Category Archives: Aviation

India’s air passenger volumes to reach 310 million by 2018

The overall air passenger volumes (pax) have been consistently increasing and are likely to reach 310 million by FYE18, says India Ratings and Research (Ind-Ra). This will be driven by the aspirations of the middle class to travel in flights and a reduction in price differential between air travel and rail journey, including the recently increased cancellation fees for train tickets. The slowdown in economic growth during the first half of the current decade had minimal impact on pax growth. However, the 2008 global economic crisis and fuel and currency crises in FY13 had a pronounced impact on air traffic growth. The gradual increase in private final consumption expenditure has been buttressing India’s pax growth since early FY14. Ind-Ra’s sensitivity on economic growth also underlines the strong underlying fundamentals and continued growth in pax volumes. Ind-Ra’s also reports that large gateways such as Mumbai and Delhi airports and mid-market airport hubs such as Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports have displayed strong volume resilience, despite unfavourable macroeconomic trends.

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PNR data to be submitted to Indian Customs

Albert Tjoeng, Assistant Director, Corporate Communications, Asia Pacific at International Air Transport Association (IATA),  takes heart from the Union Budget. “The Finance bill 2017 has added new provisions for the future introduction of submission of PNR data by airlines to the Indian Customs, he says. He adds that IATA hopes that the established global standards for transmission of PNRGOV data would be adhered to. “We would also urge that stakeholder consultations precede the development of any regulations detailing the form and data elements for this information,” he concludes.

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Etihad launches 3rd daily flight on Bengaluru-Abu Dhabi route

Etihad Airways has announced a third daily flight on the Abu Dhabi – Bengaluru route, effective March 26, 2017. The triple daily schedule will provide greater choice to local passengers travelling between the two cities, and improved connectivity to destinations across the GCC, North America and Europe via the airline’s Abu Dhabi hub.The capacity increase underscores the airline’s commitment to offer guests more travel options between Abu Dhabi and key destinations across its network. With a new daily late night departure from Abu Dhabi, and early morning service from Bengaluru operated with a two-class Airbus 321, the schedule provides additional online connectivity to and from a number of destinations, including Doha, Jeddah, London, Dublin, New York and Dallas. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our expanded services between Abu Dhabi and Bengaluru are in line with Etihad Airways’ strategy to offer greater travel options when aircraft availability and market conditions permit. “The extra flights to Bengaluru will cater to the strong demand between both cities, and bring closer our global network to and from Bengaluru over our Abu Dhabi hub.” Etihad Airways launched flights to Bengaluru, capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, in January 2011 with four services a week, rising to daily two months later. It has steadily grown capacity with additional frequencies and aircraft upgrades to its current double daily operation. More than 700,000 guests have been flown on the route over the past six years. Partner carrier Jet Airways will codeshare on Etihad Airways’ enhanced Bengaluru services, and also offer connectivity from Bengaluru to destinations across India.

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Lufthansa’s new app allows selecting in-flight program from home

Now, passengers can select on-board entertainment in advance from the comfort of your own home with the Lufthansa Companion App. For the first time, passengers will have the option of making a selection from the on-board program from home before setting off and adding their favorite items to a playlist. The on-board program is available up to six weeks in advance. Once on board, passengers then synchronise their personal favourite playlist with the screen in front of the seat, and there is also the option to use the own mobile device as a second screen. During the flight, passengers can then choose something to watch from their favorites list, and at the same time call up flight information, go on social media websites via FlyNet, do a little online shopping in the WorldShop, or find out a few things about the destination they are heading for.

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IndiGo asks for solo operations at T2 in Delhi

IndiGo has communicated to Delhi International Airport Private Ltd (DIAL) that it is ready to shift its domestic flights to Terminal 2. The airline, along with SpiceJet and GoAir operate from T1. Indigo has reportedly told DIAL that they are ready to shift to Terminal 2 and make that an all-IndiGo terminal. They have also given DIAL the option to keep Indigo fully at Terminal 1 and shift all others to T2, and that they are fine with both decisions. The main priority for Indigo right now is to have all their domestic operations under one roof for the sake of passenger convenience. Indigo is against DIAL’s idea of splitting domestic flights between T1 and T2.

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Finnair to launch Helsinki-Goa flight next winter

Finnair has launched its first flights to Goa this year, as part of its expansion in long-haul network. Starting November 29, 2017, the airline will start flying to the Indian beach destination, operating two weekly flights for the winter season, ending on March 21, 2018. Services will run every Wednesday and Sunday using an Airbus A330 aircraft. Apart from that, Finnair will add one more weekly flight to Delhi, taking the total frequency to six weekly flights next winter. It will also add two additional weekly frequencies on Helsinki-Bangkok route, taking the total to 16 flights per week. The airline will also add two more weekly services to Singapore, making it a daily destination, while three more weekly frequencies will be added to Hong Kong, taking the year-round total to 10 flights per week. “With the expected arrival of four new Airbus A350 aircraft in 2017, we are pressing ahead with our growth strategy,” said Juha Järvinen, Finnair’s chief commercial officer. “These newest additions will offer even more travel options and flexibility for our customers travelling between Asia and Europe through our efficient Helsinki airport hub which guarantees a short and smooth connection,” he added.

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James Hogan to step down by mid 2017

The Etihad Aviation Group Board of Directors has announced that James Hogan will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company in the second half of 2017. The Board and Hogan first initiated the transition process last year with the formation in May of the Etihad Aviation Group, a diversified global aviation and travel organisation. H.E. Mohamed Mubarak Fadhel Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Board of the Etihad Aviation Group, said, “We are very grateful to James. In just ten years, he has overseen the growth of the company from a 22 plane regional carrier into a 120 aircraft global airline and aviation group, with seven airline equity partnerships which together serve more than 120 million guests every year. It is a business which has set new benchmarks for service and innovation. Under his leadership, the company has provided new opportunities for thousands of Emiratis and has been a critical element in the remarkable progress of Abu Dhabi and the UAE. We look forward to James’ continued association with Abu Dhabi in new ways.” Commenting on current priorities for the business, H.E. Mazrouei said, “To position the company for continued success in a challenging market, the Board and management team will continue an ongoing, company-wide strategic review. We must ensure that the airline is the right size and the right shape. We must continue to improve cost efficiency, productivity and revenue. We must progress and adjust our airline equity partnerships even as we remain committed to the strategy.” Last month, Etihad Airways unveiled plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG. A new codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an …

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43 proposals from 11 bidders received under Regional Connectivity Scheme

Under the Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) Regional Connectivity Scheme, the Airports Authority Of India (AAI) has received 43 initial proposals from 11 bidders covering 190 routes. These proposals are now open for counter-bidding. Under the scheme, 30 currently served airports, 12 currently underserved airports and 50 currently unserved airports (making a total of 92 airports) are expected to be connected based on the initial proposals.

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TrawellTag and GoAir enter insurance partnership

Global assistance and travel insurance provider, TrawellTag Cover-More has announced a partnership with GoAir India wherein the insurance provider will offer specialised travel assistance services including insurance for GoAir passengers opting for domestic travel. The association rides on Cover-More’s upgrade of their proprietary optimisation platform, ‘Impulse’ which works in real time to offer travel protection plans matching the customer’s profile based on the details provided while booking tickets. Cover-More’s expertise has enabled it to serve clients like Malaysia Airlines, Air New Zealand & Virgin Atlantic. This alliance perfectly marries with GoAir’s motto of ‘Fly Smart’ that is aimed at offering passengers a holistic, quality-assured, and time-efficient service through value for money in fares and services. Dev Karvat, MD & CEO, TrawellTag Cover-More, said “’Impulse’ is the key to our new strategic partnership as it not only equips the travelers with holistic travel protection but also enables our client to enhance ancillary revenue though an agile online technology. Indians are gradually realizing the risks of travelling even within the country and service providers have taken up the onus of educating travellers and ensuring they travel smart and safe.” He added that TrawellTag Cover-More has upgraded its team and infrastructure to provide dedicated support to GoAir in product innovation, claims management and emergency assistance.

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Nepal Airlines meets Mumbai agents

Nepal Airlines Corporation recently organised a get-together for agents in Mumbai. After successfully operating since September 2015, Deputy Director, Marketing and Sales, Archana Khadka had flown down from Nepal especially for the event  to express her gratitude for their sincere efforts in promoting their product. She has assured her full cooperation and support for all the future endeavours. The meeting involved several exchange of suggestion and resolution of queries aimed towards mutual benefits in the longer run. It was attended by all the leading travel agencies like Akbar Travels, Riya Travel, Thomas Cook, SOTC, Kesari, Creative Travels, Atlas Online and TBO along with Nishi Travels, Vision Holidays, and Indo-Nepal Holidays.

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