Category Archives: Aviation

Etihad Aviation Group, TUI in talks to create new airline group

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Etihad Aviation Group and TUI AG have confirmed they are in discussions to create a strong European leisure airline group, focused on point-to-point flying to connect key tourist markets. It is proposed to contribute the touristic operations of the airberlin group and the German TUIfly company, including the aircraft currently operated by TUIfly for airberlin under a wet-lease agreement, into a new airline group established by TUI AG and Etihad Aviation Group. This new airline group would serve a broad network of destinations from Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The leisure airline group will be supported by the expertise of Etihad Aviation Group, and utilise TUI’s state-of-the-art distribution capacity.

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MoCA, Puducherry and AAI join hands for regional connectivity

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The Ministry of Civil Aviation, Puducherry Government and Airports Authority of India have signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the Regional Connectivity Scheme thereby initiating the collaborative partnership. The MoU was signed at New Delhi in the presence of Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation for State; V. Narayanasamy, Chief Minister of Puducherry, and Malladi Krishna Rao, Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation of Puducherry. Under the MoU, the State Government of Puducherry has formally agreed to provide the concessions required from the State Governments in the Regional Connectivity Scheme. Sinha said that he hoped the subsidies would attract airlines which also needed to find the appropriate aircraft and pilots to service the regional sector.

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Electronic chips in Indian passports by 2017

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The centre has plans to issue chip embedded e-passports that can be incorporated with passports to verify information electronically, by next year. Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh has said that fully digital passports that could be even carried in mobile phones would be introduced in the second phase. He said that facilities for e-passports are being installed and it is expected that all fresh passports to be issued from next year would have the chips incorporated in it. The minister also said that once the delay in police verification process is sorted out through electronic passing of information, the time required for issuing passports could be minimised.

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Vistara launches Platinum membership for frequent flyers

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Club Vistara (CV), the airline’s frequent flyer programme has been revamped, enabling offerings of faster earning points, redemption and elite tier upgrades. The programme also introduced a Platinum membership as its highest tier, in addition to the existing CV Gold and CV Silver membership tiers, and has launched a two-track scheme for elite tier qualification based on points accrued or flights flown. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara said, “In response to the evolving needs of our frequent flyers, we have enhanced our program and introduced new features that are relevant and important to them.” Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Vistara, said, “Not only is it now the fastest rewarding loyalty program, it is also the most generous. Elite level benefits can be enjoyed by customers regardless of class of travel or fare paid.”

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Emirates unveils business rewards for corporate travellers

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Emirates has revamped its corporate loyalty programme to provide more value added incentives for business travellers. Emirates Business Rewards, the new programme has been simplified and made more competitive to allow for easier redemptions and upgrades even on last minute bookings. One of the biggest features in the newly improved programme is the ability to use Business Rewards Points to book any commercially available seat at any time giving members cash-like convenience. Emirates offers flexibility as part of its corporate loyalty programme – improving cost-effectiveness for business travel.

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Shangri-La, Singapore Airlines launch Infinite Journeys

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Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts and Singapore Airlines have come together to provide members of Golden Circle and KrisFlyer enhanced benefits. Named ‘Infinite Journeys’, the travel brands will now offer travellers around the world greater recognition and rewards. The partnership offers double rewards for Golden Circle and KrisFlyer members can avail accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold which gives complimentary access to Singapore Airlines’ airport lounges worldwide. PPS Club and KrisFlyer Elite Gold members can enjoy an accelerated upgrade to Golden Circle Jade membership. With Jade status, members can benefit from complimentary room upgrades to a choice of welcome amenities and more.

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Jet appoints Jayaraj Shanmugam as new CCO

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Jet Airways has announced the appointment of Jayaraj Shanmugam as its new Chief Commercial Officer. Since joining Jet Airways’ in mid-2015 as Sr. Vice President of Products & Services, Shanmugam has been instrumental in sharpening the organisation’s focus towards delivering superior guest engagement experience together with a host of outstanding, innovative initiatives. He will now be responsible for leading Jet Airways’ commercial teams to maximise revenue streams and use its market reach, people capabilities and brand appeal to accelerate the airline’s reputation for service excellence and efficiency. Specifically, his responsibilities will cover areas of product enhancement, guest services, passenger and cargo sales, marketing as well as corporate communications. He will also oversee other critical functions such as airport and in-flight services, catering, revenue management, cabin crew and e-commerce.

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IndiGo joins hand with Travelport

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IndiGo has entered into a strategic partnership with Travelport. Through this tie up with Travelport, IndiGo will place its fares, ancillary products and offers into the Travel Commerce Platform.  Aditya Ghosh, President & Whole Time Director, IndiGo said: “This arrangement with Travelport will allow us to reach new customers, both at home and overseas, in a cost effective manner without incurring the traditional costs associated with participating in global distribution platforms using old style industry mechanisms and instead, enabling our real time connectivity to the GDS platform via an XML API link.”

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Thailand doubles VoA fee to 2,000 baht

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Starting from September 27, 2016, Thailand, by the order of Ministry of Interior, will increase its VoA fee from 1,000 to 2,000 THB. Tourists from 19 countries including India, Andorra, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan are entitled to apply for VoA at 42 designated immigration checkpoints, which will allow tourists to stay in the country for up to 15 days.

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Jet Airways launches in-flight entertainment (IFE)

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Jet Airways’ in-flight entertainment service JetScreen, will now be available on domestic flights. Over 220 hours of video and audio content can be enjoyed by Jet Airways’ guests directly on their mobile phones, tablets and laptops. Gaurang Shetty, Whole-time Director, Jet Airways, said: “Streaming of content on personal devices has become extremely popular globally, and we are confident that this initiative, will appeal to all our guests especially the millennials who prefer to access content on the move.”

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