Category Archives: Aviation

Ural Airlines to start flights between India and Russia

The potential of the outbound tourist market from India to Russia has prompted Ural Airlines to start flights from various cities in India ex Yekaterinburg to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and to the other cities in Russia along with offering connections to other prime destinations in Europe. As per the Russian Information Centre (RIC), tourists from India to Russia have been growing at 30 per cent YoY. Considering the unique needs of Indian tourists and to cater to their specific needs, Ural Airlines is considering to join the ‘India-Friendly’ programme in Russia, which is initiated and executed by RIC in India. Airports of Regions & Russian Information Center in India are assisting the process of launch of services in India by helping identify partners and other associates that will contribute to the entry of Ural Airlines into the India market. Ural Airlines is the primary airline of Airport Koltsovo in Yekaterinburg and one of the largest rapidly developing Russian airlines.

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Virgin Atlantic appoints new Country Manager for India

Virgin Atlantic has announced the appointment of David Hodges as the new Country Manager for its India operations. In his new role, David will drive Virgin’s business at a strategic and commercial level for all sales within India. An accomplished industry leader with over a decade of business development and external affairs experience, David has an established track record of leadership and business expansion at large, complex, multinational organisations including varied roles at London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Brevia Consulting. Hodges said, “I am excited to be part of the dynamic team in India. We will continue to champion the customer’s needs and tap the incredible growth opportunities in both leisure and business segments. I look forward to meeting the organisation’s objectives, strengthen the brand and grow business in the India market.” Prior to this, he was Senior External Affairs Manager in which he worked closely with the Government and the business sector on issues that led to a significant increase in the number of people flying with Virgin Atlantic.  

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Cabinet approves 49% FDI in Air India

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given its approval to a number of amendments in the FDI Policy -one of them allowing foreign airlines to invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India. These are intended to simplify the FDI policy to provide ease of doing business in the country. As per the extant policy, foreign airlines are allowed to invest under Government approval route in the capital of Indian companies operating scheduled and non-scheduled air transport services, up to the limit of 49 per cent of their paid-up capital. However, this provision was presently not applicable to Air India, thereby implying that foreign airlines could not invest in Air India. Foreign airlines can now invest up to 49 per cent under approval route in Air India subject to the conditions that foreign investment(s) in Air India including that of foreign airline(s) shall not exceed 49 per cent either directly or indirectly. Substantial ownership and effective control of Air India shall continue to be vested in Indian National.

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IndiGo commences Rajahmundry operations

IndiGo has expanded its regional network by commencing ATR operations from Rajahmundry. Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Nimmakayala China Rajappa along with Sanjeev Ramdas, Executive Vice President, Customer Service & Operations Control, IndiGo recently flagged off the flight from Rajahmundry to Chennai at Rajahmundry Airport. Rajahmundry will be connected to Hyderabad with twice daily frequencies, and one direct daily frequency each on Rajahmundry–Bangalore–Rajahmundry and Rajahmundry–Chennai–Rajahmundry sectors. IndiGo is the only airline that connects Rajahmundry with direct flights to three major metros of southern India, namely Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad from day one of its operations.  

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IndiGo to start direct daily to Colombo from Chennai, Bengaluru from Jan 20

Sharing its operational plans from Colombo, IndiGo has announced that Colombo will become its eighth international destination effective January 20, 2018 with daily direct flights from Chennai and Bengaluru. With these new flights, the airline will also offer connections to and from Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and other major Indian cities. Sanjay Kumar, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “It gives us immense pleasure to add Colombo to our growing network, which will not only help us cater to the growing tourist potential of the city, but also provide affordable travel options to the Indian workforce who can now look forward to visiting the city more frequently. We are also delighted to partner with Hemas as our GSA partner in Sri Lanka for our sales and distribution services.” Malinga Arsakularatne, Managing Director, Hemas Leisure Travel Aviation Group added, “We welcome IndiGo to Sri Lanka and it is indeed our great pleasure to embark on this exciting partnership. We are confident that the team at Hemas Aviation would deliver the growth ambitions of the airline. We look forward to a long-lasting and a win-win relationship with IndiGo.”

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IndiGo adds flights to Tirupati network

IndiGo has added another flight to its Tirupati network. Tirupati will be connected by three daily non-stop flights to Hyderabad and double daily non-stop flights to Bengaluru. Minister of Civil Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju along with Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo flagged-off the second flight from Tirupati to Hyderabad at Tirupati International Airport. Apart from this, Tirupati will also be connected to many new cities on IndiGo’s existing network of Airbus 320s and ATRs. IndiGo will connect Tirupati to Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Dubai, Singapore among other cities via Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mangalore.

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Delhi-Chennai direct on Vistara from Feb 15

Vistara has announced the addition of Chennai to its expanding network, making it the 22nd destination on the airline’s network. Effective February 15, 2018, Vistara will operate a daily direct flight between Delhi and Chennai, and increase the frequency to twice daily from March 1, 2018. Vistara will also connect Chennai to Port Blair with a daily direct flight between the two cities, effective March 1, 2018. Bookings are now open on all channels, with one-way fares for Delhi – Chennai (economy class) starting Rs. 3,099 all-in, and Rs. 3,699 all-in for Chennai – Port Blair. As Vistara operates from the state-of-the-art Terminal 3 in Delhi, travelers will enjoy a superior experience, and those connecting to and from international flights at Delhi can seamlessly proceed to international transfers for same-terminal connections.

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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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BirdRes Technologies receives Level 3 NDC certification

BirdRes Technologies, part of Bird Group and a leading provider of automated aviation and travel related software solutions, has received Level 3 status of New Distribution Capability (NDC) certification. The New Distribution Capability (NDC) certification will allow BirdRes Technologies to offer smoother communication, rich and customised content and further transparency in transactions across its product portfolio. Dr. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group said, “Bird Group has constantly endeavoured to offer the latest and most innovative products. We are delighted to receive the Level 3 Offer and Order Management certification of New Distribution Capability (NDC) that will allow us to offer products that generate greater business value for our customers.” The “NDC Capable” Level 3 status certification was conferred upon to BirdRes Technologies by International Air Transport Association (IATA) on December 14, 2017. The certification recognises entire product portfolio including Birdres.com, Birdres SBT, Front Office Solution, and Consumer Internet Booking Engine support deployments using Level 3 Offer and Order management.

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Mumbai–Kabul air-freight corridor opens

In a historic move, an aircraft carrying perishables arrived at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) from Kabul, Afghanistan, marking the launch of a dedicated air freight corridor service between the two cities. An initiative implemented with the joint efforts of Danish Sarwar, Vice President of Afghanistan and Chennamanneni Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra, this connectivity will provide the land-locked Afghanistan greater access to markets in Maharashtra. Additionally, it will allow Afghan businessmen to leverage the economic growth, enhance trade networks and offer Afghan farmers direct access to the markets in western India for their perishable goods. The event was presided over by the Principal Secretary, Govt. of Maharashtra, diplomats from the office of Governor of Maharashtra and officials of the Consulate General of Afghanistan. The dignitaries along with officials of CSIA welcomed the inaugural flight routed Kabul-Mumbai-Kabul which carried 40 tons of fresh apples on the inbound and 20 tons of bananas along with 20 tons of fresh tomatoes on the outbound.

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