Thursday, September 20, 2018

Oil companies may stop fuel supplies to Air India over huge dues

New Delhi: Air India has reportedly slipped in its payments to oil marketing companies (OMCs), prompting many to issue an ultimatum saying start paying for jet fuel on a daily basis or face a supply cut. The ailing airline’s unpaid bills ran up to Rs 5,000 crore, reported the Economic Times citing multiple people aware of the matter.
The report mentioned that Air India buys fuel worth about Rs 20 crore daily, which the airline has not been able to pay in full, compelling fuel companies to serve an ultimatum.
The beleaguered airline has not cleared dues owing to its financial problems, a senior aviation ministry official told the daily on a condition of anonymity. However, he went on to add that Air India and oil companies are negotiating, without giving any details.
A senior Air India official mentioned the airline is talking to oil companies on the issues and it is being resolved. Oil companies have also demanded a concrete plan from the state-run carrier to clear their pending dues.
“Air India is a PSU and that's why we are continuing to supply. Had it been a private firm, we could have already stopped the supply,” a senior executive at a state-run oil company told the publication.
20/09/18 Times Now News.com

Suresh Prabhu orders safety audit of all airlines, airports

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu Thursday ordered a safety audit of all scheduled airlines and airports, amid recent incidents related to safety of passengers.
The development also comes on a day when several passengers on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur suffered nose and ear bleeding after the crew "forgot" to turn on a switch that controls cabin air pressure.
Prabhu has directed officials concerned to prepare a comprehensive safety audit plan, which involves assessment of safety parameters of all scheduled airlines, aerodromes, flying training schools and MROs immediately, an official statement said.
Further, he has directed that "safety audit should be commenced forthwith and a report to this effect should be submitted for his perusal within 30 days".
On the Jet Airways incident, the minister has ordered an enquiry into it.
20/09/18 PTI/Economic Times

Civil Aviation Min holds discussions on air cargo industry issues

New Delhi: The Civil Aviation Ministry Wednesday held discussions with various stakeholders on issues related to air cargo industry.

The meeting was chaired by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, the ministry said in a tweet.

The ministry is working on an air cargo policy to tap the potential of air cargo services in the country. India is one of the fastest growing domestic aviation markets in the world.

"The government is working to create efficient supply chains ie making globally-competitive industry based in India," the ministry said in the tweet.
19/09/18 Ram Anu Anu/Outlook

GoAir to launch India’s first direct Phuket flights

Phuket: GoAir, one of India’s fastest growing airlines, will launch its international flight operations on Oct 11 with India’s first-ever direct service to Phuket, flying from from Delhi and Mumbai.
GoAir will mark its first foray into international skies after more than a decade of domestic operations, and will use its A320 aircraft to provide the new service.
“With the introduction of these flights, the airline will increase its operations by 28 flights to a total of 1,680 flights per week. GoAir aims to amplify and replicate its domestic success story, redefining its fly smart experience and value proposition in the aviation industry,” the airline announced in a press release.
GoAir will operate three direct flights per week between Mumbai and Phuket, and two direct flights per week between Delhi and Phuket. Return fares on both routes for the launch will start from an all-inclusive INR18,999 (B8,480).
The launch of the Phuket flights will be followed with the launch on Oct 14 of three GoAir direct flights per week between Mumbai and the Maldives capital Malé and two direct flights per week between Delhi and Male.
10/09/18 Phuket Times

Vistara’s overseas plan will not get derailed due to CBI probe

New DelhI: The ongoing CBI probe into the relaxation of overseas flying norms in which low-cost carrier AirAsia India is embroiled, will not impact full service carrier Vistara’s application to ply on international routes, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

Civil aviation secretary RN Choubey said the inquiry is not an obstacle for Vistara, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, getting approvals under 0/20 rule as laid down in the national civil aviation policy of 2016.

“We are going to go by what law says. If an airline fulfills the minimum 20 aircraft criteria it is eligible to fly abroad. The case (CBI inquiry) will not come in the way. We will deal with Vistara’s application on merits,” Choubey told FE.

The CBI is probing alleged kickbacks to government officials to facilitate dilution of the 5/20 rule during the tenure of the United Progressive Alliance government. Under this provision, an Indian carrier required domestic flying experience of five years and minimum 20 aircraft on local routes to fly abroad.
20/09/18 Arun Nayal/Financial Express

Sikkim’s Pakyong airport stuns before it flies

To visit Sikkim by air means landing at West Bengal’s Bagdogra airport, then travelling 124 km uphill on winding roads to reach its capital, Gangtok. However, from September 23, Sikkim will finally get its own airport — perched between the Himalayan ranges at a height of 4,500 ft! The Pakyong airport will be the country’s 100th functional airport — and on September 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will fly in to inaugurate it.
The greenfield airport — the Northeast’s first — which has been conceived at a budget of Rs 605.59 crore is skilfully engineered to include soil reinforcement and slope stabilisation techniques in context of the altitude it has been built in.
Earlier this year, on March 5, the Indian Air Force’s Dornier 228 was tested from Pakyong. Later, SpiceJet followed by conducting test runs of the 78-seater Bombardier Q400 from Kolkata to Pakyong on March 10. This led to security clearances for commercial operations.

From October 8, SpiceJet will operate daily flights to and from Kolkata and Guwahati under the Union Civil Aviation Ministry’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme that aims to enhance regional connectivity. Fare prices are pegged at Rs 2,600.
19/09/18 Indian Express

Passenger of Jet Airways Mumbai-Jaipur flight reveals what happened inside the flight

Jet Airways Mumbai-Jaipur flight today made an air turn back due to loss in cabin pressure. The aircraft, with 166 guests&5 crew landed normally in Mumbai. All guests were deplaned safely. First aid was administered to guests who complained of bleeding nose etc.
One of the passenger who was travelling in this flight talked to ABP News and revealed what actually happened inside the flight.


20/09/18 ABP Live

I almost blacked out: Passenger shares horrifying experience on Jet Airways flight

Several passengers on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur Thursday suffered nasal and ear bleeding due to cabin pressure problem, a senior official said.

"During climb, the crew forgot to select bleed switch due to which cabin pressurisation could not be maintained.

"As a result, oxygen masks got deployed," the official at aviation regulator DGCA said.
Citing initial information, the official said few passengers have nose bleeding.

"Out of 166 passengers on board, 30 passengers are affected... some have nose bleeding, few have ear bleeding and some are complaining of headache," he added.

The official said all the affected passengers are being attended to by the doctors at the airport. Response from a Jet Airways spokesperson was awaited.
Satish Nair, one of the passengers on the flight, tweeted that it was the ‘worst apathy’ he had been through. He wrote on Twitter: “@jetairways Flight 9W 697 made an emergency landing back in Mumbai. Airplane lost pressure immediately after taking off...scores of passengers including me bleeding from nose....no staff to help...no announcement on board to wear the oxygen mask.passengersafety completelyignored”

20/09/18 DNA

Aviation Ministry seeks DGCA's report over Jet Airways incident

New Delhi:The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has sought a report from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation over the incident wherein loss of cabin pressure caused a scare on board Jet Airways flight 9W 697 earlier on Thursday.
Taking cognisance of the matter, the MoCA said that the crew members who were on duty for the particular flight are being de-rostered on account of the incident.
Earlier, the DGCA, in a statement, said that the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has started an investigation into the matter.
The Jaipur-bound flight was turned back to Mumbai after several passengers suffered ear pain and nose-bleeds, during take-off due to loss in cabin air pressure.
20/09/18 ANI

Nosebleeds, debt, and the taxman: Jet Airways just can’t catch a break

India’s first privately owned airline, Jet Airways, has been struggling with debt and operational losses.
Now it may have a fresh problem: tax trouble.
“Income tax officials are conducting a survey at Jet Airways’ offices,” the airline said in a statement on Wednesday (Sep. 19), referring to  procedures being followed at its premises in Mumbai and Delhi.
To be sure, a survey is not an “I-T raid” or “search.” Here tax officials check the firm’s documents, based on which they can question the company’s executives.
In Jet’s case, this is part of the I-T department’s probe into allegations of financial misappropriations at the airline. “Books of accounts are being verified to ascertain the nature of financial expenses that took place within the organisation,” a senior government official told Quartz on the condition of anonymity.
Tax officials are also reportedly examining the airline’s 2011 agreement with Godrej Buildcon, an arm of the Mumbai-based realtor Godrej Properties, to develop Jet’s 2.5-acre property in Mumbai’s prime commercial centre, the Bandra Kurla Complex.
Meanwhile, the airline may just have survived a nightmare involving one of its flights. Early in the morning today (Sept. 20), around 30 passengers on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur reportedly suffered nose and ear bleeds due to low cabin pressure after the crew forgot to press a switch.
20/09/18 Quartz India

Jet Airways Issues Statement After Passengers Face Harrowing Time Mid-Air in 9W 0697 Mumbai-Jaipur Flight

Mumbai: Jet Airways flight 9W 697 Mumbai to Jaipur dated today, made an air turn back due to a loss in cabin pressure. The reason being, the crew forgot to select the switch to maintain cabin pressure. Reportedly 30 out of 166 passengers on board experienced nose and ear bleeding, and some even complained of a headache.

Jet Airways has issued a statement saying that they regret the inconvenience caused to the guests. According to an ANI update, the flight was scheduled to take off from Mumbai for Jaipur at 10.15 am. Jet Airways 9W 0697 Mumbai-Jaipur Flight Turned Back as 30 Passengers Experience Nose And Ear Bleeding.
20/09/18 LatestLy

Passengers on Jet flight bleed after crew forgets to maintain cabin pressure

A Jet Airways flight between Mumbai and Jaipur had to return to Mumbai this morning due to cabin pressure dropping that led to bleeding from nose and ear of passengers on the flight.
An official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that the Jet AirwaysNSE -4.22 % B737 aircraft operating flt 9W 697 of 20th Sep 2018 (Mumbai-Jaipur) had air turnback to Mumbai, as cabin pressure fell due to the fault of cockpit crew.
Jet Airways has derostered pilots pending investigation.
“During climb, crew forgot to select bleed switch due to which cabin pressurisation could not be maintained. As a result, oxygen masks got deployed,” said the official.
The official added that as per initial information, few pax have nose bleeding.
“Out of 166 passengers on board, 30 have reported nose bleeding, few have ear bleeding and some are complaining headache. All the affected passengers are being attended to by the doctors at the airport,” the official further said.
Airport sources added that about 10 passengers have been taken to hospital for further check up.
The Civil Aviation Ministry said it has requested the DGCA to immediately file the report on the issue. "The crew is being derostered. Of the 166 people on board, 30 were affected and have been given treatment," the ministry said in a tweet.
An official at Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) told PTI that going by the preliminary information, it could be a case of negligence on the part of the pilots since controlling cabin pressure control is part of check before operating a flight.
20/09/18 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

America’s F-16 Fighter Jet to be Made in India, But Trumps Rejects?

The F-16 Block 70 Fighter Jet is the most unconventional version of the Fighting Falcon, the wings of which will be manufactured in India. Lockheed Martin has joined hands with Tata Advanced Systems to produce the fighter wings in Hyderabad. But the United States President Donald Trump wants to bring back it’s manufacturing to American coasts.
This will not cost any American jobs, because F-16 wings are currently manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries in Israel. On the other hand, it’s hardly a victory for Trump’s call for the U.S. manufactured to bring their outsourced production back home.
“This strategic initiative positions Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to become the provider of wings for all future customers,” said a Lockheed Martin statement. “This is a strategic business decision that reflects the value of our partnerships with India and the confidence we have in Tata.”
Responding to speculation that the move is an incentive for the Indian Air Force to purchase the F-16, Lockheed Martin stated the “the planned F-16 wing production move to India is not contingent on the Government of India selecting the F-16 for the Indian Air Force.”
19/09/18 EurAsian Times

Fight For Flight: Bhopal Demands Better Air Connectivity

Mass urban migration is one of the major issues which India has been facing for a long time now. The reason behind it is a lack of opportunities in smaller cities prompting people to move out of their hometowns to metros. This has created a sort of imbalance with bigger cities being overly exploited and the potential of tier II and tier III cities being grossly untapped. Development is also directly linked with how connected these cities and towns are with other parts of the country and the world.
Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh and also one of the cultural hubs of the country, is one of the major tier II cities which is facing this issue. Even as it has a functional airport, which has a daily movement of just 16 flights inbound and outbound to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Raipur and Lucknow, as far the international connectivity is considered, there are just Hajj flights to Jeddah.
This problem of connectivity has been persistent for a very long time. Even before when the Airport Authority of India embarked on modernizing airports in tier II cities, a new airport terminal at the Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal was constructed. However, even after these many years that infrastructure remains unused.
The Logical Indian spoke to Prachi Baluapuri who is spearheading an online campaign which is pushing for a better air connectivity of Bhopal. This community is right now 40,000 members strong. Speaking of the specific issues, Baluapuri said, “Bhopal is centrally located and sees a lot of air traffic. However, the air connectivity to the city is very poor. To go to or come from any other city apart from Delhi, Mumbai, Raipur and Lucknow, one would have to travel to Indore, which enjoys better air connectivity. Indore again is three and half hour journey away from Bhopal.”
20/09/18 Shraddha Goled/Logical Indian

Survey for intl airport at Mandi soon

Shimla: Besides setting up a special task force for expediting the setting up of an international airport at Nag Chala in Mandi, the Union Civil Aviation Ministry will shortly get the obstacle limitation surface survey done so that the project can be put on fast track.
The State Tourism and Civil Aviation Department had got Rs 1 crore deposited for undertaking the survey at Nag Chala, about 5 km from Sundernagar in the Balh valley of Mandi district.
The development comes in the wake of the meeting Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had with Suresh Prabhu, Union Civil Aviation Minister.
However, with the cost of land and resettling some families, whose houses fall in the area, Prabhu has asked for a change in alignment of the airport so that the cost could come down.
It is learnt that several houses, roads and prime agricultural land fall within the chunk of almost 3,500 bighas identified for the international airport.
20/09/18 Pratibha Chauhan/Tribune

Sikkim locals affected by airport project demand proper compensation

Gangtok: Even as brisk preparations are on for the grand opening of the Greenfield Airport at Pakyong in Sikkim by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on September 23 next, locals affected by the airport project are expecting that Modi would also lend an ear to their grievances and provide relief during his inaugural speech.

The affected residents who had lost their land and houses affected because of the airport project during an interacting with media in Gangtok apprised of the damages caused and issues related to compensation and rehabilitation.

The affected families who have filed a petition before the High Court of Sikkim maintained that inauguration of the airport was not right before the final hearing of the case which is still subjudice.
The affected families have been demanding that the compensation for houses and land be paid as per the amended Land Acquisition Act rates.
20/09/18 NorthEastNow

Now, you can cut down Jet Airways, Vistara ticket prices, but there is a catch

New Delhi: Domestic carrier Jet Airways is passing through a bad phase and it is taking several measures like cost cutting, debt reduction and exploring alternative funding options to successfully implement a turnaround strategy. It is even implementing a policy that includes allowing passengers to cut ticket prices via the options they pick! Other airlines which are not in any revenue trouble too are making efforts to sharpen their competitive edge. This includes full service carrier Vistara. Under the scanner of both are meal menus! Reportedly, they have decided to unbundle their meal services.

Now, this would mean that passengers can opt for cheaper fares by skipping onboard meals. The catch is that you will be going hungry even though that means fares for domestic destinations will come down further! A DNA report said that average fare between Mumbai-Delhi, which hovers around Rs 3,000-3,500, will now be Rs 300 to Rs 500 cheaper if a passenger prefers not to have his/her meals on board!

The measures are being taken in response to Low Cost Carriers (LCC) eating into the aviation market pie. Citing insiders, the report says that fares could be further slashed as airlines consider offering similar options for check-in and hand baggage.
20/09/18 ZeeBiz

Air India’s trial flight lands successfully at Kannur Airport

New Delhi: Air India successfully landed its test flight at Kannur International Airport Thursday, clearing the way for flight operations to start at the fourth airport in Kerala. This landing was necessary for the aviation ministry to clear operation at the new airport.

The Air India flight took-off from Thiruvananthapuram at 9.45 am and landed at Kannur at 11.38 am. After the Boeing 747, the aero bridge and other facilities for passengers were also tested.

Built at a cost of Rs 2,292 crore and spread over 2,300 acres, the airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually and authorities estimate the number will increase five-fold by 2025.

The airport has a runway suitable for Code E aircraft, like the Boeing B-777 and Airbus A-330. It will be extended later for the operation of Code F aircraft, like Airbus A-380. The integrated 95,000 sq m terminal building, the eighth largest in India, has been built with state-of-the-art facilities.
20/09/18 Indian Express

Fly to India, Pakistan from UAE for under Dh200

If you have been planning to visit home and the airline ticket prices have been a deterrent, check these special fares offered by UAE airlines.

You can make a trip to Indian cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Kochi, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Thiruvananthapuram for as little as Dh169, according to an offer by Sharjah-based Air Arabia.

Flying to Bahrain, Karachi, Kuwait, Muscat, Salalah would make your savings lighter by only Dh199.

Check the full list of deals on their website. 

Meanwhile, Etihad is offering new hand baggage only 'Deal Fare', available for travel between Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Azerbaijan, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt. Flyers could book by September 29, 2018, for travel until 31 March 2019.
19/09/18 Khaleej Times

Curbs on hand baggage eased at J&K airports

Jammu: In a significant decision, security agencies and airlines have eased the restrictions on carrying hand baggage in outbound flights from airports in J&K. It followed the persistent demands by the passengers. Airport director DK Gautam said the passengers would now be able to carry hand baggage in accordance with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security regulations, in outbound flights. These restrictions were imposed in 1990s because of sensitive security situation in the state.
20/09/18 Tribune

D Purandeswari appointed independent director on board of Air India

New Delhi: D Purandeswari has been appointed an independent director on the board of Air India Ltd., according to an official order issued Thursday.

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved her appointment as non-official independent director on the board of Air India Ltd. for a period of three years, the order issued by the Personnel Ministry said, without citing any other details such as profession or background of the person.
20/09/18 PTI/Business Line

Air forces of India, Russia participate in 'Exercise Aviaindra'

Air forces of India and Russia are participating in a 12-day drill 'Exercise Aviaindra' which focuses on anti-terrorist operations in a bilateral scenario, the Indian Air Force said Wednesday in a statement.

Aviaindra is being conducted at Lipetsk, Russia, from September 17 to 28.


In its second leg, it will be conducted in Jodhpur from December 10 to 22, the statement said.

The Indian contingent comprises 30 officers from different branches and streams of the IAF. They include four women officers from the flying, administration and medical branches.
20/09/18 PTI/Business Standard

Saab interested in throwing hat in ring for Make in India fighter jet deal

New Delhi: Amid the raging controversy over the Defence Ministry's procurement of the Rafale fighter aircraft from French firm Dassault Aviation, a senior Swedish official has said that his country's firm Saab, in its Gripen aircraft, has the requisite experience to contest for the upcoming Indian deal for manufacturing 110 new fighter jets under the Make in India programme.

"I know that Saab is interested, they want to be a part of this procurement," Teppo Tauriainen, Director General for Trade in the Swedish Foreign Ministry, told IANS in an interview here.

"They think they have something good to offer that will be of interest to India," Tauriainen said.

"They, of course, know what the expectations of the government is in terms of local production and cooperation with a local partner."
20/09/18 IANS/Business Standard

AAI hired 2,000 female staff in last 5 years’

Panaji: Airports Authority of India (AAI) has hired around 2,000 women air traffic controllers across the country in recent years, bringing the percentage of women in the field up to 10% from 1% five years ago, Goa international airport director Bhupesh C H Negi said on Wednesday. He was speaking at an event organised to mark Girls in Aviation Day by the India chapter of Women in Aviation International and aviation major Lockheed Martin India to encourage girls to take up careers in the industry.
“AAI is taking tremendous steps to improve the working conditions of women deployed across airports,” Negi said, adding that AAI recently became the first airport operator in the country to start recruiting women in rescue and fire services. “A woman from Kolkata was the first rescue and fire fighter to be recruited,” he told girl students of Std XI and XII at St Andrew’s Higher Secondary School, Vasco. He said the industry is not limited to subjects like science, technology, engineering and mathematics and there were other areas including commercial, ground handling and ticketing that offered opportunities for women.
20/09/18 Times of India

Fact Check: BJP's Claim on Why HAL Was Dropped From Rafale Deal Just Doesn't Fly

The latest change in goalposts with regard to the Rafale controversy has been the role that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) did, or didn’t, play in the deal being changed at the last minute.

In two press conferences held in the last ten days, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has pointed fingers at the UPA-II government for the failure of the negotiations with Dassault Aviation and the inability to conclude an ongoing deal for 126 Rafale fighter aircrafts.

In her remarks, Sitharaman has blamed the previous government for dropping HAL from the deal, and went on to allege that the poor state of affairs in the defence PSU (which comes under her own ministry) is what stopped the agreement from going through. In particular, the deal couldn’t be sealed because HAL couldn’t agree on terms of production with Dassault.

Her statements have come under fire from the opposition, but have also been countered surprisingly by former HAL boss T. Suvarana Raju, who only three weeks ago stepped down from his position.
20/09/18 The Wire

Rahul Gandhi demands resignation of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for lying on Rafale deal

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday alleged that Minister of Defence Nirmala Sitharaman has lied on Rafale issue and she “must resign”.
“The RM (Rafale Minister) tasked with defending corruption has been caught lying again. The former HAL Chief, T S Raju, has nailed her lie, that HAL didn’t have the capability to build the RAFALE. Her position is untenable & she must resign,” tweeted Gandhi.
It is pertinent to mention here that on last Thursday Sitharaman said that under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, the negotiations for procurement of 126 Rafale jets failed as state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) did not have the needed capability to produce the jets in India in collaboration with French company Dassault Aviation.
"Dassault could not progress in the negotiations with HAL because if the aircraft were to be produced in India, a guarantee for the product to be produced was to be given. It is a big-ticket item and the IAF would want the guarantee for the jets. HAL was in no position to give the guarantee," PTI quoted Sitharaman, as saying.
20/09/18 India Tv

Air Force deputy chief Nambiar flies Rafale jet in France

New Delhi: Air Marshal Raghunath Nambiar, who is the deputy chief of the Indian Air Force, today flew a Rafale fighter jet that has been customised for Indian needs. He flew a sortie in France while sitting in the first seat of the twin-seat fighter jet.

India has signed a deal to buy 36 Rafale jets from French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation. The deal was announced in 2015, during PM Narendra Modi's visit to France.

An inter-governmental agreement (IGA) was signed formally by India and France on January 25, 2016. Under the deal, Dassault Aviation would sell India 36 customised Rafale medium multi-role combat aircraft. The deal is worth around Rs 58,000 crore.

The customisations are specific to the Indian Air Force, i.e. the Rafale fighter jets that India is getting under the deal will be unique to the country and arguably more advanced than the ones used by the French Air Force.
20/09/18 India Today

Richa Chadha Faces Racism At Georgia Airport

Mumbai: Bollywood actress Richa Chadha, who is known for saying things as it is and not mincing words, recently suffered a bitter experience at an airport she was boarding from. The actress took to her Twitter handle pouring her heart out in a series of tweets.

Here's what she tweeted:

"Yesterday, in Tbilisi,met the gentlest cabbie... he was so sweet, he changed my experience of the city, refused a tip, smiled throughout ...We communicated only through gestures but I could feel his heart! and now... met a racist AF officer at the passport control,while exiting Georgia. Slammed my passport on the desk,twice... muttered under her breath in Georgian,yelled and asked me to hurry.Sad that people like her are the last ones we perhaps see on exiting the country...Had met a super rude chap at Mumbai as well. He was muttering obscenities at other tourists who were entering India... but was super nice to me. “Aur Ma’am Kaun si shooting se aa rahe ho”...Told him I was offended people like him made the first impression of my country. "
20/09/18 Shreya Thakur/Republic

MIL to conduct re-survey of high-rise buildings posing threat to airport

Non-application of mind by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT) in sanctioning high rise buildings near funnel area of Nagpur’s Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport has now emerged as biggest threat to its growth and very survival as an important airport. Due to such sanctions, the MIHAN India Limited (MIL), that runs the airport, has even mooted a proposal to reduce the length of runway that will disallow the landing of big aircraft. The MIL had identified 10 buildings whose heights are above the prescribed level. The same MIL has planned to conduct re-survey to see whether there are more such buildings being constructed near the funnel area.

V M Mulekar, Sr Airport Director of MIL told mediapersons, “Before taking final call, we want to check where there are more buildings whose height is in the objectionable zone. We had already issued notices to 10 buildings asking them to reduce the height of their buildings. They can appeal against us to Airport Authority of India (AAI). The appeal will be sent to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on whose notice NMC can demolish the additional part of such constructions.”
Meanwhile the agency hired by MIL will do the survey of buildings within the 20 km vicinity of the airport and submit the report at the end of October to DGCA. DGCA would recommend certain actions based on the report which the civic authorities have to follow.
20/09/18 Hitavada

CISF nabs foreigner at IGI Airport for illegal loitering

New Delhi: The Central Industrial Security Force on Tuesday nabbed a foreigner at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport for entering the airport premises on a fake ticket.
According to CISF, around 1345 hrs on Tuesday ,a CISF duty personnel noticed a foreign passenger roaming suspiciously in check-in area of terminal 3. He was intercepted and enquired.
On enquiry, he revealed his identity as Kartal Ozer, a Dutch national, and further disclosed that
he had gained access into the terminal building by showing an edited ticket of OJSC "Tajik Air"
bound for Dushanbe, to see-off his girlfriend, who was travelling by the said flight.
19/09/18 UNI

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Turbulent times for the Indian aviation industry

New Delhi: The domestic airlines industry, despite strong traction on growth, is facing challenging times. The industry is facing a double whammy with the increasing aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices and the depreciation of the rupee against the dollar. Coupled with pressure on yields, this has aggravated the turbulence in the industry.

The domestic air passenger traffic has grown at a healthy compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20.9% over FY2015-18. The growth trajectory has continued in the current year as well, with a robust year-on-year growth of 20.3% during 4M-FY2019. A healthy capacity addition of 16.9% during the period supported the growth to a large extent. With relatively low penetration levels, a favourable macroeconomic environment, support from the regulatory environment—i.e. the Regional Connectivity Scheme, or UDAN-RCS (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik)—and the development of new airports, ICRA expects that the domestic passenger traffic will continue to grow at a healthy pace (i.e. 15.5-16.5% per annum) over the medium term.

The industry’s capacity addition during FY2018 (available seat kilometres, or ASKM) was impacted by delays in aircraft deliveries on account of technical glitches with engines for the domestic market leader. The resolution of some of these technical problems has boosted the domestic capacity growth during the current year. ICRA estimates the domestic ASKM growth at about 18% in FY2019. The key drivers for the industry capacity growth continue to be the sizeable order book of airlines, which is in excess of 1,000 aircraft at present. Additional capacity deployment is also expected due to start of regional operations by IndiGo, Jet Airways and SpiceJet, as well as other regional carriers under the RCS phase I and II.
19/09/18 Financial Express

As jet fuel prices and a weak rupee make India’s airlines bleed, flying goods may be the solution

Ferrying passengers alone is not helping India’s airlines. So they are now looking at goods.
On September 10, SpiceJet launched a dedicated air cargo service, SpiceXpress. It will begin operations on September 18, initially covering Delhi, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Hong Kong, Kabul, and Amritsar.
It has been reported that India’s largest airline by market share, IndiGo, also plans to ferry perishable goods like crabs, fish, and betel nuts in its aircraft. An email to IndiGo remained unanswered.
This diversification comes at a time when high jet fuel prices and a weak rupee are eating into companies’ margins.
“Most airlines have empty space which they could monetise by ferrying cargo. And cargo is not price-sensitive at all, like passenger fares,” said Ashish Nainan, research analyst with CARE Ratings. “What aviation companies would be looking at is to get about 25% of their revenue from their cargo businesses.”
19/09/18 Kamlika Ghosh/Scroll.in

Flying Low

New Delhi: In June 2018, Jet Airways and IndiGo started flights under the ambitious regional connectivity scheme (RCS), christened as UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik). As Jet's Delhi to Nashik and IndiGo's Hubli to Kochi flights took to the skies, it marked the turning of a new chapter in the history of UDAN-RCS - a scheme that envisages use of small aircraft to connect unserved and underserved airports to regional centres near them.

But has the scheme been an out and out success? Not really, say experts. Though it has covered 453 routes, involving 160 airports, airstrips and helipads, in the initial two rounds of bidding, less than 100 of these are operational. The reasons range from lack of quality infrastructure and delay in clearances to controversy over VGF (scheduled airlines operating from major airports have moved court against the levy of `8,000 per flight for raising money for VGF). The chinks in the scheme's structure are preventing it from living up to its full potential.
The stakeholders are trying hard to start as many routes as possible but it will take a long time to start services on even half the routes that have been allotted. "Out of 71 RCS airports to be connected in the first two bidding rounds, we have achieved connectivity to 31. The rest are likely to be connected in another six months. Some of these airports are under development," says G.K. Chaukiyal, Member (Operations) at the Airports Authority of India or AAI.
While Jet Airways started operations under UDAN routes at one go this June and SpiceJet has been on the top of the game right from the first round, the problem lies more with the smaller carriers, which have won more routes than others and are now finding it difficult to implement their plans due to several reasons. The list of those that have not started operations after winning the bids includes Ghodawat Group-promoted Star Air, AAA Aviation Private Ltd. and Heritage Aviation Private Ltd.
Then there are states that went all out to attract UDAN flights but could not deliver what they promised. The government made a list of 71 unserved/underserved airports, of which 11 were in Uttar Pradesh, seven in Gujarat and five in Maharashtra. As per the data submitted by the government in Parliament, operations have started at just 31 of these - the highest number is five in Gujarat and four in Punjab. The others are lagging. Eight out of 11 airports in Uttar Pradesh, for instance, are yet to see start of operations. West Bengal and Jharkhand have three airports each under the scheme, but these are yet to see a single flight under UDAN.
19/07/18 Ameya Joshi/Business Today

Air India aircraft repaired, its New York-New Delhi operations resumed

Air India flight from New Delhi to New York, which faced multiple instrument failure and made an emergency landing in Newark on September 11 with 14 Amdavadis on board, is back in service. It has already made two trips to New York since the incident.
Director General of Civil Aviation and Air India have also formed a committee to probe the reasons of so many instruments failing at the same time. The flight AI 101 had suffered failure of navigation, auto-speed break, collision avoidance, cross radio altimeter and auto land systems that allow an aircraft to operate autonomously without reliance on ground support equipment.
New York ATC had diverted the Ahmedabad-Delhi-New York flight to Newark airport where the visibility was better and conditions suitable for its emergency landing. The incident, which was first reported by Ahmedabad Mirror on September 12, went viral on social media on Tuesday when the transcript of the conversation between AI pilots and US Air Traffic Controller was put in public domain.
Aviation experts lauded the efforts of the pilot in landing the flight safely. Pawan Verma, pilot and air crash investigator, told Mirror : "The pilot must have been well-skilled as he landed the flight without any instrument help and just based on what he saw in front of his eyes."
19/09/18 Ahmedabad Mirror

Our pilots handled ILS failure incident professionally: Air India

New Delhi: Praising its pilots’ ‘professional handling’ of the incident with the Instrument landing System (ILS) failure, while landing at New York airport on September 11, 2018, Air India today said that handling of incidents like these ‘speaks volumes about the national carrier’s enviable safety record.’
“The cockpit crew of the Air India Boeing 777-300 aircraft operating flight AI-101 of September 11, 2018, from Delhi (India) to New York successfully made a non-scheduled landing at New Jersey Airport braving adverse weather conditions and unexpected technical issues, and proving once again the class, expertise and experience of Air India’s pilots to face any such eventuality and come out in flying colours. The professional approach with which they navigated the flight to land safe speaks volumes of Air India’s enviable safety record based on the airline’s strong foundations of training, engineering and maintenance standards and skillset of its operations crew,” the national carrier said in a statement.
The cockpit crew comprising Commanders Rustom Palia and Sushant Singh and co-pilots R S Bhatti and RS Vikas decided to initiate a Go Around reporting an unstable approach. “The decision to 'Go-Around' and divert was commendable and done in the interest of Flight Safety. The flight also carried more than adequate fuel reserves,” Air India said.
18/09/18 Economic Times

Assets monetisation to lift AI visage to tempt buyers

In a move to pare its debt, Air India has asked the National Building Construction Company (NBCC) to prepare a detailed project report (DPRs) on monetisation of its prime properties located at Baba Khadak Singh Marg in Connaught Place and Vasant Vihar in the national Capital.

The property at Vasant Vihar is spread on 30 acres and it houses Air India’s staff colony. The property at Baba Khadak Singh Marg is spread across 16,000 square metres. Air India is expected to raise Rs 3,000-4,000 crores through this monetisation process.

These two properties were surrendered by Air India to the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs last year.

The Government wants to expedite monetisation of Air India’s immovable assets to reduce its debt burden in a bid to make the airline attractive for privatisation.

Top sources said Air India has come up with a fresh roadmap on asset monetisation to tackle its fiscal woes. “At a high-level meeting held last week, Air India asked the NBCC to make separate roadmap for each properties,” sources added. As per the plan, the NBCC will make residential projects in the Vasant Vihar property, while it will raise commercial projects on the Baba Khadak Singh Marg property.
19/09/18 Pioneer

Income tax department conducts survey operation at Jet Airways

Mumbai: The income-tax (I-T) department has launched a two-day survey operation at the business premises of the Naresh Goyal-controlled Jet Airways in connection with alleged financial irregularities and suspicious transactions, said an I-T source privy to the development.

According to the source, the tax department is examining whether there is any falsification of the account books, siphoning of funds, and issue of suspicious bogus expenses booked to group entities. “Documents have been impounded and the books have been sent for verification,” said the source cited above.

The survey operation, being conducted by 50 tax officials, is taking place under Section 133A of the I-T Act at the airline’s four premises, including Andheri and Nariman Point, in Mumbai and Connaught Place in Delhi.
Sources said the I-T department is assessing whether the financial transaction would attract tax liability on the parties concerned. Accordingly, the evidence is being collected. Further, some of the top airline executives were being questioned during the first day of the survey operation, they added.
19/09/18 Shrimi Choudhary/Business Standard

Delhi, Mumbai airports among most connected intl aerodromes: Report

New Delhi: Airports in the national capital and Mumbai are among the 50 most connected international aerodromes, according to a report.
Delhi and Mumbai airports have been ranked at the 25th and 38th positions, respectively, in the Megahubs International Index 2018 prepared by digital flight information provider OAG.
The top 50 international megahubs are those airports with the highest ratio of possible scheduled international connections to the number of destinations served by the airport.
The list is topped by London's Heathrow airport with a connectivity index score of 333. Chicago O’Hare (score of 306) and Frankfurt (score of 302) airports are at the second and third places, respectively.
The score of Delhi airport stood at 168 while that of Mumbai was 127.
In the Asia Pacific region, Delhi airport is at the ninth spot, as per the report.
19/09/18 Outlook

2 GoAir pilots grounded for poor handling of September 1 engine failure

Mumbai: The two GoAir pilots who were operating the A320neo aircraft that suffered an engine failure on September 1 have been grounded for poor handling of the emergency.
Given the rising A320neo engine failures, the matter has spurred the need to monitor training standards of pilots. A twin-engine aircraft like an A320 can fly and land safely with a single, live engine unless the commander or co-pilot botches up diversion and subsequent landing.

On September 1, GoAir Bengaluru-Pune flight G8 283, which was carrying 169 passengers, had climbed to 13,500 ft when the left engine failed. In these cases, the pilots are supposed to divert and land at the nearest airport. Accordingly, the pilots landed it at Bengaluru, only the process was not an error-free one.

“The commander disconnected the auto-thrust, but failed to apply sufficient thrust manually to maintain airspeed. The airspeed fell dangerously low during the approach to land,” said a source. “The aircraft also came in low and landed way ahead of the touchdown zone.”
In case of an engine failure, the flight safety department of the airline downloads the digital flight data to go through the sequence of incidents before and after the failure to monitor the aircraft and the pilot’s performance. “The pilots were grounded after the read-out of the flight data recorder,’’ the source said.
19/09/18 Times of India

Planning a trip soon? Avail Rs 15,000 off on domestic, international flight bookings

Planning to book a flight soon? If yes, just hold on. Two of the country’s leading banking institutions – SBI and HDFC Bank – are offering several attractive offers on domestic and international flight bookings. You can avail their offers and get Rs 15,000 discount on making domestic and international flight bookings.
SBI, the country’s largest lender, is offering an instant discount of Rs 1,000 to its customers. The flyers can also pick the seat of their preference under the offer. The SBI offer is valid only on Fridays for making flight bookings with UPI payment mode on www.spicejet.com, according to SBI. The offer is valid till  September 28, 2018 and the journey can be taken on any day of the week. However, the offer is not valid on booking made via mobile app. In order to avail the offer, apply Promo Code UPI 1000 on the payment page.
The customer will receive an instant discount of  Rs 1000 for round-trip and Rs 500 for one-way booking, on the base fare and waiver of charges for the preferred seat selection. To avail the offer, customer must make the payment only via the UPI Payment mode, only through Virtual Payment Address (VPA) set up on BHIM SBI PAY.
19/09/18 Financial Express

Amritsar-Dubai Indigo flight from October 28

Amritsar: Indigo will start its international flight between Amritsar and Dubai from Sri Guru Ram Das Jee International Airport from October 28.
Fly Amritsar Initiative convener and secretary overseas, Amritsar Vikas Manch, Sameep Singh Gumtala, said this would be the third direct flight by Indian carriers from the Amritsar airport for Dubai. SpiceJet and Air India Express are successfully running their flights from here for the past few years.
18/09/18 Neeraj Bagga/Tribune

India, Morocco sign air services pact for better connectivity

New Delhi: India and Morocco on Wednesday signed the revised air services agreement enabling greater connectivity between two countries through a modernised agreement.
The delegation of the two countries has met thrice in the past years wherein they have worked towards liberalisation of markets between the two countries and updating of the existing air services agreement.
The two sides cleared the legal and technical difficulties and agreed to a modern new text for the
air services agreement. Thereafter, the document was formally signed during the visit of Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy Mohammed Sajid who signed for the Moroccan side and Union Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu who signed for the Indian side.
19/09/18 UNI

How Capt Ayodh Kapur and Tata Airlines took off

Captain Ayodh Kapur turns 95 this month. But age barely comes in the way of a fascinating conversation with him, embellished with memories of “flying with JRD (Tata) and for JRD” and the incident when his flight was hijacked in Beirut.

“I wanted to be a pilot,” says Kapur, who has seen aviation, and India, evolve, having taken part in the Quit India movement, even getting arrested. But where did all the action begin, for this nonagenarian? To trace that we need go go back in time.

On completing his intermediate in Science, Kapur joined Tata Airlines as an apprentice engineer in 1944. “How I came to be in Tata Airlines is another story,” says Kapur, who has lost sight in one eye because of a “faulty” cataract operation and has diminished vision in the other eye, caused by an age-related condition.

Tata Airlines started operations in 1932, when Tata Sons launched regular air mail services between Karachi and Madras (as Chennai was then known). In 1946, the airline changed its name to Air India and, two years later, launched a weekly Mumbai-London flight. In 1953, Parliament nationalised Tata Airlines into Air India and Indian Airlines.
19/09/18 PT Jyothi Datta/Business Line

Key Indian airport to allow widebody flights from UAE, Saudi Arabia

Widebody flights from the UAE and Saudi Arabia could soon land at India’s Calicut International Airport after the country’s civil aviation authority granted approvals toward the resumption of Boing 777 and Airbus A330 flights on the airport’s runway, according to reports.

“At any time, airline companies can begin operation of flights after getting the schedule. Saudia has already got approval from the DGCA after meeting the safety assessment and mitigation measures for the operation of wide-bodied aircraft,” Indian daily The Hindu quoted Calicut International Airport director K. Srinivasa Rao to say.

Calicut International Airport in Kerala is India’s 12 busiest, and Kerala’s third busiest airport. The airport banned widebody operations in 2015 as a result of a court inquiry into the cause of a 2010 Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in nearby Mangaluru in 2010.

Widebody operations could resume with Saudia as early as next month. Emirates is reportedly also in talks with aviation and airport officials, according to the report.
19/09/18 Shayan Shakeel/Arabian Business

IndiGo’s Mumbai-Ahmedabad flight makes emergency landing following a tyre burst

New Delhi: A major air mishap was averted after an IndiGo Airlines flight bound for Ahmedabad, reported a tyre burst while taking off from the Mumbai airport Wednesday evening. The pilot of flight 6E361, A320 quickly requested for an emergency landing at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, which was immediately approved by the Ahmedabad ATC.
In response to the pilot’s request, emergency procedures were initiated at the Ahmedabad airport and the aircraft was accorded full priority. The flight, carrying a total of 185 passengers, landed safely at the Ahmedabad airport at 7.21 pm. The passengers on board were unhurt as the plane made an emergency landing.
The higher authorities took cognizance of the matter and ordered a detailed inspection of the aircraft, which was parked at Ahmedabad airport.
19/09/18 Indian Express

Seaplane plans in troubled waters

Given the large and small waterbodies that dot the country, India provides an ideal opportunity for seaplane operations. Unlike a conventional aircraft, a seaplane can land both on a waterbody and on land, thereby opening up more opportunities for business and tourism.

Realising this, the government decided to make a second attempt at seaplane operations when it allowed scheduled operators to start their businesses. The first attempt was made by the Manmohan Singh government in 2010 when it launched seaplanes in Juhu in Mumbai and then operations in Andaman and Nicobar islands. Those attempts met with a quick death.

 The Kerala government recently decided to withdraw permission for seaplane operations in the State due to apprehensions expressed by the fishing communities that the project could affect their livelihood as also the reported differences between the investors in the consortium that intended to run the project.

Withdrawing from the project, the State government directed the dismantling of all the water-dromes set up for the service at Punnamada, Kumarakom, Ashtamudi and Bakel as well as re-deploying assets like speedboats and jetties in these locations for the promotion of adventure tourism.

“The objective of setting up seaplane operations is to increase connectivity in remote places without the huge cost of building highways and runways,” Dhall argues.

He points out that Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, the North-East, Andamans, Lakshadweep and other coastal areas are some destinations that could be amenable to seaplane operations.
Such optimism also perhaps explains why SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Japan’s Setouchi Holdings to explore opportunities to acquire small amphibious aircraft to improve air connectivity to places that do not have airport infrastructure. SpiceJet signed the MoU in October last year for acquiring upto 100 amphibian aircraft. The deal is valued at $400 million, with the aircraft being able to land both on land and water.
19/09/18 V Sajeev Kumar/Ashwini Phadnis/Business Line

Space & new flight cheer for airport

Patna: The congested city airport got more space for passengers and flights as chief secretary Deepak Kumar inaugurated a security hold area with a corresponding boarding gate on the first floor of the terminal building, and two portable cabins that will expand the security hold area on the ground floor.

The facilities were inaugurated on Vishwakarma Puja on Monday, and are expected to help ease the chaotic, crowded conditions that fliers have to face at an airport that was designed to cater to people in early 1970s when there were just a handful of flights.

Now, there are around 49 arrivals and 49 departures almost every day, and the situation becomes pathetic especially during winter when fog reduces visibility leading to congestion, flight diversion and no space to cater to hundreds of passengers.

"A hall has been created on the first floor and a boarding gate has been created. Additional space for passengers has been created on the ground floor too. With these, the airport could now take extra load of passengers of three aircraft now. The new facilities are very attractive and passengers could get a view of the runway while waiting," Deepak said while inaugurating the facilities.
19/09/18 Dev Raj/Telegraph

Trujet set to start Salem-Chennai flight service from October

There is good news for the residents of Salem and surrounding districts as an evening flight service will commence operations soon. The flight operation is expected to start next month. Trujet, which already has flight service to the airport, got the approval to operate second flight service from Salem, K. Mariappan, president of the Salem District Small Scale and Tiny Industries Association (SADISSTIA), has said in a statement.

 Airports Authority of India (AAI) has also reportedly given its approval for the flight service. Hyderabad-based Trujet already operates a morning service on the Salem–Chennai route since March 25, 2018. The service enjoyed more than 70 percent occupancy in the last five months, The Hindu reported.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami inaugurated the service under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of UDAN. Trujet also reportedly confirmed the report of introducing evening service in its winter schedule (October to March). The timings for the flights reportedly have not yet been confirmed.
18/09/18 ZeeBiz

Pay daily or we’ll turn off fuel supply: Oil companies to Air India

Oil marketing companies have threatened to stop selling jet fuel to Air India unless it clears its fuel bill on a daily basis even as the national carrier’s dues to oil companies have crossed Rs 5,000 crore, multiple people familiar with the development said. Air India buys fuel worth about Rs 20 crore daily, which the carrier has not been able to pay in full, forcing fuel companies to issue an ultimatum.
“Air India has not been regular with payments due to its financial problems,” a senior aviation ministry official said on a condition of anonymity. “Air India and oil companies are now negotiating.” The move from oil companies comes soon after Air India cleared outstanding dues to foreign and Indian lenders, and other vendors, using cash infusions from the government. The carrier, however, left out oil companies to whom it owes more than Rs 5,000 crore, including interest.
An oil ministry official said the airline has not been making its daily fuel payment in full for the past one and half years now. A senior Air India official said the recent increase in jet fuel prices has added to the situation. “We are speaking to oil companies on the issues and it is being resolved,” the person said.
19/09/18 Mihir Mishra/Sanjeev Choudhary/Economic Times

Kannur airport all set for trial landing ahead of inauguration

Kannur:  The trial landing at Kannur International Airport, using a Boeing 737/800 aircraft from Air India Express, will be held on Thursday morning. This is a major step before the inauguration of the airport scheduled for October end, as the commercial aircraft is landing here for the first time, said the officials.

The aircraft will depart from Thiruvananthapuram airport by 9am and reach Kannur by 9.45am, said an official press release.

“Though the airport is ready for commercial operation, the final license would be issued after the trial landing using a commercial aircraft, because this is a Greenfield airport,” said an official with KIAL.

This is a proving flight for the DVOR approach procedure check, and there will be a total of six approaches; three each at the 07 and 25 ends of the runway. It will also perform a docking trial, by docking with one of the Passenger Boarding Bridges (PBBs) in the airport apron, according to KIAL.
19/09/18 P Sudhakaran/Times of India

Decks cleared for Jewar airport, farmers authorise UP Govt to acquire land

Lucknow: Clearing the decks for the construction of the international greenfield airport at Jewar, farmers of the Greater Noida and adjoining areas met Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and handed him agreement letters, allowing the Government to acquire the land for the airport.

A delegation of the farmers from Greater Noida met the CM at his official residence on Wednesday and said that majority of them were ready to allow the Government to acquire land after paying the required compensation.

The CM told the delegation that the farmers had always played a key role in the development of the state and their contribution in the construction of the international greenfield airport at Jewar would be written in golden letters.

“On the part of the government, we will ensure that the farmers get the compensation as agreed and in case there is rehabilitation, the farmers will also get the rehabilitation package,” Yogi said.
19/09/18 Daily Pioneer

Fly to UK, US for less than Rs 14,000, but just with a ‘personal item’

Mumbai: If you can think out of the box and fly to the US or Europe without carrying even a hand bag, then Icelandic carrier Wow Air will fly you out of Delhi for as little as Rs 13,500, one way. Low-cost long-haul flights at eye-popping promotional fares are set to debut in India with the launch of Delhi-Reykjavik flights by Wow Air on December 7.
But there is a huge catch. You can carry only what the airline calls, a “personal item”, which could be small bag like a laptop bag or an office bag. You cannot carry any suitcase that goes into the cabin as a hand bag or any check-in bag. You also won’t be served food on board the 12-hour flight from Delhi to Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and onwards to Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston, Toronto, London or any of the destinations the airline connects to from its hub.

The cheapest fare is Rs 13,500 for flights to Reykjavik and onwards to at least 10 destinations in the US and Europe. But the Rs 13,500 basic fare is hard to come by and on Tuesday, most of these tickets were already booked. The next fare bucket was for Rs 26,000, which isn’t a great deal considering the ‘personal item’ condition.
19/09/18 Manju V/Times of India

Fly cheap but buy meals on board under Jet Airways' new economy fares for domestic flights

New Delhi: From next Tuesday, Jet Airways will offer a new category of low economy fares on its domestic flights in which meals will not be included and will need to be purchased on board. This category, light that will rolled out onboard from September 28, will be in addition to the current categories of economy fares where flyers continue getting meals without any extra charge. TOI had first reported that cash-strapped Jet will start selling meals on domestic flights on August 22.

Jet’s move comes on the heels of Tata-Singapore Airlines JV full service carrier (FSC) Vistara introducing a similar low category of economy fares, in addition to the regular ones. Now Air India is the only FSC that currently offers snacks or meals in all categories of economy fares on its domestic flights.

“Currently fare choices in economy offers five fares — light, deal, saver, classic and flex. Jet has now unbundled fares in light and deal categories for flights within India as… guests want the flexibility of competitive fares with the options to buy meals. From September 25, guests travelling in economy and booking light / deal fares for travel from September 28 on its flights within India, will be able to avail competitive low fares but (need to) buy meals from a specially curated on-board menu,” Jet said in a statement.
19/09/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Amaravati Boating Club inks pact with TruJet

Vijayawada:  In a first of its kind agreement, private airlines TruJet Airways and a water sports company, Amaravati Boating Club (ABC) Pvt Ltd, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Tuesday. It is to facilitate discounts and offers to each others’ customers for mutual benefit and to promote water sports in district. 

In a joint statement, the companies said that the aim of the agreement was to “provide a wholesome tourist experience for those flying to Vijayawada” and specified Bhavani Island, Kanaka Durga Temple and Amaravati (sightseeing) to be their target destinations. They will include these in the ‘bucket list tour itinerary’ for customers.

They also stated that the MoU stipulates TruJet to be the ‘official airline carrier’ for ABC and its customers, and ABC to be the ‘official water sports partner’ for TruJet airlines and its customers.
19/09/18 New Indian Express

Brussels Airlines to stop India flights from January ‘for economic reasons’

Brussels Airlines, the national airline of Belgium, is to stop its Mumbai to Brussels flight from January 7 next year.
In a communication to the travel community, the airline has said that the termination of the flight is part of a restructuring programme to improve the airline’s long-haul network and to optimise fleet utilisation on its Africa network, the key intercontinental market for the Belgium-based airline.
In a statement to the media, the airline added that the flight is being withdrawn for economic reasons.
“The flights were well-accepted by the Indian business and leisure travellers. However, from a global perspective it is necessary to withdraw the flights,” the airline said adding that the Lufthansa Group continues to maintain a strong footprint in Mumbai with three daily flights that include operations both to Frankfurt and Munich on Lufthansa and to Zurich on Swiss Airlines.
The statement adds that the combinability of fares between the Group carriers remains, which means customers starting their itinerary on Brussels Airlines flights can always return on Lufthansa or Swiss Airlines. “Passengers with existing Brussels Airlines flight segments beyond January 7, 2019 will be rebooked on other flights,” the communication adds.
19/09/18 Business Line

Delhi’s IGI Airport ranked among world’s top 20 most punctual international airports

Another big achievement by Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA)! The international airport of the national capital is leaving no stone unturned to offer best of the services to passengers. The IGI airport, which is one of the busiest airports of the world, has recently achieved the highest on-time performance (OTP), among the top 20 airports in the world that handle the most number of passengers. As per the data released by OAG (a UK-based air travel consulting company that analyses travel data) for the month of August, the airport of the capital city had achieved its highest punctuality in the financial year 2018-19 with an OTP of 82.9%. OTP refers to the measure of flights arriving or departing within 15 minutes of scheduled arrival or departure.

However, in comparison to smaller airports, the Delhi airport does not do as well. According to an HT report, it was in 348th position, considering the fact that many smaller airports, which handle around 10 departures every day, have a better OTP. But, after handling 630 departures a day, the airport achieved an OTP close to 83%. The overall ranking of the airport improved from 831 in May to 593 in June and 484 in July to 348 in August, the report stated.

Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) informed that in August, the airport handled 19,748 flight movements. A DIAL official was quoted in the report saying that several measures have been taken by the operator to enhance the OTP of all departing flights. The official further stated that the Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC) enables efficient handling of airport operations, which includes parking bay allocation. Also, for faster decision making, there is a dedicated flight operations performance committee involving all key stakeholders, the official added.
19/09/18 Devanjana Nag/Financial Express

Sri Lanka Will Not Hand Over Palaly Airport to India – Minister

New Delhi: Sri Lanka has rejected reports that the strategically important Palaly airport was being developed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). A day after, the Indian media quoted the AAI making such claims; the Sri Lankan government has made it clear that no decision has been made on handing over the domestic airport to India or any other country.

Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva informed the country's Parliament that the airport would be developed by local agencies.
Minister de Silva further added that the Higurakgoda, Batticaloa, Koggala, Digana, and Trincomalee airports would also be developed by local agencies to cater to the needs of its citizens.
The Times of India had reported quoting an Indian government official that India had offered to develop the Kankesanthurai airport in northern Sri Lanka, as well as the Mattala international airport in southern Sri Lanka, which borders the Hambantota Port developed by China.
19/09/18 Sputnik

India seeks to internationalise Jaffna airport

India’s state run airport development authority intends to develop plans for Jaffna’s Palaly airport to have international connectivity with places in South India, Malaysia and Thailand, the Times of India reports.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has entered into an agreement with India’s ministry of external affairs to produce a comprehensive report on the development of the airport, which remains under Sri Lankan military control.

Speaking to the Times of India, an unnamed official from the state run AAI said,

“AAI has signed an agreement with [Indian] ministry of external affairs for preparation of a detailed project report for the development of Palaly airport in Sri Lanka. Palaly is in Jaffna in the north. India had earlier promised to develop Palaly airport which as been a demand by the northern province for some time."
18/09/18 Tamil Guardian

HAL was dropped from Rafale deal by Congress government itself, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said the state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was excluded from the Rafale deal by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government itself. “HAL and Dassault [Aviation] couldn’t agree on production terms,” said Sitharaman while addressing the Indian Women’s Press Corps. “So HAL and Rafale couldn’t go together. Doesn’t that very clearly say who didn’t go together with HAL and under which government it happened.”
Since India signed an inter-governmental agreement with France in 2016 to buy 36 Rafale fighter jets at a cost of Rs 58,000 crore, it has been accusing the Narendra Modi government of getting an overpriced deal. The government has refused to reveal the per-plane price that it has negotiated in the deal, citing a secrecy agreement with France.
The Congress has claimed that the Narendra Modi government overlooked HAL to help a defence firm owned by Anil Ambani with no experience in the sector to land a mega contract under the deal. It has alleged that the government changed the contract to favour the industrialist without naming him.
18/09/18 Scroll.in

Pithoragarh airport being readied for regular flights

Pithoragarh's Naini Saini Airport is being readied to receive the first flight as part of the regular air service slated to start early next month. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is slated to inaugurate the Dehradun-Pithoragarh air service as part of Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme on October 7.

The work is being done under the supervision of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) which has deputed 12 expert engineers in the presence of Pantnagar airport director SK Singh.

He informed that the necessary arrangements at the airport are complete. Flight information system and an X-ray machine costing Rs 1.5 crore have been installed. Lighting system on the runway is also being given the final touches. Singh, further, said that the works are expected to be completed by September 30.
19/09/18 Pioneer

Girls in Aviation Day celebrated in Goa

Panaji: Women in Aviation International, India Chapter, and Lockheed Martin India in association with Airports Authority of India (AAI) on Wednesday celebrated Girls in Aviation Day at Goa Airport. With the vision to encourage girls to take up STEM subjects and explore career opportunities in related industries, the initiative is aimed at showcasing opportunities in the aviation and aerospace sectors. This initiative also aligns with the Government of India's Skills India initiative.
As part of the program, Women in Aviation International (India Chapter) invited 60 students from various schools for a tour of Goa Airport.
Visiting students were given an opportunity to explore, learn, and discover the various aspects of and roles in aviation and aerospace such as air traffic controller, airline dispatch, pilot, aviation maintenance technician, aeronautical engineer or aviation management. In addition, the girl students were given a tour of the ATC Tower, Airside, Terminal Building and AOCC and all their queries and questions were answered by the officials working in the respective departments.
Speaking on the occasion, Radha Bhatia, President, Women in Aviation International (India Chapter) said," This is the third year that the WAI India Chapter is celebrating 'Girls in Aviation Day' and we are delighted to host the same at Goa. This day is celebrated for the young girls to encourage them to choose aviation as a viable career opportunity. World over India has the maximum number of female pilots but there are many other avenues within aviation that are still unknown. With this celebration our aim is to see girls from the state of Goa explore exciting careers available to them as engineers, air traffic controllers and dozens of other jobs within aviation."
19/09/18 WebIndia123

Airport Road cave-in: Report sought by Saturday

Mohali: Gurneet Kaur Tej, chief administrator (CA), Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (Gmada) has sought a detailed report from Gmada chief engineer Sunil Kansal on the service road cave-in near the International Airport. The report is to be submitted on or before September 22.
The report was sought after the service road running along the main road leading to Chandigarh international airport caved in, putting commuters in danger.

The road is meant for taxis and other vehicles approaching the airport. The service road has been declared unfit for use and has been closed to traffic. It caved in at three different places, said Sunil Kansal.

The airport road, an ambitious project of the Badal government, was constructed at a cost of Rs 169 crore three years ago. It was in the news for its faulty design and poor construction work. A vigilance inquiry is underway. Many samples were taken by experts before repair work was conducted. To the embarassment of Gmada, the service lane, which is part of the airport road, has caved in.
19/09/18 Times of India

Affected Families of PG Airport request PM for postponement of Visit

Gangtok: In the wake of Prime Minister’s visit for Inauguration of Greenfield Pakyong Airport, families affected due to the project have requested him for a later date due to their case pending in the Court here.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Pakyong on September 23 for the inauguration.
"We have written to him and met Governor informing about matter being sub-judice," said OP Bhandari pleading in favour of the Project Affected Families. As per the Report of the Central Building Research Institute, the cracks in the land adjacent to Airport are due to construction of the Airport.Hence the concerned families demanding all the relief as per the law of the land,had filed a Writ Petition no 54 in2016 of Benu Dhakal & others V/S Union of India & others.
18/09/18 UNI

Indore: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar is the Asia Pacific Region’s best airport

Indore: Devi Ahilyabai Holkar Airport has won the best airport of Asia-Pacific Region award of Airport Council International (ACI). Airport director airport director Aryama Sanyal received the award during inauguration of ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit held in Halifex Canada on September 12. The award is a recognition of quality passenger services in 2017 through passengers’ feedback. Sanyal received the award at a glittering ceremony in presence of Airport Authority of India (AAI) director (operations) IN Murthy.  The city airport was adjudged the best airport under 2 million passengers’ traffic in Asia Pacific Region for 2017.
The Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme is the only globally-established benchmark to measure passengers’ satisfaction while travelling through an airport. It measures passengers’ satisfaction on 34 key performance indicators. ACI is headquartered in Montreal and keeps a watch on quality of services provided to passengers at airports across the world. An overwhelmed director Aryama Sanyal said, “Indore and Ahmedabad from India were among 15 airports across the world vying for the award.”
19/09/18 FreePressJournal

BJP On Jay Panda Chopper Controversy: Why Will Naveen Not Be Arrested?

A day after former Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Jay Panda’s chopper was seize for allegedly flying over Chilika lake, opposition BJP hit back saying it was Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who had violated the rules several times, and he should be arrested first.

“It is the Chief Minister who should be arrested first because he has repeatedly flown over Chilika,” leader of the BJP in the Assembly Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo said Tuesday.

Odisha Police on Monday seized Jay Panda's chopper for flying over Chilika lake, an eco-sensitive zone with a no-flying restriction. An FIR has been lodged against Panda by the police in this regard.

However, inquiries by Outlook found that Chilika is not in the list of ‘no fly’ zones designated by the DGCA. This has also been confirmed by CDA Director Sushanta Nanda.
19/09/18 Outlook

Panda flies into low-height row

Bhubaneswar: Odisha police have summoned former MP Baijayant 'Jay' Panda and his two friends for allegedly flying over the Chilika lake at a height less than 500ft causing threat to the sensitive ecosystem of the Ramsar site and breaching aviation rules.
Superintendent of police, Puri, Sarthak Sarangi said: "Based on the FIR lodged by the Chilika Development Authority (CDA), we have sought a report from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about the chopper that flew over Chilika."
"The Airports Authority of India has said only one chopper that belonged to Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys (IMFA), the company owned by Panda's family, took off from Bhubaneswar airport on September 15. We have asked Panda and his friends to report before the police by 11am on Wednesday at the Puri Sadar police station," he said.
The police lodged an FIR following a complaint from the CDA with the Marine police station at Arakhakuda in Puri that the chopper had on Saturday violated air rules and flew at a height less than 500ft threatening fishermen in the Chilika lagoon.
Authorities of the Biju Patnaik International Airport had assigned a flight height of 500ft for the "R-44" type helicopter that Panda piloted.
19/09/18 Subhashish Mohanty and Lelin Mallick/Telegraph

App-based cab services to start at Surat airport

Surat: Like the airports in the metro cities, passengers at the Surat airport will shortly be able to avail services of the web-based cab aggregators to commute in the Diamond City.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is in the process of issuing e-tender for inviting proposals from the cab aggregators for setting up services at the Surat airport. The move will ensure hassle-free commuting and better services to air travellers in the country.

Official sources said that transportation is the biggest stumbling block at the Surat airport. Recently, the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) extended the BRTS services at the airport, but the increase in flight frequency at the airport is not matching with the timings. However, the passengers coming from other cities are finding it difficult to commute from the airport to various parts of the city.
19/09/18 Times of India

Paperless boarding at Chennai airport from 2020

Chennai: Boarding flights from the city airport will be a breeze for travellers from 2020, as the airport management is set to establish camera-enabled e-gates which use facial recognition technology to verify passengers’ identity. The system will be introduced by the end of the next year.

As part of the DigiYatra scheme, the Chennai airport is gearing up to introduce a biometric and face recognition system for paperless boarding of passengers from entry gates of the terminal to the boarding gates. The scheme aims to develop a digital ecosystem that will offer a seamless, consistent and paperless service experience at airports.

As part of the system, e-gates with cameras and scanners will be installed at entry gates of the terminals, checkin area, security check gates and boarding gates where passengers will be allowed based on face recognition technology. The e-gate at the entry gate of the terminal will capture the QR code of tickets and face of the passengers and will match it with the database to allow entry through the gates at check in, security and boarding.
19/09/18 V Ayyappan/Times of India

Pune airport to auction unclaimed ‘lost’ items

Pune: Unclaimed walking sticks, golf clubs, baby walkers, jackets, electronic goods and even handbags left behind by passengers at the Pune airport will soon go under the hammer.
Officials at the airport will auction these items for three days, starting on September 25. A total of 454 jackets, 6 blazers, 8 leather jackets, many other garments, 27 handbags, 23 small bags, 24 purses, 45 shawls, 20 walking sticks, 4 walkers, 1 golf club, 12 seating mats are up for grabs this time.
“The Pune airport hosts more than 14,000 passengers every day. On any given day, as many as 10-15 different kinds of items are left behind by passengers,” said an airport official. “Items that remained unclaimed until March this year are being auctioned off this time,” he added.
19/09/18 Joy Sengupta/Times of India

Mock bomb drill at city airport

Kolkata: A mock bomb drill was conducted at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here on Wednesday, a release by the airport authorities said.

The threat preparedness evacuation drill was needed to test co-ordination and response of all the agencies functioning in the airport in keeping with the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) requirements.

As a part of the drill conducted by the Airports Authority of India and the CISF, all passengers and staff members at the international terminal were evacuated, the release said.
19/09/18 PTI/India.com

Tanzania: 'ATCL Likely to Resume India Flights From November'

New Delhi: AIR Tanzania is expected to resume services to India from November this year, a top official of the Tanzania Tourist Board has said.

Air India and Air Tanzania had direct flights between the two countries but the operations were stopped in mid-1990s due to commercial reasons.

"We received tremendous support and interest from Indians. Now with the new airline 'Air Tanzania', starting (to Mumbai) from this November, we expect the increase in number of tourists from India to Tanzania, Tanzania Tourist Board Managing Director Devota Mdachi said.

The board hosted a roadshow here on Monday to showcase the cultural richness of the land and to give insights about famous tourist attractions of Tanzania.
18/09/18 All Africa

HC seeks affidavit on Bangkok flight

Chandigarh: Less than a week after Air India announced discontinuation of its Chandigarh-Bangkok flight, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed the airlines to file an affidavit. The direction came after the airlines told the court that the flight might be re-launched on October 1.

As the petition filed in public interest for making the Chandigarh airport fully operational for international flights came up for resumed hearing, a statement on re-launching the flight was made by Air India. It came after the Bench was told about the announcement of suspension of the flight.

Taking note of the developments, the Bench directed Air India to file an affidavit. The court also asked Air India to furnish details of starting a flight to Singapore from Chandigarh. The Bench of Chief Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Arun Palli, in fact, directed Air India to clarify the position regarding the Bangkok and Singapore flights by filing an affidavit. “Don’t compel the court to take strict action, we will not hesitate in summoning your CMD,” the Bench observed.
19/09/18 Tribune

Two helicopters of Kingfisher Airlines auctioned for Rs 8.5 crore

Two helicopters of defunct Kingfisher Airlines were auctioned Wednesday for over Rs 8.5 crore, according to an official. The Airbus helicopters were put on the block by lenders to recover outstanding dues from fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who owned Kingfisher Airlines. An official in the know of the development told PTI that the two helicopters were auctioned for over Rs 8.5 crore Wednesday. The total reserve price for the two choppers was Rs 3.5 crore, as per the sale proclamation document issued by the Debts Recovery Tribunal.
The e-auction was held in Bengaluru. A representative of New Delhi-based Choudhary Aviation Facilities claimed that it has emerged as the winning bidder in the auction and would pay Rs 8.57 crore for the two helicopters. Debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines went belly up in October 2012. Mallya is wanted by Indian authorities in the over Rs 9,000-crore Kingfisher Airlines loan default case.
19/09/18 PTI/Financial Express

Only in ANI: Civilians fly in a defence aircraft

Port Blair: In a landmark move introduced for the first time in the country, the Dornier aircraft services of the Andaman and Nicobar Command has benefited more than 6000 passengers in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (ANI) since its launch in 2016. Meant solely for use of defence forces, IAF aircraft fly civilians only during cases of emergency, but this is an exception. After approval by the Ministry of Defence, the Andaman and Nicobar Command in collaboration with the UT Administration launched the Dornier 228 aircraft services in August 2016 between Port Blair, Car Nicobar and Campbell Bay. With over 665 sorties carried out till date, the imitative has benefited thousands of islanders, including patients in the southern group of islands.
As per records of the Tri-Services Command, around 6206 civilians have availed the Dornier services for inter-island travel since 2016. More than 665 sorties have been carried out by IAF’s Dornier 228 aircraft till date for civilian services. The Department of Civil Aviation put the figures at 6000. “Approximately 6000 passengers have been benefited by the Dornier services of the armed forces in the southern group. With a passenger capacity of 10, around 312 trips were carried out between Port Blair-Car Nicobar-Campbell Bay. Besides, 4 helicopters of Pawan Hans operating in different sectors have contributed significantly in providing air connectivity in these Islands. Plans are afoot to augment air services under the UDAAN scheme launched by the Union Government recently,” said a senior official of the Civil Aviation Department.
18/09/18 Roopa Lall/Echo of India

Rs 6-crore gold haul, biggest at airport

The Mohali police made the biggest gold seizure till date at the international airport here today. A father-son duo landed here with gold and silver jewellery worth Rs 6 crore. They arrived on a flight from Hyderabad and have been identified as Dhanraj Meenawala and Rajesh Meenawala.
The airport SHO, Inspector HS Bal, said, “The duo claimed that they were carrying the gold for displaying it in exhibitions.” However, the police had secret information about the gold and nabbed them as soon as they landed at the airport. They started their journey from Mumbai, stopped at Hyderabad and then came to Chandigarh.
19/09/18 Tribune

First look out circular against Vijay Mallya for ‘detention at airport’ was not sustainable in law: CBI

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday said that the first Look Out Circular (LOC) against fugitive liquor baron Vijay Mallya for his detention at the airport was not sustainable in law, news agency PTI reported.
The premier investigation agency added that the LOC needed correction as there was no warrant against him at that time.
The PTI report quoted its CBI sources as saying that the agency had no grounds to arrest Vijay Mallya on November 24, 2015 when he returned from London on the basis of LOC issued on October 16, 2015 calling for his detention.
The PTI report quoted its CBI sources as saying that the agency had no grounds to arrest Vijay Mallya on November 24, 2015 when he returned from London on the basis of LOC issued on October 16, 2015 calling for his detention.
18/09/18 India TV

Woman caught by customs for smuggling gold in rectum at Delhi airport

A 53-year-old woman has been arrested by customs officials for allegedly trying to smuggle 900 grams gold into the country in her rectum, according to an official statement issued Tuesday.

She was intercepted on her arrival from Bangkok on Monday.

"Her personal search resulted in recovery of two pieces of gold, crudely given a cylindrical shape, from her rectum, total weighing 900 grams, having market value of Rs 27.54 lakh," the statement issued by the customs said, adding that the passenger has been arrested and the gold seized.
18/09/18 India Today

Former Employee Levels Rape Charges Against Air Odisha Chief

Bhubaneswar: A woman hailing from Kolkata brought rape charges against her former employer and Air Odisha chief, Santosh Pani today.
In a complaint filed at Khandigiri Police Station, the woman alleged that Santosh Pani raped her twice. “I joined Santosh Pani’s company in July 2018 as security supervisor. Pani had forcefully offered me a ride to my home and even harassed me in the car. Later, he forcibly entered my rented accommodation and raped me,” said the complainant who is currently engaged with Air Deccan.
Countering the allegations, Pani said, “The woman had an argument with the staff after which she filed a complaint against them. Later, the office staff followed suit and filed a counter complaint against her. Investigations revealed that her claims were false. It was then that she threatened legal action against us in an email. Later, she resigned and quit the company. Her salary has been released recently. This is a pre-planned false case filed against me.”
19/09/18 Bikram Keshari Jena/Odisha TV

CISF nabs 2 for carrying 7 gold bars concealed in body cavity at Imphal Airport

New Delhi: The Central Industrial Security Force on Tuesday nabbed two passengers at Imphal airport carrying seven gold bars concealed in their body cavity.
According to CISF, around 1500 hrs on September 18 at Security Hold Area (SHA) of Imphal Airport, a CISF personnel noticed presence of metal in body (rectum area) of two passengers.
The passengers identified as Madan Mohan and Vijay Sharma, resident of Haryana, were supposed to travel from Imphal to Delhi by Air India flight.
On suspicion, both were taken for thorough checking at separate place. During enquiry, they revealed that they were carrying gold bars inside their body cavity (rectum).
18/09/18 UNI

Mid-flight shoe swap for gold thwarted aboard Air India's Dubai-Bangalore flight

Bengaluru: Customs officials officials have claimed to have successfully thwarted a mid-air attempt to smuggle gold on board an Air India flight from Dubai. The episode ended with the arrest of two men and seizure of gold worth Rs 41.3 lakh.
The officials claimed that the modus operandi was to grind gold ornaments into a paste and conceal it in the inner lining of the footwear of one of the carriers who boarded the flight from Dubai. The footwear was exchanged with his accomplice for whom the adjacent seat was booked from Goa where the plane has a scheduled pitstop before its final landing at Bengaluru airport.
The officials reportedly had received a tip-off about the first passenger from Dubai identified as Puthan Veedu Samseer Ali and his accomplice, Salman Faris Ali. Both men were frisked and detained at the city airport on Sunday.
19/09/18 Bangalore Mirror 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Vistara may not get to fly overseas just yet, says report

Tata-Singapore airline joint venture Vistara may not get approval to fly overseas as it is yet to complete five years in the aviation industry, The Economic Times reported.
The aviation ministry is not keen on giving permission to the airline as there is an inquiry into the relaxation of overseas flying norms by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), reported ET on Tuesday.
“We are trying to understand as to how would a CBI inquiry into the relaxation of 5/20 impact any move to allow airlines to fly internationally under the 0/20 rule,” sources told the paper.
The norms stated earlier allowed Indian airlines to fly overseas only after a domestic flying experience of five years and after attaining a fleet of 20 aircraft. However, these norms were relaxed in June 2016 to just 20 aircraft fleet.
The source told the paper that the bigger concern is that the agency is also inquiring about the procedure followed by this government. The CBI is inquiring into the AirAsia India’s case where alleged pay-offs to government officials and lobbyists had been done to do away the older norms.
18/09/18 CNBC-TV18

More Indians Are Taking To The Skies Than Ever Before

More Indians are taking to the skies revealed the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) 2017 published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
According to the report, India ranked third among passenger traffic by nationality, with United States of America (US) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) bagging the top two positions, respectively. The fourth and fifth positions were bagged by United Kingdom (UK) and Germany, respectively.
However, India (161.5 million or 4.7 per cent of all passengers) was significantly behind the US (632 million representing 18.6 per cent of all passengers) and PRC (555 million or 16.3 per cent of all passengers) but better off compared to the UK (147 million or 4.3 per cent of all passengers) and Germany (114.4 million or 3.4 per cent of all passengers).
This is the first time that ranking of passenger traffic by nationality, for international and domestic travel, was undertaken, WATS said in its report. Nationality here refers to the passenger’s citizenship as opposed to the country of residence.
18/09/18 Uttara Gangopadhyay/Outlook

Firm launches shared services in India with copters, planes

Mumbai: It is something like the Uber moment for the Indian skies as SkyShuttle, a new and differentiated product by private charter aviation company JetSetGo, on Monday launched shared air car services operating both inter and intra-city rides deploying helicopters and private jets.

The company that started operations in 2014 as a private charter planes operator is seeing its recent move as a precursor to getting the vertical take off and landing machines, or VTOLs, in India and also giving to its clients the electric plane experience where it sees itself expanding in the future.

“SkyShuttle product is a totally different product from the core product at JetSetGo. It is basically replicating cars with flying devices something that will take India be VTOL ready,” said Kanika Tekriwal, co-founder and CEO at JetSetGo. “There are 19 companies that offer the VTOL but there is not anyone in Asia and India as the infrastructure supporting this is still a challenge here,” she said.
The whole concept works on sharing economy basis with the idea being to seamlessly transport people. “Traffic on Indian roads is bad; as operators, we do not have the fastest possible mobility from one point to another in shortest possible time. With these air car services, we aim to enable that eco-system to get the country ready,” she said, a reason why Mumbai is picked to kickstart operations.
18/09/18 Manisha Singhal/Financial Express

Elderly Couple Alleges Apathy On Board Jet Airways Flight

Mumbai: An elderly couple travelling from Kolkata to Delhi onboard Jet Airways 9W-964 on September 6 fretted, shouted and then finally gave up as they settled onto their seats convinced that nobody will come to their rescue. As I was travelling on board the same flight, I went up to them and asked what transpired while boarding the flight.

Mr. MC Nath who, along with his wife who suffers from a paralytic condition, is a frequent traveller, was highly disappointed with the kind of behaviour meted out to them by Jet Airways staff members. The elderly couple, owing to the medical condition, had requested for wheelchair assistance and also to be boarded first. The Jet Airways staff readily agreed but it’s the execution of assistance that had upset the couple so much that the couple almost choked while controlling their tears and narrating the ordeal to me.

‘My wife is paralysed for 20 years now. We wanted to be boarded first as we have to keep our bags with medicines and other necessary items nearby. Sometimes the compartment above the seats get filled up immediately and one has to keep the bags far away in other compartments overhead. This is what happened with us. Firstly the assistant assigned to us arrived late without any valid reason then we didn’t find a nearby compartment to keep our bags and then I had to shout to make them understand that treat us with respect. I will never travel via Jet Airways ever,’ narrated Mr. MC Nath.
17/09/18 Shantasree Sarkar/Republic World