Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Government extends allocation of Jet Airway’s slots, flying rights till December

With no resolution in sight for Jet Airways, the ministry of civil avaition has extended till December the validity of the grounded carrier’s slots and international flying rights allocated to other airlines. The ministry had distributed most of the 766 airport slots and various international traffic rights held by Jet till October-end.

A senior ministry official said the earlier time period had now been extended till December-end. Budget carriers SpiceJet and IndiGo have been the biggest beneficiaries of Jet’s closure, with each bagging more than 125 ex-Jet airport slots and flying rights to cities like Hong Kong, Dubai, Dhaka and Abu Dhabi.

While SpiceJet was allotted an additional 48 domestic and 15 international departure slots in Mumbai and Delhi, respectively, IndiGo got 45 departure slots at the twin metros apart from bagging half of the Jet Airways pool of international traffic rights. Air India, Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia were also allocated domestic slots earlier operated by Jet.

Civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri said on June 26 that domestic airport slots and international flying rights were distributed among local carriers on temporary basis. “The domestic slots vacated by Jet Airways starting from April 2019 have been allocated on ad hoc basis to other Indian carriers. Majority of the international traffic rights of Jet Airways have been distributed amongst the Indian carriers purely on temporary basis till the end of Summer Schedule, 2019 only,” Puri had told Rajya Sabha.
21/08/19 Financial Express

NCLAT asks Jet Airways lenders if they would cooperate with Dutch court administrator

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Wednesday asked lenders of Jet Airways whether they would cooperate with the Dutch court administrator who is also pursuing insolvency proceedings against the debt-ridden carrier.
A three-member NCLAT bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhyay asked the Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Jet Airways to file an affidavit within a week in this regard.
The appellate tribunal has also asked the CoC to inform whether they are ready to pay fees and bear costs incurred by the Dutch administrator.
Jet Airways is facing insolvency proceedings in the Netherlands as well, where it was declared bankrupt after failing to pay two European creditors. Subsequently, a bankruptcy administrator was appointed by the Dutch court.
The NCLAT has asked to list the matter on September 4 for further hearing.
The appellate tribunal’s direction came while hearing a petition filed by the Dutch court administrator against the order of the Mumbai bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), which had declared overseas bankruptcy proceedings null and void in the Jet Airways insolvency case.
The NCLAT on July 12 had stayed the orders of NCLT on the plea filed by the Dutch court administrator and agreed to hear it.
21/08/19 PTI/Financial Express

Indian woman makes aviation history with solo Pacific and Atlantic crossings

Mumbai: Mumbai girl Aarohi Pandit, currently on a global flight in a small plane, on Wednesday created history by becoming the first woman pilot to cross both Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean solo in a Light Sports Aircraft.

Flying from Alaska’s Unalakleet city across the Pacific Ocean’s Bering Sea, she landed safely at the Anadyr Airport in Russia’s Far East region of Chukotka at 01.54am after a stopover at Nome (Alaska). After landing, Aarohi, appearing a bit weary but cheerful, posed for a photo before her LSA and waved the Indian tricolor.

In mid-May this year, Aarohi, 23, became the first woman in the world to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in a LSA, thrilling her family, friends and aviation circles.

In the past nearly 13 months of her circumnavigation flight, she has broken and created several records, including becoming the world’s first woman to complete a solo flight over the treacherous Greenland ice-cap in an LSA, and the first woman to fly all across Canada from the North East to the North West via the South, said her team in Mumbai.

“Aarohi truly represents all that young Indian women are capable of, given an opportunity. We are very proud and she has set such a great example for all other girls to emulate,” an excited Lynn de Souza, founder of Social Access Communications, which organised the WE! Expedition, told IANS.
On her part, Aarohi considers the Pacific Ocean crossing as the most significant sector for the Women Empower Expedition (WE!) circumnavigation, marking its entry into a new country, a new continent and a new day.
In her 1,100km flight from Unalakleet to Anadyr, Aarohi flew across the International Date Line, also known as the Line of Confusion, when the date changes and all instruments conk off for a few minutes.
21/08/19 IANS/Gulf News

DoNER Ministry plans to partially fund airport in Kohima

New Delhi: The DoNER Ministry has plans to partially fund a Rs 6,000-crore proposed greenfield airport in Kohima, which could be the first in the Nagaland capital.
This was conveyed by Union Minister for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Jitendra Singh to Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, who called on him on Wednesday along with a delegation of senior officers of the state government, an official statement said.

Singh conveyed to the chief minister that the proposal to set up an airport in Kohima is being pursued seriously by the DoNER ministry and after an appropriate site was identified by the state government, a technical feasibility report was also prepared by the Airports Authority of India which was favourable for an all-weather airport.

The chief minister conveyed to the DoNER minister that the total estimated cost to set up an airport could be around Rs 6,000 crore and requested that a part of it could be funded by the DoNER ministry or the North Eastern Council (NEC).

The DoNER minister informed the chief minister that a proposal has been sent by his ministry for sanction of Rs 1,000 crore towards the project, the statement said.

According to the plans, the proposed airport will come up at Ciethu in Kohima.
21/08/19 Outlook

3 Killed as Helicopter Involved in Flood Relief Crashes in Uttarakhand's Uttarkashi After Hitting Electric Wires

Dehradun: Three people were killed after a helicopter involved in relief efforts in flood-hit Uttarakhand crashed in the Uttarkashi district on Wednesday and erupted in flames after it got entangled in the overhead electricity wires.

The State Disaster Response Force said the dead have been identified as Captain Lal, co-pilot Shailesh and a local person named Rajpal. A team of 10 members has been sent to the site of the crash.
The chopper crashed near Moldi while returning after distributing relief material among the affected people. It belonged to a company called Heritage Aviation and was among the ones engaged in relief and rescue operations in the affected villages spread over 70 square km area of the district.

The crash occurred when the helicopter was returning after distributing the relief material among the affected people, Uttarkashi Disaster Management officer Devendra Patwal said.

Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, in a tweet, expressed grief at the deaths in the crash. He prayed for strength to the family members of the deceased to bear the loss.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has deputed a team of officials to conduct a preliminary enquiry in the crash.
21/08/19 News18.com

India’s DGCA, snubbed globally, is a cosy club of IAS officers with no aviation expertise

New Delhi: In June, when the US Federal Aviation Administration — deemed the apex airline regulator worldwide — called civil aviation authorities from across the world to review software modifications to the grounded Boeing 737 Max, it didn’t extend the invite to India’s watchdog — the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
This despite the fact that India is one of the 10 countries that flew the controversial new generation jet and is also one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets.
It was no anomaly — just the latest in a series of international aviation safety seminars that no DGCA official has been invited to.
DGCA representatives have, off late, not been invited to seminars of the US-based International Society of Air Safety Investigations (ISASI). The Indian aviation body has also been left out of safety seminars held in Europe.
The repeated snubs, experts say, is due to a structural issue at the apex of the aviation regulatory sector in the country.
Unlike in even other developing nations such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines, where the regulatory bodies are headed by technocrats with an aviation background, all the top posts in the DGCA, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) or for that matter even public carrier Air India are held by Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officers.
Such is the situation, that in the past decade, the DGCA has always been headed by an IAS officer, not always with the relevant domain experience. The last technocrat to head the body was the late Kanu Gohain (2007-08), who had 35 years of experience in the industry.
The upsurge of IAS officers donning the role, however, only began after his tenure. Since 1980, for instance, of the 15 DGCA heads, eight have been from the IAS cadre (see box). But six of them have headed the DGCA in the last decade alone.
Captain Mohan Ranganathan, an aviation safety consultant and former flight instructor, said bureaucrats made their way into the DGCA after Gohain’s tenure.
“Bureaucrats in the ministry wormed their way into DGCA via the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) route,” Ranganathan said. A joint secretary would be sent to ICAO as India’s representative and qualification requirements for DGCA were tweaked by the ministry to make sure that the IAS cadre swarmed into all the top posts in aviation. None of the bureaucrats knew the subject.”
21/08/19 Ifrah Mufti/Print

CITCO closes its lounge at airport

The Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) closed its domestic lounge at Chandigarh International Airport Limited (CHIAL) on Tuesday. Meanwhile, the CITCO management was directed to file a fresh civil suit against CHAIL in the District Court of Mohali, citing jurisdiction reasons. The instruction was issued by the court of Civil Judge Junior Division Simran Singh.
Advocate Umang Bansal, who was representing CITCO in the district courts, said, “According to the instructions of the District Court at Sector 43, we were scheduled to vacate the lounge on August 10, but were given time till August 16. Now, we have vacated the lounge. The court also directed us to file a fresh plea in the District Court of Mohali, citing that CHIAL came under the jurisdiction of Mohali.”
A senior CITCO officer said, “On Tuesday, we withdrew all our employees, who were appointed in the lounge at CHIAL. These employees were deputed in other units of CITCO. The further course of action regarding CHIAL will be decided shortly.”
According to the information, in September 2016, the High Court had directed the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to approach CITCO for setting up lounges at the Chandigarh airport. It said that CITCO would operate executive lounges at international and domestic terminals and commercial rates were charged for the allotted areas as licence fee. However, later it was found that the passengers do not have time to visit the lounges as there was no stopover of flights at the airport and hence it was prayed to allot the internal and domestic lounges on long-term lease on rental basis. The CHIAL in November 2017 extended the allotment of executive lounges to CITCO for five years till 2021. No rebate was given but the licence fee was increased by 10 per cent.
21/08/19 Indian Express

March 2022 deadline set for Arunachal’s Hollongi airport

Guwahati: The Union Civil Aviation Minister has set March 2022 as the deadline for completion of a greenfield airport that triggered the fall of the Congress and upsurge of the BJP in Arunachal Pradesh.

Hollongi airport near Itanagar was among a slew of projects for which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone in February. The airport is estimated to cost ₹1,200 crore.

Union Minister of State (Independent) for Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri, during a videoconference with Arunachal Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar, said that the Centre would assist the State to ensure that the Hollongi airport is completed by March 31, 2022.
The focus of the discussion was also on developing helipads at five strategic locations in Arunachal Pradesh, apart from Tawang. The State government suggested air connectivity between India and Bhutan via the Tawang helipad.

The Hollongi airport project has been a touchy topic for successive governments in Arunachal Pradesh. It was one of the major reasons why the former Congress government headed by Nabam Tuki fell and the BJP came to power in the State.

The airport was initially scheduled to be built at Karsingsa, also near Itanagar, where former Union Minister Shivraj Patil had laid the foundation stone in 2008. The Tuki government rejected the site in 2012 due to “geographical complications” and opted for Hollongi.
21/08/19 The Hindu

'Bikini airline' VietJet to connect Delhi with Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh from December

New Delhi: The “bikini airline” — nickname earned by Vietnamese budget airline VietJet for having cabin crew dressed in bikini on some flights in the past — is going to start India flights now. It will launch Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City as a four times a week from December 6. The Delhi-Hanoi route will start as thrice weekly from December 7. “To celebrate the launch, the airline is offering super-saving tickets priced Rs 9 onwards, during its three ‘golden days’ — a special promotion by the airline from August 20 to 22, 2019,” VietJet said in a statement.
The airline, which started flying in December 2011, has made headlines in the past for having stewardesses dressed in bikinis on some flights. Last January, the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) had fined VietJet for having bikini-clad models on a special flight that was flying home Vietnam’s under-23 football team from the Asian Cup in China.
Since the Indian aviation regulator has often pulled up desi airlines for their crew in regular uniform organising song and choreographed dance events onboard aircraft on special days, it is unlikely VietJet’s India flights will see crew in dresses that earns the budget airline its unique nickname. However, the airline did not say if that will or won’t happen.
The Ho Chi Minh route will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The Hanoi flights will be on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
21/08/19 Sauabh Sinha/Times of India

Why India is a graveyard for regional airlines

As an increasing number of travelers take to the skies, tier 2 and tier 3 cities are being integrated into airline networks. However, operations to tier 2 and tier 3 cities come with a unique set of challenges. For example, limited runway lengths, limited demand, extreme seasonality, lack of navigational aids and operational restrictions – to name a few. Together these make for a complex choice and challenging economics.
Regional airlines can indeed provide the missing connectivity link. Yet the Indian aviation market has seen several regional airlines fail.
Read why so >>

GoAir looks to raise nearly Rs 3,000 crore through IPO, hires bankers

The Wadia family-owned airline, GoAir, is looking to raise between Rs 2,500 crore to Rs 3,000 crore through an initial share sale programme, said three people directly familiar with the development.

“The company has hired ICICI Securities, Morgan Stanley, Citibank and JM Financial as merchant bankers to the issue. The process started in May and they are now working on preparing the draft red herring prospectus (DRHP),” a source added.

The Wadias plan to raise the capital around first quarter of next calendar year, another source said.

ICICI Securities, Morgan Stanley and Citibank declined to comment on the issue. Forbes India is awaiting response from other parties. In an emailed response, GoAir said, it does not comment on market speculation.

The Mumbai-based airline, launched in November 2005, had 11.1 percent market share in May, according to data from the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). In July this year, it announced its expansion to seven new international routes, including Kuwait, Dubai and Bangkok. GoAir took delivery of its 51st aircraft last month, and going forward, the company said that the airline will be will be adding at least one aircraft every month.
21/08/19 Pooja Sarkar/Forbes India

India’s First Subscription Based Airline

New Delhi: An aviation start-up based in New Delhi plans to offer subscription-based airline services. Prince Air (www.princeair.in) will let customers travel unlimited times on private jets across metros in the country.

In India, flying Private is expensive and accessible only to the super wealthy and Corporates. Prince Air was envisioned to solve this key problem area for the Indian Aviation Industry.

Sanket Raj Singh-Founder Prince Air-promises to fly members at a fraction of the cost on private jets in India and make the private jet experience accessible to all.

Sanket Raj Singh, is a fashion industry professional assisting American and European brands with their manufacturing and supply chain solutions. During his travels overseas, he was struck by the disruptions technology was making across various sectors.

We have seen disruptions in taxi, also retail and hospitality sectors in India amongst other industries. Technology is changing business landscapes across the world. says Singh.

Air Transportation has not seen any disruptions un-till now. The Indian Aviation industry is certainly ripe for Digital Disruptions, said the entrepreneur.

While Singh is tight-lipped about the monthly subscription cost, he promises it will be a fraction of what it costs to charter jets. Currently, the cost to charter a private jet can range anywhere between Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3 Lakh per hour, which is exorbitant. The Prince Air subscription model will allow members to fly multiple times and sectors at a price which private jet companies charge to charter their jets for only an hour.
21/08/19 PTI/The Week

Special flights from UAE to Kerala during Onam

On the occasion of Kerala's harvest festival Onam, Indian low-cost airline Air India Express has announced the launch of additional flights to Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi in Kerala from Abu Dhabi. Flights IX450 will fly from Abu Dhabi on September 6 at 5am, revealed Dhananjay Kumar, official spokesperson, Air India.

The official clarified this is only a one-time flight for the festival season. Onam celebrations in Kerala are set to begin on Sunday, September 1 and will conclude on September 13. Presently, Air India Express operates daily flights to Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram from UAE's capital city.

According to a PTI report, the Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has promised that additional flights will be operated to Kerala from Gulf countries during Onam season to alleviate the difficulties faced by expatriate passengers. "This facility will be continued during other festival seasons and holidays too," he said while inaugurating the meeting of Pravasi Legal Cell in Kochi on Sunday.
21/08/19 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times

How India's Vistara aims to take on the top UAE airlines

Vistara, which launched its first direct flight to Dubai from Mumbai on Wednesday, aims to take on the leading airlines of the UAE by offering a combination of world class services and premium economy on its flights between India and UAE.

In an exclusive interview with Arabian Business, Leslie Thng, CEO, Vistara, said: “There is a significant demand for an Indian carrier offering a premium experience on flights between India and the UAE, and Vistara will be that carrier for people. It is now also the only airline to offer the choice of Premium Economy on flights between India and the UAE.

“We challenged the status quo and changed millions of peoples’ perception of air travel to bring back joy and wonderment to flying (in our India operations). Our approach is not much different with international operations, and that includes the Middle East,” he said.
Air India is currently the lone full service carrier from India to the UAE and the larger Middle East region, after the collapse of Jet Airways.
The Vistara CEO said the airline would soon be expanding its operations to the Middle East region but declined to share the details of its proposed expansion plans.
“Passenger traffic between India and the Middle East continues to rise, and as a fast-growing airline with unique product and service, there’s room for Vistara to grow on the India-UAE route just as well. Naturally, we wish to further strengthen our international network with more flights to/from points in the Middle East,” Thng said.
He added the airline’s expansion plans in the UAE and Middle East region were dependent of multiple factors including bilateral agreements between the two countries, availability of aircraft and slots.
21/08/19  James Mathew/Arabian Business

Why Fly 44-yr-Old Jets When Old Cars Not on Road: IAF Chief BS Dhanoa

New Delhi: Indian Air Force chief BS Dhanoa on Tuesday questioned why India is flying aircraft that are over four decades old when no one drives even cars of that vintage.

Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa was referring to the MiG-21 fighter aircraft that had been inducted into the force in 1973-74.

“The fifth-generation fighters are a reality and the next generation fighters are already on the drawing board. Can we afford a victory with such losses? If there is no war, we cannot wait for indigenous technology to replace obsolete warfighting equipment.

“Neither will it be prudent to import every defence equipment from abroad. Today, I can still fly the MiG 21 MF aircraft which is almost 44 years old. I’m sure none of you are driving a car of that vintage,” he said.

BS Dhanoa made the statement on India’s obsolete fleet of fighter aircraft in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a seminar on indigenisation of the IAF held here.
“Having said that, it is because over a period of time we have indigenised many of the sub-assemblies and innovated and have done import substitution of many components that have gone out of manufacture across the world,” he added.
21/08/19 Sentinel

India to talk to airlines interested in opening Imphal-Mandalay route

India’s Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has asked the State Government to talk with airlines which are interested in operating Imphal-Mandalay flight service, the Sangai Express reported.

During a video conference, the Union Civil Aviation Minister gave his approval to the idea of introducing Imphal-Mandalay flight service while asking officials to talk with airlines interested in operating the international flight service on the particular route.

Notably, Myanmar based private airline Air KBZ had already expressed their willingness to operate international flight service between Imphal and Mandalay.
21/08/19 Mizzima

Cabbies resume operations at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: A day after metered-taxi drivers went on a flash strike for 45 minutes at Kolkata airport in protest against the delay in reimbursement of fares, the situation became normal at the pre-paid taxi counters on Tuesday.
“The situation was normal on Tuesday and we got timely disbursal of our money on production of the counterfoil receipts. Even the counters had opened earlier than usual,” said Amrendra Tiwari, a taxi driver at the airport.
The strike on Monday had left in the lurch several hundred passengers, especially senior citizens, who were not familiar with booking app-cabs with phones, and foreigners, who did not have internet after landing in Kolkata.
21/08/19 Times of India

Sara Ali Khan obliges kids with a selfie at airport. Internet praises her humility

In no time, Sara Ali Khan has become one of the most-loved B-Town celebrities. If her on-screen persona is making people go weak in the kness, her off-screen aura has left many awestruck. Recently, the 24-year-old actress once again grabbed eyeballs when she obliged her young fans with a picture at the airport.

Sara, who was returning from Bangkok, was surrounded by fans at the airport, and the Kedarnath actress did not hestitate from posing with them.

Soon the video of Sara happily posing for a selfie with young fans went viral, and the Internet couldn't stop praising the Simmba actress for her humility.
This is not the first time has Sara has praised by netizens. Earlier a video Sara lugging her suitcases without any help at the airport went viral.
21/08/19 India Today

High alert in MP, security beefed up at Jaipur airport

Bhopal/Rajasthan: Security forces in Madhya Pradesh are on high alert over reports that four ‘terrorists’, along with an ISI agent, have entered India and may be trying to sneak in across the Rajasthan or Gujarat border.
Up north, Rajasthan, too, tightened security at Jaipur International Airport and several districts following an intelligence alert that terrorists might inflitrate into the state from neigbouring Gujarat.
In MP, police are keeping a close vigil on eight western districts that share borders with Rajasthan and Gujarat – Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Barwani, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Neemuch and Agar-Malwa.
However, MP’s home minister Bala Bachchan rubbished reports of a high alert being sounded on the Gujarat-MP border after an alleged Intelligence Bureau warning as “rumours”. “Police are on alert and the borders of Madhya Pradesh are being closely monitored as precautionary measures but there is no such situation as feared,” he insisted. Bachchan could not be reached for comment on the statement.
21/08/19 Times of India

Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) Selects Unisys as Master System Integrator for Providing Technology Support and IT Infrastructure

Bengalufu: Unisys Corporation today announced that Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) – operator of Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (BLR Airport) – has selected Unisys to integrate and manage all IT and non-IT systems for Phase 1 of the second terminal (T2).

India's third busiest airport and among the fastest growing in the world, BLR Airport managed 33.30 million passengers in 2018-19. BIAL's second terminal project is designed to add capacity to efficiently process and accommodate an additional 25 million passengers per year and will be built in two phases. Scheduled to be operational in March 2021, T2 will enable BIAL to meet the demands of increasing passenger volumes and improve operational efficiency. 

Under the terms of the three-year contract, signed in the third quarter of 2019, Unisys will manage the implementation of more than 20 new IT systems procured by BIAL for Phase 1 of T2. Unisys will also undertake seamless systems integration of a complex network of IT and non-IT systems supporting the current infrastructure and the upcoming T2. Combining Unisys program management and systems integration services with the innovative solutions procured by BIAL, will enable BIAL to build a next-generation airport that delivers a unique and engaging passenger experience benefitting domestic and international passengers.
21/08/19 PRNewswire

1.5 crore wrapped in sweet boxes seized at RGIA

Hyderabad: To smuggle the illegally collected foreign currency notes out of the country, two city-residents have wrapped the notes in false bottoms created in the sweet and biscuit boxes. The duo was arrested by the sleuths of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence on Monday night when they attempted to flee to Dubai with the foreign currency worth about `1,48,75,000.

The passengers were intercepted by the DRI sleuths on specific information that two persons who were scheduled to fly to Dubai from Hyderabad in an Indigo airlines flight and an Air India flight were carrying huge amounts of foreign currency.
One passenger was scheduled to depart to Dubai in Indigo airlines flight (6E 26) and another passenger was scheduled to leave in an Air India flight (AI 951). The passengers were intercepted and their baggage was checked to only find the foreign currency concealed in the boxes of eatables.
On a thorough examination, sweet boxes and biscuit boxes were found in the baggage, which had eatables and also false bottoms used to conceal the foreign currency notes.
“The foreign currency notes were wrapped in specially created false bottoms in the boxes in which several bundles of Saudi Riyals were concealed. Each passenger was carrying 3.5 lakh Saudi Riyals valuing at `1,48,75,000,” the officials of DRI said.
The officials said that during interrogation, the passengers have stated that the currency was obtained from unauthorised dealers and was aware that it was illegal to smuggle foreign currency.
21/08/19 Deccan Chronicle

AAI warns jobseekers about fake advertisements

Surat:Airports Authority of India (AAI) has advised jobseekers not to fall prey to fake advertisements and notices for recruitment at Surat airport. Many fake advertisements are doing rounds on social media and local publications to lure job seekers for employment at the airport.

Unscrupulous elements have forged AAI’s name and logo to deceive jobseekers with false promises of securing them jobs in AAI.

An advertisement has gone viral on social media about recruitment of young graduates and housewives as ground staff at Surat and Ahmedabad airports. The salary promised ranges from Rs25,000 to Rs1 lakh.
21/08/19 Times of India

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Jet Airways crisis: Lenders mull liquidation of grounded airline after EoIs attract no major bidder, CoC may meet this week

The revival of grounded Jet Airways seems to be over with the debt-laden airline's strategic partner Etihad Airways reportedly moving out of the resolution plan, said a media report.

With all the efforts by State Bank of India-led lenders' consortium to take the airline into the sky again having failed, liquidation is reportedly the next step to recover the dues and committee of creditors (CoC) for Jet Airways may meet this week to decide the course of action, said a report in the Financial Express.

The decision of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways to exit from the resolution plan of the crisis-hit airline has reportedly hastened Jet Airways' liquidation process as a section of the lenders finds this is the way out to recover up to 10 percent of the outstanding debt, the report said.
“Lenders will most likely go for liquidation. The CoC will have to agree on a final decision, but they are unlikely to invite expression of interests (EoIs) again,” the report said quoting a banking official.

Last week, it was reported that the financial results for the June quarter of Jet Airways were not finalised and the process was taking time due to the "complexities of issues" being faced by the airline.

The affairs of Jet Airways, which closed down its operations on 17 April this year, are now being managed by resolution professional Ashish Chhawchharia under the insolvency law.

On 13 August, Etihad Airways had said that it would not express interest in reinvesting in Jet Airways because of unresolved issues concerning the cash-strapped airline's liabilities.

Grounded Jet Airways had invited prospective bidders to express interest and last week, it had extended the deadline to 10 August.
20/08/19 First Post

Gov't ready to sell a 95% stake in Air India - report

The Indian government has agreed in principle to increase the stake in Air India available for privatisation to 95%, The Business Standard has reported.

A committee led by Cabinet Secretary P. K. Sinha will present its report paving the way for a new privatisation attempt by the end of August 2019. Subject to approval by the appropriate ministerial commissions, the government will seek to almost fully divest from Air India.

The report foresees a call for Expressions of Interest in early October 2019.

The government plans to retain a 5% stake to maintain Air India's state-funded pension plans.

In 2018, the Indian government unsuccessfully tried to sell a 76% stake in Air India. No bidders emerged at that time.

Air India's current debt stands at around INR583.5 billion rupees (USD8.2 billion). According to provisional results, it lost INR73.6 billion rupees (USD1 billion) in the fiscal year ended on March 31, 2019.
20/08/19 ch-aviation

Indian air hostess took care of a sick man on Emirates London-Delhi flight. His Quora thread is pure gold

Being a flight attendant is one of the most hectic jobs in the world. Taking care of passengers onboard a flight to smiling while dealing with their annoying tantrums, an air attendant goes through a lot.

Quite often, passengers don’t take their hard work into consideration. Recently, we came across a Quora thread "What is the best thing a flight attendant has done on your plane?" and it will be the most heartwarming thing you will read today.

A Quora user, Arjun Gupta, narrated his experience of travelling on an Emirates flight from London to New Delhi via Dubai, and how an Indian flight attendant took care of him while he was unwell.
Read his experience >>

Udan scheme crucial for growth of NE region to provide affordable aviation: Hardeep Singh Puri

Mumbai: Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Monday said the government's regional connectivity scheme Udan is not only "crucial" for the growth of the North-eastern region but also provide "affordable" aviation to the people.

The ministry had launched the Udan (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik) scheme in October 2016 to stimulate regional air connectivity and make air travel affordable to the masses. The scheme took wings with the flagging off the maiden flight to Delhi from Shimla by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 17 April 2017, operated by the national carrier Air India's regional arm Alliance Air.

"The effective implementation of Udan is not only crucial to the growth of North Eastern states but also provide affordable aviation to the citizens," said Puri in his address to the chief ministers, state chief secretaries/advisors at a meeting, which he chaired via video conference (VC), as per an official release.
This was first of the series of such VCs planned for a periodic review of the government's ambitious scheme, it said, adding the focus of the VC was to discuss and resolve issues concerning the effective roll-out of the scheme and take the stock of the progress being made. Besides Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Daman and Diu participated in the first review meeting through the video conferencing, the release stated.
20/08/19 PTI/First Post

A memorial for victims of 1950, 1966 AI crashes in Alps


The Nid d'Aigle (or Eagle's Nest) is well known as the last station on the tramway that takes tourists to the foothills of the Mont Blanc mountain in France.
It is where the mountaineers start their ascent for the icy heights of Alps.
The tiny picturesque village at an altitude of 2,362 metres will now also be known for a monument dedicated to father of India's nuclear programme Homi Jehangir Bhabha and several other Indian, who were among the passengers and crew of the two ill-fated Air India aircraft that crashed on Mont Blanc mountain in 1950 and 1966.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the memorial on Friday, T S Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) at the Ministry of External Affairs, said in New Delhi.
The ‘Malabar Princess’ — a Lockheed L-749A aircraft of Air India — crashed into Rocher de la Tournette on Mont Blanc mountain on November 3, 1950, while flying as AI 245 on the Bombay-Istanbul-Geneva-London route. It had 40 passengers and eight crew members on board and all of them perished on the icy summit ridge of the mountain.
The ‘Kanchenjunga’, another Air India Boeing 707 aircraft, suffered the same fate nearly 16 years later on January 24, 1966. The aircraft flying as AI 101 from Bombay to London crashed into Bossons Glacier on the south-west face of Mont Blanc — not very far from where the ‘Malabar Princess’ had met its end. It had 11 members of crew and 106 passengers. None survived.
Bhabha was one of the ill-fated passengers of the ‘Kanchenjunga’.
20/08/19 Anirban Bhaumik/Deccan Herald

‘It’s only a temporary demand-supply mismatch in aviation, not a slowdown’

William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, is bullish on the Indian aviation industry despite recent headwinds. Over the past one-year, IndiGo has expanded in both domestic and international markets. In an interaction with BusinessLine, Boulter shared his thoughts on the recent slowdown, and how IndiGo is strategically combating it.
Read the interview >>

Soon, all SpiceJet flights will operate from Mumbai’s Terminal 2

Starting 1 October 2019, all SpiceJet flights to and from Mumbai will operate out of Terminal 2. For the past few months, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir have been operating flights out of both Terminal 1 (also known as the domestic terminal), and the newer, swankier Terminal 2, or T2. This is a major cost overhead for both airlines, and a bit of a hassle for passengers, who have to double-check where they should head.

With the new change of terminal, SpiceJet will have all flights out of the same terminal. IndiGo, which has been trying to get all of the older Terminal 1 for itself, will now share it with some GoAir flights (except flight nos. 2000-2999), and TruJet.

Mumbai’s T2 will then handle international flights, plus all flights for SpiceJet, Vistara, Air India, AirAsia and some flights for IndiGo, GoAir.

Elsewhere, SpiceJet and IndiGo are also shifting terminals in Delhi from 5 September.
20/08/19 Condé Nast Traveller

Gaggal airport near Dharamsala to be expanded: Himachal CM Jai Ram Thakur

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government will expand the runway of the Gaggal airport near Dharamsala by nearly 600 metres, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur informed the Assembly on Tuesday. "There is a proposal to expand the runway from 1,372 metres to 2,000 metres," Thakur, who holds the Tourism and Civil Aviation portfolio, said in a written reply.
He said for its expansion the land of four panchayats -- two in Shahpur tehsil and two in Kangra tehsil -- would be acquired.
20/08/19 Hans India

Flyers stuck in pre-paid cab stir

Kolkata: Anger brewing among metered-taxi drivers over delay in reimbursement of fares at the airport pre-paid counter erupted on Monday morning when they went on a flash strike for 45 minutes during one of the busiest hours. Several hundred passengers, particularly senior citizens who are not adept at using smartphones to book app cabs and foreigners without access to internet on arrival, were left stranded till police stepped in.
“My parents kept waiting in queue after buying the pre-paid tickets, but there were no taxis. The men running the booth had no information about the absence of vehicles, but a woman officer told us that a section of drivers had called a strike at the airport. Finally, after half an hour of waiting, cops brought in some taxis and my parents could get home,” said Sudeshna Dutta, a resident of Lake Gardens, whose elderly parents had flown in from Delhi on Monday.

Agitating cabbies said payment has been irregular, with a dedicated counter for disbursal of pre-paid payment to drivers — operated by the Progressive Taximen’s Union — often staying shut. Drivers rued the counter was supposed to open at 8am, but on most days, they opened only at 9.30am.

“Lakhs are collected in pre-paid fares before the trips. The counterfoil handed to the driver at the end of the trip needs to be reimbursed from the counter when the taxi returns. But the counter functions erratically. It is supposed to open at 8am but seldom opens before 9.30am and shuts down after clearing the dues of around 10-12 taxi drivers. It reopens around 1-1.30pm for an hour or less,” said Raju Singh, a taxi driver.
“On Monday, we waited for the counter to open since 8am and sat on a dharna after no one showed up till 9.30am. How can we work if we don’t get paid?” he asked.

Another driver said that on several occasions, out of four or five vouchers produced by a cabbie, only two are encashed. “The problem started about a year ago. If this persists, it will snowball into a bigger crisis. The union needs to clear the dues within a couple of weeks,” Singh said.
20/08/19 Tamaghna Banerjee & Subhro Niyogi/Times of India

Mizoram CM urges Center to upgrade Lengpui airport

Mizoram chief minister, Zoramthanga on August 20 urged the Centre to upgrade the Lengpui Airport, the lone airport in Mizoram.
An official statement said that the chief minister, who is in the national capital, called on Union Civil Aviation minister, Hardeep Singh Puri and other officials on Tuesday at Puri's office conference hall.
Both the leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including additional flight services for Mizoram and upgrade of Lengpui Airport, the statement also said.
Puri on his part, promised the chief minister to take up the matter for further action.
Zoramthanga was accompanied by Mizoram chief secretary, Lalnunmawia Chuaungo and Principal Consultant for Civil Aviation, Wing Commander, Joe Lalhmingliana and other officials.
Meanwhile, Wing Commander Joe Lalhmingliana said that three airlines- Go Air, Indigo and Alliance Air will start their operations in different sectors connecting Mizoram from September.
He also said that that Go Air proposed to operate AIRBUS-320 daily service on Kolkata-Guwahati-Aizawl sector from September 23.
20/08/19 Morung Express

AirAsia India to start direct Delhi-Chennai flight next month

Mumbai: No-frills carrier AirAsia India Tuesday announced network expansion with the addition of a daily service between New Delhi and Chennai from September.
The airline also announced ticket sales for the new flight beginning September 20.
"The new daily direct flight between Chennai and New Delhi will help boost our operations in Chennai. We have also increased the frequency between Chennai and various other destinations like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata," the airline said in a statement.
Additionally, it will operate a third daily flight between New Delhi and Kolkata.
20/08/19 PTI/Economic Times

‘Bhogapuram airport will spur economic activity’

Srikakulam: Air Travellers Association of India president Natukula Mohan on Monday said that proposed Bhogapuram international airport between Visakhapatnam-Srikakulam stretch would spur economic activity in North Andhra region and provide employment to thousands of youngsters in future.

Along with the association members, he recalled the contribution of Wright Brothers for the aviation sector in the world on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Orville Wright who lived between August 19,1871 and January 30, 1948.

Mr. Mohan said that Mr. Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright’s invention of airplane had provided connectivity among all the countries. He urged the government to take initiative for the early construction of international airport. He also urged college managements to introduce courses related to aviation sector so that the youngsters would get jobs easily. The association members N. Eswara Rao, V. Jagannadham Naidu, T. Appala Naidu, S. Ravi Kumar and others participated in the meeting.
20/08/19 The Hindu

Ghulam Nabi Azad stopped at Jammu airport, sent back

Jammu/New Delhi: Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad was stopped at the Jammu airport on Tuesday and sent back to Delhi, a party leader said, the second time in a month the former chief minister was not allowed to visit Jammu and Kashmir.

"Azad sahib had arrived from Delhi at around 2.45 pm and was not allowed to move out from the airport and forcibly sent back in a return flight to Delhi at 4.10 pm," state Congress chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma told PTI.

The leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad was not allowed to go home or attend the party meeting at state Congress headquarters either, Ghulam Nabi Azad's close aides said.

Ghulam Nabi Azad will return to Delhi in the evening through a GoAir flight.

Earlier on August 8, Ghulam Nabi Azad was briefly detained and sent back from the Srinagar airport after the administration imposed restrictions following the Centre's move to scrap the state's special status and bifurcate it into Union Territories (UTs).
20/08/19 PTI/India Today

Chennai airport gets a cafe run completely by speech and hearing impaired

New Delhi: In a first for Indian airports, Chennai Airport has got a food and beverage (F&B) outlet that is managed entirely by speech and hearing impaired (SHI) individuals. Leading travel F&B company Travel Food Services (TFS) recently opened “Coffee Box” at Chennai Airport in association with Airport Authority of India (AAI). The company plans to open more such outlets at airports across India.
“With a commitment to create employment opportunities for the SHI community, the outlet was launched this August 2019. TFS has always been focused on bringing diversity and a sense of inclusion in their workforce… there are plans to open more such outlets to create an equal job platform for the SHI community across airports in the country,” TFS said in a statement.
20/08/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Ahmedabad-Goa airfare zooms 80% for Janmashtami

Ahmedabad: Goa is topping the chart as a preferred destination for the great Gujarati gamblers this Janmashtami. High demand has sent Ahmedabad-Goa-Ahmedabad airfares skyrocketing by 80% during the festive weekend on August 24 and 25.
The rush to Goa is also fuelled by the political unrest in Hong Kong, which is another preferred destination for gamblers.
Tourists are skipping Hong Kong for Goa this Janmashtami, said tour operators.
A return flight between Ahmedabad and Goa this weekend costs as high as Rs 14,400 per passenger. The same on a normal weekend is around Rs 8,000, according to tour operators.
The maximum airfare for the same sector stood at Rs 34,200 for a direct flight - a clear fourfold increase from the normal price.
"Due to the ongoing political unrest in Hong Kong, several tourists have avoided Hong Kong and Macau and a lot of these tourists are diverted towards Goa.
Since there are barely two-three days available, bookings for domestic destinations are higher than international ones," said Pankaj Gupta, president, Travel agents and tour operators' Association of Gujarat (TAG).
20/08/19 Times of India

Scoot becomes member of IATA Billing and Settlement Plan for India

Travel agents in India will now be able to settle payments directly as Scoot, the low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines, has become a member of the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) under the prefix 668.

BSP is a global remittance system that consolidates payment data across agents as well as airlines, facilitating settlement through a single financial transfer for each participant.

BSP is available to partner agents on major Global Distribution Systems (GDSs), including Abacus, Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan. BSP payment for Scoot flight bookings is currently available in 15 countries/territories, while BSP is operated across nearly 180 countries and territories, serving over 370 participating airlines.
20/08/19 Indian Transport & Logistics News

1 held at IGIA with fake ticket

New Delhi: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) duty personnel of airport yesterday held a passenger in check-in area at Indira Gandhi International Airport.   On enquiry, he was identified as Vishal Ajay Singh and revealed that he had gained access into the terminal building by showing a cancelled ticket of Air India flight bound for Chicago, to see off his sister and niece, who were travelling to Chicago.
Later, the person was handed over to the Delhi Police for further legal action.
20/08/19 Tribune

Monday, August 19, 2019

Won't accept A320 Neos with yet to be updated engines from next month, DGCA warns Pratt & Whitney

New Delhi: Indian aviation authorities have warned Pratt & Whitney (PW) that new Airbus A320 Neos being delivered to IndiGo and GoAir from next month will not be accepted unless they come with updated engines as snags continue to plague PW’s yet-to-be-upgraded engines for the Neos.
Sources say Pratt in recent meetings had told the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) that recent instances of in-flight shutdowns and engine failures have been due to problems with main gear box and low pressure turbine.
“PW told us that fix to both these two problems has been found. A software update is being provided to reduce or eliminate these problems and that they will start giving the updated engines to A320/321 Neos which will be delivered to IndiGo and GoAir from next March. When told that was too distant a date to be acceptable, they pushed it forward to January 2020. However, DGCA chief Arun Kumar put his foot down and said such a long wait was not acceptable. Now PW will start delivering new Neos to IndiGo and GoAir with the updated engines from next month,” said a highly placed official.
PW did not comment on this development.
Kumar is learnt to have warned PW, IndiGo and GoAir that “DGCA will not hesitate to take the severest action (which means grounding) to ensure passenger safety should the situation so warrant.” IndiGo is the world’s largest customer for the A320 Neo family of planes. It has ordered 430 of these, with 280 being A320 Neos and 150 A321 Neos. “We had 87 A320 Neos and 5 A321 Neos as on July 20, 2019,” an IndiGo spokesperson said. The mega budget airline is yet to get over 330 Neos from those orders. GoAir has ordered 144 A320 Neos and has got about 35 of them so far.
19/08/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

UDAN scheme crucial for affordable aviation: Minister

New Delhi: Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said effective implementation of the UDAN scheme is not only crucial for the growth of North-eastern states but also for providing affordable aviation.

He was chairing a meeting on the regional connectivity scheme (RCS-UDAN) with Chief Ministers and Chief Secretaries of N-E states, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Daman and Diu via video conferencing.

According to the Civil Aviation Ministry, modernisation, expansion, development of airports and increasing connectivity were among the topics discussed at the meeting.

“The focus was to discuss and resolve issues concerning rollout of RCS-UDAN and take stock of progress being made,” the ministry said in a statement.
19/08/19 CanIndia

Eight companies from seven countries are vying for the bid to build Nijgadh International Airport

Eight companies from seven countries, including Nepal, are bidding for the construction of the $3.45 billion Nijgadh International Airport in Bara.

At least two officials at the Investment Board told the Post that they had received proposals from investors from China, India, Qatar, Finland, Switzerland, Malaysia and Nepal to build the airport, 175km from Kathmandu in the plains. The airport is expected to serve as an alternative to congestion and winter fog at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport, the country’s sole aerial gateway.

As per the Investment Board, the airport will be built in three phases—the first phase will cost $1.21 billion, the second phase $1.12 billion, and the third phase $1.12 billion.

GMR Group, an infrastructure company headquartered in New Delhi, India, and two airport construction firms from China have submitted proposals, sources said. One Nepali company has also submitted a proposal to develop the airport under the public-private partnership model.

The board has received a proposal also from Qatar. The Qatari government had approached Nepal in January to build the project in a bid to strengthen its presence in Southeast Asia.

The government had also mooted an option to award the project through a government-to-government deal before the 2019 Nepal Investment Summit in March.

“We have asked for proposals under the public-private partnership modality but the government has the option to build the project under any modality,” said Maha Prasad Adhikari, chief executive officer of the Investment Board.

The Malaysian and Indian governments have been eyeing the project for long. The Malaysian government, on January 6, 2016, had proposed fully-financed construction of the airport under a ‘design, finance, build, operate and transfer’ (DFBOT) model through a government-to-government deal.
In July 2015, a four-member delegation from the Airport Authority of India visited Kathmandu before heading to Nijgadh for a site inspection. The delegation had informed Nepali officials that they were ready to invest in the project, either through the private sector, government funding or both—as per the wishes of the Nepal government.

As an international airport close to the border with India would be more accessible to the large populations of the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, India has an interest, according to the government officials that the Indian delegation spoke to.

Adhikari told the Post that they were in the final stages of evaluating the proposals.
19/08/19 Eleven Myanmar

HCL Technologies inks pact with Maharashtra Airport Development Company, move to create 8,000 jobs

New Delhi: IT major HCL Technologies on Monday said it has signed a pact with Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) for expansion of its MIHAN campus in Nagpur, a move that will help create over 8,000 local jobs.

As part of the MoU (memorandum of understanding), HCL will acquire 90 acres of land to add to the existing 50-acre campus in MIHAN, Nagpur, a statement said.

HCL Technologies started its business operations in Nagpur in April last year and already has more than 800 employees servicing global accounts.

The MIHAN centre delivers a spectrum of services including application development, product engineering, BPO, IT services management as well as the company's internal enabling functions.
The campus, when fully operational, will employ over 8,000 personnel, the statement said.
"Our IT sector has contributed immensely to help India make its mark on the world map...This expansion of the HCL campus in Nagpur will provide many opportunities to local talent and promote growth and development in the city," Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari said.
HCL Technologies has also announced the launch of Tech Bee -- a work-integrated career programme for students who have completed Class XII.
After completion of the programme, the students will be deployed at HCL Technologies. They will also have an option to pursue higher education from BITS Pilani and SASTRA University while working.
19/08/19 PTI/First Post

BNP against providing land to India for Agartala airport

Dhaka: BNP on Monday said there is no reason for Bangladesh to provide its land to India in Brahmanbaria to expand Agartala airport.

“There’ve been media reports about it (India’s desire to use Bangladeshi land in Brahmanbaria).  We’re closely observing the matter,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

He further said, “Bangladesh government hasn’t agreed yet, and there’s no question about providing any land. There’s no reason to give our land to any other country.”

Fakhrul came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after placing wreaths at BNP founder Ziaur Rahman’s grave along with leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal, marking its 39th founding anniversary.

Media reports said India wants a piece of Bangladesh’s land in Brahmanbaria to expand the Agartala airport, but the country is yet to make any proposal in this regard.

Fakhrul said their party is not ‘optimistic’ about getting any positive outcome to resolve the outstanding problems with India from the visit of its External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“We’ve been hearing for 10-12 years that the Awami League government’s relation with India reached the highest level, but we still didn’t get the fair share of water from the Teesta River. Border killing could not be stopped as no step has been taken to remove the trade deficit with India,” he said.
19/08/19 UNB

AAI to update air traffic management system at Mumbai Airport

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has solicited proposals from interested firms to deliver a new air traffic management (ATM) system at Mumbai Airport.

A 15-year-old ATM system that struggles to cope with increasing air traffic is currently being used by the Mumbai Air Traffic Controller (ATC).

The maintenance agreement for the current system has expired and its components are unavailable on the market.

Expected to become operational over the next 15 months, the new system will enable Mumbai Airport to achieve its full capacity of 1,040 daily flights.
The lack of a new ATM system was severely felt in April when one of the four machines at Mumbai ATC broke down. The malfunction was due to a 60% increase in flight movements after Pakistan shut down its airspace in February.
Mumbai ATC handled two or three times more air traffic than its normal capacity during this time.
A senior Mumbai ATC official told Hindustan Times: “We have asked for additional features in the system that will allow automatic time-based spacing between two aircraft.
“This will help accommodate more aircraft in the airspace at a time. Apart from this, the automated system will help controllers manage air traffic, make quicker decisions about an aircraft, if needed, thereby reducing stress, and help better planning for aircraft landing and take-offs.
19/08/19 Airport Technology

Delhi IGI airport Terminal 2 gets Express check-in facility! Flyers can head straight to boarding area

Delhi IGI airport Terminal 2 gets Express check-in facility! Flying out of the Delhi IGI airport’s Terminal 2? Now, you can walk straight to the boarding area if you are carrying only hand baggage! Passengers flying out from Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) can now enjoy faster as well as seamless ‘straight-to-security’ services. Domestic flyers travelling with hand-baggage from Delhi Airport’s (DEL) Terminal 2 now have the option to reach the boarding area without standing in the check-in area. The express security check-in facility at T2 has been introduced by GMR-led Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL).
A dedicated space at the terminal entry point of departure level for the new express check-in facility has been earmarked by the Delhi Airport authority. With the implementation of the new facility, the pre-embarkation security check would happen immediately after the terminal’s entry gate. The domestic passengers travelling with hand-baggage will have the option to print their boarding pass from the newly installed ‘self-service kiosks’. They can also do the Web Check-in located at the departures forecourt area outside the terminal building. After that, they will be allowed to enter the Express Security Check lane without getting into the check-in area and go straight towards the boarding area.
The new facility will help airlines to improve their on-time performance (OTP) as well as provide hassle-free check-in to flyers travelling within India, DIAL said in a statement. One of the primary purposes behind introducing the facility, was to reduce the load on the main security check-in area. Passengers carrying only hand baggage are diverted towards Express Lane. According to DIAL, the move would ensure fast and seamless flow of the domestic passengers travelling without any check-in baggage.
19/08/19 Debjit Sinha/Financial Express

Jet Airways' collapse gives budget rivals room to challenge Air India

The collapse of one of India's leading private airlines, Jet Airways, in April has come as a boon to major Indian carriers, which reported record profits for the June quarter, especially for private budget carriers InterGlobe Aviation-owned IndiGo and SpiceJet.
See how>>

Air India Delhi-Jaipur flight forced to land after fire incident

A Jaipur-bound Alliance airplane with 59 people on board made an emergency landing at the Delhi airport on Monday after it was forced to turn back due to nose landing gear problem and caught fire.

The aircraft took off and landed back at the Delhi airport just a few minutes later. The aircraft caught fire at the time of emergency landing.

The Alliance Air flight -- 9X 643 -- made an emergency landing at the Delhi airport due to a problem in the nose landing gear and some material failure, a spokesman said.
All the passengers are safe and have been evacuated. According to the reports, the aircraft had issues in its landing gear.

Air India, in a statement, said, "Due to the problem in nose landing gear and some material failure Delhi-Jaipur alliance air flight (9X 643) has been declared emergency landing at Delhi airport. All 59 passengers are safe."
19/08/19 India Today

IndiGo and SpiceJet to shift operations to Delhi's terminal 3 from Sept 5

New Delhi: The Delhi airport on Monday said that SpiceJet and IndiGo airlines would shift their flight operations to T3 terminal from September 5 due to expansion works at T2.
"SpiceJet to shift its operation from T2 to T3 entirely; while IndiGo to partially move its operation from T2 to T3...This will result in the passenger load at T2 to reduce by 27 per cent," Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) - which operates the Delhi airport - said in a press release.
The movement will take place with effect from 00:01 hours on September 5.
IndiGo 5000 series flights will shift to T3 terminal.
GoAir will continue its domestic operations from T2 terminal.
Post completion of infrastructure enhancement at T2, the terminal will be able to handle 18 million passengers per annum (MPPA), up from current 15 MPPA, the DIAL said.
At present, GoAir fully and SpiceJet and IndiGo partially operate their domestic flights from T2 terminal.
19/08/19 PTI/Business Standard

'More flights to Kerala from Gulf countries during Onam'

Kochi: Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan on Monday promised more flights to Kerala from the Gulf countries during the coming Onam season.
The Minister said starting more flight services was one way out to address the problem of steep rise in airfares for international flights from the Gulf countries during the festival season.
He was addressing the 10th anniversary of the Pravasi Legal Cell here.
Muraleedharan said the Civil Aviation Ministry was also looking at other options to address the issue of the spike in air ticket prices during festival seasons such as Onam.
Recently, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayanhad held discussions with Union Civil Aviation officials in New Delhi on various issues, including airfares, increasing flights and further developing aviation infrastructure in the state.
18/08/19 PTI/New Indian Express

Small airports to get automatic ATC

Chennai: After trying out mobile air traffic control towers and remote air traffic control units (ATC) for small airports, the Union ministry of civil aviation is considering an automatic air traffic control facility that does not require people on ground at airstrips to guide planes. This is to prepare ground infrastructure to boost regional flights.
A few small airports like Kurnool in Andhra and Mandvi in Gujarat are trying out the small machines that can guide planes to the runway and transmit ground conditions like wind direction and temperature to pilots. Sources said the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is looking at different options to encourage airlines to fly to small airports which are being promoted under the regional connectivity scheme Udan.
As small airports at Vellore and Neyveli, which are waiting for airlines to start services, may have only one flight a day, authorities do not want to set up an air traffic control tower and post controllers in such places. Instead, automatic air traffic control units called Advanced Air Traffic Advisory System (AATAS) is being looked at.
“It is popular abroad and is used as an advisory system for pilots at airfields that have mostly business jet traffic. Small airports in the state will have only day-time flights, so the system may be ideal,” said an official.
“If there is only one service in a few days or one service in a day, the automatic system may be ideal. If traffic increases, it may not be ideal. Pilots use visual landing at small airports during clear weather and need some inputs from the ground about wind pattern and temperature. This can be provided automatically. As AAI may not be able to offer controllers, a few state governments are going for AATAS,” said an official.
19/08/19 Times of India

GoAir Potentially Seeking IPO

Indian airline GoAir is a low-cost carrier based in Mumbai that operates a fleet of 51 Airbus A320 aircraft, holding roughly 8.4 percent of market share making it the fifth largest airline in India.
The airline is currently held by the Wadia family and appears to be seeking an IPO. This isn’t the first-time rumors have swirled around this, but reports say that plans have been revived with the airline inviting investment banks and lawyers to pitch for the job.
While the airline has yet to officially announce their intentions, it is seeming more likely that an IPO is going to happen. The airline plans to add an aircraft to its fleet every month through the financial year and has announced several new hires in key leadership positions. Among the hires are a chief financial officer, a vice president of international operations, heads of network planning, revenue management, and flight operations.
The new roster of hires is a little unusual given that it is filling a number of vacancies that are usually critical to an airline. This comes after many senior executives left the company within a year, including the CEO who left after nine months on the job citing personal matters.
Ben Baldanza, the legendary former CEO of Spirit Airlines, even was invited to join the board as opposed to just the consulting services he has been providing.
Insiders report excessive micromanagement from the controlling Wadia family as a key factor in the executive departures.
18/08/19 Hemal Gosai/AirlineGeeks

Govt forms committee to rationalise additional taxes on Aviation Turbine Fuel

New Delhi: The Aviation Ministry has formed a committee to rationalise additional taxes that airlines have to pay while uplifting Air Turbine Fuel (ATF) at airports across India, according to senior government officials.

Currently, airlines have to pay charges such as 'throughput charges', 'into plane charges' and 'fuel infrastructure charges' when they take ATF at any airport for their planes.

"These charges are taxed multiple times as they are billed in a circuitous manner," said a senior government official.

A second government official said that to develop a direct billing mechanism between airline companies and airport operators - so that these multiple taxes can be removed - the Ministry of Civil Aviation has formed a committee comprising representatives from airlines, airport operators, oil companies, among others.

This committee is expected to submit its report soon, the second official added.

As per government estimates, if a direct billing mechanism is implemented, airlines would be able to save around Rs. 400 crore per year.

In India, ATF accounts for almost 40 per cent of any airline's total expenditure. Therefore, any taxation on ATF always has a huge impact on airline companies.
19/08/19 PTI/Energy World

MP demands regulation of airfares to Gulf

Kozhikode: M.K. Raghavan, MP, has written to the Prime Minister and the Minister for Civil Aviation seeking regulation of airfares to the Gulf countries which have gone through the roof recently.

In a release, he said the fares from the four airports in the State to a majority of West Asian countries had gone up by 300% to 500% from between ₹4,500 and ₹13,000. The minimum fare from Thiruvananthapuram to Sharjah on August 31 would be ₹19,000. The maximum fare to Kuwait from there would be ₹92,000.

As economy class tickets were not available in most of the services, the common people were forced to opt for the business class tickets. Mr. Raghavan said this would affect the Non-Resident Keralites and their families who would be returning to the Gulf countries after the school vacation.
19/08/19 The Hindu

Detained at Beirut airport, Mulund boys return home safely

Mumbai: Two students, who had gone to Beirut, on the pretext of getting a job into merchant navy, returned safely, but dejected as they were not received by the company representative. The duo had gone to join the ship 'MAD VOYAGE' as cadets, but since the representative of the shipping agency did not turn up at the airport to receive the two, they were detained at the airport and deported to Mumbai for having just a 24-hour valid visa.

Identified as Kush Somaiya (18) and Brijesh Rai (18) both are resident of Mulund. They took admission in SMTF Institute for the Merchant Navy training and were offered the job in Beirut.

On knowing they both were selected for the job in Beirut, they couldn't control their excitement. However, due to the negligence of the authorities both of them were detained at the airport for three days and later with the help of former MP Kirit Somaiya they were released. The Mulund police are investigating the issue.
Speaking with DNA, Kush Somaiya and Brijesh Rai said, "We took admission in SMTF Institute last year and also passed out. Later we were selected for our first job in 'MAD VOYAGE' ship as cadets for which we took a flight on August 4 and reached Beirut airport. The agency gave us a day's valid visa. On the airport, nobody came to receive us, and though we tried contacting the agency, nobody responded. Later on August 5, Beirut airport police detained us and took us in custody."

"We narrated the entire incident to the police, but they were not ready to understand. We didn't have that much money to return to and so we contacted our family in Mumbai," Kush and Brijesh said. The duo's family met the MP Kirit Somaiya for help.
19/08/19 Shirish Vaktania/DNA

Mizoram set to get three more airlines soon

Aizwal: Mizoram, which has been facing air-link problems since February, will get three more airlines most probably starting from September next, an official said on Monday.
Principal Consultant for Civil Aviation, Wing Commander, Joe Lalhmingliana said that three airlines- Go Air, Indigo and Alliance Air will start operation in different sectors connecting Mizoram. He also said that that Go Air proposed to operate AIRBUS-320 daily service on Kolkata-Guwahati-Aizawl sector from September 23.
Lalhmingliana, who is now in Delhi, then said the other two airlines Indigo and Alliance Air are applying clearance from Director General Civil Aviation (DGCA).
“Once the two airlines obtained clearance from DGCA they will officially intimate to the Mizoram government about their schedules, timings and sectors,” he said.
Though it is not known when the two airlines will start operation, they are planning to start from October, he added. He further said that Indigo has proposed to operate AIRBUS-320 and Alliance Air will operate ATR 72, which can accommodate 74 passengers.
19/08/19 Sangai Express

Chiethu airport: Rio meets Civil Aviation minister

Dimapur: Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday met Union Minister for Civil Aviation Hardeep S Puri to discuss issues related to the establishment of an airport at Chiethu in Kohima.

Rio, in a tweet, described the outcome of the meeting as positive.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation minister tweeted about the meeting.

“Today, in a break from convention, I discussed and resolved issues related to aviation access and infrastructure in NE states and UTs through VC (video conferencing) with senior officials,” Puri wrote on his official twitter handle.

He was glad that the Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio and the Chief Minister of Mizoram, Zoramthanga could join him at the at the Ministry of Civil Aviation in New Delhi for the meeting.
19/08/19 Eastern Mirror

P Chidambaram Summoned Over Probe Into Congress-Era Air India Deal

New Delhi: Former Union minister P Chidambaram has been summoned for questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the purchase of 111 aircraft for Air India during the Congress-led UPA government, sources said. The deal, made more than a decade ago, saddled the struggling national carrier with mounting losses, investigative agencies said. The former minister has refused to comment on the issue.
The questioning has been slated for August 23, based on then aviation minister Praful Patel's claim that the purchase order was cleared by an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Mr Chidambaram.
In an earlier interview to NDTV, the NCP leader said: "All decisions were multi-tiered and collective. The aircraft purchase order was cleared by an EGOM headed by P Chidambaram and the merger was cleared by an EGOM (group of ministers) headed by Pranab Mukherjee. Both decisions were ratified by the cabinet."
The case involves the purchase of 48 aircraft from Airbus and 68 from Boeing for around 70,000 crore in 2007.
In December 2005, the Manmohan Singh cabinet had approved the deal for 68 aircraft from Boeing Co by Air India. A year later, Indian Airlines signed up to buy 43 planes from Airbus SE.
The two national carriers were later merged in 2007 to operate under the brand Air India - that too is being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
In May 2017, following an order from the Supreme Court, the CBI registered three cases and a preliminary inquiry into the alleged irregularities.
The agency is investigating allegations of aircraft being leased "without due consideration" and whether Air India surrendered profitable routes to private national and international private airlines, allegedly adding to its vast losses.
19/08/19 Anindita Sanyal/NDTV

Pure Nutrition.me Announces New Store Opening at Delhi IGI Airport

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India:  Pure Nutrition an online nutraceutical brand, after the successful launch of stores at Mumbai airport, announces the launch of its first-ever store in Delhi IGI Airport. The stores are located at both Terminal 3 Departure in Domestic and International. A strong step to further substantiate its retail presence, the launch of this new store also marks the brand’s commitment of creating premium products that stand for quality, bio-availability and value for money.

The newly opened store will be open to customers 24 hours every day. The store showcases the extensive product offerings of the brand that compromise of Dietary Supplements, Superfoods, Pure Herbal Infusions, Cold Pressed Oils, Protein Powder and Soups besides other categories. The new Pure Nutrition store aims to facilitate superior health and hassle-free shopping experience for travellers.

Speaking about the new store opening, Mr. Sushil Khaitan, CEO & Director, Pure Nutrition.me expressed his happiness on the launch of the airport retail store by the brand and said, “Our products have seen a huge uptake online across our website and various marketplaces, so taking this step was logical for our growth story. Airports have proven to be an effective platform for us to demonstrate our brand to new and existing customers alike. We are confident that our range of travel-oriented products for gut health, immunity etc. will catalyze sales even further. After Mumbai, as we enter a new market, our whole team at Pure Nutrition sincerely hopes to reiterate the success story with Delhi.”
19/08/19 Business Wire India

Messaging apps now promote new Kempegowda International Airport bus route

Bengaluru: In the first three months following the launch of the KIAS-15 route on February 19 between Whitefield and Kempegowda International Airport, the BMTC facility hardly had any passengers.

Today, an average of 25 air passengers in each trip, use this service — thanks to an innovative step by two BMTC staffers at the Whitefield depot.

The AC Volvo bus begins its trip from Vaidehi TTMC (in Whitefield), then heads to ITPL, Hope Farm, Kadugodi, T K Halli and then reaches the airport. It follows the same route on the return trip. A one-way full trip costs Rs 263.

Depot 18 Manager S Satish and Traffic Controller Janimiya came up with the idea of creating a Whatsapp group with passengers to spread information about the service in June. Speaking to TNIE, Satish said,

“This is a short route to the airport, that is usually taken by cabs, and helps in reaching within 1 hr and 15 minutes. Many who travelled from Whitefield or any of the destinations enroute, hardly knew about it. So, we started this WhatsApp group.”

The WhatsApp group gave information about the arrival time of buses at each stop, the time it would stop at each spot, the fare and the time taken to reach the airport from each place.

“We also gave phone numbers of conductors so that passengers can call for assistance,” Satish said. The number of participants of group kept increasing to an extent that they could not add more people due to the 256-member group restriction.

“So, on August 13, we decided to switch to Telegram service. The existing group migrated there and more numbers could be added. We have 931 members on the group right now,” he said.
19/08/19 S. Lalitha/Indian Express

Tunnel project for airport faces high-cost hurdle

Chandigarh: The underground tunnel project for an alternative route to the Chandigarh international airport at Mohali faces a hurdle due to its high cost as proposed by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Sources said the Haryana Government had expressed its reservation over the high cost of Rs 1,217 crore involved in the implementation of the project.

The underground tunnel project is one of the issues to be taken up for discussion at the next meeting of the inter-state council of north zone to be held on September 3.
The sources said besides Haryana, the UT Administration might also seek financial assistance from the Centre for the project.
A UT official said if the Centre agreed to fund the project, it might see the light of the day. Otherwise, arranging funds would not be easy for the states concerned.

The DMRC conducted a techno-economic feasibility study for an alternative route for the Airports Authority of India (AAI) on a request of Haryana. The proposed route was to cut down the distance for people commuting from Chandigarh and Panchkula. The project is a combination of cloverleaf, underground tunnel and main road lanes. In the cost estimate, the road link from Chandigarh to the airport would cost Rs 1,097.99 crore and the cloverleaf and tunnel together would cost around Rs 118.63 crore, thereby bringing the total cost to around Rs 1,216.62 crore.
18/08/19 Ramkrishan Upadhyay/Tribune

Shah Faesal moves HC challenging his detention at Delhi airport

New Delhi: Detained Kashmiri leader Shah Faesal on Monday moved Delhi High Court challenging his detention. The high court has sought response from Centre and fixed August 23 as the next date of hearing.
Faesal was arrested at Delhi while trying to leave the countey. He has been placed under house arrest.
The matter came up for hearing before a bench of Justices Manmohan and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal, which did not issue notice in the matter after the central government, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, said it will file a response to the habeas corpus petition, moved on behalf of Faesal by a ''pariorkar'' or next of friend Mohd Hussain Cader.
A habeas corpus plea requires a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or a court.
Faesal was on his way to Harvard University in the US for higher studies when he was illegally detained at the Delhi airport under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
The plea alleges that the manner in which he was "whisked away" to Kashmir without even a transit remand amounts to "abduction".
The petition has contended that he was scheduled to travel to Boston, USA, via Istanbul and Frankfurt when he was detained at Delhi airport.
It said he was travelling to the US to complete his course in Master in Public Administration when he was "illegally picked up" from Indira Gandhi International Airport.
19/08/19 One India

Man goes missing from airport in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: The son of an industrialist from the city went missing from RGI Airport on Saturday night. According to a complaint lodged at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport police station on Sunday, the industrialist Punam Chand Sirivi had dropped his son Suresh Sirvi at the airport at around 9 pm. Suresh had to catch an Air India flight to Chennai.
“After dropping Suresh at the airport, Punam Chand returned to his house at Moula Ali. Later around midnight, he came to know that his son did not reach Chennai. When he tried to contact his son, the phone was switched off. Punam Chand then contacted the airlines authorities who informed that Suresh did not take the flight and came out of the airlines personnel telling that his mother was not well ,” said the RGI Airport police quoting the complaint.
19/08/19 Telangana Today

Taxi driver thrashes IGI parking staff

New Delhi: There was ruckus at Indira Gandhi International airport when a kaali-peeli taxi driver started to thrash a customer service associate posted at the airport parking service. The latter had asked him to stay in the queue designated for kaali-peelis when he rammed a barricade after entering the lane for other private cars. A case has been registered.
The driver pulled out an iron rod and started beating the official with it. He chased the man for almost 100 metres until authorities had to be alerted and he was taken into custody.
According to a senior police officer, the complainant said that he works at Delhi Airport Parking Service (DAPS) as the CSA. He said that he was on duty from 7pm to 7am. At 2am, a driver named Raj Kumar forcefully entered the line for commercial vehicles rather than staying in the line for kaali-peelis, he said.
He further hit the barricades in front and then started to escape as the complainant tried to chase him down. While he was chasing him, Kumar pulled out an iron rod from the rear seat of his car.
19/08/19 Times of India

DRI officials seize 11 kgs of smuggled gold at Kannur Int'l Airport, four held

Kannur: Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized around eleven kilograms of smuggled gold worth about Rs 4 crore from four passengers who arrived at Kannur International Airport on Monday.
According to sources, the officials seized the contraband gold in the form of biscuits and in molten form and arrested the passengers with the assistance of Customs personnel's.
The passengers arrived here from Dubai, Sharjah and Riyadh by GoAir and Air India Express flights, sources added.
19/08/19 UNI

South African woman with heroin worth Rs 20 crore nabbed at Delhi airport T3

In a major drug haul, the customs department on Saturday arrested a South African national with heroin worth Rs 20 crore at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the national capital. Around 4900 grams of heroin was found in the possession of the woman, who was travelling on a South African passport.
According to a release by the office of the Commissioner of Customs (Airport and General), the woman was travelling from South Africa to Terminal 3 of IGI airport in New Delhi, via Qatar. She landed in the national capital by Qatar Airlines flight number QR 570.
The woman “was intercepted by the Customs officers at IGI Airport after she had crossed the Green Channel”, said the release.
It further said that personal and baggage search of the woman resulted in recovery of “white coloured powdery substance with granules found to be heroin”.
“The said recovered white coloured powdery substance with granules was found from two brown coloured packets concealed in the black coloured checked-in trolley bag carried by the said passenger,” the release stated.
19/08/19 Jitender Sharma/ZeeNews

Mangaluru: Passenger travelling to Dubai detained for possession of US $ 10,000

Mangaluru, Aug 19: The CISF officials at Mangaluru International Airport have detained a man on Monday, who was trying to smuggle 10,000 US dollars illegally to Dubai.
The man is identified as Sashank Baisani Gupta, a resident of Bengaluru.
On Monday, August 19, Sashank arrived to Mangaluru International Airport to travel to Dubai by SpiceJet SG – 59, scheduled to leave at 10 am.
While the CISF officials frisked him, they found that he possessed US currency and he had not declared the same. They found 51 notes of face value of US $ 100 in his pocket. He had hidden another bundle of notes in his handbag. The officials seized the currency as well as detained Gupta.
19/08/19 daijiworld

Two detained at Jaipur airport for carrying 400gm gold

Jaipur: The Jaipur customs department on Sunday detained two men at the airport here for carrying 400gm of gold illegally. The two were had arrived here from Dubai and were carrying gold in a paste form.
The two men were travelling in a SpiceJet flight which landed at the Jaipur International Airport on Sunday. A customs department official told TOI, “Each was carrying approximately 200gm of gold in paste form. The gold was hidden in their belts between a layer of cloth. They have been detained and we are questioning them further.”
The customs department refused to divulge the identities of the two detained since the matter is still under investigation though they did claim that the two are not from Jaipur. The customs department at the city airport has been catching a lot of people, especially those travelling from Thailand and Dubai for smuggling gold. The official added, “Though we have an annual report on quantity of gold seized, in this financial year,about 7kg of gold which was brought into the country illegally, has been seized.”
19/08/19 Times of India

Two held at RGIA for trying to travel to Delhi on fake tickets

Hyderabad: The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) sleuths on Monday took two persons into their custody at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad, who were tried to travel to Delhi on fake tickets. The two persons including a woman were intercepted at Airport by the sleuths and took into custody while they were boarding to Indigo flight and handed over to Airport police for further enquiry. Both of them belongs to Raichur in Karnataka. By registering a case police are investigating.
19/08/19 Hans India