Category Archives: Aviation

China Eastern to launch new airline- Sanya International

China Eastern airlines has announced its joining forces with Hainan Communication Investment Holdings, Sanya Development Holdings, Juenyao Airlines and Ctrip to form a new airline despite COVID-19 scars. The new airline will be called Sanya International Airlines and will be based in the island city of Hainan which is often terms as ‘Hawaii of China’. China Eastern will hold majority shares in the airline with 51 per cent stake.

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I want to see Indian Civil Aviation emerge stronger from this pandemic: Hardeep Singh Puri

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of Civil Aviation, has said that a he wants to see Indian Civil Aviation emerge stronger from this pandemic, especially with India having a strong domestic civil aviation system where the number of passengers travelling and with an intent to travel is very high. “Indian aviation would be one of the three largest international markets in a few years, and I would like to see our carriers including private sector to reclaim the space in international civil aviation, which regrettably we have not been able to claim,” he said.    

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Alitalia to increase flights and serve more destinations in July

Alitalia will increase number of flights and destinations served in July, operating over 1,000 weekly flights reaching 13 new domestic and international airports that will include Amsterdam, Athens, Boston, Malta, Nice, Tel Aviv, Tirana, Tunis and in Italy, Brindisi, Florence, Lampedusa, Pantelleria and Reggio Calabria. Alitalia will operate 60 per cent more flights compared to June, and double the number of services compared to May.

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Leisure, corporate travel will be back by 2020-end: Kamal Hingorani

During the second session of the 4th TravTalk Digital Conclave that focused on Revenge Tourism, Kamal Hingorani, Chief Customer Officer, SpiceJet, said that he expects leisure and corporate travel to resume by end of this year irrespective of whether a vaccine for COVID-19 is available or not. He added that there is a need for industry collaboration with a harmonised approach. “Let’s not waste a crisis. Invest in extreme hygiene and sustainability, and ROI will follow,” he commented. Hingorani also looks after inflight services, customer touch-points and corporate and industry affairs for the airline.

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Virgin Atlantic to restart flights to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong and Shanghai from 20th July

Virgin Atlantic has announced its plan to restart passenger flying, with services from London Heathrow to Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York JFK and Los Angeles set to resume from 20th and 21st July 2020. As countries around the world start to relax travel restrictions, Virgin Atlantic will resume some routes on 20th July, while steadily increasing passenger flying throughout the second half of 2020, with a further, gradual recovery through 2021 in line with customer demand. On this Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic said, “As the CVOID-19 crisis stabilises and demand slowly returns, we are looking forward to welcoming our customers back onboard and flying them safely to their favourite destinations. To ensure the health and safety of our customers and our people, we’re introducing new measures at every point in the journey to offer peace of mind when taking to the skies with us.” “Our planned first flights will be to Orlando and Hong Kong on the 20th July, however, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14-day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK. We know that as the Covid-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery. Therefore, we are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses. We are planning to announce more destination restart dates in the next two weeks for the month of August.” Virgin Atlantic planned return to flying from London Heathrow Terminal 2* Flights will be loaded into systems …

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NITI Aayog and MoCA discuss strengthening operations & augmenting recovery with aviation industry

The Empowered Group 6 (EG 6) constituted by Government of India and chaired by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, held a meeting with business leaders from the aviation industry and Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss possibilities for strengthening operations and augmenting the recovery of the aviation sector under the new normal. The meeting was also attended by Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), which covers the functioning of banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the National Pension System; and representatives of airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia, Vistara and Air India.

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IndiGo to add new Airbus jets to its fleet despite COVID-19 uncertainty

IndiGo has said that it will keep adding new aircraft to its fleet even though it can’t give any firm guidance on future capacity growth because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The airline, the world’s biggest customer for Airbus SE’s best-selling A320neo jets, plans to return its entire fleet of 120 older, fuel-guzzling planes to lessors in the next two years, CEO Ronojoy Dutta said in a conference call with analysts and investors after the carrier reported fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday. “Almost all or close to all” of those aircraft will be replaced by new jets, Dutta said, without giving a time frame for that to happen. “We are in active discussions with Airbus — we will take a large number. It will all depend on the revenue picture and the pricing we get and so forth, but we will take a large number,” he added. IndiGo, which had earlier expected capacity to increase 20 per cent in the year ending March 2021, refrained from giving any guidance as it declared quarterly financial results. It posted a loss of Rs 8.7 billion for the fourth quarter ended March 31, compared with a profit of 5.9 billion rupees in the same period a year earlier.  

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Need to help small business that fuel the tourism sector: Suresh Prabhu

Suresh Prabhu, Member of Parliament, and former Union Minister of Civil Aviation has said that small businesses like that of tour operators and travel agents have to be helped, as they fuel the entire tourism sector. “We must find out how to help small businesses, because they are the lifelines of the overall ecosystem of the tourism sector. If there are no tourists, there will not be any airlines which do business of billions of dollars. However, those tourists will be brought to the airline because of the tour operators and travel agents—all those players actually make that ecosystem work and therefore we must realise that small businesses in this sector are crucial for sustaining larger businesses and even economy,” he said, while speaking at the PHD Chambers and WTTC Webinar, ‘Tourism, Hospitality & Transport Challenges’ by Bird Group.

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ACI and IATA jointly issue paper on restarting aviation safely

Airports Council International (ACI) World and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have jointly issued a paper laying out a pathway for restarting the aviation industry – Safely Restarting Aviation – ACI and IATA Joint Approach. They have called on governments to ensure new measures introduced for airports and airlines in the wake of COVID-19 are consistent across the world. Any restrictions put in place should be supported by scientific evidence, they added. ACI and IATA are both central members the COVID-19 Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) being led by the Council of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Angela Gittens, Director General, ACI World, said during a webinar conducted by CAPA India on May 29, 2020, that, “Airports and airlines have come together with ICAO and the wider aviation industry to address the biggest challenge ever faced by commercial aviation in restarting a global industry while continuing to halt the spread of COVID-19. There is currently no single measure that could mitigate all the risks of restarting air travel but we believe a globally-consistent, outcome-based approach represents the most effective way of balancing risk mitigation with the need to unlock economies and to enable travel.” The joint approach proposes a layered approach of measures across the entire passenger journey to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19 at airports and onboard aircraft, and to prevent aviation becoming a meaningful source of international re-infection. Such measures should be globally consistent and subject to continued review, improvement, and removal when no longer required, to ensure an even recovery.

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