Saturday, February 25, 2017

To save company, Snapdeal bosses try Spicejet chief’s route

When online shop Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal told anxious staff that they would share the pain of the rank and file, they were following a lofty example: SpiceJet Chairman Ajay Singh had foregone his monthly envelope until the foundering airline revived.
According to sources, Bahl, Bansal and Singh met for lunch in January and over the meal the founders decided to lead by example. Singh followed up the lunch engagement with a visit to Snapdeal's Gurgaon office on February 1 to tell the top management ways to revive the retailer, sources told ET.
"The lunch meeting between the two founders and Singh also discussed change in strategy from going after market share through discounts to working towards profitability. The founders were also advised by Singh to lead by examples and take a pay cut before going for a pay cut of its employees," said a source in the know, who did not want to be identified.
24/02/17 Mihir Mishra & Biswarup Gooptu/The Times Of India

Close save for 400 passengers, collision averted at Ahmedabad Airport

At least 400 passengers of two different airliners had a narrow escape at Ahmedabad Airport after a prompt instruction for the Air Traffic Controller saved a head-on collision between the two aircraft.The incident involved a Delhi bound flight of Spicejet late last night, to which the ATC has cleared for take-off, sources said."The aircraft backtracked and lined up on the runway and was cleared by ATC for take off. However the ATC, noticed that the previous flight of another airline, which had landed had still had not vacated the runway," a press statement from the Spicejet said here."ATC instructed the SpiceJet pilots to hold position.
25/02/17 webindia123

Air India stops booking for morning Airbus for 2 months after March 26

Hundreds of passengers from the Diamond City are unhappy over Air India's (AI) decision to stop bookings for the morning Airbus between Surat and Delhi from March 26 until May 31.
Many frequent flyers from the city were planning their summer vacations in the northern states, but the sudden change in the morning schedule of Airbus has come as a big jolt to them.
Recently, AI had introduced morning Airbus between Surat and Delhi following strong representation from airport groups and MPs from Surat and Navsari. The Airbus, according to the airport groups, was getting more than 85 per cent passenger traffic to and from Surat on a daily basis.
'Member of We Want Working Airport at Surat' (WWWAS) Sanjay Jain said, "There is no logic for shutting the morning Airbus operations in the summer schedule, when the AI management is aware of the business potential from the city. We have written to the AI's chairman and managing director urging him to restore the Airbus operation in the morning. This will affect a large number of people, who are travelling to Delhi for business and other purposes on a daily basis."
25/02/17 The Times Of India

Flying with a minor? Seat allotment a major hassle

On paper, the seat selection fee is optional like the other add-ons of extra baggage or food. Technically, if you buy an air ticket, you are assured a seat and you pay a selection fee only if you want a window or aisle seat, or exit row seat with extra legroom. In reality though, if you are a parent or travelling with a minor, the selection fee is not really an optional choice. For, the only way to ensure your kid is not seated next to strangers is to pay for seats including a middle seat.
Many parents don't know airlines have stacked the odds against them. Vaibhav Vishal, a writer-based in Mumbai learnt this the hard way last week. On February 19 morning, he logged on to the airline website to check-in for his evening flight G8 446. "My wife and I were allocated seats 17E and 19E and my seven-year-old son was put on 20E. We were in middle seats in three different rows," said Vishal. "I called up the airline call centre and asked them to put either me or my wife on a seat next to my son as I didn't want him seated next to strangers. The call centre official said I will have to pay extra," he said."It's criminal that they do this. It was a father's plea, it was a question of my son's safety," Vishal said. He then tweeted the minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, who forwarded his tweet to the airline and finally the issue was resolved.
Not just GoAir, currently seat selection policies in most airlines are such that parents could find themselves seated away from their kids, especially on full flights. In June 2013, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) capped the number of preferred seats for pre-booking at 25% of the overall capacity on domestic flights, only to lift the ban in April 2015. Jet Airways, IndiGo, GoAir and SpiceJet levy a seat selection fee even for the middle seat on their domestic flights. Air India and Vistara levy a seat selection fee only for middle seats in the front or exit rows where a passenger gets extra legroom and so a web check-in on these airlines would be enough to ensure the child is seated next to a parent.
25/02/17 The Times Of India

Kathmandu bound plane makes emergency landing in Delhi; third in a month

An Ethiopian Airlines aircraft from Mumbai to Kathmandu made an emergency landing at Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi due to a technical snag. All passengers were reported to be safe.

Notedly, this is third instance in February when a plane had to make an emergency landing in the national capital.
25/02/17 News Stalker/inUth

Union warns of no-confidence motion against Air India pilot

The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), Air India’s pilots’ union, has threatened to move a noconfidence motion against Captain A.K. Kathpalia for continuing as the carrier’s head of operations despite his flying licence being suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for evading a mandatory breathalyser test.

The ICPA, in a letter through its general secretary Captain Praveen Keerthi, said that being the head of flight operations in Air India and chief of flight operations inspector in the past, Kathpalia was well acquainted with aviation rules and regulations.

“He wilfully did not report the matter to the director of air safety and operated flights after evading the breathalyser test on January 19. The DGCA found him guilty post-inquiry and suspended him on February 7,” the letter read.

The ICPA further pointed out that as per civil aviation requirements of the DGCA, a pilot operating an aircraft without undergoing breathalyser examination or trying to evade the mandatory medical test should be kept off-flying duty.

“This rule is strictly followed in India. In fact, there are instances of pilots not being allowed to complete the route and taken off duty on first landing after they were found to have skipped breathalyser test, whereas Capt. Kathpalia had operated a flight from Delhi to Bangalore and back on the same day. On several other occasions, he had skipped the breathalyser test. He did not report to the authorities that he had not taken the test and tried to cover it up,” the letter said, warning of a no-confidence motion against him.
25/02/17 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

Air India and team undertake green initiatives

Air India, which is planning to install solar panels on its buildings in Kalina with the help of BMC, has got its employees involved in “green” initiatives.

The national carrier, which is the only airline in the country to set up an environment management cell, produced 500 kg of vermi-compost using 3,000 kg of dry and green waste in its compound. Moving a step ahead, the airline now aims to come up with solar panels by the end of June this year.

An Air India spokesperson said, “The Recycle Green Project is aimed at helping prevent air pollution due to burning of dry waste, reduce CO2 emissions resulting from transportation of waste to dumping grounds, and recycle organic waste. It is 100 per cent natural and free from chemicals and will result in a healthier atmosphere.”

Air India launched its “Recycle Green Project” on Thursday after it joined hands with BMC to convert waste (scrapped material from its own premises to reduce costs) into organic manure using Vermiculture, which is an alternative for disposal of green waste.
25/02/17 The Asian Age

Probe into AI flight’s ‘blind landing’ cites human error

An inquiry committee, probing the “blind landing” of an Air India aircraft in nearzero visibility in Jaipur, has submitted its report, blaming a combination right from organisational factors to human errors for the 2014 incident that could have turned into a major tragedy had the plane exploded.

Although the inquiry conducted by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) got over in August 2016, the report was released on Thursday. The investigators — inquiry committee chairman R.S. Passi and members N.S. Dagar and Dhgruv Rebbapragada — also made several recommendations.

The incident took place on January 5, 2014, when an Air India flight (AI 890) from Guwahati to Delhi with 173 passengers on board was diverted to Jaipur, where visibility had dropped because of inclement weather. Mumbai Mirror had published a report, ‘Miracle in Jaipur’, in its front page on January 7, 2014.

The aircraft — an Airbus 320 — piloted by Captain Jalaj Vats was originally supposed to land in Delhi, but had to divert its path because of heavy smog in the national capital. Consequently, the aircraft was diverted to Lucknow, which had 2,000 meters visibility.

But the crew decided to head to Jaipur, ignoring the fast reducing visibility trend there, after a failed landing attempt in Delhi caused it to veer 40 nautical miles to the west of the national capital towards Rajasthan.

At the Jaipur airport, the airport had landed on soft ground to the left of the runway, careening up to 80 metres towards the left. As a result, the left wing of the plane hit a few trees, causing extensive damages to the aircraft, which, after veering towards the left, came back on the runway and halted.
25/02/17 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

Delhi Airport to have air trains

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport will soon be at par with New York's JFK, London Heathrow, Hong Kong and Zurich airports as per as Air Train is concerned. This is a dedicated metro corridor that helps people to commute from one terminal to other. Now passengers coming from T3 to T1 or vice versa need to take AC buses available for terminal transfers, which take 30 minutes for each trip. However after the air train is built, the transfer wouldn’t take more than 12 minutes.

From 2020, T2, which is the old international airport would be a brand new terminal T 4 and would share the load of traffic. This initiative of air train was supposed to be started in 2020 along with the new terminal. However with the volume of traffic at Delhi airport increasing every quarter the authority plans to begin the work at the earliest. Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) would start expanding T1 and laying the fourth runway from July this year.
25/02/17 Business Insider India

IndiGo too starts self-service kiosks for check-in

Low cost airline IndiGo on Thursday became the twelfth airline to introduce a self-service check-in facility for its passengers at Mumbai airport.
IndiGo passengers who have not done a web check-in, but who want to skip the check-in queue at the airport can print their boarding passes using CUSS (common-use self-service) kiosks. "Currently, only IndiGo passengers who don't have bags to check-in can use the kiosk. They can print their boarding pass and proceed directly for a security check. Later, IndiGo passengers with check-in bags too will be able to use the facility by printing baggage tags and dropping check-in bags at the dedicated area, like other airline passengers," said a Mumbai airport official.
The kiosks have been gaining popularity, the official said, adding that 23% domestic passengers use them. The airport handles an average of 41,000 domestic passengers a day, out of which over 9,000 use self-service kiosks to print their boarding pass and check-in baggage tags," said the airport official.
25/02/17 The Times Of India

Zoom Air receives delivery of Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft

Zoom Air, India’s newest airline, has joined Bombardier’s family of more than 100 CRJ Series aircraft owners and operators. The CRJ200 aircraft, acquired from a third party, will operate from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi and will serve 16 destinations, connecting smaller cities and towns across the country.

Koustav M Dhar, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Zoom Air said, “The CRJ200 aircraft greatly complement our business model and will help our growth strategy, while providing excellent operational flexibility and passenger comfort. We are excited by the potential these aircraft offer in allowing us to access new routes and destinations that are currently underserved – connecting businesses and people across the country.”

Bombardier operates a Regional Support Office in Gurgaon, and GMR Aero Technical supports operators of Q400 aircraft from its Bombardier Authorized Service Facility in Hyderabad.
24/02/17 Travel Trends Today

AAI unveils e-billing solution for navigation service providers, air operators

The system would help the users to avoid revenue leakages, reduce redundancies, disputes and help in easy integration.
State-run Airports Authority of India, a miniratna PSU, in association with international air transport association (IATA) has unveiled a comprehensive e-billing solution—SKYREV360 to help air navigation service provider (ANSP) and airport operators.

The system would help the users to avoid revenue leakages, reduce redundancies, disputes, easy integration and also help in curtailing the debt collection period to the minimum. The system is compatible to any of the radar systems in the world and can be hosted on cloud servers too, said a press release.
24/02/17 Governance Now

Three held in Kochi for smuggling gold worth over Rs 41 lakhs

Three persons were arrested at the international airport near here today for allegedly smuggling gold pieces worth over Rs 41 lakh from Dubai.

Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officials seized 46 e-shaped gold cut pieces, totally weighing 1386.600 gms from a passenger from Malappuram.

The gold pieces coated withsilver colour were found concealed in the transformer of an amplifier brought by the passenger, who arrived by an private airlines early today, officials said.

The officials intercepted the passenger at the exit gate of the arrival hall after suspicion arose during baggage scanning,a customs release said here.
24/02/17 PTI/Business Standard

Friday, February 24, 2017

Has my pilot had too much to drink? It depends where you fly

Believe it or not, the answer varies depending on where your flight departs from -- and where it lands.
There are no standardized international rules on pilot alcohol consumption and testing. Instead, the International Civil Aviation Organization issues guidance and then countries set their own regulations, limits, testing regimes and punishments.
Despite being a rarity, it's an issue that has received extra attention after a series of high profile incidents. In late December, a pilot was found passed out in the cockpit before a scheduled Boeing 737 flight in Canada. In mid-2016, two pilots were arrested in Scotland on suspicion of violating alcohol rules before a flight to New Jersey.
The December arrest prompted Canada to take another look at its rules. The European Union is also considering changes.
Here's a look at how the rules work:
In India, which boasts the world's strictest rules, pilots aren't allowed to drink within 12 hours of a flight and must have absolutely zero alcohol in their system.
"0.001% is also a violation," said Lalit Gupta, a senior official at India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
In the U.S., pilots are allowed to have a trace amount of alcohol in their system -- up to 0.04% blood alcohol concentration -- and must have eight hours between "bottle to throttle". (The 0.04% level is half the 0.08% legal limit for U.S. drivers on the roads.)
Alcohol testing also varies by country: India subjects pilots to a breathalyzer test before each of its 2 million annual flights, while the U.S. conducts between 11,000 to 13,000 random alcohol checks in a typical year.
The U.S. tests caught 10 pilots violating the rules in 2015.
India's stricter regulations caught 46 pilots in 2016, according to the country's Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
"If you set a zero percent tolerance limit and test everyone, you're going to have more positives," said James Stamp, global head of aviation at KPMG. "It's just a fact."
In Europe, each nation sets their own alcohol rules and then airlines develop and implement compliance procedures.
In India, pilots have their license suspended for three months after a first offense, and three years after a second offense. A third offense means they're booted from the profession for life. India does not offer a rehabilitation program for pilots.
24/02/17 Alanna Petroff/CNN Money

High school drop-out from Dindigul designs paraglider for Rs 60,000

Madurai: Here's another success story that proves passion is the key to success. A high school drop-out from a Dindigul village has designed a low cost paraglider, realising his childhood dream of taking to the skies.
K A Raja Gnanaprakasam, a 35-year-old contract worker in Vayalur village panchayat near Palani, started working on the low cost paraglider at the age of 23 and completed his work just recently. While similar devices are sold in the market for Rs4lakh or more, he has managed to design one at a cost of Rs60,000.
Gnanaprakasam has designed three paragliders, two of which can carry two people. He is now working on developing a powered hand glider, which is a more sophisticated mechanism. He used engines normally used in agriculture, with power ranging from 230 CC to 300 CC. The gliders are fitted with an anemometer to measure the speed of the wind and an altimeter to keep track on the height at which one travels.
Raja Gnanaprakasam has used a small portion of his agricultural land in his native village Kadathur in Tirupur district as a runway. Every weekend, he takes to the skies, flying around 60 to 70km just to enjoy a birds eye view of his land. "No licence is required for a powered paraglider. Permission is not required to fly up to 500ft. However, I cannot fly within a 40km radius of the airport. I have flown at several thousand feet high after obtaining prior permission from the directorate general of civil aviation, government of India," he says.
Gnanprakasam says that he had to quit school after completing Class 8, to help his father K S Arul Prakasam, in farming activities. However, he managed to complete his MA History through correspondence. "I kept experimenting and came up with this design. I spent much of my youth working on this device. I managed to come up with a satisfactory paraglider only at the age of 35. I failed many times but that never stopped me from trying," he said.
Gnanaprakasam says he can fly at a maximum speed of 120 KMPH. He has fixed a fuel tank with the capacity of 14 litres which is adequate for four hours. "No one taught me about design and technique. I got help from Youtube and other online resources whenever I was stuck," he said.
24/02/17 Devanathan Veerappan/Times of India

Air India Puts New Airbus A320 Neo Into Operations

Chennai: Government-run Air India has put into operations its newly leased Airbus A320 Neo with its maiden flight arriving here from New Delhi.

The first A320 Neo aircraft with 161 passengers on board touched down at the Chennai International airport from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 2030 hours yesterday, the airline said in a release.

The national carrier had inducted the latest fuel-efficient aircraft from European aviation major Airbus in its fleet on February 16.

The A320 New Engine Option aircraft is configured with 162 seats, including 12 in the business class.

Air India has plans to induct a total of 29 A320 Neos into its fleet by March 2019.

The fuel-efficient Airbus A320 Neo aircraft is highly environmental-friendly with reduced noise levels and 50 per cent less carbon emissions, the airline said in the release.
24/02/17 PTI/NDTV

Fly from Sharjah to India for just Dh69

Dubai: Sharjah-based low-cost airline Air Arabia is offering tickets to India for as low as Dh69, the airline announced on its website.

According to promotions running on the carrier's website, passengers can book one-way tickets to Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram for just Dh69. Tickets include all surcharges, but airport taxes are not included.

The journey to Kozhikode will have to be made after March 20, while passengers will have to fly to Thiruvananthapuram only after April 9, the airline said.
24/02/17 Khaleej Times

GAGAN-compliant aircraft may soon be mandatory for airlines

New Delhi: The government is likely to come out with a notification shortly making it mandatory for Indian carriers to only induct aircraft which are compliant with the newly-developed GAGAN navigation system in their fleets from January 1, 2019.
GPS-Aided GEO Augmented Navigation (GAGAN) is an implementation of a regional satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS), developed by India.
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had late last year convened a consultation meeting with all stakeholders on the issue.
Sources say a mandate is now being prepared, which would make it compulsory for all domestic airlines to induct only those aircraft in the fleet which are equipped with GAGAN air navigation system.
The combined fleet strength of Indian carriers including regional ones currently stands at over 450 planes.
According to Boeing’s 2016 India Current Market Outlook (CMO), released last year, Indian airlines would require 1,850 new airplanes, valued at USD 265 billion over the next 20 years.
24/02/17 PTI/

Stamping of cabin baggage tags happening despite govt order

New Delhi: Defying Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BcAS) order issued yesterday, the CISF, which guards all key airports in the country, is stamping cabin baggage tags at Delhi and Mumbai airports in the country causing inconvenience to passengers.

BCAS, the aviation security wing of the government, had announced yesterday that passengers flying out of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Cochin would not have to tag their cabin baggage, as the provision of stamping of baggage tags has been removed at these airports.

"Heavy congestion at BOM prior to security this morning. Tag stamping still on. Pax (passengers) reminded not to carry liquids >100ml in cabin baggage," Vistara Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer said on Twitter.
24/02/17 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Fernandes proposes a single listed Asean holding firm for AirAsia

Petaling Jaya: AirAsia Bhd’s founder Tan Sri Tony Fernandes says he wants to combine the group’s separate units in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines under a single listed Asean holding company.
“We are urging Asean Governments to relax ownership restrictions and consider Asean investors as equivalent to local investors,” said Fernandes, who is also the low-cost airline’s group chief executive officer, in a filing with Bursa Malaysia yesterday.
AirAsia, which is listed on Bursa Malaysia, had previously sought to list each operating unit in its respective home country.
One of AirAsia’s key goals, Fernandes said, was to monetise its non-core assets.
The biggest will be Asia Aviation Capital Ltd, its leasing arm, which he said was worth US$1bil.
“We are at the due diligence stage for this and have been surprised at the interest we are getting.
AirAsia India reported the highest aircraft utilisation rate among all the short-haul airlines in the AirAsia Group, managing a 52% capacity increase in the 12 months to Q4’16 with the addition of just two aircraft from an initial fleet of six.
“Our focus remains on building our footprint and introducing our low fares to many more Indian cities,” Fernandes said.
24/02/17 The Star

Air India To Launch First Israel–India Flights Early Next Month

Air India will launch first Israel–India flights early next month, “Yediot Ahronot” reports. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis, flew Israel-India flights via El Al or stopover destinations such as Amman, Cairo, Istanbul and Kiev.

According to the Hebrew newspaper, chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani and a senior delegation of Air India executives will visit Israel and formally announce the inauguration of the new route. Lohani  will be the guests of Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin.

Currently El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. and foreign carriers operate the only flights between the two countries. It’s unclear whether Air India will fly to Tel Aviv from Mumbai or New Delhi.
23/02/17 Jewish Business News

IndiGo brings on board ex-United Airlines exec Szadokierski

New Delhi: Budget carrier IndiGo has roped in former United Airlines executive Cindy Szadokierski as a consultant for its airport operations.
Szadokierski would be the third executive from United Airlines to be on board with IndiGo after Greg Taylor and Rohit Philip in the recent past.
One of the promoters of InterGlobe Aviation — the parent of IndiGo — Rakesh Gangwal has also served at United Airlines.
Sources said Szadokierski has been roped in by IndiGo as a consultant for airport operations.
When contacted, an IndiGo spokesperson declined to comment, while queries sent to the airline’s President Aditya Ghosh remained unanswered.
Szadokierski is being brought in at a time when the carrier is grappling with multiple issues, including those related to on-time performance and engine troubles in its A320 neo planes.

Chandigarh International Airport: Instrument landing system develops snag, can hit flights

If the city sees bad weather in the coming days, it can disrupt flight operations at the Chandigarh International Airport. Reason: The Airport Authority of India has extended the notam (notice to airmen) till February 27, after the instrument landing system (ILS) installed on the runway developed a problem last week. With the notam enforced, an aircraft cannot land with less than 2,400 metres visibility instead of 1,200.
Notam is a written advisory for the airlines about the circumstances relating to the state of flying.
Airport sources said that the orders had been extended till February 27 evening. “The glide part of the ILS last week developed a problem and the airlines were communicated about it. The order will now remain in place till 8 pm on February 27,” an airport official said.
He said if the city sees bad weather in the coming days, there would be delays in the flight operations. “No flight can land if the visibility goes below 2,400 metres,” said the official.
When contacted, a senior Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) official told Chandigarh Newsline that the “problem has been fixed” and they were now waiting for a special flight from Delhi, for the calibration which is mandatory after the repair and also to allow the aircraft to land at 1,200 metres.
“A special flight comes from Delhi for this job. The flight had come recently, but due to some permission, it couldn’t complete the work. We are expecting the flight to come soon to Chandigarh, following which again 1,200 metres visibility would be applicable for the airlines,” the official said.
While the runway of the Chandigarh International Airport is controlled by the Indian Air Force, the CAT I instrument landing system (ILS) equipped on the runway belongs to the Airports Authority of India.
24/02/17 Adil Akhzer/Indian Express

SpiceJet can become India's first long-haul low-cost carrier

New Delhi: SpiceJet is exploring options that may transform it as India's first long-haul low-cost airline. SpiceJet could well be India's first low-cost long-haul carrier. -
With the airline in a comfortable financial position, it is looking for avenues to make profits.

Ajay Singh, the CEO of the airline, feels India has potential for low-cost, long-haul flying with so many Indians willing to explore international destinations.

Singh said it is an idea which is in its infancy and a lot of groundwork has to be done before the final leap is taken which includes acquiring planes, setting up simulator facilities, and then deciding which international routes it can operate profitably.

"Firstly narrow body aircraft give us another hour of flying and this opens up several new destinations for us to explore," said Singh.
24/02/17 AsiaOne

Air India may revive some flights to Africa

New Delhi: Air India is planning to revive some international routes in Africa which became defunct in 2006-2007. Increase in the number of Indians living in Kenya and Tanzania is one of the main reasons why Air India feels it could be commercially viable to revive these routes.

In the recent past, Air India has launched operations in Vienna and is also planning to launch operations in Washington and Copenhagen.

“A lot has changed since 2006. There are Indians now living in Kenya and Tanzania. I know of many Indian teachers who are living in Kenya and Tanzania. Commercial viability of an international route depends on the passenger load factor,” said Lally Matthews, Secretary of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO).

 Although India has bilateral agreements with several African countries like Kenya, Zambia, Seychelles and Yemen, most of them are not being utilised. Air India is operating its flights only to South Africa at the moment. According to the tourism industry, many expatriates mainly from Gujarat living in Kenya and Tanzania who would like to visit India.
Air India officials said government support from Kenya and Tanzania is also a criterion for launching the operations.

“The government must agree on the number of passengers that is to be carried from Kenya and Tanzania. A separate agreement is signed for that,” said K R Krishnan, Senior V-P of travel consultancy firm, Nivalink.
23/02/17 Abhijeet Anand/Statesman

IndiGo to induct 25-30 A-320 Neo aircraft over a year

New Delhi: IndiGo plans to induct 25-30 aircraft into its fleet in the next 400 days. Most of these will be Airbus A-320 New Engine Option, or Neo version.

The latest additions will see the total fleet strength of the 11-year-old, Delhi head-quartered low-cost airline touch 158 aircraft, sources indicated.

Incidentally, after starting its first flight in 2006, it was only in 2009 that IndiGo took delivery of its 25th aircraft. Now, it plans to induct 25-30 aircraft in a span of just over a year.

When contacted, IndiGo declined to offer comment on its induction plan.

The airline has not disclosed the latest induction programme beyond company President Aditya Ghosh.

At its third-quarter FY17 financial results conference call on January 31, it had said it expects to end the current fiscal with 20 Neo aircraft in its fleet.

IndiGo had ordered 430 Neo aircraft, the first of which landed in Delhi in March 2016 after a non-stop flight from the Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France.
24/02/17 Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line

Scare at Mumbai airport after power bank in hand luggage explodes

A mobile power bank kept inside the hand baggage of a passenger blasted at Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) leading to scare at the terminal on Friday morning.

According to the airport officials, the power bank belonged to a SpiceJet passenger who was about to fly to Mangalore on flight SG479.

"The passenger was in the airport toilet when the power bank blasted inside his bag which was kept near the toilet door," said an airport insider.
24/02/17 Shahkar Abidi/DNA

Begumpet airport owes Rs 16 crore in property tax, slapped red notice

Secunderabad: After pestering the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for years over payment of property tax, the Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) finally served a 'red notice' on the highest defaulter in its limits, the Begumpet airport, for not coughing up Rs 16.36 crore.
Threatening to attach the sprawling property if pending dues are not paid immediately , tax wing officials of the SCB said they were fed up with sending constant reminders.They gave the AAI a month's time to pay up.
"We served notices under section 100 of the Cantonment Act 2006," SCB chief executive officer, SVR Chandra Sekhar told TOI.
In the notice, it is mentioned that Begumpet Airport owes Rs 16,36,30,276 crore in property tax. If the airport authorities fails to pay again, either a warrant of distress will be issued or the property attacjed, said the CEO.
24/02/16 Sunil Mungara/Times of India

Fund crunch slows down Greater Noida airport plans

New Delhi: An airport at Greater Noida’s Jewar, on the southeastern fringes of India’s capital, was first suggested 16 years ago: The wait will get longer after the local government said it even lacks funds to finance a crucial study on the project.
The government in Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state that is now in the process of electing its local legislature, cited lack of money to conduct an 'obstacle study' at the proposed airport site. "An obstacle study would not cost more than few lakhs and it is difficult to believe that the state government does not have that kind of money," a senior official at the Airports Authority of India told ET.
The state government last month wrote to the federal aviation ministry about its inability to conduct the study that ascertains whether the proposed site has any obstacle to cause obstructions in flight movements. The decision to conduct the study at the proposed site was taken in July during the last aviation ministry meeting on the Jewar airport.
24/02/17 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

At an airport used by IAF helicopters, farmers cultivate produce right by the runway

Malda: The Malda Air Port, located a few kilometers away from the India-Bangladesh international border, does not witness much air traffic. A tiny bungalow-like concrete structure serves as its terminal and the aerodrome attends to Air Force helicopters, small aircraft and the occasional passenger flight. Flight operations, though rare, take place around four times every week.
However, what really stands out about this 140-acre facility is that nearly half of the land at this airport is used by farmers to cultivate produce. The farming, which has been going on for more than a year now, doesn't take place near or besides the airport. It takes place inside the facility.
Local farmers have turned more than 60 acres of the airport, which has a 3,600-foot runway, into a cultivation ground. And perhaps more surprisingly, the farmers have been able to do so with the active support of authorities with the airport in-charge boldly claiming that the farmers aren't a security threat. Arobindo Saha, the official in charge of the Malda Air Port, told India Today that the government has given the farmers the land to cultivate and that he is not in a position to raise any opposition considering that higher authorities have given permission. But, interestingly, in his conversation to India Today, Saha indicated that he personally sees no reason to oppose the farming.
According to Saha, instead of posing a security threat, the farmers are actually a form of security as they look after and guard the land. And in any case, the area is a not a high-security zone, he adds. However, Saha also told us the the farming will soon come to an end.
24/02/17 Manogya Loiwal/India Today

Shoppers Stop sells nearly entire 5% in airport retail venture

New Delhi: Retail chain Shoppers Stop has sold almost its entire 5 per cent stake in airport retail venture Nuance Group Fashion & Luxury Duty Free Private for an undisclosed sum.
“The company’s shareholding in Nuance Group Fashion and Luxury Duty Free Private Ltd (NGFL) has been reduced from 5 per cent to 0.00035 per cent of the paid-up share capital of NGFL,” Shoppers Stop said in a regulatory filing.
Started in 2006, Nuance, through its joint venture with Shoppers Stop Ltd, has been present in the Indian travel retail market for over five years now.
24/02/17 PTI/

Maha Shivratri: Mumbai airport showcases world's largest Trimurti made of margarine!

Mumbai: On the occasion of Maha Shivratri, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai exhibited the World's 'Largest Margarine Structure'. On Friday, Terminal 1 of the airport housed a giant Trimurti made of margarine.

The 1500 kg structure standing tall at 12 ft long, 10 ft broad and 10 ft high, was created with margarine (butter substitute) and displayed in a temperature-controlled glass cubicle at the domestic arrivals at Terminal 1. The theme of the structure reflects the trinity of supreme divinity, in which the cosmic functions of creation, maintenance, and destruction are personified as a triad of deities, Brahma the creator, Vishnu the preserver, and Shiva the transformer.
24/02/17 DNA

Charu Jain named Chief Information Officer, VP of Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines has named travel industry veteran Charu Jain as its new CIO. Jain joined the company earlier this month from IBM as a critical and complex time. Jain’s chief task is integrating the technology systems of Virgin America, which Alaska acquired for $2.6 billion in December, a statement from the airlines said.As Alaska’s CIO, Jain will lead a department of more than 400 information technology professionals.
24/02/17 NewsIndiaTimes

Lufthansa to deploy A350-900 on Mumbai-Munich route

Reaffirming its commitment to India, Lufthansa Group will deploy its newest long haul aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 to India’s financial capital during the summer schedule of 2017. From April 16 onwards, Mumbai becomes the third destination worldwide to welcome the game changing aircraft. Flying on Lufthansa’s Munich (MUC) to Mumbai (MUM) route, the A350-900 will offer Mumbai area residents travel choices and better connections to Lufthansa’s vast global network.

Earlier this month, Lufthansa Group marked a key milestone in Indian aviation by starting the first commercial operations of A350-900 to Delhi.

The Lufthansa A350-900 is the world's most modern and environmentally friendly long-haul aircraft. In comparison with similar types of aircraft it consumes 25 per cent less fuel and produces 25 per cent fewer emissions. The noise footprint is up to 50 per cent smaller than comparable aircraft models. The aircraft offers Lufthansa’s most modern on-board product, assuring passengers the highest level of comfort in all travel classes, with a wider cabin, self-service area in Business Class, new seats in Economy Class, bigger windows, large TV screens, innovative mood lighting, personalized playlist and much more. The Lufthansa A350-900 is configured to seat 293 passengers: 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in Economy Class.
23/02/17 Travel Trends Today

Advisory body surveys Surat airport for traffic potential

Surat: CAPA India, South Asia's leading aviation advisory and research institution, has started a survey to assess air traffic potential of the Diamond City.
Sources said the research team members from CAPA India were in the city to get a sense of the airport's potential and also met various industry organizations in the last two days. CAPA - Centre for Aviation- is a leading provider of independent aviation market intelligence, analysis, reports and data services, covering worldwide developments on a daily basis. The institution offers an extensive range of information services developed by global team of writers and analysts covering an entire spectrum of commercial aviation.
CAPA India team members were in the city on an invitation extended by the city-based 'We Want a Working Airport at Surat' (WWWAS), a social media group fighting for air connection for the city.
'WWWAS' member Linesh Shah said, "CAPA India is a leading name in the aviation research and analysis. Its team members were in the city to study the potential of air traffic from Surat and also met various stakeholders. The report prepared by CAPA India will be used by commercial airline companies to explore air traffic potential of the Diamond City."
24/02/17 Times of India

Air India launches energy conservation and natural resources recycling project

Mumbai: This is the second such project. In the first, "while exploring alternate means for disposal of the green waste to reduce air pollution and also contribute to the “Cleanliness Campaign”, employees from Air India deliberated on the various options that were feasible.
After consultation with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities, it was decided to convert the waste into organic manure using vermiculture which is the most economical and environment friendly alternative for disposal of green waste,"the state-run carrier said in a statement.
"The ground work for fabrication of crates was then started using scrapped material from its own premises to reduce costs.
24/02/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

2-year RI for the then Director of National Airport Authority

New Delhi: The Special court, CBI has sentenced P Rajendaran, then Director(Equipment) and M K Ganeshan, then Member(Finance) of the erstwhile National Airport Authority (NAA) to undergo two years Rigorous Imprisonment with fine of rupees one lakh each. Besides, N K Bhartiya, then Managing Director of M/s Bhartiya Vehicle & Engineering company, Sahibabad (Uttar Pradesh) to undergo one year RI with fine of Rs. 50,000/-.The CBI had registered the case on December 9, 1991 against the then Chairman, Executive Director, Director (Equipment), Member (Finance), of the erstwhile NAA and M/s Bhartiya Vehicle Engineering Company, Sahibabad, represented by its MD & others alleging that the public servants caused undue pecuniary gain to themselves and to the said Firm and corresponding loss to the Government in the purchase of Crash Fire Tenders worth Rs 17.47 crore (approx).
23/02/17 UNI/WebIndia123

Drug trafficking: Man from India to know fate April 24

Labuan: An Indian national facing the death sentence for allegedly trafficking in drugs here will know his fate on April 24.
Dhastagir Mohamed Mohideen, 35, was charged in the Labuan Magistrate's Court, Thursday, with trafficking in three kilogrammes of heroin and 3.4 kilogrammes of methamphetamine about 10.50am on Feb 9 at the check-in baggage screening point at the domestic departure hall of Labuan Airport.

He was charged under Section 39B(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, an offence punishable under Section 39B(2) of the same Act, which carries the mandatory death sentence.
According to the facts of the case, Dhastagir was from Mumbai, India, and was on transit at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) before taking a domestic flight to Labuan and was heading back to KLIA the next day.
24/02/17 Daily Express

Three held for smuggling gold worth over Rs 41 lakhs

Kochi: Three persons were arrested at the international airport near here today for allegedly smuggling gold pieces worth over Rs 41 lakh from Dubai. Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) officials seized 46 e-shaped gold cut pieces, totally weighing 1386.600 gms from a passenger from Malappuram. The gold pieces coated with silver colour were found concealed in the transformer of an amplifier brought by the passenger, who arrived by an private airlines early today, officials said.
The officials intercepted the passenger at the exit gate of the arrival hall after suspicion arose during baggage scanning, a customs release said here. After a detailed examination of the baggage, the officers dismantled the amplifier, which resulted in the seizure of the smuggled items.
Two persons haling from Koduvally, who came to receive the gold were also apprehended. The passenger and his accomplices were arrested under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962, the release added. Further investigation of the case is in progress, officials said.
24/02/17 Indian Express