IndiGo partially restores pilot salaries by 8% from April 1

Radhika Bansal

01 Apr 2022

IndiGo on Thursday, March 31 announced that pilots' salaries have been increased by 8% because of the continuous steady flight operations.

Full regular international flight services resumed in India after the COVID-19 outbreak on March 27. Full regular domestic flights resumed in the country on October 18, 2021.

"Now, as we have established continuous steady operations, on behalf of our managing director, the board of directors and the senior leadership team, I am pleased to announce an upwards revision of eight per cent in the salaries of all our pilots with effect from April 1. The human resources team of the airline would share the revised salary structure in the coming weeks.Further, as we look forward to a positive revenue environment and hopefully we do not witness any further interruptions to operations, we also plan to implement an additional 6.5 per cent revision with effect from November 1.I would like to personally thank each one of you for your contribution and we must continue to provide a safe, efficient, hassle free and of course on-time experience to all our passengers! Let us continue our journey towards excellence."Ashim Mittra, Senior Vice-President (Flight Operations), IndiGo

The pilots were disheartened after the airline gave ESOPs to top management people. Their WhatsApp group were agog with chats about the payouts — while their cuts continue — and joining bonus being offered by billionaire Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’s upcoming Akasa.

While the demand for air travel was severely impacted in India during the first two waves of coronavirus, the sentiment recovered rapidly after the third wave, witnessed predominantly in the month of January-February of this year.

IndiGo plans to resume international flights on around 150 international routes through April

India has also resumed scheduled international passenger flights from March 27 and several airlines, including IndiGo, are betting big on international flights on the back of strong revenue potential.

ALSO READ - Indigo resumes flights between India and Thailand after 2-year hiatus

IndiGo plans to resume international flights on around 150 international routes through April and aims to restore pre-COVID international flights deployment.

The domestic traffic is also witnessing strong passenger sentiment at around 80-85% of the pre-COVID level with recovery led by corporate traffic.

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2 sites shortlisted for the development of a second airport in Chennai

Radhika Bansal

31 Mar 2022

The Union government said it has shortlisted two of the four sites suggested by the Tamil Nadu government to build a second airport in Chennai and is awaiting a response from the State government. 

The Tamil Nadu government had shortlisted Parandur, Pannur, Tiruporur, and Padalam as four sites for the second airport.

“From the four sites, we have selected two and have reverted to State government, waiting for [an] answer on the final site so that the work can be initiated to make sure that the second airport in Chennai comes to life as soon as possible.”Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation

It was in 2007, when the DMK regime was in power, that the then Union government approved a 4,000-acre site for Chennai’s second airport in Sriperumbudur. 15 years have passed and the second airport is still on paper.

Hunt for a greenfield airport started in 1999 when AAI and State government decided to work together to develop a new international airport in Chennai.

ALSO READ - Chennai Airport to get parallel runway

The Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO) was tasked with identifying the land, and Scott Wilson Kirkpatric was appointed as a technical consultant.

2 sites were shortlisted for the development of Chennai's second airport

They identified five locations — Manapakkam-Gerugambakkam-Kolappakkam belt; West Tambaram; Maraimalai; Sriperumbudur; and areas near Vandalur.

A greenfield airport for Chennai requires at least 2,000 to 3,000 acres of land. Now, TIDCO will hold discussions with the State government on the next course of action for choosing a site.

An Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said that more studies, including technical studies, will be undertaken after the state government selects a final location. The locations on the Bengaluru highway would be beneficial for the industries in the Sriperumbudur region.

15 years have passed and the second airport is still on paper.

"The highway would facilitate easy access from the city. There can be plans to improve the road and to build rail or mass rapid transit system services for better connectivity in the future," the official added.

The erstwhile AIADMK government was considering Parandur but the plan did not materialise. TIDCO had floated a tender but bidders backed out as a site was not finalised by the government. As there was a delay, the AAI considered different options.

There were discussions for a scaled-down facility on 2,000 acres or a full-fledged facility on around 4,500 acres. There were also discussions within AAI to move international flights to the new airport and develop it into an 'aero city' with MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) unit and aviation ancillary industries.

IndiGo launched its direct flight between Bhopal and Chennai deploying its A320, a 150-seat aircraft.

IndiGo launched its direct flight between Bhopal and Chennai deploying its A320, a 150-seat aircraft. Jyotiraditya Scindia and Minister of State for Civil Aviation (Gen) Dr VK Singh (retd) inaugurated the flight service, according to a release. The connectivity is expected to boost commerce and tourism.

Scindia said: “It’s a fortunate day for me that the heart of India [Bhopal] is being connected to the centre of development, business, progress as well as religious emotions [Chennai]. From July 2021, Bhopal is connected [by air] with 10 cities — Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Prayagraj, Agra, Ahmedabad, Raipur, and Chennai. There is also an increase in weekly flights from  Bhopal from 94 to 216 flights, an increase of 150%.”

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SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh's anticipatory bail application denied by the Delhi Sessions Court

Radhika Bansal

31 Mar 2022

A Delhi court has dismissed the anticipatory bail plea filed by SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh about a fraud case, Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa representing the complainant said.

According to the published report in MoneyControl, a written order from the court to this effect is awaited still and is expected to be passed on March 31.

SpiceJet promoter Ajay Singh's anticipatory bail application was denied by the Delhi Sessions Court

Singh has been appearing before the police for investigation in line with the court's March 9 direction, a SpiceJet spokesperson said. "Mr Ajay Singh, as per the Hon’ble Court’s directive, has already joined the investigation and appeared before the authorities. Therefore, no warrant or bail is relevant since these were to ensure his attendance."

Singh had moved the court seeking anticipatory bail after non-bailable warrants were issued against him in January for failing to appear before the police for investigation. Earlier this month, the court had protected Singh from coercive action while directing him to cooperate and participate in the investigation.

"Mr Singh will continue to extend full cooperation in the matter to bring this frivolous and mischievous complaint to a close," the SpiceJet spokesperson added.

The complaint against Singh for alleged fraud was filed in 2021 by a Delhi-based businessman, Sanjiv Nanda.

The protection from arrest for Singh was granted till March 28. The case was taken up for hearing once this period lapsed. Arguing for the complainants in the case, Pahwa told the court that Singh had not been cooperating with the investigating agencies and had also misdirected them.

The complaint against Singh for alleged fraud was filed in 2021 by a Delhi-based businessman, Sanjiv Nanda. The complainant alleged that a share-purchase agreement between Singh and Nanda's family was entered into for the transfer of a total of 25 lakh fully paid-up shares of SpiceJet towards Nanda's family members. These shares, however, were not transferred leading to the filing of the police complaint against Singh.

Following the complaint, the police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Singh under the court's direction. Singh has been charged under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The investigation into the case is underway.

Ajay Singh also has NBW against his daughter Avani Singh.

On Singh's non-appearance before the police for investigation, non-bailable warrants against him came to be issued. This led to Singh seeking anticipatory bail from the court.

On March 9, Singh issued a statement claiming to have offered full cooperation to the investigating agencies and expressed willingness to appear before the police in person. Singh also stated that the dispute was civil and the police complaint was "frivolous and mischievous."

This is not the only FIR registered against Singh. At least two other FIRs are registered against him. Non-bailable warrants (NBWs) have been issued against them in both these cases. Not only this, but he also has NBW against his daughter Avani Singh.

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Gaurav Negi succeeds Jiten Chopra as CFO of IndiGo

Radhika Bansal

30 Mar 2022

InterGlobe Aviation, the parent company of IndiGo airline, on Tuesday, March 29 appointed Gaurav Negi as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in place of Jiten Chopra who has put in his resignation, a statement said.

Before joining IndiGo, Negi spent 22 years with General Electric Company, where he was part of their Global Leadership programmes in finance and executive management, said the InterGlobe Aviation's statement that was posted on BSE.

Gaurav Negi succeeds Jiten Chopra as CFO of IndiGo

"In his last role with GE, Mr Negi was the CFO for onshore wind (segment of GE Renewable Energy headquartered in Paris, France), APAC and Non-Executive Director, GE Transmission & Distribution (GE T&D) India," it added.

Mr Negi had joined IndiGo as Senior Vice President and Head -- Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) on December 1, 2021. Mr Negi is a Commerce graduate from Hindu College, Delhi University, and a Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

IndiGo, is an Indian low-cost airline headquartered in Gurgaon, India. It is the largest airline in India by passengers carried and fleet size, with a 53.5% domestic market share as of October 2021. 

It is also the largest individual Asian low-cost carrier in terms of jet fleet size and passengers carried, and the sixth-largest carrier in Asia with over 6.4 crore passengers carried in the financial year 2018–19.

The airline operated 1,500 daily flights as of 2019 to 96 destinations – 71 domestic and 25 international. It has its primary hub at Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.

The airline was founded as a private company by Rahul Bhatia of InterGlobe Enterprises and Rakesh Gangwal in 2006. It took delivery of its first aircraft in July 2006 and commenced operations a month later. The airline became the largest Indian carrier by passenger market share in 2012.

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Deepening their partnership, Boeing and Microsoft to collaborate again in digitizing aviation


10 Apr 2022

Technology and aviation go hand in hand and Boeing just took this initiative a notch higher-collaborating with Microsoft to update its critical infrastructure, streamline business processes and accelerate innovations in digital aviation.

Automation and digitization have taken off ever since the advent of computers with the aviation industry now looking to deploy artificial intelligence to take over seemingly mundane and complex tasks.

Representative | FlightGlobal

Reportedly, as a part of strengthening their partnership, Boeing will be looking to leverage Microsoft Cloud and its Artificial Intelligence (AI) capabilities to use data-driven approaches to update technology infrastructure and mission-critical applications.

Representative | Aviation Today

Today’s announcement represents a significant investment in Boeing’s digital future. Our strategic partnership with Microsoft will help us realize our cloud strategy by removing infrastructure restraints, properly scaling to unlock innovation and further strengthening our commitment to sustainable operationsBoeing's Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of Information Technology & Data Analytics, Susan Doniz, said on April 6 during the announcement of the venture

Susan Doniz | The Business Journals

Microsoft as a company has been carbon neutral since 2012. Apparently, it also runs a program called 'AI for Earth'-that awards grants to support projects that use AI to change the way people and organizations relate to the planet and the natural world.

The implementation of AI in data optimization is touted to have great potential, beyond more obvious applications such as fuel efficiency, in slashing aviation's overall environmental impact.

Artificial intelligence is coming with a fast pace and being adopted widely, including in the aviation domain. While the concept of AI has been in existence since the 1950s, its development has significantly accelerated in the last decade due to three concurrent factors: the capacity to collect and store massive amounts of data, the increase in computing power, and the development of increasingly powerful algorithms and architectures.Jean-Marc Cluzeau, principal advisor to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Executive Director, stated during  the December 2020 Global Symposium on the Implementation of Innovation in Aviation hosted by the International Civil Aviation Organization

Boeing and Microsoft have been collaborating for more than two decades and Boeing was among the first aerospace proponent to leverage the Microsoft Cloud, centralizing many of its market-leading digital aviation applications on Microsoft Azure and using artificial intelligence to drive customer outcomes and streamline operations.


The power of the Microsoft Cloud and its AI capabilities will serve as the core component to Boeing’s digital aviation strategy by providing flexible, agile and scalable solutions that are intelligent and data driven on a secure and compliant platformsaid Judson Althoff, EVP and chief commercial officer at Microsoft



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The Mitsubishi F-X | what's the buzz behind this 6th generation stealth fighter?


09 Apr 2022

Tokyo has reportedly given the go-ahead for the development of its own domestically designed sixth-generation Mitsubishi F-3 air-superiority stealth fighter. Touted to be Japan's next-gen fighter jet, it is also said to feature advanced technology - unseen in U.S. planes, including a virtual reality-style helmet and microwave weapon to annihilate enemy missiles.

Representative | Asia Times

While the maiden flight is planned for 2028, the prototype is expected to roll out by 2024, and full-scale production is slated for 2031.

Here's what we know so far.

The inception of the Mitsubishi F-X

The Mitsubishi F-X (unofficially called F-3 or Godzilla), is Japan's first domestically developed stealth fighter jet, touted to replace the older F-2 fighter in the Japan Air Self Defence Force (JASDF).

Mitsubishi F-3 Prototype Stealthy Multi-Role Fighter | The Aviationist

The F-2, developed in collaboration with Lockheed Martin (1990s), is the larger, more expensive version of the American F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The development of the fight craft was deemed necessary in response to its neighbour's cutting-edge aerial assets and air supremacy-especially China and Russia.

The F-X program began with the United States banning the exports of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor as part of the 1997 Obey amendment to safeguard its technology.

Representative | Popular Mechanics

Much of the development of the F-X program builds on the model of the Mitsubishi X-2 Shinshin. Although X-2 was just a tech demonstrator and not a prototype for an actual fully-equipped fighter plane, it made its maiden flight in 2016 and concluded tests in 2018.

Japanese X-2 stealth about to take off | Key Aero

Design | Tech and specs

From what is known, the F-X will be a twin-engine stealth fighter designed for achieving air superiority and would incorporate all features deemed necessary to classify it as a sixth-generation fighter jet.

Conceptual design of the F-X

Stealth and avionics

To minimize radar cross-section (RCS), F-X physical design features serpentine air ducts and an internal weapons bay.  Electromagnetic wave absorbers made of carbon-based material are applied to the air ducts and engines to reduce the amount of radar reflection. Additionally, the fighter craft will feature plasma stealth antenna technology to deflect radio waves- wherein the antennae will create temporary plasma using characteristics of plasma that can alter physical properties through electrical control.

Integrated sensors including an active electronically scanned array(AESA) radar, passive radio frequency (RF) sensor, and an infrared camera will be incorporated to improve detection against stealth aircraft.

Cockpit instrumentation

Designers have considered featuring an F-35 style Helmet Mounted Display system combined with a single large liquid-crystal display. Furthermore, artificial intelligence using the man-machine interface is also being developed to streamline data flow and reduce pilot task loads.

F-35 Helmet Mounted Display | Representative | clearancejobs


The F-X will be powered by two XF9 engines, with official thrust ratings of 24,000 lbf (in military thrust) and 33,000 lbf with an afterburner.

XF9-1 on a test run | Wikipedia

Reportedly, Japan’s defence ministry has been working on a three-dimensional thrust vectoring nozzle which redirects the engine’s thrust up to twenty degrees in any direction- clearly suggestive of the fact that Japan truly wants the F-3 to stand tall alongside its rivals- the American F-35 and the Russian Su-35.

2D vs 3D thrust vectoring | Representative | Source

Additionally, scientists at the defence ministry have also been working on high-speed-data-links that could network sensors and exchange targeting data with friendly forces- most likely through Link 16 secure data transfer system.

The fighter craft is also said to feature EMP-resistant fibre-optic fly-by-wire (FBW) avionics and ‘self-repairing’ flight systems that automatically detect and fix the damage(s) to an aircraft’s control surfaces.

It might also feature an "Integrated Fire Control for Fighters" (IFCF) system-wherein Japanese (and possibly U.S) fighters could pool together their sensor and missile targeting capabilities, enhancing the accuracy of beyond visual range missiles.

The F-X’s microwave weapon- which is likely to be a function of the nose-mounted radar system, could be used to fry circuitry in hostile ballistic missiles.

Directed Energy Weapons (DEW) or Microwave Weapons | Representative | Nature

While the landing systems are reported to be developed by Subaru, the F-X is also touted to be able to control up to three drone-like "loyal wingmen" craft, or "Combat Support Unmanned Aircraft".

 In October 2020, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries was selected as the lead developer of the fighter program.

6th generation fighter crafts are, at the moment, conceptual and most of the proposed models are experimental at best. Nevertheless, the efforts seem to continue to get these models to the skies.

The UK's future "Tempest" stealth program and the European Future Combat Air System (FCAS) are some noteworthy examples.

Tempest | Representative | Aviation International News


COVER: Financial Times