This Week in Travel News

Paris suffers Flooding of the Seine

The Louvre in Paris is closed today due to worsening flooding from days of torrential rain. It’s expected to hit a peak of up to 21 feet later today. Emergency barriers are being put up along the Seine. The death toll has risen to 20 across Europe. Announcing the closure, the Louvre said: “The aim is to move works situated in areas vulnerable to flooding to safety by moving them to higher floors.” The Musee d’Orsay also shut its doors on Thursday. Southern Germany, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands and Poland have been also affected.

Strikes Disrupt Road And Rail Travel In France And Belgium
Ongoing blockades of the majority of the country’s oil refineries has caused some airports to run low on supplies. Fuel supplies at airports in France have improved over the weekend, but there might still be some impact to flights across the next couple of days.

A national strike in Belgium has affected Eurostar’s services to Brussels. The train operator said services to and from the UK were operating today, but due to a lack of resources, it isn’t operating its intra-Schengen terminal in Brussels so it can’t carry any Brussels to Lille passengers but it is able to carry Lille to Brussels passengers.

Eurostar is also warning that there are very limited train services beyond Brussels.

United Airlines Sets New Boeing Dreamliner Record with Nonstop SFO to SIN
The airline has launched nonstop service between San Francisco International Airport and Singapore’s highly-touted Changi Airport. Measured by distance, the new route between San Francisco and Singapore will be the longest scheduled Dreamliner flight operated by any airline. Clocking in at 8,446 miles, the SFO-SIN route also will be the longest scheduled plane flight operated by any United States-based carrier. Westbound from San Francisco to Singapore, flying time is an estimated 16 hours and 20 minutes, with a slightly shorter flying time of 15 hours 30 minutes eastbound. United’s new route will provide the best test to date of how much the Dreamliner is said to improve the traveling experience on especially long-haul flights. The Boeing 787 was designed to offer travelers higher humidity levels and better air circulation in the passenger cabin – features that make flying long distances less taxing on the body, with less eye and nasal irritation and fewer headaches that can be brought on by spending long periods in a pressurized plane cabin.

NOAA Posts Its Predictions For the Coming Atlantic Hurricane Season
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center has predicted that this year’s Atlantic hurricane season could generate more activity than in recent years, including one to four major hurricanes. While the predictions are actually for “near-normal” activity, the season could appear more active, as the past three years were below normal. The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30. However, peak storm periods vary geographically. In the Eastern Caribbean and along the U.S. East Coast, the season is usually busiest between mid-August and mid-September. In the Western Caribbean, the peak season begins mid-September and stretches into early to mid-November.

Facebook And Microsoft To Build Fiber Optic Cable Across Atlantic
Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Telefónica SA have joined forces to lay fiber optic cable across the Atlantic Ocean. The 4,000-mile-plus cable is the latest big-budget Internet infrastructure project by Web companies to gain more control over their data. The new project, called Marea, will span the more than 4,000 miles between Virginia and Spain with eight pairs of fiber optic strands, which would make it the highest capacity link across the Atlantic.

Delta To Launch Service Between Portland, Oregon and Heathrow Next May
Delta will offer four flights a week on the route for the summer, starting on May 26. At the same time, the US airline will strengthen its partnership with Virgin Atlantic, with the two carriers swapping some of their routes. Delta will take over Virgin’s Heathrow to Detroit service from March 26 to enable it to offer a twice daily service and from May 25 Delta will take over Virgin’s second daily Heathrow to Atlanta flight. Virgin will continue to operate one daily Heathrow to Atlanta flight and from March 26 it will take over Delta’s Heathrow to Seattle service. Virgin will also take over Delta’s Manchester to New York-JFK summer service on May 25. Delta will resume the service for winter 2017.

World’s Tallest And Longest Glass-Bottom Bridge
The Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon Glass Bridge in China, has been crowned the tallest and longest glass-bottom bridge in the world. The transparent bridge located in Zhangjiajie Canyon national park in China’s Hunan province, which was the inspiration for James Cameron’s movie, Avatar, spans two cliffs 430 metres in length, six metres in width and can accommodate up to 800 people. The bridge designed by Israeli architect, Haim Dotan, was set to open to visitors in May, however has been delayed till June or July due to excessive rain and construction. For those seeking an additional thrill, the bridge will have a bungee platform and three bridge swings, one of which will have a length of 150 to 170 metres (492 to 558 feet). This is not China’s first glass-floored bridge. In 2015, Haohan Qiao, Brave Men’s Bridge in English, opened in Shiniuzai National Park in Southern China. The glass bridge is suspended 180 metres (590 feet) above the park.

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