chopper service to Vaishno Devi a great hit
By Sushma Arora
(Jammu and Kashmir), Jan 29: A pilgrimage to Mata Vaishno
Devi shrine has become quick and comfortable, thanks to reliable
helicopter service provided by Deccan Aviation from Katra
to Sanji Chhat. In its over two-year uninterrupted service,
Deccan has made the pilgrimage possible for those devotees
who could not have darshans either due to old-age and infirmity
or lack of time.
chopper service is popular with all the age groups. But, of
course, the aged and businessmen and the non-resident Indians
(NRIs) who are hard pressed for time make use of our package
that includes darshans and return to the base the same day,"
said Major Yoginder Kandhari, Chief of the helicopter operations
at Katra in Jammu and Kashmir.
Narula, a businessman from Delhi, was in concurrence with
sentiments of Major Kandhari. "I have been wanting to
visit the shrine and pay obeisance for a long time but could
not do so for lack of time. But thanks to the Deccan Aviation's
chopper service, I have had Mata Vaishno Devi's darshans,"
said Ashwani. Complimenting
Deccan Aviation, he said "the staff is courteous and
assists the passengers in having a quick and orderly darshans."
He said, "For me pilgrimage was a comfortable and memorable
Noyanika, who as a child was thrilled with the additional
advantage of a chopper ride, echoed similar sentiments. A
visually thrilled Noyanika said she took the helicopter, as
she had to return to school on Monday. "I, along with
my parents, made best use of the weekend to have darshans
of Mata Vaishno Devi, which I have been wanting to do for
a long time." Noyanika said she walked the three-km stretch
from Sanji Chhat to Mata Vaishno Devi Darbar but took a pony
ride on return.
Kandhari informed that Deccan Aviation was invited by the
Sri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board to commence its Katra -
Sanji chhat operations in November 2002. "The service
has been running uninterrupted for over two years to the delight
and satisfaction of thousands of devotees."
said the company has performed with admirable professionalism
towards its commitment to provide a service to match the very
best. "We have also been meeting the highest flight safety
standards by following rigorous maintenance and operations
of the highest order to match the trust of people. For this
we have picked up the very best pilots and engineers from
its first year of operation ending November 2003, Major Kandhari
said "Deccan carried 27,935 devotees. This figure jumped
to 38,683 in the second year ending November 2004 showing
a growth of 38.48 per cent. With a view to further enhance
its carrying capacity the company replaced its Bell 206 L
3 with two state of the art and more effective Bell 407 helicopters.
It is visualized that in current year there will be further
increase in passenger traffic by 25 per cent."
the outset, he said Deccan Aviation had to contend with indefinite
passenger response as earlier attempts by other operators
had failed to establish credibility as a dependable and worthwhile
means of visiting the shrine. "Deccan Aviation meticulously
analyzed the follies of the past and made quick amends to
arrive at an effective customer friendly formula, which to
date is working to the entire satisfaction of all concerned."
erstwhile passenger waiting area has been transformed into
a modern, air-conditioned waiting lounge. The ticketing and
reservation system has been streamlined to near perfection
with the appointment of a vast, countrywide network of agents.
"Today you can book your pilgrimage from the comforts
of your home, on the Internet," informed Major Kandhari.
has also introduced a number of packages in conjunction with
some of the best hotel properties in Jammu and Katra. In addition,
the company has also formalized a seamless package with the
Shrine Board that covers the entire ambit of requirements
of the Yatris, including air bookings, to and from Jammu,
hotel accommodation, helicopter flight to the shrine helipad
and return, night stay at the shrine and special darshan at
further improve the infrastructure at Katra Heliport, Deccan
Aviation, under the aegis of the Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine
Board, is working on a project of constructing a hangar for
servicing and maintenance of the helicopters. "This facility
will obviate the requirement of ferrying the helicopters to
Delhi for their periodic maintenance," said Major Kandhari.
Rohit Kansal, Additional CEO of Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board,
said "our endeavor is to provide all level of facilities
to the devotees to make his pilgrimage comfortable and memorable
one. The helicopter service is an endeavor towards that."
Aviation is India's largest and most versatile helicopter
charter operator in the private sector with a fleet of nine
helicopters and two fixed wing aircraft. Besides having a
nationwide presence with six bases, Deccan is also the first
Indian aviation company to have an ongoing joint venture overseas,
in Sri Lanka.
aircraft have been and are currently deployed to perform an
array of multifarious tasks from conveyance of political and
corporate VIPs, evacuation of casualties, geophysical surveys,
heliskiing, aerial photography, flower dropping at religious
functions, tourism to conveyance of pilgrims to places of
gets ready to receive world's largest plane A380
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, Jan 20: India is getting ready to receive the world's
largest aircraft, Airbus A380, when it takes to the skies in
the middle of next year. Over 60 airports in the world, including
four Indian metropolises, are busy with preparations to receive
the biggest bird made by man.
runways at Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata airports will
be modified to be able to handle 550-seater Airbus A380. Similarly,
modifications to taxiways will be undertaken to cater for the
wider wheel-base of the aircraft," said Mr K Ramalingam,
Chairman of the Airports Authority of India. The AAI maintains
and operates 126 airports in the country.
Ramalingam informed that adequate fillets would be provided
on the turning points of the taxiways to cater to these widened
wheelbases. "Parking stands are being provided at all the
four metro airports to provide for the A380 that has a wing
span of 80 meters." The AAI Chairman said "few clearances
between runways and taxiways, which are mandatory, will be provided
to be able to handle Airbus A380 at these airports."
its larger wingspan giving greater lift and its new-generation
engines, the A380 can take off and land in less distance than
other large aircraft. This makes it capable of using existing
world hubs, which have already geared up to take the A380, include
San Francisco and Singapore. Besides the Indian metros, others
that would be ready in 2006 include Sydney, London's Heathrow,
New York's John F Kennedy International, Los Angeles, Tokyo,
Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Frankfurt.
super jumbo's entry into service next year is a challenge to
already stretched airport infrastructure. Research group Frost
& Sullivan says Airbus' biggest problem isn't the demand
for the super jumbo, which it sees as potentially even higher
than Airbus' own estimates. ``This is all very nice, but if
you don't have airports that can handle the A380 it won't work,''
said Johan Orsingher, a senior consultant with the group.
Heathrow airport says it is spending over US $800 millions (euro
640 millions), providing everything from double-decker passenger
ramps to enlarged baggage conveyors capable of processing 555
passengers on one flight. Other airports are spending billions
more on similar improvements, but there is concern that some
may not be ready in time.
Paris Charles de Gaulle, home to A380 customer Air France, has
just two A380-ready gates. Operator Aeroports de Paris insists
its airport will be ready for the plane despite last year's
partial collapse of the new terminal where they are both situated.
Airports in the United States are also thought to be behind,
although Orsingher said major airports in New York, Los Angeles,
Chicago and Atlanta would have no choice but to catch up quickly.
put some friendly pressure on two or three airport authorities
that we consider to be a bit behind,'' Forgeard told France's
La Tribune newspaper.
delay in some of the major airports worldwide has forced Virgin
Atlantic that has ordered six A380s with options for a further
six, worth a total of $3 billion to postpone acquisition of
the super jumbos to later date. Virgin was originally scheduled
to take delivery of the aircraft in 2006 but delayed the plans
due to concerns that some major airports, particularly Los Angeles,
would not be ready to accommodate the plane in time, as well
as delays in sourcing components for some design innovations.
The first aircraft is scheduled for delivery in May 2008, according
to the airline's half-owner Richard Branson.
said Virgin Atlantic was now confidant that airports were prepared
and suggested the company would take up its options for a further
six planes sooner rather than later. "The chances are we
are going to want more than six," he said.
the plane's extra space is used will be left up to airlines,
whose A380 cabin designs have remained closely guarded. In the
future, low-cost carriers could operate the A380 with a single
economy class configuration accommodating as many as 800 passengers.
Branson said his airline would offer private double beds for
first-class passengers and gambling area offering blackjack
and roulette for both economy and business class passengers.
Besides, he said the super jumbos would have gyms and beauty
parlours. He said "since you have gaming and you have private
double beds maybe there are two ways of getting lucky on a Virgin
plane." Virgin Atlantic, which already offers seats that
convert into double beds on some of its existing aircraft, plans
to install 35 private double beds on each A380.
Chairman of Dubai-based carrier Emirates, which is so far the
largest A380 customer with 45 orders, said the plane was a ``key
element in our future growth'' and offers ``the widest cabin
of any aircraft in the world.'' ``It provides lower seat-mile
costs and carries more passengers further and consumes less
fuel than its competitors,'' Sheikh Ahmed bin Saee Al Maktoum,
Choon Seng, CEO of Singapore Airlines, said the A380 would increase
passenger and cargo capacities ``without increasing aircraft
movements and without congesting the skies and adding to congestion
on airport taxiways and runways.'' Singapore Airlines will begin
using the plane for services to London and Sydney when it becomes
the first carrier to carry commercial passengers aboard the
A380 in 2006, he said.
hopes to sell 750 of these jumbos to airlines operating services
between the busiest airports, mainly in Asia, which serve as
hubs, or stopovers between connecting flights.
unveils world's largest aircraft
By Deepak Arora
(France), Jan 18: Amidst pomp and show, the European aircraft
manufacturer, Airbus, on Tuesday unveiled the world's largest
aircraft referred to as the super jumbo A 380. The double-decked
aircraft that could seat from 500 to 840 passengers is expected
to revolutionize long-haul flying.
super jumbo has an 80-meter (262-foot) wingspan and a tail as
tall as a seven-story building. It cost euro10 billions (US$13
billions) to develop. In a three-class cabin layout, the A380
will seat 33 per cent more passengers than Boeing's veteran
747 and offers 49 percent more floor space -- leaving additional
room for features such as on-board shops, bars, casinos or even
French President, Mr Jacques Chirac, the British Prime Minister,
Mr Tony Blair, the German Chancellor, Mr Gerhard Schroeder,and
the Spanish Prime Minister, Mr Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
along with 5,000 guests from the world's aviation sector and
media including and CEOs from the 14 airlines and freight companies
that have so far ordered the A380 attended the elaborate unveiling
at company headquarters in Toulouse, southern France.
the name Airbus, Europe has written one of the most beautiful
pages in its history," Airbus chief Noel Forgeard told
the packed hall.
"In this great aircraft, there is a mixture of determination
and of dreams, which is, and always has been, at the heart of
the wealth and splendid complexity of our European culture,"
he said, standing in front of the plane.
A380 has wingspan of 80 metres (262 feet), overall length of
73 metres (239 feet), height of 24 metres (79 feet) and maximum
take-off weight of 560 tonnes.
far exceeds the 747 by US rival Boeing by being able to transport
between 500 passengers in a typical first-business-economy class
configuration and 840 passengers in an all-economy set-up on its
two full decks. The 747, which had ruled the commercial skies
since 1975, typically carry 416 passengers in comparison.
Chirac said the "big success" of the A380 project showed
that Europe should cooperate further in other industrial domains,
notably in high technology. "We can, and we must, go further
on this path of European construction so essential for growth
and employment," he said.
Mr Blair called the A380 "simply stunning". "Today
is the culmination of many years of hard work," he said,
congratulating the workers in Britain and in the other European
countries involved for their contributions.
Schroeder took the opportunity to make a barely-veiled jab at
the United States, whose secretary of defence, Donald Rumsfeld,
dismissed France, Germany and other countries as "Old Europe"
for opposing the Iraq war. "Good
old Europe has made this possible," the German leader said,
hailing Europe's leading position in civil aviation.
has already taken 149 orders for the US$280 million planes, ``which
for a plane of this size that has not yet flown is an extraordinary
commercial performance,'' said Noel Forgeard. The
A380 will take to the skies next year. Airbus says companies have
options on dozens more and that the programme will break even
after 250 sales -- an objective it hopes to reach within three
years. In all, the company expects to sell 700-750 aircraft. ``It
is a plane that will fly for 30 to 40 years,'' Forgeard said.
trailed Boeing until 2003, when it delivered more planes than
its US rival for the first time -- a feat it matched last year,
with 320 deliveries to Boeing's 285, and is likely to repeat this
the plane's extra space is used will be left up to airlines, whose
A380 cabin designs have remained closely guarded. In the future,
low-cost carriers could operate the A380 with a single economy
class configuration accommodating as many as 800 passengers. Virgin
company chief Richard Branson, said his airline, which has ordered
six A380s, will offer private double beds for first-class passengers
Chairman of Dubai-based carrier Emirates, which is so far the
largest A380 customer with 45 orders, said the plane was a ``key
element in our future growth'' and offers ``the widest cabin of
any aircraft in the world.'' ``It provides lower seat-mile costs
and carries more passengers further and consumes less fuel than
its competitors,'' Sheikh Ahmed bin Saee Al Maktoum, said.
Choon Seng, CEO of Singapore Airlines, said the A380 would increase
passenger and cargo capacities ``without increasing aircraft movements
and without congesting the skies and adding to congestion on airport
taxiways and runways.'' Singapore Airlines will begin using the
plane for services to London and Sydney when it becomes the first
carrier to carry commercial passengers aboard the A380 in mid-2006,
US sign open skies aviation agreement
Jan 16: The United States and India have reached open-skies aviation
agreement that will lead to more flights, lower fares and stronger
economic ties between the two countries, US Transportation Secretary
Norman Y Mineta has announced. The announcement came on Saturday
after three days of negotiations between Mineta and Civil Aviation
Minister, Praful Patel.
said the agreement means the two countries "will be closer
than ever before" and begins "a new era where American
and Indian consumers, airlines and economies can reap the rewards
of cheaper flights, more choices and faster air service." He
said the agreement would strengthen commercial aviation in a number
of ways, including more direct flights to serve the approximately
two million passengers a year travelling between the two countries.
agreement allows airlines from both countries to select routes and
destinations based on consumer demand, providing for open routes,
capacity, frequencies, designations, and pricing as well as opportunities
for cooperative marketing arrangements. That includes code sharing
with domestic Indian carriers to aid in making reservations and
giving a greater choice of flights.
deal also allows all-cargo operators to operate in either country
without directly connecting to their homeland. India and the United
States are the world's two largest democracies and two of world's
fastest growing economies, Mineta noted in a statement.
Airways: Reasonable fares with best of frills
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, Jan 16: With liberalization and opening of the Indian skies
and friendly policies, more and more entrepreneurs with resources
are seeking to venture into the aviation market this year. The latest
to join the bandwagon is Indus Airways. "The airline will make
Chandigarh and Delhi as its hubs. We plan to launch operations in
April by leasing three 50-seater Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft,"
said Brig (Retd) Dr. Kapil Mohan, honorary Chairman of the airline.
start with, Brig Kapil Mohan said the Indus Airways would connect
cities such as Chandigarh, Amritsar, Delhi, Varanasi, Kolkata, Chennai,
Mumbai, Goa and Srinagar. "We plan to connect the hitherto
uncovered sectors and also connect the metros and other major cities."
expand its connectivity, the Chairman said the airline would purchase
five Embraer ERJ 145 aircraft in 2006 taking its strength to eight.
These five aircraft would arrive in February, April, May, July and
December of 2006. In three years ie by 2007, the airline would acquire
12 more aircraft to take the total fleet strength to 20. He informed
that the type and size of these aircraft has not yet been decided.
said the airline would provide "very reasonable fares with
best of frills." On the long-haul flights, he said the airline
would provide good quality food for which we have hired some specialists.
He said "it will be service with a smile."
Kapil Mohan, who is known is known as a doer, said he is talking
of the project today, as "I feel good about it. Had it not
been so I would not have talked about. We have hired professionals
to make sure that all the talks has to be airworthy."
Kapil Mohan of the Mohan Meakins heads the Board of Indus Airways.
Three Directors on the Board are Mr Krishan Gopal Beri, who is Managing
Director of M/s Beri and Beri Cold Storage and General Mills (P)
Ltd; Mr Parminder Lakhanpal, a London-based NRI; and Mr Baldev Seth,
a garment exporter. Mr Amarjit Sangha, a Toronto-based NRI, is one
of the investors in the airline that has a starting equity base
of Rs 10 crore.
Krishan Gopal Beri said the emphasis would be on quality - be it
food, service or inflight comforts. He said there would also be
emphasis on on-time performance and intelligent schedules. "In
other words, a passenger could catch a flight early morning and
return home by night after completing his task. That will also save
him on his hotel bills."
Parminder Lakhanpal said ERJ 145 a pressurized jet for regional
transport and has a good turnaround that would help us meet our
on-time targets. The ERJ 145 is also characterized by its high performance
and low operating costs. It is equipped with quiet, fuel-efficient
said the leased aircraft that airline is initially taking would
be only one to two years old. He said the passengers would get attracted
to Indus for the great comfort ERJ offers.
Baldev Seth said ERJ 145 cabin has a maximum pressure differential
of 7.8 psi, offering passengers the comfort of a smooth, relaxed
flight above bad weather. Since first delivery in December of 1996,
more than 700 of these successful Embraer jet aircraft have been
delivered to airlines around the world.
Ricardo Pesce, Diector, Business Development, Asia Pacific, Civil
Aircraft Market of Embraer Group, stated that by launch of RJ 145,
the airline will have an upper hand in comparison to airlines running
on turbo-prop ATRs in terms of time duration and facilities to passengers.
Beri said the airline had submitted the proposal to the Indian Government
on April 22 last year and the high-level committee of the Civil
Aviation Ministry approved it in December and the company was now
waiting for a final nod from the Civil Aviation Minister. He said
the airline meets all the stipulated guidelines for floating and
running a scheduled private carrier.
said the airline has hired two best aviators for its operations
in Northern and Central and Southern India. Capt A P C Kapoor, ex-Director
(operations) Air India and a senior Commander and instructor of
Boeing 747-400, would be based in Mumbai and head the operations
of Central and Southern India. Similarly, Capt M S Sandhu, ex-General
Manager, Air India and Boeing 747 instructor, would be based in
Chandigarh and head the operations of Northern India.
airlines that are planning to launch operations in 2005 include
Vijay Mallya's Kingfisher Airways, the Wadia family's Go Air, Royal
Airlines (former ModiLuft) and East West.
civil aviation ministry has granted its no-objection certificate
to Kingfisher, Go and Royal that would enable them to launch scheduled
flight operations this year. The launch of the several new airlines
is expected to unleash a fresh round of fare wars in the domestic
aviation market with all the players promising to introduce services
at fares that are about 25 to30 per cent cheaper than existing rates.
Air is expected to take to the skies in the next couple of months.
While Mallya plans to launch his airline venture by April next year,
Royal Air is slated to take off a month later in May. "We will
be starting our airline operations with a fleet of leased aircraft
and substantial investments will be made in the venture," said
Jehangir Wadia, director of the Wadia group, which also includes
Britannia and Bombay Dyeing. "Though we have named the venture
Go Air for now, we are conducting consumer studies to finalise the
brand for the airline."
takes over as Member AAI Board
DELHI, Jan 1: Mr P S Nair has been appointed as the Board Member
(Personnel and Administration) of the Airports Authority of India
(AAI), the mainstay of civil aviation in the country. Besides HR
development, Personnel and Industry Relations, he oversees Commercial
Activities and Land Management at the AAI's 126 civil airports in
to this correspondent, Mr Nair said his endeavor in the new position
would be to bring in desired efficiency in the organization. "Though
we have excellent technical talent we need to harness and come up
to everybody's expectations and achieve corporate excellence,"
he added. The Corporate Mission of the AAI is "Progress through
excellence and customer satisfaction with world-class airports and
air traffic services fostering economic development."
Nair stated that though the physical integration of erstwhile International
Airports Authority of India (IAAI) and National Airports Authority
of India (NAAI) took place in April 1995, but still we do not have
a common policy towards employees. He said he would ensure common
recruitment and promotion policy and common seniority of the employees
of the two organizations that were merged to create AAI.
new Member also stated that his endeavour would be increase the
non-traffic revenue from 40 per cent of total revenue at Rs 4,500
crore to 60 per cent that is a global standard.
Nair joined the erstwhile IAAI in 1977 as the first professional
manager, when the country's maiden international cargo terminal
was commissioned at Mumbai airport. Since then he has held various
key positions in the erstwhile IAAI, including a stint in the National
Dairy Development Board where he was responsible for major port
operations and nationwide distribution of dairy commodities donated
by EEC countries under "Operation Flood" programme.
1996, Mr Nair has been an Executive Director of the AAI, holding
key positions such as Airport Director, Trivendrum and Mumbai airport's
Commercial, Cargo and Key infrastructure Development. Prior to his
elevation as Member (P&A), Mr Nair was the Director of Capital's
Indira Gandhi International Airport for nearly three years.
traveled, Mr Nair has represented AAI in various high-level delegations
and working groups and has also presented several papers in national
and international levels, seminars and workshops. Mr Nair has undergone
12 weeks Public Enterprise Management training at Ilkley Management
Centre, UK under the Colombo Plan and six weeks intensive training
in Airport Handling Systems under the aegis of Frankfurt Airport
Authority at Frankfurt, Germany.
ATR inks deal with Air Deccan for 30 aircraft
Jan 6: European aviation major Avions de Transport
Regional (ATR) on Thursday bagged a multimillion-dollar
deal with Air Deccan, India's low-cost no-frills airline,
to provide 30 aircraft. Of the 30 ATR 72-500 aircraft,
15 will be brand new and the remaining 15 will be
leased aircraft that are five years old. The delivery
schedule is spread over a five-year period at the
rate of six to eight aircraft a year.
agreement for delivering the new-cum-leased aircraft
was signed here Thursday by ATR CEO Filippo Bagnato
and Air Deccan's managing director G.R. Gopinath. "The
ATR 72-500 aircraft have the lowest seat-mile costs
in their category and a high degree of commonality with
ATR 42, which leads to major cost savings and flexibility,"
addition to the 30 aircraft, ATR will deliver six second-hand
aircraft, including three 42-500 models and three 72-500
models. These aircraft will replace six of the existing
fleet of ATR aircraft operated by Air Deccan. Currently,
Air Deccan operates nine ATR-42s on its feeder routes
and three Airbus A-320s on trunk routes across India.
The airline is acquiring three more ATR 42-500 this
month and February to expand its feeder service.
sticker price for each ATR 72-500 aircraft is $17.6
million. The exact price will be negotiated in consultation
with export credit agencies like Sace Bank of Italy
and COFAS of France, who will stand guarantee for 80-85
percent of the cost," Bagnato said.
part of the deal, ATR has agreed to set up a training
facility in Bangalore with a simulator to train rookie
pilots. The first of its kind in India, the centre will
have well-advanced, integrated product support. According
to Gopinath, Air Deccan will acquire 15 ATR aircraft
on a monthly lease of 0.75-1 percent of the total cost
of the aircraft. Though
five years old, these aircraft will join the fleet after
overhauling and refurbishing by the manufacturers. ATR
is owned by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space
Co. NV based in France and Germany, and Italy's Alenia.
to lease 6 more ATRs
DELHI, Jan 6: The Indian Airlines board on Thursday
approved leasing of six more ATR-42 aircraft for its
subsidiary Alliance Air in a bid to enable it to serve
more short sector regional routes. The board's clearance
came as part of its approval of recommendations of the
Committee of Officers, which studied the feasibility
of extending domestic operations to regional routes.
committee recommended 50-seater operations to 18 new
destinations that include stations as diverse as Cooch
Behar, Agatti, Gwalior, Ludhiana, Kanpur, Dehra Doon,
Nasik, Simla, Surat and Jaisalmer. The hub and spoke
pattern of operations will have bases in Delhi, Mumbai,
Chennai and Kolkata. The board considered it appropriate
that Alliance Air should undertake these operations
with similar aircraft type as was currently in use -
`IN' THING: The Communication and Information Technology
Minister, Dayanidhi Maran, presenting a certificate
to Ratan Tata, Chairman, Tata Group, to mark the extension
of the .in domain name registry services by the National
Internet Exchange of India, at a function in New Delhi
launches Guwahati-Bangkok flight
DELHI, Jan 1: Indian Airlines on Saturday launched a
twice weekly A320 flight between Guwahati and Bangkok.
The Airbus flight (IC 293) will operate out of Guwahati
every Saturdays and Thursday departing at 12.30 pm and
out Bangkok (IC 295) on Mondays and Fridays at 2.20pm,
according to an IA spokesperson.
airline has offered a special inaugural fare for two
months besides a six month excursion fare in economy
class. The economy class one way inaugural fare from
Guwahati, which is the eighth station in India to be
linked to the Thai capital, is Rs 7,645 (round trip
Rs 14,300) and business class fare of Rs 9,940 (Rs 18,590),
the airline said. The six month excursion fare is Rs
13,655. Guwahati was earlier linked to Bangkok by a
twice a week A310 flights of Air-India, which were subsequently
allows private airlines to fly overseas
DELHI, Dec 29: India will allow domestic private airlines
to fly on lucrative international routes as a part of
its drive to strengthen and expand the nascent sector,
according to Mr Praful Patel, Civil Aviation Minister.
Until last year, only India's two state-owned carriers
-- international flag carrier Air-India Ltd. and the
mostly domestic Indian Airlines Ltd. -- were allowed
to fly on money-making international routes.
cabinet today approved domestic private airlines to
fly overseas, apart from the Gulf countries," Patel
told newsmen after a cabinet meeting in New Delhi. The
move will boost the prospects of private airlines such
as Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines.
ministry statement said domestic airlines planning to
fly overseas needed to have been in the business for
five years and have a fleet of at least 20 aircraft.
But Patel said the two state-owned carriers will be
allowed to retain their monopoly to fly to the Gulf
region for the next three years to protect their businesses.
of their operational revenue and profit on international
routes accrue from these routes," a ministry statement
said. A large number of Indian professionals, most of
whom travel regularly to the country, are working in
Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the
United Arab Emirates.
India's aviation sector is growing on the back of rising
domestic air travel in Asia's fourth-largest economy.
A cut in government taxes and increased competition
has resulted in lower fares that are boosting business
and tourist travel in the country.
air travel market expanded 26.5 percent in the first
half of the fiscal year to March to 18.52 million passengers.
As a result, almost all airlines have chalked out ambitious
expansion plans and some corporates have rushed to start
budget carriers as well.
Cabinet also approved the Ministry's proposals and course
of action suggested for strengthening Air India and
Indian Airlines and for establishing the improved operational
synergy between Air India and Indian Airlines. Further
the Cabinet has approved the proposal to discontinue
the practice of mandating commercial agreements on all
new services, to review the existing commercial agreements
and phase them out over the next five years.
of all eligible airlines for additional entitlements
will henceforth be taken into account in bilateral negotiations.
Efforts will be made to obtain traffic entitlements
commensurate to the requirements of all eligible airlines.
However, in case the total entitlement fall short of
requirements projected by the eligible airlines, inter-se
allocation of entitlements among eligible airlines will
be in the ratio of Available Seat Per Kilometer (ASKM)
deployed by them on domestic routes over the last five
years. Due consideration will be given to the operational
plan of Air India/Indian Airlines while allotting entitlements
to Indian Scheduled Carriers. The Ministry of Civil
Aviation will draw detailed guidelines in this regard.
With a view to encouraging greater connectivity, creating
a level playing field, reducing passenger tariffs and
ensuring viability of operations, the practice of demanding
compensation from foreign airlines by way of commercial
agreements mandated by the government will be discontinued.
All new operations by foreign carriers, both on new
destinations as well as on existing routes, will be
free from the obligations of the mandated commercial
agreements. All existing government mandated commercial
agreements will be reviewed and phased out over the
next five years. However, the airlines will be free
to enter into such cooperative marketing arrangements
as are mutually agreed upon by them.
Deccan seeks new heights
DELHI, Dec 27: In its endeavor to 'empower every Indian
to fly', Air Deccan, India's only budget carrier, has
connected Jaipur, Amritsar and Agra to the Capital city
of Delhi from Monday. From January 10 next, the airline's
Managing Director, Capt G R Gopinath, said the low fare,
no frills carrier would be connecting Delhi to Bhopal,
Jabalpur, Chandigarh, Jammu, Dehradun and Kanpur and another
flight to the pink city, Jaipur and the city of Taj, Agra.
extend his support for the growth of aviation in the country,
the Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel, had gone
to the Delhi airport to flag off the inaugural flight
to Dehradun. Mr Patel along with Capt Gopinath and Mr
Jean_luc Establie, Sales Director, ATR, had addressed
the newsmen to mark Air Deccan's launch to smaller cities
in Northern India.
Gopinath said the airline's endeavor is to connect the
unconnected routes. "In the past we connected unconnected
cities like Hubli, Belgaum and Vijaywada with the metros
of Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Now we are
connecting cities like Dehradun, Amritsar, Kanpur and
Jabalpur to Delhi."
said "our aim is also to make air travel affordable
for the common man." He said the airline would continue
to follow dynamic fares that would function with demand
and supply on any given route. On the lines of Western
zero-frill carriers like Ryan Air and Easy Jet, Air Deccan
has introduced dynamic pricing on its fares. Here the
meter starts ticking at just Rs 500 for early buyers and
climbs up to 45 per cent of the regular airline fare at
the top end of the spectrum.
example, he said a Delhi-Bangalore ticket on a conventional
airline like Jet Airways cost Rs 11,400 per ticket, in
Air Deccan the highest price of the ticket is Rs 6,400.
"Passenger buying tickets closer to the date of the
flight, running as close an hour before take off from
the airport will pay such fares. Total number of tickets
sold at Rs 500 is Rs 64,000," he added.
Gopinath said "for India to attain 8 to 9 per cent
GDP growth and for economic prosperity of the nation,
it is very important to integrate the regional cities
in backward areas to the metros not only with TV, Internet
and highways but also with air."
said air connectivity to interiors and 'low fares' across
the country would increase mass travel, give fillip to
trade and commerce, and boost tourism as all the major
tourist destinations and wild life parks are in remote
areas and tourism being the largest employer of people
in the world and also the largest foreign exchange earner
would generate employment in rural areas.
operating a modest four flights a day in August 2003,
Air Deccan has grown today into a reliable and efficient
airline flying over 80 flights a day connecting 28 airports.
The airline is presently operating a modern fleet of nine
ATR 42 500 aircraft and three Airbus A320s. Two of the
ATRs are based in Delhi to connect seven States to and
Gopinath said three more 48-seater ATRs would be joining
the in January and February. Only a few days ago, Air
Deccan had announced plans to buy 30 A320 planes from
Airbus. Air Deccan said the deliveries of the aircraft
are to begin in 2007. Airbus chief commercial officer
John Leahy said "the deal is worth $1.8 billion at
purchase by Air Deccan, owned by Bangalore-based helicopter
charter firm Deccan Aviation Private Ltd., is part of
an ambitious plan to quadruple its fleet from 15 to 60
planes in five years. Capt Gopinath said the Airbus deal
would be financed partly from $40 million raised earlier
this month from ICICI Venture Funds and US-based Capital
International. He said Air Deccan also had options for
an additional $10 million from the two firms.
Kumar, director of finance at Air Deccan, said that 85
per cent of the funds was expected to come from a consortium
of banks comprising France's Coface, German credit insurer
Hermes and Britain's Export Credits Guarantee Department
(ECGD) which would provide guarantee support or direct
funding. The rest would be from equity financing or funds
evacuates record number of people
DELHI, Dec 29: Indian Airlines has evacuated a record
1,117 passengers from Port Blair on a single day on Wednesday.
It operated 11 flights to and from Port Blair. Seven flights
were operated from Kolkata and four from Chennai.
to a press release, Indian Airlines will operate three
flights to Port Blair tomorrow - two from Kolkata and
one from Chennai - in view of a decrease in the demand
for evacuation of passengers. Indian Airlines has, since
the day of the tragedy, operated 26 relief flights to
Directors of Indian Airlines can be contacted for transportation
of relief material on the following numbers: Northern
region (Delhi): 25672800; Eastern region (Kolkata): 22116953;
Southern region (Chennai): 22561070 and Western region
(Mumbai): 26156788. Special cells have also been set up
to disseminate flight information. The telephone numbers
of these are: Kolkata: 22116869 and 22110041; Chennai:
22560022; Delhi: 25674270 and 25672226; Mumbai: 26256986.
evacuates over 1,300 from Andamans
DELHI, Dec 29: Over 1,300 people have been successfully
evacuated from the tsunami ravaged Andaman & Nicobar
Islands by Jet Airways on its 15 Boeing 737 flights from
Port Blair to Chennai and Kolkata since Sunday. Jet Airways
also carried over 200 passengers from Chennai and Kolkata
Blair after the Islands were hit by tsunami.
Airline's flights from Chennai and Kolkata to Port Blair
have flown over 13,000 kgs of relief supplies comprising
packaged drinking water, foodstuffs, clothing and medicines
for relief efforts in the beleaguered Islands. Sensing
the shortage of drinking water the Airline purchased over
6,000 bottles of water and also 360 boxes of meals, 30
kgs each of samosas and kachoris and flown to Port Blair
from Kolkata. Jet Airways will operate one Boeing 737
flights to Port Blair from Chennai and another from Kolkata
India to ferry relief material free for Tsunami victims
Dec 28: Air-India will transport relief material, donated
by various agencies and NGOs, for the victims of the
tsunami floods, free of cost to India from various points
on its global network. Organisations wishing to donate
relief material may contact state-owned carrier's offices
in their city, an AI spokesman said here today.
airline would give priority booking in return travel
to those who may have curtailed their visit to Thailand
after being affected by the tragedy, he said. The AI
employees would also contribute one-day's salary, including
Productivity Linked Incentive, to the Prime Minister's
Relief Fund in the wake of the tragedy caused by tsunami
floods in the southern states of the country, he added.
IA flies 952 people out of Port Blair
DELHI, Dec 28: Contributing to relief operations in
Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Indian Airlines on Tuesday
flew nearly 1,000 people out of the tsunami-hit territory.
The airline operated five flights from Kolkata and three
from Chennai to Port Blair which evacuated 952 stranded
passengers today, an Indian Airlines spokesman said
planes also carried water from Kolkata and medicines
from Chennai to the island group where an estimated
4,000 people were killed by tsunami waves on Sunday.
As a large number of people are still stranded, the
airline planned to operate 15 relief flights to Port
Blair on Wednesday - seven from Chennai and eight from
Kolkata - which are expected to evacuate 1,785 people.
As a result, many scheduled flights of Alliance Air
will be cancelled, the spokesman said.
Monday, Indian Airlines had operated five relief flights
and evacuated 593 passengers and on Sunday it had operated
two relief flights.
operates 5 relief flights
DELHI, Dec 28: Jet Airways on Tuesday announced that it
would operate six flights to Port Blair from Chennai and
Kolkata on Wednesday to evacuate stranded tourists and
residents of the archipelago. These flights will also
ferry relief and medical supplies, mineral water and essential
food items for the stranded passengers at the Port Blair
Airways also operated five Boeing 737 flights in all from
Chennai and Kolkata on Tuesday to and from Port Blair.
Two flights each were operated on Chennai-Port Blair-Chennai
sectors and three each on Kolkata-Port Blair-Kolkata sectors.
These flights have also been carrying relief and medical
supplies from Governmental and other recognised voluntary
agencies to Port Blair from Chennai and Kolkata free of
view of the national catastrophe, Jet stated that it would
not collect any cancellation charges for tickets issued
for travel on Chennai-Port
Blair-Chennai, Kolkata-Port Blair-Kolkata and Chennai-Colombo-Chennai
sectors until December 31. This gesture is also extended
to tickets issued separately on domestic sectors in conjunction
with onward journey on these routes. Moreover, tickets
purchased for travel on the services of Jet Airways and
Indian Airlines on the Chennai-Port Blair-Chennai or Kolkata-Port
Blair-Kolkata sectors can be endorsed on Indian Airlines
or vice versa.
Airways has also contributed Rs 50 lakhs to the Prime
Minister's Relief Fund for rehabilitation of the tsunami
victims of India. A cheque for the amount was handed over
to the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Mr TKA
Nair, late Monday evening by Jet Airways' Executive Vice
President, Lt. Gen (Retd.) Inder Varma on behalf of the
Airways also made another contribution of USD 55,000 for
similar efforts in the Island Nation of Sri Lanka. The
cheque to the President's
Fund for Rehabilitation was handed over to the President
of Sri Lanka, Mrs Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga at
the President House,
Colombo by Lt Gen Varma on Tuesday. Additionally,
around 7,000 employees of Jet Airways will contribute
a day's salary for relief efforts of the tsunami victims
of the coastal areas of India.
evacuates tourists from Andaman
DELHI, Dec 27: Indian Airlines on Monday launched an evacuation
operation to airlift more than 2000 stranded tourists
in the Andaman and Nicobar islands which had been devastated
by a powerful earthquake and resultant tsunami tidal waves.
The IA dispatched five aircraft since early Monday morning
to bring back 593 stranded passengers from Port Blair,
an IA spokesman said.
Sunday, Indian Airlines had operated two flights and brought
back about 293 tourists. On Tuesday, the airline would
send nine flights from Kolkatta and Chennai to bring back
over 1,000 stranded tourists.
of these flights went almost empty with only a small number
of residents of Andaman and Nicobar, who were in the mainland
and wanted to return following reports of the catastrophe,
said the spokesman. Some relief materials were also despatched
by these flights.
IA management under the supervision of a high powered
team had taken the decision to arrange for special flights
to evacuate the stranded tourists in the islands, the
Jet Airways also announced that it will fly medical and
relief supplies from Governmental or other recognized
voluntary agencies free of charge for rescue and rehabilitation
work, from Chennai to Port Blair with immediate effect.
Jet Airways operates one Boeing 737 flight daily between
Chennai and Port Blair. On Monday Jet Airways operated
two Boeing 737 flights between Chennai and Port Blair.
Airways also operated its special seasonal flight Kolkata-Port
Blair-Kolkata as scheduled on Sunday and also on Monday.
"This flight will continue to be operated daily till
tomorrow. Medical and Relief supplies can also be sent
in the Kolkata-Port Blair sector," Jet spokesperson
India poised to regain top slot
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, Dec 19: The Air India Chairman and Managing Director,
Mr V Thulasidas, is a man with a mission. His priority
is to ensure that Maharaja regains its past glory in the
least possible time. To ensure this he has set his targets
and is keeping an eagle eye over them. One of his top
priorities in restoring the health of the airline is to
ensure that Air India gets new aircraft, a decision that
has been pending for over a decade. Mr Thulasidas, who
completes his one year as CMD on December 21, has reasons
to be happy. During his short tenure, the national flag
carrier has taken decisions on pending issues of the past
several years. The airline is set to launch a low-cost
carrier, Air India Express, in April next year. It is
also set to launch a cargo carrier next year. And
to top it all the Air India Board has approved acquisition
plan for 50 aircraft. Its subsidiary, Air India Charters
Limited, has decided to acquired 18 Boeing 7367-800W aircraft
for use by Air India Express.
an interview with this correspondent, Mr Thulasidas said
that this fleet acquisition plan, which covers a period
up to 2012-2013, provides for an increase in fleet size
from the present 34 to 74 - a net addition of 40 aircraft.
Air-India proposes to increase seat capacity by 12 per
cent annually over this period.
a passionate interview with this correspondent in Kuala
Lumpur, he said "our country is one of the largest
and strongest and I don't see why we cannot do well in
the world. Today I have been given the responsibility
to get Air India on the top. And I don't see why we cannot
achieve this target."
plain words he has made this very clear to the Air India
staff too. Perform or perish. Either you all go up or
you all will go down. The choice is yours. But he adds
in the same breath that there was no reason why Air India
cannot achieve its past glory of becoming one of the top
airlines of the world. He said "the unions are supporting
the management. We also are receiving excellent support
from the Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr Praful Patel,
and the Government."
Thulasidas said "Indian travel market is booming.
Five millions are traveling abroad. Three millions foreign
tourists are coming to India. That makes it a total of
8 million air traffic. At present all foreign airlines
are taking away traffic. But if national airlines get
a good part of this traffic it is good for the national
Chairman and Managing Director said "we are not against
foreign airlines. Let them also come. But let there be
competition and let us all make our national carrier strong
to face the competition." Today, Mr Thulasidas said
"Air India is poised at a very decisive moment. It
needs to grow in size to meet the competition from the
large international airlines. It has to be profitable.
The service has to be top class and productivity has to
CMD said "This is a mission. It is not just my mission.
There are people who are proud to see an Air India aircraft
in their own country. People plead to us to give them
a chance to fly Air India."
said "right now the airline is increasing its fleet
strength through the lease route. We hope to get approvals
from the Government for 50 aircraft for Air India and
18 aircraft for Air India Express next year." With
this, he said, Air India would have more flights and more
network. "We are also in the process of upgrading
our existing aircraft with internet and telephone facilities
and better seats."
December 7, the Board of Air-India Charters Limited, a
subsidiary of Air-India, at its meeting held in Delhi,
had approved the project report for acquisition of 18
Boeing 737-800W aircraft for use by Air India Express.
These aircraft on induction will replace the ones being
taken on lease by AICL for Air-India Express for commencing
operations effective April 2005. While a firm price for
the entire order is yet to be fixed, the deal will be
worth close to $1 billion at the current list price of
$60 million per aircraft.
project report revised on the basis of low cost and low
fares was later submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation
for securing Government's approval. It may be recalled
that Air-India Board had last year approved the purchase
of these aircraft for its own use but consequent upon
the creation of Air-India Express, which will serve destinations
in the Gulf and South East Asia, the project report was
November 24, The Air-India Board approved the floating
of tenders for inviting offers for acquisition of 50 aircraft
- of which two-third will be on firm basis and one-third
on option. Air-India proposes to acquire three types of
aircraft for its fleet, viz. Medium Capacity Ultra Long
Range aircraft (A340-500/B777-200LR); Medium Capacity
Long Range - 350 seater in three-class configuration (A340-600/B777-300ER);
and Medium Capacity Long Range -- 250 seater in two class
configuration (A330-200/B7E7-8). The airline has now invited
offers from Aircraft and Engine manufacturers and subsequently
undertakes a techno-economic review of the offers received.
Thulasidas informed that Air India is now connected with
Los Angeles five times a week. Air India that commenced
flight to LA in June this year added two more frequencies
effective December 2. With five flights now available
to passengers per week, travel between Mumbai and Los
Angeles will become more convenient as Air-India is the
only airline to offer direct connectivity between the
two cities, without change of aircraft en route.
flights, operated via Frankfurt, also provide seamless
hub and spoke connections from Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad
and Kolkata to Los Angeles and convenient connections
on Indian Airlines on the return leg. All the five flights
to Los Angeles will be operated with Boeing 747-400 aircraft,
the First and Executive Class cabins of which have newly
installed flat beds and slumberettes respectively. These
cabins have also been recently retrofitted to provide
personal video entertainment and a choice of popular movies.
United States has been a major growing market for Air-India.
To cater to the increased demand, Air-India has been gradually
increasing its presence in Europe and the USA. With the
introduction of the two new flights to Los Angeles, Air-India's
flights to the USA will be increased to 25 per week --
seven to New York via London, seven to Newark via Paris,
six to Chicago -- three each via London and Frankfurt,
and five to Los Angeles via Frankfurt.
April 2005 the national carrier is, in fact, proposing
to operate a daily service to Los Angeles and also to
Chicago. Air-India will thus have daily services to each
of its four online stations in the USA -- New York, Newark,
Chicago and Los Angeles by the summer 2005 schedule.
China shares open higher at debut in Hong Kong stock exchange
KONG, Dec 16: Shares of China's biggest airline Air China
Ltd. opened 6 percent higher at their debut on the Hong
Kong stock exchange on Wednesday, in line with market
expectations. Air China, the third Chinese carrier to
list in Hong Kong, opened at 3.15 Hong Kong dollars, compared
with its initial public offering price of HK$ 2.98. Analysts
had expected the airline's shares to open 5 percent to
10 percent above its IPO price.
Beijing-based carrier was listed in London later on Wednesday,
making it the first Chinese company to have a dual listing
in Britain and Hong Kong in recent years. Air China Chairman
Li Jailing, said the airline chose London over New York
because it has a greater exposure to European destinations.
"The dual listing of Air China in Hong Kong and London
is a great milestone for the company,'' Li said.
Xulun, President of Air China, said: ``The listing enables
us to expand our fleet, strengthen our position as one
of China's largest commercial airlines.'' Air China raised
HK$8.36 billions (US$1.07 billions; euro 812 millions)
by selling 2.806 billion shares, or a 30 percent stake.
airline, which has a fleet of 136 aircraft, said the funds
raised from the offering will be used to buy 10 Airbus
and four Boeing jets and to repay debts.
China said it expects a strong rebound in its full-year
earnings, with net profit rising to 2.29 billion yuan
(US$276.57 millions; euro 208.56 millions) _ from 159.60
million yuan in 2003 when the airline was hit hard by
the SARS outbreak. Last month, Hong Kong's flag carrier
Cathy Pacific Airways Ltd. signed a memorandum of understanding
with Air China to buy 9.9 percent of the Chinese airline's
deal, which includes coordinated schedules and joint marketing
efforts, will give Cathay a bigger presence in the booming
mainland market from which the Hong Kong carrier has so
far been largely excluded. Two
other mainland Chinese carriers have already listed in
Hong Kong -- China Southern Airlines Co. and China Eastern
Air launches India operations
DELHI, Dec 10: Cosmic Air, a leading private carrier of
Nepal, has launched its India operations, offering two
flights daily between Delhi and Kathmandu. The airline,
with a wide network within Nepal, is offering promotional
fare of "Buy One, Get One Free" on the Delhi-Kathmandu
sector. Capt. R. D. Pradhan, Executive Chairman of SOI
group, of which Cosmic Air is a subsidiary, said the airline
aimed at developing Indian market for tourism and business
said that affordable fares and value for money would be
the hallmark of services of Cosmic Air. The airline plans
to fly to other cities in India such as Mumbai, Bangalore,
Lucknow, Varanasi and Bodh Gaya by early next year. It
is offering promotional fare of Rs. 2,700 plus taxes on
the Delhi-Kathmandu sector till December 31 but tickets
would be valid for a year.
Airlines posts Rs. 44 crore net profit
DELHI, Dec 3: After
a gap of four years, Indian Airlines has made a turnaround,
posting a net post-tax profit of Rs 44.17 crore in 2003-04
as against the net loss of Rs 196.6 crore the previous
year. The IA Board, which met in Mumbai on Friday, approved
the annual accounts of the public sector carrier, which
also made an operating profit of Rs 125.10 crore compared
with an operating loss of Rs 134.72 crore in 2002-03,
according to Mr Sunil Arora, Chairman and Managing Director
of Indian Airlines.
Arora said Indian Airlines increased its operating revenue
by over 13 per cent, which rose from Rs 4101.5 crore in
2002-03 to Rs 4649.8 crore last fiscal. Noting that the
last time Indian Airlines made profit was way back in
1998-99, he said the company earned profit despite major
hikes in prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), which
led to an increase in the operating expenses by 6.81 per
cent to Rs. 4,524.7 crores.
CMD attributed the turnaround to several cost-cutting
measures, better utilisation of aircraft, carrying more
passengers, improving overall load and seat factors. He
said the airline saved Rs. 73 crores in 2001-02, Rs. 102
crores and Rs. 190 crores in the next two years on several
Arora said the company showed improvement in its financial
performance despite hike in average domestic ATF price
to Rs. 21,000 per kilolitre during 2003-04 as against
Rs. 19,900 in the previous year. ATF price is a major
cost component of the carrier, about 30 per cent of the
operating cost in India as against global norm of 15 to
18 per cent.
said advance purchase (APEX) fares and other discounted
schemes also accounted for 25 to 30 per cent of the seats.
"For all practical purposes APEX fares are here to
stay,'' he added. The public sector carrier recently got
the nod from the Public Investment Board for acquiring
43 aircraft from Airbus and it needs the Government's
approval to begin the price negotiations for the Rs. 10,000-crore
deal that would give it added capacity as well as renew
its aging fleet.
meet helps boost trade between India, Malaysia
LUMPUR: The 32nd annual convention of Air Cargo Agents
Association of India (ACAAI) in Kuala Lumpur was a grand
success by all standards. The ACAAI President, Mr Sam
Katgara, had a beaming smile at the end of three-day fruitful
sessions. And why not? As many as 320 delegates from India
had attended the convention which was addressed by experts
and 'who is who' of the cargo industry. . "Mission
accomplished," he said.
convention succeeded in bringing India and Malaysia together
in seizing further opportunities to develop the trade
between the two friendly nations. It also helped in developing
bonhomie and comradeship between the freight agents and
Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister, Yang Mulia Tengku
Dato Sari Azlan Ibini Sultan Abu BaKar, opened the ACAAI
annual convention by lighting the tradition Indian lamp.
The Indian Civil Aviation Secretary, Mr Ajay Prasad, the
Indian High Commissioner, Mr R L Narayan, and the ACAAI
President also participated in lighting the lamp ceremony.
his key note address, Yang Mulia Tengku Dato Sari Azlan
Ibini Sultan Abu BaKar said "Malaysia has strong
historical links with India, and over the years the relationship
between these two friendly countries has strengthened.
India continues to be a valuable trading partner of Malaysia."
Minister stressed on the need for consolidating the strengths
and pooling of resources by the freight forwarders in
the light of horizontal and vertical integration that
is taking place in the segments of airline industry. Therefore,
he said, the airlines and freight forwarders were in the
process of understanding and appreciating the need for
Civil Aviation Secretary, Mr Ajay Prasad, assured that
the much-awaited new Civil Aviation policy would see the
light of the day some time early next year. He assured
better infrastructure in terms of ultra modern airports
and cargo hubs. He said the restructuring of Delhi and
Mumbai airports in collaboration with new private partner
would be completed by June next year.
Prasad assured the delegates that a new thrust is being
given to cargo in the country. He assured that many new
cargo complexes would be developed at many airports. He
informed that Indian Airlines and Air India would launch
dedicated freighter services sometime next year.
is the third convention in a row being held outside India
and it displays ACAAI's confidence in attempting to reach
out and expose to the trends and influences in the Cargo
Industry, beyond India's shores and skies. The 30th annual
convention was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka and the next
one in Dubai, UAE. The theme of this year's Kuala Lumpur
convention was "Airlines & Forwarder: Leveraging
top people from the cargo and airline industry addressed
the six business sessions that helped the trade partners
in leveraging their strengths and move forward to a better
and brighter tomorrow. Some of the top names that were
present included the Indian Airlines Chairman and Managing
Director, Mr Sunil Arora; the Air India Chairman and Managing
Director, Mr V Thulasidas; the Senior General Manager,
Malaysia Airlines, Mr J J Ong; the FIEO Chairman, Mr Rafeeque
Ahmed; and the Coke Vice President, Mr Adil Malia.
convention also decided that ACAAI would play an active
role by recommending the views of the industry in the
formation of the civil aviation policy as advised by the
Civil Aviation Secretary. It also called for business
transparency and engaging in constructive dialogue with
the partners on issues concerning both to strengthen the
his presidential address, Mr Sam Katgara said it was well-declared
policy of our two countries to co-operate with each other
under the Southeastern umbrella. This Convention, he said
would certainly strengthen the regional co-operation and
close relationship between the Air Cargo Industry in India
Katgara said in the global cargo scenario, cargo growth
outstripped passenger levels. "It is heartening to
know that cargo traffic growth improved by 12 per cent
in the first five months of this year compared to the
same period in the year 2003. The global cargo traffic
is 13.6 per cent higher and has outstripped passenger
traffic levels, which are 8.8 per cent."
said "traffic growth for the first five months of
2004 is testimony to the resilience of air transport.
Not only have we recovered from the impact of SARs and
war in Iraq, all major regions of the world are reporting
traffic levels above those of 2000 - the last normal year
for the industry. Despite the shocks that have rocked
the airline industry in recent years, the underlying industry
growth rate is 3.6 per cent. Efficiency gains and cost
cutting remain priorities to return the industry to health."
the tradition warm ties between the countries, the Indian
High Commissioner, Mr R L Narayan, the trade and economic
ties between India and Malaysia were growing in leaps
and bounds. He hoped that Malaysian Government would take
note of the tremendous opportunities being offered by
India in building its infrastructure network.
en route to numero uno slot
By Deepak Arora
DELHI: One must congratulate the new Congress-led United
Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government for taking a quick
decision of allowing the public sector Indian Airlines to
acquire new aircraft. The move is right as Indian Airlines
had wanted to purchase new aircraft to meet the growing
competition from private carriers, Jet Airways and Air Sahara,
replace its ageing fleet and arrest the depleting market
share. However, the past non-Congress led Governments had
dithered in taking this bold decision. As a result the market
share of the public sector airline had been steadily falling.
Wednesday, the Public Investment Board (PIB), comprising
Finance, Expenditure and Civil Aviation Secretaries, approved
the Indian Airlines plan to acquire 43 new Airbus aircraft
at a cost of Rs 9,475 crore. The Civil Aviation Secretary,
Mr Ajay Prasad, said the price of 43 aircraft had come down
from Rs 10,089 crores to Rs 9,475 crores. The PIB reduced
the projected amount approved by the Indian Airlines Board
in view of the exchange rate fluctuations and a stronger
the PIB approval, the IA Chairman and Managing Director,
Mr Sunil Arora, said "the entire IA family is relieved
and elated. We are thankful to the Ministries of Civil Aviation
and Finance that they finally took cognizance of the long
felt need of the airline to replace and add capacity."
Mr Arora said "this would definitely mean a quantum
upgrade in terms of further improvement of the product.
If the competition has aircraft of three to five years of
age, it becomes difficult for us, despite our best efforts,
to cope up with aircraft of older vintage."
fact, he said, "its tribute to the entire operational
staff that they have been able to enhance the utilization
of Airbus aircraft from 2,800 to 2,900 hours per annum to
3,400 hours per annum in the last four years. However, if
they are given new equipment they can be reasonably expected
to do much better."
Arora said "in the absence of equipment, the comparison
of Indian airlines of Indian Airlines with the competitors
is almost like comparing apples with oranges. There are
other factors pertaining to product upgrade which are constantly
being looked into, but the matching equipment by itself
is almost 50 per cent of the battle won. The rest is to
enhance maintenance, cleanliness of the cabin, in-flight
service, cuisine and all other aspects related to passenger
proposal has been hanging fire since March 2002 when the
Indian Airlines Board cleared it. Unlike the private carriers,
it needs government approval before placing orders for the
planes. This will be the first fleet acquisition by the
airline in 15 years. The last purchase took place when Rajiv
Gandhi was prime minister.
proposal would now be put up before the Cabinet Committee
on Economic Affairs (CCEA), according to Mr D Swarup, Expenditure
Secretary. The Finance Ministry has also agreed to provide
sovereign guarantees to help Indian Airlines raise funds
in the international markets for purchasing the aircraft.
90 per cent of the deal will be funded through external
commercial borrowings and the remaining 10 per cent will
be funded by way of government equity infusion in Indian
Airlines. It is expected that the final Cabinet approval
would come through by January and the aircraft would start
arriving in the later half of 2006. All aircraft will be
fitted with CFM-56 engines made jointly by General Electric
Co. and Snecma, a state-controlled French aerospace company.
Airlines would now commence price negotiations with Airbus
for the planes. Under the deal, Airbus has agreed to invest
in India 30 per cent of the total value of the airframes
(the aircraft minus the engine). The investment would be
for buying aircraft doors from Hindustan Aeronautics (HAL)
and software from Indian firms. The Airbus Senior Vice-President,
Mr Kiran Rao, has welcomed the announcement.
air travel market is small even though the country has one
of the world's fastest-growing economies. The air travel
market is small because of high fuel cost and high taxes
that inflate the air fares. It is for this reason, India's
billion-plus people use the subsidised rail network. Only
15 million people travelled by air in Asia's fourth-largest
economy in 2003-2004, a little more than the number who
use the much cheaper rail network in a single day.
air travel demand is expected to rise by nearly 9 per cent
annually for the next 20 years as incomes rise at a fast
clip, fuelling demand for 290 new jets valued at $22 billion,
according to Boeing. The Indian Airlines deal was crucial
to both Airbus and arch-rival American company, Boeing,
caught in a fierce battle for market share in a recovering
global aviation industry. Airbus overtook Boeing as the
world's biggest commercial jet maker in 2003.
is 80-percent-owned by European Aeronautic Defence &
Space Co NV, based in France and Germany. BAE Systems Plc,
a British aerospace company, owns the rest. Indian Airlines'
fleet of 65 aircraft includes 15 leased Airbus A320s and
four turboprop planes. The average age of the aircraft is
around 15 years and they are pending replacement. The new
fleet of 43 Airbus planes will be used to retire this aging
Airlines to connect Ahmedabad
DELHI, Nov18: Malaysia Airlines, the national carrier of
Malaysia, will launch return direct flights from Ahmedabad
to Kuala Lumpur, on December 16. The thrice-weekly flights
from Ahmedabad are on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The
five-hour-and-five-minute flight will depart from the Sardar
Vallabhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India,
at 2335 hrs (Local time) and arrive at the Kuala Lumpur
International Airport (KLIA), Kuala Lumpur at 0705 hrs (Malaysia
Time). The return flight will depart from KLIA, Kuala Lumpur
at 1930 hrs (Malaysia Time) and arrive at 2205 hrs (Local
time) at Ahmedabad.
With the return direct flight, Malaysia Airlines will have
direct connectivity from six different routes in India.
Seat capacity will increase to 8,128 seats per week from
the present 5,844 seats per week and the total number of
flights to 26 per week from 23. The airline will operate
the Airbus 330- 300 series aircraft with a total of 290
seats per flight, comprising 42 Business class seats and
248 economy class passenger seats.
Mr Zainal Abidin Sulaiman, Area Manager, Malaysia Airlines,
said "The State of Gujarat plays a significant role
in the Indian Outbound Air Traffic. Gujaratis are a known
travelling community and we want to service them right from
their doorstep, which will save them two precious hours
in traveling time."
Ms Sonia Dutt, Marketing Manager, South Asia, Malaysia Airlines,
said "The leisure and business segment in Gujarat contributes
almost 70 per cent of the air traffic. We expect the air
traffic to grow by 12 to 16 per cent per annum with the
new service." She said "Malaysia Airlines would
like to tap the growing markets especially where the Gujarati
community has interest. We expect this new route to attract
the primary market to Malaysia and beyond, especially Australia,
New Zealand, South Africa and USA." She said "the
new route is part of our expansion plan in India and demonstrates
our commitment to an emerging economic giant like India."
Malaysia Airlines presently operates daily (7 times per
week) from Chennai, 4 weekly flights from New Delhi and
Mumbai, twice-weekly flight from Bangalore and once weekly
flight from Hyderabad. Globally the airline has a fleet
of nearly 100 aircrafts connecting more than 100 destinations.
The airline started its operations in India in 1972 from
the city of Chennai.
hands over 2 new copters to Pawan Hans
DELHI, Nov 9: Eurocopter, the world's number one manufacturer
of helicopters, today handed over two new Dauphin AS 365
N3 helicopters to Pawan Hans. Mrs. Marie-Agnes Veve, Head
of Dauphin, presented a memento to Pawan Hans Chairman and
Managing Director, Mr Nagar V Sridhar, commemorating the
occasion. With these new additions, Pawan Hans expands its
fleet to 23 Dauphins, thereby, becoming the biggest fleet
of Eurocopter helicopters in India.
The two AS 365 N3's have undergone several
technical advancements, which include modular design of
the mechanical assemblies and use of composite materials
leading to considerable reduction in maintenance costs.
Speaking on the occasion, Mrs Marie-Agnes
Veve, Head of Dauphin said " One thing which is constant
all across the world is the confidence that Dauphin operators
have in the reliability of the helicopter. We cherish this
trust and always strive to provide value added services
to our customers. In researching future technologies, our
approach is to target reductions in development time, operating
cost, noise and pilot workload. Our major research goals
are to increase safety, passenger comfort, enhance performance
and customize it to suit all weather conditions."
On Eurocopter's association with Pawan Hans,
Mrs Veve said, "We share a very special relationship
with Pawan Hans, which is India's leading helicopter operator
as well as the biggest customer of Eurocopter in India."
On Eurocopter's plans for India, Mrs. Veve mentioned, "The
Indian aviation industry is witnessing tremendous growth.
The aviation sector has become more receptive to new models
and fresh technology. State governments, helicopter operators
and leading corporates are now using our helicopters. We
are receiving an increasing number of inquiries from various
business houses. This is very encouraging, we will soon
start with flight demonstrations here."
Pawan Hans is the largest helicopter operator
in India. It's fleet of helicopters is used for transportation
of personnel to offshore platforms, for shuttle flights
between drill barges and for transport of state officials
and VIPs. It also provides charter services for tourists.
Eurocopter launched the Dauphin Helicopters
in India in 1986.Since then, Pawan Hans has logged over
270,000 flying hours and over 1 million safe landings with
In July 2002, Pawan Hans was appointed as
a "Eurocopter Dauphin Helicopter Maintenance Centre"
in India and South Asia. This gives Pawan Hans, an unique
position as the sole approved Maintenance Centre with D
level capabilities for the complete Eurocopter Dauphin fleet
in South Asia.
Eurocopter helicopters are owned and used
by prominent state Governments, reputed helicopter charter
operators and prominent business groups in India. Worldwide,
US Coast Guard is one of the biggest customers of Dauphin.
The US Coast Guard owns a fleet of 96 Dauphins and has logged
more than 700,000 flight hours with them.
Eurocopter was formed in the early 90's by
the merger of the helicopter divisions of Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm
(MBB) from Germany and Aerospatiale from France. The group
is now a 100% subsidiary owned by EADS (European Aeronautic,
Defense and Space Company), the second largest aerospace
group in the world. Eurocopter offers a wider range of civil
and military products than any other manufacturer, from
the EC120 single-engine light helicopter up to a medium
weight transport helicopter in the ten-tonne class, the
Cougar MK2, thus covering about 80 percent of the global
fare discount to business class
DELHI, Nov 3: Indian Airlines has launched a scheme offering
discount on business class fare in a bid to enhance executive
class travel by business and corporate travellers and promote
companion or spouse travel. The person accompanying a full
fare-paying passenger in `J' class will be entitled to a
50 per cent discount on the fare. They will have to travel
together and the discount for the latter will be given against
a written application from the full fare-paying passenger.
The scheme is available for one-way or round-trip
travel on IA's domestic and international sectors for both
Indian and foreigners residing here. It will be valid between
November 5 and February 4, 2005. The scheme cannot be combined
with any other current offer and may not be available on
sectors and flights having a high frequency.
Hans gains new heights
DELHI: Under the dynamic leadership of Mr Nagar V Sridhar,
Chairman and Managing Director, Pawan Hans is gaining strength
day by day and setting new standards. The public-sector
undertaking achieve new heights this year when it paid the
highest ever dividend of Rs 17.50 crore for the financial
year 2003-04. This dividend is at the rate of 15.38 per
cent of its paid up equity to its shareholders i.e. President
of India, Ministry of Civil Aviation and ONGC. The dividend
is 33.21 per cent of the net profit after tax.
paid up capital of the company is Rs 113.76 crores with
the Government holding 78.5 per cent and balance 21.5 per
cent being held by ONGC. The Company has been consistently
paying dividend since 1992-93 and till date has paid Rs
Sridhar, who took over as CMD in June, 2002, has brought
in professionalism in the company through his astute administration.
His astute management skills could be gauged from the fact
that under his administration Pawan Hans paid pending annual
dividends of Rs 66.70 crore for the three financial years
1991-2000, 2000-01 and 2001-02. In other words, the company
during Mr Sridhar's tenure of little over two years has
paid dividends for five financial years.
recent dividend cheque of Rs 13.73 crores (Government of
India share) was presented by Pawan Hans Chairman and Managing
Director to the Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful Patel.
The Civil Aviation Secretary, Mr Ajay Prasad, and the Joint
Secretary, Mr A.K. Upadhayay, were present on the occasion.
Sridhar said the Company has been able to secure good long
term business with the institutional clients mainly in the
oil industry and the Government sector which has resulted
in improved utilization of helicopter fleet. "The Company
was able to achieve improved financial performance as compared
to previous year on account of long term contracts, better
charter rate structure with high revenue yield and increased
utilization of helicopters through improved serviceability
of fleet," he added.
Sridhar said the company achieved a total flying task of
23,020 revenue hours for the year 2003-04 with an average
monthly deployment of over 23.7 helicopters under long term
contracts as compared to 20,173 hours and 21.2 helicopters
in the previous financial year.
accepting the cheque, the Civil Aviation Minister expressed
happiness. Further, the Minister also said that he is proud
of Pawan Hans and its employees for making all out efforts
for this achievement.
Hans is one of India's leading helicopter company is known
for its reliable helicopter operations. Since inception
in 1985, the company has operated number of helicopters
by offering wide range of services to its clients by operating
a well balanced fleet of 32 helicopters consisting of Robinson(R-44),
Bell 206L4, Bell 407, Dauphin SA 365N, Dauphin AS 365N3
is the only aviation company in India being awarded ISO
9001: 2000 certification for its entire gamut of activities.
Since its inception, Pawan Hans fleet has clocked over 3,30,000
hours and has done over 12,00,000 landings.
Hans gives top priority to safety and security of the passengers
and has set stringent inspection rules. At Pawan Hans standing
instructions of the Managing Director are do not clear the
machine for flight even if there is an iota of doubt. "We
are a public sector undertaking and we follow stringent
guidelines on maintenance and with us safety comes before
economic considerations," said Mr Sridhar. It is a
different story that Pawan Hans has been showing profits
and has declared the highest ever dividend for the last
CMD said every helicopter goes through mandatory inspection
at 25 hours; 50 hours or 30 days; and 100 hours or four
months. Then there are T1, T2 or T3 inspections carried
out at 500 hours or 18 months; 1,000 hours or 36 months;
and 2,500 hours or 72 months. Then there is the G-Inspection
that is carried out at every 5,000 hours or 10 years. In
this the whole chopper is stripped to the last except for
the label and every part is checked and changed. Mr Sridhar
said "our helicopters are properly maintained and overhauled
as per the procedures prescribed by the manufacturers."
Hans has a team of dedicated highly motivated and skilled
manpower which includes pilots, engineers, executives and
support staff. The company makes sure that these professionals
receive the best possible training possible to upgrade their
skills. A DGCA approved Training School is being run for
the technical personnel and simulators are installed at
Delhi and Mumbai to provide periodic instrument training
to the pilots.
company prides itself on being an extremely self-contained
organization, with workshops covering different requirements
(instruments, electrical, safety equipment, synthetic panel,
component repair shop, Spectrometric Oil Analysis Procedure
Lab and radio including Full Test Data checks) that are
available on site at Mumbai. It carries out all periodic
inspections as well as overhaul in-house.
Hans is an approved maintenance centre to carry out servicing
of Dauphin series helicopters and is part of Eurocopter
network of Authorized Maintenance Centre (AMC) worldwide
to carry out the servicing in India and other South East
Airlines - a fashion statement
in designer outfits as flight attendants, latest audio and
video in flight entertainment on every seat, attractive
aircraft interiors and competitive fares. That is how liquor
czar Vijay Mallya is going to place his Kingfisher Airlines
that is set to get into flying mode in the first quarter
to this correspondent, Dr Vijay Mallya, Chairman of the
UB Group and Rajya Sabha member, said Kingfisher Airlines
has signed a deal with Airbus to acquire 12 Airbus A-320
aircraft and the company may launch an IPO to raise funds.
company will be investing $750 million to acquire these
new state-of-the-art aircraft from Airbus and firm deliveries
of four aircraft will commence in October 2005. For the
time being, Kingfisher Airlines is taking on lease four
A-320s from GE Capital Aviation Services for Rs 100 crore.
he said investments in new airplanes will commence which
will be financed through a variety of options that are available
worldwide. The company may launch an initial public offering
(IPO) at appropriate time to raise funds for the fleet acquisition.
Kingfisher Airlines is currently a wholly owned subsidiary
of UB Holdings.
the aircraft in the Kingfisher fleet will seat 180 passengers
in a one class "Funliner" configuration. CFM engines
sourced from CFM International, a joint company of Snecma
Moteurs, France and GE, USA, will power the Airbus A 320s.
On the group's foray into aviation Dr Mallya said, "The
UB group was the first to launch a non-government commercial
air service in 1990. We now feel a compelling need to re-enter
the aviation sector which is one of the fastest growing
markets in the world."
said "Kingfisher Airlines will have a 'Fly the Good
Times' approach and this will reflect in the experience
we will offer to passengers. With costs lower than economy
class travel on full service Airlines and marginally more
than the 'bus services' type low cost competition, Kingfisher
offers a far better proposition. The aircraft and service
will reflect the Kingfisher lifestyle imagery and credibility
that has been built over the years."
"Funliner" aircraft interiors would be styled
by India's leading fashion designers who have been signed
on. The staff uniforms will be designed by Kingfisher fashion
designers and flight attendants would be chosen in a "Kingfisher
Flying Models contest" to be launched all over India.
Kingfisher Airlines "Funliners" will offer in-flight
entertainment on demand encompassing the very latest in-flight
entertainment options available in the world. The "Funliners"
will also offer multi-channel audio entertainment with built-in
channel selectors on its slim line seats.
in-flight events include the "Kingfisher Flying Face
of the Month Contest", in flight silent auctions for
lifestyle products, in-flight sales of branded merchandise
at attractive discounts and a host of other innovations.
Kingfisher Airlines also proposes in-flight sales of dry
packaged food and beverages.
would have the lowest per seat mile cost in India by virtue
of a combination of leased and purchased aircraft. It will
have maximum capacity utilization with the lowest turnaround
times. It proposes to maintain low operating overheads by
maximizing outsourcing of ground handling with emphasis
on quality of service and competitiveness.
Mallya said the airline planned to outsource many of the
functions to Indian Airlines, which operates the same family
of aircraft to minimize costs. Also proposed is the extensive
use of IT to lower costs and allow for constant dynamic
models on pricing, aircraft utilization and route planning.
intend to save on our labour costs by having under 70 employees
per plane as against around 500 in Indian Airlines and 150
in Jet Airways," stated Dr Mallya.
would also offer an attractive loyalty rewards programme
for its passengers and would be negotiating bulk deals with
said at Kingfisher we would follow the Jet Blue budget airline
model. "It will not be at the lowest end of the value
chain but will seek to keep its costs low and fares very
affordable." He said "I do not believe in putting
wings on buses even though we chose Airbus aircraft."
There will not be any Rs 500 fares but 15 per cent of the
seats will be priced at the level of a second-class AC train
the 14 million traveling by train daily in India, 12 to
15 per cent travel in AC coaches. We are targeting these
passengers," he added.
The airline has inducted airline veterans Mr Parvez Damania
as Executive Director, Mr Alex Wilcox as Chief Operating
Officer (COO), and Mr Vinay Kashyap, formerly with Indian
Airlines, as adviser.
airline will fly on all trunk routes like New Delhi, Mumbai,
Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Indore,
Guwahati, Dibrugarh, Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, Mangalore
and Goa. "We are also looking at catering to international
destinations if the Government permits it. However, we would
not like to restrict ourselves to ASEAN and SAARC countries.
The government should allow a level playing field,"
Dr Mallya said.
Alex Wilcox, who has had a long stint in various international
airlines, including Jet Blue, informed that the fares would
fall into different price buckets in an ascending order.
Hans maintains stringent safety norms
DELHI, Oct 10: An aircraft or helicopter crash, no matter
how many casualties it results, always hits the news headlines
-- be it the front pages of newspapers or television news
networks or Internet websites. On the other hand the rail
or road mishaps, though the bigger killers, do not catch that
much media attention. This is not to belittle the aviation
accidents. Any accident -- be it air, rail or road -- that
claims lives is sad.
must not forget that the most affected by any tragedy are
the immediate members of the victims family. Similarly,
we should not forget that pilots also do have families and
none of them want to die. In other words, a pilot would not
like to fly a machine that is unsafe.
it has been noticed many a times that soon after an air accident
the so-called aviation experts be it the politicians
or the general public or the media persons -- start ogling
out comments that normally do no good either for the public
or for an operator. Somebody has rightly said prejudging
is criminal and wrong reporting leads to disinformation.
the case of a recent helicopter crash at Barapani, about 20
km from Shillong. The public sector, Pawan Hans, chopper was
on a routine flight from Guwahati to Shillong. All the eight
passengers on board and two crewmembers were killed. Among
them were Meghalaya community development minister Cyprian
Sangma, legislators H N Marak and Ardhendu Chowdhury and former
deputy speaker Aira Marak.
is learnt that the weather was bad and visibility poor in
the hills around Barapani when the ill-fated Dauphin helicopter
on September 22 met with the accident. The preliminary inquiry
suggests that bad weather was responsible for the Shillong
the media reports quoting the high profile politicians were
quick to blame Pawan Hans for flying an ageing machine and
having poor maintenance record. Those who said so were unaware
of the stringent maintenance work schedules at Pawan Hans
workshops and were unknowledgeable of as to how an age of
an helicopter is calculated.
I explain this, lets understand that either the men on top
ie the owners or the people behind ie passengers are generally
considered responsible for an accident. The owner of a small
fixed wing aircraft or a helicopter is responsible if he insists
on clearing the machine in spite of some defects or prevailing
bad weather conditions to get some quick economic gains. A
quick turnaround means more money.
times, VVIPs hopping from one destination to another nearby
disregard norms and authorities or private air operators yield
under political pressure. Experts say the safety norms that
are in place are adequate but their implementation should
Pawan Hans standing instructions of the Managing Director,
Mr Nagar V Sridhar, are do not clear the machine for flight
even if there is an iota of doubt. We are a public sector
undertaking and we follow stringent guidelines on maintenance
and with us safety comes before economic considerations,
said Mr Sridhar.
is a different story that Pawan Hans has been showing profits
and is expected to declare record dividend for the last financial
year. For us every life matters and therefore safety
is given top priority. We do not put our pilots to risk. They
also do have families, said Mr Sridhar expressing his
concern on the lives lost in Meghalaya crash.
crash near Barapani was the eighth involving Pawan Hans helicopter
in the country, and the second in the northeast. This eight-seater
Dauphin helicopter, four of which are in operation in northeast,
had logged 14,400 hours and was to go for G-Inspection at
the completion of 15,000 hours. Contrary to statements made
by some local politicians, a helicopter does not have a fixed
life span. This chopper had received airworthiness certificate
in March this year that was valid till March, 2005.
helicopter goes through mandatory inspection at 25 hours,
50 hours or 30 days, and 100 hours or four months. Then there
are T1, T2 or T3 inspection carried out at 500 hours or 18
months, 1,000 hours or 36 months and 2,500 hours or 72 months.
the G-Inspection is carried out at every 5,000 hours or 10
years. In this the whole chopper is stripped to the last except
for the label and every part is checked and changed. In other
words, a helicopter has no fixed life span so long it goes
through these checks and inspections.
the allegations, Mr Sridhar said our helicopters are
properly maintained and overhauled as per the procedures prescribed
by the manufacturers. The Shillong chopper had
its inception in 1985, Pawan Hans fleet has clocked over 3,30,000
hours and has done over 12,00,000 landings. Weather has been
the biggest troubleshooter for Pawan Hans. Out of its eight
accidents, six had been due to bad weather/ disorientation,
one due to human error and one has been purely due to mechanical
of these eight mishaps, four have been on the hilly region
that include the first accident on July 14, 1988 at Sanjhi
Chat, Jammu; Kohima in February 1989; Itanagar in May 2001
and the recent one in Shillong. Three accidents have been
over the sea ie near Bombay High in May 1997, off the Pondicherry
coast in August 1988, and Lakshdweep in October 2003. One
accident was over land ie in Patna in December 1989.
weather has been the biggest worry for airlines, especially
the helicopter operators. Unlike the big aircraft that cruise
at 30,000 to 40,000 ft altitude, the helicopters normally
fly at 6,000 ft at which level it faces clouds that deplete
visibility. If a helicopters gets into CV (Cumulo Nimbus)
clouds it results into death and destruction.
Nibus is cauliflower type of cloud that generates high velocity
with fast moving positive and negative charges. It gets into
a very dynamic situation and the artificial horizon instrument
goes haywire and makes it difficult for the pilot to save
the situation. Even when a big aircraft gets closure to CV
cloud it faces turbulence.
Airlines goes hot on India
By Deepak Arora
DELHI:Malaysia Airlines has received approvals to commence
flights to Ahmedabad and Kolkatta. The airline plans to start
three flights to Ahmedabad from Dec 16and three flights to
Kolkata from January 2 next year, according to Syed Abdillah
Aziz, airline's Regional Manager, South Asia.
present, Malaysian Airlines has four flights to Delhi, daily
flight to Chennai, two to Bangalore, four to Mumbai and one
to Hyderabad. It plans to add one more flight to Bangalore,
three to Mumbai and two to Hyderabad and place into service
Boeing 747-400 to Chennai thereby adding 100 seats from the
South gateway to Kaulalumpur. With these new additions, the
airline's total flights would go up from 18 to 30 per week
from India. Only last year, the airline had seven flights
out of India, informed Syed Aziz.
additional flights indicate that Malaysia considers India
as a lucrative tourist market. The Malaysian Tourism Minister,
Dr Leo Michael Toyad, said Malaysia is targeting 400,000 Indian
arrivals by the year 2007. The total Indian arrivals to Malaysia
in 2002 were 183,000 and in 2003 were 145,000.
Dr Toyad said in the first seven months of this year this
figure has already crossed more than 105,000 and the Ministry
of Tourism expects these figures to touch 200,000 by the end
of this year.
his visit to India, the Minister announced a strategic plan
for Tourism Malaysia to promote Malaysia as a preferred tourist
destination among the Indians. The plan based on the principle
of "Consolidation" and "Value for Money"
specifies three broad objectives - active public-private participation,
strengthening of the distribution network and customized positioning
Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board Director, Mr Manoharan, said
the Malaysian Tourism Ministry anticipates 25 per cent growth
in the tourist receipts from India, which at present stands
at US $ 71.15 million. Mr Manoharan also hopes to achieve
and sustain average growth of stay to 11 to 12 days from 9.1
days in 203. It also plans to lay special stress doubling
the business arrivals from India, which at present stands
at 23.4 per cent.
provide more seats to his country, Dr Toyad said his government
would welcome all public and private airlines to fly between
the two countries. "The government is ready to facilitate
and accommodate the needs of existing and potential airlines
which would help in augmenting the seat capacity and connectivity."
said the Ministry of Tourism would continue joint promotions
with not only the national carrier Malaysia Airlines but with
other airlines too which has a direct or indirect link between
the two countries.
also have to learn from the Malaysians on how not to kill
the goose that lays the golden eggs. It's a known fact that
Malaysia knows the importance of tourism and its contribution
towards development of its economy. The country has come a
long way from the doldrums of 1997-98 when tourist arrivals
was at its lowest at 5.5 million to record high of 13.25 million
in 2002 and 10.6 million in 2003.
the importance of tourism as a significant foreign exchange
earner and employment tool of the country's workforce, Malaysian
Government keeps introducing new steps to attract foreign
tourists. One such step taken early this year was launch of
I-Visa (Internet Visa) to woo tourists from China and India.
A pilot project was launched on March 15 this year in Chennai.
the I-Visa has become an instant hit, the Travel Agents Association
of India (TAAI) objected to demand of Rs 3.5 lakh bank guarantee
from travel agents by the Malaysian High Commission.
Mr Balbir Mayal, TAAI President, "demand for the bank
guarantee is unreasonable. No embassy or High Commission has
ever asked for such guarantees. Today its Malaysia, tomorrow
it could the US and others. There are over 100 embassies in
India and if travel agents start giving bank guarantees, the
amount would run into Crores, and that is not a feasible proposition."
Mayal and his TAAI team had a meeting with the Malaysian Tourism
Minister during his recent visit to New Delhi. "Dr Toyad
was very receptive to us and promised to look into the matter
and discuss the issue with the Home Ministry," said Mr
Mayal said TAAI was ready to take responsibility and guarantee
of its agents and this was conveyed to the visiting Minister.
However, he said if any travel agent defaults the Malaysian
Government should blacklist him.
Malaysian Minister said "the I-Visa is more for the convenience
of travelers and travel agents, who have to provide customer's
the I-Visa, once a customer gets an online okay from the High
Commission, he can take the slip from the travel agent and
get the visa stamped from the High Commission office. It saves
travel time and long queues at the High Commission. The Malaysian
idea behind bank guarantee is to make the travel agent more
taking into account concerns of TAAI, Dr Toyad assured this
correspondent that his Ministry was preparing a Cabinet paper
and also discuss the issue with the Ministries of Foreign
Affairs and Home. Thus, he showed how Malaysia cares and ready
to take all concerns into account to be an attractive tourist
details of the I-Visa issued from Chennai, he said in March
4,673 visas were issued and out of that I-Visas were 1,090.
In April the total figure was 6,407 (I-Visa 3,893); in May
5,681 (I-Visa 4,000); in June 3,544 (I-Visa 2722), July 4,661
(I-Visa 3,666) and till August 20 the total visas issued were
2,800 that included 2,242 I-Visas. The Minister said the I-Visa
has taken off well in the two cities of China.
Deccan slashes fares; IA, Jet, Sahara hike it
DELHI, Oct 9: While the big three domestic airlines - Indian
Airlines, Jet Airways and Air Sahara - have found excuse in
rising fuel prices to hike fares by 10 per cent, their relatively
"smaller" competitor, Air Deccan, has announced
a 20 per cent drop on its long-haul sectors, terming it as
a benefit of flying full capacity. The
rise in airfares by bigger carriers seems to have spoilt the
party for domestic air travellers, who, in the run-up to the
festive season, were seeing attractive fares and price cuts.
Deccan managing director G R Gopinath said "our seats
are booked to 60 to 70 per cent capacity. This is a good load
factor and the continued demand has helped us achieve better
operational efficiencies." He said "Air Deccan,
keeping with its philosophy of offering lowest fares and empowering
every Indian to fly, has decided to drop fares by 20 per cent
and increase its passenger loads."
the rising Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) prices, Capt Gopinath
mentioned "the incremental revenue from passengers will
offset the cost of increase in ATF." He added "with
Air Deccan operating out of 22 airports every increase in
flights to these airports would bring the ticket costs down
Gopinath said "we will continue to operate the 'Dynafares
scheme' under which tickets are priced from Rs 700 onwards.
The top-end fares, which are available to passengers booking
tickets two days prior to travel, have now been dropped. Air
Deccan is offering fares up to 55 per cent lower than other
airlines." Unlike other domestic airlines, Air Deccan
is the only profit making airline in the country.
the new discount scheme of Air Deccan, the Delhi-Mumbai fare
for tickets booked even hours before the travel date will
be available for Rs 3,400 as against Rs 4,400 earlier. The
other airlines on this sector offer tickets after 10 per cent
hike at Rs 7,250. The Delhi-Bangalore top-end fare has been
cut from Rs 6,600 earlier to Rs 5,200. Other airlines offer
stands at Rs 11,400.
Bangalore-Mumbai sector, new Deccan price is Rs 2,600 while
others offer stands at Rs 5,600. On Delhi-Hyderabad, Deccan
tickets would cost Rs 4,000 as compared to Rs 9,600 of bigger
carriers. Deccan has priced Delhi-Chennai sector at Rs 4,500
as compared to Rs 11,800 of other airlines.
Friday, Indian Airlines and Jet in separate announcements
had announced to hike their fares by 10 per cent from October
14 citing the rise in fuel prices as the reason.
to a Jet release, the upward revision has been necessitated
by the 19 per cent price increase in aviation turbine fuel
(ATF) since June, 2004. The ATF component in Jet Airways'
operating costs has increased from 28 per cent to 33 per cent
now, translating into an additional expense of Rs 13 crore
on ATF, compared to the June figures.
both Indian Airlines and Jet there would also be proportional
increases in other promotional fares, apart from the economy
and business class tickets. This means that excursion fares,
advance purchase fares and the positioning flight fares would
also be revised. Air Sahara would, however, not affect any
increase in its promotional scheme, which offers a Delhi-Mumbai
ticket for Rs 4,444.
prevailing high ATF prices have added substantially to the
operating costs of Indian Airlines and its subsidiary Alliance
Air, necessitating an increase in fares, an IA spokesperson
continued increase in ATF prices has added substantially to
the input costs of airlines and thrown their projections out
of gear. The ATF price has touched an all time high in October,
2004, which is a matter of concern to IATA and the member
airlines. The rise in ATF prices this year has added $9 to10
billion to the industry's fuel costs for international operations
Dutta's mantra for success
By Sushma Arora
Sept 24: The CEO of Air Sahara, Mr Rono Dutta, has said that
network; city share; product; yield management; loyalty programme;
and alliances are the key to success of any airline.
his keynote address titled "Struggle for profits"
at the 53rd TAAI annual convention here, Mr Dutta, said network
is the backbone and key flow area of any airlines. Access
is most important to create financial center hubs. India must
create aviation hubs outside India to get out of the black
hole. Every other successful airline has done it, be it British
Airways or Lufthansa or Singapore Airlines.
reminded that every aviation hub creates a financial center
that creates US $ 35 million to the local economy.
Dutta stressed that privatization and more access to foreign
carriers were important, but the Government must take a balanced
view otherwise it could lose to India becoming a financial
hub like Dubai or Singapore.
his address, he said City Share was important to be clear
on your points of strengths. On the Product, he said failure
points here are the human contacts. It is important to upgrade
technology or be at par with tech and innovate product.
Yield management, he mentioned that "Time value to Money"
was important to stimulate demand. He said airlines have to
be price sensitive, capture customer behavior at different
price points, and have seven to eight different price structures
for attracting customers.
informed that Loyalty Programme such as frequent flyers contributes
to 15 per cent of loyalty. Price of course alone contributes
45 per cent, schedules are 20 per cent and product commands
another 20 per cent in terms of loyalty programs.
on Alliances, Mr Dutta said we must learn what the British
always did. Never fight a battle alone. We need to learn from
Lufthansa, Singapore and all others what alliances can mean
to the revenue of an airline. He said that it has proven that
airlines and customers are commodities.
Dutta warned that the current competition through airfares
between airlines would lead to closure of some carriers. To
succeed in this tough environment, he said that two carrier
hubs would not work. Instead, the airlines should focus and
specialize on few cities.
takes private carriers by the horn
big boss Indian Airlines has also sounded the fare war bugle
and has decided to take the private players by the horn on
this. Though some of the private airlines are talking of Rs
500 a ticket, Indian Airlines announced that it would match
any fare offered by any airline. Of course there will
be no compromise on our service standards and safety,
said Mr Anil Goyal, Commercial Director of the public sector
Goyal announced better discounts and deals than the 30-day
Apex fares introduced recently by Jet Airways and Air Sahara
recently. The state-owned Indian Airlines announcing a near
60 per cent cut in its air tickets booked 28 days in advance.
Under the scheme (D-28), a 28-day Apex (advance purchase)
Delhi-Mumbai ticket will now be available for Rs 2,500.
how IAs scheme is better than the rivals, Mr Goyal said
the main advantage is that our scheme is available for
one-way flights as well. The other scoring point is that we
offer the least number of days for advance purchase of tickets
as compared to 30-day offer by other private players.
new fares are available on metro sectors and has been introduced
to match the increased competition in the market as also to
attract AC 2-tier train passengers, he said. The Apex D-28
fares would be available with immediate effect and would be
valid for sale upto October 15.
Manjira Khurana, Director in-flight services and Coordinator
Marketing Services, said any change in booking from D-7 and
D-21 (the two other schemes already being offered) to D-28
would be permitted without application of any cancellation
charge. She said the passenger could also be allowed to convert
from Apex D-28 to normal fare without applicable of cancellation
charge till August 15.
Goyal said Indian Airlines had introduced the Smart Apex fares
which offered advance purchase options on 7-day and 21-day
basis. It was now felt that that there was a market for similar
fare on an advance purchase beyond three weeks prior to the
date of travel.
D-28 is being offered on eight sectors. These include with
one way ticket price Delhi-Mumbai (Rs 2,500); Delhi-Kolkata
and Delhi-Hyderabad (Rs 3,000 each); and Delhi-Bangalore,
Delhi Chennai, Kolkata-Mumbai, Kolkata-Bangalore and Chennai-Kolkatta
(all for Rs 3,500 each).
these new discounts, Indian Airlines has shown that it continues
to set the agenda in the aviation market, particularly on
fares. Way back in May 2001, the airline introduced the international
practice of juxtaposing the fares on market requirement and
yields, with the concept of Flexi-Fares. The underlying philosophy
being that once the place has taken off, vacant seats are
an opportunity lost forever.
the flexi-fare concept, the fares were restructured sector-to-sector,
season-to-season, peak time to non-peak time. The market had
not seen anything like this and before long, this concept
had caught up with the others in the field too. The air traveler
looked forward to something exciting coming his way all the
Goyal said Indian Airlines took a conscious decision that
instead of having a static and stagnant fare policy, it would
have to keep a fluid and dynamic fare structure which was
both cost driven and market driven. The various schemes and
promotions that followed were only variants of the flexi-fare
Apex (Advance Purchase Excursion Fares) which was a corollary
to the flexi-fare strategy module, followed soon in December
2001. They aimed at attracting more passengers especially
the top end of rail traffic. The response to Apex fares, which
have been periodically reviewed and improvised upon, has been
overwhelming, with as many as 1,000 to 1,500 more passengers
traveling Indian Airlines every day.
Smart Apex fare introduced in June last year, offered advance
purchase options of seven days and 21 days on as many as 56
sectors. Presently, it is available on 67 domestic sectors.
The longer period of 21 days found favour with vacationers
and travelers without deadlines.
Super Saver and Super Saver Golden Edge schemes introduced
last August were a bonanza for regular travelers. While the
former offered four economy class domestic sectors for Rs
25,000, the later offered eight economy class domestic sectors
for Rs 50,000.
came positioning flight fares from April this year. Fares
were cheaper by as much as 50 per cent to 60 per cent on the
domestic leg of IAs international flights. Like on Ahmedabad-Hyderabad
sector IC 563/ 564 and IC981/ 982, the fare was Rs 3,500 as
against the normal fare of Rs 5,975.
special fare for flights from Mumbai to destinations to Gujarat
called the Common Promotional Fare of Rs 2,000 was introduced
in May this year and has been a hit with the locals. A flat
fare of Rs 2,000 was charged on sectors Mumbai-Vadodara, Mumbai-Bhavnagar
and Mumbai-Rajkot, as against the normal fare of Rs 2,830,
Rs 2,725 and Rs 3,130 respectively.
Mr Goyal said the airline saw a record carriage of passengers
from April to June this year. The average daily carriage was
over 25,000 passengers, which the airline had not witnessed
since December 2000. The spurt in carriage can be attributed
to a large part on the various marketing initiatives of Indian
Airlines including the discounted fares.
recent offering this time to boost air travel to and from
smaller cities and mini metros is the IA Metro Non-Metro Fares
from July 16 to October 15. Under this scheme, a passenger
traveling on non-metro sector in conjunction with a metro
sector has to just pay Rs 1,000 for the non-metro sector.
For instance, from Bangalore-Delhi-Patna, the fare under this
scheme is Rs 11,630 as against the normal Rs 15,985. Or from
Udaipur-Mumbai-Chennai the metro non-metro fare is Rs 7,030
against the normal fare of 10,645.
the fares initiative stands out for its tremendous impact
on the domestic aviation market, several other marketing initiatives
taken by Indian Airlines have simultaneously helped in boosting
air travel. The marketing initiatives along with the attractive
fares and other product upgrades aimed at giving value addition
to the corporate travelers, frequent fliers and leisure travelers.
service to Kedarnath relaunched
By Deepak Arora
DELHI: Sept 12: Though Uttaranchal is one of the youngest
States, it is one of the fastest growing States as far as
tourism is concerned. The State under the leadership of Chief
Minister, Mr N D Tiwari and under the able guidance of the
Tourism Minister, Lt Gen T P S Rawat, and Tourism Secretary,
Dr N N Prasad, is doing everything possible to make Uttaranchal
a world class tourism destination.
the importance of tourism as a key GDP driver, the State has
accorded industry status to tourism. Uttaranchal, cradled
in the Himalayas, has unparallel natural beauty. It is home
to famous pilgrimage and spiritual centers for all religions
like Badrinath, Kedarnath, Hemkunt Sahib and Pirankaliyar,
source of the mighty Ganga and Yamuna and land of hundreds
also has world centre for yoga and meditation at Rishikesh
and provides and practices concepts of wellness based on Indian
system of medicine - Ayurveda, herbal treatment and naturopathy.
Its 90 per cent of land mass is under mountains and 70 per
cent under forests. It has rich and diverse flora and fauna.
It is also a paradise for adventure tourism, white water rafting
and skiing, and trekking, mountaineering and aero sports.
The world famous "Valley of Flowers", the world
heritage site of Naina Devi, and Corbett National Park are
all located in Uttaranchal.
USP of the state is that it is 150 km from the national capital
of Delhi, has high literacy rate and is completely safe and
secure destination. It has a tourist friendly environment
where people follow the motto "Atithi Devo Bhava"
(Guest is God).
State Government is doing all to improve its connectivity
by rail, road and air to develop Uttranchal as an all year
round tourist destination.
that direction Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd has resumed helicopter
services to the holy shrine of Kedarnath by a five-seater
Bell 407 helicopter from Augustmuni in collaboration with
Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam and the State Government. The fare
is Rs 8,501 per passenger for the round trip (Agustmuni-Kedarnath-Augustmuni)
inclusive of priority darshan, according to Mr Nagar V Sridhar,
Chairman and Managing Director of Pawan Hans.
Uttaranchal Tourism Secretary, Mr N N Prasad, informed that
the helicopter service would help the devotees who for various
constrains such as time, health and age cannot visit the holy
shrine. "This would ease the journey of pilgrims and
save their precious time," he added.
Hans has signed a memorandum of understanding with Garhwal
Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd (GMVN), a Government of Uttranchal
undertaking, for promoting pilgrimage tourism, eco tourism,
adventure tourism in the State on August 18 this year.
per the MOU, Pawan Hans would connect the important places
such as Shree Kedarnath Dham, Badrinath Dham, Ghangaria, Hemund
Sahib from Gauchar airport near Rudraprayag from the next
year onwards by helicopter.
Nagar Sridhar said Pawan Hans along with GMVN would make efforts
to provide the basic framework for working together in future
on a long term basis for growth and business development.
Hans is one of India's leading helicopter company is known
for its its reliable helicopter operations. The company was
incorporated in 1985 with the objective of providing helicopter
services to the petroleum sector, linking inaccessible areas
of the country and operating charters for promotion of tourism.
Sridhar said last year Pawan Hans had carried 750 passengers
to Kedarnath and the weather gods had also played truants
and curtailed service during the season. "However, the
company had made cash profit. But in real sense it did not
because of depreciation etc. However, this year the company
should do much better."
year, he said, we have placed one Bell 407 helicopter on service
with four flights a day. "Next year, we plan to press
two helicopters in service from summer somewhere in April/
May," added Mr Sridhar.
realize the full tourism potential, Mr Prasad informed that
the State Government has developed three airstrips at Gaucher,
Chinyalisaur and Pithoragarh. "These are ready to be
operationalised," he added. He informed that a master
plan for airstrips has also been prepared.
Hans CMD said Gauchar is a beautiful airstrip. "We plan
to develop it as our base where we plan to build helicopter
hangers and build a passenger terminal that can be used to
bring passengers from Delhi and transported further by helicopters
to religious and tourist places," said Mr Sridhar. "It
is for this reason we have signed an MOU with the State agency,"
Prasad said that Jolly Grant airport at Dehradun is to be
expanded and operationalised. Similarly, Pantnagar and Haridwar
airstrips are to be expanded and operationalised. He said
the State Government is exploring the possibility of commencing
an airline called Mountain Airline.
airline is a vision and we are looking at its viability. The
Government of India has given us Rs 15 lakhs to conduct a
feasibility study. We plan to purchase about six helicopters
to commence this airline that would take tourist to mountain
and Himalayan rides," added Mr Prasad.
expanding the air connectivity, the State is also focusing
on train connectivity. Dehradun has recently been connected
with a new Jan Shatabdi train from New Delhi and a new train
to Chennai. A Sampurna Kranti train between Delhi and Kathgodam
would also commence shorty, informed Mr Prasad. He said National
Highway (NH 58) was also being upgraded to a four-lane expressway.
"We also plan to develop nine ropeways."
commences flights from Amritsar
NEW DELHI, Oct 4: Singapore Airlines (SIA) has
commenced direct flights between Amritsar and Singapore, three
times a week from Monday. Amritsar is the tenth Indian destination
to be served by SIA and its subsidiary, Silk Air. These direct
flights designated as SQ 471 (Amritsar - Singapore) and SQ
472 (Singapore -Amritsar) will operate on Wednesday, Friday
and Sunday every week.
pitches for IA, AI
DELHI, Sept 5: With the reports of the two national carriers
having a relook at its fleet acquisition plans, the US aircraft
giant, Boeing, has launched a fresh pitch with Air India and
the rapid changes in domestic travel market and global aviation
industry, the Indian carriers would have competitive advantages
if they go in for Boeing aircraft, said Dr Dinesh Keskar,
senior vice president (Sales), Boeing.
Keskar said that in the past few years, the aviation industry
has gone through tremendous changes. "After a few years
of downturn in the aviation industry, air traffic is back
on track, and is growing especially in India and Asia. However,
now we are faced with new challenges such as rising price
of jet fuel and appreciation of the Euro, but also opportunities
for traffic growth."
jet fuel price, combined with consistent newly introduced
non-stop, point-to-point routes to India by major international
carriers and introduction of low cost carriers throughout
the region, requires established Indian carriers to reduce
cost while enhancing its product and service offerings, he
Keskar said "it is encouraging that Air India and Indian
Airlines are now considering lease airplanes for their fleet
expansion plans. Leased airplanes will allow the national
carriers to induct much needed capacity immediately while
required thorough evaluations of long-term fleets are being
said that Boeing has offered to replace the aircraft leased
by Air-India from South Korea with new generation ones at
a "great price" and said Indian Airlines would save
over Rs 700 crore if it bought planes from it.
have made a proposal to Air India to replace the aircraft
it has leased from South Korea with new generation planes.
It will be a great solution at a great price," he said.
said B-747s would be replaced by similar aircraft with "new
interiors of B-777s and private televisions on each economy
class seats". The lease of the Korean Boeings expires
compete with current eight international airlines that use
Boeing 777s to fly 160 flights per week into various Indian
destinations, the national flagship carrier will need the
competitive advantages of superior economics, revenue potential
and passenger comfort.
777-200ER/LR is the right choice for Air India to increase
its market share, enhance passengers' flying experience, and
maximize profitability," said Dr Keskar. He said that
Air India has a mission to be one of the top airlines in the
world and one airplane that can help Air India reach this
goal is Boeing 777.
reevaluations are complete, there will be no doubt that Boeing
airplane families are the most suitable for Indian carriers
as they begin to dramatically expand to connect India to the
rest of the world, he added.
777-200ER (extended range) can carry 31 more passengers, with
four tonnes more cargo than the A340-300. The airplane also
burns 10 percent less fuel and costs 23 percent less to maintain
per passenger than the A340-300. In addition to greater profit
potential and lower operating costs, the 777-200ER also has
a higher resale value than its competitor.
compared to its rival, he said the 777-200ER has a 65 per
cent market share. Over the past five years, the 777-200ER
has outsold the A340-30 by 3 to 1. On the passenger preference,
he said 3 out of 4 passengers prefer 777 because of its wider
cabin, wider seats, wider aisles, more headroom and more comfort.
Keskar said due to overall schedule reliability, significant
fuel savings, lower maintenance cost and lower operating costs,
the 777-200ER provides US $ 3.13 million more profit per year.
737-800's economic advantages are the result of its ability
to generate more revenue by carrying up to 12 more passengers
and one-half tonne more cargo than the A320. Industry data
also reveals that the 737-800 costs 15 to 20 percent less
to maintain than its competitor and it can fly farther than
the offer to Indian Airlines whose proposal to acquire 43
Airbus 319s, 320s and 321s is currently being vetted by the
Government, Dr Keskar said: "our offer of Rs 700 crore
rebate continues to stand".
are reports that the Government has asked Indian Airlines
in have a relook at its proposal to purchase new aircraft
in the new aviation scenario. Boeing has been making this
offer for the past few years to woo Indian Airlines into buying
back on 777, Dr Keskar said Singapore Airlines has signed
a letter of intent to purchase up to 31 Boeing B777-300ER
aircraft. Eighteen of the 31 aircraft are firm orders for
delivery between 2006 to 2010, while the remaining 13 are
subject to exercise of purchase rights. At list prices, the
order is worth approximately US $ 7.35 billion, including
cost of spares and spare engines.
Electric GE90-115 engines will power the twin-engine aircraft.
The order reinforces SIA's standing as the biggest customer
for the Boeing 777s and has another four B777s on firm order.
With the latest order, the number of B777s in the SIA's fleet
will eventually reach 77 units.
B777-300ER, seating about 350 passengers and with a range
of 7,000 nm, will be deployed on SIA's long-haul and medium-haul
routes. The new order will allow SIA to achieve fleet as one
of the industry's youngest, as the B747-400 is progressively
revamps frequent flyer programme
By Deepak Arora
DELHI: India's private carrier, Jet Airways, has radically
revamped its Frequent Flyer Programme called Jet Privilege
(JP) and has added new global firsts to it. The new programme
is more appealing, innovative, accessible and truly world-class
for over 400,000 members. It has been created to recognise
the longstanding relationship Jet Airways shares with all
new programme is a radical departure from existing frequent
flyer programme models followed by airlines around the world,"
said Mr Peter Luethi, Chief Operating Officer of the airline.
He added "Jet Airways has always set the benchmark for
loyalty programmes in India. With the new Jet Privilege, we
have taken a major step forward in the way we acquire, recognise
and reward our frequent fliers."
Luethi said "the new programme is not only more rewarding
but has many innovative benefits including a Global first.
JP members can now access their membership account, transact
online and enjoy a personalised web experience too."
internationally acclaimed airline loyalty programme guru,
Mr. Randy Petersen, has described the new programme as "Traditionally
Frequent Flier programmes have focussed on mileage accrual/
redemption and fixed window for tier assessment. Jet Airways
will be the first airline to build their Frequent Flier Programme
based on 'Dynamic Tier Review' mechanism, which offers flexibility
and truly understands the customers behaviour to build profitable
new JP now offer two additional membership levels, thereby
replacing the earlier three tier levels with five membership
levels: JP Blue, JP Blue Plus, JP Silver, JP Gold and the
elite JP Platinum. JP Members can now access, programme details
online by logging on to www.jetairways.com The site also offers
Jet Privilege members access to their own personalised online
Jet Privilege accounts. The accounts are secured with member-specified
an online JP account, members are can not only access, but
also update their JP information, purchase tickets, access
customized offers based on their preferences, verify their
JPMiles and activities, claim missing JPMiles, redeem their
JPMiles for Jet Airways flights and request any other information
from the Jet Privilege Service Center. A full-fledged dedicated
Service Centre is always available to handle any member enquiries
the new programme Jet Airways takes a lead in the introduction
of a range of new benefits and unique privileges such as mileage
earning capabilities globally in the Hyatt/Hilton chain of
hotels. It also offers well-established features such as automatic
mileage accrual, multiple mileage earning opportunities and
global redemptions. Features that reinforce the new programme
as it takes a giant leap forward.
feature that makes the new Jet Privilege programme stand apart
is the unique Dynamic Tier Review (DTR) system, a world first,
pioneered by Jet Airways. A multiple criteria based tier assessment
system, the DTR will offer JP Members quicker tier upgrades
as well as enhanced opportunities to retain their tier membership
JP members were required to complete or earn a fixed number
of Jet Airways flights or JPMiles within the pre-determined
time frame of one financial year, i.e., April 01 to March
31 of next year. By automatically reviewing tier activities
in the preceding 12 months, on a daily basis, the DTR will
ensure that with each calendar date, the time frame slides
a day ahead. If a member meets the applicable criteria within
a shorter period of time due to regular frequency of travel,
the DTR System will upgrade the member to a higher tier within
the end of a member's tier validity, the DTR will review the
member's activity in the preceding 12-month period and as
long as he achieves the requisite Jet Airways flights or JP
Miles, the tier will be retained for an additional 12 month
the system will provide for flexible time frame evaluations
for the preceding 18 and 24 months in appreciation of the
member's loyalty by allowing slight reduction in the tier
requirement on the longer criteria period. For instance, if
a member needs 60 flights in 12 months to retain his Platinum
status, in 18 months he will technically require 90. However,
DTR will enable him to do this at only 84.
global in nature, the JP card is accepted across 400 cities
in six continents wherever Jet Airways' international partners
KLM Royal Dutch Airline and Northwest Airlines fly to. It
has more partners and offers more benefits than any other
Frequent Flyer Programme in the Indian Subcontinent.
member starts earning JPMiles from the time he takes his first
flight. JPMiles can also be earned when a passenger flies
on Jet Airways' international partner airlines namely KLM
Royal Dutch Airline and Northwest Airlines. A Jet Airways
frequent flier member can also earn JPMiles through other
programme partners that include 2500 hotels in, The Hilton
Hhonors global network, 200 hotels in the Hyatt Hotels &
Resorts global chain, The Leela Palaces & Resorts, ITC-Welcomgroup,
The Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, The Park Hotels, Radisson
Hotels & Resorts, Avis Rent a Car and The Economist magazine.
benefits offered to a JP member include membership level bonuses,
access to Club Premiere lounges at airports, tele check-in,
extra baggage allowance over and above normal allowance, guaranteed
reservations upto 24 hours before departure, check-in at Club
Premiere desks and access to select KLM Lounges worldwide.
from the above Jet Airways offers its members an opportunity
to earn free flights even faster with Jet Airways Citibank
Credit Cards. In association with Citibank N.A. and MasterCard
International, this is the country's most innovative and rewarding
airline co-branded credit card which is available in both
Gold and Silver variants.
Patna, the capital of Bihar, will be the next new station
on Jet Airways network. The airline will link Patna with Delhi
by a daily evening flight operated by Next Generation Boeing
737-700 aircraft effective Monday (August 16). Patna will
be the 44th destination on Jet Airways route network including
the two international stations Colombo and Kathmandu.
Airways operates a fleet comprising of 33 Classic and Next-Generation
Boeing 737-400/700/800/900 aircraft and eight modern ATR 72-500
turbo-prop aircraft. With an average aircraft age of only
four years the airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleet
in Asia. Since inception on May 05, 1993 till end June 2004
Jet Airways has flown over 44.8 million passengers.
comes to infant's rescue
DELHI, July 29: The public sector Indian Airlines is know
for its humane touch. In its past several decades of existence,
the airline has come to rescue of people in areas affected
by the floods or earthquake or cyclone hit. It has also rescued
Indians from abroad during contingencies like the Gulf War.
During such contingencies, it has provided medicines and relief
material free of cost.
humane face of Indian Airlines was once again visible on Thursday
night when the Commander of a flight IC 904 to Bangalore from
New Delhi diverted the plane to save the life of an infant.
Mrs Asma Khan and her 10-day-old baby Muhammed Ahmed, who
was born with a critical heart ailment, accompanied by the
baby's uncle Mr.Zahoor Ahmed Khan, who arrived by a PIA flight
PK-270 from Lahore to Delhi at 1610 hrs of July 28 boarded
Indian Airlines flight IC 904 to Bangalore where the infant
was to undergo heart surgery.
plane took off at 2000 hrs and on way the infant's condition
deteriorated. The crew made an announcement calling for a
doctor on board. A passenger Dr. G.Jayadevappa came forward
and examined the infant with the help of the first aid equipment
available on board and opined that the infant was in critical
condition and needed to be shifted to hospital immediately.
Capt. Sanjeev Marwah, popularly known as 'Bunty' Marwah, took
on the spot decision, alerted Hyderabad and made an unscheduled
landing at Hyderabad at 2205 hrs. The infant, with the help
of Indian Airlines officials was rushed to Krishna Institute
of Medical Sciences, in an ambulance of Airports Authority
of India. The oxygen cylinder from the aircraft supported
the infant till he reached the hospital.
IC 904 finally landed in Bangalore at 2335 hrs instead of
the scheduled arrival of 2220 hrs. Capt. Marwah's decision
to land at Hyderabad was lauded by all the 142 passengers
on board despite the inconvenience caused due the delay in
infant's condition is now stable, and he has been declared
fit to travel under medical supervision to Bangalore on Thursday
for surgery. He travelle by IC 961 leaving Hyderabad at 1830
hrs on Thursday, accompanied by a doctor and a nurse from
the hospital and an IA official.
Indian Airlines Airport Manager at Hyderabad and other officials
called on the family and assured them of all assistance for
their travel to Bangalore. In an interview to a television
channel, Muhammad's mother and uncle have expressed deep sense
of gratitude to Indian Airlines for going out of the way and
arranging timely assistance.
to infust funds into AI, IA
DELHI, July 27: Keeping in view the long-pending demand of
Indian Airlines and Air India, government has agreed in-principle
to infuse funds to expand the equity base of the two public
sector carriers for their fleet acquisition plans. It also
agreed to "look into" the demand for reconsidering
the 48 per cent Withholding Tax (WHT), a budget proposal,
imposed on leasing of aircraft by any Indian company from
a foreign firm.
out of a 30-minute meeting with Finance Minister P Chidambaram
here, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel told newsmen "the
Finance Minister has agreed in-principle for equity infusion."
The Kelkar Committee had recommended infusion of Rs 325 crore
into Indian Airlines to enable it acquire aircraft.
the IA has decided to buy 43 Airbus 319s, 320s and 321s, the
Air India plans to acquire 18 aircraft and another 14 for
its low-cost carrier, Air India Express.
said he wanted equity in Air India to be enhanced from Rs
105 crore and in Indian Airlines from Rs 153 crore as part
of efforts to expand the fleet of the two airlines since low
equity base was coming in the way of acquiring more aircraft.
"The final arrangement of equity infusion has to be worked
out," he said, adding both the airlines would continue
to lease ultra long range and medium capacity long-range aircraft.
sets up control room to monitor strike
By Deepak Arora
DELHI, July 19: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) Chairman,
Mr K Ramalingam, has set up a control room to monitor the
strike called by the employees unions in protest against "privatisation"
of Delhi and Mumbai airports.
Ramalingam has also stated the AAI would evoke contingency
plans depending on the situation. The Chairman has also appealed
to the AAI Employees Joint Forum (AAIEJF) not to pursue the
relay hunger strike and resume work in the interest of the
unions are opposing the government move to modernise and restructure
the Delhi and Mumbai airports.
On Monday, the Chairman also held a meeting of Heads of the
Departments and appreciated efforts being put by them in dealing
with the situation and called for confident building measures
to thwart the strike.
on Saturday, the Member (Finance), AAI, Mr VDV Prasad Rao,
held meeting with the recognised union and reportedly the
ATC Guild had assured him not to disrupt air traffic services,
according to Mr Premnath, General Manager, Communications,
fight for pie in the sky
By Deepak Arora
passengers never had it so good. Only a month after the domestic
carriers had increased fares, the airlines - Jet, Sahara and
Indian Airlines have slashed fares on certain routes by whopping
30 per cent. The fares have now come down to Second AC sleeper
train prices. Those who can now plan a month in advance can
enjoy a plane ride with kids in tow, save on long train journey
time and utilize the extra time with friends and family and
you read further. Hold your breath. A host of no-frills carriers
are waiting in the wings to offer you still cheaper tickets.
Air Deccan promises journey between metros like Delhi and
Bangalore for an unbelievable price of Rs 500 only. The catch
is that you have to book your flight three months in advance
and you have to be among first five lucky ones. However, the
next five lucky ones can pay Rs 100 extra to get the tickets
and so on.
airline Air Sahara has reduced the airfares on the busy revenue-earning
metro routes linking Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata and Bangalore.
A return airfare between Delhi and Mumbai, two of India's
largest cities, has been brought down to Rs 4,444 -- compared
to Rs 4,420 for air-conditioned rail travel along the same
route. The rock-bottom prices are subject to the tickets being
purchased at least 30 days in advance. The other catch is
that the passenger has to stay minimum one Sunday stay at
a destination, cannot travel on Sunday and tickets are applicable
for 90 days.
the occasion of the launch of the new initiative called "SurPrices",
the Air Sahara President and CEO, Mr Rono Joy Dutta said,
"In the continuous endevour to expand the customer base,
we at Air Sahara are ensuring that air travel is made extremely
attractive and affordable for different segments of travelers."
He further added," This initiative would give an opportunity
to the train traveler to opt for air travel". He
added the airline was planning to launch a "dynamic fare"
model that would fix fares between various domestic destinations
based on daily market demand.
Airways has also announced the launch of its 30-day "monsoon
super apex fares'' on some metro routes with immediate effect.
They will be valid till September 15. It also announced special
point-to-point fares; return excursion fares and promotional
fares to Patna and Lucknow.
new "monsoon super apex fares" are stated to be
even lower than the "super apex fares" but are governed
by the same terms and conditions. Passengers holding the super
apex fare tickets may have these reissued to the monsoon super
apex fares scheme to avail themselves of the additional benefits,
provided the 30-day advance purchase requirement is fulfilled.
Airways said that it would offer attractive travel deals that
entail substantial savings over normal fares under its special
monsoon point-to-point and return excursion fares in economy
class valid from July 26 until October 15. Available on 56
and 26 sectors respectively, these would involve combination
of travel to non-metro sectors via metro sectors or vice versa.
an inaugural offer on Jet Airways' Delhi-Patna-Delhi flights,
slated to start operations on August 16, passengers buying
a return economy class ticket at Rs. 11,110 for this sector
will be allowed to take a companion free of charge. On the
Delhi-Lucknow-Delhi sectors, a special one-way economy class
fare of Rs. 1,999 will be introduced from July 26, which will
be valid till October 15. The existing normal economy class
fare is Rs. 3,790.
the new scheme, an economy class ticket for Delhi-Mumbai will
cost Rs. 2,500. For Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Hyderabad sectors,
the fare will be Rs. 3,000 and for other sectors - Delhi-Bangalore,
Delhi-Chennai, Kolkata-Mumbai, Kolkata-Bangalore and Kolkata-Chennai
- Rs. 3,500. Under the special monsoon economy class return
excursion fares, Delhi-Chennai-Madurai and vice versa a return
ticket will come for Rs. 22,100, Delhi-Chennai-Port Blair
for Rs. 22,100, Chennai-Delhi-Lucknow and vice versa also
for Rs. 22,100.
Airlines said that its 30-day and 21-day apex fares were comparable
to that of Jet Airways and the special monsoon point-to-point
economy class fare was comparable to IA's metro-non-metro
concept. For example, it said, that on the Chennai-Kolkata-Guwahati
sector the Jet Airways point-to-point economy class fare was
Rs. 10,900, which was comparable to IA's normal metro-non-metro
fare of Rs. 10,475 and D-7 apex metro-non-metro economy class
fare of Rs. 6,955.
steep drop came after leading domestic carrier, state-run
Indian Airlines, announced that a passenger flying between
two metros need pay only an extra Rs 1,000 to take a connecting
flight to a smaller city. The scheme aims at tapping air travel
demand among those living in smaller towns and cities who
usually opt for road or railway travel. The scheme will extend
to 224 destinations in India and will be valid until October
15 -- before the onset of the popular winter tourist season.
Airways, Sahara and Indian Airlines command the largest share
of the domestic aviation market, but upstart budget carrier
Air Deccan has been snipping away at their share in the past
year. Industry officials say Air Deccan has spooked the big
three with ticket prices that are around 30 per cent lower
than market rates. So far most of the airline's operations
are restricted to flights between big metros and smaller cities,
but the carrier plans to take on the major players soon with
new aircraft on the main routes connecting big metros. The
company has already announced a "Dynafare" scheme
that will bring air tickets down to as low as Rs 500 to 700
on flights between major metros.
airline has recently taken three Airbus 320 planes on lease
to compliment its fleet of seven French-made ATR 48-seater
aircraft with which it plans to start operations on metros.
Air Deccan chief GR Gopinath has said he plans to keep cutting
fares as the number of passengers for his airline rises.
as many as nine low cost carriers have applied for licences
and are readying for take off. These include India's reputed
industrial groups United Breweries (UB), Wadias and garment
manufacturer Bombay Dyeing. On Wednesday, UB signed a deal
with European aircraft maker Airbus for the purchase of four
planes and an option on eight more to boost its Kingfisher
news is welcome for Indian travellers as flights to destinations
abroad are often cheaper on foreign carriers than those within
the country on domestic airlines. High fuel costs and other
operating fees such as landing and parking charges, which
account for up to 15 per cent on an airline's expenditure,
have kept air fares high and grounded most carriers which
have entered the domestic aviation sector when it opened up
nearly a decade ago. The no-frills carriers plan to keep their
overhead costs low by employing skeletal staff, serving sparse
meals of sandwiches and apples and packing more seats inside
strike off at Delhi airport
DELHI, July 20: Airports Authority of India (AAI) has resolved
the strike at the Cargo terminal in the Indira Gandhi International
Airport (IGIA). The strike had paralysed the work at the terminal
and had held up export consignments of about 1000 tonne of
cargo worth Rs 400 crore. The strike was called off following
intervention of the AAI Chairman, Mr K Ramalingam, and senior
officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation.
Air Custom House Agent Employees Association has called off
the strike on Tuesday, according to Mr Premnath, General Manager,
PR, Airports Authority of India (AAI). The cargo clearing
agents had commenced their four-day-old strike on July 16.
The issue of non-association of CHA Employees in the process
of X-ray screening by the Delhi Air CHA Employees was resolved
at the highest-level meetings between the AAI and Delhi Air
CHA Employees Association and in consultation with the other
large number export and import consignments had been held
at the cargo terminal because of the strike. The consignments
were also held up due to no post budget updations. However,
General Manager (Cargo), AAI, has assured that all assistance
would be given and working hours would be extended to clear
the rush of export and import cargo.
strike had held up export consignments of about 1000 tonne
of cargo worth Rs 400 crore. "The strike has hit the
exporters hard as they are not able to meet the delivery schedule,"
Garment Exporters Association president HKL Magu said in a
statement. He said the international market is highly sensitive
and competitive and if the consignments do not reach within
the stipulated time, orders can be cancelled and the exporters
will suffer substantial losses.
parties oppose 'privatisation' of airports
DELHI, July 23: Opposing "privatisation" of Delhi
and Mumbai airports, Left MPs have asked the Prime Minister,
Dr Manmohan Singh, to "stall" the move and consider
the "alternative proposal" for the purpose submitted
by airport employees. "Such a move, in our position,
is in violation of CMP", which stipulated that generally
profit-making companies would not be privatised, the MPs,
led by CPI(M) leader Nilotpal Basu, who heads the Parliamentary
Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture, said
in a letter to Dr Singh.
that the Airports Authority of India (AAI) was consistently
making profits and had a reserve of over Rs 2,300 crore, they
said "lack of transparency of purpose, as evident from
contradictory statements of the Civil Aviation Ministry on
the issue, has shrouded the whole process with mystery and
Prime Minister to start discussion on the "alternate
proposal" submitted to him by AAI employees, they said
"the sudden decision" to involve private domestic
airlines as equity participants in the proposed joint venture
"is a glaring instance of such non-transparency".
other signatories were Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc), Manoj
Bhattacharya and Abani Roy (RSP) and Dipankar Mukherjee (CPI-M).
Meanwhile, the AAI Employees Joint Forum has submitted an
"alternate plan" to the Prime Minister stating that
AAI had in 1996 presented a feasibility report for development
of Delhi and Mumbai airports to the Vajpayee government, which
decided to privatise them instead.
UK to enhance flights
DELHI, July 22: Recognising the need for further expanding
and strengthening bilateral ties and keeping in view the traffic
potential and passenger demand for more international air
services, the Indian and the British Governments have agreed
in principle to enhance the number of flights and increase
the frequencies, between the two countries. This was agreed
to during the talks held between the Civil Aviation Minister,
Mr Praful Patel and his British counterpart Mr. Alistair Darling,
Secretary of State for Transport, at London, yesterday.
the meeting it was also agreed that the bilateral talks between
the two countries would be expedited and be held either in
August or latest by the first week of September 2004. Earlier
the talks were scheduled to be held in March 2004 but had
got indefinitely postponed due the announcement of elections
meeting which lasted for about 45 minutes was also attended
by the British Aviation Minister Mr. Tony McNutty, the Indian
Secretary for Civil Aviation Mr Ajay Prasad and the High Commissioner
of India in UK, Mr S.S Paul. Mr Patel has termed the talks
successful and progressive and has added that that it was
a move in the positive direction.
present, British Airways is operating 19 flights to India
weekly, while Air India operates 12 flights to UK in a week.
The India-UK sector is one of the most important markets for
both the countries and there is ample scope for introducing
more flights. The Ministerial level dialogue will now soon
be followed by official level bilateral discussions to workout
and finalise the details.
Minister lauds Pawan Hans role
By Sushma Arora
DELHI, June 29: The Civil Aviation Minister, Mr Praful
Patel, has appreciated Pawan Hans for making all out efforts
for providing connectivity to vital installations and
remote inaccessible areas of the country under hostile
conditions. The new Minister said this while visiting
the Pawan Hans premises. The Pawan Hans CMD, Mr Nagar
V Sridhar, gave a presentation on the operations and activities
of the public sector company.
Minister took keen interest in understanding the role
being played by Pawan Hans. Mr Praful Patel mentioned
that the direction set by Pawan Hans was right and wished
the company to fly even highter. Pawan Hans Helicopters
Ltd (PHHL) is one of India's leading helicopter company
and is known for its reliable helicopter operations. The
company was incorporated in 1985 with the objective of
providing helicopter services to the petroleum sector,
linking inaccessible areas of the country and operating
charters for promotion of tourism.
rules the skies too
By Deepak Arora
Aviation Service is not only the largest aviation fuel
marketer in the country but also the most preferred supplier
of jet fuel for customers in India and abroad. With over
94 Aviation Fuel Stations spread across the Indian sub
continent, IndianOil Aviation Service serves over 71 international
airlines besides the domestic airlines in India.
IndianOil continued to rule the skies in aviation fuel
supply business with a market share of 67 per cent.
Thiruvananthapuram in the South to Leh in the North and
from Porbandar in the West to Ziro in the East, IndianOil
Aviation Service covers India like no one else. In fact,
every 1.6 minutes IndianOil Aviation Service somewhere
in the country is refueling an aircraft.
N G Kannan, Director (Marketing), IndianOil says, "
The IndianOil Aviation Service is an operational service
that just never sleeps. Refueling continue round the clock
despite bandhs, strikes and natural calamities. Our Aviation
Service stations are not only windows to IndianOil but
also the crucial supply link that the aviation sector
can simply take for granted".
Dr Kannan said IndianOil Aviation Service has over 68
per cent of the aviation fuel market in the country. It
also caters to over 90 per cent demand of the Indian Defence
services, besides the sensitive requirements of VVIP flights
at all the airports and at remote heli-pads/ heli-bases
across the Indian subcontinent.
IndianOil Aviation Service not only maintains world-class
standards in operations and safety but also conforms to
the stringent global quality requirements of Aviation
Fuel storage and handling. It uses the latest technology
and equipment to offer high quality service to all its
customers. In India, IndianOil was the first in the oil
industry to receive the ISO-9002 certification for its
IndianOil has earned this accreditation for thirteen major
aviation fuel stations including all international airports.
Eleven of the fourteen quality control laboratories have
also earned this accreditation.
IndianOil is also the first in India to have adopted a
Quality Control Index System based on a quality audit.
Fourteen DGCA approved IndianOil laboratories spread across
the country carry out full specification tests for Aviation
policy of equal opportunity is well displayed by the gender
equality at the work place. At Juhu airport, Mumbai, its
Aviation Fuel facility catering for supplies to aircraft
operating on high sea operation of oil exploration, is
entirely serviced by women officers, said Dr Kannan.
IndianOil organizes an International Aviation conference
at select cities. Over 100 delegates from over 35 countries
representing leading international and all domestic airlines,
allied industries, statutory aviation authorities and
government agencies including representatives from the
Indian Defence Services regularly attend the two-day conference.
prestigious conference has been organized annually by
IndianOil for the last 12 years and delves on the significant
changes in the aviation sector worldwide, as well as track
the growth trends in the Indian aviation industry.
the past, the conference has deliberated on issues like
air safety, conservation of air fuels, upgradation of
fuel quality, aviation fuel specifications, airport infrastructure,
futuristic engine design, air navigation systems and Aviation
infrastructure. The observers from the aviation industry
tracking the latest developments and happenings in the
sector keenly watch the presentations at the conference.
The International Aviation Conferences have been held
in the past at Kathmandu, Bangalore, Khajuraho, Goa, Agra
and Jaipur. During 2003, Kochi hosted this prestigious
had the privilege to be the chosen one to refuel the flights
operated by the US Air Force, flying into and out of India
during the visit of the then US President Bill Clinton.
IndianOil Aviation Service ensured that US Pilots experienced
in India the same standards of service that they expect
in the USA.
Aviation Service recently launched an interactive website
www.ioclebiz.com that helps customers to log on and do
business from anywhere in the world. The website caters
to a wide range of services and information like aviation
fuel characteristics; latest quality/ safety measures;
aviation fuel station network and location details; and
placement of orders and availability of fuel and aviation
lubricants at locations.
site also provides a historical background of the development
of aviation fuels, DGCA fuel specifications, test methods,
QC and safety procedures. Users accessing the site can
register providing the relevant information through pull
down menus. Other than regular contracted customers, casual
customer planning to operate flights can key in their
requests and quotations.
IA set to regain past glory under Praful
back the past glory of Air India and Indian Airlines,
modernization of airports and a comprehensive civil aviation
policy are some of urgent tasks the new Civil Aviation
Minister, Mr Praful Patel, has set out for his innings
at the Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan.
Mr Patel has been a member of the Parliamentary Consultative
Committee on Civil Aviation for the past 14 years and
has a fair idea of the problems and issues before the
Ministry, he wants to hear all views before he announces
major policy decisions.
out the privatization of Indian Airlines and Air India,
the young and dynamic Minister said he would strengthen
the two public sector airlines to help them regain past
glory. "They are the pride of India and I am committed
to ensuring that they regain the past glory."
Patel said "selling everything is not the answer.
I will provide full support to the state-owned airlines.
For more than a decade, neither of the two carriers has
been allowed to purchase new aircraft. The two flag carriers
will be allowed to purchase new aircraft to augment the
fleet which is necessary for the growth of an airline."
Minister's words have come as music to the management,
staff and supporters of the national flag carriers. It
is a known fact that both Air India and Indian Airlines
have all the qualities, skills, expertise, capabilities
and necessary infrastructure to become the top-notch carriers
of the world. What is required is to give the airlines
necessary autonomy in management to take the flag carriers
to newer heights. Mr Patel realizes this and, therefore,
is keen to give them a fair chance.
may be mentioned that fleet acquisition plans of Air India
and Indian Airlines have been pending with the previous
governments for the past several years. Though all the
three Civil Aviation Ministers of the last NDA Government
promised to take a "quick" decision on this
issue, but they dithered over it.
November, Air India Board had given a nod to acquire 28
aircraft worth Rs 10,000 crore. The airline would acquire
10 long-range and 18 short-range aircraft. The long-range
aircraft are Airbus 340 while the short-haul are Boeing
new planes will allow Air India to reach more destinations
in Europe and the US, while touching more bases in India.
Medium-capacity long-range planes can seat more than 250
people and would be used on the sectors in the US, Europe
and the Far East. Small capacity, short-range planes can
carry 160 and would fly to the Gulf and destinations in
March 2002, Boeing lost Rs 10,000 crore deal of Indian
Airlines to its European rival. Though the Board of state-run
Indian Airlines' board chose to buy a mix of 43 Airbus
A319s, A320s and A321 planes, the Government is yet to
give its approval.
Air India and Indian Airlines have in the past few years
increased capacity by leasing aircraft. However, the core
fleet of any airline worldwide is its own aircraft. Only
a small size is taken as lease to take care of market
fluctuations and is, therefore, considered as a short-term
solution. Lease can never replace aircraft purchase option.
fleet constraints have hurt the market share of Air India
and Indian Airlines over the years. On the other hand,
private carriers, Jet Airways and Air Sahara, are expanding
their fleet at regular intervals and have been making
dent in the market. The private carriers are able to easily
expand their fleet, as they have no governmental controls.
strengthening the two flag carriers, Mr Patel assured
of a healthy competition between the public and private
sector airlines. On the issue of allowing private airlines,
now operating to SAARC countries, to fly to other foreign
destinations, he said, "the first preference would
be give to Air India and Indian Airlines. If the public
sector airlines are not able to meet the commitments then
we can think about allowing private airlines to fly to
Patel assured that a comprehensive civil aviation policy
would be announced in the next three months. "Each
Minister of the NDA government had his own draft of the
policy. Towards the fag end of its life, the Vajpayee
government had set up Naresh Chandra Committee to give
inputs for the aviation policy." Mr Patel said he
would like to go through all these reports and get views
from all before he finalises the new policy.
Patel also assured of bringing efficiency, transparency
and delivery to the Ministry. Keeping the Common Minimum
Programme (CMP) of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA),
the Minister said "the process of restructuring of
Mumbai and Delhi airports is on. But it should not be
confused with privatization."
to make India as cargo hub
AAI Chairman, Mr K Ramalingam, is keen to promote cargo
trade activities. In this direction, he plans to bring
more automation, provide state-of-the-art facilities,
expand and restructure present cargo services and set
up new cargo terminals to bring India at par with international
standards. Mr Ramalingam, who took over as Chairman on
March 11 this year, said further automation would come
in the form of Elevated Transfer Vehicles (ETVs) and other
mechanical handling equipment and introduction of Electronic
Data Interchange (EDI) and bar code systems.
Chairman stated that cargo revenue is one of the major
sources of non-traffic revenue for AAI and comprises 20
to 30 per cent of its total revenue. Cargo revenue has
increased at an average of 18 per cent annually over the
past 20 years (1982-83 to 2002-03). In the year 1997-98,
there was 0.47-percentage growth in cargo traffic and
10.63 per cent growth in cargo revenue at the four international
airports - Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkatta. In the
same financial year, the cargo export was 293146 million
tonnes and import was 141176 million tones and the total
cargo handling was 434322 million tones.
in 1998-99 there was negative growth of 4.14 per cent
in cargo traffic that jumped to 12.88 per cent in 1999-2000.
In the year 2000-01 there was a growth of 4.63 per cent.
In the following year it declined to minus 0.68 per cent
but there was a positive growth of 13.72 per cent in 2002-03.
There was a big jump of 78.24 per cent in cargo revenue
in 1998-99. But it continued to slide down in the next
three financial years. However, the cargo revenue increased
by 8.21 per cent in 2002-03.
the year 2003-04, the expected cargo traffic would be
1044000 million tonnes that would results in growth of
6.7 per cent. The projected cargo traffic in 2008-09 would
be 1444000 million tonnes at a growth rate of 6.7 per
cent. Mr Ramalingam stated that there was a need to make
India as a cargo hub. He said that at present both Delhi
and Mumbai were annually handling 300,000 million tonnes
of cargo each. In comparison, the bigger airports like
Memphis and Hong Kong were handling 25 to 35 lakh million
tonnes annually. "There is a need to for doing cargo
trade promotion activity that will naturally bring a boom
to this industry," he added.
Chairman said the geographical location of India between
East and West makes Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata
as possible hubs. He said our cargo terminals have recorded
negligible cases of theft and pilferage and the customer
satisfaction idex has gone up from 61 per cent to 76 per
cent. He informed that the Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata
airports have received ISO 9000 certification.
he said AAI is providing cargo handling and processing
facilities within the periphery of cargo terminals. AAI
is considering providing other related services like transportation
of cargo from cargo terminal to aircraft and vice versa
and loading and unloading of cargo in the aircraft.
Chairman said AAI is contemplating to set up a subsidiary
company for ground handling services as planned by the
government. It is also contemplating ramp-handling services
for all cargo aircraft on the concept of a single agency.
This has been done in other international airports of
the world like Frankfurt, SATS at Singapore, HACTL at
Hong Kong, and Dnata at Dubai.
the future plans, Mr Ramalingam said an integrated cargo
terminal is under process of construction along with creation
of center of perishable cargo for processing of perishable
cargo at Kolkata airport at a cost of Rs 49 crore. At
Mumbai, he said relocation of FACT warehouse and establishment
of courier terminal is under process. At Chennai, intergrated
cargo terminal (Phase II) is at planning stage.
the future plans at domestic airports, he said construction
of air cargo complex at Amrtisar airport is nearing completion
and Jammu is awaiting customs clearance. A joint venture
with Bihar State Export Corporation Ltd has been formed
for setting up a perishable cargo complex at Patna.
Ramalingam said a cargo complex was set up at Coimbatore
in 2001 by modifying the existing facilities. However,
it has shown encouraging trends in volume of traffic and
now the AAI plans to set a new integrated cargo terminal
at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore. He said the Government has
taken several steps to improve the security at the cargo
terminals. Keeping in view the 9/11 incident, positioning
of CISF at all the airports including perimeter security
of cargo terminals is in progress.
order to safeguard the airport, aircraft and passengers,
100 per cent X-ray cargo, courier and baggage is being
implemented from January 1, 2004. For this purpose, AAI
has procured adequate number of state-of-the-art colour
X-ray machines to install these at the airports.As
part of internal security of cargo terminals, Close circuit
televisions (CCTVs), Palm readers, public announce systems
as well as frisking of personnel's have been re-strengthened.
the EDI, he said Electronic Data Interchange under the
first phase between Customs and AAI to facilitate Import
and Export transactions electronically has been established
at the four metro airports.
Implementation of EDI under the second phase between AAI
and other trade partners ie airlines, banks and agencies
are in advance stage and is likely to be implemented shortly.
system of Bar Code would be implemented in the third phase
for automatic data capturing. Target date of implementation
is August this year. The Bar Codes is part of the overall
Integrated Cargo Management Systems (ICMS). Bar code system
would help locate and retrieve information on moving cargo
products at the click of a button.
the past few years, he said the AAI has taken several
steps to augment and improve cargo infrastructure. In
October last year at Delhi airport, the space has been
allotted to DHL and EICI to operate the dedicated Courier
Terminal for its own use and for the common use of small
operators. At Chennai airport, an integrated cargo terminal
(Phase I) for processing of export cargo with a built
up area of 10,000 sq mtrs has been established in September
he said AAI has been operating parallel cargo terminal
at Mumbai airport from November, 2002. In November 2001,
a built up area of 14,000 sq mtrs has been added for storage
and processing of import at Delhi airport cargo terminal.
Mr Ramalingam said state of art center for perishable
cargo centers have been established at Delhi, Chennai
and Mumbai airports in 1998, 1999 and 2003 respectively.
Ramalingam, who took over as the Chairman on March 11,
is a Master degree holder in Electronic Engineering from
IIT Chennai and MBA from AIMA, Delhi. He started his career
with the Civil Aviation Department, Government of India,
in June 1972. Later with the formation of National Airports
Authority in June 1986, he was absorbed and posted as
Deputy Director (Communications) at the Headquarters.
then, Mr Ramalingam has not looked back. His sincerity,
intelligence and hard work have made him climb ladders
of success at regular intervals. He has held various senior
level positions including the Regional Director, Souther
Region; Regional Executive Director, Northern Region and
Regional Executive Director, North Eastern Region.
acknowledged expert in the field of Communication, Navigation
and Surveillance (CNS), Mr Ramalingam is on the panel
of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) of ICAO for
preparation of standards and recommended practices. He
is also a member of Project Management Council for implementation
of Satellite Based Augmentation System (SBAS) in India
named Gagan as a joint venture project of ISRO and AAI.
shows the way for greenfield airport
a historic step, the Government of India has signed a
concession agreement with Bangalore International Airport
Ltd (BIAL) for setting up the first-ever greenfield airport
in the country. Greenfield airports have been conceptualized
to bridge the huge resource gap and to increase the management
and efficiency levels to world-class standards.
airport would be constructed through private-public partnership,
with the joint venture company comprising Karnataka State
Investment and Industries Development Corporation (KSIDC)
and Airports Authority of India (AAI) as well as a consortium
of Siemens (Germany), Unique Zurich (Switzerland) and
Larsen and Toubro (India). The new airport would come
up at Devanahalli in Karnataka in three years time.
KSIIDC and AAI would hold 26 per cent equity in the joint
venture firm BIAL, the private consortium would hold the
remaining 74 per cent. The total project cost of building
the plush airport is estimated to be Rs 1,300 crore.
Aviation Secretary Ajay Prasad, BIAL chief W Bischoff
and Karnataka's additional chief secretary S Krishnakumar
signed the concession agreement in New Delhi on July 5
in the presence of Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful
Patel, Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh and his Deputy
new Bangalore airport would be constructed on a build,
own, operate and transfer basis. The old Bangalore airport,
operated by the Indian Air Force and the Hindustan Aeronautics
Ltd (HAL), would be closed down to civilian traffic after
completion of the new airport, as per a recent decision
of the Union Cabinet. The airport would accommodate a
minimum of 20 aircraft of different types and have an
ultimate capacity of catering to 40 million passengers,
with the initial phase planned for a capacity of five
on the occasion, Mr Praful Patel said that the Aviation
sector should not be restricted only to flying planes
but also to developing the infrastructure facilities including
airports of world class standard. He said that the Bangalore
International Airport would usher in a new era in the
field of Civil Aviation.
Patel said another greenfield airport would shortly come
up at Hyderabad and give "tough competition"
to the proposed airport at Devanahalli. "Such a competition
will usher in a new era in airport development as also
the civil aviation sector in the country."
Minister lamented that in a country like India with more
than a billion people, there were just 150 planes in all.
In the US, he said, one can find so many planes at a small
airport. Time has now come, he said, when the civil aviation
sector should act as the catalyst for growth by increasing
the number of aircrafts, the number of people who fly
and developing infrastructure of international standards.
that it was "not a happy sight" for foreign
travellers to land at Indian airports, Mr Patel said the
modernistion and restructuring of Delhi and Mumbai airports
would be given the "highest priority" as also
the development of infrastructure at other airports in
urged all States in the country to reduce sales tax on
aviation turbine fuel (ATF), which eats into the revenues
of the airlines. "The high cost of ATF is largely
due to the state sales tax. I urge all state governments
to loosen a little bit on the sales tax in order to gain
a high volume of air traffic and income. More revenue
could be earned from areas like trade, commerce and tourism
if the aviation sector flourished," he said.
on the occasion, Karnataka Chief Minister Dharam Singh
said with the signing of the agreement, over 10 years
of efforts by the state government had fructified. "It
marks a new development in India's infrastructure by combining
private sector expertise and state capacity." The
Karnataka government has provided Rs 350 crore soft loan
to BIAL and would provide budgetary support of Rs 400
concession agreement is a complex document, which has
been finalised after numerous meetings between the Ministries
of Civil Aviation, Law & Justice, Finance, Law, Government
of Karnataka and the BIAL. The agreement provides for
Rights and Obligations of Government of India (GOI) and
BIAL. The agreement provides for Rights and Obligations
of GOI and BIAL, Operation and Maintenance Standards including
monitoring thereof Airport Charges, Provision of Reserved
Activities like Customs, Immigration, Security, Liabilities
and Indemnities and Resolution Mechanism for Disputes,
Central Government has agreed to grant concession to BIAL
to design, develop, finance, construct, commission, maintain,
operate and manage the airport. Karnataka is providing
4300 acres of land for this purpose.
proposed airport at Bangalore will have a runway designed
to accept Boeing - 747 type of aircraft, having a length
of 4000m and PCN 80. The Apron will be adequate enough
to accommodate a mix of minimum 20 aircraft. The terminal
building with an air-conditioned built up area of 55850
sq meter shall provide all modern facilities. All the
facilities have been so designed that the modular expansion
shall be possible to meet the growing demand without compromising
on the quality of service.
following international trends, Air-India wants to be
a part of the modernisation and privatisation of the Mumbai
and Delhi airports. That is, it wants to own at least
one terminal in each airport. "We want to own at
least one terminal in the Mumbai and Delhi airports. We
want do this by becoming a part of the modernisation project,"
according to Mr V Thulsidas, chairman and managing director,
move by the national carrier follows the government's
decision to free Delhi and Mumbai airports -- the two
largest airports in the country -- from the complete control
of the Airports Authority of India and allow the private
sector, public sector undertakings and domestic airlines
to be part owners of the airports.
the present policy, private companies can hold 74 per
cent equity in the two airports with a 49 per cent cap
on foreign direct investment, while government-owned companies,
including Air-India and Indian Airlines, can hold the
remaining 26 per cent. Of the 25 per cent private Indian
holding, Indian domestic carriers are allowed to hold
up to 10 per cent equity.
wants to be a part of the government entities that will
be selected to hold equity in the venture. It is also
open to being part owners of the government holding in
the venture. However, Air-India is yet to make a formal
proposal. "We are evaluating the situation and will
take a decision in consultation with the government,"
said Mr Thulsidas said.
India thinks owning a terminal in the two busiest airports
in the country will help it manage its operations better.
Besides, excess capacity in the terminals can be given
out to other airlines to generate additional revenue.
The CMD said "this is the practice in most parts
of the world. National carriers operate and own terminals
in most of the airports. We also want to do it in India."
Once the airline owns the terminal, it will be undertaking
functions like ground-handling and other services in that
- fastest growing cargo airport in India
is one of the fastest growing cargo airports in the country.
Airports Authority of India (AAI) had set up here an interim
air cargo complex in 2001 by converting an aircraft hanger.
The results were very encouraging as the traffic grew
by leaps and bounds. The AAI is now planning to set up
a new integrated cargo complex with cargo apron at a cost
of Rs 4.5 crore and extend the runway from 7500 to 9000
ft, according to Mr K Ramalingam, AAI Chairman.
Ramalingam said that the cargo traffic at Coimbatore airport
was 1,073 MT in 2002-03 which almost doubled to 2.013
MT in the year 2003-04. He said the commodities that are
being exported out of Coimbatore are textile, readymade
garments, engineering goods, jewellery and spares and
the commodities that are being imported are gold bars,
textile accessories, electronic components and baggage.
Chairman said Indian Airlines and Jet Airways are operating
carriers from Coimbatore. "All cargo moved by available
Jet and Indian Airline flights through gateway airports
and by bonded trucking via Kochi by Emirates and Kuwait
Airways. Only Sharjah bound cargo is lifted directly."
record, Indian Airlines has five domestic and three weekly
flights to Sharjah, Jet has five domestic and Air Sahara
has seven domestic and one weekly flight to Colombo. The
passenger traffic that moved out of the airport in 2002-03
was 2.48 lakhs domestic and 10,000 international.
Ramalingam informed that the airport has two parking bays
for A320 type of aircraft and two for B737s. "The
runway extension project is in the process of acquisition
of land and only after the State Government hands over
the land to AAI, civil work can be started," he said.
Chairman said the AAI had already requested the State
Government for acquisition of land to extend the runway.
He said the extension of runway to 9,000 ft would allow
the wide-bodied aircraft to operate that would result
into increase in cargo.
said the total area of the present cargo complex is 9,445
sq ft. In the export area the space available for examination
is 70 sq metres and for storage it is 115 sq metres. In
the import area the space available for examination is
100 sq metres and for storage is 190 sq metres. The space
for strong room is 30 sq metres and the total covered
area is 500 sq metres.
available infrastructure includes vehicle parking area,
off-loading area, examination area, bonded area, strong
room and two-wheeler shed. The cargo handling services
offered are export cargo admittance, processing, storage
till upliftment, import cargo receiving, processing, delivery,
providing of X-ray scanning, packing and repacking activity
and valuable cargo handling.
Ramalingam stated that APEDA has provided cold storage
unit, which is under installation at Coimbatore airport.
The AI has also procured and installed latest X-ray machines.
AAI has been holding interaction sessions with airlines
and cargo trade that include Freight Forwarders, IATA
agents, Customs House agents and other users of the cargo
terminal to improve cargo at the Coimbatore airport. Trade
has been appreciative of the AAI efforts for establishing
the cargo terminal here.
Cargo Facilitation Committee (CAFAC) that associates all
user agencies plans to hold meetings every month to sort
out operational and local issues to boost the cargo movement
in the region.
sets new non-stop flight distance record
Airlines has flown into the commercial flight distance
record books for the second time this year, with an A340-500
successfully inaugurating the carrier's latest non-stop
round trip commercial air service between Singapore and
New York (Newark). The A340-500 departed at 12.25 Singapore
local time on June 28 and completed the 16,600 km /9,000
nm sector to New York in 18 hours 18 minutes.
airline beat its own previous record distance for a non-stop
round trip commercial service, when it introduced the
A340-500 on the service between Singapore and Los Angeles
on February 3, 2004. On that occasion, the A340-500 completed
the 14,093 km / 7,609 nm sector to Los Angeles in 14 hours
Airlines' fleet of five A340-500s is all configured with
64 enhanced Raffles Business Class and 117 Executive Economy
Class seats. The cabins for both classes' feature special
areas and amenities for passengers to stretch their legs,
socialise and relax on ultra long haul services.
four Rolls-Royce Trent 500 engines for the best economy
on ultra long haul flights, the A340-500 enjoys unmatched
operational flexibility on non-stop flights over remote
areas - such as oceans, mountain ranges and Polar Regions.
am delighted to congratulate Singapore Airlines on successfully
completing its latest A340-500 record breaking non stop
flight between South East Asia and North America. Airbus
is very proud to be sharing in Singapore Airlines' aim
of making the world a smaller place," said Airbus
President and Chief Executive Officer Noel Forgeard.
The Airbus A330/A340 family is the market leader in its
class, with almost 850 orders from 64 customers worldwide.
It is the aircraft family that passengers prefer to travel
on for long haul flights, consistently emerging top in
independent passenger surveys.
Airlines placed its original A340-500 order for five firm
and five option aircraft in 1999. The airline is also
a launch customer for the A380 Double Decker with 10 firm
orders and 15 options. Singapore Airlines will be the
first airline to put the A380 into service in spring 2006.
before you go-tips for visitors to the USA
are becoming one of the largest travel groups in the world.
Over Five million of us travel every year to foreign jaunts
for sheer pleasure holidays, visiting relatives or business.
Some of the favourite haunts for Indians are the US, the
UK, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand
the US is one of the popular visiting places, Indians
also find it difficult in getting an entry especially
after 9/11 terror acts. However, to mitigate any hardships
for smooth entry, the US Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) agency has advised the foreign visitors to carrying
proper documents and be aware of regulations concerning
a travel awareness campaign to educate millions of visitors
who travel to the US, the CBP Commissioner Robert Bonner
said "the agency's goal is protecting the nation
from terrorists while, at the same time, assisting and
supporting the movement of vacationers and trade."
Bonner said "the United States always has the welcome
mat out to visitors. While CBP has stepped up security
at the land, sea, and airports across our country, we
are committed to treat the entry of every legitimate traveler
as professionally and fast as possible. By knowing the
regulations and what to expect, all international visitors
can facilitate their entry and have a safe, secure, and
enjoyable visit to the United States."
tips suggest that when you are on your way to the United
States you may be given a Customs and Border Protection
declaration form. Fill it out entirely and sign the bottom.
You may also be given a form I-94 (white) or a form I-94W
(green). This will ask you for basic identification information
and the full address where you will be staying in the
you arrive at a port of entry in the United States you
will be inspected by an officer of the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection. Be prepared to tell the officer the
purpose of your trip and how long you wish to stay.
Most travelers will have a digital photo and two fingerprints
scans taken by the officer. This will only add a few seconds
to the interview. Be sure to follow the instructions of
the CBP officer.
sure you have a valid nonimmigrant visa and a passport
valid for six months beyond your initial stay in the United
States. There are some exceptions to this requirement.
If you are a temporary visitor for business or pleasure,
and wish to stay for up to six months, you must apply
for a B1/B2 visa at the US Consulate in your country,
unless you are exempt the visa requirement altogether.
you are planning to travel for another purpose, example
student, temporary worker, crewperson and journalist you
must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category
through the Department of State at an American Embassy
or Consulate abroad.
you are a citizen of a visa waiver country, you may apply
for entry without a visa if you are seeking entry for
90 days or less for business or pleasure. Check to make
sure your intended purpose of travel falls within the
you stayed beyond the 90 days allowed under the Visa Waiver
Program on your last visit to the US you are required
to get a visa (at a US Consulate in your country) for
your next visit to the United States.
Remember, even though certain individuals may be exempt
from visa and/or passport requirements, the burden of
poof is on the applicant to establish eligibility to enter
the United States. Carrying proof of citizenship will
help determine this.
items may be prohibited from entry, have to meet certain
requirements, or require a license or permit. If you would
like to bring in any of the following, make sure you find
out the rules and regulations concerning them. These include
Absinthe; Biological materials; Endangered species and
their products; Wildlife; Meat, poultry, eggs and their
products; Fruits, vegetables and plants; Hazardous materials;
is no limit on the amount of money (U.S. or foreign) you
may bring into or take out of the United States. If you
have more than 10,000 dollars or foreign equivalent, however,
you must report this to the Customs and Border Protection
officer upon entry and/or departure.
containing habit-forming drugs must be clearly identified.
Carry only the amount you normally need. Also bring a
prescription or statement from your physician explaining
that the medicine is necessary for your well-being.
US Customs and Border Protection is the agency within
the Department of Homeland Security charged with the protection
of our nation's borders. CBP unified Customs, Immigration,
and Agriculture Inspectors and the Border Patrol into
one border agency for the United States.
Chairman on IATA Board
Airways Chairman, Mr Naresh Goyal, has been elected to
the Board of Governors of the airline industry's apex
global body, the International Air Transport Association
(IATA) at its 60th Annual General Meeting that concluded
in Singapore recently.
is the first time that a Chairman of a private airline
from India has been elected to IATA's prestigious Board
of Governors. The Board, also described as "IATA's
Government", plays a prominent role in representing
the Association's interests worldwide. As a Member of
the 31-member Board, Mr. Goyal will serve a two-year term
until the close of IATA's 62nd AGM in June 2006. Jet Airways
has been the recipient of several international and national
awards and honours.
brings together approximately 270 airlines from around
the globe. Flights operated by these airlines comprise
more than 98 per cent of all international scheduled air