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Old May 6th, 2006, 02:12 PM   #361
Tintin27
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Regarding Star Alliance, I hope Jet joins Star alliance.. BUt looking at few articles from last year , it seems that AI is also interested in joining Star Alliance IF they join , do we see airlines like SIA,Lufthansa,United,Air canada do this ??
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Old May 7th, 2006, 09:17 PM   #362
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well, something did go down a couple of years ago though. Initially Air India was keen to join Skyteam, but Air France blocked their entry.

This is from October 2002

Air India inclined to join `Skyteam'

Quote:
AIR India is firmly inclined to join the `Skyteam' global airlines alliance. This emerged after the Chairmen-level talks between the AI Chairman and the Civil Aviation Secretary, Mr K. Roy Paul, and the Chairman of Air France in Paris earlier this week.

Besides, if other airlines such as the Dutch carrier, KLM, also were to join the alliance, it would prove even more beneficial for AI, sources said. The `Skyteam' comprises six airlines, including Alitalia, Delta and Korean Airlines, apart from Air France and offers 8,000 daily flights to more than 500 airports around the globe.

Another factor weighing in favour of Air India joining Skyteam is a feeling that the airline will be treated as an equal partner rather than a junior partner as might be the case if the Maharaja were to join another alliance.

Officials, however, concede that AI will have to make investment in information technology upgradation before it could join the global alliance.
and this is from December 2002.

Skyteam turns sour; Air India looks to Star Alliance

Quote:
AIR India's brief honeymoon with Skyteam, the global aviation alliance, may be on the rocks. Official sources told Business Line that after being cold-shouldered by Air France, which is one of the major partners of Skyteam, the Maharaja held talks with Lufthansa, which is a leading partner of the rival Star Alliance, in Frankfurt recently.

The decision of Air France to move AI from one terminal to another at Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport in Paris and the tardy response to a request to assist the national carrier in different aspects, including information technology, are among the reasons being cited for a chill in AI's relations with the Skyteam alliance. Besides, what irks AI is that Air France has been given good space at the new airport in Mumbai.
Whatever the reason, Air India needs to upgrade itself if it has to compete at the international level. More importantly, it needs to be made autonomous and firewalled from political interference. I mean there are instances when Indian Airlines planes were actually delayed because an important politician was late getting to the airport!

Maybe in a few years everything will fall into place. With the new airports, improved airlines and the ever growing Indian air passanger.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 06:07 PM   #363
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Finally, A-I ready for makeover

Quote:
Air-India is getting ready to leave its bureaucratic baggage behind and reshape itself to face growing competition.

With the skies opening up and making monopoly a history, the PSU airline is planning to hire a change management consultant to facilitate makeover and face competition in the best possible manner.

Over 20 global management consultants have submitted their presentation to Air-India management and the airline is busy shortlisting them.

Human resources will be one of the key aspect in managing this change. Other factors include planning of flights, engineering facilities and manageria; functions.

Air-India is acquiring 68 aircraft from the Boeing Company and is all set to hit the capital market with an initial public offer (IPO) soon. Moreover, the airline will merge Indian with itself in the current fiscal, according to senior government officials.

"Initially, this change management was only aimed at Air-India. But with the merger on the cards, the change management consultant will have to take post merger scenario and other changes into consideration," Thulasidas added.

Meanwhile, Air-India had initiated a rebranding exercise which will look into complete aspects of the services offered by Air-India.

Sources said the brand consultant would look into food, reading material, hospitality, training for crew and their uniforms.
--------------------------------------------

Nagpur firm to join low cost airline race

Quote:
Nagpur-based Fa Airways is planning to launch a low fare airline. The proposed airline will fly Boeing 737 aircraft on short-haul routes.

Though it is positioned as low fare airline, Fa is expected to have certain “frills” in extending services to passengers. The airline will have its base at Nagpur and plans to connect small towns to metros.

The move is in wake of the Maharashtra Airport Development Company (MADC)’s multi-modal international hub airport at Nagpur (MIHAN).

MIHAN involves setting up of an airport across 1200 hectare with space for parking 50 aircraft in the terminal and provision of aircraft engineering and maintenance base.

The airline is planning to connect smaller towns and cities including Mumbai, Rajkot, Belgaum, Nashik, Bangalore, Mangalore, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhuj, Jamnagar, Kolhapur, Surat and Baroda.

FA Airways founder chairman Narendra R Goyal said FA will become operational with new generation Boeing 737 aircraft and this will ensure passengers a safe and stylish journey.
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Old May 11th, 2006, 09:53 PM   #364
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If Jet join Star and Air India join Star or Skyteam then which Indian airline will join OneWorld? Perhaps if Jet join Star first, and if Air India are still reluctant to work with Skyteam, then they will come to OneWorld instead. I hope so. Otherwise are there any other Indian airlines engaging in intercontinental flights or is it just Jet, Air India, and a bunch of low cost airlines operating inside India and to relatively close foreign destinations within Asia?
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Old May 11th, 2006, 10:31 PM   #365
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkey
If Jet join Star and Air India join Star or Skyteam then which Indian airline will join OneWorld? Perhaps if Jet join Star first, and if Air India are still reluctant to work with Skyteam, then they will come to OneWorld instead. I hope so. Otherwise are there any other Indian airlines engaging in intercontinental flights or is it just Jet, Air India, and a bunch of low cost airlines operating inside India and to relatively close foreign destinations within Asia?

Air Sahara was the third Indian airline that was to fly cross-continental, but they were acquired by Jet.

It seems to me that Jet will probably end up in Star soon. The Frequent Flyer program with Lufthansa hints at that. Jet ordered 10 Boeing 777-300ER last year and once they are delivered, Jet will be able to expand its network considerably.

Like i posted earlier in the thread, Air India was keen on joining Skyteam, but things didnt work out. Right now newsreports say they are leaning towards Star but oneWorld could come into the picture too.

About flying abroad, Kingfisher is planning to start a company registered in the US so they can start their international operations, because of current limits in the indian civil aviation policy. They're the only ones who ordered the A380, so they are dreaming big already.

The bottom line is, it would be really cool to see an Indian airline in all three of these alliances and hope that happens sooner than later.
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Old May 14th, 2006, 06:52 PM   #366
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^ Thanks for the info
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Old May 17th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #367
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Air-India in fear of flying solo

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India's flagship carrier Air-India (A-I) is planning to be a part of an alliance by 2007. This would enable A-I to have better passenger load factor and will also give access to the vast network of routes which the member of these alliances enjoy.

Air-India Chairman and Managing Director V Thulasidas told FE, "We believe we should be part of an alliance. It can bring us lot of advantages in terms of better load and will enhance our network.

By 2007 A-I will be in an alliance." The three alliances currently in existence are Star Alliance, Sky Team and Oneworld.

A-I has been in talks with Star Alliance for quite some time. However, nothing has worked out for the carrier so far. "We are in good terms with Lufthansa and Lufthansa is a part of Star Alliance," adds Mr Thulasidas. The Star Alliance member airlines have access to 842 destinations in 152 countries plus access to airport lounges worldwide.

SkyTeam Alliance is the second largest airline alliance in the world behind Star Alliance partnering ten carriers. Oneworld is the third alliance and its member airlines have access to about 600 destinations in 135 countries.

A-I has been losing out by not being a part of an alliance. SOTC (a division of Kuoni Travel Group) chief operating officer Sunil Gupta said, "A-I has been talking for quite some time to join an alliance. Now they should take a decision towards this else they will lose out good opportunities. These type of alliances are established models all over the world."
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Old May 18th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #368
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Well Aeroflot has joined sky team and their reputation has improved tremendously!AirIndia must also join one of these alliance at earliest.
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Old June 14th, 2006, 08:51 PM   #369
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Mumbai airport operator sees challenges, potential

MUMBAI, June 14 (Reuters) - A consortium to modernise Mumbai's airport will invest about 70 billion rupees ($1.5 billion) over 20 years, but faces challenges ranging from limited land to stray dogs, a senior executive said on Wednesday.

Modernisation contracts for India's busiest airports in Mumbai and New Delhi were awarded in February amid fierce opposition from the government's communist allies, as well as airport employees, who feared their jobs will be made redundant.

Both airports, which handle nearly half the country's air travellers, are shabby and ill-equipped to handle the increasing flow of passengers in Asia's third-largest economy.

"There are drains running through the airport, the Mithi River runs through it, there are slums encroaching on the land, there is a menace of dogs and birds, and there are nearly 400 pending litigations," Sanjay Reddy, managing director of Mumbai International Airport Pvt. Ltd. (MIAL), told reporters.

"But we believe there is a lot of potential that can be unleashed," he said.

The domestic aviation market is expected to grow at more than 20 percent a year over the next five years on cheaper fares.

MIAL is a 74:26 joint venture of a consortium of India's GVK group, Airports Company South Africa Ltd. and Bidvest Group Ltd. with the state-run airports operator.

Netherlands Airport Consultants BV and Singapore's Changi Airport are advisors to the consortium.

MIAL, which received charge of the Mumbai airport on May 3, will build, own and operate the airport for a period of 30 years. This can be extended by a further 30 years, before transferring the airport back to India's state operator.

Of the investment, nearly 58 billion rupees will come in the first seven years, Reddy said. The money is being raised through a mix of equity, debt and internal accruals.

MIAL estimates the Mumbai airport handled 17.7 million passengers and 490,000 tons of cargo last year. Its plans for the airport include a second runway, a new cargo facility and a new terminal for both international and domestic flights.

The state airports operator will receive nearly 39 percent of revenue earned. MIAL will retain all 2,654 airport employees for three years, after which at least 60 percent will be absorbed.

New Delhi's airport will be revamped by a consortium led by India's GMR Group in collaboration with German operator Fraport , Eraman Malaysia, the state-run airports operator and infrastructure firm IDFC Ltd. .

India's cabinet earlier this month approved a proposal mandating the state-run operator to modernise 35 airports in second-tier cities within the next two years at a cost of 70-80 billion rupees.

Hyderabad-based GVK, which has interests in infrastructure and power, has a joint venture with Indian Hotels Co. for hotels in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh.

GVK Power & Infrastructure Ltd. raised 2.57 billion rupees earlier this year in an initial public offer. ($1=46 rupees)
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Old June 21st, 2006, 04:26 AM   #370
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India's Jet airlines share price volatile amid questions over takeover
20 June 2006

MUMBAI, June 20, 2006 (AFP) - India's largest domestic carrier, Jet Airways, confirmed Tuesday it was awaiting government approval for a 500 million dollar takeover of Sahara Airlines amid fears the deal would fall through.

The two airlines struck a deal in January that would see the new company control almost half of the domestic market but it has been plagued with difficulties over landing rights and government clearance, according to reports in the Hindustan Times and other newspapers.

Jet's share price fell 6.27 percent to 620 rupees Tuesday before rebounding and finishing up by 1.5 percent to 671 rupees in afternoon trade.

The benchmark 30-share Sensex index ended the day down 175.32 points or 1.75 percent to 9,822.52.

Jet shares have declined nearly 25 percent in the past month at the Mumbai stock exchange, in line with sharp falls in Indian equities.

Analysts said the latest volatility was linked to reports that the deal could fall through because the price Jet was paying for Sahara was too high.

"The stock has been impacted largely due to this uncertainty ... If the deal does not go through it is a sentiment dampener, as it was highly anticipated," said Alok Dalal, aviation analyst with Indiainfoline, an equity research firm.

"Investors would be concerned about Jet's domestic growth strategy which is facing stiff competition from several low-cost carriers."

Jet has already paid an advance of five billion rupees (108 million US) to keep the deal on, with a target date set for midnight on Wednesday.

It has already been extended by three months. Jet may have to pay compensation if the deal does not go through.

Jet executives were not immediately available for comment but in a brief statement Tuesday following the speculation said that "Jet Airways wishes to clarify that it is still awaiting all the regulatory approvals".

Saroj Datta, executive director Jet Airways, earlier told the Press Trust of India: "The deal is on and if there are problems we would look into these."

According to industry figures Jet, started by former travel agent Naresh Goyal, flew 7.9 million passengers in 2005, making it the leading domestic airline with about 37 percent of the market.

Privately-held Sahara flew 3.5 million passengers in the same period for 12 percent of the market, although that share has since fallen.

Consolidation is expected in the booming Indian airline industry with domestic passengers tipped to increase from some 25 million a year to about 50-60 million by 2010.

A merged entity will increase the competition for carriers like state-run Indian and private-sector Kingfisher Airlines, as well as budget carriers such as SpiceJet, Air Deccan and GoAir.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 04:55 AM   #371
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JET AIRWAYS BOEING 747-8

Jet Airways may buy Boeing 747-8s; US flights likely by year-end
..feels Airbus A380 will be too big for its needs

BY A CORRESPONDENT
March 18, 2006

Jet Airways is considering the option of acquiring Boeing 747-8 and 787s for its long-haul flights. Jet Airways hopes to launch flights to US by the end of the year.

Naresh Goyal, Chairman, Jet Airways said, " We are talking to Boeing about the 747-8 for on our long-haul network." Although they considered Airbus 380 for the same, they think the A380 is a bit too big for their current needs.

"We are also talking to Boeing about the 787," adds Goyal. The Airbus 380 can seat 550 passengers, while the Boeing 747-8 can carry 450. At the Asian Aerospace Show in Singapore in February, Boeing had said that it was in talks with Indian carriers like Jet Airways and Indian Airlines about the 747-8. They did not disclose the number of planes being discussed.

As of now, Jet Airways fles abroad to London Heathrow and Singapore's Changi. For London- Heathrow, Jet Airways operates three A340-300s twice daily.

Speaking about the delay in approval of services to US, Naresh Goyal said, "The US government has sent some questions to the Indian government which it is answering. We should be able to launch flights by the end of the year if we can get aircraft, if not it will be next year."

Jet Airways first US flights will be to Newark, through Brussels. Jet Airways is also planning a Chicago service. Jet's fleet contains a bunch of Boeing 737s. Jet is also planning to introduce some new A340s and A330s to its stable.

The other long-haul services that Jet is planning to operate are Hong Kong, Rome, Milan and Zurich. They are also planning to operate to Kenya and South Africa
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Old June 21st, 2006, 04:57 AM   #372
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PARAMOUNT AIRWAYS FLIGHTS

Paramount Airways plans $40 million hangar in Chennai
...Announces Chennai-Hyderabad, Chennai-Bangalore flights

BY A CORRESPONDENT
April 15, 2006

Paramount Airways, a South India-based business class airline, is planning to set up a 10,000 sq ft hangar cum maintenance facility in Chennai. The Airports Authority of India has already allotted space to Paramount Airways for the purpose.

The Paramount Airways hangar will be up and running between 16 and 24 months. To be set up at a cost of $40 million, it will also cater to other airlines.

Paramount also announced plans to acquire one aircraft a month for the next 20 months. Currently, it flies Embraer 170 series of planes. Boeing had recently made a presentation to the company to push its planes. Paramount may decide to Boeing 787 series of planes if the deal goes through, said MD thagarajan.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:01 AM   #373
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FINNAIR INDIA FLIGHTS

Finnair starting Helsinki-Delhi flights
...Plans to recruit cabin crew, ground handling staff from India

BY A CORRESPONDENT
May 31, 2006

Finnish airline Finnair will start services between Helsinki and New Delhi by October 31, 2006. The first flight from Helsinki will leave on October 31 and reach India on November 1.

For Finnair, this will be the first scheduled flight to India. However, the airline has been operating chartered flights to Goa for the last few years.

According to Finnair officials, the flight will be the fastest between Northern Europe and New Delhi. It will take 6 hours 35 minutes to reach New Delhi from Helsinki and 7 hours 15 minutes the other way.

Finnair will start its Helsinki-Delhi flights with a McDonnell Douglas MD-11 plane, which may be replaced by an Airbus A-340 or A-350 next year. To start with, it will be a thrice-weekly flight, which may later be increased to daily frequency.

Finnair is planning to tie up with Indian carriers like Air India, Jet Airways and Indian Airlines to ensure hassle-free travel from any Indian city to Helsinki. The airline is hoping to introduce a single fare from any Indian city to Helsinki through these tie-ups.

For a better passenger experience, the airline will soon start hiring Indian cabin crew and ground handling staff. Travellers can also expect Indian vegetarian and non-vegetarian food on the Finnair flights to India
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:02 AM   #374
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BANCE AIR

Bance Air to operate on UK-India sector

BY A CORRESPONDENT
May 28, 2006

UK-based NRI Dave Bance is on course with plans to launch BanceAir, an airline that will directly connect certain key destinations in India to Heathrow, to cater to the burgeoning visiting friends and relatives (VFR) market in the United Kingdom as well as India. Bance has already acquired a scheduled airline license from the British civil aviation authorities, and has also obtained permission from the Indian ministry of civil aviation to fly into two Indian destinations. A decision on the third destination is pending.

Bance Air will have four leased Boeing 777s, and will be flying daily to three non-metro destinations. The VFR quotient is high in this sector, accounting for 37 per cent of India-bound UK visitors, according to data from Visitbritain.com. In comparison, business-related travellers account for 37 per cent, and holiday-related passengers account for 21 per cent of the total visitors.

The proposal is being received with some scepticism as the India-UK sector is already crowded with new air service agreements signed last year. Currently, close to two dozen airlines are operational here, including Lufthansa, KLM, Air India, Royal Jordanian, Air France, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, SriLankan Airlines, and British Midland, as well as Jet and Air Sahara.

Bance, who was in Delhi recently, has refused to name the non-metro destinations, only saying, "We are projecting a 70 per cent load factor on our flights and we will have only two class configurations of business and economy." He added, "A lot of British Asians often waste a lot of time reaching directly to their home-towns in India. I plan to make their journey a bit less tedious by connecting direct flights to these select destinations."

Most UK flights connect to Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. Some cities like Amritsar and Ahmedabad are also emerging as lucrative destinations for aerial operations.

The Bance Group is worth 70 million pounds and is involved in manufacturing, real estate and hotel investment, as well as IT and telecommunications, the film business and the music industry.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:02 AM   #375
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India's Deccan Aviation debuts at 22 pct discount

MUMBAI, June 12 (Reuters) - Shares in Indian discount carrier Deccan Aviation Ltd. began trading on Monday at a 22 percent discount to its initial public offering price.

At 9:56 a.m. (0426 GMT), the stock was at 112 rupees on the BSE after opening at 115 rupees in a weak Mumbai market, with 155,138 shares changing hands.

The company raised 3.63 billion rupees ($79 million), selling 24.55 million shares in the IPO at 148 rupees a share. ($1=45.9 Indian rupees)
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:03 AM   #376
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LOW-COST AIRLINE

New sarkari low-cost airline coming
Move to utilize excess capacity created out of Indian-Air India merger

BY A CORRESPONDENT
May 8, 2006

The government plans to launch a new low-cost airline once the merger between Air India and Air India Express is complete. The new airline will be operated as a subsidiary of the merged airline, and will ply mainly feeder routes. This may lead to the creation of a hub-and-spoke model where the full service airline will fly the major routes, supported by a low-cost airline connecting small towns to metros.

The Times of India reported that the government is thinking in this direction. Recently, boards of both airlines met in Mumbai, where this idea was floated. The merger of Air India and Indian Airlines will create a lot of excess capacity, which can be diverted to a low-cost airline, Times reported. The low-cost airline will not be allowed to cannibalize the operations of the parent airline.

Both Indian Airlines and Air India have placed massive orders for aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, which will significantly increase their fleet sizes. Even after opening new routes and replacing old planes, there will be still more planes left, it is expected. Air India Express may also to fly long-haul routes to US and UK, in an effort to make use of the extra planes.

Meanwhile, the fate of Alliance Air hangs in the balance. The subsidiary of Indian Airlines, it has been decided not merger Alliance Air with the merged Indian-Air India. It is possible that the loss-making airline may be would up post restructuring.

Interestingly, the low-cost airline plan also raises questions over the order size of both airlines. It is well-known that airline mergers release excess capacity. Was the volume of the mega-orders justified, given that the merger would anyway create excess capacity? The sequence of events - first the mega orders, then the merger plan, and now a plan to fit in the extra planes created out of the merger- indicates haphazard decision-making.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 05:07 AM   #377
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INTERVIEW-India's Jagson to sell 20-25 pct equity

NEW DELHI, June 1 (Reuters) - India's Jagson Airlines Ltd. said on Thursday it planned to sell 20 to 25 percent of equity to domestic and foreign investors as it prepares to begin scheduled flights of its first Airbus aircraft.

Company officials said stake sale talks with a foreign investor were at an advanced stage.

"It would be to a foreign venture capital investor and a consortium of domestic investors," Uttam Kumar Bose, Jagson's president and CEO told Reuters in an interview.

"About 51 percent is currently held by the promoters. We will also have a follow-on public offer in late-2007."

New Delhi-based Jagson, which currently operates three Dornier aircraft and three helicopters on charter flights, placed a $1.3-billion order in February for 20 Airbus A321 aircraft.

The company's first Airbus will arrive in June, and the first commercial flight is scheduled to take off on the Chennai-Bangalore-Delhi sector on July 15.

The start-up firm may also look at acquiring another airline as part of its growth strategy in a booming domestic aviation industry, Bose said. Air travel is forecast to grow by more than 20 percent a year over the next 5 years in India, boosted by higher incomes and lower fares.

Jagson Airlines, part of the Jagson group whose interests range from trading to offshore drilling, will use the cash raised to help finance its operating costs including the buying or leasing of 10 to 15 more planes between 2008 and 2010.

The airline plans to deploy one small plane for every two Airbus aircraft as part of a strategy linking small towns with regional hubs.

"The biggest problem is infrastructure and this means less connectivity," Bose said.

India, Asia's third-largest economy, has embarked on a drive to upgrade its creaking infrastructure of ports, roads and airports as it aims for double-digit GDP growth.

NEW LAUNCHES

The country's nascent airline industry saw four airlines launched last year, and consolidation appears inevitable as cut-rate pricing puts pressure on profit margins.

"I see lot of consolidation and mergers happening in the next 8-12 months. But no closures as airlines need to boost capacity." Asked if the firm would consider an acquisition, Bose said: "Why not? We will look at it."

He expects the company to break even within the first year of scheduled operations as it will sell both discounted and full-price tickets leading to "higher revenue yields".

Bose said the company would target the economy class passengers of full service airlines -- who constitute 60 percent of all people who fly in the country -- as well as business travellers.

"Only 5 percent of the estimated 300 million middle-class flies so there is a huge potential."

Jagson will compete with domestic airlines like state-owned Indian [IA.UL], Jet Airways , Paramount, Kingfisher which is backed by United Breweries and discount carriers like SpiceJet Ltd. , Air Deccan and GoAir.

Jagson shares were trading at 33.0 rupees at 0802 GMT, down 2.9 percent in a weak Mumbai market.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 12:19 PM   #378
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AIR INDIA

New India bags Air India insurance deal

BY A CORRESPONDENT
June 14, 2006

The Air India insurance account has gone to a consortium headed by New India Assurance. The account will be reinsured as usual with a reinsurance company.

An internal panel set up by Air India chose New India over an aggressive bid by private sector rivals like ICICI Lombard General Insurance and Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. It was only last year that Air India allowed private sector insurers also to bid for the Air India insurance account. The Air India account is a much-coveted one among the insurance companies in India.

The Air India insurance is for the 42 aircraft it flies. Air India has also ordered 68 new Boeing aircraft, which will be delivered in a phased manner. Air India will be able to fly internationally from July only if it has a valid insurance account. The insurance accounts given out by Air India are always for a one-year duration, after which is reconsidered.

New India, the largest non-ife insurance company in India, is already the insurer of Air India. Last year, it had to pay out almost Rs 100 crore due to some claims following the floods in Mumbai.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 12:21 PM   #379
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BLUE DART BOEING

Two Boeings join Blue Dart fleet
21 route connections added

BY A CORRESPONDENT
June 1, 2006

Blue Dart, India's largest air express, courier and package distribution company, has announced the induction of two Boeing 757-200 freighters into its air express fleet. The aircraft were acquired on lease by Blue Dart Aviation which has an agreement with Blue Dart Express Ltd. to utilise its aircraft for dedicated domestic air services.

The addition of the 757s will augment Blue Dart's freighter fleet of five aircraft, and will increase capacity from 166 to 250 tonnes per night to service growing demand. Blue Dart's charter capabilities within the country will also be fortified. The route network will be extended to 60 with the addition of 21 route connections to the existing 39. To further strengthen the air infrastructure, an aviation hub will be launched at Ahmedabad, and the Hyderabad outbound gateway will be connected.

The Boeing 757-200 freighter is a derivative of the twin-engine passenger jetliner. The 757 freighter has a two-person flight deck and is designed to accept upto 15 pallets with a payload of 28 tonnes on its main deck, and additional freight in its lower holds. The major features include a large side cargo door in the forward fuselage, a single crew entry door just ahead of it, and a windowless freighter interior with 6,600 cubic feet of cargo space on the main deck. It offers great benefits by reducing airport congestion and a versatility to fly both long and short range routes.

Speaking on the occasion Mr. Malcolm Monteiro, Managing Director, Blue Dart Express Ltd., said, "We've introduced the 757s at a time when the Indian economy is aiming at GDP growths of 10%. India, however, relies heavily on domestic consumption which projects a growing distribution requirement. Blue Dart is the country's first and to date only company with a dedicated surface and air infrastructure for domestic express. The 757s with their enormous versatility will augment the distribution process essential in this boom, and further strengthen our domestic air express capability which is unmatched in the country. We would service the five metros of Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore and the sub metro cities of Hyderabad and Ahmedabad which account for 90% of total air cargo distribution. The Gujarat markets will be greatly benefited with faster deliveries as a result of our new routes, and the Hyderabad outbound gateway will be connected to the rest of India to service our customers more efficiently."

Mr. Niteen Gupte, Managing Director, Blue Dart Aviation Ltd. said, "We are the only airline offering dedicated domestic air express services and operate at an average load factors of 88%. Our current fleet has five Boeing 737-200 and two Boeing 757-200 freighters, with seven aviation hubs at all the major metros. With these aircraft, our network capacity increases by 50%".

"Our unique integrated infrastructure enables a complete range of distribution services from air express - both domestic and international, airfreight, ground and charters. With the induction of the B757s, critical project distribution will be greatly enhanced with the availability of higher aircraft volumes and payload, as well as charter options", said Ms. Tulsi Mirchandaney, Senior Vice President - Marketing and Projects, Blue Dart Express Ltd.

Blue Dart Express Ltd. launched Blue Dart Aviation in 1996. Blue Dart Aviation has an ACMI agreement with Blue Dart Express Ltd. for dedicated domestic air express services.

Blue Dart, South Asia's premier courier and integrated air express package Distribution Company, offers secure and reliable delivery of consignments to over 14,000 locations in India and 220 countries worldwide. Blue Dart was selected a Consumer Superbrand from over 1699 brands across 169 product categories and received the Reader's Digest Most Trusted Brand Gold Award from amongst 42 product categories in India. The Blue Dart team drives marketplace leadership through its motivated people force, dedicated air capacity, cutting-edge technology, innovation and value-added services, to deliver unmatched standards of service quality to its customers.
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Old June 21st, 2006, 12:22 PM   #380
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KINGFISHER AIRBUS A340-500

Kingfisher buys long-haul planes for US flights
Planes to land by 2008; Kingfisher hopes to get permits for overseas foray by then

BY A CORRESPONDENT
April 25, 2006

Kingfisher Airlines has signed a deal with Airbus to acquire five Airbus 340-500 aircraft for one billion dollars. Delivery of the planes will start from 2008. Kingfisher plans to deploy the aircraft in the India-US sector. Rolls Royce Trent-500 engines, which are believed to consume less fuel, will be powering these aircraft, Kingfisher Airlines said in a press release.

At present, Kingfisher Airlines does not have rights to fly abroad. The only Indian private airline which has overseas flying permit is market leader Jet Airways. Kingfisher hopes to get the requisite permissions by the time it receives the aircraft. it is planning to fly to New York and San Francisco.

In addition to the firm order for five aircraft, Kingfisher Airlines also has options for adding another five Airbus 340-500 aircraft.

Kingfisher Airlines chairman and managing director Vijay Mallya signed the deal with Gustav Humbert, President and CEO of Airbus at a ceremony in Hanover.

Kingfisher is also in talks with unnamed US airline for starting flights to US. According to the terms of the deal, this airline will use the new Kingfisher planes to fly to India under the Kingfisher Airlines brand, if Kingfisher fails to receive the permission to fly overseas by then.

Said Vijay Mallya: "With the A340-500 ultra long-haul aircraft, it is our intention to open up a completely new market. For the first time, we will be able to offer direct non-stop services between India and the USA and our A340-500 will have a unique configuration, giving passengers extra space and comfort on their long haul flights" .

Said Gustav Humbert: “This purchase is further evidence of the confidence that an increasingly successful airline such as Kingfisher Airlines shows in our modern family of aircraft. We have built a strong relationship with Kingfisher Airlines and we are delighted that once again Kingfisher Airlines has chosen Airbus to help build its rapidly expanding fleet.”
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