Travelers to Paris, France may be wondering what to do with their plans for business, school or leisure in light of the recent deadly attacks on civilians in Paris, perhaps concerned for safety, but one employee of a major travel company suggests people “go on living” but “stay vigilant.”
One of Europe’s leading airlines is easyJet, which operates on over 600 routes across more than 30 countries with a fleet of over 200 Airbus aircraft, according to information on the official website, and they have helped “over 60 million passengers” get around to various destinations last year.
As one of the company’s 8,000-plus employees, Robbie Bosch, based out of Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, took some time from a busy schedule today to discuss personal impressions after the attacks. Bosch also offers some advice for travelers iwho were looking forward to enjoy all that Paris has to offer.
‘Go on living’
On the night of the multiple terrorist attacks, Bosch said he actually did not know about it, because he went to bed early so he could head to the airport very early on Saturday for an outbound flight. The airport seemed “a mess,” he said, once he arrived.
“People were in shock and disbelief really,” said Bosch. With so many killed, and “80 people” very critically wounded, there is a sadness as well. “We have three days of mourning,” Bosch added. He says the attitude he sees, however, is that “we should go on living.” Another observation he made is that the terrorists attacked places where people gathered to enjoy music or sports. And these people seemed intent on killing those who engaged in conversation and laughter as they socialized in the various cafes and terraces.
Going out now, Bosch said he would stay “vigilant” and aware of things. Maybe he would not go out to the most crowded or trendiest places in Paris, even though there are well-armed gendarmes for increased security everywhere. (Note: per French news, Bosch said the only persons allowed to use guns are “police and officials” when they are “in uniform and in service.”)
Additionally, Bosch said he would choose an alternative mode of city travel, likely opting to walk in Paris rather than to use the Metro. And, while there is no curfew, residents and visitors were being told to be aware, because a search was ongoing to find some of the terrorists who escaped. President Hollande has declared a state of emergency as well, per a BBC story, and he is targeting the group which has claimed responsibility for the attacks ISIS, which deems itself an “Islamic State” in the countries of Iraq and Syria. Bosch referred to the terrorists as “extreme Salafists.” The Salafists have been busy in the European Union countries since 2001, however, as this PBS article reveals. Gilles Kepel stated in that piece that “Salafists” living in Europe ” … were totally apolitical and they didn’t deliver theoretically or in terms of doctrine.”
As far as travels elsewhere in the region, suburbs seem to be the real hotbeds for terrorist activity, as the report from Robert-Jan Bartunek and Alastair Macdonald of Reuters reveals. Their article was re- displayed on the YahooNews page yesterday. The Mayor of Molenbeek, Belgium calls her suburban city near Brussels “a breeding ground for violence” because of unemployment and overcrowding among Arab immigrant families, as well as the “youthful despair finding refuge in radical Islam.”
The official easyJet statement for passengers is that “[t]he safety and security of … passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority.” They anticipate their schedules will “operate as normal” however they suggest checking the status of flights on their FlightTracker page. Also suggested is that travelers allow more time for security checks due to the “reinforced security measures.”
Restrictions to France: DoD
UPDATE: Travel restrictions are being implemented for some travelers, however, by the United State European Command (see EUCOM) to “help minimize tourist traffic at the borders in France, and in particularly, in Paris as the French authorities continue their investigation.”
This restriction is meant for all Department of Defense personnel and these include military personnel, DoD civilian employees, contractors and command-sponsored dependents and family members, according to the statement from EUCOM. “PARIS TRAVEL This prohibition is for unofficial travel to Paris, France, and includes a 50-kilometer radius around the city. For those requesting official travel or emergency leave travel to Paris (or within a 50-kilometer radius of the city), approval from the first general/flag officer (or SES) in the chain of command is required.”