Category Archives: Aviation

SIA and SilkAir to fold surcharges into base airfares

Singapore Airlines and its regional arm SilkAir will fold fuel and insurance surcharges into their base airfares. Both airlines have already been showing the full price payable in their airfare advertising, inclusive of taxes and surcharges, since 2008. With the removal of the fuel and insurance surcharges as a separate component, customers will be presented with a single base airfare when purchasing tickets. This will not result in immediate changes to “all-in” fares, which will continue to be determined by market supply and demand, but is intended to provide a more simplified fare structure for customers. The folding in of fuel and insurance surcharges into base airfares will be implemented progressively by region, starting from 28 March 2017. It is expected to be completed by May 2017. Fuel and insurance surcharges will also no longer apply to KrisFlyer frequent-flyer programme redemption bookings with effect from 23 March 2017. Other changes will be made to the KrisFlyerprogramme with effect from the same day, including the removal of a 15 per cent discount for redemption bookings made online rather than via the call centre.

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IndiGo connects Delhi to Madurai via Chennai

Expanding its network in the Southern region, IndiGo has announced two new flights to Madurai. From March 1, 2017, IndiGo will operate a maiden flight from Delhi to Madurai via Chennai and return Madurai to Delhi with a touchdown in Chennai. Madurai has now become the 37th domestic and 42nd overall destination for IndiGo. The airline is also starting Madurai – Hyderabad daily flight from March 26, 2017. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo, said, “Madurai being a pilgrimage spot and a flourishing cultural hub in Tamil Nadu attracts tourists from across the globe. It gives us pleasure to add Madurai as part of our growing network which will only help us serve the growing demand from the southern region. IndiGo’s domestic network expansion program renders special attention to non-metro cities aimed at unlocking the tourism potential in these cities. The new flights and frequencies – on national and international sectors – is a testament to the growing customer base and we are hopeful that these flights will prove to be popular and convenient for our business and leisure passengers alike.”

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Vistara inaugurates daily direct service to Amritsar

Vistara inaugurated its daily direct service to Amritsar from Delhi, making it the fifth destination in northern India on the airline’s network. Vistara will commence operations between Amritsar and Mumbai with daily direct flights, starting March 8, 2017, which would make it the only full service airline to connect the two cities. Commenting on Amritsar’s potential and congratulating Vistara on the launch of the new service, Prakash Singh Badal, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, said, “It is very heartening to see Amritsar expanding its air connectivity across the length and breadth of the country and to the world. Introduction of the new flights from Amritsar to Delhi by Vistara will definitely help not only the people of the state, but all countrymen who travel within the country and overseas. It will truly help Punjab harness its industrial, tourism, religious as well as business growth potential. I congratulate Vistara on the launch of this new service to and from Amritsar, and wish the airline great success.” Expressing delight at the launch, Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, said, “We’re very happy to add Amritsar to our network, and we sincerely believe in the city’s great potential for growth in several aspects, apart from only tourism. The launch of service to Amritsar is in line with our focus on customers, who have long desired to ‘fly the new feeling’ to the city, and it is also well aligned with our evolving international plans, as millions of NRIs travel to and from Amritsar every year. We’re confident that our customers will be equally delighted to fly these new routes with us.”

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Lufthansa’s A350-900 to connect Munich-Mumbai from April 16

Lufthansa Group has announced that it will deploy its latest long haul aircraft, Airbus A350-900, to Mumbai during the summer schedule of 2017. From April 16 onwards, Mumbai becomes the third destination worldwide to welcome the state-of-the-art aircraft. Flying on Lufthansa’s Munich (MUC) to Mumbai (MUM) route, the A350-900 will offer Mumbai area residents travel choices and better connections to Lufthansa’s vast global network. Earlier this month, Lufthansa Group marked a key milestone in Indian aviation by starting the first commercial operations of A350-900 to Delhi.

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Jet and Hong Kong Airlines ink codeshare agreement

Jet Airways and Hong Kong Airlines have entered into a codeshare partnership in a move that will help them significantly enhance connectivity between India and the Asia-Pacific region. As part of the reciprocal agreement, Jet Airways will place its marketing code ‘9W’ on Hong Kong Airlines’ flights operating between Hong Kong and Okinawa and Tokyo in Japan; Denpasar in Indonesia; Hanoi in Vietnam; Bangkok in Thailand; and Auckland in New Zealand. Hong Kong Airlines in turn, will place its marketing code “HX” on Jet Airways’ flights between Hong Kong and Mumbai as well as Delhi in India. The agreement will allow Hong Kong Airlines to offer its guests a daily service connecting the key business cities of Hong Kong, Mumbai and Delhi. The codeshare will provide opportunities for both airlines to expand their reach and cater to guests across the region. It will also enhance connectivity for Jet Airways guests from Mumbai and Delhi via Hong Kong to multiple destinations in the Asia-Pacific region including to first time codeshare destinations – Okinawa in Japan and Auckland in New Zealand thus enhancing the proposition for travelers who are increasingly seeking newer and more varied travel experiences. Guest can also enjoy the multi-gateway travel flexibility of travelling to/from India to Hong Kong in one direction and via Bangkok in the other direction. Additionally, Jet Airways’ Jet Privilege members will also be able to earn frequent flyer miles when they travel on Jet Airways marketed flights on these codeshare routes, which will not only be available for redemption but also count towards their tier status in the programme.

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Hahn Air announces interline agreement with Eurostar

Hahn Air is expanding its network of over 300 air, rail and shuttle partners with high-speed rail operator Eurostar (9F). The UK-based train services are now available to travel agents worldwide for ticketing on Hahn Air’s HR-169 document with the exception of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. To issue tickets for Eurostar, travel agents can use the standard ticketing process in all major GDSs. “Eurostar is our third rail partner and the first to use our HR-169 product through an interline agreement”, said Steve Knackstedt, Vice President of Airline Business Group at Hahn Air. “We believe that we can support them in reaching new markets and unlocking new business opportunities. They can therefore position themselves towards travel agents worldwide as a means of transportation on par with air travel in Western Europe.” Eurostar is the only high-speed railway service connecting London with mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel. Services operate between London St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International to Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Lyon, Avignon, Marseille and the French Alps. With a change in Brussels, passengers can also connect to any domestic Belgian station. Its trains reach a maximum speed of 300km per hour (186 miles per hour). Their new e320 trains feature more spacious carriages, free Wi-Fi and over 300 hours of entertainment which can be streamed to phones, tablets or laptops. Established in 1994, the company has to date carried over 170 million passengers between London and the continent.

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Vistara announces direct flights between Kolkata-Pune, and Delhi-Port Blair

Vistara has announced the launch of two new routes to cater to growing customer demand. Starting March 26, 2017, Vistara will fly direct daily between Kolkata and Pune, and starting April 15, 2017, will also fly direct between Delhi and Port Blair (Andamans) on Saturdays and Sundays during the upcoming summer season. These new flights are in addition to Vistara’s recently announced service to Amritsar from both Delhi and Mumbai, and to Leh (Ladakh) from Delhi, both starting in March. Vistara’s Kolkata-Pune flight will serve business professionals as well as a large population in Pune that hails from Kolkata. The Delhi-Port Blair flight will cater not only the people residing in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands who visit the national capital, but also attract businesspeople and tourists from northern India to discover the history, beauty and trade potential of the Andaman Islands. Bookings for these flights are now open. Customers can book their flights on Vistara’s official website (www.airvistara.com), on its iOS and Android mobile apps, and through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and other travel agents. Vistara’s GDS partners including Amadeus and Travelport allow customers to book via all major channels worldwide, including through our global interline airline partners.

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Jet announces Miles Festival valid till March 31

Jet Airways has announced another new initiative, which possibly indicates an attempt to get more and more customers on to its website and reduce its distribution cost. Under its new ‘Billion Miles Festival’ the airline will offer its customers assured bonus on JetPrivilege Miles on its every flight – domestic and international. This frequent flyer reward promotion is valid from February 21 to March 31, 2017. The assured bonus miles on Economy Class is 1,500 JP Miles, on Premier Class is 5,000 and on First Class is 10,000. This is available for existing as well as new members. The airlines assures quick one-minute enrolment under its JP program on its website. The bonus miles are available only on booking tickets through its website or mobile application.

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Cathay Pacific partners with HDFC Bank for discount offer

Cathay Pacific Group has partnered with HDFC Bank India for a limited period discount offer. Cathay Pacific customers making flight bookings through the Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon website can also enjoy up to five per cent discount on transactions made through all HDFC credit or debit cards. This discount is applicable on select Business and Economy classes. This offer is applicable exclusively for Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights to Hong Kong as per the booking period Feb 16 to March 15, 2017 and travel period of March 1 – August 31, 2017. Rajesh Menon, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager – South Asia at Cathay Pacific Airways, said, “HDFC being the largest credit card issuer India, this partnership brings to us the opportunity to reach out to our shared pool of high net worth individuals. Our synergies meet at the junction of our quality and premium customer service, thereby amplifying the level of ease experienced in making transactions. With upcoming holidays and events lined up, Hong Kong is a great choice for a getaway.”

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25% growth in India’s domestic air passenger traffic in Jan ’17

Passengers carried by Indian domestic airlines during January 2017 were 95.79 lakh as against 76.55 lakh during the corresponding period of 2016 thereby registering a growth of 25.13 per cent, informs the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). According to the data released by DGCA, domestic air passenger traffic had increased by 23.91 per cent during December to 95.52 lakh from 77.09 lakh during the corresponding month last year. SpiceJet recorded the highest passenger load factor (PLF) during January 2017 at 93.6 per cent followed by GoAir at 90.8 per cent and IndiGo at 90 per cent. SpiceJet also recorded the highest punctuality rate at 71.6 per cent at four major airports of Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai followed by IndiGo (71.2), GoAir (60.6), Jet Airways and JetLite (59.4), Air India (56.8) and Vistara (53). “SpiceJet has excelled on all operational parameters yet again and emerged as the country’s most punctual airline for the fourth successive month. We have had the best on-time performance in tough weather conditions and will continuously strive to better ourselves,” said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet. IndiGo recorded the highest market share of 39.8 per cent followed by Jet Airways (15.5), Air India (14.1), SpiceJet (12.8) and GoAir (8.2), Vistara (3.2), AirAsia India (3), JetLite (2.5), Air Costa (0.5), TruJet (0.3) and Air Carnival (0.1).

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