Category Archives: Aviation

British Airways to launch London-Durban direct on October 29, 2018

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British Airways has announced the introduction of the new direct route between London and Durban to a global audience attending Africa’s Travel Indaba in Durban. This long awaited decision was announced by Sihle Zikalala, MEC–Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, KwaZulu Natal, to delegates at the event. The new route adds to the airline’s existing twice-daily flights between Johannesburg and London, and daily flights between Cape Town and London. “This new route adds to our growing number of international flights‚ connecting us to key destinations such as the Gulf region‚ the Middle East‚ the Indian subcontinent‚ Australia as well as Beijing‚ Shanghai‚ Tokyo and Seoul through the hub in Abu Dhabi. The trade opportunities presented by this direct flight between Durban and London is set to add huge value to our economy‚” Zikalala said. The route is a huge leap forward for the tourism sector, propelling foreign direct investment, improving business potential and ensuring the economic empowerment of South Africans.

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Turkish Airlines offers free layover for transit passengers in Istanbul

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Turkish Airlines has now offered a free layover service to all international transit Turkish Airlines passengers who fly through Istanbul with a six to 24 hour layover.  The national flag-carrier offers the complementary touristanbul service including transfers, access to historical sights of interest as well as a sampling of Turkey’s famed cuisine.  Passengers can catch a glimpse of the varied history and cultural fusion which has made Istanbul such a vibrant and charming city. To enjoy the benefits of touristanbul, passengers must have an international transit flight through Istanbul with Turkish Airlines and layover of 6-24 hours. Tours depart daily from the Hotel Desk at Istanbul Atatürk Airport, with a daily schedule taking place 8:30 to 11:00, from 09:00 to 15:00, from 09:00 to 18:00, from 12:00 to 18:00 and from 16:00 to 21:00. The tour programme includes a combination of some Istanbul’s highlights such as Topkapı Palace, Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace and many more.

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Jazeera Airways adds Mumbai to its growing India network

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Jazeera Airways, Kuwait’s leading low-cost airline, operating regionally and internationally, has announced its latest and largest addition to the growing network of Indian routes. Forging ahead with the fourth destination in India after Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kochi recently, Jazeera Airways will now fly to Mumbai starting May 9. Responding to the travel demands of its customers, the award winning carrier will now provide strong connectivity through Kuwait on to fourteen destinations across the Middle East. Rohit Ramachandran, CEO of Jazeera Airways, said, “We are delighted to start our flights to the largest city in India. Our network in India is developing well and is continuing to support the travel needs of over 920,000 Indians from Kuwait, as well as offering Indian citizens connectivity across the Middle East. Also with our increasing passenger numbers Jazeera Airways is proud that it will open its own dedicated terminal at Kuwait International Airport in May. This is an exciting phase for the brand as it reiterates the long term commitment of honouring Jazeera’s support for the Vision 2035.” Known as the entertainment and commercial capital of India, Mumbai is one of the world’s top ten hubs for global businesses and home to some of the biggest conglomerates such as Tata Group, Maruti Suzuki, Infosys Tech, Mahindra Group, Godrej, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to name a few. A diverse cosmopolitan Indian city, it houses famous shopping bazaars, the popular Bollywood industry, museums and art galleries such as the Prince of Wales Museum, the National Gallery of Modern Art, Nehru Centre Art Gallery and the Jehangir Art Gallery. Jazeera Airways will operate daily flights to and from …

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Three major airport infra projects for Lucknow, Chennai, Guwahati: MoCA

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the investments for expansion and upgradation of integrated terminals at Chennai, Guwahati and Lucknow airports by Airport Authority of India. Airports Authority of India has been assigned for the project with a total estimate of about Rs 5,000 crores to modernise, upgrade services, build new terminal buildings or upgrade the new terminals in Chennai, Lucknow and Guwahati. Jayant Sinha, Minister of Civil Aviation, made the announcement regarding the approval of the investment by Cabinet and assured that work for it would begin at the earliest.

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India projected to be second-fastest growing nation for passenger traffic: ACI

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India has been projected to be the second fastest growing country in the world for passenger traffic by the Airports Council International (ACI) in its traffic forecasts between 2017-40. The ACI, a global trade body representing airports across the globe, has put Vietnam at the top position with an 8.5 per cent growth rate, followed by India at 7.5 per cent and Iran at 7.3 per cent. China has been placed at eighth position with 5.9 per cent growth rate. In its forecasts, the ACI said by 2022, passenger traffic in emerging economies like India would surpass advanced economies. Earlier, in its report, ACI had placed the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi among the top 20 busiest airports in the world, putting it at the 16th position. Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai were also ranked among the fastest-growing airports in the world. The Asia-Pacific region will continue to show a healthy growth rate and between 2017-40, the passenger traffic growth rate will be 38.8 per cent, the fastest in the world. The growth in Europe would be 26 per cent and 8.4 per cent in North America, indicating that Asia-Pacific region would shape the future of the global aviation industry. In the same report, New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport has jumped six notches of the top 20 busiest airports in the world for 2017 in terms of traffic volumes. The GMR-group-run New Delhi airport jumped from 22nd rank in 2016 to 16th rank, solidifying its status as one of the fastest growing airports in the world for passenger traffic, as per ACI. The ranking is based on the preliminary passenger traffic results for the most-travelled airports in …

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Under UDAN, Jewar airport to bring UP cities closer to NCR: PwC

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The proposed international airport at Jewar in Greater Noida will not only bring places in Uttar Pradesh such as Kanpur and Allahabad closer to NCR under the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, it will also benefit locations in neighbouring states, a techno-economic feasibility report for the airport has stated. The Uttar Pradesh government is of the view that once the airport begins functioning from 2022-23, people travelling by air in the state will increase significantly. Air traffic in Uttar Pradesh is currently growing at a rate of 28.8 per cent. The PwC report stated that when the airport starts functioning, Shimla, Ludhinana, Pathankot, Gwalior and Adampur would be benefitted by it. These places, including Bhatinda would be benefitted by both the Jewar airport and the IGI airport in New Delhi under the Centres UDAN scheme. The capacity deployment to Kanpur and Adampur at present remains the highest. It said 88 per cent of Jewar airport traffic would be domestic and the rest international, adding that adjoining districts of Uttar Pradesh such as Agra and Gautam Budh Nagar would be the main contributors to the fliers volume to the airport. The report said the demand for air travel from the Dellhi-NCR region will increase manifold in the coming years and it will be determined by factors such as “natural growth in air travel demand due to economic progress and model shift from railways to air”. The ambitious regional connectivity scheme, also known as Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagarik (UDAN), where fares are capped at Rs 2,500 for one-hour flights, seeks to connect unserved and under-served airports. Under the scheme, Uttar Pradesh will get 11 new additional airports in the next 15 months, …

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Plaza Premium Lounge debuts in Rome

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Plaza Premium Lounge along with Aeroporti di Roma have announced the official opening of its operation in Rome. Strategically located in Terminal 3 (Area E), at the Extra Schengen Departures on the Upper Level of Rome Fiumicino-Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, the contemporary lounge spanning over 1,000 square metres, is a premium facility at the new airport terminal that offers travellers a tranquil oasis to relax ahead of their flight. Plaza Premium Lounge Rome marks a new addition to its over 160 outlets around the world and is its sixth (6th) location within Europe. Offering 300 comfortable seats including the signature honeycomb seating to provide extra privacy, this lounge is open 24 hours daily and also houses six shower rooms – the first of its kind in Fiumicino Airport – with amenities for guests to refresh before their onward journey. Other facilities and services include complimentary Wi-Fi, a series of entertainment including an extensive variety of digital reading material and TV channels plus ample recharging stations for all electronic devices. Providing guests with an array of delectable food and beverage options is one of the hallmarks of Plaza Premium Lounge. Introducing live cooking stations, guests can enjoy an interactive airport dining experience where chefs prepare their orders upon request together with a sumptuous buffet of mouth-watering selections. The Bar complements the dining experience with a selection of juices, soft drinks and specialty coffees and teas. Travellers have the option of pre-booking on the website (www.plazanetwork.com) for two and five hours lounge use packages. Prices start at EUR 40 for two hours’ lounge access including shower. Song Hoi-see, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Plaza Premium Group said, “Plaza Premium Group …

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Vistara becomes member of IATA

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Vistara has become the third Indian carrier to be a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of more than 280 airlines, which will help it provide a seamless travel experience through an extended global network to travellers to and from India. Vistara, the full-service carrier promoted by Tata Sons Limited and Singapore Airlines Limited (SIA), recently became eligible to start international operations. Air India and Jet Airways are the two other airlines in India that are IATA members. The IATA membership will enable Vistara to collaborate with other international member airlines for codeshare and interline agreements, and provide a seamless travel experience through an extended global network to travellers to and from India, the airline said in a statement. IATA represents airlines from over 120 countries. It advocates for the interests of airlines across the globe, establishes standards to simplify process and increase passenger convenience, and helps airlines to operate safely, efficiently and economically. “This membership couldnt have come at a better time as we gear up to launch our international operations soon. Vistara has set new benchmarks for air travel in India, and with IATA’s membership e are confident to showcase Vistara’s strengths on a global scale,” Vistaras Chief Executive Officer Leslie Thng, said. Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific, IATA, Conrad Clifford said they were looking forward to working with Vistara in shaping IATA’s priorities for India and the global aviation industry. Vistara had on April 4 received its 20th aircraft, an Airbus A320neo, thus fulfilling a key criteria to fly on international routes as per the new aviation rules. In September 2017, Vistara had successfully completed the IATA Operational Safety Audit or …

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Jet & Aeromexico connect India and Mexico

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Jet Airways and Aeromexico will enable codeshare sales effective today for travel commencing May 1, 2018 between Delhi and Mumbai in India and Mexico City via the Heathrow Airport in London. This agreement will provide guests connectivity options and access to the networks of both airlines, thus strengthening connectivity between the carriers’ home countries of India and Mexico. The two countries have seen a 15 per cent compounded annual growth rate over the last three years and this codeshare arrangement will further help strengthen ties in the areas of trade and tourism between both regions. Jet Airways will put its ‘9W’ code on flights operated by AeroMexico from London to Mexico’s capital city. In turn, AeroMexico will put its ‘AM’ code on the direct flights offered by Jet Airways from London to cities in India. Commenting on this development, Gaurang Shetty, Whole Time Director, Jet Airways, said, “This is an important agreement for the Jet Airways, as it enables us to offer our guests more connectivity options to Mexico which is gaining more and more traction with the discerning Indian traveler looking for new experiences. We are confident that this relationship will help facilitate demand for not only leisure but also in the fast growing trade and business cooperation areas between both nations.” Anko van der Werff, Chief Revenue Officer, AeroMexico said, “The celebration of this codeshare agreement is further proof that AeroMexico continues to work to connect its customers to the most important regions of the world, which is why it was fundamental to sign this agreement for travel to India, a country featuring continued growth of its economic activities and diverse tourism industry.” As part of this agreement, …

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flydubai becomes first UAE-based airline to operate flights to Finland

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Dubai-based carrier flydubai announced the launch of direct flights to Finland’s capital, Helsinki at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM). The daily service from Dubai International (DXB) to Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (HEL) will start from  October 11, 2018. flydubai becomes the first UAE national carrier  to operate direct flights to Finland and the first airline to offer a year-round service between Dubai and Helsinki. Hamad Obaidalla, Chief Commercial Officer of flydubai, said: “flydubai will be the first UAE national carrier to offer direct flights to the capital of Finland. We remain committed to opening up previously underserved markets and to providing more travel options to fly to Dubai and beyond.” Arabian Travel market is the largest travel exhibition in the Middle East. This year, flydubai is participating at ATM for eighth time, showcasing its new Business and Economy Class offering available onboard its Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. Jeyhun Efendi, Senior Vice President Commercial Operations at flydubai, added: “Helsinki is the 10th destination we announced this year as we open up destinations for passengers from across our network. We are confident that the high level of our service and the comfort of our new aircraft with a flat-bed in Business Class will make flights between Dubai and Helsinki a popular choice for passengers.” To offer passengers more comfort and an enhanced travel experience, the carrier will operate the new route on its brand-new Boeing 737 MAX 8. The new cabin offering features a flat-bed in Business Class and in addition to the extra space and privacy, passengers can sleep comfortably during their flight. Economy Class offers new RECARO seats, which are designed to optimise space and comfort so passengers can sit back, relax and …

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