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India Aviation Industry Newsletter 17 July

India Aviation Industry Newsletter 17 July

Air India Express to fly more flights to Qatar from August 15

Air India Express is set to launch new flight services on Kerala-Doha sector after August 15. The airline operates 14 flights per week between India and Doha and seven of these connect to various Kerala airports. From August 15 Air India Express will start three direct flights a week from Kochi to Doha and they will add one more from September 15 making it 4 direct flights a week from Kochi, Kerala.

GVK Exits Bengaluru Airport, Sells Residual 10% Stake To Fairfax

GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd exited the Bengaluru airport by selling its residual 10 percent stake to Canadian NRI businessman Prem Watsa’s Fairfax India Holdings Corporation for Rs 1,290 crore. Now Watsa owns 48% in the third busiest airport in the country and GVK, which built the greenfield project, exits the airport. The remaining stake is held by Siemens Project Ventures with 26% and the Airport Authority and Karnataka State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation hold 13% each.

IB raises red flag over allowing 100% FDI in domestic airlines

The Intelligence Bureau (IB) has raised serious concerns over the government’s proposal to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment in local airlines citing security issues, a source saidConcerns were raised during a meeting chaired by home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi which was attended by senior officials from the civil aviation ministry and the IB. The meeting, held last month, was convened to discuss issues related to proposed amendments to the Aircraft Rules, 1937.

IndiGo Says Buying Air India Would Bolster Overseas Network

IndiGo, the only carrier that has made a pitch to purchase Air India Ltd sought to allay investor concerns about the budget operator buying the unprofitable national carrier, saying a deal would help speed up its plans for low-cost, long-distance flights. Spelling out the rationale for their interest in the highly indebted airline in a conference call with analysts Thursday, billionaire owners Rahul Bhatia and Rakesh Gangwal said IndiGo would gain access to workers and overseas routes through the purchase, which otherwise would take a long time to replicate. “Air India’s international operations would bring a very important element to our network,” IndiGo’s co-founder Bhatia said. “It will provide a rapid entry into restricted, and in some cases, closed international markets.”

Kerala airports handle more international passengers than domestic

The growth in India’s domestic air travel is among the key benchmarks the sellers of global commercial jets would keenly track. Data from the state-run aviation property company Airports Authority of India (AAI) show that Kochi, Trivandrum, Kozhikode, and Tiruchirappalli hosted more outbound passengers than those travelling within the country in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2017.

New CEO appointed for India’s Vistara

Vistara announced Leslie Thng has been named new CEO. He succeeds Phee Teik Yeoh who will return to SIA to take up a senior appointment. The new position, which will become effective in October, is subject to approval by the Indian government.

Private jet industry takes off in India

The Indian private jet industry is the latest playground for the country’s wealthiest. Billions of dollars worth of new private aircraft have entered India over the past 10 years — making it the ninth largest in the world, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). By 2026, it’s expected to overtake the UK to become the third largest in the world. “The surge will take India from 18th globally (in terms of private jet numbers) to fourth. Intriguingly, the country boasts almost double (111) the amount of private jets than China, even though China has many more billionaires,” writes William Stolerman at Luxury Insider, Asia’s leading online luxury magazine.

Several IndiGo A320neos Sitting Idle Due to GTF Glitches

Indian low-fare carrier IndiGo, one of Airbus’s biggest A320 family customers and the first A320neo operator in India and Asia, now has at least seven neos sitting idle following technical hitches with the airplanes’ Pratt & Whitney PW1100 geared turbofan engines. Since IndiGo’s contract includes replacement of the full engine, slow deliveries from Pratt & Whitney continue to hamper its efforts to place the airplanes into service while the engine maker concentrates on deliveries for newly parked neos in queue for the powerplants at Airbus’s plant in Toulouse. IndiGo’s present fleet of 137 Airbus A320 family includes 22 neos. To date, the airline has ordered 530 aircraft, including 430 A320neos.

SriLankan launches flights to Hyderabad, eyes more cities in India

SriLankan Airlines is looking at the possibility of adding more cities in India given the potential for growth in the market. Hyderabad is one of three South Indian cities that SriLankan is commencing operations to from this week, along with the port city of Visakhapatnam on July 8 and Coimbatore on July 16. With these three additions, SriLankan will operate 126 flights per week to 14 cities in India, with existing services to Chennai, Tiruchi, Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai, New Delhi, Gaya, Madurai, Varanasi, Kochi, Bengaluruand Kolkata. Registering tourist inflow of over 3,80,000 last year from India, a growth of over 20% as more people visit Sri Lanka for leisure travel and business.

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