Industry News 09.05.22


Crossrail to open 24 May 2022

The long-awaited Elizabeth Line, also known as Crossrail, is set to open on 24 May subject to final safety approvals.  From 24 May, the Elizabeth line will operate 12 trains per hour between Paddington and Abbey Wood from Monday to Saturday 0630 to 2300hrs.

Works will continue at Bond Street station, meaning that it will not be open for Elizabeth line services in May, but TfL states that it is expected to be ready by the end of the year.  The line will initially operate in three sections, with services from Reading, Heathrow and Shenfield connecting with the central tunnels later this year.  Existing services between Reading and Heathrow to Paddington and Shenfield to Liverpool Street will be rebranded from TfL Rail to the Elizabeth Line from 24 May.

Qantas moves forward nonstop Perth flights

Qantas has moved forward the recommencement date of its nonstop London to Perth flights. They were due to recommence on 19 June but now will start from 23 May 2022.  Qantas has temporarily been using Darwin as an alternative departure airport.

Emirates expands premium economy cabin class offering
Emirates is set to add its Premium Economy cabin class to A380 routes to London, Paris, Sydney and Christchurch.

The new offering, which offers “luxurious seats” and more legroom, will be on sale from 1 June.

IAG, Lufthansa and Air France-KLM signal business travel revival

Business travel continues to bounce back from the pandemic, according to quarter-one results released from International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), Air France-KLM and Lufthansa Group.

The region’s leading airline groups all reported strong corporate travel demand, largely due to the continued easing of government-imposed travel restrictions.  As passenger capacity inches closer to pre-pandemic levels, Covid-19’s Omicron variant proved troublesome at the beginning of the quarter, while the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the consequent spike in fuel prices, hampered ramping up efforts.

UK, Ireland, and Poland leading the European hotel recovery

The UK hotel sector has seen the quickest recovery of occupancy levels in Europe with rates now back to more than 80 per cent of pre-Covid levels.  According to the latest data from industry specialist STR, hotel occupancy in the UK reached 87 per cent of comparable 2019 levels in mid-April – this was the highest percentage in Europe, just ahead of Poland (at 84 per cent occupancy) and Ireland (81 per cent).

Travel news as a glance:

  • Exclusive Delta One lounges to open at JFK and Los Angeles
  • Accor to expand all-inclusive offering
  • Air Canada resumes Heathrow-Halifax route
  • Lufthansa launches new workspace booking service
  • Delta resumes flights from Edinburgh airport to JFK
  • Air capacity between Europe and Asia rises despite Russia airspace ban
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