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Qantas and Jetstar extend deadline for COVID flight credits

Qantas Launches New Flights between Melbourne and Exmouth

Qantas and Jetstar are giving customers an extra 12 months to use their COVID credits, which are a carry-over from the unprecedented upheaval to borders and travel during the pandemic.

Qantas and Jetstar Launch One Million Seat Sale(Opens in a new browser tab)

Credits have been extended three times since 2020 and this final extension to the travel date is designed to make it easier for customers to use their remaining credits for domestic or international travel. Before today, customers had to book and complete their travel by 31 December 2023. Following this change, they will still have to book by 31 December this year but have until December 2024 to complete their travel.

This extension follows a number of other initiatives introduced over the past year to make using COVID credits easier. They include a dedicated Qantas helpline with specially trained staff, monthly reminder emails on credit balances and prompts to use flight credits in the online booking engine. Qantas customers can call the Travel Credit Concierge Team on 1300 171 505 or visit the Travel Credits Hub. Jetstar customers can use LiveChat to locate their voucher details.

Jetstar Unwraps Its New A321LR Before Christmas(Opens in a new browser tab)

Today’s change also adds to offers introduced to encourage customers to book travel before their credits are due to expire, including a double points offer for Frequent Flyers last December and a Qantas “Find My Credit” tool, which will launch in April to help those who have lost track of their original booking details.

The travel date extension makes the Qantas and Jetstar COVID credit program more flexible than our main domestic competitor and one of the most flexible among global carriers – some of which have already expired their COVID credits.

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Airlines

Pilot Faces Backlash for Working with Two Airlines Simultaneously

A significant controversy has erupted at Malta’s new state-funded air carrier, KM Malta Airlines, following the revelation that one of its pilots was secretly working simultaneously for another airline.

The incident involved First Officer Danica Theuma, who was found to be flying Virgin Atlantic planes in the UK while also employed by KM Malta Airlines. The incident came to light last month when Theuma, who was supposed to be observing obligatory rest periods as per her KM Malta Airlines schedule, was seen flying Virgin Atlantic planes out of Heathrow Airport in London.

A colleague who spotted her in the UK reported the incident to her manager. As a result, Virgin Atlantic’s management swiftly terminated Theuma’s employment upon discovering her double duty.

Theuma’s actions not only represented a severe breach of contract but also violated international safety regulations.

These rules strictly govern duty times and rest periods to ensure the safety of both passengers and crew. Despite these serious infractions, KM Malta Airlines has chosen to allow Theuma to continue flying for the airline.

Initially, KM Malta Airlines suspended Theuma after being informed of her conduct. However, the airline decided to reinstate her shortly after, a decision that has caused significant unrest among her colleagues. The airline’s employees are demanding that Theuma be held accountable for her actions and punished for disregarding safety rules.

The situation has sparked a heated debate within KM Malta Airlines, with many pilots expressing their dissatisfaction with the management’s decision to retain Theuma. They argue that her breach of safety protocols and contract should result in stricter disciplinary action to uphold the integrity and safety standards of the airline.

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Airlines

IndiGo Partners with Private Firm to enhance its Cadet Pilot Program

IndiGo Partners with Private Firm to enhance its Cadet Pilot Program

IndiGo, India’s preferred carrier, has announced a strategic partnership with Garuda Aviation Academy to bolster its Cadet Pilot Program.

This initiative aims to train fresh pilots to become future junior first officers for the airline. This collaboration marks the eighth partnership IndiGo has established for its cadet pilot program over the past 13 years.

The comprehensive 21-month course is designed to equip aspiring pilots with the necessary skills and knowledge. The training program begins with a three-month ground school at Garuda Aviation Academy’s training center in Gurugram.

Aims to train fresh pilots as future junior first officers

This is followed by a 12-month intensive training session at 43 Air School in South Africa, renowned for its exceptional track record of training over 6,000 ab-initio pilots.

IndiGo has successfully inducted over 1,000 pilots through these rigorous training programs in the last 13 years. These programs encompass the entire spectrum of pilot training, from cadet selection to obtaining a commercial pilot license and A320 type rating, culminating in their induction into the airline as pilots.

Captain Ashim Mittra, Senior Vice President of Flight Operations at IndiGo, expressed his pride in the new partnership with Garuda Aviation Academy. He emphasized that the 21-month course is expected to cultivate the next generation of skilled pilots who will uphold IndiGo’s commitment to safe, affordable, and hassle-free travel.

Aligns with the Government of India’s UDAN mission

This initiative is in line with the Government of India’s UDAN (“Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik”) mission, aimed at enhancing connectivity to smaller and medium-sized towns and cities across the country.

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Airlines

IndiGo Flight Tickets Now Bookable Through WhatsApp

IndiGo Flight Tickets Now Bookable Through WhatsApp

IndiGo, India’s preferred airline, has introduced an innovative AI conversational booking assistant named 6Eskai on WhatsApp, marking a significant step in enhancing customer experience.

This new feature aims to provide seamless travel solutions directly through WhatsApp, offering convenience right at the travelers‘ fingertips.

IndiGo launches AI conversational booking assistant

6Eskai is built on a generative AI assistant platform developed by Riafy, a Google partner. With this technology, customers can now book tickets, check-in, generate boarding passes, check flight statuses, and ask queries all via WhatsApp.

The service is capable of handling both text and voice messages in English, Hindi, and Tamil languages initially. To use this service, customers can simply initiate a WhatsApp text to +91 7065145858.

The AI assistant leverages Google Cloud’s Large Language Models to support this service. Through extensive prompt engineering, it offers conversational interactions, responds to emotions, and even adds humor to its responses, ensuring a more engaging customer experience.

6Eskai has 1.7 trillion parameters

This extension on WhatsApp is expected to significantly enhance the hassle-free travel booking services available through IndiGo’s digital channels. 6Eskai is a highly advanced AI with 1.7 trillion parameters, enabling it to answer a wide range of common questions effortlessly.

Its capabilities include booking tickets, applying promotional discounts, booking add-ons, performing web check-ins, assisting in seat selection, planning trips, answering FAQs, and connecting customers with an agent.

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