Tag Archives: Ashwani Lohani

India’s first engine-less train to replace Shatabdi Express unveiled in Chennai

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) has unveiled India’s first engine-less, semi-high speed train in Chennai. Called ‘Train 18’, the special train will replace Shatabdi Express in the coming months after being inducted in the Indian Railways and undergoing mandatory safety checks. Flagging off the special train, Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani said Train 18 will be a game changer for the Indian Railways. The fully-air-conditioned 16-coach train can clock up to 160kmph compared to the 30-year old Shatabdi Express and can save travel time up to 15 per cent.

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Piyush Goyal launches ‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ to showcase India’s rail heritage

Union Minister of Railways and Coal, Piyush Goyal has launched ‘Rail Heritage Digitisation Project’ of Indian Railways in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture through video conferencing. The project is a landmark effort to showcase the country’s rail heritage to national and international audience in an online story-telling platform. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board; Rajan Anandan, Vice President—South East Asia and India, Google; Amit Sood, Director, Google Cultural Institute, among other dignitaries and UNESCO representatives were among those present on the occasion. Goyal said, “As a 165 year old organisation, the Railways has a lot of material which we need to preserve and leave behind for posterity. Mumbai has a special place in the Railways, being the first railway line to be set up in India. We will be setting up 22 digital screens across different locations in India for showcasing this historic project. This partnership between the Railways and Google also has the dimension of the Wi-Fi, which we have proliferated to over 400 stations in India.” Lohani said that collaboration with Google Art & Culture has enabled Indian Railways to digitise National Rail Museum, Rewari Steam Centre, three World Heritage Railways, CSMT Mumbai building and other prominent aspects of country’s rail heritage.

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Breakthrough technological developments for railways this September

India’s much-awaited high-speed train sets will roll-out on September 30, 2018. By next year, these train sets will replace most of the Shatabdi trains. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, highlights that these trains will be a technological breakthrough for the railways at the Iconic forum in New Delhi. The train has some striking features to enhance passenger comfort. The most prominent feature is that all coaches are interconnected by fully sealed gangways to enable passenger movement from one coach to another.  

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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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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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Air India to start new flights from Lucknow

Air India is all set to start new flights not only under government’s Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik (UDAN) scheme, but non-UDAN flights as well to strengthen its domestic network. Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, informs, “We will be starting flights under UDAN to Pathankot and Ludhiana. There will be non UDAN flights as well, and we will be starting new flights from Lucknow from June 25 on Lucknow-Jaipur, Lucknow-Dehradun and Lucknow-Bhopal routes. In South India, we will be putting an airplane in Bengaluru this month, which would be flying to Coimbatore, Chennai and Madurai.”

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AI direct flight connecting Delhi-Copenhagen from Sept 16

Flag carrier Air India has announced direct flights between New Delhi and Copenhagen thereby adding its 11th destination in Europe. Starting from September 16, these flights will operate thrice a week. “We aim to serve 37,500 passengers each way for the entire year. If we touch that figure then we will make it a daily service,” Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, reportedly said at an event. This is the third international flight launched by the national carrier this year, besides services to Washington from July 7 and to Stockholm from August 16, Lohani added. In his Facebook post last month, the CMD had also announced plans to connect Los Angeles from September 1 as well as Tel Aviv, Nairobi and Dallas this year. In 2016, traffic between the two countries grew by 10.1 per cent, according to a statement issued by the Embassy of Denmark. The number of visas to Denmark issued in India increased by 20 per cent compared to the year before, the statement added. Copenhagen airport is the third busiest airport in northern Europe and averaged 726 daily departures and arrivals in 2016 and served a total of 29 million passengers. (Source: PTI)

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AI’s non-stop Delhi-Stockholm service from Aug 15

Air India will commence non-stop flight service between Delhi and Stockholm from August 15, 2017. The flight will operate thrice a week (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) with each flight roughly having eight-hour duration. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India, said, “As part of Air India’s international route network expansion plans, we are happy to announce the Delhi-Stockholm direct flight from August 15, 2017. The flight will be operated thrice a week on Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.” The flight will depart from Delhi at 1400 hrs (IST) and land at Stockholm at 1820 hrs (CET). The return flight will leave Stockholm at 2100 hrs (CET) and reach Delhi the next morning. “This comes at a very positive time in our relations and will continue to strengthen our partnership for the future. We appreciate the importance it will have for our bilateral relations, especially for people-to-people relations, for tourism in both directions, for students and for business and investment,” said Ann Linde, Minister for EU Affairs and Trade, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Govt. of Sweden, who is currently on a two-day visit to India. Incoming traffic from India to Sweden has grown over the years. In 2016, Sweden had 175,088 bed nights (commercial overnight stays) from India as per the statistics fromTillväxtverket (the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth) which was 128% up from the bed nights registered in 2011. “For us, India is a market with great potential for Swedish Tourism. During the last five years more and more Indians chose Sweden as their holiday destination. Beautiful nature, unique experiences such as the Northern lights, and its progressive lifestyle makes Sweden an exciting emerging destination for Indian travellers. …

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Fine upto Rs 15 lakh on delaying Air India flight?

After recent incidents of unruly behaviour with its employees on board, Air India might put in place new rules, which might have steep fines up to Rs. 15 lakhs. The airline, reportedly is planning to impose a fine of Rs 5 lakh for delaying a flight up to an hour; Rs 10 lakh for delay of 1-2 hours and as much as Rs 15 lakh for delay over two hours. According to official, a plan to curb such behaviour has been drafted and awaiting approval from Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India.

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