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NEWSFLASH – JANUARY 2019

Download Newsflash – JANUARY

South Africa – Gauteng Facing Day Zero Water Crisis

The Gauteng provincial government has set up a “war room” to tackle a water crisis in the province. At a local, national and provincial level the government is working with civilian and military water experts to devise a plan to prevent ‘day zero’. The project aims to reduce water consumption and to fix run down sewage plants to ensure the province evades running out of water. It is noted that only one of Gauteng’s three water treatment plants is operational.

South Africa – New Passports

Most countries require a full clear page in order to print a required visa in your passport as well as six clear blank pages in your passport but now you can apply for a maxi tourist passport. This document has 48 pages to provide for more visas for frequent travellers and is issued to South African citizens of 16 years and above. It is valid for 10 years from the date of issue. You can also do an online application for your Maxi Passport.

UK – Heathrow Launches APP

Heathrow has released a free app to help visually impaired passengers navigate the airport. The app connects users to a trained agent who can give directions and support by looking at the camera view on the passenger’s phone. The app can also provide real-time information on a flight status or gate changes. It can be downloaded onto an Android or iOS device prior to arrival and a live agent will be available on-demand at any point during the journey. It launched a ‘SignLive’ app which connects passengers to trained British Sign Language translators on demand.

UK – British Ariways to Launch Digital Bag Tags

British Airways is getting ready to launch a new digital bag tag option which will allow users to synch the tag with flight details held in their BA appTAG is a digital reusable bag tag that seamlessly connects your luggage to your smartphone. The service will launch for customers in January 2019.

Qatar Airways Launches Flights to Mombasa

Qatar Airways’ first non-stop flight from Doha to Mombasa Kenya Qatar Airways will operate its service to Mombasa with an Airbus A320 aircraft which features 12 Business Class seats and 120 seats in Economy Class.

Australia Enforces Cabin Bag Limit

Australian airlines have announced a renewed push to enforce hand luggage weight. Both Virgin Australia and Qantas have told domestic passengers that their hand luggage will be weighed at various points in the journey to ensure that it complies with seven-kilogram limit.

Air Botswana – Cape Town – Gaborone Route

Air Botswana has procured a new Embraer ERJ170 and has resumed direct Gaborone-Cape Town flights. The airline suspended the flights in February after the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) grounded CemAir flights due to CemAir’s alleged failure to submit credible proof of compliance to SACAA.

Qatar Increases European Routes

Qatar Airways has increased the number of direct flights it runs to Gatwick and upgraded the aircraft for its Helsinki, Stockholm and Manchester routes adding more capacity. The airline is raising its number of weekly flights to Gatwick from 14 to 16. Meanwhile its Manchester and Stockholm routes will be upgraded as well. Qatar has announced new routes to Gothenburg, Sweden and Da Nang, Vietnam.

USA – Hertz has Joined the Biometric Screening Trend

Hertz plans to offer fast check-out lanes powered by biometrics at more than 40 airports by the end of the year. The first Hertz Fast Lane is now operating at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and will be available exclusively to Hertz loyalty program members. To participate those members must register their driver’s license and biometric identity via photo iris scan and fingerprint with clear and then cross link the two accounts. Clear kiosks will be stationed at all participating Hertz rental centers to facilitate sign-up. The biometric machines are equipped with fingerprint scanners as a backup for situations in which the facial technology doesn’t confirm a customer’s identity. Los Angeles, New York Kennedy and San Francisco will be among the mostly major airports at which Hertz will introduce biometric fast lanes in 2019.

 


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