News that has caught Chris' eye in the Travel World

Hurricane Names Retired (19 April, 2018)


As you probably noticed, the 2017 hurricane season was record-shattering, fueled by abnormally warm ocean water and a particularly conducive weather pattern over the Atlantic. It wasn’t just the most active — it was also the most expensive on record. Estimates suggest the cost will run above $200 billion. One result of this weather chaos is that four of the storms from the 2017 season will no longer have their names used for future hurricanes, according to the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, or WMO.

Since 1979, the WMO has been using a six-year name rotation. Unless a name is retired, the same list of names is used again six years later. However, if a storm gains notoriety because of its strength, number of deaths or damage, the WMO retires that name from future use. The WMO have decided that 2017 storms Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate will join that list of exceptional hurricane names. The idea of permanently retiring names began after the 1954 hurricane season when Hazel ravaged the East Coast and Toronto. The four storms retired in 2017 rank as the second most names ever removed in a single season.


Travel Disruption to France (10 April, 2018)


You will likely need to plan ahead carefully if your travel plans include France any time in the next three months. Around 30% of Air France flights were cancelled last weekend as strikes over pay rises intensified. It's the fifth Air France strike since February, and the number of cancelled flights is rising. Unions this week announced more strikes this month to coincide with national rail walkouts.

Yes, French rail services are being disrupted too, due to strikes over President Emmanuel Macron's economic reforms.  About a quarter of Eurostar trains to London were cancelled, and no trains ran at all to Switzerland, Spain or Italy last weekend. 80% of high speed trains and two-thirds of regional trains will be cancelled as unions stage during a two-day walkout. It's part of three months of rolling train strikes that are planned to extend into early summer. So, you will need to plan around these if you are spending time in La Belle France this spring.

 

Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto reduces fees (4 April, 2018)
 

Good news from Billy Bishop Airport this week: it has reduced the Airport Improvement Fee levied on all fliers from $20 to $15 from the start of April. Their fee will now be among the lowest in Canada.

The news comes ahead of the airport introducing significant enhancements, which include an upgraded terminal featuring new and larger lounge areas, increased retail, food and beverage services and a preclearance facility in anticipation of successful negotiations to bring U.S. Customs Border Protection staff and facilities to Billy Bishop.



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