Archive for the 'Air India/Indian' Category

Air India introduces Delhi-Portblair flight with stopover in Bhubaneswar;

Air India/Indian, Bhubaneswar, Bringing International Connectivity, Uncategorized 12 Comments »

Update on 10th October 2011: The Delhi – Bhubaneswar – Port Blair Air India (6 days a week) flight will allow boarding and deplaning of passengers at Bhubaneswar. This will not only provide Bhubaneswar – Port Blair connectivity; it will also incraese connectivity between Bhubaneswar and Delhi. Air India also plans to have another daily Bhubaneswar – Delhi flight taking the total number of daily AI flights between these cities to (almost) three   and taking the total number of daily Bhubaneswar – Delhi flights to almost eight – 7 dailies and one 6 days a week. Following is a screen copy from on the dates Nov 2 2011 and Nov 3 2011.

Following is an excerpt from a report in Deccan Herald.

Keeping in mind the high tourist potential, Air India subsidiary Alliance Air has introduced a direct flight to Port Blair from here via Bhubaneswar and would operate a new 70-seater jet plane.

Giving holiday makers another reason to cheer, Air India’s direct flight AI 9603/9604 would be operated with Bombardier’s CRJ-700 on all days of the week, except Saturday, a spokesperson said.

The above news item is confirmed from the Air India web site. See the screen capture below.

As the following map shows Bhubaneswar is very close to the straight line between Delhi and Port Blair. The stop-over in Bhubaneswar allows Air India to use a smaller aircraft that can be refueled in Bhubaneswar. I hope Air India will allow people to get on and off at Bhubaneswar.

As the map above shows Bhubaneswar is also very close to the straight line connecting Delhi to Jakarta, Delhi to Singapore and Delhi to Kwalalumpur. I hope  some of the airlines take note of that and introduce flights between those places with a stopover in Bhubaneswar.

Update: Mumbai to Hongkong and Mumbai to Taipei also passes very close to Bhubaneswar. Updated the map above to illustrate that.

New Air India uniform based on Konark sun temple motifs

Air India/Indian, Konark, Sculptures Comments Off on New Air India uniform based on Konark sun temple motifs

Following is an excerpt from a report in PTI.

The grandeur of the majestic Konark Sun Temple in Orissa is set to be reflected in the new uniforms of Air India, with both cabin crew and ground staff, readying to don designer Ritu Beri’s fashionable creations.

"There is an endless wealth of decoration from minute patterns to boldly modelled free standing sculptures in the Sun Temple, which marks the foundation for the uniforms including saris and ties for men," says Beri who has been awarded the task to design the new uniforms.

"The wheels and arches of the temple are reflected in the print created. The saris depict the sun with rays going in all directions, inspired by the wheels of the Sun god’s chariot," Beri told PTI in an interview.

… "The endeavour was to combine our rich Indian colours and motifs from the temple with the powerful and more modern combination of black and white in the borders and the ‘pallu’ of the saris," says Beri. 


Air India reintroduces Kolkata-Bhubaneswar-Chennai-Bangalore flight

Air India/Indian, BBSR-Bangalore, BBSR-Chennai, BBSR-Kolkata, Bhubaneswar Comments Off on Air India reintroduces Kolkata-Bhubaneswar-Chennai-Bangalore flight

Following is an excerpt from a report in New Indian Express.

The public carrier has decided to reintroduce the Kolkata-Bangalore flight via Bhubaneswar and Chennai on February 18. A brand new Airbus 319 would be introduced on this lucrative sector.

… The new flight will boast of business class. It will operate on all the days of the week and would leave Bangalore at 9.30 in the morning and arrive here at 1 pm and in Kolkata at 2.35 pm. It will reach Chennai at 10.15 and take off at 11.05 am.

In the return direction, the flight will take off from Kolkata at 3.25 pm and arrive here at 4.20 pm. It will leave at 5 pm and arrive in Chennai at 6.55 pm and depart at 7.45 pm. The plane will touch down in Bangalore at 8.30 pm.

2nd terminal in Bhubaneswar and new airport in Jharsuguda: Samaja

Air India/Indian, BBSR-Chennai, BBSR-Kolkata, Bhubaneswar, Jharsuguda Comments Off on 2nd terminal in Bhubaneswar and new airport in Jharsuguda: Samaja

Travel experience and lessons from a recent Indian trip.

Air India/Indian, BBSR-Bangalore, Bhubaneswar, Indigo, Jetlite, Railways 1 Comment »

Kudos: I traveled several legs on Indigo (Bhubaneswar-Hydearabad-Bangalore, Bangalore-Kochi, Kochi-Goa, Goa-Hyderabad-Kolkata). All of its flights were in time and some reached destinations before time. Excellent service. Free food is not given but one can buy food on-board. Very happy with this airline and am  glad to see they will be connecting Bhubaneswar with Mumbai and Kolkata from Jan 29th. My best wishes to this airline.

mini-Kudos: Used the site to book ticket two days before a flight. They were offering great deals.

Mega disaster: I had booked Bhubaneswar-Bangalore flight on Jetlite through a travel agent from Bhubaneswar, who I thought I knew well. When I called Jetlite the day before the travel (a) first they told me that my reservation was canceled because the travel agent did not do something in time. (b) later I found out that they had just canceled the Bhubaneswar -Bangalore flight altogether and neither the airlines nor the travel agent informed me about that.

So-so: I am familiar with three main travel sites for booking tickets in India.

  • Has great deals. Does not seem to accept international credit cards.
  • Accepts international credit cards. Has software issues: When I booked a ticket with me as the booking person and my wife as the traveler it booked the ticket in my name and I ended up having two tickets on my name on the same flight. Great customer service over email and phone in correcting mistakes. It did not inform me about the cancellation of Kolkata-Bhubaneswar flight. But after I told them, they issued an immediate refund.
  • Does not seem to accept international credit cards.

Disappointment: Indian canceled Kolkata-Bhubaneswar flight that I was booked on  and I had to make alternative arrangements just 2-3 days before my travel date.

Dealing with a local Bhubaneswar travel agent with office in Jayadev Vihar: I thought since I knew this person well, he will give me better service. It was somewhat of a disappointment; but I am not sure how much I can blame the agent for this. Following are the good and bad parts.  (a)  Jetlite claims that  the main travel agent (Eastern travels) that this travel agent went through did not do some thing in time so they canceled my booking. The local travel agent (Orissa travels) responded that Jetlite often finds flimsy reasons to do such cancellation. I don’t know whom to believe. (b) His deals for a Kerala package was Rs 22000 (instead of the Rs 23,800 that I paid to the Bangalore agent)  but involved worse hotels. (c) Did not inform me about Jetlite flight being canceled; but did promptly inform me about the Indian flight that got canceled. (c) While makemytrip refunded me completely for the Indian flight that got canceled this travel agent says Indian only gave him a coupon to be used in 1 year. There is no way I can use this coupon.  (d) The tickets in Indigo that I bought from this agent were all fine. (e) Paying him for the tickets was convenient as his people came and picked up the money from my parents. They also refunded to my parents, albeit not so promptly.

Travel agents on the net: Came across two very good travel agents to arrange my Kerala trip and my Goa trip. (Did have to spend time in finding them. Also, may be I was lucky.) They both gave good deals and things went pretty well. I sent money to their ICICI account from mine; it was easy and quick. The two agents and the various companies involved in these trips were:

  • Mr. Shekar based in Bangalore 09448230450 / 09343835483 (Kerala Trip) is the agent I communicated with initially and Tours India International, Cochin, really took care of the reservations locally.
    • Avenue Regent Kochi: Wonderful hotel, will stay again here if I am in Kochi.
    • Backwater Resort, Kumarakom:  Decent resort in Kumarakom. Will stay here if in Kumarakom.
    • NAS group house boat: Not as great looking as the other house boats. (It may not have been a NAS group house boat, but a temporary rental.) Had a deck which many don’t have and view from the deck is even better. A/C control not in the room so the night spent was not as nice as it got cold and noisy and there was no way to turn it off. The overall experience was marvelous, but next time I will make sure about the particular boat I am in and solve the a/c issue beforehand.

Indian Railways: Was able to buy e-ticket on the net using International credit card. Could get 3 a/c Kolkata-Bhubaneswar  ticket in Coromondal 2 days before the trip. (A/C chair car tickets in Janashtabdi were not available. But as my wife told me, regular sleeper tickets are better than a/c chair car seats as one can sit as well as sleep on a sleeper ticket.)

Jet airways: Unlike the disastrous experience with its subsidiary Jetlite, the Bangkok-Kolkata-Bangkok flights in Jet airways were very good. The food was great, the entertainment available in the seat back sets were very good, the flights were on time and the tickets were the least expensive in that route. I hope they fix the problems with Jetlite asap; otherwise the negative impression that Jetlite will make will harm the overall brand name.


  • Have an ICICI account. It is very useful in sending money to make reservations.
  • Have access to rupee based credit card as many airlines in India do not accept international credit cards.
  • Avoid small local travel agents for out-of-state travel. They have less clout, so they may not be able to do the best for you, even if they want to.
  • Avoid Jetlite and Indian.
  • Patronize Indigo.
  • For Kolkata-Bhubaneswar leg, good old Indian Railways is the most reliable means.
  • For hotel rooms make sure what kind of a/c it has. Does the a/c have an automatic temperature control or you have to manually turn it on and off.
  • For visits to particular part of India look for travel agents in that part of India.  You may get lucky and come across good ones.
  • For air travel within India check out the three sites, and  and see who has the best deal.
  • Airlines change their schedules frequently. Check often.


Airports and air connectivity in Orissa

Air Deccan, Air India/Indian, Airports, Airports and air connectivity, BBSR-Bangalore, BBSR-Chennai, BBSR-Delhi, BBSR-Hyderabad, BBSR-Kolkata, BBSR-Mumbai, BBSR-Raipur, BBSR-Vizag, Bhubaneswar, Indigo, Jetlite, Jharsuguda, Khordha, Kingfisher, Others, Rourkela, Sky Airways 1 Comment »

As of today, Orissa has only one airport with commercial flights. That airport is in Bhubaneswar. Following is copied from my site “Orissalinks: Airports and air connectivity in Orissa.”


  • Indian (schedule: daily flights to/from Kolkata [direct], Mumbai [Mumbai-Raipur-BBSR-Mumbai], Delhi [direct], Delhi-Ranchi-BBSR-Delhi, Bangalore [via-Chennai], and Chennai [direct], plus twice a week direct flight to-from Bangalore)
  • Air Sahara (network, schedule: direct daily flights to/from Hyderabad, Kolkata and Delhi) – the Kolkata flight is no longer there in the current schedule,
  • Air Deccan (schedule: two daily direct flights between BBSR and Kolkata and daily flights between BBSR and Delhi, BBSR and Mumbai, BBSR and Visakhapatnam, BBSR and Hyderabad, BBSR and Chennai and BBSR and Bangalore (via Chennai). A flight between Ranchi and BBSR is also in the offing.)
  • Kingfisher (schedule: daily flights to Hyderabad and Delhi [via Hyderabad])
  • Wonder air chopper service (chopper flights from Bhubaneswar to Keonjhar and on to Barbil from Feb 9th 2007)
  • Spicejet (coming soon)
  • Indigo (coming soon)
  • Cities connected directly (non-stop or reachable with one-stop but without changing planes)

    • Delhi [3+2] (Indian: daily, Indian/Alliance Air: daily, Delhi-Ranchi-BBSR-Delhi, Air Sahara: daily, Kingfisher: daily via Hyderabad, Air Deccan: daily)
    • Kolkata [3] (Indian: daily, Air Sahara: no more, Air Deccan: twice daily)
    • Hyderabad [3] (Air Sahara: daily, Kingfisher: daily, Air Deccan: daily)
    • Mumbai [1+1] (Indian: daily, Mumbai-Raipur-BBSR-Mumbai; Air Deccan: daily)
    • Chennai [2] (Indian: daily, Air Deccan: daily)
    • Bangalore [.3+2] (Indian: daily via Chennai, Indian: 2/week direct, Air Deccan: daily via Chennai)
    • Visakhapatnam [1] (Air Deccan: daily)
    • Ranchi [1,0] (Air Deccan : in cards, details awaited, Indian/Alliance Air: Delhi-Ranchi-BBSR-Delhi)
    • Raipur [1,0] (Mumbai-Raipur-BBSR-Mumbai)
    • Keonjhar, Orissa (wonder air, chopper service from Feb 9th 2007)
    • Barbil, Orissa (wonder air, chopper service from Feb 9th 2007)

  • More connectivity (planned connections):
  • New Indian budget airlines expected to launch during 2007: AirOne Feeder Airline (based in Bangalore); Magic Air; Indus Air; Easy Air; and Star Air. (more information)
  • Connectivity wishlist (Oct 26, 2006)
    • BBSR-Rourkela
    • More BBSR-Bangalore (on the way to Goa)
    • BBSR-Pune (on the way to Mumbai)
    • BBSR-Jaipur (on the way to Delhi)
    • BBSR-Goa (with stop over in Bangalore)
    • BBSR-Varanasi (on the way to Srinagar/Delhi/Chandigarh)
    • BBSR-Kochi (with stop over in Chennai)
    • BBSR-Guwahati (with stop over in Kolkata)
    • BBSR-Bangkok/Kuala Lumpur/Seoul (Delhi/Mumbai-BBSR-Bangkok/KL/Seoul)
    • BBSR-London (Kolkata-BBSR-London)
  • Airport plans: [Oct22-05-priority-BBSR-Shillong-Dimapur-Nagpur]
  • Editor’s comment, Sept 20’05: The private colleges in Orissa should get together with Infosys, Satyam etc. to establish free public wi-fi in Bhubaneswar airport and Bhubaneswar railway station. At this point, it might be a first for the country. It will distinguish Bhubaneswar, generate a lot of publicity, with software companies and airline companies taking notice of it.
  • Cities connected (direct or with a stopover), timings
  • Rourkela: There is an airport to which Indian Airlines used to fly. Service to it needs to be reintroduced as soon as possible.
  • Plans to develop Jharsuguda airstrip to a full-fledged airport: [1]
  • Sites for flight news with respect to India: Aviation India; Indian A&D
  • A site for flight tickets: