Archive for the ‘India’ Category


[Economic Times] MUMBAI: In what is seen as a step towards closing its proposed investment plans in Jet Airways, Etihad Airways on Wednesday said it has paid $70 million to buy three slots of the Naresh Goyal-promoted airline at Heathrow airport in London.

Etihad, which is in talks with Jet on possibly taking a stake in the firm, said discussions about further investment were continuing.

Etihad, which is in talks with Jet on possibly taking a stake in the firm, said discussions about further investment were continuing. Picture: Wikipedia

“Etihad Airways can confirm that it has concluded a transaction with Jet to purchase Jet’s three pairs of Heathrow slots for $70 million. The purchase is part of a sale and lease back agreement signed yesterday,” Etihad said in a statement.

The statement further said Jet will continue to operate flights to London utilising these slots.

The deal further strengthens the existing commercial relationship between the two airlines, which came into effect in July 2008, making provision for code-sharing, Etihad said.

On the ongoing stake sale talks between the two, Etihad said they continue to progress with discussions about further investment in Jet.

However, on the 24 per cent proposed stake sale toEtihad, Jet sources said, Jet has reportedly agreed to cede more management control, including more board positions to Etihad. However, this could not be officially verified with either Jet or Etihad officials.

This is to enable sealing the deal that has of late hit some air pockets with the UAE-based airline saying that it wanted to re-look at its investment plan in Jet……

Read the full story at The Economic Times of India…..


Economic Times
27th Feb, 2013


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[Times of India] ABU DHABI: Etihad Airways, the fast-growing carrier of Abu Dhabi, posted a 200 percent rise in net profit in 2012 and a 17 percent increase in revenues, the airlines said in a statement Monday.

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million last year compared to $14 million in 2011

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million last year compared to $14 million in 2011. Photo: Wikipedia

Etihad posted a net income of $42 million last year compared to $14 million in 2011 when it made its first ever profit, said the statement which attributed the rise to strong improvements in revenues, passengers and cost control.

The flag carrier of the Emirates capital Abu Dhabi said revenues increased 17 percent to $4.8 billion in 2012 compared to $4.1 billion the previous year.

The number of passengers grew a healthy 23 percent to 10.3 million compared to 8.4 million in 2011, significantly boosted by Etihad’s partnerships which delivered more than $600 million in total revenue.

“This has been a game-changing year for Etihad Airways,” James Hogan, the airline’s president and chief executive officer said.

“We have delivered improved net profit, the second consecutive year we have been in the black, a remarkable achievement given the youth, ambitious growth and ongoing investment made by this airline in a challenging global economic environment,” he said in the statement.

Etihad said it succeeded in building the first “equity alliance” with investments of 40 percent in Air Seychelles, 29.2 percent in airberlin, 9.0 percent in Virgin Australia and about 3.0 percent inAer Lingus.

“We have taken great strides in building the industry’s first equity alliance … which (is) contributing significant value to our business,” Hogan said.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) rose 24 percent to $170 million, while EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and rentals) rose to $753 million, up 16 percent, Etihad said.

Hogan said more than 50 institutions have provided around $6.8 billion in cumulative fundingfor the airline’s ongoing expansion.

Planned fleet upgrades for 2013 include 14 aircraft, with 11 passenger aircraft deliveries and three freighter deliveries, Etihad said.

The orders are for nine wide-bodied Boeing and Airbus aircraft and five narrow-body Airbus aircraft. These will meet Etihad Airways’ immediate growth requirements.

At the end of 2012, the company had 10,656 employees, 18 percent up on 2011 with more than 125 nationalities represented.

Read the original story at The Times of India…..

 


Times of India
Feb 4, 2013



[NY Daily News] The Indian government warned striking pilots of state-run Air India that it may hire replacements if they continue their nearly three-week walkout, after talks failed to make any headway.

"We can think of hiring new pilots," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said late Frida"We can think of hiring new pilots," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said late Friday

“We can think of hiring new pilots,” Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said late Friday.
Photo: Wikipedia

Over 200 pilots went on strike earlier this month over former Indian Airlines pilots, who moved to Air India when the domestic and international carriers merged in 2007, being trained for new Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes.

The strikers say the plan to allow the ex-Indian Airlines to pilot the Dreamliners could wreck their career prospects.

“We can think of hiring new pilots,” Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said late Friday after a 90-minute meeting with the Indian Pilots’ Guild ended without a breakthrough, the Press Trust of India reported.

Singh’s meeting was the first between the government and the pilots since the start of the strike, which has forced the cancellation or rerouting of flights to New York, Chicago, Tokyo and other international destinations.

The dispute with the debt-laden carrier has now spread to cover service conditions and wage agreements.

The government has fired more than 100 of the pilots but has said they could be taken back on a “case-by-case” basis if all striking pilots return to work.

The Air India pilots’ union insists its members will….

Read the full story at The NY Daily News…..


Saturday, May 26th 2012,
Original article © Agence France Presse 2012



[Times of India] NEW DELHI: There is no end to uncertainty in sight for passengers scheduled to fly Air India’s international flights.

The airline has sent doctors to some homes of the 160 pilots who have reported sick.  Photo: Wikipedia

The airline has sent doctors to some homes of the 160 pilots who have reported sick. Photo: Wikipedia

With aviation minister Ajit Singh terming the strike of erstwhile AI pilots ‘illegal’ and saying appropriate action would be taken, the management on Tuesday sacked 10 agitating pilots and derecognized Nationalist Congress Party-backed union, Indian Pilots Guild (IPG).

The airline has asked the agitating pilots to report to work by Tuesday evening. It also started sending doctors to the homes of some of the 160 pilots who have reported sick and are abstaining from flying since Monday night. Sources say that the number of layoffs could rise as the government is in no mood to buckle under IPG’s pressure.

ut the IPG, which is led by Maharashtra NCP MLA Jitendra Ahwad, is unrelenting. “The derecognition of IPG is undemocratic and just shows that the management is biased against erstwhile AI. Pilots of erstwhile Indian Airlines have gone on several strikes in the recent past but was their union, Indian Commercial Pilots Association, ever derecognized?” Ahwad, who holds a commercial pilots’ licence but is not a……

Read the full story at the Times of India…. 


, TNN
May 8, 2012



[FT.com] Aditya Ghosh, the youthful president of IndiGo, says there is no big secret behind the success of India’s only profitable airline in an infamously difficult aviation market.

IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh says “We don’t try to do anything fancy, we don’t try to bend the wind, we just stick to our business model”

IndiGo President Aditya Ghosh says “We don’t try to do anything fancy, we don’t try to bend the wind, we just stick to our business model”. Photo: Wikipedia

When asked how the no-frills carrier manages to make money while its rivals bleed red ink thanks to extortionate taxes, high fuel prices and fierce price competition, Mr Ghosh simply says:

“We don’t try to do anything fancy, we don’t try to bend the wind, we just stick to our business model,” the 36-year-old executive says from his cramped office at company headquarters in the New Delhi suburb of Gurgaon. “We fly our planes on time; the flying experience is neat; and our fares are consistently lower than our competitors.”

Analysts tend to agree with his assessment. They say that in contrast to Kingfisher Airlines, the debt-laden carrier struggling to avoid bankruptcy, privately held IndiGo has followed the strategy of Southwest Airlines in the US and Europe’s Ryanair: offer only low-cost fares connecting busy destinations using just one type of plane.

“In terms of operations IndiGo is by far the best airline in India,” says Sharan Lillaney, aviation analyst at Angel Broking. “It’s definitely on track to become the Indian Southwest but it will have to prove itself over time.”

The president of the five-year-old carrier, owned by Rahul Bhatia, an Indian billionaire, and Rakesh Gangwal, the US Airways former chief executive, says…..

Read the full story at FT.com


By James Fontanella-Khan
New Delhi – 6th May 2012



[Khaleej Times Interview] Airlines are facing a tough time because of rising fuel prices, but they remain resilient and continue to grow as tourism is also increasing, SriLankan Airlines chairman Nishanta Wickremasinghe said.

Chairman: “It’s a tough call for airlines now, but we are resilient and we are here to go forward”

Chairman: “It’s a tough call for airlines now, but we are resilient and we are here to go forward” – Photo: Wikipedia

Citing examples, Wickremasinghe said despite worries such as the Thailand floods, Japan tsunami, rising oil prices and unrest in the Middle East, people continue to travel, pulling the tourism industry up, and the airline sector is benefiting from it while placing orders for new aircraft.

“It’s a tough call for airlines now, but we are resilient and we are here to go forward,” Wickremasinghe told Khaleej Times at the Arabian Travel Market, or ATM, in Dubai. Tourism is to stay and airlines are to stay, he added.

Fuel price contributes around 60 per cent of the seat the passenger pays, he said, adding: “We are comfortable at the $80-per-barrel oil price and consumers also get the best [airfare] prices at this rate.”

He said the airline is upbeat in the Gulf region, the reason why it has increased its frequency to the region. The airline currently flies 47 times a week to nine countries in the Middle East, extending SriLankan’s renowned warm hospitality to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, Doha, Muscat, Dammam, Riyadh, Jeddah and Kuwait.

“We have increased the number of flights and upgraded some of our aircraft to ensure passengers are pampered and relaxed several thousands of feet in the air,” he said.

He said because of Sri Lanka’s location and connections from Colombo, it makes it ideal for most travellers to enjoy dual holidays in the Sri Lankan capital and the Far East, or Colombo and the Maldives, for nominal fares or special packages with SriLankan.

Over the past months, SriLankan has been upgrading its long-haul aircraft cabins, with flat-beds seats installed in business class. Seats are also equipped with the latest inflight entertainment system with audio/video channels and video games. Business class passengers also have an on-demand movie library.

The airline is expected to place a dry lease order for new aircraft this year, so its total fleet size will be up to 30 by……

Read the full interview at Khaleej Times……


Abdul Basit – Khaleej Times
5th May 2012



[Business StandardJapan Airlines (JAL) will become the first carrier to bring a Boeing 787 Dreamliner to India when it lands the aircraft in New Delhi from Tokyo tomorrow.

The first Dreamliner service will be launched in India from tomorrow

The first Dreamliner service will be launched in India from tomorrow: Photo - Aviationnews.eu

“With the launch of the Dreamliner, India will become the second country in JAL’s operations to get this special high-end aircraft. This reiterates our commitment to the Indian market. The first Dreamliner service will be launched in India from tomorrow,” said country manager Yasushi Isomura.

Japan Airlines runs Boeing 777 service five days a week, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The Dreamliners will operate for four days, excluding Thursday, when the airline will operate Boeing 777.

With the operations of the Dreamliners, the airline will bring down its capacity on offer by 25 per cent. A Dreamliner has 186 seats compared to 215 in a Boeing 777. Delhi is the second international destination for JAL where it has launched a Boeing 787. Earlier this month, it launched its first Dreamliner service to Boston in the US. Isomura said India was one of the most profitable……

Rad the full story at India’s Business Standard…..


BS Reporter / New Delhi May 01, 2012, 00:31 IST



[The Indian Express] Amid great fanfare, Boeing has rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner aircraft produced at its brand new plant in South Carolina and built for Air India to be delivered in mid-2012.

"This is a proud moment for Boeing as we roll out an airplane from our third final assembly site," Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer,

"This is a proud moment for Boeing as we roll out an airplane from our third final assembly site," Jim Albaugh, president & CEO: Picture thanks to Eric Prado via Flickr

The airplane’s rollout marks the first time that a Boeing commercial airplane has been produced in the Southeastern United States, the US aerospace giant said.

“This is a proud moment for Boeing as we roll out an airplane from our third final assembly site,” Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer, Commercial Airplanes said yesterday at the function held in North Charleston.

The 787 airplane built for Air India next goes to the flight line, where it will go through systems checks and engine runs in advance of taxi testing and first flight.

The airplane remains on schedule for delivery to Air India in mid-2012, Boeing said in a statement.

While Air India has ordered 27 of these new planes, Jet Airways has placed orders for ten. The national carrier is expected to get at least three of these air-planes this year.

The long-haul aircraft made of composite materials like carbon fibre, is portrayed as fuel-efficient aircraft which would help slash flying costs significantly.

“We’ll celebrate today, and tomorrow we begin the process of getting the airplane ready for delivery to our Air India customer,” said Jack Jones, Boeing South Carolina vice president and general manager.

The ceremony was attended by nearly 7,000 Boeing employees and invited guests. The festival-like atmosphere, featuring aerial displays, music and entertainment, was a fitting celebration to commemorate assembly completion of the first 787 built at the North Charleston, facility, the company said……

… story continues at The Indian Express……


The Indian Express Group
Sun Apr 29 2012



[India Today] A Pakistan International Airlines flight on Friday made an emergency landing at the Karachi airport after a passenger allegedly threatened to hijack the aircraft.

PIA flight PK-586, which was flying from Karachi to Bahawalpur in Punjab province

PIA flight PK-586, which was flying from Karachi to Bahawalpur in Punjab province

PIA flight PK-586, which was flying from Karachi to Bahawalpur in Punjab province, turned back to the port city after an air hostess alerted the captain about the passenger’s threat, TV news channels reported.

The passenger who made the alleged threat was arrested by commandos of the Airport Security Force at the Jinnah International Airport.

The aircraft was searched by security forces after being evacuated.

Following his arrest, the passenger claimed he had made the alleged threat after a quarrel with the air hostess and that he had no intention of hijacking the aircraft.

The number of passengers on the flight could not immediately be ascertained.

Pakistan’s aviation industry has been hit by a string of problems in recent years.

A total of 127 people were killed when a Boeing 737 of the private Bhoja Air crashed near Islamabad on April 20.

This was the second major air disaster in the vicinity of the Pakistani capital since July 28, 2010, when an Air Blue airliner slammed into……

Read the full story at  INDIA TODAY…..


PTI Karachi,
April 27, 2012



[Brussels 27th April: Tax-News] Policies are needed that re-invest aviation tax receipts back into the industry  and to ensure that aviation is treated as an economic catalyst not a ‘cash cow’,  says the International Air Transport Association.

Last November, the heads of Easyjet, IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic wrote to the UK government calling for APD to be scrapped entirely

Last November, the heads of Easyjet, IAG, Ryanair and Virgin Atlantic wrote to the UK government calling for APD to be scrapped entirely

Pointing to the European Union’s (EU) decision to include aviation in its emissions trading scheme (ETS), IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler told the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Transport Symposium in Montreal that a globally-coordinated approach is needed to manage the aviation industry’s contribution to man-made CO2 emissions rather than a regional approach which “distorts markets”.

“Aviation has committed to three targets, the most ambitious of which is to cut net emissions in half by 2050 compared to 2005. We cannot do that without government cooperation. As aviation is a global industry, that cooperation   must be coordinated through ICAO,” Tyler said. “That is why Europe’s inclusion of international aviation in its emissions trading scheme is counter-productive. it will not have the positive impact on sustainability of globally coordinated measures through ICAO. On top of that, the unilateral and extra-territorial   approach is seen by non-European states as an attack on their sovereignty.”

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme was extended to aviation activities from or to European soil on January 1, 2012, to provide a solution to taxing aviation emissions, which were excluded from the Kyoto Protocol. Under the ETS, airlines   operating into and out of the EU, regardless of how long that flight is in EU airspace, will be required to surrender varying emission allowances, and will be required to purchase any additional permits outside of their free allowance.

Airlines are required to immediately begin purchasing emissions allowances, but are only expected to remit the sums in 2013 meaning that Europe will have until April 30, 2013 – when airlines will be required to buy polluting rights   for 2012 – to decide whether to follow through with the penalties for non-compliance provided for in the EU Directive. In the event that airlines fail to comply, the European Union has said it will impose fines of up to EUR100 for each tonne   of carbon dioxide emitted without the payment of a permit, and eventually enforce an EU-wide ban on the offending airline.

Last month, the heads of some of Europe’s major airlines and aviation engine   manufacturers called upon EU leaders to take action and stop an escalating trade conflict with China and other countries opposing the ETS. The nine CEOs warned   that countries opposed to the ETS are preparing countermeasures and restrictions on European airlines, such as special taxes and traffic rights limitations. The letters were signed by the bosses of Airbus, Air Berlin, Air France, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa, MTU Aero Engines, Safran and Virgin Atlantic and   addressed to Prime Ministers David Cameron of the UK, Francois Fillon of France, and Mariano Rajoy of Spain, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Nobody wants a trade war,” said…..

Read the rest of this story at Tax-News…..


by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels
27 April 2012