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Airports & Airlines

Indigo confident of long term business viability, Indian business, says its CEO Rono Datta

As IndiGo takes to the skies again, the airline is witnessing pent-up demand for travel, which has been evident in the load factor. The LCC is currently operating at 30% of its capacity, owing to the government’s directive, but remains optimistic of an increased headcount as policies as relaxed in the coming months. The carrier has employed creative means to ensure viability by pressing into action a part of its fleet for cargo and charter …

Airports & Airlines

Travel suffers early and significant setback; VFS hopes for resilience in the sector

Visa activity is always in the front end of travel worldwide, and VFS has been the pioneer in the business. We catch up with Vinay Malhotra, Regional COO, South Asia, Middle East & North Africa, Americas to find out recent sectoral trends in India, and globally where they operate? On the global visas front, what is the ground reality today, like number of offices open, and doing what? More specifically, what is the situation in …

Airports & Airlines

Waiting Mode for Domestic Airlines

National TV channels are showing on their ticker that airlines are open for booking from 15th April onwards. It does not mean that airlines are saying they are flying from 15th onwards. But they remain geared, as last minute it is not possible to get adequate loads and make the flights viable.  There is yet no go-ahead on that and airlines will have to wait and await the government directions. What happens to these bookings …

Airports & Airlines

The Jet Airways conundrum: Who said what on the airline and its impact on tourism

The media has been abuzz with speculation on the fate of the beleaguered airline. Having stopped its operations, a dwindled supply has caused a considerable spike in airfares on key routes. It has raised doubts on business prospects in the peak tourist season. Media reports have indicated that fares have soared as much as 50 to 60 per cent on key domestic routes, such as Delhi and Mumbai. Many have advocated government intervention to address …

Airports & Airlines

Naresh Goyal bids adieu, promises patrons of continued excellence in guest experience

Naresh Goyal penned an emotional letter to JetPrivilege members, recounting the long albeit illustrious journey of the carrier, currently facing significant headwinds. He said that the carrier had “been a way of life” and that he was fortunate and blessed to have lived his dreams. He profusely thanked all members of the airline’s loyalty program for their continued patronage, noting that what the carrier had achieved in the past two and a half decades had …

Airports & Airlines

“Jai Hind” after every announcement, Air India directs its staff 

Air India has issued a company advisory that requires the airline staff to say “Jai Hind” with “much fervour” after every announcement, media has reported. The advisory was issued by Captain Amitabh Singh, Director operations but Ashwani Lohani, the newly-appointed CMD, has been credited for taking the decision.  His admiration for the armed forces is knowledge in the public domain. In his previous stint as the CMD, he had also ordered providing priority boarding preference …

Airports & Airlines

North America leads the long-haul inbound into Europe; traffic up by 7.5% in Q4

Long-haul arrivals in Europe went up by 7.5% during Q4 in 2018, Air Travellers’ Traffic Barometer, produced by European Cities Marketing and ForwardKeys, has reported. This spurt was driven by visitors from North America (+10.6%), the biggest contributor of overseas arrivals with a 36% share of total long-haul arrivals; and the Middle East (+10.2%), with a 10% share. Intra-European air capacity grew by 9.1% in Q4 2018 Among the best-connected destinations, in terms of intra-regional …

Airports & Airlines

George Ettiyil takes charge as the Senior Director Sales South Asia for Lufthansa Airlines

George Ettiyil is the new Senior Director Sales South Asia, effective February 2019. Based in New Delhi, he will oversee all commercial activities for Lufthansa Group Airlines business in India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Lufthansa enjoys a key position among European airlines operating in India, with Swiss Air and Austrian in its fold. Born and schooled in Germany, George completed his college education in India and has spent over two decades at Lufthansa Group, …

Airports & Airlines

Ashwani Lohani takes charge as CMD Air India, with the status of Secretary to GOI

Ashwani Lohani has been appointed as Air India CMD. The PM-headed Appointments Committee of the Cabinet took the call, handing over the reins of Air India to Lohani for “a period of one year or until further order.” He is being accorded with the status of secretary to the government of India which takes care of his seniority post-retirement. The move could inject a new vibrancy in the national carrier that has hit a new …

Airports & Airlines

Regional tourism big gainer as Ajay Singh’s SpiceJet keen on seaplanes for UDAN routes

SpiceJet was taking steps to ensure low-costs of operations to maximize profitability, suggested Ajay Singh, Promoter, SpiceJet. The airline was also keen on soon operationalizing seaplanes under the regional air connectivity scheme (UDAN). As per the PTI report, he made these comments while participating in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. “Things are shaping up quite well. We have added a lot many planes in the last few months and we will further add a …

Airports & Airlines

Our non-stops will provide new business prospects between India and Eastern Europe: Michal Fijol, CCO, LOT Polish Airlines

India and central European connect will get a shot in the arm as LOT Polish Airlines connects Warsaw to Delhi with non-stops beginning September 19 this year. The Polish flag-carrier intends to be different by offering flyers a seamless, hassle-free connectivity to the entire European region through its hub at Warsaw. Michal Fijol, CCO and Member of the Board, LOT Polish Airlines was in Delhi recently. Navin Berry, Editor, tourismfirst.org caught up with him to …

Airports & Airlines

From Warsaw to New Delhi: LOT announces a new service on its 90th anniversary

LOT Polish Airlines, Poland’s flag carrier has announced a new non-stop service between Warsaw and New Delhi, commencing on 17 September 2019. Like all LOT long-haul flights, the new route will be operated by state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner five times per week. The announcement was made by LOT Polish Airlines during the Global Aviation Summit in Mumbai. The new route launch will provide the shortest and most convenient connection from New Delhi directly to the …

Airports & Airlines

Parliamentary Committee’s observations raises more questions for Indian aviation

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture has made some stinging observations on the prevalent business practice adopted by private airlines. Steep baggage charge, exorbitant fares especially during festive seasons and rising cases of alleged high-handedness by airline staff have been flagged by the committee as practices needing redressal. IndiGo has borne most of the brunt of the 30-member committee, headed by Derek O’ Brain, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha.  The committee has …

Airports & Airlines

Sanjay Kumar joins Tata-backed AirAsia as COO

Former IndiGo executive Sanjay Kumar has joined the Tata-promoted Air Asia as the Chief Operating Officer. An old hand in the field of aviation, Sanjay Kumar has over 25 years of experience and is expected to add muscle to the airline’s top management, currently under a significant reshuffle. Only a few weeks ago, Tata group veteran Sunil Bhaskaran was appointed as the chief executive officer and managing director of the airline.  Commenting on the development, …

Airports & Airlines

SriLankan & STIC Group together mark 25 years of the airline’s operations to Delhi

SriLankan recently celebrated its 25 years of operations to Delhi at THE Park New Delhi.  The event was attended by an intimate gathering of journalists, mostly from the travel trade. In attendance were, of course, Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager-Northern India, SriLankan and Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Group, among others.   Subhash Goyal was lavish in his praise for Sri Lanka as a destination and wondered why it could not attract a million Indian tourists. “When Thailand can …