Air India Receives Record 700+ Pilot Applications

Radhika Bansal

05 May 2023

Air India on Thursday, May 4 said it has received an overwhelming response for its recruitment drive for pilots and has got more than 700 applications in the past week. The airline, which currently has more than 1,800 pilots, has placed orders for 470 aircraft with Boeing and Airbus, including for wide-body planes.

On April 27, the carrier issued an advertisement for more than 1,000 pilots. It is looking for captains, first officers and trainers across A320, B777, B787 and B737 fleets. In a statement on Thursday, an Air India spokesperson said the airline has received an overwhelming response to its recruitment advertisement for pilots released late last week.

"The recruitment of pilots is in preparation for the augmented large fleet of 470 aircraft. We have already received over 700 applications in the last few days in response to the advertisement which is under process. As a continuation of this recruitment process we are conducting walk-in interviews in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru," it said.

Many pilots of cash-strapped Go First, which has filed for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings, are also looking for other opportunities, including at Air India, according to industry sources. Tata Group has four airlines -- Air India, Air India Express, AIX Connect and Vistara, which is a joint venture with Singapore Airlines. The group is in the process of merging Air India Express and AIX Connect as well as Vistara with Air India.

Air India & Vistara On Hiring Spree Ahead Of Merger

A planned merger of Air India with Vistara and the launch of Akasa Air have increased competition for staff and planes as the industry recovers. Vistara held walk-in interviews for cabin crew in Delhi and Mumbai on Thursday and sought online applications from pilots. Air India and Vistara also conduct walk-in and online interviews to hire pilots for Airbus A320 aircraft. Go First’s entire fleet is made up of A320 jets and the airline has over 700 pilots on its rolls. Almost the entire narrow-body fleet of Air India and Vistara consists of planes from the A320 family of aircraft.

Air India said on Twitter the hiring drive in Delhi and Mumbai would be extended by a day to Friday. The airline, bought back from the government last year by salt-to-software Tata group, plans to hire more than 4,200 cabin crew and 900 pilots this year as part of a major revamp which also includes orders for a record 470 jets. Air India’s drive to step up the hiring of pilots also comes at a time when it faces resistance from unions of its existing pilots over revised pay contracts.

The flag carrier is expanding its fleet and network, revamping its customer proposition, and improving reliability in operations. Earlier in April, the airline said it had concluded its five-year transformation plan’s first phase, Vihaan.AI

Between May 2022-February 2023, Air India hired over 1900 cabin crew. Over 1,100 cabin crew have been trained in the last seven months (between July’22-January’23), and in the past three months, approximately 500 cabin crew have been released for flying by the airline. The first phase in the airline's transformation journey focussed on addressing legacy issues of the airline and laying the foundation for future growth.

Air India also recently announced it will use artificial intelligence-driven chatbots and other initiatives as part of modernising the digital systems for which it has made an initial investment of USD 200 million.

Go First Employees Rush To The Hiring Drive

Dozens of pilots, many from crisis-hit Go First, flocked to a Tata group hotel near Delhi on Thursday for walk-in interviews with the conglomerate's Air India airline. Go First's announcement on Tuesday that it had filed for bankruptcy as demand for post-pandemic air travel in the world's most populous country boomed came as a shock to many employees.

"It is very disheartening, the airline was functioning as if everything was normal," said a pilot who joined Go First two years ago and was waiting in a long line at Tata's Taj Hotel. “We have to jump ship to keep our flying licences current.” While Air India, Vistara and the country's biggest airline IndiGo have conducted similar hiring drives in the past, the people said turnout was larger than normal. They attributed the numbers to the plight of Go First, formerly known as Go Airlines (India) Ltd, which has around 7,000 employees.

Following Go First’s insolvency plea, a large number of the airline’s employees, who were already suffering due to delayed salaries, are approaching other Indian carriers for jobs. Although the Go First management has come out and said that the promoters — Wadia group — are committed to the airline and the insolvency plea was aimed at its revival, industry insiders believe that Go First might not take to the skies again anytime soon.

Cash-strapped Go First Tuesday announced that it filed for voluntary insolvency proceedings with the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), blaming engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney (P&W) for its financial situation. The airline said that it was “forced to apply to the NCLT” after “the ever-increasing number of failing engines supplied by Pratt & Whitney’s International Aero Engines” led to the grounding of 25 aircraft, or half its fleet of Airbus A320neo planes, and significant financial stress.

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Why is Lessor Aircastle Not Happy with SpiceJet?

Abhishek Nayar

05 May 2023

SpiceJet's lessor, Aircastle, has filed for insolvency. This action comes after SpiceJet failed to make lease payments, prompting Aircastle to file a lawsuit. SpiceJet, India's leading low-cost airline, has been taken aback by this news.


SpiceJet is a low-cost airline that has been fighting financially to stay alive. The airline has been dealing with a variety of concerns, including rising fuel prices, fierce competition from other carriers, and regulatory issues. SpiceJet has been investigating several alternatives to solve these difficulties, including selling off part of its assets and generating funds through the sale of shares. Aircastle is a global aircraft leasing firm that provides commercial aircraft leasing to airlines all over the world. The corporation owns over 300 aeroplanes and rents them to over 80 airlines in over 50 countries.

SpiceJet is Being Sued by Aircastle

Aircastle filed a petition against SpiceJet in the High Court of Delhi, requesting that the airline be declared bankrupt. SpiceJet, according to Aircastle, had been in arrears on lease payments for some months on four B737-800s, and its financial condition had deteriorated to the point that it was unable to satisfy its commitments. After hearing the case, the court granted a halt to all legal proceedings against SpiceJet, enabling the airline to continue operations. In addition, the court appointed an interim resolution professional (IRP) to monitor the insolvency proceedings. The IRP will now assess SpiceJet's financial situation and collaborate with its creditors to find a solution. The procedure will entail restructuring the airline's debt and arranging a deal with its creditors.

Current Scenario

Aircastle, SpiceJet's Dublin-based lessor, has filed an insolvency case with the NCLT for unpaid lease fees on four B737-800 aircraft. This petition was filed on May 4 under Section 9 of the Insolvency Bankruptcy Code (IBC), according to sources. The suit was filed in response to the airline's unpaid lease rentals on four B737-800s. "The conversation with the airline did not go as planned. It has not paid lease dues, and both sides are unable to reach an agreement; therefore, the petition was filed," a source said. In 2020, Aircastle requested the return of its aircraft owing to outstanding debts. Section 9 of the IBC, 2016, governs the application for the commencement of the corporate insolvency resolution procedure by an operational creditor. According to sources, the NCLT will hear the case on Monday. When questioned about Aircastle's case, a SpiceJet representative stated, "Since they have gone to court, we would not like to comment on the specifics at this stage." Nonetheless, we are confident that the matter can be resolved without going to court, and we are in discussions with their senior leadership team. The views supplied here are without prejudice to our rights and should not be construed as an admission of liability."

Ramifications for SpiceJet India's Aviation Industry

If Aircastle's case is successful, it might have major consequences for SpiceJet. The airline might be driven into insolvency, which would entail a court-supervised reorganization of the corporation. This might result in a huge loss of value for stockholders as well as a disruption in the airline's operations. SpiceJet and its stakeholders would be significantly impacted. The airline must restructure its debt and negotiate with its creditors, which may necessitate adjustments to its operations and business strategy. Customers of SpiceJet may also be affected since their flights and travel arrangements may be disrupted. Customers may be inconvenienced if the airline is forced to cancel or postpone flights. The complaint brought by Aircastle against SpiceJet may have larger repercussions for India's aviation industry. It could result in even tighter credit conditions for airlines, making it more difficult for them to raise capital and finance their operations. This might lead to more industry consolidation, with smaller airlines having to join bigger companies.


The insolvency petition filed by Aircastle against SpiceJet has substantial repercussions for the airline and its stakeholders. The airline's debt will be restructured and negotiated with its creditors throughout the bankruptcy process, which may result in changes to its operations and business model. Customers of SpiceJet may be affected by the insolvency process since their flights and travel arrangements may be disrupted. Customers may be inconvenienced if the airline is forced to cancel or postpone flights. It has also highlighted the issues that Indian airlines are facing as well as the necessity for them to find solutions to these challenges. It remains to be seen how this lawsuit will play out, but one thing is certain: it will have far-reaching consequences for SpiceJet and the Indian aviation sector as a whole.

With Inputs from Business Standard

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Vistara Operates India’s First Domestic Flight with Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Abhishek Nayar

05 May 2023

Vistara, one of India's premier airlines, has taken an important step towards sustainability by utilising sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on its Boeing 787 aircraft. This action demonstrates Vistara's dedication to lowering its carbon footprint and encouraging sustainable practices in the aviation sector.

What Exactly is Sustainable Aviation Fuel

SAF is a renewable fuel created from a variety of feedstocks, such as plant oils, waste materials, and agricultural residue. SAF has a significantly reduced carbon footprint and produces fewer pollutants than traditional jet fuel, making it an ecologically friendly choice.

Why is Vistara using SAF

SAF provides many advantages for airlines, including fewer greenhouse gas emissions, more economical operational costs, and enhanced fuel efficiency. Vistara's use of SAF in its Boeing 787 aircraft is a big step towards meeting its environmental objectives while also contributing to worldwide efforts to cut carbon emissions.

Present Scenario

Vistara, a full-service carrier, said on Thursday that it was flying a Boeing 787 on the Delhi-Mumbai route utilizing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). According to the airline, this is the first time an Indian carrier has flown a commercial domestic flight on a wide-body aircraft utilising a blend of 17% SAF and 83% conventional jet fuel. According to the airline, the Delhi-Mumbai flight utilizing mixed SAF helped them save around 10,000 pounds of CO2. "This pioneering initiative is part of Vistara's ongoing efforts to minimize carbon footprints and support a sustainable future for the aviation industry," stated the airline. Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, flew a wide-body aircraft on a long-haul international route using sustainable aviation fuel for the first-time last month.

A ferry flight from Charleston International Airport in South Carolina to Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi used a blend of 30% SAF and 70% conventional jet fuel, resulting in a reduction of approximately 150,000 pounds of CO2 emissions over the fuel's life cycle, according to Vistara. "We have always been committed to driving sustainability and innovation in aviation, and we are delighted to carry out yet another industry-first initiative of operating a commercial flight on a wide-body using SAF," said Vinod Kannan, CEO of Vistara, which is merging with Tata Group-owned Air India. Aside from Air India, the group also owns AIX Connect (AirAsia India) and the international budget airline Air India Express. These two airlines are also expected to merge into a new business that will operate as a low-cost carrier. Vistara stated in the statement that it has been working intensively with other TATA Group airline businesses to reduce carbon emissions via the adoption of sustainable technologies.

The Boeing 787 and its Effectiveness

The Boeing 787 is famed for its fuel economy, and the introduction of SAF can improve that even further. SAF has a greater energy density than traditional jet fuel, which can lead to improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions. The deployment of SAF in Vistara's Boeing 787 aircraft can assist the airline achieve its environmental targets while also increasing operating efficiency.

Vistara's SAF Initiatives

Vistara has taken a number of steps to encourage the use of SAF, including collaboration with fuel providers and government authorities. However, airlines' adoption of SAF faces several challenges, including limited availability and higher SAF costs compared to conventional jet fuel. Despite these obstacles, Vistara's commitment to sustainability has allowed the airline to overcome them and set a precedent for others to follow.

The Impact on the Aviation Industry

The application of SAF in the aviation sector has the potential to revolutionize air travel while reducing carbon emissions dramatically. The adoption of SAF by Vistara is an important step towards reaching this aim and fostering sustainable practises in the airline sector. Other airlines have begun to adopt SAF, and this trend is expected to continue as the demand for environmentally friendly aviation practices grows.


In conclusion, Vistara's commitment to sustainability and the use of SAF in its Boeing 787 aircraft are significant steps towards reducing the aviation industry's carbon footprint. This is a positive step because it is critical for airlines to encourage sustainable practices and decrease the environmental impact of air travel. Vistara is establishing an example for other airlines to follow by implementing SAF, and it is believed that other airlines will follow suit in the near future. The usage of SAF is a crucial step towards reaching global sustainability targets and minimizing the aviation industry's environmental impact. In addition to adopting SAF, airlines may lower their carbon footprint by investing in fuel-efficient aircraft, employing more efficient operating practices, and utilising renewable energy sources. By implementing these steps, airlines may contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change and enhance aviation sustainability.

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Emirates and Etihad Sign Interline Agreement for the First Time

Abhishek Nayar

05 May 2023

For many years, the UAE has been a popular tourist destination due to its sunny weather, magnificent architecture, and luxury shopping. Emirates and Etihad, the UAE's two biggest airlines, recently announced an expansion of their interline agreement with the goal of offering greater itinerary alternatives for travellers and enhancing tourism in the UAE. The partnership, which includes codeshare agreements, will allow travellers to smoothly link between the two airlines while also offering access to a broader selection of destinations.  The COVID-19 epidemic, on the other hand, has had a substantial influence on the tourist sector, with travel restrictions and lower demand resulting in a decline in visitor numbers. Emirates and Etihad have been trying to tackle these issues by providing travellers with creative alternatives, such as this new interline agreement.

What Exactly is an Interline Agreement

Before we get into the intricacies of this statement, it's important to understand what an interline agreement is. An interline agreement is a contractual agreement between two or more airlines that permits them to sell tickets on one another's flights. Travellers may benefit from more convenient connections, access to a greater selection of destinations, and easier luggage transfers as a result of this.

The Agreement's Specifics

Travellers will be able to book flights that link effortlessly between Emirates and Etihad under the new partnership with a single booking reference and through-checked luggage. This will provide travellers with a broader selection of itinerary alternatives while also streamlining the booking process. The two airlines have also agreed to codeshare on a handful of routes, allowing passengers to book flights on one airline but travel on another.

Current Scenario

Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways have inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to expand their interline arrangement and give visitors to the UAE new route alternatives. This first-of-its-kind collaboration between the two UAE carriers intends to seize on the potential to increase tourism to the UAE from important source economies by allowing passengers to visit several destinations on a single itinerary. Customers of both airlines will be able to purchase a single ticket to travel into either Dubai or Abu Dhabi, with a seamless return through the other airport, beginning this summer. The new arrangement also gives visitors wishing to visit the UAE the convenience of one-stop ticketing for their whole journey and simple baggage check-in.

Initially, each carrier will concentrate on attracting visitors to the UAE by developing inbound interline traffic from select points in Europe and China. The 'open jaw' configuration will allow guests to cover as much ground as possible when seeing Abu Dhabi, Dubai, or any other emirate, saving time by eliminating the need to fly home via their arrival airport. Customers flying into the UAE may also take advantage of 'multi-city flights,' which allow them to travel from one location on both airlines' networks to another conveniently served by either Emirates or Etihad. The agreement was signed at the Arabian Travel Market by Adnan Kazim, Emirates' Chief Commercial Officer, and Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways' Chief Operating Officer, in the presence of Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, and Antonoaldo Neves, CEO of Etihad Airways, as well as other senior delegates.

"We are pleased to be working with Etihad Airways again, this time to allow each carrier to offer a new range of seamless travel options in and out of the UAE," said Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline. Emirates and Etihad are combining our talents in order to broaden our respective consumer offers and enhance UAE tourism. We think that this new arrangement lays a solid platform for future potential between both airlines and demonstrates our commitment to the UAE's aim of continuing economic diversification." "We're delighted to partner with Emirates in our shared mission to support inbound tourism to the UAE and facilitate travel to our vibrant cities," said Antonoaldo Neves, Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways. With two world-class airlines promoting UAE tourism, our interline agreement will make it easier for our visitors to see the best of Abu Dhabi and Dubai on a single ticket while also assuring an amazing flying experience whether they fly with Etihad Airways or Emirates. It's a win-win situation for visitors to the UAE."

The enhanced interline relationship is based on both airlines' commitment to supporting the UAE government's goal of promoting tourism to the UAE and strengthening the UAE's status as a preferred worldwide destination. Tourism is an important pillar of the UAE economy, accounting for 5.4% of total GDP, or AED 116.1 billion (USD 31.6 billion), and sustaining over 1 million employment opportunities by 2027. This is the airlines' second announcement of cooperation. Emirates Group Security and Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2018 to boost aviation security, including information and intelligence exchange in operating areas both within and beyond the UAE. Emirates inked an agreement with the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi last year to increase visitor numbers to the UAE capital from important source markets on the airline's worldwide network.

The Advantages for Travellers

For starters, because both airlines have huge networks, it will allow access to a broader selection of locations. This means that visitors will be able to see more of the UAE and beyond without having to plan separate flights or worry about connecting. Second, the deal will streamline the booking process by requiring travellers to make only one booking and check their luggage all the way to their ultimate destination. Finally, because the two airlines will be able to offer more appealing packages and deals, the agreement is likely to result in more competitive pricing.

The Effect on Tourism in the UAE

The ultimate goal of this interline agreement is, of course, to increase tourism in the UAE. Emirates and Etihad are seeking to entice more people to visit the nation by offering more convenient and appealing itinerary alternatives. This is especially significant given the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the tourism sector. By collaborating, the two airlines can provide a more appealing offering to travellers, which is expected to result in greater visitor numbers and a boost to the local economy.


Finally, the interline agreement between Emirates and Etihad is a welcome development for both travellers and the UAE tourism industry. The two airlines are assisting in overcoming some of the problems created by the COVID-19 epidemic and encouraging more people to visit the nation by providing more convenient and appealing itinerary alternatives. This new partnership is likely to be a win-win for both airlines and travellers, with a broader variety of destinations, simpler booking processes, and reasonable pricing.

With Inputs from Emirates

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Fresh Trouble for P&W as Iraqi Airways Ground All Airbus A220s

Abhishek Nayar

05 May 2023

Pratt & Whitney's Geared Turbofan (GTF) engines have been at the centre of an array of issues as of late. One of the most recent developments is that Iraqi Airways has grounded all of its Airbus A220s due to engine issues. The incident has brought to light longstanding worries about GTF engines and their influence on the aviation sector.

Present Scenario

Pratt & Whitney designed the GTF engines to be more efficient and ecologically friendly than prior versions. However, they have encountered issues such as durability issues, engine failures, and a lack of spare part availability. The persistent problems with Pratt & Whitney's GTF engine have worsened, with the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) grounding all Iraqi Airways' Airbus A220s. According to the ICAA,

  • Department of Safety, Civil Aviation Authority
  • To: Iraqi Airways Company / General Manager's Office
  • In reference to the operator of the two aircraft (A220-300) registered (YI-ARI) and (YI-ARG) in your company's fleet.
  • We request that you halt all operations on all of your A220-300 until further notice and until the investigative processes are concluded. Please notify us as soon as feasible of your processes.

Iraqi Airways has four Airbus A220s, all of which are in the larger 300 category. All are less than two years old, with the first delivered in November 2021. The newest aircraft, YI-ARI, was delivered in January and is one of the two cited by the ICAA in their message. The supply chain issue affecting GTF scheduled maintenance has been widely publicized, with carriers like airBaltic obliged to lease additional capacity while their engines are repaired. However, a secondary issue appears to be affecting airlines that operate in hot, humid, and dusty conditions. The recent insolvency of India's Go First was ascribed to GTF issues on its A320neo family aircraft. According to FlightGlobal, the airline has replaced 510 PW1100G engines in recent years and had 64 'defective' engine incidents just last month. The airline has filed a lawsuit, claiming that "there have been numerous, persistent, and continuing technical issues with the defective GTF Engines supplied by Pratt." While A320neo operators can choose between the P&W GTF and an alternative product from CFM, A220 operators can only use the PW1500G. Iraqi Airways is the most recent casualty, but other airlines, particularly those operating in humid and dusty conditions, are also suffering. According to Airspace Africa, both Air Tanzania and Air Senegal are experiencing engine issues on their A220 aircraft. According to Air Tanzania CEO Ladislaus Matindi, despite the A220 engine's stated capacity of 5,260 landings, the airline was forced to remove powerplants before reaching 1,000 landings owing to design problems.

The GTF Engine Problems

Durability Issues: One of the primary issues with GTF engines has been their durability. There have been instances of early wear and tear, which has resulted in engine breakdowns and pricey repairs. This has created substantial inconvenience for airlines since they have had to halt planes and cancel flights while the engines are repaired.

Engine Failures: Another issue with the GTF engines is that they have a history of failing in-flight. This is a major safety hazard that has resulted in a number of emergency landings. The origins of the failures are unknown, although they are assumed to be connected to the engines' complicated design and how they interact with the plane's systems.

Replacement Parts Availability: Another issue with the GTF engines has been the delay in the availability of replacement parts. As a result, airlines have had to halt flights and restrict capacity, resulting in considerable financial losses. The scarcity of spare parts has been linked to the engines' complexity as well as manufacturing concerns.

The Effect on Airlines

Grounded Planes: The GTF engine troubles have caused major interruptions for airlines. They have had to ground planes and cancel flights, which has impacted passengers and the aviation sector as a whole. Airlines have also suffered financial losses as a result of having to pay for repairs and compensate customers for cancelled flights.

Capacity Reduction: The scarcity of spare parts has also resulted in reduced capacity for aircraft. This implies they cannot function at full capacity, resulting in lost income and earnings. This has proved especially difficult for smaller airlines that rely on A220s and have few resources to cope with engine issues.

Concerns for Safety: The GTF engine failures in flight have created severe safety concerns for airlines and passengers. The hazards connected with engines have been emphasised through emergency landings and plane groundings. This has also had an impact on passenger trust in the airline sector.


The GTF engine troubles have had a considerable influence on the aviation sector. Airlines have suffered considerable financial losses as a result of jet groundings, limited capacity, and safety concerns. While Pratt & Whitney has acknowledged the engine problems, there is still a long way to go before the issues are completely resolved.

With Inputs from Airspace Africa, Economic Times

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GMR Group's Bhogapuram Airport To Have Best Cargo, Aero-City Features; AP CM Lays Foundation

Radhika Bansal

04 May 2023

Building a world-class international airport at Bhogapuram with the best cargo operations and aero-city features will catalyse airport-led economic development in Andhra Pradesh on the lines of Delhi and Hyderabad, G M Rao, group chairman of GMR Group, which is constructing the state's new airport, said on Wednesday.

Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy that GMR Group would complete building the airport in 36 months, Rao said the new airport would incorporate the same international standards as Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. “We will build Bhogapuram airport with the same standards as we built Hyderabad (airport). We have designed this airport taking our culture and traditions into account. We will construct it in three years and operate,” Rao said in a video link shared by the state government on Wednesday on the sidelines of the foundation-stone-laying ceremony for the airport.

He said the airport would turn into an economic engine, creating a lot of employment. Its cargo operations would serve as a boon to farmers and the aquaculture, pharma and other industries by making exports easier. During the Global Investors Summit (GIS) in March, Rao announced that GMR Group would invest INR 5,000 crore in the first phase of the development of the airport, which would serve six million passengers annually.

Following the recent opening of Goa airport, Rao said Bhogapuram was the 12th airport for the GMR Group, which is a major player in the infrastructure, airports, energy, transportation and urban projects sectors in India and overseas.

Recalling how Hyderabad airport played a role in transforming Telangana's economy, he said there used to be just seven aircraft in that airport in 1999-2000, but it has risen to 500 planes. He noted that Delhi airport was billed as the worst airport earlier, but it managed to become number one after GMR took over.

Saying today was the happiest day of his life, the 73-year-old businessman observed that he had built many airports worldwide but starting a similar project in his home region satisfied him greatly. He noted that the foundation stone for his first airport project, Hyderabad, was laid as well as later inaugurated on completion in 2008 by former chief minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.

YSR Reddy had also been part of the Delhi airport inauguration, he said, and similarly his son Jagan Mohan Reddy was laying the foundation stone for the Bhogapouram airport now, he added, wishing that the CM would also inaugurate it. Located in Vizianagaram district, Bhogapuram village is 60 km northeast of the port city of Visakhapatnam.

About Upcoming Bhogapuram Airport

Once it is fully completed, the Bhogapuram International Airport being built by the GMR Group expects to handle 40 million passengers annually. It will be a smart airport proposed to be developed with green construction technologies. The greenfield airport will be a smart airport with a focus on environmental sustainability and social development of the region through an inclusive approach. The airport, for which Bhooma puja was performed on Wednesday, has been allotted 2,203.26 acres in Bhogapuram mandal of Vizianagaram district, about 45 km from Visakhapatnam after getting clearances from the legal authorities.

The estimated cost of the first phase of the project is INR 4,592 crore. Bhogapuram Airport’s initial capacity will be six million passengers per annum. Based on demand, it will be increased. The construction of the first phase will be completed within 36 months from the start of construction. The airport will also be a new-generation and technology-enabled airport that will provide an enhanced passenger experience.

There will be a provision for developing an integrated logistics ecosystem, and excellent road connectivity to the ports and major highways form part of the blueprint. A dedicated International and Domestic cargo terminal of 5,000 sq mtrs is to be developed in the first phase. It will have modern facilities to handle all major commodities and cater to the special needs of wide-body freighter operations. The project proponent will provide pharma cold chain-related facilities. The cargo terminal and proposed logistics ecosystem will provide an efficient global EXIM gateway. Gateway to be used for numerous industries from the North and East Andhra region and adjoining States.