ITA Airways to launch Rome-New Delhi direct flights in December

Radhika Bansal

05 Sep 2022

This winter, ITA Airways will begin a new service to New Delhi. From December 3 onwards, the national airline of Italy will begin offering flights to the capital of India as part of a three times weekly service from Rome.

Passengers on ITA Airways will be able to take a direct flight to New Delhi beginning on December 3 and enjoy the attractions of India's capital city. Three times a week, the airline will use an Airbus A330-200 to provide nonstop service between Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL).

"New Delhi is not simply the capital of India, it is a unique place where the mix of cultures, colors, and traditions make it so fascinating that it is one of the most popular tourist destinations for those who love a journey of discovery. Are you ready for India? Our flights depart from December 3rd; run to pack your bags!"ITA Airways

The inbound service will take off at 03:50 local time on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, while the outbound service will run on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. The route is still awaiting official approval, according to ITA.

Here is the full schedule:

Flight AZ 770 departs Rome at 14:10 and lands in New Delhi at 2:00 AM (+1) every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.AZ 769 (Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday) departs New Delhi at 3:50 AM and lands in Rome at 8:10 AM.

ITA has eight Airbus A330-200s in its fleet. The carrier launched with seven A330s and added another one in April 2022, all of which were inherited from Alitalia.

ITA Airways to launch Rome-New Delhi direct flights in December

The Airbus A330-200 aircraft in ITA's fleet that can accommodate 256 passengers (219 in economy, 17 in premium economy, and 20 in business class) will be used to fly the New Delhi route.

This makes ITA Airways the fifth airline to try the India – Italy segment in the last decade. Jet Airways, Alitalia, Air India, and Air Italy have been the others who have had scheduled operations.

Jet Airways started operations between Delhi and Milan in December 2010 with the A330s. The daily flights with an afternoon departure from India and late evening from Milan were in codeshare with Alitalia. The airline pulled out of the route in February 2013, having reduced frequency a few months earlier. 

In June 2014, Air India – with the Dreamliners handy and effective hub at Delhi shaping up, launched flights to Rome and Milan.

In June 2014, Air India – with the Dreamliners handy and effective hub at Delhi shaping up, launched flights to Rome and Milan. Four times a week the flight operated Delhi – Rome – Milan – Delhi, while on the other three days it operated Delhi – Milan – Rome – Delhi.

Subsequently, the airline started operating terminators to both Rome and Milan from Delhi. Air India operations to Italy ended in March 2020, as Italy was inundated with COVID after China. The airline has not returned to Italy.

The most short-lived was Air Italy which was co-owned by Qatar Airways. Not only did it pull out of India, but the airline itself also shut down. The airline commenced operations in March 2018 and shut down in February 2020. The airline had launched flights to Mumbai and Delhi in December 2018 but pulled out in February and March 2019 respectively. 

Alitalia returned to India in 2017, with flights between Rome and Delhi after having pulled out in 2008.

Alitalia returned to India in 2017, with flights between Rome and Delhi after having pulled out in 2008. The airline was operating till the suspension of services due to a lockdown in India. The airline does not exist on the other side of worldwide lockdowns and its replacement ITA seems to be taking over the route.

Since its founding in October 2021, ITA Airways has never before flown to an Indian country. By the end of the year, Tokyo and the Maldives will join New Delhi as exciting additions to the Italian carrier's expanding long-haul network.

After beginning operations in 2017, Alitalia, the forerunner of ITA Airways, used to provide service to New Delhi. Before the pandemic, the capital of India was the top tourist attraction in the nation, drawing more than 3.5 million visitors in 2019. Mumbai and Chennai, each of which saw over 3.5 million visitors, were nearly beaten out by New Delhi.

ITA Airways is currently up for sale with the Italian Government presently in talks with Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines over the sale of ITA Airways.

India – Italy business has expanded rapidly with the balance of trade in favour of India. While India imports machinery, machine tools, leather products, and automobile parts; India exports Iron, Steel, Chemical products, and refined Petroleum products amongst others.

ITA Airways is currently up for sale with the Italian Government presently in talks with Air France-KLM and Delta Airlines over the sale of ITA Airways.

(With Inputs from Network Thoughts & Simple Flying)

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International flights to resume after 2 years from Guwahati Airport

Jinen Gada

05 Sep 2022

Lokpriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport, Guwahati will resume international passenger flight services from September 3, 2022, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The services had been suspended since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It may be mentioned that Assam is soon set to get five more international destinations under the Centre’s UDAN international scheme.

Once the flights to certain international locations are announced, the region will have better connectivity that will help in blooming the tourism sector in the region.

The Assam government is working towards five more international flight routes, including neighbouring countries like Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Druk Air, the only service that runs international services to and from Guwahati will connect the region to Paro and Singapore.

For more than two years, Druk Air’s services were kept on hold due to the pandemic. But with Bhutan recently opening its international borders to visitors and now, with Druk Air resuming flight services to and from Guwahati, more travellers from east and northeast India will be able to fly to Paro directly instead of taking the long road to Bhutan.

This development looks very promising for Assam and northeast India as a whole because this means there is a possibility of more air connectivity to the other countries.

The last international commercial flight through the northeast was for Paro-Guwahati-Singapore, which was suspended amid the Covid scare on March 20, 2020.

Also, SpiceJet has won the bid to operate three weekly international flights between Manipur capital Imphal and Mandalay in Myanmar. Sources in the AAI said a 90-seater Q400 aircraft will be pressed into service to make it sustainable even if fewer passengers book tickets.

This month, SpiceJet has agreed to a proposal of about 25% viability gap funding (VGF) to operate on the route. The VGF comes from the state government, the Centre and other stakeholders to support projects that may not be financially viable, but are vital to give a push to the aviation sector.

A significant proportion of the losses incurred by the airline companies under the Udaan scheme is compensated through VGF.

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Batik Air to start direct flights between Kuala Lumpur and Amritsar

Jinen Gada

05 Sep 2022

Amid a strong bounce back in the international travel demand, the Malaysian-based hybrid carrier, Batik Air, formerly known as Malindo Air will be resuming its operations from Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport, Amritsar (ATQ).

Starting September 9 2022, Batik Air will resume its operations from Amritsar, with 2x weekly non-stop services to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL).

The airline will be steadily ramping up its services between the two cities, with 3x weekly services in October and 4x weekly from November onwards.

Batik Air is a subsidiary of the Lion Air Group which also operates Super Jet, Wings Air, Batik Air Indonesia, Biz Jet, Thai Lion Air and Lion Air.

Batik Air will be deploying its, Boeing 737-8 aircraft on this route, equipped with 12 business and 150 economy class seats.

This comes after Singapore Airlines' low-cost subsidiary airline, Scoot, resumed its services to Amritsar from Singapore (SIN) in February 2022. Scoot at present is operating over 5x weekly Boeing 787-8 services between Singapore and Amritsar.

"The lifting of international border restrictions presents airlines and travellers with new opportunities. With the abolishment of the mandatory quarantine, and the ability to now travel freely between India and Malaysia, Batik Air is very excited to introduce our new connectivity to more cities in India. We are offering Batik Air’s services with better value and great experience."Capt Mushafiz Bin Mustafa Bakri, CEO, Batik Air

Before being rebranded as Batik Air, Malindo Air first commenced its services to Amritsar in late 2015. It was the longest route for the airline from Kuala Lumpur during then. The airline was also the first South-East Asian carrier to launch its operations from Amritsar.

Batik Air also resumed services to Trichy after its previous announcement in July 2022.

Amritsar’s South-East Asian and Australian markets were high potential, after Malindo, Scoot launched its operations from Amritsar in early 2016, which was followed by Air Asia X in the year 2018.

According to an estimate, over 1,500 people were travelling daily between Amritsar and South-East Asia and Australia in 2019 with all the above carriers. In March 2020, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Amritsar lost all its connectivity with these carriers due to the restrictions imposed.

(With Inputs from FlyAmritsar Initiative)

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Baykar released the first images of their brand-new, supersonic Bayraktar Kizilelma drone prototype


05 Sep 2022

The second prototype "Bayraktar Kizilelma" drone's first photographs have been released by the Turkish Company Baykar.

2013 saw the beginning of the initial conceptual studies for Bayraktar MIUS. The project's most significant development occurred on July 20, 2021. On this day, the general public received the first design renderings and details regarding the aircraft's specifications.

The first Bayraktar Jet drone |

At the SahaExpo event on November 11, 2021, a supply agreement for AI-322F turbofan engines and an integration agreement for AI-25TLT turbofan engines were signed between Baykar and Ukrainian Ivchenko-Progress. The next prototypes were anticipated to be supersonic with AI-322F engines, whereas the initial prototypes were to feature AI-25TLT engines to travel at subsonic speeds.

What we know so far

The second supersonic unmanned aerial vehicle prototype is now set up for ground tests, which are anticipated to begin in 2023. It is to be noted that the strike drone was unveiled in August 2021.

Tech and specs

The Kzlelma is an unmanned aircraft with an AESA radar and a low-RCS supersonic airframe. Two air inlets supply the turbofan engine, which powers the aircraft. Two vertical stabilisers are used to control the yaw. The aircraft incorporates coupled-canard controls for improved main wing airflow control or greater manoeuvrability. Internal compartments will maintain the aircraft's low observability while enabling operation in contested locations.

It has a 6,000-kilogramme maximum takeoff weight (MTOW), 1,500 kg of which are usable for cargo. Data provided by the company indicates that the Kzlelma will operate at a height of 35,000 feet (10,000 m).

The aircraft's design eliminates the requirement for a catapult mechanism, enabling it to launch from and land on an amphibious assault ship like TCG Anadolu.


Capacity1500 kgLength14.7 m MTOW6000 kgPowerplant 1 × Ivchenko-Progress AI-25TLT Turbofan engine, 24.5 kN (5,510 lbf) thrust dry, 44.1 kN (9,900 lbf) with afterburnerMaximum Speed1,100 km/hCombat Range930 kmEndurance5-6 hoursService ceiling 14,000 mWikipedia

In terms of technical specs, Bayraktar Kizilelma is comparable to the American strike drone MQ-9 Reaper and is intended to take down enemy air defences, launch missiles, and support fire.


Three different variants of Kizilelma have been planned with different engine configurations.

Kizilelma-A will be propelled by an AI-25TLT engine and be able to reach nearly supersonic speeds. Kizilelma-B will use a Ukrainian AI-322F engine to travel at supersonic speeds. Finally, Kizilelma-C will use two AI-322F engines.

According to Baykar CTO Selçuk Bayraktar, the Kzlelma is anticipated to launch in 2023.



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eVTOLs may not be the only tech disruptors in aviation after all! - Say hello to the "Flying Hovercraft"


05 Sep 2022

With eVTOLs and flying air taxis touted to be the next technology disruptors in aviation, we expected flying automobiles to take over the buzz. But what if, instead of a flying car, we receive a flying "hovercraft?". Aircraft that can land on the water have existed for a long time. Say hello to the "Flying Hovercraft" from Hammacher Schlemmer, which can travel over both land and water.

What is a "Hovercraft?"

An amphibious craft that can traverse land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces is a hovercraft, commonly referred to as an air-cushion vehicle or ACV.

Representative | CNN

Blowers are used by hovercraft to create a significant volume of air beneath the hull that is just slightly above atmospheric pressure. The hull floats above the running surface due to the lift created by the pressure difference between the ambient air above it and the higher-pressure air beneath the hull. Most hovercraft have a distinctive rounded-rectangle shape because the air is often blasted via slots or holes around the outside of a disk- or oval-shaped platform for stability reasons.

What distinguishes the "flying hovercraft" from a typical hovercraft?

The company asserts that internal combustion is the only choice because there is no electrification in the 130-hp twin-cylinder liquid-cooled turbo gasoline engine of the futuristic-looking Flying Hovercraft. The engine of the Flying Hovercraft enables it to fly up to 155 miles (250 km) at 70 mph (113 kph) and 20 feet (six metres) above the surface.

Hammacher Schlemmer

A 34-inch lift fan operating at 1,100 rpm balances the 60-inch (152 cm) wood and carbon composite propeller that the Flying Hovercraft spins. The hovercraft's skirt, which is made of resilient nylon with a vinyl coating, inflates.

Its wings and horizontal elevator allow pilots to easily jump over water- or land-based barriers up to 20'-high, unsolvable to a standard hovercraft, while operating in freshwater or saltwater and up to 30% inclines over sand, mud, grass, swamp, desert, ice, and snow.

Hammacher Schlemmer

Three vertical rudders and the elevator are controlled by a joystick, forward speed is controlled by a twist friction-lock throttle, and the lift fan used for hovering is controlled by a variable drive system. Lowering the lift fan's RPMs provides braking and the craft lands on composite Kevlar landing skids. Its low centre of gravity, composite fibreglass/PVC hull, and ability to fly in up to 25 mph winds and 6' waves make it an excellent vessel. The 160-mile range is provided by two nine-gallon gasoline tanks.

Hammacher Schlemmer

The only catch?

A boat licence and $190,000 are needed to purchase the Flying Hovercraft.



COVER: Hammacher Schlemmer

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Lufthansa pilots strike impacts 700 passengers at Delhi airport

Radhika Bansal

03 Sep 2022

Around 700 passengers on Friday, September 2 were stranded at the IGI airport's Terminal-3 after Germany-based Lufthansa airline cancelled two of its flights due to a pilots' strike, police said.

According to police, more than 100 people, relatives and family members of the stranded passengers gathered outside the airport and demanded refunds or alternate arrangements.

A piece of information was received on Friday, September 2 at 12:15 AM that a crowd has gathered on the main road in front of departure gate number 1, Terminal 3 IGI Airport, a senior police officer said.

Lufthansa pilots strike impacts 700 passengers at Delhi airport

The crowd which caused a traffic jam outside demanded a refund or alternate arrangement for their relatives who were present inside the terminal building, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Airport) Tanu Sharma said.

When they were told that the flights had been cancelled without any prior intimation, they became agitated. They were later pacified by the CISF and the airport staff.

Two flights of Lufthansa, one of them scheduled to depart at 2:50 AM for Frankfurt with 300 passengers, and another for Munich with 400 passengers and scheduled to depart at 1:10 AM, were cancelled, the DCP said.

Pilots staged a one-day strike to demand better pay and conditions.

Both flights were cancelled by the Lufthansa headquarters due to a one-day strike of all Lufthansa pilots demanding salary appraisals. The airline is taking steps to make alternate arrangements, police said.

ALSO READ - Lufthansa Group wants to strengthen its ties with Indian airlines

Strike by pilots

Pilots staged a one-day strike to demand better pay and conditions. Due to the strike, the airline said about 800 flights were grounded at its two biggest hubs, Frankfurt and Munich.

Due to the strike, Lufthansa's 800 flights were grounded at its two biggest hubs, Frankfurt and Munich.

During the coronavirus crisis, Lufthansa terminated agreements and started setting up a new airline with lower pay scale conditions, bypassing the collective deal.

Lufthansa said it had offered a one-time raise of 900 euros, amounting to a 5% increase for senior pilots and an 18% increase for those starting the profession.

The pilots union Vereinigung Cockpit had called for a 5.5% raise this year and an automatic above-inflation increase in 2023.