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Business Travel News: January 2020


United Airlines adds non-stop service from San Francisco to Dublin

Travelling between Silicon Valley and Dublin, Ireland – two of the world’s leading centres of technology and innovation will be a lot easier. United Airlines has announced that it will launch a new daily non-stop service to the Irish capital from its hub at San Francisco International Airport on 5 June 2020. United will be the only US airline to offer daily flights direct from the West Coast. Read more


Emirates launches new business class fareEmirates announces extra flights from Heathrow in Feb

Emirates has announced the introduction of two additional flights in February 2020 from London Heathrow to Dubai. The flights will take place on Saturday 15 February and Saturday 22 February and will be operated by Boeing 777 configured in a three-cabin configuration.


Air France extends Business class service to domestic flights

As of 23 January, Air France is extending its Business class service to customers on its domestic network, on departure from Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and the French regions, which will also be available on short-haul flights connecting the French regions to international destinations. The service is valid for travel from 4 February 2020. Read more


British Airways invests in new catering on Gatwick flights

British Airways has made a big investment in its catering on flights from London Gatwick, with improved food across its short and long-haul flights. The catering brings in new menus of new dishes and recipes and focuses on working closely with local suppliers in the South of England to source the best quality ingredients. Read more


Air Canada boosts summer service to Paris

Air France offers the most flights for travel between Canada and France and will be increasing the services to build on its market-leading position. From Air Canada’s major hubs in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, 53 non-stop flights are scheduled to operate to six destinations in France for summer 2020, starting 2 July and 28 August 2020. The additional flights will be operated by the Airbus A330-300 fleet. Read more


British Airways UK offsetting scheme takes off

British Airways is now offsetting carbon emissions on all flights within the UK, as part of the airline’s commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The airline operates up to 75 flights a day between London and 10 UK cities and the carbon emissions from these flights will be invested in high-quality verified carbon reduction projects worldwide. Read more


United Airlines adds four new routes from California Airport 

United Airlines has announced it will be returning to Santa Maria (SMX) on the 4 June 2020 with services from Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). The Bombardier CRJ200, a 50-seater aircraft, will operate the daily routes. Furthermore, daily flights will also be added between Milwaukee (MKE) and San Francisco, operating on the A319 aircraft.


Air Canada adds Boston and Nashville route

Air Canada has announced two new seasonal summer routes and services to US destinations. The new daily services include Montreal to Nashville, Calgary to Boston and an additional daily flight between Vancouver and Newark. This will give customers more choice and convenience when travelling across borders starting June 2020. These destinations were chosen based on the strength of Air Canada’s North American network, allowing for quicker travel times between Canada and two of the fastest-growing economies in the U.S. Read more


British Airways partners with Team GB and ParalympicsGB

British Airways will be the official airline partner for Team GB and ParalympicsGB ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games this summer. The airline will fly hundreds of athletes along with their equipment and support team to and from the games. Read more


American Airlines app can now scan passports

American Airlines has launched a new passport scanning process within its mobile app. This makes it easier for travellers to check-in for international flights. American Airlines is the first airline to securely offer passport chip scanning, which transmits passport information directly from the chip embedded into the passport that allows travellers on international flights to directly board the flight without an agent verifying their passport. Read more


British Airways and China Southern Airlines

British Airways has signed an agreement with China Southern Airlines. From 2 January 2020, the agreement will provide more options, flexibility and extra benefits for passengers flying between the UK and China. This includes 31 direct flights a week from London to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Sanya, Wuhan and Zhengzhou. A greater choice of flight times and shorter connecting times. Read more


United Airlines adds hourly shuttle services in North America

United Airlines has announced a new hourly shuttle service between Washington’s Regan National Airport and New York/ Newark Liberty International Airport. The service will operate on the Bombardier CRJ-550 with a two-cabin 50 seat configuration. Services will begin 29 March 2020.  Read more


British Airways adds Portland, Oregon from Heathrow

British Airways will soon become the first airline to offer a year-round direct flight from the UK to Portland, Oregon. From 1 June 2020, the airline will launch five times weekly services to the city from London Heathrow Airport T5. The flight will be operated by one of British Airways’ newest aircraft, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Read more


American Airlines offers real-time translations technology

American Airlines has launched a new initiative offering real-time translations across 29 languages at its Admiral Club lounge at Los Angeles International Airport. The service is powered by Google Assistant’s interpreter mode, which will be used to assist customers, only when a multilingual worker is not available and help Premium Customer Service representatives provide a more personalised aid to customers. Read more


British Airways trials robots to guide customers through airport

British Airways has announced from 2020 it will trial Al-powered autonomous robots at Heathrow Airport T5 to help customers who travel through the terminal each day. The robots are programmed to interact with passengers in multiple languages using the latest translation technology to answer thousands of questions and real-time flight information. Additionally, using geo-location technology the robot will move around the airport terminal freely and safely, escorting customers to specific locations. Read more


Emirates to offer year-round A380 service to Glasgow

Emirates has announced plans to operate one of its two daily flights to Glasgow with the A380 superjumbo from March 2020. The A380 operating the Dubai to Glasgow route will be configured in three classes, offering 14 first-class suites, 76 fully flat seats in Business Class and 399 seats in Economy.


Air France new lounge opens at Paris-Orly T3

Air France has opened its new lounge for members of Business and Flying Blue Elite Plus customers, dedicated to long-haul flights at Paris-Orly Airport from T3. The new Air France lounge has a 120-seat capacity allowing customers to choose where their time is spent with numerous alcoves and vast lounge features including a more private area reserved for Ultimate customers.


Qatar Airways new seasonal Mediterranean destinations

Qatar Airways has revealed two new exciting Mediterranean destinations that will join its expanding network in the first half of 2020, with many more to be announced later in the year. The airline will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct flights to Santorini and Dubrovnik. The seasonal flights will be operated by the Airbus A320 featuring 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy Class. Read more


Lufthansa Group to increase capacity in the UK

This year, Lufthansa Group will be increasing capacity to the UK by 15%, with the majority of growth coming from outside the UK. From 3 February 2020, Lufthansa will launch six weekly flights between Newcastle and Munich and two daily flights between Bristol and Frankfurt, starting on the 30 March 2020. With the new increase, this reflects the growing demand from smaller regional areas in the UK.


Air France adds more flights in Africa

Air France will serve 35 new African destinations and 289 weekly flights for the summer of 2020. In total, Air France will operate over 500 weekly flights to 49 African destinations. Customers will be able to travel to Monrovia (Liberia) five-times-weekly on the Airbus A330-300 with 36 Business, 21 Premium Economy and 167 Economy Class seats. Read more


Qantas moves Melbourne-Tokyo flights to Haneda Airport

As of March 2020, Qantas will switch its Melbourne flights to Tokyo from Narita to Haneda Airport. Passengers who have booked to fly to Narita will automatically be moved to Haneda Airport. Business travellers will be particularly popular with the new route, which will save more than an hour of transit time to get into the town.


easyJet resumes flights to Sharm el-Sheikh 

easyJet, the UK’s leading airline has announced it will resume flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. This will be the first time since November 2015 following the recent lifting of the government restrictions on UK flights to the destination. The airline will offer two flights a week to Sharm el-Sheikh, which is commencing on the 7 June 2020 from Manchester and 30 September 2020 from London Gatwick. Read more


Air France to launch Paris-Orly to Munich 

Air France has announced a new route to Munich, Germany scheduled to begin 29 March 2020. The service will operate twice daily out to Paris-Orly. The flights will be operated by the Embraer 190 with a capacity of 100 seats. The carrier continues to develop its medium-haul network adding Munich as its fourth destination to be served from Paris -Orly. Read more


Lufthansa to reduce noise and CO2 emissions on European routes

The Airbus A320neo, the recent addition for short and medium-haul flights is now operating from Munich. The latest generation aircraft will be a lot quieter and more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient. The A320neo consumes 20% less fuel per passenger. The Lufthansa Group has ordered a total of 149 neo aircraft, which will be delivered by 2025. Read more


Qatar Airways adds eight new destinations

Qatar Airways has announced eight new destinations to join the network in 2020. The new routes will expand into 177 destinations around the world. They include Nur-Sultan and Almaty, Kazakhstan; Cebu, Philippines; Accra, Ghana; Trabzon, Turkey; Luanda, Angola; Lyon, France, and Siem Reap, Cambodia.


Air France unveils new travel cabins

Air France has unveiled new cabins, onboard its Boeing 777-300, mainly serving destinations in the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. From January to December 2020, Air France will gradually install the new cabins on all its 10 Boeing 777-300s mainly dedicated to this network which will then be available this year on routes to Mauritius, Havana, Cancun, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Read more


SAS new Airbus A350 to serves Chicago 

The first of eight Airbus A350’s has entered the SAS fleet operating from the 28 January 2020 to Chicago. Travellers will experience the world’s most fuel-efficient aircraft, offering a more sustainable way to travel long-haul to and from Scandinavia. The aircraft will have 40 Business Class, 32 SAS Plus and 228 Economy seats. Read more


Singapore Airlines to add Brussels to network

Brussels will become the latest European destination in Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) network. From 25 October 2020, a non-stop service will be introduced from Singapore to the Belgium capital, operating four-times-weekly on the Airbus A350-900. The new route allows Singapore Airlines to enhance the Benelux’s connection to Singapore with non-stop flights from Amsterdam, Dusseldorf and Brussels. Read more


China Southern Airlines launches new flight from London Heathrow

China Southern Airlines has announced a new route to China’s capital from London Heathrow Airport to Beijing’s new Daxing Airport. The flight will commence on the 18 June 2020 and will be operated on the A380 aircraft which adopts a class three-cabin arrangement with 506 seats. This is a major new step in China Southern Airline’s growth plan in the UK.


American Airlines partners with New Friends New Life

American Airlines is joining forces with New Friends New Life, a non-profit organisation based in Dallas. The partnership will focus on tackling human trafficking, assist victims and raise public awareness of the crime and how to restrict it. The mission is to restore and empower formally trafficked teenage girls and sexually exploited women and their children, by providing access to education, job training, interim financial assistance, mental health and spiritual support. Read more


Birmingham Airport rolls out electric bus fleet 

Birmingham Airport has launched a fleet of fully-electric buses to replace the diesel vehicles currently in operation between the terminal and carparks. The six 7900e singe-deck buses will provide a free passenger service across all landside routes. The airport has pledged to become ‘net zero carbon’ by 2023. Read more


London Stansted Airport trialling compostable security bags

London Stansted is the UK’s first airport to trial fully compostable security bags for passengers carrying liquids in their hand luggage. If successful, the new product could replace the 11 million non-compostable plastic bags currently being distributed in the terminal annually. Staff will also encourage travellers to bring refillable bottles and refill them at the water fountains. Read more


London City Airport achieves carbon neutral status

London City Airport (LCA) has reached a significant milestone in its efforts to create a more sustainable future for the airport, with its operations rated as carbon neutral by the Airport Carbon Accreditation Programme. Beyond carbon emissions, LCA is making its business more sustainable through a range of initiatives such as reuse or recycling of materials, working with bio-bean to convert coffee waste into biofuel and reducing the amount of plastic waste. Read more


Leeds Bradford Airport unveils plans for new terminal

Leeds Bradford Airport is currently the 15th busiest airport in the UK and has unveiled plans for a new terminal building. If approved the £150 million project will create a modern terminal to improve passenger experience, deliver one of the UK’s most environmentally efficient airport buildings and support greater economic prosperity. Read more


London Heathrow installs anti-drone system

London Heathrow Airport has announced a new system designed by Operational Solutions, a UK-based company, to prevent drones from entering the airspace and interrupting operations. The new and innovative programme can detect drones up to 3.1 miles away in all directions and can locate the drone pilot and show their locations, keeping passengers and staff safe and minimise delays.


Dubai Airports to go single-use plastic-free

The two Dubai Airport’s, Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) are expected to go plastic-free this year, to tackle the environmental impact. 250 of their concession and hospitality partners will be working closely together to reduce the airport plastic. Recycling facilities in customer spaces will increase which will help dispose of the single-use plastics. Read more



Hyatt opens two hotels in Manchester

Hyatt Hotels has announced the opening of two hotels in Manchester. The 212-room Hyatt Regency Manchester and 116-room Hyatt House Manchester offer seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and two private event spaces alongside a variety of other shared facilities. The hotels are conveniently located close to the city centre and within easy reach to public transport. Read more


Hilton launch of UK’s largest soap recycling

Hilton has announced the launch of the UK’s largest soap recycling programme to reduce landfill waste and help communities in need. Hilton Hotels in the UK are expected to divert 64 tonnes of waste from landfills every year in partnership with Clean the World. This is going to be a major step towards their goal of recycling 100% of its leftover soap bars.


Accor to open Novotel and Aparthotel Adagio in Leicester

Accor has opened two new properties in Leicester, under the Novotel and Aparthotel Adagio brands. The adjacent new build properties are located within the city’s Great Central Square development, opposite Highcross Shopping Centre. The 154-room Novotel Leicester is housed within a ten-storey building and features a bar and restaurant, as well as a gym and five meeting spaces.


Curio Collection by Hilton to open Hart Shoreditch Hotel

Hart Shoreditch Hotel London is a brand new 126-room lifestyle hotel from the Curio Collection by Hilton. Set to open February 2020, the hotel is conveniently located in the heart Shoreditch, East London and is equipped with a 24-hour fitness centre and has three meeting spaces available for events.


Voco opens first hotel in South of England

Voco Reading has opened, marking the brand’s debut in the South of England. The 201-room hotel reflects the characteristics of the Voco offering; a modern hotel experience for business and leisure guests. Located just outside the town of Reading, the hotel is within close proximity to Green Park, a well-known business hub and within easy reach of Central London.


Melia has partnered with Climatetrade

Melia Hotels has partnered with Climatetrade, a leading Spanish start-up in carbon-credit management, to allow customers to engage directly with combatting climate change. Customers can redeem Melia Rewards points to acquire carbon credits and support environmental projects. Melia Hotels International becomes the first hotel company to offer a loyalty programme which gives members, the opportunity to become directly involved with the purchase of carbon credits. Read more


IHG launches IHG studio guest in-room digital experience

IHG has launched a new digital entertainment platform for guests’ rooms. IHG Studio allows guests to securely connect and stream content from devices to their room TV and make service requests such as late checkout and order extra amenities. The platform is currently available in nearly 40 hotels in the US and will soon expand in other regions including the UK, Greater China, Canada, and Latin America. Read more


Hilton to open two hotels in Portugal

Hilton is launching two hotels in Portugal under its Curio Collection by Hilton brand. The Emerald House Lisbon, which will feature 67 rooms, a restaurant, bar and fitness centre will open in the Portuguese capital in summer 2020. The Boeira Garden Hotel Porto Gaia in Porto, opened last December featuring 44 guest rooms, meeting rooms, rooftop bar, fitness centre and business centre. The hotel will be in full operation with an additional 80 rooms in spring 2020. Read more


Accor’s Mondrian brand arrives in Europe

Accor has announced the arrival of the Mondrian brand in Europe with two properties in France. The Cannes Grand Hotel is expected to open in the first half of 2021. The hotel will have 75 guest rooms, private gardens, adjustable meeting spaces and a private beach in front of the hotel. The other property will open in Bordeaux planned to open in the second half of 2021. Read more


DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste opens in Italy

The new DoubleTree by Hilton Trieste is now open. Tucked beside the Slovenian border on the coast of the Adriatic Sea is the North-Eastern Italian city of Trieste, home to the restored 20th-century palazzo. There are 100 guestrooms and 25 suites and six meeting rooms that span a total of 299 sqm. Making the hotels meetings and event space excellent for conferences. Read more


Hyatt House opens at California San Jose Airport

Hyatt celebrates a significant milestone with the opening of its 100th Hyatt House hotel brand. Hyatt House San Jose Airport, the newly built airport hotel is conveniently located next to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. The 165-room hotel features a fitness centre, free Wi-Fi, 1,800 square feet of meeting and event spaces, and is accessible to all major freeways in Silicon Vally.


IHG to open two hotels at Shanghai Pudong International Airport

IHG has announced that two hotels will be added to Shanghai International Airport’s latest Terminal Complex; InterContinental and Holiday Inn. The hotels will be walking distance from each other and expected to open in 2024.