Week in travel: Gibraltar raises EU travel visa concerns

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Week in travel: Gibraltar raises EU travel visa concerns

By
23 February 2019

By | 23 February 2019

Heathrow continues with a series of record-breaking numbers, while Loganair replaces flybmi on key routes, and Firefall is back at the Yosemite National Park

While the United Kingdom is most likely leaving the European Union on 29 March, the uncertainty about visa requirements is intensifying.

Brits might need visas to enter the European Union after no-deal Brexit — Shutterstock Gibraltar raises EU travel visa concerns Group Created with Sketch. Brits might need visas to enter the European Union after a no-deal Brexit — Shutterstock

Currently, an issue has arisen amid a dispute over Gibraltar — a British territory on the Iberian peninsula surrounded by Spain and the Mediterranean.

The Spanish government has now blocked emergency European Union plans to allow British citizens to travel without visas. They refuse to back the proposed visa legislation unless the other 26 EU member states add a footnote with a reference to Gibraltar as a “colony of the British Crown”.

However, members of the European parliament rejected the Spanish demand for the “colonial language which has no place in the world”.

It is the third time the parliament has rejected the legislation.

If the UK leaves without a deal, this situation might lead to a need for travel visas for British nationals seeking to stay in the EU for less than 90 days. It would cost $68 (£52) and take two weeks to be authorised.

Heathrow breaks passenger record in 2018

While Brits still aren’t sure whether they will need visas to travel to the European Union, their country’s biggest airport is thronging with passengers.

Another record year for Heathrow — 1000 Words / Shutterstock Gibraltar raises EU travel visa concerns Group Created with Sketch. Another record year for Heathrow — 1000 Words / Shutterstock

In 2018, London Heathrow airport welcomed a record-breaking 80.1 million travellers, which is 2.7 per cent more than the year before.

The airport doubled its connections to China and added six new cities including Europe’s only flight to Shenzhen.

Heathrow also saw revenues increase by three per cent to nearly $3.9 billion (£3 billion).

In addition, following support in parliament, its plans for expansion continue to take shape.

Once operating, the proposed third runway could increase the number of passengers to 110 million by 2030 — making it the world’s busiest according to current statistics.

The project is scheduled to begin in 2021 and the new runway should open in 2026 if the airport is granted development consent.

Firefall is back at Yosemite National Park

Visitors to California’s famous national park had a chance to see a unique natural phenomenon.

The Firefall that resembles lava falling down the rock is a natural magic trick that comes to life over a few days in February. It attracts thousands of travellers wanting to enjoy a few moments of natural beauty.

The illusion occurs when the setting sun causes light to hit the waterfall at just the right angle — making the water turn into fire.

Vaché Geyoghlian, a photographer from Fresno, California, captured some Instagram-worthy images on Monday night.

“My reaction was complete amazement,” he told CNN. “I was overwhelmed with excitement to finally get to see it in person and get some good shots of it too.”

“My friend and I got to that specific spot at about 2–2:30 pm and we were the first ones there,” Geyoghlian said. “That didn’t last long as the entire area filled with hundreds of people looking to witness/photograph the Firefall.”

Loganair replaces flybmi on important routes

Loganair will take over flybmi’s key routes — Marcin Kadziolka / Shutterstock Gibraltar raises EU travel visa concerns Group Created with Sketch. Loganair will take over flybmi’s key routes — Marcin Kadziolka / Shutterstock

After the British regional carrier flybmi announced a sudden and complete shutdown of operation last week, it is now clear that their key routes won’t be left abandoned.

On 4 March, the Scotland-based airline Loganair will relaunch flybmi’s three connections from Aberdeen to Bristol, Oslo, and Esbjerg in Denmark.

These will be followed by departures from Newcastle to Belgian tourist capital Bruges and Stavanger in Norway on 25 March.

In addition, the airline has announced a new connection between London Stansted and Derry.

Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair managing director, said: “It’s always really sad to see an airline go out of business, and our thoughts are with all those affected — particularly staff members.

“We are evaluating flybmi’s wider network and assessing routes which align with Loganair’s distinct geographical area and overall strategic plans.

“We are also working on employment opportunities for pilots, cabin crew and engineering support staff to strengthen the Loganair team.”

Picture of seductive koala conquers the internet

After billions of cat and dog videos, it appears that the internet has a new favourite.

27-year-old British expat and photographer Ross Long has recently taken a snap of what can be called a seductive koala.

He took the picture at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland on Australia’s Gold Coast and posted it to his Instagram. And a flood of likes arrived immediately.

“Draw me like one of your French girls, Jack,” read the caption, referencing the famous scene in Titanic.

Long explained that the marsupial’s pose was probably because of he expected to have a good time with the opposite sex.

“There were other female koalas nearby, so I guess this is his way of letting them know that he was indeed ready,” he told The Daily Mail.

“He looked more chilled than a Friday night of Netflix and chill. Perhaps this explains why chlamydia is such an issue in the koala world?”

Fans of the animal and his “come to bed” pose were quick to compliment him on social media.

“‘Sexy koala’ is the new duck lips pose,” wrote Sarah Livingstone, while Cat Chastain commented: “How can a koala take a better picture than me?”