IdeaForge's Quadcopter Gets DGCA Nod

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

IdeaForge Technology has received type certification for one of its flagship products, the Q6 UAS by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), the firm said.

The quadcopters' design and extensive area coverage capabilities facilitate the rapid completion of large-scale mapping projects, surpassing the efficiency of other UAVs in the field while being capable of operating even in hilly areas with its negative altitude capability, it added

Sunil Jha, , Senior Director, Engineering, ideaForge Technology Limited, commented, "We are delighted to announce the DGCA Type Certification for the ideaForge Q6 UAS. This certification underscores our steadfast commitment to delivering high-quality, reliable solutions to our customers. With its established track record and cutting-edge features, the Q6 sets new standards for excellence in unmanned aerial solutions by delivering performance, reliability, and autonomy.”

Q6’s capabilities align it to play a pivotal role in supporting the Government's ongoing and upcoming surveillance and mapping initiatives, the firm said.

Equipped with advanced EOIR (Electro-Optical and Infrared) and mapping payloads, the ideaForge Q6 offers enhanced operational capabilities, making it an ideal solution for a wide range of applications, including security, mapping, inspection and surveillance. With extensive applications ranging from border surveillance and policing for homeland security, mining operations, infrastructure inspection, surveying, and 3D surface mapping, the ideaForge Q6 continues to redefine the possibilities of aerial technology. 

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Delhi Airport Transports 80 Lakh Kgs of Cargo from Bangladesh

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

Delhi Airport has transshipped over 80 lakh kgs of Bangladeshi cargo to international destinations in the last year in its bid to be the Cargo hub in Southeast Asia, the firm said in a statement
The transhipment facility for Bangladeshi cargo first began on February 26th 2023, paving the way for a faster and cost-effective route of shipping export cargo internationally. Since then, Delhi Airport has helped transship over 80 lakh kgs (8000 MT) of readymade garments to European nations including Spain, Netherlands and France. The European Union is the second-largest export destination for Bangladeshi apparel, followed by UK and Canada.

The first batch of cargo, which left Dhaka on February 26, 2023, arrived at Delhi Airport on March 3rd, 2023 and proceeded for its destined location in Spain on March 5, 2023.

The Government of India's approval on February 7, 2023, allowing Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) to serve as a Cargo Transshipment hub between Bangladesh and other global destinations, has significantly boosted international ties and the national economy. This decision has not only reduced shipment costs for manufacturers but has also led to a daily increase in the export of international cargo via Delhi Airport, covering a spectrum of products, from ready-made garments (RMG) and handlooms to footwear, leather products, jute products, and pharmaceuticals.

The success of transhipment has not only marked a significant milestone in fostering economic growth and international cooperation but has also triggered positive developments in the aviation sector. The Bangladesh cargo influx into Delhi has motivated airlines to enhance their capacity at Delhi Airport, providing Indian exporters with more options in terms of capacity, destinations, and economically beneficial choices, the firm said.
Delhi Airport has installed 28 dual-view x-ray machines for international general Cargo processing. Keeping in mind the increasing cargo inflow, five extra x-ray machines have been augmented for handling Bangladesh cargo to avoid any congestion for General Cargo. Cargo facility at Delhi Airport, connects businesses to 67 international locations and has handled 5.17 lakh MT of international cargo between April 2023 and January 2024.

Sanjiv Edward, CEO-Cargo, GMR Airports, said, “Delhi Airport has been playing a pivotal role in enhancing the bilateral trade ties between India and Bangladesh, particularly in facilitating the seamless export of Bangladeshi cargo to global markets. This achievement of transhipping over 5.17 lakh MT of international cargo in a year marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering economic growth and international cooperation. The state-of-the-art transshipment facility at Delhi Airport has not only paved the way for a faster and cost-effective route for shipping export cargo but has also positioned Delhi Airport as a key international cargo hub, bridging the gap between East and West.”

Delhi Airport is the largest Cargo Hub Airport in the South Asia region, with two integrated Cargo Terminals having an annual cargo handling capacity of 1.8 million MT which is scalable to 2.3 million MT. The Cargo handling capacity of the Delhi Airport gives it a unique position to help cater to manufacturers and suppliers internationally, and especially in South East Asia for a faster and cost-effective way to ship their cargo across western nations.

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DHL Express Opens First Automatic Shipment Sorting Hub in Delhi

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

DHL Express has opened its first automatic shipment sorting hub in New Delhi, the firm said in a statement

This new shipment sorting hub spread over 34256 Sq Ft houses the automatic sorting machines with capacity to sort 2000 pieces per hour delivering a 30% improvement in productivity.  The 18 sorting chutes, 11 truck docks, and 8 telescopic conveyors help in processing the inbound shipments faster and in turn improve transit times for customers. 
This is the first auto sort machine to be deployed for any international express processing in India, streamlining processes and delivering better service quality for our customers. The facility also stages outbound export shipments, thereby freeing up space at the existing Export Facility which can then be used for enhancing transit times and service quality for customers.

In 2003, DHL Express opened India’s first ever air-side Express Facility and connected India to the global network with its first dedicated international freighter. 

In 2017, DHL Express expanded its air-side operations with a new Export Express Terminal to expand EXIM capacity and streamline processes, to support the growing exports trade out of North India.  With the current expansion, the total DHL Express Delhi Gateway capacity will grow by nearly 6 times since its inception two decades ago.

At the inauguration, John Pearson, CEO, DHL Express said, “For over 40 years, at DHL Express we have been committed to providing Indian businesses with a world-class logistics experience. We were the first in India to establish airside facilities in Delhi in 2003. Since then, the facility has expanded by nearly 6 times and has significantly supported international trade. We have really one goal - to leave no stone unturned in delivering excellence for our customers. For DHL, India is a market where we continue to see great potential. Across industry segments – from the global multinationals to the SMEs, we see strong, consistent growth. Our investments in India, including here in the national capital, mirror this upward trajectory.”

R.S Subramanian, SVP South Asia, DHL Express said, "This expansion continues to represent our commitment to create the best logistics infrastructure for business to succeed in this competitive, global climate. Leveraging technology to streamline operations will enable our customers to continue experiencing the best-in-class express transit times.”

DHL came to India in 1979, and since then has been investing in facilities, fleet, aviation capacity, technology and team development to grow to be a market leader. It has several firsts to its name such as bringing international express services to India, establishing airside facilities in key cities, first to bring inhouse customs clearance, provide 24x7 customer service and more.

The Delhi Gateway connects North India, East India, and parts of West India to over 220 countries and territories via 12 weekly DHL-operated inter-continental freighters and 17 daily commercial flights.

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IndiGo Expands Codeshare with Qantas

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

IndiGo has announced 11 new connections under its extended codeshare agreement with Australia’s national airline, Qantas Airways, starting from March 31, the airline said in a statement.

IndiGo customers can now fly across major tourist and economic hubs in Australia, from Sydney and Melbourne to Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, and Perth.

With these new codeshare connections, customers will be able to continue their journey within Australia on Qantas-operated domestic flights to three additional cities— Adelaide, Canberra, and Gold Coast. This will provide Indian tourists as well as business and leisure travellers with more options to explore destinations across Australia, especially during the upcoming summer season. IndiGo currently offers travel options to Singapore and seamless connectivity to Qantas’ flights between Singapore and Australia, it added.              

Vinay Malhotra, Head of Global Sales, IndiGo, said, “We are thrilled to introduce these new connections within Australia, in partnership with Qantas. Under this codeshare, our passengers can not only travel to Melbourne, Sydney, Perth & Brisbane via Singapore, but also onwards to Adelaide, Canberra & the Gold Coast. The Indian aviation industry is on a path of transformational growth and as India’s leading carrier, this partnership will also enhance our international presence via Qantas’ unmatched reach. IndiGo remains committed to delivering on the promise of affordable, on-time, courteous, and hassle-free travel experience across an unparalleled network.”

 The two airlines are the market leaders in their respective countries and this agreement is a testament to the strengthening ties between the two countries, as a part of Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement. In 2022, Qantas and IndiGo had finalized a codeshare partnership enabling Qantas customers flying on non-stop flights between Australia and India to connect to 21 destinations in India on IndiGo. In November 2023, IndiGo had announced connections to Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane in Australia, under the ongoing codeshare partnership with Qantas Airways.

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Softlink Global Partners with IATA

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

Softlink Global, a logistics solutions provider, has joined IATA Strategic Partnerships Program to expand its footprints.

The move reinforces Softlink Global's commitment to shaping the future of air cargo logistics by contributing its expertise in the Digital & Interactive Cargo stream, the firm said.

The formal agreement was inked at the IATA World Cargo Summit (WCS) event held in Hong Kong.

Softlink Global will focus on air cargo operations with cutting-edge solutions such as Blockchain, Cloud computing, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Natural Language Processing, aligned with IATA's digitalisation agenda.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, "We welcome Softlink to the IATA Strategic Partnerships Program and look forward to their contribution to air cargo’s digitalisation. It is a priority across the whole value chain."

Amit Maheshwari, CEO of Softlink Global, echoed the sentiment, emphasising the strategic significance of the partnership: "This collaboration epitomises Softlink Global's commitment to innovation and industry advancement. We are thrilled to actively engage in initiatives like eFreight, One Record, and other forward-looking projects under the IATA Strategic Partner umbrella."

Beyond technological innovation, Softlink Global views this partnership as a gateway to expanding its global footprint, particularly in the vital European market. By fostering close collaboration with IATA and its extensive network, Softlink Global aims to propel the air cargo industry forward with unparalleled technological solutions, the firm added. 

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Singapore Airlines Revamps Premium Economy Class

Preet Palash

15 Mar 2024

Singapore Airlines has revamped its Premium Economy Class in-flight experience, which includes expanded food and beverage options, as well as a new amenity kit

These will be available on flights from 31 March including to Delhi and Mumbai.  
Its Premium Economy Class passengers will now be offered a glass of Charles de Cazanove Brut Tradition NV champagne shortly after take-off. 

On flights that are at least seven hours long, an all-new Out of the Woods amenity kit, designed exclusively for Premium Economy Class customers, will also be available.

These mark the first comprehensive revamp of SIA’s Premium Economy Class in-flight experience since this cabin class was introduced in 2015.
Yeoh Phee Teik, Senior Vice President Customer Experience, Singapore Airlines, said: “Since its introduction in 2015, Premium Economy Class has become popular with our customers. They appreciate the added amenities, heightened comfort, and the extra personal space it offers, all at an excellent value,"

“At Singapore Airlines, though, our philosophy is to never stand still. We regularly gather customer feedback and conduct market research, learn more about the evolving value drivers for travellers, and find innovative ways to continue delivering a personalised and world-class in-flight experience. Based on these insights, we have undertaken this comprehensive revamp of our Premium Economy Class in-flight offerings, which we believe will delight our customers. The result reflects Singapore Airlines’ dedication to enhancing the Premium Economy Class experience to a class of its own,” he added.

Premium Economy Class meals will consist of a seasonal appetiser, main course, bread, dessert, and cheese and crackers, all served on a full-sized tray. Upgraded bread options will also include croissants for breakfast or garlic bread rolls for lunch, dinner, and supper. New appetisers include garlic roasted prawns with smoked aioli and Patatas Bravas (Spanish fried potatoes), broccoli salad with hot smoked salmon, and seasonal variations of Japanese cold noodles with soba sauce.

Customers may choose from two premium main course options, either international or Asian cuisine, on every flight. Highlights include new dishes such as Beef Bourguignon served with bacon, mushrooms, vegetables, and potato gratin, Bak Chor Mee (minced pork noodles), and Thai-style Crab Curry served with a combination of jasmine rice and brown rice, and seasonal vegetables with egg.

Customers can enjoy delectable desserts that have been specially crafted for them. These include Chocolate Feuilletine Cake, Mascarpone Cream Cake, as well as Apple Crumble Cheesecake. Meals are accompanied by a small bar of chocolate, as well as upgraded cheese and crackers.

In addition to the Charles de Cazanove Brut Tradition NV champagne, customers can choose between the 2023 Wairau River Sauvignon Blanc and the 2022 St Hallett Faith Shiraz. An extensive selection of spirits including whisky, gin, vodka, signature cocktails like the Singapore Sling, and a variety of beers, will also be available.

Peppermint and Chamomile teas, as well as hot chocolate from Cadbury, have also been added to the non-alcoholic beverage selection. These complement the existing wide range of options including soft drinks, fruit juices, coffee, and teas.

Between meals, customers can request for new snack options such as almonds and cashews. These are on top of the existing wide variety of snacks such as potato chips, assorted buns, sandwiches, muffins, as well as flavoured popcorn.