Tag Archives: Air India

Air India resumes Ludhiana-Delhi flight under UDAN

Air India has resumed its Ludhiana-Delhi flight from the Sahnewal Airport almost three years after the flight was discontinued in 2014. The 70-seater ATR-72 plane of Alliance Air under Air India will be operational on this route. Pawan Kumar, Assistant Manager, Air Traffic Control, Sahnewal Airport, informed that the flight would be operational four days a week on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Restarted under the UDAN (Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, 50 per cent of the 70 seats are subsidised at Rs 2,000. “Price for rest of the tickets will depend on daily demand and supply formula,” said Kumar.

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Rajiv Bansal appointed as Air India CMD for 3 months

The government has appointed senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal as the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India for three months. Bansal, who is additional secretary and financial adviser at the petroleum ministry, will replace Ashwani Lohani-who has been appointed as the Chairman of Railway Board. A senior civil aviation ministry official reportedly said that Bansal has been appointed as Air India CMD for three months. Bansal is from the Nagaland cadre of 1988 batch and hails from Haryana. He is taking over as Air India CMD at a time when the government is working on the modalities for the disinvestment of the loss-making national carrier. He had served at the civil aviation ministry between 2006 and 2008. (Source: PTI)

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Ashwani Lohani named Chairman of Railway Board

Ashwani Lohani has been named the Chairman of the Railway Board after A.K. Mittal resigned from the position. Lohani continues to be the Chairman and Managing Director of Air India until further notice. An officer of Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineering (IRSME) cadre, Lohani has held the position of DRM, Delhi Division, as well as National Rail Museum; and Chief Administrative Officer, Rail Alternate Fuel. Mittal reportedly resigned owing moral responsibility of the Puri-Haridwar Utkal Express derailment in Uttar Pradesh. Lohani has to his credit a Guinness World Record of running the world’s oldest working steam locomotive—‘Fairy Queen Express’. Before Air India, he was at the helm of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation and India Tourism Development Corporation. With four engineering degrees, Lohani has even authored two books.

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Alliance Air to fly Tiruchi-Chennai from Aug 30

Alliance Air, a subsidiary of Air India, is all set to start a new service from Tiruchi-Chennai from August 30, 2017. The 72-seater flight would take off from Chennai at 7:35 am and would reach Trichy at 8:35 am and would again leave Tiruchi at 9:05 am and land at 10:20 am in Chennai. Alliance Air will be operating ATR 600 type aircraft in the Chennai – Tiruchi – Chennai sector. Jet Airways is already operating daily services in the Chennai – Tiruchi – Chennai sector using ATR type aircrafts.

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Air India Express’ direct flights between Delhi and Madurai

Air India’s low-cost arm Air India Express will launch direct flights between Delhi and Madurai with effect from September 15. The introductory one-way fare offered on Delhi-Madurai sector starts from Rs 3,975 and the return journey fare starts from Rs 7,950, the airline said in a statement. The service will be offered four days in a week i.e. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The airline will also be offering passengers the additional facility to buy special meals of their choice online on select sectors, the statement added. The budget carrier currently operates around 545 flights per week, connecting 15 Indian cities to 14 destinations in the Middle East and South East Asia. The airline has a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft.

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IAAI Maharashtra conducts AGM in Mumbai

The Maharashtra Chapter of the IATA Agents Association of India (IAAI) recently conducted its Annual General Meeting in Mumbai. The AGM unequivocally declared that the present day maladies being faced by the travel agents fraternity were set off by the downfall of the national carrier that started in 2004 and was eventually hastened from end-2008 when Air India implemented zero commission (within India) to please the Star Alliance Group. Biji Eapen, National President, IAAI, said, “The AGM has unanimously decided to demand five per cent commission on gross fare and in turn, the entire travel agent community will wholeheartedly support Air India to regain its name and brand. The AGM collectively looks forward to Air India reversing its anti-travel agent policies and becoming a role model. Air India can only ensure the operation of a flight from one airport to another. But the aircraft seats have to be filled by the traditional travel agents only, as Air India’s web sale volume is marginal. Under the new GST regime, agents can survive only with the commissions as mandated by IATA Resolution 824 (Para 9) and the DGCA Order of March 5, 2010. It will be suicidal to depend on service charges as it may have to be separately invoiced.”

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ITDC conducts hospitality training for Air India staff

India Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (ITDC), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air India to upgrade the skills and knowledge base of the national airline’s senior executive & cabin crew in hospitality and service industry. The MoU was signed in the presence of Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India and Sudha Chandra, Principal, Ashok Institute of Hospitality & Tourism Management (AIHTM) and General Manager, HRD ITDC at Air India Head Quarters, New Delhi on May 29, 2017. In line with the MoU, AIHTM conducted a 5-Day training program on Leadership Excellence from July 11-15, 2017 for the first batch of senior executives of Air India at Hotel Samrat, Delhi. Speaking oat the Valedictory function held at Hotel Samrat on July 15, 2017, Piyush Tiwari, Officiating Chairman &Managing Director and Director Commercial & Marketing, ITDC said that, “ITDC is grateful to Air India and Shri Ashwani Lohani for their faith in ITDC’s expertise in hospitality training and management. We are proud that we have been the biggest force to drive tourism in India and have always contributed in nation building and progressive development of the industry. Our talented team at AIHTM has specially designed curriculum for Air India employees in consultation with best faculties and Air India management. We are going to plan more programs in the coming quarters for enforcing strength and leadership quality in other organisations as well. ITDC and Air India are two most prominent and visible PSUs in service sector and have lots of common traits and can work for mutual benefit.”  

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AI launches Delhi-Washington direct flight from July 7

Air India will finally start operations on its Delhi-Washington route with a direct flight from July 7, 2017. While the national carrier is grappling with the disinvestment issue, it is continuing to start the new flights which it had already announced. Air India hosted a gala evening to launch the flight for the travel trade at The Ashok, New Delhi, which saw the bigwigs of the industry in attendance.

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Cabinet gives ‘in principle’ approval for Air India disinvestment

The Government has given ‘in principle’ approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval to fourth tranche recommendations of NITI Aayog on strategic disinvestment of CPSE (strategic disinvestment of Air India and five of its subsidiaries) based on the recommendations of Core Group of Secretaries on Disinvestment (CGD). Constitution of an Air India-specific Alternative Mechanism headed by Minister of Finance including Minister for Civil Aviation and other Ministers will guide the process on strategic disinvestment from time to time and decide the treatment of unsustainable debt of Air India, hive off of certain assets to a shell company, demerger and strategic disinvestment of three profit-making subsidiaries, the quantum of disinvestment, and the universe of bidders.

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Air India mulls Guwahati-Bangkok flight

Air India has a market share of 17 per cent in the North East, which seemingly is a profitable sector for the airline. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India informed that while some sectors are not profitable in the North East, overall the operations remain gainful as they get a viability gap funding from North Eastern Council (NEC). He also informed that they are considering to operate a direct flight between Guwahati and Bangkok or between Guwahati and Kunming thrice a week. He informed that they are planning to start a new flight between New Delhi and Guwahati from June 28, taking the number of flights on this route to two. Also the Guwahati-Kolkata flight is most definitely on the cards.

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