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Yearly Archives: 2019

Air India wants 2400 crores more, the bleeding continues

Air India Boeing 747-400 VT-ESP Ajanta. Image copyright Devesh Agarwal.

After a loss of 8,556 crores in FY19, the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India has indicated that the airline needs a sovereign guarantee of 2400 crores to fund ongoing operations. The airline continues to bleed cash at an alarming rate. Capacity woes continue and estimates indicate that twenty-two aircraft are grounded. On the costs side, there have …

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The changing nature of airline alliances

Representative cabin crew of the oneworld member airlines pose in front of TAM airlines A320

The airline industry is undergoing a transformation while it deals with disruptive shifts. Whether it’s the grounding of the 737MAX affecting capacity plans worldwide, the shift to low-cost travel or declining demand due to movements such as “flight shaming” in Europe – change is happening in a manner not witnessed before. This holds true even in the world of airline …

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Indigo becomes India’s first airline to reach 1500 daily departures

IndiGo ATR72-600 VT-IYA. Photo by Vedant Agarwal. Copyright. Do not re-use.

Low-cost carrier Indigo has become the first airline in India to operate 1500 daily departures. The airline operates these flights to 83 destinations and with over 250,000 passengers daily. Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo “We are very pleased to be the first Indian airline to touch 1500 daily departures, with one flight taking off every minute. The simple philosophy of offering …

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Low Cost Long Haul: Can Indigo succeed where so many have failed?

IndiGo Airbus A320-232(SL) VT-IFK with Sharklets.

India largest and most profitable airline, IndiGo’s CEO Ronojoy Dutta has gone on record recently about the low-cost airline “actively studying” long haul flights to London on widebody aircraft. This statement coming from an airline which for the longest time stuck to a single fleet strategy, until it added ATR aircraft for regional flights, has left some perplexed. Dutta also …

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BIAL to begin limited operations on new runway from 5 December

Bangalore airport will begin limited operations on the new south parallel runway (NSPR) from 5 December 2019. The runway will begin operations with a single cross taxiway in operation, a BIAL spokesperson told BangaloreAviation. “The South Runway will start with limited operations on December 5, 2019. Operations will commence with one of the two crossfield taxiways connected. The second taxiway …

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Analysis: Virgin Atlantic’s India Expansion

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 G-VNEW. Boeing Image.

Virgin Atlantic made its India debut in July 2000 when the airline launched its flight to India’s capital, New Delhi. Back then, Virgin Atlantic was a boutique airline fuelled by the ambitions of a maverick entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson.  A lot has changed since then. Today, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group is a minority shareholder (20%) in the airline with …

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Analysis: Are the SpiceJet Q2FY20 results being underplayed?

SpiceJet, now India’s second-largest domestic airline, reported its second-quarter results of the fiscal year 2019-2020 (Q2FY20) this Wednesday. It was a result that was met with mixed expectations and also one that seems to be underplayed. We attempt to present an analysis that may help deconstruct the figures. The focus has been on a net loss of INR 462 crores …

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10 tips to make your winter fog travel easier

Singapore Airlines Boeing 747-400F 9V-SFQ in fog at Bangalore Kempegowda airport

Early morning fog is the bane of the Indian air passenger, especially at Bangalore and New Delhi airports. It disrupts schedules and leads to aggravation, quarrels, shouting, and general ill-will not just for passengers but also airlines, airports, and all their staff and stakeholders. Here are some tips that should help you avoid the disruption and hopefully keep your blood …

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IndiGo’s soaring GTF engine problems

Indigo Airbus A320neo VT-ITC. Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1127 Geared Turbo Fan engine. Copyrighted image. Re-use prohibited.

India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has directed both Indigo and GoAir to replace at least one of the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G geared turbo-fan (GTF) engines on the A320neo aircraft within the next fifteen days. This comes after Indigo reported a series of incidents involving in-flight engine shutdowns (occurred on the 24th, 25th and 26th …

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Should India feed its citizens or prop up Air India?

The Air India ramp at Mumbai CSMI Airport. Photo by and copyright Devesh Agarwal.

India leads the world in hungry people. In the recently released Global Hunger Index, India dropped to rank 102 out of 117 countries, placing it below its impoverished neighbours Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. About 15% of India’s population is either malnourished or undernourished. About 194 million Indians go hungry each day, and regretably a large percentage are children. The government …

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First picture of Vistara’s 787 in full livery. May be delivered earlier than expected.

In July of last year, Vistara (Tata-SIA) placed an order for six Boeing 787-9’s with an additional four options. These aircraft were scheduled for delivery in early 2020, which would have likely seen the airline launch long haul flights in the first half of 2020. However, it appears that the airline may now be getting its first aircraft earlier than …

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Video: KLM’s 100th Anniversary Film

A couple of days back, KLM celebrated its 100th anniversary. The airline is the oldest in the world still operating under its original name. KLM has released a celebratory ad to commemorate the milestone. The film is called “To More Memories Together,” and follows three generations of KLM crew. KLM said about the film: “The film tracks KLM’s evolution from …

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Bangalore Airport announces Map contest

The automated self drop bag drop counters at Bangalore Airport.

Bengaluru International Airport has announced a map designing contest. The objective of the contest is to “is to provide unique maps that would guide travellers to experience the rich diversity of this vibrant City”. Three wining entries will be printed made available to passengers traveling through the airport as takeaways. The contest requirements are: “The map must be fit to …

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The great Indian aviation paradox – low fares fueled by unsustainable capacity

Domestic ramp at Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji airport. Photo copyright Devesh Agarwal.

A robust aviation industry is essential for any nation to grow and prosper. Airlines connect businesses and people both nationwide and globally. Air transport is essential for global trade, helps bring in much needed forex from tourism, provides global access to local produce and creates jobs. The economic impact and benefits of this one industry overshadow many others. Historically, air …

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Ultra-long haul flying: will Qantas succeed?

CGI of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in the new Qantas livery.

The recent announcement by Qantas regarding the 21 hour test flight has generated a lot of buzz. For the aviation industry the age of ultra-long haul flying (ULH) is here. Several flights are already operational, the most noteworthy being Perth – Heathrow, Singapore-Newark, Doha-Auckland and the very ambitious “Project Sunrise” of Qantas. The project is Qantas’ ambition to operate nonstop …

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