Jet Airways tops global airline product rating chart

Jet Airways tops global airline product rating chart, Air India a close second

Indigo, SpiceJet lead among low-cost carriers in Airline Ratings ranking for 2018

The airline safety and product ratings for 2018 by global airline safety and product rating agency has Jet Airways topping the ‘product’ category list with a score of 7/7 in the full-service carrier category. Indigo has scored 4 in the low-cost airline category.

In the ratings announced this week, Air India has scored five, while Air Asia India has got a rating of 2 on 5. An airline is rated from 1 to 7 stars on product category, with seven being the highest ranking for full service carriers, while the low-cost ones are rated out of 5.

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Vistara Airlines is the only Indian carrier not rated

While Indigo and SpiceJet have managed a product rating of 4 each out of 5, Air India and GoAir have got 5 on 7 and 3.5 on 5 respectively. Vistara Airlines is the only Indian carrier not rated.

Ranking criteria

The criteria for product ratings include personal in-flight entertainment, cabin space and comfort, beverages, food, seat recline, website information, etc.

In the ‘safety’ category, Air India, Go Air, Indigo, Jet Airways and Jet Konnect have all managed a rating of 6 on 7. Air Asia India and SpiceJet have got 3 on 7 each, while Air India Express, the only Indian carrier without a fatality-free record — due to the 2010 Mangalore air crash — has got a rating of 5.

“The product is core to our business and a competitive differentiator across the industry. The quality of the experience determines whether guests travel with us or another airline. As a result, we are constantly innovating to ensure that we remain the gold standard of product excellence in the aviation industry,” a Jet Airways spokesperson said.

AirlineRatings, launched in June 2013, rates the safety and in-flight product of 405 airlines. It has been used by passengers from 232 countries and has become the industry standard for safety and product rating.


Good News Now upgrade to Air India if train ticket not confirmed

Good news for wait-listed passengers! Now upgrade to Air India if train ticket not confirmed

Good news for wait-listed passengers! Now upgrade to Air India if train ticket not confirmed


This summer vacation, travelling will be cooler. Now, if you fail to get a confirmed train berth on train, you can upgrade yourself for an air travel. Yes you heard it right!

Air India and IRCTC have made this arrangement which is expected to be in place within a two to three days.

As per the understanding wait-listed train passengers will be provided with the option to fly by Air India. However, they will have to pay a little extra.

First class train passengers will not have to pay anything for the upgrade but AC 2-tier passengers will have to pay upto Rs 2,000 for the upgrade.

It will also depend on the flight route (there should be flight route on the train destination) and availability of seats on the airline.

-May 26, 2016, New Delhi

Air India no longer loss-making: Government

Air India no longer loss-making: Government

Efficient functioning and reduction in operational costs has helped national carrier Air India turn from a loss-making airline into an “operational profit unit”, the Lok Sabha was informed on Tuesday.

The government also asserted that with regard to safety issues for air travellers, it will be the endeavour of the government “to keep our airports and skies absolutely safe” through foolproof adherence to prescribed international standards.

“By cutting its operational expenses by almost 11 per cent, Air India has turned from a Rs.2,636 crore loss making unit in 2014-15 to a Rs.8 crore operational profit unit in 2015-16,” Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said while replying to the debate on demand for grant for his ministry.

He also pointed out that Air India joined Star Alliance in 2014, “which has helped it to integrate better with the international civil aviation market”.

The minister also recalled the unique contribution of Air India in the “hour of crisis — evacuating about 6,000 nationals from Yemen, 1,300 from Iraq and Libya and 17,500 passengers from quake-affected Nepal”.

The minister told members that by 2020, Air India’s fleet size is likely to grow, by about 100 aircraft to about 232, and of this 28 more aircraft will be added by January 2018.

Responding to members who during the debate on Monday raised issues concerning air passengers, the minister said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has decided to use technology as an “enabler” and that a comprehensive e-governance project will be launched to offer 160 services online to stakeholders.

“This system will promote transparency, increase efficiency and service delivery, leading to greater ease of doing business. The first set of such services will be launched in May 2016,” Raju said.

Among other innovative schemes, the minister said Cochin airport has become the “first in the world to exclusively run on solar energy with a total installed capacity of 12 megawatt”.

Delhi and Hyderabad international airports also have eight and five megawatt solar plants respectively.

With regard to safety issues, Raju said it will continue to be the endeavour of the government “to keep our airports and skies absolutely safe through foolproof adherence to prescribed international standards”.

He said there was a “high degree of satisfaction” that in a very recent survey it was found that passenger and cargo security satisfaction level were assessed to be 99.25 per cent against a world average of 66 per cent.

To a specific issue raised by Congress member K.C. Venugopal on the fate of the request by Kerala government for an airline between Kerala and the Gulf countries, the minister said, “It (such a demand) is an imagination. No government or any airline in the name Kerala Airline has applied with the government of India.”

“I tried to make my enquiries and no airline of Kerala government is pending with the
government of India. They have not even applied,” he said amid repeated interruptions from Congress members including Venugopal.
The minister’s contention was supported by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Dushyant Singh, who also said the Kerala government has not made any such request to the centre.

At one point Venugopal was heard asking the minister and the treasury bench, “what happened to you, it is my right to ask the question”.
The minister said all registered airlines will have to follow the Indian rules and the Route Dispersal Route guidelines. The demand for grant was later passed by voice vote after the cut motions were either rejected or withdrawn.
-PTI | May 3, 2016

Air passenger traffic higher by 20 percent in 2015

Air passenger traffic higher by 20 percent in 2015

Low fuel prices, coupled with competitive fares and recovering economic activity, led India’s domestic air passenger traffic to skyrocket by 20.34 percent in 2015, official data showed on Monday.

The data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) showed that passenger traffic during the January-December period stood at 811 lakh in 2015 from 674 lakh passengers, who were ferried during 2014.

“Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-December 2015 were 810.91 lakh
as against 673.83 lakh during the corresponding period of previous year, thereby
registering a growth of 20.34 percent,” the DGCA said in its monthly statistical supplement.

The data showed that low cost carrier (LCC) IndiGo achieved the highest market share in the calendar year under review at 36.7 percent followed by Jet Airways (19.2), Air India (16.4), SpiceJet (11.6), Go Air (8.5) and JetLite (3.3 percent).

Others like AirAsia India had a market penetration of 1.7 percent, while Vistara reported a market share of 1.3 percent, followed by Air Costa’s (0.9). Air Pegasus and Trujet had a market share — (0.1), respectively.

On a monthly-basis, the air passenger traffic rose by 19.71 percent in December to 77.09 lakh from 64.40 lakh registered during the corresponding month of last year.

Furthermore, the DGCA data revealed that LCC SpiceJet had the highest passenger load factor during the month under review at 92.1 percent.

The LCC was followed by another budget carrier IndiGo (88.5), Air Costa (87.1), Air India (86.7), Go Air (86.5), Jet Airways (83.8), JetLite (83), AirAsia India (82.7), Trujet (82.7), Air Pegasus (82.2) and Vistara (77.6).

At the same time, data on the on-time performance showed Vistara leading the industry with 90.6 percent punctuality at four major airports of Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

It was followed by Jet Airways and JetLite (78.5), IndiGo (78.3), SpiceJet (72.9) and Air India (62.8 percent).

Meanwhile, Air Pegasus had the highest numbers of cancellations at 19.33 percent followed by Air Costa (14.59), Jet Airways (4.14), Air India (2.39), IndiGo (2.01), Go Air (1.52), Trujet (1.26), JetLite (0.88), AirAsia India (0.49), Vistara (0.43) and SpiceJet (0.34 percent).

“The overall cancellation rate of scheduled domestic airlines for the month of
December 2015 has been 2.49 percent,” the aviation regulator said.

According to the data, a total of 1,091 passenger-related complaints were received during December.

“During December 2015, a total of 1,091 passenger-related complaints had been
received by the scheduled domestic airlines,” the statement disclosed.

“The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of December 2015 has been 1.4”

Air India had the highest complaints rate per 10,000 passengers in the month under review — (4.3).

The national passenger carrier was followed by Go Air (1.5), Jet Airways and JetLite (1.3), Air Costa at (1.1), Air Pegasus (1.00), AirAsia India (0.7), SpcieJet (0.6) IndiGo (0.5), Trujet (0.4) and Vistara (0.1).

-18 January 2016 | IANS | New Delhi

Seat Occupancy Ratio in Flights in India

Seat Occupancy Ratio in Flights in India 

As on date, 14 Scheduled Operators are functioning in the country.

The financial summary of Scheduled Indian carriers for the Financial Year 2013-14 is given below:

AIR INDIA 190,934.9 223,488.5 -32553.6
AIR INDIA EXPRESS 20,696.1 19,968.4 727.7
ALLIANCE AIR 2,423.9 4,178.2 -1754.3
TOTAL. 214,054.9 247,635.1 -33580.2
JET AIRWAYS 172,325.1 201,072.5 -28747.5
JETLITE (P) LTD. 16,909.9 21,456.0 -4546,0
GO AIR 25,323.8 24,228.8 1097.0
SPICEJET 63,042.3 73,036.8 -9994.5
INDIGO 111,165.8 108,486,9 2698.9
AIR COSTA* 511.0 1,206.6 -695.5
TOTAL 388,767.0 428,259.0 -39492.0
GRAND TOTAL 602,821.9 675,894.1 -73072.2
” Air Costa started operating In October 2013.

           The Passenger load Factor of Scheduled Indian carriers for the Financial Year 2013-14 is given below:

Note: 1. Air Asia started operating in June 2014.

2. Vistara started operating In January 2015.

Booking of tickets by airlines is a commercial aspect of airline in which Ministry does not interfere; It is decided by airlines themselves depending upon market factors and international practices.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr. Mahesh Sharma in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.

-Ministry of Civil Aviation, 08-December, 2015

Financial Performance of Air India Improves

Financial Performance of Air India Improves

Air India has made substantial improvements in its financial performance. The main areas in which the company has registered improvements in FY 2014-15 in comparison to FY 2011-12 are as follows:

(i) The Operating Loss has consistently reduced since merger and in 2014-15, the same stands at Rs.2636.19 crores as compared to Rs.5138 crores in 2011- 12.

(ii) As per 2014-15, the Net Loss is Rs.5859.91 crores as against the loss of Rs.7559.74 crores in 2011-12 i.e. a reduction by 22.5%.

(iii) The Company has turned EBIDTA positive by Rs.337.77 crores in 2014- 15 as against the negative EBIDTA of Rs.2236.95 crores in 2011-12.

(iv) Total Revenue increased from Rs.14713.81 crores in 2011-12 to Rs.20606.27 crores in 2014-15 i.e. by Rs.5892.46 viz by 40.1% as compare to levels of 2011-12.

Earlier Air India (AI) had been suffering losses over the past few years and the details of the losses for the past 5 years are as follows:

Financial Year           Net Loss (Rs. Crores)

  2010-11                  6865.17

  2011-12                  7559.74

  2012-13                  5490.16

  2013-14                  6279.60

  2014-15                  5859.91

Losses were on account of a multitude of factors which include the following:

(i) High fuel prices

(ii) High interest burden

(iii) Increase in competition especially from low cost carriers

(iv) High Debt Equity Ratio

(v) High Airport User Charges

(vi) Liberalized bilaterals to foreign carriers

(vii)Adverse impact of exchange rate variation due to weakening of the Indian Rupee.

Government took cognizance of the deteriorating financial position of Air India and formulated a Turnaround Plan (TAP)/ Financial Restructuring Plan (FRP) with the aim of improving the operational and financial performance of the company which was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in its meeting held on 12th April, 2012. The TAP/ FRP envisages the following:

(i) Upfront equity of Rs.6750 cores in FY 2011-12.

(ii) Equity for Cash deficit support of Rs.4,552 crores till FY 2017-18.

(iii)Equity for guaranteed aircraft loan fill FY 2021 of Rs.18,929 crores.

(iv) For GOI guaranteed Non-Convertible Debentures (NCDs) an amount of Rs.11,951 crores towards interest and Rs.7400 crores towards principal. Till date, equity of Rs.22,280 crores has been released to Air India under TAP/FRP.

The TAP/ FRP also provides that equity would be infused subject to achievement of certain laid down milestones. The Company has achieved most of the targets set out in the TAP milestones, and has made progress in both Operational as well as Financial Areas.

This information was given by Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma in a   written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

-Ministry of Civil Aviation, 08-December, 201

62 Jet, AI pilots board IndiGo

62 Jet, AI pilots board IndiGo

As many as 62 pilots of Jet Airways and Air India have flown out of the two airlines in a little over one year to join other carriers, with a majority of them boarding the Rahul Bhatia-promoted IndiGo.

While private carrier Jet Airways has lost 30 pilots in 15 months to budget carrier IndiGo, state-owned Air India has seen the migration of 32 pilots in the past one year, industry sources said.

“Some 30 pilots including ATR commanders and Boeing 737 first officers have left Jet Airways in the past 15 months to take up employment with IndiGo for better pay packages and work environment,” sources said.

Most of these pilots have already joined IndiGo after serving the mandatory 6-month notice period, they said, adding the rest are expected to board the airline in the next one to two months.

When contacted, a Jet Airways spokesperson termed the resignation of the pilots as a part of normal attrition faced by organisations.

“This is part of the normal attrition faced by organisations across industries. In all cases of resignations, the relevant provisions of notice period are applicable,” the spokesperson said.

Jet Airways employs sufficient number of type-rated crew to ensure optimal use of its fleet, he added. A type rating is a regulating agency’s certification of an airplane pilot to fly a certain aircraft type that requires additional training beyond the scope of the initial license and aircraft class training.

Sources said the “flexible” service contracts offered by IndiGo is one of the reasons apart from the higher pay packets for the pilots quitting Jet Airways.

IndiGo offers seven different types of job contracts to its employees, providing greater flexibility, as against a single conventional contract by most of the domestic airliners, sources said.

Confirming the resignation by 32 of its pilots in the last one year, a senior Air India official said this has not affected the airline’s operations in any way.

“Of course, 32 pilots have quit the airline in the last one year to join other carriers, including IndiGo and some Gulf airlines, but this has not impacted Air India operations. Requirement-based hiring of pilots is an on-going process,” the official said.

Significantly, several domestic airlines in the past have voiced their concern on the poaching of skilled workforce, particularly of pilots, engineers and cabin crew by the competitors.

Acknowledging that the industry was facing the problem of poaching, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had in March this year indicated putting in place some mechanism to check it.

The poaching of staff “results in crippling shortage of trained manpower for airlines…We can ask the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) to frame guidelines to address this matter,” Sharma had said.

-PTI | Oct 11, 2015

50% of emergency landings due to snags in Air India fleet

50% of emergency landings due to snags in Air India fleet

Two recent back-to-back emergency landings of Air India flights have put the focus on the efficacy of the national carrier’s fleet and maintenance.
With both the landings-on September 7 and October 4-caused by hydraulic failures, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Air India are looking for solutions to prevent any recurrence.

Data sourced from the ministry of civil aviation reveals that Air India has the worst record when it comes to emergency landings caused by technical glitches.

In the past three-and-a-half-years (January 2012-July 2015), a total of 141 emergency landings by all scheduled airlines have been reported in the country. Of these, 14% (20) were caused due to technical problems while 86% were due to medical emergencies.

However, 10 of the 20 emergency landings caused due to technical problems (50%) involve the state-run Air India. Another one involves its subsidiary Air India Charters Limited (AICL). Air India didn’t respond to queries on the matter.

Captain Gopinath, founder of erstwhile Air Deccan, said: “There are several parameters to check what went wrong in these incidents. But that Air India has the worst maintained fleet in the country is no secret. If one looks at the number of on-ground aircraft versus the ones flying, the number of cancellations and the number of recalls, it is an indication of the situation.”

He blamed the lack of accountability and vision of the airline for the lapses. Delhi-based aviation expert Harsha Vardhan said: “Every such incident must be seen as alarming. But if one looks at the number of such incidents versus the number of take-offs and landings in the country, I think we are still alright.”

Harsha, however, cautioned that measures need to be in place to avoid future incidents. “India relatively has a young fleet of aircraft. We’ve been conservative as many other countries fly aircraft much older than the average age of our flights. Now, one has to put in place systems to maintain the old aircraft.” He also said that the number of ‘near-misses’ of accidents are a major cause of concern.

Apart from these, there have been many unscheduled landings of foreign aircraft at Indian airports. The ministry of civil aviation says no additional expenditure is incurred due to such landings and that there are varying reasons for the same.

– , TNN | Oct 11, 2015