Category Archives: Aviation

MoCA launches 46 tourism routes under UDAN 3

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) awarded 235 routes to different airlines, out of which 46 are tourism routes, and 189 are under Regional Connectivity Scheme. Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, said, revealed, “We are working with Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Commerce, as we have sanctioned a programme of 12 champion sectors of service development, under which Rs 5000 crores were allowed as sanctions. Part of that money is being given to MOT, which in turn is giving that money to aviation ministry for these routes.” Rajeev Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, shared that for the first time MOT came on board for the UDAN scheme. “MOT asked us to conduct tourism route-wise bidding, for which they will be providing funds. The difference between MOT route and the conventional RCS UDAN route is that MOT wants tourist places should be connected among themselves. It may happen that the airport which they are wanting may have enough flights but between two tourist destinations, there may not be a flight. So the MOT’s intention was that we should conduct the bidding, not for individual airports, but for routes which are specified by them. MOT has in turn got it collated by interacting with the tourism professionals, both in the private sector as well as the government sector, including state governments and other stakeholders before giving it to us,” he said.

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India’s aviation sector contributes over 3 million jobs to the economy

The air transport sector makes a significant contribution to the Indian economy. According to a recent ‘Project Rupee Raftaar’ report by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, an Oxford Economics analysis shows that the air transport sector directly contributes 390,000 jobs in India. This includes airlines, airport operators, airport on-site enterprises like restaurants and retail, aircraft manufacturers and air navigation service providers. In addition, by buying goods and services from local suppliers, the sector supported another 570,000 jobs across the supply chain.

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Delhi-Manila-Delhi on Philippine Airlines from April 2019 for Rs 23,000

Philippine Airlines has launched four-times-weekly direct flights between Delhi and Manila, effective April 17, 2019. Tickets for the route can now be booked for as low as Rs 23,000 (Economy roundtrip base fare). The airline’s flight PR 727 will depart from Terminal 3 of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport at 1.45 am (all local times) and will arrive in Manila at 10:45 am the following day and the return flight PR 726 will depart at 20:45 pm and reach Delhi at 1:00 am. Airbus A321neo will be deployed for the new route from India to Philippines as this has better range than A320ceos/A321ceos and are much more efficient. The new service should help the Philippines attract more Indian visitors and lead to faster growth in what is now the largest unserved market for the Philippines. Manila-Delhi will be the fifth long haul narrowbody route for Philippine Airlines, along with Manila to Brisbane, Port Moresby, Sapporo and Sydney.

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AI Express to start Sharjah-Surat direct from February

Air India Express will launch its first direct flight service from Surat to Sharjah on February 16. The flight will depart from Sharjah at 7:35 PM and arrive in Surat at 11:45 PM on Mondays and Saturdays. From Surat, the flight will depart at 12:30 AM with arrival into Sharjah at 02:15 AM on Tuesdays and Sundays. This service will be upgraded to four flights a week in the summer schedule. The airline will also expand services from Gulf to Kannur in Kerala in its summer schedule 2019, which shall commence on March 31, 2019. “Summer 2019 will witness additional capacity being deployed to strengthen the network between Gulf and Kerala. There will be two more flights on Mondays and Fridays,” the statement said. The airline will operate five flights on the Kozhikode-Riyadh sector in the Summer schedule’19 instead of the present four services per week. The additional flight will operate on Fridays at the existing timings. Operating with a fleet of 25 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, the airline will have 653 weekly departures in the new schedule, as against 621 per week currently. The increase in operations will be achieved through capacity addition and by increasing aircraft utilisation, which is poised to go up from about 13.3 hours currently to 13.4 hours per day per aircraft in the summer schedule, the airline said. Source: PTI

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SpiceJet flights to London from Delhi and Amritsar?

SpiceJet, which is all set to start its international operations, will reportedly start flying to London from Delhi and Amritsar starting this summer. According to reports, the airline will be operating its wide-body A330 planes on these long-haul routes, which would range between 6-12 hours in duration. It is believed that the Amritsar-London Heathrow flight may commence from March-end, the services to Gatwick are expected from May. Currently, SpiceJet has a fleet of 45 Boeing 737s and 737 Max planes. The airline flies to eight international destinations, which are of up to 4-hour duration.  

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Hahn Air celebrates 20th anniversary

Hahn Air has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its ticketing business which was launched in 1999. It is the leading provider of ticketing and distribution solutions for other airlines and travel agencies that includes seven international travel agency events, sponsorships of leading industry events and special competitions for travel agents. Nico Gormsen, co-founder, co-owner and General Manager, Hahn Air, said, “Our ticketing business has certainly come a long way. In 1999, we saw a business opportunity: many airlines were eager to sell tickets outside of their key markets through travel agencies but could not shoulder the costs of participating in the settlement systems that exist in almost every market, so-called BSPs. Over the years, Hahn Air joined almost all BSPs and established connections with all major GDSs that are used by travel agents to book and issue tickets. This infrastructure enables other airlines to sell their flights on Hahn Air’s HR-169 ticket.” Today, Hahn Air has over 350 air, rail and shuttle partners and it reaches more than 100,000 travel agencies in 190 markets. With its services, Hahn Air creates business opportunities for all parties involved, as Nico Gormsen explains, “The airline gains more passengers and incremental business in additional markets, the travel agents can sell tickets of more carriers and the customers benefit from greater choices of airlines and destinations.” “For the future, our main ambition is to continue to provide leading services and solutions to our transportation and travel agency partners”, continues Gormsen. “We are especially looking, for example, to expand our offer of interline EMDs which enable our partners to sell additional travel-related services and thus increase their revenue. Moreover, we are working on solutions to support …

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Lufthansa City Center partners with Travels and Rentals for Affiliate Program in India

Lufthansa City Center (LCC), which is operating a franchise model consisting of IATA-affiliated independent travel agency entrepreneurs, is now piloting an Affiliate Program in India, for which it has partnered with Travels and Rentals. As a Premium LCC member, Travels and Rentals is now authorised to serve as a hub agency for directly connected LCC affiliate members in India. With more than 570 offices in over 90 countries and a total turnover of approximately 5.3 billion euros, Lufthansa City Center is the biggest independent travel agency franchise system worldwide.

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GoAir to launch direct flights on Kannur-Muscat route from February 28

GoAir is set to expand its international footmark with the launch of direct flights on Kannur – Muscat – Kannur route effective February 28, 2019. The airline will operate three direct flight services per week and bookings are now open at an attractive all-inclusive one way fare starting from INR 4999. Speaking on the occasion, Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir said, “It gives us immense delight to add Muscat as our third international destination. Muscat is a key market for us and is in line with our growth strategy and more so for the Middle East. We are hopeful that this service would also prove equally popular with our flyers. We will continue to deliver convenient and hassle-free connections and we stand committed to provide our customers with superior experience at best affordable prices.” Recently, GoAir added Kannur as its 24th domestic destination and was the first and only domestic airline to launch services when the airport commenced its maiden operations. On the domestic front, the airline currently connects Kannur to Bengaluru with 13 weekly flights, Chennai with 4 weekly flights and Hyderabad with 3 weekly flights. On the international front, the airline has recently introduced direct daily connectivity to Phuket from Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. It also operates 4 direct weekly flights on the Mumbai-Male route, 3 weekly flights on Delhi-Male and 2 weekly flights on Bengaluru-Male route.

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Singapore’s Scoot Airlines to begin operations in Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam

Low-cost arm of Singapore Airlines Group, Scoot, plans to strengthen its presence in India with the addition of Coimbatore, Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam. The new routes are due to be transferred over from SilkAir, and Scoot will be the only airline operating direct non-stop flights from Trivandrum and Visakhapatnam to Singapore. Flights from Trivandrum to Singapore will commence as soon as May 7, 2019, and flights from Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam will start from October 27, 2019, subject to regulatory approval. In India, Scoot already operates seven existing routes from Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Lucknow, and Tiruchirappalli. To commemorate the new routes, Scoot has introduced a major limited-time sale on flights from all its India points, including Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam – starting from January 14 to 28, 2019 on www.FlyScoot.com. One-way promotional fares (inclusive of tax) begin from as low as INR 4,500 for Economy FLY, for trips to 27 exciting cities in Australia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam via Singapore. Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Scoot, said, “With three new cities, India is a big part of our growth in Asia this year. As we ramp up our operations in the region and establish a local team to help support our long-term objectives, customers can look forward to more affordable fares and innovative offerings from us.”

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India’s domestic passenger load factor exceeded 90% for the first time ever in February 2018

The India domestic passenger load factor exceeded 90 per cent for the first time ever in February 2018, hitting an all-time high for the other global domestic markets, namely China, the US, Brazil, Russia, Japan and Australia. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), the bigger picture is that the current load factor performance represents a significant turnaround from the early-2000s when India regularly posted the lowest domestic passenger load factor amongst its group of countries, even dipping below 50 per cent on occasion. The evolution and maturity of India’s domestic air transport market can be illustrated by comparing the experiences around the time of 9/11 with that of late 2014. In the former, domestic capacity continued to increase even as demand slumped, while in late-2014 Indian airlines slowed capacity growth to support the load factor even as demand was growing strongly. In part, this appears to reflect the increasing influence of competitive (market) pressures over time via a mix of policy, regulatory and industry developments. Such forces have instilled a greater focus on airlines to achieve the load factor levels needed to generate adequate returns for their investors.

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