Tag Archives: Russia

India’s domestic passenger load factor exceeded 90% for the first time ever in February 2018

The India domestic passenger load factor exceeded 90 per cent for the first time ever in February 2018, hitting an all-time high for the other global domestic markets, namely China, the US, Brazil, Russia, Japan and Australia. According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), the bigger picture is that the current load factor performance represents a significant turnaround from the early-2000s when India regularly posted the lowest domestic passenger load factor amongst its group of countries, even dipping below 50 per cent on occasion. The evolution and maturity of India’s domestic air transport market can be illustrated by comparing the experiences around the time of 9/11 with that of late 2014. In the former, domestic capacity continued to increase even as demand slumped, while in late-2014 Indian airlines slowed capacity growth to support the load factor even as demand was growing strongly. In part, this appears to reflect the increasing influence of competitive (market) pressures over time via a mix of policy, regulatory and industry developments. Such forces have instilled a greater focus on airlines to achieve the load factor levels needed to generate adequate returns for their investors.

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India now connects to more international cities through non-stop service

India has steadily increased the number of overseas city pairs served by a non-stop service from the country over time, according to a recent study by International Air Transport Association (IATA). There are 304 such international pairs in 2018, up from around 230 ten years ago. In relative terms, the India market appears to have considerably less international city pairs served than either China or Russia. However, Indian travellers have ready access (via the geographic proximity) to the Middle East superconnector hubs – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Doha – that China and Russia do not. This increases the size of the network significantly for Indian travellers, as well as making India more accessible for international visitors. As such, it may go some way to explaining the relatively lower number of international city pairs for India relative to China and Russia.

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Russia visa available through VFS Global in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai

Residents of India can now apply for visas to Russia at VFS Global Visa Application Centres (VACs) opened for the Embassy of the Russian Federation. The new centres will cater to the growing needs of outbound travellers to Russia, and increase accessibility to, and convenience of, visa services. With approximately 55,000 travellers visiting Russia from India each year, the application process through the new centres will prove to be more streamlined. The centre in New Delhi was inaugurated by H E Nikolay Rishatovich Kudashev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India. He said, “The new Russian Visa Application Centre looks very impressive, very advanced and it perfectly fits into the new substance of our bilateral ties as well as our global co-operation. As you would surely know our relationship is a relationship of Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership. It carries political, economic, cultural and humanitarian content, but after all and finally, it is all about people; it is all about people to people connection, making this enormous relationship going. And this person to person connection will not be possible without such a simple thing as visa. I hope this visa application centre will make a real contribution to the growing strategic connection between our countries and our people.” Speaking about the development, Vinay Malhotra, Regional Group Chief Operating Officer – Middle East, South Asia & China, said, “The network of Russia Visa Application Centres serves the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of travellers to Russia from this region and we are confident it will deliver services that exceed the expectations of the applicants.”

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More hotels in Russia become ‘India Friendly’

A new batch of hotels in Moscow and Saint Petersburg became ‘India Friendly’ in 2018 to encourage more Indians to visit the destination. The ‘India Friendly’ programme has been conceived and operationalised by Russian Information Centre (RIC) that identified the need for creating the correct environment in Russia to welcome Indian tourists. The hotels include Azimut Hotel Olympic Moscow, Radisson Royal St Petersburg and Alfa Izmailovo, Moscow. Katrina Belyakova, Partner, Russia Information Center, says, “The trainers are experts in tourism and restaurant business from India and Russia having proven experience of managing needs of Indian tourists in multiple environments. The training programme covers topics of ancient and modern culture of India, the uniqueness of Indian thinking, the individual religious beliefs and how it affects their needs and food, communication styles of Indian tourists. It educates the hotels on the other small but important needs of Indian tourists like tea kettles, hot/cold water, besides others.” The programme was officially launched in September 2016 in Russia by signing of an agreement to co-operate in developing Russian-Indian relations in the field of tourism and hospitality. The signatories to the agreement are Russian Information Centre (RIC, Mumbai), National Tourism Marketing Agency of Russian Federation “Visit Russia” and Department of Hotel and Restaurant Business, Saint Petersburg State University of Economics. The programme aims to create a conducive environment for development of outbound tourism from India to Russia.

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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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Delegates from 40 countries attend 23rd Europamundo Convention 2018 in Moscow

The 23rd Europamundo Convention 2018 was recently held in Moscow (Russia), where Luis Garcia Codron, Director General, Europamundo Vacations; Berend Lund Christian, Director—Corporate Planning, Europamundo Vacations and Alejandro de la Osa, Director—Commercial, Europamundo Vacations addressed the invitees. The convention was attended by distributors and commercial teams from 41 countries. The distributors present from India included Akbar Holidays, Cox and kings, MakeMyTrip and Travel Tours. Aparna C Basumalik, Country Head, Europamundo, said, “This year, we were glad to be hosted in Russia for the three-day long convention. The entire family of Europamundo gathered to meet, work and spend a great time together.” She further added, “At the convention, we were able to share the next season’s brochure with our travel partners. The global brochure has 300-plus products. With all the programmes included, it is certainly the most robust brochure in the market.” Talking about the future plans, she mentioned, “In 2019, we will have several new introductions— Mexico, Philippines, Costa Rica and for travellers who prefer to have Indian meals in addition to the central Europe and east Europe we will have Spain too.” “This year too, Europamundo Vacations had a sterling performance carrying nearly 1,80,000 passengers on all tours put together. The Global Tours in their third year focused on the English-speaking market and recorded a 100 per cent growth with the many new countries like Canada/New Zealand/Singapore joining the sales force. India shone with over 30 per cent of the market share,” Basumalik said.

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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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HollandCity Global Travel Trade Show 2019 to be held in The Hague & Delft on October 8

At the first HollandCity Global Travel Trade Show in the Hanseatic City of Zwolle, Carola Muller–van Rijn, Global Travel Trade Manager, NBTC Holland Marketing, informed, “The next edition of the travel trade show will be held in The Haugue and Delft on October 8, 2019.” NBTC Holland Marketing and MarketingOost welcomed over 100 international travel organisations with a goal to put the Netherlands on the map with international travel organisations as an attractive travel destination. In addition to 105 international tour operators from India, Russia, Brazil, Japan, China, Indonesia, Italy, Germany and other countries, there were 75 organisations from the tourism sector as well, including museums, hotels, attractions, events venues and restaurants. Expressing happiness with the growth from the Indian market, Muller says, “In terms of growth, India is our second fastest growing market, after Russia. The Netherlands welcomed 165,000 visitors from India last year registering a growth of 31 per cent and we are expecting 24 per cent growth from India this year.”

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Ural Airlines to start flights between India and Russia

The potential of the outbound tourist market from India to Russia has prompted Ural Airlines to start flights from various cities in India ex Yekaterinburg to Moscow, St. Petersburg, and to the other cities in Russia along with offering connections to other prime destinations in Europe. As per the Russian Information Centre (RIC), tourists from India to Russia have been growing at 30 per cent YoY. Considering the unique needs of Indian tourists and to cater to their specific needs, Ural Airlines is considering to join the ‘India-Friendly’ programme in Russia, which is initiated and executed by RIC in India. Airports of Regions & Russian Information Center in India are assisting the process of launch of services in India by helping identify partners and other associates that will contribute to the entry of Ural Airlines into the India market. Ural Airlines is the primary airline of Airport Koltsovo in Yekaterinburg and one of the largest rapidly developing Russian airlines.

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MITT 2018 to be held from March 13-15

The 25th edition of Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (MITT) will be held from March 13-15, 2018, at Expocentre, Moscow, Russia. The 2017 edition, held from March 14-16, witnessed 1971 companies from 187 countries and regions of the world, comprising 23,047 visitors from 79 regions of Russia and 89 other countries in 40,000 sq.m. of exhibition area. For the first time, MITT was a B2B-only event. The exhibitors included leading operators of outbound, domestic and inbound tourism, national and regional tourism organisations, hotel chains, airlines and transport companies, and operators of search systems and tour booking services. Among the visitors at the event were 39% representatives of travel agents, 21% tour operators of search and booking systems for tour services, 11% hotels and accommodation and 8% corporate customers. A.U. Manilova, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, said, “MITT has established itself not only as the place for presenting the tourism potential of dozens of countries, but as the place to meet professionals in the tourism industry: from tourism administrations to representatives of national governments. I wish that the hope that both international exhibitors and the Russian regions (more than 60 Russian regions are exhibiting, which is very important for us) have come here with is realised. Now is a very good time for developing international tourism – both in Russia and throughout the world. Tourism never creates barriers, it only eradicates them. I wish everyone success.” O. P. Safonov, Head of the Federal Agency on Tourism, said, “I am confident that constructive dialogue, sharing experience, and expanding partner relations at MITT 2017 contributes to the further establishment of tourism as a high-revenue and dynamically growing industry of …

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