United extends waiver for travel to Denver through Mar. 16 | Update: U.S./Canada ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft | Extended: Adverse weather may impact travel to Amsterdam through Mar. 15 | Update: Power mostly restored in Venezuela; some travel waivers still apply | Runway work at Catania Airport Sicily impacts flight schedules through Mar. 20

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Update: U.S./Canada ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft

Following other governments and airlines around the world, both the United States and Canada have grounded the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft until further notice.

The grounding of these Boeing aircraft comes after the crash of an Ethiopian flight this past Sunday, which marked the second accident involving the 737 MAX 8 in less than six months.

Midday on Wednesday, President Trump made the announcement that the U.S. would also ban the aircraft while investigations continue saying “The FAA is prepared to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence we’ve received from the site and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints.”  

The move by the U.S. and Canada to halt the affected Boeing planes means that MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft have been grounded by every country or major airline in the world.

According to reports, the FAA said that there are approximately 350 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in service, which are owned by 54 different airlines globally.  A complete list of Boeing 737 MAX customers can be found at https://www.boeing.com/commercial/737max/#/customers

American Airlines: There are 24 of the MAX 8 aircraft in its fleet of nearly 1,000 mainline aircraft. The aircraft was used for approximately 85 daily flights mostly flying into and out of Miami. American is working to re-route other aircraft to minimize operational disruption across the system and to cover as much of its schedule as possible. They are working to re-accommodate impacted passengers and have issued waivers for cancelled flights through April 3.

Southwest: There are 34 of the MAX 8 aircraft out of its fleet of more than 750 planes, which means less than five percent of its flights are affected. Southwest’s Max 8 flights are spread throughout the country. Noting a high call volume and extended hold times, Southwest issued a travel advisory allowing travelers to change their flights without penalty, with certain restrictions.

United: Boeing 737 MAX aircraft accounts for roughly 40 flights a day, which are concentrated primarily in Houston and Los Angeles. Through a combination of spare aircraft and rebooking customers, United does not anticipate a significant operational impact but is working with potentially impacted travelers. 

Most other carriers only have a few of the MAX 8 or MAX 9’s in their fleet. While some of these carriers will be experiencing some cancellations or schedule changes, overall the temporary grounding of this aircraft is generally not posing significant impacts on flight schedules.  However, as airlines work to cover their schedules with alternate aircraft, they will use regular schedule change procedures to contact passengers who might be affected by any needed changes or cancellations.  As a reminder, Boeing 737-800 is not the same as a 737 MAX 8. 

Please contact your Adelman client success manager or travel consultant for additional information.   

 

Confusion swirls over new entry requirements for Americans visiting Europe in 2021

Over the past several days, news reports have been swirling about new entry requirements for Americans who want to visit Europe in 2021. Many of the headlines implied that U.S. citizens would soon need to apply for a visa, even for short trips to 22 countries in the Schengen Zone. While new entry requirements are slated to go into effect in 2021, American’s will not be required to apply for a formal Schengen Visa, which is a multi-step process that requires detailed documentation including trip information and proof of financial means, employment and travel insurance.

Instead, as of Jan. 1, 2021, U.S. citizens who are visiting for 90 days or less will be required to complete a short electronic pre-entry screening form similar to the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) program that is place for many visitors to the United States.  Under the European Union’s ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System), U.S. travelers would have to complete the short online form via the ETIAS website and would need to have a valid passport, a credit or debit card to pay the 7 Euro application fee and an email account. Reports say the process should take no more than 10 minutes and that automatic approval should occur for 95 percent of the applicants. The ETIAS authorization would be valid for three years and would allow for multiple entries. Additional details on the ETIAS application process can be found at https://www.etiasvisa.com/etias-requirements/americans.

Where the confusion has come in is that the ETIAS site, which was created to provide information for travelers, uses the word “visa” in its description of the new requirements. For example, “To obtain the Europe Visa for Americans…”.  However, as noted above, the new requirement is a short, pre-clearance form and not a full-scale visa.    

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