Italy: Nationwide transport strike hits trains, buses, underground lines, air travel

A 24-hour transport strike on Friday meant longer waits and disruption to the journeys of thousands, with trains, buses, underground lines, and air travel all affected.

Some sectors began the strike on Thursday evening, with the disruption expected to continue until the end of service on Friday.

In Rome, the LuceVerde site which provides real-time updates on traffic congestion, warned that traffic was moving more slowly than usual on all the major roads in and out of the centre. The Metro was not running at all, together with the Roma-Lido train line.

For the latest updates, commuters are advised to check the websites of transport company ATAC or Muoversi a Roma.

Two overlapping strikes have been called by different union groups in the capital, one of four and one of 24 hours. The strike action will affect local buses, trains, and underground lines, with service guaranteed between 5 pm and 8 pm. Disturbance is likely to be worst between 11 am and 3 pm, when both strikes will be happening simultaneously.

In Milan, the strike was called between 8:45 am and 3 pm and from 6 pm until the end of service. Transport company ATM said mid-morning on Friday that the Metro line 5 was suspended while a “good service” was operating on lines 1, 2, and 3.

In Florence, local bus drivers will strike between 3:15 pm and 7:15 pm, while in Bologna and Ferrara, disruption to local buses and trains is expected all day, though service is guaranteed before 8:30 am and between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

Those undertaking longer journeys could be at risk of disruption too, with the strike affecting national train, aeroplane, and even boat services

Airport workers will undertake a 24-hour strike, while cabin crew are striking for between four and 14 hours.

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BA’s Terminal 7 @ JFK – Important Update.

GTM has been advised by British Airways that due to its JFK Terminal 7 transformation programme, there will be a delay for passengers passing through security at the terminal from 22 June 2017 to end January 2018.

This will affect all British Airways World Traveller and World Traveller Plus customers on flights departing after 17.00hrs. Therefore, BA is advising customers to allow an extra hour at the airport to ensure that they reach their gate on time.

This is due to the terminal improvement works which are taking place at Terminal 7, therefore, please heed the above advice and allow an extra hour at the airport to ensure that you reach your gate on time.

You can find out more about the work taking place at Terminal 7 by clicking here.

Italy set for nationwide transport strike on 16 June

Rome’s commuters will be affected by a 24-hour public transport strike on Friday 16 June, called by trade unions to protest privatisation in the sector.

In addition to the capital’s buses and metro systems, the strike is expected to affect regional trains, flights and local sea travel.

In Rome various trade unions representing the capital’s public transport company ATAC are to hold two separate strikes, one of which will last four hours, from 11.00-15.00. ATAC employees are also striking from 08.30-17.00 and from 20.00 until end of service.

Rome’s bus and metro services should run as normal before 08.30, and between 17.00 and 20.00. The capital’s suburban bus company Roma TPL and regional coach service Cotral are expected to follow the same strike times as ATAC. For details see Muoversi a Roma website.

The strike will affect the air sector although Italy’s civil aviation authority ENAC assures travellers that flights between 07.00 and 10.00, and 18.00 and 21.00, should run as scheduled. Neither is there disruption expected to many intercontinental flights or connections to Italian islands with only one daily service.

Ramadan.

Please note that as Ramadan is now well under way the various embassies in the UK will be closed on certain dates this month. For example, the embassy of the KSA will be closed from 26-30 June and, also, will not be accepting any new visa applications as of the 22nd June. Please contact us should you have any further questions.

Middle East Airlines Suspend All Flight to Qatar.

Many of the Middle East’s airlines have suspended all of their flights to Doha, the capital of the Gulf country Qatar, until further notice.

The move came after Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE severed ties to Qatar, accusing the wealthy Gulf Arab state of supporting terrorism.

Please do contact us (GTM) should you have any concerns about any forthcoming travel plans you may have. In the meantime we will be actively managing all bookings and contacting those customers whose flights have been affected.

British Airways cabin crew plan four-day strike from 16 June

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British Airways cabin crew are set to stage a four-day strike from June 16 in a long-running dispute over pay.

 

A BA spokeswoman said: ‘As on the previous dates when Unite called strikes of mixed fleet cabin crew, we will fly all our customers to their destinations.

‘Strike action is completely unnecessary. We had reached a deal on pay, which Unite’s national officers agreed was acceptable.

‘We urge Unite to put the pay proposals to a vote of their members.’

 

Unite said the latest wave of action had been prompted by BA’s ‘persistent refusal’ to restore travel concessions withdrawn from those who took part in industrial action.

Unite’s assistant general secretary for legal services Howard Beckett said: ‘It is disappointing that BA is taking such an approach when we are close to bringing this dispute to a close.

‘BA is almost alone among the employers this union has dealt with in that they can accept the case for a pay deal but want to punish the very people who made the case.

‘For an airline of the size and status of BA passengers want to know staff are treated with respect. Punishing staff for using legitimate industrial means to reach a wage deal is a culture that Unite cannot accept and a culture that will ultimately damage the BA brand.’

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IATA Accreditation – what does it mean?

Since Global Travel Management was founded twenty years ago, we have been proud to be an accredited member of IATA.  But what is IATA and what does GTM’s accreditation mean for our clients?
IATA is the International Air Transport Association representing the world’s airline industry.  At the latest count, there are 274 airline members of IATA, from Adria Airways in Slovenia to Xiamen Airlines in China. These airlines carry more than three billion passengers and more than fifty billion tonnes of freight per year.

IATA provides an international perspective for airlines, maintaining relationships with governments and industry stakeholders around the world and helping airline members on key industry priorities such as safety, security and environmental impact.  And IATA works with the industry to ensure airlines’ operational overheads are minimised, for example, by making use of the industry-wide settlement process, known as the Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP).

As an accredited member of IATA, GTM can access inventory and sell tickets on domestic and international flights.  We are also able to make use of the industry’s cost-reducing systems – like BSP – and, by doing so, reduce the cost of buying and paying for airline tickets around the world.

Accreditation with IATA is yet another way in which GTM ensures best practice and delivers cost efficiencies to all clients.

Important Chinese Visa Update.

Please note that with immediate effect the Chinese Embassy (in the UK) have implemented new rules for non-UK passport holders.

Any non-UK passport holder now applying for a Chinese visa in the UK must also provide a residency card, or equivalent (depending upon their nationality), when submitting their application. For EU nationals the China Embassy will no longer accept applications without proof of UK residency.

Should you have any questions or concerns about your application then please do not hesitate to contact us.

British Airways Upgrade to First Class offer is back

 

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UPGRADE TO FIRST

What if you could pay for Club World but enjoy the luxury of First? This unforgettable experience is available for free when you book selected return flights in Club World.

British Airways Upgrade to First campaign launches today, 26 April 2017 and once again includes On Business fares.

Upgrade to First one-way for free when booking an eligible Club World return fare.  This is your chance to experience our most luxurious cabin at no extra cost, and you will also continue to earn eligible Avios for this journey if you are an Executive Club member.

Upgrades can be made on either the outbound or the inbound journey (subject to availability) and there is no limit to the number of upgrades that can be taken during the campaign period.

Please see below for campaign dates and conditions:

Eligible fare classes: J, C, D & R classes

Booking period: 26 April – 25 June 2017

Travel period: outbound before 27 August 2017 (inbound travel must be completed by 3 Sept’17)

Speak to your GTM account manager for more information.