Latest on the Brussels attacks; U.S. issues European travel alert

Latest on the Brussels attacks; U.S. issues European travel alert

BRUSSELS — Brussels Airport will remain closed to passenger flights for at least another day, right up to the start of the busy Easter weekend.

Airport officials said they would have to cancel some 600 flights each on Wednesday and Thursday. Since the attack on the airport Tuesday morning the flights of some 180,000 passengers have been or will be disrupted.

Brussels airport was hoping to resume cargo flights earlier but there was no immediate word on when.

Belgians are holding a moment of silence to honour at least 34 people killed in unprecedented Islamic extremist attacks on Brussels.

Government offices, schools and residents marked the moment in a mood ofanxiety, defiance and fear that other people involved in the attacks Tuesday on the Brussels Airport and a subway station may still be at large.

The country is holding three days of national mourning for the victims. Over 200 people were wounded in the attacks.

Belgian police, meanwhile, are conducting raids and the country is at its highest terrorism alert level, meaning there’s a risk of an imminent attack.

U.S. issues blanket Europe travel alert

The U.S. State Department

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for citizens travelling to Europe following the attacks. The alert advises travellers to be cautious when in public places or using transportation.

“Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation,” the State Department said in a statement. The alert is currently set to expire on June 20. For more information, go to travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/europe-travel-alert.html.

Last November the U.S. issued an alert on all travel for all destinations following the Paris attacks.

Meanwhile Canada’s current alert for Belgium states: “There is no nationwide advisory in effect for Belgium. However, you should exercise a high degree of caution due to the current elevated threat of terrorism.” For more, go to travel.gc.ca/destinations/belgium.

Other airports and major events

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says the show must go on and big events, be they sports or cultural, must not be put on hold for fear of terror attacks. Valls is urging the EU parliament to get going on authorizing a passenger name record (PNR) covering Europe: “It is urgent to adopt the European PNR. The European Parliament has waited too long to adopt this text. It must examine and adopt it in April, it’s time.”

The Czech Defence Ministry says soldiers have been deployed as part of stepped-up security measures following the attacks in Brussels.

As of Wednesday morning, the ministry says 550 service members will be patrolling international airports, train stations and other places in the capital and all across the country, working with police officers.

Security was also boosted at Prague’s subway network, at the country’s two nuclear power plants and some foreign embassies.

Attacks in Brussels hits travel stocks

Attacks in Brussels hits travel stocks

The travel and lodging industry took a hit Tuesday following deadly attacks in Belgium that killed dozens of people.

American Airlines, Delta and United Airlines all said that their flights to and from Brussels were either cancelled or diverted.

Here’s how stocks of travel companies fared in morning trading Tuesday:

AIRLINES:

  • American Airlines Group Inc. fell 2.6 per cent to $42.34.
  • Delta Air Lines Inc. fell 3.2 per cent to $48.53.
  • United Continental Holdings Inc. fell 2.1 per cent to $59.90.

HOTEL CHAINS:

  • Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. fell 1.4 per cent to $22.09.
  • Hyatt Hotels Corp. fell 2 per cent to $48.83.
  • Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC fell 3.6 per cent to $39.26.
  • Marriott International Inc. fell 2.1 per cent to $70.81.
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. fell 2.2 per cent to $82.34.

BOOKING SITES:

  • Expedia Inc. down 1.7 per cent to $109.05
  • The Priceline Group Inc. down 2.7 per cent to $1,314
  • Ctrip.com International Ltd. down 1.44 per cent to $44.41
  • TripAdvisor Inc. down 4.63 per cent to $64.64