Category Archives: Aviation

WOW air launches India-Iceland flights

WOW air has launched three weekly flights from New Delhi to Iceland. According to the airline, it will operate three weekly flights from New Delhi, connecting passengers to North America and Europe through its hub in Iceland. Post the announcement of WOW air in India in May earlier this year, the airline also began its fully functional booking office in New Delhi and recruited Indian crew, a first for any international airline operating out of India. Kiran Jain, Managing Director, WOW air, said, “Our ultra-low fares reflect the need for affordable travel from India to transatlantic destinations. It also gives an opportunity for Iceland to open up to the world and as a tourist destination to Indian travellers. Staying true to our mission of enabling everyone to fly by offering reasonably low fares to our destinations, we are hopeful that more people will have an opportunity to fly around the world.” At present, the airline has four fare options including “WOW basic, WOW plus, WOW comfy and WOW premium”.

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Ebix wins contract to provide forex services at new Kannur International Airport

EbixCash World Money airport forex counters has been inaugurated at the arrival and departure terminals at Kannur International Airport in the presence of Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu; Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan; Minister of Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs, EP Jayarajan; Minister of Ports, Kadakampally Surendran; Minister of Transport, AK Saseendran; Minister of Water Resources, K Krishnankutty; and KIAL MD, V Thulasidas among other senior central and state government officials, and industry leaders. EbixCash World Money will offer passengers flying in and out of the city, foreign exchange at competitive rates along with a host of other products such as travellers’ cheques, multi-currency prepaid cards and travel insurance. Commenting on the launch, T C Guruprasad, Managing Director, EbixCash WorldMoney said, “Kannur is a fast-growing business and tourism destination with Wayanad and Coorg being in close proximity. Besides being the district headquarters, it offers a mix of beaches, forts and museums. A large number of international flights also offer direct connectivity from Middle East destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait, making it a strategic location for us to offer our forex and travel services. We currently have six branches and nine airport forex counters in Kerala.” Spread about 2,000 acres, the Kannur Airport is the newest addition to India’s international airport portfolio. The airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually with passenger traffic estimated to increase five-fold by 2025.    

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Vistara extends longstanding distribution agreement with Amadeus

Vistara and Amadeus have renewed a multi-year distribution agreement that guarantees Vistara’s travel agency partners’ continued access to the airline’s full range of fares and prices through Amadeus. Amadeus Airline Fare Families supports Vistara in making its branded fares, called Vistara Freedom Fares, available through the Amadeus distribution channel. Amadeus Fare Families will empower travel agents with clear, structured information they need to advise their customers and proactively upsell from one fare family to the other based on each traveller’s needs and preferences. Vistara will also be looking at integrating ancillary services in the future as part of their product offerings. This partnership will enable Vistara to further grow its customer base by continuing to connect to travellers globally through the world’s largest community of travel sellers and buyers. By connecting to Amadeus’ innovative travel platform, Vistara is able to define and deliver enhanced offers, including rich content, to travel agents and travellers. The airline is also now able to differentiate its travel offers beyond just price, while ensuring that agencies and travellers have all the information at hand in order to make the right purchasing decisions. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, commented, “We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with Amadeus. Travel agencies are a key part of our strategy to serve our customers through the channel of their choice, both in India and internationally. With the new agreement, we will have access to Amadeus’ global travel agency network which has the widest reach of travellers globally and this is a significant agreement in our growth strategy.” Cyril Tetaz, Executive Vice President — Airlines, Amadeus, Asia Pacific, said, “We’re very proud to be able to …

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Mobile to influence 9 out of 10 purchases for airline tickets by 2022

More than four out of five airline bookings in 2022 are expected to be mobile-influenced, while nearly two out of five are expected to be Facebook-influenced, suggests ‘FB Travel Report’ compiled recently by KPMG, Facebook and Nielsen. The influencing factors iinclude awareness, consideration, intent, average influence and sales opportunity. Mobile internet users in India are expected to increase to 677 million by 2022 from 420 million users in 2017, the report further reveals. This growth is expected to be driven on the backdrop of organic penetration of the internet, digitally-savvy travellers, connectivity through social media and digital technologies over the next 5 years. Brands, therefore, have a revenue opportunity worth USD19 billion to re-look at their marketing strategies and adapt to the fast-evolving mobile-first internet economy of India.

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India’s passenger traffic grew at a CAGR of 12.72 per cent during FY06-FY18

India’s passenger traffic grew at 16.52 per cent year on year to reach 308.75 million. According to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), it grew at a CAGR of 12.72 per cent during FY06-FY18.  The report reveals that by 2036, India is estimated to have 480 million flyers, which will be more than that of Japan (just under 225 million) and Germany (just over 200 million) together. India has become the third largest domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2025.

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MoCA to introduce air cargo policy in January 2019: Suresh Prabhu

In a landmark decision, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is set to introduce an air cargo policy in January 2019. In a video message to the winners at India Cargo Awards, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu said, “We are currently working on a comprehensive strategy to create logistics hubs. I have already talked to several countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman as well as far away countries like Russia for creating the integrated corridor for transportation along with finding out ways of exporting certain niche products. All of this is going to bring about a huge change in the way we do logistics in India.” Prabhu further said, “Logistics as a subject has been put, for the first time, in the Ministry by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and we are working on it to create an integrated strategy to make it happen. We hope to have a seamless, cost-effective and efficient cargo movement soon which will bring in more economic benefits to the country as a whole.”

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Now fly direct to Singapore from Vijaywada on IndiGo

IndiGo has launched two weekly direct services from Vijayawada to Singapore jointly with the Andhra Pradesh government. Ajay Jain, IAS Principal Secretary – Energy, Infrastructure & Investment Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said, “We feel excited to engage with IndiGo to connect state capital Vijayawada to Singapore. This will fulfil the dreams of Telugu Diaspora in Singapore and is a great convenience for our investors and business community”. Virender Singh, CEO- APADCL, said, “This is just a beginning to add more such flights to many more destinations”. William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo, said, “We feel absolutely privileged to be the first domestic airline to launch international services from Vijayawada in association with the Government of Andhra Pradesh. These twice weekly non-stop flight services between Vijayawada and Singapore will further augment our regional connectivity that we provide across domestically and internationally. At IndiGo, we will continue to provide an on-time, courteous and hassle-free service and affordable fares to our customers, as always.”

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Hahn Air Systems introduces chatbot ‘Heidi’ to support passengers

Hahn Air Systems has launched chatbot ‘Heidi’, increasing its digital servicing channels to now include passengers. It will initially be available on Facebook with plans to expand it further in the future. Developed in cooperation with Spain-based technology company Caravelo, Heidi was launched to support passengers travelling on one of over 80 Hahn Air Systems’ partner airlines. By visiting Heidi on Facebook, travellers will now able to chat privately via Facebook Messenger and receive immediate assistance with matters relating to the provider’s H1-Air solution and the respective partner carriers’ services. They can thus enquire about their booking details, baggage allowance for their flights, itineraries as well as obtain support for web check-ins. In the initial phase, Heidi will communicate with passengers in English, other languages will follow. Alexander Proschka, Head, Hahn Air Systems, said, “Although Hahn Air Systems is a purely business-to-business solutions provider, we wanted to give the growing number of travellers who travel with one of our H1-Air carriers, the possibility to access instantaneous, round-the-clock support. We will be continuously developing Heidi and expand her bank of frequently-asked questions to cater to the growing needs of passengers.”

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Now fly direct to Gaya, Bhubaneswar and Vizag from Bangkok on Thai AirAsia

Thai AirAsia is introducing three new routes to Gaya, Bhubaneswar and Visakhapatnam from December 3, 6 and 7, respectively. The airline will operate four direct flights a week from Bangkok to Gaya on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. From Bhubaneswar to Bangkok, direct flights will operate thrice a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Besides, flights from Vizag to Bangkok will operate on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The return flights would be available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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1st Global Aviation Summit to be held in Mumbai from January 15-16, 2019

In its endeavour to recognise the fast growth of the aviation sector, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Airports Authority of India in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI), has announced the Global Aviation Summit, with an overarching theme of ‘Flying for all – especially for the next 6 billion’. Supported by ICAO, IATA, ACI and CANSO, the Summit will be held on January 15 and 16, 2019 at The Grand Hyatt in Mumbai. It aims to focus on the celebration of ‘Flying for All’ and to provide a platform to the aviation fraternity to highlight the challenges of the sector in the newly-developing growth spots. The Summit provides a platform to the stakeholders to brainstorm over the future of the aviation industry and identify the growth areas. Speaking at the announcement of the Global Aviation Summit, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Civil Aviation and Commerce & Industry said, “The reason behind hosting the Global Aviation Summit here is because India is one of the fastest-growing aviation markets in the world. This Summit will provide a platform to the global aviation fraternity to display the challenges of the sector in the newly-developing growth spots and understand how technology-driven innovation will shape the air travel industry in India.” More than 1,000 delegates, 80 plus speakers, 50 plus CEOs of airports and airlines, 30 plus exhibitors, transport ministers from 35 countries and 35 regulators (DGCAs/Civil aviation authorities from different countries) from the global aviation fraternity are going to participate.

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