Category Archives: Aviation

IndiGo connects Lucknow to Ahmedabad & Guwahati, Bengaluru-Indore & Raipur-Patna

IndiGo has announced the launch of 28 new flights on its existing domestic network. The new schedule will see maiden flights on the Guwahati-Lucknow, Lucknow-Ahmedabad, Bengaluru-Indore and Raipur-Patna sectors. With the new flights and frequencies and induction of two new Airbus A320 aircraft, the airline’s frequency will increase to 890 daily. Effective November 2016, these flights will provide enhanced connectivity on the key sectors thus strengthening IndiGo’s existing network within India. With 890 daily flights connecting 41 destinations, these new flights will enable both corporate and leisure travellers to experience IndiGo’s unmatchable on-time performance. Speaking about the latest network expansion, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce 6E’s new flights connecting the metro cities with the regional destinations. In the exciting times for Indian aviation, we are hopeful that these flights will prove to be popular among our customers.”

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Jet Airways expands code share with Kenya Airways

Jet Airways has expanded its existing code-share pact with Kenya Airways which will allow the African carrier to fly more passengers into India. The expanded code share comes into effect from Nov 15. As part of the enhanced pact between the two international carriers, Kenya Airways will place its flight code (KQ) on Jet Airways’ seven daily flights between Mumbai and New Delhi, five daily flights from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and five daily flights between Mumbai and Hyderabad for travel into India, the release said. At present Jet Airways, in which Gulf airline Etihad holds 24 per cent stake, has code-share pacts with 19 international airlines besides having over 100 interline partners. “Expansion of our codeshare relationship with Kenya Airways will allow us to offer the Indian diaspora in Kenya convenient access to more destinations in India. At the same time, Indian travellers can continue enjoying the opportunity to explore more of Kenya and East Africa via our international codeshares,” Jet Airways Chief Commercial Officer Jayaraj Shanmugam said. The arrangement continues to include Jet Airways’ code (9W) on Kenyan’s double daily flights on the Mumbai-Nairobi route, allowing Jet Airways’ guests to connect to other onward destinations in Africa, the Jet Airways release added. “The expanded partnership will enable customers of both carriers to derive maximum benefit from this cooperation. It will enable us to offer our customers seamless connections to three Indian cities. We see a lot of demand into domestic India from Kenya and East Africa, with passengers travelling mostly for business, leisure or health tourism,” said Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze.

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IndiGo’s first daily non-stop flight from Chennai to Muscat

IndiGo has introduced a new flight connecting Chennai with Muscat, effective December 15, 2016. IndiGo will be offering introductory fare of Rs 7999, all-inclusive one way from Chennai. The introduction of the new daily service will further strengthen IndiGo’s presence in the Gulf with 16 daily flights, catering to the large number of Indians in the Gulf. The new service from the city will complement the airline’s existing daily Gulf operations to Muscat and Dubai from several cities in India. Elaborating on the new flight launch, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce the new daily and direct flight between India and Oman, and specifically, between Chennai and Muscat. It is an indication of the strong demand on this sector. IndiGo has established itself as a prestigious brand on account of the warmth of its service and quality of its in-flight product and we are confident that this daily service would also prove equally popular with our flyers. Expanding operations on these routes are in line with our growth strategy outlined for Oman.”

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Air fare likely to go up as regional air connectivity scheme unveiled

Air fares will be capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights on unserved and under-served routes and flyers will have to shell out more as air fares are likely to increase as per the government’s ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). The RCS, unveiled on Nov 11, was mooted in the New Civil Aviation Policy as part of the government’s plan to serve smaller cities, has been put up for stakeholders’ consultations including state governments, airlines and airport operators. It will target 90 airports. The stakeholders have been given three weeks time to submit their comments and suggestions on the draft scheme, which is expected to be finalised by August. Also as part of the proposed scheme, a new category of airlines, scheduled commuter airlines, is being created where a new operator may be allowed to start operations with just one plane. Under the proposed scheme, the government would be providing Viability Gap Funding (VGF) – which would be financed through Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF). Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju while unveiling the draft policy said RCF would be created for funding RCS “through levy on certain flights.” In this regard, the government would be charging a levy in the form of per domestic departure from the airlines on certain routes, a move which is expected to push the airfares marginally higher. The Ministry would contribute 80 per cent of the VGF, while respective state governments would chip in with the remaining 20 per cent to the fund which will have a corpus of Rs 500 crore each year. When asked how much levy is likely to be charged, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said, “We are giving …

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GMR Airports to develop & operate Greenfield airport at Mopa

GMR Airports Limited (GAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited, signed the Concession Agreement with Goa Government for the development and operation of north Goa’s Greenfield International Airport at Mopa. The agreement is signed by R.V. Sheshan, CEO, GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL) and R.K. Srivastava, Chief Secretary, Government of Goa in the presence of Laxmikant Yashwant Parsekar, Goa Chief Minister, Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman-Airports, GMR Group and other dignitaries. As per the concession agreement, GMR will design, build, finance and operate the international airport for 40 years with extension option for another 20 years. The construction period for the first phase of the project is three years from the date of financial closure and is expected to be operational by mid of 2020. Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman-Airports, GMR Group, said, “We are excited about the project and the opportunity to partner with the Government of Goa. GMR Group has already delivered landmark airport assets for the Country. Delhi International Airport which is the ‘Gateway of India’ today ranks as the Number One Airport in the World in its category. This has brought tremendous pride to the Country and all Indians. Worldwide airports have been the economic engine of the Country/Region, and Delhi Airport has tremendously boosted not only the India’s economy but also the Delhi State economy. GMR Group very humbly takes pride in being the custodians of these national assets thus contributing towards our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of developing a progressive India.

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Bangalore International Airport to undergo runway upgrade

The runway of Bangalore International Airport (BIAL) will be upgraded in a phased manner in certain parts, involving closure of the runway, and in other parts, partial closure of facilities without any impact on airport operations. The closure will be applicable between 10.30 am to 5.00 pm from February 19-April 30, 2017. The balance activities will be carried out subsequently, with minimal impact on airport operations. In early February the runway will be closed for the rehearsals and show timings for the Aero India 2017. The closure of the runway for the upgradation work has been planned and aligned to this so as to commence work during this period. These works have been necessitated in order to support the growing air traffic at the Bengaluru Airport. The runway upgradation will include building of two Rapid Exit Taxiways (RET) to increase runway capacity. Currently, the runway has the capability of handling 38 air traffic movements (ATM) per hour, the additional RETs could increase the ATM capacity to 48 per hour. In order to enhance the capacity of the runway, BIAL has decided to go ahead with the building of two Rapid Exit Taxiways during the above period, so as to complete the activity before the onset of monsoons in May. This decision has been arrived at in consultation with all its key stakeholders including Domestic & International Airlines, Air Traffic Control and the Minister of Civil Aviation (MoCA).

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Emirates passengers can apply for UAE visa from mobiles

Emirates Airline customers flying to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can now apply for a visa using their mobile devices. In a first-of-its-kind initiative in visa application, applicants anywhere in the world can use the mobile app, launched by Dubai Visa Processing Centre (DVPC), to complete the entire visa application process for UAE visa using mobile devices. The transactional app involves one-time profile creation, and allows data and document upload, payment and service delivery. Essa Sulaiman Ahmad, VP (India & Nepal), Emirates, said, “The launch of the mobile app will allow our customers in India an even more convenient way to apply and complete their entire visa process through their phones. At Emirates, we are always looking for initiatives to enhance our customers’ experience online.” Vinay Malhotra, COO-South Asia and DVPC, VFS Global, added, “We are in a constantly evolving environment in terms of developing best-in-class technologies, and with this app, we aim to deliver exceptional levels of service and enhanced convenience for travellers. The DVPC mobile app will serve as a one-stop shop for UAE visa applicants, offering users an end-to-end platform for UAE visa applications.” Smartphone and tablet users can download the free DVPC mobile App from Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store. Customised versions of the app are available for iOS and Android devices. Through the app, passengers can apply for the 96-hours, 30-days or 90-days single entry visas, based on their Emirates itinerary. Customers may apply up to 4 international working days in advance of their Emirates flight departure date.

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Air Seychelles adds capacity to Mumbai

Air Seychelles, the national airline of the Republic of Seychelles, has announced a major fleet and network expansion in Europe and the Indian Ocean in 2017. This will see the airline introduce a second Airbus A330 aircraft, commence non-stop services to Düsseldorf, Durban, and increase its existing network to Mumbai. Roy Kinnear, Chief Executive Officer of Air Seychelles, said, “The addition of a second wide-body A330 to our fleet is set to open up significant growth opportunities, enabling Air Seychelles to extend its network footprint in Europe and the Indian Ocean region. In addition to flying to Europe, the Airbus A330 will be used to increase capacity on the airline’s five-per-week regional services to Mumbai, Johannesburg and Mauritius which are currently operated on a narrow-body A320. The introduction of a second wide body A330 will facilitate the upgrading of capacity on Mumbai on Saturdays, Johannesburg on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Mauritius on Sundays, increasing the combined seat capacity on these routes by 23 per cent. This development will allow Air Seychelles to allocate an Airbus A320 to launch flights to Durban, the second point served by Air Seychelles in South Africa, offering 14,171 seats to and from Seychelles each year as well as quick connections over Seychelles to Düsseldorf and Mumbai.”

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India records double digit growth in domestic passenger demand in Sept

India and China continued to register double-digit growth in domestic passenger demand in September 2016, according to International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) global passenger traffic report. The results showed that global demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) grew 7 per cent compared to the same month in 2015. This was the strongest year-over-year increase in seven months. Capacity climbed 6.6 per cent and load factor edged up 0.3 percentage points to 81.1 per cent. Growth in domestic traffic slightly outpaced growth in international traffic. Domestic passenger demand climbed 7.2 per cent in September as compared to September2015, which was up from the 4.1 per cent year-on-year growth recorded in August. International RPKs climbed 6.9 per cent with airlines in all regions recording growth compared to 2015. Total capacity climbed 7.2 per cent, causing load factor to slide 0.2percentage points to 80.4 per cent. “September’s growth in passenger demand was healthy. Importantly, this rebound from August weakness suggests that travel demand is showing its resilience in the aftermath of terror attacks. We must, of course, be ever-alert to the ongoing terror threat. And overall the industry is still vulnerable to being buffeted by rising geopolitical tensions, protectionist political agendas, and weak economic fundamentals. This will still be a good year for the airline industry’s performance, but our profitability will continue to be hard-won,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, IATA.

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