Category Archives: Aviation

IATA appoints Bird Academy as regional training partner

With an aim to develop skilled human capital for the aviation industry, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has appointed Bird Academy as their regional training partner in India. The partnership was made official during a signing ceremony between Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA and Radha Bhatia, Chairperson, Bird Group. Speaking on the partnership, Conrad Clifford, Regional Vice President- Asia Pacific, IATA said, “India is expected to treble to 520 million passengers travelling to, from or within by 2037. The demand for trained aviation professionals will continue to grow. We look forward to a successful partnership with the Bird Academy to fulfill India’s training requirements.”On the occasion, Bhatia also announced that India will be hosting the next IATA Global Training Partner Conference in April 2019.

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Vistara becomes British Airways’ only codeshare partner in India

Vistara and British Airways have signed a codeshare agreement, further deepening their already existing interline partnership. Under the agreement, British Airways will add its ‘BA’ designator code to approximately 60 Vistara-operated flights each day covering 13 Indian cities, including eight new virtual British Airways destinations, namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. Additionally, the BA code will also be put on Vistara flights between Mumbai and Amritsar, and Chennai and Kolkata. Sales under the codeshare agreement are open on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting September 27, 2018. Commenting on this milestone partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to extend our existing interline and through check-in partnership with British Airways to a codeshare agreement. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to taking India’s finest airline brand beyond Indian borders, and it gives us the opportunity of welcoming travellers from around the world to experience the ‘new feeling of flying’ in India with Vistara. We share a lot in common with British Airways, key among which is our focus on delighting customers. We are confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the reciprocal benefits of this collaboration.” Rishi Kapoor, Head of Alliances, British Airways said, “We have been flying to India for more than 90 years, so it is incredibly exciting for us to be able announce this partnership with such a well-respected carrier.”  

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First flight from Navi Mumbai airport to start in 3 years: RN Choubey

The first flight from the upcoming Navi Mumbai International Airport could start operating by September 2021, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey has said. Choubey, who reviewed the progress of the greenfield project at a high-level meeting in Mumbai recently, said both the state government and the concessionaire are hopeful of starting flight operations in three years. “The state government and the concessionaire are optimistic that they will be in a position to start the first flight possibly in three years time from now,” Choubey told reporters in New Delhi. “We are trying to, off course, even compress it even further to see the first flight earlier because not all facilities need to be build to initiate the flights. But that’s probably the timeline and it’s going at very good speed,” he added. He said there has been “good cooperation” between the concessionaire, the project-affected persons and the state government in executing the airport project. The project is being carried out under the public-private-partnership model and Cidco has been mandated to execute the project. GVK group is developing the project. The group through its subsidiary, Mumbai International Airport (MIAL), holds 74 per cent stake in Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIAL), while Cidco holds 26 per cent. In February this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the airport, which will give a breather to single-runway and slot-constrained Chattrapati Shivaji International airport in Mumbai. Source: PTI

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Booking.com partners with Air India to power the airline’s online accommodation offering

Booking.com has partnered with Air India to offer the airline’s customers access to over 28.9 million accommodation listings, including everything from homes, apartments, villas to world-class hotels and resorts from the Air India website. Stewart Jones, Regional Director – Strategic Partnerships, APAC, Booking.com said, “Air India makes it the perfect partner for us to showcase our global online accommodation offering to their domestic and international customers. As India is poised to become the third largest aviation market by 2020 with its fast-growing outbound travel market, we are happy to combine our strengths with Air India’s to deliver the best travel experience to travellers across the country.” Madhu Mathen, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Air India said, “Booking.com’s global reach and unique accommodation offerings is a key reason we chose the online accommodation platform as one of our first accommodation partner. As a member of the world’s largest airline alliance – Star Alliance, Air India has passengers that are globe-trotters. Partnering with Booking.com enables us at Air India to provide our customers a broad & unique variety of accommodation options in any city we fly them to.”  

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Growth forecasts see Indian aviation receive 300% increase in passenger traffic by 2037

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), at International Aviation Summit held in Delhi, called on the government of India to maximise the potential contribution of aviation to India’s development by addressing infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that impose excessive costs on aviation. Growth forecasts for India indicate a trebling of passenger demand by 2037 when some 500 million people are expected to fly to, from or within India. Already aviation supports 7.5 million Indian jobs and Rs 30 billion of GDP (1.5% of the economy). The Summit, being co-hosted by the Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Airports Authority India (AAI) and IATA, commemorates the approaching milestone of 50-straight months of double digit domestic growth for Indian aviation. “While it is easy to find Indian passengers who want to fly, it’s very difficult for airlines to make money in this market. India’s social and economic development needs airlines to be able to profitably accommodate growing demand. We must address infrastructure constraints that limit growth and government policies that deviate from global standards and drive up the cost of connectivity,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO, IATA. India’s aviation infrastructure has benefitted from significant upgrades in recent years. “It is clear that India has the capacity to develop effective infrastructure. But the job is not done. Passenger numbers will grow. And infrastructure must not be a bottleneck in fulfilling the needs of travelers and the economy,” said de Juniac who called for work in four priority areas – develop a comprehensive and strategic master plan for India’s airports, remove all obstacles to successfully opening Navi Mumbai as quickly as possible, modernise airport processes using technology in …

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MIAL inducts advanced emergency passenger evacuation vehicle

GVK Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), the company that administers the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), has inducted first-of-its-kind Advanced Passenger Evacuation Vehicle for rescuing stranded personnel from inaccessible areas of aircraft. The vehicle covers all types of aircraft currently used in the Aviation industry, including A380 which is the biggest civilian aircraft available now. This highly developed vehicle will be used for rescuing stranded personnel, wherein conventional alighting systems cannot be employed. In the unlikely event of an aircraft veering away from its normal path, this equipment can be rushed to the spot and the attached ladder can be extended up to aircraft door for passengers or crew to be safely evacuated. This ladder can be extended up to a maximum height of 8.3 metres. The escape stairs have high evacuation load capacity of approximately 115 people at one time. This machine is equipped with an engine of 540 HP which will give an acceleration of 0-80 km per hour in less than 40 seconds which is one of the fastest in this category. The vehicle is fitted with high pressure smoke ventilation system which can remove smoke from fuselage/ cockpit and increase chances of surviving. This highly developed machine can also reach off-road surfaces with 6X6 wheel drive system on single wheel configuration

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Jet to introduce nine industry-first domestic routes in September

Continuing its focus on growing its domestic presence, Jet Airways is set to introduce 28 new flights in the coming month. Jet Airways’ new services – including industry firsts as well as a mix of non-stop and one-stop flights – will strengthen the airline’s footprint, enabling it to meet the rising demand for domestic and international air travel in emerging cities. The new services will also help connect guests with other cities including metros as well as the airline’s global network via its hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru. In a series of industry-firsts, Jet Airways will introduce daily flights from Indore, connecting the ‘largest city in Madhya Pradesh’ to Jodhpur as well as to Vadodara. In other notable firsts, Jet Airways is also set to commence flight operations between Chandigarh and Lucknow, Ahmedabad and Jodhpur as well as Vadodara and Jaipur. Jet Airways will be the only airline in the country operating these routes which will improve connectivity between north India and central as well as western India. Raj Sivakumar, Senior Vice President – Worldwide Sales & Distribution, Jet Airways, said, “As air travel gains prominence in emerging cities across India such as Indore, Jodhpur, Guwahati, Visakhapatnam and Vadodara, there is an increasing need to introduce connectivity solution for these cities. New flights, additional frequencies, greater capacity across more sectors are meant to offer our discerning guests additional choice, convenience, connectivity and superior comfort.”

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GoAir to commence international operations from October 2018

GoAir is all set to commence its international flight operations by offering India’s first-ever direct service to Phuket, Thailand effective October 11, 2018 from Delhi and Mumbai. This will be followed by its second international service connecting Mumbai and Delhi with Male, Maldives effective October 14, 2018. These destinations will also be connected from Bengaluru in the near future. GoAir will continue to operate its A320 aircraft in all operations and on both these international routes. The airline will operate three direct flight services per week between Mumbai – Phuket – Mumbai at a return fare starting from Rs 18,999 (all inclusive); two direct flight services per week between Delhi – Phuket – Delhi at a return fare starting from Rs 18,999 (all inclusive). Similarly the airline will operate three direct flight services per week between Mumbai – Male – Mumbai at a return fare starting from Rs 17,999 (all inclusive); 2 direct flight services per week between Delhi – Male – Delhi at a return fare starting from Rs 18,999 (all inclusive). Commenting on the launch of their international operations, Cornelis Vrieswijk, CEO, GoAir said, “Phuket and Male are key tourist destination and hold a lot of promise. As an LCC, we have always strived to offer the best value for money to our customers and now we extend this proposition to the international traveller as well. The international schedules have been planned to allow quick and convenient connections for customers and is a reflection of our continued journey towards excellence.”    

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IndiGo announces Kuwait and Abu Dhabi as new destinations

IndiGo has launched Kuwait and Abu Dhabi as its new destinations, effective October 2018. To provide enhanced connectivity across India, IndiGo has added 24 new flights to its network. IndiGo will become the first domestic airline to introduce services connecting Port Blair with Hyderabad and Vadodara. These flights will commence from September 2018. In addition, 6E will operate its first daily return flight between Surat and Chennai, daily non-stop return service between Delhi and Imphal, direct flights to Vijayawada from Delhi.  The airline will also add two international new routes connecting Doha with Ahmedabad and Trivandrum. These new services will be effective October 2018. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We will operate the first flight between Kuwait and Chennai and Calicut and Abu Dhabi starting October this year. It also gives us immense pleasure to add 24 additional flights to 6E network. IndiGo has completed 12 years of successful operations in the India market as a low cost carrier, and adding new flights to its network will further augment the connectivity that we aspire to provide to our customers.”

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Air India to give 3-8% backend incentive to agents on EMDs

In a recent communication to Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Air India has agreed to TAAI’s request to give travel agents a backend incentive of 3 per cent on international sector and 8 per cent on domestic sector on Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) value exclusive of taxes for issuance of EMD for preferred seat selection. This incentive will be apart from normal commission applicable on sale of Preferred Seat Selection (PSS). The communication states that the backend incentive will be payable on a quarterly basis to BSP India agents on flown revenue basis. This means that other than the normal commission, agents will also be eligible for this incentive.

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