Qatar Airways To Join Oneworld.

Qatar Airways has officially announced that it will join the Oneworld airline alliance after weeks of speculation.

The Doha-based carrier is the first of the three major airlines based in the Gulf (the others being Emirates and Etihad) to sign for any of the global airline alliances.
The implementation will take 12-18 months to complete and British Airways will serve as Qatar’s sponsor.

Qatar Airways will be Oneworld’s second member airline based in the Middle East, alongside Royal Jordanian, which became the first airline from the region to join any
of the global alliances when it became a member in 2007.

Qatar Airways’ network serves 120 destinations in 70 countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australasia.
Fifteen of its destinations and three countries – Iran, Rwanda and the Seychelles – will be new to Oneworld.

Once Qatar Airways’ implementation is complete, and of most interest to business travellers, frequent flyer card holders of other Oneworld airlines will be able to earn and
burn when flying with Qatar and access their lounges.

Kingfisher Airlines Suspends All Flights.

Indian airline Kingfisher has suspended all flights due to employee unrest as a result of being unpaid for many months.

Operations have been suspended until Thursday 4th October at the earliest. The decision came as a result of an announcement made by the country’s civil aviation minister, Ajit Singh, that the airline would not be allowed to operate if safety rules were not being observed.

Kingfisher said in a statement that it had been forced to make the decision because of a series of incidents, including violence and criminal intimidation.

National Strikes in Italy.

Local public transport strikes may affect travel at short notice in the main Italian cities of Milan, Rome, Florence, Naples, Turin and Genova tomorrow,
Tuesday 2nd October.

The strike will start at 08:30 to 17:00 and from 20:00 until end of service, with commuters guaranteed public transport during peak travel times
in the morning and evening.

National Strike in Belgium.

Belgian unions have announced a national railway strike on Wednesday 3 October.
The strike is due to start at 22:00 on Tuesday 2 October and will last for 24 hours. Apart from national trains, this strike will also affect Eurostar services
between Lille and Brussels-Midi. If the strike goes ahead as planned, the first train affected will be the last Eurostar from London to Brussels (service 9156)
on Tuesday 2 October.

During this period of industrial action, Eurostar services to and from Brussels will terminate and commence at Lille Europe station. In addition, Thalys trains
to Paris, Amsterdam and Cologne will also be hit by the strike.

Purple Parking – New Instructions for Heathrow Airport.

With effect from Thursday 27th September, the arrival instructions for customers dropping their cars off with Purple Parking, at London Heathrow’s terminals 1 & 3
will be changing. Confirmations have been changed to reflect these new instructions, however, if you are a regular customer please note these changes.

Please find the new instructions below which are effective immediately.

Follow the signs to the Short Stay Car Park 1 (entrance on the ground floor)
At the entrance barrier, take a ticket (there will be nothing to pay)
Keep to your right and immediately take a first left down to the lower ground floor
Turn right and drive all the way to the end and then bear left, after the portacabin until you are facing the opposite direction
You will see our Off Airport Meet & Greet parking bays immediately to your right
Park your car in one of these bays,
Lock your car and give the keys and parking ticket to our Handover Captain

Follow the sign to the Short Stay Car Park 3
At the entrance barrier, take a ticket (there will be nothing to pay)
Drive up the ramp and exit at level 3
Follow the road all the way round until you reach Rows A and B at the far end of the Car Park
You will see our Off Airport Meet & Greet parking bays opposite the lifts
Park your car in one of these bays
Lock your car and give the keys and parking ticket to our Handover Captain

Super Typhoon Jelawat.

Super Typhoon Jelawat is forecast to bring rain and heavy winds to Taiwan and China’s eastern coastal areas over the next couple of days. When last tracked yesterday, Jelawat’s center was located about 770 kilometers southeast of Taiwan’s southernmost point, moving northwest at 15 kilometers per hour.

Strong winds are forecast to begin hitting Taiwan as well as coastal Fujian province during the next 24 hours. The Washington Post has also reported that the typhoon could hit Okinawa before a possible encounter with mainland Japan, depending on how the storm tracks.
Jelawat is currently a Category 4 storm, however, it is expected to gradually weaken because of decreasing water temperatures and should be a Category 1 or 2 storm as it nears the vicinity of Okinawa on Saturday, before weakenning further to a minimal hurricane or tropical storm with a possible landfall south of Tokyo on Sunday and into Monday.

As Jelawat may cause flight delays or cancellations travellers are advised to monitor local media and remain aware of further devleopments.

Aer Lingus Staff to Strike.

Aer Lingus staff belonging to the SIPTU union are to go on strike next Monday 1st October over planned changes to their pension scheme.
Members who work at Dublin Airport Authority are also taking part in the industrial action.
SIPTU said the decision had been reached following the failure of both companies to put forward any meaningful proposals to resolve the dispute.
Flights and services at Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports could be affected.

Whilst we (GTM) will be informing anyone whose flight is affected, please do not hesitate to contact us hould you have any concerns.

American Airlines Cancels 300 Flights This Week.

Further to our previous post below, American Airlines have now said that they will cancel 300 flights this week. This has been caused by a high number of pilots reporting sick and an increase in maintenance reports filed by crews.

The airline has already cancelled 249 flights this week by Wednesday afternoon, a flight-tracking service said, suggesting that cancellations might far exceed American’s estimate.

Brazil – Foreign Office Advice

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have recently updated their advice for people travelling to Brazil.

Firstly, your passport should be stamped with an entry stamp from the Brazilian immigration authorities upon arrival. This also applies when you arrive by land. If you do not have your passport stamped, you may be requested to pay a fine before departing.

It is also important that you retain your immigration landing card that is required to leave the country – if you lose it you could be subject to a fine.

In some instances you may also be required to pay an airport tax of R$65 if this has not been paid with your airline ticket.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, if you have recently visited a country, which is known to suffer from outbreaks of Yellow Fever, you will need to show that you have been vaccinated against the disease.