Air India Announces New International Destination

Tata Group’s Air India has announced that from June 1, 2024, it will start nonstop flights between Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The carrier will operate an Airbus A320Neo on this new route, boasting a two-class configuration. The outbound flight – AI388 – will leave India’s capital at 13:15 and land in Ho Chi Minh City at 19:55. After an hour’s wait, the return flight – AI389 – will leave Vietnam at 20:55 and arrive in Delhi at 00:30 (+1). All times mentioned are local.

Air India will operate five weekly flights on the route mentioned above. These will be on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Ho Chi Minh City will become the airline’s fifth international destination in Southeast Asia. It already offers flights to Singapore, Bangkok (Thailand), Phuket (Thailand) and Yangon (Myanmar).

Also Read: Tata Group Airlines To Increase Presence At Bengaluru

Café Akasa Launches New Eid Special Meal

Akasa Air, one of India’s newest airlines, is celebrating the holy festival of Eid-ul-Fitr on its flights. Café Akasa, the airline’s onboard meal service, has introduced edition two of the Eid special meal. That includes Lucknowi style Patti Samosa, Chicken Shammi Kebab with Khajoori Chutney, Zafrani Double ka Meetha and a choice of beverage. This meal option is available till the end of the month. It can be pre-booked via the carrier’s mobile application and the website.

It isn’t the first time that Akasa Air has brought a touch of festivities to the skies. Ever since it entered commercial operations in August 2022, it has introduced special meal options to celebrate popular festivals and occasions, such as Makar Sankranti, Valentine’s Day, Holi, Mother’s Day, International Yoga Day, Monsoon season, Onam, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra, Diwali and Christmas, among others. Travellers also have the option to pre-book from a selection of cakes to celebrate their birthdays or anniversaries thousands of feet above sea level.

ANA Expands Free Wi-Fi Access On International Flights

Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), has announced that beginning this summer, it will offer complimentary Wi-Fi- access to Business Class passengers on international flights. The same will be extended to those travelling in Premium Economy and Economy cabins on international routes, but only by the end of March 2025.

ANA has been offering onboard Wi-Fi service since 2014. Passengers can access the internet, e-mail and social media platforms. Over the years, the carrier extended complimentary Wi-Fi access on domestic routes and free Wi-Fi for First Class passengers on international flights.

Image Source: Boeing Mediaroom 

Finnair Announces More Flights In Upcoming Seasons

For the winter 2024 season, Finnair has updated its flight programme for Dallas, Texas. The carrier will add frequencies on this route to make it a year-round daily service. Travellers can find connections with American Airlines from the Dallas hub to other parts of the USA.

Then, in the summer 2025 season, Finnair will add more flights to Tokyo Narita. This will enable the carrier to offer daily service to two Tokyo touchpoints – Narita and Haneda. Also, Finnair will add a third weekly service to Nagoya.

Finnair will also operate additional flights in the Baltics in the same season. While Tallinn and Riga will get five more weekly services, Vilnius will get two. Lastly, a new destination will be added in the summer 2025 season. Finland’s flagship carrier will operate a 68-seater ATR aircraft from Helsinki to Kirkenes in Northern Norway via Ivalo thrice a week.

Tickets for all these routes can be booked via the airline’s official website.

Tata Group Airlines To Increase Presence At Bengaluru

An agreement has been signed between Air India and Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL). The intent is to uplift Bengaluru into a sought-after aviation hub for southern India. Air India and other Tata Group airlines – AIX and Vistara – will collaborate with BIAL to increase international connectivity and operational efficiency while improving the passenger experience over the next five years.

How will this be achieved? Besides adding more international links from Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru, a dedicated domestic lounge for premium and frequent flyers of Tata Group airlines is in the pipeline. Also, Air India has inked an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Govt. of Karnataka to establish aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facilities at the Bengaluru Airport. This will generate over 1,200 new jobs for highly skilled individuals in the state.

Beond Launches Service Between Malé And Dubai

Maldives-based Boend Airlines has launched commercial passenger flights between its hub in Malé and Dubai. The service will operate from the capital of Maldives to Dubai’s Al Maktoum International Airport. From today until July, four weekly flights will operate on this route. Then, two additional flights will be added to take the weekly services count to six.

In February 2024, Beond Airlines took delivery of its second Airbus A321, which is currently undergoing refurbishment. In the same month, the leisure airline announced it would be the first to offer Apple Vision Pro onboard. The carrier aims to provide services from Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific to Maldives. The service between Malé and Milan, Italy, will commence later this year.

Etihad Announces Flights To Al Qassim

UAE’s national carrier, Etihad Airways, has announced the addition of destination number four in Saudi Arabia – Al Qassim. From June 24, 2024, the airline will fly four weekly flights from Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport (AUH) to Al Qassim’s Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz International Airport (ELQ). This will be a nonstop service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, using an Airbus A320.

Flight EY 0627 will depart AUH at 08:00 and arrive in ELQ at 09:10. The return flight – EY 0628 – will leave ELQ and land in AUH at 10:15 and 13:20, respectively (all times are local).

Etihad will also increase flight frequencies to five destinations across the Middle East and South Asia. From June 15, 2024, three additional weekly flights to Thiruvananthapuram (India), Amman (Jordan), Cairo (Egypt), Karachi (Pakistan), and Colombo (Sri Lanka) will run. Last month, the carrier also announced the addition of two new destinations: Antalya (Turkey) and Jaipur (India).

This summer season will see a 33 per cent increase in weekly flights over the last. The total number of flights will grow from 642 to 855, while the number of destinations served will jump from 65 to 76.

Air Canada Launches Its Longest Flight Ever

Flying out of Vancouver and landing in Singapore is the latest international service that Air Canada has introduced. Operated on a Boeing 787-9, the new route is the sole nonstop service between the two countries and the carrier’s longest flight when measured by distance. The flight covers a distance of 12,818km (7,965 miles) with a flying time of up to 16 hours and five minutes.

Air Canada will offer this service all year round, four times weekly – Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays (outbound) and Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays (inbound). The departure time from Vancouver is 00:05, and the arrival time is 07:10 + 1 day in Singapore. The return leg begins at 09:10 and ends at 08:55. The aircraft has a three-cabin layout, including Air Canada Signature Class, Premium Economy and Economy. Besides having 100s of hours of onboard movies and TV Shows, passengers can also purchase Wi-Fi services.

Korean Air Announces Charter Services To Taichung

Starting May 2 and until June 29, 2024, Korean Air will operate seasonal charter services between Seoul Incheon and Taichung, Taiwan. The flights will run thrice a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The outbound flight – KE189 – will leave South Korea’s capital at 3:30 pm and land in Taichung at 5:15 pm. The return leg – KE190 – will depart at 6:50 pm and arrive in Seoul at 10:40 pm (all times are local).

Korean Air will operate a Boeing 737-8 on the abovementioned route. The aircraft will have a 146-seat layout, with 8 seats in Prestige Class and the remaining 138 in Economy. Once this new service is live, South Korea’s flag carrier will have 24 roundtrip weekly services between Seoul Incheon and Taiwan, including 14 on the Seoul Incheon-Taipei route and 7 on the Busan-Taipei route.

Also Read: Korean Air To Buy 33 Airbus A350s