Thursday, July 27, 2017

AirAsia keen to consolidate its airlines under One AirAsia

AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes has told Forbes India that he would like to integrate all of the group's operations into a single airline entity.

"I'm trying to unify AirAsia into one airline — a unique corporate structure within ASEAN," Fernandes told the news site. "What we would like to do is create one holding company that would own 100 percent of all our airline companies operating in ASEAN countries. This would allow us to invest more, reduce costs and enable us to be much more efficient."

The ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] region comprises ten states, covering 4.4 million square kilometres and 625 million people. It does not include India or Japan, where AirAsia also operates.

When asked about timing, Fernandes said his target was two years, according to news site Bernama. "The first step is to create the group company, and AirAsia Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer Rozman Omar is working hard on it. Is a lot of work to do 'One AirAsia' as a corporate structure. But 'One AirAsia' as a company within a company is working really well," he added.
27/07/17 ch-aviation

Carry Hindi newspapers, magazines onboard: DGCA to airlines

New Delhi: Even as parts of the country is witnessing agitation against imposition of Hindi on signages, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today issued an advisory to airlines directing them to carry Hindi newspapers and magazines.
The notice has been issued to ensure that the passengers got reading material in both Hindi and English.
"Not providing Hindi reading material on board is against Indian government's policy for official language," Lalit Gupta, joint director general, DGCA, said in a letter to airlines.
Following the decision by DGCA, Congress was quick to slam it. Congress MP Shashi Tharoor took to Twitter and wrote, "DGCA now wants Hindi publications served on Indian flights (together with vegetarian meals?)!"
26/07/17 Bijin Jose/India Today

After IndiGo, GoAir faces A-320 Neo engine woes

New Delhi: Pratt & Whitney's (PW) snag-prone engines for the Airbus A-320 new engine option (Neo) continues to trouble both the airlines - IndiGo and GoAir - using this combination in India. While TOI had on July 11 reported that 9 of the 22 PW-powered A-320 Neos of IndiGo were grounded due to engine issues, now GoAir is also facing problem on this front.
GoAir has been sending mails to passengers about some flight cancellations as the engine trouble has meant slower than expected deliveries of the aircraft from Airbus. "The reason for the cancellation is the delay from Airbus on account of Pratt & Whitney powered engine delivery. We regret the inconvenience caused. These changes are due to issues beyond our control and our customer care team will call you ... for free rebooking or full refund," says a mail sent by GoAir to a passenger who had booked an Ahmedabad-Bengaluru flight for August, informing him about the flight being cancelled.
GoAir did not say how many A-320 Neos it was supposed to get till now as per original delivery schedule and how many it has actually got so far. The Wadia group airline has 5 A-320 Neos. One of these has been grounded for engine replacement, adding to the airline's troubles.
27/07/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Low cost airlines, DIAL to meet aviation secy July 31 over shift to Terminal 2

The three budget airlines— InterGlobe Aviation-run IndiGo, SpiceJet and GoAir – and GMR Infrastructure-controlled Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) will meet Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey on July 31 to resolve the impasse arising out of no airline willing to shift to terminal T2 of the Delhi airport, according to an official with one of the carriers.

July 15 was the deadline for the airline companies to resolve among themselves on shift to the terminal.

DIAL wants one or more of these airlines to shift their operations to T2 in order to undertake expansion of T1. As per the agreement signed between the airlines and the airport operator, DIAL has the right to ask any airline to shift its operations.

Low-cost carriers use T1, also called the domestic airport, for all their local and international flights from and to Delhi. The Delhi airport currently has three terminals with T3 being used by full service local carriers for both their domestic and international flights.
27/07/17 Moneycontrol

Authorities’ intervention sought in late departures

Pune: Accusing airlines of providing them with little or no information, passengers plagued by frequent delay of flights from the city last week asked the airport authorities to intervene.

There have been at least three instances of flights to different destinations getting delayed in a week, excluding the delay of an Air India flight from Delhi to Pune on Tuesday. Passengers were little satisfied with the airlines' excuses like weather and technical snags.

"I was in the SpiceJet flight getting late by over three hours on June 21. The same flight to Ahmedabad was delayed again on Saturday for over five hours. The problem is airlines don't tell the passengers the issue and just keep them waiting, adding to their frustration. It is high time the airport authorities took up the cases of frequent delays," a businessman told TOI. Tushar Nayak, a passenger of the SpiceJet's (SG-524) flight mailed to TOI, stating, "On Saturday last week, the flight departed at 1.50am while its original time of departure from Pune was 8.40pm. They served food but it was not good at all.'
27/07/17 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

Delayed flight from Lucknow leaves flyers stranded in Delhi

Pune: A group of 13 passengers travelling to the city from Lucknow was allegedly mistreated by the officials of Jet Airways in Delhi airport on Wednesday after they missed their onward flight because of late arrival of their plane in the national capital.
Mayuraish Dandaicar, one of the passengers, said they were travelling from Lucknow to Delhi on a Jet flight and then had to travel to Pune. "The flight from Lucknow was delayed and it took off at 4.30pm instead of 3.40pm. For around half-an-hour, we sat in the aircraft before it took off and reached Delhi at 5.45pm. Our flight to Pune from Delhi at 5.30pm had left by then," he told TOI from Delhi.

A source said the delay was because of ATC congestion. According to Dandaicar, a corporate trainer, the 13 people included senior citizens, women and a kidney patient.
"We requested the airline to accommodate us in another flight. Its officials flatly said we would be adjusted in a 9.30pm flight. They told us we could opt for the same or take the refund. There was an Air India flight to Pune but they deliberately delayed things and said its check-in was over. We were not offered any refreshments, not even water," he said.
Dandicar said the passengers in the group and they were told to wait in a lounge belonging to the internal transfer desk of the airport. "We refused it and demanded that we should be allowed to wait in a proper lounge and given refreshments. We wanted to talk to some senior Jet Airways official at the airport, but in vain. It was very humiliating indeed," Mayuraish said.
27/07/17 Times of India

Destination CNN: Kannur gets the code for take-off

Kannur: Key in ‘CNN’ to book a flight ticket to Kannur. The city of looms and lores will be hereafter known as ‘CNN’ in the skies with International Air Transport Association (IATA) allotting  the mandatory destination code to Kannur International Airport Ltd (KIAL). The allotment of the three letter Code ‘CNN’ was first announced by KIAL managing director P Balakiran in a tweet in which he said “Happy to inform our Kannur airport received today the IATA three-letter location code CNN (short for Cannanore)”.

A letter sent by IATA officer for Coding and Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreements (MITA) Jeffrey Ross to Harsh Pandey of Air India Charters Limited, Mumbai, said: “We are pleased to inform you your company has met all the requirements for the assignment of a Location Code. Therefore, and in accordance with IATA Passenger Services Conference Resolution 763, we have assigned you the above-mentioned Location Code.”

The airport code is an IATA location identifier. All airports in the world are identified by a three-letter code defined by the IATA. The codes are published biannually in the IATA Airline Coding Directory. It is used for passenger reservation, ticketing, and baggage-handling systems.
27/07/17 New Indian Express

Air India will save ₹8 to 10 cr annually on non-veg food decision, says Aviation Minister

Air India’s decision to stop serving non-vegetarian meals to economy class passengers on domestic flights is expected to save ₹ 8 to 10 crore annually, the government said on Thursday.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said the move is to save costs, reduce wastage, improve service and also avoid any chances of mix-up of meals.

“The annual saving is expected to be around ₹8 to 10 crore per annum,” he said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

On whether the views of air passengers were solicited before taking the decision, Sinha replied in the affirmative and added that passenger feedback through cabin crew was received.

The debt-laden national carrier has been taking various steps to reduce costs and revive its financial fortunes. These include rationalisation of certain loss making routes and enhanced utilisation of new fleet.

In a separate written reply, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said FIR (First Information Report) has already been registered by the CBI regarding the alleged irregularities in procurements/ purchase of aircraft by Air India.
27/07/17 PTI/The Hindu

September date for UDAN flight service to Jharsuguda

Bhubaneswar: ir connectivity from Bhubaneswar to the industrial township of Jharsuguda under 'Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik' (UDAN), a regional connectivity scheme of the Centre, is likely to begin from September this year.

"We have decided to operationalise the flight route between  Bhubaneswar and Jharsuguda from September and for other routes like Bhubaneswar-Jeypore, Bhubaneswar-Rourkela and Bhubaneswar-Utkela we need some time for the preparations before they are opened up for flights," Chief Secretary A P Padhi told mediapersons.Padhi reviewed the progress of the regional air connectivity under UDAN at the first State-level monitoring-cum-coordination committee meeting here on Wednesday.

The Chief Secretary directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to complete the first phase works in Jharsuguda airstrip and make it ready for flight operation by September 1. He further asked the authority to expedite the preparatory works at other airstrips.Five airstrips of the State have been selected for inclusion in UDAN scheme. Biju Patnaik International Airport will work as mentor airport. The other four airstrips are located at Rourkela, Jharsuguda, Utkela in Kalahandi district and Jeypore in Koraput district.
27/07/17 New Indian Express

Ahmedabad airport witnesses water-logging due to incessant rains

Ahmedabad: As incessant rains+ battered the city, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport on Thursday morning witnessed water-logging outside the airport and also near the operational area.
However, the airport authorities claimed that no flights got delayed or diverted due to water-logging at the airport.
SVPI airport terminal manager said that the water-logging did not cause any serious issue to flight operations. "No flight was delayed or diverted due to water-logging at the SVPI airport. The water-logging mainly occurred outside airport, but as the rains stopped in the afternoon, rainwater receded gradually. There was no major water-logging issue near the operational area including the runway," said airport officials.
But many passengers said that there was water-logging near the taxi runway and also near the GUJSAIL terminal near torrent sub-station at the SVPI airport.
27/07/17 Ashish Chauhan/Times of India

3 new aerobridges in June next year

Pune: Flyers will have to wait till the next monsoon for three new aerobridges at the Lohegaon airport.
This rainy season, most passengers will have to go through the ordeal of walking up the aircraft amid showers and bear with soiled luggage. An airport official told TOI, "The construction work of aerobridges is in progress and they will be operational by June 2018."
The fresh deadline goes against what was promised last year by the Pune Airport Advisory Committee in mid-October.
27/07/17 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

By treating women passengers differently, Vistara may've just changed flying in India

With its Woman Flyer service, Vistara has begun offering to help women flying solo with their bags, escort them to and from their ground transportation, and give them preferred window and aisle seats on their flights—no middles. The New Delhi-based airline says between 75 and 100 women use the complimentary service each day. It is believed to be the first airline to offer such a service.

Sanjiv Kapoor, Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer, said the airline began offering it after noticing women seeking help after their planes had landed. “Our staff is equipped to help women travelling alone with the booking of airport-authorized taxis, as well as escort them to the airport taxi stand upon their request,” Kapoor said via email. “This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers.”

India is forecast to become the world’s sixth-largest business travel market by 2019, according to the Global Business Travel Association, but it’s gained an international reputation for being unsafe for women—particularly since the brutal 2012 gang rape, torture, and murder of a medical student attacked on a public bus in New Delhi.

In its notices to Americans about travelling to India, the U.S. State Department is blunt on the danger of sexual assault: “U.S. citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India.” Australia and the United Kingdom offer similar, slightly more circumscribed warnings for women to avoid travelling alone on Indian public transit. In sexual assault cases in India, “successful prosecutions are rare,” Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises. Street harassment, controversially known as “Eve teasing,” is common.
Vistara, meanwhile, hopes to extend its new service for women to international flights once it expands outside of India. In May, Bloomberg News reported that the airline, which flies an all-Airbus A320 domestic fleet, was seeking to recruit pilots trained on Boeing Co. aircraft—a signal the carrier is considering leasing or buying Boeing jets for longer-haul routes outside the country.
27/07/17 Justin Bachman/Economic Times

Vistara airline in India offers 'Woman Flyer' service with special treatment

In a country where women travellers face myriad dangers, one Indian airline has an idea: Chivalry, and no middle seats.

With its Woman Flyer service, Vistara has begun offering to help women flying solo with their bags, escort them to and from their ground transportation, and give them preferred window and aisle seats on their flights - no middles. The New Delhi-based airline says between 75 and 100 women use the complimentary service each day. It is believed to be the first airline to offer such a service.
Sanjiv Kapoor, Vistara's chief strategy and commercial officer, said the airline began offering it after noticing women seeking help after their planes had landed. "Our staff is equipped to help women travelling alone with the booking of airport-authorised taxis, as well as escort them to the airport taxi stand upon their request," Kapoor said via email. "This service is a sincere effort to ensure peace of mind of our women customers."
India is forecast to become the world's sixth-largest business travel market by 2019, according to the Global Business Travel Association, but it's gained an international reputation for being unsafe for women-particularly since the brutal 2012 gang rape, torture, and murder of a medical student attacked on a public bus in New Delhi.
In its notices to Americans about travelling to India, the US State Department is blunt on the danger of sexual assault: "US citizens, particularly women, are cautioned not to travel alone in India." Australia and the United Kingdom offer similar, slightly more circumscribed warnings for women to avoid traveling alone on Indian public transit. In sexual assault cases in India, "successful prosecutions are rare," Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises. Street harassment, controversially known as "Eve teasing," is common.
27/07/17 Justin Bachman/Traveller

Police clips airhostess's wings

The High Court has stayed police's action of withdrawing verification certificate to a woman over a complaint on the woman's marital status. The woman, an air hostess, who is going through a divorce proceeding, was fired from her job after the verification certificate was cancelled.

Police took this action after a person not known to the air hostess, Gayatri Nair, complained to the police that she had concealed her marriage. The 28-year-old air hostess is a resident of Mysuru. The commissioner of police, Mysuru, passed an order on May 13, 2017, withdrawing her police verification certificate. The certificate was originally issued on August 22, 2015. The woman approached the HC and claimed that she had not been given an opportunity of presenting her side of the story before the police commissioner passed his order "without any reason".

Nair is said to have claimed in her complaint that the air hostess had concealed "the fact of her being married". The air hostess claimed that because the certificate was withdrawn she lost her job with Indigo Airlines. She also claimed that she "is already in a matrimonial turmoil" and had filed a petition in Mysuru seeking the dissolution of her marriage.

Justice Dr Vineet Kothari, who heard the woman's plea, said that the "matter requires consideration" and issued a notice to the police concerned. The interim relief sought by the lady was also considered. The operation of the police order of May 13 was stayed till the disposal of the case.
27/07/17 Shyam Prasad S/Bengalore Mirror

SOPs to be prepared for VIP security for helicopter use, says CM Devenda Fadnavis

Mumbai: In an attempt to avoid helicopter mishaps in future, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said a standard operating procedure (SOP) would be prepared for VIPs using them. Fadnavis was replying to questions raised by members of the Legislative Council Wednesday. Instructions have been given for the SOPs to be prepared by an IG-level officer, he said.
Replying to a query by Opposition leader Dhananjay Munde on a recent mishap involving Fadnavis, the CM said the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) is conducting an inquiry into the incident and the committee has experts from the US and France.
“There was no helipad location policy earlier. The policy has been prepared and we will get it vetted by experts,” Fadnavis said. “As of now, we will hire a helicopter on a short-term lease till we purchase it. We have floated an expression of interest for it.”
27/07/17 Indian Express

Chemical leakage from plane causes panic at IGI airport

A recently landed Jet Airways flight created panic at the Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport on Monday, after a chemical leakage was noticed from one of the luggage in the aircraft's belly.

Immediately, bomb detection and disposal teams, armed commandos of Quick Response Teams and dog squads surrounded the aircraft and all its cargo was seized. After conducting more than three-hour-long drill, the substance was declared non-hazardous and was found to be a paint box.

According to senior officers from the Central Industrial Security Force, who take care of the airport's security, the alert was sparked around 6.10 am, when a staff on duty noticed that some liquid had leaked from the aircraft and alerted the concerned departments.

"Keeping in mind earlier leaks, where radioactive scare was sparked, the matter was treated with utmost importance and disaster response teams were rushed to the spot, along with the CISF's bomb detection teams and dog squad. The aircraft was taken to a secluded bay and was thoroughly checked for any suspicious or hazardous material. After completing the drill the plane was declared safe for use and the leak was spotted to be from a box of paint," said a senior CISF officer.
27/07/17 DNA

Security measures to be stepped up at airport

Security measures at the airport here will soon get bolstered further with the introduction of Biometric based Access Control System.

Guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel round-the-clock aided by surveillance cameras, the new system would cover certain sensitive areas within the airport.

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the regulatory authority for civil aviation security, and the Airports Authority of India (AAI) are involved in the new exercise.

Under the new system, access control devices would be installed at entry and exit gates of certain sensitive spots including operation area, vehicle gate leading to the operational area, cargo area and at the international terminal building.

Before executing the system, BCAS and AAI officials carried out a survey at the airport.
Entry into the sensitive areas through the gates would be either by stamping the thumb impression or displaying cards proposed to be given to the staff. Doors of sensitive spots would get opened by displaying the card or stamping the thumb impression, the official said. Access rights would be given by the Security Directorate of the AAI, Tiruchi.
27/07/17 R Rajaram/The Hindu

Air India contract staffer hides gold bars in phone battery slot

Mumbai: An unusually heavy mobile phone carried by an airline staffer led CISF airport security officials to unearth a gold smuggling plan at Mumbai airport on Wednesday. Security personnel detained the staffer, found carrying about 464gm gold, concealed in the battery slot.
Khan Mohammad Arif was a contract employee of Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), a subsidiary of national carrier Air India, which undertakes ground handling job contracts like loading/unloading passenger bags and manning check-in counters to ready flights for departures/arrivals. There was nothing amiss with the staffer, who walked up to security personnel, dressed in a black suit, white shirt and red tie uniform to undergo routine frisking before he could leave the airport integrated terminal 2, where he was on duty early in the morning. Around 9.45am, he had reached lift 23, used by airport staff, at level 2 of the arrival corridor of T2 at Sahar airport. Entry to the lift is manned by a male and female CISF constable, who frisk all airline staff before they enter.
The AIATSL staffer had two mobiles, which he kept aside as frisking began. When constable Alok Singh Bhadouriya picked up the phones to hand them back to the staffer, he noticed one of them was unusually heavy. The constable told the staffer to switch on the mobile, to which he responded that the phone had no battery. "The constables got more suspicious as to how could the phone be so heavy if it had no battery. He told him to open the phone,'' said senior commandant S K Mohanka.
27/07/17 Times of India

Gold worth Rs 1.30 crore seized in last two days, one airport staff held

During last two days, custom officials at Mumbai CSI have seized illegally smuggled gold jewellery/bars valued at more than Rs 1.30 crore in their anti-smuggling work.
For three consecutive days, customs officials were able to intercept and apprehend 6 people who smuggled gold into the country.
On July 24 night, Deepak Kumar Sheta, who arrived from Dubai, was arrested for carrying gold jewellery weighing 722 gms and valued at Rs 21.29 lakh concealed in the front pocket of his linen pants.
On July 25, Riyaj Mohammed (29) holding Indian passport, arrived from Riyadh by Air India flight and was apprehended for carrying two white coloured gold wires collectively weighing 699 grams valued at Rs 20.62 lakh. The consignment was hidden inside the inner lining of his trolley bag.
On July 25, Rekha Srichanda Talreja (39), who arrived from Bangkok by Thai Airways flight, was intercepted and during a personal search, gold jewellery and one cut piece of gold bar was recovered from her rectum, total weighing 810 grams and valued at Rs 23.89 lakh.
On the same night, Md Rishad Vannante Valappil (29), arrived from Dubai by Emirates flight with hollow cylindrical shaped gold inside a mixer, weighing 860 grams and valued at Rs 25.37 lakh.
Similar consignment was caught from another passenger. On July 25, Abdul Majeed Pallikere Ahmed (42), holding Indian passport, arrived from Dubai by Fly Dubai Airlines with another consignment of similar hollow cylindrical shaped gold concealed inside a mixer, weighing 861 grams valued at Rs 25.39 lakh.
During daytime of July 26, one airport staff Arif Mohamed Khan (23), working as a customer agent in Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), a subsidiary of Air India, was arrested by custom officials at the airport gate. The officials recovered four gold bars of ten tolas each weighing 464 grams in total and valued at Rs 13.68 lakh from Khan. The gold bars were concealed in the battery slot of the Samsung mobile he was carrying.
27/07/17 Virendrasingh Ghunawat/India Today

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Revenue earned from aviation sector increases

New Delhi: The non-tax revenue receipts by way of Dividends, Guarantee Fee and Other Receipts booked to the Consolidated Fund of India (CFI) by the Ministry of Civil Aviation have grown at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 87.8% between 2014-15 and 2016-17.

The non-tax revenue receipts were Rs 180.73 crore in 2014-15, Rs 858.99 crore in 2015-16 and Rs 1,203.54 crore in 2016-17.
26/07/2017 Bureaucracy Today

Govt. may not split Air India for stake sale

The central government may not sell Air India’s domestic and international operations separately, senior government officials have said. “We are not willing to go back to the days of Air India and [erstwhile] Indian Airlines as the disinvestment process of the national carrier may become unattractive,” a senior Aviation Ministry official, requesting anonymity, said.

This might come as a hurdle to low-cost airline IndiGo’s plan to buy a stake in AI as it was keen on acquiring its international operations.

“AI’s business cannot be split merely based on an expression of interest from a single private player. If we sell lucrative assets separately, it will make the divestment of the domestic unit and subsidiaries tricky,” the official added.

“If we sell lucrative assets of Air India separately, it will make the process of disinvestment of its domestic unit and subsidiaries tricky,” the official added.

The Central government’s concern is that Air India’s valuation may further take a hit if it hives off Air India into two companies and invites bids for its domestic and international operations.

Barely hours after the Union Cabinet gave its in-principle nod to divest stake in Air India last month, India’s largest low-cost carrier IndiGo expressed formal interest in its airline operations. However, the airline made it evident that it will be keen on buying Air India’s foreign operations and its low-cost international airline Air India Express.
25/07/17 Somesh Jha/The Hindu

US private equity firms suss out Air India

US-based private equity firms KKR & Co. and Warburg Pincus have expressed an interest in acquiring parts of Air India  which is currently slated for privatization.

India's LiveMint newspaper quotes sources familiar with the situation as saying the two firms have separately sought details on the privatization process. However, talks are currently at a very early stage with no firm commitments having yet been made.

Other firms that have already expressed an interest include Tata Group and low-cost carrier IndiGo Airlines (6E, Delhi Int'l).

New Delhi is expected to issue a Request For Proposals (RFP) for banks and financial institutions to handle the sale in the coming weeks.
25/07/17 ch-aviation

The sorry state of a multimillion-dollar art collection reveals deeper troubles at India's national airline

Mumbai: In the early 1980s, India’s national airline, Air India, commissioned a painting from artist Anjolie Ela Menon to add to a collection of contemporary Indian art that hung in its offices and executive lounges around the world.

Menon created “Inside Outside,” a series of six panels depicting multiethnic faces of Air India travelers and arranged in the shape of a door, and handed it over to the airline.
Some time later, Menon recalled, she was invited to an event at the plush Mumbai apartment of the state-owned company’s chairman, Yogesh Chander Deveshwar. Hanging on one of the walls was “Inside Outside” — except that a panel featuring a boy’s face was missing. In its place was a piece of cardboard.

“I asked Mr. Deveshwar how this had happened,” Menon said. “And he said he had got it in the same condition.”

The lost panel — on its own likely worth thousands of dollars — was part of one of the most important and perhaps most mysterious contemporary art collections in India, a trove of thousands of paintings curated during the heyday of the once-proud airline. Artists say the works have been mishandled and abused, much like Air India itself.
26/07/17 Shashank Bengali and Parth M.N/Los Angeles Times

AAI hikes penalty amount for violators at airports

New Delhi: Individuals violating regulations at airports will now have to pay higher penalties, with state-owned AAI notifying revised fine amounts.

Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra said the penalties have been increased as the earlier quantum was not appropriate with the changing times.

Now, any person contravening the AAI regulations would face up to Rs 5,000 penalty, a steep hike from the earlier quantum of Rs 500.

"... In the case of continuing contravention with an additional fine which may extend to Rs 500 for everyday during which such contravention continues after conviction for the first such contravention," according to a notification issued by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Under the earlier rules, this amount was just Rs 20 per day.

The revised quantum of fines have been notified by way of amendments to the AAI (Management of Airports) Regulations, 2003.

"Earlier provisions were very dated and not keeping in tune with changing times," Mohapatra told PTI.
26/07/17 PTI/Business Standard

Mocktails, wines, regional food: Air India to woo premium travelers with new menu


New Delhi: In a bid to lure more passengers, national passenger carrier Air India on Tuesday said that it will introduce a new menu for its international first and business class segments.

According to the airline's spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar, the airline will reinvent its existing menu by introducing regional dishes, more varieties of wine and mocktails


Apart from new dishes, the airline intends to give a "refresher training" in Indian cuisine to its chefs, who are stationed at various international cities.

"We will showcase new menu with regional dishes, new wines and several other changes during an exhibition which will be held in September," Kumar said.
26/07/17 IANS/Business Standard

Why Air India is being privatised; Jayant Sinha reveals the biggest reason behind the disinvestment of Maharaja

The Niti Aayog cited Air India’s “fragile finances” as the main reason for recommending the airline’s disinvestment, Union Minister Jayant Sinha informed the Rajya Sabha today. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), on June 28, gave in-principle nod for the strategic disinvestment of Air India and its five subsidiaries. In its recommendations, the Niti Aayog had given the rationale for the disinvestment of Air India and attributed the main reason as “fragile finances” of the company, Sinha said in a written reply. “Niti Aayog in its report on Air India says that further support to an unviable non-priority company in a matured and competitive aviation sector would not be the best use of scarce financial resources of the government,” he said. The minister of state for civil aviation was responding to a query on the main reasons behind the proposed disinvestment of Air India.
“Air India has been incurring continuous losses and has huge accumulated losses,” he said. NITI Aayog submitted its recommendations (fourth tranche) on strategic disinvestment of the central public sector enterprises on May 12. To take forward the CCEA decision, an Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism has been set up. The airline’s total debt stood at Rs 48,876.81 crore at the end of March 2017. Out of the total amount, Rs 17,359.77 crore are aircraft loans while Rs 31,517.04 crore are working capital loans.
25/07/17 PTI/Financial Express

New accounting standards likely to create turbulence for airlines

India’s aviation industry might be flying into a debt cloud when new accounting standards come into force in 2019. Carriers may see their loans liability soar by more than Rs 50,000 crore, with the latest set of rules calling time on the established practice of aircraft leasing.

The biggest impact of the switch would be on low-fare, asset-light airlines, especially IndiGo, which rely on lease-rentals for their operations. The new global accounting norms – IFRS 16 – would also affect legacy carriers such as Jet AirwaysBSE -1.86 % and Air India, which have adopted the industry best practice to lower their upfront costs. Net cash outgo for carriers, however, may not increase after the changeover.

A spokesperson at IndiGo declined to comment, saying the airline is in a silent period as its April-June earnings are to be announced shortly. A senior executive at Jet said there would “definitely be an impact” but didn’t elaborate.

"It weighs down the balance sheet with representative debt more than actual debt," rued a senior executive at SpiceJet, saying that since there are assets backing the debt, the switch wouldn’t change valuations of an airline based on net worth.
26/07/17 Anirban Chowdhury/Economic Times

'Local airlines likely to induct 384 planes by March 2020'

Domestic scheduled carriers are likely to induct as many as 384 aircraft in their fleet by March 2020, according to information available with the government.

Out of the total, budget carrier IndiGo is expected to add 136 aircraft while full service airline Vistara is likely to induct at least 5 planes during the period, as per details given by civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha today.

National carrier Air India is likely to add 28 aircraft between April this year and March 2020 while full service airline Jet Airways is expected to have another 37 aircraft in its fleet.

Two other budget carriers - SpiceJet and GoAir - plans to add 72 and 52 planes, respectively.

AirAsia India - a joint venture between Malaysian airlines group AirAsia and Tata Sons - is expected to take deliveries of 19 planes.

Turbo Megha, which runs a regional airlines under TrueJet brand, is likely to add 14 aircraft in its fleet during the period.
25/07/17 PTI/DNA

Overloaded Spicejet flight arrives without 10 passenegrs luggage

Pune: Ten passengers of a SpiceJet flight from Dubai to Pune on July 24 had a shock when they landed here and realised that their luggage had not come. The reason given by the airline’s ground staffers was that the aircraft had been overloaded and hence their bags had been taken down at Dubai airport. On Tuesday, the luggage came by another flight and later delivered to the passengers.

One of the passengers, requesting anonymity, was travelling with his wife and mother. He tweeted, “Horrible experience on flight SG52, wife’s luggage deboarded in Dubai and told will get it tomorrow.” (sic).

The flight took off from Dubai around midnight on July 24 and it landed to Pune airport at 4 am. Finding that their bags had not arrived, the passengers complained to the SpiceJet ground staff.

“I was travelling with my wife and mother, but my wife’s luggage didn’t come. As she had another connecting flight to Bangalore at 6 am for work, she needed her bags. When we contacted SpiceJet, they simply said that the luggage would only come the next day and be delivered to our address. We were helpless and my wife went ahead to Bangalore without any luggage,” the passenger told Mirror.

An official at the SpiceJet counter at Pune airport, said, “Some of the passengers’ luggage did not arrive on the Dubai flight, but it came on Tuesday. There was some technical issue due to which the plane could not carry their luggage.”

Mirror contacted Tushar Srivastava, head of communications for SpiceJet via email, and also wrote to the airline’s official email ID. However, there was no response.
26/07/17 Dheeraj Bengrut/Pune Mirror

Daily flights from Hubballi to Bengaluru likely from August

Hubballi: Air India, which is presently operating flights from Hubballi Airport, is likely to begin operating daily flights from August first week.

Managing Director of Air India Ashwin Lohani conveyed it to Leader of Opposition in Legislative Assembly Jagadish Shettar and Dharwad MP Pralhad Joshi when they met him in New Delhi on Tuesday. Apart from discussing the need for daily flights from the airport, they about completed development works at Hubballi Airport, which now had a bigger runway suitable for bigger aircraft, such as Boeing.

They urged him to launch flight services from Hubballi to Mumbai. It is said that Mr. Lohani responded positively and directed the officials concerned to work out the technical details and time table adjustment to launch the service, Mr. Joshi said in the release.

Mr. Joshi also said that the pending demand for daily flight services from Hubballi to Bengaluru had been now fulfilled and would help to a great extent in improving the air connectivity of the region.
26/07/17 The Hindu

Hajj: CM flags off 1st batch of pilgrims

Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday flagged off Hajj pilgrims from the Srinagar ‘international’ airport.
A government spokesman said she met the intending pilgrims individually and requested them to pray for peace in the state and for prosperity of its residents. She wished them a safe and smooth performance of the tenants of Hajj.
“Many pilgrims thanked the Chief Minister for the arrangements including their training, documentation and other facilities,” the spokesman said.
The Air India will operate two flights carrying 840 intending pilgrims daily to Madinah-Munawarah and the last batch of Hajjis will leave on August 3.
25/07/17 Greater Kashmir

Cial passengers may have to fork out higher air fare now

Kochi: The change in tariff model put forward by Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA), Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) will lead to an increase in ticket fare for passengers using Cial.
As per the order, Cial is required to compute the aggregate revenue requirement under the 'Hybrid Till' model.
Under this model, the airport charges are calculated using 100% aeronautical revenue and 30% of non-aeronautical revenue to determine airport charges.
Airport officials suggest that the new order will only lead to "marginal" increase in landing fee and parking fee for airline operators. But the operators suggest that the introduction of 'Hybrid Till' will introduce an increase in the expenses of passengers as it would lead to rise in the fare.
"These policies put forward by nodal agencies only take into consideration the profitability of airport, while the finances of airlines are not given thought," said a senior official with an Indian airline.
He said that currently, Indian airlines are finding it difficult to compete with foreign competitors in terms of pricing.
26/07/17 Vikram Vinod/Times of India

IAF rescues 160 people in Gujarat

Ahmedabad: The IAF operating 05 MI-17V5 helicopters on July 25 from different locations airlifted over 160 people to safety and carried over 3400kgs of relief material to designated places mostly in Banaskantha district of Gujarat while also carrying NDRF teams to desired places to conduct rescue operations in Jalore district of Rajasthan.
Going by the mounting number of people stranded amidst flood waters in different districts of the state and the weather forecasts showing no signs of improvement in the next 24-48 hours, the Headquarters South Western Air Command has issued directions to its bases, aiming to keep over 20 aircraft in a state of readiness to launch flood relief and rescue operations on Wednesday.
Arrangements have also been made to further bolster the numbers with augmentation from other Commands if the need be.
25/07/17 India Tribune

Gujarat floods: Air India flights diverted after Ahmedabad Airport runway damaged

New Delhi: Two Air India flights had to be diverted after the runway of the Ahmedabad Airport was damaged due to incessant rain even as the situation in the state continued to worsen. It has been learned that Delhi-Ahmedabad and Mumbai-Ahmedabad have been diverted to Mumbai. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had undertaken an aerial survey of the flood affected areas and announced an interim assistance of Rs 500 crore.
PM Modi, who was accompanied by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, said 10 more IAF helicopters would be pressed into service for rescue and relief operations. The Prime Minister also said while the state government has provided immediate relief to those who lost their kin in the deluge, an additional ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh would be extended to them from the PM’s relief fund. Those injured would be given Rs 50,000 by the Centre which would be over and above the assistance extended by the state government.
According to reports, 70 people have died in Gujarat due to rains till now. As many as 25,000 people were shifted, mostly in Banaskantha, as the district witnessed its worst floods in recent years on Monday.
26/07/17 Financial Express

Aditya Kumar Joshi appointed anti-corruption officer in Air India

Senior bureaucrat Aditya Kumar Joshi has been appointed as Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of Air India Limited. Joshi, a 1989 batch Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer of Manipur-Tripura cadre, has been appointed to the post for a period up to July 31, 2019, an order issued by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said. Besides him, five other officers have been appointed as the CVOs– who act as a distant arm of Central Vigilance Commission to check corruption– in different organizations. Another IFoS officer Vidyasagar Koppolu will be CVO in National Mineral Development Corporation Limited (NMDC), Hyderabad for a period of 3 years, it said.
25/07/17 PTI/Financial Express

CAG seeks details of plan to float trust for UDAN

New Delhi: The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has sought details of the aviation ministry’s plan to create a trust to fund the government’s regional connectivity scheme (RCS), which was launched three months ago.
“They wanted to know about the composition of the trust and other details about the trust, which has been created to keep it out of the tax ambit,” said an official who did not want to be named. “A trust ensures that there is no tax element in the subsidy payments made to airlines.
 CAG officials visited the aviation ministry to make their inquiries, according to three people with knowledge of the matter. The government offers subsidies under RCS to airlines for connecting unserved and underserved airports at a fare of Rs 2,500 per hour of flight. The government has created a Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) that collects money from airlines to pay for the scheme. The subsidy will be paid through a Regional Connectivity Trust (RCT), which is what the CAG is asking about.
The CAG team was informed that the trust is headed by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) chairman and members include others from the agency, said the people cited above. AAI is the nodal body for payment of the RCS subsidy to airlines operating regional flights. When contacted, CAG sources told ET they don’t comment on any audit until it is complete and the report has been submitted. The aviation ministry and AAI didn’t respond to emails seeking comment.
26/07/17 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Aviation industry says bye bye to YY Fares

One of the earliest relics of the global aviation industry will soon be buried. YY Fares, the multilateral interlineable fares from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) will be rescinded from October 31, 2018. The Association, which represents 275 airlines across the world, said in early July that “the rescinding of YY fares reflects the dramatic transformation that continues to take place in the distribution of airline products.”

YY Fares were established in 1945, enabling a flier to travel anywhere in the world on a single ticket in a single currency. This facility threw open the world as a travel destination for the customer as he could now fly on different airlines and have his luggage checked through to final destination. That was the essence of multilateral interlineable fares.

“It was like an open ticket,” says an official from a leading travel company. “Those times, till the 1990s, an airline would only fly to a limited number of destinations. YY fares would help a flier to travel on multiple airlines using a that open ticket,” he adds. For instance, a flier from Mumbai would take an Air India flight to Frankfurt; and use the same ticket to fly onward to, say Paris, on a Lufthansa flight.

YY Fares were honoured by all member-airlines of IATA, which used to submit coordinated international fares and rates to governments for approval. These fares later came to be known as IATA YY Fares. It was a big achievement in enabling global travel. “YY fares were the backbone of global airfares for much of the last 70 years,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO in a press release.
25/07/17 Prince Mathews Thomas/Business Line

UID will be must for paperless air travel experience: Govt in Rajya Sabha

For a paperless and seamless travel experience, air travellers will have to provide a digital identification number at the time of booking a ticket, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Tuesday.
But no specific timeline has been fixed for implementing the technology-enabled seamless passenger facilities across airports in the country, Minister of state for civil aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply. The civil aviation ministry had last month announced that it would be mandatory for passengers to provide a unique identification (UID), like an Aadhaar card, passport or PAN so as to avail the paperless and seamless travel experience.
"Various stakeholder consultations have been conducted and suggestions have been received for air passengers to furnish a digital identification number at the time of purchasing an air ticket to enable seamless air travel," Sinha said, adding that no specific timeline has been fixed. The Minister said that the government has constituted three committees to implement the technology-enabled seamless passenger facilities across airports in the country.
25/07/17 PTI/DNA

GoAir appoints Anand Sahai as COO ahead of international ops

Mumbai: Budget carrier GoAir has appointed Anand Sahai, the former Vodafone business head for East India, as its chief commercial officer (CCO) ahead of its plans to launch international operations later this year.
Sahai, whose appointment to the newly-created post is effective from July 24, will report to the airline's chief executive officer (CEO), GoAir said in a statement.
Prior to joining the Wadia Group-promoted carrier, Sahai was spearheading the launch of a multinational energy drink major as its country manager.
Following the appointment of Sahai to the post, the heads of the sales and marketing and revenue management will report to him, the statement said, adding that the deputy general manager for service quality and customer relations will also be working under him.
He carries with him significant expertise in sales, product development, retail merchandising, pricing strategy and opening new business opportunities.
In the past, Sahai has served as Vodafone business head for East India as well as vice president for operations at Pepsico India, among others.
26/07/17 PTI/Zee News

GoAir cancels 2 flights in Mumbai, passengers inconvenienced

Mumbai: Nearly 300 passengers of the budget carrier GoAir had a tough time at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai after the airline cancelled its two flights due to a technical snag this morning. Following this, the passengers created a ruckus at the airport, a source said. While most of the passengers were accommodated in some other flights later, a few passengers had to wait for a long time to get confirmation for the next GoAir flight or other airline flights for their destinations, the source said.
“Approximately, 15-18 passengers from each flight had to wait for a long time to get confirmation for the next GoAir flight and/or other airline flights, resulting in a ruckus near the check-in counters,” a source said. GoAir confirmed the cancellation of its Bengaluru and
Kochi flights from Mumbai due to a snag in the aircraft, but added that while some passengers were accommodated in other flights, others were given various options including travel on later flights.
“On 26 July morning, one aircraft developed a technical snag leading to cancellations of two GoAir flights – G8 317 from Mumbai to Bengaluru and G8 347 from Mumbai to Kochi,” GoAir said in a statement.
26/07/17 PTI/Indian Express

Greater Noida airport to have Metro link

New Delhi: The proposed airport at Greater Noida will have direct metro connectivity with the capital. The UP government has told the aviation ministry it will extend the current Greater Noida Metro line to the airport site at Jewar, said aviation secretary R N Choubey. "This was conveyed to us during a recent meeting with the UP government. The Metro line currently is cleared till Pari Chowk in Greater Noida and will be extended from there," Choubey said.
Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) ED Anuj Dayal said: "The proposed link of about 23 km is from Pari Chowk to Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Area's (YEIDA) Sector 20. DMRC had prepared the alignment, station location and traffic study and had submitted to the UP government last year."
26/07/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Hyderabad airport conducts emergency mock drill

Hyderabad: GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here, conducted a mock drill to dispose of life-threatening hazardous material at the airport last week.

The Hazardous Material (HAZMAT) emergency mock drill was conducted in collaboration with Cathay Pacific Airlines, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Telangana State Disaster Response & Fire Services (TSDR&FS) Department, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), State Police and Department of Atomic Energy among others.

The exercise was led by the GHIAL’s Airport Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFF) team, which is the first responder in case of any emergency situation at the airport. The drill was conducted at the cargo apron of Hyderabad International Airport on a live freighter, which was provided by Cathay Pacific Airlines. TSDR & FS provided their HAZMAT vehicle for the exercise. The GHIAL has been conducting the HAZMAT mock drill every year as part of the airport’s regular emergency exercises and in compliance with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards.
26/07/17 The Hindu

Tata Power Solar to install 2.67 MW solar carport at Cochin Airport

Tata Power Solar on Tuesday announced the commissioning of 2.67 MW solar carport at Cochin International Airport.

The project comprised of putting together 8472 solar panels on 27 carports spread over 20289.9 square meters of area. The entire solar plant is aimed towards reducing 1868 tonnes of Carbon dioxide (CO2) annually.

The grid-connected carport plant required high-level engineering and designing skills for assembling the massive car port structures. Additionally, advanced technology and design was of utmost importance to match and maintain the quality standards in place.

?Cochin International Airport Limited became the first airport in the world to be fully powered by solar energy during August 2015. It has now accomplished another milestone by implementing India?s largest solar carport,? said V J Kurian, Managing Director, Cochin International Airport Limited.
25/07/17 ANI/DNA

IGI Airport's Twitter account hacked

New Delhi: The Twitter handle of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) here was hacked today and a "derogatory" message was posted on its page.

IGIA is operated by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) -- a joint venture between GMR, AAI and Fraport AG.

"The incident happened at 11 am when a derogatory message was posted. The post was removed within 10 minutes. An internal inquiry has also been initiated," an airport source said.

"Our Twitter handle @Delhi_Airport was subjected to a hacker attack. This was noticed and timely action was taken to prevent any further attacks. One inadvertent post published through our handle was immediately removed and normalcy restored with added security measures," Delhi International Airport Limited said in a statement posted on its Twitter page.
25/07/17 PTI/Economic Times

Veg passenger finds meat in airport food

Indore: A vegetarian passenger was served non-vegetarian food at a restaurant on the premises of Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport in Indore on Wednesday evening.
Agam Bhatnagar, a resident of Agra, landed in Indore on Wednesday evening for an official visit and went to a restaurant on the first floor of the airport building. He alleged that he was served non-vegetarian food inspite of him ordering vegetarian fare.
He alleged that he realised the blunder only after eating half of the contents on his plate when his colleague alerted him. "One of my colleagues and I who was also travelling with me had ordered manchurian, noodles and fried rice at Saptagiri Restaurant," Bhatnagar told TOI. "There were chunks of chicken in the rice. My colleague alerted me about it, but it was too late since I had already eaten a major portion of the food," he said.
Bhatnagar claimed that the restaurant staff confirmed the presence of chicken in his order. "There was no manager at the restaurant. Only operation staff members were there. They did not even apologise for the mistake and tried to pass it off as human error," he said.
26/07/17 Ashok Kumar/Times of India

Heli-tourism comes to Andhra Pradesh

Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh Tourism Department has signed an MoU with Mak Aero Space and Aviation Pvt. Ltd, Delhi, to promote heli-tourism.

The initial services will be introduced in Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Tirupati.

The helicopter transport services will include joy rides, packages, heli-taxi services, packaging with wedding plans in Tirupati, aerial reconnaissance and disaster management.

Initially, a six-seater helicopter (Bell 206 L4 / Bell 407) will be introduced and gradually the number of seats will be increased to realise the full potential of heli-tourism and air-connectivity. The Tourism Department will provide all infrastructural support, including helipads in the areas of operation, passenger-holding area, control room and security/screening facility to the Mak Aero Space and Aviation to carry out the activities.

The company will be responsible for ticketing, promotion and for executing all commercial operations with the support of the A.P. Tourism.
26/07;17 The Hindu

GoAir cancels 2 flights in Mumbai due to technical snag, passengers inconvenienced

Mumbai: Nearly 300 passengers of the budget carrier GoAir had a tough time at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport here after the airline cancelled its two flights due to a technical snag this morning.  Following this, the passengers created a ruckus at the airport, a source said. While most of the passengers were accommodated in some other flights later, a few passengers had to wait for a long time to get confirmation for the next GoAir flight or other airline flights for their destinations, the source said. “Approximately, 15-18 passengers from each flight had to wait for a long time to get confirmation for the next GoAir flight and/or other airline flights, resulting in a ruckus near the check-in counters,” a source said.
GoAir confirmed the cancellation of its Bengaluru and Kochi flights from Mumbai due to a snag in the aircraft, but added that while some passengers were accommodated in other flights, others were given various options including travel on later flights. “On 26 July morning, one aircraft developed a technical snag leading to cancellations of two GoAir flights – G8 317 from Mumbai to Bengaluru and G8 347 from Mumbai to Kochi,” GoAir said in a statement.
26/07/17 PTI/Financial Express

Navy will use Vasco airport more in future: Parrikar

Panaji: Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Monday said the Indian Navy will make more use of Goa's only airport for military purposes in the coming years.

Pointing to the need for Goa's upcoming second airport at Mopa, Parrikar told the assembly that the Dabolim international airport, which operates from a naval base in Vasco, would remain operational even after the Mopa airport comes up.

"... because it is a defence airport, (there is a) naval requirement. Two aircraft carriers will be placed on the western coast and the third one may be on the eastern sea coast. These two together require around 100 aircraft, either stationed on the aircraft carrier or stationed at Goa," Parrikar, a former Defence Minister, said.

"When the next aircraft carrier arrives, naval planes will fly for an hour and a half to two hours (more)," Parrikar said, adding that currently the Navy uses the Vasco airport for three and a half hours.
25/07/17 daijiworld

Accidental gunfire at airport creates panic

Lucknow: Panic gripped visitors at the Amausi airport after the double barrel gun of private security guard of a Central government officer went off accidentally, on Tuesday evening. According to police, the incident took place around 7pm when Chhote Lal, private security guard of director of Rajiv Gandhi Petroleum Institute P K Bhattacharya was waiting outside the arrival section of the domestic terminal in the car and the gun went off accidentally. The bullet pierced through the car's roof.
Passengers who had arrived from Delhi and were standing outside the airport in the parking lot were scared by the sound. CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) personnel rushed to the spot and took the guard into custody and later handed him to state police, said an airport official. According to Sarojninagar police inspector Dharmesh Shahi, the gun went off accidentally. He added that the security man had been detained and was being questioned about the incident. Airport authorities said no casualty was reported in the incident.
26/07/17 Times of India

Gold worth ₹68.8 lakh seized at airport

Kochi: Customs Air Intelligence officials at Nedumbassery on Tuesday foiled yet another attempt to smuggle gold, and seized the metal worth ₹68.8 lakh from an international passenger.

The person, a Palakkad native, landed here from Dubai in the morning, and was found carrying 20 pieces of gold, weighing a total of 2,332.8 grams. The passenger, who was apprehended at the exit hall, did not make any declaration about the gold and replied in the negative when asked whether he had any gold in his possession.

During a detailed examination, the sleuths found the gold pieces cleverly concealed inside batteries of a rechargeable light and a fan in his baggage.

According to officials, smugglers have an arrangement with some rackets, wherein the latter conceals gold inside electronic gadgets and gets them transported via cargo or courier service.
26/07/17 The Hindu

Ukranian held for entering Delhi airport on fake ticket

New Delhi: A Ukraine national has been apprehended for entering the Indira Gandhi International airport terminal allegedly using a fake ticket.

He was apprehended yesterday around 11 am when the Central Industrial Security Force personnel, deployed for the airport's security, found him roaming suspiciously inside the terminal building, a senior official in airport security said today.

The man was identified as Ukranie national S Podbolotnyy.

He told the CISF personnel that he had come to see off his woman friend, who was travelling to Almaty, the official said.

He told officials that he used a cancelled ticket to enter the airport terminal, he said.

The Ukranian was subsequently handed over to the police which filed an FIR against him under various sections of the IPC, he said.
26/07/17 PTI

Government Proposes To Declare Unruly Behaviour On Flights An Offence

New Delhi: The government has proposed to declare unruly behaviour aboard an aircraft as an offence and a punishable act, Parliament was informed today.
The ministry of civil aviation had earlier released its draft rules for a 'national no-fly list' comprising unruly passengers and mooted a ban on them from flying from three months up to an indefinite period.
The proposed no-fly list followed an incident in March when Shiv Sena MP Ravindra Gaikwad hit an Air India employee "25 times" with a slipper for not being given a business class seat on an all-economy flight.
Last month J C Diwakar Reddy, an MP from Telugu Desam Party, allegedly assaulted and abused an IndiGo ground staff at Visakhapatnam airport after he was denied boarding for turning up late for his flight.
"The unruly/disruptive behaviour onboard an aircraft has been proposed to be declared as an offence and a punishable act," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha.
The draft was released in May and was expected to be finalised by June but is yet to see the light of day despite the government recognising unruly passengers as a safety threat.
26/07/17 Outlook

Jet Airways technician arrested with gold

Mangaluru: Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Mangaluru, on Tuesday arrested an aircraft maintenance technician with Jet Airways at the airport here on the charge of smuggling gold.

They seized 1,166.5 grams of gold valued at ₹ 34.41 lakh from the accused Lalbin Jeen. He was produced before the Chief Judicial Magistrate who remanded him in judicial custody, according to Vinayak Bhat, Deputy Director of the directorate.

The accused boarded Flight 9W 531 after it arrived from Dubai in the morning on the pretext of maintenance work and retrieved five tola gold bars each from the rear toilet of the aircraft. The gold bars of foreign origin had been concealed in the toilet.

He was caught while he was alighting from the aircraft with two packets of gold hidden in the back pocket of his trousers.
26/07/27 The Hindu

Gold worth Rs 15 lakh seized at airport

The air intelligence unit at the Dabolim International Airport intercepted a Kerala native on Tuesday morning and found gold strips worth Rs 15 lakh from his bag. The accused arrived by Oman Airways flight no. WY-209 from Muscat. The accused was intercepted at the exit gate of the customs arrival hall. The passenger had opted for the Green Channel meant for passengers who don't have anything to declare. On searching his baggage, officers recovered and seized 580g of gold strips valued at Rs 14.97 lakh . The gold strips were concealed within a stroller bag covered with rexin with adhesive tape. Similarly, on July 10, the unit of Goa customs intercepted another Kerala native who arrived by Air India from Dubai. On searching his trolley bag, officials found and seized 348g of gold bars valued at Rs 9 lakh.
26/07/17 Times of India