Flynas Elevates Capacity with A320neo Deliveries and Ramadan Expansion

Abhishek Nayar

27 Mar 2024

In a strategic move to enhance its fleet and accommodate the surge in travel demand during the holy month of Ramadan, Saudi Arabia-based low-cost carrier flynas has bolstered its operations with the delivery of two Airbus A320neo aircraft. The expansion aligns with the airline's vision to connect the world to the Kingdom, offering an exceptional travel experience while contributing to Saudi Arabia's ambitious aviation goals.

Aircraft Deliveries and Fleet Growth

During the month of March, flynas welcomed two Airbus A320neo aircraft, further fortifying its fleet. Registered as HZ-NS79 and HZ-NS82, these modern aircraft were manufactured at Airbus' Tianjin final assembly line in China, reflecting the airline's commitment to innovation and efficiency. With plans to receive a total of six A320neo aircraft in 2024, flynas now boasts a fleet of 49 A320neo, along with seven A320ceo and four A330-300 aircraft.

Ramadan Capacity Surge

Ahead of Ramadan, flynas has positioned itself to meet the heightened travel demand by adding over 1.2 million seats on both international and domestic routes, marking a 25% increase compared to the previous year. This strategic move not only offers passengers diverse travel options but also ensures an unparalleled travel experience during this significant period. The airline's expansion efforts resonate with its overarching goal of facilitating access to the Two Holy Mosques and contributing to Saudi Arabia's National Civil Aviation Strategy.

Strategic Objectives and Vision

The expansion initiatives undertaken by flynas are part of its overarching strategic plan titled "We Connect the World to the Kingdom." This vision, coupled with the Pilgrims Experience Program (PEP), aims to enhance connectivity to key religious sites and support the Kingdom's tourism ambitions. By 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to connect with 250 international destinations, accommodate 330 million passengers annually, and host 100 million tourists, further solidifying its position as a global aviation hub.

Operational Growth and Performance

Data from Cirium showcases flynas' remarkable growth trajectory, with the airline adding 278 weekly one-way flights in March 2024 compared to the same period last year. In April 2024, an additional 494 one-way weekly flights are scheduled, highlighting the airline's commitment to expanding its network and enhancing connectivity. Notably, significant capacity increases are planned for key Saudi Arabian airports, including Jeddah, Riyadh, and Dammam, reflecting flynas' dedication to serving domestic travelers.


Flynas' recent aircraft deliveries and capacity expansions underscore its commitment to providing exceptional travel experiences while contributing to Saudi Arabia's aviation objectives. As the airline continues to grow its fleet, expand its network, and prioritize customer satisfaction, it remains poised to play a pivotal role in connecting the world to the Kingdom, particularly during significant events such as Ramadan. With a clear vision and strategic approach, flynas is well-positioned to navigate the dynamic aviation landscape and emerge as a leading player in the region.

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Can SpiceJet Navigate the Skies Amidst Pilot Shortages and Financial Turbulence?

Abhishek Nayar

27 Mar 2024

As the aviation industry gradually emerges from the turbulence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian low-cost carrier SpiceJet finds itself navigating a challenging landscape. Struggling to stabilize its finances and operations, the airline faces hurdles ranging from a shortage of trained Boeing 737 pilots to difficulties in acquiring new aircraft. In this article, we delve into SpiceJet's endeavors to overcome these obstacles and chart a course towards smoother skies.

Navigating Summer Schedule Challenges

SpiceJet's quest for stability is evident in its careful planning for the upcoming summer season. With a significantly reduced weekly schedule compared to previous years, the airline aims to avoid the non-utilization of airport slots, a move crucial for appeasing India's aviation regulator, the DGCA. However, challenges loom large, primarily stemming from changes in flight duty time limitations for pilots and the scarcity of trained Boeing 737 pilots in the market.

Pilot Shortages and Intensified Competition

The scarcity of pilots, especially those qualified to operate Boeing 737 aircraft, poses a significant bottleneck for SpiceJet's expansion plans. The airline anticipates needing an additional 60 to 90 pilots to maintain its flight capacity once new Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) norms take effect in June. Moreover, heightened competition from emerging carriers like Akasa Air and established players like Air India Express further exacerbates the challenge of attracting and retaining talent.

Acquisition Woes and Lease Resolutions

SpiceJet's efforts to augment its fleet face hurdles in the leasing market, exacerbated by the collapse of Go First and associated challenges faced by aircraft lessors. Despite these obstacles, the airline has finalized lease agreements for 10 aircraft, with three airframes already secured through recent settlement agreements. Notably, resolving disputes with lessors, such as the $49.8 million settlement with Echelon Ireland Madison One Ltd., has bolstered SpiceJet's fleet expansion endeavors.

Strategic Partnerships and Operational Adjustments

In a bid to meet specific operational requirements, SpiceJet has entered into a wet lease agreement for two Airbus A340 aircraft for the upcoming Hajj operations. These strategic maneuvers underscore the airline's commitment to fulfilling critical obligations while navigating operational challenges. Additionally, SpiceJet's efforts to stabilize its financial standing include settling disputes with lenders and reducing its workforce, as evidenced by recent layoffs affecting approximately 1,400 employees.


As SpiceJet endeavors to overcome pilot shortages, leasing woes, and financial turbulence, its strategic maneuvers reflect a concerted effort to stabilize operations and chart a path towards sustainable growth. While challenges persist in the dynamic aviation landscape, the airline's resilience and strategic partnerships position it to navigate the skies with determination and adaptability.

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Garuda Launches Border Patrol Drone

Preet Palash

26 Mar 2024

Drone-maker Garuda Aerospace has launched a Border Patrol Surveillance Drone called Trishul.

Trishul will empower forces in times of need for monitoring and analysis and people movement and can also be used in times of natural disasters, calamities and emergencies to gain access to real-time images and videos or to gain access to suspicious activities. The drones can also be used to assess traffic situations, the firm said in a statement.

Trishul provides wide-angle visibility of on-ground activity thus empowering ground control teams to take critical and effective decisions promptly. In addition to providing information such as the density and direction of gathering as well as their movement patterns, Trishul makes way for teams to safely monitor extensive variables while being remotely stationed. Equipped with a variety of sensors, such as high-definition cameras, infrared cameras, LIDAR, and radar, Trishul can also provide data regarding, speed, safety threats, crowd dynamics, and potential disturbances.

Agnishwar Jayaprakash, Founder and CEO, of Garuda Aerospace, “Over the years Garuda Aerospace has established its dominance as a pioneering drone technology company. We have grown our fleet of drones considerably and have been a partner of choice with our Drone-As-A-Service offering. The launch of Trishul exemplifies our commitment to building a sustainable drone ecosystem, with products and services that set new benchmarks. Trishul makes way for uninterrupted access to critical real-time information and enables prompt decision-making. We are excited about this new launch and look forward to innovating to introduce more products that are category-defining.”

Backed by investor and brand ambassador Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Garuda Aerospace has drones including Kisan Drones, Surya – Solar Panel Cleaning Drone, Vriksh Vihaan Seed Dropping Drone among others.

The firm is aiming to list on the stock market this year and says it has a 55% share of the agricultural drone market and also drones for food delivery, defence etc. So far it has raised around $27 million valuing it at $250 million.

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Mumbai Airport Using 42% of Recycled Water

Preet Palash

26 Mar 2024

Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) has implemented a series of initiatives aimed at promoting sustainable water management practices across its operations and aligning with its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the airport said in a statement.

CSMIA has been monitoring and managing its water consumption levels. In the fiscal year 2022-23, the airport consumed approximately 8,79,811 megalitres of water and recycled 2,92,861 megalitres of water, representing 33% of its total consumption for the year. In the following fiscal year 2023-24. CSMIA consumed approximately 8,36,393 megalitres of water so far and recycled 3,51,724 megalitres, accounting for 42% of total water consumption so far.

The installation of waterless urinals across both terminals of the airport have significantly cut down water usage resulting in substantial water savings. Furthermore, water flow reducers have been installed in the jet sprays of water closets, leading to a 50% reduction in water consumption for various uses. Additionally, tap aerators have been deployed in washbasins equipped with press or handle taps, resulting in a 40% reduction in water usage. The installation of sensor taps has further contributed to water conservation efforts, saving approximately one-third of water consumption per use.

CSMIA has also implemented innovative solutions to optimize water usage in landscaping. For instance, the green areas within Terminal 2 are maintained using drip irrigation systems, which efficiently distribute water to plants while minimizing wastage. CSMIA effectively utilizes the treated sewage by repurposing it for flushing and cooling purposes within the terminal buildings. This facilitates in reducing the demand for freshwater and minimizes the discharge of wastewater into the environment, contributing to water conservation efforts. To further bolster its water conservation efforts, CSMIA has invested in enhancing its rainwater harvesting infrastructure. Rainwater pits have been strategically constructed across the airside and near terminal buildings to recharge the groundwater table.

In addition to these initiatives, CSMIA has embarked on an afforestation project in the village of Tetavali since 2017, in collaboration with the non-governmental organization Hariyali. As part of this project, a dam with three water-holding bunds has been constructed, with a total capacity of approximately 3.5 lakh litres. The harvested water from these bunds, totalling approximately 24.5 lakh litres, is utilized for various purposes in the degraded forest area, contributing to ecosystem restoration and water conservation efforts.

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Malaysia Airlines Boards Manchester United

Preet Palash

26 Mar 2024

Malaysia Airlines has signed a strategic, multi-year partnership with the Manchester United football club as its official commercial airline.

Through this partnership, Malaysia Airlines is poised to extend its renowned Malaysian Hospitality to Manchester United’s vast community of over 1.1 billion fans and followers worldwide by leveraging co-branded marketing initiatives to boost brand recognition to a diverse global audience, while delivering quality service and immersive experiences associated with both brands, the airline said in a statement.
At the same event held in tandem with MATTA Fair 2024, Malaysia Airlines also announced the launch of flights to three new destinations to Malé, Maldives (MLE), Da Nang, Vietnam (DAD) and Chiang Mai, Thailand (CNX).
The airline will provide enhanced connectivity from its main hub in Kuala Lumpur with new direct flights to MLE, DAD and CNX with tickets available for sale beginning 22 March 2024. The airline will commence its daily flights to MLE beginning 1 August 2024; daily flights to DAD beginning 24 September 2024 and five times weekly flights to CNX beginning 15 August 2024.
This will mark the airline’s 13th destination in South Asia and 16th in ASEAN as it seeks to boost its presence within key markets, strengthening its position as the gateway to Asia and beyond in line with its commercial elevation journey. As a member of the oneworld alliance, Malaysia Airlines currently offers connectivity to more than 900 destinations in 170 territories across the globe.
In the same event, the airline also unveiled its new A330neo Business Class and Economy Class seats as part of its fleet modernisation plan, ahead of the first aircraft’s scheduled delivery in Q3 2024. The new A330neo cabin will feature many ‘firsts’ for the airline. Among those is the introduction of the Collins Aerospace Elevation Business Class seats, featuring an all-suite cabin with individual privacy doors, as well as wireless charging pods available at all 28 of the Business Class seats.
Meanwhile, the Recaro CL3810 Economy Class seats feature an ergonomic design and enhanced support, coupled with thoughtful amenities such as coat hooks, cup holder and ample stowage for added cabin comfort and practicality. The seat covers throughout the cabin will feature the airline’s signature songket motif, paying homage to Malaysia’s cultural heritage by seamlessly blending tradition with contemporary style. The A330neo will comprise 297 seats (28 in Business Class and 269 in Economy Class, of which 24 seats come with extra legroom).
Datuk Captain Izham Ismail, Group Managing Director of Malaysia Aviation Group (MAG), said, “Malaysia Airlines has undergone a chequered journey over the last decade, however through it all, our resilience has remained steadfast. Having stabilised our balance sheet and recording our strongest-ever financial year performance since the past decade, we are now in a stronger position to steer our focus towards accelerating investments into our product and service delivery to elevate the customer experience.
With our Manchester United collaboration, the expansion of our network to three new routes, and the unveiling of the new cabin seats on our new A330neo; this sets the benchmark of exciting things to come as we redefine what it means to travel onboard Malaysian Hospitality. These milestones not only set a new standard in the airline’s transformation journey but also promise a future filled with unparalleled experiences beyond the confines of the aircraft. As we move forward, our focus remains unwavering on delivering excellence and fostering continued growth, ensuring that every aspect of our service exceeds expectations and leaves a lasting impression for our valued passengers.”

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Lights Go Off at Mumbai Airport for Earth Hour

Preet Palash

26 Mar 2024

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) joined the global movement for Earth Hour 2024 on March 23rd, with a symbolic gesture of turning off non-essential lights for 60 minutes at various intervals.

During Earth Hour, non-essential lights at the airport were switched off between 20:30hrs to 21:30hrs in a phased manner in areas including the Juliet apron, Runway 32, Duty-Free departure, and arrival, as well as international and domestic lounges, the airport said.

Various on-ground teams including E&M, Apron, Terminal Operations, Environment, Non-aero commercial, Duty-Free lounge, and MLCP were actively involved and closely monitoring the entire duration of the activity with close coordination internally, ensuring smooth execution and adherence to safety protocols during Earth Hour.

"This initiative underscores CSMIA's commitment to sustainability, aiming to raise awareness and encourage sustainable practices among stakeholders and the community. Through this effort, CSMIA aims to demonstrate its dedication to environmental responsibility while maintaining the highest standards of operational efficiency. This activity did not impact flight operations from the airport," the airport added.

Earth Hour is an annual initiative by the World Wide Fund (WWF). The occasion is a symbolic gesture to promote environmental preservation and sustainability. The Earth Hour will span a duration of one hour from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

While raising a call for this collective commitment to the planet, WWF in a social media post on X (formerly Twitter) stated, “This year for #earthhour, we’re calling on you to spend an hour of your time doing something positive for our planet between now and Earth Day on April 22nd."