Our picks from this week’s travel headlines
PASSPORT POWER How far will that little booklet take you? According to GOOD Magazine, the most powerful passports when it comes to visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to other countries are Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom in a three-way tie at 173 countries. Amongst Asia-Pacific countries, Japan tops the mobility chart at 170 countries, followed by New Zealand at 168, and Australia and Singapore at 167.
WHAT WILL AIR TRAVEL BE LIKE IN 2024? Really, who wouldn’t want an automated airport with a rooftop pool, biometric scanners (no passports required), and holographic staff to guide you to your gate? Part two of Skyscanner’s report on the future of travel imagines there would be no more check-in counters (drop off your bag at Starbucks) and you can track your luggage with digital tags. As for the flying experience, morphing seats, sonic disrupters to keep your seat free from noise, and melatonin-producing lights to induce sleep are seen to make flying more pleasant in 2024.
AIRASIA RETURNS TO JAPAN Sayonara is not forever. The return of AirAsia Japan, an agreement between AirAsia, Rakuten, Octave, Noevir and Alpen, was announced on 1 July. The airline will fly domestic and international flights to and from the Land of the Rising Sun by the summer of 2015. The first plane livery will be designed by famed photographer Mika Ninagawa.