Avis India has become the first car rental company in India to allow customers to book self-drive cars in 170 countries, with over 5,500+ rental locations.
According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020. With the upcoming months being the most preferred season for international travel for Indians, customers are increasingly looking for self-drive services in top international locations such as the US, the UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Ireland, France, and Spain, among others.
With the rise in demand for international self-drive, it has become increasingly clear that exploring a new country in group tours is passé. Now travellers are inclined to explore international locations independently and privately. However, experience of renting a car abroad may at times become a reason of distress accounting to lack of information around who to consider, booking methods, service expectations, customer support etc.
“Enhance the travel experience of Indian travellers”
Related Posts Commenting on the launch of the International Self-Drive service, Sunil Gupta, managing director and CEO, Avis India, said: “At Avis, our commitment is to world class car rental experience to all our customers. All of our new service initiatives and innovations are aimed towards achieving this goal.
“The introduction of our International Self-Drive service on Avis India website and mobile app, will only enhance the travel experience of Indian travellers, allowing them to travel freely and conveniently in their chosen destination without worries or hassles.”
Avis offers customers a ‘Pay-Later’ option, wherein they can reserve the car with Avis and make a payment at the time of collecting the car at the rental station abroad. Also on offer are instant booking confirmation, GPS, one-way rental, unlimited mileage, option to add an additional driver, and child safety seat, as well as car insurance that covers theft and damage.
Additionally, as part of the introductory offer, Avis India will provide complimentary international Airport Lounge Access to all the customers who book a car during the first month of its services.
Avis India has also curated a series of videos and blogs to help guests discover roadtrip itineraries. These include road trips across number of countries in North America, South America, Europe, Oceania, Africa and Asia.
Avis India has become the first car rental company in India to allow customers to book self-drive cars in 170 countries, with over 5,500+ rental locations.
The Indian trekking community has come together to share their love for the sport and to highlight routes that contain include a historical place to combine culture with exercise. In Maharashtra, India, kings and dynasties have left their mark on history to now create some impressive trekking routes:
Panhala to Pawan Khind
Unlike the other treks, this is a popular trek as the starting point and the end point both are enriched with the bravery of the Marathas – Panhala Fort to Pawan Khind. The Maratha army took it on themselves to rescue their Maratha warrior Shivaji, who was held a captive in Panhala Fort. This route has become so popular that the Rugged Sahyadri Ultra Trail Run attracts a huge number of participants every year. .
“Natural beauty, forts, dam… and cascading waterfalls are great attraction for tourists”
Deepak R Harane, regional manager, MTDC Pune, says, “Kolhapur is blessed with the rich history and legacy of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. The natural beauty, forts, dam built by Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj, and cascading waterfalls are great attraction for tourists. The historic fort of Panhala is closer to Kolhapur city, which reverberates with the courage of Bajiprabhu Deshpande.
“Shivaji Maharaj courageously escaped from the clutches of Siddhi Johar, with the help of Bajiprabhu Deshpande who was martyred during the escape. Today’s youth should not forget the bravery of Bajiprabhu Deshpande. Ruggedian has brought ‘Rugged Sahyadri’ marathon from Panhala to Pawankhind with the option to explore the tracks.
“We feel Panhala fort which is filled with the beauty of nature & Kolhapur district should be seen impressively on the maps of Maharashtra and India. Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation is whole hardheartedly supporting and assisting the Rugged Sahyadri Ultra Trail Run.”
Akash Korgaonkar Related Posts Prabalgad Fort and Irshalgad Fortress
Matheran is popular for trekking because of its amicable climatic conditions. Throughout the trekking route, there are about 28 viewpoints in different places around the area.
The Prabalgad Fort and the Kalavantin Fort are the two highlights. The Prabalgad Fort was originally called the Murarjan before the Marathas took it over and renamed it, under Shivaji’s rule.
Korigad Fort Trek
Located around 20km from Lonavala, the Korigad Fort has two routes reaching it. One starts from the Peth Shahpur village and the other will take you through the Ambavne village and there are two lakes on the way.
The Korigad Fort was under the Marathas during their rule. The fort was ultimately captured by the British in 1818.
Founder-director of Ruggedian Lifestyle Akash Korgaonkar said: “Youngsters love to explore places that have the historical touch to it. They love to walk along the same paths, see the forts, cannons, canals from the times of history. We get hundreds of participants every year for RuggedSahyadri Ultra Trail Run, especially for the historical route connection.”
Madurai Temple New travel firm, Authentic India Tours, has launched to provide bespoke tours and experiences of South India.
ABTA regulated Authentic India Tours, is a venture of the UK-based Compton Group, a company which was established in 1955 and has its roots in the property development and investment sector. It was created to offer personalised tours with a goal of opening up the largely uncharted Indian tourism sector.
“Much of southern India remains something of a mystery”
Angela Coyle, head of group marketing for the Compton Group, said: “Over 10 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2017, compared to 8.89 million in 2016, representing a growth of 15.6%, so it is a region that is clearly on the rise.
“However, for many travellers, much of southern India remains something of a mystery, one of the last few destinations on earth that is largely untapped by the mass tourism market, meaning that new visitors are privy to something really rather special.”
Related Posts Periyar Tiger Reserve Authentic India Tours works with local travel experts to craft original tours and experiences that showcase southern India’s well-known treasures and hidden gems. Its itineraries include 9 to 24-day tours of the region’s highlights such as the tea plantations of Munnar, Karnataka’s markets, the temple town of Madurai, the Periyar Tiger Reserve and the Malabar coastline.
Additionally, tailored experiences have been curated for travellers with special interests, with wellbeing and Ayurveda retreats, as well as cycling, culinary and bird watching tours.
In terms of accommodations, on offer are houseboats over Kerala backwaters, private beach villas with yoga decks on the Arabian coast, eco-hotels in the Thekkady highlands and wildlife retreats in protected animal reserves in the foothills of the Nilgiris.
Badami Town Coyle concluded: “By working with local travel providers we have been able to put together some truly magical tours and experiences that showcase the very best of southern India and take the worry and guesswork out of planning a trip to the region, thanks to our specialist knowledge.”
Pandaw is set to ramp up its cruise offering in India and will position a ship in the country for the first time. Pandaw’s expansion plans for India include deploying more ships to the region – especially following the response to the new Lower Ganges sailing from December 2018 – adding four new itineraries and launching a range of new pre-and post-cruise tours of the country.
“This expansion of our India programme is a key objective for Pandaw”
“The response to our announcement in May that we will place our own ship, RV Orient Pandaw, on the Lower Ganges River from December 2018, has been truly phenomenal,” said Pandaw founder, Paul Strachan. “The reaction from our customers and industry partners has been so positive that we have decided to significantly expand our offering in India.
“Pandaw will place two further river cruise ships in the country, sailing two new routes for us – the Upper Ganges, all the way to Varanasi, and the Brahmaputra. We are also planning to take our sea-going vessel, the Andaman Explorer, to the region, where true to her name, she will sail amongst the Bay of Bangal’s beautiful Andaman Islands. This expansion of our India programme is a key objective for Pandaw and we will raise the bar in the region for cruising excellence.”
The Upper Ganges River 14-night voyage from Kolkata to Varanasi will sail from October 2019. The tour calls at Kalna, Matiari, Murshidabad, Jangipur and Farakka, before continuing towards the Upper Ganges, calling at Bateshwarsthan, Sultanganj, Mokama, Patna, Doriganj, Buxar, Ghazipur and Varanasi. Exploring the Upper Ganges requires a smaller vessel than chosen for the Lower Ganges so Pandaw will refurbish the 14-cabin, RV Katha Pandaw.
Related Posts Prices start from USD 4,671pp based on two people sharing a cabin. All Pandaw prices include local transfers, excursions, entrance fees, guide services, all main meals, local drinks (soft drinks, water, tea, spirits and beer), crew gratuities and cycling equipment (watersports equipment available on Andaman Explorer).
New pre and post-cruise tours Pandaw has also launched a range of pre- or post-cruise tours of some of India’s other key cultural highlights and ‘bucket list’ hotspots, which will be available for guests who book India cruise itineraries and wish to explore further. The new tours include:
Exploring Kolkata: Hotel stay and full-day city tour for guests to visit Kolkata’s highlights before or after a Pandaw cruise (two nights). India’s Golden Triangle: Pre- and post-cruise six-night extensions which combine a Pandaw cruise with a tour of the Golden Triangle, for guests to experience Delhi, Agra and Rajasthan Delhi, Taj Mahal and Kolkata/ Delhi and Taj Mahal: Four-night pre-cruise includes time in New Delhi and Agra, before passengers fly to Kolkata to join a cruise. Three-day, post-cruise extension finishes in Delhi. Ancient Kingdom Of Bhutan & Kolkata Pre Tour: Direct flights between Kolkata and Paro make a pre-cruise six-night visit to the Kingdom of Bhutan possible, before passengers fly back to Kolkata to join a cruise. Maharajas’ Express: A five- or nine-night journey on the Maharajas’ Express
dnata, one of the world’s largest airline services providers recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of its first overseas operation.
In July 1993, Gerry’s Group and the UAE-based, dnata, partnered to provide ground handling services at Karachi Airport in Pakistan. Since then, the joint venture has grown to become Pakistan’s largest cargo and ground handling company operating at seven major airports in the country.
Gary Chapman, president of dnata, said: “We are proud to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our first international joint venture. Our operations with Gerry’s dnata in Pakistan continue to grow from strength to strength.”
Today, the group provides services in 129 airports, spanning 84 countries and six continents with more than 300 airline customers around the world. The establishment of dnata’s first international joint venture with Gerry’s Group led the way for the expansion of its international airport operations through acquisitions, partnerships, as well as organic growth.
From 2017 to 2018, the company has made USD 3.6 billion in revenues.
Related Posts Chapman added: “Starting from Pakistan, we’ve successfully leveraged the expertise from our established UAE operations to become one of the largest and most trusted combined air services providers in the industry, operating in highly competitive markets across six continents.”
The group’s services are delivered by a team of over 41,000 professionals who support more than 243,000 passengers, handle over 1,800 flights and move 8,450 tonnes of cargo at 130 airports every day.
“70% of dnata’s revenues today come from our international operations”
“Nearly 70% of dnata’s revenues today come from our international operations. Looking ahead, our strategy remains grounded in the same principles: continually enhance our operations to create more value for our stakeholders, while ensuring service excellence and the highest level of safety all around the dnata network.”
dnata’s international growth plan started in Pakistan and expanded to Singapore in 2004. It was followed in 2010, through a global acquisition of Alpha Flight Group which brought nearly 6,000 employees across 11 countries into its fold.
The group has also expanded by developing its own brands and acquiring interests in other established travel companies. It currently operates 20 travel brands, offering comprehensive travel services for individuals, companies and the travel trade across 77 countries, booking over 21,000 hotel stays daily.
Vistara, joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, has agreed to place firm orders with Airbus for 13 aircraft from the A320neo family and with Boeing for six 787-9 Dreamliners valued at a total of USD 3.1 billion.
The letter of intent signed with Airbus comprises 13 firm-ordered A320neo and A321neo aircraft, as well as options for seven more aircraft from the A320neo family. In addition, Vistara will lease another 37 new A320neo-family aircrafts from leasing companies. Together, Vistara will be adding a total of 50 A320neo-family aircrafts to its existing fleet.
Vistara has selected the LEAP 1-A engines from CFM International to power the A320neo and A321neo aircraft, which will be due for delivery between 2019 and 2023. Vistara will use these aircraft to increase its domestic network and to support its international operations, planned for later this year.
The letter of intent signed with Boeing comprises six firm-ordered 787-9 Dreamliner and purchase rights for four more aircraft from the 787 Dreamliner family. Vistara has selected the General Electric GEnx-1B engines to power the aircraft, which are scheduled to be delivered between 2020 and 2021. The 787-9s are intended for use on medium-haul and long-haul international routes.
Related Posts “World’s fastest growing domestic aviation market”
Vistara CEO, Leslie Thng, said, “India’s position as the world’s fastest growing domestic aviation market and its impressive growth in air passenger traffic that has more than doubled over the last decade, makes us confident of our aggressive plans for domestic expansion and international foray. These orders are a landmark step in Vistara’s journey and demonstrate our deep-rooted commitment to contributing to the rise of the Indian aviation industry and to offering more choices to our customers.
“We are delighted to further deepen our relationship with Airbus and to join hands with Boeing to strengthen our modern and fuel-efficient fleet that will help achieve our thought-through ambitions.”
The addition of the new aircraft will complement Vistara’s existing fleet. From the initial order, Vistara has an impending delivery for one A320neo which is due in September 2018.
Vistara today serves 22 destinations with over 800 flights a week and fleet of 21 aircrafts. Since starting operations in 2015, the airline has flown 10 million customers.
Aviation consultancy firm Asian Sky Group (ASG), has announced the publication of the company’s latest edition of it’s Asia Pacific Business Jet Charter Report.
According to ASG the report, the second since 2016, which puts together figures drawn from across the region, is necessary “in order to supply status, demand and future of the regional charter fleet.” The report also includes an overview of the charter fleet by OEM (original equipment manufacturer), size category, country and registration.
“Charter is now in higher demand”
Commenting on the new report ASG managing director, Jeffrey Lowe, said: “We are pleased to release the Summer 2018 edition of the Asia Pacific Business Jet Charter Report. After two years, the regional charter fleet has seen growth, directly correlated to the overall regional business jet fleet. Charter is now in higher demand and operators and brokers, alike, are accommodating this in all ways possible.
!This increased utilisation and need for business jet charter means there will equally be an increased interest in where the market stands. The second edition of the Asia Pacific Business Jet Charter Report fills the industry in on the market, its status and the future to come.”
With figures current up to June 2018, there were 311 business jets in the Asia-Pacific region used for charter (26% of the regional total), a 5% increase from 296 business jets used in 2016.
Related Posts Largest fleets by country
Australia, China and India were home to the three largest fleets in the region, with 87, 65 and 59 aircraft, respectively. While Mainland China and India are notable for their economic growth and large populations, Australia is notable for having one of the most mature and well-developed business aviation environments in the region.
Mainland China had the largest fleet expansion between 2016 and 2018, increasing from 62 to 87 business jets; a 40% increase. This growth illustrates the potential of Mainland China’s charter market. The Philippines had the second largest fleet increase, with three business jets added marking a 30% fleet growth. Other regions that saw fleet growth include New Caledonia (2), Papua New Guinea (1), Japan (1), Bangladesh (1) and New Zealand (1).
Largest fleet by airline
Bombardier led the charter market with 80 aircraft, making up 26% of the region’s charter fleet. Cessna – the second most preferred OEM — had 61 business jets for charter in the Asia Pacific, occupying 20% of the market.
Large aircraft dominated the market with a 30% share (94) and a 21% growth rate, compared to 2016. China and India — the two largest markets — were dominated by large aircraft, with almost half of each fleet belonging to this size category. Light aircraft occupied the second largest share, with a 23% share (70).
The newly launched Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road is the first Novotel with a contemporary design and interiors in India.
The hotel has been conceptualised by SODA, an international design firm known for creating fresh, innovative and sustainable spaces. The hotel has been designed keeping in mind the rich, artistic and traditional culture of Chennai thus catering to today’s new-gen traveller who is in search of exciting and unique experiences.
The contemporary feel starts at the entrance of Novotel Chennai Chamiers road, which has been inspired by the 20th century buildings of the city, giving it an earthy yet modern look.
The hotel features around 100 well-appointed rooms including four suites, as well as rooms designed for the specially-abled. Guests can relax in the swimming pool or workout in the fitness centre both of which have a view of the Chennai skyline. The hotel also boasts of four meeting rooms which can accommodate more than 100 guests for conferences, meetings, events and other social gatherings.
Nestled in the city centre, the Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road offers two dining options: first, Food Exchange, the all-day dining restaurant, serves international gourmet dishes as well as local dishes with a twist. The laid-back nature of the restaurant allows for interaction with chefs.
Related Posts Second, the Gourmet Bar’s lounge atmosphere serves beverages and quick bites through the day. With its vibrant coloured artworks and sunny views, it provides a fresh space for the active, urban Chennaite as well as hotel guests and their visitors.
“Chennai deserved a hotel inspired by cutting edge international design combined with nouveau F&B concept”
“Our work in the European fashion industry exposed us to several boutique and unique hotels all over continental Europe. We felt that Chennai deserved a hotel inspired by cutting edge international design combined with nouveau F&B concepts catering to the discerning, widely travelled guest,” said Ashish Gupta, managing director, AG hospitalities.
With the launch of Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, AccorHotels has achieved a milestone of becoming the largest international hospitality player in Chennai with the total inventory of more than 1,000 rooms.
“The opening of this hotel marks our seventh hotel in Chennai and eighth property in the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is fast becoming a key market fuelled by both strong business and leisure traveller growth in an improving economic climate.” said Jean-Michel Cassé, CEO, India & South Asia, AccorHotels.
Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV) has announced that it has launched its new brochure. The new content will feature itineraries from the Winter & Spring 2019/20 season including trips to sun filled winter destinations such as South America and Africa.
Itineraries new to the brochure include a round the world tour, and seasonal cruises to Canary Islands and Madeira, to celebrate Christmas and bring in the New Year; spanning a choice of 15,16 and 27 nights.
CMV’s Columbus sails on 21 December from London Tilbury to the Canary Islands, Madeira and Morocco and Marco Polo sails 22 December from Bristol Avonmouth, also to the Canaries & Madeira with fares from GBP 1259 (USD 1669) per person. While Magellan sails from London Tilbury 15 December 2019 to the Caribbean and Mexico spending New Year’s Eve in Barbados, with an extended stopover in Trans-Panama option.
All cruises are being offered on a ‘Buy One Get One Free’ early booking offer.
The new 78-night Grand Africa & Indian Ocean Voyage on board Marco Polo, announced a week ago, is already selling well with over 100 passengers booked in just five days. Heading south in search of African adventures on a voyage that includes South Africa, Kenya, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Reunion, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Goa, India, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and the Mediterranean.
Sailing from Bristol Avonmouth on 6 January 2020 the two-and-a-half-month voyage is available on a ‘Buy one get one free’ early booking deal from GBP 5999 per person.
It must be noted, however, that all fares quoted here are based on reservations for two people staying in a twin inner cabin. The fees also includes full board cuisine, afternoon teas and late night snacks, ‘Captain’s Cocktail Parties’ as well as complimentary refreshments. Not to mention on board attractions like such as the ships cabarets and classical performances; guest speaker events and even arts and crafts workshops.
Following the delivery of the world’s very first Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner to Singapore Airlines in April this year, the airline has now announced it will be rolling out its 787-10 services to India, from October 2018.
The inaugural flight service will take off from Indira Gandhi International Airport, in New Delhi at 0955 hours on 28 October 2018. The new plane will take over the daily service (SQ401/402) with the Airbus A380 maintaining operations for the evening service (SQ403/406).
The plane has been brought into the region in order to boost the comfort of passengers, as well as to increase flight ops efficacy. And the 68-metre 787-10 features 337 seats, comprised of 36 business class seats and 301 economy class seats.
“In line with our commitment to product and service leadership; our endeavour is to provide Indian travellers with an unparalleled travel experience. The Boeing 787-10 aircraft offers the product comfort of long-haul flights even on our short-to-medium haul sectors,” said Singapore Airlines general manager for India, David Lim.
Related Posts SIA has invested nearly $350 million updating its fleet of 20 787-10s with “the next generation of regional cabin products” and Indian passengers will benefit from the increased comfort facilities on the plane.
For business class customers this means the introduction of “forward-facing 1-2-1 staggered configuration” seating, which provides all business class fliers with direct aisle access from 26-inch wide seats capable of reclining into 76-inch fully-flat bed, as well as boasting individual 18-inch high-def touch screen TVs with enhanced sound from the Panasonic eX3 system.
Economy class passengers can also avail of the ergonomic design and lumbar support of the new backrests, which also feature “a six-way adjustable headrest with foldable wings” for greater neck support. Economy Class customers can also enjoy an enhanced entertainment experience on personal 11.6-inch full high-definition touchscreen monitor.
Operating Flight No Sector Aircraft Type Day of Operation Departure/Arrival SQ 402 Singapore – Delhi B787-10 Daily 0225/0555 SQ 406 Singapore – Delhi A380-800 Daily 1625/1955 SQ 401 Delhi – Singapore B787-10 Daily 0955/1815 SQ 403 Delhi – Singapore A380-800 Daily 2145/0615+1