India appears to have ruled out any early prospect of increased international competition among its airlines. The move will disappoint recent start-up operators looking for a relaxation of current policy that bars Indian carriers with less than five years’ experience from international routes.
The meteoric development of India’s airline industry continues unabated as Air India extends its nonstop network to all corners of the globe with Boeing’s longest-range airliner. On February 8, Air India placed its fourth 777-200LR on a new direct route between Delhi and New York JFK Airport, and expected the imminent arrival of airplane No. 5 as we approached the start of this year’s Singapore show.
Indonesia’s Lion Air and India’s SpiceJet have started operating some of the first 737-900ERs to roll off Boeing’s Renton, Washington assembly line. The Asian carriers could well serve as barometers of the type’s value within the low-fare markets expected to account for so much of the region’s airline growth. Early accounts suggest the new twinjet has met expectations and more.
UAE low-fare carrier Air Arabia yesterday ordered 34 Airbus A320 single-aisle airliners, with delivery to begin in 2012, and took options on an additional 15. Delivery of the aircraft will eventually more than triple the carrier’s current fleet of 10 leased A320s. Chief executive Adel Abdullah Ali, said Air Arabia’s fleet will double by 2010 and grow to 50 by 2015.
Flush with a $200 million cash infusion from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and a $170 million order book, turboprop and VLJ maker Epic Aircraft announced that it is in initial talks with Airbus on a technology- and knowledge-sharing agreement. However, Epic CEO Rick Schrameck backed away from a statement he made on Tuesday that the value of the Airbus alliance would equal or exceed Mallya’s investment in the company.
Flush with a $200 million cash infusion from Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya and a $170 million order book, turboprop and very light jet maker Epic Aircraft announced today at the NBAA Convention that it is in initial talks with EADS unit Airbus Industries on a technology- and knowledge-sharing agreement.
For travellers with deep pockets or generous expenses allowances–or simply an interest in how the other half lives–Indian carrier Jet Airways is showing off here the first-class interior of a Boeing 777-300ER, with which it plies the Mumbai (Bombay)-London route. The cabin is outfitted with eight exclusive “suites,” each occupying more than 25 square feet of useable floor space that can be separated from prying eyes by sliding doors.
Indian executive charter firm Deccan Aviation, based in Bangalore, is evaluating aircraft from Gulfstream, Bombardier and Cessna with a view to adding up to 15 jets to its fleet over the next five years. The firm already has nine helicopters and a pair of Pilatus PC-12 turboprops, but now needs jet equipment to meet rising demand in India’s fast-growing economy.
Early last month, Bell sold three 412s to Global Vectra, bringing to 18 the number of helicopters in the fleet of the Mumbai-based aviation firm. Separately, the government of Karnataka has leased an Indian-built HAL Dhruv. Early last month, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was the first passenger.
Airbus’ solid sales showing at this year’s show continued yesterday with Kingfisher Airlines’ announcement that it would take another 30 Airbus A320-family jets starting in 2008. Meanwhile, almost simultaneously back in Toulouse, the company announced a deal with TAP Portugal for 10 A350s and seven A330-200s, scheduled for first deliveries in 2013 and 2007, respectively.