Tag Archives: CEO

TAAI holds meeting with NITI Aayog; lays focus on protection of agents

Jyoti Mayal, President, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and Vice Chairperson, FAITH, met Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, on July 2 and discussed the concerns and challenges faced by the members. Some of the major issues discussed in the meeting were airline refunds; challenges faced to retain employees, their salaries and avoid unemployment in the sector; moratoriums and reliefs to trade due to COVID-19 lockdown and loss of business; allowing accredited travel agents to book Vande Bharat flights for Air India and also informing foreign carriers undertaking such flights to permit the same; revival challenges and long-term facilitation for the trade with airlines; protection of the agents from airline defaults and suspension of services; direction from government to airlines on remuneration for promoting the airlines; direction seeking travel agent corporate credit cards to be used for airline ticketing; reduction of credit card merchant fee by banks to below 0.75% so as to promote Digital India for aviation, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors as a whole. Seeking support from the government, Mayal requested Kant to ensure the same and assist in guiding the trade, enable creation of demand for growth, and opportunities for all travel and tourism-related activities.

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Need to structurally reshape aviation: CAPA India

Addressing a webinar organised by CAPA India on ‘Reinventing the Airline Business Model in India’, Kapil Kaul, CEO, South Asia, CAPA, said that there is a need to structurally reshape the Indian airline industry – both internally and externally. He also said that post-COVID, the industry may see another round of market exits, this time inflicting more permanent damage on the industry and economy. In the past, the system was largely aware that Kingfisher and Jet Airways were likely to fail, but there was no visible course of correction or action.

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Business and VFR traffic from Delhi back to pre-COVID level: DIAL

Videh Kumar Jaipuriar, CEO, Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL), has said that after the resumption of flights from Delhi Airport, the percentage of business and Visiting Friends & Relatives (VFR) travel is same as pre-COVID levels. Elaborating further, he said, “According to pre-COVID data, 15-20% of travellers from Delhi were business passengers and 34-35% were VFR, while the balance were passengers travelling for holidays. In the current scenario, we have seen that ‘holidaying’ has been replaced by people who are doing ‘distress travel’, which means those who are stranded are travelling. A good sign is that business travel is back at the percentage level at which it was in the pre-COVID era, and VFR is also back at that level. That shows the confidence that passengers are showing in the SOPs that MoCA has come out with after consulting with all stakeholders.”

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NITI Aayog and MoCA discuss strengthening operations & augmenting recovery with aviation industry

The Empowered Group 6 (EG 6) constituted by Government of India and chaired by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, held a meeting with business leaders from the aviation industry and Ministry of Civil Aviation to discuss possibilities for strengthening operations and augmenting the recovery of the aviation sector under the new normal. The meeting was also attended by Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation; Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS), which covers the functioning of banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and the National Pension System; and representatives of airlines such as IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir, AirAsia, Vistara and Air India.

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Tourism likely to undergo radical changes; domestic travel key in driving demand: Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog has said that tourism as a product is likely to undergo radical changes and the revival of domestic tourism, with necessary safety protocols, will be key in driving demand for future. Kant made this statement during the Empowered Group 6 meeting with representatives from tourism and travel industry to discuss the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic and way forward for the sector post COVID-19. Along with FAITH, its 10-member association representatives attended the meeting along with WTTC.

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Lufthansa chooses Google Cloud as strategic partner to optimise operational performance

Lufthansa Group has chosen Google Cloud as a strategic partner to further improve its operational performance and minimise the impact of irregularities on its passengers. The idea is to build a platform that will suggest scenarios to return to a stable flight plan in the event of an irregularity so that passengers still arrive at their destinations as punctually and comfortably as possible. This will be done by merging data from various processes that are relevant for stable operations (for example aircraft replacement and maintenance as well as crew scheduling). “By combining Google Cloud’s technology with Lufthansa Group’s operational expertise, we are driving the digitisation of our operation even further. This will enable us to identify possible flight irregularities even earlier and implement countermeasures at an early stage,” said Detlef Kayser, Member of the Executive Board of the Lufthansa Group. For example, flights are sometimes delayed due to weather conditions such as snowfall and passengers might miss their connecting flights. In the future, it will be possible to offer faster rebooking possibilities across all four hubs for Lufthansa Group passengers thanks to systems based on artificial intelligence. “Through this collaboration, we have a significant opportunity to revolutionize the future of airline operations,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO for Google Cloud. “We’re bringing the best of Lufthansa Group and Google Cloud together to solve airlines’ biggest challenges and positively impact the travel experience of the more than 145 million passengers that fly annually with them.” A joint team of operations experts, developers and engineers from the Lufthansa Group and software engineers from Google Cloud will be developing and testing the appropriate platform. The test launch will take place in Zurich with SWISS.

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MoT bags PATA Gold Award for Marketing – Primary Government Destination

Winners of the 2019 PATA Grand and Gold Awards were recently revealed by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). It has been announced that Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, will be presented the PATA Gold Award 2019 for Marketing – Primary Government Destination for its ‘Find the Incredible You’ campaign. The awards will be handed over at the 2019 PATA Gold Awards Dinner and Award Presentation in Nur-Sultan (Astana), Kazakhstan, during PATA Travel Mart 2019. This year’s awards attracted 197 entries from 78 organisations and individuals worldwide, and winners were selected by an independent judging committee. Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA, said, “On behalf of PATA, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to all the 2019 Grand and Gold Award winners, as well as all of this year’s participants for their submissions. I look forward to celebrating the accomplishment of this year’s winners who truly represent the values of the Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region.”

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V S Abdul Kareem joins Gallery of Legends

V S Abdul Kareem, CEO & Managing Director, Creative Tours & Travels, has been conferred the Gallery of Legends trophy at the India Travel Awards South. Starting his career in 1976 with a passenger shipping company, Kareem had a clear aim to lead the travel and tourism industry. Within three years, he established a premium company in 1979 offering a comprehensive range of holidays, MiCE activities and other tourism services across South India. Accredited by IATA and approved by Government of India, he created a distinctive niche with focus on service excellence. He was quick to recognise the need of the travel industry and through his dedicated effort started another division of professionally managed B2B DMC for agents from North, East and Western India. As one of the first B2B organisations, he established his business on the basis of trust and reliability, offering clients, cost effective solutions and professional handling of their requirements.

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5.4 million more Indians to visit Asia Pacific by 2023: PATA

India is set to generate an incremental increase of 5.4 million visitor arrivals between 2018 and 2023, according to a latest report by PATA’s Asia Pacific Visitor Forecasts 2019-2023. Of the 210 million additional foreign arrivals into Asia Pacific generated between 2018 and 2023, 73.7 per cent will come from Asian origin markets. The strongest Asian generators of additional visitor arrivals between 2018 and 2023 will be led by China and Hong Kong SAR with respective increases of 49.2 million and 30.8 million. These markets will be supported by Korea (ROK), Malaysia and India. The Asian Average Annual Growth Rate for tourism receipts between 2018 and 2023 is expected to be around 9.1 per cent, with Northeast and Southeast Asia showing even stronger average growth. “The growth momentum of Asia Pacific as both a receiver and a generator of international visitors – not just into Asia Pacific but globally – and the receipts that they both receive and generate, is set to continue to at least 2023,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. “As is always the case, growth in international arrivals across Asia Pacific and indeed globally, is often unequal, with subtle changes and shifts occurring as travellers tune into new experiences and the destinations that offer them,” he said.

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Amadeus-ICM Airport Technics partnership to transform airport passenger experience

Amadeus has agreed to acquire ICM Airport Technics, a global leader in passenger automation and self-service bag drop solutions for airports and airlines, for an undisclosed sum. Following this deal, Amadeus is now in a stronger position in this sector to drive future growth. Amadeus’ airport customers will now be able to enhance and improve their existing services to passengers whilst continuing to ensure passenger safety and security. ICM, headquartered in Sydney, specialises in the provision of passenger automation and self-service bag drop solutions for customers principally in APAC and Europe. Bruno Spada, Head of Airport IT, Amadeus says, “Often the passenger experience in airports is not a good one – long queues to check bags in and disparate services and technologies that do not always speak to each other. In essence, airports are crying out for open self-service solutions to help take the friction and hassle out of the airport experience for passengers. By combining Amadeus’ and ICM’s software and hardware capabilities, by accelerating and introducing more self-service options, and by using the power of biometrics, this deal announced today will ensure that together we can deliver better journeys for passengers in the future.” Richard Dinkelmann, CEO, ICM says, “By combining ICM’s market-leading self-service and passenger processing solutions with Amadeus’ global reach and complementary product offering, we are now in a unique position to offer even better technical solutions to our airline and airport customers.  We are excited about the future, as we share similar values such as strong innovation, reliability, and an uncompromising commitment to improving airport efficiency as well as passenger safety and security.” As part of the acquisition, approximately 150 ICM employees are expected to join Amadeus. ICM …

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