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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Flagging off the first helicopter service by Pawan Hans in Uttarakhand today under the UDAN-RCS scheme, Hardeep Singh Puri, MoS, I/C, Civil Aviation said that launch of the heli service and opening of these new routes will bring people of the state closer and support tourism in the region.

 This service will enable connectivity between Dehradun, New Tehri, Srinagar and Gauchar. Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, MoCA: Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, MoCA; Sanjeev Razdan, CMD, Pawan Hans were present during the virtual flag-off ceremony in New Delhi. The route was simultaneously inaugurated by Trivendra Singh Rawat, Chief Minister of Uttarakhand from the state.

Commencement of the new heli services will enhance the aerial connectivity between hilly regions in Uttarakhand and bring down the average travel time to 20-25 minutes. This will also assist the Chaar Dhaam Yatra pilgrims. Pawan Hans Ltd. will operate thrice-weekly helicopter services on this route. Viability Gap Funding (VGF) is provided to both operators and passengers under the UDAN scheme to keep the fares affordable for the common people. Accordingly, the fare for these routes is Rs. 2900 per seat. MoCA awarded the Dehradun- New Tehri – Srinagar - Gauchar route to Pawan Hans Ltd. under the UDAN 2 bidding process.

Two more networks connecting Dehradun to Ramnagar, Pantnagar, Nainital, Almora, Pithoragarh, and Dehradun to Mussoorie will also be operationalized soon by Pawan Hans Ltd. 

Shri Hardeep Singh Puri congratulated Shri Trivender Singh Rawat, Chief Minister and the people of Uttarakhand. He added that with this launch, we are adding 6 more routes and 2 heliports at New Tehri and Srinagar.

Three rounds of UDAN have already been undertaken and so far close to 50 lakh passengers have travelled in UDAN flights covering airports in 19 States and 2 UTs. The fourth round of UDAN is under process. The Scheme has been able to fulfill the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister and keep up the motto of “Sab Uden, Sab Juden” 

Puri informed that 274 UDAN routes have been operationalized so far connecting 45 airports and 3 heliports since the launch of the first UDAN flight in April 2017 by Hon’ble Prime Minister from Shimla to Delhi.

On the occasion of World Tiger Day, international animal welfare organisation, World Animal Protection is urging Indian tourists to travel responsibly and avoid visiting venues offering Tiger shows and Tiger selfies. In Asia, there are problems with captive tigers in countries like Thailand, China and Vietnam. Although there are tigers in captivity in Indian zoos, no close contact with visitors is allowed.

In February, 2017, World Animal Protection drew the attention of the authorities to a proposal to create a tiger petting zoo in Kolkata.

"With more than one million Indian tourists visiting Thailand every year, and wildlife entertainment venues remaining a popular destination for them: the people of India are in a position to make a significant difference for tigers, by not supporting the cruel industry. Tiger tourism starts young cubs being separated from their mother two or three weeks after they are born. Trade of wild animals must end immediately. Wild animals belong in the wild. That's why we are asking G20 nations to end wildlife trade forever," said Gajender K Sharma, Country Director, World Animal Protection India.

World Animal Protection calls on the people of India to be responsible tourists, and not visit tiger entertainment venues or take tiger selfies.  

Wild animals belong in the wild. They must remain in their natural habitat. In India, World Animal Protection is urging Prime Minister, Narendra Modi to support the global call for wildlife trade ban when he represents the country at the G20 summit.

We also ask the Government of India to effectively enforce existing wildlife protection laws and stop the trade of wild animals and wild animal products.

World Animal Protection has also requested World Health Organisation to permanently ban all wildlife markets around the globe in the wake of coronavirus pandemic and to take a highly precautionary approach to the wildlife trade.

In 2016, World Animal Protection exposed the true scale of abuse that captive tigers were enduring at the hands of Thailand’s tiger tourism industry. Launched ahead of the International Tiger Day on 29 July, 2016, the report "Tiger selfies exposed: A portrait of Thailand’s tiger entertainment industry" highlights the hidden cruelty and suffering in tiger entertainment venues across Thailand.

 The report revealed a rapidly expanding industry, with a third more captive tigers (33%) in Thailand in the past five years. The growing numbers of tigers indicates ‘speed-breeding’ of captive tigers without any conservation benefits and means more tigers are born into suffering. As of 2019, it is estimated there are approximately 1570 tigers in Thailand.

 The main welfare concerns witnessed by the investigators at these tourist venues were:

  Tiger cubs who are separated from their mothers, two to three weeks after they are born

  Young cubs being presented to tourists, constantly viewed and mishandled hundreds of times a day, which can lead to stress and injury

  Tigers being punished using pain and fear in order to stop aggressive unwanted behaviour.

  Most tigers were housed in small concrete cages or barren enclosures with limited access to fresh water.

  One in ten of the tigers that were observed showed behavioural problems; such as repetitive pacing and biting their tails. Such behaviours most commonly occur when animals feel they cannot cope with stressful environments or situations.

Of the 17 tiger entertainment venues investigated in Thailand, Sriracha Tiger Zoo in Pattaya had the highest number of tigers in captivity. It is also the venue where the poorest animal welfare conditions were observed - with at least one tiger so thin its hips and ribs were visible.

World Animal Protection continues to press for proposing an amendment to the existing law - Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act, B.E. 2562 - which would put a ban on captive tiger breeding. The current stage is that our organization has already submitted the draft amendment to the Thai parliament, then 10,000 supporter's signatures will be delivered to them today on World Tiger Day.

The aggravated risk to human health caused from close contact to wild animals in the wildlife trade and in entertainment can no longer be ignored.

Whether travelling abroad or in India, World Animal Protection urges people to treat India’s national animal with respect and compassion.

InterGlobe Aviation (IndiGo) today reported its first quarter fiscal year 2021 results. The airline says that closure of scheduled operations till May 24, 2020 and lower capacity deployment thereafter on account of COVID-19, significantly impacted the quarterly results. IndiGo reports net loss of INR 2844.3 crore and a negative EBITDAR of INR 1421.2 crore for the quarter ended June 2020.

·         Revenue from Operations of INR 766.7 crore for the quarter, a decrease of 91.9% against a 90.9% reduction in capacity compared to same period last year.

·         BITDAR of negative INR 1421.2 crore with negative EBITDAR margin of 185.4% for the quarter, compared to EBITDAR of INR 2778.5 million with EBITDAR margin of 29.5% for the same period last year

·         Loss before tax of INR 2842.6 crore, compared to profit before tax of INR 1509.4 crore during the same period last year

·         Net loss of INR 2844.3 crore compared to a net profit of INR 1203.1 crore in the same period last year.

·         Strong balance sheet with a total cash of INR 18449.8 crore including free cash of INR 7527.6 crore

·         Basic earnings per share was negative INR 73.92 for the quarter

 “The aviation industry is going through a crisis of survival and therefore, our cash balance remains our number one priority. However, we also recognize that major disruptions offer companies opportunities for improvement in product, customer preference, costs and employee engagement. We have built a strong team which is working on multiple fronts to ensure that we emerge from this crisis stronger than ever,” Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, IndiGo, said.

Revenue and Cost Comparisons

·         Total income for the quarter ended June 2020 was INR 1143.8 crore, a decrease of 88.3% over the same period last year. For the quarter, our passenger ticket revenues were INR 585.4 crore, a decrease of 93.1% and ancillary revenues were INR 1,688 million, a reduction of 81.3% compared to the same period last year.

·         Total expenses for the quarter ended June 2020 were INR 39,864 million, a decrease of 51.8% over the same quarter last year. CASK excluding fuel for the quarter was INR 17.09

Cash and Debt

As of 30th June 2020:

·         IndiGo had a total cash balance of INR 18449.8 crore comprising INR 7527.6 million of free cash and INR 10922.2 crore of restricted cash.

·         The capitalized operating lease liability was INR 21177.9 crore. The total debt (including the capitalized operating lease liability) was INR 23551.6 crore.

Network and Fleet

As of 30th June 2020:

·         Fleet of 274 aircraft including 123 A320ceos, 108 A320neos, 18 A321neo and 25 ATRs; a net increase of 12 aircraft during the quarter

·         Operated a peak of 418 daily flights including charter flights during the quarter

·         Resumed services to 56 domestic destinations and served 20 international destinations via charter operations.

Operational Performance

·         For the period April-June 2020, the Company had a Technical Dispatch Reliability of 99.83%.

·         For June 2020, the Company had an on-time performance of 95.5% at four key metros for June and flight cancellation rate of 1.8%.

 

Future Capacity Growth

We expect Q2 fiscal 2021 ASKs to be around 40% of our Q2 fiscal 2020 ASKs.

Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (IC), Govt of India recently said that the pandemic has deeply impacted the travel industry and opening up of domestic tourism will help in boosting the economy post COVID-19. The need is to have coordinated and concerted efforts from all stakeholders including the Government of India, state governments, various ministries and industry. He added that if we are able to build consumer confidence, domestic tourism will pick up in no time.

Addressing the webinar ‘Tourism E-Conclave: Travel & Hospitality: What’s Next?’, organized by FICCI, Mr Patel said that the travel and hospitality industry is struggling to survive and the government should provide relief to the sector by way of considering reduction in bills and charges for hotels and other such measures. He added that there are barriers in opening up of the sector and urged the industry to share its recommendations to overcome them with the tourism and finance ministries and other departments. 

Alluding to the importance of collaboration and synergy amongst stakeholders, Mr Patel said that he has been writing to Chief Ministers of various states to jointly work towards saving and reviving the tourism sector. He has also written to the Union Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to open the tiger reserves with the requisite road infrastructure.

The Minister said that the need is to identify priority areas in the travel and hospitality sector in tandem with state governments for developing various circuits in the country. He added that with COVID-19, we are facing an unprecedented challenge but the industry has maintained a positive stance and is working towards the survival and revival of the tourism sector.

Mr Vishal Kumar Dev, Commissioner Cum Secretary, Tourism Department and Sports & Youth Services Department, Govt of Odisha said that COVID-19 has provided us with an opportunity to think about new tourism products and new ways of promoting tourism within the country. Domestic tourism will be a priority for us, especially for the next few years. He added that Odisha has finalized the road itinerary between Odisha and major cities of India to give a boost to tourism sector and will start promoting it in September. 

Mr Dev said that the Government of India should work with the state governments to introduce long distance inter-state circuits. Also, luxury river cruises can be another area which can be developed for promoting tourism in the country. He added that it is important that we assure all tourists that our destinations are safe for visitors and to achieve this, all stakeholders need to work together.

The latest edition of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer shows that the near-complete lockdown imposed in response to the pandemic led to a 98 per cent fall in international tourist numbers in May when compared to 2019. The Barometer also shows a 56% year-on-year drop in tourist arrivals between January and May. This translates into a fall of 300 million tourists and US$320 billion lost in international tourism receipts – more than three times the loss during the Global Economic Crisis of 2009.

Governments in every world region have a dual responsibility: to prioritize public health while also protecting jobs and businesses

Dramatic fall in tourism places millions of livelihoods at risk

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “This latest data makes clear the importance of restarting tourism as soon as it is safe to do so. The dramatic fall in international tourism places many millions of livelihoods at risk, including in developing countries. Governments in every world region have a dual responsibility: to prioritize public health while also protecting jobs and businesses. They also need to maintain the spirit of cooperation and solidarity that has defined our response to this shared challenge and refrain from making unilateral decisions that may undermine the trust and confidence we have been working so hard to build.”

Restart underway but confidence low

At the same time, UNWTO also notes signs of a gradual and cautious change in trend, most notably in the Northern Hemisphere and particularly following the opening of borders across the Schengen Zone of the European Union on 1 July.

While tourism is slowly returning in some destinations, the UNWTO Confidence Index has dropped to record lows, both for the evaluation of the period January-April 2020, and the prospects for May-August. Most members of the UNWTO Panel of Tourism Experts expect international tourism to recover by the second half of 2021, followed by those who expect a rebound in the first part of next year.

The group of global experts points to a series of downside risks such as travel restrictions and border shutdowns still in place in most destinations, major outbound markets such as the United States and China being at standstill, safety concerns associated with travel, the resurgence of the virus and risks of new lockdowns or curfews. Furthermore, concerns over a lack of reliable information and a deteriorating economic environment are indicated as factors weighing on consumer confidence.

Accor is all ready to set footprints in Chandigarh with brand Novotel. Novotel Chandigarh Tribune Chowk is being developed in the city centre, approximately 30 minutes by road from Chandigarh International Airport and close to government offices. The hotel will offer 120 rooms, two food and beverage outlets, function rooms of various sizes, a swimming pool, and a gymnasium. This 21st Novotel is scheduled to open by early 2021.

Akshay Grover, Director, KLG Hotels, said, “We are delighted to partner with the Accor Group to bring the Novotel brand to Chandigarh. Our philosophies are in harmony, towards providing seamless guest experience and a brand like Novotel has great potential in Chandigarh. The hotel is being developed keeping in mind the contemporary, yet traditional outlook of the city and we are certain it will suit the needs of well-travelled guests. We are confident that with its unique design and world-class hospitality that we will offer, we will be successful in providing a 'home away from home’ to our guests.”

Lokesh Sabharwal, Vice President, Development and Special Projects, Accor India and South Asia, said. “The Indian market has always been opportune for Accor and, we are noticing some very interesting opportunities for growing our midscale and midscale-lifestyle brands. As part of our densification strategy, we continue to have meaningful conversations with existing partners and hotel investors keen to work with Accor who see long-term value in the business. For a market like Chandigarh, which attracts both leisure and corporate, Novotel is the ideal debut brand and we are certain of its success in the city”

People are turning more and more to online entertainment to get through this unprecedented time. Whether it's about re-watching your favourite movie or watching a movie just to beat the lockdown blues, if ever there was a time for a movie marathon, it is now.

Movies filmed in Jamaica provide an exciting escape. Jamaica is the birthplace of James Bond, as Ian Fleming wrote all 13 Bond novels there. Several of the Bond films have been shot on-island, from the very first 007 film, Dr. No in 1962 to the highly-anticipated 25th film in the franchise, No Time to Die.

The landscape and overall beauty of the island sets the ideal ambience for a number of adventures captured only on the silver screen.

Whether you are gearing up for a trip to Jamaica and hope to get inspired or just want to make most of some armchair travel, these movies will capture your imagination.  So, sit back, flop down on your couch and be as wishful as you want. Try to manifest your trip, discover your holiday rhythm and experience the intangible feeling that's loved the world over.

The island provides a breath-taking backdrop that inspires the film makers to encapsulate the beauty through film. The landscape and overall beauty of the island sets a tone of adventure captured only on the silver screen.

Here are some of the best flicks that will transport you to this Caribbean gem right away.

Dr. No

Set primarily in Jamaica, this is the first James Bond movie that was released in 1962. Some of Bond’s debut adventures took place in Kingston, but Dr. No’s secret lair was a composite of several scenic locations, including Dunn’s River Falls near in Ocho Rios. And the famous scene where Ursula Andress sauntered onto this beach wearing her iconic white bathing suit was filmed at the private beach Laughing Waters in Ocho Rios.

Live and Let Die

This 1973 James Bond film starring Roger Moore highlights a part of Jamaica that many do not know exists her underground caves. The movie features memorable scene shot in Jamaica’s Green Grotto Caves. The Green Grotto caves are a curious shade of green from the algae and supplied with pristine waters flowing from its secret depths. The eerie and rustic beauty of these caves makes it a prominent attraction on the island’s north coast.

Cocktail

An 80's classic from Tom Cruise's golden years, the film focuses on Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown pursuing their dreams of owning their own bar. Cruise's on-screen role spends years working at a bar in Jamaica to raise money. A romantic drama set in the beauty and charm of the island, Cocktail filming locations include Dunn’s River Falls, Sandals Royal Plantation, Dragon Bay Beach, and the Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios.

King of the Dancehall

King of the Dancehall is an American drama film that showcases a young Brooklyn man who gets caught up in the Kingston music scene while on a visit to Jamaica. The movie brilliantly interweaves the island's native dance and music culture with a crime plot. Shot in actual Jamaican outdoor dancehall venues, the film's nightlife scenes will instantly transport you to Jamaica.

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

Based on a true story, How Stella Got Her Groove Back is a feel-good romance with some breath-taking scenery shots of Jamaica. The white sandy beaches and the crystal blue waters will leave one captivated. Filmed at Round Hill Hotel and Villas just outside in Montego Bay, this film proves that there is nothing better than a Jamaican getaway that ends in love.

Knight and Day

Jamaica comes alive in the beach scenes of this movie that chronicles the adventures and many romances of Hollywood's hottest screen couple - Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. Filmed at the exotic retreat - Frenchman Cove, the couple can be seen frolicking on the glorious beach.

With idyllic beauty, scrumptious cuisine, pulsating music, dramatic coastlines and unforgettable people, Jamaica continues to be a popular choice for filmmakers from across the world.

Effective 1 August, all travellers flying Etihad Airways from around the world to Abu Dhabi, and those transferring via Abu Dhabi onto other flights, will be required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a list of approved testing facilities listed on www.etihad.com/destinationguide, alongside their ICA approval if Abu Dhabi is their end destination.

The PCR test must be carried out within 96 hours prior to arrival in Abu Dhabi and a negative COVID-19 PCR test result certificate from one of the approved clinics listed must be shown for approval to board. Children under the age of 12 and people with mild to severe disabilities are currently exempt from this PCR test requirement.

Etihad strongly advises all travellers to visit www.etihad.com/destinationguide for detailed information on country-specific PCR testing requirements, lists of applicable medical testing facilities, and entry regulations.

Travellers leaving the UAE from Abu Dhabi to any country in the European Union, the United Kingdom, or to any country where it is mandatory by the authorities at the destination, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required within 96 hours prior to departure. To help facilitate this process, Etihad Airways is collaborating with Mediclinic Middle East to offer departing travellers the option of convenient PRC testing, for a fee, at their home, or at Mediclinic facilities in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, and Dubai prior to their travel.

The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL)announced the signing of a binding agreement for the acquisition of the balance 14.28 per cent equity interest in ELEL Hotels and Investments Limited (ELEL) from the Nanda family. This will make IHCL the 100 per cent leasehold owner of the landmark Sea Rock hotel site by 31st December 2021.

“The visionary redevelopment of Sea Rock promises to be not only another defining landmark in India’s commercial capital of Mumbai but also an opportunity to build an iconic sea front hotel in South Asia,” Puneet Chhatwal, MD &CEO, IHCL said.

IHCL’s board of directors on November 11, 2019 approved the terms for the settlement to acquire 14.28 per cent shareholding. The payment will be structured through multiple instalments staggered over a period, with full buyout by December 31, 2021. This settlement will ensure 100 per cent control of shareholding.

Governments have a duty to put the wellbeing of their citizens first. At the same time, they also have a responsibility to protect livelihoods and businesse, says Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

This goes hand-in-hand with a responsibility to preserve the spirit of international solidarity that has characterized our response to this shared crisis, a response that has included international institutions, the civil society at large and individual citizens.

Unilateral actions can cause confusion and produce unnecessary consequences. More importantly, they can undermine public trust and confidence – precious commodities we have worked so hard to build up over these difficult few months.

To be clear, finding the right balance between public health concerns and supporting a sector upon which millions of people depend will not be easy. This is uncharted territory for us all. However, it can be done, as many places are now demonstrating.

On an official visit to the Canary Islands, UNWTO witnessed first-hand how the restart of tourism can be managed responsibly. During this week’s visit to the Balearic Islands we are also seeing how the enforcement of strict health and hygiene protocols are the right partners for the reopening of tourist destinations.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, UNWTO has been calling for governments to work together and with the private sector to get tourism moving again. Now as the summer season is opening in many European countries, where tourism accounts for 27 million jobs and supports many businesses both big and small, we reiterate our call.

Destinations, the tourism sector and its millions of employees have been preparing over the past months to welcome visitors. Public authorities have also made significant advances in prevention, detection and tracing. The challenges we were confronted with early this year persist, but we have learned important lessons and now more prepared. This is especially true for tourism, probably one of the safest environments right now due to its strong focus on people and their wellbeing.

It is not too late to ensure that the economic and social benefits tourism has a long history of delivering return before the end of the high season. For this, however, we need even greater cooperation and for both individual and joint actions to be considered and proportionate.

 

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