Air India to dry lease 14 Airbus A320 planes from Kuwait


National carrier Air India would dry lease 14 Airbus A320 planes from a Kuwaiti lessor as it seeks to replace its ageing narrow-body fleet with new fuel efficient planes.

The carrier plans to replace 19 A320 planes. It has already entered into a deal with a Chinese firm for five sharklets-equipped A320 (ceo-current engine option) aircraft.

For these five planes, it has tied up with independent Chinese lessor China Aircraft Leasing Company, which has already delivered one plane in early February. The rest four are to be inducted by October this year.

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Air India seeks pre-clearance for US-bound passengers to beat competition


NEW DELHI: Facing stiff competition from the Jet Airways-Etihad combine on the lucrative US routes, Air India has requested the External Affairs Ministry to facilitate a pre-clearance facility for the flyers on its US-bound non-stop flights from major domestic airports.

The national carrier has sought the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility at Mumbai and Delhi airports to begin with, which would allow these passengers complete the immigration process at these airports itself.

“We have requested the MEA for having this facility as it would enable our flyers land in the US as domestic passengers and, if granted, this would save considerable time for them,” Air India sources said.

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Air India closes its office at Kanpur

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Air India has closed its office at Ahirwan airport here and transferred all employees to Lucknow, almost a year after the national carrier stopped flight services from Kanpur to New Delhi, a senior airport official said today.

“We have received the order yesterday to close the office,” Director, Airport Authority of India in Kanpur, Wasim Ahmed told PTI, saying Air India has transfered all staff to its Lucknow office.

He said Air India had stopped its services from Kanpur to New Delhi and vice versa on July 4, 2014.

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Government asks SBI Capital Markets to review Air India’s Turnaround Plan

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NEW DELHI: The government has asked SBI Capital Markets to review Air India’s Turnaround Plan (TAP) and submit a report to it within three months, a move which comes following “drastic changes” in the ground situation in the last three years.

SBI Capital Markets, which is the investment banking arm of public sector lender SBI, has been asked by the Civil Aviation Ministry to carry out a thread bare analysis of TAP, which the erstwhile UPA dispensation had approved for the carrier in 2012, entailing a Rs 30,000 crore bailout package with certain riders, sources said today.

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State run Air India found selling tickets way below market rates


NEW DELHI: State-run Air India has been found selling a large number of seats much below market rates on its flights.

An inquiry by the vigilance department of Air India has found that the national carrier was selling over 85% seats on a
flight to Agartala from Delhi at cheapest fares, which are less than half the normal fares.

This comes at a time when the government is struggling to regulate airfares after complaints of high fares.

“The vigilance department audited fares on this route for a period of six months and then submitted a report in April this year. The department found that about 120 of the 140 seats in the aircraft being operated to Agartala were being sold in the cheapest fare bracket,” said a senior Air India official.

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New Delhi-Colombo direct on Air India from June 15

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Come June 15, Indian flag carrier Air India is launching new daily service linking capitals New Delhi and Colombo. An Airbus A321 will be deployed on this route with 170 economy seats and 12 business class seats. Flights depart Colombo at 08.20 while return journeys depart New Delhi at 12.05 daily. The service is Air India’s second Sri Lankan flight, as it currently flies daily between Colombo and Chennai. Sri Lankan Airlines and India’s Jet Airways and SpiceJet also offer flights between the two neighbouring countries.


Air India operates inaugural flight between Durgapur & Kolkata

air indiaNEW DELHI: Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport in Durgapur started commercial operations today with an Air India flight connecting Durgapur to Kolkata today. The flight may be upgraded to a bigger Airbus planes after 45 days of operations.

“The national carrier will monitor the market for the first 30 to 45 days and then upgrade it to an Airbus 319/320 or 321 depending on the loads,” Partha Ghosh, Managing Director of Bengal Aerotropolis Private Ltd (BAPL), the company that built the airport and operate it, told ET.

Kazi Nazrul Islam Airport is a 650-acre airport and is the centrepiece of the Rs 10,000 crore Aerotropolis.

Ghosh added that the airport operator is also in talks with GoAir and SpiceJet to launch flights from Durgapur. “We are offering waiver from landing & parking charges and user development fee to airlines during the first year of their operations. A decision on continuing it for the second may be taken later,” said Ghosh.

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