Author Archives: Linda S. Hohnholz

Tourism Seychelles and Ethiopian Airlines Belgium Co-host Media Trip Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Five journalists from across the Dutch and French-speaking media in Belgium were invited to discover the destination with the aim of giving visibility to the Seychelles islands in a variety of newspapers, monthly magazines, blogs and online.
As this was the first time in the Seychelles for each journalist, it was important to reveal the diversity of the Seychelles, both in its landscapes, activities, and attractions.
Stepping off the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft which operates 4 flights a week to the Seychelles from Brussels via Addis Ababa, they first headed off to L’Escale Resort and during their five nights in the country, the journalists explored the islands of Mahé, Praslin, La Digue as well as the attractions of St Pierre and Curieuse.
With the focus on experiencing Seychelles, Tourism Seychelles, its co-sponsors and hotel partners organized a number of activities which the journalists actively participated in, teeing off at the Constance Lemuria Seychelles Hotel’s golf course, going snorkeling and on excursions on Praslin, hiking and learning about environmental preservation in the Vallée de Mai, as well as on La Digue and Mahé islands.
The program included an immersion in the islands’ culture, history and heritage with a visit of the capital of Victoria and such sites as the Domaine de Val des Près, the La Plaine St André distillery, Jardin du Roi, the tea plantation and L’Union Estate on La Digue. A high point was the discovery of Creole cuisine, with a cooking class on the last day when the journalists were able to savor and evaluate the authenticity of their own dish of “kari poul” before their departure to Brussels.
Hotel partners L’Escale Resort and Constance Ephélia Seychelles on Mahé, and Les Lauriers Eco Hotel on Praslin, who welcomed the journalists during their stay, allowed them to sample the different types of accommodation, atmosphere and locations available on the islands.
In total, more than 20 pages on the Seychelles will be published over the next few weeks (not including web versions) to promote leisure travel and holidays to Seychelles on the Belgian market.
More news about Seychelles

Italy and Australia: New Nonstop Travel Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The air carrier will offer 3 weekly flights between Rome Fiumicino and Sydney (with a stopover in Perth) operated with Boeing 787/900 Dreamliner – a new generation aircraft specially configured by Qantas to offer services dedicated to an extended stay on board – with a three-class cabin configuration and 42 seats in Business, 28 in Premium Economy and 166 in Economy, for a total of 236 seats overall.
For the first time in the history of civil aviation, it will be possible to fly directly between Australia and Continental Europe.
There will be a non-stop connection between Rome and Perth, the westernmost point of the Australian continent, in a flight lasting 15 hours and 45 minutes. Passengers from Rome will also be able to choose whether to continue on the same aircraft to Sydney or start their stay in Australia by visiting Perth ”, announces the joint note from Rome and Qantas Airports.
Rome will, therefore, be the first and only point in Continental Europe to be directly connected to Australia, as Qantas operates another direct flight but towards London. The choice of Fiumicino will allow Qantas to interconnect its passengers to the main European destinations, including Athens, Barcelona, Frankfurt, Nice, Madrid, Paris and 15 points in Italy such as Florence, Milan and Venice via Fiumicino, thanks to collaboration agreements with other partner airlines operating on the Roman airport. In this case, there is persistent talk of an upcoming interline agreement with the new Ita Airways.
“Since the borders have reopened,” said Alan Joyce, CEO of the Qantas group, “we have immediately encountered a strong demand from our customers to discover new destinations. The resumption of traffic and the demand for a greater number of connections following the pandemic has made direct connections to and from Australia even more attractive and desirable in a context in which we have learned to live with the virus and its variants.
“After the restrictions of the last few years, now is the ideal time for Qantas to reinvigorate its international network and explore new market opportunities.
“The new route will bring new visitors to Australia by strengthening the domestic tourism industry.”
“Australia enjoys a global reputation as a friendly, safe and attractive tourist destination, and by flying directly from Rome visitors will be able to experience the ‘Australian Spirit’ even before arriving.”
“With great pride,” said Marco Troncone, CEO of Aeroporti di Roma, “today we celebrate Italy as the landing country of the first ever direct flight from Australia to continental Europe. Rome and Italy thus give a great signal of confidence and recovery, confirming the attractiveness of the largest market in terms of volumes between Australia and Continental Europe, with around 500,000 passengers who flew between the two countries in 2019 with intermediate stop.
“This important milestone is the result of a long collaboration between Qantas and Adr with the support of national institutions and is only the beginning of a path that will strengthen the already relevant social and economic relations between Australia and Italy, facilitating the development of passenger and freight mobility in the near future.”
More information about Australia

New Direct Route From Cleveland to Nassau Bahamas on United Airlines Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Travelers can escape the cold shores of Lake Erie for tropical sunshine
Flights into Nassau serve as a gateway to 16 islands with unique vacation offerings to suit each traveler’s individual needs, spanning varied budgets and experiences. The Islands of The Bahamas welcome Ohioans with open arms, turquoise water and plenty of sunshine. 
“The inaugural United Airlines flight from Cleveland to Nassau cannot arrive at a better time as Americans begin planning for their next vacation in 2022,” said Deputy Prime Minister the Honorable I. Chester Cooper, Bahamas Minister of Tourism, Investments & Aviation. “The newly added flight options transport Ohio residents to our beautiful islands in just 3 hours. It’s ideal for those who seek a short-haul vacation destination.”
There are a host of new developments, hotel re-openings and experiences happening throughout Nassau and Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, and the beloved Out Islands.
All this is making The Bahamas one of the Caribbean’s top must-visit destinations:  
The Bahamas landed a top spot in Travel + Leisure’s coveted “50 Best Places to Travel in 2022” list.Baha Bay, a 15-acre oceanfront water park at Baha Mar, opened this year featuring 24 water slides, a dueling water coaster, 500,000-gallon wave pool and winding river.The Boutique Hotel Awards names Over Yonder Cay, an exclusive eco-friendly destination in the Exuma Cays, The Bahamas, “World’s Best Private Villa”.The Cove, Eleuthera will reopen on December 20, 2021. Nestled between two white sand coves, guests can expect to enjoy the ultimate Out Island luxuries of tranquility and privacy.
The new nonstop route will operate once a week, every Saturday, departing Cleveland at 9:05 a.m. EST and returning from Nassau at 4:15 p.m. EST.  To learn more about The Bahamas, head to, while travellers ready to pack their bags can book their flights today by visiting  
The Bahamas is committed to the safety of its residents and visitors and continues to update on-island and arrival policies as necessary. To stay up-to-date on the latest protocols and entry requirements, please visit 
With over 700 islands and cays, and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at or onFacebook, YouTube orInstagram to see why It’s Better in The Bahamas.
More information on The Bahamas

Avianca Airline Sees a Brand New Day: Steps Out of Bankruptcy Aviation Feature, Aviation News

After entering Chapter 11 on May 10, 2020, the company successfully achieved agreements with its creditors, raised fresh investments of $1.7 billion, and obtained approval for its plan of reorganization, emerging with a solid balance sheet, significantly reduced debt, and over $1 billion in liquidity.
Avianca has revamped its business model to be significantly more efficient, reaffirming its commitment to providing reliable and on-time service, combining a value proposition that includes the best attributes of low-cost airlines, while retaining key differentiators that allow it to be the most convenient travel alternative for millions of passengers in Latin America and the world. 
Looking ahead, Avianca will continue to strengthen its value proposition, adjusting its products and services to the needs of its customers.
As per the approved plan of reorganization, the new shareholders will invest in Avianca Group International Limited, a new holding company, which will be domiciled in the United Kingdom and will consolidate the group’s investments in all of its subsidiaries (including Aerovias del Continente Americano, its Colombian subsidiary, and TACA International, its Central American operation). The prior holding company, Avianca Holdings was domiciled in Panama.

Omicron: New Threat or Nothing Significant? Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Indications are that future hotel bookings, meetings, and other hotel-related activity will be impacted by the presumed expectation of future travel impediments, whether self-imposed, company-imposed or government-mandated, according to HotStats.
October data, which had only Delta to deal with, saw a striking resurgence in the Middle East, bolstered by Expo 2020 in Dubai, a 182-day World Expo that began at the beginning of October and runs through March.
Other global regions were not able to replicate the success of Dubai and the broader Middle East. In the US, major indices were still down double digits in October 2021 v. October 2019.
Since a rapid uptick in occupancy from the beginning of the year through the summer, hitting an apex in July, occupancy in the US has since more or less flatlined, a signal that the leisure boom could not be sustained at the same levels prior.
After Austria reinstituted a lockdown on November 22, it has extended it until December 11, becoming the first EU country to take such a measure in the face of the COVID-19 surge.
Portugal reintroduced tighter restrictions, making face masks mandatory and mandating a digital certificate proving vaccination or recovery from COVID in order to enter restaurants, movie theaters and hotels.
As Asia-Pacific continues to piece together its comeback, it, too, is tightening borders in response to the Omicron specter. Japan this week announced the country would bar foreign arrivals, only weeks after easing restrictions for visa holders, including short-term business travelers and international students. And the Philippines has barred arrivals from seven European countries, including the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.
What about flights?
On the other hand, as many travel experts ponder whether the new Omicron variant will crash holiday travel plans, a recent survey by Medjet (run in mid-November, sent out to an email opt-in base of over 60,000 travelers), showed that prior surges and variants didn’t have travelers rushing to cancel plans. The airline also announced, as of close of business yesterday, the highest November overall sales in the company’s almost 30-year history.
As of November 15, over 84% of the airline’s members who responded had future travel plans in place. 90% reported planning to take a domestic trip in the next nine months (65% within the next three months), and 70% expected to take an international trip within the next nine months (24% within the next three months). While 51% of them reported that previous variants and spikes had affected their future travel plans, only 25% of respondents reported having actually canceled because of them.
Additional findings included:
•             51% said previous variants and spikes had already affected future travel plans (27% answered “no,” 23% weren’t sure yet).
•             45% said becoming infected with COVID-19 and variants was of concern, while 55% listed other illnesses, injuries or safety threats their top concern.
•             Of those concerned about COVID, only 42% were worried about testing positive and not being able to return; 58% were more concerned about being hospitalized for COVID while away from home.
•             Business travel was still way (way) down, with only 2% responding that their next trip would be for business.
•             70% intend to travel with family, 14% with friends, 14% solo.
As a reminder, the current US Omicron restrictions only apply to foreign nationals. For US citizens and visa holders returning to the US, the re-entry requirements are still the same: a negative COVID viral test no more than 3 days prior to return flight for fully vaccinated passengers, no more than 1 day for unvaccinated passengers. More information on requirements, and definitions of “fully vaccinated” can be found on the CDC website.   

Airlines: The Best and The Worst Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Delta Airlines is named as the best US domestic airline, while Ana All Nippon is named the best international airline in the world, in new research.
The 5 best domestic airlines in the USA
RankAirlineArrivals on Time (July 2021)Complaints Jan-June 2021Staff Service (/5)Meals (/5)Seat Comfort (/5)Inflight Entertainment (/5)Maximum Baggage Allowance (kg)Airline Index Score /101Delta AirLines86.7%494333323.08.92Hawaiian Airlines87.7%115333222.58.53Horizon Airlines83.5%17433122.58.44Alaska Airlines77.5%211333223.08.15JetBlue65.1%665333322.57.7
Taking the top spot is Delta, scoring highly as it has the second-highest percentage of arrivals on time (86.7%) and a relatively low number of complaints, 494 from January to June of 2021.
Coming in second is Hawaiian Airlines. Based in Honolulu, it is the tenth-largest commercial airline in the US. Despite coming second overall, it is the most punctual airline with 87.7% of flights leaving on time. However, it is let down by the lack of inflight entertainment, only scoring two out of five.
The 5 best international airlines around the world
RankAirlineComplaints Jan-June 2021Staff Service (/5)Meals (/5)Seat Comfort (/5)Inflight Entertainment (/5)Maximum Baggage Allowance (kg)Airline Index Score /101Ana All Nippon Airways345444239.62Singapore Airlines234444309.53Korean Air Lines214444239.24Japan Air Lines Company454444239.25Qatar Airways2674444259.0
Based in Tokyo, Ana All Nippon Airways is the largest airline in Japan by both revenue and passenger numbers. It ranks the highest in customer-rated staff service, the only airline in our list to score full marks in our airline index for this factor. It also has a relatively low number of complaints at 34.
Singapore Airlines ranks number two due to its high baggage allowance of 30 kilos, a low number of complaints (23), and high seat comfort, having won awards for their aircraft seating. Singapore Airlines scores four out of five for every category in our index, so it’s no surprise this carrier comes second in our ranking as the best international carrier.
The 5 worst international airlines around the world
RankAirlineComplaints Jan-June 2021Staff Service (/5)Meals (/5)Seat Comfort (/5)Inflight Entertainment (/5)Maximum Baggage Allowance (kg)Airline Index Score /101Viva Air Colombia121111203.42VivaAerobusS272111153.63Volaris Airlines3792221104.04Ryanair33322104.25Interjet4902221254.6
The low-cost airline Viva Air Colombia is named the worst airline in the world. This carrier scores one out of five in our index for meals, seat comfort, and inflight entertainment due to the fact that few amenities are offered to customers free of charge. Although it did receive the lowest number of complaints overall.
Based at Monterrey International Airport in Mexico, VivaAerobus Airline carries passengers internally as well as operates international flights to cities in the US. It scores one out of five in our index for both inflight entertainment and meals and two out of five for staff service.  
The full report can be seen here.

Qatar Airways Immediately Stops Flights from Five African Countries Aviation Feature, Aviation News

The airline will, however, continue to accept passengers for travel into these countries in-line with current restrictions.
Qatar Airways destinations stopped at these destinations due to the Omicron variant:
Luanda (LAD), Angola
Maputo (MPM), Mozambique
Johannesburg (JNB), South Africa
Capetown (CPT), South Africa
Durban (DUR), South Africa
Lusaka (LUN), Zambia
Harare (HRE), Zimbabwe
These restrictions will remain in place until further guidance is received from the World Health Organization (WHO). The situation will remain under review on a daily basis as new information becomes available.

Jamaica Announces New Air Services from Stockholm to Montego Bay Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Hon. Edmund Bartlett, Minister of Tourism, said: “We are delighted with VING’s decision to resume direct flights to Jamaica next winter. We are encouraged by the tour operator’s trust in our destination, and their charter service will significantly increase Swedish visitors, who usually stay on the island for 14 nights. He continued, ‘since reopening our borders last summer, our destination has continued to welcome visitors safely and seamlessly. We are prepared and resilient and have been meticulous in our preparations for visitors in the post-COVID-19 world. Jamaica’s tourism sector continues to lead the recovery efforts for the island’s economy, and I am pleased to report that we are making steady progress towards recovering stronger.”
Donovan White, Director of Tourism, agreed: “It is safe to say that tourism is steadily rebounding and the demand for Jamaica is high. We are very pleased that tour operators such as VING believe in destination Jamaica and we look forward to welcoming their passengers, to enjoy a truly unforgettable Jamaican experience in an environment which is safe, seamless and secure.”
Claes Pellvik, Nordic Head of Communication, Nordic Leisure Travel Group, said: “Nordic Leisure Travel Group is happy to come back to Jamaica again with non-stop flights Stockholm-Montego Bay for the upcoming winter season 22/23, especially since our previous customer feedback has always been excellent for our Jamaica program. What is new is that we will operate our brand-new Airbus A330-900neo from our own Sunclass Airlines. This state-of-the-art aircraft will reduce CO2 emissions by -23%, and at the same time enhance the passenger experience. We see Jamaica as being a perfectly positioned destination for the future with its focus on well-being, a vast selection of interesting activities and culture to explore, and a fantastic hotel product on offer.”
Jamaica has been welcoming back Swedish visitors since borders reopened in June 2020. All travelers aged 12 and over need to show proof of a negative antigen test performed by an accredited lab within three days of travelling. Home tests are not accepted. Travelers also need to complete a simple travel authorization form before they arrive, which is accessible through 
Jamaica’s extensive health and safety protocols, developed in conjunction with authorities across the health and tourism sectors, were among the first to receive the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Safe Travels recognition.

Iberia Advance Passenger Information Through New Partnership Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Iberia and Kyte – the aviation sector technology company that offers a white label API to airlines as a SaaS – have today announced the signing of an agreement.
The Kyte API is a modern and easy to implement tool that allows travel industry distributors to connect directly to all of the inventory of the Spanish airline and access its products in an agile, easy and efficient way.
This agreement forms part of the mission of Kyte to offer advanced sales technology in the retail channel to airlines and, at the same time, help them to transform the way in which they fix prices and distribute their products to clients, both through the direct and indirect channels. 
Alice Ferrari, CEO of Kyte comments: “We are very proud to be one of the first providers of an API to an airline leader such as Iberia.
“Our objective is to help airlines to realise their vision to modernize all of the reservation experience. We offer to airlines new and easy to use tools that are designed to meet the current expectations for online sales. All of this without compromising the level of sophistication necessary to manage the complexity and security needs that the aviation industry demands.
“Our intention is to develop a strong and long-term relationship with Iberia and see how they take advantage of the great opportunities that NDC offers.”
Miguel Henales, Digital Business Director of Iberia, adds: “The pandemic restrictions have increased consumer expectations and accelerated digital tendencies. Thanks to the technology of NDC we can greater satisfy the needs of clients and offer them an optimum service at the time of reserving and then managing their trip.
“Our final objective is to attract more partners to our NDC channel, offering a modern connection like the Kyte API that allows a better distribution of our product.”

La Réunion Gets Up to Speed on Seychelles Ahead of Air Austral New Flight Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Heads of product and directors of the island’s travel trade companies came together for refresher training sessions on the destination’s selling points, COVID-19 health entry requirements, stay conditions for travelers, as well as a brief on product developments within the destination since the re-opening of the Seychelles border. The sessions, conducted by Bernadette Honore, Tourism Seychelles’ Senior Marketing Executive in La Réunion, aimed to build up momentum and interest among the French department’s travel trade decision makers as well as building up confidence in the destination ahead of the flights to Seychelles next month.
“Throughout this pandemic, we have been continuously updating travel trade professionals on the destination, especially in regard to the COVID-19 health regulations and stay conditions for travelers.  Having a one-to-one contact with La Réunion travel trade’s decision makers helps to rebuild the relationships, which our business entails, and mostly importantly, to instill their confidence to sell. Travel trade professionals are key partners in increasing airline load factors. Gaining their commitment to restart sales to Seychelles at this point in time is crucial for the destination and a rebound of visitor traffic from La Réunion to Seychelles,” said Ms. Honore.
Air Austral representatives were also present during the two sessions, showcasing the airline’s new fleet of aircraft assigned to regional routes including Seychelles and encouraging the professionals present to push sales to the Seychelles.
Both sessions were animated with questions, especially about the health and entry requirements and stay conditions for travelers.
At the end of the sessions, La Réunion’s travel trade professionals expressed their satisfaction with having received adequate information to not only pass on to their clientèle, but most importantly, give them the reassurance to travel to Seychelles.
The training sessions are part of marketing activities organized by Tourism Seychelles in Réunion. Televised spots will also be aired. The resumption of flights on December 19 will also provide opportunities for residents of the sister Vanilla Island to travel to Seychelles to join cruise vessels sailing within the archipelago’s waters and to explore the Inner and Outer Islands.
To note that 5,791 visitors from La Réunion visited the Seychelles in 2019 prior to the pandemic.

47 Flights in One Day for Montego Bay Aviation Feature, Aviation News

He noted that since the reopening of Jamaica’s borders to international travel in June 2020, “this is the highest number of visitors to arrive at the Sangster International Airport in any single day since COVID-19 devastated the tourism industry worldwide and grounded international flights.”
Minister Bartlett said airlines have been showing renewed interest in flying to Jamaica and last week, in the wake of the Government lifting some COVID-related restrictions for visitors, the numbers have been rising steadily.
“We are not yet into the traditional high season but there is an eagerness by travelers to get away from their restricted environments of the past 18 months and the fact that Jamaica has not lost its appeal, we are seeing the bookings moving upwards at a welcome rate,” the tourism minister said.
Regarding airlines, new gateways to Jamaica are being added to the existing slate. Since the beginning of November, Jamaica has welcomed United States (US)-based Frontier Airlines, which commenced flights from Atlanta, Georgia, and Orlando, Florida; Eurowings Discover coming out of Frankfurt, Germany; American Airlines’ new service out of Philadelphia; and the return of Air Transat out of Canada.
Meanwhile, Regional Director of Tourism at the Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB), Odette Dyer noted there is growing interest among travel agents about Jamaica’s preparedness in the wake of COVID-19. “We had some large familiarization groups last week, coinciding with several on-island activities, including the Jamaica Invitational Pro-Am in Montego Bay, so they were able to leave knowing that we are fully prepared,” she said.

Jamaica Welcomes New Service from American Airlines Aviation Feature, Aviation News

Representatives from Jamaica, American Airlines, and Philadelphia International Airport gathered to welcome passengers traveling to Jamaica on the new flight.These new flights to Jamaica from Philadelphia provide additional convenient options for visitors and Caribbean nationals from the Northeastern U.S. to travel to island.It is an ideal time of year to impact Jamaica’s high season arrivals.

“We are very pleased to welcome this new service from our largest air passenger carrier, American Airlines,” said Director of Tourism, Jamaica, Donovan White. “These new flights to Jamaica from Philadelphia provide additional convenient options for visitors and Caribbean nationals from the Northeastern U.S. to travel to island. With a large diaspora population living in this region, it will now be easier than ever for them to fly right into Kingston. We’re further grateful to American for inaugurating this additional service at the ideal time of year to impact Jamaica’s high season arrivals.”
Representatives from Jamaica, American Airlines, and Philadelphia International Airport gathered at the gate to welcome passengers traveling to Jamaica on the new flight, including dozens of travel agents being hosted for fam trips by the Jamaica Tourist Board. In addition to the ribbon-cutting, all were entertained with the upbeat sounds of Jamaican music and complimentary Jamaica back packs. Complimentary light bites, including traditional Jamaican patties, were also catered from Irie Entrée, an authentic Jamaican restaurant located in Philadelphia, giving travelers a taste of the island. Travelers further sampled Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain Coffee.
According to Jim Tyrrell, Chief Revenue Officer, Philadelphia International Airport, Kingston is a destination that meets the criteria for what today’s travelers are seeking.
“As passengers have resumed their travel, the top destinations we’ve seen people traveling to are those that have
sun, sand and beaches and also those where they can visit their families and friends,” said Tyrell. “Kingston checks all the boxes. It is beautiful and also was one of the top unserved family and friends’ destinations out of Philadelphia. Now they can fly out of a hometown airport and get to the friends and beaches much quicker.”
Upon landing in Jamaica, Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) welcomed the flight with a traditional water cannon salute and flag salute, with the Jamaican and US flags waving alongside each other in the cockpit of the plane. Officials from the Jamaican Tourist Board, Ministry of Tourism and Jamaica Hotel and
Tourism Association were also in attendance to greet disembarking travelers while a high-spirited live musical performance took place in the background. Gifts were presented to the pilots and crews of the flights, in true island manner, to show appreciation of their service during welcome receptions.
American Airlines’ non-stop flights to Kingston (KIN) are now operating three times weekly Mon/Thurs/Sun from Philadelphia (PHL) departing at 9:40AM and arriving in Kingston (KIN) at 1:32PM. This new service is American
Airlines’ second nonstop route from PHL to Jamaica, complementing the carrier’s existing non-stop daily flights to Montego Bay. Flight schedules are subject to change without notice, so travelers are encouraged to check for the most updated schedule.
As of this month, American Airlines has up gauged the aircraft utilized on flights to Montego Bay (MBJ) from their major city hubs of Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), and Philadelphia (PHL) to utilize their new wide-bodied Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for these operations. The carrier operates multiple daily non-stop flights to the destination from several U.S. cities including Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Philadelphia (PHL), Chicago (ORD), Boston (BOS), Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW, and Charlotte (CLT).