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T3 News Network

T3 News Network

Etihad Airways has become the first airline in the world with all its operating pilots and cabin crew vaccinated to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

In January 2021, Etihad was awarded Diamond status for ensuring the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitisation in the inaugural ‘APEX Health Safety, powered by SimpliFlying’ audit.

Tony Douglas, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “We proactively made the vaccine available to all our employees to not only help combat the effects of COVID-19 but to make travellers feel confident and reassured the next time they fly with us. We are the only airline in the world to make COVID-19 testing mandatory for every passenger and crew member before every flight and now, we’re the first airline in the world with 100% vaccinated crew on board.

“I chose very early on to be vaccinated to demonstrate my own support of the national vaccination programme and to encourage everyone at Etihad who was eligible for the vaccine, to receive it as soon as possible. I would like to thank the entire Etihad family for everything they have done to help us reach this milestone – I am truly humbled.”

This achievement was made possible through Etihad’s ‘Protected Together’ employee vaccination initiative which was formally launched in January this year. Building on the UAE’s Choose to Vaccinate campaign, Protected Together is about helping staff take proactive, personal steps towards protecting themselves against COVID-19.

Nadia Bastaki, Vice President Medical Services and CSR, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “Following the national vaccination programme, we worked tirelessly to become an approved COVID-19 vaccination clinic to support our staff, and their dependants, be able to easily access the vaccine. Since December 2020, we have been offering in-house vaccination appointments to our employees and their loved ones to ensure we are focused on our employee’s wellbeing.”

Following the UAE Government’s target to vaccinate half of the UAE population by the end of March 2021, Etihad is ahead of schedule with over 75% of its entire workforce already having received at least one dose of the vaccine. With even more activity still planned as part of the Protected Together initiative, this figure will continue to grow as more employees step forward and choose to vaccinate. 

IHG Hotels & Resorts opens door to the newest hotel in the tricity – Holiday Inn Chandigarh Zirakpur in association with ABC Sites Pvt Ltd. Featuring 131 keys with scenic city views, the hotel is located on Chandigarh- Ambala highway connecting the city of Chandigarh to all famous landmarks and attractions in the Northern belt.

Commenting on the inauguration of the new hotels, Sudeep Jain, Managing Director, IHG, South West Asia adds, “We are delighted to open our second hotel in Chandigarh under our globally renowned brand Holiday Inn, as the tri-City area is increasingly gaining traction, both as a commercial hub and tourist destination. India has been a domestic focused market for IHG and the addition of Holiday Inn Chandigarh Zirakpur to our brand portfolio will cater to the demand for quality accommodation and MICE requirements in the city.”

NK Sharma - Director, ABC Sites adds, “It has been a pleasure to associate with IHG Hotels & resorts, a reputed and trusted hospitality brand for the opening of Holiday Inn Chandigarh Zirakpaur. We are pleased to inaugurate this new hotel and looking forward to welcoming guests. The brand Holiday Inn holds a strong name in the country and is a great fit for a market like Chandigarh.”  

Accor announced the opening of its second Grand Mercure, at Gopalan Signature Mall in Bengaluru. This is Accor’s sixth hotel in Bengaluru and seventh property in Karnataka for guests to experience flavours, art and culture of the state.

This 212-room hotel is inspired by the iconic Hoysala architecture, incorporating local touch points to the overall ambience. At the grand entrance of the property, notes of Nadaswaram welcome the guests.

“Gopalan Enterprises has been a renowned name in the Bengaluru-scape for many decades now, as a key player in residential and commercial infrastructure development. Hospitality has been a cherished dream for us and we are extremely delighted to tie up with a globally acclaimed brand like Accor, for our maiden venture into the segment”. commented C Prabhakar, Director, Gopalan Enterprises.

Commenting on the opening, Puneet Dhawan, Senior Vice President, Accor India and South Asia said, “The opening of our second Grand Mercure property at Gopalan Mall, Bengaluru, showcases our confidence in this brand to offer something truly distinctive to cater to the area’s need of a business hotel. Authentic and original experience is at the heart of what our guests seek, and this new property truly speaks of heritage and culture from the area. We look forward to welcoming our guests to experience the highest levels of excellence at this premium brand of ours.”

“It is truly a milestone as we open our second Grand Mercure property in Bengaluru”, said Sachin Maheshwary, General Manager, Grand Mercure Bengaluru at Gopalan Mall. “The brand believes in bringing locally inspired stories to life. Continuing our legacy from existing properties, we will provide our guests with an enriching and personalised experience whilst maintaining global standards of hygiene. We look forward to cater to the metropolis's growing tourism and business activities.”

Accor rolls out of its digital key solution ‘Accor Key’ in line with the Group’s strategy to provide a contactless guest journey in its facilities. This exciting new step for Accor confirms its ambition to innovate and invest in high-quality technological solutions to deliver the very best and most convenient experience for its guests.

The focus of the rollout will be to provide customers with a keyless door entry solution, while ensuring that hotels do not lose the human touch that guests require. On arrival at their destination, customers will receive their room key virtually upon downloading Accor’s digital key app. Customers will then be given access to rooms, entry to meeting rooms and floor access via lifts using their smartphone. Once departing the hotel, the mobile key will automatically be deactivated.

Patrick Mendes, Chief Commercial Officer Accor, in charge of Sales, Marketing, Distribution and Loyalty, said: “We are thrilled to announce the launch of “Accor key” within our entire network. Making contactless and seamless guest experiences a reality is a priority for Accor. “Accor key” is a great example of how the Group can build solutions and deploy them efficiently in all Accor operating countries.”

Floor Bleeker, Chief Technology Officer Accor, added: “We always strive to adopt technology which can improve the overall guest experience. Guests increasingly seek contact-light travel and hotel experiences. Therefore, the easy to operate and highly practical application will provide a streamlined process for our guests.”

Accor key program will be delivered through a partnership with STAYmyway. Faustino Fernandez, STAYmyway founder & CEO commented: "We are honored to be working with such an innovative company at such a critical time in our industry. A recent Deloitte study shows that 60% of travelers are more likely to stay at a hotel that allowed contactless check in and the ability to use a smartphone as a room key—16% even say it’s a “must have”. The demand is even higher for frequent travelers. "

The Ministry of Tourism’s Dekho Apna Desh Webinar series titled “Astro- Tourism: The Next Frontier of Nature-based Tourism” held on 6th February 2021 focused on promoting nature-based tourism which is emerging strongly in a post - COVID world.

The webinar began with the opening remarks by Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General, Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. Brar stated that Astro-tourism is a new phenomenon that is taking hold across the world. Capturing people’s inherent interest in the mysterious provides the drive for tourism through the ages.

She informed that India has immense potential about nature-based tourism having all physical geographical features of the world. She further promoted the idea of enhancing domestic travel “Dekho Apna Desh” by visiting lesser known & nature surrounded destinations. She also appealed to consider all precautionary safety measures while travelling.

The Webinar was presented by Jaideep Bansal, Chief Operating Officer, Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), which is a social enterprise that conducts Impact Expeditions to bring Solar Energy to remote Himalayan Villages.

GHE has electrified 140 villages and lit up the lives of more than 60,000 people through an innovative concept of Impact Tourism. GHE’s work of remote rural electrification has been documented by National Geographic, BBC and NDTV to reach out to a worldwide audience and has been internationally recognized and awarded by the WTTC and the World Tourism Awards. The United Nations has recognized GHE as one of the successful case studies in sustainable tourism impacting SDG Goal No 7.

The other presenters were Sonal Asgotraa, Project Lead of GHE’s Astronomy for Livelihood Initiative called Astrostays and Shri Kevin Govender - Founding and Director of Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD).

The Presenters began by providing information on Astro-tourism and its potential to drive sustainable & responsible tourism.  They briefed about Astrostays which is a community-driven astrotourism model that puts communities at the heart and center of the tourism model. The program is aimed at empowering and strengthening communities by diversifying economic bases and creating new opportunities for livelihood creation using astrotourism as a key development intervention. This model is also an innovative form of experiential and sustainable tourism that generates economic benefits for remote and rural regions of the world that have access to clear night skies while creating unique life-changing experiences for travellers.

Trained on basics of astronomy and know-how of operating telescopes, the local homestay owners (mostly women) conduct night sky gazing sessions for the incoming tourists, creating a new channel of revenue generation for the communities, that has eventually led to increase in stimulus to local economy, reducing local youth migration and preservation of age-old cultural Himalayan heritage.

They informed that till date, 35 local women have been trained across 5 Astro-stays in the high-altitude Himalayan desert of Ladakh, generating a strong annual income for the local communities.

The presenters also highlighted on some of the major destinations which can be promoted as Astrotourism destinations in India such as Pangong Lake (Ladak), Rann of Kutchh (Gujarat), Mandu (Madhya Pradesh), Lahaul & Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) etc. They further intensified on promoting National Parks & Wildlife Sanctuaries as Astrotourism destinations during night.

Thomas Cook India has reported total income of Rs.271.41 crores during the period ended December 31, 2020 as compared to Rs.141.80 crores during the period ended September 30, 2020. Thomas Cook India reported total income of Rs.1757.88 crores during the period ended December 31, 2019.

The company has posted net loss of Rs. 59.34 crores for the period ended December 31, 2020 as against net loss of Rs. 90.21 crores for the period ended September 30, 2020. The company had posted net profit of Rs.5.76 crores for the period ended December 31, 2019.

For the 9 months period ended December 31, 2020, Thomas Cook India has reported total income of Rs.544.09 crores as compared to Rs.5839.27 crores during the 9 months period ended December 31, 2019.

The company has posted net loss of Rs. 243.77 crores for the 9 months period ended December 31, 2020 as against net loss of Rs. 3.68 crores for the 9 months period ended December 31, 2019.

The company has reported EPS of Rs.(6.56) for the 9 months period ended December 31, 2020 as compared to Rs.(0.10) for the 9 months period ended December 31, 2019.

Fliggy, Alibaba’s online travel platform, has announced a new long-term agreement with Amadeus to deliver seamless traveler shopping experiences.

The multi-year agreement will see Fliggy, supported by Amadeus’ cutting-edge search and assisted booking technology, create more personalized experiences for Chinese travelers. The agreement will enable Fliggy to leverage Amadeus’ MetaConnect technology to improve the Fliggy user experience, making searching and booking a breeze – whether on mobile, tablet or desktop, turning shopping customers into booked travelers.

Fliggy has seen a steady growth of travel bookings on its platform, with the Hangzhou-based travel platform now servicing more than 100,000 global partners. Amadeus’ advanced search technology has also been critical in supporting high volumes of traffic and transactions on Fliggy’s platform during China’s “Double Eleven” shopping festival each year.

A spokesperson for Fliggy said, “We are pleased to extend our agreement with Amadeus to implement its innovative search and shopping technology. The agreement will allow us to work with travel sellers to target and engage travelers with more personalized offers through the whole marketplace, while creating more seamless travel experiences for customers by addressing their changing needs in the whole journey.”

Brian Chien, Managing Director, Online Travel Agencies, Greater China and Managing Director, China, Amadeus said, “We are honored to support Fliggy using our Amadeus MetaConnect technology in Fliggy’s continuous mission to support travelers and merchants alike by playing a central part in the travel experience – not just when booking a trip, but also during the trip itself, as well as after the trip. We are excited be part of Fliggy’s continuous digital transformation as a one-stop shop for Chinese travelers to book global travel services around the world.”

Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL), managing Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), announces the release of its fifth biennial Sustainability Report 2020.

Encompassing a period of FY 2018-19 and 2019-20, the report outlines the approach, performance and achievements of the airport on the triple bottom lines of sustainability principles of development, i.e., Social, Environment and Economic.

The report encapsulates CSMIA's consistent endeavors to achieve long-term sustainability targets and balance rapid growth and development towards the environment and social excellence.

"We have made great strides and achieved several milestones in our journey towards inclusive growth. Over FY 2018-19 and FY2019-20, the airport has generated economic value of INR 38474.40 million and INR 35,527 million respectively and distributed economic value of INR 37,160.70 million and INR 36, 394.90 million respectively across operating costs, employee wages and benefits, community investment as well as payments to capital providers and governments to name a few,” R.K. Jain, Chief Executive Officer, MIAL, said.

He further added, “While this report encompasses our achievements over the last two fiscal years, there are many more projects in the pipeline that we will be sharing in the next sustainability report.”

The sustainability initiatives undertaken by CSMIA align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and are prepared as per Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) standards - Comprehensive option, Airport Operators Sector Supplement (AOSS) and National Voluntary Guidelines (NVG) on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business. CSMIA’s Sustainability Report 2020 has been externally assured by Bureau Veritas Certification in line with the requirements of the AA1000AS (2008) Standard - Type 2 Moderate level.

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India offers unlimited potential in defence and aerospace. Aero India is a wonderful platform for collaborations in these areas.

In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, "India offers unlimited potential in defence and aerospace. Aero India is a wonderful platform for collaborations in these areas. The Government of India has brought futuristic reforms in these sectors, which will add impetus to our quest to become Aatmanirbhar".

The Govt has identified 24 routes in Assam under UDAN 4. The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, has identified following UDAN airports/heliports/water aerodromes for operation of UDAN flights in Assam:  Jorhat, Lilabari, Tezpur and Rupsi. The heliports identified are: Nagaon, Misa and eleki. Water aerodrome identified are Guwahati River Front and Umrangso Reservoir.

The broad salient features for routes under UDAN are demand driven, affordability of airfare, Viability Gap Funding (VGF) to selected airline operators (SAOs), minimum performance level of UDAN flights by the SAOs, exclusivity of operation on UDAN routes and focus on priority areas i.e NER, Hilly Sates and Islands.

Viability Gap Funding is provided to the Selected Airline Operators (SAOs) for operating UDAN flights under the scheme. Airports Authority of India, the implementing agency has disbursed Rs. 79,60,680 to SAO for operating UDAN flights in Assam so far.

The Selected Airline Operators (SAOs) under UDAN are obligated to commence RCS flight operations on a RCS-route within a period of six months from the issuance of Letter of Award or within two months from the readiness of airport, whichever is later, unless any extension is granted by the Implementing Agency.

This information was given in a written reply by Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (I/C) Civil Aviation, in Lok Sabha yesterday.



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