Category Archives: Aviation

Hahn Air enters 2020 with 40 new partner airlines

Hahn Air added 39 new carriers to its leading network of over 350 partner airlines over the course of 2019. The flights of all new partners can be issued by travel agencies around the world on the insolvency-safe Hahn Air ticket. 17 of the new partner airlines are using the product HR-169 and have entered into an interline agreement with Hahn Air. The remaining 23 carriers are taking advantage of the products H1-Air or X1-Air for airlines that are looking to expand their GDS presence, thereby extending their reach through ten major GDSs to 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets. “2019 was an incredible year for Hahn Air”, comments Jörg Troester, Head of Corporate Strategy, Industry and Government Affairs at Hahn Air. “In the 20th year of our ticketing business, we have introduced our NDC platform, Hahn Air Technologies and our new solution for corporate shuttle flights, HR-Corporate. In addition, we received IATA Level 3 NDC certification, issued the world’s first blockchain-generated air ticket and added 40 new airlines to our partner network. We are ready for 2020 with a focus on our products H1-Air and X1-Air, new technologies and sustainability. We’ll be able to share more news soon.”

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Travelport becomes sole GDS provider of Air India’s domestic flight content

Travelport has confirmed that the company is now the sole global distribution system (GDS) provider of Air India’s domestic flight content in India. Martin Herbert, Regional Managing Director for India and Sri Lanka at Travelport, said, “We’re delighted to reach this landmark. Wide and cost-effective distribution, coupled with impactful merchandising, are important to all airlines and we’re proud we are now the sole GDS provider of these services to Air India. The results the carrier has already achieved since it started adjusting its distribution strategy have been extremely positive.” Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technology Quotient, said: “Since inception, this partnership between Air India and Travelport has presented impressive prospects. Now that we have had a glimpse of last year’s performance, with respect to positive reflections on growth, cost and savings for our partner – Air India; the future only seems bright from here. As the sole GDS distributor of Air India’s domestic content, we are aiming at easing the process, cutting down unnecessary stages and offering value-added advantage in booking Air India branded fares and ancillary services, both simply and seamlessly.”

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Air India: Flying time up by 40 mins ex-BOM & 20 mins ex-DEL post Iran’s rerouting

Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar, tells Tourism Breaking News that Air India and Air India Express will avoid Iranian airspace until further notice. He said, “We are still observing as to when it will be safe to fly over Iran. This rerouting will affect flights flying to Europe and US and will increase the flying time to 40 minutes from Mumbai and 20 minutes from Delhi.”

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Northeast India to have more connectivity through UDAN: Tourism Minister

Northeast India will now have more representation and promotion, said Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C), Tourism, Government of India. He added, “Every Northeast state has so much diversity with its unique culture, heritage, and food. The circuits that are being created across the country to promote domestic tourism is a great concept. Earlier Northeast India faced connectivity issues. But now, there will be train and air connectivity through UDAN. We need to change the perception of northeast and talk a more about its beautiful offerings. Road developments and infrastructure have to be talked about.”  

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Rumours of Air India’s shutdown baseless: Ashwani Lohani

“Rumours regarding Air India shutting down or closing operations are all baseless,” Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said in a tweet. His statement read, “Rumours regarding Air India shutting down or closing operations are all baseless. Air India would continue to fly and also expand and there should be no cause for concern whatsoever to travellers, corporates or agents. Air India the national carrier is still the biggest airline of India.” In a bid to cut down its losses, the national carrier has recently ended the 20-year-old partnership with Sabre on account of higher premium and has entered into a partnership with Amadeus GDS. Sabre was the second-largest GDS for Air India after Travelport with nearly 25 per cent share in international GDS sphere of the airline. Air India had ended its GDS partnership with Amadeus for the domestic segment in December 2018. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had clarified on December 31, 2019 that the national carrier, which is incurring a loss of Rs 20-26 crore daily, will keep on running till it is privatised. While Air India’s net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,556 crore, its current total debt is around Rs 80,000 crore.

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Global air passenger numbers to reach 4.72 billion in 2020: IATA

Air passenger numbers across India are expected to reach 4.72 billion in 2020, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA). The forecast shows an increase of 4% from 4.54 billion in 2019. A statement, released by IATA, said, “Passenger demand (RPKs) is expected to grow 4.1% in 2020, in line with 4.2% growth in 2019. In fact, this masks a GDP-growth-driven pick-up since the underlying growth rate fell to less than 4.0% in 2019. However, whereas passenger capacity (ASKs) rose 3.5% in 2019, it is forecast to grow 4.7% in 2020 – as aircraft deliveries rise significantly, causing load factors to slide to 82% from 82.4% in 2019. This will maintain pressure on yields, which are expected to slide 1.5% after falling 3.0% in 2019. Passenger revenues, excluding ancillaries, are expected to reach $581 billion (up 2.5% from $567 billion in 2019).

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Ethiopian to launch Chennai-Addis Ababa flight from 3rd April, 2020

Ethiopian Airlines is looking to expand in the south Indian market with the launch of its Chennai flights to its capital. Sharing more details is Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, India Sub Continent, Ethiopian Airlines, who bid goodbye to the India market after completing a stint of 7.5 years. He says, “We have seen that the south India market has huge potential and is a growing market. To tap this, we have just finalised launch of Chennai operations. We will be starting this from April 3, 2020 with three frequencies per week. We recently launched Bengaluru operations connecting Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa with a direct flight with four frequencies on 787 aircraft. This takes a total of seven flights, daily operations out of the south region to our capital.” Ethiopian Airlines also welcomed its new Regional Director, Tigist Eshetu.

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MoCA to issue expression of interest for Air India disinvestment within next few weeks

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), has said that MoCA will be issuing expression of interest for Air India disinvestment within next few weeks. Talking about Air India disinvestment, he revealed, “Air India is a national asset and the Maharaja is a great brand. The problem with Air India is that it has an unsustainable debt. We tried two years ago for the same, which proved to be less successful, and we have learnt from the same. It is our endeavour now that we will be issuing an expression of interest in the coming few weeks, hopefully sooner or later, and that the process of privatisation will then follow. We should ensure that we find a buyer and we have to deal with an interim process,” he said.

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MoCA launches projects to enhance security and ease of doing business at airports

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) for Civil Aviation has launched the Biometric enabled Centralised Access Control System (CACS) and e-BCAS Project Training Module. The two projects launched are important milestones to enhance security and ease of doing business at airports. Covering 43 Airports of AAI and 5 Joint Venture airports at present, the CACS project is aimed to digitise the employee movement process at the airports. The e-BCAS Project: Training Module is aimed at helping more than 1.5 lac employees of various stakeholders by migrating from manual process of training to digital platform. Puri said “CACS project shall facilitate the ease of processing, enhanced security and prevent unauthorized entry into airport, alert authorities to an attempted intrusion or other irregularities for an immediate response; overall not only leading to ease of doing business, but also an enhanced security system.” CACS project is bound to assist around 2 Lakhs employees of various stakeholders who move in & out of the airport on a daily basis, he added.

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Air India to start direct flight between Bhubaneswar and Surat from 20th January

Air India is going to start bi-weekly direct flights between Bhubaneswar and from January 20, 2020, informed Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation in a tweet. The flight, AI A321 will operate on Mondays and Thursdays at 8:40 am from Bhubaneswar and from Surat at 8:30 am on Fridays and Sundays. The lowest fare quoted on Air India’s website is Rs 4503. In the return direction, the lowest fare for which tickets are on sale is Rs 4213. The flight was a long-standing demand of leaders of Odisha community in Surat. Notably, the diamond city of Gujarat has Odia population of around 2.5 lakh. In August 2019, Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik had requested Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri to consider the demand to start a direct flight between both the city. The flight was earlier expected to start from January 1.

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