Tag Archives: flight

Europe: Omicron hits travel

Brussels, 11.12.2021 TUI (TUIFF) says a surge in Covid-19 infections and the Omicron variant is taking its toll on winter holiday bookings.

Europe’s biggest travel company said on Wednesday, December 8, it had been seeing “positive momentum” in bookings but that had weakened because of “the increased media coverage of rising [coronavirus] incident rates and the emergence of new Omicron variant.”

The company said that if “current sentiment prevails,” it would likely only operate around 60% of pre-pandemic capacity, towards the lower end of where it had hoped to be. Bookings for this winter were currently at 62% of levels seen in 2018-2019, it added.

“In light of recent trends, capacity will likely be modified towards the lower end of our winter capacity plans of between 60% and 80%. We expect the current short-term booking behavior to continue,” TUI said in its annual report.

Covid-19 infections have been rising in some of TUI’s most important markets. Germany on Wednesday recorded its highest number of daily deaths from Covid-19 since February, as it struggles to bring a fourth wave of the pandemic under control.

In the United Kingdom, pressure is mounting on the government to introduce tougher restrictions to try to limit infections amid rising case numbers. The seven-day rolling average on November 29 was over 45,000, the highest it’s been since a peak around October 17.

Nippon Airways: meals without plastic

Brussels 25.04.2021 All Nippon Airways Co. has said it will replace plastic trays for economy class meals on international flights with items made from an eco-friendly material from August 2021 in a bid to improve sustainability. “Restrictions on plastic use have been strengthening mainly in Europe, and we want to accelerate our preparations by taking proactive measures,” an ANA official said. (Image above: illustration).

ANA said it will be the first airline in Japan to introduce meal trays made from biodegradable materials, and expects the replacement to cut its plastic waste by 317 tons a year, equivalent to 30 percent of the total plastic it disposed of in the business year to March 2020.
The trays will be made from bagasse, a fiber remaining after pressing sugarcane to extract the juice.

It has yet to decide whether to employ the bagasse trays on its domestic flights, for which it currently uses paper boxes, according to the company.

ANA, which introduced wooden cutlery and bioplastic-made straws in 2020, said it plans to continue reducing plastic waste to cut greenhouse gas emissions generated during producing trays and burning garbage.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has pledged that Japan will achieve carbon neutrality, or net zero emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, by 2050. The government first aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 46 percent by 2030 compared with fiscal 2013 levels.

Switzerland travel restrictions till June

Health Minister Alain Berset said that he was pleased with people’s behaviour in Switzerland, respecting the lockdown during the Easter period.

In addition to the measures, along with the continued flattening of the curve of new Covid-19 infections in Switzerland, Berset indicated that the country would start relaxing the measures soon.

“It didn’t go too bad and so we need to thank everyone for that. As we said, this is not the moment to travel or take holidays – for example in Ticino – and as we saw, people have abided to the rules”.


I’m happy about that – we’re asking a lot from people at the moment, it needs to be said.”

There will be no passengers allowed to enter Switzerland by air until June 13th. Travel restrictions have been updated and are available on IATA Timatic tool. Exceptions applied, information is subject to permanent change.

Berset reasserted that the country needed to remain humble as vulnerable people will continue to be affected until there is a vaccine. Until a vaccine was found, there is a need to abide by the rules and to keep proper hygiene, Berset said.

Georgian food toursim to EU


Zurab Matcharadze, Georgian journalist, correspondent of ‘Rezonansi’ newspaper


Today the European Parliament voted in favor of granting the citizens of Georgia the right to 90 days visa to Schengen zone. I do not know about the European Union, but for Georgia it is a  historic decision, being the only tangible result for a regular citizen of the country to the  Euro-Atlantic integration.
This road was long. In June 2005 Georgia unilaterally abolished visa requirements for EU citizens, but the dialogue with the EU on visa liberalization started only in June 2012.
Today the Georgians  support the government’s course towards European integration, but unfortunately the economic situation does not leave much space for enthusiasm. Despite the economic growth, the rate of the national currency – lari to euro has fallen by 40%, subsequently the tourist trip will no longer be an affordable leisure. Having in mind that between Georgia and the EU there is already a functioning Association Agreement, and a comprehensive and free trade agreements, for the representatives of business the visa-free will be an asset in reaching out to potential partners. Having in mind the thousands of Georgians citizens living  in the EU for their relatives it will be an enormous relieve to visit family freely.

However in short-term the visa-free will not have a decisive influence on the mood in society, perhaps, it will not even strengthen the pro-Western sentiment. Moldova is an example, where a visa-free regime with the EU is already in force, but the country has chosen the election of a pro-Russian president.

From the other hand  the visa-free will neutralise expanding anti-Western propaganda, which represents European values as hostile to the Georgian identity. From now onwards, everyone will be able to travel and to see the “decadent West.”

The decision of visa-free removed a huge problem that could harm relations between Georgians and European. Europeans ought  to understand that to a large extent the public opinion is shaped by the presence or absence of sense of injustice.

Georgia believes that the visa-free, although not associated  directly with the issues, but was honestly ‘earned’ by  Georgian peace-keeping in Afghanistan and Kosovo, with the assistance to EU crisis management in Africa. A regular Georgian citizen believes they have earned it.  But after all the agreed criteria for the visa-free, and the failure of some of the EU member-states to adopt a decision without referring to halt mechanism, linking Georgia to the migration crisis, although so far not one illegal migrant had claimed the asylum, or a  blown out of proportion problem of Georgian crime, these issues made a Georgian man in the street felt, that he is treated by Europe unfairly.

In Georgia, the older generation has some “bright” memories about the Soviet times, when they could fly to Moscow for 37 rubles just to dine. Today the price on flights to Europe starts from 19.99 euros, meaning that for pro-European-minded youth it opens a window of opportunities, and for more older, more skeptical and nostalgic public, reminiscent of their “Soviet Motherland” visa-free can mean a revival of a good old tradition of food tourism. Bon appétit!