News for Europe/MEA

UK Transport Secretary: Aviation sector must 'run services properly' or provide compensation

2 June, 2022

UK's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps held (01-Jun-2022) a meeting with leaders from airports, airlines and ground handling companies regarding the recent "exceptional disruption seen across UK airports" due to COVID-19 affected staff shortages. Mr Shapps highlighted:

  • The UK Government is taking steps to boost consumer rights, including recently consulting on using Brexit freedoms to enhance consumer protections, and committing to publish an aviation passenger charter to ensure consumers can access information about their rights in one place;
  • New protections include enhancing the UK Civil Aviation Authority's powers to enforce aviation consumer protection laws;
  • The government and aviation industry will form a working group ahead of the 2022 summer holidays to work through issues of shared concern.

Mr Shapps stated: "I also understand the resourcing strains on the aviation sector but it does not excuse poor planning and overbooking flights that they cannot service... Run services properly and according to schedule or provide swift, appropriate compensation. We do not want to see a repeat of this over the summer - the first post COVID-19 summer season - and will be meeting again in the coming weeks to understand the progress that is being made". [more - original PR]

KLM presents new 'Premium Comfort' cabin class

30 May, 2022

KLM presented (27-May-2022) its new 'Premium Comfort' intermediate cabin class, targeted towards business and leisure passengers. Premium comfort seats will be cheaper than 'World Business Class' and will feature a footrest and increased recline and space compared to economy class seats. Passengers will also benefit from more flexible baggage arrangements and SkyPriority privileges, including preferential check in and boarding. The capacity of the class will vary from between 21 and 28 seats, with reconfiguration to be carried out by KLM Engineering & Maintenance at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The first aircraft equipped with the new class will operate on routes to North America from the end of Jul-2022. [more - original PR]

Qantas Airways adjusts group international network

27 May, 2022

Qantas Airways announced (26-May-2022) the following adjustments across its group international network:

  • Group International continues to see strong demand;
  • Group International capacity remains unchanged at just under 50% of pre coronavirus levels by the end of the Q4FY2022 and rising to around 70% by the end of the Q1FY2023;
  • QF1 will reroute from Sydney-Darwin-London to operate Sydney-Singapore-London from 19-Jun-2022 and switch from a Boeing 787 back to an A380 service;
  • Following recent relaxation of New Zealand border restrictions, Qantas and Jetstar's trans-Tasman flying has ramped up significantly;
  • Qantas doubled frequency on services to Auckland from Melbourne and Sydney and is operating some flights from Brisbane with A330s;
  • Jetstar has resumed flights on all Australia to Auckland markets and will restart on remaining Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington markets in the next few weeks;
  • Strengthening demand for travel to Bali has seen Jetstar restart services from all seven Australian cities it flew from pre coronavirus and will be close to pre coronavirus levels of capacity on the majority of routes by the end of Jun-2022. [more - original PR]

LEVEL and Qatar Airways enter codeshare partnership

27 May, 2022

LEVEL and Qatar Airways entered (26-May-2022) a codeshare agreement to expand Qatar Airways' connectivity to the US via LEVEL's Barcelona hub. Through the agreement, Qatar Airways will codeshare on LEVEL's services from Barcelona to New York, San Francisco, Boston and Los Angeles. The partnership will later be expanded to include LEVEL's Barcelona-Buenos Aires service. In addition, Qatar Airways' Privilege Club members will also be able to redeem Avios points on all codeshare services operated by LEVEL. [more - original PR - Spanish]

Air France-KLM launches EUR2.256bn capital increase to repay state aid

25 May, 2022

Air France-KLM launched (24-May-2022) a capital increase with preferential subscription rights to existing shareholders, to raise EUR2.256 billion through the issuance of 1928 million new shares. The measures aim to strengthen the group's balance sheet and accelerate its repayment of French state aid. Key details include:

  • Around EUR1.7 billion to be allocated to the repayment of the COVID-19 recapitalisation aid, granted by the French State. The remainder will be used to reduce the group's debt;
  • The group confirmed its objective to reduce its net debt to EBITDA ratio, to reach between 2.0x and 2.5x by 2023;
  • The French State, holding a stake of 28.6%, plans to participate in the rights issue to keep its shareholding unchanged; 
  • The Dutch State plans to maintain its 9.3% stake, provided it receives the necessary approvals from the Dutch Parliament in time;
  • CMA CGM will become a new reference shareholder and exclusive strategic partner for the cargo business. CMA CGM will invest up to EUR400 million to acquire a stake of up to 9%. China Eastern Airlines (9.6%) and Delta Air Lines (5.8%) will participate on a cash neutral basis through the sale of part of their rights to CMA CGM, representing EUR110.7 million;
  • The rights issue will occur between 27-May-2022 and 09-Jun-2022 at EUR1.17 per share, or three shares per existing share. 

Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith stated as recovery continues the group wants "to be in a position to seize any opportunity in a changing aviation sector and to be able to accelerate our environmental commitments". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - KLM]

Western Australia Government promotes working holidays

25 May, 2022

Western Australia's (WA) Government announced (24-May-2022) it is encouraging working holiday makers from overseas and interstate to 'stay and play' in WA with a series of promotional campaigns. Tourism WA's AUD850,000 (USD603,600) initiative is supported by the WA Government's AUD195 million (USD138.5 million) Reconnect WA package and aims to boost the seasonal workforce at key tourism destinations and regional locations. Promotional campaigns in the UK, Europe, Japan and South Korea will feature flight offers, incentives and working holiday packages. The domestic 'Paid Escape' campaign will target interstate working holiday makers. Eligible working holiday makers could also make an extra AUD2100 (USD1491) to work and travel in select regional locations through the WA Government's Regional Agriculture, Tourism and Hospitality Workers Travel and Accommodation Support Scheme. This includes an accommodation allowance of AUD40 (USD28) per night up to a maximum of six weeks for international working holiday makers or 12 weeks for Australians, along with a one-off allowance up to a maximum of AUD500 (USD355) to assist with travel costs. [more - original PR]

Condor launches Frankfurt-Los Angeles service

25 May, 2022

Condor commenced (24-May-2022) three times weekly Frankfurt-Los Angeles service on 24-May-2022. The carrier operates the route using Boeing 767 aircraft equipped with a three class cabin configuration. According to OAG, Lufthansa also operates the route and is scheduled to operate up to 13 weekly frequencies during the summer 2022 schedule. [more - original PR - German]

Air France and Delta Air Lines launch trans Atlantic shuttle service between New York and Paris

24 May, 2022

Air France and Delta Air Lines announced (23-May-2022) plans to launch a trans-Atlantic shuttle service from New York JFK to Paris Orly and Paris CDG, from Jun-2022. Under the agreement, the carriers will operate hourly frequencies from New York JFK from the late afternoon, and frequencies from both Paris airports every one to two hours during the day. Details include:

  • Air France:
    • Paris-CDG-New York JFK: Six times daily;
    • Paris Orly-New York-JFK: Daily;
    • Operated using Boeing 777-300 and A350 aircraft;
  • Delta Air Lines:
    • New York JFK-Paris CDG: Twice daily, using A330 aircraft;

Three daily Air France frequencies will feature its La Premiere cabin, while Delta's service will offer its Delta One and Delta Premium Select cabins. All nine frequencies will offer at least three classes of service. [more - original PR]

Belgium eases COVID-19 mask requirement and travel restrictions

24 May, 2022

Belgium's Federal Government lifted (23-May-2022) its COVID-19 face mask requirement and travel restrictions effective 23-May-2022. The face mask requirement will only remain mandatory in hospitals, surgeries and pharmacies. Non essential travel from outside the EU will no longer be banned, while COVID-19 testing on days one and seven after arrival, as well as quarantine measures are no longer mandatory. In addition, travellers are no longer required to provide a passenger locator form, or proof of a vaccination, recovery or test certificate. [more - original PR]

Perth Airport: Qantas Airways resumes Perth-London service

24 May, 2022

Perth Airport, via its official Facebook account, announced (23-May-2022) Qantas Airways resumed Perth-London service on 23-May-2022, following a two year hiatus. The service is scheduled to operate four times weekly. 

< 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ... 641 642 >