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    Home>  Indian Airways News 2011                            





  Air India debts mount to Rs 43K cr
  THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, December 16, 2011 (ET): Noting that Air India is passing through a deep crisis with its total debt touching a whopping Rs.43,000 crore, Government today expressed confidence that it would be able to wipe out the debts with active cooperation of management and employees. Air India has also a net loss of Rs.18,000 crore accumulated in the past three to four years, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said.
  Giving details of the National Carrier's indebtedness, he said AI's outstanding loan stood at Rs.20,000 crore on account of purchasing new aircraft and Rs.20,000 crore for taking loan for operational purposes. However, Ravi expressed confidence that government would be able to overcome the crisis and wipe out its debts with the active co-operation of the management and employees. Increase in revenue of the Airlines was the silver lining and 'objective' is to double the revenue, he said. Air India employees has extended full support to government in resolving the problems, he said while inaugurating the Aircraft Maintenance facility, put up by AI here.

FIIS have cut their exposure to Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet
  New Delhi, November 23, 2011: Foreign investors have cut their exposure to the three listed Indian air carriers, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet, amid concerns over escalating operational costs because of high crude oil prices, weakening rupee and other factors. According to stock exchange data, the holding of the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) declined in all the three aviation firms during the July-September quarter of this year.
  The FII holding in Jet Airways fell from 5.77 percent to 4.76 percent at the end of the July-September quarter. Market analysts said airline stocks have become less attractive in recent past due to high operational costs, following a surge in fuel prices and the rupee depreciation.

  Airport charges at Delhi, Mumbai may go up

  New Delhi, October 16, 2011 (PTI): A proposal for a big hike in landing, parking, navigation
and other charges at the Delhi and Mumbai airports is being considered by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) and a decision is likely by early next year. The AERA is seeking the views of airport users, including airlines, on the multi-year tariff proposals of Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to hike airport charges by 500-600 per cent, official sources said. If approved, flying out of the IGI airport would become costlier as the airlines, on which this additional burden would be imposed, would pass on these costs to the passengers. A decision on the proposal to hike airport charges, which was made by DIAL and MIAL a few months ago, is likely to be taken by the AERA in another two-three months, they said.
  The hike in airport charges has been overdue since 2001 but it would depend on the Civil Aviation Ministry's policies, AERA decision and the views of key stakeholders including the airlines and passenger associations, whose views were being sought, the sources said. While airport charges like landing, parking and air navigation fees levied by the airport operators have not been revised since 2001, the GMR and GVK led airport operators also say that Supreme Court's directive not to collect development fee from passengers has also imposed a major financial burden. The apex court has left it to the AERA to decide on the development fee issue also.

   Kingfisher airlines to exit low cost aviation business: Vijay Mallya

   Bangalore, September 28, 2011: Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday said that it will quit its low cost aviation business, Kingfisher Red. Vijay Mallya, Chairman, Kingfisher Airlines said that the segment was too competitive and there are enough passengers for a full service operation. "Kingfisher Airlines is working with a consortium of banks to further reduce interest costs and raise working capital as the carrier looks to restructure its fleet by selling and leasing back some of its aircraft to lower debt," Mallya said.
  The cash strapped airline has never reported profits since its launch in 2006. In the last quarter, the airline had reported losses of Rs. 263.54 crore against losses of Rs. 187 crore in the corresponding quarter of last year. Mallaya also outlined plans to reduce debt and raise capital. The company has huge debt levels, which currently stands at Rs. 6,000 crore. He said the airline was working with a consortium of banks to further reduce interest costs and raise working capital. 
  The airline's auditors had said in the company's annual report for the fiscal year that ended March 31, that it needs capital infusion to remain viable. The airline also plans to convert part of its rupee loans into low-cost forex loans based on existing cash flows, he said. Kingfisher had planned to raise $250-$350 million through an issue of global depositary
receipts in January, but no deal has been forthcoming. Source: Agencies

   IndiGo launches operations on Dubai-India route

   New Delhi, September 03, 2011: India based IndiGo rolled out daily flights connecting Dubai with Delhi and Mumbai. The service will prove boon for a large Indian expatriate community working in the city state. This is the first ever international route of the airline for offering low cost options for people. The airline would provide services at much competitive rates as compared to its competitors. Round trip would cost as low as Dh816 while flights to Delhi cost about Dh1,400 and on Indian-operated Jet Airways, Dh1,200.

  Kingfisher Airlines is likely to receive notice from AAI's over dues 
July 25, 2011: Kingfisher Airlines is likely to receive notice from Airports Authority of India (AAI) to expeditiously clear its dues for non-payment of airport charges, totaling around Rs 200 crore. The AAI has received cheques from Kingfisher issued without date totaling around Rs 130 crore, to partially settle the airline's dues to the public sector airports operator.
  The company had last month paid Rs 20 crore to AAI as part-clearance of its dues for April and May, the officials said, adding its total dues stood around Rs 205 crore for services and facilities rendered during the past six months. Kingfisher has been on a 'cash- and-carry' arrangement since June one. Under this arrangement, they have to make daily payments to the airport operator or risk having their flights cancelled as the services and facilities at the airports would not be offered to them.

  AI moves govt to recover Rs 1,222 crore dues for VVIP flights

  New Delhi, July 5, 2011 (PTI): Cash strapped Air India has approached the government to recover Rs 1,222 crore dues towards operating VVIP and special flights over the last five years and the state-owned airline may get Rs 800 crore. In the last five years, the ailing airline operated 47 VVIP flights for which the Boeing 747-400s were withdrawn from commercial services for a total of 313 days, sources said today.
 Though Air India has billed an amount of Rs 1,222 crore for exclusive use of five Boeing 747-400 planes for VVIP operations and evacuation flights, the government could give the airline Rs 802 crore for the operation of three aircraft, the sources said. The Government response is understood to have come up for discussion at a meeting here of a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet Secretary A K Seth against the backdrop of the decision to infuse Rs 1,200 crore as equity in Air India. The fresh equity is expected soon. The airline has estimated that of the total pending amount of Rs 1,222 crore, the cost of maintaining these five planes was put at Rs 866 crore, the capital expenditure including for standby aircraft was Rs 206 crore and a cash cost of Rs 150 crore. Air India was earlier paid Rs 250 crore. As the market price for these aircraft at present hovered around USD 15-20 million per piece as against USD 30 million due to a glut of similar planes in the market, the airline is waiting  to sell them off, they said.

  IndiGo set to confirm $16 bln Airbus order

  LE BOURGET, France, June 21, 2011 (Reuters) - Budget carrier IndiGo could confirm an historic $16 billion order for 180 Airbus aircraft at the Paris Air Show on Wednesday, industry sources said. The deal was provisionally announced in January but has been mired in further negotiations before it could be signed and go into the Airbus order book in a boost for parent EADS.
  The deal is seen as the largest commercial jet order by number of aircraft but could be eclipsed by a roughly 200- plane order expected from AirAsia on Thursday. In January, IndiGo provisionally ordered 150 revamped A320neos, which are promising airlines fuel savings when they enter service in 2015, as well as 30 current models of the A320. The A320 is a 150-seat plane which competes with Boeing 's 737. Both have fuelled the expansion of low-cost carriers. 
600 Air India pilots strike work
  Mumbai, April 27, 2011 (IANS): Around 600 Air India pilots of the erstwhile  Indian Airlines have gone on a strike to press for their various demands, ruining the holiday plans of thousands of passengers in the process. Six flights from Mumbai were cancelled, official sources said  Wednesday. The strike was called Tuesday midnight. Till Wednesday morning, Air India had managed to operate 10 flights from Mumbai to various destinations with the help of executive pilots. Six flights from Mumbai to different destinations have been cancelled due to non-availability of pilots, official sources said.
  The striking pilots, owing allegiance to the Indian Commercial Pilots Association of the former Indian Airlines, which merged with Air India later, have struck work demanding parity in pay with Air India pilots and other issues related to work conditions.

  Air India pilots announce strike from March 16
  New Delhi/Mumbai, March 14, 2011 (IANS): A group of Air India pilots Monday said they will go on strike from March 16 over pay hike and other issues."We will go strike from March 16, as the Air India management has failed to come up with an interim solution to our issues till now," an official of the agitating pilots group told IANS. The official further said that the interim solution for pay-parity would be a stop-gap solution until a committee under a retired judge and two other members comes up with its suggestions.
  Earlier, the same group of pilots had postponed their planned strike March 9 after an initiative taken by Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi .According to the official, the unions' patience with the airline management was dwindling and the option for a strike, which may cripple the already troubled national carrier, was the only solution. "If we (pilots) decide to join some other airline at least they will treat us with respect and proper pay-scales," the official said. The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA), a group of pilots from the erstwhile Indian Airlines, now merged with flag carrier Air India, had served notice Feb 23 for striking work from March 9.
  The association claims that there were differences in salaries and working conditions of pilots of Indian Airlines and Air India and that the management has violated the memorandum of settlement signed in November 2009 on implementing the sixth pay commission recommendations. The ICPA is also demanding payment of arrears since the date of merger of the two airlines in 2007. The ICPA represents some 800 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines. Air India has also said that all efforts are on to stave-off the strike.
Air India aims to become India's 1st green airline in one year
  New Delhi, February 15, 2011 (PTI): National air-carrier, Air India, aims to become the country's first green airline soon having initiated the process acouple of years ago, a senior official said. As part of this process, the airline's chairman and managing director, Arvind Jadhav, today outlined the company's corporate environment policy which seeks to reduce carbon emission, noise and other forms of pollution as well as reduce consumption of fuel and other natural resources. 
  "We are committed to go green. As a part of this process, we plan to introduce a documentation management system and aim to go electronic with an e-filing system to cut down on our use of paper," Air India's quality management systems head,Harpreet A De Singh, told PTI Mumbai. The policy provides sufficient resources to meet environmental objectives by continuous measuring, monitoring, reporting and improving upon environmental performance. "We will implement our e-filing system in critical areas by June this year. In about a year's time, we will implement it in the entire company," she said, adding orders have already been placed for procuring hardware and software for the system. The airline would turn paperless except in the areas where it is is mandatory by law, the Air India official said.   .    

  Airlines may hike airfares as fuel prices rise

  MUMBAI, February 02, 2011: Airline companies are likely to raise airfares as oil marketing companies have hiked prices of air turbine fuel by 3.5% on Monday. Aviation analysts see an increase of 5-7% in ticket prices due to the rise in oil prices. Crude prices eased to $92 a barrel on Tuesday. Airlines, which raised fares last month by 100-200 on increased fuel costs, are watching the situation very closely. 
  "The airlines are watching the situation closely. What we have to see is that whether hike is here to stay or is it just a temporary spike. We will be able to assess the situation in a week's time. But $100 mark or near that for a barrel of oil is not something airlines would at digesting and we will have to pass on the additional burden to consumers," said an airline official, not wanting to be identified. Analysts feel that fare hike will protect margins of airlines. "Airlines might pass on this hike of 3.5% to the consumers as it would be a good strategy to do so to protect their margins during this quarter. But the catch is that if fuel prices still spiral upwards of $100 mark, we will see a dent in demand in the long run," said Rashesh Shah, an analyst with ICICI Direct.
IndiGo has become the number one player in December
  New Delhi, January. 24, 2011: After stunning the industry with its world-record-breaking plane order, budget carrier IndiGo has become the number one player in December not only in market share but also in seat occupancy. With an 18.6 per cent market share, IndiGo is first along with Vijay Mallya?s Kingfisher. Less than two weeks ago, the budget carrier had placed an order for 180 Airbus A-320s worth a massive $15.6 billion (Rs 70,200 crore). 
  In seat occupancy, IndiGo part-owned by Calcutta-born Rakesh Gangwal  is first with an occupancy of 93.3 per cent on an average per flight. Low-cost peers SpiceJet and GoAir are second and third in seat occupancy
rankings with shares of 88 and 87 per cent, respectively. Full-fare airlines did well, too, on the back of a growing economy. National carrier Air India has reported a 79 per cent seat occupancy and announced plans to double its fleet size to 272 in four years.  According to Anil Baijal, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian Airlines, ?The figures do beg for more capacity to be deployed. The (passenger growth) trend data is encouraging. All airlines have cause to look ahead and plan fleet expansion. "But the low-cost airlines will perhaps have both an incremental growth of new flyers as well as existing fliers taking more flights," he said.
  IndiGo made a profit of Rs 510 crore in the last fiscal year, while Air India posted a monthly operating profit of Rs 22 crore in November, its first in four years. "Low cost and full planes mean, it will be the low-cost airlines which will rake in larger profits," said Robin Pathak, aviation analyst  former Indian Airlines director.

  Air India to Double Fleet Size to 272 planes
MUMBAI, January 16, 2010: Air India Ltd. plans to double its fleet size to 272 planes over five years in the country's fast-growing aviation market, even as the national carrier strives to cut costs and reduce losses. "Based on the studies our consultants have done, the Indian aviation market will grow to 150 million passengers by 2015 from the current 72
million, and a company has to expand in a growing market," said Gustav Baldauf, Air India's first chief operating officer.
  The airline, with a current fleet size of 135, plans to lease 107 planes by the end of 2015, he told Dow Jones Newswires in a recent interview. In addition, Air India expects to take delivery of 30 planes from Boeing Co., which forms part of the 111-plane order from Boeing and Airbus in 2005, said Mr. Baldauf, who joined the carrier in April. Air India's plans mirror the ambitions of the expanding Indian aviation market, which just two years ago was crushed by high fuel prices and carriers running empty planes due to low demand.

  IndiGo has placed firm orders for 180 Airbus 320 aircraft

  MUMBAI, January 12, 2011: Low-cost carrier IndiGo has placed firm orders for 180 Airbus 320 aircraft at an estimated cost of $ 15.6 billion. The order is the single largest for jets, in terms of volume, to be ever placed in the commercial aviation history. It is not the first time that IndiGo has placed a brow-raising order though. The Gurgaon-based private carrier created ripples in the 2005 Paris airshow with an announcement to buy 100 A320s. Currently, the airline flies 34 A320s to 25 domestic destinations and plans to go international by August this year.
  The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 180 eco-efficient Airbus A320 aircraft of which 150 will be A320 NEO, said an Airbus spokesperson adding that the order was the largest in history. The A320 New Engine Option or NEO runs more efficient engines will be available from 2016 onwards. The aircraft has specially designed wing tips -- called Sharklets by Airbus -- that will reduce the aerodynamic drag which develops at the wingtips of a moving aircraft in the form of vortices. Sharklets will lad to fuel savings of up to 15 percent, which is up to 3,600 tonnes of CO2 annually per aircraft, says Airbus. The Neo will also provide a double-digit reduction in nitrogen oxides and will
have a reduced engine noise. "This order for industry leading fuel efficient aircraft will allow IndiGo to continue to offer low fares," said Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul Bhatia, co-founders of IndiGo. "Ordering more A320s was the natural
choice to meet India's growing flying needs. The opportunity to reduce costs and to further improve our environmental performance through the A320neo were key to our decision." John Leahy, Airbus, Chief Operating Officer Customers said: ``The A320 NEO, offering maximum benefit for minimum change, will ensure that this continues to be the case for many years to come. This order positions IndiGo to take full advantage of the predicted growth in Indian air travel." The A320NEO will have over 95% airframe commonality with the A320 family while offering up to 500nm (950 km) more range or two tonnes more payload. Source: Times of India 


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