Goa to receive first charter from UK on November 6 – ET TravelWorld

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After a gap of two years, the first charter flight from the UK will land in Goa on November 6. Last season, Goa did not receive charters from the UK, the state’s one of the traditional markets.A senior official of Le Passage to India confirmed that TUI Airways will start its Goa operations with the first flight on November 6. Goa is scheduled to receive the first charter of the tourist season on October 26 from Almaty, Kazakhstan.

Operators are keeping fingers crossed even as the latest development suggests that the time taken to process visa applications will be reduced and enable travellers to continue with their plans for holidaying in India. In the last few days, Indiabound British travellers have cancelled bookings due to visa issues. As of now, TUI Airways will operate one flight a week.

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Chief Minister Pramod Sawant held meeting with State Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte and State Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho to discuss the issue. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Khaunte said all taxi associations will be taken into confidence while designing the mobile application.

It reduced its flights from four to one after people started cancelling booking due to difficulties in securing appointments at visa centres. A tweak in visa rules by the Indian government requires an applicant to appear in person at visa centres. The UK citizens are not eligible for e-visas which has also been a major hurdle for travellers who are keen to travel to India.

Tourism stakeholders in the state have petitioned the government several times over the last one and a half year, to include the UK too, in the list of countries whose citizens are issued e-visas. Trade body, Travel and Tourism Association (TTAG), last week estimated that the loss of business to Goa’s tourism industry could be INR 80 to 100 crore even if 10,000 bookings were cancelled.

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