News for Europe/MEA

CANSO: 'Absurd' much of travel between African countries must be via Europe or Middle East

27 September, 2017

CANSO DG Jeff Poole stated (26-Sep-2017) Africa "has always been a continent of challenges but also of opportunity and great potential". He affirmed Africa will be the world's most populous continent by 2050, with 2.4 billion people and half the population living in cities. "The big question is whether Africa can translate this huge population growth into economic development and prosperity", Mr Poole said, stating the "question for aviation and the ATM industry is: what do we need to do as one of the key
catalysts and drivers of this economic and social growth?". He said: "Connectivity is critical for regional integration and African growth and development... In today's world, it is absurd that travel between many African countries still has to be via Europe or perhaps the Middle East". [more - original PR

Volotea to launch fifth French base at Marseille in summer 2018

27 September, 2017

Marseille Airport announced (26-Sep-2017) Volotea plans to establish its fifth French base with two Boeing 717 aircraft at the facility from 2018. Volotea subsequently announced eight new routes, bringing its total to 18 and increasing its seat offering by 60% from summer 2018:

  • Marseille-Biarritz: Twice weekly from Apr-2018 to Nov-2018;
  • Marseille-Caen: Twice weekly from Apr-2018;
  • Marseille-Corfu: Twice weekly from Apr-2018 to Oct-2018;
  • Marseille-Heraklion: Weekly from Apr-2018 to Oct-2018;
  • Marseille-Mykonos: Weekly from May-2018 to Oct-2018;
  • Marseille-Santorini: Twice weekly from Apr-2018 to Oct-2018;
  • Marseille-Menorca: Twice weekly from Apr-2018 to Oct-2018;
  • Marseille-Palma de Mallorca: Weekly from Apr-2018 to Oct-2018. [more - original PR - French]

KLM launches 'BlueBot' automated Facebook messenger bot

27 September, 2017

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines launched (26-Sep-2017) BlueBot, an automated Facebook messenger bot. KLM stated the bot is supported by 250 human employees. Air France-KLM SVP digital Pieter Groeneveld said: "On social media, we offer 24/7 service with our team of 250 human agents, handling more than 16,000 cases a week. Volumes will continue to grow... KLM is taking the next step in its social media strategy, offering personal service through technology". [more - original PR]

WTTC commends Saudi on commitment to develop travel and tourism sector

27 September, 2017

World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) commended (26-Sep-2017) Saudi Arabia its commitment to prioritising travel and tourism in the country. WTTC president & CEO Gloria Guevara said the Saudi Arabian government has been a "great example" to the sector in "prioritising tourism growth in the country in order to generate further economic wealth and jobs as the country diversifies their income streams". WTTC forecast travel and tourism growth of 6.4% year-on-year in Saudi Arabia in 2017, well above the global average of 3.6% forecast. Saudi travel and tourism sector employment figures are expected to rise by 3.7% in 2017. Travel and tourism generated SAR244.6 billion (USD65.2 billion) for the Saudi Arabia's economy in2 016, which is 10.2% of GDP and supported 9.7% of total employment. [more - original PR]

Originair plans Nelson-New Plymouth service on 29-Sep-2017

26 September, 2017

Originair, via its official Facebook account, confirmed (25-Sep-2017) it is on track to launch Nelson-New Plymouth service on 29-Sep-2017. As previously reported by CAPA, the carrier plans to operate eight times weekly on the route utilising British Aerospace 18 seat Jetstream equipment. Originair MD Robert Inglis stated the direct service is a result of requests from travellers experiencing lengthy transiting times via Auckland and Wellington.

easyJet seeking 27 to 30 aircraft from airberlin: report

26 September, 2017

easyJet's bid for parts of airberlin's fleet reportedly comprises from 27 to 30 aircraft (Reuters, 26-Sep-2017). easyJet would reportedly be interested in crews and slots accompanying the aircraft, with airberlin CEO Thomas Winkelmann confirming the carrier is also interested in slots and crew at Berlin Tegel Airport.

Lufthansa Consulting notes strong impact of consolidation on airports

26 September, 2017

Lufthansa Consulting stated (22-Sep-2017) airline consolidation has a strong impact on airports. Lufthansa Consulting noted that whereas short term service interruptions harm the customer experience and an airport's reputation, long term effects are more severe, creating smaller gateways and a risk of losing prominent long range services or even their hub status once a home carrier's business model comes under pressure. [more - original PR]

KLM CEO: Fortaleza 'fits perfectly into our network strategy'

26 September, 2017

KLM president and CEO Pieter Elbers stated (25-Sep-2017) Brazil "is an important focus market for KLM". He commented on plans to launch Amsterdam-Fortaleza from May-2018, which will be KLM's third Brazilian destination. Mr Elbers said the plans open "new air routes between major cities in the north and northeast of Brazil", adding: "KLM's partnership with the Brazilian airline GOL creates a new strategic hub, which firmly links Amsterdam and South America... Fortaleza fits perfectly into our network strategy". [more - original PR]

Air France sets 01-Dec-2017 launch date for Joon

26 September, 2017

Air France confirmed (25-Sep-2017) various aspects of Joon, referring to the new carrier as "designed to meet the expectations of a new generation of travellers". Details comprise:

  • Fleet: Mix of A320, A340 and A350 equipment. Joon expects to receive its first A350 in 2019, and will operate 28 aircraft by 2020 (18 medium haul and 10 long haul);
  • Routes, with fares from EUR39, effective from 01-Dec-2017:
    • Paris CDG-Barcelona: 51 times weekly;
    • Paris CDG-Berlin: 37 times weekly;
    • Paris CDG-Lisbon: 28 times weekly;
    • Paris CDG-Porto: Three times weekly;
  • Routes effective from summer 2018:
    • Paris CDG-Fortaleza: Twice weekly from EUR249;
    • Paris CDG-Seychelles: Three times weekly from EUR299.

According to Air France's official Twitter account, Air France-KLM chairman and CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac said the carrier's business model is "between traditional and low cost". The carrier will also allow earning and usage of Air France's Flying Blue Miles. [more - original PR

Kyrgyzstan's Department of Tourism director proposes new air services to increase visitor arrivals

25 September, 2017

Kyrgyzstan's Department of Tourism director Azamat Zhamankulov stated (22-Sep-2017) tourism is one of the priority sectors in the national development strategy in the period to 2040. Mr Zhamankulov said an inflow of tourists is expected from the CIS, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf. Mr Zhamankulov added it is necessary to launch nonstop air services to destinations in these regions. [more - original PR - Russian]

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