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United Airlines now has the largest and most expensive in-flight training facility in Houston.

United Opens Expanded and Newly Renovated Global Inflight Training Center in Houston

The largest Inflight Training Center for United has opened in Houston. It is a 56,000 square foot facility with new classrooms, extra cabin and door trainers, and a state-of-the-art aquatic centre with a 125,000-gallon pool and a mock fuselage to practise the safe evacuation of the aircraft in the unlikely event of a water landing. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner joined United CEO Scott Kirby at a ceremonial ribbon cutting event in Houston to officially open the new training center.

The $32 million expansion project more than doubles the available training space and supports the airline’s plan to hire and train a total of 15,000 people in 2023, including 4,000 flight attendants.

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United plans to train more than 600 flight attendants per month at the newly expanded Houston facility and the expansion project is another example of United’s focus on long-term investments in infrastructure, tools and technology to support its United Next growth plan as well as the airline’s continued commitment to Houston.

Emirates Will Train Thousands of New Cabin Crew in the Metaverse(Opens in a new browser tab)

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New United flight attendants will go through a six-week and a half training course at the Houston facility and then return every 18 months to stay current on their qualifications. The campus includes inflight service training spaces with mock seats, a 400+-seat auditorium and a public address room where trainees can practice their onboard announcements. The centerpiece of the building is a new Aquatic Center that includes a 125,000-gallon pool to practicing the safe evacuation of the plane in the unlikely event of a water landing.

As part of the construction of the facility, and in support of Mayor Turner’s climate action plan to build local storm-resilient infrastructure, United included an underground prefabricated storm detention vault that can hold more than 268,000 gallons of water and store stormwater runoff in large underground pipes or vaults.

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United has operated for more than 70 years from its hub at George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).and is one of the largest employers with over 11,000 local employees and plans to hire 1,800 more in 2023. The airline maintains a corporate office presence downtown and is the leading carrier at George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH), with about 400 flights per day and more direct flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other airline.

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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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