Corporate Travel Chronicles – March 2020

Corporate Travel Chronicles is your bi-monthly news brief bought to you by Club Travel Corporate. This news-in-brief summary brings travelling professionals the most important stories in recent days delivered to your inbox in a bite-sized format.

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Corporate Travel Chronicles keeps you on the pulse of industry updates, airline anecdotes, travel advisories among a pick of the most important stories in recent days.

For February 2020 we focus on:

Coronavirus Update: Airlines suspend China services + tips for travellers

The spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, raised concern about the threat of a global pandemic as governments ramped up their emergency responses, despite signs that the outbreak may be easing in China. In Africa, Algeria confirmed the continent’s first case of COVID-19 while Nigeria reported the first known instance in sub-Saharan Africa on 28 February. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified Algeria as one of 13 countries regarded as a top priority for preparedness measures due to its high volume of travel to China. The following airlines have suspended selected services to China: British Airways, Delta, Air Mauritius, KLM – Air France, Emirates, Air Tanzania, Cathay Pacific, EgyptAir, Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, RwandAir, Kenya Airways, Qatar Airways, and Qantas.

Travelling soon? Read our advice for travellers flying in the face of COVID-19

Editor’s note: COVID-19 information included in this update is believed to be accurate and reliable at time of publication, however, it may not reflect the very latest updates on the outbreak.

Mango terminates Lanseria flights

Mango Airlines has announced it will stop flying to Lanseria Airport. From 1 April, Mango will cease operations out of Lanseria Airport, consolidating its Johannesburg services to operate out of O.R. Tambo International Airport. All forward bookings (those scheduled post March 2020) will be rerouted from O.R. Tambo Airport. Customers who prefer to maintain Lanseria as their origin airport will receive a refund. Mango’s decision to pull out of Lanseria comes on the back of SAA’s domestic flight cancellations. Mango will take up all the domestic routes previously occupied by SAA at ORTIA.

BagPortr offers a “hands-free” airport experience

Passengers departing from O.R. Tambo Airport can have a better experience thanks to a new off-site luggage collection service called BagPortr. BagPortr will collect the passenger’s bag from their home, hotel or preferred point of collection (initially only within Johannesburg) within the terms of the service, before delivering it to O.R. Tambo International for loading on to the traveller’s flight. The service aims to improve travellers’ experience by lessening time spent in bag drop queues. Once the passenger has completed their online check-in, BagPortr is booked online with collection taking place up to four hours prior to departure. Luggage is security sealed and transported under secure conditions in line with airline, Civil Aviation and airport security guidelines. Travellers pay approximately R350 per bag, depending on the time of collection. Any additional bags on the same booking will be 50% less of the cost of the first bag, collected from the same address. Bags can be collected from any address within a 60km radius of O.R. Tambo.

Home* Suite Hotel set to open in Cape Town

The hotels that dot Cape Town’s rapidly developing skyline will get a new addition in August 2020. Construction of the recently launched Home* Suite Hotel is in progress in Sea Point. Home* Suite Hotels, a new hotel brand that blends the Airbnb concept with conventional hotel features, will open its second boutique hotel with 21 rooms in a new five-storey building in Main Drive, upper Sea Point. Home* Suite Hotels launched their first hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg in mid-2019. The boutique hotel brand welcomes business and leisure guests with an upmarket “home-from-home” concept bought to life in the design and architectural planning of the hotel which features large windows for maximum natural light, a shared kitchen and dining area and open workspaces.

Web in Travel announces first African event

WiT (Web in Travel), the leading travel tech conference and media in the Asia Pacific, is bringing its event to Africa with the launch of WiT Africa in Cape Town on 28 May 2020. WiT events focus on how technology is changing customer behaviour and how travel companies must evolve and adapt. It’s known for championing innovation and fostering start-up ecosystems by bringing start-ups and investors together and for building bridges between regions and global markets. Its content typically blends global oversight and expertise with local insights to ensure its relevance to local players. WiT Africa is expected to attract up to 200 delegates who will learn about how rapid digitisation is creating choice and affordability for a diverse set of customers, and how they must adapt. In addition, the programme will emphasize Africa’s start-up ecosystem and how it is evolving and creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs. Find out more about WiT Africa 2020.

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