DOHA, QATAR – Qatar Airways’ loyalty programme, Privilege Club, announced a change to its Qmiles policy in efforts to enhance the programme to further honour members loyalty. When a member earns or spends Qmiles, their balance is valid for 36 months.Members can now earn or spend their Qmiles for as long as they stay active with the programme. This enhancement is among the initial steps in Privilege Club’s journey of change in exceeding expectations from the airline passengers can always rely on.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “At Qatar Airways, we are dedicated to provide our promised five-star service to our passengers and our Privilege Club plays an important role in this. We want to reward our most loyal customers with generosity and flexibility. As such, we have embarked on a journey of change within Privilege Club that puts our members and their needs at the forefront.“Privilege Club has recently undergone multiple changes and our enhanced Qmiles policy is the first major step towards perfecting our loyalty programme with many more exciting new initiatives planned in the coming months. It is a true delight to see our loyal members enjoy our programme and I am very excited for what is to come.” Privilege Club launched in 2000 as a form of appreciation to Qatar Airways’ loyal passengers, offering them the opportunity to earn Qmiles when travelling on Qatar Airways, oneworld® airlines, or any of the airlines’ partners. It has since served as another convenient means of payment at the award-winning Qatar Duty Free (QDF) outlets, Oryx Galleria in Doha and now at Al Maha meet and assist services at Hamad International Airport (HIA).Privilege Club offers four membership tiers – Burgundy, Silver, Gold and Platinum – each with their own exclusive benefits for members to enjoy. Qmiles are earned when members travel with Qatar Airways, oneworld® airlines, other airline partners or use the services of any of the airline’s 60+ global partners. Qmiles are awarded based on the booking class purchased, and can be redeemed for a range of exciting benefits and rewards including award flights, upgrades or extra baggage on Qatar Airways. To join, visit www.qatarairways.com/en/Privilege-Club/join-now.As an airline, Qatar Airways has led the industry during these challenging times, accumulating unrivalled experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably. By maintaining a global network that never fell below 30 destinations, the airline has become the largest global carrier in the world. It has remained up-to-date with the latest in international airport procedures and implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures on board its aircraft and at Hamad International Airport (HIA).Qatar Airways continues to work closely with governments around the world to resume commercial flights in line with entry restrictions. Qatar Airways now serves over 80 destinations worldwide, and plans to resume more flights over the summer.Qatar Airways’ onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers. Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding privacy partitions and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 30 destinations including London, Paris, and Frankfurt.Privilege Club members are encouraged to download and use the Qatar Airways mobile app for any Privilege Club related queries. The app provides members with a convenient and safe way to access their membership account on the go.Qatar Airways Increases its Operations in Pakistan, Operating 49 Weekly Flights to Four GatewaysQatar Airways also increased its services to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar. The airline now operates 49 weekly flights to four gateways in Pakistan with its Boeing 787 and A350 aircraft.Flights to Islamabad have increased from 11 to 14 weekly flights, to Karachi from 10 to 14 weekly flights, to Lahore from 11 to 14 weekly flights, and to Peshawar from five to seven weekly flights. The airline has effectively increased its flights to Pakistan by 32% so that they are now in line with operation levels before the COVID-19 crisis started. All flights can be booked on qatarairways.com or through travel agents.Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, siad: “We are excited to increase our services to Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore and Peshawar, offering our passengers travelling to and from Pakistan connectivity to the largest networks in Europe, UK and the US via the Best Airport in the Middle East.“We remain committed to serving our customers in Pakistan and have worked hard throughout the pandemic to ensure we can operate as many flights as possible, in line with the directions of the Pakistan government. From operating special charter services to a number of commercial flights, we are delighted to now offer a strong schedule of services.”To ensure a safe travel experience, passengers from Pakistan are required take a COVID-19 RT-PCR medical test. Passengers will need to present a negative test result issued within 72 hours prior to departure, when checking in. Children below the age of 12 years are exempted from this test if accompanied by family members.With a growing network, Qatar Airways now offers over 500 weekly flights to over 80 destinations worldwide from its home and hub, Hamad International Airport – the Best Airport in the Middle East and Third Best Airport in the World according to Skytrax. It is operating regular flights to key gateways in Canada, Europe, South East Asia and the US. On 12 August, the airline will resume services to Houston and Philadelphia, adding to its regular flights to Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.Over the past several months, Qatar Airways has led the industry by maintaining a global network that never fell below 30 destinations. In doing so, the airline collected unrivalled experience in carrying passengers safely and reliably and became uniquely positioned to effectively rebuild its network. The carrier has stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures on board its aircraft and at HIA – from introducing enhanced PPE suits for cabin crew, to becoming the first airline to require passengers to wear face shields in addition to face coverings.Qatar Airways’ onboard safety measures for passengers and cabin crew include the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for cabin crew and a complimentary protective kit and disposable face shields for passengers. Business Class passengers on aircraft equipped with Qsuite can enjoy the enhanced privacy this award-winning business seat provides, including sliding privacy partitions and the option to use a ‘Do Not Disturb (DND)’ indicator. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 30 destinations including London, Paris, and Frankfurt.To ensure travellers can plan their travel with peace of mind, the airline has also extended its booking policies to offer even more choice to its passengers. The airline will allow unlimited date changes, and passengers can change their destination as often as they need if it is within 5,000 miles of the original destination. The airline will not charge any fare differences for travel completed before 31 December 2020, after which fare rules will apply. All tickets booked for travel up to 31 December 2020 will be valid for two years from the date of issuance.
Intrepid launches new retreats for parents and children as family travel booms
NEW YORK – Despite uncertainty in travel due to COVID-19 border closures and regulations, global tour operator Intrepid Travel has seen unprecedented demand for its family tours over the last several months, prompting the company to create new Retreat-style tours geared towards the demographic, with safety and quality as top priorities. Intrepid has found that a…
NEW YORK – Despite uncertainty in travel due to COVID-19 border closures and regulations, global tour operator Intrepid Travel has seen unprecedented demand for its family tours over the last several months, prompting the company to create new Retreat-style tours geared towards the demographic, with safety and quality as top priorities. Intrepid has found that a quarter of the top 25 itineraries booked by its customers globally over the past three months have been family-themed tours, compared to just 12% during the same period last year, indicating a desire for families to go abroad in 2021 after months spent distancing.Currently, the top family trips booked globally are all based in Africa and Asia, including the South Africa Family Safari with Teenagers and a family tour of Vietnam, while North American families are also interested in adventures in the Middle East, particularly Jordan and Egypt.“After months spent indoors away from friends and classmates, we’ve seen families are eager to get out and explore the world once it is safe to do so, and have a desire to reconnect with both nature and like-minded people,” said Dyan Mckie, Intrepid’s family product manager.The four new Family Retreats, based in Morocco, Turkey and England, will have groups immerse themselves in one location in handpicked accommodation with nearby experiences. This new tour style celebrates ‘slow travel’ and allows adventurers to engage with the surrounding communities away from the crowds and in a more controlled setting. Each itinerary has been designed to benefit local communities affected by the pandemic, while also providing enriching activities for children and parents who have spent the majority of 2020 indoors due to the pandemic. For example, in Turkey, families will visit a sea turtle rescue center – supported in part by donations from Intrepid travelers – to learn about conservation efforts and rehabilitation. In Morocco, they’ll break bread with a local Imazighen family in their village, getting an insight into daily life in the High Atlas region.The new Family Retreats include:Turkey Family Retreat: FethiyeThis tour has families reconnecting with the natural beauty of the world with a retreat that celebrates nature, wildlife and local cuisine. In addition to visiting a a turtle rehabilitation center, they’ll also enjoy the clear, blue waters of the Mediterranean and enjoy an easy hike through the stunning mountainous terrain between Kayakoy to Oludeniz Beach. Travelers will also learn some new family favorites in a traditional meze cooking class with locally foraged produce. Morocco Family Retreat: Ouirgane The calm and comforts of Amazigh (Berber) hospitality await on this retreat to Ouirgage, on the edges of Mt. Toubkal National Park. Travelers will leave the modern world of Marrakech behind and journey to a home away from home to enjoy time to reconnect with their family. Families will hike the hills through small villages and farms, hang out with the locals, try their hand at making some iconic local dishes and enjoy a pool overlooking the mountains.England Family Retreat: CornwallTravelers will explore England’s southwest coast, soaking up the views of sun, sand and sea from their family-run accommodation and during walks through the history and nature of this proper ‘ansom section of Cornish countryside. Also included is a private yoga and wellness session and a visit to a small, family-run bakery that makes Cornish pasties the traditional way.England Family Retreat: Peak DistrictFamilies will enjoy Britain’s first national park and explore its forested valleys and small stone villages threaded by walking trails during this new retreat. Based out of the quintessential country town of Castleton, travelers will walk their way to the scenic villages of Bamford and Bakewell, along the banks of the River Derwent, passing farms, woods, cottages and more, while stopping along the way to grab a tea in a shop that supports, and is run by, the local community.Due to the continued demand, Intrepid also has plans to launch several family-focused tours within the U.S. and Canada later this year for those who can’t or won’t feel comfortable going abroad yet.Each tour will operate under Intrepid’s new Safe Travels health protocols, developed in partnership with the WTTC. All travelers will complete a health screening at the start of the trip and be required to wear masks in certain settings, in line with local laws and regulations. Groups are accompanied by a local leader who has received specific COVID-19 training, which covers hygiene, sanitation, physical distancing, PPE as well as supplier monitoring. In preparation for travel to resume, Intrepid recently introduced a new Flexible Bookings policy to make travelers feel at ease when booking their holidays, which permits changes to travel plans 21 days before a scheduled departure, allowing for new travel dates or an entirely different trip with no change fees.
Airline CEOs to address major industry event
Chief executives from some of the world’s leading airlines will be in attendance at Routes Reconnected to discuss the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business models and how they intend to rebuild passenger demand.In open and frank discussions, industry heavyweights including Board director & Chief Executive Officer Air France-KLM Group Ben Smith,…
Chief executives from some of the world’s leading airlines will be in attendance at Routes Reconnected to discuss the long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business models and how they intend to rebuild passenger demand.In open and frank discussions, industry heavyweights including Board director & Chief Executive Officer Air France-KLM Group Ben Smith, Wizz Air CEO József Váradi, KLM President and CEO Pieter Elbers, Avianca CEO Anko van der Werff, airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss, Air Astana CEO Peter Foster, and Stefan Pichler President & Chief Executive Officer Royal Jordanian will address the week-long hybrid event, taking place from 30 November – 4 December 2020.As the leading group in terms of intercontinental traffic on departure from Europe, the Air France-KLM Group is a major global air transport player. Having steered the SkyTeam alliance members through the worst of the crisis, Ben Smith and Pieter Elbers are focused on rebuilding the airline’s balanced global network and reasserting its place in the market.With plans to double passenger numbers to 80 million by 2025, Wizz Air has continued to expand rapidly despite the disruption that coronavirus has brought. Under József Váradi’s leadership, the Hungarian low-cost carrier has announced more than 200 new routes over the last six months, opened a string of new bases, and launched a start-up in Abu Dhabi.Latvia’s airBaltic connects the Baltic region with over 60 destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and the CIS. Martin Gauss expects measures taken by the airline, including the reduction of capacity and costs, will mean the carrier is in an excellent position to fully redeploy its A220-300 fleet as the market recovers.Despite effective debt reprofiling in 2019 and the successful execution of its “Avianca 2021” plan through Mid-March, Colombia’s Avianca was forced to file for voluntary petitions under Chapter 11 in May due to the impact of the pandemic. Anko van der Werff will outline the carrier’s turnaround plan and recovery strategy during the conference.Royal Jordanian has been an essential part of the country’s economy, contributing 3% of the national GDP. With extensive experience in leadership roles across the aviation and tourism sectors, Stefan Pichler is well placed to outline the financial considerations and actions that airlines must take to rebuild from the crisis.Steven Small, Brand Director at Routes, said: “By uniting leaders from across the sphere of aviation, we can help to shape the collective industry action that must be taken to stimulate the recovery.“Over 30 hours of live and on-demand content at Routes Reconnected will provide unmatched insight, inform future business strategies and the recovery plans of the global route development community.”Routes Reconnected will bring together the world’s aviation community to tackle the impact of COVID-19 and develop strategies that will support the industry’s recovery. This five-day event will consist of three virtual days of meetings, on-demand content and virtual networking opportunities, as well as two full days of in-person meetings at the Hilton, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.The airline CEOs join a strong line-up of big-name industry speakers. Association leaders including ACI World’s Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira; IATA’s Regional VP, Americas, Peter Cerda; and WTTC’s SVP, Membership & Commercial, Maribel Rodriguez will outline how aviation stakeholders can work collaboratively to develop networks that create long-term economic benefit and positive local impacts.More than 115 airlines and 275 airports and destinations are expected to attend Routes Reconnected, both physically and virtually, to engage in conversations that will go on to rebuild the world’s air services.The hybrid event will support the airlines, airports and destinations in navigating and adapting to the new market patterns, regulations and business practices that are emerging in the post-pandemic era.
Crete favorite by Dutch for summer 2021
This summer vacation has been different from other years and for many people also different from what they had in mind. Greece may have been the desired destination this year, but due to circumstances trips were canceled or postponed. Several hotels remained closed this summer and not all flights from The Netherlands to Greek airports…
This summer vacation has been different from other years and for many people also different from what they had in mind. Greece may have been the desired destination this year, but due to circumstances trips were canceled or postponed. Several hotels remained closed this summer and not all flights from The Netherlands to Greek airports were scheduled as normal.Despite of this The Dutch are already making holiday plans for the summer of 2021. With or without a Corona-voucher, many online searches for holidays are done already and holidays are also booked for next year to Greece.Crete, Kos and Zakynthos favorite summer vacation 2021In the past two months, visitors of Griekenland.net have voted for their favorite Greek destination in 2021. Crete received 13% of the total 1,566 votes and is the favorite Greek island for summer holidays next year. From the Netherlands there are direct flights to Chania (West Crete) and Heraklion (Central and East Crete) from April until October.Statistics of this poll show that Crete is no longer the undisputed favorite for the Dutch. The differences between destinations are becoming smaller and other Greek destinations are gaining popularity. The top 10 of Greek holiday destinations in The Netherlands for next summer looks like this according to the poll-results.1. Kreta (13%),2. Kos (10%),3. Zakynthos (9%),4. Samos (9%),5. Rhodes (8%),6. Corfu (8%),7. Kefalonia (7%),8. Lesbos (7%),9. Karpathos (6%) and10. Peloponnese (6%).