Revenge travel has been one of the dominant trends globally post-pandemic, irrespective of seasons. While that continues to play out, understanding where flight search volumes are highest for any given destination is crucial for all players involved in the travel ecosystem.
The Skift India Newsletter is your go-to platform for all news related to travel, tourism, airlines, and hospitality in India.
Domestic flight searches in India have increased by around 32 percent and international searches by 24 percent for the monsoon season between June and August, according to Kayak’s latest insights. The increased travel interest comes despite a surge in airfares, up an average 8 percent and 11 percent for domestic and international airfares. The average return economy flight price domestically stands at $130 while the average return economy international flight is priced at $985, the report said.
While Goa, New Delhi and Srinagar were the most searched domestic destinations for flights, Bali, London and Toronto emerged as the most searched overseas destinations. “Despite price increases, Indian travelers are planning trips to popular domestic destinations … to truly embrace the monsoon’s respite,” said Kayak’s India Country Manager Tarun Tahiliani.
Kayak’s data also revealed that Indian holidaymakers are increasingly looking to hire cars and explore on their own while on vacation. For domestic destinations, there was a 103 percent increase in searches for rental cars, despite 39 percent increase in prices since 2022. Renting cars has become more economical for international travelers this year, with a 10 percent decrease in prices on average since 2022, for which searches have increased by around 54 percent.
Fly IndiGo on Mumbai-Nairobi Route from July 24
Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation has granted permission to budget carrier IndiGo to operate its flight services to Nairobi in Kenya, with effect from July 24. This would be the airline’s first foray into the African region.
Early this month, IndiGo announced its plans to launch air services to Nairobi, Jakarta and some Central Asian countries as part of its international expansion plans. The airline said it will connect Nairobi and Jakarta, with direct flights from Mumbai in late July or early August. “Delhi will be connected in August to Tbilisi in Georgia and Baku in Azerbaijan and in September to Tashkent in Uzbekistan and Almaty in Kazakhstan,” it added. IndiGo also said that once these routes are operational, the airline will be connecting a total of 32 international destinations compared to 26 currently.
Trulyy India Camps & Safaris Partners With STAAH to Boost Revenue
Boutique hotel chain Trulyy India Camps & Safaris has partnered with New Zealand-based global hospitality solutions provider STAAH to optimize their hotel distribution and increase online revenue. STAAH’s Max channel manager and booking engine integrates and updates Trulyy India Camps & Safaris’ inventories across major channels, ensuring accuracy and consistency, the hotel chain said in a release. Additionally, the Review Minder tool will help manage reviews, enabling prompt responses to guest feedback and enhancing their online presence. While the payment gateway integration with STAAH will ensure safe and secure payment experiences, property management system integration aims to streamline the flow of offline and online bookings.
Emirates to Roll Out Premium Economy Seats on Select Flights
Gulf carrier Emirates has announced that it will offer premium economy class, offering more legroom, on its Airbus A380 flights to the Indian cities of Mumbai and Bengaluru, starting October 29. Travelers flying on the Dubai-Mumbai route can book Emirates’ Premium Economy seats on EK500/501, while customers flying between Dubai and Bengaluru can book their flights on EK568/569, the airline said in a statement. Emirates operates to and from nine destinations — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram — in India. Last week, Emirates President Tim Clark called for the airline industry to “do better” and put more money towards the development of sustainable aviation fuels as part of the global push to decarbonize commercial aviation.
Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels Opens Property in Sri Lanka
Indian hotel chain Royal Orchid & Regenta Hotels has launched Regenta Arie Lagoon in Negombo, Sri Lanka. The new property is situated in Thalahena, a 30-minute drive from the airport and capital of Colombo. The resort features deluxe rooms, family deluxe rooms, premier deluxe rooms with private plunge pools and premier suites, with views of the lagoon or the Indian Ocean. Chander K Baljee, chairman and managing director of Royal Orchid Hotels said that the company is also planning on further foreign launches, particularly in the Maldives, Nepal, the United Arab Emirates and Thailand. Earlier this year, Royal Orchid Hotels Limited announced a strategic expansion of its Regenta brand across India. It plans to open 26 new properties in the calendar year 2023 targeting leisure and business guests alike.
Etihad to Increase Flights Between Abu Dhabi and Kochi
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is set to increase its weekly flight frequency between Abu Dhabi and Kochi in the south Indian state of Kerala. Starting October 29, the additional daily Airbus A320 service will boost the route to 20 flights per week. In its winter flight schedule, Etihad Airways will fly to seven other destinations in India including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kolkata, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai. In April, the airline announced plans to expand its capacity in the country, as it looks to drive 20 percent growth from India in the next year, CEO Antonoaldo Neves said during his recent visit to India.
Pride Hotels to Scale Up Operations for Pride Biznotel
Hoping to cash in on the growing business travelers, Indian hospitality brand Pride Hotels Group is scaling its operations to focus more on its Pride Biznotel brand, a mid-market hotels segment primarily spread across tier 1 and tier 2 markets. “While five-star hotels in India are at par with global competitors, there is a near absence of internationally acceptable three-star hotels. We aim to bridge this gap by expanding Pride Biznotel to multiple locations to meet the discerning needs of the budget traveler. We are also buoyant on the industrial growth in various tier 2 and tier 3 cities that have fueled demand for upscale mid-market hotels in this region,” said Atul Upadhyay, executive vice president of Pride Hotels Group.
The group has signed and operates approximately 17 properties under Pride Biznotel. As part of its expansion plans, Pride Hotels will have 100 properties and over 10,000 keys by the end of 2030 across the country.
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Photo credit: The average return economy international flight is priced at $985. Michael Sotnikov / Flickr