Singapore Airshow 2022 | Alliance Air inks deal with TrueNoord for 2 ATR 42 aircraft


15 Feb 2022

 An event where high-level government and military delegations, as well as senior corporate executives around the world, attend to forge partnerships and seal deal(s), market-leading aircraft manufacturer ATR and Alliance Air, the only Indian public airline, have signed a deal to acquire two ATR 42-600 via lessor TrueNoord.

The opening day of the Singapore Airshow 2022 saw the inking of the deal between Alliance Air and TrueNoord for the leasing of two ATR 42-600 aircraft.

Alliance Air, the former regional subsidiary of Air India, operates a fleet of 18 ATR 72-600 turboprops and plans of supplementing its fleet with two brand new ATR 42s.

Representative | Deccan Herald

Our relationship with ATR started 20 years ago, and ever since we have been building a network that truly serves Indian communities, delivering comfortable, reliable and affordable air services. Thanks to the unique features of the ATR 42-600, Alliance Air will proudly fulfill the mission assigned by the Indian government to make the most inaccessible regions accessible.Vineet Sood, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Air

The aircraft type falls well in alignment with the operator's operational routes.

Here's what makes it tick:

30% fuel burn advantage versus 50 seater regional jetsCan take-off from short runways- even as short as 1000mCan seat 30-50 passengers

Touted as an ideal route opener and combined with excellent economics makes it a perfect choice to serve even the least accessible regions of India. The ATR 42 will also be able to operate on the short runways of the Shimla and Kullu airports, both located at high altitudes, and exposed to high temperatures.

The fact that we will deliver this aircraft by the middle of this year is testament both to the recovery of Indian domestic market and the essential need for affordable and reliable connectivity throughout the country.Stefano Bortoli, CEO, ATR

Stefano Bortoli | ATR Aircraft

The high commonality between the ATR 72 and 42 will help ease the integration of both types in the fleet, thereby cutting extra costs to the operator. The airline will further benefit from the "ATR GMA"-  the manufacturer’s pay-by-the-hour maintenance program.

We are proud to be a strategic partner in enabling vital and essential connections to be made throughout India. With this new acquisition, we are firmly establishing the whole ATR family as a cornerstone of our portfolio of modern regional aircraft, and demonstrating our confidence in their long-term value.Carst Lindeboom, Sales Director (Asia Pacific), TrueNoord

Carst Lindeboom | TrueNoord

TrueNoord is a regional aircraft lessor with offices in Amsterdam, Dublin, London and Singapore. The lessor already has a presence in India with IndiGo being its customer. Five ATR72-600s of IndiGo have been leased from TrueNoord.


COVER: AirInsight

Read next

How dangerous is turbulence during a flight? Has a commercial aircraft ever crashed due to it?


14 Feb 2022

Well, for starters, most of us with a fear of flying isn't alone. There are many out there, for whom the very thought of hitting turbulence while in flight, makes them shudder. And that's perfectly alright. We, as human beings, aren't exactly evolved to storm through rapid forces in a pressurized aluminium tube, 30,000 feet up in the air, with an outside atmosphere that could be fatal to human exposure in a matter of seconds.

Representative | Inc.Magazine

Why wouldn't we be scared?

Having said that, turbulence is really nothing to be afraid of is – the chances of dying or being injured are beyond minuscule-at least that's what reports tend to say.

What is turbulence and what really causes it?

Turbulence is caused when an airplane flies through waves of air that are irregular or violent, which cause the aircraft to bounce around yawing, pitching, or rolling. In other words, it is some sort of the change in the flow of air around the aircraft. Technically, air "isn't" nothingness- it is basically a fluid.  Currents of air move up and down, ripple out, change direction, and change speed.

Depending on the severity, turbulence is classified as one of the following :

Light : Picture driving a car along a dirt road riddled with pebbles and potholes here and there. Feels pretty much the same and often isn't even noted by the flight crew unless the cabin crew brings it upModerate : Although still irrelevant from an operational standpoint, the seat belt signs are switched on for passenger and crew safety. A twisted ankle is the last you wanna have.Severe : Here's where it gets a little tricky. The seat belt signs remain turned on as the aircraft might appear to rise and drop rapidly. The bumps might be light, but strong, and often passengers might believe that the aircraft is shaking more than it actually is.

National Weather Service

What is to be noted is that airplanes are very tough machines built for the extremes. They are designed to withstand gust loads higher than approximately 70 feet per second without going beyond their limit "G' factor. Technically, that means an aircraft can maintain its structural integrity even if the gust throws it from its level altitude to + or - 4000 ft.

For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket. Planes themselves are engineered to take a remarkable amount of punishment, and they have to meet stress limits for both positive and negative G-loads. The level of turbulence required to dislodge an engine or bend a wing spar is something even the most frequent flyer—or pilot for that matter—won’t experience in a lifetime of travellingPatrick Smith, author of Cockpit Confidential Pilot

That brings us to the next question.

Will an A380 experience more turbulence than B787, given the same condition?

A380 | Representative | Wallpaper Abyss-Alpha Coders

Does aircraft size matter when it comes to experiencing turbulence mid-flight?

As a general rule of the thumb- the bigger the plane, the smoother the ride. Larger airplanes experience turbulence to a lesser degree than smaller ones. The bigger the wing is, the easier it is to withstand the effect - that is if- the unstable air mass is the same magnitude applied to a smaller wing.

B787 | Representative | Pinterest

Eddy Dissipation Rate, or EDR, is an objective, aircraft-independent, universal measure of turbulence based on the rate at which energy dissipates in the atmosphere. In other words, it is a measure of the turbulent state of the atmosphere. Given below shows how different intensities of EDR  are experienced by different aircraft sizes.


Why don't aircraft fly at higher altitudes to beat around turbulence?

The supersonic Concorde | Quartz

The Concorde aircraft with a service ceiling of 60,000 feet, significantly had less turbulence than other commercial aircraft that flew at lower altitudes. Most commercial aircraft today stay well below the 40,000-foot mark and why so?

According to FAA. at 40000 feet, Time of Useful Consciousness (TUC) or Effective Performance Time (EPT) decreases to 15 to 20 seconds. TUC/EPT is the period from interruption of the oxygen supply, or exposure to an oxygen-poor environment, to the time when an individual is no longer capable of taking proper corrective and protective action. The faster the rate of ascent, the worse the impairment and the faster it happens.

Expert Aviator

In the event of explosive decompression, the dropping of oxygen masks in front of the passengers does not give them sufficient conscious time to don their masks if decompression occurs at above 40000 feet-FAA.

Representative | Science ABC

Will a level 4/severe turbulence bring an aircraft down?

Extreme weather can cause a crash but it’s very rare. People are most likely to die on the way to the airport than perish on a flight. Contrary to the popular belief, the danger is more inside than outside.

People are injured regularly from being tossed around inside the cabin. Usually, this is relatively minor, bumps and bruises, but there are rare cases of broken bones and concussions and flight attendants suffer these injuries in disproportionate numbers. Hence it makes sense to put on your seatbelts every time the sign is switched on.

In the entire history of commercial aviation, there has been exactly one case of a plane being sufficiently damaged in flight by turbulence to crash and that was in 1966 when a Boeing 707 over Japan crashed after getting hit with severe winds off Mt. Fuji. This was primarily due to pilot error, who went off flight plan- and also the design limitations of that specific plane (which is long out of service). Modern aircraft are massively over-engineered for the stresses that could possibly occur and they go through very serious stress tests.

Crash of Boeing 707-436 over Mount Fiji in 1966 killing 124 | Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives

In short, pilots are not worried about turbulence - avoiding it is for convenience and comfort rather than safety.

Turbulence doesn't really affect the aircraft. It is just rough air that the aircraft runs into and can become nasty at times but won't cause an accident.

Most airliners cruise above the turbulence. Since thunderstorms tend to top out below 30,000 most airliners cruise at 30,000 to 40,000. Airliners now carry sophisticated weather radar to steer away from the worst turbulence. Additionally, ground weather radar also helps them steer between storm cells.

As far as flying goes, it is the safest mode of transport. So just sit back, sip on your cup of coffee and enjoy the ride! As they say, "a good landing is one you can walk away from... But a great landing is one where you can fly the plane again!"

Did you know? As a part of the Turbulence Mitigation feature, the B787 Dreamliner incorporates an in-built system that automatically dampens the bumps in the seats experienced during turbulence.


COVER: Science ABC

Read next

The Airbus-Boeing duopoly - can it ever be broken?


13 Feb 2022

Airbus and Boeing are arguably two of the best, well-established aircraft manufacturers and designers in the world. They both are world leaders at what they do and hence the Airbus-Boeing rivalry, which started with the merger of McDonnell Douglas with Boeing barely two decades ago, has become tightly ingrained in popular culture.

The aerospace behemoths have been at loggerheads with each other since then, launching new programs, winning customer orders and ramping up production rates.

Profits raked in and both companies enjoyed a smooth ride until.

The two fatal B737 MAX crashes in 2018, set in a series-a chain of events, which would eventually put Boeing's reputation on the line- leading to the grounding of the entire fleet worldwide. Troubles would seem to pursue Boeing with quality and manufacturing issues of the B787 Dreamliner cropping up.

2 Fatal B737 MAX crashes 5 months apart | Representative | Fighter Jets World

Consequently, Boeing since then still continues to work on its shortcomings and establish itself as the engineering-driven aerospace company it always has been.

Airbus, on the other hand, has had its own share of setbacks as well. The company decided to pull the plug on the production of its iconic "jumbo jet''- the A380-after selling just 250 units worldwide, in December of last year. The orders for its A350 were drying up as well, tallying to less than 100 in the past 3 years. In the meantime, Airbus has been carrying on with the development of its A321XLR, which potentially pulls the rug from under Boeing’s work on addressing the “middle of the market” segment.

NewsRoom Jetstar

The Covid pandemic, of course, only made things worse. Having brought the entire aviation industry to its knees, the pandemic dealt a further severe blow to the already crippling airline operations.

It is only natural then, to evaluate where the Airbus-Boeing duopoly stands today, especially in these unprecedented times.

So, why do just two companies dominate a $13-trillion market?

Stock Target Advisor

Estimated at around $190 billion, the commercial aviation market is one of the biggest and most profitable markets in the world. For almost three decades, it has been split between Airbus and Boeing. The duopoly occupies approximately 99% of the global market for large commercial airliners, largely because the high barriers to entry and exit make it extremely hard for other competitors to join the game.

Although Quebec-based Bombardier and Brazil-based Embraer dominated the small private jet segment, Airbus and Boeing have dominated the commercial aviation sector by and large.

Representative | Bleeping Computer

Regardless of whatever the business model, politics and government ties are two entities that can never be separated, something to which both the companies have immense access, and hence can influence decisions in their favour and rule major markets across the world.

Will there ever be a competitor to the duopoly?

In the face of it, Boeing might seem to be in worse condition than Airbus. However, it would be unfair to gauge Airbus's strengths solely on Boeing’s current weaknesses. It is to be noted that Airbus's commercial aerospace business pretty much stands on its own, whereas, on the other hand, Boeing can rely on a large and relatively stable defence and space business. Boeing and Airbus have empirically been accused of not keeping passenger safety in mind while designing airplanes just to cut costs.

That said, will there ever be an opponent strong enough to challenge the longstanding duopoly in aviation history?

Well, the audience seems to be divided on this.

Popular opinion says although it is possible, it is highly unlikely to happen, at least in the near future. Here's why some think so:

The market for medium to large airliners is not big enough to support more than two players.The entry barrier in this business is extremely high, in terms of capital, expertise, and talent requirements.The recovery period for the initial investment is far too long.

Representative | The Motley Fool

The last time Bombardier tried to cross Boeing, they were countered by the Boeing B737-700s. Although Bombardier is receiving state funding now, it is highly unlikely that they would take on an aerospace behemoth like Boeing again.

Both Boeing and Airbus offer a “family” of aircraft that cover different sizes and ranges suitable for most routes, be it short or intercontinental. The commonality in cockpit layout and parts make for less expensive training and maintenance. This is why most airlines operate a fleet from one manufacturer and use different types from the same “generation".

The Airbus A320 Family |

Low-cost carriers, on the other hand, operate a single aircraft type that fits their entire network. A clean-sheet replacement for the A320 and B737 is just what many low-cost carriers are waiting for and this is one segment of the market other aircraft manufacturers have a fair chance of getting into.

The Chinese COMAC C919

The  COMAC C919 made its maiden flight at an airshow on November 2, 2020-in what can be described as the Chinese answer to the Boeing B737 and the Airbus A320 family.

South China Morning Post

COMAC’s promotional material stated that the aircraft will have fuel consumption and direct operating costs lower than those of competing airplanes- with its LEAP-1C engines by Safran, projected to burn 10-15% less fuel than anything mounted on the 737 NG and the A320ceo. Furthermore, the passenger capacity which is touted to be about 100 passengers (according to COMAC), is sort of speculative at this point.

While European or American airlines likely will not buy a Chinese airplane for some time, carriers in other regions may be enticed more easily. But in a world where trade wars could become increasingly the norm, China has a lot of assets to put forth. 

In the long term, China’s market entry is bound to alter the economics and the politics of the business, if only because it will force Boeing and Airbus to reconsider their global industrial strategy and take more risks

Regardless of how it pans out in the coming future if we were to head towards a "triopoly" aviation, the engines used would still be largely US/EU based.

Ultimately, safety is paramount in aviation and hence it’s only fair that whichever of them—the veterans or the new entrants—can offer a safe flight, should get to rule the skies.

In the current scenario, Is it really possible to break the age-old dominance of Boeing and Airbus in the commercial aviation sector? If so, how?

Drop-in your thoughts below.


COVER: Straturka

Read next

ACI World's Voice of the Customer Recognition chooses 7 AAI airports

Radhika Bansal

12 Feb 2022

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Thursday, February 10 said seven airports that participated in the ACI-ASQ survey in 2021 have been chosen for ‘Voice of Customer Recognition’ under Airports Council International (ACI) World’s Voice of the Customer initiative.

These Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports to be named under the scheme are: Chennai, Kolkata, Goa, Pune, Patna, Bhubaneswar & Chandigarh, the ministry said.

Chennai Airport is one of the 7 airports chosen for ‘Voice of Customer Recognition’.

Airports Council International has initiated the ‘Voice of the Customer' initiative to acknowledge and recognise airports that continued to prioritise their customers and are committed to ensuring their voice was heard, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey is the world-renowned and internationally established global benchmarking programme measuring passenger’s satisfaction, whilst they travel through an airport, conducted by the Airports Council International (ACI), the ministry statement added.

ASQ Awards recognise those airports around the world that deliver the best customer experience.

ASQ Awards recognise those airports around the world that deliver the best customer experience in the opinion of their passengers.

The ASQ programme provides the research tool and management information to better understand passengers’ views and what they want from an airport from the products and services standpoint.

Read next

Massive order for SAF to date - underscores Boeing's immediate commitment to decarbonizing aviation


12 Feb 2022

In what can be termed as "the" largest procurement by an airframer for SAF as of today, Boeing has entered into a purchase agreement with "EPIC Fuels" for two million gallons (7.5 million litres) of blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

The move demonstrates Boeing's continued interest in promoting sustainable aviation and would power its commercial airplanes operations in the state of Washington and South Carolina through 2022.

Representative | The Loadstar

SAF is a safe, proven, immediate solution that will help achieve our industry's long-term commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Boeing has been a pioneer in making sustainable aviation fuels a reality. Through this agreement we will reduce our carbon footprint and have SAF available for customer deliveries as well as our own operations.Sheila Remes, Vice president of Environmental Sustainability, Boeing

Sheila Remes |

SAF stands for sustainable aviation fuel. It's produced from sustainable feedstocks and is very similar in its chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel. Sustainably produced jet fuel is touted to slash carbon emissions by as much as 80%, and by 100% in the future, over the fuel's entire life cycle.

Depending on the feedstock and technologies used to produce it, SAF can reduce life cycle GHG emissions dramatically compared to conventional jet fuel. Some emerging SAF pathways even have a net-negative GHG footprint


Sustainable aviation fuel is now certified for commercial use and can be blended with traditional jet fuel without additional modifications to airplanes, engines or the fueling infrastructure.

Today, sustainable aviation fuels are mixed directly with conventional jet fuel up to a 50/50 blend — the maximum allowed under current fuel specifications.

The current purchase agreement with EPIC Fuels includes a SAF product comprising 30% neat SAF with 70% conventional jet fuel. With a current focus on company operations, the fuel is intended to power Boeing commercial production, test, ferry, Dreamlifter and customer flights at facilities in Everett, Renton and Seattle in Washington state and North Charleston, South Carolina.

Additionally, EPIC Fuel will also supply fuel to power the "Boeing ecoDemonstrator"- a Boeing initiative focus on bringing technologies from the lab, out into the real world to take on challenges that rock airlines and passengers alike.

Our focus on environmental stewardship and safety is well known in the industry. EPIC and Boeing have been partners for decades and we are honored to be a part of this procurement. Working together, we are making sustainability more attainable for our customersexpressed Kyle O'Leary, VP and COO of EPIC Fuels, an independent aviation fuel supplier with primary operations throughout the U.S. and Canada

Boeing began SAF-powered test flights back in 2008 which eventually led to the approval for their commercial use in 2011. The company officially commenced airplane delivery flights starting in 2012.

The Boeing 777F ecoDemonstrator, equipped with lasers and cameras, flew for the first time in 2018, entirely on 100% SAF.

Fraport AG

Partnering with airlines, fuel companies, governments and research institutions to expand SAF supply and thereby reduce fuel costs, the purchase with EPIC Fuels highlights Boeing's continued interest in investing to develop SAF around the world.


COVER: Aviation Business News

Read next

No night-landing facility at 23 AAI operated airports

Radhika Bansal

11 Feb 2022

As many as 23 operational airports in the country do not have night landing facilities. The list of airports not having night landing facility also include Kushinagar International Airport in Uttar Pradesh which was inaugurated in October 2021 giving a major boost to the Buddhist tourism circuit. 

Others in the list are Salem in Tamil Nadu; Shimla, Kullu and Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh; Kalaburagi in Karnataka, and others. Authorities do not permit the aircraft to land at night at an airport that does not have a night landing facility.

STATE NAME OF THE AIRPORTAndhra PradeshCudappah, KurnoolAssamRupsiArunachal PradeshTezu, PassighatDaman & DiuDiuHaryanaHisarHimachal PradeshDharamshala, Kulu and ShimlaKarnatakaKalaburagiLakshadweepAgattiMaharashtraKolhapur, SindhudurgPunjabLudhianaPuducherryPuducherrySikkim PakyongTamil NaduSalemUttarakhandPantnagar, PithoragarhChattisgarhBilaspur, JagdalpurUttar PradeshKushinagarList of airports with no night-landing facilities

India has over 100 operational airports and officials said that the airports not having night landing facilities are mostly those witnessing lower passenger traffic.

Airports Authority of India, which manages most of the airports in India, takes up a particular one for consideration for providing night landing facilities when airlines show interest during night operations. 

Airlines have to apply with the Airports Authority of India to facilitate night landing facility in a particular airport and then the process of offering the convenience starts.

As many as 23 operational airports in the country do not have night landing facilities.

The upgradation of airports, including the provision of night landing facility is a continuous process, which depends upon operational requirements, commercial feasibility, etc, and varies from airport to airport in the country, said the ministry of civil aviation in a recent Parliament reply.

The main requirement for night landing is that the runway approach lighting system which includes a series of light bars with strobe lights installed at the end of the runway.

Instrument Landing System (ILS)

The runway approach lighting system includes a series of light bars with strobe lights located at the end of the runway, which is the most essential requirement for night landing.

A runway with an Instrument Landing System (ILS) is served by such a system. If pilots cannot establish visual contact with the runway, ILS uses a variety of navigational aids to assist them in landing the plane.

Lighting along the runway edge is also vital for airport managers so that pilots landing at night can make visual contact and align their aircraft with the runway centre.

It is also important for airport operators to have lighting along the runway edge so that pilots landing at night can make visual contact and align the aircraft with the centre of the runway.

However, simply putting the technology in airports is insufficient. Airlines must also employ qualified pilots to make instrument-based landings and use aircraft that are compliant with the latest technologies. Most large airlines that often fly out of airports with low visibility do have the appropriate aircraft. However, they usually only train pilots who will be flying to these airports regularly.