Category Archives: Aviation

MoCA consults partners to design upgraded AirSewa 2.0

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, in its meeting with industry stakeholders, invited suggestions for designing AirSewa 2.0, which would be the upgraded version of the AirSewa web portal and mobile app that was launched in November last year to make air travel convenient and hassle-free. Nodal Officers of all stakeholders like airlines, airports, immigration, customs, DGCA, etc. attended the meeting. All of them shared valuable suggestions for service improvement, enhancing user comfort and quick redressal of complaints, which will be considered for  incorporation in the design of AirSewa 2.0. This comes in line with the success of AirSewa1.0 which has been well received, with around 19,000 app downloads and over 65,000 web portal hits since its launch. More than 92 per cent of grievances have been resolved and most of them within the stipulated time limits.

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Vistara appoints Leslie Thng as the new CEO

The Board of Vistara (TATA SIA Airlines Ltd), and the two promoters of the company, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, as part of the plan, have named Leslie Thng to succeed Phee Teik Yeoh as Chief Executive Officer for Vistara, effective October 2017. This is subject to approval of the Government of India. Phee Teik Yeoh, currently the Chief Executive Officer of Vistara, will be returning to Singapore Airlines (SIA) to take up a senior appointment. Yeoh, who has been an SIA veteran, is credited with successfully leading Vistara since its establishment in January 2015. Thng, who started his career in SIA, has held many senior positions in the airline, and has significant experience across international markets and various businesses. Prior to being appointed Chief Commercial Officer for Budget Aviation Holdings (BAH, a Singapore Airlines owned holding company), he was Chief Executive of SilkAir. Leslie will lead Vistara in its next phase of growth, including international operations.

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Greece’s Sky Express appoints Aviareps as its GSA

Aviareps has been appointed by Sky Express to represent the Greek domestic airline as its General Sales Agent (GSA) in eight markets around the world including Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. The appointment, made with immediate effect, is the result of the airline’s initiative to expand its sales and marketing outreach internationally to travellers and travel industry leaders in key strategic markets. Operating out of its three domestic hubs of Athens, Thessaloniki and Heraklion in Crete, Sky Express connects travellers to 29 major tourist, cultural and business centres throughout Greece including Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Milos, Paros, Naxos, Kos, Mytilene, Ikaria, Zakynthos Kythira, Chios, Karpathos, Syros and Skyros to name a few. The fleet, which consists mainly of ATR aircrafts, is available for scheduled and charter flights, for individual passengers or groups. All Sky Express passengers departing from Athens or Thessaloniki are also provided free access to Business Lounge facilities.

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Royal Jordanian Airlines latest to have electronic ban lifted

Royal Jordanian Airlines has announced that it has been removed from the laptop ban for carry-on bags to the US. Even Kuwait Airways has had the electronic ban removed in flights to the US. The flagship carrier of Jordan was amongst the nine airlines flying from 10 airports in eight countries where electronic devices larger than cell phones in carry-on bags were banned. Etihad Airways was the first airline to announce the lifting of the ban on July 2, followed by Emirates Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Qatar Airways. The airlines that are still listed in the March laptop ban include EgyptAir, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Royal Air Maroc.    

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Over 350 delegates @ MoCA’s 1st WINGS 2017

Ministry of Civil Aviation, hosted the first edition of WINGS 2017 – ‘Sab Uden, Sab Juden”- Expanding Regional Connectivity in New Delhi.  The plenary session was chaired by  P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation.  Around 338 delegates from the government and civil aviation sector participated in the event which included key stakeholders from all states, tourism departments and tour operators. The stakeholders interacted amongst themselves in 112 one to one discussions (G2B meetings) with the airlines operators in an attempt to showcase their destinations and routes as viable business market for the airlines. They represented airline consumers to facilitate interaction with various airlines, airport operators, cargo operators and other ecosystem players at a common forum. Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation;Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, MoCA; B S Bhullar, Director General of Civil Aviation; Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India; Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and Pratyush Kumar, Chairman, FICCI National Aviation Committee also attended the sessions. 19 states made presentations emphasising the incentives or special packages to the airlines other than the support offered by Government of India under RCS- UDAN. The closed-door event entailed incentives to the airlines operators such as underwriting of seats, reducing the tax on ATF, additional VGF, night parking, concessional electricity and water charges, infrastructural support etc. and routes and airport wise benefits. This event proved to be an ideal platform for states to project themselves as a viable aviation market and showcasing the strength and opportunities in the aviation sector to the potential airlines.

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PM announces flights from Delhi & Mumbai to Tel Aviv

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his visit to Israel has announced plans to launch flight service to Tel Aviv from Delhi and Mumbai. He made the announcement addressing the Indian diaspora in Israel on Wednesday, and urged the community to make frequent visits to India with this flight. The Prime Minister promised to ease the process of acquiring Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) cards by Israelis of Indian origin. Now, people of Indian community who have done compulsory army service in Israel will be eligible for OCI cards. He also announced that an Indian Cultural Centre would be set up in Israel.

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AI launches Delhi-Washington direct flight from July 7

Air India will finally start operations on its Delhi-Washington route with a direct flight from July 7, 2017. While the national carrier is grappling with the disinvestment issue, it is continuing to start the new flights which it had already announced. Air India hosted a gala evening to launch the flight for the travel trade at The Ashok, New Delhi, which saw the bigwigs of the industry in attendance.

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21% Y-o-Y growth in Indian passenger movements at Changi Airport

For May 2017, Changi Airport’s biggest source market was India with a 21 per cent y-o-y growth in passenger traffic. Traffic to and from Mumbai and Chennai have risen by more than 20 per cent, states the official report.For the month of May, passenger traffic was boosted by a robust 17 per cent growth in South Asia traffic, while 5.0 million passenger movements were recorded which was 4.6 per cent higher than in the same period last year. As on June 1, 2017, more than 100 airlines operate at Changi Airport, connecting Singapore to some 380 cities in about 90 countries and territories worldwide. With more than 7,000 weekly scheduled flights, an aircraft takes off or lands at Changi roughly once every 90 seconds.

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Batik Air to start 2 new daily flights to India from Bali

According to reports, Batik Air, a subsidiary of Lion Air, is expected to introduce two new daily flights that will fly to three cities in India, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, from Bali. Passengers will be transported on an Airbus A320 fleet, departing from Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali to India. Achmad Luthfie, President Director, Batik Air, said, “It is already in the finalisation stage and will start operating around July. We’ve already received slots in India, Malaysia and Australia.” He further added,”The economies of both countries keep growing. Moreover, these two countries have the biggest populations in the world. In India, there are about 200 million people who are in the upper middle class group and have travelled overseas. This is where the market potential lies.” Currently, Batik Air has 37 planes, but by the end of this year, the airline plans to have 41. The total number of flights that Batik Air has on a daily basis has reached 209, with the airline’s on-time performance at 95 percent.

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Singapore to enhance air connectivity to India

Singapore is mulling over increasing airline services to India, which reportedly could make India the fastest-growing air-traffic generating market for Changi Airport, leaving behind China and Indonesia. There are talks of new flights being launched to Pune, Madurai, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati from Singapore, according to Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director for Air Hub Development, Changi Airport Group. A total of nine airlines, including Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Tigerair, Air India and Jet Airways, fly between Singapore and India. Over 1.7 million passengers travelled between Singapore and India between January and May this year, which is a 15 per cent increase over last year. IndiGo also launched a new flight between Singapore and Bengaluru last month.

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