Friday, 24 May 2019


‘Very busy Friday expected today across the network due to school holidays and high demand,’ says Eurocontrol.

On the busiest day in history for British air-traffic controllers, with more than 9,000 aircraft movements predicted in UK airspace, travellers are warned of long delays because of problems in the skies over Continental Europe.

Eurocontrol in Brussels, which coordinates air-traffic control providers, is reporting: “Very busy Friday expected today across the network due to school holidays and high demand mainly in SW and SE Axis.”

That forecast includes a high level of traffic from the UK to Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece. 

The Eurocontrol warning continues: “Weather is impacting mainly Spain and France, expanding for the afternoon to north of Italy and Eastern Europe.”

Specific problems are reported at Barcelona and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen airport due to thunderstorms in the vicinity.

By Simon Calder.
Full story at Independent.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

The 7 wonders of Wales.

The top tier of Pistyll Rhaeadr in North Wales -
one of the seven wonders of Wales (Dreamstime)

A lot has changed since an 18th century traveller penned a poem that decided on the seven wonders of Wales, but the beauty and appeal of these Welsh landmarks has pretty much stayed the same.

What are the seven wonders of Wales? 
The seven wonders of Wales are based on an anonymous rhyme, penned in the 18th century. The four-lined poem simply lists places in north Wales. Read the full poem below...

1. Pistyll Rhaeadr

Not only is Pistyll Rhaeadr the tallest waterfall in the UK, but it's considerably higher than Niagra Falls, at a staggering 240 feet tall.

Look up at the top in awe as the water gushes down the side of the jagged face of the Berwyn Mountains, splashing the deep green foliage on either side. It then runs through another two tiers, crashing under rock-carved bridges and burrowing its way around beautiful natural scenery.

To get there, start in the village of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant and take the aptly-named Waterfall Street, which in four miles will bring you to the bottom of this wonder. Another 20 minutes will take you up to the top, where you’ll get a true sense of the height of Pistyll Rhaeadr, and be able to enjoy views of the surrounding mountains rolling out beneath you.

By Rosie Fitzgerald.
Full story at Wanderlust.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

20 of the most beautiful villages in Italy.

Courtesy I Borghi piĆ¹ Belli d'Italia

(CNN) — Fabulous food, amazing art, rich language, dramatic and gorgeous landscapes -- we all know what makes Italy so special.

Perhaps best of all are the scenic small towns and villages, where it's possible to enjoy all these while surrounded by picturesque coastline, mountains, valleys, rivers or volcanoes.

Here are some of the most idyllic villages where you can travel that perfectly sum up the beautiful country, or "Bel Paese."

Full story at CNN.
By Silvia Marchetti.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

New Beijing airport subway starts trial in June.

The subway line connecting downtown Beijing with its new international airport will start trial operations June 20, the Beijing Major Projects Construction Headquarters Office said Tuesday.

Work is underway in finishing the interior decor, installing equipment and laying tracks for the subway, as the Beijing Daxing International Airport is set to open Sept 30.

Stretching over 41 kilometers through the southern part of Beijing, the new line will run through Fengtai and Daxing districts. Stops are planned at three stations: New Airport North Terminal Station, Cigezhuang Station and Caoqiao Station, which will start operation at the same time as the new airport.

By Jiang Wei
Full story at The Jakarta Post.

Monday, 20 May 2019


Europe’s biggest budget airline has ‘utmost confidence’ in Boeing 737 Max

Ryanair’s air fares fell by 6 per cent in the year to March 2019, leading to a slump of 29 per cent in the airline’s profits.
With full-year profits of over €1bn (£880m), Europe’s biggest budget airline remains in far better shape than many of its rivals. 

Passenger numbers grew by 7 per cent to 139 million, representing a profit per passenger of £6.33.

Non-fuel costs rose by 5 per cent, largely due to an increase in salaries – particularly for pilots.

In addition, the airline says that disruption caused by air-traffic control staff shortages cost it €50m (£44m). 

By Simon Calder.
Full story at Independent.

Friday, 17 May 2019


You may know the feeling a minute or two before landing. The aircraft seems to quieten, your ears give a final gentle pop, and the warehouses and car-parks that congregate around an airport quickly approach.

Had you been on Wizz Air flight 2208 from Luton to Budapest on Thursday evening, you may also have been contemplating a late supper and a glass of something red and robust beside the Danube.

But as we all subconsciously braced for the bump when the Airbus A320 reconnected with the earth, touchdown and dinner were postponed. The engines suddenly roared into life, the plane climbed steeply and the undercarriage retracted.

On the only other occasion when I have experienced a “go-around” like this, flying British Airways from Heathrow to Dusseldorf, the reason was the obvious one: another aircraft occupying the runway. The captain calmly explained the issue, and 10 minutes later we were safely on the ground.

On Wizz Air, though, the approach was aborted because of a threat within the plane itself. A drunk and disruptive passenger decided he was going to use the toilet as the aircraft prepared to touch down, even thought everyone needs to be strapped in a seat for landing. The crew had no choice but to tell the captain the cabin was not secure and request a go-around.

By Simon Calder.
Full story at Independent.

Thursday, 16 May 2019


Many flights have been cancelled, and others heavily delayed.

A sudden strike by air-traffic controllers has closed Brussels airport.

The industrial action by staff working for the air-navigation provider, Skeyes, began at 9.30am local time and will continue to 1pm.

The airport in the Belgian capital has been closed. Many flights have been cancelled, and others heavily delayed. 

Brussels Airlines flights to Birmingham and Heathrow are among dozens of cancelled departures, along with the inbound services.

By Simon Calder.
Full story at Independent.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Your future passport won't be a passport at all.


There's an old truism of travel: as long as you've got your passport, you'll be fine. You can forget items of clothing, you can break your phone, you can lose your valuables. As long as you have your passport, you can travel.

You can pass from country to country. You can identify yourself to local police. You can check into hotels. You can get yourself onto a flight.

Your passport is everything. I live in constant fear of losing mine. I never want to be without it.

And yet, what if that's about to change? What if passports are about to go the way of the traveller's cheque and the paper air ticket? What if the only thing you'll need to travel the world in the near future will be your face?

Full story at Stuff.
By Ben Groundwater.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Public yet to be convinced by 20mph speed limits – leader comment.

20mph limits have already been introduced in some parts of the country
Picture: Greg Macvean

If 20mph is to become the standard city speed limit, the public will have to be convinced it is the right thing to do or the law will simply be flouted.

The setting of a speed limit is, to a large extent, about finding the right balance between safety and the smooth flow of traffic.

If safety is taken to a ridiculous degree – for example, by reinstating the Locomotive Acts of the 1860s, which imposed speed limits of 4mph in the countryside (2mph in cities) and required someone to walk in front of vehicles with a red flag – then the fatal accident rate could probably be reduced to zero.

However, most reasonable people accept that life cannot be entirely risk-free and motor vehicles should be able to travel considerably faster than walking pace. Otherwise, what’s the point?

By Scotsman Leader.
Full story at Scotsman.