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Press release :  
Historic Solar Eclipse flight a success
22nd, July 2009

New Delhi: July 22nd, 2009: Chasing the Eclipse is a dream come true and this was fulfilled this morning when Flight no. S2-2279 commanded by Capt A. Oswal successfully intercepted the total solar eclipse over Taregna. This mission was made successful due to the effort of Cox and Kings India Ltd and Space technology and education (P) Ltd under the technical guidance of Eclipse Chasers Athenaeum (Eca).

Speaking on the success of this mission, Sachin Bahmba, founder of SPACE and astronomer said, “This is a dream come true for us as this is the first time in India that such a feat has been achieved.’’ SPACE Group comprises of companies doing pioneer work in the field of astronomy and space science. He added, “This will go a long way in creating interest in astronomy amongst Indians at large and we have been pioneers in Astro Tourism in India.’’

The aircraft, JetLite 737-700 which was specially chartered for the Eclipse Flight successfully intercepted the eclipse and much to the delight of the passengers effectively completed the mission. The aircraft had a total of 74 passengers including astronomers, space enthusiasts, etc. The youngest was passenger was a seven year old girl and the oldest passenger was 70 years old.

Commenting on this historic flight, Karan Anand, Head—Relationships and Supplier Management, Cox and Kings said, "We are elated to state that this venture was a success. The excitement and delight on our customer’s faces gave us immense satisfaction. This definitely marks the beginning of Astro Tourism in India."

The flight that took off at 4.40 am from New Delhi returned to the capital after the three-hour flight and the entire crew was delighted.

What’s more, while the Sun Side Seats saw the Solar Eclipse in its totality, those sitting on the Earth Side Seats were not disappointed. They watched the spectacle of a partial solar eclipse before the aircraft changed course as planned and headed towards the eclipse path.

The next such celestial spectacle will take place in 2132.

ABOUT COX AND KINGS
Cox and Kings (India) Ltd. is one of the oldest and most reputed travel organisations in India, offering a one-stop shop for the travel needs of all segments of travellers. The brand of Cox and Kings has evolved over a period of 250 years.

It specializes in Destination Management, Excursions and Leisure Travel, MICE, NRI Holidays, Trade Fairs, Car/Coach/Railway Bookings, Foreign Exchange, Business Travel, Private Air charter, Hotel Bookings, Visas/Passport/Medical insurance assistance. We are an Authorised Forex Dealer - category II.

Cox and Kings has won numerous awards and recognition. It has been voted “Number One Brand in India” based on a survey conducted by research agency, TNS and co-funded by Media magazine, ranking it 152 amongst the top 1,000 brands in the Asia Pacific region - Australia, China, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.

Recently, it has won "Best Domestic Tour Operator" and “Best Visual Advertising Campaign” awarded by Galileo Express Travel World Awards (2008). Mr. Peter Kerkar, Global CEO, Cox and Kings has been honoured with the WTM Global Award 2008 for his remarkable contribution to the travel and tourism industry by the World Travel Market (WTM). Cox and Kings has been voted amongst the Top 10 Tour Operators by Conde Nast Traveller Awards 2008. It won the Best Self Drive Brochure by Tourism New Zealand Asia Awards (2008).

Cox and Kings’ registered office is situated in Mumbai, India with 13 branches across India, 25 fully operational franchisees across the country and will open 25 more franchisees stores by July 2009. The company has a network of 200 GSAs and PSAs and approximately 3,500 agents throughout the country.

Cox and Kings has subsidiaries in USA, UK, Japan, Dubai, Singapore and Australia and international branch offices in Russia and New York. It has representative offices in Spain, South Africa, Italy, France, Sweden, Germany and South America.

ABOUT SPACE GROUP
SPACE Group comprises of companies doing pioneer work in the field of astronomy and space science. It has ventured into astronomy and space sciences products, software and educational material. It is the first company to develop and implement astronomy and space science modules and activities in the schools all over India. SPACE caters to various market segments including corporate, educational institutes, universities and individuals.

SPACE has also entered into a collaboration with the Himachal Pradesh government to promote the state as an astro tourism destination in India.

SPACE has developed astronomy centers in all over India which host the various activities of the organization. Such centers have been developed in schools, tourism corporation properties of states of Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab, West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.

ECA
ECA is a eclipse wing of SPACE its team consists of some of the most experienced eclipse chasers and have travelled worldwide chasing Eclipses (24th October, 1995, India; 11th August, 1999, India & France, 29th March, 2006, Turkey; 1st August, 2008, Russia and the coming eclipse of 2009 in India and China). We have an active group, called the Eclipse Chasers Athenaeum, headed by Mr. Ajay Talwar (Head, Observation and Instrumentation, S.P.A.C.E.). Some of the eminent eclipse personalities from institutes like the PRL, IISc, IIA, Udaipur Solar Observatory, ARIES and foreign experts like William Sheridan, Xavier Jubier form our Scientific Advisory Committee.

For further details contact:

Thomas C Thottathil, Head - Corporate Communications
9820191042; thomasct@coxandkings.com

Sachin Bahmba, founder of SPACE
9818477797; sachinbahmba@gmail.com

Cox and Kings India Limited
Turner Morrison Building, 16, Bank Street, Fort, Mumbai 400001; Tel.: (022) 22709100; Fax: (022) 22709161;
Website: www.coxandkings.com

SPACE GROUP
WZ-19, Asalatpur, A-3 block, Janakpuri, New Delhi-110058; Tel.: (011) 25522193; Fax: (011) 25532193;
Website: www.spacegroupindia.org
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