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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #621
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continued from page 31....Pics of Mumbai's(Bombay) Domestic Airport. The scene outside Domestic arrivals.

Last edited by monkey1; September 30th, 2008 at 10:08 PM.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:02 PM   #622
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Pics of Mumbai's(Bombay) Domestic Airport. A view of the parking lot.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #623
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Pics of Mumbai's(Bombay) Domestic Airport. Departures
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:12 PM   #624
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India's Jet Airways eyes executive pay cuts: report


NEW DELHI (AFP) — India's largest private carrier Jet Airways is planning to slash the pay of its top 200 executives by 25-30 percent as it battles soaring costs and an economic slowdown, a report said Tuesday.

The salary cuts would affect staff earning more than a million rupees (20,800 dollars) a month, The Economic Times reported, citing an unnamed senior Jet Airways executive.

The report comes a week after Jet announced it was sacking 1,900 staff, only to rescind the decision because the company chairman said television images of fired employees had caused him sleepless nights.

India's airline sector -- a potent symbol of the country's economic progress -- is currently going through its "worst ever" crisis, India's Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said last week.

The sector posted a combined loss of 938 million dollars in the fiscal year to March 2008 and analysts expect a two-billion dollar loss this year.

Jet posted a full-year loss to March of 52 million dollars and has defaulted on payment of fuel bills to the state-run Indian Oil Corp.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:14 PM   #625
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No retrenchment in Air India: Praful Patel


CHENNAI: Civil Minister Praful Patel on Monday ruled out retrenchment among employees in public sector Air India and blamed rising fuel prices as the
reason behind the present crisis in the aviation sector.

"I have categorically denied that there will be any retrenchment in Air India," he told reporters here after the inauguration of the Rs 1808-crore Chennai airport expansion and modernisation project. He, however, declined to comment on the issue in the private sector.

Jet Airways had last week decided to lay off about 1900 of its employees but withdrew the move promptly. The Kingfisher Airlines has announced a salary cut of its trainee pilots as part of cost-cutting measures.

Patel said prices of Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) have gone out of control and called for "rationalisation" of the same to manage the present crisis.

The rising prices have put an extra burden of Rs.7,000 to Rs 8,000 crore on the airlines operators who have in turn passed on the burden to passengers, he said and stressed the need for states to reduce the sales tax levied on ATF.

"Most states levy a sales tax of 29 per cent on a commodity whose value has gone up, which also adds up to the overall cost," he said.

He also demanded a cut in other taxes, including customs and excise. "States should understand that better rational pricing brings more flights into their cities, helping in increased revenue..I hope all understand," he said.

He also said that unless a permanent solution was found, fears of retrenchment "will hang in the air."
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:15 PM   #626
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Students, aviation institutes still dare to fly



Jet Airways might have taken back its retrenched employees but the move has undoubtedly left scars on the aviation industry. Aviation schools across the country are now pursuing a damage-control exercise. They are going all out to assure students that the worst is over.

Take the case of Electrotherm-promoted Ahmedabad Aviation & Aeronautics Ltd (AAA). The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) approved institute offers courses in pilot’s training, aviation management, cabin crew and aircraft maintenance engineering. AAA offers flying training at its hanger at S V Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad and Mehsana airfield.

“It is too short a time to react to such issues. Not just aviation but the entire economy is going through a turmoil. But what needs to be seen is that this downturn is just a phase and cyclical. It would rather be wise to wait and watch and not take any hasty decisions. The gloom in the aviation industry is a temporary thing and will get corrected on its own within a year,” opines Shailesh Bhandari, chairman and managing director of the institute.

Dhiraj Agarwal, centre head of Avalon Aviation Academy, corroborates: “The recent move by some airlines was definitely a cause of concern for us. But we believe the worst has passed, and in just six months’ time the turmoil will give way for the industry to pick up. There are international airlines Emirates and Qatar Airways which are doing well even in these times and have shown interest in hiring our students. Even the Indian government would take some steps as it cannot afford to let such a huge industry reel under a bad phase for long. So, unless some huge recession happens, our industry looks like it will grow by some 5-6 per cent in a year’s time and the future of those pursuing a career in aviation is going to be bright again.”

Students, too, remain sanguine. With fees per student ranging between Rs 45,000 and Rs 1,00,000 for a course duration of an average six months to a year, the students are finding themselves in a fix after borrowing money from banks to pursue the vocation. But the depressing scenario has not deterred the students from pursuing the course. Instead they believe there are countless opportunities available in the field.

Ronak Sharma, who is pursuing a diploma in ground staff service, was initially “shocked” but is still hopeful about the future of the industry. “I have already procured an internship with the Mumbai airport next month, when my course gets over. My initial reaction to the news of airways retrenching people was of total disbelief. But after the 1,900 employees of Jet Airways were taken back, I believe that this is just a passing phase. We are hopeful of getting good domestic or international placement once our course comes to an end this November as the academy has promised 100 per cent placement guarantee or 50 per cent money back,” says Sharma.

And if the situation seems bad for the students pursuing various courses in the field of aviation, it should seem worse for those who have already completed their course. Instead, freshers in the industry are still upbeat and feel the scenario will get better in the near future.

“It is not as big a setback for the students as most people think it is. It is an enormous industry which will survive, thanks to the many opportunities in parallel fields like travel, tourism and hospitality. Moreover, we believe the scenario in the aviation industry itself will change for better sooner or later,” says a student who has just finished her course in BTEC (HNC) in aviation, hospitality and travel management from Frankfinn Institute of Air Hostess Training, Mumbai.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:16 PM   #627
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Jet chief seeks lower sales tax on aviation fuel


New Delhi, Oct. 20

The Chairman of Jet Airways, Mr Naresh Goyal, on Monday met with the Finance Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, to seek Central assistance in convincing State Governments on the need to lower sales taxes on aviation turbine fuel (ATF).

Currently, State taxes on ATF varies from 4 per cent to more than 30 per cent, and is being cited as one of the main reasons for the losses being incurred by the industry.

Jet Airways, like most other domestic airlines, has been badly affected by the rising price of ATF, which accounts for between 45 and 50 per cent of the operating cost of most domestic airlines. Although global crude prices have declined in the recent past, the cumulative impact of the rise in fuel prices previously could see the domestic airline industry report a loss of more than Rs 4,000 crore.

Sources indicated apart from the need of rationalising taxes on ATF, other fiscal measures to help the airline industry were also touched on at the meeting.

The industry has often complained about the high domestic price of aviation fuel.

At a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, in June industry leaders pointed out that while the Government provides 77 per cent subsidy on kerosene, 47 per cent subsidy on diesel and 29 per cent on petrol, the ATF rates for domestic operations were 60-70 per cent higher than international benchmarks.

To cut costs, Jet Airways had recently entered into an alliance with Kingfisher Airlines, the scope of which includes code-sharing on both international and domestic flights apart from looking at joint network rationalisation. It will also look at a joint fuel management strategy to reduce expenses, apart from working on cross-selling flight inventory.

Kingfisher ‘job cuts’


Meanwhile, the Chairman, Kingfisher Airlines, Mr Vijay Mallya, indicated that if the slump in the market continues, more job cuts and lay-offs may take place.

In recent times, several airlines have had to lay off staff due to low passenger carriage and rising costs. In the domestic aviation industry, wages bill is the second most important head after fuel.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:21 PM   #628
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Regional carriers, biz jet firms look to hire

Hyderabad / New Delhi: Large airlines may be cutting jobs to contain losses, but the hiring outlook at regional airlines, firms running business jets and low-fare carriers remains strong as these firms gear up to recruit at least a 1,000 people in the next 15 months.

Fractional aircraft ownership companies such as Business Jets India Pvt. Ltd-run Bjets and Mumbai-based Invision Air Services Pvt. Ltd, business jets operator VistaJet Luftfahrtunternehmen GmbH-run VistaJets and regional carriers such as Chennai-based Star Aviation Pvt. Ltd are in the process of employing people to staff their new businesses.

Though the number of people needed to run a business jet is lean—consulting firm KPMG’s aviation analyst Mark Martin expects a staffing ratio of some 18 for such a plane—the number of people needed to run the new planes coming into the market could be significant given that another 100-150 planes are expected to join the Indian fleet of around 900 aircraft (commercial to private jets) by 2009.

However, a slowing economy, Martin insisted, could pull down the number of passengers travelling by air and impact expansion plans of the newcomers and, in turn, the plan for new hires.
In such a scenario, “travel would be the last thing on people’s mind,” he said.
Over the past few months India’s airlines have cut several hundred jobs leading to a surplus pool in the market.

This is likely to impact existing employees by way of reduced salaries and also make it difficult for fresh entrants to get jobs in aviation.
The hiring needed for an operation such as a regional airline could be bigger. Even a five-aircraft operation in the first year for an entrant such as Star Aviation may need about 500-700 people including engineers, pilots, crew and ground staff, says company executives.

“Intially Indian Airlines, Air India were the first airlines in the country, so when Jet started a lot of employees were ex-AI (or) IA. Now considering what’s happening, these people will be looking for alternative jobs,” said Ira Trivedi, VistaJet representative in India, who is hiring a dozen people to set up offices here, adding to the company’s list of nine other cities. “I have seen there is a need for trained qualified people with the right kind of attitude. We would need the whole gamut,” she said.

The Swiss privately held VistaJet offers business jets on rent for various time periods and plans to start by offering services to several Indian software firms who have a need for such aircraft for roadshows in West Asia and other markets.

A Bjets pilot, who wished to remain annynomous, said the salaries at charter companies are comparable to airlines given that business jets come with a high cost, even though wages can be low during training.
VistaJet’s Learjet 60 XR, for example, can cost $7,300 or at least Rs350,500 for a 25-hour service.

Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica SA, which is training several people from India in its Singapore training centre, expects several jobs to be generated from the planes it will be supplying to Indian buyers soon.

Besides five Embraer jets to Star Aviation starting March, the manufacturer will supply 20 jets booked by Invision Air next year.
“The pilot market has been overheated over the last three-four years. India is a good example. Pilots have been brought over for a very high price which meant general people started to see it as a good career option. What we see now is a slowdown,” said Orlando J.F. Neto, Embraer’s managing director for Asia Pacific. “I would think the excess people (from the airlines) would get absorbed in other areas,” he said.

The first delivery to Star Aviation is slated for March.
Commercial airlines, too, see their hiring freeze easing in some months. SpiceJet Ltd, for example, expects to have openings for at least 20 co-pilots by early half of next year, according to J.S. Dhillon, low-cost carrier SpiceJet’s executive vice-president of flight operations.

Similarly, IndiGo, a service run by Interglobe Aviation Pvt. Ltd, plans to hire around 300 people including cockpit crew, pilots and customer care executives for the seven planes it inducts between now and next year.
“The growth and requirement by and large will remain the same, other than areas where we can get advantages of scale,” IndiGo’s president Aditya Ghosh said. “Even today we are running interviews across the country (for customer care executives).”
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:22 PM   #629
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India's Aviation Sector Slumps


NEW DELHI -- In the latest sign of woes for India's aviation industry, several airlines have defaulted on fuel bills while two of the largest carriers are grappling with how to trim staff.

Against that backdrop, Jet Airways Ltd. and Kingfisher Airlines Ltd., India's two biggest airlines, last week announced a code-sharing alliance -- an arrangement some industry analysts say could be the first step toward a broader consolidation in the country's aviation business.

Since the aviation sector was liberalized in 2003, a slew of start-up Indian airlines have competed intensively, cutting fares and absorbing losses quarter after quarter in a fight for market share. But this year, high fuel prices and unsustainable losses have forced carriers to abandon that strategy.

Now, even local low-cost airlines such as IndiGo Airlines, a unit of InterGlobe Enterprises Ltd., SpiceJet Ltd. and Go Air Pvt. Ltd. are pumping up fares and cutting expenses to the bone in an effort to survive. Burdened with too many planes and staff as well as decreased traffic, the airlines are trying to cut capacity fast. "Cutting capacity is the only thing these carriers can do," says Binit Somaia, India director for the Sydney-based Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. "The concept that everyone could fly for 500 rupees ($10) was a bit of an illusion."

Jet has announced a 15% reduction in flights. It and Kingfisher each plan to return seven leased planes. Bangalore-based Kingfisher has also asked Airbus to defer delivery of 32 planes due to be delivered this year and in 2009.

The most immediate problem for some carriers is paying Indian state-owned retailers for overdue fuel charges. Nearly one-half of airlines' operating budgets can go for buying fuel, which costs 65% more in India than in places like Dubai and Singapore, thanks to high excise and state sales taxes. The airlines have been pushing for a $1 billion bailout package from India's federal government to allay their losses, but industry analysts say it is unlikely to materialize as the nation faces parliamentary elections next year.

India's oil ministry has asked the country's top three airlines to pay a total of at least $185 million in outstanding fuel charges as soon as possible, according to Indian media reports. A portion of the overdue charges is in default as it wasn't paid within the acceptable grace period, Petroleum Secretary R.S. Pandey told reporters Thursday.

Jet Airways is behind on $53.2 million in fuel payments to Indian oil companies while Kingfisher owes $12.4 million, Mr. Pandey said.

A Jet spokeswoman said she couldn't comment on the unpaid fuel charges. Kingfisher didn't respond to a request to comment.

On Thursday, Jet announced 1,900 job cuts, but reversed its decision Friday under political pressure from the government. "I apologize for the trauma caused to all the people," Jet Chairman Naresh Goyal told a news conference. "I don't want to go by economics."

On Friday, Kingfisher said it will cut salaries for its trainee pilots significantly and, in some cases, by 90%. Meanwhile, state-owned Air India, has proposed a program to put as many as 15,000 employees on voluntary leave without pay for three to five years.

The overdue fuel bills and employment reductions hit an industry already rocked by high fuel costs. Last year, airlines in India posted collective net losses of $938 million. This year, industrywide losses could reach as high as $2 billion, analysts say.

On Oct. 13, Kingfisher and Jet announced a joint-operating alliance to share flights. It could be a way to test the waters for a merger, analysts say. Given the strains they are under, a deal is "something that's definitely on the cards," a person familiar with the situation said.

The Jet spokeswoman said there haven't been any talks on a possible merger.

—Jackie Range and Santanu Choudhury contributed to this article.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:22 PM   #630
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Jet, Kingfisher may reduce number of flights


NEW DELHI: Private air carriers Kingfisher Airlines and Jet Airways, which have entered into an operational alliance recently, may reduce flights as
they tighten belts to overcome financial crunch.

"We are not going to unnecessarily deploy capacity which we cannot fill...if in non-peak hours Jet flight is not full and Kingfisher flight is not full, it makes sense for us to co-operate and fly one aircraft instead of two. (With this) the economics of airlines will improve substantially," Kingfisher Chairman and CEO Vijay Mallya told reporters here.

He also said the two private carriers would co-operate on international routes, even as Kingfisher's plans to start non-stop flights to San-Francisco has been put on hold.

"The world is big enough. We have enough routes to operate without clashing with anyone unnecessarily," he said.

Jet and Kingfisher had last week announced an alliance to co-operate in seven areas, including joint fuel management, common ground handling and cross-selling of flight inventories.

The two biggest private carriers have been facing financial burden, which even prompted them to retrench employees.

Emerging from a meeting of Federation of Indian Airlines with Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel, Mallya said he has dropped plans to import aviation turbine fuel after government promised support to airlines.

"Its not required, when the oil companies have agreed to help us, support us, why should he change the whole system," he said.

Blaming imposition of sales tax on ATF for the poor financial health of the carriers, Mallya said, "We need reduction in tax...if the sales tax is brought down to four per cent across the board, all airlines would go to black ink from red ink".
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:24 PM   #631
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Air India CMD censured by govt for leave-without-pay plan


NEW DELHI: State-owned carrier Air India Head Raghu Menon was censured on Wednesday by the government for his proposal to offer leave without pay to
15,000 employees.

Highly placed sources said Oil Minister Murli Deora took exception to Menon's proposals during a meeting of the Federation of Indian Airlines and Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel to resolve the crisis arising out of mounting fuel bill arrears.

Deora cut Menon short when he today again talked of the need to "rationalise" the workforce to trim losses arising out of negative growth and high fuel cost. "There should not be any layoffs. Why are you raising it now," sources quoted Deora as telling Menon.

The oil minister than widened his message on 'no-job' cuts to the other participants-Kingfisher Chairman Vijay Mallya and Jet Airways Executive Director Saroj Dutta- present at the meeting.

Patel taking a cue then interjected to say the airlines should ensure that jobs are protected. "The industry should not take such steps and expect government support," sources quoted him as saying at the meeting.

Later talking to reporters, the civil aviation minister said the airlines should protect jobs. "We have spoken to the airlines, they will have to be sympathetic to employees. We have told them we will try and help them further."

Last week, Menon had announced that Air India was planning to offer three to five years leave without pay to 15,000 of its employees in an attempt to cut costs. The employees would have the option to return to service at the last drawn pay and seniority, if they so wished after the end of the period.

Jet Airways, which had sacked 1,900 employees, had to reinstate them after it came in for strong criticism, particularly from Deora.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:25 PM   #632
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GoAir to sign $40 mn maintenance contract with Air France


MUMBAI: Wadia group-promoted no-frills airline, GoAir, is in the process of signing a USD 40-million contract with Air France for maintenance of its
aircraft, a top company official said.

"We have already signed the Letter of Intent (LoI) with Air France. The formal agreement will be sealed very soon," GoAir's Chief Executive Officer, Edgardo Badiali, told reporters here today.

The contract would be for the maintenance of 20 aircraft for a period of six years, he said. "It is a purely a customer-supplier arrangement and not any kind of joint venture," Badiali said.

GoAir would have a total fleet of 20 aircraft by 2012, Badiali said, adding that, "we will be replacing four more aircraft with new ones in the next five months."

In all, the airline plans to induct ten new aircraft over the next one year, he said.

It presently has seven A-320 aircraft in its fleet including two new ones which it received recently. However, one of the aircraft will be returned to the lessor, he said.

Welcoming the Jet Airways-Kingfisher alliance, Badiali said that "the alliance would certainly result in a reduction in capacity, which is welcome."

Asked when GoAir would break-even, Badiali said that that would depend on the stability of oil prices. "If fuel prices remain stable at a decent level...(break-even) could be in the next financial year," he said.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:26 PM   #633
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India is fastest growing market for Bell Helicopter


HYDERABAD: After taking 52 years to sell its first 100 choppers in India, Bell Helicopter expects to sell its next 100 in less than five years as the
country has emerged as an important market for the US company, a top official said.

"India is our fastest growing market in the whole world," said Bell's director of communications Greg Hubbard, who was here for the civil aviation show last week.

"When we started our India office in 1995 we had only four percent of the market share; today we enjoy 52 percent market share," Hubbard told IANS.

Bell sold its first helicopter in India in 1956 and delivered its 100th commercial aircraft to leading Indian infrastructure company Abir Infrastructure during the air show here.

"We have sold 17 helicopters in India this year, we expect to sell 22 next year and we expect to sell our next 100th one within five years," Hubbard said.

"In India our growth rate is 15-17 percent while it is less than five percent in the US or Europe. Russia and Brazil are also growing fast, but the growth rate is lower than that in India," he said.

According to the Bell executive, the global downturn has not affected its India operations; nor does the company expect it to do so in the future. "Unlike fixed wing aircraft, helicopters are utility vehicles and demand will always be there."

Bell Helicopter, which is a subsidiary of Texas-based $13.2 billion multi-industry company Textron Inc, is also excited about supplying military helicopters to India.

"We will bid for the Indian Army's 197 reconnaissance and surveillance helicopter programme by end of December and we are hopeful of bagging a large contract."

Giving details of the Bell429 model that it unveiled at the air show, Hubbard said the company had adopted a unique approach while developing the model.

"We formed a panel of customers and asked them what features they wanted and during the designing process they participated in working out the trade-offs between various features," he said.

"As a result, we ended up developing a very flexible model that can be easily customized. For example, it has a completely flat floor that helps in customizing to meet specific needs of customers," he said.

The helicopter has a glass cockpit and digital controls designed to meet the latest safety requirements and is very quiet, he said.

Talking about training institutes and maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centres that Bell is planning to set up in India, Hubbard said: "We hope to select our Indian partners by early next year."
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:28 PM   #634
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Aircraft maintenance has $1-bn business potential in India


SINGAPORE: Indian aviation industry may be going through turbulent weather, yet experts see a growing potential for the maintenance, repair and over
haul (MRO) segment of the industry, with projected revenue of $1.07 billion by 2013.

Many companies, including Boeing in a tie-up with the state-run Air India, have announced joint ventures in MRO business and others are waiting in the wings for the government to address some tax issues to jump into the market, the experts added.

Speaking during an MRO Asia symposium here, C.S. Tomar, vice president of engineering and maintenance for Kingfisher Airlines, said the MRO market in the country was currently valued at $405 million with a potential for $1.6 billion by 2018.

"It makes economical sense for us to set up an MRO facility," Sitham Nadarajah, vice president for technical development with Jet Airways, told IANS. "With volumes increasing, we will be looking at D-checks for narrow bodied aircraft like Boeing-737s."

The D-checks are done on aircraft every four-five years, during which the aircraft is completely stripped, checked and then restored.

With India's current fleet of 907 including helicopters, business jets and 395 commercial aircraft, it makes a business case for the MRO industry, the experts said, adding some issues remained to make it a more viable proposition.

"To many, India is still a black hole and yet to be understood," said Bharat Malkani, chief executive of MaxAerospace, a leading private sector MRO provider since 1994, providing support to all the major commercial airlines and aircraft operators in India and the Middle East.

With aviation infrastructure in the process of being ramped up, MRO providers said the high cost of entry into the Indian market, especially on account of high taxes, was proving to be the main barrier.

They said if repairs, for example, were undertaken outside the country, it was not subject to service tax or value-added tax. Since India is still in the development phase of offering a good MRO base, most Indian airlines go abroad to get their aircraft maintained, they added.

"We are being penalized for being Indian as we are charged taxes; companies abroad are not," said Malkani, whose engineering facility is located in Mumbai, supporting a variety of aircraft and components.

Recently, Lufthansa Technik, one of the world's largest MROs that had tied up with the Hyderabad International Airport, pulled out, saying high taxes were making it too expensive for it to operate in India.

"Taxation is a finance ministry matter," said R.K Maheshwary, deputy director general at industry watchdog in India, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

Yet, things are moving in the domain.

Recently, the National Aviation Company of India, the company that owns Air India, and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company, or EADS that owns Airbus, signed a joint venture agreement in the area.

They have proposed that their 50:50 aircraft MRO centre at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in India's national capital with an investment of $40 million will start its operations from early 2009.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:29 PM   #635
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Qatar Airways says India remains hot market


NEW DELHI: Leading Gulf carrier Qatar Airways Wednesday said India remained an important market not just for its civil aviation operations but also
as the principal source for manpower, including crew and other trained staff.

The airline also said it hoped to put an Airbus-380 aircraft - out of five expected to be delivered beginning 2010 - on the India route, since it was among the most promising countries for expansion.

"Forty percent of our team is from India. Since we cater to a wide variety of countries, our crew should be able to speak multiple languages," said Naveen Chawla, the regional manager for India with the Qatari carrier.

"We will continue to keep adding people, as the current global turmoil has not affected our operations. Our passenger load factor remains very healthy," Chawla told reporters here, outlining the carrier's expansion plans for the US.

"Qatar Airways has one of the most successful operations in India."

The executive said his airline was a "network carrier" where the focus was on wooing transit passengers through their hub in Doha, rather than point-to-point operations. "This is the main reason our operations have not been affected."

He said Kozhikode in Kerala was recently added as the ninth destination in India to result in as many as 58 flights a week from the country with early morning arrivals in Doha for convenient onward connections to the US.

Chawla said while excellent connectivity was already being offered to New York and Washington, March next year will see the addition of Houston in Texas, also called the energy capital of the US.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:30 PM   #636
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Egypt Air to add weekly flight from Mumbai


MUMBAI: When the times are not so good for aviation industry globally and specially for India, Egypt Air has planned to increase its India operations
with the addition of a new flight from Mumbai from October 28.

With this, Egypt Air will operate four weekly services between India and Egypt, a press release issued here stated today.

The airline's India & Sri Lanka's Regional Manager Ahmed Wasfy said that "the introduction of this new service is a sign of our confidence in the tremendous potential of India as an emerging source market.

"The flight enhancement from Mumbai for the current winter schedule is planned keeping in perspective the increasing passenger traffic movement from Mumbai to Cairo and also for stopover passengers on their onward connection to major cities in Europe, the US, Middle-East and Africa".

The enhanced service MS 969 will operate every Wednesday between Mumbai and Cairo while the return flight from Cairo will operate every Tuesday.

The airline will be operating Airbus 330 on this sector with a seat capacity of 268 out of which business class will constitute 24 seats and economy class 244 seats, the release said.

Egypt Air will now fly every Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from Mumbai offering an overall total seat capacity of 1,072, which will include a total of 96 business seats and 976 economy seats per week.
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 07:52 AM   #637
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Condé Nast Traveler Readers Vote Jet Airways As One Of The World's Top Three Airlines

The FINANCIAL -- At a ceremony at New York’s Public Library recently, Condé Nast Traveler one of the world’s leading high end travel magazine, announced that Jet Airways has been selected as one of the top three airlines in the world in its 2008 Readers Choice Awards survey.

Jet Airways, India’s leading international airline, launched North American service last summer from Mumbai/Delhi to New York’s JFK and Newark airports – adding Toronto Pearson International and San Francisco International airports within the past year.



Upon hearing of the Condé Nast Traveler selection, Naresh Goyal – Chairman and Founder of Jet Airways – expressed his delight, saying: “When we started transatlantic service, one of my goals was to be recognized as one of the world’s top airlines within 5 years. Within 18 months, readers of Condé Nast Traveler – one of the world’s most prestigious magazines -- have reached that conclusion. It is extremely gratifying that our dedication to quality and excellence has been recognized so quickly in the North American market. We will continue to devote all our energies to exceeding expectations and ensuring the best travel experience for all passengers.”

http://finchannel.com/index.php?opti...22442&Itemid=4
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Old October 27th, 2008, 06:43 AM   #638
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Qatar Airways to launch flights to NY from 9 Indian cities

(MENAFN - Bahrain Tribune) Qatar Airways will launch flights to New York this month, offering one-stop service to passengers from nine destinations in India, a senior airline official announced yesterday.

The daily Doha-New York non-stop flight will be launched on October 26, the airline's regional manager in India Naveen Chawla said here.

"Operating via Doha, the new flights to New York JFK Airport will offer passengers one of the quickest and most convenient journeys to America's financial capital," he said.

The daily flights to New York will replace the existing six-flights-a-week to Newark Liberty International Airport via Geneva. The airlines will operate Boeing 777-300 on the new route featuring 335 seats in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in business and 293 in economy.

The airline also plans to launch flights to Houston, Texas from March 30, 2009. "This will connect America's energy capital Houston with Doha, which is the energy capital of the Middle East," he said.

This will be Qatar Airways' third destination in the US. It already operates daily non-stop flights to Washington.

The airlines currently operate 58 flights a week from nine cities in India with early morning arrivals in Doha and onward connection to the US.

Qatar Airways operates daily services from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Kozhikoda and twice-a-week service from Nagpur. The average load factor from these destinations is over 75 per cent, Chawla said.

With 63 aircraft in its fleet, Qatar Airways operates services to 83 destinations worldwide.

http://www.menafn.com/qn_news_story_...yId=1093217464
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Old October 29th, 2008, 12:25 PM   #639
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Air India, Saudi Airlines to fly Haj pilgrims from Oct 30


New Delhi 27 October 2008 : More than 120,000 Haj pilgrims from India will travel to Jeddah on two airliners - India's flagship carrier, Air India, and Saudi Airlines, a Gulf air carrier, - from 17 Indian cities from Oct 30, an airline official said Friday.

While Air India will fly 63,511 pilgrims, Saudi Airlines will carry 59,700 pilgrims.

Executive director and spokesperson of Air India Jitender Bhargava told IANS Friday that Air India would ferry the pilgrims on 400 flights.

The airlines will have an equal number of flights back from Jeddah to India after the Haj. The entire process is expected to end by Jan 12 next year.

The government has allowed 123,211 Haj pilgrimage this year. While Haj pilgrims were flown to Jeddah from 15 cities last year, two more destinations have been added this year. These include Aurangabad and Indore.

The Haj pilgrimage is the major annual event where millions of Muslim pilgrims from all over the world arrive in Jeddah on their way to Makkah. Haj is one of the five tenets of Islam and is every Muslim's desire to perform Haj at least once in his lifetime.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 12:27 PM   #640
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Does India need the Maharaja?


The two largest private players in Indian aviation, Jet Airways and Kingfisher, have become unlikely bedfellows in a bid to stem haemorrhaging cash flows. The Federation of Indian Airlines has now approached the government for a $1 billion bailout package.

The turmoil in the private sector should not make us forget the mess the state-run airline finds itself in. The flag carrier Air India has also approached the government for a substantial lifeline. Reports indicate the carrier is looking for one-third of a billion dollars in fresh capital and an equal amount in working capital loans. However, attempts by Raghu Menon, the chairman and managing director of the National Aviation Co. of India, to shed 15,000 employees through an unpaid leave scheme seems to have been scuttled by the government.

While minister for civil aviation Praful Patel seems intent on setting things right with the state airline, a pertinent question has been overlooked: Does India need a state-run airline in the first place?
State enterprises are expected to justify their existence by helping do a few things: meet social obligation, protect national security, prevent market inefficiencies and even, on the rare occasion, turn a profit.

It is doubtful if the Air India-Indian combine currently performs any of those functions. Whenever thrown into competition with private players, the state-run airline has consistently lost business—Jet Airways took just 10 years to overtake 40-year-old Indian Airlines in domestic market share. And its service performance has been nothing to write home about either. Everyone from stand-up comedian Russell Peters to that remarkably astute vehicle of social commentary, The Simpsons television show, has generated laughs at the expense of our state airline.

With private players struggling to make money, it is reasonable to assume that neither will Air India. Perhaps Patel would do well to re-evaluate the need for a state enterprise in a business that is only meant for those with deep pockets. If an outright phasing out of Air India sounds too drastic, perhaps re-jigging the whole business along the lines of the more efficient low-cost Air India Express model might be a more popular compromise.
Does India really need a state-run airline anymore? Tell us, at [email protected]
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