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Old March 27th, 2005, 12:49 AM   #41
hkskyline
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Global airlines remove first class on India flights
Byas Anand
24 March 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: First class international air travel seems to be heading for a quiet burial in India. With an eye on maximising returns with more economy class seats, a host of global airlines - including two new entrants Jet and Sahara - are removing first class seats from their flights on the India route.

This holds true, not only for short and medium haul flights but even on long haul sectors like UK and US. Most of these carriers are, instead, planning to offer an upper-end business class - with flat beds, personal entertainment systems, with service standards at par with first class - to the growing lot of value-conscious Indian air traveller.

"We are not withdrawing the frills of upper class travel. We feel there is not enough demand for first class travel from India to maintain three-class configuration," said Air Sahara CEO Rono J Dutta.

Among the established international carriers, British Airways has chosen not to offer first class on its flights to Kolkata, while Thai Airways has withdrawn this upper class services to India. Gulf Air is also now offering all economy flights to India citing dropping demand for upper class travel.

"Indians may be known as the biggest spenders on holidays, but the mindset is to save on travel costs. This has led to higher demand for economy class travel," said an analyst.

Demand for upper class travel has also hit a low with corporates scaling down travel perks offered even to senior officials.
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Old March 29th, 2005, 04:34 PM   #42
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Business Times - 29 Mar 2005

S'pore-India airfares unlikely to dive despite entry of two carriers


Govt pact to boost capacity will help, but latest talks fail to make progress

By VEN SREENIVASAN

(SINGAPORE) While Jet Airways and Air Sahara will put downward pressure on Singapore-India airfares, ticket prices are unlikely to tumble sharply as long as the two countries cannot hammer out an agreement to significantly increase capacity.

The Singapore Ministry of Transport yesterday confirmed that a meeting between officials from Singapore and India earlier this month to sign an amended Air Services Agreement broke down with the two sides unable to agree on key points.

'Singapore and India held air talks in Singapore from 9 to 10 March to discuss the possibility of expanding the Singapore-India bilateral Air Services Agreement,' said a Ministry of Transport official. 'The Indian delegation was led by Mr Ajay Prasad, secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation. The Singapore delegation was led by Mr Peter Ong, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport.'

'No expanded agreement was concluded at this round of consultations. However, the discussions served as a useful basis for our next round of consultations. Both sides also agreed to meet soon for the next round of air talks.'

She did not say when that round would be.

In all, there are 194 weekly flights between Singapore and 11 cities in India. Singapore Airlines and its subsidiary SilkAir control two thirds of the flights, while state-owned Air India and Indian Airlines operate the rest.

Jet and Air Sahara will each add seven more flights a week to this, not significant enough to dent ticket prices much, say observers.

Singapore had been seeking significant increases in capacity between the two countries, but the Indian side seems to fear that its state-owned Air India and Indian Airlines are not ready for unfettered competition.

The result has been a severe undercapacity, which has kept fares between the two countries at among the highest in dollars-per-kilometre terms for any major international route. On average, a return ticket between Singapore and Mumbai costs around $900, depending on the season - the same price for a return ticket from Singapore to London or Auckland.

Singapore Airlines wants more rights into and out of India. So do South-east Asian low-cost carriers.

Cheap flights out of Changi and from Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi to Singapore is a potentially huge and lucrative market for Tiger Airways, Valuair, and Jetstar Asia.

But in a tentative step towards more liberalisation, the Indian government in December 2004 permitted private carriers with 'a minimum of five years continuous experience and minimum of 20 aircraft in their fleet', to operate on all international routes, barring Gulf destinations. Air Sahara and Jet were the only ones which qualified.

But the number of flights they will add is hardly enough to satisfy demand on this high growth route. The airlines themselves seem to agree. Jet Airways chief executive Wolfgang Prock-Schauer told BT that his airline, which begins inaugural flights between Mumbai and Singapore next week, would not offer cut-rate fares.

'As you are aware, Jet Airways has always offered a premium product to its passengers, both in the domestic market and in our operations to the SAARC countries,' he said via e-mail. 'It is our plan again to offer a superior product to our passengers on our international sectors. Our pricing will be in line with our high quality product, which will be our major selling tool, while keeping in mind the competition on this route.'

Jet, which has been voted India's best airline, will launch Chennai-Kuala Lumpur services later next month.

Air Sahara, which will start services between New Delhi and Singapore (and Chennai and Kuala Lumpur) in May, is not expected to be much cheaper. Air Sahara president Rono Dutta has been quoted as saying that his airline's fares would be around 10 to 15 per cent below current average fares.

SIA spokesman Stephen Forshaw explained why fares may not fall significantly in the foreseeable future. 'There will be seasonal spikes and troughs in a competitive and diverse market,' he said, referring to SIA's recent special offer of sub-$500 fares to Indian destinations. 'But systemwide, capacity is clearly not growing in tandem with demand. So I don't see a sustained downward pressure on ticket prices.'

While the incumbents - SIA, Air India and Indian Airlines - have recently slashed fares by half to counter the impending competition, industry insiders expect ticket prices to level off at around $700, just slightly below current levels. This is still double the fare travellers pay to fly from Singapore to Hong Kong, which takes the same flight time as Changi to Chennai.

But all this could change as more new players emerge. Industry watchers such as Kapil Kaul, senior vice-president at the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation in New Delhi, reckons it is just a matter of time before budget carriers get into the act.

Singapore-based Jetstar Asia is said to have already obtained traffic rights to fly to Kolkata. Meanwhile, Valuair is eyeing an airport near Mumbai. Within the next five years, India's low-cost upstarts like Kingfisher and Air Deccan could also join the fray.

And that's when the promise of truly low prices on this high traffic route could become a reality.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #43
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Interesting read. That the demand is so high between India and Singapore is probably underscored by the escalating trade and exchanges between the two countries.

Anyway, Jet Airways made a full page ad in the Straits Times to announce their arrival. Not bad...because even much bigger airlines usually dont bother coming up with anything as huge as this!
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Old March 31st, 2005, 06:24 AM   #44
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India is 'the market to reckon with' for Boeing and Airbus

Sorry for the double post. This is where I originally planned to put it. Excuse me for my brain fart.


http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/busin...70_india07.html



India is 'the market to reckon with' for Boeing and Airbus

By JAMES WALLACE
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER AEROSPACE REPORTER

A billion people and only 125 commercial jetliners with 100 seats or more.

That's India today, where a new middle class has money to burn, the economy is booming, air travel is rapidly expanding, and planes are in short supply. (The United States, with about 300 million people, has more than 6,000 commercial jets.)

No wonder, then, that India has become a major battleground for The Boeing Co. and Airbus, both of which see the world's second-most-populous country as the best market for airplanes after the United States and China over the next two decades.
Air-India Express jet
The Boeing Co.
Air-India Express, which starts flights next month, is among the low-cost carriers that will give the nation's two state-run carriers competition in a rapidly growing market that both The Boeing Co. and Airbus hope to benefit from.

State-owned Air India could soon announce one of this year's biggest orders -- and the biggest order ever out of India -- for 35 widebody jets from one or both manufacturers. Throw in other orders from Indian Airlines and low-cost carriers that are arriving on the scene, and jet sales to India could top $10 billion this year alone.

"We are focused more sharply on India than ever before," said Dinesh Keskar, Boeing's senior vice president of commercial jetliner sales and its longtime sales chief for India.

"That's the market to reckon with," said Keskar, who was born in Rajkot, India, and has been Boeing's point man for that country since about 1988. "If you don't get your seeds in now, you will be sorry two years from now."

Boeing and Airbus recently increased their sales forecast for India.

Boeing was predicting that India would require about 300 planes worth about $25 billion over the next 20 years. Last month, during an air show in Bangalore, India, Keskar announced that Boeing had revised its forecast to about $35 billion worth of planes. India, according to Boeing, will be the fastest-growing aircraft market after China.

Airbus is forecasting that India will need 570 new jets by 2023. That's 348 more planes than Airbus forecast for India just two years ago.

"The way things are going in India right now, it could overtake China on aircraft demand and in deregulation," said Richard Aboulafia, senior aviation analyst with the Teal group, an industry consulting firm near Washington, D.C.

During a recent trip to India, Aboulafia was amazed by how many airplane flights were canceled because of "fog."

"It was not the weather but a shortage of planes," he said.
Keskar
Dinesh Keskar, an Indian native, has represented Boeing there since about 1988.

Keskar said India's growth is driven by better living standards for the middle class. That's the result in part of the explosion of the information technology industry.

"Young people today are driving fancy cars and buying homes," he said. "That wasn't possible in India in my younger days."

Keskar left India in 1975 for his doctorate in engineering at the University of Cincinnati. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, was his thesis adviser.

Domestic airplane traffic increased 23 percent in India last year, Keskar said.

About 15 million people fly each year, and about the same number take trains, Keskar said.

The highest level of service on a train is air-conditioned first class. Today, the cost for that class of service is about 20 percent higher than someone would pay for an advanced booking on a jet.

"So instead of taking 17 1/2 hours to get from Mumbai to Delhi, you are there in an hour and 50 minutes," Keskar said. "And these are people who have not flown many times."

Industry in transition

Meanwhile, India is transforming its aviation industry, with the government introducing reforms.

Aboulafia said India does not make the top 100 list of economically free countries, even though it is a democracy.

"India is unbelievably regulated," Aboulafia said. "Just imagine what it would be like if the market were deregulated. It's a huge growth market."

The government in New Delhi is expected to sign an open skies agreement with the United States soon. Current agreements are a half-century old. This will open up more travel and remove restrictions.

Several new privately owned carriers in India could begin flying this year.

And just as they did in the United States, Europe and eventually Asia, the low-cost carriers see the potential in India.

Air Deccan, the country' first budget carrier, has ordered single-aisle jets from Airbus. So has upstart Kingfisher. Air India Express and SpiceJet are in Boeing's camp. Only Air Deccan is currently in operation, with three leased jets. Air India Express will start flights next month with a fleet of leased planes while it finalizes an order for 18 new 737s.

Budget airline waiting

Keskar believes four or five more budget airlines are waiting in the wings for government permission to start service -- and waiting to find out where they can get new planes and the pilots to fly them.

"Ten years ago, there were more pilots than demand. Today, it's hard to fine even one available pilot." He said he could immediately place 20 next-generation 737s in India today -- "That's how great the demand."

Problem is, those new jets are not immediately available from Boeing's Renton plant. Customers have to wait on delivery positions for Boeing's most popular jet. That's why Air Deccan went with Airbus, according to Keskar. It wanted new jets faster than Boeing could provide them.

To win the recent SpiceJet order for 10 737s plus 10 options, Boeing worked with leasing companies to get three used planes for the new carrier, which plans to begin service in May.

Airbus, meanwhile, is waiting on final government approval for a long-delayed order from Indian Airlines for more than 40 of its single-aisle A320 family of jets. Boeing's hopes are riding with Air India, which is replacing its international fleet of 747-400s.

Although there has been talk of privatization, Air India and Indian Airlines are 100 percent owned by the government. They have interlocking boards.

Boeing submitted its final bid for the $7 billion Air India order on Christmas Day.

In addition to the 35 firm orders, Air India will take 15 options. The firm orders break down like this:

# 10 Boeing 777-300ERs or Airbus A340-600s.

# 20 Boeing 787s (formerly the 7E7) or Airbus A330-200s.

# Five Boeing 777-200LRs or Airbus A340-500s.

Keskar said the 777-200LR would provide Air India with a premium non-stop service to the United States. Air India's 747-400s must stop once on flights to this country.

Boeing is encouraged that, in December, Air India leased a 777-200ER, which it is operating between Mumbai and London. As a result, the airline is gaining experience with that model, Keskar said.

Airline IPO a success

Last week, Jet Airways, the country's biggest airline with more than 40 planes, saw its initial public offering scooped up in minutes. It received more than 13 times as many bids as it had stock shares available. Investors were upbeat. And why not? Domestic airlines in India are expected to have carried about 19 million passengers in the year that ends March 31, up about 28 percent from the previous year.

Much of India's growth could come on domestic routes between secondary cities in India, rather than on the established routes between the main cities, Keskar said.

In 1990, when Keskar began traveling to India a lot on Boeing business, there were only four flights a day between Mumbai (then named Bombay) and New Delhi. Today, Jet Airways alone has 11 daily flights between those cities.

"When things get saturated, and they haven't yet, then carriers that have ordered all these planes will need to fly other than the trunk routes, and they are going to start opening up new city pairs," he said. "India's market is highly, highly untapped."

For Boeing and Airbus, that's a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
P-I aerospace reporter James Wallace can be reached at 206-448-8040 or [email protected]
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Old April 1st, 2005, 07:45 AM   #45
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India, Mauritius sign deal to boost air traffic
By Nita Bhalla

PORT LOUIS, March 31 (Reuters) - India and Mauritius signed a deal on Thursday giving Air India and Air Mauritius (AIMK.MZ) access to new destinations, which is expected to double air traffic between the two nations.

The pact was one of four agreements signed by Mauritian Prime Minister Paul Berenger and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, who is on a four-day visit to the Indian Ocean island.

Air India suspended flights to Mauritius in 1986, saying passenger traffic was too weak to support it without the right to fly to destinations beyond. About 25,000 people travel from India to Mauritius annually.

Air India is expected to restart flights to Mauritius at the end of April, and the agreement allows the national carrier to use Mauritius as a stopover for flights to busy South African airports and other destinations.

In return, Air Mauritius, which already flies seven times a week to India, can use India as a stopover for flights to cities such as Karachi, Shanghai and Beijing.

Under the deal, officials expect 14 flights a week between the two countries, which share close cultural and religious similarities. About 68 percent of Mauritius's population is of Indian origin.

The other three agreements include pacts to boost cooperation on fighting terrorism and environmental degradation. India also extended a $10 million credit line to Mauritius to build sewers.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 07:48 AM   #46
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India invites bids for Bombay, Delhi airports

BOMBAY, March 31 (Reuters) - The Indian government has called for bids for the restructuring and modernisation of the airports in Bombay and New Delhi.

Nine bidders have been shortlisted and they have 12 weeks to submit their technical and financial bids, the ministry of Civil Aviation said in a statement on Thursday.

Ten groups including leading Indian colour-TV manufacturer Videocon International (VDCI.BO), a telecommunications company and a leading media group, as well as foreign operators such as Singapore's Changi Airport and Germany's Fraport AG (FRAG.DE) were in the race for the airports.

The airports in Bombay and New Delhi are the country's largest and most profitable. The modernisation of the two airports is estimated to cost more than 35 billion rupees.

The Indian government aims to set up two joint venture companies to hold the leases to operate the two airports and is offering a 74 percent stake in each to private firms.

Foreign firms can hold no more than 49 percent of the operating companies, while private Indian firms, including domestic financial institutions, must hold at least 25 percent.

State-owned firms including the Airports Authority of India, the umbrella body that operates India's 125 airports, will hold the remaining 26 percent.
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Old April 1st, 2005, 05:19 PM   #47
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Indian Airlines board approves lease of 10 A-320s

BOMBAY, March 31 (Reuters) - The board of state-run carrier Indian Airlines has approved the leasing of 10 A-320 aircrafts from the winter of 2005 to augment its capacity and meet growing demand, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

It said the domestic air market had grown 25 percent in April-November 2004, while international traffic grew 18 percent.

In February, the board had approved leasing 12 wide-bodied aircrafts for medium and long-range routes.

The board also approved an initial public offering (IPO) subject to approval by the Indian government, the statement said. No other details were available.

Media reports in January had quoted Aviation Minister Praful Patel as saying that IPOs for both state-run carriers Indian Airlines and Air-India could be completed in 2006.

Indian Airlines, which mainly competes with Jet Airways and privately-owned Air Sahara, estimated net profit for the financial year to March 31, 2005 would fall to 175 million rupees ($4 million), from 441.7 million rupees in the previous year.

The lower net profit is largely on account of higher fuel prices, which rose by nearly 30 percent during the fiscal year, the airline said. It estimates net profit for the next fiscal year to March 2006 would be 107.5 million rupees ($2.46 million).

This would be the carrier's second successive year of showing a profit after three years of losses, helped by cost cuts and improved productivity.

The carrier said operating revenues were estimated to have risen to 52.5 bilion rupees from 46.5 billion rupees a year earlier. Operating expenses rose to an estimated 51.9 billion rupees from 45.2 billion rupees a year earlier.

Indian Airlines, which had a domestic market share of nearly 41 percent in 2003/04, said it would enter a joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Services for handling passengers, cargo, ramp and security services in various airports in India.

This agreement, subject to the Indian government's approval, would enhance ground handling revenues, the airline said. ($1=43.7 Indian rupees).
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Old April 1st, 2005, 05:26 PM   #48
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UK's Branson wants more Virgin flights to India

BOMBAY, March 31 (Reuters) - British billionaire Richard Branson said on Thursday his Virgin Atlantic airline wants permission to fly more frequently to India from Britain in order to compete more effectively with British Airways.

Branson, in Bombay after travelling on Virgin's inaugural flight from London, said he wanted to offer as many as 21 flights a week to various Indian destinations from London this year and is also keen to invest in a domestic Indian airline.

Bombay is Virgin Atlantic's second Indian destination after New Delhi. It was added after "10 years of lobbying," Branson said, and after Virgin, of which he owns 51 percent, won the largest share of new rights in December to fly direct from Britain to India.

This had allowed Virgin to compete with British Airways on key routes but only by being able to fly more frequently could it cater to large demand from the business and leisure segments.

"If the skies are truly opened up, there could be as many flights going to India from Britain every year as there are to the U.S., but we have to get permission to fly daily soon, or it doesn't make sense for the travelling public or for us," he said.

Virgin Atlantic, which previously had a code-sharing agreement with India's international flag carrier Air-India Ltd., operates daily services between New Delhi and London, and flies to Bombay three times a week.

Branson hopes the airline will soon be permitted to fly daily to Bombay and fly weekly to at least seven more Indian cities. He expected more UK-India routes to be opened up after talks between the two governments, which he said would be held over the next few weeks.

Direct routes from London to cities such as Bombay, New Delhi and Bangalore are invaluable for airlines, as demand far outstrips the limited existing services, which are dominated by British Airways.

PERSONAL INTEREST

Branson is also keen to invest personally in India's domestic aviation industry, which is expected to grow by 25 to 30 percent per year over the next five years as incomes rise.

India allows up to 49 percent foreign equity holding in domestic carriers but these cannot be held by a foreign airline.

"If I, as an individual, am permitted to invest several million pounds, I would love to - but the rules are a bit murky and not that clear-cut," said Branson, whose whose business empire includes trains, music, holidays and personal finance.

Branson had earlier abandoned talks talks with India's only low-budget carrier, Air Deccan, to take a stake in the company.

Branson is also still in talks with Indian mobile phone service providers to give Virgin Mobile Holdings a foothold in the world's fastest-growing major mobile market, although he declined to say which firms.

Virgin Mobile, which buys airtime from partner T-Mobile, is Britain's fifth-largest mobile phone company.

"With the Indian government freeing up industry and encouraging competition in aviation and telecoms, it would be foolish of Virgin to not embrace India," said Branson, who plans to use the airline to help launch other businesses in India, including financial services and music.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 01:12 PM   #49
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Business Times - 02 Apr 2005

Bids invited for stakes in Mumbai, Delhi airports


Changi among nine parties asked for modernisation plans

(NEW DELHI) India has asked nine bidders including Singapore Changi Airport Enterprise Pte, Aeroports de Paris and Fraport AG to submit bids in 12 weeks for stakes in the New Delhi and Mumbai airports, the country's busiest and most profitable.

'The 'requests for proposal' have been finalised and are being sent to the bidders,' Vikram Kalra, executive director at the government's Airports Authority of India, said in a phone interview here on Thursday. The authority runs the airports, which between them handle 25 million passengers annually.

Mr Kalra said the bidders have 12 weeks to submit financial and technical bids for the two airports, where improvements will cost as much as US$3.5 billion.

India is seeking bids from Fraport, Malaysia Airport Holdings Bhd, Changi, Aeroports de Paris and five other companies for stakes in the two airports. After the stakes are sold, Airports Authority of India's holdings in the facilities will fall to 74 per cent each from 100 per cent.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government is seeking private and overseas investment in the nation's roads, ports and airports as growth strains transport infrastructure in Asia's fourth-biggest economy.

The modernisation of the two airports is estimated to cost more than 35 billion rupees (S$1.32 billion).

The Indian government aims to set up two joint-venture companies to hold the leases to operate the two airports and is offering a 74 per cent stake in each to private firms.

Foreign firms can hold no more than 49 per cent of the operating companies, while private Indian firms, including domestic financial institutions, must hold at least 25 per cent. - Bloomberg, Reuters

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 06:53 PM   #50
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IA board approves IPO flight to BSE
2 April 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: State-owned Indian Airlines has decided to float an IPO in the coming fiscal. The proceeds from the public offer will be used to fund its fleet enhancement plan, besides cleaning up the books by reducing its debt exposure. This will be the second airline IPO to hit the Indian market in over a decade, and comes close on the tails of the highly successful Jet Airways issue.

The airline board - which met late on Wednesday evening - gave its in-principle nod for IPO. The modalities - including issue size and timing - would be decided within the next fortnight and the final draft will then be sent to the ministry of civil aviation for approval, sources said.

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel had earlier stated that the ministry is keen on offloading up to 15 per cent stake in both IA and Air-India through the IPO route. If the clearance comes through, IA will become the first state-owned airline to land in the capital markets.

IA board also approved the airline's revised financial estimates for 2004-05, which showed a 60 per cent drop in its net profit in view of a rapid surge in fuel prices.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 06:54 PM   #51
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Branson to invest in an Indian carrier
2 April 2005
The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Virgin Atlantic chief, Richard Branson has said he plans to invest about $50m in his personal capacity in an Indian airline for which he is in talks with "four different people" in the country.

"Virgin Atlantic (Airways) is not allowed to invest in India, but Richard Branson, I think, should be allowed to invest in India in his personal capacity," Mr Branson said in an interview with a TV channel.

Under the existing Indian aviation rules, no foreign airline is allowed to pick up stake in any Indian carrier. Maintaining that he is holding discussions with "four different people" in India who are in the aviation business, he said he plans to "invest $ 50m dollars in an Indian airline."

"Some of them (four different people he was talking to) have got airlines up and running and some are trying to set up an airline," he said when asked to name the people he is holding discussions with.

"I will be surprised if we don't reach an agreement in the next three-six months," Mr Branson said, adding that he was principally interested in the financial stake "but if some of them wanted my help and advice I would willingly give it...But there are very capable people here."

He said he would also be happy to invest in the building of airport infrastructure in the country, but did not give any details.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 07:33 PM   #52
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ok i will borrow some from you guys
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 07:51 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by huaiwei
Interesting read. That the demand is so high between India and Singapore is probably underscored by the escalating trade and exchanges between the two countries.

Anyway, Jet Airways made a full page ad in the Straits Times to announce their arrival. Not bad...because even much bigger airlines usually dont bother coming up with anything as huge as this!
I read somewhere that Singapore Airlines wanted a whopping 200 flights a week rights for itself during the India Singapore talks. That sent everyone scurrying back to the drawing board and no agreement could be signed.
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Old April 4th, 2005, 06:57 AM   #54
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Two US airlines get approval to fly India

IANS[ SATURDAY, APRIL 02, 2005 12:16:26 PM]

MINNEAPOLIS: Two major US airlines have been given the green signal to fly to Indian cities on the eve of the historic Open Skies agreement between India and the US due to be signed later this month.
The US Department of Transportation has given Northwest Airlines and the American Airlines the "go ahead" to initiate the process to launch their flights to India.
Representatives of a large number of airlines were expected to accompany US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta on his visit to India mid-April when the Open Skies agreement would be signed.
Transportation Department Public Affairs Specialist Bill Mosley said as per the approval given to Northwest on March 3 and to American Airlines on March 16, both the carriers can fly to any Indian city any number of times.
The two airlines had applied for "broad authority" to serve to India soon after such a decision in principle was taken by the two countries in January during the visit of Indian Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to Washington. However, the two airlines would have to seek a few other clearances before they could actually fly, he observed.
It is understood that both the airlines have moved the necessary application before the Indian government and the US Department of Homeland Security.
Mosley said no other application was pending before the Department.
Following the approval, Northwest Airlines has decided to launch its Minneapolis-Bangalore service via Amsterdam from Oct 30.
"The information has already been loaded in our system. We are now waiting approval from the Indian government, before we could formally announce," a Northwest spokesperson said. Two US airlines get approval to fly India


Flight No. 34 would leave Amsterdam at 12:15 p.m. on Oct 30 to reach Bangalore at 2:15 a.m. On Oct 31, flight 33 would depart from Bangalore at 4:15 a.m. and arrive in Amsterdam at 10:40 a.m.
"This would be a daily service. We would use Airbus A330-300 aircraft for this," the spokesperson said.
However, the airline, he said, would continue with its present agreement with KLM for its services to New Delhi and Mumbai.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 04:50 PM   #55
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Business Times - 06 Apr 2005

Air India to lease 5 jets to increase US, Europe flights


(NEW DELHI) Air India Ltd, the nation's biggest overseas airline, will lease five planes by July to increase flights to the US and European cities.

The airline will lease two Boeing Co aircraft and three Airbus SAS planes, Jitender Bhargava, a spokesman for the Mumbai-based airline said yesterday.

Lease agreements for the aircraft have been signed, Mr Bhargava said. No details on the lessor and rates were disclosed.

Indian carriers are buying and leasing planes to fly to more cities as economic expansion stokes demand for business and leisure travel. Air India needs to lease new planes as it faces competition from Jet Airways (India) Ltd and Sahara Airlines Ltd, which will start flights to US and Europe this year.

'We wanted to expand capacity in some routes and add new routes as well,' Mr Bhargava said. 'As more planes come in, we will be able to expand our network,' he added.

Air India will be leasing one Boeing 777 aircraft and one 747-400 aircraft to fly 28 times a week to the US, double the existing frequency. The airline will also lease three Airbus A310 aircraft, Mr Bhargava said.

In the past three years, Air India has leased 11 Airbus A310 aircraft, five 747-400 planes and two 777 planes. It also leased three Boeing 737-800 single-aisle planes for its low-fare unit Air India Express.

Air India, which has a fleet of 36 aircraft, will start services to Toronto in Canada and Birmingham in the UK with the newly leased aircraft. It will also expand flights to Newark, Shanghai and London. - Bloomberg

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 05:11 PM   #56
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Bellview Airlines (Nigeria) to fly to Mumbai

The corporate affairs officer of Bellview Airlines Mr. Habib Muhammed told Daily Trust in an interview that the Airline will flag off its operations to Mumbai in India at the end of this month.

According to him, Bellview Airlines has put everything in place to commence international operations, adding that the airline has just concluded conversion training for its pilots and crew engaged for the continental operations.

He hinted further that the aircraft painted in Bellview colours is already in Europe while delivery is in top gear, adding that the airline's chief engineer is in Europe to facilitate the delivery of the aircraft.

http://allafrica.com/stories/200504050389.html
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Old April 6th, 2005, 06:05 PM   #57
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India's Jet Airways to make maiden flight to Malaysia on April 29
Wed Apr 6, 7:24 AM ET

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Indian carrier Jet Airways will make its maiden flight to Malaysia on April 29, marking growing economic ties between Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi, a senior airport official said.

Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd. senior marketing manager Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah told AFP that Jet Airways would launch daily roundtrip flights from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur using its new Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

"India is another emerging market. The new carrier into the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will bring surely more Indian tourists into Malaysia," he said on Wednesday.

Mohamed said Jet Airways' rival carrier Air Sahara would soon make an announcement about their own plans to fly to KLIA.

"We will know about its first flight and frequency in the next two days," he said.

An official with Jet Airways said even though the Kuala Lumpur - Chennai route was saturated with other carriers, it would remain the most profitable route between the two countries.

"We are confident to fill the flight. Jet Airways will offer discount tickets for a month," he said, adding that "we do not want to create a price war."

Jet faces competition on the Chennai route from other carriers including Malaysia Airlines, Indian Airlines, Air Lanka and Thai Airways.

Jet began flying in 1993 and has 42 aircraft and runs 271 scheduled flights daily within India. It also flies to Colombo and Nepal and has secured landing rights in London.

Air Sahara has also secured landing rights to London, and hopes to link Europe to Southeast Asia via India.

The carrier started operations on December 3, 1993 following the Indian government's opening up of the Indian skies to private airlines.

Air Sahara's fleet includes Boeing 737 - 700, 737 - 800 and 737 - 400 aircraft. Air Sahara currently flies to 22 destinations in India.

Mohamed said the entry of the two carriers into Malaysia would enhance KLIA's attempt to become a regional hub, a position held by neighbouring Singapore's Changi Airport.

"With new carriers flying into KLIA, it will provide more connectivity and this will in return attract more long-haul aircraft into KLIA," he said.
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Old April 6th, 2005, 06:20 PM   #58
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Give me more: Space crunch at IGI airport
Arun Kumar Das
4 April 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Too much of anything can cause hurdles. With the skies opening up, more and more airlines are planning to launch operations and existing ones are on an expansion spree. But where's the space at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to park these planes?

The airport is facing a major congestion problem and existing infrastructure has reached saturation point. There is a drastic need for more parking bays, parallel taxiways and enhanced passenger amenities.

Currently, air traffic movement is about 20-25 planes per hour. That works out to about 440 aircraft daily, including commercial, defence and executive ones. The runway can presently accommodate upto 30 planes hourly. But with as many as eight new airlines waiting to start operations and existing ones expanding, the movement could go up to 40 planes an hour and 500 daily.

S K Mishra, GM, operations, admits that the airport could see increased congestion in the near future. "Currently, the maximum rush is between 5 am- 7 am with many aircraft parked overnight, scheduled to takeoff. At times, the number of planes waiting to take-off reaches 15. The movement of the planes have to be rescheduled to tackle the rush." Delhi airport director, B K Arora, says, "Steps are being undertaken to upgrade the existing infrastructure."

There are plans to construct a parallel runway to avoid these problems. "However these plans have been stuck as constructing another runway requires shifting a whole village," says a senior AAI official. "AAI has already floated tenders worth Rs 50 cr for rapid exit and parallel taxiways at IGI airport and authorities are trying to improve existing amenities for passengers."

Civil aviation minister Praful Patel says expansion plans are underway not just in Delhi but at other airports as well. While he admitted there would be pressure due to increased flights, a concrete action plan with regard to runways and airports was being undertaken to improve infrastructure. "The congestion would not derail our plan. Delhi and Mumbai airports would be restructured and modernised completely with private participation. The aim is to develop both airports to global standards - complete restructuring would therefore take time. Other major airports too would be developed to meet the increased rush."
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Old April 7th, 2005, 01:09 AM   #59
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07 April 2005

Continental Airlines to launch daily New York-Delhi direct flights


WASHINGTON : Continental Airlines said it will launch daily nonstop flights from its New York hub at Newark Liberty International Airport to New Delhi beginning October.

The service, subject to government approval, will reduce travel time between the two cities by at least two and a half hours by eliminating any stops or en route connections, the airline said.

New Delhi will become the 25th city in Continental's trans-Atlantic route network.

"This new long-range route to India represents further evolution of our successful trans-Atlantic network from New York/Newark," said Jim Summerford, Continental's vice president.

Flight CO82 will depart New York/Newark daily at 9:05 pm and arrive at New Delhi at 9:30 pm the next day. Flight CO83 will depart New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport daily at 11:30 pm and will arrive at New York/Newark at 4:50 am the next day. Flying times will be nearly 14 hours.

This new service, using the 283-seat Boeing 777 aircraft, will be Continental's second longest nonstop trip after the New York-Hong Kong trip.- AFP

Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 02:23 AM   #60
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Air Sahara to launch Singapore and Kuala Lumpur flights in May

S2-081 DEL-SIN 2230 0630+1 Daily (Effective 11TH May’05)
S2-082 SIN-DEL 0900 1200 Daily (Effective 12TH May’05)
S2-071 MAA-KUL 2200 0420+1 Daily (Effective 14TH May’05)
S2-072 KUL-MAA 0930 1050 Daily (Effective 15TH May’05)

Jet Airways announces Singapore Schedule from April 14, 2005

9W 4501 Mumbai Singapore 22:50 06:55+1 Daily
9W 4502 Singapore Mumbai 18:25 21:10 Daily
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