The National President of NANTA, Madam Susan Akporiaye, has added Mauritius to her bucket list of MUST VISIT African Destinations, as soon as the African borders are open.

She made this assertion while participating on the 1st edition of the TBS Africa Destination Webinar series which launched today. While commending TBS Africa for launching the laudable initiative of the Africa Destinations Webinar, Madam Susan, the very articulate advocate of domestic tourism in Nigeria and Africa, and National President of the most organized tourism industry Association in West Africa, graced the 1st edition of the webinar series in her usual bold, charming and electrifying style.

As a follow up on our commitment as promised to industry stakeholders, and garnered from the laudable success of the Post-Covid19 Recovery Webinars, TBS Africa has successfully delivered on her promise of promoting African destinations to Africans in fulfillment of her Tourism Industry Recovery Action Plan for Africa.

This #1 edition in this new webinar series hosted by the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, MTPA brought together travel agencies, tour operators, DMCs, DMOs, all across Africa to learn the beauty of Mauritius as an incredible African destination product.

Amrita Craig, standing in for Mr. Arvind Buhundu, President, MTPA, took her time to diligently respond to participant’s questions after her well delivered presentation, reiterated that Ethiopian Airlines currently do not fly into Mauritius while African airlines like South African Airways, Kenya Airways, Air Mauritius and Emirates Airlines can connect Africans to the Island. She maintained that Mauritius has been acknowledge and approved as Covid19 FREE by the World Travel & Tourism Council, WTTC, and as such all Africans are welcome to visit and explore Mauritius once the borders are opened.

To connect with Amrita and get a copy of her Mauritius Presentation slides and videos, as well as recommended DMCs in Mauritius, kindly send us an email to africa@tourismtbs.com or info@tourismtbs.com

Kindly find the full replay of the #1 edition of the TBS Africa Destinations Webinar as attached below.

TBS International is a travel, tourism and hospitality industry training, coaching and consulting firm serving a large clientele of travel agencies, tour operators, DMOs & hospitality businesses in Nigeria and Africa, and recognized by NANTA, NATOP in Nigeria and the International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators, ISTTE, USA.

TBS Africa, a sub-division of TBS Int’l, is the organizer of the TBS Africa Destinations Webinar, as well as the sole initiator of the “Aviation, Tourism & Hospitality Forum – Africa”, an industry initiative which launched in 2018, whose mission is targeted at bridging the divide and uniting Africa’s aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors for the economic transformation of the African continent.

Published on  23 June by Sébastien Fabre , Head of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT

Sébastien Fabre, who is heading SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, explains why the flexibility, adaptability and automation offered through digitalization will be central to airlines’ post-COVID-19 strategies.

Our global air transport industry is grappling with one of the single biggest challenges it has ever faced: how to recover from an historic decline in air travel, caused by COVID-19.

While we’re seeing travel restrictions starting to ease, and the ATI beginning to remobilize, no-one knows exactly what the next few months will bring.

What is clear, however, is that the industry will need to be able to adapt to a new – and changeable – operating environment; one that requires operators to keep passengers feeling safe and reassured, keep flights to time, and meet sustainability targets – all on a tightened budget.

Digitalization is vital here. Airlines and other businesses are going to need the flexibility, adaptability and automation offered by digital transformation to ride out the pandemic’s fall-out, adjust their business models and succeed into the future. To help them do it, they’ll need the right mix of solutions and expertise on their side.

Digitalizing to adapt to the needs of the future

Many airlines are facing restart with a scaled back and more scattered workforce. They are also weighing up a lot of big unknowns: which routes should be reopened and when, depending on country restrictions? How many passengers will return, and how quickly? Which aircraft should fly or be grounded? And what size flight and cabin crew will they need to serve them?

Airlines are facing all these questions, while knowing the rules could change from one day to the next.

Digitalizing technologies and innovations enable enhanced air/ground connectivity, communications and operational efficacy, and pool the latest real-time information, to support informed and timely decision-making. These prime resources help airlines flex and adapt to changing needs. While ideally being fast and simple to deploy, and intuitive to use, digital tools can also streamline routine tasks through automation to minimize workload.

Such solutions are very much the remit of SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, SITA’s connected aircraft domain of expertise.

Digitalizing to work smarter and leaner

We have developed a suite of connected applications and services, and technological capabilities that help airlines work in this more flexible, adaptive, automated and collaborative way.

They help bring enhanced operational and cost-effectiveness, while giving greater visibility over the ‘live’ nose-to-tail operation – whether that’s around situational weather events or restrictions, identifying the least cost-routing channels available for ACARS messaging, the status of passenger, cargo and aircraft health, or fueling requirements.

With our crew applications, airlines can ensure passenger safety and satisfaction onboard, while alleviating paper-based processes to make flights more sustainable.

Our cabin connectivity solutions, meanwhile, give passengers the low-touch autonomy they desire, enabling them to use their own devices to surf, stream, and pay and verify, contact-free.

And, for all our solutions and services, we strive to work closely with customers to develop flexible business models that can readily adapt to reflect needs as they change.

We’re here to help you through

In my new role heading SITA FOR AIRCRAFT, I am proud to play a part in advancing the flexible, agile solutions that can support our customers through this challenging time. We’re 100% dedicated to this industry and its success – and are here to help it navigate the right path to recovery.

As of 15 June 2020, Emirates has begun operating flights to 30 cities across the globe after drastically reducing services as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the middle-east airline which has become a global hub, “Your safety has always been our highest priority. As routes slowly open and we take to the skies once more, it’s important you feel reassured and confident about your well being when you fly with us”.

Find out about the measures Emirates airline are taking to protect you at every step of your journey.

Before You Fly

From 1 July, we’ll restart our Chauffeur-drive service to and from the airport in Dubai and in the current destinations we fly to.

Your driver will be wearing a mask and gloves, and you will need to wear a mask when you enter the vehicle. You may also need to wear gloves depending on the regulations in your destination. We can offer these if you don’t have your own, and we also have hand sanitiser in the car.

To keep a safe distance between our driver and passengers, you will need to sit in the back seats and we’re limiting the number of people in each car.

The car is completely cleaned and disinfected from the start of every driver’s duty. And the interior is sanitised after every trip, including buckles, handles, buttons, switches and blinds.

Check-in

When you enter Emirates Terminal 3 in Dubai you’ll need to wear a face mask. You don’t have to wear gloves, but it is recommended.

Only people who are travelling can enter the airport, unless you have a disability and need assistance to travel.

You’ll pass through a fever detection scanner that looks similar to the metal detectors at airport security. Then we’ll give you a complimentary travel hygiene kit containing gloves, a face mask, antibacterial wipes and a hand sanitiser.

Our check-in desks have been fitted with protective antimicrobial screens. And we’ve added spacing stickers on the floor to help everyone maintain a safe distance in the queue.

Make sure you pack everything into your checked-in bags. Cabin baggage is currently restricted to a laptop bag, handbag, briefcase, or baby items only.

Boarding

At the boarding gate, we’ve introduced measures to maintain social distancing in our seating areas, and dots on the floor help everyone to keep a safe distance in the queues approaching the gate.

Our team will be wearing full personal protective equipment (PPE) as they welcome you on the flight. We’re boarding the aircraft in smaller groups from the last row to the first, and our boarding gate areas are deep cleaned once everyone is on the flight.

You will need to keep your mask on at all times in the airport, during boarding and on board.

 

 

On your flight

When you arrive on board, all our cabin crew will be in full personal protective equipment (PPE). You will need to wear your mask at all times throughout the flight, except when eating or drinking. Depending on the regulations in your destination you may also need to wear gloves or other PPE.

If you’re flying into Dubai, we’ll give you a hygiene kit on board containing a mask, gloves, hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes.

It’s our top priority to maintain strict levels of hygiene on board. So we’ve currently modified some of our services. You can check all our current services here.

We’re taking every precaution to mitigate

the contact in the cabin, including closing our social areas. We’re following all the guidance from the health and aviation authorities along with our additional safety measures to reduce the risk of infection on board. This includes our modified services, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, and ensuring everyone wears PPE.Throughout the flight, the air in our modern aircraft cabins is cleaned with advanced HEPA air filters as powerful as the ones used in hospitals. They remove 99.97% of viruses and eliminate dust, allergens and germs from the cabin air. The air is fully renewed every two to three minutes.

Our lavatories are frequently disinfected. And if the flight is longer than 1 hour 30 minutes, we’re adding an extra member of our cabin crew dedicated to cleaning the lavatories. After every trip, all our aircraft go through an enhanced cleaning and disinfection process.

Connecting in Dubai

If you have a connecting flight in Dubai, you will need to keep your mask on through the airport. You don’t have to wear gloves, but it is recommended. You’ll pass through a fever detection scanner before you enter the connections area.

All our transfer desks have been fitted with protective antimicrobial screens and all the airport teams will be in personal protective equipment (PPE). Stickers on the floor help everyone to keep a safe distance in queues, and we’ve spaced the seats in our waiting areas. We’ll give you a travel hygiene kit at the connections desk if you need one.

Regulations in your destination

We monitor the latest health developments, and regularly review and enhance our measures.

Check the specific safety measures in place in your destination so you can prepare for your journey. Find out what the requirements are on board and the health checks you can expect at the airport.

Check the safety measures in your destination

Project Manager in the Innovation Division of Aena, Pablo Lopez Loeches, discusses how the airport network is developing its use of biometrics technology.

Aena is a Spanish joint-stock company that manages 46 airports and two heliports in Spain, with direct and indirect shares in another 23 airports abroad (London-Luton in the UK, six airports in Brazil, 12 in Mexico, two in Colombia and two in Jamaica). Over 353 million passengers passed through Aena airports in 2019.

The importance of biometrics

Introducing new technologies, innovative processes and trends, as well as keeping the airports up to date with society, is essential for Aena’s present and future development.

One of the company’s innovation strategy programmes is Airport 4.0, which addresses automating and digitalising the processes focused on passenger experience and sustainability. The use of biometrics at airports is included in this.

Biometrics is a technology that increases security, streamlines processes and improves the passenger experience. In addition, in the current situation of COVID-19, it is a technology that will play a vital role in the recovery of airports and air transport due to its touchless features. It can avoid contact between passengers and airport personnel and equipment, as well as removing the need to handle identity documents and boarding passes. It is a key technology to increase the level of confidence of passengers and make them feel in control of their journey.

In another feat of first, TBS International has launched another series of Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Webinar series for Africa, tagged: Africa Destinations Webinar.

In response to the quagmire of challenges facing the Tourism Industry in Africa caused by the Covid19 pandemic, TBS Africa on Thursday, April 16th, 2020, became the first private-sector establishment to launch a series of ‘Aviation, Tourism & Hospitality Post-Covid19 Recovery Webinars’ where industry experts in aviation, airlines, travel, tourism and hospitality has extensively discussed and proffered solutions and action plans on Post-covid19 industry recovery for Africa in seven (7) separate editions of power packed, impactful and very educational webinar sessions.

This is no small feat of achievement especially as many industry stakeholders attested to the pro-activeness and forthrightness of TBS Int’l to have launched such a very significant initiative at such a densely critical time for travel, tourism and hospitality industry in Africa.

As a follow up on the commitment of industry stakeholders garnered from the laudable success of the Post-Covid19 Recovery Webinars, TBS Africa specially invite you to join us on the 1st edition of the Africa Destinations Webinar in fulfillment of our Tourism Industry Recovery Action Plan for Africa.  This new webinar series promises to bring together travel agencies, tour operators, tourism boards, DMCs, DMOs, as well as aviation, airlines, travel, tourism & hospitality professionals and stakeholders all across Africa to promote the incredible beauty of Africa’s tourism destinations to all Africans to achieve the aim of ensuring Africans can visit, travel and explore Africa post-covid19.

This webinar series will run for the next four (4) consecutive months from July to October, showcasing different destinations, accommodations and attractions starting with the African Islands to North, East, Central, West, and Southern Africa.

For the 1st edition of this webinar series, the African Destination on Focus is #Unwavering Mauritius. Further details about this webinar are as published below:

Host:             Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, MTPA

Organizer:  TBS Africa

Webinar Date:       Thursday, 25th June, 2020

Webinar Time:       03:00 – 04:30hrs Africa-Lagos Time

Duration:                 1hr 30mins

To be a part of this webinar, kindly use the link attached here to register @ https://bitly.com/TBSAfricaDW1

………………………………….

Tourism Business Success (TBS) International is a travel, tourism and hospitality industry training, coaching and consulting firm serving a large clientele of travel agencies, tour operators, DMOs & hospitality businesses in Nigeria and Africa, and recognized by NANTA, NATOP in Nigeria and the International Society of Travel & Tourism Educators, ISTTE, USA.

TBS Africa, a sub-division of TBS Int’l, is the sole initiator of the Aviation, Tourism & Hospitality Forum – Africa, an industry initiative which launched in 2018, whose mission is targeted at bridging the divide and uniting Africa’s aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors for the economic transformation of the African continent.

International Airport Review spoke with EASA about the importance of having a consistent approach to COVID-19 health safety, and to learn more about its new aviation guidelines that were developed with ECDC.

On 20 May 2020, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued joint guidelines that defined measures to assure the health safety of air travellers and aviation personnel once air travel resumes following the severe disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can you provide a brief overview of the guidelines and how EASA worked with ECDC to develop them?

The guidelines are aligned with the passenger journey and outline the steps that should be taken at each stage to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection”

EASA and ECDC were requested to work together by the European Commission (EC) to create these guidelines, combining our expertise in aviation with ECDC’s scientific knowledge to make the best possible recommendations for health safety in air travel.

The guidelines are aligned with the passenger journey and outline the steps that should be taken at each stage to minimise the risk of COVID-19 infection.

Passengers will be asked to fill out a health statement, as well as asked not to come to the airport if they are symptomatic or have come into recent contact with an infected person. Additionally, they should bring medical face masks to the airport and wear these throughout their journey.

Airports should be set up in such a way that physical distancing is applied wherever possible. On board, passengers should be spread out across the aircraft if the occupancy level allows. On flights where distancing is not possible, the wearing of a medical mask and air filters should offer protection for passengers against the virus.

Finally, measures should be put in place to minimise the possible transfer of the virus through surface contact – for example, through on-board material, such as magazines, or during service and duty-free sales.

How were the guidelines adapted in order to be able to accommodate airports, airlines and aircraft individually?

Our aim was to create as harmonised an experience as possible”

While the guidelines are not mandatory, the aviation industry shares a common goal in wanting to make flying attractive to passengers once again. That can only be achieved if passengers are confident that flying is safe for their health.

The guidelines offer a blueprint to make air travel as safe as possible, so, we indeed expect that there will be a high level of adoption. Our aim was to create as harmonised an experience as possible, while still bearing in mind that airports and aircraft differ from each other, so a one-size-fits-all solution is not feasible.

Why is it important to develop a consistent continent-wide approach to COVID-19 health safety measures in airports?

Our guidance puts a lot of focus on passengers taking responsibility”

We are all in this together – aviation stakeholders, airport operators, regulators and passengers – and we should all do everything in our power to get out of this crisis with the lowest negative impact possible, especially in terms of human lives.

Consequently, our guidance also puts a lot of focus on passengers taking responsibility, informing themselves and adhering to the measures in place to ensure a safe and comfortable journey for them, as well as for their fellow travellers.

How will the guidelines help to restart the European aviation industry?

The entire aviation industry has an interest in restoring passenger confidence”

As mentioned above, the guidelines are not mandatory. However, the entire aviation industry has an interest in restoring passenger confidence so that operations can recover from this unprecedented crisis. The guidelines aim to create a safe air travel experience for the whole of Europe, as well as for flights to and from Europe.

EASA considers air travel to be ‘safe’, providing all parties abide by the guidelines. The guidelines define all possible and practical measures to make air travel as safe as possible, despite the problems of COVID-19. Although we cannot guarantee 100 per cent prevention against infection, the guidelines put everything in place to minimise the risk.

What does EASA hope to achieve through the COVID-19 measures monitoring programme?

We have launched the monitoring programme to work with airports and airlines who have agreed to implement the guidelines and give us feedback on how they work in practice. This will help us to understand what problems are encountered in real-life situations.

ECDC is also constantly gathering new scientific information about the spread of the disease, which could result in changes – of whatever type – to the guidelines as we collectively understand more about this disease.

By introducing new thermal camera technology, LAX Airport will be able to rapidly identify people with a potential fever, a main symptom of COVID-19.

Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) – with the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti – has announced the launch of the Terminal Wellness Project at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), involving the deployment of thermal camera technology that can help to identify travellers with an elevated body temperature. The introduction of the temperature checks at the airport is the latest measure in the city’s continuing response to the COVID-19 health crisis.

Mayor Garcetti said: “A world-class airport isn’t defined just by our historic investments in a reimagined LAX and an improved travelling experience – it’s also about world-class safety. This project reflects the best of this city’s innovative spirit, and it will help keep travellers healthy and set a new industry standard.”

Prior to the pandemic, LAX was the third busiest airport in the world and welcomed a record 88.1 million travellers in 2019. In April 2020, passenger traffic at LAX was more than 95 per cent below what it was a year earlier.

As of 23 June 2020, thermal cameras will be deployed at two locations inside the Tom Bradley International Terminal at the airport – at the main entrance on the departures level and inside the terminal near select international arrivals – with both arriving and departing passengers set to be screened. The cameras are designed to rapidly identify people with body temperatures of 100.4 degrees or more, which is the current guideline for detecting a fever set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Credit: Los Angeles International Airport

This is a voluntary programme, with signage alerting passengers where the trial will take place. If a voluntary participant is identified as having an elevated body temperature, a medical professional near the camera operator will approach the identified person and request a secondary screening using a handheld, non-contact thermometer. Departing guests who are identified as having an elevated body temperature will be advised that they should not travel. Passengers on arriving international flights identified as being potentially ill may be referred to CDC staff on site.

The thermal camera temperature checks will not replace other safety measures that are currently in place at Los Angeles Airport. To protect guest privacy, the cameras will not store, transmit or share any data or images taken. Guests who decline to participate will have the opportunity to use a different pathway.

The airport will work closely with multiple partners to evaluate the use of the technology, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), airlines, CDC, and the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Results from this programme will be shared with these partners and leading airports around the world in an effort to set new standards for the industry.

Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, LAX has taken aggressive action to protect travellers and residents from COVID-19. The airport has introduced additional signage directing guests to practice social distancing, wear a face covering at all times and wash their hands frequently. In addition, LAX has increased deep cleaning throughout the airport, focusing on ‘high touch’ areas, and has installed more than 250 hand sanitiser stations. LAWA is continually working with partners, shops and restaurants to deliver a seamless, contact-free experience.

Should COVID-19 testing be introduced as part of the travel process, IATA has highlighted that speed, scale and accuracy must be considered.

 

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released criteria for the use of COVID-19 testing in the travel process. Should governments choose to introduce COVID-19 testing for travellers arriving from countries considered as ‘high risk’, IATA has stated that testing must deliver results fast, be able to be conducted at scale and operate to very high rates of accuracy. Additionally, testing must be cost-effective and not create an economic or logistical barrier to travel.

In early June 2020, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published ‘Take-Off’ guidance, which has been adopted as the global guidance for governments to follow in reconnecting their people and economies by air. The guidance outlines layers of measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission during air travel and the risk of importation of COVID-19 via air travel. IATA has highlighted that COVID-19 testing should not be deemed a necessary condition by governments for re-opening borders or resuming air services.

However, IATA has outlined that technology for rapid point-of-care Polymerised Chain Reaction (PCR) testing could be a useful layer of protection for travellers from countries considered as higher risk, potentially removing the need for more burdensome and intrusive measures – such as quarantine, which is a major barrier to travel and the recovery of demand.

IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac, said: “Airlines are committed to reducing the risks of COVID-19 transmission via air travel, and COVID-19 testing could play an important role. But it must be implemented in line with ICAO’s global re-start guidance with the aim of facilitating travel. Speed, scale and accuracy are the most critical performance criteria for testing to be effectively incorporated into the travel process.”

As part of the travel process, IATA has outlined that COVID-19 testing would need to be conducted by trained public health officials and meet the following criteria:

  • Speed: Testing results should be delivered quickly, with results available in under an hour as the minimum standard
  • Scale: If testing takes place at the airport, testing capacity of several hundreds of tests per hour must be achievable. The use of saliva for taking samples rather than nasal or throat swabs would facilitate this and would also be expected to reduce time and improve passenger acceptance
  • Accuracy: Extremely high accuracy is essential. Both false negative and false positive results must be below one per cent.

Testing processes

Ideally, COVID-19 testing would be required in advance of arrival at the airport and within 24 hours of travel. Passengers arriving ‘ready to fly’ reduces the risk of contagion in the airport and enables early re-accommodation for any traveller who tests positive.

If testing is required as part of the travel process, it is recommended at departure. Governments would need to mutually recognise test results and data transmission should take place directly between passengers and governments in a similar manner as e-visa clearances are currently handled.

Any testing requirements should only be in place for as long as necessary. To ensure this, regular evaluations should be conducted.

Cost considerations

Cost is an important consideration, as testing should facilitate travel and not provide an economic barrier. With testing at some European destinations costing in excess of $200, this is a real concern.

IATA supports the World Health Organization‘s (WHO) International Health Regulations, which requires governments to bear the costs of mandatory health testing. Where a test is offered on a voluntary basis, it should be charged at cost price.

Testing positive

Ideally, testing takes place prior to travel or at the point of departure, and a positive result would mean that the passenger could not travel as planned. If testing is mandated on arrival and a passenger tests positive, then the passenger should be treated according to the requirements of the receiving state.