Business Travel Advisory
Hurricane Dorian, currently a Category 3 hurricane, is located near Grand Bahama Island, where it has remained for the past 48 hours, bringing sustained winds of 61 – 82 mph since Sunday morning. Today, Dorian will begin to move up the southeast coast of the United States, bringing parts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and southeastern Virginia into its potential path. Outer bands of Dorian have already reached the Florida Peninsula, bringing Tropical Storm force winds in excess of 39 mph, with gusts of up to 60 mph, to Juno Beach yesterday.
A Hurricane Warning (meaning hurricane-force winds are already occurring or expected within 36 hours) has been posted along the east coast of Florida from Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach, including Melbourne and Daytona Beach. A Hurricane Warning is also still in effect for Grand Bahama Island, as well as the Abacos Islands of the Bahamas, including Freeport.
A Storm Surge Warning (meaning a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline is possible within 36 hours) has also been issued from Lantana, FL to the Savannah River at the border between Georgia and South Carolina. This warning includes Daytona Beach, Jacksonville Beach, St. Simons Island, and Tybee Island, GA.
A Hurricane Watch (meaning hurricane-force winds are possible) has been posted along the southeastern US coast from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet, FL, and from north of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL to the South Santee River in South Carolina, including Charleston and Savannah.
A Storm Surge Watch (meaning a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline is possible within 48 hours) has also been posted from north of Deerfield Beach to south of Lantana, FL, and from the Savannah River at the border between Georgia and South Carolina to the South Santee River in South Carolina, including Charleston and Hilton Head Island.
A Tropical Storm Warning (meaning tropical storm-force winds are expected within 36 hours) has been posted along the east coast of Florida from north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet, as well as north of Ponte Vedra Beach to Georgia’s Altamaha Sound, including Jacksonville and Orlando, FL.
A Tropical Storm Watch (meaning winds of 39 mph or greater are possible within 48 hours) is in effect for portions of Florida’s east coast from north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach, as well as for Lake Okeechobee, including Fort Lauderdale and Hollywood.
Due to inclement weather, there is a traffic management program in effect for flights arriving to Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). This is causing some arriving flights to be delayed an average of 3 hour and 8 minutes. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and allow additional travel time.
Today, travelers in Saint Paul, MN should anticipate a heightened police presence near the Minnesota State Fair following a shooting and car crash outside the main entrance yesterday. Police have confirmed that three people were injured in the shooting. A car crash, which took place in close proximity and moments before the shooting, killed one person. No arrests have been made in relation to the shooting and police investigations are ongoing.
Travelers in Hennepin County, MN can resume normal movement following the passage of a tornado. The tornado struck at around 10:15 PM local time yesterday between Maple Plain and St Bonifacius. The Tornado Warning for Hennepin County has been lifted.
On Thursday, September 5, travelers in Quito should anticipate disruption during a demonstration at 4:30 PM local time at the Caja del Seguro Social (IESS). The protest has been called by a prominent workers’ union against the policies of President Lenin Moreno, particularly an economic plan with the International Monetary Fund in 2018. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out to minimize delays.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
Travelers in Yaounde, Douala, and other urban centers should monitor developments around the trial of the leader of the opposition Movement for the Renaissance of Cameroon (MRC) party, Maurice Kamto, on Friday, September 6 in the military court of Yaounde. Kamto has been in custody since January 28, following calls for a nationwide protest by the MRC to condemn alleged corruption in the October 2018 Presidential Election. Any calls for large-scale protests by MRC supporters are likely to be banned by the government and forcibly dispersed by security forces.
On Thursday, September 5, travelers in Lagos should anticipate and plan journeys avoiding a planned demonstration due to the potential for unrest. Supporters of the Coalition of Human and Civil Rights Organizations will gather to demand the release of detained human rights activist Omoyele Sowore. Participants will march from Ikeja to the State Security Service command headquarters in Shangisha. Additional protests in other main urban centers are possible and should also be avoided.
Today through October 1, passengers of Oman Air should reconfirm the status of their flights. The airline has canceled an additional 304 flights for the month of September due to the continued grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Flights canceled from Muscat International Airport (MCT) include those to Jeddah, Colombo, and Karachi.
Sporadic human cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) continue to occur in Saudi Arabia. Transmission within hospitals sometimes occurs. The virus is present in camels and can be transmitted to people who have direct contact or consume raw camel products. Overall the risk to travelers is low if precautions are taken. Travelers should avoid contact with sick people and practice good general hygiene, as well as avoid contact with camels and raw camel products.
Travelers in Johannesburg and Pretoria should continue to exercise caution following disruptive protests in the cities’ Central Business Districts. Local violence, road blocks constructed with burning tires, and looting of foreign-owned stores were reported on September 1-2 in Johannesburg, as well as parts of central Pretoria. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters in Johannesburg; at least two people were killed. Travelers should minimize movement in affected areas where possible.
Travelers in Tunisia should avoid all political gatherings linked to the September 15 Presidential Election as a precaution. Campaigning is ongoing through September 13, and the results are expected by September 17. Should no candidate win a majority of votes, a run-off will be organized within two weeks of the release of the initial results. Ongoing tensions between the main political parties, and the risk of militant attacks during the electoral cycle, mean that heightened security can be expected in Tunis and other major cities.
State-owned Air Zimbabwe has announced that the majority of its services have been restored; however, flights between Harare’s Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport (HRE) and Bulawayo province remain disrupted; passengers flying between these cities should reconfirm itineraries. Services were suspended on August 30 after a technical fault forced Air Zimbabwe to ground its only aircraft at Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo International Airport (BUQ).
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today, travelers should expect a second day of strikes and protests in Hong Kong. Students and workers attended several large demonstrations yesterday, the first day of a general strike over a controversial extradition bill. Some protesters also interrupted the morning commute by blocking train doors. A protest is now planned for Tamar Park from 2:30 PM to 6:00 PM local time today. The rally is likely to be well attended, and heightened security is to be expected. Clashes between police and protesters remain possible.
Today, reports indicate that protesters are attempting to enter the Green Village compound in Kabul. The facility was targeted by a truck laden with explosives yesterday; at least 16 people were killed. Demonstrators are demanding that foreign offices be removed from residential areas.
Cases of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF), including some deaths, has been reported in Gujarat. CCHF is a potentially fatal viral illness transmitted by tick bites or through direct contact with infected body fluids. Symptoms include flu-like illness, abdominal pain, and bleeding. There is no vaccine. The risk to business travelers is low. Risk is higher in those who are exposed to ticks, as well as healthcare workers and family caring for sick relatives. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding tick bites, undercooked or raw meat, direct contact with animals and their tissues, and direct contact with those infected.
An outbreak of dengue fever is ongoing in Palau. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and is present in both rural and urban areas. Dengue can cause a range of symptoms and has no particular treatment. Some people, especially those who have been infected before, get a more severe form that can lead to fatal complications. Although a vaccine is available in several locations, it is only recommended for people who have been infected with dengue in the past and are living or traveling in areas with high levels of dengue transmission. Travelers should prevent infection by avoiding mosquito bites.
Travelers should plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Typhoon Lingling. The weather system is likely to primarily affect provinces along the western coast, as well as Seoul and Incheon. Lingling is forecast to strengthen further as it approaches Jeju Island on Friday, September 6. It will then move north along the western coast towards Seoul, bringing heavy rain and strong winds through Saturday, September 7. Short-notice disruption to flights is possible, including at Jeju (CJU), Incheon (ICN), and Gimpo (GMP) airports.
Travelers in Taiwan, including Taipei, should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption during the passage of Tropical Storm Lingling. The weather system is moving northwest, and on its current trajectory, it is not forecast to make landfall in Taiwan; however, southern and eastern regions, including Taitung, Hualien and Yilan counties, are expected to experience heavy rains and strong winds through Thursday September 5. Lingling is forecast to strengthen into a Category One Typhoon (the lowest on a five-point scale) on Thursday, September 5. Short-notice disruption to flights is possible, including at Taiwan Taoyuan International (TPE), Taipei Songshan (TSA), and Hualien (HUN) airports.
A fire has been reported in a warehouse in central Hanoi. Some people have reported symptoms due to suspected exposure to chemicals. Anyone in the affected area should follow the advice of local authorities. Travelers should minimize exposure to the affected area and seek medical help if symptoms develop.
Travelers in Tbilisi should monitor developments and avoid protests linked to yesterday’s resignation of Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze. Today, the ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (KO-DS) party nominated Interior Minister Giorgi Gakharia, who has been widely criticized for his handling of protests in June, as interim Prime Minister until the October 2020 Parliamentary Elections. A protest against Gakharia’s appointment will take place outside Parliament on Rustaveli Avenue at 7:00 PM local time today. Further demonstrations are likely should Parliament confirm his nomination.
Tomorrow, passengers of airlines affiliated with the SkyTeam alliance transiting Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) should anticipate disruption and reconfirm their flights due to a planned strike. Ground staff of national carrier KLM are due to observe a walkout between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM local time over a wage dispute. This follows an earlier walkout over the issue yesterday, which led to the cancellation of dozens of morning flights.
Travelers in London and other urban centers should plan journeys bypassing further nationwide #StoptheCoup protests. The suspension of Parliament from September 9 through October 14 has triggered calls for protests by the “Another Europe is Possible” campaign group. Nationwide protests are due to be held today, coinciding with Parliament’s return from recess. Tomorrow, a rally will be held in London to defend free movement in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
After a breakdown in negotiations over a pay dispute, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) announced a three-day strike in September. The strike will likely cause severe disruption for British Airways, as BALPA represents about 90% of the airline’s pilots. Pilots affiliated with BALPA will strike on September 9, 10, and 27. British Airways has issued waivers for those passengers ticketed to travel during the period of industrial action. Travelers are advised to reconfirm their bookings and avoid booking new British Airways flights for travel September 9, 10, and 27.