Tag Archives: Jayant Sinha

Get ready for Wi-Fi and calls on domestic flights: MoCA

Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Draft Passenger Charter was discussed recently by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, along with RN Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, where Sinha revealed that both domestic and international airlines can provide internet as well as mobile services on-board and aircraft in Indian airspace, keeping in account security requirements for the same. According to the Passenger Charter, Wi-fi services can be provided from the moment the plane takes off  and personal electronic devices (PED) have to be put on flight mode. Also, mobile services can be allowed only when an aircraft is over an altitude of 3,000 metres. Choubey, explained that the licensing condition for Wi-Fi on board will be decided by the Telecom Ministry, and within 2 months passengers will be able to enjoy on-board internet when they travel.

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No charges on air ticket cancellation within 24 hours of booking

Ministry of Civil Aviation has announced the Draft Passenger Charter, which defines the rights of the passengers, under which Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, informed that there will be a lock-in period of 24 hours post booking for passenger, allowing them to cancel or amend the ticket without any charges. However, he said that this waiver will not be eligible for a ticket booked 96 hours (4 days) before the departure of the flight. It was also revealed that if the airline is at fault for any delays or cancellation, then under no circumstance the airline, or the OTA or agents who has booked the ticket, can levy cancellation charges which are more than the total of basic fare and fuel surcharge.

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Udan scheme to be extended to all underserved destinations

In a high level meeting held by K J Alphons, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism, with Suresh Prabhu, Minister for Civil Aviation; Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation (MoCA), along with senior officials, it was decided that MoCA shall under-write any loss making route, if it is not already covered under Udan scheme. It was also decided that Udan scheme could be extended to all the under-served destinations at the earliest. During the meeting, Alphons requested for daily Air India flights to Khajuraho, better connectivity to Aurangabad for accessing Ajanta-Ellora, Triangular flight on Kochi-Goa-Jaipur sector, more international flights from Kozhikode, international flights to South East Asian countries from Guwahati Airport, commissioning of Kannur Airport, direct flights from Delhi to Kozhikode, daily flights from Kolkata to Shillong and more flights to Varanasi, direct flights from Ahmedabad and Kolkata to Srinagar and also opening the new airport in Sikkim. It was also requested that more flights be operated to Jindal Vijaynagar Airport to get better access to Hampi. MoCA assured immediate action in consultation with airline operators to provide better connectivity.

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Pakyong Airport in Sikkim gets license

Pakyong Airport in Sikkim has got licence for scheduled operations, paving way for direct connectivity to Sikkim, which will boost tourism and economic growth in the norteastern state. Suresh Prabhu, Civil Aviation Minister announced the development via Twitter. “The Pakyong (Gangtok) Airport at Sikkim got license on May 4, 2018 for scheduled operations. It is an engineering marvel at a height of more than 4,500 ft in a tough terrain. It will pave a way for direct connectivity to the state of Sikkim, giving boost to tourism & economic growth”, Prabhu said. Pakyong airport, 30-km from the state capital of Gangtok, will be the 100th operational airport when it begins operations, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said. Low-cost airline SpiceJet has been granted permission to fly to Pakyong from Kolkata under the Civil aviation Ministry’s regional connectivity scheme.

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MoCA to upgrade infrastructure at Lucknow, Chennai & Guwahati airports

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the investments for expansion and upgradation of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow airports by Airport Authority of India. Airports Authority of India has been assigned for the project with a total estimate of about Rs 5,000 crores to modernise, upgrade services, build new terminal buildings or upgrade the new terminals in Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati. Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation, made the announcement regarding the approval of the investment by Cabinet and assured that work for it would begin at the earliest.  

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MoCA looking at 20-min benchmark for immigration

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is looking at a benchmark of 20 minutes for passengers at immigration, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation while addressing a gathering at CAPA Conference in Mumbai via a video link. Speaking about the steps taken at the Delhi airport in response to the recent spike in international travel, Sinha pointed out, “We recently saw a dramatic spike of 30 per cent in international travel in the winter schedule, particularly at the Delhi airport. Mumbai did not grow as much due to slot constraints. But these are two airports where we are facing some congestion. In response to that, we along with the Ministry of Home Affairs acted swiftly by increasing capacity for immigration officers as well as immigration counters at the Delhi airport. In Mumbai however, we are much more constrained even though we have added capacity, although it is not at the same level as Delhi. We are thankful to Ministry of Home Affairs for acting so swiftly. Our benchmark as far as immigration is concerned is 20 minutes. If anyone has to wait more than that, then we are not doing our job well.”  

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6 key MoCA initiatives underway: Jayant Sinha

The Ministry of Civil Aviation has six key initiatives underway, said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation. Addressing a gathering at CAPA Conference in Mumbai via a video link, the minister opted to answer questions from the audience instead of giving a speech. As part of a response, he outlined six key initiatives that India has undertaken. “There is no other country in the world that has undertaken such pathbreaking projects in the last four years as we have. Apart from the privatisation of our national carrier, UDAN and country-wide up gradation of airport infrastructure, we are also working on our passenger-centric measures via Air Seva initiative, dramatic breakthrough in the security architecture of our airports and last but not the least, a drone policy that will change the landscape as far as drone services are concerned. This has not been spoken about much but it will make India a world leader in drone services,” Sinha pointed out.

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NITI Aayog says its unviable to support Air India

NITI Aayog, in its report on the debt-laden Air India, has said that it is “unviable” to provide financial support to the national carrier. Air India has a debt of Rs 51,890 crore. The Government informed the Parliament that it has initiated a process for strategic disinvestment of Air India as part of efforts to revive the national carrier. As part of a turnaround plan approved by the previous UPA dispensation, Air India was to receive a bailout package of up to Rs 30,231 crore for a period of 10 years, starting in 2012. “NITI Aayog in its report on Air India has stated that further financial support to an unviable non-priority company in a matured and competitive aviation sector would not be the best use of scarce financial resources of the government,” said Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation. The total outstanding loans of Air India as on September 30 last year stood at Rs 51,890 crore as per provisional figures. Of this, the aircraft loans account for Rs 18,364 crore and the working capital loans were at Rs 33,526 crore. In 2016-17, the airline had a net loss of Rs 3,643 crore, while the operating profit rose to Rs 215 crore, the provisional figures showed. Source: PTI  

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2nd Aero Expo kicks off in New Delhi

The 2nd Aero Expo organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry got off to an excellent start at New Delhi. The four-day event will also feature India’s first Heli Expo on November 4 and 5. Vice President of India Venkaiah Naidu inaugurated the mega event, which will deliberate on the key focus areas for Indian aviation to sustain and grow itself in the coming years. Also gracing the event was Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati, Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India, and Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, among other industry stalwarts and key stakeholders. Speaking about the future prospect of the country’s aviation network, the Vice President of India exclaimed, “Apart from playing a key role in promoting connectivity between various regions and creating jobs, the civil aviation sector is one of the key drivers of the economy. As such, a continued introspection of the current policies, norms and infrastructure needs to be done to ensure the sectors contribution towards the economy.” Jayant Sinha also met with the leading CEOs and CMD of the industry to discuss the future of civil aviation. With 200 million passenger trips per year currently and growing at a rate of 12 per cent, the Indian industry is looking at one billion passenger trips from across the various airports around the country and the 2nd Aero expo highlighted the investment requirements for the same.

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World Economic Forum recommends national tourism board for India

The World Economic Forum’s white paper on India’s tourism industry outlines the country’s $20 billion tourism opportunity that lies untapped. One of its recommendations is the formation of a tourism board. According to the White Paper titled ‘Incredible India 2.0 India’s $20 Billion Tourism Opportunity,’ a proposal to create a tourism board is put forward. It says, ‘India has more than 50 active foreign tourism boards, yet the country does not have its own tourism board. While it has a number of industry associations and state-level bodies, no public-private organisation represents the industry, and these bodies work independently to drive forward their own agenda. The industry is fragmented and hindered by poor coordination between the state and central government as well as within the central government itself. No single ministry is responsible for all the policies affecting the aviation, travel and tourism industry. The Ministries of Civil Aviation, Tourism, Home Affairs, Culture, and Road Transport and Highways, among others, have all been actively involved in the industry’s policies.’ The paper released in September this year goes on to add that this gap must be filled by bringing the public and private sectors together under an empowered and proactive body. ‘To fuel its success, the board would consider the structure, objectives and best practices implemented in other countries, keeping in mind India’s strengths and limitations.’ Speaking on the scope of implementation that this White Paper has, Tiffany Misrahi, Community Lead, Aviation, Travel & Tourism Industries, World Economic Forum, says, “The Minister of Civil Aviation Ashok Gajapathi Raju, as well as Minister of State Jayant Sinha, along with the Chief Executive Officer of NITI Aayog, Amitabh Kant, have been actively involved in …

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