CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Rolling Travel Industry News Updates

With travel industry updates for the unprecedented coronavirus changing by the hour, we’ve set up a go-to hub for the latest industry news minus the hysteria and fake news.

With travel industry updates for the unprecedented coronavirus changing by the hour, we’ve set up a go-to hub for the latest industry news minus the hysteria and fake news.

We’ll be updating this story as news comes to hand so please keep checking back for all you need to know.

This is week two of our rolling coverage. If you missed last week’s update, you can catch up here:

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Rolling Travel Industry News Updates

Got info or news to share from what you’re experiencing? Please email us at [email protected]

 

Sun 14 March: US extends travel ban to UK & Ireland 

Brand USA launches new agent competition KarryOn

President Trump has said the US will broaden its temporary travel restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic to include the UK and Ireland, two countries left out of an earlier order banning travel with continental Europe.

Trump confirmed reports that the restrictions are pending during a Saturday news conference at the White House that followed a meeting of his coronavirus taskforce.

The restrictions will go into effect on Monday at midnight, said Vice President Mike Pence.

“All our health experts” were unanimous on the advisability of the move, he said.

Source: SMH

Sun 14 March: France orders closure of all non-essential public locations

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe has ordered the closure of all non-essential public locations, including restaurants, cafes, cinemas and clubs, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Philippe also called on French people to reduce their travel, especially between towns.

Grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and other public services including transport will remain open.

French authorities had already shut down all schools and banned gatherings of more than 100 people.

 

Sun 14 March: Spain goes into partial lockdown, Spaniards to stay at home

Karry On - Intrepid Europe

Spain will put its 47 million inhabitants under partial lockdown as part of a 15-day state of emergency to combat the coronavirus epidemic, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Saturday in a televised address to the nation.

All Spaniards will have to stay home except to buy food, medicines, go to the hospital or to work or for other emergencies, with some limits on the freedom of movement starting already on Saturday, he said.

The restrictions will remain in place for an initial 15 day-period but could be extended.

Closures of bars, restaurants and hotels, already in place in certain regions, were extended to the entire country.

The decree does not, however, foresee closing the country’s borders.

 

Sun 14 March: Vivid Festival Sydney cancelled

Image: Vivid Sydney/Facebook

Sydney’s annual Vivid festival has been cancelled in an effort to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

Following recommendations by the Federal Government to limit gatherings to less than 500 people, the NSW Government announced this morning it would cancel the festival.

In a statement, NSW Tourism Minister Stuart Ayres said the decision was not taken lightly but, as the event owner, the Government needed to act on advice from health officials.

The event was scheduled to go ahead from late May to early June.

Source: ABC News

 

Sat 13 March: Intrepid Travel suspends tours* operating between 16 March and 30 April 2020

Intrepid

Intrepid Travel has suspended all tours departing between 16 March and 30 April 2020 saying:

“The safety and wellbeing of our travellers and staff is our priority, therefore, effective Monday 16 March Intrepid Travel will suspend all tours (*excluding Australia tours) until 30 April 2020.  Given the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, we have been adapting our booking conditions and cancellation policy regularly to adapt to the constantly evolving nature of this now pandemic.”

Tours currently operating globally: If you are on a tour which has commenced or commences before 16 March 2020 your tour will continue. You may decide to leave the tour early and if so we will provide you a pro-rata credit for the remaining days of your tour portion.

Tours departing from 16 March 2020 to 30 April 2020: If you have booked a tour departing between 16 March 2020 and 30 April 2020 you will receive a credit of 110% of monies paid to use towards an alternative tour with a departure date before 30 April 2022.

Tours departing from 1 May 2020

  • If you cancel your tour departing from 1 May 2020, you will receive a credit of monies paid to use towards an alternative tour with a departure date before 30 April 2022.
  • If we cancel your tour you will receive a credit of 110% of monies paid for towards an alternative tour with a departure date before 30th April 2022.

Tours in Australia*: If you are booked on an Australia tour, at this stage, your tour will go ahead as planned.

 

Sat 13 March: Windstar Cruises suspends operations from March 14 to 1 May 2020

karryon-windstar-cruises-star-breeze-2

Windstar Breeze

Small ship cruise operator Windstar Cruises has announced today that the company will temporarily suspend operations worldwide for cruises embarking March 14 through April 30, 2020, “due to the unpredictable environment surrounding the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic”.

“Cruises will begin operating again according to schedule on May 1, 2020. Windstar Cruises regrets the cancellation of travellers’ vacations.

“Guests on cancelled cruises will receive the choice of a Future Cruise Credit valued at 125% of all monies paid to Windstar Cruises or a refund equal to the amount paid on the Windstar booking.

“Guests will have 24 months to book and embark on any available Windstar cruise using their Future Cruise Credit.

“Windstar Cruises also says they will protect Travel Advisor commissions on the affected bookings.

“Windstar’s reservations team is reviewing all affected bookings and will send a letter outlining details to guests and travel advisors with cancelled cruises. The reservations team appreciates the patience and understanding of guests and travel advisors as they work through this process.”

 

Sat 13 March: Hurtigruten announces risk-free rebookings

Hurtigruten has introduced a risk-free flexible rebooking-policy – allowing guests to change their bookings to any Hurtigruten cruise until 1 July 2021.

“In the current situation, it is important for us to ensure our valued guests get timely and accurate information and the necessary flexibility as they are planning their adventure with us. We want to make sure that you can explore with confidence,” Hurtigruten CEO Daniel Skjeldam says.

Since the start of the outbreak – and long before the global pandemic was declared – Hurtigruten has taken a wide range of precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and ensure the health and safety of guests and crew.

To ensure flexibility for guests with Hurtigruten bookings, Hurtigruten has introduced a new flexible, and risk-free, rebooking policy.

  • For all guests booked on departures between 12 March and 30 June 2020, Hurtigruten is offering free rebooking on our Expedition or Norwegian coastal voyages sailing between 1 July 2020 and 1 July 2021.
  • Guests changing bookings will receive a Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher to the value of 100% of the fare plus a 10% discount on their future cruise including fees.
  • The rebooking offer is also valid for any new Hurtigruten bookings made by 30 April 2020.
  • Hurtigruten Future Cruise vouchers will be valid on all Hurtigruten departures until 1 July 2021.
  • The Hurtigruten Future Cruise Voucher is combinable with all other Hurtigruten offers.
  • Changes to bookings need to be made 48 hours prior to your hotel check-in or cruise embarkation.

Find out more at: https://www.hurtigruten.com.au/practical-information/coronavirus-update/

Sat 13 March: G Adventures suspends all tours departing between 16 March and 30 April 2020

India - G Adventures - Change Maker

Bruce Poon Tip, founder G Adventures

G Adventures has taken the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all tours departing between 16 March and 30 April 2020 saying “The safety and security of our travellers and staff is our top priority and this is a precautionary measure to protect our people at this time.”

“Any traveller booked on a tour departing between 16 March and 30 April 2020 will be eligible for a 110% travel credit of all land services, including pre or post nights and transfers, which can be used on any tour departing within the next two years. G Adventures will be proactively notifying all travellers regarding their tour suspension and are advising travellers with flight bookings to contact their insurance and air provider directly for details on refunds or relaxed cancellations policies.

“Any tours already in operation or due to depart before 16 March 2020 will run as scheduled.

“Select itineraries will be disrupted and G Adventures will notify these travellers to offer a pro-rata travel credit for the remainder of their tour experience.

“We understand that some travellers may have the desire to return home early so are offering travellers the option to either continue with their tour as planned or to leave the tour early with a pro-rata travel credit for the remaining days of the land portion of their trip.

“G Adventures would like to thank its global community of travellers, agents and partners around the world for their commitment in these times of uncertainty. As pioneers of community tourism, we still believe travel can be the world’s greatest form of wealth distribution. As much as we have a commitment to our travellers, we have a commitment to the local communities tourism benefits, and we hope to be able to return to them as soon as it is safe to do so.”

 

Sat 13 March: NCL announces suspension of all cruises until 11 April 2020

Deals

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, today announced a voluntary suspension of all cruise voyages embarking between 13 March and 11 April 2020 for its three cruise brands.

NCL says the “temporary suspension is aimed at contributing to efforts around the globe to contain the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This measure is taken in an abundance of caution and the Company has not experienced any confirmed cases of COVID-19 across its 28-ship fleet”.

 

Sat 13 March: Holland America pauses all cruise operations from 14 March until 14 April 2020

The Prisendam

Three cruises that were scheduled to depart this weekend are now cancelled. Booked guests and their travel advisors are in the process of being notified. Guests on these three cruises cancelled this weekend will receive a 100% refund and 100% Future Cruise Credit.

The cancelled cruises are:

  • Oosterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in San Diego, California.
  • Nieuw Amsterdam: originally scheduled to embark Saturday, March 14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Koningsdam: originally scheduled to embark Sunday, March 15, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will now need to disembark the ship.

Other voyages that are currently in progress are planned to debark as follows: 

  • Eurodam: March 18 in San Diego, California, as scheduled.
  • Veendam: March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
  • Zuiderdam: March 18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
  • Maasdam: March 20 in Hilo, Hawaii. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in San Diego, California, on April 3.
  • Zaandam: March 21 in San Antonio, Chile as scheduled.
  • Volendam: March 22 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.
  • Amsterdam: March 24 in Freemantle, Australia. This is a change from the scheduled disembarkation in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 12.
  • Rotterdam: March 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as scheduled.

Any guests on back-to-back cruises beyond the dates above will need to disembark.

Guests who have booked their own air should first contact their airline to make ticket changes. Holland America Line will rebook all guests who purchased their air through the Flight Ease program and will endeavour to help others who booked their own air if they are encountering issues.

Guests currently booked on cruises beyond this weekend that will now not be operating will receive a communication from Holland America Line in the coming days regarding their options.

To fully support guests on the cruises that were cancelled for this weekend and who are in transit, Holland America Line kindly requests that all those booked on cruises next week or later do not call reservations for assistance this weekend as hold times are expected to be very long.

The line will be automatically working through the bookings of all impacted guests based on departure date and will send communications in the coming week regarding their options. We sincerely thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Recognizing the vital role travel advisors play in the success of the cruise industry, Holland America Line will protect travel advisor commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the Future Cruise Credits when guests rebook.

Holland America Line’s corporate employees remain working and will focus on supporting guests and travel advisors impacted by these changes and preparing for cruise operations to resume. As more details become known about future cruise itineraries, they will be communicated.

 

Sat 13 March: P&O pauses all cruise operations from 14 March until 12 April 2020

P&O Cruises

Pacific Explorer

The 30-day pause takes effect from today (14th March) until P&O’s planned resumption of cruising on April 12.

The pause will affect cruises on Pacific Explorer, Pacific Dawn and Pacific Aria that were scheduled to depart Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.

P&O say they will make direct contact with guests whose cruises have been affected to let them know of this development and to apologise for the disruption.
 
The below decisions have also been made in relation to the P&O fleet’s current cruises.

  • Pacific Explorer’s scheduled call to Eden tomorrow has been cancelled and the ship will return to Sydney for arrival as planned on Monday.
  • Pacific Dawn’s cruise from Brisbane today will not proceed.
  • Pacific Aria currently on a cruise to Tasmania will now return to Adelaide on Monday.

For guests whose future voyages have been cancelled during the 30 day period, P&O is offering a full refund – or a Future Cruise Credit equal to 200% of the cost of their original cruise.  The cruise line is communicating with guests directly on voyages currently sailing.

P&O is doing everything possible to return each guest home with the greatest amount of care. P&O will protect travel agent commissions on bookings for cancelled cruises that were paid in full and for the total amount of the future cruise credits.

P&O will resume normal cruise operations from 12 April with a 10-night cruise on Pacific Aria from Auckland to the South Pacific (subject to the New Zealand Government’s clearance at that time). It will be followed two days later (14 April) with Pacific Explorer departing Sydney on a 10-night cruise to the South Pacific. On 18 April, Pacific Dawn will depart Brisbane on a three day Comedy Cruise.

 

Sat 13 March: Carnival pauses all cruise operations from 15 March until 13 April 2020

Carnival Spirit

Carnival Spirit

Carnival Cruise Line announced today that it is pausing operations across its fleet of ships based in Australia as of 15 March and will resume them on Monday, 13 April 2020.

Both ships currently at sea will continue their voyages and return to Sydney as scheduled.

The cruise line says that “Throughout this COVID-19 situation that has now turned into a global pandemic, we have implemented higher and higher levels of screening, monitoring and sanitation protocols to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve. While Carnival has not had a diagnosed case linked to our operation we realise this situation is bigger than the cruise industry and we will continue to do our part to support public officials to manage and contain this unprecedented public health challenge.”

“We are contacting booked guests and their travel agents directly regarding their cruise and their options.

“Our guests have been tremendously patient and understanding as we have reacted to a rapidly changing situation and a desire to be responsive to authorities in Australia and the destinations we visit.  We are very sorry that this decision will disrupt the holiday plans for our guests and look forward to resuming operations and providing our guests safe, fun and memorable holidays. And it goes without saying, we can only do that with the support of our outstanding onboard team members who have been nothing short of amazing during this prolonged period of challenge.”

 

Sat 13 March: All travellers to New Zealand to self-isolate for 14-days

Roys Peak, Wanaka

Roys Peak, Wanaka

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has today announced new restrictions requiring travellers to be self-quarantined for 14 days upon entry into the country in an attempt to stop the spread of coronavirus.

New Zealand will require all people who arrive in the country – including returning Kiwis – to self-isolate for 14 days as the country locks down to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The restrictions apply to all countries except for Pacific nations and will come into effect at 10.00 pm AEDT on Sunday.

In what is another massive blow to the cruise industry, Ardern also announced the temporary stop on all cruise ship arrivals, saying “As of midnight tonight, we’re issuing to all cruise ships not to come to New Zealand until at least June 30, that is for incoming cruise ships, at which time the directive will be reviewed”.

New Zealand has six confirmed cases and no recorded deaths.

Ms Ardern said these were “far-reaching and unprecedented” measures to tackle a global pandemic.

Karry On - Air New Zealand

Following the news, Air New Zealand is now offering further fare flexibility for customers affected by the New Zealand Government’s Covid-19 travel restrictions announced today.

Customers with international flights affected by Covid-19 government-imposed restrictions due to depart up until 31 March 2020 will be eligible to:

  • Hold the value of their fare in credit for twelve months from the time of ticket purchase;
  • Receive a refund;
  • Amend the date of their flight without change fees. The normal fare difference will apply.

The airline says customers purchasing domestic tickets should consider purchasing their Flexidate or Flexitime fare products which provide greater flexibility should they need to change their travel plans.

Standard fare rules continue to apply on all domestic tickets unless they form part of an international itinerary including a destination impacted by government travel restrictions.

Full details of Air New Zealand’s fare flexibility policy regarding Covid-19 can be found on their Travel Alerts page.

The airline also asked for patience from both trade and consumers, with extremely high levels of enquiries causing delays in answering queries at their service centres.

 

Fri 13 March: Scarlet Lady’s Inaugural Sailing Season postponed

karryon-virgin-voyages-scarlet-lady-3

The Virgin Voyages team has made the difficult decision to postpone the Showcase Tour launch and inaugural sailing season for Scarlet Lady until July 15, 2020, with her Maiden Voyage taking place on August 7, 2020.

Virgin Voyages assure you that they have no health issues aboard the ship and have elevated protocols in place as they continue to put their customer’s well-being first.

This is a once in a lifetime launch and a once in a lifetime customer experience, and they wish to do it together when everyone can feel free to enjoy themselves.

Click here for more information.

 

Fri 13 March: Disney Shuts Paris, Orlando & Suspends cruises

 

Fri 13 March: GFOB suspends travel

The Globus family of brands – consisting of Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon Waterways – has announced that it is voluntarily suspending travel, across all destinations, through to 30 April 2020.

For travellers affected by the suspension, the company has also unveiled a NEW Peace of Mind plan.

This Peace of Mind plan provides Globus family of brands’ travellers booked on affected holidays from now through to 30 April 2020, the freedom to reschedule their holiday in 2020, 2021 or 2022, to any destination, on any brand, without incurring cancellation fees. The plan also offers travellers a credit of up to $300 per person when they reschedule their plans.

“We recognise that travellers are faced with a great deal of uncertainty right now, and we are committed to helping them through this situation with the right options, adequate time and high levels of attention and consideration,” said Gai Tyrrell, managing director Australasia of the Globus family of brands.

“We are doing our best to cater to each and every traveller and help them feel confident in their decision to explore the world with us.”

Gai Tyrrell, Globus family of brands.

 

Fri 13 March: Contiki Trips Cancelled Until 30 April

contiki-alexa-app

All Contiki trips visiting Europe & UK, The Middle East & Asia due to depart March 13, 2020 – April 30, 2020 have been suspended.

“This decision hasn’t been taken lightly, but our first priority is and always will be the well-being of our travellers.”

Contiki

Contiki says it will be reaching out to affected travellers to help them rebook, free of charge on to a new trip in any destination for travel any time during 2020 or 2021, with a full credit of all monies paid redeemable against the revised trip.

Click here for more information.

 

Fri 13 March: Princess Cruises suspends operations for two months

 

Carnival has announced that it will voluntarily pause global operations of its 18 Princess Cruise ships for two months (60 days), impacting all voyages departing between 12 March and 10 May.”

Princess Cruises plans to be back in operation beginning with cruises departing May 11, 2020.

Click here for more information.

 

Fri 13 March: Disneyland California temporarily closes

karryon-disneyland-california-park-sleeping-beauty-castle

Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. Image: Rob Sparacio/Disneyland Resort

For the fourth time in history, Disneyland has announced it would be shutting its doors from Saturday 14 March through the end of March in the wake of growing coronavirus concerns.

Click here for more information.

 

Fri 13 March: Sporting events postponed & cancelled

Coronavirus

Maclaren has pulled out of the F1 in Melbourne and according to Fox Sports, “Formula 1 will not be racing at the Australian Grand Prix this weekend in the wake of a McLaren team member contracting coronavirus.”

“F1 and the FIA are expected to formally announce the move, although the Australian Grand Prix Corporation reacted with a statement following the McLaren news, revealing eight F1 personnel had been tested.”

In the States, the NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball have all delayed starts to the season.

Click here for more information.

 

Fri 13 March: Broadway Theatres Closed

Karry On - New York Christmas Broadway

The Broadway League has announced that “Under the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, Broadway shows in New York City will suspend all performances immediately in support of the health and well-being of the theatregoing public, as well as those who work in the theatre industry. Performances will commence the week of April 13, 2020.”

Click here for more information.

 

Thurs 12 March: Viking Temporarily Suspends Cruise Operations

Viking Cruises

Aerial view of the Viking Sea docked in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Viking has announced it will temporarily suspend river and ocean cruise operations until 1 May 2020 in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 situation.

The announcement was made today in a video and a letter sent from Viking Chairman Torstein Hagen to currently booked guests.

Click here to watch the video and read the letter.

 

Thurs 12 March: Tour Atlas Extended Trial

KARRYON-Qantas-Learning-Hub-Future-Planet-Globe

Tour Atlas is helping agents during this challenging time by extending the trial period of the platform from 14 days to 3 months from today. This means, for the next three months you can get:

  • Access 15,000 land and river cruise itineraries with live pricing and departure dates from 56 Aust based tour suppliers and wholesalers on one platform
  • Have quick access to 2021 itineraries and new releases
  • Search for itineraries by destination
  • Send all itineraries to their clients with their logo and branding on them
  • Receive weekly updates from all of our partner suppliers on our noticeboard

Click here to join up.

 

Thurs 12 March: Scenic Cancellation Policy Update

For any guest departing up to 31 May, 2020 Scenic will waive all cancellation fees with the value of the bookings applied as a future travel credit. Scenic is allowing guests to change or transfer their booking up to 14 days prior to departure for river and ocean cruise bookings, and up to 30 days prior to travel for land tours.

The future travel credit is valid for travel up to 31 December 2020 for May departures, March and April departures for travel up to 30 April, 2021. An administration fee of $200pp will be applicable, with any third party fees at the guest’s own expense.

All currently booked guests with a departure on or after 1 June 2020, and guests considering a booking after that date, have the option to transfer their booking to an alternate departure without penalty, up to 30 days prior to departure.

Scenic will waive all cancellation fees with the value of the booking applied as a future travel credit. As administration fee of $200pp will be applicable, with any third party fees at the guest’s own expense.

Click here for more information.

 

Thurs 12 March: US bans travel from Europe

Coronavirus update

US President Donald Trump has announced new travel restrictions on Europe in a bid to combat the spread of the coronavirus. These rules will go into effect at midnight on Friday.

In a televised address on Wednesday, he stated all travel from Europe would be suspended for the next 30 days.

These restrictions do not apply for travel between the UK and the United States.

“To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days,”

Donald Trump, US President

 

Thurs 12 March: A Global Pandemic

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic after the past two weeks has seen the number of cases of the virus outside China increased 13-fold, and the number of affected countries triple.

READ: CORONAVIRUS: World Health Organisation Declares Pandemic

Click here for more information.

 

Thurs 12 March: India goes into self-quarantine

The Government of India has decided to quarantine itself in an attempt to control the spread of Coronavirus.

READ: TOURIST VISAS CANX: India Is Quarantining Itself From The World

From 12:00 GMT on Friday 13 March, all tourist and e-visas granted on or before 11 March will be suspended. As it stands, the suspension will be until 15th April 2020.

Click here for more information.

 

Thurs 12 March: Virgin Voyages postpones celebrations

Virgin

Virgin Voyages have cancelled its March Miami launch celebration for Scarlet Lady.

There have been no health concerns on board but, according to the company, it’s what they feel is the right thing to do in current circumstances.

READ: SCARLET LADY: Virgin’s Carbon-Neutral Ship Ready For Maiden Voyage

Click here for more information.

 

Thurs 12 March: Kuwait Airport Is Closing

Starting from tomorrow (Friday 13 March), Kuwait International Airport will close for passenger service indefinitely, meaning commercial flights to & from the airport are canceled. Cargo flights will still be operating.

According to reports, there will be exceptions only for Kuwaiti nationals looking to return home.

 

Wed 11 March: Jacinda Ardern answers your COVID-19 Questions

 

Wed 11 March: Italy Travel Ban

italy-ttc-karryon

According to the ABC, The Federal Government has expanded its coronavirus travel ban to include Italy. The ban will begin at 6:00pm tonight.

READ: CORONAVIRUS: Italy Goes Into Nationwide Lockdown Until April 3

Foreign nationals who have been in Italy, mainland China, Iran and South Korea will not be allowed into Australia for 14 days from the time they left those countries.

Australian citizens and permanent residents travelling from those countries will be able to enter Australia, but need to isolate themselves for a fortnight.

Click here for more information.

 

Wed 11 March: Viking Agent May Sessions Postponed

KARRYON-Viking-Lofoten_Islands_Couple_Hiking

The new Viking agent sessions in May have been postponed. New dates for Perth, Hobart, Newcastle & Canberra will be advised ASAP.

READ: THINKING PERSON’S CRUISE: Viking Adds Four New 2020 Information Sessions

However, the March dates are still going ahead. Reserve your spot now.

  • Brisbane: 6:30pm, Tuesday 17 March 2020, Howard Smith Wharves, The Rivershed – STILL GOING AHEAD
  • Sydney: 6:30pm, Tuesday 24 March 2020, Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park – STILL GOING AHEAD
  • Melbourne: 6:30pm, Thursday 26 March 2020, Hotel Windsor- STILL GOING AHEAD

Click here for more information.

 

Wed 11 March: Tasmania’s 2020 Dark Mofo Festival Cancelled

Karry On - Hobart The Waterfront

MONA’s winter festival Dark Mofo which was set to be held Tasmania this June has been cancelled due to concerns around the impact of coronavirus.

“After a thorough risk assessment on the potential impact and disruption of coronavirus, we have been left with no option other than to move the current program to 2021,” Dark Mofo’s Creative Director Leigh Carmichael said.

At this stage, subject to further Government advice, Bon Iver’s sold-out performances will still go ahead as planned on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 June, as part of their national tour.

CORONAVIRUS: Tasmania’s 2020 Dark Mofo Festival Cancelled

 

Tue 10 March: Hawaiian Airlines Travel Waiver Change

 

 

Tue 10 March: Etihad introduces flexible booking conditions

KARRYON-Etihad-Abu-Dhabi-Camel-In-Desert

Etihad Airways, is giving travelers peace of mind when making their next booking by allowing one complimentary date or destination change for all flights booked between 8 March and 7 April 2020.

Valid for travel from 22 March 2020, the offer is applicable to all fares including Etihad Guest redemptions and Etihad Holiday bookings. Any fare difference arising from the rebooking/rerouting will be applied.

Click here for more information.

 

Tue 10 March: Flight Centre’s updated travel alerts

karryon-flight-centre-travel-group

Smartraveller has raised its advice level for six countries:

  • China, Iran, and South Korea’s Daegu Province to ‘do not travel’
  • South Korea (rest of country) to ‘Reconsider your need to travel’
  • Hong Kong, Japan, Italy, and Mongolia to ‘exercise a high degree of caution’

Many countries in the Pacific including Vanuatu, Fiji, New Caledonia, and the Cook Islands have introduced restrictions on travel from countries or areas affected by COVID-19, including in some cases people travelling from Australia.

Click here to read the impact of travel summary and booking changes/refund request information.

 

Tue 10 March: Vietnamese Government suspends visa exemption program to 8 EU countries

A350-900 Image: Vietnam Airlines

The Vietnamese Government has suspended the visa exemption program to 8 European countries including UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Poland, Norway, and Denmark.

Passengers flying to Vietnam will be requested to complete a compulsory medical declaration form upon their arrival in Vietnam. This form can be downloaded here or via Android mobile app nCoV.

Besides that, the Vietnamese government will keep monitoring all passengers entering Vietnam and any suspected cases will be quarantined for 14 days as per normal practice.

Click here for more information.

 

Tue 10 March: Message from Richard Fain, Chairman & CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises

 

Tue 10 March: Collette’s message to agents

 

Tue 10 March: All of Italy to go into lockdown

Trafalgar Coronavirus

Lombardi, Northern Italy

Follow the LIVE Italy updates here and contact your suppliers/partners for the latest operational updates.

READ the full story: CORONAVIRUS: Italy Goes Into Nationwide Lockdown

 

Tue 10 March: Egypt announce travel restrictions

KARRYON-Viking-River-Cruising-Egypt

Egypt has placed a nationwide suspension on “any large gatherings of citizens, or those that involve the movement of citizens between governorates,” its prime minister, Mostafa Madbouly, has announced.

The Egyptian ministry of culture separately cancelled any upcoming events taking place, including a film festival in Luxor, the site of a major outbreak of coronavirus.

 

Tue 10 March: Korean Air says coronavirus could wipe out airline

korean-air

South Korea’s flag carrier sent out a stark warning to its employees yesterday as the economic dangers posed by the coronavirus outbreak continue to mount.

As one of the countries worst affected by coronavirus-related travel restrictions, South Korea’s airlines have found themselves in a, particularly vulnerable position.

The country’s largest airline and flag carrier, Korean Air, has borne the brunt of the flight cancellations, losing around 80 per cent of its normal capacity.

The airline reportedly released an internal memo to staff which explained the potential effects the ongoing outbreak could have on the airline.

The news follows the collapse last week of British airline Flybe.

 

Tue 10 March: Jetstar and Qantas ask staff to take paid and unpaid leave

Karry On - Qantas

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce

Jetstar and Qantas are asking staff to take paid and unpaid leave as a result of reduced operations due to coronavirus. Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce has also reportedly said he will “take no salary,” the airline says, to reduce costs.

A number of other cost reduction measures will be triggered across the Qantas Group, including:

  • Annual management bonuses set to zero for FY20
  • For the remainder of FY20:
    • Qantas Chairman will take no fees
    • Group CEO will take no salary
    • Qantas Board will take a 30 per cent reduction in fees
    • Group Executive Management will take a 30 per cent pay cut
  • Freeze of all non-essential recruitment and consultancy work

Read the full story: QANTAS CUTS: International Flight Pullback & Staff Cost Reductions

 

Tue 10 March: Qantas set to ground up to half of A380 fleet

karryon-qantas-airbus-a380-plane-2

Qantas A380

The SMH is reporting that Qantas is set to announce the grounding of up to half of its fleet of A380 aircraft as it battles a coronavirus-led fall off in demand.

There are 12 A380s in the Qantas fleet and, at any one time, two of them are not in operation due to scheduled maintenance.

In the story, SMH says that “sources have suggested that some capacity cuts to London via Singapore might be made up by running additional services direct to London from Perth.”

Qantas also says it will be reducing capacity by almost a quarter for the next six months due to fears over COVID-19.

Qantas said the biggest reductions would be made to Asian routes, where travel demand is down 30 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Jetstar will also make significant cuts to its international network by suspending flights to Bangkok and reducing flights to Vietnam and Japan by almost half.

Qantas services to London will also be re-routed, flying via Perth instead of Singapore.

Read the full story: QANTAS CUTS: International Flight Pullback & Staff Cost Reductions

 

Mon 9 March: US State department urges all Americans not to cruise

grand-princess

Grand Princess, stock shot

In what is damning news for the cruise industry in the U.S and the world over, the State Department has urged Americans not to board cruise ships as coronavirus cases rise across the US.

The warning is particularly for people with underlying health conditions, the State Department said in an advisory on Sunday but is recommend for all.
CNN reported that Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) had said in a tweet Friday, before the State Department’s advisory, that restricting cruise ship travel is “unwarranted” and contradicts the World Health Organization’s stance against travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing an outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

 

Mon 9 March: Emirates new cleaning procedures and waiver policy

Emirates_crew

Emirates is providing travellers with peace of mind; implementing enhanced cleaning and complete disinfection of all cabins as a COVID-19 precaution.

The airline is also providing customers more flexibility through its newly introduced waiver policy for all booked tickets issued on or from today, 7 March until 31 March 2020, allowing customers across its network the choice of changing their travel dates without change and re-issue fees.

Click here for more information.

 

MON 9 Mar: Holland America Line’s Book with Confidence Program

For guests currently booked on upcoming cruises, Holland America Line is temporarily changing its cancellation policy and allowing guests to cancel their cruise or Alaska Land+Sea Journey departing through May 31, 2020.

Any cancellation will receive a Future Cruise Credit (FCC) for the amount of the paid fare which can be used for another cruise in 2020 or 2021.

For those who choose to keep their cruise plans on departures through May 31, 2020, an Onboard Spending Credit of US$200 per stateroom/US$100 per person for voyages longer than 7 days and US$100 per stateroom/US$50 per person for voyages less than 6 days will be automatically applied to their shipboard account as a thank you.

If your guests cannot travel due to an individual health situation, Holland America Line will issue them with a future cruise credit, if they are able to show supporting documents from their health care provider. This “Compassion Policy” offer is available for guests booked on any sailing, regardless of the departure date.

Click here for more information.

 

MON 9 MARCH: Silversea Expands Rebooking Options

Silversea is embracing the Royal Caribbean Group’s ‘Cruise with Confidence’ initiative.

For all voyages departing before 31 July 2020, including both existing and future bookings, the new ‘Cruise with Confidence’ policy will enable travellers to cancel their sailings as late as two days before departure, providing guests with a Future Cruise Credit.

For all sailings departing after 31 July until 31 December 2020, a 30-day prior to sailing cash cancellation option will be in place. Guests booked on sailings between 1 June 2020 and 31 July 2020 will have a range of options from which to choose.

Click here for more information and conditions.

 

MON 9 MARCH: Air New Zealand financial hit

Coronavirus Update

According to the Guardian, Air New Zealand has withdrawn full-year guidance it downgraded just two weeks ago amid mounting disruption from the global coronavirus outbreak.

Air NZ in February predicted the Covid-19 hit to FY20 earnings would be in the range of $NZ35 million ($A34 million) to $NZ75 million ($A72 million) due to lower demand and capacity cuts.

The company on Monday said financial impact is now likely to be more significant than previously estimated.

“with the situation evolving at such a rapid pace, the airline is not in a position to provide an earnings outlook to the market at this time,”

Air New Zealand

Click here to read more.

 

MON 9 MARCH: Oceania Cruises Traveler’s Assurance booking policy

Oceania Cruises has announced a new Traveler’s Assurance booking policy effective immediately for all existing and new bookings made by 30 April 2020 for any voyages departing between 10 March 2020, to 30 September 2020.

Guests and Travel Partners can now have total peace of mind knowing that should they need to cancel, for any reason, they will not lose a dollar. Guests may cancel up to 48 hours prior to cruise departure and will receive a Future Cruise Credit equal to 100% of the cruise fare paid.

Click here for more information.

 

MON 9 MARCH: LATAM waives change fees for international flight bookings

karryon-latam-a350-airbus

In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, LATAM Airlines Group has announced increased flexibility to help its customers with their travel decisions.

LATAM will waive change fees for all international flights up to 31 December 2020, applicable to new bookings made between 6 and 22 March 2020.

Customers making new reservations will be able to change the date and/or destination of their ticket (one change per ticket) up to 14 days in advance of their outbound flight without penalty, subject to fare differences.

Click here for more information.

 

MON 9 MARCH: Royal Caribbean allows up to 48hr cancellation

Coronavirus Update RCI

Click here for more information.

 

MON 9 MARCH: Qatar Airways Launches New Amendment Policy

Qatar Airways has launched a new commercial policy to provide customers with maximum flexibility to suit their travel plans.

Passengers that have booked or will book flights for travel up to 30 June 2020 will be offered the flexibility to change their travel plans free of charge by altering the dates of their booking or exchanging their ticket for a travel voucher valid for one year.

Both changes apply up to three days prior to departure.

Click here for more information.

 

MON 9 MARCH: NCL offers new peace of mind policy

Norwegian Cruise Line is encouraging travellers to plan their next holiday with its new Peace of Mind Policy, offering guests who book voyages through 30 Sept 2020 the opportunity to cancel up to 48 hours prior to the sail date and receive a 100% future cruise credit for use on any sailings through 31 Dec 2022.

This new offer applies to all new guests as well as those already booked on voyages beginning 10 March 2020.

Click here for more information about Norwegian’s Peace of Mind policy.

 

MON 9 MARCH: Air New Zealand change flexibility on new international tickets

Karry On - Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand is introducing change flexibility for all new international flights booked and ticketed on NZ ticket stock (086) from 5-31 March 2020.

Customers who purchase an international ticket between these dates will have the standard change penalty waived should they need to amend their flight dates, regardless of the number of changes made. The normal fare difference will apply should the booking class not be available at the time of rebooking.

Agents should enter an OSI with the blanket authority – AUTHNZA155057. This applies to International tickets ex. Australia only.

The airline has also shared a care card, with ways it’s taking care of its passengers.

Coronavirus Update

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