Category Archives: Aviation

Air Odisha launches Jagdalpur-Visakhapatnam service via Raipur

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Air Odisha has started its services to Chhattisgarh from Andhra Pradesh, as it launched a flight to Jagdalpur from Visakhapatnam through Raipur. The services launched under the UDAN regional connectivity scheme were inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing. “We are happy to announce the launch of our new routes in Chhattisgarh connecting with Andhra Pradesh. The UDAN scheme is an excellent scheme initiated under the flagship of our Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, which would aid the growth of the economy where air travel is now more affordable and convenient for the common man. We are delighted to be part of this historic moment of the nation’s aviation sector,” said Shaishav Shah, Managing Director, Air Odisha and Executive Director, GSEC. “In terms of outright benefits to the passengers and travellers, Raipur-Jagdalpur (288 km by road) travel time of 15 hours by train and 6-7 hours by road shrinks to a mere 40 minutes, that too at a cost of Rs 1670,” Air Odisha said in a release. UDAN is to let the common citizens of the country fly by making air travel affordable and widespread, and Air Odisha is able to materialise this goal. With every passing month, Air Odisha is adding more regions to its radar for better connectivity in the towns. In this context, commencement of the regional connectivity scheme in towns like Jagdalpur, Raipur, and Vizag continues to demonstrate Air Odisha’s growth.

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Emirates’ 3rd service to Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport for business travellers

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Emirates will start a third daily service between Moscow’s Domodedovo (DME) Airport and Dubai, from October 25, 2018. Emirates has been serving the Russian market since 2003. Demand for travel has grown significantly over recent years, leading to the airline’s launch of third flight to Moscow. The new service will be operated by an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER in a three class cabin configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class and 310 spacious seats in Economy. This service will cater for leisure and business passengers, providing daily links for international tourism and trade opportunities both inbound and outbound. The flight EK174 will depart Domodedovo at 1040hrs and arrive in Dubai at 1655hrs, while the return flight EK173 will depart Dubai at 0330hrs and arrive in Moscow at 0750hrs. The new flight allows for seamless connectivity to Moscow from several popular destinations in Emirates’ and flydubai’s combined route network, including Bali, Bangkok, Colombo, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Maldives, Mauritius and Singapore. The new Emirates flight from Domodedovo airport is also timed to connect conveniently with a wide network of domestic flights operated by Emirates codeshare partner in Russia – S7 Airlines. Emirates’ commitment to Moscow Domodedovo airport is backed by airport’s investment in improving the infrastructure for the passengers.

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India to witness rise in FTAs from South Asia over the next five years: PATA

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According to a recent research study by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), India is set to welcome increased international visitor arrivals over the next five years with an average annual growth rate of 14.5 per cent from South Asia between 2018 and 2022. Bangladesh is anticipated to top the chart (with a 17 per cent increase) of IVAs to India, followed by Afghanistan which is forecast to transcend Sri Lanka in the growth table with an average annual increase of 14.8 per cent over the same period. Nepal closely follows, expecting a rise of 11.5 per cent annually.

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Bhubaneswar likely to get a second airport

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To reduce the congestion at the existing Bhubaneswar airport, the city is now likely to get a second airport, according to the Civil Aviation Ministry. “Identification of a suitable land to build a second airport near Khurda on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar has been initiated. The set-up process will be fast tracked. The new airport will traffic congestion while improving passenger convenience,” the ministry tweeted. The airport registered a growth of 39.4 per cent in 2017-18 fiscal, making it one of the fastest growing airports in the country. Earlier this month, Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had urged Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu to set up a new airport on the outskirts of the city as the existing airport was nearing saturation. “The airport, which was started in 1962, is near saturation and faces severe space and runway-related constraints. There is, thus, an urgent need to set up a new airport at Bhubaneswar given the tremendous growth potential of this smart city,” he had said in a letter to Prabhu.

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Emirates Skywards gives makeover to its family programme, allows 100% pooling of miles

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Emirates Skywards has revamped its family programme, offering to provide a richer, more rewarding programme called ‘My Family’. Family members can now pool up to 100 per cent of Skywards miles earned on Emirates flights, allowing them to redeem rewards faster than before. Each member can pool up to 100 per cent of their miles earned on Emirates flights and the nominated contribution of miles from each member can be adjusted at any time. Emirates Skywards has a global membership of 20 million and all members are eligible to join ‘My Family’. Each account can have up to 8 family members including a nominated Family Head. “We’re always working to enhance our offerings to ensure our members are given greater value, choice and flexibility at every touchpoint across the Emirates Skywards programme. The new enriched ‘My Family’ programme will provide our members with a better, more intuitive customer experience, allowing them to consolidate up to 100 per cent of Skywards Miles earned on Emirates to reap faster rewards as well as tailor the proposition to meet their travel needs,” said Nejib Ben Khedher, Senior Vice President, Emirates Skywards. The new Emirates Skywards ‘My Family’ programme complements the airline’s exceptional family offering both on board and on the ground. In flight, young travellers can look forward to special toys, activity packs, child-friendly meals and dedicated kids’ content on ice, Emirates’ award-winning inflight entertainment system. On the ground, Emirates provides a dedicated family check-in area and complimentary strollers in Dubai and priority boarding for families across all airports.

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IndiGo announces 20 new flights from July

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IndiGo has announced the launch of 20 new flights from July, which include introduction of the first direct flight from Kolkata to Chandigarh and Indore. A non-stop flight between Chandigarh and Srinagar, and a daily flight between Indore and Nagpur will also be introduced, the airline said in a statement. From July 1, IndiGo will operate a second daily flight between Bengaluru and Varanasi, Bengaluru and Chandigarh and a third daily flight between Ranchi and Bengaluru, and between Indore and Bengaluru. An additional flight will also be operated between Cochin and Tiruchirappalli, and between Tiruchirappalli and Bengaluru effective June 28. “IndiGo is reinforcing its commitment to on-time performance by announcing new frequencies from Chandigarh, Varanasi, Ranchi, Indore and Tiruchirappalli connecting Bengaluru. Kolkata-Chandigarh, Kolkata- Indore and Chandigarh- Srinagar have also emerged as sectors that have started attracting both leisure and business passengers in the recent past and hold immense potential for IndiGo,” the airline’s chief commercial officer Sanjay Kumar said. Source: PTI

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Domestic air traffic sees a surge of 24.41% from January-April YOY

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Passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-April 2018 were 453.03 lakhs as against 364.13 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year, thereby registering a growth of 24.41 per cent, according to a latest report by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). Passengers flown by domestic airlines in January-April stood at 453.03 lakhs over 364.13 lakhs in the corresponding period in 2017. The passenger traffic month-on-month has risen by 26%—from 91.34 lakh in March 2018 to 115.13 lakhs in April 2018.

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MoCA gives a nod to Wi-Fi and calls on domestic flights

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At the recently- discussed Ministry of Civil Aviation’s Draft Passenger Charter by Jayant Sinha, Minister of State, Civil Aviation and RN Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, it was revealed that both domestic and international airlines can provide internet as well as mobile services on-board and aircraft in Indian airspace, keeping in account security requirements for the same. According to the Passenger Charter, Wi-Fi services can be provided from the moment the plane takes off  and personal electronic devices (PED) have to be put on flight mode. Also, mobile services can be allowed only when an aircraft is over an altitude of 3,000 metres. Choubey, explained that the licensing condition for Wi-Fi on board will be decided by the Telecom Ministry, and within 2 months passengers will be able to enjoy on-board internet when they travel.

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SilkAir to be merged with SIA, upgrade cabin products

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Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) regional wing, SilkAir, is to undergo a significant investment programme to upgrade its cabin products as part of a multi-year initiative that will ultimately see it merged into SIA. The programme will comprise investment of more than $100 million to upgrade the wholly owned subsidiary’s cabins with new lie-flat seats in Business Class, and the installation of seat-back in-flight entertainment systems in both Business Class and Economy Class. This will ensure closer product and service consistency across the SIA Group’s full-service network. Aircraft cabin upgrades are expected to start in 2020 due to lead times required by seat suppliers, including to complete certification processes. The merger will take place only after a sufficient number of aircraft have been fitted with the new cabin products. Specific details will be announced progressively as the programme develops and timelines are finalised. Consistent with ongoing efforts to optimise the SIA Group’s network, there will also be transfers of routes and aircraft between the different airlines in the portfolio. “Singapore Airlines is one year into our three-year Transformation Programme and today’s announcement is a significant development to provide more growth opportunities and prepare the Group for an even stronger future,” said SIA CEO, Goh Choon Phong. “Importantly, it will be positive for our customers. It is another example of the major investment we are making to ensure that our products and services continue to lead the industry across short-, medium- and long-haul routes.” SilkAir is the regional wing of Singapore Airlines, operating a fleet of 11 Airbus A320-family aircraft and 22 Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX 8 aircraft. It is currently transitioning to an all-737 fleet, and serves 49 destinations in 16 …

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In-flight Wi-Fi, game changer for business travellers: FCM-KPMG

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FCM Travel Solutions and KPMG’s recent whitepaper titled ‘The Digi-Smart Indian Business Traveller’ forecasts that Indian travellers have higher inclination towards in-flight Wi-Fi as compared to travellers from other countries, according to a survey by Inmarsat. With current nil penetration and high demand amongst Indian travellers, in-flight Wi-Fi can be a potential game changer in enhancing business traveller experience considering that fliers are potentially willing to shift travel experiences for on board Wi-Fi. For business travellers, the need for seamless connectivity makes them natural users of these services. While the use of in-flight Wi-Fi should be encouraged, it is necessary to consider various factors including aircraft upgrade requirements, connectivity speed and quality, cyber security concerns, etc.

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