Category Archives: Aviation

2nd Aero Expo kicks off in New Delhi

The 2nd Aero Expo organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry got off to an excellent start at New Delhi. The four-day event will also feature India’s first Heli Expo on November 4 and 5. Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the mega event, which will deliberate on the key focus areas for Indian aviation to sustain and grow itself in the coming years. Also gracing the event was Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, among other industry stalwarts and key stakeholders. Speaking about the future prospect of the country’s aviation network, the Vice President of India exclaimed, “Apart from playing a key role in promoting connectivity between various regions and creating jobs, the civil aviation sector is one of the key drivers of the economy. As such, a continued introspection of the current policies, norms and infrastructure needs to be done to ensure the sectors contribution towards the economy.” Jayant Sinha also met with the leading CEOs and CMD of the industry to discuss the future of civil aviation. With 200 million passenger trips per year currently and growing at a rate of 12 per cent, the Indian industry is looking at one billion passenger trips from across the various airports around the country and the 2nd Aero expo highlighted the investment requirements for the same.

Read More »

Etihad to suspend Abu Dhabi-Dallas/Fort Worth route in 2018

Etihad Airways has announced the suspension of its Abu Dhabi-Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) route effective March 25, 2018, as it will become commercially unsustainable following American Airlines’ unilateral decision to terminate its codeshare agreement with the airline. Peter Baumgartner, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth. “We are open to American Airlines reversing its decision to cancel our codeshare agreement so that Etihad Airways can continue the route and together protect and support American national interests and global connectivity while driving commercial value for both airlines.” Etihad Airways has invested heavily in the DFW route since its launch in December 2014. The route commenced with three flights a week and was upgraded to a daily service in February 2017, providing travellers in the US and across the airline’s network with access to more US cities through American Airlines’ primary hub. More than 235,000 travellers have flown on the route since its launch. Almost half of Etihad Airways’ DFW customers connect on US codeshare flights operated by American Airlines. Baumgartner added, “The cancellation of the Dallas route is one of several adjustments that we are making to our US network in 2018 in order to improve system profitability. Further changes are possible as we monitor the full impact of the American Airlines codeshare cancellation on summer 2018 bookings. Etihad Airways currently operates 42 non-stop flights a week to five US gateways – Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York and Washington. Additionally, Etihad Cargo operates twice weekly Boeing 777F freighter …

Read More »

Ethiopian launches Africa’s first 787-9 operation to Mumbai

Ethiopian Airlines is all set to launch Africa’s first and the airline’s youngest and modern operating fleet B787-9 Dreamliner operation in to Mumbai. The aircraft made its debut flight to India’s capital city of Delhi on October 28, 2017. The Dreamliner fleet which is an integration of design and technology with unique features of biggest windows in the sky, high ceiling, less noise, distinctive lighting, and higher air humidity, has further redefined passengers’ travel experience on board Ethiopian. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, Indian Sub-continent, Ethiopian Airlines, remarked, “Ethiopian was the first airline to introduce Dreamliner 787-8 to India in 2012 and Airbus A350 -900 XWB in April 2017. Once again, we are proud to celebrate yet another first with the introduction of the cutting-edge Africa’s first 787-9 into Indian market. India is a strategic market for Ethiopian that has been served for more than 46 years and in line with our expansion strategy in Indian market, we are pleased to deploy our latest fleet and adding capacity on the existing route to better serve our esteemed customers and to further strengthen the growing trade and commercial ties between the booming economies of India and Africa.”

Read More »

SriLankan Airlines adds Melbourne to its global route network

SriLankan Airlines extended its route network with the launch of daily non-stop services to Melbourne on October 29, 2017. Ajith Dias, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s national carrier, said: “We at SriLankan Airlines are delighted to launch this new service, which we have no doubt would be of great convenience to all segments of travelers, including the large number of Sri Lankans domiciled in Australia, the many Australians who love to travel overseas and people throughout Asia who visit Down Under.” Sri Lankan expatriates and students form a large and significant community in Australia, and frequently travel back to their native land. Many of them reside in Melbourne, and other cities in the state of Victoria and neighbouring New South Wales, with smaller numbers throughout the rest of Australia and New Zealand. Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: “We have been extending our route network in a systematic manner throughout Asia – from the Middle East to the Far East – and can now provide Australian travelers excellent options in connectivity, with one-stop journeys to the most popular destinations via Colombo.” A member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan offers convenient connections to 14 cities throughout India, nine in the Middle East and other destinations such as Male and Gan Island in the Maldives, and Seychelles. SriLankan also operates one-stop twice-daily services between Sri Lanka and Australia with its codeshare partners Qantas and Malaysia Airlines. Passengers will enjoy the comforts of the airline’s modern Airbus A330 aircraft between Melbourne and Colombo, with flatbeds in Business Class, sophisticated in-flight entertainment and world class service provided by SriLankan’s award winning cabin crew.

Read More »

GHIAL, Malaysia Airports, Malaysia Tourism sign MoU

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) signed an MoA with a strategic vision to promote tourism from the catchment area of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad to Malaysia. This tri-partite MoA involves collaborative market research, strategy development, promotional campaigns and marketing efforts with an aim to enhance the visibility of ‘Destination Malaysia’ in Hyderabad. The trend shows that over 100,000 passengers travel between Hyderabad and Malaysia every year; and this traffic has grown by 28 per cent CAGR in the last five years. SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “We are happy to sign this first of its kind MoA between airport operators – GHIAL and MAHB and Malaysia Tourism. This is a strategic initiative, which we have taken up to enhance the outbound tourism from our catchment region to key international destinations to enhance RGIA’s International connectivity and traffic growth.” Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali, Managing Director, MAHB, said, “We are delighted to partner MTPB and GHIAL in this unique endeavour. This mutually beneficial three-way partnership will enhance the visibility of Malaysia’s tourism attractions in Hyderabad and surrounding areas.”  

Read More »

KLM’s Mumbai-Amsterdam resumes service after 16 years

In a move to enhance air connectivity, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) welcomed Dutch Carrier, KLM’s Mumbai and Amsterdam services on October 30. The airline will be operating 294-seater Boeing 787-9 aircraft with 30 World Business Class, 45 Economy Comfort Class And 219 Economy Class. The flights will operate thrice a week. Earlier, Mumbai-Amsterdam route was served with daily services offered by Jet Airways. Along with KLM, the route will be served with a total of ten services per week. Last week, CSIA welcomed Thai Smile’s maiden flight on the Mumbai-Bangkok route, the second airline after Thai Lion to start services on the sector within a month.

Read More »

Vistara records 83% YOY growth in number of passengers

Vistara recorded an excellent performance on several key parameters in September 2017, as per the DGCA monthly report. The airline topped on-time performance (OTP) and passenger load factor (PLF) amongst full service carriers, as well as in consistently maintaining the lowest cancellations and customer complaint rates amongst all pan-India carriers while having zero denied boarding. Vistara’s PLF stood at 84.1 per cent and continued to be the highest amongst all full-service carriers in India for the seventh consecutive month. The airline registered a year-on-year growth of 60 per cent in weekly flights from July-September 2017, operating close to 100 daily flights across 19 destinations. Though its fleet in the period increased just 23 per cent, Vistara had flown 1.1m passengers, compared to 0.6m in the same period the previous year, demonstrating 83 per cent growth and resulting in a 12pp increase in its average load factor. The improved performance was driven by higher utilisation of aircraft compared to the same period last year.

Read More »

China Southern to fly Delhi-Cairns via Guangzhou from Dec 4

Cairns will become the sixth destination for China Southern airlines’ operations in Australia, starting December 4. The announcement was made by Gloria Wang, General Manager, China Southern Airlines at a cocktail evening in New Delhi, celebrating 10 years anniversary of the airlines’ operations on the Delhi-Guangzhou route. The new flight connecting Delhi to Cairns via Guangzhou will operate thrice weekly. This addition gives a new perspective to the Indian market to use China Southern not only to travel to China but also to use it for its expanding networks globally. Talking about the future operations of the airline Wang added, “By 2020, China Southern Airlines will have 1000 aircrafts in its fleet and our flying map will cover many more international destinations in addition to our existing connections.”

Read More »

Over 16% increase in domestic air traffic in Sep’17

According to data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), India’s domestic air traffic registered a growth of 16.43 per cent in September as compared to the same period last year. The Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January to September 2017 were 849.94 lakhs as against 726.98 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 16.91 per cent.  IndiGo carried the highest number of passengers, 3.6 million which was a 38.3 per cent share of the entire domestic aviation market. It was followed by Jet Airways with 1.4 million passengers and SpiceJet with 1.3 million. SpiceJet recorded the highest passenger load factor (PLF) or seat utilisation for the month of September at 94.2 per cent, followed by GoAir at 88.5 per cent and IndiGo at 85.2 per cent, Vistara at 84.1 per cent, Jet Lite at 83.3 per cent, Jet Airways at 80.2 per cent, Air India at 78.6 per cent, TruJet at 74.4 per cent and ZoomAir at 60.1 per cent.  SpiceJet reportedly commented, “This is the 31st month-in-a-row that SpiceJet has flown with load factors in excess of 90 per cent.” However, as compared to the previous months, the passenger load factor in September has shown a declining trend due to the end of tourist season, says the report by DGCA. In terms of on-time performance, IndiGo is at the top with 89.8 per cent of its flights arriving and departing as per schedule. Source: DGCA & inputs fro Business Standard

Read More »

Finnair to open new route to Goa from Nov 1

Finnair is poised to enter the largest expansion in its history during the upcoming winter season with new routes opening to 20 intercontinental destinations including India, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Lapland. Finnair is opening new routes to Goa from November 1, 2017; to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on November 5; to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on November 30 and to Havana, Cuba on December 1. Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair says, “This winter, we are entering the biggest expansion phase in our airline’s 94-year history. We are opening several new destinations, expanding our network and fleet including our eleven Airbus A350s, adding capacity to Finnish Lapland and taking important strides in our customer experience. It’s a very exciting time to fly Finnair.” Finnair currently flies six weekly to Delhi, two weekly to Goa, and 16 weekly to Bangkok, among other Asian destinations. Due to the continued increase in demand for Lapland as a tourist destination, Finnair is also heavily expanding its capacity to several Lapland airports for the upcoming winter season. The airline is increasing its capacity to Lapland by over 20 per cent. As of mid-December, Finnair will start flying new non-stop flights to Lapland airports from London Gatwick, Paris and Zurich. Finnair is also increasing its capacity from Helsinki airport to several Lapland airports for the entire winter season and offers a total of 430,000 seats to five of Lapland’s airports during the winter season.

Read More »