News for Europe/MEA

Air Serbia and Qatar Airways sign codeshare agreement

19 January, 2023

Air Serbia and Qatar Airways signed (18-Jan-2023) a comprehensive codeshare agreement, offering passengers seamless travel to more than 40 destinations, effective 01-Feb-2023. The codeshare network will include Qatar Airways' service between Belgrade and Doha, and to destinations beyond Doha including Adelaide, Baku, Brisbane, Tbilisi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Muscat, Nairobi, Perth, Seychelles, Singapore and Sydney. Air Serbia plans to extend coverage to Bangkok, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Phuket, Seoul, Tokyo, Yerevan, Zanzibar and other destinations, subject to obtaining necessary government approvals and once all conditions are fulfilled. Qatar Airways operates five times weekly Doha-Belgrade service. The codeshare agreement also allows passengers to use a single booking to continue travel to European countries such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia among others served by Air Serbia. Air Serbia CEO Jiří Marek said: "Through this cooperation, we believe that we will be able to jointly bring to Serbia more traffic and opportunities for trade and tourism, as well as to increase the traffic between the two hubs". Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker said: "This partnership will allow us to expand our footprint in the Central and Eastern European markets". [more - original PR - English/Serbian] [more - original PR]  

SWISS: Business travel between 60% and 70% of pre-pandemic level

17 January, 2023

SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx stated the carrier expects to reach between 80% and 85% of 2019 capacity during 2023, with aim to be at the same level or slightly above the pre-pandemic level in 2025 (, 16-Jan-2023). Mr Vranckx said business travel figures are around 60% to 70% of the pre-pandemic level, with recovery happening slightly slower than expected.

Air Mauritius and Virgin Australia sign codeshare agreement

13 January, 2023

Air Mauritius stated (12-Jan-2023) it recently signed a codeshare agreement with Virgin Australia for connections via Perth. Air Mauritius operates twice weekly Mauritius-Perth service, according to OAG. [more - original PR - French]

VINCI Airports handles 209.7m pax in 2022

13 January, 2023

VINCI Airports reported (12-Jan-2023) the following traffic highlights:

  • Three months ended Dec-2022:
    • Passengers: 56.2 million, -15.0% compared to 2019;
      • Portugal (ANA): 13.7 million, +3.6% ;
      • UK: 9.2 million, -21%;
      • Japan (Kansai Airports): 7.9 million -38%;
      • Mexico (OMA): 6.5 million, +8.7%;
      • Chile (Nuevo Pudahuel): 5.3 million, -10%;
      • France: 4.0 million, -17%;
      • Brazil (Salvador): 2.9 million, -13%;
      • US: 2.4 million, -9.5%;
      • Dominican Republic (Aerodom): 1.6 million, +11%;
      • Serbia (Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport): 1.4 million, +1.7%;
      • Cambodia (Cambodia Airports): 974,000, -65%;
      • Costa Rica: 346,000, +32;
    • Aircraft movements: 493,055, -13.7%;
  • 2022:
    • Passengers: 209.7 million, -25.2% compared to 2019;
      • Portugal (ANA): 55.7 million, -5.8%;
      • UK: 37.7 million, -29%;
      • Mexico (OMA): 23.2 million, +0.1%;
      • Japan (Kansai Airports): 22.2 million, -57%;
      • Chile (Nuevo Pudahuel): 18.7 million, -24%;
      • France: 16.0 million, -25%;
      • Brazil (Salvador): 11.2 million, -10%;
      • US: 9.7 million, -7.0%;
      • Dominican Republic (Aerodom): 6.0 million, +5.8%;
      • Serbia (Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport): 5.6 million, -8.9%;
      • Cambodia: 2.4 million, -80%;
      • Costa Rica: 1.4 million, +18%;
    • Aircraft movements: 1.9 million, -18.3%. [more - original PR]

Air India to commence four services to London Gatwick in Mar-2023

13 January, 2023

Air India announced (12-Jan-2023) plans to commence the following three times weekly services to London Gatwick on 26-Mar-2023, operating with Boeing 787-8 equipment:

  • Amritsar;
  • Ahmedabad;
  • Goa Dabolim;
  • Cochin.

The airline also plans to increase Delhi-London Heathrow frequency from twice daily to 17 times weekly and Mumbai-London Heathrow frequency from 12 times weekly to twice daily, commencing 26-Mar-2023. [more - original PR]

PLAY to connect Toronto to 15 European destinations from summer 2023

11 January, 2023

PLAY announced (10-Jan-2023) plans to launch services from Toronto John C Munro Hamilton International Airport to 15 European destinations from 22-Jun-2023. The carrier stated destinations will include Berlin Brandenburg Airport, Brussels Airport, Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, Dublin Airport, Gothenburg Landvetter Airport, London Stansted AirportParis Charles de Gaulle Airport, Reykjavik Keflavik International Airport and Stockholm. Toronto is the carrier's fifth destination in North America, with PLAY labelling Toronto's addition to the route network "a logical step" after the company's destinations in North America have exceeded expectations. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - Icelandic]

Emirates Airline enters first retrofitted A380 into service

9 January, 2023

Emirates Airline announced (06-Jan-2023) the first A380 retrofitted aircraft has re-entered service following extensive interior refurbishments under a USD2 billion retrofit programme. The aircraft (A6-EVM, MSN 264) was deployed on the Dubai-London Heathrow route and features 56 premium economy seats and lighter colour palettes in the first and business cabins. The aircraft is the first of 120 aircraft to be retrofitted under the USD2 billion retrofit programme, which is set to refurbish 67 A380s and 53 Boeing 777 aircraft. The programme is expected to be complete in 2025. [more - original

JetBlue Airways to increase New York JFK-London Heathrow frequency to twice daily from 25-Mar-2023

5 January, 2023

JetBlue Airways announced (05-Jan-2023) plans to increase New York JFK-London Heathrow frequency from daily to twice daily from 25-Mar-2023. According to OAG, the service is operated using A321neo equipment. American Airlines, British Airways, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways are also scheduled to operate the route. [more - original PR]

EU encourages COVID-19 testing requirements for passengers from China

5 January, 2023

Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU, via its official website, announced (04-Jan-2023) member states agreed on a coordinated precautionary approach in response to COVID-19 developments in China, covering the following:

  • Recommendation for all passengers on services to and from China to wear a medical mask, or FFP2/N95/KN95 respirators;
  • Advice to be issued to travellers coming from or destined for China, as well as to aircraft and airport personnel, regarding personal hygiene and health measures;
  • Member states are strongly encouraged to introduce a requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to be taken by passengers departing China to member states, within 48 hours prior to departure;
  • Member states are encouraged to complement these measures with:
    • Random testing of passengers arriving from China upon arrival, and the sequencing of all positive results;
    • Testing and sequencing of wastewater from airports with international flights and aircraft arriving from China;
    • Continued promotion of vaccine sharing and the uptake of vaccines, including booster doses, particularly among vulnerable groups.

Member states will assess the situation and review the introduced measures by mid Jan-2023.

Air China to resume Beijing-Geneva service in late Jan-2023

4 January, 2023

Air China plans to resume weekly Beijing Capital-Geneva-Shenyang-Beijing Capital service with A330-200 equipment from 26-Jan-2023, as per a 02-Jan-2023 GDS display and inventory. 

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