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Air India News -- Part 34
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Caliguy
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Caliguy wrote:

Let’s see how HYD-ORD does. I think the flight going nonstop is 100% Covid related. They can charge the premium needed because of the air bubble. Otherwise, I think ORD-DEL-HYD works because DEL offers the premium needed for a nonstop (plus a huge northern Indian catchment area and tier 2/3 connections). HYD is a great add on because it provides good bulk to fill the back. Remember Chicago is not some HYD/Andhra super city. AI happens to offer a super convenient connection to HYD from ORD (there is not as much options ORD-HYD then say ORD-BOM)


As a matter of fact, Telugus do account for a substantial fraction of the Indian community in Chicago and the Illinois area. So it is very much a HYD/Andhra super city. I won't at all be surprised if the AI ORD-DEL-HYD gets most of its revenue (both in the front and back) from HYD/Andhra passengers and DEL is included only as a crew change stopover.

Actually, AI should introduce an A320 service between HYD and Vijaywada to connect with the HYD-ORD flight. The Krishna/Guntur/East Godavari region accounts for a very large fraction of the US based Telugu diaspora.


I meant that the ORD Indian population is not dominant by Telegus in the way Gujarati and Punjabis dominated many US/UK/Canada cities in the 70/80s (and they are not even close to 50% of the Indian population there). ORD just has less competition going to India then NYC, BOS, IAD and HYD has fewer non ME3 options. This really helped AI. Btw your point about Vijaywada is well taken. All Telegus aren’t headed to HYD or even a Telegu majority area. Just like all Gujaratis aren’t going to AMD. ORD-HYD will not survive post air bubble. ORD-DEL provides seamless connections in India to the huge Indian diaspora in Chicago (it is now the third largest DMA after NYC and SF metro areas). I wish more cities in India had nonstops to the US. But VFR will not drive ultra long US nonstops. High paying business pax will (which today mostly means US origin finance and tech pax). HYD doesn’t seem to have a lot of high J travelers (probably because HYD based multinational employees are flying Y or Prem Y).
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Breaking news....

Tata Group Mulls Air India Buyout With Singapore Airlines

Tata Sons is currently in discussions with Singapore Airlines (SIA) regarding a proposed bid for Air India. The group is looking to waive a non-compete clause and partner with the carrier through their existing venture Vistara. The Economic Times shares that Tata has made a decision in principle to bid for the flag carrier of India. Even though Singapore Airlines will likely give its consent to the proposal, Tata may be ready to go ahead regardless, according to the report.

Finally....Let's hope this comes through.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Caliguy wrote:

Let’s see how HYD-ORD does. I think the flight going nonstop is 100% Covid related. They can charge the premium needed because of the air bubble. Otherwise, I think ORD-DEL-HYD works because DEL offers the premium needed for a nonstop (plus a huge northern Indian catchment area and tier 2/3 connections). HYD is a great add on because it provides good bulk to fill the back. Remember Chicago is not some HYD/Andhra super city. AI happens to offer a super convenient connection to HYD from ORD (there is not as much options ORD-HYD then say ORD-BOM)


As a matter of fact, Telugus do account for a substantial fraction of the Indian community in Chicago and the Illinois area. So it is very much a HYD/Andhra super city. I won't at all be surprised if the AI ORD-DEL-HYD gets most of its revenue (both in the front and back) from HYD/Andhra passengers and DEL is included only as a crew change stopover.

Actually, AI should introduce an A320 service between HYD and Vijaywada to connect with the HYD-ORD flight. The Krishna/Guntur/East Godavari region accounts for a very large fraction of the US based Telugu diaspora.


AI has flights from DEL to Vijayawada and offers connection to the ORD flight. Better to connect from DEL rather than HYD. Also Telugus and other Indians as well are now moving to DFW, Silicon Valley, ATL areas and growing more than ORD area, which does still have substantial population, but growth is limited.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2020/nov/29/air-india-plans-to-operate-non-stop-flights-on-chennai-to-london-route-from-january-2021-2229620.html

Air India plans to operate non-stop flights on Chennai to London route from January 2021

29th November 2020

Air India is planning to operate non-stop flights on the Chennai-London route from January next year, making Tamil Nadu's capital the ninth city to be connected with the British capital.

Air India is currently operating non-stop flights to London from Delhi (seven flights a week), Mumbai (four flights a week), Kochi (three flights a week), Ahmedabad (two flights a week), Bengaluru (two flights a week), Goa (two flights a week), Kolkata (one flight a week) and Amritsar (one flight a week), an airline spokesperson said.

Asked how has been the occupancy rate in its London flights after the coronavirus-induced lockdown, the spokesperson said the "load factors have been generally good".

"Some of the stations like Delhi, Kochi, Goa and Ahmedabad have seen quite a heavy demand (for London flights)," the spokesperson said.

"We have plans to commence direct operations between Chennai and London from January, 2021," the spokesperson said.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/98158-209-employees-to-bid-for-air-india

209 employees to bid for Air India

07.12.2020

A group of 209 employees is preparing a bid for Air India in a partnership with an unnamed equity fund, IANS news agency has reported.

Commercial Director Meenakshi Mallik leads the group of employees. According to a leaked internal memo, each of the 209 participating staff members will be asked to contribute up to INR100,000 rupees (USD1,355) with the financial partner providing the bid's balance. The total value of the bid was not disclosed. The financing structure details are to be revealed once the consortium is approved in the first stage of bidding.

"Financially, I know that we do not have the necessary wherewithal to participate in this bid process alone. We have accordingly searched out for and sought to secure the support of a private equity fund who will invest in the company with us and share the benefit," Mallik said.

If successful, the employees would collectively own a 51% stake in the carrier with the fund owning the remaining 49% of shares.

Mallik underlined that no financial contributions from staff members would be collected unless the bid is approved.

Following multiple postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government set the deadline for bids for the debt-ridden flag carrier for December 14, 2020. Investors will be able to wholly-own Air India. While no confirmed bids have been placed yet, Tata Sons has expressed a preliminary interest in regaining Air India's ownership.

Currently, the carrier is wholly state-owned.

After the news of the potential staff bid broke, two pilot unions, the Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (IPCA) and the Indian Pilots’ Guild (IPG) issued a public appeal to their members not to participate in the process due to disagreements over salaries.

"All pilots are advised not to acknowledge or participate in the process initiated by the management official till the disproportionate 70% pay cut for pilots vis-à-vis Air India’s top management officials (10%) is addressed. Also, there is no clarity on the payment of the illegally withheld 25% arrears due to the pilots to date," the unions said in a letter quoted by The Hindustan Times.

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Caliguy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So from my search of schedules, it looks like ORD-HYD AI nonstop will function 1 day a week on Wednesday's and HYD-ORD on Fridays. This is not some dramatic shift or big repositioning for HYD. Although definitely shows there is demand and is a great first step. AI is wisely giving VFR traffic the opportunity to pool demand on a nonstop. A great COVID compromise. Btw the schedule seems odd. One wed there is a DEL-ORD flight but only a ORD-HYD on the return. On fridays there are both DEL & HYD-ORD and then two DEL-ORD flights - one afternoon and one evening departure. So looks like this is a net add of one flight for AI’s ORD to India flights. UA’s ORD-DEL is also live mid Jan when AI’s flights are.

Those in the know please correct me if I got the schedule wrong.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caliguy wrote:
So from my search of schedules, it looks like ORD-HYD AI nonstop will function 1 day a week on Wednesday's and HYD-ORD on Fridays. This is not some dramatic shift or big repositioning for HYD. Although definitely shows there is demand and is a great first step. AI is wisely giving VFR traffic the opportunity to pool demand on a nonstop. A great COVID compromise. Btw the schedule seems odd. One wed there is a DEL-ORD flight but only a ORD-HYD on the return. On fridays there are both DEL & HYD-ORD and then two DEL-ORD flights - one afternoon and one evening departure. So looks like this is a net add of one flight for AI’s ORD to India flights. UA’s ORD-DEL is also live mid Jan when AI’s flights are.

Those in the know please correct me if I got the schedule wrong.


Yes it appears that HYD-ORD-HYD is a weekly service and there are no flights on ORD-DEL on Wednesday on Air India. However it has been reported as twice weekly ? They can only expect to get only some VFR passengers. Generally weekly flights dont last especially when there are numerous 1 stop services.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DRDO will acquire six smaller A-320 variants from the existing Air India fleet, get the airframes modified, and then mount the radars on them.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/india-plans-major-indigenous-project-for-six-powerful-eyes-in-the-sky-awacs/articleshow/79766365.cms
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The former Air India 707-300C VT-DXT "Trishul" still going strong for the Indian Air Force, seen yesterday at Delhi.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2020 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/98482-air-india-loses-18mn-london-court-case-against-lessor

Air India loses $18mn London court case against lessor

17.12.2020

The High Court of Justice in London has sided with Chinese lessor CALC and ordered Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) to pay around GBP13.4 million pounds (USD18.1 million) for allegedly failing to meet lease and maintenance payments.

In a ruling transmitted virtually to a commercial court in New Delhi on December 11, judge Simon Salzedo in London took note of the aviation crisis and allowed the airline a payment deadline of January 11 instead of demanding an immediate outlay, provided that it pays USD5 million of the total sum by December 31, the financial daily Mint reported.

The lessor sued the debt-laden flag carrier for failing to pay dues on five A320-200s delivered in 2015. Salzedo delivered a strong rebuke to Air India for “unsatisfactory and discourteous” conduct by not engaging with the legal process in a timely manner.

Air India’s current fleet of 124 aircraft includes nine A320ceo, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows, five of which emanate from CALC on a 12-year lease. It is not clear exactly when it stopped paying the lease fees, but the ruling indicated non-payment this year due to Covid-related financial issues.

The counsel for CALC had sought immediate payment, arguing that as a state-owned carrier Air India could obtain the funds from the Indian government.

Air India countered that it did not dispute the payments, but while it had managed to renegotiate lease payment schedules with other lessors, talks with CALC had been unproductive. It had asked the court for a payment deadline of January 29 to avoid disruptions to its UK and Europe operations over the Christmas and New Year period.

In related news, Air India has been preparing to raise a further INR10 billion rupees (USD136 million) to complete fundraising of about INR61.5 billion (USD836 million) in short-term loans from local lenders, two unnamed sources told Mint.

As previously reported, the proceeds of the government-guaranteed loans will be used to refinance comparatively expensive foreign-currency bridge loans taken to buy six B787-8s and one B777-300(ER). An initial tender document aimed at domestic lenders was released on November 11.

“The airline has completed raising six of the seven tranches, with the last remaining tranche expected to be completed in the coming week,” one of the sources told the newspaper on December 7. “The exercise is being carried out to retire high-cost debt.”

Air India has offered B787s, B777s, and other aircraft as collateral for the loans, which will be repaid after one year. It currently operates twenty-seven B787-8s, at least six of which are owned, and thirteen B777-300(ER)s, all of which are owned. It also operates three owned B777-200(LR)s.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/98563-govt-to-convert-six-air-india-jets-for-aewc-missions

Gov't to convert six Air India jets for AEW&C missions

19.12.2020

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), a state-run defence company, will convert six unspecified aircraft operated by Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) into airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) units, for deployment specifically near India's borders with China and Pakistan, Hindi-language broadcaster Aaj Tak has reported.

According to sources, the project will cost INR105 billion rupees (USD1.4 billion). The six aircraft will be acquired from Air India and modified in Europe before being placed with the Indian Air Force (IFC, Delhi Int'l).

“The six AEW&C block two planes would be [more] highly capable than their predecessor NETRA plane and provide 360-degree coverage deep inside the enemy territory during missions. The government is expected to clear the project soon,” government sources told ANI.

Currently, the Indian Air Force operates three EMB-145SMs as its AEW&C platforms. The three Embraer regional jets were acquired by the air force directly from the manufacturer and delivered in 2012 (two) and 2015 (one), the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows. The air force also has one Il-76A-50EI for electronic warfare. The 16-year-old quadjet was also delivered directly to India.

In 2015, India ordered two A330s from Airbus for conversion into AEW&C aircraft by DRDO. In 2017, the order was increased by an additional four units to a total of six. However, sources indicated that in light of converting six of Air India's aircraft into airborne early warning and control units, the transaction with Airbus could be scrapped.

Earlier this week, France proposed selling India six A330 multi-role transport tankers, which are around five to seven years old and would come with a 30-year life guarantee, as part of a wide-ranging aerial defence package.

Air India does not operate any A330s. According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, its fleet comprises twenty-one A319-100s, nine A320-200s, twenty-seven A320-200Ns, twenty A321-200s, four B747-400s, three B777-200(LR)s, thirteen B777-300(ER)s, and twenty-seven B787-8s.

Neither Air India nor the DRDO responded to ch-aviation's request for more information.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/98717-air-indias-new-owner-to-be-allowed-to-cut-fleet-report

Air India’s new owner to be allowed to cut fleet - report

28.12.2020

India’s government is likely to make it easier for the new owner of heavily indebted Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) to cut its fleet size by selling off surplus aircraft currently inactive, anonymous officials told the Business Standard newspaper.

By extension, this would also mean being allowed to lay off significant numbers of employees, even though the airline’s privatisation rules say that the new owner will have to guarantee employment to the workforce.

“Looking at the prevailing conditions acting as a drag on the aviation sector, the new entity acquiring AI will be allowed to sell a few aircraft or return them to lessors. They are anyway grounded due to lack of demand. With some aircraft sold, the manpower requirement too will drop. Proportionately, there can be some layoffs,” Business Standard quoted an official as saying.

Air India is understood to have been pruning its staff numbers this year in preparation for the sale, but according to media reports the flag carrier together with its subsidiaries Air India Express (100% for sale in the privatisation like its parent) and engineering unit Air India Air Transport Services Ltd. (50% for sale) have around 9,500 permanent employees with an additional 19,000 on temporary contracts.

A preliminary memorandum puts the number of permanent employees per aircraft at Air India at 133, and 55 at Air India Express.

In total, the carrier operates 124 aircraft at least 43 of which are leased, and 27 of the fleet is currently inactive, the ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows.

In total, the fleet includes twenty-one A319-100s, nine A320-200s, twenty-seven A320-200neo, twenty A321-200s, four B747-400s, three B777-200(LR)s, thirteen B777-300(ER)s, and twenty-seven B787-8s. Also, Air India Express operates twenty-four B737-800s, eight of which are leased.

Another subsidiary, Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l), which is not included in the privatisation deal, operates one ATR42-300 and eighteen ATR72-600 turboprops. Almost all of the aircraft in the subsidiaries are currently active.

If demand does not improve enough for the mainline carrier to reactivate all of its aircraft, the official said, it would be unviable to operate them, and rules to retain them would be relaxed.

The successful bidder will also gain control of 4,400 domestic and 1,800 international landing and parking slots at domestic airports plus 900 slots at airports overseas, Business Standard reported.

With the bids now in, the Indian government will announce a shortlist by December 28. Investors will then be notified by January 6 whether they qualify for the next stage, in which they will have to submit financial proposals.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/atmanirbhar-udan-alliance-air-to-operate-hals-made-in-india-dorniers-for-passenger-flights/articleshow/80670736.cms

Alliance Air to operate HAL's made-in-India dorniers for passenger flights

Feb 3, 2021

In a first for Indian carriers, Alliance Air (AA) will soon be using a made-in-India aircraft for scheduled passenger flights. AA is inducting two Dornier 228 turboprops manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to its fleet and hopes to start commercial flights on them by this March.

AA, currently a part of Air India group as its regional turboprop arm, is not being sold off with the Maharaja. The government is divesting its stake in AI and AI Express. AA will continue to remain state-owned even after the Maharaja is sold off.

This 19-seater aircraft was exclusively used by defence forces and was authorised for civilian use in 2018. With a list price of Rs 50-55 crore, HAL says it compares favorably with similar size turboprops made abroad for operating short routes under the government’s ambitious regional connectivity UDAN scheme.

AA CEO Harpreet A De Singh said: "In line with our PM's vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Alliance Air will be the first airline in the country to fly HAL's made in India aircraft, Dornier 228. The MoU will be signed at the Aero India on Friday (Feb 5) between us and HAL. I look forward to leading Alliance Air with the vision of our PM and make it Atmanirbhar (by) operating made in India aircraft."

The non-pressurised Dornier 228 has a lavatory and an air-conditioned cabin which is capable of day and night operations.

The HAL website describes its 19-seater Dornier 228 as “highly versatile multi-purpose light transport aircraft… developed specifically to meet the manifold requirements of utility and commuter transport, third level services and air-taxi operations, coast guard duties and maritime surveillance” apart from air ambulances.

The non-pressurised plane has maximum cruise speed of 428 kmph and a range of 700 km.

HAL has a capacity to assemble about 12 Dornier 228 annually at its Kanpur facility and can up to double the number of planes churned out as per demand.

A senior HAL official had earlier told TOI that regional operators -- the potential customers for this aircraft -- face an issue with the desi passenger plane.

“India as of now does not have companies providing sale and lease back (SLB) for planes. Our airlines do SLB for their planes which makes it viable for them to induct planes. Many people approaching us want to take the SLB route. We have approached Indian banks to start this facility,” the official had said after Dornier was allowed to be used for passenger flights in 2018.

HAL is also examining the possibility making amphibious plane which can land both on land and water.



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/100308-indias-alliance-air-to-add-two-do228s

Alliance Air to add two Do228s

08.02.2021

Alliance Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering two Do228s with Hindustan Aeronautics, an Indian manufacturer which has been producing the Dornier turboprops under licence since 1983.

The regional unit of Air India hopes to shortly take delivery of the two aircraft and launch their commercial operations in March 2021. Alliance Air will use the Do228s to develop thinner regional routes where demand is insufficient for its Avions de Transport Régional turboprops under the government's RCS/UDAN subsidization scheme.

Alliance Air will become the Do228's first Indian commercial operator, as well as the first commercial operator of the wholly-Indian-built variant. The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that India's armed forces are prolific operators of the Do228: the Indian Air Force has 52 units while the Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy have 25 each.

An unnamed source at Hindustan Aeronautics told The Times of India that the manufacturer was working with Indian banks to develop domestic sale-and-leaseback schemes, which could entice more carriers to add Do228s. The manufacturer is also working on an amphibious variant to respond to nascent demand for seaplanes in India. The passenger variant was certified in India in 2018.

The commitment was signed during the ongoing Aero India 2021 trade show at the Yelahanka Air Force Base near Bangalore.

Alliance Air currently operates eighteen ATR72-600s and a single ATR42-300. It flies under its own code rather than exclusively on behalf of Air India. Unlike its parent, it has not been earmarked for privatisation.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://m.timesofindia.com/business/india-business/boeing-747-will-remain-an-integral-part-of-our-fleet-says-air-india/articleshow/81413431.cms

Boeing 747 will remain an integral part of our fleet, says Air India

March 9, 2021

Air India is not retiring the Boeing 747s and the jumbo jets “will continue to remain an integral part" of its fleet, the airline said in a statement.

“It has been reported that Air India is set to retire its Boeing 747 aircraft from its fleet and will be operating its last flight tomorrow (March 10)…. B747 will continue to remain an integral part of our fleet,” AI tweeted on Tuesday.

TOI story on Monday had said AI is considering / planning to phasing out the jumbo jets and did not talk about any date for the last flight by this aircraft.

It had quoted a senior official as saying, “We are planning to phase out the jumbo jets. The final decision will be taken by AI board, possibly in its next meeting.”

Comments had been sought from AI and were awaited till filing the story on Monday night.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/101433-air-india-denies-plans-to-retire-b747-400s

Air India denies plans to retire B747-400s

11.03.2021

In response to a number of articles in the Indian media, Air India has issued a statement denying plans to retire its fleet of B747-400s in the near-term.

"The B747 will continue to remain an integral part of our fleet," the airline said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air India currently operates four B747-400s, although three of them have been in storage since last year. The only unit active in 2021, VT-EVB (msn 28094), has been parked at Delhi Int'l airport since February 28, 2021, prompting rumours that the Boeing quadjets would not return to service.

According to the ch-aviation schedules module, Air India does not plan to operate any scheduled flights with the B747s through March 28, 2021. After that, the aircraft are scheduled to be deployed on select services between India and Saudi Arabia, as well as between Mumbai Int'l and Hyderabad Int'l.


Air India did not provide any further information regarding the potential reactivation of the aircraft or their eventual retirement. The four B747s are 25.7 years old on average. They have been used for a mix of scheduled, mostly domestic flights, and government charters in a VIP configuration. However, in 2020, Air India took redelivery of two B777-300(ER)s, VT-ALV (msn 36320) and VT-ALW (msn 36321), outfitted with VIP cabins and in special government liveries, for the exclusive use of state functionaries.

The Times of India has reported that while the decision to formally phase-out the B747s has yet to be taken, Air India's officials are hoping to sell around ten spare Pratt & Whitney PW4056 engines for around USD2 million each.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

747-237 wrote:
https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/101433-air-india-denies-plans-to-retire-b747-400s

Air India denies plans to retire B747-400s

11.03.2021

In response to a number of articles in the Indian media, Air India has issued a statement denying plans to retire its fleet of B747-400s in the near-term.

"The B747 will continue to remain an integral part of our fleet," the airline said.

[/b]



If I'm not mistaken, only one of AI's 744s is still airworthy. The other three are grounded, and one of them is in a pathetic condition, as I saw in BOM sometime ago. It's the one that suffered a damaged engine in an incident. Maybe they are all due for D-checks. Is AI going to invest in D-checks and get all these 25+ year old birds airborne?
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recreating the 1970s Air India Experience

According to Anthony Toth, the founder of the Air India 747 experience back in the 1970’s, Air India could best be described as a country on wings… and perhaps one of the most unique ways to fly. A flight on Air India in the 1970’s, and even the 1980’s, was special for 3 key reasons: Culture, Design & Hospitality.

So first is Culture.


https://samchui.com/2021/03/22/exclusive-air-india-b747-experience-in-the-1970s/#.YHHO2TozY2w

@747-237, you'll love this! Check out the video and Sam Chui's article. It's about a guy who has re-created the AI 1970s experience in a real 747 mockup.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Recreating the 1970s Air India Experience

According to Anthony Toth, the founder of the Air India 747 experience back in the 1970’s, Air India could best be described as a country on wings… and perhaps one of the most unique ways to fly. A flight on Air India in the 1970’s, and even the 1980’s, was special for 3 key reasons: Culture, Design & Hospitality.

So first is Culture.


https://samchui.com/2021/03/22/exclusive-air-india-b747-experience-in-the-1970s/#.YHHO2TozY2w

@747-237, you'll love this! Check out the video and Sam Chui's article. It's about a guy who has re-created the AI 1970s experience in a real 747 mockup.


Yes, thanks. I know Anthony Toth and he has done a good job with the Air India experience. While it’s impossible to recreate the real deal, this is as close as it gets.
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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2021 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Air India hacking: What data got leaked, what not and how to stay safe

In a major cyber security incident, personal data of 45 lakh Air India flyers worldwide has leaked. The entire personal database of Air India passengers registered over a period of nearly 10 years-- between 26 August 2011 and 3 February 2021-- has been hacked.

https://www.gadgetsnow.com/slideshows/air-india-hacking-what-customer-data-got-leaked-what-not-and-how-to-stay-safe/photolist/82842903.cms

Wonder how this happened. I've flown with them a few times in the past 10 years. Maybe the hackers have my data too Laughing

Still, I would advice y'all to have an eye on your credit card transactions and report to your bank if you notice anything fishy.
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PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2021 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sabya99 wrote:


[b]Air India-US nonstop frequency to be back to pre-Covid level ..

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/82297240.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst



Regarding Air India article which was posted in another thread, due to travel restrictions to US from India, AI has now scaled back flights to US since there is not much demand any more. United has done the same, cutting back flights from ORD and IAD temporarily.

https://www.indianeagle.com/traveldiary/air-india-cuts-back-on-the-frequency-of-india-us-bubbble-flight-schedules/
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 24, 2021 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/104980-indian-air-force-confirms-plans-to-acquire-air-india-a320s

Indian Air Force confirms plans to acquire Air India A320s

23.06.2021

The Indian Air Force (IFC, Delhi Int'l) plans to significantly expand its airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) capabilities through the addition of six ex-Air India A320-200s and possibly more modified E145s, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria told technology news website Ele Times.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), a state-run defence company, announced plans to acquire and convert six of Air India's aircraft in December 2020. At that time, the project was estimated to require NR105 billion rupees (USD1.4 billion) in funding. However, even though more than half a year have passed since the initial announcement, the transaction has yet to be finalised and the aircraft inducted into conversion.

However, Bhadauria said that even as the six Airbus aircraft would significantly expand the Indian Air Force's AEW&C capabilities, they would still not suffice in light of growing tensions with China.

It is unclear how many additional E145s the DRDO and the Indian Air Force is planning to add. Bhadauria also did not explain whether the military would seek to order the aircraft directly from the manufacturer or source them from the second-hand market.

India's current AEW&C fleet comprises three EMB-145SMs as its AEW&C platform, although only two are deployed in active service and one remains used as a testbed. The three Embraer regional jets were acquired by the air force directly from the manufacturer and delivered in 2012 (two) and 2015 (one), the ch-aviation fleets advanced module. The air force also has one Il-76A-50EI for electronic warfare.

Air India owns nineteen A320-200s, of which just four remain in service (alongside five units of the type dry leased from CALC).


Note : Also cross-posted in the Military Aviation section.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/air-india-has-no-plans-to-phase-out-b747-aircraft-govt/articleshow/84821437.cms

Air India has no plans to phase out B747 aircraft: Govt

Jul 28, 2021

Air India has no plans to phase out its B747 aircraft which have an average age of about 26 years, Minister of State for Civil Aviation V K Singh said Wednesday.

"As on date, there are four B747-400 aircraft in Air India fleet and their average age is about 26 years," Singh stated in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha.

Currently, three of the four B747 aircraft are under maintenance checks, he mentioned.

"At present, Air India has no plan to phase out the operation of Boeing 747 from the fleet," he stated.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

much relief! Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

747-237 wrote:
Titan Airways A321 (G-POWU) in old Indian Airlines colors, and registered VT-EAL (former IC 737-200), as a movie prop for the Bollywood movie "Bell Bottom".



The movie trailer is out now, and shows the interiors in an Air India 747-200-esque scheme.

https://youtu.be/A6eZ49O67YQ
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2021 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/maharashtra-state-in-talks-with-ai-for-iconic-nariman-pt-bldg/articleshow/85257440.cms

Maharashtra State in talks with AI for iconic Nariman Pt bldg

Aug 12, 2021

Mumbai: The Maharashtra govt has initiated discussions with Air India to purchase its iconic building located in the Nariman Point area of the city. Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte discussed the valuation of the building with Air India CMD Rajiv Bansal on Tuesday.

The debt-ridden AI had floated tenders for the sale of the 23-storey building in 2018, which stands on state government land,but failed to evoke a good response. AI officials told Kunte that their internal valuation of the building was more than Rs 2,000 crore to which Kunte asked them to share it with the state govt, official sources said. An official said that the govt had written to AI, quoting a price of Rs 1,450 crore. “The actual price would have been around Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200 crore since the govt dues from AI are around Rs 300 crore,” said the official.

“A private party will have to demolish the entire structure. We can use it for another eight to ten years to accommodate some govt offices. Its actual cost would only be the strategic location and the land cost,” added an official who attended the meeting.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2021 10:38 pm    Post subject: AI HYD-LHR nonstop Reply with quote

AI will start operating nonstop flights from HYD to LHR, effective Sep 10th 2021. May be a temporary bubble flight.

HYD to LHR: Friday and Monday. AI 147, 1:30 AM departure, 7:30 AM arrival, Boeing 787

LHR to HYD: Thursday and Sunday. AI 148, 9:45 AM departure, 11:35 PM arrival, Boeing 787

It appears that this flight is not based out of HYD, but is on a rotation from LHR.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/107652-cairn-accepts-1bn-offer-to-drop-cases-against-air-india

Cairn accepts $1bn offer to drop cases against Air India

09.09.2021

With the government of India reportedly sticking to September 15 as its deadline for bids to buy Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l), Cairn Energy has said it will drop its efforts to find Indian state-owned assets it can seize in countries such as France and the United States.

Simon Thomson, Cairn's chief executive, told the Press Trust of India in an interview from London that the British oil and gas exploration firm would drop its demands within "a couple of days" of receiving a USD1 billion refund due to the termination of a retrospective tax law.

The company, which gave India its biggest on-land oil discovery, welcomed the recent legislation that axed a 2012 policy that gave India's Department of Revenue the power to charge capital gains tax retrospectively where ownership of assets in India had changed hands overseas. The offer to return funds to Cairn Energy that had been seized in 2014 following a corporate reorganisation in return for the energy firm dropping all charges against the government "is acceptable to us," Thomson said.

"Some of our core shareholders like BlackRock and Franklin Templeton [Investments] agree. Our view is supported by our core shareholders, that on balance it is better to accept and move on and be pragmatic rather than continue with something negative for all parties which could last for many years," he said.

Seeking to repair India's damaged reputation as an investment destination, the government passed new legislation that drops INR1.1 trillion rupees (USD14.9 billion) in outstanding claims against multinationals such as Vodafone, Sanofi, Anheuser-Busch InBev, and Cairn Energy.

Around INR8.1 billion (USD110 million) collected from companies under the now-scrapped tax law will now be refunded if the companies involved agree to drop outstanding litigation, including claims for interest and penalties.

"Once we get to final resolution, part of that resolution is us dropping everything in terms of litigation. We can do that within a very short period of time, just a matter of a couple of days or something. So we are preparing on the basis of getting this resolution quickly, all these cases being dropped, and putting all this behind us," Thomson said.

Cairn has had "a good, open, and transparent line of communications with the government of India" on finding a resolution to the controversy, he elaborated, adding: "Our aim was to get to a resolution, something which would be acceptable to our shareholders."

"We were pleased when the government of India made what we thought was a pretty bold move, in terms of the enactment of the legislation. The intention of the government, which we are obviously aligned with, is to get this resolved as quickly as possible. Hopefully, that means within the next few weeks. It's good not only for us and our shareholders but also importantly for India."

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2021 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The new show “Mumbai Diaries” (Ep 5) on Amazon Prime Video shows an Air India (while the caption reads "Indian Airlines") Douglas DC-10 Smile


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2021 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/107703-delhi-shifts-some-air-india-assets-to-holdco-ahead-of-sale

Delhi shifts some Air India assets to holdco ahead of sale

14.09.2021

With just days left before the September 15 deadline dawns for firm bids for Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l), the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has made a further last-minute gesture to entice potential buyers, transferring the heavily indebted airline’s capital assets to a new holding company, Air India Asset Holding Ltd (AIAHL).

The government created the special purpose vehicle to hold half of the airline’s loans, four of its less viable subsidiaries, and other non-core assets, the tax authority revealed on September 11.

The authority has also offered tax relief by exempting the airline from provisions under Tax Collected at Source, a tax buyers must pay at the time of sale. This regulation, which was introduced in India last year, stipulates that a tax of up to 5% must be charged on all payments exceeding INR700,000 rupees (USD9,500).

In addition, the CBDT announced on September 10 that it would allow the losses of public sector companies undergoing strategic disinvestment to be carried forward so they can be set off against future profits.

In its notification about the holding company, the CBDT elaborated that AIAHL would not be considered as a ‘buyer’ in the asset transfer and that Air India will not be considered as a ‘seller’.

Separately, an unnamed source in the financial sector told the newspaper Business Line that Ajay Singh, chairman and majority owner of loss-making low-cost carrier SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l), had approached the Delhi branch of the government-owned State Bank of India to request a guarantee for his potential bid for Air India.

Singh is reportedly filing his bid in a personal capacity, and according to the source he was likely to pledge shares or his personal property as security in exchange for the bank guarantee. The only other entity that has confirmed interest in lodging a final bid is the conglomerate Tata Sons.

According to local media reports in July, Singh has been assembling USD1 billion worth of funds for his efforts to buy the flag carrier as he is unable to fund the company on his own.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And ladies and gentlemen, the news we have all been waiting for.


Tata Sons selected as winning bidder for Air India: Report

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/86673525.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cough cough cough! no speculations please!!!....let us wait till things start to happen
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is not final yet, but it is likely that Tatas could be the winning bidder considering the other bidder is Spice Jet owner bidding individually.

But Tatas will have a tough time turning around all the airlines they control, right now Vistara and AirAsia both are incurring losses. May be with consolidation they hope to make some profits.

Also currently for all GoI travel, first choice is AI, I wonder how long with that last. May be something in the sale agreement to continue for a year or so until the airline stabilizes.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/108400-tata-to-unite-air-india-airasia-india-vistara-report

Tata to unite Air India, AirAsia India, Vistara - report

06.10.2021

AirAsia India (I5, Bangalore Int'l) would be united with Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) as a single entity if its owner Tata Sons is chosen to privatise the heavily indebted flag carrier, “top executives aware of the plan” have told the Economic Times newspaper. Tata Sons’ other majority-owned airline, the full-service carrier Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l), will also be part of the combined entity if 49% shareholder Singapore Airlines agrees.

Grouping all of its airlines under a single umbrella would encourage synergies and eliminate duplication, the unnamed sources said, adding that this would help it “scale up the game and be the number one player in the space.”

The Indian conglomerate owns 83.67% of AirAsia India, having raised its stake from 51% by acquiring a chunk of equity from AirAsia Group at the end of last year. It still has a call option on the remaining 16.33%, and the Malaysian group has signalled that it will exit the Indian business by March 2022.

Tata has, according to the sources, told Singapore Airlines about its plans if it succeeds with Air India, but the Singaporean carrier has declined to comment on “any confidential discussions we may or may not be having with our partners.” Tata Sons, AirAsia India, and Vistara have also declined to comment.

India’s government confirmed on September 15 that it had received the final bids for its privatisation process to sell 100% of Air India, also including 100% of low-cost subsidiary Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) and 50% of groundhandler Air India SATS. Besides Tata Sons, rival SpiceJet (SG, Delhi Int'l) also put in a bid, local media reported.

Earlier reports have suggested that, if Tata is successful, a mega umbrella carrier could be created in which AirAsia India and Air India Express would merge, as would Vistara and Air India. To achieve this, the conglomerate has been looking at the possibility of hiring integration specialists to assist it given the complexities involved, the sources told the Economic Times.

In a separate report, two anonymous sources told the business news site Moneycontrol that Tata Sons is willing to acquire no more than 15% of Air India’s total debt and has been in discussions with the government on the issue. The conglomerate would take on this level of debt “if the government is willing to meet certain requirements,” they added without elaborating.

According to amended rules in the privatisation process, bidders can say how much debt they are willing to absorb. Air India’s accumulated losses reportedly stood at INR708.2 billion rupees (USD9.5 billion) at the end of the financial year ending March 2020.

Other sources told the Times of India, meanwhile, that the government was likely to set a reserve price at between INR150 billion and INR200 billion (USD2-2.7 billion) - but that if bids are less than this minimum it is still likely to sell off the airline. The priority is not to make money on the divestment but to halt state funding of the loss-making airline, the sources said.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This makes eminent sense, no point having two FSCs from the same owner. But what would the combined brand be?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jeh wrote:
But what would the combined brand be?


The Air India brand is to be retained.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

747-237 wrote:
https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/108400-tata-to-unite-air-india-airasia-india-vistara-report

[i]Tata to unite Air India, AirAsia India, Vistara - report

06.10.2021

AirAsia India (I5, Bangalore Int'l) would be united with Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) as a single entity if its owner Tata Sons is chosen to privatise the heavily indebted flag carrier, “top executives aware of the plan” have told the Economic Times newspaper. Tata Sons’ other majority-owned airline, the full-service carrier Vistara (UK, Delhi Int'l), will also be part of the combined entity if 49% shareholder Singapore Airlines agrees.



They should not put AirAsia India into the mix. It should be run as a separate LCC entity.

Vistara and AI can be merged under the AI umbrella.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I hope this is the final decision.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/return-of-the-prodigal-son-air-india-back-in-founder-tata-fold-after-68-years/articleshow/86865871.cms


Good on the Tatas coming to the rescue of India's flag carrier. Amazing how much this group has done for the country.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now comes the hard part. Integrating the airlines, right sizing operations which means cutting employees and dealing with AI unions.

If Tatas want to merge Vistara and Air India as one airline, they may as well retain Vistara brand, the AI brand seems to have lots of negative connotation
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