Business Travel Advisory
Today, passengers transiting US airports should anticipate disruption due to a planned unionized strike by airline catering workers at 18 of the country’s busiest airports. The protesters will demand higher standards of health insurance coverage and wages for their contracted catering services. Unions have announced that they intend to stage sit-in protests near airline check-in counters and around airport security areas during the Thanksgiving holiday period. Travelers should avoid all related protests, reconfirm flights, and allow additional time for journeys before setting out.
All Delta Shuttle flights departing LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Boston, Chicago or Washington, DC have relocated to new gates at Terminal D. Delta will no longer operate any Shuttle operations from Terminal C. The new concourse is accessible via a pedestrian walkway on the east side of Delta’s existing Terminal D. The security checkpoint in Terminal D is being expanded to support both concourses. CLEAR lanes and TSA PreCheck have moved to the east side of security. Travelers arriving into the new gates with checked bags will claim their bags in Terminal D baggage claim.
All travel to Bolivia should be deferred through Tuesday, December 3 amid an ongoing political crisis. Travelers in country should minimize movement. Former President Evo Morales’ resignation on November 10 has been followed by weeks of disturbances and looting in La Paz and other cities. Congress approved a bill on November 23 allowing for new elections in a bid to quell the unrest. Some roadblocks have been lifted; however, the situation remains volatile. Further demonstrations involving clashes between Morales loyalists, interim-government supporters, and security forces remain possible.
All travel to Haiti should be deferred through Tuesday, December 3. Those in-country should continue to minimize non-essential movement and stand fast in a secure location on days experiencing heightened unrest. On November 20, US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft visited President Jovenel Moise to hold talks, prompting protests and roadblocks. Police used tear gas to disperse a related demonstration near Toussaint Louverture International Airport (PAP). Protests and roadblocks have continued in Port-au-Prince in recent days. Travelers should exercise caution, particularly following reports of local gangs extorting road travelers for money.
AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST
A cluster of Lassa fever cases, including some fatalities, has been reported in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leone. At least two Dutch doctors and some healthcare staff have been infected, while others are awaiting test results. Some healthcare staff, including the doctors, have been evacuated to the Netherlands for treatment. Contacts are being monitored in several countries, including Sierra Leone, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever. Transmission to humans mostly occurs through ingestion or inhalation of excretions from infected rodents, especially rats. The disease can also spread through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person. Travelers should prevent infection through observing strict hygiene and avoiding contact with sick people.
On Thursday, November 28, travelers should anticipate disruption during a nationwide strike organized by the National Committee for the Release of Detainees (CNLD) and avoid all associated demonstrations. A sit-in protest is due to take place at 2:00 PM local time at Place Maurice Audin in Algiers. Related gatherings are likely in other urban centers. Participants are demanding the release of detainees arrested during recent weekly pro-reform demonstrations.
Outbreaks of cholera have been reported in several areas. The disease spreads via contaminated food and water. Symptoms include vomiting and profuse, watery diarrhea which can lead to severe dehydration. Travelers staying in quality accommodations with access to safe food and water are at low risk. Travelers should ensure food and water are safe for consumption and consider vaccination if likely to encounter unsanitary conditions.
Travelers in urban centers of North Kivu province should reconfirm routes before setting out and avoid protests against militia attacks due to the risk of unrest. The “Veranda Mutsanga” civil society group plans to hold dead-city protests today in Beni, Butembo, and Oicha. Yesterday, a protest in Beni escalated into unrest; at least four people were killed, and ten injured. Authorities have imposed a curfew from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM local time in Beni and neighboring areas.
Today, travelers in Accra should plan routes bypassing a police march. The march will mark the launch of the police’s “Operation Father Christmas” to tackle a potential increase in petty crime across the country during the holiday season. Participants will march at 7:00 AM local time from Police Headquarters and back, passing by the Kotobabi Police Station, Kwame Nkrumah Circle, La General Hospital, and Danqah Circle.
Travelers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem should avoid all gatherings around a controversial US government announcement on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has announced a “Day of Rage” today, with gatherings scheduled at security checkpoints throughout the West Bank. Other protests are also scheduled at 12:00 PM local time at al-Manarah Square in Ramallah, al-Shuhada Square in Nablus, Manger Square in Bethlehem, and in the Hebron city center. Several demonstrators were injured during clashes with Israeli security forces near Nablus on November 22.
South African Airways (SA) resumed flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town and Durban, as well as Victoria Falls. The airline had earlier resumed international services; however, an ongoing strike by SA staff over wages and job cuts persists, with participants picketing airports. Negotiations between the airline and workers’ unions are ongoing. Travelers should continue to reconfirm flight schedules before setting out.
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands should anticipate disruption and maintain flexible itineraries during the passage of Tropical Storm Kammuri. Today, the US National Weather Service (NWS) issued a Tropical Storm Warning (meaning tropical storm conditions with winds of 39 miles per hour or greater are expected) for Guam, as well as Rota, Saipan, and Tinian islands. While Kammuri is not forecast to make landfall, it will bring heavy rain and strong winds to the affected areas through tomorrow, when it is forecast to turn towards the Philippines.
Travelers in Australia should continue to plan travel accounting for Bushfire Danger Warnings through February 2020. Catastrophic Fire Danger Warnings (highest on a seven-tier scale) have been issued for bushfires which have caused casualties, extensive damage to property, and road closures earlier this month, especially in New South Wales. Travelers should be prepared to defer or change travel plans at short notice, especially for journeys to non-urban areas.
Travelers in Maharashtra state should remain apprised of political developments. Incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) resigned today, saying that he did not have the requisite numbers to form a government. This allows the Shiv Sena (SS), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), and Indian National Congress alliance to stake claim to form a government. Celebratory rallies by SS, NCP, and Congress supporters are likely. Travelers should avoid all such gatherings as a precaution.
Four police officers were killed in an attack by extreme-leftist Naxalite rebels in Latehar district on November 22. The incident highlights the likelihood for left-wing violence to recur in the run-up to and during the State Assembly Elections. The elections will be held from November 30 to December 30, with the results scheduled to be announced on December 23.
On Monday, December 2, travelers in Jakarta should anticipate heightened security around a large prayer gathering from 3:00 AM to 9:30 AM local time at the National Monument. The gathering has been organized by the 212 Alumni Brotherhood, a loose network of conservative Islamist groups. This prayer gathering is expected to be well attended, with participation likely to be in the thousands. Traffic restrictions and heightened security measures can be anticipated near of the monument and in other areas in central Jakarta.
On Sunday, December 1, travelers in Papua and West Papua provinces should exercise caution and avoid gatherings marking the founding anniversary of the separatist Free Papua Movement (OPM), also known as Papua/West Papua Independence Day. Authorities have claimed that armed groups intend to carry out attacks during the anniversary; however, they have said that additional police personnel will not be deployed, as heightened security remains in place in sensitive areas in Papua and West Papua since unrest over ethnic tension in August and September.
The 13th South Asian Games will be held from December 1-10 in Kathmandu, Janakpur, Lalitpur, and Pokhara. Authorities will deploy around 22,000 police officers to the host cities. Road closures and traffic diversions are likely around event venues. Increased security can also be expected around public transportation hubs and major hotels. Travelers should follow all official directives and expect an increased demand for transportation and accommodations during the games.
Today through November 30, travelers should continue to check the status of routes and follow all official directives while Fire Danger Warnings remain in place across the territory. Meteo-France has issued a Red Wildfire Alert (the highest level on a four-tier scale) for today in most of the main island of Grande Terre, excluding Kaala-Gomen and Koumac, which are under an Orange Alert (second-highest level). Fire Danger Warnings are also in effect for communes in Loyalty Islands province.
Travelers in the UK and European Union (EU) should continue to monitor developments and follow all government guidelines related to the process of the UK leaving the EU, known as “Brexit.” The EU has agreed on a flexible extension date of January 31, 2020. The current negotiations come amid heightened political tensions over a British General Election, which is expected to take place in early December. Local gatherings relating to Brexit may take place in the UK, with most such events likely to be focused on Parliament Square in London.
Today, travelers in Durres and Lezhe counties should continue to exercise caution following a magnitude 6.4 earthquake at 3:54 AM local time. At least 100 aftershocks have occurred, with the strongest measuring 5.4 in magnitude. According to the Ministry of Defense, at least seven people have been killed, and 325 others injured. Travelers in Durres and Lezhe, as well as Tirana, should follow all official directives and plan journeys accounting for disruption. Flights are operating normally at Tirana International Airport Nene Tereza (TIA).
Today, passengers transiting Helsinki Airport (HEL) should anticipate residual disruption after a 24-hour transportation strike that ended at 3:00 AM local time. Aviation and other transportation unions observed the walkout in solidarity with postal workers who have been on strike since November 11 over a salary dispute.
Today and tomorrow, travelers in Gironde department should plan journeys accounting for disruption caused by heavy rain and associated flooding. Yesterday, Meteo-France issued an Orange Alert (the second-highest on a four-tier scale) for strong wind, heavy rain and flooding in Gironde, affecting areas near the Dordogne-Gironde River, Bordeaux and Libourne. Previously, torrential rain and flooding caused widespread disruption and killed four people in the Provence-Alpes Côte d’Azur region.
Tomorrow, travelers should anticipate significant traffic disruption during scheduled protests by farmers, and plan journeys accordingly. Around 1,000 farmers from neighboring regions will use tractors to block major roads in and around Paris beginning at 6:00 AM local time. Similar actions are likely to be take place nationwide. The demonstrators oppose government policies on free trade and are demanding higher incomes.
Beginning Thursday, December 5, strikes are expected across France, primarily affecting public transportation. Cancellations and severe delays can be expected on trains, metros, buses, and trams. Demonstrations on major roads may also cause delays. Strike action by Air France (AF) ground workers may also cause disruption to air travel. Officials at Air France are monitoring the situation but have stated it is too early to determine the potential impact of this strike, should it proceed as planned. Additional protests may also be held by the Yellow Vest movement. Travelers should reconfirm all arrangements, maintain flexible itineraries, and follow all official directives.
Today, travelers should expect significant disruption in Berlin during a farmers’ protest. Farmers are driving an estimated 5,000 tractors from across Germany to denounce a new agricultural policy, which they say is “endangering family farm businesses.” Five routes will converge on the Siegessaule before proceeding for a rally at the Brandenburg Gate from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM local time. Several roads in central Berlin will be closed to traffic, and delays are likely in surrounding Brandenburg state before and after the rally. Berlin police are advising people to leave their cars at home and use public transportation.
Today, travelers in Greece should continue to plan journeys accounting for disruption during the passage of Storm Gerionis. Heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flooding are expected to persist. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) has issued an Orange Warning (third-highest on a four-tier scale) for Central Macedonia, Thessaly, and the Dodecanese Islands. Flooding has damaged roads on the Peloponnese Peninsula, in the Attica region, northeastern Halkidiki, Kavala, and Thassos Island. Ferry services were canceled yesterday, including on the Kyllini-Zakynthos, Poros-Kyllini, and SamiPatras routes. At least three people have been killed in flood-related incidents.
Tomorrow, travelers in Valletta should plan journeys bypassing an anti-government protest by civic society group Occupy Justice at 6:30 PM local time at the Pjazza Teatru Rjal. Protesters will then march to the Castille Square at 7:00 PM local time. Demonstrators will call for the resignation of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat over his handling of an ongoing investigation into the murder of a journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, in October 2017. Since November 20, groups like Occupy Justice and Repubblika have continued to call for anti-government protests. Recent demonstrations, including those which occurred yesterday, have taken place outside Parliament.