Corporate Newsletter December 2023
Dear Patron,
Greetings from UNIGLOBE Odyssey Travel!

There is never a dull moment in the world of travel with many new developments since our last update: Malaysia & Kenya to allow visa-free entry from Dec 01 and Jan 01 respectively, Vistara increases the frequency of its Pune - Singapore flight to 6X weekly, Air India resumes Delhi-Amsterdam flights from Dec 17 and starts a new flight between Delhi & Phuket, Indigo increases frequency between Mumbai and Phuket to 13X weekly, Lufthansa to commence flights between Hyderabad and Frankfurt in Jan, These and more updates in the last edition of Travel Updates for 2023.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year!

News at a Glance:

News at a Glance
Malaysia to allow visa-free entry to Indian nationals from Dec 1:

Malaysia will grant visa-free entry to citizens of China and India for stays of up to 30 days starting from Dec.1. China and India are Malaysia's fourth and fifth-largest source markets respectively.

And starting Dec 1, all international travellers entering Malaysia are required to fill the Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) accessible on the Immigration Department’s MDAC website prior to their arrival into Malaysia as announced by the Immigration Department of Malaysia.

Kenya opens its doors with visa-free entry for all:

To boost trade and tourism, Kenya has announced a landmark decision to allow visa-free entry to visitors from across the world. Starting January 1, 2024, the Kenyan government has abolished visa requirements for international travellers visiting the East African nation. The move to allow visa-free entry aims to boost trade and tourism within Kenya. The tourism industry, crucial to Kenya’s economy, offers diverse experiences, including inland wildlife safaris and beach holidays.

To facilitate visa-free entry to Kenya, government authorities have introduced a digital platform for obtaining electronic travel authorisation before visitors arrive. This eliminates the need for visa applications and approvals, ensuring a seamless and expedited entry process.

Indigo carries 100 million passengers in a single calendar year:

Indigo became the first Indian carrier to carry 100 million passengers in a single calendar year. With this achievement, the airline has joined a select club of global carriers to operate on such a large scale. This development further cements IndiGo’s standing among the 10 largest airlines in the world by passenger traffic.

Vistara welcomes its 50th Airbus A320neo to its fleet:

Vistara, India’s finest full-service carrier and a joint venture between the Tata group and Singapore Airlines, recently welcomed its 50th Airbus A320neo to its young, modern fleet. With this latest addition, Vistara now has a total of 66 aircraft, including 50 Airbus A320neo, 10 Airbus A321, and six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircrafts.

In line with the focus to expand its domestic and international footprint, Vistara is on course to have 70 aircraft by the end of FY2024, thereby providing better connectivity and a wider network to its customers. Vistara currently operates over 300 daily flights, connecting 32 domestic and 18 international destinations.

Govt. plans to introduce biometrics for immigration at Indian Airports:

Indian airports will soon start using biometric-based immigration for international passengers, aiming to eliminate long waiting times at immigration counters. Delhi and Bengaluru airports are expected to start pilot projects for this next year.

Union aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that data collection has started at international airports and once the software and fundamental infrastructure is in place, it will be rolled out.

Bengaluru airport makes security check-in process more convenient for travellers:

With the installation of the CTX machine, travellers will no longer be required to remove electronic devices like laptops, mobile phones from their bags during security checks. This innovation allows passengers to leave their electronic items and items containing liquids, aerosols, and gels (LAGs) in their bags streamlining the screening procedure and significantly reducing processing time at security checkpoints.

Air India unveils new uniform designed by Manish Malhotra
Air India unveils new uniform designed by Manish Malhotra:

Air India’s cabins will soon have a fresh burst of colour - the airline recently unveiled its brand-new collection of crew uniforms, designed by Indian celebrity couturier Manish Malhotra. The cabin and cockpit crew will soon be donning Malhotra’s take on modern Indian style, which complements Air India’s new brand identity. The uniforms comprise ombrés in deep red, burgundy, aubergine and gold–a play of bold colours enhanced by Malhotra’s signature style.

Malhotra has crafted uniforms not only for Air India’s cabin crew and pilots, but also for ground staff, engineers, and security personnel, all of which will be revealed in phases.

International Travel Updates:

International Travel Updates
Vistara increases frequency of the Pune - Singapore direct flight:

Vistara was operating 4 times a week between Pune and Singapore. With effect from December 16, 2023, Vistara’s Pune - Singapore - Pune flight will be operating 6 times a week except Saturday with the following schedule:

Flight No. From Departure To Arrival Days of Operation
UK 111 PUNE 02:10 Singapore 10:30 1,2,3,4,5,7
UK 110 Singapore 11:40 Pune 15:10 1,2,3,4,5,7
Vistara to operate Mumbai-Doha as its 50th destination:

Vistara has announced the addition of Doha (Qatar) as its 50th destination with 4X weekly flights between Mumbai and Doha starting from 15 December 2023 using its A321neo aircraft. The flight schedule is as follows:

Flight No. From Departure To Arrival Days of Operation
UK 285 Mumbai 18:45 Doha 20:30 1,3,5,7
UK 286 Doha 21:45 Mumbai 04:05 +1 1,3,5,7
Air India resumes Delhi-Amsterdam flights from Dec 17:

Air India has re-started its four-times-a-week direct flights between Delhi (DEL) and Amsterdam (AMS) from December 17, 2023 operating a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner on this route with the following schedule:

Flight No. From Departure To Arrival Days of Operation
AI 155 Delhi 12:55 Amsterdam 17:40 1,3,4,7
AI 156 Amsterdam 19:45 Delhi 07:55 +1 1,3,4,7
IndiGo expands codeshare agreement with Turkish Airlines to Baltic Capitals:

Indigo has bolstered its connectivity to Northern Europe through its code share agreement with Turkish Airlines with the addition of Oslo, Helsinki and Stockholm via Istanbul. Starting November 17, 2023, Indigo customers will now have access to 42 diverse destinations beyond Istanbul, across Europe, North Africa & the US.

Lufthansa to commence flights between Hyderabad & Frankfurt in Jan ‘24:

Building on its strong presence in India, Lufthansa will be launching a 3X weekly direct flight connecting Frankfurt and Hyderabad starting on January 17, 2024 with the following schedule:

Flight No. From Departure To Arrival Days of Operation
LH 753 Hyderabad 01:55 Frankfurt 07:05 Tues, Fri, Sun
LH 752 Frankfurt 10:55 Hyderabad 23:55 Tues, Fri, Sun

With its morning arrival, the direct flight from Hyderabad to Frankfurt offers travellers a whole host of onward destinations.

City Airlines to start flight operations in summer 2024:

Lufthansa Group's newly established City Airlines will start flight operations in the summer of 2024 from its Munich and Frankfurt hubs thereby also offering feeder flights for Lufthansa’s long-haul network.

City Airlines was founded last year and received its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) from the German Federal Aviation Authority in June.

Air India announces direct flights & Indigo increases frequency to Phuket
Air India announces direct flights & Indigo increases frequency to Phuket:

Currently, Air India already operates a robust network of 26 flights to Bangkok per week, including daily non-stop flights from Delhi and Mumbai, along with six weekly flights from Kolkata. And through the interline partnership with Bangkok Airways, passengers flying with Air India can avail connections via Bangkok to and from 10 prominent destinations in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

Further strengthening its network to Thailand, Air India has introduced a 4X weekly direct flight between Delhi and Phuket starting from December 15, 2023. The non-stop service will be operated by an A320neo aircraft, featuring 162 seats, including 150 in Economy and 12 in Business Class with the following schedule:

Flight No. From Departure To Arrival Days of Operation
AI 378 Delhi 01:10 Phuket 07:10 1,3,5,7
AI 379 Phuket 08:10 Delhi 10:50 1,3,5,7
IndiGo strengthens connectivity to Phuket:

IndiGo has announced 6 additional flights between Mumbai and Phuket from January 5, 2024 and the resumption of operations between Bengaluru and Phuket from February 28, 2024.

So the weekly flights between Mumbai and Phuket will be increased from 7 to 13 from Jan and Bengaluru - Phuket will operate 6X weekly taking the total flights between India and Thailand to 56 flights a week. The schedule of the existing and new flights to Phuket is as follows:

Flight No. From Departure To Arrival Days of Operation
6E 1071 Mumbai 04:05 Phuket 10:05 Daily (Existing)
6E 1072 Phuket 11:05 Mumbai 14:05 Daily (Existing)
6E 1939 Bengaluru 04:00 Phuket 09:10 Daily (NEW wef 28th Feb)
6E 1941 Phuket 10:30 Bengaluru 13:00 Daily (NEW wef 28th Feb)
6E 1121 Mumbai 19:15 Phuket 01:05 1,3,4,5,6,7 (NEW wef 05th Jan)
6E 1122 Phuket 02:05 Mumbai 05:10 1,3,4,5,6,7 (NEW wef 05th Jan)