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IndiGo turns 5!

One of my favourite airline in the Indian skies is Indigo, and they turn 5 this August. Ever since they first took to the skies, Indigo has been on the low-cost, point-to-point model and essentially promising a no-nonsense, professional travel experience! And have they delivered or have they delivered!? Yes, they are best on-time performance airline in the industry, and the professional experience they offer has helped them sky-rocket to the number 3 spot as per marketshare for all domestic airlines in India (June 2011, DGCA). Indigo made waves when it first went out to order a 100 Airbus A-320s to build one of the largest Airbus fleets in India. They are inducting one plane a month right now, and this is…

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Jet Airways brings fine dining to Hong Kong flights

Jet Airways seems to be doing pretty good loads on the BOM-HKG-BOM segments. I’ve flown it a couple of times in the front and the back and it always has been a full plane to the best of my knowledge. It seems the demand for the premium cabins though never got satiated and hence 9W is replacing the A330-200 it flies on this segment to a B777-300ER with effect from August 21. The B777 allows them to put more seats in the Premiere cabin (the Business class) and also introduce their very famous First Class on this route. 9w will be the only airline for the time being to offer first class on this route. The latest addition to this…

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10,500 miles away: slightly underwhelming Jet Airways Business class and upto mark Delta customer service!

On my recent travels to SEA, I chose to take the following routing BOM-BRU-JFK on Jet Airways Premiere and JFK-CVG-SEA on Delta Coach. So, if you want to really kill a good 18 hour flying experience, you get onto coach, specially that of Delta to meet some (un)grateful customer service agents to start with. I flew BOM-BRU on 9w228 and BRU-JFK on 9w226. The flights were overall good but there were minor irritants that I found. For example, on the BOM-BRU sector the meal service was rushed, and on BRU-JFK the in-flight power just would not work. So, this was not the best Jet Airways experience I had, but still much better than so many others! Here are some pictures…

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Air India misses its flight onto the Star Alliance

Like I blogged before taking off on my 3-week vacation here, it was going to take a hell of a lot of miracles to happen for Air India to make it to the Star Alliance. The airline is in a mess, and it works the standard Indian bureaucratic way. Here is the next big news that came, although almost totally expected. The 27 member Chief Executive Board of the Star Alliance has voted to keep AI out of the alliance for the reasons of not meeting the agreed membership requirements. WSJ published the news article on this here and the New York Times has it here. This punctures the whole turnaround plan for the airline after the other issue that…

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Air India: will it join the Star Alliance and should it join?

So it’s been the longest membership in the making for the Star Alliance perhaps and it might turn out to be an effort in vain after all. Star Alliance invited Air India (AI) to join the alliance in 2007, in an effort to penetrate the Indian market which was starting to make its mark in the global aviation industry just about then. The current AI used to operate as two carriers then, where Air India (AI) used to serve the international routes and Indian Airlines (IC) used to serve the domestic market. The whole process of merging the airlines, including the IT systems only completed in April 2011 and then the airline had already missed the deadline of joining in…

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Upcoming: Transatlantic travels, 36 hours and 10,500 miles over 3 continents!

BOM-BRU-JFK-CVG-SEA-JFK-BRU-BOM

So the much needed vacation is coming closer to take off date. End of this week, I fly over to the United States for a 3 week holiday, which will also give me a lot of time to post on topics I have on my mind. I am taking Jet Airways Premiere to travel to JFK via BRU (2 hours layover) and after a brief layover on Delta to Seattle (SEA) via Cincinnati(CVG), in Coach (yeah!). I have been on 9W to BRU several times from India, using it as an alternative to go to AMS on Delta. The experience has been good, in Coach as well as in their Business class (Premiere). The hard product and the soft product…

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The journey is the reward…

I’ve used this adage for the longest time, and yet I did not know that like many things Chinese that exist, this is a Chinese proverb. So thank you China for giving me one more thing apart from the iPhone that really makes my life really interesting. As a financial engineer, I work with clients and colleagues across the world and this still does necessitate travel and face to face meetings in the age of conference calls and video conferences.  This was my initiation into the world of airplanes and hotels quite a few years back. This was also my initiation to Mumbai, which is the commerce capital of India an upcoming financial supercentre much like London, New York and…

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