Indian airlines are facing stiffer competition and downward pressure on air fares with 40 new aircraft due to join the country’s fleet, taking the total capacity to around 400 jets by year-end. Existing carriers are now facing new competition in the shape of AirAsia India, which has just received its air operator permit (AOP) for domestic services.
An IndiGo Airlines employee at India’s Kolkata Airport (VECC) fell to his death onto the apron after accidentally walking through the open rear cabin doorway of a parked Airbus A320. The man’s job was to supervise aircraft cleaners and maintain a safe work environment. The airline normally places stairs or a jetway only for the forward door, while allowing the back door to remain open to ventilate the cabin, with yellow caution tape strung across the open doorway as a safety precaution. An IndiGo spokesman reported that the tape was in place at the time of the accident.
India’s fastest growing and most successful airline–budget carrier IndiGo–has become the first victim of an October ruling by the country’s aircraft acquisition committee governing the number and kind of aircraft imported by airlines to encourage regional connectivity to smaller towns. In November the committee, led by civil aviation minister Ajit Singh, cleared for import only five of the 16 Airbus A320-series aircraft Indigo wanted to acquire.
The decline of India’s Kingfisher Airlines, whose fleet has shrunk to 18 aircraft from 66, hasn’t only served to push air fares upward due to declining capacity in a high-demand market. At the same time it has reduced business for suppliers and airline service providers, such as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) groups.
In a reversal from an earlier policy, which gave state-owned Air India preference over bilateral aviation agreements for international routes, the Indian government will now open access to private airlines.
IndiGo, India’s largest budget carrier with a fleet of 48 Airbus A320 airliners, has awarded SriLankan Engineering its largest contract for maintenance of 26 C-checks through 2012. This is the fourth consecutive year IndiGo has outsourced to SriLankan and it is the largest overseas outsourcing of maintenance, repair and overhaul work by an Indian carrier. The contact has been awarded at a time when onerous taxes appear to be making Indian MRO providers uncompetitive.
Even though the year ended with doom and gloom, the Indian air transport sector couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to 2012 with its largest budget carrier, IndiGo, signing a memorandum of understanding for the biggest commercial aviation deal in history valued at approximately $15.6 billion. The deal, which was subsequently firmed up, called for 180 of Airbus’ A320 family narrowbodies. This topped an earlier order by the carrier for 100 aircraft and seemed a clear indication that the Indian market is back on track after suffering severe losses during 2008- 2009.
Indian budget carrier IndiGo has called for an upgrade of the archaic 1982 Air Safety Circulars (ASC) of the subcontinent’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It recommends that the DGCA adopt the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) April 2010 circulars, tailored to India’s specific requirements.
Another bumper day at the Paris Air Show saw more than $27 billion worth of orders (firm and memorandums of understanding) for commercial airliners placed by airlines desperate to get the best deals they can before the upturn really kicks in. Airbus had another great day with a raft of new A320neo orders to add to its show tally.
Indian discount airline Indigo will become the launch customer for the Airbus A320neo, the European manufacturer announced today. Already the largest low-fare carrier in India, Indigo signed a memorandum of understanding covering 150 A320neos and another 30 standard A320s. The parties haven’t yet announced an engine selection.
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