Tag Archives: Air India

Vienna witnesses 4.1% rise in Indian visitors during Jan-June 2018

Vienna has witnessed a 4.3 per cent rise in Indian tourists this year with 66,828 bed nights in the first six months. India is one of the high growth tourist markets for Vienna along with China and Russia. Last year in the same period, 64,075 Indians winged their way to Vienna. Tourist arrivals rose to 30,445 in January-Jun 2018 recording a growth of 5% (compared to 29,022 the same period last year). June 2018 saw a growth of near 8 per cent with Indian travellers recording 23,499 bed nights. Tourist arrivals grew 11.7 per cent to 10,659 in the Jan-June 2018 period from 9543 in the year ago period. The rising number of Indian travellers to the city of castles and palaces has been aided by growing direct air connectivity. Air India had been operating a direct Delhi-Vienna flight three days a week. This year, the Maharaja added one more flight to the Austrian capital in its summer schedule enhancing seating capacity by 33 per cent.

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Air India, Ethiopian enhance codeshare cooperation

Air India and Ethiopian Airlines, both members of Star Alliance and with an extensive network in their home countries, have agreed to strengthen their cooperation by expanding the current free-sale codeshare agreement, thereby allowing Air India to access Ethiopian Airlines’ network in Africa and Ethiopian Airlines to access Air India’s network in Australia and Hong Kong, in addition to the Indian domestic points. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director for Indian subcontinent, Ethiopian Airlines, commented, “The expanded codeshare cooperation between Ethiopian Airlines and Air India gives seamless connection to our esteemed customers. He added, on top of the seamless connection, passengers will get more benefits such as accruing their miles as both airlines belong to the largest airlines alliance – Star Alliance.” “Air India’s esteemed passengers now have access to multiple destinations in the African countries served by Ethiopian Airlines through this expanded cooperation with our long standing partner airline, Ethiopian Airlines, viz through Addis Ababa to Accra, Seychelles, Mombasa, Gaborone, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Kilimanzaro and Zanzibar vv sectors besides the existing access through Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Dar-Es-Salaam, Harare, Entebbe and Kigali vv sectors. Likewise, Ethiopian Airlines customers will be able to access a number of points on Air India network through Delhi to Hong Kong, Melbourne and Sydney vv sectors besides the existing access through Mumbai and Delhi to Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Goa, Jaipur vv sectors”, said Seema Srivastava, Executive Director – Strategy and Planning, Air India.  

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MOT & PATA India’s roadshows in Europe from Sep 25-Oct 4

In an effort to promote inbound tourism from important source markets, PATA India Chapter, in collaboration with Ministry of Tourism, will conduct India Tourism B2B Meet to Europe from September 25-October 4, 2018. Meetings are proposed to be held with travel agents and tours operators in Rome, Milan, Frankfurt, Barcelona, Geneva and Paris. The roadshow will commence with an introduction of sellers and a 15-minute Incredible India presentation, followed by a 5-minute product presentation by Air India. Each roadshow will have a two-hour B2B session between Indian sellers and local tour operators and travel agents. All these markets have a variety of travellers representing both high end as well as mid-market. Their interest in India as a preferred destination is well established over many years and is focused on its history, culture, wellness, beach tourism amongst others. Air India will support the association with preferred air fares for delegates participating in these roadshows. 100 per cent of the basic fare will be waived on each ticket as per the applicable booking class for such tickets. Participants will only be charged applicable taxes, fuel surcharge and government levies for travel. Authority for tickets will be issued on a first come first serve basis, only after full non-refundable participation fee has been paid by the participating organisation.    

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MOCA to review plans to sell Air India

Three weeks after not being able to attract any bids for the debt-ridden Air India, The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA) is set to review its plans to divest the national carrier. Speaking at a press conference to announce the initiatives and achievements of the Ministry in the last four years, Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, said, “The government’s plans to change the decision of disinvestment of Air India stands as it is. However, since no bids came till May 31, which was the last date for expression of interest: we will review the conditions of disinvestment. We have a committee headed by Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, to review the plans for Air India and regular meetings are being held to come to a decision on that.”  

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Air India offers assured flat incentive scheme for agents

Air India has announced an assured flat incentive scheme for travel agents in BSP India, effective on sale starting April 5, 2018 till March 31, 2019. Under the scheme, every agent shall be entitled to 1 per cent normal commission and 1 per cent assured flat incentive on all 098 tickets sold by the agency. According to a statement by Air India, this incentive is not linked to achievement of any target and shall accrue on cut and pay basis without deal code. Therefore, there will be no time lag for receipt of incentive. The current year assured incentive is based on sales and not on flown revenue. This has been done to instantly reward the agency to promote Air India.

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Fly Delhi-Tel Aviv direct on AI from Mar 22

Air India will begin non-stop flight operations from New Delhi to Tel Aviv in Israel starting March 22, 2018, onwards. The carrier has confirmed flying thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner that has 18 business class and 238 economy seats. The aircraft will depart from New Delhi at 4.50 pm and arrive in Tel Aviv at 8.25 pm. On its return leg, the plane will depart from Tel Aviv at 10.15 pm and land in Delhi the next day at 9 am. With one way duration of 7 hours and 10 minutes, Air India will be the fastest nonstop flight between India and Israel taking a straight route between the two countries. In addition to Air India, Israel’s national carrier El Al currently has four weekly nonstop flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and will soon increase its frequency furthermore. Arkia has also expressed interest to begin operations soon and introduce direct flights between Israel and India.The Ministry of Tourism along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to facilitate similar introductions including relaxing visa requirements and express visa services through VFS to encourage Indian travelers to visit Israel. This announcement has come at a time when Israel Ministry of Tourism has recorded a whopping growth of 50 per cent in January and 25 per cent in February 2018, of Indian arrivals to Israel vis-à-vis the same period in 2017. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India & Philippines, says, “In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism from India over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism has been in talks with Air India and other airlines …

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Air India launches non-stop New Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham flight

Air India has introduced a non-stop flight from New Delhi to Amritsar in Punjab and Amritsar to Birmingham in the United Kingdom. The inaugural flight was flagged off from Amritsar airport by Vijay Sampla, Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment in the presence of other dignitaries including Pankaj Srivastava, Director, Air India along with Shwait Malik and Gurjeet Singh Aujla, Member of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively. The direct flight is scheduled to operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays on the Delhi-Amritsar-Birmingham-Amritsar-Delhi route. The Dreamliner aircraft AI 117 will take off from New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 11:20 am and is scheduled to reach Amritsar at 12:25 am. After a break, the flight will then depart from Amritsar at 1:55 pm and is scheduled to reach Birmingham at 5:15 pm. The return flight will take off from Birmingham at 6:45 pm and reach Amritsar the next day at 7:45 am. After a brief break, the flight will depart for Amritsar at 9:15 am and will arrive at Delhi at 10:30 am. Source: ANI  

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Israel to grant 750,000 euros to Air India to launch Delhi-Tel Aviv flight

Air India will get a one-time grant of 750,000 euros from Israel for launching direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, likely to be rolled out next month. “The conditions of the directive includes a grant of 250,000 euro per weekly flight, up to a total of three weekly flights. It is a one-time grant for an airline opening a new direct route into Tel Aviv (TLV) from a destination that has potential for incoming tourism,” said Lydia Weitzman, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism. Informed sources said that the Indian flag carrier could start its direct flights into Israel from New Delhi on March 20, flying thrice a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Dubbed a game changer in Israel’s efforts to promote inbound tourism from India, Air India’s direct flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv would be operating on the shortest route and is expected to bring down significantly the cost of travel between the two countries. “The number of tourists from China to Israel doubled in one year after the start of direct flight by Hainan Airlines. We expect something similar with India,” said Amir Halevi, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Israel. SOURCE: PTI

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Cabinet approves 49% FDI in Air India

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy -one of them allowing foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India. These are intended to simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country. As per the extant policy, foreign airlines are allowed to invest under Government approval route in the capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49 per cent of their paid-up capital. However, this provision was presently not applicable to Air India, thereby implying that foreign airlines could not invest in Air India. Foreign airlines can now invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India subject to the conditions that foreign investment(s) in Air India including that of foreign airline(s) shall not exceed 49 per cent either directly or indirectly. Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian National.

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NITI Aayog says its unviable to support Air India

NITI Aayog, in its report on the debt-laden Air India, has said that it is “unviable” to provide financial support to the national carrier. Air India has a debt of Rs 51,890 crore. The Government informed the Parliament that it has initiated a process for strategic disinvestment of Air India as part of efforts to revive the national carrier. As part of a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA dispensation, Air India was to receive a bailout package of up to Rs 30,231 crore for a period of 10 years, starting in 2012. “NITI Aayog in its report on Air India has stated that further financial support to an unviable non-priority company in a matured and competitive aviation sector would not be the best use of scarce financial resources of the government,” said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation. The total outstanding loans of Air India as on September 30 last year stood at Rs 51,890 crore as per provisional figures. Of this, the aircraft loans account for Rs 18,364 crore and the working capital loans were at Rs 33,526 crore. In 2016-17, the airline had a net loss of Rs 3,643 crore, while the operating profit rose to Rs 215 crore, the provisional figures showed. Source: PTI  

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