Thursday, May 30, 2019

Indian Airlines' Fortunes Turn following Jet Airways Failure

 - May 28, 2019, 11:50 AM

A Jet Airways-configured Boeing 737-800NG now donning the SpiceJet logo prepares to taxi at Delhi International Airport. By Neelam Mathews (copyright)

India’s domestic carriers have found a temporary respite in their failing financials and capacity shortfall following the grounding of Jet Airways in mid-April. The reduced capacity and high demand in the market has provided an opportunity for domestic carriers to raise fares. The Jet shutdown has also given access to its slots at space-constrained airports, including Mumbai and Delhi.
“Guidelines mandate only airlines that add aircraft have access to those slots,”  Vishok Mansingh, director of Mumbai-based consultancy CAV Aero, told AIN. “SpiceJet and Vistara, as a result, have been quick to take Jet Airways aircraft on lease to get the slots.”
Jet’s misfortune has advantaged virtually all airlines in India. With 19 Boeing Max 8s grounded, Spicejet in the past month and a half has already inducted 13 Jet-configured Boeing 737NGs. In fact, SpiceJet plans to take over the leases on all 26 of Jet’s aircraft. Meanwhile, Tata-Singapore Airlines-owned A320 operator Vistara plans to take between 10 and 15 of Jet’s Boeing 737s on short-term lease. “This has helped in getting slots at airports,” said Mansingh. “Already, Vistara has increased its daily frequencies to five from Delhi to Bangalore.”
Following IndiGo’s earnings call early this week, CEO Ronojoy Dutta acknowledged Indian airlines have endured a tough fiscal year because of high fuel prices, a weak rupee, and an intensely competitive environment. “However, it is a tale of two halves for IndiGo, with the first half of the year incurring losses and the second half of the year experiencing a sharp recovery,” he said, attributing the improvement partially to Jet Airways’ cessation of services. “Overall for the quarter, we think that the Jet Airways failure effectively increased our unit revenue by 3- to 4 percent,” he said. “April revenues have been stronger than even March.”
Dutta said that as airlines add capacity to Jet Airways markets, its shutdown effects would dissipate by June “except in a few international markets, where we overlapped with Jet, as in the Middle East.”

Monday, May 27, 2019

Bangalore Bengaluru- who cares- Celebrating Brea

Neelam Mathews
May 27, 2019

Its been a while since I wrote a piece on lifestyle- not sure if this is a brief one on Bengaluru, Bangalore International Airport, design, management or strategy, but I do know by now, the greatest innovation of all - The Quad and BreaRoti.

Hail to the innovators who have designed this gutsy piece of community get together which very sadly will be moved by December. Can you imagine pubs and eating places outside of the airport within the premises where locals gather on weekends? What a revenue earner!

This quadrangle was empty space just outside the airport which now celebrates the cuisine, art, and heritage in a contemporary way of the IT city that has a buzz of its own. Archana, my friend and head of corp com - a very evolved lady- takes me around with pride. She knows her onions and every person who works there. This person to person connection is endearing I think.

Interestingly every shop is constructed with renewable materials that are not permanent and will not cost much when they have to be pulled down, she explains.

It is time to visit the Star of the Quad - Brea Roti - ( Bread and Roti). We order one BreaRoti with filter coffee. The result is a sinful freshly baked roll with equally sinful calories. Who would have thought a deceptive simple looking roll would generate such emotion? You'll have to try one and then feel disgusted with yourself days later when you look back and remember the need to bite into this sweetish butter filled concoction. Oh Lordy, memories are made of such experiences!!

Some visuals of The Quad

Friday, May 10, 2019

Jet Airways - a new identity?

neelam mathews
May 10 3019
7.05 pm

As the aviation world awaits the fate of Jet Airways with the last date of the bids today, we are looking at a scenario which may not have been seen by most of us.

There is no confirmation but what if-

Etihad bids with Tata group for Jet?
Think about it.
We will come back with more. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Ball in Indian carriers’ court as more IFC providers approved

pix- Neelam Mathews

Ball in Indian carriers’ court as more IFC providers approved

Indo Teleports Limited (ITL), a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) are the latest Indian companies to receive permission from the country’s Department of Telecommunications to offer inflight and maritime connectivity on domestic and foreign airlines and ships.
They join Hughes Communications India (HCIL) and ... read on

Kazakh LCC Launches Domestic Services with A320s

 - May 1, 2019, 12:38 PM

Kazakhstan’s first budget carrier—Air Astana subsidiary FlyArystan—on Wednesday launched services from its Almaty base to the Kazakh capital Nur-Sultan with one of its two Airbus A320s. FlyArystan will initially operate six domestic routes, with journey times from one to three hours to Taraz, Shymkent, Pavlodar, Uralsk, Nur-Sultan (Astana), and Karaganda, most of which lie on the periphery of the country.
Aimed at computer literate first-time travelers, the Kazakh budget model resembles that of successful Indian budget carrier IndiGo, Air Astana president and CEO Peter Foster told AIN.
By mid-October to November, when two more A320s join the fleet, FlyArystan will start to fly regional international routes to neighboring Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) nations and Russia, said Foster. Plans call for the fleet to grow to 15 airplanes by 2022. Foster revealed the airline would establish bases through joint ventures in neighboring countries “much like Malaysia's Air Asia,” he added. 
“They’ve got the planes, the know-how, and the first mover advantage,” opined Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst at Malaysian consultancy Endau Analytics. “I believe they will make it work within two to three years, if not sooner.”
Foster said exposure to IndiGo’s operations and training at its headquarters and outstations had benefitted his team in a big way. “They [IndiGo] were very accessible and generous,” he explained. “It is a very high-quality product and we will replicate their model here.”
“Operating an LCC anywhere is broadly similar and there is no reason Central Asia would be different; high seat density and high utilization are two of the most important fundamentals," IndiGo chief commercial officer William Boulter told AIN.
Air Astana, meanwhile, plans to reduce slowly but steadily its domestic operation to a few metropolitan and oilfield airports with a high volume of business travel. Foster also told AIN that Air Astana would fly to New York using a Boeing 767 with “a north European stop” by early 2021. He added that Kazakh government subsidies would likely cover Tokyo and New York.
Foster insists FlyArystan will employ a classic low-cost model, including no premium seats, no global distribution system, no interlining nor alliances, and no free baggage allowances apart from 5 kg of cabin baggage.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Indoor Air Quality at Airports- An Emerging Environmental Challenge

Information Shared

New Delhi-, ISHRAE in collaboration with GMR group organized a two day conference“ACRECONF India 2019”on March 29&30, ‘2019 at Indian Aviation Academy. ISHRAE in public spaces has remarkable importance.  Indoor air quality is a crucial element for passengers and staff protection, as well as a key aspect of airport passenger experience.Busy environment area like airport terminals, are currently regarded as possible hotspots .
This two days conference organised by the Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers along with ASHRAE- India Chapter in association with, India’s largest Private Airport Company was attended by experts from Aviation and environment sector who brainstormed on how to improve Indoor Air Quality inside Airports.
Ms. Radha Goyal, Deputy Director IPCA, Secretary Society of Indoor environment stated that, “The main emphasis should be put on reducing the infiltration inside the building and managing the work activity. Also building should be strictly declared a “non-smoking zone”. She discussed that different zones have different heating and cooling demands, due to different occupant density, activity performed, or time spent by travellers. The passenger flow in airport terminals varies significantly throughout the year or even throughout a single day.
The fluctuation in the level of activity and crowding is typically at terminal environment. Workers and travellers, including children and adults, are at risk for exposure to SHS in airports with designated smoking areas.No study has demonstrated a significant relationship between specific exposure to jet exhaust particles and respiratory symptoms because of many confounding factors. 
ISHRAE with 42 chapters all across India, having more than 12,000 members and 10,000 student members has been working relentlessly on promoting   Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and has already come up with IEQ Standard which has been well received internationally, & has been adopted by the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC). 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Indian Growth Rates To Slow as Airlines Cut Capacity

 - March 19, 2019, 8:11 AM

With airline seating capacity throughout India down about 20 percent from its peak, the country appears set to lose its standing as the world’s lowest-airfare market. About 100 airliners now sit grounded or out of service, suggesting the aviation sector will almost certainly not see the near 19 percent growth many forecasters projected for this year.  
The March 10 Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max crash near Addis Ababa prompted Indian authorities to ground some 13 Max jets flown by SpiceJet and five by cash-strained Jet Airways, an airline that already had grounded 56 airplanes due to financial troubles. Others include GoAir, nine of whose Airbus A320neos await engine spares; Air India, which has grounded 17 airplanes for similar reasons; and IndiGo, which has taken out of service 10 airplanes and cut some 100 flights a day due to a pilot shortage. 
“Capacity reduction is likely to see annual growth come down to 14 to 15 percent,” said Vishok Mansingh, CEO of Mumbai-based aviation consultancy CAV Aero. “With this reduction fares will likely go up by 10 to 15 percent. In the long term, the increase in fares is good for the stability of aviation in India.”
Most carriers have experienced heavy losses due to rock-bottom competitive fares.
The reduction in seat capacity is the most severe on the Delhi-Mumbai city pair, which commands a 50 percent share of the domestic market. The closure of a runway at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport for repair three times a week during peak hours until the end of March has exacerbated the situation. Fewer flights have resulted in soaring fares. A study done by online travel agency Yatra has shown airfares in the sector have doubled over the last year. “While comparing the domestic air traffic of January 2019 with last year, there has been a growth of about 9 percent," said Yatra COO Sharat Dhall. "The percentage of growth has been affected due to unprecedented flight cancellations by various airlines impacting the overall capacity and market growth adversely.” 
Meanwhile, SpiceJet is working on reducing cancellations through more efficient use of its existing fleet of 64 aircraft, adding two wet-leased Boeing 737s and canceling low-yield routes. SpiceJet will now fly a planned Max route from Hyderabad to Jeddah starting March 25 with the 737-800.
Despite the initial pain, some good may come from the pullout of aircraft,” an airline official told AIN. “The smallest carrier, AirAsia India, may just get some slots at major constrained metro airports released by airlines unable to retain them,” he noted.