Tag Archives: Kochi

Kerala to cut tax on aviation fuel to 5 per cent for domestic airlines

To promote airlines to extend their service to Kerala, the Kerala government has decided to slash the tax on aviation fuel to 5 per cent from the current 28.75 per cent for domestic airlines. Making the announcement in the assembly during the discussion on the state budget for 2019-20, state’s Finance Minister TM Thomas Issac said that not only airports under the UDAN scheme but also non-UDAN airports would get the new tax breather in the state. “The tax on ATF will be reduced to 5 per cent from the existing 28.75 per cent for domestic airlines operating service from the state airports. A revenue loss of Rs 100 crore is expected through this,” he said. The tax cut is expected to benefit Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode international airports as the government had already decided to levy only 1 per cent fuel tax from airlines operating service from the newly commissioned Kannur airport. Aviation fuel accounts for a major portion of operating cost for airlines. The tax cut can help become Kerala an attractive destination for various airlines as neighboring states like Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are charging a state tax of 29 and 28 per cent, respectively on jet fuel. The tax cut benefits would benefit only domestic passengers as the international airlines that operate to and from the state have not been charging VAT as per the new GST regime.  

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Qatar Airways introduces EMI payment option for its India website

Qatar Airways has introduced a new online payment scheme for bookings made on its website exclusively for customers with credit cards issued by Indian banks. The new payment option now makes it possible for passengers to pay for their booking through monthly instalments of 3, 6, 9 or 12 months respectively. The service aims to ease and enhance passengers’ travelling experience by making their booking transactions much more affordable and flexible. It also makes it easier for travellers planning to fly with family and friends, with only a minimum installment fee needed to be paid to complete the purchase. Naveen Chawla, Senior Manager Commercial–ISC, Qatar Airways said, “The launch of the new EMI option gives our passengers tremendous benefits as they can now book their tickets online at their convenience through our website, and also instantly access our latest offers. Through this new user-friendly and affordable payment scheme, Qatar Airways passengers with credit cards issued by Indian banks will now have greater flexibility when it comes to planning their travel itinerary. Those who previously couldn’t book online due to their credit limit or a large outstanding balance will now be able to pay for their bookings effortlessly using their credit card. This service is testament to Qatar Airways’ ongoing commitment to be innovative when it comes to enhancing the travel experience of our customers.” Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram.  

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Dubai airport gets highest passenger traffic from India

Registering an annual traffic of over 89.1 million for 2018, Dubai International (DXB) has retained its position as the world’s busiest airport for the fifth consecutive year with Indian travellers emerging as the largest source of traffic for the airport. India continued to hold to its position as Dubai’s top destination country by passenger numbers, with traffic for the year reaching 12,279,485 – propelled mainly by top destinations like Mumbai, Delhi and Kochi. Saudi Arabia was number two on the list with 6,471,142 customers, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 6,284,771 customers. Other destination countries of note include the US (3,205,524 customers) and the fast-growing markets of China (3,512,075) with 6 per cent growth and Russia (1,533,654) which grew 14.5 per cent. The top three cities were London (3,817,889 customers), Mumbai (2,540,750) and Kuwait (2,194,576). Eastern Europe was the fastest growing region with double-digit growth of 16.7 per cent, followed by CIS at 12.9 per cent and Africa growing 9.8 per cent. A statement released by the airport said that the annual traffic at the major transit hub rose just over 1 per cent to 89.15 million passengers in comparison to 2017. Although the figure was a new record high, it missed on the 90.3 million passengers that Dubai airport had projected for 2018.

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Air Italy partners with Vistara to boost connectivity between India and Italy

Air Italy and Vistara have signed an interline commercial agreement to offer single tickets for all customers from Italy to a range of Indian destinations with effect from January 7. Under the agreement, Air Italy will offer its customers the opportunity to fly to and from Chennai, Goa, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Kochi, Kolkata and Hyderabad, in connection with its Milan Malpensa-Delhi and Milan Malpensa-Mumbai flights launched respectively on December 6 and 13, 2018. Rossen Dimitrov, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Air Italy, said, The commencement of our partnership with Vistara is great news for passengers of both airlines. We are glad to strengthen our relations with our Indian partner which has rapidly expanded its network and services in a very short time. Our India-bound customers departing from the US and from Italy can now benefit from a wider selection of cities in addition to Delhi and Mumbai within a single ticket. Our aim is to ensure our passengers a smooth and enjoyable flight and along with our commercial partner to enable them to discover every part of this magnificent country.

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ICPB requests MOT to declare 2019 as ‘The Year of MiCE’

Being in the forefront for promoting India as a preferred MiCE destination for years, ICPB has now requested the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) to declare 2019 as ‘The Year of MiCE.’ Chander Mansharamani, Vice Chairman, ICPB, informs, “We have recommended to Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, to declare 2019 as ‘The Year of MiCE’, which will certainly give us an opportunity to organise a number of activities in collaboration with all stakeholders throughout the year to propagate the importance of MiCE and its economic and social impact, and also undertake various marketing activities to promote India as a preferred convention destination.” On the year gone by, he added, “The year 2018 has been very fruitful and full of activities. We conducted training programmes and a successful international road show in Europe, 11th Convention India Conclave in Kolkata. We also participated at various international trade shows. “There has also been a substantial increase in our membership in the last one year, also the one-time membership of eight State Government’s, has not only given us the financial benefits, but also has enhanced the status of ICPB. Now, we can truly call ourselves a pan-India bureau.” Regarding plans in the pipeline, he said, “We are planning two international residential training programmes with ICCA and IAPCO, apart from regular training programmes. We will be holding  the12th Convention India Conclave in Kochi for which we have initiated the process with Kerala Government. We hope to open  new ICPB State Chapters in two more states. We will be conducting road shows in India as well as international road shows in the UK and Europe. We will also aim for a greater participation of ICPB in …

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Singapore observes robust tourist traffic from South India

Chennai and Bengaluru have been among the top source cities from South India for visitor arrivals from India to Singapore in 2017. Cities like Coimbatore, Trichy, Hyderabad and Kochi registered growth in traveller numbers to the city. The factors contributing to the strong visitorship numbers are the short three-plus hours’ travel time, increased direct flight connectivity of nine cities to the city and quick weekend holidays. In January 2018, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organised a consumer-centric mall activity in Bengaluru, featuring the various travel offerings one can indulge in while in Singapore. In the middle of the year, it conducted, together with key trade partners from Singapore, an extensive travel trade roadshow series across Trichy, Coimbatore, Kochi and Visakhapatnam.

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Jazeera Airways to connect Delhi with Kuwait from December 15

Jazeera Airways has announced the launch of its services to New Delhi from December 15. The airline, which commenced operations in India last year, currently flies to Hyderabad, Mumbai, Kochi and Ahmedabad from the Gulf nation. The airline has also announced special one-way fare starting from Rs 10,599 for an Economy Class journey and Rs 19,146 for Business Class travel on the new route. Rohit Ramachandran, Chief Executive Officer, Jazeera Airways, said, “The introduction of services to New Delhi and the expansion of network will bring more choice to travellers to and from India, connecting them to Kuwait and other cities in the Gulf and the Middle East that are served within the airline’s network.” Source: PTI

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Kerala’s tourism industry revival is astounding: Alphons at KTM

The tourism industry in Kerala has showed its strong character post the devastating floods and the way it made the revival is astounding, said K J Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism at the inaugural ceremony of the tenth edition of Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) held at Samudrika and Sagara Convention Centre, Willingdon Island in Kochi. “I give emphasis on Kerala Tourism’s ability to recoup after a severe natural calamity as an epitome wherever I go. We bounced back defeating all the never-seen-before challenges. It gives the positive sign that tourism has regained its vigour post the flood,” he remarked. On the occasion, he also inaugurated the pavilion of Responsible Tourism put up by Kerala’s Department of Tourism. Later, he made a round of the various exhibition stalls and pavilions. Rani George, Tourism Secretary, Kerala; Baby Mathew, President, KTM Society; M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC; E M Najeeb, Senior Vice President, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO); and Abraham George, Former President, KTM, accompanied the minister. The four-day event inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has its focus on the Malabar as a core theme. KTM 2018 features 1,600 buyers, one-third of them from 66 foreign countries. KTM, with 325 sellers in 400 stalls, has 1,635 buyers who are top functionaries of firms in tourism industry within the country and outside. The number of foreign buyers is 545, and they come from 66 countries, including USA, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and Britain.

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Vistara becomes British Airways’ only codeshare partner in India

Vistara and British Airways have signed a codeshare agreement, further deepening their already existing interline partnership. Under the agreement, British Airways will add its ‘BA’ designator code to approximately 60 Vistara-operated flights each day covering 13 Indian cities, including eight new virtual British Airways destinations, namely Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bhubaneswar, Chandigarh, Goa, Kolkata, Kochi, and Pune. Additionally, the BA code will also be put on Vistara flights between Mumbai and Amritsar, and Chennai and Kolkata. Sales under the codeshare agreement are open on all channels and major GDS systems for flights starting September 27, 2018. Commenting on this milestone partnership, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, “We are delighted to extend our existing interline and through check-in partnership with British Airways to a codeshare agreement. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to taking India’s finest airline brand beyond Indian borders, and it gives us the opportunity of welcoming travellers from around the world to experience the ‘new feeling of flying’ in India with Vistara. We share a lot in common with British Airways, key among which is our focus on delighting customers. We are confident that our respective customers will truly enjoy the reciprocal benefits of this collaboration.” Rishi Kapoor, Head of Alliances, British Airways said, “We have been flying to India for more than 90 years, so it is incredibly exciting for us to be able announce this partnership with such a well-respected carrier.”  

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Industry upbeat, Kerala Travel Mart on its schedule

Kerala Travel Mart (KTM) is set to take place as per schedule despite the recent floods in Kerala leading to huge devastation and loss. Abraham George, President, KTM Society confirmed that KTM will take place as per schedule with the inauguration on September 27 and business meetings from September 28-30, 2018 in Kochi. “The Kerala tourism industry is back for business and we will be showcasing our products and hold business meetings at KTM. Most of the destinations are not much affected by the floods; it’s only a few roads that have damaged. The government is working to fix that. Also, whatever work needs to be done at the resorts and the tourist destinations will be completed in about 10 days and we will be ready to welcome tourists,” he said.

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