertisement inviting applications for the posts of joint general manager, aviation manager and executive engineer (civil) for the proposed Chhatrapati Sambhaji Raje International Airport in Purandar.
Raising questions over the timing of the advertisement, a landowner said, "Our compensation-cum-rehabilitation package has not been finalized yet due to the model code of conduct, which came into effect on January 11, for various elections. Then how is it that the MADC has come out with this advertisement?"
Last week, Pune district collector Saurabh Rao had said, "We have gathered enough data after conducting local studies in Purandar. However, it would not be appropriate to submit the same now (due to the pool code). We will submit it once the elections are over."
22/01/17 Joy Sengupta/The Times of India

Garuda Indonesia launches direct flights to Mumbai

Garuda Indonesia has launched thrice-weekly, direct flights from Mumbai to Jakarta. Garuda Indonesia became the 20th member of the SkyTeam alliance in March 2014.

The Jakarta-bound service will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will be operated by Garuda’s state-of-the-art 162-seater, Boeing 737-800 aircraft with a two-class cabin configuration. This service will depart from Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 2305 hours and arrive at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta at 1005 hours the next day. On the return leg, the service departs from the Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Jakarta at 1255 hours and arrives at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai at 2030 hours.
23/01/17 Travel Trends Today

Gold seizure down by half at Mumbai intl airport

The seizure of yellow metal at Mumbai's international airport is witnessing a drastic fall. In 2016 fiscal, compared to previous two years, it saw a fall of more than 50 per cent. The reason: government's decision to scrap the 80:20 gold import scheme in 2015.

According to the Customs officials, the 80:20 scheme was put in place in August 2013 to put a check on gold import to the country. The scheme stated that an importer would be allowed to import gold only after he exported 20 per cent of gold from his previous import.

Following this, there was a rise in gold seizures at the airport. Compared to 65 kilograms of gold seized in 2012-13, 345 kilograms were seized in 2013-14 and 923 kilograms in 2014-15.

However, with the government deciding to scrap the scheme in November 2015, the seizure of gold at the airport fell to 355 kilograms in 2015-16. This, according to the data from Mumbai Customs department's Air Intelligence unit (AIU), further nosedived to a mere 87 kilograms till December 2016-17.

"Even though 2016-17 fiscal is not yet over, the quantity of seizure is not likely to increase much. As against an earlier average of five kilograms, only 2.5 kilograms of gold were seized in December 2016," said an AIU officer.
23/01/17 Vallabh Ozarkar/DNA

Flight delay leaves several stranded at airport

Sixty-seven passengers of a Gwalior-bound flight were left stranded at the Mumbai airport for hours on Sunday after the flight initially suffered a delay and was later cancelled due to poor weather conditions.
According to Air India officials, ATR 72, scheduled for 10.15 am Sunday, suffered a technical glitch and passengers had to be shifted to another plane. “After the passengers embarked on the plane, the ATC authorities refused the take off due to ill weather conditions at Gwalior.
23/01/17 The Indian Express

Unsung heroes on IGI wall of fame

They are the unsung heroes: without their services, your journey won't be as smooth — or pleasant — as it generally is. We're talking of the hordes of workers involved in keeping the Indira Gandhi International Airport clean, right from watering plants, spraying insecticides, cleaning windows to sweeping the floor. Ahead of Republic Day, IGI has launched a special campaign called 'Delhi Airport Heroes' to highlight their contribution.
Each day, a group of workers will feature on social media pages of the airport. The initiative, kicked off on Thursday, will continue till January 27.
"It feels great to be appreciated for the work that you put in each day. It gives us the incentive to do our work better," said Shiv Ram, tasked with watering plants inside the airport. Officials said the campaign had made workers more aware of their duties and the fact that their contribution was being recognised. IGI recorded 48.4 million annual passengers in FY16.
23/01/17 Jasjeev Gandhiok/The Times Of India

Private airline’s return to Surat starts price war

After a long time, Surti fliers will be able to fly at the airfares existing at bigger airports like Ahmedabad and Mumbai.
A price war has started after SpiceJet announced launch of its daily flight services between Surat and Delhi from March 26.
According to tour and travel operators in the city, who are taking advance bookings for their customers, after SpiceJet's announcement, the lone operator at Surat airport, Air India has slashed its base airfare on Surat-Delhi sector below Rs 4,000 as the private airline is offering tickets for Rs 2,500.
The tour operators said Indigo, operating on Vadodara-Delhi sector, too slashed its one-way base airfare from Rs 2,900 to Rs 2,180 to attract the domestic travellers from Surat and nearby areas.
Sources said reduction in airfares is all set to provide an edge to Surat airport and that passengers will prefer travelling from Surat instead of Vadodara.
23/01/17 Melvyn Thomas/The Times Of India

Bengaluru airport to shut operations partially during Aero India

Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) has announced the partial disruption of flight movements during the Aero India 2017 for rehearsals between February 8 and 11 and during the show between February 12 and 18.
Airlines with scheduled aircraft operations that will be impacted during this period have already received communication on the reduced operating hours and will be informing the passengers accordingly. The cancellations/revised flight timings will also be updated on the BIAL website www.bengaluruairport.com and information will be available on the BLR Airport App and twitter handle @BLRAirport.
Also, the runway will be partially closed from February 19 to April 30, 2017 for runway upgradation work from 10: 30 am to 5 pm.
There will be requirement of two Rapid Exit Taxiways (RET) that will support the traffic movement of aircrafts to the second runway and terminal being being developed to handle future demands of air traffic.
23/01/17 Aparajita Ray/The Times Of India

To decongest T1, DIAL mulls 20% cut in peak-hour flights

Managing the massive growth in air traffic, especially for low-cost carriers, is proving to be a challenge for the Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) at the choked terminal 1. Going to this terminal in peak morning and evening hours has become a nightmare for flyers as the solitary road leading to it remains chock-a-block with cars and getting off the vehicle to enter the terminal is a quite a task.
DIAL has now put forward three options to the three airlines that operate from T1—IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir: move one airline to T2 (the old international terminal that was mothballed in 2010 when T3 became operational); relocate some flights of all the airlines from T1 to T2; reduce peak-hour flights of all the three airlines at T1 by 20% and spread them over non-peak hours.
The airport operator has given these options as its plan to shift SpiceJet and GoAir—which collectively have 72 aircraft—to T2 and make T1 exclusively for IndiGo met with stiff resistance from the former two. SpiceJet's stand, for instance, has been that either all airlines be shifted partially to T2 or none. IndiGo alone operates 126 planes.
23/01/17 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Air transport: Infra headwinds may delay the flight to higher growth

Notwithstanding the soaring aircraft orders placed by Indian airlines, which touched 849 with SpiceJet’s order for 205 Boeing planes last week along with opening up of 190 new regional routes, experts say that airport capacity constraints, cost pressures and sub-optimal passenger load factor could mean the Indian aviation market growth may run into headwinds.
While the government has been pushing for better connectivity of smaller cities and has thrown in several incentives for the airlines, it is expected that 45 new airports will get added to the existing list of 73 operational airports.
Even as the plane orders and purchase rights reflect the need to serve the double-digit growth in the domestic market, lack of airport infrastructure can emerge as one of the key hurdles. This comes on the face of a rising passenger traffic in India which is set to cross 10 crore by March-end, making India the third-largest aviation market after the US and China, taking over from Japan.
“Capacity constraints at India’s metro airports have already become visible. The situation at key metros such as Mumbai and Chennai is particularly acute as these airports are fast approaching saturation. But slot constraints and congestion are an issue at most of the metro airports and are expected to remain so in the near term as new terminals and runways will take 2-3 years to develop,” Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) said in its India Aviation Outlook for 2017-18.
The report further says that India faces the prospect of an airport capacity crisis. Delays in developing a long-term national airport plan could jeopardise economic growth. “Based on projected growth rates, most of the 40 largest airports in the country will exceed their design capacities within the next decade. However, it is a serious concern that there is no long-term vision for India’s airport capacity requirements,” it said.
India currently has 1,632 aircraft registered in the Civil Aviation Registry, which include planes manufactured by Boeing, Airbus and other smaller companies. According to data provided by Airbus, India’s largest airline by passenger traffic — IndiGo — alone had 406 pending deliveries as of December 31.
21/01/17 Sunny Verma & Pranav Mukul/The Indian Express

Air India will register operational profit this fiscal: Jayant Sinha

Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha on Friday expressed confidence that national carrier Air India will register operational profit in the current fiscal. “The civil aviation sector in the country is growing by 20 to 25 per cent and the sector has tremendous potential for growth,” Sinha said.
Asked about the impact of demonetisation on the sector, Sinha said there was no impact, rather the sector has recorded an increase in the passenger traffic by over 23.5 per cent in December, 2016. To a query on whether demonetisation would affect the performance of Air India, which had earned a profit of Rs 105 crore in the last financial year, but posted losses in the first two quarters of the current fiscal, the minister expressed confidence that it would register an operational profit even in the current fiscal.
“Across sectors, performance in first two quarters of a financial year remains low, while the performance records higher in the next two quarters,” he said claiming even in the last fiscal, Air India posted losses in the first two quarters, but bounced back to earn a profit. However, Air India’s performance would also depend on fuel prices, the minister said.
Earlier, addressing the students of XLRI, Sinha described the civil aviation section as sunrise sector and said it has tremendous potentials for growth. “It is an important sector for the growth of Indian economy,” Sinha said, admitting it was difficult to establish new airports in the country owing land acquisition problems.
20/1/17 PTI/The Indian Express

India sees strong initial response to RCS programme tender

The Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation has called for counterbids to be submitted for the forty-five initial proposals sent in by eleven bidders during the first round of considerations for the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).

A statement said the proposals cover sixty-five designated airports, of which fifty-two are unserved while thirteen are underserved facilities. Counterproposals should be submitted by February 1, 2017. The routes or networks will be awarded to the bidders who quote the lowest Viability Gap Funding (VGF) requirement for their requested routes.

Administered by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), the RCS programme aims to increase the penetration of air travel among India's working and middle classes by subsidizing flights to the country's 400+ underserved Tier II and III cities. Financing for the flights will come through a system of financial incentives including Central and State government concessions and VGF. The latter will be raised through the taxation of scheduled commercial flights between India's Tier I city airfields which include Delhi Int'l, Mumbai Int'l, Chennai, Hyderabad Int'l, Bangalore Int'l, and Kolkata.
20/01/17 ch-aviation

Pilot threatens to run aircraft over engineer

Intimidating phrases like 'thok doonga' or 'maar doonga' may be common in our daily life but they led an Air India pilot to be grounded recently. He threatened a ground engineer with 'plane chadha doonga' unless he cleared the aircraft for take off soon! This unprecedented exchange took place late last year in Mumbai when the captain was in the cockpit and waiting for ground engineers to complete their pre-flight checks so that the Airbus A-320 could begin taxiing and take off for Bengaluru.
"The captain was in a hurry to take off for some reason and said those words to the ground engineer. The engineers immediately completed their checks and removed chocks-wooden blocks kept in front and rear of tyres," said a source.
As soon as the plane took off, the engineers lodged a formal complaint about the pilot's behaviour with their own and AI's flight safety department (FSD). The moment the plane landed in Bengaluru, the FSD ordered that the content of the cockpit voice recorder be downloaded. "This exchange took place a few months back. We went through the recording and took a very serious note of that threat, irrespective of whether it was made in jest or anger. The pilot was taken off flying duties for about a month. During that time he was made to undergo counselling that included anger management," said a senior AI official.
21/01/17 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India

Air India puts 57 ‘overweight’ cabin crew members on ground duty

Air India has put 57 cabin crew employees on ground duty for being “overweight”, Economic Times reported on Friday. They have been given deadlines by which to “shape up”, failing which they will remain part of ground staff permanently, sources from the government-owned airline told the daily. The airline had grounded around 125 employees for the same reason in September 2015.

“These cabin crew members were found overweight during the periodic review and told to get fit for flying in a particular time frame. However, as they failed to do so in the stipulated time, they have been taken off from flying duties last month and given ground jobs,” a source told Economic Times.
20/01/17 Scroll.in

UDAN for steel city

The steel city will once again come up on India's air map with a direct flight link to Calcutta from February-end or March this year, under the Centre's UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) Yojana, Union minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said today.

Jayant, who was in Jamshedpur to attend interactive sessions with industrialists under the banner of Laghu Udyog Bharat and B-school students at XLRI, told media persons that Jamshedpur, despite being an unserved airport, had received three bids in the first round under the regional connectivity scheme also known as UDAN.

In aviation parlance, an unserved airport is one where there have been no scheduled commercial flights during the last two flight schedules approved by the directorate-general of civil aviation (DGCA) and an underserved airport is one where there are no more than seven scheduled commercial flight departures a week.

Under UDAN, the Centre will subsidise losses incurred by private airlines flying out of dormant (unserved and underserved) airports so that fares can be capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour's flight. About 80 per cent of the subsidy will be collected by charging a levy of up to Rs 8,500 on each departing flight of domestic airlines and the rest 20 per cent will come from respective state governments.

For Jamshedpur, three private companies operating scheduled flights for first time under UDAN scheme have shown interest in starting flight services from Sonari Airport in the initial bidding round that ended on January 16.
20/01/17 The Telegraph

Fog, Republic Day preparations delay 21 flights

Hundreds of flyers on Friday spent hours holed up inside their aircraft. A mix of low visibility that set in from 3am and then airspace closure for Republic Day preparations delayed outbound flights by close to three hours.
Airlines did not allow them to alight to stretch their legs and board later, closer to departure time. This 'torture' could continue at least till R-Day as the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has expressed its helplessness regarding this issue.
The Met department forecast shows morning fog during the weekend and then an approaching western disturbance from Monday will shape weather conditions for the next week.
"Our flight to Mumbai was at 9.40am and we boarded the aircraft at 9.15am. A little later the crew announced that the flight is delayed. We asked the crew to let us go back to the terminal. However, that was not allowed and the plane finally took off just before noon," said S Mukherjee who had booked a low cost carrier to fly to Mumbai on Friday morning.
21/01/17 The Times Of India

Centre appoints 3-member team to look into Jet Airways crash

The union ministry of civil aviation has notified the appointment of a three-member committee to investigate the Jet Airways Flight 9W 2374 accident which took place on December 27, 2016 at Goa International Airport, Dabolim.
"It appears to the Central Government that it is expedient to investigate and determine the causes and contributory factors leading to the said accident and make recommendations to avoid recurrence of such accidents in the future," Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation Satyendra Kumar Mishra said.
The aircraft skidded off the runway while taking off in the wee hours, but passengers and crew onboard escaped with minor injuries.
20/01/17 The Times Of India

Pune airport to get intl cargo facilities soon

The Pune airport will soon be starting international cargo facilities. During a recent visit, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) cleared the proposal, pending for the past few years.

According to airport officials, the BCAS team was on a three-day inspection that ended on Friday. They scrutinised the airport security and asked the authorities to start cargo facilities. “The team with four officials was on an annual inspection. But this time, the focus was on cargo inspection.” The move is seen as a big boon for exporters from Pune and other cities of western Maharashtra. Once the operations start, the shipment of the cargo by exporters of the region will not need to be routed via Mumbai. Routing cargo through Pune airport will be both cost effective and a time saver. Airport director Ajay Kumar told Mirror, “It is for the first time that the Pune airport is set to import and export international commercial cargo. It was the annual inspection of BCAS officials. We had a discussion about the international cargo facility. The final report is awaited from Airports Authority of india (AAI), New Delhi. We are set to start with only non-perishable goods and subsequently move to perishable items.”
21/01/17 Sushant Ranjan/Pune Mirror

Get set to fly at subsidised air fares to small cities soon

Airports in smaller cities are likely to run operational soon as government has received 45 proposals from 11 bidders to initiate aviation services from around 190 airports on the regional route map.
Airports in cities like Jaisalmer, Ratnagiri, Dehradun, Shimla and Tirupati, so far not covered by airlines. are expected to start next month.
20/01/17 Z News

Two airlines agree to govt levy for new air routes

While most airlines have opposed the imposition of a new levy on airfare to fund the government’s regional air connectivity scheme – UDAN, Air India and Air Asia have agreed to levy a surcharge of Rs 70 per ticket.

“Other airlines are yet to do so as the matter is now in court,” an aviation ministry official said.

According to ministry sources, bids have been received for 190 routes under the scheme, for several new airports, including Bhavnagar, Cooch Behar, Jamshedpur and Jalandhar. The scheme aims to promote low-cost flying between such cities, capping the fare at Rs 2,500 for an hour’s flight and compensating for the airline’s loss through a regional connectivity fund. A levy of Rs 8,500 per flight will be applicable on routes connecting the major cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. The levy amount would be for an entire flight and the price of each ticket could go up depending on the number of seats in a flight. However, the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), of which IndiGo, Go Air, SpiceJet and Jet Airways are members, is opposing the levy. FIA members have a combined market share of 80 per cent. The case’s next hearing is on February 1.
21/01/17 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

From mid-Feb, fly to other metros from Delhi's T2

Fliers to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata will have to board their flights from Terminal-2 of the Delhi airport from the middle of the next month.    
GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has asked IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to shift operations from Terminal-1 (T1) to Terminal-2 so that the expansion work of the terminal can begin.

GMR-led Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has asked IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir to shift operations from Terminal-1 (T1), out of which they currently operate. Reason: So that the expansion work of the terminal can begin. Airlines, especially low-cost carrier SpiceJet and GoAir, had been opposing the plan — in the works of sometime now — as they feel it would inconvenience travellers. They also claimed that asking them to shift would be preferential treatment to rival IndiGo, which had not been given such an instruction earlier.

On 19 January, DIAL Chief Executive Officer I Prabhakara Rao wrote to the heads of the three airlines that as there was no consensus between them over who would shift, all three would have to shift operations so that T1D could be decongested for expansion work.
20/01/17 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard

Mysuru airport anticipating commercial flights once again

Commercial flight operations from Mysuru airport is set to resume once again.

Sources told The Hindu that the flight take off could be “within the next few days” and the route pitched is Mysuru-Bengaluru-Tirupati sector. Later, other sectors could be considered.

This is a result of the new regional air connectivity policy (UDAN – Ude Desh Ki Aam Nagarik ) of the Government of India under viability gap funding, with incentives or subsidies to flight operators.

“Flights are definitely on the cards and proposals have been submitted by flight operators to the government under UDAN scheme, and is awaiting clearance. There could be other routes too and the details are awaited,” sources added.

Mysuru airport figures in the priority list of 52 cities identified for promoting regional air connectivity in view of its tourism potential, besides projected economic growth and population to sustain air travel.

The city attracts nearly 3.5 million tourists a year and its promotion under regional air connectivity may give a push to the sector which has been stagnating of late.
21/01/17 R.Krishna Kumar/The Hindu

Gold worth Rs 32L seized, two arrested

Customs officials at the IGI airport on Friday seized gold worth Rs 32 lakh and arrested two passengers arriving from Dubai. The seized item was concealed on the sides of the luggage trolley to avoid detection.
"A total of 6 cut pieces of a gold bars were found stuck to the sides of the trolley, weighing around 1,200g. Both the passengers are Indians, from Ahmedabad," said a senior customs officer.
In a similar incident, two passengers had been arrested for smuggling in gold on Thursday by hiding it under stickers that were attached to the trolley.
21/01/17 The Times Of India