Posts Tagged ‘Dash 8 Q400’

PostHeaderIcon SpiceJet adds 3 more planes, fleet strength touches 51

MUMBAI: The second-largest budget carrier SpiceJet on Friday said its fleet strength has gone up to 51 with the induction of three new planes this week.

SpiceJet Airlines Boeing 737

While the Chennai-based carrier added as many as 29 aircraft in the past 26 months, its operations increased by 111 per cent during this period. “We have got the delivery of the last three Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft from Bombardier. This takes the total size of the fleet to 51 and completes the order for 15 Q400s,” SpiceJet said in a statement.

These aircraft have been ordered to connect tier-II and tier-III markets and apart from some short-haul destinations. During the period between October 2010 and December 2012, SpiceJet added 29 aircraft – 14 Boeings and 15 Bombardiers. During this period, its daily flights grew 111 percent, the airline said.

The 78-seater Q400 NextGen turboprop aircraft is widely accepted as the best short-haul plane in the world. SpiceJet has options to get 15 more Q400s. These aircraft purchases were financed by the EDC (Export Credit of Canada) facility agreed in June 2011.

“SpiceJet has grown aggressively in the last 26 months adding 29 aircraft” company chief executive Neil Mills said.

SpiceJet, with 19.5 percent market share as of November, currently operates over 330 daily flights to 39 domestic cities and five international routes.


Source: – Economic Times

PostHeaderIcon The International Civil Aviation Day

In 1996, on the initiative of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the United Nations General Assembly officially recognized the 7th of December as International Civil Aviation Day, a global celebration to create and consolidate worldwide awareness of the significance of civil aviation in the economic and social development of nations.


Civil aviation has become a powerful force for progress, creating and supporting millions of jobs worldwide and forming part of the economic lifeline of many countries. The world’s largest industry, air transport is a catalyst for travel and tourism, enriching the social and cultural fabric of society and contributing to the attainment of peace and prosperity throughout the world.

There are multiple opportunities in this sector and the International Civil Aviation Organization is committed to building a favorable environment for the development of the air transport sector.

The ICAO continues to promote global cooperation and consensus among its 90- member countries to create and maintain a civil aviation regulatory infrastructure that promotes cordial relationships among peoples of the world as well as peace and progress based on a sound and economical air transport structure with equal opportunity for all.

We greet the United Nations headed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, International Civil Aviation Organization Secretary General Raymond Benjamin, ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez, Air Navigation Bureau Director Nancy Graham, and Air Transport Bureau Director Boubacar Djibo, for promoting the safe and orderly development of civil aviation throughout the world. We wish them success in all their endeavors.

PostHeaderIcon SpiceJet seeks to fly to 10 destinations abroad

By Sindhu Bhattacharya | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Tashkent and Tehran are among the 10 new international destinations to which budget carrier SpiceJet wants to fly from next year.

Spicejet-Indian-AirlineAccording to official sources, the Kalanithi Maran owned carrier’s request is being studied; while some routes will be easily granted, others may involve new bilateral air services agreements with some countries.

“We will be initiating talks with Uzbekistan and Iran for an ASA in January next year, we want Indian carriers to fly to newer destinations. The remaining destinations which SpiceJet has sought are being considered,” the sources said. Other destinations sought include Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur besides Dubai, Muscat and Riyadh. The airline already connects Kathmandu and Colombo from Delhi and Chennai.

An analyst pointed out that SpiceJet appears to have done its homework in selecting those routes where either the demand is growing exponentially or there are no direct flights from India as of now. “An international flight costs anywhere between a quarter million to half a million dollars to fly, no doubt SpiceJet has done its homework before asking for new routes. They dont have long range aircraft so they seem to be opting for routes which have good traffic potential within short to medium haul range. Also, they have wisely avoided overcrowded sectors,” he said.

He pointed out that Tashkent has been attracting a lot of business traffic lately apart from leisure seekers; Tehran would give this airline traffic from construction workers.

Already, SpiceJet has announced plans to increase its Boeing aircraft fleet from 30 to 32 aircraft and by the end of next fiscal, it wants international business to account for 10-12% of its topline.

Meanwhile, SpiceJet’s successful home run continues. Maran has just announced plans to infuse Rs 130 crore into the company and these funds will be used to acquire six new Q400 aircraft, taking the total Q400 fleet to 9; this will go up to 11 by March next year. Maran’s decision to go in for fresh equity infusion will help the airline since the Rs 270 crore already raised from Canada’s export finance agency would have been insufficient to cover the entire cost of purchasing the Q400 aircraft fleet.

Source: – DNA India

PostHeaderIcon Autopilots may dull skills of pilots

Washington (CNN) — Long hours flying under computer control may have dulled the skills of airline flight crews, according to a U.S. advisory board that recommends more manual flight time for pilots.

“They’re becoming very dependent upon using the autopilot, the auto-throttles, the auto flight system, the computers, to actually operate the entire flight,” said Kevin Hiatt, a former airline pilot who sat on that board.

“What happens is, you don’t actually hand-fly or manipulate the controls, whether it’s a control yoke or a sidestick controller,” Hiatt said.

“Therefore, your computer skills get greatly enhanced, but your flying skills start to get rusty.”

Those concerns were highlighted by the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447 off the coast of Brazil.

When the crew received warnings that the aircraft was stalling high above the Atlantic Ocean and the autopilot shut down, the co-pilot started pulling the nose up — exactly the opposite of what he was supposed to do. When the pilot returned to the flight deck to correct him, it was too late.
French investigators found that the pilots had failed to discuss earlier stall warnings and had received no high-altitude training to correct the problem.

All 228 people aboard the Airbus A330 from Rio de Janeiro to Paris were killed in the crash. Investigators say that more than 70 bodies will never be recovered.

The same January, a Colgan Air commuter plane crashed in icy conditions on its approach to Buffalo, New York, killing 50 people. Investigators said the pilot had countermanded the aircraft’s system recommendations, something Hiatt and his panel say suggests that he had forgotten some key procedures.

The U.S. advisory committee, commissioned by Congress and working under the Federal Aviation Administration, found that jetliner crews are relying too much on autopilot. In some cases, pilots have the stick for less than three minutes during takeoffs and landings, and landings also can be done on autopilot, Hiatt said.

The committee found that the problem is not the fault of the industry or regulators but the result of evolving technologies and standards over the years.

The FAA would not comment on the recommendations, which were issued in late July. The Airline Pilots Association, the union that represents flight officers on 39 North American airlines, said airline safety “is a testament to the high levels of skill brought to the cockpit by the professional airline pilot.”

The panel recommended that airlines provide guidance for manual flights in their operating manuals to encourage more actual flying by pilots. But experts say the problem may get worse because of the way younger pilots are trained.

“When you bring on a new pilot who has not been through some of the things that some of the older guys have, they’ve never flown an airplane that had anything but some computer activity on it,” retired commercial pilot Jim Tilmon said. “They don’t understand what to do necessarily when something goes wrong with their computer.”


Source:- CNN

PostHeaderIcon SpiceJet receives first Q400 aircraft from Bombardier

Saunf and Tulsi are airborne and on their way to India; Heeng and a dozen others, including Mirchi, Elaichi and Tejpatta would follow in the coming weeks and months. This potpourri is low-cost airline SpiceJet’s new Bombardier Q400 NextGen turboprop fleet. All 15 aircraft would bear the names of Indian spices.

SpiceJet plans to use these aircraft to provide cheaper aviation opportunities in India’s fast-growing smaller cities and towns.

SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 VT-SUA

Bombardier Senior Vice-president (sales and marketing), Chet Fuller, handed over a ceremonial key of the new aircraft to SpiceJet Chairman Kalanithi Maran, his wife, and Chief Executive Officer Neil Mills at the Canadian aerospace company’s facility near Toronto on Friday. A few minutes later, Saunf took off, with a crew of three pilots and an engineer. A similar team is flying Tulsi back home. As the aircraft is a short-haul plane, the flight would have a number of touchdowns – in Goose Bay, Canada; Reykjavik, Iceland; Bournemouth, UK; Valletta, Malta; Luxor, Egypt; and Muscat, Oman before reaching New Delhi on August 30.

SpiceJet would use the turboprops in its new regional service scheduled to start on September 21. While Maran didn’t answer any questions, he said the new aircraft “will totally change the lives of people in Tier-II and Tier-III cities in India by making flying more affordable”. He also said the Smart Parts agreement between Bombardier and SpiceJet was evidence that the airline planned to be a long-term operator of the aircraft.

Mills said initial bookings for the Q400 flights were “encouraging”. Speaking to Business Standard, he said the delivery of the first batch of aircraft had been delayed, as SpiceJet was awaiting regulatory approvals in India for financing the deal. The $450-million order is being financed by Canada’s export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC). “Getting approvals in India is a long, uncertain and challenging process,” said Mills, adding EDC had been very “patient and understanding”.

Under the deal, SpiceJet also has the option of ordering 15 more Q400 NextGen aircraft. Mills said over the next six months, the airline would decide whether to exercise the option after tracking the performance of the aircraft on their regional routes. He said the decision would be based more on the actual performance of the planes, rather than the business generated on the routes in the short term.

Each turboprop would fly over 11 hours every day on flights not exceeding two hours. “We will fly them hard,” said Mills, “That’s the whole point of these aircraft.” Bombardier officials say the speed of their turboprops can be compared to to regional jets, enabling operators to get more flying hours per day out of their fleet.

A tour of Bombardier’s facility near Toronto revealed a number of SpiceJet’s Q400 NextGens in various stages of construction, testing and inspection. Besides the first two that were handed over on Friday, two more would be delivered on Wednesday. SpiceJet expects to receive 11 aircraft by next March, with the order to be completed by July. The fleet would also mark Bombardier’s mainstream debut in India’s rapidly-growing market.


Source: – Smart Investor

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