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NEWSFLASH – JUNE 2018

Download Newsflash – JUNE

SARS Regulations

South African authorities are tightening the screws on a law that the South African Revenue Service (Sars) introduced in the 1980s but has not been proactively enforced for decades. The law which is outlined in the Sars handbook and on its websites states that travellers need to register their electronic equipment before departing the country if they want to bring it back in, with a DA 65 form stamped and signed by Sars. It applies to all electronics including mobile phones, laptops, tablets, cameras and even watches. Those travelling with any electronic device need to obtain a DA 65 form from the Sars Airport Customs desk at the airport before departure. It is valid for six months but has to be updated every time the traveller acquires a new device.

South Africa – Home Affairs

The Department of Home Affairs has launched its Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS). The DHA says ABIS is set to replace the Home Affairs National Identity System (HANIS) which is manually operated and outdated. The plan will integrate HANIS and the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) into an automated system through ABIS which will identify and verify people through fingerprints, facial recognition and IRIS technology. The new biometric system is expected to enable quicker response times at ports of entry.

BA Opens New Lounge in Rome

British Airways has opened its new lounge in Rome’s Fiumicino Airport with revamps to other lounges also planned. The lounge is spread over 460 sqm and can accommodate 140 customers. Zones create separate spaces for passengers to work or relax in ahead of their flight. Customers will have access to power and USB points throughout the lounge as well as wireless printing. Facilities include a feature bar which will be hosted by a mixologist during peak times. Customers will be able to help themselves to beverages during quieter times. The windows feature smart electronic blinds that are programmed to react to heat and light keeping the environment comfortable throughout the day.

Air Traffic Control Threaten Summer Strike

Air traffic controllers at Barcelona airport are threatening a series of 24-hour strikes this summer in an ongoing dispute over working conditions. The dates of the walk-outs have not been confirmed but will start on the 20th of June. The strikes have been called by the Air-Traffic Controllers Union (USCA) which are unhappy with staffing levels.

London Airport Workers to Vote on Strike Action

London’s Luton airport faces the threat of significant disruption this summer as the UK’s largest union announced a series of strike ballots, over pay and zero hours contracts Members of the Unite union directly employed by the airport in several different roles including firefighters and security guards are being balloted in a dispute over pay. Unite union is also balloting its members at Menzies Aviation which undertakes baggage handling at the airport. Members of the union employed by Clece Care Service which provide assistance at the airport to passengers with reduced mobility will also be balloted in a row over zero hours contracts. Strikes could begin by the end of next month if members vote in favour of industrial action.

DRC – New Outbreak of Ebola

An Ebola outbreak has been declared in the north-west of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ebola is one of the world’s most notorious diseases being both highly infectious and extremely lethal. There are two confirmed cases of the virus and 17 fatalities.

Emirates Introduce Home Check-In

Emirates has introduced Home Check-in a new service which allows customers to check in for their flights from anywhere in Dubai. The new service enables Emirates passengers to complete the security check and check-in from the comfort of their home, hotel or office and have their luggage transported to the airport prior to their flight. An Emirates check-in agent will arrive at the preferred location to weigh and tag the bags as well as check-in the customers and issue boarding passes. Each bag is sealed and stored in a separate hold in the van. For passengers arriving in Dubai there is a luggage storage facility for those who wish to leave their bags and explore the city. A Home Delivery service where luggage is retrieved, cleared at customs and delivered to the customers is also an option now.

Kenya Airways – New Baggage

Kenya Airways has reduced the baggage allowance on its intra-Africa routes to one bag per passenger.

 


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