Category Archives: Aviation

Foreign arrivals on Etv witness 71 per cent rise in September YOY


According to a latest data by the Ministry of Tourism, FTAs on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 was a total of 1.18 lakh tourist as compared to 0.69 lakh during September 2016, registering a growth of 71 per cent. During January-September, 2017, a total of 10.67 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 6.75 lakh during January-September, 2016, registering a growth of 58 per cent. The percentage shares of top 15 ports in tourist arrivals on e-Tourist Visa during September 2017 were New Delhi Airport (53.4 per cent), Mumbai Airport (18.5 per cent), Chennai Airport (6.7 per cent),  Bengaluru Airport (6.3 per cent), Kochi Airport (4.2 per cent), Hyderabad Airport (2.8 per cent), Kolkata Airport (2.2 per cent), Amritsar Airport (1.1 per cent), Trivandrum Airport (1 per cent), Ahmedabad Airport (0.9 per cent), Tirchy Airport (0.8 per cent),  Dabolim (Goa) Airport (0.6 per cent), Calicut Airport (0.5 per cent), Jaipur Airport (0.4 per cent) and Pune Airport (0.2 per cent).

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Qatar Airways offers special fares to 20 ‘Easy Visa’ destinations


To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Qatar Airways is offering Indian nationals special fares to 20 ‘Easy Visa’ destinations on both Economy and Business Class. The visa-friendly destinations offer Indian nationals a seamless and convenient process of securing their visas, either by applying online (e-visa), upon arrival or, in certain cases a visa-free arrival. Valid from 4th October to 25th December 2017, Qatar Airways’ ‘Easy Visa’ promotion will offer discounts of up to 40 per cent on Economy Class and 30 per cent on Business Class, as well as special companion fares on select destinations, offering flexibility for two passengers travelling together in business class to receive further discounts. Qatar Airways Senior Manager for Indian Subcontinent, Naveen Chawla, said, “The offer compliments our expansion strategy at Qatar Airways, which aims to provide travellers with a varied choice of destinations and to deliver an award-winning service on-board one of the youngest aircraft fleets with state-of-the-art-features.” This promotion follows a recent announcement last month by Qatar’s Ministry of Interior (MoI), Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways, allowing visa-free entry into Qatar for citizens of 80 countries, including India. Indian nationals wishing to visit Qatar will not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa-waiver upon arrival. The waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holders to spend up to 30 days in Qatar during either a single trip, or on multiple trips. This waiver may be extended for a further 30 days. The 20 promoted destinations include Amman, Baku, Beirut, Belgrade, Bucharest, Doha, Kyiv, Maldives, Maputo, Nairobi, Prague, Sarajevo, Seychelles, Sofia, Skopje, Tblisi, Warsaw, Yerevan, Zagreb and Zanzibar. Passengers can now choose to …

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Emirates expands network to 29 flydubai destinations


Following the commencement of their partnership, Emirates and flydubai have announced that Emirates will expand its network to 29 flydubai destinations across three continents. Passengers can book from October 3 on, through the Emirates Contact Centres or the travel agents network with travel commencing from October 29, 2017. HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive, Emirates Group and Chairman of flydubai, says, “This is an exciting first step in unlocking the benefits of the partnership for passengers who will have the opportunity to enjoy the unique advantages each airline offers as well as greater choice and flexibility when connecting via Dubai. This is just the start and as we expand the partner network in the coming months, we will open up more opportunities for our passengers to explore the world.” When booked together as part of the codeshare, Emirates passengers will receive complimentary meals and the Emirates checked baggage allowance on flights operated by flydubai in both Business and Economy classes. Connecting in Dubai’s aviation hub offers a smooth transfer experience and under the new partnership, passengers will benefit from a reduced Minimum Connection Time (MCT) between Emirates’ home in Terminal 3 and flydubai’s in Terminal 2 of 120 minutes. This announcement is an initial phase of the extensive agreement that will, in future phases, see the creation of additional city pair connections as the codeshare agreement is expanded and both airlines’ networks are optimised.

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Vistara’s new launch, Vistara Direct, to provide more benefits to travellers


Vistara has launched ‘Vistara Direct’, a programme under which the airline offers an array of benefits to travellers who book tickets directly on Vistara’s website or on Vistara’s mobile application (available on Apple iOS and Android), for bookings effective September 28, 2017, onward. Benefits for those booking direct include one free change or cancellation within 24 hours of booking (as long as travel is at least 7 days in the future), complimentary fast-track priority handling at the airport at dedicated counters (for check-in, baggage, and boarding), double Club Vistara (CV) points for CV members, and an additional 5kg check-in luggage allowance. Vistara Direct also provides several additional benefits such as lower fees and faster refunds, timely and assured email and SMS flight status alerts, and attractive periodic upgrade offers. In addition, for a limited time, MobiKwik users will get 10 per cent cashback up to a maximum of ₹600 in the form of SuperCash on all bookings made on Vistara’s website.

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Thai Airways adds Vienna to its network from November

Thai A340-600 HS-TND (05)(Apr) SYD (JRA)(46)-M

Thai Airways shall branch out its European network  to Vienna in order to cater to the increasing demand from India to destinations beyond Thailand. The airline will start operations from November 16, 2017. The flight is already online for sales and aims to optimise connectivity at Bangkok for passengers from Southeast Asia and Australia, revealed Bryan Ernest Banston, Vice President-Sales, Thai Airways International. He said, “With regards to the India market, it remains an important market for us. The Thai Smile programme that we have, covers Tier-II cities like Jaipur. We also see a lot of traffic from India going beyond Thailand to Australia and New Zealand. We especially see growing traffic going to China from India’s secondary cities.

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Cleartrip & SpiceJet join hands with Google Flights


Cleartrip and SpiceJet have announced a partnership with Google Flights to make it simpler for consumers to view flight schedules and fares right within the Google Flight search page. This integration will help reduce the time for consumers to access information and book tickets. Speaking on the partnership, Balu Ramachandran, Head of Air and Distribution, Cleartrip said,  “We are excited about this partnership to bring Cleartrip in front of contextual travel customers, furthering our objectives of reach and efficiency.” Speaking on the partnership, Ajay Singh, CMD, SpiceJet said, “Google Flights is an innovative offering that makes travel planning fun and intuitive. This partnership enables us to provide more options to India’s rapidly growing air travellers.” Once users are on Google Flights, they can easily conduct search for different flight routings, using an interactive map to explore possible destinations and view live ticket prices. After selecting the flights they want, users can click the “Book” button to proceed to the Cleartrip or SpiceJet websites to purchase their tickets without having to fill in their flight choices again. Vikas Agnihotri, Industry Director, Google India said, “India’s online travel sector is incredibly vibrant and has seen extensive growth and innovation. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the Indian travel market is projected to grow to $48 billion by 2020 with the biggest contributor, air travel expected to grow at 15% to $30 billion. For Google, a new entrant in the highly competitive online travel sector in India, this partnership with Cleartrip and SpiceJet is important as it helps expand our offering, and provides consumers with another way to conveniently plan and book their travel.”  

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AAI to upgrade airports in UP & Jharkhand


The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is set to upgrade existing airports in Lucknow and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, as well as Deoghar in Jharkhand. The AAI will also develop a new greenfield airport at Hirasar in the Rajkot district of Gujarat. As part of the airport redevelopment projects, AAI intends to build a new integrated passenger terminal building at Lucknow’s Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport at an estimated cost of Rs 12.3bn ($191.46m). Once operational, the new terminal will be able to handle a total of 6.35 million passengers each year and 4,000 travellers during its peak period. In Allahabad, the authority proposes to build a new civil enclave, valued at approximately Rs 1.26bn ($19.57m), to meet rising air travel demand in the city. The new terminal is slated to be operational before January 2019.

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FTA witness 11% rise in August YOY


Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) this August were 7.24 lakh as compared to FTAs of 6.52 lakh in August 2016, and 5.99 lakh in August 2015, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Tourism. The growth rate in FTAs in August 2017 over August 2016 is 11 per cent compared to 8.8 per cent in August 2016 over August 2015. FTAs during the period January-August, 2017, were 63.98 lakh with a growth of 15.2 per cent over the same period of previous year, as compared to the FTAs of 55.54 lakh with a growth of 9.5 per cent in January-August, 2016, over January-August, 2015. On the other hand, FTAs on the e-Tourist Visa, during the month of August 2017 was a total of 1.13 lakh as compared to 0.66 lakh during the month of August 2016 registering a growth of 71.3 per cent. During January-August, 2017, a total of 9.49 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 6.06 lakh during January-August, 2016, registering a growth of 56.5 per cent.

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Nearly 17% increase in domestic air traffic from Jan-Aug YOY: DGCA


The number of passengers carried by domestic airlines during January and August, 2017, were 754.11 lakhs as against 644.68 lakhs during the corresponding period of the previous year, thereby registering a growth of 16.97 per cent, according to the latest data released by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). In terms of Passenger Load Factor, SpiceJet was ahead of its peers with 94.5 per cent PLF in the month of August. IndiGo ruled in terms of On Time Performance (OTP), recording a percentage of 86.6 per cent in OTP.

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Upgraded Belagavi Airport inaugurated in Karnataka


New and upgraded Belagavi Airport has been inaugurated by P. Ashok GajapathiRaju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation and Siddaramaiah, Chief Minister, Karnataka. Belagavi is the second capital of Govt. of Karnataka and is 502 km from Bengaluru and 200 km from Goa Airport. The city is one of the 20 cities selected in the first phase, for development as a smart city under the Government of India’s Smart Cities Mission. The New Terminal, a centrally air-conditioned building, with an area of 3,600 sqm has a capacity to handle 300 peak hour passengers at a time. It has all essential passenger friendly amenities and conveniences and is provided with CUTE-enabled Check-in Counters, Baggage Conveyors, Elevator, Public Address System, Fire Fighting & Fire Alarm System, Flight Information Display System (FIDS), CCTV, Baggage scanners and Car parking etc. Raju, Union Minister of Civil Aviation said, “Belagavi is an important City in the state of Karnataka. With the Upgraded Airport, the City is all set to cater to more air passengers from the region. Since Belagavi is amongst the first 20 cities being transformed into Smart Cities, this was a much needed development.”  

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