18 JANUARY 2021
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Arriving at Business Travel News as ‘editor at large' is Jeff Mills who will be contributing on a regular basis starting with an ON TOUR highlighting Berlin in this issue.
Following its roll-out and delivery flight into New York JFK Airport jetBlue has revealed an up-market interior.
With updates being introduced on a regular basis if you do have to travel we suggest you check from time to time the latest Travel Updates as per the link. Flights within the UK are still unrestricted although strong precautions are being taken and Scotland has its own rules. South America and Portugal have now been added to the travel ban.
The travel embargo
The Prime Minister’s words on Friday evening concerning inbound travellers to the United Kingdom were devastating but not unexpected. For once the travel industry was more or less in agreement even if not in detail.
Reuters reports that the US Treasury Department on Friday (15 January) began distributing $15bn in new payroll assistance to airlines, money allocated by Congress to help more than 32,000 aviation workers return to jobs by at least 31 March.
The European Commission has approved a further €73.02m in Italian state support for Alitalia declaring it to be in line with EU state aid rules.
All the Aspire Lounges in the UK are closed. However, a number remain open on the Continent and at key locations around the globe. (All times local)
A spokesperson said: “Due to the ongoing uncertainty and travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision to extend the suspension of flights and holidays up to and including 25th March 2021.”
Teesside International Airport is to have a twice weekdaily Loganair service to Heathrow from Monday 8 March. This replaces the single Eastern Airways operation that is currently suspended due to the lockdown. There will also be a Sunday return service with Saturday added at the end of the month and the Sunday flights doubled.
The low-cost airline, Norwegian, has announced that it will be focusing on Europe with its new business plan. With no long-haul out of Gatwick this will open up possibilities for other operators.
From 04:00 GMT this morning (18 January), people travelling to the UK will have to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test before setting off. This may be taken up to three days before their journey begins.
Following the lifting of the embargo by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar Airways has been quick to reintroduce flights.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) welcomed the announcement by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it will require all travellers to the US to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test undertaken within three days prior to their departure to the US, effective 26 January.
The major British airlines offering fully trained teams of personnel experienced in handling individuals with a variety of problems are all providing help to assist the NHS as the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine continues. See NHS and easyJet in this week’s BTN. BA is another big supporter.
Last Friday (15 January) the UAE’s newest airline, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, began operations with its inaugural flight to Athens (Greece) from Abu Dhabi International Airport.
Berlin – New airport – New life
With overseas holidays effectively cancelled until we don’t know when BTN has been pragmatic and engaged one of the country’s leading travel journalists, Jeff Mills (see in this week's BTN), to tempt you the reader, with a series of destinations for your bucket list. Now that Berlin Willie Brandt International Airport is finally open the capital of Germany seemed the obvious choice for the lead piece, two hours by plane and an all year round centre for hospitality. Plan for summer 2021. You can suntan too.
Business Travel News is pleased to announce the introduction of Travel News Update (TNU), a supplement to BTN produced in association with Aspire Executive Lounges.
Last week saw NATS CEO Martin Rolfe as guest of honour at the first (virtual) Aviation Club lunch of the year. He last spoke in 2016.
The British Business and General Aviation 2021 (BBGA) Virtual Conference and AGM will take place on Thursday 4 March with Bombardier Aviation as the main event sponsor again this year.
Leaked to a Spanish newspaper last week, and part of the Brexit agreement the proposed lifting of border controls between Gibraltar and Spain will be seen as a boom not only for the British Overseas Territory but also the adjoining town of La Línea.
With long-standing CEO Edmond Rose moving on from his role at the end of February at Airport Coordination Ltd (ACL), the UK authorised slot allocator, has a new boss.
EasyJet cabin crew are to be fast-tracked to support the NHS vaccination programme. Following it's recent offer of help to the UK Government, easyJet cabin crew are being recruited and fast-tracked to support the NHS as part of the vital nationwide effort to distribute the Coronavirus vaccine.
The Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has published its events calendar going into 2021. All are virtual and cover a variety of aviation aspects and are mostly free to non-members.