August 4, 2021

News in brief: JetBlue, Cignpost and more

The Business Travel Association has signed JetBlue Airways as its latest industry partner. JetBlue is set to launch its first transatlantic services later this year between London and two U.S. cities – New York and Boston – on new Airbus A321LR aircraft. The two organisations will work to enhance JetBlue’s UK presence amongst the business travel sector and TMC community, as well as supporting global awareness for business travel in light of Covid-19. JetBlue has also appointed Discover the World, the travel sales and representation specialist, to work with TMCs to drive sales in the UK market.

Covid testing firm Cignpost ExpressTest is expanding its testing facilities with 10 new sites set to open across the UK before the end of May. New sites include London Paddington, Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds, Newcastle, Aberdeen, Reading and Croydon. Cignpost will also be expanding existing airport sites, including Heathrow, Gatwick and Edinburgh, to cope with the expected upsurge in demand once the Government relaxes the regulations on traveling abroad. The cost of PCR testing with Cignpost ExpressTest starts from £60 at Gatwick.

Air Europa has become the first airline to pilot Amadeus’ new Traveller ID health capability, which allows passengers to certify they have the required health documentation at check-in without having to leave the airline’s website or app. Passengers checking in to fly to Spain with Air Europa will be able to confirm they hold the required health documentation by filling in a secure, automated form. In future, the technology will allow documents to be scanned or uploaded and automatically verified via shared QR codes with lab and health platform providers, as well as integrating with various digital health wallets such as CommonPass.

Martin Pearce, former Director at Focus Travel Partnership, has joined the TMC group on a consultancy basis to spearhead new business development project. He will help Focus recruit new corporate members and bring larger TMCs into its commercial agreements with airlines. Pearce was founder and owner of Omega Business Travel, which was acquired by Traveleads earlier this year.

VistaJet has committed to carbon neutrality by 2025 and is pushing the industry to go further than a 50% reduction of emissions by 2050, the goal set by civil aviation industry bodies, IATA and the global business aviation community. Alongside an offset partnership with project developer South Pole VistaJet has also partnered with SkyNRG, a pioneer in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

IATA has joined with Unilabs, the European diagnostic services provider, to incorporate Unilabs’ worldwide Covid-19 testing network into IATA Travel Pass. It comes as Virgin Atlantic becomes first UK airline to begin IATA Travel Pass live trials. A one-month pilot has begun on the airline’s London Heathrow-Barbados services.

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