Auckland Airport has joined with industry partners and medical experts in supporting the development of a risk-based border model.
Published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, the peer-reviewed research evaluates the risk posed by passengers from countries with different prevalence of Covid-19 travelling to New Zealand.
It proposes a multi-layer, risk-mitigation approach in support of New Zealand’s elimination strategy by exploring the impact of a more tailored approach that matches different levels of traveller risk.
Thai Airways’ scheduled flights between New Zealand and Thailand have been suspended until further notice. Flights will be subject to the adjustment of Government policies to reopen the borders for unrestricted international travel. Passengers with flights cancelled by THAI are entitled to claim an extended travel validity until December 2022.
In co-operation with the Royal Thai Embassy, Wellington and Thai Consulate General, THAI will continue to operate repatriation flights from Auckland to Bangkok for both Thai passport holders and non-Thai passport holders permitted to enter Thailand.
For most of the year vaccines will ‘really just be a sideshow’ for international aviation, according to CAPA – Centre for Aviation chairman emeritus Peter Harbison.
Giving his chairman’s lounge outlook 2021 address at CAPA Live this week, Harbison asserted that the real key to reopening remains effective and improved testing and tracing methods that are
Airlines will need to focus on attracting new and return clients as the world emerges from the Covid crisis, with loyalty initiatives likely to take a back seat initially, according to a speaker at the virtual CAPA Live event this week.
Brent Coker, consumer psychologist at the University of Melbourne, is also predicting ‘a scramble to grab consumers’ through price competition as the world moves back towards international travel.
Most consumers are open to air travel and overall fear levels about catching Covid-19 while flying are ‘tepid’, according to research by a global analytics and data company.
OAG surveyed 4000 global users of its flightview app and found that 69% intend to fly internationally within the next six months, while 79% have plans for domestic travel.
The board of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand says that due to the significant financial impact Covid-19 has had on the travel industry and the flow on to TAANZ it has made the difficult decision to restructure the association.
The outcome is that the role of the chief executive officer is no longer affordable and Andrew Olsen will be leaving in September. The board has highlighted Olsen's many years of service to the association and notes he has championed the TAANZ accreditation model and the elevation of staff qualifications and standards, brought to light the successful National Travel Industry Awards, implemented the ATA brand, been at the forefront of negotiations with IATA and more.
Flight Centre Travel Group NZ currently has a greater emphasis on the short to medium term than the longer term vision – something that is unusual for the group, says managing director David Colombes.
The group has just released a case study entitled Our Business Journey Through Covid-19. In his summary, Coombes says ‘it is important to accept what we can’t influence and control, and focus on what we can, which is more restricted than ever before.
Princess Cruises has been largely exonerated in the report of the Australian Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship coronavirus outbreak. he report was released last Friday 14 and the Commissioner heavily criticised Australian health officials.
Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive of the New Zealand Cruise Association, says the organisation is pleased with the outcome. ‘It has been a very stressful time for Carnival and Princess because of mismanagement by Australian health agencies.’
The inquiry found ‘serious errors’ by New South Wales Health in its handling of suspected cases on board.
‘The Commission’s report confirms that none of our people — the Captain, the ship’s doctor, or members of our shore side port agency team — misled public authorities involved in Ruby Princess being permitted to disembark guests on March 19,’ says Jan Swartz, group president, Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia.
‘This finding is of great importance to us because it goes to the integrity of our people. In our more than 20 years in Australia, we have always sought to cooperate honestly and professionally with officials in accordance with the regulatory environment.
‘We acknowledge the Commission’s specific comments about Carnival Australia, and we will consider these comments to the fullest possible extent,’ Swartz adds.
Princess Cruises also welcomes the Commission’s attention to improving information sharing and coordination among government agencies in the future. In our submission to the inquiry, we agreed that this area deserved consideration. We look forward to collaborating with government agencies and industry peers to improve these systems.
The New Zealand Aviation Coalition (NZAC) is welcoming Singapore’s decision to open its border to Kiwis from September 1.
Singapore announced on August 21 that it will not require anyone who has been in New Zealand for 14 days before their flight to go into self-isolation on arrival.
Instead, travellers will undergo a Covid-19 test at the airport, and only be allowed to go about their activities in Singapore after receiving a negative test result.
Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), says the move by Singapore is indicative of what is starting to happen around the world.
‘The world is working out how to live with COVID-19,’ he says. ‘New Zealand will lose international connectivity with airlines pulling out unless it keeps abreast of what its competitors are doing and considers the implications. Once airlines pull out it will be extremely hard to compete to get them back and that will have major impacts for the price of tickets for travellers and for exporters relying on air freight.’
Meantime, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed Singapore’s announcement on the easing of border measures for entry into the country. It is urging other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely, including through the implementation of travel bubbles.
‘COVID-19 has dealt a massive blow to the airline industry and the road to recovery is going to be long and slow,’ says Conrad Clifford, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Asia-Pacific. ‘Our latest forecast indicates that travel demand will not return to 2019 levels until 2024, a year later than previously expected. Key to the recovery is the opening of borders and the lifting of travel restrictions and measures such as quarantine.’ He says Singapore’s announcement is positive and a step in the right direction. ‘We hope to work closely with the government so that Singapore’s aviation industry can restart safely while mitigating the possibility of COVID-19 transmission. And we urge other states in the region to look at ways to resume international travel safely.’
Despite a significant percentage of the population fearing that they have a high chance of catching Covid-19 if they fly, and media coverage that often seems to promote this fear, actual evidence and recorded instances appear to indicate the opposite.