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If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

- Mother Teresa

1.46 LAKH TOURISTS ARRIVED ON ETV IN MARCH

The number of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in March, 2017 were 9.05 lakh as compared to FTAs of 8.17 lakh in March, 2016 and 7.29 lakh in March, 2015. The growth rate in FTAs in March, 2017 over March, 2016 is 10.7% compared to 12.1% in March, 2016 over March, 2015. During March, 2017 total of 1.46 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 1.16 lakh during the month of March 2016 registering a growth of 25.8%.

During January-March 2017, a total of 4.67 lakh tourist arrived on e-Tourist Visa as compared to 3.21 lakh during January-March 2016, registering a growth of 45.6%. The percentage shares of top 15 source countries availing e- Tourist Visa facilities during March, 2017 were as follows: UK (21.5%), USA (11.8%), Russian Fed (10.3%), France (6.4%), China (6.2%), Germany (4.8%), Canada (3.7%), Australia (3.7%), Korea (Rep.of) (2.2%), South Africa (1.9%), Malaysia (1.7%), Singapore (1.7%), Spain (1.6%), Netherlands (1.5%) and Japan (1.3%).

INDIAN RAILWAYS LAUNCHES TRAIN WITH A GLASS CEILING!

Aiming to provide a delightful travelling experience to the picturesque Araku valley in Visakhapatnam, the Railways on Sunday introduced a see-through Vistadome coach on its Visakhapatnam-Kirandul passenger train.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu flagged-off the train through a video link from Bhubaneswar.The specially-designed Vistadome air-conditioned coach, claimed to be a first-of-its-kind on Indian Railways, has large glass windows and an observation lounge that offer passengers a panoramic view of the sites along the 128-km rail route from Visakhapatnam to Araku valley hill station.

A unique feature of this Rs 3.38 crore 40-seat coach is the double-wide reclining passenger seats that could be rotated 360 degrees for a better sightseeing experience. The coach also has a glass-domed ceiling, automatic sliding doors and a multi-tier luggage rack, a railway release said. The tourists can now sit relaxed in their seats and get a clear view of the breath-taking Anantagiri ghat section, Lambasingi, Borra caves and the tunnels along the route, from the Vistadome coach. Only one coach has been attached to the train now on a trial basis, while one more will soon be added.

HYATT TO OPEN NEW PROPERTY IN LUCKNOW, KOCHI

After the recent opening of its new property in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, Hyatt India has plans to expand further in India in Lucknow and Hyderabad. Kurt Straub, Vice President-Operations, Hyatt India Consultancy Private Limited, reveals, “The next two years for us will be positive and interesting as we have a number of developments coming up in a number of cities in India.

We have recently opened the Hyatt Place in Rameshwaram, and we have the Hyatt Regency in Lucknow coming up very soon as well as Hyatt Place in Hyderabad which will be our third hotel in Hyderabad. A really big opening will be our Grand Hyatt Kochi.”

ALILA FORT BISHANGARH: INDIA'S MOST EXCITING NEW LUXURY HOTEL

Perched magnificently upon a granite hill, the bold, striking architecture of Alila Fort Bishangarh appears seamlessly sculpted from the surrounding rustic terrain, overlooking 360-degree views of the impressive Rajasthani landscape. The hotel is located at Bishangarh Village in the Jaipur District, barely 6 km off the Delhi-Jaipur National Highway, Alila Fort Bishangarh is easily accessible from both Delhi and Jaipur. It is 180 km (3 hours) from Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi and only 55 km (1 hour) from Jaipur Airport. Once off the highway, the quaint drive to the fort passes through the rural landscape of Bishangarh village, offering guests hints of the colour and simplicity of the native lifestyle. Sitting within close proximity of two major cities, the hotel serves as the ideal base to explore Jaipur’s innumerable tourist attractions.

It is perhaps the only warrior fort to be converted into a heritage resort, this historic landmark is a unique example of Jaipur Gharana architecture, influenced by both the Mughals and the British. With much care given to the ecological restoration, the resort still features the fort’s original two-metre-thick walls and its battlement turrets and arches. Over the duration of its transformation, the soul of the fort has been passionately brought to life, recreating the courtly flavour of Shahpura’s royalty while retaining its stark and inherent simplicity.

18.6% GROWTH IN INDIA’S DOMESTIC AIR PASSENGER TRAFFIC IN MARCH ’17
Passengers carried by Indian domestic airlines during Jan-March 2017 were 272.79 lakhs as against 230.03 lakhs during the corresponding period of 2016 thereby registering a growth of 18.59 per cent, informs the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). SpiceJet recorded the highest passenger load factor (PLF) during March 2017 at 91.4 per cent followed by GoAir at 84.8 per cent and IndiGo at 81.6 per cent. According to the data released by DGCA, domestic air passenger traffic passenger load factor in the month of Mar 2017 has declined slightly when compared to previous month, due to lean period. IndiGo recorded the highest punctuality rate at 88 per cent at four major airports of Bangalore, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai followed by SpiceJet (85.7), Vistara (85.1), Go Air (81.8), Jet Airways+JetLite (80.7) and Air India (79.7).
OMAN AIR INCREASES ITS CAPACITY BY 6000 SEATS FOR INDIA

With a fleet of about 50 aircraft globally, Oman Air is growing by 21-22 per cent Year-on-Year. “In India we have just increased our capacity by 6000 seats which includes for metropolis and Calicut in Kerala.

And in Goa, the moment we see we are ready, the connectivity will be tweaked. We have a split schedule in Goa as some flights leave at night while others leave early morning,” says Ihab A Sorial, Global Senior Vice President, International Sales, Oman Air.

Very soon, in about a month’s time, Oman Air will be opening up in Manchester too. Only last month they made their presence felt at Nairobi in Kenya.

JET INTRODUCES CHENNAI-PARIS, BENGALURU-AMSTERDAM SERVICES

Jet Airways has announced the launch of two new flights directly connecting Chennai with Paris and Bengaluru with Amsterdam. The launch of these new routes will enable guests to travel to destinations in Europe and North America with its codeshare partners Air France, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Jet Airways will operate a daily service between Bengaluru-Amsterdam, while the flight between Chennai-Paris will be operated five days a week. These new flights will complement the airline’s existing direct operations from Delhi & Mumbai to Amsterdam and onwards to Toronto as well as direct flights from Mumbai to Paris. Flights are available for sale from 20th April 2017.

Both Air France and Delta Air Lines will be codeshare partners on these flights. Jet will deploy the A330 aircraft which features spacious cabin, greater leg-room, lie-flat beds in Premiere and all the comforts associated with long haul international travel.

LUFTHANSA’S AIRBUS A350-900XWB FROM MUNICH DEBUTS AT MUMBAI AIRPORT
The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) witnessed the fly-in of the Airbus A350-900 XWB by Lufthansa German Airline, making it the only airport in India to handle daily operations of two Airbus A350-900 XWB, the world’s most advanced premium passenger aircraft. The newest addition to the Lufthansa fleet will embark on daily 8-hour flights to Munich, which is also one of the airline’s hub location. With a maximum seating capacity of 293 passengers, the cabin has 48 passengers in Business Class, 21 in Premium Economy Class and 224 in Economy Class. The luxury aircraft ensures a spacious atmosphere with its wide seating and high ceilings, and provides a quiet, well-lit cabin, with a relaxing environment and the best of in-flight amenities, in all classes. The aircraft is fitted with state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment with a Wi-Fi adaptive cabin that offers passengers access to movies on demand and mobile phone connectivity, letting them keep themselves updated with work, news or even browse social media and play games online. The Airbus A350-900 XWB marks a generational shift in long haul aircrafts, emphasizing passenger comfort and environment-friendly operations as much as flight range and load capacity. With increasing number of passenger travelling to international destinations, CSIA, Mumbai, one of the busiest airports in the world with single runway system, has through the development of its state-of-the-art infrastructure, actively encouraged airlines to operate on new foreign routes with wide bodied aircrafts so as to meet the rising passenger demand, despite constraints. With over 46 international airlines operating to/from Mumbai, handling more than 12.4 million international passengers in a year, the airport is a key gateway into India, connecting it to key European and other global destinations.
INDIGO ADDS MANGALORE TO ITS NETWORK

Reinforcing its commitment to the south India market, IndiGo has announced Mangalore as its new destination. Effective May 1, 2017, IndiGo will operate daily non-stop flights from Mangalore to Bengaluru and Mumbai.

Aditya Ghosh, President and Whole Time Director, IndiGo said, “Mangalore, an important seaport and a major commercial centre in Karnataka with the state’s second busiest airport, is fast gaining prominence as a business hub and a tourist gateway.”

He further added, “Adding new flights and frequencies on our network is aligned with our commitment to expand affordable air travel in India. The new flights not only strengthen domestic network but also help us better serve increased demand in growing markets.”

SPICEJET LAUNCHES ITS 2ND DAILY DIRECT FLIGHT ON KOLKATA–DHAKA SECTOR

The low-cost carrier SpiceJet has recently flagged off its second daily direct flight services to Dhaka from Kolkata. The new flight will be operational starting from May 16, 2017.

With this new flight, the airline will be able to enhance its global footprint. SpiceJet, which now touches seven international destinations, is the first and only low cost carrier to operate daily direct flights on the Kolkata – Dhaka sector. Dhaka is the second international destination after Bangkok that the airline will be serving with a daily direct flight from Kolkata.

The new flight schedule will open convenient travel options for business and leisure travelers and will allow corporate travelers with an option for a convenient return flight the same day.

Did you know?
The Baily Bridge is the highest bridge in the world. It is located in the Ladakh valley between the Dras and Suru rivers in the Himalayan mountains. It was built by the Indian Army in August 1982
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