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COVID-19: Travel industry news

Information that those working in the travel industry may find useful
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Overview

As the COVID-19 situation develops, we want to provide access to information that those working in the travel industry may find useful. These third-party articles give insight in relation to the impact of COVID-19 on the travel industry and more. All articles are available publicly and any opinion is that of the author and not necessarily a Travelport view.

Global

Articles - Global

07/23/20 Global: WTTC urges governments to maintain open borders

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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has warned governments around the world that further border closures could seriously jeopardize global economic recovery. The WTTC is urging authorities to take a more carefully calibrated approach and introduce localized measures to avoid stalling the economy and harming the tourism industry further. The WTTC has said that it would support the opening of city to city ‘Air corridors’ between financial centers such as London, Frankfurt and New York. WTTC president, Gloria Guevara, has said that “Governments should not close off access to other countries in their entirety, only regional border measures should be imposed if essential”. She added “we urge governments to only consider local lockdowns as the key to opening the door to a successful way forward”. 

Breaking Travel News, July 23, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 Global: Plaza Premium reopens airport lounges in some locations

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It has reopened its lounges in Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei, Vancouver, Jakarta, Phnom Penh, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, Penang, Langkawi, New Delhi, Hyderabad and Abu Dhabi. The group says it has launched a new cleaning programme called “We Care for Your Wellbeing” across its lounges. 

Business Traveller, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 Global: Skyscanner launches new COVID-19 data visualization tool

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Skyscanner has launched a new data visualization tool that combines the company’s extensive global search data with key COVID events and announcements from governments around the world. The new tool aims to help businesses in the industry identify trends in order to make strategic decisions for the future. The travel insight provides comprehensive view of current aviation market performance, trends and insights into how organisations can gain competitive advantage. 

Breaking Travel News, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/21/20 Global: Travel Republic unveils new Covid-19 insurance policy

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Online travel agency Travel Republic is offering customers the chance to buy a Covid-19 insurance policy for their holidays. The agency said the cancellation and medical cover will apply to customers who contract the virus 14 days before the start of the trip; if a customer is hospitalized within 28 days of the start of the trip and if a travelling companion is denied boarding as a result of temperature checks or a positive Covid-19 test at the airport. 

Travel Weekly, July 21, 2020 Online 

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07/21/20 Global: NEC Corporation and SITA announce global aviation partnership agreement to deliver enhanced digital experience

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NEC Corporation, a Japanese tech firm and SITA, a leading global air transport IT and communications specialist, have announced a partnership to develop solutions that enable a secure walk-through travel experience at airports leveraging NEC’s I: Delight identity management platform and SITA’s Smart Path and SITA Flex. The partnership will further unlock the potential of seamless next-gen passenger processing solutions, making mobile enabled and touchless airport process a reality. They will utilize both companies’ global presence and the combination of technology for Common Use Platforms and Artificial Intelligence.  

Travel Daily News, July 21, 2020 Online 

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07/21/20 Global: Club Med unveils Covid-19 cover

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All-inclusive tour operator Club Med has introduced medical assistance cover in its package holidays. All holidays with flights departing Until April 30, 2021, are automatically covered by this new Covid-19 insurance. 

Travel Weekly, July 21, 2020 Online 

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07/20/20 Global: Radisson announces 15 new hotel signings across EMEA

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Radisson Hotel Group has announced 15 new hotel signings across EMEA in Q2 2020, re-affirming the group’s commitment to its ambitious five-year development plan. Radisson Hotel Group continues to expand its new brand architecture and further strengthen its presence across EMEA. 

Travel & Tourism News, July 20, 2020 Online 

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07/20/20 Global: Global Airline capacity up 3.5% this week with Northeast Asia and Western Europe taking lead

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Global Airline capacity this week went up by 3.5% this week compared to last, with nearly 56m seats on global flights schedules, according to OAG. Northeast Asian carriers had the highest capacity growth this week with 1.1m seats added compared to last week. Japan alone had 9% growth with 140,000 added seats while Western European carriers added 400,000 week-over-week. The largest growth was by EasyJet, up 53% w-o-w; Air India 29% and British Airways up 21%. Currently 634 out of 709 carriers that were operating in January have resumed some level of service. 

Business Travel News, July 20, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Global: Hilton announces new cleanliness and flexibility measures

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Hilton Hotels has launched a new global programme which address new cleanliness, safety and flexibility measures for meetings and events at its properties. The ‘Hilton Event Ready with Clean Stay’ programme is built on cleanliness initiatives in partnership with RB, makers of Lysol and Dettol, for the safety of guests and staff. Measures being taken to reassure potential Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE) customers include; Cleanliness protocols such as increased sanitation standards; booking-to-billing flexibility which allows flexible pricing, simplified events agreements and new guidance of the Hilton EventReady Playbook and finally Safe and Socially responsible solutions to responsibly host events and meetings while addressing client’s needs. 

Business Traveller, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Global: Iberostar aims to reopen 45 hotels across nine destinations

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Iberostar plans to continue a phased reopening with more than 45 properties set to open in nine destinations over the summer months. This will cover Spain, Portugal, Montenegro, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Jamaica, Mexico and Cuba. Iberostar said it had worked closely with a “medical consultancy comprised of renowned experts in public health, health security, virology and epidemiology” to create new guidance for reopening. 

Travel Weekly, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Global: OAG - global air capacity crossed 50m seats this week

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Global airline capacity this week rose to 58.8m seats across, a growth in all 10 regional markets except the Southwest Pacific. Overall capacity still stands around 45% of the previous year but has grown by 34% since mid-June. OAG analyst, John Grant, says that “Airlines are final getting a closer grip on planned operations as the recovery continues”. Western Europe had the highest week-over-week growth of 16% while most regional markets operated about 50% of their capacity levels compared to January, but both Northeast Asia and Eastern Europe has grown close to 75% of pre-COVID levels.  

Business Travel News, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/10/20 Colombia: IATA urges Colombia to set date to reopen the domestic market

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IATA VP of Americas, Peter Cerda, stated he held a meeting with Colombia’s President, Ivan Duque Marquez, and Minister of Transport, Angela Maria Orozco, urging the government to provide a specific restart date for domestic operations while maintaining the current start date, September 1, for international operations. Mr. Cerda stated “we will engage municipalities and mayors across the country to push for flights between key cities. 

CAPA, July 10, 2020 Online 

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07/09/20 Global: Domestic trips are gradually increasing

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Many leading companies and organisations have seen an increase in domestic travel around the world. Booking Holdings saw that there were more domestic trips compared to international in May, while Trip.com Group CEO, Jane Jie Sun, said that “China is back to normal” and discussed the attractiveness, safety and affordability of travel in their ‘Travel On’ launch video. Experts have all agreed that domestic tourism offers the main chance of driving recovery and supporting the tourism industry, with predictions of future travel being backed up by Skift’s survey, conducted in May, which showed that 40% of Americans say their first post-COVID travel will be by car, while only 8% said they would leave the US for international travel.  

Travel Daily News, July 9, 2020 Online 

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07/09/20 Global: Oneworld launches COVID-19 information portal

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Oneworld has launched a new portal providing customers with the latest update on the health and wellbeing measures they can expect while they are travelling, a ‘One-stop customer resource’ for ground and inflight measures implemented by member airlines and major airport’s in the alliance’s network. Oneworld has said that the measures include; Contactless check-in; Enhanced and expanded cleaning of aircrafts and customer touchpoints; Physical distancing during the boarding process and the use of PPE. The CEO of Oneworld, Rob Gurney, said that “the portal is another step of commitment and we hope that customers may have a greater peace of mind as they resume their travel”. 

Business Traveller, July 9, 2020 Online 

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07/08/20 Global: Rezdy and SanSee announced new partnership to provide hygiene and sanitation certifications for tour operators

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Rezdy Pty Ltd, an independent booking and distribution platform for tours and activity providers, has announced a new partnership with SanSee, an emerging hygiene and sanitation certification business for tourism operators. SanSee provides operators 12 month ‘shield’ certification badge that operators will be able to display to demonstrate to guests that their business is safe to visit. Operators will be interviewed by a trained health advice expert in order to receive the certification. 

Travel Daily News, July 8, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Global: Business travel will resume only when safe according to new survey

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The poll was from FCM Travel Solutions and Corporate Traveller. Asked to rank which triggers would prompt resuming business travel, easing or lifting border restrictions still come top with 93 per cent of respondents saying it has a significant or same impact. The second trigger (89 per cent) is ‘our organization deems it safe to travel and this is reflected in our travel policy’. 

Business Traveller, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Global: COVID-19 and the future of business travel

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Business travel has been one of the worst-hit sectors. However, tourism is a key industry to many emerging and developing economies and many of which has been given a stimulus package targeted directly to the sector or in ways that would benefit those that are working in the industry. Emerging economies have seen an increase in demand, especially in the leisure travel market, with travelers seeking affordable and accessible options, which emerging economy destinations hold a key to. Hotels, such as the Radisson hotel chain, recently announced they have no plans to slow down their expansion in Africa, targeting countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa in particular. Business travel is unlikely to see a short-term recovery as many businesses will look to formalize operational shifts and turn temporary measures into permanent strategies.  

Oxford Business Group, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Global: Frasers Hospitality reopens properties with ‘#FraserCares’ commitment

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Frasers Hospitality, a member of Frasers Property Group, has said they are reopening its worldwide properties with ‘#FraserCares’, which includes new measures dedicated to ensuring health, safety and well-being of guests and staff. Most of their properties have remained open during the crisis, but of those that closed in accordance with local authorities, such as properties in Germany, France, Switzerland and Spain, have recently opened their doors. The new measures introduced in this initiative includes a cleaning regime that uses water and oxygen-based solution that kills 99,9% of germs without using harsh chemicals, making it safer for guests and staff. Additional measures introduced in the ‘#FraserCares’ initiative include deep cleaning of each property, remote guest concierge services and new measures at their restaurants. 

Travel Daily News, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 Global: UNWTO and Telefonica partner to help destinations use data and AI to drive sustainable recovery

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The UNWTO and Spanish telecommunications company, Telefonica, have collaborated to advance market intelligence in order to accelerate the tourism sector’s recovery from the impacts of COVID-19. UNWTO and Telefonica will work together, effectively using Big Data and AI across the tourism sector, to help destinations better understand tourist behaviors, allowing destinations to better manage and market their products effectively. The data will also help destinations to build new health and safety protocols for visitors and manage tourist flows. UNWTO, Telefonica, Turismo Portugal, Tourism Authority of Buenos Aires and Secretary of Chine will be joining together for a virtual training session for destinations in the Americas. 

Travel Daily News, July 3, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 Global: IATA urges to avoid quarantine and offers alternatives

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IATA has urged governments to avoid quarantine and instead use layered measures to reduce the risk of countries importing COVID-19 and mitigate the possibility of transmission in case people travel without knowing they are infected. IATA has said that imposing isolation for travelers is going to “keep the tourism sector in lockdown”. IATA encourages a layering of bio-safety measures in two areas, firstly reducing the risk of import through travelers by; discouraging symptomatic passengers from travelling; COVID-19 testing for travelers from ‘High Risk’ areas; and public health risk mitigation measures such as government declarations/application of right to travel. If a person who is infected does travel, IATA is advised countries to mitigate risks by; reducing the risk of transmission during air travel; contact tracing; and reducing risk of transmission at destination. 

Breaking Travel News, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Global: WTTC announces safety protocols for attractions, car hire and short-term rentals

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The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has announced its third phase of measures that are designed to rebuild global consumer confidence, reduce risk and encourage the return of ‘Safer Travels’. Phase 3 includes protocols for the sector to focus on measures that assist in the reopening of attractions, car hire and enable short rentals to welcome travelers. The measures will increase focus on health, safety and physical distancing standards and divided the guidance into four pillars; Operational and staff preparedness, Delivering a safe experience, Rebuilding trust & confidence, Implementing and enabling policies. 

Luxury Travel Advisor, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/22/20 Global: UNWTO builds key corporate partnerships at UNGC Summit

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The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) spoke at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit (UNGC), the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative, about the impact tourism bring on the global economy and the necessity of including tourism in global recovery. UNWTO secretary general, Zurab Pololikashvili, said that the “Support of the private sector is essential if we are to accelerate recovery and make tourism more inclusive and sustainable”. They also spoke of the 17 SDGs and how all sectors need to partner with the tourism industry to recover in a sustainable and an inclusive way. 

Modern Diplomacy, 22 June, 2020 Online 

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06/22/20 Global: MSC Cruises publishes full winter 2020/21 program

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MSC Cruises has published full details of its winter 2020/21 season and confirmed it will continue to sail in all regions in which it has traditionally operated. The program includes more than 90 itineraries. MSC has also announced a “comprehensive and enhanced health and safety protocol” which is being developed in collaboration with national health authorities and external medical experts. 

Travel Weekly, 22 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 Global: Marriott rewards launches off-peak redemption offers

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Marriott Rewards have announced two new promotions to encourage stays as hotels gradually reopen. Around 5,500 of their hotels will be priced at off-peak redemptions rates for bookings made by June 30 and stays completed by July 31. The group has announced that members who earned status in 2019 and those who reached 100 Elite Night Credits this year will be able to share Platinum Elite State with another person. 

Business Traveller, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/16/20 Global: IATA calls for extension of slot-rule waiver

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IATA has warned governments that a continued relaxation of the ‘use it or lose it’ regulation is essential to aid the airlines’ restart to operations and ensure connectivity in the longer term. IATA’s chief economist, Brian Pearce, added that “In order to survive, airlines will need the support of regulators and governments to enable them to respond to where consumer demand is taking place”. If governments were to revert the regulation, airlines could be forced to fly while the demand remains low. 

Flight Global, 16 June 2020, Online 

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06/11/20 Global: IATA publishes COVID-19 entry regulations map

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IATA has published an interactive map containing information of each individual country’s COVID-19 regulations. The map uses IATA’s Timatic database that contains comprehensive information on requirements for international travel. IATA has said that the map gets updated over 200 times a day to give accurate information, while travellers can subscribe to get notifications for travel updates related to the pandemic.  

Business Traveller, 11 June, Online 

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06/10/20 Global: Tourism could be key to beating the virus, says United Nations

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Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary general, has said that tourism can be used as a platform for overcoming the effects of COVID-19 stating “Tourism can help promote solidarity and trust – crucial ingredients in advancing the global co-operation that is so urgently needed at this time”. Although around 75% of destinations worldwide had closed their borders completely to international tourism, some places are gradually easing the restrictions, taking into account UNWTO’s guidelines on how to restart the tourism industry. 

BBC, 10 June, Online 

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Europe

Articles - Europe

08/03/20 UK: Easyjet increases flights to meet demand

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Increasing demand from holidaymakers, as bookings perform better than expected, has meant that Easyjet is increasing capacity to 40% from its expected 30% level. Paris and Amsterdam are proving to be popular destinations.  

BBC, August 03, 2020 Online 

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07/28/20 Europe: US offering European business travelers ‘national interest exceptions’

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Business travelers from Europe may resume visiting the United States if they apply successfully for a national interest exception, the U.S. Department of State announced. US consulates began a phased resumption of visa services began on 20 July. 

Business Travel News, July 28, 2020 Online 

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07/28/20 UK: Croatia makes play for UK holidaymakers this summer

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Croatia hopes UK holidaymakers will return this summer as airlines resume flights from numerous airports. A total of 781 hotels are open, representing 67% of the overall number. Beaches, national parks, and all other tourist attractions are open. 

Travel Weekly, July 28, 2020 Online 

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07/27/20 Europe: TAP Air Portugal set to resume 40% of services in coming months

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The carrier aims to operate 700 round trips per week throughout September, an increase on the 500 round trips it is flying every week in August. Portugal is still implementing strict travel restrictions, including fining people who travel without being tested. 

Simple Flying, July 27, 2020 Online 

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07/27/20 Europe: Jet2holidays suspends flights and holidays to mainland Spain and The Algarve

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Jet2holidays is to suspend all its flights and holidays to mainland Spain and to The Algarve in Portugal from July 28 until August 16. All holidays affected will be automatically cancelled and offered a full refund. 

Travel Weekly, July 27, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 Europe: Portugal unveils 'CantSkipOpening' campaign for international visitors

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The country is welcoming everyone with open arms, with the commitment to continue ensuring the implementation of health and safety measures which allow for tourists to maintain their confidence. At the moment Portugal already has air connectivity to over 80 cities with 25 airlines assuring international flights to Portugal’s five airports. 

Travel Daily Media, July 22, 2020, Online 

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07/22/20 UK: Loveholidays is 'accelerating' refunds

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Loveholidays says it is “rapidly accelerating” hotel and transfer refunds, amid a raft of complaints from consumers about delays during the Covid-19 crisis. They said they have actioned refund requests totaling more than £47 million, excluding the cost of refunds from airlines. It has contacted more than 20,000 customers with refund credit notes due to expire at the end of July. 

Travel Weekly, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/21/20 Europe: The most searched for holiday destinations for summer 2020

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Official-Esta.com explored the top 20 quarantine-free holidays that are being searched for the most, to reveal Britain’s most desirable destinations to visit post-lockdown. The Netherlands, Greece and Czech Republic are the most searched for holiday destinations for summer 2020. 

Travel Daily News, July 21, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Europe: Tui airways hopeful 'majority' of long-haul routes back by October

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On Saturday 11, Tui’s first day back flying, a flight from Gatwick to Ibiza was 95% full with 179 passengers; a Gatwick to Palma flight was 99% full with 297 passengers; a Manchester to Palma was 95% full with 180 passengers; a Manchester to Ibiza flight was full with 346 passengers; and a Birmingham to Palma was 85% full at 161 passengers. 

Travel Weekly, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Europe: Norwegian eyes December return to long-haul flying

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Norwegian previously made the forecast it would be returning to long-haul service only in spring next year. The carrier has now scheduled seven transatlantic routes from London Gatwick beginning December 9th. Norwegian has also been ramping up its European operations this month, with 758 weekly flights out of Bergen, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm, with the addition of some regional routes. 

Simple Flying, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Spain: Flights to and from Spain soar in July

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The average number of daily flights across Spain rose to over 2,000 in the first week of July, doubling from the previous week but still only about a third of a year-ago levels as the COVID-19 pandemic kept travel constrained. The state-owned operator also said on Monday that last month, more than million passengers passed through its network, a near 300% increase on the 267,671 travelers recorded in May, while the number of total flights rose almost 150% to 43,640. 

Reuters, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/10/20 UK: Hays Travel launches pandemic travel insurance

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Hays Travel has worked with Rush Insurance Services and Allianz Insurance to develop “comprehensive” travel insurance covering Covid-19 and other pandemics as standard across all its policies. It “explicitly covers cancellations or curtailment of a holiday, emergency medical expenses and repatriation following diagnosis of Covid-19 or any disease that is caused as an epidemic or pandemic”. Hays customers who have already booked can take out the insurance before they travel and those with existing insurance can upgrade to include the additional Covid-19 cover. 

Travel Weekly, July 10, 2020, Online 

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07/10/20 UK: International flights resume at London City airport

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The first International commercial flights have taken off today from London City airport since the airport closed due to the coronavirus pandemic on March 25. The airport reopened on June 21, initially serving domestic routes. Travellers are required to wear face coverings inside the airport. 

Business Traveller, July 10, 2020 Online 

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07/10/20 Europe: Domestic and short haul travel will play crucial role in the recovery of European tourism

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A report by the European Travel Commission states that the impact of the global health crisis is becoming clear with European tourism growth expected to remain below 2019 levels until 2023. During the first fourth months of the year, Europe saw a dramatic 44% decline in international tourist arrivals compared to the same period in 2019. Consumer activity is starting to pick up with increased flight bookings for destinations such as Greece, Portugal and Spain for July and August.  

Travel Daily News, July 10, 2020 Online 

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07/09/20 UK: Cruise ship travel

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In an update to its travel guidance on July 9, the UK’s Foreign & Commonwealth Office advises against cruise ship travel, following the changes to the global advisory against non-essential travel that allows travel to some 50 countries. It is the first update since its initial March 12 guidance. If you have future cruise travel plans, you should speak to your travel operator, or the travel company you booked with, for further advice. 

GOV.UK, July 9, 2020 Online 

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07/09/20 Europe: Georgia to open borders to 5 countries

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Georgia’s Government announced (8 July) plans to open borders unconditionally for Estonia, Germany, France, Latvia and Lithuania, following a decision by the Interagency Coordination Council. Georgia is monitoring the global picture and takes cautious steps to protect the health of its citizens. The government of Georgia continues active cooperation with partner EU member states. 

CAPA, July 9, 2020 Online 

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07/09/20 Latvia: airBaltic to offer 82 routes in summer 2021

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airBaltic will offer 82 routes for next summer season, which is +21% more, compared to this year. For summer season 2021 airBaltic will also increase the frequency on several popular destinations, including Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Dublin and many others. The CEO said, “So far 2020 has been full of challenges, but with our passenger and employee health and safety remaining the top priority, we continue to focus on expansion of our operation”. 

CAPA, July 9, 2020, Online 

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07/09/20 Germany: German cruise line re-starts sailings next month

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Carnival Corporation’s German brand AIDA Cruises is to resume sailing next month. AIDAperia will be the first to set sail on August 5 from Hamburg, followed by AIDAmar from Rostock-Warnemunde on August 12 and AIDAblu from Kiel on August 16. The first sailings will take place with an unspecified adjusted passenger capacity without calling at another port.  

Travel Weekly, July 9, 2020 Online 

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07/08/20 UK: Aspire to reopen lounges at Heathrow T5 and Gatwick's North Terminal

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Aspire Lounges has begun reopening its airport lounges as travel returns following the easing of global travel restrictions. No other dates have been given for Aspire to lounge reopenings in the UK. Aspire said “We’re currently working with airport and airline partners to determine when is the right time to once again re-open the doors to our lounges”. 

Business Traveller, July 8, 2020 Online 

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07/06/20 UK: Jet2holidays launches 'three-step' pledge for holiday return

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The three-step pledge is to ensure customers that the return of its holidays programme is “safe and smooth”. The videos narrator acknowledges that “the world is a little different these days” and talks through new measures put in place at airports, on flights and in resort. The tour operator is promising customers a “welcome back warranty”, a “worry-free guarantee” and to be “with you all the way”. 

Travel Weekly, July 6, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 UK: 'Majority' of Premier Inns to reopen by end of July

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Only 39 of the budget properties remained open for use by the key workers during the height of the pandemic. More than 270 UK hotels and 24 restaurants have now reopened with the majority of the rest of the estate due to reopen throughout July. All hotels in Germany are open, including 13 new properties refurbished and rebranded as Premier Inn during lockdown.  

Travel Weekly, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Europe: NH Hotel Group redesigns meetings and events experience for the Covid-19 era

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The group says it has surveyed over 1,000 specialists and reviewed nearly 700 standards before devising the new offering. NH said that “one of the most demanded items” in the survey was the digitalization and innovation of services. Clients can take virtual tours of spaces, choose set ups and visualise them from their own devices. Room set ups will be modified to respect social distancing, and meal buffet services will now be presented in individual packaged portions. 

Business Traveller, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Europe: Poland welcomes British travelers as borders reopen

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British travelers are being encouraged to return to Poland, as direct flights between the two relaunch. UK citizens are currently allowed to travel into, out of and throughout Poland without being asked to undergo a period of quarantine. 

Breaking Travel News, July 7, 2020, Online 

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07/07/20 Europe: Austrian Airlines sets 8 week target to clear refund backlog

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Austrian Airlines are committed to speeding up its efforts to reimburse passengers for tickets that were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto says 40% of tickets have been refunded. The airline asks for customers who have submitted a request to have their tickets refunded to not call the airline as the phone lines are open for passengers looking to travel in the near future. 

Simple Flying, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 Europe: Quarantine lifted for arrivals into England, from France, Germany, Italy and Spain

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The changes mean that from July 10, passengers returning to or visiting England from France, Germany, Italy and Spain will no longer need to self-isolate on arrival. The BBC reports that around 60 countries are expected to be included in the list of quarantine exemptions. 

Business Traveller, July 3, 2020, Online 

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07/03/20 Europe: Even a small turn on the travel tap could be a massive boost for struggling European economies

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New research from the World Travel & Tourism Council shows even a modest increase of just one million more international arrivals into Europe could generate an extra $0.48 billion in GDP. For every 1% increase in international arrivals, a massive $7.23 billion in additional GDP would be generated. So, an increase of 100 million international arrivals – equivalent to an increase of 6.7% - would result in around $48 billion in additional GDP. 

Travel Daily News, July 3, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 UK: EasyJet adds more peak summer flights

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More flights are being relaunched by easyJet across Europe from July 1, including 14 airports across the UK. The schedule will grow to around 500 flights a day on both domestic and international routes. This includes more than 900 flights a week to and from the UK. The carrier has increased capacity across beach destinations from UK for July and August, including Balearics and Canary Islands, Greece, Croatia and Portugal ahead of government confirmation of air bridges to certain countries on June 29 for travel from July. 

Travel Weekly, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 UK: Manchester airport to reopen Terminal 3 next week

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Terminal 3 at Manchester airport is to reopen on July 1, to enable social distancing as flights are increasing. British Airways, Ryanair, Air France, KLM, Eastern Airways and Loganair will all be moving back into terminal 3. The airport has introduced a number of health and safety measures including temperate check trials, mandatory face coverings for passengers and pre-bookable security time slots. 

Business Traveller, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 UK: EasyJet adds more peak summer flights

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More flights are being relaunched by easyJet across Europe from July 1, including 14 airports across the UK. The schedule will grow to around 500 flights a day on both domestic and international routes. This includes more than 900 flights a week to and from the UK. The carrier has increased capacity across beach destinations from UK for July and August, including Balearics and Canary Islands, Greece, Croatia and Portugal ahead of government confirmation of air bridges to certain countries on June 29 for travel from July. 

Travel Weekly, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 UK: Manchester airport to reopen Terminal 3 next week

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Terminal 3 at Manchester airport is to reopen on July 1, to enable social distancing as flights are increasing. British Airways, Ryanair, Air France, KLM, Eastern Airways and Loganair will all be moving back into terminal 3. The airport has introduced a number of health and safety measures including temperate check trials, mandatory face coverings for passengers and pre-bookable security time slots. 

Business Traveller, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Europe: Malta to welcome holidaymakers from mid-July

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Malta will lift restrictions on all flight arrivals, including from the United Kingdom, on July 15th. Flights will resume from 18 UK airports with routes operated by Air Malta, British Airways, easyJet, Jet2 and Ryanair. The Malta Tourism Authority UK trade team has created a ‘Reopening Course’ for agents, including eight modules covering arrival, the ‘Certified Compliant’, concept, dining, accommodation, getting around and more. 

Breaking Travel News, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Europe: Brittany Ferries to return with limited service

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Brittany Ferries is to return to scheduled passenger services from June 29. Five of the firm’s 12 ships will carry passengers to France and Spain from next week, with a further three ships covering four routes to reopen in July. New sanitary and social distancing measures will be imposed on all vessels as Brittany Ferries has drawn-up a 12-point guide for ‘safe travel this summer’. Crew will undergo training and a nurse will be present on all sailings. 

Travel Weekly, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 England: England's hotels and restaurants can open from July 4, 2020

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The UK government will be relaxing the lockdown rules further from July 4, 2020, though with continued restrictions in place including social distancing. The new rules will affect English hotels, bed and breakfasts, pubs and restaurants, as well as theatres, cinemas and galleries. 

Business Traveller, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/24/20 Europe: Balearics video produced to lure British holidaymakers back

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Spain has reopened its borders. A new promotional video has been produced to showcase the Balearic Islands and inspire prospective British holidaymakers. The islands of Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera features in the 44-second film. The footage carries the message ‘Can’t Wait To go Back’. 

Travel Weekly, June 24, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Europe: Almost 50% of Austrian Airlines' fleet will be operational next month

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Austrian Airlines returned to the skies on June 15 and has plans to operate services with 36 aircraft by the end of July. The airline is relaunching operations with its smaller aircraft on routes in line with expected demand. It will serve more than 50 destinations in July. 

Simple Flying, 23 June 2020, Online 

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06/22/20 Paris: Disneyland Paris to operate phased reopening from July 15

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The reopening will be in line with guidance from the French government and health authorities. Disneyland Paris is to operate a phased reopening from July 15, starting with Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney’s Newport Bay Club Hotel, and Disney Village. Further areas of the resort will open over subsequent months, with Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne opening on July 20, Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe on August 3, and the Disneyland Hotel on September 7. 

Travel Weekly, 22 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Europe: Denmark will reopen to most European nations

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On Thursday Denmark announced that it would allow citizens from most European nations with a low number of COVID-19 infections to enter from June 27, two months earlier than originally planned. Sweden as a whole would not qualify at present, but people from some regions in its south, which have seen far fewer infections than in the capital region of Stockholm, will be permitted to enter Denmark as well. Travelers will only be allowed to enter Denmark on condition that they book at least six nights’ accommodation. 

Reuters, 18 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Spain: Spain unveils €4.25 billion tourism support package

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Spain has announced a €4.25 billion package to support the country’s tourism industry. The package includes €2.5 billion of the Spanish government’s loan guarantee program which had already been ringfenced for tourism businesses. Additional elements are reported to include a “Safe Tourism” stamp reflecting travel corridors with European Member States, volume discounts on airline taxes, the creation of a “tourism intelligence observatory”, and a €38 million promotional budget. 

Travel Weekly, 18 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 UK: AA launches COVID-19 accreditation to UK hospitality sector

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The new ‘COVID Confident’ assessment scheme has already been backed by the hospitality industry, with 19 trade bodies supporting the initiative. The scheme aims to be a vital support for the industry in re-establishing and rebuilding consumer confidence as the UK prepares to come out of lockdown. Establishments eligible to apply for an AA COVID Confident accreditation include hotels; restaurants, pubs, B&B’s and guest accommodation; camping, glamping and holiday parks; self-catering accommodation, hostels, serviced apartments; attractions, and golf courses. 

Breaking Travel News, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Europe: Campaign to encourage European travel launched

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A new media campaign under the ‘We are Europe’ banner aims to inspire people to get ready to travel again. The European Travel Commission (ETC) campaign will run for four weeks. It will air on the TV and digital platforms of international new channel Euronews as well as on ETC and members’ digital platforms. ETC executive director Eduardo Santander said: “The European tourism ecosystem is by far one of the most affected as a result of this pandemic”. 

Travel Weekly, 18 June, Online 

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06/17/20 Europe: Lufthansa launches complimentary return flight guarantee

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All bookings, including basic fares will include a return flight guarantee and flexible rebooking options. The return flight guarantee means that every Lufthansa passenger travelling on European routes will be able to return to Germany, Austria, or Switzerland regardless of what happens. Lufthansa’s new return flight guarantee will be available on flight bookings made from June 25th until the end of August. The policy will apply to all flights with a return date up until the end of January 2021.  

Simple Flying, 17 June, Online 

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06/17/20 Europe: Norwegian plans to restart short-haul flights from July

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Norwegian is planning to restart flights between London Gatwick and Oslo, London Gatwick and Copenhagen, Edinburgh and Oslo, and Edinburgh and Copenhagen from July 1, 2020. From July they will also operate 76 hubs compared to the 13 domestic Norway only flights served today. The carrier says that the flights are a result of increased customer demand, though it has previously indicated that it is unlikely to return to long haul until 2021. 

Business Traveller, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 Spain: Free medical assistance offered with Riu Hotels bookings

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Riu hotels is to offer medical assistance to guests, including any affected by COVID-19 during their holidays. Cover includes medical attention, surgery, hospitalization, and emergency medical transport, with up to €30,000 per guest. It will also cover extensions of hotel stays of up to 14 nights for medical reasons for all guests in the booking. The Spanish hotel group will provide ‘Riu protect’ free of charge for bookings made from this week until the end of the year. 

Travel Weekly, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 Europe: Iceland offers free COVID-19 tests as tourism restarts

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Iceland is now welcoming tourists from all EU and Schengen countries, and the UK. The destination is also offering visitors the option of getting tested for coronavirus upon arrival, instead of a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Since May 18 all businesses, entertainment, restaurants and bars have been open with restrictions on operating hours. 

Breaking Travel News, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 UK: Barrhead Travel to begin reopening shops this month

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Barrhead Travel is to begin reopening its shops at the end of June as its retail network is gradually reintroduced. The agency which has 49 branches across the UK closed stores in March. Barrhead said that ensuring the health and safety of staff and customers was imperative before opening its doors. Its travel agents will continue to work from home and offices until the shops reopen. 

Travel Weekly, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/16/20 Europe: Tui Group outlines summer restart plans

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Tui expects its UK tour operations to be sending holidaymakers abroad “later in the summer”. The message came as TUI partially restarted its summer 2020 program from Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland to a limited number of destinations from mid-June and the beginning of July. Winter 2020-21 bookings for UK are up 6% with average selling prices up 5% in the early stages of the booking cycle. Summer 2021 “continues to look promising”. 

Travel Weekly, 16 June 2020, Online 

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16/16/20 UK: Hays Travel stores to start reopening from this Thursday

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Hays Travel is to start reopening its shops in England from this Thursday (June 18) and plans to have all open by the beginning of July. Entry to the shops will be limited, and customers will be encouraged to call ahead to book appointments in store while phone, email and video appointments will also be available. The company said the safety of its customers and staff will be its priority. It employs more than 4,500 staff in total. 

Travel Weekly, 16 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Europe: easyJet resumes flying with COVID-19 measures in place

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The airline is starting with a minimal service, flying mainly routes within Britain to cities including Edinburgh and Belfast. It is also resuming some domestic and international routes from France, Switzerland, Italy, and Portugal. The airline is planning to ramp up services as the summer progresses and by August it will be flying about three-quarters of routes but at a much lower frequency than last year. 

Reuters, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Spain: Spain opens up to tourists earlier than expected

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Spain previously said it will open its borders to foreign visitors from July 1. Visitors will no longer need to undergo quarantine from midnight on June 20, when Spain’s state of emergency is lifted. British tourists will be allowed to travel to the country from June 21 so long as the COVID-19 situation allows. Travel within Spain will also be possible from June 21 but it will remain mandatory to wear masks in crowded public spaces until a cure or vaccine for COVID-19 is found. 

Travel Weekly, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 France: Air France to serve 80% of network this summer

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Air France has announced its summer flying plans, as it gradually increases services following the easing of global travel restrictions. The carrier will fly to around 150 destinations this summer, with priority being given to its domestic network. Just under half of the carrier’s fleet (106 aircraft out of a total of 224) will be used to fulfill the revised schedules. 

Business Traveller, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Italy: Alitalia will increase number of flights and destinations served in July

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In July, the airline will operate over 1,000 weekly flights reaching 13 new domestic and international airports: Amsterdam, Athens, Boston, Malta, Nice, Tel Aviv, Tirana, and Tunis and in Italy Brindisi, Florence, Lampedusa, Pantelleria, and Reggio Calabri. The carrier will operate 60% more flights compared to June and double number of services compared to May. The Alitalia flight schedule in July will mainly include the reopening of international air services from Milan and the international flights from Rome, as well as the increase of services from Northern Italy to Southern Italy and the Italian Islands. 

Travel Daily Media, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Turkey: Pegasus Airlines to relaunch operations from June 15

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Turkish LCC, Pegasus Airlines, will resume international flights from June 15 to several European destinations. Pegasus will operate daily flights between London Stansted and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen from June 16- 29, as well as flights to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. Health checks will be carried out on passengers entering Turkey as well as taking part in a 14-day quarantine. 

Breaking Travel News, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/12/20 Europe: Ryanair to resume 79 Polish routes for summer 2020

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Ryanair has announced the resumption of 79 routes between Poland and the UK and Ireland. The airline’s Polish Summer 2020 schedule begins on June 21, with 61 routes between Poland and the UK and 18 between Ireland and Poland. Poland is removing quarantine restrictions for visitors from June 13, but measures remain in place for all arrivals into the UK to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Travel Weekly, 12 June 2020, Online 

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12/06/20 UK: British Airways, EasyJet and Ryanair launch legal action against UK government over quarantine

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Describing the quarantine as ‘flawed’, the airlines’ statement says that it “…will have a devastating effect on British tourism and the wider economy and destroy thousands of jobs.” The airlines have asked for their judicial review to be heard as soon as possible. 

Business Traveller, 12 June, Online 

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12/06/20 France: Air France accelerates resumption of summer flight schedules

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Air France announced on Friday it was accelerating moves to resume flights over the summer holiday period. Air France said it planned to serve close to 150 destinations, representing 80% of its usual network, with priority given to strengthening its domestic network. The number of services will also be increased to the French overseas departments and territories, as well as Europe, mainly Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal. 

Reuters, 12 June, Online 

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11/06/20 Austria: Austrian Airlines welcomes termination of travel restrictions

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As of 16 June, Austria’s previous entry restrictions for 31 countries within Europe will no longer apply. Austrian Airlines’ restart flight plan can be carried out as planned, with a few exceptions. Starting next week, Austria’s home carrier will take off for 36 destinations within Europe. The first flights to Kyiv, London, Milan and Stockholm are postponed from mid-June to early July due to extended landing bans.  

CAPA, 11 June, Online 

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11/06/20 Europe: Tui UK and Ireland is cancelling all beach holidays up to and including July 10

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Previously the company had extended the cancellation of its holidays until June 30. All customers with bookings impacted will receive a refund credit. Customers with a package holiday booked will get an incentive of up to 20% off to rebook with Tui or can request a cash refund via the company’s online form. Customers due to travel before the end of August are able to amend their holiday for free and do not have to pay the full balance until closer to the departure date. 

Travel Weekly, 11 June, Online 

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Americas

Articles - Americas

08/03/20 US: Delta resumes daily flights to LHR

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Delta has resumed daily JFK-LHR flights. It is claiming to be the only carrier offering the daily service that is keeping the middle seat blocked as a COVID-19 hygiene measure. They are also offering enhanced flexibility on flights booked until 31 August. 

Travel Weekly, August 03, 2020 Online 

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07/28/20 US: US hotel profitability improves in June

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STR’s latest monthly P&L data shows US hotel gross operating profit per available room was down 105% in June Y-O-Y, an improvement from April which was down 117%.  In addition to this, some full-service properties broke even with occupancy at 50%. The highest TRevPAR and GOPPAR was recorded in Tampa, Florida and Anaheim, California. 

Travel Daily News, July 28, 2020 Online 

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07/27/20 US: Delta Air Lines teams up with Lysol to innovate travel hygiene

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Delta Air Lines announced on Monday that it is teaming up with Reckitt Benckiser Group, the makers of Lysol, to research and develop new disinfecting solutions for high-traffic areas in airports and onboard with the focus on airplane lavatories. Many airlines have raced to join forces with medical experts and cleaning product makers in an effort to reassure passengers who are concerned about exposure to bacteria and viruses. Under the new partnership, Delta will use and distribute Lysol’s disinfectant sprays and wipes while working with microbiologists to develop protocols and best practices around better hygiene for passengers and employees.   

Reuters, July 27, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 US: AHLA urges congress to give additional help to the hotel industry

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The American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) has sent a letter to congress calling for additional help in the hotel industry including extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for impacted businesses, creating lending facilities and liquidity measures to help hoteliers meet debt service and passing tax reforms to benefit both hotel employees and employers. Targeted tax provision will benefit businesses that have been severely affected by enhanced Employee Retention Credit (ERC); a temporary travel tax credit and allowing full deductibility of the food and entertainment business people.  

Travel Daily News, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 Jamaica: Jamaica launches domestic tourism campaign

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The Jamaica Tourist Board has launched a ‘Rediscover Jamaica Program’ to encourage local residents to engage in tourism activities and products. The renewal and upgrade of the tourism process means that Jamaicans can safely enjoy the island with their friends and family during this time. The campaign aims to generate interest in and the use of tourism facilities available on the island including accommodation, attractions, transportation and shopping as well as increasing public relation and social media presence while tourism partners can showcase their offerings.  

Breaking Travel News, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 US & Europe: Airlines promote COVID-testing as a way of restarting transatlantic travel

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Airlines including; IAG, American Airlines, Lufthansa Group and United Airlines have written a letter to the US vice president, Mike Pence, and the EU commissioner for home affairs, Ylva Johansson, urging the use of testing as a way of restarting transatlantic travel. The letter stated the importance of transatlantic air travel to the airlines and the global economy, while urging for a wider use of testing programme. Currently Lufthansa is offering a COVID testing pilot scheme which shows results within 3h. the airlines added that though it may be difficult, it is a great way to rebuild confidence and restore passenger travel between Europe and the US. 

Business Traveller, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/14/20 US: 60% of US frequent flyers says they plan to fly within the next 6 months

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A survey conducted by Xenophon Analytics showed that 60% of frequent flyers plan to return to the skies within the next 6 months. Of those that responded, 63% are planning on personal travel, 10% will be travelling for business and 27% for both. David Fuscus, president of Xenophon Strategies, said that 2it is clear from the data that people have cabin fever after months of quarantine and wants a vacation”. 86% of flyers noted that contactless technology was the most important thing to help stop the spread of the virus. 

Travel Daily News, July 14, 2020, Online 

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07/09/20 US: Disney World to open in Florida on July 11

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Walt Disney World Florida is preparing to open on July 11 while EPCOT and Disney Hollywood studios is set to open on July 15. After being closed for nearly 4 months, the park’s reopening with a ‘Deliberate, responsible approach’ with new policies following guidance from health experts and government agencies such as limits to attendance, with guests making an advanced reservation before each entry, and controlled guest density which will be implemented throughout the park with the well-being of guests and cast members being at the forefront of planning.  

Breaking Travel News, July 9, 2020, Online 

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07/09/20 US: JFK International Airport launches COVID-19 recovery campaign

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The operators at New York John F Kennedy International Airport’s terminal 7 has launched a COVID-19 recovery campaign that focuses on 5 key areas including; Hygiene and Sanitation; Health and Wellbeing; Social distancing; Transactions and Communications. This campaign is hoped to win back traveler confidence by ensuring safety and security of customers and employees as more people start to travel. The airport has installed new sanitation stations, touchless sanitary receptacles and social distancing decals. They have also implemented new initiatives such as vending machines for PPE, new robotic cleaning technology and a series of contactless transaction systems.  

CAPA, July 9, 2020 Online 

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07/08/20 Canada: Air Canada starts exploring rapid, portable COVID-19 testing

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Air Canada has announced it is working with biotech firm, Spartan Bioscience Inc., to determine how best to deploy portable COVID-19 testing technology. Spartan is developing a proprietary swab for the collection of DNA samples of its COVID-19 test, which includes a test cartridge and portable DNA analyzer device which are waiting for approval from the Canadian federal health department, Health Canada. If approved, the technology would be incorporated into Air Canada’s CleanCare Plus program but the airline has not yet determined how or when the testing process would be implemented.  

Business Travel News, July 8, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 St. Lucia: Government of St. Lucia announces updated protocols for international arrivals from July 9

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The government of St. Lucia will introduce several new and updated protocols for arrivals from July 9, following a reassessment of market conditions. Travelers will now be required to obtain a negative PCR (Polymerized Chain Reaction) test within 7 days of arriving. Those arriving from countries in the travel bubble as well as destinations that have 0 or a low instance of COVID-19 cases will be exempt from testing and quarantine on arrival. All visitors must complete a re-arrival registration form prior to touchdown. 

Breaking Travel News, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/05/20 US: Senator plans to introduce a bill that bans the sale of middle seats

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US Senator, Jeff Markley of Oregon, expressed outrage when he flew with American Airlines and saw how full his flight was with many middle seats taken up. Mr. Markley has stated on his twitter account that he “will introduce a bill to ban the sale of middle seats through the pandemic”. This came just days after Dr Anthony Fauci had expressed concerns over American Airline’s announcement that they would be filling aircraft seats to capacity, while senator Barnie Sanders wrote a letter to the head of US DoT, Elaine Chao, and Stephen Dickson, FAA’s administrator, asking them to issue regulations that limits flight capacity to 67%. JetBlue, Delta and Southwest have all blocked their middle seats and decided to implement social distancing measures, while American and United have not.  

Simple Flying, July 5, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Caribbean: Caribbean health and tourism authorities unveils initiatives to support reopening of tourism

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The Caribbean health and tourism authority’s COVID-19 Caribbean Tourism Task Force, have announced a new initiative to help safeguard the health of travelers and employees that includes comprehensive health and safety guidelines, supported by an ‘aggressive training schedule’ aimed at reaching thousands of the regions’ tourism employees in the coming weeks. Initial guidelines include detailed checklists, backed by the health and safety training for various tourism industry sectors, such as transportation, accommodation, F&B and attractions. General health and safety protocols have been implemented with the support of training delivered by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and companies and accommodations in the region that participates in the CARPHA’s online Tourism Health Information System (THiS) will be eligible to receive the Caribbean Travel Health Assurance Stamp (CTHA), to provide further confidence for travelers. 

Travel Daily News, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 US: DoT releases ‘Runway to Recovery’ guidance for airports and airlines

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The US DoT secretary, Elaine Chao, has released a public health guidance for airlines and airports, regarding the recovery of the US air transportation system from the pandemic, titled the ‘Runway to Recovery’. The guidance was developed by the DoT, department of Homeland Security and the department of Health and Human Services, seeking to offer advice for airlines and airports regarding the mitigation of COVID-19 related risks, while allowing a gradual increase in air travel volume. Measures included in the guidance includes; Collection of passenger contact information, report of daily status of public health assessments of passengers and employees, increased airport security and reducing exposure.   

CAPA, July 3, 2020 Online 

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07/02/20 Cuba: New tourism system in Cuba will isolate visitors from citizens

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The Cuban government have announced plans to restart its tourism industry by sending international visitors to 5 narrow islands that will offer all-inclusive vacations to keep foreigners isolated from the rest of the nation. The plan is designed to reopen a vital source of economic activity without reintroducing the virus to the country. Tourists will charter flights to the islands or to central Cuba, where they will take health tests to check for the virus and those who are negative will proceed straight to their hotels. The new plans are the first part of a three-phase plan to bring Cuba back to normal life. 

Loop Jamaica, July 2, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 US: APA introduces SEATS concept, calls on governments to purchase empty seats

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Allied Pilots Association (APA) has introduced a new concept named ‘Safe Essential Air Transportation Seating’ (SEATS) that aims to gradually return passengers to pre-COVID travel levels whilst maintaining critical transportation infrastructure employment. President of APA, Eric Ferguson, stated “under SEATS, the government would purchase enough seats on each flight to eliminate the need for any passenger to sit next to a stranger”. With the concept, APA hopes that passengers will be encouraged to fly more and airlines would be encouraged to operate more flights. 

CAPA, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 US: USTOA sees an increase in bookings in the last 30 days

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64% of those in the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) have said they have seen an increase in bookings in the last 30 days, according to a survey conducted by members. USTOA also asked when new passengers are booked to travel solely on bookings made in the last 30-60 days and reported that; 41% said they are scheduled to travel in the fourth quarter of 2020; 76% of active members reported new bookings for the second quarter of 2021 and around 12% said they are seeing passenger bookings for 2022. Nearly 71% of bookings are to international destinations while only 29% are to North American destinations. 

Travel Agent Central, June 24, 2020 Online 

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06/24/20 Canada: Air Canada raises further $1.3bn in fresh liquidity

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Air Canada has closed 2 additional financing transactions for net proceeds of $1.23bn and has now raised over $5.5bn of liquidity to offset the costs of collapse in demand for travel. Air Canada also completed a private offering of $840m on June 22 as well as another private offering of $315m early this month. The additional $1.23bn, which the airline was able to secure without using any of its previously disclosed unencumbered assets means that they are able to access additional funds if they need to. 

Breaking Travel News, June 24, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 US: US citizens would get tax credits to travel domestically under senator’s plans to boost tourism

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US Senator, Martha McSally, has proposed offering tax credits to those who plan to travel domestically under the bill named the ‘American TRIP Act’. The Act will also give funding to DMOs in order to help them promote the travel and tourism industry around the nation, especially towards domestic tourism. Up to $4000 travel tax credits would be given to individuals and $8000 to joint fillers to spend on hotels and other travels as well as a total of $50m to DMOs under the act. 

Skift, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/22/20 US: Hotels across the US add new health protocols

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Hotel companies in the US have implemented new procedures and protocols to ensure high standards of heath protocols. Accor has launched several initiatives including ‘All Stay Well’ and ‘All Meet Well’ across North and Central America which includes elements of social distancing in gathering area, health screenings, food and beverage set ups with five feet between chairs, as well as face and body coverings for staffs. Choice hotels have added the ‘Commitment to Clean’ initiative across their meeting and events spaces while Hilton Worldwide is working on publishing their ‘CleanStay’ program. 

Business Travel News, 22 June 2020, Online 

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06/10/20 Mexico: Marriott Cancun Collection to reopen from July 1

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JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and Marriott Cancun Resort, the two most iconic sister resorts in Cancun, have been given approval to open their doors in line with Quintana Roo’s phased COVID-19 reopening strategy. The JW Marriott Cancun have been awarded with the city’s first ‘Safety and Cleanliness’ certificate by the WTTC, a testament to the suitability of new health and safety protocols. The certificate will help with traveler decisions when looking for safer stays.  

Simple Flying, 10 June 2020, Online 

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06/19/20 US: Choice Hotels International unveils new marketing campaign as they welcome back road travelers

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Choice Hotels International has announced a new multi-channel national advertising campaign aimed at two-thirds of US travelers who are planning future travel, according to the US Travel Association. The new campaign celebrates the return to travel and features iconic US destinations from the perspective of travelers on the road. The company’s loyalty program, Choice Privileges, is also offering a ‘stay twice, earn a night’ promotion to encourage more to return to travel. 

Hospitality New, 19 June 2020, Online 

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06/19/20 Dominican Republic: Dominican Republic to open tourism in July

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The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (MITUR) has announced that the country will reopen its borders to international visitors from July 1. A new travel resource center has been opened to help both consumers and trade by delivering accurate and up to date information to answer frequently asked travel questions. The opening is in line with the estimated date for the start of Phase four of the de-escalation process of measures announced by the commission for the prevention and control of the virus. 

Breaking Travel News, 19 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Barbados: Barbados begins reopening with first tourists expected in July

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Businesses in Barbados have now been reopened following the ease in restrictions of services due to COVID-19. Barbados have managed to contain the virus and now all remaining cases are in isolation receiving care from the Ministry of Health. Barbados’ air space is to reopen within the first weeks of July and talks on standardizing protocols over reopening the border is set to take place next week. 

Breaking Travel News, 18 June, Online 

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06/17/20 US: US and China to each allow four weekly flights

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US carriers have now been approved to fly four weekly flights into China, according to the DOT. The Chinese government had previously blocked US carriers from resuming passenger services between the two countries, but since the US responded with an order to limit the number of Chinese carriers entering the US, China has agreed to allow four US carriers to enter China per week.  The DOT has said it will “continue to press for the full restoration of passenger travel between the two countries”. 

Business Traveller, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 US: US agrees to continue existing border measures with Canada and Mexico

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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting secretary, Chad Wolf, has announced the US will continue to limit non-essential travel and entry with Canada and Mexico, based on the success of the existing restrictions. Both Canada and Mexico have agreed the need to the extension, while keeping essential trade and travel flowing as the US starts to reopen their economy. 

CAPA, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/16/20 Canada: WestJet adds flights to US and Mexico in July schedule

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Canadian airline, WestJet, has released an updated July schedule, which shows increased flights to selected US destinations and Mexico. They will now start operating to 45 destinations including 39 in Canada, five in the US, and one in Mexico. This is approximately 102% increase from their June schedule, but 76% lower than of July 2019. 

Simple Flying, 16 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 US: Delta plans growth for July

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Delta Air Lines have announced they are adding more capacity for July but will remain 65% lower on domestic and 75% lower on international than last year’s level. The additional capacity will largely be based on the carrier’s hubs and will include more transcontinental flights. Routes to Latin America and the Caribbean’s will increase to 25% from 10%, while transatlantic flights to Lisbon and Athens will resume in July. 

Business Travel News, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Americas: ICAO urges LATAM & Caribbean governments to implement their global air connectivity guidelines

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An open letter to governments across Latin America and the Caribbean has been sent urging them to quickly implement the ICAO’s global guidelines for restoring air connectivity and work together to quickly implement a ‘Take-off’. ICAO Council’s Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) has been given support by IATA, WTTC, ACI-LAC, and ALTA to provide practical guidance to governments and industry operators to restart the international air transport sector and regain passenger confidence. CART’s work on its recovery report and the ‘Take-off’ guidance for international aviation provides a comprehensive framework of its risk-based measures for operations, proposing a phased approach to restarting aviation.  

CAPA, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/11/20 US: Allegiant Travel Company sees improvements in demand, recording daily gross bookings at $2m

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Allegiant Travel Company CFO Greg Anderson has reported that the carrier averaged more than $2m in daily gross bookings in May and is seeing “continued material improvement in demand”. The carrier has managed to lower their daily cash burn to $1.7m from $2.1m and hopes to get it down to $1m in Q3. Drew Wells, VP of Allegiant Travel Company, has said demand trends in May were “Stronger than anticipated, making up 8% of all travelers going through TSA”.  

CAPA, 11 June, Online 

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06/10/20 US: American Airlines sees higher loads and lower cash burn in June

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American Airlines’ CEO, Doug Parker, has stated that the airline’s load factors have increased drastically since May. Domestic load factor has risen to 62% in June while systemwide, including international capacity, has risen to 58% from 47% in May. Doug Parker has emphasized his confidence in the future of the airline industry and especially for American Airlines. 

Simple Flying, 10 June, Online 

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06/11/20 Brazil: Gol Airlines to operate 20% of its pre-pandemic schedule network in June

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Brazil’s LCC, Gol, has provided an investor update stating that flight operations, by the end of June, is expected to reach around 20% of levels in June 2019. The carrier plans to operate 27 aircrafts and reopen 5 bases including; Sao Paulo Congonhas Airport to Porto Alegre Salgado Filho Airport and Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont Airport. 

CAPA, 11 June, Online 

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06/11/20 Jamaica: Jamaica to reopen to international tourists from June 15

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Jamaica has announced it will reopen borders for international travelers on June 15, which will include a set of protocols for travelers including health screening before entry. Donovan White, the Jamaica Director of tourism, stated that “Tourism is the lifeblood of our local economy and with the help of international experts, we have developed protocols that allows us to safely reopen our boarders. We are confident that as we restart our economy, Jamaicans will work safely and securely to ensure authentic experiences for the travelers” 

Breaking Travel News, 10 June, Online 

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10/06/20 US: United Airlines to introduce health assessments during check-in

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United Airlines have added a health self-assessment for passengers during the check-in process for travelers. Passengers must confirm that they have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 over the prior 3 weeks and are not experiencing any of the symptoms or have not been in contact with someone who has tested positive over the past 2 weeks, in order to be able to fly. Passengers are also required to wear a facemask at all times. 

Business Travel News, 10 June, Online 

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10/06/20 Colombia: Viva Air urges Colombian government to help the aviation industry

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Colombia’s LCC, Viva Air, has urged the Colombian government to “take decisions in order to survive the worst crisis in the world aviation history” via its official LinkedIn account. They continued to express worries for their workforce, as 98% of Viva Air’s employees are Colombian, generating more than 3400 direct and indirect jobs. 

CAPA, 10 June, Online 

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06/07/20 US: Cargo flights drive American Airline’s international route resumption

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US airlines, such as American Airlines, are starting to relaunch international flights faster than travel demands due to the rise in cargo flights. American Airlines have decided to use passenger flight jets for long-haul cargo flights, which means that even if there are no passengers on board, while cargo may not pay the whole bill to fly, it is enough to make those flights viable.  

Simple Flying, 7 June 2020, Online 

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06/08/20 US: DoT extends financial aid for essential air service carriers

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The US Department of Transport (DoT) has said it will extend its financial support to airlines that cancel ‘Essential Air Service’ (EAS) flights due to the lack of demand caused by COVID-19 until the end of September. DoT has already authorized paying 50% of subsidies for cancelled flights, if the carriers operate to the destination with at least one daily trip. The DoT says it will allow the option to extend the support further, if demand levels have not yet returned by the end of September. 

Flight Global, 8 June 2020, Online 

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06/05/20 US: American Airlines to resume more than half of domestic schedules in July

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American Airlines has said it plans to restore its schedule to 40% of its capacity levels before the pandemic started, including operating more than half of its usual domestic schedule for July and August. The airline added they are seeing “improving demand for travel” with their daily passenger load averaging a little over 110,000 per day in the last few days, with demand “largely for leisure travel right now”. International services will resume to about 20% of what it was a year ago. 

Business Travel News, 5 June 2020, Online 

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06/05/20 US: DoT finalizes decision to grant point exemptions to 15 carriers

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The US Department of Transport issued a final order on June 2 to finalize its tentative decisions on allowing air carriers to adjust their service obligations under the department’s orders. The effect on the aviation industry, due to COVID-19, has been enormous and the DoT is taking this action in light of the challenges the industry is facing. This would mean that the carrier would be able to reduce the number of flights they must serve as a proportion of their total service obligation. The DoT has also said that areas that were covered by a carrier before March 1 will continue to get served from at least one airline. 

CAPA, 5 June 2020, Online 

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06/04/20 US: US to block Chinese airlines from flying into the US

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The US government has stated it will block Chinese airlines from flying into the US in response to what it says is a policy that has prevented US carriers from services between the two countries. The DOT has said restrictions will take effect from June 16, but a few hours after the announcement, China’s civil aviation regulator said it will allow US passenger airlines to resume limited services to China. Delta, American, and United had all initially asked to resume trans-oceanic flights on June 1 but the Chinese aviation authorities had failed to permit the US carriers to do so. 

CNN, 4 June 2020, Online 

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06/03/20 US: Delta extends social distancing measures through September

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Delta Air Lines have announced they will extend social distancing measures on its flights through to September 20 and will block selections of middle seats. They will also cap seating in every cabin -  50% in first class, 60% in other cabins, and 75% in its Delta One cabins. The airline’s CEO, Ed Bastian, hopes that this will improve consumer’s perception of safety and encourage more travel. 

Reuters, 3 June 2020, Online 

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06/02/20 US: United plans to restart several international routes in July

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United Airlines are planning to resume some international flights in July that had been suspended due to COVID-19. They have said they hope to lessen the impact from 90% to 75% in July. Routes that are restarting include San Francisco to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Seoul; Washington to London, Munich, Brussels, and Zurich, and Chicago to Tokyo.  

Business Traveller, 2 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 South America: LATAM Airlines expects capacity to return to 18% in July

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Currently, LATAM group expects to operate between 5% and 9% of its pre-COVID-19 capacity in June, as Mexico is the only country that does not have any restrictions; Argentina and Colombia has banned any commercial flights until September, and Chile and Brazil still have restrictions for international travel only. LATAM does, however, expect to reach 18% in July and increase its cargo capacity. 

Simple Flying, 1 June 2020, Online 

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06/02/20 Chile: SKY Airlines to resume domestic operations

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SKY Airlines’ CEO, Jose Ignacio Dougnac, has announced SKY Airlines have resumed domestic operations since June 1. Currently there are six regional flights that have resumed including; Iquique, Calama, Antofagasta, Concepcion, Puerto Montt, and Balmacena. He added that these locations have “greater demand and relevance for the country. The objective is not to promote mass travel but to focus on destinations which play a relevant role today.” 

CAPA, 2 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 US: Frontier Airlines is now screening every passenger’s temperature

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Frontier Airlines has begun to screen the temperature of every person, both staff and passengers, boarding its aircraft, anyone with a temperature above 38 degrees will be denied boarding. The airline will also ask passengers COVID-19 related questions in regard to their well-being, as well as making sure they wear a mask on board. 

Simple Flying, 1 June 2020, Online 

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05/28/20 US: Southwest looks into corporate travel gains with new routes

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Southwest Airlines is making a play into corporate travel market share with added services from Phoenix, Denver, Las Vegas, and Nashville, as it expects business travel demand will begin to pick up again. Southwest EVP and chief commercial officer, Andrew Watterson, has said in a statement “We anticipate business travelers will be back with heightened focus on costs, so we are pairing unmatched schedules with our values and hospitality to welcome them back, and Southwest will be more primed to emerge as the preferred choice of corporate travel”. 

Business Travel News, 28 May 2020, Online 

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05/29/20 US: Southwest plans to return to full schedule by the end of the year with new route from Ontario to Houston

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Southwest has announced it plans to return to full schedule by the end of the year with a new route from Ontario International Airport to Houston’s William Hobby Airport, which will start on November 1. The chief executive of ONT has said that this announcement by Southwest is “A bold and encouraging prediction that they will return to the skies soon”. Before the pandemic, Southwest accounted for almost 50% of ONT’s commercial flights. 

CAPA, 29 May, Online 

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05/27/20 US: American Airlines sees positive signs of travel rebound

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American Airlines have announced they have seen signs of positive recovery and rebound in air travel. In a statement the airline’s chief executive said, “we are down by 90% but looks better as we look out to June”.  American Airlines also recorded the highest load factor since the outbreak of 56% over Memorial weekend as well as seeing more bookings being made for future travel. 

Flight Global, 27 May, Online 

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05/26/20 US: Leisure travel may be back on as numbers rise on Memorial Day

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Passenger travel was up through the Memorial Day weekend, with TSA screening over 1.5m passengers. It was a weekend where the airline industry could see whether people would get back on planes or not and trial ways to bring back more people on board. US carriers are slowly bringing back routes adding more flights to prepare for the summer.  

Simple Flying, 26 May 2020, Online 

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26/05/20 Panama: Copa Airlines to resume flights from June 26

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Panama’s flag carrier, Copa Airlines, has announced it will fly to 23 destinations from Tocumen International Airport from June 26, provided the authorities do not extend their international flight ban any further. They had initially added 31 destinations, but due to Colombia extending its ban on international flights until August 31, they have had to cut back. First flights will operate on June 26 and 29, and will become daily after July 3. 

MENAFN, 26 May 2020, Online 

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05/19/20 Ecuador: Ecuador puts TAME in liquidation

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The Ecuadorian government has started the liquidation process for their state airline, TAME EP, in order to reduce the number of institutions in the country. The airline will, however, keep operating flights for small towns where there is no other alternative travel. TAME has lost $400m over the last five years and IATA’s clearing house had also suspended the airline due to a lack of payment.   

Simple Flying, 19 May 2020, Online 

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05/19/20 US and Canada: US and CANADA slated to extend travel ban by 30 days

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Canada and the US have agreed to extend a ban on non-essential travel between the two nations by 30 days, and could be rolled over until June 21. The measure was initially introduced in mid-March and had been extended in April to May 21. 

Skift, 19 May 2020, Online 

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05/15/20 US: Delta to resume two routes to London and Frankfurt from May 21

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Delta has announced in a statement that it plans to resume transatlantic flights adding two routes between Atlanta, Frankfurt, Detroit, and London starting May 21. The flights will mainly cater for cargo but will have a few seats for passengers to travel. The airline has said that they have been losing up to $50m a day due to grounded fleets. Delta will also add cargo only flights to Mumbai as well as Shanghai and Seoul.

Simple Flying, 15 May 2020, Online

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04/14/20 Mexico: Mexico’s Los Cabos hopes to open all resorts by the end of June

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The local tourism board of Los Cabos, Mexico’s tourism hotspot, has said that they hope to begin reopening beach resorts near Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula in June. They hope to open 40% of the hotels on June 1, as well as adding more flights from the US. The tourism board has said that they expect to restore 60% of its air connectivity and 80% of bookings by the first quarter of 2021.

Skift, 14 May 2020, Online

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05/13/20 US: United will allow travelers to rebook flights off crowded flights

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United Airlines will allow passengers to rebook or claim travel credit on full/nearly full flights if passengers wish to sit in a less crowded plane. Around 85% of United’s flights are running at less than 50% capacity but some destinations have only one flight a day, which has meant that some flights are running closer to full capacity. 

Business Travel News, 13 May 2020, Online 

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05/12/20 US: DOT to allow US airlines to drop services to certain airports

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The United States DOT has allowed domestic airlines to reduce or drop services to certain airports after airlines raised the issues of impracticalities in light of the downturn in travel demand. Airlines, under the CARES Act, had been required to maintain skeleton services to most of their routes but the DOT has now allowed airlines to wind back or drop some services. Delta Airlines have announced they are stopping routes to 10 airports in the US. 

Simple flying, 12 May 2020, Online 

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11/05/20 US: Southwest and American Airlines adds international flights for June

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Southwest and American Airlines have added scheduled international flight services for June. Southwest has announced that they will recommence services to Cancun, San Jose del Cabo, Havana, Montego Bay and Nassau from June 7. American Airlines has already relaunched its Dallas – Madrid flight and will add Amsterdam and Frankfurt on June 4.

House Beautiful, 11 May, Online

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05/07/20 US: United outlines workforce reduction by 30%

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United Airlines have announced that they will be cutting their workforce by 30% from October 1 but until then have asked their staff to take 20 unpaid days off work. The 30% of its 12,000 pilots would be affected by a displacement which would mean reshuffling of pilots to adjust flying less and smaller fleets.

Flight Global, 07 May 2020, Online

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05/06/20 South America: ASUR announces total passenger traffic decreased by 96.3% in April 2020

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ASUR, a leading international airport group in the Americas, have announced that passenger traffic for April 2020 has decreased by 96.3% compared to the previous year in South America. Mexico was down 95.7%, Puerto Rico down by 94.5% and by 99.9% in Colombia. Mexico and Puerto Rico have currently not issued any fight restrictions but has requested that all inbound flights to Puerto Rico lands at LMM airport alone.

PR Newswire, 06 May 2020, Online

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05/05/20 US: US Treasury Secretary encourages Americans to consider domestic travel to reboot economy

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The US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, has warned international travel may not resume until 2021 and has encouraged Americans to travel within the US. He says that they still want people to travel but for safety, to stay within the country, which would also help the economy open back up. The CEO of Southwest Airlines has stated that it is safe for travelers to travel again, adding that air traffic was gradually reviving.

Daily Mail, 05 May 2020, Online

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05/05/20 US: Alaska Airlines capacity drops 80% with $100m loss

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Alaska Airlines have released their first-quarter earnings report which reported a net loss of $102m. Their capacity for the last month has decreased by 80% compared to April 2019 and that will continue into this month. They currently have 156 mainline aircrafts parked up and is hoping to reduce is cash burn per month to $200m from $260m. They have also secured some funding through credit facilities, CARES Act, secured financing, and a long-term loan.

Simple Flying, 05 May 2020, Online

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05/05/20 Canada: Air Canada launches CleanCare+ program to reassure travelers

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Air Canada has launched the CleanCare+ program, an enhanced aircraft cleaning and passenger checks before they board, which will operate until the end of June. Passengers will also have to answer health questionnaires as well as being provided with care kits on board.  

Breaking Travel News, 5 May 2020, Online 

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05/04/20 US: Flights and passenger numbers increasing

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Although many airlines’ fleets are still grounded, data from the TSA show that passenger numbers in the US are on the rise, with 172,563 people passing – the highest since late March. Some airlines are starting to add more flights and planning resumption, such as Hawaiian airlines resuming flight to Seattle and United restarting 7 routes in June. 

Forbes, 4 May 2020, Online 

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05/01/20 US: American Airlines and United report $4bn in combined losses

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American Airlines announced that they have lost more than $2.2bn and United $1.7bn in the first quarter of 2020. Many of the other airlines in the US have been hit hard by the pandemic, as air passenger numbers dropped by 95%. Delta announced last week their losses of $534m and Southwest $94m. American Airlines is currently the worst hit airline with the company saying it is burning roughly around $70m a day. 

NPR, 1 May, Online 

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04/30/20 US: United Airlines says the pandemic is worst crisis in aviation history

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United Airlines reported an even narrower quarterly loss dubbing it “the most disruptive global crisis in the history of aviation”. United has said that they have lost $1.7bn or $6.86 a share in the first quarter compared to last year with earnings of $292m. United have so far lost 67% of its shares this year. 

Market Watch, 30 April, Online 

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04/30/20 Caribbean: Caribbean set for $2.5bn COVID-19 rescue funding

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The Caribbean is set to receive $2.5bn recovery funds in aid with the effects of COVID-19. Tourism faced a ‘sudden stop’ due to the pandemic which is projected to cause 6.2% in economic contraction, the deepest recession there in 50 years. Tourism in some of the Caribbean countries' accounts for 50-90% of their GDP and employment. Request for a rapid credit facility by Haiti, Dominica, St. Lucia and Grenada have been approved. 

Travel Weekly, 30 April 2020, Online 

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04/30/20 US: JetBlue becomes first US airline to require passengers to wear masks

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JetBlue has become the first US airline to make it compulsory for passengers to wear face masks, starting May 4. The chief operating officer of JetBlue has said that air filters will be cleaned every few minutes to ensure that the cabin air is clean. 

NPR, 29 April 2020, Online 

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04/29/20 US: United halts 2 London routes and seasonal Edinburgh services

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Both Denver and Houston are set to lose direct flights to LHR this summer due to demand falling significantly. They have also cut back on their seasonal service between Newark and Edinburgh. United Airlines networked has plunged by 68% in April but will now be reduced to 90% in May. The US ban on immigration entry will also further affect demand for United Airlines’ services there. 

Simple Flying, 29 April, Online 

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Asia Pacific

Articles - APAC

08/05/20 China: Macau is promoting domestic tourism

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China: Macau is promoting domestic tourism 

Macau is promoting itself as a staycation destination in light of a variety of global restrictions due to COVID-19. The aim is to promote it’s attractions to the domestic market to pave the way for tourism. 

Travel Weekly Asia, August 05, 2020 Online 

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07/28/20 Southeast Asia: Traveloka raises $250m to help boost operations as lockdowns ease

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Traveloka, online travel app, announced that it had raised $250m to help boost its operations amid the crisis as domestic travel starts to pick up in the region. The company said that the funding round was led by a ‘global financial institutions’ including existing investors such as East Ventures. The firm’s CEO, Ferry Unardi, has said that their business is back to 100% in Vietnam and has passed 50% of pre-Covid levels in Thailand. He added that both Indonesia and Malaysia have shown an improvement week-on-week. Traveloka will use the new funding to boost its balance sheets and its domestic offerings as well as its financial offerings.  

Reuters, July 28, 2020 Online 

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07/23/20 China: China requires negative COVID test for all passengers before boarding their flight

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All passengers flying into China are now required to present a negative covid-19 test results, taken within 5 days before boarding their flight, which should be carried out in designated facilities or recognized by the Chinese embassy. Passengers are required to take a photo of the result and upload it using a health QR code scanner on WeChat. Foreign nationals wanting to fly into China will also need to apply for a health declaration letter with the result, through the Chinese embassy.  

Business Traveller, July 23, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Australia: Melbourne airport introduces new hygiene and safety measures

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Melbourne airport has introduced new hygiene measures including placements of 420 hand sanitizers across all terminals, antibacterial wipes inside baggage claim and trolley pick-ups and adding in more social/physical distancing floor markings at check-in, security and gate lounges. Melbourne airport has said that they are working with their contractors and staff to make sure that these protocols are being adhered to across the estate, so that travellers feel safer at the airport. 

Business Traveller, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/10/20 APAC: Growth in air travel driven by the domestic market in Asia-Pacific

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Global air travel is slowly picking up due to a recovery in domestic flights with countries in the APAC region accounting for more than half of the current top 20 markets, according to Cirium.  Vietnam, Indonesia and South Korea are the only countries that showed a growth in domestic air travel in July compared to the previous year, while China and the US dominated in the number of flights operated and China has 378,434 domestic flights scheduled for this month. India, the third biggest domestic market is showing signs of recovery with scheduled domestic flights down just 4% from July 2019. 

Bloomberg, July 10, 2020 Online 

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07/10/20 Japan: Japan to look at easing travel ban with 10 countries, including China and South Korea

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The Japanese government announced they are looking to begin discussions with around 10 countries and region including China, South Korea and Taiwan in the coming weeks on easing travel restrictions. The talk is expected to prioritize topics of business travel with other countries that have the outbreak under control such as Brunei, Myanmar and Laos. Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has already started discussions with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand on easing travel restrictions on conditions that travellers are to submit a negative test result, while China and South Korea is set to pose larger challenges due to the number of potential tourists which may make administering tests harder.  

Kyodo news, July 10, 2020 Online 

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07/09/20 Australia: Prime Minister proposes slowing down rate of international arrivals

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Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced to the National Cabinet his plans to slow the arrival of inbound international passengers having “discussed it with Premiers over the last 24h”. New South Wales has been noted to bearing the “largest burden of people returning to Australia and have done the heavy-lifting of that”. Mr. Morris added that flights that were originally flying into Victoria have been suspended and now going into other capitals, in order to lessen the burden that they are facing with the number of returnees to Australia.  

CAPA, July 9, 2020, Online 

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07/08/20 Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka’s tourism ministry to provide relief measures to industry

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Sri Lanka’s Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) has announced plans to provide relief measures to the tourism industry including; A 4% loan to accommodation providers and destination management companies; New instructions to be given to the electricity and water suppliers to delay claiming dues from SLTDA registered accommodation providers; Tour guides and drivers who aren’t entitled to EPF to be paid by SLDTA; A loan facility to be made available to pay employees in the industry and for the central bank extend the six months grace period given for vehicles leased for tourism purposes. 

CAPA, 8 July, Online 

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07/07/20 China: Ctrip’s survey shows more than 80% of Chinese travellers plan to travel in 2H2020

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The ‘2H2020 Travel Sentiment Survey’ conducted by Ctrip’s Tourism Big Data Lab, which asked users of Ctrip from more than 50 cities across China, showed that 82.6% of respondents are keen to travel in the second half of 2020 and 80% of those that responded said that they would prefer to travel long-distances between the provinces. Another recent survey, conducted by the China Tourism Academy (CTA), showed that 80.2% of participants responded they intend to travel in Q3 of 2020. 57.1% of respondents indicated they would think about going on more domestic trips if outbound travel does not recover in the rest of 2020. 70% of respondents said that they intend to increase or maintain their travel expenditure in comparison to their previous trips. 

TTG Asia, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 APAC: UNWTO holds high level meeting on restarting tourism in APAC

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The UNWTO held a meeting on July 1 with 29 representatives of member states in the APAC region, to identify ways to restart tourism as growing numbers of countries begin to open their borders. Participating countries agreed that they need to strengthen international cooperation to respond effectively and restart the tourism sector, understanding that the sector supports the livelihoods of millions across the region. The ministers of tourism and heads of the delegation from the 29 countries identified the priorities for the months ahead, including the need to implement enhanced health and security protocols in order to restart tourism with confidence. 

CAPA, July 3, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 Australia: Virgin Australia to fly more domestic routes in August

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Virgin Australia has announced it is resuming 17 additional domestic flights by early August. This comes after the airline announced last week that it had been bought by a US private equity group, Bain Capital. The Chief Commercial Officer for the airline said “Travel is back on the agenda for Australians and we’re happy to resume flights as borders begin to re-open. We also want to ensure we have great valuable flights available for guests to book their next trip.” Passengers are able to change their date or destinations with no change fee for domestic bookings made up to September 30. 

Business Traveller, July 3, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 Turkey: Turkish tourism board announces new tourism measure against COVID-19

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Turkish Culture and Tourism minister, Mehmet Ersoy, has announced a new tourism measure ‘Safe Tourism Certificate’ that more than 700 hotels and 900 restaurants have applied for across the country. The certificate will prove that the establishment have made standard precautions to prevent the spread of the virus. Turkey will also launch COVID-19 testing centers in its international airports by July 1 as well as a health insurance system for both inbound and outbound travelers. 

Famausta Gazette, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 Asia: AirAsia group aims bring frequency back up to 50% of pre-COVID levels

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AirAsia recorded its highest sale day on June 24 since the beginning of the pandemic selling over 41,000 seats and their website experiencing traffic growth by 170%, while AirAsia Malaysia’s load factor hitting 70%. AirAsia group’s CEO, Tony Fernandes, stated “We are aiming to increase our flight frequencies to around 50% of pre-COVID operations and aiming to resume all domestic routes in the coming weeks to cater to the increase in demand”. The group are currently operating 152 daily flights across the region and will keep increasing as more borders start to open. 

CAPA, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/24/20 Fiji: Fiji eyes ‘travel bubble’ from virus free countries

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Fiji, a country that is heavily reliant on tourism, has proposed to make a travel bubble deal with virus-free countries as Fiji desperately tries to revive its economy. The government estimates that tourism accounts for around 40% of their GDP but the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) says that the figure underestimates the impact and influence the industry has, putting it closer to 60%. Fiji Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, has prosed his idea that would allow Australians and New Zealanders into the country, named the ‘Bula Bubble’, and would create a VIP zone for tourists only. 

Channel News Asia, June 24, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Malaysia: Malaysia eases restrictions on medical and educational tourism

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Malaysia has announced plans to partially reopen its borders to allow medical tourists to enter the country as well as allowing Malaysian citizens to leave the country for medical, educational or any specific purpose tourism. Those who enter under medical tourism will not need to quarantine as they will be taken straight to the hospital but will need to undergo a health screening test in their hoe country before travelling. The government has said that those with employment pass category one as well as those who hold professional visit and resident pass to enter the country.  

TTG Asia, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Southeast Asia: Malaysia and Indonesia express hopes of creating a travel bubble

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Malaysia and Indonesia have expressed interest to create a travel bubble between the two countries but has said that there would first need to be a series of measures implemented by both sides. Both countries are highly dependent on tourism traffic from each other as Malaysia was Indonesia’s top inbound market for 2019 while Malaysia received 3.6m tourist arrivals from Indonesia. Nancy Shukri, Malaysia’s tourism minister and Nia Niscaya, Indonesia’s tourism minister both expressed hopes that the two countries would start a bilateral discussion towards a travel bubble at the Travel Industry Network webinar. 

TTG Asia, 23 June 2020, Online 

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06/22/20 China: Trip.com group partners with Google for new trends report

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Trip.com has introduced a new initiative at their ‘Travel On’ launch event, which brought together over 200 industry partners across the globe. The company hopes to revitalize travel with a range of new safety standards, flexibility, and promotions through their new partnership with Google, which they have launched a joint ‘Travel Trends Report’. They have also added a new marketing model which holds a series of in-destination livestream broadcasts across the world. 

Breaking Travel News, 22 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Australia: Qantas cancels most international flights until late October

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Qantas has cancelled of most of its international flights until late October, except for some to neighboring New Zealand, after Australia’s Tourism Minister announced that the Australian border is likely to stay closed to international travel until next year. Qantas Group announced earlier this month that they will be increasing domestic and regional flights to 15% of pre-virus levels by the end of June and through July. 

Business Traveller, 18 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Myanmar: Myanmar rolls out three-stage plan to revive tourism industry

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Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT) has announced a three-stage ‘Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery’. The first phase named ‘survival’ is set to benefit businesses in form of tax relaxation, reduction in licenses, deferring rent, and provision of loans. Phase two, ‘reopening’, from June until August will look to implement health and safety measures for travelers and staff. The final phase, ‘relaunching’ will be implemented within six months to a year and includes new marketing campaigns and the long-term revival of tourism in Myanmar.  

Webintravel, 18 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Thailand: Thai government approves $718m tourism stimulus

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The Thai government has approved a $718m domestic tourism stimulus as an effort to soften the impact of the pandemic and for a speedy recovery in the tourism sector. The stimulus package consists of three packages geared towards the frontline personnel, hotel stayers, and those using domestic transportation. Thai nationals over 20 will get 40% of their travel expenses covered by the ‘Travelling Together package’ while those who work in the health industry will get funded 2.4bn Bhat through the ‘Moral Support package’. 

TTG Asia, 18 June 2020, Online 

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17/06/20 Asia: Shangri-La hotels commits to increasing health and safety measures

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Additional health and safety measures will be introduced by Shangri-La group this month following a 2-month pilot scheme held at selected hotels. The program named ‘Shangri-La Cares’ includes measures such as; Increased deep cleaning of high touch areas, Use of medical grade sanitizers and disinfectants, Increased air filter cleaning and increased precautions during dining and meetings. 

Travel Weekly, 17 June, Online 

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17/06/20 Taiwan: Taiwan to ease border controls to let in some business travelers

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Taiwan has announced plans to ease border controls from next week and will allow business travelers from lower-risk countries to enter but will have to be tested and quarantined. Taiwan has lifted most of their domestic restrictions but has been cautious about opening its borders to foreign visitors, which have been shut since March. Countries considered as low-risk areas are; New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. 

Reuters, 17 June, Online 

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17/06/20 Indonesia: Bali to reopen borders for tourism in September

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Bali governor, Wayan Koster, has announced domestic tourism will resume on July 9 and will continue into August and if local transmissions levels are low at the time, they will discuss opening its borders to foreign tourists. The governor has stressed that this is only a plan and may change depending on the world-wide situation regarding COVID-19. Bali heavily relies on tourism as 80% of the islands GDP comes from the tourism industry. Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry said it will be implementing the Cleanliness, Health and Safety (CHS) program across top destinations as it prepares to welcome back visitors. 

Traveloffpath, 17 June, Online 

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06/17/20 China: Beijing cuts transports to contain new outbreak

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More than 1,200 flights have been cancelled and railway services reduced until at least July 9 in Beijing as it tackles a new outbreak of COVID-19 in the Chinese capital. The outbreak is thought to have started at the Xinfadi food market, which saw an outbreak of over 106 new cases within the city. New restrictions are now put place for residents in the medium to high-risk areas, who have been told not to leave Beijing and those who need to leave must provide a negative nucleic acid test, no older than seven days. 

Breaking Travel News, 17 June 2020, Online 

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06/16/20 China: Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines all see a rise in passenger numbers

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China’s ‘big three’ carriers; Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines, carried more passengers across their networks in May, the first increase since the start of the year. Domestic passengers made up most of the passengers carried as restrictions ease in mainland China. Air China carried 4.07m passengers in May, a 53% increase compared to April, while China Southern grew by 52% to 5.87m passengers. The CAAC has reported that Chinese carriers flew over 1m in a day on June 5 and is seeing a steady growth. 

Flight Global, 16 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Thailand: Thailand eyes ‘travel bubbles’ for foreign visitors

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Thailand is planning to re-open to foreign travelers by forming a ‘travel bubble’ with countries that have managed to contain the spread of COVID-19 including; New Zealand, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and some ME countries. Travelers will take health screening before they leave and when they arrive in Thailand, which would allow them to avoid having to quarantine when they arrive. 

Business Traveller, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/15/20 Australia: Government to provide 60 regional airports a share of $28.1m

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Australia’s Federal Government has given 60 regional airports a share of $28m in an effort to help the Australian aviation industry. Michael McCormack, the minister for Transport and Regional development, said that the Regional Airports Program will assist airport owners to undertake essential work, promoting access and safety for travelers. He also added the government will be investing $68m over four years to help airports deliver safer runways and other safety upgrades. 

CAPA, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/12/20 Hong Kong: Cathay to add more capacity in June and July

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Cathay Pacific has said they will gradually reinstate capacity in June and July. Cathay’s sister carrier, Cathay Dragon, will operate at 3.5% in June and will increase again in July, making the group total capacity 9.4%. Both Cathay carriers have continued to operate their “Skeleton Passenger Schedule” covering 14 points in their network but still anticipates a substantial loss for the first half of the year. 

Flight Global, 12 June, Online 

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06/12/20 Vietnam: Vietnam considers resuming some international flights to “safe” regions

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The Vietnamese government have posted a statement announcing the assignment of the ‘National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control’ to find and define safe regions for international flights. The regions being considered are; Guangzhou, Taiwan, Seoul and Tokyo. First set of international flights are said to operate in July, while Vietnam Airlines have resumed all domestic routes. 

Business Traveller, 12 June, Online 

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06/11/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines gets approval for transit flights from Australia and New Zealand

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced customers will now be able to transit through Changi Airport on a one-way basis from Australia and New Zealand to the SIA’s global network from June 11. The channel will have some restrictions including; connections must be no longer than 48h, travelers can only travel on SIA groups and will only be able to transit in Changi if they flew from the selected airports in Australia and New Zealand. 

CAPA, 11 June, Online 

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06/10/20 Thailand: Travel agents say they are hopeful of domestic tourism

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The Thai Travel Agents Association (TTAA) has announced plans to re-attract 1m travellers that had their holidays cancelled due to COVID-19 by inspiring them to travel domestically in hopes to raise 20bn Bhat in tourism revenue. TTAA has said over 450 tourism companies returned their business licenses and urges remaining travel agents to shift strategic focus to domestic travel in order to regain some level of confidence among locals, which they hope will lead to tourism levels returning to normal. 

Bangkok Post, 10 June, Online 

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06/09/20 Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka to open tourism from August

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The Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau (SLTPB) has clarified the current situation of tourism in Sri Lanka, stating they are planning to open the nation and welcome back tourists starting August 1. Tourist numbers will be limited and they will only be permitted to stay in hotels that were approved by the tourism board, where safety measures have been put in place. Tourists will also have to carry a certificate to prove negative results of COVID and will also have to take another test upon arrival. 

Times of India, 9 June, Online 

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8/06/20 New Zealand: Jetstar resumes domestic flights in New Zealand

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Lost-cost carrier Jetstar has announced it will resume domestic operations across New Zealand on July 1, flying 75 return flights per week to five destinations. This accounts to roughly 60% of its normal pre-pandemic domestic schedule and Jetstar has said they will closely monitor demands with hopes of adding more flights to schedule in the coming months. Jetstar will comply with Qantas’ ‘Fly Well’ program, including a range of measures to ensure health and safety both at airports and onboard. 

RusTourismNews, 8 June, Online 

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06/09/20 Hong Kong: Government bails out Cathay Pacific with $5bn

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The government of Hong Kong has agreed to bail out Cathay Pacific by taking a minority stake in the airline. The airline’s parent company, Swire Pacific, has announced they plan to raise 39bn HKD ($5bn) in new capital. The government will provide $3.5bn in the form of loans and share purchases, while the rest of the sum will come from new stocks. The government is set to own around 6% of Cathay Pacific, when the deal is complete. Cathay is currently operating at 3% of its capacity while it combats effects of COVID-19. 

Simple Flying, 9 June 2020, Online 

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06/08/20 China: China removes Shanghai as entry for international services to Beijing

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The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has announced Shanghai has been removed as one of the first ports of entry for international services to Beijing, while four new cities were added to the list and Wuhan listed as a ‘back-up’. International flights to Beijing will land at one of 16 airports where passengers will be screened for COVID-19, when they pass the test (negative) they are then permitted to re-board the plane to Beijing.  

Reuters, 8 June 2020, Online 

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06/07/20 New Zealand: Air New Zealand reveals 800-day plan for healthier profits

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Air New Zealand has announced plans to return to healthy profits by 2022 through an 800-day plan that consists of cutting routes, jobs, and passenger numbers. Greg Foran, CEO of Air New Zealand, hopes that through this plan Air New Zealand will be able to return to 70% of its pre-COVID size by August 2022 but hinted a second phase of labor cuts has begun, which is estimated to save around $140m. 

The West Australian, 7 June 2020, Online 

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06/08/20 China: Domestic market strengthens as air pax recovers to 60% of pre-pandemic levels

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The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has stated that domestic carriers flew around 1.04 million passengers on June 5, making it the first time in over four months that Chinese carriers transported over 1m passengers, 38% lower than the same day in the previous year. Average passenger numbers for the first five days of June was 935,000 with an average load factor of 70%.  

Flight Global, 8 June 2020, Online 

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06/08/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines introduces new health and safety measures

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) has said it is making changes to its service as part of its new health and safety measures. Passengers traveling with SIA will receive a ‘care kit’ which includes a mask, anti-bac wipes and hand sanitizer, meals will be modified, such as no meals for services to South-east Asia and China, as well as no buffets at lounges. Aircrafts will go through a cleaning process before each flight and will be equipped with HEPA filters. 

Business Traveller, 8 June 2020, Online 

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06/07/20 Philippines: Cebu Pacific announces additional domestic flights from June 8

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Philippines’ LCC, Cebu Pacific Air, has announced it will restart additional domestic flights from June 8-30 as part of the company’s plan of gradual rebuilding of its route networks. It is still in the development stages and will have an “agile approach to rebuilding our network schedule but may have to cancel or add flights at last minute given the fluidity of restrictions” says the airline. Cebu Pacific has also implemented new flexibility policies to give passengers peace of mind if flights are cancelled. 

GMA News Online, 7 June 2020, Online 

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06/05/20 New Zealand: Auckland airport hopes to see launch of direct services between India and New Zealand

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Auckland International Airport’s general manager, Scott Tasker, has stated that the Delhi-Auckland repatriation service that operated on June 4 marks the first direct Air India service between India and New Zealand, and would like to see more scheduled direct flights between the two countries. He added he “Hopes that India will be a key market in the long-term recovery of New Zealand’s tourism industry”.  

CAPA, 5 June 2020, Online 

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06/05/20 Thailand: Thailand to re-market their image as a ‘trusted and safe’ destination during this time

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Thailand has started re-positioning itself as a trusted destination for international tourists as the restrictions ease after a successful job of containing the outbreak. Tanes Petsuwan, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TOT)’s deputy governor for marketing communications, has said they want “Thailand to re-build its reputation to suit big tour groups and somewhere that tourists can come to have a peace of mind”. 
The campaign is set to be launched later in the year. 

The Straits Times, 5 June 2020, Online 

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06/04/20 China: China eases international flight restrictions

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The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has announced they will allow more foreign carriers to fly into mainland China as it rolls out incentives for airlines based on passenger testing results. Airlines will be allowed to fly into their choice of destination in mainland China from June 8 but will only be allowed to fly to that one destination, once a week. The CAAC has not said which airlines are a part of this but it is understood that some US carriers will be able to fly in. However, if an airline was found to have carried up to five passengers who tested positive, that airline will have to suspend their operations into China for a week. 

Flight Global, 4 June 2020, Online 

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06/04/20 South-east Asia: Cheap holidays to target locals across countries in SEA

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Hotels and travel sectors in South-east Asia’s tourism reliant countries have slowly started re-opening their doors for locals and domestic tourism. Airlines and hotels are significantly lowering rates to lure locals. Do Trang Phuong, an operating manager of Hanoi’s travel company, has said it costs as little as $116 for locals to travel by air for a two night stay a beachside hotel – a saving of nearly 70% from pre-pandemic prices. 

The Japan Times, 4 June 2020, Online 

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06/03/20 Vietnam: Vietnam Airlines grows domestic network after full restoration of flights

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Vietnam Airlines announced they had completely restored all domestic routes on May 29. A further announcement on June 2 detailed the opening of six new routes within their domestic market this month. Vietnam Airlines had in fact increased its flights on May 29 by 36%, compared to the previous year. Vietnam has been successful in controlling the impacts of COVID-19 and on April 23, more than 500,000 people flew on Vietnam Airlines on their domestic routes. 

Simple Flying, 3 June 2020, Online 

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06/03/20 Asia-Pacific: AAPA urges governments to move ahead with aviation restart guided by ICAO

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The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has welcomed the publication of comprehensive guidance material by the ICAO, in support of coordinated efforts to restart international air travel. The guidance includes “pragmatic and sensible measures that are globally and regionally harmonized and mutually accepted” according to AAPA’s general director Subhas Menon. He has also urged governments to “move ahead with the initiatives to restart international aviation in line with broader recovery plans”. 

CAPA, 3 June 2020, Online 

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06/03/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines plans to restart operations to Australia

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) is planning to restart services to Australia over the next two months. SIA are the third largest carrier to and from Australia with over 140 weekly flights. Melbourne will have two return services a week, Adelaide will have one return service, Sydney the most with five, and Brisbane two. New Zealand is also back in operation for SIA, with two weekly flight services to Christchurch and Auckland. 

Simple Flying, 3 June 2020, Online 

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06/02/20 Russia: Aeroflot Group identifies seven key measures for navigating the COVID-19 impact

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Aeroflot Group has identified seven key measures to navigate through the impact of the pandemic and the results to be achieved by each measure, including; optimization of key fixed costs and capital expenditure, negotiations with partners and suppliers for special terms, restructuring aircraft deliveries to later periods, focus on domestic market and launch new destinations, and reduce operations and variable costs. 

CAPA, 2 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 Philippines: Philippine Airlines plan flight resumption from this week

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Philippine Airlines (PAL) announced last week that they plan to resume flights from this week as travel restrictions gradually ease. They also added that key international and domestic flights are planned to resume during June, with initial operations of 21 international and 24 domestic routes. PAL was one of the first airlines to provide PPE for crews, and they are now going a step further, announcing that all crew members will undergo rapid antibody testing before the flight. 

Simple Flying, 1 June 2020 , Online 

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01/06/20 China: Hong Kong airport gradually opens transit for passengers

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Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) has started allowing some transit passengers to use the airport, starting June 1. This, however, only applies to those that have been checked through at the origin port and take transfer flights operated by the same airline group. Entry of non-Hong Kong residents coming in from overseas is still banned and will be denied entry at the airport. 

Flight Global, 1 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines and SilkAir to reinstate flights for some destinations in June and July

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) and regional airline SilkAir will restart some flights in June and July to destinations including; Australia, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Japan, and Hong Kong. With these flights restarting, the capacity cuts for SIA have gone from 96% to 94% and they have said that they will continue to adjust the capacity to match the demand for international travel. 

Channel News Asia, 1 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 Singapore: Singapore in discussion with South Korea and Australia to restart travel

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Singapore is in discussion with South Korea and Australia to resume travel, labeled the ‘Green-lane’ arrangements, that would allow travel within states that have the COVID-19 situation controlled. New Zealand and Malaysia are also involved, while China has already successfully established the arrangement with Singapore, which will begin this month. 

Simple Flying, 1 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 Australia: WA government announces ‘phase three’ of roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions

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The McGowan government of Western Australia has announced phase three of the roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions within WA, with changes coming into effect from Saturday June 6. WA is the first state in Australia to remove the four-square meter rule, replacing it with a two-square meter rule for indoor and outdoor venues as well as bringing the gatherings capacity limit up to 100 people. The roadmap is the state government’s four-phased plan to safely restart WA’s economy. 

CAPA, 1 June 2020, Online 

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05/29/20 Pakistan: Pakistan resumes departing international flights

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Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on Friday that the government plans to allow local and foreign airlines to resume departing international services from all airports in Pakistan, except from Gwadar International Airport and Turbat Airport, from May 30. International and domestic flights have been suspended since March, apart from international repatriation flights. 

Reuters, 29 May 2020, Online 

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27/05/20 South-east Asia: ASEAN ministers consider creating ‘travel bubble’

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Countries in South-east Asia are considering creating the ‘travel bubble’ to resume travel safely. The topic was discussed at the last Mekong Tourism Advisory Group meeting to kickstart tourism in the region, as well as discussions of developing standardized measures for health insurance. They have said that the bubble will start off with neighboring countries and develop a system that enables travel without a need to quarantine. 

Simple Flying, 27 May 2020, Online 

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China: China in talks of tripling international flights

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China’s aviation authority, CAAC, has announced it will consider increasing international flights as long as imported COVID-19 risks are under control. Currently, the maximum number of international flights allowed is 134 a week, due to restrictions put place on March 29 to stop more cases of the virus being imported but could be increased to 407 a week from June 1. Mainland carriers are allowed to fly one flight a week on one route to any country, while foreign airlines are allowed to operate one flight to China a week. 

Skift, 27 May, Online 

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05/21/20 Australia: States in row over opening boarders for domestic tourism

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The Australian prime minister has announced he wants to remove all social distancing restrictions by July under a three-step plan, but the implementation is down to the leaders of individual states who disagree on how safe it is to allow the removal of restrictions. New South Wales has called for all boarders to be opened as a critical part of restarting the economy while Queensland says to keep it closed. Domestic tourism spending was A$80.7bn last year which accounts for almost half of tourism spending in the country. 

Skift, 21 May 2020, Online 

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05/21/20 Singapore: Changi airport to start transit flights in June

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Singapore’s Changi airport, the regional and tourism hub, will gradually allow travelers to transit through from June 2. Since March visitors were banned from entering transit unless from a repatriation flight as part of their security measures to combat COVID-19. Changi Airport is among one of the world’s busiest airports but only recorded 25,200 passengers in April, down 99.5% from the previous year. 

Skift, 21 May 2020, Online 

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05/20/20 Turkey: Turkish Airlines extends flight suspension to mid-June

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Turkish Airlines have announced plans to further suspend flights, domestic flights will now resume on June 4 while international flights will not start until June 10. Turkey has been cautious of the situation and keeping a close eye, given the uncertain nature of the pandemic, and has decided to delay resumption of such activities. 

Simple Flying, 20 May 2020, Online 

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05/19/20 India: SpiceJet and Air India start flight ticket bookings for June

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A number of airlines have started accepting passenger bookings for domestic travel in June, including IndiGo and Vistara. SpiceJet have said that their international bookings are closed until June 15, while Air India have said that it will resume domestic flights after a directive comes in from the Union Government. However, the president of Air Passengers Association for India has urged passengers “not to fall” for the bookings of international flights claiming the money used to buy tickets would become a “credit shell”. 

Live mint, 19 May, Online 

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05/19/20 Australia: Qantas group announces ‘fly Well’ to prepare for travel restriction easing

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Qantas group has announced the ‘fly Well’ program which includes a range of measures to ensure a safe travel environment such as masks and hand sanitizing stations on board as well as more flexibility on bookings. Qantas and Jetstar will both roll out a series of wellbeing improvements in preparation for domestic travel easing. The fly Well program will start from June 12. 

CAPA, 19 May, Online 

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05/14/20 Russia: Russian government grants subsidies to COVID-19 hit airlines

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Russia’s government is allocating $314m to the country’s carriers to provide financial support after passenger traffic went down by 93% in April, due to COVID-19. Aeroflot, Rossiya, and Ural Airlines’ passenger numbers fell by 92-95% while Utair and S7 Group’s figures were down by 89% and 79% respectively. Airlines receiving the support must continue operations and maintain an employee count at least 90% of the level on January 1. 

Flight Global, 14 May 2020, Online 

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05/15/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines reports first annual net loss in 48-year history

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group has reported a net loss of $212m for 12 months ending March 31. The group has said that it had lost $732m in January to March this year due to the pandemic. SIA announced its first round of flight cuts in late March, cutting 96% of scheduled flights due to COVID-19, this has been extended until the end of June. The drop in passenger traffic also lead to a 22% decline in revenue compared to the same period last year.

Business Traveller, 15 May 2020, Online

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05/15/20 Japan: Japan Airlines revises June 2020 schedule and announces capacity cuts

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Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced that it plans to revise its flight frequency plans for June and will reduce around 96% of its international services. The airline will continue to operate cargo flights as normal.

CAPA, 15 May, Online

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05/13/20 Australia: Australia’s Rex studies the launch of capital city flights

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Australia’s Regional Express (Rex) has confirmed plans to expand into capital city flights within Australia after being approached by stakeholders who are interested in providing the equity needed for Rex to start domestic operations in Australia. In a statement, Rex has said that the estimate of equity required is around $130m and the structure is yet to be determined.  

Flight Global, 13 May 2020, Online 

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05/13/20 Thailand: Thai AirAsia parent company reports first-quarter loss

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Thai AirAsia’s parent company has reported an operational loss of Bt1.37bn ($2.7m) in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a profit of Bt1.12bn last year. This was largely due to their loss of revenue, which fell to Bt9.4bn, down 19.1% at the end of the quarter. Thai AirAsia has currently suspended international flights until May 31. 

Flight Global, 13 May 2020, Online 

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12/05/20 Singapore: Changi airport closes terminal 4 indefinitely from May 16

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Singapore’s Changi airport will temporarily close its terminal 4 from May 16 and hopes to re-open once air travel demand picks up and airlines starts seeking to fly from the airport again. Airlines currently operating in T4 will fly from T1 and T3 until operations resume at T4. Changi airport saw passenger numbers drop by 99.5% in April compared to the previous year.

Flight Global, 12 May, Online

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11/05/20 China: China leads global air capacity growth

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Global airline capacity has increased by 2% to 29.8m seats this week, with capacity up in 8 of 17 regional markets. China is leading this, adding 1m extra seats mostly within the domestic market. This equates to a recovery of about 75% compared to where it was prior to the pandemic. South America has also increased its capacity by 13.8%.

Business Travel News, 11 May, Online

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05/07/20 India: Air India opens bookings for passengers to Singapore, London, and US

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Air India have announced that they have opened bookings for travel to Singapore, London, and some US cities. This comes under India’s ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ which aims to move people that are stranded in various parts of the world. The flights will operate between May 8 and May 14. There are currently 64 flights that have been organized for this operation.

Business Traveller, 07 May 2020, Online

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05/06/20 Indonesia: Garuda Indonesia receives $382m from BRI to fund working capital

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Indonesia’s national flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, has received loans of $382m from state-owned Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) including $50m short-term loan as well as $132m loan facility of which half is for its subsidiary LLC – Citilink Indonesia. These funds will help with the airline’s working capital including paying for fuel, airplane lease, and supporting the company’s main business.

The Jakarta Post, 06 May 2020, Online

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05/06/20 China: Hong Kong airport tests full body disinfectant booths

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Hong Kong airport has started testing a full-body disinfectant machine, CleanTech, that sprays sanitizers onto passengers at the airport as well as temperature checks. The airport has said that these booths are equipped with antimicrobial coating which can kill viruses and bacteria on humans and clothing. Currently the airport is carrying out tests to coat “high-touch” surfaces such as handles and smart check-in kiosks with the same antimicrobial coating.

Business Traveller, 06 May 2020, Online

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05/05/20 APAC: Governments cautious on cross-border travel

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Governments in the APAC region are taking a tentative approach to opening their borders for international travel, with the possibility of the “Trans-Tasman Bubble”, which was discussed by the leaders of New Zealand and Australia. Singapore has also had a conference with leaders of some APAC countries to discuss plans for the movements of goods, services, and essential people. 

Flight Global, 5 May 2020, Online 

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05/05/20 Australia: Virgin Australia seeks $130m to stay alive

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New report shows that Virgin Australia had under $20m to spare when it went into voluntary administration, causing their administrators, Deloitte, to borrow around $129m to keep the airline flying. The money has been reported to be used to keep the current skeleton services flying while the airline is preparing for sale. Bids for Virgin Australia are due in mid-May. 

Simple Flying, 5 May 2020, Online 

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05/01/20 Pakistan: Pakistan granted permission for 12 repatriation flights

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Pakistan has been given the permission to operate 12 repatriation flights from the US. It had been deemed as a difficult task to do so as direct flights between Pakistan and the US had been banned for some time, due to security reasons. Pakistan will be allowed to operate 12 one way or return flights before the end of April 2021. 

Simple Flying, 1 May, Online 

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05/01/20 India: Indian Airlines to be given 10 days’ notice of flight resumptions

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The government in India is planning to give airlines a ‘ten-day warning’ before domestic flights resume, with bookings also opening ten days prior to the resumption – which is thought to be sometime in early June. The 10 days is thought to give airline’s enough time to conduct steps, such as maintenance and safety, in order to prepare for flying. 

Simple Flying, 1 May, Online 

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05/01/20 APAC: Cirium’s new report shows increase passenger numbers

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Recent data from Cirium’s new analysis shows that there has been an up rise in the global passenger flights over the last week, as countries in Asia-Pacific such as China begins to relax travel restrictions. New data recorded on April 28 shows a 4% increase in scheduled passenger flights flown compared to April 21.   

Breaking Travel News, 1 May, Online 

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04/28/20 Turkey: Turkish Airlines extends flight cancelations until late May

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Turkish Airlines will not operate any commercial flights until May 28 after it was deemed unsafe to fly before then. The airline has announced that they have suspended all its flights – domestic and international. Another reason for the extension of suspension is due to many of their routes flying to the US, which has currently shut off all international flights, would cause financial losses to the airline. Turkish Airlines are however continuing with their cargo flights to aid transferring vital goods. 

Simple Flying, 28 April, Online 

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04/21/20 Asia: Asia aviation slowly starting to rebuild

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Research conducted by Cirium shows that, although Asia experienced one of the worst falls in aviation in February and cancellations still high, the number of domestic flights within China has recovered slightly. Currently the number of seats within Europe has declined by 94%, North America by 63% and Asia down by 47%. 

Cirium, 21 April, Online 

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04/28/20 Pakistan: Pakistan extends international flight suspension until mid-May

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Pakistan as announced it will be extending its international flight ban until May 15 as cases of COVID-19 continues to grow. Repatriation flights will continue to bring back those stranded in other countries, as Pakistan has the 6th largest diaspora in the world. 

Simple Flying, 28 April 2020, Online 

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04/28/20 Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific to increase international flights in June

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Cathay Pacific and its regional wing Cathay Dragon intends to increase their flying capacity from 3% to 5% between June 21 and 30. The carrier initially reduced their capacity by 97% in April and will continue until June 21. 

Business Traveller, 28 April 2020, Online 

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04/28/20 Australia: Travel ban may continue for at least six months, but interstate could resume earlier

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Australia’s social distancing restrictions have been eased with others set to follow in the coming weeks. However overseas holidays will have to wait until October at the earliest after officials warned that the ban will not be lifted for another six months. Experts have however predicted that interstate travel could be allowed as early as August. The state and federal leaders will meet on May 11 to discuss which measures will be eased. 

Daily Mail, 28 April 2020, Online 

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04/28/20 Oceana: New Zealand and Australia opens after coronavirus success

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New Zealand and Australia has begun easing up social distancing restrictions after both countries reported a drastic fall in new infections and the Pacific nation reduced its COVID-19 alert level. Some non-essential businesses will be able to start opening in New Zealand as well as Australia opening its famous Bondi Beach.  

Financial Times, 28 April 2020, Online 

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04/27/20 New Zealand: Air New Zealand permanently cuts some routes amid COVID-19

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Air New Zealand has suspended its Auckland- Buenos Aires and LA-London routes due to the damage and impact caused by COVID-19. The airline has also postponed its Auckland-NY services until late 2021. 

Breaking Travel News, 27 April 2020, Online 

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04/27/20 APAC: AirAsia resumes operations with mandatory masks and distancing

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AirAsia will resume flying domestic routes again starting May 1. Thailand will see scheduled flights start May 1, while flights to India will resume May 4, Indonesia May 7, and the Philippines May 15. Passengers are told they must wear a face mask before, during, and after their flight. Passengers will have their temperatures taken at boarding gates. These temperature checks will also take place for AirAsia crew members before and after shift changes.  

Simple Flying, 27 April 2020, Online  

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04/27/20 APAC: Singapore Airlines cancels most flights until end of June

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Singapore Airlines (SIA) has extended its flight cancellations until the end of June in response to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. The carrier will continue to only fly to 15 destinations until the end of June. The airline said customers whose flights were cancelled by SIA or SilkAir will retain the full value of unused portion of their tickets as flight credits. Singapore Airlines is offering complimentary rebooking for all SIA and SilkAir tickets issued between March 5 and June 30. 

Business Traveller, 27 April 2020, Online 

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04/27/20 APAC: Vietnamese domestic air market starts to rebound

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Vietnam’s domestic air market is starting to rebound with carriers offering a decent run of domestic flights. Airlines in Vietnam are seeing a slight uptick in demand and are preparing to increase capacity in 2020 gradually. Vietnam Airlines is flying up to eight daily flights on the busy Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City route, with VietJet offering six daily flights, and Bamboo Airways offering about four daily flights. Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City is one of the busiest routes in the world. Domestic flights are not always significant sources for revenue for airlines but in this climate, it is better than nothing. 

Simple Flying, 27 April 2020, Online 

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04/24/20 Indonesia: Indonesia bans all air travel until June 1

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Indonesia’s transport ministry has said that they will ban all air travel until June 1. This will, however, not include repatriation flights for Indonesian national and foreign citizens. Indonesia’s major airlines have already significantly cut down capacity on both international and domestic routes. 

Business Traveller, 24 April 2020, Online 

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04/23/20 Singapore: Singapore Airlines offers complimentary rebooking for new tickets

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Singapore Airlines are offering free rebooking for all SIA and SilkAir tickets issued between March 5 and June 30. This comes as the carrier recently announced that it would extend its flight suspensions until the end of May.  

Business Traveller, 23 April 2020, Online 

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04/23/20 New Zealand: Air New Zealand to bring back stranded nationals form India

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Air New Zealand has started operating repatriation flights to bring back New Zealand nationals from India. Three return flights have been scheduled between Auckland-Delhi and Auckland-Mumbai between April 22-30.  

Business Traveller, 23 April 2020, Online 

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04/22/20 South Korea: State banks to provide up to $1.4bn liquidity to aid Asiana Airlines

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South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has received additional loans from two state banks worth $1.4bn. The banks had already extended $1.3bn of loans to the airline last year due to financial difficulties the airline was facing. A deal was signed in December for a Hyundai Development-led consortium to buy a 31% stake to take over Asiana Airlines but it has not yet been approved. 

Flight Global, 22 April 2020, Online 

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04/21/20 Australia: Virgin Australia plans bare bones flight service as administrators look for buyers

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Virgin Australia will continue to operate its current bare-bones services while external administrators search for buyers in order for the airline to survive its financial crisis. This comes after the Australian government rejected bailing out the airline by refusing to loan $200m. Despite this, the airline has said that they will continue to operate flights to help transport key workers and bring Australian nationals' home.  

The Guardian, 21 April 2020, Online 

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04/21/20 China: Chinese airline market faces consolidation

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A HSBC global research report into the Chinese aviation industry has said that it does not “rule out the possibility of further consolidation” adding that China’s largest airlines would likely lead the efforts. The report also suggests that China’s fourth largest carrier, Hainan Airlines, is a key target given its financial difficulties over the years. 

Flight Global, 21 April 2020, Online 

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04/20/20 India: Indian carriers to fully refund 'lockdown' tickets

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Indian airlines have been asked to issue a full refund for tickets booked for travel during the country’s recently extended lockdown period. For both domestic and international flights the airlines must complete refunds within three weeks of passengers requesting them. Before the Directive General of Civil Aviation announcement, most airlines declined to provide refunds and instead offered credit that could be used at a future date. The measure means cash outlay and subject to a three-week deadline for the carriers which is one more setback as they, like many airlines globally, struggle to stay afloat amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Flight Global, 20 April 2020, Online

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04/20/20 Australia: Virgin Australia goes into administration

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Virgin Australia has said that it is going into voluntary administration and will close after the business day Monday (April 20). An international airline and private equity firm have combined forces in an attempt to acquire Virgin Australia. The airline had been backed into a corner as an application made to the government for a USD$890m loan had been rejected.

Simple Flying, 20 April 2020, Online

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04/19/20 South Korea: Korean Airlines seeking bailout as airline cuts cost

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The South Korean government is under pressure to form a deal that would help bailout Korean Airlines. Although the initial announcement of the financial package was made on March 24, airlines are having to take matters into their own hands as it has not been specified how the package worth $1.6bn would be split between all companies in South Korea.

Simple Flying, 19 April 2020, Online

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04/19/20 Asia: AirAsia announces domestic flight resumptions

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Low-cost carrier AirAsia has announced that they will start operating domestic flights in Malaysia on April 29th with other countries starting in the days after. Currently 96% of its fleets are parked, and the government is yet to approve this, but the airline is hopeful for a slow recovery.

Simple Flying, 19 April 2020, Online

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04/17/20 China: Cathay Pacific to close US bases

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Cathay Pacific will close its cabin and crew bases in the US. This also impacts employees as 300 members of its staff are going to be laid off. Hong Kong’s flag carrier said its bases in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are “no longer viable”. This change affects 286 staff working across bases in the US. 

Business Traveller, 17 April, Online 

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17/04/20 Thai VietJet plans new China route for winter season 2020/21

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Thai VietJet plans new China route for winter season 2020/21 

Currently the airline has suspended both domestic and international services from its base in Bangkok. Thai VietJet will launch a new service linking Bangkok and Haikou in China by late October. This service will supposedly feature in the carrier’s winter season plans for 2020/21 subject to Covid 19. The airline will fly the route three times a week using A320 with 180 seats.  

Travel media daily, 17 April, Online 

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04/16/20 APAC: Cathay Pacific ‘exploring all options’ as passenger traffic drops by 90%

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In Cathay Pacific’s latest passenger traffic figures for March it shows a drastic drop in the number of passengers it carried compared to the same month last year. Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a total of 311, 128 passengers last month, a decrease of 90% compared to March 2019. The Hong Kong-based carrier will be operating a “bare skeleton” passenger flight schedule in April comprising 3% of its normal capacity.  

Business Traveller, 16 April, Online 

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04/16/20 APAC: Thailand bans all international passenger flights until 30 April

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Thailand has banned all international passenger aircraft from landing in the country until 30 April to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The exceptions to the ban will only apply to state or military aircraft, emergency landings, aircraft making technical stops, cargo and repatriation, as well as those operations humanitarian, medical and relief flights. Bangkok Airways has shut the three airports that it operates until 30 April. 

Flight Global, 16 April, Online 

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04/16/20 APAC: Asian economies will see their growth come to a halt this year amid the coronavirus pandemic

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Asia is said to be faced with no economic growth in 2020 and it will be the worst growth performance in almost 60 years. Chang Yong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific’s department claims it is worse than the Global Financial Crisis. Central banks across Asia have engaged in various monetary policy efforts, including government bonds to prevent their economies from collapsing during the crisis. China is the only country expected to grow at 1.2% in 2020, compared to 6.1% in 2019. It has been warned that the global economy is going to face a severe recession that is worse since the Great Depression of the 1930s. 

Business Insider, 16 April, Online 

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04/15/20 India: Indian airlines issue new cancellation rules

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After the Directorate General of Civil Aviation India made an announcement yesterday to suspend all domestic and international flights until May 3, many of India’s carriers have said that they have amended refund rules by saying it is unlikely passengers would get a cash refund. They have, however, said that passengers will be able to reschedule without additional fees. 

Business Traveller, 15 April 2020, Online 

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04/14/20 APAC: Number of flights operated by APAC carriers down by 93%

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The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) has called on governments in the region to re-think its operation regarding the aviation industry, such as relaxing slot constraints and curfews on operating hours. Some APAC carriers have been operating on an AD-HOC basis to bring stranded passengers home.  

Travel Trends Today, 14 April 2020, Online 

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04/14/20 India: India to extend flight suspension until May 3rd

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India will suspend all scheduled passenger flights for nearly three more weeks after the country extended the lockdown. The CAA says that all scheduled airline operations will remain suspended until May 3 but does not apply to cargo operations and specially approved fights. The government first banned international flights on March 22 and has since affected over 600 aircraft.   

Flight Global, 14 April 2020, Online 

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04/13/20 China: Green shoots appear in China

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Reports amongst some travel managers that demand for domestic travel is beginning to increase but it is too early to cite recovery. The number of business deals has been increasing and with that so has corporate optimism.

TTG MICE, 13 April 2020, Online

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04/13/20 Asia: WTTC say travel and tourism is key to recovery

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According to an economic report by WTTC, travel and tourism represented 9.8% of the region’s economy, with a growth rate of 5.5% from the previous year. The study also showed that over the last five years the sector created 21 million new jobs in the region.

TTG Asia, 13 April 2020, Online

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04/13/20 Asia: Social distancing and lockdown extensions

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Governments from various Asian countries are increasing measures around social distancing and extending lockdowns as COVID-19 crisis continues. Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, and India have all increased measures recently.

TTG Asia, 13 April 2020, Online

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Middle East and Asia

Articles - Middle East and Asia

08/03/20 Dubai: Emirates adds second daily LHR flight

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Emirates also resumed flights to Amsterdam, Cairo and is due to begin flying to Guangzhou in China later this week. The airline is gradually expanding its passenger services to 68 cities in August, returning to 50% of its pre-pandemic destination network. 

Travel Weekly, August 03, 2020 Online 

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07/28/20 Africa: Rwanda reopens to tourism as flights return

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Rwanda Development Board has announced that commercial flights will once again be welcomed back into the East African country from August 1st. All tourism activities have now resumed in line with enhanced Covid-19 prevention measures.  

Breaking Travel News, July 28, 2020 Online 

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07/28/20 UAE: Travellers using Dubai hub will need a negative Covid-19 test

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From August 1, 2020, all inbound and transit passengers including citizens, residents and tourists will be required to carry a negative Covid-19 PCR test result. The new instruction will apply to all airlines operating in the UAE and all passengers on those airlines, even if only using the airport for transit. 

Business Traveller, July 28, 2020 Online 

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07/23/20 Africa: RWandAir to return to operations in August

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RWandAir will resume commercial passenger services from August 1st. Flights will restart with selected African routes where travel restrictions have been eased and borders have reopened. Flights to Dubai will also recommence. More destinations will gradually be added to the network as countries continue to lift restrictions. 

Breaking Travel News, July 23, 2020 Online 

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07/22/20 Middle East: Marriott launches new promotion in the UAE

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Marriott International is inviting residents and travelers to rediscover the UAE with its ‘Welcome Back’ offer across participating properties. The promotion is valid for hotel stays until September 30. Marriott Bonvoy members can get 25 per cent off room rates, including complimentary breakfast and 15 per cent off room rates for non-members. 

Travel & Tourism News, July 22, 2020 Online 

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07/21/20 Middle East: Emirates resumes flights to Stockholm from 1 August

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Emirates plans to resume weekly Dubai-Stockholm service from 1 August, operating with Boeing 777-300ER. The restart of Stockholm flights means that all Emirates gateways in Scandinavia will have resumed services by August, with flights to Oslo resuming from 4 August and services to Copenhagen being in operation since June. 

CAPA, July 21, 2020 Online 

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07/14/20 Africa: How Kenya Airways is preparing to resume flights

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Kenya Airways will resume domestic passenger flights tomorrow – July 15th. The flag carrier of Kenya will resume out of its Nairobi hub to two domestic destinations. Kenya Airways will be able to connect remote areas of the country. The airline plans to resume international services on August 1st. The airline has yet to release its international schedule.   

Simple Flying, July 14, 2020 Online 

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07/13/20 Middle East: Abu Dhabi sees promising signs of progress in tourism

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The Department of Culture and Tourism revealed signs of progress within the tourism sector as the emirates prepares to gradually open up to international travel. The government has offered its share of support to the tourism industry via a range of schemes, including up to 20 per cent rental rebates for restaurants, tourism and entertainment facilities, and a suspension of tourism and municipality fees for sector players for 2020. 

Travel & Tourism News, July 13, 2020 Online 

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07/10/20 Africa: Air Botswana to resume operations on 17 July 2020

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Air Botswana announced (9 July) plans to resume scheduled domestic operations on 17 July 2020. The airline intends to increase frequencies in response to demand and resume regional services once travel restrictions are lifted. 

CAPA, July 10, 2020 Online 

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07/08/20 Africa: Nigeria restarts domestic flights amid easing coronavirus restrictions

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The airports for the capital, Abuja, and commercial hub Lagos reopened for flights. The resumption of flights is the latest step by the government to reopen Africa’s biggest economy. Safety measures are in place including airport workers taking the temperature of passengers and spraying bags with decontamination fluids. No date has been given for the resumption of international flights. 

Reuters, July 8, 2020 Online 

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07/08/20 UAE: Etihad expands network to 58 destinations

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The plan is to serve 58 destinations during July and August. The carrier said the move followed “the easing of travel restrictions by UAE regulatory authorities on outbound and inbound travel for citizens and residents”. There will be routes to North America, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australasia. 

Business Traveller, 8 July, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 Africa: Kenya's Jambojet plans mid-July return to the skies

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Jambojet will resume flights to five destinations next week. The airline from July 15th onwards will operate three daily flights from Nairobi to Mombasa, two to Kisumu, two to Eldoret, one to Malindi, and an additional four weekly flights to Diani. The frequencies are subject to change, depending on how demand continues to unfold. 

Simple Flying, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/07/20 MEA: Air Arabia Abu Dhabi to launch operations from 14 July 2020

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The capital’s first low-cost carrier will offer direct flights connecting Abu Dhabi with Alexandria and Sohag in Egypt. Egypt is a “key travel market” for the airline. Air Arabia Abu Dhabi will start its operation with two Airbus A320 aircraft based in Abu Dhabi International Airport.  

CAPA, July 7, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 Middle East: Qatar Airways introduces mandatory face shields for passengers

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Passengers boarding a Qatar Airways flight from today (3 July) will be provided a face shield in addition to gloves and masks, that will need to be worn throughout the trip. Qatar will provide all passengers face shield (in two sizes, one for adults and another for children) at the gate when boarding an aircraft as part of a personal protection equipment kit (PPE). On July 1st, Qatar reopened eleven destinations, and by the end of the month, plans to operate up to 65 destinations worldwide. 

Simple Flying, July 3, 2020 Online 

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07/03/20 Middle East: Kuwait airlines announces its plan to resume commercial flights beginning of August

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White Kuwait Airways has not been operating regular passenger services, some of the airline’s jets have been busy operating repatriation flights. According to Gulf News, the Kuwait Council of Ministers has approved a three-stage plan to operate commercial flights from and to Kuwait beginning on August 1st. the first phase of this resumption will see air traffic capped at 20-30% of full capacity. 

Simple Flying, July 3, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 UAE: Flydubai resumes passenger flights

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Flydubai has announced it is resuming commercial passenger flights to 24 destinations, including countries in Africa, Europe and Middle East. Flydubai’s network includes the following destinations: Addis, Ababa, Alexandria, Almaty, Amman, Baku, Beirut, Belgrade, Bucharest, Dubrovnik, Esfahan, Juba, Kabul, Khartoum, Kiev, Krakow, Lar, Nur-Sultan, Prague, Sarajevo, Shiraz, Sofia, Tbilisi, Tehran and Yerevan. The airline had suspended its operations on March 24. 

Business Traveller, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/25/20 Africa: EgyptAir is back to the sky as of July 1 2020

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Flights that will operate within the period between 1 July – 7 July: Abu Dhabi, Addis Ababa, Amsterdam, Athens, Beirut, Berling, Brussels, Budapest, Dubai, Erbil, Frankfurt, Juba, London, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, Sharjah, Toronto, Vienna and Washington. Flights that will operate within the period between 8 July – 14 July: Bagdad, Copenhagen, Guangzhou and Geneva. Flights that will operate within the period starting 15 July: Barcelona, Dar Elsalaam and Madrid. The rest of destinations will be announced according to the regulations and conditions by the authorities of each country. 

CAPA, June 25, 2020 Online 

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06/24/20 UAE: Abu Dhabi launches hygiene certificate as tourism relaunch nears

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Hotels within the emirate have undergone rigorous sanitation from the beginning of March. Once they have received clearance and certification from the Department of Culture and Tourism they can reopen. Go Safe Certification is a unique programme that aims to enforce global standards of safety and cleanliness at hotels, attractions, and venues across the emirate.  

Breaking Travel News, June 24, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Middle East: Emirates to return A380 to service on 15 July

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Emirates will begin reactivating its Airbus A380 fleet in mid-July with the reintroduction of the superjumbo on flights to Europe. The airline’s fleet of 115 A380s have been parked since late March in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The plan to reintroduce A380 services follows the announcement of new protocols which will enable Dubai to be open to business and leisure visitors from 7 July. 

Flight Global, June 23, 2020 Online 

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06/24/20 Middle East: Iranian airspace set to become cheaper for foreign airlines

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Following regional tensions and reduced air traffic amid the pandemic, Iran announced on Saturday that it plans to set discounts on its airspace. By making overflight fees cheaper, Iran hopes to attract international airlines to utilize its airspace. The plans remain unconfirmed for now, as they have yet to receive approval from the government. According to the Financial Tribune, 68% of the revenue for the Iran Airports Company can be attributed to overflight fees.  

Simple Flying, June 24, 2020 Online 

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06/23/20 Middle East: Arabian Travel Market Virtual online event was successful

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The debut Arabian Travel Market virtual online event welcomed more than 12,000 attendees from around the world. The show attracted guests from 140 countries as delegates addressed emerging trends, as well as the opportunities and the challenges which are directly impacting the travel and tourism industry amid the COVID-19 global health pandemic. Overall, the webinars had more than 24,000 views over the course of three days. 

Breaking Travel News, 23 June 2020, Online 

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06/22/20 Egypt: Tourism Ministry uploads film showing Egypt's readiness to receive tourists

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The campaign aims to reassure tourist audiences that Egypt is ready to welcome them back by showing off the precautionary measures in place and the variety of scenic destinations awaiting them. Tourism investors and the Egyptian Tourism Authority helped finance the video’s marketing campaign. Its target is the tourist market in Asia, the Gulf Arabic states, and European nations such as Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, and Ukraine. 

Egypt Independent, 22 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 Middle East: Qatar Airways will ramp up US routes from July

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Following its resumption of New York flights later this week, from July 1, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington DC will join the airline’s existing Chicago and Dallas operations as it gradually rebuilds its network. It is resuming internationally with over 170 weekly flights to more than 40 destinations. 

Simple Flying, 18 June 2020, Online 

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06/18/20 UAE: Emirates adds ten new cities for travelers

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On June 18 Emirates announced plans to offer flights to ten more cities: Colombo (from June 20), Sialkot and Istanbul (from June 25); Auckland, Beirut, Brussels, Hanoi ,and Ho Chi Minh City (all from July 1) and Barcelona and Washington DC (from July 15). Emirates’ flights from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Pakistan will only carry outbound passengers to the UAE and onward destinations. This will take the total number of Emirates destinations on offer for travelers to 40. 

CAPA, 18 June 2020, Online 

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06/17/20 Middle East: Emirates resumes Manchester-Dubai flights

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Emirates has resumed flights for passengers between Manchester and Dubai. The resumption of Manchester services allows passengers boarding in the UK to connect to destinations in the Asia Pacific, including Australia, via Dubai. Emirates’ flights from Heathrow to Dubai had already resumed. The airline is offering passengers hygiene kits containing masks, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes. 

Travel Weekly, 17 June, Online 

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06/18/20 Middle East: Israel to reopen to international visitors in August

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The first international guests are due to begin arriving from Greece on August 1st. The capital Jerusalem is beginning to reopen to domestic tourists with attractions, restaurants and hotels already opening their doors. The reopen of the city will be carried out in line with strict health regulations enforced by ministry of health. 

Breaking Travel News, 18 June, Online 

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06/15/20 UAE: Etihad resumes flights to 40 destinations in July

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Ethiad has confirmed that flights to 40 destinations including the US, the UK, and Australia will resume in July. The carrier has steadily been increasing its network since the beginning of June and has removed all change fees for flights booked before June 30 for travel until 30 November 2020. In June it launched travel vouchers which are redeemable against future flights, incentivizing purchase by offering a 50% cash bonus. 

Business Traveller, 15 June 2020, Online 

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06/14/20 Africa: Egypt to reopen all airports on July 1, aviation minister says

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Egypt’s aviation minister has announced all its airports for scheduled international traffic will reopen on July 1. However, travelers from countries with high rates of coronavirus infections, based on World Health Organisations (WHO) assessments, need to be tested before coming to Egypt. Domestic flights have continued during the crisis, and the government has allowed hotels to operate at 50% capacity since June 1. 

Reuters, 14 June 2020, Online 

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06/08/20 South Africa: South Africa 'ready' to reintroduce tourism from September

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The African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) has said South Africa is ‘ready’ to reintroduce international tourism to the country and dismissed reports that visitors won’t return until 2021. Inbound tourism employs more than 375,000 people in South Africa, and it is estimated that 40,000 jobs have already been lost within the tourism sector owing to Covid-19. 

Travel Weekly, 8 June, Online 

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06/07/20 Africa: EgyptAir to offer June flights from Cairo to Europe

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EgyptAir will run flights from Cairo to Frankfurt and Amsterdam on June 12, Paris and Vienna on June 14, London on June 13 and Munich on June 15. It was noted by the airline that some of the flights, including London, would only be available to book for residents of the country. The airline recently received a two-billion-pound loan from the Egyptian government to prop up its finances during the pandemic.  

Business Traveller, 7 June 2020, Online 

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06/05/20 South Africa: Mango confirms plans to resume operations on June 15

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Mango Airlines is getting ready to start flying again but will remain compliant with government regulations. New bookings are open for flying from June 15. The permitted flights are between Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town. Only individuals traveling for essential or business travel reasons are permitted to travel by air. If a traveler does not have a relevant travel permit for either essential or business travel signed off appropriately, the traveler will not be granted access and may lose their travel ticket purchased. 

CAPA, 5 June 2020, Online 

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06/04/20 Middle East: Middle East carriers aim to get back on track

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Qatar Airways has been one of the most active operators through the crisis. By the end of June, the airline plans to expand its network to 80 destinations. Etihad has already announced that from June 10 it will expand its transfer connections through Abu Dhabi to 20 destinations. Emirates grounded all of its 115 Airbus A380’s, however a large part of its Boeing 777 fleet has remained operational by virtue of a switch to cargo-only flights. Israeli carrier El Al has spent much of the crisis trying to secure crucial state support to ensure its survival.  

Flight Global, 4 June 2020, Online 

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06/04/20 UAE: Emirates to offer flights to 16 more cities from June 15

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Starting from June 15, Emirates will be offering passenger services to 16 more cities. The cities are Bahrain, Manchester, Zurich, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, New York JFK, Seoul, Kuala, Lumpur, Singapore, Jakarta, Taipei, Hong Kong, Perth, and Brisbane. The news follows from the UAE Federal Government’s announcement of the lifting of restrictions on transit passenger services from June 8.  

Business Traveller, 4 June 2020, Online 

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06/03/20 MEA: Qatar Airways targets Italy as borders reopen

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Qatar Airways is raising frequency on selected European routes with an emphasis on Italy as the country reopens borders to tourists following the COVID-19 lockdown. Venice will become the third Italian destination to see flights from Doha resume on July 15. This will follow increased flights to daily services to Milan, Rome, and Dublin from June 13.  

Travel Weekly, 3 June 2020, Online 

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06/02/20 South Africa: Airlink to resume domestic flights with new trunk route services

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South Africa: Airlink to resume domestic flights with new trunk route services 

Airlink will launch a limited scheduled domestic air service from Monday June 8, with flights on the Johannesburg-Cape Town and Johannesburg-Durban trunk routes, using 98-seat Embraer E190 regional jets. This follows the implementation of South Africa’s COVID-19 “Level 3” restrictions, which permits a three-phase resumption of domestic flights. 

CAPA, 2 June 2020, Online 

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06/01/20 UAE: Etihad launches new 'Wellness Ambassadors'

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Etihad Airways is to train up a team of ‘Wellness Ambassadors’ as part of its expanded health and hygiene program. Once travel restrictions are lifted the carrier says specially trained ambassadors will be introduced at Abu Dhabi International Airport and on Etihad flights. Ambassadors will be able to “offer reassurance to customers by sharing advice on travel wellbeing and details on the health and sanitation measures being implemented throughout their journey”. The team will be available by email and are also set to be expanded to include a web-chat option. 

Business Traveller, 1 June 2020, Online 

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05/31/20 North Africa: Reopened Egypt hotels close to reaching reduced 25% occupancy levels

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Hotels in Egypt which reopened with occupancy capped at just a quarter are full according to reports this weekend. Airports in Egypt remain closed to international flights after they were suspended in March. Hotels are now being allowed to re-open at a reduced capacity, however, they have to be able to operate according to health and safety protocols and social distancing. The Egyptian government hopes to be able to increase the hotel occupancy levels to 50% in June. 

Travel Weekly, 31 May 2020, Online 

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05/26/20 UAE: Abu Dhabi introduces 'safe and clean' initiative

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The ‘safe and clean’ certification scheme is being introduced by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism. Claimed to be the first of its kind in the Gulf region, the initiative seeks to improve and standardize cleanliness and hygiene levels across all businesses and organizations in the tourism sector. The program will be introduced in phases, starting with hotels, with other tourism attractions and businesses to follow. 

Travel Weekly, May 26 2020, Online 

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05/27/20 Middle East: Domestic aviation to return in Saudi Arabia

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Saudi Arabia has announced the resumption of domestic flights more than two months after they were suspended. From May 31st, Saudi-based carriers will be permitted to offer flights within the country. The Saudi General Authority of Civil Aviation said in a statement “The resumption of domestic flights will be phased, to cover all domestic destinations within two weeks”. 

Breaking Travel News, 27 May, Online 

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05/21/20 South Africa: South Africa puts aside more money for struggling SAA

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$212 million has been “provisionally” set aside by the government for the airline this current financial year.  This comes despite earlier assurances from the government that there would be no more money for the state-owned carrier. South African Airways has been mired in financial, management, and government interference problems for years. The South African government last week asked for a business plan to be delivered within 25 days.  

Simple Flying, May 21 2020, Online 

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05/15/20 Middle East: Qatar Airways extends flexible booking policy

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Qatar Airways has made changes to its booking policies which will offer “even greater choice and peace of mind to passengers when planning travel”. Some of the changes include the ability to make unlimited date changes, as well as the option to make multiple changes to the destination, providing it is within 5,000 miles of the original one. No fare differences will be charged for travel completed before December 31 and all tickets booked for travel up until that date will be valid for two years from the date of issuance.

Business Traveller, 15 May 2020, Online

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05/14/20 MEA: Air Arabia reports first quarter 2020 net profit of AED 71 million

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Air Arabia reported a profitable first quarter of 2020 (January to March), despite the COVID-19 impact on the carrier’s first quarter financial and operational performance. The airline reported a net profit of 71 million, 45 percent less than the corresponding 2019 figure of AED128 million. More than 2.4 million passengers flew with Air Arabia between January and March 2020 across the carrier’s four hubs, 14 per cent lower than the number of passengers carried in the first quarter of last year.

CAPA, 14 May 2020, Online

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05/14/20 UAE: Industry will rely on bilateral agreements until "medical solution" found

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The chief executive of Dubai Airports has predicted that bilateral agreements between “trusted countries” will be needed to enable a resumption of services until a vaccine or treatment is developed for COVID-19. Paul Griffiths said “As the UAE government took significant and early steps to get the virus under control, we are optimistic that there will be opportunities to pair with other governments that have been similarly effective to get air services going between them”. 

Business Traveller, 14 May 2020, Online 

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05/13/20 Middle East: Israel prepares to reopen its main passenger airport next month

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The government of Israel is devising a plan to reopen Ben Gurion airport, the country’s largest hub, which was closed in March amid the global health crisis. Authorities have announced they are looking to open it again on June 1. Health officials and Israel’s airport authorities are looking to determine which destinations to start serving once the airport opens again. Israel is an important connecting country for several nations and is a strong economic partner for many countries in Europe and North America. 

Simple Flying, 13 May 2020, Online 

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12/05/20 flydubai won't resume operations until June at the earliest

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Dubai-based carrier flydubai announced it will not be resuming scheduled commercial flights and continue to be suspended until June 4th. They will continue the suspension until the situation improves. flydubai has been undertaking repatriation of thousands of people across four continents and carrying out cargo flights. The city of Dubai has been in lockdown since March 24th, with stricter measures being put in place every two weeks.

Simple Flying, 12 May, Online

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11/05/20 UAE: Etihad Airways to resume regular service between UK and Australia

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Etihad Airways is planning to resume a regular service between the UK and Australia. This service with be recommenced starting on May 15 with a regular scheduled service from Melbourne to London Heathrow via Abu Dhabi. Then from May 21, services from London Heathrow to Melbourne via Abu Dhabi will also be reintroduced. The flights will be operated using a B787-9 with economy and business cabins. Etihad says it has implemented an extensive sanitization and customer safety programme.

Business Traveller, 11 May, Online

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05/06/20 Africa: African travel and tourism sector in urgent need of support

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The African travel and tourism sector combined contribute $169 billion to Africa’s economy, representing 7.1 per cent of the continent’s GDP. Five international air transport and tourism bodies have launched an appeal to international financial institutions, country development partners, and international donors to support Africa’s travel and tourism sector. Without urgent funding, the Covid-19 crisis could see a collapse of the sector in Africa.

International Airport Review, 06 May 2020, Online

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05/06/20 Middle East: Qatar airways aims to resume flights to 52 destinations by start of June

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Qatar Airways revealed it plans to resume flights in a phased approach following the aviation industry’s biggest-ever slump. The airline has been maintaining essential services across the globe. Despite the loss of jobs, Qatar is gearing up to bring its network back in service. Even more flights are planned for June, and by the end of the month Qatar Airways hopes to have resumed flights to 80 destinations; six in Africa, four in Americas, 33 in Asia-Pacific, 23 in Europe, and 14 in Middle East. The plan to resume flights is subject to government approval, meaning some destinations may not be possible.

Simple Flying, 06 May 2020, Online

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05/06/20 Africa: Ethiopian Airlines may rescue and create new airlines all over Africa

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Africa’s largest carrier Ethiopian Airlines has publicly stated it is ready to rescue other struggling airlines and to restart talks on the revival of South African Airways. Despite Ethiopian’s good intentions, it has not escaped Covid-19 unscathed as it is tackling its own struggles. The carrier’s extensive network of 125 destinations has been reduced to just 30 and has cost it in excess of half a billion dollars.

Simple Flying, 06 May 2020, Online

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05/04/20 UAE: Dubai Expo 2020 postponed to October 2021

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The change of dates has already surpassed the required two-third threshold and the postponement is set to be approved by the Bureau International Des Expositions. Expo 2020 Dubai now appears set to take place from October 1st, 2021, running for six months to March 31st, 2022. Organizers at Expo 2020 Dubai said the delay would allow the event to help shape a post-pandemic world.  

Breaking Travel News, 4 May 2020, Online 

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04/30/20 South Africa: Comair expects to remain grounded until at least October

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South Africa’s Comair is in a “very difficult financial position” due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions and does not anticipate being able to resume flights until October or November. The airline has taken a number of actions aimed at mitigating the impact the lockdown has on its finances which include initiating plans to reduce the number of executives and other staff, terminating its planned acquisition of aircraft leasing specialist Star Air Cargo and the beginning negotiations with banks over a possible convertible loan note issuance. 

Flight Global, 30 April, Online 

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04/28/20 UAE: Dubai aims to reopen for tourism by July

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Dubai aims to reopen its tourism by July, according to the Director General of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. The Emirate’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism, trade and retail. Dubai began to ease the lockdown restrictions last week including reopening shopping malls after their closure for nearly a month. 

Business Traveller, 28 April, Online  

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04/28/20 UAE: Etihad hopes to resume passenger flights from mid-May

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Etihad is due to start regular commercial flights again as soon as the 16th of May, but it has already been forced to delay the start date and may have to again. Etihad is working with the government to get its schedule sorted and work around international travel restrictions. Due to the ever-changing situation they are currently only offering flex fares. Passengers can also claim a refund without paying a fee. As countries lift travel restrictions at different times, it is likely to be clumsy, uncoordinated return to regular scheduling.  

Simple Flying, 28 April, Online 

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04/28/20 Israel: Israel takes first steps to reopen tourism industry

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The new measures allow hotels and accommodation with ground floor rooms, or bed and breakfast to reopen from May 3rd. The facilities will initially be open to domestic visitors. It was agreed that in the coming days, guidelines will be formulated together with the ministry of health, for operating hotels and accommodation during the period in which Covid-19 continues to impact Israel.  

Breaking Travel News, 28 April, Online 

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04/27/20 MEA: RwandAir reduces staff salaries to avoid layoffs

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RwandAir is implanting several cost-reduction measures to protect the company’s future and avoid laying off staff. The airline is cutting staff’s salaries after evaluating the stark options available in the context of a severely affected aviation sector worldwide. RwandAir has continued to operate cargo flights. Even though it has suspended all regular commercial flights, the airline continues to operate selected flights from its Kigali International Airport hub.  

Simple Flying, 27 April 2020, Online 

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04/27/20 South Africa: South Africa Tourism ad projects spirit of Nelson Mandela

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A new TV advert released by South African Tourism acknowledges sacrifices South Africans have made since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak. It calls upon the tenacity that South Africans have to “triumph over turmoil” in the same way that the late former president Nelson Mandela had to ensure for the greater good. The advert honours those who have given up their freedom to protect the value of each South African life. The aim is to inspire travelers who are yearning to explore and enjoy the country once again, to continue to endure a little longer. 

Travel Weekly, 27 April 2020, Online 

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04/27/20 UAE: Emirates will take until August to clear refunds backlog

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Emirates has almost 500,000 refund requests to manage. It was processing an average of 35,000 a month before the coronavirus pandemic. The airline is now gearing up to handle 150,000 a month with an aim to clear its backlog by early August. Emirates president Sir Tim Clark said they want to ensure their customers and trade partners that they will honour refunds and are trying to speed things up. 

Travel Weekly, 27 April 2020, Online 

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MEA: South African Airlines (SAA) left with no options but wind-down or liquidation

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South Africa’s government said on 10 April that no further funding would be provided to develop a rescue plan and restructuring for SAA. Rescue practitioners of the business state they are faced with the choice of attempting to secure a better return for SAA’s creditors through a wind-down and sale process. This would involve personnel agreeing to termination of employment and severance packages. The other option is making an “urgent application” to discontinue the rescue and place the airline in liquidation.  

Flight Global, 24 April 2020, Online 

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04/24/20 MEA: Coronavirus has hit these African aviation markets the hardest

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African airlines are estimated to suffer a cumulative loss of $6 billion in passenger revenue in 2020 when compared to 2019 numbers. The ten worst-hit countries ranked by decline in the number of passengers are South Africa, Nigeria, Mauritius, Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, Ethiopia, Cape Verde, Tanzania, and Mozambique. South Africa is expected to see the biggest impact on its passenger demand. Almost 15 million fewer passengers are expected over the next three months. Recently some African airlines have requested financial support from their respective governments, yet some have not been successful and are awaiting a very uncertain future. 

Simple Flying, 23 April 2020, Online 

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04/22/20 MEA: Air Mauritius placed in voluntary administration

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Air Mauritius has gone into voluntary administration as a result of the impact of the coronavirus. The airline’s board today sent a communication to partners updating them on the situation. The communications mentioned that the unprecedented crisis has led to a complete erosion in the company’s revenue base and there is uncertainty as to when international air traffic will resume. 

Travel Weekly, 22 April 2020, Online 

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04/21/20 UAE: Emirates pushes regular flight resumption until July

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The Middle East carrier Emirates had planned to begin offering more regular flights before the end of May, but this has now been pushed until the 1st of July, with some routes not restarting until September. When United Arab Emirates closed its borders on March 20, Emirates was forced to suspend operations entirely. Being a global airline, they rely heavily on borders being open. Emirates have been running a skeleton schedule, all flights have been solely to help repatriate citizens to and from the UAE. From April 6, several flights a week were sent to several locations including London Heathrow, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, and Manila to help stranded travelers return home. 

Simple Flying, 21 April 2020, Online 

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04/21/20 UAE: The 2020 Arabian Travel Market cancelled

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The 2020 Arabian Travel Market (ATM) has been cancelled with the event to return in May 2021. After initially postponing the tradeshow until June, organizers have decided after many meetings ATM will now be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 16-19 May next year. In the interim, ATM will offer a virtual online event on 1-3 June offering webinars, live conference sessions, and speed networking events. 

Travel Daily Media, April 21 2020, Online 

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04/21/20 Israel: El Al in talks for bank loan backed by government

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El Al has entered discussion with an Israeli bank for a loan which would be partly backed by a state guarantee to improve its financial position. The Israeli flag-carrier had previously sought an assistance package from the ministry of finance but was turned down. While El Al maintains that government help is crucial to the airlines ability to ride out the coronavirus situation, it is turning to other means of funding.  

Flight Global, 21 April 2020, Online 

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04/21/20 UAE: Emirates adds social distancing to flights

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Emirates has introduced social distancing on its flights, with seats pre-allocated so that vacant seats are placed between individual passengers or family groups in observance of social distancing protocols. All cabin crew, boarding agents and ground staff who have direct contact with passengers are now wearing personal protective equipment.  Food and beverages are offered in the form of bento-styled boxes to reduce contact between the crew and customers. To reduce the risk of spreading the virus by touch, magazines and other print reading material are temporarily unavailable. All customers must wear masks and gloves throughout their journey from check-in until they disembark. 

Business Traveller, 21 April 2020, Online 

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04/20/20 MEA: Kenya Airways become cargo airline "to stay afloat"

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Kenya Airways has cancelled all international services and has transformed into a cargo airline to survive. Most airlines are currently operating in a very limited way or have ceased flying altogether. The airline is freighting produce and equipment to several countries, one example is 40 tonnes of fresh fruit and vegetables carried to London recently on one of its B787s. There is a demand for cargo aircraft across the world as the main freighters operate mostly in Europe and America, therefore there is a shortage of cargo capacity in Africa.

Business Traveller, 20 April 2020, Online

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04/19/20 South African Airways rescue "unlikely" as 4,700 staff offered severance

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South African Airways has started the process of laying off its entire 4,700 workforce after attempts to save the 86-year-old airline have faltered. The airline has been struggling financially for many years and has been relying on government bails outs. The COVID-19 crisis has worsened their finances and has been unable to get government to agree on more support.

Travel weekly, 19 April 2020, Online

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04/15/20 UAE: Emirates conducts first onsite rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers

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Emirates has begun conducting on-site rapid COVID-19 tests for passengers. The test was conducted by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and results were back within 10 minutes. Social distancing has been placed as well with protective barriers, gloves and masks being installed at each check-in desks.  

Business Traveller, 15 April, Online 

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04/14/20 South Africa: South African Airways will not receive further government support

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SAA will not receive any more funds from the South African government, after a letter from the business rescue team stated that the government had denied additional funding to keep the airline going. The airline is already on a decline and thought to not survive unless given financial aid. 

Simple Flying, 14 April 2020, Online 

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04/14/20 UAE: Emirates and Etihad add more scheduled flights

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Middle eastern carriers – Etihad and Emirates, have added more cities to their flight schedules as they resume limited services. They have said that only citizens of those destinations and those who meet the criteria will be allowed to board, in order to allow those who are stranded in the UAE to return home. 

Flight Global, 14 April 2020, Online 

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04/11/20 Africa: COVID-19 has great impact on safari industry

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Survey results show that the majority of safari tour operators are experiencing a decline in bookings of 75% or more. This figure has increased since March and sentiment is at a low.

Breaking Travel News, 11 April 2020, Online

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04/07/20 South Africa: Invites companies to apply for relief fund

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‘Established as an intervention to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector, the R200 million Tourism Relief Fund provides once-off capped grant assistance to Small Micro and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMMEs) to ensure sustainability during and post the implementation of government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 in South Africa.’ 

CNBC Africa, 7 April, Online  

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04/06/20 MEA: Airline tests kiosk to check medical conditions

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Etihad has partnered with Australia-based Elenium Automation to use a kiosk in airports that will help to identify passengers’ medical conditions. The kiosk measures temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate and is to be put on trial at Abu Dhabi International Airport from mid-April to May.  

Travel Pulse, 6 April 2020, Online 

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04/03/20 UAE: Emirates to resume some flights from April 6

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Emirates has said that it plans to resume several passenger flights services on April 6, after receiving approval from UAE authorities. All their A380s and 125 of the 777 Boeing fleets are currently in storage. 

Flight Global, 3 April 2020, Online 

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04/02/20 MEA: IATA calls for governments to help the region’s airlines

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IATA’s latest analysis suggests the potential loss of revenues carriers in MEA reached US$23bn. As such it is calling on governments from the region to provide urgent financial relief.

Aviation Pros , 2 April 2020, Online

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03/22/20 Middle East: Douglas seeks to calm nerves on Etihad future

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Etihad CEO Tony Douglas has stated that the company is well positioned to survive the coronavirus pandemic, following a warning from IATA that carriers in the Middle East are facing a liquidity crisis. In response to the current situation, Etihad credit has been introduced. This is a new service that gives guests the freedom to delay their travel plans by permitting a free cancellation, with Etihad offering the original value of their booking to be used as credit towards their next trip.

Breaking Travel News, 22 March 2020, online

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