Category Archives: Aviation

SriLankan to increase flights to Mumbai & Delhi


SriLankan Airlines will now increase its frequency to Delhi and Mumbai due to peak demand. The airline intends to further increase these frequencies to 13 flights per week to Delhi- Northern India and 14 flights a week to Mumbai-Western India this year. According to Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Country Manager, Srilankan Airlines, “With the new development ventures, we anticipate significant passenger numbers from our key contributors to inbound tourism traffic that includes India, China, Europe, Australia, and the Maldives. We have already introduced three new destinations in 2017 namely Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and Coimbatore commenced operations with four frequencies a week.” The Delhi-Northern India and Mumbai-Western India flights were increased from seven to 11 frequencies in July 2017. India has been a vital partner in SriLankan Airlines’ route network from the early days since it is Sri Lanka’s number one source of inbound tourist traffic. Today, the airline directly operates to 14 Indian destinations with a total of 135 flights a week.

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flydubai unveils advanced Business Class in 737 MAX

flydubai - Boeing 737 Max 8 Business class (1) (002)

Dubai-based flydubai has recently unveiled its brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8, the technologically-advanced Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The latest addition of the fleet is the Business Class which has been customised by flydubai, keeping in mind the needs of its business class passengers. The newly designed business class takes comfort to a whole new level to offer an exceptional travel experience. Some of its features are: Space and privacy – The first-of-its-kind ’Throne’ seat in the flydubai business class provides utmost privacy and space in the cabin while mid-air. High, curved Shell seat – The curved shell surrounds the seat and provides a sense of seclusion. Convertible seat – For a perfect snooze, the seat can quickly and easily be converted into a bed, 78 inches from top to toe. Spacious entertainment – Every MAX Business Class seat has a 15.6-inch 1080p HD built-in touchscreen for an immersive in-flight entertainment experience.

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Jet Airways to commence second Bengaluru-Singapore daily


Jet Airways will commence a second daily flight from Bengaluru to Singapore from March 15, 2018. The new daily flight – 9W 26, will depart from Bengaluru at 02:05 hrs (IST) and arrive into Singapore at 09:15 hrs (LT). Aside from providing choice for corporate travellers, the timings of the new flight are also expected to be of significance to the fast expanding MICE segment in Bengaluru. During its return journey, flight 9W 25 will depart from Singapore at a comfortable time of 10:15 hrs (LT), arriving in Bengaluru at 12:10 hrs (IST), allowing guests arriving in Bengaluru to travel onwards to destinations such as Chennai, Coimbatore, Hyderabad and Mangalore using convenient connections on Jet Airways’ extensive domestic network. Gaurang Shetty, Whole Time Director, Jet Airways, said “This second daily service will benefit business travellers who are looking at tapping into India and Singapore’s promising commercial opportunities. In addition, Singapore boasts of a huge Indian diaspora that can avail of this opportunity to strengthen ties to their roots.” To celebrate the introduction of the new frequency, Jet Airways has announced special ‘introductory’ return Economy fares from Bengaluru, starting at INR 11,768 only. Guests can book tickets with these special fares starting February 15, 2018. These inaugural fares are applicable for journeys commencing from March 15, 2018 onwards. During the summer schedule, the timings of the new flight will change to depart from Bengaluru at 01:30 hrs (IST) to arrive in Singapore at 08:55 hrs (LT). The return flight from Singapore will however, continue to depart at 10:05 hrs (LT) to arrive into Bengaluru at 12:10 hrs (IST).

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Emirates Group signs MoU with Andhra Pradesh government


The Emirates Group, and its affiliated entities including flydubai, signed an MoU with the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board, Government of Andhra Pradesh, to establish a framework for collaboration in various aviation areas to support and invest in the development of Andhra Pradesh’s aviation sector. The MoU was signed by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group, and Krishna Kishore, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB). Under the terms of the MoU, the Emirates Group and the State of Andhra Pradesh will work together to support the development of Andhra Pradesh’s aviation infrastructure by sharing industry expertise and identifying development and investment opportunities. His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, said, “The Emirates Group is committed to future investment and expansion in support of India’s 2020 goal to be the world’s third largest aviation market. Through this agreement, Emirates and flydubai will work closely with APEDB to share expertise, discuss opportunities, enhance and support the growth of the aviation sector in the state of Andhra Pradesh.” “We are confident that this significant partnership with the Emirates Group will be a major boost to APEDB’S strategic efforts to elevate, enhance and develop the aviation industry in Andhra Pradesh,” said Kishore. Under the MoU, the two parties will look to collaborate in areas such as the potential development of aviation facilities and skill development projects in the State of Andhra Pradesh.  

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Air India to launch Delhi-Tel Aviv flight with 750,000 euro grant from Israel

Air India

Air India will get a one-time grant of 750,000 euros from Israel for launching direct flights between New Delhi and Tel Aviv, likely to be rolled out next month. “The conditions of the directive includes a grant of 250,000 euro per weekly flight, up to a total of three weekly flights. It is a one-time grant for an airline opening a new direct route into Tel Aviv (TLV) from a destination that has potential for incoming tourism,” said Lydia Weitzman, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism. Informed sources said that the Indian flag carrier could start its direct flights into Israel from New Delhi on March 20, flying thrice a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Dubbed a game changer in Israel’s efforts to promote inbound tourism from India, Air India’s direct flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv would be operating on the shortest route and is expected to bring down significantly the cost of travel between the two countries. “The number of tourists from China to Israel doubled in one year after the start of direct flight by Hainan Airlines. We expect something similar with India,” said Amir Halevi, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Israel.   Source: PTI

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SpiceJet to connect Assam’s Lakhimpur and Jorhat


SpiceJet will soon enable connectivity to Assam’s northern district of Lakhimpur with Jorhat in the south. This was announced by Ajay Singh, Chief Managing Director, SpiceJet at Advantage Assam-Global Investors Summit’18 in Guwahati. The move will, if it comes through, form part of Centre’s UDAN or Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS), an initiative taken to make air travel to India’s Tier-II and III cities affordable and at the same time putting remote regions on the country’s aviation map. “For India to grow, it is critical that North East grows. And, the region cannot grow without connectivity. SpiceJet connects cities of Guwahati, Silchar and Dibrugarh to other parts of the country and under UDAN, we will soon be connecting Lakhimpur and Jorhat,” Singh said. The two-day event showcased the state’s manufacturing opportunities and geostrategic advantages to foreign and domestic investors. The summit was organised by the Assam Government, in association with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). There were a number of focus sectors identified by the state, which includes agriculture and food processing, organic farming, bamboo, handloom, textile and handicrafts, inland water transport, riverfront development and logistics. Source:ANI 

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MoCA looking at 20-min benchmark for immigration


Addressing a gathering at CAPA Conference in Mumbai via a video link last week, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said that the ministry is looking at a benchmark of 20 minutes for passengers at immigration. Speaking about the steps taken at the Delhi airport in response to the recent spike in international travel, he said, “We recently saw a dramatic spike of 30 per cent in international travel in the winter schedule, particularly at the Delhi airport. Mumbai did not grow as much due to slot constraints. But these are two airports where we are facing some congestion. In response to that, we along with the Ministry of Home Affairs acted swiftly by massively increasing capacity for immigration officers as well as immigration counters at the Delhi airport. In Mumbai however we are much more constrained even though we have added capacity, although it is not at the same level as Delhi. We are thankful to Ministry of Home Affairs for acting so swiftly. Our benchmark as far as immigration is concerned is 20 minutes. If anyone has to wait more than that, then we are not doing our job well.”  

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Singapore Airline Group launches first ever blockchain- based airline loyalty digital wallet


Singapore Airlines Group’s frequent-flyer programme, KrisFlyer, has launched a world-first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet to unlock the value of KrisFlyer miles to enable everyday spending at retail partners. The technology is expected to operate in about six months. It will allow the extensive KrisFlyer membership base to use ‘digital KrisFlyer miles’ for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants. Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong, said, “This ground-breaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalise’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers. It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline.” The first-of-its-kind lifestyle digital wallet app will be enabled through blockchain technology, using an SIA-owned private blockchain involving only merchants and partners.

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Air passenger traffic growth remains robust: ICRA


The air passenger traffic in the country  at 26.0 million in November 2017, has exhibited a healthy year-on-year(Y-o-Y) growth of 15%. In another positive development for the industry, the cargo traffic in the country reached 282,000 tonnes in November 2017, witnessing a Y-o-Y growth of 20%, the highest in over three years. Harsh Jagnani, Vice President and Sector Head for Corporate Ratings, ICRA  said: “The Y-o-Y air passenger growth has remained healthy at 15% in November 2017, although there has been some moderation, as compared to 18% growth witnessed in October 2017. The growth has been driven by healthy increase in both domestic and international passenger traffic, which has exhibited a Y-o-Y increase of 17% and 11% respectively in November 2017.” In line with the growth in passenger traffic, the aircraft traffic has also witnessed healthy increase, reporting Y-o-Y growth of 11% for November 2017.

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Etihad Airways introduces new baggage policy


Etihad Airways has introduced a new baggage policy that allows for a simpler baggage structure as the allowance for all markets, excluding the US and Canada, is now based on total weight rather than the number of bags checked in. The majority of markets will be entitled to 23kg of checked baggage on Economy Deal fares, 30kg on Economy Saver and Classic fares, and 35kg on Economy Flex fares. Customers in all Business Class fare categories are entitled to 40kg, and First Class customers enjoy a 50kg allowance. Guests in The Residence onboard Etihad Airways’ flagship Airbus A380 fleet are provided with an allowance of four bags at 32kg each. Exceptions apply to select markets. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Executive Vice President Commercial, Etihad Airways, said, “In line with global best practice and market trends, Etihad Airways has developed a baggage policy that best caters to the differing needs of our guests around the world. The switch to a policy based on weight rather than the number of bags simplifies our allowance system and provides greater convenience and customer benefit while enhancing the travel experience.” Etihad Guest Silver, Gold and Platinum members will continue to receive a complimentary excess baggage allowance of 32kg on US and Canada routes, and 20kg for Platinum members, 15kg for Gold members and 10kg for Silver members on all other routes.

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