Dates for cricket with India announced.

cricketCricket Australia has revealed its schedule for the summer of cricket, but admitted there was no guarantee the final list would look the same as the sport responds to the coronavirus pandemic.Cricket Australia (CA) on Thursday night confirmed dates for the marquee India tour, with Brisbane locked in to host the first Test on December 3 before a day-night clash in Adelaide and the traditional Boxing Day and New Year’s fixtures in Melbourne and Sydney.

  • Australia v India — The Gabba (December 3- 7)
  • Australia v India — Adelaide Oval (December 11 – 15)
  • Boxing Day Test, Australia v India — MCG (December 26 – 30)
  • Pink Test, Australia v India — SCG (January 3 – 7)

Australia’s First Indian Drive-In Restaurant

driveinTouted as one of the planet’s top order Indian vegetarian restaurant chain, Saravanaa Bhavan at their branch in Wantirna, Melbourne has created history by being the FIRST Indian restaurant in Australia by offering Drive-In facilities for their delicious Indian food since 2 June. The routine involves driving, then scanning the menu and ordering and then finally enjoying the delicious meal in the   privacy and safety of your own car with family and friends. Surely it’s a safe way to relish healthy food with the people you love.

Saravanna Bhavan have several branches in Sydney and Melbourne. They proudly serve irresistible vegetarian food created under extremely hygienic condition with choicest ingredients. For more information on Saravanna Bhavan check


luxWith international travel disruptions significantly impacting the industry, the originally planned 2020 Luxperience – one of Southern Hemisphere’s biggest travel industry event will be replaced with a Virtual Event to take place 13-16 October 2020.

While the decision to cancel the physical event this year has been a difficult one, at this present time, in the interest of the health and safety of our community, and travel restrictions, a new format was unavoidable.

The virtual event will incorporate all the hallmarks of the successful physical event including its pre-scheduled appointments format, as well as translating the education program into engaging online workshops and insightful industry keynote presentations. The event will also continue to prequalify all participants to ensure that only senior decision makers, with a proven history of purchasing can take part in the online meeting program.

Taj Hotels & Resorts

tajIndian Hotels Company (IHCL), South Asia’s largest hospitality company, announced that its iconic brand – Taj ranked Number One on the list of the strongest Indian brands by Brand Finance in their coveted ‘India 100 2020’ report. Taj has got the rare distinction of being ranked the highest across brands in all sectors.

Speaking about the announcement, Mr. Puneet Chhatwal, MD & CEO, Indian Hotels Company said, “We are humbled that Brand Finance has ranked Taj as the nation’s strongest brand. This recognition comes on the back of the relentless pursuit of Aspiration 2022 as South Asia’s most iconic and most profitable hospitality company. Our unique service philosophy, which we refer to as Tajness, emanates from the warmth and caring Taj has stood for over a century. We remain confident of being able to carry the trust of our guests, employees and all our stakeholders with an even stronger commitment.”

Brand Finance defines Brand Strength as the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures, relative to its competitors. Each brand is assigned a BSI score out of 100, which feeds into the brand value calculation. Based on the calculations, each brand is assigned a corresponding rating up to AAA in a format similar to credit rating.

Accor inks partnership to provide medical support in all its hotels

accorAccor and insurer AXA have announced recently a strategic partnership to provide medical support to guests across the 5,000 Accor hotels worldwide, commencing July 2020.

The partnership will enable Accor guests to benefit from the highest level of care, with the expert medical solutions of AXA Partners, AXA’s international entity specialised in assistance services, travel insurance and credit protection.

Accor guests can benefit from telemedicine, through free access to medical teleconsultation and to AXA’s extensive medical networks with tens of thousands of vetted medical professionals. Hotels can make the most relevant referrals (eg language, speciality, etc) to their guests.

“Welcoming, safeguarding and taking care of others is at the very heart of what we do and who we are as hoteliers. This distinctive partnership with AXA which we have been working on for several months makes even more sense in today’s context. In an increasingly complex environment, our 300.000 team members on the ground will be able to assist our guests and ensure their safety during their stays, turning our hotels into shelters. This initiative combined with our ALLSAFE enhanced hygiene protocols, will be key to rediscover the Love of Travel in the 5000 Accor properties around the world,” said Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor.

Sydney’s Second Airport

sydneySydney’s second airport, Western Sydney (Nancy-Bird Walton) International will open to international, domestic and freight flights in 2026, initially catering for up to 10 million passengers per year.

Located at Badgerys Creek, around 60 km west from Sydney CBD, the new airport will be a state-of-the-art piece of infrastructure, planned and designed with 21st-century thinking.With Sydney’s aviation demand set to double over the next 20 years, the airport will help Sydney to meet this demand and provide a source of jobs and economic growth for the region.

Recently announcement was made by the Australian and NSW Governments that work will start this year to ensure the Airport is connected by rail. The new airport will be connected to Sydney’s rail network via the new Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport, set to open in time for the Airport’s first flight. Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport will have two stations on the Airport site, with a station at the Airport’s integrated international and domestic terminal as well as the on-airport business park, connecting passengers to St Marys in the north, as well as Orchard Hills, Luddenham and the Aerotropolis.

When this new airport becomes fully operational, it will provide airlines and passengers with a choice about which airport they want to use.

The Western Sydney International Airport Experience Centre was officially opened last year provides the community a chance to discover how the Airport will help shape the future of Western Sydney. Located on the Airport site, visitors to the Experience Centre will be taken through an interactive digital exhibition, where they will learn more about the region and its people, as well as the opportunities Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport will create.

Indian aviation faces massive disruption on the road out of COVID

indiaAs per a CAPA India report, Indian aviation is expected to confront a series of challenges in the coming weeks and months, each of which could have a serious structural impact. The risks and implications are arguably under-estimated at a policy level.

Grounding operations was relatively straightforward, but the road out of the lockdown is far more complex. The financial and operational challenges associated with the resumption of services are potentially so significant, that some carriers may choose to remain grounded, whilst others may not survive.

Assuming that air services resume from 01-Jun-2020, the industry will by that stage have been grounded for over two months, after having already experienced a sharp decline in traffic in March. The four months from June to September will be a critical phase. This includes the weakest period of the year for air travel in India even at the best of times, let alone in the aftermath of a once-in-a-century crisis.

To compound the situation, the economy will be in a battered state, and several challenges that are not visible during the lockdown will only become apparent once the services resume. While the industry has been in shutdown and the economy in a state of suspense, it may have been possible to defer certain obligations. But once business starts up again, airlines will once again be confronted with reality.

As our analysis in this document shows, some carriers may even struggle to cover their variable costs up until the end of 2QFY2021 due to market conditions and the constraints imposed by possible social distancing requirements. If that is the case, airlines will have experienced more or less six months with little or no contribution to fixed costs. That will be crippling for many carriers and other aviation businesses.

Please see link below to the full report

In this matter CAPA India has prepared a discussion guide to rethink and redesign India’s aviation industry for a more sustainable future post-COVID.

Singapore Airlines Boosts Health & Safety Measures To Enhance Customer Journey

siaSingapore Airlines (SIA) has introduced a range of health and safety initiatives, and enhanced several existing measures, in recent weeks as part of a comprehensive review of the end-to-end customer journey.

This has allowed SIA to refine the travel experience based on the advice of medical experts, regulators and partners, as well as feedback from its customers. These initiatives help to ensure a safe and healthy environment for customers, allowing them to travel in confidence with the Airline.

Information on the health and safety measures during the pre-flight stage, at the airport, on board the aircraft, and upon arrival is available in a new online e-brochure. This will also be sent to all customers before their flights.

SIA has stepped up the cleaning procedures at all premises, including its SilverKris Lounges. Customers can enjoy a la carte meals instead of a buffet service at our lounges, where SIA staff wear masks all the time and gloves when necessary.

Every SIA Group aircraft undergoes an enhanced cleaning process before a flight. This includes aircraft fogging procedures that follow regulatory requirements. Common surfaces and areas such as windows, tray tables, handsets, in-flight entertainment screens, lavatories and galleys are wiped down with an approved strong disinfectant. Headsets, headrest covers, pillow covers, bedsheets, and blankets are also washed and replaced after every flight.

Ceiling-to-floor air flow patterns within the cabin help to limit the spread of viruses and bacteria. The air is also refreshed every two to three minutes. Every aircraft in the Group’s fleet is equipped with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, which remove more than 99.9% of particles including airborne viruses and bacteria.

Almost all lavatories in SIA aircraft feature contactless faucets and have anti-bacterial hand wash. SIA is also looking at a trial of an ultra-violet (UVC) light cleaning procedure on the ground for its lavatories before every flight.

From 8 June, all airlines in the SIA Group will provide their customers with a Care Kit that includes a surgical mask, anti-bacterial hand wipes and a hand sanitiser. This helps to provide additional reassurance to our customers during these uncertain times.

SIA’s e-Library is the ideal digital replacement for the newspapers, magazines and seatback literature that have been removed from our aircraft. This is available via the SingaporeAir mobile app, and provides access to more than 150 international newspapers, magazines and other reading material.

The Airline also offers the world’s first Companion App, which allows customers to control KrisWorld, SIA’s in-flight entertainment (IFE) system, via their mobile devices.

Our crew will wear face masks throughout the flight, with the additions of eye goggles when interacting with customers and gloves during the meal service. They are also our in-flight health and safety ambassadors during this time, using their world-famous attentive and intuitive service to be a reassuring presence for our customers.

SIA has modified its in-flight food and beverage service to reduce the risk of contact for both our customers and crew members. Meals services have been suspended for flights within South East Asia and services to Mainland China due to regulatory reasons. Snack bags are provided to customers instead.

On long-haul flights, a single tray service has been introduced in First Class and Business Class in place of a table layout service. To boost the in-flight dining experience during this period, SIA is progressively reintroducing customer favourites such as the Airline’s signature satay and garlic bread from mid-June 2020. We will also discuss with the regulators how we can resume a course-by-course dining experience.

Digital food ordering services in the lounges and an in-flight e-menu will be introduced in the coming months.

The SingaporeAir mobile app is also being enhanced to provide customers with more information about the travel and health restrictions across our network. This will be personalised according to their booking.

The Company is working on a Print-n-Go solution, which would allow customers to print their boarding passes and baggage tags at airport self-service kiosks in a contactless way via the SingaporeAir Mobile App or a QR code.

The Covid-19 Information Centre in the Singapore Airlines website is a one-stop source of information for customers who wish to get more information about our booking policies, flight schedules, and travel advisories. Health and safety information, including the e-brochure, is also available here.

Rescue flights repatriating stranded Indians in Australia and Australians in India

airindiaBecause of the corona virus pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, border closures and cancellation of commercial flights several thousands of Australian got stuck in India since late March and vice versa Indians in Australia. Since then over 5000 have returned home from India and Australia either on privately chartered flights or by the ones operated by Qantas and Air India.

Under the Vande Bharat Mission, Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express started operating international flights from May 7 onwards to repatriate stranded Indians from abroad including Australia. The first phase was from May 7 to May 16, following which further phases began. A job very well managed and synchronized by Anil Kaul Head of Air India in Australia in collaboration with the Indian High Commission in Canberra and Consulates in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

The rescue flights back to India and back to Australia are coordinated by the offices of the respective High Commissions and the Consulates in alliance with respective government authorities. The cost for the flights has to be borne by the passengers

Any traveller currently stranded in either India or Australia if keen on return needs to first register their presence and request for repatriation with the respective High Commission/Consulate.

Please note that as per present regulation all passengers arriving Australia and India will need to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine as per the strict protocols framed by the Governments.

Post lockdown, domestic tourism in India pledged to revive the hard-hit sector

postlockdownAt a recent FICCI organised webinar on how to reboot India’s tourism sector which contributes to approximately 10% of the nation’s GDP, all panellists indicated that road to recovery will begin with revival of domestic tourism. Safety and hygiene will be the priorities for travellers who will travel to a destination only if they are assured that the place they are visiting, eating and staying at is virus-free.  This was emphasised by Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel while speaking to New Indian Express at a later date.

Currently, there are no unified standard operating procedures (SOPs) for hotels, home stays, group travellers, tour operators, guides and others. So a need to develop them with a certification process was discussed.

The webinar was addressed among others by Meenakshi Sharma, Director General – Tourism, Government of India; Vishal Dev, Secretary – Tourism, Odisha; Sreya Guha, Principal Secretary – Tourism, Rajasthan; Jyotsna Suri, CMD, Lalit Hotels; Vikram Madhok, MD Aberkrombie & Kent, Deepak Deva MD Sita, TOI & Distant Frontier; Deep Kalra, Group Executive Chairman, MakeMyTrip; Anklush Nijhawan, MD, Nijhawan Group, Naveen Kundu, MD, EbixCash Travel & Holidays, among others.

Meenakshi Sharma also stated that although the government has stopped all marketing and promotion activities, MOT would embark on a very aggressive marketing campaign as the normalcy is achieved in international markets and travel sentiments improve. International marketing and promotions are highly competitive and important and India cannot be complacent when it comes to overseas marketing, she said.