TRAVEL NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
BA THREATENS TO CUT HEATHROW FLIGHTS OVER AIRPORT FEE ROW
Airport plans massive 76% fee increase. “Hiking charges will not help. It will not attract demand – it will have the opposite effect. If the rise in landing charges goes ahead, I know IAG will not be alone in reconsidering our airlines’ use of Heathrow.” The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) plans to allow the airport to lift the normal cap on the airport’s average charge per passenger by up to 76%.
TRAVEL COVID TESTS COULD BE SCRAPPED BY EARLY 2022
Policy up for review in January. Hoping the aviation industry will ‘bounce back’ in the coming months, he told industry leaders the testing policy will be reviewed in early January. “We’re going to review the policy. We’ll be looking to see what we can do at that stage,” he said at the Airlines 2021 conference. The government has reportedly formulated a Covid exit plan to end self-isolation and testing by next spring. Dubbed Operation Rampdown, it is part of an extensive review of the current ‘test, trace and isolate’ policy by the Health Security Agency. The 160-page leaked dossier looks at scrapping self-isolation and ass testing as Covid will be ‘endemic’ for years, health experts say. These protocols will be rolled back by next April, according to a government source.
REFUND CREDIT NOTES (RCNS): BRITISH HOLIDAYMAKERS URGED TO ‘USE IT OR LOSE IT
Still £132 million worth of unused vouchers
TRADE GROUPS CALL FOR EU TRAVEL POLICY ALIGNMENT
Governments must coordinate their responses. Travel industry groups across Europe are urging member states to align and coordinate in their responses to the current Covid situation sweeping across Europe. A broad group of travel and tourism stakeholders called on governments to better coordinate and their heath and travel policy responses to avoid re-imposing restrictions. It cites the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), which states that in the current situation, travel restrictions are ineffective in reducing virus transmission, hospitalisations, or deaths. They claim limiting border crossings would indeed not carry any public health benefit.
Up to 900,000 jobs could be lost across the EU’s tourism sector this year if travel restrictions are re-imposed this winter, citing WTTC data. It says European tourism cannot function with ‘inconsistent and constantly changing national approaches.’
“Coordination is the only solution to protect the sector from the effects of prolonged uncertainty in Europe.”
The lobby groups are calling for a number of measures including move towards an individual risk-based approach, rather than the current country-to-country approach. Member states should urgently adopt a common and fully aligned approach on the eligibility as well as timing of booster doses.
The groups, made up of Airlines for Europe, CLIA, WTTC, European Travel Commission and others, also want national governments to support the full digitalisation of the verification process by providing a simple ‘okay to travel’ message as part of the online check-in process.