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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

India's Zoom Air mulls int'l ops to Myanmar, Bangladesh

Zoom Air (India) (Delhi Int'l) is planning to launch its maiden international services connecting Kolkata Int'l and Guwahati in India's North-East with each of Chittagong in Bangladesh and Yangon in Myanmar, CEO Koustav Dhar has told the PTI newswire.

"We will be able to introduce international flights from Kolkata because from now on, we will park two aircraft in the city at night," Dhar has said.

The routes could be launched following the addition of the fifth CRJ-200ER to the carrier's fleet. Zoom Air has recently announced it has entered into an agreement with a fellow Indian operator Club One Air (Delhi Int'l) covering the dry-lease of the unit.

Unrestricted night flights to Chandigarh from 2019: IAF

Chandigarh: Currently undergoing runway expansion, Chandigarh International Airport may offer unrestricted night flights from August 2019 after the authorities complete third phase of expansion, an Indian Airforce spokesperson said on Wednesday.

He said phase III expansion involves fitment of runway lights and other navigational aids. Completion of phase III would permit unrestricted day and night operations at Chandigarh airfields. Completion of phase III is envisaged in the first half of 2019.

"Airport Authority of India (AAI) is assessing feasibility of fitment of Category III Instrument Landing System (ILS) on one of the runways at Chandigarh.

Lambert Airport's next international destination: India

WOW Air will launch a new route from the U.S. to New Delhi, India, later this year.

Beginning Dec. 5, travelers can take off from St. Louis Lambert International Airport and eight other airports to Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, India, with a stop in Iceland. One-way fares will start at $199.

"We are passionate about continuing our mission of enabling everybody to fly by making international travel accessible and affordable for all and look forward to expanding our global service to provide travelers with the opportunity to see many parts of the globe, whether for business or pleasure," Founder and CEO SkĂșli Mogensen said in a statement.

WOW Air, a budget airline based in Iceland, announced last year that it would service Lambert and become the airport's only carrier flying to Europe.

Hubballi starts reaping benefits of UDAN scheme

Hubballi: With SpiceJet starting its flight services to Hyderabad and Chennai from Hubballi from Monday under the regional connectivity scheme, the air connectivity of the region has improved. Apart from this, the airlines is also operating two flights between Hubballi and Bengaluru and Hubballi and Mumbai.

In the second round of bidding for UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik) scheme, the Ministry of Civil Aviation had picked Hubballi and SpiceJet was allotted three routes - Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. Now the operator has decided to start services in two routes out of the allotted three. It may start service to Pune in the coming days.

DGCA has granted permission to operate night flights at Srinagar airport

Srinagar: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has granted permission for operating night flights to and from the Srinagar airport, for which the necessary infrastructural upgradation is being done by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), a spokesman of the Jammu and Kashmir government said here today.

"The Srinagar airport will soon have night-landing facility, for which all preparations are being done by the agencies concerned," he said, after a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti.

The DGCA had granted permission for operating night flights and the necessary infrastructural upgradation in this regard was being done by the AAI and state agencies, the spokesman said.

Indians frequent flyers

Indians are taking off and how. In an annual survey on flight and hotel behaviour of travellers across 23 countries in the world, it was revealed that Indians were the third most frequent travellers in the Asia- Pacific region. The survey revealed the results of the Expedia flight and hotel etiquette study 2018.

Given our gift for striking up friendships, it is not surprising that Indians are globally number one in engaging in a conversation, when sitting next to someone they don’t know (59 per cent) and probably the reason why 70 per cent Indian travellers also dread sitting next to someone who talks too much.

E-Kiosks at Indian Airports to Ensure Speedy Immigration Clearance for Foreigners

The Indian government is planning to install special automated kiosks at airports to enable foreign travelers who are included in the low risk category to undergo quicker immigration checks, PTI reported. These kiosks, expected to be set up by January 2019, will help the foreign travelers to complete the identity verification process in seconds, the report quoted officials as saying.

Low-risk travelers from some select countries will be able to enter India without having to stand in long queues at immigration counters once the e-kiosks are put up. Low-risk travelers are those who don’t have any criminal or financial cases against them.

The entire process is expected to be completed within a matter of a minute when a traveler comes to any e-Gate kiosk. The electronic gates will be installed at the arrival wing of international airports, and the foreign travelers can present their machine-readable passports, following which they can place their fingerprints on the scanner for verification and complete a customs declaration, the report added.

Friday, 8 June 2018

UDAN ops in India's North-East kick-off with Air Deccan

Air Deccan launched flights out of Kolkata Int'l to a number of airports in India's North-East on April 26, 2018, marking the inauguration of operations under the government's Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS or UDAN) in the region, The Times of India has reported.

Initially, the carrier based one Beech 1900D aircraft out of Kolkata, deploying the turboprop on services to each of Agartala, Aizawl, Dimapur, and Shillong. Following the positioning of a second unit of the type in mid-May 2018, the carrier plans to launch services to Durgapur, Cooch Behar, Bagdogra, and Silchar.

Out of these airports, only Cooch Behar currently does not see any scheduled traffic.

From Chennai to Guwahati, govt likely to privatise 8 major airports

The government’s attempt at privatising maintenance of airport terminals has drawn a blank from investors. And, has forced the Narendra Modi government to mull complete privatisation — a plan initiated by the previous United Progressive Alliance government but dropped by the current regime, facing protest from employee unions.

The plan is to privatise at least eight government-owned airports — Chennai, Kolkata, Kochi, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow and Guwahati.

The civil aviation ministry is having discussions on designing the model on how the airports would be bid out, according to sources. It is likely the airports will be bid out for 30 years and the tariffs will be fixed upfront.

Air India revenue up 20% at Rs 30 billion, set to increase flying hours

New Delhi: Air India has recorded a 20 per cent growth in revenue in March-April 2018. The carrier has also embarked on a route-analysis exercise, focusing on increasing flying hours of its aircraft, to add more trips, Chairman and Managing Director, Pradeep Singh Kharola, said.

The airline is focussing on improving the operational efficiency, both in the domestic and international sectors, even as it is buoyed over the load factor, on time performance and revenue growth, Kharola said.
"The revenue has increased by about 20 per cent as compared to the same period last year at roughly about Rs30 billion, though expenses continue to remain high," he said, adding the airline has benefitted from the overall growth in the aviation market.

IndiGo firming up international flight plan, to add 24 destinations

No-frills carrier IndiGo will expand its flight offerings to include 24 foreign destinations over the next 18 months, a person aware of the development said. The new routes will include 18 shorthaul destinations in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and China, and six longhaul flights to cities in France, Germany, Belgium, the UK and Switzerland, the person cited earlier said, adding that the airline may order dual-aisle aircraft for the purpose.

“The plans for international expansion are firmed up and the airline may order wide-bodied aircraft at the Farnborough air show to be held in July,” the source said, requesting not to be named. An email query to Indigo, the country’s largest carrier by market share, remained unanswered until press time, but a government official confirmed that IndiGo has firmed up plans to launch international operations in a big way, which will be its second phase of expansion. In an interview with ET earlier this month, IndiGo cofounder Rahul Bhatia had said that domestic and international expansion along with addition of new aircraft are the airline’s priority.

Air India records 20% growth in revenue

New Delhi: Air India has recorded a 20 per cent growth in revenue in March-April 2018 and has embarked on a route analysis exercise, focussing on increasing flying hours of each of its aircraft, to add more trips, the airlines chairman-cum-managing director, Pradeep Singh Kharola, said.

The airline is focussing on improving the operational efficiency both in the domestic and international sectors even as it is buoyed over the load factor, on time performance and revenue growth, Kharola told PTI.

"During March-April, the revenue has increased by about 20 per cent as compared to the same period last year at roughly about Rs 3,000 crore, though expenses continue to remain high," he said, adding that the airline has benefitted from the overall growth in the aviation market.

Good news for foreigners visiting India: Get immigration clearance seconds from January; details here

New Delhi: Come January 2019, low-risk foreign travellers will not have to wait in long queues at airport immigration counters as the government plans to install special automated kiosks for speedy document and identity verification. Low-risk travellers from select countries from January 2019 can enter India without standing in long queues at immigration counters as the government has plans to install these automated kiosks, officials said today. These kiosks will ensure smooth entry of foreigners in seconds after verification of antecedents, they said. Electronic gates or e-Gates will be put in place at the arrival wing of international airports where foreigners can present their machine-readable passports, place their fingerprints on the scanner for verification and complete a customs declaration.
Without any human intervention, e-cameras will clear the travellers who present approved biometric. They can then go straight to the baggage claim area after de-boarding the plane and then to the exit, a Home Ministry official told PTI.

E-Gates to give immigration clearance in seconds to citizens of select countries

New Delhi: Come January 2019, low-risk foreign travellers will not have to wait in long queues at airport immigration counters as the Government plans to install special automated kiosks for speedy document and identity verification.

Low-risk travellers from select countries from January 2019 can enter India without standing in long queues at immigration counters as the Government has plans to install these automated kiosks, officials said today.

These kiosks will ensure smooth entry of foreigners in seconds after verification of antecedents, they said.

Low-risk travellers are people who do not have any criminal or financial cases levelled against them.

Jet Airways to connect Tiruchi with Bengaluru

Tiruchi: Domestic movement at Tiruchi international airport is set to soar further with the Jet Airways proposing to start a daily service in the Tiruchi - Bengaluru- Tiruchi sector.

The private airline which already operates flights in the Tiruchi- Chennai - Tiruchi and Tiruchi - Mumbai-Delhi sectors has planned to launch the service to Bengaluru from here on July 1.

Airline sources said the proposed new service to Bengaluru would be operated using an 'ATR'-72 type aircraft. The daily service to the garden city would be operated in the morning.