Both Air Canada and WestJet will add low-cost service to London’s Gatwick Airport.
In summer 2016, Air Canada will begin seasonal service between Toronto and Gatwick on its low-cost Rouge subsidiary, the carrier announced Thursday. WestJet previously announced Gatwick as its first transatlantic destination; flights on its wide-body Boeing 767-300 aircraft will begin from an undetermined origination in spring 2016. Air Canada also announced it will add year-round mainline service between Montreal and Lyon, France, next summer.
The U.S. State Department hopes to resume visa issuances “sometime this week.”
Technical problems have left it unable to process the biometric data needed to issue visas for two weeks, according to a statement. As of noon Monday, the department had reconnected posts representing half the global nonimmigrant visa volume. It is “working on this 24/7 to restore the systems to full functionality,” according to the statement. The department handles 50,000 visa applications each day and is prioritizing “urgent medical and other humanitarian cases” as it works though the backlog. Domestic and overseas passport operations are functioning, albeit with some processing delays, according to the department. American Airlines this week said it would waive change fees for customers traveling through July 5 to destinations that require U.S. visas. United Airlines and Delta Air Lines have not announced similar policies.
Longtime HRG vet Stewart Harvey will join BCD Travel as president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region,
the travel management company announced. "Harvey will join BCD after he has fulfilled his contractual obligation to HRG," according to BCD, which declined to elaborate. He departed
HRG at the end of February, taking "garden leave," a U.K phrase describing executives required to stay away from work after they resign, especially if moving to a competitor. He will report to BCD Travel CEO John Snyder, who noted in a statement that Harvey had worked with many BCD senior executives as part of the WorldTravel BTI joint venture between BCD and HRG. Harvey replaces Ilona De March, who "decided earlier this month to leave BCD after 13 years," according to the company.
The Global Business Travel Association Foundation has downgraded its business travel spending forecast for Brazil.
After reaching U.S. $32 billion in 2014, business travel spending there will grow only 1.8 percent this year, down from the prior GBTA projection of 4.1 percent. The revised forecast cited a lack of infrastructure improvements, a struggling domestic economy and a troubled regional economy. GBTA Brazil regional director Wellington Costa pegged the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro as an economic and infrastructure boost that will improve business travel spending in 2016.
The Global Business Travel Association has announced its opposition to Lufthansa Group’s plans to surcharge tickets
purchased through global distribution system channels beginning Sept. 1. According to a release, GBTA views the move as a direct price increase to managed travel programs with no corresponding benefit; as additional fragmentation of existing distribution processes and unnecessarily disruptive; and as a blow to price transparency, especially if other airlines follow suit. The association called on Lufthansa to reconsider its Sept.1 deadline and “find a constructive path forward.”