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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

The domestic aviation industry is expected to witness a strong Y-o-Y growth of ~45-50% in domestic air passenger traffic and ~80-85% in international air passenger traffic during FY2022, albeit on a lower base of FY2021 and driven by the faster pace of vaccination and gradual relaxations in restrictions by the regulatory authorities.

 

However, the growth will still be significantly lower than even the FY2016 and FY2013 levels, respectively; and the industry is expected to report a higher net loss in FY2022, says an ICRA note.

According to Kinjal Shah, Vice President and Co-Group Head, ICRA Limited: “Given the resurgence of the second wave of the pandemic, the recovery in passenger traffic will only be gradual, with the domestic passenger traffic expected to reach pre-Covid levels only by FY2024. Elevated ATF prices (higher by 71% on Y-o-Y basis in 5M FY2022) and fare caps continue to pose a challenge for the profitability of the airlines. Thus, the Indian aviation industry is expected to report a net loss of ~Rs 250-260 billion in FY2022. The debt levels will remain high for the industry and are estimated to increase to ~Rs. 1200 billion (including lease liabilities) in FY2022, with the industry requiring an additional funding of Rs. 450-470 billion over FY2022 to FY2024.”

The recovery in domestic air passenger traffic is contingent on the following five factors – pace of vaccination, willingness of consumers to undertake leisure travel, recovery in macroeconomic growth, which in turn impacts consumer sentiments and the ability to travel, Central and various state government-mandated travel restrictions and quarantine norms, and recovery in business travel.

The impact of the pandemic will be more profound and long lasting on international travel, compared to domestic travel. In addition to the above factors determining the recovery in passenger traffic, the recovery in international travel is also contingent on the opening up of scheduled international operations by the Government of India, the macroeconomic shock to the global economy and the Government-mandated travel restrictions and quarantine norms of various countries.

In the near term, the balance sheets of Indian carriers will remain stressed until the carriers are able to reduce their debt burden through a combination of improvement in operating performance and / or through equity infusion. ICRA has thus maintained its Negative credit outlook on the Indian aviation industry. Most airlines have initiated fund-raising plans to tide over the liquidity crisis stemming from the cash burn due to impact on demand and increase in ATF prices.

Sarovar Hotels has signed a new hotel in Goa. This will be Sarovar’s 4th hotel in Goa. Marking the group’s strengthening presence in the leisure hotel segment.

The hotel is nestled amidst the picturesque and peaceful green hills of Arpora.  A destination known for quiet and immensely beautiful surroundings. One of the major attractions of Arpora is its proximity to the famous Baga and Calangute beaches and the must visit Saturday market.

Golden Tulip, Arpora upon completion in 2023 will have 50 well-appointed rooms and suites encased beautifully by quaint architecture that reflects Goa’s history and culture. Golden Tulip, Arpora aims to promote tourism in the area and offer high- quality service and stay options.

The hotel offers an all day dinner and a bar to enhance the guest stays; a fully-equipped swimming pool; and outstanding meeting, banqueting and conferencing facilities.

Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, said, “We are delighted to expand and strengthen our Golden Tulip’s leisure portfolio in this market which is a very popular destination among Indian and international tourists. We believe the hotel’s location with Sarovar’s signature hospitality will deliver a notable experience to business and leisure guests alike.”

The Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) has opened a commercial office in India as part of its strategy to engage the tourism trade in key source markets and raise awareness of Saudi, the authentic home of Arabia, as travellers around the world dream of exploring exotic destinations once more. The destination reopened to vaccinated international visitors at the beginning of August.

STA now has representative offices in eleven markets serving 21 countries, with an eventual goal of having 15 offices around the world to expand the reach of the Authority’s activities.

Fahd Hamidaddin, CEO, Saudi Tourism Authority, said, “STA is focused on enhancing its ability to deliver a truly global scale offering by investing resources today in the network that will drive our business for the future. We are building an integrated global team of professionals to showcase Saudi’s diverse offering of cultural adventures, world class heritage sites and authentic Arabian hospitality.”

The India office will be responsible for trade and consumer marketing activities, expanding the reach and relevance of Saudi’s tourism offer and working with tour operators, travel agents and other industry stakeholders to build awareness and drive conversion in line with STA’s strategy and mission. The India representative office is being set up with the support of Think Strawberries.

Augustus Simon, Director- Indian Subcontinent, Saudi Tourism Authority, said, “We have already begun outreach into the India tourism trade ecosystem and the response has been very positive. We are actively seeking opportunities to co-invest with partners who are keen to add Saudi as an exciting new destination in their portfolio.”

Since opening its borders to international tourism in September 2019, Saudi rapidly established itself as the fastest growing tourism destination in the world, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. Despite the global shutdown of leisure tourism in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, STA continued to invest to prepare the destination for a return to normalcy.

In 2020 STA delivered a domestic tourism campaign that saw visitor spend across target destinations between July and September increase by more than 30 per cent compared to the equivalent period the year before. An international brand awareness campaign launched at the beginning of 2021 extends across 26 countries and 13 languages, with significant investment in outdoor, broadcast and digital advertising.

Hamidaddin, added, “Saudi has a wealth of iconic sites for travelers to experience when borders reopen and we are ready to welcome visitors from around the world. By investing now in brand awareness and in our network of international offices, we are seeking to expand the global reach and relevance of these sites and integrating new ways of thinking and delivering on our mandate.”

To support the international and domestic tourism trade ecosystem, STA is introducing Saudi Expert, a comprehensive digital platform that provides partner companies with data, insights, destination information and creative assets in real time. The new platform is intended to ensure that DMCs, tour operators and other stakeholders have on-demand access to the information they need to build their business.

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi dedicated the renovated complex of JallianwalaBaghSmarak at Amritsar to the nation through video conference. During the event, he also inaugurated the Museum Galleries at the Smarak. The event showcased the multiple development initiatives taken by the government to upgrade the complex.

The Prime Minister bowed to the brave land of Punjab and to the holy soil of JallianwalaBagh. He also saluted those children of Mother Bharati who were subjected to unprecedented inhumanity just to extinguish the flame of freedom.

Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister said the dreams of the innocent boys and girls, of the sisters and brothers are still visible in the bullet marks in the walls of JallianwalaBagh. He added that today, we are remembering the love and lives of countless mothers and sisters which were snatched away in that Shaheedi well.

The Prime Minister remarked that JallianwalaBagh is the place which inspired countless revolutionaries and fighters like SardarUdham Singh, SardarBhagat Singh to die for the freedom of India. He added that those 10 minutes of April 13, 1919, became the immortal story of our freedom struggle, due to which we are able to celebrate the AmritMahotsav of freedom today. On such an occasion, dedication of JallianwalaBagh Memorial in the modern version in the 75 year of independence, is an opportunity of great inspiration for all of us, he said.

The Prime Minister remembered that before the JallianwalaBagh Massacre, fairs of holy Baisakhi used to be held in this place. Guru Gobind Singh Ji KhalsaPanth with the spirit of 'Sarbat da Bhala' was also founded on the same day. He said on the 75th year of our Independence, this renovated JallianwalaBagh will remind the new generation about the history of this holy place and will inspire to learn a lot about its past.

The Prime Minister noted that it is the responsibility of every nation to preserve its history as it teaches us and gives us the direction to move forward. He added that it is not right for any country to ignore such horrors of its past. Therefore, he said, that India has decided to observe 14th August every year as 'Partition Horrors Remembrance Day'. India witnessed horrors like JallianwalaBagh during the partition of India. He said that people of Punjab have been the biggest victims of Partition. He added that we still feel the pain of what happened at the time of Partition in every corner of India and especially in the families of Punjab.

The Prime Minister said today, if Indians are in trouble, anywhere in the world, then India stands up to help them with all its might. Be it the Corona period or the crisis of Afghanistan, the world has experienced it continuously. He added that hundreds of friends from Afghanistan are being brought to India under Operation Devi Shakti. The Prime Minister said due to ‘Guru Kripa’ the government could bring ‘swaroop’ of holy Guru Granth Sahib along with people to India. He said that teachings of Gurus help in preparing policies for people suffering from such circumstances.

The Prime Minister said that current global conditions underline the importance of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’ and underscore the need for AatmNirbharta and Aatmvishwas. These incidents goad us to strengthen the foundations of the country, he said.

The Prime Minister said today in AmritMahotsav, freedom fighters are being commemorated in every village and are being honored. He said that efforts are made to preserve the places associated with the important stages of the freedom struggle and with national heroes and bring them to the fore. He mentioned, like JallianwalaBagh, national monuments being renovated across the country such as Interactive Gallery in Allahabad Museum, Biplobi Bharat Gallery in Kolkata, etc. Contributions of Azad Hind Fauz (INA) have been brought to forefront by giving new identity to the place in Andaman where Netaji unfurled the national flag for the first time. Names of Islands in Andaman have been dedicated to the freedom struggle.

The Prime Minister said our tribal community contributed greatly and made great sacrifices for freedom. The Prime Minister lamented the fact that their contribution did not get as much place in the history books as it should have. He informed that work is currently underway on museums showing tribal freedom fighters and their struggle in 9 states of the country.

The Prime Minister remarked that the country aspired for national memorial for our soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice. He expressed satisfaction that the National War Memorial is instilling in today's youth the spirit of protecting the nation and sacrificing everything for the country.

Underlining the brave tradition of Punjab, the Prime Minister said that, following the path of Gurus, sons and daughters of Punjab stand fearlessly against all dangers facing the country. He said that efforts are on to preserve this rich heritage. He said that fortunately auspicious occasions like 550th Prakashotsava of Guru nanak Dev ji, 350th Prakashotsava of Guru Gobind Singh Ji, 400th Prakashotsava of Guru TegBahadur Ji took place in last seven years and the Central government has tried to spread the teachings of the Gurus through these holy occasions. He enumerated efforts to take this rich legacy to the youth and talked of initiatives like turning SulatanpurLodhi into heritage town, Kartarpur corridor, air connectivity of Punjab with various countries, connectivity with Guru sthans and development of Anandpur Sahib – Fatehgarh Sahib – Chamkaur Sahib – Ferozpur –Amritsar – Khatkar Kalan – Kalanour - Patiala heritage circuit under Swadesh Darshan Scheme.

The Prime Minister remarked that this AmritKaal of our Independence is very important for the whole country. In this AmritKaal, he urged everyone to carry forward both heritage and development. He said the land of Punjab has always inspired us and today it is necessary that Punjab makes progress at every level and in every direction. For this he urged everyone to work together with the spirit of 'SabkaSaath, SabkaVikas’. He wished this land of JallianwalaBagh to continue to give continuous energy for the resolutions to make the country fulfill its goals soon.

Union Minister of Culture, Union Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministers of State for Culture, Governor and Chief Minister of Punjab; Chief Ministers of Haryana, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh; Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs from Punjab, members of JallianwalaBagh National Memorial Trust, among others, were present on the occasion.

Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Union Minister of Civil Aviation, has written to Chief Ministers of Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Odisha, requesting their personal intervention in expediting the matters for strengthening of aviation infrastructure in the state. AAI has embarked upon development and expansion of airports in the country at a cost of Rs. 20,000 Crore in the next 4-5 years in order to meet the growing passenger demand in the country.

Scindia has drawn attention of Shri Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister of Kerala on following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Kerala:

  AAI has projected a land requirement of 152.5 acres which is yet to be handed over by the State Government.   Out of this, 137 acres will be used for development of apron, construction of new terminal building and cargo complex and remaining 15.25 acres will be used for car parking.

  An amount of Rs.5.29 crore is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share against Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

Similarly, while writing to Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shri Scindia, underscored following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Madhya Pradesh:

20.67 acres of land outside the airport boundary is required at Bhopal airport for relocating Bharat Scouts and Guides;

20 acres of land is required at Khajuraho airport for basic strip and operational requirements;

110 acres at Gwalior airport for extension of Civil Enclave;

An additional 2314.52 acre of land is required at Indore Airport for development of 2nd runway and associated infrastructure.

An amount of Rs. 1.79 crore is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

The State Government may give its consent to provide 100% VGF support for International UDAN operations on Indore – Dubai route. On receipt of the consent of State Govt. for 100% VGF support, routes will be put for bidding by the airlines.

While writing to Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, Chief Minister of Maharashra, Scindia has highlighted following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Maharashtra:

AAI has projected land requirements of 234.21 acres at Akola airport for development of basic strip and additional infrastructure.  Out of this only 149.95 acres has been handed over to AAI.  Remaining 84.26 acres is yet to be handed over.

182 acres of land is required at Aurangabad airport for runway extension and Parallel Taxi track for making it suitable for operation of Code “E” type of aircraft.

47.60 acres of land is required at Gondia airport for diversion of village road and city side development.

64 acres of land is required at Kolhapur airport for runway extension and installation of approach lights for development of airport for operation of AB-320 type of aircraft.

An amount of Rs. 95 crore has been allocated for development of Amravati and Ratnagiri airports. The airports need to be developed by the State Government for commencing RCS – UDAN operations.

Removal of chimney at Solapur may be considered at the earliest, so as to connect Solapur airport under RCS – UDAN.

An amount of Rs. 12.02 crore is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

State Govt. may give their consent to provide 100% VGF support for International UDAN operations on Pune – Dubai, Pune – Bangkok, Pune– Male, Pune – Singapore, Pune – Kathmandu and Pune – Kuala Lumpur routes. On receipt of the consent of State Govt. for 100% VGF support, routes will be put for bidding by the airlines.

Scindia has drawn attention of Neiphiu Rio, Chief Minister of Nagaland on following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Nagaland:

In Phase-1, land area of 107 acres is required for extension of runway by 310m for operations of AB-320 type of aircraft.

In Phase-2, land area of 230 acres is required for city side development, extension of runway by 600m and runway strip clearance for operations of AB-320 type of aircraft along with hangars, RESA (Runway End Safety Area) and Isolation Bay.

An amount of Rs. 0.18 crores, till 31.07.2021, is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

Scindia has drawn attention of Shri Naveen Patnaik on following issues that are impacting the implementation of various projects pertaining to aviation sector in Odisha:

AAI has projected land requirements of 178 acres at Jharsuguda for Phase –II expansion of the Airport. The land is yet to be handed over.

Jeypore and Utkela airports need to be developed at the earliest by the State Govt. for the operations of RCS – UDAN flights.

An amount of Rs. 1.48 crores is outstanding on part of the State Government as VGF share for Regional Air Connectivity Fund Trust (RACFT).

State Govt. may also give their consent to provide 100% VGF support for International UDAN operations on Bhubaneswar – Dubai, Bhubaneswar – Abu Dhabi, Bhubaneswar – Bangkok, Bhubaneswar – Kuala Lumpur, Bhubaneswar – Colombo, Bhubaneswar – Singapore and Bhubaneswar – Kathmandu routes. On receipt of the consent of State Govt. for 100% VGF support, routes will be put for bidding by the airlines.

With a focus to leverage the growth market of Jharkhand and Eastern India, Thomas Cook (India) Limited inaugurated a new Gold Circle Partner (franchise) outlet in Ranchi. The outlet was inaugurated by the Hafizul Hassan Ansari, Minister of Minority Welfare & Tourism, Arts & Culture, Sports & Youth Affairs Department, Government of Jharkhand.

Thomas Cook India’s Third Holiday Readiness Report reveals strong travel demand: 69 per cent respondents are keen to resume travel in 2021. A significant 77 per cent need the guidance of a holiday expert and hence to support its Ranchi based customers, Thomas Cook India has set up a Gold Circle Partner outlet at Girdhar Plaza – a key commercial hub of Ranchi.

To benefit its customers, the outlet offers Thomas Cook’s extensive range of International & Domestic holidays (group escorted tours with an experienced tour manager, also personalised holidays, cruises, etc.), Travel Insurance and Visa Services.

To build consumer confidence, the outlet also offers Thomas Cook India’s TravShield: Travel Safety Commitment, that covers every aspect of physical safety as well as mental and financial security to give the customer complete peace of mind.

The iconic Hotel Transit located near the Mumbai airport has undergone a complete overhaul and has been re-launched as T24 Retro. The re-launch of Transit, the first hotel to operate at Mumbai airport, marks the end of one era and heralds the beginning of another. The ownership and management of the hotel continues to be vested with the Malkani family. First opened to guests in 1974, Hotel Transit has been modernised and optimised for the new age traveller.

Bharat Malkani, Chairman, T24, said, “T24 (Travelers 24) brand was envisaged as a chain of boutique hotels that are typically located close to airports, operate about fifty rooms, and offer personalised experiences for both overnight and day stay guests. Extensive use of technology to enhance the check-in and check-out experience, beside cutting short the time spent at the reception are some of the highlights of T24 branded hotels.

The brand currently owns and operates T24 Residency, next to Terminal 2 of the Mumbai airport. T24 Retro is its second property and is part of the company’s plans of expanding the chain extensively. Over the next couple of decades, the company plans to open up to nine hotels and take its unique hyper-personalised boutique experience across India.

Travellers have come to associate the T24 brand with great comfort, noise-free, clean-rooms and superior quality of food. While this and other amenities will continue to be part of the offerings, T24 Retro has made extensive use of technology to enhance guest experience. The underlying design theme of the newly launched hotel is distinctly retro, and it brings to life the lost iconic era of erstwhile Bombay.

He further said, “The entire look and feel of the hotel, including the rooms and dine-in restaurants, are designed to transport the guest to the mid-twentieth century, into a global cosmopolitan feel that was once uniquely distinct to the city. The essence of the theme is also reflected in its restaurant, Blend, which has three distinctly themed sections: a cafe with a deli, an indoor fine dining section and an al fresco bar. Apart from technically enhancing the building’s performance by inclusion of Treated fresh Air (TFA), energy efficient air-conditioning and modern firefighting and detection systems, we styled the hotel to give it a strong identity of its own even as it blended with the T24 Hospitality boutique hotel portfolio.”

T24 Retro is a reflection of the essence of Bombay as it once was, a renaissance of a style that has defined the maximum city. Retro styling is used as a defining guideline through the entire design system. The theme is incorporated in the public spaces, rooms and façade while the signage design, switches, surrounds and mouldings embellish the Retro styling in the inner spaces.

Malkani added, “We have created a modern boutique hotel that wraps in the enduring charm of Bombay (as Mumbai was called then). T24 Retro is the kind of hotel where the patron can take the stairs to walk down Bollywood nostalgia lane. The guests can shower, brush or freshen up in a modern bathroom, with designer fittings re-imagined in retro style; sip on nostalgic drinks from the retro bar library with jazz, blues, rock and roll; or transport oneself to a bygone era that lives on in the heartbeats of true-blue Mumbai resident of yore.”

Under the astute leadership of Jyoti Mayal, President, and Office Bearers of TAAI, a web workshop, in collaboration with the MSME Development Institute (DI), Ahmedabad to educate and update Members about various schemes of Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise was organised by the Gujarat Chapter of TAAI. The workshop is a part of the series initiated by TAAI at pan-India level to educate its members about the benefits and reliefs extended by the Ministry of MSME.

Initiating the discussions, Virendra Shah, Chairman, Gujarat Chapter, TAAI briefed the participants about this unique initiative. He conveyed that how TAAI at the National, Regional, and State level is working wholeheartedly for the Members to survive during these crucial times. Shreeram Patel, National Treasurer, TAAI welcomed and thanked Solanki for so graciously accepting the request to address the Members.

While mentioning the role of MSME DI Offices in facilitating businesses, Shah introduced the dynamic officer present to grace the occasion, TK Solanki. A commerce graduate by education, Solanki rose through the ranks of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and joined the MSME Ahmedabad DI Office in 2010. He is now the Senior Statistical Officer at the Institute.

During his presentation, Solanki shared various schemes and initiatives of MSME and explained how it can benefit businesses at large. He specifically mentioned the schemes utilising which attendees may avail finance, both at micro and macro levels. While updating everyone present of all the benefits, he requested TAAI members to check the MSME URL or visit DI Office for more detailed information.

Mehboob Shaikh, Chairman - Taxation Council, TAAI delivered the Vote of Thanks.

Also present during the workshop from TAAI were Paras Lakhia, Chairman - Airlines Council; Viral Shah, Treasurer, Gujarat Chapter; Prashant Madlani, Secretary, Gujarat Chapter; Kantilal M. Sohagia, Secretary, South Gujarat Chapter; Devan Shah, Chairman, Saurashtra Kutch Chapter; and Dr. Himanshu Talwar, Executive Director, TAAI.

SpiceJet has entered into a settlement with Avolon, a major lessor of MAX aircraft, paving the way for the airline's 737 MAX aircraft to start to return to service.

The airline expects to start operations of MAX aircraft around the end of September 2021 subject to regulatory approvals.

Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, "I am delighted to share that our 737 MAXs will be back in the air soon. As India emerges from Covid and air traffic picks up again, the MAX aircraft will play a major role in our future expansion. With a better and a more efficient fleet back in operation we expect a significant reduction in our operating costs improving our bottom line."

Brussels Airlines is connecting the Moroccan city Marrakech for the first time from September 30, 2021. Marrakech will be connected twice a week with flights on Thursdays and Sundays.

 

For the first time since March 2020, Hurghada is again part of the Brussels Airlines network. As from 31 October, the Red Sea resort will be served three times a week (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday).

With the addition of Lanzarote as from 31 October, Brussels Airlines strengthens its presence on the Canary Islands, where it will also fly to Tenerife and Gran Canaria this winter. To these last two destinations additional frequencies are added during the Belgian school holidays.

With flights on Thursdays and Saturdays, Lanzarote is the ideal destination for both short and longer winter vacations in the sun.

 

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