Top Air Travel news this week

Here’s a quick summary of top aviation news during recent past
1. Paperless boarding pass soon for domestic flying in India
Sharath Babu has shared this news- plans are on to allow paperless boarding, which is common in Europe but still a dream in India. Unfortunately this proposed solution will be based on adhaar and may invade privacy by tracking a person's movements, nature of tickets booked etc. [Read full news here]

2. History made in Arunachal Pradesh- first flight to Pasighat since independence
So far those looking to visit Arunachal Pradesh had to fly in to Guwahati and then go by road. Now with direct flight from Kolkata to Pasighat, we can explore Arunachal Pradesh better. Details on Indian Express

3. US- Drunk man misbehaves on flight
Read this NDTV news for details- this is reported from USA

4. Indigo begins Hubli operations to rival spicejet
After Spicejet began flights to Hubballi in Karnataka from Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Hyderabad and Goa, rival Indigo is also beginning flights to Hubballi from same cities.

5. Jet Airways says JP Miles will now never expire
Jet Airways has tweaked its loyalty points program JP miles- earlier JPMiles had an expiry period, now they stay active forever, provided passengers are active (they keep flying or buying something using JP miles etc)

6. First person to join India’s no fly list.
A Mumbai businessman named Birju Kishore Salla is the first person to be added to India's no fly list. This is apparently because he caused a hijack scare. Detailed news on The Hindu

However it remains to be seen how this no fly list is enforced by airlines. I could go till payment page while attempting to book a ticket with the banned passenger's name. So there is no check during ticket booking. Probably while only when passenger goes to airport and tries to board he will be sent back? I don't know.

7. AirAsia Big Sale
Air Asia held a big sale last week- the discounted fares were good but not the lowest I had seen. Hence didn't book any this time. Will wait for next one which usually comes in October/November time frame.

8. Jet Airways Mumbai Manchester direct flight
With London Heathrow airport getting expensive, crowded and busy, many airlines haves started focusing on other airports in UK. Jet Airways has announced flights to Manchester. Emirates had started flights to Stansted earlier. Gatwik is another cheaper airport.

9. Spicejet  completes 13 years
Budget airline Spicejet has completed 13 years in operations. Big congratulations to them.

10. In-flight WiFi may cost 22 crore per aircraft!
This livemint article suggests that providing in-flight WiFi and call service will cost airlines about 22 crores per aircraft- 18.4 crores+ in lost revenues due to 13 days of grounding, + 2.9 crores to install. Airlines have to decide if they will bundle this into economy tickets or sell it separately.  A previous survey conducted by Airlineblog indicated that most passengers aren't very keen to have this feature on short haul flights.

11. Some good news on cancellation
Government is mulling for better cancellation terms- base fare + fuel surcharge or Rs 3000 whichever is lower. Hopefully this will be implemented soon. [News]

12. FlyDubai announces flight to Helsinki, Finland
Dubai based FlyDubai has announced direct flight to Finland's capital, Helsinki. More details and ticket price details here.

13. Air India may have to pay 8.8 million dollars in passenger compensation
This news suggests that Air India is looking at a potential compensation payout amounting to 8.8 million USD, due to a diverted flight combined with cabin crew working hour limitations which forced an additional delay (as fresh crew had to be sent to this airport). Read full story here.

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