News for Europe/MEA

UK Government to end on arrival testing, pre-departure requirements for travellers from China

20 March, 2023

UK's Department of Health and Social Care, Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and Department for Transport (DfT) announced (17-Mar-2023) UKHSA's voluntary on-arrival testing programme of travellers arriving from China to London Heathrow Airport will end on 17-Mar-2023. Additionally, travellers flying from mainland China to England will no longer be required to provide proof of a negative pre-departure test, effective 05-Apr-2023. The UK Government stated the removal of measures comes as China has "increased information sharing regarding testing, vaccination and genomic sequencing results, providing greater transparency on their domestic disease levels". [more - original PR]

Air Mauritius to move from Heathrow to Gatwick, increase London frequency in Oct-2023

20 March, 2023

Air Mauritius announced (17-Mar-2023) plans to relocate from London Heathrow Airport to London Gatwick Airport, effective 29-Oct-2023. The airline will also increase Mauritius-London frequency from five times weekly to daily from the same date. The carrier will operate the service with A330-900 and A350-900 aircraft. [more - original PR]

Delta Air Lines to launch New York JFK-London Gatwick service from 10-Apr-2023

17 March, 2023

London Gatwick Airport announced (16-Mar-2023) Delta Air Lines plans to launch daily New York JFK-London Gatwick service from 10-Apr-2023. According to OAG, the service will be operated using Boeing 767-300 equipment. British Airways, JetBlue Airways, Norse Atlantic Airways and Norse Atlantic UK are also scheduled to operate the route. [more - original PR]

Emirates Airline to deploy A380 equipment on Dubai-Taipei service from 01-Aug-2023

16 March, 2023

Emirates Airline scheduled to upgauge equipment on daily Dubai-Taipei service to 516 seat A380-800 aircraft from 01-Aug-2023, according to OAG. The service is currently operated using 367 seat Boeing 777-300ER equipment. No other carriers operate the route.

Ethiopian Airlines to resume Kuala Lumpur service in Mar-2023

16 March, 2023

Ethiopian Airlines announced (15-Mar-2023) plans to commence four times weekly Addis Ababa-Singapore-Kuala Lumpur service with Boeing 787 on 25-Mar-2023. The airline previously served Kuala Lumpur from 2012 to 2021. [more - original PR]

Air France KLM: Air France adjusts winter schedule 2023/24

16 March, 2023

Air France-KLM stated (15-Mar-2023) Air France adjusted its winter schedule for 2023/24 on 14-Mar-2023. Air France services between Paris CDG and Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, Malé and Colombo will be suspended. [more - original PR]

Emirates increases operations across multiple regions

15 March, 2023

Emirates Airline announced (14-Mar-2023) it has increased operations by 31% (total ASKs) since the start of FY2023 and will increase frequency on the following services:

  • Europe:
    • Amsterdam: From 14 to 19 weekly from 02-Apr-2023; 
    • Athens: Addition of a daily seasonal frequency to serve summer demand from 01-Jun-2022 to 30-Sep-2023;
    • Bologna: Five times weekly to daily from 01-May-2023; 
    • Budapest: Five times weekly to daily from 01-Jun-2023
    • London: Start of second daily frequency to London Stansted Airport on 01-May-2023. This will take Emirates London operations to 11 daily frequencies, including six times daily to London Heathrow Airport and three times daily to London Gatwick Airport;
    • Venice: Five to six times weekly from 26-Mar-2023, increasing to daily from 01-Jun-2023;
  • Africa:
    • Cairo: From 25 to 28 times weekly by 29-Oct-2023;
    • Dar es Salaam: Five times weekly to daily from 01-May-2023;
    • Entebbe: Six times weekly to daily flights starting 01-Jul-2023;
  • Australia and New Zealand:
    • Emirates nonstop Australia flights will resume to pre-pandemic levels to Sydney from 01-May-2023, Melbourne from 26-Mar-2023 and Brisbane on 01-Jun-2023;
    • Brisbane: Additional daily frequency starting 01-Jun-2023 will take Emirates to 14 flights per week to Brisbane;
    • Christchurch: Resumption of daily service from Dubai via Sydney from 26-Mar-2023;
    • Melbourne: Addition of third daily frequency to Melbourne from 26-Mar-2023 via Singapore. This adds capacity to Melbourne and re-establishes connectivity between Singapore and Melbourne. The other two daily flights from Melbourne fly nonstop to Dubai;
    • Sydney: Addition of third daily nonstop frequency from 01-May-2023.
  • East Asia:
    • Bangkok: Addition of fifth daily frequency from 01-Aug-2023;
    • Beijing: To commence daily nonstop Boeing 777-300ER service from 15-Mar-2023, upgrading to an A380 from 01-May-2023. A second daily frequency will commence from 01-Sep-2023 with A380 aircraft;
    • Hong Kong: Addition of a daily nonstop frequency from 29-Mar-2023. This increases Emirates' operations to 14 weekly flights including its existing daily Dubai-Bangkok-Hong Kong service;
    • Kuala Lumpur: Addition of a third daily frequency from 01-Jun-2023;
    • Tokyo: Resumption of service to Tokyo Haneda Airport with daily flights on 02-Apr-2023. This takes Emirates Japan operations to 21 weekly frequencies, including a daily A380 service to Tokyo Narita and a daily Boeing 777 service to Osaka. [more - original PR]

El Al signs LoI on launch of Tel Aviv-Melbourne service by Jun-2024

15 March, 2023

Victoria's Government and El Al signed (15-Mar-2023) a LoI to work together to secure nonstop Tel Aviv-Melbourne service by Jun-2024. The carrier is interested in operating three times weekly on the route and adding 44,000 seats p/a. The service will mark the first time for an airline to operate nonstop between Israel and Australia. [more - original PR]

UK to begin implementing Electronic Travel Authorisation from Nov-2023

12 March, 2023

UK Visas and Immigration stated (09-Mar-2023) travellers who do not need a visa to come to the UK will soon be required to have an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA). The ETA will be electronically linked to travellers' passports and will be valid for two years. Travellers will not need an ETA if they have a British or Irish passport; permission to live, work or study in the UK; or a visa to enter the UK. Travellers with an ETA may visit the UK for up to six months for tourism, visiting family and friends, business or study; for up to three months on the Creative Worker visa concession; or to transit through the UK. Nationals of Qatar will require an ETA from 15-Nov-2023. Nationals of Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE will require an ETA from 22-Feb-2024. More countries will be added to the scheme in future. [more - original PR]

Virgin Atlantic Airways officially joins SkyTeam

3 March, 2023

Virgin Atlantic Airways joined (02-Mar-2023) SkyTeam at a signing ceremony in London, becoming the alliance's first UK member airline. Virgin Atlantic customers will benefit from booking every SkyTeam member flight on a single ticket, checking in with baggage just once through their final destination. The move builds on the carrier's 2019 trans-Atlantic JV partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM and is expected to enhance its trans-Atlantic network to and from London Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport, as previously reported by CAPA. Codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines, with options for more codeshares to follow later in 2023. SkyTeam CEO and MD Patrick Roux stated: "We are delighted to welcome Virgin Atlantic into SkyTeam, taking an already close relationship to new heights and elevating our customer offering with more routes to exciting destinations and access to aspirational airport lounges... The UK is a key market for SkyTeam and with Virgin Atlantic on board, customers can look forward to more opportunities to earn and redeem miles as they fly, enjoying the iconic travel experience that makes our newest member a globally loved airline". [more - original PR]

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