Business Travel Centre

Merry Christmas!

We hope you’re having as good as possible Christmas, given current circumstances.

We’d like to thank you for all your support in 2020 – we don’t know about you, but we’re glad to see the back of it. So, let’s come together and make 2021 a year to remember.

We’ve got some exciting things coming, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Warmest regards and a happy, healthy New Year,
Business Travel Centre


Industry News, Quick Reads

American Airlines removes change fees on international flights

American Airlines has extended its recent removal of change fees on domestic flight to include long-haul international services.

The move takes effect immediately, for customers on all international flights originating in North or South America.

It applies to all first class, business class, premium economy and Main Cabin fares, with the exception of Basic Economy.

It follows the removal of change fees on domestic and short-haul international flights by a number of US carrier earlier this year.

Industry News, Quick Reads

Ryanair extends change fee waiver into 2021

Ryanair has extended its existing change fee waiver to all new bookings made for travel until the end of January.

Customers booking for travel in December 2020 and January 2021 are able to change their flight date up to September 2021 without incurring a change fee.

Any changes must be made at least seven days prior to the departure date of the original booking.

Announcing the move Ryanair’s director of marketing and digital, Dara Brady said:

“Plans change, so in order to provide as much flexibility and confidence as possible for our customers, we have extended the waiving of our flight change fee for all December and January bookings.

“Customers can book trips for Christmas, Easter and the summer with confidence knowing that if they need to postpone their travel plans, they can move with zero change fee.”

Earlier this month Ryanair reported an 80 per cent drop in first half traffic, carrying just 17 million passengers in the first half of this financial year.

Industry News, Quick Reads

UAE and Qatar added to UK quarantine exemption list

The Department for Transport has updated its list of travel corridors, removing the requirement to quarantine on arrival from a number of destinations including the UAE and Qatar.

Dubai-based Emirates said that it stood ready to increase services to the UK “to serve customer demand”, although this is unlikely to be until the end of the current lockdown in England (which currently extends until December 3), as this prohibits holidays in the UK and abroad.

Other countries added to the “safe” travel corridor list include Laos, Iceland, Cambodia, Chile, Bahrain and the British Overseas Territory Turks and Caicos Islands.

However, travellers arriving into the UK from the majority of Greek destinations (except for Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos) will now have to quarantine for 14 days. This requirement takes effect from 0400 on November 14.

In addition, the Denmark travel ban has been extended by a further 14 days, following the recent outbreak of coronavirus in mink farms in the country. British Nationals, visa holders and permanent residents returning to the UK directly or indirectly from Denmark will need to self-isolate along with all other members of their household for 14 days from the date they were last in the country.

There will be “a limited exception for a small number of Danish and Icelandic national football players to travel from the UK to Copenhagen and back”, to allow for upcoming Nation’s League fixtures to take place.

The DfT said that data from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and Public Health England indicated a consistent increase in newly reported cases in Greece over the past two weeks, but added that the Greek islands of Corfu, Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos and Kos “have not seen as significant a growth in cases over recent weeks as the rest of Greece and therefore remain on the travel corridors list”.

The UAE’s largest carrier Emirates has released the following statement regarding the changes:

“We welcome the UK’s decision to add the UAE to its list of countries where arriving travellers are exempt from quarantine,” said chairman and chief executive HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

“This is a positive development for the many people in the UAE who have been yearning to spend time with family and friends in the UK, and vice versa. It is also a recognition of the UAE’s effective response in containing the pandemic.

“We believe this move will benefit businesses and tourism, and Emirates is ready to reinstate more flight services between Dubai and the UK to serve customer demand.”

The Dubai-based carrier this week reported first half losses of $3.4 billion, with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing air travel to “a literal standstill” earlier this year.

Industry News, Quick Reads

Airports Council International: Half of passengers want to travel again soon

Airports Council International – the global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities – has published the ASQ Global Traveller Survey, revealing that 48 per cent of travellers considered themselves likely to travel within the next three months.
The report is designed to “help airports plan for future demand – in the short, medium, and long term – and to adapt customer experience accordingly”. While the findings are promising, the survey added that the recovery of air travel is reliant on airports and airlines imposing measures to address health and safety risks.
Surveyed travellers cited the following measures as important: mandatory mask-wearing, Covid-19 testing prior to travel, the installation of hand sanitising stations, and contactless experiences in airports.
Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General, said:
“One of the keys to recovery will be the aviation industry’s understanding of the changing needs of passengers and ACI’s new survey provides insight into how COVID-19 is affecting passenger expectations and future travel plans.
“It is reassuring that travellers are eager to travel again and our survey will help airports make the right decisions in providing the best and safest customer experience. Airports, airlines and their partners need to continue to increase the level of confidence in the entire passenger journey and provide and communicate the measures they are introducing to keep passenger healthy and safe. ACI’s Airport Health Accreditation programme provides airports with not only a tool to assess their health measures against globally-recognized standards but also a way to communicate to passengers about these measures.”