Market news:

  • Tourism associations call for summit meeting in the chancellery: BTW, Dehoga, DRV, DTV, IHA, RDA and VIR want to achieve a rescue fund with fast, direct financial aid within the framework of a tourism summit under the leadership of the Federal Chancellor, reports Reise vor 9. If help is not coming, the tourism industry will be at the end of its rope, according to the tenor of the call for help. From the point of view of the associations, the tourism summit must above all discuss which financial support measures tailored to the tourism and travel industry, bus companies, the hotel and catering industry and the diversity of German tourism must be put in place to ensure the survival of the industry, the declaration states.

  • German travel trade welcomes careful comeback plans: Tourism managers in Germany are welcoming plans by Mediterranean and other European destinations to start carefully resuming business as coronavirus lockdown restrictions are eased and borders are re-opened, reports fvw. The European Commission presented on Wednesday (May 13) a concept for EU states to permit cross-border travel again, for hotels to re-open if they meet strict hygiene and social distancing requirements, and for holidays to be permitted in areas where there is sufficient medical care capacity for guests if necessary. However, individual European countries will be responsible for deciding whether, when and how to implement these measures.

  • Travel agencies protest: It is the third week of nationwide protests by travel agency employees, who want to draw attention to their existence-threatening situation and demand immediate financial aid from the German government. Stuttgart, Munich, Cologne, Dortmund, Gießen, Bremen – these are just a few of almost 50 cities where travel agents demonstrate, reports TravelTalk.

Aviation News:

  • Lufthansa Group significantly expands service with June flight schedule: With the June flight schedule, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group are significantly expanding their services compared with the previous weeks operation.Lufthansa, SWISS and Eurowings are again adding numerous leisure and summer destinations to their flight schedules in June, as well as more long-haul destinations.

    With over 106 destinations in Germany and Europe and more than 20 intercontinental destinations, the range of flights on offer for all travellers will be greatly expanded by the end of June. The first batch of flights are be available for reservation in the booking systems since yesterday 15 May. By the end of June, the Lufthansa Group airlines plan to offer around 1,800 weekly roundtrips to more than 130 destinations worldwide.

    «With the June flight schedule, we are making an important contribution to the revitalisation of the aviation infrastructure. It is an essential part of the German and European economic power. People want to and can travel again, whether on holiday or for business reasons. That’s why we will continue to expand our offer step by step in the coming months and connect Europe with each other and Europe with the world,» says Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Executive Board of German Lufthansa AG.

    Lufthansa’s additional flights that are resuming in the first half of June, in Germany and Europe, are from Frankfurt, Hanover, Majorca, Sofia, Prague, Billund, Nice, Manchester, Budapest, Dublin, Riga, Krakow, Bucharest and Kiev. From Munich, it is Münster/Osnabrück, Sylt, Rostock, Vienna, Zurich, Brussels and Majorca.

    In the first half of June, the flight schedule also includes 19 long-haul destinations, fourteen more than in May. In total, Lufthansa, SWISS and Eurowings will thus be offering more than 70 weekly frequencies overseas until mid-June, almost four times as many as in May. Further resumption of Lufthansa long-haul flights is planned for the second half of June.Lufthansa’s long-haul resumption of flights from Frankfurt in detail (subject to possible travel restrictions):

    Toronto, Mexico City, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Bahrain, Johannesburg, Dubai and Mumbai. The destinations Newark/New York, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Tokyo and Bangkok will continue to be offered. Lufthansa’s long-haul return flights from Munich in detail (subject to possible travel restrictions): Chicago, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv.

  • Austrian Airlines has decided to extend the suspension of regular flight operations for a further week, from 31 May to 7 June. A resumption of service in June is being considered.

  • SWISS is planning to resume services to various destinations in the Mediterranean region, and other major European centres such as Paris, Brussels and Moscow will also be added to the programme. In its long-haul operations, SWISS will again offer its passengers new intercontinental direct services in June, in addition to its three weekly services to New York / Newark (USA). The Swiss carrier plans to offer flights from Zurich to New York JFK, Chicago, Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.

  • Eurowings had already announced last week that it would be expanding its basic program at the airports of Düsseldorf, Cologne/Bonn, Hamburg and Stuttgart and gradually adding 15 further destinations within Europe from May onwards. With flights to Spain, Greece, Portugal and Croatia, the focus is on destinations in the Mediterranean region. Furthermore the island of Mallorca will again be offered from several German Eurowings gateways.

  • Brussels Airlines plans to resume its flight operations with a reduced network offer as from 15 June. When planning their trip, customers should consider the current entry and quarantine regulations of the respective destinations. Throughout the entire trip, restrictions may be imposed due to stricter hygiene and security regulations, for example due to longer waiting times at airport security checkpoints. The catering services on board will also remain restricted until further notice. In addition, passengers will continue to be asked to wear a nose-and-mouth cover on board during the entire journey.

  • EU concretizes voucher ideas for flight cancellations: According to fvw, airlines must compensate their customers with money in the event of flight cancellations. Vouchers are allowed as long as the customers agree. The EU Commission has reaffirmed this. Airline associations now want to increase the pressure on the Council of Ministers. Already a week ago, Transport Commissioner Adina Valean had made it clear to the German Transport Minister that the mandatory voucher solution with Brussels could not be made because it violated applicable EU law and in particular consumer protection. Although the Commission sees the financial hardships of airlines, it could not be the EU’s task to throw basic legal principles overboard. Airlines may need to be helped at national level, as is done through credit. Vouchers were not prohibited, but they were dependent on the consent of the customers.

Tour operator:

  • TUI Group plans to cut up to 8,000 jobs: Due to the heavy impact of the Corona crisis, 8,000 jobs are at stake globally, reports fvw. Jobs that will either not be recruited or reduced, TUI Group announced when presenting its half-year report. «We are aiming to permanently reduce our overhead cost base by 30 percent across the entire group,» said Fritz Joussen, CEO of the largest European tour operator. The extensive cost-cutting measures are part of a global program the group is implementing. This should further accelerate the transformation to a digital platform company that has already been initiated, Joussen said.

  • DER Touristik leaves the choice to travel agencies: According to TRVL Counter, DER Touristik wants to relieve travel agencies financially and offers three options for all booked tours that have to be cancelled between May 1 and June 14 as a result of the worldwide travel warning. If customers choose a voucher as compensation, the respective travel agency retains the commission on the voucher value. As a second option, DER Touristik offers agencies the option of repaying the advance commission payment for cancelled trips in instalments until the end of 2020. The modalities are regulated individually. The first regular settlement will be made at the beginning of July. Thirdly, a travel agency can save 10 percent of the commission to be repaid (up to a maximum of 2,000 euros gross) for all trips that had to be cancelled by April 30. Provided that it makes the repayment by June 15. Alternatively, the agencies have time to repay the commission for this by March 31, 2021.

  • TUI and DER Touristik present hygiene concepts: The two German groups have each presented their concepts for how their own properties as well as partner hotels can operate safely and hygienically in future to combat any spread of the coronavirus. According to fvw, key measures include intensive cleaning, social distancing between staff and guests, virtually no food buffets and fewer entertainment or sports activities. TUI’s 10-point plan, with a set of measures and standards, will be implemented in the 400 properties of its own brands such as TUI Blue, Robinson and TUI Magic Life and made available to joint venture and hotel partners. For its part, DER Touristik is preparing to relaunch its travel program, including adapted rules for distance and hygiene throughout the entire trip. This includes a concept developed by its hotels unit DER Touristik Hotels & Resorts (DTHR) together with international experts for employees, guests, and partners of its own hotel brands Sentido, LTI, Calimera, Primasol, Cooee and Playitas


  • TUI wants to limit cruise ship occupancy to 1,000 passengers: The regulation is initially to apply until August 31 and is part of an overall concept to revive travel activity. In addition, self-service will no longer be available on board the ships, only every third place will be taken in the theatres and the Kids Clubs may be visited by a maximum of ten children.

  • Norwegian Cruise Line adds over 20 new destinations: According to Travel Talk, Norwegian Cruise Line opens for sale for cruises from 2021 to 2023 with voyages to over 20 new destinations on all continents. There are even trips already bookable for January 2023.

Coronavirus update:

  • Germans can travel to these countries again: Almost every country in the world either closed its borders completely during the Corona crisis or at least made entry enormously more difficult. Now the rules are being relaxed again. An overview from fvw. Denmark: Denmark wants to keep the barriers down, at least until May 31, 2020. France: Checks at the borders with France are to be abolished from June 16, 2020. This is planned by the German and French governments. Greece: The announced revival of tourism in Greece on July 1 is in the bag. The government in Athens has decided to open the country to guests from abroad. Iceland: The Icelandic Government will test every person entering the country for corona from June 15, 2020. These tests will take place directly at the airport. Croatia: According to reports, the country is negotiating with Austria, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic to make it possible to travel by car for holidays. Luxembourg: Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer (CSU) has announced that controls at the border to Luxembourg will end during the night of Saturday May 16. Netherlands: Relaxations are planned for tourism as of July 1. Then campsites and holiday parks will be allowed to open their doors again. Since there has never been an entry ban to Holland, German holidaymakers can also rent accommodation there. Austria: The Austrian and German governments plan to reopen the borders between the two countries, probably on June 16, 2020. Poland: The border crossings to Germany and other countries will be closed until May 13, 2020. The Polish government wants to inform promptly if and when they will open. Sweden: There is currently no closure of the borders, although controls and restrictions are planned. In principle, however, the Swedish government advises against travel in and within the country, and Germany has also issued a travel warning. Switzerland: Germany and Switzerland would like to reopen their borders on June 16, 2020. Spain: The Germans’ most popular holiday destination has not yet announced when the borders will be reopened. The Balearic Island governments started discussions with Spanish government to welcome tourists already in June and be the first “trial” destination within Spain. Czech Republic: The Czech government is considering reopening the country’s borders in July. Turkey: There is not yet an official announcement about when Turkey will reopen its borders for tourists. However, Turkish Airlines has announced that it intends to gradually resume air traffic from June. The first flights from Germany are to take off in June.

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