Spain’s tourism heads for bumper year

July 17, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

MADRID, 17 July 2017: Spain’s tourism sector is poised for another bumper summer season as security concerns continue to lure visitors away from rival destinations to its cities and beaches, industry lobby group Exceltur said late last week.

Tourism activity will increase by 4.1% in 2017, Exceltur — which groups Spain’s major hotel chains, travel agents, tour operators and airlines — said in a statement. It had previously forecast an increase of 3.5%.

The body said the higher forecast was mainly due to the “strong increase in foreign demand, which was higher than forecast.” Read more

Four airports under US laptop ban

July 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 14 July 2017: Four airports remain under a ban for carry-on laptops on US-bound flights, imposed amid fears that Islamic State is developing a bomb concealed in personal electronics, officials said Tuesday.

The ban remains in place for Saudi Arabia’s two main international airports, in Riyadh and Jeddah, as well as Egypt’s Cairo International and Morocco’s Casablanca Mohammed V International Airport, the Department of Homeland Security said.

Six other airports across the Middle East have been removed from the ban, originally put in place 21 March, after improving security procedures. Read more

Europe’s tourism conquers security fears

July 12, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

BRUSSELS, 12 July 2017: Europe continues to lure millions[1] of international travellers confirming the tourism sector’s resilience to geopolitical uncertainty and perceptions of safety and security.

According to the latest European Travel Commission’s “European Tourism 2017-Trends & Prospects”, 28 out of 30 reporting destinations recorded growth so far in 2017.

Almost one in two posted double-digit increases led by Iceland (+56%) the fastest growing destination. Read more

US eases ban for more airlines

July 11, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

AMMAN: 11 July 2017: Royal Jordanian Airlines said on Sunday it has won an exemption from a US ban on passengers carrying laptops and tablet computers on flights from its hub in Amman.

The announcement comes more than three months after the United States prohibited such devices on flights from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa as well as Turkey.

In news released Monday, it was confirmed that Kuwait Airways is now also on the list of airlines exempt from the so called ‘laptop ban’. Read more

EU will adopt visa exempt screening

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under EUROPE, News

LUXEMBOURG, 12 July 2017: EU countries on Friday backed a proposal to adopt new security checks for Europe’s borderless Schengen area, in which visa-exempt travellers will be screened online prior to arrival.

Dubbed ETIAS, the proposal is based on a US system that would allow EU countries to quickly cross check identity documents and other details from visa-exempt travellers with a host of databases.

Nationals from nearly 60 countries currently do not need to have visas to travel the Schengen zone, including those from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Chile, Argentina as well as European neighbours like Albania and Bosnia. Read more

US asks for social media IDs

June 6, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

WASHINGTON, 6 June 2017: The United States has begun asking some would-be visitors applying for visas to provide their identities on social media, among other more vigorous screening methods.

A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP new security procedures had gone into effect last week for travellers deemed to present a risk.

The plan has already raised the concerns of civil liberties advocates, who fear travellers who pose no terrorist threat may be stigmatised for their political or religious views. Read more

No extension of laptop ban

May 31, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, News

WASHINGTON, 31 May 2017: US aviation security officials stepped back, Tuesday, from imposing a ban on carry-on computers on flights coming from Europe, which had been proposed to guard against possible bomb-laden electronics from the Islamic State group.

But the Department of Homeland Security said a ban, already in place for US-bound flights from the Middle East, could still be implemented for Europe if the threat level worsens.

In a phone discussion with European Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos and Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc Tuesday, DHS Secretary John Kelly “made it clear” a ban on passengers carrying tablet and computer-sized electronics on board flights to the United States “is still on the table,” DHS said in a statement. Read more

New York steps up security

May 25, 2017 by  
Filed under AMERICAS, News

NEW YORK, 25 May 2017: New York authorities, Monday, stepped up security at sensitive sites after a deadly bomb blast at a concert in Britain, although officials said there was no indication of a threat to US targets.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was ordering additional patrols at “high-profile locations” including airports and the subway “out of an abundance of caution” after the assault at the show by US pop star Ariana Grande.

“This apparent act of terrorism, targeting a concert attended by thousands of teenagers and young people, is an inexplicable and abhorrent assault on our universal values as human beings,” Cuomo said in a statement. Read more

Security check delays flight

May 24, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Middle east, News

DUBAI, 24 May 2017: A Virgin Atlantic flight to London was delayed, Tuesday, in Dubai for extra security checks, authorities said, hours after a bombing killed at least 22 people in northwest England.

“Dubai Airports confirms that the departure of a Virgin Atlantic aircraft was delayed, until additional security checks were carried out,” the airport authority said on Twitter.

“These were carried out in close cooperation with Dubai Police and the airline, following which the aircraft was cleared for departure,” it added. Read more

Laptop ban talks continue

May 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, EUROPE, News

BRUSSELS, 19 May 2017: Top US and EU officials traded intelligence, Wednesday, on what they called “serious evolving threats” to airline security as Washington mulls banning carry-on computers on flights from Europe.

Both sides said they intended to hold more talks next week in Washington on a possible ban of such equipment.

“Both sides exchanged information on the serious evolving threats to aviation security and approaches to confronting such threats,” a joint statement said. Read more

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