Category Archives: Aviation

JAL and Vistara sign MoU for commercial operations in India

Japan Airlines and Vistara have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pursue commercial operations between India and Japan. This MoU will help the two airlines pursue significant cooperation in the near future, such as codeshare, frequent flyer partnership as well as other operational arrangements, allowing them to leverage each other’s network, expertise and assets, subject to necessary approvals from authorities. Commenting on the same, Tadashi Fujita, Executive Vice President, Japan Airlines (JAL), said, “The strengthened partnership with Vistara represents a significant milestone for the two airlines to provide customers better access to destinations between and in Japan and India, and we believe it will open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ networks.” He informed that JAL recorded 75 per cent PLF last year between India and Japan. “Out of the total passengers from India to Japan, 20 per cent are business travellers while 30 per cent are leisure travellers. We are hoping to increase the leisure market from India to Japan, primarily in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka etc.,” said Fujita. Earlier this year, Vistara and Japan Airlines entered an ‘Inter-Airline Through Check-in (IATCI) partnership, enabling customers to enjoy a seamless ‘Through Check-In’ facility, when connecting to or from a Vistara flight in India and more than 50 countries across the globe on Japan Airlines’ network, using a single ticket. Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, added, “Vistara and Japan Airlines share a great deal in common, key among which are the focus on excellence in operations and delivery of exceptional service to customers. We are delighted to enter the next phase of our association with Japan Airlines, and we believe this is only the beginning of …

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Vistara adds Ranchi as 21st destination to its network

Vistara, one of India’s full-service carriers, recently announced the addition of Ranchi, capital of the Jharkhand state, as the 21st destination to its steadily expanding network. Effective October 29, 2017, Vistara will operate two flights a day between Delhi and Ranchi, providing a convenient same-day return option to travellers from both cities. Bookings are now open through all channels, including Vistara’s website, its iOS and Android mobile apps, and through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and travel agents, with one-way fares starting from Rs. 2,199, inclusive of taxes. Commenting on the addition of the new destination, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “Jharkhand has immense potential for industrial development, with sectors such as steel, cement, electric, rubber, khadi, handicraft and textile flourishing here. It is also emerging as an educational hub for the region. So, there is now a consistently growing number of corporate travellers as well as tourists and educationists emerging from this state to whom Vistara brings world-class air travel with the addition of Ranchi as a destination to our network. Further, as we operate from the state-of-the-art terminal in Delhi, travellers to and from Ranchi will get to enjoy the superior experience of T3, and those connecting to and from international flights at Delhi will appreciate the convenience of same-terminal connections.”

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Changi’s Terminal 4 to start operations from Oct 31

The much-awaited Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 4 will officially open on October 31, 2017. The new $985 million, two-storey T4 is the airport’s smallest terminal at just half the size of Terminal 3. Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, said, “After endless rounds of testing and fine-tuning, we are ready to open T4… Another big step forward in our journey as a global air hub.” Both full-service and low-cost carriers of nine airlines, including the AirAsia Group (which comprises four airlines), Cathay Pacific Airways, Cebu Pacific Air, Korean Air, Spring Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, will operate from the new terminal. Cathay Pacific and Korean Air will be the first two that would move on October 31, followed by Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines on November 2, and then, the AirAsia Group and Vietnam Airlines on November 7. With a capacity of about 16 million passengers, T4 will bring the airport’s overall capacity to 82 million passengers a year. Automation is touted as one of T4’s major breakthroughs, especially the Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) system installed here. This system includes automated check-in kiosks for the retrieval of flight bookings as well as the printing of boarding passes and bag tags. Also, it features automated baggage drops, immigration clearance and boarding gates—all equipped with facial recognition technology, wherein passengers’ identities will be verified by matching their faces with their photos in passports. Besides the FAST system, the airport is introducing new technology in security, retail and housekeeping—sectors which employ 80 per cent of all Changi Airport staff. The new terminal will also showcase elements of local heritage and culture, a mini theatre show in collaboration with composer Dick Lee, as well as designs inspired by the orchid. There is to be …

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Air India resumes Ludhiana-Delhi flight under UDAN

Air India has resumed its Ludhiana-Delhi flight from the Sahnewal Airport almost three years after the flight was discontinued in 2014. The 70-seater ATR-72 plane of Alliance Air under Air India will be operational on this route. Pawan Kumar, Assistant Manager, Air Traffic Control, Sahnewal Airport, informed that the flight would be operational four days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Restarted under the UDAN (Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, 50 per cent of the 70 seats are subsidised at Rs 2,000. “Price for rest of the tickets will depend on daily demand and supply formula,” said Kumar.

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Cathay ups capacity on Mumbai-Hong Kong route

Cathay Pacific has announced a capacity increase with the introduction of Boeing 777 aircraft on the Mumbai-Hong Kong route, bringing back the Premium Economy cabin with it. The Boeing 777 aircraft will be launched on the CX660 flight from Mumbai to Hong Kong and the CX663 flight from Hong Kong to Mumbai. This change will mark a 21 per cent increase in passenger capacity and 67 per cent increase in cargo capacity out of Mumbai on Cathay Pacific flights. It will have 40 Business, 32 Premium Economy and 268 Economy seats. Premium economy seats also come equipped with a range of extra features like extra leg room, faster check-in procedures and excess baggage to name a few. Customers can book their seats in the Premium Economy cabin now for flights departing October 29, 2017 onwards. The airline has launched a special introductory price for Premium Economy seats between Mumbai-Hong Kong, starting at Rs. 42,500. Mark Sutch, Regional General Manager for SAMEA, Cathay Pacific, says, “We see potential in the Indian aviation sector. To be the third largest aviation market by 2026 is a tremendous goal and it is testament to the potential that the market beholds. Likewise, at Cathay Pacific, we see significant opportunities in the growing Indian economy. Hence, we are delighted to announce a capacity increase out of Mumbai.”

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Air Force’s Hindon airbase to be NCR’s second airport for UDAN

Indian Air Force’s Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad is set to become the second airport in Delhi-NCR this winter season, but only for regional commercial flights, it has been reportedly announced by the government. According to the authorities, they have got approval from the Indian Air Force to allow regional airlines to launch flights out of their Hindon airbase instead of the existing Delhi airport, as it is not constrained. R N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, has said that they will not be able to add any new regional flights out of the Mumbai airport because there are no slots available. Apart from that, he said that even Delhi airport is facing slot constraints. Hence, they will be offering the Hindon airbase in Ghaziabad for regional flights. For this, he informed that the ministry will talk to Delhi airport for their approval for the usage of another airport within 150km radius of the existing Delhi airport. Source: The Economic Times

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Jet Airways to fly Bengaluru-Amsterdam from Oct 29

After successfully launching direct daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Amsterdam last year, Jet Airways is all set to commence a new connection between Bengaluru and Amsterdam. Ragini Chopra, Vice President – Corporate Affairs & Public Relations, said, “Jet Airways will start its third daily flight from Bengaluru to Amsterdam starting October 29, 2017, and would connect the IT capital of India to Holland. Amsterdam has proved to be an excellent gateway for Jet Airways, from where we connect to the entire Europe and the US through onward flights on Jet Airways as well as our codeshare partners including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines as well as DELTA Air Lines.”

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Chandigarh airport to limit daily flight operations starting Oct 3

Starting October 3, 2017, Chandigarh airport will limit daily flight operation timings for upgrade and repairs, according to a report in The Economic Times. The report stated that the airport will stop functioning from 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily. The move was opposed by airlines citing inadequate advance notice. The Federation of Indian Airlines opposed the plan and asked the Indian Air Force, which owns the airport, to shift renovation timings to night to minimise impact. Airlines had planned to increase daily flights from 74 to 84 in the winter schedule, and closure every afternoon will affect 28 flights, they said. Reduction in operation timings could lead to a 35-40 per cent drop in passengers and flights, the federation said. International and domestic passenger traffic at Chandigarh increased 42 per cent to 216,694 in June, 2017, according to the data on the Airports Authority of India website. Source: The Economic Times

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Vistara to resume New Delhi-Varanasi flight in October

Vistara has announced that it will resume its daily flight services from New Delhi to Varanasi starting October 10, 2017. In March this year, the airline had discontinued its services to the holy city in Uttar Pradesh owing to operational issues. A statement by the airline read, “Vistara is delighted to reintroduce daily non-stop flights between New Delhi and Varanasi starting October 10.” The TATA-SIA airline has also launched introductory one-way fare of Rs 1,500, without taxes, to attract customers for the route.

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Jet Airways enters partnership with Airbnb

Airbnb has entered into a partnership with Jet Airways. This is the first Indian airline that Airbnb has signed an agreement with. With this move, Airbnb is strengthening its footprint in the Indian market and establishing a deeper connect with the new age Indian travellers who seek unique travel experiences. Promoting this partnership, Jet Airways and Airbnb are running contests on their websites as well. Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager – India, Airbnb said, “Airbnb’s philosophy is centered on providing unique experiences to modern day travellers, who seek newer and more interesting ways to travel. Indian travellers have become more decisive and are keen to break away from conventional means of travel and accommodation. Airbnb has been committed to building local partnerships which enable us to strengthen our connect with the Indian audience. With this partnership, Jet Airways fliers who are also Airbnb travellers will be able to enjoy the added-value they receive from being associated with two dynamic brands.” Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “An increasing number of Indian travellers are embracing the fresh and highly personalised experiences that a platform like Airbnb offers. Our focus on being innovative and offering differentiated travel experiences enables us to anticipate the changing needs of our guests and recognize trends much earlier than the market, thus allowing us to offer exciting travel related initiatives. We are delighted to be the first Indian airline to partner Airbnb, and look forward to creating more of such innovative experiences for our guests.”

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