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    Uswitch warns holidaymakers over important mobile data rule that could be costly

    Brits travelling to Europe this summer risk racking up extra mobile charges – even if their network provider offers free EU roaming.
    This is due to many networks imposing a Fair Usage Policy (FUP), which puts a cap on the amount of mobile data consumers can use while on holiday before incurring a fee, regardless of their plan at home.
    On Tuesday, giffgaff is set to reduce its FUP restriction from 20GB to 5GB. Customers who go over the limit while abroad will be charged 10p per MB to continue roaming. This means that using an extra 1GB without buying a new plan will cost at least £100.
    On 26 September, Asda Mobile, which runs off the Vodafone network, will cut the amount of data its roaming customers can use from 25GB to 5GB, with a 10p/MB out-of-plan charge. This is part of a number of changes that will also affect the provider’s pay-as-you-go customers.
    The data cap in a FUP can vary wildly across providers. Vodafone has set its bar at 25GB, while Three’s is under half that at 12GB. EE and Sky Mobile have not imposed a cap, although under the government’s rules, customers that roam abroad will not be able to spend more than £45 a month on data.ADVERTISEMENTO2 and Virgin Media, who claim their customers can roam like at home, both have FUPs in place. While O2’s fair usage limit is 25GB for all customers, Virgin Media’s limit is linked to the cost of a customer’s overall monthly plan. This means for every £1 of your usual monthly bill, you can access 543MB of data. For example, a Virgin customer roaming abroad on a £50-per-month tariff with unlimited data at home can use a maximum of 26.71GB while roaming. 
    Catherine Hiley, mobiles expert at, comments: “For those heading abroad this summer, the mobile roaming rules are tricky enough to understand, yet Fair Usage Policies add another layer of complexity.
    “The lack of consistency from providers on data limits is hard to understand – and in the case of Virgin Media – hard to calculate. With such a range of restrictions, it could mean that families travelling on holiday may find some members run out of data far more quickly than others.
    “While 5GB may seem like a fair amount of mobile data, giffgaff and Asda Mobile customers will soon face hefty fees if they break their limit without putting a new plan in place.
    “Consumers on unlimited plans could find downsizing tough on their travels. If they’re used to regular data-heavy activities like downloading or streaming films,  they may well hit the data wall much sooner than anticipated.
    “Anyone planning to use their phone abroad should check their provider’s Fair Use Policy and, if they think they’re likely to reach the cap, consider buying a data add-on.
    “While on holiday, use Wi-Fi where possible on a safe and secure connection to preserve your allowance. Alternatively, consider a plan from a SIM-only provider without a Fair Use Policy, like ID Mobile. They offer a 50GB deal for £10 a month or an unlimited plan for £16 a month.”

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    dnata extends partnership with GOL Airlines

    dnata, one of the world’s largest air and travel services provider, has extended its long-standing partnership with GOL Airlines (GOL), a leading Brazilian low-cost carrier. 
    The extension of the contract will see dnata continue to provide a range of passenger, ramp and baggage services to the airline, ensuring a seamless airport experience for over 19 million passengers and safe and timely departure of up to 133,000 flights annually across 20 airports in Brazil.
    dnata’s latest contract win cements its position as the leading ground services provider in Brazil.
    David Barker, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President for Airport Operations, said: “We are proud to extend our successful partnership with GOL Airlines across their extensive Brazilian operations. We will continue to work hard to provide the highest level of quality and safety for the airline and its customers, every day.”
    André Cruz, GOL’s COO, said: “dnata is an important partner for GOL since 2016, providing excellent services in more than 20 cities in Brazil. This extension strengthens even more our partnership and offers to our customers the best airport experience.”ADVERTISEMENTdnata has recently increased its investment in Brazil to become the sole shareholder of its local subsidiary. In recent years dnata Brazil has significantly expanded its footprint in the country and currently serves more than 15 airlines at 29 airports with a team of 5,000 local aviation professionals.
    David Barker added:  “Our increased investment in Brazil underscores our commitment to the South American market, our highly-trained team and global customers. We see excellent growth opportunities and strong demand for our reliable and safe services across the continent. We will seize opportunities to further enhance our offering and consistently deliver world-class quality in Brazil and beyond.
    “Globally, we will continue to go the extra mile to be the most admired air and travel services provider and an employer of choice in every market we operate in.“
    dnata offers ground handling, cargo, travel, catering and retail services in 37 countries across six continents. In the financial year 2021-22, dnata’s customer-oriented teams handled over 527,000 aircraft turns, moved 3 million tonnes of cargo, uplifted 39.9 million meals, and recorded a total transaction value (TTV) of travel services of US$ 632 million.
    dnata is nominated as Middle East’s Leading Airline GSA 2022, Middle East’s Leading Corporate Travel Company 2022, Middle East’s Leading Leisure Travel Agency 2022, Middle East’s Leading Tour Operator 2022, Middle East’s Leading Travel Agency 2022 and Middle East’s Leading Travel Management Company 2022 while GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes is nominated as South America’s Leading Airline 2022 and South America’s Leading Airline Brand 2022 by World Travel Awards.

    Viking completes 25 years of exploration

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    Viking completes 25 years of exploration

    Viking® is celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary and its leadership in travel. To commemorate the anniversary, Viking has released a new video message from Chairman Torstein Hagen as he reflects on the company’s key milestones since its founding on August 5, 1997. The new video can be viewed here on Viking’s website, as well as here on Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, Viking.TV. All this week, Viking.TV daily programming has centered on Norwegian culture and history as a tribute to the Hagen family’s Norwegian heritage.
    “I am proud of all that we have accomplished in these 25 years. First, we invented modern river voyages; then, we reinvented ocean voyages with our destination-focused approach; now, we are perfecting expedition voyages and exploring all seven continents—in comfort,” said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. “To every member of our extended Viking family of guests and employees: happy anniversary and thank you. These first 25 years have been very good, but we are just getting started.”
    This milestone year has also been one of significant launches for the company. In January, the company debuted Viking Expeditions and the first of two purpose-built expedition vessels, the Viking Octantis®, which is currently sailing its inaugural season in the Great Lakes. In the spring, the company welcomed eight new Viking Longships® and its newest identical ocean ship, the Viking Mars®.  This month, Viking is launching three purpose-built vessels for the Mekong, Nile and Mississippi Rivers, and by the end of the year, will have also welcomed a second identical expedition ship, the Viking Polaris®, and another identical ocean ship, the Viking Neptune®.

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    Strong passenger demand continues in June

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger data for June 2022 showing that the recovery in air travel remains strong.
    Note: IATA have returned to year-on-year traffic comparisons, instead of comparisons with the 2019 period, unless otherwise noted. Owing to the low traffic base in 2021, some markets will show very high year-on-year growth rates, even if the size of these markets is still significantly smaller than they were in 2019.
    Total traffic in June 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 76.2% compared to June 2021, primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic. Globally, traffic is now at 70.8% of pre-crisis levels.
    Domestic traffic for June 2022 was up 5.2% compared to the year-ago period. Strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the result. Total June 2022 domestic traffic was at 81.4% of the June 2019 level.
    International traffic rose 229.5% versus June 2021. The lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific is contributing to the recovery. June 2022 international RPKs reached 65.0% of June 2019 levels.
    “Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
    Air Passenger Market in Detail – June 20221) % of industry RPKs in 2021   2) Year-on-year change in load factor   3) Load Factor Level
    International Passenger MarketsAsia-Pacific airlines had a 492.0% rise in June traffic compared to June 2021. Capacity rose 138.9% and the load factor was up 45.8 percentage points to 76.7%. The region is now relatively open to foreign visitors and tourism which is helping foster the recovery.ADVERTISEMENTEuropean carriers’ June traffic rose 234.4% versus June 2021. Capacity rose 134.5%, and load factor climbed 25.8 percentage points to 86.3%. International traffic within Europe is above pre-pandemic levels in seasonally adjusted terms.
    Middle Eastern airlines’ traffic rose 246.5% in June compared to June 2021. June capacity rose 102.4% versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 32.4 percentage points to 78.0%.
    North American carriers experienced a 168.9% traffic rise in June versus the 2021 period. Capacity rose 95.0%, and load factor climbed 24.1 percentage points to 87.7%, which was the highest among the regions.
    Latin American airlines’ June traffic rose 136.6% compared to the same month in 2021. June capacity rose 107.4% and load factor increased 10.3 percentage points to 83.3%. After leading the regions in load factor for 20 consecutive months, Latin America slipped back to third place in June.
    African airlines had a 103.6% rise in June RPKs versus a year ago. June 2022 capacity was up 61.9% and load factor climbed 15.2 percentage points to 74.2%, the lowest among regions. International traffic between Africa and neighboring regions is close to pre-pandemic levels.
    Domestic Passenger Markets1) % of industry RPKs in 2021   2) Year-on-year change in load factor   3) Load Factor Level
    China’s domestic RPKs fell 45.0% year-on-year in June but this was a substantial improvement compared to May’s year-over-year performance as lockdown measures were eased.
    Japan’s domestic traffic was up 146.4% in June, compared to June 2021.
    Air Passenger Market overview – June 2022
    The Bottom Line“With the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season now fully underway, predictions that the lifting of travel restrictions would unleash a torrent of pent-up travel demand are being borne out. At the same time, meeting that demand has proved challenging and likely will continue to be so. All the more reason to continue to show flexibility to the slot use rules. The European Commission’s intent to return to the longstanding 80-20 requirement is premature.
    “Just look at the issues that airlines and their passengers at some hub airports are being confronted with. These airports are unable to support their declared capacity even with the current 64% slot threshold and have extended recent passenger caps until the end of October. Flexibility is still essential in support of a successful recovery.
    “By capping passenger numbers, airports are preventing airlines from benefitting from the strong demand. Heathrow Airport has tried to blame airlines for the disruption. However, Service Level Performance data for the first six months of this year show that they have failed miserably to provide basic services and missed their Passenger Security service target by a massive 14.3 points. Data for June has not yet been published but is expected to show the lowest level of service by the airport since records began,” said Walsh.

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