Flight Disruptions Due to Cyclone Remal: A Comprehensive Overview

Editorial Team

27 May 2024

Cyclone Remal, a formidable tropical cyclone that recently swept through the Indian Ocean, has caused significant disruptions to air travel across several countries in its path. This article provides a detailed account of the impact on flight operations, the response from airlines and airports, and advice for affected travellers. As per reports, over 400 flights were suspended at Kolkata airport alone. Absolute numbers are still awaited and can only be confirmed by the airline operators.

Impact on Flight Operations

Cyclone Remal, with its powerful winds and torrential rains, has led to widespread cancellations and delays of flights. The most affected regions include coastal cities in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and parts of Southeast Asia. Airports in major cities like Chennai, Colombo, and Malé have seen the most significant disruptions. Key impacts include:

Cancellations and Delays: Hundreds of flights have been cancelled or delayed as a safety precaution. Both domestic and international flights have been affected, with airlines prioritizing the safety of passengers and crew.

Diversions: Several flights enroute to affected areas have been diverted to alternative airports. For instance, flights destined for Chennai have been rerouted to Bengaluru or Hyderabad.

Grounded Aircraft: To prevent damage from strong winds and heavy rains, many aircraft have been grounded. Airports have taken measures to secure parked planes and ensure they are not at risk from the cyclone's impact.

Cyclone Remal Flight Disruptions 100 Knots

Airlines’ Response

Airlines have taken proactive measures to minimize the inconvenience caused to passengers. Key responses include:

Waivers and Refunds: Many airlines have issued travel waivers, allowing passengers to change their travel dates without incurring additional fees. Full refunds are being offered for cancelled flights, providing some relief to affected travellers.

Communication and Support: Airlines have ramped up their customer support services, providing regular updates via social media, email, and SMS. Dedicated helplines have been set up to assist passengers with rebooking and other queries.

Additional Flights: In the aftermath of the cyclone, airlines are planning to schedule additional flights to accommodate stranded passengers and clear the backlog of travelers.

Airport Measures

Airports in the cyclone-affected regions have implemented several measures to ensure the safety and comfort of passengers:

Emergency Protocols: Enhanced emergency protocols have been activated, including the deployment of additional security and support staff to manage crowds and provide assistance.

Facilities and Amenities: Airports have kept essential services like food and beverage outlets, lounges, and medical facilities operational round-the-clock. Temporary accommodations have been arranged for passengers unable to leave the airport.

Infrastructure Safety: Efforts have been made to protect airport infrastructure from the cyclone's effects, including securing signage, reinforcing structures, and ensuring backup power supplies.

Advice for Affected Travellers

Travelers impacted by Cyclone Remal are advised to take the following steps:

Check Flight Status: Regularly monitor the status of your flight through airline websites, apps, or customer service channels. Expect changes and stay informed about the latest updates.

Flexible Travel Plans: Be prepared for changes to your travel itinerary. Consider flexible booking options and stay in touch with your airline for the latest information on rescheduled flights.

Stay Safe: Prioritize safety. If you are in a cyclone-affected area, follow local authorities' advice and take necessary precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

Plan Ahead: For future travel, consider purchasing travel insurance that covers weather-related disruptions. This can provide additional security and financial protection.

Cyclone Remal has undeniably caused significant disruptions to air travel in the Indian Ocean region, impacting thousands of travellers. Airlines and airports have responded with measures to ensure safety and minimize inconvenience. Passengers are urged to stay informed and flexible in their travel plans, prioritizing safety above all. As the region recovers, efforts will continue to restore normal flight operations and assist those affected by this natural disaster.

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TSA Screens 2.95 Million Passengers in a Single Day

Abhishek Nayar

27 May 2024

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recently reported a historic milestone: screening 2.95 million airline passengers on a single day, Friday of Memorial Day weekend. This record-setting number signifies the beginning of what is anticipated to be a bustling summer travel season in the United States.

Surge in Airline Passengers Forecasted

Coinciding with Memorial Day, traditionally the start of the summer travel season, the record-breaking day aligns with predictions from Airlines for America, a group representing major U.S. airlines. They have forecasted a record summer travel season, with airlines expected to transport 271 million passengers, marking a 6.3% increase from the previous year.

Breaking Records Amid High Demand

The previous record of nearly 2.91 million passengers screened in a single day, set in November, was surpassed by the recent surge in travelers. Notably, five of the ten busiest travel days ever recorded have occurred since May 16 of this year, highlighting the increasing demand for air travel.

Airlines Ramp Up Operations

In response to the anticipated demand, U.S. carriers are gearing up to accommodate the influx of passengers. Airlines for America reported that U.S. carriers plan to operate over 26,000 daily flights this summer, an increase of nearly 1,400 flights compared to 2023. This expansion translates to a 5.6% increase in daily flights over last year's summer season, during which 255 million passengers were transported.

American Airlines

American Airlines is ramping up its operations significantly, with a 10% increase in flights this summer. The airline expects to carry nearly 3.9 million passengers on 36,000 flights over the May 23-May 28 Memorial Day travel period alone.

United Airlines

United Airlines is also forecasting record numbers, expecting to handle 3 million travelers during the Memorial Day period, an almost 10% increase from previous years, marking its highest number of travelers ever during this period.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines anticipates a 5% increase in customers during the Memorial Day weekend, with nearly 3 million passengers expected between May 23-27.

Challenges Amid Growth: FAA Staffing Shortages

Despite the optimistic outlook for summer travel, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to grapple with a persistent shortage of air traffic controllers. This shortage has prompted some airlines to voluntarily reduce flights to New York last summer to mitigate congestion issues.

Extended Flight Requirements Cuts at NYC Airports

In response to staffing issues, the FAA extended cuts to minimum flight requirements at New York City-area airports through October. This extension is crucial, as airlines face the risk of losing their takeoff and landing slots at congested airports if they do not use them sufficiently. Major airlines have recently requested these cuts be extended further through October 2025 to better manage the congestion and staffing challenges.


The Memorial Day weekend has set a precedent for what is expected to be a record-breaking summer travel season in the U.S. As airlines increase their operations to meet the rising demand, ongoing challenges such as air traffic controller shortages continue to impact the industry. The unprecedented surge in travelers underscores the public's eagerness to return to the skies, promising an eventful summer for air travel.

With Inputs from Reuters

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EaseMyTrip and SpiceJet Back Out from Go First Bid

Abhishek Nayar

27 May 2024

In a surprising turn of events, the promoters of EaseMyTrip, Nishant Pitti, and SpiceJet's Ajay Singh, have decided to withdraw their bid to acquire the bankrupt airline Go First. Pitti announced his decision on Saturday, emphasizing his intention to focus on other strategic priorities that align with EaseMyTrip's long-term vision. "After careful consideration, I have decided to withdraw from the GoAir bid in my personal capacity," Pitti stated. Ajay Singh has also opted out, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Impact on Go First's Revival

The withdrawal of the Singh-Pitti consortium, which had emerged as frontrunners with a bid of approximately ?1,600 crore, leaves Go First's future in a precarious position. This exit has cast significant doubt over the revival of the airline, which has been grounded since last year. The only remaining bid is from Sharjah-based Sky One, leaving Go First's stakeholders uncertain about the airline's future.

Legal and Financial Complications

Go First, previously owned by the Wadia Group, is currently entangled in a legal battle with Pratt & Whitney at the Singapore Court of Arbitration. The airline claims around ?8,000 crore in compensation, blaming its bankruptcy on the failure of P&W engines, which allegedly led to the grounding of many aircraft.

Despite several discussions, lenders and potential bidders have struggled to agree on a valuation for the bankrupt airline. This stalemate increases the likelihood of liquidation over revival. A recent Delhi High Court order allowing lessors to repossess their aircraft has further dented hopes of reviving Go First.

Bidder Concerns and Challenges

One significant concern for the bidders is the lack of detailed data on Go First's employees, complicating the due diligence process. Additionally, the repossession of aircraft by lessors adds uncertainty regarding access to the airline's airport slots and international flying rights. These slots, crucial for operations, are at risk of lapsing due to Go First's prolonged inactivity over consecutive summer and winter schedules.

"The bidders are quoting a price far below the expectations of the creditors' committee," a source revealed. The committee believes that pursuing legal action independently might yield a better financial outcome than accepting the current bids.

Strategic Shift for EaseMyTrip

Despite the setback, EaseMyTrip remains committed to delivering exceptional value and service, as emphasized by Pitti. The company has written off around ?54 crore in dues recoverable from Go First, indicating a strategic shift in focus. Pitti reiterated the company's dedication to navigating new opportunities and challenges, stating, "Our commitment to delivering exceptional value and service remains unwavering."


The withdrawal of the Singh-Pitti consortium places Go First in a critical situation, with its revival prospects dimming. As the airline grapples with legal battles, financial woes, and operational uncertainties, the aviation industry watches closely to see if Sky One's bid will provide a lifeline or if liquidation will become the inevitable outcome.

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Ryanair Navigates Boeing Delays and Prepares for Future Growth

Abhishek Nayar

27 May 2024

Ryanair Holdings remains confident in its long-term growth plans despite facing significant challenges due to delays in Boeing 737-8-200 deliveries. With ambitious plans for fleet expansion and passenger growth, the low-cost carrier (LCC) is adapting its strategies to ensure sustained performance while anticipating the arrival of the highly anticipated Boeing 737-10 aircraft in 2027.

Ryanair's Fleet Expansion and Challenges

Boeing 737-10 on Track for 2027

Ryanair is optimistic about receiving its first Boeing 737-10 in the first half of 2027. According to Chief Financial Officer Neil Sorahan, the certification process for the 737-10 is expected to be completed in the first half of 2025, following the certification of the 737-7 in late 2024 or early 2025. This timeline aligns with the expected deployment of the aircraft by US launch customers next year, positioning Ryanair to integrate the new jets into its fleet by spring 2027.

Order and Certification Delays

Ryanair has placed a firm order for 150 Boeing 737-10 aircraft, with options for an additional 150, making it the second-largest customer for the type globally. Despite the significant delays in certification, which have caused other carriers like United Airlines to express concerns, Ryanair remains committed to its order. The airline has even indicated its willingness to take over any delivery slots relinquished by other operators.

Current Capacity Challenges

Boeing 737-8-200 Delays

Ryanair's capacity growth plans have been hindered by production delays affecting the Boeing 737-8-200 variant. The airline currently operates 150 of these aircraft across its various AOCs, including Ryanair, Buzz (Poland), and Malta Air. However, it is facing a shortfall in deliveries, with only 158 expected by the end of July—23 fewer than contracted. The airline anticipates having 181 of the type by the end of November and aims to complete the remaining 29 deliveries by April 2025.

Lease Extensions for Airbus A320-200s

To mitigate the impact of these delays, Ryanair has extended the operating leases for three Airbus A320-200s in its Lauda Europe fleet. Originally set to expire during the winter of 2024/25, these leases have now been extended to 2028. Lauda Europe, Ryanair’s sole Airbus operator, currently manages a fleet of 27 A320-200s.

Financial Performance and Future Outlook

Passenger Growth and Financial Results

Despite the challenges, Ryanair expects its annual passenger throughput to grow by 8% to reach 198-200 million in the fiscal year from April 2024 to March 2025. This optimism is backed by a robust financial performance, with the airline posting a net profit of EUR 1.92 billion (USD 2.1 billion) for the 2024 fiscal year.

Compensation and Share Buyback

Ryanair anticipates "modest" compensation from Boeing for the delivery delays, although the exact terms remain confidential. In a strategic move to bolster shareholder value, the airline has announced a EUR 700 million (USD 760 million) share buyback program. Additionally, Ryanair is gradually increasing its EU ownership, which currently stands at 48%. Once it surpasses the 50% threshold, the airline plans to restore voting rights to all shareholders, including non-EU shareholders, ensuring compliance with EU ownership and control regulations.


Ryanair’s proactive measures to address delivery delays and extend leases underscore its commitment to maintaining capacity and growth. As it navigates these challenges, the airline remains poised for future expansion, bolstered by its firm orders for new aircraft and strategic financial initiatives. With a clear focus on long-term growth and resilience, Ryanair is well-positioned to continue its trajectory as one of the leading low-cost carriers in Europe.

With Inputs from ch-aviation

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Can Russia Revitalize Its Commercial Aviation Industry Amid Sanctions and War?

Abhishek Nayar

27 May 2024

As the main successor state of the Soviet Union, Russia inherited a robust aviation industry. Despite the challenges faced due to the collapse of the USSR and subsequent economic turmoil, Russia and Ukraine maintained significant aviation capabilities, with Ukraine's Antonov and Russia's Sukhoi and Ilyushin continuing to produce aircraft. By 2021, Russia appeared poised for a resurgence in commercial aviation with the Sukhoi Superjet 100 in production and the Yakovlev MC-21 on the verge of entering the market. However, the full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022 brought severe Western sanctions that crippled Russia's aviation sector, raising questions about its future prospects.

The Ambitious Plan: 1,000 Aircraft by 2030

On December 14, 2023, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an ambitious plan to produce over a thousand civilian aircraft by 2030. This statement came amidst significant challenges, including halted production and severe sanctions. Putin emphasized the need for Russia to develop its own aircraft production capabilities and reduce reliance on the approximately 400 foreign-produced aircraft in its fleet.

Shortly after this announcement, Russia allocated 283 billion rubles (approximately $3.1 billion) to Rostec, a state-owned industrial conglomerate, to achieve this goal. The plan involved producing 1,036 medium-haul aircraft of various types, including the Sukhoi Superjet-100, Yakovlev MC-21, Ilyushin IL-114-300 and IL-96-300, Tupolev 214, UZGA VRS-44 Lagoda, Let L-410 Turbo, and Baikal LMS-901, using entirely Russian-made parts.

Production Challenges and Revised Targets

Despite these ambitious targets, production has been sluggish. Reports indicate that only two aircraft were produced in 2022, another two in 2023, and just one by May 2024. This slow pace prompted Russia to revise its production estimate to 994 aircraft by 2030, down from the original 1,036. Even this reduced target appears daunting given the current production issues.

The MC-21 and Superjet 100: Struggles and Delays

The MC-21, intended to compete with the Boeing 737, has faced significant delays. Western sanctions have prevented access to critical components, necessitating a switch to heavier, less efficient Russian engines. These changes have rendered the aircraft overweight and less capable, pushing its production start to 2025 or 2026. The Sukhoi Superjet 100 has similarly struggled to resume production, with timelines repeatedly pushed back.

Import Substitution and Reverse Engineering

In response to sanctions, Russia launched an "import substitution" program to produce aircraft with domestically manufactured parts. However, this effort has encountered numerous hurdles. Russian airlines, including S7 Airlines, have attempted to reverse-engineer parts for Western aircraft, but this solution is not sustainable for long-term operations. The maintenance of the existing fleet remains a pressing concern as the industry works to develop local alternatives.

Resource Allocation: Civilian Needs vs. Wartime Economy

Russia's ability to revamp its aviation industry is further complicated by the ongoing war in Ukraine. Operating under a wartime economy, Russia faces a skilled labor shortage, with many resources diverted to military needs. Historical examples, such as the United States during World War II, illustrate how wartime priorities can severely limit civilian production capabilities. The U.S. halted civilian car production shortly after entering the war, focusing entirely on military manufacturing to ensure victory.

Helicopter Production Issues

Production problems extend beyond fixed-wing aircraft to helicopters. Reports suggest Russia is attempting to procure used helicopter engines from countries like Egypt, Pakistan, and Brazil to maintain its military helicopter fleet, many of which rely on engines produced by Ukraine's Motor Sich.


Russia's goal of producing nearly a thousand commercial aircraft by 2030 is an ambitious undertaking in the face of severe sanctions, production challenges, and an ongoing war. While the Kremlin has allocated significant resources to this effort, the reality on the ground—marked by delays, reduced targets, and a struggling import substitution program—paints a bleak picture. The prioritization of military needs over civilian production further complicates the situation. As the conflict in Ukraine continues with no clear end in sight, the future of Russia's commercial aviation industry remains uncertain.

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What’s Next for Bengaluru Airport City? A Look into the Future of Business, Hospitality, and Entertainment

Abhishek Nayar

27 May 2024

Bengaluru Airport City Limited (BACL) has unveiled ambitious investment plans that promise to transform the area surrounding Kempegowda International Airport (BLR Airport) into a vibrant hub of business, hospitality, and entertainment. With a focus on sustainability and innovation, BACL is set to develop a two million square feet Business Park and a 775-key Combo Hotel, among other exciting projects.

A Vision of Sustainable Innovation

Biophilic-Inspired Business Park

Central to BACL’s development strategy is the creation of a biophilic-inspired Business Park. This park is designed to offer smart workspaces within a dynamic public realm that seamlessly blends work and play. The innovative design aims to meet the diverse needs of businesses and employees by providing a stimulating environment for growth and collaboration.

The Urban Forest: A Green Oasis

One of the most striking features of the Business Park will be the Urban Forest, a lush green space at the heart of the development. This oasis will integrate indoor and outdoor spaces, creating a serene environment that promotes wellbeing and sustainability.

Enhanced Connectivity

The upcoming Metro station in Airport City will enhance accessibility to the Business Park, providing seamless connectivity from the northern side. This development ensures that the Business Park will be conveniently accessible, further boosting its appeal to businesses and employees.

Expanding Hospitality Horizons

The 775-Key Combo Hotel

In a move that will significantly boost the hospitality landscape, BACL plans to develop a Combo Hotel featuring 775 keys. The hotel will comprise 450 keys under the Vivanta brand and 325 keys under the Ginger brand. Scheduled for completion by the end of 2026, this grand establishment is poised to become one of India’s largest hospitality venues, catering to both business travelers and tourists.

Design Philosophy

The design of the Combo Hotel will embody universal, minimalist, and sustainable principles. It aims to deliver efficient, intuitive, and responsive customer-centric design, prioritizing occupant wellbeing. The hotel’s design will also align with the three pillars of sustainability: people, planet, and profit, ensuring a comfortable and eco-friendly guest experience.

Enhancing Existing Hospitality Options

Complementing this new development, the existing Taj Bangalore hotel within the Airport City has expanded to offer 370 keys. This growth is tailored to meet the increasing demand for luxury accommodations, enhancing the visitor experience and supporting the needs of the expanding Airport City.

Elevating Entertainment: The Concert Arena

An exciting addition to the Airport City’s offerings is the upcoming Concert Arena. This state-of-the-art venue, with a capacity to host 10,000 attendees, is set to be the first of its kind in an airport ecosystem in India. Scheduled to open in the next few years, the Concert Arena will host spectacular events and concerts, elevating the Airport City’s profile as a premier destination for entertainment and cultural gatherings.

Other Notable Developments

Advanced 3D Printing Facility

Since July 2022, a 3D printing facility, developed in collaboration with Voxeljet Germany, has been operational within the Airport City. This facility represents a significant advancement in technological infrastructure, supporting various industries and innovations.

Technologically Advanced Central Kitchen

In March 2024, SATS Singapore established a cutting-edge Central Kitchen capable of producing up to 170,000 ready-to-eat meals per day. This facility enhances the food service capabilities within the Airport City, supporting both local and international demands.

Commitment to Sustainable Infrastructure

BACL’s commitment to sustainability has been recognized with the Indian Green Building Council’s (IGBC) Green Cities Platinum certification. The urban design guidelines for Bengaluru Airport City prioritize green initiatives across all facets of planning and construction, ensuring the development evolves as a sustainable and eco-friendly urban center. Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, BACL promotes mixed-use development to create an inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable Airport City.

Conclusion: A Thriving Future for Bengaluru Airport City

BACL’s ambitious plans for the Bengaluru Airport City signal a transformative journey towards creating a bustling hub for businesses, hospitality, and entertainment. With world-class infrastructure, a focus on sustainability, and a dynamic blend of work and play, the Airport City is set to become a thriving environment that nurtures growth, creates job opportunities, and makes a positive socio-economic impact on the region.