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Old April 27th, 2005, 02:37 PM   #101
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Civil aviation authorities from Oman and India start talks
27 April 2005

NEW DELHI, April 27 Asia Pulse - Civil aviation authorities from Oman and India started talks in New Delhi Tuesday, aiming to discuss the regulation of air transport services between the two countries. The two sides will examine the possibility of the Omani side obtaining operating points to other airports in India.

* Also on the agenda will be a possible increase in the number of flights currently permitted to both sides and allowing the recently emerged New Indian Company to operate flights to Muscat.

* Currently Oman Air and Air India each utilize 2,700 seats to Muscat, while Gulf Air utilizes 10,967 seats to Oman, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
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Old April 27th, 2005, 02:43 PM   #102
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Straits Times page 14-15!
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Old April 28th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #103
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28 April 2005

Airbus "astonished" by Air India's decision to buy yet-to-fly jet


NEW DELHI : European Aircraft giant Airbus Industrie has cried foul over state-run Air India's decision to buy 50 Boeing jets, saying it was denied a chance to show off its new A380 superjumbo, as analysts said politics influenced the decision.

Airbus urged the Indian government to order a new tender after Air India approved Tuesday the purchase of up to 50 Boeing planes worth seven billion dollars, the US plane-maker's second big win this week.

Air India's purchase decision capped a year of high-profile lobbying by Boeing and Airbus executives and politicians from the United States and Europe.

"We are not disappointed, but astonished. We were not given fair and equal treatment," Harwood Airbus Industrie vice president Nigel Harwood said.

He said he would write to India's civil aviation ministry seeking reconsideration of Air India's approval of the decision to purchase the craft, including the yet-to-fly B787 Dreamliner, and ask for fresh tenders.

Purchase of the Dreamliner, Boeing's vision of the next major trend in air travel, is subject to federal government approval.

"The B787 is still on the drawing board. No one knows its performance capability," Kiran Rao, chief of Airbus Industrie in India, told AFP late Wednesday.

"Delivery dates for B787 are still unknown. Airbus can't understand why the A380 was ignored when this was the only aircraft that shows profitability on long-range and ultra-long range routes," he added.

Harwood said Airbus got no chance to make a presentation on its double-decker A380, the world's biggest passenger plane which had its maiden test flight Wednesday near Toulouse, France.

"We were not given a chance to make a presentation on A380 whereas Boeing made their case on B787s, which will not fly before 2007. That goes contrary to tender conditionalities," the Press Trust of India quoted Harwood as saying.

"Only Airbus could have delivered all the aircraft in the timeframe" demanded by the state-run carrier in its own tender," Harwood said.

An Air India spokesman rejected Airbus's statements, saying while Boeing, General Electric and others made presentations, Airbus "at no stage made use of this opportunity."

Analysts, meanwhile, said the decision may have been influenced by politics as India hopes it will lead to high-technology sales from other US firms and win US support on New Delhi's bid for a seat on the UN Security Council.

"India has made the United States happy with the Air India contract after it pleased the European Union last year with the Indian Airlines order," said professor Brahma Chellaney of the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi.

Chellaney said the deal was part of a strategy to present a picture of healthy India-US relations which have been growing in the last few years.

"Such huge contracts are decided at the political level and that's what has happened this time too," Chellaney told AFP.

Air India said it wants to buy eight B777-200 LR, 15 B777-300 ER and 27 B787 Dreamliner medium-capacity, long-range aircraft. Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said Tuesday it would trust the company's board on which plane it wants.

"There will undoubtedly be much speculation as to why Air India chose Boeing over Airbus," said Elizabeth Mills, an analyst with Global Insight in Britain.

"The government has been keen to distance itself from the deal, arguing it has no involvement with the company, but the links India has with the US in terms of defence and more recently as a result of a new open-skies agreement may have had some impact."

Mills and Chellaney also noted the choice of Boeing may be an attempt by India to balance relations between Europe and the United States after domestic state-run carrier Indian Airlines gave Airbus the order to supply 43 aircraft.

An aviation expert, however, said it was the Dreamliner's specifications that tilted the order in favour of Boeing which also won a five-billion dollar wide-body jet order this week from Air Canada.

Airbus was a strong contender for the Air India order given its capacity to fly around 550 passengers on long-haul flights.

But the smaller Dreamliner, although two years away from its first flight, "is an exceptional aircraft as it has the latest technology, high passenger comfort and offers great economic value from fuel efficiency," Hormuz P. Mama, editor of International Aerospace Magazine.

"Air India has taken the right decision to meet its long-term requirements as the Dreamliner will cost less money once you fly it," Mama said. Boeing has said the Dreamliner will help Air-India save 300 million dollars annually.

At the same time, Mama said, "it will also help boost India-US relations."
- AFP/ir

Copyright © 2005 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.
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Old April 28th, 2005, 06:27 PM   #104
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I said so! Its a political conspiracy!!!
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Old April 29th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #105
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Air India dreams long, not big
CHIDANAND RAJGHATTA
INDIA TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2005 03:24:58 PM ]

SEATTLE: Air India's decision to buy nearly $7 billion worth of planes from the American firm Boeing instead of from its European rival Airbus stems from their differing vision on the future of aviation - is bigger better than quicker?

Room, or vroom? Hub or spoke? Delhi/Mumbai or Bangalore/Hyderabad?

Look at it this way. The Airbus A380 Super Jumbo, the roomiest passenger jet ever built, is great for what airline experts call the hub-and-spoke routing - say London to Mumbai.

You can load anywhere from 555 to 800 passengers on one of these humongous beasts, disgorge them in Mumbai, from where, if they need to, they take connecting flights to hotspots such as Bangalore or Hyderabad.

But Boeing has a different idea. It is betting on more and more people wanting to fly directly to cities such as Bangalore and Hyderabad (or Chengdu or Xian in China) without having to go through hubs such as Beijing or Delhi.

So their emphasis is on smaller planes with lesser passenger capacity but with a longer range - as much as 18 hours non-stop - so that San Francisco-Bangalore becomes a possibility. Plus an emphasis on economy.

Almost to the hour Airbus was cranking up its Super Jumbo A380 for a trial flight on Tuesday, a Boeing official led this correspondent into a mock-up in the Seattle suburb of Renton of what the US company calls its Dreamliner - the proposed Boeing 787 - a plane he says will bring about a drastic change in the flying experience.

You feel it as soon as you enter the cabin, where diodes emit flouroscent blue light makes the plane feel capacious. It's a different architectural experience, explains Boeing executive Gregory Russell - wider cabin, wider seats, wider aisles, large luggage racks, bigger windows (with no shutter), and bless their souls, large loos...

But for the beleaguered airline industry, the compelling aesthetics are not half as exciting as the plane's physical attributes (after all the double-decker Airbus 380 boasts of a lounge, bar etc).

According to Boeing, the Dreamliner , made from 50 per cent composites (compared to less than 20 per cent typically), will be 20 per cent more fuel efficient, will have 20 per cent lesser emissions, and will have a 10 per cent better cash per seat mile costs than peer airplanes.

It's the kind of languages airline love to hear in this season of unremittingly high oil prices and increasing environmental conscience.

Which is why Air India took the bait by ordering 27 Dreamliners - in addition to 23 777s - even though the plane is still in a mock-up stage while the A380 is flapping around, a decision that has Airbus executives all steamed up and crying foul.

But then again, there is the small issue of India-US business and strategic relations.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 12:26 AM   #106
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Thursday April 28, 9:12 PM
India's first international budget airline to begin service to Middle East

AP - Air-India Express, the country's first international budget airline, will launch its services Friday with an inaugural flight from southern India's Trivandrum to Abu Dhabi, an airline official said.

India's flag-carrier Air India has launched the low-cost subsidiary with fares that are 20 percent to 40 percent cheaper than existing offers on other airlines.

The basic fare on Air-India Express from Trivandrum to Abu Dhabi is 3,250 rupees (US$74) and from Bombay to Dubai is 2,750 rupees (US$62) per ticket.

"Our objective is to make travel affordable and spur growth," said Air India spokesman Jeetendra Bhargava. "The earlier you buy your ticket, the cheaper the fare."

The airline will operate 40 services a week from five Indian cities _ Trivandrum, Cochin, Calicut, Delhi and Bombay to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates and Muscat and Salalah in Oman.

Bhargava said unlike no-frills airlines abroad, Air-India Express would provide free snacks, juice and water, but travelers would have to pay for alcoholic drinks.

Only 14 million Indians _ a tiny fraction of the country's billion-plus population _ fly each year. But due to rapid economic growth, India's aviation market is growing at about 25 percent per year.

The country's first budget airline, Air Deccan, began operations two years ago to connect India's main cities at prices as low as a third of the cheapest fare on full-service airlines.

Air Deccan's success encouraged more entrants. Budget carriers Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet are to begin services in May.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:46 PM   #107
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Can Bangalore do a Hong Kong?
PERCY FERNANDEZ
29 April 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: Will the new international airport to come up in Bangalore by 2008 be able to take flight to the top slot?

What is it that can set this airport apart, and make it match the standards of the best international airports and lounges, and make it attract tourists over and over again?

Perhaps it needs to study the world's top five airports at Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Munich and Japan - rated the best in a survey by Skytrax, a London-based airline and airport research firm.

Bangalore will have to study their public transit, Internet and terminal signage systems, and communication skills of the staff.

It will also have to study their ambience, cleanliness, and entertainment, shopping and dining options.

However, some things that Indian authorities do plan include upmarket shopping areas, multi-cuisine restaurants, play areas, daycare centres, expressways and linking roads.

The airport will cover an area of 4,050 acres in Devanahalli, about 34 kms from Bangalore, and handle 4.5 million passengers and 1.4 lakh tones of cargo each year.

Here's inside view of the world's best five airports:

Hong Kong International
Floor-to-ceiling windows at the world's best airport offer fantastic views of the Hong Kong Bay. Efficient passenger-flow systems make connections easy. Express transportation shuttles passengers downtown in 23 minutes.

The airport has a beauty salon, tax-free shopping options and the Regal Airport Hotel, rated the best in the Asia-Pacific region.

Changi Airport, Singapore
The enclosed Singapore Changi Airport features a rooftop swimming pool, a free 24-hour movie theatre and beautiful orchids throughout its two terminals.

It is known for rendering good services in immigration and security processing.

Incheon airport, Seoul
The spacious single-terminal layout of this South Korean airport makes it quick and easy to navigate through.

Incheon Airport's cleanliness is "almost unmatched". It provides extensive shopping options and many internet access points.

Munich International
Respondents say this German airport is well planned. Speed of passenger processing, ease of transfers and small distances between gates go in its favour.

Kansai Airport, Japan
This Osaka airport, say Skytrax respondents, provides the "best-quality airport experience." That's largely due to efficient processing of passengers through security and immigration checkpoints. Wi-Fi is available throughout the airport, and a five-star hotel is connected to the main terminal.
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Old April 29th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #108
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I'm sure we can see some new airport in India soon..........just look at the number of new airports in China......
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Old April 29th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #109
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Airbus to appeal against Boeing winning Air India order
29 April 2005

FRANKFURT (AFX) - Airbus Industrie will appeal to India's Air Transport ministry against Air India's decision to award Boeing Co a 300 bln rupee order for 50 aircraft, an Airbus spokesman told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Airbus yesterday said it was 'astonished' at state-run Air India's decision to purchase 50 Boeing aircraft while denying Airbus a chance to present its new A380, Press Trust of India reported.

The Indian news agency quoted Airbus vice president Nigel Harwood as saying his company was not given a chance to give a presentation of its double-decker A380 superjumbo, the world's biggest passenger plane, which completed its first test flight on Wednesday near Toulouse, France.

The Boeing deal is subject to Indian federal government approval.

Airbus is a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
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Old April 29th, 2005, 10:59 PM   #110
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Air India budget carrier launches inaugural flight to Abhu Dhabi
29 April 2005

NEW DELHI (AFX) - State-run Air India's new budget carrier took off on its inaugural flight to Abhu Dhabi, becoming the first Indian low-cost airline among a host of others planning to fly out of the country.

Indian Aviation Minister Praful Patel waved off the no-frills flight from the southern Indian city of Trivandrum in Kerala state from where many Indians travel to the Middle East for work.

The fully-owned subsidiary of Air India, Air India Express, initially plans to operate 40 flights from India to Gulf destinations. It will expand the service to Southeast Asian cities such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta next year after more aircraft are added to its fleet.

The price of a ticket to Abhu Dhabi from Trivandrum is roughly 6,500 rupees, 25 to 30 pct lower than fares on full-service airlines.

Around 2.4 mln Indian passengers fly each year to the Gulf.

'This service will be very successful. Low-cost is the future for airlines, especially flying to destinations that can be reached within three hours,' said Subhash Goyal, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.

The number of air travelers in India jumped 26.5 pct in the six months to March 2005 to 18.52 mln.

Air India Express will face competition from such carriers as Air Deccan, owned by a former Indian Air Force pilot, and Kingfisher Airlines owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Many of these airlines are looking at flights to international destinations following a government decision to open up long-haul routes to private carriers from this year. Previously, only state-owned Indian carriers were allowed to fly overseas.

Air India Express will also face competition from low-cost Gulf-based airlines.

Air India Express will have an initial fleet of three Boeing 737-800 planes and will operate 40 weekly services to the Gulf including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Al Ain, the airline said.

It will fly from five Indian cities including Trivandrum, Kochi and Kozhikode in the south, the Indian capital New Delhi and financial hub Bombay.

To cut costs, the airline is selling tickets online tickets although they can also still be bought at airline offices.

Air India's board approved this week the purchase of 50 long-range Boeing aircraft to revamp its ageing fleet to win new customers and expand operations.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:51 AM   #111
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Plane truth: Japan doubles flights to India
Krishna Kant
30 April 2005
The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Taking a leaf out of China, the US and the UK, who are aggressively seeking direct air connections with India, Japan is doubling the direct flights between the two countries.

Japan's second largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), plans to start a daily service between Delhi and Tokyo, which will double the direct flights between the two countries.

Currently, Air India and Japan Airlines operate direct flights between the two countries. Majority of the passengers on the sector, however, have to take a detour via third country airports such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok due to paucity of direct connections.

For ANA, it will be its second innings in India. ANA operated for six years in India before withdrawing in the aftermath of September 11, which led to a sharp decline in international passenger traffic across the globe.

The Japanese airline now envisages a rapid increase in passenger traffic in view of a likely expansion in the business ties between the two countries. At present, the India-Japan route is one of the least crowded major international air sector.

Last year, less than one lakh Japanese visited India, while Indians taking a flight to Japan was around 25,000.

Against this, close to 17m Japanese travelled abroad, while an estimated 6m Indians went abroad last year.

"As opposed to other South-east Asian countries, who are aggressively marketing their tourist destinations in India, Japan has not made much attempt to woo Indian tourists," lamented Subhash Goyal, chairman of Stic Travels.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 02:53 AM   #112
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Growing affluence driving the urge to travel
Amrit Dhillon in New Delhi
30 April 2005
South China Morning Post

Indians are travelling more than ever at home and abroad these days, as growing prosperity fills their pockets with more money. Last year, for instance, the number of domestic tourists soared to 320 million.

Indians traditionally travelled only to pilgrimage centres around the country. Now they are travelling purely for leisure and becoming more adventurous.

Where once the middle class used to escape the summer heat by driving up to the hills, they now fly to Switzerland - a big favourite where Indians have emerged as the second-biggest spenders after the Japanese - or other European cities. Others head for Bangkok, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

Cheaper fares nowadays being offered by international and domestic airlines are one reason for the surge in travel. It is often just as expensive for an Indian to fly to Bangkok, for example, as it is to fly from New Delhi to Mumbai.

"International air fares from India are at a record low, which means we will see more Indians opting for an overseas vacation rather than a domestic one," said Kapil Kaul, senior vice-president of the newly opened India office of the Centre for Asia-Pacific Aviation, an Australian consultancy group.

The trend is set to continue with Indian airlines - for the first time - being allowed to fly on Southeast Asian and European routes. Jet Airways and Air Sahara, meanwhile, are offering budget fares that will push travel even further.

Domestic tourism is also growing. The average hotel occupancy rate in India has been about 85 per cent this year, despite higher tariffs than last year. While corporate travellers make up the bulk, the tourism industry expects more leisure tourists in the coming months.

As more budget hotels open, experts see a jump in local tourism.

"With young affluent Indians planning regular but short breaks every two to three months, demand for budget hotels is going to boom," said Sunil Mathur, chief operating officer of the budget hotel chain, Choice Hotels India.
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Old April 30th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #113
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Business Times - 30 Apr 2005

India's first int'l LCC takes flight


(NEW DELHI) India's first international budget airline launched service yesterday, making its maiden flight from the southern city of Trivandrum to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The service is operated by state-run Air-India's new budget carrier. It is the first Indian low-cost airline among a host of others planning to fly out of the country.

Indian Aviation Minister Praful Patel waved off the no-frills flight from the capital city of Kerala state.

The fully-owned subsidiary of Air-India, Air-India Express, plans to operate 40 flights from India to Gulf destinations.

By next year, it will expand the service to South-east Asian cities such as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta after more aircraft are added to its fleet.

Fares on Air-India Express are roughly 6,500 rupees (S$245), 25 to 30 per cent cheaper than fares on full-service airlines to Abu Dhabi.

Air India spokesman Jeetendra Bhargava said the airline would provide free snacks, juice and water, but travellers would have to pay for alcoholic drinks.

The carrier hopes to attract customers from the more than three million Indians working in various Gulf countries.

'This service will be very successful. Low-cost is the future for airlines, especially flying to destinations that can be reached within three hours,' said Subhash Goyal, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators.

With India's economy growing fast, middle class Indians are now flying at home and abroad in ever-growing numbers.

The number of air travellers in India jumped 26.5 per cent in the six months to March 2005 to 18.52 million, triggering a rush of entrants into the budget airline sector.

By next year, Air-India Express will face competition from such carriers as Air Deccan, owned by a former Indian Air Force pilot, and Kingfisher Airlines owned by liquor baron Vijay Mallya.

Many of these airlines are looking at flights to international destinations following a government decision to open up long-haul routes to private carriers from this year. Previously, only state-owned Indian carriers were allowed to fly overseas.

Air-India Express will also face competition from low-cost Gulf-based airlines.

Air-India Express will have an initial fleet of three Boeing 737-800 planes and will operate 40 weekly services to the Gulf including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat and Al Ain.

It will fly from five Indian cities including Trivandrum, Kochi, Kozhikode, New Delhi and financial hub Mumbai. - AFP, AP

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved
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Old April 30th, 2005, 03:35 PM   #114
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The Statesman (India)
April 30, 2005
Another Airport for Chennai

CHENNAI, April 29. - The Centre has cleared the Tamil Nadu chief minister, Miss Jayalalitha's demand for a new international airport for Chennai similar to the airports proposed for Mumbai and New Delhi. Announcing this here today, an official press release said the Tamil Nadu government would make available for the new airport 1,457.5 acres of land on the northern side of the present international airport to the Airports Authority of India as sought by the Union civil aviation minister, Mr Praful Patel.

The release recalled that the chief minister, during her meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on 16 September last year in New Delhi, had submitted a detailed memorandum on the airport proposal. In the memorandum, she called for Chennai being included in the Centre's proposal for the construction of world-class airports at New Delhi and Mumbai.
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Old May 3rd, 2005, 01:25 PM   #115
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Business Times - 03 May 2005

Air India objects to Airbus remarks over Boeing deal


(NEW DELHI) State-run Air India yesterday strongly objected to criticism from Airbus of the bidding process in which it lost out to Boeing for the supply of 50 jets, an airline spokesman said.

The news agency Press Trust of India quoted Airbus vice-president Nigel Harwood as saying 'we were not given fair and equal treatment' and that the European plane maker had not been allowed to make a presentation about its planned mid-range A350, which is aimed at competing with Boeing's 787, which is currently under development. Air India's US$6 billion 50-plane order includes 27 Boeing 787s.

Airline spokesman Jitendra Bhargava said the decision was made after the board reviewed proposals from both Airbus and Boeing. 'Air India takes strong exception to the Airbus statement on the bidding process,' he said.

The French government has been lobbying on behalf of Airbus, and French Transportation Minister Gilles de Robien visited the Indian capital last week and met Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel.

Indian Airlines, the domestic counterpart of Air India, wants to buy 42 planes from Airbus and is waiting for government approval. - AP

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Old May 3rd, 2005, 03:25 PM   #116
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dunno,i think Airbus is pushing this to far. Airbus will get the 42-planes order from IA.

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Old May 3rd, 2005, 06:35 PM   #117
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Air-India to resume flights from Bangladesh

DHAKA, May 3 (AFP) - Air-India will resume flights from the Bangladesh capital Dhaka from June, 12 years after it stopped the service due to a lack of aircraft, officials said Tuesday.

"We've now enough aircraft and we've decided to operate six flights a week from Dhaka," A.K Mitra, Air-India's Bangladesh manager, told AFP.

The also airline plans to operate three Dhaka-Calcutta-London flights a week from June 18.

There will also be three flights each week to the United States via New Delhi. The US destinations are Chicago, Los Angeles and New York.

State-run Air-India will use its new Boeing 777 aircraft for the US route, Mitra said.

"There is huge demand for west-bound traffic from Bangladesh and it's growing every year," he added.

International air traffic from Bangladesh grew from 1.4 million passengers in 1994 to about three million last year, according to the Bangladesh Civil Aviation Authority.

Air-India will be the 17th international airline to operate flights from the country.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 01:57 AM   #118
drwho
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Kingfisher gets DGCA permit

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...0502950900.htm

Last edited by drwho; May 14th, 2005 at 09:42 PM.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 05:07 AM   #119
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SpiceJet to float $90-m FCCB issue
5 May 2005
The Times of India

NEW DELHI: SpiceJet Ltd, the born-again avatar of erstwhile Modiluft, on Wednesday announced plans to float a foreign currency issue in June to raise $90 million for part-financing its 20 aircraft purchase plan. The board of directors of SpiceJet - previously Royal Airways - on Wednesday approved the issue. "We will seek the shareholders' nod for the issue now and hope to complete the exercise by June,"SpiceJet director Ajay Singh said.

The airline is scheduled to take to the domestic skies in a no-frills avatar in mid-May with a fleet of leased Boeing 737-800 planes. "We have already taken delivery of two aircraft and the third plane will join the fleet in June. Another three will be inducted during the course of the year,"Singh said.

In addition, the airline has placed a $1.2 billion order with Boeing to purchase 20 737-800 jets, with deliveries to commence from January 2006. "The proceeds from the issue will be used to part-finance this order,"he added.

SpiceJet, which has tied up with KLM for maintenance support, plans to operate only in Category-3 sectors like Delhi-Pune, Delhi-Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad-Bangalore, Delhi-Goa and Mumbai-Ahmedabad.

The no-frills airline plans to offer fares 30-40% below the existing fares of full-service carriers in India. It said overhead costs would be kept low by selling food and beverages on-board. SpiceJet is one of nine low-cost Indian carriers which are preparing to take to the domestic skies this year.

SpiceJet hopes to make operating profit by the first half of the first year of operations, and have a positive cash flow by the end of the first year. The company's founders - Royal Holdings Services Ltd, a Nevada-based company owned by the non-resident Indian Kansagra family - hold roughly 40% of the airline.
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Old May 5th, 2005, 04:21 PM   #120
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Picture of Jet Airways first wide body aircraft, it looks nice.

http://www.skyliner-aviation.de/photos/01VTJWA.jpg
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