Six Months Later: India Finally Outlines Plan For Inflight WiFi

Almost six months since India reversed its ban on using WiFi on a plane, the nation’s civil aviation…

Six Months Later: India Finally Outlines Plan For Inflight WiFi

Almost six months since India reversed its ban on using WiFi on a plane, the nation’s civil aviation regulator has finally outlined its rules for allowing inflight connectivity. The draft rules are fairly standard and should be passed without issue. It is hoped they will be formally adopted by the end of the year.

Once the rules are in place, airlines like Vistara will finally be able to offer WiFi over India. Photo: Getty

Despite two Indian airlines flying WiFi capable aircraft, neither has so far been able to use WiFi in Indian airspace, as the rules have not been released. Vistara’s A321 and its Boeing 787 have WiFi capability, as does SpiceJet on its 737 MAX. Both are involved in domestic and international flying right now as part of Vande Bharat and using India’s established travel bubbles.

Now, it seems we’re on the road to being able to make use of this inflight connectivity over India. The draft rules, published this week and reported by the Times of India, are open for public consultation for some weeks. Depending on the outcome of this consultation, the rules could be firmed up and issued later this year.

Outline of the rules

At first glance, the rules seem pretty much in line with what we would expect. DGCA chief Arun Kumar issued the rules this week and will apply to all Indian civil registered aircraft and to all Indian operators engaged in scheduled, non-scheduled and private operations.

The draft rules state that the internet service should not be available until after 3,000 meters above the departure airfield. This is as was recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) back in 2018.

SpiceJet 737 MAX
SpiceJet’s MAX aircraft are also WiFi equipped, although they are currently grounded. Photo: Boeing

The DGCA also states that portable electronic devices (PEDs) should only be used in ‘airplane mode’ and that the pilot in command may, at and time of flight and for any reason, decide to deactivate the connectivity.

The DGCA also wishes to maintain oversight of the inflight connectivity happening in its airspace. It says that the aircraft will need to be approved by the regulator for WiFi functions and that the operator must ensure that they only used an internet service provider (ISP) that is approved by the Department of Transport.

A more unusual inclusion of the WiFi rules is that the DGCA asks operators to carry out a risk assessment of all the PEDs capable of using the WiFi. It says this must include the hazards associated with PEDs in various aircraft zones, in different stages of the flight and during unusual circumstances such as turbulence. Presumably, this will only need to be done once, and not before every flight.

Vistara’s A321neo has WiFi also. Photo: Vistara

Getting set for WiFi

While the rules will take some time to iron out and be officially adopted, that hasn’t stopped India’s airlines from laying the groundwork to get the services off the ground. Last year, Vistara entered into a partnership with NELCO to provide inflight WiFi services, delivered by Panasonic.

With the arrival of its Dreamliner, Vistara became the first Indian airline capable of offering inflight WiFi. With the airline now starting flights to London tomorrow, hopes are high that it will become a flagship international airline operating out of the nation.

This article is brought to you by Simple Flying Connectivity, a new category on Simple Flying dedicated to inflight connectivity. Click here to read all of our inflight connectivity content.

Source : Simple Flying More   

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Allegiant Expands To Palm Beach And Others With 7 New Routes

Allegiant Air announced Thursday that it is adding seven new nonstop routes to its network from November 19th.…

Allegiant Expands To Palm Beach And Others With 7 New Routes

Allegiant Air announced Thursday that it is adding seven new nonstop routes to its network from November 19th. With three new destinations in Florida and two in California, the Nevada-based budget airline is betting on domestic winter tourism to restart the US leisure travel segment in earnest.

Nevada-based Allegiant Air is launching seven new routes in November. Photo: Getty Images

Seven new nonstop routes

New route announcements are certainly a sight for sore eyes these days. Even as the road to recovery on the US market remains patchy, and October 1st looms darkly ahead, there are reasons to remember there will be an everyday existence beyond corona.

In a bid to jumpstart the leisure segment in which it operates, Allegiant Air is launching seven new nonstop routes – and offering one-way tickets for as little as $29 on some of them (if you can catch them, that is, that particular offer ends in two days).

The Nevada-based low-cost carrier will commence operations on three new routes to Florida, two to California, one to Arizona, and one to Utah, all commencing mid-November.

Stay informed: Sign up for our .

Allegiant will fly to three new destinations in Florida and two in California.  Photo: Allegiant Air

Destinations and dates

All the following seven new and one reinstated route will be operated nonstop and twice-weekly.

Allegiant will fly to Punta Gorda Airport (PGD) in Southwest Florida from Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) and Chicago’s Midway International Airport (MDW), both beginning on November 20th.

The airline will operate flights to Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport (SRQ), also in Florida, from Boston’s Logan International Airport (BOS), starting November 19th.

The new route connecting Phoenix-Mesa Gateway International Airport (AZA) in Arizona and Santa Maria, California, via Santa Maria Airport (SMX) will also begin on November 19th.

Allegiant will also fly to Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) in Southern California from both Boise Airport (BOI) in Idaho, and Eugene Airport (EUG) in Oregon, beginning November 19th and 20th respectively.

The new seasonal route to Denver International Airport (DEN), Colorado, will connect the city with Provo, Utah, via Provo Municipal Airport (PVU).

After a short hiatus, Allegiant is also bringing back a seasonal route between Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) in Montana, and Nashville International Airport (BNA), Tennessee.

Offers on these new nonstop flights currently range from $29 to $59. However, to take advantage of the super low prices, customers must book before August 29th (in two days at the time of writing), and fly before February 8th, 2021.

Allegiant Air Planes
All-Airbus Allegiant is not the only carrier betting on domestic winter tourism. Photo: Airbus

The race for the Sunshine State

Allegiant is not the only US airline to bet on Florida as a destination domestic tourism may increase as long-haul travel remains uncertain for the winter season. Just earlier this month, United Airlines revealed plans for a large point-to-point expansion in the Sunshine State.

Low-cost rival JetBlue has also included Florida in its expansion plans, with Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale all getting new connections from across the country.

Will you be taking advantage of any of these new nonstop offerings from Allegiant? Let us know in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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