Tag Archives: Air India

Punjab High Court overrules Air India’s move to shift to single GDS platform

In a major setback to state-run Air India, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has overruled the national carrier’s decision to shift domestic ticket-booking business exclusively on Travelport, asking it to continue using the services of Amadeus and others to book domestic and international flights. Air India had discontinued services of all other global distribution system (GDS) portals from December 5, 2018. The judgement of the HC read, “An interim direction is issued to Air India Limited to continue to allow using GDS of Travelport, Sabre and Amadeus, as was being used prior to Decemeber 4, 2018 and till further orders, Air India inventory will be made available to Amadeus also, as was being done prior to December 4, 2018.” The court has given Air India three weeks’ time to respond to the judgement with relevant documents. The court noted that under Article 12, the Air India was duty-bound to invite bids before giving exclusive rights to any agency for GDS. It is further contended that Air India was duty-bound to call bids in the form of tenders and that Amadeus could not be arbitrarily excluded from sale of tickets for domestic flights. Source: Moneycontrol  

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Air India to launch flights to Allahabad from Delhi, Ahmedabad & Kolkata for Kumbh Mela

Facilitating the movement of passengers during Kumbh Mela (January 15 to March 4), Air India has announced the launch of new flights to Allahabad from Delhi, Ahmedabad and Kolkata. The new flights will operate from January 13 to March 30, according to an official statement. Air India said the new flight on Delhi-Allahabad route will operate on five days of the week–Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, while flights on Ahmedabad-Allahabad route will operate on Wednesday and Saturday. The flight on Kolkata-Allahabad route will operate on three days of the week–Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, the airline said. Source: PTI

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Indian airlines to induct 124-130 aircraft in FY 2018-19

India’s airlines are expected to induct an unprecedented 124-130 aircraft in FY2018/2019, with IndiGo accounting for close to half of this number, according to CAPA estimates on South Asia Aviation Outlook 2018. All Indian LCCs, except AirAsia India, are profitable, and are expected to report a combined profit of USD450 million to USD500 million. In contrast, FSCs are projected to lose USD825 million to USD850 million, although most of this is accounted for by Air India. Vistara is also loss making, while Jet Airways will either report a modest profit or be closer to break even. In 2018, Jet Airways is expected to place an additional order for 75 narrowbodies and to make a decision on its wide body plans, including the 10 787s on order that it has repeatedly deferred. Vistara will likely order 50 narrowbodies, together with a modest initial order for less than 10 widebodies, which may increase later. IndiGo and SpiceJet could place orders to support international expansion, including widebodies, and we do not rule out the possibility of a turboprop order by GoAir. Air India’s fleet plans are currently on hold pending its proposed privatisation.

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Air India to begin direct flights from Mumbai to New York next month

Air India will introduce three-times-a-week non-stop service between New York’s JFK International Airport and Mumbai, effective December 7, 2018. The flights will depart at 11:05 am from JFK on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday on 777-300ER planes. They will arrive in Mumbai at 12:10 pm the following day. To celebrate the launch of the only non-stop flight between JFK and Mumbai, Air India is offering special fares on the new route, from December 9, 2018 to May 11, 2019. All flights from the USA feature first, business and economy class and a choice of Continental or Indian cuisine. With the current JFK-Delhi daily service, the new flights bring non-stop JFK-India service to 10 flights a week, while increasing total non-stop services from the US to India to 36, nationwide. These include daily non-stop services from Newark (EWR) to Mumbai and Chicago (ORD) to Delhi, thrice weekly services from Washington (IAD) to Delhi, and nine times weekly flights from San Francisco (SFO) to Delhi. All flights offer convenient connections from the US to major cities across India, including Bangalore, Amritsar, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune and more. Bhuvana Rao, Regional Head- Americas, Air India, said, “The additional New York to Mumbai non-stop service reflects the growing popularity of India as a business and leisure destination. Our flights are also among the most convenient for passengers travelling beyond Mumbai and Delhi, with customs and immigration formalities completed at the final destination on select connecting flights to major cities across India.”

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TAAI and TAFI urge Air India to review its decision on single GDS

After Air India announced offering its inventory solely through its select GDS,  Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) along with Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) has urged the airline to review its decision. In a joint statement, the two associations said, “For these agencies including those which do not have access or frequently sell the airline seats on the GDS preferred by Air India, it is quite evident that selling Air India would not be an easy proposition and thus thay may opt for other airlines for their customers. For several established agencies, usage of GDS is governed by global agreements they have entered into and thus switching over or training their staff to get used to this limited GDS access will be a difficult option to cope with.’ On November 5, both the associations had a detailed discussion with the Air India Senior Management and conveyed that this decision of going exclusive on a GDS would be detrimental to the airline and this must be urgently reviewed. The associations are keen that Air India must not suffer any losses that would further damage the health of the airline. The senior management promised to revert in a day and on November 6, the associations received a phone call from them to inform that there will be no change in Air India’s stand. The joint statement goes on to add, “Air India has been reeling under tremendous financial challenges and instead of finding ways to increase its seat sales via an easy access through GDS channels, this move by the national carrier is shocking. The response given by Air India is that this would save its distribution costs. It is a …

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Sweden witnesses 23% increase in tourists from India

According to the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the number of bednights by Indians in Sweden in 2016 was 175088 nights which went up to 216058 nights in 2017, a 23 per cent increase from the previous year. Michael Persson Gripkow, Chief Brand & Communications Officer, VisitSweden says, “We have noticed a rise in ‘bleisure’ travel trend. In addition, according to Statistics Sweden, 17,000 Indian passport holders resides in Sweden today. This along with other factors has led to an increase in tourism from India.” Today more than 170 Swedish companies are registered in India among the likes of Ericsson, Volvo, H&M, Scania, DeLaval, Tetrapak and the latest entrant being global home furnishings giant IKEA. This growing bridge between India and Sweden has impacted tourism positively. Ruth Dolla, Project Manager – India, VisitSweden adds, “We look forward to further growth this year. Air India’s direct flight from Delhi to Stockholm completed one year since its first flight in August 2017 and continues to bring incoming traffic from India to Sweden.” In addition more and more airlines are launching new routes to Sweden. Qatar Airways is slated to launch a direct flight in December 2018 from Doha to Sweden’s second largest city – Gothenburg that will provide better connections to passengers from India.  

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Air India to start fifth weekly flight on Delhi-Tel Aviv route from November 26

With an average load factor exceeding 80 per cent and the increased demand on Air India’s New Delhi-Tel Aviv flight services, the national carrier has added a fifth weekly flight starting November 26, 2018. The airline will now fly five days a week including Monday in addition to Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday on the 256-seater Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The aircraft departs from New Delhi at 16:50 pm and arrives in Tel Aviv at 20:45 pm (local time). On its return leg, the flight departs from Tel Aviv at 22:15 pm and lands in Delhi on the following day at 8:15 am. In addition to Air India’s announcement, Israeli carrier El Al has introduced a new Boeing 777-200ER aircraft on its Mumbai-Tel Aviv route. The new airplane has a capacity of 279 seats in a four-class configuration of First, Business, Economy Plus and Economy. El Al is the only airline currently servicing the direct Mumbai-Tel Aviv sector with three weekly non-stop flights. The aircraft departs at 12:20 pm every Sunday, Monday and Thursday from Mumbai and arrives in Tel Aviv at 16:50 pm (local time). On its return leg, the plane departs from Tel Aviv at 20:15 pm every Saturday and Sunday to land in Mumbai on the following day at 7:30 am. On Thursdays, the flight takes off at 8:30 am from Tel Aviv to reach Mumbai at 19:45 pm. These announcements have come at a time when Israel Ministry of Tourism has recorded a growth of 58 per cent with 48,800 Indian arrivals to the country from January to September 2018 vis-à-vis 30,800 Indian visitors during the same period in 2016.

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Travelport wins tender for sole distribution supplier to Air India

Travelport has announced that it had won a competitive tender process undertaken by Air India for the sole provision of distribution of its domestic flight content. The contract awarded to Travelport will begin to come into effect from November 2018 and be fully implemented by the end of 2019. The agreement confirms Air India’s continued deployment of Travelport Rich Content and Branding, now used by over 270 airlines. This displays airlines’ graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Travelport has seen a rapid expansion in India in recent years following the acquisition of business from the largest online travel agencies like MakeMyTrip, Ibibo, Yatra, EaseMyTrip and ClearTrip as well as working with the major corporate travel agencies and new entrants to the travel sector such as Paytm. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, said, “Air India is pleased to award this important contract to Travelport. In written submissions and in discussion with their team, the company demonstrated a clear understanding of our needs and displayed impressive technological and financial capability. As we make the switch to Travelport, we hope to be able to deliver even better value for money and a superior distribution to our customers in India and abroad.” Gordon Wilson, President and CEO, Travelport, commented, “Travelport is delighted to have been selected by Air India to provide these services. It is another welcome endorsement of our technology and our services in India. We look forward to implementing the agreement and delivering a world-class service to the airline.”

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Air India to start Bengaluru-London direct from November 17

Air India is set to directly connect Bengaluru with London via a three-times-a-week flight starting November 17. The new flight will be operated by a Boeing 787 (Dreamliner) aircraft on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Bengaluru and on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from London. The national carrier has also offered special introductory two-way fare of Rs 1,29,500 for business class travel and Rs 35,220 for economy for the proposed flight. The flight AI 177 will depart Bengaluru at 05:25 hours and arrive London at 11:05 hours. In its return journey, the flight AI 178 will leave from London at 13:00 hours and arrive in Bengaluru at 04:00 hours, the airline said.  The non-stop flight will fulfil the long standing demand of IT professionals and health tourism in the region. Source: PTI

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Air India to launch flights on Kolkata-Bangkok & Kolkata-Jaipur route

Air India will add two more direct flights connecting Kolkata with Bangkok and Jaipur from October 15. The two non-stop flights, to be operated by the Airbus 320neo aircraft with two-class configuration, will fulfil a long-standing demand of passengers for a convenient connection to both Bangkok and Jaipur by the carrier from Kolkata. Flight AI 336 from Kolkata to Bangkok will be operated three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It will depart from Kolkata at 3.50 pm (local time) and arrive in Bangkok at 8.05 pm (local time). The incoming flight AI 337 will leave Bangkok at 5.15 am (local time) and reach Kolkata at 7 am (local time). Meanwhile, flight AI 737 to Jaipur will take off from Kolkata at 8.40 am to reach Jaipur at 11.10 am. The return flight will take off from Jaipur at 12.20 pm and land in Kolkata at 3 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Source: PTI

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