Difference between revisions of "Travel news"
Revision as of 19:19, 24 October 2007
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.
The A380 takes off
25 Oct 2007
The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, makes her first commercial flight today when the Singapore Airlines flight takes off from Singapore and heads towards Sydney. Tickets for the first flight were auctioned online with the highest bids well over S$100,000. Proceeds of the auction will go to charity.
Wildfires burn in southern California
22 October 2007
Many communities in southern California, including Malibu and the metro area of San Diego, are under a state of emergency as brush fires force thousands to evacuate their homes, clogging roads with traffic and making hotel and motel rooms hard to find. People are being advised to stay indoors to avoid the smoke, and it is advised that you do not travel into the area.
Transit strike Paralyzes Paris
18 Oct 2007
Metro and RER services in Paris ground to a halt after a 24 hour strike called by French Unions in response to proposed changes in retirement plans by the Sarkozy Government. The strike is expected to last upto 6pm October 18th but transit disruptions could take longer to clear out. Eurostar and TGV services are also affected.
Violent crackdown in Burma
29 Sept 2007
The military government of Burma (Myanmar) is using automatic weapons and tear gas to quell pro-democracy protests in that country. While demonstrations are taking place all over the country, Rangoon (Yangon) remains the key focus of the hardline response to the pro-democracy movement. Many monasteries have been closed and cordoned off by the junta.
World Tourism Day
27 Sep 2007
Be on the lookout for local events and special offers in celebration of World Tourism Day  on the 27th. Sri Lanka will host the formal proceedings this year. The full program of events are available on the official Sri Lanka tourism website at . A photo competition  offers some great travel related prizes.
Magnitude 8.2 earthquake hits Indonesia
12 Sep 2007
11 Sep 2007
A new law passed today in Jakarta, Indonesia banning people from giving to beggars. Those in violation can be fined up to $5000 and spend 6 months in jail. The new law also applies to freelance windshield washers and unauthorized traffic police.
Curfew in Bangladesh
23 Aug 2007
A curfew has been imposed on Dhaka and five other major cities in response to violent student-led protests. Mobile phone networks are also blocked.
Swiss Federal Railroad main line washed out
14 August 2007
Flooding and a mudslide last week washed out a section of railroad track between Fribourg and Bern late last week, causing immediate delays and rerouting. After a preliminary assessment officials of The Swiss Federal Railway have today said that the line, a section of the Geneva - Lausanne - Bern - Zurich mainline will be closed for several months during repairs. Travelers from Geneva to points in Eastern Switzerland are advised to travel through Bienne/Biel.
Update: The railway now says that it will be six to nine months before the line can reopen. Rail traffic between French-speaking and German speaking Switzerland will be rerouted through Bienne/Biel for the duration of the outage.
Update: After conducting tests yesterday the railroad has announced that it will be able to reopen the route to nearly normal service this Saturday, 25 August.
8 August 2007
Virgin America launched operations today, entering the U.S. low-cost carrier market. San Francisco is its first hub, with fares to New York starting at $149, and to Los Angeles from $49. Flights to Las Vegas and D.C. will be launched in the next couple months.
South Asia flooding
8 August 2007
South Asia is experiencing some of the worst flooding in recent memory. Southern Pakistan and the states of Assam and Bihar in India have been heavily impacted, and more than 5 million people in Bangladesh alone have been left homeless.
22 July 2007
Italian budget airline MyAir is currently experiencing major delays and flights cancellations due to insufficient aircrafts availability. Carrier's activities in Milan-Bergamo Airport (BGY) are heavily affected with 4 to 10 hours delays. MyAir says ongoing difficulties are expected to last until early August.
16 July 2007
A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 rocked the northwest, including Kashiwazaki where 500 were injured and 5 killed. Hundreds of buildings were flattened, and train service in the area was suspended. Travelers should assess the situation before heading to the northern area of the western coast.
Boeing 787, Dreamliner
8 July 2007
Boeing unveiled its new "dreamliner" today (7-8-7), which flies longer distances, and uses 20% less fuel per passenger. Over 600 planes have already been sold, and should begin commercial flights in May 2008. The longest range variant is expected to reach up to 8500 nautical miles.
New 7 Wonders
7 July 2007
The controversial New 7 Wonders of the World  have been announced. They are the Great Wall of China, Petra in Jordan, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Machu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itza in Mexico, the Colosseum in Rome and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Great Pyramids in Egypt, the last of the remaining 7 Wonders from the ancient World has been given an honorary place.
Future of old San Leandro ferry pier
6 July 2007
The former ferry pier at San Leandro Marina's shoreline faces an uncertain future. The old pier and building which has been out of service due to low ridership since 2002 is on the threat of demolition. The city's council has yet to decide if the pier will be demolished or not. Local residents are against the pier's demolition, stating that the pier was an important part of San Leandro history. Currently, there is no plan to open the pier or convert it into a museum or historic point. If the pier were to be demolished, the San Leandro Marina's southern shoreline will be closed one week in advanced and until 2 days after the pier is demolished, the closure will not affect sailing routes on the marina. As of July 7, 2007, the pier and building have been red-tagged advising visitors to the Marina's southern shoreline to stay away from the structures until further notice.
Glasgow airport closed
30 June 2007
All flights to and from Glasgow have been suspended due to terrorist operations involving car bombs. Security at all United Kingdom and United States airports have been stepped up following this incident. 
US passport reprieve
8 June 2007
Due to excessive backlogs, Homeland Security has announced that Americans who have applied for passports may travel to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean with only photo ID and proof of their application until September 30, 2007. Minors must also have a certified birth certificate. 
Protests in Venezuela
29 May 2007
Large scale protests against the Venezuelan government's move to censor a media outlet have turned violent in Caracas with police and protesters clashing. The US State Department has not issued a travel warning, however, exercise caution and avoid any demonstrations. Demonstrations may be announced in advanced in local media, including the English language paper Daily Journal.
New Disneyland Attraction
25 May 2007
A new attraction has opened in Disneyland, Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island. The attraction is located in Frontierland and is based on an old pirate fort. The new attraction is a play area for kids. The opening of this attraction is less than a month from the opening of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage on June 11 in Tomorrowland in Disneyland California.
Purple People Bridge Climb closes
23 May 2007
The Purple People Bridge Climb, the only operation in the Northern Hemisphere to allow the general public to climb across the top of the Purple People Bridge, connecting Cincinnati with Newport, Kentucky has closed. The closure was the result of poor demand and a lawsuit brought by an attorney claiming the idea as his own.
Cutty Sark burned out
21 May 2007
Earlier today, the once fastest sailing-ship of the world, the Cutty Sark was devastated by fire. The exact amount of damage is unknown, since parts of the ship had been removed due to an on-going renovation project. Officials are hopeful the damage can be repaired, however, it's unclear whether the fire will further delay the projected 2009 reopening. The museum ship was part of Maritime Greenwich, a popular park-and-palace attraction, added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Bombings in Hyderabad
18 May 2007
Eurovision in Helsinki
10 May 2007
The Finnish capital Helsinki is hosting the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest until May 12th. Expect packed flights and hotels and security delays.
Wikitravel won a Webby
1 May 2007
Military airbase near Colombo airport bombed
25 March 2007
Daylight savings in the U.S.
11 March 2007
Most American clocks will spring forward one hour at 02:00 AM on March 11, 2007 and will end November 4, 2007. The reason for the change coming sooner than in the past is because of changes in the federal law. From now on the U.S. will observe daylight savings time from the second Sunday of March until the first Sunday in November.
Crash of Garuda Indonesia Flight GA200
7 March 2007
On a flight from Jakarta to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, the Boeing 737 crashed on landing at Adisucipto International Airport killing 22 of its 133 passengers and crew. The aircraft appears to have overrun the runway and come to a stop in a nearby rice field. Following the crash the aircraft caught fire and this appears to be the cause of most of the fatalities. Eyewitness accounts report that the plane approached the runway at a high rate of speed, which could have led to the crash. The exact cause of the crash is still under investigation. A number of Australians were on the flight and Australian authorities have asked to participate in the crash investigation. This is the third crash in as many months of an Indonesian commercial aircraft. Indonesian Authorities has come under increased criticism and scrutiny for the countries poor public transportation safety record.
Flooding in Mozambique and Zambia
6 March 2007
Severe flooding due to weeks of rain in Zambia and central Mozambique as well as the effects of Cyclone Favio in southern Mozambique have left many roads and bridges damaged and large areas of the region under water. Vilanculos has been especially affected with around 90% of the population left homeless. Around 150 000 people have been displaced in Zambia. They UN, WHO, South Africa and Portugal is assisting Mozambique with food, medical supplies and transport helicopters. There is an increased risk of cholera in the region.
Old Bangkok airport reopening
2 March 2007
Effective 25 March, Thai Airways (domestic only), Nok Air, One-Two-Go and PB Air will shift their flights back to Bangkok's old Don Muang Airport. Thai will retain a few domestic services at Suvarnabhumi for easy connections to Phuket and Chiang Mai.
Travelers sing the Jet Blues
19 February 2007
Passengers face delays and cancellations for a sixth straight day on flights operated by discount air carrier JetBlue Airways out of New York's Kennedy Airport. The carrier's failure to cancel flights in advance of a winter storm on February 14 was one of the reasons that operations were initially affected. JetBlue is aiming to resume full flight operations on February 20.
Bomb blasts on train in Northern India
19 February 2007
A series of bomb explosions occurred on the Lahore bound express train as it passed through the northern Indian state of Haryana during the early hours of February 19. More than 60 people have been reported killed by the blasts with many more injured. Continuation of the India to Pakistan service, which resumed only in 2004, is now in doubt.
Special visas for the Caribbean
13 February 2007
Due to the Cricket World Cup visa arrangements will change for the Caribbean between 1st February and 15th May 2007. Affected countries are: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. Most visitors during this period will require a CARICOM special visa, except nationals from the following countries: Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Ireland, Italy, South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Netherlands, and nationals and residents of CARICOM member states (except Haiti). More info at the official CARICOM page.
Jakarta hit by major floods
4 February 2007
Severe flooding has hit the Indonesian capital of Jakarta, killing 29 people and making around 400,000 homeless. With more rain forecast, outbreak of disease is possible.
World Heritage photo contest
30 January 2007
The United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation) is calling on travel lovers to enter the first World Heritage photo contest created by Friends of World Heritage. Submissions will be accepted through March 1.
British Airways strike averted
30 January 2007
The T&G Union has called off their work action scheduled for 30 and 31 January, allowing British Airways to resume normal flight operations from Heathrow and Gatwick airports in London.
Bangkok's airport unsafe?
27 January 2007
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok has been denied a safety certificate by the Department of Civil Aviation due to ongoing repairs of damaged runways and the airport has failed to set up a safety board as required by the International Civil Aviation Organization. The airport will continue to operate, since some international standards and requirements have not become law, yet. Travelers may experience some inconveniences.
BA to cancel 1300 flights
25 January 2007
After failed talks between BA and T&G Union, industrial action by the union on January 30 and 31 is set to lead to the cancellation of 1300 BA flights. London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports will be worst affected.
Part 1 of WHTI Goes Into Effect Today
23 January 2007
The air travel portion of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI)  goes into effect today. WHTI will require all travelers flying to and from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Bermuda to present a passport to enter or re-enter the United States. Part 2 of WHTI (land and sea travel) goes into effect as early as January 1, 2008. Click here for US Passport information & forms
Power outages across South Africa
18 January 2007
Widespread blackouts can be expected throughout South Africa after a controlled shutdown at the Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant in Cape Town early Thursday morning. Traffic delays may affect your travel arrangements, especially in larger centers. The national electricity supplier Eskom expects to have the situation back to normal by the end of next week. The Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant consists of two 900 megawatt generators and supply about 50% of the power required in the Western Cape. One of these reactors have shut down and other coal power stations are also undergoing maintenance at the moment. This is resulting in a 2000 megawatt shortfall on the national grid. The situation is similar to what was experienced in California in 2001.
Sihanoukville airport opens
16 January 2007
Cambodia's up-and-coming beach resort Sihanoukville has opened an airport. Scheduled flights are limited to Siem Reap (Angkor), but are expected to surge once the runway extension is complete by the end of the year. 
Taiwan High Speed Rail opens
5 January 2007
Taiwan's High Speed Rail line, running the length of the island from Taipei to Kaohsiung in just 90 minutes, has opened to the public. Until Jan 15, services are limited to 19 daily test runs, with tickets available for half price. 
Bangkok hit by a series of bombs
1 January 2007
1 January 2007