A policy is in the works to expand air connectivity to remote areas - Jyotiraditya Scindia
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Sunday, March 13 said his ministry is working on a policy on the use of small planes and helicopters for expanding regional connectivity.
The minister was addressing a function here to mark the inaugural run of the Indore-Gondia-Hyderabad flight under UDAN - RCS (Ude Desh Kaa Aam Naagrik - Regional Connectivity Service). Regional airline FlyBig is operating the flight. It was the first commercial flight to Gondia from Indore.
"We want that with our policy regional air connectivity should bolster and reach far-flung areas. And for this, a policy for the use of small planes and helicopters is being tailored," Scindia said.
The policy is in the works to expand air connectivity to remote areas - Jyotiraditya Scindia
He said Indore has been connected by air with 21 cities in the last eight months, which has pushed the number of weekly flights flying in and out from Indore to 445 from 308.
He said that alone direct international flight from Madhya Pradesh to Dubai had already been started from Indore, and efforts are on to run a direct flight to Sharjah as well.
According to an earlier statement by FlyBig Airlines chairman and managing director Sanjay Mandviya, the booking of tickets will start from March 1 and will be available both online and at the window.
The first commercial flight operated by flybig lands at Gondia Airport VAGD.
The fare is also very affordable as the services will be run under UDAN RCS (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik- Regional Connectivity Scheme). The fare will be just INR 1,999 for Indore-Gondia or Gondia-Hyderabad travel and the maximum fare would be around INR 2600.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan participated in the function virtually. His wife Sadhana Singh hails from Gondia in Maharashtra. Speaking in Marathi, Chouhan in a lighter vein said, "Indore-Gondia-Hyderabad flight was special for him given that he was the son-in-law of Gondia.
73% Indian citizens oppose the resumption of scheduled international flights
About three out of every four Indians are against a full-fledged reopening of international flights from later this month, as several countries are experiencing a surge in Covid-19 cases, showed a survey by a social media platform.
The Localcircles survey received 12,618 responses from citizens residing in 294 districts. Of the respondents, 44% were from the country's top cities. The survey was conducted after the government said regular international flights from India would resume on March 27.
Starting flights from international countries at a time when there is a strong surge in COVID cases in Europe and Asia could pose an imminent danger of a rise in cases of BA 2.2 variant in India.
73% of Indian citizens oppose the resumption of scheduled international flights
The BA 2.2 variant has already reached India, with the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG), which conducts genome sequencing of the coronavirus, reporting 3 such cases in Maharashtra, Puducherry and Ladakh.
Based on genome sequencing data, the predominant variant in India currently is BA.2 and globally experts suggest that BA.2 infection does not provide immunity from BA.2.2. The announcement was made after India's Covid cases fell below 5,000 a day and test positivity came under 0.5%.
While several countries opened their skies after the scare over the Omicron-led Covid wave eased, those like Hong Kong, South Korea, Vietnam, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Australia are seeing hospitalisations due to a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant.
The announcement was made after India's Covid cases fell below 5,000 a day and test positivity came under 0.5%.
About 25% of the respondents backed the resumption of commercial international flights from all countries as planned, according to the survey. Another 41% suggested starting commercial flights only with countries that have a TPR of less than 5%, while 14% put a TPR of under 2% as the condition.
About 18% sought postponement of the decision, while 2% did not have an opinion, according to Localcircles.
"On an aggregate basis, 73% of citizens are against restarting full schedule commercial international flights from March 27, 2022, in light of the BA.2.2 and related mutations," it said in a news release.
In a sign of the priority, the Tatas are giving to their latest acquisition — Air India, — group chairman N Chandrasekaran will personally review the Maharaja’s revival path over Monday, March 14 and Tuesday, March 15 at the airline’s HQ in Delhi.
According to a report published by The Times of India, he is learnt to be taking detailed presentations from AI board members to finalise the roadmap, continuing from where he left off last week.
Outlining Tata’s vision for the airline they founded, Chandra has promised to make “Air India the world-class airline it deserves to be” and “absolutely best in class” in customer service, technology, fleet, network and “best possible hospitality both in flight and off the flight.”
N Chandrasekaran to continue with his review of Air India
All these will require a team of top-notch experts. But the formerly state-run airline’s wait to get an aviation veteran as CEO continues as former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci recently “declined” the position of AI MD & CEO.
ALSO READ - Amid the security row, Ilker Ayci declines Tata Sons’ offer to be the new CEO of Air India
A new CEO — who is likely to be finalised shortly — with a proven track record in aviation is expected to put in place a team of professionals.
With regular international flights starting from March 27, people will again have the option of taking one-stops via nearby hubs to fly between India and the rest of the world. The bubble system in place from March 23, 2020, will March 26, 2022, meant fewer flights by foreign airlines.
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DGCA data shows that in the last pre-pandemic quarter, October-December 2019, Indian carriers accounted for 39.2% of international travel to and from India while foreign carriers’ share was 60.8%. Air India (11.5%) and Air India Express's (7.3%) share was 18.8%. On a standalone basis, IndiGo had the highest international market share.
Air India has to quickly become a more attractive option to leverage its main strength of medium/long and ultra-long-haul international direct connectivity
The latest pandemic time DGCA is for July-September 2021 when Indian carriers’ share rose to 48.1% and foreign carriers fell to 51.9%. Air India's (14.5%) and Air India Express's (11.8%) combined share in this period rose by 40% to 26.3%. And on a standalone basis, Air India had the highest international market share.
Air India has to quickly become a more attractive option to leverage its main strength of medium/long and ultra-long-haul international direct connectivity in terms of cabin comfort to prevent foreign airlines from evening its bubble-time passengers away.
In domestic, IndiGo — with a much lower cost base — has close to 55% market share,” said an industry insider.
(With Inputs from The Times of India)
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Thursday, March 10 inaugurated the first drone school in Gwalior. The chief minister said that drone technology opens huge technology opportunities for youngsters.
"First drone school in the state has been inaugurated in Gwalior. There's huge employment potential in this industry as drones can be used for various purposes," Mr Chouhan told media persons in Gwalior.
Scindia said that 40 to 50 youngsters will be trained in drone technology every month at the school. “This way, around 500 youths will be prepared as drone pilots in a year. They can easily earn INR 30,000 a month. When all five drone schools are operational, 2,500 drone pilots will graduate in a year,” he said, adding that MP is one of the leading states in the use of drone technology.
First drone school of Madhya Pradesh inaugurated in Gwalior
“Students of Indore have developed startups worth INR 800 crore to INR 1,000 crore. The youth of Gwalior can also take advantage of the government’s startup policy. MP’s youth should become job givers, not job seekers,” the CM said.
Under the new startup policy, the government provides full financial and technical assistance to innovations made by the youth, he said. Scindia pointed out that the first drone school has been set up within 90 days of the announcement being made on December 11.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi dreams that India should become a leader, not a follower of any country. To realise this concept, efforts are being made to take drones to every village and door-to-door,” Scindia said.
Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurated the first drone school in Gwalior.
In addition, Madhya Pradesh was also the first state in the country in advancing the use of drone technology on a big scale by organising a drone fair in Gwalior in December 2021.
The programme was the biggest congregation of drone manufacturers, service providers, drone enthusiasts and user communities, especially students, farmers and common man of the city. The programme included drone exhibition, demonstration, industry-user interactions and launches.
The inauguration of Drone School was an event that saw people from the industry gather in huge numbers. Several Drone manufacturers, enthusiasts, service providers, and others attended the event along with farmers and students as well.
Indian carriers to boost weekly domestic flights by 10.1% for summer 2022
Indian carriers have increased their domestic services by 10.1% to 25,309 weekly flights in the upcoming summer schedule as compared to 22,980 last season, aviation regulator DGCA said on Friday, March 11.
IndiGo has increased its domestic flights by 10.4% to 11,130 weekly services for summer 2022 as compared to 10,084 weekly services in the corresponding period in 2021, the regulator noted.
The COVID-19-induced travel restrictions have badly affected the Indian aviation industry in the last 24 months. However, with COVID-19 infections decreasing, air travel has been picking up in the last couple of weeks.
(Data - DGCA)
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said the summer schedule of Indian carriers has been finalised after a virtual meeting held last month on airport slots. The summer schedule begins on March 27 and ends on October 29.
As compared to the summer schedule of 2020, which was pre-COVID-19, there has been a growth of 3.7% departures this time. In 2021, the DGCA had approved 18,843 flights per week, keeping in mind that airlines were permitted to operate not more than 80% of their pre-COVID flights.
The DGCA said, "It has been observed that 25,309 departures per week have been finalised to and from 112 airports. Out of these 112 airports, Gondia, Ziro and Puducherry are the new airports proposed by the scheduled airlines."
The summer schedule begins on March 27 and ends on October 29.
The Centre-owned Alliance Air will be operating 17.6% more weekly domestic flights (982 flights) in summer this year as compared to 835 services in the corresponding period last year, the regulator noted.
The Tata Group-run AirAsia India will operate 1,601 weekly domestic services -- a 16% jump -- in summer 2022, it mentioned. Air India, which was sold in 2021 to the Tata Group, has increased its weekly domestic services for summer this year by 10% to 2,456, it noted.
It said SpiceJet will be operating 14.2% more weekly domestic services in summer 2022 as compared to the same period in 2021, it mentioned. Vistara and Go First will be increasing its weekly domestic services by just 6.7% and 1.9% in summer 2022 as compared to summer 2021, it mentioned.
As compared to the summer schedule of 2020, which was pre-COVID-19, there has been a growth of 3.7% departures this time
Regional carrier FlyBig will operate 158 weekly domestic flights in summer 2022 as compared to 54 weekly services in summer 2021, it noted.
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On March 8, the Civil Aviation Ministry had announced that it will resume regular international flight operations from March 27. The ministry further added that international operations shall be subject to strict adherence to Ministry of Health guidelines for international travel.
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The Scheduled international flight services have remained suspended in India since March 23, 2020. However, special international flights have been operating between India and about 35 other countries since July 2020 under air bubble arrangements.
India currently has air transport bubbles with 40 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the US.
Wings India-2022, Asia’s largest Civil Aviation Show, will be held at the Begumpet Airport from March 24 to 27 with the first two days being business days and the rest for the general public.
The fifth edition of Wings India, a biennial exhibition on civil aviation, is organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
The event is expected to provide aviation sector stakeholders insight into technology-driven innovations which will help revolutionize air travel in the coming years. The exhibition will feature chalets, demonstration flights, CEOs forum, static display, aerobatics along with media conferences and B2B meetings.
Wings India-2022, Asia’s largest Civil Aviation Show, will be held at the Begumpet Airport from March 24 to 27.
A preparatory meeting on Tuesday was attended by the officials from various authorities involved in the facilitation of infrastructure, law and order and other services where FICCI briefed the attendees about the show and its highlights.
Over 125 international and domestic exhibitors are expected to participate along with 11 hospitality chalets, over 15 country delegations, and several States and Union Territories. Aviation Ministers of several countries and industry captains are expected to participate in the Global Aviation Summit.
The Sarang helicopter air display team of the Indian Air Force will be performing at the event.
IIM Bangalore to host International Virtual Conference on Future of Aviation and Aerospace 2022 on March 12
India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. To ensure the availability of quality managerial talent to meet the growing needs of this sector, the Executive Education Programme Office at IIM Bangalore has partnered with Toulouse Business School, France to design and offer a General Management programme for Aviation and Aerospace Executives.
IIMB and TBS also collaborate on a variety of initiatives to provide thought leadership for this sector. One of the initiatives, under this partnership, is to organise an International Conference on the Future of Aviation and Aerospace (FOAA).
This is a virtual conference and BIAL is one of the partners in this conference.
The FOAA is an annual event that brings together industry experts, researchers and scholars to deepen the understanding of the current state and future of the sector. The FOAA, for 2022, is being held on 12th March. This is a virtual conference and BIAL is one of the partners in this conference.
FOAA 2022 will feature keynote speakers and panel discussions anchored by several C-suite executives from Aviation and Aerospace companies and faculty from IIM Bangalore.