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Another round of funding and investment is underway in India, and the amount of money that's being thrown around is no joke. The national carrier announced that it has been loaned $200 million by the country's bank, Bank of India, to purchase three brand-new Dreamliner airplanes.
That's not all. Air India expects to raise an additional $500 million from bridge loans and has received a $288 million tax credit to cover the cost of fuel, simulators, and spare parts. If it all comes through as planned, as many as six new Dreamliners could be in the airline's future.
In celebration of a Hindu festival known as Holi, the crews on several SpiceJet flights added a little color to their service by performing a choreographed dance after takeoff last Monday, March 17th. Passengers sang and clapped along with delight, filming the show with their mobile phones and later posting the videos to social media.
The dance seemed harmless, but the subsequent surfacing of videos online ended up shooting SpiceJet in the foot. India's version of the FAA, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), sent the carrier a notice that threatened sanctions and asked for an explanation as to why its license should not be suspended. The DGCA said that the dance could have created an unruly environment on the plane. As you'll see in the video below, even the pilots came out of the cockpit to participate in the organized event. According to reports, a professional choreographer trained about 30 SpiceJet crew members for the dance.
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We’ve seen some good visa news and advice over the last few days, and now we have even more to share. India seems to get be getting on board the technology bandwagon, and they’re streamlining their whole entry process.
The country is boosting its offerings when it comes to allowing visas on arrival to visitors from around 180 countries, and that does include those making the journey from the United States. Right now there’s only like 11 countries that can do this, so it’s certainly quite an expansion. Obviously the thought behind things is convenience, but we’re also thinking that the country is eager to cash in on some more tourist dollars.
Habitat for Humanity is looking for enthusiastic and hardworking people to join a 16-day adventure in Delhi, India.
Volunteers will not only help build decent, safe housing for the community but they will also be able to immerse themselves in the local culture. On their days off volunteers can visit a temple, browse Old Delhi markets or see other nearby places of interest.
Taj Safaris, known for their luxurious Indian jungle lodges in Bandhavgarh National Park, Pench National Park, Kanha National Park, and Panna National Park, are now giving their guests a chance to give back.
Through a new voluntourism program, Taj is working to teach children in neighboring villages the importance of conservation in the national parks. Many kids live near the parks but have never been inside because they can’t afford the cost of a safari drive. Now, Taj Safaris is takes these kids inside and teaching them how each element of the jungle contributes and affects the well-being of the eco-system. They are also hoping to improve the lives of surrounding communities by enhancing basic heath care, education, and incomes.
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The airline industry is notoriously super competitive when it comes to saving cash and adding some extra fees to make bonus bucks. After all, look at Samoa Air charging passengers per kilogram.
Don't worry, we aren't going to announce a new ridiculous fee from a low-cost carrier; instead the news comes in the form of cost savings from a private Indian airline called Go Air. The 8-year-old LCC has announced they are hiring new flight attendants, no doubt to expand their services in India and the region, and they only want females. The rationale for this sexism? In theory, women weigh less than men and that equates to fuel savings..
United Planet, an international non-profit offering short and long term volunteer abroad programs, has announced a new animal conservation program in India for international volunteers.
The organization is now offering participants in the Jaipur Elephant Quest the chance to work in an elephant village which houses over fifty Indian elephants.
Continuing their journey in the footsteps of Marco Polo, Karl and Warwick made their way to India on this week's episode of An Idiot Abroad 3.
They started out with a little Laughter Yoga, which Karl described as more of a "yelp." When asked what make him laugh in his everyday life, he told a story about seeing a baby fall out of a stroller that on;y he would find amusing.
There are so many things to see and do in India, but now there’s one more tourist destination to add to your itinerary. The first Starbucks has opened up in the country, and now they’re ready to pump out overpriced lattes and coffee milkshakes to the masses—of course we mean that it the nicest possible way.
The caffeine invasion begins in Mumbai, as that’s coffee shop number one. There’s an ambitious expansion plan already in place, as Starbucks along with their local partner look to open a couple more places before the end of the year. Initially the plan was to eventually have more than 3,000 locations around the country, and we’re thinking that it’s doable once the locals get a taste of their very first pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha. Since those first projections back in January the company has kind of stepped back a little bit, but the New Delhi location is still set to do its thing early next year.
If you're planning on flying all over India on your next adventure, Jet Airways' little brother, JetKonnect has made it a bit more comfy. The low-cost carrier has introduced a full-service cabin on their new 737s. This is a far cry from the Temple of Doom, since passengers will have plenty of legroom and be offered a multi-course meal.
Just like on its international big brother, the domestic Boeing aircraft will come equipped with a forward cabin strictly for those that like to be pampered. The Premiere experience will feature dedicated check-in and a higher baggage allowance (30 kgs), along with the normal bells and whistles of flying in business class.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel probably won't win this weekend's box office, but there's no doubt it's the most travel-inspiring movie of the week, maybe the entire year.
The movie's plot revolves around a group of British retirees who decide to spend their retirement in less expensive India, where it was also filmed.
Most of the Marigold is set in Jaipur, Rajasthan for its "rich color palette" and constant chaos on the roads, a perfect background for a story about culture shock. But The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in the film is actually Ravla Khempur, located in Khempur, about an hour outside of Udaipur.
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This Friday morning, do you have a weird craving to watch Scandinavian women wearing saris, dancing in sync with lively Bollywood music? Well then, this is your lucky friday!
Just a few days ago, a group of dancing Finns boarded a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Delhi andyou know what's comingperformed a whole dance routine to "Om Shanti Om" in celebration of India's Republic Day. Even business class got a dose of the booty shaking, and check out the flight attendants getting down!
Of course there's a story behind the idea to bring this onboard, and you can read it here, on the Finnair blog. Umm and yeahwe totally want to learn that dance now.