Category Archives: Aviation

SriLankan to enhance connectivity to Ahmedabad and Calicut

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To bolster its connectivity to the Indian sub-continent, SriLankan Airlines will initiate new flights to Ahmedabad and Calicut. The operations will begin in 2020. Vipula Gunatilleka, CEO, SriLankan Airlines, said, “We wanted to enhance connectivity to Gujarat and hence will start a new connection to Ahmedabad. We were earlier operating to Calicut but had to stop that for some reason and will restart this route again and hope to record growth in the region.”

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GoAir to connect Delhi & Mumbai with Bangkok, and Kannur with Dubai & Kuwait

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Starting July 19, low-cost carrier GoAir will add seven new routes to its international network, which will include three new destinations – Bangkok, Dubai, and Kuwait. The daily flights, subject to final approval, will include Delhi-Abu Dhabi, Delhi-Bangkok; Kannur-Dubai, Kannur-Kuwait; Mumbai-Abu Dhabi, Mumbai-Bangkok, and Mumbai-Muscat services. GoAir has flown over 72 million passengers since its inception, and in the next two years the airline aims to touch the 100 million passengers mark. Speaking about the new routes, Jeh Wadia, Managing Director, GoAir, said, “I am very pleased to announce these planned launches which will strengthen GoAir’s presence in the Middle East and Southeast Asian countries. The network expansion is in sync with our vision to expand our footprint in strategic markets and to grow our business profitably. This time, we are entering new destinations – Kuwait, Dubai and Bangkok – and we intend to continue the momentum in the near future.”

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Out of 705 routes under UDAN, 174 are now operational

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Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said,”Out of the 705 routes awarded under RCS-UDAN version 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, 174 routes are operational till date.” As per the data presented by Puri, IndiGo has been awarded total 32 networks under UDAN scheme. Ministry of Civil Aviation had launched Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN scheme on October 21, 2016, to facilitate and stimulate regional air connectivity and making air travel affordable to the masses. The data said that SpiceJet has been awarded total 50 networks, and the budget carrier has started flight operations on just the half of them. Out of total 705 routes which have been awarded by the Centre under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, 174 routes have become operational till date, Rajya Sabha was told on Wednesday. Based on their assessment of demand on particular routes, the airlines submit proposals at the time of bidding under UDAN scheme from time to time.

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Expo 2020 Dubai and EKFC create fresh and eco-friendly F&B vision

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Fresh produce grown at the world’s largest vertical farm will be served to millions at Expo 2020 Dubai as part of a collaboration with Emirates Flight Catering (EKFC) to provide delicious and diverse culinary choices while showcasing the future of sustainable gastronomy. Gillian Hamburger, Senior Vice President – Programming at Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “With 50 million meals expected to be served during Expo 2020, both quality and sustainability are crucial to our aim of creating an exceptional – and delicious – World Expo, while also contributing to a more sustainable future for us all. Expo 2020 and Emirates Flight Catering share this strong commitment, and we look forward to exchanging knowledge and ideas.” The tie-up will also introduce visitors to the world’s most tantalising up-and-coming cuisines at Expo Culinary Experience restaurants. Operated by EKFC, the eateries will embrace authentic recipes from participating countries – enabling diners to sample global flavours, ingredients and foodstuffs they may have never considered before stepping through the Expo 2020 gates. Aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Gastronomy Day on 18 June, Expo 2020 and EKFC have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that sets out a shared vision for the largest event ever staged in the Arab world. This forms part of a broader collaboration which puts the planet first – with Expo 2020 and EKFC innovating together to advance Expo 2020’s Sustainability subtheme and create lasting positive environmental impacts. Saeed Mohammed, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Flight Catering, said: “At Emirates Flight Catering we are constantly looking at innovation and ways to improve our productivity, product and service quality. We are committed to bringing our customers the freshest and highest quality food possible by …

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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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