Aviation Newsletter - December 01 to 05, 2014

TripAdvisor announced the results of its fourth edition of India Air Travel Survey 2014, collected from over 2100 respondents.

Dec 05, 2014 11:12 IST India Infoline News Service

Top News
Indigo outshines other carriers to emerge as India's favourite domestic airline: TripAdvisor's
TripAdvisor announced the results of its fourth edition of India Air Travel Survey 2014, collected from over 2100 respondents. According to the findings, IndiGo Airlines emerged as the clear favourite in the domestic airline category this year as well leaving the closest competitor, Jet Airways, behind by a margin of 8% vs 6% in 2013.
Commenting on the findings Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India said, "Congratulations to Indigo for emerging as India's favourite airline third year in a row. In terms of overall experience also Indigo has come out on top with 42% respondents voting for it however, if one reads between the lines there is considerable scope of improvement with respect to its in-flight entertainment and in-flight food/beverages services. On the other hand Jet Airways has been voted the chosen one in a number of categories including in-flight entertainment, in-flight food/beverages, cabin crew appearance, cabin crew quality etc. The airline has also emerged as the number one airline whose app has been downloaded on the mobile phones."
Cox and Kings signs pact with Fonciere des Regions
Cox & Kings owned MEININGER Holding GmbH and Fonciere des Regions, through its subsidiary Fonciere des Murs, announce that they have formed a commercial partnership in respect of the sourcing by MEININGER and acquisition by Foncisre des Regions of hotel property investment opportunities primarily in European gateway cities, to be leased to and managed by MEININGER under the "MEININGER" brand.
Primary cities targeted include Amsterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Berlin, Geneva, Hamburg, Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris, Rome, Vienna and Zurich. In addition other cities in both Western and Eastern Europe where the MEININGER brand is likely to be popular are also planned for expansion.
State-owned marketing companies reduces ATF prices
State-owned marketing companies has reduced the prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) to Rs 59,943 a kilolitre from December 1 - 4.1 per cent, according to reports. Report said that ATF for domestic carriers has become 11.22% cheaper since October. ATF accounts for over 50% of domestic carriers' operating costs. For SpiceJet, Jet Airways and Air India, the price cut would mean a substantial reduction in losses.
Domestic News
AAI plans to withdraw credit facility to SpiceJet: reports
The Airports Authority of India is planning to withdraw credit facility relating to airport user fees to the low-cost carrier SpiceJet at all airports in the country from Thursday midnight, according to reports.
IndiGo plans to go for lighter aircraft seats: reports
IndiGo is planning to go for lighter aircraft seats, according to reports. Report stated that this move will allow it to fly more freight and cut annual fuel costs by Rs40 crore. The 'Dragonfly' seats are expected to offer 1-2 inches of extra legroom. IndiGo placed the single-largest order ever for narrow body aircraft, signing an agreement with Airbus for 250 A320 neo (new engine option) planes, says report.
Air Seychelles takes off with Mumbai flights
Air Seychelles, the national carrier of the Republic of Seychelles, today commenced thrice-weekly flights to the Indian city of Mumbai. The historic maiden flight, operating under code HM 260, touched down at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport at 2:55 am, where it was greeted by a traditional water cannon salute and by a party of dignitaries and airport representatives.
Onboard the inaugural flight was a high-profile delegation comprising Manoj Papa, Air Seychelles' Chief Executive Officer; Sherin Naiken, Chief Executive Officer of the Seychelles Tourism Board; government officials, tourism and trade partners, senior executives from the carrier  and representatives from the Indian and business communities, who participated in a cake-cutting ceremony shortly after disembarking.
Cabinet grants approval for Anti-Hijacking Bill 2014
The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister,  Narendra Modi gave its approval for introduction of the comprehensive Anti-Hijacking Bill 2014. The current law, the Anti-Hijacking Act, 1982, was last amended in 1994. After the hijacking of Indian Airlines Flight IC-814 in December, 1999, it was felt necessary for providing the award of death penalty to perpetrators of the act of hijacking. The incident of 9/11, where aircrafts were used as weapons, also created the need to further amend the existing Act.
The Anti-Hijacking (Amendment) Bill, 2010 was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August, 2010. During the process of amendment, a global diplomatic Conference was held at Beijing in August-September, 2010. India is a signatory to the Beijing Protocol signed at the Conference.
Jet Airways commences roll out of full service product across domestic network
Jet Airways, India's premier airline,  commenced the roll out of a full service product on all flights across its domestic network. Jet Airways' will offer guests a two class, full service product with a complimentary dining experience onboard all domestic flights. Apart from the enhanced service quality levels, the airline will offer easy convenient connections on its domestic network to over 51 destinations across India with over 450 daily domestic flights.
Guests will also be able to access 22 international destinations on Jet Airways network and will also offer connectivity to over 135 international destinations across the world with its strategic alliance partner Etihad Airways. The move to a full service brand is a part of a Board approved business plan announced in August for the airline's return to profitability.
AI share increases in Joint Venture
Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma informed the Lok Sabha today that the joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Service (SATS) has been profitable for Air India. AISATS has declared dividend of 15% i.e. Rs.6 crores each year, during the previous two financial years.
Air India has set up a Joint Venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Service named as AISATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd, for ground handling with the approval of Cabinet. As international experience in ground handling was one of qualifying criteria for selection of ground handler at green field airports, Air India decided to partner with SATS and entered into a joint venture.
Rolls-Royce delivers 1,500th Trent 700 engine
Rolls-Royce celebrated the delivery of its 1,500th Trent 700 engine, with customer AirAsia X. The engine first entered service in 1995 as the first member of the Trent engine family  today it has accumulated more than 30 million flying hours and is in service with 66 operators. More than 1,650 Trent 700s are now in service or on firm order, making it the largest Trent engine fleet in service.
It is the clear engine of choice on the Airbus A330ceo aircraft that it powers, winning 67 per cent of new orders over the last three years and accounting for a similar percentage of future A330ceo deliveries. Experience from the Trent 700 has also gone into the new Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engine that powers the Airbus A330neo aircraft. AirAsia X selected 50 of the aircraft earlier this year.
DGCA takes steps to ensure Safety of Aircraft from Bird-hits
Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma informed the Lok Sabha that the following steps have been taken by Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure safety of aircrafts from birds and wildlife. Apprised administration of all the State Governments, through communication to the Chief Secretaries of the States on the importance of the compliance of Rule 91 of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. DGCA has constituted teams to carry out aerodrome inspection of 18 critical airports for prevention of wildlife hazard. Inspection/audit of 11 airports have been completed by the respective teams and the findings are being sent to the operators for immediate corrective action within a period of 3 months and they have been advised to put in place a system to ensure that wildlife/birds are kept away before every take-off and landing.
British Airways celebrates 90 glorious years of flying to India
British Airways' 90 years of rich heritage in India witnessed a grand celebration treating guests with an experience like never before! The airline walked down the memory lane reminiscing the best of music and food, bringing yesteryears back to life. 
Speaking on this momentous occasion, Keith Williams, Executive Chairman, British Airways, said, "This year we create another milestone in our history with India. Our anniversary reinforces how we are putting the customer at the heart of everything we do, offering the very best in comfort and luxury on board our flights.
"British Airways has been servicing this market for 90 years and we look forward to our association with India for another 90 years and more."
How 12 airports are bringing Christmas to travellers this year
Christmas is a busy time for travel and should you find yourself at an airport this festive season, especially with the family, there's a variety of merry activities and entertainment to keep everyone happy.
Wego, the leading travel search site in the Asia Pacific and Middle East, takes you around the world of Christmas at airports, and find that some go beyond tinsel and Santa Claus this year. The UK's capital airport is spreading the Christmas cheer across all terminals with select restaurants offering free meals for kids, arts and crafts, visits from Pingu, The Snowman and Peppa Pig, with Santa and his elves distributing lollies to those who have been good this year.  Read More
International News
Competition and capacity growth pressure Chinese and Southeast Asian airlines: Moody's
Moody's Investors Service says that intense competition and capacity growth will continue to pressure the margins of Chinese and Southeast Asian airlines in 2015. Consequently, Southeast Asian carriers will focus on cutting their costs and some could see further restructurings."Asian aviation industry margins will remain weak over the next 12 months, as airlines compete to maintain market share amid strong growth in capacity," says Dylan Yeo, a Moody's Analyst.
"As such, cost management will be the focus of both full-service carriers and low-cost carriers in Southeast Asia over the next 12 months, as the industry seeks to stem the decline in profitability," adds Yeo.
Qatar Airways honours Journalist of the Year Award
Qatar Airways once again supported the UK-based Foreign Press Association's prestigious annual awards function, in which the airline sponsored the main award of the night - Journalist of the Year.
UK and international journalists were awarded across multiple categories at the event which took place at The Park Lane Hotel in central London and was compered by Hugh Dennis, English comedian, actor and writer.Besides his regular television work, Hugh Dennis is a panellist on Mock the Week and has appeared in every episode since its inception. He is a regular guest on various BBC-broadcast comedy panel game shows such as They Think It's All Over, Would I Lie To You?, QI and has guest hosted Have I Got News for You. 

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