Corporate Newsletter August 2023

November 21, 2023

News at a Glance:

Air India unveils new logo, branding and plane livery:

Tata-backed Air India unveiled its new logo, branding and plane livery as part of a multi-million-dollar transformation of the former state-run carrier. The first aircraft to feature the new livery will be the new A350 widebody jetliner, slated to enter service in December 2023. The current brand identity and aircraft livery dates back to 2014, featuring a red swan, symbolising flight with orange spokes inside the swan inspired by the Ashoka Chakra.

Named 'The Vista', the new logo is inspired by the peak of the gold window frame. The brand-new aircraft livery features a striking new design, a palette of deep red, aubergine, gold highlights, and a chakra-inspired pattern.


Centre grants in-principle approval for 21 Greenfield Airports across India:

The new greenfield airports approved by the Centre will be set up in different regions of the country to enhance connectivity and boost air travel accessibility.

Some of the new locations include Navi Mumbai, Shirdi and Sindhudurg in Maharashtra, Kalaburagi, Vijayapura, Hassan and Shivamogga in Karnataka, Dabra (Gwalior) in Madhya Pradesh, Kushinagar and Noida (Jewar) in Uttar Pradesh, Dholera and Hirasar in Gujarat, Karaikal in Puducherry, Dagadarthi, Bhogapuram, and Orvakal (Kurnool) in Andhra Pradesh and more.

Among these, 11 Greenfield Airports have already been made operational. These include Durgapur, Shirdi, Kannur, Pakyong, Kalaburagi, Orvakal (Kurnool), Sindhudurg, Kushinagar, Itanagar, Mopa, and Shivamogga.


Akasa Air's international operations get wings, 20th aircraft added to fleet:

Akasa Air, which completed one year of operations on August 7, has added the 20th aircraft to its fleet which makes the airline eligible to start international operations. The 20th aircraft is a Boeing 737-8-200 making it the first airline in Asia to operate this aircraft variant.

Akasa is considering expanding its network to the Middle East, Southeast Asia and other parts of South Asia-Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, keeping a single-class configuration on the routes.


Bengaluru Airport - International flight operations to shift to new Terminal 2:

All international flight operations at Kempegowda International Airport (KIA) will be relocated to Terminal 2 (T2) starting from 31 August. The state-of-the-art Terminal 2 of Bengaluru Airport was inaugurated last year on 11 November 2022 and has been currently handling only a few domestic flights.


DigiYatra facility to be launched at six more airports in Aug '23:

DigiYatra, the contactless passenger processing system is slated to be expanded to 6 more cities - Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Lucknow, Jaipur, and Guwahati airports in Aug ’23. Currently the app has a user base of 1.29 million people and has been utilised by 3.40 million travellers as of Aug 10.

New airport terminal in Pune to be launched in Oct ‘23:

The final phase of construction for the new terminal building at Pune Airport is well underway, with completion and inauguration planned for October 2023. Currently, 92% of the building is complete, according to a senior airport official. The design of the building will reflect the state’s famous historical landmarks and the new terminal building will be integrated with the existing one.

The new airport terminal at Pune will host 10 aerobridges and 74 check in counters which should reduce overcrowding especially during peak hours. It will cover a total area of 7,50,000 sq ft and will have a handling capacity of 16 million passengers per year.

Domestic Travel Updates:

Star Air starts flights from Pune to Hyderabad via Bengaluru:

Star Air, the aviation wing of the Sanjay Ghodawat Group (SGG), started operating flights from Pune to Hyderabad via Bangalore. Star Air is currently the only airline which will be offering business-class service to flyers on the Pune-Hyderabad route and is the only non-UDAN route being operated by the airline.

The airline has plans to start more routes from the city with the Pune-Kisangarh (Ajmer) and the Pune-Jodhpur routes to be made operational in the next two to three months. The four-year-old Star Air is currently operating 18 routes, of which 15 routes have been identified under Centre’s UDAN scheme. The Kolhapur- headquartered group now operates a fleet of seven aircraft with two more in the pipeline.

Akasa Air launches Pune - Hyderabad flights:

With effect from 17th August ‘23, Akasa Air has introduced daily flights between Pune and Hyderabad with the following schedule:

Indigo announces flights to Jaisalmer from October:

Indigo announces Jaisalmer as its 81st domestic station and 113th overall station with new daily flights from Delhi/Mumbai/Ahmedabad/Jaipur to Jaisalmer & vv. with travel date eff. 12th Oct ‘23. The flight schedule is as follows:

International Travel Updates:

Air India connecting Pune to 23 International Destinations via Delhi:

United Airlines doubles Delhi - Newark Flights:

United Airlines has announced its largest-ever frequency between New Delhi and Newark announcing plans to offer double daily flights starting October 28, 2023.

The airline’s new service will commence with the IATA winter season and will be operated using the Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The flight timings for the two daily flights are as follows:

IndiGo spreads its wings to Central Asia with new routes:

Indigo is expanding its wings in Central Asia connecting Delhi with Tashkent (Uzbekistan) and Almaty (Kazakhstan). Effective from September 23, 2023, IndiGo will connect Almaty, Kazakhstan, to Delhi, offering travellers seamless access to Central Asia’s prominent financial centre. This expansion comes shortly after the announcement of non-stop flights between Delhi and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, commencing on September 22, 2023.

Almaty will become IndiGo’s 32nd international destination and the 111th overall station within the extensive 6E network. This new route aims to enhance India’s connectivity to Kazakhstan and bolster trade, commerce, and tourism between the two nations. Similarly, the introduction of Tashkent as the 31st international destination will not only promote trade but also foster stronger economic and cultural ties between India and Uzbekistan. The flight schedule is as follows:

Passport & Visa Updates:

Russia to launch e-visa for Indian passport holders from August 1:

Russia has introduced Electronic Visa (e-visa) services for Indian passport holders from August 01, 2023. The decision aims to enhance bilateral relations and boost tourism between the two countries. The newly introduced e-visa will facilitate entry into the Russian Federation for a variety of purposes, including business trips, guest visits, tourism, and taking part in various events.

The e-visa processing is anticipated to be completed in a maximum of four days, with a consular fee of US$40 applicable for this service.


DigiLocker account to be made mandatory when applying for passport:

Starting August 5, the Indian government is mandating passport applicants to create a DigiLocker account when submitting their applications, especially if they use Aadhaar for verification purposes.
In Short,

  • The Indian government has made it mandatory for passport applicants to complete the DigiLocker process starting August 5.
  • Applicants who submit Aadhaar during the passport verification process must create a DigiLocker account.
  • The aim is to facilitate quicker and more secure processing of passport applications by linking Aadhaar information to the DigiLocker account.

Update on New US Visa Services System:

The USA Consulate has updated their website on Aug 01, 2023 with new web pages for log in, profile, and appointment scheduling pages. Applicants can use their existing email ID to sign-up and recreate the profile/account in the new system.

There have been teething troubles with the new website where for fresh applications, the payment receipt is not getting generated on the website and it does not go onto the next page to process further. Also currently it is not possible to add applicant’s in the family profile as an error pops up for the dependant / added applicant.

Calls to the call centre and emails are both going unanswered as of now. Currently, the closest available appointment dates are showing for 2025 and earlier dates have not opened as yet.

We will keep our readers updated through the Travel Updates newsletter when the system stabilises and dates open up.

Categories:travel news