British Airways and Qatar Airways completed (26-Sep-2022) the last phase in the expansion of their partnership, stating they now offer "connectivity between more countries than any other airline joint business". The airlines added 42 countries to their shared network, including Italy, Maldives, Norway, Singapore and Sweden, expanding access between destinations in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The expansion will enable connecting journeys on single tickets through Doha and London, bringing the number of destinations served by the two airlines to 185 across more than 60 countries. Customers can engage with both airlines' loyalty programmes, earning and spending the common Avios currency. Cooperation on "a small number of routes" remains subject to pending regulatory clearances. [more - original PR - British Airways] [more - original PR - Qatar Airways]
News for Europe/MEA
Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) surveyed (21-Sep-2022) travel and procurement leaders from Europe and North America, finding 54% say business travel has rebounded faster than expected, while 77% report they are spending more time troubleshooting traveller issues. Highlights include:
- 67% believe that once all their offices are open, hybrid work scenarios will dominate. Only 9% anticipate that all their colleagues will return to the office full time;
- 40% report that their companies have reduced their office space;
- 39% say their company is hiring more remote workers than they did prior to the pandemic;
- Almost four of five travel managers responding (79%) say remote working policies boost employee morale, while 72% believe these policies help with talent recruitment;
- 17% say the procurement and management of co-working spaces is fully-managed;
- 44% "don't know" how their company procures co-working spaces;
- More than seven in ten (71%) say they would gain from having the consolidated data from hotel, meeting and co-working bookings, with 67% noting it would be easier for employees to use validated corporate payment tools via a singular booking source;
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) say it would be easier for employees to book both hotels and co-working spaces at the same time in the same shopping/booking technology.
74% of survey respondents were from the US and Canada. [more - original PR]
Lufthansa City Center (LCC) reported (22-Sep-2022) its business travel segment is "recovering faster than expected", and forecasts the pre-pandemic level could be reached by the end of 2023 "if the development continues". Following "very strong recent bookings", the company expects to achieve 80% of the 2019 levels of turnover in 2022. Managing director Markus Orth stated LCC is currently detaching itself from the general development in the market with its strong recovery, highlighting the company "benefits greatly from its focus on medium-sized companies". Mr Orth said employees of medium-sized companies are currently going on much more frequent business trips compared to large corporations, while "a large number of high-revenue new customers were gained who were specifically looking for a TMC with a high level of consulting expertise". Mr Orth expects a "push in Asia" for 4Q2022, with demand for trips to China high and customers willing to pay the currently high prices. LCC also expects travel to Hong Kong and Singapore to continue to increase, while the "important North American business is also continuing to do well". [more - original PR - German]
China Southern Airlines, via its official Weibo account, announced (16-Sep-2022) the first London-Guangzhou passenger service resumed on 15-Sep-2022, marking the first resumption since Jan-2021. China Southern resumed Guangzhou-London passenger service in Aug-2022.
Flybe, via its official Twitter account, announced (21-Sep-2022) plans to launch services from Isle of Man to London Heathrow and Belfast City, effective 29-Oct-2022.
Xiamen Airlines plans to operate the following 19 international services in Oct-2022 (Carnoc.com, 20-Sep-2022):
- Xiamen-Los Angeles: Twice weekly;
- Xiamen-Vancouver: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Amsterdam: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Sydney: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Melbourne: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Seoul: Three times weekly;
- Xiamen-Phnom Penh: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Manila: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Kuala Lumpur: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Singapore: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Bangkok: Twice weekly;
- Fuzhou-Tokyo: Weekly;
- Fuzhou-Jakarta: Weekly;
- Xiamen-Hong Kong: Four times weekly;
- Xiamen-Taiwan Taoyuan: Daily;
- Xiamen-Taipei Songshan: Three times weekly;
- Hangzhou-Hong Kong: Weekly;
- Fuzhou-Hong Kong: Four times weekly;
- Tianjin-Hong Kong: Twice weekly.
Air France announced (20-Sep-2022) the first flight with its new long haul business seat on the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft will take place "in the coming weeks", to New York JFK. As previously reported by CAPA, the seat will be progressively rolled out on 12 777-300s. [more - original PR]
Germany's Association of German Travel Management (VDR), via its VDR Business Travel Report, reported (12-Sep-2022) German companies' business travel spend increased 32% in 2021 from the previous year. VDR stated an "upward trend" is being observed in business travellers following severe restrictions in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with German business travel trips increasing 26% year-on-year to 41.4 million in 2021. The number of business travellers increased 67% to 5.5 million, however remains "a long way from the peak of 13 million business travellers in 2019". [more - original PR - German]
Doha Hamad International Airport announced (13-Sep-2022) Air Arabia, Air Cairo, Badr Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, flydubai, Himalaya Airlines, Jazeera Airways, Nepal Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, SalamAir and Tarco Aviation will operate at Doha International Airport, effective 15-Sep-2022 until 30-Dec-2022. [more - original PR]
French Civil Aviation Authority (DGAC), via its official Twitter account, announced (Sep-2022) it is expecting air traffic to be "severely disrupted throughout the national territory" due to an air traffic controller strike on 16-Sep-2022 (Reuters, 13-Sep-2022). DGAC requested airlines reduce their flight schedule from all French airports by 50% on 16-Sep-2022.