Tag Archives: Ashwani Lohani

Indore airport’s first international flight takes off for Dubai

Devi Ahilyabai Holkar International Airport in Indore gets its first international flight to Dubai on Air India on July 15. Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, has informed that the nonstop flight will be operating a 162-seater A320 Neo aircraft, which will fly directly to Dubai on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, and would return from Dubai on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. There will be 150 economy and 12 business class seats in the aircraft. The starting fares are Rs 18,700 (return fare) on economy and the return fare for the business class will be Rs 42,000. Lohani said, “Air India will launch the first international flight from Indore to Dubai. The non-stop flight will fulfill a long-standing desire from the travel fraternity and tourists for direct connectivity to the Gulf.”

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Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reappointed Air India CMD

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. Lohani headed the carrier from August 2017 to September 2017 when he was moved to the Railway Board as the chairman, from where he retired in December 2018. It was during his tenure that Air India made its first operating profit of ₹105 crore in FY17 since the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007. Touted as the ‘Turnaround specialist’, Lohani’s appointment will be crucial after Air India’s failed divestment attempt last year. This year, the government has already decided to transfer over Rs 29,000 crore of AI’s huge Rs 55,000 debt to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), along with the airline’s assets like real-estate and other subsidiaries of Air India. Lohani succeeds the 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola, who earlier this month was appointed as the Civil Aviation Secretary following the superannuation of RN Choubey. Source: PTI

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IndiGo to offer special extra baggage rates to IATO members

In a mutual agreement with Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) to benefit the travel trade, IndiGo is set to provide special extra baggage rates exclusively for IATO members. Keeping in view the free baggage allowance of 23 kgs allowed by international airlines into India, IndiGo has agreed to extend special prepaid excess baggage rates for the members of IATO, when they are handling foreign tourists on the airline’s domestic network. During the IATO Interactive Luncheon Meeting organised in Delhi, Rajiv Mehra, Vice President, IATO informed, “With reference to our meetings and points discussed with IndiGo, we are pleased to extend this facility to all our members. Tourists can avail 8 kg of extra baggage for a special rate of Rs 1000. Likewise for 15 kg extra baggage, they can avail the facility by paying just Rs 1500. By informing the concerned authority before 72 hours of date of travel, IATO members can avail this facility.” The bimonthly IATO luncheon meeting was aimed at discuss key issues about the association’s activities and its deliberations on future event. On the occasion, IATO invited Ashwani Lohani, Former CMD, Indian Railways Board and former CMD, Air India to bid farewell to him, who superannuated from his services on December 31, 2018. Mehra also shared details about the celebration of IATO Annual Day on February 17, 2019 at Heritage Village Resort & Spa, Manesar.

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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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