Nisha Verma

Need to get ATF under GST to turn this crisis into opportunity

Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, Spicejet, has said that we need to use this opportunity to try and collect the imbalances in the industry like the structural problems, get aviation turbine fuel under GST and make this crisis into an opportunity. He was speaking at a webinar organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Singh also lauded the government on resumption of flight operations and putting in place a contactless digital experience for travellers. He shared that there is a need to build confidence among the masses which can be done with the dissemination of information.

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Alternate transport options to pave way for hotels & restaurants: Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways (RT&H) and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), has said that the cabinet is working on introducing ropeway, cable car and funicular railway at many areas in place of roads to lead way for hotels and restaurants. “In our country service sector includes hotels/restaurants which has a very big role and contribution in it. We are opening around 2000 roadside amenities, and restaurants have great potential for growth in these upcoming green highway projects. Along with this, wherever we are developing tourism, we would be needing more hotels, restaurants, taxis and entertainment. As the highway projects are going in full swing, people will be travelling in large amount by road as they now have appropriate conveyance so they will be looking forward to resorts and restaurants which are hygienic and safe, which will give boost to the industry. It will also uplift the regional food and culture of the area which will be served to them by the respective hotels and restaurants,” he was speaking at a FHRAI webinar.

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Etihad, Abu Dhabi ready for visitors and transit passengers

In an hour-long discussion in a webinar titled ‘Flying Through Covid-19’ under the TravTalk Agent Connect series, Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism explained to the travel agents joining in about the readiness of both the airline as well as the destination in receiving not just visitors but also transit passengers. Duncan Bureau, Senior VP, Global Sales & Distribution, Etihad Aviation Group, said, “We have introduced a range of waivers to help ease the burden of travel and provide maximum flexibility. We want our trade partners to book with us with full confidence.” He added, “We will be looking at travel insurance and we are working with our travel insurance partners to make sure people are covered.” The panel also included Neerja Bhatia, Vice President (Indian Sub-continent), Etihad Airways, and Saeed Al Saeed, Destination Marketing Director, Department of Culture & Tourism (DCT), Abu Dhabi. The webinar saw more than 1,700 participants in attendance.

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MoCA to help travel agents book international repatriation flights

Jyoti Mayal, President, TAAI, has met with Pradeep Singh Kharola, Secretary, Civil Aviation, in which they discussed industry issues and repatriation flights were in focus. Sharing the highlights of the meeting, Mayal said, “After our continuous communications MOCA has assured us that they have started requesting all international airlines to allow agents to book on the repatriation flights. We discussed many more crucial issues relating to the survival & revival of the aviation industry for the agents, not only for now but for the future too.”

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50% of Lufthansa Group fleet is back in the air

Airlines in the Lufthansa Group are switching from short-term to longer-term flight planning and are now completing their flight schedules by the end of October. The new summer timetable is valid until 24 October, which means that the airlines will offer in the upcoming month over 40 percent of their originally planned flight program. A total of over 380 aircraft by the Lufthansa Group carriers will be used for this purpose until October. This means that half of the Lufthansa Group’s fleet is in the air again, 200 aircraft more than in June. “Little by little, the borders open again. Demand is increasing, in the short term but also in the long term. We are therefore consistently expanding our flight schedule and our global network and pushing ahead with our restart. I am pleased that we can now offer our guests even more connections to all parts of the world with all Lufthansa Group Airlines via all hubs,” said Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board of Deutsche Lufthansa AG. By the end of October, over 90 percent of all originally planned short- and medium-haul destinations and over 70 percent of the Group’s long-haul destinations will be served again.

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Now, any tourist vehicle operator can apply for national permit online

A new notification issued by the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has declared an amendment to National Permit regime under the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 for promoting tourism across the country. Under the new scheme, any tourist vehicle operator may apply for an “All India Tourist Authorisation/Permit” through online mode. All such authorisations/permits shall be issued, after all the relevant documents submitted as mentioned in the rules and due nationwide fees deposited towards such authorisation/permit, within 30 days of submission of such applications, subject to all compliances being met by such an applicant as a one-stop solution. The statement reads, “The Ministry is in the pursuit of providing seamless movement to the tourist passenger vehicles after the success of goods carriage vehicle under National Permit Regime.” The new set of rules is known as, ‘All India Tourist Vehicles Authorisation and Permit Rules, 2020’ published vide GSR 425( E) dated 01 July 2020 for public and stakeholders consultation, which shall go a long way in promoting tourism across the states in our country on one side, while enhancing the revenue of State Governments. The same was discussed in the 39th Transport Development Council Meeting and was appreciated and concurred by the state participants. Source: Hindustan Times

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MOT seeks industry opinion on insurance for foreign tourists: Meenakshi Sharma

Meenakshi Sharma, Director General, Tourism, has said that in a bid to create assurance to the foreign travellers to visit India in future, while they are working with various ministries, MOT is also looking at bringing some kind of insurance to be a part of this exercise. For this, she says the MOT is mulling over it internally and would like to take suggestions from the travel trade for the same. She was speaking at the 9th Update and Outlook Meeting by PATA India Chapter, themed, ‘Resurrecting Inbound Tourism post COVID 19’.

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Uttarakhand tourism department starts online registration for self-employment scheme

Uttarakhand tourism department has started online registration facility for its Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Tourism Self-Employment Scheme and Homestay Scheme. The step has been taken to make the process more transparent, provide more convenience to people and to ensure that more and more youths benefit from the government’s scheme. Under the Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali Tourism Self-Employment Scheme, the beneficiary can start their employment by purchasing buses / electric buses to operate on the routes of the state and can avail 50 percent subsidy or up to Rs. 15 lakh for the purchase of bus under the scheme.

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Akbar Travels selects Sabre’s industry-first lodging solution to drive growth and improve choice

Sabre Corporation has announced an enhanced partnership with one of India’s largest travel companies, Akbar Travels of India, cementing a valued two-decade long relationship between the two firms as Akbar forges ahead with plans for domestic and overseas growth. Akbar Travels is already a long-time user of Sabre solutions, having implemented Sabre’s APIs to drive operational efficiencies and the Sabre Automated Exchange solution to save costs and improve customer service. Now, Akbar Travels, which has 150 branches across India, 36 offices in the Middle East, Malaysia, UK, Italy and the US, has selected Sabre’s Content Services for Lodging APIs to enable its agents to more easily shop, compare and book more than a million lodging options for clients. “Sabre and Akbar Travels have had a long, valued and productive relationship, and we’re excited to be again expanding our partnership by using Sabre’s Content Services for Lodging technologies to provide further choice and even better service for our travellers. There are already clear signs of a pent-up demand for travel post Covid-19 and we needed technological solutions which provide us with the most intuitive way to shop and book for our travellers in order to provide truly personalized options for our clients,” said Mr. K.V. Abdul Nazar, Chairman & Managing Director of Akbar Travels of India. Sabre’s Content Services for Lodging powers agency and corporate booking tools, integrating traditional GDS content from hoteliers, alongside content from the likes of Booking.com, Bedsonline and Expedia Partner Solutions. The Sabre-led Content Services for Lodging has been integrated into Akbar Travels’ operations through Sabre Red 360, allowing agents access to real-time, rich content on an intuitive graphical interface to make it easier for agents to …

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