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Aviation Newsletter - December 03 to December 07, 2012

India Infoline News Service | Mumbai |

Reinforcing its commitment to the international market, IndiGo, India’s largest and fastest growing airline has announced the introduction of new flights connecting Kolkata with Bangkok. Effective December 21, 2012, the airline will launch its new daily and non-stop flights on the route. IndiGo will be offering introductory return fare of Thai Bhat 4917* (or INR 9009) on all new flights.

Top Stories 

Jet Airways plans to sell 24% stake in Etihad Airways: reports

Jet Airways Ltd is planning to sell 24% stake sell to Etihad Airways for Rs 16bn, according to reports.

Reports stated that deal is expected to be completed by the year-end.

Jet Airways reportedly said “There has been widespread media speculation on the potential stake sale by Jet Airways. The company cannot comment on speculative reports."

Airfares by Private Airlines

Jet Airways seeks govt permission to lease two Airbus 330-300s: reports

Air India launches CMS for Cabin Crew

Airlines to welcome 3.6bn passengers in 2016: IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released an industry traffic forecast showing that airlines expect to welcome some 3.6 billion passengers in 2016. That’s about 800 mn more than the 2.8 bn passengers carried by airlines in 2011.

These figures are revealed in the IATA Airline Industry Forecast 2012-2016. This industry consensus outlook for system-wide passenger growth sees passenger numbers expanding by an average of 5.3% per annum between 2012 and 2016. The 28.5% increase in passenger numbers over the forecast period will seealmost 500 million new passengers traveling on domestic routes and 331 mn new passengers on international services.

International freight volumes will grow at 3% per annum to total 34.5 million tonnes in 2016. That is 4.8 million more tonnes of air cargo than the 29.6 million tonnes carried in 2011.

The emerging economies of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East will see the strongest passenger growth. This will be led by routes within or connected to China, which are expected to account for 193 million of the 831 million new passengers over the forecast period(159 million on domestic routes and 34 million traveling internationally). Passenger growth within the Asia-Pacific region (domestic and international) is expected to add around 380 million passengers over the forecast period.

Through 2016, the United States will continue to be the largest single market for domestic passengers (710.2 million). In the same year, passengers on international routes connected to the United States will total 223 million, making it the largest single market for international travel as well. Reflecting the maturity of the United States market, growth rates (2.6% for domestic and 4.3% for international) will be well below the international average (5.3 % for international travel and 5.2% for domestic traffic).

Civil, Petroleum Ministries propose reclassification of jet fuel to bring relief to airlines

Civil aviation and Petroleum Ministries plan to collectively make an appeal to Ministry of Finance and convince it on the need to notify aviation turbine fuel (ATF) as ‘declared good’. The proposal if accepted will restrict the sales tax levied by state governments on ATF to 4%. Currently, the sales tax on ATF is as high as 30%.
High cost of ATF is reportedly the single biggest problem for loss making airlines in the aviation sector. ATF accounts for 35-40% of operational costs of Airlines. Petroleum Minister, Veerappa Moily, agreed to a proposal to put ATF under the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory board(PNRGB). This was followed by Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh’s comments that state owned oil companies are engaged in cartelization in ATF pricing.
According to reports, placing ATF under PNRGB would ensure that the board could monitor the prices and take corrective measures if it finds instances of cartelization. Singh suggested that pricing policy be based on Mean of Platts Arab Gulf (MoPAG) instead of currently followed import parity pricing employed by Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs). 

IndiGo announces launch of 14 daily flights between Mumbai-Delhi-Mumbai route

Reinforcing its commitment in the domestic market, IndiGo, India’s largest and fastest growing airline has announced the introduction of new flights connecting Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru & Kochi. Effective December 10, 2012, the airline will launch its new daily flights on multiple routes.
Both corporate and leisure travellers will now have the opportunity to experience the matchless on-time performance that IndiGo is synonymous with. These new flights will further consolidate IndiGo’s position as the fastest growing airline in India, with 61 brand new Airbus A320s - 6E operates 373 daily flights, connecting 33 destinations.
The new schedule has 14 daily flights between Delhi & Mumbai, 06 daily flights between Mumbai & Bengaluru, 02 flights between Mumbai & Kochi and one flight via Mumbai between Delhi & Kochi.

In Focus Stories

Online booking of air tickets register 31% growth: IAMAI

The Internet Economy Watch Report for the month of October 2012, released by the Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) indicates a significant growth of 31% in online booking of air tickets when compared with the numbers of corresponding month last year. Air tickets booked online in October 2012 were 1.58 million as compared to 1.21 million in October 2011. The online bookings on irctc.com witnessed y-o-y growth of 15% with 4.72 million bookings in October 2012 as compared to 4.10 million bookings in October 2011.

According to the data captured from prominent e-tailing sites in the monthly tracker, the online visit to branded apparels and book segments has increased by 19% and 26% respectively, when compared to the numbers of corresponding month last year. A significant increase has been registered in the online users visit to footwear segment. The number of visits has increased to 4.32 million in October 2012 from 3.86 million in October 2011. The online users visit to jewellery segment decreased from 2.45 million in October 2011 to 1.95 million in October 2012, a y-o-y decrease of 20%.

In October 2012, the number of resume uploads on job portals and profile uploads on matrimonial sites has indicated a y-o-y growth of 30% and 21% respectively. While the number of resume uploads in October 2012 was 1.60 million as compared to 1.23 million in corresponding month last year, the number of profile uploads on matrimonial websites was 0.82 million in October 2012 as compared to 0.68 million October 2011.

The monthly internet tracker by IAMAI is based on absolute numbers captured from various relevant sites, and encapsulates online usage for E-tailing, Online Travel and Vertical Classifieds.

Domestic News

IndiGo introduces new flights connecting Kolkata with Bangkok

Reinforcing its commitment to the international market, IndiGo, India’s largest and fastest growing airline has announced the introduction of new flights connecting Kolkata with Bangkok. Effective December 21, 2012, the airline will launch its new daily and non-stop flights on the route. IndiGo will be offering introductory return fare of Thai Bhat 4917* (or INR 9009) on all new flights.

Both corporate and leisure travellers will now have the opportunity to experience the matchless on-time performance that IndiGo is synonymous with in the Indian skies. IndiGo’s is positioned as the fastest growing airline in India, with 60 brand new Airbus A320s - 6E operates 373 daily flights, connecting 33 destinations.

MIAL mulls notice directing KFA to vacate terminal space: reports

MIAL, the operator for Mumbai's airport, is mulling an eviction notice directing Kingfisher airline to vacate the premium space occupied by the airline at Terminal IA, according to reports.

Reports stated that the airline has about 19,000 sq ft at the Mumbai airport.

The airline owes the airport operator 22 crore (excluding interest) under a mix of overheads that include parking and other navigational fees, says report.

Karnataka HC directs KFA to deposit half of TDS dues: reports

Karnataka High Court has directed Kingfisher Airlines to deposit 50% of Rs 3.71bn that it is required to remit to Income-Tax Department as tax deducted at source (TDS) from its employees.according to reports.

Reports stated that High Court has also asked company to furnish bank guarantee for the remaining amount due to the Department, within six weeks.

The Tribunal, while allowing an appeal by the company against the demand to pay TDS amount, had said that the Department had issued notices without providing the company a reasonable and sufficient opportunity of being heard, says report.

Delay in inauguration of Chennai and Kolkata Airports

Airports Authority of India (AAI) has completed the work on the construction of new terminal buildings at Chennai and Kolkata airports. These airports will be commissioned after pre-commissioning trials.

The process of security clearance of the firms shortlisted for procurement of aerobridges took some time due to the sensitive nature of the security concerns. The process of exchange of land measuring 19.24 acres at Chennai airport belonging to Defence and required for the modernization work also added to the delay in completion of Chennai airport because land could be exchanged only after identification and exchange of land of equal value.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Shri K.C. Venugopal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

Jet Airways inducts five new state-of-the-art ATR 72-600 series aircraft

Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, today announced the planned induction of five new state-of-the-art ATR 72-600 series aircraft into their fleet. The ATR 72-600 series will commence their flight between December 2012 and March 2013. The ATR 72- 600 series aircraft comes equipped with the latest avionics technology and will operate on the airline’s domestic network.
The new ATR 72-600 series ATR aircraft, will seat 68 passengers in an all economy layout and is ideally suited for operations in the regional transportation market. It will provide an enhanced connectivity into the Tier II and III cities & towns across the length and breadth of India.
These aircraft come powered by a new Pratt & Whitney PW127M multi-rated engine, which aids the aircrafts take off from short runways with increased payload. Guests will also be able to travel in complete comfort given that the new aircraft benefits from the widest cabin in the turboprop market, providing maximum space for passengers and also offering more baggage room. The ceiling and cabin side panels have been reshaped and designed to offer passengers more space and light creating a harmonious and balanced environment making travelling a more pleasurable experience.

International News

Passenger volumes continue to trend higher: IATA

IATA's Airlines Financial Monitor - November 2012

Key points:
Airline share prices in Europe and the US outperform, as financial markets upgrade views on airline profits;

Significant improvement of airline net profits in Q3 reveals impact of restructuring and consolidation;

Fuel prices remain within 22 month range at just below $130/bbl, and are down on year in non-US$ terms;

Passenger yields have leveled out but remain up on last year, after adjusting for exchange rate changes;

Passenger volumes continue to trend higher at a rate of around 3% a year, but air freight is shrinking;

Airlines have slowed passenger capacity additions by more than the slowdown in demand, with increased storage of aircraft partly offsetting the impact of deliveries;

Passenger load factors have been held up at record levels during 2012 as a result;

88% of passengers at São Paulo airport want Self-Boarding

Nearly 90% of passengers using São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport would like to use self-boarding, according to a recently published survey of passengers at airports around the world. This interest, along with a high demand for new self-service baggage services, was among the key findings of the annual SITA/ATW Passenger Self-Service Survey undertaken at the airport, which handles around 30mn passengers each year. The desire for self-boarding has risen by 66% since the 2011 survey.
Transferring to another flight is the main cause of stress among São Paulo passengers and 86% are interested in using self-service kiosks to transfer flights, a jump from 65% last year. The results of this year’s survey indicate that passengers welcome self-services that will ease their journey.
Interestingly, passengers at São Paulo have a higher level of interest in new baggage services than the global averages from the six leading airports surveyed. Some 88% would like to receive real-time baggage information on their mobile phones; 79% would print their own bag tags in contrast to a global average of 68%; and 69% would use self-service bag drop. In the unfortunate case of their bag being mishandled, a remarkable 92% would like to file a report at a kiosk and 83% would be interested to do so using their mobile phone.  The demand is there, but only 17% currently use a staffed bag-drop and a mere 1% use self bag-drop, showing huge scope for growth in this area.

Qatar Airways plans to launch scheduled flights to Chengdu

Qatar Airways announced plans to launch scheduled flights to Chengdu – its sixth gateway in the People’s Republic of China, beginning March 19 next year.

The Doha-based airline will operate three-flights-a-week to the capital of Sichuan Province in Southwest China taking its total weekly frequency across the country to 41 non-stop services spread across six cities.
Qatar Airways has built up a solid operation in China over the years, currently operating 38 flights each week from its Doha hub to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Hong Kong.

Today’s news is Qatar Airways’ sixth route announcement so far for 2013. Flights to Gassim in Saudi Arabia, Najaf in Iraq, Oman’s tourist spot of Salalah, Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh and Chicago – the carrier’s fourth US gateway – are being launched between January and May with further start-ups planned during the year.

Etihad Airways launches "Etihad Wi-Fly" connectivity

Etihad Airways today launched its new “Etihad Wi-Fly” inflight Internet and mobile connectivity service, powered by the Panasonic Avionics Global Communications Suite. 
The airline’s first aircraft equipped with Panasonic’s communications technology, an Airbus A330-200, took flight today for Brussels, offering high-speed broadband Internet connectivity as well as data and mobile phone services.
The A330-200 will be used for long-haul destinations across Etihad Airways’ network, such as Brussels, Dublin, Manchester, Munich, Frankfurt and Milan.

Virgin Atlantic brings passbook support to mobile boarding cards

AISATS extends service partnership with Cathay Pacific Airways

American Airlines launches international service from DFW International Airport

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