India debts mount to Rs 43K cr
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, December 16, 2011 (ET): Noting that Air
India is passing through a deep crisis with its total debt touching
a whopping Rs.43,000 crore, Government today expressed confidence
that it would be able to wipe out the debts with active cooperation
of management and employees. Air India has also a net loss of
Rs.18,000 crore accumulated in the past three to four years, Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar Ravi said.
Giving details of the National Carrier's indebtedness, he
said AI's outstanding loan stood at Rs.20,000 crore on account of
purchasing new aircraft and Rs.20,000 crore for taking loan for
operational purposes. However, Ravi expressed confidence that
government would be able to overcome the crisis and wipe out its
debts with the active co-operation of the management and employees.
Increase in revenue of the Airlines was the silver lining and
'objective' is to double the revenue, he said. Air India employees
has extended full support to government in resolving the problems,
he said while inaugurating the Aircraft Maintenance facility, put up
by AI here.
have cut their exposure to Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet
New Delhi, November 23, 2011: Foreign investors have cut
their exposure to the three listed Indian air carriers, Jet Airways,
Kingfisher Airlines and SpiceJet, amid concerns over escalating
operational costs because of high crude oil prices, weakening rupee
and other factors. According to stock exchange data, the holding of
the Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) declined in all the three
aviation firms during the July-September quarter of this year.
The FII holding in Jet Airways fell from 5.77 percent to 4.76
percent at the end of the July-September quarter. Market analysts
said airline stocks have become less attractive in recent past due
to high operational costs, following a surge in fuel prices and the rupee depreciation.
Airport charges at Delhi, Mumbai may go up
New Delhi, October 16, 2011 (PTI): A proposal for a big hike in landing, parking, navigation
and other charges at the Delhi and Mumbai airports is being considered
by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA) and a decision is
likely by early next year. The AERA is seeking the views of airport users, including airlines, on
the multi-year tariff proposals of Delhi International Airport Limited
(DIAL) and Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to hike airport
charges by 500-600 per cent, official sources said. If approved, flying out of the IGI airport would become costlier as the
airlines, on which this additional burden would be imposed, would pass on these costs to the passengers.
A decision on the proposal to hike airport charges, which was made by
DIAL and MIAL a few months ago, is likely to be taken by the AERA in another two-three months, they said.
The hike in airport charges has been overdue since 2001 but it would
depend on the Civil Aviation Ministry's policies, AERA decision and the
views of key stakeholders including the airlines and passenger associations, whose views were being sought, the sources said.
While airport charges like landing, parking and air navigation fees levied by the airport operators have not been revised since 2001, the
GMR and GVK led airport operators also say that Supreme Court's directive not to collect development fee from passengers has also
imposed a major financial burden. The apex court has left it to the AERA to decide on the development fee issue also.
Kingfisher airlines to exit low cost aviation
Bangalore, September 28, 2011: Kingfisher Airlines on Wednesday said that it will quit its
low cost aviation business, Kingfisher Red. Vijay Mallya, Chairman, Kingfisher Airlines said that the segment was too competitive and there
are enough passengers for a full service operation. "Kingfisher Airlines is working with a consortium of banks to further
reduce interest costs and raise working capital as the carrier looks to
restructure its fleet by selling and leasing back some of its aircraft to lower debt," Mallya said.
The cash strapped airline has never reported profits since its launch in
2006. In the last quarter, the airline had reported losses of Rs. 263.54
crore against losses of Rs. 187 crore in the corresponding quarter of
last year. Meanwhile, Mallaya also outlined plans to reduce debt and raise capital.
The company has huge debt levels, which currently stands at Rs. 6,000
crore. He said the airline was working with a consortium of banks to
further reduce interest costs and raise working capital. The airline also plans to convert part of its rupee loans into low-cost
forex loans based on existing cash flows, he said. Kingfisher had planned to raise $250-$350 million through an issue of global depositary
receipts in January, but no deal has been forthcoming. Source: Agencies
IndiGolaunches operations on Dubai-India route
Dubai, September 03, 2011: India based IndiGo rolled
out daily flights connecting Dubai with Delhi and Mumbai. The service will prove boon for a large Indian expatriate community
working in the city state. This is the first ever international route of the airline for offering low cost options for people. The
airline would provide services at much competitive rates as compared to its competitors. Round trip would cost as low as Dh816 while
flights to Delhi cost about Dh1,400 and on Indian-operated Jet Airways, Dh1,200.
Airlines is to receive notice from AAI's over dues
July 25, 2011: Kingfisher Airlines is likely to receive notice from Airports Authority of India (AAI) to expeditiously clear
its dues for non-payment of airport charges, totaling around Rs 200
crore. The AAI has received cheques from Kingfisher issued without
date totaling around Rs 130 crore, to partially settle the airline's
dues to the public sector airports operator. The company had last month paid Rs 20 crore to AAI as
part-clearance of its dues for April and May, the officials said,
adding its total dues stood around Rs 205 crore for services and
facilities rendered during the past six months. Kingfisher has been
on a 'cash- and-carry' arrangement since June one. Under this arrangement, they have to make daily payments to the airport
operator or risk having their flights cancelled as the services and facilities at the airports would not be offered to them.
AI moves govt to recover Rs 1,222 crore dues for VVIP flights
New Delhi, July 5, 2011 (PTI): Cash strapped Air India has approached the
government to recover Rs 1,222 crore dues towards operating VVIP and
special flights over the last five years and the state-owned airline may
get Rs 800 crore. In the last five years, the ailing airline operated 47 VVIP flights for
which the Boeing 747-400s were withdrawn from commercial services for a
total of 313 days, sources said today. Though Air India has billed an amount of Rs 1,222 crore for exclusive
use of five Boeing 747-400 planes for VVIP operations and evacuation
flights, the government could give the airline Rs 802 crore for the operation of three aircraft, the sources said.
The Government response is understood to have come up for discussion at
a meeting here of a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by Cabinet
Secretary A K Seth against the backdrop of the decision to infuse Rs
1,200 crore as equity in Air India. The fresh equity is expected soon.
The airline has estimated that of the total pending amount of Rs 1,222
crore, the cost of maintaining these five planes was put at Rs 866
crore, the capital expenditure including for standby aircraft was Rs 206
crore and a cash cost of Rs 150 crore. Air India was earlier paid Rs 250
crore. The national air carrier is planning to dispose off these fuel-guzzling
aircraft as these would not be viable for commercial operations, the sources said.
IndiGo set to confirm $16 bln Airbus order
LE BOURGET, France, June 21, 2011 (Reuters) - Budget carrier
IndiGo could confirm an historic $16 billion order for 180 Airbus
aircraft at the Paris Air Show on Wednesday, industry sources said.
The deal was provisionally announced in January but has been mired
in further negotiations before it could be signed and go into the Airbus order book in a boost for parent EADS.
The deal is seen as the largest commercial jet order by number of aircraft but could be eclipsed by a roughly 200-plane
order expected from AirAsia on Thursday. In January, IndiGo provisionally ordered 150 revamped A320neos, which are promising
airlines fuel savings when they enter service in 2015, as well as 30current models of the A320. The A320 is a 150-seat plane which
competes with Boeing 's 737. Both have fuelled the expansion of low-cost carriers.
600 Air India pilots strike work
Mumbai, April 27, 2011 (IANS): Around 600 Air India pilots of
the erstwhile Indian Airlines have gone on a strike to press
for their various demands, ruining the holiday plans of thousands of
passengers in the process. Six flights from Mumbai were cancelled,
official sources said Wednesday. The strike was called Tuesday
midnight. Till Wednesday morning, Air India had managed to operate
10 flights from Mumbai to various destinations with the help of executive pilots. Six flights from Mumbai to different destinations
have been cancelled due to non-availability of pilots, official sources said. The striking pilots, owing allegiance to the Indian Commercial Pilots Association of the former Indian Airlines, which
merged with Air India later, have struck work demanding parity in pay with Air India pilots and other issues related to work
India pilots announce strike from March 16
New Delhi/Mumbai, March 14, 2011 (IANS): A group of Air India pilots Monday said they will go on strike from March 16 over pay
hike and other issues."We will go strike from March 16, as the
Air India management has failed to come up with an interim solution
to our issues till now," an official of the agitating pilots
group told IANS. The official further said that the interim solution
for pay-parity would be a stop-gap solution until a committee under
a retired judge and two other members comes up with its suggestions.
Earlier, the same group of pilots had postponed their planned
strike March 9 after an initiative taken by Civil Aviation Minister
Vayalar Ravi .According to the official, the unions' patience with
the airline management was dwindling and the option for a strike,
which may cripple the already troubled national carrier, was the
only solution. "If we (pilots) decide to join some other
airline at least they will treat us with respect and proper
pay-scales," the official said. The Indian Commercial Pilots
Association (ICPA), a group of pilots from the erstwhile Indian
Airlines, now merged with flag carrier Air India, had served notice
Feb 23 for striking work from March 9.
The association claims that there were differences in
salaries and working conditions of pilots of Indian Airlines and Air
India and that the management has violated the memorandum of
settlement signed in November 2009 on implementing the sixth pay
commission recommendations. The ICPA is also demanding payment of
arrears since the date of merger of the two airlines in 2007. The
ICPA represents some 800 pilots of the erstwhile Indian Airlines.
Air India has also said that all efforts are on to stave-off the strike.
Air India aims to become India's 1st green airline in one year
New Delhi, February 15, 2011 (PTI): National air-carrier, Air India, aims to become the country's first
green airline soon having initiated the process acouple of years ago, a
senior official said. As part of this process, the airline's chairman and managing director,
Arvind Jadhav, today outlined the company's corporate environment policy
which seeks to reduce carbon emission, noise and other forms of pollution as well as reduce consumption of fuel and other natural resources.
"We are committed to go green. As a part of this process, we plan to
introduce a documentation management system and aim to go electronic
with an e-filing system to cut down on our use of paper," Air India's
quality management systems head,Harpreet A De Singh, told PTI Mumbai.
The policy provides sufficient resources to meet environmental objectives by continuous measuring, monitoring, reporting and improving
upon environmental performance. "We will implement our e-filing system in critical areas by June this
year. In about a year's time, we will implement it in the entire company," she said, adding orders have already been placed for procuring
hardware and software for the system. The airline would turn paperless except in the areas where it is is
mandatory by law, the Air India official said.
Airlines may hike airfares as fuel prices rise
MUMBAI, February 02, 2011: Airline companies are likely to
raise airfares as oil marketing companies have hiked prices of air
turbine fuel by 3.5% on Monday. Aviation analysts see an increase of
5-7% in ticket prices due to the rise in oil prices. Crude prices
eased to $92 a barrel on Tuesday. Airlines, which raised fares last
month by 100-200 on increased fuel costs, are watching the situation very closely.
"The airlines are watching the situation closely. What
we have to see is that whether hike is here to stay or is it just a
temporary spike. We will be able to assess the situation in a week's
time. But $100 mark or near that for a barrel of oil is not
something airlines would at digesting and we will have to pass on
the additional burden to consumers," said an airline official,
not wanting to be identified. Analysts feel that fare hike will
protect margins of airlines. "Airlines might pass on this hike
of 3.5% to the consumers as it would be a good strategy to do so to
protect their margins during this quarter. But the catch is that if
fuel prices still spiral upwards of $100 mark, we will see a dent in
demand in the long run," said Rashesh Shah, an analyst with
IndiGo has become the number one player in December
New Delhi, January. 24, 2011: After stunning the industry with its world-record-breaking plane order,
budget carrier IndiGo has become the number one player in December not
only in market share but also in seat occupancy. With an 18.6 per cent market share, IndiGo is first along with Vijay Mallya?s Kingfisher.
Less than two weeks ago, the budget carrier had placed an order for 180
Airbus A-320s worth a massive $15.6 billion (Rs 70,200 crore).
In seat occupancy, IndiGo part-owned by Calcutta-born Rakesh Gangwal
is first with an occupancy of 93.3 per cent on an average per flight.
Low-cost peers SpiceJet and GoAir are second and third in seat occupancy
rankings with shares of 88 and 87 per cent, respectively. Full-fare airlines did well, too, on the back of a growing economy.
National carrier Air India has reported a 79 per cent seat occupancy and
announced plans to double its fleet size to 272 in four years.
According to Anil Baijal, secretary-general of the Federation of Indian
Airlines, ?The figures do beg for more capacity to be deployed. The (passenger growth) trend data is encouraging. All airlines have cause to
look ahead and plan fleet expansion. "But the low-cost airlines will perhaps have both an incremental growth
of new flyers as well as existing fliers taking more flights," he said.
IndiGo made a profit of Rs 510 crore in the last fiscal year, while Air
India posted a monthly operating profit of Rs 22 crore in November, its
first in four years. "Low cost and full planes mean, it will be the low-cost
airlines which will rake in larger profits," said Robin Pathak, aviation analyst
former Indian Airlines director.
Air India to Double Fleet Size to 272 planes
January 16, 2010: Air India Ltd. plans to double its fleet size to
272 planes over five years in the country's fast-growing aviation
market, even as the national carrier strives to cut costs and reduce
losses. "Based on the studies our consultants have done, the
Indian aviation market will grow to 150 million passengers by 2015
from the current 72 million, and a company has to expand in a
growing market," said Gustav Baldauf, Air India's first chief operating officer. The airline, with a current fleet size of 135, plans to lease
107 planes by the end of 2015, he told Dow Jones Newswires in a
recent interview. In addition, Air India expects to take delivery of
30 planes from Boeing Co., which forms part of the 111-plane order
from Boeing and Airbus in 2005, said Mr. Baldauf, who joined the
carrier in April. Air India's plans mirror the ambitions of the
expanding Indian aviation market, which just two years ago was
crushed by high fuel prices and carriers running empty planes due to
IndiGo has placed firm orders for 180 Airbus 320 aircraft
MUMBAI, January 12, 2011: Low-cost carrier IndiGo has placed firm orders for 180 Airbus 320 aircraft
at an estimated cost of $ 15.6 billion. The order is the single largest
for jets, in terms of volume, to be ever placed in the commercial aviation history.
It is not the first time that IndiGo has placed a brow-raising order
though. The Gurgaon-based private carrier created ripples in the 2005
Paris airshow with an announcement to buy 100 A320s. Currently, the airline flies 34
A320s to 25 domestic destinations and plans to go international by August this year.
The airline signed a Memorandum of Understanding for 180 eco-efficient
Airbus A320 aircraft of which 150 will be A320 NEO, said an Airbus spokesperson adding that the order was the largest in history. The A320
New Engine Option or NEO runs more efficient engines will be available
from 2016 onwards. The aircraft has specially designed wing tips -- called Sharklets by Airbus -- that will reduce the aerodynamic drag
which develops at the wingtips of a moving aircraft in the form of vortices. Sharklets will lad to fuel savings of up to 15 percent, which
is up to 3,600 tonnes of CO2 annually per aircraft, says Airbus. The Neo
will also provide a double-digit reduction in nitrogen oxides and will have a reduced engine noise.
"This order for industry leading fuel efficient aircraft will allow
IndiGo to continue to offer low fares," said Rakesh Gangwal and Rahul
Bhatia, co-founders of IndiGo. "Ordering more A320s was the natural choice to meet India's growing flying needs. The opportunity to reduce
costs and to further improve our environmental performance through the
A320neo were key to our decision." John Leahy, Airbus, Chief Operating
Officer Customers said: ``The A320 NEO, offering maximum benefit for
minimum change, will ensure that this continues to be the case for many
years to come. This order positions IndiGo to take full advantage of the
predicted growth in Indian air travel." The A320NEO will have over 95%
airframe commonality with the A320 family while offering up to 500nm
(950 km) more range or two tonnes more payload. Source: Times of India