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Airbus delivers first C295 to India

The Indian Air Force (IAF) received its first C-295 transport plane on Wednesday during a ceremony in Seville, Spain. The aircraft may carry out unique missions such as disaster relief and marine patrol.

“The IAF has placed an order for 56 aircraft.” The aircraft is also required by the Coast Guard, the Home Ministry, and, in the future, the Indian Navy. “The numbers could easily exceed 56,” Chaudhari said from Spain.

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Airbus, a multinational aircraft maker, built the aircraft for India at its Seville factory.

“The first aircraft was delivered 10 days ahead of schedule,” the IAF chief stated after receiving the plane’s symbolic keys from Airbus.

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The Indian Air Force has inked a deal for a total of 56 C-295 aircraft, with 16 of them being manufactured in Spain and the remaining 40 to be built as part of a joint venture between Tata and Airbus at their facility in Vadodara, Gujarat.

The C-295 is a versatile transport plane with a cargo capacity ranging from 5 to 10 tonnes. It is intended to replace the aging Avro aircraft in the IAF’s fleet and boasts advanced technology features. Notably, the aircraft is equipped with a rear ramp door, facilitating rapid cargo and troop para-dropping operations.

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The C-295 is a twin-turboprop aircraft that can fly great distances with fully equipped personnel while also having the ability to land on tiny airstrips. To improve its capabilities in the operational zones, the IAF says all 56 aircraft would be equipped with a native Electronic Warfare Suite (EWS).

According to the agreement, Airbus will deliver 16 aircraft in “flyaway” condition from Spain within 48 months of the contract’s signature, and the Tata consortium would produce the 40 additional aircraft in India over the course of the next ten years. This represents a groundbreaking initiative, as it marks the first time a private firm in India will be responsible for producing military aircraft.

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This move aligns with the Indian government’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan,” providing a unique opportunity for the Indian private sector to enter the highly technical and competitive aviation industry. It’s anticipated that this initiative will bolster domestic aircraft production, reducing dependence on imports and potentially leading to increased exports in the future. This development is a significant step forward in India’s quest for self-reliance in defense manufacturing.

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Aviation

Air India’s B747 Makes Its Final Journey, Waving Farewell to Fans

Air India's B747 Makes Its Final Journey, Waving Farewell to Fans

In a poignant moment marking the end of an era in aviation history, Air India’s iconic Boeing 747 aircraft, affectionately known as the ‘Queen of the Skies,’ embarked on its ultimate journey from Mumbai’s international airport.

The departure, bound for Plainfield, USA, where it will undergo dismantling and part-stripping under the ownership of American AerSale, signals the closure of a storied chapter for the airline.

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Once revered for transporting dignitaries ranging from prime ministers to presidents, the Boeing 747 has etched itself into aviation lore. Yet, as airlines worldwide pivot towards more contemporary and cost-effective aircraft, Air India’s decision to bid farewell to its remaining Boeing 747s reflects the pragmatic realities of today’s aviation landscape.

The sale of these majestic planes to AerSale represents a strategic move by Tata Group, Air India’s new custodian, towards optimizing operational efficiency and embracing modern industry standards. Out of the four aircraft sold, two will be repurposed into freighters, while the remaining pair will be meticulously disassembled to salvage valuable components.

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The final flight from Mumbai witnessed a touching tribute as pilots performed a traditional ‘Wing Wave,’ symbolizing the conclusion of the Boeing 747‘s distinguished service with Air India. This poignant gesture encapsulates the deep sentiment attached to the aircraft’s departure and its significant contribution to the airline’s legacy.

As the Boeing 747 embarks on its journey to Plainfield, USA, nostalgia permeates the air, evoking memories of its maiden flight on March 22, 1971. Over five decades, Air India operated a total of 25 Boeing 747s, each leaving an indelible mark on the annals of aviation history.

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Middle East

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus

British Airways Resumes Daily Flights to Abu Dhabi, After 4-Year hiatus
Photo: Wikipedia

British Airways made its way back to Abu Dhabi, landing at Zayed International Airport. Following a four-year break in service, both crew and passengers were greeted with enthusiasm.

In the summer of 2024, British Airways plans to launch a daily route, utilising a Boeing 787-9, from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. The new route enhances ties between the UAE and the UK and expands  vast worldwide network, catering to passengers who may be visiting friends and family or travelling for business.

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Arriving in Abu Dhabi at 08.30+1, flight BA073 to Abu Dhabi leaves London Heathrow at 22.25. Departing at 10.10 and landing at London Heathrow at 15.20 is the inbound flight (BA072).

The chief executive officer and managing director of Abu Dhabi Airports, Elena Sorlini, stated: “We are delighted to welcome British Airways to Zayed International Airport. Their daily schedule is expected to improve connectivity and stimulate travel and business.” Visitors may experience the dynamic capital of the United Arab Emirates like never before at our brand-new, award-winning, state-of-the-art terminal, where they will be welcomed with the best kind of Emirati hospitality.”

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Flight schedule:

London Heathrow (LHR) to Zayed International (AUH)All times are local
 
SeasonFlight numberDeparting LHRArriving AUHFlight numberDeparting AUHArriving LHR
Summer ‘24BA7322:2508:30+1BA7210:1015:20
Winter ‘24BA7322:2509:30+1BA7211:1015:20

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Aviation

FAA investigation: Passenger seated in Captain’s seat inside cockpit at cruising altitude

FAA investigation: Passenger seated in Captain's seat inside cockpit at cruising altitude

A viral video capturing a startling moment aboard a United Airlines charter flight from Denver to Toronto has triggered a federal investigation.

The footage, initially shared on social media by Hensley Meulens, the hitting coach for the Colorado Rockies baseball team, depicts a member of the coaching staff seated in one of the pilot seats while the aircraft was in mid-flight.

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In his caption, Meulens expressed gratitude to the captain and first officer for allowing him this unusual experience. The video, filmed by another passenger, reveals the cockpit door open, and at one point, a third passenger briefly enters the flight deck. Alarmingly, during this time, the captain was absent from the cockpit.

Despite the flight being a private charter operated by United Airlines, company and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations strictly prohibit passengers from entering the cockpit during flight or leaving the flight deck unsecured.

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United Airlines swiftly responded, expressing deep concern over the incident. A spokesperson emphasized that the video depicted an unauthorized person in the flight deck at cruising altitude with the autopilot engaged, constituting a clear violation of safety and operational policies.

The FAA confirmed that it is actively investigating the incident, highlighting that unauthorized access to the flight deck during flight is a violation of federal regulations. The agency assured that it is taking the matter seriously and will conduct a thorough examination to ensure compliance with aviation safety standards.

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