Dear Friends, Guests, Patrons and Partners in Travel,
We hope you all are keeping safe, wherever you are.
As our respective countries summon the strength to reopen the airways to Economy, the strictest of measures must be strived for so that safety and growth go hand in hand.
Our planet unfortunately fights many a battles altogether, and through it all, we must remember to stand by her together, strong and tall, protecting her from the enemy that rears its many-faced head in hatred, violence and ignorance.
We have but one home, to love, cherish, protect and impart.
Here's wishing everyone strength, knowledge, love and happiness
Bengaluru shines, as Kempegowda airport gets voted as best regional airport in India & Central Asia
The Kempegowda International Airport, has won this year’s SKYTRAX Award for Best Regional Airport in India and Central Asia. This was the third time in four years, that the airport was voted to victory by its customers, at the 2020 World Airport Awards. The achievement gracefully comes at par with the moniker that the city proudly goes by, which is ‘the Silicon Valley of India’.
“For an 11-year old airport to be named Best Regional Airport in India & Central Asia for the third time is a remarkable achievement for Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru. This award reaffirms our commitment to provide a world-class experience for our travellers at Bengaluru Airport with a slew of pioneering technology and sustainability initiatives. It is truly a fabulous reward for an extraordinary effort and commitment of the entire airport community that drives our Airport’s success,” said Hari K Marar, MD & CEO, Bangalore International airport Ltd (BIAL).
The prestigious award is given on the basis of a World Airport Survey questionnaire filled by over 100 nationalities of airport customers during a 6-month survey period. Under the gambit of airport service, the survey evaluates the customer experience and product key performance indicators – from check- in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate.
Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax, said: “It is a fabulous achievement for all management and staff at Bangalore’s Kempegowda International Airport to be again recognized for excellence in their frontline staff service and facilities. India is an increasingly competitive global region for air travel, and Kempegowda International Airport’s continuing success is testament to the ongoing improvements that customers enjoy here.”
Crowning Indian Hotels prepare their best defenses against Covid-19
Covid-19 is unfortunately a reality that has to be accepted and lived with and the hospitality industry is gearing up to turn its properties into safe havens for future travelers.
From no contact menus and bookings to Covid safety staff training by doctors, the illustrious hotel chains of India are addressing every facet of their operations in this pandemic ridden scenario.
The Oberoi Group:
- The group has collaborated with Bureau Veritas, a laboratory testing, inspection and certification services firm, to validate and review its programme.
- Dedicated hygiene and safety managers will be appointed at each hotel for supervision.
- Various virtual and in person training sessions to supervise the implementation of the standards across hotels will also be undertaken by Bureau Veritas.
Indian Hotels Company (IHCL):
The measures undertaken by IHCL reportedly include all the recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the Government of India:
- Thermal screening of staff and customers, including submitting self-declarations on their health before checking in.
- Intense hospital-level sanitisation.
- Contact-less processes such as Digital Check-in and check-out formalities and social distancing measures.
- To reduce contact furthermore, common and high-touch areas like cars, lobbies and elevators will go through thorough and frequent cleaning with disinfectants.
- Restaurants and banquet areas will have fewer tables, self-serving buffets will no longer be available and menus will be digital or single use, with a focus on wellness-oriented food to boost immunity.
The chain has launched WeAssure - a health, hygiene, and safety initiative in collaboration with medical professionals and disinfection experts, which intensify the existing hygiene & cleaning protocols across all ITC Hotels. The chain is also working towards an accreditation process by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) to conform its operations to hospital level hygiene standards. Their measures include:
- Re- engineered guest experiences with zero contact/minimal associate engagement.
- Sanitized cutlery, crockery & tableware supported with digital ordering & e-payment solutions.
- Advanced & stringent sanitizing of rooms and deep-cleaning protocols.
- Remodeled hotel layout to support safe distancing.
- Usage of advanced disinfectants, UV sanitization and Ozonisers.
In response to the pandemic, hospitality chains such as Marriott, Hyatt and Hilton have also announced various safety training and programmes to ensure 100% guest safety.
Domestic Flights soar Indian skies once more
Several industries after a rigorous two month lockdown are gradually opening their doors once more. The Airlines are one of them and Domestic flights in India have commenced travel in a calibrated manner from Monday, 25th May 2020. Airlines and airports have intensified their sanitization standards and staff training, to facilitate a safe and stress-free transit.
However, compulsory guidelines have been laid out for passengers by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, for a safe and hassle-free flying experience.
They are as follows:
- All travelers above 14 years of age must have the Aarogya Setu app activated on their mobiles before arriving at the airport.
- Travelers will be required to certify the status of their health through the Aarogya Setu app or a self-declaration form, and go through temperature screening.
- Only passengers who have completed web check-in will be allowed to enter the airport.
- Travelers should report to the airport at least 2 hours prior to the departure time. Boarding gates will close 20 minutes before departure.
- Only passengers who have flights departing in the next 4 hours will be allowed to enter the terminal building.
- Passengers are required to wear face masks at the airport and in the flight.
- Only 1 check-in baggage up to 20 kgs and 1 cabin baggage will be allowed per passenger.
- Travelers will be required to print and paste a pre-filled baggage tag (included in booking) and affix it on the bags. Alternatively, they should mention the PNR number and name on paper and affix it on the bags.
- Elderly, pregnant and ailing individuals are advised to avoid air travel. Additionally, individuals who have been tested COVID-19 positive or are staying in a containment zone should not travel.
- No meal service, newspapers or magazines will be available on-board.
- Travelers will be required to sign self-declaration forms. In case of a PNR having more than one passenger, the declaration would be deemed to be covering all the passengers mentioned in the PNR.
The Rajmahal Palace Jaipur no longer a part of SUJÁN
After five extremely successful seasons, the glorious Palace that has captured many a travelers hearts around the globe, announces its exit from SUJÁN Jaipur’s collection of experiential hotels in Rajasthan. With its Royal history and architecture that sings of the legends of Rajput victories, the Raj Palace has recieved global acclaim in the media. From having being listed among the best top 10 hotels in the world, featured in the extremely coveted Condé Nast Traveller Gold List multiple times, including in 2020, the luxury hotel was also admitted as a member of Relais & Chateaux, the world’s most prestigious association of hotels and restaurants. In keeping with tradition, the Palace has hosted international royalty, heads of state and countless celebrities - be them actors, authors, designers, statesmen and captains of industry. From the annual Penguin-Random House celebration during the Jaipur Literature Festival to British Polo Day, the Palace has seen countless legendary celebrations within its majestic walls, crystal chandeliers and double-height ceilings.
In a formal address praising the Palace’s history and the SUJÁN team, the daughter of the last Maharaja of Jaipur, Princess Diya Kumari stated, “Built in 1729, The Rajmahal Palace has been a significant part of the history of the Jaipur Royal Family. We are incredibly grateful to SUJÁN to have been the custodians of this treasured asset since its extensive renovation five years ago. While we are sad to see them go, we look forward to continuing the legacy of The Rajmahal through its next chapter.”
Bidding farewell to the Palace and extended his gratitude, Jaisal Singh, Founder & Chairman, SUJÁN expressed, “After an exhilarating tenure, on behalf of everyone at SUJÁN, I would like to thank the Royal Family of Jaipur for entrusting us with re-opening and managing one of their most treasured and beautiful palaces that dates back to 1729. We wish the family and the Palace all success in the years to come.”
Caught on camera: The elusive Black Panther spotted in Goa’s Netravali Sanctuary for the first time
In what seems to be a triumphant feat for Goa’s biodiversity, the majestic feline that was usually regarded as a rare or mythical species, that just lived in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book world as Mowgli’s Bagheera - was sighted at a sanctuary in Goa for the very first time.
Walking in the wild in all its royalty with its magnificence shiny melanised coat, the predator was camera - trapped at Patiem Beat of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, South Goa.
The Black Panther is not a separate species but a melanistic variant of the Leopard (Panther pardus). Melanism is the excess production of ‘melanin’ - a natural pigment in most organisms, that is responsible for the darkening of body tissues. It is believed that this variant in Black Panthers is a selective advantage that helps the feline camouflage better for predatory ambush and also makes it less conspicuous to its preys. Another selective advantage that Melanism in felines is believed to provide is resistance to viral infections or adaptation to high altitude, as the black fur absorbs more heat.
The Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary is predominantly home to Tigers and so the shy animal’s rare sighting was a surprising and joyous for Forest Department officials and wildlife enthusiasts alike. The sanctuary is one of the vital corridors of the Western Ghats and is spread out in a lushness of over 211.05 km. It is where the tributary of the Zuari river, Netravali river originates and so is named thus. Adjacent to the reserve lies Dandeli-Anshi Tiger reserve to the East in Karnataka, the Cotigao Sanctuary - to the north, and the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary also on the northern side. The sanctuary with its dense vegetation, hills and waterfalls, has a good population of animals like the Four-horned Antelope or the Chousingha, Gaur, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Black Sloth Bear, Leopard and a variety of birds and butterflies.