New BA routes
To use up the capacity lost by business travel, BA has announced some extra flights and routes from regional airports to holiday destinations. British Airways CityFlyer will operate flights between Edinburgh and Faro on Saturdays and Sundays between 29 May 2021 and 20 June on Embraer 190 aircraft.
British Airways will also offer a weekly from Manchester to Faro using A319 from 29th May on Saturdays:
- MAN 1135 FAO 1440
- FAO 1525 MAN 1835
The British Airways CityFlyer London City to Gibraltar has been brought forward to start on 11 June 2021 using E190 aircraft
- BA3289 LCY 1315-1710 GIB (Mon & Fri)
- BA3290 GIB 1755-1950 LCY (Mon & Fri)
This is great news for those whose local airport it is. Except if you live in Scotland. Currently, any international arrivals into Scotland have to hotel quarantine and there seems to be little appetite to change this anytime soon. If you fly indirectly via another UK airport you don’t need to quarantine.
It’s worth considering whether or not to buy Club if you usually fly it. On the E190 there is no middle seat, so the only advantage is the food and drink. In my opinion not worth the extra unless you want the tier points or the front row. There is also no lounge at London City.
HT: Sean M1997
Italy to reopen in May to UK visitors
The country’s prime minister said the country was preparing to introduce its own tourism pass in the next few weeks ahead of a EU-wide health pass I wrote about here.
He said “Let us not wait until mid-June for the EU pass,” said Draghi. “In mid-May tourists can have the Italian pass, so the time has come to book your holidays in Italy. “Our mountains, our beaches, our cities and our countryside are reopening. This process will speed up in the coming weeks and months.”
Italy is expected to allow restriction-free entry to all visitors who have received an EU-approved Covid-19 vaccine, recovered from the virus, or tested negative within 48 hours of travelling. The 48 hours could be quite problematic given the turnaround times of most testing centres.
Could Australia be shut until mid-late 2022?
It had been anticipated that Australia was likely to start reopening the border by October 2o21, although probably in a very cautious way. Now it has been suggested that they may not fully open until late 2022.
“We won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year with great ease,” the Finance Minister Simon Birmingham told The Australian saying “uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness.”
Then when asked in a Sky News interview when borders might open, Trade Minister Dan Tehan said “the best guess would be in the middle to the second half of next year, but as we’ve seen throughout this pandemic things can change.”
However, technically the border is not completely closed as there is travel between New Zealand and most Australian states. The Trade Minister did go on to say that he hoped that more bubbles could be formed like that. Singapore, Japan, and Vietnam are tipped to be next, but I think given the vast amount of family connections with the UK and the success of the vaccine here, we may still be in with a chance of a corridor before Christmas.