IATA urges UK and EU to forge Brexit plans
IATA has urged the UK and European Union to agree contingency plans for the continuation of air services in the event of a ‘no-deal Brexit’. The International Air Transport Association has called on both parties to “move faster to bring certainty to three critical air transport issues”, namely the uninterrupted continuation of air connectivity; the framework for regulating safety and security; and the policies and processes needed for efficient border management.
“These are the most critical areas because there are no fallback agreements such as the WTO framework available in a ‘no-deal’ Brexit scenario,” says Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “Without any contingency planning being made transparent to the industry, the risks of not addressing these issues could mean chaos for travellers and interrupted supply chains. With less than six months to go, we have little more certainty than we did in June 2016.”
IATA says a no-deal scenario or ‘hard’ Brexit deal without an agreed transition period “is likely to lead to significant disruption to air services”. The organisation has also called for the UK to remain in the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) at least as a ‘third country member’. And in a bid to ease potential immigration congestion on arrival in the UK, IATA has proposed a ‘third lane’ which could process passengers arriving from the EU more quickly.
“Interference with the movement of people and goods will have a major and immediate knock-on impact to economic activity in both the UK and the EU. Solutions to minimise disruption are of paramount importance,” says de Juniac. “We must have clarity on future border and customs arrangements now, if we are to plan for an orderly post-Brexit situation.”
Boston to Edinburgh with Delta
A new Delta Air Lines route between Boston Logan International and Edinburgh has been announced for summer 2019. The service will run daily from May 23, operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft. Travellers will enjoy access to in-flight wi-fi and personal power ports in every seat, with 16 seats in Delta One and 44 in Delta Comfort+ for those wanting extra comfort for their journey.
Heathrow Airport announces £50 million bio-metric project
Heathrow Airport has announced a £50 million project to test the use of end-to-end biometrics that will bring facial recognition to each part of a departing passenger’s journey. The roll-out will begin in summer 2019 and Heathrow claims the technology could reduce the average passenger’s journey time by up to a third. The technology will use facial recognition at check-in, bag drops, security lanes and boarding gates. Heathrow has run trials of the technology throughout 2018 and says customer feedback has been positive, spurring the airport to roll out biometrics on a wider scale. The airport says the technology can also ‘significantly reduce’ the amount of paper used during the passenger journey.
British Airways starts dancing the Charleston
From April 4, 2019, British Airways will launch a two-per-week summer service from Heathrow, Terminal 5, to Charleston in South Carolina, becoming the only airline to fly direct between Europe and the southern city. The new route will take the number of US destinations the airline flies to and from London next summer up to 29, and the number of daily flights offered by British Airways and American Airlines as part of their transatlantic joint business up to around 73 per day. The airline is also launching a four per week service to Pittsburgh from April 2019.
GlobalStar partners with Umbrella to enhance ProfileStar solution
GlobalStar Travel Management has entered into a strategic partnership with Swiss based company Umbrella to enhance their existing global profiling solution, ProfileStar. Umbrella’s profile management solution features several real-time interfaces to and from systems such as OBTs, GDS, HR systems, CRM systems and hotel and rail platforms. This guarantees up-to-date profile data, trouble-free bookings and compliance with the data protection regulations according to the new EU GDPR regulation.
The enhanced ProfileStar solution is available in multiple languages and synchronises profiles in a variety of ways. GlobalStar clients will be able to access ProfileStar via the GlobalStar Travel Portal ensuring a higher adoption rate, increased consistency and thus improved efficiency of the whole booking process. The new ProfileStar solution will be implemented throughout the GlobalStar network.
Helen Menniss, VP of Global Account Management at GlobalStar stated: “We are delighted to be partnering with Umbrella Faces for our new improved ProfileStar. It will give our clients more visibility and control over their profiles and improve the efficiency of the operational platform.”
Helmut Pilz, VP Business Development added: “Partnering with GlobalStar allows us to work with a well- respected organisation, reaching new markets and at the same time we jointly develop tailored options and interfaces that benefit clients handled by the network.”
“We chose to partner with Umbrella Faces due to the flexibility of the solution and the high level of interfaces available.” said Steve Hartwell, President of GlobalStar.
Introducing ‘The House’ – the new lounge at London Heathrow for Etihad
Etihad have launched a new contemporary airport lounge brand in partnership with No1 Lounges. ‘The House’ is the result of a unique collaboration between Etihad Airways and the award-winning lounge provider, which has acquired the lounge from the airline and will operate the new brand. Guests travelling in Business, First, The Residence and those who have Etihad Guest eligibility will be invited to their new lounge when travelling from London Heathrow. The new lounge offers a stylishly enhanced service, with a contemporary twist, along with friendly hospitality. If guests want to eat quickly, their self-service buffet will have a range of choices for all tastes. Those with a little more time will be able to order a freshly prepared meal from the à la carte menu. ‘The House’ has every element a guest needs to rest and relax or freshen up before they fly.
AccorHotels and Eurostar Join Forces In Loyalty Programme First
AccorHotels and Eurostar are proud to announce a partnership between their existing loyalty programmes, Le Club AccorHotels and Club Eurostar, which will provide more choice and exclusive access to a whole host of benefits and the flexibility to exchange points between their respective loyalty programmes. Le Club AccorHotels is a loyalty programme for the individual traveller. As such individual travellers can earn points on stays booked through travel management companies, however it does require that the individual traveller enrols in the programme and personally accepts the terms and conditions. Points can be earnt on all eligible rates so long as the stay is linked to a membership.
In the first loyalty programme partnership of its kind, Club Eurostar members can convert their points into Le Club AccorHotels rewards points, to be used for nights and discounts at more than 3,500 hotels across the globe. They can also exchange Le Club AccorHotels rewards points for Club Eurostar points, giving them a new way to top up their points balance.
As well as being able to select hotel stays from AccorHotels’ extensive portfolio of brands – which ranges from economy to five-star luxury – Club Eurostar members will also have the opportunity to tap in to the group’s multiple rewards offerings such as Elite Experiences, La Collection e-boutique and Dream Stays, as well as exclusive access to sporting and music events at the AccorHotels Aren1a in Paris.
The reciprocal partnership will give more than 50 million Le Club AccorHotels members worldwide access to Eurostar’s loyalty programme, including Eurostar tickets and upgrades, special offers and purchases in the Club Eurostar shop.
The new partnership is the first time Eurostar has joined forces with a hotel group in a loyalty programme alliance. The partnership builds on both companies strengths in Western Europe, and the particular strength of AccorHotels hotel network in Eurostar destinations including being the leader in France and Belgium, and with strong networks from lux to economy in UK and the Netherlands, Eurostar’s latest destination.
The exchange rate between the two loyalty programmes is as follows:
500 Club Eurostar points converts to 1,500 Le Club AccorHotels Rewards points
4,000 Le Club AccorHotels points converts to 350 Club Eurostar points