Tag Archives: Chief Executive Officer

IHCL announces its first Taj in Saudi Arabia

In a major milestone, The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has announced its foray into the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, with a partnership with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in the prestigious King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) project, one of the largest urban rejuvenation projects in the city of Makkah. Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Puneet Chhatwal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, IHCL, said, “We are honoured to partner with Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company in bringing the first Taj hotel to Saudi Arabia. This signing is aligned to our strategy of a strong focus on global growth markets and to be present where our guests travel to.” This hotel will be IHCL’s fourth venture in the MENA region. The company manages Taj Dubai located in the Burj Khalifa downtown area. It will also open another two hotels in Dubai in the next 12 to 18 months. The hotel, scheduled to open in January 2023, will have approximately 340 keys, banqueting facilities and several restaurants to serve all tastes. Commenting on the partnership, Eng. Mohammad Al Ganawi, Chief Executive Officer, Umm Al Qura Development and Construction Company said, “We look forward to working with them to bring the iconic Taj brand to the unique development project in Makkah.” As the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the site of his first revelation of the Quran, Makkah is the holiest city in the religion of Islam.

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Jet signs additional 75 Boeing 737 max aircraft, total order equals 150

Jet Airways has announced that it has signed a new order for 75 additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, taking the total order to 150 aircraft. The Boeing 737 aircraft type is the backbone of Jet Airways’ fleet. The 150 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will serve the airline not only to replace its existing fleet but also to equip it with modern and environmentally progressive airplanes, thereby fueling the airline’s expansion strategy to support its network and growth aspirations. Vinay Dube, Chief Executive Officer, Jet Airways, said, “Our new order for the additional 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will allow us to deliver a differentiated and world-class customer experience to our guests. This additional order re-emphasises our trust and confidence in Boeing and also reaffirms our commitment to operate extremely modern, reliable and fuel efficient aircraft as part of our fleet. This order underscores Jet Airways’ commitment to the growth and sustainability of the Indian aviation market.” “We are honoured that Jet Airways has again placed its trust in Boeing with its order for 75 more Boeing 737 MAXs”, said Dinesh Keskar, Senior Vice President, Asia Pacific & India Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “These additional Boeing 737 MAX airplanes will help Jet Airways continue to be an industry leader by combining a superior passenger experience with reliable and efficient operations.”

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Radisson Hotel Group aims for 200 hotels in South Asia by 2022

The newly rebranded Radisson Hotel Group announced its expansion plans at Hotel Investment Conference South Asia (HICSA) 2018. The company aims to expand its portfolio to more than 200 hotels in operation and under development by 2022 in South Asia. The group has already signed Radisson Blu Resort Visakhapatnam, Radisson Panipat City Centre and Country Inn & Suites by Radisson Agra in the first quarter of 2018. Radisson Gwalior opened last month and the group is on track to open another eight more hotels in India this year. “This is the most exciting period in our company’s long history,” said Katerina Giannouka, President, Asia Pacific, Radisson Hotel Group. “With the rebranding of our company, we are positioning Radisson Hotel Group for a bright future. India has been a key market for us for many years. We look forward to working with hotel investors, owners, developers and other stakeholders across the country as we accelerate the expansion of our portfolio to India,” added Giannouka. “With a robust performance, ahead of industry average and continued investment in technology and revenue driving platforms, we are optimistic of meeting our five-year goals. I am delighted that India is leading the way in Asia Pacific with a total of seven global brand offerings,” said Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group.

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AirAsia India to expand domestically before international operations: CEO

AirAsia India will focus on expanding its domestic network and increase flight frequencies, before commencing international operations to Southeast Asia by early next year, as informed by Amar Abrol, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia India. Just a few days ago, the budget passenger carrier announced the addition of Nagpur and Indore to its network, effective March 17. It will also introduce new routes connecting Bengaluru, Kolkata, Goa, Indore and Nagpur. In addition, the airline will operate daily flights connecting its two hubs—Bengaluru and Kolkata—which will become operational from March 25. “We are not shying away from India. We will first commence flight operations to new domestic destinations and increase frequencies. In all, we are looking at starting flights to four to five new cities in this year,” Abrol shared. “We are making the preparations for international operations but it will most probably take place by the first quarter of 2019,” he added. When asked about the first international port of call, Abrol said, “It can be anywhere from India’s eastern seaboard to Southeast Asia, particularly to Thailand and Malaysia.”According to Abrol, apart from adding more domestic flight frequencies, the airline is “steadily working” towards “break-even” by the year-end. SOURCE: IANS

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Thomas Cook India signs MoU with Wildlife Reserves Singapore

Thomas Cook (India) has entered into a three-year strategic agreement with Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) — an organisation that manages Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari and Singapore Zoo – making it the first Indian travel company to sign an MoU with WRS. The MoU was signed between Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) and Mike Barclay, Group Chief Executive Officer, Mandai Park Holdings (the parent company of WRS) in Mumbai. Mahesh Iyer, Chief Executive Officer, Thomas Cook (India) said, “We are bullish on the larger trend towards experiential holidays. Singapore as a destination has been constantly reinventing itself with its new, unified brand identity ‘Passion made Possible’-that showcases the fundamentals of the nation – its cultural diversity, rich food heritage and the mindset of its people shaped by unique circumstances and promises to reshape the Singapore experience across the B2C and B2B space. Our partnership with Wildlife Reserves, Singapore also marks the start of a strong commitment to protect biodiversity in Singapore and Southeast Asia through partnerships with like-minded partners, organisations and institutions.”

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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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Radisson debuts in Jodhpur with 96 rooms

Radisson Jodhpur opened its doors to the magnificent city of Jodhpur with 96 rooms. The hotel is the first Radisson to open in the city. Spread over around 70,000 square feet, the hotel constitutes 96 rooms across Superior, Business Class, Studio Suites, Single Bedroom Suite, Two Bedroom Duplex Suites and Presidential Suite categories. The hotel boasts over 30,000 square feet of total meeting space comprising three banquet halls. It also features a state-of-the-art fitness center with modern equipment and a spa service with two treatment rooms. The banquet facilities at the hotel also feature a party lawn spread over an area of approximately 14,000 square feet for organising stylish parties. “I am delighted to welcome our first Radisson hotel to Jodhpur. The hotel’s architectural grandeur combined with the brand’s service ethos will enthrall guests travelling to the city. We appreciate the commitment that Madhav Heritage has made in this hotel and the trust they have demonstrated in the Radisson brand,” said Raj Rana, Chief Executive Officer, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. Positioned to be a preferred hotel in the upscale segment and the first choice among leisure and business travelers, the hotel is situated two kilometers from the airport and four kilometers from the railway station. It is situated within a radius of five kilometers from international tourist attractions like Ummaid Palace, Birkha Bawri Step Well, Merangarh Fort, Ghanta Ghar and Mandore Garden.

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Desaru Coast, Malaysia targets Indian agents

Desaru Coast, the newly created integrated premium destination in Malaysia, met the Indian trade recently in New Delhi and held an exclusive showcase to inform about their varied offerings and developments. The new destination is located at the south-eastern region of Malaysia, spanning over 3,900 acres along an unspoiled 17 km beachfront facing the South Coast Sea, and is easily accessible via land, ferry and air. “Desaru Coast’s India tour will open doors for us to connect with buyers of all sectors within the travel-value chain commerce whilst positioning Desaru Coast as the destination of choice amongst holidaymakers and business travellers alike within the region. We look forward to sharing a preview of the destination that will appeal to international travellers with its myriad offerings,” said Muhammad Zainal Ashikin, Chief Executive Officer, Desaru Development Holdings One Sdn Bhd. He further informed that they are opening in stages currently, and will be fully open in June 2018.

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MSC World Cruise 2020 includes stop in Mumbai

MSC Cruises has announced the opening of sales of its second world cruise, setting sail in 2020. With a halt in Mumbai, the 2020 MSC World Cruise has a new itinerary that includes exotic destinations with 43 destinations and 23 countries on board MSC Magnifica. Other destinations include Ushuaia in Argentina, Rapa Nui in Easter Island, Darwin in Australia, Valparaiso in Chile and Salalah in Oman. Gianni Onorato, Chief Executive Officer, MSC Cruises, says, “Following on from the successful launch of our first MSC World Cruise last year due to set sail in January 2019, we are now delighted to open sales for a new world cruise for 2020 developed to offer unforgettable experiences and destinations to guests. In addition, the experience onboard MSC Magnifica been designed to reflect the cultures and cuisines of the countries that the ship visits, giving guests the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in a true around-the-world voyage of discovery both on board and on shore.” Guests embarking from Civitavecchia/Rome, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona on January 4-7, 2020 respectively will cross five continents on a three-month voyage of discovery to some of the world’s most talked-about destinations.

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Penang conducts four-city sales mission

The Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB) started its Penang Sales Mission to India with an objective to promote Penang as the preferred destination for corporate and association meetings, incentives and leisure travel. Led by Ashwin Gunasekeran, Chief Executive Officer, PCEB, the mission is supported by a Penang delegation of 17 partners, including the state bureau for leisure travel – Penang Global Tourism, hotels, destination management companies, event experts and PCEB’s official airline partner, Malaysia Airlines. “India is one of the top five markets for business events in Penang, and over the past year, we have received encouraging interest from event planners and conference organisers. India is the sixth highest generator of tourists to Malaysia. This mission is joined by some of Penang’s finest offerings in the hospitality, travel and events sectors, and will showcase the best of what Penang can offer to the Indian market.”  said Ashwin Gunasekeran, CEO, PCEB. The mission kicked off in Kolkata on January 17, 2018, moving on to New Delhi on January 19, Mumbai on January 22 and Bengaluru on January 24.

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