Pilots Body Opposes DGCA About-Turn in a Letter to the Minister

Preet Palash

01 Apr 2024

The health and safety of the pilots cannot be prejudiced for the commercial benefit of operators, the Federation of Indian Pilots has warned.
The Federation of Indian Pilots (FIP) has written to aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia expressing its displeasure over the deferment of revised Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms for pilots by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) saying this could lead to increased fatigue.
DGCA has deferred the implementation of the revised Flight Duty Time Limitations (FDTL) norms, which were to be effective from June without specifying any new timelines.
In the March 28 letter, the pilot’s body with 5000 members said, “The action of the DGCA not only endangers pilot safety but also undermines the safety of passengers which the implementation of the revised CAR (Civil Aviation Requirements) could prevent. Furthermore, the health and safety of the pilots cannot be prejudiced for the commercial benefit of the operators. The latest revision by the DGCA has made the revised CAR a dead letter of the law as it has effectively granted operators and discretionary power in implementing the revised CAR”.
Three pilots have died on the job in recent months.
“It is regrettable to observe that the DGCA has chosen to disregard the representations made by the FIP. Without prior consultation with stakeholders, the DGCA proceeded to issue a revised version of the CAR on March 26. This revision eliminates the mandatory requirement for operators to implement the revised CAR before June 1. Instead, operators engaged in scheduled air transport operations are now permitted to continue operations in accordance with CAR Section 7 Series J Part III Issue III dated April 24, 2019, until the approval of their respective schemes, in alignment with the new CAR,” it said adding, “We would like to state that the latest revision by the DGCA, i.e. omitting the cutoff date for implementation and amendment to the regulations pertaining to Consecutive Night Operation, is arbitrary as it has the effect of ensuring the revised CAR is 'stillborn'. Clearly, that was not your intent as conveyed to the public at large."

Read next

IndiGo to Connect Kannur to Abu Dhabi

Preet Palash

01 Apr 2024

IndiGo has announced new direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Kannur from May 09

The airline will operate daily non-stop flights from the coastal city of Kerala to the capital of the United Arab Emirates, providing seamless connectivity for travellers to explore the abundant socio-cultural diversity between the two countries, it added.

Vinay Malhotra, Head of Global Sales, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Kannur. With the addition of these flights, IndiGo will operate 56 weekly flights to Abu Dhabi from 8 cities in India, promoting travel, trade, and tourism between the two countries. We are continuously working towards providing our customers with superior connectivity and enhanced accessibility to explore new horizons with our ever-expanding range of travel options. IndiGo remains committed to delivering on its promise of affordable, on-time, courteous, and hassle-free travel experience across an unparalleled network.”

Abu Dhabi has recently witnessed a surge in travel due to its latest developments, With these new flights to UAE from Kannur, passengers have more travel options during the upcoming summer vacations. Furthermore, this direct connectivity also offers customers from Abu Dhabi the opportunity to explore the panoramic small city of Kannur, famous for its vibrant beaches, rich historical monuments, exquisite handloom works and the colourful Theyyam art form, IndiGo said.

The flight from Kannur will take-off at 12:40 am and from Abu Dhabi at 3:45 am

With its fleet of 350+ aircraft, IndiGo operates around 2000 daily flights and connecting 85+ domestic destinations and 30+ international destinations

Akasa Air has launched operations to Doha, the capital of Qatar, from India’s financial capital Mumbai with four non-stop flights a week making its international debut.

Nearly 68 million international passengers took to the skies in 2023 to or from India and the Middle East region capture nearly half of this. Dubai alone cornered close to 15% of the traffic.

Read next

Dhoni Becomes Cleartrip Brand Ambassador

Preet Palash

01 Apr 2024

Flipkart and Adani Group-backed travel portal Cleartrip has onboarded cricketing legend - Mahendra Singh Dhoni as its new brand ambassador.

Under the bucket of "ClearChoice," the brand aims to inspire travellers to simplify decision-making and ensure seamless and anxiety-free travel experiences, the firm said in a statement.

“Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fondly known as Captain Cool, epitomizes the values of, Transparency, Optimism and Straightforwardness, making him the perfect embodiment of Cleartrip's ethos. Through this association, Cleartrip seeks to leverage Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s universal appeal that transcends generations and geographies and reinforce its position as a trusted travel partner for a diverse user base. This is in line with Cleartrip’s vision to make travel accessible, aggressively expand its customer base and drive its market presence,” it added.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Cleartrip Brand Ambassador said, “Throughout my career, travelling across continents, I have been a true globetrotter, and I discovered my love for travel. After so many years, travel has become something I look forward to. I couldn’t be more thrilled to come onboard Cleartrip, a brand that mirrors what travel should be like - fun, memorable and meaningful. In my career, I continue to make tough decisions every day, but with Cleartrip, decision-making is easy and straightforward. Their commitment to transparency simplifies choices and allows anyone to go on a journey of their dreams confidently.”

Ayyappan R., CEO, Cleartrip, stated, “We are thrilled to welcome Mahendra Singh Dhoni to the Cleartrip family. He is a revered sportsman who has inspired an entire generation - he is known for his values and is often associated with building trust and great leadership skills. Through our association with him, we hope to empower individuals to make the right choices in travel, seamlessly. As we continue to grow in scale, we hope to make travel an achievable aspiration for everyone, no matter where they are from. With Mahendra Singh Dhoni aboard, we aim to encourage a large demographic to step out and explore the world with confidence.”

Mahendra Singh Dhoni will mark his debut innings with Cleartrip with an entertaining ad film that will soon go live.

Dhoni himself has been on a travel spree in recent months, exploring India like he hasn’t been able to earlier, he has said. 

Read next

FedEx Express Realigns Fleet Strategy Amidst Industry Shifts

Abhishek Nayar

01 Apr 2024

In the dynamic landscape of global logistics, FedEx Express, a leading player in the air cargo industry, continues to adapt its fleet strategy in response to evolving market conditions. Recent announcements from the company shed light on its adjustments to aircraft orders and the optimization of its network, reflecting a proactive approach to meet future challenges head-on.

FedEx's Fleet Adjustments

According to its quarterly statistical report, FedEx Express has made strategic modifications to its fleet composition. Notably, the company reduced its purchase rights for the Boeing 767-300F aircraft from 50 to 43 during the course of 2023. This decision underscores FedEx's commitment to aligning its fleet size with anticipated operational needs and market demands.

Scheduled Deliveries and Expansion Plans

Despite the adjustment in purchase rights, FedEx Express remains steadfast in its fleet expansion endeavors. The carrier is poised to take delivery of three firm-ordered Boeing 767-300Fs by the end of May 2024, with an additional ten slated for delivery by May 2025 and the final two scheduled for receipt by May 2026. These acquisitions will augment FedEx's already impressive fleet, boosting the number of Boeing 767 aircraft to 152.

Strategic Evaluation and Network Optimization

In a statement to Cargo Facts, FedEx Express emphasized its ongoing evaluation and balancing of future aircraft orders to optimize its network operations. This strategic reassessment reflects the company's proactive stance in navigating the complex interplay of market dynamics, regulatory changes, and environmental considerations.

Industry Dynamics and Environmental Concerns

FedEx Express' fleet adjustments occur against the backdrop of broader industry trends and environmental imperatives. Boeing's decision to cease production of the Boeing 767-300F freighter by 2027 underscores the evolving landscape shaped by environmental and noise restrictions. While FedEx and rival UPS Airlines remain the primary customers for this aircraft type, both companies are confronting the imperative to modernize and optimize their fleets in line with sustainability goals.

Diversification and Future Outlook

Beyond its Boeing 767 fleet, FedEx Express is diversifying its aircraft portfolio to enhance operational flexibility and efficiency. The firm's firm orders encompass a range of aircraft types, including the Cessna 408F and ATR72-600F, alongside options for the Boeing 777-200F, Cessna 408F, and ATR72-600F models. This strategic diversification reflects FedEx's commitment to leveraging a versatile fleet tailored to meet evolving market demands.


As FedEx Express recalibrates its fleet strategy and expands its aircraft portfolio, the company reaffirms its commitment to operational excellence, network optimization, and environmental stewardship. By proactively addressing industry shifts and embracing technological advancements, FedEx positions itself for sustained success in the dynamic landscape of global logistics.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

Read next

What's Behind Air Astana's Engine Woes and Settlement with P&W?

Abhishek Nayar

01 Apr 2024

In a recent development, Air Astana Group has reached a settlement with Pratt & Whitney regarding its PW1100G engines, which power the carrier's A320neo aircraft. The agreement, detailed in a filing on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange on March 27, marks a significant step in resolving the maintenance challenges that have plagued the airline's fleet. But what led to these issues, and how is the airline addressing them?

Settlement with Pratt & Whitney & Background on Engine Troubles

The settlement with Pratt & Whitney is expected to alleviate the financial burden associated with addressing maintenance issues related to the PW1100G engines. While the exact figure of the settlement remains undisclosed, Air Astana Group expressed optimism that it will help manage costs and complement existing operational strategies aimed at sustainable solutions.

The PW1100G engines, installed on the group's twenty-nine A320neo Family aircraft, have been a source of concern due to ongoing maintenance issues. The airline anticipates as many as 34 engine removals throughout 2024, highlighting the magnitude of the challenge it faces in maintaining its fleet's airworthiness.

Mitigation Measures & Recent Developments

To mitigate the impact of these maintenance challenges, Air Astana Group has adopted a multi-faceted approach. This includes maintaining a stock of spare engines, with plans to acquire additional units by 2028. The airline also benefits from access to Pratt & Whitney's pool of spare engines, providing further support in managing maintenance requirements.

In a bid to bolster its capacity and operational resilience, Air Astana Group has undertaken strategic initiatives. This includes securing a purchase agreement with International Aero Engines for an additional spare PW1100 engine, slated for delivery in April. Additionally, the group has signed a lease agreement for two A320-200 aircraft, scheduled to arrive in the first quarter of 2025, to offset capacity issues arising from the grounding of A320neo aircraft.

Previous Legal Dispute

This settlement marks Air Astana Group's second major engine-related dispute in recent years. In 2023, the airline withdrew an appeal at the New York Supreme Court after losing a damages claim against Embraer. The dispute stemmed from allegations regarding the airworthiness of E190-E2 aircraft leased from AerCap in 2018, highlighting the complexities and challenges inherent in aircraft maintenance and contractual agreements.

Looking Ahead

As Air Astana Group navigates through these challenges, its focus remains on ensuring operational stability and passenger safety. By implementing proactive maintenance strategies, securing spare engine provisions, and exploring alternative capacity solutions, the airline aims to overcome the hurdles posed by engine-related issues and emerge stronger in the competitive aviation landscape.

In conclusion, while the settlement with Pratt & Whitney represents a significant step forward for Air Astana Group, the journey towards resolving its engine maintenance challenges continues, underlining the importance of strategic planning and collaborative partnerships in navigating the complexities of the aviation industry.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

Read next

Gulfstream G700 Receives FAA Certification

Abhishek Nayar

01 Apr 2024

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., a General Dynamics subsidiary, has achieved a significant milestone in the world of business aviation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granting type certification to its latest marvel, the Gulfstream G700. This certification not only marks the green light for customer deliveries but also underscores the aircraft's remarkable performance enhancements.

FAA Certification: A Testament to Excellence

The Gulfstream G700 has completed a rigorous certification program, setting new standards in the industry. With a balanced field length takeoff distance of 5,995 feet/1,827 meters and a landing distance of 3,150 ft/960 m (standard ISA day, sea level), the G700 showcases enhanced flexibility and accessibility, surpassing initial expectations.

Mark Burns, President of Gulfstream, expressed his gratitude towards the team behind this achievement, highlighting the dedication of the flight test, certification, and engineering professionals. He emphasized the G700's ability to deliver unparalleled performance and cabin comfort while meeting the highest certification standards.

Performance Enhancements Unveiled

In a move to redefine the boundaries of business aviation, Gulfstream announced significant performance enhancements for the G700 in September 2023. The aircraft's range soared to 7,750 nautical miles/14,353 kilometers at Mach 0.85 or 6,650 nm/12,316 km at Mach 0.90, exceeding original projections by 250 nm/463 km at both speeds.

Moreover, the G700's maximum operating speed surged from Mach 0.925 to Mach 0.935, cementing its position as the fastest in the Gulfstream fleet. These enhancements not only extend the aircraft's capabilities but also offer customers unparalleled speed and range for their journeys.

Elevated Comfort and Experience

Gulfstream's commitment to passenger comfort is evident in the G700's cabin design. With a further reduction in cabin altitude to 2,840 ft/866 m while flying at 41,000 ft/12,497 m, passengers experience optimal comfort even during long-haul flights. The cabin boasts whisper-quiet noise levels, 20 Gulfstream Panoramic Oval Windows, and 100% fresh air circulation, ensuring a luxurious and rejuvenating travel experience.

Looking Ahead: Delivering Excellence

With FAA certification secured, Gulfstream is poised to commence customer deliveries of the G700, marking a new era in business aviation. Mark Burns extended his gratitude to the FAA G700 certification team and expressed pride in Gulfstream's global workforce of over 20,000 employees.

The Gulfstream G700 represents the pinnacle of innovation, offering unmatched performance, comfort, and luxury in the business aviation sector. As deliveries commence, the G700 is set to redefine the expectations of discerning travelers worldwide, setting new standards for excellence in the skies.

With Inputs from Gulfstream