Category Archives: Aviation

Nearly 17% increase in domestic air traffic from Jan-Aug YOY

The number of passengers carried by domestic airlines during January and August, 2017, were 754.11 lakhs as against 644.68 lakhs during the corresponding period of the previous year, thereby registering a growth of 16.97 per cent, according to the latest data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). In terms of Passenger Load Factor, SpiceJet was ahead of its peers with 94.5 per cent PLF in the month of August. IndiGo ruled in terms of On Time Performance (OTP), recording a percentage of 86.6 per cent in OTP.

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Upgraded Belagavi Airport inaugurated in Karnataka

New and upgraded Belagavi Airport has been inaugurated by P. Ashok GajapathiRaju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister, Karnataka. Belagavi is the second capital of Govt. of Karnataka and is 502 km from Bengaluru and 200 km from Goa Airport. The city is one of the 20 cities selected in the first phase, for development as a smart city under the Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission. The New Terminal, a centrally air-conditioned building, with an area of 3,600 sqm has a capacity to handle 300 peak hour passengers at a time. It has all essential passenger friendly amenities and conveniences and is provided with CUTE-enabled Check-in Counters, Baggage Conveyors, Elevator, Public Address System, Fire Fighting & Fire Alarm System, Flight Information Display System (FIDS), CCTV, Baggage scanners and Car parking etc. Inaugurating the terminal Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation said, “Belagavi is an important City in the state of Karnataka. With the Upgraded Airport, the City is all set to cater to more air passengers from the region. Since Belagavi is amongst the first 20 cities being transformed into Smart Cities, this was a much needed development.” Other dignitaries present for the occasion include Ananth Kumar, Union Minister of Chemicals & Fertilisers and Parliamentary Affairs; R.V. Deshpande, Minister for Large & Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, Govt. of Karnataka; D.K. Shivakumar, Minister of Energy and Power, Government of Karnataka, Ramesh L. Jarakiholi, Minister for Co-operation and Belagavi District Incharge Minister; Suresh C. Angadi, Member of Parliament (LokSabha); Dr. Prabhakar Kore, Member of Parliament (RajyaSabha); Sanjay B. Patil, Member of Karnataka Legislative Assembly and Sanjyot Bandekar, Mayor, Belagavi City Corporation as the guests of honour.

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India, Japan sign open sky agreement

India and Japan have signed an agreement that will allow their airlines to operate unlimited number of flights between the two countries. The pact followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe holding strategic discussions on a wide range of issues. An official release said India and Japan exchanged RoD (Record of Discussions) on civil aviation cooperation with respect to open sky. “It opens skies between India and Japan ie. Indian and Japanese carriers can mount now unlimited number of flights to the selected cities of each other’s countries,” the release said. The National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016, allows the government to enter into an ‘open sky’ air services agreement on a reciprocal basis with SAARC nations as well as countries beyond a 5,000 kilometre radius from New Delhi. Currently, Japanese carriers All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines — fly into India while Air India and Jet Airways -1.60 % operate services to Japan. ast year India signed open sky agreements with Greece, Jamaica, Guyana, Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and Sri Lanka. India also has open sky agreement with the US, among other countries. Last week, full service carrier Vistara had announced plans to enter into a code share partnership with Japan Airlines by next year. Vistara is also likely to unveil plans for international operations soon and Japan is on the radar, it had said. (Source: PTI)

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IT spends of airlines and airports to touch $33 billion in 2017

According to the SITA 2017 Air Transport IT Trends Insights, airlines and airports are estimated to spend nearly US$33 billion on IT this year. The report says that the airlines and airports are focusing their technology investments on similar priorities. Top of the agenda for CIOs at both airlines and airports, are investments in cyber security and cloud services. In addition, they are prioritising investments in passenger self-service. SITA’s research of the world’s airlines and airports shows that IT spend remains strong. Airlines’ spend as a percentage of revenue will rise to an estimated 3.30 per cent or US$24.3 billion in 2017. For airports, the rise is to an expected 5.05 per cent for this year or US$8.43 billion. Looking ahead to 2018 over 70 per cent of airlines and 88 per cent of airports are expecting IT spend to increase or remain at the same levels as today. With increasing IT spend, both airlines and airports say that the number one priority for their investments is cyber security. Nearly all of them – 95 per cent of airlines and 96 per cent of airports – plan to invest in major programs or R&D on cyber security initiatives over the next three years. This shows alignment across the industry on the importance of investing in this area. Ilya Gutlin, President, Air Travel Solutions, SITA, said, “The air transport industry is going through digital transformation and focusing its attention on protecting the business and passengers; making it more efficient; and improving the passenger experience. Cyber-attacks are a very real threat in the highly interwoven air transport industry so building solid defenses is essential. Cloud services provide important efficiencies which play a …

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Jet Airways launches 56 weekly flights ahead of festive season

Jet Airways is set to introduce as many as 56 new weekly flights this month and the next, ahead of the busy festive season. In a series of industry-firsts, the airline will introduce daily flights from Pune, connecting them to Guwahati via Kolkata as well as to Coimbatore. In other notable step, Jet Airways is also set to commence flight operations between Bengaluru and Silchar, as well as to New Delhi and Jorhat. The airline will be the only airline in the country to have flights on these routes which will not only bolster connectivity from Pune, but will also improve connectivity of the North East with the rest of the country. The airline is also introducing additional non-stop frequencies on certain existing routes such as Pune – Kolkata, Jaipur – New Delhi, Guwahati – New Delhi and Chennai – New Delhi, reflecting the growing demand for its services to facilitate the travel aspirations of its guest Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Introducing the new flights and frequencies will strengthen our presence in the emerging cities. We will be able to provide greater choice, convenience and connectivity to our guests, who can easily connect with our hubs in Mumbai and Delhi and onwards into our wide international network.”

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Air France celebrates 50th anniversary of Paris-Mumbai route

Air France celebrates 50 years of its operations on the Paris-Mumbai route ever since it added Mumbai to its historic Far East network by launching flights from Mumbai to Paris on September 7, 1967. The airline now operates a daily service between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and India’s economic capital by Boeing 777-200 equipped with the latest long-haul travel cabins. On this occasion of completing half a century, Max Smits, General Manager, Air France-KLM, Indian Sub-Continent said,  “We are proud to celebrate 50 years of service between Mumbai and Paris. Air France has been present in Mumbai since 1967 and has been investing continuously with the aim to provide a great product and excellent connection opportunities to the Indian passengers from its hub at Paris, Charles de Gaulle. We take this opportunity to thank our loyal customers and partners in reaching this great milestone and are absolutely thrilled to celebrate this occasion with our passengers taking the flight 07 Sep from Mumbai to Paris with a small surprise celebration at the Mumbai airport”.    

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Alliance Air plans Jaipur-Agra flight

Air India’s Alliance Air plans to start the much-needed Jaipur-Agra flight. Madhu Methen, General Manager – Sales and Marketing, Air India, said, “Our future plan includes a Jaipur to Agra flight under the UDAN scheme. The aircraft that will be used will be an ATR. We also plan to introduce a Delhi-Bikaner direct flight on an ATR. Alliance Air will announce the dates and other details of these routes soon.”

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JAL and Vistara sign MoU for commercial operations in India

Japan Airlines and Vistara have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pursue commercial operations between India and Japan. This MoU will help the two airlines pursue significant cooperation in the near future, such as codeshare, frequent flyer partnership as well as other operational arrangements, allowing them to leverage each other’s network, expertise and assets, subject to necessary approvals from authorities. Commenting on the same, Tadashi Fujita, Executive Vice President, Japan Airlines (JAL), said, “The strengthened partnership with Vistara represents a significant milestone for the two airlines to provide customers better access to destinations between and in Japan and India, and we believe it will open up commercial opportunities on the two airlines’ networks.” He informed that JAL recorded 75 per cent PLF last year between India and Japan. “Out of the total passengers from India to Japan, 20 per cent are business travellers while 30 per cent are leisure travellers. We are hoping to increase the leisure market from India to Japan, primarily in cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka etc.,” said Fujita. Earlier this year, Vistara and Japan Airlines entered an ‘Inter-Airline Through Check-in (IATCI) partnership, enabling customers to enjoy a seamless ‘Through Check-In’ facility, when connecting to or from a Vistara flight in India and more than 50 countries across the globe on Japan Airlines’ network, using a single ticket. Phee Teik Yeoh, Chief Executive Officer, Vistara, added, “Vistara and Japan Airlines share a great deal in common, key among which are the focus on excellence in operations and delivery of exceptional service to customers. We are delighted to enter the next phase of our association with Japan Airlines, and we believe this is only the beginning of …

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Vistara adds Ranchi as 21st destination to its network

Vistara, one of India’s full-service carriers, recently announced the addition of Ranchi, capital of the Jharkhand state, as the 21st destination to its steadily expanding network. Effective October 29, 2017, Vistara will operate two flights a day between Delhi and Ranchi, providing a convenient same-day return option to travellers from both cities. Bookings are now open through all channels, including Vistara’s website, its iOS and Android mobile apps, and through Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and travel agents, with one-way fares starting from Rs. 2,199, inclusive of taxes. Commenting on the addition of the new destination, Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “Jharkhand has immense potential for industrial development, with sectors such as steel, cement, electric, rubber, khadi, handicraft and textile flourishing here. It is also emerging as an educational hub for the region. So, there is now a consistently growing number of corporate travellers as well as tourists and educationists emerging from this state to whom Vistara brings world-class air travel with the addition of Ranchi as a destination to our network. Further, as we operate from the state-of-the-art terminal in Delhi, travellers to and from Ranchi will get to enjoy the superior experience of T3, and those connecting to and from international flights at Delhi will appreciate the convenience of same-terminal connections.”

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Changi’s Terminal 4 to start operations from Oct 31

The much-awaited Singapore’s Changi Airport Terminal 4 will officially open on October 31, 2017. The new $985 million, two-storey T4 is the airport’s smallest terminal at just half the size of Terminal 3. Transport Minister, Khaw Boon Wan, said, “After endless rounds of testing and fine-tuning, we are ready to open T4… Another big step forward in our journey as a global air hub.” Both full-service and low-cost carriers of nine airlines, including the AirAsia Group (which comprises four airlines), Cathay Pacific Airways, Cebu Pacific Air, Korean Air, Spring Airlines and Vietnam Airlines, will operate from the new terminal. Cathay Pacific and Korean Air will be the first two that would move on October 31, followed by Cebu Pacific and Spring Airlines on November 2, and then, the AirAsia Group and Vietnam Airlines on November 7. With a capacity of about 16 million passengers, T4 will bring the airport’s overall capacity to 82 million passengers a year. Automation is touted as one of T4’s major breakthroughs, especially the Fast and Seamless Travel (FAST) system installed here. This system includes automated check-in kiosks for the retrieval of flight bookings as well as the printing of boarding passes and bag tags. Also, it features automated baggage drops, immigration clearance and boarding gates—all equipped with facial recognition technology, wherein passengers’ identities will be verified by matching their faces with their photos in passports. Besides the FAST system, the airport is introducing new technology in security, retail and housekeeping—sectors which employ 80 per cent of all Changi Airport staff. The new terminal will also showcase elements of local heritage and culture, a mini theatre show in collaboration with composer Dick Lee, as well as designs inspired by the orchid. There is to be …

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