Author Archives: Breaking Travel News

IATA calls for EU-wide Covid-19 vaccination certificate

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has urged all branches of the European Union to support an initiative from Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, to agree a common digital European Covid-19 vaccination certificate. It is hoped the digital document would enable those who are vaccinated to travel freely within Europe without testing. In an open letter to Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, IATA chief executive, Alexandre de Juniac, called on EU dates to coordinate a policy that would see the region safely gain the economic and social benefits of renewed freedom of movement. ”Prime minister Mitsotakis’ initiative should be urgently adopted by the commission and all member states. “Vaccination is a fundamental key to safely reopening borders and stimulating economic recovery. ADVERTISEMENT“A pan-European mutually recognised vaccination certificate would be an important step towards giving governments the confidence to safely open their borders, and passengers the confidence to fly without the barrier of quarantine,” said de Juniac. The Greek proposal is for a harmonised vaccination certificate that could contribute “to the re-establishment of mobility on a global scale, which is the foundation for re-establishing economic activity to pre-crisis levels”. As the virus comes eventually under control, testing capacities improve and the vaccinated population grows, de Juniac stressed the need for governments to prepare for re-establishing the freedom of movement with well-coordinated planning. That planning should use the most effective combination of vaccination and testing capabilities. “We are in very dark days of this pandemic. “But the tough measures taken combined with accelerating vaccination programs must give us hope that we can safely re-establish the freedom of movement. “That will save jobs, ease mental anguish, re-connect families and revive the economy. “To do this safely and efficiently, planning is key,” said de Juniac. The EU heads of state meet tomorrow and Mitsotakis’ proposal will be on the agenda. Image: Sipa USA/SIPA USA/PA Images Older UNWTO secretary general Pololikashvili nominated for second term Newer Adam Stewart appointed executive chairman at Sandals Resorts Let's block ads! (Why?)

IAG agrees to half-price Air Europa deal

International Airlines Group (IAG) has agreed to a cut priced deal to acquire Air Europa from Globalia. Having initially signed to pay €1 billion for the carrier in November 2019, the European aviation giant has now approved a deal valued at €500 million. The payment will also be deferred until the sixth anniversary of the completion of the deal, as IAG and the global airline market battle back from the Covid-19 shutdown. IAG will complete the deal through subsidiary Iberia. Luis Gallego, IAG chief executive, said: “Both Iberia and IAG are demonstrating their resilience to face the deepest crisis in aviation’s history. ADVERTISEMENT“Being part of a large group is the best guarantee to overcome current market challenges which will also benefit Air Europa once the transaction is completed. “I am pleased that we have reached agreement with Globalia to defer payment until well into the expected recovery in air travel following the end of the pandemic and when we expect to be realising significant synergies resulting from the transaction.” IAG added the revised terms in the agreement are conditional on the satisfactory negotiation between Iberia and Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) regarding the non-financial terms associated with the financial support provided the organisation to Air Europa last year. Iberia intends to begin discussions with SEPI shortly concerning these conditions. It is hoped the deal can be completed in the second half of 2021. IAG said it hoped the deal would increase the importance of its hub in Madrid, allowing it to compete with rivals Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Javier Hidalgo, Globalia chief executive, said: “This transaction is a great effort by all of us and is the best way to recover tourism, transport in Spain and the Madrid hub.” The gross assets of Air Europa in December 2019 were €967 million, though this may have fallen during a year of economic turmoil for the airline sector. Revenue of €2.1 billion, operating profit of €71 million and pre-tax profit of €42 million were attributable to Air Europa for the year ended December 2019. Air Europa currently has an operating fleet of 52 aircraft compared to 68 at the end of 2019, though all planes except one are leased. Older Royal Caribbean sells Azamara in $201m private equity deal Newer UNWTO secretary general Pololikashvili nominated for second term Let's block ads! (Why?)

Etihad partners with IATA for Covid-19 Travel Pass

The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways have signed a partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass for guests. The mobile app is designed to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines. IATA Travel Pass will initially be offered to Etihad’s guests on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network. The IATA Travel Pass will enable Etihad’s guests to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive Covid-19 test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey. ADVERTISEMENTImportantly, IATA Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their test with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey. “Covid-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again. “Since August, Etihad is the only airline requiring a pre-departure negative PCR test result for all passengers worldwide, and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, giving our guests the added assurance of safety when they travel with us. “A high priority for Etihad is for our guests to have an easy, secure and efficient way to identify and verify their information,” Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operating officer, Etihad Aviation Group. Etihad has been actively exploring the roll out of digital health certification for its guests, and this latest partnership with IATA, alongside similar programmes the airline has in development, shows the technology is advancing quickly to make it a reality. Older Singapore Airlines rolls-out Covid-19 vaccine to crew Newer Royal Caribbean sells Azamara in $201m private equity deal Let's block ads! (Why?)

Singapore Airlines rolls-out Covid-19 vaccine to crew

Singapore Airlines has launched a bid to vaccinate all its crew against Covid-19. Mirroring a similar scheme at Dubai-based rival Emirates, the Singapore flag-carrier hope to offer the vaccine to pilots, gate agents, flight attendants and anyone whose job requires contact with the public. All have been offered free coronavirus vaccines by the Singaporean government. The country has purchased the Pfizer vaccine, which requires two shots. “We are grateful to the Singapore government for making the aviation sector a priority in the vaccination exercise,” chief executive, Goh Choon Phong, said in a statement.ADVERTISEMENT“This reflects the sector’s importance, and the crucial role we play in both Singapore’s economic recovery and the fight against the pandemic.” According to the airline, 5,200 SIA employees have already signed up to get the jab. Inoculations will begin in a few days. Once vaccinated, crew members will be subject to less scrutiny and fewer coronavirus-related security measures. For example, flight crew who are currently tested on the seventh day after their return to Singapore will be exempt from this test going forward. Older Skyscanner seeks to identify underserved airline routes Newer Etihad partners with IATA for Covid-19 Travel Pass Let's block ads! (Why?)

Skyscanner seeks to identify underserved airline routes

Skyscanner has launched a new solution within its travel insight business intelligence tool aimed at identifying untapped demand for new direct flight services. With the pandemic rendering data from last virtually irrelevant, the new tool will help airlines and airports leverage forward looking search and intent data to predict demand and identify new and more profitable route opportunities. The ‘Unserved Routes’ module provides a first-of-its-kind data segmentation for the global aviation sector, combining flight schedule data with traveller demand insights. Unlike other data sources which focus on historic or completed bookings for route planning and yield management, Skyscanner’s solution allows airlines and airports to forecast ahead and understand forward looking demand to restart or create new non-stop services up to 12 months into the future.ADVERTISEMENTAnalysis of each route includes search and redirect volumes, average fare prices and conversion rates, with the ability to filter by travel month. Selected unserved routes for the EMEA market, according to Skyscanner, include Dublin to Las Vegas, Amsterdam to Bali and Kiev Zhuliany to Istanbul. Michael Docherty, lead for data products at Skyscanner, commented: “With signs of recovery on the horizon, we’re unlocking even more of Skyscanner’s unrivalled demand data to help our partners across the aviation sector understand evolving traveller needs. “Covid-19 has exposed the limitations of historical data for route planning and management as well as the need to make smarter, faster decisions. “Our new Unserved Routes module has been designed with airlines and airports in mind, allowing them to forecast daily market demand, build business cases for restarting certain direct routes or even expanding into new ones.” Older Disneyland Paris delays reopening until April Newer Singapore Airlines rolls-out Covid-19 vaccine to crew Let's block ads! (Why?)

Disneyland Paris delays reopening until April

Disneyland Paris has pushed back its reopening date to April 2nd as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to sweep France. The theme park had been due to reopen on February 13th. However, in a statement officials said this was not now possible and that the current plan to open in April would go ahead only “if conditions permit”. Bookings can be taken from April 2nd, with plans in place to offer refunds to customers impacted by the decision. Due to the prevailing conditions in Europe, Disneyland Paris will not reopen on the 13th of February as initially planned. If you have a booking with us during the closing period, please check our website for our latest commercial conditions:— Disneyland Paris EN (@DisneyParis_EN) January 18, 2021 A statement said: “Due to the prevailing conditions in Europe, Disneyland Paris will no reopen on February 13th as initially planned. “If conditions permit, we will reopen Disneyland Paris on April 2nd and will welcome reservations from that date forward. “Given the current context our plans continue to evolve, but please know that we will make every effort to share with you any updates as soon as it is possible.” Older New spa offering at Banyan Tree Krabi Newer Skyscanner seeks to identify underserved airline routes Let's block ads! (Why?)

Montcalm East to welcome first guests in London

Montcalm East, an Autograph Collection Hotel, is set to open in Shoreditch this spring. Situated in one of most energetic and vibrant areas of London, the property inherits the site of the existing M by Montcalm. The 288-room hotel will feature an all-day dining neighbourhood restaurant from East London restaurant team, Barworks – a first of its kind partnership from the group. Occupying a prime position between Shoreditch and the City, the hotel is just a short stroll from Old Street. Heavily influenced by the work of ‘Op-Art’ pioneer Bridget Riley, the exterior of the property acts as an optical illusion, setting the tone for the creative experience even before guest arrival.ADVERTISEMENTInside the hotel, Shoreditch-based design studio Blacksheep have taken inspiration from the pioneering heritage of the area and the different perspectives that influenced it. Geometric shapes and muted colour tones create clean and calming spaces. Guestrooms are flooded with natural light, with many offering floor-to-ceiling city views. Providing pops of colour, the bespoke artwork in the rooms is a play on the trademark street art posters of Shoreditch. The spacious bathrooms feature rain showers and luxury ethical bath products made by The Soap Co. – a local brand that employs, trains and supports people with disabilities to build skills, confidence and independence. Older St Lucia to offer visitors Covid-19 tests on departure Newer MSC Magnifica to return to Southampton for summer 2022 Let's block ads! (Why?)

St Lucia to offer visitors Covid-19 tests on departure

St Lucia is to offer Covid-19 tests to travellers returning to England in order to meet new restrictions imposed by the UK government. Many properties in the Caribbean destination will offer the service free of charge. Visitors can obtain a Covid-19 test conveniently at select hotels or at local testing facilities, with test results returned within a 72-hour time frame. ADVERTISEMENTVisitors can make an appointment for their test once they arrive on island or through their Covid-certified hotel. Pricing varies based on location and the type of test administered. As of today, there are 20 hotels and villas offering free Covid-19 antigen testing to qualified guests. Additional properties in Saint Lucia are anticipated to roll out complimentary testing in the coming weeks. Restrictions may apply and visitors should check with their accommodation provider for details; select hotels are offering PCR tests to guests who meet qualifications. Since the first international flights returned to Saint Lucia in July last year, the country has implemented consistent responsible Covid-19 protocols, providing increased safety for both visitors and local citizens. Older Sri Lanka to reopen borders to tourists this week Newer Montcalm East to welcome first guests in London Let's block ads! (Why?)