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Calendar of Upcoming International Events Flight Safety

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Calendar of Upcoming International Events Flight Safety

ERAU Aircraft Crash Survival Investigation Course

Oct. 15-19, 2018

October 15, 2018
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL
2018 International Aviation Safety and Education Summit 
IASES Conference
October 16 and 17th, 2018
Vancouver, BC

Oct. 16-18, 2018
Orlando, Florida

October 18, 2018
Orange County Convention Center
Orlando, FL
HELITECH Intl. 2018

16-18 Oct, Amsterdam RAI, The Netherlands
New York City Bar Association
“Hot Topics in Aviation”

October 23, 2018
5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m

23-24 October 2018
Washington, DC
2018 Rotorcraft Safety Conference

Hurst Conference Center, Hurst, Texas
October 23-25, 2018
ERAU Certificate of Management in Aviation Safety

OSHA & Aviation Ground Safety: Oct. 22-26, 2018
Aviation Safety Program Management: Oct. 29-Nov. 2, 2018
Aircraft Accident Investigation & Management: Nov. 5-9, 2018
Bombardier Safety Standdown USA

October 30 – November 1, 2018
Wichita, Kansas USA

ISASI 2018 International Seminar

Intercontinental Hotel, Festival City, Dubai,
30 October to 1 November, 2018.
“The Future of Aircraft Accident Investigation”
Aircraft Fire Hazards, Protection and Investigation Course,

Oct 31-Nov 1,
Woburn MA USA
EASA Annual Safety Conference 2018
6-7 Nov, Vienna, Austria
Note: All current and upcoming EASA events are published on https://www.easa.europa.eu/newsroom-and-events/events/current-and-upcoming-events
European Airline Training Symposium (EATS) 2018

6-7 Nov, Madrid, Spain

Flight Safety Foundation’s 71st International Air Safety Summit (IASS 2018)
Nov. 12-14, 2018
Seattle, WA
ERAU Media Relations in Accident Investigation Workshop
Nov. 12-14, 2018
ERAU Aviation SMS Short-Course

Nov. 27-29, 2018
IFA 2018 Conference & GCAA Annual Risk Management Seminar

Emirates Engineering Facility, Dubai
November 27 2018
IFA Technical Workshop

Emirates Engineering Facility, Dubai
November 28 2018
What drives everyday risk decision making?
ERAU U.S. Aviation Law Short-Course
Dec. 4-6, 2018
European Business Aviation Safety Conference

February 26-27,2019

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Two-Cent Fares Are Killing Airlines in India’s Cutthroat Market

Global carriers have flocked to India, lured by a domestic travel boom and what’s expected to be the world’s third-biggest aviation market by 2025. Yet India has proven an intensely competitive market, where profits are scarce and the life expectancy of weaker airlines is anything but certain.

Jet Airways India Ltd., one of the first carriers to launch after the market opened up in the early 1990s, said in a filing this month that it needs cash to meet liquidity requirements. Its stock price is in a free-fall and the company’s board, which deferred announcing earnings by more than two weeks, is due to meet Monday to discuss austerity measures and a turnaround plan.

AirAsia Group Bhd. to Singapore Airlines Ltd., not to mention a teeming field of domestic players. The competition is set to intensify if Qatar Airways follows through with its proposal to start a short-haul airline in the country.

The Indian commercial aviation industry has pretty much been in shakeout mode ever since the government ended a state monopoly enjoyed by Indian Airlines in 1994. Debt-burdened Kingfisher Airlines ended operations in 2012 — and 10 other domestic carriers remain locked in a largely profitless struggle for passengers, despite operating in the world’s fastest-growing market.

Indian carriers pay the world’s highest jet-fuel prices, thanks to local taxes of as much as 30 percent. But the real killer has been a protracted fare war that’s driven ticket prices so low that they can hardly cover costs.

“It’s a buyers’ market at the moment,” says Conrad Clifford, vice president for Asia Pacific at the International Air Transport Association. “While India has experienced 46 consecutive months of double-digit (passenger) growth, it is still a challenging market for airlines to operate in.”

With the entry of budget carriers such as IndiGo and SpiceJet Ltd. since the mid-2000’s, full-service carriers like Jet Airways that have higher overhead costs — for in-flight meals and entertainment — have been forced to offer discounts to passengers looking for a great bargain.

For instance, in 2015, SpiceJet offered base fares of as low as 2 cents. Average ticket prices for New Delhi to Mumbai, the world’s third-busiest route, fell 15 percent to 3,334 rupees ($48) in July-August from the previous year, according to online travel agent Yatra.com. Fares are down 40 percent from 2014, according to Sanjiv Kapoor, the chief commercial officer of Vistara, Singapore Air’s local venture. That compares with a premium rail service for the same route at 4,075 rupees.


Such fares are “not sustainable,” yet there’s “no choice” but to keep offering them, Rahul Bhatia, the billionaire co-founder of InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. that operates IndiGo, told analysts last month after almost all of its quarterly profits were wiped out.

To Robert Mann, the New York-based head of aviation consultancy R.W. Mann & Co., the Indian market now resembles that of the U.S. three decades ago after the government freed ticket prices from federal controls in 1978, setting off a fare war.

“But in India, it has persisted for decades,” says Mann. “A fragmented airline industry competes away any scant, potential profits earned.”

Still, not all Indian carriers are losing money. IndiGo, which started in 2006 with a focus on on-time flights and ultra-cheap tickets, has managed to keep a tight lid on costs.

Commanding discounts with big plane orders and lease-back deals, IndiGo has never lost money since going public in 2015. Its fleet of planes is also newer and more fuel-efficient than many rivals.

In contrast, Jet Airways is bogged down by higher costs. Besides carrying the burden of being a full-service carrier, the average age of its fleet is almost nine years, costing more to maintain.

Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal, who started the carrier in 1993 when he was a little-known ticketing agent, told shareholders on Aug. 9 that he was “embarrassed” by the poor performance of the airline. The stock, down 67 percent in 2018, is headed for its worst year since 2011.

Group cash holdings at Jet Airways, in which Etihad Airways PJSC owns a 24 percent stake, dwindled to $46 million at the end of March, the lowest since at least 2008. It needs to repay about $445 million of debt coming due by March 31.

Lenders are reluctant to extend additional loans, while it is in talks with Blackstone Group LP to sell a stake in its frequent-flyer loyalty program, people familiar with the matter said this month.

The market share of Jet Airways has more than halved to 15 percent from as high as 36 percent in the mid-2000s. It has reported profit in only two of the last 11 financial years, thanks to low oil prices.

The aviation industry is no stranger to the vicissitudes of fuel prices and fierce competition. They have landed other regional airlines in trouble as well before. Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. and Singapore Airlines, the two premium Asian carriers, are in the midst of a transformation to help bring them back to a path of sustainable profit.

In contrast, Air India, the state carrier, is surviving on bailouts and no bidder showed interest when the government wanted to dispose of some of its assets this year. AirAsia, which entered in 2014 with a vow to break even in four months, is still nowhere close to its goal. Vistara, Singapore Air’s joint venture with the Tata Group that started in 2015, has yet to make any money. SpiceJet almost collapsed the previous year.

“The cost of running an airline in India is not adequately compensated by fare inputs,” says Kapil Kaul, chief executive officer for South Asia at Sydney-based CAPA Centre for Aviation. “That is the fundamental issue.”

Why Jet Airways Is Facing A Crippling Cash Crunch

High debt, rising fuel prices and slower growth have crippled Jet Airways Ltd.

Shares of the full-service carrier fell as much as 7.8 percent, the most in nearly three weeks, after the reports quoting unnamed people that the company told employees it can’t operate for more than 60 days without cutting expenses, including salaries. The airline has been the least preferred aviation bet among investors, with its shares falling more than 60 percent this year

The company, 51 percent owned by Naresh Goyal, may raise funds and the promoter may sell stake.

A company spokesperson, in a statement, said Jet Airways has taken measures to reduce costs. “Some of these include sales and distribution, payroll, and maintenance, among many others,” the email said, adding the management is in talks with “key stakeholders to enlist their full support and cooperation”.

It’s been a difficult year for airlines in the world’s third-largest aviation market as prices of jet fuel rose 20 percent, while competition drove ticket prices lower. No let-up is expected anytime soon.

Higher Costs

Everyone in the sector is vulnerable to this, more so Jet Airways because of its high-cost structure, Amrit Pandurangi, an aviation expert. The tough phase may continue for another two quarters, he said.

Being a full-service airliner, Jet Airways’ costs are higher compared to budget peers like InterGlobe Aviation Ltd. and SpiceJet Ltd. The company tried to lower non-fuel costs through greater utilisation and better maintenance. That hasn’t been enough.

The carrier needs to take many more steps to enhance its cost competitiveness, given aggressive pricing in the industry, said Santosh Hiredesai, an aviation analyst at SBICAP Securities.

Forex Woes

As most of the expenses are dollar-denominated for an airline, a depreciating rupee means they need to pay more. And the Indian currency has weakened close to 8 percent this year, the most among Asian peers.

Slower Growth

Nearly 60 percent of Jet Airways’ flights are on overseas routes, the rest being domestic. The carrier’s traffic grew 14 percent in the domestic market in the last one year compared with the industry average of 19 percent.

Jet Airways also lost market share to rivals during the period.

Jet Airways’ market share on international routes has stayed around 14 percent. Half of its overseas capacity is deployed on routes to the Middle East, which is going through a slowdown. The carrier also faces tough competition in the region.

Debt Issues

Jet Airways has a weaker balance sheet compared with other listed peers. The carrier’s liabilities are higher than assets, giving it a negative net worth.

While the airline was profitable in the last two years, it reported a loss of more than Rs 1,000 crore in the quarter ended March. Analysts tracked estimated a loss of Rs 500 crore in the three months to June—the carrier is expected to report numbers on Aug. 10.

Recurring losses could push up debt, put more pressure on profitability and liquidity, SBICAP Securities said.

Incident: B788 near Kolkata on Jul 16th 2018, smoke in the cabin

An Air India Boeing 787-800,  performing flight AI-380 from Delhi to Singapore , was enroute at FL390 about 210nm northwest of Kolkata  when the crew reported smoke in the cabin and decided to divert to Kolkata, where the aircraft landed safely about 45 minutes later.

A replacement Boeing 787-800 continued the flight and reached Singapore with a delay of 20.5 hours.

The airline confirmed the aircraft diverted to Kolkata and was declared AOG due to a technical issue. The passengers were taken to hotels and continued the flight the following day.

The occurrence aircraft is still on the ground in Kolkata.

ICAO Safety Audit Results : USOAP

If you remember a five-member audit team of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was in India between November 6 and November 16 2017 as part of its Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme.

The UN aviation watchdog ICAO has concluded its audit of the country’s aviation sector, its audit ‘Effective Implementation’ (EI) score is presented for various categories covered under ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP)  in the chart below.

Please note: A significant safety concern (SSC) does not necessarily indicate a particular safety deficiency in the air navigation service providers, airlines (air operators), aircraft or aerodrome; but, rather, indicates that the State is not providing sufficient safety oversight to ensure the effective implementation of applicable ICAO Standards. Full technical details of the ICAO findings have been made available to the State to guide rectification, as well as to all ICAO Member States to facilitate any actions that they may consider necessary to ensure safety.

VISTARA to add 50 Airbus A320neo Family aircraft to fleet : Source Airbus

VISTARA, has signed a letter of Intent (LoI) for 13 A320neo aircraft to add to its existing portfolio of 21 Airbus aeroplanes, reconfirming the appeal of the best-selling single aisle family.

The full-service airline has also committed to an additional 37 A320neo Family aircraft from lessors. The combined agreements would add 50 A320neo Family to Vistara’s fleet. The engine selection for VISTARA’s latest firm order is Leap CFM.

For VISTARA, the A320neo will be the first aircraft to fly regional international routes

Patna-Pune SpiceJet plane gets its nose cone squashed in bird hit

New Delhi: A Pune-bound SpiceJet plane suffered a bird hit earlier today, resulting in its nose cone to be damaged. Details about its passengers are unknown as of now.

The plane, travelling from Patna, landed in Pune at 12 pm.

There have been multiple cases of bird hits in Patna recently. Earlier last month, a SpiceJet and an Indigo plane suffered bird hits that led the aircraft to face heavy turbulence. Thanks to deft manoeuvring, worst case scenarios were averted in both cases.

Top 15 Airports, Ranked by Aircraft Departures, Passengers and Volume of Freight

In terms of aircraft departures, the Top 15 airports reported a growth of +5.1% YoY. All the Top 15 airports posted YoY increases, except for Amsterdam with a slight  decline of -0.2%. The strongest growth in operations was recorded by Beijing (+18.5%), owing to the comparison with the low traffic in the same period of the previous year.

In terms of passengers, the Top 15 airports reported a growth of +6.1% YoY. The majority of the Top 15 airports reported YoY increases with four airports posting doubledigit growth. Atlanta retained the 1st position with a growth of +8.0%. Beijing recorded the strongest growth within the Top 15 by +18.0%, followed by New Delhi (+16.8%). Paris posted the biggest decline by -3.5%.

In terms of freight, the Top 15 airports reported a growth of +3.1% YoY. After experiencing a sluggish growth in March, freight traffic showed improvements
with twelve airports posting YoY increases. The most significant increase was recorded by Doha (+9.3%), followed by Anchorage (+8.7%). Minor decline was
posted by Dubai (-0.7%) and Memphis (-0.1%).

IATA Airlines Financial Monitor – June 2018

June 2018 report of the Airlines Financial Monitor report by IATA

Key points:

  • The latest financial data from the industry show that airline profitability was strengthening in Q1 2018 compared to the same quarter a year ago, while cash flow generation in the industry also picked up.
  • That said, global airline share prices fell for the fifth consecutive month in June, which indicates that forward-looking investors expect more difficult conditions ahead than was the case in Q1. The global airline share price index has now fallen by 14.3% since the start of the year, compared to a 1.7% decline in the global equity index.
  • Oil prices have trended upwards since early-2017 and are a key reason why airline shares are underperforming the market. The price of jet fuel is currently sitting just above US$90/bbl – around 55% higher than it was a year ago.
  • The global average passenger yield has tracked broadly sideways since early-2017. However, yields in the less price-sensitive premium-class cabin have trended upwards over much of the past year, which reflects the fact that airlines have been able to pass on higher input costs to a greater extent than in the economy cabin.
  • Passenger demand has continued to trend upwards and freight volumes have picked up in the past few months too. A rising passenger load factor is helping to boost unit revenues in the face of the sideways trend in yields.

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Report: Improper crosswind landing technique causes ATR 72-600 runway excursion at Indore Airport, India

A Jet Airways ATR 72-600 aircraft sustained substantial damage in runway excursion accident at Indore Airport, India.

The aircraft departed Delhi Airport as flight 9W2793 at 17:40 local time (12:10 UTC).
While en route ATIS was obtained by the crew approximately at 115 NM from Indore and the arrival briefing was completed at 100 NM from Indore. The crew asked ATC for permission to descend at 19:10, much before their descent point, so as to keep clear of weather and avoid turbulence. The winds reported by ATC were 130° and 08 knots. As the winds were favourable for runway 07 the crew decided for a VOR approach to runway 07 via DME arc.

At 19:23 crew reported commencing the arc. While on final approach the crew asked for winds, ATC informed crew that the winds were 320° and 12 knots. The crew also saw tail winds on their Primary Flight Display (PFD) and decided to discontinue the approach. ATC then cleared the aircraft for an ILS approach to runway 25 from overhead. The crew then requested an ILS approach to runway 25 via the DME arc, as there was weather overhead. This was accepted by ATC at 19:31. At the same time ATC also informed crew that winds were then 100° and 12 knots. The aircraft climbed 4000 feet and was kept left of the runway, keeping runway in visual contact.
The crew continued with the approach and went out for 15 NM to avoid weather before turning right to intercept the ILS. The flight reported established on localizer at 19:37 and was informed by ATC of moderate rain on airfield. At 19:38 crew reported intercepting ILS and was cleared to land with reported winds of 13 knots at 160°. As per the statement of crew the approach was clear and runway lights could be seen from 13 NM. The runway lights and PAPI lights appeared bright and hence the crew requested ATC to reduce the intensity of the lights.

As the aircraft descended through 600 feet, auto pilot was disconnected. After the aircraft touched down, it veered to the right. The PIC tried to control the aircraft using rudder to turn it to the left. However aircraft went excessively to the left. The PIC was also warned by the co-pilot about the aircraft heading. The aircraft continued going left even after application of full right rudder by the PIC.
The aircraft subsequently went out of the runway into the unpaved surface on left, damaging runway edge lights, runway marking light and a taxiway edge light. The aircraft travelled approximately 180 meters on the unpaved surface while jumping a pit and crossing taxiway F near the isolation bay before coming to halt 78 meters away from runway centre line, with heading 204°.

Probable Cause of the Accident:
Improper cross wind landing technique and failure to use nose wheel steering or differential braking after rudder efficiency was diminished due to decreasing speed caused the aircraft to veer out of runway.

The runway condition was a contributory factor.

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