Category Archives: Aviation

SIA, Lufthansa expand codeshare operations

Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Lufthansa Group are further expanding their partnership agreement to provide customers enhanced connections and new codeshare destinations. The expanded codeshare ties will provide SIA customers access to over 20 new routes on Lufthansa- and SWISS-operated flights, to and from points in Europe via the transfer hubs of Frankfurt, Munich and Zurich. In turn, Lufthansa and SWISS customers will be able to access new points via SIA-operated flights between Singapore and destinations such as Canberra, Dusseldorf and Wellington. SIA’s regional subsidiary, SilkAir, will also progressively introduce new codeshare flights with the Lufthansa Group. The expanded codeshare operations are the result of a joint venture agreement signed between the two airline groups in November 2015, which aims to deepen co-operation in key markets in Europe, Southeast Asia and Southwest Pacific. The new codeshare flights will be progressively made available for booking through SIA’s various booking channels.

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13 weekly services to be added between Changi & India by 2016 end

Heading into 2017, Changi Airport will be offering more flight options for travel to India. A total of 13 weekly services will be introduced between now and the end of the year, representing an addition of nearly 2,300 weekly one-way seats to India. From 20 November, Air India Express will launch 4x weekly services to Kolkata. It will also step up its Chennai services, newly-launched in October, from 5x weekly to daily services.  Meanwhile, Jet Airways will be launching a new daily Singapore-Bangalore service from 14 December; this follows after the airline boosted capacity by switching to a wide body aircraft for their daily Singapore-Mumbai flights earlier this year. Since the beginning of this year, Changi has welcomed two new city links to India – Amritsar and Jaipur – both operated by Scoot, which is a new entrant into the India market. With new routes, increased frequency of services and upgauging of various aircraft this year, seat capacity on India routes has also seen a year-on-year increase of 20.3 per cent. Today, India is Changi Airport’s seventh largest country market, accounting for 6.1% of the airport’s total passenger traffic.  For the first ten months of this year, passenger traffic to and from the India market rose 5% year-on-year to reach 2.94 million movements.  For the month of October, India had the strongest year-on-year growth (+12.4%) among Changi’s top ten country markets. In 2015, Changi Airport saw a record 3.43 million passengers travelling between Singapore and India. Today, Changi is connected to 15 cities in India, with flights operated by nine airlines. Singapore is a popular transfer hub for travellers between India and Australia, and between India and Indonesia. With strong …

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Lufthansa’s 1st A350-900 flight from Munich-Delhi on Feb 10

On 19 December 2016, the Lufthansa Group will receive its first A350-900, which is the most modern long haul aircraft worldwide and will be based at Lufthansa’s Munich Hub. The first regular commercial flight will be from Munich to Delhi on February 10, 2017. “We are looking forward to welcoming our first A350-900 shortly before Christmas. And already in February, our passengers will be able to enjoy a higher level of comfort on their flights to Delhi as we have now made further improvements to key components of the A350-900’s cabin interior. This includes a newly designed self-service area in Business Class, new seats with ergonomically designed cushions in Economy Class, larger screens in all classes and improved broadband internet services,” says Thomas Winkelmann, CEO of the Munich Hub. Once Lufthansa has taken ownership of the aircraft on December 19, the A350-900 will be transferred to Munich during the week leading up to Christmas. Lufthansa Technik in Munich will then install the cabin interior including the new Premium Economy Class as well as other features so that the new flagship aircraft will be ready to be presented to the public at the beginning of February. From February 2017 onwards, Lufthansa will station the first ten Airbus A350-900 aircraft in Munich. The first flight destinations are Delhi and Boston. The aircraft will have space for 293 passengers – 48 in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy and 224 in the regular Economy Class section. The A350-900 is the most modern and environmentally friendly long haul aircraft worldwide and uses 25 percent less kerosene and produces 25 percent fewer emissions. The A350-900’s noise “footprint” is up to 50 percent lower than that …

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Airport expansion, enhanced regional connectivity top priority for Govt: Civil Aviation Minister

Minister of Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Jayant Sinha and Secretary, Civil Aviation, Rajiv Nayan Choubey inaugurating the two-day Aero Expo India-2016 organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the patronage of Ministry of Civil Aviation here today. The Minister remarked that with new civil aviation policy in place and other associated reforms accompanying it, the civil aviation sector would emerge to serve the un-served at affordable pace. Raju reassured the Indian civil aviation industry, emphasising that the government of the day is exploring all possibilities for capacity expansion of leading airports in the country as well doing its best to make sure that the regional air connectivity is accomplished as per its UDAAN initiative. The Minister also stressed that though the domestic civil aviation industry has been growing at a rate of more than 20% in the last few years, admitting that higher passenger growth in civil aviation sector is still a challenge for the government which could be won with addition of capacities in India’s leading airports. Speaking on the occasion, Sinha asked civil aviation industry to grow in such a manner so that its passenger traffic, currently estimated at about 150 million for domestic and overseas sector multiplies manifold and catches on pace with the air traffic of China which presently is calculated at 500 million per annum. In order to achieve this objective, the ministry has been adopting three pronged strategy under its UDAAN commitment which includes expansion of airports capacities, ensure regional connectivity and equip the air passenger with better level of satisfaction and experience under its Air Sewa initiative, emphasized the minister adding …

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IndiGo connects Lucknow to Ahmedabad & Guwahati, Bengaluru-Indore & Raipur-Patna

IndiGo has announced the launch of 28 new flights on its existing domestic network. The new schedule will see maiden flights on the Guwahati-Lucknow, Lucknow-Ahmedabad, Bengaluru-Indore and Raipur-Patna sectors. With the new flights and frequencies and induction of two new Airbus A320 aircraft, the airline’s frequency will increase to 890 daily. Effective November 2016, these flights will provide enhanced connectivity on the key sectors thus strengthening IndiGo’s existing network within India. With 890 daily flights connecting 41 destinations, these new flights will enable both corporate and leisure travellers to experience IndiGo’s unmatchable on-time performance. Speaking about the latest network expansion, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce 6E’s new flights connecting the metro cities with the regional destinations. In the exciting times for Indian aviation, we are hopeful that these flights will prove to be popular among our customers.”

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Jet Airways expands code share with Kenya Airways

Jet Airways has expanded its existing code-share pact with Kenya Airways which will allow the African carrier to fly more passengers into India. The expanded code share comes into effect from Nov 15. As part of the enhanced pact between the two international carriers, Kenya Airways will place its flight code (KQ) on Jet Airways’ seven daily flights between Mumbai and New Delhi, five daily flights from Mumbai to Ahmedabad and five daily flights between Mumbai and Hyderabad for travel into India, the release said. At present Jet Airways, in which Gulf airline Etihad holds 24 per cent stake, has code-share pacts with 19 international airlines besides having over 100 interline partners. “Expansion of our codeshare relationship with Kenya Airways will allow us to offer the Indian diaspora in Kenya convenient access to more destinations in India. At the same time, Indian travellers can continue enjoying the opportunity to explore more of Kenya and East Africa via our international codeshares,” Jet Airways Chief Commercial Officer Jayaraj Shanmugam said. The arrangement continues to include Jet Airways’ code (9W) on Kenyan’s double daily flights on the Mumbai-Nairobi route, allowing Jet Airways’ guests to connect to other onward destinations in Africa, the Jet Airways release added. “The expanded partnership will enable customers of both carriers to derive maximum benefit from this cooperation. It will enable us to offer our customers seamless connections to three Indian cities. We see a lot of demand into domestic India from Kenya and East Africa, with passengers travelling mostly for business, leisure or health tourism,” said Kenya Airways’ Group Managing Director and CEO Mbuvi Ngunze.

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IndiGo’s first daily non-stop flight from Chennai to Muscat

IndiGo has introduced a new flight connecting Chennai with Muscat, effective December 15, 2016. IndiGo will be offering introductory fare of Rs 7999, all-inclusive one way from Chennai. The introduction of the new daily service will further strengthen IndiGo’s presence in the Gulf with 16 daily flights, catering to the large number of Indians in the Gulf. The new service from the city will complement the airline’s existing daily Gulf operations to Muscat and Dubai from several cities in India. Elaborating on the new flight launch, Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “We are absolutely delighted to announce the new daily and direct flight between India and Oman, and specifically, between Chennai and Muscat. It is an indication of the strong demand on this sector. IndiGo has established itself as a prestigious brand on account of the warmth of its service and quality of its in-flight product and we are confident that this daily service would also prove equally popular with our flyers. Expanding operations on these routes are in line with our growth strategy outlined for Oman.”

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Air fare likely to go up as regional air connectivity scheme unveiled

Air fares will be capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights on unserved and under-served routes and flyers will have to shell out more as air fares are likely to increase as per the government’s ambitious Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS). The RCS, unveiled on Nov 11, was mooted in the New Civil Aviation Policy as part of the government’s plan to serve smaller cities, has been put up for stakeholders’ consultations including state governments, airlines and airport operators. It will target 90 airports. The stakeholders have been given three weeks time to submit their comments and suggestions on the draft scheme, which is expected to be finalised by August. Also as part of the proposed scheme, a new category of airlines, scheduled commuter airlines, is being created where a new operator may be allowed to start operations with just one plane. Under the proposed scheme, the government would be providing Viability Gap Funding (VGF) – which would be financed through Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF). Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju while unveiling the draft policy said RCF would be created for funding RCS “through levy on certain flights.” In this regard, the government would be charging a levy in the form of per domestic departure from the airlines on certain routes, a move which is expected to push the airfares marginally higher. The Ministry would contribute 80 per cent of the VGF, while respective state governments would chip in with the remaining 20 per cent to the fund which will have a corpus of Rs 500 crore each year. When asked how much levy is likely to be charged, Civil Aviation Secretary R N Choubey said, “We are giving …

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GMR Airports to develop & operate Greenfield airport at Mopa

GMR Airports Limited (GAL), a subsidiary of GMR Infrastructure Limited, signed the Concession Agreement with Goa Government for the development and operation of north Goa’s Greenfield International Airport at Mopa. The agreement is signed by R.V. Sheshan, CEO, GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL) and R.K. Srivastava, Chief Secretary, Government of Goa in the presence of Laxmikant Yashwant Parsekar, Goa Chief Minister, Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman-Airports, GMR Group and other dignitaries. As per the concession agreement, GMR will design, build, finance and operate the international airport for 40 years with extension option for another 20 years. The construction period for the first phase of the project is three years from the date of financial closure and is expected to be operational by mid of 2020. Srinivas Bommidala, Chairman-Airports, GMR Group, said, “We are excited about the project and the opportunity to partner with the Government of Goa. GMR Group has already delivered landmark airport assets for the Country. Delhi International Airport which is the ‘Gateway of India’ today ranks as the Number One Airport in the World in its category. This has brought tremendous pride to the Country and all Indians. Worldwide airports have been the economic engine of the Country/Region, and Delhi Airport has tremendously boosted not only the India’s economy but also the Delhi State economy. GMR Group very humbly takes pride in being the custodians of these national assets thus contributing towards our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of developing a progressive India.

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