Tag Archives: Global issues

Airlines add routes in fight for Americans ready to travel again | Instant News



Airlines are adding dozens of US routes as they battle for travelers looking to get around the country after being locked up due to the coronavirus pandemic. In recent weeks, airlines have announced plans to fly more than 150 new domestic routes as they try to unearth pockets of demand and stimulate new markets by connecting city pairs that previously weren’t easy to navigate. Browse. These changes come as business travel remains low and many international borders are still closed. United Airlines Holdings Inc., for example, is doubling down on a strategy it first tried last summer, providing direct links between small towns in the Midwest and popular vacation destinations. Starting in late May, the airline plans to use 50-seat planes to offer non-stop flights between places such as Cleveland, Cincinnati and Milwaukee to Hilton Head, SC, Pensacola, Florida, and Portland, Maine. The airline on Thursday announced more than two dozen new domestic routes for the summer, such as non-stop service between Houston and Kalispell, at Mt., near Glacier National Park, and between Chicago and Nantucket, Mass. capacity as in 2019 ,.



image source

“Book your trip as early as possible. Americans are flying again – and soon it might be hard to find vacation discounts | Instant News


Americans are on the move again, encouraged by the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. And that could be bad news for anyone hoping to strike a deal over a summer vacation this year. More than 1.28 million people passed through Transportation Security Administration checkpoints at airports on Thursday, according to data released by the government agency. It is the third highest number of people to pass through airports in the United States since mid-March last year, when public health officials warned against travel as the number of cases of COVID-19 across the country has skyrocketed. The only two days that saw more travelers occurred around the Christmas and New Years holiday season. The milestone comes even as health officials maintained their travel warnings. When the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its interim recommendations for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this week, the agency notably did not update its travel guidelines. But millions of Americans have been vaccinated against the virus that causes COVID-19, leading to a drop in the number of cases. “The fact that the number of TSA checkpoints continues to climb 5% each week underscores the optimism that travelers feel at all levels,” said Scott Keyes, founder and chief flight expert of the website. travel Scott’s Cheap Flights. Seniors, in particular, are taking off. Citing recently released data on Bank of America BAC credit card spending, + 1.39%, Keyes noted that seniors are currently booking flights three times higher than millennials. Seniors have been among the first to have access to vaccines. “With the acceleration of vaccinations and all adults eligible for the vaccine by May 1, their world will soon be our whole world,” Keyes said. From now on, discounts are always available. Among the amazing deals Keyes has found are $ 199 round-trip flights to Alaska and $ 179 round-trip to Cancun. But that won’t be the case forever, and most travel experts have recommended vacationers plan their spring and summer trip as early as possible. “There are certainly still some discounts, but they’re mostly with companies not adapting quickly enough to the surge in demand that’s happening right now,” said Jordan Staab, president of the Hopjump travel website. “We advise all of our subscribers to book their travel as early as possible and take advantage of the deals while they last.” A number of factors are expected to cause airline ticket prices to rise in the near future – and the growing number of Americans being vaccinated is just one of them. “’There are certainly still some discounts in the market, but they are mainly for companies that are not adapting quickly enough to the increase in demand that is happening now.’ – Jordan Staab, president of the Hopjump travel website Part of the problem is that carriers have reduced capacity due to the pandemic. Airlines have taken the planes out of service and reduced the number of flights they make daily to reduce their losses with so few people traveling. These companies can’t just flip a switch and get things back to normal because more people now want to travel. “The number of domestic flights remains down about 30% from 2019 in April – in other words, supply is down and if demand increases, fares will rise,” said Edward Russell, a airline reporter for the Skift travel journal. Gas prices are another factor. This week, gasoline futures – which are contracts that guide fuel prices in the coming months – hit the highest closing price for more than two years earlier this week. Travel is expected to pick up overall, which means there is more demand for fuel. Airlines will eventually begin to price these higher costs into the air fares they present to customers, Staab said. Another factor that airlines need to consider when pricing future flights is the glut of vouchers they have provided over the past year. Rather than providing cash refunds to customers who canceled trips due to the pandemic, in most cases airlines have offered vouchers instead. In some cases, these vouchers have expiration dates 2021. And anyway, people who hold these vouchers may feel better about traveling now and wanting to cash them out. “Airlines will seek to recoup some of their losses from last year and will look to raise prices as demand increases,” Staab said. What about international travel? “It should be noted that this boom is almost entirely aimed at domestic travel,” said David Slotnick, senior aviation reporter at The Points Guy. At present, it is still difficult to travel abroad due to the precautions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. All air passengers are required by the CDC to have a negative COVID test or documents they have recovered from the disease before boarding a flight from another country to the United States – even if they are US citizens. Indeed, flight research data shows more reluctance to travel outside the United States. Searches for summer domestic flights actually exceeded pre-2019 pandemic volume at the end of February and have increased 22% since then, according to data from the Hopper travel app. But this is not the case for international flights. Searches for these trips were still down 45% from 2019 levels at the start of March. “As sentiment around international summer travel improves, we’ll likely see a much longer recovery horizon compared to domestic travel,” said Adit Damodaran, economist at Hopper. .



image source

What to expect for luxury travel | Instant News



The luxury travel industry suffered a severe blow in 2020 due to the pandemic, with stay-at-home orders drastically diminishing our ability to travel, particularly abroad. But as we enter a new year that sees the deployment of the Covid-19 vaccine, there are glimmers of hope for the industry. Tina Edmundson is Marriott International’s global brand and marketing manager, a role that involves developing strategies for the hotel group’s 30 brands around the world. We told him about luxury travel hopes and plans in 2021. What are your biggest travel hopes this year? May people feel able to explore the world in safety. And this luxury travel can, more than ever, be the vehicle people seek to help them broaden their perspectives, indulge more in their passions, and stimulate personal growth. Plus, I hope luxury travel offers opportunities to rest, recharge and reconnect – whether with nature, family or themselves. Now that the vaccine is more and more available, how do you expect it will boost luxury travel? Tina Edmundson is the Global Brand and Marketing Manager for Marriott International. Marriott International I think this will lead to a change in people’s mindsets, and they will feel more confident in their travel plans, if not immediately, at least for the future. We know there is pent-up demand and we look forward to welcoming guests when they are ready. Currently, 94% of Marriott hotels are open and taking reservations. How do you encourage customers to book in 2021? How do you make sure they have a luxury experience and feel safe? The well-being of our guests and associates is of the utmost importance, and I take pride in the policies and protocols we have in place to provide a safe environment. It starts with transparency and communication. What we are seeing from our luxury clients is that regardless of the type of trip, the # 1 thing they want to know before they book is their experience on the property. They want to know how public spaces are set up, how often housekeeping is done, and if there is a change in the amenities they expect. Solaz, our Luxury Collection hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico, has even started setting up pre-arrival video calls with guests, connecting them in advance with their dedicated contact on-site. Beyond the peace of mind of our customers, we want to inspire them because they lack travel and are looking for a total change of scenery. This fall, the hotel brands under Marriott International opened new luxury hotels in China, Japan and Taiwan, and Marriott International consolidated its plans to open hotels in Thailand in the coming years. The St. Regis Maldives could be on some bucket lists this year and next. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts As Asian countries are doing relatively well in the face of the pandemic, do you see an increase in bookings and tourism in 2021? Recovery trajectories have varied considerably by region. The recovery in mainland China was the strongest. Results have improved dramatically since February, demonstrating the resilience of travel when the virus is seen to be firmly under control. The occupancy rate in mainland China reached 67% in September, slightly ahead of the occupancy rate in September 2019, and an extraordinary improvement from 9% in February. Demand in the rest of Asia-Pacific also continued to improve, but generally at a much slower pace. While the recovery will take longer than anyone would like, we are seeing encouraging signs that demand may be extremely resilient. How do you see Marriott International responding to the changing world, while providing customers with the luxury travel experience they want? The current environment has given rise to a new level of bespoke service and a customer experience that needs to be more personalized and organized than ever. The pandemic has led customers to have a wide variety of comfort levels, expectations, and needs, so even something that used to be as routine as housekeeping now needs to be personalized for each customer. Every day our hotels receive guests who have not left their homes since the start of the pandemic, so in every interaction we must approach them with the same level of empathy and focus on safety as those who have. walked through our doors last spring. . We give customers choices and let them define the experience they want to have and then create it. How has Marriott International adapted to changes in consumer behavior due to Covid? Travelers want even greater control over their experience, and one way to deliver this is through technology. Through our Marriott Bonvoy app, we offer contactless check-in, a mobile key, and the ability to share preferences and chat with their hotel without having to pick up the phone and call. This technology has been a welcome option. Plus, where a hotel once served as a gateway to exploring and discovering a new place, guests now want immersive experiences to take place onsite. As a result, our hotels have developed new and attractive programming and activities to enjoy at the hotel. For example, the Ritz-Carlton Ras Al Khaimah in the Al Wadi Desert outside of Dubai created moonlit camel rides in direct response to those who felt safer in remaining on the property. At W Punta de Mita in Mexico, Ocean View Rooms attract those looking to relax and take in the surrounding beauty of the area. W Hotels Worldwide What more do you hope to see this year in terms of travel trends? There is the potential to see longer stays, where clients have temporarily moved or can take a “workstation”, as they now have more flexibility when it comes to working or learning remotely. We have also seen the emergence of ‘pod travel’ – friends and families traveling together in groups, occupying an entire floor or wing of a hotel to create their own private bubble. We are working with our hotels to find new and creative ways to serve these microgroups. What have you heard from customers about their hopes for 2021? Our customers have enormous confidence in our luxury brands, and what we see from them is an uncompromising demand for flawless execution of the basics, while enjoying a high experience. Luxury travel is a complete experience and our customers expect their stay to not only be what they would have experienced before Covid, but to exceed it. What do you hope to make a comeback in 2021? So many things! High on my list are face-to-face meetings and the ability to communicate securely with friends and family, in addition to, of course, traveling. This story first appeared in the February issue of Mansion Global Experience Luxury. .



image source

Palladium eyes new records in 2021 and travel set to climb | Instant News


Palladium recorded a fifth straight year of gains in 2020 and the rally shows no signs of slowing down. Greater restrictions on air pollution and a likely resumption of travel following the passage of the coronavirus pandemic are expected to boost demand for the metal used in auto parts. Stricter issuance rules are expected to push palladium prices up, especially given new standards in China, the second-largest consumer of metal behind the United States, says Steven Dunn, head of exchange-traded funds at Aberdeen Standard Investments. To comply with these standards, all new cars in China must be fitted with “good quality catalytic converters,” which means around 30% more palladium per vehicle, he says. “As countries continue to tighten emissions standards, palladium should be a beneficiary.” “As countries continue to tighten emissions standards, palladium should be a beneficiary.” – Steven Dunn, Aberdeen Standard Investments Palladium is primarily used in the catalytic converters of gasoline vehicles, which transform the most harmful pollutants in car exhaust gases into more environmentally friendly compounds like carbon dioxide and water, Dunn said. Palladium prices therefore have a strong correlation with the auto industry, which is expected to rebound in 2021, he says. Car and Driver magazine estimated that new vehicle sales in the United States were down 14.9% to 15.5% to about 14.5 million in 2020, bringing sales to the lowest level since 2012. However , the automotive enthusiast publication noted that a sales recovery had started. in summer and continued until December, amid an increase in Covid-19 cases across the country. Palladium PAH21, -2.20% PA00, -2.20% prices ended 2020 with a gain of around 29%. It hit a record settlement of $ 2,711.70 an ounce on February 27, 2020, but suffered a 48% drop from that level to mark its lowest settlement of the year on March 18, at 1,419.80 $. On Wednesday, the metal stood at $ 2,448.10, less than 10% below the record. Palladium prices have been increasing aggressively for several years, supported by an “acute imbalance between supply and demand, alongside the tightening of automobile emission standards”, ahead of the pandemic’s effects on demand in 2020, says Chris Blasi, President and President of Neptune Global. He expects prices this year to trade between $ 2,250 and $ 3,000, which would be a new record, with prices likely averaging around $ 2,710. Biden’s incoming administration is expected to be “environmentally focused and join the Paris Climate Agreement,” he said. “Such a position should further increase the demand for essential elements to achieve pollution control goals.” At the same time, palladium supplies have been in deficit for a decade, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon, he says. Meanwhile, the global distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine may impact palladium prices because “if more people start to resume a certain level of travel, the mode of transport most likely to be used will be the car. Says Ed Egilinsky, Managing Director and Head of Alternatives at Direxion. A “reopening of the global economy will be a key driver of this take shape and potentially lead to a significant spike in auto sales.” Other lockdowns or additional strains of the virus, on the other hand, could lead to supply constraints in the palladium market, he says. This could be the result of mining disruptions, but these constraints could also be offset by a decrease in automotive demand. Egilinsky says it’s possible to see palladium prices reach new highs in 2021, especially if there is a global recovery, a pickup in automotive demand, and more regulated global emission standards, but that ” may need to coincide with some level of supply disruption for this to happen. the story unfolds. “.



image source