Category Archives: Aviation

MOT considers scrapping Group Landing Permit for passengers of e-visa countries

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Currently, the Group Landing Permit (GLP) facility works as a visa for foreign tourists who are arriving in groups of four or more. Tourists who are sponsored by Indian travel agencies approved by the tourism ministry with a pre-drawn itinerary are granted collective landing permits for a period not exceeding 60 days, with multiple entry facility to enable them visit a neighboring country. Considering the feedback received, a view has been taken that Group Landing Permit facility may be scrapped for passengers of those countries which have been extended e-Visa facility, as its sole purpose has been served and because, e-Visa facility has been presently extended to 166 countries.

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Emirates & SpiceJet enters codeshare agreement, six Indian cities to join Emirates network

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Emirates and SpiceJet have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enter into a reciprocal codeshare agreement, which is set to open new routes and destinations for passengers travelling between India and popular destinations across Africa, America, Europe and the Middle East. Subject to necessary government approvals, the partnership will enable Emirates’ passengers to enjoy seamless connectivity on flights to India, leveraging SpiceJet’s strong domestic presence and adding six new destinations: Amritsar, Jaipur, Pune, Mangalore, Madurai and Calicut – to the nine existing cities in India served by Emirates. This will bolster Emirates’ already-extensive network adding a total of 67 weekly connections between Emirates’ hub in Dubai to these six fast growing destinations in India. This includes increased domestic connectivity from Emirates’ nine Indian gateways to points such as Goa, Hubli, Guwahati, Vishakhapatnam and Tuticorin which would allow for a greater variety of travel options between both Emirates and SpiceJet flights. “Our journey in India has been defined by progressive investment, partnership and growth. We constantly try to improve and provide our customers with greater flexibility and travel choices. This partnership with SpiceJet and the mutual expansion of our network will go a long way in further enhancing the travel experience of our customers in India as well as those heading into India, benefiting travellers and businesses alike,” said Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning, Revenue Optimization and Aeropolitical affairs. Passengers travelling from India will have more choice to travel seamlessly with minimum connection times, when flying to destinations in Emirates’ Europe network such as London, Paris, Frankfurt, Manchester and Amsterdam. The codeshare agreement will also open up flights for Indian travellers to North and South American …

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IndiGo adds 3 international flights from Mumbai to Jeddah, Dammam & Abu Dhabi

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Effective June 05, IndiGo will fly daily non-stop from Mumbai to both Jeddah and Abu Dhabi. Effective July 05, the airline will connect Mumbai with Dammam through daily direct flights (Subject to regulatory approvals). Additionally, IndiGo is temporarily adding approximately 20 new departures each from Mumbai and Delhi in a phased manner from April 15, 2019. This is an effort to make it easier for customers to find affordable fares during the busy season. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are strengthening Mumbai as a key travel hub for domestic and international connectivity from India. We are pleased to announce Jeddah and Dammam as our 17th and 18th international destinations effective June 05, 2019 and July 05, 2019 respectively. Jeddah being the commercial capital and the gateway for Haj, Dammam being the growth centre in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi being a major cultural and commercial centre in UAE, are critical markets for strengthening our presence in the Middle-East. Mumbai is the commercial hub of India and we see great potential connecting the Middle-East with this city, further bolstering the extensive cultural, business and tourism links between India and the Middle East. With the addition of these new international flights and enhanced domestic frequency, we are committed to expanding our network to meet the requirements of both business and leisure travellers. It is our constant endeavour to provide flexibility of choice to our customers as IndiGo continues to offer on-time, affordable, courteous and hassle-free flying experience consistently.”

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Delhi Airport to start ‘express check-in’ for handbag-only passengers from April at T2

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The Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI), New Delhi, is planning to roll out express check-in counter service for air passengers taking domestic flights from the airport. The service can only be availed by travellers with handbags as luggage. Reportedly, the Delhi airport will introduce this facility by April 2019 at Terminal 2, where low-cost airlines such as Indigo, SpiceJet and GoAir operate. The facility is expected to be extended to Terminals 1 and 3 in future.

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IndiGo will soon fly to China, Vietnam, England, Myanmar and Saudi Arabia

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Launching its flight on the Delhi-Istanbul sector, IndiGo has announced to use its expanding fleet of A320neo and A321neo aircraft to connect more Indian cities to China, Vietnam, England, Myanmar, and Saudi Arabia. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are looking very seriously into other points in Southeast Asia, notably the obvious ones of Vietnam and Myanmar. We also want to operate shortly to Saudi Arabia on the west side. We are seriously interested in getting in China as soon as we can. We are still selecting precise destinations.” The airline plans to add 125 A321neo aircraft in its fleet over a number of years. In 2019, it will receive 20-25 of these aircraft from Airbus, said the CCO. While the Delhi-Istanbul flight is being operated in an A321neo aircraft with 222 seats, Boulter clarified that the flights to China would be based on A320neos. The Delhi-Istanbul flight plans to connect 20 forward destinations using the codeshare pact that was signed between India’s largest airline and Turkish Airlines on December 21 last year. Codeshare pact allows passengers to travel on a single ticket on flights operated by the partner carrier. Source: PTI

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Thai Smile to Kolkata, five times a week from Mar 31

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Thai Smile is all set to start operating from Kolkata to Bangkok, five times a week, from March 31, 2019. The aircraft used for the operations on this route is Airbus 320. The starting fare for the flight is Rs. 8993 all included. The direct flight will also place TG-coded flight numbers on this route. The flight from Kolkata would take off at 01:00 hrs and would arrive in Bangkok at 05:30 hrs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From Bangkok it will fly every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 22:05 hrs and would land in Kolkata at 23:30 hrs.

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SpiceJet to launch operations on Hyderabad-Colombo route from April 15

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SpiceJet has announced that it will be connecting Hyderabad with Colombo along with the launch of 11 other new direct flights on domestic routes from March 31 onwards. The Hyderabad-Colombo route, the first by any domestic carrier, will commence from April 15 and operate on all days except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, said the budget carrier in a statement. “Our new flight to Colombo reinforces our commitment to strengthening the network between India and Sri Lanka. We see tremendous potential in this sector for both leisure and business travelers,” said Shilpa Bhatia, Chief Sales and Revenue Officer, SpiceJet. Expanding its footprint on the UDAN routes, SpiceJet will launch services on six new flights on the Kishangarh-Ahmedabad, Lakhimpur-Guwahati and Jaipur-Amritsar routes. With this announcement, the budget carrier became the first operate to fly between Hyderabad and Colombo and between Chennai and Patna. With the launch of its services between Hyderabad and Colombo, SpiceJet will connect the Sri Lankan capital with three direct flights from India, the release said. It currently connects the city with single daily frequencies from Chennai and Madurai each.

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ANA invests in Philippine Airlines as PAL expands to New Delhi, Hanoi and Phnom Penh

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) is planning rapid expansion of its international operation over the next few months as it launches services to Hanoi, New Delhi and Phnom Penh, and adds frequencies to 12 of its 39 existing international destinations. PAL’s international seat capacity will increase by nearly 10 per cent this summer, pressuring yields and profitability as the airline tries to increase sixth freedom traffic. PAL is growing capacity to continental North America by nearly 50 per cent this summer, supported by the delivery of A350-900s. As PAL introduces 17 additional weekly frequencies to North America, it is trying to attract more transit traffic in the highly competitive North America-Southeast Asia market, leading to the decision to add Hanoi, New Delhi and Phnom Penh. PAL’s expansion this summer will result in more competition with several North Asian airlines, including its new strategic partner All Nippon Airways (ANA). On January 29, 2019, ANA Holdings announced the acquisition of a 9.5 per cent stake in PAL Holdings, the parent company for PAL and the full-service regional subsidiary PAL Express. While the deal is strategically significant for PAL, which has been trying to secure a foreign airline investor for years, the stake is small and the $95 million investment is pocket change for ANA. The fact that the transaction values PAL at only $1 billion, despite group revenues of over $2.5 billion and an extremely attractive slot portfolio at congested Manila, reflects the challenges PAL faces. (Source: CAPA)

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Japan Airlines and Vistara enter codeshare; to operate from 7 Indian cities

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Japan Airlines and Vistara have entered a codeshare agreement that will open up more routes between India and Tokyo. With the signing of this agreement, Vistara becomes the only codeshare partner for Japan Airlines in India. The sale of tickets opens on February 26, 2019, on all channels and major GDS systems, for travel from February 28, 2019. As part of the agreement, Japan Airlines will add its ‘JL’ designator code to approximately 32 Vistara-operated flights each day across India, covering seven Indian cities – Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Pune. JAL and Vistara already have an interline/through check-in partnership and the two airlines had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in September 2017 to pursue commercial opportunities together. Commenting on this key partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “We’re delighted to further strengthen our partnership with Japan Airlines with this codeshare agreement, which is a step that underlines our commitment of partnering with some of the leading airlines in the world and of putting Vistara on the global map. This partnership helps us offer greater convenience and variety of choice to customers with a comprehensive network, as well as the opportunity of welcoming travellers from Japan and beyond to experience Vistara’s award-winning hospitality and service. We’re confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the shared benefits of this partnership between two airlines committed to being amongst the best service providers on the ground and in the sky.”

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Metro cities to have multiple airports: MoCA

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Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation, revealed that Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi will add a fourth runway along with two more passenger terminals. Apart from that, Hindon Airport, which is on the outskirts of Delhi, will be operational by March. He further revealed that Jewar airport will be another airport near Delhi that will be operational by 2022. In fact, with the speed of work going on at Navi Mumbai airport, it is likely to be operational from 2022 too. Bengaluru airport will also be adding a second runway and a second terminal. A new terminal has been commissioned in Chennai too, he shared.

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