India Connects Southeast Asia and Middle East, Says IndiGo Chairman – India Report

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Indian airlines are forging international partnerships and boosting connectivity at a rapid scale. These collaborations are helping India become an international hub.

India is becoming a convenient hub for travel between Southeast Asia and the Middle East, IndiGo Chairman V Sumantran said during his address at a college in Chennai. He also cited the example of several airlines carrying passengers from places such as Bangkok to Jeddah or Dubai by connecting through Indian cities.

“India is slowly becoming a convenient hub for travel between South East Asia and the Middle East,” news agency PTI quoted him as saying.

Sumantran said there is huge growth that IndiGo can see coming out of this, as a result of which the airline has placed an order of 500 aircraft.

Speedy development in India: During his address, he asserted India is quickly undertaking infrastructural development. “We have about 140 operating airports now and this would increase to 220 by 2030. We are seeing a huge increase in regional travel,” he said. He added that many of the domestic routes are used by airlines for connectivity. 

Increasing partnerships: Indian airlines such as full-service carriers Vistara and Air India have a robust international network of interline and codeshare partners. Air India is also a part of the Star Alliance. IndiGo is also actively increasing its roster of international partners. 

These partnerships are playing an important role in making India the hub for international connectivity as well as making regional destinations in the country accessible for international passengers.

Air India to Debut New A350 on Delhi-Dubai Route

Full-service carrier Air India is set to debut its new A350 aircraft on the Delhi-Dubai route from May 1. The aircraft would feature Air India’s new livery, which was unveiled last year as part of the airline’s rebranding. With this, Air India becomes the only carrier to operate the A350 between India and Dubai, the airline said in a statement. 

Meanwhile, Air India sold its last four Boeing 747-400 jumbo jetliners. The last of the jumbo jets flew from Mumbai on Monday. Historically, the aircraft had served as the primary carrier for Air India’s international operations. 

Indian Railways Operates Record Number of Additional Trains in Summer 2024

The Indian Railways is operating a record 9,111 trips during this summer season, it has said in a statement. This is a 43% year-on-year increase in the number of trips operated by Indian Railways during the summer. 

Summer travel rush has been observed in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, West Bengal, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Delhi. 

IndiGo Set to Fly Direct From Chennai to Durgapur and Bangkok

Budget airline IndiGo is set to operate direct flights between Chennai and Durgapur in West Bengal from May 16. The airline is also set to resume flying the Chennai-Bangkok sector from May 15. 

The move will not only connect the tier II city of Durgapur with the Chennai metropolitan, but also allow passengers to fly between Durgapur and Bangkok via Chennai. Serving more than 125 routes, IndiGo is playing a key role in enhancing regional and international connectivity in India. 

“The enhanced accessibility and connectivity provided by these flights will not only strengthen  regional and international connectivity, but also create new trade and tourism opportunities,” said IndiGo head of sales Vinay Malhotra. With this, IndiGo is set to operate 69 direct flights to Thailand from seven Indian cities. 

Air India Suspends Flights to Tel Aviv Until April 30

Former national carrier Air India has suspended flights to Tel Aviv in Israel until April 30. This has come amid tensions between Israel and Iran as Iran attacked Israel on April 13 followed by Israel’s retaliation.

Air India said that it is monitoring the situation and “extending support to passengers who have confirmed bookings for travel to and from Tel Aviv during this period, with a one-time waiver on rescheduling and cancellation charges.”

Last week, the Indian civil aviation ministry had advised Indian airlines to assess risks before flying internationally. 

Cinnamon Hotels Appoints Palak Shah as Sales Vice President

Sri Lankan luxury hotel chain brand Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts has appointed Palak Shah as vice president of sales. Shah has been tasked with leading the company’s strategic sales initiatives, particularly focusing on India and key source markets. 

Prior to this, Shah was regional sales director for Southwest Asia at IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group). At Cinnamon, he will also lead and oversee the company’s global sales offices in India, China, and the United Kingdom. 

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