Category Archives: Aviation

IndiGo comes to the rescue of stranded passengers

IndiGo has added additional flights on its Delhi-Jaipur and Delhi-Chandigarh routes to enable those stranded due to ongoing protests in Haryana to travel between the two cities. The airline operate two additional flights from Delhi to Chandigarh on February 23. On February 22, the airline operated two flights on Delhi-Chandigarh and two flights on Delhi-Jaipur routes respectively. These supplementary flights will allow stranded passengers to travel between these cities, as rail transport is not fully operational and roads have been blocked by protestors.

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Mumbai-Tokyo daily on ANA from March 27

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has announced the launch of direct daily flights ex-Mumbai to Narita on its new Boeing 787 with effect from March 27, 2016. Till now, it was only servicing New Delhi to Narita flights. On the new route, the Dreamliner will have flat beds, 46 staggered seats in business class, 21 in premium economy and 102 seats in normal economy class. This will make ANA the only airline to operate direct flights to Japan with business class seating. The airline has also announced introductory fares as well as special fares for the travel agents.

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Kochi airport’s 3rd terminal opens Feb 26

The third terminal at the Cochin International Airport will be officially inaugurated on February 26 by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. According to reports quoting Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) official, the new terminal is built in a record time of two years over an area of 15 lakh sq ft and will handle 4,000 passengers. Opened in 1999, CIAL is the country’s first greenfield airport built and managed in the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode. It is the biggest of the three international airports in Kerala. The total paid-up capital of the airport is Rs 306.06 crore of which the Kerala Government accounts for Rs 100 crore. The CIAL became the first airport in the world to operate on solar power last year when a 12 MW solar power plant was commissioned. The Kerala hub handles multiple Indian and international carriers, including Emirates, Etihad, AirAsia, Qatar Airways and SilkAir. (Source: Economic Times)

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Delhi-Vienna on AI from April 6

Come April 6, Air India will commence flights between Delhi and Vienna. This will be Air India’s eighth European destination. The flight will operate thrice a week on AI’s Boeing 787. It will leave from New Delhi at 1400 hours (IST) and land at Vienna at 18:45 hours(local time). On the way back, the flight will leave Vienna at 22.45 hours and arrive in Delhi the next day at 09.25 hours(IST). The national carrier is also in talks with Austrian Airlines for a code-share. Vienna drew a record number of 40,355 Indians in 2015, accounting for 89,628 overnight stays. While the number of Indians visiting Vienna increased by 49.5 per cent over last year, the number of overnight stays grew by 38.7 per cent, according to Vienna Tourist Board. As per the data, the growth in Indian visitors to Vienna was among the highest after the Arabic countries and Taiwan. During 2015 overnight stays crossed the 14 million mark for the first time, representing a healthy 5.9 per cent increase of over previous year.

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Aviation Summit focuses on remote connectivity

The PHD Aviation Summit 2016 saw industry stalwarts stressing on regional and remote connectivity. Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, said that it is important for connecting regional and remote destinations via air not only to make it easier for foreign tourists but also to promote domestic tourism. The event was inaugurated in the presence of Gajapathi Raju; K. Narayana Rao, Chairman, Civil Aviation Committee; Gopal Jiwarajka, Senior Vice President, PHD Chamber; Dr. Burak Akcapar, Ambassador, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey; and Anil Khaitan, VP, PHD Chamber. In a special session titled, Regional & Remote Connectivity: Key Drivers & Initiatives’, Sunil Kumar, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), said that India has more than 400 airstrips and only 127 operational airports. He further added that in order to boost remote connectivity, it is important to develop these airports and get more flights at such destinations. The summit also had panel discussions on ‘Cargo Sector- Vital Role in Economic Growth’, while the valedictory session was on National Civil Aviation Policy – NCAP2015- Impact on Industry & Tourism’.

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More flights to Dubai on Jet Airways

With effect from March 1, Jet Airways will launch a sixth daily frequency from Mumbai to Dubai. With the introduction of this new flight, Jet Airways will offer the maximum number of daily flights between the two cities. Jet Airways will also launch a third daily frequency between Delhi and Dubai, starting March 27, offering guests a greater choice when travelling between India’s national capital and the Emirate. With the launch of the new frequencies, Jet Airways will operate a total of 11 daily flights between India and Dubai. This includes flights from Kochi and Mangalore. Gaurang Shetty, Senior Vice-President – Commercial, Jet Airways, said, “Jet Airways is delighted to introduce additional frequencies from Mumbai and Delhi to Dubai providing greater choice and convenience to our guests on these popular routes. Dubai is amongst our most popular destinations for business and leisure travellers and it was only fitting to increase capacity to this key market. The new frequencies will enable Jet Airways to offer guests a wide choice of departure times to/from Dubai and convenient domestic connections via our hubs in Mumbai and Delhi.” Jet Airways will deploy Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the new services, offering Premiere and Economy guests a best in class in-flight product, warm service, a choice of Indian and international cuisine and the latest in-flight entertainment.

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SpiceJet maintains 92.1% load factor

SpiceJet maintained its position as the airline with the highest passenger load factor at 92.1 per cent in January 2016. Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January 2016 were 76.55 lakhs as against 62.45 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 22.58 per cent. Other domestic airlines recording high passenger load factor are GoAir, IndiGo, Air Costa, Jet, Jet Lite, Air India, among others. The PLF of GoAir was the second highest at 84.9 per cent, lower than its PLF of 86.5 per cent in December 2015. IndiGo which saw the third highest PLF at 84.7 per cent in January 2016, fell from its previous high og 88.5 per cent. Passenger load factor on national carrier Air India was 81.7 per cent in January lower than its previous performance of 86.7 per cent in December last year.

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Indonesia in talks with AirAsia, Garuda for direct connectivity to India

Indonesia is keen on increasing flight frequency to India and is in talks with AirAsia and Garuda Indoensia for the same. Saut Siringoringo, Consul General, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia, revealed that Indonesia expects to have good connectivity to India and will soon be operating direct flights from India. It has been in discussions with various airlines for increasing flights to India. He said, “The Ministry of Tourism will probably appoint AirAsia for direct flights to India, but there is a possibility of other airlines as well, like Garuda Indonesia.” He added that the Indonesian Minister of Transportation attended the ‘Make In India Week’ in Mumbai and analysed the prospects of direct connectivity. Indonesia recently held its own two-city roadshow in Chennai and Mumbai in mid-February. He says, “We have a lot of travel agents from Indonesia participating in the roadshow besides the Indian travel agents. The Ministry of Tourism came from Jakarta to showcase Indonesia in India for this. We chose Chennai because Medan, which is the capital of North Sumatra, has a town named Madras where people of Indian origin reside so there is a deep link between these cities. Many people from Tamil Nadu or Karnataka fly to Medan for this reason. This is why Chennai is important as a market. We also have our Indonesian Travel Provision Centre (ITPC) there along with our Honorary Consulate in Chennai.”

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Enjoy helicopter joy rides in Goa

The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has introduced helicopter joy rides from Park Hyatt to Arossim in South Goa from Sunday. The GTDC and Pawan Hans joint venture saw as many as 75 passengers on day one. Chairman of GTDC, Nilesh Cabral said, “We  now have helicopter rides and hot air balloons which will serve as a huge attraction for tourists  to Goa. There is a lot more to come in the months ahead and we are optimistic that all these new initiatives will go a  long way in putting Goa on the map for  world class adventure and leisure  tourism.”

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Etihad records 63% growth in Indian traffic

Etihad Airways has announced a 63 per cent increase in full-year passenger traffic with partner Jet Airways to and from India. Together, the airlines carried a record 3.3 million passengers between Etihad Airways’ Abu Dhabi hub and India in 2015, which indicates a steep rise on the 2 million flown during the previous 12 months. James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways, said, “Bilateral relations between the UAE and India continue to grow based on years of friendship and deep commitment to strengthen economic, cultural and trade ties. With Etihad Airways and Jet Airways together offering over 44,000 seats each week between Abu Dhabi and India, we are clearly are a key contributor to India’s dynamic economy. There is further room to grow and we are looking at the many opportunities that exist to develop our operations. Our investment in Jet Airways was aimed at being part of the Indian success story. Before the Jet deal, Etihad Airways carried only two per cent of the international traffic to and from India. We have helped bring Jet Airways back to profitability. Today, Jet Airways is our number one equity partner for revenue and passenger contribution on Etihad Airways, and India is Abu Dhabi’s number one source market for international visitors.” In terms of the overall international market, they fly between them approximately 20 per cent of all worldwide travellers to and from India representing a large share of the country’s booming air travel industry.

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