This week we discuss how success lies in air travel, Delta's Middle seat policy, Data Spike at 'Shapps O'Clock, Avis reassurances and shaken not stirred...
Nine out of ten large UK companies say air travel is crucial to success
A new report on the importance of domestic and international travel to the economic prospects of UK businesses and the wider economy reveals that the majority of UK business leaders would return to the skies if quarantine measures were eased.
In the survey of 515 UK business leaders commissioned for London City Airport, 88 per cent of leaders of businesses with more than 250 employees believed air travel is important to the future success of their business and nearly half (48 per cent) thought that the UK government’s travel and quarantine restrictions were the single biggest barrier to business air travel.
Robert Sinclair, the airport’s chief executive, said: “The UK aviation industry is the third largest in the world and a global success story. But it is not just an industry itself, it also acts as an enabler of other industries such as trade, tourism, hospitality, imports, exports and conferences. We know the demand for air travel is there, but restrictive quarantine measures are currently holding business leaders back from flying, and the UK economy from beginning its recovery.”
The report also revealed that domestic aviation in the UK contributes a £15 billion boost to GDP, including £4 billion in Scotland. A number of industry leaders have responded to the findings.
Richard Burge, chief executive of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “Aviation isn’t just vital to London’s recovery alone. Whether it’s through travel and trade into London and then onward in the UK, or arrivals and departures in other UK cities and regions, London-based aviation is intrinsic to our national and regional economies, and to a great extent the economy of much of the world.”
Tom Thackray, director of infrastructure and energy at the CBI added: “Aviation is fundamental to business growth across the UK and underpins our international trading performance. To get passengers flying again safely, it is essential that industry and government work together to tackle major barriers, including enabling the introduction of testing as an alternative to quarantine”.
Delta Extends Middle Seat Blocking
Delta is extending one of its key health and safety protocols, by blocking the selection of middle seats and limiting the number of customers per flight through at least January 6, 2021. The selection of middle seats is blocked in Delta Premium Select, Delta Comfort+® and Main Cabin in GDSs, via the Fly Delta app and online. As well as giving customers more space on board, Delta is offering flexibility with seat choices:
For customers in parties of 1-2: Middle seats are blocked for safety.
For customers in parties of 3 or more: Middle seats will appear as available for booking, to allow families and travel companions to select seats together.
Delta is also continuing to ensure flights are not filled to capacity. For travel through at least October 31, the airline will limit the number of customers on board all aircraft – with or without middle seats. On routes where planes begin to fill, Delta will continue to look for opportunities to upsize to a larger aircraft type or add more flights. Greater flexibility As customers consider upcoming travel, flexibility is more important than ever. That’s why Delta is also extending their change fee waiver for new flights purchased through September 30, 2021.
Data finds spike in searches after 'Shapps O'Clock' corridor update
Data has shown a surge in holiday searches takes place immediately after the weekly announcements, with 9-10pm the busiest time. The trend is becoming known as 'Shapps O'Clock, according to Thomas Cook, which compiled the data.
Research found the Thursday evening traffic peak increases by 87% compared to the same 9-10pm slot during the rest of the working week.
Boris Johnson's national address on Monday evening also triggered a flurry of searches, the recently-launched online retailer said.
The data also revealed holidaymakers' online behaviour has changed significantly since Covid took hold. Holiday searches usually rise significantly in the weekday evenings but now remain unchanged throughout the day. The majority of Brits are looking to jet off in the next couple of weeks, Thomas Cook said.
Head of Commercial Product, Emma King said: ""People are clearly keeping an eye on the latest travel announcements, with over 21% of all weekly visitors searching for holidays on Thursdays.
"The 60-minute slot between 9-10pm is the single busiest period of the working week and this behavioural trend is now so consistent it's becoming known as 'Shapps O'Clock'."
Avis Safety Pledge - Peace of Mind for Travellers
With the Avis Safety Pledge, they’re looking out for travellers from pick-up to drop-off.
When travellers rent with Avis they can relax knowing that they’re implementing measures to help keep travellers safe, from minimising contact at their locations to keeping their fleet sanitised.
Social distancing markings and counter screens minimise contact
Hand sanitisers are provided
Strictly limited numbers on buses
Paperless agreements at most locations
Avis Preferred for a full contactless experience at certain ‘key in car’ locations
Emailed receipt or online invoice retrieval
Fully trained staff
Trained in safety protocols
Wear gloves and masks at all times.
So, wherever the next booking might be, travel managers and travellers can rest assured that Avis is working hard to provide high levels of safety at their facilities and in their vehicles. Avis looks forward to welcoming travellers back soon.
Covid Free Flying...
Another mysterious flying jetpack was spotted in the skies above Los Angeles last Wednesday according to a China Airlines crew. It happened near Los Angeles International Airport, just like one in late August, when an American Airlines pilot reported a close encounter with a 'guy in a jetpack' at 3,000 feet. Yesterday, the CAL pilot reported 'what appeared to be someone in a jet pack' at an even higher altitude of about 6,000 feet.
If accurate it could be close to a new world altitude record for a jetpack powered flight. Earlier this year, a jetpack reached an altitude of 5,905 feet in Dubai during a demonstration flight which is thought to be a record.
Recreational jetpacks usually fly just a few hundred feet at most from the ground. There is scepticism a jetpack could get that high, although it is hard to dismiss with three separate pilot sightings in the space of just a few weeks.
Unsurprisingly it has led to speculation it could be a US Military testing program.
or Daniel Craig on his way back to Blighty 007 style?