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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

IndiGo, India’s leading carrier has announced a new daily direct flight from Hyderabad-Riyadh along with additional frequencies on Hyderabad-Doha and Mangalore-Dubai routes. This new route and additional frequencies will enhance connectivity between India and Middle East.

Sanjay Kumar, Chief Strategy and Revenue Officer, IndiGo said, “We are pleased to strengthen our network by introducing new international flights and frequencies. The new connection to Riyadh will enhance business connectivity and easy access to tourist attractions like Al Masmak Fortress, National Museum, Heet Caves, Imam Turki Bin Abdullah Grand Mosque, and Kingdom Center Tower, among others. In addition, these flights will make travel affordable to the Middle East through direct connections and additional capacity. 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.”

In efforts to promote Thailand as a perfect destination for Indian weddings & special occasion celebrations like anniversary, birthdays, reunions etc, Tourism Authority of Thailand, New Delhi organized a networking session for Indian wedding planners, Thai hotel representatives and a few luxury agents based in New Delhi.

The event started with a welcome note by Vachirachai Sirisumpan, Director- TAT New Delhi who spoke about, Tourism Authority of Thailand’s new marketing campaign “Amazing New Chapter” for A to Z Thailand has it all. This campaign emphasizes that Thailand has everything to suit each traveler’s needs and wants and offers new perspectives as well as new experiences in Thailand.

He also highlighted the importance of Indian weddings & celebrations for Thailand Tourism and hospitality businesses. He further said that TAT is looking forward to welcoming Indian tourists to celebrate the special moments in their life like honeymoons, babymoons, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties and many more such occasions, in Amazing Thailand.

Sirisumpan said: “After a long gap of over 2 years, we are pleased to inform you that from 1 January 2022 until 31 August 2022 we have welcomed more than 440,000 Indians visiting Thailand and we expect by the end of this year, that we could welcome 850,000 Indian visitors to Thailand. I am sure we can achieve this milestone by the continuous support of our industry partners and friends of Amazing Thailand”

The welcome was followed by product presentations by the Thai hotel partners, that included well known hotel chains in Thailand like Minor hotels, Centara hotels & Resort, Banyan Tree hotels, Avista Group of hotels, The Preffered Hotels & Resorts (Landmark hotel), Kata group & Beyond hotels, Kempinski hotels, Melia hotels and Onyx hospitality group (Amari hotels).

The representatives highlighted the offerings and arrangements by their hotels to welcome and organize Indian weddings and special occasion celebrations in Thailand.

The event saw a good attendance of about 35 wedding planners and 15 luxury travel agents and was a great initiative to connect the Thai hotels with some of the top wedding planners in North India to promote “Vivaha in Amazing Thailand.”

 

Pride Group of Hotels has added another landmark in Central India with the launch of ‘Pride Hotel Bhopal’.

Announcing the launch, Atul Upadhyay, Senior Vice President, Pride Group of Hotels said, “We are extremely thrilled to launch our new property in Bhopal which offers the signature Pride hospitality experience to our esteemed guests in the city. This full-service upscale hotel with all the contemporary amenities, banqueting, and F&B facilities will complement the needs of leisure and corporate travelers. With this launch, we now move a step further to establish our presence across popular destinations across the country”.

‘Pride Hotel Bhopal’ encompasses 73 well-appointed rooms that perfectly fit the needs of the discerning traveler. 

Pride Hotels has a presence in around 45 great locations with 4,400+ rooms, 89+ restaurants, 116+ banquets, and conference halls

Kanpur city is the commercial capital of Uttar Pradesh and hub for Leather, Textile and Defense production. Also known for historical pilgrim places and various premier institutions, the city attracts air travelers in large numbers. Currently, Kanpur Airport is directly connected to four cities Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore & Gorakhpur.

Considering the growth in passenger traffic, AAI has undertaken the development work of Civil enclave at Kanpur Airport with enhanced passengers’ facilities at a project cost of  Rs 143.6 Crores. The development project includes construction of a new terminal building, and apron suitable for parking of three A-321 type of aircraft.

Built in an area of 6248 sq. mt, the new terminal building of the civil enclave will be designed to process 300 passengers during peak hours. Equipped with all modern passenger amenities, the terminal will have eight check-in counters, conveyor belts for arriving passengers. A parking area has also been planned for parking of 150 Cars. The terminal building will be a Four-Star GRIHA rated energy efficient building with sustainability features. The façade of the terminal will also reflect the local art and heritage of the place inspired from famous JK Temple of  Kanpur. The development project is also expected to be completed by 31st December 2022.

Ethiopian Airlines and Travelport have announced a new agreement. The renewed deal includes distribution on the Travelport+ platform and expands the ongoing travel retailingand distribution relationship between Travelport and Ethiopian, who was ranked the number one airline within the Africancontinent by Business Insider earlier this year.

Once the airline makes content via NDC distribution available, both companies will work together to provide agents with access to NDC content and functionality from Ethiopian Airlines in the Travelport+ platform. As part of the agreement, Ethiopian Airlines will become a new participant in Travelport’s Rich Content & Branding (RC&B) program. As a top 100 carrier booked through Travelport, the carrier is laying the foundation to ensure that Travelport-connected agencies can access the most robust, enriched Ethiopian Airlines’ content following its current fleet expansion.

“As we are now investing in our ability to meet high demand for travel following the pandemic, it is crucial that we deepen our partnership with Travelport as they understand our need to efficiently deliver simplified access to our growing content,” said Lemma Yadecha, Chief Commercial Officer at Ethiopian Airlines. “Travelport’s enhanced multisourced content capabilities within the Travelport+ platform will help us to provide agents and their travelers with quick, easy access to highly relevant offers and more choices to fit their needs. Our expanded agreement with Travelport and Rich Content & Branding will further enable us to drive more value for our travelers through today’s modern travel retailing environment,” he added.

David Gomes, Head of Regional Air Partners, EMEA at Travelport, said: “Our renewed, expanded agreement with Ethiopian Airlines to include Travelport RC&B participation is a significant step in evolving and modernizing Ethiopian’s retailing strategy. Travelport+ was built to manage multiple sources of content and effectively merchandize personalized and dynamic offers, which will greatly benefit the agency community and provide a better experience for Ethiopian’s travellers as the airline pushes its NDC strategy forward.”

Virgin Atlantic and IndiGo are delighted to announce a new codeshare between the UK and India, offering seamless connections and increased opportunities for frequent flyers to earn more points than ever before. 

The codeshare partnership will mean customers booking a Virgin Atlantic ticket will be able to fly on the airline’s London Heathrow to Delhi and Mumbai flights and connect to and from 7 additional cities in India. Later this year the agreement will be expanded to cover a total of 16 destinations throughout India, as well as connections onto Virgin Atlantic’s extensive US network operated via London Heathrow.

The agreement will allow Virgin Atlantic to sell seats to passengers connecting onto IndiGo flights. The initial codeshare destinations in India include Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Goa, Delhi and Mumbai. The additional destinations will include Kochi, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Pune, Coimbatore, Nagpur, Vadodara, Indore and Visakhapatnam.

The new codeshare agreement will allow Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members to reach their rewards faster, with opportunities to earn both Virgin Points and Tier Points available on every codeshare with IndiGo. 

The codeshare flights will be available this week for booking for travel beyond 27th September, subject to government approval.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’re thrilled to launch a new codeshare partnership with IndiGo. This summer marks our largest ever flying programme from India with three daily direct services to London and our new partnership takes our commitment to even greater heights.  IndiGo is India’s largest airline and its extensive network will offer Virgin Atlantic customers even more choice when travelling between the UK and India, as well as offering seamless connections for onward travel across our extensive US route network.

“It’s great news for our Flying Club too, by providing more opportunities for members to earn valuable points. This new partnership aims to respond to the large, fast-growing demand for visiting friends & relatives, leisure as well as business travellers looking for more choice between UK and India.”

Ronojoy Dutta, Chief Executive Officer and Wholetime Director, IndiGo said: “We are pleased to announce our codeshare with Virgin Atlantic to provide enhanced connectivity to the passengers. This will not only help offer a seamless travel experience from London to as many as 16 destinations in India, but also open up international trade opportunities throughout the country via enhanced accessibility. We look forward to having Virgin Atlantic’s customers on our lean clean flying machine, as we extend our on-time, affordable, courteous and hassle-free travel experience.”

IntrCity SmartBus, the largest tech-enabled fleet of inter-city buses, grew 1.8x in the first half of 2022, with revenues nearing $45 million annualised run rate and business achieving operational profitability.

The company recorded over 2 lakhs monthly seat capacity and 80% increase in revenue. The founders’ theory that intercity bus passengers will pay more for a consistent service quality that is safe, reliable, and punctual has been validated by the company's success and ongoing expansion.

Within the next 12 months, the brand's next goal is to reach $100 million in annualised revenue and maintain EBITDA level profitability. Over the next five years, the company plans to convert 5000+ regular buses to 'Connected SmartBus Network' by leveraging Mobility Platform's technological capabilities.

Speaking about the company's success chart, Kapil Raizada, Co-founder of IntrCity, said, "IntrCity SmartBus has served nearly 2 million travellers, and we are thankful to travellers for making us the largest fleet in India. We are committed to continuously improving our state-of-the-art tech platform & making IntrCity SmartBus amongst the best in the world."

The growing consumer love is reflected in a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 59, which has consistently been the best in the industry. The brand is more confident than ever in changing the way India travels inter-city.

IntrCity's in-house technology capabilities include not only a Consumer App, but a 360-degree full stack mobility technology platform that ensures tight operations control, consistent consumer experience, bus operators’ portal, revenue maximisation with real-time data & business insights which are all part of the SmartBus Mobility Operating System.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) christened its newest ship Norwegian Prima over the weekend, which made history as the first major cruise ship christened in Reykjavík, Iceland.

The first of six ships in the groundbreaking Prima Class, Norwegian Prima, debuted to more than 2,500 guests who enjoyed an immersive experience in the beautiful Icelandic capital and a christening celebration like no other.

"With her stunning design and unique offerings, Norwegian Prima is in a league of her own,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “As the industry’s most spacious new cruise ship featuring ‘only-available-on-Prima-experiences,’ she is continuing NCL's legacy of industry firsts. We wanted to launch Norwegian Prima in a location just as special and unique as she is, and Reykjavik's striking landscape is the perfect setting for such a milestone occasion. We thank the Reykjavik community for welcoming us with open arms.”

At 965 feet (294 meters long) and more than 142,500 tons with capacity for 3,100 guests at double occupancy, Norwegian Prima offers the highest staffing levels and space ratio of any contemporary or premium cruise ship. She also boasts the largest variety of suite categories available at sea as well as a redefined The Haven by Norwegian, NCL’s ultra-premium keycard only access ship-within-a-ship concept.

Her variety of recreational activities including the fastest slides at sea - The Rush and The Drop - and the Prima Speedway, the first three-level racetrack at sea, provide guests with adrenaline-pumping moments. Spaces like Ocean Boulevard, the 44,000 square foot outdoor walk way which wraps around the entire ship; The Concourse, which boasts a multi-million dollar outdoor sculpture garden; and expansive pool decks and infinity style pools at Infinity Beach, offer guests a chance to slow down and relax.

"We have been eagerly anticipating and preparing for this special event for several years, so we are delighted to embark on NCL's next chapter with Norwegian Prima," said Harry Sommer, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. "It’s been a joy to see our vision come to life with this landmark christening ceremony, which sets the tone for the unparalleled holidays guests will enjoy for years to come. We are so thankful to our team members and partners worldwide who have made Norwegian Prima a stunning reality.”

“It was so much fun to sprinkle some fairy godmother dust on Norwegian Prima and send her on her way to sail the high seas,” said Katy Perry. I always appreciate a family vacation and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I was happy to wish all the vacationing guests a happy bon voyage!”

Norwegian Prima will depart on inaugural voyages to Northern Europe from the Netherlands, Denmark and England beginning Sept. 3, 2022, before making her way to the U.S. She will then sail voyages to the Caribbean from New York City, Galveston, Texas, and Miami in October and November before settling into her homeport of Port Canaveral, Fla., and Galveston, Texas for the 2023 and 2024 cruise season. 

 

Caption: Global superstar and godmother of Norwegian Prima, Katy Perry, joins Norwegian Cruise Line executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to officially christen and name NCL’s 18th vessel in its leading-edge Prima Class.

 

The Ministry of Civil Aviation’s flagship program Regional Connectivity Scheme UDAN (UdeDeshkaAamNagrik) has completed 5 years of success.

The scheme was initiated on 21st October 2016 with the objective to fulfil the aspirations of the common citizen by following the vision of ‘UdeDeshkaAamNagrik’, with an enhanced aviation infrastructure and air connectivity in tier II and tier III cities.

In the last five years, UDAN has significantly increased the regional air-connectivity in the country. There were 74 operational airports in 2014. Because of the UDAN scheme this number has increased to 141 by now.

68 underserved/unserved destinations which include 58 Airports, 8 Heliports & 2 Water Aerodromes have been connected under UDAN scheme. With 425 new routes initiated under the scheme, UDAN has provided air connectivity to more than 29 States/ UTs across the length and breadth of the country. More than one crore passengers have availed the benefits of this scheme as on 4th August 2022. The scheme has also provided a much-needed platform to the regional carriers to scale up their operations.

220 destinations (airports/heliports/water aerodromes) under UDAN are targeted to be completed by 2026 with 1000 routes to provide air connectivity to unconnected destinations in the country.Under UDAN, 954 routes have already been awarded to connect 156airports.

On the occasion, Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia said,“The Success of RCS UDAN is a demonstration of the government’s commitment to  Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik’. It has played a great role in the transformation of Indian aviation industry. So far under this scheme, we have 425 routes aiming to go up to 1000 routes, 68 new airports aiming to touch 100 airports. In next 4 years we are expecting 40 crore travelers through Civil Aviation in India. That day is not far when along with rail transport and road transport Civil Aviation will become the bulwark of the transportation in India.”

Saudi Tourism Authority welcomes the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs introduction of a new multi-entry visa to Saudi, available to visitors holding the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Hayya Card. The Hayya Card is required for all World Cup attendees and provides entry into Qatar and the stadiums.

Saudi is a gateway to the World Cup and home to destinations waiting to be explored. Holders of the Hayya Card will be able to apply for the new visa online and book a trip to the authentic home of Arabia with confidence, before, during and after the World Cup. Visas will allow a 60-day stay in Saudi beginning 10 days before the tournament.

The announcement encourages first time and returning visitors alike to explore destinations in close proximity to the World Cup.

To increase air connectivity, Saudia will be operating 40 shuttle flights daily to Doha from both Jeddah and Riyadh, increased to 60 daily flights on the Saudi team’s match days. Doha is only a 90-minute flight from Riyadh.

The Salwa Border Crossing between Saudi and Qatar will also be open for land travel and the new port will have an increased daily capacity of more than 24,000 cars.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO & Member of the Board, Saudi Tourism Authority, said: “Football lovers from around the world can book to visit Saudi with confidence because the total value chain is complete from connectivity and accessibility to the ease of securing a multiple entry visa. It’s easier than ever to enjoy all that Saudi has to offer and I invite those visiting the region for the world cup to visit Saudi, the true home of Arabia and explore all that the country has to offer.”

Home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites and more than 10,000 archaeological sites, as well as the mountainous Asir region– which includes Rijal Almaa, voted a UNWTO ‘best tourism village’ in 2021 and the arts and culture hub of Jeddah, the Saudi tourism ecosystem continues to transform and evolve.

 

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