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India suspends all domestic passenger flights

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

The Indian government has ordered a shut down of all passenger flights into and within India. On the heels of suspending international flights, all domestic scheduled commercial flights are to cease operations effective 23:59 hours IST (UTC+5.5) March 24, 2020. Flights have to land at their destination before this deadline. There is no re-start date announced at this time, but …

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First look: The cabin on Vistara’s 787

Vistara recently took delivery of the first Boeing 787-9 to be operated by an Indian carrier. The aircraft which is the first of six 787’s on order for the carrier will be used by the airline to begin long haul flights. The cabin configuration of Vistara’s 787s has been the subject of much speculation. Today, the airline unveiled their new …

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British Airways to start a second Bangalore flight

British Airways Boeing 777-200ER G-VIIA

British flag carrier British Airways is adding an additional three weekly flights to Bangalore. The airline currently operates a daily flight using the newest aircraft in their fleet the Airbus A350-1000 which features the airline’s brand new business class suites. The new flights will begin in April 2020 and be operated using the airline’s three-class Boeing 777-200s. Time-table for British …

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Analysis: What prompted Virgin Atlantic to launch flights from Manchester to New Delhi?

Britain’s other major carrier, Virgin Atlantic, rather unexpectedly, announced a seasonal, thrice-weekly service between Manchester and New Delhi starting Winter 2020. The new service will begin from the 26th of October 2020 operating on Monday, Thursday and Saturday on an ex-Air Berlin A330-200 aircraft. Virgin Atlantic added four of these aircraft to its fleet starting March 2018 to deal with …

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American Airlines and Qatar Airways end their feud, sign code-share agreement

Qatar Airways and American Airlines Sign Strategic Partnership Deal and Codeshare Agreement

American Airlines had a code-share agreement with Qatar Airways which it terminated in 2017 claiming unfair government subsidies to the Gulf carrier Both airlines are members of the oneworld alliance Both airlines remain tight-lipped on what developments caused the rapprochement oneworld alliance members American Airlines and Qatar Airways appear to have buried the hatchet and put aside their disputes to …

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Repairing and retaining brand Air India will challenge any buyer

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

As the government of India attempts to privatise Air India, media reports suggest the second time around is seeing renewed interest. Reports also indicate the government is keen the Air India brand is retained post any sale. One can see why. The airline is still India’s national carrier and the brand has a high recall value and familiarity quotient. Despite …

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SpiceJet Q3FY20 results analysis: Has rapid expansion hurt the airline?

SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 Dash 8 VT-SUB lands at Kempegowda airport Bangalore. Photo by Vedant Agarwal. All rights reserved.

February 14th saw SpiceJet report its third-quarter results. The airline reported a profit of INR 78.2 crores but we believe the results warrant closer examination. This because of the Boeing 737MAX grounding and the fact that compensation that has been recorded but not yet received by SpiceJet significantly contributed to this result. Additionally, in looking at the operational numbers, it …

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Analysis: American launches Bangalore – Seattle and Alaska joins OneWorld

American Airlines announced new nonstop service from Seattle to Bengaluru as part of a broader move to turn Seattle into an international gateway. American will also deepen its relationship with US regional carrier Alaska Airlines (the largest airline in Seattle by passengers carried) with a widespread codeshare agreement and the addition of Alaska to the OneWorld global airline alliance. The …

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Indigo Q3FY20 results analysis

IndiGo first A320neo VT-ITC touches down at New Delhi's IGI airport after a non-stop flight from Toulouse, France

Monday, January 27th was quite a newsday for Indian aviation. In what is becoming a tale of two airlines, while the national carrier came out with its Preliminary Information Memorandum looking for someone to take over 23,286 crores of debt and 8556 crores of losses (for FY19) the other airline Indigo reported profits of 496 crores with another 20,000 crores …

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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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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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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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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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