New destinations and routes from Schiphol this winter

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s new winter timetable takes effect on Sunday, 29 October. With four new destinations and four new routes, Schiphol’s extensive and frequent network of destinations is expanding even further. The airport thus continues to offer the greatest direct connectivity. According to the 2017 Connectivity Report published by the ACI, the international umbrella organisation serving the interests of the world’s airports, Schiphol has the greatest direct connectivity of all European airports. The winter timetable is effective through Saturday, 24 March 2018.

This winter, India’s Jet Airways is adding a fourth route to the Schiphol network. The non-stop connection to Bengaluru, the third largest city in India, is new. Last year, Jet Airways was a newcomer at Schiphol, offering new routes to Mumbai, New Delhi and Toronto. Bengaluru, also known as Bangalore, is located in the south of India and has a thriving IT development industry. Home to millions of residents, the city is situated in a region popular with tourists.

San José and Mauritius
KLM will be flying new routes to the beautiful island of Mauritius east of Africa, and to Costa Rica in Central America. Business travellers and holidaymakers can choose from three flights each week to Mauritius. San José, the capital of Costa Rica, is a new destination for KLM, with two flights each week.

Sharm el Sheikh
TUI is resuming service to Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt. This route was cancelled at the end of 2015; the airline will add the holiday destination to its network again.

This winter, three new destinations will also be added for a limited period. Delta Air Lines will fly to Las Vegas in January several times and to Austin (Texas) in March several times; Transavia will operate a series of flights to Kiruna in Sweden.

New routes
New routes for airlines; these are routes currently operated by other airlines.

India clearly has tremendous potential for trade and tourism: KLM is also adding a new route. From the winter onwards, KLM will fly three times a week to Mumbai, which is India’s largest city and located on the west coast. India’s capital, New Delhi, has been part of the KLM route network for some time.

This winter, TUI fly will offer a connection to Praia, the capital of the Cape Verde islands.

Boa Vista
Transavia is also flying to Cape Verde this winter with a connection to Boa Vista, the third-largest island.

KLM: New Flying Blue programme

Flying Blue, Air France-KLM’s loyalty programme, is changing as from 1 April 2018 and will offer more simplicity and flexibility in the use of the programme, a clearer reward scale and more choice in the use of Miles.

For each euro spent, Ivory, Silver, Gold and Platinum members will receive 4, 6, 7 and 8 Miles1 respectively. The number of Miles earned will no longer depend on the distance flown between origin and destination, on flights marketed by Air France (AF), KLM (KL), HOP! (A5) or Joon (JN). This will make the accrual of Miles easier and clear. In addition, customers will be able to earn Miles when purchasing additional services2 such as an A la Carte Menu on board an Air France flight, additional baggage allowance, or reserving an Economy Comfort seat on a KLM flight. The balance of Award Miles as of 31 March 2018 will remain unchanged on 1 April 2018.

“With Flying Blue, we are enhancing the travel experience for several million passengers while at the same time creating value for our group. The programme has become an essential travel companion and the common foundation for all Air France-KLM’s airlines to provide optimum service quality for customers. Adapted to simplify our members’ experience and increase our attractiveness, the new Flying Blue programme will support our commercial offensive as well as our strategy to personalize customer service”, said Jean Marc Janaillac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM.

Thomas Cook announces pipeline of new own-brand hotels

Thessaloniki SENTIDO Mediteranean village

Thomas Cook continues to deliver against its strategy to develop its own-brand hotel portfolio with the announcement of a further 11 new hotels. The new hotels include four upscale SENTIDOs and three of its adults-only Sunprime hotels Including those previously announced, Thomas Cook will see a total of 20 new own-brand hotels open between now and Winter 2018/19.

The new openings include two for next summer in Islantilla, a new destination on Spain’s Costa de la Luz for Thomas Cook. Following the introduction of the company’s new flight route to Thessaloniki, a new smartline will open next summer on the Olympus Riviera in northern Greece alongside the planned SENTIDO Mediterranean Village.

Other new openings include a second own-brand hotel for Thomas Cook in Italy: SENTIDO Orosei in Sardinia following the success of the SENTIDO Acacia Marina, which launched this summer in Sicily.

The success of new hotel concept Casa Cook, which saw the launch of its second property in Kos this summer, continues to attract new customers to Thomas Cook as it transforms the traditional package holiday experience. Customers have a further two to look forward to with openings confirmed in Chania, Crete, for Summer 18 and Croatia, for Summer 19, as previously announced.

Peter Fankhauser, Group Chief Executive, Thomas Cook, said: “The 11 new hotels we have announced today are testament to our commitment to invest in providing our customers with the best hotels to suit their preferences and pockets. We continue to open up new destinations for our customers as well as offer a range of hotels in popular areas that give us a resilient portfolio for Summer 18.

“By focusing on our customers, our own-brand hotels give us the opportunity to take even more control of the customer experience. The success of our second Casa Cook hotel opening in Kos this summer with near full occupancy over the summer shows how our own-brand properties can attract new customers to Thomas Cook as well as improve customer satisfaction.”

The announcement of the latest pipeline follows the recent introduction of Aldiana as a new own-brand to Thomas Cook, subject to completion of the acquisition of a 42% stake. The Aldiana acquisition brings the addition of its eight club resort properties to the Thomas Cook own-brand hotels portfolio. Thomas Cook regularly reviews hotels in our own-brand portfolio against strict criteria on quality and customer satisfaction. As a result, 19 hotels will be removed from its portfolio by Winter 2018/19: 13 smartline hotels, four SENTIDO and two Sunconnect properties. As a result of these changes, the own-brand portfolio by the end of Winter 2018/19 will stand at 191 hotels, including the eight Aldiana resorts.

Forecast reveals air passengers will nearly double to 7.8 billion

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036, a near doubling of the 4 billion air travelers expected to fly this year. The prediction is based on a 3.6% average Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) noted in the release of the latest update to the association’s 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast.

“All indicators lead to growing demand for global connectivity. The world needs to prepare for a doubling of passengers in the next 20 years. It’s fantastic news for innovation and prosperity, which is driven by air links. It is also a huge challenge for governments and industry to ensure we can successfully meet this essential demand,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Eastward shift, developing market focus
The biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region. The region will be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next two decades. The point at which China will displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market (defined as traffic to, from and within the country) has moved two years closer since last year’s forecast. We now anticipate this will occur around 2022, through a combination of slightly faster Chinese growth and slightly reduced growth in the US. The UK will fall to fifth place, surpassed by India in 2025, and Indonesia in 2030. Thailand and Turkey will enter the top ten largest markets, while France and Italy will fall in the rankings to 11th and 12th respectively.

Risks, opportunities and sustainability
A number of risks to the forecast have been identified. Maximizing the potential benefits of aviation growth will depend on current levels of trade liberalization and visa facilitation being maintained. If trade protectionism and travel restrictions are put in place, the benefits of air connectivity will decline as growth could slow to 2.7%, meaning 1.1 billion fewer passenger journeys annually in 2036. Conversely, if moves towards liberalization increase, annual growth could be more than two percentage points faster, leading to a tripling in passengers over the next 20 years.

Planning for growth will require partnerships to be strengthened between the aviation industry, communities and governments to expand and modernize infrastructure. Runways, terminals, and ground access to airports will come under increasing strain. Innovative solutions to these challenges, as well as to the baggage and security processes, cargo handling, and other activities, will also be needed. And air traffic management needs urgent reform to cut delays, costs and emissions.

“Increasing demand will bring a significant infrastructure challenge. The solution does not lie in more complex processes or building bigger and bigger airports but in harnessing the power of new technology to move activity off-airport, streamline processes and improve efficiency. Through partnerships within the industry and beyond, we are confident that sustainable solutions for continued growth can be found,” said de Juniac.

The aviation industry has adopted a robust strategy to reduce its environmental impacts, particularly its carbon emissions. “No industry has done more to meet its environmental obligations than aviation. Our tough targets to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to cut our CO2 emissions to half-2005 levels by 2050 are backed by a comprehensive strategy. Our immediate aims are to work with governments to increase the production of sustainable aviation fuels, and to deliver air traffic management efficiencies, which promise significant emissions savings. And from 2020, a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will play a major role in meeting our carbon-neutral target,” said de Juniac