Today's news in brief:
Ground services resume for Emirates’ premium passengers
A range of ground services for Emirates’ first and business class passengers have been reintroduced, including lounge access and chauffeur service in Dubai.
To start with, Emirates has opened one lounge in Terminal 3, Concourse B, at Dubai International Airport (DXB) to serve first class, business class and eligible Emirates Skywards members. Further lounges in Dubai and around the world are planned to be opened in the coming months.
In Dubai, the 9,209 square metre lounge space will operate with a reduced seating capacity and increased space between each occupied seat to aid social distancing. Masks are mandatory in the lounge, as in the airport.
As you might expect, buffets have gone and replaced with sealed meal boxes, including vegetarian options. Complimentary beverages, including spirits, will be offered in single-serve bottles, though wine and champagne will not be served from large, shared bottles.
Emirates has also resumed its complimentary chauffeur service for first and business class customers in Dubai and other cities. The cars are cleaned and disinfected inside and out at the end of each shift, while drivers in Dubai will wear masks and gloves.
The “high touch” points of the vehicle, such as door handles, and the handles of each customer’s luggage, will be sanitised at the end of the trip.
Doctors can dine for half price at ITC
ITC Hotels has announced a nice promotion for medical doctors, who can claim a straightforward 50 per cent discount on food and beverages at participating properties.
ITC says it is launching the offer, which runs until December 21 (although there may be blackout dates), because it is “truly grateful to our doctors, who have been selflessly fighting on the front lines at this difficult time”.
The dining offer can be claimed by up to four guests seated at the same table, though the doctor must be present and show a valid institutional identification.
The following hotels are taking part:
American Airlines delays launch of Bangalore-Seattle service
American Airlines has announced a significant trimming of its international network for the year ahead, citing low demand for passenger air traffic as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
The oneworld carrier is cutting a number of international services from Los Angeles, Charlotte and Philadelphia and will instead focus on growing its Seattle hub, via a West Coast partnership with Alaska Airlines.
As of now, American says a new service from Seattle to Bangalore will go ahead, though its launch has been postponed until winter 2021. AA will also launch a Seattle to London service, in summer 2021.
A range of new destinations in Europe and North Africa - Budapest, Prague and Krakow from Chicago, and Casablanca from Philadelphia have been abandoned.
American Airlines’ chief revenue officer Vasu Raja said: “COVID-19 has forced us to reevaluate our network. American will have a significantly smaller international network in the year ahead, but we are using this opportunity to hit reset and create a network using the strength of our strategic hubs that we can build and grow upon and be profitable on in this new environment.”