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Historically, any airline that has suspended operations in India has never restarted. But things have come a long way for Go First.

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As part of its revival process, crisis-hit airline Go First‘s resolution professional has invited expressions of interest from potential bidders to restart operations. It has set August 9 as the last date for submission. The carrier stopped flying on May 3 as more than half of its fleet was grounded due to a lack of Pratt & Whitney engines.

The final list of prospective resolution applicants will be declared on August 19, according to the public notice issued by the company’s resolution professional Shailendra Ajmera. The last date for submitting any objections is August 24. 

Last month, Go First’s committee of creditors — comprising the Central Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, IDBI Bank and Deutsche Bank — was formed under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, which later submitted a revival plan to aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation for restarting operations. Lenders to the airline have an exposure of $797.38 million

The regulator conducted a special audit of the facilities of Go First in Mumbai and Delhi from July 4 to 6. Based on the audit findings, it will decide on approving the airline’s revival plan.

Oyo to Add 500 Hotels in Cricket World Cup Host Cities 

Budget hotel operator and aggregator Oyo will add 500 new hotels in host cities over the next three months to meet the increase in booking demand. 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.

The new hotels will be strategically located near the stadiums, ensuring ease of access for cricket fans traveling from around the world, Oyo said in a statement. Hotel tariffs and airfares around match days have already been soaring due to heightened demand across host cities three months ahead. Additionally, online travel company MakeMyTrip also plans to increase its inventory of homestay properties across select metros during the cricket season.

Akasa Air to Hire 500 Employees Ahead of International Expansion

India’s newest airline Akasa Air, which will be completing one year of its operations next month, has said it is looking to add some 500 people to its workforce. 

“At Akasa, we have one of the lowest attrition rates and the fastest-growing network in the industry. Today, we have 3,000 employees and expect to grow to approximately 3,500 employees in 2023,” the carrier said in a statement.

Last month, Akasa Air announced it will acquire four more Boeing 737 Max planes and said it was looking at a three-digit aircraft order by the end of this year. In another development, the airline started a daily direct flight between Mumbai and Kolkata last week, and has also increased frequency between Delhi and Ahmedabad by adding two flights a day on the route.

Tourists in Rajasthan to Get Access to Multiple Sites Via Single Smart Card

The Rajasthan government is reportedly working on a system under which tourists will have access to multiple monuments and transport facilities through a single smart card. A tourism department official said initially tourists will have access to multiple monuments through one smart card, which they will have to recharge.

He further added that integration of this card will be done with the services of roadways. In the initial phase, only super luxury buses will be included in the service for intrastate travel. Also, validity of the cards will be decided in such a manner that it can also help in crowd management at monuments. 

Last month, the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation said it is renovating 10 of its hotels to give a new lease of life to its properties facing stiff competition from private hotels

Godrej Aerospace in Talks With Airbus, Boeing Suppliers Amid Surge in Plane Orders 

India’s Godrej Aerospace is in talks to build aircraft parts for suppliers to Airbus and Boeing as airlines place record jet orders.

Air India and IndiGo have nearly 1,000 new planes on order, which means 2,000-2,500 engines would at some point need maintenance, said Maneck Behramkamdin, associate vice president and business head at Godrej Aerospace. There are a lot of opportunities in supplying for the structure of the aircraft and there are also large titanium requirements, he said, adding there will also be demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft parts. 

India has been pushing for indigenous manufacturing as well as local sourcing of components for aerospace and defense. Last week, Boeing said it is increasing sourcing of aircraft components from India.

IHCL Stays the Course to Achieve Vision of 325 Hotels by 2025

Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has signed 11 hotels and opened five properties across destinations in the second quarter of this year.

“Taj strengthened its presence with a 400-room hotel in Delhi and a 120-room hotel in Kochi and entered new markets like Raichak in West Bengal and Dhaka in Bangladesh. Leading in the leisure segment, IHCL signed a SeleQtions in Kumbhalgarh and Naukuchiatal,” said Suma Venkatesh, executive vice president of real estate and development at IHCL.

With a current portfolio of 270 hotels, the company remains well poised to achieve its vision of over 325 hotels by 2025. This fiscal, IHCL will be stepping into Gangtok in Sikkim, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, Jaisalmer in Rajasthan while adding to its portfolio in Mumbai, National Capital Region, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Srinagar, Tirupati, Ranthambore, among others.

Goa Seeks Tourists from U.S., South Korea, UAE and Pitches for Digital Nomad Visa

Goa aims to attract tourists from the U.S., South Korea and the UAE besides traditional markets like Russia and the UK, state tourism minister Rohan Khaunte said. 

“The state tourism department is promoting festivals like Sao Joao, Chikal Khalo (mud festival) and others so that tourists can enjoy Goa beyond beaches,” he added.

Khaunte has also urged the union government to introduce a special visa for tech and gig workers who wish to work from anywhere, a move he said will be hugely beneficial for the state. He said a digital nomad visa would boost Goa’s homestays that are hoping to get visitors on long stays. Rather than work while on a tourist visa, which is illegal, countries across the world have begun issuing these specially-crafted visas to cater to this group of workers.

Courtyard by Marriott Madurai Launches Electric Vehicle Charging Station

In an effort to reduce carbon footprint, Courtyard by Marriott Madurai in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu has inaugurated its first electric charging station

Charge Zone, our state-of-the-art fast charging station, has been specifically designed to charge two electric vehicles simultaneously from 0% to 80% within an impressive 45-60 minutes,” said JP Menon, general manager of Courtyard by Marriott Madurai.

Last month, India’s Tata Power partnered with budget hotel chain Le Roi Hotels and Resorts to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure across their hotels in the country. Earlier in March this year, heritage hotel chain WelcomHeritage Hotels also joined hands with SunFuel to install charging stations across all its hotels.

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Tags: air india, airbus, akasa air, Boeing, dgca, digital nomads, goa tourism, india, Indian Hotels Company, indigo, oyo, rajasthan tourism, skift india report

Photo credit: Go First stopped flying on May 3. Praveen Thirumurugan / Go First Airlines in the apron

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