Category Archives: Aviation

Vizag’s connectivity may suffer as few airlines withdraw services

The number of passengers flying from Visakhapatnam has been on the rise but there has not been a consequential  increase in the number of flights to cater to the demand. Recently, Alliance Air, proposed to withdraw its Visakhapatnam-Tirupati-Vijayawada daily flight from July 16.  Vice President of Andhra Pradesh Air Travellers’ Association (APATA), Naresh Kumar said that there has been an annual increase of 20% in the number of passengers travelling by air. However, there has been no addition of aircraft. However, Vizag Airport Director, Prakash Reddy, talking to daily, says that there is no confirmation on the withdrawal of Visakhapatnam-Tirupati-Vijayawada operations. Source: TOI

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IndiGo hikes fees for ticket cancellations and changes

IndiGo has announced new flight cancellation and change charges effective from midnight of June 27 for domestic and international flight booking. The order includes a hike in particular categories by Rs 500, to modifications which are done in a three-day period before the flight’s departure. There is no hike, if a passenger is making the change four or more days in advance of the travel dates. The airline said in a statement, “The revision only applies if the change or cancellation is made within 0-3 days of the travel dates. The charges remain the same in case a passenger is making the change four or more days in advance of the travel dates. For domestic bookings, customers can make any changes or cancellations free of charge within 24 hours of booking, if booked at least 7 days before the travel dates.”

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94% PLF for SpiceJet in May, 2019

SpiceJet has recorded the highest Passenger Load Factor amongst all the domestic carriers in India, recording a 93.9 per cent PLF for the month of May, according to recent statistics revealed by DGCA. Closely following this number was GoAir with a PLF of 93.3 per cent, preceding IndiGo at 90.9 per cent. Fourth in line was Air Asia with 87.8 per cent, while Vistara recorded 85.6 per cent, which was followed by Air India at a PLF of 85 per cent.

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Riyadh on SpiceJet from Mumbai on 15 August

SpiceJet will commence eight new daily international flights from Mumbai in July, offering connectivity to destinations including Riyadh, Dhaka and Jeddah. The flights on Mumbai-Dhaka-Mumbai route and Mumbai-Riyadh-Mumbai route will start from July 25 and August 15, respectively. Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet, said, “SpiceJet is the only Indian budget airline to operate to Saudi Arabia and our new flights to Riyadh and Jeddah should greatly benefit the thousands of pilgrims travelling from India.”

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IndiGo now operates on 4 new UDAN routes

IndiGo has commenced operations on 6 new connections including 4 RCS routes Kolkata-Prayagraj, Prayagraj-Kolkata, Raipur-Prayagraj and Prayagraj-Raipur. The new routes will be serviced by an ATR aircraft.  These new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. The introduction of these flights will further bolster the airline’s connectivity in the Tier II cities with fares starting from INR 1,999. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “As part of our continued focus to enhance point-to-point connectivity, we are pleased to commence operations on these six routes connecting Kolkata, Prayagraj (Allahabad), Raipur and Jabalpur. By linking regional centres of growth to metropolitan cities, we are aiming to support trade, tourism and mobility, to fulfil our larger objective of augmenting social cohesion and economic growth in the country.”   Mr. Boulter further added, “IndiGo will continue to expand its network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers. It is our constant endeavour to provide more flexibility of choice to our customers along with on-time, affordable, courteous and hassle-free flying experience while building the best air transportation system in the world.”

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Saudi Arabian Airlines expands NDC based distribution globally

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA), the national flag carrier of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is the first airline in the Middle East and Africa Region to receive the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Level 4 New Distribution Capability (NDC) certification. The ‘New Distribution Capability’ is a functionality used by the travel trade for booking air travel for individual and group bookings. It enables travel professionals to access content such images of the inflight cabin; add ancillary products, such as WiFi packages, excess baggage, and more. SAUDIA has deployed the Offer and IATA One Order Certified Order Management Solution from the vendor TPConnects, along with NDC enabled distribution to Travel Agents and Online Travel Agents. TPConnects OfrMS is integrated on top of the assets (Passenger Service System, Frequent Flyer Programme etc) as part of SAUDIA’s strategy in pushing offers including air and non-air ancillaries along with flights, both bundle and a la carte. SAUDIA Vice President, Sales, Mr. Richard Nuttall commented on the recent certification: “Level 4 is the highest NDC certification that includes adoption of additional servicing messages to support reshopping and changing orders. The airline provides the ability to execute Offer and Order Management, which means that Travel Agents integrated with SAUDIA are directly able to easily access the products that are available on the airline’s website, thereby providing a consistent shopping experience for the guests from the travel trade, similarly to the way guests book on the saudia.com website. Continued Mr. Nuttall: “With the support from a number of aggregators and travel agencies, the NDC initiative at SAUDIA is on a path from the early days of experimentation to presently operating full-scale in full force. We are targeting …

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Fly direct to Dubai from Kolkata and Indore

Air India will launch direct flights from Kolkata and Indore to Dubai next month. Praveen Bhatnagar from Corporate Communications at Air India, said: “The non-stop flights to Kolkata will be launched on July 16. They will operate on all days of the week except Sundays. We will be adding another flight to Indore from July 17.” On its website, Air India is already offering ‘attractive deals’ on the non-stop flights to Kolkata and Indore. The introductory fares, it says, are on offer till July 31, for travel between July 15 and July 31. Source: Gulf News

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Indian carriers told to skip Iranian airspace by DGCA

In a statement issued through its Twitter handle, Directorate General of Civil Aviation stated, “All India operators in consultation with DGCA have decided to avoid the affected part of Iranian air space to ensure safe travel for the passengers. They will re-route flights suitably.” As the majority of Pakistani airspace has remained closed for Indian airlines since the Balakot strike on February 26, the decision to avoid affected Iranian airspace on Saturday is going to further disturb the routes of their international flights towards middle-eastern and European countries, and the US. They will be rerouted and take more time to arrive or depart. However, Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said, “There will no substantial effect on Air India flights. Details are being worked out for rerouting on incoming flights.” While DGCA advisory does not bar Indian airlines from transiting Iran over-land, the latter are seeing if that also can be avoided. Airlines have indicated to the regulator fares of affected flights could see a rise by Rs 500. With rising oil prices due to the tension and higher fuel burn due to extra distance, operation costs are going to hurt airlines flying to Europe. The Etihad Airways has also suspended operations through the Iranian airspace over the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman

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GoAir ahead of other domestic carriers with 91.8% On time Performance (OTP)

Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) released its statistics for domestic carriers in the month of May 2019, according to which GoAir scored highest in terms of On Time Performance (OTP) with 91.8 per cent, which was followed by Air Asia at 89.1 per cent and IndiGo at 87.4 per cent respectively. Vistara was at the fourth spot with 86.6 per cent and SpiceJet at fifth with 74.4 per cent OTP. Air India was at the sixth spot with 70.3 per cent. The report revealed that domestic air passenger traffic increased by 2.96 per cent in May as compared to last year, after a significant slump in April, owing to Jet Airways ceasing its operations.

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