Coronavirus – a guide to the latest travel news and medical advice

For the latest updates on the Coronavirus situation, make sure you are following the GTM Twitter account – details here: http://ow.ly/QYmh50yghXK

To see how Global Travel Management are ensuring clients’ travel plans are managed smoothly, despite the disruption caused by the coronavirus outbreak, please see here:
https://gtm.uk.com/how-were-tackling-coronavirus-for-business-travellers/

UPDATE: 7 APRIL 15:00

Airlines and airports are taking further measures to combat Covid-19, while Google and Etihad have announced technology advances.

UPDATE: 6 APRIL 11:00

Airlines have been told to give prompt refunds, more airlines reduce flight schedules and extend policies, rescue flights from India commence, one UK airport bucks the European trend and robots are deployed to help with cleaning…

UPDATE: 4 APRIL 12:00

Airlines and hotel companies continue to make changes to their schedules and services in reaction to decreased demand in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.

UPDATE: 3 APRIL 16:00

Airports Council International has issued a gloomy prediction for the length of the air travel crisis, but airlines, car hire companies and even museums have released better news.

UPDATE: 2 APRIL 11:45

Airlines continue to announce changes, cuts and suspensions as they continue to battle the effect of the coronavirus outbreak.

UPDATE: 1 APRIL 11:30

British, Chinese, Philippine and Singapore airlines adjust schedules, including routes to and from London, while the Indian Government launches an online resource for stranded foreign nationals and Virgin Australia donates toilet paper to charity:

UPDATE: 31 MARCH 15:00

More travel providers have suspended and reduced services and further restrictions have been announced:

UPDATE: 26 MARCH 09:15

Airlines and airports worldwide have continued to suspend and limit services, including:

UPDATE: 24 MARCH 16:00

Airlines, cities and national governments have applied further restrictions:

Meanwhile, in India:

But, yet again, there are some, small pieces of good news:

UPDATE: 20 MARCH 10:00

Several more governments have issued cross-border and internal movement restrictions:

  • Australia and New Zealand have barred foreign nationals from entering the country.
  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has issued a nationwide, 0700-2100 curfew on Sunday.
  • Malaysia is on a movement control order until 31 March.
  • The State of California has started a lockdown, which will remain in place until further notice.

Airlines and other travel providers have announced more suspensions and cancellations:

But there is also some news that is more positive:

UPDATE: 19 MARCH 09:00

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has issued an Exceptional Travel Advisory Notice. The FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel

As the Covid-19 outbreak continues, more travel suppliers have released information about their short-term plans.

But there’s also some good news:

In Venice, the city’s canals are reported to have cleared up for the first time in many years due to the drop in visitors.

UPDATE: 17 MARCH 11:05

Last night, the European Commission proposed a ban on travel to the European Union. This was covered on the GTM website, here.

Meanwhile, a number of travel providers have made further announcements, including:

UPDATE: 16 MARCH 11:00

The impact of the Covid-19 outbreak continues to be seen across airlines. Aer Lingus and Delta have released statements aimed to reduce the volume of calls to their call centres. While British Airways has warned of potential job cuts.

Several more airlines have announced reductions in their services:

  • Air New Zealand will reduce its long-haul capacity by 85% per cent over the coming months.
  • American Airlines will implement “a phased suspension of additional long-haul international flights from the US” from today.
  • Emirates has suspended flights between Dubai and Italy.
  • Finnair will cut capacity by 90%.
  • Low-cost carrier Jet 2 has suspended all flights to Spain.
  • Low-cost carrier Norwegian has announced it will ground 40% of its long-haul fleet.
  • SAS has announced it will temporarily halt “most of its traffic” from today.

However, some airlines have made more positive announcements:

UPDATE: 15 MARCH 12:00

Further to the announcement that the United States has extended its travel ban (see below), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice for the United States, as follows:

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the USA, due to restrictions put in place by the US government with effect from 03:59 GMT 17 March in response to the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid-19) 

UPDATE: 14 MARCH 17:00

President Trump and Vice President Pence have extended the United States Schengen-area travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Repulic of Ireland. Please see this breaking news story.

UPDATE: 13 MARCH 15:00

The travel industry continues to react to the coronavirus outbreak. An increaesing number of airlines are suspending services reflecting reduced demand, while several new travel restrictions have been put in place.

The following airlines have recently announced suspensions of service:

Some airlines have introduced relaxation to rules regarding change fees and cancellation fees:

Meanwhile, some governments have introduced increased visa restrictions:

  • India has suspended all tourist visas and e-visas.
  • Thailand has suspended granting of visas on arrival to nationals of Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kazakhstan, Malta, Mexico, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan and Vanuatu.
  • The United States has imposed a temporary travel ban for travellers from 26 European countries.
  • Vietnam has suspended visa-free travel for people from the UK, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Spain and Sweden.

UPDATE: 10 MARCH 12:00

Rail companies and airlines have announced further suspensions of services, fee waivers and details of cleaning and disinfection regimes. These include:

  • Amtrak issues guidance, waives fees and suspends New York-DC service – Amtrak has issued customer guidance and advice on preventative measures; waived change and cancellation fees on all tickets purchased before 30 April; and suspended its non-stop route between New York and Washington DC.
  • Cathay Pacific suspends Japan service – All Cathay Pacific flights between Hong Kong and Fukuoka, Nagoya, Sapporo, and Tokyo Haneda are suspended until 28 March.
  • Emirates announces enhanced cleaning and disinfection and fee waivers – Emirates has announced enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures on all aircraft from Dubai and a newly-introduced waiver policy for all booked tickets issued until 31 March 2020.
  • Lufthansa Group plans 50% flight reductionsLufthansa Group has announced a plan to reduce its number of flights across the group by 50% and to examine the extent to which its entire A380 fleet can be temporarily decommissioned.
  • Qantas cuts international flights and grounds eight A380s – The Qantas Group has announced cuts to its international network which will see a 23% reduction in capacity until mid-September.

UPDATE: 6 MARCH 12:00

More airlines have announced cancellations, schedule changes and restrictions due to the on-going Covid-19 outbreak. These include:

  • Aeroflot suspends flights to Hong Kong Aeroflot will temporarily suspend flights from Moscow to Hong Kong amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus.
  • American Airlines suspends flights to Seoul American has suspended its daily operation between Seoul Incheon Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport.
  • British Airways to waive flight change fees British Airways has announced it will waive flight change fees for customers who book until 16 March.
  • Delta suspends JFK-Milan Delta Air Lines has suspended its daily route between New York JFK and Milan Malpensa amid global concern over the spread of the coronavirus. The service is set to resume on 1 May. Delta’s daily flights from JFK and Atlanta to Rome remain unaffected.
  • Delta cuts Japan flights Delta Air Lines will reduce its weekly flying schedule to Japan until 30 April and suspend its summer seasonal service between Seattle and Osaka this year.
  • Delta waives change fees for bookings in March Delta Air Lines will waive change fees for all flights booked between 1 March and 31 March to any destinations the airline serves.
  • Finnair announces China cancellations and more frequency reductions Finnair will cancel all flights to mainland China (Guangzhou, Nanjing, Beijing Capital, Beijing Daxing, Shanghai and Xi’an) until 30 April 30. Daily flights to Seoul will be suspended from 9 March to 16 April. Throughout April it will fly to Hong Kong once daily rather than twice daily. It will also reduce its Osaka route from 12 to 10 weekly frequencies from 29 March to 24 October.
  • Finnair suspends all flights between Helsinki and Milan Finnair flights between Helsinki and Milan will be suspended between 9 March and 7 April, following an updated travel advisory from the Finnish Foreign Ministry on travel to Milan.
  • KLM cancels flights to Hong Kong and extends China flight suspensions KLM has adjusted its flights to mainland China and Hong Kong. KLM has suspended its services to Beijing and Shanghai until 28 March and to Chengdu, Hangzhou and Xiamen until 3 May. KLM is also offering flights to Hong Kong every other day instead of daily flights until 3 May.
  • Lufthansa Group airlines to suspend flights to Israel The Lufthansa Group has announced that all flights to Israel will be suspended from 8 March until 28 March due to an Israeli government travel ban.
  • Norwegian cuts transatlantic services Norwegian says it will cancel a total of 22 long-haul flights between 28 March and 5 May. Affected routes include London-New York (where the three daily departures will be reduced to two on some days), and services from Rome to Los Angeles, Boston and New York.
  • Vietnam Airlines suspends all South Korea flights Vietnam Airlines said it will temporarily suspend all flights between Vietnam and South Korea starting 5 March.
  • Virgin Atlantic waives flight change fees for March bookings Virgin Atlantic has announced it will not charge passengers a fee for changing flights for travel booked from Wednesday 4 March until Tuesday 31 March.

UPDATE: 2 MARCH 12:00

Several airlines have announced updates and changes due to the on-going Covid-19 outbreak. Here is a summary of some of the latest announcements:

  • British Airways reduces flights to Italy, Seoul and Singapore British Airways is “merging” a number of flights to Italy, Singapore and Seoul, as it reacts to a fall in demand called by coronavirus.
  • American Airlines suspends flights to Milan American Airlines has announced it is suspending flights to and from Milan, Italy from both New York (JFK) and Miami (MIA) from March until 25 April 2020.
  • Korean Air cuts international flights Korean Air has suspended and reduced flights to a number of international destinations due to the outbreak in South Korea.
  • Delta to cut flights to Seoul until end of April Delta is temporarily reducing flights it operates between the US and Seoul Incheon Airport.
  • Juneyao Airlines to delay the launch of three Europe routes Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines will delay the launch of three new transcontinental routes from Shanghai to Dublin, Manchester and Reykjavik, all with a stop in Helsinki, which it initially planned to launch in late March this year.
  • Lufthansa Group to cut short-haul operations by “up to 25 per cent” Lufthansa Group says it will cut its short-haul operations in the coming weeks, “As a result of the current situation caused by the accelerated spread of the coronavirus”.
  • easyJet to halt recruitment and offer unpaid leave easyJet said that it had seen “a significant softening of demand and load factors into and out of our Northern Italian bases”, as well “slower demand across our other European markets”. The airline said that as a result it would be cancelling “some flights, particularly those into and out of Italy, while continuing to monitor the situation and adapting our flying programme to support demand”.

UPDATE: 26 FEBRUARY 14:01

The National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) has provided updated general advice for foreign travel and how individuals can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 outbreak and specific advice for those travelling to category one locations (Wuhan city and Hubei Province (China); Iran; Daegu or Cheongdo (South Korea); and any Italian town under containment measures) or category two locations (Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, north Italy, Japan, Laos, Macao, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam).

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to publish travel advice to China South Korea, Italy and other destinations via its public pages.

The Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England have published the latest public advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) here and will update this page with the latest situation in the UK at 14:00 every day, until further notice.

UPDATE: 7 FEBRUARY 13:30

Virgin Atlantic has issued the following advice:

Due to the ongoing situation with the Coronavirus the following Governments have made the decision to restrict entry for foreign visitors who have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau).

Customers due to travel to:

  • Antigua or Barbuda who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 28 days, will not be allowed to travel

Antiguan nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 28 days 

  • Montego Bay Jamaica who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Jamaican nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Tel Aviv Israel who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Israeli nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Mumbai, Delhi India who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Indian nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • St. Lucia who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

St Lucia nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Grenada who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Grenada nationals are exempt from the restriction however will be subject to quarantine for 14 days on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days

  • Trinidad and Tobago who have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days, will not be allowed to travel

Trinidad and Tobago nationals are exempt from the restriction however may be subject to quarantine on arrival if they have travelled to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) in the last 14 days.

Contact your GTM Account Manager for details of any refunds due on flights booked.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office continues to offer the following advice:

1. The FCO advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak.

2. The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The British Consulates-General in Wuhan and Chongqing are currently closed. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. The elderly and those with pre-existing medical conditions may be at heightened risk.

3. The Chinese government continues to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. These restrictions include the closure of some provincial highways and inter-city high speed rail, tight control on entry and exit to villages and townships across the country, and restrictions on movement within some provinces, cities and municipalities including Chongqing, Zhejiang and Anhui. Some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have announced a suspension of flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder to access departure options over the coming weeks.

4. A number of countries have announced restrictions on entry by travellers from China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Given the fast-changing situation, you should check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.

UPDATE: 30 JANUARY 16:10

British Airways has issued a customer update confirming the planned end date of their current cancellations, in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The airline confirms that Shanghai and Beijing flights will be cancelled for all dates up to and including 29 February 2020. Flights to Hong Kong are unaffected.


British Airways issued a customer statement on 30 January, providing confirmation of the dates during which flights to mainland China will be cancelled.

UPDATE: 29 JANUARY 14:30

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued the following, additional information for travellers to China:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The Chinese government continue to impose further restrictions on movement within China in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Some airlines, including British Airways, have suspended flights to and from mainland China. Other commercial airlines are still operating, but it may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.

Due to increasing travel restrictions and difficulty accessing medical assistance, the FCO is working to make an option available for British nationals to leave Hubei Province. This may happen quickly and with short notice. If you’re a British national in Hubei Province and need assistance, contact our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600 or the FCO in London on (+44) (0)207 008 1500. If you have registered your desire to leave, you will be contacted once arrangements are confirmed.

The FCO has published the following PDF document, setting out the advised travel restrictions in place across China (opens in external site)
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5e306fbe40f0b62c4b0f0aba/FCO_440_-_China_Travel_Advice_Ed3__WEB__pdf_200128.pdf

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued detailed travel advice for China. Please visit the FCO website for full details.

UPDATE: 27 JANUARY 20:45

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued the following, additional information for travellers to China:

The latest information is available on the FCO website, here:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

UPDATE: 27 JANUARY 09:28

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued update travel advice:

We are working to make available an option for British nationals to leave Hubei province. If you are a British national in Hubei Province and require assistance, please contact:

· our 24/7 number +86 (0) 10 8529 6600
· or the FCO (+44) (0)207 008 1500

We continue to monitor developments closely and are in close touch with the Chinese authorities. The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

The TravelHealthPro website has further information on the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/country/49/china#CIoutBreaks


Following media reports of an outbreak of a new virus, we have compiled a number of resources that provide the latest advice for business travellers.

About Wuhan novel coronavirus


Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with some causing less-severe disease, such as the common cold, and others causing more severe disease such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) coronaviruses.

The source of the Wuhan novel coronavirus (WN-CoV) outbreak has yet to be determined. Preliminary investigations identified environmental samples positive for WN-CoV in Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan City.

Although evidence is still emerging, information to date indicates human-to-human transmission is occurring. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-background-information/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-epidemiology-virology-and-clinical-features (Public Health England website).

Travel advice

On 22 January 2020, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office issued advice against all but essential travel to Wuhan city, Hubei Province.

The FCO advice on travel to China can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china.

Coronavirus outbreak updates

Travel Health Pro continues to monitor coronavirus from its initial reports on 31 December 2019 and continues to do so as the virus evolves.

The latest information from Travel Health Pro is available here: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/updates.php?base=2896.

Enhanced monitoring

Enhanced monitoring has been put in place from all direct flights from Wuhan to the UK. The enhanced monitoring package includes a number of measures that will help to provide advice to travellers if they feel unwell.

For further information and the latest advice on travel to China, see the Public Health England page, here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-and-avian-flu-advice-for-travel-to-china.

Dr Nick Phin, Deputy Director, National Infection Service, Public Health England, said:

This is a new and rapidly evolving situation where information on cases and the virus is being gathered and assessed daily.  Based on the available evidence, the current risk to the UK is considered low. We are working with the WHO and other international partners, have issued advice to the NHS and are keeping the situation under constant review.

The risk to visitors to Wuhan is moderate reflecting an increase in the number of cases being identified in China and evidence that the virus has limited spread from person to person. If you are travelling to the area, you should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms. Individuals should seek medical attention if they develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, either in China or on their return to the UK. They should phone ahead before attending any health services and mention their recent travel to the city.

A Foreign & Commonwealth Office spokesperson said:

In light of the latest medical information, including reports of some person-to-person transmission, and the Chinese authorities’ own advice, we are now advising against all but essential travel to Wuhan.

The safety and security of British nationals is always our primary concern, and we advise British nationals travelling to China to remain vigilant and check our travel advice on gov.uk.

United reinstates some international flights…

United Airlines has announced it will continue to fly six daily operations to and from a number of destinations in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the Middle East “in an effort to get customers where they need to be.

The airline has describe the situation as “fluid” but claims that “United continues to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world, especially in these challenging times”.

United Airlines flights continuing until and through May:

  • Newark/New York – Frankfurt (Flights 960/961)
  • Newark/New York – London (Flights 16/17)
  • Newark/New York – Tel Aviv (Flights 90/91)
  • Houston – Sao Paulo (Flights 62/63)
  • San Francisco – Tokyo-Narita (Flights 837/838)
  • San Francisco – Sydney (Flights 863/870)

In addition to the above, United Airlines has reinstated the following flights to help displaced customers who still need to get home.

Flights through until 27 March, outbound

  • Newark/New York – Amsterdam (Flights 70/71)
  • Newark/New York – Munich (Flights 30/31)
  • Newark/New York – Brussels (Flights 999/998)
  • Washington-Dulles – London (Flights 918/919)
  • San Francisco – Frankfurt (Flights 58/59)
  • Newark/New York – Sao Paulo (Flights 149/148)

Flights until 29 March, outbound

  • San Francisco – Seoul (Flights 893/892)

In destinations where government actions have barred the airline from flying, United Airlines are looking for ways to bring customers who have been impacted by travel restrictions back to the United States. This includes working with the U.S. State Department and the local governments to gain permission to operate service.

If you need help planning how to get home, contact your GTM Account Manager.

European Commission proposes EU-wide travel ban

The European Union is proposing suspending all non-essential travel for 30 days. Only residents, family members and essential staff – healthcare workers and medical experts – will be exempt from the measures.

The Commission presented guidelines to Member States on health-related border management measures in the context of the COVID-19 emergency. The aims are to protect citizens’ health, ensure the right treatment of people who do have to travel and make sure essential goods and services remain available.  

European Commission President Ursula von der Lyen said:

Our measures to contain the Coronavirus outbreak will be effective only if we coordinate on the European level. We have to take exceptional measures to protect the health of our citizens. But let’s make sure goods and essential services continue to flow in our internal market. This is the only way to prevent shortages of medical equipment or food. It’s not only an economic issue: our single market is a key instrument of European solidarity. I am in discussion with all Member States so that we confront this challenge together, as a Union.

She later confirmed the position with regards to UK citizens at a press conference:

UK citizens are European citizens so of course there are no restrictions for the UK citizens to travel to the continent.

United States bans travel from the UK and Ireland

The United States is to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

The Vice-President of the United States, Mike Pence, announced that the US government will be extending their travel ban (affecting countries in the EU Schengen area) to include the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The ban will begin at midnight Eastern Standard Time on Monday 16 March (04:00 GMT Tuesday). US citizens will be able to return home after this date, however, they will be “funnelled” through selected airports.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice to the United States, advising against all but essential travel

More and more airlines are now relaxing their previous rules and making tickets even more flexible.

Reacting to the latest announcement, Global Travel Management Sales Director Paul Baker said:

Global Travel Management, will be monitoring all comms from the world’s airlines so that we can help our customers to re-book and/or obtain refunds as they need to.

If you need to change your flight plans following the latest restrictions, please contact your GTM Account Manager.

See how GTM is tackling coronavirus for business travellers.

How we’re tackling coronavirus for business travellers

At Global Travel Management we are working hard to ensure all clients’ business travel plans run as smoothly as always, despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

To ensure that trips go ahead with as little disruption as possible, we have implemented a four-point plan based around knowledge, communication, certainty and mitigation.

Knowledge

Our teams of travel consultants are kept up to date on the latest situations on the geographical limitations imposed by airline schedule changes and what special measures must be undertaken when travelling to affected areas.  If you need to tap into this pool of expert knowledge, just ask your GTM Account Manager.

Communication

We will continue to provide relevant, timely communication on the latest situation via emails, news updates on our website and alerts on our Twitter page.  If the situation changes during a trip, we will also provide relevant alerts via Dave, GTM’s traveller-supporting app.  For the latest updates, please see Coronavirus – a guide to the latest travel news and medical advice.

Certainty

Our teams rely on comprehensive, accurate and industry-leading feeds of information, with access to up-to-the-minute data on schedules, changes and availability, so we can ensure the latest, most accurate information on the current situation.

Mitigation

We create and amend itineraries to ensure the most-appropriate and most-efficient use of travellers’ time.  And, when necessary, we can provide alternatives and have back-up plans ready, for when travellers’ schedules have to change. 

If you would like to discuss your travel plans or have any questions about Covid-19 and how it might impact the business trips you are planning, please contact your GTM Account Manager.

Flybe collapses

Exeter-based regional airline Flybe has entered administration.

The business has ceased trading, all Flybe flights and those operated by Stobart Air have been cancelled and passengers have been advised not to travel to the airport unless they have secured flights with alternative airlines.

Alan Hudson, Joanne Robinson, Lucy Winterborne and Simon Edel of EY have been appointed as Joint Administrators.

Global Travel Management continues to provide advice and information to customers affected by the collapse of Flybe. GTM Account Managers can help to arrange alternative travel and advise on the refund process where, for example, passengers have paid for tickets by credit card and are protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.

Richard Moriarty Chief Executive at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said:

This is a sad day for UK aviation and we know that Flybe’s decision to stop trading will be very distressing for all of its employees and customers.

We urge passengers planning to fly with this airline not to go to the airport as all Flybe flights are cancelled.  For the latest advice, Flybe customers should visit the CAA website or the CAA’s Twitter feed for more information.

Flybe also operated a number of codeshare partnerships with international airlines.  If you have an international ticket you should make contact with that airline to confirm your travel arrangements.

If you require help or advice with regards to Flybe flights, please contact your GTM Account Manager, who will be happy to provide information or arrange alternative travel plans.

The best exhibitors at The Business Travel Show 2020

Global Travel Management visited The Business Travel Show at Kensington Olympia in February 2020.  But, in case you missed the event, we have produced a run-down of some of the best exhibitors at the show. 

The WIN Global Travel Network

WIN connects Travel Management Companies around the world, with a large network of locally-based TMCs in 75 countries. So, if you need to have business travel expertise in any location outside the UK, WIN can help Global Travel Management provide this for you.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said

I have worked with John Hobbs-Hurrell and his team for several years.  They’re great at finding expert local knowledge in markets outside the UK.

Paul Baker with John Hobbs-Hurrell, Global Head of WIN Global Travel Network

Atriis

Atriis creates and runs the technology behind the industry-leading online travel booking tool.  And it’s the platform behind GTM Online. It It’s available 24 x 7 and means that all forms of travel are available to search and book immediately, at any time, by GTM customers.

Paul said,

We use Atriis as the backbone of GTM Online for one simple reason: it provides a very simple solution to complete the complex process of booking travel, without the need to pick up the phone or send an email.  Atriis have some exciting developments that will make GTM Online even better – we are looking forward to being able to share that information.

Amy Jeffery of Atriis with Paul Baker

Blacklane

Blacklane is a global chauffeur service, providing airport pickups and drop-offs or A-to-B trips between business meetings. They offer reliable, professional, licensed, insured drivers and you can book a Blacklane driver using GTM Online, or via your GTM Account Manager.

Paul explained,

The main two reasons we like to use Blacklane is that they are professional and reliable.  You can trust Blacklane drivers to be there when you need – and in all the time we have worked with Blacklane, they have never, ever let a client down. 


Paul Baker, with Carolin Sander, Senior Key Account Manager of Blacklane

Heathrow Express

Heathrow Express offers a great way to travel between central London and your terminal at London Heathrow Airport.  If you have a flight from – or to – Heathrow, don’t forget to book a Heathrow Express ticket, either online on GTM Online or direct with your GTM Account Manager.

Paul was keen to spell out what he thinks about Heathrow Express,

The great thing about Heathrow Express for our customers is that, when they book a flight from Heathrow and a Heathrow Express ticket, they can then sit back and not worry about anything.  They’ll be whisked from Paddington to the airport in as little as 15 minutes, without having to queue for tickets at the station or complete post-trip expenses claims.  And, as Heathrow Express can be booked on GTM Online or via GTM Account Managers, many customers have the view that their “flight” starts or ends at Paddington.

Paul, with Richard Young, Sales and Distribution Manager of Heathrow Express

Evolvi

We book UK domestic rail through the Evolvi platform. This means that GTM customers can benefit from the full range of UK rail services, including paper tickets, TODs (ticket on departure) and now, e-tickets.  All these trains can be booked either online, using GTM Online, or via a GTM Account Manager.

Paul observed,

Evolvi provide a simple solution to a complex technical challenge: choosing, sorting, selecting and buying train tickets, anywhere across the UK domestic rail network.  As Evolvi accomplish this reliably and efficiently, we make sure every GTM customer can access train tickets through Evolvi. Pic and caption

Paul Baker, with Melanie Glass, Head of Account Management at Evolvi

Travelport

Travelport isn’t the best-known name among business travellers, because, frankly, business travellers don’t need to know who Travelport is or what it does. But Travelport provides technology services which are critical to airlines, hotels and car rental companies; and a “travel commerce platform”, through which the world’s leading travel suppliers are able to make their content and services available to Global Travel Management.

We have a long-standing relationship with Travelport and almost every flight booking we make comes through Travelport’s technology.  They’re an industry leader and we rely on their experience and expertise when planning future products and services, like our new app, Dave.  Travelport also publish insights into the global travel market, such as Travel Trends 2020 which is a surVey drawn from more than 23,000 travellers across the world.

Paul Baker with Travelport’s Paul Broughton

Business Traveller and Cellars in the Sky

One of our favourite sources of news about business travel – apart from the GTM Twitter account, of course – is the monthly publication Business Traveller. It’s been going since 1976 and now has fourteen editions around the world.  One of the best features is Cellars in the Sky – the annual award scheme that’s been running since 1985 recognising the best wines served on board the world’s airlines in First Class and Business Class.

After meeting Tom Otley, the Editor of Business Traveller and Holly Khorsand, the Business Traveller Events Manager, and after sampling some of the Cellars in the Sky winning wines, Paul said,

Cellars in the Sky is a great way to highlight one of the most enjoyable aspects of flying in business class or first class.  And I can confirm that the 2016 Brennan B2 available on Air New Zealand is a great choice as the best red wine served in business class last year.

Paul Baker with Holly Khorsand of Business Traveller

Let your GTM Account Manager know if you would like more information about any of the exhibitors listed here.

All Nippon Airways orders twenty 787s

ANA will expand its fleet with the mixed order of 20 new Boeing 787-10 and 787-9 aircraft, a move the airline says leaves it well positioned for long term success as it increases its emphasis on sustainability.

The order will include orders of eleven 787-10 aircraft and nine 787-9 models. The 787-10s, which has been selected to serve the airline’s domestic routes, will enter service between 2022 and 2024, with the 787-9s, scheduled for international service beginning in 2024 and concluding in 2025.

Yutaka Ito, Executive Vice President of ANA said:

Boeing’s 787s have served ANA with distinction, and we are proud to expand our fleet by adding more of these technologically advanced aircraft.

These planes represent a significant step forward for ANA as we work to make our entire fleet more eco-friendly and to reduce noise output. Introducing the 787-10 on the domestic routes will help ANA Group maintain its leadership role and improve our ability to operate as a responsible corporate citizen.

The Boeing 787 harness advanced aircraft design materials, significantly improving its efficiency compared to the Boeing 777 planes currently deployed by ANA. Replacing the domestic 777s with the 787s will allow ANA to achieve 25% better fuel efficiency. Because the 787 also generates less sound that the 777, the move will also reduce noise emissions.

If all 20 planes enter service, ANA will operate a total of 103 787s by 2025. The newly ordered planes will utilise engines manufactured by GE Aviation.

ANA HD considers a range of factors when adding aircraft to its fleet, and the Boeing 787 was selected after a thorough evaluation process determined that it would best meet ANA HD’s goals while helping the airline boost service and hospitality.

The next time you need to fly on ANA, contact your GTM Account Manager

HRH The Prince of Wales sees how British Airways is investing in sustainability

His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales has toured British Airways’ engineering base in Cardiff, seeing first-hand the changes, large and small, which the airline is making as it works towards more sustainable flying.

In front of more than 400 BA staff, His Royal Highness was shown the nose-to-tail focus on sustainability from the heavy-weight investments in new fuel-efficient aircraft, to the smallest detail of using a light-weight solder in aircraft repairs, bringing down the carbon footprint of each journey.

British Airways is forensically assessing its entire operation to find the little changes which add up to a big change of direction.


His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales was shown around a Boeing 787-9, one of the world’s most efficient aircraft. British Airways is investing in a further 73 fuel-efficient and quieter aircraft to arrive before 2024.
  • Each First-Class duvet is now made from 19 recycled plastic bottles.
  • Replacing seats on short-haul aircraft with new lighter weight versions saves 9,100 tonnes of CO2 per year. That’s equivalent to more than 350 return flights from London to Berlin.
  • British Airways now taxis to the runway using a single engine taxi on short haul flights, saving 3,700 tonnes of CO2 per year, equivalent to more than 100 return flights from London to Madrid.
  • The airline’s lighter cabin trolleys save 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per year; that’s a saving equivalent to more than 300 return flights from London to Paris.
  • BA now retract landing lights earlier on our A320 fleet, burning less fuel and saving 8,000 tonnes of CO2 per year; a saving equivalent to 150 return flights from London to Athens.
  • Plastic swizzle sticks have been replaced with bamboo versions, saving 45 tonnes of plastic per year.
  • The plastic wraps on bedding have been replaced by paper bands. That adds up to more than 19 million pieces of plastic which have been removed.

British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, Alex Cruz, who led the tour, said:

It has been an honour to showcase our work in this area to His Royal Highness today. Every decision we make at British Airways now starts with a simple question: what does that mean for our sustainability aspiration? We’re now offsetting carbon emissions on all our flights within the UK, and were the first airline group to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

We’ve got a lot of work to do, but keeping an eye on the detail as well as the bigger picture is the only way to get there.

Louise Evans, Director of Communications & Corporate Responsibility said:

From new, quieter and more fuel efficient aircraft to sustainable swizzle sticks that eliminate the use of single use plastic, we’re carrying out a huge transformation of the way we fly.

His Royal Highness opened this engineering base 26 years ago, and we were delighted to welcome him back to our engineering base here in Cardiff so he can see for himself the steps we are taking to a sustainable future.

Contact your GTM Account Manager the next time you plan to fly on British Airways.


Heathrow set for Zero Carbon

Heathrow has announced it has become one of the world’s first major aviation hubs to become carbon neutral, for its infrastructure, and the first to target “zero carbon” by the mid-2030s.

Following investment of over £100 million in improving Heathrow’s energy efficiency and generating and purchasing renewable energy, Heathrow has reduced carbon emissions from airport buildings and infrastructure by 93% compared to 1990. The remaining 7% of airport infrastructure emissions – including those from heating – will now be offset through tree planting projects in Indonesia and Mexico certified through the Verified Carbon Standard.

Offsetting will be an interim measure to reduce carbon emissions today, while Heathrow works towards becoming a zero carbon airport. Contributing to further carbon savings, this year Heathrow will be focused on ramping up improvements to sustainable transport links and ensuring it meets its target to transition all of Heathrow’s cars and small vans to electric and plug-in hybrid.

Marking the milestone, the airport is announcing a further investment of £1.8 million for 2020 to kick-start UK nature-based carbon saving projects.

The additional investment from the airport will help to kick-start the restoration of natural UK carbon sinks – including peatlands, woodlands and farming soils – which have been estimated by the Committee on Climate Change to have the ability to help save 43 mega tonnes of carbon annually by 2050, if significant investments are made. Heathrow can’t create this saving alone though, and will use its position to encourage others within the aviation industry to invest in similar initiatives up and down the country.

At Ledmore near Ullapool, a new native woodland creation project will be the first to receive new funding from Heathrow. In partnership with Forest Carbon, the project will cover 87.4 hectares and will help explore opportunities for woodlands to deliver effective UK carbon offsetting alongside a range of other benefits including biodiversity and better soil and water quality.


Matt Gorman, Stewart Arbuckle and Dr Helaina Black, testing soil at Dundee carbon farming project

Ledmore adds to an existing portfolio of natural carbon capture projects Heathrow has supported since 2018 – worth over £270,000. These include a regenerative farming pilot project near Dundee; the restoration of Little Woolden Moss peatland, west of Manchester; and the planting of new woodlands at Henry’s Wood in Carmarthenshire. The airport hopes to use some of these projects to offset a small amount of its hard-to-tackle emissions over the next few years and show that UK natural climate solutions would make good options for CORSIA commitments – an international agreement to deliver carbon neutral growth in aviation from 2020.

Heathrow Chief Executive John Holland-Kaye, said:

Making our infrastructure entirely carbon neutral is a significant milestone and a testament to the determination of our airport to help spearhead a new era of sustainable aviation. Our sights are now set on working with the global aviation industry to deliver on net-zero by 2050, at the latest. We can and will cut the environmental cost of flying whilst keeping the benefits of travel for future generations.

This news follows a commitment from the UK aviation industry to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, through an international approach, working with governments around the world and through the UN.

Heathrow will be rolling out an action plan for a critical decade – called ‘Target Net-Zero’ – that backs the UK aviation industry’s commitment. The plan will outline how Heathrow will decarbonise the airport’s infrastructure and play a role in supporting the entire UK aviation industry to get to net-zero carbon emissions, by working with its partners on the ground and in the air, to develop sustainable aviation fuels and electric aircraft.

GTM overcomes Italian airline’s failure

The financing issues of airlines are causing some headaches for passengers wanting to fly between the UK and Italy. But, at Global Travel Management, we can offer a huge range of choice, so if one airline ceases operations, we can continue to find the best-value, most efficient alternatives.

This week Air Italy announced that the airline will be placed into liquidation and that all passengers booked onto flights after 25 February will be refunded or booked onto alternative flights. The announcement confirmed also that flights until 25 February will be operated by other carriers.

Despite the loss of Air Italy, there are still hundreds of regular, scheduled flights between UK and Italian airports, all of which can be booked for customers of GTM. These include British Airways, Alitalia, easyJet and Ryanair.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of GTM said

It always a difficult time when a travel supplier goes into liquidation. We hope that the airline’s staff can secure positions with other airlines as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we continue to offer the widest possible choice of flights from the UK to Italy. In addition, our staff can even provide advice on how to travel between the two countries without flying, by making use of Europe’s high-speed rail network.

Passengers booking flights through GTM benefit from protections from national and international laws as well as industry organisations.

Paul explained:

If customers are concerned about their flight bookings, we encourage them to speak to their GTM Account Manager who can advice on alternative travel plans. And, if an airline were to go out of business, the Account Manager can provide information on which travel industry compensation schemes they can make use of, such as ATOL, EU261 and the Consumer Credit Act.

Please contact your GTM Account Manager when you next need to fly between the UK and Italy.