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Aviation Newsletter - 06 May to 09 May, 2013

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

SpiceJet is up by 5% on Monday morning session trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange after news came out that Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala went shopping for 25 lakh shares of the no frills airline Spicejet for Rs. 9.73 crore. The stock was picked up at Rs. 39.94 a-piece in the block deal that happened on Friday.

Top Stories 

IndiGo, Qatar Airways in talks for code-share: Reports

Aviation space is jet-washed with activity as news reports on Tuesday suggested a code sharing deal between Indigo airlines and Qatar Airways.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker reportedly confirmed talks were on with the Indian carrier.

The code sharing would allow Qatar to place its code on the domestic and international flights of IndiGo, which has a fleet of over 60 Airbus 320 planes, says report.

The move could help Qatar increase its revenue and network from India.

Earlier, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad, which went on to buy a 24 per cent stake in Jet Airways, had also entered into a code-share agreement with the Indian partner for a few citie

DGCA plans new norms to cap paid-for seats in flights

According to reports, Directorate General of Civil Aviation is planning to set norms to cap the number of preferential seats airlines can offer in a flight.

This move came after civil aviation ministry decided to allow Indian carriers to charge passengers for add-on services, media report said.

“Customers should have the choice to opt in for preferential seats. Besides, the middle seat in an aircraft cannot be termed a preferential one," DGCA reported.

The ministry had allowed Indian carriers to unbundle certain services and charge these separately.

GoAir looking for partners to sell 49% stake: report
According to reports, GoAir has appointed investment bank JPMorgan to scout for foreign strategic partner to acquire up to 49% in low-cost passenger carrier.

GoAir is in talks with three to four overseas airlines from Europe and the Middle East to sell up to 49% stake, media report said.

"As a company policy, the airline does not comment on market speculation," GoAir's spokesperson reported.

The Wadia family owns 100% of GoAir.


Air India to resume Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights next week

According to reports, Air India is planning to resume Boeing 787 Dreamliner flights next week and replace 19 aged Airbus A-320s with new leased ones.

The Air India Board, was briefed about the progress of making changes in the batteries of six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, owned by Air India, says media report.

The Board also decided to replace 14 AI-owned and five leased aircraft and leased aircraft would be returned to the lessors, says report.

Domestic News

Jhunjhunwalas go shopping for 25lakh SpiceJet shares

SpiceJet is up by 5% on Monday morning session trade on the Bombay Stock Exchange after news came out that Big Bull Rakesh Jhunjhunwala's wife Rekha Jhunjhunwala went shopping for 25 lakh shares of the no frills airline Spicejet for Rs. 9.73 crore. The stock was picked up at Rs. 39.94 a-piece in the block deal that happened on Friday.

SpiceJet promoter Kalanithi Maran last month hiked his stake in the airline to 22.05% from 16.2% through allotment of equity shares after conversion on convertible debentures.
The scrip of the third largest domestic airline was trading at Rs. 42.85 up by Rs. 2.30 or 5.8% at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) at 10:27AM Monday. The stock touched a high of Rs. 43.75 and a low of Rs. 41. Total volume traded at the counter stands at 52 lakhs as against. 

IndiGo Airlines to charge additional Rs 200 for window seat: report

IndiGo Airlines is planning to charge an additional Rs 200 for each aisle and window seat, says media reports.

According to reports, these new charges would, apply only on pre-booking of preferred seats on the internet or through agents.

This move after IndiGo came after Air India reduced the free-package limit for each economy-class passenger from 20 kg to 15 kg.

Jet Airways, too, is following suit, while SpiceJet is weighing options to boost its ancillary revenues through excess baggage claims and pre-booking of seats, says media reports.

Kingfisher Airlines' lenders recover over Rs. 8bn: Reports

State Bank of India reportedly said that the consortium of lenders has recovered Rs. 8-10bn and is making all efforts to recover remaining dues from Kingfisher Airlines.

"KFA recoveries are going on. We have substantial amount of recoveries," SBI Chairman Pratip Chaudhuri reported.

The consortium of 17 banks, led by SBI, has an outstanding of over Rs. 70bn from the carrier.

SBI has the maximum exposure, over Rs. 16bn in the Vijay Mallya-led airline.

Jet Airways celebrates two decades of service excellence in the skies

Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, celebrated the completion of two decades of service excellence in the skies, since it began operations as an Air Taxi Operator on May 5th 1993.

The mission at Jet Airways, even 20 years ago was simple, the airline wanted to widen connectivity within India and overseas and facilitate the movement of people, encouraging both tourism and trade, while contributing in tandem to the development of the Indian economy. Thus, when the Jet Airways took delivery of its first aircraft at Mumbai in the presence of J R D Tata, the father of Indian Civil Aviation, it marked the beginning of a glorious new chapter for civil aviation in the country.

The airline has since then emerged as the first private airline to introduce the Indian air traveller to the reliability, safety and comfort of new technologies – a paradigm that Jet Airways has pioneered throughout the past two decades. Read more…

SpiceJet celebrates 55th million passenger milestone

SpiceJet, India’s favourite airline, reached its 55th Million passenger milestone. Since commencing its operations from May 2005, SpiceJet has received much love and support from its esteemed passengers and the airline celebrates flying its 55th million passenger.
As the airline celebrates this milestone, Chief Executive Office Neil Mills said the airline is thankful to its esteemed guests, who chose SpiceJet as their preferred airline.
Simran Gupta, who was travelling Delhi to Coimbatore on flight no SG 233 became SpiceJet’s 55th Million passengers. To celebrate this milestone and to thank Gupta, the airline offered her three complementary return tickets to a destination of her choice. The airline official also offered complementary hot meal on-board along with a reserved seat on the front row to Gupta travelling with her family. SpiceJet’s CEO Neil Mills too were present at the Indira Gandhi International Airport to grace the celebration. Read more...

Pawan Hans plans to enter commercial airline biz: Reports

Pawan Hans is planning to enter commercial airline business and has already received approval from its board, Media report said.

According to reports, company is yet to decide on the business model and  timeline for the proposed venture.

"Pawan Hans has a mandate from its board as well as the government to go for fixed wing aircraft operations. That is a very challenging opportunity for us," Pawan Hans Chairman Anil Srivastava reported.

The government is in the process of finalising policy to promote the regional air connectivity, which is expected to be announced in the next three months, report says.

International News

Moody's affirms Airport Motorway Trust's A3 rating

Moody's Investors Service has affirmed the senior secured A3 long term rating of Airport Motorway Trust (AMT), as well as the stable outlook. AMT is the financing vehicle for the Airport Motorway Group (AMG) which holds the concession to operate the Eastern Distributor (ED), a six kilometre toll road in inner-Sydney. At the same time, Moody's has affirmed the issuer's senior secured A3 rating.


"The A3 rating reflects the strengths of AMG's business profile which includes its essential nature in the road network, mature traffic profile and supportive features in the concession agreement", says Arnon Musiker, a Moody's Vice President & Senior Analyst. "These include AMG's entitlement to increase the toll tariff by a minimum of 1% per quarter over the concession term, and compensation for any future competing roads".

At the same time, the A3 rating considers the high leverage resulting from the maturity of an infrastructure bond structure during 2012 - which previously contributed a material portion of AMG's funds from operations - as well as softening in traffic volume growth observed in recent months. Read more...

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