Tag Archives: CEO

CWT names Bindu Bhatia as new Managing Director, Asia Pacific

Carlson Wagonlit Travel, the global travel management company, has announced Bindu Bhatia as its the new Managing Director, Asia Pacific, effective September 1. Bhatia succeeds Kai Chan, who will be leaving the company on August 31 after making significant contributions during her five-year tenure. “Asia Pacific is the world’s fastest-growing market for corporate travel – there are huge opportunities here,” said Kurt Ekert, CEO, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “Bindu is perfect for her new role: with her proven entrepreneurial skills, commercial savvy, and deep understanding of the global travel market, she will hit the ground running.” Bindu Bhatia has been with the company for more than 20 years in a number of key roles, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Global Program Management, where she has looked after CWT’s biggest global clients. Bindu has extensive leadership experience in strategic client management, operations, people management, and business development. Reporting to Kelly Kuhn, Chief Customer Officer, she will soon will be relocating to CWT’s Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore, where she will have responsibility for approximately 3,000 people across nine countries. Ann Marie Stone will be taking over Bindu’s current role, also effective 1 September, reporting to Cathy Voss, Executive Vice President, Global Program Solutions. Ann Marie has been with the company since 2000, most recently serving as Vice President, Global Program Management.

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AirAsia connects Bangkok with Jaipur & Tiruchirappalli from September

AirAsia has introduced two new routes between India and Thailand with a Bangkok-Jaipur connection and a Bangkok-Tiruchirappalli connection respectively. While both routes will ply four times a week, the former will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday while the latter will run every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday starting September 28, 2017.  Aiming to attract Indian shoppers to Thailand, the new routes come with promotional fares available. Tassapon Bijleveld, CEO of Thai AirAsia said that AirAsia plans to continually penetrate the Indian market in the latter half of 2017 as it is a major market with great growth potential.  Indian travellers rank sixth among the most frequent visitors to Thailand while the Kingdom responds to all kinds of lifestyles from shoppers and night-time entertainment seekers to travellers looking for hospitality and wellness retreat.  The airline is confident that the two new routes will stimulate tourism for both countries. Thai AirAsia presently flies direct from Thailand to four fascinating Indian cities of Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata and Kochi, maintaining a Load Factor average of 80 percent with 80-85 percent of passengers coming from India, indicating determined strength of the market where travellers have consistently showed excellent feedback toward AirAsia.

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Jet Airways appoints ‘Discover the World’ for increased presence in Switzerland

Jet Airways has appointed Discover the World to provide sales and marketing in Switzerland. Jenny Adams, CEO, Discover the World, says, ““Discover is delighted to partner with Jet Airways for the first time. Our team in Switzerland, headed by Director Richard Gugerli, will expand the airline’s visibility, helping to increase its revenues especially through its code share partnership with Air France/KLM.” From 2017 end, Jet Airways will fly to India 54 times a week from London Heathrow, Paris CDG, and Amsterdam to Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Chennai. This includes new services from Amsterdam to Bengaluru and Paris CDG to Chennai which will commence on October 29, 2017. Jet Airways also flies daily from Amsterdam to Toronto.

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Seychelles Tourist Office, India, conducts seminar in Seychelles

Seychelles Tourist Office, India recently conducted a seminar for local hoteliers, DMCs, tourism board head office and other establishments in Seychelles. The seminar is aimed at defining the Indian market and presenting its nitty-gritties to the local travel trade fraternity of Seychelles. The event witnessed speeches on the cultural and behavioural differences between the two countries by three eminent speakers from India. These included Ashutosh Mehere, COO Alliances, Cox & Kings, India; Jai Bujhwala, Founder, Holidays Box; and Parthip Thyagarajan, Founder, WeddingSutra.com. Sherin Francis, CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board, was also present at the event. She said, “The seminar was one of its kind and highly informative for all our private sector partners. It created awareness about the diversity of India and answered many questions about the trade and tourist behaviour. It certainly created a high inquisitiveness about the market among the locals which is a great sign for developing further relations with the Indian market.” Lubaina Sheerazi, COO, Blue Square Consultants, Seychelles Tourist office India, explained the cultural diversity and uniqueness of the Indian market setting stage for the speakers. She says, “We were happy with the reception of the seminar and glad that our agenda of bringing out the differences between any other market and India for Seychelles had been met. The speakers gave some highly thought provoking inputs which will certainly better equip the private sector to cater differently to the Indian audience and allow us to further expand our vision for the destination.”

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AHS plans to bring Vienna House in to India

Absolute Hotel Services Group (AHS) has announced a cooperation between AHS and Vienna House, Austria’s largest hotel group, to expand their related brands in Asia and Europe. Vienna House currently owns and/or managed 36 properties throughout Europe. AHS India plans to introduce this new brand in India soon. The new corporation between AHS and Vienna House will be beneficial for both hotel groups with the expansion of AHS’ U Hotels and Resorts brand into the European market via AHS Europe office in Vienna, Austria while also expanding the Vienna House brand in Asia under the auspices of Vienna House Asia. Jonathan Wigley, CEO, AHS, says, “In Vienna House I can think of no better a partner to introduce our U properties into Europe as their reputation precedes them for an unwavering commitment to guest satisfaction and authentic hospitality, which is exactly what we at AHS are looking for to spearhead our expansion westwards.” CEO of Vienna House, Rupert Simoner adds, “Having Absolute Hotel Services as our partner in Asia is a genuinely exciting time for us as now we have the strong background and unwavering support of an already well-established and respected company to bring the Vienna House experience to a whole new market in Asia

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Vistara starts check-in & baggage drop facilities at Delhi’s Airport Express Line

Vistara has joined hands with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi International Airport (DIAL) to introduce check-in and baggage drop facilities at the New Delhi station of the Delhi Metro Airport Express Line. Phee Teik Yeoh, CEO, Vistara, said, “This partnership with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and Delhi International Airport (DIAL) adds to the multiple check-in options we offer to our customers. This will allow our customers to breeze through the check-in process at any of the Airport Express Line metro stations in Delhi with the same efficiency as they experience at the airport.” Vistara customers can check-in from two to 12 hours prior to their flight’s schedule departure at the New Delhi station of the Airport Express Line Metro, which is also connected to the New Delhi Railway Station of the Railways network. Those already checked-in using the web or Vistara’s mobile app can simply drop their baggage at the counter and head to the airport directly. Vistara uses secured Baggage Handling System (BHS) to transfer the baggage to the airport terminal efficiently. The Airport Express Line of the Delhi Metro runs every 10-15 minutes and takes passengers to Terminal 3 of Delhi’s IGI Airport within 18-20 minutes.

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Goh Choon Phong is new IATA Chairman

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines, has assumed his duties as Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) for a one-year term, effective from the conclusion of the 73rd IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Cancun, Mexico. Goh is the 76th Chair of the IATA BoG, and the third CEO of Singapore Airlines to hold this position. Goh succeeds Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group. Walsh will continue to serve on the BoG and the Chair Committee. “It is an honor to serve as IATA’s Chairman for the coming year. While the industry’s global profitability may be strengthening, there is more work to be done as it is not evenly spread. Security is at the top of the agenda. We must improve our partnership with governments to meet the many emerging threats. Additionally, I will be paying special attention to progressing preparations for the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), driving the modernization of cargo processes, and increasing transaction volumes with the New Distribution Capability. We have a busy year ahead.  I look forward to working with Alexandre and his team to represent, lead and serve the airline industry,” said Goh. Goh joined Singapore Airlines in 1990 and held senior management roles in Singapore and overseas before being appointed CEO in 2011. He was President of the 68th IATA AGM which was held in Singapore in 2011 and has served on the IATA BoG since then. IATA also announced the BoG agreed to appoint Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, to serve for a one-year term as Chairman of the IATA BoG from June 2018, following …

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Indian market for Germany growing at 12.6% till Feb’17

The Indian market for Germany is growing strongly at 12.6 per cent till February 2017. India is on track to reach one million overnights by 2020, revealed Romit Theophilus, Director-India, German National Tourist Office (GNTO), on the sidelines of the 43rd Germany Travel Mart (GTM) being held from May 7-9, 2017, in Nuremberg, Bavaria. Speaking at the opening ceremony of GTM 2017, Petra Hedorfer, CEO, German National Tourism Board, said, “A lot has happened all over the world not all of it good. We in Germany stand for openness and tolerance. We welcome people from all nations with great respect from the bottom of our heart.” Emphasising how tourism can build bridges between people and nation’s, she adds, “Let us do everything to ensure that we continue to bring together cultures, people, nation’s from all over the world, wherever it is in Germany.” The event is hosted by the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in cooperation with Bavaria Tourism-the official marketing agency and the Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office. The mart is a high-calibre forum at which German providers can meet key buyers from the international travel industry.

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Carlson Wagonlit Travel launches solution for SMEs

Carlson Wagonlit Travel has launched a business travel solution specially designed for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India called ‘CWT For You’. The solution will give SMEs access to CWT’s specially negotiated airfares and hotel rates, as well as added benefits like in-flight meals, preferred seat selection, flight changes and cancellations at no extra charge on various low-cost carriers. Typically these benefits can add up to close to 20 per cent of the ticket price. Geeta Jain, CEO, India, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, says, “Indian SMEs and start-ups have seen tremendous growth in recent years, with many expanding nationwide and some even venturing into international markets,” said. “Yet most of these companies have very little control over what they spend on business travel – a significant chunk of their total spend.” With no minimum spend threshold or applicable transaction fees, this new service is available through a web-based registration and is focused on giving these growing businesses access to some of the benefits of managed travel that larger corporations enjoy.

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Brussels Airlines banking on Indo-Belgian trade

A delegation of Belgian companies led by Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Pieter De Crem, were in Mumbai recently on an economic mission to underline the importance of the newly-reinstated route between Mumbai and Brussels and the relations between India and Belgium. Bernard Gustin, CEO, Brussels Airlines, was also part of the delegation. On March 30, Belgian airline Brussels Airlines connected Mumbai Chhatrapati Airport to Brussels Airport five times a week with a direct flight for the first time since the route was abandoned last year. There was a high demand from various industries (pharmaceutical, diamond, maritime, industry, amongst others), from leisure travelers and cargo forwarders to reinstate a direct service. Bernard Gustin, CEO, Brussels Airlines, says, “India is an important economic partner for Belgium and has a large leisure potential at the same time. The demand for direct flights for passengers as well as for cargo is high. With our new service, we offer the diamond- and travel industry direct flights, which is an important investment in our network expansion, but also in the economic relations between India and Belgium.” The flight schedule consists of daytime flights to Mumbai on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The flights depart in the morning and arrive late in the evening in Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. Flights leave Mumbai on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night and arrive in Brussels early the next morning. Speaking about how the new route can help trade, Pieter De Crem, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, says, “Belgium and India are close economic partners. Our country is the 2nd EU exporter of goods to India, just behind Germany. For Indian companies, Belgium is …

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