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News Digest – Press Releases – 2nd half January 2013

Japan Airlines releases nine month traffic data ending December 2012

MIAL awards contract for duty free at New T2 at CSIA

Duty free shops awarded to a consortium led by Aer Rianta International cpt.

Fashion, Luxury and Lifestyle awarded to Nuance Group India Pvt Ltd

Mumbai, January 24, 2013 – Mumbai International Airport Private Limited (MIAL), managed by GVK-led consortium today awarded the duty free retail contract for the upcoming new Terminal 2 (T2) at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). The contract for the duty-free shops has been awarded to the consortium led by Aer Rianta International cpt., spread over an area of 50,850 sq ft. The Nuance Group (India) Pvt. Ltd. has been awarded the contract for Fashion, Luxury and Lifestyle Duty Free concession that includes luxury and premium fashion apparel and accessories, jewellery, watches, and luxury concepts spread over an area of approximately 12,690 sq ft.

The consortium led by Aer Rianta International cpt will run the core duty free operations (including categories such as tobacco, liquor, perfumes, confectionery) and Electronics (on arrivals), Nuance Group (India) Pvt Ltd will be responsible for designing and building the shopping environment, sourcing a wide range of international luxury brands and developing a strong promotional strategy for duty free shopping at T2 at CSIA.

Speaking on the occasion, GV Sanjay Reddy, Managing Director, MIAL said, “At a time when CSIA is undergoing a major transformation, we decided to associate with duty free partners that showed innovation in all areas of the business and a commitment to provide superior choice to passengers. Both the partners selected are experienced operators who currently operate duty free concessions at several world-class airports and are best placed to understand the T2 consumers. Their offer combined creativity along with dynamic and engaging concepts and a strong operational strategy to maximise opportunities for CSIA and passenger experience at T2”

Announcing the award of the contract, Rajeev Jain, CEO, MIAL said: “Duty free shopping is a significant component of passenger experience at any world-class airport. We would like to provide passengers at CSIA with a truly world-class shopping experience, across brands, product variety and price points. This is also in line with our stated endeavor to take CSIA to international standards”

Both the selected parties will operate the concession for their respective categories for the period until March 31, 2024. The key criteria that were considered while selecting these parties included amongst others, a promise to get the most comprehensive range of brands and products available, operators who understand Indian consumers via their existing Indian operations and someone with a great sense of place in their design and customer centric approach.

With a vision to provide passengers with unique and bespoke concepts, products and services to deliver a premium and memorable experience at T2 , the commercial space includes amongst others 6000 sq. m. of F&B and 465 advertising sites (both indoor and outdoor) along with duty free and luxury, specialty retail and other services.

The new integrated terminal 2 currently being built is the perfect expression of Mumbai’s achievements, its ambition and its imagination. This iconic terminal will serve 40 million passengers each year, creating an inspiring experience and a welcoming gateway to Mumbai and India. With its meticulous planning and state-of-the-art technology, the terminal offers passengers a seamless journey that is punctuated by a series of wonderful experiences. Moreover its overall design will give passengers a distinct ‘Sense of Place’ and a clear awareness that they are in Mumbai

About MIAL

Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL) is a joint venture between the GVK led consortium. MIAL was awarded the mandate of modernizing, upgrading and expanding Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) in May 2006. CSIA catered to 30.75 million passengers and 657469 tonnes of cargo between April 2011 – March 2012. MIAL’s vision is to transform CSIA into one of the world’s best airports that consistently delights customers and to be the pride of Mumbai

About GVK

GVK is a leading Indian conglomerate with presence across energy, resources, airports, transportation, hospitality and life sciences sectors. GVK set up India’s first independent power plant and has around 6000 MW projects under generation and development. It is the first company in India to develop six-lane road project under PPP model and has around 3000 lane km expressway projects under operations and development. As one of India’s largest private sector airport operators, GVK handles 44 mppa through India’s first brownfield airport under PPP model – Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai and Bengaluru International Airport, Bangalore and will develop two airports in Indonesia. Having already invested over USD 3.3 billion, GVK has projects worth over another USD 6.6 billion in the pipeline, in India. It has acquired Australian Coal Mines in Queensland with 8 bt reserves for USD 1.26 billion and envisages an investment of USD 10 billion to for setting up mines, 500 km rail project and 60 mtpa port project which will form one of the world’s largest integrated coal mining operations.

NTSB CHAIRMAN SAYS ‘WE HAVE NOT RULED ANYTHING OUT’ IN INVESTIGATION OF BOEING 787 BATTERY FIRE IN BOSTON

January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON – In a press conference today, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman released preliminary findings from the NTSB’s ongoing investigation into the Jan. 7, 2013, Boeing 787 battery fire in Boston. “We have not ruled anything out as a potential factor in the battery fire; there are still many questions to be answered,” Hersman said.

Noting that there was a B-787 battery incident in Japan on Jan. 16, 2013, which is being investigated by the Japan Transport Safety Board, Hersman said, “One of these events alone is serious; two of them in close proximity, especially in an airplane model with only about 100,000 flight hours, underscores the importance of getting to the root cause of these incidents.”

The investigation revealed that the battery in the B-787 fire in Boston showed signs of short circuiting, and had indications of thermal runaway, a situation in which a significant temperature increase can initiate a destructive chain reaction.

Chairman Hersman also expressed concerns about the adequacy of the systems to prevent such a fire from occurring. “The investigation will include an evaluation of how a fault that resulted in a battery fire could have defeated the safeguards in place to guard against that,” said Hersman. “As we learn more in this investigation, we will make recommendations for needed improvements to prevent a recurrence.”

Investigators developed the following timeline of the events on Jan. 7, which was released at today’s briefing:

10:06 am EST – Aircraft arrived at gate in Boston from Narita, Japan
10:32 am – Cleaning and maintenance crew noticed smoke in cabin
10:35 am – Mechanic noted flames coming from APU battery in aft electronics bay
10:37 am – Airport Rescue and Fire Fighting notified
10:40 am – Fire and rescue personnel arrive on scene
12:19 pm – Fire and rescue personnel report event was “controlled”

The batteries were manufactured by GS Yuasa for the Thales electrical installation and are unique to the Boeing 787. The same battery model is used for the main airplane battery and for the battery that is used to start the auxiliary power unit, which is the one that caught fire in Boston.

Radiographic examinations of the incident battery and an exemplar battery were conducted at an independent test facility. The digital radiographs, or computed tomography (CT) scans, generated from these examinations allowed NTSB investigators to document the internal condition of the battery prior to disassembling it.

Ongoing lab work includes an examination of the battery elements with a scanning-electron microscope and energy-dispersive spectroscopy to analyze the elemental constituents of the electrodes to identify contaminants or defects.
NTSB INVESTIGATIVE TEAMS

In addition to the activities at the NTSB lab in Washington, members of the investigative team have been conducting work in Arizona, Seattle and Japan. Their activities are detailed below.

ARIZONA
– The acceptance test procedure of the APU battery charging unit was conducted at Securaplane in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 21.
– The battery charging unit passed all significant tests and no anomalies were detected.
– Members of the airworthiness group examined the APU start power unit at Securaplane in Tucson. The same team traveled to Phoenix to conduct an examination of the APU controller at UTC Aerospace Systems.

SEATTLE
– NTSB investigators are working with Boeing teams as part of root cause analysis activities related to the design and manufacturing of the electrical battery system.
– The two JAL B-787 general purpose module units, which record airplane maintenance data are being downloaded at Boeing to obtain information that was recorded after the airplane’s electrical power was interrupted.

JAPAN
– The NTSB-led team conducted component examination of the JAL B-787 APU battery monitoring unit at Kanto Aircraft Instrument Company, Ltd., in Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan.
– The team cleaned and examined both battery monitoring unit circuit boards, which were housed in the APU battery case. The circuit boards were damaged, which limited the information that could be obtained from tests.

Additional information on the Japan Airlines B-787 battery fire incident in Boston, including materials from the presentation at today’s briefing, can be found at http://go.usa.gov/4K4J.

Boeing Statement on U.S. National Transportation Safety Board 787 Investigation Update

SEATTLE, Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) welcomes the progress being made in the 787 investigation discussed today by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in Washington, D.C. The regulatory and investigative agencies in the U.S. and Japan have dedicated substantial resources to these investigations, and we appreciate their effort and leadership.

Boeing continues to assist the NTSB and the other government agencies in the U.S. and Japan responsible for investigating two recent 787 incidents. The company has formed teams consisting of hundreds of engineering and technical experts who are working around the clock with the sole focus of resolving the issue and returning the 787 fleet to flight status. We are working this issue tirelessly in cooperation with our customers and the appropriate regulatory and investigative authorities. The safety of passengers and crew members who fly aboard Boeing airplanes is our highest priority.

In order to ensure the integrity of the process and in adherence to international protocols that govern safety investigations, we are not permitted to comment directly on the ongoing investigations. Boeing is eager to see both investigative groups continue their work and determine the cause of these events, and we support their thorough resolution.

Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and their passengers.

CATHAY PACIFIC INTRODUCES NEW PREMIUM ECONOMY CABIN AND BOOSTS FREQUENCIES ON MUMBAI-HONG KONG ROUTE

Cathay Pacific Airways today announced that passengers can enjoy a new level of luxury when travelling between Mumbai and Hong Kong with the introduction of its new Premium Economy Class cabin on the route. Along with the product enhancement, Cathay Pacific will also increase the number of flights between Mumbai and Hong Kong, operating 10 weekly non-stop flights between the two cities from 2 April 2013.

The airlines’ new Premium Economy Class was designed with the entire customer experience in mind. It features a quieter, more spacious cabin than the traditional Economy Class with between 26 and 34 seats per aircraft. The seat pitch is 38 inches – six inches more than Economy Class – and the seat itself is wider and has a bigger recline. It has a large meal table, cocktail table, footrest, a 10.6-inch personal television, an in-seat power outlet, a multi-port connector for personal devices and extra personal stowage space.

The new schedule will see the additional non-stop flights from Mumbai arrive in Hong Kong at 0705 in the morning, giving passengers greater choice and convenience when connecting to the airlines’ extensive global network to destinations in China, South East Asia, Australia, Japan and Korea.

Cathay Pacific General Manager – South Asia, Middle East and Africa, Charlie Stewart-Cox said: “Cathay Pacific’s Mumbai service is now better than ever. Travellers from India will soon be able to take advantage of improved arrival times in Hong Kong to enjoy smooth and seamless connections to their destination of choice on Cathay Pacific’s network. Our Premium Economy class will also bring a new level of comfort to passengers travelling between the two cities.”

Cathay Pacific has recently introduced new award winning in-flight products in Delhi and Chennai and has also extended its presence in India with a new four-times-weekly service between Hong Kong and Hyderabad. Together with sister airline Dragonair, the group now operates 46 weekly flights from six cities in India.

QATAR AIRWAYS VOTED BEST LONG-HAUL AIRLINE AT PRESTIGIOUS LONDON AWARDS

Five-Star Carrier Voted By UK Travellers at 18th Annual Business Travel Awards Ceremony

Continues Airline’s Winning Streak for Superior Quality and Service

New Delhi – Qatar Airways has been voted Best Long-Haul Airline at the 18th annual Business Travel Awards ceremony held at the Grosvenor House hotel in London this week.
Organised by Buying Business Travel magazine, UK travellers awarded the Five-Star carrier for its commitment to quality and superior in-flight service.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted that the airline’s award winning streak has continued into the New Year.

“This is a great start to 2013 and we thank our loyal UK travellers for giving us this vote of confidence.

“We are very proud to receive this honour, testament to the world-class service and personalised treatment that we provide all of our customers.

“2013 will be another big year for Qatar Airways as we continue to expand our worldwide network, welcome more aircraft into our ever-expanding fleet, and of course look forward to the opening of the new Hamad International Airport on April 1,” Al Baker said.

Qatar Airways Vice President Commercial Europe, Paul Johannes, collected the award on behalf of the airline.

Johannes said: “We are very pleased with the level of support we have received from our UK customers, which further highlights the appreciation of our attention to detail and passenger comfort. We look forward to continuing to serve our existing UK-based travellers and welcoming new customers onboard.

Editor of Buying Business Travel, Paul Revel, said: “The judges felt that Qatar Airways is right up there with the best. A very impressive submission, underlining the youth and dynamism of this carrier. A great product, rapidly expanding network and plenty of innovation.”

The past twelve months have seen Qatar Airways honoured with a host of several awards from around the world, including being named Airline of the Year for the second consecutive year by the prestigious Skytrax organisation.

The award follows other recent accolades from Business Traveller’s sister publications around the world; Best Business Class in the World by Business Traveller Middle East and Best Airline in the Middle East and Africa by Business Traveller Asia Pacific.

One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 118 aircraft to 124 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas with the aggressive expansion continuing well into 2013.

Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Phnom Penh, Cambodia (February 20); Chengdu, China (March 19); Chicago, USA (April 10); and Salalah, Oman (May 22) with many more new start-ups planned.

-ends-

About Devesh Agarwal

A electronics and automotive product management, marketing and branding expert, he was awarded a silver medal at the Lockheed Martin innovation competition 2010. He is ranked 6th on Mashable's list of aviation pros on Twitter and in addition to Bangalore Aviation, he has contributed to leading publications like Aviation Week, Conde Nast Traveller India, The Economic Times, and The Mint (a Wall Street Journal content partner). He remains a frequent flier and shares the good, the bad, and the ugly about the Indian aviation industry without fear or favour.

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