GoI awards 56 airports under Regional Connectivity Scheme--UDAN

The Government has awarded 56 airports under the Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)–UDAN in the last two years, of which,18 airports have been operationalised and every month, two airports are being made functional under the scheme.

Civil Aviation Secretary Mr. R.N Choubey said this at ‘WINGS INDIA 2018’, organized by FICCI jointly with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and Airport Authority of India. The theme of the four-day biennial event this year is ‘India-Global Aviation Hub’.

Mr. Choubey said that the Government was committed to connecting the cities and towns to increase regional connectivity in the country. He added that oil prices needed to remain soft, below $80 a barrel for the sector to grow at a CAGR of 15% for the next 20 years.

Highlighting a major concern of the sector, he said that VAT on Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) was among the highest in the world. To address the issue, Mr. Choubey suggested that either the ATF is included in the GST framework or the states bring down VAT under 5% on ATF.

Agreeing to the Secretary’s recommendations on ATF, Mr. K T Rama Rao, Minister for IT E&C, MAUD, Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana, said that Telangana had the potential to become an aviation hub. The Minister urged the Central Government to open a National Aviation University in the state of Telangana.

Mr. Sandip Somany, Senior Vice President, FICCI, said that Regional Connectivity Scheme, UDAN, merits a special mention. It provides greater connectivity to under-served and unserved airports of the country. Under UDAN-1, the government is expected to provide around 1.3 million seats per year, of which half will be covered by airfare of maximum Rs 2,500. Under UDAN-2, around 2.5 million RCS seats and nearly 5.5 million total passenger seats will be available per annum. He added that the conference will focus on fostering partnership to transform Indian aviation and the role of conducive regulatory framework to facilitate growth of civil aviation market. It will represent the strength and opportunities in the aviation sector to the potential stakeholders.

Mr. BS Bhullar, Director General, DGCA also graced the occasion.

While delivering the vote of thanks, Ms. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, urged the participants to actively participate in the event.

During the inaugural session, a white paper and Exhibitors Directory were unveiled by the dignitaries.

Coinciding with WINGS India 2018, FICCI is set to launch its maiden edition of ‘WINGS INDIA AWARDS’ for Excellence in the aviation sector. The awards will be conferred upon the Aviation-related Companies/Institutions/Organizations in 14 categories in the evening today.

The four-day event will witness the presence of 125 exhibitors and 35 CEOs. WINGS 2018 will also see representation from 10 countries, namely USA, Japan, U.K, Russia, Singapore, France, Germany, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Italy and Iran. Besides, 15 aircrafts by ATR, Honda, Trujet, Gulfstream, Boeing, Embraer, Dassault, Club one Air, Aeroteck, Zoom Air, Air India, NAL and others will be at the static display. Besides the conference and exhibition, Roundtables on Tourism, Cargo and Logistics and Skills and G2B and B2B meetings are scheduled. More than 300 B2B meetings are scheduled during the course of the event.

Sector Brief

India is one of the fastest growing aviation market and currently the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world with a market size of around US$ 16 billion. India is projected to be the third-largest aviation market by 2026 and the largest by 2030. About 1.4 lakh scheduled international aircraft movements of Indian airlines in FY17, 9.7% growth over FY16. During the FY 2017, domestic air passenger traffic growth year over year is 20 per cent. The airlines operating in India are projected to record a collective operating profit of Rs. 8,100 crore (US$ 1.29 billion) in fiscal year 2016. During FY17, domestic passenger traffic increased by 22 per cent in comparison with growth rate of 21.24 per cent in FY16. Airports across the globe are planning on increasing their spending on new technology to keep up with surging passenger traffic, which is expected to double to 370 million by 2020. India's air cargo is estimated to grow at 9 per cent over the next few years. Domestic air traffic is expected to grow 25 per cent and cross 130 million in financial year 2017-18.

Thales and Indian Institute of Technology Madras sign Memorandum of Understanding

Thales and the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to create a jointly supervised PhD fellowship programme in coordination with CNRS. Thales and IIT Madras look forward to strengthening Indo-French scientific collaboration while contributing towards the development of highly specialised technical skills in India. The MoU exchange ceremony took place in the presence of Mr Prakash Javadekar, honourable Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, and H.E. Frédérique Vidal, Minister of Higher Education, Research and Innovation, Government of France, at The Knowledge Summit.

Thales already has similar agreements for jointly supervised PhDs with prestigious institutions like Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi. These agreements underline Thales’ research focus and collaborations with academia to create technologies for smarter and faster decision making for problem solving in complex situations.

Speaking at the ceremony, Emmanuel de Roquefeuil, Vice President & Country Director, Thales in India said, “As a global technology leader, we are always excited about investing in the future through varied initiatives focused on research and engineering. Given this focus, IIT Madras is a natural partner and we are very proud of this association. We believe it will serve our common objective of fostering a strong Indo-French research ecosystem and also support the Skill India initiative of the Indian government.”

Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “We greatly value this partnership with Thales as our students will benefit from access to world class research environments and guidance from highly capable academics and researchers. It is these partnerships which not only help develop technologies for tomorrow but also bring industry and academia closer. IIT Madras has earlier entered into joint Ph.D. degree agreements with University of Bordeaux and École Centrale de Nantes in France. This partnership with Thales will facilitate these collaborative research programs.”

Dr. Srinivas Kaveri, Director, CNRS in India, said, “Partnerships like these help strengthen Indo-French relations, promote cultural diversity and enable sharing of ideas between Indian and French researchers. This unique programme will bring together shared minds to foster innovations and technologies for tomorrow.”

The students selected for the jointly supervised PhD fellowships will have an Indian supervisor and a French co-supervisor (from one of the identified CNRS laboratories). Selected students from IIT Madras will have the opportunity to conduct a part of their research projects in France in areas like electromagnetism and antennas simulation and modelling, airborne complex system engineering, artificial Intelligence and data management systems, and advanced electronics systems and nanotechnologies.

Partnering with top universities worldwide is an important aspect of innovation for Thales which created joint projects with over 50 prestigious universities and research laboratories worldwide. Journal 'Nature' ranks Thales among the 100 leading companies for high-quality science worldwide. The Group also ranks among the world's 100 most innovative companies by Clarivate Analytics.

Air India SATS wins ‘Best Air Cargo Service Provider’ and ‘Best Ground Handling Service Provider’ at Wings India 2018

Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt. Ltd. (AISATS), India’s premier airport services company, was recognised as the‘Best Ground Handling Service Provider’ and the ‘Best Air Cargo Service Provider’at Wings India 2018, the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s flagship event. The4-day biennial event wasjointly organized by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) in Hyderabad. Mr. Yoga Narasimhan, Senior Vice President, AISATS Hyderabad and Mr. Bobban Jose, Vice President, Cargo & PHC, AISATS Bengaluru, accepted the awards from Shri. K. T. Rama Rao, Minister of Information Technology, Telangana in the presence of other senior ministers of Telangana Government and senior officials of Ministry of Civil Aviation, DGCA, AAI and representatives of FICCI.

This year, Wings India launched its maiden edition of “Wings India Awards” for excellence in the aviation sector. These awards recognise organisationsthat have made noteworthy contributions and have set higher standards for the Indian aviation industry. The eminent jury evaluated participating organisations on a spectrum of parameters such as specialized services and capabilities, infrastructure, innovation and technological practices, operational efficiencies, security management and customer satisfaction. AISATS earned the ‘Best Air Cargo Service Provider’ award for its distinguished air cargo handling services at the AISATS Air Freight Terminal and the AISATS COOLPORT, situated at the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru. The ‘Best Ground Handling Service Provider’ award was conferred upon AISATS for operational excellencein ground handling services acrossairports atBengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and Mangaluru.

AISATS has always endeavoured to adopt the latest technology and includeinnovativepractices in its ground handling and cargo operations.Last year, AISATS became the first ground handler in India to introduce Automated Exterior Aircraft Cleaning (AEAC), using the Nordic Dino – II, at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi.

AISATS has also established the AISATS COOLPORT, India’s first on-airport perishables cargo handling centre. This facility waslaunched in 2016 with the aim of making Bengaluru a perishables cargo hub for South India. AISATS is also the first air cargo operator in Bengaluru to launch its very own ‘AISATS Cargo App’, which furnishes extensivecargo tracking data in real time to all stakeholders to facilitate faster processing timeswithin the cargo supply chain.

Speaking on this occasion, Mike Chew, CEO, AISATS said, “It is an honour to receive these prestigious accolades for our ground handling and cargo services in India from the Ministry of Civil Aviation, the Airports Authority of India and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry. This recognition is testament to our commitment to providingworld-classground and cargo services. AISATS will work constantly to innovate and broaden our array of services to deliver greater value to ourcustomers and contribute to the industry as a whole.”

In the previous year, Air India SATS was also awarded the ‘Best Air Cargo Terminal Operator’ by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for the sixth consecutive time and ‘The Best Cold Chain Cargo Terminal of the Year’ for the AISATS COOLPORT at the Sixth Cold Chain Strategy Summit.

Vistara adjudged the ‘Most Passenger Friendly Airline’ at Wings India 2018 and the ‘Best Airline for Service Standards’ at ITB Berlin

Vistara, India’s finest full service carrier, has been awarded ‘Most Passenger Friendly Airline’ at Wings India 2018, jointly organised by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, Airports Authority of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), on the opening day of the four-day biennial international exhibition and conference on civil aviation held in Hyderabad. Global consulting firm, Deloitte, with its extensive exposure in the aviation sector, evaluated the award nominations and together with the organisers, adjudged Vistara as the undisputed winner in the category. Vistara also bagged another coveted award on the same day for ‘Best Airline – Service Standards’ by Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel and trade show. The jury comprising eminent members of the travel and hospitality industry, travel writers and mystery auditors have unanimously applauded Vistara for its service standards (in the Domestic category).

The award at Wings India 2018 was presented to Vistara by Mr. K.T. Rama Rao, Hon'ble Cabinet Minister for IT, Industries, MA & UD, NRI Affairs, and Mr. RN Choubey, Civil Aviation Secretary, Govt. of India. At ITB Berlin, Mr. K.J. Alphons, Hon’ble Minister of State for Tourism, Govt. of India, presented the award. Vistara dedicates all its laurels to its entire team, especially the cabin crew and other frontline staff, who often go beyond the call of duty to ensure millions of travellers truly cherish their flying experiences with the airline.

The two latest awards, just as those won by the airline in the past, attest Vistara’s continuous and relentless focus on ensuring unrivalled standards of service across all customer touchpoints as well as operations. With consistently immaculate service delivery by cabin crew and other customer-facing staff trained to the exacting standards of Tata and Singapore Airlines, Vistara has won over 8 million customers in a short span of three years. Furthermore, its brand new aircraft with cabin interiors that ooze of elegance and a fine-dining experience at 35,000 feet above the ground significantly add to the fine flying experience. Besides, the airline has redefined air travel in India with several industry first innovations in products and services on the back of its promise of being ‘intuitively thoughtful’.

The accolades come in tandem with multiple recent service differentiators that the airline introduced, such as the #VistaraWomanFlyer program that gained immense global recognition for assuring solo women customers that they will not be assigned a middle seat with Vistara, as well as the option of an arrival and local transportation assistance available on request. Among several other aspects, the airline is also the first in South Asia and Southeast Asia to serve Starbucks coffee on board and the first in India to have mood-lighting in calming hues of Vistara’s elegant brand colours on domestic flights on its A320neo aircraft.

As the highest-rated Indian airline on SkyTrax and TripAdvisor and winner of numerous “Best in Industry” awards, Vistara has raised the bar in many ways in the Indian aviation industry. Vistara today serves 22 destinations with over 730 flights a week, operated by a fleet of 19 Airbus A320 aircraft.

India demand for new aircraft forecast at 1,750 over 20 years

India will require 1,750 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet an exponential rise in both passenger and freight traffic, according to Airbus’ latest India Market Forecast. To help meet this growth, India will need 1,320 new single-aisle aircraft and 430 wide-body aircraft valued at US$255 billion.

While much of the air traffic growth is expected to be driven by the fast expanding economy, rising wealth and urbanisation, ambitious government-backed regional connectivity programmes are also set to enhance demand for air travel. By 2036, Indians will each make four times as many flights as today. As a result, traffic serving the Indian market is forecast to grow 8.1 per cent per year over the next 20 years, almost twice as fast as the world average of 4.4 per cent.

Domestic Indian traffic is expected to grow five-and-half times over the next 20 years (2017-2036)reaching the same level as USA domestic traffic today, making it one of the world’s fastest growing markets, according to Airbus’ latest India Market Forecast for the period.

"Make in India is at the heart of our strategy. Airbus has the largest footprint in India of any International aircraft manufacturer, nationwide across all aircraft programmes. Our sourcing volume has grown 16 times over the past ten years and it is currently at more than US$550 million annually,” said Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft in India.

India is set to become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2019/20 and Airbus is well positioned to partner its growth with backlog orders of over 530 aircraft to date.

The complete Airbus product line comprises the best-selling A320 Family in the single aisle market, the popular A330 and A330neo, the A350 XWB in the mid-size widebody category and the flagship A380 in the very large aircraft segment. In the freight market Airbus currently offers the new-build A330-200F and the Passenger-to-Freighter (A330P2F) programme.

13 Startups make it to the last lap of the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge

Boeing and T-Hub have announced the last lap of the Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge. Launched in November 2017, the challenge aims to discover and accelerate potentially transformative aerospace innovation from India. 13 startups out of 80 shortlisted entries and six teams from Boeing’s research & technology center have made it to the final round of the innovation challenge.

The selected startups and internal teams will now work on perfecting their ideas and concepts to develop disruptive solutions and tackle complex challenges in multiple areas of aerospace, including autonomous and unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, industrial IOT and automation, analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). The winners will be declared after the teams successfully complete their accelerator program.

As part of a showcase session organized for the finalists, global startups associated with Boeing’s HorizonX and Indian startups presented their innovations to an audience that comprised of potential customers and investors.

“Boeing is excited about India’s potential for step-change innovation which could define the future of aerospace across the globe,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India. “We are building the future of aerospace, incubated and started right here in India by partnering with innovative companies.”

“Innovation and technology are at the heart of what Boeing does. It is what differentiates us, as Boeing connects, protects, explores and inspires the world through aerospace innovation,” said Pradeep Fernandes, Disruptive Horizons director with Boeing HorizonX.

Launched in April 2017, Boeing HorizonX functions as a pathfinder organization for Boeing. The team makes targeted investments in new ventures and startups; seeks unique business opportunities for the company's aerospace technology; and assesses disruptive innovations and business strategies.