Category Archives: Aviation

Air India’s latest offering: A mobile app


Air India has launched a new app for its 18-million travellers. Built on SITA’s iTravel platform, the Air India app offers the ability to book and pay for a flight by quickly and securely scanning both passport and credit card. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and MD, Air India, said, “The new app, developed by SITA, provides an elevated mobile experience where passengers can easily manage every step of their journey on their phone or tablet no matter where they are.” Maneesh Jaikrishna, SITA’s Vice President for India and Subcontinent, said, “What makes SITA’s iTravel app really valuable to airlines is that it allows them to have an app that meets their specific requirements.”

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India to be world’s 3rd largest aviation market by 2026


India will be the third largest aviation market by 2026, as per the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast. The report expects 7.2 billion passengers to travel in 2035, nearly double of the 3.8 billion air travellers in 2016. “Demand for air travel over the next two decades is set to double. Enabling people and nations to trade, explore, and share the benefits of innovation and economic prosperity makes our world a better place,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

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Civil aviation to create 60 lakh jobs in 10 years: Jayant Sinha


Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, said that the civil aviation sector has the potential to create about 10 lakh direct jobs in the next 10 years. He further said that with a six-fold multiplier effect that jobs in this sector have, this can lead to the creation of about 60 lakh jobs – direct and indirect – in the next 10 years. This would go a long way in improving the economic condition of a large number of young people. The Minister also said that the sector can reasonably be expected to grow at an average rate of about 10-12 per cent over the next ten years.

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Amritsar-Toronto on Air India in 2017


Air India shall begin its Amritsar-Toronto operations in 2017 via Birmingham, informed Pankaj Srivastava, Director-Commercial, Air India. Air India will also connect Delhi with Washington D.C. next year. Srivastava said, “Delhi-Madrid will begin operations from December 1 this year. Under the regional connectivity scheme, we are already planning operations to connect the Tier III and Tier II cities on Air India.”

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THAI Smile’s new flights to Gaya, Varanasi, Jaipur and Lucknow


THAI Smile Airways has launched new flights to Gaya, Varanasi, Jaipur and Lucknow. The flights will start operation from Bangkok to Gaya and Varanasi from October 1, Bangkok to Jaipur from November 15, and Bangkok to Lucknow from December 1, 2016. The airline has chosen Bird Group as its General Sales Agent (GSA) for the Indian market with immediate effect. Isra Stapanaseth, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) at New Delhi Office said, “THAI Smile makes it more convenient and effective in terms of tourism; segments like weddings, corporates, family, luxury travellers and commercial trades will be benefited. With this direct connectivity, we are very positive that it will boost the tourism from these cities to Thailand in the near future.”

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India’s domestic airline market grows at 23.2% in Aug: IATA


India’s domestic airline market posted annual growth of 23.2 per cent in August, reported the IATA. This comes with sizeable increase in real consumer spending and partly because airlines are adding airport-pairs and flight frequencies, which cuts journey times for passengers and has the same stimulatory effect on demand as a large cut in fares. Domestic air travel, on the whole, grew by 4.3 per cent year-on-year in August, with the three-speed market still evident. International traffic flown by Asia Pacific airlines rose by a solid 5.6 per cent year-on-year in August. Asian leisure travellers are also substituting to destinations closer to home: international traffic growth within Asia accelerated to a six month-high of 9.9 per cent year-on-year in July.

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


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


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


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


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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