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Old April 7th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #61
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Agents to block Lufthansa ticket sales
The spat between Indian travel agents and international carriers took a new turn today
7 April 2005
Business Standard

The spat between Indian travel agents and international carriers took a new turn today with travel agents deciding to block the ticketing services of German carrier Lufthansa from April 9, 2005.

This comes after the travel agents blocked the ticket sale of the state-run Air-India for cutting travel agents' commission to 5 per cent from 7 per cent.

"About 2,000 travel agents will stop selling Lufthansa. Both the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Travel Agent's Federation of India (TAFI) will participate in this boycott," said Balbir Mayal, president, TAAI. The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting held in New Delhi today.

Besides, the travel agents have also decided to completely boycott Air India and to hold a nation wide strike on April 8, 2005 to protest the decision of the carriers to reduce commissions to travel agents. "Our commission has come down considerably with the drop in airfares. With a further cut in rates, the condition has become very bad," he said.

It is worth noting that the travel agents have put a similar ban on the ticket sales of Lufthansa in June last year to protest a cut in ticket commission rates. International carriers last year decided to cut the ticket commission to zero from 7 per cent in line with the global practice. The conflict was defused with the airlines deciding to not to go ahead with the commission rate reduction.

Travel agents have also threatened that they will go slow on the selling of tickets of other international carriers. Travel agents are of the view that the decision of Air India to cut commission is not a move by one single carrier and if they accept this move, other international carriers will certainly follow the same model.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #62
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Business Times - 07 Apr 2005

Jet Airways' maiden flight to KL on April 29

(KUALA LUMPUR) Indian carrier Jet Airways will make its maiden flight to Malaysia on April 29, marking growing economic ties between Kuala Lumpur and New Delhi, a senior airport official said yesterday.

Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd senior marketing manager Mohamed Sallauddin Mat Sah said that Jet Airways would launch daily roundtrip flights from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur using its new Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 'India is another emerging market. The new carrier into the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) will bring surely more Indian tourists into Malaysia,' he said.

Mr Mohamed said Jet Airways' rival carrier Air Sahara would soon make an announcement about its own plans to fly to KLIA.

'We will know about its first flight and frequency in the next two days,' he said.

An official with Jet Airways said even though the Kuala Lumpur-Chennai route was saturated with other carriers, it would remain the most profitable route between the two countries.

'We are confident to fill the flight. Jet Airways will offer discount tickets for a month,' he said, adding that 'we do not want to create a price war'.

Jet faces competition on the Chennai route from other carriers including Malaysia Airlines, Indian Airlines, Air Lanka and Thai Airways.

Jet began flying in 1993 and has 42 aircraft and runs 271 scheduled flights daily within India. It also flies to Colombo and Nepal and has secured landing rights in London.

Air Sahara has also secured landing rights to London, and hopes to link Europe to South-east Asia via India.

The carrier started operations on Dec 3, 1993, following the Indian government's opening up of the Indian skies to private airlines.

Air Sahara's fleet includes Boeing 737-700, 737-800 and 737-400 aircraft. Air Sahara currently flies to 22 destinations in India.

Mr Mohamed said the entry of the two carriers into Malaysia would enhance KLIA's attempt to become a regional hub, a position held by Singapore's Changi Airport.

'With new carriers flying into KLIA, it will provide more connectivity and this will, in return, attract more long-haul aircraft into KLIA,' he said. - AFP

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #63
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Air Arabia plans more India flights
7 April 2005
The Hindu Business Line

Kochi , April 6

AIR Arabia, the low-cost airline of the United Arab Emirates plans to commence more flights into India to cater to the large number of expatriates in the Gulf region a top company official has said.

"India is a very important destination in our business plan. We hope to launch more destinations (in India) within a few months," Mr Rohit Ramachandran, Air Arabia's Country Manager, said at a press conference here on Wednesday.

Kerala is one of the next destinations in the country Air Arabia is keen to fly, he said.

"Prices and flight frequency to Kerala will be determined once we get the necessary approvals," he said, adding that the airline has tied up with tour operators in the State.

The airline launched its maiden flight to India about 10 days back, connecting Mumbai to Sharjah. The flights are now going at 98 per cent capacity, Mr Ramachandran said.

A one-way ticket in this daily flight starts from Rs 2,999. Passengers can avail themselves of this rate by booking in advance and subject to the demand for the seats.

As seats get filled, the fare will go up in denominations of Rs 500. In the event of cancellation the amount minus a charge will get credited to the passenger's account which can be used for travel within one year. No cash however will be refunded.

Mr Ramachandran said though Air Arabia is a low-cost airline, it offers food on board for a price. Launched in October 2003, the airline today has five Airbus A320 aircraft.

The airline manages to offer the low fares due to factors such as maximum utilisation of aircraft, adoption of `ticketless' concept, which helps it save paper costs, and by having a slender crew.
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Old April 8th, 2005, 11:34 PM   #64
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Canada, India to begin talks on open skies
Move comes as Ottawa seeks to expand ties

Chris Sorensen
8 April 2005
National Post

Canada and India are looking to lift restrictions on air travel between the two countries, a move that comes as Ottawa seeks to expand its economic relationship with one of the world's fastest-growing economies.

Brian McGregor, a spokesman for Transport Canada, confirmed that "open skies" talks between the two sides are scheduled to take place in Ottawa this spring.

The talks come on the heels of a recent trade mission to India by Jim Peterson, Canada's International Trade Minister, which resulted in a bilateral declaration to pursue trade and technology links between the two countries.

"There is an increase in trade and commerce between Canada and India," said Peter Wallis, the head of the Van Horne Institute for International Transportation at the University of Calgary. "So it follows that you need to have more air service to facilitate this growth."

Canada's trade with India jumped 12% last year to $2.5-billion, despite the fact that Canadian businesses have been relatively slow to establish a presence in the world's second-largest market behind China.

Meanwhile, demand for air travel between the countries is being fuelled by a growing South Asian population in Canada as well as India's rising status as a global tourist destination.

Airlines in both countries are moving quickly to capitalize on the blossoming relationship.

Last year, Air Canada became the first North American airline to offer non-stop service to India with daily flights, five days a week, between Toronto and New Delhi.

More recently, Air India has made an application to Transport Canada and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority to resume flights to Toronto using its Boeing 777 aircraft. The former Indian flag carrier had suspended its service to Canada after the 1985 Air India disaster, which killed 329 people off the coast of Ireland.

Transport Canada's Mr. McGregor said the reintroduction of Air India to Canada's skies will leave little room for other airlines to fly similar routes. That's because the current agreement restricts everything from the number of flights that can be offered to the fares that can be charged. A more liberalized "open skies" agreement would essentially allow market forces to determine which airlines fly the routes and how often.

Philippe Sureau, a spokesman for Transat A.T. Inc., which operates Canada's largest charter airline, said the tour package operator is currently focused on obtaining access to China, but is not ruling out India as a potential market.

While that would mean more competition for Air Canada, a spokeswoman for the country's largest airline said it was too soon to comment on what commercial impact an open skies agreement with India is likely to have on its business.

However, one observer predicted Air Canada will probably support an open skies deal.

"Air Canada wants open skies with the U.S. so I think to be consistent it would probably have to say the same thing about India," said Karl Moore, a business professor at McGill University.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #65
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11 Apr 2005

COMMENTARY
India opens its skies to woo visitors

By ANDY MUKHERJEE

BILL Marriott speaking on creating prosperity though tourism? That's hardly news. One would expect the chairman of Marriott International Inc, the biggest US hotel chain, to be an evangelist for his industry.

What's interesting is that Mr Marriott, 73, made his speech in India, a country that collects less money from guests in a year than his company clears globally in a quarter. The choice of venue is also apt, considering that he was speaking at the annual shindig of the World Travel and Tourism Council, which predicts that India will be the third-fastest growing tourism market in the next 10 years after the Balkan republic of Montenegro and China.

To realise the potential, Mr Marriott and other hotel and airline executives will have to lobby for more flights into India. Jean-Claude Baumgarten, the council's president, is already on the job. 'Planes are full,' Mr Baumgarten told Bloomberg News from New Delhi, describing an increase in airline capacity as a priority for India's government.

India needs visitors. Its 'openness', measured as the combined share of inbound and outbound travel in GDP, is lower than that of Iran and Nigeria. Nor is the 1.27 per cent share much higher than 1.01 per cent in 1995, according to World Bank figures.

It's not that India is xenophobic: The government spends a lot of money on its 'Incredible India' publicity campaign to woo tourists. Nor is there a paucity of demand. Business visitors are paying more than US$200 a night for a standard hotel room in Bangalore, the No 1 destination for cheap software.

Lack of flights

Even so, the continent-sized country got only 3.4 million overseas visitors last year, compared with 8.3 million in the city-state of Singapore. Lack of flights is the single biggest reason for India not getting its fair share. Between November 2004 and March 2005, when the Indian government temporarily relaxed controls on overseas flights to meet demand for the peak season, it got flooded with requests for 2,400 additional flights, or about 500,000 seats.

To solve the problem for the longer term, India needs to adopt smart policies, like the 'open skies' agreement it signed with the US this year. The accord removes controls on the number of airlines that can fly between the two countries, the cities they can serve, flight frequency and the fares. The policy has already begun to pay dividends. Continental Airlines Inc, the fifth-largest US carrier, has announced a daily, non-stop flight between New York and New Delhi starting in November.

If the malaise and the remedy are known, as is the potential gain from easing the flight crunch, why isn't the government opening India's skies to all? The reason is Air India, the state-owned flag carrier. It was a leading Asian airline before the government nationalised it in 1953. Since then, it has been usually profitable only because it has operated in a cozy cocoon, protected by the Indian government not only from foreign competitors but also from non-state-owned Indian carriers.

Foreign clamour

All that's changing now. There's pressure from foreign governments for greater access to more Indian cities.

Meanwhile, private Indian airlines have prevailed upon the state to end its monopoly on international flights.

From April 14, Jet Airways (India), the country's biggest non-state airline, starts a daily flight to Singapore. It will be joined next month by Sahara Airlines, another private Indian operator. Prices will crash on the lucrative - and usually overbooked - sector. And this will soon happen on other routes too, as Jet and Sahara extend their reach.

Air India's loss will be India's gain. According to statistics just released by Visa International Inc, the world's largest credit card company, the western Indian city of Pune, which is emerging as a 'mini-Bangalore' for the software industry, registered an 87 per cent growth in spending by cardholders visiting from overseas last year. That's the fastest growth among all Indian cities.

Visa's statistics, which capture 18 per cent of the US$4.9 billion spent by international travellers in India in 2004, strongly suggest that benefits of openness are now spreading beyond metropolitan cities like New Delhi and Mumbai and traditional tourist centres like Agra, home to the Taj Mahal.

More flights will mean benefits from openness spreading more evenly across India. Of the US$909 million spent in India by Visa cardholders, 23 per cent went to retail stores.

WTTC's Mr Baumgarten is therefore not exaggerating when he says: 'Travel and tourism has to become a top priority for the country - it's the industry that creates the most jobs.' If it also means more profits for Bill Marriott, what's wrong with that? - Bloomberg

The writer is a Bloomberg News columnist

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #66
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The Times of India
April 11, 2005
Gateway to Kolkata is Ready for Take-Off

KOLKATA: It's a symphony in steel and glass. Even at first glance, the structure is striking enough to keep anyone's attention riveted. Towering 50 feet over the ground, the two-and-a-half level building is beautiful in its simplicity. Gigantic reinforced glass panels make for the walls. The roof comprises an intricately designed steel mesh that is supported by large spans. The effect is stunning; conjuring up a sense of expansiveness.

That is the futuristic terminal at Kolkata's Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport - a far cry from the clumsy brick-and mortar structure that lacks in visual appeal or architectural purpose. Though still on the drawing board, the dream project is inching closer to reality. French consultant Airport de Paris has just submitted provisional drawings of the Rs 100 crore terminal to Airports Authority of India. The computer generated images are based on the shortlisted entries to a design competition that was organised by the French firm for the purpose.

The images bring to life an elegantly-designed building with interiors that rival the best in the sub-continent. The brief was to create a world-class terminal for the future and the architects have attempted just that.

The sweeping steel spans minimise pillars and allow better space utilisation. The structural engineering facilitates creation of large obstruction-free lounges to serve as departure and arrival terminals.

The building proposed is a two-and-a-half level structure with departure section on level two and arrival section on level one. Between the two primary floors is a mezzanine level fitted with aerobridges to board and disembark from the aircraft.

With AAI keen to introduce an all-aerobridge operation in the new set-up, the designers are trying to make space for at least five aerobridges with provision for more. While escalators provide access to the mezzanine section from both the departure and arrival levels, they are segregated to take care of security concerns and eliminate confusion. The chic interiors are designed along international trends with the bare minimum furniture. The counters - both for check-in and immigration - are similar to those in modern airports across the world. Special emphasis is laid on signage and display to make the terminal user-friendly.

AAI architects scrutinising the draft have expressed satisfaction over the interiors but are not too keen on the large spans in the draft designs.

"Last year, Terminal 2E at Charles de Gaulle had to be closed after a similar roof collapsed. Even in Kolkata, the steel shade outside the domestic terminal collapsed in a storm," they point out.

With some changes inevitable, the construction is unlikely to begin by the scheduled date in August. Kolkata airport director Rajendra Pal is hopeful that actual work will begin by the year end.

After the final designs are ready, AAI will set the tendering process in motion.

That should take two to three months. The construction will take 30-36 months and be spread over three phases. "Since the old building will make way to the new one, it will be torn down in phases and construction carried out simultaneously to ensure that operations do not suffer," Pal explains.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 07:22 PM   #67
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India's Jet, Sahara Airlines To Increase Fares This Month
11 April 2005

NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)--India's private carriers Jet Airways India Ltd. (532617.BY) and Air Sahara are set to raise their fares by as much as 12% on the back of a similar hike by state-run Indian Airlines Ltd., officials from the two companies said Monday.

"The fuel cost rise leaves us with no option," said Alok Sharma, Executive Vice President of Air Sahara said after a meeting with the Aviation Minister Praful Patel.

A Jet Airways official also confirmed the airline is raising fares this month.

Indian carriers are especially affected as the country imports most of its fuel, to which taxes are added.

However, low-cost carrier Air Deccan's Managing G.R. Gopinath said it isn't hiking its prices for the time being.

"Our load factors are excellent," he said. "We are getting up to 100% of occupancy on our flights."
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Old April 11th, 2005, 07:24 PM   #68
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India, China To Increase Flights To 42/Wk Each By 2006
11 April 2005

NEW DELHI (Dow Jones)--India and China signed a memorandum of understanding Monday to increase the number of flights between the two countries as passenger traffic surges in the region, an Indian government statement said.

The agreement features a gradual increase in the number of flights each country can operate to 42 flights a week by next year, from just seven flights a week now, the statement said.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel said Indian private carriers could be allowed to fly to China, though a decision hasn't been taken yet.

Patel said that his ministry was renewing air agreements with several countries and a discussion with the U.K. government could be next, he added.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 12:41 AM   #69
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hm,dunno does the agrement say that Jet and Air Sahara can fly to China now?
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Old April 12th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #70
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Business Times - 12 Apr 2005

India may allow foreign airlines to buy into local carriers

NEW DELHI - India may change current investment rules to allow foreign airlines to buy stakes in local carriers, a news report said on Tuesday.

India currently allows foreign companies - but not foreign airlines - to own up to 49 per cent in Indian carriers.

But the federal aviation ministry will soon submit to the Cabinet a proposal changing those rules to include foreign carriers, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel was quoted as saying by The Financial Express. Mr Patel hoped the policy would come into effect by the end of May, the paper said.

India is also planning to privatise the running of its airports, although foreign investment has not been allowed yet. The government has proposed that joint venture companies run the New Delhi and Bombay airports, which together handle about 63 per cent of India's international passenger traffic.

Under the government's privatisation plan, private companies would run the airports on 30-year leases and government stakes in the airports would be capped at 26 per cent.

India has more than 400 airports, almost all of which do not meet international standards and are often criticised by travellers.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 12th, 2005, 07:01 PM   #71
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New Indian budget airline to take flight in August

BANGALORE, India, April 12 (AFP) - India's newest no-frills airline, Air One, said Tuesday it will start flying in August using two 50-seater jets leased from Brazilian aircraft-maker Embraer.

The initial investment would total 320 million rupees (45 million dollars) and the jets would link centers not connected by existing direct flights, J.W. Lobo, managing director of Air One, said.

"Air One will have three categories of fares priced 20 to 30 percent cheaper than major airlines," Lobo told reporters. "The majority of the tickets will be sold through Internet and Air One offices."

Lobo said Air One, based in the southern high-tech city of Bangalore, would keep overhead costs low and turn a profit from its launch.

Air One is the latest player to enter the fast-growing budget airline sector in the country of over one billion people.

India has just 15 million people who travel by air annually compared with three million passengers who fly daily in the United States, even though the US population is around one-quarter that of India.
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Old April 13th, 2005, 04:37 AM   #72
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Boeing Offers Competitive Pricing to Air India

NEW DELHI, April 13 Asia Pulse - In its bid to grab Air India orders, US aircraft manufacturer Boeing said Tuesday it had offered a "comprehensive competitive pricing" to the public sector carrier, whose decision to purchase 50 aircraft of different makes was yet to get the government nod.

"Our aircraft -- Boeing 777-200 ER (long range), 777-300 ER (extended range) and 787-8 Dreamliners are perfectly suited for Air India's plans and have competitive advantages over our competitors (Airbus Industrie)," Dinesh A Keskar, senior Vice President (Sales) of Boeing, told reporters here.

He said his company was in talks with almost all the Indian carriers, including Jet Airways (NSI:JET), Air Sahara and SpiceJet, for these and other aircraft for their domestic and international operations.

To questions as to why Jet Airways selected A340-300 to fly to London, Keskar said Boeing aircraft were not available in the lease market and added he was "not sure at this stage" as to which aircraft the private airline would fly when it launches operations to New York.

(PTI)
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Old April 14th, 2005, 02:51 AM   #73
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India, UK sign pact for more flights

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/...1401680300.htm
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Old April 14th, 2005, 01:27 PM   #74
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Business Times - 14 Apr 2005

Boeing seeks bigger slice of US$35b Indian market

(MUMBAI) India's fast-expanding aviation sector presents a big opportunity for US plane maker Boeing Co in its fight for a bigger slice of the fuel-efficient, mid-sized airliner market worldwide.

As more private carriers enter India's market and regulations ease to allow local airlines to fly overseas, Boeing hopes to grab a big share of the estimated US$35 billion market in the next 20 years, said the head of its aircraft trading business.

'We would obviously like to corner a very large share of this market, if not all of it, if we are able to meet the demand,' Dinesh Keskar said.

Boeing has leased three 737-800s to Air India Express, a discount international carrier, which will begin services to the Gulf region shortly, Mr Keskar said on Tuesday.

The main Air India carrier has shown interest in buying 20 787s with an option for six more, subject to government approval, and other airlines are also keen, he said. 'As the pace of liberalisation in India accelerates, we see demand for long-range and large carriers, but there will also be a need for the 150 and 250-seaters,' he said.

Boeing recently sold ten 737-800 planes to Royal Airways Ltd for US$630 million as the Indian firm prepares to launch a discount carrier in May.

Air India Express is awaiting government approval to buy 18 Boeing planes, Air India is also looking to buy 50 wide-bodied aircrafts, and state-run domestic carrier Indian Airlines plans to expand its fleet, offering sales opportunities for new aircrafts like the 777-200 LR and 787.

Private carriers Jet Airways Ltd and Air Sahara, which will soon fly to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, will adapt their existing 737-800 planes, and are potential buyers of Boeing's long-range aircrafts for flights to London and New York. But European rival Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co (EADS), has already made sales to privately owned Indian discount carriers Air Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines.

'In the US and Europe, airlines have recovered to 2000 levels, so they are all ramping up, and demand from Asia is very strong,' Mr Keskar said.

Airlines, with many struggling to contain record losses amid surging fuel prices, are trying to improve operating efficiency.

Boeing's new 787 Dreamliner is the result of a bet they will want smaller planes to serve regional airports, rather than large ones like the Airbus double-decker A380 superjumbo, which would bring larger numbers of passengers into hub-style airports.

Boeing expects the 787 to take half the mid-sized passenger jet market, estimated at around 3,500 planes. So far, it has received 203 orders and commitments from 17 airlines since its launch last year. - Reuters

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Old April 14th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #75
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China Eastern Airlines flight to link Mumbai, Shanghai

Beijing, April 14 (PTI): China Eastern Airlines will launch a new Beijing-Shanghai-Mumbai flight on April 18, its second direct flight linking China and India. The new flight will fly on every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. A300 carriers will be put into operation for the flight, the company said in Shanghai.

China Eastern Airlines already operates a Beijing-Shanghai-Delhi flight since March 28, 2002. It flies every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
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Old April 14th, 2005, 10:40 PM   #76
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UK-India flights double in deal
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4441963.stm

UK airline flights to India are set to more than double under a new agreement signed by the countries on Wednesday.

Under the arrangement, the number of flights per week will rise from 40 now to at least 84 by 2006.

It comes after flights increased last year, giving carriers other than BA a chance to compete on the routes.

The latest news was welcomed by BA, Virgin and BMI who will now be able to expand services on routes where demand currently outstrips supply.

The UK's Department for Transport said 56 of the 84 flights will operate between London's Heathrow airport and Delhi or Mumbai (Bombay).

The remaining flights will be between the UK and Bangalore and Chennai.

The number of flights between the US and India are also expected to increase as part of an agreement later this month.



^ This follows another expansion late last year:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4066239.stm
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Old April 15th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #77
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Posted: 15 April 2005 1140 hrs

India's Jet Airways arrives in Singapore on maiden flight

SINGAPORE : India's Jet Airways heralded its foray into Southeast Asia on Friday with the landing of its maiden flight at Singapore's Changi Airport from Mumbai.

"This is a historic moment for Jet Airways in expanding its newly acquired rights to fly international (routes) and to serve Singapore as our first and very important destination in Southeast Asia," said the carrier's chief operating officer Peter Luethi.

"We are looking forward to be part of a new growing business opportunity between the two countries in promoting each other's business and tourist
offers."

Luethi was among the 60 passengers on board the Boeing 737-800 plane that landed at Changi.

Jet Airways, the first private India-based commercial carrier to fly to Changi, will operate 14 weekly flights between Mumbai and Singapore, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said.

This will bring the total number of weekly flights between India and the city-state to 218, it added.

In 2004, air traffic between India and Singapore rose 21 percent from 2002 and 25 percent when compared to 2003.

Singapore is the Indian carrier's third destination in Asia after Colombo in Sri Lanka and Kathmandu in Nepal.

It plans to start flights from Chennai to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur later this month. - AFP
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Majulah Singapura 前进吧,新加坡!Onward Singapore முன்னேறட்டும் சிங்கப்பூர்

"My Settlement of Singapore continues to thrive most wonderfully - it is all and everything I could wish and, if no untimely fate awaits it, promises to become the Emporium and the pride of the East" - Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, 10th September 1820
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Old April 15th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #78
drwho
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^aaaaaaaah!!!!

Huaiwei..go to Changi and takes pics now!

Last edited by drwho; April 15th, 2005 at 05:34 PM.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 05:02 PM   #79
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Business Times - 19 Apr 2005

BA to begin increasing flights to India from October


LONDON - British Airways on Tuesday announced plans to begin increasing flights between London's Heathrow airport and cities across India from October following an agreement signed between the country's two governments.

Britain and India last week agreed to a move that would boost by almost three-fold to 132 the number of weekly flights between the countries.

BA on Tuesday said it would operate twice-daily flights between Heathrow and Bombay from October. It said it would offer the same service between London and Delhi from March 2006. BA currently operates one daily flight for each of the two routes.

'The liberalisation of air services between the UK and India is great news for consumers,' said BA's director of commercial planning, Robert Boyle.

'British Airways has flown to India for 75 years and is well established in the market. There is a huge demand for extra services and we are delighted that we are now able to satisfy that demand.'

The airline revealed also plans to increase from October the number of flights between the British capital and Chennai to six per week and to Bangalore to five. BA would operate a daily service to both destinations from March 2006.

Separately, BA confirmed it would begin flying five times a week to Shanghai - China's financial hub - on June 1, 2005.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Old April 24th, 2005, 07:40 PM   #80
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Jet Airways at Changi on 16 April.
-thanks to Bombay_Dreams for finding the picture
photo by : Benjamin Ng

http://www.airliners.net/open.file/823411/M/
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