Aviation Sector

SpiceJet starts maiden international flight from Kolkata

SpiceJetMumbai: Budget carrier SpiceJet Wednesday started its first international flight from Kolkata with a service to Nepal's capital Kathmandu via West Bengal's tourist hotspot Bagdogra.

The airline had last month announced a promotional fare of Rs 99 for the Bagdogra-Kathmandu leg while Rs 4,289 for Kolkata-Kathmandu journey, the company said in a release.

"We are extremely pleased with the response received for our Kathmandu-Bagdogra-Kolkata connection. This direct service will provide our customers flying from either regions much more convenience in terms of connectivity and reach," Kaneswaran Avili, Chief Commercial Officer, SpiceJet said.

AirAsia India lowers fares, offers 20% discount

AirAsia India lowers fares, offers 20% discountMumbai: AirAsia India, the latest entrant in domestic air space, has lowered its fares by 20 percent for a limited period on all its flights.

The discounted ticket scheme was launched yesterday for a six-day period (till August 17) and offers customers 20 percent discount on tickets across categories for flights from Bengaluru to Chennai, Kochi and Goa and vice versa, AirAsia India said in a release here.

Air India clears proposal to downsize number of employees union

Air IndiaNew Delhi: Air India management has cleared a proposal to downsize the number of employees' unions in the company, as per sources.

Under the proposal, Air India is set to have two unions - one each for pilots and other workers like cabin crew and ticketing staff.

Air India, which became one single entity by merging Indian Airlines, has at present around 14 unions including the unrecognised ones, representing some 25,000 employees along with its two subsidiaries.

Emirates offers special fares to Indian air passengers

Emirates AirlineMumbai: Joining the low fare war with rival Etihad, Gulf carrier Emirates announced a limited period special fares offer for its Indian fliers on Tuesday, starting at Rs 21,858 for economy class and Rs 52,312 for business class fliers to the Middle East, Europe, Americas as well as Africa.

Bookings for the special offer, which comes just ahead the wake of India's Independence Day, commenced from yesterday and would remain open until August 10 for travel between September 11 and December 10, Emirates said in a release.

Jet Airways extends special economy fare offer by two days

Jet-AirwaysMumbai - Jet Airways on Tuesday extended its special economy class fare offer by two more days.

The city-headquartered airline had on July 31 launched a pan-India sales scheme, offering fares as low as Rs 1,499 on all its economy class domestic networks. Originally the offer was to end today.

But 2-day special fare offer will now be available for sale from August 6 to August 7, with travel effective from September 1 onwards for flights within India, Jet Airways said in a release here.

Air India re-time flights linking Indian and European destinations

Air-IndiaSingapore: Air India (AI) has rescheduled its flights from here by linking them to those taking off from New Delhi to various destinations within the country and Europe from August 1, 2014.

"We have re-timed the flights from Singapore so passengers get on time in New Delhi for onward flights to Europe and Kathmandu," AI's Deputy General Manager-Commercial and Singapore Country Manager Nirbhik Rai Narang said today.

Apart from international connections, AI's daily flight to New Delhi links passengers to flights heading for Buddhist tourist destinations like Varanasi and Gaya, he said.

Air India targets global aviation market

Air IndiaBirmingham: Air India, a new entrant of the 27-member Star Alliance, has said that it is overhauling its systems to take the country's flag carrier to the next level of global aviation market and meet the challenges arising from the new alliance.

Pankaj Srivastava, Director - Commercial and a board member of Air India, said the carrier will pull all plugs to utilise the opportunities and face the challenges that arise from the deal with the Star Alliance. Asian Lite, a weekly ethnic newspaper,? quoted him as saying this during the celebrations to mark the first anniversary of Air India re-launching flights to? Birmingham Airport in the UK.

Aviation ministry working on bailout plan for airlines

Aviation ministry working on bailout plan for airlinesNew Delhi - The Civil Aviation ministry has begun working on a financial bailout package for the sector which is saddled by huge losses mounting up to Rs 49,000 crore, a highly placed source in the ministry has told Zee Media.

The aviation ministry is exploring possibilities of offering loans at lower rates for working capital through the state-owned banks, the official has said.

The ministry expects to form a comprehensive plan over the next month and subsequently seek the approval from the finance ministry.

SpiceJet's GM for airport services quits

SpiceJetNew Delhi: Chennai-based SpiceJet's General Manager for airport services Rahul Bhatkoti has quit the carrier, giving a jolt to the crisis-ridden carrier, sources said.

"(Rahul) Bhatkoti quit the carrier some time back. However, the reason for his parting ways with the carrier are still not known," sources privy to the information told PTI.

Bhatkoti had been handling SpiceJet's airport operations for North and East and had been with the carrier since 2005, they said. Before joining Kalanithi Maran's no-frills airline, he had served erstwhile Sahara Airlines and Damania Airways.

Dubai, European airlines divert flights over Iraq

Dubai, European airlines divert flights over IraqBaghdad - European and Dubai-based airlines have begun re-routing flights over Iraqi airspace as a security precaution, though Iraq says its skies are safe.

An Emirates Airline spokesperson in Dubai told The Associated Press on Monday it will divert planes that use Iraqi airspace. A number of European carriers, including Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Air France also say they will do the same.

This follows the crash of a Malaysia Airlines flight over rebel-held Ukraine.

Air Costa to enhance connectivity on Chennai-Madurai sector

Air CostaMumbai: Regional carrier Air Costa on Sunday said it will enhance connectivity on Chennai-Madurai-Chennai sector from next month.

With the launch of second flight to Madurai connecting Chennai, Hyderabad and Vijayawada, effective August 6, Air Costa customers will enjoy same day return flights between these cities, the airline said in a statement.

The introduction of these new flights will take the total number of daily services operated by Air Costa to 36 from across nine domestic airports, it said.

AI systems integration with Star Alliance: SITA completes technical requisites

Star-Alliance-Air-IndiaNew Delhi: Global aviation IT firm Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques (SITA) on Sunday said it has completed a variety of technical requisites for Air India to integrate its systems with that of Star Alliance, including those concerning ticketing, e-commerce, departure control and revenue integrity.

SITA, which earlier integrated the systems of erstwhile Indian Airlines and Air India after their merger, also provided its Horizon Passenger Services System (PSS) suite of solutions for Air India to seamlessly integrate with the global airlines' grouping.

Royal Jordanian to shut down Delhi, Mumbai flights

Royal-JordanianDubai: Royal Jordanian Airlines has decided to stop all its services to Mumbai and Delhi as part of its restructuring plan.

RJ will stop operating to Mumbai on September 10 and to Delhi on October 31, this year. The airline is also shutting down its Lagos route with effect from October 10.

With the closure of the three destinations, the RJ routes will count 51.

RJ Chairman of the Board/President and CEO Nasser Lozi said that the decision is part of a synchronised plan to turn around the airline covering operations and financial structure.

European airlines continue to suspend Israel flights

EUASABerlin: Several major European carriers have announced that they will stick to their decision to suspend their flights to Israel despite the lifting of a flight ban by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Germany's largest airlines Lufthansa said yesterday it extended its suspension of flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport until Friday and cancelled all 16 flights of the Lufthansa group scheduled for the day from Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne, Zurich, Vienna and Brussels.

This decision was taken after a risk assessment of the situation in Tel Aviv, Lufthansa said in a press statement.

China airline tests Wi-Fi on flight

China-Eastern-AirlinesBeijing: A leading Chinese airline Wednesday tested a programme to allow passengers to use in-flight Wi-Fi, paving the way for the technology's application for the first time in China's booming aviation market.

The satellite-based Wi-Fi service was made available on a flight operated by China Eastern Airlines, the first test of the service on a Chinese commercial flight.

The test service was launched on an Airbus A330 servicing the Shanghai-Beijing route, and the first trial flight took off today morning, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Jet says it aims to turn profitable in next three years

JetNew Delhi: Jet Airways, which suffered a loss of Rs 4,130 crore in 2013-14, on Wednesday said it aims to turn profitable in the next three years and was planning a major overhaul of its fleet and products, months after Gulf carrier Etihad Airways picked up 24 per cent stake in it.

"We plan to reduce losses in 2015, consolidate in 2016 and turn profitable in 2017.... We are already on track as our international business has turned profitable. We now have to take our business forward," Jet's CEO designate Cramer Ball told a press conference here. Ball is yet to get necessary clearances to formally take over his position.

FAA bans US airlines' Israel flights for 24 hours

Delta planeWashington: The US aviation authority today banned American carriers from flying to and from Israel for at least 24 hours following a militant rocket strike near Tel Aviv's main airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has told US airlines that they are prohibited from flying to or from Israel's Ben Gurion international airport for a period of up to 24 hours.

The FAA issued Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in this regard in response to the rocket strike which landed about a mile from Ben Gurion Airport this morning.

More new airlines likely to fly in Indian sky in coming months

More new airlines likely to fly in Indian sky in coming monthsNew Delhi: Several more new airlines are likely to fly in the Indian sky in the coming months with the government giving flying licence to four of the six companies which had sought permits for launching scheduled, private or charter air operations.

Air India resumes Delhi-Moscow flight service after 15 years

Air INdiaMumbai: After a gap of 15 years, national carrier Air India has resumed air service to Moscow with the launch of non-stop daily New Delhi-Moscow flight on July 18.

Air India has deployed a B787 Dreamliner aircraft for the Delhi-Moscow-Delhi sector and offered attractive promotional fares, an official release said.

The state-run carrier had earlier planned to re-launch the service to Moscow in March.

It would serve a long-standing need of Indians settled in Russia as well as Russian locals visiting the Indian subcontinent, it said, adding that service was suspended 15 years ago due to operational reasons.

No Indian on board ill-fated Malaysian plane: Aviation Minister

Ashok Gajapathi RajuNew Delhi: Terming as "unfortunate" the loss of lives in the Malaysian airline tragedy, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Friday said there was no Indian on board the plane.

He also said that the government has already asked all Indian airlines not to overfly Ukraine.

"It is unfortunate that this incident has happened. As far as our information... No Indians were on the flight. It is an unfortunate incident. No Indian citizen was on board," Raju told reporters here.




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