Archive for the ‘Aviation’ Category

Cholamandalam wins bid for non-aviation cover to Air India

February 27, 2007

Private sector insurance company Cholamandalam MS General Insurance has won the mandate to provide non-aviation related insurance cover to Air India for 2007-08.

“The airline has managed to bag a 25 per cent reduction in the insurance pay out while there has been an increase in the cover being provided. The cover will be to the tune of about Rs 1,800 crore,” an official said without divulging exact details of what the airline payout would be.

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Aircraft makers vie for Indian aviation pie

February 27, 2007

European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and US-based Boeing, which have already together secured orders worth Rs 45,000 crore from state-run Air-India and Indian Airlines, apart from huge orders from other Indian airline operators in the past two years, are both fine-tuning their business strategies to penetrate further into the Indian aviation market.

For one, the two companies are highlighting new innovations in their aircraft to woo customers. Dinesh Keskar, senior vice-president of sales, Boeing, said, “We will be launching 747-Intercontinental, an aircraft which guarantees fuel efficiency. Our customers, especially Indian operators from whom we expect more orders, will be benefited.” He added that the aircraft, equipped with modern technology, can land even at airports devoid of modern infrastructure, as is the case with many airports in India. Airbus’ innovation pertains to lower training period and transition time. Aircraft from the A320 family are designed in such a way that a pilot transitioning from an A320 family aircraft to the larger A330 and A340 needs only eight working days for cross-crew qualification (CCQ) instead of the 25 working days for a full type rating training course. “The annual savings in training and from the reduced transition time can be up to $500,000 for each new Airbus aircraft to be added to the fleet,” Sanjay Kumar, a senior analyst with Airbus, said.

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Low-cost carriers not ruffled by rail fare cuts

February 27, 2007

The introduction of dynamic pricing for passenger fares for the first time by railway minister Lalu Prasad may have been aimed at competing with low-cost airlines, but the carriers are in no mood to accept the challenge and bring down the prices further. Low-cost airlines maintain that their fares for most of the sectors are still below the railways’ AC first-class and AC two-tier rates.

Rather than announcing an across-the-board cut in passenger fares, Prasad has brought in a dynamic pricing model, offering fare cuts according to peak and off-peak seasons. According to the proposal, there will be a 3% reduction in AC first-class fares for the peak season. For the non-peak season, it will be a 6% cut. For AC 2-tier, the peak and non-peak season reduction will be of 2% and 4%, respectively. AC 3-tier (new coaches) saw the maximum cut in fares with peak and non-peak season reductions of 4% and 8%, respectively.

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Private equity investors log on to travel portals

February 27, 2007

Travel portals are increasingly catching the fancy of private equity (PE) players what with investments in this fast emerging business segment registering a 100 per cent jump.

Industry analysts point out that PE investments in travel portals touched Rs 180 crore in 2006 against Rs 90 crore in 2005. Meanwhile, individual investments have also doubled to Rs 300 crore from Rs 150 crore in the past one year.

“But that is not all. In the next two years, the online travel portals will invite a PE investment of Rs 200 crore. Today, the online travel market is pegged at Rs 4,000 crore and by 2008, it is estimated to be a Rs 10,000 crore market,” they said.

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Paramount to enter western Indian skies

February 27, 2007

Private carrier Paramount Airways, which has a strong presence in South India, would enter the Western Indian skies by the end of this year and add 15 more aircraft to its kitty in the next three years.

Talking to visiting reporters here after the launch of Paramount’s fourth flight in the Chennai-Madurai sector last evening, company’s Managing Director M Thiagarajan said the airline would try to provide maximum number of services across the cities in the Western region.

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IOC pumping up fuelling infrastructure at airports

February 26, 2007

Riding on the boom in the air traffic in the country, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd is upgrading its infrastructure facilities it has created at various airports. This is to provide better service aircraft in supplying aviation fuel as the company controls over 97 airports out of 117 in the country. Indian Oil, with a share of 65 per cent of the aviation fuel market, is the major player both in civil and defence airports thereby meeting the requirements of 21 domestic, 64 international and 250 private airlines.

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US mulls aviation programme with India

February 26, 2007

The US is seeking to use its experience in China to develop an Aviation Cooperation Programme with India to streamline global air traffic control, a senior US official has said.

“We are look to build upon our experience in China by developing an Aviation Cooperation Programme (ACP) in India,” said Marion Blakey, the Administrator of the US Federal Aviation Administration.

“The US-India ACP could start very shortly now that the long-awaited agreement has been approved by the India Cabinet and is ready for signature. We are counting on a long term relationship with India to grow their aviation system,” Blakey told the Royal Aeronautical Society.

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Govt may let airlines hedge fuel price risk

February 26, 2007

ATF prices for domestic operations include 10% Customs duty, 8% excise duty and sales tax.

Domestic airlines may soon be able to hedge their risk of jet fuel prices. The government is considering a proposal to allow Indian carriers to hedge the price risk of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) purchased from oil marketing companies in the country.

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Govt eyes twin legal tracks for Air India, Indian merger

February 26, 2007

With the empowered Group of Ministers (EGoM) clearing the way for merger of Air-India (AI) and Indian, the government is considering two legal options to merge the state-owned carriers under the Companies Act of 1956.

The first option envisages the ministry of company affairs passing an order, under Sections 391-394 of the Companies Act, on an application filed by the board of directors of the two companies. This route would require the two carriers to obtain creditors’ approval — “majority” in number and 3/4th in terms of value.

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Airline ind wants FM to rationalise tax on ATF

February 25, 2007

Ahead of the presentation of the Budget, the airline industry has urged the government to rationalise taxes on jet fuel, continue the exemption on withholding tax (WHT) on leased planes and remove service tax on First and Business class air travel.

Observing that aviation turbine fuel (ATF) accounted for about 40 per cent of the total operating costs for airlines in India, the industry has sought reduction in customs duty on ATF, slashing of excise duty to four per cent and making ATF a ‘declared good’ attracting a uniform four per cent tax across the country, sources said.

They said the annual fuel bill for the entire industry was estimated to be around 1.7 billion US dollars, based on the September 2006 rates.

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