Only 2% of tour operators report no new bookings in the past 60 days according to a new survey by the US Tour Operator Association, with 69% reporting bookings for the third quarter of 2021 and 79% reporting bookings for the fourth quarter. And 80% of tour operators said they will rely on travel advisors for business next year.
"The problem is not being on the airplane," Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said in an interview, explaining the multiple layers of protection airlines have put in place to protect travelers. "What we want to do is provide the opportunity for people to travel as they choose, but to make sure that it is as safe as we can possibly make it," Kelly said.
Delta Air Lines has equipped a domestic security checkpoint at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport with computed tomography-automated screening lane systems, which allow travelers to keep electronics and approved liquids in their carry-on bags and reduced wait times by 20% in tests. "Our partnership with TSA and the Atlanta airport allows us to improve the security experience by making it faster and more seamless, which is something we know is important to our customers," said Senior Vice President Eric Phillips.
Alaska Airlines' first flight using special bags to carry cargo on passenger seats moved nearly 30,000 pounds of freight from Seattle to Southeast Alaska. The seat bags can hold 13,500 pounds and were primarily filled with mail.
UPS has invested in portable, ultra-low temperature freezers and machines that produce 1,200 pounds per hour of the dry ice they require, as one of the leading COVID-19 vaccines requires that kind of specialty storage. FedEx has also bought ultra-cold freezers.
Hawaiian Airlines is highlighting its charitable partners in anticipation for "Giving Tuesday," when the airline will match donated miles. The Friends of Hokule'a and Hawai'iloa, which maintains a traditional voyaging canoe whose 42,000-mile maiden journey was sponsored by the airline as well as a collection of outrigger canoes, is struggling with pandemic-related barriers that impede access to the fleet and make sourcing materials a challenge.
Resort destinations like Cancun are the only cities that now have more flights from the US scheduled for November and December than they had in 2019 as airlines add flights to Mexico and the Caribbean in a bid to tap into pent-up vacation demand. United Airlines is adding new nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Belize City, as well as Mexican destinations Cozumel, Manzanillo and Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa.
CrowdRiff CEO Dan Holowack says rebuilding the travel industry after the pandemic needs to emphasize locals. Tourism needs to be both inclusive and sustainable and destination marketing organizations must play a key role.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said he thinks opening a travel corridor between New York and London will be "complicated" due to the UK's quarantine requirements and tourism's secondary status there, adding, "I think you will find on the continent several countries that are more open." Bastian also said Delta had discussed buying 737 MAX aircraft from Boeing and "if there is an opportunity where we would feel comfortable acquiring the MAX we'd have no hesitation doing that."
United Airlines is offering mail-in coronavirus testing to travelers flying from George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to 10 destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The tests will be available Dec. 7 for passengers to Aruba; Belize City; Guatemala City; Lima, Peru; Nassau, Bahamas; Panama City; San Salvador, El Salvador; and Tegucigalpa, Roatan and San Pedro Sula in Honduras.
- Page 1