Category Archives: Aviation

Ethiopian launches Africa’s first 787-9 operation to Mumbai


Ethiopian Airlines has announced the launch of its B787-9 Dreamliner operation to Mumbai. The aircraft made its debut flight to India’s capital and metropolitan city of Delhi on October 28, 2017. The Dreamliner fleet which is an integration of design and technology with unique features of biggest windows in the sky, high ceiling, less noise, distinctive lighting, and higher air humidity, has further redefined passengers’ travel experience on board. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, Indian sub-continent, remarked, “Ethiopian was the first airline to introduce Dreamliner 787-8 to India in 2012 and Airbus A350-900 XWB in April 2017. India is a strategic market for Ethiopian that has been served for more than 46 years and in line with our expansion strategy in Indian market, we are pleased to deploy our latest fleet and adding capacity on the existing route to better serve our esteemed customers and to further strengthen the growing trade and commercial ties between the booming economies of India and Africa.”

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Vistara witnesses 83 per cent YOY growth for passenger load: DGCA


As per the DGCA monthly report, Vistara has topped on-time performance (OTP) and passenger load factor (PLF) amongst full service carriers, as well as in consistently maintaining the lowest cancellations and customer complaint rates amongst all pan-India carriers while having zero denied boarding. Vistara’s PLF stood at 84.1 per cent and continued to be the highest amongst all full service carriers in India for the seventh consecutive month. The airline registered a year-on-year growth of 60 per cent in weekly flights from July – Sep 2017, operating close to 100 daily flights across 19 destinations. Though its fleet in the period increased just 23 per cent, Vistara has flown 1.1 million passengers, compared to 0.6 million in the same period the previous year demonstrating 83 per cent growth and resulting in a 12pp increase in its average load factor. The improved performance was driven by higher utilisation of aircraft compared to the same period last year. Vistara recently resumed service to Varanasi and also added Ranchi to its expanding network.

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Vistara introduces Vistara Corporate Flyer for coporate customers


Vistara has launched ‘Vistara Corporate Flyer’ programme under which the airline will provide its corporate customers several benefits designed to make business travel hassle-free. The unique programme will be available to all eligible customers travelling on Vistara’s corporate fares, regardless of class of travel.   With ‘Vistara Corporate Flyer’, all eligible customers will enjoy complimentary ‘Carry On Plus’ benefits which provide increased cabin baggage allowance of 12 kg for the larger cabin bag that goes in the overhead bin (which equates to 70 per cent more allowance than the usual 7 kg limit), in addition to a smaller item such as a laptop bag that can fit under a seat in the cabin. This is by far the most generous free cabin baggage allowance for any airline in India. Corporate customers travelling in economy class will be eligible for free selection of exit-row seats that provide more legroom, ensuring greater comfort onboard. Additionally, Vistara’s top 100 corporate clients travelling in economy class will receive complimentary priority check-in, baggage handling and boarding across all destinations on Vistara’s network, and can also choose a complimentary option of taking a same-day earlier flight by arriving at the airport 45 minutes prior its departure (subject to availability) under the ‘Vistara Fly Early’ programme. All of these benefits come over and above other benefits of being a Corporate customer, which include special fares and free changes and cancellation of bookings. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “We understand what a more generous cabin baggage allowance and more comfortable and hassle-free experience means for the “road warriors”, today’s frequent business travellers who travel often as much as our crew, and are routinely pressed for …

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CIDCO awards Navi Mumbai airport project to GVK Mumbai


The GVK-led Mumbai International Airport (P) Ltd (MIAL) was handed over the Letter of Award from CIDCO, the nodal agency of the Government of Maharashtra for the Navi Mumbai International Airport. In February 2017, MIAL was declared the winning bidder for the Greenfield airport that will be built on 1,160 hectares in a PPP mode with CIDCO. MIAL will hold a 74 per cent stake while the remaining 26 per cent will be with CIDCO. Dr GVK Reddy, Executive Chairman MIAL and founder Chairman of GVK said, “We are delighted that GVK has been awarded this exciting project. In collaboration with CIDCO, the Government of Maharashtra and the Government of India, we are confident of providing yet another landmark airport for the city of Mumbai. The invaluable experience that our team gained whilst developing the Mumbai airport will be very useful and will enable us to deliver yet another world class facility. GVK is committed to develop its airport business globally and the award of the Navi Mumbai project to us is another major step in this direction.”  

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Jammu & Doda to avail Heli service from Oct 24


The Government of Jammu and Kashmir shall unveil a chopper service between Jammu and Doda to boost connectivity during the winter. The service will commence from Tuesday, October 24. Pawan Hans helicopters would be used for this service and will operate twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays between the two districts. The one-way fare for a traveller has been fixed at Rs. 2,500. The service is likely to help promote tourism and provide an alternative means to communicate between the two districts during the winter season when parts of the region remain cut off.

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AI to start Chandigarh-Bangkok direct flight from Dec 11


Air India plans to start a direct flight from Chandigarh to Bangkok from December 11, 2017, which will operate thrice a week. This was informed by R K Negi, Local Manager, Air India. He said, “The round trip initially will cost Rs. 22,000, while the rest of the cost will depend on the demand.” Negi also added that the airline’s latest aircraft – Airbus A320 Neo, will operate on this route and will offer 12 Business Class seats and 150 Economy Class seats. This aircraft will operate every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Chandigarh-Bangkok flight will be the third international flight operating from the Chandigarh International Airport. At present Indigo’s Chandigarh-Dubai and Air India Express’ Chandigarh-Sharjah flights are the only two international flights operating from Chandigarh. Source: Hindustan Times

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CWT seals multi-year distribution deal with Bristish Airways, Iberia Airlines


Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) have announced a multi-year distribution agreement with British Airways (BA) and Iberia Airlines (IB). This partnership will enable CWT customers to avoid the airlines’ proposed surcharge on bookings created within participating global distribution systems (GDS) that agree to these terms with IAG. The agreement, effective  November 1, 2017, applies to CWT business travel and leisure clients.  Brian Mogler, Senior Vice President, Global Supplier Management, CWT, said, “While we believe GDSs provide the best technology platform available for CWT to enable best-in-market user experience and operating efficiency, we will continue to monitor and assess new technologies and capabilities.”

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Vistara, Avis India enter into partnership for car rentals


Vistara and Avis India have entered a partnership to provide a seamless and premium car rental experience to Vistara customers. The partnership enables all Vistara customers to book their airport transfers, chauffeur-drive cars and self-drive cars directly through Vistara’s website, with additional attractive benefits for members of Club Vistara. Customers booked on any Vistara flight can choose to make their airport transfer, chauffeur-drive or self-drive car reservations at the time of booking a Vistara ticket or later, using the ‘Enhance My Booking’ option on Vistara’s website, which directs customers to a dedicated page, to complete their car rental reservation. Members of Club Vistara (CV), will get to earn 10 CV points on every INR 100 spent on making bookings with Avis using this option. CV members who book their car rentals using this option until October 31, 2017 will get double Club Vistara points (20 CV Points per INR 100) and a complimentary car upgrade on self-drive cars. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “It is our constant endeavour to offer our customers a seamless and superior travel experience across all touch points, whether it is on ground or at 35,000 feet above it.” Sunil Gupta, Managing Director & CEO of Avis India, on the collaboration said, “We are delighted to provide all type of car bookings (self-drive cars or airport transfers, city usage, outstation trips and inter-city transfers with chauffeur-drive cars through our network.”

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Ethiopia offers e-visas to MICE participants


Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department in collaboration with Ethiopian Airlines Group has launched e-visa services for African and international participants of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions held in Ethiopia effective September 20, 2017. With this, MICE travellers to Ethiopia will be able to issue their visas online, book, pay and check-in their flight with Ethiopian, all online. Group CEO Ethiopian Airlines, Tewolde Gebre Mariam, remarked, “With the immense potential for conference tourism, Ethiopia has still a lot to do to tap into the sector and the launching of an e-visa service for MICE is an impetus for the exponential demand of Ethiopia’s conference tourism; saving time and cost besides inducing a modern online visa application process with more simplicity and efficiency. Further facilitating passengers travel experience, Ethiopian offers special fares and discounts besides availing custom designed tour packages to the various breathtaking tourist sites in the country. I wish to take this opportunity to thank our IT team and our colleagues at Ethiopian Immigration and Nationality Affairs main Department for a remarkably gratifying collaboration.” Ethiopia has availed an e-visa service for international visitors to Ethiopia effective June 12, 2017. Gebreyohannes Teklu, Director, Main Department for Immigration & Nationality Affairs, said, “The introduction of e-visa for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions will provide travelers with a fast and convenient way to apply for a visa and initiate their travel to Ethiopia while ensuring absolute security of sensitive information. This is important milestone for Ethiopia being capital of Africa to serve various African Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions.”  

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Foreign arrivals on Etv witness 71 per cent rise in September YOY


According to a latest data by the Ministry of Tourism, FTAs on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 was a total of 1.18 lakh tourist as compared to 0.69 lakh during September 2016, registering a growth of 71 per cent. During January-September, 2017, a total of 10.67 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 6.75 lakh during January-September, 2016, registering a growth of 58 per cent. The percentage shares of top 15 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 were New Delhi Airport (53.4 per cent), Mumbai Airport (18.5 per cent), Chennai Airport (6.7 per cent),  Bengaluru Airport (6.3 per cent), Kochi Airport (4.2 per cent), Hyderabad Airport (2.8 per cent), Kolkata Airport (2.2 per cent), Amritsar Airport (1.1 per cent), Trivandrum Airport (1 per cent), Ahmedabad Airport (0.9 per cent), Tirchy Airport (0.8 per cent),  Dabolim (Goa) Airport (0.6 per cent), Calicut Airport (0.5 per cent), Jaipur Airport (0.4 per cent) and Pune Airport (0.2 per cent).

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