Category Archives: Aviation

Booking change option on Jet Airways

Jet Airways has introduced #JetAdvance where flyers will have the flexibility to change their booking to an earlier flight for a nominal fee. This customer-centric initiative is applicable for flights across the Jet Airways domestic network and offers guests the opportunity to travel on an earlier flight. This new feature will help guests in reaching their destination ahead of schedule with greater ease and convenience. This facility will be applicable for flights with departure time difference of maximum of 4 hrs. Guests are required to be physically present at the airport for managing the booking. The request for time change will be confirmed at the check-in counter, subject to availability of seats and for a fee of Rs 1,000 per guest per flight. This new feature is not applicable for guests booked under group fares. Gaurang Shetty, Whole-time Director, Jet Airways, said : “The comfort and convenience of guests is our utmost priority. This new feature demonstrates Jet Airways’ continued commitment to the ‘Guest First’ philosophy. We understand the need of guests having to save precious time while travelling between important engagements. With the introduction of this feature, Jet Airways has yet again raised the industry benchmark for customer experience.”

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GoAir commences night flights to Srinagar

GoAir claims to be the first airline to offer late evening/night operations to Srinagar. Effective June 15, 2016, the GoAir flight G8-228 and G8-229 took off from Srinagar at 18:40 pm to Mumbai and Delhi, respectively. One-way fare for this journey costs Rs 9000 + taxes. The carrier flagged off the first flight of this schedule at the Srinagar International Airport in the presence of Mehbooba Mufti, Chief Minister of Jammu & Kashmir and GoAir CEO, Wolfgang Prock-Schauer. The newly introduced evening flights from the carrier were announced soon after the IAF, AAI, and DGCA gave their nod to evening and night flights from private airlines at the Srinagar International Airport. The offering will help keep up with the demand from tourists, and the increase in flights will aid in keeping the prices competitive and ensure that Srinagar remains accessible to both business and leisure travellers.

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India and Taiwan boost air ties

The Union Cabinet under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the signing of Air Services Agreement between India-Taipei Association in Taipei (India’s representative office in Taiwan) and Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India (Taiwan’s representative office in India). Presently there is no formal Air Services Agreement between India and Taiwan and the Air Services are governed by an MoU exchanged between Air India Charters Limited (AIRL) and Taipei Airlines Associations (TAA). The Air Services Agreement signifies an important landmark in the civil aviation relations between India and Taiwan, and has the potential to spur greater trade, investment, tourism and cultural exchanges between the two parties.

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Change in airline code-share rules

The new Civil Aviation Policy gives a boost to the domestic aviation sector by offering auctioning of unilateral traffic rights and tax incentives. Under the new policy, domestic airlines will be free to enter into code-share agreements with foreign carriers for any destination within India on a reciprocal basis. In fact, the policy has completely liberalised international code share between Indian and foreign carriers. Government will also liberalise the regime of bilateral rights, which in turn would lead to greater ease of doing business and wider choice to passengers. The policy also proposes real time safety tracking. The Civil Aviation Policy is aimed at creating an eco-system to handle 300 million domestic passengers by 2022 and 500 million by 2027, and 200 million international travellers by 2027. India recorded around 139.32 million domestic and over 50 million international air travellers in 2014-15.    

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Regional connectivity a priority in new policy

The new Civil Aviation Policy, which got the Cabinet’s clearance today, has made many provisions to boost regional connectivity in India. The policy has proposed increasing connectivity to the country’s smaller towns and cities by offering sops and incentives to airlines to fly on these routes. According to the new policy, a 2 per cent cess in domestic and international tickets for the regional connectivity fund will be set up. Air strips will be refurbished, depending on demand, as no-frills airports. This will be done at a cost not exceeding Rs 50 crore, mostly through AAI. There will be a window system for all aviation related transactions and complaints by aviation regulator DGCA.

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Cap of Rs 2,500 for 1 hr flights & Rs 1300 for 30 minutes

The policy proposes a cap in fare of Rs. 2,500 for one-hour flights as the government plans an ecosystem that will lead to an increase in air travel by making it affordable. A cap of Rs 1300 is also put on 30 minute flights. According to the new policy, the centre will refund 80 per cent of the losses incurred by airlines due to the cap in fare on such routes. The policy has a slew of passenger friendly measures, offering respite to frequent flyers. The new policy comes after the tourism secretary had promised last month that the new policy will address issues of regional connectivity aggressively and in a fulfilling manner.

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AI special fares for students on domestic sector

Air India has announced special fares for students on its domestic network. Under this offer, students after providing required documents would be able to avail tickets at Rs 3,500 (all inclusive) for distance up to 1000 km and at Rs 5,500 (all inclusive) for distance over 1000 km. The booking period for this offer started from June 1, 2016 and tickets can be booked till August 31, 2016 for travel between July 1, 2016 to August 31, 2016. Students travelling for various academic reasons like proceeding to join their school, college or to give entrance exam would be able to benefit from this special offer. To avail these special fares, students are required to provide photo copy of the following documents while booking: Admit card/ Examination hall ticket or admission slip/ Photo Id of the institution. The tickets can be booked at Air India city and airport booking offices. Air India offers the best flying experience with more legroom and value for money.

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Jet Airways connects Hyderabad-Dammam and Mangaluru-Sharjah

Jet Airways will operate new daily services from Hyderabad to Dammam and from Mangaluru to Sharjah from August 7, 2016. The addition of these new services will bolster Jet Airways’ offering to the Arabian Gulf region, further strengthening the airline’s growing network and significantly enhancing connectivity for passengers. Dammam will be the second city in the Gulf region to be connected with Hyderabad by Jet Airways after Abu Dhabi. With the addition of Sharjah, Jet Airways will operate to three cities in the Gulf region from Mangaluru. The airline currently operates daily flights to Abu Dhabi and Dubai from Mangaluru. The new flights will benefit the large number of Indians travelling from to the Gulf region to Hyderabad and Mangaluru, from where they also have a choice of domestic connections to other Indian destinations. Jet Airways flight 9W 206 will depart Hyderabad at 20:15 and arrive into Dammam at 22:30 (local time). The return flight Jet Airways 9W 205 will depart from Dammam at 23:30 (local time) and arrive into Hyderabad at 06:00. Jet Airways flight 9W 504 will depart Mangaluru at 09:30, and arrive into Sharjah at 11:45 (local time). The return flight Jet Airways 9W 503 will depart from Sharjah at 12:45 (local time) and arrive into Mangaluru at 17:55. Travel between India and the Gulf region is witnessing rapid growth, with over 32 lakh flyers travelling to the Gulf countries from India between January to March 2016 and a similar number returning to India during the same period. With the new flights, Jet Airways will operate around 640 weekly flights between India and 12 destinations in the Gulf, making it the largest operator connecting India to this …

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Passenger friendly initiatives

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has introduced a number of passenger friendly initiatives to ease the process of flight cancellation and delays. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Minister for Civil Aviation, said that his ministry was committed not only to the growth of the airline industry but also to ensure that flying for most Indians becomes a pleasant experience. In keeping with this commitment, he along with Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, presided over a presentation made by DGCA with regard to Passenger Centric Initiatives. In the presentation, the first category of amendments have been made in CARs related to refund of air tickets. The Ministry has proposed that the refund process should be completed within 15 working days in case of domestic travel and 30 working days in case of international travel. It also proposed that in case of cancellation of tickets, statutory taxes and user development fee/airport development fee/passenger service fee shall be refunded. The Ministry has also proposed in this category that under no circumstances cancellation shall be more than the basic fair. In the second category of CARs related to denied boarding, flight cancellation and flight delays, the Ministry has proposed that an amount equal to 200 per cent of booked one way basic fair plus airline fuel charge subject to maximum of Rs 10,000 would be paid to passengers in case airline arranges alternate flight that is to depart after one hour but within 24 hours of the booked scheduled departure. In the third category of CARs relating to facilities to be provided to persons with reduced mobility, airlines shall develop a procedure for making advance request of stretcher and same should be …

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