Skift Take

Lack of education about travel insurance remains the biggest obstacle for brands’ selling it. Companies must therefore inform consumers on why they need the product regardless.

Only 25% of Indians traveling abroad purchase travel insurance well in advance while making travel arrangements, while the majority of them wait until the last three days to buy it, according to data compiled by insurance aggregator Policybazaar.

“Early buying allows travelers ample time to carefully review and select a travel insurance policy that offers the specific coverage they need. Besides focusing on coverage limits, deductibles, and exclusions, travelers must ensure the policy covers the destinations they plan to visit and any specific activities they intend to do, such as adventure sports,” Manas Kapoor, business head of travel insurance, told Skift. 

What Influences this Behavior? A major chunk of Indian travelers visit Asian countries, where policy documents are not required until the day of the trip. This practice can lead to travelers overlooking the importance of securing insurance well in advance.

Benefits of Travel Insurance: To provide protection against baggage loss, flight cancellation, and medical emergencies.

Key Findings: 

  • As of July 2023, over 38% of the people traveling abroad plan their trips for more than 15 days, mostly for European countries, followed by 26% of them planning to stay for 7-10 days.
  • 7 out of 10 people understand the importance of having an adequate sum insured while traveling abroad, choosing over 1 lakh dollars as the sum insured. While the rest of them choose almost half of it, which is the minimum coverage one can opt for.
  • International leisure travel has rebounded to pre-pandemic levels, with over 97% of travelers exploring foreign destinations. Thailand continues to be the most preferred Asian travel destination for Indians. 
  • Statistics for the first quarter of 2024 reveal that 50% Indians traveling to Asian countries belong to the age group of 18-35 years, while those in the age bracket of 36-50 years account for 24% of travelers. 

IndiGo Expands Fleet With Order for 10 More Airbus A320 Neo Planes

Budget carrier IndiGo has decided to place an order for another 10 A320 neo family aircraft.

Existing Order: The additional aircraft will be part of a previous order for 300 Airbus jets worth around $33 billion, which was placed in October 2019.

The latest decision comes three months after IndiGo announced placing a record order to buy 500 narrow-body planes from Airbus worth $50 billion, which was one of the largest-ever aircraft purchases by an airline.

Delivery: The aircraft will be delivered between 2030 and 2035, the airline had said.

International Operations: Foraying into Central Asia, IndiGo is set to operate four weekly non-stop flights between Delhi and Tashkent from September 22. The airline recently launched new flights to destinations in Africa, West Asia and Southeast Asia.

Russia Woos Indian Travelers With E-Visa and Foreign Tourist Card

Russia is pulling out all the stops to lure Indian tourists in a bid to shore up arrivals in a post-pandemic scenario and amid the ongoing Ukraine conflict.

“We are still on our way to restore the flow of Indian tourists in Moscow like it used to be before the pandemic. Before the pandemic, there was very steady growth like 12-15% on a year-on-year basis,” said Bulat Nurmukhanov, head of international cooperation division at Moscow City Tourism Committee.

Visa Offering: The e-visa facility with validity for 60 days and a processing time of just four workdays was extended to Indians last month. The facility is expected to cut short the extensive documentation process and reduce the processing time.

“In the first half of this year, we have already received about 20,000 Indians in Moscow – 56% higher than the same period last year. Indians are coming back,” Nurmukhanov added.

Enabling Cashless Payments: The Russian government is also working on a plan to issue a foreign tourist card to help address payment-related issues, after the departure of MasterCard and Visa from the Russian market. 

Chennai Airport to Have Two Domestic Terminals from October

Chennai airport will have two functional domestic terminals, starting from October. 

How This Will Benefit Passengers: The development aims to reduce congestion, streamline operations, and enhance passenger experience during peak hours.

Operations: The move comes following the opening of a part of the new integrated terminal (T2) to which the international flight operations have shifted in July. While the existing domestic terminal (T1) will operate as usual, the international terminal (T4) that was handling international flights till a few months ago will turn into the second domestic terminal.

Clear Signages: Airlines, including IndiGo, SpiceJet and Akasa Air, will use the T1 terminal while Air India, Air Asia and Vistara will shift to the T4 terminal, airport officials said. 

Signum Resort Igatpuri Opens Doors in Maharashtra

Hotel management company Signum Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Signum Resort Igatpuri in the western state of Maharashtra. 

Number of Rooms: The property will feature 35 rooms.

Recent Openings: Last month, Signum Hotels launched a property in GujaratSignum CityScapes Landmark in the port town of Dahej.

Footprint: The company has already opened 12 hotels in India and manages over 500 apartments spread across more than 40 locations.

Expansion Plans: Signum plans to open more properties in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Air India Express to Launch New Brand Soon

Air India Express, which will function as the low-cost arm of Tata Group-owned Air India, will follow in the footsteps of its parent company and unveil its new brand in the next couple of months, the airline said in a statement.

What the Rebranding Entails: Air India Express, which is in the process of getting merged with AIX Connect (formerly known as AirAsia India), will aim to establish meaningful connections’ including international routes, offer a ‘unique experience’ with an Indian touch, and offer ‘best-in-class value to its passengers, the airline said.

“Our ambitions will ride upon our huge fleet and network expansion, in the domestic India market as well as short-haul international region, unlocking synergies with the merger of the two entities,” said Aloke Singh, CEO of Air India Express and AIX Connect.

Integrated Website: In July, the two airlines had received regulatory approval to operate under the brand “Air India Express” and launched a unified website,

Operations: Air India Express and AIX Connect are subsidiaries of Air India, together operating over 300 flights daily across 30 domestic and 14 international airports, with a fleet of 54 aircraft, comprising 26 Boeing 737s and 28 Airbus A320s.

Vizag International Cruise Terminal to Launch Services in November

Set to launch services in November, the newly-inaugurated $11.56 million Vizag International Cruise Terminal is expected to boost cruise tourism from the port city in Andhra Pradesh.

Capacity: The terminal can accommodate 2000 passenger cruise ships. 

Other Facilities: Additionally, the terminal houses a covered storage shed-2 in port area, a truck parking terminal as well as one oil refinery berth to boost the capacity of the Vizag Port.

Cruise Services: The Visakhapatnam Port Authority — in association with cruise lines Cordelia, Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises — plans to add services to Chennai, Colombo/Trincomalee, Singapore and Bangladesh, besides exploring coastal cruises to Orissa and the Sunderbans. 

UAE-India Flight Prices Set to Drop 15-30% After September 14

After three months of price hikes, airline ticket prices from the UAE to several Indian cities are expected to decrease by 15-30% after September 14. 

Airfare Range: One-way fares are expected to remain in the $215.39 to $258.26 range until November 1. Following this, fares are expected to stay elevated until the second week of January 2024, coinciding with the festival season as well as the New Year rush, according to travel agents. 

Sweet Respite: Many Indian expatriates returning to the UAE after the summer holidays had to delay their travel plans due to a more than 200% increase in fares compared to off-season dates. However, fares for round-trip travel have now significantly dropped. 

New Offering: Emirates will introduce Premium Economy services to Mumbai and Bengaluru from October 29, coinciding with the beginning of the winter peak season.


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Tags: air india, airbus, airfares, chennai, cruise lines, india, indigo, moscow, msc cruises, royal caribbean cruises, russia, skift india report, travel insurance

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