Tuesday, April 19, 2016

India Is The World’s Fastest-Growing Aviation Market – And This MBA Wants A Piece Of It

The Indian aviation industry is taking off.

In 2015, domestic traffic soared by more than 20% while international flights increased by over 7%, according to a KPMG study. By 2020, India will become the world’s third largest aviation market after the US and China. Its airports could carry as many as 370 million passengers per year.

Atishay Jain is a high-flying MBA student at the George Washington University School of Business, determined to break into the world’s fastest growing aviation market. First, he wants experience working for a major commercial airline. Then, he wants to start his own.

Prior to his MBA, Atishay worked for his family business exporting paper and in auditing at KPMG in Mumbai, before getting his first taste of the aviation industry in a business development role at Jet Airways’ frequent flier program JetPrivilege.

Competition in his native Indian market is fierce and international airlines are getting involved. Jet Airways partnered with the UAE’s Etihad Airways to secure over 20% of the Indian aviation market and keep up with its big rival airlines, Air India and IndiGo.

Yet Atishay is confident that an MBA in the US, is a one-way ticket to success.
18/04/16 Marco De Novellis/Business Because

36 French Rafale Fighter Jets to Cost India Euros 7.8 billion

Closing the deal much below the asking price, India has finalised the much-touted deal for purchase of 36 French made Rafale fighter jets at around Euros 7.8 billion or Rs 58,600 crores, sources in the know told DefenceAviationPost.

The signing of the agreement will still take a while as approvals to ratify the price will be taken from the cabinet, sources added. A high-level team from France is expected to be in India in May to firm up the details for purchase of these 36 Rafale fighter aircrafts by India.

Indian officials led by Defence minister Manohar Parrikar have been negotiating hard to bring down the price of the Rafale deal. The expectation is that the final deal will be clinched by May-end. Parrikar had earlier said he was a “tough negotiator” and wanted the “best price” for Rafale fighter jets from France. “I am a tough negotiator. Let me save money for the nation,” Parrikar had been quoted as saying.

As reported by DefenceAviationPost.com, India wanted to keep the price below Rs 60,000 crore. Defence minister Manohar Parrikar had told DefenceAviationPost in an exclusive interview last month that he wanted to close the multi-billion dollar deal as early as possible.

“I don’t fix timelines but I am definitely interested in finishing it as early as possible,” Parrikar had said. He had, however, said that price was an important issue. “Price is equally important. While I want the aircraft I will definitely be interested in the right price,” he said. The deliveries of the nuclear-capable multi-role Rafale jets are likely to begin in 2019.

The deal for 36 fighter jets was first announced during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to France last year. The two sides had hoped to wrap up the strategic order during President Francois Hollande’s Republic Day visit in January, but the two sides had failed to reach a consensus on the price.

The deal comes with the clause of delivering 50 per cent offsets, creating business worth at least 3 billion Euros for smaller Indian companies and creating thousands of new jobs in India through the offsets.

The Rafale jet fighters are manufactured by Dassault Aviation. Under the proposed deal, companies like Safran and Thales will join Dassault in providing state-of-art technologies in stealth, radar, thrust vectoring for missiles and materials for electronics and micro-electronics.
18/04/16 Anupama Airy/Defence Aviation Post

Compat sets aside Rs 258-cr fine on Jet, IndiGo, SpiceJet

In a relief for Jet Airways, IndiGo and SpiceJet, the Competition Appellate Tribunal today set aside Rs 258-crore penalty imposed on them and directed CCI to pass a fresh order.

Competition Commission of India (CCI) in November had penalised the carriers for alleged cartelisation in fixing fuel surcharge on air cargo.

Jet Airways was fined Rs 151.69 crore while the penalties on InterGlobe Aviation and SpiceJet were Rs 63.74 crore and Rs 42.48 crore, respectively.

These fines were stayed by the tribunal in February.

In a 95-page order, Compat set aside the CCI order and remanded the matter back to the regulator to pass a fresh order.

The tribunal said CCI's failure to give notice to the appellants incorporating the reasons of its disagreement with the conclusions recorded by the joint Director General has violated principles of natural justice.

Besides, it noted that not giving the appellants "effective opportunity to show that they had not formed any cartel for jacking-up fuel surcharge from time to time has not only resulted in gross violation of principles of natural justice, but has also caused prejudice to them".

CCI's order last year came after its investigation arm Director General (DG) conducted a detailed inquiry.

Asking CCI to reconsider the Joint DG's report and take appropriate decision, the tribunal said if the commission disagrees with those findings, then reasons should be indicated for the same.
18/04/16 PTI/Business Standard

Flight to Jaipur from October

Air connectivity to Jaipur, Rajasthan, from here will soon be a reality with Indigo planning to launch a flight en route to the national capital in October. Indigo has placed request to Air Bus to procure an aircraft for the purpose.
"The flight will serve two purposes. Since it will go to Jaipur having a stoppage in Delhi, passengers get another flight to Delhi. Those who will go to Jaipur, won't have to alight from the plane," said airport director R Mahalingam.
He said that Jaipur operation is being delayed because the Air Bus is yet to provide the aircraft to the carrier. According to my discussion with the carrier, the Air Bus is likely to provide the aircraft by September, he added. "A month ago, Indigo evinced interest to run four more flights from here. However, the destinations to which it will fly were not decided. Once the carrier gets its aircraft, it will ask for approval of schedule," said an airport official.
In March 2015, Indigo evinced interest to use one of its flights to go to an international destination from here. The civil aviation ministry had asked the airport authorities to negotiate with domestic carriers for international operation. Twelve flights of Indigo are currently operating from here.
19/04/16 Riyan Ramanath/The Times Of India

India agrees to ink bilateral air service agreement with Fiji

As per a Financial Chronicle report by Nirbhay Kumar, India has agreed to sign a bilateral air service agreement (ASA) with Fiji, paving the way for direct flights between the two countries.

According to a Ministry of Civil Aviation official, the two sides recently agreed to ink an agreement in this regard under which designated airlines from the two countries could operate thrice a week. “Besides cities like Delhi and Hyderabad, Varanasi has also been added as a point-of-call for Fijian Airlines in India. Indian carriers can operate to anywhere in Fiji,” the official said.
18/04/16 Hospitality Biz India

RSS seeks minister's help in 'kirpan at airports' issue

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's Sikh wing Rashtriya Sikh Sangat (RSS) has apprised the Union civil aviation minister Mahesh Sharma that Amritdhari (baptised) Sikh officials and employees working at international airports were being stopped from wearing their kirpan (small sword) citing an international treaty about security.
It told the minister that Article 25 of Indian Constitution granted the right to Amritdhari Saikhs to carry their articles of faith and the Union government had not framed any law or rules barring kirpans.
A delegation of the Sangat, led by its president Gurcharan Singh Gill, met aviation minister Sharma on Monday and demanded his intervention in the issue. The delegation said kirpan-carrying Sikh officials and employees were being barred from wearing it on the basis of a international treaty. "We told the minister that the Article 25 of Indian Constitution gave the right to the Sikhs wear the kirpan. This issue was not just of sentiments of Sikhs but also of their fundamental right. Even after assassination of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi there was no bar on Sikh officials or employees wearing this article of faith," said a statement issued by RSS national secretary Avtar Singh Shastry.
19/04/16 I P Singh/The Times Of India

Air India, Jet to automate check-in process at Mumbai airport for domestic flights

As per a Hindustan Times report by Soubhik Mitra, From two self-service kiosks at Terminal 2 (T2) of Mumbai airport that issue boarding passes and checked-in baggage tags on a couple of Air India routes, this service will soon be operational on the entire domestic network of the national carrier and Jet Airways, which collectively cater to more than one-third of domestic fliers in India.

Confirming the development, a Jet Airways spokesperson said, “We already have six counters for domestic fliers and three for international fliers dedicated for web check-in, kiosks check-in and baggage drop services. We will soon introduce baggage tag printing.”

On April 1, two self-check-in booths installed by the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) began issuing automated boarding cards and baggage tags. The Common-Use Self (check-in) Service (CUSS), set up at T2, the airport’s new integrated terminal, will also generate tags for checked-in bags.

Fliers using the service can skip the check-in queues and head to a self-bag-drop counter where an airline staffer will verify the tag and complete the check-in process faster, said airport officials.
18/04/16 Travel Biz Monitor

Air India plans to launch global services from city

Customs Commissioner S.K. Rahman hoped that Gannavaram airport would soon acquire an international character with Air India preparing to establish linkages with foreign destinations.

Felicitating Air India station manager M. Ramasubramaniam at the Customs Preventive Commissionerate here on Monday, Mr. Rahman said the Customs Department was gearing up commence its operations at Gannavaram airport in tandem with the launch of international services, and promised to extend his cooperation for rapid development of the airport.
19/04/16 The Hindu

Air India chairman joins rodent watch

After the frequent grounding of its aircraft due to rodents, Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani carried out an inspection at Delhi airport and directed the staff to ensure strict maintenance and cleanliness of the hi-lift trucks used by catering companies.

Also, staff of the government-owned airline will be restrained from eating meals in the ramp area (where the aircraft is parked during boarding). “We have also requested Delhi International Airport Ltd to provide space for a staff canteen,” said Lohani.

On Saturday, an AI Boeing 787 on the Melbourne-Delhi flight was diverted to Singapore, after a rat was spotted on board. The plane was fumigated in Singapore and passengers flown to India on another flight. This was the third instance of grounding of an AI aircraft due to rodents. Rats were also spotted on an aircraft between Birmingham and Delhi, and while passengers were boarding a Frankfurt-bound flight at Delhi.

Airline staff are advised to take immediate action to clean and fumigate the aircraft on sighting of a rodent.This is done for safety reasons, as rats can mess with cables and wiring inside the aircraft. Staff also keep rat traps (called glue traps) in the aircraft cargo hold  whenever a rat is spotted.

Till a few years earlier, AI used to fumigate aircraft with methyl bromide if a rat was seen but its use has been discontinued, as it is highly toxic.
19/04/16 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

190 SpiceJet passengers spend night stranded in plane

A SpiceJet flight (SG487) from Mumbai to Kolkata was stranded at the Nagpur airport on Sunday night due to a technical snag. SpiceJet does not have regular service from Nagpur so there is no support or ground staff here. The plane therefore had to wait at Nagpur till a Spicejet Engineer could check it. A plane going from Kolkata to Goa on Monday morning brought the engineers here. The engineers repaired the snag and the stranded plane left for onward journey in the morning.

The 190 passengers aboard had to spend the entire night in the aircraft and were not granted airport access. A passenger aboard the stranded aircraft developed a heart problem and had to be taken to a city hospital as there was no chance of flight reaching Kolkata on time. An ambulance was called and the patient was shifted immediately to a hospital, where he is said to be out of danger.
19/04/16 Ashish Roy/The Times Of India

Passenger movement up by 2.47 lakh

For the first time passenger movement at Coimbatore International Airport has crossed the 15 lakh mark.

On reaching 17.31 lakh last financial year, the airport is all set to join the select airports in the country that are considered as major airports.

Reason for increase is cited as the over all average increase in passenger movement across the country.

Passenger movement that is steadily on the rise is expected to go up further when Air Carnival begins operations – possibly by the second half of May.

Passenger movement at the airport has gone up by 2,47,261 in 2015-16.

The departure and arrival last financial year is the highest the airport has recorded so far.

It is 16.66 per cent more than the passenger movement recorded the previous year – the highest so far.

This increase was despite a mere 1.18 per cent increase in the aircraft movement.

Passenger movement has gone up in both domestic and international sectors.
19/04/16 M.K.Ananth/The Hindu

55-yr-old turns up a day late for flight, creates ruckus at Mumbai airport

A 55-year-old caused a ruckus on Saturday evening when he was not allowed to enter Mumbai airport. In fact, he had arrived a day late for his scheduled journey and naturally, the CISF manning the security gates, did not allow him in.
That was when the Chennai resident, G Paul Fredrick, started hurling abuses at the staff near departure gate number 1. He repeatedly claimed that he had been issued a wrong boarding pass and he had booked a flight for April 16, even though his actual booking to Chennai was for an IndiGo flight (6E459) on April 15. After being snubbed by the CISF, Fredrick approached the IndiGo ticket counter, where the staff informed him about the mistake. He then started demanding a refund. “He was shouting and using abusive language while talking to the IndiGo staff and other people. CISF staff tried to pacify him but he just wasn’t ready to leave the terminal premises. He was yelling continuously,” said an airline official, on condition of anonymity. At about 8.10 pm, the IndiGo staff took him to the airport police station.
19/04/16 Neha LM Tripathi/mid-day

Bekal to join the big league, air connectivity soon

The famous Bekal Fort of the Chirakkal Rajas, one of the largest and best preserved forts in the State, is all set to figure on the aviation map with plans afoot for the construction of an airstrip. The airstrip that can accommodate 50-seater aircraft will offer last-mile connectivity to the Bekal Special Tourism Area that has already been developed as an exotic beach destination.

The Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) has almost finalised a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the construction of the airstrip.

Incidentally, the authorities are yet to convene a meeting of stakeholders and the Bekal Resorts Development Corporation (BRDC) spearheading the destination development in Kasaragod district, thanks to the code of conduct in force ahead of the May 16 Assembly election.

Sources said the government had already granted administrative sanction and had allocated Rs.35 crore for the first phase of the project proposed in Uduma panchayat.

As much as 120 acres will be required for the airstrip, which will come up close to the notified area, while 40 acres are already in the possession of the government and the BRDC. For the record, it takes two hours by road from Bekal to the Mangaluru airport and the upcoming Kannur international airport.

The airstrip will come in handy for the six resorts that have come up at Bekal to attract upmarket holidayers. Airlines can directly operate to Bekal or can offer air connectivity from international airports in the State.
19/04/16 S.Anil Radhakrishnan/The Hindu

Lack of government support dampens growth of business jets

Business sentiments running high normally mean good days for private jet operators in India. But the country’s lack of infrastructure and a policy paralysis have stymied the growth of an industry which according to operators would have been high and flying now.

Firstly, the government is yet to evolve a policy framework for non-scheduled air operations, and lack of it was impeding the growth of the industry.

“Being governed by the same regulations of that of the scheduled operators, poses a load on us, said Bhupesh Joshi, CEO of Club One Air — one of the largest players in the market. Joshi cites the example of regulation according to which it is mandatory for a co-pilot to fly for 100 hours to become captain.

“Because the scheduled carriers have volumes and it’s very easy for them to meet the regulatory requirements, for our pilots to have 10 hours of flying will take six months,” he says.

The story of the nosedive lies in its numbers. India's private jet fleet grew at double-digit rates until 2008, when it surged 26 percent, according to industry figures. But that proved to be a flash in a pan.

 After that, there was a sharp slowdown owing to the global financial crisis. High taxes ensured that the numbers didn't climbed back up by much has a one-time show. Since then, there have been periodic increases in the number of operators, but no sooner than one came in, another went out.
18/04/16 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Aviation Soaring to the skies

The aviation sector in India has not had it this good in years. Passengers are taking to the skies in droves. At about 8.1 crore tickets, domestic passenger traffic during January to December 2015 was up more than 20 per cent year-on-year.

The pace has only picked up in 2016 — traffic growth until February this year is more than 23 per cent. India is today the fastest growing major aviation market in the world.

This stellar growth has been made possible primarily by the deep cut in the cost of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), the largest operating expense for airlines in the country. The rout of crude oil since June 2014 has seen ATF following suit, even if not to the same extent.

At ₹42,157, a kilolitre of ATF in Delhi today is about 40 per cent cheaper compared with two years back and 15 per cent over a year. This has translated into big savings for airlines. For instance, the country’s largest carrier IndiGo Airlines spent about 17 per cent less on fuel in the nine months ended December 2015 compared with the year-ago period, despite increase in its fleet size. As a result, its fuel cost as a percentage of sales fell to 31 per cent from 45 per cent a year ago.
17/04/16 Anand Kalyanaraman/Business Line

Resident rat grounds AI Dreamliner for 3rd time this month

New Delhi: One of Air India's Dreamliners has an unwelcome tenant. Spotted off and on, the rat has disrupted flights at least thrice this month, the last instance on Saturday. The aircraft, worth Rs 1,500 crore (at current prices), has been fumigated repeatedly and rat traps have been laid but there is no shooing away the rodent. Either it's one rat that has stood its ground, say sources, or new ones have hopped aboard.
The last 'sighting' was on Saturday morning when the Boeing 787 was flying from Melbourne to Delhi. The aircraft (VT-ANV) took off from Melbourne as AI309 just before 6am (India time). After flying for about six hours, the rodent was sighted and the aircraft diverted to Singapore where it landed after 1pm. The plane has been grounded there and AI was making alternate arrangements to fly the passengers to Delhi.
Sources said the first time the rat was sighted on the aircraft was about two weeks ago when it was flying from Birmingham to Delhi. Then, five days ago, on April 11, passengers were boarding the aircraft at Delhi to fly to Frankfurt when the rodent surfaced again.
17/04/16 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Will good times continue for the Indian flier?

That the Indian flier is price-conscious is clear from the rapid growth of low cost carriers (LCCs) in the domestic skies. Over the years, LCCs such as IndiGo Airlines, SpiceJet and GoAir gained market share rapidly at the expense of the full service carriers (FSCs) — more than 60 per cent of passengers in the country now fly with LCCs. Also, except Vistara, the new carriers in the Indian skies are all LCCs. Why, even the FSCs such as Jet Airways and Air India often price their economy class tickets around levels similar to those of LCCs. Low fares have invariably attracted the Indian flier, a case in point being the ongoing rapid growth in passenger traffic.
Data from the listed airlines — Jet Airways, SpiceJet and IndiGo — shows that ticket fares came down quite a bit last year. For the nine months ending December 2015, the average fare on these airlines fell about 8-14 per cent year-on-year. This is despite the carriers retaining a good part of their fuel cost cut benefit. Many airlines, especially LCCs, have been coming up with flash sales. If you are lucky to get these limited tickets, you could fly quite cheap.

Besides, carriers have been introducing special schemes to attract fliers. Not surprising, given the increasing competition; 10 airlines (5 old and 5 new) now jostle for passenger patronage. Jet Airways, for instance, lets you lock in rates for 72 hours, giving time to finalise travel plans. This flexibility costs ₹350 on domestic flights and ₹700 on international ones. IndiGo lets you cancel or change your booking any number of times, select a seat, and get a meal for an extra ₹1,500. SpiceJet, for ₹299, guarantees you a flight in 24 hours in case of delays, cancellations or missed flights.

Some airlines offer discounts to customers who book tickets on their mobile platforms and apps. Airlines have also been using ‘fare unbundling’ to good effect to let passengers pick and choose services they want.
17/04/16 Anand Kalyanaraman/Business Line

Govt drops plan to bid out unused air traffic rights

New Delhi: The civil aviation ministry has dropped the proposal of auctioning unused bilateral traffic rights on international routes, as per a draft on National Civil Aviation Policy circulated for inter-ministerial consultations last month, official sources said.
Domestic carriers as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have strongly opposed plans to auction unused bilateral rights.
The government has also tried a balancing act on replacing the much-debated 5/20 rule for flying overseas, while at the same time giving older carriers the flexibility to withdraw capacity deployed on unviable routes which is in excess of the minimum requirements, the sources said.
The existing rule of domestic airlines having minimum five year experience and 20 aircraft for being eligible to fly on international routes is proposed to be replaced by only 20 aircraft requirement and a minimum of 20 per cent capacity being deployed domestically.
If approved, the proposed policy will enable new carriers like AirAsia India and Vistara — both operated by the Tata Group via joint ventures with foreign partners — to operate internationally without having the minimum five-year experience as required in the existing regime.
17/04/16 Sunny Verma/Indian Express

Transport chopper pilots to undergo proficiency check: Govt

New Delhi: Licence holders seeking to become pilot-in-command of transport helicopters will now have to undergo proficiency checks which will be valid for six months.

The new norms would also be applicable for co-pilots of transport helicopters as well as that of transport aeroplanes.

In this regard, the Civil Aviation Ministry has made amendments to the Aircraft Rules, 1937. This comes at a time when there are efforts to boost overall aviation safety in the country.

"In order to act as a pilot-in-command or co-pilot on transport helicopters, the licence holder shall be required to undergo an appropriate proficiency check as specified by the Director General, in respect of the type of helicopter to be flown," a recent ministry notification said.
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) would specify the relevant proficiency check and it would be valid for six months.
17/04/16 PTI/Business Standard

AirAsia India offers Rs 999 domestic, Rs 2,999 international fare

Bangalore: AirAsia India offers: Low-cost airline AirAsia on Sunday launched a special one week promotional campaign with one way fares to domestic destinations at Rs 999 and to international destinations at Rs 2,999.
“We serve over 100 destinations across 22 countries and with promotional fares such as what we are offering throughout this one week campaign, we are sure that many will get a chance to indulge in some of the best travel plans around,” said AirAsia Berhad commercial head Spencer Lee in a statement.
Open for booking from April 18-24, the offer lists Bengaluru, Delhi, Kochi, Vizag, Chandigarh, Goa, Guwahati, Imphal, Pune and Jaipur as the domestic destinations of the airline while international destinations include Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Bali, Melbourne, Perth and Manila among 100 cities in 22 countries.
17/04/16 IANS/Financial Express

PAL flight diverts to India after baby couldn’t wait

A Manila-bound Philippine Airlines (PAL) plane from Dubai was diverted to India on Sunday when a seven-month pregnant passenger went into premature labor mid-flight.
PR 669 left Dubai at midnight Saturday when four hours into the flight to Manila, 40-year-old Mary Grace Alejandro, who was traveling with her teenage son, complained of abdominal pain and went into labor.
The cabin crew helped the woman give birth.

Mother and daughter, however, were in delicate condition that required proper medical care.
This prompted the pilot to divert the flight to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India.
Upon landing, Alejandro and her new baby were rushed to Apollo Hospital, where they were declared in stable condition.
According to PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna, the baby was on ventilator support and under observation, with a projected full recovery in six weeks.
17/04/16 Inquirer.net

Campaign rush in poll season leads to windfall at Durgapur airport

Kolkata: Bengal's sleepy greenfield airport near Durgapur has sprung to life with jet-setting VIP politicians flying in and out in the high noon of poll season. The airport has already earned an additional Rs 1 crore in a fortnight in landing and parking fees.
Though commercial operations at Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in Andal started in December 2015, it has taken off now with 85 chartered flights landing and taking off with the who's who of politics on board.
Prior to the campaign rush, the airport used to handle 10-12 flights in 15 days.
From PM Narendra Modi to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the list of fliers who have used the airport is impressive. Home minister Rajnath Singh, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, human resource development minister Smiti Irani, junior information & broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, BJP president Amit Shah and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi have all used the airport to campaign in Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura and even Malda and Murshidabad. Trinamool's Mukul Roy and Dev also used the facility; chief minister Mamata Banerjee did not land there but her chopper refuelled there as tax is not levied on ATF there.
17/04/16 Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

AAI likely to post all-time high revenue of Rs 10,000 crore

New Delhi: National airports operator AAI is expected to report an all-time high revenue of Rs 10,000 crore, with an estimated flat profit growth in the fiscal ended March 31 this year.
The estimated eight per cent growth in the topline which stood at Rs 9,285 crore in 2014-15, is driven by the surge in passenger traffic as well as aircraft movement, particularly from Ahmedabad and Leh airports, a senior AAI official said.
The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) was accorded 'Miniratna' status in 2008, granting it the right to exercise its powers of autonomy in terms of investment in projects and forming joint ventures.
Of the 125 AAI airports, currently 95 are operational, with 70 of them having scheduled flights.
"While the accounts are still being finalised, we estimate the revenue to touch an all-time high of Rs 10,000 crore in the last fiscal. The net profit during this period is also estimated at Rs 2,000 crore," the AAI official said.
17/04/16 PTI/Economic Times

India, U.S. to conclude pact on aircraft carrier cooperation

India and the U.S. may not have signed the Logistics Support Agreement as planned during Defence Secretary Ashton Carter’s visit early this week but both sides are close to finalising an Information Exchange Agreement (IEA) on aircraft carrier technologies, as well as cooperation on air wing operations for carrier Vikrant under construction at Kochi.

The IEA will formalise the exact technology that the U.S. will share and at what classification level, design side, operations among other things, a senior U.S. Admiral said. Both sides had already signed the Terms of Reference on June 17, 2015 during the first meeting of the India-U.S. Joint Working Group (JWG) on carrier technology cooperation.

“We provided them a draft when I visited them in February and it is going through the necessary channels of the Indian government to make sure you are ok with it. We are very close,” said Rear Admiral Tom Moore in an exclusive interview to The Hindu, in the US capital late last month. He is the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Officer for Aircraft Carriers, and the Co-chair of the JWG. From the Indian side it is chaired by Vice Admiral G.S. Pubby, Controller for Warship Production and Acquisition.

“It is a necessary document to take the next step. We have made a lot of progress over the last year,” he noted.
17/04/16 The Hindu

Nagpur youngsters hooked to aeromodelling

Considered to be one of the most expensive sports, aeromodelling is fast catching up as one of the most loved recreational activities in the city. Flying enthusiasts are taking full advantage of summers to give shape to their fantasies by manoeuvring the flights of passion in the clear blue skies. From flying a little aircraft as a hobby to winning national-level competitions, Nagpurians are hooked to this aerial sport. We update you on this rapidly growing trend.
The chills and thrills of flying a mini aircraft or a drone on a summer morning is exciting and city's aeromodelling enthusiasts are certainly not holding themselves back to pursue this passionate sport. "Three years ago, aeromodelling was considered a rich man's sport, because it was very expensive. But, city's budding engineers and techies have made it easy for everyone to take on aeromodelling big time by making low-cost models of mini aircrafts in the city. This has inspired many flying enthusiasts to pursue this royal sport with full passion," says aeromodelling instructor Umesh Raut.
17/04/16 Rishabh Deb/Times of India

A-I to deploy airbus for Simhastha fair

Indore :  Keeping an eye on passenger rush, Air-India (AI) is going to introduce a large aircraft, Airbus-321, for its Simhastha special flights from April 22 for New Delhi. The Airbus 321 is the largest among the existing flights of three airliners from the city.
More than 50% seats of the aircraft for April 22 and 85% for April 23 have been booked.
182-seater aircraft to conduct Simhastha  special flights from April 22
Over 60 seats booked for April 22 and 23
Air India, which is passing through a major reshuffle, has decided to reap the benefit of Simhastha fair.  A-I Managing Director Ashwini Lohani had announced in Bhopal last month to launch special flights from New Delhi to Indore for a month.
17/04/16 Free Press Journal

Vadodara gets two new flights due to runway repair in Ahmedabad

Runway at Ahmedabad airport is closed for operation between 10 am and 6 pm due to ongoing repair work which is likely to continue for one year. Due to this some flights from Ahmedbad during 10 to 6 are diverted to Vadodara airport which is located at about one and half hour road distance from Ahmedabad. Indigo has diverted its Ahmedabad-Goa flight to Vadodara which is starting today via Mumbai. Similarly the Indigo flight to Bangalore has also been shifted to Vadodara from today. Meanwhile Air India has resumed its Vadodara-Delhi operation. Air India is also planning to start Mumbai-Bhavnagar-Mumbai flight from 21st April.
16/04/16 DeshGujarat

Experience the Luxury of Flying Jet Airways

Jet Airways is the largest Indian airline with its head office at Mumbai, Maharashtra under the parent company Tailwinds Limited. With a fleet size of 101 aircraft, it controls 400 flights daily to 76 destinations in India and abroad. Other than the operating hubs in India it also possesses an international hub which is located in Brussels Airport, Belgium. Jet Airways commenced its commercial operations on the 5th of May 1993 and it is one of the oldest aircraft in India.

It had a modest beginning with a cargo of only 4 Boeing 737-300 aircraft and with this it grew up to the current position in a short span of time and today stands proudly as the largest private airline in India. It started its international operation in 2004 with the first flight scheduled from Chennai to Colombo. One of the major milestones in the expansion of Jet Airways was the acquisition of Air Sahara in 2006 and the latter was renamed JetLite. Today it has JetKonnect as its low-cost subsidiary airline.

Booking of tickets in Jet Airways is quite simple for the ease of its customers which mainly belong to the business class of India. The various modes of booking include direct booking at the booking counters in the airports offices, through the travel agents, through mobile phone booking, through call centers and through online. The Jet Airways online booking is the most convenient and easy method of booking, offering the customers the option to book tickets anytime of the day sitting back and relaxing in their houses or offices without the need of taking the pain of visiting the booking counters.
17/04/16 The Sequitur

World's largest 'charkha' to be on display at IGI airport

New Delhi: World's largest wooden Charkha (spinning wheel) proposed to be installed at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport here is ready for dispatch from a unit of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) in Ahmedabad.
The four-tonne Charkha made from high-quality teak wood, which is estimated to last for over 50 years, was built by around 26 workers and carpenters who completed it in 40 days, the KVIC said in a statement.
"It was the initiative of KVIC Chairman V K Saxena who decided to install the world's largest charkha at the international airport in Delhi to showcase India's symbol of non-violence to the world through the airport where around 2,50,000 people/tourists visit every day," the statement said.
17/04/16 PTI/Times of India

Zambian held at IGIA with drugs worth Rs.1.4cr

A Zambian national has been held at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here for allegedly attempting to smuggle out narcotic drugs worth Rs.1.4 crore.
Officials said the incident occurred on Friday when Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sleuths detected suspicious movements of a passenger identified as Zambian Mwenda Paul, who arrived at the airport terminal to board a flight to Addis Ababa.
They said Paul was chosen for detailed frisking after which about 35kg of the banned drug was recovered from his baggage, cleverly hidden in thigh pads (cricketing gear).
16/04/16 PTI/Statesman

Rare tortoises to be flown to Madagascar

Navi Mumbai: More than three weeks after 146 endangered tortoises were rescued from a Nepalese flyer at the international airport, 131 of them are set to return to Madagascar on Monday. Fifteen of the tortoises died.

Director of Wildlife Crime Control Bureau M Maranko said the process to send the tortoises back was over. An Interpol alert to file a case against the flyer, Lal Babu Thakur (32), was issued.
17/04/16 Times of India