Category Archives: Aviation

Brussels Airlines banking on Indo-Belgian trade

brussels airlines

A delegation of Belgian companies led by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem, was in Mumbai recently on an economic mission to underline the importance of the newly-reinstated route between Mumbai and Brussels and the relations between India and Belgium. Bernard Gustin, CEO of Brussels Airlines, was also part of the delegation. On March 30, Belgian airline Brussels Airlines connected Mumbai Chhatrapati Airport to Brussels Airport five times a week with a direct flight for the first time since the route was abandoned last year. There was a high demand from various industries (pharmaceutical, diamond, maritime, industry, amongst others), from leisure travelers and cargo forwarders to reinstate a direct service. Bernard Gustin, CEO Brussels Airlines, says, “India is an important economic partner for Belgium and has a large leisure potential at the same time. The demand for direct flights for passengers as well as for cargo is high. With our new service, we offer the diamond- and travel industry direct flights, which is an important investment in our network expansion, but also in the economic relations between India and Belgium.” The flight schedule consists of daytime flights to Mumbai on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The flights depart in the morning and arrive late in the evening in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Flights leave Mumbai on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and arrive in Brussels early the next morning. Speaking about how the new route can help trade, Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, says, “Belgium and India are close economic partners. Our country is the 2nd EU exporter of goods to India, just behind Germany.” The Mumbai-Brussels flight schedule allows connections to …

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Etihad A380 goes double daily to Sydney


Etihad Airways has announced all 14 weekly flights on the popular Abu Dhabi – Sydney route will be operated with its flagship A380 aircraft, effective October 29. The current daily A380 Sydney flights will be joined by a second daily superjumbo service, upgraded from a 328-seat Boeing 777-300ER. The announcement comes as Etihad Airways marks the 10th anniversary of flying to Sydney, its first Australian destination. Featuring the carrier’s revolutionary The Residence – the world’s first three-room suite on a commercial airliner – the additional deployment of the 496-seat double decker aircraft means one of Australia’s largest cities will join London and New York as an all-A380 operation. Business and leisure travellers to and from Abu Dhabi, the airline’s operational hub, will enjoy increased capacity. The carrier will meet growing demand from the UAE and connecting cities across the Gulf region, Middle East and Europe. The Sydney – London Heathrow route, via Abu Dhabi, will also offer guests the consistency, convenience and comfort of a seamless all-A380 service in both directions. Etihad Airways’ three daily London Heathrow flights are operated with an A380. Beginning June 1, the second daily New York service will be upgraded to the superjumbo.

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Jet starts 42 new weekly flights


Jet Airways will add 42 weekly flights connecting three new city pairs as part of strengthening its domestic network to meet growing demand between metros and emerging cities. Introduction of additional frequencies and wide-body deployments between key metros will also boost capacity on existing sectors this summer as the airline bolsters its already extensive network to meet an expected surge in demand during the holiday season. The carrier will commence operations between Nagpur and New Delhi, Lucknow and Kolkata, and Kozhikode and Bengaluru as part of its broader strategy of connecting India’s emerging tier II cities with India’s metros via direct flights. It will also introduce additional frequencies on the highly-travelled Delhi – Amritsar and Mumbai – Kolkata sectors and boost capacity on the New Delhi – Bengaluru and New Delhi – Bhopal routes with the introduction of the wide-body Airbus A330 and Boeing 737 services, respectively. The changes are a part of Jet Airways’ summer schedule which will see the airline operate upto 650 flights per day connecting 65 destinations in India and abroad. Jayaraj Shanmugam, Chief Commercial Officer, Jet Airways said, “Our summer schedule has been meticulously planned to meet the expected surge in demand over the holidays. New flights, additional frequencies, greater capacity including the introduction of wide-body services across more sectors are meant to offer our discerning guests greater choice, convenience, connectivity and added comfort.”

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Garuda hosts Open House for the travel trade in Mumbai


Garuda Indonesia recently hosted an Open House for the travel trade in Mumbai in association with Visit Indonesia Tourism Office. The airline has appointed Bird Travels as its GSA that has eight offices across India. The purpose of the event was to create awareness about the airline’s new office in Mumbai and informing the trade about the various opportunities available to promote Indonesia as a destination. Garuda Indonesia recently inaugurated its office in Mumbai. Product presentation was given to the travel fraternity to update them more on Garuda Indonesia Services and to promote Indonesian destinations beyond Bali. To enable passengers to take advantage of the summer holiday season, Garuda Indonesia is running a special return promotional fare valid for travel until April 26, 2017. Mumbai to Jakarta and Denpasar (Bali) all-inclusive Economy class return fares starts from Rs. 22,000 and Business class from Rs. 58,000. (T&C apply) The fares are available for purchase from the Garuda Indonesia, Mumbai sales office and the appointed travel agents. Garuda Indonesia’s Jakarta-bound service operates on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is operated by Garuda’s state-of-the-art 162-seater, Boeing 737-800 aircraft.  

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IndiGo expands its network to Mangalore


IndiGo has announced Mangalore as its new destination. Effective May 1, 2017, IndiGo will operate daily non-stop flights from Mangalore to Bengaluru and Mumbai at fares starting at Rs 1,499. Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo, said, “Mangalore, an important seaport and a major commercial centre in Karnataka with the state’s second busiest airport, is fast gaining prominence as a business hub and a tourist gateway.”

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Ethiopian Airlines, South African revamp codeshare to expand footprint

ethopian airlines

Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways, both members of Star Alliance, entered into an expanded codeshare agreement, inked on October 01, 2016, and projected to be effective from the summer season of 2017. The revamped codeshare agreement is anticipated to further enhance the cooperation among the two carriers and avail a range of additional destinations for customers to travel to. Girma Shiferaw, A/Vice President Strategic Planning and Alliances, Ethiopian, remarked, “The revamping with our partner, South African Airways, emanates from our common ambition and joint effort to expand our footprint to different destinations and better serve our esteemed customers globally. The expanded codeshare agreement between the two carriers enables our customers enjoy the best possible connectivity options to multiple destinations and also plays a significant role in enabling greater people-to-people, investment, trade and tourism ties within Africa as well as with the rest of the World.” Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways signed the first codeshare agreement on  September 17, 2003 and extended codeshare agreement on October 01, 2016 on destinations such as Cape Town, Durban and Toronto. More codeshare destinations will be added in the near future.

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Qatar Airways to launch new airline in India

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways may order 100 new jetliners before the end of this year to power its push into India, informed Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker. The Persian Gulf carrier is confident that a new aviation policy mapped out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will permit 100% foreign ownership of a domestic airline, Al Baker said in London. Qatar Airways is briefing lawyers in India and will seek formally to establish the new airline soon, with a tender for aircraft to follow. “It could be this year,” the CEO told journalists after addressing the Qatar-U.K. Business and Investment Forum. Source: Bloomberg

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SpiceJet launches daily flights between Kolkata-Dhaka


SpiceJet has launched its latest international route from Kolkata to Dhaka which would fly daily. Kamal Hingorani, Senior Vice President & Head-Inflight Services and Customer Experience, SpiceJet, revealed that they have started their seventh international route to Dhaka. He also said, “There is another international route — Delhi-Bangkok, which is going to start on April 14 and will be a non-stop daily flight. There is a lot more on the cards for us.”

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RwandAir flies MICE group on its first Mumbai-Kigali direct

L-R: Clarence Fernandes,Chairman,
Rwanda Renaissance with Ivan Mugisha, Country Manager (India), RwandAir and Sam Munyaburanga, Station Manager, RwandAir

Rwanda Renaissance has announced plans to take a MICE Group on RwandAir’s first ever direct and nonstop flight from Mumbai. The flight will depart Mumbai on April 5, 2017, at 0145 hours, getting into Kigali the same morning at 0515 hours. The group, under the banner ‘Rwanda Calling 2017’ will see over 30 persons travel to Kigali. While the majority will be attending a Religious Meeting at KIBEHO, there will also be investors and businesses looking at opportunities in the country. Ivan Mugisha, Country Manager, RwandAir, remarks, “We are indeed, delighted to fly this group to Kigali, on our first-ever direct and nonstop flight from Mumbai. RwandAir is committed to provide passengers from India a unique experience, while they fly the dream of Africa, not only to Kigali, but to the very many destinations on the African continent, within our vast and expanding network.” Clarence Fernandes, Chairman, Rwanda Renaissance, affirmed the fact that RwandAir will not only offer a superior product, but will also avoid the hassles of having to transit and change flights at other airports to reach Kigali, whether one is travelling on business or on leisure. “We welcome Rwanda’s national carrier and are confident passengers not only to Kigali but even beyond, will enjoy the airline’s world class service,” he adds.

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British Airways launch unique challenge for SMEs for ‘On Business’ loyalty programme


To encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) take advantage of its On Business loyalty programme to maximise their travel budget and expenses, the British Airways have announced a #BusinessTakesOff challenge. Launched on March 8 2017, eligible participants can submit their entries till April 5, 2017. SMEs are required to sign up to the On Business loyalty programme and answer one question: “International business travel can be a good business investment when …”. Five best responses will be selected by Samir Modi, Managing Director Modi Enterprises and the winners will each win one Club World business class return ticket to London. The prize tickets are valid for travel between May 1 and December 31, 2017. Robert Williams, British Airways’ head of sales – Asia Pacific and the Middle East said, “The five winners of #BusinessTakesOff challenge will be travelling on our state-of-the-art Club World business class to London.” On Business members are eligible to get Business Points irrespective of the country where they buy their tickets and can spend points on rewards that will benefit colleagues and business such as flights, upgrades and hotel accommodation. The On Business account can be managed 24 hours a day online and can be used to check points balance, past transactions, and make, change or cancel a reward booking.

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