The start of the journey…
Gaura Travel a Melbourne-based travel company founded 14 years ago, decided in June last year to face the challenges that -19 brought during 2020. When no commercial flights were operating to India and the whole world was in lockdown, Abhishek and Ashwini Sonthalia (CEOs & founders of Gaura Travel) repatriated Indian citizens from Australia with the help of their team. Since then, the agency has operated more than 40 charter flights reuniting 10,000 families.
Like any other travel company in Australia, Gaura Travel had to close its offices during the first lockdown at the end of march in 2020, however the contact center continued operating 24/7 to solve the doubts of the customers when the confinements started. The future looked tough; the sales decreased to zero and many refunds had been issued due to the unfeasibility of running flights. The uncertainty of this moment in time made the owners and their employees’ resilience more prominent than ever. They had to find new alternatives to keep the travel agency running. Ashwini and Abhishek started to knock on the doors of airlines and government institutions (in Australia and India) seeking for a way to help those in need of travel. After a couple of months, they got support from the Indian Consulate in Melbourne, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air to operate the firsts repatriation charter flights to India.
The idea was to create a couple of flights to find the best way home for Indians who wanted to return to their country. It was a big surprise for the company when those first two flights got booked out immediately. That was the moment when Gaura Travel opened more monthly flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide to the main cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and many more without knowing how long it would be possible to keep doing it for.
A milestone for Gaura Travel
Last Friday, February 5th 2021, Akash Rajput an International Student of Deakin University became the 10,000th passenger of the repatriation charter flights to India from Australia organized by Gaura Travel. This accomplishment made the agency the largest operator of this new charter flight industry. “We didn’t know when we started everything that it would get this far, so it’s all thanks to the support of our customers and our team… we are going to continue on this mission of reuniting as many families as we can…” said Ashwini at Melbourne Airport when he congratulated Akash for being the passenger 10,000 who also got an upgrade of his ticket to Business Class.
“Mr. Raj Kumar, the Consul General of India in Melbourne one day told me, you will get plenty of opportunities in your life to make money but take this as an opportunity to make blessings” expressed Abhishek later the same day during the celebration event of “Reuniting 10,000 families”. The event was organized by the agency which included the attendance of people from the Indian community, the travel industry, the presence of Raj Kumar (Consul General of India in Victoria) and the Gaura Travel team members.
10,000 families have been reunited in India during the last 7 months thanks to the effort of Gaura Travel and the support of the Indian Consulate in Melbourne, Singapore Airlines, Sri Lankan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Malindo Air. The travel agency will organize charter flights for at least the next couple of months (February and March), trying to continue reuniting more than 10,000 families in India during the first quarter of 2021.
Book your tickets from Australia to India on www.gauratravel.com.au
Gaura Travel – YOUR BEST WAY HOME