Πέμπτη, 23 Νοεμβρίου 2017

NewGen ISS Approved by PAConf - Will Modernize, Transform Agent-Airline Settlements



Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για NewGen ISS A


Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the Passenger Agency Conference (PAConf), composed of IATA’s member airlines, adopted Resolutions for the full implementation of the New Generation of IATA Settlement Systems (NewGen ISS) initiative. NewGen ISS represents the most extensive and ambitious modernization of the IATA Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP) since it was created in 1971 to facilitate the global distribution and settlement of funds between travel agents and airlines. Last year, the BSP processed $219 billion in airline funds with 100% on-time settlement.
"Implementation of NewGen ISS is a critical step forward by the global air transport industry in ensuring that the BSP continues to serve the industry’s financial settlement requirements for years to come. It is the culmination of a multi-year engagement with participants in the air travel value chain, including airlines, travel agents, and IT and system providers. It will bring greater options and flexibility to our travel agent partners, while providing even more financial security to airlines," said Aleks Popovich, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Financial and Distribution Services.
Last year, the PAConf approved the development and introduction of three pillars of NewGen ISS comprising:
  • Three levels of travel agent accreditation, offering greater flexibility. Travel agents will be able to choose the model most applicable to their business, as well as to convert across models as their business evolves.
  • IATA EasyPay - a voluntary pay-as-you-go e-wallet solution for issuance of airline tickets in the BSP that offers a lower cost per transaction. As a secure form of payment, IATA EasyPay transactions are not part of a travel agent’s cash sales at risk. This allows travel agents a means to lower their financial security amounts held with IATA, and to issue transactions which are not included in their BSP remittance capacity.
  • Global Default Insurance – an optional financial security alternative for travel agents that presents a cost effective and flexible alternative to bank guarantees and other types of security.
Remittance Holding Capacity
To these three pillars is now added a fourth. The Remittance Holding Capacity (RHC) is a risk management framework to enable safer selling and mitigate losses resulting from travel agency defaults. For the majority of travel agents, the RHC will be calculated based on the average of the three highest reporting periods of the previous 12 months plus 100%. Furthermore, measures will be available allowing travel agents to manage to their RHC, and to continue selling in a secure manner should their RHC ever be reached. A joint travel agent and airline group has been working collaboratively on RHC over the past year.
"Remittance Holding Capacity is about safer selling. Airlines have no desire to restrict or limit travel agent sales. At the same time it is important to have agreed-upon, prudential safeguards in place to protect airline revenues. The RHC levels are the outcome of a collaborative process involving airlines and travel agents, to ensure that travel agents have the flexibility they need, while protecting airline ticket sales," said Popovich.
Transparency in Payments
Additionally, the Resolution text incorporates provisions related to Transparency in Payments (TIP), a new industry initiative. TIP reveals the different features and costs associated with each form of payment and agent remittance of airline funds. As it stands today, airlines only see the settlement costs after the fact, if at all. No form of remittance is barred by TIP, but travel agents can only use those forms to which an airline has previously given consent. Importantly, TIP allows travel agents to use their own credit cards - previously not supported in the BSP -- if an airline consents.
"Transparency in Payments provides a pro-competitive framework for bilateral arrangements between airlines and travel agents that will facilitate the introduction of new and innovative payment solutions," said Popovich.
Next Steps
NewGen ISS and Transparency in Payments will be rolled out progressively from March 2018. Certain pillars, including IATA EasyPay and Global Default Insurance (GDI) are already available in some markets. GDI has been implemented in more than 20 markets worldwide, while IATA EasyPay is being piloted in Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland.

Aeroflot customers can now fly to Australia and New Zealand





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Aeroflot customers can now fly to Australia and New Zealand


Aeroflot has expanded its code-sharing agreement with SkyTeam alliance partner China Southern Airlines, opening up new destinations in Australia and New Zealand for its passengers on routes via Guangzhou.

Aeroflot will put its SU code on China Southern flights between Guangzhou and Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland. The Chinese carrier operates two flights daily to each of these destinations. Passengers on these routes can earn miles on the Aeroflot Bonus programme.

The codeshare agreement was signed at the end of 2008, and previously covered routes between Moscow and Guangzhou, Ürümqi and Wuhan. Joint operation of China Southern flights from Guangzhou to destinations in Australia and New Zealand offers new opportunities for passengers of both airlines.

Aeroflot currently has code-shares with 30 Russian and international airlines, adding an additional 19 countries to the 51 served by its own route network.


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ETOA awarded for contribution to sustainability and touristic innovation


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ETOA awarded for contribution to sustainability and touristic innovation


ETOA - the European tourism association have been awarded the "Golden Experience" award for sustainable tourism, presented at the International Mayor's Forum in Seville.
The “Golden Experience” award for Sustainable Tourism is granted to a local government agency or institution whose work contributes to creating sustainable destinations and new tools for tourism innovation. ETOA - the European tourism association, was presented the award as the foremost European professional association of the tourism industry and as the sector’s active voice tackling the innovations and challenges posed in the 21st century.

Heading the award presenting group, Juan Espadas, Mayor of Seville said: 'It is a great honour for Seville to have more than seventy cities from four continents represented here today; our city´s compromise with sustainable growth and the commitment to look at the global challenges we are all facing with determination and responsibility have made us take a step forward and organize this first global forum of local governments, a space to debate and plan the actions that will allow us to be prepared for these challenges. The city of Seville also wants to recognize the efforts made by cities, public and private institutions towards a more sustainable, respectful and welcoming environment from an urban and touristic point of view.'
ETOA's Country Representative for Spain, Jorge Traver, and Head of Policy and Strategy, Tim Fairhurst, attended the event to accept the award. Tim Fairhurst said: 'It is a great privilege for ETOA's work to be recognised by this award at the Mayor's forum among colleagues from four continents; we are very grateful. That we are in Seville for the ceremony is very special for us as it is one of the growing network of destinations that are ETOA members. How cities remain sustainable - appealing and viable places in which to live, work and visit - is, above all, a matter for their communities and those they elect to govern them.'

LateRooms.com is in the Driving Seat for Business Travel





Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για LateRooms.com is in the Driving Seat for Business Travel


A new survey has revealed that 41% of employees want to travel more for business, and just under a quarter of employees (23%*) now request an additional night’s stay so they can explore their location. Commissioned by LateRooms.com Business, the survey supports the continued boom in bleisure travel in 2017, where people use business travel as an opportunity to explore and experience new locations.

The research, commissioned by the UK’s leading hotel booking specialist, also highlighted that UK locations within an easy drive or train ride were 10 times more popular choices for business travel than flights overseas. London, the Lake District, Edinburgh and Manchester came out as the top destinations for employees to visit in 2017, and LateRooms.com Business predicts this trend to continue through to 2018.

The survey also looked at the different hotel preferences when booking for business travel. Whilst WiFi and connectivity continue to be a priority for business bookers, LateRooms.com Business also identified that 73% of employees seek leisure facilities (gym, pool, sauna) when travelling, and 39% search for a hotel with an on-site bar or restaurant.

 Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για LateRooms.com is in the Driving Seat for Business Travel

Graeme Descoteaux, Head of LateRooms for Business, said: “The demand for staycations within both the consumer and business travel markets shows no signs of abating, and it’s interesting to see employees are now being savvy with their business bookings, using them as an opportunity to take a night away and enjoy cost-effective access to the best of the UK.

“With great savings and free VAT reconciliations, a service which saves the average business £14,000, it means that both the booker and traveller get to experience the wide array of hotels LateRooms.com has to offer. Whether embarking on a road trip to the beautiful Lake District or planning a city centre stopover in the likes of Manchester, our improved service is designed to ensure business travel in 2018 is even more cost efficient.”

LateRooms.com Business is building on its strength as a provider of bespoke solutions to businesses and UK-based expertise. Its vast array of business solutions and added value products and services include dedicated one to one account management, access to bespoke reports via the Business Portal, Corporate Rates, automated hotel VAT receipt reconciliation and consolidated monthly billing.

Let’s get you zapped-in: Hotels.com trials mobile key with Zaplox


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για Let’s get you zapped-in: Hotels.com trials mobile key with Zaplox



LONDON - Accommodation experts, Hotels.com announces the pilot of a mobile key, allowing travelers to spend less time checking in and more time enjoying their hotel stays.
The mobile key, which uses technology from Zaplox, is integrated with the Hotels.com app and allows travelers to check-in and out of their hotel through their smartphone. Saying goodbye to lost hotel keys forever, the technology will also enable travellers to access their room using only their phones, providing guests with a seamless and hassle-free experience.
Johan Svanstrom, President of Hotels.com brand commented: “At Hotels.com, we have seen a surge in mobile usage for searching and booking hotels over the last few years. Our users love the slick Hotels.com app experience, getting to the most relevant screen quickly based on where you are on your booking journey, and using additional services like finding the best local restaurants. By enabling an app-based door key we take another step on the way to providing more customer value for our users. Who hasn’t lost a hotel key card and wished they could just magically zap open the door? Now you really can with Hotels.com, thanks to Zaplox and our hotel partners in this test.”
CABINN metro

The pilot of the mobile key application will initially be trialed at three CABINN branded properties in Denmark, with the intention to roll out more widely to interested hotel partners over the next few years. The first of the three CABINN hotels to trial the technology is CABINN Metro, which will be offering the mobile key to all guests that book through Hotels.com.
Magnus Friberg, CEO of Zaplox commented: “We are very proud of the fact that Hotels.com has chosen Zaplox as a business partner. The Expedia Group, with Hotels.com in its portfolio, is a company that has very successfully built a global platform for hotel and flight bookings. With Zaplox’ solution for mobile keys, check-in and checkout now included, they can offer hotels more value, all available directly from the guest’s mobile device.”

American Express Global Business Travel appoints new Managing Director for India


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για American Express Global Business Travel appoints new Managing Director for India



American Express Global Business Travel announces today the appointment of Ashish Kishore as the new Managing Director for GBT, India. In his new role, Ashish will have overall management responsibility for GBT’s business in India. He will be part of the Asia Pacific leadership team, reporting into Elyes Mrad, Managing Director, International.

Ashish joins GBT from air services provider, dnata, where he was Country Head for India. In this role Ashish oversaw the entire business strategy, had responsibility for 400 employees and grew the business to its successful position today. In addition, as a board member of the Global Business Travel Association India, Ashish has been instrumental in advocating for the business travel sector and leading discussion around the role travel management companies play.
“Ashish’s extensive travel industry knowledge and experience, gained from his leadership roles in the sector, make him an ideal person to lead our business locally” said Elyes. “Our business in India is growing rapidly by servicing both multinational and local companies. Ashish has a proven track record of growing travel businesses in India into thriving, successful companies through product development, expanding into new sectors and implementing best practice in operational areas. I am delighted to welcome him to the organization.”

Previously, Ashish was Vice President at online travel portal, Yatra.com, where he was responsible for the development of products, marketing and sales across the hotel and holiday area of the business. Ashish was the National Sales Head for the FIT Leisure division at Kuoni prior to joining Yatra.com.
Ashish said: “GBT has an excellent reputation in India, due largely to its significant investment in technology, supported by exceptional traveler care. This is an exciting time to be joining the company, and I look forward to working with Elyes and the team.”

ICAO encourages greater international openness and cooperation in aid of more efficient Air Traffic Flow Management


Αποτέλεσμα εικόνας για ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu


SINGAPORE – ICAO Secretary General Dr. Fang Liu told ICAO Member States that in order for them to safely and efficiently manage forecast growth, and optimize the social and economic benefits of increased international routes and flights, they need to become more open to sharing flight data in support of new Air Traffic Flow Management (ATFM) approaches.
“To manage future growth we must become better at what we already do, and in the finite airspace we already control,” Dr. Liu emphasized during her opening remarks to ICAO’s ATFM Global Symposium in Singapore, which was attended by nearly 300 participants from 24 ICAO Member States and international organizations. “For some States this will involve sovereignty concerns, as all partners involved in an ATFM framework must be willing to fully commit to and support a more open and collaborative international flight information environment,” Dr. Liu remarked.
Dr. Liu’s points were echoed in the introduction she received from Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, who encouraged the attending governments “to build momentum and work towards introducing a global harmonized ATFM system.” Mr. Shum also remarked that “the success of our industry depends on your spirit of openness and continued participation in the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experience.”
ATFM, which takes advantage of air transport Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) frameworks, optimizes the existing capacities of the air traffic management system through the more precise coordination of take-offs and landings at both departure and destination airports, and through the dynamic routing of flights around constrained airspaces.
“This advance and real-time coordination helps to avoid aircraft reaching their destinations and being placed into costly holding patterns, as well as permitting ATM professionals in general to be much more responsive when dealing with meteorological or other unexpected events,” Dr. Liu commented.
Underscoring further that the speed and efficiency by which modern commercial aircraft can move passengers and cargo globally is the core value offering of international aviation, she stressed that these very qualities are being threatened today by how quickly air transport operations are expanding.
Highlighting to her high-level audience that air traffic flights and passenger volumes globally tend to double every 15 years, Dr. Liu placed emphasis on the fact that “in many mature air transport markets we no longer have the luxury of simply adding new airports and slots to accommodate further traffic growth. Competition for airspace is also accelerating, with new unmanned and commercial space-related services seeking to carve out their own niches for the expanding operations in those areas.”
Dr. Liu also reiterated ICAO’s key points on why it’s important that governments acknowledge how air transport traffic growth impacts modern societies and economies, and that the aviation system today moves more than 10 million passengers daily on over 100,000 flights.
She noted how ICAO serves as a nexus for global cooperation toward optimizing aviation’s growth and socio-economic potential, and that it is of utmost importance that airlines, air navigation service providers, and airport operators collaborate more intensively and remain collectively diligent in managing airspace capacities and traffic demand.
“Sectoral growth cannot be permitted to negatively impact our key strategic performance targets, and existing levels of aviation safety, efficiency, and environmental protection must continue to improve, even as we expand,” she added.
While visiting Singapore, Dr. Liu also held bilateral discussions on global and regional priorities with Mr. Khaw Boon Wan, the State’s Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, and with Mr Loh Ngai Seng, Singapore’s Permanent Secretary in its Ministry of Transport.