Category Archives: Aviation

Airlines directly approaching customers, ignoring agents: Chitra Bhatia

Slamming Jet Airways’ move to scrap agents’ commission, Chitra Bhatia, Gen. Secretary, OTOAI, said, “I don’t think one per cent commission for agents was a big deal for the airline. Airlines need to continue the commission and partner with travel agents. Commission is a bond between the agent and the airline which should not be discontinued. Airlines are now going directly to the customer, and ignoring the agents in between. However, it is important for both the parties to work together.”

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Jet Airways scraps agents’ commission

Jet Airways is the latest airline to do away with the basic commission for IATA travel agents. The airline has sent official communication to travel agents across the country that they will not be paying them one per cent basic commission from January 1, 2018. The move comes in line with many international airlines also adopting the same route. Confirming the news, a senior airline official said that while the commission will not be there, agents can levy transaction fee of up to 3.5 per cent of the basic fare. They can also include fuel surcharge component in tickets. However, the news has aggrieved the agents, who believe that the move is not fair and the airline needs to relook at its decision.

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Ethiopian Airlines’ mobile application goes live

Ethiopian Airlines and SKYTRAX certified Four Star Global Airline has launched a brand new mobile application, which encompasses mobile features to enhance customers’ travel experience with simplified options for flight booking and management. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO, Ethiopian Airlines, remarks, “In the age of “the internet of things” and Artificial Intelligence, I am happy that our ‘mobility’ project is fast advancing which enabled us to announce to our esteemed customers that Ethiopian Mobile Application has gone live. The application is a critical piece of our overall strategy to bring our customers’ travel experience to another level by leveraging on information and communication technology. With this new application, customers will be able to use their mobile devices to book their flights, do their flight check-in, issue their boarding pass and self-board their flights, check the status of flight, get actual arrival and departure times of ET flights and remain informed throughout their journey in real-time.” Ethiopian customers will enjoy 10 per cent discount on all bookings made through the new mobile app.

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CAPA India Summit to be held on Jan 30-31, 2018 in Mumbai

Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) India has announced the dates for its annual meeting of aviation industry leaders with an interest in India. Now in its 14th year, the CAPA India Summit will be on January 30-31, 2018, in Mumbai. This year CAPA has added a third day dedicated to airports and airspace opportunities. Titled CAPA India Airport & Airspace Summit, this will be held on 1 February, 2018.  Part of the agenda is announcement of a series of strategic research reports by CAPA, including its annual outlook for Indian aviation in 2018-19. The association expects participation from every airline and airport operator in the country and an audience of close to 250 critical decision-makers from airlines, airports, investors and financiers, manufacturers and lessors, suppliers, travel companies and tourism boards.  

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Gulf Air launches Bahrain Tourist Visa Service

Gulf Air in partnership with VFS Global launched a Bahrain Tourist Visa Service exclusively for the airline’s passengers flying across its global network to Bahrain. Travellers with return tickets of Gulf Air can now conveniently apply for a visa to the Kingdom of Bahrain online via visa.gulfair.com or by visiting their local Gulf Air sales office with the necessary documents no more than 30 days prior to travel to submit their application. Captain Waleed Abdul Hameed Al Alawi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Air said, “We are delighted to launch the Bahrain Tourist Visa Service, making the process of obtaining a visa to enter Bahrain easier. We anticipate positive feedback from our customers and look forward to welcoming more people from around the world to Bahrain to experience all that the Kingdom has to offer.” Vinay Malhotra, COO – Middle East & South Asia, VFS Global said, “The dedicated online platform not only makes applying for a visa to Bahrain quicker and more convenient than ever before, but also provides passengers with 24×7 accessibility and online tracking of their visas.”  

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Air India to include AI Express and AI-SATS in disinvestment

Air India is reportedly going to involve its core aviation assets packaged with low-cost subsidiary Air India Express and AI-SATS for sale as part of its disinvestment process. Apart from that the non-core assets, which includes Air India building in Mumbai and other offices, will not be a part of the sale but part of the special purpose vehicle (SPV). Core aviation assets include aircraft, slots at airports and flying rights to various countries. Both Air India Express and AI-SATS are profit-making subsidiaries of Air India. The other Air India arms — profit-making Air India Air Transport Services and loss-making Air India Engineering Services — will be sold separately. The SPV will include Air India’s non-aircraft debt as well as non-core assets. Source: Economic Times  

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Taxiing at India’s top six airports to cost airlines Rs 2K cr a year by 2021

An average 15 minutes of taxiing at six of the busiest airports in the country is likely to cost airlines Rs 2,000 crore annually by 2021, compelling them to explore ways to reduce fuel consumption and switch to greener ways of steering the aircraft on the ground. According to a study, the total fuel burnt is likely to increase by 40 per cent by 2021–going up from 1,67,000 tonnes in 2016 to 2,34,000 tonnes–as airlines expand their operations. Of the total 85 operational airports in the country, airports at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kolkata handle nearly 65 per cent of the total air traffic. “Slots are almost over at major airports. This situation will result in an increase in waiting time for both departing and arriving aircraft,” said Lalit Gupta, Joint Director General, DGCA. The experts say alternate ways of taxiing can help airlines save up to six per cent of their total fuel costs. Traditionally, an aircraft taxiing between the main terminal and runway uses jet engines causing a significant fuel burn. Source: PTI

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Air India to fly Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur from December 8

Air India is set to start its inaugural flight on the Jaipur-Agra-Jaipur route from December 8, 2017. The flight will be plying between the destinations thrice a week, namely, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and will be using an ATR aircraft. The flight will depart Jaipur (AI 9687) at 11:15 am and arrive in Agra at 12:05 pm. The airline will then depart Agra (AI 9688) at 12:25 pm and land in Jaipur at 1:15 pm.

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Tajik Air’s 2nd flight on Dushanbe-Delhi route from Dec 22

The national air carrier of Tajikistan, Tajik Air is commencing operations of its second flight on the Dushanbe-Delhi-Dushanbe route from December 22, 2017. The flight will take off from Dushanbe at 0830 hours and arrive in Delhi at 1145 hours. On return, the Delhi flight will depart at 1345 hours and arrive in Dushanbe at 1600 hours. The starting for a Dushanbe-Delhi flight start from Rs 15,000 (excluding taxes).

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Jazeera Airways sets course for Kochi and Ahmedabad from Jan 2018

Following a successful launch in Hyderabad in November, Kuwait’s leading low cost airline, Jazeera Airways will now fly to Ahmedabad and Kochi starting January 17 and 18, respectively. Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways, said, “This is a major strategic move for us to extend our network into India and provide greater choice and value for the Indian community in Kuwait and broader GCC. We have been delighted with how well our new operations to Hyderabad, Kochi and Ahmedabad have been received both in India and the wider Middle East region. The decision to invest further in India comes from the rising demand of Indian expats visiting their friends and families, as well as the large interest of Kuwaiti travelers in exploring new destinations for tourism and medical visits.” Jazeera Airways will operate three flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to and from Ahmedabad starting January 17 departing 00.05am from Kuwait arriving 06.00am, ensuring a quick and efficient journey. Kochi flights will operate four times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays departing at 12.45 pm from Kuwait and arriving at 20.10pm in Kochi International Airport. Passengers can enjoy a baggage allowance of 30kg for Economy class and 50kg per Business class passenger.

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