Spain's Interior Ministry extended (30-Apr-2022) COVID-19 entry restrictions for non-essential travel until 15-May-2022. Travellers from non-EU or non-Schengen states who have not been fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter Spain during this period. [more - original PR - Spanish]
News for Europe/MEA
Germany's Federal Foreign Office, via its official website, announced (02-May-2022) the extension of COVID-19 entry requirements until 31-May-2022. Arriving travellers remain required to present proof of full COVID-19 vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or a negative PCR or antigen test.
Qantas Group reported (02-May-2022) the following highlights for Q3FY2022:
- Leisure demand is very strong, with Qantas and Jetstar operating at approximately 110% of pre-COVID-19 capacity over the Easter school holidays;
- Small business travel is now above pre-coronavirus levels and corporate travel is at 85%;
- Group overall domestic market share has increased and is expected to be 70% between the two main competitors;
- Bookings for markets including London, Los Angeles, South Africa and Bali are all above pre-coronavirus levels and Jetstar has resumed more than 60% of its international routes as more leisure destinations in Asia have reopened;
- Higher domestic freight volumes are expected to be largely maintained given the structural shift in Australia's e-commerce activity. Some softening of international yields is anticipated as more passenger flights return in the months ahead;
- Qantas Loyalty's underlying EBIT is expected to approximately double from Q3FY2022 to Q4FY2022. [more - original PR]
Lufthansa Group integrated (28-Apr-2022) the option for passengers to offset the carbon footprint of their flight into its ticket booking process. Lufthansa passengers can now select from three options to offset carbon emissions, including using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced from residual biogenic materials, carbon offset initiatives run by myclimate, or a combination of both options. The service will become available for Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines and SWISS during 2Q2022, and will soon also be available for transactions on mobile devices. Lufthansa Group reported less than 1% of passengers have previously selected the option to fly carbon neutral and the carrier plans to make it "more attractive" by attaching additional status and award miles to the option. [more - original PR]
Lufthansa announced (29-Apr-2022) an A350-900 aircraft (D-AIVC, 'Munich') was christened at Munich Airport on 29-Apr-2022 by Bavaria's Minister-President Markus Söder. The aircraft is the first in the carrier's fleet to be equipped with an updated business class, which provides direct aisle access for all business class seats. The aircraft was deployed immediately on routes from Munich to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. The carrier said the introduction of the new business class "marks beginning of an extensive renewal of Lufthansa's cabins", as it plans to introduce a "new top product" across economy, premium economy, business and first class in 2023. [more - original PR]
Qantas Airways announced (02-May-2022) plans to order 12 A350-1000s to operate non-stop 'Project Sunrise' flights from Australia to cities including New York and London. The 238 seat aircraft will feature first class suites with a separate bed, recliner lounge chair and personal wardrobe, a 'next generation' business class suite, a new premium economy seat pitched at 40 inches, a new economy seat pitched at 33 inches and a 'wellbeing zone' designed for movement, stretching and hydration. The aircraft will have the smallest seat count of any A350-1000 currently in service. Qantas stated travellers can expect more direct routes to Australia and significantly reduced point-to-point travel time. The cabin interior and service design were influenced by medical and scientific research carried out on three Project Sunrise research flights from New York and London to Sydney in 2019. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce stated: "The first Project Sunrise flights will be from New York and London, but the aircraft will also be able to operate non-stop flights to Australia from destinations such as Paris and Frankfurt". [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]
Norse Atlantic Airways announced (29-Apr-2022) plans to launch the following services in summer 2022:
- Oslo-New York JFK: Three times weekly from 14-Jun-2022, increasing to daily from 04-Jul-2022;
- Oslo-Fort Lauderdale: Three times weekly from 18-Jun-2022;
- Oslo-Orlando: Three times weekly from 05-Jul-2022;
- Oslo-Los Angeles: Three times weekly from 09-Aug-2022.
CEO Bjorn Tore Larsen said the launches will be "a major milestone", adding: "The introduction of affordable Norse Atlantic Airways point-to-point flights between Europe and the US will benefit both local tourism and businesses. Not only are we directly investing in the countries that we operate by employing local staff we are also supporting job creation across the wider tourism and service industry". All services will be operated with Boeing 787 aircraft. [more - original PR]
Swissport entered (27-Apr-2022) a new partnership between its airport lounges and Luxury Escapes, further strengthening its offering to travellers and airline partners at Australia's four largest airports. The partnership means international lounge passes will be offered as part of Luxury Escapes' deals or as an optional extra to members. The lounges will be co-branded 'Luxury Escapes' and cater to the more than 1.1 million travellers expected to book with the online retailer in the next year alone. Swissport Australia and New Zealand MD Brad Moore said he expected lounges to be a key feature for travellers in 2022. In 2021, Swissport acquired the No1 Lounges' Australian business, which included 'The House' premium lounges at Sydney and Melbourne airports, and 'My Lounge' at Brisbane Airport. It also opened two new lounges under its global Aspire brand at Perth Airport's Terminal 1 and 2. [more - original PR]
Cathay Pacific to operate additional frequencies to India, Australia, Amsterdam, Tel Aviv in May/Jun
Correction: Cathay Pacific, via its official WeChat account, announced (26-Apr-2022) plans to increase frequencies on services from Hong Kong to Delhi, Mumbai, Amsterdam, Brisbane, Perth, Tel Aviv and Auckland between May-2022 and Jun-2022. Services to mainland China remain suspended for transit passengers only. The announcement comes as Hong Kong's Government recently announced that non Hong Kong residents will be allowed to enter Hong Kong from 01-May-2022.