Tag Archives: Chairman

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reappointed Air India CMD

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. Lohani headed the carrier from August 2017 to September 2017 when he was moved to the Railway Board as the chairman, from where he retired in December 2018. It was during his tenure that Air India made its first operating profit of ₹105 crore in FY17 since the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007. Touted as the ‘Turnaround specialist’, Lohani’s appointment will be crucial after Air India’s failed divestment attempt last year. This year, the government has already decided to transfer over Rs 29,000 crore of AI’s huge Rs 55,000 debt to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), along with the airline’s assets like real-estate and other subsidiaries of Air India. Lohani succeeds the 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola, who earlier this month was appointed as the Civil Aviation Secretary following the superannuation of RN Choubey. Source: PTI

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SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Jeddah daily from March 25, 2019

SpiceJet is set to start a daily direct flight between Hyderabad and Jeddah from March 25. This is the ninth foreign destination of the airline. SpiceJet will operate its new 189-seater Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on the route, the airline said in its press statement. It also announced a special fare of Rs 13,499 (all-inclusive) for the Hyderabad-Jeddah flight and Rs 10,799 (all inclusive) for Jeddah-Hyderabad flight. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “It is a moment of great pride for us as we introduce Jeddah as our ninth international destination, thus becoming the first Indian budget airline to fly to Saudi Arabia. Our new flight from Hyderabad will greatly benefit thousands of pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia and our state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX promises an unparalleled experience to all our guests,” he said. SpiceJet’s flight SG 33 will depart from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 7:10 am (local time) and arrive in Jeddah at 11:05 am (local time) the same day. The return flight, SG 34, will depart at 12:05 pm (local time) and reach Hyderabad at 8:25 pm (local time). Source: PTI

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HRANI Conclave in Lucknow on February 16 to promote eco-friendly practices

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) is set to organise its next conclave in Lucknow on February 16, 2019. Set to be held at Taj Mahal, Lucknow, the conclave will be inaugurated by Justice D P Singh, Chairman, Uttar Pradesh Solid Waste Management Monitoring Committee. The theme of the conclave ‘Environmental Concerns of Hospitality Industry’ is chosen to promote ecotourism by adopting environment-friendly practices. Dr Anita Bhatnagar Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration Dept., Govt of Uttar Pradesh; Anurag Yadav, Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and I K Kapila, Advocate & Solicitor, Techno-Legal Environmental Consultant will be gracing the event as guest speakers. The topics for discussion during the upcoming HRANI Conclave – Applicable SWM and plastic waste disposal rules and role of stakeholders in effective implementation of plastic and solid waste management – aim towards spreading awareness on the environment-friendly practices that hotels can adopt.

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AITTC signs MoU with NEITO to open India’s North East Frontier for Australians

As per data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), India features as one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers. However, travel to the eight North Eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim – each of which is gifted with a diverse range of tourist attractions from splendid nature and diverse wildlife to colourful culture and vibrant history, has been limited. To boost this, Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North East India Tour Operators Association (NEITO), which comprises Ministry of Tourism-approved inbound tour operators specialised for North East destinations. The MoU was signed by Madhushmita Khound , Secretary, NEITO in Guwahati and Sandip Hor, Chairman, AITTC in Sydney. The AITTC part of the signing was done in presence of B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney; Chandru Appar, Deputy Consul General of India in Sydney; Barbara Ward, President, NSW, Australia India Business Council; Phillip Bonicace, Co Chairman, AITTC and Vishnu Daram, Seccretary, AITTC. “This is a major step to put North East India under the tourism radar in Australia”, said Chairman Hor after the signing. According to him, attractions of the region like the Assam’s Brahmaputra River Cruise and the Kaziranga National Park, Tripura’s Royal Palaces Sikkim’s Himalayan beauty, Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival and many more have tremendous potential to add a new dimension to international tourism growth in India. The two main purposes of this MOU are to enhance destination knowledge among Australians and to facilitate the establishment of a suitable ‘travel & tourism connect’ between Australia and North East India.

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Key travel players discuss ideas and trends at Travolution Asian Summit in Delhi

The inaugural Travolution Asian Summit, held on January 15 in Delhi, brought together all stalwarts and key stakeholders of the travel and tourism industry for sharing knowledge and powering partnerships. Welcoming delegates at the event, Lee Hayhurst, Editor, Travolution said, “We are happy to be here and are hoping to make this a regular event. We started 13 years ago with an idea to bring the travel and technology industry together to discuss ideas, trends and observations in the industry. I think the world of technology is bringing us closer. At this event, we’ve got keynotes, interviews and sessions for the attendees,” he said. The keynote speaker was Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, who gave an overview on ‘Indian Market Growth and Opportunity’.

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Yatra acquires PL Worldways to strengthen foothold in South India

Yatra Online has announced the acquisition of the corporate travel business of PL Worldways Limited (PLW), a Chennai-based corporate travel services provider. This acquisition will help strengthen Yatra’s foothold in the southern India region along with adding over 100 corporate clients to its existing client base of over 700. Commenting on the acquisition, Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra Online, said, “PL Worldways has an unparalleled reputation in corporate travel in the southern part of the country due to its strong customer focus and unmatched service. With this acquisition, we not only strengthen our position in the growing corporate travel market in India but also in Southern India, which has been in our cross-hairs for some time. Our endeavour will be to deliver best-in-class service to PLW’s existing customer base, through our self-booking platform and expense management solution software. We look forward to welcoming PL Worldways team to the Yatra family.” Anil Pathak, Chairman, PL Worldways, said, “We are excited for PL Worldways to join Yatra family. PL Worldways’ local connect and customer service expertise will complement Yatra’s technology platform and leverage the largest hotel network in the country; helping clients optimise their travel spend and improve their travel processes.”

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EbixCash acquires Weizmann Forex, Essel Forex

Ebix has announced that its EbixCash World Money subsidiary in India has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent assets of India-based Essel Forex for approximately US$8 million. Ebix will be funding the entire transaction in cash, using its internal cash reserves. The acquisition of Essel Forex following the recent announcement of the Weizmann acquisition, further strengthens EbixCash’s position as the largest financial exchange in India, besides being the undisputed leader in the inward remittance, outward remittance and foreign exchange markets in India. With a national network of 44 branches in 31 cities serviced by 400+ employees, Essel Forex has been one of the five largest foreign exchange providers in India with a wide spectrum of related products including sales of all major currencies, travellers’ checks, demand drafts, remittances, money transfers and prepaid cards primarily for the Corporate clients. Besides being a foreign exchange business partner to leading banks such as ICICI, Axis, Indus Ind, Yes and HDFC Bank, Essel Forex has been associated with Western Union and MoneyGram for inward money transfers. Essel Forex will be tightly integrated into the EbixCash Financial Exchange offering in India and abroad. The retained Essel Forex executives will become an integral part of the combined EbixCash remittance and forex leadership team headed by EbixCash World Money Managing Director TC Guruprasad. Ebix believes the Essel Forex business can generate operating margins of 40% or more, once fully integrated. Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings. Robin Raina, Chairman, President and CEO, Ebix said, “Essel Forex has a rich focus on the corporate clientele with strong partnerships with many leading banks. Their geographical, product and client overlap with EbixCash made the …

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Kashmir records lowest footfall in 7 years

In 2018, Kashmir reportedly witnessed the lowest ever tourist footfall in the last seven years, recording only 8.5 lakh domestic and foreign tourists visiting the valley in total. This was a decline of about 23 per cent from 2017, which saw around 11 lakh tourists visitors to Kashmir. Zahoor Qari, Chairman—TAAI, J&K Chapter, said that the figures are by and far correct, and blamed the decline to negative media coverage about the state on electronic channels. “The decline in the number of tourists to Kashmir is because of the uncertainty projected by electronic media around the country. The smallest of incidents in the remotest part of the state is being highlighted in the media, which is not even close to the tourist sites in the valley. This works against the tourism in the state.” Despite actively participating in multiple travel trade shows around the country and abroad, the state witnessed the low visitor numbers. The tourism department also undertook many promotional initiatives in 2018 to boost the numbers. Qari said, “We even arranged a Fam trip for the media to Kashmir, but that also did not work. Instead, there was negative coverage on mainstream channels about Kashmir.”

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Lemon Tree Hotels & Warburg Pincus enter into JV to form a co-living platform for millennials

Lemon Tree Hotels has formed a joint venture (JV) with an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, a global private equity firm focused on growth investing, to create a co-living platform. The JV marks Lemon Tree Hotel’s entry into a new business segment focusing on the development of institutional-grade rental housing accommodation serving both students and young working professionals across major educational clusters and key office markets in India. Following Warburg Pincus’ successful partnerships in China and Hong Kong, this investment represents the first co-living platform which the firm has backed in India. An affiliate of Warburg Pincus and Lemon Tree Hotels will hold 68 per cent and 30 per cent stake, respectively in the JV, with the balance 2 per cent to be held by Patanjali Keswani. The JV partners will initially invest Rs 1,500 crore in equity over a period of time followed by an additional infusion of Rs 1,500 crore in equity at the option of the partners, to develop rental housing projects through a combination of greenfield purpose-built properties, refurbishment of existing under-managed/stressed commercial and residential assets taken on lease/acquisition basis as well as management of existing for-rent accommodation projects. The platform aims to provide affordable and conveniently located co-living spaces for students and young professionals, who are increasingly looking to be part of a vibrant community with like-minded individuals. Patanjali (Patu) Keswani, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Lemon Tree Hotels, said, “We are delighted to once again partner with Warburg Pincus at an early stage of this exciting new business opportunity, which will allow Lemon Tree Hotels to move into a segment which is nascent but closely aligned to our existing target customers and which is expected to …

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MoCA and AAI launch mobile application for Global Aviation Summit 2019

Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India, has launched the official mobile application ‘GAS 2019’, for Global Aviation Summit 2019, to be held on January 15-16, 2019 at Grand Hyatt Mumbai.  The application was launched in the presence of Rajiv Nayan Choubey, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA); Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, Airports Authority of India (AAI); Dr Shefali Juneja, Joint Secretary, MoCA and other officials of the AAI. Available on play store and iOS, GAS 2019 provides a holistic glimpse of the summit and can be used to access latest updates about the mega event. The application enables users to interact with the co-delegates and speakers. It would be an excellent platform for networking through personal and group chats. With the who’s who of the global aviation fraternity set to grace the event, the summit is a promising platform for constructive discussions, collaborations and meeting of minds to explore the future of global aviation. The esteemed guest-list for the summit includes Transport & Civil Aviation ministers from Laos, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal and Jamaica, Civil Aviation authorities and Directorate Generals of Civil Aviation (DGCAs) from 22 countries. The future of aviation – drones and seaplanes, airport privatisation, digital travel and holistic development of global aviation ecosystem are the key areas to push the envelope both on regulations and on industry structure. This platform will enable the industry leaders to prepare a policy roadmap that will certainly provide a strong impetus to all players in the aviation ecosystem. The summit will entail B2G, B2B and G2G meetings.    

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