Tag Archives: Africa

India ranks third in domestic air passenger traffic growth: IATA

The domestic market of India continues to perform strongly, again registering double digit growth over the year to February, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA). China and Russia topped the growth chart with 11.4 per cent and 10.1 per cent year-on-year growth rates respectively. This marks the 54th consecutive month of double-digit domestic RPK growth for India. A generally solid economic backdrop, combined with continued growth in the number of airport pairs have all contributed to this sustained growth performance.

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Sarovar Hotels announces Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, Lusaka in Africa

Sarovar Hotels announces the opening of its first hotel in Zambia – Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere, Lusaka. With three operating hotels in Tanzania and Kenya, this will be their fourth in the African continent. Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere is an all-suite upscale development in the vibrant Manda Hill area of Lusaka. It offers a splendid guest experience with 82 all-suite, an all-day-dining restaurant, poolside grill, bar, lobby cafe, fitness centre and spa. The hotel has large banquet and conferencing facilities to accommodate up to 600 people. All suites in the hotel are equipped with best-in-class modern amenities and supported by Sarovar’s distinct service standards. Anil Madhok, Executive Chairman, Sarovar Hotels and Resorts, says, “I am delighted to welcome guests to Neelkanth Sarovar Premiere in Lusaka. For us, marking our presence in the capital city of Zambia is in line with our long-term focus on our growth plans for Africa. The elegantly-appointed interiors, along with our prompt personalised services, will ensure our guests have a memorable stay in Lusaka.”

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VFS Global to provide visa services for the Netherlands in eight regions, including India

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has awarded VFS Global the global tender to provide visa services in eight out of nine regions worldwide. It will operate for the Netherlands government in Africa, North America, Central and South America, Asia and Pacific, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Western Europe, and India. VFS Global has worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 2006 and will provide Schengen visa services, Caribbean visa services, long-stay national visas, Dutch Travel Documents and Civic Integration Exams under the new contract. Chris Dix, Head—Business Development, VFS Global, said, “VFS Global is delighted that we will continue to serve the Netherlands Government. We have enjoyed a strong partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs for well over a decade, and welcome this opportunity to enhance our service capabilities on their behalf. We look forward to opening our facilities in 40 new locations to offer Netherlands visa applicants best-in-class visa solutions and a seamless application process.” Since August 2018, VFS Global has signed visa service contracts with nine existing and new clients, and governments from Europe to extend their visa service network. This includes contracts to provide additional visa services for client governments such as Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia and The Czech Republic.

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UK records 35 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in 2017

The latest official figures from VisitBritain record 562,000 visits from India to the UK in 2017, up 35 per cent on the previous year, with Indian travellers spending a record £454 million in the UK last year, an increase of 5 per cent on 2016. Tricia Warwick, Director – Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, VisitBritain, said “India is a very important market for VisitBritain and it is fantastic that more people than ever are travelling and enjoying experiences that you can only have in Britain, from the exciting and contemporary culture to innovations in food and drink, from exploring the stunning countryside to the vibrancy of its cool cities.” “Britain is offering great value for visitors from India and we are working hard with partners including tour operators and airlines to make it easier to book and explore more of the country, inspiring more visitors to travel right now,” she said. VisitBritain is also inspiring visitors from India to put the UK at the top of the list as their must-visit destination through its ‘Find Your GREAT Britain, I Travel For…’ digital campaign launched earlier this year.  

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Travelport reveals fastest-growing international destinations for KSA travellers

The countries that have seen the greatest growth in flight bookings from travellers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the last 12 months are Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Turkey, according to analysis conducted by Travelport. From April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, bookings made in the KSA through all global distribution systems (GDS) to Egypt increased by nearly 190,000, up 17 per cent on the previous 12 months. Bookings to the UAE rose by over 70,000, up 13 per cent, and to Turkey by just over 65,000, up 31 per cent. Matthew Powell, Managing Director – Middle East, Africa and South Asia, Travelport said, “Growth in flight bookings tends to be driven by increased airline capacity, rises in demand from leisure travellers, economic and political advances, which attract more interest in trade and investment, and major construction projects that require large international labour forces. The results we’re seeing here cut across all of these.” Travelport will participate in the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai for the 10th consecutive year. Its stand will include demo pods that allow visitors to experience how the company helps travel agents and airlines drive revenue by delivering intelligence through analytics tools like Travelport Business Insights and Travelport Competitive Insights.

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45% growth in medical tourism to India

According to data provided by Ministry of Home Affairs, the number of medical visas issued by India in 2016 rose by 45 per cent over 2015. India issued more than 1.78 lakh medical visas in 2016, including for follow up treatment, as against 1.22 lakh in 2015, according to the data. A Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report titled “India Services Sector—A Multi-trillion Dollar Opportunity for Global Symbiotic Growth 2017” stated that the presence of world-class hospitals and skilled medical professionals has strengthened India’s position as a preferred destination for medical tourism. Treatment for major surgeries in India costs only a fraction—in some cases as low as 10 per cent of that in developed countries. “Majority of the patients coming to India for treatment are from the Middle East, Africa, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Maldives, Pakistan, Bhutan and Sri Lanka. India’s cost advantage will significantly open doors to the US and Europe over future, due to lower cost than the US and almost half that of Europe.” Dental tourism accounts for 10 per cent of the medical tourism and the government is keen to promote it. “India provides competitive cost advantage at one tenth of the cost of the US and Europe. By 2020, medical tourism industry of India is expected to touch $8 billion,” the report said. Source: Livemint

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Ethiopian to launch A350 operation to Mumbai

Ethiopian Airlines has announced that it will launch Africa’s first Ethiopian Airbus A350 -900 XWB on the Addis Ababa-Mumbai route during the month of April 2017. Passengers on Ethiopian’s twice daily non-stop services between Mumbai to Addis Ababa, will be able to enjoy the extra features of this latest flying machine: amazing cabin interior features with the latest high-definition touch screen, personal monitors with a higher selection of movies, wider seats and windows, the lowest twin engine noise level, advanced air conditioning technology, full LED mood lighting, which  enhance comfort and reduce jet-lag after a long flight are few to mention. Tadesse Tilahun, Regional Director, Indian Sub-continent, remarked, “The A350 is a game changing fleet that has proven exceptional levels of luxury and reliability for a totally unique passenger experience. We are glad to be the first airline to serve our Indian customers with this latest aircraft from Mumbai. Currently, we are operating 28 weekly passenger flights to India’s major cities, Mumbai and Delhi. Moreover, to further strengthen the growing trade and commercial ties between the booming economies of India and Africa at large, we have started weekly freighter operation to Ahmedabad, our fifth cargo destination in India, since March 28. ” It is to be recalled that Ethiopian has been the first in Africa to own and operate the A350 in African skies. Among a total of 14 orders, Ethiopian currently has three of them in operation.

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