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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

India is set to get 8 new Flying Training Academies under the liberalised Flying Training Organisation (FTO) policy of the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

These academies will be set up at Belagavi, Jalgaon, Kalaburagi, Khajuraho and Lilabari. The set-up of these 8 FTOs is aimed at making India a global flying training hub and to prevent the exodus of Indian cadets to foreign FTOs.

Additionally, these FTOs will also be designed to cater the flying training requirements of cadets in India’s neighbouring countries.

Attesting to the perseverance and determination of the team of the AAI is the fact that they successfully managed to finalise the bidding process amid the challenging period caused due to the second wave of COVID-19.

These five airports have been carefully chosen since they have minimal disruption due to weather issues and civil/ military air traffic. This initiative will help the Indian flying training sector in becoming more self-sustaining under the Atmannirbhar Bharat initiative.

AAI had invited bids for the same in November 2020. The award letters were issued on 31 May 2021 to winning bidders: Asia-Pacific, Jetserve, Redbird, Samvardhane and Skynex. The parameters set for prospective bidders included familiarisation with aviation safety aspects, regulatory mechanisms, experience in the field of training pilots on manned aircraft, the availability of equipment, trainers, etc. To make FTOs attractive for bidders, AAI reduced the minimum annual rental significantly to Rs.15 lacs. Furthermore, the concept of airport royalty was scrapped to make these ventures business friendly.

Marriott has expanded its portfolio of luxurious Ritz-Carlton hotels, with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, the first Ritz-Carlton in the country.

Located on the Fari Islands, an archipelago on the north-eastern tip of North Malé Atoll, the area is famous for its untouched white-sand beaches and brilliant azure waters teeming with marine life.

Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International, said, “Following much anticipation surrounding its debut, we are thrilled to finally open The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, and set a new standard for luxury hospitality in Maldives, an internationally desired destination. This latest addition perfectly complements the Marriott International luxury portfolio, as we continually strive to meet the increasing demand for luxury offerings and experiences from affluent international travelers. This is an extremely monumental day for us, and is set to renew confidence in international travel.”

Easily accessible via a ten-minute seaplane ride, or a 45-minute luxury boat ride from Velana International Airport, the resort is part of the picturesque Fari Marina with its vibrant Beach Club, boutiques and eateries forming the archipelago's communal heart.

Designed by Kerry Hill Architects, The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands is inspired by its natural surroundings, including the elements of swirling water and ocean breezes, which are incorporated into a design narrative that is rooted in the shape of a circle that also represents the flow of island life.

The resort features 100 one to three-bedroom villas, either set over crystal clear waters, or nestled along pristine beach coves, each offering spacious living spaces that blur the line between indoors and outdoors with panoramic sliding doors, a sun deck with a private infinity pool and breathtaking views.

The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands offers guests seven distinct culinary venues, a spa with nine treatment rooms, a comprehensive tennis program with coaching, a dive centre, variety of adventures with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment Program, a full kid's club and other wellness and fitness outlets.

Lords Hotels & Resorts has been honoured by Trip Advisor with the Travellers Choice Award 2021. One of the world’s biggest website companies providing hotel and restaurant reviews, TripAdvisor has identified 16 of Lords group hotels for consistently delivering great service over 12 months period.

This award is rewarded to establishments that have received great reviews timely by taking into account the quality, quantity and the latest reviews submitted by travellers.

Pushpendra Bansal, COO, Lords Hotels & Resorts, said, “We have always sought to create True Value experience for our guests and we are excited to receive recognition from the best in the industry. We wish to thank our patrons for their immense support and faith in Brand “Lords” as we lay immense emphasis on clean and hygienic stay with quality service In the mist of pandemic this  encourages us to continue offering exhilarating hospitality  with guest safety as our number one priority.”

Lords Hotels and resorts is one of the fastest growing hospitality chains in the mid-market segment. Since the company’s inception in 2008, it has grown to be a chain of hotels spread across, 44 cities and 13 states in India and also presence in adjoining country Nepal.

ITC Ltd. has reported total income of Rs.15983.86 crores during the period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.13228.40 crores during the period ended December 31, 2020. The company has reported total income of Rs.14670.17 crores during the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net profit of Rs.3755.47 crores for the period ended March 31, 2021 as against net profit of Rs.3856.52 crores for the period ended December 31, 2020. The company has posted net profit of Rs.3526.55 crores for the period ended March 31, 2020.

ITC has reported total income of Rs.55787.68 crores during the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.53991.36 crores during the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net profit of Rs.15306.23 crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has reported EPS of Rs.10.70 for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.12.45 for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

BLS International announced that it will undertake assisted e-commerce services for Amazon as part of a three-year mutually exclusive agreement to provide last minute connectivity through its centres across India.

This service through BLS centres will help the e-commerce giant to provide e-shopping experience and order fulfilment in urban, semi-urban and rural areas of India. This collaboration will be a game changer in the e-commerce industry as it will provide last mile connectivity to Amazon where customer acquisition, delivery and realization is a challenge.

Commenting on the development, Shikhar Aggarwal, Joint Managing Director, BLS International said, "We are delighted to collaborate with Amazon in making the online shopping experience available to the people living in remote areas through our 10,000 centres in the country. We are committed to offer easier and seamless order placement with our well-trained centre operators to enable faster delivery of services and better user experience to the consumers. This collaboration will help Amazon to penetrate their reach in tier II and tier III towns of the country which has a huge consumer base."

BLS centre operators will book the product for the consumer from the wide range available on Amazon.in and the customer can pay for the product in cash. BLS centre operator in turn will make the payment online on the portal and the consumer can then pick up the product from the centre once it is delivered.

Sterling Holiday Resorts reported revenue of Rs. 97 cr. for Q4 2021, up from Rs. 61 cr. in Q4 2020, an increase of 58 per cent. Resort occupancy dropped marginally from 57 per cent to 54 per cent but room nights grew six per cent and combined with an eight per cent increase in Average Room Rate (ARR), resulted in Resort revenues increasing by 13 per cent. Sterling Palm Bliss, Rishikesh, was added into the resort bouquet during the quarter. Membership volumes grew by 20 per cent with the introduction of the 10-year Vantage membership in Q3.

Overall, the company reported a positive PBT of Rs.30 cr. in Q4 2021, which includes year-end adjustments and one-time revenues. The PBT from operations was at Rs.3.9 cr. as compared to a loss of Rs.3.5 cr. in the same period last year.

For the financial year FY21, despite an impacted first 2 quarters, due to the pandemic – Sterling (standalone) ended the year with a positive PBT based on the Q3 and Q4 performance. While the overall revenue dropped by 32 per cent over FY20, the new strategies on membership business and the cost saving initiatives taken up, ensured that the corresponding expenses dropped by 49 per cent, resulting in an EBITDA growth of 138 per cent.

Ramesh Ramanathan, Chairman & MD, Sterling Holiday Resorts, said, “A radically different approach to the business that was implemented after the pandemic struck, has helped the Company report profits. We have another challenge to surmount in terms of the current wave of the pandemic but are confident that we will bounce back with resounding speed and alacrity.”

Sterling has put in place ‘Sterling CARES’ – a 360-degree comprehensive sanitisation program in association with Apollo Clinics to enable customers to experience safe and fun-filled holidays.

Korea Tourism Organization India (KTO India) announced the launch of its virtual K-Food Series today. The exclusive series will be live from 1st June – 4th June 2021. It will feature some of India’s best chefs and food connoisseurs including Rocky and Mayur of Highway on My Plate fame, celebrity chef Kunal Kapoor, and internet sensation and founder of Your Food Lab Chef Sanjyot Keer, who will showcase a delightful Korean food experience straight from their kitchens.

The event will be hosted on the different social media channels of KTO India including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The inaugural announcement was made today after which the videos starring Chef Kunal Kapoor, Rocky and Mayur, and Sanjyot Keer will be aired on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd June 2021 respectively. On 4th June there will be a quiz for all the viewers based on the videos featured in the series. Exciting prizes await the winners who will be selected through a lucky draw.

In this current pandemic situation, when going out is not an option, KTO India aims to provide a virtual taste of Korean cuisine to everyone from the safety of their homes. Learn how to make traditional Korean dishes and the hosts’ experience with Korea and Korean cuisine during their culinary journeys in this unique and thoughtfully curated mini-series that will leave you salivating and ready to cook up a Korean feast in your own homes.

Tourism Finance Corporation of India has reported total income of Rs.59.53 crores during the period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.71.08 crores during the period ended December 31, 2020.

The company has reported total income of Rs.54.43 crores during the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net profit of Rs.18.18 crores for the period ended March 31, 2021 as against net profit of Rs.24.05 crores for the period ended December 31, 2020.

TFCI posted net profit of Rs.12.17 crores for the period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has reported total income of Rs.258.50 crores during the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as compared to Rs.265.65 crores during the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.

The company has posted net profit of Rs.80.74 crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2021 as against net profit of Rs.81.01 crores for the 12 months period ended March 31, 2020.


In order to consolidate its position in Indian outbound market to the Maldives, TravelBoutiqueOnline (TBO) Group recently acquired Bangalore-based Gemini Tours & Travels. TBO already acquired Island Hopper in 2019. Island Hopper has over 21% share of Indian travel market to Maldives.

As per the plan, Gemini Tours shall merge with Island Hopper which will help Island Hopper expand its presences not only in the South India region but also consolidate its position as a market leader.

Ankush Nijhawan, Co-Founder, TBO Group, said: “Gemini merger will help Island Hopper further expand its presence in South India Market and consolidate its numero uno position as an Island Specialist even further. This acquisition would also help in providing our customers more hotel options especially in the luxury segment in Maldives. Mr. Subbaram Mani & Mrs. Raji Subbaram are one of the pioneers promoting Maldives as a destination. They also have a great respect amongst the hotel partners in Maldives, which would further help Island Hopper deliver a better customer experience for its clients. Mr. Subbaram & Ms. Raji Subbaram will continue to work with Island Hopper heading its South India Business and operations for Island Hopper. Post a successful merger of Island Hopper with TBO Group, Island Hopper business has already grown more than 100% year on year for Island Destinations despite troubled Covid times and have been top supplier for most resorts across Maldives.

Subbaram Mani, Founder Gemini Tours & Travels, added: “Gemini and Maldives have always been our first love and to see where Gemini is today after 20 years of love, hard work and sweat is very comforting and gives great level of satisfaction. TBO is one of the fastest growing companies not only in India but worldwide. It gives us immense pleasure to be part of this 2 Billion USD multinational company and are looking forward to make our contribution towards the growth of TBO Group.”

International digital travel platform Agoda has leveraged its technology expertise to help people in India easily search and find quarantine or alternative stay options during this latest phase of the pandemic.

Agoda has created two distinct new channels for the public to source COVID-19 quarantine stays as a means to help Indians cut through the information clutter and quickly find a place to stay.  In the first channel, Agoda has curated a list of hotels from its accommodation partner network that are providing “hospi-tel” services, that is, accepting Covid-19 positive guests to isolate until recovery. Guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have stable vitals can now isolate within any of the listed 100+ hotels, located in 23 cities across India. The properties have a range of price points and offer additional services as part of the package price and are equipped with amenities like COVID-19 nursing support, three daily meals, oxygen support and other services catering to the guest’s wellbeing, throughout their recovery. Guests will find a contact list of hotels/hospitals (hospi-tels) on the dedicated link on Agoda’s website and can call and pay directly to the property.

Agoda’s second dedicated platform aligns with its alternative quarantine product successfully rolled out in Thailand, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, that allows members of the public who are COVID negative, including public facing frontliners, who wish to protect their families and live close to work. With more than 450+ hotels in cities such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata, and towns including Mohali, Raipur, and Nashik to name a few, Indians returning home, travelling between states or self-isolating can now book their stay into a hotel to quarantine for as long as they wish via Agoda. Guests must provide evidence of COVID-19 negative reports at check-in.

Tarik Fadil, Associate Vice President, Partner Services, Indian Subcontinent and North Southeast Asia, said, “We want to make it as easy as possible for Indians looking for somewhere to isolate to be able to do so. We hope to help, by doing what we do best, using our tech to connect our partner hotels with guests, and making hotel bookings quick and stress-free through our platform.”

Tarik, added, “Our teams have worked tirelessly over the past few weeks to curate a list of hotels to accommodate COVID positive patients as they fight through the illness and protect their loved ones by isolating. We hope that the comprehensive list of hotels will alleviate some stress for Indians.”

The digital booking platforms for both quarantine packages as well as isolation stays are now live, with more property options expected to join the program in the coming months.

For regular travelers, Agoda has introduced pandemic-friendly products like GoLocal Tonight, HygienePlus and EasyCancel in 2020, prioritising new travel preferences in India and across the world.



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