Tag Archives: Chairman

Speedwings signs MoU with Verteil Technologies

Speedwings has recently signed an exclusive MoU with Verteil Technologies to access NDC-listed airline products through its direct connect platform ‘VDC’ (Verteil Direct Connect) and provide NDC-based training programme to travel agents and other aspirants in the industry. NDC (New Distribution Capability) is a travel industry-supported programme launched by IATA for the development and market adoption of a new, XML-based data transmission standard. The NDC Standard enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents. According to Biji Eapen, Chairman and CEO, Speedwings, “This is a newly developed cutting-edge concept in our teaching-learning process to help the travel industry to become more professional and helps freshers to be employable. Speedwings and Vertiel will jointly issue certificates to the successful candidates.” NDC Training programme is innovative and unique in the history of IATA and travel industry. This NDC-aligned innovative tool allows to display and connect airline inventories directly to its host reservation system providing access to availability, pricing, shopping and ticketing plus facilitating ancillary sales of excess baggage, visas, chauffeur service, etc. NDC ticketing in India started issuing tickets on BA, EK and LH during the first quarter of 2018 only. It is currently facilitated through I-Top (Indian Travel-Agents Own Portal developed by IATA Agents Association of India), integrated through Verteil Direct Connect.

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AccorHotels acquires ResDiary, a restaurant reservation platform

AccorHotels has announced its acquisition of ResDiary, a platform for table reservation at restaurants. ResDiary provides venues with a high-end table management solution, using technology that optimises their food and beverage revenues and helps control operational costs. Its yield and channel management tools help restaurateurs maximise revenues, while limiting booking fees by controlling availability displayed on third-party channels. Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, AccorHotels, said, “I am delighted to see ResDiary join the range of services of the Group. Our ambition is to support ResDiary in its global expansion, consolidating its scale, and benefitting from its expertise to provide multiple attractive offers to our guests. This acquisition completes recent investments of AccorHotels in the Food & Beverage industry. It fully supports the Group’s ambition to increase touchpoints with a fast-growing customer base.” Mike Conyers, Co-founder and CEO, ResDiary said, “We have had a very successful relationship with AccorHotels in Asia Pacific, and the ResDiary team is thrilled to join the Group. We are looking forward to expanding our service on a more global level with AccorHotels.”

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Leela to manage Mahatma Mandir and launch 300-key The Leela Gandhinagar

The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts will now operate and manage the Mahatma Mandir, the country’s largest convention and exhibition centre after winning the competitive bid and management contract. The brand will also launch The Leela Gandhinagar, a 300 room property expected to be the largest property in Gujarat’s capital city, informed Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts. Commenting on the development, Nair said, “The addition of Mahatma Mandir and The Leela Gandhinagar to our MiCE portfolio reinforces our plans to expand further into the international conferences and events space. Together with the support of the Government of Gujarat, our endeavour is to help transform Gandhinagar into the convention capital of India.” The agreement, effective from April 1, 2018 has been signed with Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation (GARUD)—a special purpose vehicle formed by the Government of Gujarat with the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation (IRSDC). R K Beniwal, Managing Director, Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation said, “We are confident that The Leela Gandhinagar and Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre will be ably managed for a wider global distribution and accentuated positioning in the international and domestic MiCE market.” The 34-acre Mahatma Mandir Convention and exhibition Centre is a world-class facility for national and international conferences, exhibitions and events.

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Novotel opens first international hotel in Kakkanad, Kochi

AccorHotels along with the MuthootPappachan Group, has opened its Novotel Kochi Infopark located in the IT Hub of Kakkanad Infopark, making it one of the first international mid-scale brands to debut in the industrial zone. The hotel is a 40-minute drive from the Kochi International Airport and 30-minute drive from the Ernakulam Railway Station. It features 128 rooms including eight suites and a room designed specifically for the specially-abled. “We are delighted to launch our first Novotel property in the commercial capital of Kerala. This is our second brand in the city, ibis Kochi City Centre being the first. We are excited to be associated with the MuthootPappachan Group for Novotel Kochi Infopark given their 131 years of legacy of trust and service excellence.” said Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer – India & South Asia, AccorHotels. Thomas John Muthoot, Chairman & Managing Director, MuthootPappachan Group said, “We are delighted to partner with AccorHotels on the opening of the first Novotel hotel in Kochi. We look forward to working with our partners and ensuring our company’s continued growth in the hospitality segment and the best for all our customers in all diverse businesses initiatives MuthootPappachan Group is into.” Recreational facilities include an infinity pool, gym and a dedicated kid’s corner.

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Oman Air deploys Boeing 737 MAX on Delhi-Muscat route

Oman Air has deployed the new Boeing 737 MAX on its recently launched Delhi-Muscat route. The new B737 MAX is equipped with 12 new Business Class seats with large 17-inch touch screen monitors and all the amenities needed for the busy road warrior such as individual power and USB points. The 150 seat Economy Class cabin will also undergo a significant refresh with new interiors, 10.2-inch Thales Gen V touch-screen monitors, high power USB outlets for each triple seats and individual USB outlets for every guest. H.E. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Futaisi, Chairman, Oman Air, said, “The Boeing 737 MAX is at the forefront of aviation technology and amongst the most efficient planes in the sky today. Oman Air has put an order of 30 MAX aircraft and this is the first aircraft delivery of this order.”

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Pricol launches empowerment programmes for Indian agencies

Pricol Travel, in association with Advantage Travel Partnership UK, will offer holiday agencies products, technology and services to help them better manage their business. The Advantage Asia consortium offers programmes that will provide an edge to holiday travel agencies, enabling them to offer the best blend of travel products and services to their customers. The agencies can subscribe for the membership on a monthly subscription plan. The services the programme offers includes operations management, marketing, overall business management, training and networking opportunities. The partnership programme is suitable for small to medium sized travel agencies, who aspire to grow their business in the outbound leisure segment. Advantage Asia will work with their member partners and share collective knowledge. Vikram Mohan, Chairman, Pricol Travel said, “Advantage Travel Partnership UK has empowered thousands of small and medium travel agents in Europe, providing them with the necessary updated product knowledge and current technology for them to be relevant at all times.” A Dharmaraj, COO, Advantage Asia Travel Partnership said, “The programme provides different services that support various aspects of an agency. We work closely with our member partners to provide them with tools to offer their customers the most inspirational, yet affordable range of travel products. We are looking forward to associate with over hundred agencies within the next three years.”

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Maharashtra, Virgin Hyperloop One to build India’s first hyperloop

Virgin Hyperloop One has announced Maharashtra’s intent to build a hyperloop between Pune and Mumbai beginning with an operational demonstration track. Richard Branson, Chairman, Virgin Hyperloop One announced the framework agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to begin the development of the route. Recognizing the Maharashtra government’s contribution to the country’s economy, Modi said, “51 per cent of total investments in India have come to Maharashtra, and the state is attracting global investors. The state’s overall development in the past few years is a shining example of improving conditions in the country.” “I believe Virgin Hyperloop One could have the same impact upon India in the 21st century as trains did in the 20th century. The Pune-Mumbai route is an ideal first corridor as part of a national hyperloop network that could dramatically reduce travel times between India’s major cities to as little as two hours,” said Branson. The hyperloop route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport, and Mumbai in 25 minutes, connecting 26 million people and creating a thriving, competitive mega region. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route will support 150 million passenger trips annually, saving more than 90 million hours of travel time, and providing citizens with social and economic mobility.  

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Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge is now Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge

Park Plaza Kolkata Ballygunge has been re-branded to Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge. Strategically located in the heart of upscale South Kolkata neighbourhood Ballygunge, the hotel is within proximity of the international airport and railway station. Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge has been revitalised with a new look in several areas of the hotels and features upgraded amenities to better serve its discerning guests. “I am glad to welcome our first Radisson hotel in the heart of Kolkata. West Bengal is a key market for us and Kolkata remains a promising destination due to its thriving leisure and business footprint. We appreciate the investment that Mukti Group has made in upgrading this hotel and the trust they have demonstrated in the Radisson brand,” said Raj Rana, chief executive officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We are excited about re-launching the hotel as Radisson and are confident that the new facilities and services would be greatly appreciated by our guests. We are delighted to be partnering Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group for the repositioning and are looking forward to continued association with them,” said Rajkumar Gupta, chairman, Mukti Group. Radisson Kolkata Ballygunge features 92 well-appointed, spacious and modern rooms across Superior, Business Class, Junior and Executive Suites categories. Equipped with modern amenities, new upholstery, superior bath amenities and colorful art work, the hotel assures a comfortable and enjoyable stay for guests.

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TAAI signs MoU with Faizabad university

The Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Chapter has signed an MoU with Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Avadh University in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh to establish a cooperative relationship between the two that will help students of tourism. The MoU is with respect to offering a Bachelor in Vocational (B.VOC) Tourism & Hospitality Course, a three-year degree course. It will be conducted at Dr. RML Avadh University. Sunil B. Satyawakta, Chairman, TAAI – Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand Chapter, says, “This MOU sets the framework for the cooperative relationship between the parties to enhance quality of education in courses and designing the curriculum to make it industry relevant. This is the third MoU signed by the chapter with education institutes in the last two years. The others were with Lucknow University and Banaras Hindu University.”

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SpiceJet is not bidding for Air India stake

Ajay Singh, Chairman, SpiceJet, has confirmed that the airline will not bid for any stake in the process of privatisation of Air India. Speaking at the recently-concluded CAPA India Aviation Summit 2018 in Mumbai, he said, “We are just too small to bid for Air India. We may not be the appropriate candidate for this. Vistara and Singapore Airlines will probably do it. Conceptually, we are too small for this. Nevertheless, it’s a great asset and a fantastic brand.” Speaking about government’s move to privatise the national airline, Singh added, “The government has taken an appropriate decision and the reason for that is not lack of performance. I think we had some really great managers at Air India. Problem is the government system itself. If Air India is required to take every decision through a tender process, it is almost impossible to function. Either you need to allow them to run like a private operator or sell it to a private operator. .” He also confirmed that SpiceJet will expand its international routes albeit without mentioning any destinations. CAPA acknowledged his effort in turning around the airline over the last 32 months.

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