India’s aviation scene is soaring on the tech front, with airlines and airports introducing many novelties. Here’s our roundup.
What’s new in India’s Aviation scene?
DigiYatra: Tried and Tested
We tried and tested the new DigiYatra app a couple of times at Bengaluru and Delhi airports. Barring a few tech glitches in the initial phase, we found the app and overall procedure to be extremely seamless. The biometric app will be rolled out at many more airports this month, making it possibly the biggest talking point for Indian aviation this quarter.
The app essentially uses your face to verify your identity so you no longer need to show your ID card and ticket to the security guard to enter the terminal. The only time-consuming process is, of course, the one-time upload of your Aadhaar card to the app, following which you will have a seamless experience.
Two New Terminals
We couldn’t be happier that Goa has finally got a new state-of-the-art airport. North Goa’s Mopa Airport opened to provide much-needed relief to the over-saturated Dabolim International Airport. The gargantuan terminal, with IndiGo leading the pack in terms of capacity, is said to be capable of welcoming 4.4 million passengers per year. The GMR-run airport has dedicated bays for private jets, providing a boost to ultra-luxury travel in Goa as well as infrastructure for more international flights. Word on the street is that the airport is likely to see a couple of international carriers touching down here in the near future, boosting tourism.
While we already love Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport and its fantastic infrastructure, the airport’s newly minted Terminal 2 is a world apart. It is an architectural marvel. Located a short distance away from the existing terminal, the new one, which focuses on smart design and technology, will see domestic and international carriers operating from here in a phased manner. The airport features 10,000 square metres of vertical gardens, luxury shopping options, and multiple lounges. It is equipped to welcome 25 million passengers annually.
Air India App
We have to say that after the Tata Sons takeover, Air India’s app is the most impressive aviation upgrade among the Indian carriers. After years of an outdated, glitchy app, the carrier’s new app interface is extremely responsive, quick, and easy to use. The colour palette and interface are modern; different functions such as manage booking, check-in, and book flights are easily indicated and interactive. We used it a couple of times on domestic legs and give it a thumbs up!
Airport in Metaverse
One can always count on Bengaluru’s Kempegowda International Airport to lead in terms of technology. The airport has recently partnered with AWS and Polyon to make the brand-new Terminal 2, India’s first airport terminal that can be experienced on the Metaverse. With the BLR Metaport, travellers can log into an immersive, three-dimensional airport experience where they can navigate the terminal, shop, connect with other travellers, and even checkin for flights. According to the airport spokesperson, the BLR Metaport is the airport’s first foray into the world of Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Best In-flight Seats
We just love the in-flight seats of Air India’s Boeing 777-200LR; the aircraft recently joined the airline’s fleet after serving USA’s Delta Air Lines.
These aircrafts will be operating on the Mumbai-San Francisco ultra-long-haul flights. Each seat in the business class features a suite with sliding door. These planes will soon be deployed on the Bengaluru-San Francisco direct flight as well.
It seems like Air India and its USD 400 million cabin refurbishment plan will be giving stiff competition to other westbound carriers from India.
To combat the multiple instances of delays caused due to overwhelmed security and immigration queues at Mumbai, the airport now relies on artificial intelligence. Through AI, the airport is able to control passenger count, flow, and conduct queue monitoring. The digital tool gives information such as number of travellers, passenger flow, predicts wait time, and even indicates queue build-up.
The Next Big Thing
- If Indian airports adopt scanners like Dubai International Airport, where passengers are no longer needed remove their electronics like laptops, chargers, and power banks, this could certainly reduce the long queues and waiting times at security checks.
- Watch out for an impressive growth chart and network expansion by Akasa Air, which seems to be getting good service and on-time performance reviews from passengers.
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