Wednesday 12 September 2012

Civil Aviation Minister Launches First B787 Dreamliner Aircraft of Air India

Minister of Civil Aviation ShriAjit Singh launched the first Air India B787 Dreamliner Aircraft at a function at the Indira Gandhi International Airport today. 27 Boeing 787 will be delivered from 2012 to March 2016. The first of the aircrafts had arrived in New Delhi on 8thSeptember 2012.
Later Shri Singh held a press conference addressing a variety of issues on Air India and civil aviation sector in general. The salient points of the statement of the Minister on the occasion are as follows:

1.    Air India signed an agreement for purchase of 68 aircrafts (23-B777,   18-B737, 27-B787) in December 2005. 27 B787 due for delivery in September 2008 to October 2011 will now be delivered from 2012 to March 2016. The first B787 has already arrived in Delhi. Air India is going to get 5 more B787 in the current year upto December 2012. Rest 21 aircraft will be received as follows :


B787 will commence flying to Europe and Australia from Winter-2012 and it is expected that the aircraft will be a game changer for Air India.

2.    B787 has 3 distinct features
a)      Fuel Efficiency - In terms of less fuel consumption to the extent of 15% as compared to aircraft in the same class (Airbus330). (This would be 30% less if compared with B777).
b)      Passenger Comfort - Apart from passenger comfort in terms of comfortable & bigger seats, inflight entertainment, mood lightings, lavatories, large windows, the most distinguished feature of this aircraft is the Cabin Pressure Control, which allows cabin pressure to be set at lower levels i.e. equivalent to 6000 feet for B787 in lieu of 8000 feet. Besides, it is equipped with a Gaseous Air Purification System. Both these features provide enhanced passenger comfort in terms of less fatigue and more freshness during long-haul flights.
c)      Less Carbon emission, thereby causing less environmental pollution.
Performance of Air India
1.    Increased revenue despite lower capacity – Despite a decrease in capacity by over 17% due to strike by a section of pilots, Air India has posted an increase in revenue of 6.5% during April-August 2012 compared to the corresponding period in the previous year
Rs. 4757 crores
Rs. 4467 crores

During the same period the expenditure has also been reduced by Rs. 268 crores from the year 2011, which is about 4.4%. For the first time since merger in 2007, Air India has made a cash surplus of Rs. 48 crores (surplus over variable costs) during April-July 2012 which is a considerable improvement against a cash deficit of Rs. 586 crores during the same period in previous year.

The net losses of Air India during the period April–July 2012 have been reduced by Rs. 557 crores.
April-July 2012
Rs. 1733 crores
April-July 2011
Rs. 2290 crores

2.    Impressive Domestic Performance – The revenue on the domestic network increased by 33% during the period April to August 2012 as compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, presenting an increase of Rs. 531 crores.

Rs. 2119 crores
Rs. 1588 crores

There is 9.6% increase in passengers on domestic sectors.
3.666 million
3.344 million

3.    Passenger Load Factor – PLF has also shown an upward trend and has been increased by 2% during the period April-August 2012.

April-August 2012
April-August 2011

4.    Higher Yields – There is an increase of over 25% in yield from Rs. 3.43 per passenger-km (2011) to Rs. 4.29 per passenger-km in April-August 2012.

5.    On-Time Performance – There is a marked improvement in OTP. The OTP achieved in August 2012 was 86% as against 69% during August 2012.

6.    Action taken by  Air India subsequent to strike by IPG

a)    Out of total 413 striking pilots, 316 pilots who had reported sick en-masse have been taken back on duty. Out of remaining 97 pilots whose services were terminated, 50 pilots have been recommended for reinstatement, 5 pilots have not been found suitable for reinstatement and case of remaining 42 pilots is still under consideration.
b)    Principle of ‘No-Work-No-Pay’ has been adopted and the management has reserved its right to take disciplinary action against reinstated pilots as per the rules.
c)    Posting of pilots after rationalisation of Bases have been initiated according to which they would be posted and residing at a place from where they are required to fly. 60 pilots who were posted in Mumbai have already been shifted to Delhi because their flights commence from Delhi. This will reduce the dead working hours (will save travel time from place of posting/residence to the place from where they are required to fly) and cost of stay & transport of pilots.

7.    Other Actions
a)    Computerization of Flight Crew & Cabin Crew Management System  for scheduling of duties, thus eliminating the subjective element, favoritism, animosity while allocating duties to these staff.
b)    The practice of taking additional crew members while on leave or off-duty has been stopped.
c)    Directions have been issued to ensure that Flight Duty Time Limitation (FDTL) and Flight Time Limitation (FTL) are implemented as per the DGCA guidelines/CAR.
d)    Abolition of Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) effective 1st July 2012 as per the recommendation of Justice Dharmadhikari Report.

8.    With regard to flights to neighbouring countries, a clarification has been issued regarding CAR wherein local time would mean the local time of the home country. It will save the mandatory rest/stay of one-day to flight crew while travelling to neighbouring countries e.g. Dubai.

9.    Implementation of Justice Dharmadhikari Committee Report

i)          Level mapping of various posts/grades of erstwhile IA & AI has been completed.
ii)         Combined seniority of erstwhile IA & AI has been fixed.
iii)        The exercise of fixation of pay is under progress and will be completed within a period of 7 days.
iv)        The petitions received from employees regarding various anomalies have been categorized and Sub-Committees are examining them category-wise.

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