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TRAVEL NEWS

EasyJet to launch five new routes from Switzerland including three to UK

Budget airline easyJet will launch five new destinations from Switzerland by the end 2024 and early 2025, including three new routes to the UK.

easyjet plane in the sky
An EasyJet Airbus A320 passengers aircraft, en route to Geneva, takes off from the Toulouse-Blagnac airport, southwestern France, on June 8, 2023. (Photo by Charly TRIBALLEAU / AFP)

From November 4th, there will be four weekly flights between Zurich and Manchester.

On November 7th, two weekly flights will begin between Zurich and Bordeaux, as well as between Basel and London Luton, four times a week.

Twice weekly flights from Geneva to Tromsø in Norway will begin on December 5th, and from January 18th, 20245 easyJet will fly from Geneva to Leeds / Bradford, twice a week.

Tickets for the new flights will be available from this week.

You can read all the latest travel news from Switzerland in our dedicated section.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Is start date for EES biometric passport checks set to be delayed again?

The EU's new EES system of biometric passport checks at borders has already been repeatedly delayed, but now there are reports that it could be pushed back again amid concerns that transport terminals - especially in the UK - are not ready.

Is start date for EES biometric passport checks set to be delayed again?

After several postponements, the new EU border security system known as the Entry & Exit System (EES) is due to go live in the autumn of 2024.

The European Commission has never officially confirmed the exact start date, but information sent to airports and other transport terminals indicated Sunday, October 6th as the likely start date.

However, now the British newspaper The Independent has reported that it has been delayed again, albeit only for a few weeks, with the likely new start date Sunday, November 10th.

At the time of writing the Commission has not released a firm start date, but The Local has requested further clarification.

The Independent also reports that the EU is considering allowing a ‘soft launch’ which will allow transport operators to be excused from collecting full biometric data on all travellers if there are significant delays at a border crossing point. The Local has asked the Commission for clarification on this point.

The system is causing a major headache for ports and rail terminals in the UK, with fears of long tailbacks at entry points such as the Port of Dover or the Eurostar St Pancras terminal. 

The problems are particularly acute at the UK-France border because of high travel volumes, the juxtaposed borders and the fact that Brits are no longer EU citizens and are therefore subject to EES checks.

READ ALSO Why is the UK-France border such a problem for EES checks? 

The EES system was designed prior to Brexit, when UK travellers were still EU citizens and would therefore not have been required to complete EES pre-registration.

You can read more about exactly how EES will affect different modes of transport on the links below;

The first time that passengers cross an external EU/Schengen zone border after the introduction of the system they will be required to provide biometric data including facial scans and fingerprints.

These must be collected on site, and there are fears that the extra requirements will lead to long queues at border crossings.

The checks only apply to non-EU citizens, while non-EU citizens who are resident in an EU country are also exempt.

Find full details of the new system HERE.

Once EES is (finally) up and running it will be followed by another new system – ETIAS which will require tourists and short-stay visitors to the EU to pay €7 in advance and register for a visa waiver. Under 18s and over 70s are exempt from this payment – full details HERE.

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