ONGC Sikorsky S-76D helicopter makes emergency landing in the Arabian Sea; 4 people dead

Radhika Bansal

28 Jun 2022

A helicopter carrying seven passengers and two pilots today made an emergency landing in the Arabian Sea near the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) rig at Sagar Kiran in Mumbai High, the company said in a tweet.

Four people on board a Pawan Hans chopper have lost their lives. Three of them were ONGC employees. The brand new Pawan Hans Sikorsky chopper had nine persons, two pilots and seven passengers, on board.

PHL Helicopter VT-PWI ( Sikorsky76 D) Took off from Juhu at 10:54 AM for Sagar Kiran ONGC Rig. PHL Ops Room at Juhu was informed by ops room ONGC at 11:45 PM that the helicopter has ditched at sea.

PHL Helicopter VT-PWI ( Sikorsky76 D) Took off from Juhu at 10:54 AM for Sagar Kiran ONGC Rig.

The helicopter mishap occurred around 11:50 am, about 60 nautical miles west of Mumbai, near ONGC’s Sagar Kiran offshore rig. A total of nine people, including seven passengers and two pilots, were on board the chopper.

All nine survivors were rescued. Four survivors were picked by OSV Malviya 16, one by boat of Sagar Kiran oil rig & two each by Indian Navy ALH & Seaking helicopters. Four critical survivors are being evacuated to Juhu by Navy helicopters for management at ONGC hospital.

The helicopter was forced to land using the floaters that are attached to such coppers that carry personnel and material from shore to offshore installations.

The helicopter, which had six ONGC personnel onboard, and one belonging to a contractor working for the company, was forced to land using the floaters that are attached to such coppers that carry personnel and material from shore to offshore installations.

The circumstances that led to the emergency landing were not immediately clear. Other details too were awaited.

The Indian Coast Guard is coordinating with the Indian Navy & ONGC for the mobilisation of the rescue effort

Coast Guard Aircraft dropped life rafts for survivors. The international safety net is being activated by MRCC. Coast Guard is coordinating with the Indian Navy & ONGC for the mobilisation of the rescue effort. OSV Malviya 16 is diverted by MRCC Mumbai to join the rescue operations.

ONGC has several rigs and installations in the Arabia Sea that are used to produce oil and gas from reservoirs lying below the seabed.

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Boeing chose Tata Aerospace as its "Supplier of the Year"

Radhika Bansal

28 Jun 2022

Tata Aerospace & Defence was recognised on Friday, June 24 by The Boeing Company (Boeing) with the coveted award of “Supplier of the Year.” The Indian company was amongst nine suppliers that were awarded out of more than 11,000 suppliers worldwide.

“The award is given to a supplier who contributes to Boeing’s success by sharing risk and through long-term relationships that support and advance our strategic objectives,” stated Boeing.

In a press release, Boeing announced that, for the first time, it was also recognising firms for “proactively managing supply chain quality, readiness and health and delivering on Boeing’s commitment to advance global sustainability.”

Boeing chose Tata Aerospace as its "Supplier of the Year"

According to a press release by Boeing, the award categories are - Supplier Diversity, Outstanding Performance, Alliance, Pathfinder, Supply Chain Visibility, Collaboration, Sustainability, Risk Management and Support & Services.

For the first time, a Sustainability Supplier of the Year was awarded to demonstrate the importance of collaboration to drive sustainability across the supply chain.

“Each Boeing Supplier of the Year delivered an impressive performance as our entire industry collaborated to drive stability through a challenging environment.They did an outstanding job maintaining our high standards – a focus on operational excellence, quality and reliability – that allow Boeing to continue to earn the trust of our stakeholders, customers and the flying public."William Ampofo, Boeing Global Services.

Boeing stated that it works with nearly 11,000 active suppliers worldwide and spends approximately USD 37 billion in supplier payments every year.

Another Indian firm, Rossell TechSys, has twice been nominated “Supplier of the Year” by Boeing in the last decade.

Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL) is the joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems

Tata Boeing Aerospace Limited (TBAL), the joint venture between Boeing and Tata Advanced Systems, has been producing aero-structures for Boeing’s AH-64 Apache helicopter and recently delivered its 140th AH-64 Apache fuselage from its 14,000 square metres state-of-the-art facility in Hyderabad.

Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) is an aerospace, defence, military engineering & construction and technology company. It is a fully owned subsidiary of Tata Sons, a holding company for the Tata Group.

TBAL is manufacturing 737 Vertical Fin structures, a complex structural part, on a new production line that will utilize cutting-edge robotics and automation.

ALSO READ - India makes rapid advancements in the field of aircraft manufacturing

(With Inputs from Business Standard)

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Jet Airways places Airbus in the lead for USD 5.5 billion aircraft order

Radhika Bansal

28 Jun 2022

Airbus SE has emerged as the front-runner to win an order for as many as 50 aircraft worth up to USD 5.5 billion from Jet Airways India Ltd., people familiar with the matter said, solidifying the European planemaker’s hold in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market.

Sources said Jet’s talks with Airbus are primarily for A320 Neo jets and A220 planes — the second, is primarily being used for regional connectivity under the UDAN scheme. A Jet Airways official confirmed that the company was “in final negotiations with lessors and OEMs for aircraft”.

Jet Airways places Airbus in the lead for USD 5.5 billion aircraft order

Boeing Co. and Embraer SA are also in discussions and no final decision has been taken, the people said. Although at sticker prices any transaction would be north of USD 5 billion, discounts are common in such large purchases. While delivery slots are scarce, airlines can lease jets from lessors who buy in bulk.

The potential order comes as Jet Airways, once India’s top private airline, is preparing to return to the skies. Jet Airways got its flying license last month, marking the first time a carrier has been revived under the nation’s new bankruptcy laws.

The flying permit proved Jet Airways is ready to operate, signalling its transformation into a “new avatar with fresh funding, changed ownership, and new management,” according to a statement.

Jet Airways is planning to come back with a hybrid of premium and low-cost services

ALSO READ - Jet Airways invites former cabin crew to return; receives over 700 CVs in 5 hours

The airline recently invited former cabin crew to join it. Jet Airways is planning to come back with a hybrid of premium and low-cost services, Chief Executive Officer Sanjiv Kapoor said in April.

It will have a two-class configuration where business class passengers will be offered services including free meals, while economy class flyers will pay for meals and other services, he said.

ALSO READ - Jet Airways returning with a hybrid premium and no-frills model, first flight likely by October 2022

Jet Airways will be the first Indian carrier to witness a revival in operations under the country’s insolvency and bankruptcy law.

Jet’s new owners -- Dubai-based, Indian-origin businessman Murari Lal Jalan and Florian Fritsch, chairman of London-based financial advisory and alternative asset manager Kalrock Capital Management Ltd. -- have pledged to make investments of as much as USD 120 million, Kapoor said.

“We are in final negotiations with lessors and OEMs for aircraft, and we will announce our aircraft choice and fleet plan once we have made a decision,” a representative for Jet Airways said Monday, June 27. “We are studying all possibilities to find the one that works best for us.”

Jet Airways will be the first Indian carrier to witness a revival in operations under the country’s insolvency and bankruptcy law. Flights (under the previous Naresh Goyal management) were grounded in April 2019 as the company went bankrupt.

Currently, the Jet Airways has six jets in its inventory – two Airbus A330-200, three Boeing 737-800, and one 737-900

Currently, the airline has six jets in its inventory – two Airbus A330-200, three Boeing 737-800, and one 737-900, with an average fleet age of 16 years; though an extensive expansion is required if it plans to rebuild its previous network.

Airbus’ narrowbody offerings have proven a firm choice for Indian airlines, notably low-cost carrier IndiGo, which operates the world’s largest fleet of A320neo family jets.

Almost 200 of the type are currently in operation with the airline, with 538 orders still outstanding. A range of A320 and A321s also serve in the fleets of Go First, Vistara, and flag-carrier Air India.

ALSO READ - Jet Airways in negotiation with Boeing and Airbus for aircraft orders

(With Inputs from Bloomberg)

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Vistara plans to expand international operations as air travel demand picks up

Radhika Bansal

27 Jun 2022

Even as a potential merger with Air India is being considered, Vistara is charting its plans to expand international operations. The airline plans to increase frequency on the Frankfurt and Paris route and add newer routes.

ALSO READ - Vistara may merge with Air India, a decision expected by the end of 2023

The joint venture between Tata group and Singapore Airlines has seen an 80% load factor on its international routes with a rise in bookings for premium economy and business class seats. 

Vistara plans to expand international operations as air travel demand picks up

Vinod Kannan, CEO of Vistara said that the airline is charting out a plan to cater to the diaspora demand.

The full-service carrier is seeing a higher propensity of travel on the premium economy and business class due to covid. Vistara flies to London daily and operates flights to Frankfurt and Paris three times and two times a week respectively.

“The Passenger Load Factor (PLF) is almost 80% for international routes. The wide bodies are doing extremely well especially for London. Frankfurt and Paris too are seeing a good load factor.The load factors and fares have increased fairly well. This includes corporate travel which is at 60% to 70% of pre-pandemic level. The void is being filled by SMEs plus we have domestic and leisure travel.We have increased our capacity to London, there is potential to do more. However, that is not our only goal. After the August-September rush, we have Diwali and then the year-end, so there is a high season which we would like to capitalise on ultimately we need to have a good plan and we are working on it."Vinod Kannan, CEO, Vistara

Given that the airline has a good load factor on these routes, “We are looking at an increasing frequency which we believe we can do more. Even for London, we feel like we could do more, we are charting out a plan, but that is dependent on when we get the aircraft.” Vinod Kannan pointed out.

ALSO READ - Vistara CEO on B787 aircraft leasing, airfare hike and fare caps at IATA AGM

Vistara had ordered six B787 planes in 2018 but has got delivery of only two B787 to date. For more than a year, Boeing has not delivered any B787 plane as the US Aviation regulator wants it to first make rectifications in the aircraft production line. 

Vistara had ordered six B787 planes in 2018 but has got delivery of only two B787 to date.

ALSO READ – Vistara plans to lease 4-5 Boeing Dreamliner planes

ALSO READ – Vistara in talks with lessors to fill the long-haul gap in the wake of B787 delays

The next few months are important for carriers flying to international destinations due to the education travel. When asked if the delay in delivery was a dampener, he said that the airline has already added 25% more flights compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

Vistara presently operates 257 flights a day, as compared to 200 flights a day before the pandemic.

Vistara also operated flights to Doha and Sharjah during covid under the air bubble.

During covid, Vistara operated charter flights to Hong Kong and Moscow, it had plans to fly to these destinations post covid too, however, due to the current market scenario, it has put these plans on the back seat. 

It has also operated flights to Doha and Sharjah during covid under the air bubble. Vistara has now asked for rights to fly to these destinations too. 

ALSO READ - Vistara plans to expand its hub to Mumbai

(With Inputs from Hindu BusinessLine)

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Urban air mobility | Advanced air mobility- history, market forecasts and myths debunked


27 Jun 2022

By definition, Urban Air Mobility envisions a safe and efficient aviation transportation system that will use highly automated aircraft, and operate and transport passengers or cargo at lower altitudes within urban and suburban areas.

Developed in response to rising traffic congestion, it usually refers to existing and emerging technologies such as traditional helicopters, vertical-takeoff and landing (VTOL), electrically propelled vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft (eVTOL), and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

A brief history

The early 1900s saw the development of the earliest predecessors of UAM aircraft-for instance Glenn Curtiss’s Autoplane- a concept "flying car", developed in 1917.

Glenn Curtiss's Autoplane | Los Angeles Times

The Berliner No. 5 was one of the first vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft (VTOLs) to be built in 1924, having recorded its best performance when it reached a height of 4.57 m (15 ft) during a one-minute, thirty-five-second flight.

Berliner Helicopter No 5 | Public fotki

The Avrocar was a disk-shaped aircraft designed for military use although it was phased out in 1961 due to issues with thrust and stability.

Avro Canada VZ-9 Avrocar | Wikipedia

The history, current developments, and anticipated milestones of UAM can be broadly classified into six phases, namely:

“flying car” concepts from the early 1910s to the 1950searly UAM operations using scheduled helicopter services from the 1950s to the 1980sre-emergence of on-demand services starting in the 2010scorridor services using vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) envisioned for the 2020shub and spoke servicespoint-to-point services

Urban Air Mobility market forecast(s)

The UAM market is projected to grow from USD 2.6 billion in 2022 to USD 28.3 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 34.3% from 2022 to 2030, with the need for green energy and alternate mode of transportation as potential drivers.

Based on platform operations, the Urban Air Mobility market has been segmented into autonomous and piloted. The piloted segment is projected to grow at the highest share.

The Europe urban air mobility market is projected to grow at the second-highest rate of 19.1%  during the forecast period.


Some of the key players profiled in the urban air mobility market report include Airbus (US), Archer Aviation (US), EHang (China), Hyundai motor group tech (South Korea) and Wingcopter (Germany) amongst many others.

Wingcopter | TechCrunch

Regulatory bodies such as the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the European Defence Agency (EDA), the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), and the European Air Transport Command will play a crucial role in ensuring transportation safety and addressing issues related to air transport.

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)

Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) builds upon the UAM concept by incorporating use cases not specific to operations in urban environments, namely :

Lilium eVTOL | Source

Commercial Inter-city (Longer Range/Thin Haul)Cargo DeliveryPublic ServicesPrivate / Recreational Vehicles

In the U.S., AAM is spearheaded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the aerospace industry. AAM encompasses the evolution and safety of aircraft systems, flight operations, airspace, infrastructure, and community engagement.

AAM market forecast(s)

The global advanced aerial mobility market is expected to be valued at $16.81 billion in 2025, and reach $110.02 billion in 2035, registering a CAGR of 21.7 %.

Volocopter | TechCrunch

Key players include AeroMobil, Airbus S.A.S., Flytrex, Hyundai Motor Company, Lilium, Matternet, PAL-V International B.V., The Boeing Company, Volocopter GmbH and Zipline.

Potential barriers to successful implementation

1. Zoning and construction

Air one Vertiport | Representative |

UAM vehicles, or eVTOLs, are envisioned as picking up passengers at a “vertiport” and dropping themoff at either an airport or another vertiport. Local concerns such as zoning ordinances and construction permits, safety, noise and congestion issues are likely to be faced by operators.

2. Aerial trespassing

Representative | 911 Security

Trespass simply means the intrusion into someone else's property without his/her permission to unlawfully enter and this could be yet another hurdle the operators might have to encounter.

3. Airport regulation(s)

Airports being testing grounds of various aerial vehicle technologies, are now innovating to integrate autonomous technology into their operations, many are going digital. Airport authorities and local governments with jurisdiction over airports are also likely to be major players in the regulation of UAM.

Some AAM myths debunked

1. Advanced air mobility is all eVTOL, air taxis and nothing more

TECNAM | Representative | AOPA

AAM being the least efficient form of electric aircraft, cannot compete with an eCTOL aircraft like the Eviation Aircraft Alice or Tecnam Aircraft PVolt on efficiency, payload, range and speed.

2. Airtaxis and eVTOLs are synonymous

The term "airtaxi" is far older than commercial VTOLs and refers to any air charter, including (e)CTOL aircraft. What's interesting is that the biggest users of VTOL are business aviation, emergency services, law enforcement and the military, with “airtaxis”, both air shuttles and private, making up a small percentage of flight hours by helicopters.

3. Battery-powered aircraft have a limited range

Technically yes. But then, when was the last time you heard of a narrowbody being deployed on super extreme short routes, like Boston-NY, for instance. No-brainer.

4. UAM is a new-found concept

July 1939 - The first cargo UAM flights were conducted in Philadelphia by the US Postal Service, operating a Pitcairn Autogyro.

Pitcairn A???Gyro | Flight Journal

July 1953- The first recorded passenger UAM service between Idelwild (JFK) Airport and Manhattan.

As can be seen, the concept of UAM has been around since the 1900s.

5.eVTOL - the next gamechanger in aviation

Sounds too good to be true. Perhaps it is. Maybe not. Either way, eCTOL and electric aircraft particularly are more likely to transform aviation and not "necessarily" a niche segment like eVTOL.

That said, it is interesting to note that the industry has received substantial investments and today there are more than 200 companies worldwide that are engaged in the manufacture of eVTOL aircraft.

2021 specifically was a milestone year for the AAM market as eVTOL aircraft companies witnessed $5.8 billion in investments.

SOURCE(s): Advanced Air Mobility Myths - Rebellion Research by Gary Vermaak | asl_v033n03_fall2020_immellanglinais.pdf ( | Urban Air Mobility Market Size & Share | Industry Report, (2022-2030) | MarketsandMarkets™

COVER: Asian Aviation

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2 SpiceJet flights abort take-off following fuselage door warnings

Radhika Bansal

27 Jun 2022

Fuselage door warnings lit up on two separate Spicejet planes while taking off on Friday, June 24 and Saturday, June 25, forcing the aircraft to abandon their journeys and return, said officials of Indian aviation regulator DGCA, which ordered a probe into the incidents.

There have been a total of four incidents -- including the aforementioned two -- on SpiceJet flights during the last week. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating all the four incidents, officials stated.

The fuselage is the central body of the aircraft where passengers and crew members sit. Officials said on Friday, June 24, the fuselage warning light on a SpiceJet Q400 plane illuminated when it was on 'rotation' -- when pilots pitched the nose of the aircraft up to climb in the air during take-off.

2 SpiceJet flights abort take-off following fuselage door warnings

The pilots of the Q400 aircraft, which was heading from Guwahati to Kolkata, found that the warning was coming from the baggage door at the rear end of the plane. The Q400 plane was levelled off at 5,000 feet and the pilots decided to return to Guwahati.

On June 19, an engine on SpiceJet's Delhi-bound aircraft carrying 185 passengers caught fire soon after taking off from the Patna airport and the plane made an emergency landing minutes later. The engine malfunctioned because of a bird hit.

ALSO READ - DGCA initiates probe in turbulence at SpiceJet flights

In another incident on June 19, a SpiceJet flight for Jabalpur had to return to Delhi due to cabin pressurisation issues.

The Q400 plane was levelled off at 5,000 feet and the pilots decided to return to Guwahati.

An incident similar to the Friday, June 24 took place on SpiceJet's Patna-Guwahati flight on Saturday, June 25. A SpiceJet Q400 aircraft stopped its take-off roll at the Patna airport after the plane's fuselage door warning light lit up.

In this case, too, it was found that the warning had come from the baggage door at the rear end of the aircraft. The Q400 plane returned to the parking bay of the Patna airport after cancelling its take-off.

Regarding the Friday, June 24 incident, SpiceJet said that "Q400 aircraft was operating flight SG-4126, sector Guwahati-Kolkata".

SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating flight SG-3724, sector Patna-Guwahati.

At rotation, the fuselage door warning light was illuminated and take-off was continued. Subsequently, the aircraft was levelled off at 5,000 feet and the pilot-in-command decided to return to Guwahati. Air turn back was initiated in coordination with ATC (air traffic controller) and the aircraft landed safely at Guwahati, it said.

Regarding the Saturday, June 24 incident, the airline said, "SpiceJet Q400 aircraft was operating flight SG-3724, sector Patna-Guwahati. During the takeoff roll, the fuselage door warning light illuminated. Subsequently, the take-off was rejected and the aircraft returned to the bay.