SriLankan Strengthens Presence in South Kerala with New Office in Trivandrum

Abhishek Nayar

17 May 2024

SriLankan Airlines, the esteemed national carrier of Sri Lanka, took a significant stride forward on May 13, 2024, with the unveiling of its new office in Trivandrum. This momentous occasion heralds the commencement of a promising partnership with Translanka Air Travels Pvt. Ltd., appointed as the General Sales Agent (GSA) for South Kerala. The collaboration signifies the airline's resolute commitment to fortifying its footprint in Southern Kerala and elevating service standards for passengers from various regions including Pathanamthitta, Kollam, Varkala, Kovalam, Marthandam, Nagercoil, and Tirunelveli.

Historical Context

SriLankan Airlines embarked on its journey to Trivandrum in April 1980, marking its inaugural flights to the vibrant city. Since then, the airline has maintained steadfast connections between Trivandrum and Colombo, serving as a vital link between Southern Kerala and an array of global destinations. With a comprehensive network encompassing the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Male, Singapore, and more, SriLankan Airlines has been a catalyst for facilitating travel and fostering cultural exchange.

Commentary, Proximity and Popularity

Reflecting on this milestone, Dimuthu Tennakoon, Head of Worldwide Sales and Distribution of SriLankan Airlines, expressed gratitude for the unwavering support from the people of Southern Kerala. He underscored the airline's dedication to delivering exceptional service infused with the warmth of Sri Lankan hospitality. Tennakoon voiced confidence in the newfound partnership, envisioning an even brighter future for customer satisfaction and connectivity.

Sri Lanka's proximity to South Kerala renders it an enticing international destination for travelers seeking enriching experiences. The cultural affinity shared between the two regions, coupled with Sri Lanka's diverse offerings in cuisine, sights, and experiences, continues to captivate the hearts of visitors. The burgeoning influx of Indian tourists underscores Sri Lanka's growing allure as a preferred holiday destination.

Enhanced Service Delivery

Anticipating the evolving needs of customers in South Kerala and Trivandrum, SriLankan Airlines pledges a renewed focus on service excellence in collaboration with its new GSA and office. Fawzan Fareid, Regional Manager for India, Bangladesh, and Nepal of SriLankan Airlines, along with Sandun Jayasinghe, Area Manager Trivandrum, and B. Ramesh Kumar, Managing Director of Translanka Air Travels, joined forces to reaffirm the airline's enduring commitment to the region's discerning travelers.


As SriLankan Airlines embarks on this transformative journey, the inauguration of its new office in Trivandrum marks a significant milestone in its longstanding relationship with Southern Kerala. With a blend of tradition and innovation, the airline remains steadfast in its mission to connect people, cultures, and aspirations, ushering in a new era of seamless travel and boundless opportunities.

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Can Qantas' Expansion Bridge the Gap Between India and Australia?

Abhishek Nayar

17 May 2024

Qantas, the renowned national carrier of Australia, has made a significant announcement that could reshape travel between India and Australia. With a surge in demand anticipated over the peak holiday season, Qantas is gearing up to introduce additional flights from Bengaluru to Sydney, enhancing connectivity and convenience for travelers.

Expanding Horizons and Enhanced Travel Experience

Between mid-December 2024 and late March 2025, Qantas will boost its weekly flights from Bengaluru to Sydney from five to daily, presenting over 12,000 additional seats over the four-month period. This move comes in tandem with Qantas' existing services from Delhi to Melbourne, which currently operate three days a week. By expanding its flight network, Qantas aims to accommodate the growing interest in travel between India and Australia, particularly during the bustling holiday season.

Qantas takes pride in providing a premium travel experience for its passengers. The flights from India are operated using Airbus A330 aircraft, featuring 27 Business Class suites in a 1-2-1 configuration. These suites offer direct aisle access and can be converted into lie-flat beds, ensuring comfort during long-haul journeys. Moreover, Qantas includes checked baggage allowance, complimentary food and beverages, and inflight entertainment as standard offerings with every booking.

Tech-Savvy Travel and Industry Perspectives

In response to evolving passenger needs, Qantas has expedited its program to introduce 'fast and free' Wi-Fi across its international fleet, including A330 aircraft. This initiative aims to provide passengers with a seamless and reliable internet connection throughout their journey. The rollout of this service on flights between India and Australia is scheduled to commence next year, promising a more connected and enjoyable travel experience.

Cam Wallace, CEO of Qantas International, expressed optimism about the demand for travel between India and Australia, highlighting the importance of responding with additional flights to Sydney. This sentiment was echoed by Satyaki Raghunath, Chief Operating Officer of Bangalore International Airport, who emphasized the added convenience and flexibility these expansions bring to travelers from South and Central India.


As Qantas prepares to bolster its flight operations between India and Australia, the airline is poised to play a pivotal role in bridging the geographical gap between these two vibrant nations. With enhanced connectivity, premium services, and a commitment to meeting passenger demands, Qantas' expansion signifies a promising step towards fostering closer ties and facilitating seamless travel experiences for all.

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U.S. Carriers Clash with Government Over Fee Disclosure

Abhishek Nayar

15 May 2024

In a battle of transparency versus autonomy, major U.S. airlines are locking horns with the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) over a contentious new rule mandating upfront disclosure of airline fees. This clash represents the latest skirmish in an ongoing struggle between air carriers and the Biden administration, underscoring broader tensions within the aviation industry.

The Lawsuit and Government's Defense

A coalition of airlines, including heavyweights like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines, has taken legal action against the USDOT, challenging the legality and practicality of the new fee disclosure rule. Their lawsuit, filed in the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, alleges that the rule is arbitrary, confusing to consumers, and an overreach of governmental authority into private business operations.

However, the USDOT stands firm in defense of its rule, asserting that it aims to protect consumers from hidden fees and ensure transparency in airfare pricing. The department argues that the rule will ultimately benefit travelers by empowering them to make informed decisions and avoid unexpected expenses.

Impact on Consumers and Airline Opposition

The USDOT contends that consumers are currently overpaying hundreds of millions of dollars annually due to surprise fees imposed by airlines. By requiring upfront disclosure of fees for services like baggage and flight changes, the rule aims to eliminate "bait-and-switch" tactics and provide travelers with a clearer understanding of the true cost of their flights.

Despite the government's rationale, airlines argue that they already provide comprehensive fee disclosure to consumers before ticket purchase. They contend that the new rule is unnecessary and could potentially confuse travelers, leading to unintended consequences in an already complex marketplace.

Southwest Airlines' Stance and Financial Stakes

Interestingly, Southwest Airlines, a major player in the U.S. aviation industry, has opted not to join the legal challenge. While expressing support for certain aspects of the USDOT proposal, Southwest has chosen not to escalate the dispute through litigation, signaling a nuanced approach to regulatory compliance within the industry.

The outcome of this legal battle holds significant financial implications for both airlines and consumers. With billions of dollars in annual revenue generated from fees, airlines stand to either retain or potentially lose substantial income depending on the fate of the rule.


As the legal wrangling unfolds, the clash between U.S. airlines and the government underscores the complexities of balancing regulatory oversight with industry autonomy. Ultimately, the resolution of this dispute will shape the future landscape of air travel, influencing how consumers navigate the skies and how airlines conduct business in an era of heightened transparency.

With Inputs from Reuters

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Riyadh Air: A Rising Star in the Middle Eastern Skies

Abhishek Nayar

15 May 2024

Riyadh Air, the nascent Saudi carrier, has recently made waves in the aviation industry with its bold announcements at the Arabian Travel Market. With an aura of secrecy surrounding its operations, the airline has set tongues wagging and industry watchers on high alert. Let's delve into the details of Riyadh Air's strategic maneuvers and its ambitious journey ahead.

Securing the Future: Orders and Delivery Slots

In a strategic move that has left many intrigued, Riyadh Air's Chief Executive, Tony Douglas, tantalizingly revealed the airline's plans to secure a fleet of narrowbody and widebody aircraft. While the exact number remains undisclosed, Douglas hinted at a forthcoming revelation in the coming months. The airline has already secured delivery slots for its first order of narrowbody aircraft and is poised to place another order, this time focusing on widebodies, by 2025.

Network Expansion and Fleet Simplification

Vincent Coste, the Chief Commercial Officer of Riyadh Air, outlined the airline's ambitious expansion plans. With ticket sales slated to commence in January 2025 and operations set to take flight in June of the same year, Riyadh Air is gearing up to soar across the skies. The airline aims to establish a network spanning ten predominantly international destinations by the end of 2025, with plans to add approximately two new destinations per month throughout the decade.

Riyadh Air is charting a course towards operational efficiency by adopting a fleet strategy centered around simplicity. With an initial order of thirty-nine B787-9 Dreamliners placed in 2023, supplemented by options for an additional 33, the airline is committed to maintaining a streamlined fleet comprising just two aircraft types. This strategic decision is aimed at minimizing overhead costs and maximizing operational flexibility.

Navigating Challenges: Assurance from Industry Giants

As a startup with ambitious aspirations to operate 200 aircraft within its first five years and serve over 100 cities, Riyadh Air faces a myriad of challenges. Chief among them is the imperative to ensure timely delivery of aircraft from industry heavyweights Airbus and Boeing. Tony Douglas emphasized the airline's demand for utmost focus and assurance regarding delivery dates, underscoring the criticality of meeting its aggressive expansion targets.

Backed by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund

Riyadh Air's journey is bolstered by the unwavering support of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF). As the sole owner of the airline, PIF stands as a pillar of strength, providing the necessary financial backing and strategic guidance to propel Riyadh Air towards success.

Conclusion: A Skyward Trajectory

In an industry characterized by volatility and uncertainty, Riyadh Air emerges as a beacon of ambition and innovation. With a carefully crafted strategy, a commitment to operational excellence, and unwavering support from stakeholders, the airline is poised to carve out a prominent position in the Middle Eastern skies. As the countdown to its inaugural flight begins, all eyes are on Riyadh Air as it prepares to embark on its transformative journey.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

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Is Korean Air's Fleet Transitioning Towards the Future?

Abhishek Nayar

15 May 2024

Korean Air, one of Asia's prominent carriers, is embarking on a strategic journey of fleet renewal and expansion, as evidenced by recent developments in its aircraft acquisitions and disposals. With a keen eye on market trends and growth opportunities, the airline is positioning itself for a dynamic future in the aviation industry.

New Additions: B787-10s from Air Lease Corporation

Korean Air is eagerly anticipating the delivery of the first of ten Boeing B787-10s, sourced from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). This marks a significant step in the airline's fleet modernization efforts. The CEO of ALC, John L Plueger, confirmed this exciting development during an earnings call on May 8. The B787-10s are poised to enhance Korean Air's operational efficiency and passenger experience, aligning with the airline's commitment to excellence.

Diverse Portfolio: A Glimpse into Korean Air's Orders

The B787-10s are not the only aircraft on Korean Air's shopping list. The airline boasts a diverse portfolio of orders, reflecting its strategic vision and market insights. Among its outstanding orders are:

This comprehensive lineup underscores Korean Air's commitment to staying at the forefront of aviation innovation while catering to evolving passenger preferences and market demands.

ALC's Projections: Asia's Aircraft Demand

ALC's involvement in supplying aircraft to Korean Air aligns with its broader strategy of catering to the burgeoning demand for aviation assets in the Asian market. With Asia experiencing double-digit passenger growth in numerous markets, the region remains a hotspot for aircraft demand. By facilitating aircraft deliveries to esteemed carriers like Korean Air, ALC is tapping into this lucrative market segment, fostering mutual growth and success.

Fleet Optimization: Sale of B747-8s

In a strategic move towards fleet optimization, Korean Air has initiated the sale of five B747-8 aircraft to US aerospace firm Sierra Nevada Corporation. This transaction, valued at KRW 918.3 billion (USD 672 million), underscores Korean Air's commitment to its mid- to long-term fleet renewal and disposal plan. The sale, scheduled for completion in September 2025, reflects the airline's proactive approach to aligning its fleet with evolving market dynamics and operational requirements.


As Korean Air navigates the ever-changing landscape of the aviation industry, its recent endeavors highlight a strategic blend of expansion, renewal, and optimization. From the acquisition of cutting-edge aircraft to the divestment of older assets, the airline is laying the groundwork for sustained growth and competitiveness. With a clear focus on enhancing efficiency, passenger comfort, and operational flexibility, Korean Air is poised to soar to new heights in the dynamic aviation market.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

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The Turbulent Journey of Go First and the Stranded Engine Lessors

Abhishek Nayar

15 May 2024

The aviation industry, often a symbol of freedom and connectivity, is witnessing a saga of turbulence as Go First, formerly known as GoAir, grapples with insolvency proceedings. Amidst legal battles, creditor dilemmas, and regulatory interventions, the plight of engine lessors has taken center stage, underscoring the complexities within the sector.

Aircraft Deregistration Dilemma and Engine Lessors' Plea

The recent deferment by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) of Go First's insolvency case has exacerbated the woes of engine lessors. The tribunal's decision to postpone the hearing until July 11th stems from the need to dissect the ramifications of the Delhi High Court's directive to deregister all 54 aircraft leased to Go First by May 3, 2024.

Engine lessors find themselves in a precarious position, advocating for the deregistration of engines connected to the now-deregistered aircraft. Their argument hinges on the potential need for these engines to leave the country post-deregistration. This demand underscores the intricate web of legalities surrounding asset ownership and reclamation in aviation insolvency cases.

Resolution Professional's Conundrum

Amidst the legal quagmire, Go First's Resolution Professional faces mounting pressure. With the DGCA's compliance with the Delhi High Court order and the subsequent deregistration of aircraft, questions loom over the jurisdiction and efficacy of the resolution process. The lack of clarity regarding the future course of action only adds to the uncertainty looming over the airline's fate.

Looming Liquidation and Chronicle of Legal Battles

Speculations surrounding Go First's inevitable liquidation gain traction, fueled by reports indicating the airline's reluctance to challenge the Delhi High Court order. Lenders, resigned to the grim reality, foresee losses exacerbated by diminished asset values resulting from prolonged litigation and operational stagnation.

The genesis of Go First's insolvency saga dates back to May last year, triggering a protracted legal tussle involving lessors, lenders, and the resolution professional. The Delhi High Court's intervention in April this year, ordering the deregistration of leased planes, provided a glimmer of hope to lessors embroiled in a battle for asset repossession.

Regulatory Dynamics and Extensions

The saga unfolds against a backdrop of regulatory dynamics and extensions granted by the NCLT. While the Ministry of Corporate Affairs exempted aircraft-related arrangements from insolvency moratoriums, the NCLT granted extensions to Go First's insolvency process, offering temporary reprieves amidst the quagmire of legal entanglements.


The saga of Go First encapsulates the multifaceted challenges inherent in aviation insolvency proceedings. As stakeholders navigate through legal mazes, the plight of engine lessors serves as a poignant reminder of the intricate interplay between regulatory interventions, creditor dilemmas, and operational exigencies within the aviation industry. As the industry braces for further developments, the resolution of Go First's insolvency remains shrouded in uncertainty, emblematic of the turbulence gripping the skies.

With Inputs from Business Standard