Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Air India Selects Up to 290 Boeing Jets to Serve Its Strategy for Sustainable Growth

Seattle: Boeing and Air India today announced the carrier has selected Boeing's family of fuel-efficient airplanes to expand its future fleet with plans to invest in 190 737 MAX, 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X airplanes. Along with a comprehensive set of aviation services, Air India is advancing its fleet strategy to sustainably address South Asia's rapidly growing market for domestic and international air travel.

The agreement between Boeing and Air India includes options for 50 additional 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s. When finalized, this will be the largest Boeing order in South Asia and a historic milestone in the aerospace company's nearly 90-year partnership with the carrier. The order will post to Boeing's Orders and Deliveries website when final.

"This acquisition of nearly 300, highly advanced Boeing jets is a core element of Vihaan.AI, the comprehensive transformation and growth strategy we are pursuing at Air India," said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India. "These new airplanes will enable us to dramatically expand our network, both domestically and internationally, and will come with a completely new, world-class onboard product enabling passengers to travel in the highest levels of comfort and safety. With this order, we are delighted to take our long relationship with Boeing to a new level."

"Air India's selection of Boeing's family of passenger jets shows their confidence in our products and services in the world's fastest growing aviation market, and their decision will support engineering and manufacturing jobs at Boeing factories in Washington state, South Carolina and across our supply base," said Stan Deal, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "With the industry-leading fuel efficiency of the 737 MAX, 787 Dreamliner and 777X, Air India is well positioned to achieve its expansion plans and become a world-class global airline with an Indian heart."

Air India has also contracted with Boeing Global Services for lifecycle support services, including digital solutions, spare parts and landing gear exchange programs, pilot and maintenance technician training, aircraft modifications and other services.

The 737 MAX will provide flexibility across Air India's domestic and international network while reducing fuel use and emissions by 20% compared to the airplanes it replaces.

The 737-8, seating 162 to 210 passengers, depending on configuration, and with a range of 3,500 nautical miles, is the market's most versatile single-aisle airplane, capable of operating profitably on short- and medium-haul routes.

The 737-10, the largest airplane in the 737 MAX family, offers the best per-seat economics of any single-aisle commercial jet, seating 188 to 230 passengers, depending on configuration with a range of 3,100 nautical miles.

Air India has benefited from the efficiency and flexibility of the 787 Dreamliner family with an existing fleet of 27 787-8s. The larger 787-9 will provide increased capacity, greater range and 25% better fuel efficiency compared to earlier generation jets.

The flagship 777-9 – the world's largest and most efficient twin-engine jet -- will be the largest airplane in Air India's fleet, enabling it to fly passengers non-stop and in enhanced comfort to almost any long-haul destination.

Unmatched in every aspect of performance, the 777X features a spacious cabin, new custom architecture and innovations from the 787.

With new breakthroughs in aerodynamics and engines, the 777-9 will provide 10% lower fuel use and emissions and 10% lower operating costs than the competition.

14/02/23 PRNewswire/Boeing

Tata-owned Air India to acquire 250 Airbus aircraft

Mumbai: The Tata Group-owned Air India has announced its commitment to order 250 Airbus aircraft to boost its domestic and international operations. The commitment includes 140 A320neo and 70 A321neo single-aisle aircraft as well as 34 A350-1000 and six A350-900 wide-body jets that will mark a new era for the country as the all-new, long-range aircraft celebrates its debut in the Indian market.

The order aims to both modernise and expand the airline’s fleet with the objective of creating a larger and premium full-service carrier that will cater to the growing travel demand in the region. Deliveries are set to commence with the first A350-900 arriving by late-2023.

“Airbus has been a longstanding partner of Air India, and these new aircraft will play an important part in delivering Vihaan.AI, Air India’s comprehensive transformation and growth strategy,” said Campbell Wilson, CEO and MD, Air India. “A core element of this transformation is the significant expansion of our network, both domestically and internationally, coupled with the elevation of our on-ground and onboard product to world-class standards. This order marks the start of a new chapter for both Airbus and Air India.”

“This is a historic moment for Airbus and for Air India. India is on the verge of an international air travel revolution and we are honoured that our partnership with the Tatas and our aircraft solutions will write that new chapter for the country’s air-connectivity,” says Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “The A350’s unique capability will unlock the pent-up potential of India’s long-haul market, its technology, long reach and second to none comfort will enable new routes and passenger experience with better economics and enhanced sustainability. Alongside the A350s, the A320 Family fleets will be the efficient, versatile asset to continue democratising and decarbonising air travel in the country – from domestic, regional, up to international levels.”

Christian Scherer adds: “We salute Air India for its visionary strategy, picking the two reference aircraft types in each of their categories. We are thrilled and humbled to see these aircraft become the cornerstones of Air India’s renaissance. This fleet will propel the airline globally where it deserves to be - with the best.

Over the next decade, India will grow to have the largest population in the world, its economy will expand the fastest among the G20 nations, and a burgeoning middle class will spend more on air travel. As a result, passenger traffic in India will grow fast, including on the long-range markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia-Pacific that the A350 is well positioned to serve.

The A350 is the world’s most modern and efficient wide-body aircraft in the 300-410 seater category. The A350’s clean sheet design includes state-of-the-art technologies and aerodynamics delivering unmatched standards of efficiency and comfort. Its new generation engines and use of lightweight materials bring a 25 per cent advantage in fuel burn, operating costs and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, compared to previous generation competitor aircraft.

The aircraft offers a 3-class configuration cabin that is the quietest of any twin-aisle and offers passengers and crew the most modern in-flight products for the most comfortable long-range flying experience.

The A321neo is the longest-fuselage member of Airbus’ best-selling, single-aisle A320 Family, comfortably seating 180 to 220 passengers in a typical two-class layout, and as many as 244 in a higher-density arrangement. The A320neo has already set the standards as the world’s most comfortable short-to-medium-haul aircraft that typically accommodates from 140 to 170 passengers, with a maximum capacity of up to 180 travellers. Its environmental performance allows for at least 20 per cent less fuel burn and CO2 emissions as well as 50 per cent noise reduction, compared to previous generation aircraft.

14/02/28 Airbus

Air India selects GE Aerospace to power record aircraft order

Air India, part of Tata Sons, has signed a firm order for 40 GEnx-1B and 20 GE9X engines, plus a multi-year TrueChoice™ engine services agreement. The deal was signed in coordination with the airline’s firm order for 20 Boeing 787 and 10 Boeing 777X aircraft.

 “All of us at Tata Group and Air India are delighted to have this partnership with GE Aerospace, where we will build Air India to be a world class airline and one of the most technology-advanced airlines,” said Mr. N. Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons and Air India.

“We are proud to continue our longstanding partnership with Tata Group and Air India,” said H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of GE and CEO of GE Aerospace. “We look forward to working together to introduce these engines into Air India’s fleet and are committed to ensuring they deliver exceptional performance.” 

 GE Aerospace has powered Air India since 1982, when the airline took delivery of its first CF6-powered Airbus A300. The airline currently operates a fleet of more than 150 aircraft, including GE90-powered Boeing 777s and GEnx-powered Boeing 787s.

 Air India also announced a CFM order for more than 800 LEAP engines, the largest LEAP order ever, to power its entire narrowbody purchase of 210 Airbus A320/A321neo aircraft and 190 Boeing 737 MAX-family aircraft. The announcement includes a multi-year CFM services agreement. CFM is a 50/50 joint business between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. 

 "This order for GE Aerospace engines supports our Vihaan.AI transformation plan, a key part of which is to dramatically expand our fleet and global network," said Campbell Wilson, CEO & Managing Director of Air India. "We are confident that these engines will deliver the reliability and efficiency we need, and we are delighted to continue our longstanding relationship with GE."

 "Over the last decade, we have introduced a new portfolio of commercial engines that are significantly more fuel efficient, quieter, and emit less CO2," said Russell Stokes, President and CEO, Commercial Engines and Services for GE Aerospace. "This record order reflects our strong product renewal and our customer’s continued confidence in our engines.”

Today’s announcement includes GE and CFM's most technically advanced commercial engines: 

The GE9X, the world’s most powerful and GE's most fuel-efficient turbofan, powers the Boeing 777X family of aircraft. The engine offers the lowest NOx emissions in its class, 55% below current regulatory requirements. It is also the quietest GE engine ever produced on a pounds of thrust per decibel basis. 

The GEnx, powers the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, has an innovative lean burning twin-annular pre-swirl (TAPS) combustor that dramatically reduces NOx and other regulated gases below today's regulatory limits, offering 15% better fuel burn than the CF6 engine. 

The LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B, have accumulated more than 27 million flying hours. LEAP operators are reporting up to a 20 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions compared to the latest production CFM56 engines, resulting in an average of more than 17 million tons of CO2 emissions reduction.

Like all GE and CFM engines, the GEnx, GE9X and LEAP are compatible with all approved Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blends.

GE Aerospace also provides multiple systems for the Boeing 777X. This includes the Enhanced Airborne Flight Recorder (EAFR), the Electrical Load Management System (ELMS) and the Backup Generator, Backup Converter (BUG/BUC) and the Common Core System (CCS). The CCS is often referred to as the “central nervous system and brain” of the airplane and hosts the aircraft’s avionics and utilities functions, eliminating several boxes and reducing hundreds of pounds of wire. GE Aerospace also supplies the CCS and EAFR for the Boeing 787.

GE Aerospace has been operating in India for over four decades with wide engagement in the industry including engines, avionics, services, engineering, manufacturing, and local sourcing.

Engineers at the John F. Welch Technology Centre (JFWTC) in Bangalore, India, GE's research and development center, have played a key role in the technology development of the GE9X, GEnx, and CFM LEAP engines by providing analysis and test validation support. The center has close to 1,000 engineers working to support next-gen technologies to reduce CO2 emissions. 

14/02/23 GE.com (GE Aerospace)

Boeing orders, deliveries slip in January, before massive Air India jetliner sale

 Boeing’s aircraft orders and deliveries slipped in January from a month earlier.

Boeing delivered 38 jetliners last month, 35 of them its bestselling 737 Max planes, down from a total of 69 planes in December. The delivery count was still was higher than the 32 planes Boeing handed over to customers in January 2022.

The figures don’t include a massive order from Air India for nearly 500 new planes from the manufacturer and its chief rival, Airbus, which was formalized earlier Tuesday.

Air India ordered at least 220 Boeing planes and 250 Airbus planes, making the combined sale the biggest aircraft order ever as airlines prepare for a further recovery in air travel as Covid pandemic travel concerns wane.

Last month, Boeing said it planned to ramp up output of its 737 Max to 50 planes a month in 2025 or 2026, though it’s been cautious about increases beyond the current pace of 31 per month because of instability in the supply chain.

The company logged 55 gross orders in January, netting orders for 16 new planes after 39 cancellations.

Boeing’s CFO, Brian West, will brief analysts and investors during a Cowen industry conference on Wednesday morning.

14/02/23 Leslie Josephs/CNBC

Air India's Airbus deal set to revive airline's fortunes

When Asian airline expert and journalist Vasuki Shastry took an Air India flight in January this year, he found India's re-privatized flag carrier to be "exactly the opposite of what many passengers have come to expect in recent years."

The flight took off ahead of time and the crew performed "with a quiet confidence evident in more established global carriers," the journalist wrote in an article for the US magazine Forbes, adding: "It wasn't so much surprising as it was shocking."

Finding any positive news about Air India had been a rare phenomenon in recent decades. Mismanagement, huge debts, and unreliable and often erratic handling of passengers under a tight bureaucratic and financial grip of the government owners were the norm.

Once a national and global icon and member of the creme-de-la-creme of the international airline business, Air India is now aspiring to reconnect with its glorious past.

A major step forward is the world's largest-ever aircraft order by the now re-privatized Air India, once again owned by Tata Group since January 2022. More than 500 brand-new  Airbus and Boeing aircraft are supposed to propel the group to new heights, enabling it to firmly leave its mark on the domestic and global aviation market.

On Tuesday, Air India agreed to buy 250 jets from Airbus. The deal includes 210 narrowbody aircraft and 40 widebody planes. Just hours after the agreement, the White House in Washington announced that the airline will also purchase 220 planes from Boeing, with options for an additional 70 aircraft.

Renewing and enlarging the aging fleet is only one of the many herculean tasks the charismatic CEO Campbell Wilson faces in the job he took in July last year. He is now free to act as CEO of a private enterprise, solely driven by economics rather than politics, and with ample funds available. The roots of Air India's long-lasting misery up until now lie deep in history.

In 1932, JRD Tata, chairman of India's largest multinational conglomerate, Tata Group, founded Air India. In 1953 the government took over and nationalized the airline. In later decades, the carrier became a white elephant and was seen as symbolizing everything that was wrong in the Indian economy with government interference even in the day-to-day operations of companies.

The last ill-fated decision was the merger of Air India with domestic sibling Indian Airlines in 2007 — a combination then boasting twice the number of employees per aircraft versus the global average.

At the same time, more and more private airlines entered the lucrative Indian market, mostly in the low-cost segment, further eroding the business of the flag carrier, which was bleeding cash and amassing billions of US dollars in debt. Air India's domestic market share of 8.7% in 2022 put it only in fourth rank, and even adding market shares of all four current Tata airlines amounts to just about 26% overall.

By comparison, leading low-cost carrier IndiGo now accounts for 56%, and ordered 300 Airbus A320neo in India's largest aircraft order so far in 2019.

Paramount in putting Air India back on the map is a major restructuring of the Tata Group's aviation interests — owning 100% of Air India as well as all of the low-cost carriers Air India Express and Air Asia India plus a 51% stake in India's currently only other long-haul carrier Vistara, a joint venture with Singapore Airlines.

CEO Campbell Wilson had spent most of his career with Singapore's flag carrier, before founding and heading its low-cost offspring Scoot from July 2011-2016 and again from April 2020 until mid-2022.

"Leaving aside the different airlines and different brands that sit under the Tata portfolio, what I see from an Air India perspective is the need for a full service and low-cost proposition," the New Zealand-born airline chief told Indian media in October. "So, our ambition is to build both a world-class full-service carrier and a world-class low-cost carrier under the Air India Group and operate them synergistically."

Merging four airline brands into two running under the same roof is a very challenging undertaking even under the best of circumstances. In September, management launched its five-year transformation plan called Vihaan.AI.

14/02/23 Andreas Spaeth/DW

Air India reveals orders for 470 Boeing, Airbus jets

London: Air India unveiled orders Tuesday for 470 Boeing and Airbus passenger jets as it races to tap surging demand for increasingly affordable air travel from the nation's growing ranks of middle-class consumers.

India’s largest international airline and second-largest domestic carrier is buying 220 Boeing aircraft valued at $34 billion. It marks the U.S. plane maker's third-largest sale of all time, in dollar value, and its second of all time in quantity.

Air India is also buying 250 passenger jets from European plane manufacturer Airbus, with the orders championed by the leaders of the U.S., France and India.

The Boeing “purchase will support over 1 million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree," U.S. President Joe Biden said. “This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership.”

Air India is seeking to reinvent itself by expanding its operations and modernizing its fleet. The new jets will help the airline's owner, Tata Sons, compete against upstart discount rivals including India’s dominant carrier, IndiGo.

“India is going to be the world’s third-largest market in the aviation sector,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a videoconference. Over the next 15 years, it’s estimated that India will need more than 2,000 aircraft, and “today’s historic announcement will help in meeting this growing demand.”

The Boeing order includes 190 737 Max aircraft, 20 of its 787s, and 10 of its 777Xs. The purchase includes customer options for an additional 50 737 MAXs and 20 of its 787s, which would make it 290 airplanes for a total of $45.9 billion at list price.

Toulouse, France-based Airbus will provide Air India 40 wide-body A350 Airbus aircraft and another 210 narrow-body A320neo planes, Tata Sons Chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said in the call with Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

Airbus did not disclose financial terms of the deal, which could be worth tens of billions of dollars.

14/02/23 Kelvin Chan/AP/ABC News

Modi, Biden hold telephonic call to welcome the announcement of Air India and Boeing pact

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a telephone conversation with US President Joe Biden to welcome the announcement of a landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing.

Modi and Biden expressed satisfaction at the deepening of the India-U.S. Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, which has resulted in robust growth in all domains, according to a statement released by MEA.

They welcomed the announcement of a landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing as a shining example of mutually beneficial cooperation that will help create new employment opportunities in both countries, the statement added.

The Prime Minister invited Boeing and other U.S. companies to make use of the opportunities arising due to the expanding civil aviation sector in India.

The two leaders welcomed the first meeting of the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technologies (iCET) held recently in Washington D.C, and expressed a keen desire to strengthen bilateral cooperation in space, semi-conductors, supply chains, defence co-production and co-development and knowledge and innovation ecosystems.

They agreed to bolster the vibrant people-to-people ties between the two countries, which have been mutually beneficial. The two Leaders agreed to remain in contact during India’s ongoing G20 Presidency, according to MEA statement.

14/02/23 Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury/Economic Times

Biden announces a Boeing and Air India deal for more than 200 jets

Air India will purchase more than 200 planes from Boeing, President Joe Biden announced Tuesday. It’s the third biggest sale of all time for the aircraft manufacturer.

The agreement will include 190 Boeing 737 MAXs, 20 Boeing 787s, and 10 Boeing 777Xs – a total of 220 firm orders valued at a list price of $34 billion, the official says.

Airlines do not pay full list price for commercial jets, especially when placing an order this large. But even a discount of 50%, which is not unusual, would mean a sale valued at $17 billion. That’s an important lift to a company still struggling to recover from the plunge in revenue and financial losses it suffered during the pandemic and the 20-month grounding of its 737 Max following two fatal crashes.

Boeing’s 2022 revenue came in at $66.6 billion, up $8 billion from the trough in sales in 2020, but far lower from its record 2018 revenue of $101 billion before the grounding. Boeing gets most of its sales revenue once a plane is delivered, and the 777X has yet to be built. The planes in this order are years away from delivery.

The Air India purchase will also include customer options for an additional 50 Boeing 737 MAXs and 20 Boeing 787s, totaling 290 airplanes. At list price, that order would be valued at $45.9 billion.

In a statement, Biden said the sale would “support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree.”

“This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership,” Biden wrote. “Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges — creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens.”

Production will support three separate U.S.-based manufacturing lines, have a total economic impact of $70 billion across the United States and support an estimated 1.47 million direct and indirect jobs, a White House official said Tuesday.

14/02/23 Nikki Carvajal/CNN

Biden, Macron, Sunak hail Air India-Airbus-Boeing announcement worth billions of dollars

New Delhi: Western leaders- US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Tuesday hailed Air India deals with Airbus and Boeing to buy passenger aircraft worth multi-billion dollars.

Air India, which will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus, has also selected Boeing for purchase of up to 290 planes as part of its growth strategy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi “had a warm and productive” phone call with US President Joe Biden in which the two leaders welcomed the landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing as a “shining example of mutually beneficial cooperation”.

The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the deepening of the India-US Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, which has resulted in robust growth in all domains.

“They welcomed the announcement of a landmark agreement between Air India and Boeing as a shining example of mutually beneficial cooperation that will help create new employment opportunities in both countries,” a PMO release said.

Boeing said, in a statement, that Air India has selected up to 290 of its jets to serve its strategy for sustainable growth. It said Air India has selected 190 737 MAX, 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X airplanes. The agreement between Boeing and Air India includes options for 50 additional 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s aircraft.

PM Modi invited Boeing and other US companies to make use of the opportunities arising due to the expanding civil aviation sector in India.

“The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing. I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing,” said Biden.

“This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree. This announcement also reflects the strength of the US-India economic partnership. Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges–creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday virtually attended the launch of the new Air India-Airbus partnership. The Tata group will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus, in what is the world’s largest aviation deal in history.

PM Modi expressed gratitude to the French President for participating in the launch of the Air India-Airbus partnership.

14/02/23 ANI/Print

Air India signs deal to purchase 250 Airbus aircraft

Mumbai: The Tata group-owned Air India has signed a letter of intent with European aerospace major Airbus to purchase 250 aircraft, including 210 narrow-body jets from the A320 neo family and 40 wide-body A350 aircraft, said Tata group chairman N Chandrasekaran in an online announcement made on Tuesday in the presence of the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and the French president Emmanuel Macron.

An announcement on Air India's plans to purchase Boeing aircraft is expected to come later in the day.

The 210 narrow-body Airbus jet order includes 170 A320 neo and 40 A321neo aircraft and will be largely deployed on domestic and short haul international routes. “The A350 will be used to fly ultra-long distances across the globe. We have significant options to increase the fleet order once we grow,” said Chandrasekaran. “One of our ambitions for this country is to bring in commercial aircraft manufacturing at some time in the future. We see this moment as the most significant moment for tata group, Indian aviation and for manufacturing sector in India,” he said. “We on our part are going through a massive transformation because were committed to building a world class airline known for safety, OTP, best of Indian hospitality and modern fleet and a wholesome experience for every passenger whether in the front or last row,” he said.

Guillaume Faury, CEO Airbus called it a ``historic moment for India and Air India”. “The magnitude of the Air India order demonstrates the appetite for growth in the Indian aviation industry. It is the fastest growing in the world,” he said. “Time is right for India to turn into an international hub and we believe the A350 will trigger a change of paradigm in long haul travel that matches the aspiration of India and its people.. The A350 will turn into a new flagship of India’s transcontinental service,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi said the deal demonstrates the deepening relationship between India and France and is also a reflection of India’s successes and expectations of India's civil aviation sector. “In the near future India will become the third largest market in the world in the aviation sector. According to several estimates, India will need over 2000 aircraft in the next 15 years. Under `Make in India’ several new opportunities are emerging in the field of aerospace manufacturing, he said.

French president Macron said: “This achievement shows that Airbus and all its French partners including Safran are fully dedicated to develop new areas of cooperation with India.”

14/02/23 Manju V/Times of India

How secret London talks led to Air India's gigantic plane order

Bengaluru/Paris: Air India's record aircraft deal has put the Tata Group-owned airline in the league of aspiring global carriers.

On Tuesday, it provisionally agreed to acquire almost 500 jets from Airbus and Boeing to take on domestic and international rivals.

Striking the largest ever deal by one airline took months of secret talks carried out a stone's throw from Britain's Buckingham palace and culminating in a celebration over coastal Indian curries, according to people involved in the talks.

The deal was in the making for over a year, insiders said, recounting details of the process on condition of anonymity.

See what those details are >>

Air India's Mega Plane Shopping: 250 From Airbus, 220 From Boeing - 10 Points

New Delhi: Tata group's Air India has signed multi-billion dollar deals with France's Airbus and American plane-maker Boeing to buy 470 passenger aircraft in the largest shopping event in commercial aviation history.

Here's your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:

The airline, which Tata group bought from the government in October 2021, will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus and 220 from Boeing.

"I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing. This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree," US President Joe Biden said in a statement today. There is an option for Air India to buy 70 more aircraft from Boeing.

The price for the entire 470-aircraft deal would be between $70 and $80 billion, people with direct knowledge of the matter told NDTV.

Tata group's 250-plane deal with Airbus is for 40 A350 wide-body long-range aircraft and 210 narrow-body ones, believed to be variants of the A320neo family of jetliners.

"It is a historic moment for Airbus to help script Air India's revival," Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury said in a video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ratan Tata, French President Emmanuel Macron and other leaders.

"This contract is a milestone in the friendly relations between India and France," said Mr Macron at the conference, where Union Ministers Piyush Goyal and Jyotiraditya Scindia and Tata Sons chairman N Chandrasekaran also participated.

The A350 family has two versions - the A350-900, and the longer fuselage A350-1000.

Airbus says A350s fly efficiently on any sector from short-haul to ultra-long-haul routes up to 17,000 km, carrying 300 to 410 passengers in typical three-class configurations, and up to 480 passengers in a single-class layout.

Airbus' narrow-body aircraft include the A320 and A220 family of planes. Many airlines in India already fly the A320 family.

Air India is also likely to revamp its livery. Last month, it committed $400 million to refurbish the interiors of its entire wide-body fleet. Air India said these will incorporate the "latest generation seats and best-in-class inflight entertainment systems."

14/02/23 NDTV

Rishi Sunak hails ‘landmark’ Airbus deal to supply Air India

The Government has hailed a “landmark” deal by Airbus and Rolls-Royce to supply new aircraft to Air India in an agreement expected to create and support hundreds of jobs in the UK.

The airline has reportedly agreed to buy 250 planes from the European aviation giant, with a significant proportion of the manufacturing process expected to take place in the UK.

The Department for Business and Trade said the wings, designed in Filton near Bristol, will be assembled in Broughton in North Wales, bringing 450 new manufacturing jobs and £100 million in additional investment to the region.

In a statement, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “This landmark deal between Air India, Airbus and Rolls-Royce demonstrates that the sky’s the limit for the UK’s thriving aerospace sector.

“The UK is already a top investment destination, and by building trade ties with growing economic powers like India we will ensure UK businesses remain at the forefront of global growth and innovation.”

Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said the agreement was “another big step” as the UK seeks to negotiate a free trade deal with India.

“This is a significant win for the UK’s world-leading aerospace sector and one which will help to secure thousands of highly skilled jobs across the country and drive economic growth,” she said.

“It’s a shot in the arm for UK exports as we aim to sell £1 trillion of goods and services a year to the world by the end of the decade.”

13/02/23 Jersey Evening Post

Air India-Boeing deal to create 1 million jobs in the US President Biden tells PM Modi

Washington: The "landmark" Air India-Boeing deal will create up to 1 million jobs across 44 states in the US, President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a call on Tuesday.

     While announcing the Boeing-Air India deal on Tuesday, Biden asserted that together with Prime Minister Modi, he was looking forward to deepen the ties between India and the US.

     As per an announcement from the White House, Boeing and Air India have reached an agreement under which the airline will purchase 190 B737 MAX, 20 B787, and 10 B777X for a total of 220 firm order valued at USD 34 billion at list price.

     The deal will also include customer options for an additional 50 Boeing 737 MAX and 20 Boeing 787, totalling 290 airplanes for a total of USD 45.9 billion at list price.

     Biden spoke with Modi of India to discuss the "landmark" agreement.

     This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree, Biden said in the call.

     The Air India order is Boeing's third biggest sale ever in dollar value and second in terms of number of planes.

     During the call, the two leaders also reaffirmed the strength of the US-India relationship and committed to continue working together and in groups like the Quad to advance economic growth for our two countries and expand cooperation on our shared priorities.

14/02/23 PTI/The Week

Air India seals record order for almost 500 Airbus, Boeing jets

Bengaluru/Paris: Air India unveiled deals on Tuesday for a record 470 jets from Airbus and Boeing, accelerating the rebirth of a national emblem under new owners Tata Group as Europe and the United States hailed deepening economic and political ties with New Delhi.

The provisional deals include 220 planes from Boeing (BA.N) and 250 from Airbus (AIR.PA) and eclipse previous records for a single airline as Air India vies with domestic giant IndiGo to serve what will soon be the world's largest population.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the agreement "historic" and discussed it by telephone with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi - part of a flurry of high-level reactions as the scale of India's needs provided a rare bonanza for both competing plane giants in an industry where the winner usually takes all.

The Airbus order includes 210 A320neo narrowbody planes and 40 A350 widebody aircraft, which Air India will use to fly "ultra-long routes", Tata Chairman N Chandrasekaran said.

Boeing will supply 190 737 MAX, 20 of its 787 Dreamliners and 10 mini-jumbo 777X.

Together with another 25 Airbus jets to be leased, the overall acquisition reaches 495 jets, an Airbus executive said.

Reuters exclusively reported in December that Air India was nearing record airplane orders approaching 500 jets.

The airline's renaissance under the Tata conglomerate aims to capitalise on India's growing base of fliers and large diaspora across the world.

14/02/23 Reuters

Air India inks deal for 540 Airbus and Boeing planes in “historic” order

Washington/New Delhi: Air India, which will buy 250 aircraft from Airbus, has also selected Boeing for the purchase of up to 290 planes as part of its growth strategy.

US President Joe Biden hailed a “historic agreement” for Air India to purchase Boeing airplanes. France President Emmanuel Macron had earlier hailed the contract between Airbus and Tata Sons and said it marks a new stage in India and France’s strategic partnership.

“The contract that Airbus and Tata Sons signed this morning marks a new stage in India and France’s strategic partnership. Thank you @NarendraModi , for your confidence in France and our industry,” Macron said in a tweet.

Boeing said in a statement that Air India has selected up to 290 of its jets to serve its strategy for sustainable growth. It said Air India has selected 190 737 MAX, 20 787 Dreamliner and 10 777X airplanes.

The agreement between Boeing and Air India includes options for 50 additional 737 MAXs and 20 787-9s aircrafts.

Boing said when finalized, this will be its largest Boeing order in South Asia and a historic milestone in the aerospace company’s nearly 90-year partnership with Air India.

Biden said in a statement released by White House that the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through agreement between Air India and Boeing reflects the strength of the US-India economic partnership.

The US President said he and Prime Minister Narendra Mod look forward to deepening partnership even further.

“The United States can and will lead the world in manufacturing. I am proud to announce today the purchase of over 200 American-made aircraft through a historic agreement between Air India and Boeing. This purchase will support over one million American jobs across 44 states, and many will not require a four-year college degree,” the statement said.

“This announcement also reflects the strength of the U.S.-India economic partnership. Together with Prime Minister Modi, I look forward to deepening our partnership even further as we continue to confront shared global challenges–creating a more secure and prosperous future for all of our citizens,” it added.

Air India said on Tuesday that it will buy 250 aircraft from France’s Airbus, in what is billed as the world’s largest aviation deal in history.

“We have built a very good relationship with Airbus. Today I am happy to announce that we have signed a letter of intent to acquire 250 aircrafts from Airbus,” said Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, at a virtual unveiling of the announcement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

PM Modi said that the deal shows the “deepening ties” between India and France and reflection of India’s successes and expectations in the civil aviation sector.

He extended congratulations and best wishes on the landmark agreement between Air India and Airbus.

14/02/23 ANI/Print

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Flyer held with Rs 2 lakh gold at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: A man was reportedly caught with gold paste, hidden in his T-shirt collar, by customs officials at Kolkata airport on Thursday.

The accused, Noor Salim Mohammad, flew to the city from Bangkok in an IndiGo flight around 4am on Thursday.

The officials said that the cost of the seized gold, weighing around 346gram was around Rs 2 lakh.

11/02/23 Times of India

IndiGo CEO impersonation case: Delhi Police trace IP addresses to Kenya

Delhi Police have traced two Kenyan IP addresses in connection with a case of cheating lodged by an IndiGo Airlines employee alleging that a person posed as the CEO of the company and asked employees to buy free gift cards on Amazon, officers said.

The police stated that IndiGo officials received calls and messages on WhatsApp from someone who posed as their CEO, and asked them to purchase Google gift cards from Amazon.

DCP (IFSO) Prashant Gautam said, “After analysing the call detail records of the mobile number from which the calls were made, and from further technical surveillance, we have traced the accused’s location to Kenya and will now write to their government and to WhatsApp and Google to provide further information regarding the accused.”

In the FIR, lodged by Delhi Police’s Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit on February 8, the complainant, an employee of the company, stated: “It is to report that our office bearers of IndiGo are receiving mischievous and misleading calls from a mobile number…the person using this mobile is impersonating as Chief Executive Officer of IndiGo, Mr Pieter Elbers”.

11/02/23 Indian Express

In-flight violence on rise, 63 passengers placed on 'no fly list' in 2022: Govt tells Lok Sabha

New Delhi: The Ministry of Civil Aviation on Friday informed Lok Sabha that as many as 63 passengers have been placed on "no fly list" during the year 2022.

The reply was in response to a written question about the cause of an increase in incidents of violence and breach of decorum on the flights in the country.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation responded saying, “A total of 63 passengers have been placed on "no fly list" during the year 2022 for the period as recommended by the airline's internal committee, constituted in accordance with Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR), Section 3- Air Transport, Series M, and Part VI titled "Handling of unruly / disruptive passengers.”

The majority of the passengers placed on "no fly list" were for violations related to not wearing masks or not obeying the instructions of the crew members, said the ministry in its response.

11/02/23 Milan Sharma/India Today

Goa: Mopa airport holds training on handling of CBRN emergency

The New Goa Manohar International Airport at Mopa has successfully completed a three-day training on Chemical Biological Radiology & Nuclear Emergency (CBRNE) from February 6 to 8.

In a press note, the airport stated that National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) planned this training for the first time at an airport in Goa. NDMA is an apex body of the Government of India, with a mandate to lay down policies for disaster management.

To conduct this training, NDMA nominated S K Ghosh, Senior Consultant (Nuclear & Radiological), NDMA and former Head, Directorate of Regulatory Inspections, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) as coordinator. NDMA also invited eight more scientists & SMEs as faculties from different parts of the country.

The three-day programme included classroom lecturers by domain experts and a mock exercise. Day one was dedicated to Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Preparedness, while chemical, psychosocial & biological emergency preparedness was discussed on day two.

The training event concluded with a sensitisation and mock exercise on day three by a 40-member team from the 5th Battalion of NDRF near the PTB of the New Goa Manohar International Airport.

Speaking on the occasion, GGIAL CEO R V Sheshan said, “We have successfully completed the Chemical Biological Radiology & Nuclear Emergency (CBRNE) training at the New Goa Manohar International Airport. Security & Safety of our partners, passengers and all stakeholders is of foremost importance for us.”

11/02/23 Free Press Journal

Ayodhya to soon start chopper joyrides!

All those visiting Ayodhya will soon be able to take helicopter rides to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.

Reports have it that the Uttar Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation Ltd has invited proposals from companies/agencies operating helicopter services for the joyrides in Ayodhya on a pilot basis.

Referring to this, Principal Secretary of Tourism Mukesh Meshram stated that they have a state-owned helipad in Lucknow as well as in Ayodhya, and that they are now looking at various aspects, from providing air taxi facility to those wanting to take a chopper from Lucknow to Ayodhya or to those wanting to have a quick joyride over Ayodhya.

In December 2022, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath stated that Ayodhya tourism will increase ten times by 2024, and so all efforts are being made to achieve that target.

Ayodhya is also set to get an international airport which will likely get ready this year itself, which is expected to drive up tourist numbers in the region. This is also one of the reasons why the Yogi government is looking to start the helicopter facility.

11/02/23 Times of India

Aero India 2023: Top 5 Fighter Jets to be Displayed

Aero India 2023 will have multiple fighter jets on display. The aircrafts in the defense sector expected to get most attention are Dassault Rafale M, Lockheed Martin F-21, Sukhoi Su-57, LCA Tejas, and Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet.

11/02/23 ZeeNews

DGCA imposes Rs 20 lakh fine on Air Asia for failing to discharge duties

Aviation regulator DGCA has imposed Rs 20 lakh fine on Air Asia (India) airline for violation of applicable DGCA Civil Aviation Requirements.

The DGCA has also imposed a penalty of Rs 3 lakh each on eight designated examiners of the airline for failing to discharge their duties.

It has also asked for removal of the airline's Head of Training from his position for three months.

Earlier, a surveillance inspection of Air Asia (India) Ltd was carried out by the DGCA during November 23 to November 25, 2022.

According to a senior official, during the inspection, the DGCA team observed that a few mandatory exercises of the pilots of Air Asia (India) Ltd were not done during Pilot Proficiency Check and Instrument Rating check (which is an International Civil Aviation Organisation requirement) as per schedule, resulting in violation of DGCA regulations.

Subsequently, the DGCA issued show-cause notices to the Accountable manager, head of training and all designated examiners of M/s Air Asia (India) Ltd as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for lack of oversight of their regulatory obligations.

11/02/23 IANS/Business Standard

Hyderabad-based PSU MIDHANI to spread wings in aerospace industry

Hyderabad: Hyderabad-based PSU Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI), which specialises in metals and metal alloy manufacturing, has decided to upscale its production for the aerospace industry.

As the usage of 3D printer components is set to increase in the aerospace industry, MIDHANI is planning to produce powder of nickel and titanium-based alloys. 3D printers are used to produce interior aircraft components such as cockpit dashboards and door handles.

Speaking to TNIE, Chairman & Managing Director Dr Sanjay Kumar Jha said that MIDHANI is planning to tie up with aerospace firms like Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Lockheed Martin to their supply products.“Aero India 2023 will pave the way for this as we are going to display our products related to aerospace,” he said. The biennial airshow is scheduled to be held in Bengaluru from February 13 to 17.

“MIDHANI is an aerospace-certified organisation, This is a good opportunity to meet the requirements of the industry. The future is to increase the base in aerospace, space, defence as well as energy and as part of this, a three-meter wide plate mill, eight-tonne vacuum induction melting, skull melting, cold roll products and other facilities will be produced from here,” Jha said.

At present, the manufacturing facilities at the MIDHANI plant in Hyderabad include primary and secondary melting furnaces, while its armoured unit at Rohtak, Haryana produces high-end armour products like vehicle armouring, bulletproof morcha, bullet resistant jackets. Now, it is planning to spread its wings in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

“This apart, MIDHANI has signed as many as 11 MoUs with different organisations in various areas. We also supply several materials for helicopters, armoured combat air vehicles and these will be showcased in the Aero-India show,” Jha added.

11/02/23 Sunny Baski/New Indian Express

180 passengers stuck as 2 flights, Bhavnagar to Pune and from Pune to Ahmedabad cancelled

Pune: A total of 180 passengers set to board two SpiceJet flights - one from Bhavnagar to Pune and the other from Pune to Ahmedabad - were stranded after the airline cancelled their flights without any notice, on Friday afternoon.

The Bhavnagar-Pune flight was set to take off at 12.50pm and reach Pune at 2.05pm. The Ahmedabad flight was to depart at 2.30pm and reach Ahmedabad at 3.45pm.

A flyer who was travelling with his son from Bhavnagar said, "We were waiting to board when the flight was delayed. After 30 minutes, the staff suddenly told us the flight had been cancelled. We were asked to collect the refund without any alternative flights."

At the Pune airport, 80 people were distressed. A frequent flyer, Ravi Dubey, told TOI, "Just half an hour before boarding, the flight was cancelled. We then had to queue up for our luggage and refund. I had to pay extra for another flight."

11/02/23 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

Civil Aviation Ministry admits violent incidents have increased in flights, know how many passengers were processed in 2022

Domestic and international flights were in headlines in the last few days. The reason for this was the misbehavior of the passengers inside the flight. While answering a question in Parliament on Friday, the Ministry of Civil Aviation revealed that in the year 2022, 63 passengers were put on the no-flight list.

This question was asked to the Ministry of Civil Aviation in the House on the increasing incidents of violence in passenger planes. To which the Minister of State for Civil Aviation General VK Singh gave a written reply in the House. Minister of State VK Singh said that last year 63 passengers were put on the no-fly list. The disclosure was made in response to a written question about the reasons for the increase in incidents of violence and violation of decorum in flights in the country.

A total of 63 passengers have been placed on the “No Fly List” during the year 2022 for a period recommended by the internal committee of the airline constituted as per the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) clause, the Ministry of Civil Aviation said in its reply. Different passengers were banned from air services for different time periods based on the recommendations of the committee. 3- Air Transport, Series M, and Part VI is titled “Handling unruly/disruptive passengers”. The ministry, in its response, said most of the passengers placed on the “no fly list” were for violations related to not wearing masks or not following instructions from crew members.

Remember, violent incidents in flights came to lime light when a passenger in an inebriated state urinated on an elderly woman on an Air India flight from New York to Delhi. This was a case of December 2022, which came to light in 2023 when the woman lodged a complaint. However, the police also arrested the accused. At the same time, a case of misbehavior with a female crew member was reported by a foreign national in Goa, besides misbehaving with a passenger crew member in Delhi. At the same time, a passenger smoked a cigarette in the washroom of the flight during the journey.

11/02/23 Newslead India

Aero India show: Spectacular show in the air, frustration on the ground as huge turnout for dress rehearsal brings traffic to a standstill

Saturday witnessed contrasting shows on the ground and in the air in the city during the full dress rehearsal of the 14th Aero India show, which is scheduled to take wings here on Monday. The nearly 20-km stretch between Bengaluru city to Yelahanka Airforce station witnessed unprecedented traffic snarls as visitors to the rehearsal for the Aero show as well as regular commuters on the route had to wait or inch forward.

Traffic Police sources said the main bottleneck was the stretch between Yelahanka and the Air Force station which was close to seven kilometers.

People stuck in traffic blamed "poor traffic management" and some others wondered "if this is the condition for the rehearsal day, what can we expect when the actual event starts on Monday. Even the PM is coming on Monday, how do we get in."

Gopi Krishna, a student visitor to the Aero India Show rehearsal said, "I have been waiting for two hours actually. I live only five kilometres from here but I am in the traffic for two hours. I don't know why this is happening. They are not managing the traffic properly."

Even as the aero show began precisely at 9.30 am, visitors were seen waiting in long traffic snarls for about an hour after.

Traffic began to ease later and visitors as well as commuters subsequently made their way to their respective destinations after the peak hour delay.

Senior traffic police officers were not reachable for a comment on the measures taken to ease traffic on the route in the coming days.

11/02/23 PTI/Economic Times

Swedish fighter jet maker Saab to start production of Carl Gustaf weapon in India in 2024

The Swedish aerospace and defence company Saab announced that it will start the production of Carl Gustaf weapon system in India in 2024, and will soon finalise the location for its manufacturing facility.

"We will start production of Carl Gustaf weapon systems in 2024. We will soon finalise the location for manufacturing Carl Gustaf Rifles in India," Mats Palmberg, the Chairman and Managing Director of Saab India told CNBC-TV18.

He further said that the recent war in Ukraine, has led to an increased need for defence equipment from all countries, and the company is developing a twin seater aircraft in collaboration with Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer air, "we have pitched the twin seater fighter jet in response to the Indian governments Request for Information (RFI)," Palmberg added.

The Carl-Gustaf weapon system has been in service with the Indian Army since 1976, and its earlier M2 and M3 variants have been licence-produced in India. The M4 weapon system is capable of firing a variety of ammunition, including anti armour and illumination rounds, with the maximum range being 1,500 metre.

Saab announced its plan to set up a manufacturing facility in India for the Carl-Gustaf M4 shoulder-fired weapon system in September 2022 under the 'Make in India' initiative of Indian government to bolster indigenous defence manufacturing. The manufacturing would be done by a new fully SAAB-owned subsidiary, Saab FFV India Pvt. Ltd. and this will be first time the company will be setting up a manufacturing facility for this outside Sweden.

Recently, Saab had said that it has not renewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Adani Group for manufacturing brand-new Gripen E fighter jets in India.

11/02/23 Anushka Sharma/CNBCTV18

DGCA fines AirAsia India Rs 20 lakh for lapses in pilot proficiency checks

New Delhi: Tata Group AirAsia India (now AIX Connect) has faced regulatory ire after an audit revealed improper pilot checks. Accordingly, the DGCA has fined the low cost carrier Rs 20 lakh; withdrawn its head of training from his position for three months and fined eight examiners Rs 3 lakh each (meaning a total of Rs 24 lakh). The fines collectively add up to Rs 44 lakh.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had carried out a surveillance inspection of the LCC from November 23-25, 2022. “During the inspection, DGCA team observed that a few mandatory exercises of AirAsia India pilots were not done during pilot proficiency check/instrument rating check (which is an International Civil Aviation Organization requirement) as per schedule, resulting in violation of DGCA regulations,” the regulator said in a statement.

An AIX Connect spokesperson said: “We acknowledge that a finding related to training exercises of pilots was observed by the DGCA following the main base inspection in November 2022. Immediate corrective action was taken in coordination with DGCA and additional simulator training sessions to address the gap were implemented. Additionally, we had already conducted these exercises as part of simulator training done beyond the mandated regulatory training requirements. We wish to reiterate that there is no deviation from the safety margins required for our operations. Nonetheless, we are reviewing the DGCA order and are considering making an appeal as per available regulatory provisions.”

Show cause notices were then served to the airline’s accountable manager, head of training and all its designated examiners as to why enforcement action should not be taken against them for lack of oversight of their regulatory obligations. After examining there written replies, the DGCA decided to take enforcement action against the airline.

11/02/23 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Maharaja's record order: Tata's Air India set to buy 500 aircraft

Mumbai: In one of the biggest ever aircraft orders, Air India is all set to order almost 500 aircraft. These include 400 single aisles — 210 Airbus A320 neo family and 190 Boeing 737 Max.

Then there are 70 twin aisles — 40 A350s, 20 B787s and 10 B777X.

At list price, the ordered aircraft — 250 Airbus and 220 Boeings — will be worth $150 billion and are set to be delivered over the next eight years.

Simultaneously, the Tata Group has signed deals for engines original equipment manufacturers for these aircraft. In addition to these firm orders, AI will have many planes as options also Air India, Airbus and Boeing did not comment on this.

The Tatas are in the midst of merging erstwhile AirAsia India into Air India Express to create a big low cost carrier (LCC) and merging Vistara into AI to create a big full service carrier (FSC).

The Boeing 737 Max will go to the mega LCC that is being created and will be under the AI umbrella. The other aircraft will go to FSC AI, with the single aisles operating on domestic and nearby international routes.

The wide bodies will be used for medium (Europe and far east), long (east coast of North America) and ultra long haul (west coast) nonstops.

The integrated AI aims to garner 30% market share on both the domestic and international front.

The big order is a boost for Boeing which till recently did not have any financially stable airline customer in India till late Rakesh Jhunjhunwala-funded Akasa took to the skies last year. It has not delivered even a single B737 Max to cash-strapped SpiceJet post-Covid while the airline has large number of them on order. The US major’s last success was with Jet Airways which stopped flying in April 2019. AI’s current wide body fleet is entirely Boeing — a mix of 747s (which have now been phased out); B787 Dreamliner and B777s.

Airbus, on the other hand, has IndiGo as the world’s largest customer for the best-selling A320neo family of aircraft. Its other customers include GoAir with both these two low cost carriers having hinders of A320neos on order.

11/02/23 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

IndiGo Passengers at Delhi Airport Suffer as Flight Gets Cancelled After Delayed Take-Off

On Friday, passengers on an IndiGo aircraft from Delhi to Leh had a difficult experience because the flight was delayed, then it took off, then it returned to the national capital, and then it was cancelled. According to passengers on flight 6E 291, the departure was supposed to take place about 8:20 am, but due to a delay, it happened at 1:30 pm. According to the passengers, the plane, which had about 180 people on board, spent some time flying over Leh but was unable to land, so it headed back to the airport in Delhi.

Amresh Kumar, one of the passengers, told PTI that at first, the pilot told the passengers that the flight would land at Chandigarh but later it came back to the Delhi airport. He also said that IndiGo officials have informed that the next flight to Leh is available only after February 18.

Passengers also staged a protest at Terminal 1 of the Delhi airport.

"IndiGo flight 6E 291 from Delhi to Leh was delayed due to bad weather conditions. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers," an IndiGo spokesperson said in a statement. The spokesperson did not mention about the cancellation of the flight.

11/02/23 ZeeNews