Ovation's weekly client e-newsletter, the Informed Traveler, keeps readers updated on travel industry news and trends.
Following is a recap of October's top 5 (most clicked by Ovation clients) e-newsletter stories.
1. TRAVEL REBOUNDING AMID DWINDLING COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS
American travelers have the most international destination options to visit since the pandemic started as more and more countries lift COVID-19 travel restrictions, reports Travel Pulse. Currently, there are 118 countries and territories that welcome travelers from the United States without COVID-19 vaccination requirements, while another 109 still require testing, quarantines, or both for unvaccinated travelers. Americans with a complete set of vaccine and booster shots can access 190 countries and territories without any testing restrictions. As a result, almost two-thirds of US travelers are planning a trip during the next three months. Earlier this month, Japan reopened to visa-free travel from dozens of countries worldwide, eliminating its daily entry cap on arrivals and making it easier for travelers to visit without a qualified booking through an approved travel agency or tour operator. With the reopening of Japan, there are over 30 destinations that ended testing and isolation mandates over the last seven weeks, including Bhutan, Canada, New Zealand, and the Bahamas.
2. DELTA'S AIR+RAIL PROGRAM CONNECTS TRAVELERS TO 20 MORE DESTINATIONS IN EUROPE
Delta Air Lines has announced that it has expanded travel options to Europe using its Air+Rail program. The new addition will provide train connections to 20 more destinations, including 12 new cities for travelers in The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, and the UK. First launched in August 2021, for travel between Amsterdam and the Belgian cities of Brussels and Antwerp, this expansion enables connectivity directly from Brussels, Manchester, Rome Fiumicino, and Zurich airports with one Delta ticket booking for the whole journey. Delta will also add the service from Geneva when its nonstop flights from New York-JFK begin in April 2023. The airline is working with leading rail operators in each country to provide onward train journeys via stations located at the airports. “Building more Air+Rail connections into our schedule provides a greater choice of destinations for our customers, including a number of these cities not currently served by Delta or our European partners, such as Bern, Rotterdam and York,” said Alain Bellemare, Delta’s President – International. “Expanding our footprint in Europe also makes it more convenient for customers to get to popular city center locations whether traveling for business or pleasure to make the most of their time away.”
3. UNITED PLANS 2023 TRANSATLANTIC EXPANSION
4. CDC DROPS COUNTRY-BY-COUNTRY COVID GUIDANCE FOR TRAVELERS
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dropped its country-by-country COVID-19 travel health notices on Monday due to less available data, reports USA Today. Fewer countries are testing for the virus or reporting the number of COVID-19 cases which limits the CDC's ability to calculate travelers' risk, according to the agency. CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said the agency will only post a travel health notice for an individual country if a situation such as a troubling new variant of the virus changes CDC travel recommendations for that country.
5. LONDON HEATHROW ENDING DAILY PASSENGER CAPS
London Heathrow is ending the capacity cap rule they set in place in June, reports Airline Weekly. Beginning October 30 and running through March 25, airlines will be allowed to operate an average of just over 40 departures an hour and nearly 39 arrivals at Heathrow, according to the airport slot manager Airport Coordination Limited. These are on par with 2019 levels through the total number of daily departures and arrivals are down slightly compared to three years ago. However, some passenger capacity constraints remain and there are additional limits in place to minimize crowding during the Christmas and New Year holidays.