National Action Plan for Green Shipping
National Action Plan for Green Shipping in India aims to promote eco-friendly practices and provide incentives for low-emissions ships. The announcement was made by the Director General of Shipping, Shyam Jagannathan at the 13th edition of South Asia’s largest maritime exhibition and conference, INMEX SMM India 2023. The 3-day conference is being hosted in Mumbai in collaboration with German exhibition organizer Hamburg Messe und Congress. This covers several issues concerning the industry, including green shipping and digitalization. The sector’s vision includes expanding port capacity, developing clean energy fuel hubs, promoting cruise tourism, and embracing digitalization.
Air India completes acquisition of aircraft through GIFT City
Air India has acquired its first A350-900 aircraft through a finance lease transaction with HSBC via GIFT City. This is India’s first International Financial Services Centre. The transaction was facilitated by Air India’s subsidiary, AI Fleet Services Ltd (AIFS). This marks the beginning of the airline’s aircraft leasing business from the GIFT IFSC. This is also the first financing transaction from the orders for 470 aircraft that were made earlier this year. The airline has ordered six A350-900 planes and five of them are scheduled for delivery through March 2024.
Roll out of Vande Bharat sleeper trains
The Indian Railways has unveiled images of the innovative train concept. The new domestic semi-high speed Vande Bharat sleeper trains offer passengers an improved, swifter and more comfortable travel experience. Upcoming Vande Bharat sleeper coaches will feature wider berths, brighter interiors, spacious toilets, a mini-pantry, and advanced safety measures. They are also designed to be more energy-efficient and environment friendly. The train is characterized by focus on speed, safety and service excellence. Produced at the Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Chennai, this train set serves as a testament to “Make in India” initiative and exhibit India’s engineering capabilities.
Rajasthan Valley Queen Heritage train set for a roll out
Rajasthan is set to welcome its only heritage train service, the Valley Queen Heritage Train, which will hit the tracks from Marwar Junction to Khamlighat from October 5. The Prime Minister would inaugurate the service from Jodhpur. It is part of North Western Railways. The heritage train design mirrors that of a 150-years old steam engine. It comprises a 60-seater Vistadome AC coach. The train operates 4 days a week, and tickets are priced at Rs. 2,000 per person. This is the 6th heritage train, offering a unique experience with its picturesque route. A new heritage train has been developed with one coach as a chair car. The diesel engine has been transformed to resemble a steam engine. The railway line from Marwar Junction to Phulad was constructed by Maharaja of Marwar (Jodhpur).
Massive changes in the L&T Ecosystem
AM Naik has stepped won as the chairman of L&T Group on September 30, 2023. He would now be chairman of the employees trust. He will focus on increasing philanthropic initiatives that he has been undertaking for past few years. The reins have been handed over to SN Subrahmanyan. India Post has also unveiled a postage stamp on AM Naik. Mr. Naik had joined the company in 1965 as a junior engineer and went on to become a group Chairman. After the new chairman took over, L&T is going through massive changes in terms of ecosystem, energy change, sustainability as a way of life, and to be more future ready.
140% surge in hotel deals in 2023
The hotel industry in India experienced a significant increase in transactions, reaching $175 million in the first half of 2023. This is a 140% rise compared to previous year. This growth was attributed to India’s outlier status in the APAC market, where overall hotel deal volumes have declined. The development pipeline has slowed down. This has led to more trading of operating assets. Experts predict that India’s hotel investments will continue to increase in the coming years. This would potentially reaching the level of markets like Thailand. The hospitality sector had registered a deal volume of $73 million for the full year in 2022. Japan was the strongest APAC market, growing at 60% in the first half of the year. This is according to consultancy firm JLL’s report titled “Hotel Investment Trends India H1 2023”.
AirBnB to create 85,000 jobs in India
A report by Oxford Economics reveals that AirBnB has contributed over 7,200 crores to India’s GDP and supports 85,000 jobs in 2022. Despite the challenges posed by Covid-19 pandemic, AirBnB has played a significant role in boosting India’s tourism industry. The report highlights the positive impact of AirBnB guest spending on local communities. Guests have been spending over 6,400 Crores in areas like transportation, restaurants and retail stores. The presence of AirBnB was highest in Goa, followed by Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Manali. Guest spending amounted to $190 million in Goa. The report also explores two profound changes in travel behaviour since the pandemic. The dispersal of tourism away from urban areas, and long-term stays driven by the emergence of flexible work arrangements.
Energy scenarios and transition to Renewables
The burning of fossil fuels accounted for 82% of world’s energy in 2022. This is down from 87% in 2000. Despite the growth of renewables, increased energy demand has offset the progress. The United Nations released a global stocktake to assess the world’s progress in transitioning away from polluting fuels. Energy transitions have historically taken 50-70 years, but with accelerating climate change, time is running out. Until around 1880, the world ran on wood, charcoal, crop residue, manure, water and wind. The English had used coal for domestic heating from the time of the Romans because it burned longer and nearly double the intensity of wood. Later, steam sped up early proto-industries such as textiles, print production and traditional manufacturing.