Etihad airways warns of delay over Christmas 

Etihad Airways has warned passengers of delays over Christmas and New Year’s Eve at major British airports.

The airline will be operating as scheduled to London’s Heathrow and Manchester during the scheduled protests by the UK’s Border Force staff but the delays seem to be imminent now.

The Border Force staff at passport control in the UK will go on strike at several airports, impacting the travellers and locals as well.

To lessen disruption due to strikes, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will be limiting ticket sales to London Heathrow Airport during the period of strike. The delays are expected as around 1,000 Border Force staff will observe a strike on December 23 to 26 and 28 to 31 at different airports in the UK at a time when Christmas is attracting tourists.

The UAE-London sector is amongst the busiest in the world and the protest is sure to cause possible delays on arrival at London’s Heathrow and Manchester airports.

The queues at passport control may be longer than normal; however, the British authorities are trying to put in contingency measures to ensure clearance of passengers. 

The prolonged strike on the eve of Christmas is expected to impact departures from the UK as well.

Despite the protests, electronic passport control gates (e-gates) could be used by those arriving into the UK holding passports from the UK, US, EU, Australia, Canada, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea and Switzerland.

The Public and Commercial Service (PCS) union announced the strike action as a means for its members to protect their financial interests, claiming that the cost of living has sky- rocketed.

 “We have been taken for granted for too long. Strike action puts significant pressure on the employer – in our case, the government – to negotiate a fair settlement with us,” it stated. 

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