Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Jet Airways to cut flights on some routes after further losses

Debt-laden Indian carrier Jet Airways Ltd will cut flights on less profitable routes and add capacity to more lucrative markets, as part of its effort to lower costs and boost revenues as it struggles to stay aloft.

Jet, India's biggest full-service carrier posted its third straight quarterly loss on Monday, hurt by higher fuel expenses and a weaker rupee.

"The airline has embarked on a comprehensive review ... The measures will include rationalisation of operations on select, uneconomic routes," Jet said in a statement, adding that it will redeploy planes to more productive domestic and international sectors.

The review is expected to help deliver a more efficient and economically viable network, with a focus on profitability rather than market share, Jet, which is part-owned by Etihad Airways, said.

"With our clearly defined focus on profitability, we are in the midst of turning the ship around," Jet's Chief Executive Officer, Vinay Dube, said in the statement.

A combination of rising oil prices, high fuel taxes, a weak rupee, low fares and intense competition have slashed profits in the world's fastest-growing aviation market, which is clocking 20 percent annual passenger growth.
13/11/18 Reuters/CNBC TV18

Jet Airways' Liabilities Surge After Third Consecutive Loss

Jet Airways India Ltd. saw both current- and non-current liabilities surge in the second quarter, after intense competition and low fares led to its third consecutive quarterly loss.

Current liabilities rose to 160 billion rupees ($2.2 billion) as of Sept. 30, compared with 142 billion rupees as of March 31, while non-current liabilities jumped 30 percent during the same period.
Key Insights
The loss at the nation’s biggest full-service carrier is the latest sign that Indian airlines are struggling to survive in a market where competition has depressed fares and high fuel prices negate gains from a surge in demand for air travel.
Jet Airways continues to engage with financial stakeholders to support funding requirements. It has started a review of its network, including capacity and flight frequencies, signaling some loss-making routes will be cut.
The Mumbai-based carrier isn’t the only one in trouble. IndiGo, the low-cost operator, reported a quarterly loss for the first time as a publicly traded company for the three months through September. SpiceJet Ltd., a budget carrier, has said it’s seeking more time to pay for leased aircraft.
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Jet Airways, which hasn’t made a profit in nine of the past 11 fiscal years, has been seeking to raise funds to ease a cash crunch. Last month, it said it received notices from aircraft leasing companies about late payments or contract defaults.
Jet Airways shares have slumped 71 percent this year, shrinking its market value to $377.5 million. Besides pledging to cut costs, the board in August proposed to pare debt and sell the carrier’s stake in JetPrivilege, a loyalty program.

12/11/18 Rahul Satija  and Anurag Kotoky/Bloomberg

Jet Airways suffers loss of Rs 1,297 crore in Q2, reports negative net worth

Jet Airways on Monday reported a loss of Rs 1,297.46 crore for the quarter ended September 30 against a profit of Rs 49.63 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Revenue of the airline, however, increased to Rs 6,161.15 crore during the quarter against Rs 5,626.61 crore in the same period last year.

Total expenditure of Jet Airways increased to Rs 7,534 crore in Q2FY19 over Rs 5,708.55 crore in Q2FY18.

Aircraft fuel expenses jumped to Rs 2,419.76 crore from Rs 1,525.66 crore during the same period. Aircraft and engine lease rentals increased to Rs 684.33 crore from Rs 575.15 crore during the quarter under review.

The company in a statement said it has incurred a loss during September quarter and has a negative net worth as of September 30. Also, current liabilities exceeded current assets, it added.
12/11/18 Economic Times

I do not lie: Dassault boss responds to Rahul Gandhi on Rafale

New Delhi: The chief of Dassault Aviation, the French manufacturer contracted to deliver 36 fighter jets to the Indian Air Force, hit out at Rahul Gandhi for calling him a liar.

"I don't lie," said Eric Trappier, the CEO of Dassault Aviation. "In my position as CEO, you don't lie."

Trappier was responding to Gandhi's accusation that he was lying about the Rafale deal to protect Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Trappier also spoke about the controversial decision to make of Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence an offset partner and about the Congress's claim that the Modi government was overpaying for the Rafale jets.

Moments after Trappier spoke out in his interview (watch full interview here) to news agency ANI, the Congress reacted, calling the Dassault CEO a "co-accused" whose statements hold no value.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala called the interview "dictated" and, "Manufactured lies can not suppress the Rafale scam."
"First rule of Law - Mutual Beneficiaries & Co-accused's statements hold no value. Second Rule: Beneficiaries & Accused can't be Judge in their own case. Truth has a way of coming out," Surjewala also tweeted.
13/11/18 India Today

Kannur airport opening to be a festive occasion

Kannur: The scheduled inauguration of the Kannur International Airport here on December 9 will be turned into a festive occasion as arrangements are being made to accommodate massive presence of the public to watch the inaugural function and take-off.

The arrangements for the anticipated huge turnout of the people at the new airport to see the inauguration and the inaugural flight were discussed at a meeting at Mattannur on November 11 which was attended by Industries Minister E.P. Jayarajan, Health Minister K.K. Shylaja, Ports Minister Ramachandran Kadannappally, political leaders and people’s representatives. Kannur International Airport Ltd. Managing Director V. Thulasidas also addressed the meeting.

The inaugural function is expected to start at 10 a.m. on December 9. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will flag off the first international flight – an Air India Express commercial flight – to Abu Dhabi, KIAL informed in a handout.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu will also be present. The landing of the first flight at the airport will also be a flight from Abu Dhabi.
Mr. Thulasidas told the meeting that apart from Air India, which operates from the first flight from the airport, three other airlines companies are holding discussions with KIAL to finalise the number of services to start from the new airport.
12/11/18 The Hindu

Air India adds second flight to Colombo

Air India the national carrier of India will operate its second daily flight from New Delhi to Colombo from December 15.

The flight would arrive in Colombo International Airport at 2 am and will depart for New Delhi at 3 am arriving in Delhi at 6:10 AM. The routine will continue except on Monday and Tuesday.

The flight provides a multitude of online connections to domestic destinations such as Varanasi, Gaya, Bhubaneswar, Jaipur, Kolkata, Bhopal, Goa, Srinagar and in the international spectrum of flights, convenient connections to Bangkok, Shanghai, Kabul, Melbourne, Sydney, Yangon and many more.
13/11/18 Daily News

India's September domestic air traffic up 20%: IATA

New Delhi: India's domestic air passenger traffic grew in double digits for the 49th consecutive month in September, a global airline association said on Monday.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said India's domestic air passenger volume measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was highest among major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.
As per the data, India's domestic RPK in the month under review rose by 19.8 per cent compared to the corresponding month of the previous year.
India's domestic passenger traffic growth was followed by that of the Russian Federation at 11.1 per cent and China at 9.3 per cent.
In terms of capacity, India's domestic available seat kilometres (ASK) -- which measures available passenger capacity -- was higher by 18.8 per cent in September, that of China's 10.3 per cent and the US saw a 8.6 per cent rise.
12/11/18 IANS/Economic Times

Tickets for first flight from Kannur airport to Abu Dhabi almost sold out

Abu Dhabi: Flight tickets on the maiden Air India Express flight from the soon-to-be-launched Kannur International Airport in the South Indian state of Kerala to Abu Dhabi has almost sold out, according to senior officials at the airline.

Officials also revealed that flights to Sharjah from Kannur will be added to the network in a day or two.

"The first international flight is set to fly out on 10 am IST on December 9, the same date as the official opening day," PG Prageesh, chief of corporate communication at Air India Express, revealed to Khaleej Times on Tuesday.

Tickets on the maiden flight went live on Monday, November 12, and within moments, and the 'express value' category of tickets have been completely sold out, according to the airline website. However, a few 'express flexi' category of tickets remains.

AI Express is currently the only airline operating international flights out of the Kannur Airport for now.
13/11/18 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times

AI Express to launch Doha flights from Kannur next month

Doha: Air India Express will start four-times-a-week flights between Kannur in the southern Indian state of Kerala and Doha on December 10, according to an airline statement shared by local travel agents.
The new Kannur International Airport in northern Kerala will be inaugurated on December 9, it is learnt.
According to the Air India Express communique, the inaugural flight to Doha (IX0773) will leave Kannur at 8.20pm (India) on December 10 and reach Doha at 10pm (Qatar). The AI Express Kannur-Doha service will be operated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
The return flight (IX0774) to Kannur will leave Doha at 11pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and reach Kannur at 5.45am (India) on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
Kannur is the fourth international airport in Kerala.
12/11/18 Gulf Times

Bottle before throttle: Do Indian pilots have a drinking problem?

This weekend, one of Air India's most senior pilots was found to be too drunk to fly his flight, a long-haul service to London.
Right when this senior pilot was being declared unfit to fly (this, by the way, was the second time he was caught drunk before a flight), an Air India plane that had already taken off was recalled to the Delhi airport after ground staff realised that one of the pilots had 'missed' his mandatory pre-flight breathalyser test.

Both the pilots have been grounded. Captain Arvind Kathpalia, the senior pilot caught drunk for the second time, cannot fly for the next three years.

Air India, the embattled national carrier known to have some of the most experienced pilots, has managed -- once again -- to get some really bad press.

But, is the problem really that bad? Are Indian pilots -- especially those flying Air India -- essentially drunkards who -- as aviation agencies in the West like to say -- hit the bottle before the throttle?
The numbers certainly make for alarming headlines.

At least 12 Air India pilots have already been caught drunk before their flights just this year. In October, Air India told India Today TV that 10 of its pilots had been caught drunk before flights.

Add the two pilots from Sunday and that number goes to 12. And, the year isn't over yet.

Speaking broadly, more than two dozen pilots have been found to be drunk before flights in the last few years.

In July 2016, the Ministry of Civil Aviation told Parliament that almost 100 pilots -- across all Indian airlines -- were found drunk in a three-year period between 2013 and 2015 (43 in 2015, 26 in 2014 and 30 in 2013).
But, why do Indian pilots keep getting caught drunk before flights with such frequencies?

Well, you can blame -- or be grateful for -- India's aviation laws, which are among the strictest in the world when it comes to pilots flying drunk.

For example, regulatory body Directorate General of Civil Aviation has an absolute zero-tolerance for pilots being drunk -- there, literally, cannot be a drop of alcohol in the pilots' bodies.

This is tested using breathalysers, which give an indication of how much alcohol is present in pilots' blood.

Even a miniscule Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) reading of 0.01 per cent (which indicates that there is 10 milligram of alcohol for every 100ml of blood) can make a pilot unfit for flying.

By contrast, the legal limit for driving drunk in India is 0.03 i.e. 30mg for every 100ml of blood. Anything over that and you'll be facing a jail term.
Two pints of light beer should be enough to make you too drunk to drive. But then again, how much alcohol there will be in your blood depends on your body weight, gender and metabolism.

And Indian pilots? Forget pints of beer. They can't risk a teaspoon.

In fact, Indian laws governing pilots' alcohol levels are stricter than those in the West.
12/11/18 Dev Goswami/India Today

Western Australia Keen On Establishing New Routes To India

In an effort to grow tourism from India, Western Australia is aggressively looking to establish new connectivity from India to Perth. The Western Australian Minister of Tourism has made two visits to India in the recent months and has met six Indian carriers to introduce routes between major cities in India and Perth.

Speaking about the development Paul Papalia, Minister of Tourism, Western Australia said, “Last time I was here two months ago, I met with senior executives of six airlines to talk about establishing new routes. We committed to coming back with providing them with business cases for travelling to Perth. We are delivering those, we also met with State Minister for Civil Aviation last time and we are meeting him again this time. We are putting business cases to the six airlines so that they understand the dynamics. Around 145,000 people are flying between India and Western Australia each year in both directions is a significant number. What we have said is we will work with whoever flies first. We are establishing relation with the Minister of Civil Aviation in India. As a state Government we will give all support to the airline and will offer money to market the route for a period. We are not locked down to any one route or airline and are open for any major city.”

In the last decade, Australia has become a popular destination amongst the Indian travellers. Still Western Australia is yet to make a major mark in this market; the destination has now started focusing aggressively to attract the Indian outbound.
Papalia said, “Earlier, we had the benefit of the mining boom; we had never seen tourism as a segment and were a bit myopic. Previously there was not much effort into diversifying. We as a new government elected in March last year, came by saying we would diversify the economy and invest in tourism and are responding to what was our failure in the past.”

Western Australia is now promoting itself as a destination with authentic experiences and they recently launched a new campaign to promote road trips.
13/11/18 Akshay Kumar/T3

Rafale deal: Centre submits price details of aircraft before Supreme Court, blames UPA for delay

New Delhi: The Centre on Monday submitted price details of the Rafale fighter jets in a sealed envelope to the Supreme Court. Government sources said the Centre has submitted "all details" about the decisions taken in regards to the Rafale deal.

This was in response to the Supreme Court's direction that the Central government must disclose details of the controversial deal before it. On October 31, the Supreme asked the Centre to provide information on the pricing of Rafale fighter aircraft that India is purchasing from France. The court had given the government 10 days to furnish the reply in a sealed envelope.

The court had asked the government to give details on the "core information" regarding the procurement process to the petitioners.

However, the Centre had argued that some details about the Rafale deal may be sensitive and protected against being made public under the Official Secrets Act. To this, the court said that "details that could legitimately come in [the] public domain" will have to be shared with the petitioners, while the "confidential information" regarding the pricing and the selection of the Indian offset partner will have to be "placed before the court," in a sealed cover.

The court had left it to the government to decide what would be the information "legitimately in public domain" which can be shared with the petitioners but made it clear that all information will have to be shared with the court.
In its submission before the Supreme Court on Monday, the Modi government said that delay by the UPA government in finalising the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) process led to adversaries inducting 4th and 5th generation jets and there was an urgent need to "arrest the decline" in the number of IAF fighter squadrons.

This was stated in the document which the Centre made public to justify the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter jets from France.
12/11/18 India Today

Flights rescheduled for Arat

Thiruvananthapuram: Air India has rescheduled four flights in view of the closure of the operational area of the Thiruvananthapuram international airport from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on November 14 for passage of Arat procession of Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple.

On November 14, Flight AI 967 Thiruvananthapuram-Sharjah will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 9.45 p.m. instead of 8.45 p.m. Flight Al 264 from Thiruvananthapuram to Delhi will leave Thiruvananthapuram at 10.20 p.m. instead of 7.10 p.m. Flight Al 668 from Thiruvananthapuram to Mumbai will leave at 9.55 p.m. instead of 8.15 p.m, according to the Station Manager, Air India, Thiruvananthapuram, S.B.S. Jacob.
Flight AI 968 Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai of November 15 will depart from Thiruvananthapuram at 7 a.m. instead of 6.15 a.m.
13/11/18 The Hindu

Twenty-four startups join Airbus accelerator program

Airbus has selected twenty-four new startups to join its BizLab for the launch of the fourth accelerator program, providing a platform to develop previously untapped technologies and ways of working in the aerospace sector.
Airbus BizLab is a global aerospace business accelerator where startups and Airbus intrapreneurs speed up the transformation of innovative ideas into valuable businesses. Since starting in 2015, Airbus BizLab has accelerated 50 startups and 40 internal projects, which have raised a combined € 19.5 million.
This year, Airbus BizLab also challenged startups to propose technical solutions contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals that Airbus is committed to.
With the opening earlier this year of Airbus BizLab’s fourth site in Madrid (Spain) – afterToulouse (France), Hamburg (Germany) and Bangalore (India) – the selected firms will join a unique consolidated global network within the four sites. During the six-month acceleration programme, the 24 startups will receive support from an international team of experts from various fields and have access to dedicated coaching staff, networking opportunities and co-working spaces. Hailing from ten countries around the world, the new startups were selected out of 495 applications from 64 countries. One of the main criteria used in the selection process were the synergies between the startup projects and Airbus’ innovation strategy.
12/11/18 eTN

Passenger dies of heart attack after Go Air flight makes emergency landing

Chennai: A 78-year-old passenger complained of chest pain following which the Go Air flight from Port Blair to Mumbai, with 152 passengers on board, made an emergency landing at the Chennai airport for treatment, but he died immediately.
Airport sources said the passenger Vijay Kulkarni from Mumbai complained of uneasiness and chest pain following which the aircraft was diverted to Chennai for emergency landing.
Soon after the flight down touched down at the airport, the passenger collapsed and died.
13/11/18 UNI

Varanasi airport cross 10,000 passengers in a day: Yogi congratulates PM for the milestone

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath congratulated prime
minister Narendra Modi for his effort to make Lal Bahadur Shastri International airport in
Varanasi crossing 10,000 passenger figures in a day.
In a statement here on Monday, the CM said that it was only due to the effort of the PM, the
passenger growth of the Varanasi airport has reached to its peak with total 10,037 passengers
were in the airport on Saturday.
On November 10, a total of 4836 passengers arrived in Varanasi by different flights while 5174
passengers boarded flights for different destinations.
12/11/18 UNI

Integration of airport terminals to take off once new building is ready

Pune:  The first phase work for the new terminal building at the Pune airport will not include its integration with the existing facility, senior officials of the project consultant, Egis India, have said.
The construction of the building is expected to start by mid-November and the officials of Egis India, which has its headquarters in France, said construction of the structure would be a “big challenge” because of space constraints.

A senior Egis India official said the design of the new building, expected to be ready by August 2021, would be kept simple because of lack of space.

“The plan involves integration of the new terminal building with the existing one so that both the facilities can operate with more space and as a single unit. But if we carry on with the integration work along with the construction of the new building, it can lead to passengers’ hassles and also affect flight timings,” the official told TOI.

“When it comes to integration, we need to modify the existing building. The first phase of the project just involves construction of the new terminal building. It should be ready within 30 months. Once the building is ready, the two facilities will be integrated,” he added.
The biggest challenge for the consultant is the construction work because of space constraint and passenger load.
13/11/18 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

Make In Odisha Lands Record Number Of Chartered Flights In BPI Airport

Bhubaneswar: No one knows if this Make in Odisha conclave would result in the industrial growth in the State, but the Biju Patnaik International (BPI) Airport in Bhubaneswar seemed to be the busiest today as after so many years it created a record for the number of chartered flights to have landed at the airport in one day.

And why not? Top-most industrialists of India including Mukesh Ambani, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Anil Agarwal, Karan Adani, Naveen Jindal and others had arrived in the capital city to attend the Business Leadership Summit on the Day 2 of Make in Odisha conclave.

There were as many as 12 such non-scheduled flights and all of these were parked on the runway due to insufficient space in the Airport Bay, sources said. Plus, these were parked under strict surveillance and with necessary security arrangements.

According to the BPI Airport director Suresh Chandra Hota, such an instance where so many chartered flights land at the airport, is not only is a healthy sign for the airport but it also creates more opportunities for growth in Odisha.
12/11/18 Devbrat Patnaik/Odishatv.in

The struggle for an airport: How Ananth Kumar helped Bengaluru get an international airport

In the late 1980s, Bengaluru, still untouched by the IT boom, had a small airport – the HAL airport, located 10 km away from the centre of the city. The airport was small with an apron that could park only six aircraft.

After the IT boom, a decision was formed by the committee headed by former National Airports Authority of India Chairman, S Ramanathan that Bengaluru would need a larger airport. The panel decided that the structure would come up in Devanahalli.

The Karnataka government formed a proposal which the Union government approved in 1994. In December 1995, a consortium consisting of Tata Group, Raytheon and the Singapore Government signed an MoU to participate in the project.

With immense bureaucratic delays in the Centre, the MoU remained just that and there was no progress towards the construction of a new airport. In June 1998, however, the consortium announced it was pulling out of the project due to delays in government approval. One of the major disputes was that the consortium had demanded that the HAL Airport shut down its operations completely.

Another major issue was the cost of the project was too high and that the consortium was unhappy about the economic viability of the project being affected by the delay.

The issue was also bogged down by the controversies over the land acquisition process and the nature of the proposal as it was unclear whether the model would be to build, own and operate or whether build, own, operate and transfer.

There was a need to meet the growing aspirations of the garden city turned IT capital of India as Bengaluru did not have a decent airport to enhance its global image. However, things took a turn when Ananth Kumar was appointed as the Minister for Civil Aviation in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee cabinet in 1998.

Within 10 months of his appointment, Ananth Kumar upgraded the Bangalore HAL airport. He ensured that a new international terminal, was added. New aero bridges were created and the runways were enhanced. The first international flight from Bengaluru to New York took off during his tenure as the Minister for Civil Aviation. This offered a respite from the growing demand for a new airport.

However, in May 1999, the Airports Authority of India and the Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (KSIIDC) signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the construction of an international airport and the nature of the project.

It was decided that the project would operate on public-private partnership with AAI and KSIIDC having 26% share and private companies having the retaining 74% of the share. Once again the project was struck with delays and finally in January 2001, the State Government created the Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) as and began searching for partners.

By November 2001, the project had attracted Unique Zurich Airport, Siemens Project Ventures and Larsen and Toubro. Again, the project was struck by bureaucratic delays and it was during Ananth Kumar’s tenure as the BJP state President of Karnataka in 2004 that he managed to persuade the Centre to speed up the project approval.
12/11/18 News Minute

AirAsia slashes fares to ₹399 on domestic and ₹1,999 on international flights

Malaysian budget airline AirAsia on Sunday offered low-cost fares on domestic and international routes for travel from May 2019 to February 2020, covering 120 destinations across Asia, Australia and beyond.

"Passengers can book this week up to November 18 for travel from May 6, 2019 to February 4, 2020 with one-way tickets at ₹399 on domestic and ₹1,999 on international routes," said its Indian joint venture Air Asia India in a statement here.

On the domestic routes, passengers can choose from 21 destinations where the low-cost carrier flies across the country, with a fleet of 19 A-320 aircraft.

Among the cities are Bagdogra, Bengaluru, Bhubaneswar, Goa, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Imphal, Indore, Jaipur, Kochi, Kolkata, New Delhi, Pune, Ranchi, Srinagar and Visakhapatnam.

Among the overseas routes passengers can choose from are Auckland, Bali, Bangkok, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, Singapore and Sydney.
13/11/18 IANS/Business Insider

IGI flights to be curtailed for a week due to runway repairs

New Delhi: Flight operations at Delhi's IGI Airport are likely to be affected for a week - November 16-23 - due to runway repairs.

The airport operator, DIAL, said runway 27/09 was likely to be closed down for "preventive repairs" and maintenance from Friday for a week; the other two runways - 10/28 and 11/29 - will remain operational. "This could reduce the capacity of the airport by 50 arrivals and 50 departures per day during this period," a DIAL spokesperson said.

Initially, the airport had announced a 13-day runway closure in October, however, DIAL says the period has been reduced to ensure minimal disturbances take place in the functioning of the airport. The spokesperson also said the work being carried out had been planned in advance and is a routine activity to ensure safe aircraft operations.
13/11/18 Jasjeev Gandhiok/Times of India

IndiGo flight returns safely to Kochi after developing snag, gets stuck on runway

New Delhi: Operations at Kochi airport were affected for some time on Monday afternoon when an IndiGo aircraft developed a snag soon after take off. After safely returning to Kochi, the Airbus A320 got stuck on the runway due to which some other flights were affected.
An IndiGo spokesperson said flight 6E-6468 on Cochin-Hyderabad route “returned to Cochin as part of a precautionary measure. After take-off, the pilot observed a hydraulic warning which warranted the return of the aircraft. To avoid inconvenience to passengers, we will operate an alternate flight to Hyderabad.”
Sources say the Airbus A320 had a hydraulic issue on its main landing gear due to which it got stuck on the runway after safely returning to Kochi.
12/11/18 Saurabh SInha/Times of India

Snag hit Spicejet flight lands at Jammu Airport, takes off later

Jammu:A snag hit Delhi-Srinagar Spicejet flight on Tuesday grounded here at Jammu Airport and later took off to its destination.
"Delhi-Srinagar flight via Jammu of Spicejet (SG964) this afternoon grounded at Jammu airport
due to technical sang," an official here said.
He said that the flight returned and after the snag was repaired, it took off for Srinagar while are
crew members and passengers safe.
13/11/18 UNI

India Negotiates With Taliban Again After Air India IC-814 Hijacking

India and Taliban have negotiated again, and this time in Moscow. Earlier New Delhi and Taliban negotiated for the release of mainly Indian passengers who were travelling from Kathmandu to Delhi in Air India – IC-814 Plane. This time both the parties were involved in a meeting to negotiate the Afghan Peace Process.

India though made it clear its participation was ‘non-official’ as it sent former diplomats to the meeting. After the meeting, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said, “Afghanistan’s problems can only be settled politically and with the involvement of all parties to the conflict. We hope that responsible politicians will not be guided by personal or group considerations but by the interests of the people of Afghanistan.”

The last such meeting by Russia had to be called off because the Afghan government had refused to attend the meeting.

In the meeting, Indian and US representatives stayed silent, but later Moscow asked the Indian government to play a more active role next time. The significance of the Moscow meeting was mainly an acknowledgement of the need for a political solution in Afghanistan to bring 17 years of fighting to an end.

In fact, the Afghan government, in a post-meeting statement, attempted to distance itself from the Moscow meeting, saying, the High Peace Council was participating “in its own capacity as a national but non-government institution”. At the meeting, the Taliban representatives stuck to their demands that foreign troops should leave Afghanistan first.
12/11/18 EurAsian Times 

Airbus & its ex-India head hire 3 law firms to fight ED charges

Airbus and its former India chairman Kiran Rao have roped in a battery of lawyers to tackle the money laundering allegations levelled against them by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), two people familiar with the development told ET.
Rao, executive vice-president at the European aircraft maker, has yet to submit his statement before ED in response to a legal notice served on him for alleged money laundering in a Rs 8,000-crore deal to supply 43 aircraft to the erstwhile Indian Airlines in 2005, they said. Airbus has hired London-headquartered BCL Solicitors and Mumbai-based Trilegal, while Rao has hired MZM Legal, a Mumbai-based law firm headed by Zulfiquar M Memon.
“The law firms have been named in the communication submitted to ED,” said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. “Rao was expected to give a statement on Monday, but he failed to do so, but requests were made to reschedule the meeting,” he told ET.
ED had sent notices to seven people, including Rao, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA, for alleged irregularities in the 2005 deal between Airbus and the erstwhile state-owned domestic carrier.
Except for Rao, the other six people, who were former employees of Indian Airlines, have already submitted their statements, said a second person close to the development.
13/11/18 Sachin Dave/Economic Times

DRI probes domestic aviation majors for alleged duty evasion

Mumbai: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) is investigating alleged duty evasion of Rs 300 crore by domestic aviation and aerospace firms on import of certain accessories used with aircraft in the last one year, sources have told The Indian Express.

The DRI is probing InterGlobe Aviation Ltd, Jet Airways (India) Ltd, Air India, Go Airlines (India) Ltd and Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd (HAL) for allegedly paying lower integrated goods and services tax (IGST) by “wrongly classifying” certain imported accessories and components used with aircraft as “parts of aircraft” which attract a much lower duty rate.

Under the norms, parts of aircraft classified under customs tariff heading 8803 attract 5 per cent IGST while the IGST applicable on other goods is between 18 per cent and 28 per cent, depending on its classification.

The DRI has contested that while the accessories imported by the aviation firms under probe were meant for aircraft, under the Customs law these imported components do not qualify as parts of aircraft. Last week, the agency issued summons to these firms, asking them to produce documents pertaining to the case and also recovered about Rs 65 crore from a few airlines that have allegedly accepted the stance of the investigating agency.
13/11/18 Khushboo Narayan/Indian Express

Valuables Worth Lakhs Stolen From Air India Pilot's Car, Man Arrested

New Delhi:  A 24-year-old man was arrested for allegedly stealing articles worth lakhs of rupees from an Air India pilot's car that was parked outside the Aerocity Metro Station, police said Monday.
The accused was identified as Mukesh Kumar, a native of Bond Kalan village in Haryana's Bhiwani, they said.

Kumar had worked in a catering services company at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) as a loader for about seven to eight months last year and was presently unemployed, a senior police official said.

On October 31, Captain Daksh Yadav of Air India alleged that his laptop and other things were stolen from his car which was parked opposite the Aerocity Metro Station. Based on his complaint, a case was registered, Sanjay Bhatia, Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGIA) said.

During preliminary investigation, police learnt that Kumar came to Nehru Place Market Sunday to sell a laptop which was stolen from the IGI Airport, the senior officer said.

Acting on a tip-off, a trap was laid and subsequently, the accused was arrested near Shokeen Farm in Rangpuri. The stolen laptop was recovered from his possession, the officer added.

During interrogation, Kumar admitted that he had stolen a laptop from a car parked outside the Aerocity Metro Station on October 31, the DCP said.
12/11/18 PTI/NDTV

Monday, November 12, 2018

Aviation Secretary and DC inspect Dhalbhumgarh airport site

Jamshedpur: Civil Aviation Secretary of the Government of India and East Singhbhum Deputy Commissioner jointly inspected the proposed site of airport in Dhalbhumgarh on Sunday.

The Aviation Secretary directed the district officials to once again review the first proposal for constructing the airport on a land measuring 150 acres and send a revised proposal to the department concerned within 15 days, sources said.
The Aviation Secretary said the people of Kolhan would be greatly benefitted by the airport.

District officials said the CM had ordered that the airport construction work should be started as soon as possible. Once the proposal is received by the department, a team would be sent to Dhalbhumgarh to inspect the construction site.
12/11/18 Avenue Mail

Air India’s troubles stretch from the balance sheet to the cockpit

Pilots of India’s national carrier Air India are inviting unwanted publicity for the financially beleaguered airline.

India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation today (Nov. 12) said it has suspended the flying licence of Air India’s director of operations, Arvind Kathpalia, for three years. On Sunday (Nov. 11), the senior pilot had failed a mandatory breath analyser test before he was to command a New Delhi-London flight. The director of operations is generally responsible for flight safety and training. Kathpalia is also a member of the carrier’s board, according to its website.

“In the case of Kathpalia being detected ‘BA (breath analyser) positive’ on Nov. 11, the privileges of his licence have been suspended for a period of three years as per the provisions of applicable regulations,” the DGCA said in a statement.
According to flying norms, crew members are prohibited from having any alcoholic drink 12 hours before flying.

Though reporting to fly after consuming alcohol is not a criminal offence under the Indian Aircraft Act, it can lead to a suspension of licence for three months for a first-time offender and three years for a second-time offender. In case of a third instance, a pilot’s licence is cancelled.

Kathpalia was suspended for three months in 2017 for allegedly refusing to take breathalyser tests.

The incident involving Kathpalia is not a lone one as far as Air India is concerned. In a response to a right to information query, Air India had stated last month that 58 of its pilots, in the past eight years, have been caught with alcohol in their blood right before they had to fly.
“Because Air India has state backing, its union has more muscle-flexing power. So there is a sort of an attitude that one can get away with anything, which is not so much in case of private airline companies,” an aviation sector analyst told Quartz on the condition of anonymity.

Kathpalia, however, denied being drunk. “It was 1:30 in the afternoon (when the test was conducted), only a bloody stark raving alcoholic is bloody drunk at 1:30 in the afternoon,” Kathpalia told the news agency Reuters. “I am going to contest this.” He has gone for a blood test with a private agency, the results of which are expected later.

Episodes like these are something the loss-making carrier can do without.
12/11/18  Kamalika Ghosh/Quartz

Air India operations director stopped from piloting flight after failing breath tests

Mumbai: A senior pilot who is also director of operations for Air India, and has had responsibility for flight safety and training, said he was told by the carrier he failed two breathalyzer tests on Sunday (Nov 11) before a flight to London from New Delhi.

It is the second time Arvind Kathpalia, who is also on the loss-making airline's board, has been in trouble over alcohol tests. He was suspended for three months in 2017 for allegedly refusing to take breathalyzer tests.

Kathpalia said in an interview by phone that he would contest the results and claimed they were related to internal feuding within the state-owned company.

According to a description for the operation director's job when Kathpalia got appointed in June 2017, he is responsible for flight operations, ground operations, and flight safety and training operations.

It is unclear if those remain the job specifications.

Air India declined to comment for this article.

Kathpalia failed two breathalyzer tests on Sunday and was declared unfit to fly, according to a pre-flight medical examination report for alcohol, posted on the website of news portal India Today.
Kathpalia, who denies he had been drinking, corroborated the results of the breathalyzer and said he was tested twice in a span of 20 minutes, adding that the second test's reading was higher than the first.
"It was 1.30 in the afternoon, only a bloody stark raving alcoholic is bloody drunk at 1.30 in the afternoon," Kathpalia said. "I am going to contest this."

He said that at Air India "everyone is fighting with everyone," and that he has been targeted.
In 2017, Kathpalia was suspended for three months when he had allegedly refused to take breathalyzer tests before and after his flight between Bengaluru and New Delhi and back in January 2017, according to a court document available on law portal Indiakanoon.
12/11/18 Channel NewsAsia

2 Air India Pilots Grounded as One Fails Alcohol Test, Another Skips it; Passengers Stranded for Hours

New Delhi: Passengers on two international flights of Air India were left in the lurch on Sunday as a senior pilot who was due to fly from London to New Delhi tested positive in a breath-analyser test, while a co-pilot skipped the test before the flight from Delhi to Bangkok, forcing the aircraft to return soon after taking off.

Captain Arvind Kathpalia, who is Air India’s chief of operations, was grounded and faces a three-year ban after an unacceptably high alcohol count was detected in his blood, shortly before he was supposed to fly a Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Air India had to call another pilot to replace him and operate the flight, AI-111, which departed after a delay of 55 minutes, causing inconvenience to passengers.
"We have grounded Captain A K Kathpalia as he failed twice in the breath analyser test. He was to operate the London flight from New Delhi, but he failed to clear the pre- flight alcohol test," an official said. "He was given another chance, but the second test was also found positive following which he was grounded," he added.
While Kathpalia now faces a probe by aviation regulator DGCA, Air India flight AI 332 to Bangkok returned within 30 minutes after taking off from the Delhi airport. The flight was then delayed by several hours after the co-pilot skipped the mandatory breath analyser test.
The flight, which departed at 1.50 pm and returned by 2.20 pm, could not depart again as the crew’s flight timing had lapsed. Air India had to arrange an alternative crew and the flight could only take-off at 7.20 pm.
Several passengers complained that they were made to sit in the plane for hours without being given any reason for the delay.
According to airline sources, the pilot has been grounded for three months. A pilot is assumed breath analyzer-positive even if he has forgotten to take the test before the flight.
Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules prohibits crew members from partaking any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is mandatory for him or her to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.
12/11/18 News18.com

Air India flight forced to return to Delhi 36 mins after takeoff as co-pilot missed breath analyser test

New Delhi: Hours after senior pilot Arvind Kathpalia was grounded for failing the pre-flight breath analyser test on Sunday, another flight was forced to return to Delhi as the co-pilot allegedly missed his breathalyser test. As mentioned on agency reports, Air India 332 from Delhi to Bangkok took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport and landed back 36 minutes later after making several sharp manoeuvres as shown in its flight path.

Passengers on the flight took to Twitter to complain about the flight and about being stranded at the airport for more than four hours. There is no official statement so far.

Before that, senior pilot Arvind Kathpalia, who is also the Director of Operations for India said that he was told by the carrier he failed two breathalyzer tests on Sunday before a flight to London from New Delhi. Kathpalia has also had responsibility for flight safety and training earlier. It is the second time Arvind Kathpalia, who is also on the loss-making airline's board, has been in trouble over alcohol tests. He was suspended for three months in 2017 for allegedly refusing to take breathalyzer tests.
According to a description for the operation director's job when Kathpalia got appointed in June 2017, he was responsible for flight operations, ground operations, and flight safety and training operations. It is unclear if those remain the job specifications.
12/11/18 Business Today

IndiGo's Kapil and Rahul Bhatia: Hitting an air pocket

Bearish investor sentiments for the InterGlobe Aviation stock saw the father-son duo of Kapil, 86, and Rahul Bhatia, 58, lose almost a billion dollars in their combined personal wealth. InterGlobe Aviation owns and operates India’s largest and most profitable airline, IndiGo. The former is executive chairman while the latter is group managing director of InterGlobe Enterprises, which has a 38 percent stake in InterGlobe Aviation; they are ranked 41 on the 2018 Forbes India Rich List, with an estimated net worth of $3.55 billion. Last year, they were at No 31 with a fortune of $4.4 billion.
This is the first year that the Bhatias have seen their personal wealth fall, after having seen it more than triple from $1.29 billion in 2012 to $4.4 billion last year. Clearly, InterGlobe Aviation’s share price, which fell from ₹1,250 apiece in September 2017 to about ₹850 apiece this September, has had a direct impact on their wealth.
While InterGlobe Enterprises has other business interests spanning hospitality, real estate, IT and BPM services, the bulk of Bhatias’ wealth comes from their listed airline entity. IndiGo is arguably among a few highly profitable airlines globally. “But there has been a sharp dip in profitability since January 2018,” says Kapil Kaul, CEO, CAPA South Asia, an independent aviation consulting, research and knowledge practice firm.
On October 24, IndiGo posted a net loss of ₹652.13 crore for the July to September quarter of FY19 compared to a profit of ₹551.56 crore a year ago. However, the airline reported revenues of ₹6,514 crore, an 18 percent growth over the same period a year ago.
“Aviation in India is facing significant pressures from high fuel costs, rupee depreciation and intense competition, all of which have impacted our profitability this quarter,” Rahul Bhatia, interim chief executive officer, IndiGo, said in a press statement. Forbes India reached out to him for a comment, but there was no response till the time of going to press.
In the April to June quarter, IndiGo reported a meagre ₹27.8 crore in profit compared to ₹811.1 crore in the same period a year ago.
Besides, for FY18, the company’s board of directors recommended a paltry dividend of ₹6 per share as against a payout of ₹34 per share in the previous fiscal. The decision was taken to bulk up the company’s free cash reserves for the outright purchase of aircraft which, in the long run, would reduce operating costs and result in higher profitability. It also reflected a change in IndiGo’s fleet acquisition strategy, which was to purchase aircraft on a six-year sale and leaseback model from lessors.
12/11/18 Anshul Dhamija/Forbes India

Airport privatisation to make air travel cost a bomb

Thiruvananthapuram: With the Central Government keen on revenue generation by privatising six airports in the country, including the one at Thiruvananthapuram, air transportation is going to be a high-priced affair for travellers.

Any change in airport handling charges, including the landing and navigation charges, would be directly passed onto the passengers. Similarly, the private player who takes charge of the airport would bring investment chiefly in non-aeronautical revenue sectors, but they are free to fix the charges for the services they offer. The private airport cannot bring any major change in the traffic fare like terminal navigation charges, route navigation facility fee as these can be hiked with the permission of the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority of India (AERA).
Whereas, the private player can hike the various non-traffic charges such as X-ray screening charges, passenger service fee, duty-free shop charges and other fees for arranging facilities at the airport. A leading airline operator said any hike in the airport handling fare of the airlines would obviously be passed onto the customers.

But the airport ambience would be upgraded like introducing better passenger facilities and recreation activities if privatised. A senior officer with the AAI , said Trivandrum airport is one of the better placed airports in the country in terms of traffic infrastructure. The airport has a 3374-metre-long runway, although the runway near the Shanghumugham side has a slight threshold displacement due to an obstruction.

The private players used to bring major investment in non-aeronautic revenue generating sources. For instance, in the case of privatised airports like Mumbai, the quality of air traffic has not improved much where as the average delay for take off is 40 minutes to one hour in peak time and one has to spend considerable time in the skies or circle over the city to get landing clearance as skies are congested.
Aviation expert Jacob K Phillip told Express private players are more or less a real-estate developer.
They are more interested in commercial revenue than traffic revenue and their priority would be developing commercial revenue sources than equipping traffic infrastructure. Further, the privatised airports were profit making and the airports to be privatised including Trivandrum are profit generating airports.
12/11/18 Dhinesh Kallungal/New Indian Express

Rs 3400 crore for airports in North East: AAI chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra

Guwahati: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has allocated around Rs 3400 crore for the upgradation of airports in the North East region, AAI chairman Guruprasad Mahapatra said today.
The airports in the region recorded a total passenger movement of 68.04 lakh in 2016-17 and registered a growth of 27.02 per cent over the previous year, he said.
The AAI has allocated Rs 1720 crore for Assam, Rs 525 crore for Tripura, Rs 800 crore for Manipur, Rs 42 crore for Nagaland, Rs 211 crore for Arunachal Pradesh and Rs 60 crore for Mizoram, Mahapatra told reporters here.
Stating that projects worth Rs 934 crore had already been completed, he said work on the rest would be over in the next two or three years.
In Assam, the funds were for the construction of a new integrated terminal building, strengthening of the existing runway, refurbishment and a new Air Traffic Control cum technical block in Guwahati, he said.
12/11/18 PTI/Economic Times

Jet Airways Q2 preview: Company likely to report worst quarterly earnings

New Delhi: Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways is expected to post its worst quarterly earnings in its lifetime on Monday. The airline is struggling financially and there have been reports of Naresh Goyal trying to woo potential investors such as Tata Sons and commercial airline partner Delta Air Lines.

According to an Economic Times report, analysts have pegged the airline's losses at up to Rs 2,000 crore for the July-September quarter. It may be noted that the company reported a net profit of Rs 460 crore in the same quarter last year. An analyst told the financial daily, "IndiGo’s losses have anyway set a precedent of sorts for the industry. Jet Airways’ own problems of hurt yields and constantly ballooning costs added to the fact that July-September is the weakest quarter for airlines, makes for a bleak outlook for this Monday for Jet."
Worth mentioning here is that Jet's independent director and a member of the company's audit committee Vikram Singh Mehta resigned recently. The company is going through its worst financial crisis till date. It has delayed salaries, grounded planes, reduced workforce and cut operations to deal with the situations. Company's credit rating has been downgraded by the agencies as well.

The company reported a whopping Rs 1,323 crore of net loss for the three months to June owing to higher fuel cost and other expenses due to the falling rupee.
12/11/18 ET Now News.com

Centre defends Rafale deal in Supreme Court, says it was negotiated for a year

New Delhi: The Central government on Monday submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court in connection with the Rafale deal, citing that appropriate defence procurement norms were followed in acquiring 36 Rafale aircraft.

The Narendra Modi government has also assured the top court that "all requisite steps were taken in the Rafale deal". In the nine-page affidavit, which has been accessed by India Today, the Centre said, "The procurement process as laid down in the Defence Procurement Procedure-2013 was followed in procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft."

The documents also claim that the negotiations on the deal went on for about a year.

There is, however, no mention of Rafale pricing in the affidavit.

The Supreme Court had asked the Centre to provide details of the decision making process in the Rafale deal with France in a sealed cover by October 29 but clarified it did not want information on pricing and technical particulars.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it was not issuing a formal notice to the Centre as it has not considered the averments with regard to the allegations of corruption made in two PILs filed by two separate lawyers.
12/11/18 India Today

Funds allocated to acquire land for airport expansion

Coimbatore: The much-awaited land acquisition process for the expansion of the Coimbatore International Airport is set to roll finally with the state government clearing the first phase of funds worth Rs 75crore.
Minister for municipal administration SP Velumani revealed this at the roadshow for the Global Investors Meet 2019 in the city on Sunday.
Addressing the gathering, Velumani said industrialists had long been seeking the expansion of the airport. “Last week, the chief minister signed the release of the first round of fund worth Rs 75crore for land acquisition and it will be issued soon,” he said. The total area needed for expansion will be 650 acres, the minister said and added that the total cost will be about Rs 1,500 crore.
“Once the airport is expanded, the city would get more cargo flights, which would help in bringing more industries and business to the city,” said Velumani.
An official in charge of land acquisitions said the government order allocating the first phase fund was published last week.
12/11/18 Times of India

City a step closer to 24x7 flight service

Mohali: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has issued orders to the Air Force to create additional posts of Air Traffic Control (ATC) personnel at the Chandigarh airbase to enable the recently commissioned Chandigarh International Airport to operate long-haul international flights. This is a step closer towards conducting 24x7 operations from this airport, an issue that has been embroiled in controversy and pending adjudication before the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
“The orders were recently received by the Air Headquarters and further process for posting additional air traffic controllers is under way,” said a senior Air Force officer. “We expect to have the manpower required in place by March 2019, when the airport upgrade will be completed for round-the-clock flights,” he added.

The runway and associated services at Chandigarh airport, which is basically a Defence establishment, belong to the Air Force and these are also used by civilian flights. Last year, the Air Force had initiated a major project to lengthen and strengthen the runway and install advanced landing aids to enable wide-bodied aircraft to operate from here.
Since the ATC was staffed in accordance with the IAF’s operational requirements and domestic civilian traffic was relatively low earlier, a case was taken up with the MoD to deploy more air traffic controllers here, so the airport watch hours could be increased for catering to the growing number of international flights, a large number of which operate at night.
12/11/18 Vijay Mohan/Akash Ghai/Tribune

AirAsia offer: Now, book flight tickets for as low as Rs 399

AirAsia offer: The budget airline AirAsia on Sunday came out with a discount offer under which it offers one-way domestic and international flight tickets for all-in one-way fares starting at as low as Rs 399 and Rs 1,999. The offer is valid for travel period from May 2019 to February 2020, covering 120 destinations across Asia, Australia and beyond. “Passengers can book this week up to 18 November for travel from 6 May 2019 to 4 February 2020 with one-way tickets at Rs 399 on domestic and Rs 1,999 on international routes,” AirAsia India in a statement.
The interested customers can book from 21 of AirAsia’s domestic destinations – Bengaluru, New Delhi, Kolkata, Kochi, Goa, Jaipur, Pune, Guwahati, Imphal, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad, Srinagar, Bagdogra, Ranchi, Bhubaneswar, Indore. The international destinations valid under the offer include: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Krabi, Sydney, Auckland, Melbourne, Singapore, Bali and others.
12/11/18 Financial Express

India's flying rights plan may suit Thai Air

New Delhi: India’s decision not to allow new flights by airlines operating from Dubai, Qatar and Singapore will give a boost to Indian carriers as well as airlines operating from other countries in the same region such as Thailand, a Thai Airways executive has said.
The airline is planning to attract more Indian passengers to fly to various international destinations through Bangkok by offering extra packages, said Thamanoon Kuprasert, general manager, India for Thai Airways. “The Thailand government has announced the development of alternate cities for travellers,” Kuprasert told ET.
“We are working with the tourism board to offer extra packages to our passengers flying beyond Bangkok.” Thai Airways hopes to attract people travelling from India to countries such as Japan, Taiwan, South Korea and Australia. As of date, 35% of Indian passengers taking Thai Airways flights fly beyond Bangkok, which is less compared to West Asian carriers that carry 80% of their Indian travellers through their hubs. The Indian government, recently declined new flight rights to Dubai, Qatar and Singapore despite them becoming eligible for it, due to opposition from Indian carriers.
12/11/18 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Airport authorities wait for airlines to sign up three months after ‘successful’ test for night flights in Srinagar

Srinagar: Three months have passed since the Airports Authority of India (AAI) carried out a ‘successful’ test flight for kickstarting night flights from the summer capital and are waiting for airline operators to sign up, according to a report by Indian Express.

“Everything is ready from our side. The test flight in August was successful and we are waiting for airlines to come forward. Our job is to provide the infrastructure, which is ready at the airport,” Akash Deep, director, Sheikh-ul-Alam International Airport, was quoted by IE as having said.

While talking to Free Press Kashmir, the director stated that one airline operator, GoAir had expressed interest to start night flights, but there had been no word as of now from other operators.

The Sheikh-Ul-Alam international airport is owned by the Indian Air Force, with the AAI managing the civilian enclave which includes a passenger terminal building and a civil apron. Deep has stated, according to IE that the IAF has allowed flight operations in Srinagar till 8 pm.
12/11/18 FreePressKashmir

Afghan man trying to smuggle forex worth Rs 34 mn arrested at Delhi airport

New Delhi: An Afghan man was arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence at the Delhi airport for allegedly trying to smuggle out foreign currency worth Rs 34 million, an official statement said on Sunday.

The Afghan national, a resident of Parwan (North Kabul), was intercepted on Saturday at the airport when he was about to depart for Dubai, it said.

He was attempting to smuggle out $450,000 (equivalent to Rs 34 million) by concealing it inside a musical instrument (harmonium), which had a special cavity for concealment, the statement issued by the DRI said, adding the foreign national has been arrested.

Smuggling of foreign currency from India has seen a spike in the current financial year.

On November 1, the DRI had seized foreign currency equivalent to Rs 20 million at the India Gandhi International (IGI) airport here.
11/10/18 PTI/Business Standard

Allahabad to get India’s fastest-built airport terminal building! Here is what AAI is planning

Big aviation upgrade for Allahabad! With the beginning of Kumbh Mela on January 15, 2019, Prayagraj (new name for Allahabad) will get the fastest-built airport terminal building in the country. The Airports Authority of India (AAI), while aiming to complete the terminal in a record time of 11 months, has also expanded its plans for the airport by deciding to construct more aircraft parking bays than earlier planned, according to a TOI report. Kumbh Mela will start from January 15 and will end on March 4, 2019. The state of Uttar Pradesh is expecting lakhs of devotees to visit the holy city that time.

AAI Chairman Guruprasad Mohapatra was quoted in the report saying that the authority is building more aircraft parking bays than originally planned since there is a huge demand for connecting Prayagraj city to other parts of the nation. This is being done at an additional cost of Rs 40 crore, he informed. The AAI Chairman said that the Indian Air Force station at Prayagraj has a civil terminal of the size of a bungalow. He further added that two rooms of that bungalow serve as the arrival and departure hall.

Mohapatra said that once the new terminal building was decided, the authority had less than 11 months to start and complete the building. He further informed that Prayagraj, under round two Udan, is not only getting more flights from Air India but also from other airlines like Jet Airways. Unlike earlier, when just one parking bay was planned to allow one plane to be parked at a time, now the authority is coming up with three to four more parking bays, he added. The initial estimated cost to build the terminal was around Rs 126 crore. However, the amount has now gone up by Rs 40 crore.
12/11/18 Devanjana Nag/Financial Express

Stakeholders for better utilisation of Gaya airport facilities

Gaya: Stakeholders including representatives of the Bodh Gaya-based foreign monasteries, tour operators, hoteliers etc on Saturday, while expressing concern over under utilisation of the state-of-the-art facilities available at the Gaya International airport, discussed the strategy for improvement.
Spread over an area of about 950 acres, the Gaya airport is about four times bigger than the Patna airport. Moreover, Gaya airport has got facilities like aerobridges and escalators, something not available in Patna. Yet, footfalls are well short of expectations.

Identifying the cause of underutilisation of infrastructure, the participants of the meet held at the airport conference room felt that special efforts are required to promote air travel in the region.

As of now, a single flight of the Air India operates between Gaya and Delhi. In tourist season (October-March) nearly half-a-dozen international flights too operate between Bodh Gaya and Bangkok and Yangoon etc. A large number of chartered flights too land in the tourist season.
12/11/18 Times of India

NDMA conducts training programme on CBRN emergencies in Bengaluru

New Delhi/Bengaluru: Aiming to enhance the preparedness of Airport Emergency Handlers (AEHs) to respond to CBRN emergencies, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) on Monday conducted a six-day training programme at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru.
CBRN emergencies pertain to threats emanating due to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear material.
The training programme is being conducted in collaboration with the Airport Authority of India (AAI), Institute of Nuclear Medicine & Allied Sciences (INMAS) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF).
12/11/18 UNI

Security tightened at VIP lounge in city airport

Visakhapatnam: Officials of the Visakhapatnam International Airport have stepped up vigil at the VIP lounge to prevent possible attacks on the VIPs from the private staff working at the restaurants on the airport premises.

The heightened vigil comes in the aftermath of the attack on the Leader of the Opposition and YSR Congress Party president, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, at the VIP lounge of the airport recently. Mr. Jagan was in the lounge when the accused, J. Srinivasa Rao, brought him tea and sought permission to take a selfie. Even before Mr. Jagan could realise what was happening, Srinivasa Rao took out a knife that is used in rooster fights from his pocket and attacked him, injuring him on his left shoulder. The attack has raised serious questions on security, particularly VIP security, at the airport.
The incident has also triggered a debate on who is responsible for VIP security at the airport – the CISF, which is vested with the overall security at the airport, or the State police, which provides security to the VIPs as part of protocol duty.

“VIPs seek privacy and this could be the reason for lounges meant for them at the airports, manned by the Airports Authority of India (AAI), having no CC cameras. A decision was taken on the evening of the attack not to allow private restaurant staff into the VIP lounge and, instead, utilise the services of the AAI-designated housekeeping staff,” Airport Director G. Prakash Reddy told The Hindu.
12/11/18 B. Madhu Gopal/The Hindu

In Movie-Like Bust, 2 Arrested From Plane At Delhi Airport For Smuggling

New Delhi: It appeared to be no less than a movie scene for over 160 passengers on board an aircraft when they saw customs officials entering the plane and carrying out an arrest and seizure operation of two alleged gold smugglers.
The accused, who hail from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, were travelling in a flight from Chandigarh to New Delhi, police said.

The officials arrested the two men for carrying little over three kilogram of smuggled gold worth nearly a crore on Friday afternoon, sources said.

The customs officials at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here, who got last-minute input that the duo were carrying smuggled gold, rushed to Terminal 1 which is about a 15-minute drive from Terminal 3 of the international airport, the sources said.

Due to paucity of time and credibility of inputs, customs officials after reaching Terminal 1 decided not to wait for the passengers to disembark by the airline's bus and instead went directly inside the plane, they said.

The officials formed two teams and entered the plane from the front and rear sides.

After entering the plane, the customs officials asked all passengers to remain seated and support in the law and enforcement action being taken up by them, one of the passengers said.

"It all appeared to be a movie-like scene for me. The customs officials caught two passengers who were sitting on separate seats. We all were surprised to see the passengers were carrying the gold," he said, after coming out of the airport. The duo were later arrested and the gold was seized, customs officials said.
12/11/18 PTI/NDTV

Venomous snake found in flyer's handbag

New Delhi: Snake on a plane could have become a frightening reality on an international flight out of India had an alert security personnel not spotted the poisonous reptile while screening the handbag of a passenger. This startling find was made by a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) screener at Cochin airport on Sunday while x-raying the bag of an Abu Dhabi-bound passenger who was then handed over to the police.

“Sub inspector P K Mourya was watching over the screen where contents of handbags being x-rayed were being shown. At about 4 pm he detected some suspicious item which seemed like a snake in the hand baggage of a passenger flying to Abu Dhabi on Air India express flight 419,” said a senior CISF official.

Mourya asked for a physical check of the bag. “Constable Hirdesh Kumar carefully checked the bag and found a live young one of a snake inside the bag which looked like Indian Krait / Blue Krait, which is among the four most venomous snakes found in India. Snakes, reptiles and wildlife are prohibited in flight and carriage of such reptiles is also dangerous for civil aviation security with even the young ones being venomous, the passenger was not allowed to proceed for his 4.55 pm flight and handed over to local police,” said the official. The passenger is a 40-year-old resident of Kattakalam in Palakkad of Kerala.
12/11/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

First of 32 trapped labourers returns from Malaysia

Kolkata: Sanjay Mallick, one of the labourers from Bengal who had been trapped in Malaysia for more than a month, is finally returning home on an Air Asia flight on Sunday night. Mallick was one of the two victims who had sent an audio message through an app to the National Anti Trafficking Committee (NATC), seeking assistance on Friday. "We managed to contact the supervisor of the company who was supposed to employ Sanjay and I had a two hour conversation with him in the morning, regarding the strong measures that are being taken for their rescue. Soon after this, I was contacted by Sanjay from the airport, saying that he has been handed over his passport and visa and dropped at the local airport. We arranged for his tickets and he is returning home. Once he is rescued, it will be easier for us to locate the other persons who are trapped there," said Sheikh Jinnar Ali, national chairman of NATC.
11/11/18 Millennium Post

Man held with 6.5 kg gold

Guwahati: A Kolkata-bound passenger was arrested with 6.5 kg of gold worth over Rs 2 crore during routine security check at the Lokopriyo Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here on Sunday, police said.

Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel during routine security check of the luggage recovered the gold bars from the passenger.

The man was identified as Lalthila Liana, who hailed from Aizawl in Mizoram.
11/11/18 India.com

Sunday, November 11, 2018

GoAir for sale! Wadias looking to offload stake in airline business

The Wadia Group, which owns budget carrier GoAir, is looking for buyers for its 13-year-old airline, multiple sources aware of the development told FE. It is understood that the promoters have appointed a merchant bank in the UK to gauge buyers’ interest in the airline and be the transaction adviser for the deal if it materialises, according to sources in direct know of the development.

The decision to look for a buyer for GoAir at this point of time is prompted by a tough aviation market and inability of GoAir to expand its market share and network. This got expedited, as August onwards the fuel costs started rising, while the rupee weakened against the dollar. The promoters have always maintained that GoAir is a profitable, debt-free company; it posted a profit after tax of Rs 200 crore in FY17. The numbers for FY18 have not been declared so far by the company, but according to sources, GoAir has suffered huge losses, something which is in line with other aviation companies.

“GoAir is not truly profitable. Market dynamics have significantly changed and it is getting increasingly difficult for GoAir, as they do not have a robust network and no formidable market share. It has also grown at a very small pace and is a good consolidation target,” said an industry expert, adding that GoAir is stuck with a huge aircraft order (120 Airbus A320neos) but has not expanded its network either in domestic or international markets. As per sources, it is understood that it is re-negotiating the aircraft order contract with Airbus.
Responding to a FE query, a GoAir spokesperson said, “As a policy, we do not comment on market speculation and baseless rumors.”
11/11/18 Manisha Singhal/Financial Express

Pilot's error triggers hijack scare on Kandahar-bound plane at Delhi airport

New Delhi: A hijack scare on a Kandahar-bound flight sent security officials at the Delhi international airport into tizzy on Saturday after the pilot "mistakenly" pressed the 'hijack button' when it was taxiing for take-off, officials said.

The Ariana Afghan Airlines plane, with nine crew members, 124 passengers and an infant, took off nearly two hours later after "satisfactory" security checks, they said.

The Delhi-Kandahar FG312 flight was scheduled to depart at 3.30pm.

Rokai Naimi, captain of the flight, submitted a hand-written note to Indian authorities.

Today our staff in Delhi informed us that there are plan of hijacking aircraft. In cockpit, I briefed my F/O (first officer) that if hijacking (happens) we just put code... Regarding this code we should be careful But it was too late, the Delhi ATC (Air Traffic Control) got it, reads the letter, a copy of which was shared by the security officials.

According to senior officials in the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), the plane, while taxiing for take-off, returned to the "isolation bay" presumably due to the pressing of the 'hijack button' by the crew.

The aircraft was cleared for departure on confirmation that it was an error by the captain, one of the BCAS officials said.

Before the flight was allowed to fly out, secondary security checks were carried out and customs clearance of all passengers was taken.
10/11/18 PTI/Business Standard

Radar relief for flights crossing Bay of Bengal

Kolkata: A giant communication black hole over the Bay of Bengal, which had pilots virtually flying blind for nearly 40 minutes over a 2.6 lakh sq km oceanic airspace, has now been largely plugged with three-fourths of the area coming under the coverage of live aircraft-tracking instruments.

The grey zone over the Bay of Bengal has now shrunk to 69,000 sq km, cutting by half the blind flying time, after data from flight tracking instruments on two Myanmar islands — Coco & Sittwe — were made available to controllers in Kolkata following an agreement between Indian and Myanmarese aviation authorities.
India, in return, has made the data from Agartala and Port Blair available to controllers in Myanmar. This is India’s first successful project in sharing flight surveillance data with a neighbouring country.

Controllers in Kolkata can now track the 260 flights that cross the sea daily, carrying over 50,000 fliers between countries in South East Asia and those to its west including South Asia, West Asia, Europe and the US. Earlier, controllers were unable to guide pilots as they crossed gigantic oceanic airspace as there was no live flight tracking coverage with technologies like radar or Automatic Dependence Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

“Due to the absence of Indian islands on the Bay of Bengal, we could not install radars or ADS-B that limited our coverage over the oceanic airspace. With the two ADS-Bs on Myanmarese islands now providing live data to area controllers in Kolkata, the safety of flights will increase. Flights will also be able to take shorter routes that will in turn lead to reduction in carbon footprint of these flights,” said Airports Authority of India air navigation services (ANS) member Vineet Gulati.
11/11/18 Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

MAXimized danger: Are 200+ new Boeing 737s plagued with glitch that led to crash in Indonesia?

A technical issue that Boeing flagged in a safety warning after the deadly 737 MAX 8 crash in Indonesia could happen to any other aircraft, and it’s "not unlikely" that the manufacturer knew about it, aviation experts told RT.
Earlier this week, Boeing issued a safety update to pilots flying its newest 737 MAX airliner, warning of a possible fault in a sensor that could send the aircraft into a violent nosedive. That sensor measures air flow over a plane’s wings, but its failure can lead to an aerodynamic stall.
International aviation experts told RT that a problem of this kind could doom aircraft of any type. The tragedy that happened to Lion Air’s Boeing 737 MAX is not the first of its kind to involve a faulty “Pitot tube” – a critical air-speed sensor that measures the flow velocity – explained Elmar Giemulla, a leading German expert in air and traffic law.

“This is not unusual in the way it happened before,” he noted, mentioning incidents similar to the Lion Air crash. Back in 1996, a Boeing 757 operated by Turkey’s Birgenair stalled and crashed in the Caribbean because of a blocked pitot tube. Likewise, erroneous air-speed indications, coupled with pilot errors, led to the crash of an Air France Airbus A330 over the Atlantic in 2009.

While the problem is not entirely new, it is unclear how Boeing had tackled it, according to Giemulla. “It is not very unlikely” that Boeing knew about the problem, he said, warning that “more than 200 planes are concerned and this could happen tomorrow again.”

However, the expert doubted that there has been any cover-up of the issue, instead suggesting that “obviously gross negligence” had been involved.

A 737 MAX 8 servicing Lion Air flight 610 last week ploughed into the waters of the Java Sea shortly after take-off from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. Investigators say there is a possibility that inaccurate readings fed into the MAX’s computer could have sent the plane into a sudden descent.
10/11/18 RT

Basarnas ends search for Lion Air crash victims

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) stopped the search for victims of Lion Air flight JT610 on Saturday, almost two weeks after the plane crashed into the Java Sea with 189 people on board.

"The search operation's success indicator is the victims, none of which the teams have been able to find since Friday noon until now [Saturday]. That is why I conclude that now the search operation is over," Basarnas chief Marshal M. Syaugi said on Saturday in a press release.

Basarnas had widened the search area off Tanjung Pakis Beach in Karawang, West Java, but to no avail, said Syaugi who also offered an apology to the families of victims.

“Throughout the mission, the search teams went all out,” he said. “We put our heart into our work. We can feel what is felt by the families of victims in particular, and the entire nation in general.”

Basarnas had extended the search mission twice since it started shortly after the plane was reported to have plunged into the sea on Oct. 29.

As many as 196 bags containing body parts have been recovered from under the water, with 79 victims having been identified by Kramat Jati Police Hospital as of Friday evening.
11/11/18 Jakarta Post

Shimla heli-taxi service withdrawn

Mohali: The heli-taxi service from Chandigarh to Shimla launched with much fanfare on June 4 has been stopped as it finds no place in the winter flight schedule released by the Airports Authority of India (AAI).
According to the schedule, there is no place for the heli-taxi service, said Chandigarh international airport spokesperson Deepesh Joshi. He said, "We are yet to get any communication on operations of heli-taxi service on the Chandigarh-Shimla sector."
The taxi service which was introduced twice a week was later extended to thrice owing to upsurge in popularity, which later declined. Sources said the failure of the heli-taxi service is due to high fare and distant airport from Shimla city.
Though the operator also changed the landing place nearer to the city, it still failed to attract passengers.
The helicopter with a capacity of 20 seats with a fare of Rs 2,999 per passenger was introduced from Shimla at 8 am. It arrived in Chandigarh at 8:20 am. The same helicopter used to depart from Chandigarh at 9 am to reach Shimla at 9.20 am.
11/11/18 Times of India

NGO hails six new air routes for city

Amritsar: The Ministry of Civil Aviation is going to start six new flights from Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport under the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik), phase III, Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS).

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has invited bids from airlines for six new air routes (Patna, Varanasi, Kolkata, Dharamsala, Jaipur and Goa) of tourism importance for direct flights from Amritsar to be including under UDAN 3.0 scheme. Not only these cities will exchange tourists, the flights will also open the doors for trade opportunities. Additionally, it will be a big boost to international connectivity of these cities.
Sameep Singh Gumtala, convener, FlyAmritsar Initiative, and overseas secretary, Amritsar Vikas Manch, thanked the Central government for addition of Amritsar airport in the scheme.
10/11/18 Tribune

Amritsar airport gets 6 new air routes under UDAN-III scheme

Amritsar: After start of six new flights from Sri Guru Ram Das International airport in Amritsar, Union Ministry of Civil Aviation has agreed to demands raised by delegation of Amritsar Vikas Manch for new routes under UDAN-phase III of Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) as laid under National Civil Aviation Policy announced in the year 2016.
These 6 new routes have been awarded to Amritsar under UDAN-III tourism destinations scheme.
FlyAmritsar Initiative co-convener and Amritsar Vikas Manch (AVM) Additional Secretary Yogesh Kamra said, “The Union Ministry of Tourism intends to enhance point-to-point air connectivity of tourism destinations in the country and has identified certain routes to incentivize airlines to commence operations on such routes under UDAN phase III of Regional Connectivity Scheme."
10/11/18 UNI

Wow Air, GoAir, Jet Airways Offer Discount On Flight Tickets

Airlines have announced a host of discount offers on domestic and international flight tickets. Wow Air, which is launching its operations in India in December, has announced 30 per cent discount on all destinations. GoAir is offering a 13-day special sale across all sectors, offering up to 13 lakh seats with flight ticket prices starting from Rs. 1,313, according to the airline. Jet Airways, the country's second-largest airline by market share, is offering a discount of up to 30 per cent on domestic and international flight tickets. The offers from the airlines come amid high competition in the country's civil aviation market.
10/11/18 NDTV

After 9 Hour Delay, SpiceJet Flight To Colombo Takes Off

Madurai: Passengers of Colombo-bound SpiceJet flight were stranded for nine hours on Saturday wee hours at Madurai airport after the plane was delayed due to operational reasons.
The flight, SG 3, was scheduled to depart from Madurai at 12:50 am. However, the flight was constantly rescheduled without informing passengers about the reason for the same, before it finally took off at 9:30 am.

Speaking to ANI, one of the passengers of the delayed flight said that a total of 68 passengers were stuck at the airport unaware of the reason for the rescheduling.

However, a SpiceJet spokesperson said that the flight was delayed on account of operational reasons.
10/11/18 NDTV

Months after PM Modi inaugurated it, Jagdalpur airport still non-operational

The centrepiece of BJP's Bastar development plan is still a mere showpiece ever since its inauguration by Prime Minister Modi in June 2018.

The regional connectivity scheme UDAN was supposed to link Bastar, 20 kms from Jagdalpur, with Chhattisgarh's capital Raipur by air, which is well connected to different cities in the country.

Save for one flight with hours of delay, there are no flights from Jagdalpur Airport.

PM Modi inaugurated the air service between Raipur and Jagdalpur - a hotbed of Maoist insurgency in the Bastar region of south Chhattisgarh - in June.
The contract to connect Jagdalpur with Raipur and Visakhapatnam was given to Air Odisha. On the day PM Modi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi kick started their campaign in the Naxal-hit state of Chhatisgarh, India Today reached the Jagdalpur Airport only to find the airport completely non-functional and ticket counters shut. It was also found out that the thick layer of dust on the computers was cleaned today for Rahul Gandhi's visit.
Airport Director Kishore Bhaumik was not present at the airport and repeated attempts to reach him on phone also did not succeed. Manish Moolchandani, a businessman in Jagdalpur, called this a fraud to Bastar voters.
10/11/18 Tanushree Pandey/India Today

Travel agents oppose Air India’s move to single GDS for ticket sale

Mumbai: Travel agents have objected to national carrier Air India selecting a single Global Distribution System (GDS) for the sale of its flight tickets, as most agents are on another GDS platform, which will now not offer Air India seats.

Representatives of the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) predicted that the airline is going to record a 40% drop in sales as a result of its decision. Travel agents already held one round of talks with the Air India management last week, without any outcome.

“Air India has sent shockwaves through travel trade in India after the announcement of offering its inventory solely through its select GDS and disconnecting its inventory of another,” Sunil Kumar, president, TAAI said.

Travel agents said that Air India has been reeling under tremendous financial challenges and instead of this move they should be finding ways to increase seat sales via easy access through GDS channels. “The response given by Air India is that this would save distribution costs. This is surprising since the airline wants to save ₹200 in distribution costs and lose thousands over seat sale,” Mr. Kumar said.
10/11/18 Aditya Anand/The Hindu

Army school adds 'wings' to pass out pilots

Nashik: About 43 officers of Combat Army Aviation Training School (CATS) were awarded the coveted 'Aviation Wings' to become Combat Helicopter Pilots after having successfully completed 'Combat Aviation Course Serial-30' at Gandhinagar airfield here today.
Two army officers and one navy officer were awarded the 'Aviation Instructor Badge' for having
successfully qualified on 'Aviation Helicopter instructor Course Serial-29'.
The CATS located at Gandhi Nagar Airfield, Nashik Road is the premier flying training institution of the Indian Army.
10/11/18 UNI

Customs seizes 700g gold from passenger at airport

Kochi: Cochin customs air intelligence unit sleuths seized gold bars weighing 700g from a passenger who reached Cochin International Airport Ltd (Cial) on Saturday.

Two bars and 17 pieces of gold were found concealed in the side cavity of a large stapler and a showpiece statue in the baggage of a Kozhikode resident, who reached Cial from Riyadh. The customs detained the gold and arrested the smuggler.

The commissioner of customs, Sumit Kumar, in the backdrop of the seizure urged employees of Cial, airline and ground-handling agencies and staff of other agencies working in the airport to provide information leading to seizures.

The informers will be rewarded and their identity will be kept confidential, the commissioner said. He added that the customs was investigating kingpins behind the smuggling rackets and that they would be nabbed soon.

11/10/18 Times of India

Man who duped Army veteran of Rs 1.40 cr held upon return to India after 2 years

Noida: A former finance consultant of a private bank was arrested Saturday from the Delhi airport by the Noida police for allegedly duping a retired Army man of Rs 1.40 crore, officials said.

The accused, Vinay Chadda (29), was held in the morning when he arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from Dubai, they said.

A case was lodged at the Noida Sector 20 police station against Chadda in 2016 for duping retired colonel Ravindra Nath Pandit (82) offering a bogus life insurance policy, police said.

Chaddha, a resident of Delhi, had opened 23 fake insurance policies of Pandit, and between 2009 and 2016 defrauded him of Rs 1.40 crore, senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ajay Pal Sharma said.
"A case was registered against Chaddha at the Sector 20 police station in 2016 for a fraud worth Rs 1.40 crore. A lookout notice was issued against him. When a non-bailable warrant was issued against him then, he did not appear in court but fled to Dubai. He was tracked and held from the IGI airport upon arrival from Dubai," Sharma said.
A sealed bag along with 4,675 Dinar and Rs 2,570 were seized from his possession upon arrival at the airport, the police said.
10/11/18 PTI/Times of India