- Hong Kong is planning to execute a travel bubble with Australia and ten other nations.
- Virgin Australia’s long-term partnership with Delta Air Lines is being suspended amidst former’s restructuring process.
- Delta expects to recommence the JV partnership with Virgin as soon as the latter resumes long-haul international flights and demand bounces back.
- Qantas has unveiled a petition, calling on states with reduced levels of coronavirus infections to reopen their borders.
- Flight Centre has partnered with travel application, Travello, offering its customers a range of attractions, tours and activities.
- Sustenance of critical government reforms seems crucial for the travel industry’s sustained path to recovery.
State border closures and Victoria’s extended lockdown are threatening Australia’s travel industry like never before. The full recovery seems to be sometime away for the battered travel sector. However, one cannot neglect the dedicated efforts of government and travel players that can expedite the revival process, winning back the normalcy sooner than expected.
The nation is eagerly eyeing the revitalisation of the hammered travel sector. Some updates need a closer look in mapping out sector’s growth trajectory.
Australia Shortlisted for Hong Kong Travel Bubble
Australia’s trans-Tasman travel bubble has been put on hold amidst fresh COVID-19 cases in Victoria. At the same time, Hong Kong is planning to execute a travel bubble with Australia and ten other nations. Under the proposed travel bubble, travellers at both ends of their trip will have to undergo COVID-19 testing.
For this travel arrangement, Hong Kong is considering those countries from the Pacific, Europe and Asia, where the coronavirus spread is under better control.
The other ten countries that have been considered for the bubble comprise South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand, Malaysia, Germany, Singapore, France and Switzerland. Australia has been shortlisted for the potential travel corridor despite mounting uncertainty over the resumption of overseas travel from the nation.
Till date, Hong Kong has held bilateral talks with just Thailand and Japan. While Hong Kong anticipates travel corridor to depend on several factors, including containment of virus spread in respective places and the epidemic situation.
Virgin Australia & Delta’s JV Temporarily Suspended
Virgin Australia Holdings Limited’s (ASX:VAH) long-term partnership with Delta Air Lines is being suspended following Virgin Australia’s decision to retire its Boeing 777 fleet and Los Angeles flights. The suspension also follows the recent approval from the court for Virgin Australia’s restructuring process.
Under the restructuring process, Virgin Australia’s new owner, Bain Capital, will focus particularly on short-term international and domestic routes, while suspending long-haul flying until sufficient demand returns in the market. Delta expects to recommence the JV partnership with Virgin Australia as soon as the latter resumes long-haul international flights and demand bounces back.
While Virgin Australia will not serve Los Angeles for now, Delta will continue to operate its flights between Sydney and Los Angeles in 2021, as planned. Besides, Delta flyers will still be able to redeem and earn miles on Virgin Australia, in addition to receiving elite benefits on the airline.
Qantas Launched Petition Demanding State Borders Reopening
Australia’s most popular airline, Qantas Airways Limited (ASX:QAN) has recently unveiled a petition, calling on states with reduced levels of coronavirus infections to reopen their borders. The national carrier has called for border closures to be risk-evaluated against a uniform medical risk assessment and a shared definition of what represents a COVID-19 hotspot.
The airline is also encouraging thousands of its employees and suppliers, airports, tour companies, travel agents and other parts of the travel sector to sign the petition.
Qantas highlighted that there is considerable pent up demand for domestic travel with Aussies looking forward to going on vacations after being housebound amid shutdown. The Company mentioned that it intends to see Aussies reunite with their loved ones and people in the tourism business to get back to work.
The Company is actively seeking a harmonized approach on the part of states and territories for border management, with clear and agreed timelines over border reopening or closures. The national carrier believes that arbitrary border restrictions are weighing heavily on businesses, communities, jobs and supply chains in terms of social and economic cost.
Flight Centre and Travello Come Together to Support Tourism Recovery
Flight Centre Travel Group Limited (ASX:FLT) has recently formed a partnership with travel application, Travello, offering its customers a range of attractions, tours and activities.
Travello is a community-driven application used by individuals for sharing and booking their tourism experiences. Travello sees this partnership as a great example of two Australian firms joining hands to assist in the tourism revival.
Travello has observed its global community of travellers growing substantial throughout the coronavirus period, with numerous vacationers connecting with each other while in lockdown. Travello expects this partnership to open a slew of opportunities for Flight Centre, which has moved on to ‘travel experiences’ vertical for the first time.
While travel players are leaving no stone unturned to re-emerge from the virus crisis, sustenance of critical government reforms seems crucial for the industry’s sustained path to recovery. Besides, COVID-safe travel corridors can arise as a saviour for the beaten travel sector.
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