Category Archives: Aviation

AirAsia India appoints Sunil Bhaskaran as CEO & MD

AirAsia India has appointed Sunil Bhaskaran as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director with effect from November 15, 2018 to oversee the next phase of expansion and growth of the company. Bhaskaran is currently Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel. He has over three decades of experience in the fields of manufacturing, export and commercial operations with the Tata group. S Ramadorai, Chairman, AirAsia India, said, “We are delighted to welcome Mr Bhaskaran as the new CEO & MD of AirAsia India. With India’s aviation sector growing at a rapid pace, we are confident his extensive experience, ability to drive performance and work seamlessly with all stakeholders will be a great asset for AirAsia India.” Bhaskaran has held several senior positions in the Tata group. He is also on the Global Advisory Board of Social Accountability International (SAI), New York. He was with Tata International from 2001 till 2005. He completed his B Tech from IIT, Delhi in 1985, followed by a post-graduation in management from IIM, Kolkata in 1987. He joined Tata Steel in 1987 and subsequently completed his GMP from Cedep at Insead, France in 2000.

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GoAir operates first direct flight from Mumbai to Maldives

GoAir has launched its first-ever direct flight from Mumbai to Male. The new international schedule introduces direct flights connecting Male to India – Mumbai and New Delhi. Flight G8 023 was given a ceremonial flag off at 13:25 IST which departed from Mumbai on its maiden flight to Velana International Airport, Maldives. In sync with the aviation tradition to mark key milestones, the flight was greeted with a grand water cannon salute upon its arrival at the Male Airport followed by ribbon-cutting ceremony. GoAir’s international service is operated by airbus A320 Neo aircraft and with immediate effect, it will mark the commencement of a direct service 2 times a week between New Delhi – Male – New Delhi sector and direct service of 3 times a week between Mumbai – Male – Mumbai sector. Speaking on the occasion, Cornelis Vrieswijk, Chief Executive Officer, GoAir said, “We welcome Male as a part of our new global network. In light of the significant increase in outgoing tourism from India over the past few years, GoAir introduced a direct flight services from Mumbai and New Delhi to Male. It is a huge amendment in the books of GoAir and we hope to provide our customers with superior experience at the best yet affordable prices.”

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Hyderabad airport opens Interim International Departure Terminal

The Hyderabad International Airport has inaugurated the Interim International Departure Terminal (IIDT) that is set to commence operations from October 23. The terminal has been designed to cater to the continued growth in passenger traffic, while the existing Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) facility has been expanded to more than double the present capacity. The terminal was inaugurated by Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) in the presence of Shailendra Kumar Joshi, IAS, Chief Secretary, Telangana government and other dignitaries. The new terminal building is an exclusive concourse to handle check-in, security, immigration and customs processes for departing international passengers. Coinciding with the opening of the new terminal, the Hyderabad Duty-Free (HDF) store at the departure level has been relocated and upgraded to offer an enhanced shopping experience to the passengers. SGK Kishore, CEO, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), said, “Our city is witnessing a boom in air travel and with its strategic locational advantage, the passenger traffic through Hyderabad airport is growing at a rate of about 24 per cent year over year. The changes will only affect our departing international passengers and we will continue to handle international arrivals from the main passenger terminal building.” Source: ANI

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India to gain an additional 359 million passengers by 2037

India is forecast to gain an additional 359 million passengers by 2037, compared to 2017,  according to a report by IATA, titled ‘The Future is Bright…But Not Without Its Challenges’. This means that, by 2037, there will be almost 520 million passengers flying to/from and within India each year. Domestic passengers will account for around 63 per cent of the total growth over this period, or 228 million additional passengers. Foreign passengers will contribute less to overall growth, representing 37 per cent of the total market growth, equal to 131 million additional passengers.

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Indian airlines to order 2,100 planes over the next 20 years

In a recent forecast by Boeing, Indian airlines are expected to order as many as 2,100 planes worth US$290 billion over the next 20 years. As per a study by FICCI-Yes Bank report titled ‘Opportunities and Financing Outlook for Aviation Sector’, this increase is led by strong passenger demand, low fuel prices, high load factor, strong local currency and strong economic growth. Indian carriers operated 496 aircraft in FY17 up from 381 in FY08. At the end of FY17, Indian airlines had ordered more than 800 planes. Boeing projects a worldwide demand for 41,030 new airplanes over the next 20 years, with India carriers needing more than 5.1 percent of the total global demand.

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Travelport wins tender for sole distribution supplier to Air India

Travelport has announced that it had won a competitive tender process undertaken by Air India for the sole provision of distribution of its domestic flight content. The contract awarded to Travelport will begin to come into effect from November 2018 and be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years following the acquisition of business from the largest online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip as well as working with the major corporate travel agencies and new entrants to the travel sector such as Paytm. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, said, “Air India is pleased to award this important contract to Travelport. In written submissions and in discussion with their team, the company demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and displayed impressive technological and financial capability. As we make the switch to Travelport, we hope to be able to deliver even better value for money and a superior distribution to our customers in India and abroad.” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, commented, “Travelport is delighted to have been selected by Air India to provide these services. It is another welcome endorsement of our technology and our services in India. We look forward to implementing the agreement and delivering a world-class service to the airline.”

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Air India to start Bengaluru-London direct from November 17

Air India is set to directly connect Bengaluru with London via a three-times-a-week flight starting November 17. The new flight will be operated by a Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) aircraft on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Bengaluru and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from London. The national carrier has also offered special introductory two-way fare of Rs 1,29,500 for business class travel and Rs 35,220 for economy for the proposed flight. The flight AI 177 will depart Bengaluru at 05:25 hours and arrive London at 11:05 hours. In its return journey, the flight AI 178 will leave from London at 13:00 hours and arrive in Bengaluru at 04:00 hours, the airline said.  The non-stop flight will fulfil the long standing demand of IT professionals and health tourism in the region. Source: PTI

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IndiGo announces daily non-stop flights to Male and Phuket from November 2018

IndiGo will start operating its daily non-stop flights to Male and Phuket from next month. Male will be connected with Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kochi, while services to Phuket will be operated from Delhi. The new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers from these cities, who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are pleased to announce Male and Phuket as our 13th and 14th international destinations, effective November 2018. We will operate direct flights to Male from three key cities of Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kochi. And, we will also operate non-stop flights between Delhi and Phuket. Both Male and Phuket are key markets for us and we see great potential in the growth of tourism from India.” He further added, “IndiGo will continue to expand its network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers wherever they demand it. It is our constant endeavour to provide more flexibility of choice to our customers as IndiGo continues to offer them on-time, courteous and hassle-free service, and an affordable flying experience always.”

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Over 19k participants attend 3rd Start-up Expo in Delhi

Co-hosted by Lufthansa India and the Delhi-NCR chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), the third edition of Start-up Expo held in Delhi witnessed over 19,000 delegates from various cities across India, including 100 investors, over 100 recognised business experts and nearly 500 start-up exhibitors. The single-day event also hosted the grand finale of the first season of ‘Elevator Pitch’ contest, launched in August by Lufthansa. Manasi Kulkarni, Co-Founder, Innoweave Biocare, emerged as the winner by outshining over 500 contestants. Making a sharp 3-minute pitch and displaying sharp business acumen, Kulkarni won the prize of sponsored seat at a global entrepreneurship programme at the prestigious Cambridge University in the UK, a Lufthansa business-class ticket to Europe as well as coveted mentorship from TiE Delhi-NCR. Wolfgang Will, Senior Director – South Asia, Lufthansa, said, “The overwhelming response to Start-up Expo has led to its exponential growth over the past three years into what is today India’s largest ecosystem for start-up success. It is also an affirmation of the fact that young entrepreneurs in India are chasing new dreams, exploring new possibilities and we feel absolutely privileged to enable them in taking the leap from dreams to reality.” Geetika Dayal, Executive Director, TiE Delhi-NCR, said, “Start-up Expo is an important catalyst in the entrepreneurial revolution in India. Together with Lufthansa, we are proud to have created this platform for driving start-up success in India.”

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SpiceJet records highest PLF in August’ 18

The data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) revealed that SpiceJet recorded highest Passenger Load Factor among all scheduled domestic operators in India. The airline’s PLF for August 2018 was 93.6 per cent, followed by Go air and IndiGo with a PLF of 84.6 and 82.8 per cent respectively. DGCA comes out with a monthly performance of domestic airlines, which is based on traffic data submitted by various domestic airlines. The data also revealed that passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan-Aug 2018 were 913.95 lakhs as against 754.11 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 21.20 per cent.

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