Tata buys back Air India for US$2.4bn 89 years after it founded the airline

Air India ©AirTeamImages

India’s largest conglomerate, Tata Sons (Tata), has acquired the country’s government-owned, debt-ridden carrier, Air India, having outbid SpiceJet to return the carrier to the private sector. It is understood that Tata will pay US$2.4 billion, (INR180 billion), while SpiceJet had offered INR151 billion. Tata will absorb INR153 billion of the carrier’s current debt of INR615 billion. Air India was founded in 1932 by Tata and was taken over by the Indian Government in 1953. Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, said in a tweet: “The Tata Group winning the bid for Air India is great news! While admittedly Read more

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Airbus receives order for up to 44 new helicopters from Global Medical Response

GMR will add a total of 21 Airbus helicopters from the H125, H130 and H135 families to its growing air medical fleet, with options for up to an additional 23 helicopters ©Airbus

Airbus has received a further firm order from Global Medical Response (GMR) for 21 helicopters from its H125, H130, and H135 families, with an option for a further 23 aircraft. GMR is one of the largest operators of Airbus helicopters and in the last 18 months alone took delivery of 15 of them as part of its Airbus fleet expansion program which currently runs at 133 aircraft. GMR delivers care through multiple operating brands, including Air Evac Lifeteam, Guardian Flight, Med-Trans Corp., and REACH Air Medical Services which, combined, transported more than 125,000 patients in 2020. “We fly a variety Read more

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Air Asia Group and Airbus reach agreement over restructuring of massive plane order

Air Asia X ©AirTeamImages

Malaysia’s Air Asia Group has come to an agreement with European planemaker Airbus over changes to an existing order for 362 narrow-body planes. As part of the arrangement, 13 A320neos will be switched to the larger A321neo model. While the original schedule for deliveries is not publicly known, the new schedule will see deliveries through to 2035. According to Reuters news agency, Airbus has also improved the terms of the purchase of the planes by the cash-strapped carrier in order to salvage the valuable contract. While Air Asia currently operates four A321neos, it put a halt on deliveries during the Read more

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P&W gets firm order for ten GTF shipsets with option for 15 more from BOC Aviation

BOC Aviation Limited (BOC), a leading global aircraft operating leasing company, has announced a firm order for ten Pratt & Whitney GTFTM engine shipsets and an option for 15 further shipsets which will be used for its Airbus A320 neo-family aircraft which are on BOC’s current order book which are scheduled for delivery between 2023 and 2024. “This repeat order reflects the highly efficient performance of the GTF engine that will continue to power a significant portion of our A320 family fleet and orderbook,” said Robert Martin, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of BOC Aviation. “We have acquired 47 Read more

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Lufthansa signs new lease contracts for four Airbus A350-900 aircraft

©Lufthansa Airbus 350 aircraft

The Lufthansa Group is accelerating the modernization of its long-haul fleet. The Group has signed leases for four state-of-the-art and fuel-efficient Airbus A350-900 aircraft with lessors Avolon, SMBC Aviation Capital and Goshawk. As a result, the Group’s A350 fleet will grow to 21 aircraft at the beginning of 2022. The Airbus A350-900s are scheduled to enter service with Lufthansa’s core brand from the first half of 2022, strengthening the airline’s premium offering. The twin-engine Airbus A350-900 aircraft consume only around 2.5 liters of kerosene per passenger per 100 kilometers flown. That is around 30% less than its predecessors, with a Read more

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United to fire up to 600 employees who refuse to accept vaccine mandate

©United Airlines

United Airlines has confirmed that 593 of its employees who are currently refusing to abide by its vaccine mandate will have their contracts terminated if proof of vaccination is not produced by next Monday. “This was an incredibly difficult decision but keeping our team safe has always been our first priority,” Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart told employees in a memo. The company has also confirmed that if between now and then any of these employees are vaccinated, their jobs will be safe. The company has agreed to consider objections to vaccination from employees based on religious Read more

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Air Travel and CFM International sign 12-year LEAP-1A engine RPFH agreement

©CFM International

At the 13th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Air Travel and CFM International have signed a 12-year LEAP-1A engine rate per flight hour (RPFH) agreement to support the smooth operation of Air Travel’s A320neo aircraft that will be introduced in the future. The agreement, which includes the purchase of LEAP-1A spare engines, is valued at US$992 million at list price. Currently, Changsha Hunan Province-based Air Travel operates an all-Airbus fleet of 16 A320-series aircraft which have an average age of three years. Under the terms of the agreement, CFM Services will guarantee maintenance costs for the airlines’ Read more

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Qatar Airways annual losses double on pandemic, impairments

©Qatar Airways

In publishing its Annual Report for 2020/21, covering a challenging year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic causing extensive loss of traffic and revenue, Qatar Airways Group has reported a net loss of US$4.1 billion, of which U.S.$2.3 billion was due to a one-time impairment charge related to the grounding of the airline’s Airbus A380 and A330 fleets. However, the Group reported an operational loss of US$288.3 million, 7% lower compared to 2019/20. Furthermore, the Group achieved a significant improvement in EBITDA, which stood at US$1.6 billion compared to US$1.4 billion the previous year. A combination of our Qatar Airways Cargo Read more

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United Airlines fined record US$1.9 million over unacceptable tarmac delays

©United Airlines

United Airlines has been fined a total of US$1.9 million by the U.S. Department of Transport (DOT) for a total of 25 specific incidents where federal rules were violated as its aircraft were left on the tarmac, with passenger on board, for longer than three hours for domestic flights and four hours for international flights before allowing them to disembark. The occurrences happened between 2016 and February of this year and involved a total of 3,218 passengers. According to United Airlines, the majority of incidences occurred as a result of bad weather and involved flights which had been diverted from Read more

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South African Airways takes to the sky again after a one-year hiatus

South African Airways ©AirTeamImages

It was last September when flag carrying airline South African Airways (SAA) ceased operations after it had been under a form of bankruptcy protection since December 2019, and since then all planes had remained grounded. The carrier had been struggling against the dual problems of lack of profitability and the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which had forced it into administration after it ran out of funds. In April this year, SAA came out of administration but chose not to resume operations until there was sufficient demand for air travel. September 23, saw the first SAA plane take to Read more

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