Category Archives: Aviation

325 more routes in UDAN second round; IndiGo, SpiceJet, Jet Airways win big

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has given a nod to 90 proposals for 325 routes during the second round of bidding in the UDAN regional connectivity scheme. While SpiceJet and Air India subsidiary-Alliance Air have been a part of the scheme from the first round itself, IndiGo and Jet Airways participated in the second round only. R N Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation, said, “In all, we got 141 proposals for 502 routes (for both planes and choppers). Out of 325, 129 routes are in a newly created category of ‘priority areas’ that include Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal, Uttarakhand, North East, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lakshadweep Islands.” IndiGo has got 20 routes Kannur-Bangalore; Kannur-Trivandrum; Cochin-Hubli-Goa; Bangalore-Allahabad-Pune; Nagpur-Bhubaneswar-Allahabad; Mumbai-Allahabad; Hindon-Allahabad-Dehradun; Hindon-Gorakhpur-Allahabad and Hindon-Jaisalamer-Udaipur. SpiceJet was awarded 20 new sectors. “Out of these 20, 15 will cater to unserved markets of Kannur (Kerala), Darbhanga (Bihar), Ozar (Nashik), Pakyong (Sikkim), Kishangarh (Rajasthan).” Alliance Air has got 18 routes like Nashik-Ahmedabad-Kandla; Hyderabad-Kohlapur; Hubli-Hyderabad; Bikaner-Jaipur and Jammu-Bhatinda. Jet has got four proposals.  

Read More »

Etihad removes agents’ commission

In line with major airlines reducing agents’ commission to 0 per cent on airline ticket bookings, Etihad Airways too has followed suit. According to a statement released by the airline, from February 1, 2018, Etihad Airways will withdraw its commission applicable to any/all tickets issued in India and move to 0 per cent commission given to IATA agents. All tickets issued prior to February 1, 2018 will be eligible to 1 per cent commission.

Read More »

IndiGo commences Colombo operations to strengthen network

In its endeavour to strengthen its growing network, IndiGo has commenced operations in Colombo, Sri Lanka. With touch-down of 6E-1202 (Chennai-Colombo) at Bandaranaike International Airport, Colombo became its eighth international and 49th overall destination on IndiGo’s network. The maiden flight was welcomed on January 20 with the traditional water cannon salute followed by a ribbon cutting ceremony. Commenting on the launch, Capt Ashim Mittra, VP Flight Operations, IndiGo said, “IndiGo is delighted to commence its new daily services to and from Colombo. These new connections will not only boost corporate and leisure travel but also contribute to significant growth in cross border trade and commerce. We are hopeful that these new flights will provide affordable travel experience to our passengers across the country and beyond.” Malinga Arsakularatne, Managing Director, Hemas Leisure Travel Aviation Group (IndiGo’s GSA) added, “We are honoured to partner with IndiGo in strengthening tourism to and from India. Together, we can create benefits for travellers and shareholders.”

Read More »

Now, fly Mumbai–Vijayawada on Air India Express

Air India’s international budget carrier, Air India Express (AIE) expands its wings to Vijayawada International Airport, with the introduction of non-stop connectivity to Mumbai. The services on Mumbai–Vijayawada sector commenced on January 19, 2018. The Mumbai service will be available thrice a week, on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The flight will depart from Mumbai at 8am and arrive in Vijayawada at 9.45 am. In the return direction, the flight departs from Vijayawada at 10.30 am and will arrive at Mumbai at 12:10 pm. Air India already connects Vijayawada to Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. With the new service the city of Vijayawada is now being connected to major metros in the country. Air India Express, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India Limited, Head- Quartered at Kochi, Kerala. It has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, six of which are brand new having joined the fleet recently. These new aircrafts are equipped to carry more and come with lighter seats and higher performance capabilities. Though the airline follows the market principles of a low-cost carrier, Air India Express offers complimentary tea, coffee and meals on board as its USP, said AIE in a press release on Wednesday.

Read More »

Emirates orders 36 A380s worth $16 billion

Emirates announced a US$ 16 billion (AED 58.7 billion) deal for 36 additional Airbus A380 aircraft, with 20 firm orders and 16 options. Emirates’ A380 fleet operates both GE and Rolls-Royce engines, and the airline is evaluating engine options for its latest A380 order. The additional Airbus A380s will be delivered to Emirates from 2020 onwards. Together with the airline’s 101-strong A380 fleet and its current order backlog for 41 aircraft, this new order brings Emirates’ commitment to the A380 programme to 178 aircraft, worth over US$ 60 billion. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, said, “This deal reflects Emirates’ confidence in shaping the future and its commitment to advancing Dubai’s vision to grow further as a world-class destination and aviation hub.” His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Airline and Group signed the MOU with John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer Customers, Airbus Commercial Aircraft at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai. Sheikh Ahmed said, “We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates. Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network.”

Read More »

Saudi Arabian Airlines increases frequency to Delhi

Saudia, or Saudi Arabian Airlines has increased its frequency from 12 to 14 flights a week to Delhi with a new aircraft to serve the Indian skies. “Now we are flying with the new A-330, our new regional aircraft, which is very good with flatbeds on its business class,” said Ibrahim Mohammed Alqubbi, Manager, Saudia—India. The airline has opened a new office in Delhi which would offer ticketing and back-end services. Alqubbi along with Dr. Saud Mohammed Alsati, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to India inaugurated the new facility of the airline. Further, Alqubbi informed, “The new office will give a new brand image of Saudi Arabia Airlines in India and offer more space as well as greater support to our customers in India. In India, we opened a new destination recently from October 1, 2017. We are planning to open more destinations in 2018 depending on the bilateral.”

Read More »

Ural Airlines to start flights between India and Russia

The potential of the outbound tourist market from India to Russia has prompted Ural Airlines to start flights from various cities in India ex Yekaterinburg to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and to the other cities in Russia along with offering connections to other prime destinations in Europe. As per the Russian Information Centre (RIC), tourists from India to Russia have been growing at 30 per cent YoY. Considering the unique needs of Indian tourists and to cater to their specific needs, Ural Airlines is considering to join the ‘India-Friendly’ programme in Russia, which is initiated and executed by RIC in India. Airports of Regions & Russian Information Center in India are assisting the process of launch of services in India by helping identify partners and other associates that will contribute to the entry of Ural Airlines into the India market. Ural Airlines is the primary airline of Airport Koltsovo in Yekaterinburg and one of the largest rapidly developing Russian airlines.

Read More »

Virgin Atlantic appoints new Country Manager for India

Virgin Atlantic has announced the appointment of David Hodges as the new Country Manager for its India operations. In his new role, David will drive Virgin’s business at a strategic and commercial level for all sales within India. An accomplished industry leader with over a decade of business development and external affairs experience, David has an established track record of leadership and business expansion at large, complex, multinational organisations including varied roles at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Brevia Consulting. Hodges said, “I am excited to be part of the dynamic team in India. We will continue to champion the customer’s needs and tap the incredible growth opportunities in both leisure and business segments. I look forward to meeting the organisation’s objectives, strengthen the brand and grow business in the India market.” Prior to this, he was Senior External Affairs Manager in which he worked closely with the Government and the business sector on issues that led to a significant increase in the number of people flying with Virgin Atlantic.  

Read More »

Cabinet approves 49% FDI in Air India

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy -one of them allowing foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India. These are intended to simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country. As per the extant policy, foreign airlines are allowed to invest under Government approval route in the capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49 per cent of their paid-up capital. However, this provision was presently not applicable to Air India, thereby implying that foreign airlines could not invest in Air India. Foreign airlines can now invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India subject to the conditions that foreign investment(s) in Air India including that of foreign airline(s) shall not exceed 49 per cent either directly or indirectly. Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian National.

Read More »

IndiGo commences Rajahmundry operations

IndiGo has expanded its regional network by commencing ATR operations from Rajahmundry. Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Nimmakayala China Rajappa along with Sanjeev Ramdas, Executive Vice President, Customer Service & Operations Control, IndiGo recently flagged off the flight from Rajahmundry to Chennai at Rajahmundry Airport. Rajahmundry will be connected to Hyderabad with twice daily frequencies, and one direct daily frequency each on Rajahmundry–Bangalore–Rajahmundry and Rajahmundry–Chennai–Rajahmundry sectors. IndiGo is the only airline that connects Rajahmundry with direct flights to three major metros of southern India, namely Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad from day one of its operations.  

Read More »