Category Archives: Aviation

IndiGo to start direct daily to Colombo from Chennai, Bengaluru from Jan 20

Sharing its operational plans from Colombo, IndiGo has announced that Colombo will become its eighth international destination effective January 20, 2018 with daily direct flights from Chennai and Bengaluru. With these new flights, the airline will also offer connections to and from Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and other major Indian cities. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “It gives us immense pleasure to add Colombo to our growing network, which will not only help us cater to the growing tourist potential of the city, but also provide affordable travel options to the Indian workforce who can now look forward to visiting the city more frequently. We are also delighted to partner with Hemas as our GSA partner in Sri Lanka for our sales and distribution services.” Malinga Arsakularatne, Managing Director, Hemas Leisure Travel Aviation Group added, “We welcome IndiGo to Sri Lanka and it is indeed our great pleasure to embark on this exciting partnership. We are confident that the team at Hemas Aviation would deliver the growth ambitions of the airline. We look forward to a long-lasting and a win-win relationship with IndiGo.”

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IndiGo adds flights to Tirupati network

IndiGo has added another flight to its Tirupati network. Tirupati will be connected by three daily non-stop flights to Hyderabad and double daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru. Minister of Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo flagged-off the second flight from Tirupati to Hyderabad at Tirupati International Airport. Apart from this, Tirupati will also be connected to many new cities on IndiGo’s existing network of Airbus 320s and ATRs. IndiGo will connect Tirupati to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai, Singapore among other cities via Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mangalore.

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Delhi-Chennai direct on Vistara from Feb 15

Vistara has announced the addition of Chennai to its expanding network, making it the 22nd destination on the airline’s network. Effective February 15, 2018, Vistara will operate a daily direct flight between Delhi and Chennai, and increase the frequency to twice daily from March 1, 2018. Vistara will also connect Chennai to Port Blair with a daily direct flight between the two cities, effective March 1, 2018. Bookings are now open on all channels, with one-way fares for Delhi – Chennai (economy class) starting Rs. 3,099 all-in, and Rs. 3,699 all-in for Chennai – Port Blair. As Vistara operates from the state-of-the-art Terminal 3 in Delhi, travelers will enjoy a superior experience, and those connecting to and from international flights at Delhi can seamlessly proceed to international transfers for same-terminal connections.

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NITI Aayog says its unviable to support Air India

NITI Aayog, in its report on the debt-laden Air India, has said that it is “unviable” to provide financial support to the national carrier. Air India has a debt of Rs 51,890 crore. The Government informed the Parliament that it has initiated a process for strategic disinvestment of Air India as part of efforts to revive the national carrier. As part of a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA dispensation, Air India was to receive a bailout package of up to Rs 30,231 crore for a period of 10 years, starting in 2012. “NITI Aayog in its report on Air India has stated that further financial support to an unviable non-priority company in a matured and competitive aviation sector would not be the best use of scarce financial resources of the government,” said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation. The total outstanding loans of Air India as on September 30 last year stood at Rs 51,890 crore as per provisional figures. Of this, the aircraft loans account for Rs 18,364 crore and the working capital loans were at Rs 33,526 crore. In 2016-17, the airline had a net loss of Rs 3,643 crore, while the operating profit rose to Rs 215 crore, the provisional figures showed. Source: PTI  

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BirdRes Technologies receives Level 3 NDC certification

BirdRes Technologies, part of Bird Group and a leading provider of automated aviation and travel related software solutions, has received Level 3 status of New Distribution Capability (NDC) certification. The New Distribution Capability (NDC) certification will allow BirdRes Technologies to offer smoother communication, rich and customised content and further transparency in transactions across its product portfolio. Dr. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group said, “Bird Group has constantly endeavoured to offer the latest and most innovative products. We are delighted to receive the Level 3 Offer and Order Management certification of New Distribution Capability (NDC) that will allow us to offer products that generate greater business value for our customers.” The “NDC Capable” Level 3 status certification was conferred upon to BirdRes Technologies by International Air Transport Association (IATA) on December 14, 2017. The certification recognises entire product portfolio including Birdres.com, Birdres SBT, Front Office Solution, and Consumer Internet Booking Engine support deployments using Level 3 Offer and Order management.

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Mumbai–Kabul air-freight corridor opens

In a historic move, an aircraft carrying perishables arrived at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) from Kabul, Afghanistan, marking the launch of a dedicated air freight corridor service between the two cities. An initiative implemented with the joint efforts of Danish Sarwar, Vice President of Afghanistan and Chennamanneni Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, this connectivity will provide the land-locked Afghanistan greater access to markets in Maharashtra. Additionally, it will allow Afghan businessmen to leverage the economic growth, enhance trade networks and offer Afghan farmers direct access to the markets in western India for their perishable goods. The event was presided over by the Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra, diplomats from the office of Governor of Maharashtra and officials of the Consulate General of Afghanistan. The dignitaries along with officials of CSIA welcomed the inaugural flight routed Kabul-Mumbai-Kabul which carried 40 tons of fresh apples on the inbound and 20 tons of bananas along with 20 tons of fresh tomatoes on the outbound.

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IndiGo to operate flights to Vijayawada from March 2018

Establishing the growing importance of emerging domestic sectors from South India, IndiGo has announced Vijayawada as its 50th destination on its route network. Effective March 2, 2018, the airline will operate daily direct operations connecting Vijayawada to Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai. In line with company’s growth strategy, the airline has also inducted a brand new Airbus A320 NEO aircraft into its existing fleet, taking the overall count to 150 aircraft. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “It gives us immense pleasure to introduce services from Vijayawada. 2017 has been a great year for growth and expansion as the airline clocked many milestones. In the coming years, we will continue to expand our network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers.” The launch of Vijayawada comes just after the carrier’s first ATR flight on Hyderabad-Mangalore sector on December 21, 2017; boosting regional connectivity. IndiGo will also commence operations from Rajahmundry and Tirupati in January 2018.

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Travel Club lounge opens at Terminal 1 of Mumbai Airport

GVK Mumbai International Airport (MIAL) inaugurated the Travel Club lounge at Terminal 1 of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA). Set to be operated by TFS, the lounge promises luxurious hospitality and high quality services, assuring maximum comfort to passengers transiting through the domestic terminal. Passengers can walk in for a hot breakfast, a scrumptious lunch, an evening snack or a light dinner. They can choose their meal from a huge spread of delectable cuisines that are freshly prepared and top it up with a glass of their preferred drink. All the lounges at CSIA are a hallmark of quality and excellence which are recognised at various award ceremonies, globally. The GVK Lounge by TFS Performa was recently awarded as the ‘World’s Leading Airport Lounge’ for the third time in a row at the renowned World Travel Awards held in Vietnam.

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Pride Hotels in tie-up for managing hotel in Puri

Pride Hotels has entered into a tie-up with the Prabhukrupa Reality Group for the management of Ananya Resort, Puri. The resort will now be known as Pride Ananya Resort. Prabhukrupa Reality Group and the owners of Ananya Resort are also planning to develop a convention centre, two new beach resorts, besides other hospitality projects in the future. Located close to Jagannath Temple, the hotel offers a Deluxe, Superior, Premium rooms and Suites, gym, business centre, swimming pool, convention facilities and two board rooms. A new wing of 28 premium rooms was inaugurated during the launch. This takes the total inventory at the resort to 84 rooms. Speaking at the inaugural function, SP Jain, Managing Director, Pride Hotels, said “Odisha has a number of pristine beaches, awe-inspiring temples, picturesque country side, lakes, bird sanctuary and wildlife, which have a tremendous potential for tourism. Pride Hotels is running and managing hotels and resorts on a pan India basis and has an extensive sales and marketing network spread all over the country.”

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Cathay launches Business Plus for Indian business travellers

Cathay Pacific has introduced Business Plus in India – a new corporate sales programme to meet the needs of the Indian business traveller. Business Plus simplifies the business travel management process and rewards those who fly with Cathay Pacific or Cathay Dragon with a range of privileges and benefits. By flying with Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon, companies earn and accrue Business Plus points, thereby enabling them to move up through the airline’s 5-tier system – unlocking rewards and privileges along the way. These include cabin upgrades, Marco Polo Club membership, lounge passes and more. Rajesh Menon, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager – South Asia, Cathay Pacific, said, “In view of the significant growth opportunities from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), we have launched this programme to cater to their travel needs, which can be managed thought our website or via their travel agent. Recognising the vital role of SMEs in India’s economic development, Cathay Pacific selected India as one of its first markets for Business Plus launch. We will be rolling out the programme in other key markets during the course of 2018.”

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