Category Archives: Aviation

AAI selects Tata Elxsi to improve passenger experience

Tata Elxsi, a global design and technology services company, has been selected by the Airports Authority of India(AAI) out of a competitive global bid to improve passenger experience for all AAI-managed airports. As the design partner, Tata Elxsi will help AAI to provide a seamless passenger travel experience. Tata Elxsi will be primarily responsible to set the wayfinding and information design guidelines for all AAI airports coming up in the future and enable AAI to set a team and create a process to design and implement world-class, customer-centric information and wayfinding systems. This will cover the entire passenger journey right from parking to boarding the plane, to making the spaces efficient and user-friendly. The design will be in line with global standards and Tata Elxsi will set the guidelines/standards for all future airports. Tata Elxsi has already started the work on creating an intuitive, customer-centric wayfinding system and developing a unique image for several airport terminals. Narendra Ghate, Chief Designer, Service Design, Tata Elxsi said, “Having worked in the past on redefining the passenger experience for some leading airports in India, gave Tata Elxsi an edge. Tata Elxsi has already commenced work across the shortlisted 10 airports – Goa, Kolkata, Varanasi, Lucknow, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Guwahati.”

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GoAir launches third daily direct flight between Bengaluru and Delhi

GoAir is set to increase its operations between Bengaluru and New Delhi from June 24, 2017 with the launch of a third daily direct flight between the two cities. The flight will leave Bengaluru at 11:35 hours, reaching Delhi at 14:20 hours. A return flight will leave Delhi at 15:05 hours and reach at 18:00 hours. The new additional service has been introduced in response to a growing demand in this sector, particularly from corporate travellers. With this addition, GoAir now flies 1225 weekly flights between its 23 destinations serviced.

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Etihad and China Southern announce codeshare partnership

Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, and China Southern Airlines have announced a new codeshare partnership, which comes into effect on June 22, 2017. This increases the number of codeshare agreements operated by the Abu Dhabi-based airline to 53. Under the agreement, China Southern Airlines will put its ‘CZ’ code on Etihad Airways’ daily services between Beijing (PEK)/Shanghai (PVG)/Chengdu (CTU) and Abu Dhabi. The codeshare partnership will give China Southern guests the opportunity to book codeshare flights to and from Abu Dhabi, and connect onto Etihad’s network of over 100 destinations worldwide. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad Airways’ Executive Vice President Commercial, said: “The codeshare partnership with China Southern Airlines is a significant milestone in the airlines’ network development strategy and a key component of its footprint in the China market. This is a further example of our strategy of working with partners to extend our reach, and provide business and leisure travellers with more options. Zhang Lin, China Southern Airlines’ senior management on international cooperation,   welcomed the establishment of the new partnership with Etihad Airways’ management team. He said: “We are excited about the new partnership with Etihad Airways, which will further strengthen the global network of both airlines and provide increased benefits to all our passengers.”

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Lufthansa rated Europe’s best airline

Lufthansa has been voted the “Best Airline in Europe”. The award was given at the Paris Air Show on June 20, 2017 in Le Bourget. The market research institute Skytrax, which specialises in aviation, surveyed around 18 million passengers from over 160 countries. In the survey, passengers from across the globe spoke in favour of the German premium carrier by giving the airline high ratings in service on board and at the airport. Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO at Deutsche Lufthansa AG said, “The service offered by our crews on board and on the ground as well as our investments during the past few years in the fitting of our cabins, lounges and digitalization, have paid off. The Skytrax Award is evidence that Lufthansa passengers appreciate our quality. The combination of premium service and excellent facilities has impressed passengers worldwide and has made us Europe’s number one.” Lufthansa also won the award of “Best Airline in Western Europe” as well as the award “Best First Class Lounge Dining”.

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Domestic air traffic records 17.6% growth in May

Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January to May this year were 465.87 lakhs as against 396.04 lakhs during the corresponding period of the previous year, thereby registering a growth of 17.63 per cent. This was revealed by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after analysing the traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines in May 2017. SpiceJet recorded the highest Passenger Load Factor (PLF) of 94.3 per cent, while IndiGo came out the winner in terms of On Time Performance (OTP) at 85 per cent.

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No departure cards for Indians flying abroad from July 1

Come July 1, Indians flying abroad will not have to fill departure cards. According to an order issued by the Union Home Ministry, “It has been decided to discontinue the practice of filling up of the departure card by Indians at all international airports with effect from July 1, 2017.” This is one of the steps by the government to ensure hassle-free movement of Indians travelling abroad. However, those going out of the country via rail, seaport and land immigration check-posts need to fill the embarkation card. The Home Ministry has said that the information shared by the passengers is available in the system from other sources as well. This would reduce the time required to complete immigration related formalities by passengers and would also allow airports to handle larger number of people.

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Ethiopia launches e-visa facility for international visitors

Effective June 12, 2017, Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines is offering e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia. The e-visa is processed and issued online on a single webpage where applicants apply, pay and secure their entry visa online. Once the online application is approved, applicants will receive an email authorising them to travel to Ethiopia and they will get their passport stamped with the visa upon arrival in Addis Ababa. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, says, “The full commencement of the Online Visa application and issuance system will promote tourism, trade and investment to the country. It will save time, energy and cost for travelers to Ethiopia in addition to the simplicity and convenience that it facilitates. With direct flights to/from more than 95 destinations from all corners of the world operated by the most modern airplanes, we will continue to make travel to Ethiopia, dependable, easy, convenient and affordable. I will take this opportunity to thank our IT team and our colleagues at the Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs for the commendable collaboration and the job well done.” Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, commented, “We are glad that we have been working together with Ethiopian Airlines for the effective implementation of e-visa facilities at Bole International Airport. Now international visitors to Ethiopia, from countries provisioned for visa upon arrival, will make use of this service. Moreover, we have set up separate counters to process the visas of travelers under electronic travel authorization.”

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Singapore Airlines introduces special website and mobile app offer

Singapore Airlines has announced a special offer exclusively for its new and existing KrisFlyer loyalty card members. Customers booking a Singapore Airlines or SilkAir (regional wing of Singapore Airlines) return ticket from June 16-30, 2017, on www.singaporeair.com or SingaporeAir mobile app will receive two complimentary flights on Vistara. This offer is valid for travel between July 01 and August 31, 2017, on Suites, First, Business and Economy (Flexi and Flexi Saver) fares. Travel on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir flights must originate from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Except for Singapore Airlines Suites or First Class passengers who will be entitled to Vistara’s Business Class, customers will be allotted the same cabin class on their complimentary Vistara tickets with a travel validity from July 21, 2017 – August 31, 2018. Furthermore, travellers from India can redeem a complimentary S$20 Changi Dollar Voucher for use at all participating shops, restaurants and lounges when they transit at Singapore Changi Airport. Indian nationals can also avail of one-way, Visa Free Transit Facility for up to 96 hours in Singapore with a valid onward ticket and a valid visa from selected countries. The transit facility will be provided at the discretion of the immigration authorities.

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Vistara increasing flights to 5 times daily on Delhi–Bengaluru route

Vistara has introduced two additional daily return flights between Delhi and Bengaluru to celebrate the second anniversary of its service on the route. With this addition, Vistara now flies five times return daily (four times on Sundays) between the two cities, taking the count of weekly flights on the route (both ways) to 68. Elaborating on this, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “In a short time Vistara has emerged as the airline of choice for corporate customers, and the increase in frequency from 3 to 5 flights daily each way between Delhi and Bengaluru is in response to their request for more Vistara flights between these cities. Not only will these flights help us meet the needs of our frequent flyers, it will also attract those wanting to fly us more often.  Bengaluru is a key market for Vistara, and we intend to add more flights there over time, slots permitting.”

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Qatar Airways to add 24 new destinations in 2017-18

Qatar Airways has said that their operations to and from its Doha hub are running smoothly, and in fact, they will only be growing their network. The airline launched direct service to Dublin, Republic of Ireland on June 1. Qatar Airways will also start service to Nice, France, on 4 July, and flights to Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, on 17 July. Other new destinations planned for the remainder of this year and 2018 include Las Vegas (USA), Canberra (Australia), Douala (Cameroon), Libreville (Gabon), Medan (Indonesia), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Santiago (Chile) and Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as well as many others. The airline’s much talked about ‘First in Business seat’—Qsuite, will be showcased at the Paris Air Show from 19–25 June before debuting on its first route, between Doha and London Heathrow, later this month.

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