Category Archives: Aviation

Kerala to cut tax on aviation fuel to 5 per cent for domestic airlines

To promote airlines to extend their service to Kerala, the Kerala government has decided to slash the tax on aviation fuel to 5 per cent from the current 28.75 per cent for domestic airlines. Making the announcement in the assembly during the discussion on the state budget for 2019-20, state’s Finance Minister TM Thomas Issac said that not only airports under the UDAN scheme but also non-UDAN airports would get the new tax breather in the state. “The tax on ATF will be reduced to 5 per cent from the existing 28.75 per cent for domestic airlines operating service from the state airports. A revenue loss of Rs 100 crore is expected through this,” he said. The tax cut is expected to benefit Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode international airports as the government had already decided to levy only 1 per cent fuel tax from airlines operating service from the newly commissioned Kannur airport. Aviation fuel accounts for a major portion of operating cost for airlines. The tax cut can help become Kerala an attractive destination for various airlines as neighboring states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are charging a state tax of 29 and 28 per cent, respectively on jet fuel. The tax cut benefits would benefit only domestic passengers as the international airlines that operate to and from the state have not been charging VAT as per the new GST regime.  

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India records fastest domestic aviation growth of 18.6 per cent: IATA

The India domestic market posted the fastest full year domestic growth rate for the fourth year in a row (18.6 per cent), according to an International Air Transport Association (IATA) report. Domestic demand in India was underpinned by a robust economic expansion as well as by increasing number of domestic pairs. The country recorded its 50th consecutive month of double-digit annual growth in October. .“While globally, domestic air travel climbed 7 per cent last year, which remained unchanged from the rate in 2017. All markets showed annual growth, led by India and China, which both posted double-digit annual increases,” the report added.

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Qatar Airways introduces EMI payment option for its India website

Qatar Airways has introduced a new online payment scheme for bookings made on its website exclusively for customers with credit cards issued by Indian banks. The new payment option now makes it possible for passengers to pay for their booking through monthly instalments of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months respectively. The service aims to ease and enhance passengers’ travelling experience by making their booking transactions much more affordable and flexible. It also makes it easier for travellers planning to fly with family and friends, with only a minimum installment fee needed to be paid to complete the purchase. Naveen Chawla, Senior Manager Commercial–ISC, Qatar Airways said, “The launch of the new EMI option gives our passengers tremendous benefits as they can now book their tickets online at their convenience through our website, and also instantly access our latest offers. Through this new user-friendly and affordable payment scheme, Qatar Airways passengers with credit cards issued by Indian banks will now have greater flexibility when it comes to planning their travel itinerary. Those who previously couldn’t book online due to their credit limit or a large outstanding balance will now be able to pay for their bookings effortlessly using their credit card. This service is testament to Qatar Airways’ ongoing commitment to be innovative when it comes to enhancing the travel experience of our customers.” Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram.  

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SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Jeddah daily from March 25, 2019

SpiceJet is set to start a daily direct flight between Hyderabad and Jeddah from March 25. This is the ninth foreign destination of the airline. SpiceJet will operate its new 189-seater Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on the route, the airline said in its press statement. It also announced a special fare of Rs 13,499 (all-inclusive) for the Hyderabad-Jeddah flight and Rs 10,799 (all inclusive) for Jeddah-Hyderabad flight. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “It is a moment of great pride for us as we introduce Jeddah as our ninth international destination, thus becoming the first Indian budget airline to fly to Saudi Arabia. Our new flight from Hyderabad will greatly benefit thousands of pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia and our state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX promises an unparalleled experience to all our guests,” he said. SpiceJet’s flight SG 33 will depart from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 7:10 am (local time) and arrive in Jeddah at 11:05 am (local time) the same day. The return flight, SG 34, will depart at 12:05 pm (local time) and reach Hyderabad at 8:25 pm (local time). Source: PTI

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Now fly direct to Dubai from Kozhikode on flydubai

flydubai has recently started thrice-weekly direct operations between Kozhikode and Dubai. With this launch, flydubai now offers 30 weekly flights to and from Dubai to eight destinations in India. On the launch of operations, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer, flydubai, said, “As the first Dubai-based carrier to operate direct flights from Dubai to Kozhikode, we expect this route to be very popular for travellers from the UAE to the region.  Similarly, passengers from Kozhikode now have easier access to popular destinations on the flydubai network as well as the Emirates network providing easy access to more destinations when visiting family and friends.” Speaking at a press conference held recently to mark the start of flights to Kozhikode, Sudhir Sreedharan, Senior Vice President—Commercial Operations (UAE, GCC, Subcontinent and Africa), flydubai, said, “With the commencement of our service to Kozhikode, passengers will be able to connect to hundreds of destinations.  flydubai’s professional and friendly service on board will offer an exceptional travel experience whether travelling for business or leisure.” Business Class services will be available on this route and offers faster check-in, priority ground services and onboard comfortable spacious seats. Passengers choosing Economy Class will be able to enjoy the airline’s innovatively-designed seats to optimise legroom and maximise comfort. With the commencement of this new route, the airline further grew its Indian network, which currently includes Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow and Mumbai.

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Domestic aviation grows at 18.6 per cent from January-December YoY: DGCA

Domestic air traffic has grown by 18.6 per cent from January-December YoY, according to a latest report by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-December 2018 were 1389.76 lakhs as against 1171.76 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year. The passenger load factor in the month of December 2018 has increased compared to previous month primarily due to the ongoing tourist season.

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Around 55 per cent of all seats in India market are offered by low cost carriers

The growth of the LCC market for India has been significant, according to a recent ‘Project Rupee Raftaar’ report by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Around 55 per cent of all seats in the market are offered by low cost carriers (LCC). Focusing on the domestic market alone, the LCC share of total seats is almost 70 per cent. While the share of LCC seats offered on India’s international routes is much smaller, at just under 25 per cent, this share has risen from essentially zero in 2004. Arguably, the emergence of LCCs has facilitated the democratization of air travel and fueled aviation growth, albeit in various ways across different markets. In emerging markets, LCCs have broadened the market and allowed more people the opportunity to fly for the very first time. In more mature markets, LCCs have deepened the market allowing people to fly more often.

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GoAir to launch direct flights on Kannur-Abu Dhabi route from March 1, 2019

GoAir further expands its international footprint with the launch of direct flights on Kannur–Abu Dhabi–Kannur route effective March 1, 2019. The airline will operate four direct flight services per week between the destinations with bookings now open at an all-inclusive one way fare starting from Rs 6099. This sector will further strengthen the airline’s growing international network to the Gulf and travellers will now have the opportunity to experience affordable travel experience that GoAir is acknowledged with. Speaking on the occasion, Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir said, “Commercial and cultural links between India and UAE are flourishing and GoAir is committed to contribute in facilitating and enhancing the growth of trade and the strong demand for tourism. Kannur, an incredibly beautiful part of India, is now accessible from Abu Dhabi with direct flights and an affordable and convenient travel option.” Recently GoAir announced international operations out of Kannur to Muscat. GoAir will operate three direct flight services per week between Kannur–Muscat–Kannur effective February 28, 2019. On the domestic front, GoAir currently connects Kannur to Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad.

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Dubai airport gets highest passenger traffic from India

Registering an annual traffic of over 89.1 million for 2018, Dubai International (DXB) has retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for the fifth consecutive year with Indian travellers emerging as the largest source of traffic for the airport. India continued to hold to its position as Dubai’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the year reaching 12,279,485 – propelled mainly by top destinations like Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi. Saudi Arabia was number two on the list with 6,471,142 customers, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 6,284,771 customers. Other destination countries of note include the US (3,205,524 customers) and the fast-growing markets of China (3,512,075) with 6 per cent growth and Russia (1,533,654) which grew 14.5 per cent. The top three cities were London (3,817,889 customers), Mumbai (2,540,750) and Kuwait (2,194,576). Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region with double-digit growth of 16.7 per cent, followed by CIS at 12.9 per cent and Africa growing 9.8 per cent. A statement released by the airport said that the annual traffic at the major transit hub rose just over 1 per cent to 89.15 million passengers in comparison to 2017. Although the figure was a new record high, it missed on the 90.3 million passengers that Dubai airport had projected for 2018.

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UDAN goes international by launching flights from Guwahati to Bangkok and Dhaka

The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme is set to fly international. The results for UDAN 3 were announced recently, and Suresh Prabhu revealed that for the first time, international routes have been introduced under UDAN by launching flights from Guwahati to Bangkok and Dhaka. Both these routes will be served by SpiceJet. Prabhu said, “It’s going to be a major game changer as these connections would bring North East closer to the rest of the world. As a result, there will be a tremendous scope for tourism and economic development in the region.” Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, revealed, “The state government of Assam had asked us to conduct bids for connecting Guwahati to the neighbouring countries and we are happy to announce that Guwahati is now going to be connected with Bangkok and Dhaka, which are the international UDAN routes which have been awarded.” It was revealed that SpiceJet has taken a very competitive underwriting of the seats. The per annum VGF would be Rs 11 crore, which would be borne by the state. Having set the service frequency at seven-times-a-week, the government has given a flexible template of starting with thrice-a-week service, which will then be increased and finalised within six months.

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