Travel alert to UK passengers
Manama, November 28, 2011
Airlines in the Gulf yesterday issued travel warnings for passengers flying to the UK on Wednesday, saying they could face severe delays.
The warning follows an announcement by the UK Border Agency they would go on a 24-hour strike beginning at midnight.
A Gulf Air spokesman said in Bahrain no final decision had been taken on its flights out on that day.
But the airline warned that its flights to London that day may face massive delays.
'We are waiting and watching the situation and will take necessary action,' the spokesman said.
The 24-hour strike is expected to affect operations at all UK border crossings and is likely to cause disruptions at all UK airports according to reports.
A statement on the Emirates Airline website said all its flights to and from the UK on that day 'may be disrupted or forced to be cancelled'.
It advised passengers strongly to consider alternate travel days.
'Passengers who have already been booked and ticketed to travel to/from the UK on November 30 may have their tickets rebooked/re-issued for travel on November 28 or 29 or between December 1 and 7 at no additional cost,' it said.
Qatar Airways also said on its website that passengers arriving on its flights to London Heathrow and Manchester were likely to be affected by the strike.
'Due to industrial strike action, passengers on all airlines arriving into UK airports should expect long queues and delays during the passport and immigration process,' it said. The airline offered rebooking options for passengers holding confirmed reservations for travel on the day.
Etihad Airways, which operates flights to both London Heathrow and Manchester, said that while at this stage Etihad flights would be operating 'as scheduled' due to the anticipated disruption, it was possible passengers 'may experience long delays in waiting to clear immigration at both airports'.
Hundreds of passengers fly Gulf Air from Bahrain to the UK every day as well as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad via Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi respectively. – TradeArabia News Service