As the COVID pandemic continues to impact the aviation and travel sector, two airlines are joining forces to restart travel confidence
British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will trial fast-track lanes at London’s Heathrow airport for fully-vaccinated inbound travellers to support the Government in lifting some of the most onerous restrictions for travellers arriving from ‘amber list’ countries.
Under the trial, fully vaccinated travellers of all nationalities will be able to present their COVID-19 credentials in digital or paper format before boarding.
If successful, long lines in arrivals halls when returning to the United Kingdom could be a thing of the past.
For passengers who are not checking baggage, this would mean they could check-in online, proceed directly to security and board their flight.
How it will work:
Upon arrival in the U.K., travellers participating in this trial could be able to use a dedicated priority arrivals lane at Heathrow Airport. – This should be a much quicker arrivals experience.
Depending on how many passengers are arriving at the time and Border Force staff are on duty, these passengers may use eGates or proceed to a staffed passport check, just as other passengers do right now.
Flights included in the trial include select British Airways flights from New York and Athens into Heathrow, and Virgin Atlantic flights from Los Angeles and Montego Bay, Jamaica to Heathrow.
Eligible passengers will receive a pre-departure invitation from British Airways or Virgin Atlantic inviting them to participate in this trial.
The current issue is that this upload process has only been available for flights departing Heathrow, not arriving. This means that passengers flying into Heathrow must allow plenty of time for manual document verification and check-in before boarding their flight.
This trial is a step towards making that inbound experience just as seamless as the outbound experience, and will hopefully restart the industry by increasing confidence in the sector.
2500 employees to be stood down from Qantas
About 2500 frontline Qantas and Jetstar employees will be stood down for two months
It comes as the airline struggles to deal with lockdowns in states across Australia.
The national carrier says the stand-down is a temporary measure to deal with a drop in flying caused by COVID restrictions in Sydney, – which is its home base.
No job losses are expected as part of the move.
In a statement, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says:
“This is clearly the last thing we want to do, but we’re now faced with an extended period of reduced flying and that means no work for a number of our people.”
“We’ve absorbed a significant amount of cost since these recent lockdowns started and continued paying our people their full rosters despite thousands of cancelled flights.“
Qantas said it welcomed the targeted Federal Government support offered for those stood down outside of declared hotspots and to retain domestic aviation capability.
Outside the square – Twitter CEO’s grand plans for Afterpay
Jack Dorsey has used Square’s quarterly earnings call to outline his company’s future and convince shareholders to support the $39billion dollar Afterpay takeover bid
Dorsey believes bringing Afterpay into business operations will increase e-commerce activity across both platforms and further entice young shoppers to spend up.
It plans to takeover Afterpay in a deal that values the Australian company at $39 billion. That makes it the biggest buyout deal so far in Australian corporate history.
The Twitter founder says Afterpay has a unique advantage in the buy now, pay later sector because it was the first on the scene and it has been built up “authentically”.
Following the takeover announcement, Square’s shares fell by 5 percent when compared with trading on Friday, as investors made sense of the deal.
However, after Dorsey’s pitch at the quarterly earnings call, Squares shares were up 6 percent from Friday.
It comes as shareholders voice their concerns that Square is failing to bring merchants and retail users together… and questioning how Afterpay will create value for the company.
James Whelan of VFS Group weighed in on whether Afterpay is in fact authentic.
‘Jungle Cruise’ tallies $34.2 million in domestic debut, reaches Disney+ record
After Disney struggled during the past few weeks, the studios latest feature film “Jungle Cruise” opened to $61 million dollars worldwide.
The film was also released on Disney Plus’ Premier Access and brought in over $30 million globally on the platform.
Overall, the film, which is based on the beloved Disney theme park ride, notched more than $90 million.
The “Jungle Cruise” opening is also notable because it comes just a few days after Scarlett Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney.
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