Category Archives: Aviation

India calls on bilateral seat entitlement to increase Dubai flight slots

Dubai-based airlines will not be allowed to add more flights to Indian cities until the Gulf emirate allots commercially and operationally feasible slots to Indian carriers at its airport, as per a media report. This clause will be part of a bilateral seat entitlement agreement that the two sides are set to sign soon, a senior official at the civil aviation ministry reportedly said. “We will agree on increasing seat entitlements between the two countries as carriers from both sides have exhausted their quota which allows each side to operate up to 65,200 seats a week,” he added. The government decided on this condition after Dubai rejected India’s request to provide commitment on slots for Indian carriers in the bilateral air services pact. India-Dubai is a busy route, and both Indian and Gulf carriers have been demanding increasing the seat capacity in the sector as they have exhausted their current quota, which allows each side to operate up to 65,200 seats a week. (Source: The Economic Times)

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Jet scales up capacity on domestic & international routes

Jet Airways will deploy its higher seating capacity aircraft – 254-seater Airbus A330 in place of the existing Boeing 737- on two domestic and two international routes from January 2017 in order to cater to the growing passenger demand. While the wide-body service between Mumbai-Chennai-Mumbai is slated to begin from January 15, the airline will commence its Mumbai-Jeddah-Mumbai and Mumbai-Bangalore-Mumbai services from January 16 and the Mumbai-Kuwait-Mumbai service is scheduled to start from January 18. “The introduction of wide-body services on our key domestic routes allows Jet Airways to scale up capacity in response to increase in demand. The A330 aircraft is designed with a spacious cabin, greater leg-room, lie-flat beds in premiere,” said, Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways. The rolling out of the wide body aircraft with its two-cabin configuration of 18 seats in premiere (business) and 236 in economy class will also increase capacity on the key routes by as much as 50 per cent. Source: India Today

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Cathay Pacific to codeshare with Air Canada

Cathay Pacific and Air Canada have finalised a strategic co-operation agreement that will enhance travel services for Cathay Pacific customers when travelling within Canada and for Air Canada customers travelling via Hong Kong to Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Cathay Pacific and Air Canada customers will be able to book travel to their final destination on a single ticket with through-checked bags as well as enjoy reciprocal mileage accrual and redemption benefits. Tickets will go on sale from 12 January 2017 for travel beginning 19 January 2017. Travellers on both Cathay Pacific customers will be able to book travel on Air Canada flights connecting with Cathay Pacific’s up to three daily flights to Vancouver and up to two daily services to Toronto from Hong Kong. Cathay Pacific will place its code on Air Canada flights to all major cities across Canada including Winnipeg, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Kelowna, Regina, Saskatoon, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec, Halifax and St. Johns. Air Canada will offer codeshare services to an additional eight cities in Southeast Asia on flights operated by Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon connecting with Air Canada’s double daily services to Hong Kong from Toronto and Vancouver. Air Canada will place its code on Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon flights to Manila, Cebu, Kuala Lumpur, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai. When travelling on these services, members of Cathay Pacific’s travel and lifestyle rewards program, Asia Miles, and Air Canada’s loyalty program, Aeroplan, will be eligible to earn and redeem miles on the above mentioned codeshare routes. Cathay Pacific currently operates double daily flights to Vancouver from Hong Kong using Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. From 28 …

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SQ to increase frequency to Ahmedabad from Mar 26

Singapore Airlines will increase flight frequency to Ahmedabad to four times per week, up from the current three, with effect from 26 March 2017. While Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka will be served 10 times per week with effect from July 19, 2017, up from the current seven flights per week, Bangkok flight frequency will increase to six per day from five with effect from 26 March 2017. Ho Chi Minh City will be served 19 times per week from the same day, up from the current 17 per week. The airline plans to increase flight frequency to points in Australia, Europe, Southeast Asia and West Asia in the Northern Summer operating season (26 March 2017 to 28 October 2017) to meet growing travel demand. In Australia, Melbourne will be served with 31 weekly flights, up from 28, with effect from 17 July 2017, while flight frequency to Brisbane will increase to 28 per week, up from 24, starting on 22 August 2017. From 4 June 2017, Sydney will be served 33 times per week, up from 31 times per week. To cater to peak period demand, flight frequency to Sydney will be further increased to 35 weekly flights from 18 June to 30 September 2017. In Europe, Rome will be served four times per week from July 2017, up from the current two weekly flights. As previously announced, Moscow will be served five times per week, up from four times, with effect from 30 May 2017, when services beyond Moscow to the new destination of Stockholm are introduced. The additional services are subject to regulatory approvals.

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SITA to transform AI’s communications network

Air India’s outstation and domestic hubs are set to receive faster, cutting-edge connectivity through SITA. The global airport transport IT provider will provide faster, more reliable connectivity to the airline as part of a package of solutions aimed at transforming its communications and network infrastructure. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD, Air India, said, “Having been a long-standing technology partner in aviation, SITA is able to fulfill the vision of passenger experience by identifying appropriate innovations covering network and communications that can help the airline to become more efficient and cost effective. This will help us benefit from the opportunities in the fast-growing Indian aviation market while elevating our international competitiveness.” The seven-year deal will see SITA roll out the latest communication technology both in India and internationally. Through SITA Connect – the largest communication network in the air transport industry used in over 220 countries and territories – Air India will be able to link all 93 international outstations and its six biggest airports in India to the airline’s central hubs in New Delhi and Mumbai. In addition, the airline will be able to leverage AirportHub™,  SITA’s unique shared infrastructure which allows airlines to connect all their applications and IT systems at an airport quickly and easily. It removes the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers and adds flexibility and agility to route management. AirportHub™ has already been deployed at over 300 airports around the world. SITA will also provide access to services, applications and data on any device and in any location through its End-User Computing solution. As a single-source provider embracing both traditional desktop and the latest technologies, SITA will provide both hardware and support to more …

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India signs open skies agreement with 6 countries

India has signed open skies agreement with six countries namely Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka, at the International Civil Aviation Negotiations (ICAN) 2016. The open skies agreement as per NCAP 2016 allows unlimited number of flights to six metro airports namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Chennai. R.N. Choubey, Secretary, Civil Aviation revealed that the conference saw in attendance 106 countries out of ICAO membership of 191 countries. India held negotiations with 17 countries and ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ was signed with 12 countries. India resolved major issues at these negotiations as per the directions in National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP 2016). Firstly, India renegotiated traffic rights with Oman increasing the entitlements with 6,258 seats effective from Summer 2017 as the existing entitlements were nearly exhausted. The points of call remained unchanged. India agreed with Saudi Arabia to increase the capacity by 8000 seats per week from IATA season when Indian carrier’s utilisation reaches 80 per cent. This was in response to the needs of increasing traffic between the two countries where Indian carriers have been utilising open sky in Damman to mount more flights than the Saudi Arabian side. Indian also agreed with Ghana to increase the present allocation of 2 frequencies to 7 frequencies per week to encourage connectivity between the two countries. ICAN was held recently in Nassau from December 5-9, 2016 The new arrangement will encourage connectivity and passenger travel between India and these countries. There were new Air Service Agreements signed with Jamaica and Guyana. In the present scenario code shares provide seamless connectivity to the travelling passengers and make possible connectivity between far off destinations not served by direct flights.  As …

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Disinvestment of Pawan Hans on cards

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has given ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment of CPSEs including Pawan Hans Limited based on the recommendations of the Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment. CCEA has approved the recommendation for disinvestment of 100 per cent shareholding of Government of India to strategic buyer identified through two-stage auction process in the CPSEs including Pawan Hans Limited (PHL). This was revealed by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, in a reply in Lok Sabha.

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Digital payment for parking at airports soon?

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has issued directions to the respective car parking licensees across all AAI controlled airports for evolving a mechanism of e-payment transactions in the form of debit/credit cards, digital wallets (PayTM, Freecharge, Mobikwik, Reliance Jio etc.). This was revealed by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, in Lok Sabha, AAI has also keep sufficient change of currency in small denomination of Rs.10, 20, 50 & 100 to smoothen the process of parking at all airports. Besides Car Parking Licensees, AAI is evolving a mechanism so that digital payment alternatives through various modes is available at all concessions providing passenger facilitation services at airports (such as Food & Beverage Outlets, General Retails, Car Rentals, Pre-paid Taxi Services etc.

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Garuda Indonesia connects Mumbai-Jakarta

Indonesian national carrier Garuda Indonesia has launched flights between Jakarta and Mumbai via Bangkok. The thrice weekly service is the first direct link between the two countries. Speaking on the occasion M Arif Wibowo, President and CEO, Garuda Indonesia, said, “We see India as a potential market and we see good traffic coming from Mumbai region. India to Indonesia market size is more than 3,00,000 travellers to Indonesia and around one-third of this traffic comes from Mumbai which is 1,00,000 and gets divided into two destinations 45 per cent to Bali and 55 per cent to Jakarta. At this stage we have started the flight from Jakarta to Mumbai keeping Bangkok as transit point and would consider having a direct flight as the market grows or even a direct flight from Bali to Mumbai. We may also look to start operations from Delhi and Chennai later, currently we will observe the growth pattern from Mumbai for the first three months and if we see an increase in demand we may increase the flight frequency from Mumbai to Jakarta.” The flight from Jakarta-Mumbai route via Bangkok will be flying every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The flight service will be operated by Garuda’s Boeing 738 aircraft with a two-class cabin configuration featuring its business class service concept and its best economy class. The aircraft is capable of carrying 156 passengers (12 Business Class seats and 144 Economy Class seats). The opening of Garuda Indonesia’s flight to Mumbai is part of its international network development program, especially in the South Asia region, as well as the manifestation of the airline’s commitment to continuously support the Indonesian government’s program to double the number of …

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