Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Etihad to have 3rd flight from Delhi from May; plans more ops


UAE’s flag carrier Etihad Airways, which owns 24 per cent in Jet Airways, on Wednesday sounded bullish on India, saying over the next year it will add more flights, beginning with a third daily service from New Delhi to Abu Dhabi from May 1.
This additional flight from the national capital will take its weekly services to 140, making it the largest Gulf carrier in the country connecting 11 cities with Kolkata being the latest destination from early this month.
These increases mean from May, Etihad and Jet will together offer 224 weekly return flights connecting 15 Indian cities, making it the largest Gulf carrier, Etihad said in a statement quoting its President & Chief Executive James Hogan.
Etihad and Jet jointly operate 5 daily flights from Mumbai, 3 from New Delhi (beginning May), three from Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Kochi; two from Ahmedabad and Kozhikode and one from Jaipur, Kolkata and Thiruvananthapuram.
On expansion, Mr. Hogan said, “over the next 12 months, we will add more frequencies to our India network and deploy new wide-body planes, including Boeing 787s.”
From February 15, the airline added a new daily service on the Mumbai-Abu Dhabi and Kolkata-Abu Dhabi routes.
In 2014, Etihad carried almost 7 lakh people to the country on its network, it said, adding it ferried 14.8 million passengers in the year from 111 global destinations.
These expansions are complemented by the recently launched Jet daily services from Goa and Lucknow to Abu Dhabi.
From March 29, Jet will connect Ahmedabad, Pune and Mangalore with Abu Dhabi, Etihad said.
Hogan described the investment in Jet as productive since the Naresh Goyal-run airline is now on “a firm path to recovery showing strong operational and financial performance having reported first net profit after seven successive quarters of losses.”
He hoped Jet will break-even within the next three years on the back of a slew of measures.
Promising to continue to invest in the domestic aviation sector, Mr. Hogan said, “We made a pledge to support growth of Indian tourism, aviation, and commerce by working alongside Jet to bring business and leisure travellers.
“Etihad continues to open up access to primary and regional airports and create employment opportunities through these operations. With Jet, we’re constantly exploring new opportunities with local tourism bodies and organisations.”
Etihad entered India in 2004 from Mumbai, just a year after its launch. It is a major recruiter of Indians, with its Abu Dhabi base alone employing around 1,700 of them. At present 2,860 Indians are working with Etihad, representing 16 per cent of its total workforce.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Court orders six SpiceJet aircraft grounded, airline to appeal


The Delhi High Court on Thursday ordered the civil aviation regulator to de-register six aircraft of SpiceJet for non-payment of dues to some of its lessors — an issue which the budget carrier said is being resolved.
Justice Rajiv Shakdher also asked the Directorate General for Civil Aviation to decide in two weeks’ time a plea by two Irish firms to export the planes.
The court’s directives came on the pleas of leading global aircraft lessors AWAS Ireland and Wilmington Trust SP Services (Dublin). The firms sought directions to de-register the aircraft leased by them to SpiceJet, on grounds of alleged non-payment of dues.
“We are studying the order and if so advised, we will take the matter to higher judicial forum. Dialogues are on with the lessors and expecting to resolve the issue very soon,” a spokesperson for SpiceJet toldIANS.
The move comes even as co-founder Ajay Singh, now back at the airline’s helm, intervened and paid $10 million of the dues. The airline said the remaining amount was expected to be settled soon with the lessors of the Boeing B737 planes.
The order to de-register the six planes comes at a time when the airline is trying to overcome its turbulent times since last year.
In Singh’s second innings with the airline, he and his associates bought back the 53.5-per cent stake in the airline that was sold to the Marans of Chennai, who own the Sun Group.
SpiceJet stock closed on Thursday at Rs.21.75 — down 4.40 per cent from the previous day’s closing in the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Airlines join fare war


IndiGo, Go Air and Jet Airways have joined the airfare war started by SpiceJet by offering low fares in some of their routes. While IndiGo is offering all inclusive low fares starting Rs.1,799 in 90 days advance purchase scheme, Go Air has come out with a Valentine’s Day offer starting one way fare of Rs.1,499 for travel till April 15.
Full service airline Jet Airways is competing with low cost airlines by offering low fares starting Rs.1,599 in domestic routes. Tickets under this scheme need to be booked on or before February 6, for travel valid between February 14 and April 15. The sharp 33 per cent reduction in aviation turbine fuel (ATF) in the past few months has helped airlines to control their losses and come out with promotional offers to lure passengers.

Monday, February 2, 2015

SpiceJet, Jet Airways jump on aviation fuel price cut


Shares of Spicejet and Jet Airways rose by up to 7 per cent on Monday after jet fuel (ATF) price was cut by a steep 11.3 per cent.
SpiceJet’s scrip gained 6.75 per cent to Rs. 23.70 at the BSE. Similarly, Jet Airways surged 5.58 per cent to Rs. 543.50 — its 52-week high.
ATF price was on Sunday cut by a steep 11.3 per cent and now costs less than diesel.
A price cut in aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, by 11.27 per cent or Rs. 5,909.9 per kilolitre to Rs. 46,513.02 per kl in Delhi was announced by oil companies on Sunday.
The reduction, which followed possibly the steepest ever cut of Rs. 7,520.52 per kl or 12.5 per cent effected from January 1, has led to ATF becoming cheaper than even diesel.
Jet fuel constitutes over 40 per cent of an airline’s operating costs and the price cut will ease the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers.

Airfares may be slashed


Domestic airfares are likely to reduce by 5 to 10 per cent in the 30 days advance purchase segment as oil companies on Sunday cut Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) price by 11.3 per cent in line with the fall in international crude oil prices.
With this cut, the ATF price has been reduced to Rs. 46 a litre, making it even cheaper than diesel which costs between Rs. 51 and 56 per litre.
Airlines declined to commit themselves stating that airfares in India are not cost-related and the possible downward revision cannot be of the same proportion as the cut in ATF price.
There has been a cumulative 33 per cent reduction in ATF price since October and airlines are taking this opportunity to reduce their losses rather than passing on all the benefits to passengers.
However, those booking early can benefit by up to 10 per cent while those booking at the last moment will pay the market price depending upon the demand supply situation in that particular sector.
Airlines follow dynamic pricing in fares and charge through a non-transparent slabs system, so it is difficult to quantify the quantum of reduction for all segments of passengers.
“Fares are now 20 to 30 per cent cheaper as compared to November and December fares. This is lean season and in a competitive market, prices should come down. But don’t expect drastic reduction as airfares are not on cost-plus basis in India. This is an opportunity to recoup losses,” said a senior airline official.
However, travel industry experts said that the lower ATF price regime will prompt airlines to come out with aggressive promotional offers to lure passengers, like the 5 lakh seat flash sale by SpiceJet.
Analysts said now the floor is set for a price war among airlines through they would be careful to make some money in this quarter as such opportunity rarely comes.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Jet fuel prices cut steeply again


In a relief to airlines struggling with operational costs, state-run oil marketers on Sunday cut prices of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, by a steep 11.3 per cent.
The price of ATF in Delhi was cut by Rs.5, 909.9 per kilolitre or 11.27 per cent to Rs.46,513.02 per kl effective from Februray 1, the Indian Oil Corp announced.
Jet fuel was last cut on January 1 by Rs.7,520.52 per kl or 12.5 per cent.
While petrol and diesel prices have not been changed in this fortnightly revision, non-subsidised domestic cooking gas (LPG) was cut by Rs.103.5 a cylinder to Rs.605 per 14.5 kg cylinder. The price of non-subsidised LPG was last cut January 1 by Rs.43.50.
The non-subsidised or market-priced LPG is that which customers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 subsidised cylinders.
International oil prices have plunged to over five-and-half-year lows and crude is selling at around $45 a barrel.

After price cut, ATF to cost less than diesel


Jet fuel (ATF) price was on Sunday cut by a steep 11.3 per cent and now costs less than diesel.
Last month, its rate had fallen below the price at which petrol is sold.
While petrol and diesel prices have so far not been changed as per the fortnightly revision, non-subsidised domestic cooking gas (LPG) was cut by Rs. 103.5 per cylinder to Rs. 605 a cylinder after international oil prices slumped to near six-year lows.
The price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF), or jet fuel, in Delhi was cut by Rs. 5,909.9 per kilolitre, or 11.27 per cent, to Rs. 46,513.02 per kl, oil companies announced on Sunday.
The reduction, which followed possibly the steepest ever cut of Rs. 7,520.52 per kl or 12.5 per cent effected from January 1, has led to ATF becoming cheaper than even diesel.
Last month’s reduction saw the ATF price slip to Rs. 52.42 a litre, below Rs. 58.91 a litre cost of petrol in Delhi. And after Sunday’s cut it costs Rs. 46.51 per litre and is cheaper than diesel that sells at Rs. 51.52 per litre.
ATF has a higher octane than petrol and diesel is a heavier fraction in the distillation process. Traditionally, auto fuels being of lesser quality than ATF, would cost less.
But four consecutive excise duty hikes since November — totalling Rs. 7.75 a litre on petrol and Rs 7.50 on diesel, have reversed this.
But for these, the cumulative reduction of Rs 14.69 per litre in petrol price in nine cuts since August and Rs 10.71 a litre on diesel since its deregulation in October, would have been higher.
ATF attracts an excise duty of 8 per cent.
The cut, effective from Sunday, is the seventh reduction in jet fuel rates since August. Jet fuel constitutes over 40 per cent of an airline’s operating costs and the price cut will ease the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers.
No immediate comment was available from airlines on the impact of the price cut on passenger fares.
Following the global trend, the price of 14.2-kg non-subsidised LPG cylinder has been cut to Rs 605 from Rs. 708.50 previously in Delhi.
This is the seventh straight reduction in rates of non-subsidised or market-priced LPG, which the customers buy after exhausting their quota of 12 cylinders at subsidised rates, since August.
A subsidised LPG refill currently costs Rs 417 in Delhi.
Price of non-subsidised LPG were last cut on January 1 by Rs 43.50.
In seven monthly reductions, non-domestic LPG rates have been slashed by Rs 317.50 per cylinder, bringing the price to a three-year low.
State-owned fuel retailers, Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corp (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) revise jet fuel and non-subsidised LPG prices on 1st of every month based on average imported cost and Rupee-USD exchange rate.