Category Archives: Aviation

MoCA, Puducherry and AAI sign MoU for regional connectivity

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Puducherry Government and Airports Authority of India have signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Regional Connectivity Scheme thereby initiating the collaborative partnership. The MOU was signed at New Delhi in the presence of Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation for State; V. Narayanasamy, Chief Minister of Puducherry, and Malladi Krishna Rao, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Puducherry,. Under the MoU, the State Government of Puducherry has formally agreed to provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme. The MoU is signed by Manoj Parida, Chief Secretary, Puducherry; Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and A.K. Dutta, Member, Airports Authority of India. Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said that he hoped the subsidies would attract airlines which also needed to find the appropriate aircrafts and pilots to service the regional sector. Narayanaswamy said that he was happy to cooperate in promoting the Regional Connectivity Scheme as it would improve the connectivity to Puducherry. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier released the draft Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for stakeholder consultation, with the twin objectives of promoting balanced regional growth and making flying affordable for masses. The RCS is the key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy which was released by the Ministry on 15th June 2016. The scheme, which would be in operation for a period of 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. This would be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of Central and State government concessions, as well as Viability Gap Funding to the …

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Mahan Air connects Delhi to Mashhad

Mahan Airlines operated its inaugural direct flight from  Mashhad to Delhi on November 4, 2016. Mehdi Shiri, Station Manager, Mahan Air, India, informed that to cater demand of Indian passengers for direct flight to Mashhad, this flight has been launched. The aircraft and crew was given warm welcome at IGI Airport, Delhi. H S Duggal, Managing Director, Minar Travels India Pvt. Ltd., GSA for Mahan Air in India was upbeat and mentions, “with lifting of sanctions in Iran, Mahan has extensive plans to connect more Indian cities with Iranian cities to facilitate business and tourism traffic to grow.

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Vistara to fly daily to Port Blair from Delhi and Kolkata

Vistara inaugurated operations to Port Blair, as its flight UK 747 took off from Delhi for Port Blair via Kolkata, at 0720 hours on Sept 30. With the addition of Port Blair, Vistara now serves 18 destinations across the length and breadth of the country. The new service to Port Blair offers a daily flight from Delhi and Kolkata (same aircraft service via Kolkata), with arrival and departure timings that allow for convenient connections to ferry and catamaran services between Port Blair and Havelock Island. Commenting on the launch of the new services, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “We are delighted to add Port Blair to our fast-growing network with a daily direct flight from Delhi via Kolkata. The Andamans are a beautiful part of India with rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. We are pleased to offer both the visitors, and the wonderful residents of this region, the chance to experience ‘the new feeling’ of flying Vistara, an airline that is setting new standards of service excellence, when they travel to and from Port Blair.” Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, added, “Delivering on our brand promise to provide seamless, thoughtful and personalized services, we are pleased to introduce a variety of attractively priced packages in cooperation with top travel entities to offer our customers the most convenient travel in the Andamans. While Port Blair itself offers a lot to see and do, including the historic Cellular Jail and an excursion to the neighboring Ross Island, we have also timed our flights to offer the most convenient connections to and from the most popular inter-island ferries such as to Havelock Island.” Vistara also announced the addition …

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Air Canada to fly direct Mumbai-Toronto from July 1, 2017

Air Canada has announced another direct connection between Mumbai and Toronto starting July 1,2017. India’ financial hub Mumbai and Toronto will now get a thrice a week direct non-stop service starting July 1, 2017 as part of the airline’s global expansion plan. The new announcement comes just after the news of its non-stop flights between Delhi and Vancouver beginning October 20, which too is a three-times weekly flight. Air Canada has also made its Delhi-Toronto flight a daily connection starting November 6, 2016. All these announcements from Air Canada have come within a year of launching the direct flights between Delhi and Toronto on the 3rd November 2015. “Customer response to our Toronto-Delhi service has been extremely positive and hence its becoming a daily service from 6th November 2016 . With the new Vancouver route we are strategically increasing our presence in the important Asia-Pacific market. “said Duncan Bureau , Vice President , Global Sales. The non-stop Dreamliner flights from the Vancouver hub will also offer the shortest elapsed flying time from Delhi to Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles .Together with our extensive Western Canada domestic and western US trans border network combined with the seamless connection experience through Vancouver’s US in-transit pre-clearance facilities, position Vancouver to be the preferred gateway hub for trans-pacific travel to and from North America. Air Canada will be the only carrier to offer a direct non-stop service between Canada and Mumbai . These routes will operate year-round with Air Canada’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The aircraft feature 29 International Business Class lie-flat seat suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats, with upgraded in-flight entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft.

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Delhi Airport becomes 1st in APAC to achieve carbon neutral status

GMR Group’s Delhi Airport, managed by Delhi International Airport (P) Limited (DIAL), has become the first airport in Asia-Pacific to achieve Carbon Neutral status.  The announcement has been made by Airports Council International (ACI) during the Airport Carbon Accreditation certificate presentation ceremony in Montreal, Canada, where I Prabhakara Rao, CEO, DIAL received the prestigious certificate. The same body awarded Delhi Airport the world’s number one position (in 25-40 million passengers per annum category) twice in a row under the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme. The globally reputed Airport Carbon Accreditation has upgraded Delhi Airport to “Level 3+, Neutrality”, which is the highest level of achievement available to airports across the world. Carbon neutrality occurs when the net carbon emissions over an entire year is zero. This means the airport absorbs or offsets the same amount of emission that was generated. This achievement is accredited by ACI under Airport Carbon Accreditation that monitors the efforts of airports to manage and reduce their carbon emissions.

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Delta, Air France-KLM extend code share with Jet

Following the success of the code-share agreement launched in March 2016, Delta Air Lines and joint venture partner Air France-KLM will enhance their existing cooperation with Jet Airways. The expanded agreement adds new convenient travel options for customers flying from North America via Paris-Charles de Gaulle to India, complementing the current service offered through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Effective October 30, and subject to government approvals, Delta customers flying from the United States and Europe will be able to connect onto Jet Airways’ flights to Mumbai from Paris; and to New Delhi and Mumbai from Amsterdam. From here customers can then fly to 20 destinations within India. Subject to government approvals, Delta’s customers connecting through Paris and Amsterdam to Mumbai and New Delhi will have codeshare access to 20 onward destinations in India served by Jet Airways.  After government approvals, new Delta codeshare destinations will include Calicut, Coimbatore, Goa, Indore, Jaipur, Lucknow, Mangalore, Pune, Trivandrum and Vadodara.  

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Air India signs code share agreement with Air Austral

Air India has signed a free flow code share agreement with Air Austral enabling the former to code share on Air Austral operated flights on the Chennai-Reunion-Chennai sector as well as beyond Reunion to/from Johannesburg, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar. Reciprocally, Air Austral will put its marketing code on Air India operated flights beyond Chennai to/from Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi. Air India, member of the prestigious Star Alliance, will offer its passengers flights departing from India to Saint-Denis de La Réunion via Chennai with the Chennai/Saint-Denis flight operated by Air Austral. The passengers of Air India will be able to connect in Saint-Denis on flights beyond to/from Johannesburg, Seychelles, Mauritius and Madagascar operated by Air Austral. Air Austral will offer its customers flights from Reunion to Chennai and beyond to/from Mumbai, New Delhi and Kochi on flights operated by Air India. Air Austral has been operating on the route Reunion Island-Chennai-Bangkok since 19th February 2013. From the beginning of November 2016, Bangkok will be discontinued, leaving all the capacity available to the Reunion Island – Chennai service. The code share will initially be implemented on the Reunion-Chennai-Reunion sector from 16th September 2016. Code share on the other sectors is likely to be implemented subsequently.

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GAA SpeedJet Aviation & Jet Airways to train students at MP flying club

GAA SpeedJet Aviation in association with Jet Airways recently provided on-ground training to its students from the current batch of cabin crew and ground staff at a leading flying club in Madhya Pradesh. GAA SpeedJet students got exclusive access to airplanes Cessna 152 and Cessna 172 along with hands-on experience of the Simulator. Jet Airways, on its part, offered students lessons in ground duties – including airport check-in, passenger and cargo handling. GAA SpeedJet Aviation is a partnership between Gulf Aviation Academy (part of Bahrain Mumtalakat Holding Company, the investment arm for the Kingdom of Bahrain) and domestic aviation training institute SpeedJet Aviation. Jet Airways is India’s premier international airline which operates flights to 67 destinations, including India and overseas.

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Vistara launches Platinum membership in frequent flyer program

Club Vistara (CV), the airline’s frequent flyer program has undergone a revamp and now offers faster earning points, redemption and elite tier upgrades. The program has also introduced a Platinum membership as its highest tier, in addition to the existing CV Gold and CV Silver membership tiers, and has launched a two-track scheme for elite tier qualification based on points accrued or flights flown. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said, “In response to the evolving needs of our frequent flyers, we have enhanced our program and introduced new features that are relevant and important to them.” Elaborating on the revamp, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “When we set out to redesign Club Vistara, we started by asking frequent flyers of Vistara and other airlines what they would want to see in their ideal program. We asked them what they valued most, and also what were their key pain points across different loyalty programs. We then designed the program to reflect what we heard. Not only is it now the fastest rewarding loyalty program, it is also the most generous. Importantly, Elite level benefits can be enjoyed by customers regardless of class of travel or fare paid. It is truly a program by frequent flyers, for frequent flyers.” For existing members, Club Vistara’s new tier qualification criteria will be applied retrospectively which will result in automatic tier level upgrades for many members. With major expansion plans in pipeline, Port Blair, the airline’s 18th destination in India will be launched on September 30th while its fleet is expected to grow to thirteen aircrafts over the next four weeks.

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Oman Air to start operations to Kolkata, Ahmedabad in 2017

Oman Air will reportedly connect Indian cities like Kolkata and Ahmedabad in 2017. “Oman Air is waiting for traffic rights to be finalised to start its operation to Kolkata and Ahmedabad in India,” an Oman Air spokesperson said. Oman Air currently operates 126 weekly flights from Muscat to 11 destinations in the Indian market, which totals to 21,147 seats. In 2015, the airline started operating flights to Goa, its 11th destination in India. To woo the tourists from India, Oman’s tourism ministry recently conducting roadshows in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Pune. The road show started at the Park Hyatt in Hyderabad on September 19. Later, it moved to Kolkata on September 21, Ahmedabad on September 23 and will end at JW Marriott, Pune on September 26. The road shows have been organised to meet Omani tourism representatives, including hotels, DMCs and national carrier Oman Air, with the members of Indian travel trade in four cities. Events will include pre-arranged meetings between the Omani delegates and Indian travel agents. According to statistics, Oman received 299,022 Indian nationals last year, reflecting a 17 per cent growth in 2015 from 2014. This year, the Ministry of Tourism has identified Kolkata as a new market for Oman.

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