Difference between revisions of "Travel news"
Revision as of 17:15, 5 December 2006
This is Wikitravel's Travel news section, about issues affecting travelers, both positively and negatively. For more general news, see Wikinews.
The news items in this section refer to future events and have not been displayed on the Main Page yet. They should be copied there when the date approaches and then shifted to the monthly archives below.
1 January 2007
Military Stages Coup in Fiji
5 December 2006
Military seizes control of Fiji locking down the capital. Commodore Frank Bainimarama announced in a nationally broadcast statement that, "As of 6 o'clock this evening, the military has taken over the government, has executive authority and the running of this country."
Daylight savings affecting flight times
3 December 2006
Fiji military commander not engaging
10 November 2006
Media reports from Fiji indicate the military commander is not engaging with the Great Council of Chiefs' attempts to avert a coup. Mediators from the Council went to see the Commander after he did not show up at a Council meeting called to resolve the dispute between the Commander and Fiji's Prime Minister. The Prime Minister, meanwhile, announced amendments to proposed legislation that partly met the Commander's demands.
New carry-on rules in EU
6 November 2006
Effective today, all flights within and from the European Union limit liquids, gels and creams in hand baggage to 100 mL/container, carried in a transparent, zip-lock plastic bag (1L or less). The bag must be presented during security checks and only one bag per passenger is permitted.
Military coup threat in Fiji
4 November 2006
The British Foreign Office strongly advises against all but essential travel to Fiji due to tensions between the Fiji government and military. The Fiji Military Commander issued an ultimatum to the government demanding that they resign by the start of November. He is currently out of the country but is expected to return in the first week of November, when the situation is expected to deteriorate rapidly.
London-Hong Kong £75
October 27, 2006
Earthquakes in Hawaii
15 October 2006
A strong earthquake measuring 6.6 on the moment magnitude scale shook Hawaii at 18:07 (UTC). Structural damage to buildings, power outage, and plumbing problems have all been reported. Honolulu International Airport canceled departing flights, however, was still accepting incoming flights. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center is reporting there is not a threat of a tsunami to strike the area.
Haze in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore
7 October 2006
Severe haze is affecting parts of Indonesia (Sumatra and Borneo), Malaysia, Singapore and even southern Thailand. People with respiratory ailments are advised to stay indoors and avoid vigorous activity.
Another SAS strike possible
04 October 2006
The Swedish unions and SAS have made an agreement, however it only lasts until february 2007.But the Danish unions and SAS are still arguing. If both parts haven't come to an agreement until Tuesday 10/10, a strike will break out that will disturb especially the traffic on Copenhagen Kastrup, the largest(in terms of passenger-volume) airport in Northern Europe.
All flights to new Bangkok airport
28 September 2006
Starting today, all flights to and from the Thai capital Bangkok move to the new Suvarnabhumi Airport. The first day was relatively smooth, but allow extra time and avoid check-in baggage if possible. 
Carry-on limits relaxed
25 September 2006
Islamic holiday of Ramadan begins
23 September 2006
Muslims' annual month of fasting and prayer has begun. Travellers in Islamic countries should note the practice of fasting between sunrise and sunset, limited office hours and transportation jams towards the end of the month.
Coup in Thailand
19 September 2006
An army faction has staged a coup in Thailand. No blood has been shed so far and most basic services continue to function, but banks and government offices are to remain closed on the 20th. Avoid demonstrations, military units and government buildings.
New Bangkok airport opens
15 Sep 2006
Starting today, Jetstar and some Thai domestic flights will move to Bangkok's long-awaited new Suvarnabhumi Airport, which will take over all flights to and from the Thai capital by Sept 28. Expect chaos as operations settle in. 
Kinshasa situation easing
24 Aug 2006
Chaos in Kinshasa
22 Aug 2006
UK carry-on rules eased
15 August 2006
Effective today, a single small carry-on bag, which may contain electronics, is allowed on flights leaving the UK. Liquids, gels and pastes remain banned both in the UK and the US. Department for Transport: Airline security
Airport chaos in the UK
10 August 2006
The uncovering of a terrorist plot has caused chaos at British airports. Many flights to London, Birmingham and other major hubs have been cancelled or delayed; reroute travel if possible. Severe restrictions currently forbid bringing nearly anything as carry-on: all liquids, computers, cameras, iPods, duty-free goods, reading material and even spectacle cases are now banned. Department for Transport: Airline security
Philippine volcano warning
7 August 2006
Mount Mayon, Philippines' biggest volcano, is predicted to erupt in the next few days and Philippine authorities have evacuated around 35000 people living within 8km of the crater. Travel is not advised to the immediate area.
Biman Bangladesh in trouble
1 Aug 2006
Bangladesh's flag carrier Biman is in serious financial trouble. Flights to New York have been suspended and routes to Paris, Frankfurt and Yangon will be terminated in October. All international routes are under review and, with ancient aircraft and mounting debts, the airline's future is uncertain.
Middle East unrest
27 July 2006
Serial blasts in Mumbai
11 July 2006
Seven explosions have been reported from local trains in Bombay during the evening rush hours. Casualties are expected to be heavy. Travel to the city might be affected in the near future. Expect increased security.
Tibet railway opens
2 July 2006
The 1140-km Qinghai-Tibet railway, connecting Lhasa to Golmud and hence all the way to Beijing, has opened. The highest point of the line is at over 5000 meters, and cabins will be oxygen supplied to help passengers cope. Tickets start from 389 yuan from Beijing to Lhasa.
Shanghai South Station opens
1 July 2006
Shanghai's new South Railway Station has opened for business. The station will handles services to the south of the city, including Hangzhou and Hong Kong, but services will be in flux until the entire complex is operational so check carefully. The station can be reached on subway line 1 and 3.
Train disruption in Thailand
10 June 2006
Terminal shuffle at Tokyo
2 June 2006
The reopening of Tokyo Narita's Terminal 1 shifts many airlines around: in a nutshell, Star Alliance airlines will move to T1, oneworld airlines move to T2, and other airlines may stay put or move so check carefully. 
New Berlin station opens
28 May 2006
After a €700 million construction project, a new Central Railway Station will open in Berlin, Germany. Nearly all long-distance trains to and from Berlin will be rerouted to use the station, and travel times north and south will be significantly reduced. 
Fighting in East Timor
26 May 2006
The East Timorese capital Dili has been wracked by gun battles as disgruntled soldiers protest against layoffs. Australian troops have moved in to quell the fighting, but most countries are advising tourists to steer clear.
Gang violence in São Paulo
16 May 2006
The third day of violent attacks by gangs have brought much of the Brazilian city of São Paulo to a standstill. While the violence has been mainly directed at the police and security forces, Monday saw buses and subway stations torched and even the domestic airport closed due to bomb threats. 
Volcano eruption near Yogyakarta
14 May 2006
Mount Merapi, a volcano about 30 km from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, has started to erupt, with pyroclastic flows reaching 4 km from the crater. The eruption is not presently menacing Yogyakarta directly, but the region around the volcano has been evacuated and is closed to visits. Travelers to Yogyakarta should monitor the Smithsonian Institution's weekly update of volcanic activity via the Global Volcanism Program for current information.
Tourism industry boom in Brazil
11 May 2006
Brazil is expecting a major boom in the tourism industry this year, with an increasing number of visitors also expected in the next few years. According to Ministério do Turismo, the country's bureau for travel, tourism and hospitality matters, 6 millions foreign visitors are expected in 2006; the creation of 1,2 million jobs in related activities is expected until 2007. This increase is fueled partly by the recent addition of 30 weekly flights from Europe to the northeast region of the country.
Varig near collapse
3 May 2006
Brazil's flag carrier Varig is near financial collapse, with many flights cancelled in recent weeks and the government promising not to intervene if the airline goes bankrupt. The UK FCO has issued a warning advising avoiding travel.
Volcanic eruption near Yogyakarta
18 April 2006
Mount Merapi, a volcano about 30 km (20 miles) from Yogyakarta, Indonesia, is showing signs of an impending eruption. Climbing the mountain, a common activity for the visitor, is prohibited for the time being, and contingency plans are being prepared for evacuation of villages close to the volcano if the eruption intensifies, but the eruption is not threatening Yogyakarta itself at the present time. The Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program web site has more details.
Demonstrations in Nepal
14 April 2006
Anti-government demonstrations in Nepal are becoming larger and increasingly violent, with 4 people killed and dozens injured in clashes in Kathmandu. Curfews are in place in all major cities and security forces have orders to shoot to kill curfew violators. See US Dept of State Travel Warning.
13 April 2006
April marks the 300th anniversary of the founding of the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States of America. A city-wide celebration  is in progress and will continue through the month of April, with several special events on April 23, recognized as the date of the founding.
Silent New Year in Bali
30 March 2006
Nyepi, the Hindu New Year, is one Balinese festival best avoided — the entire island shuts down for a day and all tourists are confined to their hotel rooms to hide from the angry demons that are said to roam the earth.
Budget terminals at Sing, KL
23 March 2006
New airport terminals built for low-cost carriers open in Kuala Lumpur on March 23 and in Singapore in March 26. Flights by Air Asia, Malaysia's sole low cost carrier, will operate from the new terminal which is located 15km from the main terminal, while Tiger Airways will move to Singapore's Budget Terminal. Both are connected to the main terminal by free shuttle buses.
EU publishes blacklist of banned airlines
22 March 2006
New Kitakyushu Airport opens
16 March 2006
Ryanair charges for luggage
16 March 2006
Effective 16 March, Ryanair will charge £2.50/€3.50 for each item of checked luggage. However, all fares will also be reduced by 9% (£2.50/€3.50), and passengers travelling with hand luggage and in possession of an EU passport will be able to check-in online proceeding directly to gate for priority boarding. Ryanair is also increasing each passenger’s luggage allowance from the current 25kg to 30kg (comprising 10kg carry-on and 20kg checked-in luggage).
Serial Bomb blasts in Varanasi
7 March 2006
There have been multiple bomb blasts  at many places in Varanasi, including the Sankat mochan temple. Many deaths have been reported. While details are awaited, it has been clarified in the news channels that no idols have been harmed. Varanasi is Hinduism's holiest place and Islamic militants have already been suspected. India has had a history of such blasts, and often this has led to rioting between Hindus and Muslims. Visitors planning trips to India should keep an eye on the news to see how this turns out and how it affects their travel plans. But keep in mind that India is a big country and any local disturbances will not necessarily mean that the place you are going to is affected.
Bus strike in Finland
5 March 2006
Most local and long-distance bus services in Finland have been halted by a strike since Sunday at 6 PM. Trains and planes are operating normally, as are HKL's inner-city services in Helsinki. Details at Helsingin Sanomat (in English).
28 February 2006
Fat Tuesday, the last day before Lent, is celebrated in many countries with a final blowout bacchanalian festival -- alternately known as Mardi Gras, Carnaval, or just Fat Tuesday. Carnaval is different around the world, but common factors include wild costumes, street parties, parades, flirtation, dancing, and lots of alcohol. Famous carnival centers include Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Prague, and New Orleans, which is struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina in August 2005.
Cape Town Power failure
19 February 2006
Cape Town relies for much of its power on Koeberg Nuclear power station - the reactors were shut down on the evening of the 18th of February. Power is gradually being restored to the city, but the premier has appealed to all to use electricity sparingly.
Kobe Airport opens
16 February 2006
Danish, Norwegian embassies in Syria set on fire
4 February 2006
The embassies of Denmark and Norway in Damascus, Syria have been set on fire by mobs in response to controversial caricatures of Muhammad published in Denmark and other newspapers throughout Europe. Denmark and Norway have advised citizens to leave Syria immediately.
Travel communities spread online
27 January 2006
Social networking sites have been exploding across the Internet, with [myspace.com] and [thefacebook.com] leading the pack. In 2005, the trend spread into the travel space, with the launch of a number of travel community sites. Prominent among these sites is [TravBuddy.com], which launched in November and now has nearly 1000 users – and 500 travelogues and reviews. TravBuddy.com was listed as the most innovative Web 2.0 site of 2005 by [Articledashboard.com.]. The effects of travel networking sites is not yet clear, but it seems likely that users will have access to higher quality information resulting from the diverse set of writers and editors, all with different perspectives.
Northern Italy under massive snowing
27 January 2006
Since yesterday northern Italy is under a massive snowing expected to last until tomorrow night. Milan and Genoa Airports are closed until tomorrow and railway connections are experiencing heavy difficulties. Authorities are asking people to use cars only in case of emergency and some highways have been closed to traffic. Travellers are strongly suggested to delay their depart at least until Saturday.
SAS strike over
26 January 2006
Caracas airport bridge closure
11 January 2006
Due to signs of impending bridge collapse, the main highway between Venezuelan capital Caracas and its international airport has been closed. Land travel via alternative routes may take up to five hours, although business travellers in a hurry may opt for a helicopter transfer instead. A replacement bridge will not be ready until mid-2007 at the earliest.
Harbin Ice Festival opens
05 January 2006
Ukrainian gas dispute
04 January 2006
The Ukraine may experience a signuficant decrease in natural gas supplies from the Russian owned Gazprom company. The dispute started as four-fold increase in the price of natural gas from the Ukraine's natural gas suppliers. The Ukraine has protested that rate increase and supplies were cut off. The dispute affected reserves and prices in several West European nations and could affect heating prices and various other prices in the Ukraine.
New passport policy for U.S. travel
01 September 2005
By 2008, all travelers, including U.S citizens, to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico and Central and South America, will be required to have a passport to enter or re-enter the United States. The aim, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is to strengthen border security. By December 31, 2006, the requirement will be applied to air and sea travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. One year later, it will be extended to all land border crossings as well as air and sea travel.