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Government seeks bids to sell 76% stake in Air India

Air India adds more flights to Dubai from Delhi and Mumbai

Government seeks bids to sell 76% stake in Air India

NEW DELHI: According to Times India Statement : Sixty-five years after Tata Group-founded Air India (AI) was nationalised, the government on Wednesday offered to sell 76% stake in AI to private bidders and effectively exit the airline business. Of AI’s total debt of Rs 50,000 crore, bidders for airline arm — AI, AI Express and AI-SATS (airport service company) — will have to take over debt of Rs 24,576 crore and liabilities of Rs 8,816 crore. The airline arm is being offered for sale first. TOI had first reported on March 6 that divestment of AI will begin with the airline arm being hived off first.

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The iconic Nariman Point headquarters will not be associated with the “new AI” and only the central Delhi HQ at Airlines House will be given to the successful bidder to use for “two years or more”, while the ownership will remain with the government. Among “core real estate”, the bidder will get 21.8 acres hangar space at Delhi and Mumbai airports, said senior officials.

According to the preliminary information memorandum (PIM) issued on Wednesday, bidders need to have a minimum net worth of Rs 5,000 crore. Indian carriers with negative net worth, including all except IndiGo, will be considered to have zero net worth and can bid for the Maharaja, if they tie up with someone that can take the combined net worth to the required amount. This paves the way for an Indian carrier to tie up with a strong international player. Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines, IndiGo and an unidentified foreign player have already expressed interest in AI. Jet Airways was also waiting for the bid documents to decide on its next move and Qatar Airways wants to start an airline in India. They may also join the fray.

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The successful bidder, expected to be finalised by September-end, will have to retain AI brand name for a specific period, which will be spelt out in the request for proposal. But a condition that AI has to be run on an “arm’s length basis” for at least three years, when it cannot be merged with any other entity and would need to maintain its identity as a separate airline, effectively means that the brand will have to be retained for at least that long.

The employees will need to be retained for at least a year. The government will carve out Esops from the 24% equity it will keep. Employees have also been allowed to participate in the bidding process, either directly or by creating a consortium.

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Saudia reveals range of lavish seat design for its upcoming fleet

A New Chapter Takes Flight: Saudi Airlines Redefines Itself with an Inspiring Theme

Saudi Airlines is set to unveil a striking new theme that will revitalize Saudia in an amazing relaunch. The airline’s revitalized identity is a testament to the successful integration of the color green, seamlessly blending aesthetics and functionality.

Embodying a sense of love and innovation, Saudia’s new look promises a harmonious fusion of style and comfort. Travelers can anticipate an exceptional and luxurious experience in business class. The updated business-class cabin offers an elegant and welcoming interior that embodies Saudia’s dedication to quality.

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The airline has created a space where luxury and functionality blend together with painstaking attention to detail, making every flight a genuinely remarkable experience.

Meanwhile, the economy class’s latest features prioritize comfort, offering travelers a stress-free and joyful journey. Saudia has reinvented economy class, offering thoughtful in-flight amenities and ergonomically designed seats that make it a standout option for travelers looking for a comfortable yet reasonably priced flight.

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Saudia’s introduction of a striking green colour scheme, which has been expertly incorporated into its brand to evoke a sense of love and modernity, is essential to this revitalization. The airline’s creative strategy has successfully shown how the color green can be used to create a striking and harmonious aesthetic in addition to giving its visual identity new life.

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ITA Airways to add A320Neo & A220 with stunning new interiors

Check out the new ITA Airways' A320 and A321neo cabin

ITA Airways sets a new standard in luxury air travel with the introduction of its cutting-edge Airbus A320 and A321neo cabins. Featuring a meticulously designed three-class, premium-heavy layout, the 165-seat A321neo offers passengers an opulent and refined in-flight experience.

In collaboration with renowned seat manufacturers Safran Seats and Stelia, ITA Airways has brought its vision to life, ensuring unparalleled comfort and sophistication for travelers. The premium-heavy configuration includes a lavish full-flat herringbone pattern for the business class section, providing the epitome of luxury in air travel. Additionally, the premium economy cabin boasts cozy recliners, contributing to a relaxed and enjoyable journey.

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Safran Seats plays a pivotal role in enhancing the premium experience, providing its elegant Z600 chaise-style platform for the carrier’s A321neo premium economy cabin. Meanwhile, the Z400 seat from Safran Seats graces the economy class, featuring the Comfort Economy option for added comfort.

To further elevate the passenger experience, Safran Passenger Innovations contributes its state-of-the-art RAVE Ultra inflight entertainment system with 4K touchscreens and comprehensive inflight connectivity. From nose to tail, ITA Airways ensures a seamless and immersive entertainment experience for all passengers.

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When it comes to the cabin details, the business class has 12 seats spread out over six rows in a 1-1 configuration. With its large 17.3″ personal entertainment screens and reverse pattern seating, the first row stands out as having significantly more space and could be the most impressive narrow-body business class seat in the world.

Credit:ITA Airways

With 12 seats arranged in a 2-2 configuration over three rows, premium economy features a sizable 15.6″ personal entertainment screen. Notably, the comfort and amenities of these premium economy seats are consistent with those on ITA Airways’ long-haul flights.

Credit:ITA Airways

Travelers in economy class, which has 141 seats arranged in a 3-3 configuration over 24 rows, have access to 13.3″ personal entertainment screens. In addition, 12 specifically marked economy seats provide more legroom, satisfying the various requirements of passengers.

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Malaysia to allow visa-free entry to Indian, Chinese citizens

Malaysia to allow visa-free entry to Indian, Chinese citizens

According to Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia has announced that it will no longer require entry visas for Indian nationals visiting the country as of December 1.

Following Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Thailand, Malaysia is now the fourth nation to declare visa-free travel. According to the report, Malaysia’s economy depends on more visitors and their spending.

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Anwar last month declared that he would be enhancing visa procedures for travelers and investors in order to promote their entry, “particularly from China and India,” in the upcoming year.

The decision was made in an effort to strengthen the country’s tourism sector, which is primarily composed of Chinese and Indian travelers worldwide.

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Anwar stated during his People’s Justice Party’s annual congress in Putrajaya on Sunday that Indian nationals could enter Malaysia without a visa for a maximum of 30 days. He said there would be security screening on this.

Government figures show that between January and June of this year, Malaysia recorded 9.16 million tourist arrivals, of which 498,540 came from China and 283,885 from India. Prior to the pandemic, during the same period in 2019, there were 1.5 million arrivals from China and 354,486 from India.

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The Rise of MC-21: Russia’s Response to Western Aviation Sanctions

The Rise of MC-21: Russia's Response to Western Aviation Sanctions

Due to Western sanctions against Russia, the country’s aviation industry is becoming more challenging. Russia is currently devising its own strategies and taking its aircraft to the next level so that it can fly and offer the necessary aviation support.

According to some reports, China wanted to work with Russia to build aircraft and supply the enjoins, but Russia is once again planning its own and not depending on any other nation.

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The SJ 100 is being rebranded by Russia with domestic engineering, which was completed last month. It will serve smaller regions and be about 5,000 kilometers away from the current Boeing and Airbus aircraft, which will eventually cease to exist due to problems with the parts supply chain. No nation would be able to supply it.

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The Russian aircraft manufacturer Irkut Corporation created and manufactured the MC-21, also referred to as the Irkut MC-21, a cutting-edge and contemporary commercial aircraft. It is designed to directly compete with well-known aircraft like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 in the narrow-body, single-aisle airliner market. The MC-21 is distinguished by its cutting-edge features, economical operation, and advanced design that cater to the changing demands of the international aviation sector.

The CR929 is a widebody aircraft with a range of up to 12,000 kilometers that is sized similarly to the Airbus A330 and intended to carry between 258 and 320 passengers. Due to protracted discussions regarding work sharing and intellectual property, CR929 has already “accumulated years of delays” and is not anticipated to go into service until well after 2030. Russia’s plans to develop larger aircraft, such as a joint venture with China on CR929, have been delayed.

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Delays in the MS-21 (MC-21) program timeline are another direct result of the withdrawal of Western suppliers. It was “expected to hand over the MC-21s in 2024 and roll out 270 of them through 2030,” according to the Russia-funded initiative. Russian manufacturers now have more time to replace imported actuators, avionics, and air conditioning. Russian PD-14 turbofans and a composite wing with infused Russian material were approved in December 2022.

The MC-21-300 and the shorter MC-21-200 are the two primary MC-21 variants. While the MC-21-200 can hold up to 132 passengers, the MC-21-300 is intended to carry between 163 and 211 passengers.

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Fuel Efficiency: Providing better fuel efficiency than its rivals is one of the main objectives of the MC-21 program. Its cutting-edge aerodynamics and contemporary engines enable it to do this, improving both its operating economy and environmental friendliness.

With “70% substituted Western-made equipment,” an MC-21 prototype is being developed, and work is anticipated to start in December 2023. The MC-21-310RUS, the fully import-substituted version, is scheduled to fly for the first time in April 2024 and be granted a supplemental-type certificate by the end of the same year.

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Therefore, the MC21 must update its engine, wings, and cockpit instruments. This will likely take more time, but it will undoubtedly benefit Russia by filling the gap left by narrow-body aircraft. additionally, it can be exported to other nations where Russia maintains strong diplomatic ties.

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China offers visa-free entry for 6 Countries

China offers visa-free entry for 6 Countries

China announced on Friday that, in an effort to attract more visitors for business and tourism, it will grant visa-free entry to citizens of five European nations as well as Malaysia.

France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Malaysian nationals will be able to enter China without a visa for a maximum of 15 days as of December 1. The trial programme will run for a full year.

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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning stated that the goal is “to facilitate the high-quality development of Chinese and foreign personnel exchanges and high-level opening up to the outside world.”

Norway’s citizens are now able to travel to 54 countries without a visa, according to a recent expansion by China earlier this month. In October, China’s aviation regulations announced that in the following five months, there will be 16,680 weekly flights, with passenger flights accounting for 71% of all flights four years prior.

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Emirates Sets the Standard with Game-Changing Window Shade on A350 and 777X

Emirates Sets the Standard with Game-Changing Window Shade on A350 and 777X

Emirates becomes the launch customer of ATG’s (Aerospace Technology Group) aerBlade™ window shade, which will be installed in the airline’s upcoming Airbus A350 and Boeing 777X fleet.

The aerBlade single blind system will debut in economy class when the Emirates A350 enters service in 2024, while the aerBlade dual blind system will be offered in business and premium economy class.

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With the push of a button, passengers in window seats can adjust the amount of light entering their seats—from clear to completely dark—thanks to the electronically operated aerBlade shade system. To ensure that the window shades are open before takeoff and landing, crew members can use a control panel to automatically lower and raise all of the window shades.

How aerBlade works

Aircraft owners and operators can customize the electronically operated shades on the aerBlade to match their cabin décor schemes, unlike the Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s electrochromic dimmable windows. There is a clear protective lens on the inboard passenger side of the dual and single-blind versions.

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Passengers can partially block bright sunlight and still enjoy views outside the aircraft with the dual-shade version, which has a second translucent shade with a tint. In place of the “black hole” effect, ATG claims that when the aerBlade’s opaque shade is lowered, complete darkness of outside light is accomplished and the operator’s preferred pattern is shown in the window aperture.

Future aerBlade models for commercial aircraft, such as the Airbus A330, A321LR, and A321XLR, will be available from ATG. In the third quarter of 2024, a version for the Boeing 777-9 (777X) will be made available.

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These choices will broaden the current selection. These days, business jets with small, mid, and large cabins as well as the premium class cabins of some Boeing 777-300ER, A380, and A350 aircraft are equipped with ATG electric window shades.

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