Thursday, August 25, 2016

Return Flight: Parvez Damania visits grounded Air Pegasus

Mumbai: Indian businessman Parvez Damania, who had started the short-lived but high-end-for-its-time carrier Damania Airways in the nineties, visited the grounded Air Pegasus sparking interest if the flamboyant businessman was looking to invest in the sector again.
Damania last month visited grounded southern regional carrier Air Pegasus which has been struggling for funds, delaying payments and trying to raise cash to set the airline flying again. It cancelled flights indefinitely on July 27. Two of its three leased ATR aircraft have were reposessed by Dublin-based lessor Elix Aviation for nonpayment of rentals.

The talks didn't progress and both sides had different versions regarding the reasons.
25/08/16 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

IndiGo's Aditya Ghosh gets Rs 21-cr incentive after record profit

Mumbai: IndiGo’s President and whole-time Director Aditya Ghosh took home Rs 27 crore in salary, including Rs 20.9 crore in one-time incentive for the financial year ended March 31, 2016.
India’s most profitable airline was also generous in rewarding its 12,000-plus employees who received an average 42 per cent rise in remuneration in FY16.

Ghosh received the incentive “in recognition of his efforts towards the growth and success of the company during the financial year ending March 31, 2016,” the airline said in its annual report.
Ghosh earned Rs 27 crore in gross salary and 700,000 shares in stock options in FY16. In FY15, he had received a gross remuneration of Rs 3.7 crore, according to the airline’s initial public offering prospectus.
IndiGo was listed on the stock exchange last year and posted over 52 per cent rise in profit in FY16. The Gurgaon-based airline’s profit rose 52.6 per cent to Rs 1,989 crore in FY16, against Rs 1,304 crore in FY15. This was the airline’s eighth consecutive annual profit.
A lawyer by training, Ghosh served as a general counsel for IndiGo’s parent InterGlobe Enterprises before taking over as the airline president in 2008.
In the last financial year, there was 20.1 per cent increase in median remuneration of employees and 42.8 per cent rise in average remuneration of the employees. The airline said the 42 per cent rise in remuneration was linked to business and financial performance of the company and driven by achievement in annual corporate goals.
25/08/16 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

Wifi to be allowed on Indian Civilian aircraft in 10 days

New Delhi:  Passengers on civilian aircraft are all set to enjoy the benefits of long elusive WiFi on board aircraft flying in and out of India, as the Home, Telecom and Aviation ministries have reached on a consensus on the issue, said a senior Civil Aviation Ministry official on Wednesday.

“We will soon, within 10 days, be allowed to allow wifi on board aircraft flying in and out of the country,” civil aviation secretary R N Choubey said at the Air Passenger Association of India’s  (APAI) silver jubilee celebrations.

He was replying to a question on how soon the government would be able to permit wifi on board aircraft in India. Choubey went on to point out that there was a security issue and the ministries of home, telecommunications and aviation ministries have almost achieved consensus on the issue.

The celebrations were attended by several Union Ministers including Ram Vilas Paswan, Consumer Affairs Minister, Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.

APAI founder D Sudhakar Reddy said that they have travelled a long way during this period and made significant contributions in protecting the interests of passengers. Hailing all stakeholders for their unstinted support in making APAI a success, he said that the organisation was successful on many fronts to ensure consumer rights. “Because of our hard lobbying, compensation for wounded passengers were raised from Rs 40,000 to Rs 1 lakh and air taxes were reduced for handicapped and disabled passengers.”
25/08/16 New Indian Express

Now, fly light to fly cheaper on IndiGo

New Delhi: Flying light will now be marginally cheaper for those who book their domestic tickets at least 15 days ahead of travel date. IndiGo launched on Tuesday 'lite fares' scheme for those travelling only with a handbag of up to 7kg. The ticket will be cheaper by Rs 200 from the normal fares.The IndiGo scheme comes over a year after budget carrier SpiceJet introduced the concept of `handbag only' fares. Describing its handbag only scheme, the IndiGo website said: "Lite fare: This is handbaggage only fare. If you are travelling light with cabin baggage only, you can now look forward to additional savings on our always affordable fares."
25/08/16 Times of India

Indian-Origin Muslim Siblings Hauled Off Plane Over ISIS Claims

London: Three Indian-origin Muslim siblings, including two hijab-clad girls, have claimed that they were hauled off a plane at an airport in London and questioned on the tarmac by British policemen after a passenger accused them of being members of ISIS.

Sakina Dharas, 24, Maryam Dharas, 19, and Ali Dharas, 21, had boarded the easyJet flight from Stansted to the Italian city of Naples last week when they were approached by a cabin crew member and asked to accompany her off the aircraft without explanation, media reports said.

The trio, born and raised in London, were hauled off the plane and grilled for an hour by officers, who first asked them, "Do you speak English?", according to Sakina, who narrated the ordeal writing in The Independent.
According to her, they were asked by one of the officers, "Right, we have to speak with you. A passenger on your flight has claimed that you three are members of ISIS."

"They saw you with Arabic or praise be to Allah on your phone," the officer was quoted as saying by Sakina.
In their reply, the siblings said, "Firstly, that's part of the Quran, our religious text, so even if we did have it, it wouldn't signify that we're a part of ISIS at all."

"Regardless, we've had nothing on our phone remotely Arabic related this morning. Also, we're Indian by ethnicity, so we wouldn't even have Arabic in conversation with anyone," they told the officers, according to Sakina.

During their one-hour interrogation on the tarmac, Sakina said she was asked to explain the details of various entry stamps on her passport. She also showed a MI5 agent recent WhatsApp messages.
The siblings provided answers relating to their personal lives and were questioned on their home addresses, workplaces, social media history and parents' professions, Sakina wrote in her post.

"The MI5 and police officers apologised for the 'inconvenience' and assure(d) us that, at a time where we are all 'on edge', they have to respond to threats such as these. Our accusers, we are told, were very 'frightened'," Sakina wrote. The incident took place on 17 August and the siblings returned from their holiday on 20 August.

A spokesman for easyJet said the three had been taken off the flight "following concerns raised by a passenger".

"The police then confirmed to the captain that the passengers were cleared to complete their journey and they re-boarded the aircraft and the flight departed to Naples," the spokesman was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
25/08/16 PTI/Huffington Post

India to summarily reject ICAO’s proposed carbon emission tax

New Delhi: As part of its strategy to counter the carbon emission tax proposed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations’ aviation watchdog, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will seek a formal response from the Indian carriers on the issue.
India expressed its disagreement to ICAO president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu during his visit to New Delhi earlier this month, according to a senior official from the ministry of civil aviation who did not want to be named.
The official said the Indian government would reiterate its discomfort when the ICAO Council meets in Montreal, Canada, next month to address these carbon emission issues and would again point out that Indian carriers are not willing to abide by the proposed tax.
According to ICAO, the tax is meant to control emission in the aviation sector. India has also pledged to reduce emissions, as committed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris last year.
Though the aviation sector was not included in the Paris agreement adopted by 195 countries in December 2015, all the member countries have been asked to take measures voluntarily as per their national climate action plans.
25/08/16 Sanjay Singh/VCCircle

'India poised to become one of world's largest aviation markets'

New Delhi: Driven by a strong passenger traffic growth, India is poised to become one of the largest aviation markets in the world, according to a global body of airports.
The Airports Council International (ACI) said that major commercial airports in China, India and Korea remained the major driving forces for the robust air passenger growth in the Asia-Pacific region.
"India is also poised to be one of the largest aviation markets in the world in the years to come.
"The combination of a move towards a more liberalised market for aviation, coupled with stronger economic fundamentals, helped the country become one of the fastest- growing markets in the world," ACI said in a release.
In June, passenger traffic grew 9.9 per cent in the Asia-Pacific region, higher than 8.8 per cent year-to-date growth rate.
As per ACI, international and domestic passenger traffic were strong during the first half of 2016 at 10.1 per cent and 8.2 per cent, respectively.
"Major commercial airports in China, India and Korea remained the major driving forces for the robust air passenger growth in the region (+12.1 per cent, +17 per cent and +14.1 per cent, respectively)," the release said.
25/08/16 PTI/Business Today

Airstrip in Kalyan alternative site for new airport? Aviation min does aerial survey

Mumbai: Eyebrows have been raised after aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju conducted an aerial survey on Tuesday of the site in Navi Mumbai earmarked for the international airport and an airstrip belonging to the defence authorities.
Problems with rehabilitation of project-affected people in Navi Mumbai may have forced the government to survey the land in Kalyan to send out a message, said a source.
"The only drawback is that the land available in Kalyan is smaller than that in Navi Mumbai, which ultimately reduces the scope for international operations. On the Kalyan plot, there is an airstrip built during the Second World War," the source added. Vinod Geete, a real estate consultant, said any move to shift the airport out of Navi Mumbai would jeopardize the realty boom, which areas like Ulve, Belapur, Kharghar and Panvel have been witnessing. Nearly all clearances for the airport are already in place and contractors were to start the pre-development work soon. When asked why the project-affected were reluctant to leave their houses to pave way for the ground-levelling work to start, BJP legislator from Panvel Prashant Thakur said, "Going by their past experiences, they were uncertain whether or not Cidco would hand over plots with all civic amenities within 12-18 months." He added, "The government had sanctioned the project-affected rent for 12-18 months, but it was not sufficient as developing the plots would take longer. Even today in Sector 35 there are no civic facilities despite the area having tall residential towers."
25/08/16 Times of India

Faulty roster led to engineer's death: Air India

New Delhi: Faulty roster, which caused pilots of a delayed incoming flight to rush to operate another aircraft, led to the death of Air India engineer Ravi Subramanian on December 16 last year, according to a probe report by the airline. Subramanian died after he was sucked inside the engine of an AI aircraft that had begun taxiing to fly from Mumbai to Hyderabad.
The report, which has been submitted to the Union aviation ministry, lists the sequence of events.
According to the report, Mumbai-Hyderabad flight was scheduled to depart at 7.30pm, but the two pilots assigned to fly the aircraft were running late as they were operating a Rajkot-Mumbai flight which was scheduled to land at 8.10pm. The Rajkot-Mumbai flight eventually landed at 8.35pm, further delaying the availability of crew.
As a result, the pilots were in a hurry to reach the other plane after landing. They literally jumped off one plane and ran to the other. "The crew took a jeep and rushed to bay V28L to operate AI 619 Mumbai-Hyderabad. Pilots reached cockpit at 8.38pm. Pushback commenced at 8.45pm," says the report, while describing the tearing hurry in which things were happening that fateful evening.
When the aircraft started taxiing, the pilots did not realise that four ground personnel -including Subramanian -were still near the nose of the plane. While the other three saw the plane moving and managed to run away to safety , Subramanian had his back to the plane, and hence, got sucked into the engine. The report contradicts the version told by the flight's co-pilot that the ground personnel had given him the clearance to start taxiing by showing a thumbs up.
25/08/16 Times of India

Air India's Mumbai-Newark flight diverted to Kazakhstan after technical snag

Mumbai: A Newark-bound Air India flight, carrying around 300 passengers, from here was on Thursday diverted to Kazakhstan due to technical issues.

The Boeing 777-300 ER plane landed at an international airport in Kazakhstan at around 0800 hours after “some alarm went off”.

Air India is dispatching a relief aircraft from New Delhi to ferry the stranded passengers from Kazakhstan to Newark.

An airline spokesperson said the flight was diverted due to technical reasons. There was some alarm that went off and the engineers are inspecting the flight, he added.

In a tweet, the airline said the flight has been diverted on account of operational reasons and that all passengers are being taken care of.
25/08/16 PTI/The Hindu

50 Telugu families stranded at Kazakhstan airport

Hyderabad: Close to 50 Telugu families are currently stranded at the Aktobe airport in Kazakhstan from Thursday morning after the Air India flight (191) from Mumbai to Newark (New Jersey, United States) made an emergency landing.

Passengers noticed white smoke from the left wing five hours after the takeoff and alerted the crew.

Immediately, the pilot issued a warning signal made a landing at Aktobe airport. Everyone was asleep when the announcement came and the pilot was calm and landed the plane smoothly, said one of the passengers, M. Venkat, contacting through whatsapp.

“We landed at the airport within 15 minutes of the announcement. We are right now inside the airport waiting for the last six hours for the replacement aircraft to arrive from Delhi. They served us soup and bread from the airport kitchen. Luckily, my mother has packed lemon rice for us,” he said.
He said there could be about 300 passengers and crew on the flight and the staff of airline and airport was doing the best they could do at the moment. “We landed at Aktobe airport at about 8 a.m. and I am not sure if we will be moved into the hotel before the replacement flight arrives at 10 p.m. as has been indicated to us,” he said.
25/08/16 V. Geetanath/The Hindu

Rajasthan airport to use runway for flights and road traffic

New Delhi: An airport where the airstrip can double up as runway for flights and for road traffic is being constructed in Rajasthan.

Mentioning about the construction of such an airport in Rajasthan, the Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said similar projects are being planned in Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and some other border districts.
According to him, an airport is being built in Rajasthan that would also have national highways' cement concrete road.

When the road is closed, aeroplanes can land and takeoff from there, then road traffic can resume, Gadkari said in New Delhi last night.

"In hilly areas like, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Tripura and border districts where there are difficulties, we are working with the Defence authorities and have identified sites for making such airports," Gadkari said.
The government is working on ways to boost regional air connectivity in the country. In new civil aviation policy, the Regional Connectivity Scheme has been mooted that provides for various concessions to airlines.
25/08/16 PTI/Business Standard

CMR Group chief donates 23 acres land for intl airport project

Farmers and businessmen are coming forward to relinquish their land for the international airport coming up at Bhogapuram in the district. Chairman of the CMR Group, Mavuri Venkataramana has handed over 23 acres of land in Bhogapuram mandal to the district collector for the mega project, to be developed by Bhogapuram International Airport Company Ltd (BIACL), a press release issued by District Collector office said. Venkataramana voluntarily handed over the 23 acres of land and also urged the farmers to come forward to relinquish their lands to the district administration for the project, which will boost development of the district and was essential for it. According to the release, farmers in Kavuluwada village in the district have so far handed over 23 acres of land, while more farmers were willing for acquisition by the government.
25/08/16 PTI/moneycontrol.com

NGO claims Mopa bid has been fixed

Panaji: Outlook for Social Change (OSC), headed by Professor A K Tripathi, has alleged that the Mopa airport bid has been fixed with one of the bidders by the State government.
Addressing the media, Tripathi claimed that three of the five qualified bidders – GMR, GVK and Airports Authority of India (AAI) – are in the process of backing out from the final bidding, which is slated for August 26.
Tripathi, however, added that if the chief minister goes ahead to award the bid to a private party, OSC will commence an indefinite peaceful protest outside the CM’s residence, demanding that the government wait for the NGT order on environmental concerns. The hearing on this case is scheduled on September 21.
He said that against all norms of good governance, the government has shown no respect to the constitutional authority vested in the NGT and added that a leading foreign airport company, Zurich Airports, which had entered into a joint venture with an Indian private bidder, has understood the environmental aspects including destruction of natural heritage and therefore terminated their joint venture with Essel Group.
25/08/16 Goacom

Mock exercise to check preparedness of airport agencies held

Kozhikode: An 'air crash' of a Qatar Airways airline with 20 CISF officials and airline staff as passengers and prioritisation of 'casualties' was conducted at Calicut International airport at nearby Karipur today as part of a mock drill to check the efficacy and preparedness of agencies in handling emergency situations in a real life scenario.

Airports Authority of India, Calicut, in co-ordination with Kerala State Fire Service and other stakeholders held the exercise at 4 PM as per Directorate General of Civil Aviation guidelines to hold such an exercise every alternate year by all licensed airports in the country, a release from the airport director said.

Accordingly, an imaginary scenario of the air crashwas created. Acting as passengers were the officials from CISF and Qatar Airways, which also played the affected airline, it said.
An imaginary command post was established and casualties were prioritised at the triage area, depending on the severity of injury.
25/08/16 PTI/Business Standard

AI Express to launch Chandigarh-Singapore flight

Chandigarh: Air India will launch a direct international flight between Chandigarh and Singapore.
"Singapore is a potential destination. Air India will launch a direct flight between Chandigarh and Singapore," Air India Express CEO K Shyam Sundar said here today.
He, however, did not divulge the timeline.

"Air India MD Ashwani Lohani will make an announcement about the flight on September 15 at Chandigarh," he said.

Sundar said Air India Express, a low cost carrier and subsidiary of flag carrier Air India, will operate its first direct international flight from Chandigarh airport to Sharjah on September 15.

The flight will operate on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
25/08/16 PTI/Business Standard

IBS software launches next generation digital travel platform

Thiruvananthapuram: Travel, transportation and logistics IT solutions company IBS Software has launched a unified selling and production technology platform called iTravel.
IBS is focusing on developing innovative, disruptive and transformational solutions for the global travel industry, Executive Chairman of IBS Group, V K Mathews told reporters here today while announcing the launch of the new product.
iTravel is one of our latest offerings and perhaps the most important initiative for the travel industry in recent times, he said.
The unprecedented response by some of the largest tour operators, cruise liners, airlines and hospitality companies in the world even before the official launch of the platform is true testimony to its potential, he added.
25/08/16 PTI/India Today

Swiss airline fined in India for serving meat meal

An Indian passenger whose vegetarian meal was accidentally switched for one containing meat has succeeded in obtaining financial compensation at an Indian consumer tribunal. However, his attempts at enhancing the compensation were rejected.
The passenger is a follower of the Jain religion whose central tenet is non-violence towards all living things. It advocates a strict form of vegetarianism which excludes meat, eggs and vegetables that grow underground such as potatoes, onion and garlic. Acts that go against the religious teachings are believed to attract bad karma, which can lead to suffering.
The Mumbai-based passenger claimed to have discovered the error when a fellow traveler pointed it out to him on a flight from Zurich to Mumbai in 2011. He filed a “deficiency of service” case at the district consumer court in Mumbai which awarded him INR20,000 (CHF297) in compensation, along with INR10,000 in court expenses for hurting his religious sentiments. In addition, Swiss International Airlines (SWISS) had offered him a complimentary business upgrade on an economy class flight to or from Europe as a gesture of goodwill.
However, the Jain man was unhappy with the decision and appealed it at the state and national level. On August 19, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Delhi ruled that he had been adequately compensated taking into consideration that it could not be proved he had actually consumed any portion of the wrong meal.
“When realizing the mistake, the cabin crew member immediately handed over the correct special meal which the passengers had pre-ordered,” a SWISS spokesperson told swissinfo.ch.
25/08/16 Swissinfo.ch

BJP blamed for granting nod for Aranmula project

Pathanamthitta: The Anti-Airport Action Council (AAAC) at Aranmula has accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of playing foul play in the controversial Aranmul airport issue.

The AAAC meeting that was held at Aranmula on Tuesday alleged that the Union Defence Ministry had given clearance for the Aranmula airport project with the full knowledge of the BJP leadership.

The meeting further observed that the terms of reference granted by the Expert Appraisal Committee attached to the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change to the KGS Airport company for conducting a fresh environment impact assessment (EIA) at Aranmula puncha too was with the knowledge of the BJP leaders.
25/08/16 The Hindu

Bhopal-Indore-Ahmedabad flight being mulled by Air India

National carrier Air India, in its aggressive drive to expand its network in Madhya Pradesh, is considering operating flights to Gujarat in the coming winter schedule in October 2016. This would be first time that two major cities of Madhya Pradesh would be air linked to Ahmedabad, the metro city of Gujarat.
This was informed by the Area Manager (MP&CG) of the airline Mr Acharya. “This flight is being planned to operate on the Bhopal-Indore-Ahmedabad sector with a 70 seater aircraft (ATR 72). This flight would benefit in development of tourism, IT and commercial activities between the two states and would also be convenient for the student community,” he said.
Acharya stated that Air India has been operating its flights on a regular basis and has improved its ‘On-time’ performance.
25/08/16 Hitavada 

Air Arabia offers Indian passengers the option of EMI payment

Air Arabia, the largest low-cost carrier in the West Asia and North Africa region, on Wednesday said it is offering Indian passengers the option of paying for tickets in monthly instalments. The EMI option would allow travellers to plan their expenses and allow them to travel to various destinations, which are offered by the Air Arabia network.
"Air Arabia announces the launch of comprehensive Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) payment options for Indian travellers," the airline said in a statement. The EMI facility is offered to credit card holders of eight banks, namely ICICI Bank, Axis Bank, Kotak Mahindra, IndusInd Bank, State Bank of India, HDFC and Central Bank of India.
Passengers wishing to avail the EMI payment option have to first select the flight and reserve the tickets on the website, and then opt for the 'Pay with EMI' tab on the payment page and finally, choose their preferred bank. Then the interface would display a choice of duration for the EMI, along with the break-up amount, which would be billed to the credit card statement every month.
25/08/16 Kalyani Pandey/IBTimes

Jet Airways Said I Had Personality Problems, Didn't Hire Me: Smriti Irani

New Delhi: Jet Airways had rejected her application for a position in its cabin crew, union minister Smriti Irani said on Wednesday, thanking the airline for turning her down.

At her witty best in a speech after presenting awards at a function in Delhi, the 40-year-old minister said the Jet job was one of the first she had applied for. "My application for cabin crew position was rejected by Jet Airways, which felt I didn't have a good personality," she shared, adding, "Thank God for your rejection."

After the rejection, the minister said, she got a job with fast food chain McDonald's and the "rest is history."

Ms Irani's comments came just after she had presented an award to a Jet Airways official at the function organised by the Air Passengers Association of India. Ms Irani said she was joining the celebration as a passenger.

Smriti Irani was a model and beauty pageant contestant before she became a top TV actress and then joined politics. At 38, she was sworn in as the youngest cabinet minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government in 2014.
25/08/16 PTI/NDTV

APATA seeks more teethto security at airport

Visakhapatnam: There is a need to leverage technology and increase manpower to improve safety in view of the increased security risks at airports, according to the AP Air Travellers Association (APATA).

The Union Home Ministry has noted that our airports are not equipped to handle major terror attacks in view of the grave threats posed by terrorists to international airports. APATA vice president O. Naresh Kumar noted in a statement that manpower should be increased and given specialised training for surveillance.

These personnel should be trained in Israel in counter-terror operations as our CRPF and CISF are not equipped to handle international terror activities. Every city and airport should have a special force with this training.

They should be provided the latest gadgets like nigh vision cameras and high-end scanners.

Facial recognition cameras should be installed at all airports and to enable instant online verification with the database of available criminals.

The APATA vice president suggested that every ticket sold should be having either the Aadhar card or passport number along with photo id proof.

This will enable verification of all tickets with the known database of criminals by the special police even before the arrival of the passenger at the airport.
25/08/16 The Hindu

No morning flight for Mumbai on AI website irks passengers

Surat: Navsari MP C R Paatil recently announced Air India's decision to start daily morning flight between Surat and Mumbai from September 1. However, travellers from the Diamond City are quite upset as AI is yet to officially announce the launch of morning operations between Surat and Mumbai.
It was during the Ekta Chain event on August 15 that the Navsari MP made the announcement about AI's plan. He also stated that AI plans to operate an Airbus on the Mumbai-Surat sector starting September 1.
However, Surti fliers who are constantly checking on the AI website about the new flight, were disappointed when they could not find its mention.
25/08/16 Times of India

Why the idea of improving regional air connectivity is fraught with risks

India has seen a rush of regional airlines in the past two years. By the end of 2014, the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices began to go down which helped domestic carriers in a big way. Many airlines who were bleeding started to generate profits. The low ATF prices also lured people to start regional carriers. Airlines such as Trujet, Air Pegasus, and Air Costa have started operating in the past three years. The new civil aviation policy talks about improving the regional connectivity by developing regional airports, and capping the fares for one hour (regional) flights at Rs 2,500 per passenger. Making fares affordable and facelifting airports are important steps to give the initial boost but the whole push of regional connectivity has to be backed by consistency in services. Apparently, most of the regional carriers are facing financial problems.
Air Costa, for instance, cancelled all its flights on August 3 due to payment issue with its lessor. A month before, Air Pegasus did a similar thing after its planes were reportedly repossesed by lessor over non-payment. It seems Air Costa is still operating while Air Pegasus is taking online bookings.
The weak financial performance reflects on the operations side as well. The data shows consistently poor performance of regional carriers on several fronts. Take the case of cancellations. Airlines such as Air Costa, Trujet and Air Pegasus have consistently topped the charts in cancelling flights. In July, for instance, Air Pegasus cancelled 29.67 per cent of its flghts. That's roughly one in every three scheduled flights. The corresponding figure for Trujet was 17.38 per cent. Things were much worse in March when cancellation rates for Air Pegasus and Air Costa stood at 40.34 per cent and 18.28 per cent, respectively.
The financial problems of regional carriers, or most airlines in general, can be segmeted into five areas: high fuel prices, high airport charges, choice of aircraft, choice of routes and inability to gradually grow the fleet. Low ATF prices seems to have given a breather to airlines for now. The other areas require more careful planning. The choice of aircraft is important. Air Pegasus, for instance, has ATR 72-500, which is a twin-engine turboprop. Turboprops are ideal for short-haul regional flights but then the airline should aim for higher occupancy. High number of empty seats can be taxing. Air Pegasus' PLF (passenger load factor) has been steadily growing - from 76.6 per cent in March to 84 per cent in July.
25/08/16 Manu Kaushik/Business Today

Italian man forges plane ticket so he can see his girlfriend off at the airport

New Delhi: When you forge a plane ticket so you can sneak through the airport to see your girlfriend off - that's amore.

Or so one Italian man thought, when he attempted to enter the international terminal of India's Delhi Airport using fake travel documents.

According to The Times of India, the man's romantic gesture was foiled when airport security spotted him loitering around the terminal without any papers.
After a pat down search, he was handed over to police. When he admitted he had sneaked in to see off his girlfriend, he was arrested.

A police officer told the Times the man had managed to enter the terminal by flashing a forged Aeroflot ticket at officials.

The incident occurred amid heightened security for India's Independence Day celebrations on August 15, as well as in response to terrorist attacks in major world cities.

An airport official told the Times there had been around 35 cases of people entering the airport on fake tickets so far this year.
25/08/16 Stuff

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Air Pegasus in talks with PE fund to restart operations

Bengaluru: Regional airline Air Pegasus, which suspended its operations last month, is making attempts for a revival by holding talks with a PE fund and a major South-East Asian airline.

Sources close to the airline told BusinessLine that Air Pegasus is in advanced discussion with PE Fund and is willing to dilute up to 30 per cent stake to raise money. It is expected to raise about ₹40 crore by diluting its stake. Sources said the Singapore-based investment firm Temasek could be one of the entities approached to rescue the airline.

A South-East Asian airline too, has approached Air Pegasus, sources said.

In another development, the airline sources said that the regulator DGCA had recently convened a meeting between the airline management and the lessors to arrive at a solution for restarting Air Pegasus. Sources said the deadline set for recommencement of the operations was September 1.

During the discussion, the airline management agreed to pay 50 per cent of the three-month arrears to the lessors and the rest in instalments once the operations are resumed. The regulator is learnt to have informed the lessors that all the airlines in the country had the support of the civil aviation ministry.
24/08/16 Business Line

Centre likely to free defence airspace for commercial flights, AAI working on routes

In response to repeated requests from domestic airlines in India, the Narendra Modi government is working on a proposal to free defence airspace for optimum utilisation. The flexible usage of airspace would cut down expenditure on fuel and reduce travel time.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has constituted a directorate to work towards optimising airspace, Business Standard reported. "AAI has straightened the route from Ahmedabad to Gulf, which will save on fuel. On the existing route, our carriers fly over Pakistan airspace. However, on the new route, they will not. There is no political issue as reflected in media reports," a government official was quoted as saying by the publication.

For example, an aircraft on the Ahmedabad-Dubai sector uses Pakistan's airspace to avoid the restricted defence airspace in Gujarat. By doing so, airlines incur loss of Rs. 1 lakh as fuel expenditure.

SpiceJet had earlier requested the government for permission to fly on a new route connecting Ahmedabad to the Middle East. The carrier had said that it wanted to avoid flying a longer route over Pakistan's airspace thereby cutting down travel time and cost.
24/08/16 Kalyani Pandey/IBTimes

Cabinet clears leasing AAI land at Assam airport

New Delhi: The leasing out of land owned by AAI for setting up of a centre for perishable cargo at Assam international airport was cleared by the Cabinet on  Wednesday.
The Cabinet has approved Airports Authority of India (AAI) leasing out 4,050 square metres of land to Assam Industrial Development Corporation (AIDC).
“This will be utilised for setting up of Centre for Perishable Cargo (CPC) and its future expansion at Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati,” an official release said.
Setting up of the centre would help in making facilities for air upliftment of perishable cargo from Guwahati moreeffective.
The land is to be leased by AAI on a token licence fee of Rs 1 per annum for a period of seven years subject to signing of lease agreement.
“After expiry of initial period of seven years, the future lease period will be made afresh as per AAI policy in-vogue,” the release said.
24/08/16 PTI/Indian Express

SpiceJet gives Northeast connectivity a boost, adds flights there

New Delhi: Northeast India is all set to get better connectivity with low cost carrier SpiceJet launching a number of flights for the region using its Q400 fleet. From October 4, the LCC will fly to Silchar, Gorakhpur and Aizawl. It will operate new flights on sectors like Kolkata-Silchar-Guwahati; Kolkata-Aizawl-Guwahati and Kolkata-Gorakhpur-Delhi. Kolkata-Visakhapatnam-Kolkata flights will be from November 1.
"To celebrate the launch of the new sectors, the airline is offering tickets at an all inclusive introductory fares of - Rs. 2127 for the Kolkaka-Aizawl and Rs. 1899 for the Aizawl-Guwahati sectors; Rs. 3699 for the Kolkata-Silchar and Rs. 4188 for Silchar-Guwahati sectors; Rs. 3210 for the Kolkata-Gorakhpur and Rs. 3335 for Gorakhpur-Delhi sectors. The new schedule will also include additional frequencies with a direct flight on its existing routes of Kolkata-Bagdogra and Kolkata-Guwahati," the airline said.
Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, in a message to SpiceJet chief Ajay Singh, said: "Your decision to enhance air connectivity between northeast and other parts of the country will serve as a fillip to the tourism potential of Assam and other NE states."
23/08/16 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Cabinet approves signing of India-Fiji air services agreement

New Delhi: The Union Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod for the signing of a new Air Services Agreement (ASA) between India and Fiji.

The agreement is for updation of the existing agreement between the two countries, which was signed in 1974.

"The updation is as per latest ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) template keeping in view the latest developments in civil aviation sector and with an objective to improve the air connectivity between the two countries," a statement said.

A draft text of the agreement has been finalised in consultation with several key ministries. According to the agreement, both countries shall be entitled to designate one or more airline which will have right to open offices.

The proposed agreement allows airlines to take decision freely on tariffs in respect of the agreed services at reasonable levels based on commercial considerations. They have to operate the agreed services on specified routes. "The routes and frequencies shall be decided subsequently," the statement said.
24/08/16 IANS/Business Standard

Jet Airways to let economy users pre-select seats for a price

Jet Airways said it will now allow economy class users select their seats at the time of booking via the company’s website.

Earlier, this option was available only to those flying higher classes.

However, economy class fliers will have to shell out Rs 300 extra to pre-select their seat at the time of booking. International travellers will have to pay Rs 500-1,750 to do so.

In case the selected seat is one with extra legroom, the charge wil be higher at Rs 600 for domestic flights and Rs 1,000-3,500 for international.

Seats can be reserved up to 24 hours prior to departure. Within 24 hrs of the flight departure, seats will be assigned free of charge, Jet Airways said.
24/08/16 RTN.Asia

India develops Arunachal’s airfields, but a lot left to do

On August 19, 2016, the old advanced landing ground (ALG) at Pasighat, Arunachal Pradesh, revived and upgraded, was inaugurated befittingly by minister of state home affairs Kiren Rijiju, who hails from that state, accompanied by Air Marshal C. Hari Kumar AVSM VM VSM, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Eastern Air Command (EAC), Indian Air Force (IAF) and senior civil and IAF officials.
A flypast by three Sukhoi-30MKI air dominance fighters that took off from one of the forward EAC airbases was a highlight of the event. Soon afterwards, another Sukhoi-30MKI landed at the ALG, recording a “historic first” in the predominantly hilly state of Arunachal Pradesh, which has several ALGs at varying altitudes.
In 2007, when then defence minister A.K. Antony visited Arunachal Pradesh, he was aghast at noting the great contrast between substantial infrastructural development across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by the Chinese and the starkness accentuating the lack of the same, particularly strategically, on our side. Then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who visited the state soon afterwards, announced a major financial package and a fast-track infrastructure development programme.
On approval by the Cabinet Committee for Security and following a memorandum of understanding between the government of Arunachal Pradesh and ministry of defence in June 2009, the IAF had embarked on an ambitious reconstruction plan to upgrade eight ALGs, including infrastructure development at an overall outlay of nearly `1,000 crores. The ALGs at Walong, Ziro, Along, Mechuka and Pasighat have since been upgraded and are operational now. Two ALGs at Tuting and Tawang are expected to be ready by year-end, while reconstruction of the ALG at Vijaynagar will be undertaken as soon as the road connectivity between Miao and Vijaynagar is restored.
23/08/16 Anil Bhat/Asian Age

State deal for region air links

Kolhapur: The state government on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Union civil aviation ministry and Airport Authority of India in Mumbai for improving air connectivity in Maharashtra.
The state government has claimed that Maharashtra has become first state to sign such an MoU. Along with Nanded, nine other cities will benefit directly from the pact. Union civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju and senior officials from the Centre as well as the state were present on the occasion.
The state government has stated that the MoU aims to facilitate regional air connectivity by making it affordable and enacting different concessions, including some support from the Centre.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said he was confident that with this MoU, air connectivity in Maharashtra will definitely move to the next level.
Some other issues and their solutions were also discussed during meeting. Moreover, important decisions such as providing financial support in the early stage to the aviation companies were also taken.
24/08/16 Nikhil Deshmukh/Times of India

Terminal 2 of IGIA to don new look

New Delhi: Terminal 2 of the Delhi airport, the erstwhile international terminal that has been lying almost defunct since 2010 when Terminal 3 was commissioned, has been buzzing with activity for the last couple of weeks. It is being upgraded and refurbished at present to accommodate some budget carriers operating from Terminal 1D.

The private airport operator, Delhi International Airport Ltd. (DIAL), is planning to expand the domestic departure Terminal 1D and hence some low-cost carriers operating from the terminal would be shifted to Terminal 2. According to sources at the airport, the budget carriers will start operating from Terminal 2 from January 1, 2017.

“The terminal was started in the mid 1980s and was mothballed since 2010 after Terminal 3 was opened for public. To allow flight operations from here again, the terminal is being completely refurbished with new flooring, false ceiling, air-conditioning etc.,” an airport official said. “Apart from these changes, the technical systems are being made up to date for flight operations,” he said.
According to airport officials, Terminal 1D will continue to cater to IndiGo flights while SpiceJet and GoAir might be shifted to Terminal 2.
24/08/16 Sidhartha Roy/The Hindu

Banks to auction KFA brands again on Thursday at lower price

Mumbai: In their second attempt at recovering a part of the dues of over Rs 9,000 crore from now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, lenders will re-auction the airlines' trademarks, including Kingfisher logo and the once-famous tag-line 'Fly the Good Times' on Thursday, but at a lower reserve price of Rs 330.03 crore.

The 17-lender consortium led by State Bank of India has also put the Flying Models, Funliner, Fly Kingfisher and Flying Bird Device on the block. The one-hour e-auction of various trademarks of the airlines will begin at 1130 hrs. Bankers in April had made a failed attempt to sell brands and trademarks of the long grounded airlines, owned by the beleaguered airline promoter Vijay Mallya.
The auction turned out to be a damp squib as none of the bidders came forward due to higher reserve price of Rs 366.70 crore. This time banks have lowered the reserve price by 10 per cent to Rs 330.03 crore. The Kingfisher brand itself was valued at over Rs 4,000 crore by consultancy Grant Thornton when the airline was at its peak. In its annual report for 2012-13, KFA said, at its peak, it was the largest airline in the country with a five-star rating from Skytrax.
24/08/16 PTI/DNA

Case Filed Against Kerala Man For Filming Air India Airhostess Sleeping Mid-Flight

Kerala police has registered a case, at the complaint of an Air India airhostess for filming her asleep, while the flight was on air.
The incident happened on 27 March, on the Air India flight AI-998 from Sharjah to Calicut.
The accused passenger KM Basheer, a resident of Kerala claims he spotted the air hostess sleeping near the exit-door at the rear-end.
He recorded the visuals on his mobile phone, identified the flight attendant and registered a complaint with the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
But in a twist, the air hostess filed a complaint against Basheer for making her video without permission.
Basheer however refuted the claims and said he shot the video from inside the flight and not the dedicated resting area.
He also claimed that airline staff are not allowed to sleep during flight and the police had no right to file the case, as the incident happened in the air and only DGCA can take any action.
Many have however questioned his claims on crew members sleeping while on duty.
24/08/16 Bobins Abraham/India Times

SpiceJet To Add Four Q400 To Its Fleet Focusing North-East

India’s fourth largest airline, SpiceJet, has decided to add four Bombardier turboprop aircraft, Q400, to its fleet with a focus to get more North-eastern states on its network and also to meet the growing passenger demands during the upcoming festive season.

A Q400 aircraft can accommodate 78 passengers and currently, the low cost carrier operates with 28 Boeing 737 and 14 Bombardier Q400 aircrafts with 298 daily flights.

Shilpa Bhatia, senior vice-president, commercial of SpiceJet, said, “Enhancing the country’s regional connectivity has always been a prime focus for SpiceJet. And with the new aviation policy in place, there is an added encouragement to enter the underserved markets.”

The airline intends to penetrate the underserved markets within its domestic network and thereby aims to enhance regional connectivity.

“North-East, despite being a crucial tourist locale, has been deprived of good air connectivity. Hence, our new schedule lays special attention on this region, connecting the major hub-points of the seven sister states. And we look forward to further strengthen our presence in this market in the near future,” she added.

From October 4, the budget airline will operate new flights on sectors like Kolkata-Silchar-Guwahati, Kolkata-Aizawl-Guwahati and Kolkata-Gorakhpur-Delhi.

Kolkata-Visakhapatnam-Kolkata flight will be effective from November 1.
24/08/16  Haider Ali Khan/Business World

Aviation safety, a major concern

There is increasing concern over aviation safety in India with many cases of near collision between passenger aircraft being reported recently. Two weeks ago, a collision between two aircraft was averted over the Hyderabad airport. A week before that an aircraft which was landing and another which was taking off came close to collision in Guwahati. There have been other incidents of ‘near misses’ and narrow escapes at other airports in the recent past. According to a government statement in Parliament, there were 35 near miss incidents in the 15 months till March 2015. Alarmingly, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has said that more incidents were reported till now this year than all of last year. The figures show that there have been many problems with air safety requirements and enforcement of norms. Luckily, no serious accident has taken place, except for the disappearance of an IAF AN-32 aircraft which is of a different nature. But the near miss incidents could have turned into accidents and therefore they call for serious consideration and action.

Inadequate infrastructure and facilities, failure to upgrade equipment, poor maintenance and shortage of trained personnel at the Air Traffic Control (ATC) have been cited as the main reasons for the increase in air safety problems. The DGCA has found that more than half of the potential collisions could be traced to lapses at the ATC. The shortage of air traffic controllers, who have a crucial role in regulating the flow of traffic, is very serious. There is a shortage of about 1,000 controllers which is about 25 % of the required strength. Lapses are likely when the staff are overburdened with work. Poor pay and stressful work have discouraged many from taking up ATC jobs. The US Federal Aviation Administration had downgraded India’s aviation safety rating two years ago because of the shortage of air traffic controllers. The problem needs to be urgently addressed by the Airports Authority of India.
24/08/16 Deccan Herald

Fly light, book early to pay less

New Delhi: Flying light will now be marginally cheaper for those who book their domestic tickets at least 15 days ahead of the travel date.
IndiGo launched "lite fares" on Tuesday for those travelling with only a handbag of up to seven kg and the ticket will be cheaper by Rs 200 from the normal fares. The scheme comes over a year after budget carrier, SpiceJet, had introduced the concept of handbag-only fares to Indian aviation.
Describing its handbag-only scheme, the IndiGo website said: "Lite fare: This is hand-baggage only fare. If you are travelling light with cabin baggage only, you can now look forward to additional savings on our always affordable fares."
Sources said the lite fare will be Rs 200 less than the regular fares and will need to be booked at least 15 days in advance.
Aditya Ghosh-managed IndiGo is India's largest domestic airline with 40% market share of Indian skies.
SpiceJet's 'SpiceSaver', launched last June, has the same features with the saving on its return ticket up to Rs 500. "Hand-baggage allowance remains the same as before: one handbag up to 7 kg per passenger, plus a standard sized shoulder laptop bag or ladies purse. For those who book these fares, but later decide to check-in luggage, a fee of Rs 500 for upto 10kg, and Rs 750 for upto 15kg, will be payable at the airport during check-in," the SpiceJet website says.
24/08/16 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Centre's nod to consortium may delay Navi Mumbai airport project

Even as the Union civil aviation ministry has intending to set 2019 as its deadline to operationalize the Navi Mumbai airport, the project may see further delays.
The airport bidding process is likely to be delayed further with the entry of a fourth player, a consortium of Voluptas Developers (Hiranandani Group) and Zurich Airport, into the fray. A deadline of September 1 was set for submission of request for proposal (RFP) documents for the three bidders in the fray earlier. With Voluptas Developers receiving a security clearance from the Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), which was earlier denied to them, Cidco will now have to issue RFP documents to the consortium and also grant them time to submit the same. The MHA clearance, for Voluptas Developers to bid for the Navi Mumbai airport, came in after it gave a similar security clearance to bid for the Mopa International Airport in Goa was given to the company after a Delhi high court order.
24/08/16 Sanjeev Devasia/ET Realty

MoU for chopper service to be signed today

Visakhapatnam: The long awaited helicopter service from VUDA Park to Kailasagiri and Araku is soon going to become a reality with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA) and Sky Choppers Private Ltd., the chopper service operator, scheduled to be signed on Wednesday.

It may be recalled that feasibility studies for the operation of choppers were conducted by the private operator and land was identified for development of the helipad (The Hindu, March 6).

Once the MoU was signed and VUDA gave its written consent, the chopper service operator can obtain the clearance from the DGCA (Director General of Civil Aviation).

“The helicopter ride to Kailasagiri and back from VUDA Park would take around 5 minutes while the ride to Araku would last for about 15 minutes. Our company already has the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) clearance for operation of non-scheduled aircraft,” Chandrasekhar of Sky Choppers Private Ltd. earlier told The Hindu.

“The helicopter trip to Kailasagiri could be around Rs.2,500. The rate would, however, be decided by the Government of AP,” Mr. Chandrasekhar said.
24/08/16 B. Madhu Gopal/The Hindu

More Flights Likely for City: New airline allowed to park aircraft at Chandigarh airport

Chandigarh: A soon-to-be-launched airline has been granted permission to park its aircraft at the Chandigarh airport. The parking facility for the airline will provide additional flights to the city.
Official sources said Zoom Air had recently applied for permission which was granted by the Airports Authority of India. “The destinations are not known yet. Once it is officially launched, we will get more details about it,” an airport official told Chandigarh Newsline. “They applied for the permission and it was granted.”
The official said that the airline had also applied for starting of flights from the city. “We have given it permission for the flight operations from the city. Once the airline parks the aircraft during the night here, it will give city an option of an additional flight in the night and in the morning,” he said. “The airline is planning to have Chandigarh as their base.”
Initially, the airline is planning to have one aircraft. Later, one more aircraft will be added. “We have the capacity of parking two aircraft at the Chandigarh airport,” the official said.
Chandigarh Airport CEO Sunil Dutt confirmed the development. “The Zoom Air had applied for parking their aircraft at the airport and we have given the permission,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Air Force has allowed the Chandigarh Airport to operate till 10 pm. Airport officials said that they had received a communication from the IAF that the watch hours had been extended from 8 pm. “Flights at the Chandigarh airport can land and take off till 10 pm. This is a good development,” said Dutt.
24/08/16  Adil Akhzer/Indian Express

International airline to pay Rs 52,000 to industrialist

Chennai: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (North), has directed an international airline to pay Rs 52,000 to an industrialist for theft of his credit cards from his checked in baggage at Chennai airport four years ago.

Four ground staff of Emirates Airways allegedly took away the cards from his baggage while boarding a flight to France. In the complaint, Fredrick Wilson, an industrialist of Coimbatore, submitted he visited Nice, France, with his family members and his friends for summer vacation in May-June 2012. They boarded an Emirates Airways flight on May 26 at Chennai around 4.15 am.

On reaching Nice, he noticed that in one of his suitcases the lock had been tampered with and the suitcase could not be opened. He continued the journey without opening the suitcase. On returning to Chennai, he checked the suitcase contents. The credit cards were missing.

He also learnt that there was an illegal transaction using his credit cards and found that some fraudulent transactions to the tune of `47,000 done by unidentified persons using the cards.

An FIR was registered in June 2012. With the aid of CCTV footage from shops, police identified Zahir Usain, Kumaresan, Salim and Muthuswamy, employees in cargo division of Emirates Airways as those who stole the cards. He contended it was the responsibility of the airlines to safeguard passenger luggage when once handed over to it. If there was any pilferage in luggage, the airlines should compensate the passengers.

Denying the allegations, Emirates Airways replied no complaint was lodged at Nice airport in respect of the alleged tampering of the lock. He committed mistake by packing credit cards in checked in baggage.
24/08/16 Deccan Chronicle

3 Malayalis stuck in Saudi return

Kochi: Three expatriate Malayali workers, who had been languishing in Saudi Arabia for the past few months without job and food, arrived at the Nedumbassery airport here on Tuesday, after the Saudi government issued them exit visas. Kannur-native Shijo Mathew, Muhammad of Malappuram and Shabeer of Chakkumkadavu in Kozhikode arrived by a Saudi Airline flight in the morning.

They had been employees of Saudi Oja company. Speaking to reporters at the airport, they said they were not paid salary since January, and that the company stopped food supply to its labour camps in July due to financial crisis. "Nearly 200 Keralites have been facing a harrowing time in Saudi Arabia, following lay off by their companies after being hit by financial crisis," they said.
24/08/16 New Indian Express

Pune’s new airport dream takes flight with Maharashtra CM’s tweet

Pune: After nearly 14 years, Pune’s proposed international airport has gained momentum with Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s tweet that the technical team from Airport Authority of India (AAI) will conduct preliminary study of Rajgurunagar site, near Khed Special Economic Zone, in the first week of September.
The team was to conduct a survey in July and August but due to heavy rains they had postponed the visit. This is the fourth site, which was shown to the team besides the three sites shown in the district for the proposed international airport.
The Indian Express had earlier reported about this site and how a preliminary survey was done at the start of the year as it was found to be the most feasible as the land was not undulating and there was adequate space. The said site is spread over five villages—Koye, Pait, Andra, Chikhali, Askhed. The satellite mapping was done and the runaway alignment too was considered in the survey. More than 1,500 hectare at a stretch will be made available for the proposed airport of which it is believed that 40 per cent would be government land and 60 per cent would have to be acquired.
24/08/16 Nisha Nambiar/Indian Express

Airport to host food, music fete

Bengaluru: Come Dasara, Kempegowda International Airport will sport a new look. The Banglore International Airport Ltd (BIAL) is planning to host a mega music, food, shopping festival for passengers in October, capitalising on the festival month.

A source from BIAL said, “Plans are on paper and we will have food, music and dance. It will be a celebration. The details are yet to be charted out. We will soon make a  public announcement when we have the minutes of the plan ready. Airport is a place where one has the time to relax while waiting for flights. Passengers will certainly have a great time and it will be a treat for international passengers as well.”

The festival is apt considering that airports provide the ideal customer profile, with high spending potential, and time for interaction.

BIAL saw a 25 per cent growth in traffic in 2015 with 18.1 million passengers. It recorded a growth in  sales in 27 of its retail brand outlets.
24/08/16 Sangeeta Bora/New Indian Express

Rooftop solar power plant goes operational at Chennai airport

Chennai: The first phase of the rooftop solar power project has become operational in the Chennai airport. In an event held on Thursday, Airport Authority of India (AAI) chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra inaugurated the 1.5 MW plant.

Chennai airport director Deepak Shastri said the solar plant, built at cost of Rs 8.5 crore, would bring down the power tariff by half. Currently, the airport pays a tariff of Rs 20 crore to the state electricity board. The solar plant would generate 6,150 units a day and reduce carbon emission by 3,600 tonnes per annum.
24/08/16 New Indian Express

Now, stray dogs are the new menace at airport

Fencing and construction of perimeter walls have largely resolved the problem of stray cattle intruding into the operational area of Surat airport, but the authorities are now facing a new challenge.
Dog menace has increased at Surat airport premises in last few months when the work for extension of the runway began what with the presence of construction workers inside and outside the airport area.
Stray dogs from nearby areas of Bhimpore and Magdalla sneak into the operational area of the airport through the openings in the fencing and loiter around in search of food.
Sources said shrimp farms around the airport attract stray dogs in huge numbers. At present, harvesting season is going on and the farm owners throw dead shrimps, which attract stray dogs. Few days ago, dead shrimps were found inside the airport premises. The farm owners might have thrown the stock inside the airport premises, instead of ensuring proper disposal of the waste.
24/08/16 Melvyn Reggie Thomas/Times of India

Gangster used airports as parking lots

Hyderabad: Slain gangster Mohammed Nayeemuddin, who had earned properties worth hundreds of crores by extortion, land grabbing and murders, is said to have used Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) and Raipur airport as parking lots for his four-wheelers.  

Whenever, Nayeem wanted to travel, his associates would get the parked cars from airports. As some of his vehicles were in police records, Nayeem used to chose cars that were parked in airports.
“Nayeem purchased several SUVs and parked them at RGIA and Raipur airport in Chhattisgarh. He also kept one car at Nalgonda and three cars in custody of a private person at Raipur,” sources said.
24/08/16 Hans India