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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Indian Airport implements Biometric Technology for paperless e-Boarding

Indian Airport implements Biometric Technology for paperless e-Boarding

Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad, India has implemented biometric border control technology to become the 
nation’s First Airport to provide a completely paperless e-boarding solution, according to a report by

The biometric installation follows GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd’s e-boarding project pilot program which 
occurred between April and June.

With the help of Jet Airways, the pilot project involved 7,000 International fliers testing out the new check-in method at 
the terminal.

The Commissioner of Security Civil Aviation (CoSCA), Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS), under the Ministry of Civil 
Aviation (MoCA) has approved the process after conducting several security audits and checks.

“Our E-boarding solution is in line with the ongoing ‘Digital India’ initiative envisioned by the Prime Minister,” said SGK Kishore, CEO of GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. “The seamless collaboration with cross functional teams and our stakeholders – Jet Airways and CISF – enabled us to move from concept stage to the implementation in the shortest possible time.”

E-boarding will soon be introduced at Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore Airports for International passengers. However, there is 
no timeline as to when the e-boarding system will be available to domestic passengers.

The system sends the passenger an SMS informing them about the option of e-boarding pass, 24 hours before their flight.
If the passenger selects the option, the system will send a Unique Mobile Pass and a QR Code to the passenger’s registered 
mobile number.

On the day of their flight, the passenger will be required to visit the special e-boarding machine installed near the gates and scan the QR code.

Once the code is validated, the passenger will be prompted to enter his Aadhaar Card number, followed by a finger scan to validate his biometric information, which are linked with the Aadhaar Card.

Once the passenger’s identity is verified, he will be able to gain access to the terminal area without having to stand in queue or getting his physical boarding pass stamped.

The mandatory use of the Aadhaar Card makes the whole process more secured and safe, as the passenger’s biometric data is verified before the check-in. However, if the passenger does not have Aadhaar Card, and has opted for e-boarding facility, they will have to use the traditional paper-bound boarding procedure.

In January, the Indian government began allowing passengers with an Aadhaar identification number to enter the empegowda 

International Airport in Bangalore, India, using their fingerprint as part of a pilot project.



Boeing raises forecast for Indian Air Plane demand

Boeing raises forecast for Indian Air Plane demand 

Boeing co estimates Indian carriers will need 1,740 new Airplanes, valued at $240 billion, through 2034, a senior executive at the US planemaker said on Wednesday. 

Dinesh Keskar, senior vice president, Asia Pacific and India sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a presentation that 84 per cent of the new planes required would be single-aisle, while 15 per cent would be wide-body aircraft. 

The new forecast is above that made by Boeing last year, when it estimated Indian demand at 1,600 new Airplanes worth $205 billion over 20 years. 

India's Aviation Market is growing fast as more people start to fly and new carriers enter the market. Most players in the industry, however, are losing money, given high fuel prices and limited scope to raise fares. 



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AirAsia X launches Sydney-Bali Flights in challenge to Virgin Australia

Indonesia AirAsia X will launch five weekly non-stop flights from Sydney to Bali from October, in a move that will place 

further pressure on Virgin Australia's troubled International Operations.

Virgin last week said it would switch its flights from Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth to Bali to low-cost arm Tigerair 

Australia from March as it looked to return its International Operations to profitability over the next two years.

For now, Virgin has left its mainline brand on flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Bali but has left open the possibility 

of switching those to Tigerair in the future. Indonesia AirAsia X is offering introductory one-way fares from Sydney to 

Bali from $119 in economy class and $399 for its premium flat-bed seats. Online travel group Expedia has also launched 

promotional flight and hotel package deals.

In total, Indonesia AirAsia X's A330-300 aircraft offer 377 seats, meaning the move represents a significant expansion of 

capacity on the Sydney-Bali route. It will be entering the market with more seats available than Virgin offers with its 

daily Boeing 737 flights with 176 seats.

"At the end of the day competition is going to benefit both the passengers and the [Airline] players," Indonesia AirAsia X 

chief executive Dendy Kurniawan said during a visit to Sydney on Wednesday. "In terms of passengers, of course with this 

type of condition, they will get the best value. But we see in the markets with tough competition, it will give spirit for 

us to increase and enhance our services and make it more excellent and to be market leaders on that route."

The Indonesia AirAsia X flights have already been granted regulatory approval by Australian and Indonesian authorities, 

unlike its planned December launch of Melbourne-Bali services which were delayed to the anger of passengers. Mr Kurniawan 

admitted the delay caused brand damage in Australia, but he said the Melbourne-Bali route had since recovered, with around 

80 per cent of seats filled in June and July.

"Hopefully in the near future we are planning to increase capacity to Melbourne," he said. "Definitely we are looking for 

other opportunities after Melbourne and Sydney, other cities in Australia."

Brisbane and the Gold Coast are among the possibilities. The AirAsia group is using Bali as a hub, meaning travellers can 

also fly on from there to other destinations like Jakarta, Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur if they want a longer Asian 


As in the Melbourne market, Virgin will now be competing against three rivals, Jetstar, Garuda Indonesia and AirAsia X on 

the Sydney-Bali route, all of which use widebody Aircraft as opposed to the single-aisle 737s used by Virgin and soon, 

Tigerair.  The Tigerair flights will be flown by Virgin's international arm on behalf of Tigerair, using Virgin pilots but 

Tigerair cabin crew and an all-economy class configuration.

CAPA Centre for Aviation has noted the widebody Aircraft offer significantly lower unit costs on routes of five to six 

hour length such as Melbourne-Bali and Sydney-Bali.

"Ultimately it seems unlikely that Tigerair Australia will be able to generate sufficient yields to cover the relatively 

high cost of operating long narrowbody routes such as Melbourne-Bali," CAPA said last week. "Most narrowbody [low-cost 

carrier] routes of over five hours are operated in high yielding markets with limited competition and significant business 

demand. Bali is almost entirely a price sensitive leisure market and is also hugely competitive."

In addition to competition over fares, Virgin's Bali operation has been struggling, like other operators, with flight 

cancellations due to the ongoing eruption of Mount Ruang. The costs to date for the carrier are understood to be in the 

single digit millions.

Jetstar is Australia's biggest operator of flights from Australia to Bali. Jetstar Group chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka 

last week said demand for flights to Bali remained high despite the lower Australian dollar.



Monday, August 10, 2015

Punjabi singer Sardar Sukhbir Singh in custody at Lahore Airport

Punjabi singer  Sardar Sukhbir Singh in custody at Lahore Airport

Punjabi pop singer Sukhbir Singh, who is based in Dubai, was reportedly held up at the Lahore Airport here after he was found to be carrying USD 27,000, in excess of permissible limits. 

However, his family that lives in Bhogpur near Kapurthala, denied that “anything objectionable” was found on the singer at 
the Airport. 

PTI, quoting a senior customs official, reported that Sukhbir had reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport in Lahore at 11.30 am to catch a Dubai-bound flight. “However, before check-in, the singer asked the authorities how much amount he 
could carry abroad. On learning that the permissible limit is USD 10,000, he left the Airport as he had more than USD 10,000,” the official told PTI. 

Sukhbir’s family, meanwhile, claimed that the singer boarded the flight to Dubai. Speaking to The Indian Express, Sukhbir’s nephew Sunny Singh said: “We came to know of the incident through media but we are in touch with Sukhbir. He is innocent and nothing objectionable was found on him during the custom checks. He safely boarded the flight for Dubai.” 

The nephew also said that “Sukhbir was in Pakistan for a music concert. He was there for the past few days and had to return to Dubai today”. 

According to PTI, the singer arrived in Lahore to perform in the marriage ceremony of the grandson of a close associate of slain Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. “Sukhbir was given USD 30,000 to perform in both events on August 7 and 8 where Pakistani singer Shafqat Amanat Ali also performed,” it was reported.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

FlyEasy will Fly Soon in Indian Sky

FlyEasy will Fly Soon in Indian Sky


The only CEO of a Scheduled Airline in India to also be a Highly Respected, Type Rated, and Highly Experienced Pilot  [ He used to Fly the Indian Prime Minister and President on Air India One, and has 15000 Hrs Plus Total Flying Time]. 

Deputy CEO Captain Lila Singh as Pilot Flying on our first Embraer E190's test flight at Jordan, while testing the autoland feature on this 4th generation Airplane. Excited comments from Soto, our project Pilot & Head of Training!

Check out pretty green bird on its First Test Flight! 

Eesha Rohida [ MBA Mktg ]
Aviation News Editor

Highrises near Airport Bombay H C seeks Safety Audit from Airports Authority of India AAI

Highrises near Airport   Bombay H C seeks Safety Audit from AAI

Calling it a “very serious” issue, the Bombay High Court Monday directed the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to produce the safety audit to see if norms related to heights of buildings in close vicinity of the Mumbai Airport were being followed.
Advocate Yeshwanth Shenoy, the petitioner, brought with him a thermocol model of buildings to demonstrate his case. The red markings on buildings’ crown, surrounded by clouds, demonstrated danger.

Through his PIL, he alleged lapses and callousness on the part of the AAI while granting permission for building construction around the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) and Juhu Airport. He said the efforts, during a catastrophe, will prove to be a futile exercise for the firefighters as Aviation fuel is highly combustible given the narrow lanes of slums around CSIA.

“Any hit on a tall building can cause catastrophe resulting in deaths of hundreds of thousands,” the PIL stated.
He added that in Mumbai, the Juhu airport is close to sea level, just about 4 metres above mean sea level (AMSL), whereas that of CSIA is about 11 metres AMSL. The PIL, therefore, said that the permissible height of the inner horizontal surface, above which buildings within a radius of 4 km around CSIA cannot protrude, is 56.27 metres AMSL and for the area within 2.5 km around the Juhu Airport is 49.87 metres AMSL. Shenoy alleged that it is due to the escalating demand for real estate around the 10 km radius of these Airports, a lobby of the developers have been trying all means to get more than the permitted heights.

“This lobby colluded with some top officials of the AAI and an Aeronautical study was instituted which gave birth to what is now the infamous Negi report of May 2011,” claimed the lawyer.



Monday, August 3, 2015

Cheaper fuel lifts Indian carriers on efficiency drive

India’s Airlines are showing signs of improvement in their latest results, helped by lower oil prices and efforts to boost their performance.

SpiceJet on Tuesday reported a net profit of 718 million rupees (Dh41.2m) in the quarter between April and June compared to a loss of 1.24 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier.

This was driven by lower fuel prices and more efficient use of the Airline’s fleet.

Mahesh Sharma, the minister of state for Civil Aviation, a day earlier revealed that Air India had reduced its net losses to 55.47bn rupees in the last financial year to the end of March compared to 75.59bn rupees in the financial year of 2011 to 2012, helped by improvements in seat factors and on-time performance. Edelweiss Securities, based in Mumbai, has predicted a profit of 343m rupees for Jet Airways in the quarter to the end of June compared to a loss of 2.17bn rupees a year earlier.

“The Domestic Aviation Industry has seen strong growth in this quarter,” Edelweiss said. “In line, we expect Jet Airways to report a 28 per cent year-on-year growth in passengers. The benefit of lower fuel costs will reflect in this quarter also.”

Airline losses in India could reduce by 40 per cent this year, according to Capa.

It expects the Indian Aviation Industry’s financial performance to improve in the current financial year, predicting that total industry losses could decline to between US$680m to $750m, assuming an oil price of $60 to $70 per barrel.

It forecasts that low-cost carriers will generate a combined profit of $200m to $220m, while full-service carriers will post losses of $900m to $950 m.

But Capa warns that “a failure to maintain pricing discipline is the key risk to improved financials”, as Indian Airlines offer aggressive discounts on fares to fill seats.

“During the peak first quarter of [the current financial year] carriers have been observed pursuing volume ahead of yields which is ultimately negative for the industry overall,” it said.

A sudden rise in fuel prices would also be a risk, it added.

Mr Sharma said that an assessment of the impact of financial stress on the safety of operations of private scheduled Airlines was conducted last year by the DGCA.

“It has been found that all Private Airlines are in varying degree of financial stress,” said Mr Sharma.

“The findings of the audit have been individually discussed with the top management of the Airlines and they have been asked to optimise their operations and reduce the financial burden without compromising the safety of Aircraft operations.”


Eesha Rohida [ MBA Mktg ]
Aviation News Editor

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Eyes on the skies in India as Aviation Industry "RISE"

Enforcement of safety standards in India’s Aviation Industry is not keeping pace with the rapid growth of the sector, experts warn.
A number of pilots in India have been securing licences after barely flying because of fudged documents, while the regulator is ill-equipped to monitor safety of Aircraft and personnel as Airlines continue to expand and more carriers take to the skies in the country.

With the International Civil Aviation Organization expected to conduct an audit towards the end of this year, Aviation Safety in India is coming into sharp focus.

“In my nearly 30 years of experience in Aviation in India, I always found a great emphasis on very high safety standards 
in the initial years,” says Satish Modh, who was in Aviation for most of his career before becoming the director of the Vivekanand Education Society Institute of Management Studies and Research in Mumbai. 

“But as the Aviation Sector expanded greatly, the system was not geared enough to handle such high growth. Nearly the same number of people were dealing with a three to fourfold increase in the number of Aircraft and licensed personnel. Even if the measures were stringent there was the possibility of making mistakes and ignoring some incidents due to shortage of flight inspectors.”

There has been a surge in the growth of India’s Aviation Sector over the past decade, particularly with the rise of low-cost carriers. Last year, a new full-service Airline, Vistara, a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Group, took to the skies. The previous year, the budget Airline AirAsia India launched in the market.

“With the growth in Aviation Sector there was huge demand for pilots by private Airlines,” says Mr Modh. “There was a rush to obtain pilot licences and aspirants went all over the globe including some dubious flight schools in India, US, Europe and south Asia. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) conducted raids on many flight schools and cancelled their flight training licences,” he explains. 

“The problem arose because of fudging of the record books which were filled manually. Certainly after the new incidents of fudging brought to light, there is a need for recertification of flying clubs and pilot training schools.”

Anupam Verma, 25, told Bloomberg News recently that he was given a certificate showing he had flown an Airplane for 360 

hours by a flying school in Indore after spending just over half-an-hour in the air in the co-pilot’s seat. In India, 200 hours of flying are required to obtain a pilot’s licence.

“What if I was flying and had an emergency?” he said. “I wouldn’t even know how or where to land.”

For its part, the DGCA has indicated that it plans to conduct a review of all flying schools in India that would require their recertification.

Airlines in India are struggling with profitability amid price wars and high operating costs, including taxes. Indian 
Airlines’ losses are expected to total US$1 billion this year, according to the International Air Transport Association. 

It expects India to become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2029.

“We do believe that there needs to be a focus on strengthening the resources and expertise within the DGCA to ensure that Indian aviation is able to grow safely,” says Binit Somaia, the director for South Asia at Capa Centre for Aviation. “With traffic having the potential to triple over the next decade this will place a significant additional burden on the regulator for which it needs to be equipped and prepared.”

Capa’s figures show that India’s Domestic Airline passenger numbers have reached about 60 million passengers a year.