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Travelers to Southeast Asia via Air India can now put their boarding pass or luggage worries to rest as all of this is set to get seamless.

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Air India has entered into an interline partnership with Bangkok Airways that will allow the Tata Group-owned airline’s passengers connections to 10 Southeast Asian destinations beyond the Thai capital. 

They can take convenient connections via Air India’s Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Singapore gateways to and from 10 destinations in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia on Bangkok Airways’ route network.

An interline arrangement refers to a pact to issue and accept tickets for flights that are operated by the partner airline. When selling an interline ticket, the operating airlines’ own flight numbers are used.

Scope of the Agreement: Guests can receive their boarding passes at the first point of departure for all the travel sectors on a single ticket, and have their baggage checked-in through to their final destinations.

Air India guests taking connecting flights on Bangkok Airways will also receive complimentary access to Bangkok Airways’ boutique lounges and courtesy corners at available airports, irrespective of the class of travel, Air India said in a statement. 

Other Deals: The two carriers have also entered a special prorate agreement, which allows them to file ‘through fares’ on routes covering each other’s networks. 

This arrangement means that a passenger can have a single fare for a single ticket covering all destinations in an itinerary.

Connections: Air India passengers can connect to the following points in Thailand through Bangkok Airways — Chiang Mai, Lampang, Sukhothai, Trat, Koh Samui, Phuket, and Krabi. 

The points outside of Thailand include Luang Prabang in Laos; and Phnom Penh, Siem Reap in Cambodia. The airline’s passengers can also choose to fly to Koh Samui via Singapore and Hong Kong.

Current Operations to Southeast Asia: Air India operates daily flights to Bangkok from Delhi and Mumbai, to Singapore from Delhi (twice daily), Mumbai, and Chennai, and three times a week to Hong Kong from Delhi. 

Indian Hotels Company Opens a ‘WOW Crest by SeleQtions’ Hotel in Indore

Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has opened WOW Crest, an IHCL SeleQtions hotel in Indore in the central state of Madhya Pradesh. 

Number of Rooms: The property features 125 rooms.

Location: The hotel is located a short driving distance away from the Indore airport, the city’s industrial hubs and prominent landmarks. 

Portfolio: With this addition, IHCL has nine hotels across Taj, SeleQtions, Vivanta and Ginger brands in Madhya Pradesh including one under development.

New Openings: Additionally, IHCL’s homestay portfolio Amã Stays & Trails has opened its 75th bungalow at Anjanagiri Estate in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Launched in 2019, Amã Stays & Trails is present in 12 states at 31 destinations across the country. 

Expansion Plans: With a current portfolio of 270 hotels, the company remains well poised to achieve its vision of over 325 hotels by 2025. This fiscal, the hotel will be stepping into Gangtok in Sikkim, Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh, and Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. 

South African Tourism to Conduct Travel Trade Training Program Across 6 Cities

South African Tourism will organize a training session ‘Learn South Africa 2023’ across six Indian cities to educate the travel trade on newer destination offerings and help equip them with tools to package and sell the destination effectively.

Where and When? The session will commence in Delhi on September 12, followed by Pune on October 5, Kochi on October 12, Indore on October 18, Surat on October 26, and Jaipur on November 1. 

Focus of the Program: ‘Learn SA 2023’ highlights the lesser visited provinces of South Africa. Besides the popular cities of Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban, the tourism board aims to promote newer geographies in the provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Limpopo and North West.

“2023 has been translating into another successful year for South African Tourism as we are witnessing double digit growth numbers from India. This year’s Learn SA will have a special focus on tier 1 and tier 2 cities of India,” said Neliswa Nkani, hub head of Middle East, India and Southeast Asia at South African Tourism. 

Airbus Inks Deal With Gati Shakti Vishawavidyalaya to Develop Skilled Workforce in India

Airbus and Indian Railways’ Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya have signed a memorandum of understanding, aimed at fortifying the Indian aviation sector.  

What Does the Partnership Entail? 

  • The industry-academic partnership will collaborate in the fields of research, teaching, and training of students to deepen their understanding of the scientific, technological, and management topics pertaining to the aerospace sector. 
  • Both entities will work together to support the development of the academic curriculum as well as the executive programmes relevant to the sector. Additionally, they will explore potential synergies for joint research, partnerships with international institutes and internship and placement opportunities for the students. 

“A core element of the aerospace ecosystem is talent development. Under this partnership with the GSV, we will bring in our global expertise to develop the best diverse talents in India and build a strong pipeline of skilled workforce for the sector,” said Rémi Maillard, president and managing director of Airbus India and South Asia.

Yatra to Launch IPO on September 15

Online travel agency Yatra Online plans to launch its initial public offering (IPO) on September 15. The company, which is listed on the Nasdaq since 2016, had filed a draft red herring prospectus on March 25 last year with the Indian regulatory body Securities and Exchange Board of India with a goal of raising up to INR 7.5 billion.

Current IPO: Yatra’s current IPO comprises a fresh issue of shares worth INR 6.1 billion, lower than the earlier amount of INR 7.5 billion. However, the company has also secured a pre-IPO placement of around INR 620 million to one of its promoters THCL.

Earmarking of Funds: A significant portion of the fresh issue proceeds, INR 1.5 billion, has been earmarked for strategic investments, acquisitions, and fostering inorganic growth. Additionally, the company has allocated an estimated INR 4 billion towards customer acquisition and retention, technology advancement, and various other organic growth initiatives. 

The remaining funds would be designated for general corporate purposes.

Thomas Cook India, National Payments Corporation of India Launch RuPay Forex Card for Travelers to UAE

Thomas Cook has partnered with the National Payments Corporation of India to launch a RuPay prepaid forex card for Indians traveling to the UAE as a pilot destination, followed by a phase-wise global rollout, the company said in a statement. 

Benefits of the Card: 

  • Thomas Cook travel vouchers worth $168
  • Lounge access at international airports in India
  • Free ATM withdrawal
  • Free replacement on loss of card
  • Complimentary insurance cover 

Embracing Travel Rewards: More Indian consumers are willing to use their payment cards for travel expenses and everyday costs when travel-related rewards are offered, according to a Collinson research report. 

Recent Collaborations: 

  1. Digital payments company Visa collaborated with Indian conglomerate Adani Group to introduce branded cards for travelers
  1. IDFC First Bank, Club Vistara and Mastercard joined hands to launch a travel credit card to meet the ever-changing demands of new-age travelers.
  1. Cleartrip partnered with Axis Bank to introduce travel benefits to all the existing and new Axis Bank credit cardholders while booking through the online travel agency’s platform. 

Akasa Air Partners With TripAdmit to Offer Curated Tours and Activities

India’s newest airline Akasa Air has partnered with TripAdmit — which provides online sales and distribution solutions for tour and activity operators  —  to offer tailored tours and activities across the country to its customers, reducing the hassle of research and coordination while planning their vacations. 

How This Works: Customers can book their preferred experiences along with their flights on the airline’s website or app. The service uses TripAdmit’s advanced booking software and AI technology for personalized segmentation.

International Expansion Plans: Akasa Air is looking to cover South Asian and Middle East countries. It recently added a 20th aircraft to its fleet — making it eligible to fly internationally — with the addition of Boeing 737-8-200.

The airline plans to fly international later this year with a fleet of 72 Boeing 737 Max aircraft, with intentions to expand to 100 aircraft by 2025. 

Lemon Tree Hotels Signs a Property in Mashobra

Lemon Tree Hotels has signed a 48-room property in Mashobra in the north Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Carnation Hotels, a subsidiary of Lemon Tree Hotels, will manage the hotel. 

When? The property is projected to open doors by the first quarter of 2026.

Recent Signings: The company recently signed two new properties — 60-room Lemon Tree Hotel, Bhubaneswar in Odisha and 50-room Lemon Tree Mountain Resort, Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh. 

It also signed an 80-room property in Dehradun in Uttrakhand.

Current Operations: The latest signing is an addition to the two operational hotels and four upcoming properties in Himachal Pradesh.


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Tags: air india, airbus, akasa air, bangkok, india, Indian Hotels Company, skift india report, south african tourism, southeast asia, thomas cook, yatra

Photo credit: Air India operates daily flights to Bangkok from Delhi and Mumbai. Air India

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