American Airlines Up-date:
American Airlines – Cancellations and delays are still ongoing. With one-third to one-half of American’s daily flights arriving late, industry analysts are starting to compare American’s pilot dispute to that of Eastern Airlines, which ended up liquidating in 1991 after years of labor issues and financial mismanagement. Passengers have turned to Twitter and other social media to complain about long delays and cancellations, with some swearing they will never fly American again. Also, a third set of seats reportedly came loose on an American Airlines flight, a day after news first surfaced of loose seats on American Airlines flights that triggered two emergency landings in the span of three days. The latest reported incident happened on a flight from Vail, Colo., to Dallas.
The incident involved Flight 443 from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Miami. The plane returned to JFK without incident when the seats were discovered, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. An airline representative said the airline does not believe the incidents are related to American’s ongoing labor issues.
UK & EUROPE
Hundreds of people have fallen ill in a salmonella outbreak by eating tainted smoked salmon produced by Foppen. Around 200 people in the Netherlands are ill and some 100 people in the US have “the same type of salmonella,” the Dutch public health authority RIVM said. Salmonella usually lasts four to seven days and most people recover.
Belgian Rail Strike
Eurostar services face further disruption this week because of a national strike planned in Belgium. The industrial action on Wednesday, October 3, is expected to cause major disruption across the Belgian rail network. If it goes ahead, Eurostar will not run services to and from Brussels from 22:00 CET on 2 October to 22:00 CET on 3 October. During this period, Eurostar services to and from Brussels will terminate and commence at Lille Europe station. As a precaution, Eurostar is strongly recommending passengers planning to travel to or from Brussels on October 3, or on the 19:04 departure from London on October 2, to exchange their tickets for travel before or after. Eurostar will offer refunds or exchanges free of charge regardless of ticket conditions, but subject to availability on alternative services. A revised timetable will be in operation to and from Lille Europe which is expected to be published today.
Parliamentary elections took place on 1 October. Travelers should remain vigilant for demonstrations, which can take place at short notice, exercise caution at all times and allow additional travel time.
A series of major demonstrations are scheduled to take place across Spain on Sunday October 7 according to an announcement last night by The Spanish Social Council, over what they claim is action “against the economic policies and the new budget for 2013 approved by government of Mariano Rajoy.”
It is unclear as yet just what impact the demonstrations will have or the numbers of those attending; however, with all of Spain’s provincial capitals targeted, there is expected be considerable disruption with the potential for clashes with police as has recently been the case. Organizers of the demonstrations belonging to the UGT (General Union of Workers) also warned they are investigating the feasibility of calling a general strike to coincide with the budget debate in parliament. The Spanish Social Council is said to have considerable sway in influencing demonstrations, and recent action demanding a referendum over the government spending cuts saw around half a million people take to the streets of Madrid.
Rail Strike – Trenitalia personnel are planning to walk off the job for 24 hours on October 13, starting at 9pm local time. Trenitalia is the primary train operator in Italy; however, the strike is not likely to cause huge disruption as it will be over the weekend. Other rail agencies will also be taking part in a strike between the hours of 9am and 5pm local time on Sunday, October 14.
Around 139,000 troops are to patrol streets in the run up to October 7th general elections in the country. Troops seek to provide security and help organize the elections efficiently. The military will be present to guarantee peace and calm and strongly act against any focus of violence. Thousands of supporters of the opposition Unity party are expected to participate in a final election campaign event on 30 September in Caracas ahead of 7 October presidential polls. The event will begin at 09:00 (local) and will be held in the El Paraiso Parish area west-southwest of downtown Caracas.
Warning: Cambodia will celebrate Pchum Ben on 14-17 October. During this period (including possibly before and after the official holiday), many services across the country will be closed, including government offices, restaurants and shops.
Cambodia – Dengue outbreak continues to spread across Cambodia
Authorities urged local officials in high risk areas, including Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kandal and Phnom Penh, to remain vigilant. Apply mosquito repellent containing 20% to 30% DEET from dawn to dusk and eliminate stagnant pools of water in which mosquitos breed.
Authorities warn of LeT terror attacks planned for November 2012 to January 2013
India’s Intelligence Bureau issued an alert suggesting that the Pakistani militant group (LeT) is planning to strike three locations in India between November 2012 and January 2013. Additional details on the type of attack or potential targets were not disclosed. Travelers should allow for additional travel time to navigate security checks. Immediately report suspicious behavior or packages and remain vigilant at all times.
Taxi drivers threaten indefinite strike from 7 October
The Mumbai Taxi-men’s’ Union (MTU), representing more than 45,000 taxi drivers in Mumbai, is scheduled to launch an indefinite strike from 00:00 local time on 7 October to demand an increased hike in minimum fares. Note that radio taxis operated by large fleet operators are unlikely to be affected by the industrial action. Allow for additional travel time.
International airports placed on high alert due to new coronavirus.
Officials at Hanoi’s Nội Bài International Airport, Ho Chi Minh City’s Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport and Đà Nẵng International Airport have been placed on high alert for the possible entry of travelers infected with a new virus that resembles severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a serious form of pneumonia.
Travelers must avoid traveling if experiencing a fever or symptoms commonly associated with SARS, including coughing, difficulty breathing, chills and shaking, headache and muscle aches.
Tropical Storm Gaemi forecast to make landfall over central Vietnam on 6 October in Quảng Ngãi province as a Category 1 typhoon at approximately 13:00 local time on 6 Oct. Travelers should track local media and exercise caution near coastal areas of central Vietnam from 5-7 October. Avoid travel near steep slopes, mountain edges, drainage channels or natural erosion valleys.
International airports placed on high alert due to new coronavirus.
Officials at international airports and sea terminals have been placed on high alert and are using thermal scanning on incoming travelers, especially those from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the U.K., to detect individuals infected with a new virus that resembles severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), a serious form of pneumonia. Travelers must avoid traveling if experiencing a fever or symptoms commonly associated with SARS, including coughing, difficulty breathing, chills and shaking, headache and muscle aches.
AFRICA, ISRAEL & MIDDLE EAST
Opposition groups call for protest rally in Amman on 5 October – More than 75 political parties and protest groups led by the Muslim Brotherhood called for a “save the homeland” rally in Amman on 5 October. Organizers are aiming for more than 50,000 participants in the demonstration touted as the largest rally in Jordan in over a decade. Near-weekly pro-reform demonstrations typically draw hundreds of peaceful participants; however, the size of the planned rally could challenge the crowd control ability of security forces. Avoid all protest areas and allow additional time to travel.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The death toll continues to rise in the Oriental province of DR Congo following an Ebola fever outbreak. There is no cure or vaccine for Ebola. Travelers should exercise caution in the DRC’s Haut-Uele District and avoid close physical contact with strangers. Travel advice for the DRC includes the following: There have been increased reports of violent and well-planned attacks on foreign nationals, including aid workers, in Goma, for example violent car-jackings and burglaries by groups of armed bandits. As a result, we advise that you do not travel at night and that you avoid traveling alone at all times. Given the continuing rebel activity in North Kivu, the ability of the security services to respond to an emergency call is extremely limited.
A large demonstration is planned outside of Cathédrale Saint Paul in the Plateau area of Abidjan (Lagunes region) on 4 October. You should avoid the area on this day. There is a risk of violence breaking out.
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