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Theme: Route development
Airport report: Bahrain
Special report: The modernisation of LAX
Plus: IT innovation, WBP news & People matters

Routes and destinations

Editor, Joe Bates, considers the current difficulties faced with international travel and restoring air connectivity in this ‘route development’ themed issue.

With countries, regions and different parts of the world at differing stages in their COVID-19 recovery process, for most of us the chances of unrestricted international travel shows no sign of being back on the agenda any time soon.

An example of the current pitfalls of international travel occurred on June 3 when the UK government suddenly, and without warning, decided to move Portugal from its ‘green’ for go list to ‘amber’, which requires everyone flying to England from mainland Portugal or any of its islands to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.

At the time of the announcement there were 112,000 Britons in Portugal with many only deciding to travel there because of the country’s ‘green’ status issued by the UK government just three weeks earlier. The news meant that many of them faced either a race to get home to beat the quarantine requirement, which came into force a few days later, or spend 10 days in isolation on their return.

While understanding the government’s motives for the move, the decision was universally condemned by the UK’s beleaguered airports, airlines and wider travel industry.

Heathrow boss, John Holland-Kaye, for example, blasted: “Ministers spent last month [May] hailing the restart of international travel, only to close it down three weeks later, all but guaranteeing another lost summer for the travel sector.”

And Airport Operators Association (AOA) chief executive, Karen Dee, warned: “The government’s overly cautious approach to reopening travel has real-world consequences for the 1.6 million jobs in the UK aviation and tourism industries that rely on aviation having a meaningful restart.”

We take an in-depth look at the pandemic’s impact on airport connectivity in the route development section of this issue. And to show that it’s not all doom and gloom, we celebrate Miami International Airport’s air service successes and the launch or return of a number of new domestic and international routes across the globe.

Elsewhere in the issue, ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, explains why giving airports more flexibility when it comes to setting charges will aid aviation’s recovery from COVID-19.

In the first of a series of articles looking at the pandemic’s impact on different regions, ACI Europe director general, Olivier Jankovec, updates us on how the continent’s airports are faring and the challenges that lie ahead.

Our main feature is on Bahain International Airport, where airport CEO, Mohamed Al-Binfalah, tells us more about his gateway’s impressive new state-of-the-art terminal and future ambitions.

We also turn the spotlight on Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and its ongoing $14.5 billion modernisation programme and learn about how Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) is ensuring that it embraces diversity when it comes to selecting the teams to carry out the work.

Still on the topic of capital development programmes in the US and California, we report on how San Francisco International Airport is using technology to transform infrastructure data management, operations and the passenger experience.

We round out the June/July edition with an article about some of the IT integration challenges and opportunities facing airports, our regular People Matters column and the latest news, views and opinions from ACI’s World Business Partners (WBPs). A sizzling hot summer issue,
I hope you’ll agree!

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