Tuesday , 22 October 2019
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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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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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India’s cities and the need for multi-airport systems

Renovated T2 at New Delhi IGI airport

Airports are strategic assets for any country. As airport impact growth and connectivity impacts that lend themselves to improving tourism, trade, technology, transport and talent. Consider India’s lacklustre trade figures – currently at 1.2 percent of global trade; innovation – where no Indian university lists amongst the top twenty globally; and slowing economic growth. As policymakers and economists rush to …

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Airlines hogging bilateral rights as a means to delay competition

IndiGo first A320neo VT-ITC receives the traditional water cannon welcome from the IGI airport ARFF team

Indian airlines are in a rush to start international services – or so we are made to believe. BangaloreAviation recently reviewed the bilateral rights applied for against what airlines have started. Route choices clearly emerged although experts indicate that there’s a fair amount of posturing involved. That is, airlines will often ask for routes they know they will not fly …

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Protests shut down Hong Kong airport from 6PM

The protests in Hong Kong have been covered all over the news for the last few weeks. Today is the fourth day of what was originally supposed to be a three day airport protest. Till now the protests have generally not affected the city’s aviation, today however the protests have caused the shut down of Hong Kong International airport. Extremely …

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Lufthansa to begin Bangalore – Munich flights

Lufthansa A350-900. Image courtesy airline.

German flag carrier Lufthansa has announced that it will begin operating direct flights between Munich and Bangalore from 31 March 2020. The flight will be operated five times weekly by an Airbus A350-900. The airline already operates a daily flight to Bangalore from Frankfurt using the Boeing 747-8i.   On Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the flight will take …

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Tata-SIA Vistara to commence New Delhi Bangkok flights

Vistara's first Airbus A320neo VT-TNB on its maiden commercial flight.

The Tata-Singapore Airlines joint-venture Vistara will commence daily flights on the New Delhi Bangkok sector from August 27, 2019. Bangkok is the third international destination for the airline. It commenced flights to Singapore today, and will commence flights between Mumbai and Dubai on August 21st. Like it Mumbai Dubai flights, Vistara will use its three-class Airbus A320neo on the Bangkok …

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Vistara to commence Mumbai Dubai flights replacing Jet Airways

Economy class on the Retro Livery Tata SIA Airlines Vistara Airbus A320neo. Image copyright Devesh Agarwal. Used with permission.

The Tata-Singapore Airlines joint-venture Vistara will commence flights on the Mumbai Dubai sector from August 21, 2019. This flight will operate on a schedule very similar to that operated by Jet Airways which suspended operations in April. Dubai will be the second destination for Vistara. The airline will commence flights to its first international destination, Singapore, from New Delhi and …

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Analysis: The battle for control at Indigo

Indigo Airbus A320neo VT-ITK. Image copyright Vedant Agarwal.

Indigo seems to have encountered severe turbulence as the fight between the co-founders has now become very public. There have been accusations, counters and name-calling. The issues highlighted range from related party transactions (RPTs) to those of governance. And for an airline that now flies one in every two passengers in the Indian skies, is on a solid financial footing, …

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Vistara to begin international flights to Singapore

Full service carrier Vistara (Tata-SIA) has announced that it will begin its first international routes to Singapore from Mumbai and New Delhi. The airline will operate a daily flight from Delhi and Mumbai starting 6 and 7 August 2019 respectively. Vistara will operate these flights with Boeing 737-800s in a two-class cabin configuration. Flights between Delhi (DEL) and Singapore (SIN) …

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What if Air India does not attract any buyers? What then?

Air India Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner line number 35 test registered N1015 (later became VT-ANH) at the India Aviation show, Hyderabad March 2012. Photo copyright Devesh Agarwal.

Military aviator and strategist John Boyd famously said, “If you want to understand something, take it to the extremes or examine its opposites.” Applied in the context of Air India, this becomes particularly interesting. That is, at a point of time where everyone seems to be convinced that the airline will be sold off, to understand the situation fully one …

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Analysis: Indian Aviation Budget 2019

For the aviation stakeholders, the budget was heavy on prose and lacking in numbers. A government that came in with a decisive mandate was expected to deliver on bold reforms. Yet, given that the tax revenues are declining and ambitious social sector schemes continuing, aviation once again saw token allocations and scant consideration. 5 key areas were highlighted: 1. Air …

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Technical issue forces British Airways Bangalore flight to return to London

British Airways Boeing 777-200ER G-YMMU

A British Airways Boeing 777-200ER registration G-YMMU, operating flight BA119 from London Heathrow to Bangalore Kempegowda airport returned to London Heathrow airport soon after take-off due to a technical issue. The cause of the issue is being investigated by the engineers, and no determination on what caused the issue has been made as of the time of this report. The …

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