Emirates Pavilion ready to welcome visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai

Expo 2020, Dubai’s must-see aviation attraction, is gearing up to open its doors to the public on 1 October.

Located in the Opportunity District, and within walking distance of the Al Wasl Dome, the Emirates Pavilion offers a preview for the future of commercial aviation, reframing the role that science and technology will play in the next 50 years of air travel, as it welcomes visitors to experience two floors of interactive multi-sensory installations.

Visitors to Expo 2020 Dubai can plan their visit to the Emirates Pavilion and book their preferred date and time slots in advance.

Construction on the Emirates Pavilion began in March 2019 and was completed in June this year. During its design and construction phases, the Emirates Pavilion followed a number of sustainability principles, using non-hazardous, regional, reusable and recyclable materials in its overall structure, and incorporated different design solutions to reduce energy and water consumption.

The Emirates Pavilion’s towering four-storey design and façade are modelled around an aircraft’s wings taking flight, with 24 aluminium-clad fins that curve around two sides of the building structure. The Emirates Pavilion’s exterior lighting includes an 800 metre LED system, which illuminates in vibrant colours at night. The interior’s bright, ultramodern design lets in ample natural light and serves as a backdrop for the immersive experiences, and can welcome 120 people an hour. T

Friendly and knowledgeable staff and Emirates Cabin Crew will be on hand to assist visitors at the Pavilion. As well as the installations and experiences, visitors will be able to enjoy the Emirates Pavilion cafe located on the first floor, and can also take home a memento from their visit at the Emirates Official Store, which will be featuring customised Emirates and Expo 2020 Dubai merchandise for sale.

The Emirates Pavilion is open every day during Expo 2020 Dubai from 10am to 10pm.

British Airways protects Executive Club Tier status and launches Member benefits

British Airways is further protecting the Tier status of Executive Club Members.  From today, any tiered Executive Club Members with a Tier Point collection end date between January – March 2022 will receive another year of their current status.

It means that no British Airways Executive Club Member renewing over this period, including Bronze, Silver and Gold card holders will lose their Tier status, regardless of how many Tier Points they have earned.  This benefit comes in addition to a 25% threshold reduction in Tier Status which applies until June 2022.

From today, British Airways is also launching benefits for some of its most loyal Executive Club Members with an upcoming flight.  All Silver and Gold Members, regardless of their cabin of travel can enjoy pre-flight dining, which is available at selected North American lounges, including New York JFK, Boston, Chicago and Washington.  Meanwhile, the exclusive Concorde Room which is situated in Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK only, will now be accessible to our exclusive Gold Guest List Members, regardless of how many Tier Points they earned in their previous Tier Point collection year.

The reduced amount of Tier Points needed to reach each Tier results is:

  • Bronze: 225 Tier Points or 18 eligible flights
  • Silver: 450 Tier Points or 37 eligible flights
  • Gold: 1,125 Tier Points

Niall Rooney, British Airways’ Loyalty Manager, told us:

We want to thank our customers for their continued loyalty.  Many of our Executive Club Members haven’t had the chance to use their benefits as normal, by further extending their Tier Status, none of them will miss out on the amazing benefits they have earned.

For our Members that have a flight booked, we are proud to be launching more benefits.  From today, our Silver and Gold Members can enjoy more from our award-winning lounges.

On top of this Tier extension, in February, British Airways announced a six-month extension to all Executive Club vouchers, due to expire before 31 December 2021. This was the third extension that was applied, following similar extensions in March 2020 and October 2020 and included Gold Upgrade Vouchers and American Express Companion Vouchers. British Airways is also adding an additional six-months validity to all new Companion Voucher or Travel Together tickets earned between June 2020 and the end of December 2021.

Five stories about mental health #ribbonfortravel

Every day during Mental Health in Travel Week, 20-24 September 2021, we’re sharing srories about how we take care of our mental health, and our colleagues’ and our clients’.

Monday: “How are you?”

“How are you?” 

It’s the phrase we start every call with.  Whether it’s a phone call, a Zoom, Teams, Facetime.  Always the same.  And always asked in order to solicit a full answer.  So if the response is just “fine thanks”, we simply ask it again.  

Working in travel – while the travel industry has been closed down by government restrictions – is a stressful time.  And everyone experiences stress in different ways and at different times.  But you can only control what you can measure. 

So we ask.  And, only when that crucial question is answered, do we proceed – if we can – with the call.  Because, if someone on a call is worrying more about issues other than the subject of the call, their issues won’t go away.  

We talk to each other.  And, to start the conversation, we always ask the question.  And we mean it.

“How are you?”

Tuesday: Time. Travel.

Wherever we are and however distant the pandemic has caused us to be physically, we all live, work, sleep, play and relax in the same place.  The present.  

We’ve all lived through the past. And the past is different for each of us.  But we can’t change it. 

We all live in the present.  And there’s not much we can do about that, either.  

But we all plan and look forward to the place we are going to live: the future. 

So it’s important that future is as great a place as we can make it.  

One thing we do to make the future a better destination is to take care of carbon emissions.  

Travel causes carbon to be thrown into the atmosphere.  Through our relationship with Trees4Travel, we are taking carbon out of the atmosphere.  Permanently.  

So we know the work we do in the present will make the future a better destination.  

And, in turn, that makes the present a better place to be, too.

Wednesday: Duty of Care

We owe it to all of the people that work for and with our company to ensure we do everything we can in their best interests. 

Because staff aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet or seats at desks; they are colleagues, friends and family.  We look out for them.  It’s an obligation we are happy to carry out.   

But we are not unique.  We recognise that each and every one of our clients has a similar commitment to the welfare and protection of their employees.  We call this a Duty of Care.  And we help them to deliver it.  

In the first few weeks of the pandemic, we worked on an online solution for our clients enabling them to manage deliver their duty of care obligations, to remain abreast of Covid-related travel restrictions and the UK government’s latest travel guidance across the world. 

PinPoint lets clients see – in real time – three pieces of information crucial to the well-being of any of their travellers 

  • Traveller tracking 
  • FCDO advice 
  • Local, national and international government lockdown rules 

With this simple snapshot, any client can track the whereabouts of all their employees travelling anywhere in the world, instantly.  They can see the up-to-the-minute travel advice from the UK Foreign Office, so can react immediately if situations change.  And they can see what restrictions are in place in any location, to help them alter travel plans, whenever necessary.  

Our clients need to take care of their staff.  That means handling a lot of fast-changing information, from multiple sources.  It’s a complicated, crucial task.  So, we take care of it.  

Because sometimes where you are has a very important impact on how you are.

Thursday: Removing the stress of travel

As a travel management company, we are aware that the product we create – business travel – comes with stress.  

Every trip, however short, comes with some stress.  Every traveller has things to worry about.  Will the trip be a success?  Will my flight be on time?  Has my hotel booking been confirmed?  Where do I get a taxi?  What if..? 

We are in a unique position: we put our clients into a situation that adds to their anxiety.  So, what do we do?  We do everything possible to remove that anxiety, working behind the scenes, 24×7 to ensure nothing goes wrong; or that, if it ever does, the traveller has all the available remedial options to hand. 

That’s why we developed a new app.  It works for the traveller, behind the scenes, securing connections, making arrangements, updating itineraries, keeping everyone informed about the trip, in real time, all the time. 

Our app tells you what you need to know, when you need to know it. And everything else, it just quietly takes care of, for you.

Friday: Forget about it

Having a lot of things to be concerned about can be very stressful. And worrying about forgetting anything can exacerbate the stress. So, we work hard to make sure you can forget stuff without worrying.

Worried about whether you have given us all your details? Don’t. We’ve built a solution to make it easy for you to update us with your information whenever you need to.

Worried about whether your executive travel card will be updated with your latest bonus air miles? Don’t. We can take care of that for you.

Worried you’re going to forget which flights you’ve taken or when you last flew to a specific place? Don’t. We can run reports for you.

Worried whether your data is safe in our hands? Don’t. The data we hold on your behalf is yours and we work within GDPR rules to keep is safe. (We were experts at masking data well before masks were even a thing).

So, if you tend to worry about stuff whenever you need to travel on business, we have a suggestion for you. Forget it.

These stories were written in support of Mental Health in Travel Awareness Week, 20-24 September, 2021. Find out more about the campaign here.

Heathrow works with British Airways and partners to demonstrate how aviation is moving towards the “Perfect Flight”

Britain’s aviation industry has come together to operate a net zero flight.

The short flight – British Airways BA1476 from London Heathrow to Glasgow Airport – was powered directly by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), provided by bp, blended at 35% with traditional jet fuel in accordance with technical aviation specifications. The remaining emissions produced by the flight were offset.

The aim of the flight was to show how far the aviation industry has progressed in its efforts to decarbonise over the last decade. Several factors within the journey were calibrated to achieve minimal emissions – from British Airways’ Airbus aircraft being pushed back by electric Mototok vehicles powered by Heathrow’s supply of 100% renewable electricity, to flying on the most direct routing and optimal flight level.

The flight was operated by an Airbus A320neo, the quietest and most fuel-efficient short-haul aircraft currently in British Airways’ fleet.

Air traffic controllers at NATS directed the aircraft on its continuous climb from Heathrow and descent into Glasgow, avoiding any levelling off, which causes an increase in fuel burn. The most direct routing was provided by NATS as well as the most optimal flight level and the aircraft was able to land without airborne holding; techniques that successfully saved fuel and reduced emissions.

The flight achieved a 62% CO2 emissions reduction compared to a decade ago – 34% from efficient aircraft and operations, 28% from the use of sustainable aviation fuel and the remaining 38% offset using high quality, verified carbon offsets.

This move towards the ‘Perfect Flight’ showcases a number of the solutions that can help to reduce emissions associated with flying. The industry can use sustainable fuels, reduce fuel consumption by using more efficient routes in the air, and utilise electric plug in power while on the ground to make flights more sustainable. Airports can also follow Heathrow’s lead by offsetting remaining emissions, using natural solutions such as tree planting and peatland restoration to remove carbon.

SAF is a proven technology that can work across the world to decarbonise aviation. While the solutions exist, the UK Government needs to urgently implement policies to scale up SAF, encourage the production of sustainable fuel and have the right price incentives for airlines to use it. This includes setting escalating mandates that requires a minimum of 10% SAF use by airlines by 2030, which British Airways and its parent company IAG committed to recently, increasing to at least 50% by 2050.

Heathrow has been at the forefront of advocacy and change on reducing carbon emissions in the aviation sector. In addition to incorporating the first shipment of SAF into its fuel supply system back in June, the major airport has been running on 100% renewable electricity for almost 5 years, with ongoing plans to switch from gas heating by the mid-2030s, becoming fully zero carbon. 90% of the airport’s cars and small vehicles are electric, with £7m invested in electric charging points. Heathrow’s one of the best-connected airports in the country by public transport with Crossrail soon connecting travellers through central London in addition to the tube and Heathrow Express.

Heathrow CEO, John Holland-Kaye told us:

The Perfect Flight shows that the solutions to deliver net zero flight exist, we just need to scale them up. The faster we scale up supply and use of sustainable aviation fuels, the faster we can decarbonise aviation and protect the benefits of flying in a world without carbon. What is needed urgently is for Government to introduce policies to increase the supply of SAF and to provide the right price incentives for airlines to use it.

British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle said:  

This flight offered a practical demonstration of the progress we’re making in our carbon reduction journey. By working together with our industry partners we’ve delivered a 62% improvement in emissions reductions compared to a decade ago. This marks real progress in our efforts to decarbonise and shows our determination to continue innovating, working with Governments and industry and accelerating the adoption of new low carbon solutions to get us closer still to the Perfect Flight of the future.

With BA Better World, we’re making progress on our journey to a sustainable future and have adopted a range of short, medium and long-term initiatives to get us to net zero emissions. Together, we can build a future for aviation that delivers the wonders of air travel while reducing the impact on the environment.

Airbus’ Executive Vice President Corporate Affairs and Communications, Julie Kitcher, told us:

The A320neo is a great example of how far our industry has come.  It meets all the ICAO environmental standards thanks to advances in engines, aerodynamics, cabin and flight operations. The A320neo burns 20% less fuel, which means less CO2, compared to its predecessor and is 50% quieter. 

BP Aviation Division CEO, Martin Thomsen said:

We are honoured to join forces with British Airways on this important initiative. At bp we are focusing on working with hard-to-abate sectors, such as aviation, as part of our ambition to be net zero by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get there too. By working collaboratively with industries, we can help to accelerate decarbonisation and we believe SAF will be one of the key solutions to fulfil this for the aviation sector.

Glasgow Airport CEO, Derek Provan said:

This flight demonstrates the progress the industry has made during the last decade and how we can work collectively to decarbonise aviation. As one of the UK’s largest airport groups, we are committed to achieving net zero by mid 2030s. This involves decarbonising our own infrastructure, including the roll out of fixed electrical ground power (FEGP), which is powered using 100% renewable energy sources.

NATS CEO, Martin Rolfe said:

Live demonstrations like this show just what is possible and are an important step on the aviation industry’s path to net zero by 2050. We can learn a lot from flights like these, as they help us understand how to redesign the airspace over the UK and play our part in making flying sustainable for the future.

easyJet introduces new cabin crew and pilot uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles

easyJet has announced that it is introducing a new uniform for cabin crew and pilots, each made from around 45 recycled plastic bottles as part of its commitment to mitigate waste and search for innovative change beyond carbon reduction.

Manufactured by Northern-Ireland based Tailored Image and created with unique high-tech material, the new uniform will be introduced into cabin crew circulation during August. The roll-out across the airline is estimated to prevent around half a million plastic bottles from ending up as plastic waste each year.

Not only does the fabric reduce plastic waste, but the high-tech material is made using renewable energy sources and has a 75% lower carbon footprint than traditional polyester.

The new fabric, adapted to the airline’s current style, was first trialled last year for suitability in the cabin and flight deck environments. Compared to the non-recycled alternative, it is more abrasion-resistant. It also provides even more elasticity, a four-way stretch, improving fit and freedom of movement for enhanced comfort and durability. This development can lead to it being long-lasting for the wearer, reducing the need for more uniform items to be produced in the long term.

·        Forty-five bottles will go into each uniform – with a potential of half a million bottles to be reused annually as part of the airline’s commitment to address impacts beyond carbon and reduce waste

Beyond the new fabric, plastic has also been replaced in all clothing-related packaging in favour of recyclable and biodegradable materials: replacing plastic collar strays with recyclable cardboard ones, plastic shirt clips with metal shirt clips, non-recyclable white coated card with recyclable cardboard card and polypropylene outer shirt covers with biodegradable shirt covers.

Tina Milton, Director of Cabin Services at easyJet, told us:

Climate change is an issue for all of us, and at easyJet, we are looking at all parts of our operation to see where we can reduce carbon emissions and reduce waste.  

We are excited to be debuting this new pilot and cabin crew uniform made from recycled plastic bottles and to introduce it for our pilots and cabin crew colleagues. We know that sustainability is an important issue for them and also for our customers.

It is a priority for us to continue work on reducing our carbon footprint in the short term, coupled with long-term work to support the development of new technology, including zero-emission planes which aspire to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation radically. We continue to work with innovative technology partners Wright Electric and Airbus. Each of them has set out its ambitious timetables for bringing zero-emission aircraft into commercial service to become a reality.

People have a choice in how they travel, and if people choose to fly with us, we want to be one of the best choices they can make.

Bernard Birt, Managing Director of Tailored Image, said:

Our role as a bespoke uniform and corporate wear provider is to deliver innovative solutions for our clients, built around comfort and practicality for their wearers. The additional challenge with the easyJet project was to meet their exceptionally high standards in reducing environmental impact. By combining the expertise of our design and garment technology teams, we developed a collaborative approach with a mill that is leading the way in the development of sustainable fabrics.

We were excited from the outset to be involved in this project and are delighted that the success of the new easyJet wardrobe demonstrates the result of our award-winning customer-focused approach and our ability to meet even the most exacting briefs.

Since 2000 easyJet has reduced the carbon emissions for each kilometre flown by a passenger by over a third. Initiatives have included introducing lightweight carpets, trolleys and seats, single-engine taxiing and removing paper manuals from aircraft.

In 2019, easyJet became the world’s first major airline to operate carbon neutral flights across its whole network by offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of its flights through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards, Gold Standard and the Verified Carbon Standard.

Virgin Atlantic has announced the reopening of its Clubhouse at New York JFK airport from 19 July.

Upper Class customers, Flying Club Gold members as well as Delta’s Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members, can once again enjoy access to the airline’s flagship North America lounge enjoying a complimentary a la carte menu featuring five-star dining, tapas dishes and afternoon tea plus a wide selection of cocktails, wine and soft drinks.

Customers visiting in the morning can choose from a selection of breakfast favourites including eggs benedict, avocado on toast and a full English breakfast and for those visiting later in the day, the chicken tikka masala and the famous vegan Beyond Burger are on offer, washed down by a selection of beverages including the iconic Virgin Redhead cocktail.

The Clubhouse experience has been tailored to ensure the safety of customers. Customers will be encouraged to remain in their seated areas and enjoy table service from the Clubhouse team.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic has announced a new partnership with Plaza Premium Group which will now be responsible for the day to day running of the JFK Clubhouse under the guidance of the Virgin Atlantic team. Virgin Atlantic will also work with Plaza Premium for the Clubhouses in Boston, San Francisco, Washington and Johannesburg once they reopen as travel restrictions around the world start to relax.

Whilst customers will continue to enjoy the Clubhouse experience, the award-winning Plaza Premium group will bring a wealth of experience to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse offering. The Group has won more than 60 accolades in the last five years, including “World’s Best Independent Airport Lounge” for four consecutive years from 2016 to 2019 at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer commented,

We’re delighted to welcome customers back to our Clubhouse at New York JFK offering the signature Virgin Atlantic experience we know they have missed over the past 18 months. With the friendly faces of our Clubhouse team, enhanced health and safety measures at every touchpoint and our innovative food and beverage offering, we will ensure our customers fly safe and fly well.

We look forward to expanding our partnership with Plaza Premium Group to our Clubhouses in North America and South Africa. Our shared values of top-notch hospitality, the most hospitable teams in the industry, a pioneering mindset and dedication to innovation will ensure our customers enjoy every moment of their journey as travel restrictions begin to relax and demand for global travel returns fast.

Bora Isbulan, Chief Commercial Officer, Plaza Premium Group told us,

Plaza Premium Group is delighted to be collaborating with Virgin Atlantic, one of the world’s most innovative and respected airline brand, in offering seamless services in their Clubhouses. With 22 years of experience in creating exquisite, award-winning airport moments, the PPG team look forward to serving Virgin Atlantic passengers a memorable and deliver each of these signature lounge experiences to life.  This unique partnership sees two global travel brands offering the brand’s unique perspectives on airport hospitality, design and service that leaves an imprint with each visit. We are here with aligned mission and goals, joining hands to offer an elevated airport journey in supporting the return of travel. We are looking forward to working with like-minded partners to bring a brand new lounge experience and provide world-class lounge experience in welcoming global travellers.

Virgin Atlantic and Plaza Premium Lounge have also agreed on the co-development of lounges in other key hubs within the airline’s network.

British and Irish Airways

British Airways welcomed the 37-strong British & Irish Lions squad on board a special charter flight, as they travelled from Edinburgh to Johannesburg for the start of their eagerly-awaited South African Tour.

Following their clash against Japan for The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup at BT Murrayfield Stadium yesterday, they were greeted with warm words of encouragement by the crew of flight BA9111, including their pilot Captain Richard Allen-Williams, British Airways’ Chief Pilot, Training.

Enjoying the safety and comfort of a British Airways’ 777-300, the players were served with a selection of hot meals and snacks during the 11-hour 30-minute flight to ensure they arrive match fit and ready to take on all-comers.

The eight-game tour of South Africa will see the best players from the UK & Ireland pitted against the World Champions, the Springboks, in three Tests. The Lions and Springboks squads will both be carried across the country during the Tour by British Airways’ franchise partner, Comair.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

We are honoured to be flying The British & Irish Lions to South Africa ahead of their Tour. After a difficult year, we look forward to uniting the nation through sport and cheering them on. From everyone at British Airways, we wish them the best of luck and hope to carry them home as champions.

Ben Calveley, Managing Director for The British & Irish Lions, said:

We are delighted to be flying with British Airways for the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series. We know the squad and management will receive a warm welcome from British Airways staff and enjoy a safe, comfortable journey to South Africa, landing in Johannesburg ready to take on the world champions.

British Airways is also reinforcing its commitment to sport as the airline is currently the Principal Partner to Twickenham Stadium, Official Airline Partner to England Rugby and has been the Official Airline Partner to Team GB and Paralympics GB since 2008.

GTM supports the Travel Day of Action

Global Travel Management is supporting the industry-wide campaign, Travel Day of Action on 23 June.

The event takes place following the Government’s review of the traffic light system – in which countries were moved from green to amber and amber to red, while none was moved in the opposite direction – and its failure to extend sector-specific support for the travel and aviation industries.

The day of action will be calling on the UK Government to

  • Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan; and to
  • Bring forward a package of tailored financial support to recognise that the unlocking of international travel, and hence businesses’ ability to trade and generate income, will be much slower than first anticipated, and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy. 
Scott Pawley made a plea to the Prime Minister to meet the Travel Day of Action’s demands

All parts of the travel industry have been invited to participate, including travel management companies, leisure travel agents, airlines, airports, tour operators, suppliers and partners.

The day will be all about putting forward a positive plan for the Government. Scott Pawley, Managing Director of Global Travel Management explained that:

London, the world’s number one most connected city in 2019, saw an 88% decline in connectivity between April 2019 and April 2021. UK residents travelling overseas generate over £53 billion in domestic spending – but with borders being closed and travel to many countries being made illegal for most individuals, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost, and many more remain at great risk.

The next weeks will be critical for the travel industry, as we look ahead to the next review on 28 June when the Government is expected to announce another review of both the traffic light list and also the requirements and measures in place for international travel. The Travel Day of Action is a campaign we are happy to support, as it carries two, important messages.

We want the Government to help the industry and businesses who need to travel by taking the two actions we are calling for. Allowing a risk-managed approach to opening up international travel; and providing travel industry support to help businesses cope with the on-going restrictions, now entering their sixteenth month.


The travel industry is calling on the UK Government to allow international travel to return safely in a risk-managed way and to bring forward a package of tailored financial support.

Scott has invited the MP for GTM’s Woking constituency, Jonathan Lord to the event, which takes place on College Green, outside the Palace of Westminster. Scott explained:

I have written to Jonathan Lord to put forward the campaign’s two, positive suggestions. I hope he will be able to join us on College Green immediately after Prime Minister’s Question Time, so that he can see the strength of the support behind the campaign. It’s a positive message and I hope we can get the message across.

Other countries are forging ahead with risk-based schemes that allow safe travel, most recently Germany, France and Spain. The UK is falling behind other nations in its travel restart plans and risks becoming an outlier, undermining our aspirations for Global Britain.

Scott also explained that, while some businesses in the travel industry have suffered greatly over the course of the pandemic response, it is important that the financially-stronger companies stand up. Scott said,

We have already seen airlines and travel agents succumb to the ravages of the pandemic response. So it’s important that financially sound travel management companies like us get behind this campaign. The travel industry needs competition – it’s vital we don’t lose any more names from the travel sector.

The campaign will attract travel industry members from across the UK, with events taking place around the country. And Sales Director Paul Baker pointed out that GTM clients will continue to receive the highest levels of service they expect during the day:

It’s a socially distanced, responsible campaign event, with attendance restricted to the hundreds of ticket holders who have pre-registered. We have several members of the GTM management team taking part in the event, including Kelly Packington, our Director of Operations. So, I have worked with Kelly to ensure all operational aspects of her – and her team’s – role will be covered.

All GTM clients travelling on 23 June will be fully supported, as usual.


We are calling on the UK Government to:
Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system, by expanding the Green list in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.
Bring forward a package of tailored financial support, including extension of furlough support, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.

PLAY launches new uniforms

PLAY – the new, Icelandic low-cost airline – has unveiled its new cabin crew uniforms which are very different from traditional airline clothing.

The airline has described the new designs as ‘a new era of cabin crew uniforms’. The outfits mark a departure from traditional cabin crew wear, with the emphasis on comfort and avoiding being ‘gender specific’.

The uniforms were designed by designer couple Gunni Hilmars and Kolla who were keen to tackle a fresh take on what is usually a very traditional line of clothing:

PLAY crew uniforms
The PLAY crew uniforms include branded trainers

We were honoured and pleased to get to work with PLAY on this clothing line for their uniforms. We really wanted to throw out all those old ideas about airline uniforms and bring in more comfort. We tried to scrap the constrictive rules often associated with these uniforms and include relaxed fits, stretchy fabrics and of course, shoes meant for working on your feet!

The result is a mix of active wear and a fresh uniform.

PLAY uniforms are finally here and they mean business!


Jónína Guðmundsdóttir is the CPO at PLAY and leads the division of People and Culture, which includes the HR department, Payroll, Uniforms and Travel.

PLAY cabin crew members tested out the ‘comfortable’ attire during a recent photoshoot with karate kicks and yoga poses. The airline says that ‘despite being fresh and fashionable, these uniforms were not designed for photoshoots. They are meant to encompass our core values: simplicity, playfulness, competitiveness, equality and on-time performance’.

Jónína Guðmundsdóttir, the Chief People Officer of PLAY said,

It was really satisfying to see how well Gunni and Kolla got our brief and our ideas for this line. We had certain ideas about the clothing and how it should represent and work with our brand and the results are just amazing.

The airline announced that staff will wear comfortable trainers, instead of high heels; there will be no instructions regarding hair, make up, tattoos or nail varnish; the uniforms are not gender specific; and that ‘the crew can pick whatever works for them’.

PLAY was founded in 2019, with the aim to provide a low-cost alternative for consumers traveling to and from Iceland, as well as across the Atlantic. In May 2021, PLAY announced it has secured an Air Operators Certificate.

CEO Birgir Jónsson said,

To future clients of PLAY I want to say this; we look forward to welcoming you on board our modern and efficient aircraft. We will offer highly competitive prices on effortless and safe flights, making us an affordable option and a real competitor on the market.

Finnair introduces Business Light

Finnair have introduced a totally new Business Light ticket and renewed its other ticket types, addressing the increasing trend for personalisation of the travel experience. 

Customers can choose from three ticket types – Light, Classic and Flex – that are available for both Business and Economy Class for all short-haul and most intercontinental journeys. When booking a ticket, customers select the travel class experience they prefer and the level of flexibility for making reservation changes – along with some additional services included in the ticket. The rest of the experience can be tailored with a wide selection of travel extras.

Ole Orvér, Finnair’s Chief Commercial Officer, said

There is an increasing need to personalise the travel experience, and our new ticket types offer opportunities for choice and tailoring. We want to offer our customers journeys that look like them, and we will be adding more choice and personalisation opportunities to our offering as we re-introduce services and prepare for ramp-up of our operations.

  • Business Light is a totally new ticket type designed especially for leisure travellers who want to travel light and affordably while enjoying Business Class comfort. Business Light includes carry-on baggage only. Reservation changes, refunds, airport priority services, lounge access and onboard internet are not included in the ticket price. Customers can always elevate their experience by choosing the travel extras that matter most for them.  
  • The Classic ticket is the most popular option allowing ticket date changes and including one piece of checked baggage. With a Classic ticket bought on 15 June 2021 or later, customers can make travel date changes flexibly, paying only the possible fare difference between the original and new tickets. A refund is not possible in the case of a customer cancelling their reservation. 
  • The Flex ticket is a fully flexible and refundable ticket option serving those whose plans can change. When changing travel dates with a Flex ticket, customers only pay the possible fare difference between the original and new tickets. In case a customer wants to cancel their trip, the ticket will be refunded. Flex tickets include checked baggage and advance seat reservation. An Economy Flex ticket bought after 15 June doesn’t include airport priority services. 

Customers who purchased their tickets before 15 June will travel with their original tickets and the benefits that were included with them. Due to the coronavirus situation, Finnair offers all customers with bookings made latest on 31 August 2021 extra flexibility for travel date changes.