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Analysis and Features

Video discussion: The recent spate of airline accidents. A cause for worry? #MH17

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200ER 9M-MRD. Photo copyright M. Azizul Islam. Photo used with permission, do not copy or reproduce.

I had a chance to participate in a Boom News’ panel discussion hosted by noted journalist Govindraj Ethiraj, focussing on the issue of passenger safety in the wake of the MH17 shoot-down in Ukraine, and the crashes of Air Algerie flight AH5017 in Mali and TranAsia flight GE222 in Makung, Taiwan. Enjoy the 30 minute program, and do share your …

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Global aviation leaders call India’s service tax on aircraft leasing, regressive

Global aviation leaders at the Farnborough international air show 2014 termed India’s decision to levy service tax of 12.36% on aircraft lease charges as a regressive step which will only hurt India’s already over-taxed airlines. As per a report in The Mint, the maiden Union budget of the Narendra Modi led NDA government proposes to levy the service tax effective …

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Benefits Air India and passengers can expect from Star membership

As Air India joins the world’s largest grouping of airlines, the Star Alliance, as its 27th member on July 11, 2014, there will be benefits that will be enjoyed by both the airline and passengers. The alliance currently has 26 member airlines from all continents, except Antarctica and carried 637.62 million passengers last year. African member airlines are: EgyptAir MS, …

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Analysis: Emirates banks on 777X with A350 XWB order cancellation

Just about two weeks ago, Dubai-based Emirates airline and European airframer Airbus S.A.S. announced the cancellation of the 70 aircraft A350 XWB order, 50 A350-900 and 20 A350-1000 citing outcomes “as a result of a fleet requirements review.” While the cancellation was downplayed by Airbus as “not good news commercially” but “not bad news financially”, it is most definitely a …

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Opinion: Un-fare meddling DGCA must focus on passenger friendly policies

Air India Airbus A321 VT-PPO. Seen here handing in the early morning light at Bangalore Airport.

Last Sunday, June 15th, The Economic Times newspaper carried my opinion piece on the excessive meddling of the Indian civil aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation or DGCA in short, in the day-to-day operations of airlines in India. Using the example of how the DGCA, in direct contradiction of its own policies (read DGCA ATC 3 of 2013 …

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Analysis: Air India misses turnaround targets by 25%, posts Rs.5000 crore loss

As per a report in The Economic Times, national carrier Air India has missed its financial performance targets by a huge margin. The airline agreed to these targets with the government in order to receive a whopping Rs.30,000 crore ($6 billion at the time) tax-payer funded bailout. The national carrier already saddled with debts exceeding Rs.40,000 crore ($6.8 billion) has …

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Air India officials want minister to do their jobs

Virtually everyone in the industry, including Air Indians, complain about the excessive interference by the ministry in the day-to-day operational issues of the airline instead of focussing on broad-based industry oriented issues like a comprehensive civil aviation policy or a strong regulator which would have prevented India’s safety status be downgraded, etc. Yet, going by a media report in The …

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Video: New airlines to land in India: Good for flyers?

Air India Airbus A321 VT-PPO. Seen here handing in the early morning light at Bangalore Airport.

I had the pleasure of joining industry stalwarts Amber Dubey, Ayaz Memon, Govindraj Ethiraj, and Jitender Bhargava on Boom News’ Google+ India Hangout discussing the impending entry of new airlines AirAsia India and Tata-SIA and their potential impact on the Indian airline industry. Govindraj Ethiraj is a journalist of repute and the moderator. Amber Dubey is the head, aerospace and …

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Lufthansa upgrades Mumbai to 747-8i, expect A380 service to Delhi this winter

Lufthansa Boeing 747-8i D-ABYA at New Delhi Indira Gandhi airport at night.

German flag carrier Lufthansa has announced effective July 15, it will upgrade the existing Boeing 747-400 on the daily Mumbai Frankfurt service, and fly the new Boeing 747-8i. Mumbai will be the third city in India, following New Delhi and Bangalore to receive the newest variant of the legendary Jumbo-jet also called the “queen of the skies.” Lufthansa’s new business …

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Opinion: AirAsia India granted permission, but should wait to commence flights

AirAsia India first Airbus A320 with Sharklets VT-ATF

AirAsia India has been granted its air operating permit (AOP) by India’s civil aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). AirAsia (India) Pvt Ltd is a joint venture between the Tatas, Telestra, and AirAsia. Commencing the process in April, AirAsia received a no objection certificate (NOC) from the ministry of civil aviation (MoCA) in September 2013. As the …

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Tech Tuesday: Proving Flights

AirAsia India first Airbus A320 with Sharklets VT-ATF

In late 2013, India’s civil aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) introduced a Civil Aviation Policy, CAP-3100, in line with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation, pronounced eye-kay-oh) guidelines, to guide an organisation on the steps required to obtain an Air Operator’s Certificate, or an AOP. The AOP is required for an operator to offer air transport services, …

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Tech Tuesday: Aircraft maintenance checks

Celebrating international women's' day an Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) technician checks out an F-15 Eagle.

Unlike a land or water based vehicle, an airplane has no means to halt mid air, nor land at any open field, should a snag occur. Keeping the airplane airworthy is of prime importance, recognized by the aviation regulator of each country, mandating checks in the interest of flight safety. Checks, short for maintenance checks, are conducted at intervals specified …

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Infographic – IndiGo fleet operations larger than Malaysia AirAsia

A brief comparison of select Asian low cost carriers shows India’s IndiGo (6E) airline larger than Malaysia’s AirAsia (AK) in terms of fleet operations. While AirAsia as a group is the largest low cost carrier in Asia, when broken up in to its various operating subsidiaries, the largest, Malaysia AirAsia with an airline code of AK has 73 aircraft compared …

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Etihad Airways announces record profits for fiscal 2013

Etihad Airways Boeing 777-300ER A6-ETK London Heathrow

On Monday, Middle East Big 3 (MEB3) carrier Etihad Airways announced a record $62 million net profit for 2013, up 47.6% year-over-year (YOY) from $42 million in 2012. The carrier saw total revenue grow 27.1% YOY to $6.1 billion, while expenses rose 26.9% to $6.04 billion. Total capacity as measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs) grew 16.6% YOY while traffic …

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Infographic: User Development Fee charges across Indian airports

User Development Fee (UDF) and Passenger Service Fee (PSF) charges at various Indian airports

The infographic above shows a detail of the User Development Fee (UDF), Airport Development Fee (ADF) now called Development Fee, and the Passenger Service Fee (PSF) charged at various airports across India both privately operated like New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad, and AAI (Airports Authority of India) run like Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Chennai, Guwahati, Jaipur, Mangalore, Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Tiruchirapally, Udaipur, …

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Analysis: SpiceJet third quarter fiscal 2013~2014 results – excess capacity killing industry

Earlier this week, low cost carrier SpiceJet reported its latest round of disappointing financial results, reporting a Rs. 172.80 crore net loss for the third quarter of fiscal year 2013~2014 (3Q FY14), swinging from a net profit of Rs. 102.01 crore during the same period last year. The carrier blamed high fuel prices and rupee depreciation for the net loss, …

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