Air India flew its Boeing 777 aircraft over the North pole to become the first Indian airline to operate commercial flights overflying the polar region. Its Delhi-San Francisco flight, which usually overflies the Atlantic or the Pacific ocean, cut across latitudes instead on Thursday to fly over zero degree north in a feat that would probably be Air India's last hurrah before it is thrown into the throes of privatisation.
A trial run for using facial-based biometrics to board domestic flights will soon start at IGI Airport.
Air India San Francisco-Delhi service AI 184 was winging its way to Delhi when the pilots of this flight — one of the longest nonstops globally — got a surprise message on Tuesday morning: “Pakistan airspace open for overflying.”AI, which has been losing crores daily due to the airspace closure since February 27 and its flights to and from the west taking long routes, acted swiftly.
India now has a state-of-the-art 'air traffic flow management - central command centre' (C-ATFM) that will optimise utilisation of resources like airspace and aircraft at capacity-constrained Indian airports.
Next summer, from your window seat you could watch another aircraft make a parallel landing at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport alongside your flight.Common enough abroad in places like San Francisco, it is only now in India that the Airports Authority of India intends to have parallel operations on IGIA’s runways.
As the only Indian carrier that flies to Europe and the US, AI is the worst affected airline. It could lose another 100 crore this month until the ban is lifted. AI has already suffered a 372-crore hit in extra expenses and revenue lost on cancelled or curtailed flights. That’s about 6 crore daily. Air India's (AI) nonstop flights between Delhi and the US are now taking a fuelling stop that adds about three hours to the flight length. AI is routing flights over Mumbai and Ahmedabad, and then turning over the Arabian Sea to head to Muscat and then fly to their destination. The detour adds 1.5 hours to flights to Europe and an hour to flights to Dubai.
The airline is believed to now be operating just 16 planes out of a fleet of 119. That is below the 20 required by Indian aviation regulators to fly overseas. Thousands of customers have been stranded in recent weeks after hundreds of flights were cancelled, in some cases with little or no notice. All of Jet's long-haul flights were cancelled on Thursday, including to London, Paris and Amsterdam. They were due to run later on Friday. Thursday and Friday services to Colombo and Singapore were also cancelled.
Naresh Goyal's rags-to-riches story started when he came to Delhi in 1967 as a penniless 18-year-old, after his family in Patiala faced such hard times that even two meals a day were often a struggle. From there, he learned the ways of the world and reached a position where government policies on aviation were seen to be tailored according to his requirement.Now, another twist in fate has taken him out of Jet 28 years after launching the airline, and whether he or his family can make a comeback remains to be seen.
On the first week of March, civil aviation minister Arif Mohammed Khan ordered the grounding of 14 Airbus A-320 aircraft operated by the erstwhile Indian airlines. This was a unilateral decision taken by the Indian government after Indian Airlines flight 605 from Mumbai to Bengalurucrashed into a golf course on February 14, killing 92 of the 146 people on board. It was the second crash involving the aircraft after the crash of Air France's A-320 operating a chartered flight in 1988. It raised the questions on the Rajiv Gandhi government's purchase of the aircraft which had cost Rs 2,400 crore.
Air India crew will now say "Jai Hind" after every inflight announcement. Air India's director operations, Captain Amitabh Singh, has issued a company advisory saying "with immediate effect, all are required to announce "Jai Hind" at the end of every announcement after a slight pause and with much fervour". The decision is learnt to have been taken at the behest of Air India chairman Ashwani Lohani.
The rising fares have put brakes on the massive air traffic growth the country was seeing in recent years. The 11% growth in domestic air travel of November 2018 over November 2017 was the lowest year-on-year (YoY) increase recorded in India for the last 51 months. While to be sure domestic air travel has seen over 52 months of consecutive growth, the percentage is slowing down.
The coalition of two governments and two aircraft makers -- British Aircraft Corporation (now BAE Systems) and Sud-Aviation, a precursor to Airbus -- had encountered a series of hurdles and differences. Even the aircraft's name, which means "agreement" in both languages, was a sticking point: English-style "Concord" or "Concorde" in French? Britain's technology minister Tony Benn settled the dispute in 1967, keeping the "e" for "excellence", "England", "Europe" and "Entente cordiale", as he said. For Concorde's maiden flight, Turcat manoeuvred just a simple loop above the Garonne river at reduced speed and with the plane's landing gear out.
Hundreds of passengers throughout Europe have been stranded by the abrupt collapse of the British regional airline Flybmi. British Midland Regional Limited, which operates as Flybmi, said it's filing for administration, a British version of bankruptcy because of higher fuel costs and uncertainty caused by Britain's upcoming departure from the European Union.
The two new Boeing 777 being retrofitted to be the future VVIP long haul aircraft for India will have the world’s most advanced security gizmos, including missile warning and counter-measure dispensing systems.The soon-to-be Air India One or Indian Air Force One (if AI if privatised) aircraft will be equipped with "large aircraft infrared countermeasures (LAIRCM) self-protection suites (SPS) for an estimated cost of $190 million”. The US State Department has approved the 'foreign military sale' of two B777 LAIRCM SPS.
Under Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways’ global sale, the airline if offering discounts for people flying from India to Abu Dhabi, US, Europe, Canada, Australia and Africa. “For the travel period of January 29 to March 29, 2019, with trips completed by May 2, 2019, guests are eligible for a discount of up to 35% on economy class tickets and up to 20% on business class tickets. For the travel period post March 30, 2019, guests can avail a 10% discount economy tickets and a discount of up to 20% on business tickets,” Etihad said in a statement. Etihad Airways currently offers 154 weekly flights from India, and these fares are applicable on flights from any of Etihad Airways’ 10 Indian gateway cities - Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram. “Etihad Airways’ guests travelling to the United States are able to pre-clear US Immigration and Customs at Abu Dhabi International Airport before boarding their US-bound flights…. (this) enables international travellers to arrive as domestic passengers in the USA avoiding lengthy immigration and customs formalities,” the airline added.
Kerala has become the first state in the country to have four international airports with the inauguration of the Kannur airport on Sunday.Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan jointly flagged off the inaugural Air India Express flight, carrying 186 passengers to Abu Dhabi, at the airport near Mattannur town in the morning.With the commissioning of the airport, the state has become the first in the country to have four international airports, with Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode being the other three.Image Credit: twitter.com/sureshpprabhu/
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