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Old June 27th, 2005, 11:12 PM   #201
hkskyline
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India No Legal Issue Pending For Airports' Privatization
27 June 2005

NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)--India's Law Minister Hasraj Bhardwaj Monday said his ministry has cleared the proposed privatization of the Mumbai and Delhi airports.

"We have cleared the project. We are only vetting the bid documents. There are no legal issues outstanding," Bhardwaj told reporters.

Last week, India's Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said the revised documents for privatizing the Mumbai and Delhi airports would be sent to the Law Ministry for final approval, as there were some legal issues.

The Indian government is selling 74% of its stake in the country's two busiest airports in an bid to improve infrastructure and services.

Of the 74%, overseas companies can bid for up to 49%. The 26% not up for sale will be in the hands of the state-run Airports Authority of India.

Seven consortia, comprising both Indian and overseas companies, have expressed interest in buying the government stakes in the two airports.

On the separate matter of a proposal to allow foreign direct investment in Indian law firms, Bhardwaj said, "We are not ready yet."

The proposal has been referred to the Bar Council of India, he said.

"Unless the Bar Council takes a view, we can't take a decision on it," the minister said.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 01:34 AM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheese Mmmmmmmmmmmm
^ Any renderings of new Bangalore Int'l Airport?
there are some renderings here : http://www.karnataka.com/watch/blr-airport/snaps.shtml
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Old June 28th, 2005, 04:16 AM   #203
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Sahara gets slot at Heathrow
27 June 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Air Sahara claimed a major victory in its quest for expanding overseas operations by bagging a daily landing slot at London Heathrow airport. This will help it mount a daily flight between Delhi and London from the winter of 2005.

Sources said that Airports Co-ordination Ltd - the company in-charge of managing airport slots in several European airports - awarded Sahara a daily slot at Heathrow. Air Sahara manager (schedule planning) Debasis Saha, confirmed the development saying: "Air Sahara was awarded the Heathrow slots last weekend in Berlin."

Sahara is preparing to start direct flights from Delhi to London this winter, and has signed a deal to lease three Boeing 777-200ER (extended range) planes.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 01:21 PM   #204
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Business Times - 28 Jun 2005

Indian Air may place US$2.2b Airbus orders


(NEW DELHI) Indian Airlines Ltd, the nation's biggest domestic carrier by fleet, may be able to buy its first new aircraft since 1992 in two weeks to compete with a half dozen low-fare rivals in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

India's government, which owns and manages Indian Airlines, will decide in two weeks if the New Delhi-based carrier should pay Airbus SAS an estimated US$2.2 billion for 43 planes, said the civil aviation secretary Ajay Prasad.

Four new carriers began operations since Indian Airlines' 2002 fleet renewal plan and six others are awaiting permission to fly. Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, IndiGo and other low-fare airlines have ordered 213 planes so far this year valued at US$24 billion from Airbus, Boeing Co and Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica, preparing to tap India's 20 per cent annual air travel growth.

'It is essential that Indian Airlines keeps pace with the expansion plans of its rivals,' said Kapil Kaul, the CEO for the India unit of the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, which advises governments on airlines.

Indian Airlines wants four A320, 20 of the A319 models and 19 A321 planes to replace some of the 65 aircraft in its fleet and to expand, according to its proposal. The three aircraft models selected can carry between 124 and 185 passengers each and fly as far as 3,700 nautical miles between India's major cities. Each aircraft has a list price of between US$54.4 million and US$80 million.

The government's Cabinet committee on economic affairs will consider Indian Airlines' plan very soon, Mr Prasad said.

India's public investment board, which approves large investments by state-owned companies, approved Indian Airlines' purchase plan in November. The civil aviation ministry has since been negotiating final prices with Airbus and also sought opinion from other ministries.

'The process of inter-ministerial consultation is nearing completion,' Mr Prasad said.

Indian Airlines, which also flies to Singapore and Dubai in addition to its domestic routes, is also in talks to lease six A319, 10 A320 and 12 wide bodied aircraft, said spokesman Ashok Sharma. Indian Airlines has leased 12 planes since 2002, he said.

Air India Ltd, the nation's biggest state-owned overseas carrier, is negotiating final prices with Boeing Co for buying up to 68 planes, Mr Prasad said.

The order comprises 50 twin-aisle planes valued at US$6.9 billion by Boeing and 18 single-aisle Boeing 737 planes, Air India said in April. The airline still hasn't placed the order.

The state-run airline may sell as much as 20 per cent of its equity in an initial public offer this year, Mr Prasad said. Air India, which last month invited bids from merchant banks for the share sale, may sell stock 'in winter 2005', Mr Prasad said. - Bloomberg

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old June 28th, 2005, 08:51 PM   #205
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Bangalore airport gets loans, starts work next week

BANGALORE, June 28 (Reuters) - A private consortium led by Germany's Siemens AG has tied up loans for a $325 million international airport in India's booming technology city of Bangalore and will start work next week, an official said.

"The main thing was financial closure. Half the money for the project has to come from debt," Vinay Kumar, principal secretary in-charge of infrastructure in the government of the southern state of Karnataka, told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL), owned 40 percent by Siemens, is expected to begin operations in April, 2008.

Kumar said the 14.12 billion rupees ($325 million) airport can handle up to 5 million passengers a year, but the 3,900-acre project north of Bangalore can be further developed to take eight times as many passengers.

The showpiece project was bogged down by regulatory delays that raised the cost originally estimated at 11.5 billion rupees, while an outsourcing boom choked Bangalore's infrastructure, considered a key constraint to its sustained growth.

Bangalore accounts for some 35 percent of India's $17.2 billion software and business service export industry that employs more than one million people.

Switzerland's Zurich airport operator Unique and leading Indian construction firm Larsen & Toubro hold 17 percent each in BIAL.

The remaining stakes are divided equally between the government of Karnataka, whose capital is Bangalore, and the federal government's National Airport Authority.

BIAL has a 30-year agreement to run the new airport under a build-operate-transfer plan, with a provision to extend the term for another 30 years.

Kumar said ICICI Bank , which led the debt arrangement, would give 7.35 billion rupees in loans for the airport, while the state government would extend a 10-year, interest-free loan of up to 3.5 billion rupees. Equity investments total 3.35 billion rupees.

Other Indian cities, including Hyderabad, the southern rival to Bangalore, are also planning privately funded airports.

"Bangalore is a pioneering project. Others will benefit a lot (from our experience)," Kumar said.

Officials had earlier this month secured a bank guarantee from the State Bank of India , India's largest commercial bank, to help the debt plan. ($1 = 43.5 rupees)
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Old June 29th, 2005, 05:14 AM   #206
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Air India to add Jakarta-Mumbai flights
The Jakarta Post
28 June 2005

India's national flag carrier, Air India, plans to increase its flights on the Jakarta-Mumbai route, but also to terminate other services.

Air India Manager for Indonesia Ranjana N. Adsul said on Monday that beginning July 10 the airline would serve the Jakarta-Mumbai route three times a week -- on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays.

The airline currently serves three destinations from Jakarta -- Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, all via Singapore.

Adsul said the airline would add another flight on the Jakarta-Mumbai route on Fridays, starting on Aug. 19.

From its hub in Mumbai, the airline connects cities in India with the European, Middle Eastern and African countries, as well as the United States.

"Our reason for serving only the Jakarta-Mumbai route is because Mumbai is one of the busiest cities in India. It is a major commercial center," said Adsul, adding that her company saw great potential for growth in commercial relations between Indonesia and India in the future.

Two-way trade between India and Indonesia stood at US$3 billion in 2004, a significant increase from the previous year's $2.4 billion.

Adsul explained that with more Indian investors coming to Indonesia, her company expected its business to increase by between 20 percent and 25 percent this year.

The company was also targeting an 80 percent increase in the number of passengers flying to India to 45,000 this year from around 25,000 last year.

The Air India board has approved a plan to increase the size of the airline's fleet by 74 aircraft in addition to its existing fleet of 21 aircraft, which include Boeing 777-200 ERs, 747-400s, 747-400 Combis and Airbus 310s.

The plan, which is expected to be fully completed by 2012, is based on an annualized capacity growth of 12 percent over the period.

Adsul said that Air India expected a significant increase in the number of Indians visiting Indonesia following the extension of the visa-on-arrival policy to India.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 05:17 AM   #207
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Wednesday June 29, 8:22 AM
Growth in budget airlines reveals untapped demand in India

AP - When a former Indian army officer and occasional silkworm farmer was looking around for business opportunities a couple years ago, he didn't choose software outsourcing _ which had put his city, Bangalore, on the global prosperity map.

Instead, he set up an airline, becoming the first Indian investor to take advantage of the untapped potential for budget aviation in a country with an exploding middle class.

"It was one approach to look at our people as one billion hungry mouths to feed. It was quite another to look at them as one billion hungry consumers," said G. R. Gopinath, 53.

In August 2003, he started Air Deccan, offering fares at least 30 percent lower than full-service carriers and helping change the face of Indian air travel. Following concepts common in the West, he cut costs by eliminating in-flight meals, pruning crews, adding more seats and selling tickets on the Internet.

Air Deccan's first full year of operation ended in March with just over a million passengers, according to Gopinath. This year, with the company adding more planes and destinations, they expect to carry 4 million people.

For decades, air travel in India had been expensive and largely dominated by state-owned carriers. In the fiscal year that ended March 2005, some 16 million plane tickets were sold in India _ roughly equal to five days' traffic in the United States.

But Gopinath's gamble got the ball rolling, and he was followed by a bevy of new budget carriers and hordes of first-time flyers.

Those 16 million seats reflected a 27 percent jump over the year before, and aviation experts expect business to continue to rise by 25 percent per year for the foreseeable future.

With more than 1 billion people in India, investors are talking serious business.

"We have broken the social barrier to flying," Gopinath said. "We are bringing on board those who didn't dare ask to be flown earlier. We estimate that there are 450 million to 500 million people in the middle-class and lower-middle-class category who can become airline customers."

The Indian government opened up the aviation sector to private companies as part of an economic liberalization plan that began in 1991. Officials expect there to be 50 million passengers by 2010, and India's civil aviation minister, Praful Patel, promised earlier this year to kickstart upgrade plans for 80 airports across the country.

One new budget airline was started by liquor baron Vijay Mallya. His Kingfisher Airlines started operations in May 2005, offering what he calls "value flying" _ service midway between traditional and budget travel.

In all, half a dozen budget airlines have started operating in India in the last two years, with more planning to enter the market.

The low fares are the key draw. Air Deccan says 40 percent of its first-time passengers say the cheap prices are why they've chosen to fly.

Poorly connected small towns are also benefitting from the new business.

"Our market lies in very small towns, where 90 or 95 people need to fly to big cities each day. We have identified 311 such routes across India and 40 percent of national demand is going to come from these routes," said software businessman J. W. Lobo, managing director of Air One Feeder Airline Pvt. Ltd., which plans to start service in August.

The emerging buzz in India's aviation was evident mid-June at the Paris Air Show, aviation's biggest gathering. There, Indian carriers placed orders for 125 airliners, most of them with European manufacturer Airbus.

IndiGo, a soon-to-open New Delhi-based budget airline alone agreed to buy 100 Airbus A320 planes, at a cost of US$6 billion at catalog prices. Kingfisher ordered 15 planes, including five A380 superjumbos.

All of India's airlines, including the public sector giants Air India and Indian Airlines, together own fewer than 200 planes, but various low-cost airlines have announced plans to buy around 220 planes in the next five years.

Investment too is flowing. The privately held Air Deccan obtained venture capital funding of US$40 million in late 2004 and plans an initial public offer of stock to raise at least US$250 million.

Kingfisher will invest US$40 million and SpiceJet will spend US$28 million to build up their fleet and train personnel.

The airlines say they aren't worried about intensifying competition.

"India is such a vast country, it actually needs more planes," said Seema Luthra, vice president of InterGlobe Enterprises, which owns IndiGo, set to start flying in early 2006.

"Across the nation, we will fly to any place where we can land our planes," she said.
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Old June 29th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #208
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Dubai-bound Emirates flight returns to India after suspected bird hit

NEW DELHI, June 28 (AFP) - A Dubai-bound Emirates flight from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad returned 20 minutes after take-off following a suspected bird hit, a report said Tuesday.

Pilots of the Emirates EK 527 flight with 177 passengers on board decided to return to the international airport due to a technical snag, airport officials told the Press Trust of India news agency.

Two blades of an engine were found slightly damaged after the plane landed safely, they added.

The snag was being fixed by the technical staff and the flight was due to depart later Tuesday.
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Old July 4th, 2005, 01:15 PM   #209
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Business Times - 04 Jul 2005

India carrier sees robust traffic on S'pore, KL routes


Jet Airways also planning to start flights from cities like Delhi, Bangalore

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) Privately owned Indian airline Jet Airways, which plans to use the Republic as its hub for East Asia, has been enjoying robust traffic on its Mumbai-Singapore and Chennai-Kuala Lumpur flights, and expects this to pick up further when the Singapore-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) kicks in.

Its vice-president for South-east Asia, V Raja, told BT over the weekend that the airline was enjoying strong growth in both leisure and business traffic.

'The loads have been very good in the 75 days we have been flying to Singapore and we expect this to get even better with CECA,' he said.

'Right now, the inbound leisure traveller from India is doing the triangular route - flying into Singapore, then hopping over to KL, before flying back to India. But with CECA, we expect to see more business travellers. We also expect to see strong growth in cargo volumes as trade picks up.'

The economic pact, which was signed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh last week, takes effect on Aug 1. Experts say that besides boosting bilateral trade to US$10 billion from the current US$7 billion, it will lift travel restrictions and facilitate increased flow of people and investment.

Meanwhile, Jet Airways is planning to turn its Singapore base into a hub for its East Asian operations.

'Singapore is already our regional headquarters,' Mr Raja said. 'We would like to make it our hub for our route expansion in East Asia.'

Jet Airways envisages services to Bangkok and Hong Kong soon, then to more cities further east. Mr Raja said that his airline would also be applying to start services between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur to other Indian cities such as New Delhi and Bangalore.

Jet Airways, which has earned a reputation as India's best domestic airline within a short span of 12 years of operation, has a fleet of 47 planes whose average age is under five years.

The company, which raised some US$436 million in its initial public offering earlier this year, recently placed an order worth almost US$5 billion for 20 Boeing and 10 Airbus aircraft.

Founded by Naresh Goyal, Jet Airways currently operates some 2,000 weekly flights to 42 destinations. Besides Singapore and KL, its oversees destinations are Heathrow, Colombo and Katmandu. It will soon be starting services to Brussels and Newark, New Jersey.

Mr Raja said that despite robust loads and strong growth in passenger traffic, his airline had no immediate plans to plug into an alliance network with other carriers. 'This is a macro decision for head office,' he said. 'Such tie-ups will have to take into consideration the global business scenario in aviation.'

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old July 4th, 2005, 04:46 PM   #210
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Emirates to Expand Operations in India

NEW DELHI, July 4 Asia Pulse - The UAE's premier carrier, Emirates, said it was interested in expanding its operations from India depending on the air traffic rights granted to it and was planning to build a training centre for aviation-related activities in the country.

"This regional training centre will be the first outside Dubai and offer courses ranging from ticketing, management, customer services and telephone techniques to training of engineers and cabin crew," Nabil Sultan, the airline's Senior Vice President (Commercial Operations) for West Asia and Indian Ocean, said here Friday.

"India has the ingredients for creation of such a centre of excellence which would become a division of our training college in Dubai", he said, adding that the centre would in the first year cater only to Emirates'needs and openedup to travel agents, tour operators and others in future.

Maintaining that Emirates could contemplate shifting some of its back offices to India, he said the airline already had its international call centre operating out of the country for the past two years. With the scale of its operations growing, the UAE carrier was contemplating a major expansion.

Replying to questions on the traffic demand between India and UAE as well as the increased operations of low-cost carriers (LCCs) like Air India Express, Sultan said though the LCCs had filled up the gap for certain market segments like labour traffic, the "exponential growth" in passenger traffic between India and Dubai in the near future would not affect operations of the Emirates and other normal- fare airlines.

The Indian subcontinent, Sultan said, contributed to about 10 per cent of the airline's total revenue collection.
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Old July 5th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #211
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Indian airports groan amid civil aviation sector boom
Low-cost air travel growth is straining old infrastructure, writes Amrit Dhillon
30 June 2005
South China Morning Post

When Akash Gupta arrived at New Delhi's Palam airport recently to catch a flight to Hyderabad, there was nowhere to sit in the departure lounge. All seats were taken.

Every few seconds in the crowded lounge came an announcement that a flight - to Mumbai, Lucknow, Calcutta, Chennai - was delayed.

"I go to Hyderabad regularly to do maintenance on power plants and it's never been as busy as this. Delays have become routine and it feels more like [being in] a railway platform than a departure lounge," said Mr Gupta.

This happens when a civil aviation industry suddenly roars into life, leaving the supporting infrastructure tottering.

India's airports, supply of pilots, landing slots and air traffic control were intended to cater to one state-owned domestic airline and only minor modifications have been made at some bigger airports to accommodate two private airlines - Sahara and Jet Airways.

Now the industry is enjoying an unprecedented boom as low-cost airlines put air travel within the reach of millions of Indians.

The country's first low-cost airline was Deccan Air, launched in 2003 with just one aircraft. Now it has 18. Recently, two other similar airlines were launched - Kingfisher and SpiceJet. Half a dozen more will be launched in the next six months.

Last year, the industry grew 23 per cent, making India the third fastest-growing aviation market in the world after China and Japan. Aviation experts expect it to maintain a more than 20 per cent growth rate over the next five years.

The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa) in New Delhi forecasts that air traffic in India will grow by five million passengers annually over the next 10 years. But the business environment looks squally and turbulent.

Take the pilot shortage. About 10 flights are cancelled each day due to a lack of pilots.

"India needs 3,000 to 4,000 additional pilots in the next five years. The shortage of pilots and maintenance workers will have serious repercussions on growth," said Kapil Kaul, chief of Capa's India office.

The airports are shabby, small, inefficient and chaotic. One of the domestic terminals at Palam airport was built to handle 600 passengers a day; now it handles nearly 2,000. Experts say that the government needs to spend about US$400 million to modernise each airport.

As for landing slots, there are far too few for the number of airlines popping up.

Air traffic controllers, accustomed to the pre-boom days when they handled a limited number of flights, are struggling to cope.

The firms launching the new airlines are also coming under scrutiny. Some, like Kingfisher, owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya of the UB Group, or Go Air, promoted by textile tycoon Nusli Wadi's son, Jeh Wadia, represent established and well-known names. The others are less renowned.

"The only model that can work in India is one that offers the cheapest prices," said Mr Wadia.

If these airlines hope to lure some of the 15 million Indians who travel on trains every day, the price has to be rock-bottom or lower.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #212
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Airline LOT Cancels Planned New Delhi Route
5 July 2005

WARSAW (Dow Jones)--Poland's national carrier Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT SA (PLL.YY) has decided not to go ahead with a planned New Delhi route in October, the daily Rzeczpospolita reported.

LOT had planned three flights a week to New Dehli, starting October 31, with the route to be followed by Beijing and Singapore or Bangkok.

Newspaper Web site: http://www.rzeczpospolita.pl
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Old July 7th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #213
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline
Indian airports groan amid civil aviation sector boom
Low-cost air travel growth is straining old infrastructure, writes Amrit Dhillon
Good. Hopefully this will FORCE India to upgrade its bloody wet cardboard box airports to international standards.
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Old July 8th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #214
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08 July 2005

Jet Airways eyes stronger presence in key international markets

By Jeana Wong, Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE : Jet Airways is optimistic about air traffic growth between Singapore and India, thanks to the bilateral economic cooperation agreement between the two countries that takes effect next month.

India is seeing a boom in its airline industry, and to ride on this growth, Jet Airways says it will focus on strengthening its presence in key international markets.

Jet Airways is gearing up for accelerated demand for flights between Singapore and India.

Already, Singapore is one of the top destinations for Indian carriers, but Jet Airways says, it expects to see even bigger growth.

Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO, Jet Airways, said, "We're not starting from a low base because the traffic between India and Singapore is in the 1 million passengers plus. So it's 1.1 million passengers on an annual basis, which makes it out of India, among the top 4, 5 markets....Last year, the market between India and Singapore has been developing in double digit growth rates. And we see with this economic, broader economic agreement, that this trend will be continued."

With a strong foothold in its domestic market, Jet Airways is confident of giving big players in key markets a run for their money.

It is aiming for a stronger presence in the US, UK, Thailand and Malaysia.

Singapore is also one of its key international markets.
Mr Wolfgang Prock-Schauer said, "You have a strong O&D...origin destination traffic. So traffic which originates in India and stops here in Singapore and the other way around. So this traffic will increase. And for that we have, we want to serve these markets....It's better to focus on certain markets but where you fly, you should be recognised as a major player."

And Jet Airways plans to increase flight frequencies in its key markets to attract more business travellers.

It is also going on the offensive to protect its market share from startup carriers by offering discounts on unused seats for selected routes. - CNA/ms

Copyright © 2005 MCN International Pte Ltd
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Old July 10th, 2005, 07:20 AM   #215
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Air Canada to Serve Delhi Via Zurich with Introduction of Year-Round Daily Service to Switzerland and India

MONTREAL, July 8 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada today announced that effective October 30, 2005, it will serve Delhi via Zurich on a daily year-round basis from Toronto. The transfer of flights to India via Switzerland will allow Air Canada to re-introduce year-round service to Zurich while improving its schedule to India with an increase to daily flights from its current three-times weekly non-stop service from Toronto. In addition, Air Canada plans to pursue a codeshare agreement with future Star Alliance member, Swiss International Air Lines, by which SWISS would sell seats on a codeshare basis on the Air Canada-operated flights via Zurich.

"By offering same-plane, one-stop service to India via Switzerland, Air Canada customers will benefit from an expanded choice of year-round daily flights to both Zurich and Delhi," said Ben Smith, Vice President, Network Planning. "We look forward to pursuing talks on commercial cooperation with SWISS, our future Star Alliance partner, to serve the Europe-India market as well. Moreover, deployment of right-sized Boeing 767-300ER aircraft on the route will allow us to optimize use of passenger and cargo capacity, and reintroduce our premium Executive First product in the Zurich market on a year-round asis."

Flights will be operated using 212-seat Boeing 767-300ER aircraft offering a choice of Executive First and Hospitality service. Flight attendants speaking Hindi, Punjabi and German, as well as English and French, will be available to serve customers in their choice of language. Customers will be offered a choice of western and Indian meals, and the in-flight entertainment program will include a number of German-language selections, as well as Indian "Bollywood" recent releases on the Zurich-Delhi segment.

Air Canada has timed its Zurich/Delhi service to offer excellent connections to and from cities across Canada via its main hub in Toronto.

Code:
                   Toronto    Zurich            Zurich        Delhi
    AC878          18:40      08:35 (+1)        10:10         22:20

                   Delhi      Zurich            Zurich        Toronto
    AC879          02:30      07:00             09:55         13:05
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Old July 12th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #216
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Indian Airlines to Expand Global Ops, Start Feeder Services

NEW DELHI, July 12 Asia Pulse - In the face of growing competition in the aviation market, Indian Airlines has said it plans to lease 12 wide-bodied aircraft to expand its international operations and another six turbo-prop ATRs to launch feeder services in some parts of the country, other than the Northeast.

At a presentation before the Parliamentary Consultative Committee on Civil Aviation, the public sector carrier also announced plans to join a global alliance in the long run to enable it gain from the resultant access to new market through code-sharing and interline flows, enhance its global image, upgrade technology and service standards.

The airline said it planned to start dedicated cargo operations by converting its Boeing 737s into freighters, with the proposal being approved by the IA Board, an official statement said.

Observing that in short-term it would meet its fleet requirements through lease, the IA told the Parliamentary panel meeting chaired by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel that it was evaluating ten A-320s for lease.

Five A-319s have been leased for IA subsidiary Alliance Air and would be inducted by October this year. IA now has 17 A-320s and four ATRs, for Northeast operations, on lease.

(PTI)
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Old July 12th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #217
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Air India to Begin Mauritius Flights From Sept 12

LONDON, July 12 Asia Pulse - Air India will launch its direct flights from India to Mauritius from September 12, its Chairman and Managing Director V Tulasidas said.

Air India is firmly on its growth path, Tulasidas said.

"We plan to introduce direct flight to Mauritius from September 12 and shortly thereafter to South Africa," he said.

Tulasidas, who was the main guest at a function organised in his honour by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan here, said last night that the national carrier would be adding 68 aircraft in one go, most of them being the latest state-of-the art planes.

Eighteen were meant for Air India Express.

He said the first Boeing 787 "dream-line aircraft" would join the Air India fleet in 2008.
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Present on the occasion were Lord Slim, Manick Dalal, Chairman of the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Councillor David William, Deputy Mayor of Hammersmith and Fulham and Joginder Sangar, Vice chairman of the Bhavan here.

(PTI)
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Old July 13th, 2005, 01:32 AM   #218
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Wednesday July 13, 4:35 AM
American Plans Nonstop Route to India

AP - American Airlines plans its longest nonstop flight, from Chicago to Delhi, India, after agreeing with pilots on long-haul routes.

American said Tuesday it would begin service between O'Hare International Airport and Delhi on Nov. 15, pending government approval.

The route is nearly 7,500 miles. American plans to use 236-seat Boeing 777 aircraft for the trip.

Henry Joyner, American's senior vice president for planning, said the route was part of the airline's international growth strategy. Passenger and cargo traffic are growing rapidly in India.

Earlier Tuesday, the Allied Pilots Association, which represents American's pilots, said it had reached agreement with the carrier to allow the longer flights.

Ralph Hunter, the union president, said American must be a global airline to thrive, "and this agreement is a big step towards that goal."

American, a unit of Fort Worth-based AMR Corp., also said Tuesday it had agreed to negotiate with Indian carrier Air Sahara over selling seats on each other's flights, an arrangement known as code-sharing.

Under the agreement, members of American's and Air Sahara's frequent-flier programs would be able to earn and redeem miles on both airlines' networks.

The service to Delhi and the deal with Air Sahara come three months after the United States and India announced they had agreed to relax limits on carriers from each country operating in the other.

AMR shares fell 19 cents, or 1.5 percent, to close at $12.48 on the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 04:03 PM   #219
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Indian govt wants 2.2 bln usd order for 43 Airbus planes re-examined -minister
15 July 2005

NEW DELHI (AFX) - The government wants a planned 2.2 bln usd deal to buy 43 Airbus passenger aircraft for state-run domestic carrier Indian Airlines re-examined, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said.

The Indian Airlines board has already cleared the acquisition of 20 Airbus A-319s, 19 A-321s and four A-320s, but the finance ministry is not satisfied the price is the best possible and has blocked the deal.

Patel said he now wants a committee of experts to be appointed by India's prime minister to re-examine the issue.

'I will write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after he comes back from the United States and then he may appoint a committee,' Patel told Agence France-Presse.

The minister said the move is to ensure 'absolute transparency' in the negotiation of prices.

Singh is scheduled to visit the United States from July 18 to 20.

The proposal to buy the 43 Airbus aircraft has been under discussion for the past two years, as it requires clearance from several layers of the government due to the size of the order.

Delays were compounded when the Congress-led government, which came to power in May last year, asked Indian Airlines to start the process afresh.

Indian Airlines was the nation's largest domestic airlines until three to four years ago, but has lost market share to private airline Jet Airways, which has one of Asia's newest Boeing fleets.

According to industry officials, Indian Airlines has lost even more market share in the past two to three months due to the takeoff of a number of low-cost airlines in India's domestic skies.
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Old July 18th, 2005, 08:24 PM   #220
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Report: US Airways executive steps down to work for new Indian airline IndiGo
16 July 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) - An executive who helped guide US Airways Group Inc.'s bankruptcy reorganization is resigning to become CEO of IndiGo, a startup Indian airline, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

N. Bruce Ashby, 44, will step down as US Airway's head of marketing by the end of the month, the newspaper reported.

Low-cost airline IndiGo is expected to begin operation in 2006. One of the company's lead investors is Rakesh Gangwal, a former chief executive at US Airways who Ashby served under as vice president of planning.

Ashby was also a member of the steering committee that helped orchestrate US Airways' merger with America West. US Airways executives say the merger should be competed by early October.

"It's uncertain as to whether there will be more (executive resignations) and over what period of time," said US Airways spokesman David Castelveter.
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