Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hyatt Hotels Open Park Hyatt Hyderabad

It sure is a nice time to book airline tickets to India for the luxury seekers! It is virtually raining luxury hotels in this part of the world.

Keeping the trend going, Hyatt Hotels Corporation on Thursday announced the opening of the Park Hyatt Hyderabad, the first city Park Hyatt hotel in India. With proximity to the city’s business and technological hubs and just a 40 minute drive from the international airport, Park Hyatt Hyderabad is surely a fine alternative for the corporate travellers grabbing flights to India and landing up in the city.

Set in the posh Banjara Hills neighbourhood, the hotel features 185 rooms and 24 suites for its guests. Park Hyatt is also the first hotel in Hyderabad that will offer 42 fully serviced luxury apartments, The Residence.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation is also planning to launch a property in Chennai in the second quarter of 2012.

India is indeed witnessing a major spurt in hospitality sector with many international brands jumping in the fray and looking to take advantage of India’s booming travel and tourism industry. Both Hyderabad and Chennai are popular holiday destinations that attract many keen vacationers to book cheap flights to India. However, talking in context of Park Hyatt, ‘cheap’ and ‘economical’ aren’t the kind of adjectives that gel well with the brand.

Park Hyatt is hugely popular among luxury seekers globally and it is expected that business travellers who will visit Hyderabad, the second best city in India for business (according to World Bank Group report) are sure to be taken in by the charms of the property.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

IPL Hopes To “Raise Standards” and Attract Crowds in 2012

2012 Indian Premier League is set to engulf the nation with wonderful festivities and revelries!

The 5th edition of the Indian Premier League will start off from 4th April and will go on till 27th May, and is expected to attract a good number of cricket lovers to book tickets on flights to India.

‘Opining Nite' of the event will be in held in YMCA College of Physical Education Nandanam in Chennai, and the show will witness a performance by the international pop star Katy Perry. A bevy of Bollywood stars are also expected to perform in the opening ceremony. Amitabh Bachchan, Salman Khan and Priyanka Chopra are some of the major stars who will shake a leg at the show.

Tourists descending upon India for the IPL can enjoy a host of other attractions and lures. League matches are scheduled to be held in cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Chennai. Each of these cities is a major holiday destination in itself and is swarming with foreign tourist, IPL or no IPL! Tourists are advised to book both their flights tickets to India as well as game tickets well in advance. Given the popularity of the event, who knows cheap flights to India becomes an absolute rarity as the league sets rolling! 

IPL has seen a fair share of scandals and scams in the past but the current regime believes that all that is past and the 2012 IPL is going to “raise the standards of the competition”.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

India Expected To Have Around 1.7 bn Travellers by 2021: Report

India would have attracted as many as 1,747 million travellers by 2021, says a recent study. And with such a massive inflow of tourists, India would require an additional 1, 88, 500 hotel rooms, adds the report.

It has long been established that India would play a major role in the global tour and travel industry. However, the recent white-paper on `Hotel Room Supply, Capital Investment and Manpower Requirement by 2021' by HVS and The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), India has doled out some figures that would make many sit up and watch!

The report, excerpts of which have been published in major India dailies, says the growth of travel industry in India is happening fast and government has put in “unassuming efforts” in the sector. This means that there will be around 1,747 million travellers and an additional requirement of 1, 88,500 rooms, by 2021.

However, off late India has been seeing some major growth in the hotel industry with many domestic and international players entering the fray. In coming years, travellers grabbing flights to India will definitely have more options at their disposal.

The white-paper says the focus will be on the budget hotels as they generally have more rooms as compared to five-star hotels. Budget hotels are easier to set up and more economical in construction. Naturally, holiday makers booking cheap flights to India who prefer staying in affordable hotels would have more options available to them.

Currently, India’s hotel inventory is at 1, 63,038 rooms, which is less than 15 per cent of the average inventory of Asia Pacific and other global cities, says the report.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Air India's To Start Flights From Dubai To Visakhapatnam

India’s flag carrier, Air India has announced daily new direct flights from Dubai to Visakhapatnam, which is a compelling Indian hotspot attracting visitors to look for lucrative deals on cheap flights to India. The airline will be starting its new flights on its expanding gulf route network from 25th March 2012.

The airline has increased the seating capacity of its upgraded fleet on the gulf routes from 145-seats to 175-seats and expects to woo holiday makers looking for cheap flights to India for an easy travel escapade to the tantalizing South Indian city.

Air India is eyeing on the fast growing gulf market and is believed to start at least three new routes to Gulf Countries. Apart from the daily direct flights to India connecting Dubai to Visakhapatnam, the airline is expected to introduce new routes between New Delhi and Manama, Bahrain and Dammam. Besides, Air India is also expected to revive its recently cancelled route between Salalah and Thiruvananthapuram.

Air India has been operating in the Gulf region, home to an estimated 6 million Indian workers, for almost a decade now. While the launch of new daily flights between Dubai and Visakhapatnam will be a good option for Indians based in the gulf region, it also seems promising for those holidaymakers who prefer tickets on a full-service carrier to experience excellent in-flight services and amazing on-board entertainment for leisurely breaks to India.

Additionally, though the global aviation market is still in an unsound state, Air India recently registered a commendable growth of 25 percent in terms of revenue.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Jet Airways Discontinues JetLite, Merges with JetKonnect

Clearing up a long standing confusion, Jet Airways has announced its decision to merge its low-cost carriers, JetLite and JetKonnect.

On Monday, India’s leading carrier, Jet Airways made it clear that from March 25, its low-cost brand JetLite would stop operating and will be consolidated with Jet Airways’ another low-cost brand, JetKonnect.

Jet Lite and Jet Connect have been popular choices of many international travellers taking cheap flights to India and further connecting to domestic destinations within the country.

Jet Lite was formed in 2007 after the acquisition of Air Sahara by Jet Airways and is a renowned name within India’s domestic market, offering flight tickets to more than 30 local travel destinations. Operating with a fleet of 19 Boeing 737s, JetLite also offered cheap flights to India’s neighbour country, Nepal.

In July 2011, Jet Airways revealed its plans to merge both of its low-cost businesses. At that time, the Jet Group’s Vice-President (Commercial Strategy and Investor Relations), K. G. Vishwanath expressed the airline’s willingness to operate only one brand in the low-fare segment that will offer domestic flights to India’s cities.

Offering insight into what may be the airline’s another long-term plan, Jet Airways announced on Monday that apart from the traditional domestic cheap flight options, JetKonnect will provide Premiere services on certain routes where passengers can enjoy services similar to those offered to Premiere guests on Jet Airways.

The airline group also said some JetKonnect flights will operate under the S2 code, whereas others will have the 9W code.

Presently, the Jet Group operates over 600 flights a day with a fleet of 120 aircraft. Jet Airways connects 24 international destinations with flights to India and provides around 50 local connections.

JetKonnect connects India’s key domestic routes like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata.

Monday, March 19, 2012

From Quirky to Curious - Le Meridien Hotels in India Renovate

With a massive influx of investment in India’s hospitality sector by both international and domestic players, pressure is now on the established names to jack up their act! And this is precisely what Le Meridien aims to do.

Le Meridien, one of the biggest names in the luxury hotel industry, is renovating each of its eight properties in India, to bring them under the same design concept that is a part of the hotel chain’s brand transformation on a worldwide scale. Le Meridien’s upcoming hotels in India would also adhere to the same design strategy.

Le Meridien maintains hotels in top India holiday destinations like Jaipur and Delhi, and the hotels remain one of the top choices among luxury-seekers booking airline tickets on flights to India.

Door artworks, specially designed key cards and special soundscape for elevators with 1,600 sounds are some of the interesting modifications the group plans to undertake.

Experts believe with India’s tour & travel and hospitality sectors galloping fast ahead, it makes sense for industry players to come up with novel ideas to keep themselves apart from the crowd. Last few years have seen massive investment into country’s hospitality market with many domestic and international companies planning expansion. A host of hotels have been set up to cater to not only the lavish travellers but also to all sorts of budget travellers taking cheap flights to India.

The renovation exercise has been the strategy of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts which had acquired the popular hotel chain in November 2005. Le Meridien has undergone a thorough brand transformation ever since it was acquired by Starwood.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Virgin Atlantic Plans to Operate London- Mumbai Route

The British carrier Virgin Atlantic has planned to re-launch its London-Mumbai route from October this year. The airline had ceased this route in the year 2009 due to slumping profits at the time of recession.

The new flight to Mumbai will begin from London's Heathrow airport on October 28 and will return back the next day.

Virgin Atlantic will be deploying A330-300 aircraft on the Mumbai-London route. The aircraft features a three-class configuration including 33 Upper Class seats, 48 Premium Economy seats and 185 seats for economy class travellers taking cheap flights deals with the airline.

Apart from the launch of this new route, Virgin Atlantic will also offer easy connections from London Heathrow to various US cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago and Washington.

Sir Richard Branson, president Virgin Atlantic Airways expressed his happiness on the new flight launch and said that the company is proud to operate flights to India and connecting it to its various key destinations like London, New York, Boston and Washington.

Virgin's Airbus A330 aircraft is highly fuel-efficient and uses over15 per cent less fuel than A340-300. The high fuel efficiency factor of this new aircraft of Virgin Atlantic will perhaps be quite fruitful for the holiday makers seeking cheap flights to India with the airline.

The tickets for the Mumbai-London route will be put on sale from April 4 at Virgin website and with various travel agents.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Vivanta by Taj, Bekal Launched – More Luxury for Kerala, India

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces has launched a new spa resort, Vivanta by Taj in northern Kerala, Bekal.

The new hotel is the fifth addition to the hotel chain of Taj group in Kerala and will definitely bring big cheers for the luxury travellers planning holiday breaks and booking tickets on airlines offering flights to India.


The Vivanta by Taj, Bekal is stretched over an area of 25 acre in the Kasargod district of Kerala. The design of the hotel has been taken from unique Kettuvallam houseboats of the region. Vivanta Bekal will have 71 villas and rooms (57 functional currently), including 32 rooms with private pools, 4 spa-themed Luxury Bliss Suites and a stunning Presidential Nirvana Suite.


Bekal is largely a private and unscathed retreat for luxury travellers nestled in Kasargod district in North Kerala. The place is home to riveting natural splendour and attractions. Its easy to tour and lies only 80 Km from Mangalore Airport.


Kerala has for long been the focus of airlines and luxury hotel chains. However, the best part of this great Indian destination is that there is no dearth of cheap deals on flights and hotels for Kerala. The state rewards those who book cheap flights to India and travel on small budget as much as it rewards the luxury and extravagant travellers with deep pockets.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is largest group of hotels in Asia and runs over 96 hotels including 55 hotels across India and 16 hotels in international destinations including Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Air India to Expand Operations in Summer

Air India, India’s national airline, has devised plans to increase its flight network and frequency in its summer schedule. The airline, considered by many the top choice for flights to India, is hoping to earn more revenue from profitable routes.

Air India may be struggling as far as profitability is concerned but that is not stopping India’s flag carrier to spread its wings wide!

If reports doing the rounds in Indian media are to be believed, then Air India is all set to expand its summer schedule considerably to earn more revenues from profitable routes. Cash-strapped Air India is planning to increase the number flights to over 400 from the current 380 in its summer schedule (beginning April), according to a report published in a financial daily of the country.

Air India has plans to initiate daily flights between Vizag and Dubai via Hyderabad. The airline also hopes to kick start flights to India’s capital city, Delhi from Bahrain via Abu Dhabi.

Moreover, the Indian carrier is going to elevate its services between Delhi and Tokyo. Currently, Air India offers four weekly services between the two destinations which the airline is hoping to bring up to five weekly. The airline will also be making Delhi-Dammam twice a week service to a daily operation in its summer schedule.

Besides initiating a slew of international flights, Air India has its eye firmly set on the low-cost business model. The airline is going all guns blazing to ensure that it becomes a name to reckon with when people think of booking cheap flights to India. The carrier seeks to invade low-budget travel market and by the looks of it the airline has already set the ball rolling. Recently, Air India trimmed down business class seats from some of its fleet aircraft in an endeavour to become more of an airline that runs on a low-cost business model. While this move primarily catered to domestic travellers, in future even international travellers looking for cheap flights to India might be benefited from such measures taken by the airline.

The report published in the Indian newspaper also quoted a senior AI official. He offered the rationale behind the decision to cut down business class seats by emphasising that low-cost market has been growing while business class travel is on the decline. However, the airline official clarified that Air India is not exiting the business class segment and will continue to offer business seats in domestic network as well as on international flights to India.

Air India was also hoping to commence more routes in Europe, the US and Australia but the delay in getting the delivery of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner acted as an impediment. There have been reports that the airline may begin these routes in the winter schedule.

While on the topic of 787 Dreamliner, it should be mentioned that the Dreamliner landed at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday after making a 14-hour non-stop flight from Seattle, USA.

787 Dreamliner, considered world’s most fuel efficient aircraft, is expected to be delivered to Air India by May this year.


Monday, March 12, 2012

‘Golden Tulip Chain of Hotels’ Has Big Plans for India

India’s hospitality sector is chugging full steam ahead with more and more international hotel chains now jumping on the bandwagon! Golden Tulip chain of hotels is the latest to appreciate the potential of tourism growth in India.

The hotel chain has plans to set up 50 hotels across India by the end of year 2015. Golden Tulip operates properties in 3-star and 4-star categories. Golden Tulip is already operating nine hotel properties in India, serving primarily those with cheap flight tickets for the destination.

Golden Tulip is planning to invest close to $100 million (roughly Rs 500 crore) over the next two years. Budget tourists planning India holidays and looking forward to book cheap flights to India will surely have more accommodation options at their disposal as the year winds up.

Vimal J. Singh, Managing Director, Louvre Hotels and Golden Tulip, South Asia, was in Kolkata recently to inaugurate Tulip Inn, a 46-room business hotel in the city. Speaking at the occasion, Mr Singh made his company’s intention clear as far as India expansion is concerned. He said that Louvre Hotels and Golden Tulip will be adding an additional nine properties in India over the next year or so. He asserted that by 2015, the company plans to set up 50 hotels with an inventory of 15,000 rooms.

India is top travel destination with millions booking flights to India every year to explore its myriad charms.

Not surprisingly, more and more international chain of hotels and resorts are looking towards India as their potential hub of expansion and growth.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Air India’s First Boeing-Dreamliner to Be Revealed Next Week

Online sources revealed that Boeing is all set to deliver Air India’s first 7 'Dreamliners' out of the 27 planes order. The US aircraft builder informed that 'Dreamliners' would land in Hyderabad next week during the India Aviation 2012.

However, the airline is believed to induct the dreamliners in May after the operational and technical certifications from the US Federal Aviation Administration, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and other agencies.

Air India’s 787 dreamliners will feature its quintessential livery that includes distinctive 'red and white' colours portraying flying swan with the 'Konark Chakra'.

A Boeing spokesperson said, "The super-efficient Boeing-787 Dreamliner is set to make its debut at Hyderabad as part of Boeing's commercial products showcase at the 2012 India Aviation Airshow".

He aforesaid that the Dreamliner aircrafts were set to land at Begumpet Airport on the eve of the Hyderabad airshow and will remain on static display till March 16.

Air India, popular for offering cheap tickets for flights to India, has been expecting the delivery for almost three years and has sought a heavy compensation from Boeing.

In order to manage the anticipated financial burden after this deal, the airline has decided to sell and leaseback the first seven Boeing-787’s. The airline has also started looking for bridge financing worth USD 230 million.

However, the decision to curtail the order or leaseback all the planes or purchase some of them outright rests with the Indian government. The government also seeks to sort out the compensation issues before Air India starts inducting these dreamliners.

Air India plans to replace the B-777 aircrafts with Boeing-787s on its long-haul, non-stop flights including US and Canada. So holiday makers can now expect Boeing-787 to be best choice for netting tickets on long-haul flights to India.

Boeing 787 - Game Changer

The Boeing spokesperson while informing about Air India’s Boeing 787 said, it will feature "Beautifully designed interiors with warm colours, a luxurious business-class cabin, overhead crew rest compartments and an economy-class section,"

Details on the number of seats in both classes of travel are still unavailable due to commercial reasons.

Boeing's Senior Vice-President (Sales) Dinesh Keskar said, "The 787 Dreamliner is a game changer and we are proud to bring it to India Aviation 2012, which is a perfect place to showcase the world's most advanced commercial airplane."

Boeing claims 787s to be 20 percent more fuel-efficient as compared to other similarly-sized aircrafts. If Boeing’s claims are to be believed, then Air India might just become a more popular choice for travellers looking for tickets on cheap flights to India. But it remains to be seen if the airline would be keen on passing on the savings from greater fuel efficiency to delight travellers with cheap flight to Indiaand other destinations.

Air India's plane acquisition programme from Boeing, including the Boeing 787s has been supported by the US Exim Bank. The bank’s support amounts to USD 3.4 billion.

Reference: News Source

Air India Planning To Introduce 3 New Gulf Routes

India’s flag carrier, Air India has explicated its plans to woo holiday makers, particularly from the Gulf countries by offering an easy travel escapade to some of the top Indian destinations. The airline is all set to add three new routes between the Gulf countries and India. Additionally, the new routes will increase airlines total Gulf connections to 18 connections.

Air India is believed to start operating a direct flight from Dubai to Vishakapatnam, which is a compelling Indian hotspot responsible for pushing inquiries on lucrative deals on cheap flights tickets to India, over the years. Apart from new connection to Vishakapatnam, the about to be launched routes would also include a flight to India’s vibrant capital New Delhi from Gulf destinations of Manama, Bahrain and Dammam.

The airline is also expected to revive the recently cancelled route between Salalah, city in Oman and Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the Indian state of Kerala. At present, Air India offers tickets on 21 flights to India per week from Gulf countries.

In the recent times, Air India and Air India Express, the low cost subsidiary airline of Air India, have together made for about 30 per cent of the total traffic between India and the UAE. Over the years, Air India Express has been a preferred choice for cheap flights to various global destinations.

The launch of three new routes from Gulf countries by Air India may also be a good option for travellers who prefer tickets on full-service carrier to experience all the luxuries and amenities.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

South Africa Pursues Bigger Share of Business Tourism Market

Meetings Africa 2012 kicked off yesterday, 28th February at Johannesburg’s Sandton Convention Centre (SCC). The event is the country’s premier exhibition of impressive paraphernalia of South Africa’s business tourism industry. Having taken a great leap forward already in recent past, South Africa is aiming to become one of the preferred destination to host some of the world’s big events related to MICE tourism.

Meetings Africa saw more than 200 international hosted buyers who took flights to Johannesburg to attend the event from 18 markets including the UK, USA, Australia, Kenya, Germany, Netherlands, China, Brazil and Nigeria.

As per a news release on the event’s website the newly-established National Convention Bureau (NCB) at South African Tourism would be critical in harnessing national business tourism efforts. The Bureau will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for independent information and assistance, offering neutral advice on various aspects of organizing and hosting any event related to business tourism and travel in South Africa and will execute a number of key responsibilities.

Johannesburg’s Role

Johannesburg is the country’s economic hub. Home to 70 percent of company headquarters, modern infrastructure including lavish holiday and business hotels, shopping malls, convention centres, and an array exciting outdoors, interesting tours of natural, cultural and man made attractions, the city is already at the forefront of air travel and tourism industry in South Africa. The city’s state-of-the-art O.R Tambo International Airport, hub for the flag carrier South African Airways, continues to host countless international tourists who buy tickets on flights to Johannesburg.

The revelation that, in the first quarter of 2012, Johannesburg along with Cape Town and Durban has secured over 50 conferences, and in the next five years, these key metropolises would host over 200 conferences, is highly encouraging for country’s MICE endeavours.