Travel Industry News 7 November 2022

Abu Dhabi Airports introduces facial recognition technology

Abu Dhabi Airports has launched advanced biometrics which uses a passenger’s facial features to validate their identity, and thereby reduce the time they spend undergoing multiple passport and boarding pass checks before boarding their flight.  Smart cameras capture a passenger’s face and confirms whether they are cleared to travel. The same information is then used prior to boarding, avoiding the need for them to present their documents again.

The technology will be implemented in phases, and the first phase is currently being tested at the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) facility in Abu Dhabi International Airport, the only US immigration preclearance service in the region that allows passengers to clear US immigration while they are still in Abu Dhabi.

New Indian Visa Application Centre in London to deal with backlog

A new Indian Visa Application Centre has been opened in London to deal with the catastrophic backlog in visa applications for India.  Recent sudden changes to the ability of tourists to obtain visas through third party agents meant that applications had to be made in person at India Visa Application Centres (IVACs). Since there were insufficient appointments, tens of thousands had to cancel or postpone their trips to India.

The new centre in Boston Place, Marylebone is being run by VFS Global and has opened the India Visa Application Centre (IVAC) for the Indian High Commission.

Airline passengers look for convenience after Covid disruption

Airline passengers see convenience as the most important factor when booking a flight, with the vast majority saying that being able to fly from a local airport is more of a priority than the ticket price. Travellers also want technology to be more widely used to help simplify their journeys, according to the International Air Transport Association’s 2022 Global Passenger Survey of more than 10,000 people from 200-plus countries.


Travel news as a glance:

  • UK rail travellers warned of ‘week-long’ disruption to services with strikes taking place on 5, 7 and 9 November
  • Flybe to link Newcastle with London Heathrow
  • British Airways to start move to JFK’s Terminal 8 on 17 November
  • Loganair to launch LCY-Orkney route and increase Birmingham-Aberdeen capacity
  • Flybe cancels new Isle of Man routes to Belfast and London Heathrow at short notice due to delays in aircraft deliveries
  • Priority Pass increases visit prices and premium membership fees
  • First Chase Sapphire airport lounge opens at Hong Kong International
  • Lufthansa reaches pay deal with cabin crew union