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ICAO

IATA Travel Momentum Builds as Restrictions are Lifted

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IATA Travel Momentum Builds as Restrictions are Lifted - AIRLINEHUB.com - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, February 18, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data showing growing momentum in the recovery of air travel as restrictions are lifted. IATA reported a sharp 11-percentage point increase for international tickets sold in recent weeks (in proportion to 2019 sales).

– In the period around 8 February (7 day moving average) the number of tickets sold stood at 49% of the same period in 2019.
– In the period around 25 January (7 day moving average) the number of tickets sold stood at 38% of the same period in 2019.
– The 11-percentage point improvement between the January and February periods is the fastest such increase for any two-week period since the crisis began.

Progressive Alleviation of COVID-19 Measures

The jump in ticket sales comes as more governments announce a relaxation of COVID-19 border restrictions. An IATA survey of travel restrictions for the world’s top 50 air travel markets (comprising 92% of global demand in 2019 as measured by revenue passenger kilometers) revealed the growing access available to vaccinated travelers.

– 18 markets (comprising about 20% of 2019 demand) are open to vaccinated travelers without quarantine or pre-departure testing requirements.
– 28 markets are open to vaccinated travelers without quarantine requirements (including the 18 markets noted above). This comprises about 50% of 2019 demand.
– 37 markets (comprising about 60% of 2019 demand) are open to vaccinated travelers under varying conditions (18 having no restrictions, others requiring testing or quarantine or both).

These numbers reflect a spate of relaxations announced around the world, including in Australia, France, the Philippines, the UK, Switzerland, and Sweden among them.

“Momentum toward normalizing traffic is growing. Vaccinated travelers have the potential to travel much more extensively with fewer hassles than even a few weeks ago. This is giving growing numbers of travelers the confidence to buy tickets. And that is good news! Now we need to further accelerate the removal of travel restrictions. While recent progress is impressive, the world remains far from 2019 levels of connectivity. Thirteen of the top 50 travel markets still do not provide easy access to all vaccinated travelers. That includes major economies like China, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, and Italy,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

IATA continues to call for:

– Removing all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine,
– Enabling quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result,
– Removing travel bans, and,
– Accelerating the easing of travel restrictions in recognition that travelers pose no greater risk for COVID-19 spread than already exists in the general population.

“Travel restrictions have had a severe impact on people and on economies. They have not, however, stopped the spread of the virus. And it is time for their removal as we learn to live and travel in a world that will have risks of COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. This means putting a stop to the singling out of the traveling population for special measures. In nearly all cases, travelers don’t bring any more risk to a market than is already there. Many governments have recognized this already and removed restrictions. Many more need to follow,” said Walsh.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Avolon and AirAsia Partner to Create Transformational Ride Sharing Platform

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Avolon and AirAsia Partner to Create Transformational Ride Sharing Platform

Dublin, Ireland, February 17, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Avolon, the international aircraft leasing company, today announces that one of the world’s leading airline groups, AirAsia Aviation Group Limited (AirAsia), has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to lease a minimum of 100 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Avolon.

These eVTOL aircraft will allow AirAsia to further revolutionise air travel by providing advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers, transforming how we all connect more efficiently in our everyday lives.

In addition to the eVTOL aircraft, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, will partner with AirAsia to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL aircraft and develop an industry leading urban air mobility (‘UAM’) platform in Southeast Asia. Avolon and AirAsia will form a working group to pursue local certification, research potential market opportunities and infrastructure requirements for UAM. AirAsia will also leverage its successful travel and lifestyle mobile app, the AirAsia Super App, to help support and build an eVTOL ride sharing platform with Avolon.

Avolon VX4 Order book
In June 2021, Avolon ordered 500 VX4 eVTOL aircraft from Vertical Aerospace (NYSE: EVTL) (‘Vertical’), valued at US $2 billion. Since announcing that order, Avolon placed 250 VX4 aircraft with Gol and Grupo Comporte in Brazil, up to 100 aircraft with Japan Airlines in Japan, and a minimum of 100 aircraft with AirAsia. As a result, Avolon has now placed up to 90% of its initial orderbook, underlining the demand for VX4 aircraft from the world’s leading airlines.

Dómhnal Slattery, CEO of Avolon commented: “Tony Fernandes is an aviation pioneer who has built AirAsia into one of the leading airlines in the world and has now also created Southeast Asia’s fastest growing Super App anchored on travel. We are delighted to partner with AirAsia who share our vision of revolutionising the future of air travel. We look forward to working with Tony, and the AirAsia team, on their eVTOL journey. Together we will develop a ride sharing platform and bring the zero-emissions VX4 aircraft into service, positioning AirAsia as the operator of choice for sustainable air travel in the region.”

Tony Fernandes, CEO of Capital A commented: “Innovation has always been in our DNA and using technology to look at more efficient and sustainable ways of doing things is a core focus across Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group). We are now much more than just an airline with over 20 products and services on our super app leveraging off each other including flights, hotels, food, retail, delivery, ride hailing and more. I am truly excited about this partnership between Avolon and AirAsia and the potential for zero-emissions ultra-short-haul air travel in Southeast Asia. The digital era is now. In the VX4, we have identified what we believe will be the eVTOL aircraft of choice and we are thrilled to be the launch airline for the aircraft in Southeast Asia. We are also delighted to extend our long-standing relationship with Avolon, which has a proven track record of delivering for its customers and is in sync with our goal to become the leading one stop travel and delivery platform in Asean.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Vertical commented: “We are delighted that AirAsia is the latest leading airline committing to lease our zero-emissions VX4 aircraft. AirAsia provides many fantastic opportunities to travel around some of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world, and I am thrilled that we will be bringing zero emissions flight to people all across Asia.”

About VX4 eVTOL Aircraft
VX4 eVTOL Aircraft The four passenger, one pilot VX4 is projected to have speeds up to 200mph, a range over100 miles, near silent when in flight, zero operating emissions and low cost per passenger mile. The VX4 is expected to open up advanced air mobility to a whole new range of passengers and transform how we travel. Find out more: vertical-aerospace.com

About Avolon
Headquartered in Ireland, with offices in the United States, Dubai, Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, Avolon provides aircraft leasing and lease management services. Avolon is 70% owned by an indirect subsidiary of Bohai Leasing Co., Ltd., a public company listed on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SLE: 000415) and 30% owned by ORIX Aviation Systems, a subsidiary of ORIX Corporation which is listed on the Tokyo and New York Stock Exchanges (TSE: 8591; NYSE: IX). Avolon is the world’s second largest aircraft leasing business with an owned, managed and committed fleet, as of 31 December 2021 of 824 aircraft.

About Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace is pioneering electric aviation. The company was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, an established entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Ovo Group, a leading energy and technology group and Europe’s largest independent energy retailer. Over the past five years, Vertical has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have over 1,700 combined years of engineering experience, and have certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Vertical’s top-tier partner ecosystem is expected to de-risk operational execution and its pathway to certification allows for a lean cost structure and enables production at scale. Vertical has a market-leading pre-order book (by value) for a total of up to 1,350 aircraft from American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni, and in doing so, is creating multiple potential near term and actionable routes to market.

About AirAsia Aviation Group Ltd (AAAGL)
AAAGL is the holding company that oversees all airlines in Capital A (formerly AirAsia Group Berhad), as well as related international support functions including AirAsia Consulting, shared corporate services division AirAsia SEA, the Santan food group and the ground handling services joint venture business called GTR.

About Capital A
Capital A is an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses that leverage data and technology to deliver the best value at the lowest cost, supported by high quality data and one of Asia’s leading brands that remains committed to serving the underserved.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Time to End US Pre-Departure Testing for Fully Vaccinated Travelers

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Time to End US Pre-Departure Testing for Fully Vaccinated Travelers - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, February 8, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA), in partnership with Airlines for America (A4A) and 28 US and international aviation and travel and tourism stakeholder groups, urged the US government to remove the pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated air travelers flying to the US.

The vaccinated traveler population adds no additional risks to the domestic US population. Increased immunity levels, the pervasiveness of COVID-19 in all 50 US states, rising vaccination rates and new therapeutics, all point to removing the testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers.

“The experience of Omicron has made it clear that travel restrictions have little to no impact in terms of preventing its spread. Moreover, as Omicron is already broadly present across the US, fully vaccinated travelers bring no extra risk to the local population. International travelers should face no additional screening requirements than what is applied to domestic travel. In fact, at this stage of the pandemic, travel should be managed in the same way as access to shopping malls, restaurants or offices,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

More than 74.3 million people — meaning at least 22% of the US population — have had COVID-19, and that is almost certainly an undercount owing to asymptomatic infections and limited testing early in the pandemic. When combined with an adult population that is 74% fully vaccinated, it is clear that the US is developing very high levels of population immunity.

The organizations also noted that the EU has recommended that its member states remove COVID-19 travel restrictions for travel within the EU, and the United Kingdom has announced the removal of COVID-19 pre-departure testing for vaccinated air travellers to enter the country. The UK concluded that the cost to both passengers and airlines of the testing mandate could no longer be justified as there was no evidence the regime protected the population from COVID-19.

Recent research by Oxera and Edge Health in Italy, Finland, and the UK all support the conclusion that travel measures do little to control the spread of COVID-19 when it is already broadly present in the local population. The studies found that, if implemented at a very early stage, travel restrictions may at best delay the peak of a new wave by a few days and marginally reduce the number of cases.

Furthermore, IATA’s most recent air traveler survey showed that 62% of respondents support removing a testing requirement for those who are fully vaccinated.

“Removing the pre-departure testing requirement for fully vaccinated travelers will greatly support the recovery of travel and aviation in the US and globally without increasing the spread of COVID-19 and its variants in the US population. There is no use in closing the barn door after the horse has bolted,” said Walsh.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

IATA Welcomes ICAO Health Master List Critical Enabler of One ID

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IATA Welcomes ICAO Health Master List Critical Enabler of One ID - TRAVELINDEX - AIRLINEHUB.comGeneva, Switzerland, February 5, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association welcomed the creation by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) of a global directory of public keys required for authentication of health credentials. The directory—called the Health Master List (HML)—will make a significant contribution to the global recognition and verification (interoperability) of government issued health credentials.

A public key enables third parties to verify that a QR code displayed on a health credential is authentic and valid. The HLM is a compilation of public key certificates signed by ICAO and regularly updated as more health proofs are issued and new public keys are required. Its implementation will ease the global recognition of health credentials outside of the jurisdiction in which they were issued.

“For international travel today, it is critical that COVID-19 health passes can be efficiently verified outside of their country of issuance. While the keys for verification are available individually, the creation of a directory will significantly cut complexity, simplify operations and improve trust in the verification process. We encourage all states to submit their public health keys to the HLM,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The sharing of public keys used to perform this verification does not involve any exchange of or access to personal information. The HML is available on the ICAO website. All states can upload their public keys and download those of other governments.

Through a pilot project associated with the HML, private sector providers of solutions for governments to verify health credentials will also be able access these keys. This will help facilitate the broadest coverage of health certificates in their offerings as international travel continues to ramp-up. IATA will participate in this pilot program to support the deployment of the IATA Travel Pass.

A Step Forward for One ID

The air transport industry’s interest in this type of directory goes beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

“COVID-19 Health Certificates must be removed as we progress towards overall travel normalization and industry recovery. But we must retain and build on the operational experience of verifying certificates globally. That includes securely sharing access to public keys with private sector solution providers. This will help to drive progress for contactless verification of traveler identities for which similar keys are needed. ​​We cannot under-estimate how important this will be for the implementation of One ID which has the potential to dramatically simplify travel,” said Walsh.

One ID uses digital identity management and biometric technologies to streamline travel by eliminating repetitive checks of paper documents. The contactless checking of travel health credentials is advancing the experience needed to operationalize One ID. The challenge is the same: universal recognition of verified digital credentials irrespective of the jurisdiction in which they were issued, or the standard used. The successful sharing of public keys to verify COVID-19 health certificates will demonstrate that similar keys for digital identity documents can also be securely and efficiently be collected and shared, including with private sector solution providers.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

IATA: Travel Restrictions Had Little or No Impact on Spread of Omicron

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IATA: Travel Restrictions Had Little or No Impact on Spread of Omicron

Brussels, Belgium, February 3, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / ACI Europe (Airports Council International) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged European Governments to lift all travel restrictions for fully vaccinated/recovered individuals holding a valid Covid Certificate – as advised by the new regime for travel within the EU which comes into force today.

This new regime, set out by an EU Council Recommendation adopted on 25 January, is based on the health status of travellers, rather than the epidemiological situation of their country or area of origin.

Independent research (see link in notes below) conducted in Finland and Italy provides insight into developing a Europe-wide policy for removing restrictions. The research made public today confirms the validity of the traveler-centric approach, highlighting the inefficiency of recent travel restrictions imposed by European countries in mitigating the risks to public health and society posed by COVID-19.

New analysis produced by Oxera and Edge Health reveals that pre-departure testing requirements are likely to be ineffective at stopping or even limiting the spread of the Omicron variant. The analysis of testing restrictions imposed by Italy and Finland on 16 December and 28 December 2021 respectively on all incoming travellers made no distinguishable difference to transmission of Omicron cases in those countries. Conversely, the impact of these restrictions, and in particular the limitations to the free movement of people, resulted in significant and unnecessary economic hardship – not just for the travel and tourism sectors and their workforce, but for the whole European economy.

Crucially, the report also shows that:

– Maintaining pre-departure testing requirements for vaccinated/recovered travellers further will have no impact whatsoever on the future spread of the Omicron variant in Italy and Finland.
– Imposing these restrictions earlier – i.e. on the very day the Omicron variant was identified as an issue by the WHO – would not have stopped its spread nor significantly limited it in Italy and Finland. This is inherent to the fact that variants circulate well ahead of the time by which they are identified, which is the reason why both the WHO and ECDC generally consider travel restrictions to be ineffective.

The fact that both countries are now lifting their pre-departure testing requirements is very welcome. However, concerns remain that:

– Both countries could have lifted them much earlier or altogether avoided imposing them in the first place – lessons must be learned to avoid repeated economic damage with no attendant public health benefit.
– While Finland has lifted restrictions for all incoming vaccinated/recovered travelers, Italy has done so only for incoming travelers from within the EU/EEA. This now needs to extend to all incoming travelers, as there is no health safety benefit in delaying this step any longer.

With the coming into force today of the new regime for intra-EU/EEA travel, and in light of the robust data now made public, ACI EUROPE and IATA urge those countries which continue to deviate from the common EU framework to rapidly align with it. Specifically, we call upon the Governments of Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Malta to address this issue as a matter of urgency and abandon unnecessary and damaging restrictions.

In addition, there are no compelling reasons why vaccinated/recovered travellers should be subjected to a different regime whether they travel within the EU/EEA or come from other countries. It is now urgent that the EU Council aligns its outdated Recommendation for travel into the EU (from third countries) with the new regime for intra-EU/EEA travel that comes into force today.

“The new regime for intra-EU/EEA travel is right to focus on a ‘person-based approach’ and to recognise that both vaccinated and recovered travellers should not be subjected to any restriction. But having common EU regimes has so far not prevented States from going their own way. This must stop. We now have further proof – travel restrictions do have a significant effect – but it’s not on public health, it’s on economic stability and livelihoods. In short: they are causing more harm than good,” said Olivier Jankovec, ACI EUROPE Director General.

“The research is clear that the inevitable delay in identifying new variants means that transmission already occurs by the time travel restrictions are imposed. It’s the classic case of closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. Keeping testing in place for vaccinated passengers therefore seems completely ineffective from the health point of view, but damages passenger confidence and national economies. This latest research should give governments confidence to implement the EU recommendation in full, enabling Europe to get moving again,” said Conrad Clifford, IATA Deputy Director General.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

AirAsia Group Changes Name to Capital A

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AirAsia Group Changes Name to Capital A - TRAVELINDEX - AIRLINEHUB.comKuala Lumpur, Malaysia, January 31, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / AirAsia Group Berhad has today announced a name change for the group holding company to become Capital A Berhad (Capital A or the Group). The name change reflects the Group’s new core business strategy as an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses, which have rapidly transformed the AirAsia brand into much more than just an airline.

CEO of Capital A, Tony Fernandes said: “This is not just about unveiling a new logo. It’s a significant milestone that marks a new era for the Group. Today’s announcement reinforces we are not just an airline anymore.

“While the airline will always underpin the AirAsia brand, it has long been my firm intention, well before Covid hit, to leverage the strong data we have built up over 20 years and incorporate industry-leading new technologies to offer a broad range of products and services, over and above selling just airfares. The pandemic has allowed us to accelerate that strategy.

“Our brand has continuously evolved based on driving innovation and meeting ever changing consumer demand. The strategy behind the change of name is to introduce a new corporate identity that better reflects the Group’s core businesses today and its future undertakings, in tandem with our rapid transformation from an airline into a one-stop digital travel and lifestyle services group. We believe that the new company name will also further enhance the marketability of our products and boost the success of our Group for the long haul.

“Essentially Capital A is an investment company with a broad portfolio of businesses which all deliver the best value at the lowest cost, supported by strong data built up over two decades. We also have one of Asia’s leading brands to ride on, a strong people-first culture and an underlying promise of remaining committed to serving the underserved in all that we do. Just like what the airline has done from day one, all of our different lines of business will deliver the same strategy that is underscored by doing what we do best – making travel and everyday lifestyle services affordable, accessible and inclusive to all.

“We are now delivering more products and services under one umbrella than any other brand in Asean and with access to over 700 million people in the region, I foresee incredible growth opportunities for our brand across many different industries in all of our core markets.

“We have 16 products and services on our airasia Super App, providing not only the best value flight and travel deals but also everyday lifestyle needs, from food to retail and e-commerce, to same day delivery, ride hailing and much more. We are already one of the top three online travel agents (OTAs) in Asean and our super app is on track to become the leading lifestyle app in the region very soon.

“All of our portfolio businesses are well on the way to becoming industry leaders in their respective fields across Southeast Asia, including BigPay, our aircraft engineering division Asia Digital Engineering (ADE) and logistics venture Teleport.

“We already have over 50 million monthly unique visitors on our super app which has been recognised as a tech unicorn in under two years, our fintech business BigPay, has been given a significant injection of USD $100million from South Korea conglomerate SK Group and overall we have raised over RM2.5 billion to date through our fundraising strategy. Following strong consumer and investor support for our transformation strategy, we now set our sights on further capital raising initiatives for the airasia Super App, Teleport and ADE which will be announced in due course.”

On the airline, Tony commented: “While Capital A will be the new Group holding company name, one thing that isn’t changing is the AirAsia brand name for our airlines. It’s one of the strongest brands in Asia and provides a solid platform for all of our other products and services to leverage from each other.

“Even though the last two years have been the most difficult and disrupted years in the history of commercial aviation, I welcome the year ahead with much greater confidence. Domestic air travel has already started to rebound in our key markets. While there may be some delays for international flights to return to pre-Covid levels due to the Omicron variant, I believe this will be short-lived as many global health experts are also predicting, alongside accelerated vaccines and booster shots as well as the world gradually learning to live with Covid. I am hopeful borders will reopen gradually throughout 2022 and we will see a return to normal capacity for our international services by the middle to third quarter of this year.

“Over the past two years we have spent the downturn in flying building a solid foundation for a viable and successful future, which is not solely reliant on airfares alone. Capital A signals an exciting new era for our airlines and all of our other portfolio businesses within the Group as we embark on a significant new growth phase.

“Importantly, the best is yet to come. We have pivoted, we have transformed and we have a five year plan in place which will see non airline revenues contributing around 50 percent of overall Group revenue by 2026. Once the airlines return to pre-Covid levels in the near future all of our other lines of business will benefit significantly and will all soar to new heights in tandem with one another.”

By 2026 Capital A aims to achieve amongst others:
– Group airlines connecting over 1 billion people in Asean.
– The engineering division (ADE) becomes an industry leader for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in Southeast Asia.
– airasia Super App to be the super app of choice in Asean.
– 10 million monthly active users for BigPay.
– 10% market share in Southeast Asia for Teleport, in the logistics and e-commerce industry.
– 5 million sign ups for edutech arm AirAsia Academy.
– Over 21 million monthly orders on airasia grocer.

The new holding company name, Capital A, is immediately effective following the successful registration of the name by the Companies Commision of Malaysia announced on January 3 and the subsequent formal approvals received yesterday.

The name change from AirAsia Group Berhad to Capital A Berhad will not have any effect on the Company’s ongoing operations. The AirAsia stock name on the main Board of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad will change with immediate effect to reflect the new company name.

About Capital A – capitala.airasia.com
Capital A is an investment holding company with a portfolio of synergistic travel and lifestyle businesses that leverage data and technology to deliver the best value at the lowest cost, supported by high quality data and one of Asia’s leading brands that remains committed to serving the underserved.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Omicron Having on Impact on Air Passenger Demand Recovery

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Omicron Having on Impact on Air Passenger Demand Recovery - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 26, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced full-year global passenger traffic results for 2021 showing that demand (revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) fell by 58.4% compared to the full year of 2019. This represented an improvement compared to 2020, when full year RPKs were down 65.8% versus 2019.

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to the respective 2019 period, which followed a normal demand pattern.

– International passenger demand in 2021 was 75.5% below 2019 levels. Capacity, (measured in available seat kilometers or ASKs) declined 65.3% and load factor fell 24.0 percentage points to 58.0%.

– Domestic demand in 2021 was down 28.2% compared to 2019. Capacity contracted by 19.2% and load factor dropped 9.3 percentage points to 74.3%.

– Total traffic for the month of December 2021 was 45.1% below the same month in 2019, improved from the 47.0% contraction in November, as monthly demand continued to recover despite concerns over Omicron. Capacity was down 37.6% and load factor fell 9.8 percentage points to 72.3%.

Impact of Omicron Measures: Omicron travel restrictions slowed the recovery in international demand by about two weeks in December. International demand has been recovering at a pace of about four percentage points/month compared to 2019. Without Omicron, we would have expected international demand for the month of December to improve to around 56.5% below 2019 levels. Instead, volumes rose marginally to 58.4% below 2019 from -60.5% in November.

“Overall travel demand strengthened in 2021. That trend continued into December despite travel restrictions in the face of Omicron. That says a lot about the strength of passenger confidence and the desire to travel. The challenge for 2022 is to reinforce that confidence by normalizing travel. While international travel remains far from normal in many parts of the world, there is momentum in the right direction. Last week, France and Switzerland announced significant easing of measures. And yesterday the UK removed all testing requirements for vaccinated travelers. We hope others will follow their important lead, particularly in Asia where several key markets remain in virtual isolation,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

International Passenger Markets

– Asia-Pacific airlines’ full-year international traffic plunged 93.2% in 2021 compared to 2019, which was the deepest decline for any region. It fell 87.5% in the month of December, a bit better than the 89.8% decline in November. Full year capacity was down 84.9% compared to 2019. Load factor fell 44.3 percentage points to 36.5%.

– European carriers saw a 67.6% traffic decline in 2021 versus 2019. Capacity fell 57.4% and load factor decreased 20.6 percentage points to 65.0%. For the month of December, traffic slid 41.5% compared to December 2019, an improvement over the 43.5% year-to-year decline in November.

– Middle Eastern airlines’ annual passenger volumes in 2021 were 71.6% below 2019. Annual capacity fell 57.7% and load factor dropped 25.1 percentage points to 51.1%. December’s traffic was down 51.2% compared to December 2019, a solid pick-up from a 54.3% drop in November.

– North American airlines’ full year traffic fell 65.6% compared to 2019. Capacity dropped 52.0%, and load factor sank 23.8 percentage points to 60.2%. December demand was down 41.7% compared to the same month a year-ago, a pick-up over a 44.6% drop in November.

– Latin American airlines had a 66.9% full year traffic decline compared to 2019. Capacity fell 62.2% and load factor dropped 10.2 percentage points to 72.6%, the highest among regions. Traffic fell 40.4% for the month of December compared to December 2019, significantly bettering the 47.3% decline in November.

– African airlines’ international traffic fell 65.2% last year compared to 2019, which was the best performance among regions. Capacity dropped 56.7%, and load factor sank 14.1 percentage points to 57.3%. Demand for the month of December was 60.5% below the year-ago period, a deterioration from the 56.5% decline in November, owing to the impact of government travel restrictions in response to Omicron.

– China’s domestic passenger traffic fell 24.4% in 2021 compared to 2019. It was down 39.6% for the month of December versus December 2019, which was an improvement compared to a 50.9% decline in November.

– Russia’s domestic traffic rose 24.2% for the full year, and 23.2% for the month of December, an acceleration over the 17.5% rise in November. Russia was the only market to see growth in RPKs in 2021 compared to 2019.

The Bottom Line

“As COVID-19 continues to evolve from the pandemic to endemic stage, it is past time for governments to evolve their responses away from travel restrictions that repeatedly have been shown to be ineffective in preventing the spread of the disease, but which inflict enormous harm on lives and economies. A New Year’s resolution for governments should be to focus on building population immunity and stop placing travel barriers in the way of a return to normality,” said Walsh.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

World’s First Winery Airline Launched, Business Class in Every Glass

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World’s First Winery Airline Launched, Business Class in Every Glass

Auckland, New Zealand, January 23, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / New Zealand’s borders have just re-opened after 119 days and to celebrate Invivo Co-founders Tim & Rob launch “Invivo Air”, what we believe to be the world’s first winery airline.

The maiden flight will take place in early 2022 from Auckland to Queenstown in a chartered 34-seater Swedish built Saab plane. There will be a number of allocated complimentary seats* on the flight for selected guests and Tim & Rob are inviting Aucklanders to register their interest online at Invivoair.com prior to 6pm on 14 January 2022.

Priority for seats will be given to Auckland hospitality and tourism staff who have been affected by the lockdown, members of the public who haven’t seen their South Island family or friends in 2021 due to the borders and Invivo shareholders.

Selected guests will enjoy a 24-hour line-up of special experiences by Invivo and partners in Queenstown, including a stay at The Hilton Queenstown, visits to Invivo’s Central Otago growers and more.

Tim comments “It’s been a tough period of time, particularly for our bars and restaurant customers in both the North and South Island heavily reliant on local tourism. Running a flight to the South Island is a way that we can show the public the country is open again for domestic tourism, and at the same time support some of those who have had a particularly tough time of it. We are not ruling out further flights to other New Zealand destinations as well. At Invivo Air it’s business glass in every glass!”

“Invivo Air” passengers will need to comply with all applicable rules and regulations, including showing their valid vaccine pass before boarding. Head to Invivoair.com for more.

Share the news with your friends – especially those impacted by the border closures and lockdowns!

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Passenger Traffic Improved but Omicron Restrictions to Affect Times Ahead

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Passenger Traffic Improved but Omicron Restrictions to Affect Times Ahead - TRAVELINDEXGeneva, Switzerland, January 15, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the recovery in air travel continued in November 2021, prior to the emergence of Omicron. International demand sustained its steady upward trend as more markets reopened. Domestic traffic, however, weakened, largely owing to strengthened travel restrictions in China.

Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to November 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.

– Total demand for air travel in November 2021 (measured in revenue passenger-kilometers or RPKs) was down 47.0% compared to November 2019. This marked an uptick compared to October’s 48.9% contraction from October 2019.

– Domestic air travel deteriorated slightly in November after two consecutive monthly improvements. Domestic RPKs fell by 24.9% versus 2019 compared with a 21.3% decline in October. Primarily this was driven by China, where traffic fell 50.9% compared to 2019, after several cities introduced stricter travel restrictions to contain (pre-Omicron) COVID outbreaks.

– International passenger demand in November was 60.5% below November 2019, bettering the 64.8% decline recorded in October.

International Passenger Markets

– European carriers’ November international traffic declined 43.7% versus November 2019, much improved compared to the 49.4%% decrease in October versus the same month in 2019. Capacity dropped 36.3% and load factor fell 9.7 percentage points to 74.3%.

– Asia-Pacific airlines saw their November international traffic fall 89.5% compared to November 2019, slightly improved from the 92.0% drop registered in October 2021 versus October 2019. Capacity dropped 80.0% and the load factor was down 37.8 percentage points to 42.2%, the lowest among regions.

– Middle Eastern airlines had a 54.4% demand drop in November compared to November 2019, well up compared to the 60.9% decrease in October, versus the same month in 2019. Capacity declined 45.5%, and load factor slipped 11.9 percentage points to 61.3%.

– North American carriers experienced a 44.8% traffic drop in November versus the 2019 period, significantly improved over the 56.7% decline in October compared to October 2019. Capacity dropped 35.6%, and load factor fell 11.6 percentage points to 69.6%.

– Latin American airlines saw a 47.2% drop in November traffic, compared to the same month in 2019, a marked upturn over the 54.6% decline in October compared to October 2019. November capacity fell 46.6% and load factor dropped 0.9 percentage points to 81.3%, which was the highest load factor among the regions for the 14th consecutive month.

– African airlines’ traffic fell 56.8% in November versus two years’ ago, improved over the 59.8% decline in October compared to October 2019. November capacity was down 49.6% and load factor declined 10.1 percentage points to 60.3%.

– Australia remained at the bottom of the domestic RPK chart for the fifth consecutive month with RPKs 71.6% below 2019, albeit this was improved from a 78.5% decline in October, owing to the reopening of some internal borders.

– US domestic traffic was down just 6.0% compared November 2019 – improved from an 11.1% fall in October, thanks in part to strong Thanksgiving holiday traffic.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News

Air France Committed to Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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Air France Committed to Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Paris, France, January 12, 2022 / TRAVELINDEX / Air France is strongly involved in the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which can lower CO2 emissions by at least 75% when compared to traditional fossil fuel. Unfortunately, SAF is currently much more expensive than fossil fuel. Your contribution will help cover the difference and can directly reduce your carbon footprint.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is a clean substitute for fossil kerosene. This fuel is made from sustainable resources like waste oils from biological origin, such as used cooking oil. This means the fuel is cleaner, reduces emissions, and has a very low fine-particle emission, which is important for air quality. We can blend SAF with conventional fuel, meeting the same specifications as fossil kerosene.

For several years, Air France has been committed to reducing its CO2 emissions and is working with industry partners to find solutions to the climate crisis.

Between 2005 and 2019, Air France cut its CO2 emissions by 6%, despite an increase in traffic. We must continue on this path and step up our actions. The next step is to achieve a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 compared with 2005. We have also set ourselves the goal of achieving zero net emissions by 2050, an ambitious but necessary goal to keep global warming below 2°C by the end of the century.

Currently, the main tool for reducing our carbon footprint is to invest in a modern, more fuel-efficient fleet. Air France invests 1 billion euros annually in its fleet renewal. The second mechanism we have at our disposal is to incorporate sustainable aviation fuel on our flights. It is now possible to manufacture fuel from used oils and wood residues or agricultural waste, which can reduce CO2 emissions by 75% over their life cycle compared to fossil fuel. These fuels, whose production does not compete with the food industry, can be incorporated safely without any modification to aircraft.

The quantities available are still very limited and sustainable aviation fuel is currently 4 to 8 times more expensive than conventional jet fuel. The emergence of large-scale industrial production facilities in France and Europe will help reduce these costs.

As from the beginning of 2022, French regulations will require the incorporation of an average of 1% Sustainable Aviation Fuel on flights departing from France. A “Sustainable Aviation Fuel” contribution will be included in the price of each ticket from 10 January, from €1 to €4 in the Economy cabin and from €1.50 to €12 in the Business cabin, depending on the distance. Thanks to this contribution, and to the voluntary participation of our corporate customers, over 15,000 tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel will be integrated in our aircraft in 2022, i.e., 10 times more than the previous year and significantly beyond the mandatory amount.

In addition, as from 13 January you will be able to voluntarily contribute to the purchase of additional Sustainable Aviation Fuel on our website to reduce the carbon footprint of your trip. Every euro you contribute will be invested in the purchase of this fuel. Members of our Flying Blue Frequent Flyer Programme will also be able to purchase SAF with their Miles and earn additional XP, thus facilitating their access to the different programme levels. This new service will be implemented in 2022.

First published at TravelCommunication.net

First published at TravelNewsHub.com – Global Travel News