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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,…

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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, 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.

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ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs

DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were…

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ATPCO launches new rich content format: Structured UPAs

DULLES, VA – ATPCO launched a new format of Routehappy Rich Content: Structured UPAs (Universal Product Attributes). With the introduction of Structured UPAs, airlines and channels now have greater flexibility in how they display essential retailing content using more comparable, concise, and sortable data that can be presented to emphasize objective content over images.UPAs were originally created to introduce visual content in flight shopping displays, and have since been adopted by dozens of channels worldwide. Given the evolving needs of travelers amid the pandemic and the immediate success of Reassurance UPAs, ATPCO found – based on consistent feedback from its industry partners, including Serko and Expedia Group’s Brand Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Cheaptickets, Hotels.com, eBookers, and Wotif – that the messaging component of UPAs are equally as valuable to flight shoppers as the visual component of UPAs. This feedback prompted the introduction of Structured UPAs as a way to deliver a more standardized version of data that channels can adapt to meet their customers’ need for information that can be scanned quickly during flight shopping to help with the decision-making process.Structured UPAs consist of an icon, a headline, and a description, and channels can choose to integrate all or some of these attributes. Structured UPAs also have a primary field that supports multiple standardized data inputs (e.g., yes/no) that enable sales channels to craft the messaging according to the data but using their own channel voice as desired. This new rich content format is currently available for over 300 airlines and includes five objective, standardized topics:Cleaning: whether airlines are using disinfectants to clean aircraft and how often, and if that information is availableMasks: whether there is a mask or face covering requirement; specifying if a medical-grade mask is requiredTemperature check: whether there is a pre-flight temperature check requirementBlocked seats: whether an airline is blocking adjacent or middle seats, or if only some seats are blockedCapacity: whether an airline is limiting the capacity on flights to ensure physical distancingStructured UPAs will initially focus on reassurance topics and will expand in the future to meet market needs and flight shopper demand for information. Structured UPAs will be delivered via the Routehappy API and can be targeted at a granular level to focus on the airline and cabin, book-by dates, origin and destination, and more.“The crisis reinforced how critical UPAs are in giving travelers the information they need to feel safe and protected when they fly. Now our airline and channel partners are relying on ATPCO to deliver this content in more flexible ways,” said Jonathan Savitch, Chief Commercial Officer at ATPCO. “Visuals are still important as they enable consumers to better understand, at the time of booking, the airline experience they will receive. But after many hours of consultation with thought-leading airlines and channels, we realized they need more options, including the ability to filter and sort based on key health information.” Expedia Group, which will be one of the first channels to integrate the new rich content format, worked hand-in-hand with ATPCO to quickly bring this functionality to market. “Right now, it is so important that travelers have the cleanliness and safety information they need when considering travel, particularly air travel. Each situation is different, and this structured content gives us the flexibility to tailor, localize, and test messaging to help travelers make more informed decisions,” said Michael Gulmann, Senior Vice President of Transportation, Expedia Group. “We are really excited by the partnership and customer-centric focus of ATPCO in working together to develop this highly relevant content. Structured UPAs enable travelers to more easily compare policies across airlines in a consistent and concise way so we can offer a simplified shopping experience while highlighting critical information.”   “We’ve seen an increase in conversions for those channels that integrated Reassurance UPAs and anticipate a similar impact for our new Structured UPA,” explains Savitch. “One channel has seen a 4% conversion improvement by adding ATPCO’s Reassurance UPA content. This highlights that when the shopping experience is adapted to drive awareness of flexible airline change policies and safety measures, it can impact the bottom line.”

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GribbonBerry appointed PR for BodyHoliday, St. Lucia

BodyHoliday, multiple award-winning wellness resort in St. Lucia, has appointed boutique PR agency GribbonBerry to handle its communications in the UK and Ireland, as it reopens on 1st October, during a very challenging year for the global travel industry.  The resort was the very first overseas destination spa over 30 years ago and continues to lead…

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GribbonBerry appointed PR for BodyHoliday, St. Lucia

BodyHoliday, multiple award-winning wellness resort in St. Lucia, has appointed boutique PR agency GribbonBerry to handle its communications in the UK and Ireland, as it reopens on 1st October, during a very challenging year for the global travel industry.  The resort was the very first overseas destination spa over 30 years ago and continues to lead as pioneers in this field. There has never been a more important time to prioritise health and wellbeing than in 2020. BodyHoliday’s approach to wellness is so comprehensive that holidays here have the potential to change lives. There is a 33-treatment room wellness centre, offering everything from medically-backed preventative therapies, through to Ayurveda, meditation, weight-loss programmes and pampering treatments. The range of activities, including training with Olympic athletes, would keep guests busy from dawn until dusk, if they so choose. Holidays at BodyHoliday are designed by guests with personalisation taken to another level – it can be a haven of serenity or a hive of activity.  

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IATA urges alternatives to quarantines in US

GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed strong concern over the continued existence of arrival quarantine regimes imposed by state governments in the United States, including New York and Hawaii. IATA urged implementation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing regimes so that states can eliminate quarantine requirements.“Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travelers have the same…

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IATA urges alternatives to quarantines in US

GENEVA – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed strong concern over the continued existence of arrival quarantine regimes imposed by state governments in the United States, including New York and Hawaii. IATA urged implementation of pre-departure COVID-19 testing regimes so that states can eliminate quarantine requirements.“Mandatory arrival quarantines for air travelers have the same effect as outright border closures. There are better ways to protect citizens during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead of implementing job-destroying arrival quarantines, states should be encouraging the federal government to work with other governments to implement pre-departure testing. This will keep people safe and address the vital need to jumpstart struggling local economies and protect jobs that rely on out-of-state and international visitors”, said Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President for The Americas.Airlines are taking the lead in working to replace quarantines with measures, such as pre-departure testing being put in place on some routes and at some airports, most notably for Hawaii-bound travelers from US West Coast gateway cities. These and other airline-led testing programs will provide valuable experience while the numbers of travelers are still low, so that testing can be efficiently ramped-up as demand returns.Passengers also support testing over quarantines. According to our latest survey of recent travelers, 64% of US travelers surveyed agreed that quarantine is unnecessary if a person tests negative for COVID-19. Eighty percent were willing to take a pre-departure COVID test. And 56% believe that COVID-19 is sufficiently controlled in the US to open up to international visitors.Establishing internationally agreed pre-departure testing is the key to unlocking global connectivity, stimulating battered economies, and giving hope to the 10% of the global workforce whose livelihoods depend on travel and tourism.

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