Category Archives: Agents

UFTAA VP addresses TAAI agents

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) Western Region invited Yossi Fatael, Vice President, UFTAA, and Chairman, Air Matters, to conduct an in-depth presentation on New Distribution Capability (NDC) and IATA’s NewGen ISS in Mumbai. Also present was Sunil Kumar, President, UFTAA and National President, TAAI, and a few members of the Managing Committee. The presentation titled ‘Changing Trends in the Travel Industry and its Impact’ highlighted the travel agents’ perspective on these two important subjects. TAAI will conduct a similar workshop in New Delhi on January 30 at The Claridges from 4 pm onwards.

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Club7 Holidays gets new CEO & MD

Sriram Rajmohan has been appointed as CEO and Managing Director of Club7 Holidays Limited with immediate effect. He is currently an Independent Director in Club7 Holidays Ltd and has been instrumental in securing relationship with various tourism boards, adding new corporate customers and growing the relationship with the trade partners. In the last two years of his association with the Centrum Group he has brought in tremendous value to the group through on-line visa and other travel products. Prior to joining Centrum Group, Rajmohan was the Group CFO of Kuoni Travel India.

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Thomas Cook Mini to tap Tier III cities

Thomas Cook India has launched ‘Thomas Cook Mini’, a strategic deployment of small technology assisted outlets to tap the growth potential emerging from India’s Tier III markets. Pathanamthitta, Kerala saw the company’s inauguration of the first of its Thomas Cook Mini outlets. Mahesh Iyer, COO – Foreign Exchange & Head Visas, Thomas Cook (India), said, “With our internal data-analytics clearly revealing the untapped yet high growth potential of Tier III markets, a low-cost, rapid penetration model was mission critical, and our Thomas Cook Mini fits the bill perfectly! Such small Tech assisted outlets give us the opportunity to set up shop, test the waters and expand- with the immediacy that was demanded and we are very excited with the initial response from our new Kerala Thomas Cook Mini at Pathanamthitta.” Thomas Cook India’s internal research having highlighted the powerful growth potential for retail transactions, including burgeoning remittance opportunities, the Company conceptualised a quick deployment strategy of small technology assisted outlets to rapidly penetrate India’s underserved Tier III markets; hence the launch of its innovative Thomas Cook Mini. The outlets have been designed optimising space and will be manned by a small team, equipped with technology via mobile devices/tablets for seamless online connectivity to central systems, thus facilitating quick customer transactions. While Thomas Cook has chosen its Foreign Exchange business to pioneer this initiative, its Thomas Cook Mini outlets will see expansion to include other Travel Related Services.

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Air Arabia’s new GSA: Cozmo Travel

Sharjah-based Air Arabia, has announced a change of GSA of 10 years – from Track India to Sharjah-based Cozmo Travel. Sachin Nene, Regional Manager – India, Air Arabia, announced this on Wednesday evening at a networking evening organised by the airline for its select trade partners in Mumbai. He said, “We will be moving from Track India after 10 years and appointing Cozmo Travel as our new GSA for India. We want to assure our trade partners that business will continue as usual.”  Also present at the occasion was Shalini Rajan, Head of Sales, Air Arabia, and Jamal Abdulnazar, CEO, Cozmo Travel, from Sharjah. A part of the Air Arabia Group, Cozmo has huge expansion plans for pan-India in 2016 with a minimum budget of Rs 10 crore.

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Thomas Cook India to dissolve brand Kuoni; discontinue brand Thomas Cook after 2025

Thomas Cook will discontinue with brand Kuoni and rebrand it as SOTC India, which will operate independently, revealed Madhavan Menon, Chairman and MD Thomas Cook (India). Also, he revealed that Thomas Cook (India) will not be using the Thomas Cook brand after 2025. Talking of the new structure post the acquisition of Kuoni India, Menon said that the company has started the process of discontinuing the Kuoni brand in India. He said, “The Kuoni brand is available to us in India for one year and we plan to migrate to SOTC.” Kuoni’s outbound business will be known as SOTC India Pvt Ltd. SOTC will have an independent management team. It will continue to run the outbound business – packages holidays, corporate travel, MICE and domestic travel that will be launched. Thomas Cook India will de-merge SITA – Kuoni India’s inbound brand – and merge it with TCI. This company will be known as TCI, which will be headed by Dipak Deva , incorporate the three brands– TCI, SITA and Distant Frontiers. Further, he disclosed that The Thomas Cook India Group is allowed use of the Thomas Cook brand till 2025.  As part of its Brand Transition Strategy, the plan to hence leverage the strengths of these brands and draw up a strategy to replace the Thomas Cook brand in the long term.

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MakeMyTrip gets $180 million funding from China’s Ctrip.com

Travel website Ctrip.com has invested $180 million (about Rs. 1,200 crore) in MakeMyTrip. The deal was done in the form of convertible bonds, Ctrip.com said in a statement today. “With the investment, we will have a place in the rising online travel market in India,” said Liang Jianzhang, CEO, Ctrip.com. The partnership will benefit both companies, as there are many similarities between China and India’s online tourism, state-run Xinhua quoted Deep Kalra, CEO, MakeMyTrip. Founded in 2000, MakeMyTrip is the biggest online travel agent in India. Tourism grew by 10 per cent in the country last year, according to research company PhocusWright. Online sales rose 16 per cent last year. Ctrip.com said the move will make it easier for Chinese tourists to visit India. Over 100 million Chinese tourists visited abroad last year spending billions of dollars. The increasing numbers of Chinese tourists abroad made India and number of countries to woo them with easy visa access. India has extended the e-visa scheme to the Chinese tourists.

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Thomas Cook India partners with TravPax 5 Solution to offer best rates

Thomas Cook India has taken the decision to implement the TravPax 5 Solution across its entire Indian network of travel stores and call centres. The new solution will provide connections to dozens of worldwide wholesalers, GDS, low-cost carriers and others channels, allowing Thomas Cook India to provide the best available rates to its clients and subsidiaries, either as a standalone product or via dynamic packaging. “At Thomas Cook India, technology is at the forefront of our strategy and given today’s rapidly growing base of digital native Indian consumers, offering immediate options and value driven rates for travel bookings is vital,” said Amit Madhan, Chief Operating Officer, IT & e-services, Thomas Cook India. “Our partnership with TravPax will empower our offline franchise and call centre teams with immediate access to best rates and inventory across a range of services including flights, hotels and holiday packages.” Laurent Maytal, CEO of Singapore-based TravPax Solutions, added, “The travel world is changing fast and access to the most up-to-date information on how to get you the best value becomes a major challenge. Value is king. However, that does not mean the cheapest cost always wins. Travellers are seeking quality products at an affordable price and this is exactly what Thomas cook will achieve.” Thomas Cook India now operates in 233 locations (including 23 airport counters) in 92 cities across India, Mauritius & Sri Lanka.

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Vishal Suri replaces Rajeev Wagle as MD, Kuoni India

In a major shuffle after the Kuoni Travel (India) was taken over by Thomas Cook (India), it has been announced that Vishal Suri has been appointed as MD of Kuoni Travel (India) effective January 4, 2016. Prior to the appointment, Suri headed the outbound portfolio as Chief Executive Officer – Tour Operating, Kuoni India. Rajeev Wagle, stepped down as MD, Kuoni India with effect from January 4, 2016. Madhavan Menon, Chairman and MD of Thomas Cook (India) said, “It gives us great pleasure to appoint Vishal Suri as the Managing Director of Kuoni Travel (India). He comes with a wealth of experience: over 22 years across a gamut of consumer centric industries like telecom, internet, and office automation; including over a decade in running travel businesses. We wish him every success in his new role. We respect Rajeev Wagle’s decision to pursue his interests outside the organisation and place on record our sincere appreciation for his contributions to building Kuoni-SOTC, as also his expertise and extensive experience of over 26 years, across industries.”

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Takeover bids for Kuoni Global

Kuoni Group’s Board of Directors has confirmed that it has received preliminary approaches from third parties regarding a potential offer for the Kuoni Group and its businesses. However, the company has released in a statement that discussions are at a preliminary stage and there can be no certainty at this stage that an offer will be made, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made. The Board of Directors is evaluating the situation, also taking into consideration all other strategic possibilities.

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