Category Archives: Aviation

17% growth in passengers carried by domestic airlines from Jan-Oct 2017 y-o-y

Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-October, 2017, were 954.45 lakhs as against 813.70 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year, thereby registering a growth of 17.30 per cent. In Oct, SpiceJet continued to lead passenger load factors at 93.7 per cent, closely followed by GoAir at 87.6 per cent and IndiGo at 87.3 per cent. Air Asia came close at  83 per cent while, Jet Airways and Vistara recorded 80.5 and 80.2 per cent, respectively. The passenger load factor in the month of October 2017 has shown slightly increasing trend compared to previous month primarily due to the onset of tourist season. During October 2017, a total of 656 passenger related complaints had been received by the scheduled domestic airlines. The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of Oct 2017 has been around 0.63.

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Jazeera Airways connects to India with daily flights to Hyderabad

Kuwait-based low cost airline, Jazeera Airways, inaugurated its daily flights to Hyderabad. Kochi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad will follow in early 2018 as the airline expands its network to serve its Indian sub-continent targeting the nearly 1 million Indian nationals residing in Kuwait. Flight J9 608 departed November 16 at 18:40 hours from Kuwait International Airport and landed in Hyderabad at 01:35 hours. The return flight J9 608 will depart Hyderabad at 02.20 hours and arrive in Kuwait at 05.10 hours. The new evening route has a weekly capacity of 4,000 seats and allows passengers to conveniently enjoy a full day at their destination. To mark the special occasion, all 165 passengers flying from Kuwait to Hyderabad received a gift box of traditional Kuwaiti sweets. Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways, said, ‘This is a proud moment for us marking the expansion of our network in to India. We are delighted to start with Hyderabad, a 400-year old city and a technology hub, bringing more choice to Indian travelers, connecting them to Kuwait, Riyadh, Jeddah, Bahrain and Dubai. In addition, we offer for religious travellers connections to Taif in KSA, Najaf (Iraq), Mashad (Iran) and Amman. He further commented, “This new service will address surging travel demands with low cost fares at convenient frequencies for leisure, business or religious travel. India is a financial and tourist powerhouse and we are eager to capitalize on the enormous opportunities ahead.” SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “We welcome Jazeera Airways to Hyderabad and we are very happy to note that they have chosen Hyderabad Airport as their first Indian destination. We are confident that this will further boost the tourism potential between India and various …

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Air Astana plans to start Mumbai flights from 2019

Having completed 13 years of service between India to Kazakhstan and Eurasia, Air Astana plans to start a new connection to Mumbai in 2019. Currently, the airline operates 10 flights a week between Kazakhstan and India. This includes a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three flights between Astana and New Delhi, which started in July this year. Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Astana, said, “India is an important destination for Air Astana and has connected both business and leisure passengers well between both the countries. The number of passengers carried between India and Kazakhstan in 2017 is 43,459, an increase of 43 per cent as compared to that in 2016. In fact, the number of transit passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33 per cent in 2016.”

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Air Canada’s Delhi-Vancouver flight to go daily from Dec 1

Air Canada has been on an expansion spree in India. The airline will make its Delhi-Vancouver-Delhi flight a daily service from December 1. Margaret Skinner, Director, Sales—EMEAI, Air Canada, said, “We are delighted with the response we’ve got from the Indian market, and we like that India is a growing market and the economy is strong. We are seeing business coming from all market segments—corporate, leisure and students, and it’s a good mix of business for us. Our Toronto-Delhi service went daily very quickly. Now our Delhi-Vancouver service will get daily soon. It’s four times a week currently and will go daily from December 1, 2017. Air Canada’s Mumbai-Toronto flight is four times a week and we would like to see all these services get daily year round.”

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THAI Smile commences Bangkok–Mumbai flights

THAI Smile Airways has commenced its new flights on the Bangkok–Mumbai–Bangkok route. The airline has already been operating since last quarter of 2016 direct flights from Bangkok to Jaipur, Lucknow, Gaya and Varanasi. This new route will help all segments like – leisure, corporate and MICE travellers. THAI Smile operates its Bangkok-Mumbai flights five times a week under the flight no. WE335 Bangkok – Mumbai (BKK-BOM) on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 22.15-01.35 (+1), WE335 Bangkok – Mumbai (BKK-BOM) on Friday and Sunday at 23.55-03.10) and WE336 Mumbai – Bangkok (BOM-BKK) on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 02.40-08.55 and WE336 Mumbai – Bangkok (BOM-BKK) on Monday and Saturday at 04.40-10.55. All flights are served in full service of excellence with complete course of foods and beverages. The foods on board are divided into vegetarian (Vegetarian Jain Meal) and common foods (Non-Vegetarian Hindu Meal). Baggage loading is up to 40 kg for Premium Economy Class or Smile Plus and 30 kg for economy class passengers or Smile Class. Both classes have spacious seats that passengers can select seats without additional charges and can also earn mileages with Royal Orchid Plus (ROP).

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Brussels Airlines increases flight frequency to Mumbai

After opening a direct flight connection between Brussels and Mumbai last March, Brussels Airlines has welcomed over 60,000 travelers on its flights. The airline now increases its flight offer from 5 to 6 weekly flights during the winter season, offering more flexibility and choice. This week, Brussels Airlines participates to the Belgian Royal State Visit to India and partners up with other Belgian organizations to organise a dance event at the Gateway of India. On March 30, Brussels Airlines inaugurated its direct flights between Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji airport and Brussels Aiport and has since seen its results on the route growing more and more. After a positive 7-month period with an average seat load factor of almost 80%, the airline has decided to invest even more in the route, by adding an extra flight on Saturday, bringing the total to 6 flights per week and additional flight frequency on Saturday. “Our new service received a warm welcome here in the Indian market and we are very happy with the results. Adding this 6th weekly flight confirms our investment in the Indian market. We are therefore, very happy to participate to the Belgian Royal State Visit here in Mumbai. With this spectacular event at the iconic gate of India, we are proud to bring the best of Belgium to India and to emphasize on the importance of the economic bonds between our two countries,” says Bernard Gustin, CEO of Brussels Airlines At the end of 2018, Brussels Airlines gradually renews its long haul fleet with the replacement of 7 of its 10 Airbus A330’s. On board of the entire long haul fleet, the airline will introduce a brand new product with …

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Vistara launches customisable holiday packages with ‘Vistara Getaways’

Vistara has introduced ‘Vistara Getaways’ for user-customisable holiday packages covering flights, hotels, cars, and sightseeing options at attractive package prices. Customers can choose holiday packages for as many as 35 cities in and around Vistara’s network of 21 destinations, at getaways.airvistara.com. The packages include air travel options on Vistara, airport transfers as well as car rental options, and sightseeing tours, and hotel stays in partnership with leading hotel chains such as Taj, Hyatt, Radisson, Le Meridien, and upscale boutique hotels. In addition, ‘Vistara Getaways’ allows travellers to personalise their holiday packages by choosing the duration of holidays, their preferred cabin class for air travel, options to upgrade hotels and the category of rooms, and even upgrade the choice of cars for local transportation. Customer can even choose to split their stay in a city in more than one hotel. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “Planning the perfect holiday involving air, hotel, car, and sightseeing options can be an arduous and time-consuming task. With Vistara Getaways, the globally experienced discerning travelers of today are assured of having all their holiday needs met via a convenient, online one-stop-shop, and more importantly, with attractive pricing and great flexibility to design their holidays the way they want it, very unlike traditional packaged holidays. The introduction of Vistara Getaways is in line with our promise of providing more options along with a seamless world-class travel experience to our customers.” As part of the launch, Vistara is offering an inaugural discount of flat Rs. 4,000 on the holiday package price for the first 100 customers of Vistara Getaways. The discount is available using the promo code ‘FIRST100’.

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Cathay introduces Premium Economy to travel agents in western India

Cathay Pacific Airways conducted a series of sales blitz and workshops in Ahmedabad, Pune and Mumbai to mark the reintroduction of its Premium Economy Class and the increase in capacity on flights from Mumbai. Cathay Pacific used to operate Premium Economy until October 2015. The airline has introduced the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on the Mumbai–Hong Kong route from October 30. Rajesh Menon, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager-South Asia, Cathay Pacific, said, “We are thrilled to share these new developments in Cathay Pacific with our key trade and corporate partners. It is their support that has encouraged us to increase capacity on this route and reintroduce our Premium Economy cabin, which will provide even greater convenience and give our customers another reason for choosing Cathay Pacific.” Workshops were held for the travel trade fraternity in Mumbai which consisted of interactive sessions and covered a range of topics that include Cathay Pacific’s product and service, network and connections, loyalty programme, destination guides etc. This was followed by a week-long sales blitz that included a competition for the travel agents to upload their most fun picture on Cathay Pacific’s Facebook page. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will operate on the daily CX 660 service from Mumbai to Hong Kong and CX 663 flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai. This will mark a 21% increase in passenger capacity and 67% increase in cargo capacity out of Mumbai on Cathay Pacific flights.

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GoAir launches first Jammu-Leh flight

GoAir has announced its first daily flight between Jammu and Leh. As part of its new winter schedule, the airline launched 15 new flights including additional flights from Mumbai to Patna; and Delhi to Chandigarh, amongst other sectors. This comes in line with the growing demand from the corporate travellers and upcoming holidays for leisure travellers. With the introduction of the winter schedule, the airline will increase its operations by 26 per cent to 1544 flights per week.

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United celebrates 10 years of Mumbai-New York service

United Airlines is marking 10 years of its daily non-stop service between Mumbai Airport and its New York/Newark hub, Newark Liberty International Airport. Since it was launched in October 2007, the service has carried over 1.6 million customers on over 7,000 flights. Celebrating this milestone, VIP guests, United employees and customers from across the travel industry joined Marcel Fuchs – United Vice president Atlantic and Pacific Sales, Thorsten Lettnin – United Managing Director Continental Europe and India, Sales, Harvinder Singh – United Country Manager India and the Commercial Consul for the US Embassy in India, Gregory Taevs, for a gala dinner in Mumbai. “We are extremely proud to mark a decade of this successful route and thank our valued customers and the travel trade community across India for choosing United,” said Harvinder Singh, United Country Manager India. “Our Mumbai service also offers a comprehensive network of onward connections from our New York/Newark hub to points all across the Americas.” United has served India since 2005. “United offers daily non-stop services from Mumbai and Delhi to New York/Newark. Flights are conveniently timed to connect at our New York hub with an extensive network of destinations throughout the Americas. United flight UA49 departs Mumbai daily at 11:10 pm, arriving at New York/Newark at 5:55 a.m. the next day. The return flight, UA48, departs New York/Newark daily at 8:20 pm, arriving in Mumbai at 8:40 p.m. the following day (all times local and subject to change). The Mumbai-New York/Newark flight is operated by Boeing 777-200ER aircraft with a total of 267 seats – 50 flat-bed seats in United Polaris business class and 217 seats in United Economy, including 72 Economy Plus seats.”

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