No phones here please; What no pilots? And last one out of India shut the door

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore February 4, 2014 20:10

No phones here please; What no pilots? And last one out of India shut the door

In 2011, 2012 and 2013 we warned you all of the problems that will come to pass if the general public and politicians latch onto the fact that mobile phone batteries are very dangerous to aircraft. Over the past few weeks we have been seeing more and more of this story in the mainstream media and we have to ask – Will mobile devises be banned on aircraft? If they are then many airline models will suffer badly given the drive to increase in flight WiFi services and entertainment streaming over the past few years. When considering adding WiFi and data streaming services to aircraft, airlines and lessors must give this matter consideration.

While airlines in the USA realise that their plans for pilot training had not taken into account fully the extent of the baby boomer retirement drive, we have to ask if we are moving into a period where airline cost bases are going to increase substantially due to pilot training and of course the inevitable increase in average pay that could well be needed to attract pilots from overseas. Given the scale of the problem in both the US and the Middle East one does wonder if the US majors will turn the tables on the likes of Emirates and nab their pilots as they exit training facilities and start clocking-up those miles. Meanwhile the story we ran in November about India looking to close its domestic market in 2014 may well be coming to fruition as the Indian Aviation Ministry states that it may limit the number of domestic airlines by wrapping the permit criteria for national carriers in so much red tape and cost that no company will bother entering the market, a scenario that of course limits any political fallout from closing the market to new entrants.

Now any changes will come into effect after the Tata/SIA joint venture is approved with its no objection certificate. Now if the Indian government go through with measures to limit new airlines then it puts a different perspective on those airlines that currently exist in the market, for if consolidation can occur after the Indian government raises the market-entry bar then those airlines remaining could indeed become strong. The worry is that Air India will grow to dominate once again under government protection and the clock will be turned back 20 years, but of course the question as to who can come out on top remains unanswerable while SIA/Tata and AirAsia are waiting in the wings. We might yet see an Indian domestic market dominated by AirAsia and SIA, but that would not be without a terrific fight for market share from the likes of Indigo, a fight which the latter might well be in a position to win. So as to the question of closing off the Indian domestic market logic suggests that, as a short-term measure, this is a good move to let the competitors settle and maybe consolidate, but in the long term it is a move that will not and cannot be good for Indian aviation. Unless of course your motives lean towards creating a strong and dominating Air India……….surely not?

Dino D'Amore
By Dino D'Amore February 4, 2014 20:10
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