Monday, 25 May 2015

Must Know Riders to the Indigo Web Check In Rules

Web check in means that you are able to complete the procedure and formalities of check in right from you place before heading to the airport. This saves you the time and hassles involved in standing in long queues and waiting for your turn at the check in counters of the airport. India’s budget carrier, IndiGo, has also introduced the Web Check In services which can be used by using its downloaded mobile application, mobile website or its normal website. But, there are riders to this service which shall be noted. These riders are:
1. This service is not available for international flights. So, you can use it only if you are flying domestic sectors.
2. In case you do not have check in luggage, you can proceed directly to security check with your boarding pass. There is no need to get it stamped at check in counter.
However, if you are having the check in luggage, IndiGo provides drop in facility at select airports around the country. These cities are Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi and Ahmedabad. For other airports, regular check in procedures have to be adhered to.
3. Certain special types of passengers are not allowed web check in facility. These are passengers with infants, on wheelchairs and unaccompanied minors.  These people have to mandatorily check in at the airport.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Extra Money For Extra Legroom for Flights To/From India

Have you rued travelling in the low cost carriers or the cramped up economy sections of the full service carriers? Whether acceptable or not, it has been a fact of life that if you want to save on money while flying, you will have to live with the lesser space of your seats. But, this is fast changing as the carriers are realizing the need for diversifying their seat-portfolios on offer and are not just providing the cabin class experiences but are also providing more options for seating within a class of cabin, particularly the economy section.
International airlines have started offering more legroom seats to passengers which comes with an additional charge, which can be very steep at times. Lufthansa, KLM, Singapore, Etihad, United Airways and other such carriers have different charges for different location seats with more legroom. These seats could be the preferred ones, the exit row seats, the economy plus seats- all having more legroom space.

Whether you would be willing to pay the extra charges, which could be even three times the normal or standard fare would depend on a number of factors such as whether you are travelling alone or with family, desired level of comfort and, of course, the ability to pay more for economy in lieu of moving to a higher cabin class.
If you are traveling in economy sections of international carriers, it is worthwhile making a check on availability of these seats. 

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Ryan Air Invests in MRO Base in Poland

Ryan Air, one of the foremost low cost carriers of Europe, is now opening up a maintenance and repair organization (MRO) facility in Poland. The airline has announced its plan to invest heavily in this facility which will be capable of performing the C-level checks of 737 aircraft. This will require investment of Euros 6 millions in Wroclaw-Copernicus airport of Poland.

It has to be noted that airlines are subjected to different levels of checks during the course of their life in order to ensure that they remain airworthy and are safe to fly. When these checks are to be performed depends on a number of factors such as the number of hours the plane is flown, the weather conditions in which this is flown for most of the time and many others. Out of these different categories of checks, the C-level checks are the most comprehensive ones in which the whole aircraft is practically built up from scrap. It involves highest costs of all the checks.

By investing in this sector in Poland, Ryanair would be trusting the abilities of local manpower, providing training, generate more employment and deepen its cooperation in a fast growing market. 

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Emirates Beats Odds to Retain Profitability in 2014

It happens rarely in aviation industry that a carrier has an unbridled ride of profitability for 27 consecutive years. Emirates has achieved this tremendous feat by turning profitable in 2014, a year which saw many problems crop up for the carrier. It has been able to report a profit of $1.24 billion, a gain of 40 percent. While there were a number of stumbling blocks which it had to overcome, there were some facilitating factors which ultimately led to its good performance. While this is a good news for the carrier, its employees also have something to cheer about. They have been promised extra salary of 9 weeks.

Emirates had to overcome problems of temporary closure of runways at Dubai airport, Ebola outbreak, flight restrictions in conflict zones and unfavorable currency movement vis-a-vis US dollar.

The factors which came to its aid were rapid expansion strategy of the management and the declining fuel prices. It is the only carrier that has the largest number of wide-bodied aircraft such as Boeing 777 and Airbus 380s. To meet its rationale but rapid expansion strategies, it has ordered for another 279 planes besides the 230 already existing ones. The year ahead will see it face considerable challenge from the US carriers that are hell bent on curtailing their growth in the US market.

Monday, 11 May 2015

Andal Airport of Bengal- First Private Sector Greenfield Airport Project in India

Government of India has been aware of the need to improve the aviation infrastructure in the wake of about 25 years of economic growth backed by reforms. With growth comes the need to sustain it for a long period of time and this is possible only when the infrastructural needs of the times are met with. Growth in the air traffic was long anticipated and the fact that aviation sector infrastructure needed a massive revamp was also on cards for some time. Keeping this in view, government allowed for improving infrastructure and facilities at existing airports, creating new ones and even focussing on MRO requirements of the carriers. Private participation was considered inevitable as development had to be scaled up timely. With this objective in sight, private greenfield airport projects were announced in April 2008. Out of these projects, Andal airport is the first one to be completed. PM Narendra Modi will be one of the first persons to fly from this airport when it is expected to be open on May 18, 2015. Here are some statistics of this project:

  • First private sector Aerotropolis
  • Changi Airports International (CAI) has a 32 per cent stake
  • Capacity to handle 1 million passengers per annum, expandable to 2.5 million.
  • Runway length is 2800 meters.
  • CAT 1 ILS capability
  • 4 parking bays and 1 helipad
  • Category VI firefighting and rescue capability

Greenfield Airport Projects of India

(source: Times of India)

Greenfield Airport Projects that were given clearance in 2008 for development are:

  1. Mopa, Goa
  2. Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra
  3. Kannur, Kerala
  4. Pakyong, Sikkim
  5. Sindhudurg, Maharashtra
  6. Gulbarga, Karnataka
  7. Bijapur, Karnataka
  8. Shimoga, Karnataka
  9. Hassan, Karnataka
  10. Shirdi, Maharashtra
  11. Dabra, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
  12. Andal, West Bengal
  13. Dholera, Gujarat
  14. Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh
  15. Karaikal, Pudduchery
  16. Bhogapuram, Andhra Pradesh
  17. Dagadarthi Mendal, Andhra Pradesh
  18. Oravakallu, Andhra Pradesh

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Sri Lankan Airlines Codeshares with AA

AA now has another codeshare partner, this time in South Asia. Sri Lankan Airlines, the official flag carrier of Sri Lanka, has entered into this mutually beneficial agreement with American Airlines. Interestingly, this carrier was also the first one to join oneworld Alliance from Indian subcontinent in May, 2014.
This will make Sri Lankan Airlines fifth partner of AA from oneworld Alliance. In beginning, designator UL code will be added to AA operated flights from Dallas/Forth Worth, New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare and the European getaways of Frankfurt and Paris. From these destinations, flights to connections of Sri Lankan carrier and Colombo will be connected. Though AA will not add its own code in starting, it will do so in later phases when AA code would be placed on its extensive network in South Asia for American Airlines customers.

FAA Permits Illinois State Police to Fly Drones

Federal Aviation Authority of US has been granting exceptions to companies on case to case basis for using drones for declared operations. This practice of providing the exceptions for enabling their use has been a key practice till the time it came up with comprehensive guidelines which could enable their usage for all. Recent addition to this list of exceptions is that of the Illinois State Department and this is for the first time that this permission has been granted to the State Police Department for their use.
The primary focus of their usage would be in investigation of the crime scenes and crash sites on highways. This means that the authorities would be able to deploy these for public convenience and also in generating information quickly.
The Illinois State department has been developing a program for the use of drones for its use for over 2 years now and FAA has granted the approval on the basis of this program. It meets all the guidelines of FAA one of which prohibits their use for surveillance purposes.
Earlier, exceptions have also issued to some other companies and individuals for use of drones in certain types of works.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

American Airlines-Baggage Allowances and Limitations

The are rules pertaining to the carriage of baggage on all airlines. Invariably, you would come across different types of restrictions and limitation when it comes to baggage matters. Generally, these pertain to the dimensions of the luggage, weight of bag, number of pieces to be carried and sometimes, time-restrictions for which the allowance is allowed. Whether the baggage to be carried is free of charges (and to what extent) or whether it is to be charged, varies from carrier to carrier. But, this is a certainty that these can not deny the carriage of bags on board, whether as hand or as checked in luggage.
For the American Airlines (AA), which is one of the top airliner of USA, there are rules pertaining to these allowances. After its merger with the US Airways, AA has also aligned these policies with those of the merged entity.
AA charges for every bag that you check in. These vary depending upon the ordinal number of the bag to be carried (meaning that the first bag will have a different rate than the second, third or fourth bag) and the destination country or region. However, for certain special guests, it allows carriage of complimentary bags which are allowed without any charges. The charges as well as the rules of complimentary bags are mentioned in the American Airlines baggage allowance. So, certain types of guests such as AAdvantage Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum members; oneworld Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald members; Alaska Airlines MVP, MVP Gold and MVP gold 75k members; and certain Credit Card holders do have advantage of carrying these complimentary bags on their domestic or international flights.
There is a limit on maximum number of bags that can be carried checked in on AA. 10 bags are allowed for domestic, transatlantic and transpacific flights whereas 5 bags are allowed on flights to Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, South America and Brazil.
Further, each bag shall be of maximum 23 kgs weight and 158 cms sum of dimensions, except for flights to/from Brazil where allowance is 32 kgs per bag with 158 cms dimension limit.
There could also be seasonal variations to these rules, making allowances more relaxed during certain parts of the year or for some special destinations or even when there is a need for promoting any new destination. All these are discretionary matters for the carrier but the standard allowances and rules remain the same for most of the time of a year.

Post merger of US Airways, these rules for US Airways would be the same as that of AA except for those flights whose tickets have been issued before 23 April, 2014 for which the US Airways allowance rules will be applicable.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Simplifying Checked In Allowance Rules of Singapore Airlines

If you were to access the data regarding the nature of queries which people make with the airlines, you would realize that queries related to luggage matters are one of the highest ones. Even though information is provided in the website of the carrier, people generally want to be doubly sure about what all items they can carry so that there are no last minute hassles at the airport. Probably one of the finest carriers of the world, and especially of the South East Asian region, Singapore Airlines has baggage allowance rules which will make many a heads spin. WE have tried to reduce this puzzle somewhat in this post.

To begin with, there are two parts of the world, as far as the allowance matters are concerned. One is where the ‘piece’ principle applies and the other is where the ‘weight’ principle applies. You must be wondering why this unnecessary complication. Why can’t we have only one principle? That is a matter of debate but let’s go with the present convention for the time being.

So, the countries where piece-based allowance rules apply are US and Brazil and for rest of the countries, the weight based rules are applicable.

So, for flights to/from USA, 2 checked in bags are allowed for all normal passengers. Economy class passengers are allowed 23 kg of each bag whereas Business/First Class and Suites travelers can carry 32 kgs each.  If you are a KrisFlyer or Star Alliance Gold member, you can take 3 bags with same per bag weight restrictions. The PPS Club members are allowed to take 4 bags.

For flights to/from Brazil, there is uniformity in number and weight of pieces to be carried across all cabin classes of travel. So, normal passengers are allowed 2 bags of 32 kgs each, KrisFlyer and Star Alliance Gold members are allowed 3 bags of 32 kgs and PPS Club members are allowed 4 bags of 32 kgs each.

In case of flights to/from other places where the weight concept applies, Singapore airlines checked in allowance is different. It depends on class of travel and loyalty level of passenger. As mentioned earlier, there are three classes of travel Suites/First Class, Business Class and Economy Class. Free checked in luggage for common passengers is 50, 40 and 30 kgs respectively for these classes. For KrisFlyer and Star Alliance Gold members, it is 70, 60 and 50 kgs whereas for the PPS Club members it is 110, 80 and 60 kgs (100 percent more than those of the common passengers).

If weight of your luggage exceeds these limits than excess baggage charges would apply. These rates can be known from the Singapore airlines baggage allowance.