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Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi, will be the new home of T10 cricket for the next five years, starting with the 2019 season. Abu Dhabi Cricket (ADC), in partnership with Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has signed a five year agreement with the organisers of the T10 Cricket League. The shortest form of the game will now be played exclusively at Zayed Cricket Stadium.
To announce the arrival of this exciting new inter-governmental partnership, ADC, ADSC and DCT Abu Dhabi organised a T10 match on the seafront of Abu Dhabi's iconic Corniche, with T10 aces Colin Ingram, Andre Fletcher and Luke Ronchi having a bat on the beach.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: "This announcement is fantastic news for Abu Dhabi. Our city is a major global hub with a huge variety of attractions that cater to people of all ages and backgrounds, and the T10 tournament's presence the city for the next five years represents an exciting opportunity to attract even more visitors from around the globe, especially those from India who represent one of DCT Abu Dhabi's key markets.
"The signing of this agreement shows the level of cross-government support which is implemented in Abu Dhabi, hence we can celebrate how both ADSC and DCT Abu Dhabi are able to continue to collaborate in attracting major events to the emirate.
"DCT Abu Dhabi is keen to broaden the appeal of the emirate to as wide a demographic as possible and this agreement will help us reach out to many more potential visitors who can come and discover our extraordinary destination for themselves."
"T10 is fast, punchy, exciting cricket, making it perfect viewing for those of us living in the UAE," said His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council. "The decision to host T10 in Abu Dhabi is a fitting demonstration of our strategic investments in sporting infrastructure, such as training facilities and match stadiums which we've been making over recent years. T10 will bring the latest edge to a city known for its sporting credentials, from Formula 1, to the AFC Asian Cup and the Special Olympics World Games.
"Through bringing T10 to the capital of the nation, we hope cricket's sporting potential can reach more audiences and introduce more players, young and old, to both cricket and to the wider forms of sport available in Abu Dhabi," Al Awani concluded.
The first match of the T10 League 2019 will be on 23 October 2019.
As part of its tour around the region, Embraer’s E190-E2 commercial jet will be making a stop in New Delhi. Sporting a shark livery to represent the aircraft’s ‘profit hunter’ status, the aircraft will offer Embraer’s guests a closer look at the world’s quietest, cleanest and most efficient new-generation single-aisle aircraft.
“We are proud to bring this aircraft to the region for the second time to show the amazing capabilities of the E190-E2,” said Cesar Pereira, Asia Pacific Vice President, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “The E190-E2 offers airlines the benefit of lower operating costs and is capable of achieving similar costs per seat of larger re-engined narrowbody aircraft, with significantly lower costs per trip. We have also received a lot of positive feedback about the aircraft performance, low fuel consumption, sleek and modern interior and low cabin noise and we are excited to show it to a wider audience.”
Delivered to its launch customer in April last year, and now operated by two airlines Norway’s Widerøe and Kazakhstan’s Air Astana, the E190-E2 has gained a reputation in the industry for having met all its milestones ahead of schedule, and with final specifications better than the originally expected.
Embraer forecasts a demand for 10,550 new aircraft with up to 150 seats worldwide, worth USD 600 billion, over the next 20 years, more than 3,000 of which will origin from the Asia Pacific region, including China.
Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport has contracted global IT provider SITA to deliver a technology revamp that will allow the airport to better manage every aspect of its vast operation.
SITA will upgrade its existing Airport Management Solution (AMS) – a suite of integrated software applications designed to effectively manage airport operations from the terminal to the airfield. As part of the revamp, SITA will refresh the Flight Information Display System that runs on 436 screens throughout the terminals to the newest generation, keeping passengers well informed at every step. More than 200 common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) workstations – where airlines can share the same check-in and boarding infrastructure – will also be upgraded. With more than 7 million departing and 11 million arrival bags, SITA BagManager makes it possible for the airport to better track each bag through its journey.
The technology upgrade will be vital in supporting the airport’s expansion which includes the opening of a second runway later this year, increasing the airport’s capacity to 41 million passengers per year. The airport also opened a newly expanded domestic boarding hall in 2018.
Ersel Göral, CEO of Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, said: “As part of our expansion program, the smart use of technology will maximize our new infrastructure. It will provide our passengers a world-class experience and support our airline customers in managing their operations more efficiently. SITA’s Airport Management Solution is key to delivering our ambitions – whether it is timely aircraft departures, managing the flow of passengers though our terminals or making our passengers’ journey a little easier.”
Hani El-Assaad, SITA President, Middle East, India & Africa, said: “Our focus at SITA is to deliver technology solutions that help airport operators better manage their infrastructure in a way that is both optimal and makes the journey smoother for passengers. It is with immense pride that we continue to deliver this service at Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport, one of the world’s busiest and most iconic airport hubs.”
Japan Airlines and Travelport agreed to form a joint venture (JV) to take ownership of Travelport Japan and JAL’s 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Axess International Network. Under the unified Travelport Axess brand, the JV will operate a Global Distribution System (GDS) tailored to the needs of the Japanese travel industry. The new JV is expected to be formed on 1st June 2019
The proposed joint venture, which will operate under the brand name Travelport Axess, will combine Axess’ expertise in Japan and Travelport’s global technology leadership. Travelport Axess will continue to offer travel agents services through Axess’ GDS platform, “Axess”, and enable access to Travelport’s GDS platforms, “Apollo” and “Galileo”.
Yoriyuki Kashiwagi, Japan Airlines` Executive Officer of International Passenger Sales, said, “We believe that the future of travel will be transformed by technological innovation. I am confident that Travelport Axess, will be able to help Japanese travel agents to respond to growing global demands by offering services based on state-of-the-art technology.”
Gordon Wilson, President and CEO of Travelport, commented, “This announcement and our ongoing partnership with Japan Airlines is a significant advance in the provision of state-of-the-art technology for the Japanese travel industry. We are very excited about the growth opportunities it presents for our mutual travel agency customers.”
Under the planned agreement, Travelport will hold a majority stake in Travelport Axess, with JAL controlling the remaining stake and playing an active role in the joint venture. Following the signing of a definitive agreement between Travelport and JAL, the new joint venture is expected to be formed on 1st June 2019. Initially, Travelport Japan and Axess will continue to operate independently, with a gradual program of integration to combine the two organizations commencing later this year.
Hospitality investment firm Twenty14 Holdings has announced that they would soon launch Port Muziris – South Asia’s first Tribute Portfolio hotel, part of Marriott International, near the Cochin International Airport. The 55-room property is all set to be opened to the public in April.
"We are thrilled to debut the first Tribute Portfolio in South Asia. At Twenty14 Holdings, we share the vision of offering a unique experience for guests,” said Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director, Twenty14 Holdings. “Kerala has long been one of the most sought-after destinations worldwide, and we are excited to be part of the state’s flourishing tourism sector. We look forward to extending our legacy of providing outstanding hospitality to guests across Kerala and India through our bespoke properties.”
Tribute Portfolio, launched by Marriott, is a collection of exceptional independent hotels around the globe. Tribute Portfolio is designed for travelers seeking fresh travel experiences that reflect their own unique individual point of view.
"We are delighted to announce the first Tribute Portfolio hotel in India, with the opening of Port Muziris hotel in Kochi. This will also mark the debut of our 16th brand to join the Marriott International portfolio in India,” said Mr. Neeraj Govil, Area Vice President, South Asia, Marriott International, Inc. He added, “We are honored to partner with Twenty14 Holdings for their first hotel in India. With its unique design and vibrant social spaces, we are sure this hotel will become a preference for leisure travelers.”
Port Muziris which includes 55-keys, 2 F&B outlets and a 150-pax capacity ballroom is Twenty14 Holdings’ first property in India. Currently, the hospitality investment firm has over $750 million portfolio of properties around the world, including the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh – the Caledonian in Scotland, Sheraton Oman in Muscat and Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay in UAE.
Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere, will ignite the Harbour City this winter from Friday 24 May to Saturday 15 June 2019 as it enters a new decade of innovation and creativity with an inspiring and star-studded program of events.
“Australia’s most loved and awarded festival, now in its eleventh year, will bring together light artists, music makers and brilliant minds to showcase Sydney as the creative industries hub of the Asia-Pacific. This year’s Vivid Sydney program is bold, exciting and diverse, offering something for everyone so I encourage those who want to experience this unmissable event to start planning their trip now,” Sandra Chipchase, CEO and Executive Producer, Destination NSW - Vivid Sydney, said.
Vivid Sydney is owned, managed and produced by Destination NSW, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency, and in 2018 attracted 2.25 million attendees, delivering $172.9 million in visitor expenditure into the NSW economy.
“I am proud to say our marketing activities saw a record 185,887 travel packages sold to domestic and international visitors for Vivid 2018 - an increase of 37 per cent over the previous year. Vivid Sydney is a must-attend event for travellers and motivates people to visit Sydney and beyond,” Chipchase said.
Chipchase also announced the inaugural Vivid School for High School students in years 9-12 to assist students to learn more about the creative processes involved in imagining, designing and delivering light-based artworks for this huge global event.
“This initiative will enable students and their teachers to meet the professionals behind Vivid Sydney’s iconic building projections and light walk installations, and to hear from artists, designers and technicians about their career paths and how they harnessed opportunities to build their skills for future projects and employment,” she added.
India’s largest low-cost carrier IndiGo flew into Istanbul on March 20, 2019. The airline recently announced Istanbul as its 16th international destination and will operate two daily direct flights between India and Istanbul effective March 2019. Prominent dignitaries representing the Turkish authorities welcomed an IndiGo flight with a water cannon salute at the Ataturk International Airport this evening.
Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, Ambassador of Turkey to India on the occasion of inaugural flight of IndiGo between Delhi and Istanbul said, "I congratulate all our Indian and Turkish friends who made the first ever Indian airliner's scheduled flights possible which will further connect the two most beautiful lands on earth. Indians and Turks, will have more opportunities two visit the other's country by direct flights of less than six hours, thanks to IndiGo and the Turkish Airlines, the flag carrier of Turkey."
William Boulter, Chief Commercial Officer, IndiGo said, “We are delighted to receive a heart-warming welcome from the Turkish authorities at Ataturk International Airport this evening. It is our privilege to be the first Indian carrier to fly into Turkey. Istanbul is one of the most attractive tourist cities in the world and the gateway from Asia into Europe. Istanbul holds immense potential for IndiGo, and this launch is part of organic expansion within Europe for us, as we complement our domestic network with international connectivity.”
The countries that have seen the most flight bookings to India for the period around the Holi festival are the United States, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, according to analysis conducted by Travelport.
As of 14 March 2019, a total of 14,300 advanced bookings had been made through all global distribution systems (GDS) for flights from the United States to India, scheduled between 19 and 24 March 2019. Flight bookings from the United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stood at 12,200 and 11,000 respectively.
Sandeep Dwivedi, Chief Operating Officer at InterGlobe Technology Quotient, Travelport’s Operator in six countries across the Asia Pacific region including India and Sri Lanka, said: “Tourists today, more than anything, are looking for truly unique and memorable experiences. Holi is one of the most colorful and spectacular religious festivals in the world so tends to attract a high number of tourists. There is nowhere better to celebrate Holi and experience its bright and vibrant festivities than right here in India. We look forward to welcoming tourists to our country and seeing them enjoy the festival of colors being brought to life.”
Out of the ten countries with the largest flight booking volumes to India for the festival period, five were from the Middle East (United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar). Bookings from Middle Eastern countries in the top ten totaled 35,300, half (49.8%) of total bookings made in top ten countries. With both the US and Canada making the list, the Americas registered the second most flight bookings (18,700; 26.4%), followed by Europe (12,400; 17.5%) and Asia Pacific (4,500; 6.3%).
Building on the global success of its latest brand claim ‘Say Yes to the World’, Lufthansa today launched a new cross-media brand campaign in India, namely #LifeChangingPlaces. Following the brand’s legacy of promoting open-mindedness, this campaign celebrates five real-life explorers who were rewarded with enriching experiences on their travels.
Through strong visual storytelling, #LifeChangingPlaces invites global travelers to explore the limits of who they are and find out who they can be. First launched globally in 2017, the campaign has now come alive in India with the story of Somnath Haldar.
Commenting on the strategic thought behind the campaign, Michael Knapp, Director B2C Marketing Asia Pacific, Lufthansa said: “Places can change people. They can inspire and motivate them to become more of who they are by opening them up to new experiences. At Lufthansa, we want to enable such experiences for everyone. That is the main goal of our brand campaign. As a premium international airline and a proud driver of globalization, Lufthansa remains committed to being a preferred travel partner to the global Indian who values quality, reliability and a sense of adventure.”
With the India story launched, the thought behind #LifeChangingPlaces now resonates with five incredible travel stories set in New York, Mexico, Lofoten, France, and Cape Town. The video highlights of these powerful journeys can be viewed at www.lifechangingplaces.com/in-en/.
Speaking on the launch of the latest phase in India, George Ettiyil, Senior Director Sales, South Asia, Lufthansa Group Airlines said: “As a travel market, India is constantly evolving and expanding at a tremendous pace. A growing number of travelers, from different industries, demographic groups and parts of the country, are now choosing international destinations in search of enriching experiences. Our latest marketing campaign lends support to our sales activities in India by reaching out to a new generation of would-be explorers to go on inspirational journeys with Lufthansa. We wish to serve as an enabler for a travel savvy Indian nation to pursue newer adventures and horizons in their quest for self-discovery.”
UBM-Informa, a leading B2B information services group and the largest B2B event’s organiser globally, is set to organise the first Walk the World, the organisation’s flagship annual charity event on March 20 at Marine Drive, Mumbai, in the form of a walkathon. Similar events will simultaneously take place in Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru.
Each year, Walk the World encourages, and involves colleagues from every Informa office around the globe to participate in a walkathon in an iconic part of their city to raise funds for a charity of their choice. With participation from offices in more than 20 countries across the globe, Walk the World (WTW) aims to cover more than the length of the earth’s equator and walk an aggregate of 60,000 kms, i.e (the actual length is 40,075 kms) and raise approximately GBP 2,50,000 for charity. The locations for the walkathons have varied from the Central Park in New York City, to the River Thames in London, and the Great Wall of China in Beijing.
Given the recent combination of UBM and Informa, with all its divisions, this will be the most ambitious and grand Walk the World, shadowing last year’s aggregate of 40,000 kms –new entrant Mumbai on March 20, will make it so. The charity of choice for the Mumbai edition is to raise funds for the Education of the Differently Abled where in the organization has have tied up with the NGO, Samarthanam Trust, which has organized similar campaigns for with giant conglomerations such as Microsoft, L&T Technology Services, RBL Services, Oracle, Citi Foundation, Societi Generale, and HDFC Life, among several others. Many beneficiaries of the charity will also participate in Walk The World.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Yogesh Mudras, MD, UBM India said, “We are delighted to participate and join the walkathon for the noble endeavour. Besides, WTW perfectly syncs with a number of our organisational goals, including camaraderie, networking, working for inclusion and also being fit and agile. As India’s leading B2B events organiser, our company has been committed to the cause of community and nation building and working towards the cause of education of the young is the key to empowering the nation.”
The best WTW campaign will be judged and invited to walk at the London Walk in June 2019. Last year, over 96 percent participants including team members, celebrities, select clients and vendors thoroughly enjoyed WTW and felt proud to be a part of it.
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