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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Oman Air has launched its inaugural flight WY295 from Salalah to Calicut (Kozhikode). A cake-cutting ceremony took place at Salalah International Airport, under the aegis of Sayyid Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamoud Al Busaidi, minister of state and governor of Dhofar. The event was attended by Oman Air chief executive Paul Gregorowitsch, along with other high-ranking dignitaries.

Adding to the two flights currently operating between Muscat and Calicut, Oman Air is launching this new daily direct flight between Salalah and Calicut (CCJ), Kerala. The three and a half hour flight, operated by a Boeing 737-800, departs Salalah at 00:40 and arrives in Calicut at 05:50. The return flight will leave Calicut at 06:40 and arrive in Salalah at 08:40.

Oman Air is growing its weekly capacity to India with frequencies increasing on five of the airline’s key Indian destinations. Bombay, Delhi and Hyderabad increase from twice daily to three times daily. Calicut increases from once daily to three times daily, and Lucknow increases from once daily to twice daily.

 

Gregorowitsch said, “Oman Air is committed to support the economic development of the Dhofar region, which is a key market for us. We are extremely happy to announce this new direct service between Salalah and Calicut. Our valued guests who want to travel between Salalah and Calicut can now enjoy shorter flights as they don’t have to transfer at Muscat airport. We are sure that this route will be received well by the discerning guests.”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons is all set to visit India from March 28-31, 2017. During her trip, the Minister will travel to New Delhi and Mumbai.

In Delhi, the Minister will meet the Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (I/C) Commerce & Industry, the Kalraj Mishra, Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism, as well as visit the Parliament of India. Throughout her visit, Minister Chagger will meet with representatives of the tourism industry, as well as representatives of Indian and Canadian startups and small businesses, women entrepreneurs, and Indian business leaders.

In Mumbai, Minister Chagger will join Canadian Solar to visit their new solar array at the National Centre for the Performing Arts. She will also promote Canada as a destination of choice to women entrepreneurs at Zone Startups, and at a special session organised by TiE Mumbai, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Indian School of Management & Entrepreneurship. A Canada 150 business reception will highlight growing Canada-India linkages, including a planned direct flight between Toronto and Mumbai to be launched July 01.

In connection with the visit, the High Commissioner for Canada to India, Nadir Patel said, “Minister Chagger’s visit builds on the momentum underway in the rapidly growing Canada-India relationship by promoting tourism, supporting Canadian SMEs as they expand their presence in the Indian market, and highlight Canada as a leading investment and tourism destination.”

“This trip is very important to me,” said Minister Chagger. “I am proud to be one of four Canadian Cabinet ministers of Indian heritage, and to be one of the 19 MPs of Indian heritage in Parliament. SMEs are the backbone of our two economies and I am looking forward to encouraging greater interaction between them as that is how we will achieve greater growth. The Canada-India relationship is very important for Canada and we will continue to build on our significant economic and people-to-people ties.”

 

Minister Chagger’s visit to India is the seventh in the last eight months by a Cabinet Minister of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Government, a reflection of the importance of Canada’s relationship with India.

Thomas Cook (India), one of India’s leading integrated travel and travel related financial service companies, in a focused initiative to capture smaller, yet high potential local leisure markets, has conceptualised a unique customer outreach- going local- right to its customer’s doorstep.

To delight its high potential Mumbai based customers, and drive conversions, the Thomas Cook India’s special Weekend Mega Holiday Sale, an on-ground activation across five key catchment localities recently, saw unprecedented response: over 3000 walk-ins and bookings of over 550 holidays to popular destinations like Europe, Asia (including Singapore, Malaysia, Bali, Hong Kong), USA,  Mauritius etc.

Thomas Cook recognised that its customers find it increasingly difficult to visit its outlets due to traffic/parking challenges in cities like Mumbai and hence Thomas Cook India’s intent was to go out to meet its customers. Basis customer insights, Thomas Cook reached out to customers across Ghatkopar, Kandivali, Juhu, Fort, Vashi and given strong customer demand, has now decided to extend the same to high potential Mumbai suburbs like Powai, etc., and extended suburbs such as Vasai, Dombivli; with further on-ground outreach events aimed at cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai.

With the focus being exciting offers (across select tours from Thomas Cook’s Group and Individual holiday packages, Cruises, Contiki youth products, Regional tours, its romantic Love Trails, etc.), the weekend sale bonanza offered customers a range of attractive deals and the advantage of spot discounts up to Rs. 40,000 per person on Thomas Cook India’s holiday packages, with an added incentive of a ‘Child Travels Free’ or its Holiday pe Holiday Free offer on select international tours. For customers who pay the entire amount upfront, Thomas Cook India offers a further discount of up to nine per cent on select international departures. Thomas Cook India’s endeavour is to make holidays affordable for every Indian and ensure that Ab Poora India Ghumega!

 

Rajeev Kale, President & Country Head - Leisure Travel, MICE, Thomas Cook India said, “In keeping with our promise to deliver a diverse and delightful range of holiday options right at the consumer’s doorstep, we flagged off our hugely successful Weekend Mega Holiday Sale, an extension of our The Grand Indian Holiday Sale. With our umbrella of travel related services on offer at the road shows, our customers can book their complete holiday in a matter of minutes and ensure a hassle free, smooth travel experience Our customers are increasingly emerging from small local pockets within larger cities, and our intent was to reach out to our customers by going local- right to their very doorstep!”

Cathay Pacific has signed a co-operation agreement with the Lufthansa Group that will see the airline codeshare on flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines to a number of destinations in continental Europe. Reciprocally, the Lufthansa Group will codeshare on Cathay Pacific services to four of the airline’s most popular destinations in Southwest Pacific.

Under the agreement, Cathay Pacific will offer 14 new destinations in Germany, Belgium, Hungary, Norway, Italy, Switzerland and Austria with the “CX” code placed on the following services operated by airlines in the Lufthansa Group;

Lufthansa

Between Frankfurt and: Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Dresden, Hannover, Hamburg, Munich, Nuremberg, Oslo and Stuttgart.

Swiss

Between Zurich and: Berlin, Brussels, Florence, Geneva, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Venice.

Austrian Airlines

Between Vienna and: Frankfurt, Zurich and Düsseldorf.

The Lufthansa Group will place its airlines’ codes on services operated by Cathay Pacific between Hong Kong and Auckland as well as between Hong Kong and Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney. Under a single booking, passengers from Frankfurt, Munich, Vienna and Zurich will be able to check through and seamlessly transfer to their final destination in Auckland or Australia via Hong Kong International Airport.

The co-operation agreement also extends to both airlines’ frequent flyer programmes. Passengers who are members of Cathay Pacific’s travel and lifestyle rewards programme, Asia Miles and Lufthansa Group’s loyalty programme, Miles and More, will be eligible to earn and redeem miles when travelling on the above codeshare routes. Members of Cathay Pacific’s loyalty programme, Marco Polo Club, can also earn Club Points when travelling on codeshare flights marketed by Cathay Pacific and operated by Lufthansa Group.

Cathay Pacific Chief Executive Ivan Chu said the airline is delighted to grow its relationship with the Lufthansa Group, one of world’s largest and most respected airline groups. He added, “This new codeshare agreement will offer Cathay Pacific passengers enhanced connectivity to destinations in continental Europe through flights operated by Lufthansa, Swiss and Austrian Airlines via our gateways in Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and Zurich. At the same time, Lufthansa Group customers travelling from Europe to Southwest Pacific will have more convenient access to flights to Australia and New Zealand through our super hub in Hong Kong.”

Carsten Spohr, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO, Lufthansa Group said, “Cathay Pacific Airways and the Lufthansa Group, two of the world's leading aviation groups, are forming a ground-breaking partnership. I am particularly pleased because it strengthens our global network of strategic partnerships and further improves our airlines' offering on Asian routes in the interest of our passengers. The codeshare and frequent flyer agreement between Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines and Cathay Pacific Airways brings advantages for the passengers of all the partners, because the airlines' route networks complement each other perfectly. The co-operation with Cathay Pacific is another key building block in our Asia strategy.”

In order to further improve the comfort and satisfaction of its passengers, Turkish Airlines has introduced its new in-flight mobile connectivity through ‘eXPhone’ for an uninterrupted communication on board. As an extension of Wi-Fi and live TV availability on its Boeing B777 and Airbus A330 aircrafts, Turkish Airlines now offers mobile internet connectivity by eXPhone to its guests, by April, 2017.

By using this service, passengers will be able to send text messages (excluding voice messages), check their e-mails and browse internet (including social media platforms) with their own mobile phones.

 

The eXPhone service, offered in cooperation with Panasonic/AeroMobile, has been tested on board during a flight with participation of relevant authorities. The eXPhone service will be billed by the passengers’ mobile phone operators, and the prices will vary depending on their individual roaming contracts.

Novotel, the internationally acclaimed hotel brand from AccorHotels, will make its debut in the capital city of Guwahati with the opening of Novotel Guwahati GS Road this year. The soon to be launched hotel will be located in the heart of Guwahati's commercial district, situated near the Guwahati Shillong highway, suitable both for business trips and for holidays. The Assam-based SM JDB Estate will be responsible for the development and realisation of the project.

The hotel, which is part of the Novotel brand known for its spacious modular guestrooms, commitment to guest wellbeing, meeting facilities, children’s offerings and attentive service, will feature 118 modern and well-appointed rooms and suites. Guests at Novotel Guwahati GS Road will enjoy an array of modern facilities, including an all-day dining restaurant, lobby bar, lounge and health club. The top floors will be the hotel’s main attraction with a rooftop pool and the adjacent bar, creating a new trendy destination to unwind and socialise in the city for visitors and locals alike.

SK Jain, Chairman, SM JDB Estate, CMD, SM Group said, “It is indeed a pleasure for us to partner with AccorHotels to introduce the first Novotel in east of Kolkata, at Guwahati. We have used the best of resources available globally to ensure that the people of north east receive the highest standards of service which is long overdue and bridge the gaps that exist for a city-centre upscale property. We are proud of the team that has been put together and are confident that our guests are going to be delighted every time they step into this landmark property.”

Lokesh Sabharwal, Vice President - Development & Special Projects, South Asia - ‎AccorHotels, “We eagerly look forward to welcoming guests to Novotel Guwahati GS Road. Guwahati is the gateway to the seven sisters in North-East, and over the years, the city has emerged as an important commercial hub, not just within the region but also all of South East Asia. With plenty of local tourist attractions and easy access to North East’s unbridled natural beauty, the city is also a paradise for holidaymakers. We are certain that the opening of Novotel Guwahati GS Road will help in boosting the infrastructure for the domestic and international travellers alike. With construction in full swing, Novotel Shillong is set to open its doors to guests next year, further expanding and strengthening our presence in the region.”

 

Novotel Guwahati GS Road is ideal for both corporate and leisure travellers seeking a prime location accommodation. Guests staying at the hotel can expect the same friendly and casual, yet efficient service in modern and practical settings as they would at any Novotel around the world.

To make Czech visa application facilities more accessible for residents of Pune, the Embassy of the Czech Republic and VFS Global have launched a Czech Republic Visa Application Centre in the city’s well-connected area, Viman Nagar. The centre is a part of the modern Joint Visa Application Centre that houses 26 diplomatic missions under one roof.

The centre was inaugurated by Milan Hovorka, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to India, at a ceremony held recently. The inauguration was also attended by other key members from the Embassy and VFS Global.

Speaking at the launch, Hovorka, said he cherished inaugurating such a centre, in yet another major city in India, where people can submit their Schengen visa applications for travel to the Czech Republic by visiting VFS Global centres.

Over the last few months, VFS Global has set up centres in 11 other cities in India to increase accessibility to visa services for applicants across the country. Earlier this month, Czech Republic Visa Application Centres were launched in Jaipur and Kochi on March 02 and March 03 respectively. Applicants earlier had to travel to either Mumbai or Delhi to apply for Czech Republic visas.

 

Commenting on the launch, Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer – Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global, “We are pleased to further enhance the visa services network for the Czech Republic in India, through this modern visa application facility in Pune. The new centre will serve the ever-increasing volumes of visa applications for the Schengen country, and illustrates the emerging popularity of the Czech Republic as a tourist destination. We are confident that the introduction of professional and hassle-free Czech Republic visa services in Pune will be well-received by aspiring travellers from this city.”

Fuelling the spirit of adrenaline junkies, Trip 360º, a one-stop-shop for all things adventure will revolutionise adventure travel in India. With safety, sustainability and sociable forming the core values of Trip 360º, it aims to establish India as a global adventure destination by crafting high-quality expeditions and catering to the insatiable appetite of thrill seekers. Trip 360º is powered by Cox & Kings.

Rohan Prakash, Business Head, Trip 360º said, “Each of the Trip 360º itineraries is tailored specifically for individuals who love getting out of their comfort zones and embracing new passions and experiences. Our itineraries vary from soft, medium and hard adventures and cater to all levels of adventure travellers. We have handpicked and trained expert guides, leaders and suppliers to offer different adventures of international standards. We will be introducing most tempting activities like Scuba Diving, Cycling, Diving, Biking and Trekking and more exciting experiences within and outside India.”

He added further, “Trip 360º is the first adventure specialist which will operate as both, an aggregator and tour operator. Our selected partners are locals from the area or specialists in their respective fields with an in-depth knowledge of the region and the local environment. We aim to consolidate their expertise with ours and create a platform for travellers to live and achieve their outdoor dream in a safe and healthy environment”

Karan Anand, Head, Relationships, Cox & Kings, that is powering Trip 360º said, “With increasing number of travellers shifting focus to 'experience-oriented' vacations, there is an increase in the demand for the adventure travel services. The adventure travel business is huge in India; however, it is largely fragmented and unorganised. Many independent professionals and local operators offer adventure activities to travellers at low costs and with substandard services defying international norms, compromising on safety and sustainability standards. Trip 360º, addresses these issues by filling the gap and bringing out the best that India has to offer in the adventure landscape, in a safe and sustainable setting.”

 

Trip 360º has launched a dedicated website to give adventure seekers a mix of 200 itineraries to start with. Trip 360º’s living-life-on-the-edge itineraries include Diving with Sharks in Maldives to Skiing to the South Pole, Cycling trips in the Northeast India to some of the most remote corners of Laos, Cruising parts of Galapagos Islands and other parts of Central America to trekking the Vinson Massif in Antarctica and Sahyadri Ranges in Maharashtra. It will also launch new routes and trips to offbeat destinations like Myanmar, Papua New Guinea and sections that remain untouched by other tour operators.

IndiGo and Travelport  joined hands last year to extend the airlines distribution capability across 68,000+ online and offline travel agents worldwide. IndiGo, which is now serving 45 destinations throughout India, UAE, Malaysia, Nepal, Oman, Thailand and Singapore; have extended its outreach with this step connecting to 180 countries’ travel market.

With IndiGo onboard - Travelport has added another top performing LCC into its bouquet of over 30 LCCs in the Asia Pacific region and aggregated its content into one standardized workflow -shopping comparison, integrated booking and change management capability. In 2016 itself, Travelport had processed 82 billion dollars’ worth of travel that consisted of 117 million airline tickets, about 65 million hotel room-nights and around 91 million car rental days.

Through this unique distribution capability and massive outreach, the Indian LCC can now display its content and ancillaries in the most effective way via API connection, rather than the more traditional fare filing methods often favored by network carriers, and still have their fares and ancillaries displayed, compared and booked in exactly the same way.

In addition, IndiGo will also use Travelport’s leading merchandising capabilities to bring its brand proposition to life for travellers arriving into India and then seeking domestic flights within the country. The distribution partnership will also help the airline reach travellers in international markets as it continues to expand its route network into destinations in the Indian Sub-continent, Middle East and South East Asia.

SWISS is about to commence the renewal of its Geneva-based aircraft allocation to an all-Bombardier C Series fleet. SWISS Geneva will receive its first such aircraft, a CS100, on 26 March. This will be followed by the delivery of SWISS’s first CS300 and its Geneva stationing in May; and by the end of 2018 (and completion of the 30-aircraft C Series delivery programme), SWISS Geneva will have an all-C Series fleet.

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) is about to start renewing its Geneva-based aircraft allocation to an all-Bombardier C Series fleet. The first such aircraft, a CS100, will commence operations from its new Geneva base with the start of the summer schedules on 26 March. The aircraft will be used on intra-European services to destinations such as London Heathrow, Dublin and Athens. With its state-of-the-art technology, the Bombardier C Series sets new industry benchmarks in comfort, operating economics and environmental terms.

Geneva will also be the home base of SWISS’s first Bombardier CS300, delivery of which is expected in May. The larger CS300 offers 145 seats, 20 more than the CS100. By the end of 2018 SWISS’s Geneva-based fleet will consist solely of Bombardier C Series aircraft: one CS100 and seven CS300s. The new twinjets supersede the seven Airbus A320s that are currently stationed there. The Geneva fleet renewal is a further confirmation of SWISS’s commitment to its Geneva base and the whole of Western Switzerland.

 

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