Travel Alerts

Hong Kong Airport – latest updates for travellers

From ABTA Destinations Team:

Hong Kong International Airport will implement flight rescheduling today (13 August) with flight movements expected to be affected. Passengers are reminded to pay attention to the latest flight information through the airport’s website and “HKG My Flight” mobile app. Please confirm the flights before heading to the airport. Passengers can also check with their airlines for the latest flight information.

Last updated on: 2019-08-13 06:00:00  https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/important-notice/index.page?noticeid=1523424631510-3

Hong Kong (SAR of China): FCO Travel Advice Update

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated the travel advice for Hong Kong (SAR of China) with an update to the Summary – Update on continued protests and flight cancellations at Hong Kong International Airport on 13 August. Passengers should check their flight status with their airline and on the Hong Kong International Airport website. The relevant applicable extract of the advice is below for your reference:

Summary

An unannounced protest is planned at Hong Kong Airport on 13 August from 13:00 local time (0600 UK time). There have been some cancellations of flights. The airport authorities advise members of the public not to travel to the airport. Passengers should check their flight status on the Hong Kong International Airport website

You should be prepared that the situation around protests and public gatherings could change quickly, with the potential for significant violence. If you are in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder.

Some protests may not have received authorisation from the police. Unauthorised protests have become more frequent and widespread, affecting many areas across Hong Kong, including some areas popular with tourists on Hong Kong Island and in Kowloon. Compared to authorised protests, unauthorised protests are met by a more rapid and more severe police response. Recent unauthorised protests have attracted heavy use of tear gas, including in built up and residential areas. You should therefore exercise vigilance in the vicinity of unauthorised protests.

Activities related to protests have spilled over into large public spaces, including shopping centres, housing estates and metro (“MTR”) stations, on the margins of recent protest routes. Protests can deviate from planned routes and there is the possibility of injuries among those accidentally caught up in events. Demonstrations may lead to sections of the city being closed off and strikes by public transport workers will significantly disrupt services. In recent protests, bus routes, MTR stations, the Airport Express and the Hong Kong Macao Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning.

The overall level of the advice has not changed, there are no restrictions within the advice.

View the travel advice in full here: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/hong-kong

Cathay Pacific Statement

Flight disruptions at Hong Kong International Airport this week

Latest update: 13 Aug 2019 12:45 HKT (GMT+8)

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon were informed by the Airport Authority in Hong Kong that all departing afternoon/evening flights were cancelled on Monday, 12 August and in the morning of Tuesday, 13 August. This is as a result of the public assembly at Hong Kong International Airport, which is ongoing. There is potential for further flight disruptions at short notice.

Customers are therefore encouraged to postpone non-essential travel from Hong Kong on Tuesday 13 August and Wednesday 14 August and should not proceed to the airport unless they have a confirmed booking.

With immediate effect, all charges and fare differences will be waived for certain ticket changes. Please view more details on our Special ticketing guidelines page.

To view our cancelled flights on Monday 12 August, please visit the links below: 

To view our cancelled flights on Tuesday 13 August, please visit the links below: 

All passengers are urged to check Flight Status before proceeding to the airport. To ensure you receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, please update contact details in Manage Booking. You can also download our app for iOS or Android and enable our push notifications.

For passengers with confirmed bookings, we suggest arriving 3 to 4 hours prior to your flight’s scheduled departure time, and also to take advantage of our In-town Check-in services, which resumed today.

Please visit our Flight delays and cancellations page, to understand our service recovery during disruptions.

While disruption events like these can change significantly and at short notice, rest assured we are doing everything we can in advance to minimise the impact to our customers. 

https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_US/travel-information/travel-preparation/travel-advisories/hong-kong-public-assembly-12Aug.html

Customers are advised to carry essential items such as medication, baby formula, nappies etc. and items such as books or game to keep their children occupied in their hand luggage as a precaution. .

We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as appropriate.

 

Hong Kong Airport cancels all remaining flights for today

All flights out of Hong Kong airport have been cancelled for Monday 12th August, after thousands of pro-democracy protesters overwhelmed the terminal.

“Other than departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today,” said airport authorities.

People are demonstrating over claims of police brutality, a planned extradition law and a call for more democracy.

BA systems issues affecting check-in and flight departures

British Airways are currently experiencing systems issues, which are affecting check-in and flight departures, resulting in some short-haul cancellations and delays from London airports.

BA regret the travel disruptions being caused to customers. A number of flights continue to operate but travellers are advised to check the latest flight information before going to the airport. BA are also offering customers booked on short-haul services departing from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City today the opportunity to rebook to another day.

Threat of Industrial Action at London Heathrow

BALPA have issued a warning that the pilot union are planning to take industrial action at Heathrow on 26th & 27th July. This may affect passenger journeys.

Talks continue this week between the airport and BALPA with the aim of avoiding strike action, and Heathrow remains committed to finding a solution. In the meantime contingency plans are being put in place to ensure the airport remains open, secure and operating safely.

We recommend that passengers flying on the above dates contact their airlines to confirm the status of their flight.

Possible delays at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol due to restricted runway capacity

The restricted runway capacity at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol may cause delays for KLM flights and can even lead to some cancellations. The delays may cause inconvenience to travellers. KLM deeply regrets this and is doing its utmost to limit any inconvenience this may cause and to ensure that everyone gets to their final destination as quickly as possible.

Weekend road closures to Gatwick – 12th May and 17-19 May

12th May 2019 – Run Gatwick
Roads around the Crawley and Gatwick area will be closed, more information available at www.rungatwick.com.

17th – 19th May 2019 M23 Smart Motorway Works
The Westbound Gatwick Spur Road – from Junction 9 of the M23 towards the airport will be closed. Both the Northbound and Southbound exit slip roads at Junction 9 will also be closed.

Traffic will be diverted and journeys to and from the airport will take longer than usual. Customers are advised to plan their journey and leave plenty of additional time.

Cancellation of Jet Airways Flights

With immediate effect Jet Airways has suspended all domestic and international flight operations. The suspension is as a result of failure to obtain interim funding from their lenders and the Airline has been unable to settle payment for fuel or critical services in order to keep the operations going.

Our team are connecting affected passengers in order to make alternative arrangements.

Boeing announce the suspension of its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft

Boeing announce the suspension of its entire global fleet of 737 Max aircraft

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.

Severe delays on Eurostar

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.

BREXIT – advice for UK & EU Nationals

BREXIT – advice for UK & EU Nationals

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. 

Concierge Service
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.

IMMIGRATION NEWS

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.

 

CONSULAR UPDATES

Russia
At least two blank facing visa pages are required if you are applying for a multi entry visa to Russia.

 

CONSULAR CLOSINGS

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

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.

 

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