Category Archives: Aviation

Revised baggage pricing on AirAsia from Jan 28

AirAsia has amended its pricing for bag fees, increasing the cost for purchasing checked baggage after a flight booking has been made. The new fee structure takes effect on January 28 and applies to all routes except those originating from Indonesia. At any time after a booking has been confirmed, customers will have to pay more for checked baggage, such as through the Manage My Booking page, the airline said. AirAsia said this is still a cheaper option than checking in bags at the last minute prior to departure. For example, a 20kg of checked baggage for a one-way flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore would cost RM45 at the time of the flight booking. If this is done later through Manage My Booking, customers would pay RM52 or a whopping RM355 on the day at the check-in counter. The new fee schedule has been uploaded to the AirAsia website. “You will still enjoy more savings as compared to purchasing last minute at the airport counter,” the airline said in a release.

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Jet, Bangkok Airways enter into frequent flier partnership

JetPrivilege, the loyalty and rewards management programme and frequent flyer programme of Jet Airways, has entered into a reciprocal frequent flyer partnership with of Bangkok Airways’ loyalty scheme, FlyerBonus. JetPrivilege members can now earn and redeem JPMiles when travelling across the Bangkok Airways network including popular destinations like Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Luang Prabang via Bangkok. Similarly, members of Bangkok Airways’ FlyerBonus programme can also earn and redeem their miles across Jet Airways’ extensive network in India and key international destination in North America, Europe, Middle East and SAARC. Jet Airways operates three daily flights to Bangkok from its hubs in India – two from Mumbai and one from Delhi. Gaurang Shetty, Sr. Vice President, Commercial, Jet Airways, said, “This partnership with Bangkok Airways will offer exceptional value to our guests. The new codeshare destinations with Bangkok Airways are an important extension to the Jet Airways international network, enhancing our product offering and providing greater choice and convenience to our guests.” Prote Setsuwan, Vice President – Marketing, Bangkok Airways, said, “We are delighted to partner with JetPrivilege, the frequent flyer programme of Jet Airways. This will bring significant benefits to passengers of both airlines. As Bangkok Airways always continues to offer our FlyerBonus members more value and options, we hope and trust that this partnership will enhance their traveling experience with us.”

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25% growth in domestic air traffic in Nov

The domestic passenger air traffic in India has recorded very strong growth, up 25.1 per cent, during November 2015 compared to the same period in 2014. This was revealed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which released global passenger traffic results for November 2015, showing a continued strong traffic growth above the 10 year average rate of 5.6 per cent. The improvements in industry load factors have been largely driven by domestic markets, particularly in India, where there has been a significant improvement in matching capacity to demand and on-going economic strength, according to the report. Globally, domestic travel demand rose 6.4 per cent in November compared to November 2014 but results were mixed, with Brazil, Russia and Japan all showing declines. Total revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose 5.9 per cent compared to November 2014. Though this is a weaker result than the October figure of 7.1 per cent but this has been termed as very healthy rate of growth despite factors which are likely to have a temporary affect. Data for the first ten months of the year show a 5 per cent decline in average fares in currency-adjusted terms. November capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) increased by 4.2 per cent, and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0 per cent. “The airline industry is delivering solid financial and operational performance. The industry’s return on capital for 2015 and 2016 is expected to exceed its cost of capital, a very rare occurrence. This means we are on the path toward financial sustainability. Consumers are benefiting from lower fares, and airlines are able to invest in new aircraft that are more comfortable, quieter and more environmentally friendly,” …

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Air Arabia’s new GSA: Cozmo Travel

Sharjah-based Air Arabia, has announced a change of GSA of 10 years – from Track India to Sharjah-based Cozmo Travel. Sachin Nene, Regional Manager – India, Air Arabia, announced this on Wednesday evening at a networking evening organised by the airline for its select trade partners in Mumbai. He said, “We will be moving from Track India after 10 years and appointing Cozmo Travel as our new GSA for India. We want to assure our trade partners that business will continue as usual.”  Also present at the occasion was Shalini Rajan, Head of Sales, Air Arabia, and Jamal Abdulnazar, CEO, Cozmo Travel, from Sharjah. A part of the Air Arabia Group, Cozmo has huge expansion plans for pan-India in 2016 with a minimum budget of Rs 10 crore.

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New GoAir flights to Port Blair, Leh, Patna, and Ranchi

GoAir has launched four new routes connecting Mumbai with Leh, and Bengaluru with three cities-Port Blair (Andaman & Nicobar Islands), Patna (Bihar), and Ranchi (Jharkhand). The Mumbai-Leh and Bengaluru-Port Blair routes will commence on March 27. The Leh flights will take off from Mumbai at 0400 and arrive in the Himalayan city at 0645. The return services will then depart from Leh at 0715 and arrive in Mumbai at 1115, with a brief stop in Srinagar. On the Port Blair route, flights will depart from Bengaluru at 1430 and arrive at 1715. The return flights will then leave Port Blair at 1125 and arrive back in Bengaluru at 1400. Additional frequencies will also be introduced on the routes from Delhi to Ranchi, Lucknow and Patna, and there will also be an extra flight between Mumbai and Srinagar. All the new flights will be operated using GoAir’s fleet of 180-seat, all-economy Airbus A320 aircraft.

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AI passengers to report 3 hours prior to departure

In view of the recent security alert in the country, Air India has requested passengers to report at the counter at least three hours prior for check-in to allow passengers and their baggage to undergo more stringent checks at airports and avoid any delays to the flight departures owing to these procedures. Though the minimum reporting time for domestic flights is 75 minutes and for international flights it is 150 minutes before the scheduled departure of flights, the airline has advised passengers to report three hours before the scheduled departure of flights. Currently, check-in counters for domestic flights close 45 minutes before scheduled time of departure. For international flights, counters close 60 minutes prior to departure. Counters for flights (both domestic and international) operating from International Terminals like in Mumbai close 60 minutes before scheduled departure of flight. Boarding gates in both cases close 25 minutes prior to departure.

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Vistara launches #TheOnederful year campaign on 1st Anniversary

Vistara Airlines has successfully completed its first year of operations on January 9, 2016, and has also launched #TheOnederful year campaign which invites all its well-wishers and followers to join hands in creating history with India’s Biggest TweetCard at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport. In a short span of one year, the airline boasts a fleet size of nine brand new A320 aircraft, operating 307 weekly flights to 12 destinations across the country. Vistara has already flown more than one million happy customers within one year of operations. As an anniversary gift to all lucky customers who booked on Vistara flights in the week of December 16, 2015 a flat 25 percent discount was offered for travel till April 30, 2016. Vistara is giving out colorful baggage tags commemorating the milestone. Festive delicacies in anniversary special meal boxes and tray mats are being served on-board. Vistara has also released a special anniversary edition of their in-flight magazine which features endorsement, by famous celebrities, of the twelve destinations, which Vistara currently operates to. Vistara will be adding four more aircraft to its existing fleet of nine in the year. From February, Vistara fleet will incorporate the most advanced in-flight entertainment system which will deliver highly engaging audio video content via wireless streaming to customers’ PEDs across all three cabins.

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SpiceJet increases flight frequencies

SpiceJet has increased its frequencies in existing sectors and upgraded seat capacity on various routes across its domestic and international network to service additional demand from growing markets. The airline will operate a renewed winter schedule with 10 new daily frequencies added on its domestic network encompassing some popular routes such as Chennai-Kochi (fourth direct flight added), Bengaluru-Vijayawada (second direct flight added) Kochi-Chennai (fourth direct flight added) and Hyderabad-Vijayawada (second direct flight added) among others. On its international network, SpiceJet will be reinforcing its frequencies on the Delhi-Kabul route by increasing its operations from three days a week to five days a week. The enhanced flight schedule for this route would be effective from February 8, 2016. The airline has also increased seating capacity on select domestic routes by undertaking aircraft upgradation from Bombardier Q400, which has a seating capacity of 78 seats to Boeing 737 that can accommodate 186 passengers. This upgradation would be operational for six days a week on routes such as Delhi-Varanasi and Delhi-Dehradun among others. Shilpa Bhatia, Sr. VP, Commercial, SpiceJet, said, “We are always looking at ways to improve our network capacity so that we can continue to offer the best possible services to our customers while providing them with more flexibility. Our current enhanced schedule comes in time to add considerable depth to our existing network, thereby helping us better serve the increased demand in growing markets.”

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India, Singapore to sign civil aviation MoU

The Union Cabinet has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Singapore in order to improve cooperation in the field of civil aviation. A recent statement released by the cabinet, said, “The Union Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has given its ex-post facto approval for signing a (MoU), which was signed in November 2015 between Airports Authority of India (AAI) and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise in Civil Aviation during Modi’s visit to Singapore. The objective of this MoU is to establish mutual cooperation in the field of civil aviation, which will cover, to begin with, the airports of Jaipur and Ahmedabad. This cooperation will be extended to other airports with mutual consent.” The salient features of the MoU include collaboration in Civil Aviation Sector in the areas of Master-planning and design, traffic development, commercial development, service quality improvement, training and development, cargo handling and management, maintenance, repair and overhaul, operation and management and any other areas with mutual consent. To ensure high standards of service at Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports, AAI may enter into operation and maintenance (O&M) contracts, either with or without the responsibility of maximisation of non-aeronautical revenue in the terminal building (excluding land on city side and air side). The city side and airside will continue to be managed directly by AAI. Globally, limited O&M contract models are prevalent for the entire airport operations. AAI has no previous experience in awarding O&M contract model of terminal buildings to other entities. In order to implement the decision, it was necessary to ensure that a suitable entity be engaged for undertaking the O&M contract at Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports.

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