Thursday, March 26, 2015

New civil aviation policy to be finalised shortly: Minister

New Delhi: Government is likely to finalise the new civil aviation policy shortly, Minister of State for civil aviation Mahesh Sharma said.

"We are waiting for certain inputs from stakeholders .... I think within a very short time,?could be in a week's time, it should be finalised," Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event here.

Government had in November last year announced the new Draft Civil Aviation policy and circulated it to all stakeholders for consultations before putting it in place.

Responding to a question on the proposed norms for domestic carriers?for international operations,?the Minister said?the?decision on removal of 5/20 rule would not depend on individual carriers' interests.
26/03/15 PTI/Daily News & Analysis

Now, IndiGo Offers All-Inclusive Tickets From Rs 1,395

Amid airlines offering hefty discounts in order to attract customers, budget carrier IndiGo has now announced domestic all-inclusive fares starting as low as Rs 1,395.

IndiGo's 'lower than low' scheme offers tickets for travel from Delhi to destinations including Goa, Mumbai, Pune, Jaipur, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata. Bookings under this offer have to be "made 90 days before travel date", says IndiGo, India's largest airline in terms of domestic market share.

While Delhi-Jaipur tickets are priced at Rs 1,395 - the lowest under this scheme - Delhi-Lucknow is available for Rs 1,647, Delhi-Mumbai at Rs 2,895, Delhi-Kolkata at Rs 3,861 and Delhi-Goa at Rs 4,694, among others.

Airlines in the domestic market have time and again offered discounted lower fares to lure more business than rivals.
25/03/15 NDTV

Court Asks DGCA not to De-register SpiceJet Planes till April 6

New Delhi: In a reprieve to SpiceJet, the Delhi High Court today asked aviation regulator DGCA not to de-register its six leased planes till April six, saying the no-frill carrier was likely to settle the dispute with two Irish aircraft leasing firms.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said till the next date of hearing, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will take no action as SpiceJet is likely to "settle the dispute".

If SpiceJet settles the issue, "it's well and good. Otherwise, we will hear the matter and dispose it off," the bench said.

The airline had moved the High Court seeking orders to DGCA not to de-register its six aircraft leased from two lessors.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, appearing for SpiceJet which has moved the High Court seeking orders to DGCA not to de-register these Boeing 737 planes, said the airline has settled its dispute with Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin) Ltd and a settlement with AWAS Ireland Ltd was on the cards.
25/03/15 PTI/NDTV

Not interested in anybody else but IndiGo: Qatar Airways

The Arabian Kingdom of Qatar is looking at scaling up its economic partnership with India. During the ongoing visit of Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani to Delhi, both sides discussed how the Arabian Kingdom can use its sovereign wealth fund the Qatar Investment Authority to invest in railways, defence and infra sectors.
The one area that the Qatar government is keen on entering is the Indian aviation space and Qatar Airways has been exploring joint ventures with Indian carriers. The airline is particularly keen on tying up with India's most profitable carrier IndiGo. Meanwhile, according to sources,  SpiceJet  has now reached out to Qatar airways to be an investor in the beleaguered airline. Speaking to CNBC-TV18, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the company will like to invest in IndiGo. He said they are not interested in any other company but IndiGo. Baker concluded saying that the India’s foreign direct investment (FDI) policy suits them but the country’s aviation policy doesn’t.
25/03/15 CNBC-TV18

Telangana govt to take up only three airports for now

Hyderabad: The Telangana government may have to rethink about its ambitious plans of building greenfield airports in all the districts due to lack of funds and other issues. The government has now asked the infrastructure and investment department to take up only three airports in the first phase - at Warangal, Kothagudem and Adilabad. Official sources said that the airports at Nizamabad, Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar may not materialise due to fund crunch and restrictions imposed on developing airports within 150 km radius of the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) at Shamshabad.

In fact, chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had announced a slew of new airports even at small places such as Shameerpet and Ghatkesar. But the agreement between the Chandrababu Naidu government in undivided AP and GMR (developer of RGIA) does not permit these new airports. Officials said that the development of Warangal airport is being given top priority.

The airport, located at Mamnur in the district, was constructed several decades ago and is defunct now. The previous Congress government had entered into an agreement with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for redeveloping the airport along with one in Kadapa, but there was no progress due to paucity of funds.
26/03/15 Nyooz

Hectic pace to Kannur airport work

Mattannur (Kannur): The undulating terrain of the vast extent of land near here where work is going on at a hectic pace for construction of the Kannur international airport is changing rapidly with large earthmoving equipment at work levelling the area and hundreds of labourers and technical staff working day and night to complete the project by the scheduled completion date of May next year.

Officials of Kannur International Airport Ltd. (KIAL) and Larsen and Toubro, which has been awarded the Rs.694-crore engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contract for developing the runway and the Rs.498-crore passenger terminal building (PTB), were optimistic that the trial landing at the new airport will be in December-January as planned and that the commercial operation can begin in May next year.

Nearly 50 per cent of the earth work, including cutting and filling, involving 190 lakh cubic metres of earth has been completed and the work for constructing the airport apron is nearing completion.

“If the monsoon is proper and if there is no stoppage of works due to contingency situation, the project will be completed as per schedule,” KIAL Managing Director G. Chandramouli told The Hindu . The work is now progressing at a rapid pace to catch up with the loss of nearly 85 days when the blasting work had to be stopped at the site due to local protests, he said.
26/03/15 Mohamed Nazeer/The Hindu

Direct air routes deemed key to Vietnam-India tourism cooperation

A recently signed agreement between India and the Vietnamese Ministry of Transport will serve as an important legal framework to facilitate the development of their transport infrastructure, Billa noted at a tourism promotion event held by the Vietnamese Embassy in New Delhi on March 24.
He said that India is one of the two countries that have had the most tourists going overseas in the world, and encouraged Vietnamese people to visit. He also suggested that if promotional activities are conducted effectively, Vietnam will be a magnet for Indian visitors because it possesses a multitude of attractive destinations, a rich culinary culture and many shared spiritual and cultural similarities with his country.
General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Nguyen Van Tuan, said numerous measures have been taken to strengthen bilateral cooperation, particularly in tourism, since Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s visit to India last October.
Following the decision of India’s second biggest carrier, Jet Airways, to open a direct air route to Vietnam, the Southeast Asian country’s national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines is also planning to launch a direct route to India. This will fuel tourism between the nations, Tuan claimed.
26/03/15 Vietnam Net

More flights this summer as domestic airlines add planes

Mumbai: The country's top airports will witness about 8% growth in daily departures with airlines adding flights in summer.

Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports which handle over 50% of air traffic handled 1,114 departures daily in winter schedule and the figure is expected to go up to 1,203 departures in summer owing to proposed increase in domestic and international flights.

Directorate General of Civil Aviation approves the schedules of both domestic and foreign airlines and summer schedule will come into effect from next week. The regulator however is yet to announce the approved schedules.

Domestic traffic grew 9.7% in 2014 over previous year and January saw a growth of 21% in domestic traffic fuelled by discount offers.

IndiGo which is the largest domestic airline by market share is introducing a flight between Kolkata-Dimapur and additional flights from Delhi to Kolkata, Varanasi and Indore and flights between Mumbai-Indore and Mumbai-Raipur.
25/03/15 Aneesh Phadnis/Business Standard

Top airports to see 8% growth in summer daily departures

Mumbai: The country's top airports would see eight per cent growth in daily departures, with airlines adding flights this summer.

Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports, which together handle over half of the Indian air traffic, handled 1,114 departures daily in the winter schedule. This will rise to 1,203 in summer.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation approves the schedules of both domestic and foreign airlines; the summer schedule takes effect next week. The regulator, however, is yet to announce the approved schedules.

Domestic traffic grew 9.7 per cent in 2014 over the previous year and January saw a growth of 21 per cent in domestic traffic, fuelled by discount offers.

IndiGo, the largest domestic airline by market share, is introducing a Kolkata-Dimapur flight and additional ones from Delhi to Kolkata, Varanasi and Indore, plus flights between Mumbai and Indore and Mumbai and Raipur.
26/03/15 Business Standard

Has government skipped PPP appraisal committee nod for 4 airport privatisation projects?

New Delhi: It's not just the HR matters but also the lack of in-principle nod of the Public-Private-Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) that is hampering the privatisation process of the four airports undertaken by the ministry of civil aviation, said an Airports Authority of India (AAI) source.

As per the government rule, approval from this committee formed for any PPP project is crucial before inviting expression of interest from the prospective investors.

The government has already floated the request for qualification (RFQ) for operation, development and management of Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports.

"We had raised this issue (nod from the PPPAC before inviting expression of interest) with the ministry in our last meeting (about two months back) and were told that it would be taken in due course of time. How can they move ahead with the bidding process without the committee's in-principle clearance," said a source in the state-owned airport firm AAI, who requested not to be named.
26/03/15 Praveena Sharma/Daily News & Analysis

Navy plane crash: Woman among 2 officers missing

New Delhi: Hours after its Dornier aircraft disappeared from the radar 25 nautical miles off the coast of Goa, the Navy deployed 12 search and rescue ships and four aircraft to look for two missing personnel, including a young woman lieutenant. The captain of the aircraft, Commander Nikhil Joshi, who was spotted by a fisherman an hour after the crash, was admitted to a naval hospital in Karwar. Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan visited Joshi and Navy officials said he is “unconscious but stable”.
The Dornier, Do-228, belonging to the Indian Navy Aviation Squadron 310, took off from INS Hansa in Goa at 6.30 pm on Tuesday evening on a training mission. It lost contact at 10.08 pm, 25 nautical miles off Goa coast. Commander Joshi, the in charge of the aircraft, has 4,000 hours of flying experience.
While there was no distress call from the aircraft, Joshi was sighted by a fisherman “an hour after the accident” and “picked up by a fishing boat, Niharika”, a Navy press release said. He was then transferred to the Naval Fast Interceptor Craft. Till Wednesday evening, the two other officers, a co-pilot and a woman observer officer, were missing. Officials said the officers “had worn life jackets before boarding the aircraft”.
26/03/15 Pranav Kulkarni/Indian Express

25-year-old pilot from Udaipur missing in Navy plane crash

Udaipur: Even as Indian Navy continued it`s search for the Dornier surveillance aircraft based at INS Hansa, Goa, that crashed into the sea during a routine training sortie around 30 miles southwest in Arabian sea off the coast of Karwar, Karnataka, friends and relatives made a beeline at the Chitrakoot Nagar residence in Udaipur of 25-year-old pilot Abhinav Nagori who`s missing in the crash. Abhinav`s father, Dharamchand, retired education officer, took the first available flight to Mumbai and then headed for Goa after he got a late night call from the naval headquarters. State home minister Gulabchand Kataria also spoke to him to get details of the rescue operations while Udaipur collector Ashutosh AT Pednekar, who hails from Goa, ensured necessary steps to keep track of the search operation.

The flight was carrying three persons, including Abhinav. The other pilot, Nikhil Joshi, was rescued by fishermen while Abhinav and an observer Kiran are missing. Abhinav had come home for his short winter break and resumed duty on January 1, 2015.
26/03/15 Nyooz

GMR to buy Additional 10% Stake in Delhi Airport

New Delhi: Hiking its stake in Delhi International Airport to 64 per cent, GMR Infrastructure will acquire an additional 10 per cent equity for $79 million from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB), which is exiting the venture.

It would be purchasing the additional shareholding in Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) for $79 million (about Rs 492 crore).

At present, GMR Infrastructure holds 54 per cent stake. In a regulatory filing today, GMR Infrastructure said its subsidiary GMR Airports would acquire 10 per cent stake in DIAL from Malaysia Airports (Mauritius) Pvt Ltd.

Malaysia Airports (Mauritius) is a subsidiary of MAHB.

Post the proposed acquisition, GMR Infrastructure's stake would rise to 64 per cent.
 25/06/15 PTI/NDTV

International airport PAP rehab project gets green go-ahead

Navi Mumbai: The State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) has given the environment clearance on Wednesday for Vadghar project, which is being developed for rehabilitation of the airport project affected persons (PAPs).

Meanwhile, Cidco is also expected to get approvals for the Pushpak Nagar project in the next two weeks.

The clearance for Vadghar was delayed as a part of the 43 hectares being developed fell under CRZ-II zone and Cidco had to seek approval from Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority (MCZMA).

MCZMA sent the proposal to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for its approval. However, MoEF said that SEIAA was the competent project.
26/03/15 Times of India

Vigilance report questions EC Nasim Zaidi role in key appointment in DGCA

New Delhi: A vigilance report has accused Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi of not following proper procedure while making a key appointment in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

The appointment was done in June 2012 when he was secretary in the civil aviation.

Zaidi had appointed Yash Raj Tongia as director, flight training, DGCA.

Economic Times reported that, according to vigilance report, Tongia was selected for the post of director, flight training via a UPSC interview. The fact that he was the owner of a flying school meant that he was subsequently removed from the post before his probation came to end in June 2014. Zaidi's role was relevant in initially pushing the case for Tongia.
26/03/15 India TV News

Rafale the next logical step under 'Make in India': Dassault Aviation

New Delhi: Pitching the multi-billion deal for 126 Rafale combat jets as the "logical step" towards the 'Make in India' initiative, Dassault Aviation on Wednesday hoped that the contract which has been "95% finalised" would be signed soon.

At a ceremony to hand over the first two upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft to India, the company's CEO Eric Trappier declined to give a timeline for the signing of the deal, saying the question should be put to the Indian Defence Ministry.

However, he said it was better to take time now than clarifications being sought after the signing of the contract which he said is already running into thousands of pages.

When rafale was shortlisted in 2012, the deal was estimated to be about US$ 10 billion but it is now over USD 20 billion, including the life-cycle cost.
25/03/15 PTI/Daily News & Analysis

Chamber wants Calicut airport privatised

Kozhikode: The Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry has come out with a demand to privatise the Calicut International Airport, as the government had “completely failed” to ensure the development of the airport even after more than two decades.

The office bearers of the traders’ and businessmen’s body, which decided to submit a memorandum to Union Minister for Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, said privatisation seemed the “only way out” for the salvation of the airport now. “Making it a limited company will be ideal,” said P. Gangadharan, president of the chamber.

The awful failure of the government, according to the chamber, to ensure acquisition of the required land for the airport was continuing for over 20 years now.
26/03/15 The Hindu

Airlines make a gold rush as fans fly to Australia for the World Cup semifinal

New Delhi: It seems all air routes are converging in Australia. With the cricket fever catching up one and all in India, travellers from this cricket-crazy nation are rushing for flight tickets to Down Under. And the airlines are making the most of the season.

While some of the outbound Indian travellers have reached Australia, there are others who are waiting due to various reasons - from availability of flight seats to visa-related issues.

As India takes on Australia in the cricket World Cup semifinal on Thursday in Sydney, top-notch Indians will be cheering for the country at the famous Sydney Cricket Ground or SCG. From corporate czars to business honchos to families of Indian cricket team to former cricketers, Bollywood stars and the like - they all have reached the Australian city over the last few days and they shall be at the SCG, holding the Indian Tricolour. Sources in the IGI Airport in Delhi told MAIL TODAY that many top bureaucrats also flew to Sydney in the last few days.

High cost According to travel agents in Delhi, booking of flight tickets for Australia began as early as September of 2014. The flight tickets were then available for `56,000 to `60,000. "Today, even at `1.2 lakh, no airline can assure you a ticket," said a travel agent associated with yatra.com.
26/03/15 Mail Today/India Today

Desi feel in Aussie air as fans fly down to Sydney

Mumbai: Probably for the first time in history, Australian skipper Micheal Clarke and his boys will find today that the Sydney stadium is no longer their home ground. The 42,000-seat venue would mysteriously seem to be India as it will be largely packed with Indians, quite a number of them from Mumbai. The home ground advantage would clearly be with the Men in Blue.

According to World Cup organizers, Indian fans have bought about 70% of the tickets for the semifinal match. The effect is already visible Down Under. "The international flight from Auckland to Sydney today seemed like an Indian domestic flight with conversations being held in Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu and Tamil. Going by the indications given here, the ratio of blue to yellow at the stadium will be 90:10," said Ravi Raman, who heads a financial company in Mumbai and is in Sydney to catch the match.
26/03/15 Times of India

Broke AI seeks to raise $300m via ECB route

India’s national carrier has fallen on bad days and even needs money to buy spare parts. Loss-laden Air India wants the government to allow it to raise $300 million through external commercial borrowing (ECB) to pare its high-cost rupee loan and procure spare parts. It has sought additional guarantee from the government for the loan even as its earlier request to borrow $690 million from overseas is pending with the finance ministry.

“RBI allows the airline sector to raise up to $1billion through ECB. We wanted to avail this facility and had accordingly made our request. The approval for it is yet to come,” an official said requesting anonymity.

The ECB ceiling for the civil aviation sector is set at $1 billion with an individual airline allowed to raise a maximum of $300 million.
25/03/15  Nirbhay Kumar/mydigitalfc

Etihad Airways deploys Boeing 787-9 To Mumbai

Mumbai: Etihad Airways, the national airline of United Arab Emirates, has started flying its second Boeing 787-9 between Mumbai and Abu Dhabi. The aircraft operates on the daily EY206 which departs from Abu Dhabi at 10pm and lands in Mumbai at 3am. The aircraft departs Mumbai at 4.30am and arrives in Abu Dhabi at 6.25am, enabling guests to connect on to more than 50 destinations on Etihad Airways’ global network.          
The B787-9 is configured with eight First Suites, 28 Business Studios, and 199 Economy Smart Seats, offering superior levels of comfort, entertainment and inflight connectivity.
On board, décor and lighting has been inspired by contemporary modern Arabian design, complementing the new ‘Facets of Abu Dhabi’ design identity, recently introduced by Etihad Airways.
Neerja Bhatia, Etihad Airways’ General Manager for India, said: “Mumbai is the commercial capital of India and it is one of our key routes in the India Subcontinent.
“Operating our brand-new Boeing 787-9, we are able to carry business and leisure travellers into and out of Mumbai on board our three-class aircraft which has been customised with the world’s most innovative cabins.”
25/03/15 IndiaInfoline

Two upgraded Mirage 2000 handed over to India in France

Istres: French defence major Dassault Aviation on Wednesday handed over the first two upgraded Mirage 2000 fighter aircraft with advanced navigational, radar and missile systems to India amidst continuing stalemate on the over USD 20 billion Rafale contract.
The entire fleet of 48 aircraft is being upgraded with the help of Dassault Aviation and Thales under a Rs 10,000 crore deal signed in July 2011.
The upgraded Mirages comes with advanced navigational, radar and missile system besides a fully integrated electronic warfare suite. The mid-life upgrade is expected to extend the life cycle of the aircraft by another 10-15 years.
25/03/15 PTI/IBN Live

Indian airports to trial baggage kiosks

The Times of India reports that the Indian government has asked airport operators to create special kiosks that weigh a passenger’s checked bags and create luggage tags.

“We are working on the baggage self check-in machines. These would be installed at 10 to 13 of our major airports. Bengaluru airport will be experimenting this soon,” RK Srivastava, chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) told the newspaper.

Unlike other baggage drop areas, some of the Indian facilities would have a payment facility. If a passenger’s baggage weighs more than the airline’s limit, passengers would be able to pay the extra baggage charges by credit card.
25/06/15 Travel Daily Media

Airport to get an underground Metro station

Lucknow: Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport would soon get an underground Metro station, just about 300 metres away from the main entrances of the both terminals, domestic and international. Earlier, the plan was to construct an elevated Metro corridor from Amausi to the airport but later, it was felt that the elevated station would block the front view of the airport and also not be able to cater to passengers of both terminals alike.

Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation (LMRC) has hence decided to tweak the plan and construct an underground corridor of about 700 metres from Amausi to the airport to give an easy access to the Metro station from both terminals. The Metro track would go underground from near the elevated Amausi station and run up to the airport's underground Metro station. This station would be equidistant from both terminals.
26/03/15 Times of India

Another daily international flight connecting Ahmedabad from March 29

Ahmedabad: City of Ahmedabad will be further connected to the world through launching of a new international flight.

Jet Airways is going to introduce daily new flights between Ahmedabad and Abu Dhabi from March 29, 2015.

Flight no. 9W 520 will leave Ahmedabad at 0505 hours and reach Abu Dhabi at 0650 hours.

Return journey of 9W 519 will take place at 2155 hours from Abu Dhabi. The flight will reach Ahmedabad at 0225 hours next day.
26/03/15 Desh Gujarat

Malaysian Woman Dies of Cardiac Arrest at Chennai Airport

Chennai:  A 58-year-old Malaysian woman died due to cardiac arrest just an hour before she was scheduled to take a flight from here to Kuala Lumpur today, airport authorities said.

The passenger, identified as Esha Binti Veerasa, died around 5 PM in the security clearance area just before her scheduled departure at 6 pm in an Air Asia flight.
26/03/15 PTI/New Indian Express

Board Cabs from Arrival Gate of Airport Again

Chennai: When you fly down to the metro in the near future, your cab driver could pick you up when you step out of the terminal instead of making you trek to the parking lot and try hard to detect his number plate.

Eight months after they stopped allowing cars to drive right up to the arrival gates of Chennai Airport’s Domestic Terminal, mounting pressure from passengers and bureaucrats has forced a reversal. Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Chennai Traffic Police have agreed to re-open the lane adjoining the arrival gates for traffic on a trial basis.

“This decision has been taken jointly and the signage to indicate the change has been ordered. Police have some security concerns, so they will be bringing in some additional security measures during the trial run,” said Captain Deepak Shastri, Airport Director.
AAI has been flooded with complaints from elderly flyers, people accompanying disabled and stretcher-borne passengers.
26/03/15  Daniel Thimmayya/New Indian Express

Police case aganist fliers who filmed woman: Indigo

Mumbai: Indigo Airlines on Wednesday said it would file a police complaint against two passengers who allegedly recorded videos of airhostesses and other fliers on a Delhi-Guwahati-Imphal flight early on Tuesday morning. A senior Indigo official said two instances of such recordings being made on the aircraft had been reported.

The first involved members of the crew, and the second, Angellica Aribam, a passenger, who posted pictures on twitter, and who was subsequently derided for attempting a publicity stunt.

Indigo has withheld the names of the two men.

According to the airline official, Indigo hadn't initiated action for over 24 hours after the incidents took place because it was unable to ascertain facts of the matter. "There appears to have been a mix-up of two incidents of this flight (6E-221). Incident 1 was when crew saw these two men seated in seat 29C and D take pictures and record crew going about their duty. This was taken up with the two men by the lead crew. The recording and visuals were deleted and the matter ended," a senior airline officer monitoring the case said.
26/03/15 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror

Sand mafia resumes mining at airport site

Navi Mumbai: Illegal sand mining activities are taking place in at least two spots within the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport area in Panvel taluka. Local activists informed TOI that the illegal sand mining groups have trespassed into the restricted site, near Karnala Sports Academy in Panvel. The locals and activists have also noticed use of suction pumps to extract sand from areas near Gadhi and Kalundre rivers.

Environmentalist Sumaira Abdulali of NGO Awaaz Foundation expressed surprise over the fact that illegal sand mining is also taking place inside the restricted zone where the international airport is slated to come up.

"I have complained to the Raigad district authorities in the past about illegal sand mining in areas like Panvel, Mansarovar and also at Mahad. However, the activity stops for a few days and later resumes, which further deteriorates our river banks and natural resources," she said .
26/03/15 Vijay Singh/Times of India 

Airport Customs officer under scanner in M-Cat seizure case

Mumbai: In a major twist, a Customs officer working at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) at Sahar has come under the scanner of the police department for his alleged involvement in the Mephedrone (M-Cat) racket case.

The police, during their probe, have learnt that police constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe had received some part of the consignment of 112 kilograms of M-Cat from a Customs officer at Sahar. Kalokhe was produced before a court on Wednesday and remanded in police custody till April 1.

"Kalokhe, during the course of custodial interrogation, claimed that a Customs officer from Sahar airport had given him the consignment of M-Cat. We are interrogating him further about the officer involved. Kalokhe has also said that his associate Shashikala alias Baby Patankar too gave him contraband in order to dispose them of," said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
26/03/15 Daily News & Analysis 

Indian customs seizes 1.5m gold, nabs 2 smugglers

Ahmedabad:  Indian Air Intelligence Unit of Customs Department has arrested two men for smuggling gold worth 1.5 million within two days at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport.
Customs officials said that they has detected five cases of gold smuggling since Sunday.
Suleman who had arrived from Air India Mumbai flight AI-331 was caught with 355.290 gram gold worth Rs 9.29 lakh. “He was detained on the basis of suspicion and two gold bars concealed in his rectum were recovered. He was a domestic passenger and had picked up gold from an international passenger travelling in the same flight,” said an official.
In another case, Jay Batra coming in SpiceJet Mumbai flight SG-016 late on Thursday night was held with 233.28 gram gold worth Rs 6.13 lakh. “We recovered two gold bars from Batra which he had hidden in his shoes,” added the official.
25/03/15 Customs Today 

3 kg gold recovered from passenger at Hyderabad airport

Hyderabad: Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has seized 3 kg of gold worth Rs 79 lakh from a passenger at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) here.

Based on specific information, the DRI officers intercepted a passenger, who had come from Bengaluru here by a Jet Airways flight last evening. After a search, he was found carrying 30 gold bars (each weighing 100 grams), DRI (Hyderabad Zonal Unit) Additional Director General M K Singh said today.
25/06/15 Business Standard

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Regional airlines to get new wings

New Delhi: The government has proposed a raft of sops for airlines dedicated to small towns.

A new category of carriers - scheduled commuter airlines - will be set up to link small airports to metros, though the carriers will not be allowed to ply between metros.

In fact, the civil aviation ministry wants to convert all regional carriers, including non-scheduled operators, into scheduled commuter airlines.


According to a draft policy of the ministry on regional connectivity, the minimum paid-up capital for such airlines will be reduced to Rs 2 crore.

No restrictions will be placed on the minimum number of aircraft, but the planes must weigh less than 25 tonnes. Moreover, at least 200 flights need to be undertaken annually.

Capacity of aircraft weighing less than 25 tonnes - such as the Bombardier CRJ 200, Embraer ERJ 145, Saab 2000 and ATR 72-600 - is usually between 40 passengers and 74 passengers

"Such airlines will link small cities to metros, such as between Bagdogra and Calcutta or Jamshedpur and Calcutta," said civil aviation ministry officials who drafted the policy, now being considered by an inter-ministerial group.
24/03/15 Jayanta Roy Chowdhury/Telegraph

Five aircraft leasing cos take SpiceJet to court: Reports

According to reports, Spicejet Ltd has announced that five aircraft-leasing entities based in Ireland have terminated their agreements and have gone to court to recover dues.
The matter is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday, says report.
Media report said that B&B Air Acquisition, Steddell Ltd, Torodell Ltd, Xavierdell Ltd and Virgodell Ltd had leased aircraft.
25/03/15 India Info Line

HC gives SpiceJet time to settle fleet de-registration case

In a case where a lessor has been seeking de-registration of aircraft leased to SpiceJet  , the Delhi High Court today granted the carrier time till April 7 to settle the dispute with its lessor, AWAS Ireland. AWAS has been seeking de-registration of six of its aircraft. SpiceJet has been sued by a number of its lessors who allege non-payment of dues. The cases date to a few months back when the company was reeling under a financial crisis. After it was taken over by a new management recently, Spice has been looking to settle the cases, and recently announced a settlement with another Irish lessor, Wilmington Trust, which was seeking de-registration of three aircraft.
25/03/15 Ashmit Kumar/CNBC-TV18/moneycontrol.com

Govt gives nod to Bareilly airport; land acquisition process begins

Bareilly: With the state government giving a go-ahead to district authorities for purchasing and acquiring land to set up a civilian airport in the city, local residents' dreams for such a facility in their hometown has come a step closer to reality.

The airport is scheduled to come up at a spot near Madiya Ahmadnagar village where the process to acquire 10 hectares of land from locals farmers at rates agreeable to both the parties has already begun, said district magistrate Gaurav Dayal. The notification from the state government was received on Monday. The project of the civilian airport was awaiting the government nod.

Dayal said a meeting of stakeholders has been organized on Wednesday where the modalities for acquiring the land from farmers would be worked out keeping in mind their interests.
24/03/15 Mrigank Tiwari/Times of India

Two fliers caught filming airhostess, escape when plane stops for refuelling

Mumbai: In a mid-air drama, a woman passenger confronted two fellow passengers for allegedly clicking pictures and recording videos of an airhostess on their mobile phones on a Delhi-Guwahati-Imphal Indigo flight (6E 221) early on Tuesday.

While the airline has launched a probe, the two passengers (pictured), whose names have been withheld by the airline, escaped when the passengers deplaned at Guwahati for the plane's refuelling.

The two had, in fact, started recording the video of airhostesses immediately after the flight took off from Delhi around 5.30 am, but were spotted by the cabin crew, which warned them and made them delete the video. The second time around, their act was noticed by a passenger, Angellica Aribam, the all-India secretary of the National Students Union of India (NSUI).

Narrating the incident to Mumbai Mirror, Aribam, who was flying to Imphal, said: "It was shocking, seeing them take pictures of an airhostess on the flight. When I protested, one of them said, 'Aapko touch toh nahi kiya na. Chup ho jaiye'."
25/03/15 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror 

Airlines yet to receive fuel price benefit

Mumbai/New Delhi: Domestic airlines have not been able to report strong profits despite lower jet fuel prices but are better placed to take advantage of declining prices than their peers in Asia-Pacific because of the very low levels of fuel hedging and relative strength of the rupee.

A weaker currency and potential hedging loss — several airlines have hedged their  fuel requirement at a higher price than the current $67 per barrel — would reduce the positive impact of lower fuel costs for airlines, analysts said.

In India, jet fuel prices dropped about 31 per cent between October and February before rising eight per cent in March to Rs 50,363 per kilolitre in Delhi. Fuel accounts for 30-40 per cent of a domestic airline's expenses and the proportion of fuel costs to total costs is declining because of the price benefit in recent months.
25/03/15 Aneesh Phadnis & Somesh Jha/Business Standard

Greenfield private airport set for takeoff

Durgapur: This passenger terminal should put most of the smaller airports in the region to shame: it can accommodate 450 passengers boarding or alighting four airplanes, simultaneously; work is on in full swing to complete the four km access road from NH-2; and at the air traffic control (ATC), technicians are busy getting everything in order.

Welcome to India’s first greenfield private airport -- named after Bengali poet Kazi Nazrul Islam -- at Andal, on the outskirts of Durgapur, that will start operations next month, exactly two years behind schedule. The project suffered time and cost overruns due to land acquisition problems.

Located nearly 180 kms from Kolkata, the ?650 crore airport is a part of India’s first airport-city project promoted by Bengal Aerotropolis Pvt Ltd (BAPL) with Changi Airports of Singapore as lead partner. Total investments, including city side development, have already crossed ?1000 crore.
“We are planning a big bang opening in April, with a host of scheduled and non-scheduled air services to different destinations,” Partha Ghosh, Managing Director of BAPL told BusinessLine.
24/03/15 Pratim Ranjan Bose/Abhishek Law/Business Line

Germanwings A320 crash throws spotlight on Air India's ancient A320s

Though it's very early in the day to comment on what caused Lufthansa-subsidiary Germanwings' Airbus A320 to crash in the French Alps earlier today with presumably all souls lost, on flight 4U9525 from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, one of the earliest facts picked up by news outlets was that the aircraft was around 24 years old. Airframe facts such as age are now routinely available on aircraft websites, often updated by volunteers.
To be crystal clear, the age of an aircraft has almost nothing to do with its ability to fly safely. Indeed, all Germanwings aircraft are maintained by LufthansaTechnik, a Lufthansa arm that is a global leader and among the most respected on the planet when it comes to providing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for aircraft, engines and components and which employs over 25,000 people. But older aircraft do need more maintenance, are fuel guzzlers and there is also the airframe fatigue factor. Indian airlines prefer younger aircraft as they are cheaper to maintain and usually return aircraft back to leasing firms before major and expensive maintenance checks are due. The D check which happens every seven years is the most expensive and Indian airlines like IndiGo have preferred to return aircraft within around six years of use.
While the ill-fated German Airbus A320 was around 24 years old, the immediate questions about its age may also raise similar questions in India, where Air India, India's national airline, flies Airbus A320s that are older; in fact, around 26 years old. Judging by the Airbus A320 production list maintained on Planespotters.net Air India may well be flying the oldest Airbus A320s in the world. The only airline supposedly flying an older one is Jordan Aviation, a small Jordanian carrier. However, the aircraft in question doesn't seem to have flown any flights in recent weeks according to data from aviation tracking websites.
24/03/15 Ivor Soans/First Post

Air Pegasus gets flying permit from DGCA

New Delhi: Air Pegasus, a regional carrier based out of Bengaluru, became the ninth carrier in the country after receiving a flying permit from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday.

Air Pegasus also becomes the third new airline to take to Indian skies in the past one year. While AirAsia India, Tata Sons' low-cost venture with AirAsia Berhad, started services in June 2014, Vistara, Tata Sons' joint venture company with Singapore Airlines, launched operations in January this year.
"We have received an Air Operators Permit from the DGCA, and plan to launch our ticketing system soon and launch operations in two weeks. We already have two ATR-72 aircraft in our fleet that is sufficient to operate the three sectors we plan to start flights with," Shyson Thomas, managing direc tor of Air Pegasus, told ET.

The three sectors that the airline plans to launch flights with its base in Bengaluru are Trivandrum, Hubli and Cochin.
25/03/15 Mihir Mishra/Economic Times

Air India budget estimate sees operational profitability in FY'15-'16

New Delhi: Projecting a fairly healthy outlook for its finances and over all operations, Air India expects to wipe out some red marks from its balance sheet and become operationally profitable in its budget estimates for the next fiscal.

After a streak of losses, Air India had reported a net profit of Rs 14.6 crore in December last year, from a loss of Rs 168.7 crore in the corresponding period of 2013.

As per Turnaround Plan (TAP) projections, the national carrier is to be fully operationally profitable by financial year 2016-17.

In April 2012, the government had announced a bail-out package of Rs 30,000 crore, spread over a period nine years, while approving its turnaround plan as well as financial restructure plan with certain riders.
24/03/15 PTI/Economic Times

Indigo, SpiceJet, AirAsia to introduce new flights from Visakhapatnam

Visakhapatnam:  The Port City will get more air connectivity from March 28 as several airlines plan to introduce their service to various destinations across the country.

Vizag will have eight services to Hyderabad, three services to Chennai, four services to Mumbai and Bengalore, two services to Bhubaneswar and one service each to Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Trivandrum.

Indigo airlines, Spice Jet and AirAsia will operate these services. Spice Jet is reviving its Mumbai-Vizag-Hyderabad-Delhi-Hyderabad-Vizag-Hyderabad-Mumbai flight service.

AirAsia will run a new service between Bengaluru and Vizag from April 27.

According to Air Travellers' Association (India) president D Varada Reddy, Indigo airlines will introduce Ahmedabad-Hyderabad-Vizag-Chennai-Trivandrum flight from March 28.
25/03/15 Times of India

India navy plane crashes into sea, 2 missing 1 rescued

Mumbai: A naval aircraft crashed off the western Indian coast leaving two pilots missing, the navy said today, in the latest of a string of accidents which have hit the force.

Rescue operations were underway after the Indian navy’s Dornier aircraft plunged into the sea some 25 nautical miles off the western holiday state of Goa around 10pm local time yesterday.

“Last evening, a navy Dornier during a routine training sortie off Goa ditched into sea,” a navy statement said early today.

“One survivor rescued. Full scale search and rescue operation launched to locate two more officers (one pilot and one observer),” it added.

It is the latest in a series of deadly disasters to hit the navy, and comes just months after a naval ship sank off the southeastern coast of India leaving one worker dead and four others missing.
25/03/15 AFP/Malaymail Online

Bengaluru airport emerges third largest in India

Bengaluru: Within seven years of opening, the Kempegowda International Airport (KIAB), Bengaluru, has emerged South India's busiest airport and third largest in the country.

The airport handled its 15 millionth passenger on March 22, 2015, which marked the graduation of the airport to the mid-sized airport category (15 to 25 million passenger airports) classification, KIAB said in a statement.

KIAB commenced its operations on May 28, 2008.

It had achieved its previous highest traffic record of handling 12.86 million passengers in the last financial year. Incidentally, the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad, which commenced operations two months ahead of Bengaluru in 2008, achieved 10 million passenger mark on March 21, 2015.

Similar category airports around the world include Abu Dhabi, Berlin TXL, Brisbane, Brussels, Dublin, Seoul GMP, Stockholm ARN and Zurich among others.
24/03/15 Business Standard

Air Costa to add 2 E-190s in 2015

Hyderabad: Vijayawada-based airline Air Costa, which has completed over one year of operations, will be adding two Embraer E-190s to its existing fleet of four aircraft by September as the airline looks to apply for a pan-India licence this April.

"In 2015, we will lease two Embraer E-190 aircraft. One is slated to be delivered in August, the other in September," Air Costa chief financial officer Vivek Choudhary said on Tuesday.

To support pan-India expansion of its operations, Air Costa had last year placed an order for 50 aircraft valued at $2.94 billion. The aircraft will be used to launch a slew of flights to newer destinations.
25/03/15 Swati Rathor/Times of India

DIAL's Malaysian partner to sell entire 10 per cent stake for $79 million

Kuala Lumpur/New Delhi: Malaysia Airports Holdings today announced sale of its entire 10 per cent stake in Delhi International Airport for Rs 492 crore, saying a minority share did not give it any "influence" in the venture.

The Malaysian entity, which made its first investment in Delhi International Airport (DIAL) in 2006, would be reaping a profit of nearly USD 22 million from the proposed sale.

In a filing to the Malaysian stock exchange, MAHB said it would sell 245 million equity shares for a "total cash consideration of USD 79 million" to GMR Airports.
24/03/15 PTI/Economic Times

Hercules has a smooth landing at Juhu

The IAF's Hercules C130J, one of its heavy cargo aircraft, landed and took off safely from the Juhu airport on Tuesday in an exercise planned to test whether its short runway could be used safely for flight operations in the event of an attack on the neighbouring, bigger Mumbai airport.

The aircraft, with two dozen IAF officials, landed before 2pm and departed in ten minutes. "A few departures at Mumbai airport were held over to allow the Hercules to land at Juhu. Once it landed, the departures were cleared," said a Mumbai airport official.

The exercise with this massive transport aircraft was crucial as the general norm is for heavier aircraft to require longer runways to land and take off. The Juhu airport's runway 08-26, on which the IAF aircraft landed is 3,750-ft-long, which is about one-third that of Mumbai airport's. But the Hercules C130J can do tactical landings on short runways and dirt runways and, hence, Juhu is eligible to play the role of an alternative airport. Earlier in August 2013, the aircraft had landed at the runway at Daulat Baig Oldie in Ladakh, one of the highest and difficult-to-land runways in the world.
25/03/15 Times of India

Surat airport runway to be extended and re-carpeted

Surat: The much-awaited extension of airport runway has gathered steam with the Airport Authority of India (AAI) issuing a tender notice on March 21. AAI has invited tender applications for upgrading the runway at Surat airport from the existing 2,250 metre to 2,905 metre.

The extension would allow safe operation of wide bodied twin engine aircraft like Airbus and attract more airline companies to start operations from the airport. Sources said the AAI would be spending Rs 66 crore on 655-metre extension and re-carpeting.

Surat was the only city in the world till 2007 with a population of over 4.6 million people and without a functioning airport. Commercial services started from Surat on May 6, 2007 with an Indian Airline Airbus 319 flight. Indian Airlines began its operations with an ATR aircraft. It recently increased the frequency between Surat and Delhi from three days to six days a week, but that too in a smaller CRJ aircraft.
24/03/15 Times of India

Malaysia Airlines MH370: Aviation expert wants Australia to prove plane is in Indian Ocean

A military aviation technology expert has written to the Australian government to debunk its theory that missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is lying in the southern Indian Ocean.

In a letter exclusively obtained by IBTimes UK addressed to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston, Andre Milne, alleges the country's claims surrounding MH370 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean are false and amount to a "criminal act of fabrication of evidence".

The official Malaysia report released earlier in March said the latest satellite data via British firm Inmarsat proved the plane flew for several hours before it crashed into the Indian Ocean on 8 March 2014. The airliner had mysteriously veered off its course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing for reasons still not known. No distress signal was sent.

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak at the time said it was believed the aeroplane's transponder, which emits an identifying signal was "deliberately disabled" before the plane changed direction and continued flying for a further seven hours.
The last communication between the plane and ground staff, where the pilot or co-pilot is heard saying: "Goodnight Malaysian three seven zero," happened at 1.19am.

But Milne on behalf of the victims' families is calling for additional answers by the Australian government to help fill in the gaps and prove its "seventh arc" theory that the Boeing 777, which had 239 passengers on board, is located in the Indian Ocean. He states the theory lacks "corroborative evidence".
24/03/15 Samantha Payne/International Business Times

AAI to get 8-acre plot for aircraft parking bays

Pune: The Airports Authority of India (AAI), Pune, will receive eight acres of land from the Indian Air Force to develop two additional aircraft parking bays at the city airport.


"The proposal for the additional land, which was submitted to the IAF after the defence minister gave his in-principle nod, is in the final stages and we expect to get the land soon," a senior AAI official told TOI on Tuesday.

The additional aircraft bays are required to deal with the rising number of passengers and aircraft movement at the Lohegaon airport in the last few years. The issue had figured prominently at the Airports Advisory Committee (AAC) meeting presided over by Pune MP Anil Shirole, after which a meeting with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was held in New Delhi.
25/03/15 Times of India

Div Com discusses Jammu Airport expansion

Jammu: Divisional Commissioner Jammu, Dr. Pawan Kotwal today chaired a high level meeting to discuss issues pertaining to expansion of Jammu Airport.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner Jammu, A.K. Sahu, Assistant Commissioner (C) Sachin Dev Singh besides senior officers of Army, Air Force and civil administration.
Threadbare discussions were held regarding expansion of Jammu Airport and issues impeding the expansion.
Underlining the need for early expansion of Jammu Airport, the Divisional Commissioner stressed that all agencies involved in the project should synchronize their working for timely completion of the prestigious project.
24/03/15 Scoop News

Air India appoints KS Reddy as new GM, Commercial

Chennai: National carrier Air India has appointed KS Reddy as General Manager (Commercial), Southern Region, with immediate effect.

Reddy, who has 32 years of service in the carrier, was earlier serving the company as its General Manager -- Market planning at the company headquarters, Air India said in a statement today.
24/03/15 PTI/Economic Times

Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar to develop an Art Gallery

Bhubaneswar: In an effort to encourage and promote Amateur/Budding Artists, Airports Authority of India, has decided to create/develop an Art Gallery in the Security Hold Area (SHA) of New Domestic Terminal (NDTB-T1), BPI Airport, Bhubaneswar. The mainstay of AAI is to achieve highest standards of safety and quality in air traffic services and airport management by providing state-of-the-art infrastructure for total customer satisfaction, contributing to economic growth and prosperity of the nation. To serve the social cause, a platform is being provided by AAI to facilitate the budding artists to exhibit their creations/artwork and make a reasonably significant mark in the Art world. AAI wishes to invite original creations including sculpture or any other form of Art but not limited to paintings, for display inside the terminal building. The artist shall have a right to put a tag “for sale” and the Art work shall carry price tag fixed on it. It is understood that this step taken by AAI will help create vocation and much anticipated prominence to the local talent.
24/03/15 Odisha Diary

Not so safe: 2 bird hits a month at Chennai airport

Bird strikes don`t cause as many air accidents as they used to till a couple of decades ago, thanks to better resilience and back-up mechanisms of aircraft, but they continue to be a risk. And Chennai has had at least two bird hits every month last year. An RTI query by TOI has found that the number of bird hits at Chennai airport rose from 24 in 2010 to 32 in 2013, but dipped to 22 in 2014.

This February, there have been five such incidents at the airport. According to an airline official, the dip in numbers - from 32 in 2013 to 22 in 2014 - could be attributed to underreporting than to preventive measures. That is, though bird hits get reported at the airport, at times the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) is not intimated.

DGCA said 162 cases of bird strikes were recorded at Chennai airport in the last five years. The airport ranked fifth in the number of hits across the country since 2010.Throughout India, 71 airports reported 2,946 bird hits from 2010 to 2014.
25/03/15 Nyooz

Fasten your seat belts, for a lesson in nerves

New Delhi: Delhi airport will no longer allow first-class and business-class passengers, on either international or domestic routes, to form a separate queue to go through security checks.

The move is the result of a quixotic circular that the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security put out in late February but started implementing this week at the T3 terminal of Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport.


The circular is being implemented only at Delhi airport though some passengers have complained that they have faced similar problems at other airports as well.

The ostensible reason for the circular is the heightened security at the country's busiest airport.
Officials said there would be separate check-ins for business and executive-class passengers at airline counters but not at security control.

The action flies in the face of worldwide trends where governments, airport authorities, security forces and airlines work together to fast-track the entry and exit of passengers who are ready to fork out more than three times the average economy-class fare on both domestic and international routes to ensure hassle-free travel.
First-class fares are usually six to eight times the economy fares. Business-class passengers pay three to four times more than those who fly economy class.
24/03/15 Telegraph

492 tortoises seized at Trichy airport, 5 arrested

Trichy:  Five passengers, who were about to board a flight to Bangkok from the Trichy international airport were arrested by immigration authorities on Tuesday and 492 spotted black terrapin pond tortoises were seized from them.

All these years, Trichy airport has witnessed several instances of gold smuggling. But this was the first time that it witnessed smuggling of more than 400 tortoises. In 2012, 200 star tortoises were seized by the immigration authorities.

The seizure was handed over to the forest authorities. The arrested were booked under the Wildlife Act for trying to smuggle tortoises.

District forest authorities said the five were identified as Ahmed Kabir, 46, from Illaiyangudi in Sivaganga district, Ahmed Badhusha Marika, 40, from Madurai, Mohammad Salim, 28, from Avudayar Kovil in Pudukottai district, Sayed Ahmed, 58, from Illayankudi in Sivagangai district and Mohammed Iqbal, 42, from Thiruvadanai in Ramanathapuram district.

They were used as carriers as none of them were aware of the material they were carrying in their luggage. On scanning the luggage, the immigration authorities found the tortoises.
25/03/15 Times of India

ED zeroes in on contacts of chopper case accused

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has zeroed in on some two-dozen local contacts of Christian Michel, a British national accused in the Rs. 3,700-crore AgustaWestland VVIP chopper deal bribery case, during its investigation to unearth the money trail.

Among those quizzed is a Mumbai-based senior journalist formerly with an aviation magazine, who knew Mr. Michel since 1985. After leaving the job in 2002, he got in touch with Mr. Michel for work and was offered remuneration for filing aviation-related news daily. The journalist would send reports on developments regarding military and civilian aircraft to middlemen in defence contracts.

Mr. Michel later allegedly asked the journalist to join his Delhi-based shell company, Media Exim Private Ltd., as a director.

When he expressed reservations, as he could not shift to Delhi, Mr. Michel told him to attend just a few meetings every year.
25/03/15 The Hindu

Airport security check robs flier of mobile phone

New Delhi: In a mysterious case, a mobile phone was stolen while going under the scanner at an X-ray machine installed at Terminal-3 of the Indira Gandhi Airport. The victim said that his iPhone, which he had kept in his bag's front pocket, could not be found in his bag when it came out of the scanner.

CISF personnel and policemen tried to find the phone inside the machine besides trying to search the bag, but were not able to retrieve it even after three days of the incident. The Delhi Police has registered a case of theft against unidentified persons.

Raj Kumar Mohabe was travelling to Allahabad from Delhi by an Air India flight on last Thursday when his phone went missing. "After taking the boarding pass at around 11.08 am, I kept my mobile phone in the front pocket of my bag pack and walked down to another Air India counter where my colleague Rajesh Sinha was waiting. Both of us were going to Allahabad. We walked down for a security check at X-Ray machine no. 13," Raj Kumar told the police.
25/03/15 Ankur Sharma/Mail Today

6 held for ‘smuggling’ gold worth Rs 16.5 cr

Ahmedabad: In a major crackdown on a gold smuggling racket allegedly running in Ahmedabad, the Special Operation Group arrested six persons including a woman at the Ahmedabad International Airport on Tuesday and seized 60 kgs of gold worth Rs 16.50 crore. The accused are allegedly agents working for smugglers using Dubai port as base to sneak gold through Ahmedabad into the country.
The SOG officials were acting on a tip off that three persons including the alleged mastermind Cliford Anthony D’costa of Mumbai were coming in a flight from Dubai. The officials identified the other accused as Virendra Singh Sultan of Sultanpur in Haryana, Sapna Dipakbhai of Mumbai and Jayveer Singh and Jagdev Singh of Delhi who came to receive the consignment. The SOG also arrested the duo’s driver identified as Dinesh Harji Desai. When the bags of the accused were checked, they found, nine boxes containing 60 gold biscuits, cash of Rs 2,700, 2,500 Dirhams and US Dollar 71.
25/03/15 Indian Express

9 kg cocaine worth Rs 50 cr seized at airport, 3 held

New Delhi: Two Nigerian nationals and a Delhi resident, Ghana national, were arrested on Tuesday at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) with 9 kg of cocaine worth approximately Rs 50 crore. Reportedly, this is one of the biggest seizures at the airport.
The cocaine was concealed in rexin and carbon paper to avoid detection through an X-ray scanner. Airport sources said the seizure and arrests thereafter were made by a joint team of the Customs department and the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).
A senior airport official said that two Nigerian women, who were traveling from São Paulo in Brazil to New Delhi, were intercepted on a specific input from the NCB regional office in New Delhi. The women, who according to officials are in the age group of 35 to 37 years, had arrived by an Emirates flight, EK 511, via Dubai on Tuesday morning.
25/03/15 Indian Express

Gold worth Rs 39 lakh seized from air passenger

Kozhikode: About 1.5 kg of undeclared gold worth Rs 39 lakh was seized from a man who arrived from Dubai at the international airport at Karipur here today, customs officials said.

The gold in the form of a coil was kept concealed inside an iron box and came to light when customs officials checked the baggage of Mohammed Shafi of nearby Pudupaadi who arrived by an Air India Express flight.
24/03/15 PTI/Business Standard