Tag Archives: Kazakhstan

PS Duggal enters Gallery of Legends

PS Duggal, Executive Director, Minar Travels, has been conferred the Gallery of Legends trophy at India Travel Awards 2018. Having started as a banking professional at ANZ Bank, he joined the company in 1992 and has since been part of the growth story. With 26 years of experience in the industry, Duggal now looks after the entire administration and accounts of the company whilst coordinating with all its offices across countries. Today, Minar Travels is a market leader in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and has an international presence in 32 countries, with inroads in the Latin and North American markets as well as Europe and Asia. The company is of the biggest aviation services and destination management companies in the country with 16 offices in India and nine overseas. It is also the GSA for eight airlines. The luxury division became a traveller-made DMC in 2018. That’s not all, the company’s MiCE division is also a huge success.  

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Thailand offers free visa-on-arrival from today

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced granting a visa-on-arrival fee waiver for tourists from 20 countries, including India. From November 15, 2018 to January 13, 2019, citizens of Andora, Bulgaria, Bhutan, China (including Taiwan), Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan will be exempted from the 2,000 Baht visa-on-arrival fee for the purpose of touring in Thailand for not more than 15 days. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor, TAT, said, “This is good news for Thailand’s tourism industry as we’re preparing a range of year-end activities and promotions, including the launch of Amazing Thailand Grand Sale ‘Passport Privilege’ during the same period.” Tourism promotions and events in the pipeline between now and January next year also include the New Year Electronic Music Festival in Pattaya from December 30-31, and TAT will hold the countdown celebration in five destinations in the five regions of Thailand: Chiang Rai in the north, Nakhon Phanom in the northeast, Ratchaburi in the central region, Satun with its world-renowned geopark in the south and Sa Kaeo in the east.

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Slovakia to operate 38 new VACs in 10 countries including India

VFS Global has signed a contract with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic for providing visa services in 10 countries including India. The other countries to get visa application centres for Slovakia via VFS Global are China, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Belarus, Russia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Egypt. The rollout of 38 visa application centres is expected to be completed by December 2018. Under the new contract, VFS Global will accept both short and long-term visa applications on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. Chris Dix, Head – Business Development, VFS Global, said, “We are excited about our new partnership with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic. The countries where we will be operating are markets where VFS Global has worked for several years and whose travellers are familiar with our services and expertise. We are also pleased to have the opportunity to serve our new clients in new locations, and bring applicants in these locations the same benefits and high-quality service that we have been offering our customers worldwide for the last 17 years.”

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PATA Travel Mart 2019 to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is set to organise PATA Travel Mart 2019 in Astana, Kazakhstan in September. The event will be hosted by the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh Tourism National Company JSC. “As the destination stands at the crossroads between Asia and Europe, it is the perfect venue to organise the association’s signature travel trade exhibition in a uniquely transformational city that blends various cultures and heritages of both the East and West,” said Dr Mario Hardy, CEO, PATA. Yerlan Kozhagapanov, Vice Minister of Culture And Sport, Republic of Kazakhstan, said, “We are honoured to be the bid winner and are grateful for the opportunity to host PATA Travel Mart 2019. We are positioning Astana as a MiCE hub for Central Asia and looking forward to welcoming PATA members, hosted buyers and visitors at PATA Travel Mart 2019.” According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Kazakhstan received a total of over 7.7 million total visitors in 2017. Special discounts are available for sellers located within Central Asia, while early bird discounts are available for those registering before December 31, 2018.  

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Air Astana’s Indian passengers enjoy 72 hours visa-free stopover in Kazakhstan

Air Astana passengers holding Indian passports can enjoy 72 hours visa-free stopovers in Kazakhstan with effect from April 23, 2018 until the end of the year. Passengers with Air Astana flights transiting in Almaty and Astana simply need to notify check-in staff at the point of departure to enjoy the benefit of a visa-free visit. Air Astana offers Delhi-Almaty daily flights and a Delhi-Astana service thrice a week operated by modern Airbus and Embraer aircraft. “Air Astana has been enjoying significant growth in transit traffic through the Almaty and Astana over the past two years, particularly from New Delhi,” said Richard Ledger, Vice President – Marketing and Sales, Air Astana. “I’m in no doubt that the introduction of 72 hours visa-free entry to Kazakhstan for Indian passport holders will further boost transit traffic. We look forward to welcoming more Indian passengers on Air Astana flights and hope they enjoy the attractions of Almaty and Astana; particularly given our US$1 Stopover Holidays programme that offers one night accommodation with breakfast and return airport transfers.” Since introduction of the first flight between two countries Air Astana has carried almost 570 thousand passengers.

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Air Astana plans to start Mumbai flights from 2019

Having completed 13 years of service between India to Kazakhstan and Eurasia, Air Astana plans to start a new connection to Mumbai in 2019. Currently, the airline operates 10 flights a week between Kazakhstan and India. This includes a daily service between Almaty and New Delhi and three flights between Astana and New Delhi, which started in July this year. Peter Foster, President and Chief Executive Officer, Air Astana, said, “India is an important destination for Air Astana and has connected both business and leisure passengers well between both the countries. The number of passengers carried between India and Kazakhstan in 2017 is 43,459, an increase of 43 per cent as compared to that in 2016. In fact, the number of transit passengers travelling from New Delhi via Almaty to other international destinations grew by 33 per cent in 2016.”

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Air Astana adds new flight connecting Delhi-Astana from July 2

Air Astana has announced the expansion of its India operations by adding a new flight between Delhi and Astana, starting July 2, 2017. The airline offers flights three times a week with onward domestic Kazakhstan and international connections within Air Astana network. The fare from Delhi to Astana starts from Rs. 18,592 return all-inclusive. The airline is also offering connecting flights between Delhi and Istanbul via Astana, starting from Rs. 33,861 all inclusive. The DEL-IST flight departs from Delhi at 12:00 hours and arrives at Istanbul at 21:10 hours, while the IST-DEL flight departs at 22:10 hours and arrives in Delhi the next day at 10:55 hours.

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