Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Chennai Airport’s integrated terminal building to be ready by Sept 2020

The new T2 integrated terminal building at the Chennai airport is expected to be ready by September 2020 to handle international passenger traffic movement, according to CV Deepak, Officiating Airport Director, Airports Authority of India (AAI), Chennai International Airport.
The biggest challenge during the construction was that it was carried out in between two terminals when the operations at the airport was going on. Despite this, the project went on, he said at the 4th edition of Chennaiinfra, a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry on planning for a sustainable Chennai, utility and services, industry infrastructure and future outlook of the city.
“On commissioning of the T2 building, the demolition of the existing old terminal will commence. By February 2022, there will be a fully integrated terminal with a capacity to handle nearly 40 million passengers, and envisaged for 2031, 2032-2035,” he said.
Deepak said when the first phase of the airport's infrastructure expansion was taken up in 2013, the airport had a capacity to handle only 15 million passengers. However, last year, the traffic touched 22 million, and there were severe constraints on the existing infrastructure.
With growth in domestic traffic of 11.8 per cent and international traffic at 7.6 per cent, AAI had decided on modernising the airport under phase II.

In 2018, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs had approved the infrastructure project at a cost of ₹2,467 crore, he said. When the traffic reaches 35-40 million, there is an eminent need for second airport. For the second airport it is important to look at the additional infrastructure such as highway and metro rail connectivity, he added.
04/12/19 Business Line

IndiGo working on the NEO engine issue, says capacity and revenue could be hit this FY

IndiGo has said that it is working with engine supplier Pratt & Whitney and aircraft manufacturer Airbus to acquire sufficient spare engines and 'mitigate the risk', after industry regulator DGCA asked it to replace engines of its A320Neo aircraft.
The DGCA, in multiple communications, asked the country's largest airline to replace all unmodified engines in the Neo aircraft. The regulator had also asked the airline to ground one aircraft with the unmodified engine, for every addition of a plane with the modified engine.

The DGCA, in multiple communications, asked the country's largest airline to replace all unmodified engines in the Neo aircraft. The regulator had also asked the airline to ground one aircraft with the unmodified engine, for every addition of a plane with the modified engine.

The directive came after multiple incidents of engine snags of the Neo aircraft, raising a security scare. IndiGo has 98 A320 Neo aircraft in its fleet.

Consequently, the engine modification and resultant grounding of aircraft is "likely to have an impact on future capacity," the airline said in a presentation to investors earlier this month.

"Expect a year-on-year (YoY) capacity increase of 15-20 percent in Q4 FY20 and 22-23 percent in FY20," IndiGo added. This capacity growth guidance is against the earlier outlook, in which the airline targetted a 30 percent increase in capacity.
04/12/19 Moneycontrol

What Jewar Airport brings to the National Capital Region

Noida: On November 29, the Swiss company Zurich International Airport AG won the bid for a new airport in Jewar in Greater Noida, near Delhi. The airport is being planned as India’s largest, with a proposed six to eight runways once it is fully operational.

What is the need for an Airport at Jewar?
The Jewar Airport primarily aims to reduce the load on Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport. It will be the third airport in the National Capital Region, after IGI Airport and the newly opened Hindon Airport (in Ghaziabad). Traffic at Jewar Airport is estimated at 12 million passengers per annum in the first phase of the project, and expected to go up to 70 million ppa once all phases are completed. The IGI Airport is set to reach its peak capacity of 110 million in the next six or seven years. Hindon Airport in Ghaziabad, which became operational in October this year, is currently limited to two airlines.

What led to the choice of the location?
Jewar Airport will be about 72 km from IGI Airport, 40 km from Noida and Ghaziabad, 28 km from Greater Noida, and 65 km from Gurgaon. It will be an alternative not only for passengers within NCR (or fliers travelling to NCR from the airport) but also for several cities in western Uttar Pradesh. For Agra, Bulandshahr or Aligarh, Jewar Airport will be within 150 km and therefore closer than IGI Airport. “The location of Jewar Airport will help passengers from not only Delhi but UP, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Haryana as well,” said Shailendra Bhatia, nodal officer of Noida International Airport Limited.
For connectivity, the Yamuna Expressway Development Authority is looking at options that include a rapid rail transport system and dedicated bus routes. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, in cooperation with the Noida Metro Rail Corporation, is carrying out an expert study into the feasibility of extending the Metro’s Pink Line until Jewar. For those travelling by road, Jewar is connected to the rest of Greater Noida by the Yamuna Expressway.
04/12/19 Amil Bhatnagar/Indian Express

Kial all set to celebrate first anniversary

Kannur: With the Kannur International Airport all set to celebrate its first anniversary, the collective of the passengers in the maiden flight, to Abu Dhabhi, on the inaugural day on December 9, 2018, are all set to embark on a different campaign to get the nod for the foreign operators from Kial, as part of which nearly 100 among them would fly to Abu Dhabi on the anniversary day from here.
A special committee, historic flight journey committee, set up for the purpose, said that their aim is not just to relive that moment when they travelled in the maiden flight, but also to make the authorities take steps to ensure proper development of the airport.

“Though the airport is one of the biggest facilities in the state, it would be able to realize the dream of the region only when there are more flights, especially the bigger aircraft by foreign operators,” said C Jayachandran, chairman of the committee and an entrepreneur, who travelled in the first flight from Kial.

The aim of this unique campaign is to let the world hear their voice and the demand for more aircraft from Kannur, without creating any provocation, he said, adding that such an air travel for a cause would be for the first time in the history of world aviation.

Apart from this, they are also organizing a development seminar, ‘Kannur-Runway to future’, in Kannur and Dubai on December 8 and 10 respectively, to invite the attention of the authorities and also to ensure the development of the airport, said the people behind the mission.
04/12/19 Times of India

Taking wings! Vistara gets Rs 600-crore boost from promoters

Vistara has received infusion of Rs 600 crore from its promoters — Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines — at a time when the carrier is planning rapid international expansion and domestic yields are under pressure due to a fare war.

The airline’s board approved the allotment of 600 million shares of `10 each to the two promoters on November 28, according to a filing with the ministry of corporate affairs.
A Vistara spokesperson did not reply on the fund-raising till the time of going to the press. While Tata Sons owns 51% in Vistara, Singapore Airlines has the balance 49% in the full-service carrier. According to the aviation regulator, Vistara held 5.4% domestic market share in October 2019.

Tata group has been on an investment mode in its aviation business since its launch in 2014. So far the promoters of Vistara have infused over Rs 1,500 crore in FY20.

The loss-making carrier had raised Rs 2,200 crore in FY19. Vistara’s net losses almost doubled to Rs 831 crore in FY19 due to a tough operating environment. Its operating revenues increased 41% year-on-year to Rs 2,994 crore in the year ended March 31, 2019.
AirAsia India, Tata’s other joint venture carrier with Malaysia-based AirAsia Berhad, also witnessed an investment of Rs 500 crore from the promoters in April 2019.
04/12/19 Arun Nayal/Financial Express

Air India appeals against Rs 20L relief

Although a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Pradeep Singh Yerur admitted
Air India’s writ appeal on Tuesday, the court ordered the airline to deposit Rs 10 lakh until the
matter is adjudicated.
The fine was imposed by Justice B Veerappa on a petition filed by Dr S J Rajlakshmi and her 63-
year-old mother Dr Sobha in November 2019. The women, who are from Bengaluru, had flown to
London in July 2016. At the Heathrow airport, however, the airline sta failed to provide them with
timely wheelchair assistance. The women had to wait for 16 hours and ended up missing a
connecting flight to Scotland.
During a preliminary hearing on the writ appeal, the airline’s counsel D V Pavamana argued that
the women had booked the tickets through a travel agency and that there were no lapses on the
part of Air India.
04/12/19 Shivakumar Menasinakai/Deccan herald

2nd runway at KIA is an airside area, gets CISF protection

The second runway of the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) which will be inaugurated on December 5 has been declared an airside area, restricting the accessibility of the public.
Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel have been deployed around the runway for security purposes. “A security detail has been laid along the runway perimeter, including the watchtowers,” said a source.
An airside area is accessible only to passengers and staff of the airport and those entering this area will be screened by the security personnel in compliance with the regulations laid down by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security.
The second runway or the New South Parallel Runway, measuring 4000 metres in length and 45 metres in width will only be limited to departures initially. Though the runway is Code F and Cat IIIB compliant, it will be operating on CAT I standard certification when it begins operations and will progressively evolve to CAT IIIB as operations stabilise.
04/12/19 Bangalore Mirror

AAI passes tender to allot exclusive advt rights for Kullu Manali Airport

Airport Authority of India calls for bid to allot exclusive advertising rights for Kullu Manali Airport for a period of 5 years, including inside & outdoor media formats. As per the tender, the concessionaire will have to design, develop, operate and market the advertising opportunity in the entire airport estate.

The tender will award the rights for complete media boquet including static - large, medium and small size formats as well as digital media.

The EMD amount is Rs. 1,11,220/-, to be remitted through NEFT/RGTS in the AAI bank account. The last date of submitting the bids is 19th of December, 2019, with the total cost estimated to be of Rs. 61,21,440/- with escalations from the completion of the first year.
04/12/19 Media4Growth

Retired pilot claims dues, NCLT Delhi revives second case against Air India

New Delhi: The New Delhi bench of the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) revived another case of insolvency against Air India, filed by a retired pilot of the airline. The pilot has claimed dues close to Rs 70 lakh from the debt-laden airline. The case will be next heard on January 14.

The dues of the retired pilot are for the period between July 2012 and January 2016. Apart from the retired pilot, a serving pilot of the company has also recently moved an insolvency application against the airline, claiming dues of nearly Rs 1 crore.

Under Section 9 of The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), salaried employees can, acting as operational creditors, initiate insolvency proceedings against a corporate debtor.

A two-member bench led by Justice Deepti Mukesh also suggested that counsel for Air India could mention the case before NCLT President Justice M M Kumar and get both the cases listed there to avoid duplicity in orders passed by different benches of the same adjudicating authority.
The NCLT had agreed to hear the case filed by the serving pilot, following an October order by a two-judge Supreme Court Bench of Justice Rohinton Nariman and Justice V Ramasubramanian, which set aside the tribunal’s decision to adjourn the case sine die.
04/12/19 Asshish Aryan/Indian Express

Jaipur airport gets new arrival hall

Jaipur: Passengers who arrived here on Indigo flight 6E 415 from Bangalore were welcomed with chocolates and roses by the airport authorities in the newly constructed arrival lobby in Terminal-2 on Wednesday.
“We have extra wash rooms, three extra conveyer belts and passengers helpdesk at the new hall which has extra space and facilities. Since we are growing as an airport in terms of passengers , this was needed,” said Jaideep Singh Balhara, director of Jaipur airport during inauguration.
On the idea of welcoming passengers, he said, “It has been made to cater to them only. Thus we planned the inauguration in a way which will make passengers happy.” He added that in next couple of months, extra departure halls would also be ready. “In this arrival hall, we have extra seating facility for those who visit the airport to receive their relatives and friends,” he added.
Balhara added that with increasing load, the authorities are planning and working to introduce new extension in facilities.
04/12/19 Times of India

Centre questions need to privatize profit-making city airport

Nagpur: The union ministry of civil aviation has asked Mihan India Ltd (MIL) whether it is justified to lease out Nagpur airport to a private player as it would only reduce government’s income from current level. MIL is a joint venture between the state government’s Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC) and Airports Authority of India, a Central government body.
MIL is yet to send its reply to the query but it is learnt the agency will be contending that a private player will be needed to pump in required investment for developing the airport infrastructure as envisaged.

GMR Airports Ltd emerged as highest bidder for taking over Nagpur airport over a year ago. The private companies were supposed to bid on the basis of revenue share to be offered to MIL. Initially GMR had offered to pay 5.73% of the revenue generated from airport operations and was the highest bidder too. In March this year, the offer was hiked to 14.49% after which the MIL board approved the bid.

The final takeover will be subject to scrutiny by the project management implementation committee (PMIC) and Union cabinet. PMIC includes representatives of the union civil aviation ministry also. In a meeting held on August 30, the secretary civil aviation sought an explanation on financial justification behind privatization of Nagpur airport.

The secretary contended airport was being operated by the government undertaking and has earned a profit of Rs49 crore in 2019. It will continue to earn more profits as traffic is estimated to grow at 20% annually. At current level, revenue share offered by the private party will amount to Rs15 crore. “As the airport is already earning Rs49 crore, how is it justified to lease it out to a private party that will pay only Rs15 crore,” he has asked.
04/12/19 Shishir Arya/Times of India

SC allows additional terminal at Agra airport

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Wednesday permitted building of an additional terminal at airport in Agra near Taj Mahal but made it clear that it would not allow increase in air traffic on the airfield as that will be hazardous to environment and asked the Centre to consider luxurious trains like the "Palace on wheels" to the city.

  The apex court also directed the Centre to consider an alternative airport site to meet the increase in the air traffic due to rise in tourist influx to visit the Taj Mahal and other destinations in and around Agra in Uttar Pradesh.

Further, the top court said it has been informed that the Railways can provide more excellent trains like the "Palace on wheels" and such trains could have employed to transport passengers from the new air field to the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), Agra.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde made it clear that it was willing to allow the construction of additional terminal at the existing airport but was against increasing the air traffic which could "damage" the environment in an "eco-sensitive area" having some world heritage sites including Taj Mahal.
The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, took on record the submission of senior advocates Ajit Kumar Sinha, appearing for the Airport Authority of India and environmentalist lawyer M C Mehta who opposed the project.
04/12/19 PTI/Pioneer

32 flights delayed at city airport

Ahmedabad: For the second day in a row, flight operations, particularly those by GoAir, were adversely affected due to multiple factors; as a result of which, passengers taking flights to various destinations remained stranded at various airports. Departure and arrival of 32 flights were affected from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad. These include 29 flights operated by GoAir in addition to two more flights operated by other airlines. That apart, a SpiceJet flight to Jabalpur was also diverted to Bhopal.
GoAir flights from Ahmedabad to Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru were affected by some two hours. The worst affected operation was the flight from Ahmedabad to Chandigarh which was delayed by 7 hours. That apart, flights to destinations such as Hyderabad, Goa, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Nagpur, were delayed in the range of 1 hour to more than five hours.
Ten other incoming flights to Ahmedabad from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Nagpur, Jaipur, Delhi and Bengaluru were also delayed by 1 to 7 hours.
04/12/19 Times of India

Udan route to Neyveli to be up for bidding again

Chennai: Flights from Chennai to Neyveli, Kadappa, Puducherry and from Salem to Bengaluru and Puducherry under the regional connectivity scheme Udan may take off now as the ministry of civil aviation has decided to put the routes for bidding again.
The routes which were awarded during the first phase of Udan scheme could not be operated because the new airlines which bagged the routes did not start services. The ministry has cancelled the earlier award of the routes so that they can be given to airlines afresh.

The cancelled routes are Chennai-Kadapa, Chennai-Neyveli, Chennai-Puducherry, Salem-Bengaluru, Salem-Puducherry. There is one service from Chennai to Kadapa being operated by Trujet.

A senior official of AAI said the routes were lying idle for more than four years as the airlines could not muster funds and personnel to start services. The rule says other airlines cannot start flights once a route is awarded to an airport.

“Now, the authority will be able to put the routes for bidding again. The ministry and AAI should look at the financial and operational capacity of airlines before awarding Udan routes to them. In the first phase, a few new companies floated airlines and won awards without proving that they could operate flights,” he added.
04/12/19 Times of India

More flights to Goa, Varanasi this winter! GoAir announces 22 new flights

New Delhi: GoAir has added 22 new flights to the winter schedule. Go Air has 22 new flights to its vast domestic network and boost air connectivity between metros and tier II cities. These routes are Ahmadabad – Indore, Bengaluru – Kochi, Kochi – Hyderabad, Delhi – Varanasi, Delhi – Indore, Ahmadabad – Varanasi, and has added frequency to the Delhi – Goa sector. These flights will be available from December 20, 2019. Apart from this, the airline has added two new destinations Varanasi and Indore.
“GoAir will close the calendar year on a high note – aggressive network expansion, increased fleet of aircraft, addition of new destinations and six new connections on our existing network. In the last 12 months our network capacity has gone up by 33%, inducted 17 new aircraft to the fleet, resulting in 100 new flights. We have added 10 new airports to our network – Phuket, Male, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Dubai, Bangkok, Kuwait, Singapore, Kannur and Aizawl. Since our inception we have flown 78.6 million passengers and our aim is to reach the 100 million mark in the next two years. GoAir has placed a firm order of 144 A320neo aircraft and we will be receiving at least one aircraft a month on average for the next foreseeable future,” GoAir Managing Director Jeh Wadia said.
Flights schedule has been fixed keeping in mind the convenience of business and leisure travelers. This will boost local industry, tourism industry. GoAir flight tickets can be booked through, GoAir mobile app.
04/12/19 Debjit Sinha/Financial Express

Dubai-Kochi flight makes emergency landing in Muscat

Dubai: A Spicejet flight from Dubai to the Indian city of Kochi, Kerala had to make an emergency landing at Muscat airport in the early hours of Wednesday. According to a Spicejet spokesperson, flight SG 18, which was on a non-stop route to Kochi experienced some technical issues, so the pilot took the decision to abort the onward journey and made an emergency landing in the Omani capital. According to passengers smoke was detected oboard. The flight was full and all passengers were managed by a Spice Jet team who provided rest and meals. At the time of the report, the spokesperson said another flight from Muscat to Kochi was being arranged and it would take off on Wednesay afternoon. No details about the origin of the technical issue were avaiable but a technical team was investigating the incident, a spokesperson said.
04/12/19 Suchitra Bajpai Chaudhary/Gulf News

Our crew is human too: Vistara's Sanjiv Kapoor slams Twitter user who took photo of air hostess sleeping in lounge

Vistara's Chief Commercial Officer, Sanjiv Kapoor is winning the hearts of netizens after he stepped up to defend a member of the airline's cabin crew.

After a user posted a photo of an air hostess sleeping at the BLR Domestic Lounge (at Bangalore Kempegowda Airport) with the comment that such behaviour was creating a "negative image of Vistara", Kapoor speedily shut down the commentator.

"We do not condone such photos being taken of our crew or customers without their permission, nor do we think it is correct to post such photos on social media," he wrote in response.

"Our crew are the finest in the industry, and are human too. We suggest you do the right thing and take the photo down," he added in the tweet.
Twitter users are commending Kapoor for his response.
04/12/19 FreePressJournal

IndiGo airline introduces new flight to Bengaluru

IndiGo airlines have introduced a new flight on the segment between the city and Bengaluru. With this, the number of flights operating on this route has gone up to ten. IndiGo has already been operating four flights on this route on a daily basis. Encouraged by the consumer response, it has introduced one more flight.

The flight arrives from Bengaluru at 11.30 am and leaves at 1 pm, airline sources said. IndiGo airlines regional manager Archana said the new flight was added from November 30 in the wake of demand from commuters.

With the current additional flight, IndiGo has been operating five flights to Bengaluru. It's New Delhi flight has also become popular among the passengers, she said.
SpiceJet has been operating five flights with a seating capacity of 180 every day on the Bengaluru route and they are almost full.
04/12/19 India TV

AAI inks deal with IATA to train 500 employees on air transport system

New Delhi: Airports Authority of India on Wednesday said it has signed an agreement with the International Air Transport Association for training its 500 employees using the latter's online course on "overview of the air transport system".

"The online training course will help in providing fundamental knowledge of air transportation system and shall cover overview of the world aviation organizations, airports, air navigation services and civil aviation authorities," said AAI in an official statement.

The agreement was signed between AAI Member (HR) Anuj Aggarwal and IATA-Training Director Stephanie Siouffi during the "6th ICAO Global Aviation Training & Trainair Plus Symposium" that is being held in Delhi from December 4 to December 6.
04/12/19 PTI/Business Standard

Gold biscuits worth Rs 91 lakh seized at Kannur airport

Kannur: Customs sleuths on Wednesday seized gold biscuits weighing around 2.34
kg worth Rs 91 lakh from a GoAir flight that arrived at Kannur International Airport from Abu
Customs sources said 20 gold biscuits was found concealed in two packets and kept under one of
the vacant passenger seats during an inspection by the security personnel.
The security personnel informed the Customs officials and Assistant Commissioner E Vikas led
team seized the gold biscuits.
04/12/19 UNI

Officials seize gold worth Rs 15 lakh from two men at Chennai airport

Chennai: Customs officials at Chennai airport on Tuesday seized gold worth nearly 15 lakh from two passengers, who arrived from Sharjah and Sri Lanka.
Twenty-two-year-old Parthiban of Cuddalore arrived from Sharjah by Air India flight AI 968, a statement said. On suspicion, officials intercepted him at the exit. When checked, officials found a gold chain weighing 190gm and valued at 7.5 lakh hidden in his trouser pocket.
Jabarullah, 35, of Pudukkottai reached Chennai on Sri Lankan Airline flight UL 121.
Officials found him acting in a strange manner and picked him up for questioning, the release said. He was intercepted at the exit. Jabarullah gave evasive replies when questioned and on further inquiries, he admitted to having concealed the gold.
04/12/19 Times of India

Four Detained With Rs 39 Lakh Cash At Delhi Airport

New Delhi: CISF personnel have apprehended four Indians returning from Saudi Arabia with about Rs 39 lakh cash at the Delhi airport, officials said on Wednesday.
They said the four passengers landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport from Jeddah on Tuesday and were scheduled to take an Air India flight to Jammu. They were intercepted after the security personnel noticed images of currency wads in their bags.

A total of Rs 38,99,322 cash was found in envelopes belonging to the said passengers, a senior official said.
04/12/19 PTI/NDTV

Pickpockets who struck at airport held

Nagpur: The city police have busted a gang of pickpockets and arrested three persons who had stolen wallets from a couple of Congress supporters at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar international airport on Monday. The gang struck during the welcome celebrations of MLA Nitin Raut at the airport.
The arrested have been identified as Jiyalal Jadhav (29), alias Kalu, Mehman Amir Lakha (28) and AK Shamuddin Sheikh (20). All three have several offences of thefts registered against them at different police stations in city and by Government Railway Police. While Jadhav and Lakha are from Ramai Nagar in Kamptee, Sheikh is from Timki in Mominpura.

The gang is likely to have been active on Sunday night too when former CM Devendra Fadnavis arrived in the city. According to information available, several BJP supporters too had their pockets picked but none of them filed a police complaint.

Police sources said the gang’s modus operandi was to strike at political rallies and processions. Railway stations was another crowded place targeted by the gang.

On Monday, Ajay Vishwakarma and Arvind Digwa lost money. The trio picked a packet containing Rs 48,000 in cash from the front pant pocked of Vishwakarma. In Digwa’s case, it was the hip pocket.
04/12/19 Soumitra Bose/Times of India

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

UDAN 4.0: Now J&K, Ladakh, other hilly areas to get affordable air connectivity

With an aim to further increase connectivity to remote areas, the government on Tuesday invited bids from airlines under the fourth round of bidding of its regional connectivity scheme UDAN. The latest round launched by the civil aviation ministry will focus on priority areas such as NER, Hilly States, J&K, Ladakh and islands, the government said in a statement. Under the scheme, financial incentives in terms of concessions from the centre, state governments, and airport operators are extended to selected airlines to encourage operations in the regional areas and keep airfares affordable. The inclusion of helicopter and sea plane operation under NSOP license has also been allowed in the fourth round of bidding.
“The provision of VGF for Category 2 / 3 aircraft (more than 20 seater) has been enhanced for operation of RCS flights in Priority Area(s) (Union Territories [UT] of Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir; the States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand, North Eastern State; UT of Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar),” the government added. The government has also revised the viability gap funding (VGF) limit applicable for various stage lengths for operation through category 1 / 1 A aircraft (below 20 seater).
In the last three years, MoCA has successfully completed three rounds of bidding under the Scheme and awarded about 700 routes. UDAN is a regional airport development and Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) of the government with the objective of letting the common citizen of the country fly, aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states.
03/12/19 Financial Express

Government Mulls Diluting FDI Rules Ahead Of Air India Sell-Off: Report

New Delhi: Seeking to ensure aviation biggies participate in the bidding for Air India sale, the government may dilute substantial ownership and effective control (SOEC) clause in the FDI guidelines for the airline sector.

Official sources said the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has been discussing the proposal with the Civil Aviation Ministry.

The present FDI rules allow up to 100 per cent FDI in domestic carriers but the investment by a foreign airline is capped at 49 per cent. Further, substantial ownership and effective control has to be in the hands of Indians.

In most of the aviation-related activities such as ground-handling, greenfield airports and Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO), FDI is allowed up to 100 per cent through the automatic route.

Relaxation in FDI rules for airlines may help generate interest among foreign players keen to get a foothold in the Indian market.

As the government's bid to sell majority 76 per cent stake in Air India failed last year with not a single private firm showing interest, the dilution in FDI norms could encourage foreign airlines and other investors to participate in the bidding this time.

"We would make sure that disinvestment of Air India happens this time. All necessary steps would be taken. The issue of relaxing FDI guidelines has been there. We are examining it," said a government official wishing not to be named.

The government is making all-out attempt to completely exit Air India. Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman has set March 31, 2020 as the deadline for Air India disinvestment.
03/12/19 IANS/NDTV

Tougher rules for Boeing 737 MAX on return to flying in India: Reports

Mumbai: India is considering setting an experience threshold for pilots who fly Boeing's 737 MAX planes, as it moves to ensure safety once the aircraft returns to service, a senior official of the air safety regulator told Reuters.
The 737 MAX, the fastest-selling plane in the history of Boeing, has been grounded worldwide since March, after 346 people were killed in two crashes in five months.
Boeing is making software changes, readying a new pilot training plan and must run a key certification test flight to get approval from the U.S. regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), before the planes can resume flying.

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) may consider mandating a minimum number of flying hours for pilots of the 737 MAX, the source said, adding a decision would be made once it is clear when the planes are fit to return to the air.

"Pilot training is a serious matter for the DGCA and the airlines will also need to work on building pilot confidence," said the source, who sought anonymity, as the discussions were private.

The regulator will also make it mandatory for Boeing to set up simulators in India and for airlines to carry out comprehensive pilot training before it allows the planes to start flying, the source added.
In a statement, Boeing said it was working closely with global regulators on a training program to help enhance pilots' understanding of the updated 737 MAX flight control systems.
03/12/19 Reuters/Business Standard

IndiGo flies into turbulence

On November 24, India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), directed Gurugram-headquartered IndiGo to ground an old aircraft every time it inducts a new aircraft into its fleet.

IndiGo’s A320neo aircraft, which are powered by engines from Pratt & Whitney, have been facing glitches both mid-air and on-ground since they were inducted in 2016. Over the past year, the airline has seen 13 such incidents including four incidents in a single week in October.

DGCA had earlier directed the airline to comply with a January 31 deadline to replace all unmodified P&W engines on its A320neo aircraft or face grounding of the planes. The move essentially puts IndiGo’s route expansions in jeopardy.

“Every aircraft that is added to the existing fleet should lead to one of those with unmodified engines to be grounded and the new aircraft may be operated on the same schedule as was being operated by the grounded aircraft,” a DGCA statement said.
03/12/19 Manu Balachandran/Forbes

41 air misses over Indian skies in three years, Mumbai tops list

Thousands of flyers have had a close shave in the Indian skies where 141 air misses happened in the past three years, going by data shared by civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri in the Lok Sabha.
A majority of these incidents happened within the three major flight information regions of Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. The incidents were the highest in 2018 when 47 air misses were reported. In 2016, 32 air misses were registered and in 2017, 28. This year, till November 1, there were 35 such incidents.
Mumbai flight information region topped the list with 38 incidents, followed by Delhi with 37 and Chennai 32. Kolkata saw 17 incidents when planes came too close for safety. To ensure safety, flights are separated horizontally and vertically. When the prescribed separation is breached, it is considered an air miss.
An AAI official said many of these incidents were not "very serious", but could have been avoided. "Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai flight information regions handle more than 2,000 flights with a considerable number of domestic movements and overflying flights. This puts pressure on air traffic controllers. The number of incidents can be considered as far less for the kind of flight traffic handled over the airspace," he said.
Most incidents took place because of poor coordination between air traffic controllers and pilots, inadequate surveillance by controllers and pilots deviating from their flight path without permission. There were also instances when commands of the air traffic controllers were either not understood or not read back by pilots. Similar call signs too created confusion, which has made DGCA to direct airlines not to use similar call signs.
03/12/19 V Ayyappan/Times of India

Jet Airways crisis: MPs to raise issue again as employees seek govt help

New Delhi: Several MPs cutting across party lines have expressed their support for the early revival of the now grounded Jet Airways, saying that they will again raise the issue in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.

At an event hosted here by Jet Airways` Employee Consortium, MPs, including Aam Aadmi Party`s Sanjay Singh, Manoj Jha of the RJD, Trinamool Congress` Dola Sen, BJD`s Ramesh Chandra Majhi and Krupal Tumanhe of the Shiv Sena, said that they would again raise the issue faced by the airline`s employees and seek a way forward from the government over the revival of the passenger carrier.

While Majhi, Singh, and Jha said that they will raise the issue in the Parliament, Sen called on the employees to actively engage with the Ministries of Labour and Employment and Civil Aviation to find a solution.
03/12/19 ZeeNews

Centre to invite bids for fourth round of Udan scheme

New Delhi: The Centre will invite bids for the fourth round of Udan, the regional connectivity scheme, from Tuesday. According to an official statement on Monday, the Airports Authority of India, which is the implementing agency on behalf of Ministry of Civil Aviation will invite 'e-Proposals' from interested bidders. "... Airports Authority India on behalf of Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India invites 'e-Proposals' (bids) from interested bidders for 'Selection of Airline Operators under the Regional Connectivity Scheme-UDAN in 4th round of bidding'," the note read.
That time, the ministry had issued "Letter of Awards" for 73 proposals involving 235 regional connectivity and water aerodrome routes which were received under the third round of RCS-Udan.
03/12/19 IANS/Sify

India’s ‘candy man’ to make microlight aircraft in Gujarat's Surendranagar

Rajkot: Aircraft manufacturing is all set to take wings in Gujarat. Dhanji Patel (Makson), promoter of Makson Group and known as India’s ‘candy man’, has finalized plans to venture into making microlight aircraft near his home town Surendranagar.
The businessman-turned politician, who makes confectioneries for several top global chocolate brands, has recently tied up with companies in Serbia for technical support to make two-seater and four-seater aircraft along with air ambulances. Patel was elected as BJP MLA from Wadhwan constituency in 2017 election.
Confirming his plan, Patel told TOI, “Component manufacturers in Serbia have agreed to lend us technical support. We are confident of getting statutory permissions to set up the unit soon.”
While he declined to reveal the quantum of investment, Patel said that the engines and blades for the aircraft will be imported while all other parts will be sourced locally. “We are sending a team to Serbia to get trained in manufacturing. The aircraft will be assembled in the Surendranagar unit,” he added.
Asked why he is venturing into aviation sector, Patel said that it was his dream for the past 25 years to make aircraft in his home state.
“This aircraft don’t need runway to take-off or landing but only a simple airstrip which can be made in farms also. But it requires a policy decision. If 3-4 airstrips are made near Ahmedabad, reaching here can be made very fast. Such aircraft are very common in foreign countries,” he added.
Initially, Patel plans to manufacture 25 such aircraft in the first year. The cost of one such aircraft is around Rs 70 lakh, according to him.
03/12/19 Nimesh Khakhariya/Times of India

IndiGo flight suffers momentary engine vibration caution, withdrawn from service

New Delhi: The IndiGo has informed that an airbus A320 P&W fitted Neo aircraft, which was heading from Chennai to Hyderabad, suffered engine problem on Monday and was withdrawn from service for necessary maintenance.

According to the airlines, the pilot reported vibration on the engine during flight.

"IndiGo flight 6E-6215 was operating from Chennai-Hyderabad on Dec 2, 2019. Post arrival at Hyderabad, the pilot reported a momentary engine vibration caution during flight," it said.

After the aircraft landed safely in Hyderabad, it was withdrawn from operations and necessary maintenance checks are in progress, it said.

In October, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) issued instructions to IndiGo to ensure that it does not operate any Neo plane which has two Prat and Whitney 1100 series engines that have been used for over 3000 hours each.
03/12/19 ANI/India Today

Indian Navy to acquire 6 more P-8I maritime aircraft

India will be celebrating Navy Day 2019 on Wednesday, December 4, for which the Indian Navy is improving their skills. While the Indian Navy personnel will demonstrate exceptional skills during Naval Day celebrations, the existing fleet of Indian Navy aircraft was expanded to include more P-8Is.

Indeed, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved the procurement of 6 additional Boeing P-8I for the Indian Navy. With the latest order, the total number of P-8Is in the Indian Navy reaches 18, which is a clear indication that the Indian government is pleased with Boeing's long-ranger. Since induction in 2015, the P-8I maritime patrol fleet has surpassed 25,000 flight hours for the Indian Navy.

The P-8 is long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

While there's no indication of Indian Navy expanding the P-8I fleet further, Boeing makes a clever proposal ahead of Navy Day. In a tweet on Monday, Boeing India recommended the Indian Navy to expand the fleet with F/A-18 Super Hornet. Boeing suggests the fighter jets can work with the P-8Is in the future battlespace.

Air India starts paying €600 to passengers for 49-hour London-Mumbai flight delay

Mumbai: After initially expressing “regret” and refusing to accept any liability, Air India has relented and paid a compensation of €600 each to several passengers for the delay in its London to Mumbai flight on May 28. Engineering issues had been blamed for the over two-day delay.
The compensation was paid as per European Union regulations. It is a significant development, as in India, only a small percentage of aggrieved passengers seek compensation. Under the Indian aviation regulator’s norms, airlines are bound to compensate passengers for flight cancellations or denied boarding, but most passengers don’t claim the relief, and the Indian airline industry saves about $100 million in unpaid compensation annually, aviation sector experts said.
Under EU regulation 261/ 2004, passengers aboard any flight originating from Europe are entitled to a compensation of up to €600 if their flight lands at the scheduled destination more than three hours late. AI gave each passenger a letter stating that the flight was delayed due to technical reasons and it was aware of its obligation under the above-mentioned EU regulation. But later, in a “final reply” to some passengers, AI offered its apologies and nothing more, blaming the delay on “extraordinary circumstances”.
However, technical defect with aircraft does not qualify as an extraordinary circumstance.
03/12/19 Times of India

When a 'passenger' flew an IndiGo bird from Pune to Delhi

New Delhi: It was an unusual situation for a passenger when he was asked to fly a Delhi-bound IndiGo flight on Saturday after the pilot who was supposed to fly the aircraft threw up his hands during take-off in Pune due to a thick blanket of fog and low visibility.

The passenger agreed to take the pilot's seat as the plane was operating as per the schedule and the airline had completed the boarding process of all the passengers. It is pertinent to mention here that the passenger was not a usual passenger but an off-duty pilot.
The IndiGo flight 6E-6571 from Pune to Delhi was finally flown by the passenger who was trained to land in low visibility (CAT IIIB). After landing at Delhi airport, he headed to the national capital as a passenger.

"After receiving information that visibility has drastically dropped in the capital and to fly the aircraft a CAT-IIIB compliance pilot is required, a passenger, who was also an IndiGo captain and was trained to fly in low visibility was requested to take the charge of the flight operation to avoid any delay and inconvenience to passengers" news agency ANI quoted a source as saying.

After landing at Delhi airport, the captain had to go through all the mandatory examinations including Breath Analyser (BA) test. As per the source, he flew the plane without the uniform.

The airline also confirmed the incident, and said, "Yesterday (November 31) morning Delhi Airport had implemented low visibility procedure. All incoming aircraft were expected to have Cat III crew. On flight 6E- 6571(PNQ-DEL), the assigned captain was not Cat IIIB cleared. Rather than delay the flight so weather in Delhi could improve."

The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said that it would look into the matter and take action as per regulations if needed.
03/12/19 TimesNow

Wait ends as KIA to get second runway boost in 3 days

Eleven years and six months after its commercial launch, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) is all set to get its first major upgrade on December 5 – a second runway, with the promise of a dramatic jump in flight operations and a partial relief from fog-related disruptions.
Since the existing runway is equipped only with a Category-I (CAT-I) Instrument Landing System (ILS), poor visibility during winter disrupts hundreds of flights every year. However, the new south parallel runway is likely to address this issue only sometime by late February 2020. Airport sources explained that the new runway had to be stabilised progressively, first with CAT-I ILS, then with CAT-II and eventually with its full capability of CAT-IIIB lighting.
The new runway’s efficiency is likely to be limited initially as only one of the two cross taxiways has been completed. The second taxiway connectivity is expected to be established only by the end of December 2019. This would mean only landings or take-offs would be possible initially on the second runway.
On August 27, validation flights were completed on the runway. The flights certified the aerodrome navigational aids and instrument procedures as determined by civil aviation regulations. SpiceJet, IndiGo and AirAsia had assigned their aircraft to take part in these test flights.
Measuring 4,000 metres in length and 45 metres in width, the new runway is equipped to handle even Code F aircraft such as the massive Airbus 380. Complementing the new facility would be the dual parallel taxiways and an eastern crossfield taxiway.
03/12/19 Rasheed Kappan/Deccan Herald

Never gave assurance to Parliament about providing jobs to Jet Airways' employees: Hardeep Puri

New Delhi: Civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri has clarified that he did not give any assurance regarding employment of Jet Airways' employees during Parliament proceedings in July.

The minister was replying to an allegation by AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh who on November 27 said in the House that Puri had "assured" Parliament "no employee of Jet Airways would lose job and would be adjusted in other companies".
According to Singh, the minister had also said that a website having details of the employees was being launched for that purpose.

Jet Airways had shut down its operations on April 17 as it had run out of funds.

On December 2, Puri wrote a letter to Singh, stating, "I am writing with reference to the issue of employment of Jet Airways staff raised by you in Rajya Sabha on November 27, 2019."

Citing his statement given on the floor of the House in July, Puri in the letter said, "At no point during the proceedings of the House in July 2019 did I give an assurance. In fact, I stated categorically that the government couldn't assume responsibility for business failure of a private enterprise."

"Therefore, your statement in the House on November 27, 2019, is not only devoid of fact, but is deliberately misleading," he added.

According to airline's employee consortium, Jet Airways still has more than 5,000 employees on its rolls.

Puri, in his letter to Singh on Monday, said, "I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you that the NCLT process (for the airline) is ongoing."
03/12/19 PTI/Times of India

AAI hosts workshop on Integration of Airport Collaborative Decision Making and Air Traffic Management

New Delhi : Representatives from the Asia Pacific, Middle Eastern and African countries are participating in a three-day workshop organised by Airports Authority of India (AAI) to promote awareness of the integration of Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM) and Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM).

 The inauguration of the workshop was attended by J.P Alex, ED (ATM), Shane Sumner, Punya Raj Shakya and Hiroyuki Takata, representatives from International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Keziah Achieng Ogutu, Eastern and Southern African (ESAF) Office and other senior AAI officials at Indian Aviation Academy, New Delhi.

This workshop, which started on Monday, will provide a platform to share the experiences of all ICAO APAC states in the implementation of ACDM and ATFM and discuss implementation-related issues.

The C-ATFM network consists of a Central Command Centre (CCC) at Delhi and Flow Management Positions (FMPs) established at civil and defence airports, to optimise the utilization of air traffic system capacity.

ACDM system, on the other hand, enables collaborative decision making by involving all stakeholders operating at an airport to achieve optimum utilization of Airports, Airspace, and Aircraft at Indian Airports.
02/12/19 ANI/New kerala

Govt weighs tougher rules for Boeing 737 MAX to ensure safety

India is considering setting an experience threshold for pilots who fly Boeing's 737 MAX planes, as it moves to ensure safety once the aircraft returns to service, a senior official of the air safety regulator told Reuters. The 737 MAX, the fastest-selling plane in the history of Boeing, has been grounded worldwide since March, after 346 people were killed in two crashes in five months.

Boeing is making software changes, readying a new pilot training plan and must run a key certification test flight to get approval from the U.S. regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), before the planes can resume flying.

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) may consider mandating a minimum number of flying hours for pilots of the 737 MAX, the source said, adding a decision would be made once it is clear when the planes are fit to return to the air. "Pilot training is a serious matter for the DGCA and the airlines will also need to work on building pilot confidence," said the source, who sought anonymity, as the discussions were private.

The regulator will also make it mandatory for Boeing to set up simulators in India and for airlines to carry out comprehensive pilot training before it allows the planes to start flying, the source added. Reuters could not immediately reach the DGCA to seek comment.

In a statement, Boeing said it was working closely with global regulators on a training program to help enhance pilots' understanding of the updated 737 MAX flight control systems. "Boeing will continue its commitment to developing training that supports safe, efficient operations and meets regulatory requirements," it said in the emailed statement.
03/12/19 Reuters/Business Today

Flight delays, cancellation spark protest at Kolkata airport

Kolkata: There was pandemonium at the domestic wing of the integrated terminal at Kolkata airport on Monday morning when irate passengers demonstrated after several flights were delayed and one flight was cancelled without prior intimation. It was GoAir that faced the heat as six of the eight concerned flights belonged to the private carrier.

Anger was brewing ever since an early-morning GoAir flight to Guwahati was cancelled without the airline citing any cause. Things came to a head when GoAir announced that several other flights would be delayed.

Delays of five GoAir flights — to Jaipur, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar, Guwahati and Bagdogra, scheduled between 5.45am and 12.55pm — were notified on display boards.

The airline ground staff's reluctance to clearly convey the reason for delays worsened the situation. Passengers became agitated when they later learned the cancellation and the delays were owing to non-availability of crew. Many passengers voiced their anger on Twitter and Facebook, tagging the DGCA and civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu.
03/12/19 Subhro Niyogi & Tamaghna Banerjee/Times of India

SIA passenger complains of “inhumane torture” over 16-hour flight delay

A passenger on Singapore Airlines (SIA) flying from Singapore to Delhi took to Facebook on Sunday (1 December) to slam the airline for its “pathetic preparedness and service” after the flight was delayed for 16 hours.

Facebook user Deep Roy wrote a lengthy post on SIA’s Facebook page describing the “inhuman torture” he experienced on 29 November when the SIA flight that was due to depart from Singapore at 4.25 pm was delayed.
First, the flight was delayed for a couple of hours due to rain. Passengers had already boarded the plane at this time and were inside the cabin for more than an hour, said Mr Roy, adding that it had become “terribly hot without AC”.

Just as the plane was about to take off, the passengers were told that there was a problem with the braking mechanism. The plane headed back to the terminal where the passengers disembarked.

Mr Roy said the estimated time of departure was moved first to 8.50pm and then 11.30pm when the engineers discovered that they needed to replace a faulty brake pump.

As the passengers were waiting in the airport, they were offered some credit for food.
Mr Roy said, “We were just offered a measly SGD 15 credit for getting some dinner as the SQ staff refused to take out the meals from the aircraft that we were supposed to have been given had we been airborne.”

Later at 11.00pm, passengers boarded the plane for a second time after being informed that the test run was successful. Unfortunately, just before take-off again, there was another problem with the braking mechanism. Passengers were again asked to disembark and return to the terminal. This was around 1 am the next morning.

Mr Roy explained, “When we insisted that we did not want to get into the same plane again as it was clearly unsafe, they told us they did not have any other A380 planes available, even though we were in Singapore which was their Hub and they are the National Carrier!”

He continued, “They also refused to provide any hotel accommodation claiming all hotels were full (which was established to be a blatant lie). Their Ground Staff Executives kept feeding us one lie after another and did not show any concern for the problems we were facing!”

The irate passenger then said that the airline eventually arranged for some sandwiches, tea and coffee after “continuous yelling and protests”.

They were also later informed that they would be put on a different A380 that was flying in from Melbourne that morning.

“We finally boarded the new plane (our THIRD BOARDING) which eventually took off around 9:00 am SGP Time and reached New Delhi around 12:00 pm India Time after more than 16 HOURS DELAY! “
03/12/19 Kathleen F/Online Citizen

Only takeoffs from KIA’s new runway for a month

Bengaluru: Only departures will take place at the New South Parallel Runway (NSPR) at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) in the initial few weeks post inauguration on December 5. Reason: Unsuitable direction of wind in the airport area.
“For at least a month after inauguration, only departures will happen from NSPR. On the day of launch too, it’ll be only takeoffs. This is because of the direction in which the wind is blowing (west-east) in the airport area at present. This will make landings difficult. No arrivals will happen at NSPR until the wind direction changes to east-west. We anticipate at least a month of just departures at the new runway,” highly-placed airport sources said.
“The NSPR will be open only for 1.5 hours in the afternoon on the day of inauguration and for a few weeks subsequently. This is because we have two connecting taxiways between NSPR and the existing runway and only one of these parallel taxiways are currently available for use,” said sources. “With 1.5 hours of operations on Day 1, controllers will also be able to get a feel of operations on the new runway,” they added.
03/12/19 Swathy R Iyer/Times of India

8 to 10 hour delays at RGIA leave fliers fuming

Hyderabad: Angry scenes unfolded at the city’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), on Monday, after various airline services were inordinately delayed – some up to 8 to 10 hours. Passengers who were travelling on GoAir tickets were particularly enraged, as many of its routes were adversely impacted.
Javed Saikia tweeted, “Hyderabad Bangalore Flight got delayed for hours! It’s was pathetic service by GoAir. For 45 minutes fly time they harassed the passengers for hours. The flight was supposed to leave by 8pm. After lots of arguments they arranged a flight at 4 am! It was a nightmare #goair.” The message was accompanied by a video that showed a group of distressed flyers demanding a refund and compensation for the harassment they were put through.
While the operator issued an apology to passengers online for in the inconvenience, it failed to pacify them. Rudrabha Mukhopadhya, wrote, “Thanks for the wonderful service @goairlinesindia!! Flight from Hyderabad to Kolkata delayed from 20.45 to 21.25 to 23.00 to 23.50 supposedly because of “issues beyond our control!”
03/12/19 Times of India

Foreign trips may pinch fliers as airfares surge

New Delhi/Mumbai: For those who haven’t booked well in advance, international travel this winter will hit your pocket hard. Fares on key routes to the US and Europe are up almost threefold in some instances with the grounding of Jet Airways, which was the second-largest international carrier from India until it stopped flying in April. The lack of bargains has prompted some to give up holiday travel plans.
Average fare data for December show a big jump from last year for tickets booked close to the date of travel. A Delhi-Paris ticket is priced at Rs 1,14,642 against Rs 40,020 in December last year, according to travel aggregator ixigo.
A Mumbai-London ticket will cost Rs 1,23,021 against Rs 53,041. Fares will stay high until carriers fill the gap created by Jet’s exit, analysts said.
“Demand for winter travel is fairly high and are pushing the fares north. While the domestic capacity has bounced back, it will still take some time to replace Jet’s nonstop capacity to Europe and US,” said ixigo CEO Aloke Bajpai. “While international airlines have recently announced an increase in flight frequencies to Europe for the winter, till the capacity gap is fully restored, airfares will continue to remain high for some time.”
The India-London sector could see new flights, with Vistara and IndiGoNSE -0.78 % possibly starting them next year, but other routes will have to wait. Vistara is also looking at adding flights to New York or San Francisco next year and US-based carriers have also announced plans to increase connectivity to India.
03/12/19 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Indian Navy to acquire 6 more P-8I maritime aircraft

The defence ministry on Thursday approved the procurement of 6 Boeing P8I maritime patrol aircraft, indigenous development of airborne warning and control systems (AWACS) aircraft and other military platforms at a cost of $3.1-billion.
India will be celebrating Navy Day 2019 on Wednesday, December 4, for which the Indian Navy is improving their skills. While the Indian Navy personnel will demonstrate exceptional skills during Naval Day celebrations, the existing fleet of Indian Navy aircraft was expanded to include more P-8Is.
Indeed, the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) approved the procurement of 6 additional Boeing P-8I for the Indian Navy. With the latest order, the total number of P-8Is in the Indian Navy reaches 18, which is a clear indication that the Indian government is pleased with Boeing's long-ranger. Since induction in 2015, the P-8I maritime patrol fleet has surpassed 25,000 flight hours for the Indian Navy.

The P-8 is long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. In addition, the P-8 performs humanitarian and search and rescue missions around the globe.

While there's no indication of Indian Navy expanding the P-8I fleet further, Boeing makes a clever proposal ahead of Navy Day. In a tweet on Monday, Boeing India recommended the Indian Navy to expand the fleet with F/A-18 Super Hornet. Boeing suggests the fighter jets can work with the P-8Is in the future battlespace.
02/12/19 Navy Recognition

Two gold smugglers held at Amritsar airport

New Delhi: Two men were arrested by customs officials at Amritsar airport for allegedly trying to smuggle in 3.352 kg gold worth Rs 1.30 crore by concealing them as wires in a suitcase, bluetooth speakers and toy cars, according to a statement here on Monday.

Gurpreet Singh and Gurjant Singh arriving from Dubai were intercepted at the airport on Sunday and taken into custody.

Gold weighing 1664.18 gram valued at Rs 64.57 lakh was recovered from Gurpreet and 1688.22 gram valued at Rs 65,50,293 of 24 carat from Gurjant.
02/12/19 IANS/CanIndia

Hyderabad: Former airport employee held for running fake job racket

Hyderabad: Hyderabad police's Commissioner's Task Force, Central Zone Team on Monday busted a job fraudster, who indulged in cheating the innocent unemployed youth with false promises of providing jobs from "Airport Authority of India" at Shamshabad.

He would lure the unsuspecting youth with a promise of providing them jobs as Drivers, HDS and UDS employees and Mechanical employees and would collect thousands of rupees from them on the pretext of this fraud.

The accused has been identified as Mohd. Jameel Ahmed, aged 34 years and is an ex-employee of Shamshabad Airport.
03/12/19 India Today

Man carrying seven bullets apprehended at IGI Airport

New Delhi: A Port Blair-bound passenger has been apprehended by CISF personnel at the Delhi airport for allegedly carrying seven live cartridges in his baggage, a security official said on Tuesday.
The bullets were detected during the baggage search of Ashu Varshney at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) around 4 am, the official said.

"Seven live bullets of 8 mm calibre were recovered from the bag of the passenger. He was scheduled to take an Air India flight to Port Blair," he said.

The traveller was not allowed to board the flight and handed over to the Delhi Police as he could not produce any document for possessing the ammunition.
03/12/19 PTI/Outlook