India To Expand Travel Bubble To Include Uzbekistan & The Seychelles
According to Pranjal Pande from Simple Flying, India has added two new countries to the growing list of travel bubble nations. Uzbekistan and Seychelles are the latest entrants, allowing direct and some connecting flights from the countries to restart. India has now signed travel bubble agreements with 27 countries.
The new agreements clear the way for commercial flights from Uzbekistan and Seychelles to India to resume. Carriers like Air Seychelles and Uzbekistan Airways will benefit from this move since no Indian carrier currently provides direct services to either nation.
In addition to just direct flights, the government has allowed limited connecting traffic from the two countries. Any Indians or visa holders traveling from Africa are allowed to take connecting flights through Seychelles. Similarly, anyone Indians or visa holders from the Commonwealth of Independent States (minus Russia) can connect through Uzbekistan.
While the travel bubble rules do not allow airlines to carry connecting travelers, the government has made exceptions for regions with few or no direct flights. For example, Emirates can connect passengers from Africa and South America to India under the travel bubble. For further details, please continue reading here on Simple Flying.
Israel offers incoming travelers alternative to quarantine hotel: tracking bracelet
According to Reuters, Israelis returning home from abroad have a new option that will exempt them from being sent to a quarantine hotel: They can wear a bracelet monitor that will notify authorities should they violate a mandatory isolation period.
The pilot program began on Monday with 100 tracking systems available at Ben Gurion Airport, where traffic has dropped dramatically due to restrictions meant to reduce the risk of COVID-19 variants entering the country.
Incoming passengers have been forced to stay at hotels, paid for by the government, for up to two weeks to make sure they are virus-free before they can move around freely.
Should someone choose the new system — which includes an electronic bracelet, a smartphone and a wall-mounted tracker — they can self-isolate at home.
For further details, please continue reading here on Reuters.
More space and privacy for Emirates Economy Class customers
According to the official press release from Emirates, Emirates’ Economy Class customers can now enjoy even more personal space and privacy onboard with the ability to purchase up to three empty adjoining seats on their flight.
These seats will be offered to all Economy Class customers holding a confirmed booking. Customers will not be able to pre-book empty seats, as these are subject to availability. Empty seats will only be offered for purchase at the airport check-in counter prior to flight departure, and costs range from AED 200 to AED 600 (US$ 55 to US$ 165) per empty seat, plus applicable taxes depending on flight sector.
Emirates has introduced this new seat product on the back of customer feedback, addressing the needs of a range of customers seeking extra privacy and space while still flying in Economy Class. This includes couples who wish to have the entire row to themselves (maximum of three seats in same row), parents travelling with in-lap infants, or those who simply want the added assurance of more space while travelling during pandemic times.
In addition to the new empty seats option, Emirates currently offers a variety of seat products for Economy Class customers to choose their favourite seat based on their travel needs:
- Extra legroom seats: exit row seats offering additional space but subject to safety requirements;
- Twin seats: seats in a row of two at the back of Emirates’ Boeing 777 aircraft, and on the upper deck of Emirates’ 2-class Airbus A380 aircraft;
- Preferred seats: seats in the first section of the cabin and on the upper deck of a two-class A380;
- Regular seats: all other Economy seats.
These seats, available via Emirates.com, Emirates contact centres, at airport check-in, onboard, and through travel agent partners, are offered for free or at a charge, depending on the customer’s Emirates Skywards membership tier, fare type, time to departure, and other special needs. Visit their page on emirates.com for more information.
Australia Extends Its International Travel Ban Until June
According to Joanna Bailey from Simple Flying, the Australian government has confirmed today that it is extending its ban on international travel by a further three months. The biosecurity emergency period extension will remain in place until June 17th, stopping all international travel barring some exceptions. This will take Australia to a full 15 months of hard lockdown measures.
It’s bad news for travel-hungry Aussies, and for Australia’s airlines, as the government has today confirmed that international travel will remain banned until at least June 2021. The federal government has seen the ‘biosecurity emergency period’ extended, which allows it to restrict movement by overseas flight or by cruise ship.
In a statement issued today, the Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed thar, under advice from the Australian Health Protection Principle Committee (AHPPC) and the Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, a three month extension to the existing emergency period would be granted. This takes the date for border reopening to June 17th, 2021, making a full 15 months that Australia has been locked down.
It’s a blow to Australian citizens desperate to get away to see family and friends, but even more so for those who remain stuck overseas. Strict caps on incoming flights and restrictions on who can travel means…for further details and the full text, please click here and continue reading on Simple Flying.
Revamped Alitalia to start with 45 planes, get 1 billion euros in aid
According to Reuters, a revamped Alitalia will start with 45 planes, have around 4,500 workers and get just over 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) in state support, less than half of what was previously envisaged, newspaper La Repubblica reported on Tuesday.
Newly-appointed Prime Minister Mario Draghi met with the transport, economy, industry and labour ministers on Monday and was pushing for a speedy resolution but not at all costs, the paper said. The cabinet office declined to comment.
Under Draghi’s predecessor, Giuseppe Conte, Rome had earmarked 3 billion euros for a new airline, dubbed ITA, to replace Alitalia, which has been run by state-appointed administrators since it was declared bankrupt in 2017.
According to La Repubblica, ITA will acquire all of the airline’s aviation business, including aircraft and employees, and would start before the end of April to take advantage of the upcoming summer season.
Il Sole 24 Ore said the plan was to get the revamped airline flying from June 1. For further details, please click here and continue reading on Reuters.
Spain to Consider Bilateral Deals on Tourism
According to Maria Tadeo and Allegra Catelli from Bloomberg, Spain is ready to consider bilateral deals and corridors “with third countries” if a solution on vaccine certificates cannot be reached at the European Union level, according to Tourism Secretary Fernando Valdes.
As vaccination campaigns evolve across Europe, “maybe in summer we will be regaining British tourists in Spain,” Valdes said. How to allow traveling across Europe must be decided at the EU level but if those decisions “cannot be reached we will be thinking of other solutions like corridors, green corridors with third countries that can help us to restart tourism flows.”
Valdes’s comments come amid optimism in the European tourism industry sparked by the announcement last week of the U.K.’s plan to lift all coronavirus related restrictions by June 21, ahead of the summer season.
For the rest of the article, please click here and continue reading on Bloomberg