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Another round of funding and investment is underway in India, and the amount of money that's being thrown around is no joke. The national carrier announced that it has been loaned $200 million by the country's bank, Bank of India, to purchase three brand-new Dreamliner airplanes.
That's not all. Air India expects to raise an additional $500 million from bridge loans and has received a $288 million tax credit to cover the cost of fuel, simulators, and spare parts. If it all comes through as planned, as many as six new Dreamliners could be in the airline's future.
It’s time for some WiFi news, as another international carrier is jumping on the in-flight connectivity bandwagon. This week it’s Air India that’s getting ready to install wires, switches, and antennas in hopes of keeping passengers happy and logged on during their time up in the air.
Details are kind of limited at this point, but the carrier has announced that WiFi is coming to both their big planes and little planes—on both domestic and international journeys. Right now they’re still reviewing PowerPoint presentations and other sales pitches, but it does sound like Thales is just one of the companies in the running to install the WiFi bits and pieces.
Airline News / Star Alliance / Travel News / Avianca / TAM / US Airways / Air India / → All Tags
The opening of a new year brings new opportunity to the world's three largest airline alliances. Some movement, along with a few new entrants in the major alliances will not only strengthen networks, but open up new destinations for using those hard-earned miles. Today, we have a look at what's happening with Star Alliance for 2014.
These next months will see the largest alliance experience a slew of fond adieus and welcomes. Like we mentioned last week when we talked about Oneworld, Star is set to say farewell to US Airways and TAM. The TAM move to Oneworld with merger buddy LAN creates a considerable hole in the Brazilian reach of the alliance, hence discussion of Avianca Brazil becoming an affiliate airline to the alliance.
Very quickly: an Air India pilot dressed himself up in his uniform, and then filmed himself rapping about how Air India sucks, and then put the video up on YouTube. How do you think that went for him? No cheating.
If you answered "obviously he was forced to write an apology and now will face disciplinary action, because employees don't get to post themselves trashing their employers on YouTube," congratulations, you're a more astute observer of organizational dynamics than is this guy. Who has flown airplanes. Filled with people inside of them. For a living.
Pilots / Air India / 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / AIrlines / Airline News / → All Tags
It’s been well over a year since the very first Boeing 787 Dreamliner took to the skies, and since then it’s been mostly men having all the flying fun when it comes to sitting up front. Thankfully the ladies finally got their chance to take control in the cockpit, as it looks like a couple female pilots from India are the first women to fly the Dreamliner.
Just recently—October 12 to be exact—an Air India flight did its thing between Delhi and Kolkata, but in doing so it made history as the first flight with women seated in both the pilot and co-pilot seats. Captain Rashmi Miranda and Captain Sakshi Kumar said it felt like any other flight, but they did admit to stopping to snap a picture for the aviation scrapbook.
New Routes / Airlines / AIrline News / Tiger Airways / Delta / Air India / JetBlue / China Southern / → All Tags
Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
Earlier in the week the suits over at Delta flew out to Seattle as they were pretty excited to talk about some future plans for the area. Among all the news were a couple of new route announcements; however, we will have to wait for the government paperwork and approval to clear before the planes and pilots start doing their thing.
Delta is looking to launch nonstop service between Seattle and Shanghai beginning on June 17 of next year, and they’re also thinking about a flight between Seattle and Tokyo-Haneda as soon as next March. They’re even planning on adding an additional flight between Seattle and New York-JFK, and when they’re all said and done there should be roughly 40 daily flights to 15 destinations out of Seattle.
· Air India:
This might be short notice, but if you haven’t been to India—or Germany—next week just might be the best time to visit for the first time. Air India just announced that they’ve fueled up their brandy new Boeing 787, and that they’re ready to send it into the skies.
They’re using the new bird between Delhi and Frankfurt beginning on October 15, as the new plane will replace its airplane sibling—the Boeing 777—on the route. According to our buddies over airlineroute.net, the flights are ready for booking and ticketing, so warm up those credit card digits and start planning an impromptu journey.
Airplane News / Airplanes / Airlines / Airline News / Boeing / Boeing 787 / 787 / 787 Dreamliner / United 787 / Boeing 787 Dreamliner / ANA / Japan Airlines / Qatar Airways / LAN / Air India / Ethiopian Airlines / China Southern / LOT / Hainan Airlines / Air New Zealand / United / → All Tags
And yet it seems like only yesterday we were perched atop the Future of Flight Center in Everett, WA, in the early morning cold and mist, as the absolute very first Dreamliner was delivered, to Japanese carrier ANA. In fairness it's been a solid year since then and while five airlines now boast Boeing 787s in their fleets, there's a whole slew more champing at the bit to get their mitts on the sleek plane.
Let's review who's got it and who wants it, shall we?
There’s bad news for those who enjoy the in-flight catering aboard Air India flights, and that’s because it’s going away. Just like many of the airlines in the United States, Air India has decided to ditch in-flight meals for some of its passengers on some of its flights. Of course the blame falls squarely on the cost, but at least they still might throw a granola bar or something your way.
As of February 1, short-haul domestic flights received this new revised in-flight menu, and that means no more freebie meals for those in the economy cabin. For flights less than 90 minutes the typical breakfast, lunch, or dinner selections are gone, but in their place the airline is promising “heavy snacks and soft drinks.” Honestly, for less than 90 minutes we’d be happy with some in-flight Naan and a Diet Coke, but still, clearly this is an overall bummer.
Qantas / Air France / Virgin Australia / Airline Industry / Airline Strikes / Air Canada / Air India / → All Tags
As the airline industry settles in for a winter of labor turmoil, we here at Jaunted are becoming resigned to what will be an endless series of airline strike stories. And while we could just update you with lines like "were you thinking of going to [destination X that's totally hosed] some time soon? If so, don't"that seems just a little bit flippant. Although if you were thinking of going to Canada, France, Australia, or India some time soon, there's a good chance you're going to want to consider travelers' insurance.
A few days ago we told you that the Qantas and Air France strikes were winding down, which was technically true. As of yesterday Qantas had resumed all flights and Air France was operating at 90%. Butbecause this is how things are going to go now, apparentlynone of the issues have been resolved. So everything could kick up again before the month is over.
Airplane Hell / Air India / Star Alliance / Airline Industry / Airline News / Airline Alliances / Travel Hell / LHR / LGW / London Travel / → All Tags
Air India can't seem to do anything right. The company tried for years to join Star Alliancewe covered some of their bumbling efforts last Mayonly to recently give up and suspend integration efforts. Star Alliance's minimum membership requirements, which other airlines seem to be able to meet just fine, turned out to be just too difficult for the Air India people to figure out. On its face, that's not a particularly encouraging signal of competence.
Now comes news out of London that the airline was responsible for a truly epic nine hour tarmac delay, which came at the endnot at the beginning, but at the endof a long-haul flight from Mumbai.
200 passengers plus one Boeing 777 minus any food unsurprisingly equaled grumpiness. If you're saying to yourself, "I can't believe cops weren't called to put down a riot," you'll be interested to know that cops were indeed called to put down what almost became a riot.
Low Cost Carriers / LCCs / Air India / Airlines / Airline News / India Travel / → All Tags
It’s time for another low cost carrier to hit the market, and this week it looks like Air India is going to try their best to get their brand of cheap fare into the air. Unfortunately, don’t expect the 787, as we’re pretty sure they’re going to save that for the more expensive routes.
At first it sounds like this will be just a domestic venture, so your dreams of cheap nonstop flights to New Delhi from JFK might have to wait a few years—or longer. Air India already has its own regional carrier known as Alliance Air, but it sounds like those at the top of the airline are looking to revamp things into a true LCC capable of cut-throat fares and little to no frills.
Airplane News / Boeing 787 / Dreamliner / 787 / Boeing / Airline News / Airplanes / ANA / Air India / → All Tags
It’s August and all continues to go well for the Boeing 787. We know that the very first plane should finally be delivered to All Nippon Airways in a matter of weeks, but the exact date still remains a mystery. However, we do know where the plane is scheduled to do its thing for the first time, as ANA has finally decided on a couple cities to welcome the first flight of the new bird.
The very first flight will head between Tokyo-Narita and Hong Kong right around a month after the plane is delivered—we guess they need a month to take in the sights and sounds of the new plane before allowing people to spill Diet Coke all over the new seats. Anyway, with the first delivery scheduled for September that means that the first flight should—hopefully—be sometime in October.