Tag Archives: Ashwani Lohani

Air India to commence flights to Tel Aviv from May

Air India (AI) has announced that the Indian national carrier will commence flights between India and Israel by May this year. The airline is planning to open the New Delhi-Tel Aviv route with three weekly flights. Commenting on the commencement of the new flight, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director, Air India, reportedly said, “Air India is looking forward to the opening of the direct route to Israel in a few months’ time. I believe that this will have a positive effect on the tourism traffic between our two countries.” Yariv Levin, Minister of Tourism-Israel, reportedly said, “Air India Chairman Lohani was deeply impressed with his visit to Israel and, in his own words, is convinced that the many Indian tourists who will visit Israel will find it an exceptional tourism destination. There is no doubt that the opening of the route, combined with our marketing efforts in India, will generate a significant increase in incoming tourism from India.”

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Air India to start Delhi-Kochi-Dubai from Feb 1

Air India has launched a new flight from Delhi to Kochi to Dubai, which would be starting from February 1, 2017, revealed Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India. Talking at an informal meeting, he said, “The Delhi-Kochi sector is an important an busy sector and hence the new flight has been started. This would further offer connection to Dubai, allowing people from Kochi to go to Dubai, which too is a popular route.” Other than that he revealed that in the international sector Air India will be starting a total of 6 routes and around 22 flights in the regional sector, which would eventually come under the government’s Regional Connectivity Scheme.

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SITA to transform AI’s communications network

Air India’s outstation and domestic hubs are set to receive faster, cutting-edge connectivity through SITA. The global airport transport IT provider will provide faster, more reliable connectivity to the airline as part of a package of solutions aimed at transforming its communications and network infrastructure. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD, Air India, said, “Having been a long-standing technology partner in aviation, SITA is able to fulfill the vision of passenger experience by identifying appropriate innovations covering network and communications that can help the airline to become more efficient and cost effective. This will help us benefit from the opportunities in the fast-growing Indian aviation market while elevating our international competitiveness.” The seven-year deal will see SITA roll out the latest communication technology both in India and internationally. Through SITA Connect – the largest communication network in the air transport industry used in over 220 countries and territories – Air India will be able to link all 93 international outstations and its six biggest airports in India to the airline’s central hubs in New Delhi and Mumbai. In addition, the airline will be able to leverage AirportHub™,  SITA’s unique shared infrastructure which allows airlines to connect all their applications and IT systems at an airport quickly and easily. It removes the complexity of dealing with local telecom providers and adds flexibility and agility to route management. AirportHub™ has already been deployed at over 300 airports around the world. SITA will also provide access to services, applications and data on any device and in any location through its End-User Computing solution. As a single-source provider embracing both traditional desktop and the latest technologies, SITA will provide both hardware and support to more …

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Ashwani Lohani is new WTTCII Chairman

World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) has appointed Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, Air India, as its Chairman for the year 2017. Lohani, who served as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2016, takes over from Kapil Chopra, President, The Oberoi Group, who completed his term at the recently held AGM in Delhi. Sunder G. Advani, Chairman & Managing Director, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited, has been appointed as the Vice Chairman of WTTCII for the year 2017. This was announced at the Annual General Meeting of the World Travel & Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII) held on 12 December 2016 at New Delhi. Lohani said, “Over the years, WTTCII has been championing convergence between Government of India and States to facilitate tourism in India and we will continue to do so. With the GST in place by next year, the States will have the major onus of implementing smart policies for facilitating tourism on the ground. We will continue to work with the States, with the strength of our Members, to improve access, address infrastructural gaps and policy bottlenecks for tourism to flourish, and most importantly create jobs, employment and provide a vigorous boost to tourism’s contribution to the State’s GDP. The sub sectors of Aviation, Hospitality, Transportation, Railway compliments each other. In a country like India, all the subs sectors of tourism need to be integrated and treated uniformly by the Government in its various policy initiatives to give it a competitive edge vis-à-vis other countries.” Advani said, “We welcome the ground breaking move by Government of India introducing E-visa policy for 158 countries at 16 Airports and 5 Cruise Ports. These …

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Air India launches new App with SITA’s iTravel

Air India has launched a new app to its more than 18-million passengers which will take the user experience to a new level. Built on SITA’s iTravel platform, the Air India app offers the ability to book and pay for a flight by quickly and securely scanning both passport and credit card. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD, Air India, said, “Mobile apps are becoming an important tool for making travel bookings by passengers who are tech-savvy and like to access information on the go. This mobile app provides Air India the right tool to access a growing passenger market that is connected both in India and beyond. The new app, developed by SITA, provides an elevated mobile experience where passengers can easily manage every step of their journey on their phone or tablet no matter where they are.” Passengers can fully manage their booking from their mobile device, including selecting their seat, making changes to their itinerary, buying additional services, choosing their meal and checking in. The app has also been integrated with Air India’s Flying Returns loyalty program where passengers can securely access details of points earned or other updates to their accounts.Today more than one billion Indians use a mobile phone. Of these, more than 300 million regularly use them to access the Internet, a trend that is expected to grow by 56 per cent per year. The new mobile service will be available on Android, iOS and Windows. This means at check-in, passengers can choose to receive their boarding pass on their phone or smartwatch. At the airport, passengers will receive regular updates on their flights and can use the app for mobile boarding. Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA’s …

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AI’s direct Delhi-Madrid flight from Dec

Air India’s direct New Delhi to Madrid flight will launch from either December end or first week of January, reveals Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India. The national carrier’s direct New Delhi to San Francisco flight was introduced last December, following which two other international destinations – Delhi-Austria and Ahmedabad-London-New York – were connected by the airline. These flights are being operated using Air India’s two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Lohani revealed this on the sidelines of the 32nd IATO Convention in Chennai.

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Air India launches Ahmedabad-Newark via London flight

Air India commenced the first ever flight between Ahmedabad and Newark via London. The Flight AI 171 took off from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. The flight is receiving immense response from the passengers and not only inaugural flight but all bookings till September 16 are sold out. The first passenger to check in was handed the boarding pass by Chief Guest, Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Hon’ble Minister, Revenue, Education (Primary, Secondary and Adult), Higher and Technical Education, Legislative and Parliamentary Affairs, Govt of Gujarat. The B787 flight to Newark will be the first commercial operation of the aircraft to the US from India. It will meet a long standing need and demand of more than 6 lakh Indians in Ahmedabad and expatriates in Newark and neighboring cities as well as off locals visiting the Indian sub-continent, who have been looking for seamless connections for work and leisure travel to Newark and London. AI-171 will operate three days a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport. It will take off from Ahmedabad at 05:00 hrs and reach London at 10:15 hrs, depart from London at 12:30 hrs and arrive at Newark at 15:00 hrs. The return flight AI172 will leave Newark at 22:30 hrs and reach London at 10:15 hrs next day, leave London at 12:30 hrs and land at Ahmedabad at 02:00 hrs. Speaking on the occasion, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman & Managing Director, said, ‘’Air India is happy to start this new flight on August 15, 2016. It is a dream fulfilled for the people of Ahmedabad on India’s 70th Independence day. This is the third international flight introduced by Air India and we shall be …

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AI’s check-in counters at New Delhi metro station

In a bid to offer convenience to its passengers, Air India has set-up two specialised check-in counters at the New-Delhi metro station of airport express line. The counters that will provide enhanced facility to the passengers were inaugurated by Air India CMD, Ashwani Lohani and became functional on July 27, 2016 at 1600 hours. The newly introduced counters shall allow the Air India passengers flying on international and domestic routes to book tickets, get desired flight information and also check-in the extra luggage. The flight check-in facility shall close two hours before the departure of the scheduled flight. With the inception of this facility the airport passengers can obtain their boarding pass, check-in at the city check-in counter and can enjoy sightseeing in the national capital. These counters shall remain open from 4am in the morning to 11:30pm in the night. Lohani, said, “We are pleased to extend the facility of city check-in on both the domestic and international flights operated by Air India. Earlier, city check-in was available only for domestic sector flights and on a few gulf countries only. But to supplement the efforts, we have set up this Air India flight information cum excess baggage cum ticketing counter at each of the two stations. The objective of this is to enhance the overall travel experience and make it less hassling for passengers.”

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AI’s Delhi-Washington DC flight from April ‘17

Air India is set to commence operations on the Delhi-Washington DC route from April 2017, revealed Ashwani Lohani, CMD, Air India, while addressing a conference in New Delhi . “Air travel is crucial in making India more accessible to the rest of the world and therefore, we are aggressively looking into expansion,” he said. The new route marks the fifth direct air connection between India and the US for the national airline as it currently plies to New York, Chicago, Newark and San Francisco. Lohani also shared that plans to connect Hyderabad to the U.S. and other countries like Singapore and China are being looked into, and will also soon address the demand to connect Delhi and Mumbai to destinations like Los Angeles and Atlanta.

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Rajdhani wait-listers to get upgrade to Air India flight

The Maharaja will soon come to the rescue of wait-listed passengers of Rajdhani trains. Come June, IRCTC will provide Rajdhani wait-list passengers with the option of taking an Air India flight to their destination by paying marginally extra. Air India and IRCTC have already entered into a pact for the proposed arrangement which is expected to be in place “within a week”, the carrier’s chief Ashwani Lohani told news agency PTI. Under the proposed arrangement, people who have unconfirmed tickets across classes on Rajdhani trains would have the choice of boarding an Air India flight, provided the airline has services in the particular train route chosen by the passenger. Air India tickets would be offered to such passengers through IRCTC. Lohani, who is Air India Chairman and Managing Director, said details are being worked out and the arrangement is expected to be in place “within a week”. The wait-listed passengers of AC First Class of Rajdhani trains would not have to pay any additional amount in case they decide to take an Air India flight. In the case of those booked on Rajdhani Second and Third AC classes, the passengers would have to pay up to Rs. 2,000 per ticket as additional amount for flying Air India, Lohani said. The latest move is expected to help Air India in filling up more seats on its planes amid the carrier working on ways to turnaround its fortunes. Meanwhile, Air India is chalking out ambitious expansion plan to operate more number of smaller aircraft in various states as they look to increase regional air connectivity. In this regard, Air India’s wholly-owned subsidiary Air Alliance plans to increase the number of ATRs in …

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