Travel Resources

Planning for travel whether it be a business trip or a dream vacation can require planning and research. Use these handy travel resources to ensure you are fully prepared for your next great adventure!

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JetSpeak February 2018

Aviation News

Emirates has announced its plans to resume its flagship A380 service from Dubai to Houston with effect from June 1, 2018. The announcement follows close on the heels of the airline’s recent adjustments to its US services with the launch of a new non-stop Dubai-Newark service from 1 June 2018 and the resumption of daily services to Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from 25 March 2018.

An Emirates A380 with 14 private suites in First Class, 76 flat-bed seats in Business Class seats and 426 spacious seats in Economy Class will operate on the Dubai - Houston flight. While, the route was serviced by an A380 from the start, a Boeing 777-300ER was put into operation for a short time. The A380 services will now resume.

The double-decker A380 is the largest commercial aircraft in service in the world. The Emirates A380, especially, is renowned for its First Class Private Suites, Shower Spas, Onboard Lounge with a dedicate bar, Wi-Fi, and in-flight entertainment.

Passengers from Houston can enjoy convenient connections in Dubai when travelling to destinations in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore or South Africa. Passengers can also take advantage of over 90 code-share destinations with flyDubai.

Flight schedule for Emirates Houston Flights:

Flight No.

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

EK211

Dubai

Houston

0935 hrs

1650 hrs

Daily

EK212

Houston

Dubai

2000 hrs

2000 hrs (+1)

Daily

All Flight timings are local times; + 1 denotes arrival on next day

Read More

Cathay Pacific has announced its plans to launch The Deck, its new Lounge, at the Hong Kong International Airport. The Deck will be located in Terminal 1, close to Gate 16, and is the newest addition to the array of lounges offered by the airline at the Hong Kong International Airport.

The other lounges include the Bridge, the Pier (2 separate lounges for Business Class & First Class passengers), and the Wing for Business Class & First Class passengers.

The Deck will open its doors to Cathay Pacific passengers on March 22, 2018. Once open, it will offer its guests a range of Cathay Pacific signature experiences including the Noodle Bar and a relaxation zone with shower suites within its 823 sq. m. of aesthetically furnished interiors.

Additional experiences that guests can look forward to include the Terrace, which distinguishes itself from other experiences, by its location alone. It sits on a balcony on the eastern side of the terminal building and features an open-ceiling L-shaped verandah featuring both table and individual seating. Visitors to the Terrace can enjoy panoramic views of the airport’s apron, taxi-ways and northern runway whilst enjoying their choice from a wide variety of drinks and dining options.

Commenting on the launch of The Deck, Paul Loo, Chief Customer and Commercial Officer, Cathay Pacific said, "The Deck builds on the formula that has made our other new lounges around the world so popular with our customers. Investing in experiences that our customers value and consider important is at the heart of our product and service philosophy, and helps us differentiate ourselves from any other airline. We look forward to welcoming the lounge’s first passengers."

Read More

Swiss Airline has announced the launch of new amenity kits for business class passengers on its long-haul flights. The new kits will be produced in collaboration with Victorinox, the renowned manufacturer of Swiss pocket knives, and will feature a multi-functional design similar to Victorinox products.

According to a press release issued by SWISS airlines in this regard, a total of six different kits will be offered on board at different periods. All the kits are designed to be reusable and can even be combined partially. Further more, the kits for long haul flights to / from Switzerland differ.

Business Class passengers flying from Switzerland get treated to a kit with a practical Passport Holder, a Travel Toiletries Bag with inner pockets and a longer bag with an inner pocket. Passengers flying to Switzerland are offered a high-quality metal tin that is modelled on the Victorinox suitcase design and can find further use as a pen or pencil box.

Additionally, amenities such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, a lip salve, a sleep mask, socks and earplugs are included in every kit. The new Victorinox Business Class amenity kits will be available in Business Class on SWISS flights for the next three years.

Read More

British Airways has announced its plans to launch high-speed Wi-Fi service on board its long-haul flights. Wi-Fi services have commenced on three aircraft; the rest of the fleet will be upgraded over the next two years.

A press release issued by the airline stated, "Using the latest generation technology, British Airways will provide high-speed bandwidth to customers, with internet being available approximately 10 minutes after take-off when the aircraft has passed 10,000ft. The portal will work with the latest operating systems from Apple, Android and Windows, allowing customers to connect on a variety of devices."

The press release also stated that passengers will be advised of the availability of the Wi-Fi at the time of boarding a Wi-Fi enabled aircraft. The Wi-Fi will be available for purchase as a package for an hour, 4 hours or for the entire duration of the flight. Passengers can choose the Browse package or the Stream Package.

For the uninitiated, the Browse package supports internet surfing, WhatsApp & Social Media, while the Stream package supports streaming of music and entertainment, from the very best online content services, including Netflix. Prices for the Browse package begin from £4.99 and Stream from £7.99.

Commenting on the launch of the Wi-Fi services, Carolina Martinoli, Director of Brand & Customer Experience, British Airways said, "British Airways has launched its multi-million pound investment plan to benefit its customers with more choice and quality for all. Staying connected is important to our customers who want to be able to work, browse and stream in the air. They can now look forward to enjoying the latest generation Wi-Fi across our long haul fleet over the next two years."

Read More

British Airways has announced the opening of new partner lounges in Innsbruck, Austria, and Seville & Ibiza in Spain. The new lounges, though not owned by British Airways, offer access to certain categories of the airline's passengers, specifically, Club Europe guests, Gold & Silver cardholders, and oneworld Sapphire members travelling on British Airways.

The announcement is part of the airline's multi-million pound investment to offer its guests access to more lounges across the world, especially focussed on those destinations, where British Airways does not have its own lounge.

In a press release issued on the subject, Carolina Martinoli, Director of Brand & Customer Experience, British Airways said, "We understand that using a lounge is an important part of the journey for our premium customers, so we are delighted to be able to offer this experience in more airports across the world."

"In recent years we have opened new lounges in Boston and Gatwick South Terminal and revamped spaces in Edinburgh, Cape Town, Amsterdam, Belfast, Washington, Singapore and Dubai with more in the pipeline," Carolina continued.

In addition to these partner lounges, British Airways is currently refreshing its lounges in New York’s JFK Terminal 7 and refurbishment plans are being made for the lounges in San Francisco, Johannesburg, Chicago and Heathrow. New lounges in Aberdeen and Rome are also in the pipeline.

Read More

Singapore Airlines has announced that KrisFlyer, its Frequent Flyer programme, will soon have the capability of an airline-loyalty digital wallet, which can be used to pay for goods at retail partners. The digital wallet will unlock the value of the KrisFlyer miles for the purpose.

The wallet will be the first of its kind and will utilize a new KrisFlyer Digital Wallet App for unlocking the value of the KrisFlyer miles. The App is expected to be rolled out in around 6 months.

"Following a successful proof-of-concept exercise carried out in collaboration with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft, KrisFlyer will now be signing up retail merchant partners, initially in the Singapore market," a press release issued by Singapore Airlines stated.

The KrisFlyer Digital Wallet App will be the first of its kind in the airline industry and will be enabled through block-chain technology, using an SIA-owned private block-chain that involves only merchants and partners.

Commenting on the new development, Goh Choon Phong, CEO, Singapore Airlines said, "Innovation has been a key contributor to the success of Singapore Airlines since Day 1 and we are very excited about this world-first initiative, which will bring even more benefits to members of our KrisFlyer programme."

"This ground-breaking development in which we will be using block-chain technology to ‘digitalise’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers. It is in line with our recently unveiled Digital Innovation Blueprint, under which we aim to be the world’s leading digital airline," Goh Choon Phong continued.

Read More

Vistara Airlines has announced the launch of its new Corporate Upgrade Offer, an offer exclusive for its corporate customers. This new limited time offer invites corporate customers booked under a Economy or Premium Economy Flexi Fare to enjoy a complimentary Confirmed upgrade to Premium Economy of Business Class, respectively. The offer is valid only until October 2, 2018.

Upgrades are subject to availability of seats in the higher class and can be availed by contacting the Vistara Call Centre or Jetways, after ticket booking, starting as early as 7 days and up to 6 hrs prior to departure.

Commenting on the offer, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, "We asked our corporate customers what they value most when they fly, and they uniformly replied that they want more space to work or relax onboard, priority handling, an exclusive and peaceful ambience, discreet but personalized service, and an attractive choice of hot meals along with a variety of beverages. In other words, they seek the experience offered by Vistara’s Business Class and Premium Economy cabins. This Corporate Upgrade offer is our response to what we heard. We hope it gives even more corporates the chance to experience Vistara's premium classes."

Corporate customers at Vistara airlines enjoy priority check-in and boarding, priority baggage handling, and free lounge access for Business Class passengers and members of Club Vistara Gold Card.

About the program:

  • Corporate customers who book a confirmed flexi fare ticket in Economy or Premium Economy in the period July 20 through October 2, 2018, are eligible for this offer
  • Upgrades can be requested starting 7 days prior to departure, up to 6 hours prior to departure
  • This facility can be availed by calling our 24x7 help desk number +91 120 669 9901, at the airport ticketing office, or by calling Jetways Travels
  • The confirmed upgrade is subject to the availability of seats in the upgraded class. If a seat is not available for confirmation in the upgraded class, the ticket will be marked for airport upgrade on standby basis, conformable if seats in the upgrade class are available 60 minutes prior to departure. Standby upgrades will be processed by the airport at check-in.
  • The booking cannot be rerouted or downgraded. Any changes may result in forfeit of the upgraded seat.
  • Vistara reserves the right to amend or cancel this program at any time
Read More

New Flight Launches

Emirates Airlines has announced its plans to launch additional flight services to Auckland, New Zealand. The new service will be a daily flight from Dubai to Auckland, with a stop over at the island of Bali, Indonesia. Services will commence with effect from June 14, 2018 and will increase the frequency of the flights to New Zealand to thrice daily.

Existing services to New Zealand include a non-stop daily flight from Dubai to Auckland and an A380 Daily flight between Dubai and Christchurch with a stop over at Sydney. Bali is serviced by two daily Boeing 777 300-ER flights; the new service will increase the frequency to thrice daily.

Commenting on the launch of the new service, Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline said, "We’re pleased to introduce additional capacity to serve the strong demand for travel to Bali, and to Auckland. We are confident that our year-round service between Auckland and Bali will be well received by our customers, not only in New Zealand and Indonesia, but also from our global network particularly from markets like the UK, Europe and the Middle East."

Schedules for New Emirates Flights to Auckland:

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

EK 450

Dubai

Auckland

0655 hrs

1000 hrs (+1)

EK 451

Auckland

Dubai

1240 hrs

0045 hrs

All flight timings are local time; +1 denotes arrival on next day

Read More

Qatar Airways has announced an expansion to its global flight network with the launch of new flights to Canberra, Australia and Penang, Malaysia. The airline has also announced its plans to launch services to Mykonos and Thessaloniki in Greece and to Hatay, Turkey.

New Flights to Canberra, Australia

The flights to Canberra will mark the launch of the 5th new route to Australia by Qatar Airways and will link the city of Canberra to over 150 destinations across the airline's expanding route network. A Boeing B777 with 42 Business Class flat-beds and 316 Economy Class seats will operate on the new route. The new flights commenced with effect from February 11, 2018.

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival>

Stop Over at

Frequency

QR 906

Doha

Canberra

0755 hrs

0835 hrs (+1)

Sydney

Daily

QR907

Canberra

Doha

1345 hrs

2330 hrs

Sydney

Daily

All flight timings are local time; +1 denotes arrival on next day

New Flights to Penang, Malaysia

The new Qatar flights from Doha to Penang, Malaysia is the airline's first flight service to the city of Penang and the second connection to Malaysia. Services on the new route will be initially thrice a week, with non-stop flights. The airline has announced its plans to increase the flight frequency to Four times a week, with effect from July 1, 2018.

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner with 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class will operate on the new route.

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

QR 850

Doha

Penang

0230 hrs

1430 hrs

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

QR 851 

Penang

Doha

2030 hrs

2320 hrs

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

All flight timings are local time; +1 denotes arrival on next day

New Flights to Thessaloniki & Mykonos Greece

The new flights from Doha to Thessaloniki & Mykonos in Greece will commence with effect from March 27, 2018 and May 30, 2018 respectively. Both the new flights will be direct flights. The launch of the new flights will take the number of cities connected by Qatar to three. At present, Qatar Airways operates three daily flights to Athens.

An Airbus A320 with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class will operate on both the routes. The flights to Thessaloniki will operate four times a week; the service to Mykonos is a seasonal four-times a week service.

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

Effective

QR 205

Doha

Thessaloniki

0740 hrs

1250 hrs

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

From 27-03-18

QR 206

Thessaloniki

Doha

1350 hrs

1840 hrs

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

From 27-03-18

QR 311

Doha

Mykonos

0705 hrs

1200 hrs

Wednesday

30-05-18 to 22-07-18; 05-09-18 to 30-09-18

QR 312

Mykonos

Doha

1300 hrs

1740 hrs

Wednesday

30-05-18 to 22-07-18; 05-09-18 to 30-09-18

QR 311

Doha

Mykonos

0805 hrs

1300 hrs

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

30-05-18 to 22-07-18; 05-09-18 to 30-09-18

QR 312

Mykonos

Doha

1400 hrs

1840 hrs

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

30-05-18 to 22-07-18; 05-09-18 to 30-09-18

QR 311

Doha

Mykonos

0725 hrs

1220 hrs

Wednesday

25-07-18 to 02-09-18

QR 312

Mykonos

Doha

1320 hrs

1800 hrs

Wednesday

25-07-18 to 02-09-18

QR 311

Doha

Mykonos

0805 hrs

1300 hrs

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

25-07-18 to 02-09-18

QR 312

Mykonos

Doha

1400 hrs

1840 hrs

Thursday, Saturday, Sunday

25-07-18 to 02-09-18

All flight timings are local time

New Flights to Hatay, Turkey

The Qatar Airways new flights to Hatay, Turkey will be the fifth Turkish destination to be connected to the airline's expanding network. The new route will have non-stop flight service, three times a week and will commence with effect from April 4, 2018. An Airbus A320 with 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy Class will operate on the route.

In addition to the new service, Qatar Airways operates direct flights to Istanbul, Adana and Ankara.

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

QR 271 

Doha

Hatay

0730 hrs

1125 hrs

Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

QR 272 

Hatay

Doha

1225 hrs

1555 hrs

Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

All flight timings are local time

Read More

Cathay Pacific has announced its plans to launch non-stop flights to Cape Town, South Africa. The service will be a seasonal, three times a week service and will make Cape Town the second destination in South Africa to be connected to the route network of Cathay Pacific. Cathay Pacific currently offers daily flights to Johannesburg.

Services on the new route will commence with effect from November 13, 2018 and will continue on till February 18, 2019. An Airbus A350-900 will service the route.

Commenting on the planned flights, Rupert Hogg, CEO, Cathay Pacific said, "We are very pleased to be able to expand our services in Africa, a booming aviation market. Growing our reach to destinations that are not otherwise served from Hong Kong creates considerable new opportunities for business, trade and tourism, in addition to strengthening our home hub."

He added that the new service will meet customer demand for travel to the scenic Western Cape throughout the southern hemisphere’s peak summer months, as well as provide an additional option for South African-based travellers looking to fly on Cathay Pacific to Asia and beyond via Hong Kong.

Flight Schedule for the new Cathay Pacific flights to Cape Town:

Schedules for the New Flights

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Days of Operation

CX 795

Hong Kong

Cape Town

2345 hrs

0805 hrs (+1)

Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday

CX 794

Cape Town

Hong Kong

1105 hrs

0655 hrs (+1)

Monday, Wednesday, Friday

All flight timings are local time; +1 denotes arrival on next day

Read More

Jet Airways has announced its plans to launch a second daily flight service from Bengaluru to Singapore. The new flights will be part of the airline's efforts to strengthen its presence in Bengaluru and connect the IT city to its global flight network. Services on the new route will commence with effect from March 15, 2018.

Commenting on the impending launch, Gaurang Shetty, Whole Time Director, Jet Airways said, "Jet Airways has seen an enthusiastic response from its guests travelling between Bengaluru and Singapore. We recognize the need for bolstering our existing service and provide guests with additional options to plan their travel. This second daily service will benefit business travellers who are looking at tapping into India and Singapore's promising commercial opportunities. In addition, Singapore boasts of a huge Indian diaspora that can avail of this opportunity to strengthen ties to their roots."

Tickets are currently on sale; the airline has issued a promotional fare starting at INR 11,768/- for Return Economy.

Flight Schedule for the new Jet Airways flights to Singapore:

Schedules for the New Flights

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Days of Operation

9W 26

Bengaluru

Singapore

0205 hrs

0915 hrs

Daily

9W 25

Singapore

Bengaluru

1015 hrs

1210 hrs

Daily

All flight timings are local time

The flight schedule is expected to change in the summer, with departures from Bengaluru scheduled at 0130 hrs and an arrival at Singapore at 0855 hrs. There will be no changes to the flights from Singapore to Bengaluru.

Read More

Vistara Airlines has announced the launch of new flights across India as part of its route network expansion plans. The new flights will connect the cities of Kolkata, Delhi, Chennai, Kochi, and Port Blair, resulting in a significant increase in Vistara flights.

The New Vistara Flights from Kolkata:


The Vistara airlines will be launching regular scheduled flights from Kolkata to Chennai, and thereon to Kochi. The airline is also planning to launch an additional flight to Delhi, taking the frequency of the daily flights to three. The Kolkata to Chennai flights will be a twice daily service and will commence with effect from March 25, 2018. The same aircraft will then continue on to Kochi.

Commenting on the launch of the new flights, Mr. Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, "The launch of these new routes and flights from Kolkata reflects the commitment Vistara has to Kolkata, and of the positive response we have received to our flights from the city. Our Kolkata flights have high loads in all classes, and we are truly grateful to our customers for placing their trust in us and making us their airline of choice in such a short span of time. Our strong acceptance in the market indicates there is room for a quality full service carrier in the market, with a sizeable base of customers in all market segments including corporates."

Schedule for new Vistara Flights from Kolkata:

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

UK 773

Chennai

Kolkata

0800 hrs

1015 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 774

Kolkata

Chennai

1050 hrs

1325 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 731

Chennai

Kolkata

1745 hrs

2005 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 732

Kolkata

Chennai

2050 hrs

2315 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 774

Kolkata

Kochi

1050 hrs

1515 hrs

Daily 1-stop

UK 719

Kochi

Kolkata

1550 hrs

2005 hrs

Daily 1-stop

 

 

 

 

 

All flight timings are local time

New Schedule for Vistara Delhi - Kolkata Flights:

Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

Flight Number

From

To

Departure

Arrival

Frequency

UK 720

Kolkata

Delhi

0710 hrs

0925 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 778

Kolkata

Delhi

1700 hrs

1930 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 708

Kolkata

Delhi

2015 hrs

2235 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 747

Delhi

Kolkata

0730 hrs

0940 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 707

Delhi

Kolkata

1730 hrs

1940 hrs

Daily Non-stop

UK 719

Delhi

Kolkata

2010 hrs

2220 hrs

Daily Non-stop

All flight timings are local time

The New Vistara Flights from Chennai:

Vistara Airlines will be scheduling direct daily flights from Chennai to Delhi, Port Blair and Kochi. The new flights will be in addition to the flights between Kolkata and Chennai. The addition of Chennai to its route network has ensured that all the major metros of India are now connected by Vistara.

The daily service between Chennai and Delhi will be increased to twice a day service with effect from March 1, 2018. On the same date, the airline will commence its direct daily flights to Port Blair, Andaman. Flights on the Chennai to Kochi route and Chennai to Kolkata route will commence with effect from March 25, 2018.

Commenting at the launch of the destination, Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Strategy & Commercial Officer, Vistara said, "Many of our customers had been waiting for us to bring ‘the new feeling of flying’ to Chennai, and we’re pleased to finally inaugurate our service to the city. We may have been late in coming to Chennai, but our aggressive expansion plan from the city truly signals its importance to Vistara. There is a clear need in the market today for a redefined flying experience and world-class service standards, and we are confident the Vistara experience will delight travellers and win us a special place in the hearts of all Chennai residents."

Schedule for the New Vistara Flights:


Flight No

City of Departure

City of Arrival

Time of Departure

Time of Arrival

Frequency

Effective

UK 832

Chennai

Delhi

0750 hrs

1030 hrs

Daily

15-02-18

UK 835

Delhi

Chennai

1945 hrs

2240 hrs

Daily

15-02-18

UK 833

Delhi

Chennai

0720 hrs

1010 hrs

Daily

01-03-18

UK 833

Chennai

Port Blair

1100 hrs

1325 hrs

Daily

01-03-18

UK 834

Port Blair

Chennai

1420 hrs

1640 hrs

Daily

01-03-18

UK 834

Chennai

Delhi

1730 hrs

2020 hrs

Daily

01-03-18

UK 833

Delhi

Chennai

0720 hrs

1010 hrs

Daily

01-03-18

UK 833

Chennai

Port Blair

1100 hrs

1325 hrs

Daily

01-03-18

UK 773

Chennai

Kolkata

0800 hrs

1015 hrs

Daily

25-03-18

UK 774

Kolkata

Chennai

1050 hrs

1315 hrs

Daily

25-03-18

UK 774

Chennai

Kochi

1405 hrs

1515 hrs

Daily, except Tuesdays

25-03-18

UK 731

Kochi

Chennai

1550 hrs

1705 hrs

Daily, except Tuesdays

25-03-18

UK 731

Chennai

Kolkata

1745 hrs

2005 hrs

Daily

25-03-18

UK 732

Kolkata

Chennai

2050 hrs

2315 hrs

Daily

25-03-18

All flight timings are local time

Read More

Industry News

The Ministry of External Affairs has announced the opening of registrations for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra 2018 with effect from February 20, 2018. The yatra for 2018 is scheduled to be held between June 8, 2018 and September 8, 2018. Interested applicants can register for the yatra online on the website https://kmy.gov.in. Registration is a fully online process and requires applicants to scan and upload passport pages containing personal details (photo page), address details (last page), and a photo to complete the application. The online form has necessary guidelines in Hindi and English languages to complete the form. Incomplete applications would be automatically cancelled after the cut off date. The last date for registration is March 23, 2018. Applicants should be minimum 18 years of age and not older than 70 years as on January 1, 2018 to be eligible for registration. Eligible applicants can register for either of the 2 routes - Lipulekh Pass, Uttarakhand or Nathu La Pass, Sikkim to undertake the yatra.

According to a press release issued by the Ministry of External Affairs on the subject, "The route through Lipulekh Pass (Uttarakhand), which involves some trekking is estimated to cost about Rs.1.6 lakh per person. It will be conducted in 18 batches of 60 pilgrims each. The duration of the Yatra is 24 days for each batch including 3 days in Delhi for preparatory work. This route passes through important sites like Narayan Ashram, Patal Bhuvaneshwar etc. Yatris can also see the scenic beauty of Chialekh Valley, or the ‘Om Parvat’ which has the natural occurrence of snow in the shape of ‘Om’ on this mountain."

"The route through Nathu La Pass (Sikkim) is motorable and suitable for senior citizens unable to undertake arduous trekking. From Gangtok the route passes through scenic places like Hangu lake, and through the vast landscape of the Tibetan plateau. It is estimated to cost about Rs.2 lakhs person, and duration would be 21 days including 3 days in Delhi for preparatory work. This year 10 batches of 50 pilgrims each are scheduled for this route," the press release continued.

Amidst all eligible applicants, priority would be given to first-time applicants, married couples, and medical doctors. Senior citizens would have priority on the Nathu La route if they opt for it. Two persons may apply and undertake the Yatra together, subject to conditions. Applicants can select both routes indicating priority or select only one of the routes during the registration process.

Routes and batches will be allotted through computerized draw of lots through a random, gender-balanced process. Selected applicants will be notified through automated e-mail or SMS and will be required to pay the confirmation fee as specified on the website to confirm their participation.

Applicants can also get information, and track the status of their application through interactive helpline No: 011-24300655.

Read More

Passport & Visas

VFS Global has announced the launch of visa services for Cyprus in Panjim, Goa. Residents of India wishing to visit Cyprus can now apply for their Visas at the new VFS Global centre in Panjim, Goa. The launch of the new centre and its visa services has eliminated the need for Goans to travel to another state for processing their visas.

Commenting on the launch of the new visa centre, His Excellency Mr. Demetrios A. Theophylactou, High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus to India said, "It is a pleasure to inaugurate the Cyprus Visa Application Centre in Goa, operated by VFS Global. This is one out of 16 VFS Global centres serving Cyprus in India, and the 15th Centre that is being formally inaugurated. The opening also signifies a steady increase in visa related queries. Consequently, this centre would further expand and enhance visa services and promote people-to-people contacts, thus contributing to our bilateral relations. Goa, like Cyprus, is a major tourist destination; therefore, the centre fulfils a vital service with respect to the provision of information and guidelines to applicants who intend on visiting Cyprus, not only for tourism but also for business or study purposes. The centre would work in close cooperation with the Consular Section of the High Commission to achieve the goal of timely and efficient issuance of visas."

Key features of the Cyprus Visa Application Centres include:


  1. Professional staff with local language capability, dedicated to handle visa queries
  2. Dedicated website to provide information on visa categories, fees and other application related details
  3. Call Centre and email support to answer queries
  4. Online tracking of application status
  5. Convenient and secure courier return of visa documents to an address of choice

Read More

Newsletter 2018