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T3 News Network

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Vietjet has confirmed that it is trialing the IATA Travel Pass, a mobile app to manage digital health credentials and ensure those credentials are authentic. IATA has been working closely with Vietjet and the relevant Vietnamese authorities to ensure the product can support and facilitate safe international travel.

Dinh Viet Phuong, Managing Director, Vietjet said, “Vietjet strongly believes that with IATA Travel Pass, our passengers will get the best experience on their upcoming travels.”

Before making a flight, passengers download the IATA Travel Pass application, fill in the information, and take a COVID19 test at designated facilities. They will receive an “OK to Travel” if their travel health credentials meet the destination’s requirements.

The IATA Travel Pass will help passengers manage their travel health credentials according to the prevailing government requirements for COVID19 tests or vaccination.

The app consists of four modules – a global registry of health requirements, an international registry of testing centers, a lab app to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers, and a contactless travel app that enables passengers to create a digital passport and manage their travel documentation digitally.

Travelers remain in control of their data at all times as the IATA Travel pass does not store any data centrally.

Nick Careen, Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security, IATA, said, “We look forward to working with Vietjet to trial IATA Travel Pass and demonstrate that digital health apps can securely, conveniently, and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials. This is a positive step forward towards restarting international aviation.”

Travel and hospitality tech players such as Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have come together to form an industry association - Confederation of Hospitality, Technology and Tourism Industry (CHATT).

CHATT aims to promote domestic tourism, lead the digital transformation of tourism related business and operating models, proactively engage via advocacy programmes to be a thought leader, impart educational training and beneficial programs to all industry segments. Every member will be able to access all CHATT resources and benefits, including participation in year-round programs, signature business events, access to the travel-tech ecosystem, including the experts and regional leads among others.

The association comprises start-up founders and business leaders such as Amanpreet Bajaj, General Manager, Airbnb - India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan,  Nishant Pitti, Co- Founder & CEO -  EaseMyTrip.com; Rohit Kapoor, CEO - OYO India & Southeast Asia, and Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO - Yatra.com.

In a virtual digital launch event hosted by CHATT, Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister for Tourism and Culture (IC), Government of India, attended as the Chief Guest. He lauded the efforts of the new-age technology, travel and hospitality companies who have come together to promote the interest of the smallest and often under-represented operators and work together with the government on various fronts in this space.

While launching CHATT, Patel said, “CHATT’s formation is a landmark decision to boost India’s robust domestic tourism market and support small hotel partners, homeowners, agents to expand their offerings catering to the needs of tourists. The Tourism Ministry is continuously making efforts to make the data available of hotels, homestays on the unified portal - NIDHI to benefit tourists and CHATT will play a crucial role in it. Vaccination is going to drive the tourism sector's revival and we are working on a uniform policy and setting up protocols for travellers getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The consolidated efforts by CHATT will be highly beneficial for SME, MSMEs hotel, homeowners, partners and I welcome them to join the various government committees to represent the unified voice of the industry.”

Arvind Singh, Secretary Tourism - Government of India said, “It’s a privilege to be present here at CHATT’s launch in the presence of the Honourable Minister. The founding members - Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have worked tirelessly to revolutionize and bring change in the tourism industry by integrating technology, reaching out to small, medium entrepreneurs and addressing the gaps. The efforts of CHATT are highly inclusive and once the impact of second wave subsides - a group like CHATT will present greater economic impact. Technology is at the forefront of many initiatives at the Ministry of Tourism and we look forward to closely working with CHATT to strengthen the sector.”

Commenting on the development, Founding Members of CHATT said, “The work of CHATT is going to be important for promoting the interests of the small enterprises in the industry, by leveraging digital initiatives, and ongoing dialogue with the government -  a role that has become all the more crucial in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our aim is to lead these efforts and fill in the missing pieces of technology, innovation in the tourism and hospitality industry. Throughout the pandemic, CHATT founding members - Airbnb, EaseMyTrip, OYO and Yatra have supported the Government's vision to revive the economy. With this foundation, we aim to safeguard the interests of small hotel, home and travel partners and become their voice.”

Uzbeksitan Airways has announced the appointment of Aeroprime as its PSA (Passenger Sales Agent) for India. The career seeks seeks to reinforce the brand awareness of the airline, as well as provide a proactive on-the-ground engagement with customers and clients within the key strategic market of India.

With this, Aeroprime is responsible for the airlines’ sales, reservations, customer service and ticketing.

Abhishek Goyal, Executive Director, Aeroprime stated: “We are honoured to be working with Uzbekistan Airways in India. Our appointment is a perfect reflection of Aeroprime’s specialised offering of localised expertise and networks, which gels perfectly with the airlines’ philosophy and vision. The airline will be supported by international best practices of Aeroprime, to expand their market share and sales in India.”

ITC Hotels has launched an innovative and mindfully curated Feel-Good Menu focussed on responsible sourcing and rich in goodness on the World Environment Day.

Designed to highlight Vocal for Local initiative, it offers flavourful recipes that have been caringly selected, mindfully prepared, it further enhances ITC Hotels Responsible Luxury philosophy and pledges to strengthen local produce and “Made In India” artisanal products. Feel Good supports local farmers, and producers, reduces environmental impact and helps minimize carbon footprint.

The new Feel-Good Menu available on Gourmet Couch is a natural progression for ITC Hotels that abide by its decade strong philosophy of ‘Responsible Luxury’. ITC Hotels have pioneered several cuisine experiences in the industry. The commitment to local and seasonal ingredients has continued for decades and found more relevance in the circumstances today.

Manisha Bhasin, Corporate Executive Chef, ITC Hotels said, “The Feel Good Menu focusses on authenticity, responsible sourcing, health ingredients and craftsmanship. The dishes are made with forgotten grains and super foods using age old cooking methods in keeping with ITC Hotels ethos of Responsible Luxury. The Feel Good menu offers A la Carte Options as well as Combo meals”

The Seychelles Tourism Board (STB) launched its partnership with the Global Impact Network on Friday, June 4, 2021, coinciding with the destination’s activities for the World Environment Day, celebrated on June 5.

The partnership allows Seychelles to become, officially, the first destination to create its online community page on the Global Impact Network platform.

Global Impact Network is an app that allows individuals and organisations to take action anywhere and for any ecologically oriented cause. Seychelles, the Indian Ocean sustainable champion, joins the platform to entice its visitors to have a profound experience while on holiday in the destination and to be personally transformed by the end of their trip.

The digital platform will allow users to track, measure and showcase sustainable actions through fun and achievable challenges about real-world issues.

The event was kicked off by a tree-planting ceremony at the Maison Quéau de Quinssy gardens by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Sylvestre Radegonde, in the presence of Principal Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Vivianne Fock Tave and Principal Secretary for Tourism Anne Lafortune.

The tree planting ceremony was followed by presentations made by the STB Chief Executive Sherin Francis and the CEO of Global Impact Network, Tatianna Sharpe.

In her presentation, Francis stressed the destination’s objective to encourage responsible tourism and inspire visitors to take sustainable actions, share their stories and track global progress towards achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set in 2015.

Keeping its ecological focus, the Seychelles community has adopted 4 badges - these include the advocate badge, beach clean-up badge, tree planter badge - only available in Seychelles - and finally the local produce badge.

Speaking at the launch, Francis reiterated that the mission of the STB remains to keep the destination visible, highlighting that this platform aligns well with the efforts of the country towards sustainable tourism.

“As a proud environmentally conscious destination, this initiative is an opportunity for us to encourage our visitors to engage in activities which promote sustainable development. We want them to make an impact and we aim to make our visitors become Seychelles ambassadors when they return to their home, telling the world how our small nation is helping the fight against the global environmental crisis the world is facing, each one of us individually, one at a time,” said Mrs. Francis.

On her part, Sharpe, stated that growing up in Zimbabwe, gave her exposure to poverty and social injustice at a young age, which fuelled her desire to make a positive impact in her community and in the world.

“Global Impact is the world’s first social impact network tracks, measures and showcases positive impact for sustainable development. A tool that empowers, citizens, organisations and governments to change the world. Before I went to study at Stanford University, I was here in Seychelles when I came up with the idea for global impact. It is beautiful to see the full circle- come back and launch- here in Seychelles. I think Seychelles is taking a step in the right direction,” said Sharpe.

Almost two-thirds of CRISIL-rated mid-sized1 companies (standard accounts as on March 31, 2021) have become eligible for the restructuring window offered under the Resolution Framework 2.0 following the relaxation of aggregate debt-eligibility thresholds announced by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) today, a CRISIL analysis shows.

Further, the on-tap liquidity window for contact-intensive sectors will help alleviate liquidity challenges faced by companies in these sectors.

Among a slew of measures aimed at mitigating the pandemic’s impact, the RBI has raised the aggregate debt threshold for struggling businesses to Rs 50 crore from Rs 25 crore and provided an on-tap liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crore to companies in the contact-intensive sectors.

CRISIL rates about 6,800 mid-sized companies (excluding financial sector entities). Of these ~4,700 are small and medium enterprises (SMEs), having bank loan exposure of up to Rs 50 crore, and are standard accounts as on March 31, 2021, making these eligible to avail of the restructuring.

As per the earlier aggregate debt threshold of Rs. 25 crore, only half of the CRISIL-rated mid-sized companies were eligible. But now, with the revised threshold, almost two-thirds have come under the ambit of the restructuring scheme.

Says Subodh Rai, Chief Ratings Officer, CRISIL Ratings Ltd, “The RBI’s relaxation in overall bank exposure threshold is timely, as it now increases the coverage of stressed companies that typically have weaker credit profiles. Three out of four companies eligible for restructuring have sub-investment category ratings, indicating their relatively weak ability to manage liquidity shocks. Rescheduling of loan repayments under the restructuring 2.0 window will provide interim relief to these companies against such liquidity shocks.”

The on-tap liquidity window for contact-intensive sectors such as hospitality, travel and tourism, and aviation ancillary services, which have borne the brunt of the second wave of the pandemic, is timely, too. Companies in these sectors are reeling under a demand shock – with the current quarter estimated to see a contraction of 30-50% sequentially – and will get a huge boost if a large part of the Rs 15,000 crore amount is disbursed by banks.

However, there is a possibility that only large existing borrowers in contact-intensive sectors actually benefit from this on-tap liquidity window as banks may have greater comfort with them. In the current environment, it is possible that a number of banks could be risk-averse and the benefit of on-tap liquidity facility may not, therefore, reach the smaller and lower-rated companies in these sectors fully. 

Further clarity will emerge once the banks come out with their updated policies post the RBI announcement. CRISIL will monitor the impact of the development on its rated credits on a case-to-case basis.

Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Culture & Tourism (I/C) virtually addressed the Indian Institute of Tourism & Travel Management, Gwalior’s event organised on the occasion of World Environment Day today. On this occasion, Patel virtually inaugurated the newly upgraded website of IITTM in 108 national & International languages, Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) communication seminar, aqua based adventure tourism ATLAS and also planted saplings.

Arvind Singh, Union Tourism Secretary; Rakesh Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism (MOT); Rupinder Brar, ADG, MOT and Gyan Bhushan, Economic Advisor to Tourism Ministry were also virtually present in this event.

Patel appreciated the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC)programme and gave his best wishes to the participants. Shri Patel also congratulated IITTM for the new website now available in large number of languages. Shri Patel said that Environment is the biggest asset we have and appealed to everyone to plant as many trees as possible. Along with this it is our duty to take care of the health of our environment so that we can live a healthy life. The Minister also added that it is our duty to preserve our environment for our future generation.

Singh appreciated the role of IITTM in the field of Tourism and expressed hope that the tourism sector will once again get a boost after the current pandemic wave is over.

2230 participants are taking s part in the current batch of Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification (IITFC) programme  and a total of 7546 people are registered for the programme. Batches of 25 participants each will undergo for 4 hours daily training for 7 days. After the evaluation, participants will receive certificates.

 

 

In a bid to support revival of sectors hit most by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) announced a separate on-tap liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crore with a tenor of 3 years at the repo rate to provide liquidity support to the contact-intensive sectors like restaurants, hotels and those involved in the tourism sector, among others.

"In order to mitigate the adverse impact of the second COVID-19 wave on contact intensive sectors, a separate liquidity window of Rs 15,000 crore is being opened till March 31, 2022, with tenors of up to 3 years at the repo rate," Shaktikanta Das, Governor, Reserve Bank of India (RBI), said.

Under the scheme, banks can provide fresh lending support to hotels, restaurants, tourism and travel operators, adventure and heritage facilities, aviation ancillary services (ground handling and supply chains) and other services that include private bus operators, car repair services, rent a car services providers, event/conference organisers, spa clinics and beauty parlours and saloons. These sectors have seen the biggest impact due to the second wave as authorities started imposing lockdown measures to curb the spread of the virus.

These sectors will be permitted to park their surplus liquidity, equivalent to the size of the loan book created by them under this scheme, under the reverse repo window at a rate which is 25 basis points (bps) lower the repo rate, or 40 bps higher than the reverse repo rate.

"By way of an incentive, banks will be permitted to park their surplus liquidity up to the size of the loan book created under this scheme with the Reserve Bank under the reverse repo window at a rate which is 25 bps lower than the repo rate or, termed in a different way, 40 bps higher than the reverse repo rate," Das said.

The hospitality and tourism sector welcomed the decision. Industry umbrella association FAITH said: “We had requested for a special priority and liquidity status for uptil at least 2024 considering that this sector is the worst hit and recovery will only happen by then.  Accordingly, We had asked for a tourism corpus to be set up at closest to repo rates, which is the rate at which banks borrow and which we seemingly have been given to borrow on the same rate - never before done for any sector earlier,” Aashish Gupta, CEO, FAITH said in a communique and added that the banks are being incentivised too to lend at this rate. “Hopefully the fine print and the execution of the commercial banks on the ground is equally accommodating,” he opined.

“This is the first significant sign indicating that the government has taken note of the severe effect that the pandemic has had on the hospitality industry and the huge economic impact it will have on the sector as well as the nation,” Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, VICE President, FHRAI, commented.

The announcement made by the RBI today on opening a separate liquidity window of Rs. 15,000 crores till March 31, 2022 for severely impacted sectors including hotels and restaurants is a welcome move. “However, given the inherent stress in the hospitality space and the fact that credit risk will continue to remain with the banks unlike with ECLGS, the actual benefit for the sector from the aforesaid liquidity window remains to be seen," Vinutaa S, Assistant Vice President and Sector Head, ICRA, said.

 

 

Yamuna International Airport Pvt Ltd (YIAPL) received the final credit sanction for Rs 3725 crore from the State Bank of India (SBI) for the development of Noida International Airport (NIA). The funding is a crucial milestone for the project as it validates the financial viability of the project while also outlining the next steps for the establishment of the Noida International Airport.

Christoph Schnellmann, Chief Executive Officer, Yamuna International Airport Private Limited said, "We are extremely delighted to partner with the State Bank of India, the country's largest bank, for financing the development of the Noida International Airport. The entire loan of INR 3725 crore has been underwritten by SBI on a door-to-door loan tenor of 20 years. We look forward to working closely with SBI to develop NIA as a world class airport in India. The project will not only boost the Indian economy but will also help in employment generation in Uttar Pradesh and Delhi NCR region".

The airport is being developed in close partnership with Government of Uttar Pradesh and Government of India. UP government's continued support towards the project has been vital in the process so far.

YIAPL now looks forward to the conclusion of UP government's resettlement and rehabilitation process and the start of construction of the airport. This partnership will bring progress to the State of Uttar Pradesh and will bolster the Indian aviation's growth story.

Zurich Airport International AG (ZAIA), a fully owned subsidiary of Flughafen Zurich AG, is the main shareholder of YIAPL and is injecting INR 2005 crore into the development of NIA.

With this significant foreign direct investment, ZAIA consolidates its role as a leading global airport operator with experience in three continents, benchmarked quality and innovations and successful global projects. The investment substantiates ZAIA's strong belief in India's growth story, and its commitment to invest and support India's national agenda through infrastructural development and job creation.

InterGlobe Aviation Ltd that runs IndiGo has reported total income of Rs.6361.80 crores during the period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.5142.77 crores during the period ended December 31, 2020. The company reported total income of Rs.8634.62 crores during the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net loss of Rs. (1147.16) crores for the period ended March 31, 2021 as against net loss of Rs. (620.14) crores for the period ended December 31, 2020. It posted net loss of Rs.(870.80) crores for the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has reported total income of Rs.15677.59 crores during FY 2020-21 as compared to Rs.37291.51 crores during FY 2019-20.

InterGlobe Aviation has posted net loss of Rs. (5806.42) crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as against net loss of Rs.(233.67) crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

Ronojoy Dutta, CEO, InterGlobe Aviation said "This has been a very difficult year with our revenues slumping hard due to covid, showing some signs of recovery during the period December to February and then slumping again with the second wave of the covid. While we have seen a sharp decline in revenues in March through May, we are encouraged by the modest revenue improvements starting last week of May and continuing through June.

We see this pandemic as a period of great trial for both our shareholders and our employees. We are focusing all our efforts and all our energies to strengthen the foundations and the pillars of IndiGo so that we emerge from this trial significantly stronger structurally and even more customer responsive than ever before. While we have produced disappointing financial results this year, we have also positioned ourselves to be the best-in-class airline when the inevitable recovery finally arrives."

 

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