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Bulletin 11 from Michael Edwards, Managing Director

  1. Introduction
  2. Refunds – Flights
  3. Refunds – Groups
  4. Bookings departing in July
  5. Partner News

1. Introduction

As we begin to emerge from the coronavirus crisis, I wanted to reiterate that We Are With You, now and into the future.  We have been with you every step of the way through the biggest challenge to ever face our industry and we have shared all the tests you have experienced over the last few months.  From the outset, we knew it was crucial to maintain our focus and act in the best interest of our customers.  Your loyalty is immensely important to us, we understand the pressures you endured and we have tried our hardest to be a positive part of the situation and help solve the problems you faced… and continue to face.

The removal of blanket FCO advice against all non-essential travel at the weekend, was welcomed by our industry and with the relaxation of quarantine rules expected on  Friday, hopefully we can embark on the journey to rebuild our much loved industry.

I also wanted to share an anecdotal view of the situation as we experienced it; I am sure much of this will resonate with you;

The Coronavirus situation quickly evolved into the single most significant challenge the travel industry has faced. We initiated our Crisis Management Plan and spent long, long days in our newly named ‘Situation Room’. As best we could, with an ever-growing list of closed borders, travel bans and grounded flights - we adapted and repatriated thousands of passengers, we delivered on our deadlines and refunded to schedule whilst we decamped to work from our homes.

We sent you endless airline updates, deciphered their often-very-hard-to-understand policies and communicated service levels with you widely. We innovated our processes to help you, we’re pretty sure we made mistakes along the way, we shed tears, we laughed in the face of adversity and appreciated (and continue to appreciate) your support - your thanks has made us smile.

We have also – become adept at using Teams and Zoom,  learnt what furlough means, home-schooled…(a bit), cursed our home Wi-Fi provider, we have been frustrated and occasionally lost our sense of humour and ‘some’ of us drank too much. But, through all of this we never forgot you were going through the same and that we needed to help you.

Now we look to the future, we want to continue to be your specialist consolidator, your consolidator of choice. We want you to choose us - Lime and Aviate - because we are a partner that you can be proud of, trust and recommend.  Therefore, we will shortly be introducing a series of new We Are With You initiatives which we hope will help you to recover and succeed once more – more information to follow in my next Bulletin.

2. Refunds - Flights

Our most recent cycle (1 July) was successfully completed as per the schedule below.  Refunds will be made back to the original form of payment.

FLIGHTS REFUND TIMELINE

Processed for Refund (email confirmation sent to you by us)

Expected Payment date

(from airlines to us)

Refunds paid to Tour Operator (at latest by)

Cycle Complete

Up to 15 March

02 April

16 April

YES

16 to 31 March

17 April

01 May

YES

01 to 15 April

04 May

18 May

YES

16 to 30 April

18 May

01 June

YES

01 to 15 May

02 June

16 June

YES

16 to 31 May

17 June

01 July

YES

01 to 16 June

02 July

16 July

16 to 30 June

17 July*

03 August

01 to 15 July

03 August*

17 August

*We will need these clear funds from IATA/the airlines before processing your Refunds to you

AVIATE REFUNDS VIA BSPLINK

Key Airlines

Estimated payment date (from airlines to Aviate) from submission date

Refunds paid to Tour Operator (at latest)

EK/EY/SQ/VN/CX

7-9 weeks

+2 weeks

VS

12-16 weeks

+2 weeks

LH

14-16 weeks

+2 weeks

WY/UX/TP/TK/MH

6 months

+2 weeks

AFKL

12 months

+2 weeks

MK

24 months

+2 weeks

DY

No refunds authorised to date

+2 weeks

Some airlines are diverting all refunds through BSPLink which, unfortunately, can take much longer than we would like.  However, we are starting to see some BSP refunds coming through.  If for example, the submission was in early April then for some airlines like Emirates, Etihad, Singapore, Vietnam, and Cathy Pacific, you will have seen these repayments start to come through over the past couple of weeks. Notably, to-date we have not seen any BSPLink refunds come through to us from Norwegian, Oman Air or Air France.

To give some further insight, on the previous BSP payment cycle on 16 June, we had received 87 PNR refunds in via BSPLink which have since been paid over to you. On the current BSPLink payment cycle (received 02 July), we have 386 PNR refunds which will be remitted to you by 17 July. We can also see other PNRs have been approved for the next payment cycle (due to us on 17 July and to you by 03 August) which hopefully reflects a gathering momentum - although it should be noted that the majority of BSPLink refunds, received to date are from Emirates and Virgin Atlantic.

3. Refunds - Groups

Our most recent groups payment cycle (7 July) will be completed today as per the schedules below.  Refunds will be made back to the original form of payment.  A list of airlines and their refund methods can be found here (see column Full Refunds Permitted).

LIME (BRITISH AIRWAYS) GROUPS REFUND TIMELINE

Processed for Refund (email confirmation sent to you by us)

Expected Payment date

(from British Airways to Lime)

Refunds paid to Tour Operator (at latest by)

Cycle Complete

16 to 31 March

30 April

01 June

YES

01 to 15 April

15 May

16 June

YES

16 to 30 April

29 May

23 June

YES

01 to 15 May

12 June

30 June

YES

16 to 31 May

26 June

07 July

YES

01 to 16 June

10 July*

23 July

16 to 30 June

27 July*

10 August

01 to 15 July

10 August*

24 August

This timeline covers Group booking in all their various stages – deposited, fully paid (not ticketed) and ticketed.  *Dates are based on British Airways payment for refunds and presume monies are refunded to Lime in line with this cycle.

AVIATE AIRLINE GROUPS REFUND TIMELINE

Processed for Refund (email confirmation sent to you by us)

Expected Payment date

(from  Airline to Aviate)

Refunds paid to Tour Operator (at latest by)

Cycle Complete

16 to 31 March

15 April

01 June

YES

01 to 15 April

01 May

16 June

YES

16 to 30 April

15 May

23 June

YES

01 to 15 May

01 June

30 June

YES

16 to 31 May

15 June

07 July

YES

01 to 16 June

02 July

23 July

16 to 30 June

17 July*

10 August

01 to 15 July

02 August*

24 August

Our most recent groups payment cycle (7 July) will be completed today as per the schedules above.

This timeline covers Group bookings in all their various stages – deposited, fully paid (not ticketed) and ticketed.  *Dates are based on IATA payments for GDS refunds and monies are refunded to Aviate by IATA in line with this cycle.    Refunds which require airline authorisation (via BSPLink or other offline method) fall outside of this process and will take longer.

4. Group Bookings departing in July

On 29 June, we sent a communication to all of our customers regarding any passengers booked to depart in July.

As airlines are starting to recommence services, we cannot assume that all bookings are to be either postponed or cancelled, we are aware that some of your customers will be keen to travel.   We strongly recommend that you review each July departing booking and manage in line with the airline’s current policy.  These can be found on the relevant website: Lime, Aviate, Virgin Atlantic Flightstore.

Any booking left Live (HK status) in which the flights operate will be registered as a No-Show by the airline and will have no further value for re-issue or fare refund.

5. Partner News

A. British Airways July Flying Programme

British Airways have released their intended services for July and into early August, with 60% of their short and long-haul network returning to operation - albeit with reduced frequencies.

The rollout of resumed services for July can be found via Lime’s website, along with full guidance on what the airline is doing to protect passengers, and what passengers need to do in order to travel safely.

We expect to hear on British Airways August/September services shortly. Please do keep up to date with publications to Lime’s website for this information, as well as your inbox for emailed updates.

B. Airlink: Re-accommodation completed

Airlink is pleased to advise that is has completed the re accommodation of all Airlink bookings ticketed on South African Airways (SA) onto pure Airlink (4Z) tickets, issued on/after 6 December 2019.

For customers wishing to rebook their travel on Airlink who previously held an SA ticket and were unable to do so please contact info@aviateworld.com with the relevant details such as PNR, Passenger names, original 083 ticket numbers routing and new dates of travel.

For more details please read.

C. AeroMexico enter Chapter 11

The airline will continue flying and all tickets, reservations, and electronic vouchers (Exchange Travel Credits) will remain valid.  AeroMexico intends to use the Chapter 11 process to strengthen its financial position and implement necessary operational changes.

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