Industry Trends

  • Good turnovers for travel agents in September: According to the Backoffice supplier Synccess, the positive trend continues. The data from 1,500 travel agents revealed that the last eleven month showed a plus of 4.7 per cent. September figures were 2.6 percent over. Departures increased to 4.5 percent.

Destination Trends

  • Turkey – German tour operators predict strong bookings for 2019: The German market looks set to grow strongly for Turkey next year despite higher hotel prices but more promotion is needed for Istanbul, according to participants at the recent fvw workshop Turkey. Turkey can look forward to a good year on the German market in 2019 after its strong recovery this year, tour operators, travel agents and hoteliers agreed at the top-level event in Istanbul last month.

Tour operator News

  • Gebeco focuses on culinary aspects in 2019:  This week, the specialist tour operator introduced their new products for the upcoming year. The theme of the 12 new catalogues (including 650 round trips with 3,800 dates) is cuisine in different countries. 13 of the roundtrips are taking the clients on culinary trips to Japan, china, India, Peru and Italy. More than 50 round trips are labeled with a new “culinary label”. As demand for traveling in small groups is rising, they launch a new catalogue “Piccolo” with 87 small group tours (maximum 16 participants) e.g. in Italy, Uzbekistan, Russia, Egypt, Africa and Panama
  • Studiosus generates solid growth and expands specialist tours: Germany’s leading cultural holidays tour operator has achieved solid growth this year thanks to a comeback for Islamic destinations and will offer more special tours for different customer segments next year, according to travel trade magazine FVW. The market leader for ‘study tours’, expects to close this year with a 2.1% rise in turnover to a new record of €281.3 million and increase customer numbers by 1.6% to 105,000. The specialist tour operator will thus maintain its high average revenue per customer with €2,679 per person this year. The main growth drivers during 2018 have been traditional cultural trips, the Smart & Small product for small group trips and the budget brand Marco Polo. Higher demand for classic holiday destinations such as Greece, Italy and France has played an important role. The same applies for growing interest in encounters with Islamic culture.
  • SKR Reisen acquires specialist TO Rotala: The German tour operator market is set for the next round of consolidation due to increasing financial pressures – SKR Reisen, specialist for small groups, bought their competitor Rotala. The specialist TO for study tours. Managing director Thomas Müller confirms that it is possible that further TOs will be bought.

Air Industry News

  • Airport in Salzburg (Austria) will be closed for 5 weeks: Next spring (24th April to 28th May 2019), the airport in Salzburg will be closed completely due to renovation of their runways. All airlines flying to this airport are suspending their flights during this period.
  • Airport Düsseldorf profits from Eurowings´ summer flight schedule 2019: Eurowings offers many new connections. Already starting in December 2018, they fly weekly six times nonstop to Newark/New York. From 3rd July 2019 they are flying three times to Las Vegas. Brand-new long-haul flights starting in summer 2019 are Bangkok (three times a week) Varadero (two times weekly) and Havanna (once weekly). In Europe they added Bologna, Florenz and Genua in Italy. Flight frequencies to the USA will be increased (Fort Myers three times weekly, Miami five times weekly and New York daily). Within Germany, Eurowings will offer more flights to Hamburg and Zurich.
  • Lufthansa wants to make Munich their Asia-hub: Lufthansa has big plans for its second most important hub after Frankfurt. They want to expand their presence in the Bavarian city. They plan to increase frequencies to Seoul and Singapore in Sommer 2019 and introduce a new daily connection to Bangkok. As part of this plan, the majority of the A-340-600 that are stationed now in Frankfurt, will be shifted to Munich. Furthermore, Germany’s national carrier Lufthansa is evaluating if more A-380 will be shifted to Munich by 2020. Lufthansa also extends their flights to the US: From Mai 2019 they launch flights from Frankfurt to Austin, Texas.
  • Ryanair closes Bremen base and downsizes Weeze (near Düsseldorf): The Irish low-cost carrier announced the cuts at the two German airports along with the closure of its base at Eindhoven, in the Netherlands, in a trading update where it warned of lower profits this year. This came just days after a major strike by pilots and cabin staff affecting more than 100 flights in Germany and about 250 in total. Ryanair will transfer the two planes currently stationed in Bremen to other airports on November 6, affecting about 90 employees based in the northern German city. Foreign-based planes will operate “most” of the current Bremen routes instead. In parallel, two of the five planes stationed at Weeze, whose catchment area covers the prosperous Düsseldorf region, will also be relocated. The three remaining planes will operate “most” of the current routes from the regional airport in future. Ryanair claimed the cutbacks were a result of rising costs, including for fuel and passenger compensation for flight delays, as well as lower ticket prices, caused partly by the recent strikes.

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