Category Archives: Aviation

Air Astana’s Indian passengers enjoy 72 hours visa-free stopover in Kazakhstan

Air Astana passengers holding Indian passports can enjoy 72 hours visa-free stopovers in Kazakhstan with effect from April 23, 2018 until the end of the year. Passengers with Air Astana flights transiting in Almaty and Astana simply need to notify check-in staff at the point of departure to enjoy the benefit of a visa-free visit. Air Astana offers Delhi-Almaty daily flights and a Delhi-Astana service thrice a week operated by modern Airbus and Embraer aircraft. “Air Astana has been enjoying significant growth in transit traffic through the Almaty and Astana over the past two years, particularly from New Delhi,” said Richard Ledger, Vice President – Marketing and Sales, Air Astana. “I’m in no doubt that the introduction of 72 hours visa-free entry to Kazakhstan for Indian passport holders will further boost transit traffic. We look forward to welcoming more Indian passengers on Air Astana flights and hope they enjoy the attractions of Almaty and Astana; particularly given our US$1 Stopover Holidays programme that offers one night accommodation with breakfast and return airport transfers.” Since introduction of the first flight between two countries Air Astana has carried almost 570 thousand passengers.

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JetSetGo acquires Indo Pacific Aviation to grow fleet & offer unique services

JetSetGo has announced the acquisition of Indo Pacific Aviation, India’s oldest non-scheduled aircraft operator (NSOP) with operations in India. Speaking about the acquisition, Kanika Tekriwal, CEO, JetSetGo, said, “As the oldest NSOP, Indo Pacific has been instrumental in many ways in the growth of the private jet and helicopter market in India. Indo Pacific has far too many firsts to its credit and we are excited that this acquisition brings together the values of the old with the dynamism of the young. This acquisition now gives a significant boost to our ability to grow our fleet and offer unique services and next generation aircraft for personalised on-demand mobility.” Aggregating India’s available private jets and helicopters for the first time, JetSetGo now has pan-India presence with 2,800 aircraft movements executed in the last financial year. Typically managing and executing chartered flights through DGCA approved non-scheduled operator permits that are owned by others, the acquisition of Indo Pacific Aviation now gives more flexibility to JetSetGo to directly manage its own fleet and to provide on-demand air connectivity. It will also offer its customer’s aircraft sales and acquisition, fleet management and other aviation support services. Government approval from the DGCA and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) was obtained prior to completing the transaction.  

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flydubai launches direct flights from Dubai to Dubrovnik

flydubai will now operate Dubrovnik as a seasonal summer route, offering four flights a week between April 10 and October 25, 2018. Emirates will codeshare on this route as part of the Emirates-flydubai partnership announced in July 2017. Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations (UAE, Middle East, Europe & CIS) at flydubai, says, “flydubai is the first airline to offer passengers convenient, direct flights from Dubai to Dubrovnik. Our new service reflects flydubai’s commitment to open up 71 previously underserved markets on our network of more than 90 destinations. We offer affordable travel options in both Business and Economy classes together with an enjoyable experience on board our young fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.” flydubai’s first flight touched down in Dubrovnik with a delegation of representatives from the airline on board. The delegation was met by the State Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Tonči Glavina; the Managing Director of Dubrovnik Airport, Frano Luetić; the airline’s representative in Croatia, Predrag Popovic and the Country Manager, Austria and Croatia for Emirates, Martin Gross. On arrival, the inaugural flight was met with a traditional water cannon salute.

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Philippine Airlines appoints Bird Group as GSA in India

Philippine Airlines (PAL) has appointed Bird Travels, the Airline Management Services arm of Bird Group as its local representative in India. The association marks the airline’s latest step in developing its sales distribution network within the Indian market. The appointment of Bird Travels is part of the intensive preparations undertaken by Philippine Airlines to realise its firm plans to commence operations to India by winter 2018. Reinforcing the airline’s growing confidence in the market, Bird Travels is responsible for all the airline’s sales, marketing and ticketing activities in India through its centrally located headquarters in New Delhi. “India’s tourism industry is expanding rapidly and we’re already seeing a steady flow of leisure and business travellers flying between India and Philippines. Bird Group is a veteran in air travel management and we are challenging them to capitalise on their strength and capabilities to help launch our upcoming flights to New Delhi and Mumbai,” said Ryan Uy, Vice President – Sales, Philippine Airlines. “Armed with our extensive local knowledge and experienced team, Bird Travels is well-equipped and committed to promote the airline’s presence in the country,” said Vijay Bhatia, President, Bird Group. PAL’s planned services from New Delhi and Mumbai to Manila will enable India-based travellers to easily access over 31 destinations in the Philippines, out of PAL’s hubs in Manila, Clark, Cebu and Davao.

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Speedwings signs MoU with Verteil Technologies

Speedwings has recently signed an exclusive MoU with Verteil Technologies to access NDC-listed airline products through its direct connect platform ‘VDC’ (Verteil Direct Connect) and provide NDC-based training programme to travel agents and other aspirants in the industry. NDC (New Distribution Capability) is a travel industry-supported programme launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard. The NDC Standard enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents. According to Biji Eapen, Chairman and CEO, Speedwings, “This is a newly developed cutting-edge concept in our teaching-learning process to help the travel industry to become more professional and helps freshers to be employable. Speedwings and Vertiel will jointly issue certificates to the successful candidates.” NDC Training programme is innovative and unique in the history of IATA and travel industry. This NDC-aligned innovative tool allows to display and connect airline inventories directly to its host reservation system providing access to availability, pricing, shopping and ticketing plus facilitating ancillary sales of excess baggage, visas, chauffeur service, etc. NDC ticketing in India started issuing tickets on BA, EK and LH during the first quarter of 2018 only. It is currently facilitated through I-Top (Indian Travel-Agents Own Portal developed by IATA Agents Association of India), integrated through Verteil Direct Connect.

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Jet signs additional 75 Boeing 737 max aircraft, total order equals 150

Jet Airways has announced that it has signed a new order for 75 additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, taking the total order to 150 aircraft. The Boeing 737 aircraft type is the backbone of Jet Airways’ fleet. The 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will serve the airline not only to replace its existing fleet but also to equip it with modern and environmentally progressive airplanes, thereby fueling the airline’s expansion strategy to support its network and growth aspirations. Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways, said, “Our new order for the additional 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will allow us to deliver a differentiated and world-class customer experience to our guests. This additional order re-emphasises our trust and confidence in Boeing and also reaffirms our commitment to operate extremely modern, reliable and fuel efficient aircraft as part of our fleet. This order underscores Jet Airways’ commitment to the growth and sustainability of the Indian aviation market.” “We are honoured that Jet Airways has again placed its trust in Boeing with its order for 75 more Boeing 737 MAXs”, said Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “These additional Boeing 737 MAX airplanes will help Jet Airways continue to be an industry leader by combining a superior passenger experience with reliable and efficient operations.”

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56 new airports to be functional in upcoming years: Suresh Prabhu

Around 56 new airports will become functional in the next few years, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu said at the two-day Global Logistics Summit recently held in New Delhi. The minister further said that by bringing all the stakeholders together, it will create the right platform to improve logistics and connectivity which are vital for increasing intra-state and international trade flows. Indian logistics industry is estimated at around US $ 215 billion in 2019-20, growing at over 10% annually. In the last decade or so, significant improvements in railways, roads, highways, inland waterways, aviation, ports and coastal shipping have taken place. To support awareness building and develop better understanding on these issues, the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, in partnership with FICCI and the World Bank Group, organised the Summit to discuss relevant issues among global experts, academics, government officials, private sector and industry representatives.

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Air India offers assured flat incentive scheme for agents

Air India has announced an assured flat incentive scheme for travel agents in BSP India, effective on sale starting April 5, 2018 till March 31, 2019. Under the scheme, every agent shall be entitled to 1 per cent normal commission and 1 per cent assured flat incentive on all 098 tickets sold by the agency. According to a statement by Air India, this incentive is not linked to achievement of any target and shall accrue on cut and pay basis without deal code. Therefore, there will be no time lag for receipt of incentive. The current year assured incentive is based on sales and not on flown revenue. This has been done to instantly reward the agency to promote Air India.

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Scoot increases Gold Coast services to Singapore

Singapore carrier Scoot will increase capacity of its Singapore to Gold Coast service to up to five times per week, generating a boost to the economy of up to $42.2 million. Kate Jones, Minister, Tourism Industry Development, welcomed the increase in service from April 2018. “It’s great to continue to build on this successful service through the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund in time for the pinnacle event of the year – the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games – as well as other upcoming events including the Gold Coast Marathon. We look forward to continuing to promote Queensland as a premier holiday destination in Singapore, while also opening up access from other key markets connecting through this important international hub including the UK, India and China,” she said. Marion Charlton, CEO, Gold Coast Airport, said the announcement was a welcome addition in time for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. She said, “The increase in services is really well timed in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games – providing more opportunity for tourists to travel to the Gold Coast for the major event. We look forward to working with Scoot to ensure continued growth of these services into the future.” Gold Coast Tourism CEO Martin Winter congratulated Scoot on adding the extra service, which would directly benefit the visitor economy of the Gold Coast.

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