Category Archives: Aviation

Drukair launches non-stop flight between Guwahati and Singapore

Singapore Changi Airport has announced the launch of its 16th city link to India with the introduction of a new non-stop service between Guwahati and Singapore, operated by Drukair Royal Bhutan Airlines. This new route marks the first direct connection between Northeast India and Singapore. The introduction of this new service is expected to reduce travel time for almost 10 hours, including transfers to 4 hours 30 minutes. Drukair commenced twice weekly flights from Guwahati to Singapore from September 29. The new link is expected to strengthen not only cultural and socio-political ties between the countries but also facilitate opportunities to enhance travel and trade practices. Lim Ching Kiat, Managing Director—Air Hub Development, Changi Airport Group said, “We are pleased to launch the first non-stop service between Northeast India and Singapore with our valued partner Drukair. India is the third largest tourism source market for Singapore and one of Changi Airport’s key growth markets. This new route further enhances connectivity between Singapore and India, bringing the city links to a total of 16. We look forward to welcoming more travellers from Guwahati, who can tap Changi’s extensive network to destinations in Asia such as Australia, China, Indonesia and Japan.” India is Changi’s sixth largest market, registering more than 4.5 million passenger movements in the past 12 months, growing at 14 per cent year-on-year. Last month, IndiGo launched daily services from Kolkata and Tiruchirapalli, operating the airline’s first services from the two cities to Singapore.

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More than 70% of Indian aircraft deliveries will be on lease

According to FICCI’s recent report titled ‘Opportunities and Financing  Outlook for Aviation Sector’, there will be a huge number of aircraft deliveries in India in the next few years. The report quoted a CAPA study, which estimated that out of 400 aircraft deliveries by FY22 to Indian carriers, 70-80 per cent of them will be either on direct lease or sale and leaseback transactions. To fulfil growing demand, the Government has envisaged huge capex of around US$ 15.5 billion towards development of Greenfield airports, expansion of Brownfield airports, fleet addition & maintenance by Indian Carriers and strengthening ancillary services like skill development, MRO, Cargo handling, amongst others in the value chain. This development plan by airports and airlines requires strong support from Banks, Lessors, Private Equity Firms and other Financial Institutions to cater their funding requirement.

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IndiGo to operate daily non-stop flight between Bengaluru and Hong Kong

IndiGo has announced a daily non-stop flight between Hong Kong and Bengaluru effective December 11, 2018. As part of its international expansion, the airline also operates daily non-stop flights between India and Colombo, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi, Kuala Lumpur, Male and Phuket. The new flights are designed to cater to business and leisure travellers from these cities, who are constantly on the lookout for new and affordable flying options. Customers who would like to plan their travel can book tickets through www.goindigo.in. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We are delighted to announce Hong Kong as the 15th destination in our international portfolio. One of the world’s biggest financial hubs, Hong Kong constitutes a strategic market for us. Hong Kong also caters to all kinds of travellers, be it family or a group of friends, and we see huge tourism potential in future from India.”

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Sabre strengthens its partnership with Jet Airways

Sabre Corporation has announced a renewed, full content distribution agreement with Jet Airways effective April 2019. Sabre’s extended agreement with Jet Airways provides Sabre-connected agents across India and the world a path to access the full content of Jet Airways into year 2024. With over 100 million passengers choosing Indian carriers for their travel since the beginning of the year and domestic air travel growing by 21.2 per cent over the same period, in less than 10 years the World Travel & Tourism Council expects India to become the world’s fourth-largest travel and tourism economy behind China, the United States and Germany. Rakesh Narayanan, Vice President, Air Line of Business, Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific, said, “As a long-term technology partner to Jet Airways, providing the airline with unmatched solutions that enable superior passenger services, Sabre is well positioned to support the carrier’s growth objectives. Today, we are pleased to provide Jet Airways with the ability to share their content through Sabre’s leading global travel marketplace, which will in turn contribute to their ongoing business success.”

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GHIAL launches south India’s first airport radio in Hyderabad

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) has launched South India’s first Airport Radio under its signature “#PassengerIsPrime” programme at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Mirchi Airport Radio is a 24×7 custom-produced, exclusive airport radio, creating a melodious theme to the travel experience for the passengers at the airport, as per a press release by GHIAL. SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “It is our continuous endeavor to enhance the passenger experience at the airport and the ‘Airport Radio’ concept is one of our many #PassengerIsPrime initiatives. We hope that the passengers would enjoy this welcoming and melodious feature that the airport offers during their journey.” The airport handles over 55,000 passengers on a daily basis. Typically a passenger stays at the airport from 15 minutes to three hours depending on his/her travel. Airport radio – Mirchi Hyd will offer the passengers a musical treat across the 1.2 lakh square metre expanse of the terminal building and delight them, the press release mentioned. Source: PTI

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Lufthansa’s India-Frankfurt flight now connects to Austin

Lufthansa will offer five weekly flights from Frankfurt Airport to Austin – Bergstrom International Airport commencing on May 3, 2019. The airline will operate the Airbus A330-300 in a three-class cabin configuration offering customers business class (42), premium economy (28) and economy class (185) seats. Flights will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Optimally timed, flights arriving from India will connect perfectly to  LH468 departing from Frankfurt at 10:05 am and arriving in Austin at 2:20 pm. On the return, LH469 leaves Austin at 4:05 pm and arrives in Frankfurt at 9:10 on the following day thus comfortably reaching all departures to India. Paurus Nekoo, General Manager – Sales, India, Lufthansa Group, said, “With more and more Indians displaying a growing zeal for exploring the world, the launch of the new Frankfurt-Austin flight brings the world closer to Indians within the country as well as the Indian diaspora in Texas and Europe.”

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Star Alliance conducts golf tournament for corporate clients

Star Alliance Invitational Golf tournament 2018 was organised for corporate clients at Delhi Golf Club recently. The event was a great opportunity for the 28 Star Alliance member airlines to network with the corporate community and educate them about benefits of Star Alliance. The game of golf was followed up by an awards function in various categories with a gala lunch. The pleasant weather, great food and great sitting at the Delhi Golf Club was a treat to the players. Also seen playing golf was Suman Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The championship prizes were given away by the Star Alliance members.

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Travelport and Jet Airways sign long-term supplier agreement

Travelport has signed a long-term supplier agreement with India’s Jet Airways that will be effective from April 2019 and enable online and offline travel agencies around the world to shop, book and manage itineraries for leisure and business travellers. Jet Airways will also deploy Travelport’s Rich content and Branding, from which over 270 airlines now benefit by displaying graphical content, their fares families and a full range of ancillary products. Damian Hickey, Head, Air-Travel Partners, Travelport, commented, “Travelport’s commitment to the Indian travel market and the provision of the widest range of content has been further evidenced today with the announcement of this new mutual commitment between Jet Airways and our company beginning April 2019. Furthermore, our position in the rest of Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas means that we are able to deliver to them a wide mix of international travellers. This is in addition to the millions of outbound and domestic Indian travellers they serve.”

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AirAsia India appoints Sunil Bhaskaran as CEO & MD

AirAsia India has appointed Sunil Bhaskaran as its Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director with effect from November 15, 2018 to oversee the next phase of expansion and growth of the company. Bhaskaran is currently Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel. He has over three decades of experience in the fields of manufacturing, export and commercial operations with the Tata group. S Ramadorai, Chairman, AirAsia India, said, “We are delighted to welcome Mr Bhaskaran as the new CEO & MD of AirAsia India. With India’s aviation sector growing at a rapid pace, we are confident his extensive experience, ability to drive performance and work seamlessly with all stakeholders will be a great asset for AirAsia India.” Bhaskaran has held several senior positions in the Tata group. He is also on the Global Advisory Board of Social Accountability International (SAI), New York. He was with Tata International from 2001 till 2005. He completed his B Tech from IIT, Delhi in 1985, followed by a post-graduation in management from IIM, Kolkata in 1987. He joined Tata Steel in 1987 and subsequently completed his GMP from Cedep at Insead, France in 2000.

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GoAir operates first direct flight from Mumbai to Maldives

GoAir has launched its first-ever direct flight from Mumbai to Male. The new international schedule introduces direct flights connecting Male to India – Mumbai and New Delhi. Flight G8 023 was given a ceremonial flag off at 13:25 IST which departed from Mumbai on its maiden flight to Velana International Airport, Maldives. In sync with the aviation tradition to mark key milestones, the flight was greeted with a grand water cannon salute upon its arrival at the Male Airport followed by ribbon-cutting ceremony. GoAir’s international service is operated by airbus A320 Neo aircraft and with immediate effect, it will mark the commencement of a direct service 2 times a week between New Delhi – Male – New Delhi sector and direct service of 3 times a week between Mumbai – Male – Mumbai sector. Speaking on the occasion, Cornelis Vrieswijk, Chief Executive Officer, GoAir said, “We welcome Male as a part of our new global network. In light of the significant increase in outgoing tourism from India over the past few years, GoAir introduced a direct flight services from Mumbai and New Delhi to Male. It is a huge amendment in the books of GoAir and we hope to provide our customers with superior experience at the best yet affordable prices.”

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