News for Europe/MEA

Thai Airways signs marketing deal to attract MICE travellers

3 January, 2023

Thai Airways signed (26-Dec-2022) a marketing collaboration deal with the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau to attract MICE travellers. The collaboration will target travellers from Asia and Europe. The parties expect to attract at least 500,000 travellers and generate THB33 billion (USD955.7 million) in revenue. [more - original PR]

British Airways to launch seasonal London Heathrow-Florence service from 26-Apr-2023

30 December, 2022

British Airways announced (29-Dec-2022) plans to launch seasonal daily London Heathrow-Florence service from 26-Apr-2023. The service will be operated using A320neo equipment and will expand the carrier's Italian network for summer 2023 to 11 destinations. According to OAG, no other carriers are scheduled to operate the route. [more - original PR]

EU personal trips recover to 80% of pre-pandemic level in 2021, professional trips reach 55%

22 December, 2022

Eurostat reported (21-Dec-2022) EU residents made 879 million tourism trips with at least one overnight stay in 2021, up 23% year-on-year but below the 1.1 billion made in 2019. Residents from France (200 million trips), Germany (178 million) and Spain (131 million) accounted for over 50% of the trips made. Trips to other EU countries accounted for 12% of all tourism trips in 2021, compared with 11% in 2020 and 20% in 2019. The number of extra EU trips represented 3%, compared with 3% in 2020 and 8% in 2019. Trips for personal purposes recovered to 80% of the pre-pandemic level, while those for professional purposes recovered to 55% of the pre-pandemic level, which Eurostat stated "may reveal a significant and more permanent shift to remote or hybrid business contacts". [more - original PR]

Lufthansa Group to introduce new status programme in 2024

15 December, 2022

Lufthansa Group announced (14-Dec-2022) plans to roll out a new status programme from 01-Jan-2024, simplifying its points system. Key changes include:

  • Miles & More members will be awarded points instead of status miles for their flights, with the points earned dependant on travel class and whether the flight is continental or intercontinental;
  • Points can be earned with all Star Alliance airlines. To achieve frequent traveller or senator status in future, it will also be necessary to take a number of flights with Air Dolomiti, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Eurowings Discover, Lufthansa, SWISS or the co-issuing Miles & More airline partners. HON Circle members will continue to qualify exclusively on flights in business and first class operated by these airlines;
  • Status will be valid for at least one year, with the period for earning the necessary points for any frequent flyer status being one calendar year;
  • Long standing frequent flyers will qualify for frequent traveller lifetime and senator lifetime status. This will be based on the sum of all points earned on flights operated by group airlines or the co-issuing Miles & More airline partners;
  • Miles & More award miles, which can be earned on everyday purchases and when travelling, will continue to be awarded as before and can be redeemed for merchandise awards or services. [more - original PR]

Star Alliance introduces paid lounge access at Rome Fiumicino Airport

15 December, 2022

Star Alliance announced (14-Dec-2022) passengers at Rome Fiumicino Airport can now pay a nominal fee access to the Star Alliance lounge in the intra-Schengen zone in Terminal 3, regardless of membership status or travel class. The lounge is the fourth of Star Alliance's six lounges to offer paid access, following the Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Rio de Janeiro Galeao International Airport locations. [more - original PR]

European Council updates COVID-19 travel recommendations to lift all travel restrictions

14 December, 2022

European Council updated (13-Dec-2022) its COVID-19 travel recommendations, under which member states should no longer impose any restrictions on travel on the grounds of public health. The recommendations maintain the following safeguards in case of a deteriorating epidemiological situation:

  • In the case of a severely worsening epidemiological situation, member states should adopt a coordinated approach regarding travel requirements, such as vaccination, proof of recovery or testing or additional testing or quarantine on arrival;
  • When a variant of concern emerges in a third country, member states might exceptionally establish an urgent, common and temporary travel restriction or travel requirements. Restrictions should expire after 21 days unless it is decided to shorten or extend them;
  • Member state free movement restrictions should be limited to passengers holding a valid EU digital COVID certificate (DCC) or testing for people without a DCC;
  • The 'emergency brake' is maintained to be able to react quickly to new variants. In such cases a member state could require travellers to undergo quarantine or testing, even if they hold an EU DCC. [more - original PR]

Frankfurt Airport records business travel rebound in Nov-2022

14 December, 2022

Frankfurt Airport handled (13-Dec-2022) 4.1 million passengers in Nov-2022, up 41.2% year-on-year and 19.2% below Nov-2019 levels. Business travel experienced a "noticeable rebound" in Nov-2022, with intercontinental business travel, in particular to and from North America and destinations in Western Europe, benefiting from this development. Holiday travel continued to be the main growth driver, showing the strongest demand for destinations in Cyprus, Turkey and the Caribbean. Cargo volumes continued to decline by 14.5% in Nov-2022, with the decrease mainly caused by the overall economic slowdown and the airspace restrictions related to the war in Ukraine. [more - original PR]

Air France opens redesigned lounge at Munich Airport

13 December, 2022

Air France unveiled (12-Dec-2022) its redesigned lounge in terminal one at Munich Airport on 12-Dec-2022. The 227sqm lounge with 75 seats is open daily and features a dining area, co-working space and dedicated area for La Première and Flying Blue Ultimate customers. Access to the lounge is available to Air France, KLM and SkyTeam partner airlines' business and Flying Blue elite plus customers. Customers travelling in the economy and premium economy are able to purchase access for a fee or with miles. During winter 2022/2023, Air France is operating six times daily Paris CDG-Munich service, while KLM is operating five times daily Amsterdam-Munich service. [more - original PR - French]

easyJet to commence Jersey-Amsterdam service in Apr-2023

8 December, 2022

easyJet announced (07-Dec-2022) plans to commence twice weekly Jersey-Amsterdam service on 01-Apr-2023. The LCC also confirmed plans to base one aircraft at Jersey Airport overnight from Apr-2023, under a five year agreement, enabling the airline to increase Jersey-London Gatwick frequency with the addition of a new daily early morning flight on the route from Apr-2023. [more - original PR]

Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines sign MoU to enter codeshare partnership

2 December, 2022

Thai Airways and Singapore Airlines signed (02-Dec-2022) an MoU to form a strategic partnership, under which the carriers will progressively codeshare on each other's services and explore a wide-ranging commercial collaboration. In the initial phase, Thai and SIA will codeshare on each other's services between Singapore and Bangkok. Thai will also codeshare on SIA's flight services to Cape Town and Johannesburg, Houston, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver by 1Q2023, subject to regulatory approval. Additional codeshare arrangements to points in both airlines' networks will be explored to support increased air connectivity to Thailand and Singapore, as well as points in Europe, India, and South West Pacific routes. [more - original PR]

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