Want to keep up to date with the latest visa regulations, border closures and strike info? Blue Marine Travel provide weekly updates on worldwide travel news so yacht crew can stay in the know.
Blue Marine Travel is dedicated to bringing yacht crew the latest travel updates, for those who are always moving, whether by air or sea.
Here is this week’s roundup of the most recent worldwide travel updates brought to you by Blue Marine Travel
Flybe was Placed Into Administration And All Operations Ceased
On January 27th, British regional carrier Flybe announced that it had entered administration and would cease operations, less than a year since commencing flight services. All previously and future scheduled flight services have since been cancelled, and the airline emphasised in its announcement that they will not be rescheduled.
Unfortunately, this collapse of Flybe marks the second downfall for the carrier, having first collapsed in March 2020. Flybe was among the first few airlines to go out of business when the pandemic first emerged, although its problems had started well before that.
It seems the relaunch efforts weren’t enough to ensure Flybe remained flying after it re-entered administration today. Hundreds of passengers will be affected, and many employees’ jobs will be at risk again.
EU Nationals Travelling to UK on February 1 Warned of Prolonged Waiting Times Due to Strikes
The United Kingdom’s Home Office and Border Force have warned people travelling to the UK on February 1, to prepare for facing longer waiting times at border controls due to strikes that will take place at all UK air and maritime ports.
100,000 members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), across 123 employers, will stage a walkout on February 1, impacting government ministries, museums, ports, and airports. The authorities will be sending military personnel, civil servants, and volunteers from across the government to support Border Force at all airports and ports affected by the strike, yet delays will be unavoidable.
“If you are travelling into the UK via any entry point, you should prepare for disruption and check before you travel,” the UK authorities have noted in a statement, adding that the strikes are expected to last until February 2, at 7 am.
Travellers are asked to be patient and respect the border staff, who are supporting them during the strike action, and to check with their travel agents, tour operators, and airlines to understand better at what scale their trip may be affected by the strike.
They are also encouraged to use eGates at the border where they are available.
Wizz Air Cuts 8 More Routes From London Gatwick & Luton
Wizz Air will end a further eight London routes: Gatwick to Chania, Funchal (Madeira), Tenerife South, and Luton to Keflavik, Malaga, Ohrid, Olsztyn-Mazury (which serves the fantastic thousand lakes area of Poland), and Palanga.
This builds on ten other routes from the UK capital that have already been disclosed as ending: Gatwick to Bari, Palma, Varna, and Luton to Castellón, Funchal, Gran Canaria, Porto, Rzeszów, Sarajevo, and Tenerife South. We do know there will be routes replacing some of them which also include Gatwick-Nice; with more details to follow later in the year.
SWISS Begins Installing New Premium Economy Class On Its Airbus A340-300 fleet
Switzerland’s flag carrier SWISS announced that it would install its new premium economy class on all of its Airbus A340s. These new cabins will be fully available by April, and the new seating class will be bookable for the destinations served with this fleet. As of January 2023, SWISS operates this aircraft model on 26 weekly flights in three routes departing from Zurich to Hong Kong, Johannesburg, and Chicago O’Hare.
SWISS has also installed premium economy Class throughout its Boeing 777-300ER fleet, whose first aircraft was completed at the end of February 2022. SWISS was the first airline in the Lufthansa Group to introduce the best-in-class premium economy seat, which sets new comfort benchmarks with its pitch of almost a meter and its 48-centimetre width
France Urged to Drop COVID Entry Measures for Chinese Travellers
The Chinese authorities have urged France to drop the Coronavirus travel restrictions that have been imposed against travellers from China.
The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Mao Ning, said that France should lift its entry rules as soon as possible and the same emphasised that these measures are discriminatory. The request of China for France to lift the COVID entry rules for Chinese travellers comes not long after the French authorities announced that the country would extend its entry rules.
France announced over the weekend the current entry rules imposed against travellers from China will remain in place for another two weeks, until February 15. This means that until the entry rules get dropped, all persons who travel from China to France will be required to undergo mandatory COVID testing.
The decision of France to extend the COVID entry rules for travellers from China was taken after taking into account the current situation and the infection rate in the country.
Top 7 Most Common Mistakes Travellers Make When Applying for a Schengen Visa
Applying for a Schengen Visa in 2023 is not an easy task, as it has never been. There are lots of documents to be collected, an interview to be attended and even a fee to be paid, which right now is 33 per cent higher than it was before the pandemic.
However, getting a visa can be made easier for many, if they only pay attention to some very common mistakes that usually result in the rejection of an application, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Most of the time, these mistakes are made due to a lack of knowledge, or the applicant not understanding the importance of the documents meeting the criteria set by the Schengen country they wish to visit.
Following this, Schengenvisainfo made a list of the top most common mistakes that are made by Schengen visa applicants. If you try to avoid them and make sure the rest of your application file is also in compliance with the criteria set by the Schengen authorities, then your chances of getting a Schengen visa are way higher.
Collecting the Required Documents Based on a Random List Provided by a Friend
Many travellers, in particular first-time Schengen visa applicants, make the mistake of taking advice from family members or friends who have obtained Schengen visas in the past and applying it word by word throughout the whole procedure.
The required documents for a Schengen visa differ on many occasions from one country to the other, or from one embassy to the other. In addition, visa requirements are continuously reviewed and updated by Schengen Area embassies worldwide.
People who just get a random list from a friend or a family member and start collecting the documents according to the same, often make the mistake of leaving out crucial, newly added requirements, or documents that are required according to new criteria.
All Schengen visa applicants are advised to collect the documents based on the list published by the embassy of the country where they will file their application.
Passport Does Not Meet the Requirements
Having a passport that has several more months of validity left is not enough, and some travellers have learnt it the hard way.
The EU has specific and strict passport rules for those applying for a Schengen visa, as follows:
- The passport must be valid for six more months beyond the date of their planned trip to the Schengen Area
- The passport must have been issued in the last ten years on the date the passport holder plans to leave the Schengen country he or she is visiting
- The passport must have at least two blank pages, but they must not be added later to the passport
- Those who fail to meet any of these rules are rejected from getting a visa.
– In addition, travellers planning to get a visa with the multiple entry option, for periods of three or five years, must be aware that if the validity of their passport is shorter than the period of validity of the required visa, then they will not be getting the latter.
-Instead, in most occasions, they will get a visa valid for a shorter period, before the expiration of their passport.
Filling the Application Form With Info That Doesn’t Align With Other Documents
Every traveller needs to fill in the application form for a Schengen visa. This is the first document that is required. Many travellers make the mistake of putting into the application form different information than those in the other documents.
For example, if their passport is valid for six more months, some put in the application that the passport is valid for longer than that. On other occasions, they write the required period of visa validity on different dates, then the dates for which they have travel insurance or accommodation.
Such mistakes, in particular when done intentionally, may result automatically in the rejection of the visa application.
The Applicant Doesn’t Have (the Right) Travel Insurance
Refusing to buy travel insurance with the idea “nothing’s gonna happen to me” is a huge mistake. The embassy does not care whether you are a person that never gets sick, or is very careful of accidents. Travel insurance worth €30,000 coverage that covers repatriation in case of death, is a must for every person.
On many occasions, people obtain travel insurance for a shorter period than that they are planning to spend in the EU or buy it with a lower coverage than required.
In cases when insurance does not cover repatriation in case of death, no matter how much it covers other accidents, the requirement of having travel insurance is considered unmet.
Submitting an Application Too Early or Too Late
Like every other thing, the time when an application should be filed is also regulated by the Schengen Visa Code. According to it, the earliest that you can apply is six months before your intended trip, and the latest is 15 working days before your intended trip.
Trying to apply i.e. one year in advance, is not going to end well, not even at super crowded embassies.
The same with applying late. People who have previously gotten a visa in a very short period, i.e. five days from a particular embassy, and think that filing the next visa application late will not be a big deal risk getting their visa application delayed, or even not accepted at all.
Thus every traveller must make sure that he or she is applying well in advance, but not earlier than six months before their planned trip.
Applying at the Wrong Embassy/Consulate/Visa Centre
Another very common mistake amongst people who plan on visiting several Schengen Area countries with a single visa is applying at the wrong embassy.
In cases when one wishes to visit two or more countries in the Schengen Area with the same visa in an uninterrupted trip, the application should be submitted as follows:
At the embassy of the country, you will visit first, if you are planning to stay in each country for an equal amount of days. I.e. if you are planning to stay five days in Austria, five days in Germany, and five days in France, but you will enter the Schengen Zone through Austria, then you should submit your application at the Austrian embassy.
At the embassy of the country, you will stay the longest, if you are planning to stay in each country for a different amount of days. I.e. if you are planning to stay three days in Austria, five days in Germany, and seven days in France, then you should submit your application at the French embassy.
Not Bringing Cash to Pay the Application Fee
This one is not a mistake that could get your visa rejected, but could cause you some unnecessary trouble.
On the day of the interview, many people do not bring cash with them to pay the Schengen visa fee under the idea that they can pay with a card or online. This is not possible, as all embassies, consulates, and visa centres require travellers to have the exact amount required for a visa in cash.
Trying to pay with big banknotes might also be a problem, in particular, if you are among the first applicants of the day. Every applicant should have the exact amount, to avoid any headaches.
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