Category Archives: Aviation

Ethiopian Airlines to increase capacity in India operation

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Ethiopian Airlines has announced that effective March 25 and until October 26, 2018, it will increase capacity in its India operation by deploying the ultra-modern B777 aircraft on its twice daily operation to/from Mumbai and 767-200 aircraft on its twice daily operation to/from New Delhi. Both the B777 and 767-200 aircrafts will have flat beds in business class. Regional Director India Sub Continent, Ethiopian Airlines, Tadesse Tilahun, remarked, “As part of our strategy to expand in India, we have been increasing frequency and upgrading aircraft in the past few years to accommodate the growing demand to Africa. As a customer focused airline, we have the passenger’s comfort level in mind at all times with a view to continuously enhance our customers‘ travel experience and meet their growing expectations.” With the availability of additional seats on this leg, Ethiopian airlines have introduced heavily discounted fares to Nairobi, Uganda, Tel Aviv, Tanzania, Rwanda, Khartoum, Entebbe, USA, Europe and several other destinations. With the holiday season just around the corner, travellers can take advantage of these most competitive fares. Tilahun added “India is a very strategic market for Ethiopian Airlines and we are on the final stage of preparation to launch one more entry point to South India. With our 47 years of service to India, the Ethiopian Airlines has played significant role in bringing India and Africa together in general and India and Ethiopia, in particular.”

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Garuda Indonesia to connect Denpasar-Mumbai from April 23

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Garuda Indonesia, the national carrier of Indonesia, will now serve Denpasar – Mumbai direct flight starting April 23. This new route will offer a variety of connection flights to Indonesia for Indian tourists as the airline has served Jakarta – Mumbai route since 2016. Director of Cargo of Garuda Indonesia, Sigit Muhartono who also in charge for international routes said that the opening of Denpasar – Mumbai route is part of Garuda Indonesia’s international network development program particularly in the South Asia region as the number of Indians visiting Indonesia is projected to grow to 500,000 in four years compared with 262,000 in 2015, according to Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism. “This new service is also facilitating the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism’s program to increase the number of tourist visitor to Indonesia, especially India. To support the joint synergies of both countries, Indonesia and India, Garuda Indonesia continues to strive to maximise the base connectivity between the two countries that is expected to further strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and India through increasing economy and business activities, tourism and socio-culture – considering that Bali has similarities in cultural and religious background that make Indians feel comfortable during their visit to Bali. With the fact that India is the second populous country in the world and Mumbai is the most populous city in India, we believe that Mumbai is a new potential market for us,” Muhartono said. The Denpasar – Mumbai route will be served twice a week from 23 April (Monday and Thursday) and will be increased to three times a week on 2 June (Monday, Thursday and Saturday). The flight will be served by GA 814, leaving Denpasar at 15.40 …

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Etihad Airways and SWISS ink codeshare agreement

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Etihad Airways and Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) have launched a new codeshare partnership. Under the agreement, Etihad Airways will have its EY flight code on SWISS services between Geneva and Zurich. SWISS will market its LX code on Etihad Airways’ services between Zurich and Abu Dhabi, offering its passengers codeshare flights to and from the UAE’s capital city. The codeshare services are bookable now, for travel from March 26, 2018. Peter Baumgartner, Etihad Airways Chief Executive Officer, said: “This codeshare deepens Etihad Airways’ commitment to the Swiss travel market and Switzerland, a key destination for travellers from our UAE home, neighbouring Gulf countries, and across our Asia Pacific network. The partnership further strengthens the historic cultural, business and tourism ties that the UAE and Switzerland have enjoyed over many decades.” The new agreement is part of the codeshare cooperation which began in 2016 between the Lufthansa Group, of which Swiss is part, and Etihad Aviation Group.

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Vietjet to launch Saigon-New Delhi services

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Vietjet has unveiled plans to launch direct flights between Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and New Delhi. The airline is set to introduce four flights per week in the third quarter of 2018 to serve travel demands of the two countries and contribute to the region’s integration and trade exchange. The introduction of the new route will present Vietjet with an opportunity to not only tap into the growing tourism market but also facilitate trade integration and exchange between Vietnam and India.

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SriLankan Airlines reduces agents’ commission from 5% to 2%

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In line with major airlines reducing agents’ commission on airline ticket bookings, SriLankan Airlines too has followed suit. According to a statement released by the airline, from April 1, 2018, SriLankan Airlines will reduce its commission to 2 per cent from the earlier 5 per cent applicable to any/all tickets issued in India and move given to IATA agents. All tickets issued prior to April 1, 2018 will be eligible to avail 5 per cent commission. When asked about the details on the same, Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager—Northern India, SriLankan Airlines, said, “We are awaiting further clarification from the Head Office. The trade partners will be kept abreast about any further development in this announcement.”

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Jet to add capacity on Northeast route for summer

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Continuing its focus on growing its domestic presence, Jet Airways will introduce 144 weekly flights in the first phase of its forthcoming summer schedule. The new schedule will feature a combination of non-stop services – several of them on unique routes being introduced for the first time in the industry, as well as direct, one-stop services between new city pairs in the airline’s existing pan India network. As part of the new schedule, Jet Airways will strengthen connectivity between the country’s capital and the North Eastern region via a bouquet of non-stop services including thrice-a-week flights to Aizawl and Jorhat and four times-a-week flights to Silchar from New Delhi. The airline also commences four times-a-week non-stop service to Imphal from Delhi. Raj Sivakumar, Senior Vice President, Network Planning and Revenue Management, Jet Airways, said, “The burgeoning demand for air travel pan-India is increasingly witnessing guests travelling to more than one destination, reinforcing our network carrier model. Guests also prefer seamless connectivity with minimum stoppages, regardless of their city of origin. Our Summer schedule has therefore been designed to facilitate the above developments via a mix of new services – non-stop as well as direct flights, between emerging cities, key metros and our hubs in Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru, in an endeavour to promote faster, easier and more efficient movement of guests throughout our network, both pan India and worldwide. I am sure our latest schedule of flights will reinforce Jet Airways’ place as the airline of choice in Indian skies besides give a special impetus to connectivity, trade and development in each of the cities including the North East.” The airline is also commencing direct, one-stop services between Mumbai and …

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Lufthansa launches #SayYesToTheWorld campaign in India

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Lufthansa has unveiled #SayYesToTheWorld campaign in India that will allow travellers to discover exciting destinations virtually. “Lufthansa opens up the world to all explorers. With more and more Indians displaying a growing zest for exploring the world, the new campaign adds to our assurance of being ‘More Indian than you think’ and reaffirms our commitment to being a preferred partner to the Indian traveller,” said Wolfgang Will, Senior Director, South Asia, Lufthansa German Airlines. The new campaign is accompanied with an exciting new digital engagement hub at LH.com/sayyes. It invites people around the world to pin any place on the online world map and share what they would like to say “Yes!” to there. Participants stand a chance to win a ticket to explore a dream destination in Europe. #SayYesToTheWorld campaign is Lufthansa’s mission to inspire people to explore, to see the world, and open their minds to new experiences. It uses the power of questions spurring new-age travellers to challenge status quo, rethink conventional perspectives and find their own answers, saying yes to change.  

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Virgin Atlantic’s three new ways to fly

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Virgin Atlantic has announced the launch of three new ways to fly Economy as part of a multimillion-pound investment in the cabin for the 21st century traveller. Recognising that one size doesn’t fit all, from spring 2018 Virgin Atlantic will introduce ‘Economy Delight’, ‘Economy Classic’ and ‘Economy Light’ tickets. The three new ways to fly will allow passengers to choose the product that suits their budget and travel style. “We’re unveiling the biggest change to our Economy cabin in over a decade – launching three new ways to fly and a host of innovations on the ground and in the air as part of a wider £300 million investment. We know that one size doesn’t fit all, and soon our passengers can afford to be choosy and still travel in the UK’s leading economy cabin,” says Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive, Virgin Atlantic.

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Air India to launch Delhi-Tel Aviv direct from March 22

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Air India will begin its non-stop flight from New Delhi to Tel Aviv starting March 22. The carrier has confirmed flying thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday on Air India’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner that has 18 Business Class and 238 Economy seats. The aircraft will depart from New Delhi at 4.50 pm and arrive in Tel Aviv at 8.25 pm. On its return leg, the plane will depart from Tel Aviv at 10.15 pm and land in Delhi the next day at 9 am. This announcement has come at a time when Israel Ministry of Tourism has recorded a whopping growth of 50 per cent in January and 25 per cent in February, 2018, of Indian arrivals to Israel vis-à-vis the same period in 2017. In addition to Air India, Israel’s national carrier El Al currently has four weekly non-stop flights from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and will soon increase its frequency furthermore. Hassan Madah, Director, Israel Ministry of Tourism India & Philippines, says, “In light of the significant increase in incoming tourism from India over the past few years, the Ministry of Tourism has been in talks with Air India and other airlines to increase their flights and seat capacity into Israel. Direct flights now from both Mumbai and New Delhi by El Al and Air India, respectively, will help meet the growing demand and enable us to achieve our target of one lakh Indian arrivals in 2018.”

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Mumbai, Delhi airports adjudged world’s best in APAC region

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The international airports of Mumbai and New Delhi have been rated as the number one airports in the Asia Pacific region serving over 40 million passengers a year. This is announced by the Airports Council International (ACI) – a trade association of 1,953 member airports across 176 countries – for its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) ratings it conducts every year. Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) operated and managed by GVK MIAL shared the spot with Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) for the World’s Best Airport for customer experience. They were selected by millions of passengers in a survey carried out by ACI. The Hyderabad airport became the number one in the 5-15 million passengers per annum category for the year 2017. As part of the ACI’s worldwide programme, passengers were surveyed across international airports for their feedback on 34 key performance indicators including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants. This year an unprecedented 16 airports were first-time winners, which reflects the increasingly competitive airport industry operating environment, where continuous service improvement is a key ingredient in business performance. These include Indore and Ahmedabad apart from Athens, Zagreb and Bandung. ASQ is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel. The programme measures passengers’ views of 34 key performance indicators. The ASQ Awards Ceremony will be held during the inaugural ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit to be held in Nova Scotia, Canada from 10–13 September 2018.

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