Category Archives: Aviation

SpiceJet’s first Hajj 2016 flight takes off from Gaya

SpiceJet flagged off its first flight from Gaya to Mecca for the Hajj 2016 season. The Airbus320 which departed on its schedule time of 11.30 AM from the Gaya airport carried 135 passengers onboard. The flight was inaugurated by Dr. Abdul Ghafoor, Minister of Minority Affairs, Government of Bihar, Kumar Ravi, District Magistrate, Gaya, Dilip Kumar, Airport Director, Gaya Airport and Sumant Rautela Head of Ground Services, SpiceJet along with of the Hajj Committee members. The airline will carry more than 8000 pilgrims on special flights for the annual Islamic pilgrimage Hajj in Mecca from Gaya and Indore. G.P. Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer and Accountable Manager, SpiceJet, said, “Hajj is a lifetime experience and SpiceJet will make every effort to ensure a hassle-free and delightful travel experience for all its passengers by delivering high on on-time performance and critical etiquettes ensuring absolute passenger satisfaction. We are grateful for being made a part of this humane operation and wish all our pilgrim passengers a wonderful stay at Mecca this year.” The airline has deployed two Airbus320 to ferry pilgrims from Gaya and Indore respectively. The flights will be operated from the two Indian cities to Jeddah and Madina between August 4 and September 3, 2016. The return journey for the pilgrims back to Gaya is scheduled from September 21 and to Indore from October 1. The whole activity is expected to be executed by October 20, 2016.

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India’s domestic traffic up by 23.3% in June

India continues to lead all markets with a 23.3 per cent rise in domestic traffic in June, propelled by strong growth in real consumer spending as well as by the fact that airlines are adding airport pairs and frequencies. This was revealed in International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) global passenger traffic data for June. Demand for domestic travel climbed 5.7 per cent this June compared to June 2015, while capacity increased 4.3 per cent, causing load factor to rise 1.1 percentage points to 83.2 pre cent. All markets reported demand increases with the exception of Brazil. Domestic RPKs account for about 36 per cent of the total market. The global passenger traffic data for June showing that demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose by 5.2% compared to the year-ago period. This was up slightly from the 4.8% increase recorded in May (revised). However, the upward trend in seasonally-adjusted traffic has moderated since January. June capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 5.6%, and load factor slipped 0.3 percentage points to 80.7%. “The demand for travel continues to increase, but at a slower pace. The fragile and uncertain economic backdrop, political shocks and a wave of terrorist attacks are all contributing to a softer demand environment,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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Jet Airways to fly Boeing 777 on Mumbai-Amsterdam route

Jet Airways will fly the largest aircraft in its fleet, the Boeing 777-300 ER, on the Mumbai-Amsterdam route with effect from Oct 30, 2016 to meet the growing demand on this key sector. Jet Airways is the only airline flying daily non-stop flights between Mumbai and Amsterdam. The Jet Airways’ Boeing 777 service offers a three-class configuration, comprising of eight First Class suites, 30 Premiere seats that open out into lie-flat beds, and 308 ergonomically designed seats in Economy. Jet Airways had commenced daily flights from Mumbai to Amsterdam on Mar 27, 2016. The capacity increase is in response to growing demand, particularly from business and corporate travellers. From Amsterdam, Jet Airways offers connectivity to 30 destinations across Europe and 11 destinations in the United States and Canada through its codeshare partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines. Gaurang Shetty, Whole-time Director, Jet Airways, said, “Our daily non-stop service connecting India’s commercial capital Mumbai and the key European hub Amsterdam has received excellent response since its launch. By deploying the 777-300ER aircraft, Jet Airways will be able to cater to the growing demand on this important sector at a time when trade and investment between India and Europe and North America is witnessing a healthy growth. The state-of-the-art wide body aircraft enables us to deliver a superior in-flight experience to our guests, along with the introduction of our signature First Class suites on this route.”

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Indigo flights suspended at Dubai airport

Due to unavailability of runway at Dubai International Airport, all IndiGo flights operating to and fro India stand cancelled for August 4, 2016.  From August 05 till 0730 hours IST on August 07, 2016, limited flights will be allowed to operate from Dubai Airports. The airline has requested all IndiGo passengers to check their flight status via customer relations or Twitter/Facebook or its web site. Passengers have been notified via web chat, SMSes, and through other channels.

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Dubai Airport resumes all operations under restricted capacity following Emirates incident

After resuming departure operations at 18.30 hours UAE local time (8PM IST), Dubai Airports commenced arrival operations at Dubai International Airport (DXB) under restricted capacity following an operational incident involving an Emirates flight EK521 from Trivandrum (India) on August 3. According to a Dubai Aiports spokesperson, DXB is operating with one runway, with arriving flights being given priority over departures. While all 282 passengers and 18 crew on board were brought to safety, one member of Dubai Airports’ firefighting team succumbed to injuries sustained whilst responding to the incident. Paul Griffiths, CEO, Dubai Airports, said, “I am deeply saddened to confirm that a member of Dubai Airports’ firefighting team succumbed to injuries sustained whilst responding to the accident of flight EK 521 earlier this afternoon [August 3]. We are doing all we can to support the family of this member of our team and others affected by the incident.” The Emirates Airline confirmed a network wide delay and cancellation of 21 flights from Dubai on August 3 to various destinations such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Medina, Doha, Geneva, Tehran, Muscat, Multan, Bahrain, Dammam, Basra, Karachi, Kuwait, Amman, Riyadh, and Hong Kong. Emirates flight EK521 travelling from Trivandrum International Airport in Thiruvananthapuram, India to Dubai on August 3 was involved in an operational incident upon landing at DXB. The Boeing 777 aircraft, departed at 10.19 AM from Trivandrum International Airport and was scheduled to land at 12.50 PM at DXB.

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SriLankan Airlines signs Jacqueline Fernandez as brand ambassador

SriLankan Airlines has signed on board Bollywood actor Jacqueline Fernandez as their brand ambassador. The letter of agreement was signed between SriLankan Airlines Chairman Ajit Dias and Jacqueline Fernandez on July 30, 2016, at St. Regis Hotel, Mumbai. With this collaboration it made her, the face of SriLankan Airlines and the brand continues to strengthen its presence in India. Speaking on the occasion, Ajit Dias, Chairman, SriLankan Airlines, said “We are delighted to have Jacqueline Fernandez as the Brand Ambassador for SriLankan Airlines. Jacqueline’s strong connect, passion towards Sri Lanka and being an iconic profile in Sri Lanka aligns her naturally with the brand, just like our other two brand ambassadors, Mahila Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.”

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London-Delhi & Mumbai among top 5 routes for Gulf carriers

London to Delhi and London to Mumbai were among the top five most popular origins and destinations between Europe and APAC for Gulf carriers, according to the data analysed by Amadeus IT Group’s Travel Intelligence team. They came third and fourth, respectively. The report also said that Gulf carriers saw exponential growth of first and business class passenger volumes in 2015. Between 2014 and 2015, first class passenger volumes for Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways on the top 10 Origins & Destinations between Europe and Asia Pacific increased 67 per cent, whilst business class traffic increased by 47 per cent. This staggering growth in premium classes was complemented by healthy overall growth, with a seven per cent increase in passenger volumes across all cabin classes for these routes. Airports in the Middle East also noticed a shift in traveller habits: passenger traffic for flights between Europe and APAC going through Doha, Abu Dhabi and Dubai increased by eight per cent. This data takes into account all bookings in the Amadeus system made via traditional and online travel agencies from across the globe. The figures come on the heels of Emirates and Etihad Airways both renewing their distribution agreements to sell their full range of fares to travellers worldwide through travel agents using Amadeus. Qatar Airways has had such an agreement in place since 2014.

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Delhi Airport to get 4th runway

The Delhi International Airport Private Limited (DIAL) has included construction of a new fourth runway parallel to the existing runway in the just concluded Master Plan 2016 of IGI Airport, New Delhi with features to handle large wide body aircrafts, navigational aids and lighting to permit operation in low visibility etc. This information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha in Rajya Sabha.

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SpiceJet launches Smart Check-in

In a first-of-its-kind initiative SpiceJet announced the launch of Smart Check-in facility using BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) and NFC (Near Field Communication) technologies. This feature is available for all SpiceJet customers who have booked their tickets through the SpiceJet Mobile App. The customer does not require to carry the itinerary printouts nor has to Key-in the PNR number to initiate Check in if using this App. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation inaugurated the Smart Check in facility at GMR Hyderabad International Airport. The service has been initially introduced at Hyderabad Airport in close coordination with GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL) and will soon be available in all airports supporting e-boarding facility. The airline has set a new benchmark in the country by launching a slew of customer-friendly and innovative products and services using latest technology. This is set to relieve customers from standing in long queues, thus further enhancing their travel experience and offering a seamless journey. Near Field Communication enables passengers to receive their boarding pass on their smartphone when they check-in through NFC-enabled smartphones with SpiceJet’s mobile app. Customers who have booked their tickets using the mobile App will have to simply open the app and touch the mobile device on the NFC Check-in Poster available at the airport to retrieve their mobile boarding pass on their smartphones. Customers can also avail a touchless beacon based check-in to receive their boarding pass on the smartphone. Customers who have booked their tickets through the SpiceJet mobile app will receive an alert as they walk towards the SpiceJet Check-in area provided their Bluetooth and SpiceJet Mobile App are activated. Post acknowledgement of the notification, the customer …

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Singapore Airlines offers special fares to Australia from India

Singapore Airlines has announced special Economy Class and Premium Economy Class fares to eight key Australian gateways, namely, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Canberra1, Darwin and Perth. Economy Class customers travelling on Singapore Airlines or SilkAir can avail of all-inclusive, return fares starting from Rs. 63,000 per person for travel from Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Kochi, Trivandrum, Coimbatore and Visakhapatnam to Australia; while customers from Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad can purchase tickets starting from Rs. 66,000 onwards. In addition, travellers can experience extra comfort in the Premium Economy Class with all-inclusive, return fares starting from Rs. 100,000. These fares are available on sale till August 31, 2016, for the travel period starting August 01, 2016 till April 30, 2017. Furthermore, travellers can redeem a complimentary S$40 Changi Dollar Voucher for use at all participating shops, restaurants and lounges when they transit at Singapore Changi Airport till March 31, 2017.

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