While “a crisis like no other” (in the words of the International Monetary Fund) rages, it is important to identify and highlight the sectors of the aviation, tourism and travel retail business that are beginning more rapidly, to recover.
In this column, we bring you regular updates about how airports, airlines, travel retailers and brands are planning for and investing in the recovery; how governments are opening borders; and how various stakeholders are shaping up for the new normal. Please send your contributions to Martin@MoodieDavittReport.com.
Dubai Airports has welcomed the resumption of scheduled operations by foreign carriers at Dubai International (DXB), alongside the reopening of a range of shopping and dining outlets.
Some 13 international airlines resumed scheduled flights this week as Dubai opened its skies and welcomed tourists from 7 July. The carriers include Air Blue, Air France, Cebu Pacific, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, Gulf Air, KLM, Lufthansa, Mahan Air, Middle East Airlines, Pakistan International Airlines, Philippine Airlines and Royal Jordanian, with more expected to join later. DXB-based Emirates and flydubai have also boosted their schedules this month.
Shops, cafés and restaurants have begun to open, led by anchor retailer Dubai Duty Free in departures and arrivals. In addition, Travelex, Le Clos and Costa have opened in Terminal 3 arrivals.
F&B options in T3 departures include FIX, The Daily DXB and The Hangar. Shops open include Boots and H&M as well as Dubai Duty Free.
At Terminal 2 services available include Travelex currency exchange, Boots and selected cafés and restaurants, including Starbucks, Subway and McDonalds.
Full story and comment from Dubai Airports here.
Good news from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as this striking Samsung pop-up is reopened after the COVID-19 crisis forced its closure.
Desy Berndsen, Director of Business Development at promotions agency Face The Public, said: “Thanks to all the efforts of Tessa Postuman from Samsung Electronics, Eveline Brouwer from Capi-Lux and Jérôme Legger of Schiphol Media, last Friday our team was able to restart the activation and boy, that felt so good!
“Until the end of August our Face The Public team is excited to show all the innovative Samsung products in the mobile market, the Z Flip & S20 family, to every Schiphol passenger.”
By the end of August, Latvian airline airBaltic plans to have reestablished 69 routes on its network, mostly from its base in Riga. In coming weeks it will bolster existing services by launching direct flights from Riga to Billund (Denmark), Reykjavik (Iceland), Madrid (Spain), Zurich (Switzerland), Turku (Finland), Warsaw (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic), Stuttgart (Germany), Budapest (Hungary) and Liepaja (Latvia).
The airline has also already announced its Summer season schedule for 2021. In all, airBaltic will offer 82 routes, which is +21% compared to this year. It plans to increase frequency on some popular routes, including Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Dublin and others.
As reported, airBaltic, LSG Riga and Hanse Distribution have partnered for an onboard sales drive that has lifted average spend per passenger year-on-year despite much reduced travel numbers.
Delta Air Lines will add almost 1,000 flights system-wide this month, boosting connectivity to popular Summer destinations and key business markets. To ensure crew and passenger safety, the airline said it will cap seating at 60% in its main cabins and 50% in First Class, blocking middle seats through to 30 September.
In the US, the focus of network expansion will be on major hubs like Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis and Salt Lake City.
Delta will add capacity back into the Latin America region in response to reopened borders and the increased demand for leisure travel. Delta will operate around 20% of its schedule compared to last year, but that is an improvement from June capacity that was reduced by more than -90% year-on-year.
Flight additions are focused on popular vacation spots close to the US, notably Cancun, Los Cabos, Montego Bay, Nassau, St. Thomas and Punta Cana.
Delta also plans to resume previously suspended routes in the Caribbean in high demand for Summer including Aruba, St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Puerto Rico.
Delta is also adding some more transatlantic services such as a four-times weekly service from Boston to Amsterdam and daily service from Seattle to Amsterdam. It will also restart its Detroit to Paris Charles De Gaulle service.
Delta continues to operate a much reduced schedule to the Asia Pacific region but will restart weekly service from Los Angeles to Sydney in July. The airline will also add weekly flights from Atlanta to Incheon, complementing existing service from Detroit and Seattle.
AirAsia has sounded an upbeat note about regional travel and advance bookings, as domestic travel returns in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, India and the Philippines. This comes despite a warning from auditor Ernst & Young signalling uncertainty about the future of the carrier.
Group CEO Tony Fernandes said: “On 7 July, we registered our highest post-hibernation sale with 75,000 seats sold in a single day, reflecting pent-up demand and signalling green shoots of recovery. We also sold over 200,000 AirAsia Unlimited Passes since its recent launch for domestic Malaysia, domestic Thailand and AirAsia X.
“Positive trends in our flight bookings and load factors are additional signals of a better second half of the year. In June, our group-wide load factor was 60% with AirAsia Malaysia’s load factor reaching 65%. For July, we expect to achieve a higher load factor of 70% despite tripling our capacity month-on-month to cater to the increased demand.”
“Things may be a bit different than usual, but you’re still just as welcome. Welcome back to Schiphol!” That’s the message from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as flight schedules increase and traveller numbers rise steadily in early July. This lovely video just released by the airport company shows what the new world of travel (and shopping) at Schiphol looks like today.
“While global aviation continues to witness unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic, this step is a testament to the strength of the UAE aviation sector and our commitment to its long-term prospects.”
That’s the upbeat view of regional aviation from Air Arabia Group Chief Executive Officer Adel Al Ali, as the low-cost carrier and Etihad Airways push ahead with plans to launch a new joint airline, Air Arabia Abu Dhabi, on 14 July.
Full story here.
Flights resume today at Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. All traffic had moved to Terminal 1 during the COVID-19 crisis, but this facility has now become congested, said Manila International Airport Authority in a letter to airline and other partners.
Those airlines that transferred temporarily to T1 are now “directed to return and resume flight operations at Terminal 3, effective 8 July”, said the authority. These include Cebu Pacific, Emirates, KLM, Cathay Pacific, Philippine Airlines and All Nippon Airways.
Visitor traffic to the Philippines remains restricted. The government has just lifted the ban on Filipinos travelling abroad as long as destination countries permit their entry.
Changi Airport Group, in partnership with Lotte Duty Free, has ramped up its online retail offer through the iShopChangi platform. The partners have added over 100 wines & spirits brands, at duty paid prices, for non-flying customers.
Full story here.
Dubai is reopening for tourism from 7 July. To celebrate the city’s reopening, the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce has launched a moving campaign film titled ‘Ready When You Are,’ to inspire travellers to visit Dubai once again.
The film also assures travellers that the city is taking all necessary precautions to ensure their safety and wellbeing when visiting Dubai.
SSP has reopened six restaurants over the past week at Brisbane, Sydney and Perth airports, will more to follow in the weeks ahead. In the past seven days openings include:
Brisbane: Ze Pickle, Upper Crust and Upper West Side Deli
Sydney: Roll’d (T2 Virgin), National Pies (T3 Qantas)
Perth: Crate Cafe (Qantas)
Hailing the openings, SSP Southeast Asia Managing Director Shane Beyer said: “Whilst these past few months have been some of the toughest we have all witnessed, there is nothing more inspirational than seeing smiles on the teams faces, especially as we navigate the long road back to work.”
Manchester Airport has issued updated information on the reopening of terminals, shops and restaurants as flight activity picks up this month. Terminal 2 will open on 15 July, meaning that all three terminals will be back in operation. Terminal 3 opened on 1 July, serving British Airways, Air France, KLM, Ryanair, Loganair and Eastern Airways flights.
Already open in T1 are Biza Duty Free, Boots (airside and landside), WHSmith, Timberland, Greggs, Spar and Playnation while outlets open in T3 include Boots, WHSmith, Pork & Pickle and Caffe Nero.
Biza Duty Free will open in T3 on 8 July, followed by Lion & Antelope (airside) and Caffe Nero (Ground Transport Interchange) a day later. JD Sports will open in T1 on 15 July.
In Terminal 2, Biza Duty Free will open on 15 July, as will WHSmith and Caffe Nero.
Manchester Airport Chief Operating Officer Brad Miller said: “With the introduction of travel corridors, we envisage passenger numbers to continue to increase, which is why we are opening Terminal Two from 15 July, to maximise the airport space.
“These travel corridors will open up the chance for people to enjoy a well-earned break abroad and directly benefit the hundreds of thousands of people whose jobs depend on air travel for their livelihoods.
“We have made our airport safe for our passengers and staff, and we have already started limited operations to many of these countries. With the quarantine requirement now removed, we look forward to safely welcoming back many more passengers in the coming weeks.”
Flights that resume this week from Manchester Airport include Ryanair to Agadir, Beziers, Copenhagen, Gothemburg, Girona, Katowice, Marseilles, Naples, Marrakesh and Riga, while TUI begins flying to Ibiza and Palma.
Lagardère Travel Retail Italia has reopened its Aelia Duty Free stores at Palermo Airport. The retailer said: “A great team spirit has always characterised Lagardère Travel Retail Italia, and it has grown even stronger in the last few months. The team is facing this moment with a really positive attitude and we are extremely proud of it.”
Marseille Provence Airport has announced its latest store and service reopenings. These include Aelia Duty Free (Schengen Zone), Relay/L’Occitane and Prime Time. In F&B, the Starbucks, Class’ Croute, Brioche Dorée and Ritazza units in T1, Hall B have also resumed trading.
Domestic flights from Lagos and Abuja airports will resume on Wednesday 8 July after a three-month suspension, the Nigerian government has announced. Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports will resume operations on 11 July and other domestic airports will reopen on the 15th. A date for the resumption of international services will be announced “in due course” said authorities in a statement released on social media.
American Airlines will commence flight operations from London Heathrow Terminal 5 beginning on 7 July. Terminal 5 is the main terminal for its transatlantic route partner, British Airways.
American Airlines will be operating four daily flights from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, New York John F. Kennedy International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Miami International Airport. The airline said that it is expanding its international network with a renewed focus on strategic aviation hubs such as Heathrow Airport.
“Moving American’s operations to Terminal 5 for the first time will greatly improve the customer travel experience, enabling faster and easier connections by working closely alongside our valued joint business partners,” commented American Airlines Managing Director Europe & Asia Pacific Rhett Workman. “While our surroundings may have changed, the safety of our customers and team members remains of paramount importance and we are working tirelessly with our partners and the airport to ensure we continue to offer a safe travel experience.”
Over 80% of F&B stores and retail outlets have reopened at Singapore Changi Airport as more flight activity resumes. Lifestyle destination Jewel Changi Airport began operations on Friday, with attractions such as Canopy Park and the Changi Experience Studio open again.
To safeguard the health and wellbeing of shoppers and diners, all retail and F&B establishments have put in place new safety measures, including stringent cleaning and disinfecting regimes. Contactless payment, takeaway, self pick-up and delivery are among the services available on goods purchased.
The airport company and its partners have also launched a range of promotions to encourage spending.
The ‘Save 2xGST’ campaign allows Changi Rewards members a discount of 7% (the rate of GST) plus a further 7% off purchases with a minimum spend of S$30 from 3 to 19 July. Shoppers who spend more than S$70 with Mastercard can also redeem S$10 Changi Gift Cards or S$5 e-Vouchers.
Jewel is rolling out its first ‘GST Absorbed Shopping Extravaganza’ promotion and an additional S$10 cashback, with just a minimum spend of S$80. This runs until 26 July. In-store sales discounts at Jewel are running as high as 50% at brands such as OSIM and Love Moschino.
Home delivery and drive-through options are also available for locals. They can order from up to five F&B outlets at Changi Airport at no marked-up prices and a flat delivery fee of S$5. Changi Rewards members can also earn points with every order. Alternatively, guests can pre-order meals from any of the ten Jewel eateries such as JUMBO Seafood, Yun Nans and Kam’s Roast, and arrange self pick-up as they drive through Jewel’s Drop-off Point.
Beirut Duty Free has reopened its stores and revealed a major consumer promotion at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport aimed at enticing travellers to spend. The reopening is accompanied by a strong health & safety campaign in the stores.
Accompanied by this wonderful archive photo, Manchester Airport Aviation Director Julian Carr wrote on Friday*: “Today we have 54 flights departing. That’s by far the most since the crisis started, and it now feels like there is real positive momentum towards recovery.
“Of our 60+ airline partners, 17 are now back operating, with the last few days seeing BA, Ethiopian, Finnair, Turkish and easyJet restart operations. Tomorrow [Saturday 4 July] sees our first Iran Air operation to Tehran and we’ll also be welcoming a one-off China Eastern service to Jinan.
“While it’s some way off where we should have been, the initial loads on these flights have been very encouraging and shows there is certainly demand out there. Also next week we’ve still got some surprises in store with respect to new airline and route announcements etc.
“It’s great to finally be getting up and flying again, and starting the process of rebuilding the Gateway to the North!”
The government has announced that it will be relaxing its requirement for inbound travellers from certain states to quarantine, effective 10 July. Under the new regulations, passengers arriving from these ‘travel corridor’ countries are no longer required to self-isolate for 14 days. This is under the condition that they have not been in a country that is not included in the travel corridor list in the 14 days prior to arrival in the UK.
The Department for Transport has revealed the full list of travel corridor countries listed below.
Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are already exempt as part of the common travel area. Information regarding travel into Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be announced at a later date.
Arriving passengers must also complete a passenger locator form prior to arrival to help with the country’s track and trace protocols.
Gebr Heinemann today reopened its business at Copenhagen Airport. Gebr Heinemann Denmark Managing Director Esben Keller said today on LinkedIn: “It has been a tough time for business and colleagues, but we are very pleased to welcome our colleagues back to the family, and we now take the first step of many towards recovery of our business.
“I want to thank all employees for showing great perseverance and are looking very much forward to restart the journey together. Proud of my team who have worked incredible hard preparing our shops for the great reopening today. We are more ready than ever to delight our customers again I am confident that we will come out of this crisis stronger as humans, colleagues and as a winning team.”
Berlin Schönefeld and Tegel airports have announced a much enhanced flight schedule for July, which will feature 36 airlines flying to 100 destinations in 40 countries.
Qatar Airways is resuming flights to Doha three times a week while easyJet is initially offering 39 connections from Berlin and expanding its flight services over the summer. Ryanair has been increasing its flight operations gradually since 21 June. From July, there will be 50 connections to and from Schönefeld and Tegel. Airlines such as Condor, SunExpress and Wizz Air are also increasing capacity.
Lufthansa is again operating several flights a day from Berlin-Tegel to Frankfurt and Munich. Air France, KLM, British Airways and Brussels Airlines have also resumed their respective routes to Paris, Amsterdam, London and Brussels daily or several times a day.
Flughafen Berlin Brandenburg CEO Prof. Dr.-Ing. Engelbert Lütke Daldrup said: “Air traffic from Berlin will increase significantly. Most airlines are back with a wide range of European holiday destinations as well as regular scheduled flights. Holidays, business trips and visits from friends and family are now possible again on a large scale and tourism in the capital region is picking up again. Up to 30,000 passengers will travel daily to and from Schönefeld and Tegel in July.”
Hamburg Airport this week reopened Terminal 2 and highlighted strong demand for overseas travel among its customers in northern Germany. The airport said that the flight schedule in July will be almost double that of June.
American Airlines plans to resume many of its long-haul international routes in Winter 2020 but will also cut under-performing services. The company said that Summer 2021 international long-haul capacity will be down by -25% compared to 2019 as its “right-sizes” its international network.
Services to return in the Winter 2020 season include Charlotte to London and Munich; Dallas Fort Worth to Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Lima and São Paulo; Los Angeles to London Heathrow; New York JFK to Paris CDG, Buenos Aires Ezeiza and São Paulo, Miami to Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Santiago de Chile; Philadelphia to Amsterdam, Dublin and Madrid and Phoenix to London Heathrow.
American plans to rely heavily on connectivity through partner airlines’ hubs in future. By 2021, it said, it will operate a full schedule from major US airports to London Heathrow and travellers can connect through British Airways’ network from there. From Seattle it will use Alaska Airlines’ connectivity, which will include new services to London and Bangalore from next year. American also aims to move its Shanghai service from Los Angeles to Seattle.
American will exit several routes, including three trans-Atlantic routes (Barcelona, Rome and Paris CDG) from both Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. The company will also exit five routes from Los Angeles International to destinations in Asia and South America, notably Hong Kong, Beijing, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, São Paulo and Shanghai Pudong (which it plans to move to Seattle).
Dallas Fort Worth International Airport will be American’s major trans-Pacific hub while Miami International will continue to be the main hub for flights to the Caribbean and Latin America. Once government restrictions on trans-Atlantic flying subside, Philadelphia will continue to be American’s primary hub for service to Europe.
For #TimeforTravel updates before 3 July click here.