Category Archives: Aviation

8.7% hike in air pricing expected in 2018; GBTA & CWT

Airfares in India are forecast to see an 8.7 per cent hike in 2018, according to the 2018 Global Travel Forecast. The Asia Pacific region will see a 2.8 per cent rise in airfares in 2018, with domestic demand increasing in India and China. The report has been prepared by GBTA Foundation in partnership with Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and with the support of the Carlson Family Foundation. The report suggests that global airfares are expected to rise 3.5 percent in 2018; hotel prices are expected to be 3.7 percent higher; and ground transportation such as taxis, trains and buses are expected to rise only 0.6 percent. Jeanne Liu, Vice President – Research, GBTA Foundation said, “The most successful programs will have to keep a watchful eye on both geopolitical risks and a rapidly-changing supplier landscape as they re-evaluate strategy often and adapt as necessary.” “The higher pricing is a reflection of the stronger economy and growing demand,” said Kurt Ekert, president and CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “The global numbers from this forecast should be considered strong leading indicators of what 2018 will mean for global businesses, as we anticipate higher spending.”

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With new routes, SriLankan gets highest reach in India

SriLankan Airlines launched a new four-times-a-week service to Coimbatore on July 16, which took its online destination count to 41, which is the highest ever in Sri Lanka’s aviation history. The airline recently launched flights to Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam. Also, seasonal flights to Gaya and Varanasi will resume in August, which would bring SriLankan’s count to 126 scheduled flights a week to 14 destinations in India. This would mean that the airline will serve more Indian points than any other international airline. SriLankan completed the recently ended Financial Year 2016/17 with an improved financial performance and a reduction of its Unit Cost. Since the beginning of the new FY 2017/18, SriLankan has recorded a reversal of the declining yields that it had witnessed in the prior year.

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SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Puducherry flight under UDAN

SpiceJet has announced its third daily direct flight on the UDAN routes of Hyderabad-Puducherry, starting August 16, 2017. After the new flight, Puducherry will be connected with Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Tirupati, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Vijaywada and Varanasi with convenient onward connections. SpiceJet was awarded six proposals and 11 routes in the first phase of Ministry of Civil Aviation’s UDAN scheme. Out of the six finalised proposals, four will cater to the unserved markets of Adampur, Kandla, Puducherry and Jaisalmer, and the other two will be for the underserved markets of Porbandar and Kanpur. Flights have already started on Mumbai-Porbandar-Mumbai and Mumbai-Kandla-Mumbai routes from July 10.

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Jet Airways’ new flights from Indore and Silchar

Jet Airways has launched three direct flights from Indore to Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi. In addition, Jet Airways also started new daily flights from Silchar in southern Assam to New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati. All flights started on July 16, while flight from Indore to Ahmedabad started on July 17. With the three new launches, Jet Airways will operate a total of nine flights from Indore.

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Emirates and flydubai join forces, announce extensive partnership agreement

Emirates and flydubai have announced extensive partnership agreement which will include an expansive codeshare agreement, schedule alignment and network optimisation. Passengers will benefit by gaining access to over 200 unique destinations, seamless travel experience and frequent flyer programmes alignment. Both airlines will continue to be managed independently, but will leverage each other’s network to scale up their operations and accelerate growth.The two airlines will also further develop their hub at Dubai International, aligning their systems and operations to ensure a seamless travel experience through the ultra-modern airport; currently the world’s busiest for international passengers. The innovative partnership goes beyond code-sharing and includes integrated network collaboration with coordinated scheduling. The new model will give flydubai customers seamless connectivity to Emirates’ worldwide destinations spanning six continents. For Emirates’ customers, it opens up flydubai’s robust regional network. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai, said, “This is an exciting and significant development for Emirates, flydubai, and Dubai aviation. Both airlines have grown independently and successfully over the years, and this new partnership will unlock the immense value that the complementary models of both companies can bring to consumers, each airline, and to Dubai.” Emirates today has a wide-body fleet of 259 aircraft, flying to 157 destinations (including 16 cargo-only points). flydubai operates 58 New-Generation Boeing 737 aircraft to 95 destinations. The current combined network comprises 216 unique destination points. By 2022, the combined network of Emirates and flydubai is expected to reach 240 destinations, served by a combined fleet of 380 aircraft.

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Indian domestic aviation market sees 17.7% growth in May ‘17 y-o-y

India climbed back to the top of the domestic aviation growth chart in May with a 17.7 per cent year-on-year increase, as per IATA’s Air Passenger Market Analysis. This marks the 33rd consecutive month of double-digit RPK growth. However, the very strong upward SA traffic trend has slowed since the unexpected ‘demonetisation’ in November 2016, in line with the wider impact that this looks to have had on economic activity. Business confidence surveys have recovered somewhat in recent months, particularly on the services side. However, the upward trend in domestic RPKs has slowed to an annualised rate of around 7 per cent over the past six months. Year-on-year growth in global RPKs slowed to (a still robust) 7.7 per cent in May, having reached a six-year high of 10.9 per cent in April. Industry-wide RPKs have now grown by 7.9 per cent year-on-year so far this year compared to the same period in 2016. This is equivalent to annual growth of around 8.6% once you allow for the extra day in 2016 on account of it having been a leap year.

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Bird Information Systems join hands with Nepal Airlines

Bird Information Systems (BIS), a subsidiary of Bird Group and a leading provider of automated aviation and travel related software solutions, have partnered with Nepal Airlines Corporation to provide them with Internet Booking Engine (IBE). As per the new partnership, BIS will provide a booking platform that will deliver on time, accurate and reliable processing of online transactions for Nepal Airlines Corporation. This new service will be open for both B2B and B2C channels.

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AI Express mulls fleet expansion and add foreign routes

Air India Express, the low-cost subsidiary of Air India, is preparing a 10-year vision document, and would be increasing its fleet and adding more foreign destinations. According to a senior official of the airline, despite government planning a roadmap of disinvestment of Air India, Air India Express would be consolidating its existing operations and will be looking at adding more aircraft to its fleet and increasing its overseas footprint. Air India Express posted Rs 296.7 crore net profit in 2016-17.

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GVK parts ways with BIAL, to focus on Mumbai airports

GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd has announced the completion of the sale of its residual stake of 10 per cent in Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL) held through its subsidiary, Bangalore Airport Infrastructure Developers Private Limited to Fairfax India Holdings Corporation for a consideration of Rs 1,290 crore (approximately $200 million). In March 2017, GVK closed an agreement which was signed during March 2016 with Fairfax India to sell a 33 per cent stake in BIAL. It had retained a 10 per cent stake and the management of BIAL. Subsequently, in June 2017, GVK announced its decision to conclude the sale of this residual stake to Fairfax India, subject to necessary consents and approvals. Dr. G V K Reddy, Founder Chairman & Managing Director, GVK, says, “Since de-leveraging is currently our top priority, we decided to part ways with BIAL. However, we would like to reiterate that the airports sector will continue to be a core focus area for GVK. We will now focus on Mumbai as well as the Navi Mumbai airport for which we have won the bid and also on selectively evaluating privatisation opportunities. Capacity optimisation and real estate development will now be the priority areas for the existing Mumbai airport.”

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Vistara starts check-in & baggage drop facilities at Delhi’s Airport Express Line

Vistara has joined hands with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi International Airport (DIAL) to introduce check-in and baggage drop facilities at the New Delhi station of the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “This partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi International Airport (DIAL) adds to the multiple check-in options we offer to our customers. This will allow our customers to breeze through the check-in process at any of the Airport Express Line metro stations in Delhi with the same efficiency as they experience at the airport.” Vistara customers can check-in from two to 12 hours prior to their flight’s schedule departure at the New Delhi station of the Airport Express Line Metro, which is also connected to the New Delhi Railway Station of the Railways network. Those already checked-in using the web or Vistara’s mobile app can simply drop their baggage at the counter and head to the airport directly. Vistara uses secured Baggage Handling System (BHS) to transfer the baggage to the airport terminal efficiently. The Airport Express Line of the Delhi Metro runs every 10-15 minutes and takes passengers to Terminal 3 of Delhi’s IGI Airport within 18-20 minutes.

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