Category Archives: Aviation

Air Italy partners with Vistara to boost connectivity between India and Italy

Air Italy and Vistara have signed an interline commercial agreement to offer single tickets for all customers from Italy to a range of Indian destinations with effect from January 7. Under the agreement, Air Italy will offer its customers the opportunity to fly to and from Chennai, Goa, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Kochi, Kolkata and Hyderabad, in connection with its Milan Malpensa-Delhi and Milan Malpensa-Mumbai flights launched respectively on December 6 and 13, 2018. Rossen Dimitrov, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Air Italy, said, The commencement of our partnership with Vistara is great news for passengers of both airlines. We are glad to strengthen our relations with our Indian partner which has rapidly expanded its network and services in a very short time. Our India-bound customers departing from the US and from Italy can now benefit from a wider selection of cities in addition to Delhi and Mumbai within a single ticket. Our aim is to ensure our passengers a smooth and enjoyable flight and along with our commercial partner to enable them to discover every part of this magnificent country.

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Air India to launch flights to Allahabad from Delhi, Ahmedabad & Kolkata for Kumbh Mela

Facilitating the movement of passengers during Kumbh Mela (January 15 to March 4), Air India has announced the launch of new flights to Allahabad from Delhi, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. The new flights will operate from January 13 to March 30, according to an official statement. Air India said the new flight on Delhi-Allahabad route will operate on five days of the week–Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while flights on Ahmedabad-Allahabad route will operate on Wednesday and Saturday. The flight on Kolkata-Allahabad route will operate on three days of the week–Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, the airline said. Source: PTI

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We remain focused on our airlines business turnaround: Jet Airways

In an earnings conference call for Q2 FY2019 of the Jet Airways management with analysts, Vinay Dube, CEO, Jet Airways, has said that the airline remains focused on its airlines business turnaround. He said, “Instead of witnessing an increase in fares to recover cost increases, the industry fares and yields are in fact down. Such a low-fare environment is neither sustainable for the industry nor good for the consumer in the medium term, and it is imperative that fares rise in the short term. However, hope is not a strategy, and we remain focused on our airlines business turnaround, which we are happy to report, is on track.” Underlining some of its efforts, he added, “Our operational reliability and on-time performance is the best we have seen over the last three years. The airline’s arrival on-time performance for this quarter was 84 per cent, which is a substantial 15 per cent point higher than Q2 of last year.” Sharing the results of the second quarter for fiscal year 2019, Dube said, “This quarter, we reported a loss of Rs 1,261 crore at a consolidated level. Excluding the impact of foreign exchange losses due to the depreciation rupee, the loss was Rs 823 crores.” Speaking about the challenging times the industry in general has been witnessing, Dube said, “While aviation in general is not an easy business globally, in India both the opportunities and challenges faced by the sector are at a totally different level. The opportunity is staggering because of our highly underpenetrated aviation market with a fast-growing economy and a growing population. But the challenges are equally staggering, as airlines battle for market share, not profitability, by dumping capacity …

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94 AAI airports incurred losses in 2017-18: Suresh Prabhu

Airport Authority of India (AAI)’s 94 airports incurred losses in the financial year 2017-18, informed Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha recently. “The losses are mainly due to low revenue generation to meet the total expenditure of the respective airports,“ said Prabhu while citing the reason. AAI owns and manages 129 airports around the country. He further said that the authority has taken steps to enhance aeronautical revenue in the form of increase in tarrif at non-major airports and measures for commercial exploitation at some airports to increase the revenue and to reduce losses.

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Reduction in GST on government-facilitated religious tours by air

Centre has announced reduction in GST (Goods and Services Tax) on a total of 23 goods and services. Under the new rates, air travel of pilgrims by non-scheduled/charter operations, being facilitated by the government under bilateral arrangements, will attract a lower GST rate of 5 per cent. This would include pilgrimages like Mansarovar Yatra, the Haj, and the Pashupatinath tour. These tours are usually done by chartered and non-scheduled flights, and will now be cheaper under the new GST rates. Earlier, tours through chartered flights attracted 18 per cent GST.

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No commission for tickets issued on Air China Document

According to a recent notification by Air China, commission for all tickets issued on Air China Document by travel agents in India will be 0% (nil) with effect from January 1, 2019. In line with it, the airline said, “We are currently updating all systems, all tickets issued before this update for travel on or after January 1, 2019 will follow our current IATA Commision Rule.”

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Mumbai airport reports 10% increase in air traffic movement

Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) saw a 10 per cent increase in overall air traffic movement as compared to the previous reporting periodm, according to GVK MIAL’s recently-published fourth biennial Sustainability Report 2018. The report also said that there was 22 per cent increase in domestic passengers and 13 per cent increase in international passengers during the reporting period as compared to the previous reporting period. The report is based on the theme – ‘Coming Together for a Sustainable Tomorrow’, showcases performance and achievements for FY 2016–17 and FY 2017–18. Through this report, MIAL aims to keep its stakeholders informed regarding progress on vital sustainability issues such as climate change, safety & security, environment & health and others to create value in short, medium and long term. MIAL is the first and only airport operator in India to publish Sustainability Report in public domain. Through the report, MIAL has demonstrated its commitment towards meaningful participation for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This report has been developed ‘In accordance’ – Comprehensive option of the latest Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Standards. Based on GRI database MIAL is the first airport operator in Asia to release the sustainability report in accordance with GRI Standards – comprehensive option. The report is externally assured by Bureau Veritas (India) in line with requirements of the AccountAbility 1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS) (2008) – Type 2 Moderate level.

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Alliance Air to commence flights on Pantnagar-Dehradun route from January 4

Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, is set to introduce flights between Pantnagar and Dehradun under the UDAN scheme from January 4, 2019. “Alliance Air will commence its flight on Pantnagar-Dehradun-Pantnagar route with an ATR-42 type aircraft. Flight AI-9823 will depart from Pantnagar at 13:40 hrs to land in Dehradun at 14:40 hrs,” Alliance Air said in a statement. Pantnagar is an important commercial and industrial hub in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. It is famous for having the first agricultural university in India known as the G B Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. The Air India subsidiary said the return flight will depart from Dehradun at 15:05 hrs to land in Pantnagar at 15:55 hrs. It added that the flight will run four days a week – Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The primary objective of UDAN is to connect small cities of the country at affordable fares.

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Make in-flight announcements in local language: DGCA

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued an advisory stating that airlines may consider using local language for in-flight announcements “to extent feasible”. Moreover, in order to enhance awareness about the cultural heritage of India, pilots can make in-flight announcements about important monuments or sites enroute the flight, the advisory said. Announcements in local language would be in addition to the ones made in Hindi and English, according to the DGCA advisory. The DGCA clarified in its latest advisory that airlines may make the aforementioned additional in-flight announcements without compromising any safety requirements or core job functions of crew members. “It is made clear that the above announcements be made without compromising safety of operations at any stage,” the advisory added. In 2016, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) had issued a circular asking airports under its control to make public announcements in the local language followed by Hindi and English. There are more than 100 operational airports in India. “To enhance awareness about cultural heritage of India, pilot can make in-flight announcement about the important monument or site (such as the Taj Mahal, the Konark Temple, the Ajanta Ellora, the Statue of Unity, etc), which are enroute the flight,” the DGCA advisory stated.

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SpiceJet begins direct flight between Kolkata and Lilabari under UDAN scheme

SpiceJet has announced a daily direct flight on the Kolkata-Lilabari route under the regional connectivity scheme, UDAN. Reiterating its focus on regional connectivity, the airline also announced a new direct flight connecting Kolkata with Jabalpur and an additional frequency on Hyderabad-Jabalpur route. All new flights and frequencies are scheduled to commence from January 15. According to a statement released by the airline, “SpiceJet is celebrating the launch by announcing an introductory promotional fare starting at Rs 3,700 on Kolkata-Lilabari and Lilabari-Kolkata routes, Rs 3,969 on Kolkata-Jabalpur and Rs 3,949 on Jabalpur-Kolkata, routes.” The primary objective of (UDAN) scheme is to connect small cities of the country at affordable fares. Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet, said, “Lilabari is our first destination in Assam under the UDAN scheme and we are confident that the new flight will provide impetus to the tourism potential of the state.”

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