Analysis for Europe/MEA
We have learnt a lot in the last year, but it does now appear that we may be successfully descending from the heights of a pandemic that hit the world by surprise and changed the way we live our lives, do business and even consider our own futures. The year ahead is one that we can approach with our eyes wide open with intelligence from 2021 helping to bring added optimism that travel will take stronger steps forward over the 12 months ahead.
As we enter 2022, the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index shows record-breaking levels of travel freedom for top-ranking nations Japan and Singapore, but also the widest recorded global mobility gap since the index’s inception 17 years ago.
The study shows that while citizens of upper middle- and high-income countries have achieved visa-free access to most nations, citizens of lower middle- and low-income countries, as well as ones with higher fragility scores, enjoy far less travel freedom because they are deemed to be high-risk when it comes to security, asylum, and overstay.
The progress of the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, and most notably governments' response to it, has already influenced travel’s recovery. The threat of this new variant had been far from clear with initial information focussing on it appearing more contagious than earlier variants and suggestions that vaccines would not be as effective against it.
Sustainability is increasingly becoming a competitive factor in choosing service providers for business travel in Germany as local industry recovers from an all-time low
A survey of German travel managers has found sustainability is increasingly becoming a competitive factor in choosing service providers for business travel. A very high majority of commercial travel managers (90%) and almost all of them in the public sector (97%) reported they expect sustainability criteria will develop into a competitive factor that has some impact on choosing service providers, according to latest research from VDR, Germany’s business travel association.
Charting the trends – European summer holiday season brought improvements in passenger traffic, but ‘cannot be called a recovery’ says ACI Europe
It all seemed pretty normal to the naked eye over the European peak summer holiday period. Looking up to the sky numerous aircraft trials fought for space with the clouds, airport departure boards filled with flights as the sound of aircraft noise became a welcome relief to the silence of lockdown. However, what appeared to be a recovery still looked very different to the world before COVID-19 arrived.
Across 2021, airline CEOs from all parts of the world have spoken openly at the monthly CAPA Live virtual summit about air travel, the coronavirus crisis and the path to recovery. To say 2020 and 2021 have been a challenge for these professionals is a major understatement and each shares the journey for their respective airlines through one of the biggest crises to hit the world.
Less than a one in a million risk – testing ‘significantly mitigates the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission during airline travel’
Real-world data from nearly 10,000 air travellers has provided further backing to pre-flight testing as a key part of the air travel recovery process at time that more countries are starting to consider revised travel requirements. The research from US major Delta Air Lines suggests that the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while travelling if all passengers have tested negative 72 hours in advance of your flight is less than 0.1%.
British Airways is on its ‘most important journey yet’ as it launches new BA Better World sustainability programme
British Airways has launched BA Better World, a new sustainability programme that it describes as its ‘most important journey yet’. To highlight the programme’s ambitions it has partnered with Airbus to paint one of its A320neos in the new sustainability programme colours. The modern, fuel-efficient A320neo has 20% less fuel burn & CO2 emissions and 50% less noise emissions than the previous generation A320ceo.
Air travel demand is on the rise across the globe, but European rules confusion is ‘wasting advantages of Digital Covid Certificate’
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that both international and domestic travel demand showed significant momentum in Jul-2021 compared to Jun-2021, but demand remained far below pre-pandemic levels as extensive government-imposed travel restrictions continue to delay recovery in international markets.
Africa, the continent often described as being the last frontier for air travel development, but one that has seen bitterly slow progress with government intervention, visa restrictions, high taxation and poor infrastructure among the many problems that have inhibited growth.