Author Archives: Harry Johnson

European travel sentiment soars with vaccines and EU digital COVID ID rollout Aviation Feature, Aviation News

European travel sentiment soars with vaccines and EU digital COVID ID rollout 1

70% of respondents have travel plans in the next six months, with half wishing to visit another European country.The majority of Europeans surveyed (72%) intend to travel between June and September, while another 16% are eyeing autumn travel.Quarantine requirements and sudden changes of rules remain major concerns for Europeans.

As Europe opens up after months of lockdowns and restrictions, interest in travel has risen distinctly, with two-thirds of Europeans intending to take a trip by the end of November 2021. Only 15% remain uncertain, and 15% are not willing to travel.
This is according to the latest research on “Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel – Wave 7” by the European Travel Commission (ETC), which provides timely insights on the short-term travel intentions and preferences of Europeans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The speedy progression of COVID-19 vaccinations in Europe coupled with the recent introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate and the upcoming summer season are boosting Europeans’ travel spirit. 70% of respondents are already making travel plans for the next six months, up from 56% in February 2021 and also at the highest point since August 2020.
Over half (57%) of Europeans feel much more optimistic about planning trips in the coming months thanks to vaccination rollouts, while 25% are neutral and 18% remain unconvinced. Notably, in many cases, inoculation has a direct impact on travel arrangements, with 54% intending to book a trip once they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. 
Similarly, the recent EU actions to coordinate rules and revitalize travel across the bloc are already showing positive results. The introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate has received a wide acceptance among Europeans: 57% of respondents feel that the certificate will facilitate the planning of their next trip, while only 18% express the opposite opinion.

Alaska Airlines launching new flights and adding more routes Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Alaska Airlines launching new flights and adding more routes 2

Alaska Airlines keeps growing in Boise where it’s long been the largest carrier.From Idaho’s capital, Alaska Airlines now flying to Chicago and Austin.Alaska Airlines starts new service to Pullman-Moscow and Phoenix.

Boise is booming! And Alaska Airlines keeps growing in the dynamic city where we’ve long been the largest carrier. We’re flying our guests in Idaho’s Treasure Valley to the places they’re eager to visit. Starting today, we’re launching daily nonstop service between Boise and Chicago O’Hare, and Boise and Austin. Also today, we’re announcing new nonstop flying between Boise and Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport in Washington, and Boise and Phoenix.
“Our guests are showing us how excited they are about our new service to Chicago and Austin from Boise with strong bookings throughout the summer months,” said Brett Catlin, vice president of network and alliances at Alaska Airlines. “Our new year-round route bridging Boise and Pullman-Moscow will offer a crucial link to that area’s two major universities, and the seasonal nonstop to Phoenix is another terrific way to quickly escape to sunshine and warmth in the desert this winter.”

As vaccination rates rise, so does the quest to travel again. Families and friends want to see each other face-to-face and share a hug – not another video call. We’re adding new routes and more flights to make those connections easier. This winter, we’ll have up to 30 daily nonstop departures from Boise to 14 destinations on Alaska and our sister carrier Horizon Air. We already have more nonstop destinations and more daily departures from Boise than any other airline. Our commitment to Boise Airport and our guests only becomes stronger.
Newly added flights
StartDateEndDateCity PairDepartsArrivesFrequencyAircraftAug. 17—Boise –Pullman-Moscow11:10 a.m.11:15 a.m.5x/WeeklyQ400Aug. 17—Pullman-Moscow –Boise11:55 a.m.1:34 p.m.5x/WeeklyQ400Nov. 19April 18Boise – Phoenix10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.DailyE175Nov. 19April 18Phoenix – Boise1:10 p.m.4:15 p.m.DailyE175
“The Boise Airport is grateful that Alaska Airlines continues to improve connectivity for residents of the Treasure Valley,” said Boise Airport Director Rebecca Hupp. “With Idaho’s vast rural geography, regional flights are an important link in our transportation system. I’m confident the nonstop service to Pullman-Moscow matches the needs of our community, and I’m thrilled Alaska is connecting two important regions of the state again.”

Almost half of Brits plan a holiday in Spain this summer Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Almost half of Brits plan a holiday in Spain this summer 3

48% of Brits would consider taking a holiday to Spain this summer.Similar numbers would consider travelling to other hot spot ‘amber’ destinations. Three quarters of Brits are prepared to be vaccinated in order to travel internationally.

New research has found that almost half (48%) of Brits would consider taking a holiday to Spain this summer, with almost two thirds – 64% – saying that they are considering it in the 18-34 age group and 52% of those aged 35-54.
Other top destinations being considered by Brits this summer are Italy and Portugal both at 46%; while 45% are considering Greece and 42% are thinking about a holiday in France. Outside of Europe, 37% of respondents said that they would contemplate a holiday to the USA this summer.

All these destinations are currently rated as amber by the British government. This means COVID-19 tests and self-isolation are required by travelers on return to the UK. With many destinations also requiring vaccination passports for entry, almost three quarters (74%) of Brits claimed they are prepared to complete a full vaccination program in order to travel internationally this summer.
Based on the current amber requirements for a ten-day home quarantine plus testing, 41% of Brits said that they would be willing to undertake this in order to travel internationally. Half of the respondents (50%) claimed that they would be willing to complete a quarantine for five days as well as the required COVID-19 tests, whilst just 19% are prepared to fulfil an enforced hotel quarantine for ten days at the cost of £1,750 (the current requirement for red list countries).
The great news is that as expected, there is still a huge appetite for international travel this summer. It’s clear from our research that the vast majority of Brits are willing to be fully vaccinated in order to travel internationally. It’s reassuring to hear today that the U.K. government is planning to make overseas summer holidays a reality for fully vaccinated Britons.

Lufthansa’s Eurowings Discover granted Air Operator Certificate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa’s Eurowings Discover granted Air Operator Certificate 4

Air Operator Certificate issued by the German Federal Aviation Authority on June 16, 2021.Inaugural flight on July 24 from Frankfurt to Mombasa with onward flight to Zanzibar.Additional destinations in the 2021 summer flight schedule: Punta Cana, Windhoek, Las Vegas and Mauritius.

Now it is official: Just in time for the current steep rise in demand for holiday bookings, the Lufthansa Group‘s new leisure airline is ready for take-off. With the issuance of its operating license and Air Operator Certificate (AOC) by the German Federal Aviation Authority, the young start-up airline Eurowings Discover has successfully completed the final stage on its way to independent flight operations. The certificate was issued by the German Federal Aviation Authority on June 16. 
“The timing could not be better. People can finally travel again and we are all set to fly them to the world’s most beautiful destinations,” explains Wolfgang Raebiger, CEO of Eurowings Discover. “We have built an airline in just one year – an ambitious goal that we have achieved with the great support from the entire Lufthansa Group, a motivated team and in close cooperation with the German Federal Aviation Authority. We wish to express our sincere gratitude to everyone.”

Eurowings Discover is also the first airline ever in Germany to receive an unlimited permit under a new aviation law requirement known as partial CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization).
Inaugural flight to Mombasa with onward flight to Zanzibar
The Lufthansa Group’s newest airline takes off on July 24 from its home base in Frankfurt am Main for its inaugural flight to Mombasa with onward service to Zanzibar. In August, the flight schedule will be filled with further attractive long-haul destinations: Thus, in addition to two weekly frequencies to Mombasa/Zanzibar, starting in August there will also be three flights a week to Punta Cana and five flights a week to Windhoek. In October, Eurowings Discover will also be flying three times a week to Las Vegas and Mauritius.

In the 2021 winter flight schedule, Bridgetown, Montego Bay and Varadero will be added with three weekly frequencies each. In addition, the flight program will be expanded from November to include short- and medium-haul flights to the Canary Islands, Egypt and Morocco.
Before the start of long-haul operations at the end of July, Eurowings Discover plans to operate selected continental flights as wet lease for Lufthansa Group airline Air Dolomiti (EN) from mid-July in order to gradually ramp up operations and ensure a smooth start on long-haul routes.
Its fleet will consist of a maximum of eleven aircraft in total this year and will grow to 21 aircraft by the middle of next year (10x Airbus A320 and 11x Airbus A330). All aircraft are coming from to the Lufthansa Group fleet pool.

Thanks to full integration into the Lufthansa feeder network, travelers will benefit from end-to-end booking processes and seamless transfer traffic. All flights can already be booked on lufthansa.com – currently under Lufthansa flight number (LH). The shift to Eurowings Discover flight number “4Y” is scheduled for the week of the inaugural flight.

Flights from Budapest to Turin on Ryanair now Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights from Budapest to Turin on Ryanair now 5

Irish ultra-low-cost carrier opens its 16th Italian base.Budapest Airport establishes a twice-weekly link to the business and cultural center of northern Italy.Ryanair’s latest link to Turin becomes Budapest’s 16th connection to Italy.

Securing another new route, Budapest Airport has confirmed it is among Ryanair’s first routes to be served from the ultra-low-cost airline’s new Turin base. As the Irish carrier opens its 16th Italian base, the Hungarian gateway has established a twice-weekly link to the business and cultural center of northern Italy, to launch on 2 November.
“Not only are we proud to announce another new route in today’s climate, but our new link to Turin is also among Ryanair’s – Europe’s largest airline – first routes from its new Italian base,” enthuses Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. “Our priority continues to be able to offer our passengers an expanding selection of great places to visit. To announce a brand new destination shows we wish to continue to deliver a combination of attractive routes and good services,” adds Bogáts.

Ryanair’s latest link to Turin becomes Budapest’s 16th connection to Italy, the ULCC itself now serving 11 Italian destinations from Hungary’s capital city including Bari, Bologna, Cagliari, Catania, Milan Bergamo, Naples, Palermo, Pisa, Rome, and Treviso.
Ryanair DAC is an Irish ultra low-cost airline founded in 1984. It is headquartered in Swords, Dublin, with its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted airports. It forms the largest part of the Ryanair Holdings family of airlines, and has Ryanair UK, Buzz, and Malta Air as sister airlines.
Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, formerly known as Budapest Ferihegy International Airport and still commonly called just Ferihegy, is the international airport serving the Hungarian capital city of Budapest, and by far the largest of the country’s four commercial airports.

Lufthansa enables fast check-in with digital vaccination certificate Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Lufthansa enables fast check-in with digital vaccination certificate 6

Faster and easier check-in with vaccination certificates soon also via smartphone.Pre-check of certificates by a Lufthansa Service Center possible from 72 hours before departure.Just in time for the start of the summer school holidays in Hesse.

More than a quarter of the German population has now been vaccinated twice against COVID-19. For a few days now, pharmacies, doctors and vaccination centers have been issuing QR codes for vaccinated persons, the so-called digital vaccination certificates.
Just in time for the start of the Hessian school summer holidays, passengers with the digital vaccination certificate can once again check in faster with Lufthansa and receive their boarding pass. Here’s how it works: Travelers present the digital vaccination certificate, which proves full vaccination protection, either via app or on a printout at check-in at the airport. There, it is read and the boarding pass is issued directly and without complications. This eliminates the need to take various papers and proofs to the airport. It also makes it much more difficult to misuse forged vaccination certificates, as the system compares the data from the QR code with the booking and passenger data.

In the future, mobile check-in via smartphone will also be faster and easier: On selected routes, it will soon be possible to scan QR vaccination certificates with the Lufthansa app or to load them digitally into the app. The app recognizes the QR code and uses this information to create the boarding pass.
Anyone who is concerned that they do not have the right certificates for the trip can have them checked by a Lufthansa Service Center on selected flights up to 72 hours before departure. These can be proof of tests, survived COVID-19 disease and now vaccinations. Confirmations of digital entry applications can also be checked in this way. The airline recommends that its guests continue to carry the original printed certificates with them on the trip, in addition to the digital proof, until further notice.

Uzbekistan Airways flies from Tashkent to Moscow Domodedovo Airport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Uzbekistan Airways flies from Tashkent to Moscow Domodedovo Airport 7

Uzbekistan Airways’ first flight arrives to its new air Moscow hub.Flight frequency on Tashkent-Moscow route has doubled compared to the level of 2018.Uzbekistan Airways plans to expand the geography of flights from the air hub to open new destinations to the cities of Uzbekistan.
Moscow Domodedovo Airport welcomed Uzbekistan Airways‘ first flight after the transfer of carrier’s flights to the new air hub.
There will be 28 regular flights per week (4 flights a day) from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Moscow, Russia. Flight frequency on Tashkent-Moscow route has doubled compared to the level of 2018.

In honor of this significant event, a festive program was prepared for the guests of the terminal: national dances of the «Bahor» team and Uzbek songs performed by the musical group «Uch-Kuduk». Passengers were presented with the gifts of sweets.
Domodedovo Airport and Uzbekistan Airways served more than 7 million travelers from 2000 to 2018.
In the near future, the air carrier plans to expand the geography of flights from the air hub, to open new destinations to the cities of Uzbekistan. The developed route network, transport accessibility and favorable geographical location of the airport will provide a high level of direct and transfer passenger traffic of the airline.

Moscow Domodedovo Mikhail Lomonosov Airport is one of the largest air hubs in Russia. In 2020, the airport served 16.4 million passengers. Members of the world’s leading airline alliances including Star Alliance and oneworld have chosen Moscow Domodedovo Airport for their flights to Moscow.
JSC Uzbekistan Airways, operating as Uzbekistan Airways, is the flag carrier airline of Uzbekistan, headquartered in Tashkent.

Flight from Doha to Abidjan launched by Qatar Airways Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flight from Doha to Abidjan launched by Qatar Airways 8

Qatar Airways now operates three weekly flights to Côte d’Ivoire, via Accra.Abidjan is Qatar Airways’ eighth new destination since the start of the global pandemic.Qatar Airways travellers from Africa can enjoy baggage allowances ranging from 46 Kg and 64 Kg.

Qatar Airways welcomes Abidjan to its global network as its debut flight to the largest city in Côte d’Ivoire landed at Felix Houphouet Boigny International Airport today. With three weekly flights, the service between Doha and Abidjan via Accra will be operated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class, along with capacity of up to 15 tons of cargo.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: “Launching flights to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – our fourth new destination in Africa since the start of the pandemic, after having recently launched Abuja in Nigeria; Accra in Ghana; and Luanda in Angola is a significant step in our African growth. This is testament to our commitment to the African continent where we now operate over 100 weekly flights to 25 destinations in 18 countries via our home and hub, Hamad International Airport.”

“At Qatar Airways, being there for our passengers, trade partners and corporate customers has been our major focus since the start of the pandemic. We thank the government of Côte d’Ivoire for their support to launch these flights, and we look forward to working closely with our partners here to grow this route and support the recovery of tourism and trade in this region. As global travel recovers in 2021, we look forward to further expanding our network and offering more connections to and from Africa.”
The launch of Abidjan also supports increased demand for trade between Côte d’Ivoire and destinations on the Qatar Airways network such as Paris, Beirut and many points in the Indian subcontinent. With up to 15 tons of cargo capacity on the aircraft per flight, Qatar Airways Cargo will play a key role in facilitating key exports from Côte d’Ivoire.
Qatar Airways travelers from Côte d’Ivoire can now enjoy new baggage allowances ranging from 46 Kg for Economy Class split over two pieces and 64 Kg split over two pieces in Business Class. This initiative is designed to offer passengers more flexibility and comfort when travelling on board Qatar Airways.

Flight Schedule Monday, Wednesday & Friday: (All times local)
Doha (DOH) to Abidjan (ABJ) QR1423 departs: 02:30 arrives: 09:10
Abidjan (ABJ) to Doha (DOH) QR1424 departs: 17:20 arrives: 06:10 +1

LATAM Airlines Group launches pilot health passport Aviation Feature, Aviation News

LATAM Airlines Group launches pilot health passport 9

IATA Travel Pass works based on the biometric information of the passenger’s passport.Having more automated and contactless processes is a new reality for everyone.Tools of this type are essential to restart the airline industry and reconnect the world.

The LATAM Group, through its subsidiaries in Chile and Peru, together with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have come together to carry out the pilot of the IATA Travel Pass digital application, allowing passengers to organize and manage travel requirements complying with what is required by the authorities on international flights more efficiently and expeditiously.
IATA Travel Pass works based on the biometric information of the passenger’s passport, the results of laboratories in agreement and the joint information of the governments.

“This is great news for our passengers who voluntarily want to join. Having more automated and contactless processes is a new reality for everyone, and this pilot with IATA Travel Pass supports this transformation for LATAM and for the entire industry,” declared the Vice President of Clients of LATAM Airlines Group, Paulo Miranda.
For his part, Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas, adds: “We are pleased that LATAM trusts the IATA Travel Pass. Tools of this type are essential to restart the airline industry and reconnect the world, which allows to reopen borders safely and smoothly, giving governments the guarantee that travelers have complied with health requirements, speeding up migration processes and simplifying the experience for passengers.”

Star Alliance to expand touchless journeys across member airlines Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Star Alliance to expand touchless journeys across member airlines 10

Star Alliance, NEC Corporation and SITA sign teaming agreement.Star Alliance biometrics platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in over 460 airports.Passengers using Star Alliance’s biometrics platform will enroll only once.

Frequent flyer program customers of Star Alliance member airlines will soon be able to use their biometric identity across any participating airline at any participating airport following a new agreement between the world’s largest airline alliance, NEC Corporation and SITA.
The agreement announced today is aimed at accelerating the availability of biometric self-service touchpoints across Star Alliance’s member airlines while delivering a faster, touchless airport experience. 

Connecting to SITA‘s Smart Path solution, the Star Alliance biometrics platform will be able to use SITA’s shared airport infrastructure already available in more than 460 airports. Together with SITA and NEC’s global presence, multiple biometric projects can be delivered in parallel, speeding up the availability of biometric passenger processing to Star Alliance’s member airlines globally. This will be vital in enabling Star Alliance to deploy biometrics faster.
A further advantage is the NEC I:Delight platform – which allows passengers who have opted to use the service to be identified quickly and with a high degree of accuracy, even on the move – can be easily integrated with SITA Smart Path. The I:Delight platform is also able to recognize passengers even when wearing a mask, an increasingly important feature for travel during the current pandemic. The platform is already in use by Star Alliance member airlines at several airports in Europe.
Uniquely, passengers using Star Alliance’s biometrics platform enroll only once. Passengers then can pass through biometrically enabled touchpoints across multiple member airlines and participating airports using just their face as their boarding pass. This speeds up the passage through the airport while making each step completely touchless, supporting important health and hygiene safety measures in times of COVID-19 and delivering on Star Alliance’s vision of a seamless customer experience.

Jeffrey Goh, CEO, Star Alliance, said: “This agreement is instrumental in bringing further scale to our biometrics service, with the inherent benefits of speed and meeting customer expectations for a more touchless and hygienically safer experience across all of our member airlines. Biometrics is a key element of that experience and our strategy of leading the way in digitalizing the passenger journey.”
Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA, said: “Together with NEC, SITA is pleased to be supporting Star Alliance in bringing the full benefits of biometric identity to their member airlines. Passengers have long welcomed the advantages of control and speed automation brings to the passenger journey; a trend that has been accelerated by COVID-19. With this agreement the benefits of biometric identity will be extended from a single airline or journey to a vast network of airlines. That is truly unique and demonstrates the benefits digital identity can bring to the passenger.” 
Masakazu Yamashina, Executive Vice President, NEC Corporation said: “NEC is honored to join this three party partnership with Star Alliance and SITA. While the impact of COVID-19 continues, we are pleased to lead the creation of seamless and touchless travel. NEC is committed to providing a safe and comfortable customer experience through our NEC I:Delight identity management solution.”

Business travel will be more important than ever to driving success Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Business travel will be more important than ever to driving success 11

During the pandemic, travel has been limited for 90% of companies surveyed.Over a third of companies said international business development and product launches took a hit due to a lack of in-person presence.The industry has seen a surge of 49% in corporate interest around the world since the start of the pandemic.

Only 24 months ago, business travel was synonymous with global corporations and senior executives’ roles. During the global lockdowns, companies have experienced the direct impact of no travel or in-person meetings on their business functions and operations. In new research that impact is quantified for the first time.
For The Future of Business Travel report over 200 high-level company executives in the U.S., EMEA and APAC were surveyed about the essential role and value of travel in their professional lives.

During the pandemic, travel has been limited for 90% of companies surveyed, and almost all (97%) said their businesses experienced negative impact directly related to those restrictions. Nearly one-quarter (24%) indicated massive or substantial disruptions across all eight areas measured, and 87% cited massive or substantial disruption in at least one area. More than a third (37%) said international business development and product launches took a hit due to a lack of in-person presence.
As restrictions ease, built-up anticipation for business travel is clear, with 81% saying business travel will be more important than ever to driving success. Among respondents who take eight or more private flights a year, 60% plan to significantly increase in-person meetings.
The industry has seen a surge of 49% in corporate interest around the world since the start of the pandemic, confirming that flying private continues to be a key support for business travel. The main benefits of taking private flights for business travel are reported by those surveyed, in order, as flexibility, efficiency, safety and privacy. The two top priorities for trips are visiting partners and vendors and going to industry events, each at 34%. Managing current relationships and building new ones are also key drivers.

The return to business travel largely hangs on regulations — 46% of respondents are waiting for destinations to reopen; 42% want updated COVID-19 data and rules for destinations; 36% seek support in case COVID-19 regulations change during a trip; and the same number await relaxation of their own company’s travel policies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the world, including travel. It also showed that some business travel is truly essential and having to forgo in-person trips came at a real cost to companies. Additionally, it is hard to read a room when everyone is in individual windows on screen — misunderstandings can occur, especially across cultures, and these in turn can become costly mistakes.

Flights to Bourgas, Zakynthos, Brussels, Chania, Larnaca, Paris and Porto on Wizz Air relaunch from Budapest Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Flights to Bourgas, Zakynthos, Brussels, Chania, Larnaca, Paris and Porto on Wizz Air relaunch from Budapest 12

One notable relaunch was the Hungarian gateway’s first reconnection with Bulgaria.Wizz Air reopened twice-weekly links to Bourgas, Bulgaria’s second largest city on the Black Sea coast.Wizz Air able to boost flight numbers as restrictions on travel to and from Budapest are eased.

Wizz Air resumed another seven services from Budapest Airport last weekend, re-expanding the airport’s European network and offering customers more travel choices once again. One notable relaunch was the Hungarian gateway’s first reconnection with Bulgaria, as the ultra-low-cost carrier (ULCC) reopened twice-weekly links to Bourgas, the country’s second largest city on the Black Sea coast.
Facing no competition, Wizz Air relaunched Budapest’s link to Zakynthos on Sunday, joining the weekend’s other resumed services to Brussels Charleroi, Chania, Larnaca, Paris Orly, and Porto.

“It’s fantastic to see that week-after-week we are able to boost our flight numbers as restrictions on travel to and from Budapest are eased,” says Balázs Bogáts, Head of Airline Development, Budapest Airport. “The number of destinations returning to our route map are increasing and all major cities in the EU will soon be on offer once again as we look forward to the introduction of the EU Green ID.”
Continuing its redevelopment at Budapest, and confirming many frequency increases across its route map, by end-July Wizz Air will fly to 50 destinations, operating 148 weekly services which will offer almost 31,000 weekly seats from Hungary’s capital city.
Wizz Air, legally incorporated as Wizz Air Hungary Ltd. and stylized as W!ZZ Air, is a Hungarian ultra low-cost airline with its head office in Budapest. The airline serves many cities across Europe, as well as some destinations in North Africa and the Middle East.

Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport, formerly known as Budapest Ferihegy International Airport and still commonly called just Ferihegy, is the international airport serving the Hungarian capital city of Budapest, and by far the largest of the country’s four commercial airports.