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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

IndiGo announced Bahrain as its 25th international destination in 6E network. The airline will commence new direct flights between Mumbai-Bahrain, effective August 01, 2022. With this new addition in 6E network, IndiGo will now connect to all six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council. 

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to announce Bahrain as our 25th international and 99th overall destination in the 6E network. These new flights will enhance international connectivity and bolster trade, commerce and tourism between India and Bahrain which is known for its pearl diving and trading tradition. Bahrain will be the first post covid international addition to the 6E network. We will strive to stay true to our promise of affordable fares, on-time performance, courteous and hassle-free service across wide network, onboard our lean clean flying machines.”

Malaysia Airlines is delighted to announce the reopening of its Platinum Lounge at KL International Airport (KLIA) beginning 1 July 2022, as the airline proactively ramps its international capacity and strategic route expansions to cater to growing travel demands.

The reopening of the airline’s flagship Platinum Lounge also marks the full restoration of its lounges at KLIA, including its Domestic, Regional and Satellite Golden Lounges, following two years of pandemic-associated restrictions.

Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer of Malaysia Airlines, Lau Yin May, said, “As a full-service carrier, we want to deliver memorable end-to-end experiences for our guests that prioritises convenience, comfort, safety and wellbeing at every step of their journey. We are thrilled to reopen our Platinum Lounge, especially as we continue to ramp up our international frequency and network to meet the growing demands for travel. We hope guests, far and wide, will continue to enjoy the Malaysian Hospitality service that comes with flying with Malaysia Airlines; from the moment they seamlessly book their flights with us, upon their arrival at the airport, impeccable experiences at our lounges, and a comfortable journey on board.”

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and GenZero, an investment platform wholly owned by Temasek that is dedicated to accelerating decarbonisation globally, have embarked on the next phase of the Singapore pilot with the delivery of blended Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to Changi Airport via the airport’s fuel hydrant system on 7 July 2022.

This is also the first time blended SAF is uplifted onto SIA and Scoot departing flights at Changi Airport as part of the Singapore pilot. Under this pilot, 1,000 tonnes of neat SAF will be supplied by Neste and blended with refined jet fuel at ExxonMobil’s facilities in Singapore. This is expected to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 2,500 tonnes.

Han Kok Juan, Director-General, CAAS, said, “There is broad-based consensus amongst government and industry leaders around the world that the decarbonisation of the aviation sector and the achievement of net zero targets set by airlines will require large-scale SAF adoption. This first successful uplift of blended SAF is an important milestone in Singapore’s journey towards sustainable aviation. It shows that the Singapore Changi Airport is SAF-ready. It also provides useful operational learning points on the adoption of SAF which the CAAS is studying as part of our work on a Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint.  We target to publish the Blueprint early next year.”

Lee Wen Fen, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning, Singapore Airlines, said, “Today marks an important milestone in the SIA Group’s decarbonisation journey, as we uplift a blend of sustainable aviation fuel and jet fuel into our aircraft departing out of Singapore for the first time. Sustainable aviation fuels are a key decarbonisation lever, and this pilot demonstrates our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Working together with our partners, we will continue support the adoption of SAF in Singapore.”

Frederick Teo, Chief Executive Officer, GenZero, said, “We are delighted to see sustainable aviation fuel used on SIA and Scoot flights departing from Changi Airport. We have also been working with our project partners and the Climate Impact X (CIX) global exchange to pilot innovative products for SAF credits. Such credits represent an important way to crowd in financing from environmentally conscious corporates and institutions to reduce the cost premium and encourage greater adoption of SAF to decarbonise global aviation. We look forward to the SAF credits arising from this project being available by the end of the year.”

Geraldine Chin, Chairman and Managing Director, ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., said, “We are proud to supply certified SAF to Singapore Airlines in this inaugural pilot. ExxonMobil is bringing its deep capabilities in fuels manufacturing and logistics to help customers such as SIA achieve their net-zero ambitions. We are focused on growing our lower-emissions fuels business by leveraging technology and infrastructure, and continuing research in advanced biofuels that could provide improved longer-term solutions.”

Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President of Renewable Aviation for the Asia-Pacific region, Neste, said, “We are excited to see Singapore Airlines starting today the use of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel in their flight operations. The collaboration with ExxonMobil, Singapore Airlines, Temasek and CAAS demonstrates the potential of SAF in reducing aviation’s emissions and helps accelerate its use in Singapore and globally. Neste is committed to play its part as we are starting SAF production in Singapore in the first quarter of 2023 with one million tonnes of production capacity per annum.”

As the world starts to emerge from strict border closures, Indians are eager to make their travel dreams a reality in the next few months. 86% of Indian travellers stated that they intend to travel in the next 12 months, according to Booking.com’s inaugural APAC Travel Confidence Index. Despite some COVID-19 restrictions, travel optimism continues to remain high with 70% of Indian travellers accepting of anticipated travel disruptions and 78% considering leisure travel as important while keeping their overall health and safety in mind.


The commissioned research, which polled 11,000 travellers from 11 countries and territories¹ across Asia Pacific, combined with the company’s proprietary data and insights as a digital travel leader for the past 25 years, offers insights into the region’s travel confidence.

Amongst the 11 APAC markets, India has emerged as the most confident, followed closely by Vietnam and China. While North Asian markets of Korea, Taiwan and Japan ranked lower on the index in terms of overall confidence, travel intent among respondents remained relatively high (above 60%).

The desire to travel remains strong amongst Asia Pacific as well as Indian travellers, with ease of planning and booking travel as well as cost being the top two considerations. Both ranked consistently high across all markets, even as restrictions continue to ease around the region.

While corporate travel is beginning to make a comeback, the shift to remote working and virtual meetings has perhaps brought about a shift in the way we work. Despite many employees having returned to the office across India, only 25% of Indian travellers (Average of 13% in APAC) indicated that work was a reason for them to book a trip. This signifies a slower revitalisation in corporate vs leisure travel.

When asked about their top concerns and what would prevent them from booking a trip, ‘possibility of getting stuck because of frequently changing border regulations’ was listed as the top deterrent by 35% of Indian travellers (APAC 37%). This was followed by ‘travel cost’ and fear of having to undergo quarantine both at 33% each (APAC average of 38% and 37% respectively).

The impact of the kind of trips we take, thanks to COVID-19 is likely to continue in the near future as the Booking.com research reveals a preference for domestic travel, despite resumption of international travel. 87% of Indian travellers are likely to travel domestically, even when international travel restrictions are completely lifted.

Out of the 11 markets polled across the APAC region, India once again topped the index in terms of intent to travel sustainably, with 93% of respondents agreeing on the importance of making sustainable travel decisions followed by Vietnam (83%) and China (77%). The intent also translates into action as 82% of Indian travellers are willing to pay more if it means they can make more sustainable travel choices and 77% of Indian travellers are okay with less variety in options as long as their travel decisions are sustainable.

Ritu Mehrotra, Commercial Director, APAC at Booking.com said, “It is exciting to see India emerge at the top of Booking.com’s APAC Travel Confidence Index. The findings highlight Indian travellers' love for travel and readiness to explore the world once again. And while travel optimism remains strong, it's inspiring to know that the intent to travel sustainably is also a key consideration for Indian travellers. The overall insights are a promising indication of the opportunities available for the industry to adapt and collaborate now to bolster the overall confidence of travellers, so we can truly make it easier for everyone to travel and experience the world again - now and in the years to come”

International travel is coming back across Asia according to global digital travel platform Agoda as it urges hoteliers to maximise the opportunities this rebound affords. Agoda’s search data from January 2022 to May 2022 reveals a 102% growth in inbound searches and 90% growth in outbound searches as travellers’ confidence returns.  

“As the easing of international travel restrictions has started, we are seeing encouraging growth in India and across Asia. There is a window of opportunity for hoteliers and Agoda Homes partners to get a real head start on their competition and capture these inbound travellers,” said Krishna Rathi, Agoda - Partner Services Country Director, India, Sri Lanka & Maldives.      

“While domestic travel is the mainstay of many of our partners’ businesses the advantage of reaching international travellers is appealing because they tend to stay longer, plan further ahead and utilise inventory across the week, instead of such a heavy weekend focus as is more characteristic of domestic travellers,” Rathi continued.  

Partners are supported by dedicated account management teams who share insights that help to maximise inventories, and the subsequent opportunity to increase their revenues.

Since January, the makeup of the origin of travellers has shifted towards Asian markets as border restrictions in the region eased.  While the United States (US) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) remained in the top three, Singapore pushed UAE into second place and both Malaysia and Thailand jumped up the visitor ranks.   

“We are excited to see international travel making a return in India and are looking forward to more engagement with our partners to grow beyond the market, offering their customers value and choice using our innovative and agile technological solutions,” said Rathi.

G Kamala Vardhan Rao, Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India emphasized on the need to develop and showcase newer tourist destinations to attract more travellers from both domestic and international countries. “We should collectively work to ensure that new destinations come up with basic infrastructure,” he added.

 Addressing the ‘7th National Tourism Investors Meet 2022’, organized by FICCI, Rao invited the investors to invest in the tourism sector. “India is going to host the G-20 meetings next year and it will be organized across various states and cities. The states are also investing heavily to build infrastructure. I urge investors to come forward and invest in the hospitality sector,” he stated.

Speaking on the investment potential in tourism sector, Rao stated that tourism is the beneficiary of all the investments of various ministries and departments including national highways, rural development ministry, civil aviation, railways, etc. “Whichever department is investing in the infrastructure and services sector, it is tourism which is the beneficiary,” he stated.

Highlighting on enhancing the connectivity in various tourist destinations, he said that each year the government is taking various steps to improve the rail and air connectivity but air connectivity in the north-eastern sector still needs to be enhanced.

Speaking on the importance of souvenir industry, depicting India’s art, culture and other aspects, Rao stated that the industry should also focus on developing a niche in this sector which has a lot of potential. “The government can only facilitate the souvenir industry, but it is the private sector which has to take this up in a big way. It can become a major investment area as well,” he added.

Rao also stated that post pandemic, MICE tourism is growing at a much faster pace and with the increase in number of convention centers opening in India, investors should seize the opportunity in MICE tourism.

Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Govt of India stated that the government is working to increase the number of airports in the country to 200 by 2024 from current 140 airports. She further stated that aviation and tourism are complimenting sectors. “Air connectivity needs to be in tandem with what the tourism sector is doing,” she added.  

Padhee said that the government is working to connect the north-eastern states with more international flights under the UDAN scheme. “Coordination between the stakeholders is critical to improve the connectivity,” she emphasized.  

Rajni Hasija, Chairperson & MD, IRCTC said that IRCTC has the plan to expand its hospitality business and developing various properties under PPP model. “This is the opportunity for the industry to join our hands in developing various destinations and promoting the domestic tourism. Everyone has to work together to promote the industry and IRCTC is also working to promote film tourism in a big way,” she added.

Dr Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI; Chairperson, FICCI Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Committee and CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said that India needs to have a very robust domestic tourism and we can’t entirely rely on international tourism. “We need to go beyond the areas that are unexplored. Connectivity is one of the biggest shortcomings that we have to improve,” she added.

LOT Polish Airlines has added flights to the German city of Stuttgart to its route network. Since 1st July 2022, the airline serves Stuttgart daily from its global Warsaw hub.

LOT Polish Airlines’ guests from India will benefit from hassle-free fast and seamless connectivity in Warsaw so that they reach Stuttgart on the same day of their departure from India with a short layover in the Polish capital where immigration into the Schengen area will take place.

Stuttgart, for more than 50 years Mumbai’s sister city, is located in the south of Germany. The city is both, an important commercial and industrial centre as well as an attractive destination for leisure travellers. Stuttgart, which is the capital of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, and its surrounding area are home to globally renowned companies such as Robert Bosch, Carl Zeiss optics and car manufacturers Mercedes Benz and Porsche. Tourists enjoy Stuttgart as a perfect gateway for trips to the Black Forest, to Lake Constance and to numerous fairy-tale-like castles.

“We are pleased to have our flights to Stuttgart resumed and to provide a new travel option”, explains Amit Ray, Director India, DACH Markets and Italy at LOT Polish Airlines. “As there are a lot of ties between India and the Stuttgart area, it has been very important for us to bring this city back on the route map for our Indian guests.”

Stuttgart is just the latest of a number of recent additions to the global network of LOT Polish Airlines. Over the past weeks, the airline has already added Cairo/Egypt, Baku/Azerbaijan, Pristina/Kosovo and Sarajevo/Bosnia and Herzegovina to its network, all being served from its hub in Warsaw.

The Ascott Limited (Ascott), wholly owned by CapitaLand Investment Limited’s (CLI), is acquiring Oakwood Worldwide (Oakwood), a premier global serviced apartment provider, from Mapletree Investments Pte Ltd. The acquisition increases Ascott’s global portfolio by 81 properties and about 15,000 units. Oakwood’s approximately 8,500 operational units are expected to immediately contribute to Ascott’s recurring fee income streams upon completion of the transaction slated in 3Q 2022.

Ascott’s acquisition of Oakwood will leapfrog Ascott’s global presence to more than 150,000 units in about 900 properties across over 200 cities in 39 countries. It will add new markets which include Cheongju in South Korea; Zhangjiakou and Qingdao in China; Dhaka in Bangladesh as well as Washington D.C. in the United States of America (USA).

Mr Kevin Goh, CLI’s Chief Executive Officer for Lodging, said: “This acquisition of Oakwood is part of Ascott’s roadmap to playing a bigger role in the lodging market. There are significant synergies between Ascott and Oakwood, given our complementary footprint and product offerings. We intend to build on the strong reputation and heritage of the Oakwood brand, especially in markets across Southeast Asia, North Asia and North America. Oakwood will continue to grow alongside Ascott’s current portfolio of global brands as we continue to build growth momentum for our lodging business. We will be able to leverage Ascott’s extensive expertise as a global lodging player to deliver greater value to our expanded network of loyal customers and property owners.”

Mythoverse Studios appoints Anshu Patni as its CEO, Gaming & WEB3.0. Anshu spent 15 years in the entertainment and content ecosystem, holding experience across content, talent management and brand building.

Before joining the role in Mythoverse Studios, Anshu has helmed CHNO Media and also as the Business Head at CAA KWAN. She will be responsible for bringing the immersive world of Mythoverse in its WEB3.0 Avatar during her new role.

Ethiopian Airlines has started thrice weekly operations to/from Chennai, India as of 02 July 2022. Chennai has joined the vast Ethiopian network as a fourth destination in India after New Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru. Ethiopian started its service to India with a debut flight to New Delhi in 1966, just 20 years after the airline was founded. Ethiopian pioneered the air transport linkage between Africa and India. Recently, Ethiopian marked its 50th year anniversary of uninterrupted service to Mumbai, the commercial capital of India.

The flights to Chennai will be operated using B737-8 aircraft. Lemma Yadecha Gudeta, Chief Commercial Officer, Ethiopian Airlines, said, “It is great honour to be here in Chennai today as we launched our 4th destination in India and the first new destination after the pandemic. After a very tough journey in the last three years ,we are now able to overcome the challenges and embark on a new growth path. Currently we are operating 38 weekly Cargo and Passenger flights to/from our destinations in India and the commencement of flight to Chennai is a testimony of our commitment to serve Indians in all corners of the country.”

Chennai is a modern cosmopolitan city and the most prominent cultural, economic and educational centre of South India. Ethiopian has been serving India without any interruption even during the pandemic cementing the longstanding bilateral relationship between the two countries.

India is one of Ethiopian Airlines key destinations in the Asian continent and Ethiopian currently flies to three passenger and five cargo destinations with its enhanced services and modern fleet.

In line with the airlines commitment to serve its customers in India, it has been growing its service frequency and destinations since it first commenced operation to the country.

Besides the opening of a new route to Chennai, Ethiopian Airlines’ flight frequency to the cities of Mumbai and New Delhi will increase to double daily and ten weekly flights, respectively, very soon.




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