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MakeMyTrip has been witnessing a robust increase in Indian travelers' interest in Bhutan. This service aims to capture that opportunity.

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Online travel agency MakeMyTrip has announced a new exclusive charter service between Mumbai and Bhutan. This service is a part of its holiday packages and the exclusive charter will depart once a week.

The service has been launched due to the increasing popularity of Bhutan among Indian travelers, said Jasmeet Singh, senior vice president, holidays and experience at MakeMyTrip. 

Popularity of Bhutan: On the MakeMyTrip platform, Bhutan is among the five most-searched emerging destinations with a year-on-year increase of more than 200%. 

This year between January 1 and March 31, Bhutan received a record number of visitors. Of the more than 25,000 visitors during this period, 60% originated from India. March 2024 alone was the third-busiest month since the kingdom’s reopening, and during the month, 57% of the tourists were from India. 

Bhutan has made travel for Indians simple as visitors only require a permit to enter the country at a fee that is lower compared to tourists from other parts of the world. This year, the kingdom is expecting around 150,000 Indian tourists, more than double of 2023 levels, Bhutan’s prime minister Tshering Tobgay said last month.

IndiGo Ordered 10 A320 NEO Aircraft in March

Budget carrier IndiGo placed an order for 10 additional A320 NEO aircraft in March, Airbus’ order and deliveries data for March 2024 shows. The order was placed on March 15. 

The airline operates the largest fleet in India and is one of the biggest customers of Airbus. It is seeking to expand its operations domestically and internationally and double its capacity over the next seven years. The most recent order is in line with this larger goal.

Last year, IndiGo placed a mega order for 500 aircraft with Airbus, the largest order to be placed in the history of passenger jets. The airline has an order book for over 1,300 aircraft with Airbus, of which nearly 400 have been delivered so far. In 2024, eight aircraft were delivered by the plane manufacturer to IndiGo. 

IHG Opens Holiday Inn Express Bangalore Bommasandra

IHG Hotels and Resorts has announced the opening of Holiday Inn Express Bangalore Bommasandra. The 135-key hotel aims to serve the business travelers visiting this micro-market in Bengaluru. 

IHG currently has 45 hotels in India, operating under five brands. Another 45 hotels are in its pipeline, expecting to be opened within the next three to five years. 

India is an important market for IHG, according to Sudeep Jain, managing director, South West Asia. The company has been expanding its presence in the country according to the growing potential of the secondary markets in India. Earlier this year, Jain said that IHG is strategically introducing its brands to newer markets to fulfill the demand in these regions. 

Air India to Fly to Ho Chi Minh City From June

Former national carrier Air India will start non-stop flights between Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam from June 1 this year. The airline will operate five weekly flights on the route. 

The route will add to Air India’s current network of four direct routes between India and Southeast Asia: Singapore, Bangkok, Phuket, and Yangon. 

Air India is in the middle of being merged with sister airline Vistara after the former national carrier was acquired by Tata Group. In the run-up to the merger, Air India is expanding its operations. It is reportedly also planning to begin long-haul direct flights to Seattle, Los Angeles, and Dallas. 

Indian Railways’ Ramayana Yatra Train Boosts Spiritual Tourism

Indian Railways is running the Ramayana Yatra train to cover 14 cities linked to Hindu deity Lord Rama. The pilgrimage train covers 39 revered sites, including Lord Rama’s birthplace Ayodhya, and travels across the country to help devotees visit these sites. 

Spiritual tourism in India is a major part of the industry, boosted by the consecration ceremony of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. While the government of India has schemes geared towards boosting and improving religious tourism in India, airlines and private hotels have also been increasing their presence in spiritual sites. 

Budget carriers IndiGo and SpiceJet launched airlines to Ayodhya in January this year, while several hotel brands including Radisson and Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) have signed and opened properties in the city. 

Goa Airport to Get DigiYatra This Month

The Dabolim International Airport in Goa is set to get biometric-based access system DigiYatra by the end of April. DigiYatra is the ministry of civil aviation’s digital initiative that uses facial recognition for faster processing of passengers at airport entry gate, pre-security gate, and boarding gate.

The system is being installed at the airport, the Economic Times has said. The aim is to improve service at the airport and reduce the time taken by passengers between entry into the airport and boarding. Earlier this month, DigiYatra was launched at the Chennai airport.

Former SpiceJet Chief Launches Private Charter Carrier

Former SpiceJet chief operating officer Arun Kashyap has launched a private charter carrier called Sirius India Airlines. Kashyap aims to cater to the upscale travel market with his new venture. Sirius India Airlines has tied up with Dubai-based company Transworld Group to bring its luxury private air travel brand Airavat Aviation to India. 

Kashyap had left SpiceJet in early March to enter the air charter business. Sirius India Airlines is starting its operations with a single jet – the Hawker 4000. It is, however, looking to expand its fleet swiftly to three jets over the next few months. 


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Tags: air india, air travel, airbus, airbus a320, aircraft, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, airport, airport technology, aviation, aviation industry, aviation news, bhutan, charters, goa tourism, hotels, ihg, india, india outbound, india travel, indian airlines, Indian Hotels Company, indian railways, indigo, indigo airlines, makemytrip, online, online booking, online bookings, online travel, online travel agencies, online travel companies, religious travel, skift india report, spicejet, tourism, Travel Trends, vietnam

Photo credit: This year between January 1 and March 31, Bhutan received a record number of visitors. Bhutan Tourism

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