Category Archives: Aviation

Emirates offers tablet loan service to US-bound First and Business Class customers

Emirates has introduced another service to mitigate the inconvenience of the recent ban on electronic devices on board US-bound flights. Beginning today, First and Business Class passengers will be able to borrow tablets on board Emirates’ US-bound flights allowing them to continue working during their flight. The new service is in response to the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) directive which requires all passengers travelling on non-stop flights to the US from Dubai to check-in their laptops, tablets, and other personal electronic devices larger than a smart phone. As part of this latest service, Emirates premium customers will have a Microsoft Surface tablets equipped with Microsoft Office 2016 available for loan on board. Customers can download their work on to a USB which can be brought on board and plugged into the devices to continue working seamlessly. The service is complimentary and will be available on all non-stop flights from Dubai to Emirates’ US destinations. For customers who prefer to stow away their personal devices, Emirates had introduced a laptop and tablet handling service for US-bound customers. This complimentary service has been made available to passengers in all cabin classes since March 25, 2017, which was when the new TSA rules took effect. This service allows customers to retain and utilise their personal devices until just before they board their US-bound flights. Passengers must then declare and hand over their laptops, tablets, and other banned electronic devices to security staff at the boarding gate, who will pack and tag each device to be stored in the aircraft hold and returned to the customer at their US destination.

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IndiGo to launch app for travel trade

IndiGo airlines is all set to launch a dedicated mobile app for the travel trade to make it easier for the trade to do bookings. During a presentation on IndiGo products at the IATO Luncheon on April 6, 2017, Ajay Wadhawan, Associate Vice President, Trade Sales, India, IndiGo, informed that after launching a user friendly application for its consumers, the airline would soon be launching a mobile application for the travel trade fraternity as well. PATA India is pleased to announce its Training program for its Members and their employees on 5th May, 2017. The program is titled “Win-Win Negotiations” and is a full day training program. This Training program will be conducted by Roshan Suhail, an accomplished Trainer, who had the honour of working with leading organizations like  ONGC, NTPC, BHEL, Dhanuka, Shriram Group, UFLEX, YKK, Ashok Leyland, INTEX, HERO Cycles, iEnergizer, Shree Cements, Reliance Securities, and many more. Suhail has also conducted programs for Govt. organizations and PSUs like Air India, Engineers India Ltd, FIEO, EPCH etc. While the venue will be communicate shortly, we request you to confirm your participation shortly, no later than 13th April 2017. The participation fee for the program is Rs. 3,000/- per participant. Organization registering six or more participant will enjoy the benefit of one free place.

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Ethiopian to launch A350 operation to Mumbai

Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will launch Africa’s first Ethiopian Airbus A350 -900 XWB on the Addis Ababa-Mumbai route during the month of April 2017. Passengers on Ethiopian’s twice daily non-stop services between Mumbai to Addis Ababa, will be able to enjoy the extra features of this latest flying machine: amazing cabin interior features with the latest high-definition touch screen, personal monitors with a higher selection of movies, wider seats and windows, the lowest twin engine noise level, advanced air conditioning technology, full LED mood lighting, which  enhance comfort and reduce jet-lag after a long flight are few to mention. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, Indian Sub-continent, remarked, “The A350 is a game changing fleet that has proven exceptional levels of luxury and reliability for a totally unique passenger experience. We are glad to be the first airline to serve our Indian customers with this latest aircraft from Mumbai. Currently, we are operating 28 weekly passenger flights to India’s major cities, Mumbai and Delhi. Moreover, to further strengthen the growing trade and commercial ties between the booming economies of India and Africa at large, we have started weekly freighter operation to Ahmedabad, our fifth cargo destination in India, since March 28. ” It is to be recalled that Ethiopian has been the first in Africa to own and operate the A350 in African skies. Among a total of 14 orders, Ethiopian currently has three of them in operation.

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Bird Execujet partners with Honeywell in India

Bird ExecuJet Airport Services, a joint venture between Bird Group and ExecuJet Aviation Group has announced a strategic partnership with Honeywell India, a global provider of engineering and aerospace solutions. Under this partnership, Bird ExecuJet Airport Services shall provide array of approved maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, from its approved facility, including avionics, connectivity, maintenance and upgrades to business/general aviation customers in the region. Bird ExecuJet is developing a world class FBO/MRO at Indira Gandhi International Airport and currently offers maintenance services from 2 exclusive hangars. The existing facility offers excellent logistics and operational readiness for its clients within India and also supports international clients and clients from neighbouring countries This partnership will also provide customers with an option inside Delhi airport to get support on Honeywell services and components, which was not there since the new concessionaire was granted to Bird ExecuJet.

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Hahn Air Group adds 11 new partners in Q1

Hahn Air announced that in the first quarter of this year it has already integrated 11 new carriers into its global network of more than 300 air, rail and shuttle partners. Of the 11 new partnerships, eight are interline agreements with carriers that are now available on the HR-169 ticket under their own designator. Among them are Nile Air (NP) from Egypt, Atlantic Airways (RC) from Faroe Islands, Yamal Airlines (YC) from Russia and Plus Ultra Lineas Areas (PU) from Spain. Hahn Air also signed its first interline agreement with a rail company, the UK-based high-speed rail operator Eurostar (9F), whose services are now available to almost all travel agents worldwide* for ticketing on Hahn Air’s HR-169 document. In addition, the Hahn Air Group welcomed two new airline partners and one new ferry partner of the consolidation service Hahn Air Systems. Pacific Coastal Airlines (8P) from Canada and SkyTaxi (TE) offering selected routes in France can now be booked under the reservation code H1 (H1-Air) while the Estonian shipping company Tallink can be booked under 5W (5W-Rail&Shuttle). Respectively, they can all be issued on HR-169 tickets. “We are especially pleased that three of our new interline partners are already using our product H1-Air”, says Steve Knackstedt, Vice President of the Airline Business Group at Hahn Air. “By making use of a dual partnership with the Hahn Air Group, TAG Airlines (5U) from Guatemala, FlySafair (FA) from South Africa and the Greek airline Sky Express (GQ) are now available on the Hahn Air ticket under their own IATA codes while at the same time, they can be issued in all major GDSs under the Hahn Air Systems code H1. This is …

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IndiGo to now fly daily to Doha

Strengthening its position in the Middle East, IndiGo has introduced its first daily non-stop flight connecting Doha to Delhi and Mumbai. Doha is IndiGo’s 7th international and 46th overall destination. With Doha as a new destination, IndiGo is all set to enhance connectivity between India and the Gulf region after Dubai, Muscat and Sharjah. The introduction of direct flights connecting Doha to New Delhi and Mumbai will open more convenient travel options for business and leisure travellers including the Indian expatriates based in Middle East. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “Being an economic and cultural hub of Qatar, Doha attracts a lot of business and leisure tourists. Adding Doha on our network is in line with our growth strategy and more so for the Middle East. IndiGo has established itself as a preferred carrier on India-Gulf routes. We are hopeful that this daily service would also prove equally popular with our flyers.”

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AI’s non-stop flight between Delhi-Washington from July 7

Air India will operate a non-stop flight from Delhi to Washington from July 7th, 2017, to connect the capitals of India and the USA. This will be the only direct flight connecting Delhi with Washington with a B777-200LR aircraft. Washington will be Air India’s fifth non-stop destination in USA after New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), Chicago (ORD) and San Francisco (SFO). AI 103 will depart from Delhi at 0115 hrs (IST) to reach Washington at 0715 hrs (GMT). While AI 104 will depart from Washington at 1100 hrs (GMT) and will land at IGI airport, Delhi at 1030 +1 hrs (IST). Operating thrice a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, the flight will offer a 3-cabin configuration, with 8 seats in First Class, 35 seats in Business Class and 195 seats in Economy Class. The direct flight will take around 15 hours and 30mins to reach Washington from Delhi. Passengers looking to travel and experience the world class facilities with a non-stop Boeing 777 flight can start booking their tickets now through www.airindia.in or through Air India booking offices.

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Cathay withdraws IATA commission

In a latest development regarding agency commission, Cathay Pacific and its subsidiary Cathay Dragon has withdrawn its IATA commission to travel agents applicable for any/all tickets issued in India. It will go from five per cent to zero commission with effect from May 1, 2017. In a letter signed by Rajesh Menon, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager, South Asia, Cathay Pacific Airways and Cathay Dragon, to all its trade partners, reasons, ‘Market dynamics for the aviation industry have changed in the recent times and has resulted in making the operating environment for our airline very challenging. The projections for the aviation industry and for our airlines remain to be volatile in the future.’ All tickets issued prior to May 1, 2017 will be eligible for a five per cent IATA commission. It adds, ‘We request you to kindly make a note of the change in commission structure and the effective date as this change might require a change in your business model too.’

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BA introduces Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on Mumbai-London route

British Airways has introduced its most technologically advanced aircraft, the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the Mumbai-London route. Mumbai is the second route after Delhi to benefit from the airline’s latest aircraft. Commenting on this Robert Williams, Head of Sales- Asia Pacific and Middle East, British Airways, said, “Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is the latest aircraft in our fleet which is slightly different to 787-8 aircraft. The 787-9 is 20 feet longer and incorporates our first class cabin with just 8 seats. Together with our World Traveller economy class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, Club World business class and the exciting new First class product we have all four cabins on the new aircraft flying people overnight from Mumbai into London. The 787 is fast becoming the principle aircraft of the British Airways fleet for the next generation.” A total of 42 787s are destined to join British Airways, becoming the mainstay of the airline’s fleet. Currently, British Airways has 12 A380 aircraft which have joined the fleet recently. Starting from 2018 British Airways will be making changes to its short haul flights in UK or flights flying into Europe from London. The airline also looks forward to welcome the A320, A321 and  A350 aircraft soon.

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5 airlines win bids under RCS

SpiceJet, Alliance Air, and three other airlines have emerged winner in the first round of bidding and 43 airports in India are set to get flights under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, revealed Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Civil Aviation Minister, Govt. of India. Apart from SpiceJet and Alliance Air, the other three airlines awaiting license include Air Deccan, Air Odisha and Turbo Megha. Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, will issue Letter of Awards for 27 proposals received under RCS-UDAN. A total of 13 unserved airports will get flights under the scheme, and the total viability gap funding that the government will provide will be around Rs. 200 crore. Raju also said that the total seats on these routes will be around 13 lakh and the scheme will be active in the next 4-6 months.

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