Airline news:

 

BA and Fiji Airways codeshare deal boosts South Pacific route options

A new code-share between British Airways and Fiji Airways aims to open up more routes between London and the South Pacific. BA has today started selling flights between Singapore, Los Angeles and San Francisco and the Fijian gateway of Nadi on its website. Fiji Airways operates international and domestic services to 12 countries and 31 cities, including Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and Solomon Islands, the US, Hong Kong and Singapore. Travellers will be able to earn Avios points on both the BA and Fiji Airways flights which link to the Pacific island chain.

 

Wizz Air takes delivery of new aircraft at Luton

Wizz Air has added two new Airbus aircraft to its London Luton fleet. The Airbus A320s are the sixth and seventh of eight aircraft to be deployed at Wizz Air’s London Luton base by June 2018. The airline said the move is part of the largest operational ramp up in its history, with 21 aircraft allocated across 11 bases within 17 weeks. Next week (May 21) Wizz Air launches a daily route to Larnaca while new service to Lviv in Ukraine launched earlier this month operating Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The airline launched a two-day seat sale today with discounts up to 30% on all routes for new bookings made until midnight tomorrow (May 19).

Emirates plans windowless aircraft

Emirates has become the first airline to test “virtual windows”, with a view to potentially removing all windows from its aircraft in the future.

 

Real-time images are projected onto the inside of the cabin using cameras

Getting rid of windows would make aircraft faster, more fuel-efficient and cheaper to operate. The “virtual windows” work by real-time images being projected onto the inside of the cabin using cameras. They have already been installed in a first class suite on a Boeing 777-300ER, as revealed at Arabian Travel Market in April. Sir Tim Clark, Emirates chairman, told the BBC: “The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher. “Imagine now a fuselage as you’re boarding with no windows, but when you get inside, there are windows.“ Now you have one fuselage which has no structural weaknesses because of windows. The aircraft are lighter, the aircraft could fly faster, they’ll burn far less fuel and fly higher.” Concerns have been raised about safety by Professor Graham Braithwaite, director of transport systems at Cranfield University, however, who said regulators may not allow the development. “Being able to see outside the aircraft in an emergency is important, especially if an emergency evacuation has to take place,” he told the BBC.

 

Tour operator news:

 

Exodus Travels reports hike in demand for trekking holidays

Adventure operator Exodus Travels is claiming a 14% rise in hiking and trekking holidays with a record number of hiking clients in 2017. This year has seen a 22% rise in bookings to Italy and 20% to Spain. Senior product and commercial manager Chloe Knott said: “Current lifestyle trends mean our hiking holiday bookings have soared as more and more travellers opt for active trips. “The increase in people booking short trips away mean our European cities are becoming more and more popular, but with customers looking for a slightly different experience to the norm. “Our hiking trips cater for every experience – from first-timers to professionals – so we really can offer the best trip possible for everyone.”

 

Market trends:

 

Barbados looks to extend tourism year-round

Barbados is looking to establish itself as a truly year-round destination to boost overall tourist arrivals. Billy Griffith, CEO at Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, said it wanted to move away from being a seasonal destination. Outlining its plans at this month’s trade event, Connect Barbados, Griffith said various cultural and sporting events in the low season would help encourage visitors. These include the Barbados Celtic Festival, May 24-27, Dive Fest Barbados, July 4-8, Test Cricket, and the Crop Over Festival, July 1-August 1, which celebrates the end of the sugar cane season. The efforts will also be aided by this year’s focus on the island’s culinary experiences, with tourism marketing targeted at showcasing its high-end restaurants, local dishes served in rum shops and beach shacks, and food festivals. The Barbados Food and Rum Festival returns on October 18-21 and there is also a dine-around programme where guests can have a three-course meal at a top restaurant for US$50. Virgin Atlantic launched a twice weekly flight from Heathrow and Thomas Cook Airlines launched a weekly flight from Gatwick in the last winter season.  Both services will operate again next winter.

 

SINGLED OUT Single parent families paying MORE for holidays by up to 33 per cent as some free kids’ places only given if two adults travel.

Holiday companies including Thomas Cook, First Choice and TUI charge one parent more than two on some holidays. SINGLE parents could be paying more for holidays – by up to 33 per cent.

New research shows that free places for children are often only offered when there are two adults accompanying each child. The research shows the big difference in price on some holidays depending on if there are one or two adults travelling. Research done by FairFX also shows that firms are charging supplements for single people on holiday with a child. Single families are paying up to £500 more for a holiday as a result. FairFX found that seven nights at the Holiday Village Rhodes for one adult and one child with First Choice came in at £1,604. However if the same holiday was taken by two adults and a child it was £515 cheaper at £1,089 – 32 per cent less expensive. Meanwhile a holiday to the Princess Adriana Resort and Spa in Rhodes was £1,525 for one adult and one child, but £1,165 for two adults and a child – £359 and 24 per cent cheaper for the family with two adults. Seven nights at the Hotel Maspalomas Princess with TUI cost one adult and one child £736. With two adults and one child, it was £152 cheaper at £583 for the week – 21 per cent cheaper. With Thomas Cook, it costs £1,256 for one adult and one child to head to the Sunlight Bahia Principe Tenerife. The same holiday for a family with two adults was £254 cheaper at £1,002 – 20 per cent less than the single parent’s family.

 

Holiday spend declines for first time in five years

A trend towards cutting back on consumer spending on holidays will lead to a busy lates market with ‘many deals around’, according to Deloitte’s senior travel partner Graham Pickett. Speaking at this week’s Barclays Travel Forum, Pickett, who is Deloitte’s global head of travel and aviation, said that, while ‘consumer confidence remains high, leisure spending is dwindling’. He told the audience: “Our surveys are showing a decline in consumer spend, particularly in holiday experience spend. “I found that quite surprising. We’ve been running these surveys quarterly for four or five years and this is the first time we have seen a significant fall. It is a concern for me. “Late bookings are going to be a challenge because there will be a bit of excess supply and capacity around. We will see a lates market and some deals.” Pickett told moderator Jeremy Skidmore he is ‘optimistic but there’s a fair degree of caution around’. “The word inflation is back, sadly, and interest rate rises look likely in August or autumn. Interest rates have been so low for so long there’s a generation of consumers out there wondering how that will affect their life. ” Pickett said city breaks and beach holidays have declined slightly in the last four years, while cruise holidays continue to increase.  Most of the audience members at the Barclays Travel Forum felt 2018 would be a good year for travel.

 

Urgent travel advice issued to Brit tourists flying to Turkey as terror attacks ‘likely’

THE Foreign Office has issued an urgent warning to Brit holidaymakers travelling to Turkey. Tourists heading to the holiday destination over the summer have been told to brace themselves for the duel threat of mob violence and lethal terror attacks. People are being advised to stay clear of large crowds in cities like Istanbul as the unstable country faces unscheduled presidential and parliamentary elections later this month. The advice to those travelling has since been updated with the government telling tourists to “avoid large crowds” as the country deals with the political turmoil. In a statement issued on Friday, a Government spokesperson said: “Presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on June 24 2018. “This may result in rallies and demonstrations around the country; you should avoid large gatherings and follow the advice of the local authorities.”

 

Flights cancelled as Italy goes on strike again

Airlines are warning of cancellations and delays tomorrow due to more strikes in Italy. National strike action is due to take place on Friday and will affect Air Traffic Control and ground handling services. Ryanair said it has been forced to cancel a number of flights on Friday and is also expecting delays to flights to, from and over Italy. “Ryanair calls for immediate EU Commission action to prevent more ATC strikes and staff shortages disrupting the travel plans of Europe’s consumers this summer, and we also encourage all customers to sign A4E’s online petition, Keep Europe’s Skies Open,” it said. EasyJet said it was expecting a number of cancellations and potential delays.

 

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