Category Archives: Aviation

Vivek Nair felicitates Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu

Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has felicitated Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, who has also assumed the additional charge of Minister of Civil Aviation in a special ceremony organised recently at The Leela Palace New Delhi. Nair commented, “Civil aviation and tourism have to go hand in hand and only then can the industry grow. Now we have a new minister, who is known for his dynamism and we invite him to boost the synergies between the two sectors.” The ceremony saw in attendance the who’s who of the hospitality, tourism and services industry. The stakeholders of the industry put forth their views and suggestions to the minister for his consideration. Prabhu commented, “Today it is a trillion dollar economy knocking at our doors. We have to understand that one has to create concrete plans based upon the larger impact it will have on the common people. With one tourist in India, 15 jobs both direct and indirect can be created.”

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Turkish Airlines brings its bowling tournament to India

In an effort to use sports as a communication tool to celebrate the spirit of partnership and healthy competition, Turkish Airlines brought eight travel agencies and 24 players together for its annual bowling tournament in Mumbai. In India, this is the sixth year of the tournament, but is the first ever edition to be held in Mumbai. In addition to Turkish Airlines’ passenger agencies in India, over 1000 agencies and 3000 players from all around the world will participate in the tournament. Ibrahim Hakki Guntay, General Manager – West and South India said, “I would like to thank all of our travel agency partners who made Turkish Airlines Bowling 2018 a huge success in Mumbai. Learning about team members and understanding team dynamics in an engaging manner can go a long way in improving productivity and building relationships beyond work.” This year’s Turkish Airlines Bowling Tournament saw participation from top travel agencies. The team from American Express Global Business Travel- Team GBT won the tournament and will stand a chance to represent India in the Turkish Airlines Bowling Grand Finale to be held in Istanbul. The Champion of the Grand Finale will win a flight ticket and a vacation in Antalya.

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Garuda Indonesia to connect Mumbai with Denpasar from April 23

Garuda Indonesia will now serve Denpasar and Mumbai with direct flights starting April 23. This new route will offer a variety of connection flights to Indonesia for Indian tourists as the airline has served Jakarta–Mumbai route since 2016. Sigit Muhartono, Director of Cargo, Garuda Indonesia, who is also in charge for international routes said that the opening of Denpasar-Mumbai route is part of Garuda Indonesia’s international network development programme particularly in the South Asia region as the number of Indians visiting Indonesia is projected to grow to 500,000 in four years compared with 262,000 in 2015, according to Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism. “This new service is also facilitating the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism’s programme to increase the number of tourist visitors to Indonesia, especially India. To support the joint synergies of both countries, Indonesia and India, Garuda Indonesia continues to strive to maximise the base connectivity between the two countries that is expected to further strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and India,” Muhartono said. The Denpasar-Mumbai route will be served twice a week from 23 April (Monday and Thursday) and will be increased to three times a week on June 2 (Monday, Thursday and Saturday). The flight will be served by GA 814, leaving Denpasar at 15.40 LT and arrive in Mumbai at 20.25 LT. On the return flight, GA 815 will depart from Mumbai at 21.50 LT and will be arrive the next morning at 07.55 LT in Denpasar.

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Ethiopian Airlines to increase capacity in India operation

Ethiopian Airlines has announced that effective March 25 and until October 26, 2018, it will increase capacity in its India operation by deploying the ultra-modern B777 aircraft on its twice daily operation to/from Mumbai and 767-200 aircraft on its twice daily operation to/from New Delhi. Both the B777 and 767-200 aircraft will have flat beds in business class. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, India Subcontinent, Ethiopian Airlines, remarked, “As part of our strategy to expand in India, we have been increasing frequency and upgrading aircraft in the past few years to accommodate the growing demand to Africa. As a customer focused airline, we have the passenger’s comfort level in mind at all times with a view to continuously enhance our customers‘travel experience and meet their growing expectations.” Tilahun further added “India is a very strategic market for Ethiopian Airlines and we are on the final stage of preparation to launch one more entry point to South India. With our 47 years of service to India, the Ethiopian Airlines has played significant role in bringing India and Africa together in general and India and Ethiopia, in particular.”

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Cathay Pacific and Air Astana ink new codeshare partnership

Cathay Pacific and Air Astana have recently announced an agreement that will enhance travel options and offer greater choice to customers of both airlines through Hong Kong and Almaty. Cathay Pacific will place its ‘CX’ code on Air Astana’s non-stop flights between Hong Kong and Almaty, as well as on connecting services between Almaty and Astana, the Kazakh capital. Air Astana currently flies twice weekly between Hong Kong and Almaty, on Tuesdays and Fridays, but will be increasing frequency by adding a third service from March 25. Cathay Pacific will also codeshare on Air Astana’s five weekly services between Bangkok and Almaty, and four weekly services between Seoul and Almaty, giving customers additional options for travel between Hong Kong and Kazakhstan. “We are delighted to join with Air Astana and provide our customers with links to one of the most fascinating countries in Central Asia. With its vibrant economy, which is set to grow as a result of its integral role in the Belt and Road Initiative, and beautiful natural landscapes, Kazakhstan has many attractions for both business and leisure travellers alike,” said Ronald Lam, Director – Commercial and Cargo, Cathay Pacific.

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IndiGo, SpiceJet to partially shift operations to Delhi airport’s T2 from March 25

IndiGo and SpiceJet will partially shift operations from Terminal 1 to the revamped Terminal 2 (T2) of New Delhi’s IGI airport from March 25, 2018. The IndiGo flights will be numbered from 6E 2000 to 6E 2999. The airline will operate flights to Bengaluru, Chennai, Amritsar, Bhubaneshwar, Raipur, Srinagar, Bagdogra, Udaipur, Vadodara and Vishakhapatnam from T2 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. SpiceJet would shift seven sectors (flight nos. SG 8000 to SG 8999) to T2. These include destinations of Ahmedabad, Cochin, Goa, Gorakhpur, Patna, Pune and Surat, according to a relelase by Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL). While GoAir had decided to shift operations to T2 in October 2017, SpiceJet and Indigo decided to follow suit last month for partial shifting after the Supreme Court dismissed IndiGo’s plea challenging a Delhi High Court order on shifting operations from Terminal (T1) to T2. The shifting, however, is a temporary move to ease the pressure of fast growing traffic at T1. The move will enable the expansion works at T1 effectively, according to a DIAL statement. T1 is set to be expanded from the current capacity of 20 million to 40 million passengers per annum. With the partial shift of operations of SpiceJet and Indigo to T2, passenger area for the flyers will increase from 25,917 sqm at T1 to combined 62,010 sqm. T2 adds additional 36,093 sqm passenger area.    

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SriLankan Airlines reduces agents’ commission from 5% to 2%

In line with major airlines reducing agents’ commission on airline ticket bookings, SriLankan Airlines too has followed suit. According to a statement released by the airline, from April 1, 2018, SriLankan Airlines will reduce its commission to 2 per cent from the earlier 5 per cent applicable to any/all tickets issued in India and move given to IATA agents. All tickets issued prior to April 1, 2018 will be eligible to avail 5 per cent commission. When asked about the details on the same, Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager—Northern India, SriLankan Airlines said, “We are awaiting further clarification from the Head Office. The trade partners will be kept abreast about any further development in this announcement.”  

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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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