Analysis for Europe/MEA
Almost a year and a half into the pandemic, the best and worst places to be in the COVID-19 era are increasingly defined by one thing, according to Bloomberg: “normalisation” as what has been the biggest vaccination drive in history of the world slowly enabling countries to relax restrictions and dismantle the border blocks that have drained the life out of the travel and tourism and hospitality sectors.
Recovery of European tourism ‘in sight this summer’ though international travel will still get no better than hitting half pre-pandemic levels after 'catastrophic' start to 2021
Improvements in vaccination rates and the introduction of the EU Digital COVID Certificate is providing hope for a tourism rebound in Europe over the summer months with intra-European trips expected to account for over 80% of Europe’s travel in 2021.
Emirates re-opens first class lounge to meet ‘growing volume of premium customers’ at its Dubai International hub; new payment and retail solutions set it up for the recovery
Emirates Airline has re-opened its dedicated first class lounge at Dubai International airport’s Concourse B to serve the growing volume of premium customers travelling from and through Emirates’ hub, as more markets around the world ease restrictions and put in place protocols that enable international travel. The news supports a positive trend in the slow recovery of corporate travel.
Heathrow’s Covid-induced fall from among the world’s busiest airports has at least opened the door to new arrivals
London Heathrow was one of the busiest airports in the world before the pandemic, but remains outside the top 50 in terms of weekly seats. It had been one of the world’s most constrained airports for years with its two runways officially at full capacity, but for around a year it has actually been operating using just one of them as the COVID-19 pandemic and the heavy travel restrictions has reduced demand.
Many believe that the solution to crowded roads in urban centres is to take to the air. Urban air mobility is certainly the popular thinkers answer and there are a plethora of concepts for small and sustainable aircraft to provide mass transportation for intra-city, short-haul and even regional travel.
SWISS opens bookings for new premium economy product offering ‘greater privacy and enhanced inflight comfort’ for passengers
SWISS is aiming to provide a little extra comfort and offer a few further travel benefits to its regular travellers with the introduction of a new premium economy offering onboard the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft that serve its long-haul routes. The European flag carrier will debut the new cabin offering in the fourth quarter of this year and has opened bookings for premium economy travel across the entire Boeing 777-300ER route network from Apr-2022.
Qatar Airways reveals its new business class suite as Boeing 787-9 fleet takes its long-awaited bow some 18 months after delivery
It is not often that it takes 18 months for an airline to reveal to the world the latest interior innovations that come with the arrival of a new aircraft type into its fleet. In the case of Qatar Airways and the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner that is exactly the unusual case as the Gulf carrier introduced the variant into scheduled operations on the Doha-Milan route on 25-Jun-2021.
Second guessing the recovery of business travel – levels remain uncertain but sector’s return will be key to wider economic recovery
The lockdown of billions of people globally put into stark relief the price of stopping business travel. “Only when travel was taken away did its value to worldwide trade become clear, both in terms of disruptions and missed opportunities,” says the introduction to ‘The Future of Business Travel’, a new report from business aviation specialist VistaJet and WSJ Intelligence.
Business and leisure travellers share some similar sentiments towards digital health passports and travel technology, but there are also some clear differences in their views
New research from travel technology specialist Amadeus has indicated that both business and leisure travellers see digital health passports as a vital tool in opening up travel. However, their views on use of data, brands and technology adoption are varied and that will remain a challenge to tailor the passenger experience and install confidence back into travel.
Over the first six months of 2021 airline CEOs from across 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.