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India Advises Airlines to Assess Risks Before Flying International

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As Iran-Israel tensions continue, airlines are proceeding with caution. This is impacting passengers in several different ways.

The Indian civil aviation ministry has advised domestic airlines to assess risks before flying on international routes as tensions in the Middle East are growing. The civil aviation regulatory body is working with the airlines and the ministry of external affairs to navigate the situation, civil aviation secretary Vumlunmang Vualnam has said.

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Changed flight routes: After Iran launched drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday, Indian airlines including Air India, Vistara and IndiGo, have been avoiding Iranian airspace, opting for alternative routes instead. Moreover, former national carrier Air India has also temporarily suspended flights to Tel Aviv in Israel. 

Impact of crisis on passengers: The Iran-Israel crisis will cause commercial airlines to fly longer routes to comply with no-fly restrictions, credit rating agency ICRA vice president Suprio Banerjee told PTI. The longer routes will also add to fuel cost, leading to higher airfares for flights to Europe and Middle East regions. The tension in the region is also impacting tourism in nearby areas as travelers are changing their plans in view of their safety.

The Fern Opens Hotel in Jaisalmer

The Fern Hotels and Resorts has opened a new hotel in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. SKK The Fern-An Ecotel Hotel, Jaisalmer has 104 rooms, and with this, the company has 16 operational and developing hotels in the state. 

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This is in line with the hotel chain’s strong presence in West India. Known for its eco sensitive stance, The Fern is a brand that falls under the CG Corp Global conglomerate. With a focus on developing in micro-markets, it currently operates more than 100 hotels in 85 locations across the country. 

Transit Visa Mandatory for Indians Traveling to Four Countries Via Istanbul

Turkiye has made it mandatory for Indians traveling to Mexico, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela via Istanbul to obtain an e-airport transit visa. The requirement came into effect this week. The move aims to streamline and regulate the transit processes at Istanbul. 

Even as this has been made mandatory, Turkiye has been hoping to welcome 3 million Indian visitors in 2024. India is also expected to be in the top 10 source markets for Turkey in three years, according to The Hindu Businessline. 

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SOTC Travel Opens Holiday Franchise in Kolkata

SOTC Travel has opened a new franchise in New Town, Kolkata, making it the company’s sixth store in the city. Kolkata is among the top five market sources for SOTC, and the company is witnessing an annual growth of 25% from this region, according to SOTC Travel president Daniel D’souza. 

SOTC shared that travelers from the Kolkata region have registered a 20% increase in desire for long stays as compared to the pre-Covid levels, and the travel spends from this demographic has increased 25-30% compared to pre-pandemic figures. 

Finnair Appoints Anupam Vig as General Manager for India

Anupam Vig has been appointed as the new general manager for the India market for Finnair. The appointment came into effect at the beginning of 2024. Finnair vice president Jenni Suomela said that India is an important market for the airline. 

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Vig, who has expertise in developing and implementing sales strategies, is expected to play a key role in growing and expanding the airline in the country. He will be taking over from Sakari Romu, who will be taking charge as the general manager for Finnair in Japan.

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