Category Archives: Aviation

Mumbai airport launches contactless check-in facility via smartphone

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) becomes India’s first airport to introduce a QR-code based contactless check-in facility for passengers. It has added a touch-less feature to its self-check-in kiosks whereby passengers can use their phones to scan the QR code in order to remotely self-check-in, thus minimizing surface contact in the course of their journey

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Delhi Airport to get first on-site COVID test lab, result in 6 hours

India’s first on-site COVID testing facility is all set to come up at the capital’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, which will provide RT-PCR test results within six hours. The facility by Genestrings Diagnostic Centre, is expected to be operational by mid-September. The which will establish the 3,500 square metre facility at the multi-level car parking of Terminal 3, said that the results of samples collected at the facility will be declared within 4-6 hours, and until then, the passengers will be isolated in the waiting lounge or may opt to stay in a hotel. If the result is positive, the passenger will be processed in line with applicable Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) protocols by the authorities while those testing negative can continue their onward air journey. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines mandate international passengers arriving in India and having RT-PCR negative certificate would be exempt from institutional quarantine by states and will be allowed onward air journey. DIAL’s CEO, Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, said: “Delhi airport continues to be a hub for international travellers even during the pandemic. The pilot initiative has been taken to ensure testing of all arriving international transfer passengers scheduled to board a domestic connecting flight post-arrival at Delhi Airport. The Covid-19 testing laboratory at Delhi Airport has been adequately equipped for testing and sample collection that will be conducted in compliance with the protocols established by the ICMR and the NABL.”

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Flexibility in visa rules, enhanced health precautions for students travelling to UK for new academic year

As part of its commitment to enhance the visa system experience for students, United Kingdom Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has introduced flexibility in visa rules, with health precautions throughout the visa system, to ensure a comfortable and safe environment for all customers, especially incoming international students, along with its visa services partner VFS Global.  UK Visas and Immigration has introduced greater flexibility in visa rules, allowing students to apply for visas when they are able to travel to the UK, rather than at the start of their studies, with health precautions throughout the visa system along with visa services partner VFS Global, to ensure a comfortable and safe environment throughout the visa application process. Study visa applications for the UK can be made in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Global Tech Park only), Chandigarh, Chennai, Jalandhar, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai (Mahalaxmi only), New Delhi (Shivaji Metro Stadium only), and Pune. In order to ensure a safe environment for customers and employees, VFS Global has established standardised protective measures to be followed across all its UK Visa Application Centres. To ensure health and safety norms are followed, the centres have implemented a mandatory online appointment system, besides checking body temperature of all customers at the entrance, and maintaining physical distancing measures. Additionally, staff also carry out preventive measures such as disinfecting high-contact surfaces, body temperature screenings, use of hand sanitisers, regular hand washing, etc. Since 06 July 2020, UK Visa Application Centres have re-opened in 11 cities in India in a phased manner: Ahmedabad, Bengaluru (Global Tech Park only), Chandigarh, Chennai, Jalandhar, Kochi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai (Mahalaxmi only), New Delhi (Shivaji Metro Stadium only), and Pune – and these centres are receiving Tier 4 …

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USD 4.5 to 5 billion of funding required to overcome this crisis: CAPA India

An estimated USD 4.5 to 5 billion of funding will be required to overcome this crisis, mostly for airlines. Excluding IndiGo, the cash position of the industry as on 31-Mar-2020 was just USD 200 million (IndiGo had USD 1.36bn). The current low oil prices and excess liquidity, both globally and in India, would ordinarily have been positive for the sector. But the industry will not be able to fully benefit or raise funds due to structural issues.

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Adani acquires 74% stake in Mumbai airport, infuses much-needed liquidity

Adani Airport, a subsidiary of Adani Enterprises, is set to become India’s biggest private airport operator after acquiring the entire 50.5% stake of GVK Airport. This takes its total to 74% controlling stake in Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) as well as the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport Limited. The remaining 26% is held by AAI.

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Lufthansa ups flights between India and Germany to 160 in Sept

In September alone, Lufthansa will offer 160 flights between India and Germany, more than five per day and more than four times as many as in August. The airline will operate between Frankfurt and Munich and the key Indian cities of Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Ten weekly flights are scheduled for Delhi-Frankfurt, Delhi-Munich, Mumbai-Frankfurt and Bengaluru-Frankfurt. Lufthansa Group has also launched a free-of-charge re-booking policy for its customers regardless of the terms and conditions of their purchased tickets.

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Usha Padhee, first woman DG of Bureau of Civil Aviation Security

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, has been given the additional charge of Director General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS). In a Tweet announcing the appointment, Padhee revealed that she is the first woman to have been appointed to the post. Padhee succeeds IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, who has been appointed as the Director General of Border Security Force (BSF).

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Intent to fly improves at Bengaluru airport

According to a survey by Bengaluru airport, the intent to fly among respondents improved from a mere 13% in phase 1 to 33% in phase 5 owing to continuous enhancements in safety and hygiene measures at the airport. The survey was conducted over five phases from April 2020 to July 2020, to understand passenger sentiments around air travel. Contactless processing has also led to increase in passenger confidence in air travel.

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Virgin Atlantic provides free COVID-19 insurance cover for all bookings

Virgin Atlantic has introduced free COVID-19 insurance cover on all new and existing bookings. The policy, which applies to all flights booked with Virgin Atlantic, is designed to complement existing travel insurance and provide additional peace of mind for upcoming trips. In the event that they or anyone else on their booking becomes ill with COVID-19 while travelling, Virgin Atlantic COVID-19 Cover ensures related costs are covered, no matter how long the trip is or even if they’re visiting another destination on the same overseas trip. The insurance policy is fulfilled by Allianz Assistance and covers emergency medical and associated expenses while abroad totalling £500,000 per customer – the highest value of policy offered by any airline to date, with no excess payment required. The policy also covers expenses incurred up to £3,000 if a customer is denied boarding, at either departure or in destination, or has to quarantine due to positive or suspected COVID-19 during a trip. Customers booked to travel from 24 August, 2020 up to and including 31 March, 2021 will automatically receive the cover. It also applies on flights operated by partner airline or a JV carrier such as Delta Air Lines or Air France-KLM. Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic says, “Following our return to the skies to much-loved destinations like Barbados, we’re planning more services including London Heathrow to Delhi, Mumbai, Lagos and Tel Aviv.” The cover starts from the point of booking and ends when the customer returns home or to a hospital or nursing home in their home country. One-way trips are also included, with the insurance cover valid until the end of the journey, which is defined as 12 hours after the arrival of the customer’s final flight.

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DGCA starts safety audit of airports and domestic airlines

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated a safety audit of all the airports affected by the monsoons and of airlines in a phased manner, starting with Air India and SpiceJet, in the wake of the recent crash in Kozhikode. The aviation body said in a statement, “DGCA has started the safety audit of airlines and 12 airports affected by the monsoon, as of now. Audit of airlines to be done in a phased manner, beginning with Air India and Spice Jet.”

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