India’s Heatwave Has Record Numbers of Travelers Flying Outbound — India Report

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Summer is peak travel time for Indians due to vacations. However, this time, it is the heat that is pushing people out of their homes and to cooler destinations – but not the domestic ones. Here’s why.

Indian travelers have been booking outbound flights from major Indian airports in record numbers in a bid to escape the extreme heatwave, according to travel company Trevolution Group’s data. 

The company witnessed a 64% annual increase in the sale of outbound flights last month. 

Heatwave Conditions and International Travel: Most parts of north India are facing a heatwave with temperatures rising up to 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in some places. The situation is expected to continue until the monsoon begins in the region. 

North Indians have been traveling to nearby destinations, such as Manali, Kasol, and Shimla, which typically have a cooler temperature during summer months. Bus ticketing platform redBus reported a 55% surge in demand for bus tickets from Delhi during the summer this year. However, these areas also experienced heatwave conditions in the last week of May, with an average increase of 2-3 degree celsius in their temperatures. 

This has led to Indians choosing to travel internationally to escape the heat. 

Where Are Travelers Going? As per Trevolution Group’s latest ticket sales data from India, travelers prefer to travel to Italy, Greece and Portugal, as well as the United Kingdom, which saw up to a 59% increase in outbound airfare sales compared to the same period last year.

“As May is still considered a shoulder month across most of Europe, these destinations are considered among the safest choices for air passengers looking to find more moderate weather conditions,” the company said in a statement. 

Reduced Inbound Travel: The sale of inbound flights to India declined to 37% in May as compared to the April 2024 figures, Trevolution date revealed. 

“While in previous years, India was one the most popular travel locations for foreign visitors during spring and summer months with sales usually reaching the highest numbers around May, the extreme weather conditions have led to air passengers being a lot more cautious when booking their flights,” it said. 

Oyo Opens Cricket-Themed Hotel in Bengaluru

Hotel aggregator chain Oyo has opened a cricket-themed hotel in Bengaluru — CricOtel. The hotel features 15 rooms that showcase India’s greatest achievements in the sport including the 1983 and 2011 World Cup wins, said founder Ritesh Agarwal.

The launch has come as Indian cricket fans are recovering from the frenzy of the Indian Premier League 2024 tournament and gearing up for India’s first T20 World Cup match on Wednesday.

The hotel aims to capitalize on Indians’ love for sports, especially cricket, as they are looking for experiences around sports. Online travel companies are witnessing a surge in sports tourism in India, with Indian travelers combining their love for sports with increased spending power. 

Air Canada Increases Connectivity With India

Air Canada has increased its connectivity with India by expanding its seat capacity by 40% for the upcoming winter season. The airline is set to commence direct flights between Mumbai and Toronto. 

It is also looking to provide improved service from Delhi to Western Canada with the introduction of new seasonal daily flights to Calgary over London Heathrow and daily flights from Delhi to Montreal. 

With this, Air Canada will operate 25 weekly flights between India and Canada. 

“India is an important market for Air Canada, reflecting longstanding and growing family and trade ties between our two countries. We are expanding our network from India to Canada by building additional scale at our hubs in time for Diwali festivities this fall,” said Air Canada executive vice president – revenue and network planning, Mark Galardo. 

IndiGo Set to Host IATA Annual General Meeting in Delhi

Budget carrier IndiGo will be hosting the 81st annual general meeting of International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the World Air Transport Summit in Delhi next year. 

For the meeting, the global aviation industry will gather in Delhi next year. IATA director general Willie Walsh said, “With record aircraft orders, impressive growth, and world-class infrastructure developments, India is firmly on the trajectory to become the world’s third largest aviation market within this decade.”

The budget airline holds the largest market share in the Indian market and has been expanding its network by increasing its operations as well as through codeshare agreements. On Monday, IndiGo entered into a codeshare agreement with Japan Airlines. 

With this agreement, IndiGo customers from 14 destinations in India would be able to connect to Tokyo via Delhi or Bengaluru on a single ticket purchase. 

Hilton Signs First DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel in Kerala

Hilton has signed its first hotel under the DoubleTree by Hilton brand in Kerala’s Kochi. The 171-key hotel is set to open in 2029 and will be the second hotel operated by the hotel chain in the state. It currently operates Hilton Garden Inn Trivandrum. 

Hilton currently has 26 operational hotels in India, with another 24 in the pipeline. It is looking to triple its portfolio to 75 hotels within the next few years. The company is also looking to expand into 75 markets in India across various brands, ranging from luxury brands like Waldorf Astoria to  mid-market operations like DoubleTree by Hilton.

Agoda Launches New Campaign With Ayushmann Khurrana

Online travel company Agoda has launched a new campaign with Bollywood actor Ayushmann Khurrana. This is the third collaboration between the platform and the actor. 

“Agoda is rapidly gaining the reputation in India as the platform with great value deals and an extensive selection of accommodations, flights, and activities. Having Ayushmann as our brand ambassador has contributed to even more awareness of our great prices,” said Krishna Rathi, Agoda’s senior country director for India subcontinent and Maldives.

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