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Revenue of Indian Airport Operators to Top 15%

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India’s aviation industry is expanding to increase connectivity. The growth in passenger traffic will increase revenue sources for airport operators.

The revenue of Indian airport operators is expected to increase by 15% to 17% in the 2024-25 financial year, according to credit rating agency ICRA. The agency added that the overall air passenger traffic in India in 2024-25 will grow by 8% to 11%, with 407 million to 418 million air passengers.

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ICRA corporate ratings sector head Vinay Kumar G said that the recovery in the Indian airport passenger traffic is among the best compared to major global counterparts: “India accounted for 4.2% of the global passenger traffic in 2023.”

Stronger growth than global trend: Global passenger traffic in 2023 fell short of 2019 levels at 96%, Kumar said. But India airport passenger traffic hit 106%. Kumar attributed the rebound to strong economic growth and new routes.

Last month, credit ratings agency CRISIL said in its report that economic growth, more airports, and improved regional connectivity are boosting domestic passenger traffic. “On the international side, growing business travel and easing visa requirements and improving connectivity are significant positives,” said CRISIL Ratings director Ankit Hakhu. 

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Factors affecting India’s strong revenue projection: According to ICRA, factors such as improvement in domestic and international passenger traffic, increase in tariffs at some of the major airports, and ramp-up in non-aeronautical revenues are going to drive growth in revenue for airport operators. 

This is in line with CRISIL’s report, which said that increase in passenger volumes will lead to an increase in aeronautical revenue, such as fees collected from passengers, airlines and cargo operators for use of infrastructure. Non-aeronautical revenue from sources such as advertising, retail, lounge and duty-free shops will also increase.

IHG Debuts Crowne Plaza Brand in Punjab

IHG Hotels and Resorts has announced the signing of Crowne Plaza Amritsar Airport. The 136-key hotel is scheduled to open in 2028, and it marks the brand’s entry into the state of Punjab. 

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The hotel chain has plans to double its operational portfolio in India to 100 in the next five years. It has close to 50 hotels in its pipeline in the country. IHG’s growth in India is driven by midscale and upper midscale segments, which accounted for close to 70% of its hotel signings in 2023. 

Puneet Dhawan to Take Over as Head of Asia at Minor Hotels

Minor Hotels has appointed Puneet Dhawan as the Head of Asia, effective from July. Dhawan is joining the company from Accor, where he has worked for 25 years and currently holds the position of senior vice president of operations – India and South Asia. 

In his new role, Dhawan will be responsible for the performance of all properties of Minor Hotels in Asia. 

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The announcement comes as the company is gearing up for growth in India and Asia. In a recent interview with Skift, Minor Hotels’ senior vice president for Middle East, Africa, and India Amir Golbarg shared that the company is aiming to open 50 properties in the country over the next decade. It is also set to debut its luxury Anantara brand later this year in Jaipur. 

South Africa Simplifying Visa Process for Indians

South Africa is working on simplifying the visa application process for Indians. The country’s minister of tourism Patricia de Lille has announced plans to expedite visa clearance and introduce an e-visa system specifically for Indian travelers. 

The country is also working on a proposal that would grant a visa waiver to Indian and Chinese passport holders for a period of up to 90 days, according to a Business Standard report. South Africa is also mulling allowing Indians the option to extend their visas while visiting the country. 

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The African nation is hoping to welcome 100,000 Indians this year, up from 79,000 in 2023. With this, South Africa is one of the countries that are easing visa restrictions for Indian passport holders. Thailand has extended its visa waiver program for Indians till November this year, while Indians can visit Sri Lanka visa free till May 31. 

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