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Cathay returns to Perth and cruise lines build confidence

September 4, 2020 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Signs of travel revival are gathering pace, with Cathay Pacific yesterday resuming flights from Perth to Hong Kong and beyond – including to Asia, Europe and North America – while two famous cruise lines, PONANT and Hurtigruten, have each introduced separate policies aimed at giving travellers confidence and peace of mind for booking and travel.

Nobody is underestimating the challenges of 2020, year of Covid-19 – or of travel from Australia, where the government refuses to let citizens and permanent residents leave unless they obtain a special exemption from bans imposed by the Biosecurity Determination 2020.

But southern spring is here, 2021 is less than three months away, numerous vaccines are under development and better times are coming.

 Among positive signs:

Cathay Pacific has shown its continued support to Australians who need to travel at this challenging time. It will operate a total of five outbound flights in September from Perth.

Richard Jones, Cathay’s Regional Head of Marketing and Sales, comments: “As we see confidence for essential travel increase, we’re pleased to be able to offer flight services from Perth once more. We want our passengers to know that they can count on us to support them through these challenging times and fly them safely to wherever they need to be across our network”.

Passenger health and well-being is of paramount importance and priority for Cathay Pacific – the World’s Top Cleanest Airline for five years in a row.

Cathay Pacific

The airline recently introduced the Cathay Care program to ensure travellers can fly with confidence. Enhanced measures have been implemented across every stage of the journey from check-in to in-flight, as a commitment to passenger safety and wellbeing. All customers flying with the airline will also receive Cathay Care Kits containing useful essentials such as face coverings and antiseptic wipes.

All new tickets issued up to 31 October 2020 are eligible for unlimited free changes. Cathay Pacific says it understands that being flexible is more important now than ever.

All operating outbound flights are available only to passengers who are eligible to leave the country or have an exemption from the Australian Government to travel.

PONANT, the only French-flagged ocean cruise line, has extended its Serenity Policy to provide greater confidence and peace of mind, applicable to new bookings on all departures until 30 April 2021.

“Being mindful of the current changing and evolving market conditions, we are working to further assist our travel partners by extending our PONANT Serenity Policy to help reduce hurdles to purchase,” advises Deb Corbett, General Manager Sales and Marketing Asia Pacific.

“Feedback from the trade since we introduced our Serenity Policy has been positive as it has helped ease concerns many potential customers have had regarding committing to a future cruise during these uncertain times. We know there is pent-up demand for small ship cruising and helping provide peace of mind goes a long way to creating confidence for both agents and their customers.”

Ponant fleet

As a luxury line with the world’s youngest fleet, Ponant takes travellers in high style to the polar regions, both Arctic and Antarctic, and to tropical regions including those in and around Australia.

PONANT’s Serenity Policy for all new bookings for departures until 30 April 2021 includes:

  • Reduced deposit – now just 10%, instead of 25%
  • Final payment not due until 30 days prior to departure, instead of 90 days
  • Guests can cancel up to 30 days prior to departure and receive a refund (minus AUD300 per person) OR transfer the full paid amount to a future booking – no fees apply. The transfer is once-only.

MEANWHILE, Hurtigruten has updated its Book with Confidence policy. The Hurtigruten policy states: “Book a cruise by 31 October 2020, and if you cancel for any reason in the future, Hurtigruten promises you’ll receive a FULL refund – including your deposit – within 14 days.”

The Norway-based cruise line promises there will be no vouchers “and no month-long waiting times.

“Your money back in just two weeks. So you can go ahead and plan the expedition of your dreams worry-free.”

Hurtigruten says it understands that booking a holiday during this time of travel restrictions and general uncertainty “can feel risky”.

“So we’ve developed a new cancellation policy for all new bookings for 2021 and 2022 voyages to give our agents certainty and our guests peace of mind.

Damian Perry, Hurtigruten’s Managing Director Asia-Pacific, says in order to develop the best customer-focused solutions. Hurtigruten has updated its Book with Confidence policy to take the uncertainty out of planning travel.

“It is a one-of-a-kind ‘change of mind’ policy that supports our customers,” Perry adds.

The offer is valid throughout September and October 2020 for all new bookings, providing an ideal opportunity to secure a place on a once-in-a-lifetime expedition cruise to one Hurtigruten’s extraordinary wilderness destinations.

Edited by Peter Needham

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