News for Europe/MEA

Virgin Australia and United Airlines launch partnership

24 May, 2022

Virgin Australia and United Airlines launched (24-May-2022) their partnership on 24-May-2022. The partnership for Virgin Australia will triple the airline's reach into the Americas. Virgin Australia recently announced a new partnership with Qatar Airways and will resume international services to Bali on 15-Jun-2022 and Queenstown in Dec-2022. The airline already operates daily to Fiji. United Airlines will expand its Australian services from 02-Jun-2022, with the return of the Melbourne-San Francisco route. [more - original PR]

Spain eases COVID-19 entry measures for non-EU travellers

23 May, 2022

Spain's Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism updated (21-May-2022) its COVID-19 travel restrictions, to make entry measures for third country travellers consistent with those for travellers from EU and Schengen countries. Effective 21-May-2022, all travellers will be able to enter Spain by providing at least one of the following certificates:

  • Ministry of Health accepted vaccination certificate;
  • Negative PCR or antigen test, taken within 72 or 24 hours prior to departure to Spain;
  • Authorised recovery certificate, valid for 180 days, issued at least 11 days after the confirmation of infection; 
  • Children under the age of 12 years are exempt from presenting any type of certificate. [more - original PR - Spanish]

Qantas Airways launches ‘fly now, pay later’ payment option

20 May, 2022

Qantas Airways launched (19-May-2022) a 'fly now, pay later' payment option on 19-May-2022, with passengers able to book domestic and international flights on using buy now, pay later provider Zip and earn Qantas Points. Frequent Flyers will also be able to choose to earn Qantas Points through Zip's loyalty programme, Zip Rewards, when making some everyday purchases providing another way for members to maximise the points they earn. Qantas Loyalty CEO Olivia Wirth said this is the first time the airline has partnered with a buy now, pay later provider to offer the payment option for flight bookings. [more - original PR]

Delta Air Lines and Sky Express enter interline agreement

20 May, 2022

Delta Air Lines and Sky Express entered (19-May-2022) an interline agreement to increase connectivity between North America and Greece, effective immediately. Delta Air Lines passengers flying from North America are now able to travel on Delta services to Athens, then connect to 34 destinations across Greece and Cyprus via Sky Express on a single ticket, with baggage transferred to the final destination. Delta Airlines SVP alliances Perry Cantarutti stated: "Greece is one of the most sought-after destinations this summer for American travellers and with trade and tourism flows increasing between our countries, Delta's partnership with SKY express gives our customers more versatility when it comes to planning the perfect Greek getaway". Sky Express commercial director Yiannis Lidakis stated: "With one of the youngest fleets and an unrivalled network, this arrangement with Delta will allow customers across the US to connect to the magical charm of the Greek islands". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

Japan Airlines to operate 44% of planned intl schedules in Jul-2022, 68% in Aug/Sep-2022

19 May, 2022

Japan Airlines (JAL) announced (18-May-2022) its international flight network for Europe, Melbourne and Taipei in Jul-2022, as well as flight plan for North America, Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Hong Kong in Aug-2022 and Sep-2022. During Jul-2022, JAL's international operation rate will be 44%, increasing to 68% in Aug-2022 and Sep-2022. Key highlights are as follows:

  • Tokyo Haneda-Sydney: Additional frequencies in Jul-2022;
  • Tokyo Narita-Boston, Tokyo Narita-Vancouver, Tokyo Narita-Bengaluru: Resuming in Aug-2022, including daily on Boston service;
  • Europe: Continue to operate detours due to the situation in Russia and Ukraine;
  • Tokyo Haneda-Helsinki: Increase to four times weekly in Jul-2022;
  • Tokyo Haneda-London: Increase to 11 times weekly in Aug-2022. [more - original PR]

Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways expand codeshare partnership

18 May, 2022

Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways expanded (17-May-2022) their codeshare partnership, with plans to add 34 destinations to the existing 62 from 25-May-2022. Customers flying on Malaysia Airlines' new Kuala Lumpur-Doha service will have access to 62 codeshare destinations within Qatar Airways' network to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Qatar Airways customers travelling from Doha to Kuala Lumpur can transfer to 34 Malaysia Airlines' destinations, including their entire domestic network and key markets in Asia, subject to governmental approval. The enhanced cooperation will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits, allowing Qatar Airways' Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios points when flying on Malaysia Airlines, with similar benefits for Malaysia Airlines Enrich members when travelling on Qatar Airways' services. [more - original PR]

Sky Express and Royal Jordanian enter cooperation

17 May, 2022

Sky Express entered (16-May-2022) into partnership with Royal Jordanian, enhancing interconnectivity from the Middle East to Greece's domestic network. Under the agreement, passengers on Royal Jordanian services from the Middle East and Asia to Athens International Airport will be able to connect to 34 Greek destinations served by Sky Express. [more - original PR]

ALAFCO delivers first of four A350s to ITA

13 May, 2022

ALAFCO delivered (12-May-2022) the first of four A350 aircraft to Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA Airways), at Rome Fiumicino Airport on 11-May-2022. The aircraft is configured in a two class layout with 33 seats in business and 301 in economy. The lease period for all four aircraft is 12 years. The carrier will commence service with the aircraft in early Jun-2022, on its new routes from Rome to Los Angeles, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - Airbus]

SWISS 'Air Rail' service to link Zurich Airport with Munich

12 May, 2022

SWISS announced (11-May-2022) plans to expand its partnership with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) under a new 'SWISS Air Rail' service. The carrier will add a Zurich Airport-Munich Hauptbahnhof (Main Station) train service, which will offer six daily connections on SBB trains, effective Jul-2022. SWISS first and business class travellers will travel in SBB's first class, and receive access to the Munich Hauptbahnhof DB Lounge, along with HON Circle and Senator status customers. Points for the Miles & More loyalty programme can also be earned on the SWISS Air Rail ticket. The rail ticket will be included in the airfare and can be booked online or through a travel agency. In addition, the carrier outlined plans to expand its Geneva-Zurich Airport service from summer 2022, to enable its airline passengers to join or leave the train in Lausanne, Fribourg or Bern. The Lugano-Zurich Airport service will be expanded to include a boarding or leaving option in Bellinzona. SWISS outlined plans to also improve baggage collection and delivery services on the Air Rail product, in collaboration with SBB. [more - original PR]

easyJet, Neos partner for connecting services between Italy, US and Dominican Republic

12 May, 2022

easyJet announced (11-May-2022) a partnership with Neos to improve connectivity between Italy's southern regions and the main non-European markets served by Neos. From 16-Jun-2022, easyJet will provide connecting services from Catania, Naples and Palermo to Neos' passengers departing for New York JFK and Santo Domingo, with a stopover at Milan Malpensa. The partnership will initially operate as a trial phase to validate and improve integration and flow exchange processes between easyJet and Neos, with plans to extend the collaboration to other routes and destinations in future. [more - original PR]

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