Saturday, December 15, 2007

Infrastructure development at Indian Airports...

By 2020, Indian airports are estimated to handle: 100 million passengers Including 60 million domestic passengers Cargo in the range of 3.4 million tonnes per annum. The Government’s airport modernisation plan proposes investments of US$ 9 billion by 2010. The Government plans to develop around 300 unused airstrips across India - a move that has raised projections for jets required for regional connectivity. Boeing and Airbus, along with Embraer (Brazil), Bombardier (Canada), Sukhoi (Russia), ATR (France) and BAE System (UK) are keen to tap the emerging regional jet market in the country. Increased activity in the maintenance and repair operations (MRO) sector has attracted many foreign companies. Lufthansa has tied up with GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL) to open an MRO facility for which it intends to invest US$ 23 million. Similarly, Boeing intends to invest US$ 100 million in a facility in Nagpur. With airport infrastructure being upgraded, non-aeronautical revenues (from malls, bookshops and entertainment centres) are expected to contribute almost 50 per cent to revenue of airports. Several pilot training shops are being set up across the country:

  • Airbus has decided to set up an aviation school in Bangalore to train 1,000 pilots a year
  • Rajeev Chandrasekhar's Jupiter Aviation is looking to set up a similar venture in Bangalore or Hyderabad
  • Aviation consultant Praveen Paul has set up his own aviation school
  • Deccan Aviation's venture with ATR, and Jet Airways and budget carrier UB Group planning to set up training centers.

Snapshot of Aviation Industry in India

Growing at a rate of 18 per cent annually, the Indian civil aviation market holds out great promise for potential investors into the sector. India's civil aviation ministry expects 80 million passengers by 2020. The number of air travellers increased by a record 38.5 per cent in 2006-7. India anticipates doubling of passenger traffic over the next decade. The second largest aviation industry of the world, the Indian fleet comprised 370 aircrafts by the end of the year. And growth is expected to continue apace: the Government estimates that India’s fleet will reach approximately 500-550 aircraft by the end of 2010. India's civil aviation passenger growth, at 20 per cent, is among the highest in the world. The sector is slated to cruise far ahead of other Asian giants like China or even strong economies like France and Australia. The number of passengers who will be airborne by 2020 is a whopping 400 million. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) predicts that domestic traffic will grow at 25 per cent to 30 per cent a year until 2010 and international traffic growth by 15 per cent, taking the overall market to more than 100 million passengers by the end of the decade. Indian carriers have 480 aircraft on order for delivery by 2012, which compares with a fleet size of 310 aircraft operating in the country today. the number of air travellers is about 0.8 per cent of the population. By the time even 10 per cent of the population begins to fly, India will need about 5,000 aircraft.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Jet flying in turbulent weather...

The problems for Jet Airways are incresing just like the taxes n surcharges on air tickets... it all started when Kingfisher changed its business model from being a LCC to a full service premium airline & started taking on Jet... Then came its IPO & the Jet sahres were listed above Rs. 1000 per share. But, only then its decision to acquire Air Sahara came. The market & even the department heads of Jet reacted to it very sharply (agianst the deal). Share prices tumbled by nearly 50%, which till now have not been able to touch its listed prices, many of the department heads left Jet . Every body knows the end result of the deal... Air Sahara becoming Jetlite. By that time there were so many entrants & tough competition from LCC's started eating up its profit. In the mean time, International routes were opened for Indian private carriers & Jet tried to capitalise on this oppurtunity. Jet purchased new aircrafts...exactly the same time competition came from Air India with its new image, services, planes, etc... Jet just trying to handle this situation, Kingfisher announced its acquisition of Air Deccan to directly take Jet Airways head on. As of now Jet & Kingfisher have equal market share of nearly 29% (with thier combined entities respectively). As of now, all the decisions taken by it are going against Jet's favour... but, if Jet is able to survive this turbulance, I believe that Jet will return to its earlier position not only in Indian Aviation but, it will show the same performance internationally.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bombardier Targets "Emerging Markets"

Bombardier says a major portion of its business in coming years will come from Russia, China and India as well as South Africa and Brazil. In a ceremony to launch the Challenger 605 business jet in Mumbai, company spokesman Murray Sutherland said that market opportunities move with the changing fortunes of various parts of the world and global enterprises like Bombardier move with them. "The business is so international it makes us fairly immune to problems that are specific to some countries," he told Reuters. "But it would be foolish of us to disregard high oil prices or a possible downturn in the U.S. economy." At the same time, the Indian media was revelling in the attention from the world's third largest aircraft maker. The Hindustan Times noted that Indian business is expanding "at jet's speed" and that's what has attracted Bombardier towards Indian Aviation. It quoted Bombardier's South Asia managing director Nilesh Pattanayak as saying the market is ripe for the company's products. "India is an important market for us and we expect many orders from the billion dollar club. We equate the Indian market with other emerging markets of Russia, China and Brazil where business jets are in demand."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The X factor in Indian Aviation...

The Times of India says a budget airline, which it did not identify, has rehired a pilot who lost his medical because he's suspected of being epileptic. The newspaper says the condition was spotted during an electroencephalogram (EEG) and it was reported to the pilot and the airline. The newspaper says its sources claim the pilot went to the U.S. to recertify because an EEG is not required unless there is a history of brain injury or disease. The Times says its sources assume the pilot did not mention the failed EEG during the U.S. examination and was given his medical. On his return to India, the same airline that had to let him go for the failed medical rehired him. India's director-general of civil aviation Kanu Gohain has promised to investigate. "We will look into the matter. How can he fly in India if he failed medicals here?" Gohain said. The newspaper also claims that there is a pilot flying in India on a single transplanted kidney. Whether that's a violation of medical regulations isn't clear, but the Times said it's indicative of the desperate shortage of "qualified" pilots as a new "retirement bubble" looms. "After the retirement age was increased from 60 to 65 in 2004, retirements froze for a while as 60-plus commanders continued to fly. But there will be a spate of retirements in 2009

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jab Gopinath Met Mallya...

Blogpost on Deccan Branding... plz go thru the comments on all of the articles....i found them interesting... click on title to go to the blogpost

Brand Update : Airdeccan ...

Blog post on Rebranding on Air Deccan aka...Deccan on the title to read it

Watch Out For the New Deccan - Simplifly...

A good article on Deccan's new look on Agency on the title.

Not so Simple in Simplfly Deccan...

I was jus goin thru the new look of Deccan website (which i will review soon), where i found their new resheduling & cancellation policy. In bold its written that-
  • Please note: This Rescheduling / Cancellation Policy supersedes all previous rescheduling / cancellation policies; all old rescheduling / cancellation policies will no longer be valid.

Besides this, earlier they used to refund the money if a passenger wished to cancel his/her ticket, but now they have stopped it. Now, they give a credit period of 180 days. Same as all other LCC's. Deccan was the only LCC who used to refund passenger's money. It was jus like a competitve edge for them bt, now they have lost their advantage over others.

Also, in their resheduling they have made following changes-

  • If the applicable fare (basic and surcharge) is more than the current fare, the difference amount will be charged to the passenger along with a Rescheduling Fee of Rs.500/- for either advancement / postponement of the flight.
  • If the applicable fare (basic and surcharge) is less than the current fare, the difference amount WILL NOT BE REFUNDED to the passenger and difference amount will be charged to the passenger along with a Rescheduling Fee of Rs.500/- for either advancement / postponement of the flight.

By introducing these changes in their policies Deccan has lost its edge.

It used to be a common man's airline but, no more.

A feather of Indian Aviation has been diminshed as soon as it bacame Deccan from Air Deccan.

The policy can be read @ Deccan's website or jus by clickin on the title of this post...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Spicejet Way...

The most quite n non-controversial airline "Spicejet" has made a deal with Air India. Air India will take 02 of its boeing 737-800 aircrafts on wet lease. the aircrafts will be used for Haj Pilgrimage only, the flight number will be of Air India but the logo will be of Spicejet...its a great achievement for Spicejet as it is only in its 3rd yr of operation. A setback for all those airlines who are making a lot of hoopla to fly abraod, as they dont meet the criteria required of 05 yrs experience domestic flying. It will be connecting Varanasi, Jaipur & Lucknow with Jeddah for 75 days starting this november. Indian bloggers listing
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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kingfisher Airline the surrogate brand...

Ever wondered about why the kingfisher airlines got its name ??? It could have been UB Air as, it goes effectively with the groups name. If one carefully analyzes the complete portfolio of brands available with UB group (parent company of Kingfisher Airlines) none of the brand is repeated that is none of the brand name is used for two diversified products, only kingfisher has got that honor…the big Q is why so??? Well if we talk about Kingfisher it was originally only a beer brand, the only brand which is present in more than 50 countries & which is served on 5 int’l airlines…it’s the fastest growing brand in beer segment with a growth rate of nearly 30 % where as all other beer brands in the world have growth rate of only 3%... kingfisher beer definitely has a commanding position. The beer drinkers are usually youngsters between the age of 14 to 30 yrs. these constitute of more than 50% of the world population, that means it’s a significant market to be catered. Now, the question arises what connection it has with kingfisher airlines. In many countries (including India) any sort of advertising pertaining to hard drinks are banned, to counter that & to enhance its reach kingfisher airlines was launched with a lot of fanfare, the first airline in the world which started its operations with a new aircraft, not to mention about its air hostess, the kind of service it provides… the only airline in India which has been sponsoring F1 racing even it has nothing to with it, kingfisher does not fly outside India & F1 is not in India till now… that means there is no relation between the two. The tagline for both of the brands are nearly same, “Fly with the Good Times” goes for Kingfisher Airlines & “King of Good Times” is for Kingfisher Beer. Kingfisher brand name is being played on top-of-mind concept. Only to sustain & improve the beers position in the world market Kingfisher Airlines is so desperate to fly international for which, it had to acquire a stake in Air Deccan too. Air Deccan will be completing its 5 yrs of flying in Aug. 2008 after which it can fly overseas, so Air Deccan was only choice for Kingfisher to go overseas on its back. I also feel that as & when Kingfisher will start flying overseas on its own it will back off from Air Deccan or it will take complete control of that airline. Clearly Kingfisher Airlines is a surrogate brand, i.e. Kingfisher Beer is promoted on the name of kingfisher airlines. Excellent strategy Dr. Mallaya, hats off to u… Indian bloggers listing
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Thursday, October 4, 2007

Mergers in Aviation...

Ever thought the impact of mergers that’s takin place in Indian aviation will lead to??? The rosy picture what we see is not that rosy if we analyse carefully the complete scenario. Whats the basic reason of mergers, are airlines loving to get merged in order to have some sort of benefits to them…I don’t think so, they are doin it due to compulsion, the financial compulsion. Air Deccan sold its stake to Kingfisher only due to financial crisis, Air Sahara sold only due to mounting losses (the second deal). GoAir is cutting operations, even Spicejet may also be on sale (some stake). So, whats the mergers will finally lead…it will lead to cartels. Cartels of 2-3 airlines coming together like Kingfisher – Deccan, Jet- Jetlite, Air India or even Paramount with Spicejet or GoAir , may be both on Paramounts side. The cartels then formed will lead to some kind of monopoly with big players having there own say, prices have already started to going up, they are already heading north. The big Q is the impact it will have on the passengers pocket??? Indian bloggers listing
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Sunday, September 9, 2007

Death of Low Cost Airlines from Indian Aviation…

From the time Kingfisher acquired a stake of 26% in Air Deccan, I have a gut feeling that this is the beginning of slow but, steady death of Low Cost Airlines in India. The ticket price has risen from the very next day. The colour of Aircrafts, change in attires of Airport staff etc. has been taking place. If Air Deccan dies its slow death, which I strongly feel so, then, I personally don’t think other small players will able to survive for long. Air Deccan was the largest operator in India, with touching more than 60 cities (even more than state owned Air India). If its gone than other players like Spicejet, Indigo Airlines & GoAir which do not constitute more than combined market share of 18-20%, will not be able to survive the blood bath. Next target is Spicejet for, every one from Kingfisher to Jet Airways & even Paramount is also looking for its bigger pie in the acquisition party. GoAir is already in trouble & Indigo will be left alone to wait & watch, it may also convert itself into a full service carrier. If this happens then, it will be blow for the growth of Indian Aviation, as common man may not be able to take on the sky. All blames to Ministry of Civil Aviation because, why the Jet fuel cost is rising in India, while other countries are still able to provide it much cheaper than India. Jet fuel counts nearly 35-40% of total operational cost for an Airline. Is the common mans airlines still for a common man, when the tax paid on an air ticket is Rs. 1500 & the fare is only Rs 1200 i.e. a person has to shell out Rs. 3700 in this case, which is more than triple of the fare. Due to lack of infrastructure Low Cost Airlines are not able to reduce there turn around time, which is the operational advantage for them. With all these adverse conditions how long will they be able to float them self??? Not much longer I think so… Indian bloggers listing
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Friday, August 31, 2007

The Air India Experience…

I was in Delhi on 24th & I would not like to discuss how I landed in Delhi, it was complete chaos for me… but, ya sure about my return flight to B’lore. I decided to fly by Air India (Indian), really a brave decision 4 me due, to all my previous experiences with the airline bt, I had made my mind for that. I flew with Air India, Delhi – Bangalore, 30th Aug., IC-403. I went to Airport counter on Sunday 26th to buy my tickets… the counter (with new Air India logo) was nearly empty with a short ‘Q’. my turn came n I asked for the 1630 hrs flight, the gentleman over there was a little confused stood up, strolled here n there for a few minutes changed his counter then, asked me to come over to that counter. Not a big deal 4 me n the whole ‘Q’ (although the short 1) shifted its counter. I again told my details etc. n asked for the cost, he said go to cash counter n pay…he he he… I went to cash counter n paid whatever I was asked to.
  • (fare- Rs. 3200 tax- Rs. 225+1100 = total Rs. 4525).

Luckily I checked the fare frm its site. Well this, a fair experience for me coz I know it works like this only…I dnt have much expectations frm it. on my scheduled date by 3 pm I was @ airport. Went to check-in counter n asked 4 aisle seat (this time also, very short ‘Q’, may b coz @ dat time there’s no rush). To my surprise I was awarded aisle seat, seat no. 10C (twice before, I asked 4 my preferences bt, was declined so I nvr I asked again, bt this time I jus did it). Everything went on smoothly, @ 1600 hrs passengers were asked to board the plane (hey, on-time). Now, the real experience was there, the plane was latest1. Aircraft registration no. VT-PPA (if I remember properly), which was delivered to IAL in July itself, (confirmed frm DGCA website). The aircraft was A-321, a 172 seater aircraft. Only 1 aircraft in its fleet ill now. “Air India” written on the plane. Entered the aircraft, saw the seats in economy class, enough leg-space, personalized TV screen. Flight took off nearly on scheduled time, flight time announced as 2.15 hrs for the flight. I will not bore u with wat they in snacks, it was as usual, bt, improved than b4. I would rather like to inform u abt the personalized TV, a touch-screen (can b operated frm handrest) 12 audio & video channels each.

  • Video channels - 02 channels showin same stuff.
  • channel 1&2 – English movie (Marc Lawrence directed “Music & Lyrics”, with Hugh Grant & Drew Barrymore)
  • channel 3&4 – Hindi movie (Abhishek & Aishwarya starrer blockbuster – “Guru”).
  • Channel 5&6 – comedy shows (Hindi & English)
  • Channel 7&8 – Shows (Travel, sports etc.)
  • Channel 9&10 – Music Videos (hindi)
  • Channel 11&12 – south Indian songs (may be Kannada, as flight was to blore)
  • Audio channels - bear with my very limited knowledge of music.
  • Channel 1- Indian classical
  • Channel 2- western classical
  • Channel 3- Ghazals
  • Channel 4- Raga’s
  • Channel 5- classical (Tabla)
  • Channel 6- classical (Veena)
  • Channel 7- combo classical (many instruments)
  • Channel 8- Hindi songs (1980-90s)
  • Channel 9- Hindi songs (New)
  • Channel 10- south Indian songs
  • Channel 11- Oldies Hindi songs
  • Channel 12- south Indian songs

Well this was all about the entertainment system. A good way to compete head on with Kingfisher Airlines & Jet Airways. The only turn off was that there are too many announcements in b/n (jus too many even, tried to count bt, lost the count). Landing was also on time. B4 leavin the plane I said to an air hostess standing at the doors –“Excellent flight, Thank U”… to b honest I never said so in ny flight, nt even in my fav. Jet Airways (I wonder is Jet still my fav… hv to gv a serious thought).

A couple of suggestions –

  1. plz announce Air India & not Indian Airlines
  2. aunties (older than my mom, I can say so, coz my mom still dnt hv ny grey hair) as air hostess… he he he…

A-321 is available on routes Delhi-Mumbai-Thiruvanantpuram-Mumbai-Delhi, Delhi-Chennai-Delhi (02 flights), Delhi-Bangalore-Delhi & Chennai-Singapore-Chennai. Lets wait n watch hw far can this go… ***best of luck*** to it. All this has been my written by my own personal experience.

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Private Airports goes Commercial…

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) has given approval to 03 private airstrips to go commercial. These are –

  • Jamshedpur Airport owned by Tata Steel Ltd.
  • Vijaynagar Airstrip owned by JSW Steel.
  • Mundra Airport (Gujarat) run by Adani Group.

These can boost Regional Airlines, which will use smaller airports. Air Traffic Control will be manned by AAI, but airport charges can be levied by their own discretion. Air Deccan has started operating a flight b/n Jamshedpur & Kolkata with an ATR. Tata has guaranteed a minimum number of seats to the airline. All these gives a rosy picture about boom in Indian Aviation, bt, I have a couple of serious questions-

  • What if the govt. do not complete its 5 yr. term? (shows the current tussle b/n Left parties & Congress Party )
  • Even if it completes 5 yr. term bt, do not come to power after the gen. elections in 2009. What if new govt. change its policy or even slow down the whole process? (the way it happened in the case of much-hyped golden quadrilateral by the then, NDA govt. & as soon as UPA came in to power the whole process slowed down). Well I am not against any govt. or taking a political side bt, a fair question to be asked… because all this happens in India… Jus hope 4 d best. Indian bloggers listing
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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

New rise in the Indian Aviation…

Few days after the final clearance from the governing bodies to the merger of Air India & Indian, these ads appeared in national dailies emphasizing on their much hyped changed looks etc…the new rise in Indian Aviation in the form of Air India... after Kingfisher & Jet Airways it’s the turn of national carrier to provide personalized TV screens in their new A-321, presently available on a few routes bt, soon to be extended on all routes…finally the sleeping giant awakens.

This 1 shows appeared on the national dailies with full page coverage showing the complete make over…showing all the three subsidiaries viz., Air India, Air India Express & Air India Cargo… The inaugural of a dedicated flight to India Post serving the North – East India…using the B – 737-200 Aircraft… The time table to North – East connecting Kolkata, Guwahati, Imphal & Agartala daily…

  • With so much hype I really wonder hw, it is goin to work for Air India in future with some sections of media already showin that the over – hyped Mumbai – New York flight is already a failure…I think its too early to say so, lets wait n watch…
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