The Travel Markets Insider newsletter is attached to this letter as a PDF file. To open the PDF file, please click here
In the biggest story of the week—if not the year—the U.S. opened for international travel today, Nov. 8, for fully vaccinated travelers flying from 33 countries, including in Europe, China, India and Brazil. Delta Airlines, for one, reports that in the last six weeks since the opening was announced, its bookings surged by 450% (see page 1.)
News stories throughout the day ran heart-warming sound-bites of people reuniting after nearly two years apart, and traditional rivals British Airways and Virgin Atlantic even marked the occasion by taking off simultaneously from parallel runways at Heathrow to New York JFK this morning.
As critical as the transatlantic market is – and OAG reports that the routes generated revenues of about $2.8 billion in November and December 2019 – OAG also points out that global capacity (available airline seats) declined by 2.5 million this week compared to last week and that some 6 million seats have been removed by airlines through to the end of November. While airlines are currently reporting strong bookings through the holidays, OAG says: “with 30% fewer seats than two years ago the recovery has some way to go yet.”
U.S. land borders also opened today, and at a virtual press conference moderated by the Frontier Duty Free Association’s Executive Director Barbara Barrett, government and tourism officials welcomed the opening but called for the elimination of costly PCR test requirements, arguing that the tests target Canadians and Americas that can least afford to travel while science says testing is unnecessary for vaccinated travelers. Page 6.
In the travel retail world, meanwhile, the 2021 TFWA World Exhibition in Cannes was very successful. While the number of attendees and exhibitors may have been half of recent records, attendees were enthusiastic, optimistic and report that full schedules of meetings produced very positive business. TMI’s extensive coverage on Cannes 2021 begins on page 1.
The TFWA World Conference: The week kicks off in-person and live-streamed. Page 2-3
The TFWA Lounge: a highlight of Cannes 2021 provided a wonderful meeting point for networking and more. Page 3
Frontier Awards honor industry excellence. Page 4
Women in Travel Retail raises almost €17,000 for Impact Hong Kong charity in Cannes. Page 4.
In more good news for the industry, the U.S. has struck a deal with the European Union to ease some tariffs on steel and aluminum that were enacted during the Trump administration, and as a result the EU is to lift its retaliatory tariffs on American whiskey. See more details on page 7.
Heineken is expanding its global hard seltzer brand Pure Piraña into the Global Duty Free channels of cruise and airlines. Page 4
The Glen Grant announces the release of the luxurious, limited-edition Dennis Malcolm 60th Anniversary single malt scotch. Page 5
Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey named most valuable spirits brand by Interbrand. Page 5
Victorinox enters the cruise channel onboard Crystal Endeavor with Starboard. Page 6
Scorpio Distributors founder Stuart McGuire joins Lovely Distribution Company as CEO to build global travel retail footprint. Page 7