Industry News 16.05.22


EU to drop mask requirement for airports and flights in Europe

Passengers will no longer need to wear face masks in airports or on flights in Europe. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a joint statement on the easing of Covid-19 measures for air travel.

The new recommendations will come into effect on 16 May, though the release states that rules for masks will “continue to vary by airline beyond that date”. As an example, it says that mask-wearing should be encouraged when flying to or from a destination where it is required on public transport.

Spain extends covid entry rules until mid-June

The restrictions had been due to lapse on Sunday (15 May). However, Spain’s tourist office in the UK confirmed to TTG on Monday (16 May) the measures have been extended until Wednesday 15 June by Spain’s interior ministry.

It means adult arrivals will continue to have to provide valid proof of vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.

Spain is continuing to apply its rules for third countries – non-EU countries – to the UK, despite many other destinations taking a more lenient stance, such as Spain’s neighbour Portugal.

Those unable to provide evidence of full vaccination against Covid-19 and/or proof or recovery will be denied entry.Children under the age of 12 are exempt, while those aged 12-18 can enter on the basis of a negative pre-travel PCR test for Covid-19.

Global airline capacity back to 83 per cent of pre-Covid seats

Global airline capacity has climbed back to 83 per cent of 2019 levels during early May with growth mainly being fuelled by low-cost carriers.

The latest figures from aviation data firm OAG show that there were 90.7 million airline seats available on flights during the first week in May, compared with 109.7 million seats for the same week in 2019. Seats were up by 46 per cent on the same week in 2021.

The UK has seen the largest increase in capacity over the past year to 3 million seats – up by 690 per cent on early May 2021 when international travel was just about to resume following lockdown. But the number of UK airline seats is still down by 17 per cent on May 2019, which almost exactly mirrors the global position on capacity.

Air France unveils new business class seat with sliding door

Air France has unveiled a new long-haul business class seat, which will be fitted to selected B777-300 aircraft later this year.

The airline says that the seat is based on “the 3 Fs” – Full Flat, Full Access and Full Privacy. In practice this means it converts into a fully flat bed “almost two metres long”, and is configured in a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone layout with direct aisle access for all passengers, with a total of 48 seats in the cabin.  Privacy has been achieved by the addition of a sliding door “to create a totally private space, out of sight from the other passengers in the cabin”, and there is a privacy panel which can be lowered or raised between the seats in the centre of the aircraft.

Travel news as a glance:

  • Qatar Airways signs partnership with Virgin Australia
  • Loganair to cancel Teesside-London Heathrow
  • Jumeirah opens arrivals lounge at Dubai International T3
  • Dubai’s QE2 hotel to join Accor’s M Gallery collection
  • Singapore Airlines to unveil revamped lounge facilities at Changi T3
  • Easyjet reduces A319 capacity to cut cabin crew numbers
  • Manchester airport says security waiting times are “improving”
  • European hotel prices exceed pre-pandemic levels
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