With new greenfield airports coming into existence and airlines’ induction of a large number of jets, the sector calls for an urgent requirement of more personnel to meet its burgeoning demands.
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The civil aviation ministry has created an additional 1,222 new jobs in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, Airports Authority of India and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority. Some 796 positions have been created to beat the shortage of air traffic control officers. In addition, the aviation safety regulator and tariff regulator are looking to fill a total of 416 and 10 new positions.
Earlier in May, Tata Group-owned Air India’s low-cost carrier subsidiary Air India Express hired over 280 pilots and 250 cabin crew during a recruitment drive across Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru.
Air India also announced that it would be hiring more than 1,000 pilots, including captains and trainers, to support its fleet expansion plans. Having revised the salary structure for flying staff in April, the airline has also recently initiated a revamp of employment contracts and compensation for its non-flying workforce in India.
Akasa Air, India’s newest airline, reportedly raised pilots’ salary by up to 40%, after which senior first officers will get $4,145 per month versus the current $3,353. Senior captains will earn $7,621 per month up from $7,011.
Airbus plans to hire 1,000 people this year and Boeing has been growing by some 1,500 staff every year to expand its manufacturing presence in India.
Monsoon Travel Demand Surges by 32%, Oyo Says
India-based budget hotel operator and aggregator Oyo has reported a 32% uptick in booking demand during the monsoon season as compared to last year. Leisure destinations drove the surge in travel demand, highlighting a growing preference of travelers to embark on vacations during the rainy season, which is a deviation from the typical summer season.
Mountains have emerged as the clear favorite this monsoon, with a 124% surge in travel demand. Nainital, Mussoorie, Shimla, Lonavala, and Ooty emerged as the top mountain destinations.
Beach destinations followed next with a 112% uptick. Goa and Pondicherry were the top choices, followed by destinations like Digha, Alibaug and Kollam.
Spiritual destinations also gained traction, with Varanasi, Puri, Tirupati, Amritsar and Haridwar as favorites. Goa and Manali occupied the top beach and hill vacation spots respectively, according to Oyo’s Summer Vacation Index 2023.
IndiGo to Start Delhi-Baku Direct From August 11
Budget carrier IndiGo is set to introduce direct flights between Delhi and Baku in Azerbaijan, starting August 11. The airline will operate a four-times-weekly service between the two cities. IndiGo will also commence direct flights from Mumbai to Nairobi in Kenya and Jakarta in Indonesia, from August 5 and August 7, respectively.
Early this month, in an exclusive interview with Skift, IndiGo CEO Pieter Elbers announced the airline’s plans to launch air services to Nairobi, Jakarta and some Central Asian countries as part of its international expansion plans. IndiGo also received aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation’s nod to start operations between Delhi and Tbilisi in Georgia from August 7. Additionally, the airline has announced the launch of three new flights to Rajkot, Jodhpur and Vadodara, from Pune.
MakeMyTrip to Add to Inventory of Homestays Ahead of Cricket Season
Online travel company MakeMyTrip plans to increase the inventory of homestay properties across select metros during the cricket season starting October. This year India will be hosting the International Cricket Council World Cup from October 5 to November 19 across 10 venues in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Dharamsala, Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai, and Kolkata.
“Historically, our efforts to increase penetration have been focused on leisure markets, but now we are also focusing on business cities. It will be a win-win for the host and the traveler as India gets ready to immerse itself in cricket fever,” said Parikshit Choudhury, chief business officer of alternate accommodation and customer contact group at MakeMyTrip.
The company has also constituted a ‘Host Your Home Cell,’ to facilitate the smooth onboarding of homes on MakeMyTrip’s homestay funnel, it said in a statement.
Lemon Tree Hotels Signs a Second Property in Udaipur
India’s mid-market hotel chain Lemon Tree Hotels has signed a license agreement for a 48-room property in Udaipur in the northern state of Rajasthan, under the company’s brand ‘Keys Select by Lemon Tree Hotels.’ Carnation Hotels, a wholly-owned subsidiary and the management arm of Lemon Tree Hotels will manage the hotel, which is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of financial year 2024.
“This addition expands our portfolio in the city, which already has the company’s upscale brand Aurika. Rajasthan has six operational and three upcoming properties, aside from this one,” said Mahesh Aiyer, CEO of Carnation Hotels.
Lemon Tree Hotels currently operates 8,550 rooms in 91 hotels across 57 destinations. When the current pipeline becomes operational, the company will be operating 12,250 rooms in 137 hotels across 88 destinations.
Airports Authority of India, SITA Partner to Offer Cloud-Based Innovations to Passengers
Airports operator, Airports Authority of India has partnered with global airlines technology provider SITA to implement cloud-based technologies across 43 airports in the country.
This initiative aims to enhance over 2,700 passenger touchpoints, enabling the adoption of innovative solutions that meet the expectations of modern travelers. The scalable technologies will eventually be deployed in an additional 40 airports within the next seven years, with an estimated 500 million passengers expected to benefit from these advancements.
“The solutions will give passengers more control over their journey, offering a low-touch, efficient check-in, bag drop and collection process through assisted and self-service mechanisms. The airports will benefit from a reduced infrastructure footprint and increased operational efficiency,” Sumesh Patel, president of SITA Asia Pacific told a press conference.
Under the agreement, SITA will deploy its common use passenger processing system, common use self service and bag manager.
EgyptAir to Start Delhi-Cairo Direct From August 4
Egypt’s flag carrier EgyptAir is set to commence direct flights on the Delhi-Cairo route, starting August 4. The opening of the new routes is a part of the airline’s ambitious plan to expand its direct route network. With four weekly flights between the two cities, the airline will operate its latest generation A320 neo aircraft, which offers 16 Business Class and 126 Economy Class seats.
Flight MS973 will depart from Cairo at 11:40 hours on Fridays and Sundays, arriving in Delhi at 20:45 hours (local time). Another flight, MS975 departs from Cairo at 23:50 hours on Thursdays and Saturdays to arrive in Delhi at 8:55 hours the next day (local time).
Wyndham Opens a Days Inn Hotel in Gangtok
Hotel franchising company Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has opened a Days Inn by Wyndham Gangtok Tadong hotel in the eastern state of Sikkim. The 43-room property is located an hours’ drive from Pakyong airport.
“Days Inn by Wyndham is one of our most popular brands with more than 1,600 hotels across the world. We are happy to open our seventh hotel in India under the brand,” said Nikhil Sharma, market managing director of Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
Over the last three months, the company opened two new hotels in India — a 70-room Ramada by Wyndham Goa Vagator and a 100-room Ramada Encore by Wyndham Indore, Nipania, and signed two new properties — a 138-room Wyndham Garden Agra Tajganj, scheduled to open in 2025 and a 65-room Ramada by Wyndham Goa Arpora, expected to open in 2024.
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Photo credit: Air India will will hire more than 1,000 pilots, including captains and trainers. Benjamin Schudel / VT-SCJ SIN 19.02.2013