Business Travel Advisory – 1/14/19

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THE AMERICAS

United States 
Today, travelers in Los Angeles, CA should plan routes avoiding a march associated with a strike by the United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) union. Participants will gather at 10:30 AM local time at Grand Park in front of City Hall before marching to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Headquarters. The actions are being held following stalled negotiations with authorities over various issues, including funding and class sizes.

Peru 
On Thursday, January 17, travelers in Lima should avoid a march organized by Congressman Roberto Vieira and anti-corruption activists to call for the declassification of documents detailing suspected corrupt ties between Peruvian government officials and Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Demonstrators will gather at 5:00 PM local time at Ovalo de Miraflores and march along Jose Pardo Avenue to the Brazilian Embassy. Travelers should avoid the demonstration as a precaution and to minimize delays.

Puerto Rico 
Tomorrow and Wednesday, January 16, travelers in San Juan should avoid the vicinity of the United States District Court of Puerto Rico as a precaution due to planned demonstrations against the ratification of a controversial fiscal agreement. Retired teachers will gather at 4:00 PM local time tomorrow in front of the court house, while supporters of the Puerto Rican Independence Party will gather to protest at the same location at 7:00 AM local time on Wednesday, January 16. Both events are expected to pass off peacefully but may cause local disruption.

AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST

Cote d’Ivoire 
Today, travelers in Abidjan should avoid a protest by the CVCI civil society group in front of the National Commission of Human Rights (CNDHCI). The event comes a day before the International Criminal Court (ICC) will announce a verdict over the provisional release of former President Laurent Gbagbo. The controversial leader was detained in November 2011 by the ICC and faces four counts of crimes against humanity, related to the violence following his defeat in the 2010 Presidential Election.

Iran 
Today, a Boeing 707 cargo plane traveling to Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) from Bishkek crashed near Safadasht. The plane, reportedly owned by Iranian airline Saha, had requested an emergency landing at Payam International Airport (PYK). It caught fire during landing and overshot the runway, crashing into residential buildings. At least nine out of 10 passengers were killed; one survivor is being treated for severe injuries.

Morocco 
On Thursday, January 17, travelers in urban centers should avoid all protests related to a nationwide 24-hour strike by government workers. The country’s four main labor unions have called for the industrial action over working conditions. Although details of any planned demonstrations are not available, these are likely to be held outside government offices.

South Africa 
Today, passengers transiting OR Tambo International Airport (JNB) should anticipate residual disruption following a reported landing error at approximately 2:15 PM local time by a Malawian Airlines aircraft. The aircraft’s tires were burned when they locked during landing; no casualties were reported.

Tunisia 
Today, travelers should anticipate heightened security measures and avoid rallies commemorating the eighth anniversary of the uprising that led to the ousting of former President Zine el-Abidine ben Ali. The anniversary has often been marked by protests and rallies over various socio-economic issues coupled with public discontent since Ben Ali’s ouster. Associated events, likely to be held in urban centers nationwide, may turn unruly and boisterous. Key streets such as Avenue Habib Bourgiba in Tunis may be closed to traffic by police to maintain order during demonstrations.

Zimbabwe 
Today, travelers in urban centers, including Harare and Bulawayo, should exercise caution and avoid ongoing unruly protests over fuel price increase. Local sources indicate that affected locations in Harare include Albion Street, Chinhoyi Street, Samora Machel Avenue, Market Square, Julius Nyerere Way, and Epworthand Mabvuku. Unrest in Bulawayo has been reported from Cowdray Park, Bulawayo Center, the High Court, the intersection of Leopold Takawira Avenue and George Silundika Street, Nkulumane, and Tshabalala. Security forces have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protests in many areas.

Travelers in Harare and other urban centers should remain alert to the potential for opposition protests and associated unrest. Reports indicate that the youth wing of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party plans to hold a series of anti-government protests this week. Travelers should remain apprised of any demonstrations and avoid them to mitigate the risk of incidental exposure of violence.

ASIA & THE PACIFIC

Australia 
Normal operations have resumed at Melbourne Airport (MEL). Flights were briefly suspended today, following a fire alarm which resulted in the evacuation of the facility’s traffic control tower. Passengers transiting the airport should expect residual disruption and reconfirm flights.

India 
Travelers should maintain flexible itineraries during the ongoing winter season, which usually lasts through February. Dense fog can periodically cause significant disruption to flights, trains, and road journeys. Such disruption is typically severe in Delhi and northern and eastern states such as Asom, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, Meghalaya, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. Other major cities, such as Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad, may also be affected.

Today and tomorrow, passengers transiting Chennai International Airport (MAA) should anticipate disruption to flights and reconfirm schedules amid poor visibility. Smog from celebratory bonfires marking the Pongal Festival have reduced visibility. Several domestic and international flights have already been delayed or canceled today.

Indonesia 
A tsunami struck coastal areas in the Sunda Strait region on December 22. The western coast of Banten province, including Pandeglang and Serang regencies, and the coast of South Lampung Regency are the worst-affected areas. Additionally, volcanic eruptions in Anak Krakatau intensified in late December. Emergency response is underway. In addition to the limited ability to treat medical conditions, there is an increased risk of disease outbreaks and potential food or water shortages. Travelers should avoid coastal areas, remain alert, and follow the advice of local authorities.

Thailand 
Travelers in urban centers should anticipate and avoid protests calling for an end to further delays to the General Election, which is tentatively scheduled for February 24. A civil group will hold a related rally on Saturday, January 19 at the Democracy Monument in Bangkok. While related demonstrations are expected to remain peaceful, crowds could cause local disruption.

EUROPE

Armenia 
Today, travelers in Yerevan should avoid a protest outside the Criminal Court of Appeals. The starting time of the event is unknown; however, participants may gather in Vagharshapat before proceeding via the M5 Highway to Yerevan. Protesters may attempt to block the M5 Highway, which connects Yerevan to Zvartnots International Airport (EVN). Protesting residents of Vagharshapat blocked the highway for several hours on Friday, January 11 and Saturday, January 12. Travelers should avoid all related protests and reconfirm the status of the M5 Highway prior to setting out.

Germany
Tomorrow, airport security staff are due to observe a strike between 2:00 AM and 10:00 PM local time, and passengers transiting affected facilities should anticipate delays and cancellations. The action will affect the country’s busiest hub, Frankfurt Airport (FRA), as well as Hamburg (HAM), Bremen (BRE), Dresden International (DRS), Erfurt-Weimar (ERF), Hannover (HAJ), Leipzig/Halle (LEJ), and Munich (MUC) airports. Staff at other German airports may also join the strike, which has been organized by the Ver.di union following failed wage negotiations.

Hungary 
Travelers in urban centers should continue to anticipate and avoid protests against a controversial amended labor code, which is opposed by labor unions and opposition parties. On Friday, January 18, demonstrators are reportedly planning to disrupt Budapest’s metro system, specifically the M2 (Red) Line, and travelers should anticipate disruption to such services. A national march is also scheduled for Saturday, January 19; participants in Budapest will gather at Clark Adam Square, near the Chain Bridge, at 3:00 PM local time, and reports indicate that related events could entail the erection of roadblocks.

Italy 
On Thursday, January 17, travelers in Rome should reconfirm transportation arrangements during a 24-hour public strike on the ATAC network. The industrial action will affect bus, tram and metro operations, as well as the Rome-Lido, TerminiCentocelle and Rome-Civitacastellana-Viterbo train services.

Netherlands 
Travelers in urban centers should avoid further demonstrations over living costs and other socio-economic grievances, inspired by the “Yellow Vests” protest movement in France. Yesterday, another group dubbed “Red Vests” held an antigovernment protest in Utrecht. The demonstration passed off without incident.

Serbia 
On Thursday, January 17, travelers in Belgrade should expect heightened security and associated disruption during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Authorities plan to deploy around 5,000 security personnel to Belgrade, including at transportation hubs and along access routes to the city. Various groups plan to hold a rally from Republic Square to the St Sava Temple to mark Putin’s visit. Organizers expect around 70,000 people to participate in the march.

United Kingdom 
Today, travelers in London should continue to expect delays and cancellations to rail services to and from Gatwick Airport (LGW). Officials said the delays are caused by a track failure between the airport and Three Bridges.

Today, travelers in London should plan journeys avoiding a protest by minicab drivers in front of the Transport for London (TfL) Headquarters on Blackfriars Road at 10:00 AM local time. The demonstration, called by the United Private Drivers (UPHD), is in protest of recently-introduced congestion charges for minicabs.

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