Tag Archives: Chairman

Hotel Leela Venture to sell hotels to Brookfield for Rs 3950 crore

Hotel Leela Venture Limited (HLVL) has entered into a binding agreement with a Brookfield Asset Management (Brookfield) sponsored private real estate fund, to sell by way of slump sale, four owned Leela hotels located in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Udaipur and the property that it owns in Agra. The transaction also includes assignment of all Hotel Management contracts currently in operation as well as all management contracts for hotels which are currently under development, along with the employees of the hotels. The total transaction value is Rs 3950 crore plus the applicable transaction costs. This is subject to approval of shareholders, lenders and other regulatory and statutory approvals. Simultaneously, the promoters who own the Leela brand would also be transferring the Leela brand to Brookfield for all hospitality businesses. JM Financial Limited acted as the exclusive financial advisor to HLVL for this transaction. Commenting on the transaction, Vivek Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, HLVL said, “The Leela is rated amongst the top hospitality brands in the world and I am confident that the brand will receive a boost and be further strengthened and continue to be known for its world-class services.” Ankur Gupta, Managing Director and Head-India Real Estate, Brookfield Asset Management remarked, “The Leela is one of the finest hospitality groups in India and over the years it has gained extraordinary recognition from some of the most prestigious authorities on travel and luxury in the world. We are excited with this opportunity and look forward to completing this transaction at the earliest, while ensuring that all operations remain unaffected.  We expect the Leela hotels to continue to be market leaders.”

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Kerala Tourism unveils Rs 25 crore restoration project to mark 100 years of Mascot Hotel

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated a Rs 25-crore project for the restoration of the heritage of the iconic Mascot Hotel, coinciding with the celebrations of 100 years of the hospitality pioneer in Thiruvananthapuram. The comprehensive project, drawn up by Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC), was unveiled close on the heels of Mascot Hotel bagging the five-star status. Vijayan also unveiled the plaque to mark the historic occasion and opened a month-long exhibition that depicts the 100 years of glorious service of the trail blazer in hospitality sector in the state. Minister for Co-operation, Devaswom and Tourism, Kadakampally Surendran presided over the function held at Mascot Hotel. Surendran said that Mascot has got the unique distinction of being the maiden five-star hotel in the public sector. Recalling the history and fame of the institution, he noted “In the hotel map published by the Bombay-based Indian Hotel Company in 1937, Mascot was one among the four hotels listed from South India. In 1965, it came under KTDC.” The Minister underscored the need to adopt quality service and new marketing strategies in order to compete with private players in the hospitality industry. M Vijayakumar, Chairman, KTDC, delivered a felicitation speech. He said, “Mascot Hotel is a priceless treasure of Kerala. It is the jewel in KTDC’s crown. The heritage restoration project will be carried out without in any way harming its distinguishing architectural features.” The project to strengthen and preserve the heritage property will be executed under the leadership of Uralungal Labour Contract Co-operative Society. The works to be taken up include strengthening of the building, rooms, passages, beautification of the premises and improving the amenities. They will be completed in two phases within a …

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IndiGo to launch direct daily flights between Delhi and Istanbul from March 20

IndiGo is set to begin direct daily operations to Istanbul from Delhi and later from Ahmedabad along with other destinations. This was revealed by Emin Çakmak, Chairman, Turkish Indian Tourism Council, at a Turkish delegation meet held in Delhi on February 25. He says, “We are expecting a growth of 25-30 per cent from the Indian market by the end of this year. We have a great co-operation between the tourism and trade industry of the two countries. The potential is huge and now that can be released as more seats will be made available soon.”

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Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani reappointed Air India CMD

Former Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani has been reappointed Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Air India. Lohani headed the carrier from August 2017 to September 2017 when he was moved to the Railway Board as the chairman, from where he retired in December 2018. It was during his tenure that Air India made its first operating profit of ₹105 crore in FY17 since the merger of Indian Airlines and Air India in 2007. Touted as the ‘Turnaround specialist’, Lohani’s appointment will be crucial after Air India’s failed divestment attempt last year. This year, the government has already decided to transfer over Rs 29,000 crore of AI’s huge Rs 55,000 debt to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), along with the airline’s assets like real-estate and other subsidiaries of Air India. Lohani succeeds the 1985-batch Karnataka cadre IAS Pradeep Singh Kharola, who earlier this month was appointed as the Civil Aviation Secretary following the superannuation of RN Choubey. Source: PTI

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SpiceJet to start Hyderabad-Jeddah daily from March 25, 2019

SpiceJet is set to start a daily direct flight between Hyderabad and Jeddah from March 25. This is the ninth foreign destination of the airline. SpiceJet will operate its new 189-seater Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on the route, the airline said in its press statement. It also announced a special fare of Rs 13,499 (all-inclusive) for the Hyderabad-Jeddah flight and Rs 10,799 (all inclusive) for Jeddah-Hyderabad flight. Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “It is a moment of great pride for us as we introduce Jeddah as our ninth international destination, thus becoming the first Indian budget airline to fly to Saudi Arabia. Our new flight from Hyderabad will greatly benefit thousands of pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia and our state-of-the-art Boeing 737 MAX promises an unparalleled experience to all our guests,” he said. SpiceJet’s flight SG 33 will depart from Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at 7:10 am (local time) and arrive in Jeddah at 11:05 am (local time) the same day. The return flight, SG 34, will depart at 12:05 pm (local time) and reach Hyderabad at 8:25 pm (local time). Source: PTI

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HRANI Conclave in Lucknow on February 16 to promote eco-friendly practices

The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Northern India (HRANI) is set to organise its next conclave in Lucknow on February 16, 2019. Set to be held at Taj Mahal, Lucknow, the conclave will be inaugurated by Justice D P Singh, Chairman, Uttar Pradesh Solid Waste Management Monitoring Committee. The theme of the conclave ‘Environmental Concerns of Hospitality Industry’ is chosen to promote ecotourism by adopting environment-friendly practices. Dr Anita Bhatnagar Jain, Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration Dept., Govt of Uttar Pradesh; Anurag Yadav, Secretary, Urban Development, Government of Uttar Pradesh, and I K Kapila, Advocate & Solicitor, Techno-Legal Environmental Consultant will be gracing the event as guest speakers. The topics for discussion during the upcoming HRANI Conclave – Applicable SWM and plastic waste disposal rules and role of stakeholders in effective implementation of plastic and solid waste management – aim towards spreading awareness on the environment-friendly practices that hotels can adopt.

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AITTC signs MoU with NEITO to open India’s North East Frontier for Australians

As per data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), India features as one of the most popular destinations for Australian travellers. However, travel to the eight North Eastern states – Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim – each of which is gifted with a diverse range of tourist attractions from splendid nature and diverse wildlife to colourful culture and vibrant history, has been limited. To boost this, Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with North East India Tour Operators Association (NEITO), which comprises Ministry of Tourism-approved inbound tour operators specialised for North East destinations. The MoU was signed by Madhushmita Khound , Secretary, NEITO in Guwahati and Sandip Hor, Chairman, AITTC in Sydney. The AITTC part of the signing was done in presence of B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney; Chandru Appar, Deputy Consul General of India in Sydney; Barbara Ward, President, NSW, Australia India Business Council; Phillip Bonicace, Co Chairman, AITTC and Vishnu Daram, Seccretary, AITTC. “This is a major step to put North East India under the tourism radar in Australia”, said Chairman Hor after the signing. According to him, attractions of the region like the Assam’s Brahmaputra River Cruise and the Kaziranga National Park, Tripura’s Royal Palaces Sikkim’s Himalayan beauty, Nagaland’s Hornbill Festival and many more have tremendous potential to add a new dimension to international tourism growth in India. The two main purposes of this MOU are to enhance destination knowledge among Australians and to facilitate the establishment of a suitable ‘travel & tourism connect’ between Australia and North East India.

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Key travel players discuss ideas and trends at Travolution Asian Summit in Delhi

The inaugural Travolution Asian Summit, held on January 15 in Delhi, brought together all stalwarts and key stakeholders of the travel and tourism industry for sharing knowledge and powering partnerships. Welcoming delegates at the event, Lee Hayhurst, Editor, Travolution said, “We are happy to be here and are hoping to make this a regular event. We started 13 years ago with an idea to bring the travel and technology industry together to discuss ideas, trends and observations in the industry. I think the world of technology is bringing us closer. At this event, we’ve got keynotes, interviews and sessions for the attendees,” he said. The keynote speaker was Deep Kalra, Chairman & Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, who gave an overview on ‘Indian Market Growth and Opportunity’.

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Yatra acquires PL Worldways to strengthen foothold in South India

Yatra Online has announced the acquisition of the corporate travel business of PL Worldways Limited (PLW), a Chennai-based corporate travel services provider. This acquisition will help strengthen Yatra’s foothold in the southern India region along with adding over 100 corporate clients to its existing client base of over 700. Commenting on the acquisition, Dhruv Shringi, Co-Founder and CEO, Yatra Online, said, “PL Worldways has an unparalleled reputation in corporate travel in the southern part of the country due to its strong customer focus and unmatched service. With this acquisition, we not only strengthen our position in the growing corporate travel market in India but also in Southern India, which has been in our cross-hairs for some time. Our endeavour will be to deliver best-in-class service to PLW’s existing customer base, through our self-booking platform and expense management solution software. We look forward to welcoming PL Worldways team to the Yatra family.” Anil Pathak, Chairman, PL Worldways, said, “We are excited for PL Worldways to join Yatra family. PL Worldways’ local connect and customer service expertise will complement Yatra’s technology platform and leverage the largest hotel network in the country; helping clients optimise their travel spend and improve their travel processes.”

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EbixCash acquires Weizmann Forex, Essel Forex

Ebix has announced that its EbixCash World Money subsidiary in India has entered into an agreement to acquire 100 per cent assets of India-based Essel Forex for approximately US$8 million. Ebix will be funding the entire transaction in cash, using its internal cash reserves. The acquisition of Essel Forex following the recent announcement of the Weizmann acquisition, further strengthens EbixCash’s position as the largest financial exchange in India, besides being the undisputed leader in the inward remittance, outward remittance and foreign exchange markets in India. With a national network of 44 branches in 31 cities serviced by 400+ employees, Essel Forex has been one of the five largest foreign exchange providers in India with a wide spectrum of related products including sales of all major currencies, travellers’ checks, demand drafts, remittances, money transfers and prepaid cards primarily for the Corporate clients. Besides being a foreign exchange business partner to leading banks such as ICICI, Axis, Indus Ind, Yes and HDFC Bank, Essel Forex has been associated with Western Union and MoneyGram for inward money transfers. Essel Forex will be tightly integrated into the EbixCash Financial Exchange offering in India and abroad. The retained Essel Forex executives will become an integral part of the combined EbixCash remittance and forex leadership team headed by EbixCash World Money Managing Director TC Guruprasad. Ebix believes the Essel Forex business can generate operating margins of 40% or more, once fully integrated. Ebix expects the acquisition to be immediately accretive to its earnings. Robin Raina, Chairman, President and CEO, Ebix said, “Essel Forex has a rich focus on the corporate clientele with strong partnerships with many leading banks. Their geographical, product and client overlap with EbixCash made the …

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