Say goodbye to the Gipps imprimatur on its line of general aviation aircraft. India’s Mahindra Aerospace, which bought Australia-based GippsAero in 2009, is renaming its piston GA8 single the Airvan 8 and its under-development turboprop-single GA10 the Airvan 10. Mahindra also announced yesterday at EAA AirVenture that the Airvan 8 would be available on optional Wipline amphibious aluminum floats by year-end and that it is now taking nonrefundable deposits on the Airvan 10. It said it expects Airvan 10 certification in 2015.
Economy of India
Universal Weather & Aviation’s attempt to form a joint-venture company in India to conduct its own ground handling services has been stymied by the rejection of its license application by Indian authorities. The Houston-based company has operated in India, providing trip support for the past decade, with its agents acting in a supervisory role for the local ground handlers it uses.
With India’s airlines still mired in losses, the country’s new budget, announced on July 11, did little to address some of the aviation industry’s most pressing concerns. It offered nothing on reforms in taxation on aviation fuel and maintenance, repair and overhaul—long issues of contention the aviation industry hoped India’s new government would address.
Emteq has signed an agreement with Air Works that will make its products more easily available to operators in India. Air Works, a provider of aviation services across 15 maintenance locations in India, will integrate Emteq’s cabin electronics into upgrades for executive and airline operators throughout India. “Until recently, Indian aircraft buyers had little option but to look overseas for aircraft completion and refurbishment facilities.
International trip support provider United Aviation Services (UAS) is looking for a partner in India. Viney Garg, the Dubai-based group’s business development manager, said it wants to get a partnership up and running this year.
The Star Alliance has set a new target of 2015 for Air India to join its ranks following a unanimous vote by member airlines to restart the process of integrating the Indian flag carrier. The alliance suspended integration in 2011 on grounds that Air India had “not met minimum joining conditions agreed in December 2007.” With signs of stability and fleet rationalization, however, Star has agreed to give Air India a second chance.
India’s Mahindra Aerospace inaugurated a 270,000-sq-ft aerostructures manufacturing plant last week at the Narsapura Industrial Estate near Bangalore. The plant opening accompanied an announcement by Mahindra that it signed a technology partnership agreement with Spanish Tier 1 supplier Aernnova Group, the first for Aernnova with an Indian aerostructures manufacturer.
The death knell for India’s Kingfisher Airlines sounded as lender banks took possession of the airline’s 25,850-sq-ft headquarters property in Mumbai on August 10. Carrying some $1 billion in outstanding debt, liquor tsar Vijay Mallya and his United Breweries Group have seen wholly owned Kingfisher accumulate $2.6 billion in losses since its launch in 2005. Most recently, it registered a loss of $188 million for the quarter running from April to June.
India has decided to reduce the advance-application requirements for foreign-registered aircraft to enter the country from seven to three business days for landing permits, and from three days to one business day for overflights. The move is a significant breakthrough for business aircraft operators, who have long complained that Indian bureaucracy has undermined the flexibility they seek to deliver.
The AgustaWestland deal in India for AW101 helicopters that is being investigated after bribery allegations has prompted the Indian government to re-examine its already delayed defense procurement procedure 2013 (DPP). This is now focusing on “indigenization,” which defense minister A.K. Antony described recently as the “ultimate solution to the scourge of corruption.”
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