Posts Tagged ‘Air India’


[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


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[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



Are the fortunes of the heavily troubled Indian aviation industry set to take a turn for the better?

Kingfisher has become the smallest airline in India. Reuters

Kingfisher has become the smallest airline in India. Reuters

Quite possibly, says a report in Business Standard. A reduction in over-capacity caused by significant flight cancellations by crisis-struck Kingfisher Airlines have led to improved yields for other local carriers. The trend looks likely to continue if oil prices don’t spiral out of control.

“The finances of airlines would improve in 2012-13 on the back of better pricing of tickets due to rationalisation of capacity. Capacity addition would also be moderate and the airlines would make money,” Kapil Kaul, chief executive officer (South Asia), Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), told the newspaper.

Last month, a report by Kotak Institutional Equities also noted that yields (revenues per passenger per kilometre) had stayed strong in the January-March quarter because of constantly reducing capacity by Kingfisher.

Still, an improving fourth-quarter won’t make up for all the pain of the past. CAPA expects airlines (including Air India) to post a cumulative loss of $2.5 billion for 2011-2012.

Don’t expect any miracles in fourth-quarter earnings either because operating costs for airlines continued to climb.Business Standard points out that while domestic fares for the March-ending quarter climbed 15-18 percent from the previous quarter, it was offset by a 15 percent increase in jet fuel — the largest expense item for airlines – and a 11 percent depreciation in the rupee…..

Read the full story at Firstpost Business….


By FP Editors 
Apr 20, 2012



The Indian government has approved a debt restructuring plan to save Air India, the country’s national airline.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said 30bn rupees would be injected into the airline by 2020.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said 30bn rupees would be injected into the airline by 2020.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh said 30bn rupees ($5.9bn; £3.7bn) would be injected into the airline by 2020.

But there will be many checks and targets that the company will need to achieve, the minister said. Mr Singh said the restructuring was necessary as the government could not continue to spend public money on the loss-making airline.

Mr Singh told reporters after a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs that around 7.4bn rupees of Air India’s assets would be converted into non-convertible debentures.

The debt-ridden airline has outstanding loans and dues of 67.5bn rupees.

In February, three state-owned oil firms – Indian oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum – halted supplies to the airline for almost four hours for non-payment of dues. Last year too, oil firms had put the airline on a cash-and-carry deal, which meant that Air India had to pay every time it refuelled its planes, rather than get a 90-day grace period usually given to make payments.

The firms restored the credit limit on assurances from the government that payments would be made on time….

Read the full BBC story here….


BBC News
12 April 2012



In a big boost to its precarious financial position, Air India’s Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP) has been approved by a consortium of banks, which may enable the ailing carrier save substantially in the first year itself.

Indian Government Cabinet approval for the deal is expected some time next week

Indian Government Cabinet approval for the deal is expected some time next week

As part of the FRP, Air India signed four agreements with the SBI-led consortium late last evening.

These were the Master Restructuring Agreement, Working Capital Facility Agreement, Appointment of Facility Agent Agreement and Appointment of Trustee Agreement, an airline official told PTI on Saturday.

“The Cabinet approval for infusion of funds is still awaited and is expected to be received some time next week,” the official said.

Implementation of the FRP would begin after the Union Cabinet approves additional equity infusion into the airline.

Officials of at least 19 banks were present at the signing ceremony held here.

One of the major highlights of the agreements include conversion of about Rs 10,500 crore of the airline’s working capital in to long-term loan, carrying an annual interest of 11 per cent.

“The first year interest would accumulate in a funded interest term plan,” the official said, adding these would lead to substantial savings of about Rs 1,000 crore in 2012-13 itself.

In addition, non-convertible debentures (NCDs), guaranteed by the government, worth Rs 7,400 crore would be issued and subscribed by the investors, and proceeds from the NCDs would be used to repay the lenders. Further, a part of the working capital of about Rs 3,500 crore would be restructured as cash credit arrangement.

Continued here at The Indian Express….


Press Trust of India
New Delhi, Apr 02 2012



Debt-laden Kingfisher Airlines (KFA) and Air India (AI) have become the first domestic carriers to apply for permission to directly import aviation turbine fuel (ATF) or jet fuel. Direct import of ATF is likely to bring down the operational costs of airlines by 10-15%. Both carriers had filed applications with the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), government sources told Hindustan Times.

Air India & Kingfisdher seek to cut fuel costs

Air India & Kingfisdher seek to cut fuel costs

Till now airlines bought fuel from oil marketing companies. The Economic Survey tabled in the Parliament earlier this month had noted that airlines had been affected by high ATF prices because of high incidence of taxes and the decision to allow them to import ATF was likely to improve their operational economics.

The AI board on March 27 approved direct import of ATF and the airline would shortly appoint a service provider, who would source the supply as well as provide the necessary infrastructure for storage and distribution of the same for in-plane fuelling.

Indian carriers operate in an exceptionally high-cost environment. The single-largest element contributing to airline costs is ATF, which accounts for 40% of the operating cost of Indian carriers, against 20% for international carriers. ATF in India is priced, on an average, almost 60% higher than globally.

Original piece from Hindustantimes.com


Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 29, 2012