Growth of Air Charter Services in India

India is the ninth-largest in the global segment of civil aviation. Currently, it is reported to be worth over 16 billion US dollars. Market analysts predict that the industry is all set to become the third largest aviation market in the next four years, and will be the largest in the world in 2030.

So what made this possible? It is owing to the growth of air charter companies in India. They offer a range of services like planning the itinerary, ground handling facilities at the airport, arranging accommodation for passengers and their transportation and many other added services.

Air charter companies support operators of both passenger and freight scheduled flights on domestic and international routes.

It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the world is fixed on Indian aviation, and the credit goes to all stakeholders in the Indian aviation industry. These include operators of charter flight services as well.

Charter companies say that they don’t face some of the problems the general airlines have to tackle. This according to them is because they don’t have equally high payments and operational costs.

For e.g. they only fly after getting the full payment for the flight. On the other hand, a commercial airline has to fly to its designated routes even if many seats are not filled. This will end up in high operational costs and low returns.

The passenger traffic within the country surged by 19.2% and reached 20.3 million in the second quarter of 2015. During the previous year it was 17 million. For e.g if the passenger traffic in June, 2014, was 7.8 million, in June, 2015, it was 8.8 million. That means there was a 13% growth.

In the segment of freight transportation, it was 211,590 tonnes in June, 2014. In June, 2015, it was 222,990 tonnes.

The movement of aircraft across all the Indian airports was 8% higher in June, 2015, when compared to June, 2014. And the credit for this growth goes to the air charter companies in India. They played a crucial role to make this happen.

A New Delhi-based chartered operator transported ISRO Satellites from Bangalore to Cayenne in French Guiana. That’s not all. It also transported life saving drugs and relief material during natural calamities.

This growth curve proves that India, no doubt, is well placed to become the focal point of aviation for the world nations in the years to come.

The History of Lauda Air

Lauda Air, the second carrier after Austrian Airlines itself to establish a presence in Vienna, had a history of both competition and cooperation with it.

Andreas Nikolaus “Niki” Lauda, the son of a paper factory owner, who forged a very different path than his father when he won the first of three Formula One world racing championships at 26-years-old, capitalized on his notoriety and invested his wealth in an airline that bore his name, Lauda Air Luftfahrt AG.

Acquiring Alpair Vienna’s charter license for ATS 5 million in April of 1979, he commenced charter and air taxi service in cooperation with Austrian Airlines with two Fokker F.27 Friendships.

It quickly became apparent, however, that it could not coexist with incumbent Austrian in such a small home market, and the F.27s were consequently leased to Egyptair.

Entering a partnership with Greek financier Basile Varvaressos, owner of the ITAS travel agency, six years later, he leased two BAC-111-500s, a British twin-jet not unlike the SE.210 Caravelle and Douglas DC-9 in size, range, and design, from Tarom Romanian Airlines, increasing his fleet capacity to 208 seats in the process and operating them on charter and inclusive-tour (IT) services to Greece and other European destinations.

So high did demand become, however, that it soon exceeded capacity and a larger 737-200, this time acquired from Transavia Holland, replaced one of the BAC-111s. Still later, both types were superseded by two even higher-capacity 737-300s, which were operated on a steadily growing charter route network.

In May of 1986, Lauda Air applied to the Austrian Ministry of Transport for a license to operate scheduled international service for the first time. Approved in November of the following year, it signaled the end of Austrian Airlines’ long-held monopoly and a subsequently obtained, 235-passenger Boeing 767-300ER, featuring both business and economy class cabins, facilitated long-range, intercontinental flights. The first, occurring on May 7, 1988, consisted of a single weekly frequency from Vienna to Hong Kong via Bangkok. It was later supplemented by a Vienna-Bangkok-Sydney sector.

Inextricably tied to the management of the airline that bore his name and frequently taking the left seat of his aircraft as the pilot that he was, he sought to differentiate it and hence attract passengers with quality, offering “Amadeus,” instead of simply “business,” class; catering his flights with cuisine from the highly esteemed DO & CO restaurant in downtown Vienna; featuring triangular shaped, porcelain plates during their in-flight service; and toting it all with the slogan, “Service is our success.” It was.

But his signature style was expressed in several other ways, including high expectations of his employees, uniforms that included the red baseball caps and blue jeans he himself wore, a mandatory flight attendant retirement age of 38, and aircraft named after movie stars, singers, and artists, such as Bob Marley, John Lennon, Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Elvis Preseley, Janis Joplin, Greta Garbo, Gregory Peck, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway. One, reflecting his own passion, naturally bore the designation “Enzo Ferrari.”

Flamboyant, charismatic, and a racing hero who had also won 26 Grand Prix championships, he was perhaps the Austrian equivalent of Richard Branson.

Filling the need for lower-fare, long-haul, leisure-oriented travel, Lauda Air grew rapidly. In 1985, for instance, it carried 95,768 passengers and flew 2,522 flight hours with 67 employees, while in the first ten months of 1987, it carried 236,730 passengers and undertook 5,364 flight hours with 169 employees, a 147-percent passenger increase.

By 1990, its fleet consisted of five aircraft–three 146-passenger 737-300s and two 235-passenger 767-300ERs–all of which were operated on charter services to Europe, Africa, and the Middle and Far East. The scheduled routes remained those between Vienna, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Sydney.

Subsequently earning its license for European scheduled flights on August 23, 1990–a right thus far only held by flag carrier Austrian–Lauda Air inaugurated service between Vienna and London-Gatwick with five weekly 737-300 frequencies. But growth attracted more than passengers. It also attracted other airlines.

Because Lufthansa saw its growing presence in the Austrian market and its East European route access as potentially lucrative assets, it announced a marketing cooperation with Lauda Air in July of 1992, (which was initially envisioned as an offensive move against the aborted Austrian Airlines, KLM, SAS, and Swissair Alcazar Alliance), sealing the agreement the following January with a 26.5-percent capital increase, by means of its Condor charter carrier, shortly after which the two airlines inaugurated a quad-weekly 767-300ER service to Los Angeles. “Partner of Lufthansa,” advertising the arrangement, appeared on Lauda’s aircraft.

The fledgling Austrian carrier, no longer just a shadow of Austrian Airlines, was now aligned with a company far larger than itself and its initial, dual-aircraft fleet quickly quadrupled, now encompassing four narrow body 737s and four widebody 767s, operating between Munich, Miami, and Los Angeles with Condor equipment.

Painfully aware of competition from Austrian Airlines on scheduled inter-European routes, Lauda circumvented what would have resulted in low 737 load factors by ordering six 50-passenger Canadair CRJ-100 Regional Jets in October of 1993 to operate them.

Deployed to Barcelona, Madrid, Brussels, Geneva, Manchester, and Stockholm, they marked the start of the summer timetable, which became effective on March 27, 1994. Singapore, which replaced Bangkok in November of that year, served as its new “bridge” between Vienna and Sydney/Melbourne, and the weekly 767 service was doubled. By the fall it served 11 scheduled and 42 charter destinations.

On March 26 of the following year, Lauda Air established a second European hub, Milan-Malpensa, in cooperation with Lufthansa, which now held a 39.7-percent stake in the fledgling carrier, basing three of its six CRJ-100s there and operating them to Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Manchester, Paris, and Vienna. The Canadair Regional Jets, along with an increasing number of 737s, became the backbone of its European fleet.

Its statistics were hardly embarrassments. Indeed, it carried 1.5 million passengers in 1995, a significant percentage of whom provided business class yield, and employed 1,200 by the following year.

It soon become apparent, however, that pending European deregulation was not likely to tolerate dozen-aircraft airlines unless they served very small, specific market niches. Lauda Air had been unable to survive in the face of competition from Austrian Airlines once before. Because both operated medium- and long-range, twin-engine aircraft from bases in Vienna and offered considerable passenger service quality, cooperation between the two became inevitable.

Not surprisingly, it had already been partially consummated in June of 1996, when Austrian Airlines and Lauda Air operated single-aircraft, dual-code flights to Nice, Milan, and Rome with the Regional Jet for the first time.

On March 12, 1997, however, this was expanded, when the tri-carrier Austrian Airlines Group, comprised of Austrian Airlines itself, Lauda Air, and Tyrolean Airways, was formed, each operating within its own niche, based upon its experience, strengths, and aircraft types. The former, for example, remained the flag carrier on scheduled medium- and long-range sectors, while Tyrolean served domestic and regional markets with turboprop and pure-jet airliners. Lauda Air, although initially retaining its scheduled Asian and Australian flights, now primarily focused on leisure-oriented charter destinations.

Nevertheless, on September 24 of that year, it took delivery of its second widebody aircraft type, the 777-200, which it inaugurated into service on the Vienna-Singapore-Sydney-Melbourne route the following month, replacing the venerable 767.

Two years later, all three Austrian Airlines Group carriers announced their intention of joining the Star Alliance as a collective whole and this became effective on March 26, 2000 at which time Niki Lauda relinquished his role as chief executive officer.

As the lower-cost arm within the three-airline group, Lauda provided medium- and long-range scheduled and charter service on leisure-oriented routes with a four-type, 22-aircraft fleet, maintaining its own identity.

But in 2004, the first steps toward integration with the Austrian Airlines brand occurred with the ratification of a joint Austrian-Lauda Air cockpit crew contract, and aircraft OE-LAE become the first of four 767-300s to be repainted in Austrian Airlines livery, introducing a new interior color scheme and a 24-seat business and 230-seat economy class configuration. Lauda Air itself reverted to a single-class, high-density charter carrier within the group, operating a narrow body fleet of Boeing 737s and Airbus A-320s.

Throughout its history, it had operated five basic pure-jet aircraft types, including 12 CRJ-100s, which were ultimately operated by or sold to Austrian Arrows, Tyrolean Airways, Lufthansa CityLine, and Air Littoral. It also flew almost all versions of the Boeing 737, inclusive of the single 737-200 leased from Transavia Holland at the beginning of its climb, three 737-300s, three 737-400s, two 737-600s, two 737-700s, and seven 737-800s, often operating certain frequencies to destinations such as London-Heathrow alongside Austrian Airlines’ A-320-200s or A-321-100/200s at other times. It also flew two of the A-320s itself.

Of its exclusively Boeing widebody aircraft, it operated up to 11 767-300ERs at one time or another, which bore registrations OE-LAE, -LAS, -LAT, -LAU, -LAV, -LAW, -LAX, -LAY, and -LAZ. Two also sported French registrations. Aircraft OE-LAV was involved in the inexplicable thrust reverser deployment accident over Thailand in 1991, which resulted in the loss of all 213 passengers and ten crew members on board.

Three 777-200ERs were also operated, registered OE-LPA, -LPB, and -LPC. These, along with six 767s, were eventually flown by parent Austrian Airlines in its own colors and replaced its long-range Airbus A-330 and A-340 fleet.

Completely folded into Austrian, however, Lauda Air ceased to exist on July 1, 2012.

Although Niki Lauda himself seemed to have disappeared from the airline scene with his namesake carrier, his hiatus was brief. Forming another low-fare, short- to medium-range, inter-European airline, Fly Niki, he operated seven 112-seat Embraer E-190s, three 150-seat Airbus A-319s (in Air Berlin colors, of which it became a subsidiary), and nine 180-seat Airbus A-320-200s, carrying five million passengers that year and becoming Vienna’s second-largest based operator, once again providing competition and downward yield pressure for incumbent Austrian Airlines.

All things do, indeed, begin again.

4 Benefits of Air Ambulances

A few decades back, the world population was around 2 to 3 billion. People used to eat organic food. Unlike today’s generation, they were not that likely to fall sick or catch diseases. Therefore, there were not that many instances of medical emergencies. Today, the world population is around 8 billion, which is staggering. With the rise of population, our problems have also gone up. Since we binge on junk food and drive fast, we tend to fall sick and get injured. Therefore, we need emergency medical care. And this gave birth to air ambulances. Let’s find out the benefits of these services.

Nowadays, we have a large number of air ambulances. A few decades back, we didn’t have that many vehicles to deal with emergencies. The reason is that these services offer a huge number of benefits. The regular on-the-road ambulances didn’t offer that many benefits. They are free but don’t offer the benefits that you can enjoy if you go with a private service.

Multiple Features

First of all, these ambulances can help you achieve much more. The reason is that these service providers can provide a lot more features than the EMS. As a matter of fact, the EMS can’t compete with the private air ambulance services. Therefore, more and more people are choosing to opt for a private service as they prefer convenience.

Operates Everywhere

The first benefit of this service is that it can operate anywhere. you don’t have to worry about road conditions or traffic congestions. This is the primary reason most people prefer this service. If there is a lot of traffic, a vehicle may not be able to reach the nearest hospital as soon as possible. On the other hand, an air ambulance can fly to any place in the city in a timely fashion. There will be no delays at all. The main goal of an ambulance is to transport patients to the hospital as soon as possible.

Large Capacity

Another benefit is that these air ambulances have a lot higher capacity than the regular ones. Primarily, the reason is that they are large and can travel long distances in a few minutes, which means a lot of important medical equipment can be put in the ambulance based on the needs of the patient. You can’t enjoy this facility in case of a regular service.

Speed

Lastly, air ambulances are a lot faster, which matters a lot in case of a medical emergency. The aircraft can get you to the desired place within a few minutes as airways are not busy. Therefore, it’s a lot easier to provide service to a lot of people in a short period of time. After all, it’s important to get immediate medical care when your or a loved one’s life is at stake.

In short, you can enjoy a lot of benefits if you choose to hire an air ambulance to deal with an emergency. Aside from the speed, these planes are much more reliable. They can help you reach remote areas without any effort at all.

5 Benefits Of Booking A Private Air Ambulance

If you are in a non-emergency situation, you can consider an air ambulance. This is a type of private jet, which offers the same level of comfort offered by a commercial transport service. This type of service offers a lot of benefits, but in this article, we are going to take a look at 5 of those benefits. Read on to know more.

Discretion

As the name suggests, a private air ambulance offers privacy. So, you can travel and still enjoy complete privacy while you are sick or need some medical attention. Although a commercial flight does provide a privacy curtain, it may not be a good choice if you don’t feel comfortable when other people are around. In this case, we suggest that you consider booking a private air ambulance.

A Myth about Privacy

Some people think that you are alone on a private jet, which is a common misconception. The fact of the matter is that you can take your family with you on the jet. The goal of the service provider is to make sure you feel as comfortable as possible. So, they do allow your family member to fly with you.

Whether you are looking to book an air ambulance to get back from a vacation or you want to go to a different location, you can hire this type of service.

Better Schedule

If you choose to use a commercial stretcher, you won’t have much freedom as far as the schedule is concerned. On the other hand, in case of a private jet, you can set a schedule that can best satisfy your needs. You can choose a date to fly as per your needs.

Attention

On an air ambulance, you will enjoy more attention. All of the staff on the plane will be there to serve you, including the pilots and nurses. You can never enjoy this type of experience on a commercial flight. The only person the crew will care about is you. So, you won’t have any problem. You will get whatever you ask for without any delays.

Customized Flight

You can customize your flight on the basis of your needs and wants. Actually, some medical devices are not allowed on a commercial airline. On the other hand, you have almost complete freedom on an air ambulance. On the plane, you will get everything, such as your medicine, IV fluids, and heart monitors, to name a few. The staff will try their level best to make sure you get the best medical care possible. This will help you enjoy your journey.

Long story short, both private and commercial service have their pros and cons. However, if you are on the lookout of the benefits explained this article, we suggest that you consider booking a private air ambulance. Almost all of the service providers offer free quotes, which can give you a pretty good idea of how much the service may cost. Hopefully, the article will help you book the right service to cover your needs.

Private Jet Charter Flights Are The Ultimate In Air Travel

Private air charter is ideal for sophisticated travelers seeking the utmost in comfort and convenience. Spacious comfortable seats that you just don’t find in normal aircraft, gourmet meals, bars, and in-flight movies are just some of the perks you can expect to find on your next private jet charter flight. It sure beats those cramped commercial airline flights where you can barely move your legs. The level of service and safety on these flights surpasses what you typically find on

commercial flights. What’s more, it’s convenient. You don’t have to wait in line for hours. You just pull right up to the aircraft, board the plane, and you’re ready to go. Oftentimes, the charter company can arrange specialized services such as ground transportation or catering.

Why do travelers typically prefer hiring private jets? Probably the number one reason is that it allows the travelers themselves to decide their flight itinerary. You no longer have to rely on commercial airlines to tell you when you can and cannot fly. What’s more, this kind of service allows you to land in airports that commercial airlines aren’t allowed to go to. This could bring you even closer to your final destination than you previously were before.

One of the many benefits of traveling with a private air charter company is privacy. You get to travel with people you know, and you get the entire plane to yourself. This makes it a lot easier to relax in private, or discuss pertinent matters pertaining to business or personal things.

What’s more, private air chartering can be a cost effective way of traveling, particularly if you are traveling in a group. Up to eighteen passengers can be accommodated on most private jets, and when the cost is split evenly between passengers, the final amount is often significantly less or equal to what you’d spend on a commercial flight. If you have many stops on your itinerary, chartering a private jet can save you on hotel and parking costs.

Who, exactly, uses private jet charter services? Above all, people traveling on business. This includes celebrities, business executives, CEOs, as well as smaller organizations who prefer to travel together as a group.

Private jet charters are also enjoyed by luxury vacation travelers who simply have the extra money to pay for a hassle-free experience. These travelers enjoy customizing their own itineraries with companies who are willing to go the extra mile to accommodate their specific travel needs.

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