Weekly travel updates (14 July – 18 July 2014)

Here are some highlights of recent developments related to the travel and tourism industry (for the week 14 to 18 July 2014).

 India witnesses a sharp rise in the visa on arrival segment

According to the latest reports of the tourism industry, India witnessed a phenomenal rise in the number of visa on arrival requests since June 2014. Taking a close look at the numbers, almost 2,112 visa on arrival (VoAs) were issued to the tourists in June this year and it accounted for almost 98.9% rise in numbers as compared to the last year. The total number of VoAs issued during the 1st half of 2014 is now 11,953 while it was just 1062 for the same period last year.

The scheme was launched by the Indian government in January 2010 for 5 countries including Japan, Finland, New Zealand, Singapore and Luxembourg. However, the list was expanded to include 6 more countries, namely, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Air India joins hands with Star Alliance

Now it is official! Air India has finally entered into a global partnership with Star Alliance after a long wait of 3 years. The addition expands Star’s membership to 27 and the national carrier is the first Indian airlines to enter any such partnership. As per the new policy, Air India will allow check-in for passengers for almost all the connecting flights operated by the members of the Star Alliance.

Spicejet to fly international from West Bengal

Come August and the low-cost airline, Spicejet will go international from Kolkata to Kathmandu via Bagdogra in West Bengal. This is being seen as a major achievement for Spicejet as it would become the first national airline operating internationally from Bagdogra. The new route will operate thrice a week using the Boeing 737 aircraft.

Malaysia MH17 Disaster

In a tragic turn of events, Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 crashed over the eastern part of Ukraine. There are many speculations about the cause of the unfortunate incident but it is widely believed that the jetliner was hit by a surface-to-air missile.