Air Connectivity Effort in India Yields 100th Airport
India’s focus on enhancing air connectivity to hilly, remote, and underserved airports under its Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) appeared to sharpen Thursday as SpiceJet launched the first flight to the new greenfield Pakyong Airport in the northeastern state of Sikkim. Pakyong is India’s 100th airport and SpiceJet’s ninth destination under the RCS. The RCS will get a further boost as Phase 2 MAFI, which includes 37 bases, takes effect. Officials expect Phase 2 to include Srinagar and Leh, both tourist destinations in the north likely to attract regional airlines.
India’s August domestic air traffic up 23%: IATA
India’s domestic air passenger traffic grew in double digits for the 48th consecutive month in August. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), India’s domestic air passenger volume measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) was highest among major aviation markets like Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US. “Indian airlines achieved their 48th consecutive month of double-digit traffic growth as demand rose 22.6 per cent,” IATA said in its global passenger traffic results for August 2018.
Indian aviation sector is vibrant, country a strategic market: Lufthansa
The Indian aviation sector is very vibrant and the country is one of the strategic markets for Lufthansa, which is constantly evaluating opportunities to expand capacity here, according to top officials of the German carrier. “We have many connections between various Indian cities and Europe and we are connecting India with the world via our hubs… we are focussing specifically on customers from India to international markets via Europe,” Heike Birlenbach, Senior Vice President Sales Lufthansa told The Economic Times in an interview.
India to employ facial recognition at airports
The Indian civil aviation ministry has released a policy that aims to shorten passenger processing times at airports by using biometric data. Coined “Digi Yatra”, New Delhi aims to launch the platform by February 2019 at Bangalore and Hyderabad airports. Thereafter, airports operated under the state-owned Airport Authority of India, such has Kolkata, Varanasi, Pune and Vijayawada will come onboard with the programme in April 2019.
Kerala’s Kannur airport gets DGCA approval
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has granted its clearance to Kannur airport, which will become the fourth airport in Kerala after Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode. DGCA’s chief BS Bhullar confirmed the development to The Indian Express. Built at a cost of Rs 2,292 crore and spread over 2,300 acres, the airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually and authorities estimate the number will increase five-fold by 2025.
Malaysia Airlines, Jet Airways expand codeshare partnership
Malaysia Airlines has expanded its codeshare partnership agreement with Indian international airline Jet Airways, granting customers of both airlines a wider network of destinations covering new routes with departures from Mumbai and Hyderabad to cities in India as well as Hong Kong and Southeast Asia destinations including Bangkok and Singapore.
Number of Airbus A320neo planes crosses 100-mark in India
The number of Airbus A320neo planes in the country has crossed the 100-mark, including 50 with IndiGo. At present, four domestic carriers — Government-run Air India and private airlines IndiGo, GoAir and Vistara — have A320neo aircraft in their fleet.
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