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WOW air has launched three weekly flights from New Delhi to Iceland. According to the airline, it will operate three weekly flights from New Delhi, connecting passengers to North America and Europe through its hub in Iceland.
Post the announcement of WOW air in India in May earlier this year, the airline also began its fully functional booking office in New Delhi and recruited Indian crew, a first for any international airline operating out of India.
Kiran Jain, Managing Director, WOW air, said, “Our ultra-low fares reflect the need for affordable travel from India to transatlantic destinations. It also gives an opportunity for Iceland to open up to the world and as a tourist destination to Indian travellers. Staying true to our mission of enabling everyone to fly by offering reasonably low fares to our destinations, we are hopeful that more people will have an opportunity to fly around the world.”
At present, the airline has four fare options including “WOW basic, WOW plus, WOW comfy and WOW premium”.
EbixCash World Money airport forex counters has been inaugurated at the arrival and departure terminals at Kannur International Airport in the presence of Minister of Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu; Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan; Minister of Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs, EP Jayarajan; Minister of Ports, Kadakampally Surendran; Minister of Transport, AK Saseendran; Minister of Water Resources, K Krishnankutty; and KIAL MD, V Thulasidas among other senior central and state government officials, and industry leaders. EbixCash World Money will offer passengers flying in and out of the city, foreign exchange at competitive rates along with a host of other products such as travellers’ cheques, multi-currency prepaid cards and travel insurance.
Commenting on the launch, T C Guruprasad, Managing Director, EbixCash WorldMoney said, “Kannur is a fast-growing business and tourism destination with Wayanad and Coorg being in close proximity. Besides being the district headquarters, it offers a mix of beaches, forts and museums. A large number of international flights also offer direct connectivity from Middle East destinations such as Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Muscat, Riyadh, Doha and Kuwait, making it a strategic location for us to offer our forex and travel services. We currently have six branches and nine airport forex counters in Kerala.”
Spread about 2,000 acres, the Kannur Airport is the newest addition to India’s international airport portfolio. The airport is expected to serve more than one million passengers annually with passenger traffic estimated to increase five-fold by 2025.
Vistara and Amadeus have renewed a multi-year distribution agreement that guarantees Vistara’s travel agency partners’ continued access to the airline’s full range of fares and prices through Amadeus.
Amadeus Airline Fare Families supports Vistara in making its branded fares, called Vistara Freedom Fares, available through the Amadeus distribution channel. Amadeus Fare Families will empower travel agents with clear, structured information they need to advise their customers and proactively upsell from one fare family to the other based on each traveller’s needs and preferences. Vistara will also be looking at integrating ancillary services in the future as part of their product offerings.
This partnership will enable Vistara to further grow its customer base by continuing to connect to travellers globally through the world’s largest community of travel sellers and buyers. By connecting to Amadeus’ innovative travel platform, Vistara is able to define and deliver enhanced offers, including rich content, to travel agents and travellers. The airline is also now able to differentiate its travel offers beyond just price, while ensuring that agencies and travellers have all the information at hand in order to make the right purchasing decisions.
Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara, commented, “We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with Amadeus. Travel agencies are a key part of our strategy to serve our customers through the channel of their choice, both in India and internationally. With the new agreement, we will have access to Amadeus’ global travel agency network which has the widest reach of travellers globally and this is a significant agreement in our growth strategy.”
Cyril Tetaz, Executive Vice President — Airlines, Amadeus, Asia Pacific, said, “We’re very proud to be able to support Vistara’s growth ever since the start of their operations. With our partnership now including Amadeus Airline Fare Families capabilities, Vistara will be able to differentiate its offers, enabling travel agencies to become better advisors and empower travellers with the transparency and customisation they deserve. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
More than four out of five airline bookings in 2022 are expected to be mobile-influenced, while nearly two out of five are expected to be Facebook-influenced, suggests ‘FB Travel Report’ compiled recently by KPMG, Facebook and Nielsen. The influencing factors iinclude awareness, consideration, intent, average influence and sales opportunity.
Mobile internet users in India are expected to increase to 677 million by 2022 from 420 million users in 2017, the report further reveals. This growth is expected to be driven on the backdrop of organic penetration of the internet, digitally-savvy travellers, connectivity through social media and digital technologies over the next 5 years. Brands, therefore, have a revenue opportunity worth USD19 billion to re-look at their marketing strategies and adapt to the fast-evolving mobile-first internet economy of India.
A report ‘Journey of Me Insights’ by Amadeus reveals that 60 per cent of Indian travellers receive the most relevant travel recommendations via online channels. Besides, these channels also provide the most relevant travel recommendations to 50 per cent APAC travellers as well. According to the report, travel review sites also contribute to relevant travel recommendations for 54 per cent Indian travellers and 47 per cent APAC travellers.
Several other sources for the same include travel agencies, hotel concierge, airline in-flight magazine and social network (family and friends), among others.
India’s passenger traffic grew at 16.52 per cent year on year to reach 308.75 million. According to a report by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), it grew at a CAGR of 12.72 per cent during FY06-FY18. The report reveals that by 2036, India is estimated to have 480 million flyers, which will be more than that of Japan (just under 225 million) and Germany (just over 200 million) together. India has become the third largest domestic aviation market in the world and is expected to overtake the UK to become the third largest air passenger market by 2025.
Addressing delegates during the inaugural ceremony of 14th CII Annual Tourism Summit in Delhi, KJ Alphons, Union Minister of State (I/C) Tourism, said that tourism is the future of India. “Tourism is the future of the country. Foreign tourist arrivals (FTAs) have gone up by 14 per cent, while the global figures were at 7 per cent. Approximately, 84 million people are currently employed by the tourism industry across the country,” he said.
Suggesting ways to keep tourists for longer in the country, he said, “We are also thinking in terms of further visa reforms. I think Yoga and Ayurveda are the two things that can bring wellness and help us to keep tourists for longer in our country. Tourism is about jobs, money and bringing the world together. We have ambitous targets and we all can achieve them together.”
SMA Sheeraz, Managing Director, Sheeraz Tours won the Face of the Future title. Through his 20-year long association with the industry, Sheeraz has earned the goodwill of various domestic and international tourism boards and airlines. As the founder of Sheeraz Tours in Lucknow in 2007, he has helped scale the company to new heights and has become one of the most trusted travel companies in North India. He is also the Director of Tripshapers.com, a B2B online portal company, where he plays an instrumental role in showcasing the Uttar Pradesh region as a potential outbound market from India.
Himanshu Kesari Patil, Director, Kesari Tours, has been honoured with the DDP Trailblazer award. An industry veteran with 30 years of experience and sharp insights into the travel industry, Patil inspires the youth to venture out and follow their passion and experiment with innovation. His latest initiative ‘Travosh’ offers Indian tourists a perfect match for every destination and season with a functional product range that promises prompt delivery. His company brings a smile on the faces of millions of tourists every year. As Vice President of Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), he ensures high-value proposition in every initiative towards business transformation.
PS Duggal, Executive Director, Minar Travels, has been conferred the Gallery of Legends trophy at India Travel Awards 2018. Having started as a banking professional at ANZ Bank, he joined the company in 1992 and has since been part of the growth story. With 26 years of experience in the industry, Duggal now looks after the entire administration and accounts of the company whilst coordinating with all its offices across countries. Today, Minar Travels is a market leader in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and has an international presence in 32 countries, with inroads in the Latin and North American markets as well as Europe and Asia. The company is of the biggest aviation services and destination management companies in the country with 16 offices in India and nine overseas. It is also the GSA for eight airlines. The luxury division became a traveller-made DMC in 2018. That’s not all, the company’s MiCE division is also a huge success.