We continue to monitor the aviation incident involving an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX passenger aircraft. Yesterday Boeing announced that it has suspended its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft. We are now liaising with clients imminently due to travel on Boeing 737 MAX Aircrafts, working with the airlines concerned regarding any changes to their flight arrangements. All clients and bookings will be undated accordingly.
A statement from Boeing is pasted below for your reference and can also be accessed here
In Consultation with the FAA, NTSB and its Customers, Boeing Supports Action to Temporarily Ground 737 MAX Operations
Boeing continues to have full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX. However, after consultation with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and aviation authorities and its customers around the world, Boeing has determined — out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft’s safety — to recommend to the FAA the temporary suspension of operations of the entire global fleet of 371 737 MAX aircraft.
“On behalf of the entire Boeing team, we extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of those who have lost their lives in these two tragic accidents,” said Dennis Muilenburg, president, CEO, Chairman of The Boeing Company.
“We are supporting this proactive step out of an abundance of caution. Safety is a core value at Boeing for as long as we have been building airplanes; and it always will be. There is no greater priority for our company and our industry. We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again.”
Boeing makes this recommendation and supports the decision by the FAA.
Due to industrial action by French customs, Eurostar are experiencing severe delays on all services today.
Passengers who chose not to travel today can apply for a full refund or a free exchange in the same class of service through their original point of sale within 60 days of their departure date. All passengers having entered their details via the Eurostar website will be informed by Eurostar. This does not apply to groups bookings.
You can check all updates on https://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/disruption_hub or contact your Giles Travel team.
With BREXIT less than a month away (in theory), we work closely with our Visa partners, CIBT, to offer business travellers practical advice in an uncertain world. Click HERE for more information.
VISA NEWS from our partner CIBT
Remaining in the UK After Brexit: Essential Settlement Guidance for EU Nationals
An estimated 3.7 million EU nationals currently live and work in the United Kingdom. With Brexit quickly approaching, many of these people and their employers are confused about the new procedures and what they need to do to ensure their immigration status is protected. Join the immigration experts at Newland Chase, a CIBT Company, for a live, interactive webinar on Monday, March 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm GMT/9:00 am ET, as they cover the essentials for a successful Brexit transition for EU nationals living in the UK. Learn about the impact on the rights of EU nationals, immigration requirements, and how employers can assist. Can’t make the time? Don’t worry; a recording will be sent to all registrants after the webinar. Learn more and register today.
New Trip? You Will Most Likely Need a New Visa Application
Visa applications and requirements change frequently and it is not advisable to store visa forms or application packs for future use. We can provide you with the latest visa information so you can avoid processing delays. Remember: new trip – new visa application. Visit our website and start your application today. CIBT will take care of the details.
Don’t put your travel plans at risk. A dedicated Concierge Specialist will manage the entire process from start to finish, providing the expertise necessary to ensure your request is approved as quickly as possible. Learn more.
In the interest of serving the totality of our clients we are including the following information from our immigration experts at Newland Chase, a CIBT company. We are pleased to provide the most up to date immigration news that may affect you or the travellers that you support.
Work Permits in Switzerland for No-Deal Brexit
In the event of a no-deal Brexit, a separate quota of work permits will be available beginning March 30, 2019 for British citizens who wish to enter Switzerland for work. Learn more.
Saudi Arabia Work Visas, Block Visas, and Nitaqat Changes
The Ministry of Labour and Social Development (MLSD) has made several significant changes to the rules for issuing work visas and block visas as well as to the “Nitaqat” Saudization system. Click here to see the changes.
New Dependent Visa Endorsement Procedure in the UAE
Effective immediately, the immigration authorities in Dubai have modified the dependent visa endorsement procedure. The changes have added up to 4 days to the processing time. Please plan accordingly and allow for the additional time when applying for your visa. Read more about these changes.
At least two blank facing visa pages are required if you are applying for a multi entry visa to Russia.
The main upcoming closed dates are:
- Ghana: The Embassy is closed on 5th March
- South Korea: The Embassy is closed on 1st March
- Russia: The Embassy is closed on 8th March
- Laos: The Embassy is closed on 8th March
Until the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the UK remains a full member of the EU. As a UK national, there will be no change to your rights or status when travelling to an EU destination up until 29 March 2019.
- continue to travel freely within the EU using a UK passport
- enter another EU country without a visa
Visa and border arrangements
If the UK leaves with a deal, travel to the EU will remain the same as now until at least 31 December 2020. You will not need to apply for a visa to travel or work in the EU during this time.
If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the rules for travelling or working in Europe will change after 29 March 2019.
The European Commission has proposed that in a no deal situation, if you are a British Citizen, you would not need a visa for short stays in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU. You would be able to stay for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. Visits to the Schengen area within the previous 180 days before your date of travel will count against the 90-day limit.
If you are intending to stay in the Schengen area for longer than 90 days, or your stay would take you over the 90 days in the 180-day limit, you may need to get a visa before you travel.
Travel to EU countries currently outside the Schengen area (Romania, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus) would not count towards the 90-day total.
On arrival in the Schengen area, you may be asked to confirm that you have sufficient funds available for the duration of your stay. As non-EU nationals, different border control checks will apply, and you may also be asked to show a return or onward ticket. UK nationals would not have an ongoing right to use the separate lanes provided for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals.
The 90-day visa-free period does not entitle you to work in the Schengen area. Most countries will require a visa and work permit.
You should check with the Embassy of the country where you plan to travel for what type of visa, if any, you will need. You can find information about entry requirements on our country-specific travel advice pages.
Travelling in an EU country after 29 March 2019: plan ahead
It is possible that the UK will leave the EU without a deal. This means your rights and status when travelling to an EU country could change.
More information on the types of action you may need to take ahead of travelling in the event of a ‘no deal’ EU Exit:
Driving and other transport
- if you intend to drive in the EU after exit, you may need a green card from your insurer. Read about how to get a green card and find out more about vehicle insurance in the EU
- you may need an International Driving Permit to drive in the EU after exit. Read about driving permits and driving in the EU
- stay up-to-date about air, rail, maritime and transport arrangements after EU Exit
British regional airline Flybmi has cancelled all its flights and filed for administration, the airline has announced. The company said it had been badly affected by rises in fuel and carbon costs and uncertainty over Brexit.
The East Midlands-based airline, which has 376 staff, operates 17 planes flying to 25 European cities.
We are contacting all affected travellers directly, but if you are concerned about your own travel arrangements please get in touch with your Giles Travel team.
A Flybmi spokesman said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement.
“The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme.
“Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe.”
The airline issued the following advice to those due to fly:
- People who booked directly with Flybmi should contact their card issuer to seek a refund.
- Passengers who booked via a travel agent or one of Flybmi’s partner airlines should contact them to see what their options are.
- Those with travel insurance should see if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights.
Due to upcoming airport construction at LAX, some American Airlines flights will depart from remote locations between February 11 and 13.
As a result of construction, American strongly encourages travellers that are departing from LAX to arrive at the airport at least two hours early. We also highly recommend that they arrive at the gate area 45 minutes prior to their scheduled departure.
As always, it is a good idea to check your flight status before heading to the airport. This can be done via TripCase, the Giles Travel app, on the American app or via aa.com, where you can sign up for flight status notifications
Services are currently subject to disruption. Due to the snowy weather in France and in the UK, Eurostar has had to cancel the following trains:
– 9006 (07:31 from London St Pancras to Paris Gare du Nord)
– 9110 (06:57 from London St Pancras to Brussels Midi)
– 9121 (10:56 from Brussels Midi to London St Pancras)
The painfully cold weather system that put much of the Midwest into a historic deep freeze was expected to ease today (Thursday), though temperatures could still tumble to record lows in some places before the region begins to thaw out. Disruptions caused by the cold will persist, too, including power outages and cancelled flights and trains. The blast of polar air that enveloped much of the Midwest on Wednesday closed schools and businesses and strained infrastructure with some of the lowest temperatures in a generation. The deep freeze snapped rail lines, cancelled hundreds of flights and strained utilities.
Virgin Atlantic are advising customers travelling from US airports that they may experience longer wait times than usual at airport security (TSA checkpoints), due to the current US Government shut down.
We would strongly recommend that customers arrive at US airports at least 3 hours before the departure time of their flight.
If you have any questions about VS operated flights, please contact your Giles Travel consultant, or Virgin Atlantic Sales Support at email@example.com or on +44344 2097705.
For all other VSbulletin information, please visit: http://www.vsflyinghub.com/en/vsbulletin
U.S Customs and Border Protection have advised that changes in ESTA application processing, results in real time approvals no longer being available.
International travellers using the Electronic System for authorisation for travel to the United States should apply as soon as possible but not less than 72 hours before their international flight is scheduled to depart. Failing to do so may result in denied boarding.
Those not eligible to use the visa wavier program will need to process a visa before travel.
For more information https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta
Gatwick Airport remains closed this morning following reports of drones flying near the airport. We are checking the impact on any of our travellers, and will contact those affected.
If you’re concerned about the affect that any current trending travel alert may have on your travel plans, please contact your Giles Travel account manager or use the contact form below.