Monday, 27 October 2014

BA to Put Dreamliner 787 on Chennai-London Route

Commemorating 90 years of service in India, British Airways is now putting in the Dreamliner 787 Boeing airplane on daily service between Chennai and London, operating 6 flights per week, one flight per day.

With this service, British Airways plans to provide more traveling options to the business and leisure travelers. BA promises a great on-board service along with competitive fares. There will be three cabin classes of travel- Club World which is business class, World Traveller Plus which is a premium economy service class and World Traveler which is the economy class.

It is noteworthy that BA was flying five flights per week from Chennai which have been increased to six per week, taking the total tally of flights from India to 49 from 5 cities: Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bangalore.

India High on Growth in Aviation Cargo Markets, Reports IATA

IATA has reported that India is the second fastest growing market of the world in terms of air cargo. It i next only to the Middle East Region which is growing at the fastest rate in world. India lies at a crucial geographical location, between the fast growing economies of the Est and the developed markets of Europe and America. It has a stable, democratic polity and a fast growing economy which makes it a potential candidate for emerging as a world cargo hub in future.

Indian cargo market is expected to grow at the compounded annual growth rate of about 7 percent. IATA also predicts that by 2018, four years from now, India will be among the 10 largest cargo markets of the world.

Out of the 10 largest markets that would emerge in 2018, only two are European- Germany nd UK. Besides USA and China, the other emerging markets would be UAE, Hong Kong, South Korea, Chinese Taipei  and Japan.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Air India’s Move to Close City Booking Offices Faces Criticism

Concluding that its city booking offices across the country have become redundant due to the advent of online booking, refunds claim and ticketing cancellation, Air India has decided to close its shops. Air India has contended that the offline booking centres are losing importance and their operations have become redundant under the current austerity drive. The most recent one has been Kozhikode.

The move has drawn flak from  number of quarters since a number of people in many of these cities are not internet savvy and do not know to use internet for making flight booking or other transactions. They still make use of these offices for their air travel needs. In the absence of these offices, these people would face immense hardships.

Some states  like Kerala has been generating good revenues for Air India, therefore, the decision to close down Kozhikode offices has been seen as rather mysterious.

RuPay ties up with Jet Airways for Flight Booking Payments

You can now make the flight bookings with RuPay Debit Card on Jet Airways. RuPay has tied up with Jet Airways which is one of the largest airlines in India. RuPay cards are issued by the National Payments Corporation of India, which has been promoted by the central bank of India, the Reserve Bank of India. These cards are accepted by all the ATMs, about 1 million POS terminals and more than 15000 online merchants. Some other major online retailers which use this mode of payment are Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal.

RuPay system is a wholly Indian payment system which works well with varied payment channels and products. As the whole customer information resides within country, there will be better security and there will be reduced cost of clearance and transaction.

Friday, 24 October 2014

American Airlines 3rd Quarter Profits at $942 million

World’s largest airline in terms of passenger traffic is leading the pack of American airlines in terms of profitability. American Airlines, along with US Airways, has made a record of sorts by declaring a profit of $942 millions in third quarter this year. And, if one is to go by what its CEO Doug Barker is saying, the next quarter is expected to see even more profits and, therefore, this year will see full profits all through.

There are a number of reasons why this has turned out to be so. At first, there has been a lowering of the Jet Fuel prices all over the world.  This has helped the airlines to reduce its costs. Aviation fuel, also called jet fuel, is the largest single head which contributes to the prices of the tickets.

At the same time, there have been good yields. This means that the passengers have paid more per mile flown. The airline has been able to charge average or higher tariffs because of another contributory reason that there have been mergers going on in the US aviation sector which has led to reduced competition enabling them to command better prices from the passenger.  Mergers have also led to rationalization of the flight routes, controlling expansion of fleet and trimming of expenses.

Air New Zealand Epic Safety Video

If you want to know the basic safety rules followed on airlines, this video from Air New Zealand will give answers, and in a very interesting way!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Delta getting good response from Lincoln-Atlanta route

Delta Airlines is doing pretty well on the newly started Lincoln to Atlanta route. The increase in passenger traffic in such a short of span of time has proved that the decision to restart the service which was once backed off within 3 months of starting in 2009, was correct this time. For those who are not aware, US department of transport had given a revenue guarantee of USD 0.75 million for operating to Atlanta for a minimum period of 1 year.

Delta is clearly happy as the load factor has already touched 70%, though it is cautious in showing happiness as it wants to wait for a full year to know how well this route has augured for it.

Friday, 17 October 2014

IndiGo Again Goes on Bulk Buying Spree, this Time with 250 Airbus A320neos

When other Indian carriers are busy watch their plummeting profitability, IndiGo has ventured on another bulk buying spree of airplanes. In a recent record-breaking order of 250 Airbus A320neos, IndiGo plans to deepen and strengthen its market base in Indian aviation sector. With this order IndiGo has retained its faith in Airbus yet again, this time in the new and the more fuel efficient version of the aircraft- the A320neos. These are also single-aisle, narrow bodied airplane like their previous avatars.

In an industry and in a market like India where aviation fuel costs contribute to about 40 percent of the operational costs, going for the fuel efficient airplanes is aimed to reduce the costs of operations with the ultimate aim of providing cheap air tickets to the customers. It is also noteworthy that the airline will be facing immense competition in years to come as Tatas make foray with AirAsia, the famed LCC of Malaysia.

The deal augurs good for Airbus as it has seen cancellation of orders from other Asian carriers such as AirAsia and Tiger Airways recently.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

IndiGo Repeats The Profit Story in FY14

Its the sixth straight year in which IndiGo has posted a profit. The only other airline to do so is GoAir. IndiGo posted Rs 317 crore profit on a total revenue of Rs 11,117 crore. While the revenue rose 18%, the profits were actually half of the previous year. The decline in profitability is attributed to two main reasons:
  1. Exchange Rate Fluctuations: Currency fluctuations have eaten into the profits of the airline in a significant way. IndiGo makes a substantial amount of its payments in US Dollars (as much as 70%) and this makes it prohibitively costly to pay when Rupee gets weak. At the same time, the revenues of airline in US dollars are rather limited due to the limited international destinations that it covers.
  2. Price-wars: Indian skies are jammed with the price wars among rival airlines. IndiGo, though a reluctant player, had to enter the price wars in order to retain its customer base. Heavy discounts by rival airlines were chased by IndiGo which led to deterioration of profitability. However, the carrier has managed to retain profitability this year as well while its rivals such as Spicejet, have accumulated losses.

IndiGo is also aware of the customer trust in its operations and is aware of its increasing customer base. This also requires the airline to keep on adding capacity by increasing its fleet so that the increasing rush of passengers is duly met and the chances of garnering more revenues and profits are not lost. IndiGo added another 11 planes in the last financial year, taking its total tally to 77.