Tuesday, November 30, 2010

India is a 'year-round destination'

India is an ideal destination for travellers, according to the country's ministry of tourism.

Rajen Habib Khwaja, secretary of the Asian nation's ministry of tourism, explained India is a year-round destination and people will need to visit the country more than once to fully experience all that it has to offer.

"Besides the fantastic cultural and heritage tourism products, India today offers a range of new products in adventure and sports tourism, both soft and hard.

News Source

Monday, November 29, 2010

Fog and Flight Issues Plague Bangalore Airport

It is winter time again and airports across India are going into overdrive to tackle the inevitable fogs that cloud the skies. Like most other airports, the Bengaluru International airport is also set to put its best foot forward to deal with the situation as fogs are expected to result in massive flight delays. Expressbuzz revealed airport sources as having disclosed that a fog contingency plan has been set aside after a meeting with Air Traffic Control, different airlines operating flights to Bangalore, Meteorological Department, and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

It is noteworthy that last year dense fogs in North India led to large scale rescheduling of numerous Bangalore flights. In fact, every year many travellers who book their flights to India during winters, have to put up with fog related delays in quite a few airports across the country. The fog that surrounds Bangalore airport is called Radiation fog. This year round, the fog was expected to start from 15th November and is likely to last till 15th February 2011.

Airport sources were quoted as saying ‘We are anticipating morning fog up to February and flight operations are expected to be hampered," said an official who did not want to be identified. "Keeping this in mind, we have directed all airlines and airport partners to undertake steps to minimise the inevitable difficulties that passengers will have to face.’ For passenger convenience, airport initiatives include sending SMS updates on flight status and flashing fog related news on LED screens at the airport

Anyone, who has booked cheap flights to India and has plans of travelling to Bangalore, should be well informed about the fact that fogs during the wee hours delays 1215 flights, which creates a backlog of airborne flights as well as those on the ground. This in turn delays 4042 flights on a daily basis revealed the source.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Indian airline plans new flight agreement

Indian airline Kingfisher Airlines is to form a new code-share agreement with American Airlines in 2011.

The deal means that American Airlines will be able to put its code on Kingfisher Airlines domestic flights within India as well as on flights to Delhi and Mumbai from London Heathrow.

In return, Kingfisher Airlines will be able to code-share on American Airline flights to Delhi from Chicago and some services between the US and London.

News Source

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ideal Time to Catch Flights to Delhi

Delhi is brimming with tourists all year around. However, it is best to be aware of the city’s notorious weather as it gives you an edge while planning for Delhi holidays. Hop on to the flights to Delhi when the weather is best and the place is buzzing with life.

The diversity of the enigmatic city of Delhi peeps through every aspect of the life, be it people, culture, lifestyle, architecture, shopping or food. And the varied climate of the city further intensifies this particular trait of the city. The winter chill of the city can be as frigid as the Himalayan peaks while the peak summer temperature can easily shoot above 40°C and make the scorching heat of Rajasthan seem pleasant. The monsoons of the city are not to be left behind and can bring the notorious Delhi traffic to a standstill with the flooding roads.

Even with such atrocities of weather, Delhi is one city that is a hit with the tourists throughout the year. Having said this, tourists are well advised to be acquainted with the moody weather of the city well before boarding flights to Delhi as one would not like to be struck in a five hour long traffic jam caused by a flooded street or to have torrid blisters caused by the scorching city heat. Some surprises (shocks) are better avoided!

Summer Season

Delhi’s average summer temperature ranges from 30º C to 45º C. The heat during the summers can be unbearable for many, especially for foreign tourists. The period from May to July is considered as the hottest time of the year. The city’s scorching summers can be attributed to the hot waves in the western part of the country. Such heat waves can be extremely hazardous and one needs to take proper care and precautions during the time. The arrival of the monsoon in the end of July or beginning of August does bring some relief from the frying heat.

Winter Season

Winter season in Delhi is short as compared to the summers. Winters generally start from the beginning of November and continue till February-March. However, irrespective of the duration, the winters in Delhi can be quite chilly. Temperature can plummet to near-zero degrees and the city is often covered under a blanket of thick fog during the season. The dense fog negatively affects the visibility on the streets and the people are well advised to take adequate precautions while driving during night as well as early morning. The afternoons can be pleasant with nice bright sunshine.

Monsoon Season

July generally is the harbinger of the monsoon thunderstorms. The rainy season in the city can stretch till September. The monsoon in the city is often erratic and random with an average precipitation of around 7.5 inches per month. With the end of September, the rain starts tailing off and with it the temperatures also comes down tumbling to something bearable.

Best time to Visit Delhi

The best time to visit the colourful city of Delhi is certainly February-March and September to November. The weather is generally pleasant and ideal for planning outdoor leisure trips.

During the spring season (Feb-March), the city blooms and blossoms into almost a picturesque setting and thus provides a charming sight. Beautiful flowers and green trees greet the visitors and fill their hearts with joy and elation. This is also the time when Delhi becomes a tourist hotspot and cheap flights to India become increasingly difficult to come by. It is best to plan your air travel well in advance to save yourself from spiralling costs on Delhi flights.

The period of September to November is the time of pink winters in Delhi. The weather is perfect for outdoor excursions and the city truly comes into its being during the time. A series of festivities and celebrations on occasions of Diwali, Eid and Dussehra is another added advantage of travelling to Delhi during this period. Those keen to witness the legendary traditions of the country can be most benefited by reserving a seat well in advance on any of the cheap flights to India during this season.

Cricket World Cup 2011

Cricket is big in India and with the Cricket World Cup 2011 being held in the country, be ready to get dazed and dazzled during the period of February to April. Delhi is hosting several world cup matches and this is indeed good news for people planning their Delhi holidays during the time. While Delhi reflects the chaotic charm of India, cricket portrays the energetic charisma of India. Expect fireworks when the two meet at the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Absorb the glory of city’s superb historical monuments along with the eyeball grabbing action on the field.

Hotel company plans Indian expansion

InterContinental is planning to add a further 45 hotels to its Indian portfolio by 2015. The additional properties will mean the group will offer more than 10,000 rooms to those taking flights to India.

Introduction of the Holiday Inn Express brand will increase the number of low-cost hotel rooms on offer to travellers and will met the demand for affordable accommodation within the country. It is expected that India-based Amrapali Group will manage a number of the new hotels.

Anil Kumar Sharma, chairman and managing director of the Amrapali Group, said: "India's need for world-class hotels consistent with rapid economic growth make this an opportune time for us to expand our hospitality portfolio."

He added that the Holiday Inn Express was a key brand and would offer a "mix of convenience, comfort and value".

News Source

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New hotels in India planned

The Chennai-based Auromatrix Group is forming a new partnership to develop new hospitality opportunities. Auromatrix, alongside American Hotels and Lodging Association chairman John Russell and a number of other industry figures, is launching Advaya Hospitality. The new venture could see the creation of hotels in the US and India by the second half of 2011.

It is expected the new Advaya Hotels will be located in US key cities such as New York, Miami, Atlanta and Phoenix, while its Indian operations will focus on new resorts in Chennai, Tuticorin, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam and Vellore.

"The timing is right," explained Mr Russell.

"The economy is starting to come back and there are many properties and sites out there that present outstanding opportunities."

Auromatrix oversees a number of hospitality developments in India such as Hotel Abhay Days in Jodhpur and Deccan Plaza in Chennai.

News Source

Monday, November 22, 2010

Grounding of Qantas A380 Fleet May Spell a Little Inconvenience

On 4th November, the Sydney bound Qantas A380 that had to make an emergency landing in Singapore may have exploded in mid air, media reports have revealed. The flight, which took off from Singapore, was one of the six A380s owned by Qantas. All these planes are fitted with the Rolls Royce manufactured Trent 900 engines. According to investigators, the problem arose because there was leakage of oil which caught fire leading to the heating of the metal parts and bursting of the engine. The explosion churned out metal parts, some of which cut through the hydraulics and an engine control line located in the wing of the aircraft. The pilots were forced to land in Singapore as the second wing and approximately half of the brake flaps of the damaged wing spun out of control.

Alternate Arrangements

Taking serious note of this potentially fatal incident, Qantas has grounded its entire A380 fleet until safety issues are addressed completely. The airline indicated that this may take up to 7 weeks. Passengers who had made meticulous travel plans and had fulfilled their dream of buying a cheap flight ticket for the A380 are likely to be a disappointed lot. However, Qantas has assured that there would not be much inconvenience. The airline has a huge fleet that includes 14 A330s and 26 B747s along with 30 other aircrafts. This entire fleet can be used for making alternate travel arrangements for the affected passengers.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sightseeing and Things to Do In Chennai

Chennai is one of the leading tourist attractions in the South India. With beautiful temples, glorious beaches, yummy food, remarkable shopping options and great wildlife, tickets on flights to Chennai are always highly sought after.

A city of contrasts and diversities, Chennai is the coastal city in South India that boasts of ancient monuments, beautiful temples and a popular beach that adds verve to the city’s attractions.

Dusty, crowded and polluted, Chennai is surely not the one that will attract many at the first glance. However, with a little persistence one can discover the city’s innumerable treasures characterised in delectable cuisine, remarkable shopping options and astounding historical monuments.

Located in the south east part of India, Chennai is one the largest Indian cities and also the capital city of the state of Tamil Nadu. Featuring a coastline of more than 25 kilometres, the city was groomed into a trade centre during the British rule over the nation. Consequently, the coastal city has developed into a metropolis that portrays a charming cultural mix with a blend of European traditions and architecture.

Chennai is a wonderful tourist attraction that is specifically cherished by the European visitors. Chennai tour packages are always in demand and along with major British airlines, several India-based carriers offer convenient London to Chennai flights.

Take a look at the various attractions of the city that entices international tourists to grab flights to Chennai.


Beaches are the top attractions in Chennai. The mesmeric beaches of the city welcome every kind of traveller with equal warmth. People can indulge themselves in fun and excitement within the pristine ambience of Chennai beaches. Lots of sun bathing and peaceful boating define the life at the beaches of this golden city.

Chennai’s Marina Beach is the second largest beach in the world with a stretch of approximately 13 kilometres. The beach was revamped in 2009 with beautiful new galleries, charming landscaping and gorgeous fountains. Marina Beach currently features 14 galleries, an internal walkway along the sands and a high-tech lighting arrangement that enchants visitors at night. No wonder, there are so many leisure travellers who queuing up to grab those cheap flights to India.

Other exquisite beaches in Chennai include Elliot’s Beach, Covelong Beach, Muttukkadu, Rameswaram and Kurusadai Islands.


Chennai is the region with deep spirituality and spiritual faith that is reflected through the numerous temples present in this city. Temples in Chennai range from colossus monumental structures to small stone buildings, each possessing certain significance in the lives of people.

Parthasarathy Temple is one of the major tourist attractions in Chennai. Dedicated to the Lord Krishna, the temple is located in the heart of the city and provides serene refuge in the hustle and bustle of the city.

A beautiful temple, Kapaleeswarar Temple is more than 2000 years old and is dedicated to the Lord Shiva. The temple observes special prayers and organises festivals almost every day.

Other charismatic temples in the city include Kalikambal Temple, Mangadu Kamakshi Temple, Vadapalani Dandayudhapani Temple and Thiruverkadu Mariamman Temple.


Apart from holy places and beaches, wildlife is the biggest attraction of Chennai that entices travellers from various parts of the globe to its beautiful shores.

Guindy National Park is a fascinating attraction in the city that appeals to nature lovers. It is relatively a very small national park but it is among the very few that are located inside a city. Featuring tropical dry evergreen vegetation, the Guindy National Park is home to black bucks, spotted deer, jackals, snakes, more than 100 species of birds, and a number of different invertebrates.

The Arignar Anna Zoological Park is a must visit for animal lovers. Frequented by approximately 700,000 people each year, the park boasts of varied species of wild life. The zoological park is home to different varieties of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.


With a plethora of shopping opportunities, Chennai is truly a shopper's delight. Known particularly for its silk, the city has sprung up a range of designer boutiques and hip malls off late. Contemporary and traditional artworks, antiques, paintings and jewellery items are also quite sought after in the region. These artefacts are usually pretty affordable and fittingly complement the cheap flights to India.

The Victoria Technical Institute, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Naturally Auroville and SIPA'S Craftlink are few of options for tourists looking for cool traditional art work.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Marketing could help small Indian hotels

A new company has been created to help showcase the wide range of hotels available to those taking flights to India.

Owner Phillippa Kaye believes Indian Experiences will play an important role in marketing India's large number of privately-operated hotels -especially those that aim to be eco-friendly or offer guests good memories.

"The focus is on the experience given to travellers in order to showcase the best of the local area and not just focus on the tourist hotspots." explained Ms Kaye to Travel Daily UK.

She is also planning to spend the next 12 months discovering some of India's most appealing hotels ranging from luxurious resorts to those based in the country's national parks.

News Source

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kingfisher Airlines Fishes out More and More Awards

Kingfisher Airlines, the only Five Star airline from India, bagged five Frequent Traveler Awards for its loyalty programme King Club. Kingfisher Airlines is the only airline from India, which won from the Middle East and Asia/Oceania region. The different awards are Best Redemption Ability, Best Earning Promotion, Best Elite Program, Program of the Year, and Best Loyalty Credit Card.

Importance of the Awards

The airline is based in Mumbai and remains a natural choice for millions of Britons who seek luxury flights to Mumbai. Besides Mumbai, from time to time, Kingfisher also advertises special deals and cheap flights to India in general. By winning this award, Kingfisher has again managed to hog limelight. Voting was carried out by frequent flyers across the globe and reflects the immense popularity of the King Club programme. In fact, more than a million travellers from over 200 countries voiced King Club as their favourite programme across different segments during 2009.

Future Prospects from the Awards

These awards are truly democratic in nature as travellers get to rate hotel and airline programmes from their very own perspective. Going by the popularity of the programme, it is logical for anyone who frequently takes flights to India, especially Mumbai flights, to sign up for the King Club programme.

Kingfisher also bagged awards across the following categories:

  • The Best Earning Promotion
  • The Best Redemption Ability for the guests ability to redeem free flights on kingfisher Airlines and Partner Airlines
  • The Best Loyalty Credit Card for Kingfisher First American Express Credit Card
  • The Best Elite Program for King Club Platinum Tier benefits

Awards Venue

The announcement of the awards took place at the Sheraton North Houston at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, TX. The ceremony was attended by more than 125 representatives from the sectors of loyalty, credit cards, hotels, and airlines.

KQ to increase flights to India

Kenya Airways is planning to double the number of flights to India that it currently operates. The national carrier is understood to have sought approval for the new plans from India's prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Kenya Airways has requested that it be allowed to increase flights to New Delhi from Nairobi and flights to Mumbai from Nairobi to make a total of 14 services per week. The airline claims the new flights would help to support the local tourist industry and strengthen ties between the two countries.

The airline recently revealed an increase in pre-tax profit of 66.7 per cent during the first half of the year to September. According to the carrier, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa helped to boost passenger traffic growth in the region by 19.8 per cent.

"We have been concentrating a lot on people and systems in the past six months, which has at least paid off," said Titus Naikuni, chief executive officer of Kenya Airways.

News Source

Kingfisher Frequent Flyer Programme

King Club, the loyalty programme of Kingfisher Airlines, is counted amongst the best available frequent flyer programmes. A Skytrax rated 5 star airline, Kingfisher is a preferred choice and often comes up with cheap fares for flights to India and other destinations.

King Club, the frequent flyer programme of Kingfisher Airlines is amongst the most rewarding frequent flyer programmes. This loyalty programme offers a plethora of benefits to its patrons. As far as membership goes, besides basic membership, there are four tiers across King Club, namely King Red, King Silver, King Gold and King Platinum. Every tier comes with its own set of special privileges such as cheap and discounted tickets, lounge access, and upgrade vouchers to name just a few.

It is important to point here that the airline is a Skytrax rated 5 Star airline and apart from popular loyalty programme, offers some of the best services in the air travel sector. The airline operates out of its base at Mumbai and operates flights to global destinations, and is a preferred choice of those looking for cheap flights especially to India.

Tier I - King Red

King Red is the first tier of membership under King Club. One can qualify for King Red by earning 3,000 Status Miles, 6 Sector Points, or 4,000 Partner Miles in a preceding 1 year period. Long distance travellers such as those departing London on flights to Mumbai can easily earn these points to qualify for King Red. Here is a list of the privileges for King Red members.

  • Web check-in bonus (250 King Miles)
  • Personalized baggage tag
  • E-ticketing / Mobile ticketing bonus (500 King Miles)
  • Earn King Miles on Kingfisher Airlines and select partners
  • Permanent membership card
  • Earn King Miles for shopping at our in-flight Duty Free
  • Redeem King Miles on Kingfisher Airlines, select partners and Air Boutique ONLINE

Tier II - King Silver

King Silver members are entitled to all the benefits of King Red tier and some additional privileges as well. To reach this tier, one has to earn 60 Sector Points or 30,000 Status Miles over the span of a successive 12 month period. With 3 timeframes for calculating the retention status of this tier, one can easily re-qualify to King Silver. These timeframes are winning 54 Sector Points in preceding 12 months, 72 Sector Points in preceding 18 months, and 84 Sector Points in preceding 24 months. The key features of King Silver are as follows.

  • 15% Tier bonus
  • Personalized baggage tags
  • Redeem King Miles on Air Boutique ONLINE
  • 1 Upgrade voucher
  • Priority baggage assistance
  • Priority check-in (Domestic Airports only and subject to availability)
  • Domestic Lounge Access (for travel on Kingfisher First / Kingfisher Class and subject to availability)
  • Excess baggage allowance

Tier III - King Gold

The King Gold Tier offers a world of extra privileges. Qualifying as a King Gold member necessitates winning 84 Sector Points in a preceding 6 month period and 120 Sector Points, or 60,000 Status Miles in a preceding 12 month period. Passengers can retain membership by winning 108 Sector Points in a preceding 12 month period, 144 Sector Points in a preceding 18 month period, and 168 Sector Points in a preceding 24 month period. King Gold passengers get the following facilities.

  • Nominated travel coordinator
  • Personalized baggage tags
  • Redeem King Miles on Air Boutique ONLINE
  • One additional Domestic Lounge voucher for your companion
  • Priority Boarding
  • Three Upgrade vouchers
  • Guaranteed Seat Reservations subject to certain terms and conditions.
  • Excess Baggage Allowance
  • 25% Gold Tier bonus
  • Priority Baggage Assistance
  • Access to Domestic and International lounges subject to availability

Tier IV - King Platinum

This is the top most membership tier and is crammed full of benefits. The two timeframes for qualifying to this status are winning 180 Sector Points, or 90,000 Status Miles in a preceding 12 month period and acquiring 126 Sector Points in a preceding 6 month period. King Platinum has three timeframes for calculating tier retention. These are winning 162 Sector Points in a preceding 12 month period, winning 216 Sector Points in a preceding 18 month period, and winning 252 Sector Points in a preceding 24 month period. Here are some of the features exclusive to King Platinum status.

  • 35% Tier bonus
  • Waiver of Cancellation and Rebooking fee on published fares
  • Five upgrade vouchers
  • 50% discount on companion redemptions in Kingfisher First
  • Non expiry of King Miles
  • Personalised & exclusive section in Air Boutique ONLINE
  • Complimentary Companion King Gold Membership card

The 5 star airline may not be considered by those flying to global destinations as one offering consistently cheap fares but those on flights to India would definitely reap most benefit due to the Indian origin of the airline clubbed with its highly rewarding loyalty program. Further details on the program can be accessed by visiting the link https://www.kingclub.me/CRANE_IT_WEB/index.jsp

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Airline launches low long-haul fares

Budget airline AirAsia X has launched a new promotion offering cheap flights to India, China, Taiwan, Korea and Australia from Kuala Lumpur.

The cheap deals will only be available online and will be offered on services taken between July 1st and November 10th 2011.

Azran Osman-Rani, chief executive officer of AirAsia X, said: "This promo is the best opportunity for guests to maximize on our extensive route network to travel to more places.

"With AirAsia's long haul flights, guests from the AirAsia X network may hop on to Kuala Lumpur and connect to South East Asia and beyond."

The carrier is also introducing a new service that will allow passengers to avoid having to check-in their luggage twice if they are taking onward AirAsia X long-haul flights from Kuala Lumpur.

News Source for Airline launches low long-haul fares

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cheapest Airfares on Flights to India from UK

There are so many choices available for a tourist travelling from UK to India that choosing the best amongst them can be a difficult job.

Are you searching for the most affordable flights to India? If yes, then it is understandable that you would have been bombarded with options until now. Each and every airline promises of providing the best flight experience at the lowest fares. The marketing and promotion of each and every airline is equally good and this is the reason why they give you a tough time to choose the best amongst the rest.

India is one country which is home to all sorts of tourist hideouts be it historical monuments, clean beaches, dense forests or bustling cities; India has it all. This is the reason why thousands of tourist flock cities all across the country.

Flights to Delhi
The National Capital New Delhi is one of the first cities that come to mind while planning a trip to the most diverse nation on this planet. The city was once home to the mighty Mughals which has left behind a number of majestic historical monuments. You can witness the Mughal architecture at an incredibly low fair of £311 offered by Kuwait Airways.

Flights to Mumbai
But if you are planning to visit the tinsel town Mumbai then you will just have to shed £366. Such low price is offered by one of the most luxurious airline of the gulf i.e. Oman Air.

Flights to Goa
Goa is another tourist destination which has been a hot spot amongst tourists from all across the world. You can easily steal a deal to Goa with Qatar Airways at a super low price of £509. So if you love sun, sand and clean water then Goa is the perfect destination and you won’t get a better deal then the one mentioned above.

Flights to Kolkata
Kolkata is another tourist hub in India which attracts tourists round the year. You can visit the cultural capital of the country at a low fare of £569 offered by the most sophisticated airline Lufthansa. Kolkata is a perfect choice for those who want to witness the rich cultural heritage of the country.

Flights to Bangalore
The ‘City of Nizams’ Bangalore is another very famous tourist hotspot in India. The city is a perfect combination of beautiful archaeological sites and crowded world-class malls. For the cheapest flights to Bangalore you can trust Oman Airways which provide a round trip at a shockingly low fare of £391.

There are so many choices available that the tourists are being spoilt for choice. All the above mentioned flights to India destinations are available from the famous London Heathrow Airport and subject to the availability of the airfares and offers.

Planning wisely will enable you to have an amazing trip to the mystical land of India and that too on a very budgetary price.

Note: The airfares mentioned in the article are taken from Southall Travel and are subject to change according to availability.

India tourism 'benefitting' from Commonwealth Games

India is set to see a boom in visitor numbers following the success of the Commonwealth Games, claims the secretary of India's tourism ministry.

RH Khwaja explained the Indian tourism sector will experience a rise in demand in coming years as the sporting event has helped to boost the country's international profile and could lead to more travellers taking flights to India.

"India today is emerging as a major economy of the world with growth rate of more than eight per cent per annum. The tourism industry in India is set to grow at an even higher pace," said Mr Khwaja, according to PTI.

The number of foreign tourists arriving in October increased by nine per cent compared to 2009's levels. It is thought that figures from the tourism ministry show the Commonwealth Games was responsible for around five per cent of the visitors during last month.

News Source

Monday, November 15, 2010

Marriott opens Indian hotel

Marriott has opened a new hotel in India in the city of Prune. It is the 500th hotel for the brand and represents the company's ongoing expansion into India.

The Prune Marriott Hotel & Convention Centre has 416 rooms and has been specially designed to showcase the growing trend of IT innovation in the industry, with the provision of a 24 hour state-of-the-art business centre

Fitness fans taking flights to India may also be tempted by the new hotel's 10,000 square foot Quan Spa, that is fitted with 13 treatment rooms, a fitness centre and a outdoor heated swimming pool.

News Source for Marriott opens Indian hotel

Saturday, November 13, 2010

BAA Numbers Soar as Business Travellers Return

The biggest airport authority in the UK, the British Airports Authority (BAA) reported an increase of 3.4% in passenger air traffic in October, thanks to an upswing in the business travel division. BAA stated that all of its six airports collectively handled nearly 10 million passengers in the last month. The 1.2% increase in the number of flights in the region also contributed to this impressive growth in travellers’ traffic.

The London Heathrow Airport reported an increase of 6% in its flight traffic along with a rise of 7.2% in passenger numbers which is up by 410,000. Buoyed by the impressive numbers, BAA believes that 10.6% rise in Heathrow’s European travel can be an indicator of improving things after the traumatic economic depression.

Long-haul flights between London Heathrow and China improved by 16.1%, which is a phenomenal number given the fact that the hub serves only two Chinese destinations. The number of flights between BAA airports and North America increased by 7.5%, while long-haul flights from UK to other destinations spiralled up by 3.2%.

Colin Matthews, the Chief Executive of BAA is pleased with the reported numbers and stated in a press release that “Passenger growth is good for the economy with thousands of people across the country employed in aviation, international trade and tourism. We are continuing with our £5 billion Heathrow investment programme – the biggest private investment project in the UK – providing thousands of jobs as we modernise facilities to improve everyone's experience of the airport.

Among other BAA airports, Edinburgh’s passenger traffic rose by 3.5% while Southampton mounted up by 1.0%.

News Source: BAA Numbers Soar as Business Travellers Return

Friday, November 12, 2010

India's tourism sector set to grow

India's ministry of tourism believes that the country's tourist industry is set to see strong growth.

According to Rajen Habib Khwaja, the secretary of the ministry, India has experienced a strong surge in interest from overseas over the past few months and the outlook for the sector remains positive. He explained: "India today is emerging as a major economy of the world with growth rate of more than eight per cent per annum. The tourism industry in India is set to grow even at a higher pace."

Recent figures published by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation showed that the Asia and Pacific region saw a 14 per cent increase in international visitors during August 2010 despite the worldwide economic recession.

News Source

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Jet Airways begins new flights to India

et Airways has begun daily flights to Delhi and Mumbai from Colombo.

The carrier believes the new flights using Boeing 737-800s will help link India's two main hubs to Sri Lanka and increase onward international travel to other destinations in Europe, North America and the Middle East. Flights to Delhi will depart Colombo in the morning, with the return flight leaving Delhi in the early afternoon.

The new connection to Mumbai will be a late-night service and will provide a direct flight to India's main financial city.

Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer of Jet Airways, said: "Jet Airways is delighted to provide direct links from the financial and the national capital to the Emerald Isle, which is fast emerging as a highly rated global tourism destination."

The carrier recently announced plans to form an alliance with South Africa Airways, so that the two airlines could sell joint tickets on flights to Mumbai from Johannesburg.

News Source

Codeshare Agreement between Jet Airways and Alitalia

Italian visitors to India and Indian travelers to Italy would be interested in knowing that Jet Airways and Alitalia have entered into a code share pact. The two airlines signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) yesterday to operate codeshare flights in the winters of 2010.

The codeshare is a common practice between airlines for better penetration in the new markets and is often used to extend the route network of the airlines. The codeshare between Jet Airways and Alitalia spells advantage for both the airlines as well as their customers booking flights to India and Italy.

Jet Airways customers will be able to fly to more Italian destinations which are served by Alitalia flights and in turn the Alitalia customers will benefit by direct flights to India from Italy. It is reported that Jet Airways will operate direct services between Milan and New Delhi with effect from Dec 5 2010 on a daily basis.

As a part of the code share policy, Jet Airways will use its code ‘9W’ on the selected services which are operated by Alitalia and Alitalia will use its IATA code ‘AZ’ on the select services of Jet Airways including the airlines’ flights between India and Italy.

Alitalia is a member of SkyTeam global airline alliance and the agreement is likely to benefit the alliance by further contributing to its growth in the Far East sector where the alliance already has a strong hold position.

The codeshare agreement between the two airlines will cover the frequent flyers program as well as the ground activities and cargo services.

Jet Airways is one of the largest carriers of India and has Mumbai as its base while Alitalia is the national airline and the largest carrier in Italy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Le Sutra may appeal to art fans

The Le Sutra hotel could be the ideal destination for art lovers taking flights to Mumbai.

Making its debut at the World Travel Market, the hotel is the country's first Indian art hotel that offers guests the chance to experience a number of virtual art installations during their stay, reports eTurboNews.

"We are incredible in the way we portray the Indian story which you will not find elsewhere. In fact we have people old and young, Indian and expat who all want to know more and say it's a little museum in itself," explained Radha Bajaj, director of Le Sutra.

News Source for Le Sutra may appeal to art fans

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Indian carrier plans South African alliance

India-based airline Jet Airways is hoping to agree an alliance with South Africa Airways. The deal has still to be approved by regulators but the marketing agreement could enable the two airlines to sell each other's fares on flights to Mumbai from Johannesburg.

In addition, the airlines could also sell tickets for domestic connection routes to Cape Town and a number of Indian cities, reports Financial Express.

A Jet Airways official said: "The two carriers would code-share on the trunk Mumbai-Johannesburg route. The issue is currently pending with [the] civil aviation ministry. "The code-share with the South African carrier would help us get more passengers."

News Source for Indian carrier plans South African alliance

Christmas in India – Trend and Celebration

India is a land of multiplicity and people living at different parts of the country celebrate Christmas in their own manner. Christmas in India is quite like the western countries in some aspects but it still has a flavour of its own.

India is often considered as a Hindu country as Hinduism is the most prominent culture but this does not mean that people living in the country don’t give importance to other religions and festivals. India is a land of diversity; it is a country where all religions are equally respected. This is the one of the basic reasons why Christmas in India is amongst the biggest festive occasions. Christian population is scattered all across the country and all of them along with the non-Christians celebrate Christmas in regional colours. Most markets and malls in metro cities are beautifully decorated which enhances the whole feel of the festival.

But if you want to visit a city which celebrates Christmas just like the Western world does then look no further then Goa. Goa has a well known Portuguese connection and is also home to a large number of Roman Catholics. It is one city which celebrates Christmas quite like the western countries which means that you can easily find a number of people lined up to attend the midnight mass, along with children singing Christmas carols. The entire city is decorated with revelry which makes it the perfect place to be at the time of Christmas.

Another western tradition followed at the time of Christmas in Goa is the use of Poinsettia flowers in decorating homes, cathedrals and churches. It can be said that the Christmas and New Year is the best time for visiting Goa. It is true that Goa is a happening hotspot at the time of Christmas but Mumbai is another city where Christmas is celebrated with a bang. Mumbai is home to a substantial number of Christians and this is the reason why you can easily spot large paper stars lit up with a bulb hanging outside homes. The basic motive of hanging stars outside home is to signify the Christmas star.

As India is a land of diversity hence people from different regions have different customs and beliefs which affect the Christmas celebrations. The North Eastern part of India has been divided in 7 states which include Tripura, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram. Christmas is celebrated by people living in each of these states. Amongst the above mentioned states Christmas in Nagaland is celebrated in a very unique way as there are a large number of tribal Christian communities who perform traditional dances and prepare exotic food. Visiting Nagaland at the Christmas and New Year 2011 season will be a great idea to witness the one of its kind Christmas celebrations.

All in all Christmas is a very special occasion in India and people prepare special dishes for the day. The only difference is that the spicy Indian food replaces western Christmas dishes like Turkey and Geese. The food is one major difference that any traveler from the west will witness because Indian curries and other regional delicacies is what make Indian Christmas special.

Christmas is celebrated everywhere in India and most people enjoy time with their family and loved ones. The festival is quite special to the people living in the country and is celebrated in a unique way which automatically makes Christmas the best time to visit India. Previous year records show that there has always been a substantial rise in flights to India at the time of Christmas which means that people from all across the world love traveling to India at that time of the year. So visit India if you want to celebrate Christmas and New Year 2011 in an exclusive way.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New flights to India from Canada

Air India has begun non-stop flights to Delhi from Toronto as it expands into North America. Last year, the airline introduced direct flights to Delhi from three US destinations – Newark, New York and Chicago.

The new Canadian flight departs from Toronto Pearson International airport and takes 14 hours to Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport. Previous flights to Delhi from Canada operated by Air India used to include a stop-over in London of at least two hours.

Air India has a fleet of 135 aircraft and has recently added new planes to its portfolio.

"With Air India introducing the phenomenal Boeing 777-300 ER planes and making New Delhi as its international hub, introduction of non-stop flights from Canada is part of new policies,'' explained an Air Indian representative, reports IANS.

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

India to benefit from new hotel ranking system

New guidelines could provide those taking flights to India with more information about the country's hotels. India Tourism London claims that the introduction of a classification system could ensure greater confidence for travellers and ensure accommodation is in line with worldwide standards.

The Confederation of Indian Industry announced hotels will be inspected within three months of application and classification issued within 15 working days.

Raj Kumar Sunani, assistant director at India Tourism London, explained the system could be of benefit to international holidaymakers. "The classification of hotels as per the new guidelines will give a clear idea about the facilities and amenities available in different star categories of hotels," said Mr Sunani.

Figures from STR Global recently revealed that India is in the top three nations in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of hotel room construction. In September, the country revealed it planned the development of 47,325 new rooms.


Monday, November 1, 2010

How to Get Cheap Flights to India for New Year Holidays

With the festive season fast approaching, getting cheap tickets on flights to India is becoming a difficult job for New Year holiday travellers. However, there are certain tips and information that can be useful for people looking for cheap tickets.

With the month of October rapidly rolling away, some people may start thinking about their Christmas and New Year holidays. There are number of alternatives available for individuals and families looking for grand New Year celebrations. However, with its great cultural diversity and iconic landmarks, India remains a popular hotspot among travellers who want to welcome the New Year with style.

Travellers planning to visit to India and hoping to procure cheap tickets on flights to India will find the following information very useful:

Book in Advance

The earlier you book your flights to India, the better it is for you. Making your reservations well in advance will offer you the opportunity and time to carefully compare prices and airlines. One should always research and compare air fares before booking the tickets. Different airlines have different fares and that allows you to pick the cheapest one for yourself.

Avoid Last Minute Bookings

There is a certain section of people who prefer or rather hunt for last minute deals. However, it is certainly not the best way to go about it if you are looking for cheap tickets on flights to India or for that matter any part of the world. Travellers with urgent requirements will have to be content with higher prices but for other customers it is best to not to resort to such last minute deals.

However if you cannot avoid buying last minute air tickets, here are some smart travel tips for picking up better last minute deals.

Check out for airline consolidators who are dealing in flights from UK to India and are willing to sell you cheap tickets even just a few hours before the flight. Airline ticket consolidators buy huge number of tickets from airlines and sell them to the general public for profit.

It is also advisable to contact airlines for any available extra tickets. Find out about some unadvertised discounts and standby arrangements from customer service representatives.

Go for Package Deals

It is not surprising that so many people opt for package holidays instead of trying to book everything on their own. Booking for tickets on flights from London and hotels in India together can save up to 40% of your total travel cost. Many travel agents offer great package deals which offer you an opportunity to save big. Additionally, it is recommended to book with travel agents who are popular for being India travel experts.

Choice of Airline

Air India, Jet Airways, Kingfisher are Indian carriers; and most of the times it is observed that fares with the carriers of the destination are cheaper than with non-destination airlines.

Choice of Arrival Airport

The choice of arrival airport can also be a major factor in determining the cost of your tickets. Arriving at Delhi or Mumbai airports which are the hubs for most Indian carriers will usually save you some money. Of course, the passengers must also keep in mind their convenience.

Go for Connecting Flights

If you are really looking forward to having a budget travel on your New Year holidays to India then it is recommended that you choose connecting flights rather then direct flights to the country. Additionally, it must be noted that booking individual legs of the indirect flights separately also works out cheaper instead of booking them together. For instance if you are flying from LHR to DEL on an indirect flight with a halt at DXB, experts believe that booking the two legs i.e. LHR-DXB and DXB-DEL separately would result in a cheaper cost of travel.

Online Booking

Booking tickets online enables you have a lot of options. You can search well and find out the deals and packages that suit best to your requirements and budget. There are Screenscraper websites for price comparison which use a clever technology to shop around for your benefit. The passengers can enter their trip details and the screenscrapers send them to a number of airlines’ and flight broker’s websites and then report back the cheapest deals available.

It is also advisable to book on popular travel agents’ websites as certain flight brokers have direct business partnership with airlines and can offer special deals of their own.