Monday, February 27, 2017

Hong Kong Airlines and Jet Airways ink codeshare agreement

Hong Kong Airlines, an internationally-acclaimed full-service airline, and Jet Airways, India's premier international airline, have entered into a codeshare partnership in a move that will help them significantly enhance connectivity between India and the Asia-Pacific region.

As part of the reciprocal agreement, Hong Kong Airlines will place its marketing code "HX" on Jet Airways' flights between Hong Kong and Mumbai as well as Delhi in India. Jet Airways in turn, will place its marketing code "9W" on Hong Kong Airlines' flights operating between Hong Kong and Okinawa and Tokyo in Japan; Denpasar in Indonesia; Hanoi in Vietnam; Bangkok in Thailand; and Auckland in New Zealand.

The agreement will allow Hong Kong Airlines to offer its guests a daily service connecting the key business cities of Hong Kong, Mumbai and Delhi. The codeshare will provide opportunities for both airlines to expand their reach and cater to guests across the region.

It will also enhance connectivity for Jet Airways guests from Mumbai and Delhi via Hong Kong to multiple destinations in the Asia Pacific region including to first time codeshare destinations - Okinawa in Japan and Auckland in New Zealand thus enhancing the proposition for travelers who are increasingly seeking newer and more varied travel experiences. Guest can also enjoy the multi-gateway travel flexibility of travelling to/from India to Hong Kong in one direction and via Bangkok in the other direction.

Additionally, Jet Airways' Jet Privilege members will also be able to earn frequent flyer miles when they travel on Jet Airways marketed flights on these codeshare routes, which will not only be available for redemption but also count towards their tier status in the programme.
27/02/17 Tatiana Rokou/Travel Daily News

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Soon, you'll be able to travel in a chopper from Delhi to Shimla, Haridwar and Dehradun

Travelling in and out of Delhi in a chopper will soon be a reality.
From February 28, India will be getting its first dedicated heliport for flying in and out of the capital city to nearby areas.
Owned by Pawan Hans Helicopters Ltd, the Rs 100 crore project will be launched in Rohini, featuring nine parking bays and four hangers with a parking capacity of 16 choppers. Passengers availing the service will be able to enjoy an air-conditoned terminal along with a separate car-parking zone for flyers.
For the first time in India, this heliport will bring choppers within the reach of common man. To be inaugurated by civil aviation minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju, the new facility is expected to reduce congestion at the IGI airport, that currently handles about 40-50 helicopter arrivals and departures on an average per day besides the large-scale fixed-wing operations.''Being a busy airport, IGI airport does not have much space for helicopter movement. The Rohini one will be a dedicated heliport and will make chopper movement much easier,'' aviation secretary R N Choubey was quoted as saying by Conde Nast Traveller.
25/02/17 India Today

PM Modi’s single election trip causes crores in losses and wastes approx 40,000 tax paying Indians’ time

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been the biggest star campaigner for the BJP in the ongoing assembly polls in five states, namely Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. And, just like in the past, the ‘hard-working’ prime minister has been spending most of his time on campaign trail than in Delhi.

Experts say that Modi leaving Delhi so frequently from Delhi causes huge losses to the exchequer as well as putting the lives of thousands of people at risk.

Former Air Force Officer and Janta Ka Reporter’s resident aviation expert, Squadron Leader (retired)  Khalid Ehsan, said, “When an Indian VIP leaves for airport, traffic blockage and diversion begins on road at least 30 minutes in advance. All aircraft stop to land or take-off or start or taxi, approximately 20 minutes prior to the planned departure.
“And if the VIP in question gets delayed, which is pretty common, thousands of passengers in aircrafts are forced to wait both in the air and on ground for him or her to arrive at the airport and then takeoff. Many aircrafts hold 100 nm away from Delhi for 15 to 30 minutes, for VIP to clear 100 nm air zone.”

Explaining further, Squadron Leader Ehsan said that that such paraphernalia posed huge safety risk to passengers and added unnecessary costs to exchequer.

“Because the VIP, in this case is the PM, there is stricter security protocol, with vehicles running on both sides of the VIP aircraft escorting it till the takeoff point. Cost of this delay is borne by the airlines; with the in-flight holding charge amounting to Rs 10 lakh per aircraft for a 30 minute wait. This delay also has a telescopic effect on commercial aviation for at least four to five hours.

“Consider 20 arrival and 20 departure from Delhi delayed by 30 minutes for 5 hours. This is equivalent to 100 hours lost in serving Super Ego VIP. And the financial cost reaches a whopping Rs 10 Cr. The same drama is repeated when the VIP returns. In other words, Modi’s each visit to election rally and return costs Indian taxpayers Rs 20 Cr. This has a knock on effect on 200 flights and if we were to assume that each flight has 100 passengers, such VIP visit has just wasted the time of 20,000 tax paying Indians. And what did he do? He made public speeches for his political party in the election. And who suffered? 40,000 Indians in airport and many more on roads.”

Sqn Ldr Ehsan said that it was time these ‘VIPs were banned from Indian roads and using public airports” adding that the important leaders such as Modi ought to have used the Hindon air base than Delhi Airport.

26/02/17 Janta Ka Reporter

170 stuck for 4 hours after Air India Dreamliner suffers snag

Chennai: More than 170 passengers were stranded inside a Chennai-Singapore Air India flight for four hours at Chennai airport on Saturday after the B787 Dreamliner aircraft broke down while entering a taxiway. Other flights were not delayed and the plane was grounded.
The flight scheduled to depart at 11.30am was taxiing when the brakes jammed. Attempts to release the brakes failed and the plane was towed to a parking bay around 3.30pm, an Air India official said. Passengers had to wait inside as authorities could not bring a ladder to take them out.
Later, around 120 passengers were moved to the terminal and taken to a city hotel, while others tried to reschedule the trip or book on other flights.
"We are bringing spare parts from Mumbai to rectify the defect. The passengers were served food and beverages inside the aircraft. Passengers were immediately not disembarked as technicians were trying to set right the snag. As the effort failed, we alerted Mumbai," he said.
The airline was trying to take the passengers on a spare plane to be brought from Mumbai. An Airports Authority of India (AAI) official said, "The stranded plane did not affect schedules of other flights because it was about to enter a taxiway. Other flights were routed via an alternative taxiway."
26/02/17 Times of India

DIAL’s grand plan for Aerocity high street runs into trouble

New Delhi: The city airport operator's plan to have a high street dotted with food and beverage outlets, upmarket shopping plazas and a pedestrian walkway at the hospitality district has run into rough weather. Airports Authority of India (AAI) has asked Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) to immediately stop construction work on the central street of its hotel area for alleged violation of norms and building more than allowed.
DIAL has been told their request, dated November 30, 2016, for setting up of F&B outlets, shops, toilets etc in the central pedestrian street has been examined and that there is no provision for these in the approved layout plan. "However, it has been found at site, on physical verification, that DIAL has gone ahead with the construction work without prior approval from AAI in gross violation of (agreement)," said AAI's GM (finance) V Vidya, in a letter dated February 9, 2017, to DIAL CEO I P Rao. "You are hereby directed to immediately stop the construction activities...and show cause explaining the circumstances under which the construction activity is being carried out at site...failing which action shall be taken as deemed appropriate," said the letter.
DIAL says it will reply to AAI and that it has an ambitious plan for the hospitality district's central street. The 'beautification' will start from the tunnel under the main runway between Terminal 1 and T3 and the work will be completed by year-end. "In 2008, we had got a plan approved for the hospitality district under which beautification of the common area was to be done by us while the hotels were to be built by successful bidders. The original plan provided for a very modest pedestrian street, just a pathway for people. We wanted to enhance the look and feel of the area for which Netherland's well-known town planner KuiperCompagnons was appointed," said a DIAL official.
26/02/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

Defence airports need DGCA certificate for scheduled flights

New Delhi: From next year onwards, scheduled flight operations will be allowed from defence airports only if they have been certified by DGCA, according to the civil aviation ministry.
With certain issues still to be sorted out between civil aviation and defence ministries, the deadline has been extended to December 31, 2017, a senior DGCA official said.
The initial deadline lapsed on December 31, 2016.
In a notification issued earlier this month, the civil aviation ministry said scheduled flight operations will not be permitted from any airport, including defence aerodromes, from December 31, 2017, unless such aerodromes have been certified by the DGCA.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory body governing safety aspects of civil aviation and approves flight schedules, among others.
“… no person shall operate scheduled air transport services to and from an aerodrome, including defence aerodromes, with effect from December 31, 2017 unless it has been either licensed (aerodrome) or certified (defence aerodrome) by the director general of civil aviation,” the notification said.
26/02/17 PTI/India.com

Tamil Nadu allots land for 14 firms to make aeroparts

Setting the ball rolling for its ambitious Aerospace park to come up in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu government has allocated land for 14 companies besides setting up an Advanced Computing and Design Engineering Centre at an outlay of Rs. 350 crore.

Tamil Nadu Industries Development Corporation (TIDCO) has proposed to set up an Aerospace Park in a move to help the industry grow in the state on a 600-acre land at the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) Industrial Park, Sriperumbudur.

“Land has been allocated for 14 companies while seven more firms have approached TIDCO seeking land,” an official release said today. In order to attract aeroparts component manufacturing companies, TIDCO is setting up an Advanced Computing and Design Engineering Centre at an investment of Rs. 350 crore, it said.

Similarly, Tidal Park Ltd would also set up a multi-storeyed building in the park on a 12-acre land. The construction work is expected to begin by June-July.
26/02/17 PTI/The Hindu

Bahrain may enhance direct air connectivity to India

Baharin, which historically served as a gateway between East and West, is planning to enhance air connectivity with India and other Asian countries.

The move follows a decision by Asian carriers to operate more direct flights to Bahrain International Airport (BIA) to help passengers save time and money.

“This year we are focused on developing underserved destinations in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and other select destinations in Asia and Africa,” said Mohamed Yousif Al Binfalah, CEO, Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) which owns and operates the BIA.
India figures high on the agenda as its represents 20% of Bahrain’s air traffic and this market is set to grow between five and 7% in the near term. Over 350,000 Indian nationals work in Bahrain and they travel mostly through connecting flights from hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Bahrain has a large segment of expatriate workers and businesspeople from India, which gives it large potential for high traffic numbers.

“All segment of customers are important to us and with direct flights, they can benefit from shorter travel time and face fewer complications than what may arise with more stops along the way,” Mr. Binfalah said.
26/02/17 Lalatendu Mishra/The Hindu

Jet Airways takes off to a value sky

Bengaluru: India’s largest private full-service airline Jet Airways has expressed that it wishes to offer a lot beyond its frequent flier programme and introduce an array of value-added initiatives.

Talking to DH, Jet Airways Vice President (Commercial — India Sales) Praveen Iyer said, “While we already have a frequent flier programme, the idea is to provide better offerings to our guests, which will give them greater value for money, for which, we are constantly evolving new initiatives.”

Accordingly, the carrier’s new pre-paid ‘Jet Global Pass’ will allow guests to travel on its entire network of 66 domestic and international destinations seamlessly. Available as booklets with sets of four prepaid coupons each, the pass has been designed for both Economy and Premiere travel at price points of Rs 52,673 and Rs 119,312 (excluding taxes), respectively.

“The one-fare global pass will be specially advantageous for guests who maintain flexible travel itineraries, and for those whose journeys are firmed up at the last minute, as it will insulate them against higher available bucket fares or peak fares which generally prevail closer to the date of travel. The pass will even aid frequent travellers beat seasonality, since the pass offers tickets in fare classes that hold significant inventory and are therefore mostly available,” Iyer said.
26/02/17 Hrithik Kiran Bagade/Deccan Herald

Chandigarh: 36 flights in a single day and counting

Chandigarh: For the first time, since it began its operations, the Chandigarh International Airport has started operating 36 flights on a single day. As per the latest schedule issued by the Airport Authority of India (AAI), the first flight arrives at the airport around 7.15 am and the last flight departs at 9.35 pm daily. According to the new schedule, the maximum flights that operates from Chandigarh is Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. While in 2006, only three flights were operating per day, the number has now reached to 36 after several airlines introduced flights to several new destination since last year, said airport authorities.
Chandigarh Airport CEO Sunil Dutt told Chandigarh Newsline that this “is a good sign for the growth of the airport”. “Yes, the airport is operating 36 flights for the first time. Our goal is to introduce more flights from the city, so that it gets connected with rest of the country. Recently, four new direct flights have been introduced and we are getting an overwhelming response,” he said, adding, “The airlines should review their business plans from the airport because there is huge potential for them.”
Airport sources said that after launching direct connectivity to Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Leh, the authority has already approached various airlines to start flights to Goa and other destinations such as Kolkata, Lucknow,Patna, Ahmadabad. “Patna is an important destination because of the religious factor. We are approaching airlines about it,” said a senior official, adding that starting a flight to Goa is “difficult as slots are not currently available at the Dabolim Airport.”
26/02/17 Adil Akhzer/Indian Express

SoBo to get direct connect to new airport via MTHL

Navi Mumbai: The road route through the 22-km Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) will provide direct connectivity to passengers from south Mumbai to the upcoming international airport.
The SoBo motorists can take a left turn from Shivaji Nagar, Ulwe to head for the western side of the airport.
Cidco chief engineer, K K Varkhedkar said, "The MTHL will drop in Ulwe at Shivaji Nagar from where one arm of the coastal road, via an interchange, will directly connect to the airport. The other arm will connect JNPT.'' Total length of the two arms of the coastal road is 10. 1 km.
The airport connectivity via Ulwe will be done under phase I and the JNPT connect in phase II. A 5.7-km stretch of the coastal road will connect MTHL to Aamra Marg, that will help motorist to access Palm Beach Road at Kille junction.
Just before the coastal road connects to Aamra Marg, there will be a bifurcation near the upcoming Targhar railway station, which is described as airport link. Targhar is one of the several railway stations on the upcoming Nerul-Uran railway corridor.
26/02/17 Times of India

E-toilets: Airport officials decide to give it a second thought

Visakhapatnam: The authorities of Visakhaptnam International Airport are giving a second thought to the proposal of setting up e-toilets outside the terminal building, saying that it is not cost-effective.
Airport director Vinod Sharma said that owing to higher maintenance cost, permanent toilets would be a better option and they will hold discussions with the civil engineers and operation in-charge on the proposal again on Monday.
Earlier, the airport officials mooted several plans to improve the passengers’ amenities in view of the considerable rise in the passenger traffic. As part of the exercise, e-toilets were planned near the terminal building.
The site inspection by the team from Eram Scientific Solutions Private Limited was completed last month and two sites have been selected for construction of e-toilet project. The approximate expenditure was put at `12 lakh.
“However, six permanent toilets instead of two e-toilets at the same site can be constructed at the same cost,” said Air Port director Vinod Sharma.
Further, the per month average maintenance cost for the proposed e-toilets has been estimated to be somewhere between `8,000 and `10,000 and the staff for regular cleaning will be deployed by the contractor himself.
26/02/17 New Indian Express

‘LCA Tejas is superior to France’s Mirage and China’s JF-17 fighter jets’

After successfully producing the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, India is now planning to build the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), according to H Siddesha, project director and technology director of LCA.

Delivering a guest lecture on the inaugural day of ‘Footprints X7’ in Vadodara on Friday, Siddesha said that the IAF has placed an order of 123 Tejas Mark 1 and that all the aircraft will be inducted in the Indian Air Force by 2024.

“Every year, 16 Tejas aircraft will be built on two assembly lines. By 2024, all the aircraft will be inducted in the IAF whereas Tejas Mark 2 version will be ready by 2021,” Siddesha was quoted as saying by Times of India.

He also added that Tejas is superior to France’s Mirage and China’s JF-17 fighter jets.
26/02/17 Indiatvnews/DefenceAviationPost

Chargesheet filed against AISATS vice-president

Thiruvananthapuram: The city police have filed a chargesheet in the Judicial First Class Magistrate here against Binoy Jacob, vice president of Air India SATS, an agency offering ground handling services, for alleged sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a woman colleague.
The Museum police filed the chargesheet on Saturday under Sections 354(A) (punishment for sexual harassment) and (D) (stalking) of the Indian Penal Code.
According to G Sunil, Museum SI, who submitted the chargesheet, the investigation revealed that Binoy Jacob had spoken to the complainant, several middle-level officers, in sexually explicit language on several occasions. Binoy had also tried to molest her several times. This has been proven. Now, the court has to make a final call,” Sunil said.
The incident took place in April last year at the AISATS office at Sasthamangalam when the accused tried to molest the complainant in his cabin.
Another day, the accused made obscene comments on her and tried to influence her by promising a ‘career growth’. He allegedly tried to block her probation period for ignoring him.Speaking to Express, the victim said she would get justice once the accused is convicted by the court. “I am happy that at least a chargesheet was filed.
26/02/17 New Indian Express

Customs crack 6 cases in 24 hours

Mumbai : Mumbai Customs officials registered a total of six cases and recovered around 7 kg gold worth over Rs 2 crore in last 24 hours on Saturday and arrested three people including one Turkish national in connection with the seizure at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai.
Based on profiling, the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) intercepted one 26-year-old passenger Abdul Irshad Chelathadathil, resident of Mallapuram district of Kerala, who had come from Sharjah by Air Arabia flight number G9-401. “Personal search of the passenger resulted in recovery of 10 gold bars of 10 tolas each totally weighing 1,160 grams valued at Rs 35.82 lakh which was cleverly concealed in under garments worn by him. He has been arrested,” said Pradynasheel Jumle, Deputy Commissioner of Customs, AIU.
26/02/17  Diwakar Sharma/FreePressJournal