Tata-owned Air India will bring back its 10 grounded wide-body aircraft to service by early 2023. The carrier announced on Sunday, August 7 that its wide-body fleet currently stands at 43 aircraft, of which 33 are operational.
The addition of wide-body planes will help Air India expand its fleet on long-haul international routes like India-US and India-Canada as aircraft have a bigger fuel tank.
In a view to expanding its network, Air India has planned to induct wide-body aircraft into its fleet.
Air India further added that it will also run daily flights between Delhi in India and Vancouver in Canada from August 31 onwards. Currently, it operates the Delhi-Vancouver service three times per week.
ALSO READ - Air India to increase its flight frequency between New Delhi and Vancouver
This enhancement in frequency on the Delhi-Vancouver route caters to growing traffic between India and Canada and has been enabled by the return to service of the wide-body Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft.
The increase of frequency on the Delhi-Vancouver route marks the first step in restoring Air India’s fleet and international network.
The increase in frequency between the Delhi-Vancouver route is the first step towards restoring Air India's fleet and network.
Following its acquisition by the Tata Group in January this year, Boeing has been working closely with Air India to restore aircraft that had been grounded for prolonged periods due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other reasons.
"The progressive restoration of these aircraft has already allowed Air India to increase schedule resilience and will allow further frequency and network increases over the coming months."Airline said in a statement.
In the last week of July, Wilson had asked the airline's integrated operations control centre (IOCC), which is the "nerve centre" of any carrier, to report directly to him and give recommendations on how to improve the on-time performance.
Vistara leases B787 Dreamliner to increase international flights operations
08 Aug 2022
08 Aug 2022
Full-service airline Vistara is inducting the third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner into its fleet. The Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture plans to use the new aircraft to increase its flight frequency to Frankfurt and Paris from October 30, 2022.
Vistara is looking to operate six weekly flights between Delhi and Frankfurt and five weekly flights between Delhi and Paris from October 30 this year. It has also opened bookings for additional flights.
ALSO READ - Vistara in talks with lessors to fill the long-haul gap in the wake of B787 delays
Earlier in March, Vistara CEO Vinod Kannan told Reuters that the domestic airline was in talks with lessors for long-haul aircraft to bridge the gap left by Boeing 787 deliveries.
Vistara leases B787 Dreamliner to increase international flights operations
ALSO READ - FAA halts B787 deliveries due to structural issues
Vistara had to take the plane on the lease because Boeing had not delivered four more Dreamliner planes to it for two years. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US aviation regulator, wants Boeing to make rectifications in Dreamliner's production line before restarting the deliveries.
In the past week, Boeing has received preliminary clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to resume deliveries after going over a year without any.
ALSO READ - Boeing to resume 787 Dreamliner deliveries
Boeing last delivered a Dreamliner in May 2021 and hopes to restart deliveries this year and clear a backlog of 115 already-built aircraft.
Vistara had to take the plane on the lease because Boeing had not delivered four more Dreamliner planes to it for two years.
Vistara had ordered six Dreamliner planes in 2018 but has received only two from Boeing. The second plane was delivered in August 2020. Since then, it has been waiting for the other Dreamliners to boost its international flight operations.
Dreamliner is a wide-bodied aircraft with a bigger fuel tank that allows it to easily operate on long-haul international routes. Vistara Dreamliners have a business, premium economy and economy cabins.
The third Dreamliner being inducted aircraft will also feature fully-flat business class seats, each with direct aisle access, and a separate premium economy cabin.
Vistara Dreamliners have a business, premium economy and economy cabins.
In a press release, Vistara said it will be increasing its number of flights to Frankfurt in Germany and Paris in France as it "gears up to receive its third Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which has been leased recently".
ALSO READ - Vistara plans to add 8 routes and 14 aircraft in FY23
“Europe has been a key focus market for us since the very beginning, and we are glad that our customers appreciate our offerings on these long-haul routes. We have been wanting to ramp up frequencies on these sectors and we are delighted to be able to finally do that.”Deepak Rajawat, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara
At the time, Vistara had around 50 aircraft, including two 787-9s received before the delivery suspension and a mix of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body airliners. The plan is to take 20 more aircraft by 2023-end for domestic and close international destinations.
ALSO READ - Vistara plans to expand international operations as air travel demand picks up
Vistara had around 50 aircraft, including two 787-9s received before the delivery suspension and a mix of Airbus and Boeing narrow-body airliners.
Earlier in May this year, Vistara increased its frequencies from Delhi-London and Mumbai-Singapore besides increasing frequencies in its other international and domestic routes.
The seven-year-old company is looking at expanding its global footprint as a “priority” but has not yet made a profit. This is the first Dreamliner aircraft leased by Vistara.
ALSO READ - Vistara CEO on B787 aircraft leasing, airfare hike and fare caps at IATA AGM
The airline's losses narrowed last fiscal year, and Kannan said he had seen a further improvement until February when fuel prices spiked. While demand is growing and airfares are moving higher, it will be difficult to offset higher fuel costs and the burden of a depreciating rupee.
How satellite technology and optimization of flight operations could be key in decarbonizing air travel
08 Aug 2022
08 Aug 2022
As a part of the Paris agreement, countries around the world agreed to pursue efforts to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels, to reach the ambitious goal of net zero emissions by 2050.
How do we get to net zero emissions by 2050?
Climate pledges by governments to date, even if fully achieved, would fall well short of what is required to bring global energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to net zero by 2050 and give the world an even chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °Caccording to a new report, Net Zero by 2050: a roadmap for the Global Energy Sector
Representative | Shell Global
With the advent of science and technology, numerous propositions have been put forward to the fore with aviation doing its best to transition from fossil-based fuels to more sustainable options.
That said, a new whitepaper by Inmarsat and award-winning aviation journalist Elan Head highlights that the number of practical, immediately-viable options is limited to only two: either simply reduce flying or optimise the efficiency of flight operations.
It is a fact that the aviation industry is one of the trickiest to decarbonize due to the lack of suitable alternatives for fossil fuels in the market. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), hydrogen and batteries all hold promise for achieving deeper emission reductions in the long-term, but will not be available at the required scale in the near or medium-term.
Representative | Department of Energy
According to IATA, 1.8 gigatons of carbon will need to be mitigated given the aviation industry’s projected scale in 2050, which requires trillions of dollars in investments across the value chain.
Inmarsat’s latest report - ‘Plotting the route to a greener future, explores the important role that connectivity can play in boosting the efficiency of individual flight operations and the wider air traffic system as a whole.
It also vouches for the fact that airlines can leverage satellite communications to maximise fuel-saving opportunities and cut emissions almost immediately while laying the groundwork for future decarbonisation.
Representative | Inmarsat
The aviation industry has long been focused on sustainability and its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 should be applauded. There is also a clear understanding that action cannot be limited to the long-term, as advancements in sustainable fuel technologies and avionics will take time to evolve. Therefore, it is vital that the industry explores measures that are readily available today, such as utilising the power of satellite connectivity to optimise flight operations. As a key partner of the aviation industry, Inmarsat is pioneering a range of new innovations that support decarbonisation, including our Iris programme to modernise air traffic management, leading to a range of fuel, CO2 and congestion-saving benefits. This is a prime example of how we can use technology at our disposal today to make a better tomorrowNiels Steenstrup, Deputy President of Inmarsat Aviation, said
Niels Steenstrup | Source
According to the research paper, utilising satellite communication technology for operational and infrastructure gains may seem like small measures, but the need for airlines and the wider industry to commit to such initiatives is integral to meeting the 2050 net zero emissions target. Furthermore, it can be implemented in a much faster timeframe than advancements in airframe and engine technologies.
Representative | ALG Newspaper Shaping Future
Inmarsat’s Iris programme delivers high-bandwidth, cost-effective satellite-based data link communications across Europe. This ground-breaking air traffic management programme, with the European Space Agency (ESA), is a key component of modernising and digitalising the aviation industry.
Powered by SB-S, Inmarsat’s award-winning broadband platform for the cockpit, Iris uses secure IP connectivity to relieve pressure on congested VHF radio links, which are near capacity. This supports the Single European Skies ATM Research (SESAR) master plan for next-generation air traffic management and creates several powerful benefits for airlines and Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) across Europe, such as minimising flight delays, saving fuel and reducing the environmental impact of air travel.
In addition to exploring how creative future innovations such as contrail avoidance and formation flying could also be key to driving aviation’s decarbonisation, the report also features demonstrates that air traffic management modernisation has the potential to influence roughly 10% of European aviation emissions, and how the provision of winds uplink to all flights could result in annual global fuel savings of around 850 million litres and two million tonnes in CO2 emissions.
Gurugram-based Big Charter Private Ltd, which operates regional airline FlyBig from Gondia to three places, will stop bookings from August 21, according to an official. FlyBig operates services from Gondia in Maharashtra to Indore, Hyderabad and Aurangabad.
Ratan Ambhore, Regional Head (Operations) of FlyBig, told PTI that the planes engaged in the services were going for 'C check' and that the services will resume in September or October. 'C check' involves an extensive inspection, repair and maintenance of the aircraft. There were reports that the airline was planning to shut down but Ambhore denied any such plan.
Under the government's regional air connectivity scheme UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik), the services were started from Gondia's Birsi Airport on March 13. According to Ambhore, local officials were not providing the preferred parking slot to FlyBig planes.
ALSO READ - FlyBig Airlines to begin services between Indore-Gondia-Hyderabad from March
Speaking to PTI, Ambhore said that on the first day the Birsi Airport management allowed the FlyBig planes to be parked near the lounge.
"After that despite several requests made by us given the convenience to senior citizens and physically disabled people but the management citing one or the other reason disallowed the planes to be parked near the lounge.Despite all the difficulties, the airline is ready to continue with the operations and would resume the operations after getting back the planes after their 'C check'. The number of planes with the airline was not available."Ratan Ambhore, Regional Head (Operations), FlyBig
Flybig is a regional carrier based in India. The airline commenced operations in December 2020 with the launch of a twice-weekly Delhi-Shillong service. It is promoted by Gurugram-based Big Charter Private Limited. It is focused on connecting tier-2 cities within India.
One might have perhaps, seen it fly out of the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, or even to the more mysterious Area 51 in the USA. Those planes in red and white livery are apparently a highly classified fleet of passenger aircraft operated for the United States Department of the Air Force as an employee shuttle to transport military and contractor employees to Special Access Facilities (SAPF).
Reportedly, the planes communicate with McCarran Departure Control using specific call signs on take-off and switch frequencies and call signs once they cross Area 51 airspace.
Area 51 | Representative | WIRED
Janet, sometimes also called as Janet Airlines, is the unofficial name given to it by those who have investigated it for decades.
The fleet's "Janet" call sign is said to stand for "Just Another Non-Existent Terminal" or "Joint Air Network for Employee Transportation.
From the vault
If you go back in history, there seems to be some sort of connection between the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting massacre and a classified "Janet" operations- In addition to targeting the concertgoers, the gunman had also targeted aviation fuel tanks at the nearby Harry Reid International Airport- suggesting a possible relation between the two.
Janet Airlines made its maiden flight in 1972.
News from the Couch
Very little is known about the organisation and its operations due to the airline's secretive nature.
It is operated for the USAF by infrastructure and defence contractor AECOM through AECOM's acquisition in 2014 of URS Corporation, which acquired EG&G Technical Services in 2002, as derived from URS's history of providing this service to the Air Force and job openings published by URS.
For example, in 2010, URS announced it would be hiring Boeing 737 flight attendants to be based in Las Vegas, requiring applicants to undergo a Single Scope Background Investigation to be able to obtain a security clearance. More recently, AECOM has posted similar openings.
Shrouded in secrecy
They are touted to have six Boeing 737-600s, two Beechcraft 1900s, and three Beechcraft 200Cs. The fuselages have been spotted in white colour and a red stripe throughout its length.
If reports are anything to go by, the Boeing 737-600 aircraft originally belonged to Air China's fleet except N273RH and N365SR which were previously operated by the now defunct China Southwest Airlines before being acquired for US Air Force operations starting in 2008.
Representative | Area 51 Miscellaneous
Reportedly, everyone who has access to Janet, including flight attendants and pilots is said to receive highly secret security clearances. Reportedly, the application process is daunting, requiring the applicants to divulge the tiniest of details.
After careful scrutiny of their personal lives, the final step of the hiring comes down to a polygraph test.
Janet airlines boards at a special part of Harry Reid International Airport. They board planes at the airport's west side, next to the Janet Airlines passenger parking lot. There is also a small terminal building for passengers.
According to a published report by Popular Mechanics, the terminal's parking lot fills up with hundreds of cars every day and by evening, the entire lot is empty.
Janet Airlines combines two aspects of US intelligence which have been little investigated. On the one hand, there is the logistics aspect. A large part of the intelligence force in the United States can be attributed to the power of its logistics, and I am referring to those who are dedicated to transporting personnel, making communications secure or install safe houses all over the world said Joseph Fitsanakis, professor of Intelligence and National Security Studies of the Coastal Carolina University of South Carolina
Joseph Fitsanakis | Rieas
Area 51, located in Nevada, is notorious for conspiracy theories surrounding US government activities and extra-terrestrial life. As spooky as it may sound, every time Janet flies over Area 51 airspace, it reportedly switches off tracking and communication transponders. Apparently, it also flies to other destinations where it doesn't switch off the transponders.
The airspace-Airspace 4808 North-is one of the most highly protected in the world and military fighter jets are authorized to shoot down any trespassers. Janet however, has a free pass, in and out.
Representative | Quora
From what is known, Janet has only one mission - to transport personnel from the Las Vegas airport to the Nevada test grounds, which are supervised by the United States Department of Energy.
This is because the DOE is in charge of any facility in which to carry out tests with nuclear material. The terminal where Janet Airlines operates is always full, and all these people are not just Air Force personnel. Many DOE scientists are transported to the test fields. The DOE works surrounded by secrets, as evidenced by the fact that so little is known about Nevada’s proving grounds, which were under its supervision from the outset, just like the nuclear programsSays Fitsanakis
Janet Airlines Boeing 737-600 [N288DP] Takeoff from LAS to Area 51 | LAX Videography and Spotting
In the history of its operations up until today, Janet has recorded only one accident, when in 2004 the aircraft crashed as it approached Tonopah Test Range after the pilot had a heart attack. Nobody survived.
Celebrating the second anniversary of its long-haul operations, Vistara has announced ‘Dawat-e-Awadh’ – a special meal festival, on board all its long-haul flights, from 05 August to 31 August 2022. Customers flying Vistara from India to London, Paris and Frankfurt will be offered flavourful Awadhi delicacies, in response to popular demand for regional favourites on these flights.
The special menu includes several vegetarian and non-vegetarian Awadhi dishes such as Zafrani Pulao, Dum ka Paneer, Murg Handi Korma, and Aloo Bukhara Kofta, Achari Murg Khurchan with Khamiri Roti etc. and indulgent desserts like Shahi Tukda and Matka Kulfi.
Menus are designed to reflect Indian dining at its Best.
Drawing upon the rich culinary diversity of India, Vistara’s inflight meal menus are thoughtfully designed to reflect contemporary Indian dining at its best. The airline regularly refreshes its inflight F&B offerings, so that returning passengers always have something new to look forward to.
"At Vistara, It is the perfect occasion for us to celebrate with our clients. We have often received very positive feedback on Indian regional favourite meals from our customers. ‘Dawat-e-Awadh’ is designed to create a memorable gastronomic experience for our customers onboard India’s finest full-service carrier."Mr. Deepak Rajawat, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara
In a short period, Vistara has raised the bar for operations and service standards in the Indian aviation industry to become the country’s most loved airline and has crossed the mark of flying 35 million passengers.
Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier, is on an expansion spree of its Network on International Routes.
Vistara started its long-haul operations, with direct connectivity between Delhi and London Heathrow, in August 2020. Today, the airline has announced direct connectivity to and from several international destinations including Bangkok, Dhaka, Dubai, Frankfurt, Jeddah, Kathmandu, London Heathrow, Paris and Singapore.
TATA SIA Airlines Limited is known by the brand name Vistara which is a 51:49 joint venture between Tata Sons Private Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA).
Vistara started its commercial operations on January 9, 2015, and has a fleet of 53 aircraft, including 41 Airbus A320, five Airbus A321neo, five Boeing 737-800NG and two Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and has flown more than 35 million customers since starting operations.