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Business Travel News: March 2023

UK Home Office updates

Visitors from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states and Jordan will be the first to benefit from the UK’s new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, ahead of a worldwide expansion of the scheme throughout 2024. Qatari visitors will be the first to be able to apply for an ETA in October 2023.

By the end of 2024, ETAs will be a requirement worldwide for visitors who do not need a visa for short stays, including those visiting from Europe. Visitors from Europe and other nations such as America and Australia do not currently need to make any form of application to visit the UK, however, this will be changing with the introduction of ETAs.

British and Irish citizens will not need an ETA to travel to the UK. As is currently the case, however, individuals arriving in the UK via Ireland will still be subject to UK immigration requirements, including the need for visitors to have an ETA. Those legally resident in Ireland will not need an ETA when travelling to the UK from within the Common Travel Area. 

Air updates

Air Canada launches digital identification

Air Canada has announced it has launched digital identification, becoming the first airline in Canada with approval to offer customers the safety and convenience of a new option using facial recognition technology to confirm identification

Delta airlines ramp up services

Delta is increasing its services for a busy summer season, including adding routes from London Heathrow to Seattle and Salt Lake City and Edinburgh to New York JFK and Boston. Delta Premium Select will be offered on board, the newest cabin experience on most of their trans-Atlantic routes

Etihad launches flights to Lisbon

Etihad Airways has announced a number of new European routes that will be launched from its Abu Dhabi hub as it seeks to expand its destination network. The new direct service to Lisbon will start on 2 July 2023 and operate with three weekly flights. Alongside Lisbon, the airline will also be returning to Spain and Greece. Read more

Emirates to boost services to Cairo, Egypt

From 29 October 2023, Emirates will boost its operations to and from Cairo to 28 weekly flights. At present, the airline operates 25 weekly flights between the two destinations. The operational boost will see Emirates operating, four daily flights, thrice daily on its A380 and a daily service on its Boeing 777. Read more

Emirates to invest US$135 million in a new pilot training centre in Dubai

Emirates will soon build an advanced training facility to accommodate 6 Full Flight Stimulator Bays (FFS) for its future Airbus A350 and Boeing 777X aircraft. The brand new, 63,318sq.ft. the facility is due to open in March 2024. Read more

British Airways and American Airlines open Bridge Bar at JFK’s Greenwich lounge

British Airways and American Airlines have unveiled a new bar within the carrier’s recently opened Greenwich Lounge at JFK airport T8. The lounge’s flagship First Dining space has also been given a refresh and is now called the Tasting room.

KLM to officially launch rail-air service between Brussels and Amsterdam

KLM has purchased additional seats on four Thalys trains for transfer passengers travelling between Amsterdam and Brussels this summer. The extra seats form part of KLM’s efforts to scale down its four daily flights still operated between Amsterdam and Brussels. The extended air/trail product will be available from 26 March 2023. Read more

Lufthansa –  a new travel experience on long-haul flights

Lufthansa announced the introduction of Allegris, the new Lufthansa long-haul product in all its travel classes. The new SWISS travel experience on long-haul flights starting in 2025: Swiss Senses. Customers will be able to tailor their travel even more closely to their own individual needs and for the first time, SWISS will be offering a suite concept in SWISS First and parts of SWISS Business. In all travel classes, guests can look forward to new state-of-the-art inflight entertainment and new human-centric lighting to help passengers reduce the effect of jetlag.

Hotel updates

Dalata group opens first Maldron hotel in London

Dalata group opens first Maldron hotel in London property under its brand. The group plan to invest £2 million to enhance the property before it opens in the summer. The hotel features 192 rooms, as well as a group floor lobby, restaurant, and bar. The location is within walking distance of the underground station and bus services.

Hotel Indigo opens in London, Shepard’s Bush

IHG plans to open its sixth property under its Hotel Indigo brand in London. Hotel Indigo London K West Shepherds Bush will include 252 rooms, a restaurant and bar, meeting facilities and a spa. The property is located in West London and close to public transport.

IHG Six Senses brand plans to open in Rome

In 2019, IHG acquired the Thailand-based Six Senses brand and currently operates 19 Six Senses hotels and resorts in 16 countries, with a further 38 properties in the pipeline. IHG has announced Six Senses is gearing up to debut in Rome, Italy. The 96-room property features all-day dining BIVIUM restaurant-Café Bar, NOTOS rooftop, spa, yoga deck and fitness centre.


Luton DART system to launch soon

The long-awaited Luton Direct Air-Rail Transit (DART) system is expected to fully open by the end of March. The direct air-rail transit links between Luton Airport Parkway railway station and the airport and is expected to operate for four hours a day and gradually increase to a 24-hour service.

That’s a wrap for CTM’s March business travel news.

Contact CTM’s expert team today to arrange your travel.