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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Fri, March 23, 2018 09:27:46

Godrej Aerospace, a unit of Godrej & Boyce, has expanded its partnership with aerospace major Rolls-Royce by bagging a Rs 200-crore contract which will involve the group investing Rs 50 crore in a new facility.

The company also announced the inauguration of a Rs 50-crore centre of excellence in the city today, which will further enhance its manufacturing capabilities in the aero engine industry, the company said in a statement.

Expanding its partnership, Rolls-Royce has awarded a Rs 200-crore (USD 30 million) contract to Godrej Aerospace, spread over the next five years, the company said.

"Under this contract, Godrej will manufacture unison rings, complex fabrication and external brackets which will supply as many as 600 different parts to the various Rolls-Royce civil aerospace engine portfolio," the statement said.

The newly inaugurated centre of excellence will be one of the best aerospace facilities in the country for manufacturing of sheet metal brackets. Its metallurgy capability includes in-conel, stainless steel and titanium and will begin manufacturing within the next two to three months.

"We have made an investment of Rs 50 crore in this facility, and with this we open ourselves to a global market size in excess of Rs 1,500 crore," the company said.

Commenting on the partnership, Jamshyd Godrej, chairman and managing director of Godrej & Boyce said, "Godrej Aerospace has served the domestic aerospace programme for close to three decades. We've an integrated facility meeting diverse demanding requirements of fabrication, machining, assembly and testing with all associated capabilities for special processes in aerospace applications."

"In line with our vision to expand our foot print and partner with global majors we have established a center of excellence, which I am confident will strengthen and deepen our partnership with Rolls Royce and establish us as their preferred partner," Godrej said.

Kishore Jayaraman, president, Rolls-Royce India and South Asia said, "The expansion of partnership with Godrej to manufacture aero engine components showcases our commitment to developing an aerospace ecosystem in this country."

"With this new centre of excellence, our focus will be to meet our customers' strategic requirements in quality, cost and delivery," he said.

Rolls-Royce and Godrej signed their first contract in 2014 for manufacturing unison rings. Since then, Godrej Aerospace has also started executing complex sheet metal fabrication.

Godrej Aerospace started contributing to the global aircraft industry in 2005 with simple machine components and over a period of time, has partnered with several global OEMs supplying them complex components like sheet metal and tubing assemblies, actuators, and other complex structures.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Tue, March 20, 2018 09:57:45
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Domestic airlines registered about 24.14% growth in passengers flown during February compared to that a year ago, data released by the aviation regulator showed. As per the data, released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday, Indian carriers carried 10.7 million passengers during the month, up from 8.6 million in February 2017.

As a result, all key scheduled carriers flew their planes with over 80% of their seats full. Gurgaon-based SpiceJetBSE 1.44 % continued to maintain its pole position in terms of load factor by flying its planes 96.3% full, followed by IndiGoBSE 0.77 %, which flew its planes with 91.8% seats full despite problems with its Airbus 320 (neo) aircraft.

Vistara was a surprise third by flying its planes with 91.2% seats full, highest ever by the airline. This was despite the fact that the airline flies its planes in a three-class configuration – economy, premium economy and business.

“We had a very good month in February across many dimensions, and are gratified that we are becoming the airline of choice for more and more flyers despite being a premium airline in a price sensitive market. It shows there is a strong market segment for a superior customer experience. The more people who fly us, the greater the word of mouth, and greater the demand for our product," said Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara.

In terms of operating flights on time, Jet Airways remained the worst performer for the fifth consecutive month. While Jet Airways operated 62.2% of its flights on time, SpiceJet topped the list by operating 78% of its flights on time. IndiGo was second, having operated 74.8% of its flights on time.

“SpiceJet has yet again put up an exceptional operational performance by clocking the best on-time performance (78%) amongst all airlines and the highest passenger load factor (96.3%). This is our highest ever load factor and comes in the traditionally lean travel month of February. For 35 months in a row our loads have been in excess of 90% --- a feat unparalleled in the aviation industry,” SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh said in a statement.

IndiGo remained the market leader in terms of passenger carriage, by flying 39.9% of the total passengers during February. Jet Airways followed IndiGo in terms of market share, by flying 16.8% of the passengers flown during the month. The national carrier, Air India, was the third largest carrier in terms of market share, accounting for 13.2% of the passengers flown during the month.

Travel industry insiders say that the growth trend in the aviation space is set to continue in the coming months too.

“In what is traditionally a lean month, most airlines have recorded load factors of around 90 percent or more. Clearly the growth momentum in the Indian market, which is one of the fastest growing air travel markets globally, continues unabated. With the peak summer season approaching and airlines gearing up to offer more to customers, we are confident that this growth trend will continue in the coming months,” said Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C),

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Mon, March 19, 2018 09:27:17

The aviation ministry is targeting a five-fold increase in passenger trips to one billion per annum in 15-20 years in view of the huge growth opportunities the sector holds, Union Minister Jayant Sinha said today.

The Minister of State for Civil Aviation said that the government is working on steps such as developing new greenfield airports and skilling manpower to achieve this target.

"A target of billion passenger trips in the next 15 to 20 yrs is very realisable and is in fact a realistic target that we should be looking for," he said here at the AIMA event.

He also said that the billion passenger trips would not come from aircraft alone but also from helicopters, sea planes and passenger drones.

Many of these have still to be manufactured in the country and it provides tremendous business opportunities to start and develop these new technologies, he said.

Elaborating on passenger drones, Sinha said this is a big industry and in the coming years, it is likely to touch a trillion dollar mark.

"We in India have the opportunity to be a leader in this. We are already working on drone regulations so we can set standards, develop different drone technologies," he said.

"Like we have made air travel affordable to common people wearing 'hawai chappals, similarly we can go from auto rickshaws to air rickshaws, that is the opportunity," he added.

Further the minister said that the billion passenger trips would open tremendous opportunities for growth and investments for businesses.

"In 2013, the the total number of passenger trips was about 100 million. In 2017, we are going to get close to 200 million passenger trips," he said, adding that the total revenues of the airline industry last year was be close to Rs 2 lakh crore.

Indian railways and the telecom sector also have same level of revenues each, he said.

He said that today only 5 per cent of the 1.3 billion Indians travel by air.

Sinha said that this target would throw some major challenges and the government is working on it.

Safety and security is the number one concern and the ministry is working hard on this, he said, adding that "we are working on a unified security architecture with CISF" to ensure that all large or small airports have same level of high security.

To ensure safety of passengers, the ministry is investing spending on flight inspectors, air traffic controllers and engineers.

He said land to build new greenfield airports is also a challenge.

New airports are coming up in Navi Mumbai, Goa, Pune and Jewar in western Uttar Pradesh.

He informed that passenger trips at the Delhi airport stood at about 65 million currently and it would be doubled in the coming years.

"We think to get one billion passenger trips, we have to invest Rs 4 lakh crore. That is what experts are saying," he said.

On the job front, he said about 2 lakh people are directly employed in the aviation industry and indirectly about 1.2 million.

"This will quintuple. So we will have 6 million people working over the next few years," he said.

He added that revenues in the sector would increase significantly from Rs 2 lakh crore to Rs 8-10 trillion (Rs 8-10 lakh crore) in the next 15-20 years.

Huge business opportunities will be created in areas like logistics, cargo, airlines, airports and ground handling.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Mon, March 12, 2018 10:36:38

Buoyed by the USD 12.5 billion deal with SpiceJet, French major Safran's CEO Philippe Petitcolin has said it expects more such big deals and higher share in the Indian commercial aerospace market.

Safran, which has a significant presence in India across commercial aerospace and defence segments, has just inked a USD 12.5 billion (over Rs 81,000 crore) worth deal with no-frills airline SpiceJet for CFM aircraft engines.

The Safran-SpiceJet deal, under which around 340 engines are to be supplied to the budget carrier, is also one of the biggest in Indian aviation sector.

"Of course, it is a big deal and when you a sign a deal of more than USD 12 billion you are extremely happy... It is extremely important for CFM, Safran and General Electric, which is our partner in this joint venture. We have to produce 340 engines even if it is over a long period of time, it is something extremely exciting for a company like ours," Safran Group CEO and Director Philippe Petitcolin told PTI.

Speaking soon after signing the pact with SpiceJet, he also said that India is a growing country in terms of commercial aerospace market.

Indian carriers have substantial orders for new aircraft as they embark on ambitious expansion plans amid growing demand in the domestic aviation space. They are likely to induct more than 900 aircraft in the coming years.

To a query on whether Safran expects more deals like that of with SpiceJet, Petitcolin replied in the affirmative.

Yes of course. India is a growing country in terms of commercial aerospace market. You have a growth in the range of 17 per cent a year. We need more and more aeroplanes. We are one of the two leaders (in engine manufacturing) in the world. We have a market share of over 70 per cent in the short medium range aircraft segment. We wish to have a better and higher market share in India," he said.

SpiceJet and Safran Group have now finalised the purchase of LEAP-1B engines to power a total of 155 Boeing 737 MAX planes along with spare engines to support the fleet. The deal was inked at the Indo- French Economic Partnership signing ceremony on Saturday on the occasion of French President Emmanuel Macron visit to India.

CFM engines are manufactured by CFM International, a joint venture between Safran and General Electric.

The airline has also signed a ten-year Rate per Flight Hour (RPFH) agreement with CFM Services that covers all LEAP-1B engines powering SpiceJet's 737 MAX planes.

RPFH agreements are part of CFM's portfolio of flexible aftermarket support offerings.

Under the terms of the agreement, CFM guarantees maintenance costs for all SpiceJet's LEAP-1B engines on a pay by hour basis.

According to Safran India's website, more than 1,000 CFM 56 and LEAP engines are in service. The company's joint venture with Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bengaluru manufactures CM56 and LEAP components for CFM International. Safran and GE, to provide maintenance training for operators of CFM56 engines.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Mon, March 12, 2018 09:44:31

Luxury business jet operator Club One Air is looking to double its fleet to 20 planes in the next two years amid growing demand for chartered flights and the government's push to improve regional connectivity.

The New Delhi-based air charter firm currently has 10 aircraft, four other of them Dassault-made Falcon 2000, in the fleet.

It largely caters to domestic demand besides flying to around 50 international cities, its Chief Executive Rajan Mehra said.

"We have just inducted the 10th aircraft, a 12-seater Falcon. Going forward we will be adding more aircraft, which will be bigger, wider and larger in range. We are aiming to get our fleet size to 15-20 by March 2020," Mehra told PTI.

Club One Air, which currently operates from two bases, New Delhi and Mumbai, is expected to touch 300 cities, including 250 domestic ones, in the current year, Mehra said.

He added that the induction of larger range planes would help it fly non-stop to London.

"In domestic, we provide our charter services even in smaller cities. Internationally too, we go up to Europe besides Southeast Asia and the Far East. But we plan to fly to England without a halt. The induction of larger range planes will help us achieve this," he said.

According to Mehra, private business jet aviation is poised to clock a good growth as the industry has been able to convince the government of its untapped potential and huge job opportunities.

"We feel that this segment has the potential to further boost the economy. Though the government's UDAN scheme is not designed for private jet operators, it might be a game changer as it may bring infrastructure which was not there so far. So, if both industry and government act right, the private business jet aviation could really take off," he said.

Mehra said that Club One Air is growing in double digits against the industry norm which remains in the sub-10 range.

"We are looking to clock around 12-15 per cent growth this fiscal," Mehra said, without giving specifics.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Sat, March 10, 2018 11:35:33

Indian carriers will have an order book of more than 1,000 aircraft - the third-largest in the world after the US and China. With roughly 550 commercial aircraft in service now, the new acquisition will translate into 2.2 planes on order for every single aircraft in service. Day One of the Hyderabad aero show was all about these lofty numbers, as top aviation executives spoke about their ambitious expansion plans. The industry captains, including Vistara Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Leslie Thng, AirAsia India CEO Amar Abrol, and Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube, were all there at Begumpet Airport in Hyderabad for ‘Wings India 2018’, a prominent exhibition for the aviation industry.

Even as the aero show hosted all segments of the aviation industry, the buzz on the buying frenzy was clearly being led by low-cost carriers (LCCs) such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and AirAsia India. All these airlines are looking to add single aisle narrow body aircraft with a flying range of five hours to dominate the domestic market. Industry analysts pointed out that a prolonged period of low fuel price, coupled with increasing passenger numbers, has pushed Indian airlines to turn bullish about aircraft orders.

IndiGo has the largest order book in the world, with the airline looking to add around 450 planes in seven years. This includes an order for 50 ATR 72 planes, which the airline placed last year to foray into regional routes. The pace of addition may, however, slow down due to a technical disruption with the Pratt & Whitney engine which IndiGo uses for its A320neo planes. Company sources said the airline would maintain its target of 20 per cent annual growth by taking planes on lease from the secondary market.
Last year, IndiGo’s low-cost rival SpiceJet placed an order for 205 Boeing 737 MAX, the first of which will join the fleet in a few months. The airline also plans to add around 50 Bombardier Q400 in the next five years.

AirAsia India, after a slow start, has ramped up expansion plans and is looking to add around 60 planes in five years. CEO Amar Abrol said the airline wanted to boost its presence before flying international in early 2019. “We are expanding aggressively and aiming to be among the top three in the LCC segment, once we have inducted 60-70 aircraft in our fleet,” Abrol said recently.

Right now, it is a race among the LCCs, but full-service airlines too will join as growth of rivals will create a compulsion for them to expand, experts said.

Jet Airways CEO Vinay Dube on Thursday said the airline would double its order for Boeing 737 MAX. Jet is looking at an order for 75 planes soon. The airline already has 75 planes of this type on order. “We hope to close the deal with one of the manufacturers here shortly,” Dube said on the sidelines of the Hyderabad aero show.

However, such a pace of growth will test infrastructure and human resources capabilities. In fact, Airports Authority of India-owned airports have received a request from airlines to add 375 parking bays in the next five years. “This is unprecedented. Since the initial years of liberalisation in the sector, I have not seen such an aggressive growth plan,” said Kapil Kaul, CEO, South Asia, at aviation consultancy firm CAPA. “Signs of congestion are already emerging in Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi and the situation will become more acute unless airports are able to construct 400 parking bays and enhance airside capacity within five years. Otherwise, airlines will face challenges in implementing their base and network plans,” Kaul added.

Finding experienced crew will be another challenge. According to CAPA estimates, the industry will need 16,802 pilots by 2017, compared to roughly 7,000 available now.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Fri, March 09, 2018 10:04:31


The government is working on a fresh regional air connectivity scheme to connect smaller cities to neighbouring countries by incentivising airlines to operate affordable flights, a civil aviation ministry official said.

“The rethink is to enable state governments to use the UDAN platform for international connectivity,” civil aviation secretary RN Choubey told a press conference at the Wings India 2018 summit on Thursday.

UDAN is an acronym for ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik’ — a government initiative to put smaller towns and remote regions on the country’s aviation map by subsidising airlines for flying on select routes at a fixed fare — that can be loosely translated to ‘Let the common man fly’.

Unlike in the ongoing UDAN scheme in which the Centre subsidises lower fares charged by the airlines, in the international version it will be the state governments that provide subsidies while the Centre will facilitate the bidding rounds, Choubey said.

“It is for the government to decide whether they will fix a fare for the routes so to speak, or whether they will allow the fares to float in the market and allow minimum subsidy to be charged,” he said. Choubey said northeastern state of Assam has taken a lead in ‘UDAN Version 2’ by allocating ₹100 crore for three years for carriers willing to participate in the scheme.

ET had reported the Assam government's plans on January 18. Choubey said the government has yet to work out details of UDAN’s international version. It would entail bilateral agreements with neighbouring countries and slots at their airports. On the proposed sale of national carrier Air India and state-run helicopter operator Pawan Hans, Choubey said the civil aviation ministry expects to receive expressions of interest (EoIs) in the next two weeks. Financial bids will be called for after that.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Wed, March 07, 2018 09:50:33

A helicopter shuttle service (HeliTaxi) was opened in Bengaluru on Monday for the public between the Bengaluru airport and the city, in a bid to provide last-mile connectivity.

The Bengaluru International Airport Limited (BIAL), located in Devanahalli, about 40 km from the city centre, had tied up with helicopter service provider Thumby Aviation to ferry air passengers to and from the city.

"We are currently operating the service from 6.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. and 3.15 p.m. to 6 p.m. between the airport and the city through a helicopter that can seat six passengers," Thumby Chairman Group Captain K.N.G. Nair told IANS.

The fare for each passenger in the seven-seater (six passengers and a pilot) HeliTaxi is pegged at Rs 3,500 with additional taxes.

A commuter can opt for the helicopter shuttle service between BIAL and Electronic City in the south (about 70 km from the airport), which is home to hundreds of technology firms including, Infosys and other multinationals, or Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Airport in the city centre.

"Bengaluru needed a service like this much more than the other cities due to its poor road density (the measure of road length per square km area of land), as compared to other Indian cities," said Nair.

The decision to launch the helicopter shuttle service was announced in August 2017 by Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha.

Currently, the chopper service provider has employed only one helicopter to ferry the air passengers and will increase the number depending on the demand.

The HeliTaxi is expected to make one to-and-fro trip per hour between the helipad at BIAL and Electronic City or HAL Airport.

The chopper service fare is comparable to a 5-7 seater luxury cab fare, which costs about Rs 3,000-4,000 from the city's far end to the airport.

As India's third busiest airport after New Delhi and Mumbai, Bengaluru has at least 60,000 fliers landing or taking off on working days.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Sat, March 03, 2018 10:11:01

India is rapidly expanding its aviation network beyond its biggest cities, developing airports at 18 smaller and unserved destinations over the past year and seeking to bring commercial flights to at least five more towns over the next few months. “By March end, we aim to operationalise others such as Adampur in Jalandhar and Salem in Tamil Nadu,” a senior official at the stateowned Airports Authority of India (AAI) told ET.

Another 12 airports, to be put up for bids, are in various stages of development and may take more than a year to be ready. To be sure, industry sources are somewhat sceptical about the fate of all of these links, and believe that some may require complex issues to be solved before flights were to begin. Under the UDAN plan, which seeks to democratise and broaden aviation linkage in a nation where flying still remains beyond the reach of many citizens, the government is building airports in unserved or under-served locations, offering incentives for airlines to fly to these destinations.

As part of that plan, several new airports were built over the past year. Among those where commercial flights have begun operation or are ready for take-off are Mundra and Jamnagar in Gujarat (private airports run by the Adani Group and Reliance IndustriesBSE -0.50 %, respectively), Jalgaon in Maharashtra, Bhatinda in Punjab, Kadapa in Andhra Pradesh and Vijayanagar in Kanataka. The last location is also a private airport operated by the JSW Group.

Among those that could technically be bracketed under W-I-P (work in progress) are Burnpur in West Bengal, Sholapur in Maharashtra, and Utkela and Jeypore in Odisha. The commencement of regional flights to airports such as Kanpur and Allahabad is also pending the resolution of a legal conflict between IndiGoBSE -0.40 % and the Delhi airport operator over the terminal the airline will operate from in the capital. IndiGo has filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, challenging the GMR-led International Airport's (DIAL) direction to the airline to shift a part of its operations from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2 of the airport.

IndiGo, SpiceJetBSE -0.04 % and Jet AirwaysBSE -0.54 % are among the national scheduled carriers that have bid for routes under the regional connectivity scheme. India has 450 unused airstrips and airports. The scheme has a 10-year review period, and 65 locations are connected by routes that have been put up in the two rounds of bidding so far.

Some of the new regional carriers have questioned the move to bid out routes involving airports that are far from complete. Under the scheme, it is up to an airline to suggest and bid for routes that it deems viable after having done its due diligence on air travel demand and viability. The ministry of civil aviation then puts the route up for counter-bidding by other airlines. In fact, for unserved or unused airports requiring investments of more than? 5 crore for upgradation, bidder has to give a bank guarantee of ?1 crore. It is returned to the airline after a year of operations.

“Many of these airports run into conflicts over land acquisition, at times with the state government. We have bid for an airport after another airline did a due diligence. Now we see that the airport is stuck. We have to rework our entire network plan accordingly,” said a senior executive at an airline.

Experts, however, disagree on the success parameters and operational soundness of the regional connectivity scheme.

“The government has been proactive in operationalising unserved airports under the UDAN scheme. It is valid to get an airline to commit to operate at such airports and then develop/operationalise them. Otherwise we risk spending taxpayers’ money on assets that remain unused,” said Peeyush Naidu, a partner at Deloitte.

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GENERAL TOPICSPosted by C C ASHOKA Thu, March 01, 2018 10:44:17
Image result for MAX 9 CERTIFIED

Boeing has been awarded an amended type certificate (ATC) from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for the 737 MAX 9, paving the way for the aircraft to enter commercial service.

Certification comes at the end of a successful flight test programme, which started in March last year with two airframes.

Keith Leverkuhn, Vice President and General Manager of the 737 MAX Program, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said: “Our teams built superior capabilities into the MAX 9 and proved them all the way through flight test. We’re looking forward to bringing this airplane to market for our valued customers. I am proud of the entire team for helping us reach another important development milestone.”

The first customer aircraft is undergoing final preparation before delivery to Lion Air Group.

The MAX 9 can carry up to 220 passengers and has a maximum range of 3,550 nautical miles (6,575km). The jet provides three additional rows compared to the MAX 8.

In other news, Boeing has finalised the firm configuration of the fourth member of the family, the MAX 10. Now that engineers have all the design requirements in place the manufacturer can move towards the detailed design phase prior to the start of construction of what will be the largest member of the company’s single-aisle family.

The 737 MAX 10 has a stretched fuselage that is 66in (168cm) longer than the MAX 9 and will carry up to 230 passengers (ten more than the MAX 9). Boeing claims the jet will offer 5% lower trip costs and 5% lower seat-mile costs compared to its competition. Deliveries are scheduled to start in 2020.

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