Go First and SpiceJet announce sale on air tickets

Radhika Bansal

21 Apr 2022

Private carriers Go First and SpiceJet on April 20 announced sales, with the air tickets priced as low as close to INR 2,500.

While the sale has begun, both the airlines are offering tickets at discounted rates for the flights scheduled between June and September -- the monsoon season.


The booking period for the Go First sale will last from April 20-25, and the tickets can be booked for flights scheduled between June 20 and September 30, 2022, the aircraft operator said, adding that "the offer is applicable only on domestic flights". The fares are starting from INR 2,490 (all inclusive).

The booking period for the SpiceJet sale, which also began today, will last till April 23. The travel period ranges from June 20 to September 25. "Now book your domestic flights at unbelievable fare starting at just INR 2492/ (sic)," the airline said in a social media post.


Vistara has also announced a Summertime Sale across its domestic and international network. Vistara is offering discounted airfare on all three classes of travel - Economy, Premium Economy and Business. 

The sales have been announced at a time when the aviation turbine fuel (ATF) prices are on a boil.  The surge in fuel rate is expected to push the airfares, which in turn would hinder the recovery of the pandemic-hit aviation sector.

ALSO READ - Jet fuel prices increased by 18% reaching an all-time high

Notably, the state-owned fuel retailers had hiked the ATF prices by 18%, the steepest ever, on March 16 to bring the prices to INR 110,666.29 per kl in the national capital.

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Vietjet to resume India-Vietnam flights from April 29 with new routes

Radhika Bansal

21 Apr 2022

Vietjet will operate six flights between India and Vietnam in a phased manner starting April 29. In a statement, the airline said flights on the Delhi-Hanoi route and Delhi-Ho Chi Minh City route which were operating before the COVID-19 pandemic will resume on April 29 and April 30, respectively.

Before the pandemic, Vietjet had operated two direct routes linking India's capital city of New Delhi with Vietnam’s capital city of Hanoi and the financial hub of Ho Chi Minh City in addition to charter flights from Vietnam to Bodh Gaya, the Indian Buddhist pilgrimage site.

Vietjet to resume India-Vietnam flights from April 29 with new routes

The carrier announced new flights on the Mumbai-Hanoi route and Mumbai-Ho Chi Minh City route from June 3 and June 4, respectively. The flights on Mumbai - Phu Quoc route and the New Delhi-Phu Quoc route will start from September 9, it noted.

"With flights of just over five hours per leg, and a convenient flight schedule on offer throughout the week, Vietjet's renewed and increased connectivity between Vietnam and India will create many more trade and tourism opportunities between the two countries, helping to boost the economies of both."Dinh Viet Phuong, Dinh Viet Phuong, Vietjet

India resumed scheduled international passenger flights on March 27 after a two-year-long hiatus due to the pandemic.

During this period, only limited international passenger flights were operating to and from India under air bubble arrangements formed with specific countries. India had no such air bubble arrangement with Vietnam.

VietJet Air is a low-cost carrier based in Hanoi Noi Bai Airport, Vietnam.

VietJet Air is a low-cost carrier based in Hanoi Noi Bai Airport, Vietnam. The carrier began operating in December 2011, after several delayed attempts, initially with 3 A320 aircraft to Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang.

VietJet had planned to utilise the AirAsia brand after receiving an investment from the Malaysian LCC but went ahead with the VietJet brand after AirAsia was denied regulatory approvals. The carrier operates services across Asia.

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Go First halts Srinagar-Sharjah flights due to a lack of bilateral rights

Radhika Bansal

21 Apr 2022

Go First has stopped operating the Srinagar-Sharjah flights from March 27 as it does not have the requisite bilateral rights.

Airlines need bilateral rights — which are granted under an air services agreement signed between the two countries — to operate scheduled international passenger flights.

Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurated Go First’s Srinagar-Sharjah flight on October 23, 2021, connecting Jammu and Kashmir with the United Arab Emirates after around 11 years.

Go First halts Srinagar-Sharjah flights due to a lack of bilateral rights

ALSO READ - Go First begins direct passenger service between Srinagar and Sharjah

“We were operating Srinagar-Sharjah-Srinagar flight under air bubble arrangement that was in place till March 26, 2022. All air bubble arrangements were cancelled when India resumed scheduled international passenger flights on March 27, 2022,” Go First spokesperson told PTI.

Scheduled international passenger flights operate under a bilateral air services agreement signed between the two countries, the spokesperson noted.

“Go First stopped operating Srinagar-Sharjah-Srinagar flight from March 27 as it does not have the requisite bilateral rights. Once we have the bilateral rights, we will resume operating flights on this route,” the spokesperson added.?

Go First commenced its direct passenger services to Sharjah in the UAE from Srinagar.

India suspended all scheduled international flights on March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. From July 2020 onwards, India started forming bilateral air bubble arrangements with countries, including the UAE, to allow limited passenger flights under specific restrictions.

The stop-gap measure of air bubble arrangements was removed when India resumed scheduled international flights on March 27 this year.

Before a country’s airline can operate international flights to another country, the two have to negotiate and sign a “bilateral air services agreement”, which decides how many total flights (or seats) per week can be allowed to fly from one nation to another.

Before a country’s airline can operate international flights to another country, the two have to negotiate and sign a “bilateral air services agreement”

Once such an agreement is signed, each country is free to allocate these flying rights to its respective airlines. Even after such flying rights are allocated to an airline, it must have slots at both airports to start flight operations.

A slot is a date and time at which an airline’s aircraft are permitted to depart or arrive at an airport. The slots are allocated by a committee that consists of officials from the Civil Aviation Ministry, airport operators, airlines, and Indian aviation regulator DGCA, among others.

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What is spatial disorientation? How does it affect pilots and how can it be prevented?


20 Apr 2022

Statistics show that between 5% and 10% of all general aviation accidents can be attributed to spatial disorientation-90% of which are fatal. A study conducted concerning spatial disorientation concluded that "if a pilot flies long enough, there is no chance that he/she will escape experiencing at least one episode of spatial disorientation".

Representative | AOPA

In other words, pilots can be categorized into two:

those who have been disorientated, and those who will be

So, what is spatial disorientation?

Spatial disorientation

Representative | ETC Aircrew Training Systems

The inability of a person (or an aviator in this case), to determine his/her true body position, motion, and altitude relative to the earth or his surroundings is defined as "spatial disorientation".

Genetically, we humans are designed to maintain spatial orientation on the ground. The three-dimensional environment of flight, which is unfamiliar to the human body, creates sensory conflicts and illusions that complicate spatial orientation, and are sometimes difficult to achieve.

Banks and turns often create false sensations and these illusions can lure pilots into making poor decisions or improper control inputs.

Types of spatial disorientation

Disorientation experienced in space may be broadly divided into the following six:

1. "The Leans"

Code 7700

This is generally caused by level flight after a rapid roll- wherein the inertia of the roll causes the body to lean in a direction opposite to the direction of turning even after the motion of the roll has been stopped. The best way to prevent such an effect would be to avoid super-slow turns in the clouds.

2. Coriolis illusion

Code 7700

This happens when the pilot rapidly looks downward while turning. The plane feels as though it is descending and hence the immediate reaction of the pilot is to pull back on the stick to raise the plane.

When the fluid in the ears stops moving, our brain is tricked into thinking the flight is 'straight-and-level', while it may not. This can lead to performing dangerous manoeuvres, like putting the plane in a dangerous attitude.

This can often be prevented by focussing on instrument scan patterns and thereby bringing the airplane back to straight-and-level flight.

3. The Graveyard Spiral and Graveyard Spin

Representative | The Aerobatics School

The cause of both can be attributed to the acclimation of the semicircular canals to prolonged rotation.

If a "spin" is continued long enough, it creates an illusion of non-motion. Hence when the pilot corrects the spin, he has the feeling of spinning in the opposite direction, and his natural reaction is to counter his corrective measures and go back into the original spinning pattern. This phenomenon is known as the “graveyard spin.”

Losing the sensation of turning in a banked turn is what results in a “graveyard spiral”.

The pilot may not recognize the illusion before the aircraft loses too much altitude, resulting in a collision with terrain or the G-forces on the aircraft may exceed the structural strength of the airframe, resulting in catastrophic failure. The crash involving John F Kennedy Jr in 1999 is a prime example.

4. Somatogravic illusion


The tendency to incorrectly perceive acceleration as an increase in pitch attitude in the absence of visual references results in somatogravic illusion. This may lead pilots to instinctively make nose-down inputs even if the aircraft is flying level. The opposite holds for rapid deceleration as well.

This may be typically prevented by avoiding rapid acceleration and deceleration in the clouds.

5. Inversion illusion

Representative | Aero Corner

This involves a steep ascent (forward linear acceleration) in a high-performance aircraft, followedby a sudden return to level flight. When the pilot levels off, the aircraft’s speed is relatively higher. This combination of accelerations produces an illusion that the aircraft is in an inverted flight. Naturally, the pilot's instinctive response is to then lower the nose of the aircraft.

6. Elevator illusion

Representative | Code 7700

Elevator illusion happens when an updraft is hit, causing an abrupt upward vertical acceleration. This can stimulate the otolith organs to create the illusion of being on a climb resulting in the disoriented pilot pushing the aircraft into a nose-low attitude.

An abrupt downward vertical acceleration, usually in a downdraft, has the opposite effect, with the disoriented pilot pulling the aircraft into a nose-up attitude.

How to prevent spatial disorientation?

Thorough training and instrumentation are the best measures that can prevent spatial disorientation, although the following may also help:

Flight instruments to be relied on at night, or with reduced visibilitySpatial disorientation(s) may be simulated and experienced in a Barany chair, a Vertigon, a GYRO or a Virtual Reality Spatial Disorientation DemonstratorVFR flights may be avoided when there is a possibility of getting trapped in deteriorating weatherIn the likely event of experiencing a visual illusion (most pilots do at one point or another), the focus is to be placed on instruments and all conflicting bodily signals are to be avoidedIf one of the flight crew experiences a visual illusion, the control of the aircraft may be transferred to the other crew member as two pilots seldom experience visual illusions at the same time

A GH-200 Spatial Disorientation Trainer | ETC Aircrew Training Systems

Even with good visibility, misleading visual inputs such as sloping cloud decks, unfamiliar runway grades, or false horizons can also form optical illusions- resulting in the pilot misjudging the vertical orientation.


COVER: Aviation Oil Outlet

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Parliamentary panel call for biometric screening methods at the airports to avoid long queues

Radhika Bansal

20 Apr 2022

After a two-year restriction due to the COVID pandemic, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has recently allowed 100% passengers capacity in domestic and international airports. But several airports in the country have reported long queues during peak hours of flight operations.

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture submitted its reports in the parliament during just concluded the budget session and recommended non-intrusive screening entry inside the airports.

"The Committee during its deliberations with the Ministry has often pointed out that in a few of the airports, there are long passenger queues during peak hours. In view of the government guidelines for avoiding public gatherings in the context of the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, more steps may be taken to resolve the issue. The Committee also notes that the Ministry proposes to increase the number of flights. The Committee observes that at most of the airports in the country, Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMDs), Hand Held Metal Detectors (HHMDs) and physical frisking are done on a random basis.Biometric security is non-intrusive and faster than conventional screening, which leads to a faster screening of passengers and leads to less crowding at airports and is therefore being introduced in many airports abroad. The Committee, therefore, recommends that the global best practices for biometric scanning and screening of passengers should be introduced in the country."Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture

The Committee thinks that the present system of DFMD or HHMD, besides being obsolete technology, is intrusive on the privacy of passengers.

"In this context, the Committee recommends that in addition to steps taken to ease queues, the Ministry may also expedite its proposal for installation of Full-Body Scanners at airports, which would enhance the technology of frisking of passengers and lead to faster clearance of queues at frisking points. Besides, the number of frisking counters may also be increased at airports and adequately trained personnel should be posted to man these counters effectively," said the report.

Full-body scanners are requested at the airports

Given the increasing crowd at airports across the country, the parliamentary panel in its report suggested introducing biometric facilities and retinal scanners for the identification of passengers to avoid crowding.

"Ministry should explore the feasibility of biometric screening of passengers at airports, using tools such as facial recognition, fingerprint and retinal scans which are presently being used at many airports worldwide. The Committee desires that the Ministry may examine the feasibility of retinal scans for frisking passengers, as the retinal scan data of most of the domestic passengers are available in the Aadhaar database," the report said.

ALSO READ - Major Indian airports to get facial recognition system by March 2023

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia expressed confidence about India's aviation industry getting back to the normal pre-pandemic level.

Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday, April 18 expressed confidence about India's aviation industry getting back to the normal pre-pandemic level. The aviation industry of India touched over four lakh domestic passengers in a day on Monday.

Terming the development as "historic" Mr Scindia, while speaking to ANI, said, "It was a very difficult time in the previous years due to the covid pandemic. We have seen over 3.7, 3.8 and 3.9 lakhs passengers in a day over the last 10 days. I'm confident that travelling--both domestically and internationally, in India is coming back strong."

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IAF successfully test-fired a BrahMos missile from a Sukhoi fighter jet

Radhika Bansal

20 Apr 2022

In demonstrating its operational preparedness, the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday, April 19 successfully test-fired a BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from a Sukhoi fighter jet on the Eastern seaboard.

The "live firing" of the missile was carried out in close coordination with the Indian Navy, the IAF said. The missile hit the target with accuracy and precision, officials said.


"Today on the Eastern seaboard, #IAF undertook live firing of #BrahMos missile from a Su30 MkI aircraft. The missile achieved a direct hit on the target, a decommissioned #IndianNavy ship. The mission was undertaken in close coordination with @indiannavy," the IAF said in a tweet.

In 2016, the government had decided to integrate the air-launched variant of the Brahmos into over 40 Sukhoi fighter jets. The project was conceived to enhance the IAF's capability to strike from large stand-off ranges on any target on sea or land.

On March 5, the Indian Navy successfully test-fired an advanced version of the Brahmos supersonic cruise missile from a stealth destroyer in the Indian Ocean. The missile was test-fired from the stealth destroyer INS Chennai.


BrahMos Aerospace, an India-Russian joint venture, produces supersonic cruise missiles that can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft, or land platforms.

BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound. The range of the advanced version of the missile is learnt to have been extended to around 350 km from the original 290 km.

The BrahMos (also designated as PJ-10) is a medium-range stealthy ramjet supersonic cruise missile that can be launched from submarine, ships, aircraft or land. It is the fastest supersonic cruise missile in the world.

BrahMos missile flies at a speed of 2.8 Mach or almost three times the speed of sound.

It is a joint venture between the Russian Federation's NPO Mashinostroyeniya and India's Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), who together have formed BrahMos Aerospace. It is based on the Russian P-800 Oniks supersonic anti-ship cruise missile. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

The company was established on 12 February 1998 with an authorised share capital of USD 250 million. India holds a 50.5% share of the joint venture and its initial financial contribution was USD 126.25 million, while Russia holds a 49.5% share with an initial contribution of USD 123.75 million.