Pilot Fatigue in Domestic Flying

Dr Sanjay Bhargava MD

01 Apr 2022


Aircrew operating irregular work hours and flying to international destinations frequently experience fatigue from their job.  Often this results from the irregular work and sleep pattern required to maintain round-the-clock flight schedules. These long-haul operations and related fatigue & sleep loss problems have been well studied and documented. However, domestic, short-haul, operations have been largely ignored by all studies and agencies. Fatigue has been cited as a cause in many aviation accidents and is not affected by motivation, professionalism, training, or status.


There has been continuous advancement in aviation technology and operational requirements; however, the human element has been the weakest link in the complete interphase. Fatigue degrades most aspects of performance, including judgment, decision-making, memory, reaction time, concentration, selective attention, ?xation, and mood. Low arousal produced by sleep loss is accompanied by a more significant performance decrement on simple rather than on complex tasks. Studies suggest most pilots require between 8 and 9 h sleep per night. Sleep duration is influenced by sleep timing. Hence, pilots crossing time zones can develop cumulative sleep deprivation. This fact is known and well-studied with long-haul pilots. Some studies for domestic flying have been conducted and they clearly show the reasons for fatigue may defer from those in long haul pilots. The main reason could be the FTDL rules which are not realistic to the ever-changing operational environment of the short-haul pilots.


Fatigue and the Reasons


Fatigue is an important influence on pilot performance in commercial airline operations. The work pattern of pilots flying in domestic sectors often has several factors associated with increased reports of fatigue. Pilots flying short-haul operations are often rostered for an irregular pattern of early starts and late finishes, which can disrupt normal sleep routines and increase fatigue. In contrast to long-haul flying, the work pattern may involve multiple take-offs and landings, resulting in a more demanding workload across the workday. Furthermore, domestic flying is carried out by two-pilot crews so there are no in-flight rest opportunities and this has been shown to result in higher fatigue levels than three-pilot crews. The most important influences on fatigue are the number of sectors and duty length, which is an important cause of fatigue. Duty length and the number of sectors are known to increase fatigue linearly. Another fact is that fatigue cannot be represented as a simple summation of individual factors. This reflects the complex interaction between, on the one hand, the timing of duty related to the circadian rhythm of fatigue and, on the other hand, the duration of duty and its impact on the timing of sleep.


One study has demonstrated that 87% of the pilots studied were operating despite feeling severely fatigued. Surveys have suggested fatigue is a common problem in short-haul commercial pilots, with pilots identifying extended duty periods and successive early starts as the most important causes. The domestic rosters cause pilots to sleep less, wake earlier, and have less restful sleep over the work period. The potential for more accidents with pilots operating when fatigued is high. The issue of managing fatigue in aviation operations must move beyond current regulatory schemes based on long-haul ?ying while ignoring the increasing demands of commercial domestic ?ying. A range of approaches could be considered incorporating research, scienti?c data, and the experience of those ?ying.


What do we do?


Scheduling of adequate crew rest needs to consider several essential factors. These include time since awake, time on task, type of tasks, extensions of normal duty periods, and cumulative duty times.


The “time since awake” is the starting point for fatigue to build. This can be prolonged before flying due to the effects of jet lag, early awakening due to disturbances in the sleep environment, the extra time needed to get up check out of a hotel and travel to the airport for flight check-in, and delays in getting started pre-flight procedures including for mechanical problems or weather delays. “Time on task” is the time required to pre-flight and fly. This is the time from check-in to block-in plus fifteen minutes on the day's last flight. The “type of tasks” depends on the crew position, the type of aircraft, and the nature of the flights. Extensions of normal duty periods can occur from events, which prolong the flight longer than scheduled. Such events include delays for en-route weather, rerouting due to traffic, or, more rarely, diversions. Research on duty period duration suggests that duty periods greater than twelve hours are associated with a higher risk of errors. In determining maximum limits for extended duty periods, consideration needs to be given to all factors which contribute to fatigue including the number of legs in the day’s flight plan. “Cumulative duty times” are most fatiguing when there are consecutive flying days with minimal or near minimal crew rest periods. This can result in sleep debt, which requires additional time to overcome.


There is considerable variability in individual sleep needs. Some individuals do well with 6 hours sleep per night, yet others need 9 or 10 hours sleep. However, most adults require 8 hours of restful sleep to stay out of sleep debt. With aging, there is usually a significant decline in habitual daily sleep due to increased nighttime awakenings. Therefore, in older pilots decreased quality of nighttime sleep can result in increased daytime fatigue, sleepiness, dozing, and napping. Napping seems to compensate for the loss of quality sleep during nighttime hours, but the need for a mid-day nap may not be compatible with flight duty demands on short-haul flights. Research has demonstrated that pre-planned cockpit rest has improved in-flight sustained attention and psychomotor response speed. In one of the studies, 53% of the pilots suggested controlled Micro Naps as essential in short-haul flying. Presently there are no regulations with DGCA to this effect.


What are the Solutions


The issue of managing fatigue in aviation operations must move beyond current regulatory schemes that are based upon long-haul ?ying while ignoring the increasing demands of commercial short-haul ?ying. A range of approaches could be considered incorporating research, scienti?c data, and the experience of those ?ying. Some important prevention strategies are required to be incorporated in the regulations. The most important physiological strategy involves making the sleep environment conducive to sleep. Operational countermeasures like involving in stretching exercises and social interaction in the cockpit remain the most essential elements to counteract fatigue.


Some of the important measures are: 

  • A sudden change of flight schedule should be done in exceptional circumstances. This prevents sleep deprivation.
  • A brisk walk around the aircraft at intermediate halts to avoid boredom & fatigue.
  • Drink adequate water and take a frequent but small helping of fruits & snacks.
  • Aircrew rest cabins at all airports where crew can rest between flights. A simple solution to give an effective cure.
  • FDTL rule needs to be changed as shorter haul operations happen in a circadian low period window.
  • Yoga & pranayam helps in keeping fit & improving concentration.
  • Preflight and post-flight travel factors to be kept in consideration as duty time.
  • Importance for pilots to report fatigue.
  • Officially permit micro–naps.




Pilot fatigue is a hazard in commercial flight operations. Many factors contribute to fatigue in the domestic commercial aviation environment. Reviews of various research activities and airline company scheduling policies are needed to correct existing problems. Enhanced pilot training is also needed to prevent fatigue, and to recognize it when it occurs so that effective countermeasures can be employed. Doing so will help ensure that pilots fly adequately rested and alert thereby improving flying safety. 

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Advanced Air Mobility I Providing Hope for Our Travel Woes

Sabu S MRAeS

01 Apr 2022


Japan Airlines recently announced that it intends to lease or purchase up to 50 electrical Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) air taxis to introduce eVTOL ride-sharing service in Japan, which will usher in a new era of aviation - Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). These can carry seven people including the pilot and fly at speeds exceeding 320 kilometers per hour and have a range of 160 kilometers, a perfect fit for Indian conditions. It is also interesting that in the backdrop is another order by another Japanese conglomerate, Marubeni Corporation, which announced a pre-order option of up to 200 such aircraft in September. 

World over, a number of carriers have indicated their intentions to enter the AAM segment, including Virgin Atlantic, Brazilian airline GOL, JetBlue, United Airlines, and American Airlines.  


One should appreciate the foresight of these carriers as the eVTOL aircraft themselves are yet to receive type certification from the regulatory authorities, and this process will not be completed before 2022. But it is this very foresight that will enable them to launch services by 2023-24. Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus has created a separate entity to lead the development of its CityAirbus NextGen electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle. 

For a country like India with its overcrowded roads and the resultant traffic congestion, eVTOL aircraft offers the perfect solution. Since these aircraft can take off and land vertically, they do not need a runway. Polluted cities will obtain immense relief when these aerial vehicles replace the fuel-guzzling automobiles as they produce no emission and a low noise footprint. Apart from these tangible benefits, there are other benefits like the time one would save when using an eVTOL air taxi. Some of our new airports, like Hyderabad and Bengaluru, are located far away from the city. Almost all the proposed new airports will also be inevitably located away from city centers. An electric air taxi which can accommodate 4 passengers, and which has a range of 100-150 kilometers is an ideal solution to all our problems associated with getting to and from the airport avoiding urban traffic jams. Uber USA has ambitious plans to launch an urban air taxi service in select markets and has already signed a contract with a manufacturer for the same. Volvocopter, the German-based company announced this week that it is partnering with Saudi Arabia to develop electric vertical takeoff and landing flight operations for a planned industrial, residential, and tourist zone called Neom, and functions are slated to start in early 2022.


If India were not to miss the boat, the government should immediately set up a task force to draw up a well-defined plan to tap the potential of this new segment. The present Minister of Civil Aviation is taking a keen interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems, and eVTOL is nothing but an extension of that. The task force should be entrusted with the task of identifying the unique challenges of incorporating this new mode of aerial transportation into our existing air transport infrastructure. The main challenges will be fourfold:

  • Pilot Training
  • Charging & Parking Infrastructure for eVTOLs  
  • Air Navigation 
  • Regulatory Framework & Clearances



Pilot Training


With a sizeable eVTOL pilot workforce needed, we need to shift the training paradigm for meeting the unique challenges and make strategic investments to position ourselves for the change. Since these aircraft are operated by a single pilot, eVTOL pilots should have a high degree of proficiency, even higher than that of a co-pilot of a scheduled air carrier, as he/she will not only be burdened with aviating and navigating the craft through a busy airspace but will also have to make ‘Command Decisions” in a challenging environment single-handedly. This can only be achieved by the highest level of training. Several aspects of AAM operations will be different from conventional air operations and these must be addressed in pilot training. Off-airport takeoffs and landings in confined spaces are very challenging, and pilots must be trained to a high level of proficiency. As more automation is incorporated, the demand for the pilot might reduce to a great extent but the industry is still at its nascent stage, and no compromise should be made in this aspect. There will be unique challenges in preparing pilots to fly this new aircraft platform. In the US, the manufacturers themselves have entered into agreements with training providers to train a vast workforce as they foresee a huge demand for eVTOL pilots. California-based Joby Aviation which is emerging as a leader in the field of eVTOL and the Germany-based Lilium are creating their own pilot academies to train pilots to fly their aircraft. The government can think of establishing training centers exclusively for pilots of eVTOL aircraft or even think of private-public partnerships in this sphere. Future service providers like Uber and Ola can think of investing in training eVTOL pilots. Companies like CAE, a global simulation provider, and some other training organizations have made strategic investments to be in a leading position for this new segment. Though Covid 19 triggered a depressed demand for pilots, with the industry showing signs of a recovery, AAM will create a demand for a new kind of pilot workforce.



Charging & Parking Infrastructure


The biggest challenge will be recharging infrastructure. As eVTOL aircraft solely depend on the charge of their batteries, it is imperative that an infrastructure be put in place for recharging the batteries. Though it is easily possible to have charging ports at significant locations like airports etc. it will need to be set at other areas as well. Currently, only our airports have enough open space to handle the arrival and departure movements of these aircraft. Each state government will have to identify and prepare suitable real estate to facilitate the landing and departure of these aircraft. The service providers can use these spots at a nominal fee. To further minimize the environmental impact, the electricity to charge the plane should be renewable.



Air Navigation


The existing Air Traffic System should be modified to absorb the heavy volume of air traffic that this segment will generate. This would mean investing more on the automation of the Air Traffic System and hiring professionals with specialized skill sets to manage the automation. Operations of these aircraft will have to be confined to certain ‘Classes’ of airspace initially, and as the system evolves, further changes can be made to allow more flexibility.    



Regulatory Process


Currently, there are no regulatory requirements for AAM operations including pilot training and licensing. Initially, the existing regulations may be modified with added special needs. The manufacturers of eVTOL aircraft should be invited to frame the required rules to suit our needs and also design the training program. 


None of these challenges are insurmountable. If it is accessible and affordable, it will democratize intra-city travel.  Though initial passenger fares may be high, in a short time, the manufacturers will be able to bring the cost of the eVTOL aircraft down, and we will soon be able to witness fares falling to that of a regular cab ride. The viability of an Advanced Air Mobility system is a challenge, but with the exemplary leadership and a good team in place, we can overcome the myriad challenges and have an efficient and safe transportation system in place.


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Importance of Aviation English

Rajat Ahuja

01 Apr 2022


Safety is a number one priority in aviation, with effective communication being an essential contributing factor. Slight misunderstandings in language between pilots and air traffic controllers (ATCs) could affect the meaning of a message and become an obstacle that could lead to severe consequences. Introducing language proficiency requirements to demonstrate adequate knowledge of English is an extra layer of safety since there is less room for error or misinterpretation. Pilots and ATCs require intensive training throughout their careers, and demonstrating language proficiency is one of them. Effective communication is key to a successful relationship, which couldn’t be more applicable in this field.


A universal aviation language had to be established for pilots and ATCs to communicate clearly and efficiently worldwide. Both parties work closely together to exchange crucial information about the aircraft, flight, crew members, and passengers, as well as other external factors and situational awareness that help ensure safe and efficient operations.



Since miscommunication and language barriers are human errors that could gravely impact flight safety and put those on board at risk, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) established English Language Proficiency (ELP) requirements for pilots and ATCs. As English was chosen as the language of the skies at the Chicago Convention in 1944, ICAO first began addressing language proficiency for pilots and ATCs in September 1998. In 2008, an ELP test was established as part of the requirements for pilots and ATCs to be fully qualified.


Aviation English is known globally for the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet is called the International Radio Telephony Spelling Alphabet, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) phonetic alphabet, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet consists of distinct words assigned to each letter of the English alphabet. 


While alphabet spelling was used in several ways throughout the history of aviation, naval communication and radio communication, the International Radio Telephony Spelling Alphabet was introduced in 1951. 


An advantage of having a standard language for pilots and ATCs to communicate is that pilots flying in the same airspace can monitor air traffic transmissions and increase their situational awareness.


The ELP rating scale established by the ICAO encompasses six levels, from Level (1) “pre-elementary” to Level (6) “expert.”


Pilots and ATCs must demonstrate at least Level (4) “operational” proficiency, which calls for vocabulary that is “usually sufficient” to communicate on work-related topics and comprehend discussion of those topics and to engage in exchanges “even when dealing with an unexpected turn of events.” It includes pronunciation and basic grammatical structure requirements, and stresses that the person must “[deal] adequately with apparent misunderstandings by checking, confirming, or clarifying.”


Regardless of the proficiency level, testing assesses Pronunciation, Structure, Vocabulary, Fluency, Comprehension, and Interaction https://www.catc.or.th/Test/ICAOLanguageProficiencyRatingScale.pdf


The validity of the test depends on the proficiency level acquired. Those who dominate the language at the expert level (6) need not be re-evaluated. Those at level (4) must test every three years, while those at level (5) every five years.



Communication Errors


Communication Errors are one of the biggest causal factors in both level busts and runway incursions in aviation.


The information and instructions transmitted are of vital importance in the safe and expeditious operation of aircraft. Incidents and accidents have occurred in which a contributing factor has been the use of non-standard procedures and phraseology. 


Phraseology has evolved over time and has been carefully developed to provide maximum clarity and brevity in communications while ensuring that phrases are unambiguous. Below are a few tips through which errors can be mitigated:


  • Adhere to standard communication procedures and radio phraseology including readback unless - callsign abbreviation has been introduced by ATC, specifically adapting the callsign to mitigate the risk of callsign confusion.
  • Not clip or cut off transmissions.
  • Report to ATC immediately all deviations from a previously received clearance, as soon as they are identified. 
  • Always use headsets during times of high workload. 
  • At critical stages of flight, actively monitor ATC instructions and compliance with them.
  • Request clarification should any ATC communication be unclear, or whenever any flight crew member is in doubt regarding a clearance, or an instruction received.
  • Always question unexpected instructions for any phase of flight.


Each ATC clearance should be readback by the Pilot Monitoring and confirmed by the Pilot Flying prior to acting on the clearance. Where a single pilot is acting as both the Pilot Flying and Pilot Monitoring an additional confirmation readback should be given to the ATC prior to executing a clearance.



For Example: 


ATC - “Super 123, descend FL100”. 


Pilot – “Descend FL100, Super 123” (Confirmation 1) Pilot – “Super 123, leaving FL400 descending FL100” (Confirmation 2). 



The introduction of Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) is a step in the right direction for safer and more efficient skies



Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) is a means of communication between ATCs and pilots, using data links for ATC communications. (ICAO Doc 4444: PANS-ATM). Typically, communication between ATCs and pilots is done through radio calls either over VHF for short-range communications (e.g., operating over the U.S. or Europe) or HF for long-range communications (e.g., over oceanic areas). Radio communication suffers from several serious drawbacks:


It is limited to one radio call at a time, and if two stations call simultaneously, often neither is decipherable – you will often hear pilots call “blocked” on the frequency, and the calls must be repeated.

Voice calls take a certain amount of time – for example, a clearance that ATC issues must be “readback” by the pilot, and that readback in turn, must be confirmed to be correct by the ATC.

In some areas, poor reception and signal distortion is particularly relevant for long-range HF radio calls.


The advantages of CPDLC


  • Increased ATCs efficiency by reducing required communications and reducing ATCs workload.
  • A reduction in possible voice communication errors by both pilots and ATCs due to language barriers.
  • Reducing the chance of VHF frequencies being “blocked” by simultaneous transmissions increases airspace utilization.
  • Allowing different communications at the same time, thereby increasing the speed of communication.


To conclude Aviation English proficiency mustn't be limited just for the pilots and ATCs but also other departments within the aviation industry, e.g., Airline Dispatch, Engineering, Cabin Crew, Ground Services, Medical Services, Emergency Services, to name a few. This will ensure an equitable standard within the industry in maintaining a safe environment.



This article was first published in the April 2022 edition of 100 Knots Magazine


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India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited approves INR 8,800 Crore Loan for Airports & Civil Aviation Infrastructure Development in India

Radhika Bansal

09 Oct 2023

India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) approved loans worth INR 8,800 crore for airports and civil aviation infrastructure development in the country, reported PTI, quoting Managing Director PR Jaishankar.

The government has an ambitious target to develop the civil aviation sector in the country, and to realise the dream, huge investment is required, he noted. "So far, the IIFCL has sanctioned loans of about INR 8,800 crore with the disbursement of around INR 4,000 crore for the development of airport projects," PTI quoted him as saying.

The company is one of the major financiers of airports in India and has supported airports with a total project outlay of about INR 74,000 crore, he said, adding that IIFCL is present in almost all major airports of the country. Over the past few years, India has seen massive growth in the airport sector with increasing investments from both government and private sector, mainly due to a rising proportion of middle-income households, infrastructure build-up at leading airports and supportive policy framework.

As a result of expansion, the passenger handling capacity is expected to increase from the existing 350 million per annum to 500 million per annum by the end of the current financial year and 2 billion by 2047.

IIFCL will continue to extend its support to develop world-class airport infrastructure in India and explore opportunities in funding the greenfield airport projects, as well as maintenance, repairs and overhaul (MRO) facilities under the PPP mode by way of term loan, subscription to bonds, refinancing, or credit enhancement etc, Jaishankar said.

Highlighting the importance of the airport sector, Jaishankar said it holds the potential to provide a huge positive impact on the economy, with an economic multiplier of 3.1 and an employment multiplier of 6. To meet the growing demand for air travel in India, he said, it has become imperative to increase the capacity of airport infrastructure. According to the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), about INR 91,000 crore capex has been envisaged for the civil aviation sector in the five years till FY25.

The past few years witnessed spectacular growth in India's aviation industry. The development in the industry was led by the increasing trend of air travel among a large number of middle-income households. The rising number of air passengers was complimented by infrastructure build-up at leading airports and a supportive policy framework.

The number of airports has almost doubled from 74 in 2014 to 148 in 2023, giving a boost to regional connectivity. The government has additionally given in-principle approval for setting up 21 greenfield airports across the country. India's aviation industry has seen a remarkable boost in recent years facilitated by the government's investor-friendly legislation, supportive ecosystem and growing demand. The aviation industry in India is the third-largest and fastest-growing in the world, expanding at a rate of about 10 per cent during the last decade, roughly 2.5 times the global average.

About India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL)

IIFCL is a wholly-owned Government of India company set up in 2006 to provide long-term financial assistance to viable infrastructure projects through the Scheme for Financing Viable Infrastructure Projects through a Special Purpose Vehicle called India Infrastructure Finance Company Ltd (IIFCL), broadly referred to as SIFTI.

The authorized and paid-up capital of the company stood at INR 10,000 Crore and INR 9,999.92 Crore, respectively as of 30 June 2023. IIFCL has been registered as an NBFC-ND-IFC with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) since September 2013 and follows the applicable prudential norms of the RBI.

As a long-term lending institution, IIFCL is amongst the most diversified public sector infrastructure lenders in terms of eligible infrastructure sub-sectors and product offerings. It has the mandate to finance both green-field and brown-field projects, covering Direct Lending, Takeout Finance, Refinance and Credit Enhancement, across all infrastructure sub-sectors as notified by the Government in the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure Subsectors. These broadly include transportation, energy, water, sanitation, communication, social and commercial infrastructure.

On a standalone basis, till 30th June 2023, IIFCL has made cumulative gross sanctions of about INR 2,26,558 Crore to more than 700 projects under Direct Lending, Takeout Finance and Refinance, Credit enhancement, InVIT and Bonds. Cumulative disbursements under these schemes stood at INR 1,09,491 Crore to more than 450 projects as of 30 June 2023.

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All Nippon Airways Unveils Sustainable Dash 8-Q400 as Part of Future Promise Initiative

Abhishek Nayar

09 Oct 2023

In a significant step towards a greener aviation industry, Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced the launch of its latest addition to the Future Promise aircraft family - the De Havilland Dash 8-Q400, also known as "The Future Promise Prop."

Scheduled to take to the skies later this month, this turboprop aircraft showcases a distinctive sustainability-themed livery, following in the footsteps of the Boeing 787 Future Promise Jets already in service. This initiative is part of ANA's commitment to raising awareness about its broader sustainability and environmental strategy, the ANA Future Promise (AFP) Initiative, which was introduced in 2021.

ANA Future Promise Initiative

The AFP initiative encapsulates ANA's dedication to various aspects of environmental, social responsibility, and governance (ESG). Junko Yazawa, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience Management and Planning at ANA, stated, "ANA is committed to accomplishing its sustainability goals and being a leader in the aviation industry, and the ANA Future Promise Jet and Prop symbolizes our ongoing efforts." The airline remains steadfast in its mission to reduce emissions and plans to invest in industry-leading sustainability practices and innovations.

Sustainability Measures

Beyond the eye-catching livery, the 2012 Dash 8-Q400, registered as JA461A with MSN4430, incorporates several sustainability measures. These include:

  • Environmentally Friendly In-Flight Service Items: ANA will utilize in-flight service items made from environmentally friendly recycled materials, reducing waste and promoting sustainability.
  • CO2 Emissions Reduction: The airline will implement flight operations aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, contributing to its environmental objectives.
  • Aerodynamic Innovation: The aircraft is equipped with a riblet-treated film, similar to Lufthansa Technik AeroSHARK, to reduce air resistance, minimize drag, and subsequently lower emissions. This initiative is a result of a technical cooperation with Nikon Corporation.

Safety and Sustainability at the Core

ANA's commitment to sustainability extends even to the most fundamental aspects of air travel. The airline has chosen to replace traditional plastic safety cards with cards made from Karastic, a material derived from recycled scallop shells. Collaborating with Koushi Chemical Industry, ANA aims not only to reduce waste and plastic usage but also to support regional revitalization and economic development.

Apple Waste to Vegan Leather

In a unique and innovative move, ANA is making use of apples from Aomori Prefecture, known for Japan's finest apples, to create vegan leather headrest covers for the Future Promise Turboprop. A company called "Appcycle" transforms apple residue and discarded peels from the juice-making process into high-quality vegan leather, which finds its place on ANA aircraft. This initiative not only addresses the issue of apple waste but also aligns with ANA's sustainability and social responsibility goals, supporting local economies and sustainable development.


All Nippon Airways' introduction of the Future Promise Dash 8-Q400 is a testament to its unwavering commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Through this initiative and the integration of various sustainable measures, ANA is taking concrete steps towards reducing its carbon footprint and raising awareness about the importance of sustainability within the aviation industry. As the Future Promise Prop takes flight on domestic routes from October 23, 2023, it sets a noteworthy example for the future of eco-conscious air travel.

With Inputs from ANA

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EasyJet Faces Challenges and Opportunities Ahead of Fiscal Year 2023-2024

Abhishek Nayar

09 Oct 2023


As easyJet prepares to notify its shareholders about its performance over the fiscal year on Thursday, October 5, 2023, investors are eagerly anticipating the results. The airline, which has seen a soaring share price over the previous year, faces many opportunities and challenges that will shape its future.


Share Price Soars, but Not Without Turbulence


Over the past 12 months, easyJet's share price has experienced a remarkable 52% increase, which has garnered the attention of investors and analysts alike. However, this impressive growth conceals moments of concern, notably a series of issues with National Air Traffic Services (Nats) during the summer. Outages caused disruptions to dozens of flights in August and September, leading easyJet CEO Johan Lundgren expressed disappointment in Nats for "letting down customers."

Sophie Lund-Yates, lead equity analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, highlights the importance of understanding the extent of the damage to the airline's bottom line due to air traffic control constraints. She also emphasizes that these disruptions should not be seen as a long-term indicator of the group's health, underlining the significance of assessing booking momentum as the new fiscal year begins.


Rising Costs and Energy Price Concerns


The travel industry, including easyJet, continues to grapple with various pressures. The surge in energy prices has amplified these challenges. In recent months, there has been a modest but steady increase in oil prices, which has had a notable impact on EasyJet's shares, causing them to lose approximately 10% of their value in the last six months. Fuel, being an essential input cost for airlines, is directly affected by rising energy prices. Moreover, higher energy costs could potentially crimp consumer spending, further affecting the airline's profitability.

Russ Mould, the investment director at AJ Bell, points out that this decline in share value may be attributed to the resurgence in oil prices. He highlights that despite an optimistic third-quarter trading update provided by CEO Johan Lundgren in June, investors are keen to see if any profit forecasts for the 12 months to September 2024 will be disclosed. Mould notes that the current expert consensus predicts a further increase in pre-tax earnings to £552 million, though this figure still falls below the all-time high of £686 million seen in 2015.


Looking Ahead: Challenges and Opportunities


As easyJet moves forward, it faces both challenges and opportunities. The impact of air traffic control disruptions, energy price fluctuations, and cost-of-living pressures will continue to be significant factors to monitor. The airline must demonstrate its ability to adapt to these challenges while maintaining its resiliency.

Additionally, investors are eager to learn about easyJet's objectives and profit forecasts for the upcoming fiscal year. Whether the airline can reach or surpass its previous earnings peak remains a point of interest.




While easyJet's soaring share price over the past year is commendable, it is essential to recognize the airline's underlying challenges and uncertainties. Investors, analysts, and stakeholders will closely scrutinize the upcoming shareholder notification on October 5, 2023, for insights into the airline's strategies and fiscal year 2023-2024 plans. EasyJet's ability to navigate these challenges while capitalizing on opportunities will ultimately determine its future success in the dynamic aviation industry.

With Inputs from Evening Standard