Category Archives: Aviation

Vistara receives CAT III-B certification for low visibility operations

Vistara has received the Category III Bravo (CAT III-B) certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Permitting its CAT IIIB compliant fleet and crew to safely take-off and touch-down with a Runway Visibility Range (RVR) of as low as 75 meters, the approval is a milestone achievement as it is the highest level of low-visibility rating awarded in India currently. The certification will enable Vistara to safely operate under low visibility conditions due to fog or any other poor weather conditions, which is anticipated in north east and northern parts of the country, typically during year-end and the beginning of the year. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said “Although a bad weather condition is beyond our control, we always endeavor to minimise the inconvenience faced by our customers during a flight delay or diversion arising from inclement weather. We value the trust and faith our customers repose in us when they make Vistara their choice of travel. We are therefore committed to offer a seamless flying experience to them – be it in terms of deploying the most advanced technologies and systems for our aircraft, adequately training our crew or providing a memorable on-board experience. I am proud of my team’s relentless efforts in the past months to secure the regulatory approval for Cat 3B well in time before the fog season sets in. This certification will allow us to provide a seamless flying experience to our valued customers.” Vistara’s current fleet of 13 brand new A320s come with the integrated CAT IIIB auto land system, and its crew is given rigorous training to ensure the safety of its customers and providing a world class travel experience. Vistara …

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Bahrain delegates meet airlines from India

Senior delegates from Bahrain Airport Company (BAC), Economic Development Board and Bahrain Tourism and Exhibitions Authority recently held productive discussions with a number of potential airlines from India, as it looks forward to seeing Bahrain added to their expanding network. The delegation was attending the 22nd World Routes Development Forum held in Chengdu, China from 24–27 September 2016. Last year, The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (BACA) supported the ‘Little India in Bahrain’ initiative to celebrate and document the contribution of the Indian community to the history and progress of Bahrain and to boost cultural tourism in the kingdom. BAC is building a new passenger terminal at the Bahrain airport scheduled to be completed by 2020. The expansion is expected to increase the airport’s capacity to 14 million passengers a year from the current nine million passengers a year.

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Bird Group is now GSA for MEGA Maldives Airlines

The Maldivian airline, MEGA Maldives Airlines has chosen Birdgroup to be its GSA in India and it will fly direct from Delhi to Male starting this November. George Weinman, CEO, MEGA Maldives Airlines, says, “We are very excited to start nonstop services from Delhi to Maldives starting this early November. The flights would be three times a week, Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The flight will depart from Delhi at 8:50 am and will get into Maldives around lunch time. We first chose Bird group as our ground handler here in Delhi and now we have appointed them as our GSA.” Praful Khosla, Executive Vice President, Birdgroup, says, “We are pleased to be the GSA of MEGA Maldives Airlines in India. After Delhi, we will soon launch two flights from Mumbai to Male also. We will be soon coming u with special fares and special deals for the travel agents.”

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Mihin Lanka to discontinue service from Oct 30

The Sri Lankan carrier, Mihin Lanka will stop its services effective October 30, 2016. This decision has been made by the Government of Sri Lanka, as part of its long term strategy to restructure the local aviation industry and strengthen the national carrier’s offering and efficiency. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager Northern India, SriLankan Airlines, says, “There are four routes that we will be taking over in India itself; Madurai, Kolkata, Varanasi and Bodh Gaya. With these operations we will be having overall 103 flights in a week from 11 destinations in India. This will make us one of the top five international airlines operating into India in terms of frequency as well as seat capacity.”

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IndiGo connects Bengaluru to Patna, Varanasi & Imphal from Oct 24

IndiGo is all set to introduce its first daily return flights connecting Bengaluru to Patna, Varanasi and Imphal from Oct 24. The airline is introducing 47 new flights on its existing route network during October 2016. With this and the induction of five new Airbus A320 aircraft during the month, the airline’s frequency will increase to 883 daily. Additionally, to further extend connectivity, 6E will operate more flights connecting the metros to the key cities including Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bhubaneswar, Lucknow, Guwahati and Patna. Speaking about the latest network expansion, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said “It gives me immense pleasure to announce our plans to further strengthen connectivity in India by offering more flights and increased frequencies to our growing customer base. With the continuously increasing presence and phenomenal customer uptake, we are hopeful that these flights will prove to be popular and convenient for our passengers, across our network.” Effective October 2016, these flights will provide seamless connection to the airline’s entire network within India. With 883 daily flights connecting 41 destinations, these new flights will enable both corporate and leisure travellers to experience IndiGo’s unmatchable on-time performance.

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Etihad Aviation Group & TUI in talks to create new airline group

Etihad Aviation Group and TUI AG have confirmed they are in discussions to create a strong European leisure airline group, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets. It is proposed to contribute the touristic operations of the airberlin group and the German TUIfly company, including the aircraft currently operated by TUIfly for airberlin under a wet-lease agreement, into a new airline group established by TUI AG and Etihad Aviation Group. This new airline group would serve a broad network of destinations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The leisure airline group will be supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, the fastest-growing aviation group in the world, and utilise TUI’s state-of-the-art distribution capacity. TUI AG, Etihad Aviation Group and Air Berlin PLC intend to finalise an in-principle agreement in due course. Any agreement entered into will be subject to all necessary corporate and regulatory approvals.

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SilkAir launches new mobile App

Singapore Airlines’ regional wing SilkAir has launched a new mobile App which offers travellers greater travel convenience from booking to boarding. Designed to be fast and intuitive, the mobile App aims to provide users with a functional and seamless user experience. Key features of the mobile app include flight booking, exclusive fares and itinerary management. Users can personalise the SilkAir mobile App home screen to show relevant flight updates and information, while push notifications can be enabled to receive prompt check-in reminders for upcoming trips. Travellers flying from Singapore Changi Airport can also enjoy the Mobile Boarding Pass feature which allows for more efficient flight check in. Additionally, the mobile app will allow KrisFlyer members to view their membership details such as miles and tier information in an easy-to-read design. To celebrate the launch, SilkAir is offering special “App-clusive” deals starting from all-in fares of SGD 159 to Langkawi, SGD189 to Phuket and SGD 229 to Yogyakarta, amongst other destinations. These exclusive mobile app fares are available for a limited time only, until 17 October 20162. In addition, bookings paid with MasterCard on the mobile app entitles the customer to free Resorts World SEA Aquarium Passes. “SilkAir is constantly improving and enhancing our various digital touch points to keep up with the changing landscape of the travel industry. With the SilkAir mobile App, customers can expect greater control and convenience when it comes to planning their travel itineraries.” said SilkAir’s Vice President Commercial, Ryan Pua.

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MoCA, Puducherry and AAI sign MoU for regional connectivity

The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Puducherry Government and Airports Authority of India have signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Regional Connectivity Scheme thereby initiating the collaborative partnership. The MOU was signed at New Delhi in the presence of Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation for State; V. Narayanasamy, Chief Minister of Puducherry, and Malladi Krishna Rao, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Puducherry,. Under the MoU, the State Government of Puducherry has formally agreed to provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme. The MoU is signed by Manoj Parida, Chief Secretary, Puducherry; Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation and A.K. Dutta, Member, Airports Authority of India. Speaking on the occasion, Sinha said that he hoped the subsidies would attract airlines which also needed to find the appropriate aircrafts and pilots to service the regional sector. Narayanaswamy said that he was happy to cooperate in promoting the Regional Connectivity Scheme as it would improve the connectivity to Puducherry. The Ministry of Civil Aviation had earlier released the draft Regional Air Connectivity Scheme (RCS) for stakeholder consultation, with the twin objectives of promoting balanced regional growth and making flying affordable for masses. The RCS is the key component of the National Civil Aviation Policy which was released by the Ministry on 15th June 2016. The scheme, which would be in operation for a period of 10 years, envisages providing connectivity to un-served and under-served airports of the country through revival of existing air-strips and airports. This would be achieved through a financial stimulus in the form of Central and State government concessions, as well as Viability Gap Funding to the …

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Mahan Air connects Delhi to Mashhad

Mahan Airlines operated its inaugural direct flight from  Mashhad to Delhi on November 4, 2016. Mehdi Shiri, Station Manager, Mahan Air, India, informed that to cater demand of Indian passengers for direct flight to Mashhad, this flight has been launched. The aircraft and crew was given warm welcome at IGI Airport, Delhi. H S Duggal, Managing Director, Minar Travels India Pvt. Ltd., GSA for Mahan Air in India was upbeat and mentions, “with lifting of sanctions in Iran, Mahan has extensive plans to connect more Indian cities with Iranian cities to facilitate business and tourism traffic to grow.

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Vistara to fly daily to Port Blair from Delhi and Kolkata

Vistara inaugurated operations to Port Blair, as its flight UK 747 took off from Delhi for Port Blair via Kolkata, at 0720 hours on Sept 30. With the addition of Port Blair, Vistara now serves 18 destinations across the length and breadth of the country. The new service to Port Blair offers a daily flight from Delhi and Kolkata (same aircraft service via Kolkata), with arrival and departure timings that allow for convenient connections to ferry and catamaran services between Port Blair and Havelock Island. Commenting on the launch of the new services, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “We are delighted to add Port Blair to our fast-growing network with a daily direct flight from Delhi via Kolkata. The Andamans are a beautiful part of India with rich history and breathtaking natural beauty. We are pleased to offer both the visitors, and the wonderful residents of this region, the chance to experience ‘the new feeling’ of flying Vistara, an airline that is setting new standards of service excellence, when they travel to and from Port Blair.” Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, added, “Delivering on our brand promise to provide seamless, thoughtful and personalized services, we are pleased to introduce a variety of attractively priced packages in cooperation with top travel entities to offer our customers the most convenient travel in the Andamans. While Port Blair itself offers a lot to see and do, including the historic Cellular Jail and an excursion to the neighboring Ross Island, we have also timed our flights to offer the most convenient connections to and from the most popular inter-island ferries such as to Havelock Island.” Vistara also announced the addition …

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