This week: a birthday, several blockades and a selling order

Let’s start with some good news and let us congratulate Vancouver Airport (IATA: YVR) as the Canadian airport celebrated its 80th birthday this week. According to the Vancouver Sun, it drew delegations from airports around the world to admire its public art and West Coast decoration.

And while we’re at it, let’s pull out another good story – again from North America, this time from the other side of the continent where news reached us from our friends at Passenger Terminal Today, that Delta is well on schedule with their US$1.2 billion expansion of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (IATA: JFK). Apparently the structural steel frame of the Concourse B extension is now visible. The extension will include one of the largest Sky Clubs in the Delta system, as well as nine new international gates and is due to open in 2014.

Enough with the pleasantries now though as not all incoming news this week was as rosy. as our first two stories. First up, long term “problem child”, BAA which got told by the UK Competition Commission to sell Stansted Airport (IATA: STN; LD reviewed) and one other Scottish airport. According to the story in The Guardian, the commission brushed aside arguments from BAA that the original order for a break-up in 2009 has been rendered irrelevant by a shift in the political landscape.

And finally, proposed austerity measures in Greece led to taxi blockades this week. Reuters wrote, the taxi drivers blocked ports and airports on the popular tourist islands of Crete and Corfu on Thursday, in a strike to protest against government plans to open up their trade to competition. Cab drivers, who also disrupted traffic on other roads in Greece and blocked access to the port and airport in Athens (IATA: ATH) on Monday, vowed to press on with the strike if their demands were not met. They say the reform, which would cut the price of taxi licences to just a few thousand euros from tens of thousands, would hurt a sector already hit by austerity.

That’s that for this week – safe and blockade-free travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by Zsolt Vajda]

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