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Any News On Air India?  
User currently offlineAmo757 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (15 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3305 times:

anyone got any news about air india and the privatisation?
and any news in general about the airline, they are not currently part of any alliance, or not that i know of, they have close connections with swissair and have codeshares with them ( or an airline in europe) i am just wondering whether it would be good for air india to join an alliance? and if so, which one?
air indias fleet is very old, does anyone have any idea if they are planning to get new planes and retire the old ones, do u think we could see aircraft such as the 777, A340 and the A380 in the air india fleet within the next few yrs or so?
it would be nice if they could rebuild the reputation that they once had as one of the best airlines in the world, but as things are now, this seems a massive task for them. but it would be nice 2 c!!!
any info anyone?

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8743 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (15 years 4 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3211 times:
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For the moment I don't think the airlines top brass are looking at adding much more than the A310-300's they are getting on lease and perhaps looking to lease another 747-400 or 2.The airline needs to beef up frequency on routes rather than add larger passenger planes such as 777/A340 etc,hence addition of more A310's.



User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 4 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3196 times:

AI will be getting 2 more A310-300s on lease for the spring schedule in March. All flight crew and cabin crew have completed the conversion for the PW4000 powered A310s, so all the aircraft coming in now will be -324s or -325s. The first one, VT-EVE, is now fully integrated into the fleet rotation rather than flying only selected routes (DXB/AUH mainly) that she was doing in late December and early Jan.

As far as the privatization goes, the Tata/SQ bid is the odds-on favorite to succeed. My sources in the IPG tell me that this is the only bid that the unions are willing to support and the committee will definitely take that into consideration, as well as AF's appaling labor record. We should know something more concrete by Spring.

As far as routes go, there will be no new stations added in the Spring schedule. There will be a consolidation of frequencies to the Middle East, possibly an addition of HKG flights to make them daily and a couple extra SIN flights. The top priorities for route expansion are to return to stations such as FRA and FCO, but there is no fixed schedule for this. However, the A300s will be phased out at the same time, so there will not be a significant increase in capacity.

There are tenders on the table to obtain 747-300 Combis on lease, but there is a very tight market for these. If the lease does go through, they will be deployed on the NRT and CDG runs - so look for a possible increase in frequency there, as well as probably making CDG an exclusively 743 station rather than the mix that it currently receives.

User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (15 years 4 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3165 times:

According to Flight International AI are planning on keeping only the 747-300 and the A310-300 in their fleet Smile

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User currently offlineVirginA340 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (15 years 4 months 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3135 times:

Sean; When will Air India return to Sydney Austrailia as well as Switzerland and Denmark? Do they already have flights to AMS yet?

User currently offlineLutfi From China, joined Sep 2000, 823 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (15 years 4 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3118 times:

There were very few B743 Combis made, and many have been snapped up to convert to freighters (e.g Dragonair is buying 3 from SQ)

When do the codeshares with TG on BKK-BOM, and with MH on HYD-KUL start?

UA and CX should start HKG-DEL this summer, will AI codeshare again with UA?

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (15 years 4 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3123 times:

Airmale : I can officially confirm that Flight International has no clue what they are talking about!  Smile

VirginA340 : No plans for SYD on the horizon, or even PER. CPH is served by SK codeshare from DEL. GVA and AMS are served by AF codeshare from CDG.

Lutfi : No idea about the start dates - will check and get back to you. UA codeshare is not likely considering current state of war between the carriers.

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3097 times:

What is TG gonna fly on the BKK-BOM routes?

And why is AI so hell bent on 743-Combis?
If there arent that many 743-Combis around to begin with, arent they going to have additional problems with power plant commonality issues?

User currently offlineWpr8e From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3080 times:

What AI needs is a decent medium capacity aircraft to fly to Europe. Those junky A310's cannot go nonstop to Europe to some of the smaller cities that would justify service normally (FRA, FCO, ZRH, MAN etc) The government needs to allow AI to make their own decisions on routes, prices and aircraft. The A310's were bought for political considerations in the 80's even though AI found that the 767 was a much better aircraft. The 767-200ER can go anywhere in Europe and East Asia.

AI needs the ability to fly more point to point flights with more effeicent aircraft. The Indian airports are not designed to handle much transfer traffic so less funnel flights through BOM, DEL and MAA would be a great relief.

User currently offlineSingapore_Air From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13756 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3075 times:

Reports are that in mid-February Air India will say who sins. Either Delta / Air France or Singapore Airlines. Odds on are for Singapore Airlines although I really couldn't care less.

Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 3076 times:

You're right.

Those A310s are junk, suitable only for regional routes.
Although, I'm not sure why AI can't fly them non-stop to Europe while airlines like Austrian flew them routinely on their nonstop runs to Vienna from Delhi.

Furthermore, Bombay and Madras are uniquely positioned to be transit points for Europe/UK - SE Asia/Far East/Australia traffic, but the dimwitted Indian government and its equally half-assed minions have never exploited that geographic advantage. Instead, they turned AI into an "Ethnic" carrier, i.e., an airline that trucks Indian laborers to the Middle East. Unfortunately, the high tech, high wage Indian labor force to the US/UK/Australia prefer to fly other carriers.

If they had turned Bombay into a transit point, they could have justified daily non-stops into European destinations.

User currently offlineIndianGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3066 times:

Why is the A310 junk?

Why Cant the A310 fly non-stop India-Europe. According to the Airbus website, the A313 has range of almost 9600 kms.

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 3059 times:

Well, thats precisely what I'd like to know.
AI had to make an intermediate stop in the mid east due to range restrictions on its A310 flights to Europe.

In this day and age,
Supposed long range aircraft incapable of promised range = Junk (In my opinion, but its just mine).

In any case, the AI Board at the time of the purchase wanted 762s and 763s (better range, better take off capabilities in hot and high regions, etc etc), but for political reasons purchased the A310. The A310 is great as a regional jet, but simply can't do Madras-London or Delhi-Manchester.

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3051 times:

The A310-304s that AI has are stretching operational capacity when they fly from India to Europe. The MTOW of the 313 with the CF6-80 powerplants combined with the payloads serves to restrict the operational range during the hot summer months. AI used to serve DEL-ROM nonstop 6 months of the year, with tech stop at AUH/SHJ/KWI the rest of the time.

The new A310-325s with the PW4000 powerplants have no such restrictions though, and can theoretically be deployed even on BOM-LHR if so desired.

The A310s are perfect for AI's Middle East routes though, offering great operational economy there.

The 743 Combi is one of AI's best aircraft today in terms of YPM. They are deployed on the high-yield NRT and CDG runs where their added cargo capacity is a huge plus point. They also operate using the CF6 engines that the A310s and A300s use - so powerplant commonality is not a major issue.

Singapore Air : I am curious what your source for a February decision is? All my sources (including one inside Michael Mascarenhas' office) point to a decision later in the year - around April at the earliest.

User currently offlineJaysit From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3042 times:

Interesting bit of info there on the 743s.

But I take it that there are none around, so the quest for 743-combis is a hypothetical search for the loch ness monster through the magical kingdom of narnia. (Read: We, the Indian Govt. wish to beef up AI's fleet, but, alas, the Aircraft we are looking for does not exist, so lets maintain the status quo).

Which makes me wonder as to what the alternative plans are if the search for 743-combis does not materialize?

User currently offlineKaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 13271 posts, RR: 34
Reply 15, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 3040 times:

Hi all/namaskar!

Just a quick question: how is AI to fly with - particularly from an enthusiasts' point of view? Would they allow cockpit visits and/or jump seats - even for the purposes of writing an article (as I sometimes do)?

Secondly, if (as seems to be expected), SQ wins the race, what freedom will they have to make changes. For example, even if they have the ability to make changes on the fleet front, such as buying new A330s, there is still (and I mean no offence!) quite a strong Indian bureaucracy to make problems in ways such as route rights, import/export regulations etc. Could they find themselves frustrated?

I was amused and pleased (for reasons which you'll know well and hardly need repeating) that AI is considering the 737-700. Just how good a chance does this plane have and what routes would it be used on?

Finally, may I wish all who are interested in AI all the best and continued pride in their airline, which it deserves.

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3036 times:

Kaitak -

If you are flying AI, drop me a line in advance and I will arrange the cockpit visit for you. Jumpseat depends on the discretion of the PIC and usually they restrict that to non-revs only.

While I can't be more specific for obvious reasons, SQ does not intend to make strategic decisions for AI in the short term. That is going to be left entirely to Ratan Tata's boys. SQ will be a strategic partner at the beginning, with a gradual redefinition of their role over 2-3 years. This is something that the IPG is willing to back, and their support is essential to any deal. SQ doesnt expect to do much in the short term, so I don't think they will be too frustrated by anything.

AI is not considering the 737-700 seriously. Michael made those statements in an attempt to goad IC into better route co-operation on domestic feeder services. If AI enters the domestic market with the ability to undercut IC and 9Ws domestic fares using high-yield international traffic as a subsidy, it could be potentially catastrophic for IC. Hence Michael's leverage.

User currently offlineNycank From United States of America, joined May 2000, 233 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3005 times:

Odds of AL/DL being given the deal are very-very low. DL needs to resolve its
contract with the pilots. All indications are that the $1B or so will soak up a major chunk of it. AF is cash poor  Wink/being sarcastic. Without DL cash, AF cannot do much, inspite of a good quarter by AF and being in the black.

Sean is correct, SQ will do a hands-off approach. Look at the VirginAtlantic deal.
Branson got cash to expand and SQ owns 49% of the airline. TATAs have respect and credibility in India and also past experience. This is easier to predict than NYY-NYM WS  Wink/being sarcastic

User currently offlineBrissie_lions From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (15 years 4 months 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2997 times:

G'day all

When you look at service between Australia (Sydney and Perth) and the sub-continent, you have two airlines.

Sri Lankan Airways - at the moment flying to Sydney. They fly SYD-CMB 4 times weekly with A330s. Apparently their services are going great, and they are currently looking into introducing CMB-PER services (Good for my home town).

And then we have Air India - Have a long history of services between India and Australia (mainly Perth and Sydney), and these services have been operated on and off, on and off, on and off for nearly 20 years. At the moment, AI aircraft come nowhere near our shores.

Why is it that UL are able to be successful in the market, yet AI is hopelessly lost when it comes to Australian services.

If I remember correctly, AI used to fly from Perth to Bangalore, instead of Perth - Mumbai. Even though Bangalore is the high-tech capital of India, connections to Europe for there are non-existent. Can someone confirm for me that they were actually Perth-Bangalore flights (as operated when AI was in PER last).



User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (15 years 4 months 20 hours ago) and read 2984 times:

Scotty -

You are correct about AI having a great history with Australian operations. PER used to be a big crew base for AI (with crews operating to/from Singapore, Sydney and Nadi) from the early 60s all the way up to 1986 when they pulled out of the market for the first time. The airline had very good brand recognition there. I remember living in PER when my dad was posted there in the mid-80s and there were constant print and TV ads touting the airline.

The services to PER were initially 707s on the BOM-MAA-SIN-PER-SYD-NAD milk run (this was in the 1960s), then when AI pulled out of Fiji in the 1970s they became BOM-MAA-SIN-PER-SYD with the 707. Once the second wave of 747 deliveries began in the late 70s/early 80s the service switched to 747s and BOM-SIN-PER-SYD (with connections from the Airbus service MAA-SIN for the South Indian pax). In June 1985, AI made the decision to close the PER crew base at the end of the year (and I remember crying over that decision aged all of 8 years!) and the service became BOM-SIN-SYD with 747. Around 1989, during the Rajan Jetley years, AI decided to pull out of the SYD market and reintroduce service to YYZ instead (which had been suspended since the bombing of AI 182 in 1984). There was no service to Australia for a few years and then PER came back online with A310 service on BOM-BLR-SIN-PER. However, this was during AI's huge push for SIN expansion (when they introduced non-stops from BOM, DEL, MAA, CCU, BLR, HYD and TRV) and the SIN market was oversaturated by AI. They then switched to BOM-BLR-PER service for a while, but these too were not too succesful so they pulled out of the market in 1995 and it has been that way since.

I have fond memories of PER and the success of QF and SQ on the Australia run shows that a profit is there to be had if the route is structured well. However, don't expect AI to rush back into the market since they (rightfully) have other issues to deal with first.

User currently offlineIndianGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (15 years 4 months 7 hours ago) and read 2957 times:

Sean: Is AI really happy with the A313's? Or r people still sulking at not getting the 762/763's?

I havent flown the 310 only the A300, and found it pretty comfortable wiht its widebody. I hear the 76X's are much narrower?

Which would have been better for AI from an operational perspective?

Also is AI looking at replacing the A313's anytime now? Or r these staying for some time?

BTW, Sean your mailbox is bouncing!

User currently offlineB747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (15 years 4 months 6 hours ago) and read 2950 times:

Roy -

AI loves the A310. It is a perfect aircraft for their Gulf and Singapore routes, which is where the major yields come from anyway. If they were not happy, they wouldn't be EXPANDING the A310 fleet. The aircraft are all under 15 years old, so they aren't going anywhere for a while.

The A310 is slightly less spacious than the A300 (in my opinion at least - although the dimensions are almost identical), but still beats a narrowbody hands-down.

Check my new email address in my profile.  Smile

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