Category Archives: Aviation

Electronic device ban lifted on Abu Dhabi-US flights

Passengers travelling to the United States from Abu Dhabi International Airport can now carry their electronic devices with them. According to a statement released by Etihad Aviation Group, following the successful validation of security measures at the US Preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi Airport today, the US Department of Homeland Security lifted the electronic device ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States. It is anticipated that Etihad Airways is one of the first airlines to be able to satisfy the short-term measures required by the Transportation Security Administration due to the superior security advantages provided by the preclearance facility. “We welcome the decision by the US Department of Homeland Security to lift the electronic devices ban on flights between Abu Dhabi and the United States. Effective immediately, the removal of the restrictions allows passengers flying to the US to carry all laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices onto the aircraft, subject to enhanced security measures. We would like to thank our guests for their understanding and loyalty while the ban was in place,” said the statement.

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Air Canada to launch direct Mumbai-Toronto service on July 2

Air Canada inaugurates new, non-stop Toronto–Mumbai service on July 2, the only non-stop flight from Canada to India’s financial hub. The four-times weekly service will be operated with Air Canada’s most modern aircraft, the 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. With the new Toronto–Mumbai route, Air Canada now offers three Boeing 787 Dreamliner routes between Canada and India, including year-round daily Toronto–Delhi service and seasonal Vancouver–Delhi service, which resumes in October and will be expanded to up to five times weekly this winter from three-times weekly last winter. “Our non-stop flights from our Asia-Pacific Vancouver hub feature 787-9 Dreamliner service and offer the shortest elapsed flying time from Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to the Indian subcontinent,” said Duncan Bureau, Vice President, Global Sales, Air Canada. “Our non-stop flight, coupled with our streamlined and seamless connections process at Vancouver translates to a savings of three to five hours compared to itineraries with connections in Europe or Asia.”

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SQ’s A350 daily service from Mumbai-Singapore from July 1

Singapore Airlines has announced the introduction of its A350 services to India. Mumbai will be the 16th destination within its network to receive the Airbus A350-900 aircraft. The daily scheduled Singapore Airlines flight SQ421 will be served by this new aircraft and the inaugural A350 service will depart from Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai at 1145hrs on 01 July 2017. With advanced technology and superior operating efficiency, the A350-900 offers customers an improved travelling experience with features such as higher ceilings, larger windows, an extra wide body and lighting designed to reduce jetlag. Customers will also be able to enjoy our latest-generation cabin products as well as the award-winning, KrisWorld inflight entertainment system. The aircraft is fitted with 253 seats, in a three-class configuration – 42 in Business Class, 24 in Premium Economy and 187 in Economy. Singapore Airlines took delivery of its first A350-900 in March 2016 and now has 15 of the aircraft type in its fleet, with another 52 on firm order, including seven of an ultra-long-range A350-900ULR variant. Singapore Airlines is the launch customer for the A350-900ULR, for which deliveries will begin in 2018. The aircraft will be used to re-launch non-stop flights between Singapore and both New York and Los Angeles. “Singapore Airlines continually looks for opportunities to enhance the travel experience of our Indian patrons. The launch of A350 services to India is a testament to our commitment towards operating a modern and young fleet across the world,” said David Lim, General Manager India, Singapore Airlines. In conjunction with Singapore Airlines 70th anniversary, travellers from Mumbai can enjoy the A350 experience with special fares starting from Rs 22,070 to Singapore.

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India’s travel market to be $48 bn by 2020: Google, BCG report

Indian passenger travel market is projected to grow at 11-11.5 per cent to $48 billion by 2020 with the biggest contributor, air travel expected to grow at 15 per cent to $30 billion. Hotels will grow at 13 per cent to $13 billion by 2020 while railways will remain $5 billion. This was revealed in a report on the growth opportunities in the Indian hospitality market over the next four years, released by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Google India. The report titled, ‘Demystifying the Indian Online Traveler’ charts the decision making journey of the Indian traveler and provides insights on the potential growth opportunities for travel businesses till 2020. Additionally, as more people come online, smartphone penetration increases and use of digital payments goes up, the report estimates that India’s online hotel market will grow to $4 billion with 31 per cent penetration at a CAGR of 25 per cent. Speaking about the key findings of the report, Vikas Agnihotri, Industry Director, Google India, said; “India’s domestic travel market is on an acceleration path. One of the key findings of the report is that by 2020, one in three hotel rooms will be booked online – a clear indicator of the growing importance of digital in travel research, planning and booking. There are several actionable insights for domestic online travel players including the role of mobile and the level of curation and personalisation that Indian travelers are looking for.” Demystifying the travel planning journey of the typical Indian consumer, the report shows that for many Indian consumers, a vacation is an event planned in advance as opposed to being an impulsive purchase. Consumers typically spend 46 days on average …

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Cabinet gives ‘in principle’ approval for Air India disinvestment

The Government has given ‘in principle’ approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval to fourth tranche recommendations of NITI Aayog on strategic disinvestment of CPSE (strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries) based on the recommendations of Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment (CGD). Constitution of an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism headed by Minister of Finance including Minister for Civil Aviation and other Ministers will guide the process on strategic disinvestment from time to time and decide the treatment of unsustainable debt of Air India, hive off of certain assets to a shell company, demerger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries, the quantum of disinvestment, and the universe of bidders.

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SpiceJet to launch another Delhi-Patna flight from July 10

SpiceJet is all set to launch a new service between Delhi and Patna from July 10, which would take the number of flights from Patna to the national capital to 19 daily. On the other hand, Jet Airways will withdraw its morning connection between Patna and Delhi from July 15. Starting July 1, SpiceJet will be connecting seven new destinations to Patna, including Chennai, Hyderabad and Surat, which are new connections for SpiceJet. Kolkata, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Delhi are the other four destinations.

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Jet Airways expands codeshares to Europe for Mumbai, Chennai & Bengaluru routes

Jet Airways has announced codeshare enhancements with Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, and Delta Air Lines to expand connectivity options for guests flying between India and Europe. In the first instance, Air France and Delta are code-sharing on Jet Airways’ current service between Mumbai and Paris. Additionally, Air France, together with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines, also codeshare on Jet Airways’ newly announced flight between Chennai and Paris, scheduled to begin October 29, 2017. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines will also codeshare on Jet Airways’ daily flight between Bengaluru and Amsterdam commencing October 29, 2017. Additionally, Delta Air Lines will also codeshare on Jet Airways’ third frequency between Mumbai and London. Athens, Barcelona, Bilbao, Budapest, Dublin, Krakow, Leeds, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Lyon, Nice and Warsaw will now be seamlessly connected on code-shared flights. Jet Airways also codeshares on Air France services connecting Mumbai and Paris as well as KLM’s newly-announced thrice-a-week service between Mumbai and Amsterdam, beginning October 29, 2017. All these new flights are already open for sale. The new codeshare additions enable the airline’s guests to enjoy convenient access to as many as 43 European destinations via Amsterdam and 27 via Paris as well as 34 in North America, together with the unmatched flexibility and choice of flying via multiple gateways and routes. Guests travelling from Europe or North America will gain easy access to 45 Indian cities on Jet Airways’ extensive domestic network via Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways, said, “The expanded cooperation reaffirms our commitment to offer our guests choice and seamless connectivity. In fact, our guests travelling to Europe and North …

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Delhi-NCR to get its 2nd international airport at Jewar

Delhi-NCR is all set to have its second international airport, after the government granted in-principle approval for a greenfield airport at Jewar in Greater Noida. Making this announcement, P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister, Civil Aviation, said that the air traffic in the NCR region is growing very fast. From the current level of 62 million passengers per annum, it is expected to reach upto 91 MPPA by 2020 and 109 MPPA by 2024, which would be the saturation point for the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. So Delhi will require a second airport in the next 7-10 years. The minister said that the Government of Uttar Pradesh had submitted a proposal for construction of a new Greenfield International Airport at Jewar in Greater Noida, and the Ministry of Civil Aviation has accorded in principle approval for the project based on the recommendations of the Steering Committee on Greenfield Airports, headed by the Secretary (CA). The Noida International Airport will be located 72kms from IGI Airport and 65 kms from Hindon Air Force station Ghaziabad. Yamuna Expressway Industrial Development Authority (YEIDA) is the implementing authority of the project. An area of 3000 hectares has been notified for the airport which will be developed in phases. An area of 1000 hectares will be developed in the first phase at an estimated cost of Rs 10,000 crores. There will be one runway in the first phase. Three more runways will be developed in subsequent phases. The total cost of development of all phases is expected to be around Rs 15-20,000 crores. The airport is expected to cater to 30-50 million passengers per year over the next 10 to 15 years. Government …

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AAI selects Tata Elxsi to improve passenger experience

Tata Elxsi, a global design and technology services company, has been selected by the Airports Authority of India(AAI) out of a competitive global bid to improve passenger experience for all AAI-managed airports. As the design partner, Tata Elxsi will help AAI to provide a seamless passenger travel experience. Tata Elxsi will be primarily responsible to set the wayfinding and information design guidelines for all AAI airports coming up in the future and enable AAI to set a team and create a process to design and implement world-class, customer-centric information and wayfinding systems. This will cover the entire passenger journey right from parking to boarding the plane, to making the spaces efficient and user-friendly. The design will be in line with global standards and Tata Elxsi will set the guidelines/standards for all future airports. Tata Elxsi has already started the work on creating an intuitive, customer-centric wayfinding system and developing a unique image for several airport terminals. Narendra Ghate, Chief Designer, Service Design, Tata Elxsi said, “Having worked in the past on redefining the passenger experience for some leading airports in India, gave Tata Elxsi an edge. Tata Elxsi has already commenced work across the shortlisted 10 airports – Goa, Kolkata, Varanasi, Lucknow, Chennai, Bhubaneshwar, Pune, Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Guwahati.”

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GoAir launches third daily direct flight between Bengaluru and Delhi

GoAir is set to increase its operations between Bengaluru and New Delhi from June 24, 2017 with the launch of a third daily direct flight between the two cities. The flight will leave Bengaluru at 11:35 hours, reaching Delhi at 14:20 hours. A return flight will leave Delhi at 15:05 hours and reach at 18:00 hours. The new additional service has been introduced in response to a growing demand in this sector, particularly from corporate travellers. With this addition, GoAir now flies 1225 weekly flights between its 23 destinations serviced.

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