Category Archives: Aviation

SpiceJet’s special Hajj flights from Indore & Gaya

SpiceJet is all set to take more than 8000 pilgrims on special flights for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca from Gaya and Indore. It plans to deploy two Airbus 320 to carry pilgrims from Gaya and Indore respectively. The flights will be operated from the two Indian cities to Jeddah and Madina between August 4 and September 3, 2016. The return journey for the pilgrims back to Gaya is scheduled from September 17 and to Indore from September 30. The whole activity is expected to be executed by October 16, 2016. G. P. Gupta, Chief Administrative Officer and Accountable Manager, SpiceJet says, “It is a great privilege for us to be a part this grand holy ritual and eagerly look forward to serve our nation on this occasion. Hajj is a lifetime experience and SpiceJet will make every effort to ensure a hassle-free and delightful travel experience to all its customers. We extend our appreciation to the Ministry of Civil Aviation & Hajj committee for choosing us and wish all our pilgrim customers a wonderful stay at Mecca this year.”

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Bird Travel appointed Rwandair’s GSA for India

RwandAir has appointed Bird Travels, the Airline Management Services arm of Bird Group as its new General Sales Agent for the Indian market. RwandAir is planning to commence operations to Mumbai, India in the last quarter of this year, and the appointment of Bird Travel as its GSA comes in line with that. “Bird Travel is happy to be associated with RwandAir as their exclusive GSA in India. RwandAir is one of the fastest growing airlines on the African continent and has aggressive plans to connect India and Africa through their hub in Kigali, Rwanda. We look forward to a great working association with RwandAir and are optimistic of making their online operations a success,” commented Praful Khosla, Executive Vice President, Bird Travel. John Mirenge, RwandAir’s Chief Executive Officer stated that, “ we have selected Bird Travel to position our brand, create awareness of our products and sell our services in this important new market.” The new GSA, Bird Travel will use its vast experience and will be the immediate liaison for the airline’s sales development in India, including ticketing and direct support services to the travel trade. RwandAir will be operating four weekly flights to Mumbai with its brand new A330-300, a state of the art triple class 274 wide-body seater equipped with full flat beds in business class and unmatched leg room in premium economy, with inflight entertainment and Wi-Fi as well as GSM connectivity across all three classes.

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Ministry asks AI to use best IT practices

The Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju held a meeting on July 11 to review the functioning of Air India, where he advised the national carrier to use the best IT practices to bring efficiency in the airline. During a presentation made by Air India, the Ashwini Lohani, CMD, Air India, explained the initiatives taken recently and the various challenges that the airline was facing in the domestic and international market. Aspects about the performance of Air India in comparison with other domestic airlines and the industry as a whole were analysed. Strategies for improvement of various parameters were also looked at. The Minister reviewed the status of monetisation by Air India so far and the hurdles if any. He keenly sought information on operationalisation of MRO for advanced aircrafts at Nagpur and Hyderabad. The Minister reviewed Air India’s strategy to increase its market share of the domestic and international market as well as improve its financial performance by reducing losses in any segment of the company. The Minister promised Air India that the Ministry on its part would look into their demands and will provide all possible support.

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Minister asks airports to go green

The Civil Aviation Ministry is all set for a green makeover and has thus planned 146 MW of solar-power generation at airports, with 30 MW already in the pipeline. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, has reviewed the progress of energy and water conservation measures at Airports Authority of India (AAI) airports across the country. The important review meeting was attended by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation and Secretary of the Department, besides Chairperson AAI and other senior officers. Airport Directors of 12 important airports also attended the deliberations so that they could be sensitized to implement these initiatives at their respective airports. AAI has already installed solar power plants at 16 airports with a total capacity of 5.4 MW. So far, 51 lakh energy units have been generated from these plants leading to a reduction of 4,600 metric tonnes in carbon emissions. By December 2016, additional 24.1 MW of solar power plants will become operational at 11 more airports. Infact, the perspective plan of AAI targets augmenting the solar power generation to 116 MW by including 16 more airports. During the meeting, the Airport Director, Jaipur dwelled at length on the energy conservation measures recently undertaken at the airport. These include maximum use of LED lighting, installation of efficient air-conditioning equipment, provision of energy efficient pumps and motors, a roof top solar power plant of 1 MW capacity and a 1.8 MW ground-based solar power plant under implementation. All Airport directors were encouraged to adopt similar initiatives, some of which have a payback period of as low as two years. The status and scope of water conservation, water-recycling and sewage treatment plants at the airports …

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Highest domestic aviation market growth in 2015

With annual growth of 18.8 per cent (in a market of 80 million domestic passengers), India’s performance surpassed that of Russia (11.9 per cent growth, in a market of 47 million domestic passengers), China (9.7 per cent growth, in a market of 394 million domestic passengers) and the United States (5.4 per cent growth, in a market of 708 million domestic passengers), as per International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) industry performance statistics for 2015. This information was included in the recently released 60th Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance. “Last year airlines safely carried 3.6 billion passengers— the equivalent of 48% of the Earth’s population—and transported 52.2 million tonnes of cargo worth around $6 trillion. In doing so, we supported some $2.7 trillion in economic activity and 63 million jobs,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers with a 34 per cent market share (1.2 billion passengers) registering an increase of 10 per cent compared to the region’s passengers in 2014.

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Rs. 400cr granted for airports in 4 UP cities

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, has revealed that Rs. 400 crore assistance will be provided by the Centre for developing the airports in Agra, Allahabad, Kanpur and Bareilly. And this would be done within a period of one and a half months. He said that a major effort is underway to operationalise numerous airports in the State of Uttar Pradesh. This is an outcome of a Review meeting that was held earlier in the day which was chaired by Dr. Mahesh Sharma. The meeting was attended by Secretary, Civil Aviation, R.N. Choubey, senior officers of Airports Authority of India, Director, Civil Aviation, Uttar Pradesh Government and District Magistrates of the concerned Districts in Uttar Pradesh. Dr. Sharma also revealed that an airport in Kushinagar will also be developed, for which the State Government had provided 200 crore and the work is being executed by RITES and would be complete with a year. The Minister said that a Committee had been set up, comprising of two senior officers from the Ministry and two officers from the Uttar Pradesh Government. This Committee will study the feasibility of developing no frills airports in Meerut, Faizabad and Moradabad. Dr. Mahesh Sharma also informed that the case of constructing airport in Jewar had been sent to the Ministry of Defence for their NOC. The Minister informed the media that the push for developing airports in small towns was a natural follow up to the Regional Air Connectivity Scheme that had been announced last week.

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Bengaluru-Hubli on Air India from July 20

Air India will commence operations to Hubli from Bengaluru from July 20, 2016 on an ATR-72-600 aircraft. Flight AI 9509 on Bengaluru-Hubli will operate three days a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. The flight will take-off from Bengaluru at 1545 hrs and reach Hubli at 1705 hrs. On the return flight AI 9510 will take-off from Hubli at 1725 hrs and will reach Bengaluru at 1835 hrs. Air India has announced this initiative to strengthen regional connectivity under its Connect India program.

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ATF price hiked by 5.5%

Aviation Turbine Fuel (ATF) price has been hiked by 5.5 per cent for the fifth month in a row. ATF in Delhi was increased by Rs 2,557.7 per kilolitre (kl), or 5.47 per cent, to Rs 49,287.18 per kl, the oil companies announced today. This is the fifth straight monthly increase in rates, the last being on June 1 when prices were hiked by a steep 9.2 per cent, or Rs 3,945.47, to Rs 46,729.48 per kl. In the five increases, ATF rates have increased by 25 per cent, or Rs 9,985.87, per kl since March. ATF rates vary at different airports because of differential local sales tax or value-added tax (VAT). Jet fuel constitutes over 40 per cent of an airline’s operating cost and the latest price increase will add to the financial burden of cash-strapped carriers. No immediate comment was available from airlines on the impact of the price increase on passenger fares. Source: PTI

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AI’s Delhi-Washington DC flight from April ‘17

Air India is set to commence operations on the Delhi-Washington DC route from April 2017, revealed Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, while addressing a conference in New Delhi . “Air travel is crucial in making India more accessible to the rest of the world and therefore, we are aggressively looking into expansion,” he said. The new route marks the fifth direct air connection between India and the US for the national airline as it currently plies to New York, Chicago, Newark and San Francisco. Lohani also shared that plans to connect Hyderabad to the U.S. and other countries like Singapore and China are being looked into, and will also soon address the demand to connect Delhi and Mumbai to destinations like Los Angeles and Atlanta.

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