Top Aviation News this week!

Here's a quick summary of major airline/aviation news this week

1. Cabinet approves Air India stake sale in principle.
Govt of India in principle has decided to sell its stake in National Carrier Air India. Now the formalities would begin to decide the details- like how much, how, to whom, what parts of Air India are to be sold etc. Detailed news here on NDTV.

Main concern will be to what to do with Air India's elephant size debt not backed by any assets. My guess is govt will be eventually forced to write it off.

2. Indigo expresses interest to buy Air India
While spicejet was in news for their quick recovery and mega aircraft order with Boeing, rival Indigo is probably considering an inorganic growth by acquiring part of Air India- primarily Air India Express. This will give Indigo a headstart over rivals. Air India owns lots of key slots across the world (like gate timings etc). Detailed story in Hindustan Times

Apparently Indigo shareholders are not really happy with this idea- Indigo shares nosedived as the news broke out. [details on NDTV Profit]

3. Spicejet and Indigo sales
Two budget airlines, Spicejet and Indigo have announced a sale this week, still going on, valid for travel till 24 March 2018. Detailed posts already available- click here for Spicejet Mega Monsoon Sale, Here for Indigo sale

4. Air Asia's Perth-KL flight developing an uncontained Engine failure and returning to Perth 90 mins into its flight was a major news last week.[Details] Cause of the engine failure is not known yet- it may take months of investigation. Air Asia has managed to send a recovery plan and re-schedule all affected passengers without any major delays or social media outrage. While few have critcised the pilot for asking passengers to pray and suggest that budget airlines are cutting cost on safety, majority opinion is in favor of the pilot and the airline. Pilot statement available in this news.

Few have criticized why pilot didn't land at nearby airport Learmonth (25 mins away) instead of flying back to Perth. I am sure Pilot had his own reason- may be plane was too heavy and he had to burn some fuel (dumping fuel carried a risk of fire as engine is damaged), may be he was instructed to fly back to Perth where AirAsia has a base, ground staff and the airport is probably better equipped for emergency (Air Asia doesn't fly to Learmonth). I think we will have to wait for a Nat Geo ACI episode.

5. BLR-BOM Passenger arrested 
A Jet Airways passenger flying from Bengaluru to Mumbai was arrested yesterday for inappropriately touching a female co passenger. Mid-Day news has more details

There's no news of any politician creating some sort of ruckus in any airport this week- seems like a decent week overall.

6. Near miss over J&K
An Indigo plane and a BSF plane reportedly came to close over Jammu & Kashmir this week. TCAS (Tactical Collision Aversion System) kicked in and the pilots were able to avoid a collission. News here

7 New airport near Delhi
Govt has cleared a plan to build a new airport at Jewar near NOIDA, close to expressway. This airport will take 6+ years to be operational and will take some load off IGI airport, Delhi. [News]
Contextual Image
International News
1 Laptop Ban Updates: Many US airports will have enhanced security measures while allowing in cabin laptops, as per this Reuters report. Keep extra time for security!

2. Speedy clearance for low risk Indian passengers:
Select Indian Origin people can now have faster (automated) clearance and major US Airports, provided they clear a one time personal appearance and pre-clearance and have a machine readable passport. This is useful for regular travelers. Detailed news here

Any other news of interest you've come across this week? Do share with us.

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