Thursday, September 18, 2014

Regional flights plan runs into rough weather

Indian domestic airlines have voiced opposition to a Ministry of Civil Aviation draft policy on regional and remote connectivity, that permits non-scheduled (charter) companies to fly regular service to 87 remote destinations under code-share arrangements with scheduled carriers.

"Under India's route dispersal guidelines, domestic airlines must to fly 10% of their capacity to identified underserved areas. The government has declared a list of incentive destinations after holding meetings with DGCA and AAI officials," civil aviation secretary V Somasundaran said.

The Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA), a body representing major Indian carriers has, however, suggested that a regional connectivity fund, similar to the one followed internationally, be established. "Under this scheme, every passenger on existing routes would be charged a fee, and that fee will be used to subsidise airline operations for flights to the 87 destinations (see box) mentioned under the guidelines," an FIA member said.
Airline officials are lobbying against making it mandatory to increase capacity, which is equal to that deployed on trunk routes by October 2015. "Each scheduled carrier will have to rework plans. At least 6% of capacity would have to be deployed on trunk routes while shorter duration flights would service remote areas," an analyst with Vistara said.
18/09/14 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

Jet Airways to launch full services on all-economy subsidiary JetKonnect

New Delhi: In a bid to take on competition from Tata-SIA's Vistara airline which is yet to start operations, Jet AirwaysBSE 3.13 % today announced launch of full services even on its all-economy subsidiary JetKonnect from December and plans to consolidate into a single-brand.

Full service product with complementary meal service would be provided on all domestic flights from December one, with the buy-on-board concept being discontinued, an airline statement said.
The announcement was in line with its recent announcement of a uniform 'single brand', with Jet Airways commencing streamlining and aligning its domestic operations into "a single full service product to provide an enhanced and consistent product experience," the statement said.

"As the first of many upcoming initiatives, all guests booking flights on or after September 15 for travel on or after December one, will enjoy the full service experience onboard all Jet Airways and JetKonnect-operated flights across the domestic network," it said.
It said the 'Sky Cafe' or Jet's buy-on-board service would be discontinued. Passengers currently booked on JetKonnect flights (holding flight numbers starting with S2), for travel from December one onwards would enjoy complementary meals, the statement added.
18/09/14 PTI/Economic Times

Jet Airways Offers Rs. 933 Promotional Scheme

Jet Airways has launched a new promotional scheme offering all-inclusive fares from as low as Rs. 933. This offer is valid for travel in economy class flights within India operated by Jet Airways and JetKonnect. The booking for this Jet Airways offer is open till September 18, 2014 (inclusive).

The offer is applicable on travel on or after January 16, 2015 and tickets purchased under this offer are non-refundable.

This Jet Airways offer come in the wake of another promotional offer from SpiceJet on next year's tickets. SpiceJet on Tuesday launched an 'Early New Year Sale' in which tickets can be booked at fares as low as Rs. 699, excluding applicable statutory taxes.

The bookings for this SpiceJet offer will be available till mid-night September 18, 2014. The sale is for travel between January 16, 2015 and October 24, 2015. SpiceJet has been one of the most aggressive players in offering promotional schemes, announcing more than a dozen offers this year.
18/09/14 NDTV

Jet Airways Launches Fifth Daily Service Between Dubai And Mumbai

Indian carrier Jet Airways has announced the launch of its fifth new daily service between Dubai and Mumbai.

Jet, in which Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways recently bought a 24 per cent stake, said that it plans to commence operations on the new service from October 14, 2014.

The airline will deploy its next – generation Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the route, offering twin class configuration of premiere and economy class, it said in a statement.

From October 14- 25, flight 9W 580 will depart Mumbai at 0200hrs (local time) and arrive Dubai at 0340 hrs. On the return leg, 9W 579 will depart Dubai at 0455 hrs and arrive in Mumbai at 0930 hrs.

However, from October 26 onwards, the Mumbai departure time will move to 0140 hrs, arriving in Dubai at 0335 hrs. On the return leg, 9W 579 will depart Dubai at 0500 hrs and arrive in Mumbai at 0930 hrs.
18/09/14 Aarti Nagraj/Gulf Business

With GMR out, Chinese firm bags Male airport deal

Beijing: A Chinese firm has bagged a deal for upgrading the international airport in Male, the capital of Maldives, after President Xi Jinping visited the island nation on Monday. The Maldives government had earlier given the $511 million contract to an Indian company, GMR Infrastructure, and cancelled it two years ago over user charges. The deal has now gone to Beijing Urban Construction Group Company Ltd.

The move has strategic significance in the Indian Ocean area, particularly in light of Chinese contractors building sea ports in Sri Lanka. Significantly, the Maldives also accepted President Xi's request to join the Chinese Maritime Silk Road programme, aimed at linking China to Europe through the seas of South Asia. Sri Lanka and Singapore have earlier expressed their desire to join the programme, which will connect China with the Indian Ocean.

President Xi, it is learnt, is expected to request Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his green signal for India's participation in the plan to transform the Indian Ocean zone into the regional shipping and aviation hub.
18/09/14 Saibal Dasgupta/Times of India

Malaysia Airlines lambasts author of book on MH370

Wellington: Malaysia Airlines has lambasted an author from New Zealand, who wrote a book on the MH370 tragedy, media report said.
Ewan Wilson, a former Kiwi International Airlines chief executive, who wrote the book “The Truth Behind the Loss of Flight 370”, suggested that the pilot of the flight committed murder-suicide. The book has been co-authored by Geoff Taylor.
The duo were promoting the book in England this week. They claim MH370 was the sixth commercial flight to crash because of suicidal or mentally ill pilots.
The book claims pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah of MH370 deliberately depressurised the cabin, giving passengers only 20 minutes’ oxygen supply, and locked his co-pilot out of the cockpit.
18/09/14 Indian Republic

British Airways gives massive discount on Mumbai-London ticket

New Delhi: British Airways announced a flash one-day sale today, offering massive discount of up to 90 per cent on return tickets between Mumbai and London to commemorate nine decades of its India operations.

Under the offer, the lowest-priced Mumbai-London return ticket would start at Rs 40,252 for economy travel from October 1-31, this year, the airline said in a statement.

"We, at British Airways, are pleased to introduce this once-in-a-lifetime offer for our customers from Mumbai as part of our 90 years' anniversary celebration in the market," Christopher Fordyce, BA's Regional Commercial Manager (South Asia), told PTI from Mumbai.

To questions, he said this one-day offer was not "just another flash sale" but meant only to commemorate the 90th anniversary.
Asked whether several foreign airlines like Lifthansa, Qatar Airways and Emirates were offering to attract Indian customers due to excess capacity, Fordyce said such offers were a regular feature in the aviation market and not generally driven by excess capacity.
18/09/14 PTI/Business Standard

Maran’s SpiceJet Shrinks to Grow

SpiceJet Ltd., the Indian budget airline that’s posted four straight quarterly losses, seeks to lower costs by flying fewer and newer aircraft in a bid to return to profit amid intensifying competition from AirAsia Bhd.

The airline returned two 14-year-old aircraft to lessors three weeks ago, and will consider removing other older planes to improve fleet efficiency and cut fuel cost, Chief Operating Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said in an interview.

SpiceJet, majority owned by billionaire Kalanithi Maran, has this year offered fares as low as $8 to fill seats that would have otherwise gone empty, boosting its own occupancy and forcing competitors to follow suit. The budget carrier is shrinking the size of its fleet and workforce to lower costs in one of the world’s most expensive markets for airlines.

“It’s better to be one size smaller” with more seats filled in fewer aircraft, Kapoor said in New Delhi Sept. 12. SpiceJet has cut capacity by 10 percent this year, and aims to shrink by up to 14 percent in the year ending December, he said.
18/09/14 Anurag Kotoky/Bloomberg

Karasur-Sederapet SEZ Land May be Developed as Airport

Puducherry: The Puducherry government is planning to shift the airport at Lawspet to a rural area of Karasur-Sederapet by utilizing the land acquired for Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

While speaking in the budget discussion in the Assembly on Wednesday, PML Kalyanasundaram (AINRC) made this reference based on a reply provided by the government to his question raised during question hour in the Assembly.

It may be recalled that over 750 acres of land had been acquired from farmers for establishing a SEZ at Karasur-Sederapet in 2006-2007. The government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a private party (SPML) for developing the area and handed over the land for the purpose. However the SEZ project went into cold storage following objections raised by the Union Home Ministry, citing lack of contiguity.

In the written reply to the MLA, the government stated that it was waiting for handing over of the SEZ area by the private party, since the matter was pending in court.  Once the land is handed over to the Tourism Department, action would be taken to develop an airport and allied tourism activities, the government stated in its reply.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has been informed in this regard for getting site  clearance and they would be visiting the site for review, sources said.
18/09/14 New Indian Express

Jet Airways to come up with ‘better’ offer for JetLite pilots

Mumbai: Naresh Goyal-led Jet Airways, which had in August offered pilots at its soon-to-be-ceased subsidiary, JetLite, an opportunity to join the parent airline, has taken back the offer seeking more time to come back with a better deal after JetLite pilots raised grave concerns with the management, two people familiar with the development said. None of them wanted to be identified.
On August 19, Jet Airways had issued an internal memo telling JetLite pilots that they would have to resign from their current jobs and apply afresh for a position with Jet Airways, on the condition that their previous flying experience would hold no value.
Though the parent airline assured JetLite pilots that their salaries would be protected, the latter were concerned about their future prospects following the memo. They feared that their growth prospects, including promotions, would be hampered under the new structure, which would place them at the bottom of the rank, even lower than Jet Airways’ pilots with less experience. They were also worried they may be asked to shift base.
18/09/14 Rhik Kundu/Financial Express

Jet expands foreign base, adds new Gulf routes

Mumbai: In its schedule for the coming winter season, Jet Airways is expanding its international services, with new flights to Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi. The airline feels increasing foreign operations will boost foreign exchange earnings and offset rupee’s depreciation.

New services have been planned to Dubai from Kochi and Mumbai; Doha from Mumbai, Kozhikode and Thiruvanthapuram; and Abu Dhabi from Ahmedabad, Lucknow and Goa. The airline has already announced new flights to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam via Bangkok from November, as well as additional flights on the Mumbai-Bangkok and Mumbai-Colombo routes. International operations account for 56 per cent of Jet’s overall revenue; the airline plans to increase this to about 60 per cent. It is scaling down domestic services, adding flights on short international routes, and exploring new flights to Yangon and Seychelles. It is also considering resuming services to Kuala Lumpur.
18/09/14 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

Air traffic management an 'urgent issue' in metros, says Maharashtra Governor

Mumbai: Air traffic management is an "urgent issue" in the metros due to economic growth and the challenge is to be efficient while ensuring safety, Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao said today.

"The challenge is to cope with increasing traffic, increasing connectivity and the need to attain higher level of efficiency along with enhanced safety," said Rao, who was sworn in as the Governor of the state last month.
"Air traffic management has become an urgent issue to be addressed at the metro airports," he said.

Rao was addressing a seminar to kick-off the 50 years celebration of ATC Guild of India here.

There are 2,345 air traffic controllers manning the domestic skies at present, the Guild said.
18/09/14 PTI/Economic Times

Emirates Airline will not invest in Indian domestic passenger carriers

Emirates Airline has said that it will not invest in any of the Indian domestic passenger carriers and that it will grow its operational organically in India, report The Hindu.
Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, vice president, India and Nepal for Emirates said: “We at Emirates believe in growing our business organically. Adding that there are no plans to invest in any of the Indian passenger carriers by the Dubai-based airline.
Analyst Saj Ahmad commented: “The beating heart of Emirates' international expansion for the last 20 years or more has been based on organic expansion. As big a market as India claims to be, it is still highly immature, underdeveloped and nearly every Indian airline loses money and its little wonder that Emirates isn't at all interested in buying or investing here.”
18/09/14 Arabian Aerospace

Vijay Mallya summoned by court

Bulandshehr: Kingfisher Airlines Chairman-cum-Managing Director Vijay Mallya has been summoned by a court here on a pilot's petition alleging that the company was withholding his payment dues. Finding Mallya "prima-facie" guilty of fraud and criminal breach of trust (under section 420 and 406 of IPC), Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Umakant Jindal has summoned him along with company Vice Chairman Roopi Arya.
The court's order came in the wake of a complaint filed in court by a co-pilot of the airline contending that the accused were not paying his dues amounting to over Rs 28 lakh notwithstanding a written assurance by Arya.
18/09/14 Daily News & Analysis

AAI to make modifications at Gannavaram airport

Vijayawada: The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is contemplating to make temporary modifications at the Gannavaram airport shortly to meet the requirements of increasing passengers from Vijayawada and its surroundings areas.
Anticipating a flurry of activity in the wake of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s announcement in the State Assembly that the new Capital would be developed around the city, the AAI has chalked out plans to make modifications to the existing terminal building to cater to the needs of passengers as also airline companies that are planning to began operations from Gannavaram airport.
“We have sent the proposals along with estimates to the headquarters in New Delhi in this regard. We are waiting for the response. Once we get the permission, we will complete the work in a year,” a senior airport official said. The official explained that additional check-in counters and space for backend operations for new airline companies, spacious lounge for passengers and expansion of VIPs lounge would be taken up as part of the modification works.
“We have to take up works without disturbing the ongoing operations. We are only waiting for the clearance from higher-ups,” he said. Plans to make temporary changes to the terminal building were afoot as the previous proposals to develop a swanky arrival and departure terminal to meet the needs of passengers coming from foreign countries could take some more time.
18/09/14 M. Srinivas/The Hindu

Vadodara MP demands restarting of Air India flights to Delhi, Mumbai

Vadodara: Newly elected BJP MP from Vadodara Ranjanben Bhatt has sought the Centre's help to restart Air India's flight from here to Delhi and Mumbai.
"I have made this demand in a letter written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju," Bhatt said.
Air India has suspended its daily morning flight on Delhi-Vadodara route since last week.
Demanding resumption of the flight to Delhi as soon as possible, Bhatt also sought restarting of AI's flight on Mumbai-Vadodara route which was suspended over five years back since the advent of private players.
"If the private airline companies could continue to operate on Vadodara-Delhi and Vadodara-Mumbai routes, then what prevents the Air India from operating on these routes?" the MP asked.
Several industry representatives here have also supported Bhatt's demand for resumption of flights on these two commercially profitable routes.
18/09/14 PTI/Financial Express

How airport crooks take off with your stuff

Everyone knows how busy airports are, but it's this chaos that thieves take full advantage of. Here are the six areas in an airport you are likeliest to lose your luggage, going by what the cops tell us

When most people think of safety at the air port, they are so caught up in the ideas of plane hijackings that they forget the luggage that's right beside them. And that's what makes the situation ideal for airport thieves to strike. A recent report states that in the last few years, there has been a sharp rise in cases of baggage theft at IGI Airport. MI Haider, deputy commissioner of police, IGI Airport, says, "From January to August, we have reported 40 cases of baggage theft. These thefts have mostly happened at the screening area, conveyor belts and after you have checked-in your baggage (the baggage management area)." The CISF , which is responsible for security at the airport, pointed out other places where cases of thefts happen regularly . DT breaks down the areas during the check-in procedure where your luggage is the most vulnerable, and when you need to keep a sharper eye on it.
Upon reaching the airport, you're busy clinging on to the memories of the city you're leaving, but it's best to cling on to your luggage as well, because it's while you're saying goodbye to your loved ones or paying the taxi that thefts can occur. In one of the incidents reported, a girl filched a small handbag kept at the top of a trolley, while a family was busy with their lastminute goodbyes. She was, however, caught with the help of CCTV cameras, and later, it was found that she was part of a five-member, bagsnatching gang of girls, who'd stolen from the airport on several occasions.
18/09/14 Nitisha Kashyap/Times of India

Air India pilot booked for late-night road rage in Juhu

Mumbai: A senior pilot with Air India was arrested early on Tuesday after he ploughed his car into another in Juhu and then allegedly assaulted the other motorist who criticised him for jumping the red light.

Before leaving the scene, Captain Anupam Tiwari once again smashed his Jaguar into the victim's Hyundai Getz, dragging it, according to the police complaint.

The road rage incident took place shortly after Monday midnight. Tiwari was arrested by the DN Nagar police at 2.40 am on Tuesday and his blood was drawn to check if he was driving drunk. Tiwari later secured bail.

Assistant Police Commissioner S R Dhanedar confirmed the smash-up. "Anupam Tiwari has been booked for rash and negligent driving, and assault under the Indian Penal Code," he said.

The Air India pilot was allegedly speeding in the lanes of Juhu late on Monday night. According to the 28-year-old victim, Faisal Khan, Tiwari jumped the red light at JVPD and lost control, hitting Khan's Getz.

Khan was travelling with his two friends, who sustained minor injuries. Their car, however, was badly damaged.
18/09/14 Aditya Anand & Nazia Sayed/Mumbai Mirror

Kenyan woman detained at airport in TN

Chennai: A 26-year-old Kenyan woman was detained by immigration authorities here after it was found that she allegedly had a fake visa and overstayed in India, airport authorities said.

The woman, Jacinta Mueni, arrived here from Hyderabad to board an early morning flight to Doha.

During checks, it was found that she had a fake visa besides had overstayed in India.

She was detained and being questioned by the authorities, they said.
18/09/14 PTI/ZeeNews

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

IndiGo Signs $2.6 bn Deal with China Bank

Bangalore: ow cost carrier, IndiGo Airlines has signed a $2.6 billion deal with China-based commercial lender ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd) for finance of over 30 new aircraft.

IndiGo is the only profit-making carrier in the scheduled list of Indian carriers. The announcement coincides  with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India where both countries are looking to increase cooperation in areas of business and politics.

According to reports, China is willing to invest almost $100 billion in India to contribute to its development. Jinping is leading a 100-member business delegation.

“Through this memorandum of understanding, ICBC will provide IndiGo financial solutions for the introduction of A320 and the other family of aircraft to the fleet in the form of sale and leaseback or financial lease or commercial lending,” IndiGo said in a statement and added that the deal would be for over 30 aircraft and $2.6 billion. The company said that they already have a relationship with ICBC and this new agreement will help explore cooperation in the longer term.

The low cost carrier, promoted by InterGlobe Enterprises, is also  planning on listing the company in the stock exchanges in 2015, it was reported. The decision to expand comes at a time when India has opened its skies for foreign direct investment upto 49 per cent.
17/09/14 New Indian Express

Air India suspends pilot, ten cabin crew members for indiscipline

New Delhi:  Taking its crew to task for lack of discipline, Air India today suspended a pilot and ten cabin crew members for delaying some recent flights, including an international service, by not reporting for duty on time.

The suspensions were carried out after repeated complaints of various nature, including careless handling of passengers or flight delays caused by delayed arrival of crew members, Air India officials said.
The suspension orders were issued this afternoon after carrying out inquiries into each case of indiscipline, they told PTI here.

The national carrier's Newark-Mumbai flight AI-144 had a delayed departure of over two hours on September 14 as the pilot failed to arrive at the airport on time, the officials, requesting anonymity, said.
17/09/14 PTI/Economic Times

Jet Airlines seeks more time to pay pilots' salary arrears

Mumbai: Jet Airways management assured its pilots of legal help today to deal with DGCA notices to them, even as it sought more time to pay salary arrears worth Rs 100 crore, sources said here today.

The assurance to pilots came after a meeting between the two sides at the airline's headquarters here today, airline sources told PTI today evening.

"At the meeting, we requested the management to support us on various notices served to our colleagues by the aviation regulator. The management responded positively to our request," sources said.

The management also said that it would "reconsider" internal warning letters to a dozen odd pilots, which were served to them for various counts in the recent past, sources added.
It may be mentioned here that earlier this month, the DGCA had cracked down on nearly 140 Jet Airways pilots for continuing to fly without clearing mandatory bi-annual exams and issued show-cause notices to the airline, questioning its pilot training programme.
17/09/14 BUsiness Standard

Air Costa connects Vizag. to Vijayawada

Air Costa has announced the launch of its new services from Visakhapatnam to Tirupati and Vijayawada and also a second daily flight from Vizag to Hyderabad via Vijayawada with effect from September 24.

The Visakhapatnam – Tirupati flight will leave Visakhapatnam at 2 p.m. and reach Tirupati at 3.15 p.m. In the return direction, the flight will leave Tirupati at 3.40 p.m. and arrive in Visakhapatnam at 4.55 p.m.

The Visakhapatnam – Vijayawada flight will take off from Visakhapatnam at 5.15 p.m. and reach Vijayawada at 6.05 p.m. Another flight will leave Vijayawada at 12.45 p.m. and reach Visakhapatnam at 1.35 p.m.

A second flight from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad via Vijayawada will leave Visakhapatnam at 5.15 p.m. and reach Hyderabad at 7.15 p.m. The Hyderabad – Visakhapatnam flight via Vijayawada will leave Hyderabad at 11.35 a.m. and arrive here at 1.35 p.m.
17/09/14 The Hindu

Close shave for Spicejet passengers on Delhi-Mumbai flight

New Delhi: It was a close shave for 175 passengers on Tuesday morning when the Spicejet flight in which they were travelling developed a technical snag due to a loose screw in its engine.

The DGCA has withdrawn the authorization power of the aircraft maintenance engineer who certified the repairs
The DGCA has withdrawn the authorization power of the aircraft maintenance engineer who certified the repairs

The flight SG 451 was on destination Mumbai when one of its engines failed immediately after the take-off and before anything untoward could occur, it was returned and made to land safely at the Delhi airport on single engine.

The aircraft (VT-SPG) was later examined by experts from the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA). “The fuel pump of engine number 1 (which failed) was repaired on Monday night. After completing that work, the engineers did not properly tighten one of the four screws used on the fuel pump. As a result when the aircraft took off for its first flight after that repair on Tuesday morning, pressure did not form inside the engine due to the loose screw and it failed,” said a senior DGCA official.
17/09/14 IndiLeak

GMR surprised with decision to give airport development to Chinese firm

Indian infrastructure company GMR has told media of its surprise that the development of Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) has been given to a Chinese firm.

“Sources in the GMR expressed surprise at the move by the Maldives government as it has entered in a new contract for construction work at airport without paying damages as suggested by the tribunal,” wrote the Economic Times today.

The preliminary contract agreement for the development of the airport was one of eight MoUs signed between the Chinese and Maldivian governments during the recent presidential visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinpeng.

The terms of the agreements have not yet been released to the media, though it was revealed that the new contract to develop the airport was given to Beijing Urban Construction Company Limited.

President Xi’s visit to the Maldives – part of his South Asia – tour was reported to have added to Indian concerns regarding Chinese ambitions in the region.
17/09/14 Ismail Humaam Hamid/Minivan News

Malfunctioning AC delays AI flight, leaves Mumbai-bound passengers traumatised

Passengers of an Air India flight to Mumbai had a traumatic experience on Wednesday after the plane was stuck on New Delhi tarmac for over 1 hour with no air conditioner aboard the plane. Fliers on AI Flight 315, an Osaka-Mumbai flight via Hong Kong and Delhi, were in for a shock after the plane remained stranded at Delhi airport for 90 minutes. The passengers on the Delhi-Mumbai route of the flight alleged that they were stuck on board with non-functional air conditioners. The aircraft that was to take off at 11pm from Delhi to Mumbai could take off only at 12.30 am after 1.5 hours of delay.
The passengers were all the more furious when a female passenger’s health deteriorated due to lack of oxygen inside the aircraft. When the passengers sought medical help, they claim that they were told that there wasn’t even a medical kit in the aircraft.
17/09/14 Neha LM Tripathi/Mid Day

Dassault chief to be here to discuss delay in MMRCA deal

New Delhi: The Chief of French firm Dassault Aviation, which has been selected for supplying 126 multirole combat aircraft to the IAF, will be here later this week to meet top Defence Ministry officials to discuss delays in finalisation of the multi-billion dollar contract.

The firm was selected two years back by India for supplying 126 Rafale medium-multirole combat aircraft to the Air Force.

The firm's CEO Eric Trippier is scheduled to meet top Defence Ministry officials to discuss issues related to finalisation of the much-delayed contract, sources said here.

India and the French firm have been discussing the deal for over two years.

The negotiations have lately slowed down over some issues, including the imposition of liquidity damages or penalties for any delays in the supply of the aircraft to be manufactured in the country.
17/09/14 PTI/Business Standard

Odisha seeks permission from Center for to allow Fly Dubai to start operations from Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has once again urged the Union Civil Aviation Ministry to accord permission to ‘Fly Dubai’ to start operations from from Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar. Odisha chief secretary Gokul Chandra Pati, in a letter to secretary of Union Ministry of Civil Aviation V Somasundaran, said “Fly Dubai has submitted an application for permission to operate international flights from Bhubaneswar. I would appreciate if provisional permission to Fly Dubai to start international flight operation can be granted, pending finalisation of bilateral air services agreement,”.

MIA must explain battery scare, says minister

Mangalore: Minister for health and family welfare, U T Khader, on Monday demanded an explanation from authorities concerned for the trials and tribulations that Abdul Khader, 29, a resident of Uppala, went through at Mangalore International Airport (MIA) on Saturday. A faulty tab battery that exposed the circuitry forced the airport security to detain Khader.

He was scheduled to take the Dubai flight and join work there on Sunday.

In a statement released here, the minister said a memorandum will be sent to the Union ministry for civil aviation, demanding a thorough probe into the chain of events that led to an impression that Abdul Khader was carrying explosives.

The minister said that people have a right to know where the lapse occurred, leading to the incident being blown out of proportion.

Khader was supposed to take the Jet Airways 9W352 flight at 11.15pm on Saturday to Dubai when security personnel detained him at MIA after they found 'exposed' circuitry inside his bag. Incoherent answers by Khader, who believed that the parcel in question were books given to him by his neighbour to be handed over to her brother in Sharjah, only confounded matters. Meanwhile, Khader, was also not aware of the exact contents of the parcel handed to him.

Further, a bottle, which personnel from the bomb detection and disposal squad from Bangalore later confirmed was hydrogen peroxide, added to their anxiety.

According to the minister, the security personnel could have handled the situation tactfully. Khader finally left for Dubai, 24-hours later on Sunday by a Jet Airways flight after the local law enforcement agencies cleared him.
17/09/14 SahilONline