Norwegian Air will no longer use long-haul flights

Domestic tourism collapses in November – record low for the full year +++ Aida Cruises postpones the restart for cruises to March +++ RKI also declares Madeira and Ireland to be risk areas +++ The most important travel news about the coronavirus in stern-Ticker.

The global spread of the coronavirus and government measures such as border closings are hugely restricting personal mobility and thus travel. The Federal Foreign Office has also issued a travel warning for tourist trips to many countries because of the pandemic. Here you will regularly find the latest news on the subject of the corona crisis and travel.

News from Thursday, January 14th

+++ Norwegian Air will forego long-haul flights +++

The low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle, which was badly hit by the Corona crisis, is returning to its beginnings: Norwegian Air will no longer offer long-haul flights in the future, but will concentrate on Europe, the airline said on Thursday.

In the years before the start of the Corona crisis, Norwegian had risen to become the third largest low-cost airline in Europe and had tried to offer cheap transatlantic flights, for example by concentrating on connections between large cities and using its planes intensively. But the airline accumulated huge losses, also and mainly due to technical defects, for example with the Boeing Dreamliner and the Boeing 737 Max. At the end of September the mountain of debt was 48.5 billion kroner (4.7 billion euros).

The airline has been in the bad since 2017 – the corona crisis drastically worsened the difficulties. Six of 140 machines and 600 of around 10,000 employees are currently in use at Norwegian. At the beginning of December, the airline applied for bankruptcy protection. In 2021, 50 planes are to fly again, and then 70 in the next. However, the creditors must agree to this plan.

News from Wednesday January 13th

+++ Domestic tourism collapses in November – record low for the year as a whole +++

The corona crisis hit the hotel industry in Germany with full force last year. According to initial estimates by the Federal Statistical Office, the number of overnight stays by travelers from Germany and abroad has fallen by 40 percent compared to the previous year to a record low of 299 million. This is the lowest level since all German results were available in 1992 with 318.4 million overnight stays at the time.

In November the number of overnight stays fell by 72.2 percent to 9.0 million compared to the same month last year. A partial lockdown had been imposed to combat the rising corona numbers. Overnight stays by private travelers in hotels, guest houses and other accommodation providers were prohibited. There was a similar decrease in May 2020 with minus 75 percent. In April, shortly after the start of the first lockdown, the number of overnight stays was 89 percent lower than in the same month last year.

According to the information, only just under 39,500 of the 52,200 statistically recorded accommodation establishments were open in November. The Wiesbaden statisticians take into account accommodations with at least ten beds.

News from Saturday January 9th

+++ After IT problems: Aida Cruises postpones the restart for cruises to March +++

The Rostock cruise line Aida Cruises is also interrupting the cruise season longer than planned because of the extension of the lockdown and the tightening of the measures against the corona virus. It is hoped to be able to continue this “after a significant relaxation of the infection situation in Germany” from March 6, announced the company. Originally, ships were supposed to be cruising around the Canary Islands again in mid-January.

In March, trips around the Canary Islands, Northern Europe and the Mediterranean should make the start. Guests whose trips can not be carried out as originally planned would be informed immediately, according to the message. Aida offers rebooking.

According to its own information, the company has been available again by phone and email since Christmas after an interruption of almost 14 days. Most recently it even had to cancel cruises due to significant IT problems. The media had speculated about a possible hacker attack. The Rostock public prosecutor’s office took over the investigation. Aida doesn’t want to comment on the background.

News from Friday, January 8th

+++ RKI also declares Madeira and Ireland to be risk areas +++

The Robert Koch Institute in Berlin has updated the list of risk areas: As of January 9, not only the Canary Islands and Azores are considered risk areas, but also Madeira. The island is often visited by cruise ships that come from the Canaries. For more than seven days the incidence there has been more than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.

In addition, the Foreign Office’s travel warning will be extended to all of Ireland on January 9th. Previously, only individual regions of the island were specially designated. “We are currently warned against unnecessary, tourist trips,” says the travel and safety information on Ireland. The following applies to travelers from these risk areas: Back in Germany, they must go to a ten-day quarantine immediately after entering the country. Anyone who can be tested after five days and can show a negative result, a shortened quarantine period applies.

News from Tuesday, January 5th

+++ The state can join the travel company Tui on a large scale +++

After Lufthansa, the German state can now take a larger stake in the Tui travel company. The owners of the company, which was badly hit by the Corona crisis, approved a corresponding right to exchange capital contributions for shares on Tuesday with a large majority. This clears the way for the federal government to join Tui with a total of up to 25 percent plus one share.

The company had called its owners together for an extraordinary general meeting that was being held online because of the pandemic restrictions. The majority of the shareholders created the final formal requirements for a larger state participation.

The EU Commission had previously announced on Monday evening in Brussels that it believes that the framework conditions under competition law for up to 1.25 billion euros in German aid have been met. Specifically, it concerns a silent participation in Tui of 420 million euros, which the state economic stabilization fund (WSF) is now allowed to convert into direct share certificates according to the resolution of the shareholders. The package also includes a convertible bond with a value of 150 million euros, for which the essential conditions had already been clarified in late summer.

In addition, there is now a second, albeit non-convertible, silent participation of up to 680 million euros. The exact exhaustion of this last part depends, among other things, on whether the state of Lower Saxony at the TUI headquarters in Hanover agrees to secure a sum of up to 400 million euros with its own guarantee.

+++ Hunger and fear in Mallorca: Corona hotspot threatens hard winter +++

The corona numbers have been rising sharply on Mallorca for weeks. They are now higher than anywhere else in Spain. At the same time, unemployment, social hardship and hunger are growing. Most recently, the number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants climbed to 530 within 14 days, as the health authorities announced. For weeks, the Balearic Islands had been the undisputed epicenter of the pandemic in Spain, and on Monday they were overtaken by Extremadura.

In Mallorca, where the 14-day incidence was as high as 608 according to the latest official information, there is fear. The winter could be even “hotter” than Carbonero feared. One is afraid of a collapse of the intensive care units, which are always full. “We are experiencing a terrible situation that we could not have imagined in our worst dreams,” admitted regional president Francina Armengol shortly before New Year’s Eve.

In Mallorca, where the 14-day incidence was as high as 608 according to the latest official information, there is fear. The winter could be even “hotter” than Carbonero feared. One is afraid of a collapse of the intensive care units, which are always full. “We are experiencing a terrible situation that we could not have imagined in our worst dreams,” admitted regional president Francina Armengol shortly before New Year’s Eve.

News from Monday January 4th

+++ Oliver Pocher asks fans: Refrain from vacation in the corona pandemic +++

Whether soaking up the sun in Dubai or skiing in Winterberg: Comedian Oliver Pocher has asked his followers on social networks to refrain from such activities at the moment. “People … nobody has anything against vacation or snow … I’ve also been on a ski vacation or in the sun and in Dubai … just hold back a few months and put their egoism on the back burner,” he writes . And: if you do, you should keep it to yourself and not “flaunt” it online.

Under the post he posted a photo from sunny Dubai and one from a snowy forest, with a copied placemark from Winterberg and the comment: “Feels like Instagram at the moment.” In Winterberg in North Rhine-Westphalia, as in other snow-covered German excursion areas, there was a rush of day trippers at the weekend. Entry is prohibited in Winterberg.

tib / AFP / DPA

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