Tag Archives: CEO

Thomas Cook India targets Odisha as potential market for forex biz

Thomas Cook India has identified Odisha as a significant growth market for its foreign exchange business. To leverage this opportunity, the company has opened two forex counters at Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar, Thomas Cook India said in a BSE filing. Mahesh Iyer, CEO, Thomas Cook (India), says, “Bhubaneswar has been identified as a prime growth driver for Thomas Cook India and continues to deliver strong growth of 32 per cent YoY for our foreign exchange business.” The two new airport counters takes the company’s foreign exchange distribution in Odisha to a total of three outlets and further augments its network in east India to a total of 23 consumer access centres. Source: PTI

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VITS signs JV with Exhicon Group in Thailand

VITS Hotels Worldwide has announced a joint venture with Exhicon Group in Thailand. The new entity will operate under VITS-EXHICON (Thailand) Co. and an office with a seasoned team of professionals will be established in Bangkok. Vikram Kamat and Chandrakant Shetty will be directors in the new entity. The JV partnership will work on hotel acquisitions, OTA management, staff training, procurement and F&B operations within Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Dubai. VITS Hotels will provide hotel management expertise, marketing, sales support, human resources and distribution network while EXHICON will support with its local business network, project acquisitions and overseas procurement. Both VITS and EXHICON will own 50 per cent share in the joint venture management company. Vikram Kamat, Managing Director, VITS Hotels Worldwide, said, “Our partnership offers immense opportunities to leverage on each other’s expertise to expand the VITS hotel brand in Far East and Middle East. We aim to channelise our resources with our valued partner to establish footprints in key destinations and draw tourists from India and abroad.” Chandrakant Shetty, CEO, VITS Hotels Worldwide, said, “With our collaboration with EXHICON Group, we are now pleased to announce the VITS luxury experience in overseas shores. The joint venture will create a formidable recipe for establishing hotels in key destinations. We will be launching our first hotel in Phuket near Patong beach by January 2018.”

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October passenger demand bounces back after weather-hit September

Passenger demand in airlines rose 7.2 per cent in October compared to the same month last year, according to global passenger traffic results by International Air Transport Association (IATA). The capacity grew 6.2 per cent and load factor climbed 0.8 percentage points to 80.8 per cent, a record for the month. October’s performance was a strong rebound after the hurricane-related disruptions in September. Domestic and international travel growth largely was in balance. “As expected, the recent severe weather in the American region had only a temporary impact on the healthy travel demand we have seen this year, and we remain on course for another year of above-trend growth,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. For Asia-Pacific carriers, the large markets in India, China and Japan mean that domestic travel accounts for 45 per cent of the region’s operations. Asia-Pacific airlines led all regions with traffic growth of 10.3 per cent compared to the year-ago period, which was up from an 8.7 per cent rise in September. Capacity climbed 8.4 per cent and load factor rose 1.3 percentage points to 78.0 per cent.

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Jazeera Airways sets course for Kochi and Ahmedabad from Jan 2018

Following a successful launch in Hyderabad in November, Kuwait’s leading low cost airline, Jazeera Airways will now fly to Ahmedabad and Kochi starting January 17 and 18, respectively. Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways, said, “This is a major strategic move for us to extend our network into India and provide greater choice and value for the Indian community in Kuwait and broader GCC. We have been delighted with how well our new operations to Hyderabad, Kochi and Ahmedabad have been received both in India and the wider Middle East region. The decision to invest further in India comes from the rising demand of Indian expats visiting their friends and families, as well as the large interest of Kuwaiti travelers in exploring new destinations for tourism and medical visits.” Jazeera Airways will operate three flights on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays to and from Ahmedabad starting January 17 departing 00.05am from Kuwait arriving 06.00am, ensuring a quick and efficient journey. Kochi flights will operate four times a week on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays departing at 12.45 pm from Kuwait and arriving at 20.10pm in Kochi International Airport. Passengers can enjoy a baggage allowance of 30kg for Economy class and 50kg per Business class passenger.

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WelcomHeritage adds new property in Amritsar

WelcomHeritage has launched its first farm-stay property, Ranjitvilas in Amritsar. The property has been developed and approved by the Punjab Heritage & Tourism Promotion Board under its Farm Tourism Scheme. Sunil Gupta, CEO, WelcomHeritage shared, “Ranjitvilas is a boutique property and true reflection of Indian hospitality and inheritance. bringing the perfect amalgamation of rustic feel of India with Indian hospitality values and rich heritage of the country.” The property features 20 exquisitely designed executive rooms each with a personal courtyard and two suite rooms. All rooms and suites are equipped with mini bar, LED television, temperature control, satellite channels, in-room tea and coffee maker, safe box and Wi-Fi broadband connectivity. The farmhouse boasts of handcrafted furnishings inspired by the traditions of Indian culture. “Our culture is one that empowers every individual to be his or her best, and such authentic connection inspires the way we care for each other and for our guests,” said Vikram Singh Makhni, owner, Ranjitvilas.

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Jazeera Airways connects to India with daily flights to Hyderabad

Kuwait-based low cost airline, Jazeera Airways, inaugurated its daily flights to Hyderabad. Kochi, Mumbai and Ahmedabad will follow in early 2018 as the airline expands its network to serve its Indian sub-continent targeting the nearly 1 million Indian nationals residing in Kuwait. Flight J9 608 departed November 16 at 18:40 hours from Kuwait International Airport and landed in Hyderabad at 01:35 hours. The return flight J9 608 will depart Hyderabad at 02.20 hours and arrive in Kuwait at 05.10 hours. The new evening route has a weekly capacity of 4,000 seats and allows passengers to conveniently enjoy a full day at their destination. To mark the special occasion, all 165 passengers flying from Kuwait to Hyderabad received a gift box of traditional Kuwaiti sweets. Rohit Ramachandran, CEO, Jazeera Airways, said, ‘This is a proud moment for us marking the expansion of our network in to India. We are delighted to start with Hyderabad, a 400-year old city and a technology hub, bringing more choice to Indian travelers, connecting them to Kuwait, Riyadh, Jeddah, Bahrain and Dubai. In addition, we offer for religious travellers connections to Taif in KSA, Najaf (Iraq), Mashad (Iran) and Amman. He further commented, “This new service will address surging travel demands with low cost fares at convenient frequencies for leisure, business or religious travel. India is a financial and tourist powerhouse and we are eager to capitalize on the enormous opportunities ahead.” SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “We welcome Jazeera Airways to Hyderabad and we are very happy to note that they have chosen Hyderabad Airport as their first Indian destination. We are confident that this will further boost the tourism potential between India and various …

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Keys Lite Mayfield launched in Gurugram

Keys Hotels expands its portfolio in North India with its 4th hotel in the region—Keys Lite Mayfield hotel in Gurugram. Located in sector 44, Keys Lite Mayfield is targeted towards both corporate and leisure travellers. Anshu Sarin, CEO, Berggruen Hotels, said, “Gurugram is an important market for Keys Hotels. Though it is located just over 30 kilometers southwest of national capital New Delhi, the city has emerged as a major finance and technology hub in its own right. We see it as one of the major gateways to North India and, crucially, the new hotel allows us to establish our presence in the region.” Berggruen Hotels currently has 22 hotels in 20 cities.

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Uniglobe Travel enters into strategic partnership with Goomo

Uniglobe Travel and Goomo have entered into a strategic partnership that marks a first-of-its-kind alliance between a traditional travel agent network and an online platform. The partnership will involve deeper collaboration between the Uniglobe franchisees, whereby customers on the Gooomo platform will be able to find a trusted agent and discuss their off-line booking requirements with them. The partnership will serve as an ideal foundation for Uniglobe and Goomo to further expand their omni-channel presence in the booming South Asian travel market and add more diversity to Goomo’s suite of travel products, which can be availed either online or through a specialist agent. Uniglobe Travel South Asia currently has over 60 agency locations across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka with an annual sales volume of over Rs 3,500 crore. Varun Gupta, CEO, Goomo, says, “Clients have the right to choose the channel they’re most comfortable with while booking their travel. That’s precisely what our partnership with UNIGLOBE promises – a one-stop shop for our clients to access the best online and offline travel deals and products, so they don’t have to bother looking elsewhere.” Raja Natesan, CEO, Uniglobe Travel (South Asia), adds, “Our association with a dynamic platform like Goomo presents a unique opportunity to target both offline and online consumers through the convenience of an omni-channel platform and the assurance of a knowledgeable travel expert. We are excited about our partnership and the value we could unlock by extending our superior travel management services, that offer unparalleled access to professional advice for extensive trip planning, to Goomo’s online client network.” Not just the end-consumer, but even the wide network of Uniglobe Travel agencies across South Asia, stand to benefit …

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SriLankan Airlines adds Melbourne to its global route network

SriLankan Airlines extended its route network with the launch of daily non-stop services to Melbourne on October 29, 2017. Ajith Dias, Chairman of Sri Lanka’s national carrier, said: “We at SriLankan Airlines are delighted to launch this new service, which we have no doubt would be of great convenience to all segments of travelers, including the large number of Sri Lankans domiciled in Australia, the many Australians who love to travel overseas and people throughout Asia who visit Down Under.” Sri Lankan expatriates and students form a large and significant community in Australia, and frequently travel back to their native land. Many of them reside in Melbourne, and other cities in the state of Victoria and neighbouring New South Wales, with smaller numbers throughout the rest of Australia and New Zealand. Captain Suren Ratwatte, CEO of SriLankan Airlines, said: “We have been extending our route network in a systematic manner throughout Asia – from the Middle East to the Far East – and can now provide Australian travelers excellent options in connectivity, with one-stop journeys to the most popular destinations via Colombo.” A member of the prestigious oneworld global airline alliance, SriLankan offers convenient connections to 14 cities throughout India, nine in the Middle East and other destinations such as Male and Gan Island in the Maldives, and Seychelles. SriLankan also operates one-stop twice-daily services between Sri Lanka and Australia with its codeshare partners Qantas and Malaysia Airlines. Passengers will enjoy the comforts of the airline’s modern Airbus A330 aircraft between Melbourne and Colombo, with flatbeds in Business Class, sophisticated in-flight entertainment and world class service provided by SriLankan’s award winning cabin crew.

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GHIAL, Malaysia Airports, Malaysia Tourism sign MoU

GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. (GHIAL), Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB) and Malaysia Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) signed an MoA with a strategic vision to promote tourism from the catchment area of Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, Hyderabad to Malaysia. This tri-partite MoA involves collaborative market research, strategy development, promotional campaigns and marketing efforts with an aim to enhance the visibility of ‘Destination Malaysia’ in Hyderabad. The trend shows that over 100,000 passengers travel between Hyderabad and Malaysia every year; and this traffic has grown by 28 per cent CAGR in the last five years. SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL, said, “We are happy to sign this first of its kind MoA between airport operators – GHIAL and MAHB and Malaysia Tourism. This is a strategic initiative, which we have taken up to enhance the outbound tourism from our catchment region to key international destinations to enhance RGIA’s International connectivity and traffic growth.” Datuk Mohd Badlisham Ghazali, Managing Director, MAHB, said, “We are delighted to partner MTPB and GHIAL in this unique endeavour. This mutually beneficial three-way partnership will enhance the visibility of Malaysia’s tourism attractions in Hyderabad and surrounding areas.”  

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