Travelers should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights amid a temporary suspension of flights using Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft by some airlines. The US Federal Aviation Administration has maintained the aircraft is airworthy; however, civil aviation authorities in other countries in the region have not released statements regarding the Boeing 737 Max 8’s airworthiness. The suspensions follow the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 plane on March 10. Travelers should expect further suspensions and/or bans on the aircraft as investigations into the crash and safety inspections continue.
Today, Winter Storm Ulmer is intensifying in the Plains, where it will produce heavy snow and high winds into tomorrow. Blizzard Warnings have been issued from northeast Colorado to North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. The Denver metro area will be significantly impacted by snow and wind today, while widespread high winds will also affect locations not expected to see snow.
Blizzard Warnings have been posted for portions of the northern and central High Plains, from northeastern Colorado into eastern Wyoming, southeastern Montana, western Nebraska, western and central South Dakota, central and eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota. This includes portions of the Denver metro area, as well as Cheyenne, Wyoming; Scottsbluff, Nebraska; Rapid City, South Dakota; Bismarck, North Dakota and Fargo, North Dakota. Winter Storm Warnings, Winter Storm Watches and Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for other parts of the Plains and West.
High-Wind Warnings have been issued for a wide area of the Plains, from New Mexico and west Texas into the central Plains, where wind gusts over 60 mph may lead to downed trees and power outages.
Blizzard-like conditions and strong winds will lead to travel disruption. Travelers are advised to reconfirm flights and the feasibility of journeys prior to setting out.
On March 15, travelers in Montreal should avoid a planned demonstration by the Collective Opposed to Police Brutality group. Demonstrators will gather at 7:00 PM local time at Norman Bethune Square. A similar event organized by the group in March 2018 resulted in local clashes with police; four people were injured.
Travelers should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights after the temporary suspension of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operations. Several airlines have grounded their Boeing 737 Max 8 planes, though no country in the region has banned the aircraft from its airspace. Travelers should expect further suspensions and/or bans in the region as investigations into the crash and safety inspections continue.
Travelers flying to, from, or within the Middle East and North Africa should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights after the temporary suspension of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft operations in Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The civil aviation authorities of Kuwait, Oman, Turkey and the UAE have also banned operations of the aircraft in their airspace, affecting overflying flights, including those taking off from countries where the ban is not in place.
Today, travelers should expect further spontaneous demonstrations after multiple teachers’ unions declared a strike in protest of the recent postponement of the April 18 Presidential Elections and incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s continued hold on power. In Algiers, students and teachers have gathered at Place de la Grande Poste. Well-attended demonstrations are expected in other cities.
Travelers should avoid further opposition gatherings ahead of the April 28 Legislative Elections due to the potential for unrest. On March 15, a rally will be held from Rond Point Hubert Maga to the Prefecture building, via the Royal Palace in Parakou. The Cowrie Force for an Emerging Benin (FCBE) party has organized the march. The FCBE was among those excluded from the polls on March 5 by the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENA). Heightened security measures can be expected in major cities in the run-up to the election.
Travelers in urban centers should avoid all protests related to an ongoing strike by primary, secondary, and public university teachers over poor financial benefits and wages. Today, teachers will march to the Presidential Palace and the Prime Minister’s office on Boulevard Angoulvant in the Plateau district of Abidjan. Participants will then move to the Education Ministry to the Employment Ministry buildings, where a sit-in will be held. The strike has also prompted protests by students. On February 26, police used tear gas to disperse a related gathering in Abidjan.
Travelers in Bissau and other urban centers should exercise caution around the release of the March 10 Legislative Election results. Twenty-one political parties participated in the vote, including the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) party and the main opposition Party for Social Renewal (PRS). Provisional results are expected to be announced today. While the polls passed off without incident, travelers should continue to avoid all political gatherings as a precaution
Tomorrow, travelers in Amman should avoid a protest at the Prime Ministry building, near the Fourth Circle, to minimize inconvenience. The event, which is scheduled to begin at 5:00 PM local time, is being organized by the “Not Silent” group to denounce unemployment and perceived nepotism. Weekly related demonstrations have passed off largely without incident.
Today, authorities relaxed an ongoing 24-hour curfew in Jalingo. The measure is now in place between 6:00 PM and 4:00 AM local time. Newly-elected State Governor Darius Ishaku had imposed the curfew yesterday after celebrations of his victory in the March 9 elections degenerated into rioting. Travelers should abide by the curfew.
Travelers in Kampala should anticipate and avoid further protests along Nakivubo Road. Yesterday, traders at the Kisekka Auto Center and Nabukeera Plaza blocked the routes with burning tires in protest of an increase in rent. Police used tear gas to disperse protesters. An increased police presence was also reported in the area today.
Tomorrow and March 15, travelers in Harare should anticipate disruption near the Harare International Conference Center during a two-day national youth conference. An increased police presence and temporary road closures are likely around the venue as President Emmerson Mnangagwa will attend the event. Roads that are likely to be affected are Pennefather Avenue, Robert Mugabe Road, and Rekayi Tangwena Avenue.
Travelers should anticipate disruption and reconfirm flights amid a temporary suspension of flights using Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft in China, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Singapore, and South Korea. The civil aviation authorities and regulators of Australia, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam have also banned operations of the aircraft in their airspace, affecting overflying flights.
Tomorrow through March 16, travelers in Baku should anticipate heightened security measures and associated disruption during the 7th Global Baku Forum at the Nizami Ganjavi International Center in the Nasimi area. Dignitaries, including President Ilham Aliyev and Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani, are expected to attend related events. Traffic restrictions should be expected in Nasimi, particularly around the event venue. Delays are also possible at Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD) as foreign dignitaries arrive and depart.
Travelers should expect and avoid protests and events related to the April 17 General Elections. On March 1, the Islamic Community Forum (FUI) held a rally in Jakarta demanding fair elections. Participants gathered at several mosques near the Hotel Indonesia Roundabout before marching to the General Elections Commission (KPU) office in the city center. On February 27, two people were injured in a violent protest in Sleman regency outside a hotel where Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto was giving a speech. The incident saw police fire into the air to disperse protesters.
Today, travelers in Bishkek should anticipate and avoid further demonstrations by the nationalist Kirk Choro movement. Representatives of the group gathered outside city hall on March 11 and again today to complain about the participation of members of the LGBTQ community in International Women’s Day events on March 8. They are calling for the resignation of Bishkek Mayor Aziz Surakmatov for authorizing the event, and for a ban on non-governmental organizations that promote LGBTQ rights. While recent gatherings passed off without major incident, there is potential for unrest, particularly if LGBTQ supporters stage counter-protests.
Potentially hazardous gases, possibly related to a chemical spill, have been detected in the Pasir Gudang area of Johor Bahru. Media are reporting hundreds of people have suffered ill health, including symptoms of methane exposure. At least 34 schools in the area have been closed. Anyone in the affected area should follow the advice of local authorities. Travelers should minimize exposure by staying away from areas where unusual odors are detected, remain indoors and if possible, turn air conditioning to recirculate mode.
High levels of air pollution have been recorded in northern parts of the country including Chiang Mai. Polluted air can cause symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and irritation of the eyes and nose. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with underlying heart or lung disease are particularly vulnerable. To lessen the risk of potential health problems, travelers should reduce exposure by decreasing time and physical activity outdoors.
Normal travel can resume along Avenue de la Toison d’Or near Avenue Louise in Brussels after a fire last night at the Sofitel Le Louise Hotel was contained. The incident prompted the evacuation of more than 170 guests and the closure of nearby roads. At least one person was injured. The hotel is likely to be closed for several days.
Travelers should anticipate further transportation disruption at cross-channel hubs due to ongoing industrial action by customs officials. The strike could be extended to airports over the weekend.
Tomorrow, travelers in Amsterdam should avoid a planned climate march at Dam Square. Previous related demonstrations have been well attended. While the upcoming rally is expected to pass off peacefully, local traffic disruption is possible.
Travelers in Belgrade should expect and avoid further anti-government demonstrations, typically held on Fridays and Saturdays at 6:00 PM local time, as a precaution. Demonstrators usually march via central streets to the National Assembly, the Serbian Radio and Television (RTS) headquarters, and the Presidential and Serbian government buildings. Previous related protests have been well attended and have passed off peacefully.