Today, travelers should reconfirm their flights before setting out and maintain flexible itineraries. Services across the country have been experiencing delays because of reported technical difficulties. American, Delta, and Southwest airlines have announced that their operations have been affected. JetBlue, Alaska, and United airlines are also thought to have been impacted. Travelers should monitor developments.
On Thursday, April 4, travelers in Buenos Aires should avoid a protest over socioeconomic issues, including the high cost of food, housing, transportation and public services. The protest, organized by the Argentine Workers’ Union (CTA), will begin at 11:00 AM local time at Avenida Entre Rios and Hipolito Irigoyen. CTA plans to hold further protests throughout the month.
On April 11, travelers in major urban centers should avoid planned nationwide demonstrations calling on the government to restructure the state pension system. The gatherings are being organized by Workers United Center of Chile (CUT), with unions, student groups and civic society organizations also taking part. The exact time and location of gatherings are not yet known; however, travelers in urban areas should anticipate disruption on the day.
All travel to Venezuela should be deferred in the coming days, while travelers in country should minimize non-essential movement amid an ongoing political crisis. Sporadic power outages and shortages of food, water and fuel have exacerbated the situation, causing increased unrest in Caracas and other urban centers. Juan Guaido, the National Assembly-recognized interim President, has called for nationwide demonstrations on Saturday, April 6 to demand the removal of President Nicolas Maduro. Travelers should continue to avoid all political gatherings due to a credible risk of unrest.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
All travel to Comoros should be deferred through Friday, April 5. Travelers in country should minimize non-essential movement and be prepared to stand fast at secure accommodations, with sufficient supplies, at short notice. This advice reflects heightened political tensions and unrest linked to the March 24 Presidential Election, won by incumbent Azali Assoumani with 61% of the vote. The opposition has alleged fraud and unrest has followed the election, including on March 28 in Moroni after the arrest of a senior opposition figure.
Several workers at a manganese mine in Barima-Waini have fallen ill with difficulty breathing and fever. One person has died, while the others are being treated in isolation. No diagnosis is currently available. Investigations and tests are underway to determine the cause; however, preliminary information suggests a virus. There is no indication that the illness has spread beyond these co-workers. Travelers should follow routine general hygiene, avoid contact with animals, and select safe food and water.
Travelers in Iran should continue to exercise caution and anticipate further disruption caused by heavy rain and flooding in several central, northern, southern, and western provinces. Adverse weather conditions will continue to affect various areas in the coming days, especially Golestan, Khuzestan and Lorestan provinces. A State of Emergency has been declared in Khuzestan, while dozens of villages in Khuzestan and Lorestan have been evacuated. According to international media reports, at least 45 people have been killed by flash floods in recent days.
Travelers in the Kurdistan Region (KR), as well as northern, eastern and southern provinces of federal Iraq, should exercise caution and anticipate further disruption caused by adverse weather. On Saturday, March 30, authorities issued warnings to residents in several provinces, especially those along the banks of rivers where water levels have increased in recent weeks, including the Tigris and Euphrates. The Fish-Khabur Crossing between the KR and Syria is closed, while the Sumer-Mandali Crossing between Iraq and Iran was closed yesterday due to anticipated flooding.
Travelers in Nairobi are reminded to remain vigilant in the central business district (CBD). This comes after a reported increase of robberies and muggings in broad daylight by bogus matatu (or shared minibus) touts. In the scam, criminals approach people leaving retail outlets laden with bags and offer to escort them to a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) to their destination. The perpetrators then take the victim’s belongings, countering any resistance by displaying a knife or other weapon. Travelers are reminded to avoid walking in the CBD at night.
Cyclone Idai and associated heavy rains have led to extensive damage and flooding in parts of the country. The hardest hit areas include Chikwawa, Machinga, Mangochi, Nsanje, and Phalombe districts in the Southern region. Damage to power, communications, and healthcare infrastructure has occurred. Food and safe drinking water may be limited. Increased health risks posed by the flood waters include injury, diarrheal diseases, skin infections, and insect-borne diseases. Non-essential travel to affected areas should be deferred.
Non-essential travel to Manica, Zambezia and Sofala provinces, as well as to several districts in Niassa, Gaza, Inhambane and Tete provinces, should be deferred until further notice. This follows the damage and flooding caused by former Tropical Cyclone Idai. Heavy rainfall has hampered relief and repair efforts; however, the N6 Highway, the main overland route from Maputo to Beira, partially reopened on March 24 after a brief closure. Travelers should anticipate heightened security around key institutions such as government buildings and shops, as authorities seek to deter criminality and looting.
Today through April 30, passengers of Oman Air should reconfirm flight schedules following an announcement by the airline that they have canceled more than 450 flights. The cancellations are a result of the Public Authority for Civil Aviation’s decision to ground the Omani Boeing 737 MAX fleet following two aircraft crashes in which hundreds of people died. Some of the destinations of the affected flights include Bahrain, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Refer to the Oman Air website for an updated list of canceled flights.
The Inauguration of President Macky Sall for a second term will be held tomorrow at Centre des Expositions de Dakar in Diamniadio, around 18 miles southeast of Dakar. Several dignitaries, including 12 heads of state, will attend the ceremony. Heightened security measures are likely around the event venue, as well as Blaise Diagne International Airport (DSS), which serves Dakar. Travelers should follow all official directives and allow additional time for journeys between Dakar’s city center and the airport.
Travelers should plan routes avoiding Mandeni, as further protests by residents are likely. Protesters blocked a section of the N2 Highway on March 24 to demand improved service delivery. They also looted nearby shops; one person was killed in the ensuing clashes. On March 28, police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse around 3,000 protesters. Some demonstrators set fire to five factories in Isithebe. Yesterday, residents gathered amid a heavy security presence. Unconfirmed reports indicate protesters will block roads in Isithebe and other parts of Mandeni today.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today through Thursday, April 4, travelers in Khulna division, particularly Khulna and Jessore cities, should expect disruption and avoid protests by jute mill workers. Workers of state-owned jute mills will launch the four-day protest campaign over wages and other issues. Employees will observe a 72-hour strike at all jute mills tomorrow through Thursday, April 4, during which they are also planning to block roads and railway services from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM local time each day. Traffic disruption can be expected along the Jessore-Khulna Highway (N7) during this period.
Tomorrow, extreme-leftist Naxalite (Maoist) rebels have called for a bandh (shutdown strike) in Arwal, Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada, and Jehanabad districts. The bandh has been called in response to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election rally on the same day in Gaya City. The rebels have also called for a boycott of the upcoming Parliamentary Elections in the division. Travelers should anticipate heightened security and disruption during the bandh.
Pilots employed by Jet Airways have deferred a threatened strike by two weeks, stating that they will now stage an indefinite walkout beginning April 15 if the airline fails to pay salary arrears by April 14. Ongoing financial difficulties have led to delays in salary payments to airline staff and the grounding of a majority of Jet Airlines planes. Pilots had initially threatened to strike today but agreed to defer the strike after Jet Airways paid overdue wages for December yesterday. Passengers of Jet Airways should anticipate disruption and reconfirm schedules.
A significant increase in measles cases has been reported in some parts of the country, including Tokyo. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in undervaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. Measles can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, the elderly or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure that they are fully immunized against measles.
Today, travelers in Yangon should plan routes bypassing a protest against the planned resumption of the Myitsone Dam project, which was suspended in September 2011. While the timing and venue are unclear, a related gathering in Yangon on March 25 took place at Maha Bandula Park. Civil society groups from across the country are due to attend the protest to highlight several concerns, including the dam’s environmental impact and its displacement of villagers.
Beginning today, passengers transiting Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) should reconfirm flights schedules due to planned runway renovations. The airport will close daily from 10:00 PM to 8:00 AM local time for the estimated 18 months of construction work. Although airlines have revised their flight schedules to fit the new opening hours, disruption remains likely.
Travelers in the southern districts of Parsa and Bara should plan journeys accounting for potential disruption. Yesterday, heavy rainfall and strong winds caused significant damage in the two districts. Electric pylons and uprooted trees have blocked several roads. At least 29 people have been killed, and 600 others injured in weather-related incidents.
An increase in cases of measles have been reported in several parts of the country. Measles is caused by a highly contagious virus that spreads from person-to-person via infected droplets. Outbreaks occur frequently in under-vaccinated populations. Common symptoms include fever, cough, and a characteristic rash. The illness can result in serious complications, particularly when very young children, elderly people or pregnant women are infected. All travelers should ensure they are fully immunized against measles.
Travelers in Yerevan should plan journeys bypassing the municipality building to minimize potential delays caused by an ongoing protest. Participants are demanding the resignation of the acting Culture Minister Nazeni Gharibyan. The gathering has thus far been peaceful.
Travelers should avoid further climate rallies in major cities through late May. The “Rise for Climate Belgium” movement will hold its next rally at 10:30 AM local time on Thursday, April 4 at Gare du Nord in Brussels. The “Youth for Climate” student group, which has been organizing demonstrations since January, says it plans to continue protesting every Thursday until European Parliamentary Elections on May 23-26. Protesters are calling on the EU and the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Supporters of the “Yellow Vest” movement joined protests yesterday, clashing with police and causing damage to property.
Today, employees of Copenhagen Flight Services at Copenhagen Airport (CPH) began strike action. Passengers transiting the airport should reconfirm flights and expect delays.
Today, passengers of national rail operator Danish State Railways (DSB) should reconfirm schedules because of an ongoing strike. DSB services across Zealand and between Odense and Copenhagen will been disrupted through 3:00 PM local time. Rail services between Copenhagen and Malmo via the Oresund Bridge have also been canceled. The strike has been called after the collapse of negotiations between unions and employers over wages and conditions. Travelers should expect continued residual disruption even after services return to normal.
Today, travelers in Berlin should expect disruption due to an ongoing 24-hour strike by employees of the BVG public transportation operator. The industrial action, which will conclude at 3:30 AM local time tomorrow, will affect U-Bahn (metro), bus, and tram services. While S-Bahn (suburban) services will not be impacted, they are likely to be crowded. The work stoppage has been called over low wages and poor working conditions. Travelers should reconfirm the status of routes before setting out for the city’s secondary airport, Berlin Tegel (TXL), after nearby roads were reported to have been blocked by heavy traffic.
Today, Milan’s Malpensa Airport (MXP) was closed after a drone was spotted flying near the runway. Incoming flights were diverted to other airports. Passengers transiting the facility should reconfirm flights and expect delays.