Iberia Was Declared World’s Most Punctual Airline in April

Abhishek Nayar

25 May 2023

On-Time performance is critical for airlines in the fast-paced world of aviation. Passengers rely on airlines to adhere to their schedules, ensuring a seamless travel experience. Delays and interruptions can cause annoyance, missed connections, and an unfavorable opinion of the reliability of an airline. Cirium, a prominent aviation analytics firm, compiles and publishes its On-Time Performance Monthly Report to monitor and assess airline punctuality globally.

Overview of Cirium’s Report

The aviation industry eagerly awaits the publication of Cirium's On-Time Performance Monthly Report, a comprehensive analysis of flight data collected from airlines worldwide, every month. This report provides essential data regarding airline punctuality, assisting professionals and travelers alike to make informed assessments. Cirium provides a thorough perspective of on-time performance across various regions by segmenting the data by geographical location. Cirium collects data from airlines globally, spanning a wide range of routes and carriers, to ensure accuracy and dependability. The information includes departure and arrival times, flight distances, and geographical locations. Cirium's process includes gathering and analyzing data in order to generate pertinent performance metrics.

Iberia: The Most Punctual Airline in the World

Based on the latest edition of Cirium's report, Iberia is the world's most punctual airline, with an on-time performance of 87.28% in April. Based on statistics from 99.62% of Iberia's monthly operations, or 13,929 flights, this result was obtained. This achievement demonstrates Iberia's dedication to operational efficiency and providing a dependable travel experience to its passengers. Iberia, Spain's flag carrier, has established itself as a market leader in the aviation industry. The airline has routinely fared highly in Cirium's assessments, owing to a significant emphasis on punctuality. This award underscores Iberia's commitment to offering excellent service and dependability.

Analysis of Iberia's On-Time Performance

Iberia's remarkable on-time performance not only secured the airline's status as the most punctual in the world but also demonstrated its consistency in meeting scheduled departure and arrival times. Iberia implements a variety of techniques and practices that prioritize punctuality in order to sustain such a high level of performance. In comparison to other airlines, Iberia's on-time record was outstanding. The airline's dedication to efficiency and operational excellence has allowed it to outperform its competitors in this critical area. Iberia has earned a reputation for dependability and customer satisfaction by reliably delivering planes on schedule.



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The Vitality of On-Time Performance

On-Time performance is more than a statistic; it influences every aspect of the customer experience and an airline's reputation. Punctuality is typically a decisive factor for travelers when considering an airline. Airlines with an excellent track record of on-time performance are viewed as trustworthy and reliable, drawing additional customers. Furthermore, on-time performance has a direct influence on customer satisfaction. Timely departures and arrivals contribute to stress-free travel experiences by allowing travelers to arrive on time. Delays, on the other hand, can cause annoyance, missed connections, and interruptions in travel itineraries.

Improving On-Time Performance Strategies

Maintaining a high level of on-time efficiency requires airlines to work together. Airlines employ a variety of tactics and best practices to enhance their punctuality. Flight planning and scheduling are critical, guaranteeing appropriate buffer hours between flights and accounting for unexpected delays. In order to minimize interruptions, airlines typically prioritize maintenance and operational practices. Regular inspections, preventative maintenance, and swift resolution of technical issues all contribute to an airline's overall reliability. Crew and staff training are also important factors in on-time performance. Personnel who are well-trained and experienced are better suited to manage unforeseen events and maintain smooth operations. Airlines may improve their overall performance and punctuality by investing in their personnel’s skill development.

Limitations and Challenges

While airlines strive for punctuality, a variety of issues and limitations can have an influence on their on-time performance. External variables such as weather, air traffic congestion, and security procedures are beyond an airline's control but may exert a substantial impact on flight schedules. Unexpected events such as breakdowns in equipment or runway closures can also cause delays. It is critical to recognize that even the most punctual airlines might encounter occasional interruptions as a result of these variables. Airlines, on the other hand, can minimize the impact on customers and provide a pleasant travel experience through effective contingency planning and proactive communication.

Future Innovations and Trends

Technological improvements in the aviation industry provide novel opportunities to improve on-time performance. To optimize flight schedules, predictive analytics and machine learning algorithms can analyze preceding data and identify patterns. Airlines can maximize punctuality by employing these technologies to make educated decisions concerning routes, schedules, and resource allocation. Furthermore, advancements in aircraft technology, such as faster boarding processes and enhanced maintenance systems, assist in streamlining operations and increasing punctuality. Air traffic management system innovations also play a vital role in minimizing congestion and optimizing flight paths, thereby enhancing on-time performance.


On-time performance remains a vital component of the aviation sector, influencing customer satisfaction, airline reputation, and overall travel experiences. Cirium's On-Time Performance Monthly Report serves as an invaluable tool that provides thorough insights on airline punctuality throughout the world. The designation of Iberia as the world's most punctual airline emphasizes the significance of operational efficiency and efficient tactics for maintaining constant on-time performance. Airlines can enhance customer satisfaction, build trust, and gain an edge in the market by prioritizing punctuality.

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DGCA Grants Design Organisation Approval (DOA) To The ePlane Company

Radhika Bansal

24 May 2023

The ePlane Company, a leading developer of Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, announced that it has received Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday, May 22, 2023. The DOA is a crucial first step in the aircraft certification process, and it paves the way for ePlane to begin commercial production of its e200 eVTOL two-seater aircraft designed to operate in urban spaces. This approval marks a significant milestone for the company's aim to achieve commercialization by 2025.

The distinguished guests present at the ceremony included Vikram Dev Dutt, Director General of the Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA); Prof V Kamakoti, Director of IIT Madras; Indranil Chakraborthy, Deputy Director General of DGCA; Ms Meenu Kapil, Director, Aircraft Engineering; and Jai Simha, Director, DGCA Chennai. The ePlane Company hosted the dignitaries from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and IIT Madras at a special ceremony to announce the awarding of the certificate.

On the occasion, the DGCA dignitaries and Prof V Kamakoti, the Director of IIT Madras, presented the Design Organisation Approval to Prof Satya and the ePlane team. The DGCA team also visited the National Centre for Combustion Research and Development (NCCRD) at the IIT Madras Campus to gain insights into ePlane's ongoing work and progress. Subsequently, they toured the ePlane manufacturing facility followed by the Director General’s address and a small celebration to mark the occasion at the IITM Discovery Campus in Thaiyur, near Chennai.

“We are delighted to receive the DOA certificate from the DGCA,” Prof. Satyanarayanan Chakravarthy, Founder and CEO, The ePlane Company, said. “This is a major milestone for our company. It is a crucial first step in the aircraft certification process and paves another stone on the path towards the commercialisation of our e200 eVTOL aircraft. It gives us immense pleasure to announce that ePlane is the first startup in India to be approved as a Design Organisation and one of the very few private entities for complete aircraft design. The certification brings us a step closer towards our mission to ensure safe passenger flights in India and the world. We are grateful for the support of DGCA and IIT Madras in helping us to achieve this milestone.”

Vikram Dev Dutt, Director General, DGCA, conveyed his enthusiasm about visiting The ePlane Company’s facility and personally presenting the Design Organisation Approval. He said, "We are thrilled to witness the rapid growth and vast potential of the UAV and eVTOL ecosystem in India. ePlane has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to meeting stringent aircraft certification norms, reflecting their exceptional calibre and innovative approach. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to the entire ePlane team on achieving this significant milestone, and I am confident in the future success of ePlane and its remarkable e200 aircraft."

Prof Kamakoti, Director, of IIT Madras said, “I am delighted to be a part of this historic moment and I commend the nurturing ecosystem at IIT Madras, which supports both educational initiatives and startup incubation.”

About ePlane & e200

The ePlane Company received Design Organisation Approval for its ePlane e200 aircraft from the DGCA, which is a crucial, initial step in the aircraft certification process. After this, the start-up will be working towards obtaining type certification for the aircraft.

The ePlane e200 is a two-seater aircraft specifically designed for urban spaces. It boasts a travel range of 200 km and can make multiple stops on a single charge, resulting in significant time savings for consumers, as stated in a release by the start-up. An eVTOL aircraft utilises electric power for vertical take-off, hovering, and landing. In May, the company conducted a successful test of its prototype aircraft, the ePlane e50.

Incubated at IIT Madras and founded in 2019 by Satyanaryanan Chakravarthy, who is also a professor at the institute, the start-up is currently seeking Series A funding. In 2022, it secured $5 million in seed funding.

The DOA serves as a crucial initial step for the ePlane Company, signifying its capabilities to meet the stringent standards set by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation, allowing the company's flying electric taxis to take to the skies. With the DOA Certificate in hand, ePlane is poised to continue its ground-breaking work in developing safe, efficient, and environmentally friendly aircraft for the future.

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Qatar Airways CEO Skeptical About 2050 Net-Zero Objective

Abhishek Nayar

24 May 2023

The aviation sector has come under heightened scrutiny for its impact on the environment and greenhouse gas emissions. The objective to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 has gained encouragement as part of these efforts. While this aim is considered vital for halting climate change, there are barriers that must be addressed before it can be accomplished.

Present Situation

The aviation sector has set an ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, aligning itself with global climate change initiatives. However, Qatar Airways' Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker voiced doubts about the target's practicality. He identified insufficient Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) sources and the early stage of research for alternative hydrogen designs as significant challenges. "I doubt that we will be able to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050." Everyone is talking about it, but let us be forthcoming: there is not enough supply of sustainable aviation fuel," Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told Bloomberg's Qatar Economic Forum. The warning comes only days before the International Air Transport Association's annual gathering in Istanbul in June, where global airlines are expected to debate how to implement the climate pledge. "The only significant contributor in terms of technological change is Sustainable Aviation Fuel." That is the only thing that will shift the needle between now and 2050”, Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said at the same Doha event.

The Importance of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

SAF, or Sustainable Aviation Fuel, is a critical component in minimizing aircraft emissions. It is produced using renewable resources like agricultural waste, algae, and even carbon capture technologies. SAF could potentially be used as a direct substitute for conventional jet fuel with no modifications to current aircraft or infrastructure. When compared to typical fossil-based jet fuels, it offers significant carbon emission reductions. However, SAF is currently limited in availability. The production capacity is insufficient to fulfil the aviation industry's expanding demand. This constraint makes attaining net-zero emissions during the specified timeframe difficult.

The Difficulties of Scaling Up Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Scaling up SAF manufacturing is not an easy undertaking. There are various issues that must be addressed. To begin with, the cost of generating SAF is rather expensive when compared to traditional jet fuel. Because the manufacturing volume of SAF is substantially lower, the cost difference is due to economies of scale. Furthermore, the availability of sustainable feedstocks, as well as the necessity for further expenditures in production facilities, offer significant impediments to scaling up SAF production. Another issue is the distribution and supply chain infrastructure. SAF necessitates a distinct supply chain from conventional jet fuel, including feedstock procurement, refining, and delivery. The lack of SAF infrastructure at airports hampers the mainstream deployment of sustainable fuels.

Alternative Hydrogen Concepts

As an alternative to SAF, hydrogen has emerged as a promising decarbonization solution for aviation. Hydrogen-powered aircraft emit solely water vapour as emissions, potentially resulting in zero net greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen-powered designs, on the other hand, are still in their infancy and confront a number of technological and practical obstacles. Because hydrogen has a lower energy density than typical jet fuel, bigger fuel tanks or other designs are required. Furthermore, the infrastructure for hydrogen generation, storage, and delivery is still in its early stages. Because of these constraints, relying entirely on hydrogen as a feasible alternative to attaining net-zero emissions in the short term is difficult.

Collaborations and investments

To address the problems of SAF and other hydrogen designs, significant investments and cooperation throughout the aviation sector are required. To speed the development and implementation of sustainable solutions, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, fuel producers, and governments must collaborate. Several projects and partnerships are ongoing to promote the production and use of SAF. Airlines are spending on R&D, while manufacturers are looking into new aircraft designs and propulsion technologies. Governments may play an important role in promoting sustainable aviation by providing financial incentives, funding research programmes, and enacting legislation.

Government Policies and Regulations

Government rules and policies play an important role in propelling the aviation sector to net-zero emissions. They can create a regulatory environment that encourages the adoption of SAF and other technologies. Policy initiatives that can help with the transition to sustainable aviation include carbon pricing mechanisms, emissions trading programmes, and tax breaks. Furthermore, governments may establish specific emission reduction objectives, implement stronger environmental regulations, and promote international collaboration. Policymakers may help accelerate sustainable aviation efforts by fostering a favourable regulatory environment.

Technological Innovations and research

Significant progress has been achieved in the development of technical advances for sustainable aviation. To enhance fuel economy and minimize pollution, researchers and engineers are investigating revolutionary aircraft designs such as blended-wing or hybrid-electric planes. Electric or hydrogen fuel cell propulsion methods are also being studied. Furthermore, investments in lightweight materials, increased aerodynamics, and improved energy management systems help the achieve overall goal of lowering emissions. Ongoing R&D activities aim to open up new opportunities and push the frontiers of sustainable aviation technology.

Efforts Across the Industry

The aviation sector, which includes airlines, manufacturers, and industry associations, understands the need to combat climate change. Initiatives are being made to exchange information, best practices, and lessons learned through collaborative endeavors. Industry organizations, such as the International Air Transport Association (IATA), support collective activities and encourage member airlines to pursue sustainability projects. The aviation sector can speed the transition to net-zero emissions by pooling its combined expertise and resources. Collaboration among stakeholders promotes creativity, allows for the sharing of ideas, and aids in the resolution of common difficulties.

Economic and Environmental Benefits

Achieving net-zero emissions in aviation has various economic and environmental benefits. The industry may help mitigate global climate change by cutting carbon emissions. Additional benefits include improved air quality around airports and reduced noise pollution. Furthermore, sustainable aviation technologies have the potential to stimulate economic growth and provide new job possibilities. Investing in research, production, and infrastructure development fosters innovation and contributes to a sustainable economy. Long-term viability and resilience are also improved by sustainable aviation practices.


The aviation industry's commitment to attaining net-zero emissions by 2050 is an ambitious endeavor that will require collaborative efforts and innovative solutions. While there are hurdles, such as a limited supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel and alternative hydrogen designs in their early stages, progress is being made via investments, collaborations, and technical improvements. Governments, industry stakeholders, and researchers all play important roles in accelerating the transition to sustainable aviation. By removing roadblocks, enacting supporting regulations, and encouraging innovation, the aviation sector can come closer to its net-zero emissions goal while also contributing to a more sustainable future.

With Inputs from Reuters

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Scoot Acquires Nine Embraer E190-E2 Jets to Boost Future Growth

Abhishek Nayar

24 May 2023

Scoot, Singapore Airlines' low-cost subsidiary, recently made an intriguing statement about its fleet growth ambitions. Scoot has chosen the Embraer E190-E2 aircraft as the newest addition to its fleet in order to capitalize on additional growth potential in the region. This decision is part of Scoot's commitment to provide outstanding customer service while maintaining travel costs affordable for its customers.

Scoot Overview

Scoot has been in business for slightly over a decade, with the airline's fleet evolving dramatically since its inception. It began operations with a fleet of Boeing 777-200ERs leased from its parent business. It then began taking on 787 Dreamliners in 2015. In terms of narrowbody vessels, the operator is currently managing Airbus A320-200, A320neo, and A321neo aircraft. Between 2017 and 2019, there was also a quad of A319-100s in the mix. In a leasing agreement with Azorra, nine E190-E2s will join Scoot's fleet. The E190-E2, the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft under 150 seats, is set to be delivered in 2024. The aircraft will be sourced from Azorra's current Embraer backlog.

Scoot's Selection of the Embraer E190-E2

Scoot opted for the Embraer E190-E2 as it aims to provide its clientele with an enhanced flying experience. Scoot will soon welcome nine E190-E2 aircraft into its fleet thanks to a lease agreement with Azorra, a well-known aircraft lessor. The first of these cutting-edge aircraft, famed for their remarkable performance and efficiency, is slated for delivery in 2024. The Embraer E190-E2 is the quietest and most fuel-efficient aircraft under 150 seats. Scoot selected it due to its sophisticated technology and unique design, which align with their commitment to sustainability and decreasing environmental impact. Scoot hopes to improve its passengers' travel experiences by introducing these aircraft into its fleet while minimizing its carbon footprint. Notably, the aircraft has received accolades for its effectiveness in the skies. After the model's final flight testing in early 2018, Embraer discovered that it consumed 1.3% less fuel than expected. The total improvement over the original E190 is 17.3%, thanks to the Pratt & Whitney Pure Power Geared Turbofans that replaced the General Electric engines. As a result, Scoot will be eager to capitalize on these aspects of its short-haul operations.

In a business statement, Scoot CEO Leslie Thng stated the following regarding the move: "By expanding Scoot's fleet to include nine new E190-E2 aircraft, we will be able to maintain a modern and fuel-efficient fleet." It also demonstrates our dedication to providing even more travel options for our customers at the same fantastic value. The additional aircraft assure Scoot's readiness for growth by improving our connections in the area and supporting the expansion of our Singapore base." "We are delighted to support Scoot and its exciting expansion plan to serve more short and medium-haul flights across Southeast Asia," said Azorra CEO John Evans. Scoot's selection of the E2 is a tremendous endorsement of Embraer's E2 product range and the crossover category. Scoot becomes the first Singapore-based airline to employ crossover aircraft, illustrating the increasing capacity rationalization trend among carriers globally."

"We welcome Scoot as the region's first major operator of the E2," stated Arjan Meijer, CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation. The team at our APAC headquarters in Singapore is happy to assist the airline's efforts to improve connectivity and growth in the area, including the expansion of its Singapore hub. This is the value that the E2 delivers to airlines: it complements bigger narrowbodies in order to expand and sustain networks. Embraer's trademark two-by-two seat layout and sophisticated cabin will provide passengers with unrivalled comfort. Work on preparing the aircraft for service has already begun."

The Advantages of the Embraer E190-E2

Scoot's operations and passengers will benefit greatly from the arrival of the Embraer E190-E2. For starters, the sophisticated engines and aerodynamics of the aircraft increase fuel economy, lowering operational costs and environmental impact. Scoot's efficiency enables it to provide competitive rates while remaining profitable. Furthermore, the large interior design of the E190-E2 improves passenger comfort by providing adequate legroom and contemporary conveniences. The aircraft, which can carry up to 150 passengers, provides a comfortable and entertaining flying experience. Passengers may expect a well-equipped cabin with cutting-edge entertainment systems that will keep them entertained from take-off to landing.

Scoot's Expansion Strategy

Scoot's choice to introduce the Embraer E190-E2 is consistent with its expansion plan, which aims to address the region's rising demand for inexpensive air travel. With the acquisition of these additional aircraft, Scoot will be able to further extend its route network, reaching more locations and giving its customers more connection choices. Scoot hopes to become the preferred alternative for travelers looking for affordable prices without compromising quality or service by expanding its market footprint. Scoot chose the E190-E2 to distinguish itself from competitors and preserve a competitive edge in the low-cost carrier category.

Scoot's Competitive Advantage

Scoot has established itself as a prominent participant in the low-cost carrier industry by combining low prices with a dedication to customer quality. Scoot's choice of the Embraer E190-E2 demonstrates its commitment to providing a smooth and comfortable travel experience for its passengers. Passengers may experience smooth connecting choices to many locations across the world thanks to Scoot's large route network and codeshare agreements. This interconnectedness, along with the low cost of Scoot's prices, makes the airline an appealing option for both pleasure and business travelers alike.

Scoot and Azorra's Collaboration

Scoot and Azorra's lease agreement is a smart relationship that benefits both parties. Scoot can increase its fleet and grow its operations more effectively because of Azorra's expertise in aircraft leasing. Scoot will benefit from Azorra's resources and experience as a result of this relationship, which will promote mutual growth and success. Scoot's collaboration with Azorra boosts its market position by using the combined strengths of both businesses. They can handle problems and grab opportunities in the changing aviation business by working together, ensuring a sustainable and prosperous future.

Passengers' Experience

The addition of the Embraer E190-E2 to Scoot's fleet has a direct influence on the travel experience of customers. The innovative features and design modifications of the aircraft provide passengers with improved comfort and convenience during their flight. Passengers may relax and enjoy their journey to the fullest with large accommodations and sophisticated facilities. The quiet engines of the E190-E2 lower noise levels in the cabin, offering a tranquil environment for passengers. Furthermore, the aircraft's greater fuel economy corresponds with consumers' rising preference for environmentally friendly travel alternatives. Passengers who choose Scoot and travel on the Embraer E190-E2 not only benefit from lower tickets, but they also help to make the aviation sector greener and more ecologically responsible.


Scoot's acquisition of the Embraer E190-E2 is a significant step forward in the airline's expansion and commitment to providing excellent travel experiences. The addition of these cutting-edge aircraft to Scoot's fleet assures increased operating efficiency, a higher passenger experience, and decreased environmental impact. As Scoot expands its route network and strengthens its market position, travellers can expect more connection options and lower rates without sacrificing quality. Scoot and Azorra's relationship positions both companies for mutual growth and success in the competitive aviation market. Scoot distinguishes itself as a premier low-cost airline by adopting the Embraer E190-E2 and its sophisticated features. It is committed to offering a smooth, joyful, and sustainable travel experience for its passengers.

With Inputs from Embraer

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SpiceJet Pilots Get A Salary Hike Amid Its 18th Anniversary Celebrations

Radhika Bansal

24 May 2023

Budget carrier SpiceJet on May 23 announced that it has increased the salaries of its pilots as part of the airline's ongoing 18th-anniversary celebrations. The airline operated its first commercial flight from Delhi to Ahmedabad on May 23, 2005.

According to a statement, the salary of Captains has been increased to INR 7.5 lakh per month for 75 hours of flying. The hike is applicable from May 16, 2023. The airline had earlier revised salaries for its pilots from November 2022, wherein the salary of Captains had been raised to INR 7 lakh a month for 80 hours of flying. Further, Trainers (DE, TRI) and First Officers’ salaries have also been increased commensurately.

Additionally, SpiceJet added that the airline has announced a tenure-linked monthly loyalty reward for its Captains of up to INR 1 lakh per month, which would be over and above their monthly remuneration.

The airline, which completed 18 years of operations today, is facing financial headwinds and has undertaken a ''restructuring exercise'' to further reduce the liabilities. On May 11, SpiceJet said it has no plans to file for insolvency proceedings and has also started the process of reviving its grounded fleet with USD 50 million.

The statement had come in the backdrop of a lessor filing an insolvency resolution plea against the airline and crisis-hit rival Go First being admitted for voluntary insolvency resolution proceedings by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

In a message to the staff, SpiceJet Chairman and Managing Director Ajay Singh said that as part of the airline's overall growth strategy, ''a restructuring exercise is underway to further reduce the liability of the company as it will allow us to pursue our growth targets with focused efficiency''.

The carrier will also soon launch new flights on new and exciting routes, Singh told employees in a letter. He also urged the employees to remain committed to maintaining the highest standards of services as it looks forward to more exciting years ahead.

New International Routes Introduced

By the end of June, the carrier intends to launch two international UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) flights along the routes Imphal-Mandalay-Imphal and Agartala-Chattogram-Agartala. The airline plans to relaunch its UDAN flights from Jammu to Gwalior and from Kolkata to Gwalior to Jammu as well as create a new UDAN flight from Kolkata to Tezpur and Kolkata. In addition to starting flights on the Kolkata-Chattogram-Kolkata sector, the low-cost airline would also resume operations on the Kolkata-Agartala-Kolkata and Kolkata-Imphal-Kolkata sectors.

In the letter, Singh termed the recent hive-off of SpiceXpress into a separate entity as a defining milestone in its journey. "There is large investor interest in our logistics business. Leading UK-based international conglomerate SRAM and MRAM Group have already committed a USD 100 million investment in SpiceXpress. Both SpiceJet and SpiceXpress have great potential and will complement each other well," he told employees.

DGCA Deregisters 3 aircraft

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has deregistered three planes of low-cost SpiceJet at the request of lessors, the latest in a string of troubles for the cash-strapped airline. Of the three, two were non-operational and its operations had not been affected, SpiceJet said on May 19.

Earlier this month, Lessors Wilmington Trust SP Services, Sabarmati Aviation Leasing and Falgu Aviation Leasing approached the civil aviation regulator, requesting the deregistration of three Boeing 737-800s over non-payment of dues. The DGCA deregistered the planes with call signs VT-MXJ, MXF and SZJ.

The move comes a few days after the no-frills airline had said it was taking steps to bring a part of its grounded fleet back in the air after rival Go First opted for voluntary insolvency. The airline also said it had no plans to file for insolvency even as several of SpiceJet’s aircraft remain grounded due to various reasons.

"Out of the five planes listed for deregistration, one lessor has already requested DGCA to suspend the deregistration of two aircraft. Out of the remaining three, two were grounded for a long period and not operational. Hence, there is no impact on our operations. We remain focussed on bringing on our grounded fleet back into operations," a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

SpiceJet also hopes to bring back four of its 25 grounded aircraft by June 15. Two Boeing 737s and two Bombardier Q400s planes are being revived. The airline also intends to restart operations with more aircraft. The budget carrier's plan to revive the 25 grounded aircraft will help it capitalise and make the most of the upcoming peak travel season.

SpiceJet operates about 250 daily flights to 48 destinations within India and to international destinations. Its fleet is a mix of aircraft including Boeing 737 Max, Boeing 700 and Q400s.

Meanwhile, shares of SpiceJet tumbled nearly 14% on May 23, falling to its 52-week low level in intra-day trade, as investors continued to desert the counter. The stock tanked 13.93% to close at INR 24.16 apiece on the BSE. During the day, it plummeted 19.30% to its 52-week low of INR 22.65.

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Cathay Pacific Apologized After Passengers Accused Discrimination

Abhishek Nayar

24 May 2023

Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., an established Hong Kong airline, was embroiled in an impasse after a passenger accused its flight attendants of discriminating against non-English speakers. The incident occurred on the CX987 aircraft from Chengdu to Hong Kong, and it prompted significant anxiety among passengers as well as condemnation from China's state media. Cathay Pacific issued an apology along with attempts to address the accusations while emphasizing its commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.

Incident Particulars

The airline sector serves as a bridge connecting individuals from all cultures and backgrounds in today's interconnected world. Effective communication and cultural comprehension are critical to providing travelers with an outstanding travel experience. However, situations do occur that demonstrate the difficulties that airlines have in maintaining seamless communication and inclusiveness. The CX987 flight from Chengdu in southern China to Hong Kong became the focus of attention owing to a passenger's accusation of discrimination. The passenger claimed that the flight attendants treated English-speaking passengers preferentially while ignoring passengers who were unable to converse adequately in English. Passengers on the aircraft voiced their concerns and disappointment with the occurrence, underscoring the necessity of treating all passengers equally and with respect, regardless of their linguistic ability. The incident garnered attention not only to the incident itself, but also to the broader issue of communication and inclusiveness in the aviation sector. According to an internet post by a passenger on the Chengdu flight, flight attendants complained about passengers in English and Cantonese. They asserted that flight attendants made fun of passengers who asked for a carpet rather than a blanket in English. "If you cannot say blanket in English, you cannot have it." The carpet is on the floor. "Feel free to lie on it," a flight attendant remarked, according to a clip widely circulated online.

Cathay Pacific's Response

Cathay Pacific Airways promptly issued an apology in response to the passenger's accusations, recognizing the seriousness of the situation. The airline acknowledged the predicament and apologized for any inconvenience caused to the passengers. Cathay Pacific reiterated its commitment to providing all passengers with an inclusive and courteous travel experience. After an internal inquiry, the airline dismissed the three flight attendants implicated, said CEO Ronald Lam in another statement late Tuesday, apologizing once more. "I would like to reiterate that Cathay Pacific takes a 'zero tolerance' approach to serious violations of company rules and ethics committed by individual employees and will not tolerate them," Lam added. He went on to say that he would convene a cross-departmental working group to perform a thorough evaluation of service procedures, personnel training, and associated systems in order to enhance service quality. In addition to apologizing, Cathay Pacific made tangible efforts to resolve the issue and avoid such situations in the future. In order to provide a great customer experience, the airline stressed the necessity of cultural awareness and straightforward communication. Cathay Pacific has pledged to provide additional training to its employees in order to improve their awareness of varied cultural backgrounds and encourage tolerance.

Criticism from China

The incident on Cathay Pacific Flight CX987 was not overlooked by China's state media. The airline was chastised in the media for "worshipping foreigners" and favoring English-speaking passengers over others. This criticism reflected a nationalistic mindset shared by some who believed foreign airlines were given preferential treatment. The incident highlighted the complexities surrounding the airline industry's equilibrium between cultural sensitivity and nationalistic sentiments. It also emphasized the difficulties that international airlines encounter while flying to and from nations with various cultures and linguistic roots.

Importance of Communication and Inclusivity

The aviation industry relies substantially on clear communication and inclusiveness. Airlines are responsible for making sure their passengers are valued, respected, and understood throughout the duration of their trip. The Cathay Pacific incident serves as a reminder of the need for excellent communication between airline personnel and passengers, regardless of language ability. To solve these issues, airlines must prioritize cultural sensitivity and inclusiveness training programmes. Such programmes can equip airline personnel with the skills they need to deliver outstanding customer service to passengers from an array of backgrounds. Airlines can create an improved atmosphere for all travelers by cultivating an environment that acknowledges and appreciates different cultural backgrounds.


The incident on Cathay Pacific Airways' CX987 flight brought to light the issue of non-English speakers being discriminated against. The airline's prompt response, which included an apology and a pledge to inclusiveness, illustrates its commitment to dealing with similar situations and fostering a courteous travel experience. However, this particular incident illustrates the difficulties that airlines encounter while developing good communication and cultural sensitivity. Airlines may aim to provide an inclusive atmosphere for all customers by recognizing the value of clear communication and embracing heterogeneity. The event serves as a reminder of the continued necessity for training programmes that educate airline personnel with the skills essential to navigating cultural differences while offering an excellent travel experience for all passengers.

With Inputs from Reuters