Tag Archives: Air India

NITI Aayog and MoCA discuss strengthening operations & augmenting recovery with aviation industry

The Empowered Group 6 (EG 6) constituted by Government of India and chaired by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, held a meeting with business leaders from the aviation industry and Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss possibilities for strengthening operations and augmenting the recovery of the aviation sector under the new normal. The meeting was also attended by Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), which covers the functioning of banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the National Pension System; and representatives of airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia, Vistara and Air India.

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MoCA launches ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights for movement of essential supplies

As part of India’s fight against COVID-19, the Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched ‘Lifeline Udan’ flights for movement of medical and essential supplies across the country and beyond. Under this initiative, 62 Lifeline Udan flights have been operated during the five day period from 26th to 30th March 2020, transporting over 15.4 tons of essential medical supplies. 45 out of the 62 flights have been operated by Air India and Alliance Air. The carriers involved in Lifeline Udan operations include Air India, Alliance Air, Indian Air Force (IAF) and Pawan Hans. Support is being provided by Airports Authority of India (AAI), AAICLAS (cargo and logistics subsidiary of AAI), AI Airports Services (AIASL), PPP airports and private ground handling entities. Private carriers like IndiGo, Spicejet and Blue Dart are operating medical cargo flights on a commercial basis.

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AI cancels Kuwait flights, curtails Europe, S Korea & Sri Lanka operations till 30th Apr

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, Air India has decided to cancel all its flights to Kuwait till April 30 and curtail services to various other countries, including Spain, France and Sri Lanka. The national carrier currently operates to Kuwait from Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Goa and Mumbai. Under the revised flight schedule, Air India reportedly would operate only two flights on the Delhi-Madrid-Delhi route up to April 30, in place of the existing three. The third flight would remain cancelled between March 17 and April 28. Also, of the seven flights per week between Delhi and Paris now, the carrier has cancelled four services between March 16 and March 30. The other three flights will remain operational up to April 30, he said. The air services to Frankfurt from New Delhi have also been reduced to three per week from seven now between March 16 and April 30 while the Mumbai-Frankfurt services have been restricted to twice a week from March 18 to April 30 from four flights now, according to reports. From March 15, Air India will operate only two flights per week on the Delhi-Tel Aviv-Delhi route as against four services at present. In fact, even these two services on the route will not operate on March 15 and 16.

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Delhi: Air India extends suspension of flights to China and Hong Kong till June 30

Air India has extended the suspension period for its Delhi-Shanghai and Delhi-Hong Kong services till June 30, owing to the outbreak of coronavirus. While IndiGo has also suspended flights to both the destinations till June 15. Earlier, Air India had cancelled its flights to Shanghai from 31 January to 14 February and to Hong Kong from 7 February until 28 March. Many international airlines have either reduced or suspended their operations to China. According to IATA, COVID-19 is expected to cause a 13 per cent full-year loss of passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Air India resumes operations on Kozhikode-Jeddah route after 5 years

Air India has resumed the biweekly flight operations from the Kozhikode to Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) after 5 years, revealed Ministry of Civil Aviation in a recent tweet. The flight between Calicut International Airport and Jeddah would be using a Boeing 747-400, to operate on a Monday and Saturday every week. The flight will land at Calicut at 7.05 a.m. and depart for Jeddah at 5.30 p.m. The flight will reach Jeddah at 9.15 p.m. From Jeddah, the flight will depart from Fridays and Sundays at 11.15 p.m. Regarding configuration, the jet will have 12 seats for first class, 26 for business and 385 for economy.

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Air India to double frequency on Delhi-Tel Aviv route from April

In order to handle the increase in passenger traffic on the Tel Aviv-New Delhi sector, Air India has announced that they are doubling the frequency on the route to six flights per week from April. Air India started with three flights a week to Tel-Aviv in 2018 and would make this to six flights-a-week from April 1 this year. The announcement was made by Indian Ambassador in Israel Sanjeev Singla during the Republic Day celebrations at the Indian Embassy in Delhi recently. “Direct Air India flight connectivity between New Delhi and Tel Aviv is a game-changer in our bilateral relations reflecting the importance we attach to people-to-people linkages and connectivity. The direct flights have greatly enhanced movement of people between the two countries resulting in an increase in tourism and also facilitating the travel of the business community.” Every flight from Tel Aviv has almost 50 per cent of passengers travelling beyond Delhi to domestic destinations within India and international destinations including Singapore, Thailand, Australia, Shanghai, Hongkong, Sri Lanka and Nepal, a press release issued by Air India said.

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Air India working to secure additional slots at Heathrow airport

The national carrier, Air India is hoping to secure additional slots at the London Heathrow airport during 2020, which will help it grow sales and make the airline more attractive to potential suitors. Air India has obtained three additional slot pairs free of cost on a temporary basis in the winter season, apart from the 28 pairs of slots it already has. The airline will operate 11 flights between Mumbai-London Heathrow in February and March 2020.  “On passenger demand, Air India is going to introduce 11 special flights from Mumbai to London Heathrow. This service will start from February 14. We are in discussion with Heathrow airport authorities for this service on a full-year basis and are hopeful our request will be accepted,” said an Air India spokesperson. With over 700,000 annual passengers and 21 per cent market share Air India is the largest carrier on India-United Kingdom routes. Emirates and British Airways are ranked second and third. Currently, the national carrier operates 28 weekly services to Heathrow from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai. It also flies to Birmingham and London Stansted airports. (Source: Business Standard)

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Air India: Flying time up by 40 mins ex-BOM & 20 mins ex-DEL post Iran’s rerouting

Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar, tells Tourism Breaking News that Air India and Air India Express will avoid Iranian airspace until further notice. He said, “We are still observing as to when it will be safe to fly over Iran. This rerouting will affect flights flying to Europe and US and will increase the flying time to 40 minutes from Mumbai and 20 minutes from Delhi.”

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Rumours of Air India’s shutdown baseless: Ashwani Lohani

“Rumours regarding Air India shutting down or closing operations are all baseless,” Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani said in a tweet. His statement read, “Rumours regarding Air India shutting down or closing operations are all baseless. Air India would continue to fly and also expand and there should be no cause for concern whatsoever to travellers, corporates or agents. Air India the national carrier is still the biggest airline of India.” In a bid to cut down its losses, the national carrier has recently ended the 20-year-old partnership with Sabre on account of higher premium and has entered into a partnership with Amadeus GDS. Sabre was the second-largest GDS for Air India after Travelport with nearly 25 per cent share in international GDS sphere of the airline. Air India had ended its GDS partnership with Amadeus for the domestic segment in December 2018. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had clarified on December 31, 2019 that the national carrier, which is incurring a loss of Rs 20-26 crore daily, will keep on running till it is privatised. While Air India’s net loss in 2018-19 was around Rs 8,556 crore, its current total debt is around Rs 80,000 crore.

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MoCA to issue expression of interest for Air India disinvestment within next few weeks

Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), has said that MoCA will be issuing expression of interest for Air India disinvestment within next few weeks. Talking about Air India disinvestment, he revealed, “Air India is a national asset and the Maharaja is a great brand. The problem with Air India is that it has an unsustainable debt. We tried two years ago for the same, which proved to be less successful, and we have learnt from the same. It is our endeavour now that we will be issuing an expression of interest in the coming few weeks, hopefully sooner or later, and that the process of privatisation will then follow. We should ensure that we find a buyer and we have to deal with an interim process,” he said.

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