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Air India News -- Part 34
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The_Goat
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
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


One of the conditions of the sale was that the Air India brand name will be retained. Besides, Vistara is hardly known as an airline brand outside India.

The 'Air India' brand under a Tata management would be quite something else.

I'm sure the Tatas did all their homework. They aren't Vijay Mallya or Naresh Goyal. The Tatas are also experts at managing Indian trade unions.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And alarm bells are ringing already Razz

https://www.moneycontrol.com/news/interview/air-india-sale-will-affect-us-emirates-president-tim-clark-7547841.html
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2021 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea why AI's MRO and engineering are not being privatised? What does the government intend to do with them?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So with Air India + Vistara + Air Asia, how many slots will Tatas control in BOM & DEL (percent of total as well)? Any sense of their combined overall India marketshare?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2021 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Caliguy wrote:
So with Air India + Vistara + Air Asia, how many slots will Tatas control in BOM & DEL (percent of total as well)? Any sense of their combined overall India marketshare?


Domestic (as of July 2021)

Air India 13.4%
Vistara 8.1%
Air Asia 3.3%

Total (Tatas, exc Air India express): 24.8%.

IndiGo (For comparison): 58.6%

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/domestic-flyers-hit-50-lakh-in-july-up-61-from-june-2021/articleshow/85317949.cms#:~:text=In%20July%2C%202021%2C%20DGCA%20data,%25)%20and%20GoAir%20(6.8%25).

International (FY 2020):

Air India 11.6%
Air India Express: 7.7%
Total: 19.3%

https://www.statista.com/statistics/643889/market-share-of-leading-airlines-india/#:~:text=Leading%20airlines%20in%20India%202020%2C%20by%20international%20traffic&text=Air%20India%20held%20around%2012,scheduled%20international%20operators%20across%20India.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2021 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Any idea why AI's MRO and engineering are not being privatised? What does the government intend to do with them?


https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2020/03/19/why-air-indias-mro-unit-is-eager-for-privatization/

The intent is to sell them too but only after the AI deal. Back in 2020, there was a statement that MRO unit will be sold after AI is sold. May be they can ink good long term deals with Tatas airlines before being sold.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
The_Goat wrote:
Any idea why AI's MRO and engineering are not being privatised? What does the government intend to do with them?


https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2020/03/19/why-air-indias-mro-unit-is-eager-for-privatization/

The intent is to sell them too but only after the AI deal. Back in 2020, there was a statement that MRO unit will be sold after AI is sold. May be they can ink good long term deals with Tatas airlines before being sold.


Thanks. It would make sense for the Tatas to acquire this too. They can in-house maintain their own planes, and also take up contracts with other foreign airlines.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conspicuous by their absence, are the B747s.


https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/tatas-have-been-promised-118-planes-from-ais-fleet/articleshow/86907215.cms?from=mdr

Tatas have been promised 118 planes from AI's fleet

13 October, 2021

Shortly after bringing their baby home, Tatas have been assured that as many as 118 planes out of the 141 from the combined lot of Air India and AI Express will be airworthy as and when they take over.

Although, Tata Sons might have to spend a good Rs 1,800 crore on repairs of 23 grounded planes. Another Rs 1,200 crore would be spent on cabin upgrades of the whole fleet.

As per a TOI report, apart from the purchase cost of the carrier, the conglomerate might have to spend Rs 3,000 crore over two years while they have been assured no more planes will be grounded until they take over.

“They have been assured 58 Airbus A320 family planes, 14 Boeing 777 and 22 B787 Dreamliners of AI and 24 B737 of AI Express in airworthy condition (total 118). The government will not spend on making AI’s grounded planes airworthy but more groundings won’t happen," sources were quoted as saying in the same TOI report.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/108662-delhi-also-looking-to-sell-off-alliance-air-report

Delhi also looking to sell off Alliance Air - report

14.10.2021

Just under a week after it chose Tata Group to acquire Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) and its Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) subsidiary, the Indian government is now planning to sell off its domestic carrier, Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l), informed sources have told BusinessToday.

According to the report, Air India's board will meet on Thursday, October 14, to consider the matter. The meeting will be chaired by Air India Board chairman Rajiv Bansal, who is also Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

"Some terms of the proposal require further discussion. The plan is to divest the entire 100% shareholding. It is expected that the formal Board nod will happen at the meeting," the sources said.

Founded in 1996, Alliance Air operates eighteen ATR72-600s on scheduled flights that connect 37 Tier II and III cities across India to major bases at each of Bangalore Int'l, Chennai, Delhi Int'l, Hyderabad Int'l, Jaipur, Kolkata Int'l, Mumbai Int'l, and Vishakhapatnam.

India's Ministry of Finance expects the Alliance Air sale, along with the divestiture of other subsidiaries and non-core assets, to generate a total of INR170 billion (USD2.25 billion) crucial to national coffers given diminished tax inflows as a result of repeat COVID lockdowns.

Meanwhile, the Indian government has now drawn up a letter of intent (LOI) for Tata Group to sign in regards to its planned purchase of Air India, Air India Express, and a 50% stake in airport services and groundhandling firm Air India SATS.

“LoI issued to the successful bidder in the strategic disinvestment transaction of AI (Air India). [Share Purchase Agreement] SPA will be signed soon," Tuhin Kanta Pandey, secretary of the finance ministry’s department of investment and public asset management (DIPAM), said via social media.

Through its wholly-owned Talace Pvt. Ltd subsidiary, Tata Group bid INR180 billion (USD2.396 billion) for the package of entities of which INR27 billion (USD359.5 million) will be paid to government in cash. The conglomerate will also assume INR153 billion (USD2.037 billion) worth of Air India debt while the state will take on the remainder of INR462.62 billion (USD6.13 billion).

To fund its purchase, Tata Group may raise up to INR150 billion (USD1.99 billion) through a syndicated loan, people familiar with the matter told India's Economic Times. The loan may be raised with a three-year maturity offering about 7% interest, the sources added.

The State Bank of India (SBI) is expected to lead the proposed syndication and has already issued a bank guarantee. Foreign banks including Standard Chartered, Citi, Deutsche, JP Morgan, and Barclays among others have also been courted. “If foreign banks are not entertained, SBI will remain the key banker,” one of the sources said.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

747-237 wrote:
Conspicuous by their absence, are the B747s.


https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/tatas-have-been-promised-118-planes-from-ais-fleet/articleshow/86907215.cms?from=mdr



AI's 747s are all around 22-24 years old and possibly in need of D-checks and a complete overhaul. Besides, doing D-checks on such old aircraft would be even more expensive with all the ADs that have to be implemented.

Maybe the Tatas themselves did not want to take them up.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
747-237 wrote:
Conspicuous by their absence, are the B747s.


https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/tatas-have-been-promised-118-planes-from-ais-fleet/articleshow/86907215.cms?from=mdr



AI's 747s are all around 22-24 years old and possibly in need of D-checks and a complete overhaul. Besides, doing D-checks on such old aircraft would be even more expensive with all the ADs that have to be implemented.

Maybe the Tatas themselves did not want to take them up.



I think it’s the last sentence.
AI wanted to keep them around for the foreseeable future, and they are still officially part of the fleet; flying around now and then.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

747-237 wrote:




I think it’s the last sentence.
AI wanted to keep them around for the foreseeable future, and they are still officially part of the fleet; flying around now and then.


@747-237: I just recollected. Weren't the 747s transferred to Alliance Air sometime back?

I guess that's why they are not being handed over. They are no longer in Air India's fleet.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
747-237 wrote:




I think it’s the last sentence.
AI wanted to keep them around for the foreseeable future, and they are still officially part of the fleet; flying around now and then.


@747-237: I just recollected. Weren't the 747s transferred to Alliance Air sometime back?

I guess that's why they are not being handed over. They are no longer in Air India's fleet.


I believe that too was a plan (rumor) that didn’t materialize. According to AI, the 747s are still theirs, and a part of the fleet. Unfortunately I don’t think they’ll fly again. It would have been good to give them a decent retirement, like most airlines around the world do/did. That being said, this is AI. Still, I’m glad they made it officially past April 18th, making AI one of the select few airlines to have had operated the B747 continuously for half a century.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

are they going to bring back "Emperor" before their plane names?
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747-237
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aseem wrote:
are they going to bring back "Emperor" before their plane names?
VT-ASJ


Since there aren’t any aircraft named after Emperors / Kings, I think it’s safe to say that it won’t happen again. Once the 777s leave the fleet, the entire concept of naming aircraft at AI will also come to an end.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aseem wrote:
are they going to bring back "Emperor" before their plane names?
VT-ASJ


With the situation in the country today, it is highly unlikely they can name an aircraft after Shah Jahan or Akbar without having to bear the "economic cost" of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justbala wrote:
Aseem wrote:
are they going to bring back "Emperor" before their plane names?
VT-ASJ


With the situation in the country today, it is highly unlikely they can name an aircraft after Shah Jahan or Akbar without having to bear the "economic cost" of it.


They can always (re) name planes after Ashoka, Vikramaditya, Harishchandra, Mahendra Varman, Prithviraj Chauhan, Maharana Pratap, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Krishnadevaraya etc. Even Shivaji can be honored Razz . Wasn't one of the AI Jumbos named after him as well?

But the emperor/king names suit only the 747. Would be silly to put those names on a 787, or even a 77W.

Somehow I like the idea of naming planes. It gives them a personality. JRD was always in favour of it, having named his Constellations after queens, 707s after Himalayan peaks and the 747s after emperors.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2021 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
Even Shivaji can be honored Razz . Wasn't one of the AI Jumbos named after him as well?


The pre-owned (& last) 742 (replacement for “Kanishka”) was to be named after him, which caused a massive fracas. Eventually the first 743 was named after him.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
justbala wrote:
Aseem wrote:
are they going to bring back "Emperor" before their plane names?
VT-ASJ


With the situation in the country today, it is highly unlikely they can name an aircraft after Shah Jahan or Akbar without having to bear the "economic cost" of it.


They can always (re) name planes after Ashoka, Vikramaditya, Harishchandra, Mahendra Varman, Prithviraj Chauhan, Maharana Pratap, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Krishnadevaraya etc. Even Shivaji can be honored Razz . Wasn't one of the AI Jumbos named after him as well?

But the emperor/king names suit only the 747. Would be silly to put those names on a 787, or even a 77W.

Somehow I like the idea of naming planes. It gives them a personality. JRD was always in favour of it, having named his Constellations after queens, 707s after Himalayan peaks and the 747s after emperors.


Well you would never know who would get offended if a plane named after a "whitelisted" Emperor is put on a Hajj flight duty... coupla Urdu words in a campaign or the lack of a bindi in ad - is now considered a threat to the security of the country.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justbala wrote:

Now where is this taking us. Somehow I couldn't laugh. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/air-india-to-add-us-nonstops-post-nov-8-uncle-sam-reopening-for-fully-jabbed/articleshow/87288915.cms

Air India to add US nonstops post Nov 8

Oct 27, 2021

Air India will be adding its highly popular US nonstops from next month starting November 8. It currently has 23 weekly flights to America. "We are adding three more weekly flights, between Mumbai and Newark, from second week of November. We are awaiting normal flight operation clearance from US airports. So AI will have 26 weekly flights, a number that could have been much higher if we had more Boeing 777s available and had so many of them not been down with maintenance issues," said officials, adding that out of 16 B777s, nine are available for operations at the moment.

A severe paucity of funds has seen several AI planes grounded due to spare issues. Getting the existing fleet, or newly leased planes, up in the air to mount more flights will be crucial for the Tatas to cash in on the reopening of travel.

AI is the biggest operator of nonstops between India and the US, followed by United. American Airlines is starting flights here this week. Delta has not yet indicated when it will resume India flights.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2021 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/109086-indias-alliance-air-seeks-two-atr42-600s-for-dry-lease

Alliance Air seeks two ATR42-600s for dry lease

01.11.2021

Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l) has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the dry lease of two new ATR42-600s with deliveries by May 2022.

The Indian regional carrier seeks to lease both aircraft for 12 years. It estimates it will use them for 2,400 flight hours and 2,400 flight cycles per year each, with an average sector length of 350 kilometres. It is soliciting bids from parties owning at least ten aircraft. Bidders must demonstrate they already have the assignment rights for the aircraft and the confirmation of delivery slots in time for a May 2022 service entry. The airline did not specify its budget but reserved the right to sub-lease both aircraft for "limited periods".

Alliance Air requires that the turboprops be configured for up to 48 passengers in a single-class layout with a 30-inch seat pitch and ATR's "Armonia" cabin.

Bidders have until November 16 to submit their offers.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows the Air India subsidiary currently operates eighteen ATR72-600s under the Air India Regional brand, using its own "9I" code but under a code-share with Air India. In the past, Alliance Air operated seven ATR42-300s. The last of these was retired in March 2020, the ch-aviation fleets history module highlights. Recently, the carrier confirmed plans to lease two Do228s from Hindustan Aeronautics.

Alliance Air remains a subsidiary of the flag carrier pending the completion of its privatisation but was not included in the process. As such, once Tata Group acquires Air India, Alliance Air will become a stand-alone state-owned carrier. The government said it would explore options to separately sell the regional carrier going forward.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/tatas-to-take-over-operate-air-india-by-jan-23-2022/articleshow/87574173.cms

Tatas to take over, operate Air India by Jan 23, 2022

Nov 8, 2021

The countdown for founder Tata Group re-acquiring Air India 68 years after the Maharaja was nationalised has begun. They have to take control and start running AI, AI Express and AI-SATS (in which 50% stake is with the new owners) latest by January 23, 2022 — the “long stop date” as per the share purchase agreement signed with the government last month.

Comments from the Tatas were sought on preparations being made for this transfer of ownership and awaited till the time of filing report. They have so far not spelt out their plans for AI like whether there will be mega airline or a low-cost and a full-service carrier, the management structure and fleet and cabin upgrade plans.

“The long stop date of January 23, 2022, is the outer limit by when Tata’s wholly owned subsidiary Talace has to take over AI. This date has been agreed upon by both the parties (seller government and buyer Tatas),” said people in the know.

“If there is a delay in fulfilling conditions precedent (CP) requirements or disagreement on the closing balance sheet, the long stop date can be extended with mutual consent of both the parties. But that is an option unlikely to be exercised as January 23 was the date agreed upon by both,” they said.

Top government officials don’t see AI takeover being delayed and they are trying to ensure the transfer of control takes place by the end of this calendar year itself.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2021 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/110431-delhi-to-clear-air-india-debt-expat-ceo-to-be-appointed

Delhi to clear Air India debt, expat CEO to be appointed

07.12.2021

Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) will repay all of the debt it owes to lessors, airports, fuel suppliers, and banks by the end of this financial year, in other words by March 31, 2022, an unnamed senior government official has told newspaper the Hindu.

The government sought parliamentary approval on December 3 to transfer INR620.57 billion rupees (USD8.23 billion) to Air India Assets Holding Limited, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) set up in 2019 to lure potential buyers by warehousing the flag carrier’s substantial residual debt, liabilities, and a number of assets.

“Most of Air India’s loans were overdue. One option was to issue government-guaranteed bonds but that could take us several years to make repayments. Where the loans are not yet due, banks would be required to enter into a fresh contract with the SPV, which they may not want to do as it doesn’t house a lot of assets. So the money sought from parliament will help us make all settlements and clean up the airline,” the official said.

The SPV will receive an equity infusion from the government and then proceed to settle all of the outstanding debts by the end of this fiscal year, he added. This does not include the INR153.3 billion (USD2.03 billion) that Air India buyer Tata Sons has agreed to take on.

The INR620.57 billion “is Air India’s debt as of August 31, 2021” after subtracting the debt that Tata will assume from a total of INR773.96 billion (USD10.26 billion), the official explained. However, this does not include an additional figure of excess current liabilities of INR150.83 billion (USD2 billion).

Separately, “officials aware of the matter” told The Economic Times that Tata Sons had shortlisted an expat to lead Air India as chief executive and that it would be largely left to the new CEO to finalise the carrier’s new management team. The conglomerate has reportedly also shortlisted members to reconstitute the board of the newly acquired national carrier as it prepares to officially take over the airline in January 2022.

Aviation experts and members of Tata’s mergers and acquisitions team will populate the new board, and a retired government official will be appointed as an independent director, the sources said. Traditionally, the chairman of Tata Sons - currently Natarajan Chandrasekaran - is chairman of all of the group’s major operating companies and this is likely to be the case also for Talace, the wholly-owned subsidiary housing Air India. Formal announcements on the appointments will be made in January, the officials added.

Air India did not immediately respond to ch-aviation’s request for comment.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the Ministry of Civil Aviation has appointed senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt as Air India’s new Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), the government announced.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has appointed senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt as Air India’s new Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), the government announced. His appointment was part of a senior-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre on Tuesday.
Dutt is a 1993-batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre. He has been appointed as the Air India chief in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.


https://www.cnbctv18.com/aviation/govt-to-hand-over-air-india-to-tatas-by-january-end-say-sources-12163582.htm

With just days left before handing over AI to the Tatas, the GoI has appointed a new CMD from the babu cadre. What's the GoI playing at here?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The_Goat wrote:
the Ministry of Civil Aviation has appointed senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt as Air India’s new Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), the government announced.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has appointed senior bureaucrat Vikram Dev Dutt as Air India’s new Chairman & Managing Director (CMD), the government announced. His appointment was part of a senior-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre on Tuesday.
Dutt is a 1993-batch IAS officer of AGMUT (Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Mizoram and Union Territory) cadre. He has been appointed as the Air India chief in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry said.


https://www.cnbctv18.com/aviation/govt-to-hand-over-air-india-to-tatas-by-january-end-say-sources-12163582.htm

With just days left before handing over AI to the Tatas, the GoI has appointed a new CMD from the babu cadre. What's the GoI playing at here?


I am also puzzled by this move. Is it Tata that which wanted this ? Does Tata want to appoint him for a short term ? In fact Jan 23 is the tentative date of transfer of AI to Tata.
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iah87
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2022 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/5g-scare-air-india-cancels-8-us-flights-dgca-working-to-overcome-situation-362658

AI cancelled all flights to/from US yesterday due to possible 5G interference issues. But there is no report on UA and AA cancelling.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2022 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:




I am also puzzled by this move. Is it Tata that which wanted this ? Does Tata want to appoint him for a short term ? In fact Jan 23 is the tentative date of transfer of AI to Tata.


It does make sense, actually. Wouldn't be surprising even if the Tatas asked for it.

There's going to be a period of adjustment post management change, during which time the Tatas may need the government, given the amount of debt AI has, and how much it owes its contractors, fuel suppliers etc.

With the government in charge, the creditors have not been pushing on their dues. With the Tatas in charge they'll go all out, and start reneging on their commitments till such time the payments are made. One doesn't know how many of AI's creditors are foreign parties. The last thing anyone wants is AI aircraft getting impounded in foreign airports, like what happened with Jet Airways.

Having a babu at the helm for a while may reassure the creditors that all is well, and that the Govt is still serious about repaying the dues.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2022 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-air-india-tata-transfer-delayed-7738976/

Air India transfer to Tata tentatively fixed for Jan 27.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally....Air India is now under Tata.

https://www.thehindu.com/business/air-india-to-be-handed-over-to-tatas-today/article38332353.ece

Hope they fix their website first.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iah87 wrote:
Finally....Air India is now under Tata.

https://www.thehindu.com/business/air-india-to-be-handed-over-to-tatas-today/article38332353.ece

Hope they fix their website first.


The Tatas should also fix AIs ratty and dated haldi dabba aircraft interiors.

I also hope they bring experienced professionals from foreign airlines into the board, and not rely on the same old ex-Jet Airways or ex-Kingfisher bozo mafias who keep moving from airline to airline spreading their incompetency and corruption.

But instead they seem to be focusing on the BMI of the FAs and special meals Rolling Eyes Nice priorities!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2022 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/112113-delhi-axes-air-india-saleleaseback-deals-for-21-b787s

Delhi axes Air India sale/leaseback deals for 21 B787s

01.02.2022

India’s government has terminated wasteful sale and lease-back agreements at Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) regarding twenty-one B787-8s, opting instead to make all of the outstanding payments as well as penalties for breaking the contracts, two anonymous sources “in the know” told The Economic Times newspaper on January 28.

The newly Tata Sons-owned flag carrier will now own the aircraft in question instead of being further weighed down by the legacy of having sold the aircraft to a lessor at a premium and continuing to lease them back.

“The lease agreements were very costly. Also, the pandemic has made aircraft cheaper making the underlying leasing rates more feasible,” one of the insiders said.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Air India operates a fleet of twenty-seven of the widebodies, six of which were already owned by the airline. Nine of the remaining twenty-one B787-8s - three each - had been leased from FLY Leasing, Meridian Aviation Partners, and Nomura Babcock & Brown. The lease end dates for all of the twenty-one leased B787-8s ranged from 2023 to 2027.

Of its total fleet of 124 aircraft, at least 54 are leased including the twenty-one B787s.

Air India took delivery of its first B787-8, VT-ANH (MSN 36276), in September 2012 after protracted arguments between the government of India and Boeing over compensation payments for delivery delays. In 2014, the airline secured sale and leaseback deals with institutions including one with the State Bank of India and the Bank of India and other separate agreements with Deutsche Bank and Investec Bank.

One of the sources told The Economic Times that Tata Sons plans to tighten up Air India’s revenue management, focusing on ancillary revenue and cargo while renegotiating engineering, fuel, and travel agent contracts. Almost all existing debts to suppliers have been paid, they added. No decisions have yet been made on the carrier’s fleet, however.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Former Turkish Airlines chairman Ilker Ayci to be Air India CEO and MD.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/former-turkish-airlines-chairman-ilker-ayci-to-be-air-india-ceo-md/articleshow/89567182.cms


Wow!
The man is supposedly close to Erdogan, the Turkish President. Erdogan, among other things, is Pakistan's 'friend', Imran Khan's 'brother',
the Chairman of the Kashmir Committee at the OIC,
and has also raised the Kashmir issue at the UN.

I wonder what the Government will have to say about this. Trust the likes of Subramaniam Swamy to come out howling.

But all that apart, if he can do to AI what he did to THY then we'll owe him a lot of gratitude.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2022 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.flightglobal.com/singapore-2022/indias-alliance-air-to-add-pair-of-atr-42s-for-himalayan-routes/147519.article

Alliance Air to add pair of ATR 42s for Himalayan routes

15 February 2022

Alliance Air is to acquire a pair of new ATR 42-600s via lessor TrueNoord, adding to the airline’s existing fleet of larger ATR 72 turboprops.

Alliance Air has chosen the turboprop to support services operating into challenging airfields in the Himalayas and delivery of the ATR 42s will begin mid this year.

The airline already operates a fleet of 18 ATR 72-600s.

Alliance Air chief executive Vineet Sood says: ”Our relationship with ATR started 20 years ago, and ever since we have been building a network that truly serves Indian communities. Thanks to the unique features of the ATR 42-600, Alliance Air will proudly fulfil the mission assigned by the Indian government to make the most inaccessible regions accessible.”

The aircraft will operate on the short runways of the Shimla and Kullu airports, both located at high altitudes, and exposed to high temperatures.

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


The airline already operates a fleet of 18 ATR 72-600s.



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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2022 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/112691-delhi-to-sell-air-india-groundhandler-alliance-air

Delhi to sell Air India groundhandler, Alliance Air

16.02.2022

India’s central government will attempt to privatise the groundhandling arm of Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) that remains in state hands during the coming financial year (starting April 1), starting the process by issuing an expression of interest (EOI), an unnamed official has told the Press Trust of India news agency.

It has also received the green light to sell domestic carrier Alliance Air (India) (9I, Mumbai Int'l).

“We already have Cabinet approval for selling the subsidiaries of Air India. So we will come out with an EOI inviting bids for one of the groundhandling arms in the next fiscal,” the official said without specifically naming the company.

Four former Air India subsidiaries are currently positioned under Air India Assets Holding Ltd, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) established in 2019 to hold the flag carrier’s non-core assets and most of its debt. These are the groundhandling firm Air India Air Transport Services Ltd; Airline Allied Services Ltd dba Alliance Air; MRO unit Air India Engineering Services Ltd; and the Hotel Corporation of India Ltd.

When Indian conglomerate Tata Sons took 100% control of loss-making Air India towards the end of January, it also took on 100% of the equity of low-cost subsidiary Air India Express (IX, Mumbai Int'l) and 50% of groundhandler Air India SATS. Singapore-based groundhandling and inflight catering provider SATS Ltd owns the other 50% of the latter.

Like Air India Air Transport Services, Alliance Air was not part of that deal. The government has reportedly said that it intends to sell Alliance Air and use the proceeds to pay off some of the debt now held in the SPV.

Alliance Air and the other three former subsidiaries are expected to fetch around INR20 billion rupees (USD265 million) and the sale of buildings and other assets an additional INR147 billion (USD1.95 billion), the Economic Times reported in October 2021 quoting government sources.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2022 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/transportation/airlines-/-aviation/tatas-will-make-air-india-financially-fit-technologically-most-advanced-global-airline-says-chandrasekaran/articleshow/89621410.cms

In the article... AI has 8k permanent employees. For one year, they cannot be touched. So for the next 1 year, dont expect too many changes in AI.

The only thing Tata can do is to cut employees from AirAsia and Vistara subsidiaries and persuade AI employees to take over more responsibilities.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/112980-air-india-in-order-talks-with-boeing-airbus-report

Air India in order talks with Boeing, Airbus - report

28.02.2022

Tata Sons-owned Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) has been in talks with Airbus and Boeing as well as lessors about a potential order for new aircraft to rejuvenate its aging fleet, unnamed sources familiar with the matter have told Bloomberg News.

A deal could involve A350-900s and B787-9s, but the size of the order is not yet clear as talks are at a preliminary stage and Tata is still assessing the right fleet mix, the insiders said. The discussions include both narrowbodies for Air India’s domestic and medium-haul operations and widebodies to operate to destinations such as the United States.

The conglomerate has not yet commented on the issue, while both Airbus and Boeing told the news agency vaguely that they are always in regular discussions with current and prospective customers on their fleet requirements. Air India did not immediately respond to ch-aviation’s request for comment.

The carrier currently operates a varied fleet of 124 aircraft, according to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, each type of which requires separate skill sets from pilots. These are twenty-one A319-100s (average age 13.6 years), nine A320-200s (average age 9.1 years), twenty-seven A320-200N (average age 4.1 years), twenty A321-200s (average age 13.3 years), four B747-400s (average age 26.7 years), three B777-200(LR)s (average age 12.6 years), thirteen B777-300(ER)s (average age 12.3 years), and twenty-seven B787-8s (average age 7.7 years).

Tata chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran told Air India employees earlier this month in an internal briefing: “In terms of fleet, we know we have work to do. We will address it with utmost urgency. We’ll upgrade our fleet, we’ll bring modernity to our fleet, we’ll bring a new fleet.”

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2022 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/2022/mar/01/pilot-shortage-deters-air-india-from-flying-large-aircraft-for-evacuation-of-indians-from-ukraine-2425075.html

Pilot shortage deters Air India from flying large aircraft for evacuation of Indians from Ukraine

1st March 2022

Air India, which has been operating flights for evacuation of Indians stranded in war-torn Ukraine, has to depend on its smaller aircraft (Boeing 787 Dreamliner) due to a shortage of pilots that fly bigger aircraft like B 747.

Nearly 1,400 Indians have flown back to India in the first six evacuation flights from Ukraine, which began five days back. More people could have been evacuated had Air India been able to send a larger capacity aircraft like B 747.

While B 787 Dreamliner has a capacity of 330 passengers, a B 747 can fly up to 600 passengers.

According to sources, this has happened due to a shortage of pilots that fly this aircraft. It is reliably learned that the pilots who were flying B 744 (B 747-400) have been sent to fly B 777, B787, and A320.

According to sources, the four B 747 aircraft that Air India has at present are being considered to be utilized later for cargo and Haj operations (2 each).

Since the B 747 pilots have been asked to fly B744, in order to return back to flying B 747 they will have to do an extended ground refresher course, a couple of simulators, and route checks.

The Boeing 744 simulator was decommissioned due to maintenance, and in the interim pilots were using the simulator of Singapore Airlines.

Air India has refused to comment on the shortage of pilots. "Positioning of aircraft depends on various factors, including the availability of aircraft, ground handling infrastructure at destination airports, fuel efficiency, etc. Due to operational reasons and infrastructure feasibility. B 787 aircraft are being used now,’’ an Air India spokesperson told TNIE.

Air India operates 141 aircraft, including Air India Express’s 24 Boeing B737-800s. Around 43 of these are on lease. The Air India fleet includes Airbuses (A319-100, A320-200, A320-200neo, A321-200) and Boeings (B747-400, B777-200(LR), B777-300(ER), and B787-800).

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2022 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

747-237 wrote:

While B 787 Dreamliner has a capacity of 330 passengers, a B 747 can fly up to 600 passengers.



600 pax on a 747-400? Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2022 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

justbala wrote:
747-237 wrote:

While B 787 Dreamliner has a capacity of 330 passengers, a B 747 can fly up to 600 passengers.



600 pax on a 747-400? Razz


The 744 can seat upto 660 pax in the all economy configuration. ANA and JAL used to operate their regional 747-400Ds like this.

What I find more bizarre in that article is the claim that the 787-8 has a capacity of 330 pax. Seriously?
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