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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Following the updated international entry guidelines recently announced by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announces Abu Dhabi is set to welcome all fully vaccinated tourists and residents travelling from all countries around the world, as well as unvaccinated visitors from ‘Green List’ countries, with no quarantine measures. Vaccines must be approved by the World Health organisation (WHO). This will take effect starting September 5, 2021.

In order to support seamless entry for international travellers and enable visitors to safely enjoy the the UAE capital’s diverse experiences through the Abu Dhabi Green Pass, DCT Abu Dhabi has outlined a simple process to enable tourists to register their international vaccination certificate or vaccination exemption document for verification five days before their travel date, via the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) Smart app or via ica.gov.ae website.

Applicants will receive an SMS confirmation that will include a link to the Alhosn app, which must be downloaded prior to travel. The Alhosn app displays users’ vaccination status and PCR test results, which are required to activate the Abu Dhabi Green Pass.

Upon arrival, travellers will receive a Unified ID number, from airport immigration, or via the ICA Smart app or website; this will complete the registration on the Alhosn app. Following a PCR test at the airport, visitors can activate the Green Pass, allowing them entry to all public spaces in the emirate.

Children under 12 and People of Determination (POD) with moderate and severe disabilities are exempt from COVID-19 PCR testing.

Under the new guidelines, vaccinated travellers from all over the world, arriving from green list will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure and take a PCR test at the airport on arrival. They will not need to quarantine but will be required to take one more PCR test on day six (Counting the day of arrival as day 1). Their hotel will arranged testing on the premises, for their convenience.

Under the new guidelines, vaccinated travellers from all over the world, arriving from countries not on the green list, will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure and take a PCR test at the airport on arrival. They will not need to quarantine but will be required to take one more PCR test on day four and day eight (Counting the day of arrival as day 1). Their hotel will be arranged testing on the premises, for their convenience.

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from ‘Green List’ countries will also be exempt from quarantine measures. They will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure, and take a PCR test on arrival. They will also need to take a PCR test on day 6 (counting the day of arrival as day 1) and another PCR test on day 9.

Unvaccinated travellers arriving from countries not on the Green List will be required to show a negative PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before departure and take a PCR test on arrival. They will be required to quarantine for 10 days at home or in a hotel (counting the day of arrival as day 1). They then must take a PCR test on day 9; if negative, visitors can end their quarantine on day 10.

To further protect community members and travellers in the emirate, Abu Dhabi implemented a ‘Green Pass’ protocol on August 20, enabling only those that are fully vaccinated, officially exempted or under 16 years of age to access key public places and attractions.

To maintain ‘green’ status on Alhosn app, fully vaccinated individuals must show a negative PCR test result taken within the last 30 days, officially exempted individuals a negative PCR test result taken within the last 7 days. Children under 16 years of age automatically receive ‘green’ status without the need to test.

The Alhosn app will recognise and automatically synchronise the tourists’ international vaccination or exemption certifications that are uploaded on the ICA App or website, as part of the registration process. In the case of any technical issues with Alhosn app, Abu Dhabi attractions will accept tourists’ vaccination certificate from their home country app or official report, as well as the negative PCR result from the airport test via SMS.

Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said, “Abu Dhabi has implemented world-class COVID-19 safety procedures and an accelerated vaccination programme, which has seen a 90 percent vaccination rate in the UAE capital. These precautionary measures have enabled us to protect our citizens, residents and visitors. We look forward to welcoming back international travellers from around the world, to experience the wide and unique offerings our beautiful emirate has to offer.”

Vistara has aunched ‘Purple Ticket’ - a flexible gift card for travel on Vistara, that can be used by customers for themselves or for personal and corporate gifting. The Purple Ticket is an e-card available for purchase on the Vistara website in increments starting from INR 250 up to INR 20,000, and can be customized for the recipient and the gifting occasion. It will be valid for 365 days from the date of purchase, and up to two Purple Ticket gift cards can be clubbed together for a single transaction on the airline’s website or mobile app.

The Purple Ticket has been developed in collaboration with Qwikcilver, a Pine Labs company that specialises in gift card retail solutions and has been seamlessly integrated with the Amadeus Airline Platform. Customers can also use the Purple Ticket to purchase air tickets as well as additional services such as preferred seat booking, lounge access, and excess baggage, apart from buying a ticket.

Vinod Kannan, Chief Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “Gifting, across cultures, is a way of sharing joy and happiness, and Vistara’s Purple Ticket gift cards will allow our customers to gift flexible travel experiences to their loved ones, regardless of the occasion. We are delighted to bring this useful, efficient, and unique gift option to our retail and corporate customers alike ahead of the festive season to help make gifting easier and journeys happier.”

Kumar Sudarsan, President - Gift & Stored Value, Pine Labs said, “Qwikcilver is very proud to serve Vistara, the leading International Airline, with our state of the art, Asset Manager Solution, developed in collaboration with Amadeus. Asset Manager is a fully integrated, SaaS based, GDPR ready, future proof and holistic solution, which brings significant value to airlines and their passengers across the world, through instant, real-time gratification by way of seamless usage and tracking of Gift Cards, Refunds, Compensation vouchers, and the likes.  Qwikcilver keenly looks forward to working with Vistara and scale this program to fly to even greater heights.”

Jonathan Tong, Vice President, Airline Solutions & IT Sales, Amadeus, Asia Pacific said, “We are pleased to be working with Vistara to include its Purple Ticket Gift Card program into the Amadeus Airline Platform. The platform is compatible with different technology sources allowing for airlines and partners to collaborate and innovate together. Our partnership with Vistara on their gift card program will provide flexibility and convenience to its customers, creating smoother journeys. 

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, has written to Chief Ministers of Telangana and Meghalaya, requesting their personal intervention in expediting various matters for strengthening aviation infrastructure in these states.

While writing to K. Chandrashekar Rao, Chief Minister of Telangana, Shri Scindia has drawn his attention towards the issue of extension of period of Concession Agreement for Hyderabad International Airport Limited (HIAL). He mentioned that a Concession Agreement (CA) dated December 20, 2004 has been executed between Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India and HIAL for development, construction, operation and maintenance of Hyderabad International Airport. In terms of clause 13.7.1 of CA, M/S HIAL has requested for extension of its concession period for another 30 years beyond the initial 30 years, i.e beyond March 23, 2038 and till 23.03.2068. The State Government has been requested to re-examine the request of HIAL for extension of the period of Concession Agreement and furnish its recommendations to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Scindia also underscored the issue of operationalization of Warangal Airport and its inclusion under Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS)-UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagrik). He mentioned that Warangal Airport is within 150 km aerial distance of HIAL and can be developed with mutually agreeable solution, to be explored by State Government of Telangana with HIAL and Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Similarly, Scindia has requested for personal intervention of Conrad K Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, in expeditious operationalization of Tura Airport. He mentioned that Ministry of Civil Aviation has launched RCS – UDAN to enhance regional air connectivity from unserved and underserved airports in the country by making air travel affordable to the masses. Tura airport figures in the tentative list of unserved airports. Bids for Helicopter operations have been received for two RCS routes i.e., Shillong to Tura vv and Guwahati to Tura vv in special round of bidding 4.1 and the same is likely to be finalised soon as per the provisions of Scheme document. 

He has drawn attention of Shri Sangma to following issues:

On request of Meghalaya Government to Airports Authority of India (AAI) for taking over the Tura Airport, AAI had forwarded a draft MOU to State Government in 2013.

Subsequently, for expansion and development of airport for operationalization of ATR-72 type of aircraft, AAI submitted proposal for acquisition of 56.5 acres of land and a DPR with development cost of Rs.183.63 Crores to State Government vide letter dated 12.06.2017. State Government vide letter dated 18.08.2020 informed that survey is complete and process of obstacle removal is being initiated. AAI vide letter dated 18.09.2020 requested for additional information regarding existing infrastructure, land, finance, traffic demand and action plan.

As per Air Safety requirement, provision of Runway End Safety Area (RESA) of 240 m x 60m is recommended and VFR operation with Simple Approach Lighting (SAPL) is proposed in Phase-1 along with City side infrastructure, runway extension. So an additional land of 68.5 acres needs to be acquired. Thus, total land area Of 125 acres need to be acquired and handed over to AAI, free from all encumbrances and free of cost, for development of Phase-I the airport.

Further, for IFR operations with ILS and CAT-1 Lighting System, additional land of 115 Acre may be reserved by State Government.


Fortune Hotels has inked an operating agreement for a hotel in Hoshiarpur, Punjab. With this, Fortune Hotels strengthens its footprint in the state of Punjab.


“We are pleased to announce our entry into Hoshiarpur and thank the promoters for their trust in us. This hotel enhances our portfolio mix. Our quality offerings along with the ITC’s Hotel Group legacy behind us, will give the city dwellers a premium address to host their celebrations and memorable events,” Samir MC, Managing Director, Fortune Park Hotels Limited, said.


Set to be a ‘Fortune Park’, the hotel offers 57-rooms and suites and over 20,000 sq. ft. of banquet venues and extensive lawns.


Currently, Fortune Park Hotels Limited offers 4 sub-brands in the mid-market to upscale segment in India i.e. Fortune Select, Fortune Park, Fortune Resort and Fortune Inn. With this signing, the premier domestic chain now has 11 new alliances across 11 key cities of India.

flydubai announced today that passengers booking a flydubai flight to Dubai will enjoy a complimentary 1-Day Ticket to visit Expo 2020 Dubai, taking place from 01 October 2021 to 31 March 2022. The initiative is valid for all bookings made from 01 September for travel during the event dates.


The initiative is offered to every passenger travelling on a flydubai inbound booking itinerary, a one-way ticket to Dubai or any connecting flydubai flight via Dubai.

Commenting on the launch of the initiative, Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, said: "we are excited to welcome the world to Dubai as Expo 2020 opens its doors to visitors. flydubai will play an important role in supporting the UAE’s efforts to make this a truly remarkable event by connecting underserved markets to Dubai. We share everyone’s excitement as we come together to witness Expo 2020 connecting minds and creating the future.’’ 

For 182 days, Expo 2020 Dubai will welcome the whole world in one place for a global gathering that will bring together 191 participating nations and millions of people for a unique and unmissable experience. 

Sumathi Ramanathan, Vice President – Market Strategy & Sales, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Hosting the first World Expo in the region is a moment of immense pride for the UAE, particularly as we prepare to open our doors to the world in the year of the UAE’s Golden Jubilee. The support from organisations across the country has been instrumental in helping us deliver a safe and spectacular event. Adding flydubai to our network of more than 2,500 Authorised Ticket Resellers from around the world will help make the Expo easily accessible to millions of people and we can’t wait to welcome them to the event in less than one month.”

Oetker Collection is delighted to announce that the newest addition to the portfolio of Masterpiece Hotels is now open: The Woodward in Geneva. 

With only 26 accommodations, the suite-only hotel on Quai Wilson is located right on Lake Geneva, with aweinspiring views of the water and the majestic Mont Blanc. 

Dating back to 1901, the post-Haussmannstyle building has undergone a meticulous reimagination by world-renowned architect and interior

designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, along with BEA SA architects, to emerge with world-class dining experiences L’Atelier Robuchon and Le Jardinier, and wellness destination Club Woodward, which includes an extensive Guerlain Spa. 

Timo Gruenert, CEO of Oetker Collection comments: “We are delighted to open the doors of The Woodward in a city as vibrant and significant as Geneva. This new jewel in the collection – our first hotel in Switzerland – strikes the perfect balance between delivering the warm, authentic hospitality for which our Masterpiece Hotels are loved, while hailing a new era for this class of intimate city hotels: the ‘grand boutique hotel’. Our company’s values of family spirit, elegance and genuine kindness will bring this iconic building to life once again and ensure guests will quickly feel at home on Lake Geneva.”

The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) and Web Summit announced that RISE, “one of the world’s most influential tech events”, will return to Hong Kong in March 2022, as an in-person event. This highlights Hong Kong’s thriving startup economy, leading position in innovation and technology, as well as its status as The World’s Meeting Place for business events to tap tremendous opportunities in the region.


RISE was launched in Hong Kong in 2015 and has already hosted five successful events, becoming Asia’s largest tech event, according to CNBC.


The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of the Hong Kong SAR Government, Edward Yau, said: "I'm very excited to see RISE, a world-renowned tech event, returning to Hong Kong. This is a testimony of Hong Kong’s success to containing the pandemic and keeping infection rate among the lowest in the world, thereby giving international event organisers confidence that they can stage their events here safely. I am sure the staging of RISE will showcase Hong Kong’s capacity to deliver amid the challenges posed by the epidemic, and connect our tech start-up ecosystem with that of the globe. I look forward to welcoming more world class business events to Hong Kong, injecting new vigour into our economy.”


Paddy Cosgrave, Co-founder and CEO of the RISE Conference and Web Summit said: “We are extremely grateful for the support the city of Hong Kong has given RISE over the last five years, and we couldn’t be more excited to return in person in 2022. We’ve seen the region’s tech and startup economy grow from strength to strength since we launched RISE in 2015.”


HKTB Chairman Dr YK Pang said: “We welcome the return of RISE to Hong Kong for another five years in 2022–2026. The city’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and venues, complemented with a favourable business environment and unique travel experiences, are all part of the equation reflecting Hong Kong’s appeal for international business events. With Hong Kong’s strategic location in the Guangzhou-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, event participants can also capitalise on the multitude of opportunities in the region. With the strong commitment to hygiene and safety across all community sectors, the city is gearing up for a new milestone, and the HKTB will continue to make its best efforts to maintain Hong Kong’s status as The World’s Meeting Place.”


RISE will take place as an in-person conference in AsiaWorld-Expo from 14 to 17 March 2022.

Flyme has appointed Nijhawan Group as its GSA for India.  The new representation is expected to bring added benefits to travelers from India to the Maldives.

Flyme, operated by Villa Air of the Villa Group of Companies, is set to operate from Bengaluru, India to the Maldives starting from 26th September 2021.It provides air transport services to domestic and international airports serving both the local community as well as international passengers.

The operational traffic base airport of Flyme is Velana International Airport (VIA) with scheduled routes to Villa Airport Maamigili- Engineering Hub (VAM) and Dharavandhoo Airport (DRV).

Flyme’s current fleet consists of two ATR 72-500, one ATR 42-500 and one ATR 72-600 (the Turbo Propeller with most seats here in the Maldives).

Speaking on the partnership, Priyanka Nijhawan, Director- Representations, Nijhawan Group said, “We are pleased to form this partnership with Flyme. India accelerated its growth to become the number one source market for the Maldives. This also created a gateway for better flight connectivity from India.  We aim to invest our resources in customer experience, during pre-bookings, in-flight and on the ground as we look forward to promoting this across the Indian market.”

 Abdulla Nashid, Managing Director, Flyme said “Maldives has risen in popularity with Indian travelers and with a GSA in the country, Flyme is gearing up to provide visitors with an opportunity to fly directly to the islands of the Maldives. With this partnership, we aim to position Flyme as a leading air transport provider for Maldives and support economy of the country through developing a better aviation route.”


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that both international and domestic travel demand showed significant momentum in July 2021 compared to June, but demand remained far below pre-pandemic levels. Extensive government-imposed travel restrictions continue to delay recovery in international markets.

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to July 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern. Total demand for air travel in July 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 53.1% compared to July 2019. This is a significant improvement from June when demand was 60% below June 2019 levels. 

International passenger demand in July was 73.6% below July 2019, bettering the 80.9% decline recorded in June 2021 versus two years ago. All regions showed improvement and North American airlines posted the smallest decline in international RPKs (July traffic data from Africa was not available). 

Total domestic demand was down 15.6% versus pre-crisis levels (July 2019), compared to the 22.1% decline recorded in June over June 2019. Russia posted the best result for another month, with RPKs up 28.9% vs. July 2019.

“July results reflect people’s eagerness to travel during the Northern Hemisphere summer. Domestic traffic was back to 85% of pre-crisis levels, but international demand has only recovered just over a quarter of 2019 volumes. The problem is border control measures. Government decisions are not being driven by data, particularly with respect to the efficacy of vaccines. People traveled where they could, and that was primarily in domestic markets. A recovery of international travel needs governments to restore the freedom to travel. At a minimum, vaccinated travelers should not face restrictions. That would go a long way to reconnecting the world and reviving the travel and tourism sectors,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts has appointed Madhav Sehgal as the General Manager of The Leela Palace Bengaluru. In his role, Madhav will lead the operations of The Leela Palace Bengaluru, and work towards strengthening its leadership positioning within this highly competitive luxury market.


Prior to joining The Leela, Madhav was the General Manager at Andaz Delhi and Hyatt Delhi Residences. His previous assignments include The Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi, The Imperial Hotel New Delhi, Renaissance and Marriott Hotels in Canada, Fairmont Abu Dhabi and Hyatt Hotels in Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai amongst others.



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