Category Archives: Aviation

US, UK restrict electronic items in cabin for selected airlines

US government has announced restrictions on the type of electronic items that could be carried onboard flights to the US from certain airports, reveals a statement from IATA. Even the UK government has announced changes in its aviation security measures on selected inbound flights to the UK that restrict the size of electronic items that may be carried by passengers in the cabin. In a statement, the UK government has said that flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia would be affected by these restrictions. A Q&A and factsheet available on the US Department of Homeland Security website reveals that passengers flying to the US directly from the named airports—Queen Alia International Airport (AMM), Cairo International Airport (CAI), Ataturk International Airport (IST), King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED), King Khalid International Airport (RUH), Kuwait International Airport (KWI), Mohammed V Airport (CMN), Hamad International Airport (DOH), Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) – should allow extra time at the airport. IATA calculations show that this ban will impact about 393 scheduled passenger flights per week, equivalent to about 2.7 % of the total international scheduled passenger flights to the UK. In the US, it would affect 350 scheduled flights a week, equivalent to about 2% of total international flights.

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Air Asia to fly to Kolkata, Ranchi

Air Asia India will now be flying to Kolkata and Ranchi. The airline added these two new destinations and will be making Kolkata its third hub after Bengaluru and Delhi. With the new additions, Air Asia India will now be flying to a total of 15 destinations in the country. The airline acquired its 9th A320 aircraft this year, after which it launched these connections.

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IndiGo appoints Cindy Szadokierski as VP (Airport Operations and Customer Services)

IndiGo has appointed Cindy Szadokierski as Vice President – Airport Operations and Customer Services. With a career in aviation spanning over 30 years, she has held senior leadership positions primarily in the areas of airport operations as well as several other roles in operations, reservations and sales at United Airlines. She brings with her the experience and expertise through a proven record of operational leadership and delivering customer services at a large scale. She will take on the role of Vice President – Airport Operations and Customer Services effective April 17, 2017, and will be reporting to Executive Vice President, Sanjeev Ramdas.

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New daily Oman Air flight on Salalah-Kozhikode route

Oman’s national carrier will reportedly start a new daily direct flight between Salalah, a southern Omani city and Kozhikode in Kerala from next week, in addition to Oman Air’s flight service between Muscat and Kozhikode which is the latest destination in the airline’s fleet and network expansion programme. “Oman Air is committed to support the economic development of the Dhofar region, which is a key market for us. We are extremely happy to announce this new direct service between Salalah and Kozhikode,” Oman Air CEO Paul Gregorowitsch said. The daily service will be operated by a Boeing 737-800. Existing frequencies between Muscat and Kozhikode have also been increased from once daily to twice daily since February this year. Oman Air is growing its weekly capacity to India with frequencies increasing on five of the airline’s key Indian destinations. Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad increase from twice daily to three times daily. Kozhikode increases from once daily to three times daily and Lucknow increases from once daily to twice daily. The growth in capacity follows the revised flight agreement Oman and India in December 2016, when the number of weekly seats was increased to 27,405 seats for both countries, compared to 21,145 seats, an increase of 6,258 seats per week.

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Jet Airways code shares with Jetstar Asia

Jet Airways has signed a code-share agreement with Jetstar Asia for flights from Singapore. Jetstar, the Singapore-based low-cost carrier, will offer further connections for those flying from India on Jet Airways to Singapore. An official release has said that under the code share, Jet Airways will place its marketing code ‘9W’ on Jetstar Asia flights operating from Singapore to 11 destinations across in the Asia Pacific region: Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, Perth and Darwin in Australia, Jakarta, Denpasar Bali and Surabaya in Indonesia, Ho-Chi-Minh City in Vietnam, Kuala Lumpur and Penang in Malaysia and Hong Kong. The release also says that under this agreement, Jet Airways will extend its code share footprint to three brand new destinations: Darwin, Phuket and Penang. Most importantly, the latest code share will not only strengthen traffic flows via Singapore, but will also offer guests the advantage of twin/tri-city itineraries options through Singapore, either via Bangkok or Hong Kong, owing to code shares on both sectors. The new agreement would make the passenger experience even more seamless and convenient, since one can now fly from India to Singapore with Jet Airways, and further to Hong Kong or Bangkok on a code-shared Jetstar Asia flight, returning to India on Jet Airways directly from Hong Kong or Bangkok, all on a single itinerary.

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RwandAir to fly MICE group on its first Mumbai-Kigali direct

Rwanda Renaissance, an organisation mandated to promote trade, tourism and investments into the country, has announced plans to take a MICE group on RwandAir’s first-ever direct and nonstop flight from Mumbai. The flight will depart Mumbai on April 5, at 0145 hours, getting into Kigali the same morning at 0515 hours. The group, under the banner ‘Rwanda Calling 2017’ will see over 30 persons travel to Kigali. While the majority will be attending a Religious Meeting at KIBEHO, there will also be investors and businesses looking at opportunities in the country . Ivan Mugisha, Country Manager, RwandAir, remarks, “We are indeed, delighted to fly this group to Kigali, on our first-ever direct and nonstop flight from Mumbai. RwandAir is committed to provide passengers from India a unique experience , while they fly the dream of Africa, not only to Kigali, but to the very many destinations on the African continent, within our vast and expanding network.” Clarence Fernandes, Chairman, Rwanda Renaissance, affirmed the fact that RwandAir will not only offer a superior product, but will also avoid the hassles of having to transit and change flights at other airports to reach Kigali , whether one is travelling on business or on leisure. “We welcome Rwanda’s national carrier and are confident passengers not only to Kigali but even beyond, will enjoy the airline’s world class service,” he adds.

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SriLankan to fly to Hyderabad, Vizag and Coimbatore by mid-2017

SriLankan Airlines is on an expansion drive in India. Calling India its biggest market, Siva Ramachandran, CCO, SriLankan Airlines, said that they have seen a 15 per cent growth from India in the last one year. “This does not include the trader community which travels more regularly. If we add them, it’d be more than 20 per cent. We are going to increase the frequencies in India. Currently, we are operating 107 frequencies a week. By the middle of this year, we are hoping to make it 130 frequencies a week. We are adding three more destinations into india—Hyderabad, Vishakhapatnam and Coimbatore. We are also increasing flights to Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi,” he informed.    

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Vistara becomes Airbus’ 1st airline partner for training centre

Vistara signed a five-year agreement with Airbus Group India Private Limited to provide training services to Vistara pilots for the A320 type aircraft. The two companies inked the agreement at the launch of Airbus India Training Centre (AITC) in New Delhi, which brings state-of-the-art technology to India for the training of flight crew. Commenting on the partnership, Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “This partnership underlines our uncompromising commitment to uphold the highest of safety standards and operational excellence. I am confident that our pilots will immensely benefit from Airbus’ in-depth and specialized training solutions. It will help us tread a path towards industry leadership.” Adding on, Dr. Srinivasan Dwarakanath, President, Commercial Aircraft, Airbus in India said, “We are honoured to have Vistara as the first customer for the Airbus India Training Centre. We will start training their pilots when the centre becomes operational end-2018. Our success is tied to the success of our customers and one way we contribute to that is by offering them our services like flight training.” The AITC is equipped with the latest software that accurately simulates the aircraft handling characteristics and system responses, ensuring Vistara pilots are well trained and become more proficient with global standards.

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Air Train to connect Delhi airport terminals by 2020

The Delhi International Airport (DIAL) has proposed an Automated People Mover (APM) or air train between Terminal 1, T2 and T3 at Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport, revealed Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation. In compliance with the provisions of Operation, Management and Development Agreement (OMDA), DIAL has reviewed and updated the Master Plan of IGI Airport, New Delhi in 2016 in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India and Sovereign agencies providing reserved services at the airport and with other stakeholders.  The Master Plan, 2016 contains a provision for Automated People Mover (APM) for connecting all the terminals of the airport. Total length of the proposed APM alignment is 5.5 km out of which 1.5 km is underground whereas 4.0 km portion is elevated. The Master Plan recommends this facility to be available by year 2020. DIAL has already taken steps for exploring all technical possibilities for providing the APM facility in consultation with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). The design, project cost and other details etc. are finalised during the finalisation of the Major Development Plan in compliance with the OMDA.

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India and Fiji renew air services agreement after four decades

A new Air Services Agreement (ASA) has been signed between India and Fiji, replacing the previous ASA, which was signed between the two governments in 1974. The agreement was signed between Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, Government of India and Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, Attorney General and Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of Fiji. This new ASA has been negotiated to meet the conditions that exist now and will exist in the foreseeable future. According to Khaiyum, the new ASA will spur economic growth and create opportunities for trade, investment and tourism. Under the ASA and to ensure ease of travel between the two countries, Fiji Airways has already signed a code-share agreement with Jet Airways of India to allow seamless travel between Fiji and a number of Indian cities. He said, “This new agreement is good for both countries. We want to thank India’s Hon. Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, and the entire Indian government for their good faith, goodwill and respectful posture throughout these negotiations. Although Fiji is economically and geographically much smaller than India, we were at the table as equals.” Fiji is now in the process of reviewing and updating its ASA with other countries, with the goal of increasing the scope and quality of economic activity and connectivity while at the same time protecting the Fijian aviation industry.

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