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International air travel is set to get costlier as Air India on Thursday increased the fuel surcharge component in fares on several routes. The move comes in the backdrop of a rise in jet fuel costs.

On routes from India to south-east Asia and Australia, the fuel surcharge has been revised by $15-$35 (Rs 1,000-RS 2,400) and the same was notified to travel agents on Thursday. The airline is revising the surcharge on Europe and US flights, too, by up to $80 but is yet to notify the change, it is learnt.


 
At a time IndiGo and SpiceJet are locked in a spat over the methodology adopted by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for computing on-time performance (OTP) of airlines, data for December once again show SpiceJet topping the chart on this parameter, registering a 70% OTP in the top four airports — Mumbai , Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad, reports Malyaban Ghosh in New Delhi. It was closely followed by Jet Airways (64.3%), Vistara (64.2%) and GoAir (63.6%). According to the data, IndiGo, the largest airline by market share, and Air India had the lowest OTP at 61.6% and 59%, respectively, during the month.

 
The delivery of first two Airbus A320neo planes to Air India has been delayed by a month due to engine issues and the national carrier is now expected to induct these more fuel-efficient aircraft next month.

As per the earlier schedule, the airline was to take delivery of the two A320neo (new engine option) planes this month as part of its narrow-body fleet expansion plans.


 
“Rome was not built in a day,” quips Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani on the carrier’s struggles to emerge as a good service amidst its huge debt troubles. But Lohani does not think that the airline’s issues are insurmountable. In fact, he is optimistic that progress is being made in the right direction to increase the operating profit. “We are working to improve our performance. We have a lot of legacy issues, we have no magic wand to turn around things,” he says.

 
For those who insist that traveling is all about the journey, we say this: It really depends on which carrier you’re flying.

Aside from variations in cabins and service quality, there’s the major concern of how likely you are to get delayed. Fly on the wrong airline and your odds of a delay are as high as 55 per cent; choose the right one and that number shrinks way down to just 11 per cent. That’s enough to make or break a vacation's spell, no matter where you’re sitting on the plane. But how do you know which airlines to steer clear of, and which ones to prioritise?


 
For those who insist that traveling is all about the journey, we say this: It really depends on which carrier you’re flying.

Aside from variations in cabins and service quality, there’s the major concern of how likely you are to get delayed. Fly on the wrong airline and your odds of a delay are as high as 55%; choose the right one and that number shrinks way down to just 11%. That’s enough to make or break a vacation's spell, no matter where you're sitting on the plane.


 
A day after announcing its ticket prices at par with AC II of Rajdhani trains, National carrier Air India today came out with another lucrative offer for its passengers allowing enhanced free check-in baggage on its jumbo 747 flights operating on the trunk Delhi-Mumbai route.

Besides, the carrier also announced heavily discounted fares, starting at Rs 15,000 for travel in first class of its Queen of the Skies (Boeing 747) flights to the two cities till January 15, a release said.


 
Air India is offering tickets at the price of Rajdhani! Yes, the state-run airline has come up with yet another offer that compares fares with that of Rajdhani AC-2nd class travel. This time the advantage is that you can book your tickets 20 days in advance, as opposed to the 4-hour window announced by Air India last time. The ‘Republic Day’ special offer of Air India starts from January 6 and will go on for a three-month period. You can now travel from various cities (see list below) at fares ranging from Rs 1080 to Rs 4730.

 
The civil aviation ministry is satisfied with the performance of Air India with respect to its 2012 turnaround plan for which the government pumped in R30,000 crore into the loss-making airline, and expects it to post an operating profit this financial year also, secretary RN Choubey told FE.

He said since the carrier’s plan is on track, the ministry expects it to post a net profit in FY19 ahead of the target of 2020-21 stipulated in the turnaround plan. Choubey’s assertion that the state-owned carrier will post an operating profit in FY17 is significant since the airline posted an operating loss during the first two quarters of the current fiscal.


 
State-owned airline Air India will get only Rs 80 crore as additional budget support in the current financial year from the government – way below its demand of Rs 2,200 crore.

This is despite the fact Air India’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Lohani had written to the government that lack of funds might derail the turnaround process of the airline. “The finance ministry accepted the civil aviation ministry’s argument that additional fund was necessary for the airline but expressed its inability to accept the full demand,” said a senior civil aviation ministry official.


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