Air India ha messo a terra 19 a/m causa mancanza di pezzi di ricambio


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24 Ottobre 2006
Air India grounds 19 planes for lack of spare parts

Taking the top management head-on, the pilots have questioned as to why the aircraft were being allowed to remain on the ground for so long as this is having a significant impact on the bottom-line of the national carrier.

Loss-making Air India has grounded as many as 19 planes due to lack of spare parts, leading to flight cancellations and a huge loss of revenue to the airline on a daily basis, the national carrier's pilots' union has alleged.
Taking the top management head-on, the pilots have questioned as to why the aircraft were being allowed to remain on the ground for so long as this is having a significant impact on the bottom-line of the national carrier.
The Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) said, in a letter to Air India CMD Pradeep Singh Kharola, that almost 23 per cent of the Air India fleet is grounded for lack of spares.
To put this into perspective, aircrafts worth approximately USD 3.6 billion or approximately Rs 25,000 crore, are lying idle in the hangars, the ICPA alleged.
While as many as eight Airbus A321 aircraft, of the total 20 such planes operated by Air India, are out of operations at various stations for lack of spares, four A319s are also on ground for one reason or the other, the union said.
The Airbus A319 fleet situation is only slightly better. Of the 22 Airbus A319 aircraft in the fleet, four aircraft or 18 per cent of the fleet is not available for operations.
The A319 aircraft is the workhorse of the domestic network operating on high-density routes and has the maximum seating capacity, the ICPA said, adding that due to the grounding of these planes there is a significant revenue loss on a daily basis.
The Airbus A320 fleet fares better but only because it currently consists of a significant number of newly acquired Neo planes, it said.
Of the Boeing 777 fleet, five aircraft are in the hangar while two Boeing 787 Dreamliners, of the 26 in the fleet, are also on ground, the ICPA said.
Additionally, a significant number of flights are getting cancelled or rescheduled on a daily basis. There are also aircraft fleet swaps which result in last minute change of inventory resulting in non-optimal revenue management and utilisation, the ICPA further stated in the letter.
The pilots have further questioned the management on whether it is not being able to prioritise its expenditure. They are also of view that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation should have questioned the management on the issue. However, sources disclose that DGCA has completed an audit of Air India.
The financial audit of airline was necessitated as it has been defaulting on salary payments to its employees, besides grounding a number of aircraft due to payment issues with vendors, a senior official said. But the regulator also appears to be taking into consideration that Air India is a governmentowned airline.
The government has during the latest session of Parliament's obtained approval for infusing Rs 980 crore equity in the debt-ridden national carrier. The move to bring fresh equity into Air India comes at a time when a few banks and jet-leasing firms have issued the "first reminder" to clear outstanding dues.
Meanwhile, Air India has sought an equity infusion of Rs 2,121 crore from the government as part of an ongoing bailout package. This support was contingent on the airline achieving certain milestones in the turnaround plan chalked out by the government.


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16 Luglio 2007
Air India mette a terra 3 B777/300 per mancanza di soldi per la manuntenzione.

Air India now has 4 Boeing 777s grounded, because it doesn’t have money to maintain them

A Boeing 777-200LR caught fire Wednesday at Delhi airport while being prepared for a flight to San Francisco. Air India officials termed it a ‘minor accident’.

Ifrah Mufti
Updated: 26 April, 2019 3:06 pm IST
Air India Boeing 777-200LR
Air India Boeing 777-200LR (representative image)| Commons
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New Delhi: Air India’s dwindling Boeing 777 fleet was dealt a fresh blow Wednesday night when one of its aircraft caught fire during routine maintenance at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport — the fourth Air India 777 to go out of service in about a month.

The auxiliary power unit (APU) of the B777-200LR aircraft, registration code VT-ALF, caught fire during maintenance work on an air conditioner when it was being prepared for the non-stop Delhi-San Francisco flight, one of the longest in the world. Air India officials termed it ‘a minor accident’.

“Yesterday night at Delhi when an engineer was doing routine technical examination of an empty aircraft (777), APU auto shut down took place. Airport fire personnel observed black fumes from the APU exhaust and believing it to be a fire hazard sprayed APU and part of the fuselage with foam spray,” a statement from the airline read.

Boeing India has not yet responded to queries sent by ThePrint. This report will be updated when it does.

Air India owns 18 Boeing 777s — 15 777-300ERs and three 777-200LRs. Three of them have been grounded for about a month due to lack of funds for maintenance.

“There were no funds to buy spare parts and continue operating these aircraft. However, now, we are simultaneously buying spare parts and collecting them in order to bring the grounded B777s back to the fleet in another month’s time,” an Air India source told ThePrint.

According to another Air India official, talks are also on between the national carrier and the State Bank of India to operate aircraft in five international sectors that were flown by Jet Airways before financial problems forced the grounding of the airline.

Jet owns 10 Boeing 777-300ERs, and the official said Air India is planning to take these aircraft on lease from SBI.

Pilots say the issue is not the quality of the aircraft or the age — the one that caught fire Wednesday is just eight years old. Captain N.K. Beri of Air India said the shelf life of a Boeing 777 is more than 25-30 years. “There are jumbos (747s), which are 50 years old and still operational,” he said.

In September 2018, Air India’s flagship flight AI 101 between Delhi and New York — operated by a nine-year-old Boeing 777-300ER — suffered a multiple system failure, forcing an emergency landing that was labelled ‘miraculous’.

Captain Rustom Palia, who commanded the flight and received widespread commendation for the landing, told ThePrint that the problems are due to funds, rather than the planes “falling apart”.

“As long as the aircraft are maintained properly, they can continue to fly. But aircraft maintenance is an expensive business, so it’s more to do with finances and nothing to do with the 777s falling apart,” Palia said.

Charles Price, another B777 pilot with an international carrier, said: “If Air India does not have funds to buy spare parts, that’s not an aircraft problem. All aircraft require spares on a day-to-day basis, maintenance is usually done by exchanging units and sending the used part back for overhaul. If Air India doesn’t have funds for spares, it could go the same way as Jet Airways.”

Also read: Air India halves luggage allowance on Mumbai-NY route as Pakistan airspace closure continues

Air India has a debt burden of Rs 55,000 crore. The ministerial panel headed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had approved the sale of the carrier’s subsidiary, Air India Air Transport Services, while there were also plans to sell another subsidiary, Air India Engineering Services, in order to lower the debt burden of the airline. In 2018, Air India had even invited bids to sell its properties across the country.

In its annual report for 2017-18, Air India had already stated that to turn its performance around, it will phase out its old fleet. This, it said, would reduce maintenance costs, which would be followed by a reduction in contractual employment and outsourced agencies. It had also said it would introduce a brand new fleet on several domestic and international routes, thereby increasing passenger appeal.


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Hard-landing A319 not withdrawn for checks for days

Indian investigators have revealed that an Air India Airbus A319 which suffered a severe hard landing at Chennai was released to continue flying and not taken out of service for five days.
The aircraft had landed on Chennai's runway 25, with a descent rate of 400ft/min, touching down initially with a 1.6g impact before bouncing.
Five seconds later it contacted the runway again, this time with a descent rate of 912ft/min, and the impact was much harder at more than 3.5g.
Airbus considers a hard landing to be above 2.6g and a severe hard landing to be above 2.86g.
The Indian DGCA says an automatic load report was not generated, and the captain instead took a manual report from the computer – which showed a 1.59g impact – and consulted with a maintenance engineer.
It points out that only a verbal exchange took place and the matter was not recorded in the technical log.
After a visual inspection, and in the absence of a formal abnormal record, the aircraft was released to service.
It then operated for a further 30 sectors over the next few days until, on 3 October, a routine flight-operations monitoring analysis picked up the unusually-high 3.5g impact recorded during the landing.
Airbus subsequently examined the flight-data recorder information and classified the event as a severe hard landing, adding that preliminary assessment showed "exceedance" of loads on the fuselage, wings and main landing-gear.
The aircraft, a 2009 airframe, was eventually grounded in Bangalore on 4 October, five days after the incident.
Investigators have determined that the bounced landing resulted from the first officer's keeping the throttle in the 'climb' position instead of retarding it to idle – the position necessary to ensure spoiler deployment. The flare was initiated at 25ft but the first officer applied "excessive" pitch input, it adds.
This combination of thrust setting and pitch, which reached 5.6° nose-up, meant the aircraft became airborne again after the initial runway contact.
The captain noticed the incorrect thrust position and took over the controls, retarding the throttle, but did not realise the "quantum of bounce", says the inquiry, and the effort to smooth the touchdown failed, resulting in the second, hard impact.
None of those on board – comprising 59 passengers and six crew – was injured. The aircraft (VT-SCU) did not suffer damage, despite the severity of the landing. Cirium/FG


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GoAir A320 rolls off runway, takes off again from grass patch
It was a close call for the 180 passengers on board a GoAir flight G8811. An Airbus A320 jet operated by the Indian low-cost carrier rolled off the runway during landing at Bengaluru Airport, India. The aircraft then took off again from the grass patch for a second landing attempt before being diverted to another airport. It is the latest in a series of recent incidents of runway excursions suffered by Indian carriers.

Arriving from Nagpur (NAG) on November 11, 2019, the GoAir A320 (VT-WGR) aircraft touched down at Bengaluru (BLR) veering off the runway into the grass-covered strip as it continued to its go-around run.

Following the runway excursion, the plane lifted off from the grass patch and proceeded to circle over Bengaluru. The flight was eventually diverted to Hyderabad (HYD), where it landed safely and without injury to passengers.

According to sources from India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), as cited by the Times of India, the crew of the GoAir A320 stated that the plane had deviated to the left during the go-around at Bengaluru. Preliminary reports indicate that the incident took place in poor weather conditions and low visibility.

“Due to bad weather at the airport, the aircraft initiated a go-around. During the go-around, the left engine stalled,” a source was quoted as saying by the newspaper. After the plane landed at Hyderabad, mud deposit, including shreds of grass, were discovered on the left main landing gear.

An investigation into the incident and the dangerous take-off from outside of the airstrip has been launched. The DGCA has reportedly grounded the entire crew of flight G8811 and summoned both of the GoAir pilots to appear before it on November 15, 2019. The pilot in command has reportedly been suspended.

"This reportable incident was reported immediately to the DGCA - the industry regulator. Pending the investigation by GoAir and the regulator, the flight crew have been kept off flying duty," the airline said in a statement as quoted by the news channel.

When it rains, it pours

This latest incident should certainly raise red flags for India’s civil aviation authorities, following an alarming number of similar cases of runway excursions recently. According to the Hindustan Times, in August 2019, the DGCA suspended 12 pilots in six different investigations following lapses that occurred during a three-month period between April and July 2019.

In mid-summer 2019, five incidents in three days – two Air India Express and three SpiceJet flights – at different airports in India involved aircraft overshooting the runway and/or veering off the airstrip – all of these also reported as having occurred during bad weather conditions.

On June 30, 2019, an Air India Express’ Boeing 737-800 travelling from Dubai with 183 passengers and six crew members on board veered off the taxiway after landing at Mangalore Airport (IXE), getting stuck on a patch of grass and mud. Also on that day, a Q400 operated by SpiceJet overshot the runway in Surat (STV).

At the time, the Director of Mangalore International Airport V V Rao told India’s TNM news channel: “The pilot, while attempting to land, could not establish a stable approach so the aircraft circled the runway and landed in second attempt… The aircraft skid after the pilot was unable to control the speed while turning from the runway to the taxiway.”

Coming back to the timeline, on July 1, 2019, the tail of a Boeing 737-800 operated by the very same Air India Express, brushed against the runway during landing at Kozhikode (CCJ). On the same day, a SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 skid and overshot the main runway at Mumbai airport (BOM). Another SpiceJet 737-800 rolled off the runway at Kolkata (CCU), on July 2, 2019, damaging four runway edge lights.

Is the frequency of such incidents, as some industry experts have observed, a result of insufficient pilot training on part of certain Indian airlines or simply a result of the difficult weather conditions in certain regions of the country, particularly during the Monsoon season? Or both?