Monday, September 18, 2023

AAI to add 160 parking bays at 27 airports in connectivity push

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will add 160 aircraft parking bays at 27 airports in two years to expand air connectivity. The capacity expansion will aid domestic airlines that are adding aircraft to meet the growing demand. Air India and IndiGo have around 1,500 aircraft on order that would be delivered over a decade. In FY 2024 domestic airlines are expected to induct around 100 planes.

“By the end of year 2023, 104 bays will be constructed at 16 airports and in 2024, an additional 56 bays will be constructed at 11 airports. All the bays are suitable for Code ‘C’ type of aircraft ranging from ATR-72 to Airbus A321,” AAI said in an emailed response.

Amritsar, Goa (Dabolim), Kolkata and Patna, which feature in the top twenty airports for domestic passenger traffic will see addition of aircraft bays. While Amritsar and Kolkata airports will see the increase in 2023, Goa and Patna will get new parking bays next year.

Other airports that will see additional parking bays include Leh, Raipur and Tirupati. Extra parking bays at Leh would especially be useful, given the short operating window at the airport due to weather conditions. The list of 27 airports also includes the airfields in Datia, Rewa (both Madhya Pradesh) and Solapur (Maharashtra) which currently see no scheduled airline flights. “Any capacity addition at tier-II airports is good and will especially help government’s regional connectivity scheme. Along with increase in parking bays, AAI should also provide night landing and round-the-clock air traffic services at some of the smaller airports,” said Ameya Joshi, founder of aviation blog Network Thoughts.

“By FY30, the combined fleet size of Indian airlines is likely to double to 1,400 and thus we will require additional 600-700 aircraft parking bays at in the country,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO (South Asia), aviation consultancy, CAPA.

17/09/2023 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Line

Revenue sharing by airports, airlines can help them become eco-friendlier: Study

New Delhi: Revenue sharing by airports and airlines can help them become eco-friendlier and give the aviation sector a sustainable boost of growth, a new study by Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Lucknow and University of Liverpool has found. Led by IIM Lucknow, the study sheds light on how airlines and airports can collaboratively achieve sustainable growth through various agreements. Moreover, the government can also step in, acting as an overall leader - enabling a further greening of this sector by imposing taxes, the study has suggested.

The study has been published in the European Journal of Operational Research and Transportation Research.

"Airlines in India have been working on improving fuel efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This involves adopting more fuel-efficient aircraft, optimising flight routes, and implementing operational practices that minimise fuel consumption, reducing taxi times, and implementing procedures to minimise unnecessary fuel burn during delays in landing permissions," Suresh K Jakhar, Associate Professor, IIM Lucknow, told PTI.

Since October 2021, the global aviation industry has pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This aligns with the Paris Agreement's objective of limiting global warming.

"With the urgency to decarbonise the aviation sector gaining momentum, the study addresses the crucial role that collaboration between airlines and airports plays in advancing sustainability. The team used data collected from publicly available secondary sources which include airline and airport schedules and financial and other documents available with airlines," Jakhar said.

"We have addressed fundamental questions about how coordinated agreements between airlines and airports can bring better results for the economy, the environment, and society. We have also shown the effects of environmental and social factors on airport charges, ticket prices, and the demand for air travel," he added.

The study highlights the roles of reciprocity, fairness, and passengers' environmental awareness in the coordination of airports and airlines. It presents a detailed framework for achieving triple-bottom-line growth. This framework includes airlines investing in eco-friendly practices, airports taking on corporate social responsibility initiatives, both supplemented by government interventions.

According to the study, in the aviation industry, an airline's performance determines the airport's demand, while the airport needs to facilitate the airline by providing the necessary infrastructure. This inter-dependency has to be well coordinated, failure of which would lead to limited economic growth, environmental protection and social development.

17/09/2023 PTI/Times of India

Scindia inaugurates integrated office complex for aviation regulators in national capital

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday inaugurated the integrated office complex for aviation regulators in the national capital.

The integrated office complex 'Udaan Bhawan' in the national capital will house DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), BCAS (Bureau of Civil Aviation Security), AERA (Airports Economic Regulatory Authority), AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau) and AAI (Airports Authority of India).

Scindia also launched the Bharatkosh Advance Deposit (e-wallet) facility for the civil aviation ministry.

18/09/2023 PTI

Preparations underway to bring more South African cheetahs to Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary

As per recent reports, India is planning on bringing another batch of cheetahs from South Africa by the end of this year. When that happens, the plan is to relocate them to the Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from Gandhi Sagar Sanctuary, another site called Nauradehi is being prepared.

As of now, with 15 cheetahs and a cub, Kuno National Park is almost reaching its carrying capacity of 20 cheetahs. New sites are being developed to accommodate the newcomers by the end of this year.

Today, September 17, 2023, marks exactly one year of the first time a batch of cheetahs from Namibia were released into a special quarantine facility at Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

This year, authorities are going to take extra precautions to bring in cheetahs that do not develop thick winter coats. This is because, from last year’s lot, some of the cheetahs developed thick winter coats in the Indian summer and monsoon months, which caused severe infections and deaths.

Here, it is important to note in South Africa, June to August is the winter season. When the relocated cheetahs started developing thicker coats in Indian summer months, it adversely affected their health as per the experts’ understanding.

Measures are being taken to do careful selection of cheetahs that do not develop thick coats at all or develop thinner ones for the next lot. Authorities are of the opinion that by doing so, they will be able to prevent untimely demise of the animals due to infections.

17/09/2023 Times of India

Chennai airport enhances safety with runway expansion

Chennai: Flying into the city is going to be safer as the Airports Authority of India (AAI) will soon start work to extend the runway end safety area at both the ends of main runway and the second runway.

The runway end safety area is created to stop the plane and prevent damage to the aircraft if it overshoots a runway or it lands well before the touchdown point. It will be made of soft material so that the wheels get buried stopping the plane in the process. Around 60 metres of space is usually left at either end of the runways as the runway end safety area.

The move comes after the airport has received land from the state government and the defence. This will help the airport to use the full length of the runways without restriction, especially the Manapakkam-end of the second runway.

The main runway of the airport has adequate safety buffer area on both ends but it had its limitation because of lack of land and presence of houses and other facilities.

The GST-road end of the second runway has a metro rail line running just below the ground while there are buildings on one end of the main runway.

A pilot said that it will be an additional safety mechanism which is ideal for an airport that is located inside a city surrounded by obstructions caused by buildings. “The runway at the airport is fine now. The runway end safety area will be useful in case of an accident when an aircraft overshoots the runway. It should not go and hit the compound wall or some other building outside the airport campus. The safety area will prevent damage to the aircraft and will also save the people. This comes in handy for the airport to get international ratings for complying with safety norms,” he said.

18/09/2023 Times of India

DRDO developing portable automatic weather stations for airfields and helipads located in remote areas

Chandigarh: The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is developing portable automatic weather stations (AWS) for use at remote airfields and helipads where there are no facilities to monitor climatic parameters.

While all regular IAF airbases have full-fledged meteorological services or fixed AWS, such facilities are not available at advance landing grounds (ALG) and helicopter operating sites located in Ladakh and the north-east.

Meteorological information such as surface temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloud cover and visibility is vital for aviation operations as these not only impact the performance of aircraft and helicopters but are also critical for flight safety, more so during take-off and landing.

According to DRDO scientists, flight operations to ALGs are not a regular basis but depend on particular requirements. ALGs are primarily unpaved airstrips or hardened mud in remote areas and have little navigation and support facilities except for possibly runway markers and a wind sock for indicating the direction and speed of the wind and a refuelling bowser and fire tender being stationed during a flight.

“Since operations to ALGs and other remote helipads are not frequent, there is no need to install permanent AWS as these will add to the maintenance effort,” a DRDO scientist said. “On the other hand, weather in the mountains can change without warning, which can affect flying. Portable AWS, which can be stored in nearby military units and deployed when needed, is an effective way to deal with this,” he added.

17/09/2023 Vijay Mohan/Tribune

Man held for smuggling 1.6 kg gold at Trichy Airport

New Delhi: Customs officials at Trichy Airport have arrested a man for allegedly smuggling 1.6 kilograms of gold worth Rs 96 lakh by hiding it in his innerwear, officials said on Monday.

According to the officials, the gold was seized based on specific intelligence. The accused arrived at Trichy Airport from Singapore by Scoot Airlines flight on September 17.

"The gold was extracted from a paste-like material concealed by the accused in his innerwear at the arrival hall of Tiruchirappalli Airport," they added.

The recovered gold was confiscated under the provisions of Section 110 of the Customs Act, and the passenger was subsequently arrested under Section 104 of the Customs Act.

18/09/2023 IANS/Daijiworld

Air India Mumbai-Delhi Delayed for 5 Hrs Due to 'Operational Reasons', Lok Sabha MP Arvind Sawant Furious

An Air India flight scheduled to travel from Mumbai to Delhi has been delayed for five hours, Shiv Sena Arvind Sawant shared in a social media post.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Sawant said that flight AI888 was supposed to take off at 7 pm. The airline responded that the flight would depart at 11:55 pm.

Sawant said, “#AirIndia Flight AI888 Mumbai to Delhi was supposed to take off at 7.00. Passengers boarded 1.30 hour back! If there is any technical issue why at first instance officials allowed boarding? @airindia still not ready to improve!!! "

The airline quickly responded to his post saying that the flight was delayed due to operational reasons. “We regret the inconvenience caused due to the delay. As per the current status, it will depart at 2355 hrs. We appreciate your continued patience", they added.

Sawant further asked the carrier if the flight was going to be so late then why it did not arrange any other aircraft.

Earlier on September 14, several flights to and from Mumbai airport witnessed delays after a private jet skidded off the runaway amid heavy rain. The runway, which was closed for some time, later opened for operations post DGCA clearance.

17/09/2023 News18

IndiGo Is Now The Official Airline For The Indian Football Team

Partnerships and sponsorship agreements between airlines and sports teams and events are common around the world. And India’s largest airline, IndiGo, has also joined the list by partnering with the All-India Football Federation and becoming the official airline of the country’s football team. The collaboration started this month and will last for one year.

IndiGo has entered a partnership with the All-India Football Federation (AIFF) and will be the global partner and official airline for the Indian Football Team for one year, effective September 15th. The airline believes that its vast network in India and abroad will adequately cater to the requirements of the country’s national team, with Pieter Elbers, CEO of the carrier, adding,“We are thrilled to embark on this journey with the All-India Football Federation, as both organizations share a common vision of advancing Indian football to new heights. This marks the start of an official partnership for AIFF, while for IndiGo, it represents our inaugural foray into the world of sports. Together, we are committed to a long-term collaboration that will not only elevate the sport but also touch the lives of fans across the nation.”

The Indian National Football Team has a diverse mix of players from all across the country who travel for tournaments domestically and abroad. Dr. Shaji Prabhakaran, Secretary General, All India Football Federation, welcomed the partnership, highlighting the importance of this deal, given that they have never collaborated with any airline before this.

18/09/2023 Gaurav Joshi/Simple Flying

SpiceJet pays $1.5 mn to Credit Suisse after SC warning

SpiceJet on Friday said that it has complied with the Supreme Court's directive by transferring $1.5 million to Credit Suisse.

"SpiceJet Ltd. has complied with the directive of the Supreme Court by remitting $1.5 million to Credit Suisse. The payment was executed on Thursday," said an airline spokesperson.

Earlier, Supreme Court had issued a stern warning to SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director (CMD), Ajay Singh, for default in making the due payments to the global investment bank and financial services firm.

A bench comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Ahsanuddin Amanullah had ordered the budget airline to deposit the monthly installment of $500,000 by September 15 along with an additional $1 million out of the defaulted amount.

17/09/2023 IANS/SME Times

IndiGo announces special homecoming sale

Pune: IndiGo on Monday announced a special homecoming sale with the offer available from September 18 to September 20, its officials said.

It is aimed at providing customers with the perfect opportunity to plan their upcoming journeys, especially for those heartwarming moments when people travel back home to celebrate festivities with family.

During this limited-time promotion, customers can enjoy discounts of up to 15% on round-trip fares for flights scheduled between September 25 and March 31 next year.

To avail of this offer, customers simply need to apply a promo code while booking their flights on the IndiGo website, IndiGo mobile app and through IndiGo travel partners. The sale has been introduced to further boost travel demand during the festive season. The offer includes both domestic and international flights, including IndiGo's codeshare connections.

By expanding flight options and offering discounted rates, the airline aims to make it easier for customers to visit their loved ones during this special time of the year, officials added.

18/09/2023 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

'Kalesh' caught on camera at Mumbai airport: Couple showers abuses, insults on IndiGo airline staff

Mumbai: An Indian couple, who apparently arrived late at the airline boarding gate, became unruly and directed a volley of insults and abuse towards IndiGo staff when they were offloaded at Mumbai airport.

A video of the incident posted on X (formerly Twitter) has gone viral. Posted by @gharkekalesh, the 70-second clip, shot by an onlooker, begins with the man shouting at the airline staff. "Kalesh between an IndiGo employee and a couple who are late for boarding at Mumbai airport," read the tweet.

The man, woman and a younger passenger, possibly their child, can be seen standing with cabin bags at boarding gate number 50, which displays a flight to Ahmedabad. The ground staff member, who was being yelled at, can be seen trying to reason with them while also speaking on the phone. The details of the incident aren't clear from the clip. The video was shot by a person seated in the sitting area close to the boarding gates. Whether the couple eventually got to board or were they offloaded too isn't known.

18/09/2023 Manju V/Times of India

Fleet Of Porsches Seized As Part Of Investigation Into Jet Airways Investor

A Liechtenstein court order has exposed a trove of luxury cars and watches among the items seized by prosecutors investigating allegations of fraud linked to one of the investors aiming to revive India’s Jet Airways. The supreme court in Liechtenstein rejected an appeal to unfreeze the assets that include seven Porsche cars, five Rolex “boxes” and a classic car simulator worth as much as $214,000, according to a June verdict published on the court website.

Florian Fritsch is being investigated for suspected fraud and money laundering by prosecutors in the tiny principality, wedged between Austria and Switzerland. He didn’t respond to an email and message seeking comment. Fritsch and his investment company Kalrock Capital are part of a consortium picked to revive Jet Airways, once India’s top private carrier, that filed for bankruptcy in 2019. The investors have pledged to invest 1 billion rupees ($12 million) by the end of September to take control of Jet Airways.

The Liechtenstein probe has advanced but will need more time to be completed, said Chief Prosecutor Robert Wallner. He was responding to questions about the probe into Fritsch but did not name him in his responses to Bloomberg. 

18/09/2023 Marton Eder/BQ Prime

London-Bound Air India Flight Returns to Delhi Due to Technical Glitches

ALondon-bound Air India flight, specifically a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, abruptly reversed course and returned to New Delhi shortly after entering Pakistani airspace.

According to Times Now, Air India flight AI0111 departed from Indira Gandhi International Airport at approximately 7:15 a.m. on Thursday. The flight, however, made a return to the IGI airport, after a 30-minute journey due to a technical issue encountered when the aircraft reached an altitude of 36 thousand feet in Pakistani airspace. A passenger onboard the flight shared that the pilot made a mid-air announcement regarding the technical problem and the decision to return to IGI Airport.

After making the unexpected U-turn, the flight safely touched down at New Delhi Airport at approximately 9:30 a.m. A passenger named Yashvardhan Trikha, who was on that flight, shared his experience on his X (formerly Twitter) account. He expressed frustration, stating, “Hundreds of passengers are being stranded at the airport because of the poor service of Air India. There was a technical glitch in the flight today (AI0111) as the AC was not working and other issues were also there. Pilot was having an experiment in the air."

18/09/2023 News18

Air India Introduces Self-Baggage Drop And Check-In Facility At Delhi Airport

Air India is transforming the travel experience at Delhi’s Terminal 3 by introducing self-baggage drop and self-kiosk check-in services.

This innovation will prove beneficial for both domestic and international travellers. As of now, the service has been opened for all passengers flying to Australia and domestic flyers. With this, Air India passengers can now smoothly complete the check-in processes, including printing boarding passes and baggage tags and they can also independently drop off their luggage, bypassing the conventional check-in counters, reducing the wait time and providing convenience.

Other than this, travellers can modify their trips by choosing their desired seats, updating their frequent flyer numbers and making other necessary adjustments. This feature is set to improve the travel experience, enabling passengers to customize their journeys to match their preferences.

In a statement, Air India’s Rajesh Dogra, Chief Customer Experience & Ground Handling Officer told ANI, “This facility eliminates the queue waiting time for check-in over the counters and helps travellers to nearly breeze through the airport. We not only plan to extend this for flights to more countries around the world, but also intend to introduce it at other airports in India as well as at major airports in other parts of the world. Our continued effort remains to simplify processes and elevate customer experience, for our guests to enjoy travelling as much as we love flying them.”

18/09/2023 News18

Air India Express Mumbai to Lucknow delayed due to bad weather

New Delhi: Air India Express made a last-minute rescheduling of its Mumbai to Lucknow flight, AIX-2773, on September 16, delaying its departure by 10 hours, citing “operational reasons”.

This abrupt change prompted protests and slogans from some of the affected passengers, which was directed towards the Tata Group-owned carrier. Originally set to take off at 9.19 p.m. on Saturday, the flight was rescheduled to 7.15 a.m. on Sunday.

“Due to inclement weather over Delhi this evening, a number of flights were diverted, including our Guwahati-Delhi flight, which was diverted to Lucknow. Subsequent flights from Delhi and Mumbai have also been rescheduled due to the diversion,” said the spokesperson.

“We apologise for the inconvenience to our guests due to circumstances beyond our control. The safety and wellbeing of our guests and crew is a priority and we take all precautions to ensure safe and comfortable journeys,” said the spokesperson.

17/09/2023 IANS/Mangalorean

Are you guilty of chatting on phone during take-off?

When your plane is ready to take off that is definitely not the time to chat on the phone, say aviation industry insiders. And the flight attendants have more important things to do than ask you repeatedly to put your phone on flight mode. Apart from making you an annoyance, refusing to comply with instructions can get you deboarded as well.A recent flyer on a SilcharKolkata flight found this the hard way, when he was deboarded for continuing to chat on the phone during take-off. The plane was brought back to the bay from accelerating mode, and the passenger was deboarded, along with the rest of his 10-member group who protested against it. Flight attendants say that this while this particular incident escalated, passengers often disregard rules when they can get away with it.

The safety of passengers is a priority, and if one passenger's behavior puts others at risk, whether it is airline staff or airport staff, they are bound to take action. Disregard for rules is quite common among passengers, especially in cities like Delhi or Mumbai. But even in instances like these when passengers were deboarded for talking on the phone, they are usually issued a warning. In most incidents, no cases are registered.

17/09/2023 Niharika Lal/Times of India

India’s Quest To Export LCA TEJAS Hits ‘Roadblock’; HAL Must First Meet Indian Air Force’s Needs

India’s quest to emerge as a net exporter of arms will depend on its ability to sell the ‘Tejas’ aircraft to friendly foreign nations. But that ambition must wait at least a decade or more as the Light Combat Aircraft’s manufacturer is busy supplying these fighters to the Indian Air Force (IAF) and developing the Mk2 variant, the final product.

Already, several nations have begun showing interest in the Tejas LCA. India is also keen on showcasing the aircraft abroad at air shows and even bidding for some contracts to gain experience competing against other aircraft in tenders on foreign shores.

Nigeria is the latest to have expressed its interest in the LCA as part of a US$1-billion deal it seeks with India to enable the development of the former’s military-industrial complex. But the details of Nigerian interest in LCA — whether to buy it for its armed forces or seek industrial cooperation with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited — are not yet precise.

In July this year, when Argentinian Defense Minister Jorge Taiana was on an official visit to India, kite flying happened over Argentina trying to clinch a deal with India for buying the Tejas aircraft for its air force. As several Indian media platforms carried the news of Argentinian interest in buying LCA, it did surprise the manufacturer.

An HAL official told EurAsian Times, on condition of anonymity, that right from the beginning, it was clear to the manufacturer that the Argentinians were interested in buying the helicopters that India had built indigenously, especially the Light Utility Helicopters and the Medium Utility Helicopters.

HAL also hosted Jorge Taiana in Bengaluru, where its headquarters is situated, for two days during that July visit of the Argentinian defense minister to India, who had a day earlier met with his Indian counterpart Rajnath Singh in Delhi.

In Bengaluru, Tainana and HAL Chairman and Managing Director CB Ananthakrishnan signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) on “productive cooperation and acquisition of Light and Medium Utility Helicopters” for the armed forces of the Argentine Republic.

18/09/2023 NC Bipindra/EurAsianTimes

Bangladeshi nat'l held with fake passport

Mumbai: A 30-year-old man was arrested on Friday for trying to fly to Hong Kong with an Indian passport that he had procured for Rs 6 lakh from the Mumbai regional passport office (RPO) using fake documents like Aadhaar and PAN card, he also got a Hong Kong visa recently.

Anaet Housen Abdul Bashar (30) is the sixth Bangladesh national caught at the Mumbai International Airport for trying to fly abroad with a fake Indian Passport in the last three and a half months.

18/09/2023 Times of India

New Metro lines to ease your way to Mumbai airport

Connectivity to the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is set to improve significantly with the upcoming Metro projects, including Line 7A (Gundavali Metro station to CSMI airport) and underground Metro Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ).

Earlier this month, tunneling work began on the 3.4-kilomtre Mumbai Metro Line 7A — an extension of red line or Metro 7 that connects Dahisar east to Gundavali, which will connect Andheri East to the airport.

While Metro Line 7A, an extension of the operational Metro Line 7 (Andheri East to Dahisar E) and the under-construction Metro Line 9 will provide a direct link from Mira Bhayander to the airport, reducing the travel time to the airport from over two hours by road to just one hour.

The underground Metro Line 3 (Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ) will also offer convenient access for commuters from Colaba to reach the airport station, named CSMIA T2.

Both the upcoming Metro lines will take passengers directly to the airport terminal area, eliminating the need of autos or cabs, unlike the existing airport station on Metro Line One (Ghatkopar to Versova via Andheri).

In addition to direct connectivity, the upcoming Metro Line 1, Line 6, 2A, and 2B will also have interchange stations, further enhancing the travel within the city and suburbs

18/09/2023 Sweety Adimulam/Indian Express

Independence day weekend saw 8 % surge in passenger traffic at Mumbai airport

Mumbai: The Mumbai airport recorded a passenger traffic growth of 32 % in August with over 4.3 million passengers handled as against 3.2 million passengers the previous August.

During the Independence Day weekend, the airport witnessed an 8.4 % surge in passenger volumes. Over the years, Independence Day has turned into a popular short holiday with the only exception being the pandemic years. The trend returned strong this year with August 15 falling on a Tuesday and demand for air tickets rose as was indicated by comparatively higher fares.

On August 11 and 12, a Friday and a Saturday, the Mumbai airport handled 1.5 lakh passengers each, which was an 8.4% growth compared to 1.39 lakh average passengers it handled in August, said a Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) spokesperson. Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai emerged as the top domestic destinations out of Mumbai.

International passenger traffic too witnessed a growth, with 33% more flyers __ 1.1 million passengers in comparison to 0.84 million the same period last year__that is. Dubai, London, and Abu Dhabi remained the most preferred destinations in the international sectors. 

18/09/2023 Manju V/Times of India

Man stalks Shruti Haasan at Mumbai airport. Irked actress asks 'who is he?'

During a recent incident, actress Shruti Haasan had a frightening encounter with a fan at the Mumbai airport. While searching for her car in the airport parking lot, she noticed a man dressed in a black shirt and blue jeans who began shadowing her and accompanying her team. This situation left the actress feeling uneasy, prompting her to inquire about the man with her team.

Shruti Haasan had a scary encounter with a fan at the airport where he followed her to the parking lot. The fan who tried to stalk the actress at the airport, irked her as she asked her team about the man. Shruti then told him she did not know him.

In the video, Shruti asks her team, “Who is he?" The fan keeps following Shruti and her team as they try to find where the car is parked. She asked her team multiple times about the man before she said, “Why is he standing there?" When the man attempts to speak to Shruti as she tries to get into her car, the actress first smiles at him and then tells him, “I don’t know who you are, sir."

18/09/2023 Prachi Arya/India Today

Flights delayed, diverted to city airport due to poor weather

Jaipur: Due to poor weather conditions in the northern part of the country, several flights were delayed by hours at the Jaipur International Airport on Sunday, said officials.

Passengers took to social media to complain about the delays and poor management by airlines.

A Jaipur-Bareilly flight landed back in Jaipur on Sunday after it did not get clearance for landing at the destination airport due to bad weather. Pankaj Tiwari, a passenger took to social media platform X and said a Bengaluru-Jaipur flight scheduled at 3:40pm was cancelled on Sunday morning and an option was given to take a connecting flight to Jaipur via Surat. International flights from Dubai were also delayed on Sunday due to which the take off from here also got delayed. “Due to poor weather conditions, many domestic and international flights have been delayed on Sunday,” said an official.

18/09/2023 Times of India

Sunday, September 17, 2023

G20’S Impact On Indian Airports: Better Facilities, Higher Revenues

The G20 Presidency of India has been a boon for the airports of India. With a surge in tourist and delegate influx in the last 10 months of the G20 events in India, airports across major cities of India not only underwent a major makeover but also saw increase in revenue. 

Airport hospitality has gone bigger and better, making India a more appealing destination for both business and leisure travellers. As per statistics, the Delhi Airport which had the highest number of delegate arrivals, saw an incredible surge in air traffic with 73000+ domestic and 30000+ international arrivals. 

As per reports, the G20 Summit led to a 63 per cent YoY rise in international flight arrivals at IGI Airport, with Delhi's travel demand index clocking to 87, a whopping 40 per cent higher than usual. 

This is projected to benefit the country's economy in the long run by increasing tourism and attracting international investment. It demonstrated India's ability to host significant international events, improving the country's international visibility. It also positions India as a favoured MICE destination in the coming years, thanks to the country's fast growing infrastructure and innate ability to host world-class meetings, events, and exhibitions. 

Talking about the trend, Vikas Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Encalm Hospitality which has lounges in Delhi, Hyderabad and Goa, said the summit saw the participation of a large number of foreign delegates and dignitaries, who were greatly benefited by a variety of hospitality services, including accommodation, dining, and transportation. “The G20 summit has had a positive impact on the airport hospitality industry, strengthening India's standing on a global level. This led to an increase in demand, and the industry responded by expanding its offerings to match the global standards. Leading players invested in new technology and training, in order to provide top notch service to the delegates. Moreover, during the G20 Summit, airport hospitality and meet-and-greet services upgraded their facilities,” said Sharma.  

17/09/2023 Tarannum Manjul/Businessworld

Gehlot ‘least interested’ in Kota airport, says Scindia

Jaipur: Union minister for civil aviation Jyotiraditya Scindia on Saturday accused CM Ashok Gehlot of tardiness in handing over land needed for the Kota airport.

On Wednesday, Gehlot had visited the site of the proposed airport in Kota and had claimed that his government had cleared the land for the airport but the Union government was delaying the process.

Scindia on Saturday posted a riposte on his offical X account: “Gehlotji is least interested in the development of Kota Greenfield Airport. The state government has only allotted 33.4 hectares of land in favour of the Airport Authority of India. The total land required is 440 hectares of land. The process of diversion of remaining land is yet it carried out by the state inspite of several reminders by the civil aviation minister to them.”

He further wrote, “We have completed the topographical survey of the site, soil investigation and the process for onboarding an agency for conducting architectural and engineering consultancy.”

Referring to an earlier communication with the state government, the Union minister said, “The state had been apprised of the fact that the process of shifting the power grid line is important for obtaining necessary clearances. It is still pending at the level of the state government.”

Gehlot in a press conference in Kota on Wednesday had said, “The local authorities in Kota have cleared 44 acres of land for free for the airport. Rs 21 crore has also been transferred for diversion of forest land. Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla is not playing a positive role in the development of the airport.”

17/09/2023 Times of India

'One of the best, very well done': R Madhavan praises Bengaluru international airport infrastructure; PM Modi reacts

Rocketry actor-director-writer R Madhavan on Friday praised Bengaluru's Kempegowda International Airport, saying it was one of the best in the world. He said in a video the airport’s Terminal 2 is superlative. The actor found the infrastructure at the airport to be one of the best in the world and also called the garden-themed international terminal “exotic”.

"It's incredible what the infrastructure in India is becoming! I'm at the new Kempegowda International Airport. And I'm telling you, it looks like an exotic... exotic place! Nobody will believe that this is an airport," Madhavan said in a post on Instagram. In the video, Madhavan added that a lot of the construction at the airport is all made of bamboo and that the airport is themed around sustainability in India.

He added, "And all the plants you see hanging from the ceiling in different parts of the airport are actually real plants, that are being watered every day, from the ceiling. And a lot of the construction as you can see above is all made of bamboo. Just loo

k at the ceiling. And it's all themed around sustainability in India. Very proud! Very well done man!

Madhavan’s post garnered over 503,000 likes on Instagram and had several comments under it. The post went viral and caught Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention. Prime Minister Modi reacted to the video in an Instagram story and wrote: “Next-gen infrastructure for India’s growth."

17/09/2023 Mehak Agarwal/Business Today

Abu Dhabi Bound Indigo flight Makes Emergency Landing at Delhi Airport

One of the leading airlines in India Indigo, which was heading towards the Abu Dhabi from Uttar Pradesh Lucknow, had to make an emergency landing at New Delhi airport at 10.42 pm IST (UAE time 9.12pm). It has been reported that the steps have been taken after the flight witnessed some technical glitch from its hydraulic system.

Reports say after suspecting the issue in above-mentioned department, the pilot took the decision to land the aircraft, which was carrying 150 people onboard. No serious injuries have been reported so far. Amid this, the company has not released any official statement or reacted to the incident as yet.


Jet Airways investor Florian Fritsch being probed for suspected fraud

A Liechtenstein court order has exposed a trove of luxury cars and watches among the items seized by prosecutors investigating allegations of fraud linked to one of the investors aiming to revive India's Jet Airways, a media report said.

The supreme court in Liechtenstein rejected an appeal to unfreeze the assets that include seven Porsche cars, five Rolex “boxes” and a classic car simulator worth as much as $214,000, according to a June verdict published on the court website, Bloomberg reported.

Florian Fritsch is being investigated for suspected fraud and money laundering by prosecutors in the tiny principality, wedged between Austria and Switzerland. He didn't respond to an email and message seeking comment, the report said.

Fritsch and his investment company Kalrock Capital are part of a consortium picked to revive Jet Airways, once India's top private carrier, that filed for bankruptcy in 2019. The investors have pledged to invest Rs1 billion ($12 million) by the end of September to take control of Jet Airways, the media outlet reported.

17/09/2023 IANS/ZeeBiz

Loan fraud: Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal moves Bombay HC against ‘illegal arrest’ in ED case

Jet Airways founder Naresh Goyal has approached the Bombay High Court challenging his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with alleged laundering of a Rs 538.62-crore loan given by Canara Bank for the airline.

Goyal claimed in his plea on Friday that his arrest was illegal and sought to set aside orders of a special court that had remanded him initially in ED custody and thereafter in judicial custody.

Goyal’s plea was mentioned before a division bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere and Justice Gauri V Godse, which will hear it on September 20. Goyal claimed that the arrest violated his fundamental right to personal liberty, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

On Thursday the special court sent Goyal (74) to Arthur Road Jail for two weeks in judicial custody, after the ED did not seek his further custody. He was arrested on September 1 by the ED and he had since been in the custody of the agency for interrogation.

The ED had arrested Goyal claiming that he had siphoned off the bank loan and diverted company funds by appointing his family members in the company and paying salaries of a company floated by his daughter. Goyal denies these claims, stating that the money was utilised towards the company.

17/09/2023 Indian Express

Air India Express Delays Mumbai-Lucknow Flight By 10 Hours Due To Bad Weather

 Mumbai: Air India Express on Saturday rescheduled its Lucknow-bound flight from Mumbai by 10 hours, citing "operational reasons," triggering protests and slogan shouting against the Tata Group-owned carrier by some of the affected passengers, a source said.

Air India Express flight AIX-2773 was scheduled to depart from Mumbai at 9.19 pm on Saturday but the airline informed passengers at the last moment that the departure was revised to 7.15 am on Sunday, he said.

Air India Express, in a late evening statement, said it was forced to revise the timing of its flight 'due to inclement weather over Delhi this (Saturday) evening".

"Due to inclement weather over Delhi this evening, a number of flights were diverted, including our Guwahati-Delhi flight, which was diverted to Lucknow. Subsequent flights from Delhi and Mumbai (including Lucknow flight) have also been rescheduled due to the diversion," the Air India Express spokesperson said in the statement.

"We apologise for the inconvenience to our guests due to circumstances beyond our control," the airline added.

17/09/2023 NDTV

33 pilots, 97 cabin-crew members found drunk on duty in H1 of 2023: DGCA

New Delhi: In the first half of this year, 33 pilots and 97 cabin crew members failed their mandatory alcohol tests, which are conducted either before or after flights, according to data from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

In contrast, in the first half of 2022, DGCA data recorded only 14 pilots and 54 cabin crew members being identified as intoxicated while on duty. This data has been reviewed by Business Standard.

According to DGCA rules, pilots and cabin crew members must undergo pre-flight breathalyzer tests. For pilots and cabin crew members operating flights from abroad to India, they must undergo post-flight breathalyzer tests. These tests are conducted by airline doctors. If the results are positive, they must be submitted to the DGCA within 24 hours.

If a pilot or cabin crew member fails the breathalyzer test for the first time, their license will be suspended for a duration of 3 months, as per the rules. In the event that the same pilot or cabin crew member is discovered intoxicated while on duty a second time, their license will be suspended for 3 years. According to the rules, if this pilot or cabin crew member fails the alcohol test for the third time, their license will be permanently revoked.

17/09/2023 Deepak Patel/Business Standard

2.4kg gold seized from 2 passengers

Kochi: The Customs air intelligence unit (AIU) at the Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) foiled two separate gold smuggling bids over the weekend with the seized a total of 2.4kg of gold from two passengers.

In one case, 1,347.8g of gold cleverly concealed as layers within clothes was seized from Faijas of Kozhikode who arrived from Dubai on Friday. He was intercepted at the green channel, based on profiling done by the AIU officers. “Gold paste layer sandwiched between two layers of the vest and jeans worn by the passenger was recovered. Further investigations are on,” said an officer.

In the second case, gold worth Rs 51 lakh was seized from Abdu Rouff of Kozhikode who arrived from Sharjah on Saturday.

“During examination, four cylindrical shaped capsules weighing 1,060.41g were found concealed in his rectum,” said an officer.

The gold is converted into compound form by smugglers to try to beat the metal detectors. Pure gold is extracted from the compound once the smuggled contraband reaches the destination. Officers said that an investigation was on to find the source and destination of the contraband.

17/09/2023 Times of India