airBaltic Announces More Pop-Up Flights For Summer

For the summer season 2024, Latvian carrier airBaltic has confirmed additional pop-up flights. For the record, pop-up flights operate during a particular period to cater to an increased demand. The new pop-up services include a domestic flight between Riga and Liepaja and a link between Tallinn, Estonia and Palma de Mallorca, Spain, towards the end of summer.

The Riga-Liepaja flight will operate twice a week between July 11 and July 22 and August 1 and August 5. One-way ticket prices are EUR 39 for Economy Classic and EUR 99 for Business Class. The service between Tallinn and Palma de Mallorca will operate once a week, on Mondays. On this route, the one-way ticket prices start at EUR 99.

Before these two pop-up services, airBaltic had announced similar operations from Riga to Ostrava, Czechia. Flights on this route will operate on May 11, 13, 17, 20 and 22. Latvia’s men’s hockey team will be in action on these dates at the IIHF 2024 Ice Hockey World Championship.

Like all other airBaltic flights, the pop-up services will also be provided on an Airbus A220-300.

Also Read: airBaltic Announces Three New Routes For Winter Season

British Airways Returns To Abu Dhabi

After a four-year hiatus, the UK’s flag carrier, British Airways, has returned to the capital of the UAE. On April 21, 2024, the flight BA073 touched down at Zayed International Airport in Abu Dhabi. This service, provided on a Boeing 787-9, will now be a year-round operation. The resumption of this route for the airline means it can cater to more passengers in the Middle East.

The outbound flight – BA073 – will leave London Heathrow at 22:25 and arrive in Abu Dhabi at 08:30 the next day. After a short stop, the return will depart Zayed International Airport at 10:10 and land in London at 15:30. All times mentioned are local and for the summer season. The arrival and departure times from Abu Dhabi will move 1 hour forward during the winter season.

Air India’s A350 To Fly On Delhi-Dubai Route From May 1

In January 2024, Air India’s newest family member, the brand-new Airbus A350-900 sporting the carrier’s new livery, entered commercial service. Due to some boring and tedious reasons, the widebody jet was deployed for domestic duties. It served passengers travelling to or fro from Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru.

Come May 1, 2024, the long-haulier twin-engined aircraft will finally add an international destination to its portfolio. Air India has confirmed that in about two weeks from now, the A350-900 will serve travellers on the busy Delhi-Dubai route. The outbound flight – AI995 – will depart the Indian capital at 20:45hrs and arrive in Dubai at 22:45hrs. The return leg – AI996 – will leave Dubai at 00:15hrs the next day and land in Delhi at 04:55hrs. All times mentioned are local. Presently, Air India operates 72 flights a week to Dubai from five Indian cities. Of them, 32 originate from Delhi.

The Air India A350-900 aircraft boasts a three-class seating layout comprising 28 private suites with full-flat beds, 24 seats in Premium Economy, and 264 seats in Economy. Every seat comes with its own Panasonic eX3 in-flight HD entertainment system, which has over 2,200 hours of content from across the globe.

Air Serbia Adds Another ATR To Fleet

Serbia’s flag carrier, Air Serbia, has strengthened its fleet with another ATR aircraft. The eighth ATR to wear the airline’s livery is a 9-year-old 72-600 turboprop bearing the registration number YU-ASF. The plane landed at Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport after completing the necessary procedures, which have been undergoing since March 10, 2024.

Air Serbia started adding ATR aircraft to its fleet in 2022. In that year alone, the airline took delivery of four 72-600s. Another three of the same type were added in 2023. All ATRs in the carrier’s fleet presently boast 70 to 72 “Geven Prestige” and “Acro” seats. These aeroplanes are powered by two PW127M turboprop engines, delivering a maximum cruising speed of 500kmph. The travel range at full capacity is about 1,500km.

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.