TRAVEL NEWS RECAP FOR WEEK OF MAY 30
In our new series of posts, we recap the latest news in the air travel industry every Thursday! For short summaries of top stories, visit our blog weekly to read these informative posts. Continue reading for this week’s news!
United Airlines Now Offers More Free Food on Select Flights – Recently, United Airlines began offering a stroopwafel, or Dutch caramel-filled waffle, to coach passengers on flights leaving before 9:45am, as well as pretzels, sesame sticks, and rice cakes during later flights. On flights between the United States and Europe, coach passengers already get a complimentary full hot meal and a free pre-arrival snack, and they will now receive a complimentary mid-flight snack consisting of a warm croissant, jam, and yogurt. On flights between the West Coast and Europe, United will offer a new complimentary small sandwich mid-flight in addition to a pre-arrival sandwich.
Delta Adds Nonstop Flights Between Portland and London – Starting in May of next year, Delta Air Lines will offer seasonal, nonstop flights between Portland and London through October. The flights travel between Portland International Airport and London’s Heathrow Airport four days a week using a Boeing 767-300 extended range aircraft. This is the first nonstop route from Portland to the United Kingdom. Portland offers a limited number of flights to Europe, including year-round service to Amsterdam and seasonal flights to Iceland and Germany.
EVA Air Announces Nonstop Flights Between Chicago and Taipei, Taiwan – EVA Air is launching nonstop service to Taipei, Taiwan, from O’Hare International Airport in early November. Taipei is a new destination for O’Hare. EVA will depart O’Hare on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and return on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Daily flights from Chicago to Taipei will start in May of next year. These new EVA Air flights will help Chicago reach its goal of hosting 55 million visitors annually by 2020.
Airlines Suspend Flights to Venezuela – In June, Lufthansa is suspending flights to Caracas indefinitely, and Latam Airlines plans to cut all flights to Caracas by August. Representatives for these airlines blame a dramatic decline in ticket demand, especially among business travelers, due to the recession in Venezuela. Latam halted flights from Sao Paulo to Caracas at the end of May, and plans to phase out flights from Santiago, Lima, and Guayaquil by the end of July. Lufthansa and Latam join American Airlines, which recently canceled its Caracas-New York route. Lufthansa hopes to restart the routes if conditions in Venezuela improve. Currently, Lufthansa is owed over $100 million from Venezuela.
No Free Meals on WestJet’s Vancouver-London Route – Low-cost airline WestJet isn’t offering free meals in economy class on its new long-haul transatlantic route from Vancouver to London. It is the first airline to cut free meals on a nonstop flight from Vancouver to Europe. During the 9-hour flight, coach passengers must buy hot meals. WestJet began flying to London from Vancouver in May and will operate nonstop service 6 times a week until mid-October. Other low-cost airlines, such as Air Transat, with direct flights between Vancouver and London do offer free meals on all flights to Europe. Transport Canada said there aren’t any rules regarding providing free meals on flights.
French Air Traffic Controllers Plan Another Strike – As France’s air traffic controllers ready for another walkout, European airline lobby group Airlines for Europe (A4E) warns that the 3-day strike beginning on June 3 will result in delays, cancellations, and long detours. Approximately 3,000 cancellations are expected, including at least 75 by low-cost Irish airline Ryanair. One million minutes of delays are also expected. This is the 9th French ATC strike in the past 2.5 months and the 50th since 2009.
Japan Airlines Now Offers Halal-Certified Meals – On flights from Japan to Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, Japan Airlines now provides halal-certified meals for Muslim passengers. The airline earned halal certification from the Japan Islamic Trust to offer Muslim meal menus aboard all international flights leaving from Japan. For Muslim meals, Japan Airlines uses disposable dishware with halal certification. Passengers in all flight classes can request these meals by email or phone at least 24 hours prior to departure.
United Airlines Cancels Its Only Flight to Africa – United Airlines will stop flying to Nigeria at the end of June due to the downturn in the energy sector and challenges collecting money from tickets sold in Nigeria. As a result, Delta Air Lines will be the only major United States airline flying to Africa. As of March, Nigeria owes airlines approximately $575 million in airfares. Passengers can still fly to Nigeria on United’s partner Lufthansa through a connection in Frankfurt.
Turkish Airlines to Stream Euro 2016 Football Matches – Turkish Airlines will stream Euro 2016 football matches live on their Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s on all international routes from June 10 through July 10. As the official airline partner of Euro 2016, Turkish Airlines will also stream matches in its airport lounges. Select flights will offer passengers the opportunity to win match tickets. Turkish Airlines also partnered with global football network Copa90 to explore different cultures, experiences, and passions of football fans from 10 countries in 10 days, which fans can follow via Turkish Airlines’ social channels.
United Airlines Launches Olympic Ad Campaign – United Airlines has been a sponsor of Team USA for over 35 years. This week, United launched an ad campaign for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro that start in August. The new billboards say, “One Journey. Two Teams,” and feature selfie-style photos of United employees with American athletes expected to compete in Rio, including swimmer Missy Franklin, gymnast Simone Biles, soccer player Kerri Walsh Jennings, and decathlete Ashton Eaton. Television ads will run when the Games begin. Other components of United’s Olympic advertising include a new onboard safety video with an Olympic theme and Olympic-themed amenity kits for premium passengers.
Missed last week’s news recap? Catch up with Travel News Recap for Week of May 23.