Fly707 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 343 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1037 times:
40 a/c is a very big number to be ordered by an airline like Indian Airlines !!
I think a max of 15 or 20 a/c are fine as a first stage .
I guess Airbus 300-600R & Airbus(320,318) can be ordered if they decided to choose Airbus .
I guess Boeing 737-600,737-700 ,717 & 767 can be ordered if they decided to choose Boeing .
BarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2050 posts, RR: 6 Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 997 times:
It is very likely that IC will pick Airbus, since their entire fleet is composed of Airbus aircraft now (A300/A320). Their subsidiary Alliance Air uses old B732s which are basically hand-me-downs from IC. News reports said they might include A330s in the order, though it appears more likely that it will be from the A319/320/321 series.
Its not too farfetched to imagine a 40 plane order. The aviation scene in India has been growing dramatically in the last few years. IC has 56 aircraft, 9W (Jet Airways) has 30 and S2 has about a dozen. Yet, I can tell you from personal experience that most flights are picked to the gills, especially those between metros (Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Bangalore, Hyderabad). IC would not find it too hard to fill another 40 A320s on routes spread out through the country, especially once the recession dissipates.
Yyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 15989 posts, RR: 59 Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 960 times:
I have always been a strong Boeing fan....I remember the Indian decision to go Airbus on political grounds....it infuriated me.
Mitterand made many pitches on AI's behalf. he made a personal plee to the Pres of Algeria for Air Algerie to order A310's which they did. A few years later they ordered 763's and are now a loyal Boeing customer.
Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
BarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2050 posts, RR: 6 Reply 10, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 947 times:
The current order is likely to be again given to Airbus for the simple reason that buying from Boeing makes no sense when ICs entire fleet is composed of Airbus planes.
Both AI and IC are straining at the leashes for new planes. It looks like IC is much more likely to place new orders than AI though, even though the latter needs its fleet overhauled just as badly - the B742s are old, the A300s are no better and the A310s not new either.
Just 22 planes (or somewhere near that figure) is a joke for a national carrier, esp one with so many lucrative rights between India-Europe and Europe-US that they can exploit.
BarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2050 posts, RR: 6 Reply 11, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 946 times:
While I remember, I seem to recall that Jet AW was considering the 739 and/or 752......amy further rumours on this?
Jet has been constantly upgrading their fleet. From what I recall from their inflight magazine on BLR-BOM last week, they received 3-4 739s and they are also talking of getting 752s soon. Their fleet is something to the order of 30-35 strong now.
If they Govt. clears them to fly international routes to the Persian Gulf and the Far East, they are much more likely to get 752s. However this is may not happen, since the Gulf routes, IIRC, are a cash cow for AI.
Indianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 12, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 929 times:
See my earlier post on the IC order.
The reason for hurrying through the order at this stage is that with the divestment of Govt equity in IC put off indefinitely, The Govt is acting quickly to prevent IC from loosing its market share to privately owned competitors.
The Kelkar Commitees recommendation was that IC should have between 90-105 (120-150 seat) aircraft, with a similar number being operated by private carriers. So in that sense, the Govt okaying 40 new aircraft is in line with those recomendations. After this induction is completed over the next 4 years, IC will have around 85 aircraft, including the aircraft retired from pax service.
I also expect more cities to be bought on the airmap. A little known fact is that there are over 370 airports in India of which IC serves only 70. With the arrival of more aircraft, More interior stations are likely to be bought on their route map.
The most immediate need is to replace the older 737-200's (~11) operated by low-fare subsidiary Alliance Air (CD). These are regarded as uneconomical, but they have been retained because of the 737-200's ability to operate out of airports with ill-equipped and short runways like those in the NE. I expect the A319 or A318 to be considered for this segment (around 15).
Some of the A300B2's/B4's are also due for replacement, especially a couple of them which had been used on the punishing 30-60 minute flight schedules. but some of the A300's which had been used on longer hauls are still pretty low-cycle and well maintained, so i expect them to remain in service for some more time. In addition 3 new build A300B4's belonging to AI are being transferred to IC.
The A300's are extremely popular with the travelling public as well as the maintainance and flight crew. And on the domestic metro routes, they are usually packed to the wazoo. Some larger A321's may be ordered to operate these ruotes with more frequency. But IC could consider the A300-600 as well. Perhaps Airbus should SERIOUSLY consider developing an A300NG with a A320 cockpit and FBW? Airbus are u listening?
The A330? That seems unlikely. It would be too heavy to operate these domestic flights that the AB4's operate. But if rumours about IC starting flights to HKG, PER and Cairo are true, then the A330 would make sense.
I also expect around 10 more A320's to be procured. IC has also been planning to procure ATR 42/72 series aircraft for Alliance Air, in order to take on 9W aggresively on some routes. The plan is to operate very high frequency *shuttles* between cities like BOM and PNQ among others. Currently, the 120 mile sector BOM-PNQ is served by 9W (2x 73G, 1XA72) and IC(1x 320). Expect the ATR's to be deployed on these routes.
It is highly unlikely that India would go to Boeing. India has been traditionally closer to the French than to the US. More than Miterrand, the then Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi had plumped majorly for the A320 which is why Airbus won over Boeing which offered the 752. For the trvia minded, Rajiv Gandhi was a line pilot flying 737-200's for IC before he became PM.
Another factor that could lead to a tilt towards Airbus is that Indian companies are doing major work for Airbus. Parts of Airbus 330/340 series aircraft like the Doors and Cargo Hold eqpt are being manufactured by HAL at their Bangalore plant. Infact, if it werent for the touchy British' sensitivities towards things like wing design, HAL may well have started building entire A300's! Airbus is supposed to have considered shifting part of that prodn line here.
So with this kind of relationship I expect most future IC orders to go the Airbus way. Even Air India may opt for Airbus, even though AI has had a strong Boeing lobby inside. I think AI may go for A340-500/600's if the performance issues of these planes ex-DEL are addressed.
Some more points about IC:
IC's market share had in the period between 96-98 dipped below the psychologically important 50% mark, and had actually sunk to an all-time low of42% at one stage. despite the domestic air travel market witnessing a boom, IC couldnt take advantage of it, as it could not add aircraft to its fleet due to the Govt mulling over the privatisation. IC couldnt get finance for new aircraft unless the Govt stood guarantee. The Govt stand was that since it had to be privatised, it was better to leave the fleet decision to the new owners. As a result, private players cashed in on this unprecedented opportunity. The chief beneficiary was Jet Airways (9W) which increased its fleet to around 37 (of which 30 are B737 series). Even a marginal player like Sahara Airlines (S2) (run by a industrial group promoting Gandhian values) increased its fleet to a dozen odd 737 aircraft.
But post 1998, IC has seen a dramatic turnaround in performance. Ontime performance has increased to a record 98% (barring weather related delays), while the corresponding figure for 9W is around 70-80%. Infact in desperation, 9W has resorted to laughable antics like increasing scheduled flight times between 5-20 minutes to show on-time performance! Inflight service, which had been 9W's main selling point, has also improved tremendously on IC, with IC now having a slight lead in the food department.
These measures have ensured that even without new aircraft being added, IC managed to more than gain back its market share, and today holds over 56% of the domestic passenger market, the main loser being 9W.
International routes have played a major role in IC's fightback to profitability. IC operates international flights to all SAARC countries, as well as Burma, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia in SEA and Kazakhstan,Bishkek,Tashkent in the former CIS, and of course the Middle East where it operates to Ras-al-Khaimah, Dubai, Sharjah, Muscat, Kuwait etc. IC is infact one of the biggest players in the Middle Eastern market, with over 26(?) departures from a station like Sharjah alone. Infact the Gulf-India routing is a major money spinner for IC. Around 22% of its capacity is deployed on the Kerala-Gulf routes(or Lungi flights as we call them!), and it gets them around 40% of revenue!
The main handicap to further development in IC is obviously a lack of aircraft. The money spinning Gulf/SIN routes are being served by pulling out precious aircraft from domestic sectors. While this brings in much need revenue, it has also resulted in a loss of market share domestically. 9W serves just 37 destinations with a fleet of 30 B737's, while IC serves 70 destinations with just 56 jets. This disparity means that 9W has more departures out of profitable Hubs like BOM or BLR than IC. it is this aspect that will be addressed with the fleet augmentation.
Flying-Tiger From Germany, joined Aug 1999, 4111 posts, RR: 39 Reply 13, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 881 times:
Indianguy, thanks for this very informative post! Still, I have some questions:
a) What is considered to be the most important issue in India: range, capacity or the ability to operate out ot smaller airports?
b) When can we expect an order? It has been delayed several times in the past so how likely is it that this is not only another rumour?
c) Since when does IC´s planning include the ATR 42? Last thing I had heard was 6+6 ATR 72-500 but nothing more.
d) How would you rate the chances of regional jets, especially the larger regional airliners from Embraer and Fairchild-Dornier? Are they suited for India?
e) Could you please give us a short over-look about the bigger carrier operating in India? Is there anything one could name "regional player"?
Gee... a lot of questions! Would be nice if you could answer some of them!
Indianguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (11 years 4 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 856 times:
a. Given the nature of IC's operations, the current range offered by the A32X fmaily or even the A300s is adequate. The longest domestic flight is 2.5 hrs, so that is hardly an issue.
Capacity is definitely an issue. The A300's were brought in to serve the demand during peak hours (around 0500 to 0800 and 1700-1800 departures) between city pairs like BOM-DEL, DEL-MAA, BOM-MAA, BOM-BLR, COM-CCU, DEL-CCU, DEL-MAA and DEL-BLR.
There are 2 schools of thought: one is to replace the 260 seater A300s with similar sized A300-600's, while the other is to replace them with 180 seater A321's operating at high frequencies. The 180 seater A321's would definitely provide more flexibility in Fleet Scheduling, since IC also operates 144 seat A320's and is certain to go for 114 seat A319's, since all these aircraft share common systems. But squabbles are already breakng out over slots at peak hours, so it remains to be seen whether these frequencies can be increased.
Again ability to operate out of smaller runways is an issue, but need not go together with the capacity req. A 80-100 seater capable of operating a 400 km segment capable of operating full load from airports, many of which have semi-prepared runways and little or no landing aids. An RJ would be interesting, but i doubt it would fit in with IC's fleet. An A319/A318 makes much more sense.
b. From what the minister said last month, 4 A320's this year, plus 3 A300s from AI, and a steady induction of 40 aircraft over 4 years till 2005. This is the timetable that the Finance Minister has agreed to. Whether it will be followed, noone knows!
But in all fairness, there was never any talk of fleet augmentation before this. For AI the last discussion was in early-1990s, and NEVER for IC, becuase the Govt always intended to privatise these airlines.
c.AFAIK, it was ALWAYS intended to be ATR42-500's. Mebbe they changed their mind becuase arch rival 9W got the A72's and these are going out packed esp on the runs down the West coast. IMO, the A42 and not the A72 is best sized for the NE ops. So mebbe they may go for a mix of A72/42's. Once more, these are NOT for IC but for its low-fare subsidiary Alliance.
d. RJ's would form the basis for an interesting set of operations. If a carrier wanted to setup a WN style op in India, then a 70-90 seater RJ would form their best bet. But i dont see an RJ fitting in with either of the 2 domestic majors, 9W or IC. I heard from you that 9W has been scouring around for RJ's. I feel they would be a disaster for 9W. The A72 was a good choice. Indians generally dislike turboprops and prefer jets, but the newer A72's are not the rattling noisy and horrendous Hindustan 748's, and offer near-jet comfort, perfect for the <60 mins flights they are used on. An RJ would result in shaving off 5-10 mins off that time, hardly justifiable for the additional expense.
e. IC is the biggest carrier, in terms of numbers. 9W would come second. There are a number of regional carriers like Gujarat Airways (which operates B1900D's) and and a number of carriers (Jagson, UBAir, Archana Airways, VIF Airways, Archana etc) operating tourist flights with Dornier 228 eqpt.
BarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2050 posts, RR: 6 Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 719 times:
The IC order might be serious alright. Without new planes IC will continue to lose marketshare to 9W and S2, until it becomes a marginal player in the market. But in AIs case, the Government seems to have seriously stopped caring long ago.
Perhaps a good fleet size would be 100 (75% A320-type and the rest A319-type) in the case of IC and 50 (744, A300/A330 and smaller ones) for AI. But it will be a while before that happens.