Category Archives: Aviation

Domestic airlines grow over 9% in Jan 2019

According to a recent report by DGCA, Passengers carried by domestic airlines during Jan 2019 were 125.08 lakhs as against 114.65 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 9.10%. However, the passenger load factor in the month of Jan 2019 has shown decreasing trend compared to previous month due to the end of tourist season.

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JAL and Vistara enter codeshare agreement

Japan Airlines and Vistara airlines have entered a codeshare partnership that will open up more routes between India and Tokyo. With the signing of this agreement, Vistara becomes the only codeshare partner for Japan Airlines in India. The sale of tickets open on 26 February 2019 on all channels and major GDS systems, for travel from 28 February 2019. As part of the agreement, Japan Airlines will add its ‘JL’ designator code to approximately 32 Vistara-operated flights each day across India covering seven Indian cities, namely Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. JAL and Vistara already have an interline/through check-in partnership and the two airlines had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2017¹ to pursue commercial opportunities together. Commenting on this key partnership, Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said: “We’re delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Japan Airlines with this codeshare agreement, which is a step that underlines our commitment of partnering with some of the leading airlines in the world and of putting Vistara, India’s best airline, on the global map. This partnership helps us offer greater convenience and variety of choice to customers with a comprehensive network, as well as the opportunity of welcoming travellers from Japan and beyond to experience Vistara’s award-winning hospitality and service. We’re confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the shared benefits of this partnership between two airlines committed to being amongst the best service providers on the ground and in the sky.” “The number of passengers traveling between Japan and India has increased over time,” said Mr. Hideki Oshima, Executive Officer, Japan Airlines. “By strengthening the partnership with Vistara, we will be able …

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ANA invests in Philippine Airlines as PAL expands network to New Delhi

Philippine Airlines (PAL) is planning further rapid expansion of its international operation over the next few months as it launches services to Hanoi, New Delhi and Phnom Penh and adds frequencies to 12 of its 39 existing international destinations. PAL’s international seat capacity will increase by nearly 10% this summer, pressuring yields and profitability as the airline tries to increase sixth freedom traffic. PAL is growing capacity to continental North America by nearly 50% this summer, supported by the delivery of A350-900s. As PAL introduces 17 additional weekly frequencies to North America it is trying to attract more transit traffic in the highly competitive North America-Southeast Asia market – leading to the decision to add Hanoi, New Delhi and Phnom Penh. PAL’s expansion this summer will result in more competition with several North Asian airlines, including its new strategic partner All Nippon Airways (ANA). On 29-Jan-2019 ANA Holdings announced the acquisition of a 9.5% stake in PAL Holdings, the parent company for PAL and the full service regional subsidiary PAL Express. While the deal is strategically significantly for PAL, which has been trying to secure a foreign airline investor for years, the stake is small, and the USD95 million investment is pocket change for ANA. The fact that the transaction values PAL at only USD1 billion, despite group revenues of over USD2.5 billion and an extremely attractive slot portfolio at congested Manila, reflects the challenges PAL faces. (Source: CAPA)

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Vistara to fly double daily to Raipur from Delhi from March 31

Vistara has announced the addition of Raipur as its 23rd destination. Effective 31 March 2019, Vistara will operate double daily flights between Delhi and Raipur, providing a convenient same-day return option to travellers from both cities, along with convenient one-stop connections between Raipur and Amritsar, Chandigarh, Srinagar, Jammu, Lucknow and Varanasi. Bookings are now open on all direct and indirect channels at an introductory all-inclusive one way fare in Economy Class starting INR 2698. Vistara aims to serve the burgeoning industries and businesses based in Chhattisgarh by providing better connectivity and more travel options including the choice of three classes of travel, to customers travelling to and from Raipur. With the city’s stature as the state capital and its growing importance as a centre for major national and international investments, Raipur is a perfect fit into Vistara’s growing network. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “We’re delighted to start operations in one of India’s fastest growing states, Chhattisgarh, with double daily flights to and from its capital city, Raipur. Vistara offers three classes of travel including India’s only Premium Economy class, and a level of service designed to attract discerning customers looking for better travel options. Travellers from Raipur travelling to and from international destinations via Delhi will also benefit from seamless same terminal domestic-international transfers at Delhi’s T3, from where Vistara operates.”

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Arkia to fly direct from Tel Aviv to Goa and Kochi starting September 28

Israeli airline Arkia will introduce two new routes to India starting from September 28, 2019 using recently acquired Airbus A321LR. The carrier confirmed to begin non-stop flight operations from Tel Aviv to Goa and Kochi with 220 seats and a full flight service on board. With one-way duration of seven hours, Arkia will fly once a week to Goa on Tuesdays and twice a week to Kochi on Mondays and Fridays. From 27th October 2019, the flight to the latter city will move to Sundays and Thursdays. The air travel will run all year round except during the monsoon season in India. This announcement has come at a time when Israel Ministry of Tourism has recorded a 21% growth with 70,800 Indian tourist arrivals to Israel in 2018 vis-à-vis 58,700 travellers in 2017 leading India to the 12th position as the source market for the destination. Speaking about the new development, Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism – India & Philippines said, “In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism from India over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism has been encouraging of Israeli airlines like Arkia to foray into the Indian market. We see India becoming one of the key source markets for Israel in the coming years and with Arkia’s direct flights to Goa and Kochi, the Indian traveller’s interest will surely increase. Goa attracts many Israeli tourists who visit the Indian state for leisure holidays, while Israel has recorded a notable mix of pilgrimage and leisure travellers from Kochi. With nonstop operations from the West, North and now South of India; this will help meet the growing demand and enable us to achieve …

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AAI receives bids for privatisation of six airports; Jaipur, Ahmedabad gets maximum interest

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has received 32 technical bids for privatisation of six AAI-owned and operated airports in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Mangalore and Guwahati. The 10 bidders include companies like GMR group and Adani Enterprises. Jaipur and Ahmedabad have received maximum seven bid each while Lucknow and Guwahati have received six bids each. Mangalore and Thiruvananthapuram have got three bids each. AAI will open the financial bids on February 25. The winning bids will be announced on February. The other companies include Autostrade from Italy, UK based AMP Capital Investors, I Investments from Mauritius, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), Sanna Enterprises and PNC Infrastructure. The operating, management and developing rights for the six non-metro airports would be awarded to the bidder with the highest per-passenger fee for domestic travellers. The six airports would be leased out for 50 years instead of the 30 years during the previous round, 12 years ago, when the AAI had opened the Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai airports for privatisation. As of now, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Cochin are the only private-run airports in the country. (With inputs from PTI)

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Europe-India airline seat numbers grew by 12.9 per cent in 2018

India is only the ninth largest country market outside Europe for international airline seats from Europe in 2018, reports a study by CAPA – Centre for Aviation. However, if North Africa and the Middle East are excluded, India is Europe’s number four long haul market, behind only the US, China and Canada. Among these leading long haul markets, Europe-India seat numbers grew fastest in 2018 versus 2017, with an increase of 12.9 per cent compared with 6.7% for the US, 10.9% for China and 7.3% for Canada. The annual seat capacity from Europe to India has enjoyed strong growth in each of the past two years, increasing by 9.4% in 2017 and 12.9% in 2018. The total number of seats (one way) in this market reached 5.0 million in 2018 (compared with 45 million for Europe-US) – a 30% increase from the low point of 3.8 million in 2013.

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Majority of aircraft orders slated for delivery to IndiGo

Out of the 1123 aircraft that are currently on order for India, a bulk of them are slated for delivery to IndiGo, according to a recent ‘Project Rupee Raftaar’ report by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The numbers are evidence of the optimism and positive outlook for the sector, providing some insights as to the near-term evolution of the market. There are range of new and alternative investment and alliance or partnership structures emerging globally which add a new dimension to the industry, as airlines try to and new and innovative ways to expand their networks and their product offering. In some global markets, the changing industry structure is one of consolidation rather than expansion.

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GoAir CEO Cornelis Vrieswijk quits; Jeh Wadia to be interim chief

Cornelis Vrieswijk, Chief Executive Officer, GoAir has resigned from the post within nine months, citing personal matters. The airline said Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, will be discharging the additional responsibilities of the CEO, till it finds a successor to Vrieswijk. The Dutch national joined GoAir only last June after the departure of Wolfgang Prock-Schauer in December 2017. “At the nominations and remunerations committee meeting held by the board recently, Vrieswijk expressed his desire to relocate to Amsterdam since his family was not wishing to settle down in Mumbai,” the company said in a statement. Vrieswijk has over 25 years experience in the aviation and travel industries with stints at Thomas Cook Group and Transavia Airlines. Source: PTI

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Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reappointed Air India CMD

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. Lohani headed the carrier from August 2017 to September 2017 when he was moved to the Railway Board as the chairman, from where he retired in December 2018. It was during his tenure that Air India made its first operating profit of ₹105 crore in FY17 since the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007. Touted as the ‘Turnaround specialist’, Lohani’s appointment will be crucial after Air India’s failed divestment attempt last year. This year, the government has already decided to transfer over Rs 29,000 crore of AI’s huge Rs 55,000 debt to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), along with the airline’s assets like real-estate and other subsidiaries of Air India. Lohani succeeds the 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola, who earlier this month was appointed as the Civil Aviation Secretary following the superannuation of RN Choubey. Source: PTI

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