Friday, July 11, 2014

Aviation Weekly – 6th July to 11th July

IndiGo flight additions and flight timing changes

After possibly longest hiatus in the history of IndiGo, it is finally adding more flights on its network. This also comes along with a minor re-jig of timings on few of its flights and re-instating flights to Dubai at old flight numbers and timings, once the runway work is over by 20th July.

New Flights

IndiGo is expected to take delivery of its next Airbus A320 with sharklets, MSN 6208, likely to be registered VT-IAP. The new induction will be a net addition to the fleet and an aircraft will be based in Kolkata(CCU) to start the new services.

The new rotation will operate the below flights effective 3rd August.

6E596 CCU 0730 – 1015BOM D
6E496 BOM1030 – 1145IDR D
6E496 IDR 1240 – 1340HYD D
6E496 HYD1410 – 1525PNQ x6
6E495 PNQ1555 – 1710HYD x6
6E495 HYD1740 – 1840IDR D
6E495 IDR1920 – 2045BOM D
6E595 BOM2125 – 2350CCU D

IndiGo will now operate 3x Daily flights on Mumbai – Indore sector, 1 less than the dominant carrier Jet Airways on this sector.

On the Kolkata – Mumbai sector, this is IndiGo’s 6th Daily and direct flight, while it sells three more connections, each via Jaipur, Nagpur and Bhubaneshwar. Jet Airways operates 5 flights a day between Mumbai & Kolkata, while Air India & Spicejet operate 3 each. GoAir which operates to both Mumbai and Kolkata does not have a connection between the two cities.

On the Hyderabad – Indore route, IndiGo becomes the second carrier after Spicejet to operate a non-stop flight.  Kingfisher used to operate this route via Nagpur and Spicejet introduced this as a 4x weekly Hyderabad – Indore – Bhopal – Hyderabad and 3x weekly Hyderabad – Bhopal – Indore – Hyderabad routing, until they stopped operations to Bhopal and made the flight a Hyderabad – Indore – Hyderabad direct operation. Jet Airways offers this connection twice daily via Pune.

With a block time of just 1 hour between Hyderabad & Indore, I expect the On Time performance of this rotation to be severely affected.

Termination of existing Hyderabad – Pune – Hyderabad flight

With the induction of new rotation, IndiGo is terminating its existing Hyderabad – Pune flight which operates at below timings from the same day as it launched the new rotation

6E313 HYD1450 – 1600PNQ x6
6E313 HYD1545 – 1705PNQ 6
6E304 PNQ 1630 – 1745HYD x6
6E304 PNQ 1735 – 1850HYD 6

The terminated Hyderabad – Pune gap will be utilized to add flights on Hyderabad – Vizag sector increasing the frequency from existing single daily to double daily. It will also be a one stop flight from Delhi.

6E313 HYD1545 – 1655VTZ D
6E306 VTZ1725 – 1835HYD D

Its existing Hyderabad – Vizag flights are connected both ways to Mumbai.

Flight timings changes

One of the three daily flights on Delhi – Bhubaneshwar – Delhi sector has been advance by half an hour each way effective 16th August.

6E 257 DEL0700 – 0900BBI 320 D
6E 256 BBI0930 – 1145DEL 320 D
6E 522 DEL1140 – 1245LKO 320 D (Delayed by 35 mins)
6E 521 DEL0730 – 0850SXR 320 D (Delayed by 30 mins)
6E525 LKO1315 – 1430DEL 320 D (Delayed by 30 mins)
6E 525 DEL1500 – 1620SXR 320 D(Delayed by 30 mins)

SpiceJet re-starts International expansion

Spicejet, has announced flights on the Bagdogra – Kathmandu sector effective 13th August. Spicejet, which had pulled out flights and closed stations on the international sectors at the onset of the Summer Season, had announced that it would re-start some of those stations again later in the year.

However, the new flight puts the focus back on the blue skies concept – launching flights between sectors which are believed to have potential but are not served currently or have very low frequency and competition.

The flight would operate as below

SG47 IXB1355 – 1505KTM 135
SG48 KTM1605 – 1645IXB 135

This will also mean, they would launch an additional three weekly Kolkata – Bagdogra –Kolkata service as below

SG327 CCU1130 – 1225IXB 135
SG874 IXB1815 – 1920CCU 135

Spicejet had lobbied hard with the local government and the Air Force – which operates the Bagdogra Airport to extend watch hours to allow night landing and started multiple flights a day between Kolkata & Bagdogra, only to withdraw it in the short while.

Another short route which SpiceJet can look to operate from Kathmandu would be Varanasi, which Air India has been operating for a very long time.

Etihad launches Kolkata in Winter schedule

Etihad is launching flights to Kolkata in winter schedule. The flights operated by narrowbody A320 aircraft, will be effective 15th February’15. Etihad’s competition in the Gulf, Emirates & Qatar, already serve Kolkata.

The flights would operate as below,

EY256 AUH1110 – 1650CCU 320 D
EY255 CCU1830 – 2230AUH 320  D

Air India formally joins Star Alliance

21 year old airframe, MSN 432 Airbus A 320 with registration VT-ESF, inducted by erstwhile Indian Airlines in 1993 was colored in Star Alliance livery with the Star Alliance logo on the tail and the fuselage being full white with Star Alliance and Air India written for the ceremony to be held today to induct Air India into Star Alliance officially.

The ceremony is to be held at Delhi. The website of Air India started sporting the Star Alliance logo post mid night

Interesting snippets from Parliamentary Questions

Since the parliament is in session, there always is some interesting information which comes up from the questions which are asked on the floor of the house and the reply given by the honorable minister.

In one such answer, the minister answered that “Air Carnival” has been granted an Initial NOC to start Scheduled regional services in Southern region on 24th June 2014. Similarly, ZAV airways has been given similar NOC on 30th June 2014 for the East & North East Region. Only time will tell, how many extensions each of these apply for and if we would ever aircraft fly in their livery.

Capacity Increase by Air France to Bengaluru

Air France plans 4 class services to Bengaluru in Winter 2014. The existing A330 services will be replaced by 4 class B777-200ER, 6 times a week. Day 2 from Paris and Day 3 from Bengaluru will continue to be serviced by A330s.

 Tail Piece

There will not be any update to the blog until 26th July. As I return from a short break, expect a lot of travel experiences and review of flights across IndiGo and Jetairways – full service and JetKonnect along with another experience of Delhi Airport. Hope all my flights go well; I make all the connections and have a safe trip.

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