Sunday, October 20, 2019

DGCA probe finds ‘alarming practices’ by airlines

New Delhi: The crackdown on airlines following a spate of accidents and incidents this monsoon — like aircraft overshooting runways and suffering tail strikes on landing — led to the aviation regulator discovering “alarming practices” (in some airlines) that merited tough action.”
The rising trend of incidents started from April and peaked in July with that month alone seeing as many as 11 scares like aircraft overshooting runways while landing.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) then launched a crackdown that included auditing airlines; issuing show cause notices that led to heads of those incharge of operations and pilot training at some carriers being rolled and acting against crew if found to be at fault for the accidents.
This action has now started bearing result with the unchecked accident rate showing a declining trend. August and September, according to DGCA data, have seen six and two incidents, respectively, that required the regulator to take enforcement action.
DGCA data shows the month-wise number of incidents needing such action this year is: January-3; February-8; March-5; April 3; May-4; June-7; July-11; August-6 and September-2. Of these 49 incidents/accidents/serious accidents, SpiceJet accounted for 20; AI Group (AI, AI Express and Alliance Air) and IndiGo for 11 each; Vistara, GoAir and AirAsia India for 2 each and one for Heritage Aviation.
The regulator admits that the crackdown post the sudden spiralling revealed “alarming practices” (in some airlines) and “merited tough action, that was taken.” “We will always be constantly vigilant. We have arrested the worrying spiralling trend of accidents this monsoon and our safety standards are showing definite signs of improvement. Safety cannot and will not be compromised and we will not allow any laxity,” said DGCA chief Arun Kumar.
As a result, the spiralling rate of incidents-accidents — that was seemingly going out of control — has been checked and showing a declining trend since August.
“The spate of accidents and incidents in June and July made us introspect and conduct various safety audits. Some of the practices discovered (during checks) were alarming and merited tough action that was duly taken. We also started fixing responsibility based on credible and indisputable evidence based on flight data after preliminary inquiry,” Arun Kumar said.
20/10/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

AAI planning to monetise 759 acre of land near 8 major airports

The AAI is planning to monetise 759 acres of land near eight major airports so that private companies are able to establish warehouses, hotels or restaurants, and the money generated is utilised to develop airport infrastructure, a senior official said.
"The AAI has identified the following land parcels of airports for city side development: 145 acres near Kolkata airport, 45 acres near Amritsar airport, Bhubaneswar airport, 35 acres near Jaipur airport, 60 acres near Varanasi airport, 217 acres near Lucknow airport, 80 acres near Raipur airport and 117 acres near Tirpuati airport," a senior AAI official told PTI.
"All the above land parcels are located at respective airport sites only...The non-traffic revenue thus generated (from land monetisation) shall be utilised for the airport infrastructure development in unconnected and under-served areas" the official clarified.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI), which works under the Ministry of Civil Aviation, owns and manages 129 airports across the country, out of which 94 were running in loss in the financial year 2017-18.
"The (aforementioned) land is likely to be leased to any company or organisation for a period of 25-30 years for a fixed annual rental income," the official said.
The revenue generated from such land monetisation is classified as non-aeronautical revenues or non-traffic revenues.
20/10/19 PTI/Economic Times

The challenges to turn Air India into an entity attractive to potential buyers

The past week was an action-packed one for the long-running disinvestment saga of Air India, the beleaguered flag carrier. On 14 October, the top management of the airline, led by chairman Ashwani Lohani, met the representatives of 13 trade unions of the company in Delhi at Airlines House, off Parliament Street.
Around 40-odd union representatives were asked to deposit their mobile phones outside before they trooped into the boardroom. In the meeting, the management outlined the impact of the divestment process on the employees. The 12,000-odd employees would be ensured job security only for a year after the airline’s sale. Other benefits and service conditions would also change, including lifelong medical support for family, free passage on Air India flights as well as rules around employee’s provident fund, leave encashment and gratuity. The meeting also carried a confidentiality rider—the union leaders are not permitted to speak publicly about what was discussed. The union leaders pressed for better terms. We’ll do our best to negotiate with the government, the management assured them.
Later in the week, on 17 October, Air India Assets Holding Ltd (AIAHL), a special purpose vehicle of the company, raised a round of government guaranteed bonds, totalling Rs 7,985 crore with tenure of 10 years at 7.39% from the markets. This was the third bond issue by AIAHL, which has now raised Rs 21,985 crore through three issues. This SPV has taken on Rs 29,500 crore worth of Air India’s working capital loans, and the bond issues are meant to help repay the loans.
With the government powering ahead with its resolve to sell the airline after a taxpayer funded bailout infused almost Rs 30,000 crore since 2012 to no avail, hectic efforts are on behind the scenes to pull it back from the brink, bring it to a manageable shape and then hand it over to a buyer who can turn it around. The 89-year-old airline, started by JRD Tata back in 1930 and nationalised post Independence, clocked consolidated revenues in excess of Rs 27,000 crore in 2017-18, with a loss of Rs 5,799 crore. Finance or interest charges exceeded Rs 4,000 crore in that period. Consolidated debt on the books now stands at Rs 58,000 crore.
Earlier this month, fuel suppliers led by Indian Oil Corporation had threatened to pull the plug, discontinuing supplies at half a dozen airports. On efficiency parameters too, Air India is a laggard. The airline lags behind most Indian domestic airlines when compared on the basis of their cancellations (2.6%), on-timeperformance (53.5%) or airline load factor (80.9%). In mid-2018, the NDA government had tried to divest a 76% stake in the airline.
The efforts drew a blank then, with no interested bidders. The actions of the last week aim to make the airline more attractive for a potential bidder, with manageable debt and a free hand on manpower. It brings us to the question of the potential bidder. What will make Air India attractive to say Indigo, which has 48% share of the domestic market, or the Tatas, who already have interests in two airlines — Vistara and AirAsia? Can it attract an international player (Qatar Airways had shown interest) or could a large Indian corporation with no interest in the aviation sector so far, be tempted to throw its hat in the ring?
R Gopalakrishnan, former Tata Sons director, who saw two divestments— CMC and VSNL— come into the Tata fold during his time, says successful disinvestments in India have depended on the ability to push back on government interference and then merging the organisations fully, like how IPCL merged with Reliance Industries. “Governments are notorious for interfering, and even if they sell off 100%, they might still interfere, because Air India can easilybecome a political issue after divestment. The new management will need skills to repel such interferences, and at the same time must have integrating skills, fully merging Air India into their own organisations,” Gopalakrishnan said.
20/10/19 Suman Layak/Economic Times

Air Asia launches Agartala-Kolkata flight service

Agartala: Low-cost carrier Air Asia on Sunday launched flight services to Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati and Imphal from here.

Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb flagged off the first Air Asia flight to Kolkata from the Maharaja Bir Bikram (MBB) Airport here.

Deb said air connectivity is very important for the north-eastern state.
He said when SpiceJet had withdrawn their service from the state early this year, he took up the matter with the Union Civil Aviation minister and requested him to take some initiative for more air connectivity with the state.
20/10/19 PTI/Business Line

Pakistan to consider full airspace closure for India: aviation minister

Federal Minister for Civil Aviation, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, said on Sunday that the federal cabinet could consider restrictions of air routes to India during its forthcoming meeting, ARY News reported.
The statement came forth after the latest incident of ceasefire violations by the Indian troops in multiple sectors of the Line of Control (LoC), which resulted in the martyrdom of one soldier and five civilians.
20/10/19 ARY News

Air India set to impart skill training to aviation students

Hyderabad: In a bid to increase working shifts and revenue, the Air India is all set to provide training at its Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Shamshabad as part of the centre’s Skill India programme, organised in collaboration with three ‘147 training schools’ (aviation schools abiding the EASA guidelines), apart from the existing three.

Air India has also planned to upgrade the existing Hyderabad-base to the International EASA-145 standards, apart from the setting up of service facilities of ATR 72-600 components. The Hyderabad-base has also acquired DGCA approval for the additional capability to carry out full scope MPD base maintenance checks on ATR 72-600 and is ready to take up third party works.

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is an organisation that ensures safety procedures for aircraft. It is the EASA specialists who establish what to look out for and what measures to take for flying safe. Y Srinivas Rao, the station head of Air India Engineering Services (AIES) said: “We currently have 700 employees at all the MROs in South India, with close to 350 employees in Hyderabad alone. We are planning to start an afternoon shift with 100 more recruits whom we will train on the site.”
20/10/19 New Indian Express

SpiceJet plans to operate wide-body planes next year

New Delhi:  SpiceJet plans to induct wide-body planes early next year and is looking at various options as the budget airline steers ahead with its ambitious expansion plans, according to a senior official.
The low-cost carrier is looking at options from Boeing and Airbus.

An industry source said that SpiceJet might bid for Air India's wide-body operations in case the government puts up domestic and international operations for sale separately.

Currently, SpiceJet operates only Boeing and Bombardier planes.

The airline official said that a final decision on wide-body aircraft is yet to be taken and various options are being considered. The idea is to operate long haul non-stop flights next year, the official added.

"We continue to assess business opportunities and such discussions are an ongoing process," a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

He was responding to a query on whether the airline is planning to have wide-body aircraft for long haul flights by early next year and whether it was keenly looking at A330 planes.

The spokesperson was also asked whether the airline is in discussions with Airbus and Boeing for wide-body planes.

"SpiceJet is looking at bidding for Air India wide-body operations to fulfil its ambitious plan of flying long haul international," said the source.

Such an acquisition would give the airline a ready-market with both wide-body fleet as well as destinations, the source added.

"SpiceJet, as a matter of policy, does not comment on market speculation," the spokesperson said in response to queries about its interest in Air India's wide-body fleet.

Twice in the past, SpiceJet applied for slots at London's Heathrow airport to operate flights from India, but the plan could not materialise due to scarcity of slots.
20/10/19 PTI/Times of India

Alliance Air to launch flights in new routes in 2 months: CEO

Alliance Air, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India has chalked out aggressive expansion plans which include launch of flights to newer destinations, a top official has said.
Alliance Air recently launched its maiden overseas flight from Chennai to Jaffna making it the 55th destination connected by the airline.
Alliance Air CEO C S Subbiah said the airline would connect various cities including Jagdalpur, Raipur, Gulbarga and Hubli among others.
"We are look at flying to Jagdalpur, Gulbarga. These are the two new routes. The flight from Gulbarga will connect to Bengaluru and later to Chennai," he told .
Jagdalpur route would be connected from Hyderabad then later to Raipur and then it would go to Bhopal, he said.
Subbiah said Alliance Air was utilising the Centre's UDAN scheme one hundred per cent and added that they were "forerunners" operating under the scheme.
UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik) scheme commenced in 2017, is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) aimed at making air travel affordable.
Under the scheme, 50 per cent seats in aeroplanes are offered at concessional rates to passengers.
Elaborating on the proposal to launch new flights, Subbiah said, "In 2015 we were hardly in 15 stations. Under (Air India CMD) Lohani's leadership we are now connecting 54 destinations. The 55th route was Chennai to Jaffna."
20/10/19 PTI/Economic Times

PM Modi meets pilot who built 6-seater experimental aircraft

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met Captain Amol Yadav, a young and energetic pilot who has built an experimental aircraft.

Captain Amol Yadav built the six-seater aircraft on the terrace of his residential building in suburban Mumbai and spent about 18 years perfecting the model.

Captain Amol Yadav faced difficulties in getting regulatory clearances from Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to process his Permit To Fly’ since 2011. He received clearance just three days ago on the directions from PM Modi.

On learning about Amol Yadav's struggle for the permit, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis brought it to the notice of PM Modi. Later on PM Modi's intervention, the young pilot’s request was quickly processed and he received his 'Permit to Fly' clearance from DGCA.
20/10/19 Gaurav Sawant/India Today

AAIB to submit final report on Ghatkopar aircraft crash by December

Mumbai: Apex aircraft accident investigation body AAIB is likely to submit its final report in Ghatkopar aircraft crash to the government by December this year, and necessary action will be taken based on the findings of the probe, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has said.
On June 28, 2018, a King Air C-90 charter aircraft crashed during a test flight in the eastern suburb of Ghatkopar.

Four people onboard the aircraft -- two pilots and two aircraft maintenance engineers -- as well as a bystander were killed in the incident.

The plane belonged to U Y Aviation Pvt Ltd which had a pact with Indamar Aviation Pvt Ltd for carrying out repairs and making the aircraft serviceable.

"Investigation by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in the Ghatkopar plane crash has been completed and the final report is likely to come out by December 2019," Puri informed former BJP lawmaker Kirit Somaiya in a communication last Wednesday.

The AAIB, which comes under the Civil Aviation Ministry, has been mandated to investigate all serious incidents/accidents involving India registered aircraft.

Immediately after the crash, the probe was handed over to the AAIB.

Besides, a parliamentary panel on labour, headed by Somaiya, also looked into the crash and submitted its report to the House.
20/10/19 PTI/Times of India

Mangaluru: AAI on track with its terminal building expansion project for September 2020

Mangaluru: Domestic and international flyers using Mangaluru International Airport (MIA) can look forward to smooth operations come September 2020 when the expanded terminal building, work on which is currently going on, is expected to be completed. Being executed by Airports Authority of India at an estimated cost of Rs 132 crore, nearly 40% of the work on this much vaunted project, is complete and remaining work is on track.
The expansion work that is happening on the city side abutting the international/domestic arrival area will see AAI add 10000 space to the existing terminal building which has an area of 18000 The expansion project will also help AAI segregate its arrival and departure operations, a norm in international airports the world over. Arriving passengers will be able to exit the terminal building directly through the car park level.
Explaining the need for the extended terminal building, V V Rao, airport director, MIA told TOI that current arrival and departure operations that take place at the same level sometimes tends to cause chaos, especially during the peak hours. The new arrival hall will come up at lower ground floor level and be equipped with three conveyor belts as against the one now and both domestic and international arrivals will have three belts each.
20/10/19 Jaideep Shenoy/Times of India

Air hostess caught at Mumbai airport with 4kg gold dust in baggage

Mumbai: An air hostess with a private carrier was arrested by Customs at Mumbai airport on Saturday for trying to smuggle in 4kg of gold dust worth Rs 1 crore from Dubai. Sanna Pathan (30) was on duty when she was caught by the Air Intelligence Unit with the gold dust concealed under her undergarments in her bag, reports S Ahmed Ali.
Officials said the Kalyan resident had been promised Rs 60,000 for the job by a man named Sahil in Dubai. She told officials that one Mohammed had given her pouches with the gold dust in the aircraft’s washroom, and she was supposed to deliver it to another person after clearing the customs. A court has remanded her in judicial custody.
20/10/19 S Ahmed Ali/Times of India

Gold worth over Rs 1 crore seized at Chennai airport

Air intelligence sleuths have foiled bids to smuggle gold worth `1.36 crore and $10,000 at Chennai airport. One person was arrested. On Saturday, Mohamed Yasin, 24, of Tiruchy and Sheik Abdullah, 27, of Madurai, who arrived from Dubai by IndiGo and Air India flights respectively, were intercepted at the exit. On their personal search, six bundles of gold in rubbery spread (three from each) were recovered from their rectum.

On extraction, 909 grams of gold worth Rs 36 lakh was recovered. In a separate incident on Thursday, four passengers – Mohamed Azarudeen, 24, and Imthiyas, 21, from Ramanathapuram and Azarutheen, 24 and Abdul KalamAsath, 23, from Pudukkottai, had arrived from Colombo by Sri Lankan Airlines. Mohammed Imran Khan, 30, of Chennai, Mohamed Mansur Ali, 30, and Khan Mohamed, 41, both of Ramanathapuram arrived from Singapore by Air India Express flight, Dubai by Indigo Airlines and Gulf Air respectively.

They were intercepted on suspicion of carrying gold concealed on their person. On persistent questioning they admitted to have concealed gold in the form of rubbery material in their rectum. On extraction, totally two kg gold worth Rs 80 lakh was recovered and seized. One person was arrested. In two other cases, Mohamed Refaydeen, 22, of Pudukottai and Mohamed Ibrahim, 70, of Cuddalore, who arrived by Emirates Airlines flight and Indigo flight from Dubai and Colombo were intercepted at exit.

A personal search yielded 65 grams of gold cut bits concealed in trouser pockets and five bundles of gold in rubbery spread concealed in their rectum. After extraction, 678 grams of gold worth Rs 27 lakh was seized.
20/10/19 New Indian Express

DRI seizes 832 gms of gold in paste form at RGIA

Hyderabad: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Hyderabad have seized 832 grams of Gold in paste form, worth about Rs 27.87 lakh from an air passenger at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, (RGIA) at Shamshabad near here.
Based on specific intelligence, officers of the DRI, Hyderabad, intercepted a passenger at the arrival hall of RGIA after he arrived by an Air India Flight from Mumbai on Saturday, a DRI statement said here on Sunday.
20/10/19 UNI

Foreign currency for Rs 4.5L seized

Trichy: The customs officials at Trichy airport have seized foreign currencies equivalent to Rs 4.53 lakh from a passenger hailing from Ariyalur, while he was about to board Sharjah bound Air India Express.
The customs authorities had intercepted a passenger who about to board the Air India Express bound for Sharjah Saturday morning. As the officials grew suspicious, they checked his belongings. During the process, they found that the passenger identified as Mohammed Azharudeen, 22, had concealed foreign currencies in his hand luggage.
Currencies were seized and during their enumeration, it came to light that he had carried 5,350 Canadian dollars, 1,250 Euros and 850 Swiss Francs equivalent to Rs 4.53 lakh.
Customs official then recovered all the currencies from Mohammed Azharudeen and further enquiries are on.
20/10/19 Times of India

Saturday, October 19, 2019

DGCA's clerical error forced Pakistan to chase SpiceJet aircraft

New Delhi/Mumbai: On the morning of August 30, air traffic controllers at Lahore were startled to find that an “Indian military aircraft” had entered the Pakistan airspace. They were confused, too, as according to the flight plan and identification by the pilot, it was a civilian Boeing 737 plane but was transmitting the code of a military aircraft. They asked the pilot to hold the aircraft and alerted the Pakistan Air Force, which sent two F-16 fighter jets to escort it for about half an hour till it exited the country’s air space.
As things turned out, it was actually a SpiceJet flight with 120 passengers on board heading to Kabul from Delhi. The reason for the mistaken identity was a clerical error by an official of India’s aviation regulator, which assigned a military code while registering the SpiceJet aircraft. The unprecedented situation, barely a month after Pakistan had reopened its airspace post-Balakot air strike tension, prompted the Prime Minister’s Office to step in. Soon after, an official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) was suspended.
In a warm gesture, civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola thanked his Pakistani counterpart Sharukh Nusrat for handling the situation calmly. That done, the incident has forced DGCA to speed up its work on digitising the aircraft records. The regulator recently selected Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for the process.
Sources aware of the development said SpiceJet had approached DGCA early August for registration of the aircraft which was earlier with Jet Airways. According to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) norms, while registering an aircraft, aviation regulators all over the world assign a unique 24-digit code called Mode-S — a digitised identification number. The alpha-numeric code is relayed by a transponder that can be identified by advance radar surveillance system in order to improve air navigation system and stop airspace incursions.
DGCA, however, creates a pool of such codes and allots a certain number to each airline. When airlines approach DGCA for registering a new aircraft, the regulator checks its air worthiness and assigns a code. Sources said in this manual process, the concerned DGCA official wrongly assigned the SpiceJet aircraft a code of Antonov AN-32--an aircraft used by the Indian Air Force.
“In those days, work was hectic. SpiceJet was adding at least two to three aircraft daily in its fleet. The error crept in and no one took notice,” said a government official. Following the closure of Jet Airways, SpiceJet added 22 aircraft of Jet in two months.
The aircraft operated with the military code for almost 20 days and also operated to international destinations like Colombo and Bangkok. But no one took note until it went into Pakistani air space.
“Incorrect or missing Mode-S code, whether caused by individual equipment malfunctions or human input error, may prevent aircraft from being presented on air traffic controller surveillance displays and, and result in potentially hazardous situations,” a direction by European Union Aviation Safety Agency says.
A senior official of India’s air navigation authorities defended the oversight, saying that normally air traffic controllers work on primary and secondary radar systems, which give details of height, speed and altitude, among others.
“Only when there is a heightened surveillance, secondary surveillance radar system is used to track the Mode-S code. Pakistani airspace must be using it for Indian aircraft due to the current situation,” the official said.
19/10/19 Arindam Majumder & Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

Airlines rush to fill in Jet’s space

The winter schedule of this year will see Indian airlines majorly filling up for the loss of capacity in the Indian market with Jet Airways’ demise.
According to the Winter Schedule approved by the DGCA, the airlines will operate 23,403 departures per week covering 103 airports starting winter schedule that begins October-end.
During the Winter Schedule last year, Jet Airways operated 3,247 flights per week with all key scheduled airlines increasing capacity in double digits. Among airlines,
Vistara has seen the largest increase in its flights in percentage terms followed by SpiceJet and then AirAsia India. Data also shows that airlines like Air Deccan and Zoom, which used to operate during last year’s winter schedule, are not operating this year.
 19/10/19 Economic Times

SpiceJet’s Vijayawada- Mumbai flight only till October 26?

Vijayawada: SpiceJet, which launched a daily direct flight between Vijayawada and Mumbai in the last week of May, will operate the service only till October 26. The airline’s representatives at Vijayawada airport said that continuation of the flight service later would be known only after the winter schedule (October 27 to March 31, 2020) is released.

“As per the present schedule, the direct flight connecting Vijayawada and Mumbai would be in operation till October 26 when the summer schedule ends. Its continuation later will be revealed when the airline releases the winter schedule next week,” a representative explained.

Same is the case with the airline’s services between Vijayawada and other destinations. Sources said that all the major airlines, including SpiceJet, have increased the number of services from 103 airports in the country this winter schedule compared to last year, which is finalised but is yet to be announced.
19/10/19 New Indian Express

Air India sale gathers pace

The expression of interest (EoI) for national carrier Air India sale is likely to be issued early November and roadshows are planned to be held from next week in Bombay and London to generate interest in the airline. This is the Modi government’s second attempt to privatise the airline.

The financial performance of the airline was reviewed by the civil aviation ministry on Friday and the plans for the roadshows were discussed, officials said.

They said the EoI was likely early next month, and the government might offer 100 per cent stake for sale this time around, officials indicated.

“There are several things which are being worked out at the top level. One of them is offering 100 per cent stake for the buyers so that they do not worry about any interference by the government at a later date,” the official said.

The option of meeting prospective buyers even before the expressions of interest are sought is also being considered and their feedback on the sale term is also being discussed, they said.

The Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism panel, headed by home minister Amit Shah, is overseeing the stake sale process.

Apart from Shah, the group of mimister comprises finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and railway minister Piyush Goyal and civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
19/10/19 Telegraph

Aviation Min to seek nod for 6 more airports' privatisation

New Delhi: Undeterred by staff protests, the Civil Aviation Ministry would seek Cabinet approval for privatising half a dozen more airports by the first week of December.

The six airports up for privatisation are Varanasi, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Trichy, Indore and Raipur.

"The Airports Authority of India (AAI) board has approved the plan. We will seek in-principle approval of the Cabinet now. Once it is approved, the bidding process would start," said an official source.

The Ministry hopes to complete the bidding process by the end of this financial year.

The move to bid out more airports to private companies has come close on the heels of government privatising six airports. Gujarat-based Adani Enterprises was the highest bidder for all the six airports. While the Union Cabinet has approved leasing out of three airports - Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Mangaluru - to Adani, the other three airports - Jaipur, Guwahati, and Thiruvananthapuram - are currently on hold due to some pending issues. In case of all the airports, the lease period is 50 years.

Defending the government decision to privatise more airports, an official said that AAI would get more revenue as a result of this and focus on the development of smaller airports.
18/10/19 IANS/Ourlook

Air India divestment: Govt works on debt, staff, litigation issues

New Delhi: The nitty gritty of Air India (AI) divestment is now being worked out in top gear. Aviation secretary PS Kharola had a meeting with AI chairman Ashwani Lohani and officials from department of investment and public asset management (Dipam) on Friday to take a call on how various key issues like those related to accounts, litigation and employees should be worked out.

Officials did not comment on if any decision was taken on these issues. "This is work in fast progress. We are discussing everything threadbare and will take a call at the right time in the best interest of everyone," said a person in the know.

The finance part of this meeting's agenda included issues like finalising audited accounts of AI and subsidiaries as this will be a part of the expression of interest (Eol); preparing business plan projecting the profit, loss, balance sheet and cash flow as per management estimates.

This will be used for debt servicing analysis and as input for reserve price determination. The crucial issue of quantum of debt and subsidiaries to be transferred to SPV Air India Assets Holding (AIAHL) and technical audit of assets was discussed.
19/10/19 Times of India

Oil Companies Defer Cutting Fuel Supplies To Air India

State-owned oil companies on Friday decided to defer snapping fuel supplies to Air India after the national carrier promised to adhere to the schedule of clearing past outstanding dues, officials said.
Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd. had on Oct. 5 written to Air India that they will stop supplying aviation turbine fuel to its aircraft at six major airports from Oct. 18 if it didn’t honour its payment commitments. “It (Air India) has made a request not to stop supplies and promised to make regular payments. In view of their commitment, we have decided to defer the decision to terminate supplies,” an official at one of the fuel retailers said.
Air India owes the three firms over Rs 5,000 crore in past fuel bills and had first in June and again in September agreed to pay this amount in monthly installments of Rs 100 crore. But Air India failed to honour its commitment, leading to the Oct. 5 notice.
IOC Director (Finance) Sandeep Kumar Gupta had earlier this week stated that the Rs 100 crore monthly payment was beside the airline being put on cash-and-carry where it was given fuel only against cash payment.
Air India owes IOC about Rs 2,700 crore in unpaid fuel bills. This includes Rs 450 crore of interest. It's outstanding towards the three oil firms is about Rs 5,000 crore including interest.
Air India buys about Rs 25-26 crore worth of fuel every day from the three oil companies.
18/10/19 PTI/Bloomberg|Quint

Jet closure shadow: Just 1% more domestic flights this winter

New Delhi: Call it the lingering Jet effect. With this big airline shut, the coming winter season will see only a marginal 1% increase in domestic connectivity compared to last winter - from 23,117 weekly domestic flights in 2018-19 to 23,403 this winter schedule that will be effective from October-end to March-end. Last winter (2018-19) had seen 22% more domestic flights than previous winter of 2017-18.

While Jet's closure has impacted growth, airlines that took ex-Jet planes - SpiceJet and Vistara - and others have increased flights to ensure a recovery from that big collapse. With ex-Jet planes in their fleets, these two have added maximum domestic flights (percentage-wise) this winter.

"The schedule has been approved with existing fleet. We will add more flights as airlines induct more planes during the winter. Due to Jet's collapse (this April), about 3,600 domestic departures per week have gone out of the system. Prompt steps by the government helped fill that void. If we do not count Jet, other airlines have added almost 20% weekly flights," said a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official.

Vistara, which took 9 ex-Jet B737s, currently has 32 aircraft in its fleet. This number will cross 40 before the end of the calendar year. Vistara has got a schedule approved for 1,376 weekly domestic flights this winter - up 64.2% from 838 last winter. The Tata-Singapore Airlines' will also start filling in Jet's wide-body gap as it is likely to start getting Boeing 787 Dreamliners this year itself for use on medium haul routes like London.

The second biggest jump in domestic flights this winter is by SpiceJet, which took 31 ex-Jet B737s and currently has a fleet of 113 single aisles. The low cost carrier (LCC) will operate 4,316 weekly domestic flights this winter - up 46% from 2,957 last winter. SpiceJet's future expansion depends on when B737 Max return to service.

The third biggest jump is by AirAsia India which will operate 32% more flights this winter, up from 1,109 weekly flights last time to 1,345 now. This airline has 23 Airbus A320s and will add nine more by March 2020.
19/10/19 Sauabh Sinha/Times of India

More domestic flights this winter despite slowdown; airlines to fly over 23,000 flights every week

Despite the ongoing economic slowdown, Indian airlines will fly a total of 23,403 flights per week in the upcoming winter schedule, more than what was flown during last year’s schedule. This year’s winter flight schedule, which will be effective from October 27 and will end on March 28, will witness a 1.2% on-year jump as compared to 2018. This comes at a time when India has witnessed the air travel growth rate tumble down to one-tenth of the number that was last year, owing to the Jet Airways collapse and low capacity expansion as other airlines moving to fill the gap created by Naresh Goyal founded airline. “Due to the sudden suspension of operations by Jet Airways, approximately 3,600 departures per week were reduced from scheduled domestic aviation,” aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in a statement, The Indian Express reported.

Last year, Jet Airways, along with JetLite, its low-cost subsidiary, flew a total of 3,596 flights every week. However, Jet Airways announced a suspension of operations after it failed to secure funds amid severe liquidity crunch.

This year, Tata-Singapore Airlines’ joint venture, Vistara, has reported the highest growth in flights per week number will operate 1,376 flights per week as opposed to 838 flights a week last year. This corresponds to a growth rate of over 64%. Following it is SpiceJet which has seen a growth of 46% and will fly 4,316 flights per week in the upcoming winter schedule. IndiGo, which is currently the market dominator with about half the share of domestic passengers, will fly 10,310 flights a week as compared to 9,030 flights last year. State-run Air India will have 2,254 departures every week. It flew 1,916 flights per week in last year’s winter schedule.
19/10/19 Prachi Gupta/Financial Express

Civil aviation secretary chairs review meeting of Air India

New Delhi/Mumbai: Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola took a review meeting of Air India on Friday amid the government preparing for disinvestment of the debt-laden flag carrier. The meeting comes ahead of the airline's board meet, which scheduled to be held on October 22 for clearing the consolidated account statement for the fiscal ended March 2019. 
During the two-and-a-half hour meeting at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan in New Delhi, which houses the civil aviation ministry, the secretary took stock of the situation at the flag carrier, including accounts of the group company and its subsidiaries as well as employee related matters, said a source.
 Last Monday, Air India management held a meeting with its trade unions on the proposed privatisation of the loss-making carrier. A majority of its unions are opposed to the move, fearing job losses. The government is preparing to divest its stake in Air India and the final contours are expected to be finalised in the coming days. The airline has a debt burden of more than Rs 58,000 crore.
18/10/19 PTI/Economic Times

Ahmedabad-bound flyers at Pune airport fume over SpiceJet flight’s long delay

Pune: Passengers booked on a SpiceJet flight to Ahmedabad on Thursday night were stranded at the city airport for over seven hours because of delayed arrival of the inbound plane.

Passengers were extremely frustrated with the inordinate flight delay. They claimed that the ground team of the airline did not provide them with proper answers to their queries.
“Zero customer satisfaction as we are waiting for the flight for the past eight hours. There is no transparency and passengers are being bluffed. The staffers are rude and clueless,” Dolly Sharma, a passenger, wrote on Twitter.

The flight (SG524) was scheduled to take off from the city at 9pm on Thursday. It was finally airborne around 4.35am on Friday, a source said.

The airline representatives did not respond to a query regarding the cause of the long delay till going to press.

A source said the inbound flight got delayed because an issue cropped up in Ahmedabad. “After coming to Pune as SG523 from Ahmedabad, the same aircraft goes back to the Gujarat city as SG524. The delay in Ahmedabad had a cascading effect in Pune too,” the source said.
19/10/19 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

60 Flights Delayed As Dust Storm Hits Delhi-NCR; Rahul Gandhi's Chopper Makes Emergency Landing

New Delhi: A helicopter carrying former Congress President Rahul Gandhi was forced to make an emergency landing in Rewari in Haryana after it failed to touch ground in New Delhi due to bad weather conditions. According to reports, Rahul Gandhi was returning to the national capital from Mahendragarh in Haryana after addressing a public rally in place of her mother Sonia Gandhi, who could not attend the event to a viral infection. It has also being learnt that the Congress leader later left for Delhi by road.

When contacted, Rewari Deputy Commissioner Yashendra Singh told PTI that Gandhi spent about 20 minutes at the college ground before proceeding to Delhi. "There was an emergency landing.... The helicopter landed safely at Rewari," Singh said.

In response to speculations, sources close to Gandhi said his helicopter was forced to abort its landing in Delhi due to bad weather and not due to a technical snag. During his small halt at Rewari's KLP College ground, Rahul Gandhi played cricket with children at the ground. This was Rahul Gandhi's second poll rally in the state that goes to polls on October 21. Earlier he had addressed a public meeting in Nuh in Mewat region of the state.

According to official reports, as many as 60 flights at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in New Delhi were delayed due to bad weather in the city. Several flights were diverted from the Delhi airport because of the bad weather conditions as several airlines issued advisories and updates about their flights.
18/10/19 ABP Live

Jet Airways First Indian Company to Face Cross-Border Insolvency Protocol

New Delhi: In a major breakthrough for India’s insolvency mechanism which is still in its evolving stage, Jet Airways would be the first Indian company to undergo insolvency proceedings under the Cross Border Insolvency Protocol along with the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) of India.

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) had allowed the Dutch court administrator of Jet Airways to attend the meetings of the bankrupt airline’s Committee of Creditors (CoC). The resolution professional and the Dutch administrator, however, filed an application seeking an amendment in the September 26 order providing the approval to the Dutch administrator, which the appellate tribunal accepted on Thursday.

The NCLAT’s September 26 order had said: “Joint ‘Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process’ will continue in accordance with ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016’.”

The appeal wanted the order to clarify that the resolution process would be carried on in accordance with ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016’ and the ‘Cross Border Insolvency Protocol’, seeking the inclusion of ‘Cross Border Insolvency Protocol’ in the paragraph, along with ‘Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016’, which the bench accepted.
18/10/19 Sentinel

Former Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube joins GoAir in advisory role

Mumbai: Former Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube has joined budget carrier GoAir in an advisory role, a source said on Saturday.

Dube had quit defunct Jet Airways on May 14, nearly a month after the airline ceased operations due to severe liquidity crisis.

According to the source, GoAir wanted to hire him for the position of the CEO, which is lying vacant since March this year.

"However, since there is a look-out notice against him from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs in Jet Airways case, it (the decision) would have got in legal tangle. Therefore, he has joined GoAir in an advisory role," the source told PTI.

Dube boarded the Wadia group-promoted carrier last week, the source added.
19/10/19 PTI/Times of India

Missed your flight due to airline’s fault? MAKE IT PAY

Missing a flight can be a nightmare for any passenger. But a delay in first flight, preventing you from boarding the next, is a bigger nightmare as you do not want to be stranded and bear the price of a new ticket.
Gandhinagar-based Saloni Joshi (21) was scheduled to depart for Guangzhou in China from New Delhi around midnight but missed the flight as the 6.50 pm Ahmedabad-New Delhi flight reached late.
She was to fly to Guangzhou, to continue the second year of her MBBS at Shenyang Medical College. Unfazed by the fact that she had missed her flight to China, Saloni booked a new ticket for the next day before resolving to pursue the matter and make the airline pay for her loss. Saloni filed a case in Gandhinagar consumer court which ruled in her favour and asked the airline to pay Rs 45,000 for the new ticket and mental harassment.
Saloni proves the airline service was ‘deficient’ Saloni and her father Jayesh Kumar booked their tickets for New Delhi-bound flight scheduled for departure at 1850 hours on February 22, 2018. However, the duo upon reaching the airport were informed that the flight had been rescheduled to 2040 hours. With their flight to Guangzhou scheduled to depart at midnight, Saloni got her luggage prioritised to obtain it quickly at New Delhi airport and board the next flight.
However, her Ahmedabad- New Delhi flight scheduled to depart at 2040 hours took off at 2130 hours and landed in New Delhi at 1105 hours. The boarding for the Guangzhou flight had already closed by the time Saloni reached the terminal, making her miss the flight. Saloni accused the airline of negligence and unfair trade practice after her luggage tagged “priority” arrived at 2350 hours.
After she missed her flight, her father booked flight to Guangzhou for the next day. Jayeshkumar also missed his return flight to Ahmedabad and had to book a train ticket in Rajdhani Express the next day. Accusing Air India of deficiency in service, Saloni complained against the airline for not communicating the delay beforehand, which resulted in her missing flight to Guangzhou and subsequent flight to Shenyang. We reached Delhi late due to delayed flight. Moreover, we had to spend crucial 15 minutes on the tarmac waiting for the bus to take us to terminal. Luggage also arrived late Jayesh Joshi, father of Saloni Talking to Mirror, Saloni Joshi said, “It was a nightmarish experience for me as all my friends went together and I had to go alone. Besides, I faced a lot of trouble at the airport as my luggage arrived late. I did not want to take any chance, so rather than booking a hotel I stayed at the airport all night.”
19/10/19 Mihir Ved/Ahmedabad Mirror

IndiGo, SpiceJet to operate more flights this winter than others

New Delhi: The domestic airlines will have 23,403 departures a week during the winter schedule, which runs from October 27 till March 28, a growth of 1.2 per cent over the weekly departures reported in winter 2018, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation said on Friday.

Vistara, the joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, will see a 64.2 per cent increase in its weekly departures with 1,376 weekly flights during winter 2019, as compared to 838 weekly flights previously.

SpiceJet will see a 46 per cent jump in its weekly departures with 4,316 flights (2,657) while AirAsia will see a 32 per cent jump at 1,345 (1,019).
IndiGo, with 10,310 weekly departures, will see the maximum number of flights being operated by a domestic carrier, registering an increase of 14.2 per cent over the 9,030 weekly flights it operated in the previous winter schedule.
18/10/19 Business Line

For 15,000 at Air India in Kalina, this election is about their colony homes

Mumbai: For residents of Air India and Indian Airlines Colony in Kalina, the only relevant detail in any political party’s agenda for the assembly polls is the one about the fate of their residential quarters. With Air India en route to being privatized, the question is what happens to the quarters allocated by the national carrier to the 15,000-odd residents of these colonies. The airline occupies184 acres of land which formerly belonged to government-owned Airports Authority of India, but has now been handed over to GVK, which runs the Mumbai airport.
“AAI used to pay a rent of Rs 14 crore a year to AAI, which was increased to Rs 24 crore in 2007 when GVK took over. AI has given a commitment to hand the land over to GVK in a phase-wise manner. In turn, GVK was to construct a multi-storey building to house these residents who currently live in colonies spread across 50 acres. But with Air India being privatized,it remains to be seen what happens to the agreement. The residents are rather apprehensive,which is why we are relieved to have an aviation insider contesting the elections,” said an AI official, a resident of the AI Colony.
That is where the candidature of George Abraham, general secretary of Aviation Industry Employees Guild, comes in. Abraham, also a former corporator, is contesting on a Congress ticket. The battle for Kalina constituency, with 2.30 lakh voters, will largely be between Abraham and sitting MLA and Sena candidate Sanjay Potnis.
19/10/19 Times of India

Praful Patel 'Ruined' Air India; Must Be Probed in PMC Scam Also, Says Prakash Javadekar

Nagpur: Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Friday accused NCP leader Praful Patel of "ruining" flag carrier Air India and sought a probe against him in the multi-crore scam at the Mumbai-based Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC Bank).
Without naming Patel, Javadekar said, "Certain person who is facing ED probe...his role in PMC Bank bankruptcy case should also be probed."
Patel, who was the Civil Aviation Minister in the UPA government, on Friday went to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in Mumbai after being summoned by the agency in connection with a money laundering probe linked to the alleged illegal assets of late Iqbal Mirchi, an aide of underworld don and terror accused Dawood Ibrahim.
Replying to a query, Javadekar said Patel, as the aviation minister, completely "ruined" Air India, which is suffering losses and is on the block for disinvestment.
"Around Rs 60,000 crore worth of new planes were purchased for a Rs 18,000 crore worth company under what business principles? Besides, those planes were not fully utilised.
"When planes of other private airlines were working for 20 hours, those of Air India were functioning only for nine hours. How can there be any profit in this situation?
Good routes of Air India were given to private players. Who was responsible and accountable for this?" the minister asked.
18/10/19 PTI/

Air India’s MRO unit eyes EU’s safety stamp in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Air India is eyeing to secure the European Union Air Safety Agency’s (EASA) certificate for its Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) in Shamshabad here.

EASA carries out certification, regulation, and standardisation, and also performs investigation and monitoring.
Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL) General Manager (Engineering) Y Srinivasa Rao said here on Saturday that efforts were on to apply for the certification after getting approval from the Central government. The certification is essential as most foreign airlines look for it in order to send their aircraft to the MRO facility.

This will not only enable foreign airlines to know the standards of the MRO complex, but also help the AIESL, a wholly owned subsidiary company of Air India, to do business with foreign airlines. According to Rao, the AIESL will have to make some investments in the MRO facility as per the norms prescribed by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to make it EASA compliant.

The MRO complex that was inaugurated on May 29, 2015 can accommodate two A320 family aircraft simultaneously or one wide body aircraft B747 and C777.

The state-of-the-art hangar has all facilities like proposed docking system, cranes, plug and play IT network, associated back shops to support aircraft maintenance and airframe accessory and wheel servicing shops.
19/10/19 TelanganaToday

Sharad Pawar meets HAL employees on strike; criticizes BJP government for wrong policies

Mumbai: NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Friday met protesting employees of state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) unit at Ozar near Nashik. He lashed out at the centre for engaging wrong policies in the defence production sector while assuring the employees of a meeting in New Delhi to find ways to meet their demands.

The employees of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) are on an indefinite strike since October 14 in support of various demands, including wage revision.

Pawar who addressed three poll rallies in Nashik district on Thursday met the HAL employees on Friday morning.

“The government granted contract to a company that didn’t have experience in making paper planes,” Pawar said while referring to Dassault aviation’s contract given to Reliance Defence.

Pawar also criticized the central government for engaging in wrong policies for defence production in the country, due to which prime institutions like HAL are being ignored, he said.

“I was a minister at the centre when the HAL’s contract to produce Sukhoi aircraft in the country was signed. The government back then values the institutions established by great leaders in the past and tried to preserve them. The current government has a different approach,” Pawar said while criticizing the central government’s decision to keep HAL out of Rafael deal.
18/10/19 New Indian Express

SF Airlines launches cargo flight from Shenzhen to Delhi

Chinese cargo carrier, SF Airlines, on Thursday started its first cargo service to Delhi from Shenzhen, China. Earlier in September 2019, the cargo carrier completed its first intercontinental flight from Wuxi to Frankfurt-Hahn Airport, via Chongqing.

SF Airlines started its India service in August 2018. Since then the airline has four flight routes to Chennai as Shenzhen-Chennai, Shanghai-Shenzhen-Chennai, Chongqing-Shenzhen-Chennai and HongKong-Shenzhen-Chennai.

SF Airlines is a brand of cargo airline under S.F. Holding and headquartered in Shenzhen. It started its operations in 2009. Supported by operation from two other air bases in Hangzhou and Beijing, it dedicates itself to providing air shipping services to SF Express.
18/10/19 ITLN

Chennai-Jaffna air services to commence from November 01

Colombo: The Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka has announced that with the opening of Jaffna International Airport yesterday, commercial flights between Jaffna and Chennai will commence on the 1st of November.

Director General of Civil Aviation Authority HMC Nimalsiri said an airline has come forward to operate commercial flights between Jaffna and Chennai. The airline has agreed to operate daily flights, he added.

According to the Civil Aviation Authority, the flight between Jaffna and Chennai will take between 50 minutes and one hour.

The official said that several other airlines will also come forward to operate the Chennai-Jaffna route.

Opening the former military airport in Palaly as the Jaffna International Airport, an ATR-72 aircraft of Alliance Air, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, arrived from Chennai yesterday.
18/10/19 ColomboPage

Reliance Industries makes a new pact with BP to sell jet fuel in India

Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries announced a new pact with BP to sell fuel for airlines in India. The announcement came with the company's quarterly earnings report.
 "BP and RIL agreed to form a new joint venture that will include a retail service station network and aviation fuels business across India. Building on Reliance’s existing Indian fuel retailing network and an aviation fuel business, the partners expect the venture to expand rapidly to help meet the country’s fast-growing demand for energy and mobility. Reliance will get approximately ₹7,000 crore from BP’s investment in this joint venture," the statement said.
 18/10/19 Sriram Iyer/Business Insider India

Ahmedabad airport chief set to be AAI executive director

Ahmedabad airport Director Manoj Gangal Ahmedabad airport Director Manoj Gangal is all set to shoulder new responsibility at corporate headquarters in New Delhi after being promoted as executive director (ED). As per highly placed sources in Airports
Authority of India (AAI), Gangal’s promotion was cleared a couple of days ago and he will be given pan India responsibility at AAI corporate headquarters at Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi.
Gangal has been instrumental in providing sustainable growth to the city airport with passenger traffic growing 21 per cent during his two-and-half-year tenure as Ahmedabad airport director. After taking over Ahmedabad
airport, Gangal gave priority to cleanliness, providing good restrooms and adding the wow factor to the airport.
He introduced an electronic feedback system for washroom users which was well-received by passengers.
19/10/19 Vishal Patadiya/Ahmedabad Mirror

More Than 300 Indians Deported from Mexico Land in Delhi, US Says Message to Smugglers

New Delhi: Over 300 Indians, including a woman, who were deported by Mexican immigration authorities for illegally entering the country to sneak into the United States, landed here early on Friday morning.

"We landed around 5 am in the morning and the formalities took several hours before we could exit the airport around 1 pm," Jashanpreet Singh, one of the deportees, said.
Mexico’s National Migration Institute (INM) called it an unprecedented transatlantic deportation. "It is unprecedented in INM's history - in either form or the number of people - for a transatlantic air transport like the one carried out on this day," INM said in a statement.

The 310 men and one woman that INM said were in Mexico illegally were sent on a chartered flight, accompanied by federal immigration agents and Mexico's National Guard.

The people were presented to the immigration authority in the states of Oaxaca, Baja California, Veracruz, Chiapas, Sonora, Mexico City, Durango and Tabasco.
The unprecedented repatriation of the Indian nationals is a “strong message to human smugglers”, Mark Morgan, the acting Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said in a tweet.

Amit Shah's chopper makes emergency landing in Nashik due to rains

Mumbai: BJP president and Union home minister Amit Shah's helicopter made an emergency landing at Ozar Airport in Nashik, around 160 kms from here, due to heavy rains on Saturday, the last day of campaigning for the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly polls, an official said.
The helicopter was on its way to Akole in Ahmednagar district, over 70 kilometres from Nashik, where Shah was to address a poll rally, the official said.
The pilot decided to land the chopper at Ozar airport at 2:25 pm due to inclement weather, he said.
"After a halt of 40 minutes, the chopper took off at around 3:08 pm for Ahmednagar," he informed.
19/10/19 PTI/Times of India

Now, at Mumbai Airport, you can relish South Indian delicacies at 'Grand Annapoorna'

South Indian delicacies hold a special place in our hearts and stomach, therefore, next time if you depart from Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), managed by GVK Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL), you must pay a visit to the newly launched South Indian restaurant – Grand Annapoorna. The new restaurant at CSMIA offers versatility in delicacies, and will go a long way in familiarising global citizens to local food from South India. The passengers will not only be able to enjoy mouth-watering food but will also be able to enjoy the meal with a great view due to its proximity to India’s largest art initiative – the Jaya He Museum.

The purely vegetarian restaurant, Grand Annapoorna, opened this week, is available to passengers flying via CSMIA’s Terminal 2 at the international departures, said a GVK MIAL statement. With this new addition under its name, MIAL further expands its food offerings at the airport. Spread across a massive 21,000 sq. mts. the F&B and retail area at CSMIA is brimming with new and exclusive brands and outlets.
18/10/19 ZeeBiz

Gang dupes people with job assurance in airlines 4 held

Noida (UP): Four people were arrested in Greater Noida from a fake call centre that duped people across the country on the pretext of getting them jobs in various airlines, police said on Saturday.
    The accused, including the kingpin of the gang, were held during a raid on a tip-off on Friday night at their office on the sixth floor of a corporate building in Sector 142, under the Surajpur police station limits, an official said.
    Around Rs 4.50 lakh cash was seized from them and it was found that they were using a bank account for transactions which is in the name of a rickshaw puller, Senior Superintendent of Police, Gautam Buddh Nagar, Vaibhav Krishna said.
    "The gang has been operating for around a year now and is understood to have duped over a thousand people by calling them up to offer help in getting them jobs in maintenance department of leading airlines like Indigo, GoAir, Vistara Airlines. Exact details about victims and money involved are being worked out," Krishna told reporters.
    Those arrested have been identified as Praveen Mishra, the mastermind, and callers Abhishek Pal, Rishabh Singh and Shantanu Raj and all of them have an adequate understanding of computer softwares, police said.
    "The accused told interrogators that they would get details like contact number of job seekers from They would introduce themselves as representative of a US-based consultancy and then ask them to register with them for Rs 2,000, and request them to send bigger amounts in a particular bank account," Krishna said.   
    "Once they would get the amount in the account, they would quickly withdraw all the money using the ATM to avoid any risk. Also, the bank account used by them belongs to a rickshaw puller and we are finding out that connection also," he added.
19/10/19 PTU/The Week