Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad’s A380 lands in Mumbai

Etihad Airways’ Flight EY204 from Abu Dhabi landed at ChhatrapatiShivaji International Airport in Mumbai last night (on May 1) on the occasion of Maharashtra Day, the 56th anniversary of the state’s formation. Mumbai becomes the airline’s fourth A380 destination following London Heathrow, Sydney and New York, with Melbourne set to join on June 1. Etihad Airways introduced Mumbai to its A380 network with the launch of daily scheduled flights featuring its award-winning The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner. Etihad Airways senior management team led by Mohammed Al Bulooki, Vice President Commercial UAE, flew on the inaugural flight, arriving to a traditional lamp lighting ceremony attended by officials from the airline and Mumbai airport operator, GVK. Etihad Airways’ one-way fares, including taxes and surcharges, in The Residence in either direction between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai are approximately $5,000; between London and Mumbai, approximately, $26,000; and between New York and Mumbai approximately $38,000.

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India, NZ sign deal for direct flights

India and New Zealand have signed a deal on Sunday that opens the door for direct flights between the two countries that could boost tourism and trade sectors. The signing ceremony of the bilateral air services agreement was witnessed by visiting President Pranab Mukherjee and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. New Zealand airlines now have the opportunity to code-share to seven Indian cities – Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and New Delhi. For code-sharing operations, India will have any point in New Zealand. As intermediate points, India can have Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok and any two points in Australia, according to the text of the agreement. “India is an emerging superpower, and its population of 1.25 billion people presents enormous opportunities for New Zealand,” the minister said. “Our annual trade with India is worth more than 1 billion dollars. In the year to March 31, 2016, almost 52,000 Kiwis travelled to India and close to 60,000 Indians visited New Zealand. In addition, more than 160,000 people of Indian descent live here. Since the Government’s Air Transport policy was introduced in 2012, Bridges said 50 new or amended air agreements had been negotiated, bringing the total to 78. Most of the major airlines in the world are now able to operate services to New Zealand without restriction, with 18 new air routes announced in the past year alone, the report said.

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Vistara commences flights to Chandigarh

Vistara flew its inaugural flight to the city of Chandigarh from IGI airport, Delhi at 1320hrs on May 2. The fares for Delhi to Chandigarh flight start from Rs 3700+ one way on Economy super saver and Rs 4900+ in Premium Economy saver. The airline will operate daily direct returnflights to Chandigarh from Delhi and Hyderabad (same aircraft service between Hyderabad and Chandigarh via Delhi). The new service will also offer convenient connections via Delhi between Chandigarh andBengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Bhubaneswar and Ahmedabad. International travellers from the city will also be connected to global destinations via Vistara’s hub at T3 Delhi, making it a convenient connection for them to travel overseas with 12 global interline airline partners of Vistara.

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JetSmart.in gets investment to make private flying affordable

Jetsmart.in, a real-time e-commerce platform, has got investments from Travel Capitalist Ventures to make private air charter affordable in India. The Bengaluru-based private air travel company is looking at expanding their present charter and non-scheduled operations through innovations such as selling empty seats or ferry flights on a real-time basis. JetSmart.in has got an investment from Travel Capitalist Ventures, one of the leading multi-stage investment firms globally that focuses on travel private equity and venture capital investments and No Border Investments, a Doha-based investment firm, which has secure a key stake in the company. Speaking at the launch Abrar Ahmad, Partner, Travel Capialist Ventures, said, “The Jetsmart offering allows corporate to service the needs of their key executives, provide discreet offerings to celebrities and HNW individuals to airports closer than legacy offerings all while saving valuable time and money.” ErfanHaque, CEO, JetSmart.in, said, “India is on the cusp of being an aviation super-power—we intend to be there on the stage when it happens.”

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Air Canada to fly Vancouver-Delhi non-stop

Air Canada is all set to start non-stop flights from Vancouver to Delhi, India starting October 20, 2016, in time for Diwali festivities. It is the first airline to offer a non-stop service between the two hubs. The seasonal, three-times weekly flights complement Air Canada’s Toronto-Delhi non-stop service launched last fall. To promote the new Vancouver-Delhi route, Air Canada is offering special introductory fares starting as low as $999 round trip, all-inclusive. The tickets can be booked on aircanada.com and through travel agents. Flights will operate three-times-weekly October 20, 2016 to April 8, 2017 with Air Canada’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft featuring 30 International Business Class lie-flat pod suites, 21 Premium Economy and 247 Economy Class seats with upgraded in-flight entertainment at every seat throughout the aircraft. “Customer response to our Toronto-Delhi service has been extremely positive, and with this new seasonal Vancouver route, we are strategically increasing our presence in the important Asia-Pacific market in time for Diwali festival celebrations. Our non-stop Dreamliner flights from our Vancouver hub will also offer the shortest elapsed flying time from Calgary, Edmonton, Seattle, Portland and Los Angeles to Delhi,” said Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada. “The operating economics of the Dreamliner together with the efforts of the Vancouver Airport Authority who have maintained airport operating costs at levels among the lowest in Canada, have enabled us to grow our Vancouver hub. Together with our extensive western Canada domestic and western US transborder network combined with the seamless connection experience through YVR’s US in-transit pre-clearance facilities, position YVR to be the preferred gateway hub for trans-Pacific travel to and from North America,” he added.

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Ras Al Khaimah, Cox & Kings tie up to augment arrivals from India

Ras Al Khaimah has signed an agreement with leading Indian tour operator, Cox & Kings, to strengthen its relationship and expand its presence in the Indian market, which is one of the fastest outbound markets in the region. This agreement will focus on promoting the various aspects of Ras Al Khaimah and popularize it in the Indian market. The agreement, which was signed today at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), is aimed at increasing tourism arrivals to Ras Al Khaimah from India. The partnership, which will take effect from May 1st 2016, will also introduce Ras Al Khaimah to the Indian market through specially created itineraries, creation of stand alone tourism products for the emirate and market the destination via a series of campaigns and training programmes for Cox & Kings staff. India has already cemented its position as one of the emirate’s leading source markets with an 80 percent increase in visitors year-on-year (2014-2015). Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority said: “Following our revised strategies and Vision to reach one million visitors by the end of 2018, we will be announcing a number of partnerships such as this. Air India Express has already launched new routes to the emirate and our agreement with Cox & Kings will ensure we’re making the destination as accessible as ever. We are proud to begin a long relationship with such an established travel company within one of our top source markets. India offers an important contribution towards our overall visitor figures and we keen to progress this opportunity to target Indian travellers even further.” Ashutosh Mehere, Sr. Vice President, Alliances & Special Projects, Cox & Kings Ltd., said: “Ras Al …

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Munich Airport’s new satellite terminal launched

Munich Airport’s new satellite terminal was launched on April 26, 2016. The new facility will give Munich Airport 27 new gate positions where passengers can board aircraft directly without bus transportation. With the new satellite facility, the capacity of Terminal 2, which is used by Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners, will be increased by 11 million to 36 million passengers per year.Germany’s first midfield terminal – Europe’s only five-star airport is again setting new standards for excellent service, expertise and sustainability. The satellite terminal is also a continuation of the joint venture between Munich Airport and Lufthansa. As in Terminal 2, the partners have joined forces to design, build and finance the new passenger handling facilityon a 60:40 basis. The Munich architectural firm Koch + Partner was selected for the design and general planning. 1,900 guests in attendance at official opening of the Munich Airport satellite terminal. As one of the world’s most advanced passenger facilities, the satellite terminal will offer passengers pleasant surroundings, a wide range of shopping and dining options, and outstanding travel convenience in attractive and spacious areas flooded with natural light. Passengers will also have five new Lufthansa lounges to choose from.

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Mumbai-Leh direct on GoAir from April 13

GoAir will become the first airline to offer non-stop daily flights connecting Mumbai – Leh effective April 13, 2016. As per its latest Summer Schedule 2016, the GoAir flight G8-386 will take off from Mumbai at 4:00hrs and arrive in Leh at 6:40hrs while the return flights will take off from Leh at 7:10hrs and arrive at Mumbai at 8:30hrs via Srinagar. Additionally, it has further strengthened its domestic network in the Summer Schedule 2016 with the addition of frequencies on the Mumbai – Patna and Mumbai – Lucknow routes effective April 17, 2016 to cater the holiday rush.

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AI augments domestic network

In a bid to boost regional connectivity, Alliance Air, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, has introduced new flights on sectors Delhi-Jammu, Bengaluru-Vijayawada and Kolkata-Agartala. The flights on the Bengaluru –Vijayawada and Kolkata- Agartala sectors will start operating from April 1, 2016. More flights will be added to its existing Delhi – Jammu route starting April 07, 2016, fares starting Rs 6,545 (super value economy). The flights on the Bengaluru-Vijayawada- Bengaluru and Kolkata-Agartala-Kolkata routes will operate with ATR 42-320 aircraft. The flight AI9507/9508 will operate five days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday) departing from Bengaluru at 1600 hrs and will arrive Vijayawada at 1730 hrs, fares starting Rs 6000. On the return, AI-9508 will depart from Vijayawada at 1750 hrs and reach Bengaluru at 1920 hrs. The evening frequency from Kolkata to Agartala will operate five days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday). AI9715 from Kolkata will depart at 1710 hrs and will reach Agartala at 1815 hrs. The return flight AI9716 will depart from Agartala at 1835 hrs and will reach Kolkata at 1940 hrs. From April 07, 2016, Air India will be operating additional frequency three days a week (Monday, Thursday and Sunday) on its existing route of Delhi-Jammu-Delhi. Operating with Bombardier jet aircraft, the flight AI9613 will depart from Delhi at 0745 hrs and will reach Jammu at 0900 hrs. The return flight from Jammu, AI9614 will depart at 0930 hrs and will touchdown at Delhi at 1045 hrs.

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GoAir adds flights from Patna to New Delhi, Bengaluru

India’s low-cost airline GoAir has introduced two new flights from Patna to New Delhi and Bengaluru. The airline discontinued its Patna-Kolkata service and introduced these routes. According to Santosh Kumar, Assistant General Manager – Air Traffic Management, Patna airport, “The proposal submitted to director general of civil aviation (DGCA) was for additional eight flights. However, a few operators later withdrew their proposals.” With the introduction of the new routes, the Patna airport now operates 42 flights daily.

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