Category Archives: Aviation

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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India now connects to more international cities through non-stop service

India has steadily increased the number of overseas city pairs served by a non-stop service from the country over time, according to a recent study by International Air Transport Association (IATA). There are 304 such international pairs in 2018, up from around 230 ten years ago. In relative terms, the India market appears to have considerably less international city pairs served than either China or Russia. However, Indian travellers have ready access (via the geographic proximity) to the Middle East superconnector hubs – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha – that China and Russia do not. This increases the size of the network significantly for Indian travellers, as well as making India more accessible for international visitors. As such, it may go some way to explaining the relatively lower number of international city pairs for India relative to China and Russia.

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Total passenger traffic in India to rise six-fold to 1124 million in FY2040

The total passenger traffic (to, from and within India) in India is expected to rise nearly six-fold from 187 million in FY2018 to around 1124 million in FY2040, according to a latest report by FICCI-KPMG titled ‘Vision 2040 for the Civil Aviation Industry in India’. This includes around 821 million domestic passengers and around 303 million international passengers (to and from India). The overall CAGR across the five clusters works out to around 9% in domestic and 7% in international traffic during FY 2018-2040. “The FICCI-KPMG projection is higher than the projections made by leading organisations. Given the untapped potential of the Indian aviation market and the signi􀃶cant reforms being driven by the federal and state governments, we feel that the above projections are eminently achievable. These are of course predicated on the assumption that volatility in oil prices and exchange rate will be within a reasonable range and the constraints in terms of policies, taxation, infrastructure and ease of doing business shall be addressed on priority,” the report states.

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LOT Polish Airlines to launch direct flights between Warsaw and Delhi in September

Poland flag carrier LOT Polish Airlines will launch a new non-stop service between Warsaw and New Delhi, commencing on September 17, 2019. Like all LOT long-haul flights, the new route will be operated by state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner five times per week. The announcement was made by LOT Polish Airlines during the Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai. The new route launch will provide the shortest and most convenient connection from New Delhi directly to the centrally located hub in Warsaw as well as access to many central, eastern and western European cities. The first flight will commence on September 17 from Warsaw Chopin Airport to New Delhi’s Terminal 3 (with the return flight taking off from New Delhi on September 18). Rafał Milczarski, CEO, LOT, says, “The long-awaited flight between Poland and India is becoming a fact. I am pleased to announce that this magnificent destination is being added to LOT’s growing network today. This is a great moment in our 90-year history and evidence of our dynamic development. Poland, located in the very heart of Europe will be a gateway for Indian passengers, enabling access to various destinations across Europe. Over 8.9 million passengers travelled between India and Europe in 2017. A convenient schedule provided by LOT, including an overnight eastbound flight, a comfortable on-board product and seamless connectivity via Warsaw, will certainly increase the flow of business and leisure travellers coming to and from India,” he adds. Five weekly flights connect the hometown airports of Star Alliance member carriers: LOT Polish Airlines and Air India. The new route launch features excellent connectivity via Warsaw, starting from 40 minutes connecting time to/from London City Airport, Paris, Brussels, Kraków, Geneva, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, …

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Nagpur airport to be an international airport?

“Maharashtra is an industrial state and the way aviation sector is witnessing growth, there is a demand for more infrastructure and more airport spaces,” said Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister, Maharashtra, at the first Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai. As one of the key speakers of the inaugural session, Fadnavis focused on how aviation contributed to 15 per cent of the national GDP. Welcoming all the dignitaries and ministers to the financial and entertainment capital of India, the chief minister highlighted the importance of growth in the aviation sector and said that Mumbai is proud to be one of the most efficiently managed airports in India. Fadnavis thanked Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation and Commerce and Industry for choosing Mumbai as the venue for the summit. Mentioning the construction of the Navi Mumbai airport, which is touted to be operational by 2020, the minister said that the airport will offer a unique experience to travellers. The airport has capacity to add 1 per cent to our GDP and apart from it, there are 9 airports in the pipeline in the state. While Pune airport is being developed to cater to one of the major IT hubs in the country, Nagpur airport is being developed for its strategic location in national and international flight routes. All metros in India are around an hour’s distance from Nagpur via flight and this connectivity has called for more attention to its infrastructure development, the chief minister added. The connectivity between South East Asia and Europe also passes through Nagpur and hence facilities at the airport are one of the best that have been created. A passenger and cargo hub will also be created in …

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GVK MIAL first to eliminate boarding pass stamp for domestic travel from T2

GVK Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the company that administers Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) is now equipped with the latest technology that eliminates boarding pass stamping for all domestic airlines operating out of Terminal 2. This makes it the first-ever airport in the country to introduce Digi Yatra proposed by Ministry of Civil Aviation and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security, the watchdog of aviation security in India. Passengers travelling within the country from Terminal 2 can now authenticate their boarding pass at pre-embarkation security check point by scanning the boarding pass barcode or QR code on the mobile phones at the E-gates reader, using the Live Passenger Dataset. This authentication of boarding pass will eliminate the responsibility of CISF physical checking personnel to stamp the boarding pass, thus save their time, bringing a harmonious experience to passengers and improving the overall throughput of security check procedure. With the government’s plan of Digital India, this initiative by CSMIA is a step towards adopting new technology and digitising the travel experience of passengers, making it hassle-free. This pilot feature introduced by CSMIA aims at reducing time involved in completing the many pre-flight boarding checks. It is a forward-looking service that is technology-driven and offers seamless digital experience to passengers. The self-service facility at the airport has drastically reduced the waiting time and queues at various touch points.    

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Over 80 countries participate at 1st Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai

The first edition of Global Aviation Summit 2019 witnessed participation from more than 80 countries. Being organised from January 15-16, 2019 at Grand Hyatt Mumbai, the summit themed on ‘Flying for All’ is touted to be the first-of-its-kind that will cover a diverse range of topics – from domestic aviation market, drone policies, infrastructure investment, freight and cargo policies, aviation financing and much more. It has attendance from more than 100 global CEOs, 35 exhibitors and more than 1200 delegate participation. The inaugural session saw keynote speeches by Sandip Somany, President, FICCI; R N Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the Council, International Civil Aviation Organization; Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry; Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra; and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation.

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Thai Airways to operate triple daily from Delhi to Bangkok from February 3

Thai Airways will operate triple daily making a total of 21 flights a week from Delhi to Bangkok and beyond. The additional day flights starting from February 3, 2019 will offer more options to passengers travelling to destinations within Thailand (Phuket and Chiang-Mai), Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Mainland China, Australia and New Zealand. Increase in services to Bangkok will enable the airline to capitalise on the steadily growing round-the-year demand on the highly popular sector, offering guests greater flexibility and choice throughout the day, and helping create a far superior and well-differentiated travel experience for them. Thamanoon Kuprasert, General Manager – India, Thai Airways, said, “Being the first service provider to Thailand from Delhi, Thai Airways has sustained itself successfully in Delhi since 1969 by offering world-class reliable services to passengers for Thailand, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is our endeavour to ensure that our passengers enjoy a comfortable and happy journey on THAI. We are constantly improvising as per customers’ expectations.”

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ANA plans direct daily on Tokyo-Chennai route from October

Japan-based All Nippon Airways (ANA) is planning to launch its direct daily flight from Tokyo to Chennai starting from October. Speaking on the reception of 3rd Meeting of India- Japan Tourism Council, Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, says, “We are focused on building the relationship between India and Japan. For this, ANA is planning to launch its operations from Tokyo to Chennai. Though this is the initial phase of discussion, but if it materialises, it will be a daily flight.”

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SpiceJet to launch 12 new flights from January 20

SpiceJet has announced the launch of 12 non-stop flights and frequencies from January 20. The airline, in a statement, said, “With the new flights, passengers from Dehradun, Jammu, Jaipur, Amritsar, Varanasi, Madurai and Vijayawada can now easily travel to a host of other cities.” It said, “SpiceJet will be the first Indian carrier to introduce daily direct flights on the Dehradun-Jammu, Dehradun-Jaipur and Dehradun-Amritsar routes,” . The airline has also enhanced frequencies on the Jaipur-Varanasi (2nd frequency), Chennai-Madurai (4th frequency) and Hyderabad-Vijayawada (3rd frequency) sectors. The flights on all the routes are daily, except on the Chennai-Madurai route, where the flights will not operate on Tuesdays. Source: PTI

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