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Today (May 29, 2020): May 2020 luxury travel news.
Every last Friday of the month, you can read my news round-up of what’s happening in the world of luxury travel and aviation. In this issue:
- Air France retires its entire A380 fleet
- Delta retires its entire Boeing 777 fleet
- Qatar Airways introduces full body protective gear for cabin crew
- LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline, files for bankruptcy
- Avianca, Colombia’s flagCruise airline, files for bankruptcy
- Hong Kong Airport tests full-body disinfection booths
- Qantas takes a different approach on face mask policy
- Lufthansa board rejects EU conditions on $10 billion USD bailout
- Four Seasons launches a global health & safety program
- Six Senses announces a hotel in Rome
1. Air France retires its entire A380 fleet
In the context of the current COVID-19 crisis and its impact on anticipated activity levels, Air France announced the definitive end of its Airbus A380 operations. Initially scheduled by the end of 2022, the phase-out of Airbus A380 fleet fits in the Air France fleet simplification strategy of making the fleet more competitive, by continuing its transformation with more modern, high-performance aircraft with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. Five of the Airbus A380 aircraft in the current fleet are owned by Air France or on finance lease, while four are on operating lease. The global impact of the Airbus A380 phase-out write down is estimated at 500 million euros and will be booked in the second quarter of 2020 as a non-current cost/expenses. The Airbus A380 – which entered service with Air France in 2009 and had not been updated since then – will be replaced by new generation aircraft, including Airbus A350 and Boeing 787, whose deliveries are ongoing.
7. Qantas takes a different approach on face mask policy
Australia’s flagCruise carrier Qantas has announced the details of their “Fly Well” program, which includes a series of measures that will roll out as of June 12, 2020 to ensure a safe travel environment and give extra peace of mind. The most surprising measure is that masks will be provided to all passengers on each flight, but contrary to most other airlines, Qantas does not make wearing a face mask mandatory. The airline states that “while face masks are not mandatory from a safety point of view, they are recommended to be worn in the interests of everyone’s peace-of-mind.” In addition, the airline is rolling out a series of other initiatives, such as:
- Enhanced cleaning of aircraft with a disinfectant effective against Coronaviruses, with a focus on high contact areas (e.g. seats, seatbelts, overhead lockers, air vents and toilets).
- Sanitising wipes will be given to all passengers to wipe down seat belts, trays and armrests themselves, if preferred.
- Simplified service and catering to minimize touchpoints for crew and passengers.
- Passengers will be asked to limit movement around cabin, once seated.
- Sequenced boarding and disembarkation will minimize crowding.
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Travel and tour information summary from The Luxury Travel Expert Travel News.
Author: The Luxury Travel Expert