Cathay Pacific Close to Order Boeing 777-8 Freighters for Partial Cargo Fleet Renewal

Radhika Bansal

30 May 2023

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd is close to placing an order worth around USD 2 billion for Boeing 777-8F freighters as the Hong Kong carrier embarks on the partial renewal of a fleet of dedicated 747 cargo jets. The selection follows a hard-fought battle for the business of one of the world's top-five freight airlines, which had been comparing the all-freight version of the future Boeing 777X jet family with an upcoming cargo model of the existing Airbus A350.

According to Reuters, Industry sources have said the competition involved an initial purchase of around half a dozen aircraft worth USD 2 billion at list prices before traditional airline discounts. Cathay Pacific currently is home to six ageing 747-400F, with an average age of 15 years; this is in addition to another 14 747-800F, which have up to ten years under their belt.

Cathay Pacific said it had no immediate announcement to make. "We continue to invest in and grow our fleet with the addition of new, state-of-the-art and fuel-efficient aircraft," a Cathay spokesperson said by email. "We have no specific updates or announcements regarding the fleet at this time.”

Boeing and Airbus declined to comment on commercial discussions. Boeing launched the 777-8F freighter with an order from Qatar Airways in January 2022, six months after Airbus launched the development of the A350 Freighter in a bid to weaken its U.S. rival's traditional grip on the market for freighters.

Cathay Pacific told analysts last November it was looking at more freighter capacity and working "actively" with planemakers to acquire some of the new freighters coming up after 2025.

Situated at the heart of pre-pandemic trade lanes, Cathay's decision on where to place bets for the next phase of its cargo development is seen as a key test for the two freighters because the airline operates underlying 777 and A350 passenger models.

Cathay Pacific is the world's fifth-largest air freight carrier and the third-largest traditional freight airline behind Qatar Airways and Emirates when specialist expresses parcel carriers FedEx and UPS are excluded, according to the latest available data from the International Air Transport Association.

Cathay Pacific's Current Fleet & Orders

Cathay Pacific currently operates a fleet of 186 aircraft, with 91 currently active. The fleet includes a variety of Airbus models such as A320ceos, A321ceos, A321NXs, A330-300s, A350-1000s, and A350-900s. The airline also operates Boeing aircraft, including Boeing 777-300s, 777-300ERs, a cargo fleet of 14 747-8Fs, and six 747-400ERF freighters.

Furthermore, Cathay Pacific has pending orders for 21 Boeing 777-9s, five Airbus A350s, and ten A321NXs. The average age of the fleet is 11.5 years, with A330s being the oldest at 15.5 years, followed by A320/321ceos at 18 years, and 777-300s at 21 years.

In March 2023, Cathay Pacific experienced a remarkable 25.3% growth in cargo volumes compared to the same period in the previous year. This expansion can be attributed to the relaxation of pandemic-related aircrew quarantine measures, which had significantly impacted cargo capacity.

Cathay Pacific has 21 Boeing 777-9 jetliners on order, worth over USD 7 billion at list prices, with deliveries initially slated to begin in 2021 and stream through to 2024. However, a series of production delays to Boeing’s 777X program (which covers the large 777-9 and the smaller but longer-range 777-8) has pushed back the 777-9’s debut to 2024, to the ongoing annoyance of many airlines.

Faced with a longer wait than expected, and combined with the economic impact of Covid-19 and Hong Kong’s extended border closure, Cathay Pacific Group Chairman Patrick Healy announced in October 2020 “the delivery of the 777-9 fleet has been postponed beyond 2025”.

(With Inputs from Reuters)

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EASA to Address Potential Fuel Tank Ignition on A320

Abhishek Nayar

30 May 2023

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is a regulatory organization in charge of guaranteeing the highest levels of aviation safety throughout the European Union (EU). It works closely with aircraft manufacturers like Airbus to identify and resolve any safety risks. EASA recently published an Airworthiness Directive (AD) addressing a specific issue with Airbus A320 series aircraft.

The Problem's History

Fuel tanks in aircraft are meticulously engineered to exclude any potential sources of ignition. However, unanticipated complications do develop from time to time, necessitating an investigation and corrective action. In this example, numerous failures of the type 8410 fuel pumps installed in Airbus A320 family aircraft prompted a deeper look. The failures were caused by the removal of one of the screws and nuts that held the gas return connector to the top of the motor housing. This precise problem, if not recognized and corrected swiftly, might represent a major risk, potentially resulting in in-tank igniting. To preserve the aircraft's safety and dependability, it is critical to properly evaluate and resolve this issue.

EASA's Findings

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has published an Airworthiness Directive (AD) addressing a possible ignition source in all Airbus A320 family aircraft's fuel tanks. This directive is the result of several failures of type 8410 fuel pumps, notably those with the component number (P/N) 568-1-27202-005. According to EASA's investigations, the failure of these pumps was caused by the unscrewing of one of the two screws and nuts that held the gas return connector to the top of the motor housing. If left undiscovered and untreated, this situation has the potential to become an in-tank ignition source, compromising the structural and system integrity of the aircraft. Following the pump failure reports, an additional three ADs were issued, all of which were supplanted by the latest directive, issued on May 25, 2023, mandating operators to repair malfunctioning fuel pumps on their A320 family aircraft following inspections. Pump A (P/N 568-1-27202-001, P/N 568-1-27202-002, or P/N 568-1-27202-005) or Pump B (P/N 568-1-27202-02R) were the two distinct pumps established by EASA. Three previous instructions addressed the potentially hazardous circumstances associated with pump A. The safety regulator is now addressing the dangerous state of pump B.

Impact on Safety

In the aviation sector, safety is of the utmost significance. Any possible threats to the safety of passengers, crew, and aircraft must be addressed quickly and properly. The implications of in-tank igniting can be severe, jeopardising the aircraft's structural integrity and system operation. It is critical to address this specific issue in order to avoid any potential in-tank ignition events. EASA and Airbus hope to assure the continued safety of Airbus A320 family aircraft by identifying and fixing the issue. These proactive efforts, together with a common commitment to safety, strengthen passengers' and operators' trust in the aviation sector.

Operator’s Response

To solve the problem, airlines operating the Airbus A320 series will need to check pump B. According to Airbus Alert Operator Transmission (AOT) A28N010-22-00R1, Group 1 aircraft (A319s and A320s lacking the A321's centre fuel transfer system, as well as all A318s) require a check of pump B in the centre fuel tank at positions FIN 37QA and 38QA. Group 2 aircraft, which include A319s and A320s equipped with the A321's centre fuel transfer system, as well as all A321s, undergo AOT-mandated inspections of pump B in the wing fuel tank's FIN 21QA, 22QA, 25QA, and 26QA. If any inconsistencies are discovered, operators must replace the fuel pump before the next flight. Otherwise, after an examination, airlines must replace pump B in the aforementioned areas within 4,000 flight hours (FH). Finally, EASA has barred airlines operating the Airbus A320 aircraft family from installing pump B in any of the centre fuel tank or wing fuel tank locations. The AD applies to all Airbus A320ceo and A320neo aircraft, from the A318 to the A321neo, and goes into effect on June 8, 2023. According to EASA, this is an interim AD, and more action may be taken at a later date.

Communication and Collaboration

The investigation and resolution of aviation safety concerns require a high degree of teamwork and communication. EASA, for example, collaborates closely with aircraft manufacturers to identify possible hazards and create suitable solutions. The industry can improve aviation safety by sharing knowledge, insights, and best practices. EASA is critical to upholding European safety standards. It monitors aircraft performance on a continuous basis, examines events and failures, and offers directions to mitigate identified hazards. Through its activities, EASA guarantees that safety remains the top priority for all aviation stakeholders.


The European Union Aviation Safety Agency's Airworthiness Directive on the possible ignition source in the fuel tanks of Airbus A320 family aircraft emphasizes the agency’s commitment to aviation safety. By properly studying the issue and acting quickly, EASA hopes to avoid in-tank igniting accidents that might jeopardize the structural and system integrity of the aircraft. The collaboration between EASA and Airbus emphasizes the need to work together to address possible risks and maintain the highest safety requirements. Passengers and operators may have confidence in the aviation industry's continued commitment to their safety. The quick detection and treatment of such issues ensures that Airbus A320 family aircraft continue to be safe and dependable for all those who rely on air travel.

With Inputs from AeroTime

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FAA Issues Airworthiness Directive for B777 Horizontal Stabilizer

Abhishek Nayar

30 May 2023

As the regulatory body in charge of safeguarding the safety of civil aviation in the United States, the FAA releases airworthiness directives on a regular basis to address possible safety hazards in aircraft. These guidelines are critical for ensuring the safety of many aircraft models, notably the widely used Boeing 777.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Overview

The Federal Aviation Administration, a section of the United States Department of Transportation, is in charge of civil aviation regulation and control in the United States. The FAA's principal goal is to assure the national airspace system's safety and efficiency. The FAA establishes and enforces strict standards to ensure aircraft airworthiness and passenger safety through significant study, legislation, and inspections.

The Importance of the Boeing 777 in the Aviation Industry

The Boeing 777 is a well-known commercial aircraft known for its dependability, efficiency, and long-range capabilities. It has acquired great acceptance among airlines worldwide, allowing them to perform long-distance flights while giving customers a comfortable experience. The Boeing 777's safety and reliability have been critical elements in its success, making it a preferred choice for many airline operators.

Understanding Horizontal Stabilizers and Their Importance

The horizontal stabilizer, positioned near the tail portion of an aircraft, is an important component of the empennage. It is critical for maintaining the aircraft's stability and balance while in flight. The horizontal stabiliser aids in the management of the airplane's pitch, or nose-up/nose-down movement. The horizontal stabilizer must perform properly for safe and controlled flight operations.

The Cracking Issue in the STA 2370 Pivot Bulkhead Forward Outer Chord

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a critical airworthiness regulation to ensure the safety of Boeing 777 aircraft. This guideline, which is slated to go into effect on June 30th, requires all airline operators to undergo examinations on their 777s to detect and treat any cracking concerns that might result in the loss of the aircraft's horizontal stabilizer. The FAA's airworthiness directive for the Boeing 777 tackles the specific risk of probable cracking in the forward outer chord of the STA 2370 pivot bulkhead. The pivot bulkhead connects the horizontal stabilizer to the fuselage. The cracking in the STA 2370 pivot bulkhead forward outer chord might lead to the severing of the pivot bulkhead outer chord if it goes unnoticed and ignored. This would result in a loss of control over the horizontal stabilizer, which would jeopardize the aircraft's stability and controllability. Such a circumstance poses a serious risk to the plane's and its passengers' safety.

The Boeing 777 Airworthiness Directive Issued by the FAA

Recognizing the urgency of resolving the cracking issue as soon as possible, the FAA issued an airworthiness regulation for the Boeing 777. All airline operators operating Boeing 777 aircraft must undertake rigorous inspections to detect any cracking in the STA 2370 pivot bulkhead front outer chord. The FAA's proactive strategy attempts to reduce the probability of a catastrophic horizontal stabilizer breakdown and assure the aircraft's ongoing safe operation. To demonstrate the magnitude of the impact of this airworthiness directive, estimates reveal that there are presently more than 220 Boeing 777s registered in the United States, with over 1,600 produced globally since 1994. United Airlines is the largest operator in the United States, with 96 Boeing 777s in its fleet (37 777-200s, 55 777-200ERs, and 22 777-300ERs). Emirates has the largest 777 fleet in the world, with 10 777-200LRs, 11 777Fs, and a whopping 124 777-300ERs. The inspection required under the directive entails performing repetitive, detailed, and high-frequency eddy current inspections for cracking of the pivot bulkhead and longeron fitting. The inspections were initially recommended by Boeing in an April 2022 service advisory and were reiterated this week by the FAA's airworthiness directive.

Impact on Passenger Safety and Airline Operations

The introduction of the airworthiness directive will undoubtedly have an impact on airline operations, perhaps causing temporary interruptions as inspections and essential repairs are completed. These precautions, however, are necessary to guarantee the safety and integrity of the Boeing 777 fleet. Airlines prioritize passenger safety above all else, and the temporary inconveniences caused by these checks demonstrate their dedication to maintaining the highest safety standards. With inspections predicted to cost around $4,300, airlines face a huge financial outlay to examine all of their 777s. If repair work is required after the inspection, the cost rises to more than $40,000 per side of the aircraft.

When the operational inconvenience of having an aircraft out of service for the inspection is factored in, the impact quickly increases. Air France, for example, has stated that each aircraft may be grounded for up to three weeks while the repairs are carried out. The carrier further stated that the job would require specialized instruments that were not readily available. Meanwhile, United Airlines requested that the directive enable operators to check both sides of the aircraft, which Boeing eventually included in its amended service advisory. The FAA has since updated the first airworthiness regulation in response to airline concerns.


The FAA's airworthiness directive for the Boeing 777 is a proactive move to assure the aircraft's safety and airworthiness. The directive intends to minimize horizontal stabilizer control loss and maintain aircraft controllability by addressing probable cracking in the STA 2370 pivot bulkhead forward outer chord. Measures are being taken to detect and minimize risks via collaborative efforts between Boeing, airlines, and regulatory authorities, confirming the aviation industry's commitment to passenger safety.

With Inputs from AeroTime

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Louis Vuitton Showcases First Airport Lounge at Doha’s Hamas International Airport

Abhishek Nayar

30 May 2023

The renowned luxury brand Louis Vuitton has recently made a novel pronouncement that is bound to tantalize the taste buds of discerning travelers. In partnership with Qatar Duty Free, the brand introduced the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno at Hamad International Airport in Doha. The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Qatar Duty Free aims to elevate the benchmark for airport dining by combining exceptional cuisine with the essence of luxury.

Overview of the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno

The Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno is designed to transform airport dining by providing travelers passing through Hamad International Airport with an exceptional culinary experience. This exclusive lounge provides a refuge of sophistication and indulgence in the midst of the hectic airport atmosphere, allowing guests to savor world-class cuisine prepared by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno.

Elegant Ambiance and Design

When you step into the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno, you are met with a room that exudes elegance and sophistication. The interior design for the lounge smoothly amalgamates the brand's iconic aesthetic with aspects that represent local culture. Every element has been carefully addressed, from the meticulously curated artworks to the plush furnishings, to create a sumptuous ambience that complements the culinary experience. The 24/7 lounge and restaurant, described as a "destination for travellers to dine and relax ahead of their departures," is designed as an extension of Louis Vuitton's travel legacy and culinary adventures and is positioned right above the brand's retail store in the airport. Visitors will enter a contemporary, tropical setting with soft light alongside Louis Vuitton elements such as stacked trunks surrounded by greenery, with Atelier Oi's colourful Quetzal bird creations overhead, accessible from the Al Mourjan Business Lounge - The Garden, located at the HIA expansion.

Seating is blended in with designer edition pieces from the Maison, such as India Mahdavi low tables, Paola Lenti high tables, and Martin Eisler's Costela armchairs. The Cosmic Table by Raw Edges and Bell Lamps by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are among the Objets Nomades, which are part of Studio Louis Vuitton's art de la table universe.  As for the design of the restaurant, world-renowned chef Yannick Alléno has developed a "multilingual" concept that caters to a variety of visitors and times of day. Alléno, whose Alléno Paris at the Pavillon Ledoyen and Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc both have three Michelin stars, made use of local produce, French classics, and international cuisine to put together a contemporary menu. Customer service is of the utmost importance at the Louis Vuitton Lounge. The tailored personnel are trained to anticipate each guest's desires and preferences, ensuring a personalized and seamless experience from start to finish. Whether you have dietary restrictions, specific preferences, or merely seek guidance on the menu, the staff will go above and beyond to cater to your needs and exceed your expectations.

The Culinary Concept

The culinary concept of Yannick Alléno's Louis Vuitton Lounge revolves around merging traditional French techniques with innovative culinary ideas. Yannick Alléno's gastronomic enthusiasm and meticulous attention to detail ensure that every dish served is an intricate piece of art in terms of flavour and presentation. The menu showcases a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary cuisine, each made with the finest ingredients sourced around the world. Yannick Alléno's cuisine features a wide range of gastronomic delights. Each dish is meticulously prepared to highlight the chef's creativity and experience, from exquisite appetizers to sumptuous main courses and decadent desserts. There is something to suit every palette, whether you adore marine delights, succulent meats, or innovative vegetarian alternatives. This includes Parisian viennoiseries and baked goods from the region, as well as hot sandwiches and eggs, smoked fish platters, caviar, and pastries. Visitors can choose lighter fare or starters and mains such as langoustine carpaccio with geranium essence, confit lamb shoulder flavoured with yuzu, and pilaf rice with dried fruit and spices at any time. Items can be enjoyed à la carte or experienced as a multi-course tasting menu.

Unique Dining Experience

Dining at Yannick Alléno's Louis Vuitton Lounge is more than just a meal; it is an immersive, multi-sensory experience. The ambiance, impeccable service, and exquisite presentation of each dish all weave together to create a phenomenal culinary journey. This dining experience aims to captivate your senses while leaving a lasting impression, whether you are a seasoned gourmet or an adventurous traveller eager to indulge in a culinary adventure of a lifetime. "The menu is complex because, above all, it should please everyone," Alléno explained in a press statement. The premiere in Doha follows Louis Vuitton's Cruise 2024 exhibition, which took place last week on the tiny Italian island of Isola Bella. Earlier that year, the house had its pre-fall 2023 show in Seoul, South Korea, as it homes in on emerging markets across the globe. The Lounge also features a comprehensive beverage selection that complements the culinary creations. The lounge provides an array of substitutes to enhance the dining experience, ranging from handcrafted cocktails and premium spirits to a curated wine selection featuring outstanding vintages. Expert sommeliers are also on hand to assist customers in traversing the selections to discover the ideal pairings for their dining experience.


Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno represents a union of sophistication, gastronomy, and opulence. It showcases Louis Vuitton and Qatar Duty Free's commitment to providing travellers with exceptional experiences that exceed expectations. Every element, from the gourmet menu offerings to the opulent ambiance, has been meticulously designed to ensure a memorable dining experience. So, the next time you are at Hamad International Airport, indulge your senses and embark on a culinary journey unlike any other at the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno.

With Inputs from Fashion Network

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Air India Plans to Induct A350 by Year End; Keep Hiring 550 cabin crew & 50 pilots every month

Radhika Bansal

30 May 2023

Bullish on growth prospects with a "healthy start" to Air India's five-year transformation plan, its chief Campbell Wilson said the airline is hiring 550 cabin crew members and 50 pilots every month and also expects to have six wide-body A350 planes in its fleet by the end of this year. After taking over the reins from the government in January last year, Tata Group has put in place various measures to turn around the fortunes of the loss-making carrier, including placing the largest order for 470 planes and expanding international operations.

Talking about the airline's hiring plans, Mr Wilson, who is the Managing Director and CEO, said there is no target per se, but about 550 cabin crew members and 50 pilots are coming in and trained afresh every month. "In the case of cabin crew members, it is about ten times and in the case of pilots, it is about five times on an annual rate of the pre-privatised airline," he told PTI in an interview in the national capital.

According to him, this pace of hiring will continue for most of this year, taper off by the end of this year and accelerate again towards the end of 2024. "It (hiring pace) will match the induction of aircraft".

Against the backdrop of merging Air India Express and AirAsia India (now known as AIX Connect), and Vistara with Air India, Mr Wilson said they are also sensitive to the consolidation subject to regulatory approvals. "There are people, and (they) can fill in the roles. We are calibrating on who we are bringing in from outside in accordance with who exists with the four airlines... we are consolidating the airlines and growing substantially," he said.

On what could be the staff strength putting all the four airlines together, Mr Wilson said it would be around 20,000, excluding those being hired as part of the growth strategy. Earlier this month, Mr Wilson told employees that Air India and Air India Express have hired more than 3,900 people, including over 500 pilots and 2,400 cabin crew members, since the start of this year.

Aircraft Deliveries in Line

"The first narrow-body aircraft will come around July or August. The first wide-body aircraft (A350) will come around October," Mr Wilson said about the induction plans from the historic order placed for 470 planes earlier this year. Currently, Air India has 122 planes and is expanding its fleet. The airline expects to have six A350 and eight B777 aircraft by the end of this year. So far, the carrier has taken 9 B777 planes on lease.

In February, Air India announced that it would buy 250 aircraft, including 40 wide-body A350 planes, from European aviation major Airbus and 220 planes from US aircraft maker Boeing under separate deals. The order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777-9s wide-body aircraft as well as 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft. According to the Air India chief, the true transformation will happen from next year onwards as it will get all the leased aircraft, start retrofitting old aircraft and deliveries from orders for 470 planes.

On the challenges ahead, Mr Wilson said it will be the sheer scale and pace of change as the airline was under-invested for quite some years. "So, the transformation that the main airline needs is significant. It is also merging the airlines... building training capacity and supporting the unprecedented growth path from a standing start," he added.

About the domestic industry, he said, "We all want a healthy, growing and stable ecosystem that is good for the consumers, economy, travellers, airlines, staff..." A repeated cycle of failures is not good for all of the stakeholders. So, that is a natural evolution and it has happened elsewhere too, he added. Regarding the ongoing five-year transformation plan ‘Vihaan.AI', he said it has been a healthy start.

On wet leasing of aircraft by airlines, Mr Wilson said it is a short-term measure to allow supply and demand to be in balance. "In the short term, it is a perfectly reasonable thing. In the long term, I think, we need to be careful that it does not undercut the incentive to invest in your own assets and put the skin in the game to grow the market... in a sustainable way," he noted. IndiGo has taken aircraft on a wet lease as part of expanding its international presence.

New Interiors of Air India Aircraft

“We will induct 19 new wide-body aircraft by the end of next March. These new planes will get onboard WiFi first. From mid-2024 we will start sending our 40 existing wide-body (27 Boeing 787s and 13 B777s) for a complete refurbishment. Their interiors will be scrapped and they will get everything brand new from seats to inflight entrainment (IFE) and onboard Wifi as part of our USD 400 million upgrade project. By mid-2025, all our twin aisles will have absolutely new cabin products,” Campbell Wilson said in an interview with The Times of India.

While 17 of the 19 twin aisles will be used for augmenting the fleet, Air India has recently started talks for indicting two more B777s so that it can retire two wide-bodies. A majority of Air India group’s full-service single aisles will also get a complete makeover by next September. “We are going to induct 50 single aisles this fiscal. By September 2024, 75-80% of our full-service single aisles will be brand new,” he said. The remaining 20-25% will be refurbished for being used by the low-cost arm, AI Express. This means in the next two years, AI full-service arm planes would have completely new interiors.

Meanwhile, Air India has also begun reinstating six of the 47 weekly non-stop flights to the United States that were temporarily suspended this March due to a shortage of B777 crew. “We are reinstating three of those flights this month and the remaining three next month. We are now hiring five and 10 times more pilots and cabin crew per month than last year. We are hiring 600 crew (550 cabin crew and 50 pilots) every month,” Wilson, who was selected managing director-chief executive officer by Tata Group last May, said.

Air India’s Transformation

After the acquisition, Tata Group, on September 15, 2022, unveiled the transformation plan ‘Vihaan.AI’, which set time-bound transformation milestones to establish Air India as a world-class airline. As part of the plan, Air India, over the next 5 years, will strive to increase its market share to at least 30% in the domestic market while significantly growing the international routes from the present market share. Vihaan.AI focuses on five key pillars, exceptional customer experience, robust operations, industry-best talent, industry leadership, and commercial efficiency and profitability.

First Phase

'Taxi', the first phase of the transformation plan Vihaan.AI, which focussed on "addressing legacy issues of the airline at scale and laying the foundation for future growth," has concluded, the airline said and added that now the second phase 'Take Off', -- that will focus on developing the platforms, processes, and systems needed to build toward excellence -- has commenced. In this phase, Air India is expected to complete the consolidation of its airline business, develop a world-class institute for training and build on the momentum seen in the first phase. Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said the first six months of the transformation journey had made great strides in tackling many issues that had built up over the years, and the airline has come a long way in establishing foundations for growth. He further stated that - 

"The first six months of our transformation journey have engaged and united Air Indians behind a common cause, and made great strides in tackling many issues that had built up over the years. Our record-setting aircraft order, the commitment of USD 400 million to completely refurbish existing aircraft, the investment of USD 200 million in new IT, and the recruitment of literally thousands of staff are but a few of the significant investments being made to restore Air India to the upper echelons of global aviation. As we move into our Take Off phase, we will start seeing these investments bear fruit." 

Second Phase

The second phase will also witness the consolidation of AirAsia India and Air India Express; the Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) entity has already merged their core reservations platforms, websites, and customer-facing systems. "Vistara will also be merged with Air India following the grant of regulatory approval. The release said that developing a world-class training academy will also take shape as the future direction and configuration of the airline's line and base maintenance," the release said. Apart from launching premium economy seats for the first time on select long-haul flights, Air India has revamped its menus on international and domestic routes. The airline also rolled out over 29 new policies across employees to improve welfare, designed new remuneration programs for legacy staff, and "onboarded more than 3,800+ employees across crew and other functions to support capability and growth," the release said.

The airline rolled out a new organizational structure and revamped roles across levels with a conscious effort to address the disparities between permanent and full-term contract employees. It also introduced over 29 new employee policies to improve welfare and two new training programs, Saksham and ACE, to upskill staff and improve service. Not only that, the airline onboarded more than 3800+ employees across crew and other functions to support capability and growth.

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Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Introduces 6 E-Gates for Smooth Check-In

Radhika Bansal

29 May 2023

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has been experiencing significant transformations since its acquisition by the Adani Group. To develop a technologically advanced ecosystem that will offer a seamless, consistent and paperless service experience, the International Airport here has introduced the advanced e-gate system to facilitate the journey of passengers. After checking in, passengers can enter the Security Holding Area (SHA) by scanning their boarding pass at the e-gates, the Airport authority has said. This new system replaces the previous practice of officials manually checking the boarding pass and granting admission. The implementation of e-gates promises smoother entry for passengers, reducing waiting times and minimizing queues, particularly during peak hours.

"Six e-gates with QR code scanners have been installed in the pre-security hold area of the airport's domestic and international terminals. Earlier, the officials used to directly check the boarding pass and admit the passengers," the airport authority said in a release. With the introduction of e-Gate, passengers will be able to speed up the check-in process and avoid long queues during peak hours, it said. E-gates will help airlines quickly locate passengers within the terminal and improve airport security, it added. Moreover, the enhanced security features contribute to improving overall airport safety.

This initiative aligns with the Adani Group's vision of creating a technologically advanced ecosystem that delivers a seamless, consistent, and paperless service experience. By introducing innovations like e-gates with QR code scanners, the airport aims to offer passengers greater convenience and efficiency while adhering to modern standards.

Technology integration in airport operations is becoming increasingly crucial, as it enhances the overall passenger experience and improves operational efficiency. With the introduction of e-gates, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport takes a significant step towards embracing this trend. The Adani Group's commitment to developing a technologically advanced infrastructure reflects its dedication to creating a world-class airport that caters to the evolving needs and expectations of travellers.

As the airport continues to transform the Adani Group's ownership, passengers can anticipate further advancements aimed at enhancing their travel experience. From seamless check-ins to advanced security measures, the airport's modernization efforts seek to position Thiruvananthapuram International Airport as a hub of efficiency, convenience, and technological excellence.

The contactless e-gates, empowered by touchless technologies and boarding card scanners, allow passengers to flash their physical or e-boarding cards and verify their flight details. After the verification process at the e-gates, the air travellers can proceed to security checks. Passengers carrying wide luggage or reduced mobility (PRM) can pass through it easily, and those carrying only hand baggage can walk through the normal lane e-gates.

About Thiruvananthapuram International Airport 

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is an international airport which serves Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, India. Established in 1932, it is the first airport in the state of Kerala and the fifth international airport of India, officially declared in 1991. It is the operating base of Air IndiaAir India ExpressIndiGo and SpiceJet. It is spread over an area of 700 acres. The airport is the eighth busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic and the twenty-second–most active overall. In the fiscal year 2022–23, the airport handled around 3.5 million passengers, with a total of around 25,000 aircraft movements.

In addition to civil operations, the airport headquarters the Southern Air Command (India) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Coast Guard for their operations. IAF have an exclusive apron to handle all their operations. Thiruvananthapuram Airport also caters to the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology which carries out pilot training activities. The airport hosts Air India's Narrow body Maintenance, repair and overhaul unit – MRO consisting of twin hangars for servicing Boeing 737 type aircraft, servicing mostly Air India Express aircraft.

AAI signed a letter of agreement with Adani in September 2020. Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited (ATIAL), floated by the Adani Group to run the airport, would operate, manage and develop the airport for a period of fifty years.  As per the agreement, ATIAL would get control of the airport only after a concession agreement was executed and the performance bank guarantee was paid and subject to clearance of legal hurdles.