Industry News 14.03.22


Passenger Locator Forms and Testing to be Scrapped from Friday

Transport secretary Grant Shapps announced on Monday (14 March) that all rules would be stood down from 4am on Friday (18 March).

“These changes are possible due to our vaccine rollout and mean greater freedom in time for Easter,” he tweeted.

Fuel Price Surge Forces Airlines to Add Ticket Levy

The rising fuel costs cause a surge in forward bookings as travellers lock in prices.

Read more about the price surge here

Abu Dhabi Eases Covid-19 Travel Restrictions

Fully vaccinated travellers to Abu Dhabi will no longer need to take a PCR test before boarding their flight. Travellers will still be required to show an official Covid-19 vaccination certificate with a readable QR code upon arrival.

The move comes after the emirate’s Department of Culture and Tourism removed the green list system for all arrivals, following “positive indicators” the destination has entered the recovery phase of the pandemic.

Unvaccinated arrivals will still need to present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure, or a Covid recovery certificate dated within 30 days of departure. Travellers under 12 years old are exempt.

The on-arrival PCR test at Abu Dhabi airport is also no longer mandatory for travellers, regardless of their vaccination status. The testing facility will remain at the airport for those who wish to take a test, for AED 40 per swab.

Malaysia to reopen borders from 1 April

Malaysia will reopen its borders on 1 April, following two years of strict travel restrictions.  Fully vaccinated visitors will not be required to quarantine upon entry to the country but must take a PCR test two days before departure and an antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival.

Ireland removes all Covid travel restrictions

Ireland has removed all Covid-19 travel restrictions, including the requirement to complete a Passenger Locator Form or provide proof of vaccination or recovery from the virus.  The Irish government lifted all remaining Covid-related travel restrictions on 6 March and confirmed that arriving passengers also no longer need to take a Covid test.

New handheld digital platform “reducing delays” at Gatwick

Gatwick airport says that a recently introduced handheld digital platform is enabling it to reduce delays and improve on-time performance.  The Airturn platform – developed by the airport’s owners Vinci in partnership with Airportlabs – allows ground handlers to update air traffic controllers about changes to the turn process in real time, “optimising efficiency, reducing delays and unnecessary fuel burn on the ground.”

United launches Bag Drop Shortcut service

United Airlines has launched a new service enabling passengers to self-check in their bag at selected US airports. The Bag Drop Shortcut service works in conjunction with the United app, with customers checking in via the app and selecting the number of checked bags.  They then place their bags on scales at the dedicated bag drop areas within the airport, and scan their boarding pass, before a member of United staff checks the customer’s ID and applies the bag tag.

The new service has initially launched at Chicago, New York Newark, Washington DC, Houston, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, with plans to roll it out to “dozens more airports” this year.

UK business travel enjoys strongest week for two years

The UK’s business travel sector has seen its strongest week since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.  New figures from the Business Travel Association (BTA) showed the final week of February was the best seven-day period for the industry in nearly two years, when compared to the same week in 2019.

Travel news as a glance:

  • GWR to withdraw from the Nectar loyalty scheme on 30 March 22
  • Manchester airport to reopen Terminal 3 on 27 March
  • Finnair to serve Shanghai and Seoul avoiding Russia
  • Fuel price surge forces airlines to add ticket levy
  • Travellers from Russia and Ukraine do not need to take a COVID-19 test before travel to England
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