Category Archives: Aviation

Vistara celebrates its 3 millionth customer

Vistara surprised its three millionth customer at Kolkata’s Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport with a grand welcome and a live acoustic music performance. The passenger also received a courtesy upgrade to Vistara’s Business Class cabin on his flight to Delhi. Expressing delight on the milestone achievement,  Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “There’s nothing more satisfying for us than to see our customers reacting positively to our product and service. 3 million is not just any number to us. It is a significant milestone in our journey to become a world-renowned airline of choice esteemed for its exceptional customer service. This milestone celebration could not have been more timely, taking place just before Diwali. Our fast growing fan base is a strong endorsement of our brand and a fruition of our relentless commitment to transforming the flying experience in India, forever. This milestone achievement only strengthens our resolve further to delight our customers at every encounter, on every journey. We look forward to welcoming our five millionth customer on board soon.”

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Air New Zealand appoints Global Destinations as GSA

Mumbai-based Global Destinations will provide all General Sales Agency support to Air New Zealand in India effective November 1, 2016. Pranav Kapadia, Managing Director, Global Destinations, said, “With our strong knowledge of destination New Zealand, we will be a valuable partner to Air New Zealand. Over the coming months, we will appoint two new staff – a sales manager for Air New Zealand and a Market Development Executive for Air New Zealand. We are excited about this new partnership as Air New Zealand expands its sales and marketing activity in India.” Global Destinations has more than 18 years of experience in the industry. Mischa Mannix-Opie, Area Manager South & South East Asia, Air New Zealand, added, “While Air New Zealand continues to grow its sales and marketing activity in India, it’s vital we work alongside effective agency partners. We’re confident Global Destinations will help us to further strengthen our relationships across the India travel industry.” Air New Zealand’s alliance and code share services with Singapore Airlines connect customers from 11 Indian cities on Singapore Airlines and SilkAir services to Singapore. From there, customers can access three non-stop flights a day from Singapore to Auckland and Christchurch, four times a week to Wellington; connecting to Air New Zealand’s 21 domestic destinations within the country.

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Etihad Airways expands India–UAE service with Jet Airways

Etihad Airways will launch a fourth daily flight between Abu Dhabi and Kozhikode on 26 March 2017, capitalising on the strong traffic flows between the state of Kerala and the UAE, and beyond. The airline will also double its frequency between Abu Dhabi and Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat, from 1 February 2017 with the launch of a new daily service. Etihad Airways announced the expansion of scheduled services between Abu Dhabi and India as strategic partner Jet Airways unveiled new routes and additional frequencies to further strengthen their partnership. From early 2017, the two airlines will expand their services between the United Arab Emirates and India by adding 28 weekly flights and three further Indian cities. Jet Airways recently announced the launch of daily flights between Tiruchirappalli (Trichy), Tamil Nadu, and Abu Dhabi on 1 February 2017, offering travellers another option from southern India. Jet Airways will also introduce daily services from Kannur, the fourth Kerala gateway to Abu Dhabi. It also plans daily services from the northern Indian city of Chandigarh to Abu Dhabi, which will benefit travellers to and from the state of Punjab. The two routes are due to begin in the second half of 2017, subject to the completion of operational readiness at these airports. From 15 January 2017, Jet Airways will introduce a second daily service between New Delhi and Abu Dhabi. With Etihad Airways already operating three flights a day between the two capital cities, the enhanced operation will give guests a wider choice of departure times. Etihad Airways currently operates 175 weekly flights between Abu Dhabi and 11 Indian cities. Together, Etihad Airways and Jet Airways offer 252 weekly flights …

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Air India sets record with longest non-stop flight

Air India set a record with its longest non-stop flight from Delhi to San Francisco. The Boeing 777-200 long range aircraft took the Pacific route instead of the Atlantic route, adding an additional 1400 km to the route but was completed in 14 and a half hours, two hours lesser than the conventional flight due to the helpful tailwinds. “From October 15, the flight which connected Delhi and San Francisco via the Atlantic route has begun operations on the Pacific route and returns on the Atlantic route, making it the only flight that goes around the world,” says Pankaj Srivastava, Director-Commercial and Board Member, Air India. This route also saved around 13 tons of fuel. Air India currently operates flights on the Delhi-San Francisco route three times a week but its growing popularity has prompted the airline to double this from November, flying east each time for the next six months. Inputs from: The Telegraph UK

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Air India launches new App with SITA’s iTravel

Air India has launched a new app to its more than 18-million passengers which will take the user experience to a new level. Built on SITA’s iTravel platform, the Air India app offers the ability to book and pay for a flight by quickly and securely scanning both passport and credit card. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD, Air India, said, “Mobile apps are becoming an important tool for making travel bookings by passengers who are tech-savvy and like to access information on the go. This mobile app provides Air India the right tool to access a growing passenger market that is connected both in India and beyond. The new app, developed by SITA, provides an elevated mobile experience where passengers can easily manage every step of their journey on their phone or tablet no matter where they are.” Passengers can fully manage their booking from their mobile device, including selecting their seat, making changes to their itinerary, buying additional services, choosing their meal and checking in. The app has also been integrated with Air India’s Flying Returns loyalty program where passengers can securely access details of points earned or other updates to their accounts.Today more than one billion Indians use a mobile phone. Of these, more than 300 million regularly use them to access the Internet, a trend that is expected to grow by 56 per cent per year. The new mobile service will be available on Android, iOS and Windows. This means at check-in, passengers can choose to receive their boarding pass on their phone or smartwatch. At the airport, passengers will receive regular updates on their flights and can use the app for mobile boarding. Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA’s …

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Air China resumes non-stop Beijing-Mumbai flight

To mark its 10 years in India, Air China announced the resumption of its non-stop service between Beijing and Mumbai from Oct 30, 2016. The flight Mumbai, India to Beijing, P.R.China will operate four times in a week i.e., Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Passengers will also have return flight services from Beijing, P.R. China to Mumbai, India four times a week i.e., Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday. Airbus A330-300 has a seating capacity of 301 passengers which offers 30 seats in Business class, 16 seats in Premium Economy and 255 seats in Economy Class. The outbound flight will depart from Mumbai at 02:30 IST and arrive in Beijing at 11:30 CST. The return flight will depart from Beijing at 19:40 CST and will arrive next day in Mumbai at 01:00 IST. In its endeavor to build its brand and increase loyalty among travellers, the airline has launched an offer of 30 per cent discount on base fare.

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Hahn Air adds 40 new partners in 2016

Hahn Air announced that this year it has already integrated 40 new carriers into its global network of more than 300 air, rail and shuttle partners. Of the 40 new partnerships, 20 are new interline agreements with airlines that are now available on the HR-169 ticket under their own designator. Among them are Air Corsica (XK), CityJet (WX), Blue Air (0B), Jetstar Group, People’s Viennaline (PE), FlyOne (5F) and Myanmar National Airlines (UB). With its ticketing solutions, the German IATA airline facilitates global business between travel agencies and airlines. Its global infrastructure consisting of connections to all major Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and memberships in almost all Billing and Settlement Plans (BSPs) enables 95,000 travel agents worldwide to issue transportation services of Hahn Air partners on the HR-169 ticket. In addition, the Hahn Air Group welcomed 20 new partners of the consolidation service Hahn Air Systems. Under the reservation codes H1 and 5W, travel agents can book transportation services of partners that do not have a GDS presence of their own and can issue them on the HR-169 ticket. 2016 saw agreements with Borajet Airlines (YB), JetAir operated by Titan Airways (ZT), T’way Airlines (TW) and SpiceJet (SG), to name a few. “With our services, we provide the missing link in airline distribution”, says Steve Knackstedt, Vice President Airline Business Group at Hahn Air. “As it is generally not financially sustainable for an airline to be a member of all BSPs and GDSs in the world, not all travel agents are able to sell tickets of all airlines. For example, a travel agent in South America may not be able to issue a ticket of a local Asian carrier in …

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Thai AirAsia connects Bangkok to Kolkata from Dec 16

Thai AirAsia is expanding its Indian network with the launch of direct flights from Bangkok to Kolkata which commences December 16 with daily flights connecting the two Asian cities. Services will depart Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport at 0005 and arrive in Kolkata at 0110. The return flights will then leave at 0210 and arrive back in the Thai capital at 0640. With this addition, Kolkata will become Thai AirAsia’s fourth Indian destination, following Chennai, Bengaluru and Kochi. AirAsia’s Malaysian unit already flies direct between Kuala Lumpur and Kolkata.

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IATA seeks subsided rate of GST on flights

Global airlines’ body IATA has sought an abated rate of GST on flight tickets, saying the tax burden on the aviation sector was already high and the GST regime should conform to global standards and principles. Maintaining that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has been ‘working closely’ with the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Secretariat here to address some issues of concern to airlines, Director General of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac said, “The GST regime needs to adhere to international standards and principles.” “We have called for a zero-rating for international flights when the GST comes into effect next April. This seems unlikely. To limit its damage to the sector’s competitiveness, we would at least hope for abatement in the rate,” de Juniac said. He said the airlines in India faced “an onerous tax burden, including the imposition of service tax to services rendered abroad, including those for overflight charges, global distribution systems and international tickets.” This, he said, was “in contravention of international principles established by governments” through the UN body International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The IATA Director General and CEO, who met top officials of the government and Indian carriers during his two-day visit here, said he had shared these and other concerns with the government.

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India to be world’s 3rd largest aviation market in a decade

India will displace the UK as the third largest aviation market in 2026, as per the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast. The report expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, nearly double of the 3.8 billion air travellers in 2016. “People want to fly. Demand for air travel over the next two decades is set to double. Enabling people and nations to trade, explore, and share the benefits of innovation and economic prosperity makes our world a better place,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. The forecast for passenger growth confirms that the biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region. It is expected to be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next 20 years. China will ultimately displace the US as the world’s largest aviation market (defined by traffic to, from and within the country) around 2029. The prediction is based on a 3.7 per cent annual Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR).

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