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.
have cut their exposure to Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and
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
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
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.
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.
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
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