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Amidst signs of resilience and revival, ICRA's report also highlights the financial strain that some airlines are under, despite incremental improvements. The Indian aviation sector, characterized by intense competition, high operational costs, regulatory issues, and market volatility, has historically been a challenging business environment for airlines.

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Due to the swift rebound in domestic passenger traffic, credit rating agency ICRA maintains a stable outlook for the Indian aviation industry. The agency anticipates that this recovery will persist through the latter half of the financial year.

ICRA predicts a reduction in the industry’s net losses, estimating them to be in the range of INR 30-50 billion for fiscal year 2024. This marks a substantial improvement compared to the INR 170-175 billion net losses in the preceding fiscal year.

While certain airlines benefit from solid financial backing and liquidity, thus supporting their creditworthiness, others continue to experience financial strain, albeit with some modest improvement compared to recent years, ICRA noted in its latest report.

Domestic air passenger traffic for September was estimated at 12.3 million, 1.3% lower than 12.4 million the month before.

However, ICRA noted that this is growth of 19% from the same period last year and an increase of 7% compared to the pre-Covid levels of September 2019.

Domestic air passenger traffic in the first half of the fiscal year (between April-September) was 75.4 million, year-on-year growth of 20% and 7% higher than pre-Covid levels.

The airlines’ capacity deployment in September 2023 was higher by 10% than that of September 2022 and lower by 0.5% in comparison to the pre-Covid levels.

Between April-July 2023, the international passenger traffic for Indian carriers stood at 9.2 million, a year-on-year growth of 32%, and higher than the pre-Covid levels of 7.2million.

Oyo Looks to Add 750 Hotels in Next 3 Months

Hospitality technology company Oyo looks to add 750 hotels in the next 3 months in over 35 leisure markets. As the country gears up for the festive and winter tourism season, Oyo is all set to strengthen its presence in the key leisure markets across India.

India’s peak tourism season runs from October to January making it a crucial period for the tourism and hospitality industry.

Where? The key focus markets are Goa, Jaipur, Mussoorie, Rishikesh, Katra, Puri, Shimla, Nainital, Udaipur, and Mount Abu.

Which Brands? The new hotels will be incorporated under Oyo’s premium brands such as Palette, Townhouse, Townhouse Oak, and Collection O.

New Developments: Oyo has also launched an “Excellence Network Program” designed to empower prospective hotel owners in these key markets to make the most of the upcoming tourism season. “The program extends a suite of benefits to hotel owners to cater to the demand dynamics during peak season including access to Oyo’s extensive network of guests, prioritization on the Oyo app, and competitive commission rates,” Oyo said in a release.

Surge in Advance Bookings: Oyo has reported a 28% surge in advance bookings across all key leisure markets compared to same period last year.

Accor Launches Grand Mercure in Amritsar

Accor has now expanded its portfolio in India with the signing of Grand Mercure Amritsar Airport Road. Set to open in 2026, the 100-room property will include five spacious suites and two food and beverage outlets.

Amritsar, a city in northern India is best known for its iconic Golden Temple attracts millions of visitors round the year. The city is also popular among business travelers. The project marks the debut of the first Grand Mercure in the city.

The property is being developed by RV Enterprises.

Accor’s India Plans: In an earlier interaction with Indian media, Accor’s senior vice president operations, India and South Asia, Puneet Dhawan, had said the hotel company plans to open 30 new properties in India in the next three to five years.

Location: Dhawan had said the new properties would come up in New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mohali, Bhubaneswar and Amritsar.

Air India Appoints Sales Agent in Greece

Air India has appointed aviation services provider Asian Aviation as its general sales agent (GSA) in Greece.

Asian Aviation will provide a full range of sales and ticketing services to help widen Air India’s presence in Greece, while supporting the airline’s continuing growth and expansion in Europe, the airline said in a statement.

Air India currently operates non-stop flights from nine points in seven countries in Europe — Amsterdam, Birmingham, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Milan, Paris, and Vienna to Delhi and Mumbai.

Greece’s Eurolife Signs Up for Thomas Cook’s Green Carpet Platform

Thomas Cook (India) has partnered with digital solutions company LTIMindtree to incorporate Greece-based insurance group Eurolife FFH to its Green Carpet platform.

Launched earlier this year, Green Platform aims to track carbon emissions generated by business travel and equips organisations with tools to capture, monitor, analyse, report, and ultimately reduce their carbon emissions.

The platform offers real-time insights into Scope 3 emissions, thereby enabling organisations to markedly reduce their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting expenses. 

The onboarding of Eurolife onto the Green Carpet platform underscores the escalating necessity for global leaders to monitor and manage their carbon emissions while establishing ambitious sustainability targets, a release from LTIMindtree stated.

Thomas Cook India and LTIMindtree’s Green Carpet will deliver the following benefits to Eurolife:

  • Simplified data capture & analysis of travel emissions with real time dashboards
  • Alignment with global sustainability frameworks
  • Integration with current business travel platforms of corporates
  • Advanced AI & ML to provide analytics
  • Decision making to drive enterprise net zero goals

Virgin Atlantic Appoints New India Manager

Virgin Atlantic has appointed Shivani Singh Deo as its country manager for India. Deo has been associated with the airline for the past 8 years in the role of marketing and communications manager. Prior to Virgin Atlantic, Shivani’s career included international market exposure across industries including retail, media, and lifestyle.

The airline said Deo had led Virgin Atlantic’s brand presence in India considerably and has led the launch of its daily operations in Mumbai as well as the codeshare partnership with Indian low-cost carrier Indigo.

“Shivani (Deo) will lead our commercial strategy in India at an exciting time, as we grow our India network further in 2024 with the launch of a daily London Heathrow to Bengaluru service from March 31, 2024,” the airline said.

Alex McEwan, will continue as the country manager for the region until the end of 2023. Deo starts her new role as country manager from January 1, after which McEwan will take on the role as senior manager – Asia Pacific.

“We will continue to champion the needs of the customer and tap the incredible growth opportunities in the Indian market,” Deo said.

Marriott Launches The Artiste Kochi in Kerala

Marriott has announced the launch of The Artiste Kochi — part of the Tribute Hotel portfolio in Kerala. The 32-key boutique property also features Artiste The Restaurant — a 160-seater all-day dining space.

Developers: Marriott has partnered with one of the leading real estate developers in the country, The Prestige Group, for the property.

Marriott plans to have 250 properties across India by 2025. “We’re in 40 cities today, that should be 50 cities or more by 2025,” Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano said during his visit to India earlier this year.

Marriott’s 17th Brand: Marriott is also set to introduce Moxy — its 17th brand in the country.

Expansion in Smaller Cities: The hotel company’s strategic expansion into India’s tier two and tier three cities is in response to changing consumer behavior. These cities have been experiencing a surge in growth, driven by rising middle-class aspirations and changes in consumer preferences.


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Tags: accor, air india, asia monthly, aviation, domestic tourism, india, leisure travel, marriott, moxy hotels, oyo, sustainability, virgin atlantic

Photo credit: Credit rating agency ICRA maintains a stable outlook for the Indian aviation industry. abhirupsen_haldia / Flights line up as day dawns on New Delhi Domestic Terminal

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