With the insolvency proceedings turning out to be a long-drawn-out process, cash-strapped Go First is as good as a shut shop.
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Nearly 500 of the 600 Go First pilots have quit and joined other airlines, including Air India and IndiGo, which have been expanding their operations aggressively. That leaves the crisis-hit carrier with only 100 pilots.
The airline hasn’t paid employees since May 2023, according to Indian media reports.
Declining Employee Count: Go First has lost about 1,200 employees since July, including cabin crew and aircraft maintenance engineers. The airline currently has 3,000 employees, down from 4,200 employees on July 10 when it invited expressions of interest from potential bidders to restart operations.
Go First’s employee count could further fall to 2,400-2,500 by mid-September as 500 to 600 more employees have quit and are serving notice periods.
Financial Crisis: The airline’s financial problems have been compounded by the delay in its revival. Apart from salaries, employees are frustrated over the lack of clarity on interim funding infusion that was to be done by banks.
Lenders had committed to infuse $55 million as interim funding to bring the airline back on the runway. But banks are reportedly waiting for the outcome of the Delhi High Court’s ruling on the aircraft lessors matter. Since aircraft remain crucial for the airline’s revival, it’s obvious for any investor to check if there will be adequate aircraft to restart and sustain operations. And this could also be one of the reasons why Go First extended the deadline to receive Expression Of Interest by a month to September 8.
Go First ceased flying on May 3 this year.
SanKash and Musafir.com Join Hands to Simplify Travel Transactions
Travel fintech start-up SanKash has partnered with online travel company Musafir.com to offer flexible payment options to travelers by reducing the stress of one-time payment and spreading the cost from six months to 36 months.
What Does the Partnership Offer?
- Musafir.com offers customers the flexibility to visit their dream destinations without making any down payment and availing 0% interest on equated monthly installment with the ‘travel now pay later’ service.
- The alliance aims to empower travelers to explore the world without financial constraints while experiencing transparent pricing and a premium travel experience.
Earlier Deals: In March, the company joined hands with online travel company EaseMyTrip for travel insurance and travel-now-pay-later services.
Air India Express to Add 50 Planes and New Destinations by December 2024
Tata Group-owned Air India’s low-cost carrier subsidiary Air India Express is set to add around 50 Boeing 737 Max aircraft by December 2024.
How Will This Aid Growth? This will help the airline grow its existing West Asia network and launch new domestic and international routes, including those to Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, and the Maldives. The airline is also planning new domestic flights from Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and cities in Kerala.
Merger Process: Once Air India Express is merged with AirAsia India, a complete merger as a single corporate entity using a single air operator certificate is planned for March 2024.
Fleet: Currently, Air India Express has 26 Boeing 737 NG planes, while AirAsia India has 28 Airbus A320 planes. The two airlines combined operate around 290 flights daily.
Cygnett Hotels Launches Cozzet Collection Model for Budget Hotels
Midscale hospitality chain Cygnett Hotels & Resorts has unveiled Cozzet Collection to support small and medium-sized unbranded hotel owners and help them improve their technology, marketing, and business know-how.
How Will it Benefit Hotels? Cozzet Collection hotels would benefit from an advanced integrated cloud property management system, booking engine, distribution technology, and revenue management systems. Additionally, owners and managers will receive fundamental training to maximize the effectiveness of these tools.
Implementation: Three properties in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh are operating under the Cozzet Collection umbrella.
“There is immense potential in bringing small hotels from the unorganized sector into the organized hospitality business. We aim to have 10,000 rooms operating under the Cozzet Collection model within the next few years. Our expansion under the brand will include standalone small hotels of less than 40 keys across the country,” said Sarbendra Sarkar, founder and managing director of Cygnett Hotels and Resorts and Cozzet Hotels.
Port Blair Airport’s New Terminal Kicks Off Operations
Operations at the new terminal building of the Port Blair airport began with the arrival of an IndiGo flight from Chennai, followed by another Air India flight from Chennai.
Terminal Features: With a total built-up area of 40,800 square meters and a cost of $87 million, the shell-shaped building has the capacity to handle 1,200 passengers during peak hours and around 5 million passengers annually.
Other Highlights: The three-storied building will be equipped with 28 check-in counters, three passenger boarding bridges and four conveyor belts. Additionally, the airport’s new apron can accommodate up to 10 aircraft.
Hyatt Place Debuts in Andhra Pradesh With Vijayawada Property
Hyatt Hotels Corporation has opened Hyatt Place Vijayawada, marking the debut of the brand in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh
Number of Rooms: The hotel offers 81 rooms and suites.
Location: The property is close to the city’s commercial district and a 20-minute drive from the Vijayawada International Airport.
Current Portfolio: Hyatt operates 42 properties in India across eight brands — Andaz, Alila, Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Centric, Hyatt Place, Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt.
Future Plans: Hyatt plans to add over 10,000 keys by 2023, including the launch of Hyatt Centric Rajpur Road Dehradun and a 110-key Hyatt Place Haridwar.
Air India to Provide Travel to European Cities With AccessRail Agreement
Tata Group-owned Air India has entered into an intermodal interline agreement with AccesRail to boost connectivity options for Air India guests across Europe, including smaller cities without airports.
What the Agreement Entails: Air India guests can travel on a single intermodal ticket and take seamless on-ground train and bus connections to more than 100 cities and towns in Austria, Belgium, Germany, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom via its European gateways of Amsterdam, Birmingham, London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Milan, and Vienna.
They can also enjoy the benefit of the same baggage allowance on these rail or bus operator services as offered by Air India on its own flights.
AccesRail Network: Avanti West Coast (UK), Great Western Railways (UK), London North Eastern Railways (UK), National Express (UK), Trenitalia (Italy), ÖBB Austrian Railways (Austria), SNCB Belgian Railways, and Thalys (Netherlands/Belgium).
Ixigo Becomes Official Co-Sponsor of Men’s Asia Cup Cricket 2023
Online travel agency Ixigo has become the official co-sponsor of the upcoming Men’s Asia Cup 2023, which will be held from August 30 to September 17.
How Will the Collaboration Benefit Ixigo? Ixigo is set to increase its global visibility to an audience of more than 500 million viewers. The company will be showcased in multiple key areas in the match venues as well as on television and over-the-top platforms through on-ground visibility and awards.
New Campaign: Ixigo has also rolled out a ‘Ticket to Cricket’ campaign to engage with cricket fans under which the company is running social media and coupon code contests this month, offering match tickets and flat $361 off on flight tickets for the Asia Cup.
“With millions of cricket and travel enthusiasts expected to follow the tournament closely, we anticipate a surge in travel bookings over the next two months as fans unite to support their favorite teams,” said Ixigo Co-founders Rajnish Kumar and Aloke Bajpai.
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Photo credit: Go First’s employee count could further fall to 2400-2500 by mid-September. Praveen Thirumurugan / Go First Airlines in the apron