Wizz Air Malta to commence operations today

Wizz Air Malta to commence operations today

Wizz Air Malta has been granted an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and an Operating Licence (OL) by the Malta Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD). The new airline will commence operations today, with the first flight taking off from Rome Fiumicino International Airport. The announcement was made following the arrival of the first aircraft registered under Wizz Air Malta, welcomed by a water cannon salute at the Malta International Airport (MIA). Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia said that it is indeed of great satisfaction that Malta was selected for this new airline, and that he…
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Flights cancelled as French air traffic controllers on strike

Flights cancelled as French air traffic controllers on strike

PARIS, Sept 16 (Reuters) - Airlines cancelled half of flights scheduled for Paris on Friday and many others that would have flown over France, as a strike by air traffic controllers imposed the latest round of disruption on European air travel. "It is inexplicable that thousands of European citizens/visitors will have their travel plans unfairly disrupted by yet another French ATC (air traffic control) strike," Ryanair said in a statement. The travel plans of 80,000 passengers had been affected when it had cancelled 420 flights, mainly intended to fly over France, the airline added. Strikes and staff shortages in the…
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UPDATED: Air France cancels 55% of short, medium-haul flights Sept. 16 due to strike

UPDATED: Air France cancels 55% of short, medium-haul flights Sept. 16 due to strike

PARIS, Sept 14 (Reuters) - A strike by French air traffic controllers will cause Air France to operate only 45% of its short and medium-haul flights on Friday, Sept. 16, the airline said on Wednesday. Air France also plans to operate 90% of its long-haul flights that day, the statement said. France's DGAC aviation authority said on Tuesday it had asked airlines to halve their flight schedules on Sept. 16, due to a planned strike by air traffic controllers. Strikes across the aviation industry, including ground and cabin personnel seeking to have their salaries adjusted to increased living costs amid…
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EU Set To Suspend Visa Travel Agreement With Russia – FT

EU Set To Suspend Visa Travel Agreement With Russia – FT

EU foreign ministers are this week set to back a suspension of the bloc’s visa facilitation agreement with Moscow in an effort to curb the number of travel permits issued after some eastern member states threatened to unilaterally close their borders to Russian tourists. The Financial Times reports that some countries have demanded collective action to stop ordinary Russians from travelling to the EU on tourist visas, in the latest challenge for the bloc as it tries to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine while maintaining unity among its 27 members. “It is inappropriate for Russian tourists to stroll…
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Lufthansa limits ticket sales amid travel chaos

Lufthansa limits ticket sales amid travel chaos

BERLIN, Aug 4 (Reuters) - Germany's Lufthansa said on Thursday it would offer only around 80% of pre-crisis passenger capacity in the third quarter, less than previously planned, amid staffing shortages at airports and airlines. The airline industry, particularly in Europe, has struggled to cope with the rapid rebound in demand, with huge queues building at many airports because of staff shortages, prompting last-minute cancellations and frustration by holidaymakers. Lufthansa returned to an operating profit in the second quarter, posting adjusted earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) of 393 million euros ($399.37 million) for the three months through June thanks to booming demand for air cargo flights, the company reported.…
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Lufthansa cancels over 1,000 flights due to ground staff walkout

Lufthansa cancels over 1,000 flights due to ground staff walkout

German airline Lufthansa is cancelling more than 1,000 flights in and out of its Frankfurt and Munich hubs in the coming days due to a strike by ground staff on Wednesday. Some 134,000 passengers will be affected by the cancellations between Tuesday and Friday, the carrier said. Verdi, one of Germany's largest unions, has called on the approximately 20,000 ground staff employed by Lufthansa to stage a one-day strike on Wednesday in order to build up pressure in the ongoing pay negotiations. Lufthansa chief human resources officer Michael Niggemann criticized the move. "The early escalation after only two days of negotiations in a…
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UK regulators tell airlines: minimise flight disruptions or face action

UK regulators tell airlines: minimise flight disruptions or face action

LONDON, July 21 (Reuters) - Britain's competition and aviation regulators warned airlines on Thursday of potential enforcement action if travellers faced more flight disruptions and cancellations through the summer. The warning comes at a time of widespread disruption at airports caused by staff shortages, including long queues and cancelled flights, as airlines struggle to keep up with a surge in demand after the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are concerned that consumers could experience significant harm unless airlines meet their obligations and minimise flight disruptions throughout the summer and beyond," the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said in…
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London’s Heathrow airport caps departing passengers at 100,000 a day

London’s Heathrow airport caps departing passengers at 100,000 a day

London's Heathrow said it would cap the number of departing passengers at 100,000 a day this summer to try to limit traveller disruption as it struggles to cope with a rebound in demand. Airlines at Britain's busiest airport have already responded to a government appeal to cut capacity but Heathrow said it needed them to go further. It said airlines, baggage handlers and the airport could collectively serve 100,000 departing passengers, a number that had regularly been exceeded in recent weeks resulting in unacceptable levels of service. "Some airlines have taken significant action, but others have not, and we believe that further action is needed now…
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Heathrow apologises for poor service, could ask for more flights cuts

Heathrow apologises for poor service, could ask for more flights cuts

LONDON, July 11 (Reuters) - London's Heathrow Airport apologised for unacceptable service in recent weeks, with long queues, delays for those with reduced mobility and baggage issues, as it struggled to cope with 40 years of passenger growth in four months. The airport, which handled nearly six million passengers in June, said rebuilding capacity quickly was "very challenging". Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: "We will review the schedule changes that airlines have submitted in response to the government's requirement to minimise disruption for passengers this summer and will ask them to take further action if necessary." (Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by…
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TUI forecasts record tourist demand for Greece this year

TUI forecasts record tourist demand for Greece this year

ATHENS, July 10 (Reuters) - Holiday group TUI expects the highest level of demand for Greece on record this year, its director of Communications Aage Duenhaupt told Athens news agency on Sunday. Tourism accounts for about 20% of Greece’s gross domestic product and has a crucial role in helping the economy to emerge from a decade-long debt crisis followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. "Greece is again this summer one of the most popular holiday destinations. We expect the highest level of demand ever," Duenhaupt said. "In total the group is expected to bring around 3 million holidaymakers to Greece. A higher number…
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UPDATED: British Airways’ Heathrow staff suspend strike after better pay offer

UPDATED: British Airways’ Heathrow staff suspend strike after better pay offer

July 7 (Reuters) - British Airways' check-in staff at London's Heathrow airport has suspended a strike, labour unions said on Thursday, after the airline agreed to improve pay as it deals with a busy summer period amid travel disruptions. Unite, whose 500 members employed with British Airways overwhelmingly voted for strike action late last month, said both parties have reached a deal over a "vastly" improved pay offer. The GMB union, whose members also favoured a strike, said there was significant move on pay and conditions from British Airways. The pay offer will now go to union members for a ballot. "We…
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Frankfurt Airport operator says staff shortages may mean months of disruptions

Frankfurt Airport operator says staff shortages may mean months of disruptions

FRANKFURT, July 6 (Reuters) - Frankfurt Airport, Germany's busiest air transport hub, is unlikely to see relief for a crippling staff shortage in the coming months, its operator Fraport said. "The problem will not get smaller going forward, even though we are hiring. I say that very openly," said Fraport Chief Executive Stefan Schulte told a media briefing in Frankfurt on Tuesday evening. He said disruptions due to a lack of workers would continue for the next two or three months. Fraport has already rehired nearly 1,000 new ground services employees after cutting about 4,000 during the pandemic. Schulte said that the situation…
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Brussels Airlines to cancel 700 flights over summer holiday

Brussels Airlines to cancel 700 flights over summer holiday

The Belgian subsidiary of Lufthansa , Brussels Airlines, is cancelling close to 700 flights over the summer holiday period, around 6% of those scheduled, to reduce workload and avoid strikes, the airline said on Monday. "We are meeting the demands of the unions today and we hope it can rule out further actions (this summer)," Brussels Airlines spokesperson Maaike Andries emailed. "For long-term solutions, we will organise a meeting with the unions on August 23." The cancellations would lead to 10.2 million euros ($10.66 million) in lost revenue, the airline added. Pilot and cabin crew unions of Brussels Airlines held a three-day strike last month, after complaining that the pressure of work…
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China to loosen entry restrictions on U.S. citizens, transit via 3rd country now permitted

China to loosen entry restrictions on U.S. citizens, transit via 3rd country now permitted

July 1 (Reuters) - China will loosen entry restrictions on U.S. citizens, allowing entrance in case of transit via a third country, notices issued late on Friday by the Chinese embassy in Washington said, relaxing rules imposed in Beijing's drive to curb COVID-19. China's "dynamic COVID zero" policy, which aims to minimise the risk of infected travellers arriving from abroad, has resulted in many barriers to international travel, from restrictions on the issue and renewal of passports for Chinese citizens to tough quarantine requirements upon arrival. According to an updated policy statement, U.S. citizens with valid negative COVID test results looking to…
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Millions hit the road, skies, for U.S. Fourth of July holiday

Millions hit the road, skies, for U.S. Fourth of July holiday

The number of people traveling by car and airplane for the Fourth of July holiday is expected to climb near pre-pandemic levels, a test for U.S. airlines that have struggled with inadequate staffing and flight cancellations this summer. The easing of COVID-19 restrictions and bottled-up travel demand are translating into the strongest summer since the pandemic for U.S. carriers. But so far the season has been marred by chaos, with more than 20,000 flight cancellations as U.S. airlines struggle with pilot staffing shortages that have persisted since 2020. Members of the Atlanta Police Department watching travelers in the main domestic…
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More flight cancellations from British airports

More flight cancellations from British airports

Frustrated travellers face more flight cancellations over the coming weeks, as airlines rush to re-work their schedules. The upheaval comes in response to last month's announcement that an amnesty will allow airlines to cancel flights while still retaining take-off and landing slots next year. Airlines buy slots to operate their schedules but can lose them to rivals if they fail to maintain their obligations to the airport and passengers by failing to fly. It is hoped that being able to more freely adjust schedules will allow airlines to run only the flights they can fully staff, ending the reports of…
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Luggage piles join long airport lines in fresh woes for summer travel

Luggage piles join long airport lines in fresh woes for summer travel

Piles of luggage beside baggage belts in airports from Canada to Europe are driving further demand for ground handlers, and adding to summer travel chaos as airlines scramble to bring back workers lost during COVID-19. Once a cost-cutting and outsourcing target for aviation, ground handlers are now being offered raises, as frazzled passengers take to social media to complain about missing baggage. The hiring can't come fast enough as a rebound in travel and badly-needed airline revenue this summer is being weighed by congestion, rising costs and labor strife, after a two-year pandemic vacuum.  Air Canada AC.TO said late on Wednesday it…
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Europe’s summer travel chaos

Europe’s summer travel chaos

Strikes and staff shortages are forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights and causing hours-long queues at major airports, dashing hopes of a sizzling first summer after COVID lockdowns.   Here is a summary of some of the developments: LABOUR UNREST: After sweeping job cuts and pay cuts when COVID-19 brought travel to a grinding halt, staff across the industry from pilots to baggage handlers are asking for big pay increases and better working conditions. Norwegian Air  earlier in June agreed a 3.7% pay rise for pilots among other benefits, in a sign of what other airlines may have to…
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Poland reaches deal with air traffic controllers, avoiding flight chaos

Poland reaches deal with air traffic controllers, avoiding flight chaos

WARSAW, June 29 (Reuters) - Poland has reached an agreement with air traffic controllers in a dispute over pay and conditions, the head of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) said on Wednesday, in a welcome relief for holidaymakers fearing flight cancellations. Authorities had until July 10 to thrash out a deal with the controllers, who had opposed changes to working practices that they said threatened safety.  "We have worked out and agreed on a deal ... regarding changes to remuneration and work regulations," Anita Oleksiak told a news conference. "We are keeping Polish airspace working and finishing the talks over…
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UPDATED: German air controller fixes problems after travel disruption warning

UPDATED: German air controller fixes problems after travel disruption warning

BERLIN, June 29 (Reuters) - German air traffic controllers have fixed technical problems which had disrupted European travel on Wednesday, air traffic control firm DFS said. "From 9 a.m., we will resume work with 100% of air traffic," said a spokesperson for DFS, whose controllers monitor take-offs and landings at 15 international airports in Germany. The problems, which started around 3 a.m. local time (0100 GMT), were caused by an unexpected issue during a software update overnight, which forced DFS to limit air traffic to 50% of normal capacity. Pan-European air traffic agency Eurocontrol said on its website that there were moderate to high delays in many…
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Germany seeks foreign workers for airports amid summer travel crunch

Germany seeks foreign workers for airports amid summer travel crunch

BERLIN, June 27 (Reuters) - Germany wants to bring in foreign workers as quickly as possible to relieve airports overwhelmed by staff shortages during the busy summer season, an Interior Ministry spokesperson said. The temporary workers, who would be offered accommodation and a standard wage, would have to fulfil the same security and reliability checks as other staff such as baggage handlers, which in general take about two weeks, the spokesperson said at a regular government news conference in Berlin on Monday. Travellers across Europe are facing especially long queues this summer as travel demand is back in full force after COVID-19…
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EasyJet cuts more flights to try to manage disruption

EasyJet cuts more flights to try to manage disruption

Low-cost airline easyJet said on Monday it was cutting thousands more flights this summer after London Gatwick and Amsterdam airports reduced capacity and it battled staff shortages on the ground and in the air. The British carrier said it expected to fly about 90% of its pre-pandemic capacity in July, August and September, down from the 97% it had scheduled last month, which would have been around 160,000 flights. EasyJet said a tight labour market for crew, compounded by a 14-week wait for new staff security checks compared to around 10 weeks previously and limitations on European hires due to Brexit, had…
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A look at Europe’s summer travel chaos

A look at Europe’s summer travel chaos

Strikes and staff shortages are forcing airlines to cancel thousands of flights and causing hours-long queues at major airports, dashing hopes of a sizzling first summer after COVID lockdowns. Here's what we know: LABOUR UNREST: After sweeping job cuts and taking big pay cuts when COVID-19 brought travel to a grinding halt, staff across the industry from pilots to baggage handlers are asking for big pay increases and better working conditions. Norwegian Air  last week agreed a 3.7% pay rise for pilots among other benefits, in a sign of what other airlines may have to offer to avoid labour strife.…
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Analysis – Europe’s summer of discontent reveals travel sector labour crisis

Analysis – Europe’s summer of discontent reveals travel sector labour crisis

AMSTERDAM/PARIS/DOHA, June 19 (Reuters) - After 21 years as a service agent at Air France AIRF.PA, Karim Djeffal left his job during the COVID-19 pandemic to start his own job-coaching consultancy. "If this doesn't work out, I won't be going back to the aviation sector," says the 41-year-old bluntly. "Some shifts started at 4 a.m. and others ended at midnight. It could be exhausting." Djeffal offers a taste of what airports and airlines across Europe are up against as they race to hire thousands to cope with resurgent demand, dubbed "revenge travel" as people seek to make up for vacations lost during the pandemic. Airports…
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Ryanair CEO says summer fares will be up 7%-9% on 2019 levels

Ryanair CEO says summer fares will be up 7%-9% on 2019 levels

Ryanair Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said on Tuesday bookings at Europe's biggest budget airline are strengthening and he expects summer fares to be between 7% and 9% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Speaking to Reuters, he said the load factor, a measure of how well an airline is filling available seats, should be around 94% in June, almost reaching pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. "And July, August, and September look very strong with higher load factors and also higher fares," he said. "Fares will be up probably high single digits 7,8,9 percent over summer 2019." He said he expects the travelling experience for European…
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Air travel in Italy disrupted due to strikes

Air travel in Italy disrupted due to strikes

Travel to and from Italy may be affected on Wednesday as flight crew from Ryanair, EasyJet and Volotea will strike. Travellers flying in and out of Italy may face travel disruption on Wednesday, as Italian unions Filt (Italian Federation of Transport Workers) and Uiltrasporti (Italian Union of Transport Workers) have called a nation-wide cabin crew strike. Pilots and flight attendants of low-cost airlines Volotea, EasyJet and Ryanair (including sister airlines Malta Air and Crewlink) are expected to stage a walkout from 10am to 2pm.  Both Filt and Uiltrasporti have already warned that “in the absence of concrete signs (of improvement),…
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UK says it will work with aviation industry to solve travel chaos

UK says it will work with aviation industry to solve travel chaos

LONDON, June 5 (Reuters) - British transport minister Grant Shapps said on Sunday the government would work hard with the aviation industry to avoid a repeat of the chaos at airports last week as passengers faced lengthy delays and cancellations of hundreds of flights. Airports across Europe have struggled to cope with a post-pandemic rebound in demand, but British airports have been particularly hit by major disruption over the past week. Schools were on a half-term break and the country also had a long public holiday weekend to mark Queen Elizabeth's 70 years on the throne. Shapps, who said earlier this week…
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EasyJet cancels 200 flights

EasyJet cancels 200 flights

EasyJet is cancelling more than 200 flights over the next 10 days - as transport disruption hampers the outset of the half-term break. The airline said the cancellations would affect about 24 flights per day from London’s Gatwick airport between May 28 and June 6. It added the cancellations were “necessary to provide reliable services over this busy period”. It comes after a software failure forced EasyJet to cancel around 200 flights on Thursday. Elsewhere Tui has announced a "small number" of flight cancellations and delays. The travel company said “various operational and supply chain issues” are to blame for…
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U.S. summer travelers can expect long lines, higher prices as COVID restrictions ease

U.S. summer travelers can expect long lines, higher prices as COVID restrictions ease

 (Reuters) - With more U.S. travelers expected to take to the skies and the roads this summer as COVID restrictions ease, unbridled demand will strain capacity in the leisure and travel industry and push prices even higher. Airlines, hotels, rental car companies and booking sites all reported a surge in demand for their services in the latest batch of company earnings. But at the same time. many of those companies face a tight labor market and limited volume as they scramble to restart and expand operations after more than two years of depressed demand due to the pandemic. Tripadvisor said travelers should expect inflation to impact all areas of travel purchases…
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Europe sees travel recovery as COVID restrictions ease

Europe sees travel recovery as COVID restrictions ease

LONDON/DUBLIN May 6 (Reuters) - European airlines and hotel chains are seeing bookings recover to levels not seen since before the COVID-19 pandemic, led by demand for shorter trips, although travellers remain cautious about making long-distance journeys. The pandemic led to international travel virtually shutting down as governments around the world banned foreigners from entering their countries. However, the easing of restrictions and a pent-up demand to travel has sparked cautious optimism among executives. Challenges remain in the form of rising costs and staff shortages causing flights to be cancelled. Despite that, airlines are forecasting a return to profitability. "There is a…
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EasyJet says high crew absence not yet improving

EasyJet says high crew absence not yet improving

EasyJet said it was yet to see an easing of crew sickness that is causing it to cancel flights and disrupt the Easter plans of thousands of travellers, but it was confident it would be able to return to a near pre-pandemic schedule this summer. The British low-cost carrier had no option but to preemptively cancel hundreds of flights in recent days as COVID-related crew absences reached 20% at some of its bases, Chief Executive Johan Lundgren told reporters on Tuesday. "You would expect that the spike that we're seeing in COVID infections that really exists here in the UK and also…
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Non-EU airlines liable for compensation for delays, EU’s top court says

Non-EU airlines liable for compensation for delays, EU’s top court says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The EU's top court on Thursday cleared the way for passengers to seek compensation for delayed flights from non-EU airlines operating flights on behalf carriers from within the bloc. The ruling from the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) is the latest to boost passengers' rights to be reimbursed for flight delays or cancellations. Thursday's case concerned three passengers, who made a single reservation with Lufthansa  via a travel agency for a flight from Brussels to San Jose in the United States. The flight was entirely operated by United Airlines . The three travellers arrived at their destination…
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Ryanair expects summer fares to be 5-10% higher than in 2019

Ryanair expects summer fares to be 5-10% higher than in 2019

Ryanair expects average air fares during this year's summer peak season to be 5-10% higher than pre-pandemic prices in the same period of 2019, Group Chief Executive Michael O'Leary was quoted as saying on Tuesday. Lower capacity and increased passenger demand are already driving fares higher for those booking flights from June onwards, O'Leary told the Irish Independent newspaper, citing "very strong" forward bookings . "What we're seeing at the moment is prices are slightly lower than they were in 2019, pre-COVID, through March, April and May. They're somewhere between 5% and 10% higher at the moment through June, July, August…
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Surging COVID cases force easyJet to cancel UK flights over staff shortages

Surging COVID cases force easyJet to cancel UK flights over staff shortages

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - A renewed surge of COVID-19 in Britain has forced airlines including easyJet < EZJ.L> to cancel hundreds of flights in recent days as staff sickness levels soar.  England dropped all its coronavirus restrictions earlier this year, including a legal requirement to self-isolate when testing positive and the need to wear masks in public places.  Cases started to surge in Britain near the beginning of last month and by the end of the March 26 week, one in 13 people were believed to be positive with the virus, the highest figure since the pandemic began.  While hospitalisation levels are well…
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Brazil eases COVID-related restrictions on international travelers

Brazil eases COVID-related restrictions on international travelers

Brazilian health agency Anvisa issued a new set of rules for incoming international travelers, easing restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic as the health crisis subsides in the South American nation. Anvisa said vaccinated Brazilians and foreigners are now exempt from presenting proof of a COVID-19 test with a negative or non-detectable result. They are only required to present proof of vaccination, printed or electronically. "In general, the new rules confirm vaccination as the basis for national border policy for all modes of transportation," Anvisa said in a statement. "Complete immunization is mandatory for all individuals eligible for vaccination and…
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G20 discusses establishment of worldwide health protocols for travel

G20 discusses establishment of worldwide health protocols for travel

Group of 20 major economies (G20) chair Indonesia has started talks with members on standardising health protocols for travel, its health minister said on Monday, stressing the importance of harmonising rules and technology as global travel resumes. "Every person on this earth who travels... can do so more efficiently," Budi Gunadi Sadikin told a news conference at a G20 health meeting in Yogyakarta, where standardising requirements is being discussed. An aide to Indonesia's health minister, Setiaji, said countries were getting ready to roll out a global website to scan and verify travellers' vaccination status. All G20 members support the rollout,…
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Hundreds of flights cancelled in Germany due to security strike

Hundreds of flights cancelled in Germany due to security strike

Airlines cancelled hundreds of flights to and from German airports on Monday as security workers across the country went on strike amid a wage dispute. Security workers are staging a full-day walkout at airports including Duesseldorf, Cologne/Bonn and Berlin on Monday, and further strikes have been called for Tuesday, among others in Frankfurt and Hamburg. In Duesseldorf, around 160 flights have been cancelled for Monday, which is more than half of the planned 290 departures and arrivals, the airport said in a statement. At Cologne/Bonn, 94 out of 136 flights have been called off, the airport said. Berlin airport's website…
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Germany advises citizens against travel to Russia

Germany advises citizens against travel to Russia

BERLIN, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Germany advises its citizens against travelling to Russia, the foreign ministry said on Sunday, as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine enters day four. The ministry said the use of non-Russian credit cards in Russia was currently limited. Earlier on Sunday, the German transport ministry said it would close its airspace to Russian planes and airlines for three months.  (Reporting by Alexander Ratz; Writing by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Maria Sheahan) Photo - People enjoy the sunny late afternoon at former airport Tempelhof in Berlin, Germany, Germany, 06 January 2022. On Friday 07 January Germany government will discuss new…
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Dutch airline KLM cancels almost 170 flights at Schiphol due to storm

Dutch airline KLM cancels almost 170 flights at Schiphol due to storm

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - KLM, the Dutch arm of airline group Air France-KLM , said it would cancel almost 170 flights to and from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport on Friday due to a severe storm. Storm Eunice is expected to hit the Netherlands on Friday afternoon with wind gusts of up to 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour, the Dutch meteorology institute said as it urged people throughout the country to stay indoors if possible. (Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Sandra Maler) Photo - EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON
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International bookings to Southeast Asia rising as borders open -Skyscanner

International bookings to Southeast Asia rising as borders open -Skyscanner

SYDNEY, Feb 11 (Reuters) - International bookings for flights to Southeast Asian countries that are relaxing tight pandemic-related border controls rose sharply in January, data from online travel company Skyscanner shows, in a positive sign for the region's hard-hit airlines. International passenger travel in the Asia-Pacific region was down 93% from pre-pandemic levels last year, leaving airlines heavily reliant on freight for revenue, and the large Chinese outbound tourism market remains closed. However, countries like Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore are emerging from an Omicron-variant related pause and reopening to vaccinated travellers. Return economy-class bookings to those destinations…
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U.S. airlines cancel almost 5,000 flights ahead of Nor’easter winter storm

U.S. airlines cancel almost 5,000 flights ahead of Nor’easter winter storm

CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. carriers canceled thousands of flights through the weekend in anticipation of a winter storm forecast to bring high winds and heavy snow across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. The National Weather Service said in an advisory that the Nor'easter would result in dangerous blizzards and make travel "nearly impossible." Flight-tracking service FlightAware reported about 4,900 U.S. flights were canceled between Friday and Sunday. https://twitter.com/SevereWxLive/status/1487283343402184704 Delta Air Lines said it would suspend operations at LaGuardia and John F. Kennedy airports in New York, Newark Liberty airport in New Jersey and Logan airport in Boston from Saturday through Sunday…
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U.S. suspends 44 U.S flights by Chinese carriers after China action

U.S. suspends 44 U.S flights by Chinese carriers after China action

U.S. suspends 44 U.S flights by Chinese carriers after China action WASHINGTON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. government said on Friday it would suspend 44 China-bound flights from the United States by four Chinese carriers in response to the Chinese government's decision to suspend some U.S. carrier flights over COVID-19 concerns. The suspensions will begin on Jan. 30 with Xiamen Airlines’ scheduled Los Angeles-to-Xiamen flight and run through March 29, the Transportation Department said. The decision will cut some flights by Xiamen, Air China , China Southern Airlines and China Eastern Airlines. Since Dec. 31, Chinese authorities have suspended…
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Britain will no longer require COVID tests for fully vaccinated travellers -The Times

Britain will no longer require COVID tests for fully vaccinated travellers -The Times

Jan 15 (Reuters) - Britain's vaccinated travellers will be able to go on half-term holidays next month without taking COVID-19 tests on their return, The Times reported. Transport minister Grant Shapps is in favour of ending the testing system for the double-jabbed in time for the February break, the report said. An announcement on the change in guidance would be made on Jan. 26, the report said. (Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler)
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Police Union dismayed and disappointed at It-Topo plea bargain / Malta News Briefing – Friday 7 January 2021

Police Union dismayed and disappointed at It-Topo plea bargain / Malta News Briefing – Friday 7 January 2021

1745- Latest News update Times of Malta says that Malta will be in breach of European Commission travel rules if it cuts the expiry date of COVID-19 certificates for second doses to three months, as the government plans to do later this month. MaltaToday says that a judge has postponed the HSBC heist trial of Vincent Muscat, ordering that a key witness, Daren Debono it-Topo, testify first in the compilation of evidence Newsbook says that Darren Debono, also known as ‘it-Topo’, not to be confused with the former footballer, has been sentenced to 10 years and six months of prison…
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U.S. CDC says avoid traveling on cruise ships as COVID-19 cases surge

U.S. CDC says avoid traveling on cruise ships as COVID-19 cases surge

(Reuters) -The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people should avoid traveling on cruise ships regardless of their vaccination status, as daily COVID-19 cases in the country climb to record highs due to the fast-spreading Omicron variant. The move delivers another blow to an industry that just started returning to the seas in June after a months-long suspension of voyages caused by the pandemic. The CDC raised its COVID-19 travel health notice level for cruise ships to four - its highest warning level - from three, citing reports of COVID-19 outbreaks on cruises. The health agency has…
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Travel misery continues as 1,500 more flights cancelled worldwide

Travel misery continues as 1,500 more flights cancelled worldwide

More than 1,500 flights across the globe were scrapped on Sunday, bringing more misery for travellers planning to fly over the festive period. As many as 5,900 flights have now been cancelled on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and the day after, according to FlightAware data tracking website. Chinese and US airlines appear to be the hardest hit. Further disruption is expected on Monday. Companies have blamed staff shortages on the fast-spreading Omicron variant. They say flight cancellations are the result of airline crews testing positive, or being forced to self-isolate. Despite early findings that Omicron is milder than other variants,…
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Thousands of flights canceled globally as Omicron mars Christmas weekend

Thousands of flights canceled globally as Omicron mars Christmas weekend

NEW YORK, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Commercial airlines around the world canceled more than 4,500 flights over the Christmas weekend, as a mounting wave of COVID-19 infections driven by the Omicron variant created greater uncertainty and misery for holiday travelers. Airline carriers globally scrapped at least 2,401 flights on Friday, which fell on Christmas Eve and is typically a heavy day for air travel, according to a running tally on the flight-tracking website FlightAware.com. Nearly 10,000 more flights were delayed. The website showed that 1,779 Christmas Day flights were called off worldwide, along with 402 more that had been scheduled…
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Omicron threat looms over winter holidays in Europe and U.S.

Omicron threat looms over winter holidays in Europe and U.S.

The Netherlands went into lockdown on Sunday and the possibility of more COVID-19 restrictions being imposed ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays loomed over several European countries as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly. In the United States, White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci urged people travelling to visit loves ones to get booster shots and always wear masks in crowded public spaces. He said Omicron was "raging through the world" and that travelling will increase the risk of infection even among vaccinated people. Since the start of the month, U.S. COVID cases have risen 50%, according to a Reuters tally. Dutch…
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TUI expects travel bookings to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in summer 2022

TUI expects travel bookings to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in summer 2022

Dec 8 (Reuters) - Tour operator TUI expects travel bookings in summer 2022 to return to pre-pandemic levels, after it posted an annual loss of over 2 billion euros ($2.26 billion) as coronavirus curbs dominated most part of its financial year. The world's largest holiday company also said on Wednesday it was close to reaching break-even in the fourth quarter, and it was achieving 69% of pre-crisis levels in the first quarter of the new financial year. Germany-based TUI has struggled since pandemic restrictions wreaked havoc on the tourism industry, leaving its hotels, airlines and cruises empty for the better…
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EU considers negative coronavirus tests for incoming travellers, flight curbs still in place

EU considers negative coronavirus tests for incoming travellers, flight curbs still in place

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU health ministers discussed measures to try to halt the spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus on Tuesday, with the Netherlands calling for negative tests for incoming travellers from outside the bloc and France urging tests even for those arriving from EU states. In line with many countries, EU members last month agreed to impose travel curbs on seven southern African nations after they reported several cases of the Omicron variant, which is considered highly infectious. Despite widespread reports of the variant outside of those African countries, no minister at a regular meeting in Brussels…
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New U.S. COVID-19 international travel testing rules take effect Monday

New U.S. COVID-19 international travel testing rules take effect Monday

New rules requiring international air travelers arriving in the United States to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within one day of travel will take effect Monday at 12:01 a.m. ET (0501 GMT), according to an order issued this week. Under current rules, vaccinated international air travelers can present a negative test result obtained within three days of their day of departure. Unvaccinated travelers currently must get a negative COVID-19 test within one day of departure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky's order says the agency "must take quick and targeted action to help curtail the introduction…
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U.N. chief slams COVID-19 ‘travel apartheid’ as unacceptable

U.N. chief slams COVID-19 ‘travel apartheid’ as unacceptable

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that travel restrictions imposed over COVID-19 that isolate any one country or region as "not only deeply unfair and punitive - they are ineffective." Speaking to reporters in New York, Guterres said the only way to reduce the risk of transmission while allowing for travel and economic engagement was to repeatedly test travelers, "together with other appropriate and truly effective measures." "We have the instruments to have safe travel. Let's use those instruments to avoid this kind of, allow me to say, travel apartheid, which I think is unacceptable," Guterres said. Omicron was first…
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EU countries agree to suspend travel to southern Africa over new COVID variant

EU countries agree to suspend travel to southern Africa over new COVID variant

BRUSSELS, Nov 26 (Reuters) - European Union states have agreed to suspend travel from southern Africa after the detection of a new COVID-19 variant, the presidency of the EU said on Friday. A committee of health experts from all 27 EU states "agreed on the need to activate the emergency break & impose temporary restriction on all travel into EU from southern Africa", the Slovenian presidency of the EU said on Twitter. Restrictions will apply to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe, European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer said on Twitter. An EU official said that EU governments…
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UPDATED: EU proposes booster jab for summer 2022 travel

UPDATED: EU proposes booster jab for summer 2022 travel

BRUSSELS, Nov 25 (Reuters) - European Union residents will need to have COVID-19 vaccine booster jabs if they want to travel to another country in the bloc next summer, according to a proposal set to be announced by the European Commission on Thursday. The European Commission wants to harmonise rules across the 27 EU nations to allow free movement, a cornerstone of the European Union, but is facing new restrictions as cases break records in Europe and many EU countries roll out booster doses. EU governments, which will need to approve the Commission recommendation, kicked off debate on the topic…
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BA-owner IAG says transatlantic bookings close to 2019 levels

BA-owner IAG says transatlantic bookings close to 2019 levels

The boss of the British Airways owner, IAG, said on Monday its transatlantic bookings had already reached nearly 100% of 2019 levels after the United States dropped restrictions earlier this month. Airlines such as BA and Virgin Atlantic had pinned their hopes on the reopening of the Europe to United States routes as vital to rebuilding their finances, after more than 18 months of restrictions left them nursing billions of dollars of debt. Luis Gallego told the Airlines UK conference that the group was recovering, and he expected a return to pre-pandemic flying levels by 2023. "Now as the world…
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TUI sees above-average booking growth in summer 2022

TUI sees above-average booking growth in summer 2022

BERLIN, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Travel company TUI Group expects booking to grow above-average in summer 2022, it said on Monday. Long-distance travel trends are already emerging for summer, with higher demand for trips to the U.S., Maldives, Mauritius and the Dominican Republic, it added. "The announcement of the opening of the USA to tourists alone has spurred demand. Incoming bookings already show that clearly," said TUI Deutschland Management Board Chairman Stefan Baumert. (Reporting by Klaus Lauer, writing by Riham Alkousaa, editing by Kirsti Knolle)
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Airlines to face sanctions over Belarus flights – EU’s von der Leyen

Airlines to face sanctions over Belarus flights – EU’s von der Leyen

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union will act with further sanctions, including against airlines, to tackle Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's "perfidious" treatment of migrants, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday are expected to decide further sanctions against Belarus and against the airlines that are flying migrants from the Middle East to Minsk in order to take them to the EU's eastern border. "We are also trying to help the countries of origin," she told a conference in Munich. "Russian President Vladimir Putin has influence over Lukashenko and he needs to…
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‘Open for business:’ U.S. welcomes first travellers as COVID travel curbs are lifted

‘Open for business:’ U.S. welcomes first travellers as COVID travel curbs are lifted

Packed intercontinental flights touched down and people embraced relatives at land borders on Monday after the United States lifted restrictions imposed on travellers from much of the world when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The travel ban, first imposed in early 2020, had barred access to non-U.S. citizens travelling from 33 countries - including China, India and much of Europe - and had also restricted overland entry from Mexico and Canada. "Today America is open for business. That is our message to the world," U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters in an interview at Chicago's O'Hare airport. Jez Cartwright, 49, was…
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