Reliance’s venture into hospitality is timely, especially at a time when hotel demand is set to outstrip supply over the next few years.
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Indian conglomerate Reliance Industries Limited has joined forces with luxury hotel group Oberoi Hotels and Resorts to co-manage three hospitality projects spread across India and the UK.
Which Are the Three Properties?
- Anant Vilas in Mumbai: It is conceived as the first metro-centric property as part of the luxury ‘Vilas’ portfolio run by Oberoi. Located in the mixed-use destination of Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, Anant Vilas seeks to augment the hotel footprint of the business district.
- Stoke Park, UK: This subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited owns sports and leisure facilities in Stoke Poges, Buckinghamshire. The facilities include a hotel, sports facilities and a golf course. Oberoi will assist Reliance to upgrade the facilities and make it a world-class destination.
- New Project, Gujarat: This unnamed upcoming project in the western state of Gujarat is also envisaged as another iconic project to augment the tourism potential in the state.
Other Deals: Last year, Reliance paid nearly $100 million for a controlling stake in Mandarin Oriental New York, a five-star hotel in midtown Manhattan, through the purchase of its Cayman Islands-based parent.
Earlier in March, Reliance said it would foray into the hospitality industry under its new arm Reliance SOU, engaging in hotels, resorts, and service apartments that will provide short-term lodging facilities.
Air India Express, AIX Connect Revamps Compensation Structure Ahead of Merger
Air India Express and AIX Connect, operating as AirAsia India, have rolled out new grades, compensation and benefits across the organization ahead of their merger, they said in a statement.
How the New Structure Benefits Employees: The new structure ensures that the airlines’ remuneration and benefits are market-competitive. It also enables greater transparency and career progression opportunities for all employees, and is aligned with the recently rolled out structure and grades at Air India, the release added.
Integrated Website: The unified website, airindiaexpress.com, allows users to book and manage services from both airlines in domestic and international sectors with an integrated backend passenger service system.
Current Operations: Air India Express operates flights from 20 Indian cities to 14 international destinations while AIX Connect serves 19 domestic destinations.
India Among Top Countries to Contribute to Malaysia’s Tourist Arrivals
India remains to be among the top countries to contribute tourist arrivals to Malaysia, according to YB Tuan Khairul Firdaus Akbar Khan, deputy minister of tourism, arts and culture of Malaysia.
Malaysia is currently targeting 16.1 million international tourist arrivals this year.
Indian Arrivals to Malaysia: In 2022, Malaysia welcomed a total of 324,548 Indian tourists while in the first quarter of 2023, it received as many as 164,566 Indian tourists compared to 13,370 in the same period last year, Khan said at a press meet in Kochi during Tourism Malaysia’s two-week long sales mission in India.
The roadshow kicked off in Amritsar followed by Lucknow, Nagpur, Pune, Goa, and Kochi.
Flight Connections: Currently, there are 158 flights with 30,032 seats offered weekly between India and Malaysia through Malaysia Airlines, Batik Air, AirAsia, and IndiGo. Indian tourists can now apply for Malaysia’s eVISA Multiple Entry Visa through https://malaysiavisa.imi.gov.my/evisa/evisa.jsp.
Air India, IndiGo to Shift Operations to Terminal 2 of Bengaluru Airport from August 31
Tata Group-owned Air India will shift its flight operations from Terminal 1 to the recently launched Terminal 2 at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru from August 31, the airline said in a statement.
Operation Details: All Air India operations, both domestic and international, will operate to and from Terminal 2 of the airport, except for AI176 from San Francisco, which will land at Terminal 1 on August 31 only.
Additionally, IndiGo will also operate all international flights at Kempegowda from Terminal 2, and all domestic flights will arrive and depart from Terminal 1 from August 31.
Both the airlines have taken all measures to ensure passengers are informed of the changes.
Terminal 2 Highlights: Built at a cost of around $605 million, the new terminal can handle around 50-60 million passengers annually.
Ramada Plaza by Wyndham to Open in Varanasi
Hotel franchising company Wyndham Hotels & Resorts has signed a franchise agreement with Savitri Sales in Varanasi to open Ramada Plaza by Wyndham in Varanasi in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Number of Rooms: Spread over two acres, the hotel will offer 100 guest rooms.
Opening: Ramada Plaza by Wyndham Varanasi Katesar is expected to open doors by February 2027.
Location: The property will be located 20 miles away from the Varanasi airport and 8 miles away from the railway station.
“We are delighted to sign our second hotel with Savitri Sales in the City of Ganges under our popular Ramada Plaza by Wyndham brand,” said Nikhil Sharma, market managing director of Eurasia at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.
Vistara to Start Delhi-Maldives Direct from October 1
Vistara said it will increase operations in Malé with direct daily flights to and from Delhi, starting October 1.
Aircraft Type: Vistara, a joint venture between the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, will operate an A320neo aircraft in a three-class configuration on the route.
Air India-Vistara Merger: Vistara’s merger with Air India is on track and the airline expects to receive all regulatory approvals by April 2024, CEO Vinod Kannan said last month.
Last November, Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines announced the merger of Vistara with Air India but the transaction is under the scrutiny of antitrust regulator Competition Commission of India over competition concerns in the aviation sector. The watchdog has issued a show-cause notice to Air India to explain its position and asked the company for clarification on why the merger should not be investigated.
IndiGo to Lease 10 A320 Neos from BOC Aviation
Low-cost Indian carrier IndiGo and Singapore-based aircraft lessor BOC Aviation have entered into a finance lease transaction for 10 Airbus A320NEO aircraft.
When Will the Aircraft be Delivered? Powered by CFM Leap-1A engines, the aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2023.
“This extended collaboration with BOC Aviation is part of the airline’s expansion strategy across domestic and international markets,” said Riyaz Peer Mohamed, chief aircraft acquisition and financing officer of IndiGo.
Recent Orders: The airline also recently placed an order of 500 aircraft with Airbus, to be delivered between 2030 and 2035.
Other Highlights: IndiGo’s co-founder Rakesh Gangwal and his family disclosed they would sell up to $450 million of shares in the budget carrier’s parent holding, InterGlobe Aviation.
FlyArystan to Start Direct Flights Between Delhi and Almaty from September 24
Kazakhstan’s low-cost carrier FlyArystan has announced the launch of Delhi-Almaty route to boost its international network.
Frequency: Effective September 24, 2023, FlyArystan will operate three times a week but plans to increase service to Delhi and other Indian cities in the coming months.
Other Destinations: The airline had in May launched flights from Delhi to Shymkent with two weekly services on Mondays and Thursdays.
“With visa-free access to Kazakhstan, a growing economy, and many business and education opportunities, we are excited to bring low fares to the Indian market,” said FlyArystan Sales and Marketing Director Madina Buzhinova.
Additionally, IndiGo is also set to commence operations between Delhi and Almaty from September 5. The airline plans to introduce three daily flights to Almaty.
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Photo credit: Reliance paid nearly $100 million for a controlling stake in Mandarin Oriental New York last year. Pictured is The Oberoi Grand Kolkata Hotel. Phil Parsons / Flickr