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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that its Chief Economist, Brian Pearce, will retire from the organization in July 2021.

Pearce joined IATA in 2004. Since then he has built IATA’s evidence-based economic analysis capabilities into the most authoritative source of insight on aviation’s global performance. He also serves on the Association’s Strategic Leadership team.

“Brian has been an amazing asset for IATA and for the entire industry. His team’s research and analysis have been powerful tools impacting how governments develop policies to realize the economic and social benefits of a successful aviation sector. And he has become the go-to commentator on economic developments in air transport. Most notable is his personal contribution to promoting the airline sector’s progressive economic liberalization, achieving an historic agreement to manage aviation’s climate change impact, and helping the world understand the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis on aviation. Brian will leave IATA having set a very high bar for its trusted economic analysis. We wish him the best for a well-deserved retirement that will no doubt include endeavors that keep him close to aviation developments,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Kerala’s 7-day annual cultural festival ‘Utsavam 2021’ is all set to get off to a colorful start here on February 20. The festival will be celebrated before a wider audience in 30 venues across the state. The event is being organized by Kerala Tourism, Kerala Folklore Academy, Bharat Bhavan and District Tourism Promotion Councils.

Hundreds of artistes, representing a wide variety of folk, tribal and ethnic traditions that flourished in different parts of the state, will perform during the 13th edition of the event.

Kerala’s Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran will inaugurate the festival at Nishagandhi Auditorium at Kanakakunnu Palace grounds on February 20, at 6pm.

VK Prasanth, MLA will preside over the function. Kumari Arya Rajendran, Mayor of Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation; Shashi Tharoor MP; M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC; Reena KS., Councilor; Rani George, Principal Secretary, Tourism, Govt of Kerala, P Bala Kiran, Director Tourism and Krishna Teja, Managing Director KTDC will attend the inaugural session.  

The inaugural function will also see the launch of the Utsavam Signature song rendered by noted singer Kavalam Sreekumar. The Signature song written by BS Sreerangam, has been set to music by Mathew Itty. The Inaugural function will be followed by an audio-visual presentation of folk dance and naadan paattu led by CJ Kuttappan and performed by "Thayillam".

Leading folklore artists representing various traditions will be honoured at the function with the Utsavam Puraskaram. They include T K Baby (Onamkali Pattu), Pramod TA (Pattu & Kaalakali), Padmanabhan TR (Ambatheeradikalari), Sudarshanakumar T (Padayani), Bindu Pazhur (Mudiyettu), Malathi Balan (Uralikoothu), Rajamma A (Pooppada Thullal), K Kunhi Koran (Poorakkali), Dineshan Thekkankooran Peruvannan (Theyyam) and Umbichi K (Mangalam Kali).

 The festival aims at providing a platform to performers of folk arts, many of which are on the verge of being pushed into oblivion. The ensuing edition of the event assumes added significance as it comes as a big support to artists hit by the sweeping recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had its adverse impact on the cultural domain as well.

Domestic air traffic is increasing day by day and has now reached to about 3 lakh passengers per day, Hardeep S Puri, Minister for Civil Aviation (IC), Govt. of India, said during the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Civil Aviation yesterday.

The meeting was attended by MPs Ram Nath Thakur, Neeraj Dangi, Praful Patel, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Shwait Malik, Subramanian Swamy, Vishambhar Prasad Nishad and Vinayak Bhaurao Raut.

Replying to the queries of MPs, Puri explained the various steps taken by the Ministry during Covid-9 pandemic for the benefit of people as well as airlines and aviation sector. He informed about the fare bands introduced with floor price and ceiling price.

He further said that in the summer schedule, as domestic traffic would increase more, the fare bands and some other restrictions are likely to be done away with. Puri informed about the RCS-UDAN scheme giving details of the bidding process and the routes. He added that 4 rounds of biddings have been done and more than 700 routes have been sanctioned whereas over 300 routes have been operationalised under the scheme.

He further said that Darbhanga airport as one of the very successful examples under the scheme.

Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) in collaboration with Discovery Channel is all set to present a sublime new original two-part film titled ‘Explore Uttarakhand’.

The aim of the films is to provide audiences the chance to engage through stunning visuals of Uttarakhand, the film is all set to premiere on 20th February on Discovery Channel that explores spiritual yoga destinations and adrenaline packed adventure sports that go on in the snow filled mountains of the state.

Through this two-part film, viewers will get to witness the scenic Uttarakhand and familiarize themselves with its adventure sports and treasure of yoga and wellness. The film documents adventure activities in Uttarakhand that are some of the most challenging in the entire Indian subcontinent, attracting adrenaline seeking sport professionals and enthusiasts from all around the globe.

Speaking about the film, Satpal Maharaaz, Minister of Tourism, Uttarakhand said, “Uttarakhand is a beautiful state which holds the privilege of being in the path of the mighty Himalayan Ranges that consist of some of nature’s  most extreme and unpredictable patterns. There are many famous shrines and places here like our Chardham, Hemkund Sahib, Haridwar, Rishikesh and others that have attracted tourists from all over the world. Uttarakhand which has also become preferred film destination in past years is also attracting producers and directors from all around the globe which has also increased the inflow of tourists in our state. Through ExploreUttarakhand on Discovery Channel, we humbly welcome you to this divinely blissful and fabulous state of ours.” he added.

Dilip Jawalkar, Secretary – Tourism, Govt. of Uttarakhand, said, “Uttarakhand is a heavenly destination when it comes to offering various activities to tourists. From last few years we are constantly working to develop infrastructure to promote adventure and wellness tourism in Uttarakhand. The documentary film “Explore Uttarakhand’’ made by the Discovery Channel will play an important role to reach national and international audience.”

“The two-part documentary is a visually stunning film that captures the tremendous beauty of the state of Uttarakhand and the Himalayan Ranges. We, at Discovery, believe in bringing factual stories to our audiences that not only entertain them but leave them with an enriching experience and a better understanding of the world.” said Megha Tata, Managing Director- South Asia, Discovery Communications India.

The British Council yesterday launched a Warli Exhibition to celebrate India Craft Week 2021 and to showcase unique collaborations in Craft between India and the UK.

The exhibit contains rare paintings of the creative genius Jivya Soma Mashe, the pioneer who popularized Warli art, nationally and internationally. British Council has joined hands with Crafts Village to bring the Chapter Three of India Craft Week as a knowledge partner to celebrate the finest craftsmanship that binds art, design, and culture.

The Warli Exhibit is an India/UK collaboration between The Clay Foundation and Warli Artists showcasing Warli art's evolution and critical partnerships in Craft. The exhibition's launch was honoured by the presence of Arjun Munda Minister of Tribal Affairs, Govt of India, Alex Ellis, British High Commissioner to India and Barbara Wickham OBE, Director, British Council India.

The exhibition is for public display until 21st February at the British Council Gallery in New Delhi, from 11 am to 7 pm.

The Warli exhibit's content draws from a collection of paintings, artworks and documentation materials commissioned and collected through the Warli Project by A Fine Line between 2006-2021. Recognising the significance of Mashe as the vibrant force of the contemporary movement, the exhibition also includes works by other artists who are part of the story and highlights the need for sustained institutional support and investment to keep the traditional artform alive.

Speaking on the association, Jonathan Kennedy, Director Arts India - British Council said “India’s crafts, arts and culture is its DNA, global competitive advantage and driver of wealth creation in the formal and informal economy. The crafts economy includes tens of millions of craftworkers producing astonishing work of quality in rural communities and the metros in India.

Through British Council’s Crafting Futures programme we have been instrumental in bringing together major Indian and UK partners to co-develop and collaborate on projects which strengthen livelihoods and skills in crafts in India.

The programme addresses key themes that are critical to the Indian market and UNSECO SDGs. We understand that this is a difficult time for the craft sector. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that culture connects us and at this time of the Covid-19 pandemic creativity and collaboration binds us together.

We have partnered with the India Craft Week to reach out across digital frontiers and national boundaries in solidarity with the many inspiring craftworkers of India and beyond. The upcoming events at the India Craft Week showcase some exciting collaborations in craft between India and the UK. We’re delighted to be showcasing a leading Warli exhibition, Indigo Giant with JV Productions and discussion with leading UK institutions including the V&A and Whitworth Gallery at the British Council in Delhi and online.”

Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport) now connects 61 destinations across India, indicating a positive trend in air travel to non-metro cities. BLR Airport catered to 58 domestic destinations before the onset of the pandemic.

The new additions are Jorhat (IndiGo), Gorakhpur (IndiGo) and Jharsuguda (SpiceJet) that commenced operations in January 2021. Further cementing its position as one of the best-connected airports in the Country, BLR Airport will soon have flights to five new destinations — Rajkot, Durgapur (SpiceJet) and Dibrugarh (IndiGo) later this month, followed by Agra and Kurnool in March 2021.

Silchar, Darbhanga, Amritsar, Nashik, and Jabalpur were the other new routes that were launched earlier in FY 2020-21, taking the overall tally of new routes for the FY to 13. The enhanced connectivity to regional and non-metro routes from BLR Airport further accentuates the focus of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, on improving India’s regional connectivity.

Owing to renewed confidence among passengers on hygiene and safety of air travel amid the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in passenger traffic to non-metro cities. A daily average of 270 flights, carrying an average of 30,000 passengers per day, departed to non-metro cities in January 2021.  

Industry’s umbrella association, the Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH), kick-started its annual India Tourism Mart (ITM) with a physical inauguration Yesterday at ITC Maurya Hotel, New Delhi.

The inauguration was attended by Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Aayog; Arvind Singh, Union Tourism Secretary along with other colleagues from the Ministry of Tourism, Govt of India; office bearers of FAITH, Presidents of all association member of FAITH and other dignitaries. Union Tourism Minister (IC) Prahlad Singh Patel virtually addressed the inauguration. Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan, Chief Guest for ITM 2021, also addressed the gathering virtually.

Welcoming the delegates, Subhash Goyal, Chairman, ITM 2021, said that the evet is being attended by more than 250 international buyers from over 60 countries and also over 300 domestic buyers.  He further said that 2020 was the darkest period in the history of the world and Tourism was the worst affected.  “All flights cancelled, visas suspended, our industry came to a grinding halt without any support from anywhere.  Millions became jobless.  Hundreds became homeless.  Survival seemed impossible and we were hanging on by a thin thread to remain afloat.  No matter what the size and scale of our business, all of us in the tourism industry faced the same difficult challenges of managing our workforce, maintaining our offices, and fulfilling our commitments, when we had no revenues coming in for months on end,” Goyal said and added that the timing of this event, syncs with this recovery phase, and is an opportune time for policy makers and thought leaders to come together and enable tourism.

Amitabh Kant delivered the keynote address and Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH introduced all the 10 Presidents of FAITH member associations and spoke about the vision of the Tourism Industry and the road ahead.

Harsh Vardhan, addressing the audience through video message, said that I have been given to understand that apart from Indian delegates there are International delegates from 60 countries attending this event virtually. “This is being organised at the right time when  due to the vision of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narinder Modi Ji  India has not only become the world’s largest manufacturer of COVID-19 vaccine but has also undertaken one of the world’s largest prevention programme.  We have already vaccinated about 10 million people but we have also sent millions of doses to most of our neighbouring countries and also all those countries who asked for Indian government’s help.  

“Every State of India has world class Hospitals and a lot of these Hospitals can be compared to the best in the world.  Indian doctors, nurses, Indian medical system and Indian Medical education are recognised and respected everywhere. They are in great demand by the hospitals of America, UK, Europe and Middle East.  India is also one of the largest exporters of medicine and pharmaceuticals. I understand that in the leadership conclave you also have a session on India Healing The world and Medical Tourism.         

“We were able to save millions of lives by imposing very strict lock down and once all the protocols and infrastructure was in place to help the Indian economy to revive we have slowly started unlocking our Country and today with the negative Covid 19 report 96 hours before their flight anyone from anywhere in the world can fly safely to India. 

“India has already signed an air bubble agreement with most of the countries and has undertaken the world’s largest repatriation movement. Thanks to Ministry of civil aviation and a national carrier Air India that most of the standard Indian nationals abroad and foreign nationals stranded in India were able to be repatriated safely to their homes. As soon as things are getting normalised we will further relax but maintain our safety protocols. 

“I am sure, you are already aware that 80% of our domestic flights are operating.  We have already started issuing medical visas and we are planning to soon restart E-Tourist Visas and schedule International flights in a phased manner. On a reciprocal basis, first with those countries with whom we have an air bubble agreement. The Ministry of health is fully supporting the Ministry of Tourism’s efforts in reviving International tourism to India.”

Speaking on the occasion, Meenakshi Sharma, DG, Ministry of Tourism, said that even though she is moving to another department of the Govt. of India, her heart will always remain in Tourism.  The new Secretary Tourism, Arvind Singh Ji assured the industry that he is working closely with all the concerned ministries to restart e-visa and international flights. 

Rakesh Verma, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, spoke about the Knowledge Conclave which was being organized by KPMG.  The road ahead vision document prepared by FAITH & KPMG was released by Singh.  Rupinder Brar, ADG, Ministry of Tourism delivered the vote of thanks.

Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru (KIAB/ BLR Airport) now connects 61 destinations across India, indicating a positive trend in air travel to non-metro cities. BLR Airport catered to 58 domestic destinations before the onset of the pandemic.

The new additions are Jorhat (IndiGo), Gorakhpur (IndiGo) and Jharsuguda (SpiceJet) that commenced operations in January 2021. Further cementing its position as one of the best-connected airports in the Country, BLR Airport will soon have flights to five new destinations — Rajkot, Durgapur (SpiceJet) and Dibrugarh (IndiGo) later this month, followed by Agra and Kurnool in March 2021.

Silchar, Darbhanga, Amritsar, Nashik, and Jabalpur were the other new routes that were launched earlier in FY2020-21, taking the overall tally of new routes for the Financial Year to 13. The enhanced connectivity to regional and non-metro routes from BLR Airport further accentuates the focus of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, on improving India’s regional connectivity.

Owing to renewed confidence among passengers on hygiene and safety of air travel amid the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in passenger traffic to non-metro cities. A daily average of 270 flights, carrying an average of 30,000 passengers per day, departed to non-metro cities in January 2021.

Meanwhile, the improved regional connectivity has led to a three-fold increase in transfer passengers, further strengthening BLR Airport’s position as the new gateway to India.

With geographical advantage that provides fast and easy access to catchment areas of South India and other non-metro airports, BLR Airport is driving the growth of the region, with an increase in share of non-metro passengers from 55 per cent in FY19-20 to 64% in FY20-21. These factors have enabled BLR Airport faster recovery of Air Traffic Movements and passenger traffic as compared with other major Airports in India.

Emirates will offer exclusive rich content and services for travel agent partners on its NDC-enabled direct connect platform, Emirates Gateway, from 1 July 2021. A surcharge on all bookings made via Global Distribution Systems (GDS) will also kick in on the same day.

This follows the launch of Emirates Gateway in October last year and marks a milestone in Emirates’ plans to cater a dynamic marketplace by providing trade partners with a choice of connection options and differentiated products and benefits across channels.

Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates, said: “Our goal is to empower our trade partners to deliver even better customer experiences, and we are pleased to introduce the next batch of new exclusive features and benefits for them on Emirates Gateway, which was launched to address the limitations of current legacy systems and provide a wide range of additional content and options for agents.

“We are heartened by the support and positive feedback that we’ve received from our trade and GDS partners to date. Emirates firmly believes in healthy, long-term relationships with all players in the travel eco-system, and we will continue to work hard to nurture the relationships that we’ve built through the years by providing great value and service.”

Agencies not signed up to the Emirates Gateway can continue to access Emirates’ EDIFACT – legacy content through the airline’s GDS partners Amadeus, Travelport, Travelsky, Infini and Sirena. However, to mitigate the higher cost Emirates incurs through GDS distribution, from 01 July 2021, bookings made via GDS will incur a distribution surcharge ranging between USD 14 and 25 per ticket depending on sector length.

Emirates is working closely with interested trade partners to bring them onboard the Emirates Gateway, which provides access to the widest range of Emirates fare products including exclusive content not available in the indirect channels, and where bookings will not incur a distribution surcharge.

Following the announcement by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) outlining the return to service criteria for the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, flydubai will start the process of preparing the aircraft for passenger service.  This follows an exhaustive 20-month review which has involved the manufacturer, regulators, engineers, scientists, researchers, mechanics and pilots whose sole objective has been to safely return the aircraft to service.

Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer of flydubai, commenting on the return to service, said: “The Boeing 737 MAX is an integral part of flydubai’s fleet, and I have full confidence in the aircraft as it returns to passenger service.  Safety is the founding principle of our business.  We said that we would only return the aircraft to service when it was safe to do so and that time is now.”  

 

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