Thursday, May 21, 2015

SpiceJet plans to raise Rs. 300 crore, increase fleet size


Budget carrier SpiceJet on Thursday said it will infuse Rs. 300 crore into the airline through various instruments and enhance its fleet size to 45-50 aircraft by March next year.
The decision to raise an additional Rs. 300 crore was taken by the airline’s board that met in Chennai on Thursday, the company said.
The airline’s Board of Directors has also appointed new majority shareholder Ajay Singh and his wife Shiwani Singh as directors and Harsha Vardhana Singh as Independent Director.
Mr. Singh, a co-founder of SpiceJet who exited the airline in 2010, took back its control after acquiring the entire 58.46 per cent stake of Kalanithi Maran and Kal Airways Pvt. Ltd in February as part of a revival plan.
As part of the plan, approved by the Civil Aviation Ministry, Mr. Singh has committed an investment of Rs. 1,500 crore in the carrier, of which he has already infused Rs. 500 crore in February immediately after taking over its ownership.
“The board also took on record company’s efforts to increase its fleet size to 45-50 aircraft by March 2016,” the statement said.
The airline currently has 35 planes — 20 Boeing 737s and 15 Bombardier Q400 — in its fleet.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Air India’s Nagpur MRO ready for commercial operation


Air India’s Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at Nagpur is almost ready to commence operation and according to officials it will be operational by next month.
A one of its kind in India, the MRO facility has capability to carry out major aircraft related jobs on wide body and narrow body aircraft belonging to Indian and international carriers.
“The facility is complete. Tooling is ready and we are only awaiting Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) certification which should come in the coming weeks. We will start with wide-body aircraft (Boeing 777) checks, followed by Boeing 787 and then narrow body aircraft (Boeing 737),” said a senior Air India official.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

AI evaluating option to switch order for larger Dreamliner


Air India is evaluating switching its order for Dreamliner aircraft from Boeing 787-8 to the larger version 787-9.
It has already taken delivery of 20 B787-8 aircraft out of the order placed for 27 such planes and the option of model substitution is being considered for some of the remaining ones that are yet to be delivered.
The national carrier has set up a senior committee, comprising representatives from Finance, Commercial, Engineering and Strategy & Planning departments, to evaluate the option to exercise the model substitution rights, the government informed the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.
In a written reply, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma said the carrier has the option of substituting B787-8 aircraft with B787-9.
Boeing has provided four interior layout options for the B787-9 in two class (executive + economy) configuration and these are “24+270=294, 24+274=298, 18+286=304 and 18+292=320”, Mr.Sharma said.
“The B787-8 aircraft in the Air India fleet have an 18+238=256 seats configuration. In addition to the higher seating capacity, the B787-9 also offers 18.9 tonnes of cargo capacity compared to 15 tonnes for the B787-8,” he said.
Out of the order placed for 27 B787-8 aircraft, Air India has so far taken delivery of 20 such aircraft.
“The delivery of 21st B787-8 is expected by the end of June 2015,” Mr. Sharma said.
Model substitution rights is available for Air India under the purchase agreement for the B787-8 aircraft signed by it with Boeing.
In another written reply, the Minister said that recently a Mumbai-bound Air India flight with over 250 people on board was forced to return to Newark.
“On flight AI-144 operating on Mumbai-Newark sector with Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, the right hand engine experienced vibrations which crossed the normal levels. Hence, the pilot returned to Newark after fuel jettison.
“On inspection conducted on landing, one fan blade of the engine was found damaged,” he noted.