Thursday, November 14, 2019

GoAir aircraft veers off runway in Bengaluru during landing, takes off again from grass patch

Mumbai: In a major incident, a GoAir aircraft with 180 passengers onboard touched down on Bengaluru airport runway in low visibility, only to veer off into a grass patch off the runway and then took off again following the runway excursion. The eventful landing was carried out by an ex-pat pilot in command of GoAir Nagpur-Bengaluru flight G8-811 on November 11.
According to DGCA sources, the A320 aircraft was cleared to land on runway 09 of Bengaluru airport. "Due to bad weather at the airport, the aircraft initiated a go-around. During the go-around, the left engine stalled," said the source.
Aviation sources said that the aircraft veered off the runway into a grass patch off the runway even as it continued to its go-around run. It lifted off from the grass patch and thereafter held over Bengaluru waiting for visibility to improve, only to finally divert to Hyderabad. DGCA sources confirmed that the crew stated that the aircraft had deviated to left during go around at Bengaluru.
After landing at Hyderabad, mud deposit was observed on left main landing gear, indicating that aircraft has rolled on to soft ground/ unpaved surface, said a DGCA official.
Director- general of civil aviation Arun Kumar said that the crew has been grounded. "Aircraft has been grounded in Hyderabad for detailed investigation. Digital flight data recorder data along with other recorder data is being analysed for further investigation," Kumar said.
14/11/19 Manju V/Times of India

GoAir A20N at Bangalore on Nov 11th 2019, runway excursion on landing

A GoAir Airbus A320-200N, registration VT-WGR performing flight G8-811 from Nagpur to Bangalore (India) with 180 people on board, landed on Bangalore's runway 09 at 07:22L (01:52Z) in fog and low visibility however touched down at the left edge of the runway with the left main gear on soft ground. The crew initiated a balked landing, went around and climbed to safety. After entering a hold at 8000 feet for about 30 minutes the crew decided to divert to Hyderabad (India), climbed the aircraft to FL280 and landed safely in Hyderabad about 90 minutes after the balked landing. After landing in Hyderabad the left main gear was found covered with mud.
India's DGCA rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.
A number of (but not all) media in India claim an unnamed source associated with the DGCA reported the left hand engine (PW1127G) stalled during the go around. On social media one journalist even claims to quote a statement by DGCA (editorial note: showing a blank sheet of paper with text, but no letter head, signature or other indication of any official document, no such document is available on any of the DGCA outlets, callsign of the aircraft was GOW811, no D attached to the flight number, India's New Agency ANI does not mention any engine issue while confirming the runway excursion), that reads:
On 11.11.2019 Go Air A320 aircraft VT-WGR operated flight G8-811D(Nagpur-Bangalore). It was cleared for approach for R/W 09 at Bangalore. Due to bad weather at Bangalore aircraft initiated Go around. During the Go Around process No.1 engine stalled. The power on the effected engine was reduced to idle and Go around was continued. During climb No.1 Engine again stalled and power was again reduced to idle . The aircraft diverted Hyderabad with power on No.1 engine in climb detent.
After landing at Hyderabad mud deposit have been observed on left main landing gear, indicating that aircraft has rolled on to soft ground/ unpaved surface.
As per the crew aircraft has deviated to left during go around at Bangalore. Aircraft has been grounded for detailed investigation at Hyderabad.
DFDR data along with other recorder data is being analysed for further investigation.
14/11/19  Simon Hradecky/Aviation Herald

GoAir Plane Strays, Takes Off From Grass In Bengaluru; Pilot Suspended

Bengaluru: The country's aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has ordered an inquiry after an Airbus A320 commercial jet flown by GoAir was forced to execute an unorthodox and dangerous take-off from Bengaluru International Airport in poor weather conditions.
The A320 jet had taken off from Nagpur on Monday with a reported 180 people on board and was scheduled to land in Bengaluru later the same day. However, on landing the plane began veering off the runway and onto the grass-covered strip of land on one side of the runway.
At this point the pilot increased engine speed and was, fortunately, able to take off. The plane then proceeded to Hyderabad, its diversionary airport, where it landed safely.
All passengers were safe and the crew of the plane has been grounded. In addition, the pilot of the plane, who is an expat, has now been suspended.
"On Monday 11th November 2019, GoAir flight G8 811 from Nagpur to Bengaluru had carried out go around at Bengaluru and diverted to Hyderabad. All the passengers, crew and aircraft landed safely at Hyderabad," GoAir said in a statement.
"This reportable incident was reported immediately to the DGCA - the industry regulator. Pending the investigation by GoAir and the regulator, the flight crew have been kept off flying duty," it added.
14/11/19 Vishnu Som/NDTV

IndiGo, GoAir may get more time to replace engines of A320neos

Mumbai: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will review its earlier directive to IndiGo and GoAir to replace at least one of the two engines in 36 identified A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, which have operated for over 2,900 hours. The civil aviation authority may give the airlines more time to comply with the directive.
GoAir was given till November 13 and IndiGo till November 19 to replace at least one of the engines. Failing to comply with the order would result in the planes being grounded, the DGCA had said.

“The airlines have substantially done it (complied with the order) and therefore,we will grant them some more time to finish the task. GoAir has replaced an engine on eight of the 13 identified aircraft and for the rest, we are assessing the feasibility and will decide the fresh timeline by Friday. As of now,we do not intend to ground them (GoAir),” a DGCA official told FE. He added that the DGCA will also review the safety issues of the Airbus A320neos fitted with unmodified Pratt & Whitney engines.

Earlier this month, the DGCA had issued a directive asking IndiGo to replace both low-pressure-turbine (LPT) engines of the 97 Airbus A320neos fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines, which are currently in its fleet, by January 31, 2020. The directive had followed four instances of flights turning back or engine shut-downs during the flight of IndiGo A320neo aircraft fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines in October. In one of the instances, the engine of the Pune-bound aircraft reportedly had stalled with a loud banging noise and experienced vibrations.
14/11/19 Anwesha Ganguly/Financial Express

SpiceJet reports Rs 462-crore loss in Sep quarter on higher costs

New Delhi: SpiceJet on Wednesday reported a loss of Rs 462 crore for the September quarter, its first quarterly loss during the current financial year. This was on the back of higher costs during a seasonally weak quarter.
The numbers could havebeen worse, if the Rs 171-crore compensation from aircraft manufacturer Boeing wasn’t accounted for — a component that was contested by the airline’s auditor. SpiceJet has claimed compensation from Boeing for the grounding of the 737 Max. However, the process hasn’t been started by Boeing yet. The airline had claimed compensation of Rs 114 crore in the previous quarter, and is yet to receive the amount.

Boeing has announced a $4.9-billion compensation for the grounding. “What we are claiming is only partial compensation. In reality, the compensation amount would have been higher as I have suffered losses by being forced to fly old aircraft, paying airport charges, and crew salary for aircraft not being flown. The compensation amount is legitimate,” said SpiceJet Chief Financial Officer Kiran Koteshwar.

Despite improving yield,the numbers slipped into the red, hit by high maintenancecosts and lease rental. This was an outcome of the airline taking over old Jet Airways aircraft, in the absence of the 737 Max.
14/11/19 Arindam Majumder/Business Standard

Pondicherry proposes international airport at Karasur under PPP mode

Puducherry: The Puducherry government has proposed an international airport under public private partnership mode at Karasur here.

Chief minister V Narayanasamy told the media on Tuesday that revenue minister M O H F Shahjahan and Pipdic chairperson and DMK MLA R Siva mooted the proposal during an investors’ meet in Singapore.

The chief minister said he made an appeal to executives of the Meinhart group specialising in infrastructure development projects to invest in the expansion of the existing airport in Puducherry. He said the group has already developed airports in India, including in Delhi and Hyderabad.

He expressed optimism that the proposed expansion of the existing airport and an international airport at Karasur will boost the economic growth of the Union territory.
14/11/19 Times of India

Get a glimpse of Chhattisgarh’s history at Raipur airport

Raipur: Passengers can soak in beauty of Chhattisgarh’s rare landscapes and forgotten history at the city airport, at the exhibit of Bhilai artist’s paintings. As many as 10 paintings depicting Bastar’s memory pillars, Chhattisgarh’s tribal culture and its terrains by artist Dr Dhruva Tiwari have been on display at the art gallery in Raipur’s Swami Vivekananda Airport.

The exhibition commenced on October 15 and concluded on November 13 and is said to have received a great response and appreciation from the visitors.
Speaking to TOI, Tiwari said, “This is the first time when paintings of the memory pillars have been put on display. I have tried my best to make bring back these forgotten pillars into the light. The memory pillars are identical with the artistic beauty of Bastar region, in other words, it can be called as the social reflection of Bastar.”
13/11/19 Nisreen Naaz/Times of India

Now, breath test must for all Cochin airport staff

Kochi: In a bid to strengthen the safety of airside operations, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) has introduced mandatory Breath Analyzing (BA) test for all its staff and outsourced staff serving in the critical airside operations. More than five breath analyzers have been bought for this and stationed at different points at the airport.
The decision which came in effect from October 30 makes BA test compulsory for all organizations and persons engaged in air traffic control services, airport management, aircraft maintenance and repair, ground handling agency, aircraft operation, fuelling and catering, equipment operation, fire and rescue, aerobridge operations, marshalling, apron control and ground handling.
The decision is in the wake of a DGCA directive to expand the scope of BA test beyond pilots and cabin crew to other personnel providing critical aviation services at airport after numerous persons were caught tipsy during duty hours. Over the past one-and-a-half month, two non-crew members at Cial itself were reportedly found tipsy during work hours. These include a ramp service agent of Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), a cargo loader of Global Airport and Ground Services.
According to Cial officials, the management ensures that at least 10% individuals employed in their respective organizations are randomly subjected to BA examination on daily basis. As per the DGCA directive, all employees should have an equal chance of being tested each time the selections are made. Hence, we will be using a scientifically valid method such as a random-number table or a computer-based random-number generator to select the applicable employees for testing.
14/11/19 Times of India

On Children’s Day, Spice Jet takes 118 cancer patients on a ‘joy-flight’

As the nation celebrates ‘Children’s Day’, SpiceJet took undertook a special initiative – Sapnon ki Udaan (a flight of dreams) – a day-long carnival with 118 underprivileged children and adult patients battling cancer.

The initiative was supported by CanSupport, an NGO that runs India’s largest free home-based palliative care programme for cancer patients and their families. This ‘joy-flight’ included children aged between six to 20 years. Most of them had never travelled by air before and wished to ‘fly in a plane’.

A SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft was especially designated to take these patients on the ‘joy-flight’ which included 60 children and 58 adults. SpiceJet flew with the patients along with their guardians on a sortie from New Delhi airport. With a total of 146 passengers on-board, the aircraft flew over the city of Delhi for about an hour.

After landing at the Delhi airport, these patients were escorted to a hotel near Delhi Aerocity for a buffet dinner and fun activities for them to enjoy. The menu was especially curated taking into account all dietary restrictions.
14/11/19 Akanksha Maker/Business Traveller

Dist admin resolves temple issue to help Kolhapur airport runway extension

Kolhapur: The district administration has amicably sorted out the issue of a small temple that was coming in the way of work on Kolhapur airport’s runway, which is currently 1,370 meters and urgently needs to be extended by 1,000 meter.
The extended runway will be compatible with international standards, making it feasible for landing commercial aircraft like Airbus.
District collector Daulat Desai said that an alternative temple has been constructed in the nearby Gadmudshingi village and the said temple will most likely be moved to the new place with all the necessary rituals. “The movement will probably take place within the next two weeks.”The runway work will not be affected by this,” he said.

The district administration officials said that nine-acre land was required for the said expansion of the runway. The land for the same was acquired from nearby villages in 2018. The acquisition was done by the district administration and the Airports Authority of India. However, the work of runway expansion faced various obstacles, one of them being a small temple.

According to airport authorities, the ongoing runway extension work will have an impact on the underground electrification work, which is being carried out to facilitate night landing. “Therefore, the situation needs a quick solution,” the officials said.
13/11/19 Nisreen Naaz/Times of India

India kicks off Air India privatisation process in Singapore

Indian government has kicked off the process for privatising its debt-ridden national carrier Air India with a high level official team from the Department of Investment & Public Asset Management (DIPAM), civil aviation ministry and Air India conducting roadshows in Singapore this week, government sources have said.
The Indian government team is likely to visit London and Dubai also for discussions with prospective investors as a precursor to inviting expressions of interest (EoI).
“The team, headed by Secretary, DIPAM (T K Pandey), will make presentations and interact with prospective investors, including foreign airlines, investment funds and even HNIs (high net worth individuals) to gauge investor response and their feedback for the proposed divestment,” a member of the secretary-level core group formed to deal with Air India privatisation, told Arabian Business.
Indian government plans to divest 100 percent of its stake in the national carrier. Global management consultancy EY is advising the Indian government on the Air India divestment transaction.
Foreign investors, including foreign airlines and airport operators, can, however, hold only up to 49 percent equity in Air India under the foreign direct investment (FDI) rules for the aviation sector.
“As of now, there is no move to change the FDI rule for aviation sector to allow foreign investors to hold majority stake in the airline,” the senior government official said.
The core group member said the overseas road shows are mainly meant to woo foreign financial investors - international funds, HNIs, etc – who may want to hold minority stakes in Air India, looking at the long-term prospective of the airline, post-privatisation.
14/11/19 James Mathew/Arabian Business

AirAsia India plots growth to 100 aircraft by 2025

AirAsia India is planning to accelerate its growth and hopes to increase its fleet fourfold to 100 aircraft in the next five years, an unnamed company source told industry publication TravelBiz Monitor.

“We have firmed up plans to add 14-15 planes every year starting next year for the next five years. We have remained a small player in the Indian market till now with just 23 planes, which will increase to 29 planes by the end of December,” the executive said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, the Indian LCC, a 51/49 joint venture between Tata Sons and AirAsia Group, currently operates twenty-three A320-200s and is in the process of adding the twenty-fourth unit.

The airline will be adding aircraft both transferred from other AirAsia Group units and directly from lessors. Out of its current 23-strong fleet, 11 aircraft were previously operated by AirAsia, while the remaining 12 came from other carriers.

The carrier said earlier this year that its growth plans for 2020 include the addition of the first A320-200neo.
13/11/19  Saratoga Sentinel

Star Air begin booking for KIA-Kalaburagi services

Kalaburagi: Star Air, a part of Sanjay Ghodawat Group, started booking tickets to operate flights between Bengaluru and Kalaburagi and vice versa. Within a few minutes after booking started, a total of 48 people have booked the flight and only two seats were left on Wednesday evening.
The maiden flight takes off from Kempegowda International Airport on November 22 at 12.20 pm and lands at Kalaburagi airport at 1.25 pm. In return journey, it departs at 1.55 pm from Kalaburagi and lands at Bengaluru at 3 pm.
Star Air director Shrenik Ghodawat announced the flight operation through his twitter account. "The flight operation will be held three days in a week and a call will be taken to operate flight every day on demand", he told.
13/11/19 Gururaja BR/Deccan Herald

Jet gone, Jet Privilege is InterMiles now

New Delhi: Seven months after Jet Airways stopped flying, the airline’s frequent flyer program — Jet Privilege Private Limited (JPPL), in which Etihad has a 50.1% stake — has dropped the airline’s name from the same. JPPL will now be known as InterMiles. The program has about 1 crore members.
JPPL said in a statement: “The programme will offer its growing base of close to 1 crore members the opportunity to earn and redeem InterMiles, the new age currency of engagement, across travel, hospitality and lifestyle services across (over) 10 categories and (over) 150 programme partners.”
JPPL MD Manish Dureja said: “We are embarking on a new journey with InterMiles … What started as a frequent flyer programme has, today, become the platform of choice that empowers our members to fulfill their travel and lifestyle aspirations. As we reinforce our commitment to the promise of making our members’ journey more fulfilling, our growth plan is, focused on aggregating more benefits and simplifying access to a growing bouquet of experiences and rewards.”
14/11/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti 2019: Ik Onkar formed by drones at Sultanpur Lodhi

On the night of Gurpurab, ‘Ik Onkar’ was formed by drones at Sultanpur Lodhi to mark the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The founder of Sikhism’s birthday was celebrated with much aplomb this year. The opening of the Kartarpur corridor allowed Sikhs to visit Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara situated in Pakistan. The gesture was a fitting end of a day full of celebrations. Devotees visited famous gurudwaras all across the world.
President Ram Nath Kovind also joining the celebrations on Tuesday. He highlighted the contribution of Sikhism’s founder in terms of the welfare of society. He advocated Guru Nanak Dev’s message of peace. He paid homage to the Sikh guru at Gurudwara Ber Sahib to mark the occasion. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sought blessings and offered prayers at Gurudwara Ber Sahib before inaugurating the Integrated check post of Kartarpur corridor on November 9. The Kartarpur corridor was used by Sikhs to travel to Kararpur Sahib gurudwara and many travelled to visit the gurudwara located across the border for the very first time.
Air India had also previously painted Ik Onkar on Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s tail in celebration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
13/11/19 Financial Express

IAF may buy HAL's trainer aircraft, Air Chief to take sortie

New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) is likely to float a Request for Proposal (RFP) with the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) this December for purchasing homemade HTT-40 basic aircraft for training its pilots, sources said here on Wednesday.
Ahead of the proposed RFP, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Rakesh Kumar Singh Bhadauria is scheduled to undertake a test flight of the HTT-40, short form for Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40, in Bengaluru on Thursday. The IAF will float the RFP if the aircraft is found to meet required standards for training new pilots.
"The Air Chief will fly an HTT 40 aircraft from the HAL Airport in Bengaluru on Thursday afternoon. He will fly the aircraft himself to assess its capabilities and flight worthiness," an HAL spokesperson told IANS.
The HTT-40 is a basic fixed-wing aircraft, designed and developed by the HAL, which can be used by the IAF for training and aerobatic purposes too, apart from night flying. With a maximum range of 1,000 km and a top speed of 450 mph, the tandem-seated aircraft has been designed to replace IAF's fleet of HPT-32 Deepak basic trainers, which have already been grounded following a series of accidents.
13/11/19 IANS/Economic Times

Coming Soon: Private Jet terminal at Delhi's IGI Airport

The national capital's Indira Gandhi International Airport will soon sport a dedicated terminal for private jets by early next year, a senior company official has said.

The GMR Group's Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) has "concessioned-out" the project to build the terminal and other facilities which are expected to be ready by January 2020.

DIAL is a consortium led by the GMR Group along with the Airports Authority of India. It has been mandated to operate and manage the IGIA.
"We are fast progressing with the development of new general aviation facilities, these comprise aircraft parking stands, hangar and a Fixed Based Operator (FBO) terminal facility," a senior DIAL company official told IANS here.

"The construction of aircraft parking stands is nearing completion and these will be commissioned post the necessary approvals by early 2020."

Globally, FBO facilities aide in the expansion of general aviation services at busy airports around the world as they provide designated terminal for users of private jets and charter flights.

Besides the FBO, DIAL has already kicked off the next phase of expansion at the IGIA. This phase is expected to enable IGIA to handle 100 million passenger per annum (MPPA) in the next three years.
13/11/19 IANS/India TV

Soon, desi flyers to skip immigration line at Bengaluru airport

Bengaluru: Indian citizens arriving at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) may soon need not wait in immigration queues to get their passports stamped. The Bangalore International Airport Pvt Ltd has proposed to do a proof of concept project by developing technology where Indians flying back to the country will simply need to use their biometrics like an iris scan to register their arrival.
Since immigration has a unified database, the passport will get digitally stamped and contain the same information as the physical stamp. The proposal, BIAL MD & CEO Hari K Marar said, has been sent to the Bureau of Immigration. If accepted, the proposal could radically change the experience of Indians by doing away with the need to stand in queues.
Biometrics to be used for returning Indians
The wait time for foreign citizens would consequently be reduced as well with the queues shortened. “A big problem in airports is queues that can be tackled with smart technology. In some countries like Singapore and Australia, citizens of those countries do not need to stop to get their passports stamped when they fly in from abroad. They simply present their iris (for biometrics) and walk through. Almost 75-80% of international passengers flying into India are Indian citizens in airports like Delhi, Mumbai and others. Imagine if all of them could walk through!” Marar said.
“We have written to the Bureau of Immigration, offering to do a proof of concept at our expense at Bengaluru airport. We will develop the technology platform for using biometrics to do immigration of Indian (passport holders) flying back to the country. We will use any biometric like thumb or palm print or iris for the purpose,” he said.
14/11/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Smog in Delhi delays flights in Chennai

Chennai: The smog in Delhi and the resultant air congestion in the national capital and in Mumbai have impacted flight schedules in the city on Wednesday. Around 10 flights to Delhi were delayed while total 20 flights including departures and arrivals to other destinations too suffered because of the cascading effect.
An airport official said congestion in the national capital and in Mumbai affected domestic schedules at many airports. However, there were no disruption in Delhi because of the smog, only delays.
Of the ten flights, five departures were between 6am and 1pm. As these flights left late, other routes the aircraft were supposed to fly also suffered delays. In Chennai, morning flights to Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Kochi, Jaipur and in the evening a flight to Coimbatore and Madurai were delayed from 30minutes to an hour. Four flights to Bengaluru, two to Mumbai, two to Kochi, one to Kolkata and one to Jaipur were delayed.
14/11/19 Times of India

Govt's clean diktat to airlines: Promote Swachh Bharat, get flying rights

New Delhi/Mumbai: Play the Swachh Bharat anthem on board, ask crew to wear swachhata badge, place Swachh Bharat booklets in seat pockets. These are among the government instructions that airlines are following to step up Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship campaign. But, a competition to promote cleanliness across airports may turn out to be a clincher, especially for the prizes that winning airlines can get.

Best performing airlines could possibly be rewarded with traffic rights on a lucrative route or perhaps a prime airport slot, according to a communication sent by the Ministry of Civil Aviation to airlines and airports.
This is part of Swachh Bharat Pakhwada — a 15-day drive organised by all government ministries to promote cleanliness and sanitation. The aviation industry is, however, sceptical about the promised prizes.

“Giving away bilateral rights as prize to promote a government programme is uncalled for,” said a person attending the event. Airlines have been asked to appoint a nodal officer reporting back to the ministry regarding the activities undertaken by them, he said.

When contacted, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said the subject was under discussion. “No final decision has been taken. All aspects will be kept in mind before any decision is taken,” he said.
Bilateral rights and airport slots are a scarce and coveted resource for airlines. While bilateral traffic rights allow airlines to launch flights to foreign destinations, an airport slot is a permission to operate flights at an airport during specified hours.

There are set guidelines to allocate resource among airlines, based on demand and volume of operations.
14/11/19 Arindam Majumder Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

Hawaiian-JAL JV expands scope to include Russia and India

Hawaiian Airlines and Japan Air Lines have expanded the geographic scope of their proposed joint venture to include numerous additional connections across Asia and the Pacific, as well as current and future service to India and Russia, in an attempt to show additional public benefits from a project they say deserves US antitrust immunity (ATI).

The revised joint venture, as described in a document published on the US Department of Transportation’s website on 13 November, moves beyond direct Japan-Hawaii flights to now include all Asia-Hawaii nonstop flights, connections between Tokyo and Guam, South Pacific connecting routes served by Hawaiian, as well as additional South Pacific points that Hawaiian might serve in the future.

“In reevaluating the structure of the joint venture, the applicants identified two additional countries that they could serve: India and Russia,” the document reads.

JAL currently serves New Delhi, India, and plans to fly to Bangalore and Vladivostok, Russia from the first quarter of 2020. The airlines argue that these flights could provide additional traffic to Hawaii and the proposed JV.

“Although the incremental traffic is not projected to be as significant as other connecting opportunities (such as to points within domestic Japan), any incremental traffic will increase the public interest benefits produced by the joint venture," the document says.
13/11/19 Pilar Wolfsteller/Flight Global

You may fly to Jalgaon, but the big question is: Will you land?

When a low-cost flight to Jalgaon was started in September, many plastic manufacturers and businessmen in the city rejoiced as it made it easy for them to travel to the Maharashtrian city for business.
But the joy was short-lived. In the past two months, flights between Ahmedabad and Jalgaon have been diverted or cancelled as many as 15 times due to “visibility issues” caused by lack of instrument landing. This has caused a lot of heartburn for Amdavadis who were forced to re-schedule trips or take a train, defeating the purpose of introducing the flight. 
Flights to Jalgaon were added under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik), a government initiative aimed at development of regional airports. However, Jalgaon airport still operates under visual flight rules, say authorities.
 Under this set of regulations, a pilot operates an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow her/him to see where the aircraft is going. The pilot must be able to operate the aircraft with visual reference to the ground, and by visually avoiding obstructions and other aircraft.
If the weather is less than ideal, pilots are required to use instrument flight rules rather than visual reference. Explaining the problem, authorities said, “Instrument landing is not possible at Jalgaon, so flights have to return to Ahmedabad or Indore airport due to visibility issues.”
 Jalgaon, which is known for producing bananas and cotton, also boasts of major industrial areas, cotton textiles and vegetable oil mills. It also has a flourishing gold market. Its trade link with Ahmedabad is so thriving that daily flights to Jalgaon are almost full. But the frequent diversions and cancellations have led to ruckus at both the airports.
 14/11/19 Vishal Patadiya/Ahmedabad Mirror

We've not done enough for aviation medicine specialists: Air Chief

Bengaluru: Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Thursday said that not enough has been done — in service terms — for aviation medicine experts and that it has resulted in declining interest in the important field.
"...We've not done enough for the aviation medicine people in terms of service. Do we need to look at why youngsters aren't taking up aviation medicine? Let's not sugar-coat things, they are not taking it up because it isn't a good career option. The architecture itself is wrong, let's work it out and resolve this issue," Bhadauria said at the 58th Indian Society of Aerospace Medicine (ISAM) annual conference.
Stating that there is no doubt in his mind or that of the Indian Air Force (IAF) that aviation/aerospace medicine has been a leading factor in making IAF as capable as it is, the air chief said work on restarting the pilot-doctor programme, which was discontinued more than four decades ago.
"We'll put some aviation specialists as full-fledged pilots as part of the pilot physician programme. This will allow you to do better. We need some approvals and clearances since the previous programme was closed. We are working on it," he said.
14/11/19 Chethan Kumar/Times of India

Supreme Court dismisses Rafale review petition seeking criminal probe in fighter jet deal

New Delhi: In a major relief for the Narendra Modi-led government, the Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a review petition seeking a court-monitored criminal probe in Rafale fighter jet deal between the Indian government and France's Dassault Aviation.

The three-judge bench of the top court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph dismissed the review pleas in a unanimous judgment.

"We cannot lose sight of the fact that we are dealing with a contract. This court did not consider it appropriate to conduct a roving inquiry in an Article 32 petition," said SC in its ruling.

"We don't feel necessary to order FIR or roving inquiry into Rafale deal case," the top court added.

The development comes as a huge relief for the Modi government, which received a lot of flak over the deal after some leaked documents related to the deal surfaced earlier.

While the top court had earlier rejected pleas seeking court-monitored investigation into the controversial Rafale deal in December last year, it again initiated hearing a review petition in February this year.
14/11/19 Aneesha Mathur/India Today

Gold bars worth Rs 25.75 lakh seized at Guwahati airport

Guwahati: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) officials had seized gold bars worth Rs 25.75 lakh from a passenger of Delhi-bound flight at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) airport in Guwahati.
During a regular check up, the CISF officials had recovered four gold bars weighing 664 grams from a person named Ajmat Ali.
According to the CISF officials, Ajmat had planned to smuggle the gold bars to Delhi.
“He was hiding the gold bars in his rectum. The rectum carrier was spotted during routine body screening of the passengers,” the CISF official said.
14/11/19 India Blooms

Two men arrested by customs for smuggling gold by hiding it inside wrist watches

New Delhi: Two men have been arrested by the customs officials for allegedly trying to smuggle gold into the country by hiding it inside their wristwatches among other modes, an official statement issued on Thursday said.

The accused were intercepted after their arrival from Bangkok at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Tuesday.

A detailed personal and baggage search of the passengers resulted in the recovery of two silver-gold 'kadas', two gold chains worn by the passengers and two gold thick circular discs which was concealed in wristwatches, total weighing 685 grams, the statement issued by the customs said.
14/11/19 PTI/India Today

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

DGCA to monitor passenger complaints, ensure timely redress

New Delhi: India’s aviation regulator plans to monitor all passenger related complaints to ensure they are redressed efficiently and in a time-bound manner.
A senior official at the the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told ET the move is aimed to empower the passengers at a time when air passenger ridership numbers are rising with many first-time fliers and carriers are adding new flights and routes to cater to the growing demand.
“We have a wing in the DGCA that monitors fares and it will now be tasked to check the closure of compla-ints filed with us or even on AirSewa, which is (the civil aviation) ministry’s portal to resolve consumer complaints,” the official said requesting anonymity.
The official said though the number of complaints are increasing not all of them are genuine. “Our intervention helps both ways—it ensures that the passenger complaint is addressed within time and also ensures the flier that they are being heard.”
Sources said DGCA director ge-neral Arun Kumar is keen to focus attention on fliers. The DGCA has, under his leadership, announced several other measures to empower the fliers.
According to DGCA data, scheduled domestic airlines received 701 passenger-related complaints in September. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried in the month was 0.61.
13/11/19 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

TruJet to start its services from Kadapa to Mysore and Indore

The airport in Kadapa is all set to start its new services by connecting to the other two cities Mysore and Indore. The TruJet company will operate flights to Mysore and Indore from Kadapa on 15th of this month. The TruJet already operates flights from Kadapa to Hyderabad, Chennai and Vijayawada. The central aviation department, which will be managed through central government regional connectivity.
13/11/19 Pavan Kumar Bandari/Hans India

Airbus expects UDAN operators to go for A220s

New Delhi: Airbus expects its new A220 aircraft, with a seating capacity of 100-150, to find takers among newer airlines seeking to operate under India’s UDAN regional connectivity scheme, which is opening up markets with subsidised fares.
“There is a demand not only to replace regional aircraft and either supplement or complement the Airbus 320 family, but there is also a demand for new aircraft today,” said Connor Buott, single-aisle product marketing senior analyst, customer affairs, at Airbus.
The European aircraft manufacturer expects existing airlines to look at this aircraft in the future as the country’s aviation market expands.
“The reality is before the A220 came along, there was no such aircraft available.
There was no new design (size of this aircraft) over the last roughly 30 years in this space. At Airbus, we see huge market demand — 7,000 aircraft in the 100 to 150 seat space — including from India.
13/11/19 Economic Times

Air India cabin crew call in sick, get pink slips

Mumbai: Air India flight attendants who fall sick now, get worried about availing sick leave as they fear termination. Two weeks ago, the airline issued termination letters to four cabin crew members, all of whom were rostered for duty on a Delhi-Mumbai flight, but called in sick.
Air India’s problem with cabin crew scheduling began last month on Karva Chauth when a number of cabin crew members unexpectedly called in sick, said a source. “Most of them were those who had applied for leave, but were denied leave though AI has a surplus of crew,” the source said. “The AI inflight department would call up the crew and enquire about their health, only to find that many were willing to report to duty,” the person added.
But as the festive season progressed, so did the number of crew calling in sick on the day of their flight. “Then on November 2 and 3, about 230 crew members called in sick,” said the source. Among them were four members, all of them rostered for duty on Delhi-Mumbai flight AI-887. “The AI management decided to clamp down and issued show cause notice for termination to the four flight attendants," the source further said.
An AI spokesperson confirmed that termination letters were sent to the crew because on November 2 and 3 there was a sudden jump in the number of people who reported sick.
13/11/19 Manju V/Times of India

Snag grounds Air India Express flight in Trichy

Trichy: A Dubai-bound Air India Express flight was grounded with 165 passengers at Trichy International Airport after it developed a technical snag just before the takeoff during the wee hours on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an alternate flight took off from Trichy carrying all the passengers on Tuesday morning.

According to airport sources, flight IX612 arrived at the airport at 12.10 am on Tuesday and was supposed to leave for Dubai at 1 am. However, during the routine check, the technical team detected a snag. Later, it was announced that the flight was cancelled and all the 165 passengers were given proper accommodation.

The technical team was working to rectify the issue. In the meantime, an alternate flight, which arrived here from Thiruvananthapuram, took off with the 165 stranded passengers around 8.55 am.
13/11/19 Times of India

Jet Airways may see faster resolution under India's proposed cross-border insolvency framework

India will soon set up a cross-border framework for dealing with insolvency cases involving assets and creditors of insolvent companies spread across various geographies, a move which is expected to see faster resolution of cases such as Jet Airways and UAE-based subsidiaries of bankrupt IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd).

“Though foreign creditors and vendors can make claims for their loans and dues from Indian companies which are under insolvency under the newly enacted Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) law, the proposed cross-border framework will adopt a model law – in the lines of UNCITRAL Model Law – to provide added avenues for dealing with their claims,” a senior official of the Corporate Affairs Ministry, told Arabian Business.

“The proposed amendments to the IBC Act will also provide recognition of foreign insolvency proceedings, foster cooperation and communication between domestic and foreign courts and insolvency professionals,” the federal ministry official said.
The amendment bill to the IBC, which envisages cross-border framework to deal with insolvency cases, is expected to be introduced in the winter session of Indian Parliament, during its sitting from November 18 until December 13.

Insolvency cases such as the grounded Indian airline Jet Airways, which has Etihad as a foreign investor and several international companies as its aircraft leasing agencies and other vendors, have been stuck at India’s insolvency court, partly because of parallel legal proceedings for claims on its assets by foreign lenders and vendors in their respective countries.

Similarly, the bankrupt IL&FS group’s efforts to sell stake in the $79 million robotic car parking project at Dubai Courts of Park Line LLC, a subsidiary of IL&FS Transportation Networks Ltd (ITNL) and NextGen Parking (NGP), part of the Dubai-based KBW Investments, have also hit hurdles in the absence of cross-border framework to deal with foreign assets of insolvent Indian companies.
13/11/19  James Mathew/Arabian Business

Jaffna Int’l Airport commences commercial flight operations

Sri Lanka’s third and newest international airport, the Jaffna International Airport (JIA), has commenced international commercial flight operations from 11November 2019.

The inauguration of operations was initiated by Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, as it begins scheduled flights weekly from Jaffna to Chennai.

This occasion also marks a milestone in Sri Lankan aviation history, with local operator FITS Aviation becoming the first privately owned local airline licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka to operate internationally.

The airline will operate scheduled and charter flights from JIA to Chennai and Tiruchirappalli International Airports in South India. Speaking on the momentous occasion, Dammika Ranatunga, Chairman of Airport and Aviation Services (Sri Lanka) Limited, said, “We are extremely proud of JIA’s transformation. After decades of non-operation, it will now contribute greatly to the Sri Lankan economy by boosting tourism opportunities and increasing investment prospects in the hospitality sector.”
Many Sri Lankans travel year-round to India mainly on Pilgrim Tourism. Further,  travellers from India to Sri Lanka are increasing as India continues to generate the highest number of tourists for Sri Lanka.
The commencement of international flights between Jaffna and South India help to save valuable travel time for people in the North East as they can now travel via Jaffna as opposed to the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).
13/11/19 Daily News

From Nov 18, take a chopper between Mum, Pune and Shirdi

Come November 18, and people travelling between Mumbai, Pune and Shirdi will have one more transport option to choose from. United States-based urban mobility startup BLADE, better known as the Uber of helicopter services, on Tuesday announced that it will launch helicopter services between the cities.
BLADE India, the Indian arm of BLADEwhich claims to be the largest chopper service for civilians in the US – had announced last year that it planned to start services from Mumbai by March 2019. Delayed by a few months, the company is now set to launch chopper flights on a perseat basis between the three cities.
ABlade India spokesperson said the inaugural fares per seat for Mumbai-Pune will start at Rs 19,900,
Mumbai-Shirdi at Rs 21,900, and Pune-Shirdi at Rs 18,900 without GST.
“The first chopper ride will take passengers from Pune to Mumbai, then fly to the temple town of Shirdi, and return to Pune. The average flight will reduce 4 to 6 hour journeys to all of 35 minutes,” said a spokesperson for Blade India, a joint venture between Blade and a private equity fund Hunch Ventures.
13/11/19 Satish Nandagaonkar/Mumbai Mirror

Your wait by runway before take-off may come down soon

Chennai: In four months, passengers may not have to sit for too long inside a taxiing plane at the city airport. The time taken to reach the end of the main runway for takeoff will reduce as work to remove a bottleneck on a taxiway that connects the terminals to the Guindy-end of the main runway will be completed. Planes will save around five minutes to 10minutes and the airport may be able to handle around 12 more planes an hour.
The straightened taxiway will be able to handle more wide-body planes and cargo aircraft without affecting other flights.

The taxiway that runs in front of the cargo terminal (see illustration) has a bend from where it runs closer to the runway. This bend slows down planes taxiing to reach the end of the runway for take off. Also, the bottleneck forces widebody planes such as B777 and B747-800 cargo flight to move out of the taxiway and travel till the last stretch of the runway. This slows down takeoff and landing of other planes.

The work will be completed by December and the straightened taxiway will be commissioned by next March.

“After the work is complete, DGCA will conduct an inspection. After safety clearance, it will be commissioned,” airport director S Sreekumar said.

“The taxiway will help the airport to handle more wide-body planes, including the ones used by airlines on international routes and also cargo flights. Only 10% of the total traffic comprises such big planes. But they slow down traffic at night as they take around three minutes to four minutes to taxi on the runway,” he said.
13/11/19 V Ayyappan/Times of India

SpiceJet Q2 preview: Analysts estimate 8x EBITDAR growth, loss to narrow

New Delhi: Budget carrier SpiceJet was trading flat ahead of its September quarter results (Q2FY20), slated to be announced later today.
At 9:48 AM, the stock was trading 0.22 per cent lower at Rs 114.8 per share, as against an unchanged S&P BSE Sensex. Thus far in 2019, the low-cost carrier (LCC) has outperformed the benchmark index. The counter has surged 29 per cent YTD, relative to a 12 per cent gain in the S&P BSE Sensex.
The LCC, in the previous quarter of the current fiscal (Q1FY20), reported a standalone profit of Rs 261.7 crore, while the operating revenue was Rs 3,002.1 crore. Further, the EBITDA was Rs 620.8 crore. On a consolidated basis, the net profit stood at Rs 262.89 crore.
Edelweiss Securities sees loss of Rs 322.4 crore in the recently concluded quarter due to seasonal weakness. The airline had reported a loss of Rs 389.4 crore in Q2FY19.
“We expect SpiceJet to report losses in Q2FY20 due to seasonal weakness, albeit lower YoY. Additionally, we expect the airline to continue to clock robust revenue passenger kilometers (RPKM) growth (up 46 per cent YoY) versus mid-single-digit industry growth, coupled with 3-5 per cent YoY rise in yields, despite seasonal weakness,” analysts at Edelweiss wrote in their results preview note.
13/11/19 Nikita Vasisht/Business Standard

Air India aircraft maintenance, modifications to be under ‘Make in India’

Mumbai: Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, has signed a Letter of Intent with GDC Technics – a US-based aerospace engineering company – to form a strategic partnership to pursue maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and modification opportunities for Air India airplanes as well as other commercial aircraft throughout the region.

Under the agreement, GDC will provide engineering and certification services, while AIESL will provide the labour, equipment and facilities required to perform MRO and modification services in accordance with FAA, EASA and DGCA regulations.
The growing Indian and Asia Pacific markets provide an opportunity for AIESL to expand its already elaborate MRO capabilities to aircraft beyond just the Air India fleet. This partnership comes at a time when Air India is facing stiff competition from other carriers such as Star Air launching new flights and international budget airlines like Jazeera Airways covering new routes.

A GDC Technics Reliability, Availability, Maintainability, and Safety (RAMS) team was recently dispatched to India to complete modification work at an AIESL facility.
13/11/19 Indus Dictum