Category Archives: Aviation

Vietjet to launch Saigon-New Delhi services by Q3 2018

Vietjet has unveiled plans to launch direct flights between Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and New Delhi. The airline is set to introduce four flights per week in the third quarter of 2018 to serve travel demands of the two countries and contribute to the region’s integration and trade exchange. The introduction of the new route will present Vietjet with an opportunity to not only tap into the growing tourism market but also facilitate trade integration and exchange between Vietnam and India.

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GVK appoints Zaha Hadid Architects for Navi Mumbai International Airport

The GVK-led Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIAL) has announced the appointment of globally renowned firm Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) to design the airport’s Terminal 1 and ATC Tower. The London-based firm was selected on completion of a challenging and intensive 12-week fast-track design competition amongst the best international architecture firms that were shortlisted by GVK. ZHA is known for its dynamic, innovative and iconic architecture with a portfolio of over 950 projects spread across 44 nations. This will be ZHA’s first major project in the Indian sub-continent. Commenting on the occasion, Dr GVK Reddy, Founder and Chairman, GVK and Chairman, NMIAL, said, “Our vision is to establish one more landmark airport that would exceed the benchmarks that GVK had set through MIAL whilst creating Terminal 2 at Mumbai airport. We are committed towards bringing the best global practices from the industry to design, engineer and build this most awaited airport project in India and hence we decided to go with ZHA, a firm known for its pathbreaking and remarkable architecture. It also has the expertise of delivering a world class airport design through a highly professional team.”  

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Jet to add capacity on North East route for summer schedule

Continuing its focus on growing its domestic presence, Jet Airways will introduce 144 weekly flights in the first phase of its forthcoming summer schedule. Jet Airways will strengthen connectivity between the country’s capital and the North Eastern region via a bouquet of non-stop services including thrice-a-week flights to Aizawl and Jorhat and four times-a-week flights to Silchar from New Delhi. The airline also commences four times-a-week non-stop service to Imphal from Delhi. The airline is also commencing direct, one-stop services between Mumbai and the North Eastern cities of Jorhat and Imphal, marking its return to the capital of Manipur. Imphal will also be connected with Pune with direct flights via Guwahati and Kolkata, enhancing access and connectivity between the North-East and its hubs in Mumbai and Delhi. Raj Sivakumar, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management, Jet Airways, said, “The burgeoning demand for air travel pan-India is increasingly witnessing guests travelling to more than one destination. Our summer schedule has therefore been designed to facilitate the above developments via a mix of new services – non-stop as well as direct flights, between emerging cities, key metros and our hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, in an endeavour to promote faster, easier and more efficient movement of guests throughout our network, both pan India and worldwide.”

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Oman Air receives its second Boeing 737 Max

Oman Air has taken delivery of the second of 30 Boeing 737 Max 8s. The 737 MAX family offers the greatest flexibility, reliability and efficiency in the single-aisle market, with 8 per cent lower operating costs than its main competitor. Oman Air expects to receive a total of five 737 MAX by September 2018. The aircraft have been configured with 162 seats in two class – 12 in business and 150 in economy with enhancements across both cabins. With the addition of the new MAX, Oman Air’s fleet currently consists of seven Boeing 787 Dreamliners, six Airbus 330-300s, four Airbus 330-200s, five Boeing 737-900s, 21 Boeing 737-800, two Boeing 737 MAXs and four Embraer 175s. In June, Oman Air will also receive the first of its three 787-9 Dreamliner on order, two of which will have a new First Class product with eight full privacy mini suites, 24 Business class seats and 232 Economy seats. The aircraft will be equipped with leading technology, latest in comfort and amenities, including cutting edge entertainment to enhance the travel experience of their guests. In 2018, Oman Air will be launching three new destinations – Casablanca (Morocco) in June, Istanbul (Turkey) in July and Moscow during the winter schedule 2018. The three new routes are part of Oman Air’s strategic expansion plan.  

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Suresh Prabhu gets additional charge of civil aviation ministry

Commerce and Industries minister Suresh Prabhu has been given additional charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry, a day after the resignation of TDP’s Ashok Gajapathi Raju was accepted by President Ram Nath Kovind, a Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said. In a brief communique, the spokesperson said, “The President, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that Suresh Prabhu, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in addition to his existing portfolio.” Raju and another Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MP Y S Chowdary had resigned from the council of ministers after party supremo and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu decided to pull out his ministers. Naidu took the decision after facing relentless attacks from the opposition for “failing” to secure special category status for Andhra Pradesh. SOURCE: PTI

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AirAsia India to expand domestically before international operations: CEO

AirAsia India will focus on expanding its domestic network and increase flight frequencies, before commencing international operations to Southeast Asia by early next year, as informed by Amar Abrol, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia India. Just a few days ago, the budget passenger carrier announced the addition of Nagpur and Indore to its network, effective March 17. It will also introduce new routes connecting Bengaluru, Kolkata, Goa, Indore and Nagpur. In addition, the airline will operate daily flights connecting its two hubs—Bengaluru and Kolkata—which will become operational from March 25. “We are not shying away from India. We will first commence flight operations to new domestic destinations and increase frequencies. In all, we are looking at starting flights to four to five new cities in this year,” Abrol shared. “We are making the preparations for international operations but it will most probably take place by the first quarter of 2019,” he added. When asked about the first international port of call, Abrol said, “It can be anywhere from India’s eastern seaboard to Southeast Asia, particularly to Thailand and Malaysia.”According to Abrol, apart from adding more domestic flight frequencies, the airline is “steadily working” towards “break-even” by the year-end. SOURCE: IANS

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India’s demand for new aircraft forecast at 1,750 over 20 years

India will require 1,750 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next 20 years to meet an exponential rise in both passenger and freight traffic, according to Airbus’ latest India Market Forecast. To help meet this growth, India will need 1,320 new single-aisle aircraft and 430 wide-body aircraft valued at US$255 billion. While much of the air traffic growth is expected to be driven by the fast expanding economy, rising wealth and urbanisation, ambitious government-backed regional connectivity programmes are also set to enhance demand for air travel. By 2036, Indians will each make four times as many flights as today. As a result, traffic serving the Indian market is forecast to grow 8.1 per cent per year over the next 20 years, almost twice as fast as the world average of 4.4 per cent. Domestic Indian traffic is expected to grow five-and-half times over the next 20 years, reaching the same level as USA domestic traffic today, making it one of the world’s fastest growing markets, according to Airbus’ latest India Market Forecast for the period. Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President, Airbus Commercial Aircraft in India, says, “Make in India is at the heart of our strategy. Airbus has the largest footprint in India of any International aircraft manufacturer, nationwide across all aircraft programmes. Our sourcing volume has grown 16 times over the past ten years and it is currently at more than US$550 million annually.”

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Fly Delhi-Tel Aviv direct on AI from Mar 22

Air India will begin non-stop flight operations from New Delhi to Tel Aviv in Israel starting March 22, 2018, onwards. The carrier has confirmed flying thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner that has 18 business class and 238 economy seats. The aircraft will depart from New Delhi at 4.50 pm and arrive in Tel Aviv at 8.25 pm. On its return leg, the plane will depart from Tel Aviv at 10.15 pm and land in Delhi the next day at 9 am. With one way duration of 7 hours and 10 minutes, Air India will be the fastest nonstop flight between India and Israel taking a straight route between the two countries. In addition to Air India, Israel’s national carrier El Al currently has four weekly nonstop flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and will soon increase its frequency furthermore. Arkia has also expressed interest to begin operations soon and introduce direct flights between Israel and India.The Ministry of Tourism along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to facilitate similar introductions including relaxing visa requirements and express visa services through VFS to encourage Indian travelers to visit Israel. This announcement has come at a time when Israel Ministry of Tourism has recorded a whopping growth of 50 per cent in January and 25 per cent in February 2018, of Indian arrivals to Israel vis-à-vis the same period in 2017. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India & Philippines, says, “In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism from India over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism has been in talks with Air India and other airlines …

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Virgin Atlantic unveils three new ways to fly

Virgin Atlantic has announced the launch of three new ways to fly economy as part of a multi-million pound investment in the cabin for the 21st century traveller. Recognising that one size doesn’t fit all, from spring 2018 Virgin Atlantic will introduce ‘Economy Delight, ‘Economy Classic’ and ‘Economy Light’ tickets. The three new ways to fly will allow passengers to choose the product that suits their budget and travel style. “We’re unveiling the biggest change to our Economy cabin in over a decade – launching three new ways to fly, and a host of innovations on the ground and in the air as part of a wider £300 million investment. We know that one size doesn’t fit all, and soon our passengers can afford to be choosy and still travel in the UK’s leading economy cabin,” says Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic.

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Mumbai, Delhi airports adjudged world’s best in APAC region

The international airports of Mumbai and New Delhi have been rated as the number one airports in the Asia Pacific region serving over 40 million passengers a year. This is announced by the Airports Council International (ACI) – a trade association of 1,953 member airports across 176 countries – for its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ratings it conducts every year. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) operated and managed by GVK MIAL shared the spot with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) for the World’s Best Airport for customer experience. They were selected by millions of passengers in a survey carried out by ACI. The Hyderabad airport became the number one in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category for the year 2017. As part of the ACI’s worldwide programme, passengers were surveyed across international airports for their feedback on 34 key performance indicators including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants. This year an unprecedented 16 airports were first-time winners, which reflects the increasingly competitive airport industry operating environment, where continuous service improvement is a key ingredient in business performance. These include Indore and Ahmedabad apart from Athens, Zagreb and Bandung.  

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