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Finnair modifies ten of its A350s to carry more customers and cargo

Finnair modifies ten of its A350s to carry more customers and cargo

To enhance capacity on its Asian flights, Finnair has upgraded ten of its newest A350s to accommodate more passengers and cargo. As demand for flights to and from Asia has increased, Finnair has collaborated with aircraft manufacturer Airbus to raise the maximum take-off weight for a specifically chosen number of its aircraft.

Modifications made involve minor changes and updates to the aircraft’s software and placards and manuals in cooperation with Airbus. Finnair made the changes to aircraft which regularly serve Seoul and Tokyo, two of the longer intercontinental routes.

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Finnair Reveals Summer Schedule With 50+ European Destinations(Opens in a new browser tab)

Each route has been made longer following the closure of Russian airspace which has forced Finnair to replan its flights and detour around Russia, consuming more fuel than used previously. The normally lighter take-off weight had limited the number of customers and the amount of cargo each aircraft could carry, given the extended flight times.

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But now after the modifications, each aircraft can carry more customers and cargo – and importantly more fuel to fly the longer flight times between Finland and South Korea and Japan – as well as increasing the economic efficiency of each flight. These modifications form part of Finnair’s strategy to restore profitability and increase payloads, in spite of airspace closures and increased flight times.

Finnair adds flights between Helsinki and Asia for summer 2023(Opens in a new browser tab)

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The maximum take-off weight increase enables more customers and cargo to be carried, with the total capacity expected to be increased by up to eight tonnes, depending on the aircraft’s respective maximum take-off weight, route as well as flight times conditions.

The aircraft software compensates for the centre of gravity change and maintains the same handling characteristics, meaning that flying the aircraft does not change. The modifications were completed during the two first weeks in January, and operation with the new maximum takeoff weight began on 18 January.

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IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

IndiGo to introduce business class Service on its busiest routes 

After nearly 18 years of dominating India’s aviation landscape with its single-class economy configuration, IndiGo, the country’s largest airline, is set to make a significant leap by introducing business class service on its busiest routes.

The decision comes as IndiGo aims to offer passengers more choices and enhanced comfort amid the backdrop of a burgeoning economy. Set to be unveiled around August, coinciding with the carrier’s 18th anniversary, IndiGo’s “tailor-made business product” promises to redefine the flying experience for its customers.

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This move follows closely on the heels of IndiGo’s recent announcement of acquiring 30 wide-body aircraft, indicating the airline’s strategic expansion and commitment to catering to diverse passenger preferences.

IndiGo’s foray into business class service represents a significant milestone, especially considering its longstanding reputation as a low-cost carrier focused primarily on economy class offerings. With a fleet exceeding 360 planes and operating approximately 2,000 daily flights, the airline’s entry into the business class segment is poised to reshape the Indian aviation industry.

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Currently, Air India and Vistara are the sole providers of business-class seats on domestic routes in India. However, by December 2024, IndiGo will join this exclusive league, introducing its bespoke business class experience tailored to meet the evolving needs of discerning travelers.

Initially, IndiGo’s business class operations will be rolled out on the busiest domestic routes, ensuring passengers enjoy added comfort and luxury during their journeys. Further details regarding the official launch date, specific routes, and promotional offers will be disclosed by August 2024, heightening anticipation among passengers eagerly awaiting this premium service.

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Air India Gives Salary Increments to Staff; Bonus for Pilots

Air India Gives Salary Increments to Staff; Bonus for Pilots

Air India announced on Thursday that it will implement annual salary increments for its staff and introduce an annual target performance bonus for pilots, according to sources. This marks the first appraisal process since the Tata Group took over the airline a little over two years ago.

Chief Human Resources Officer Ravindra Kumar GP revealed that salary increments will take effect from April 1, 2024. Additionally, performance bonus payouts for the fiscal year 2023-24 will be based on both company and individual performance, sources reported.

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Pilots will see an increase in their fixed pay ranging from ₹5,000 to ₹15,000 per month. They will also be eligible for an annual target performance bonus between ₹42,000 and ₹1.8 lakh, contingent on performance metrics.

Cabin crew members will also benefit from an annual performance bonus of approximately ₹25,000. Alongside this, they will receive a standard salary increase for the financial year 2025, effective from April.

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Air India, which employs around 18,000 people, aims to foster growth and transformation, as stated by Kumar. The airline achieved significant milestones in the last financial year, laying a strong foundation for its future. As part of its Vihaan.AI initiative, the airline introduced a contemporary annual performance appraisal process known as “Rise AI” and transitioned to a simplified, market-competitive, and productivity-oriented compensation structure for employees.

However, it was noted that junior first officers will not receive a hike in their monthly fixed pay. Nevertheless, they will be eligible for an annual target performance bonus, with junior first officers receiving ₹42,000 and first officers and commanders receiving ₹60,000 per annum, provided they meet performance expectations.

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Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas Expands IndiGo Codeshares from Singapore

Qantas has broadened its codeshare partnership with IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline, enhancing travel options between Australia and India. This expansion allows customers to seamlessly connect from Qantas flights in Singapore to IndiGo’s services to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Previously, the codeshare arrangement enabled passengers on Qantas flights arriving in Bengaluru and Delhi to connect onto IndiGo domestic services to 21 destinations across India. Now, travelers can enjoy a more streamlined journey by transferring through Singapore.

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Additionally, the new arrangement allows customers to incorporate overnight stopovers in Singapore into their travel plans before continuing to Delhi or Mumbai. This provides greater flexibility and convenience for those wishing to explore the city or rest before their onward journey.

Qantas passengers traveling on IndiGo flights benefit from the same checked baggage allowance as their flight from Australia and receive complimentary food and beverages. Furthermore, Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn and redeem points on connecting IndiGo flights (with a QF code) between Singapore and India.

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This partnership expansion comes alongside Qantas’s recent announcement of increased flights to both India and Singapore. Specifically, flights between Sydney and Bengaluru will become daily during the peak holiday season, complemented by additional flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Singapore.

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