This week: Strikes, Privatization and Victoria Beckham

This week we focused on two main geographical areas: Brazil and France. One had good news, the other not so much. Now the question becomes, which had which?

Before we answer that questions, let’s get this week’s champions out of the way. Yes, the week started with the Super Bowl champions landing at Newark Airport in New Jersey (IATA: EWR). The New York Post reported on Monday that as the Giants’ flight came into the airport, water cannons were launched as a way to salute the return of the Super Bowl XLVI winners. The article continued by saying that as the players, friends and family members filed off the United Airlines flight, bagpipes played and scores of Giants supporters snapped photographs and took videos using their cellphones. Well, we guess congratulations are in order!

Alright, alright, let’s get you out of your guessing misery. The good news was that came out of Brazil this week as we first heard from the Associated Press that the Brazilian government privatized operations at three of the nation’s main airports on Monday, awarding $14 billion in contracts to three consortiums that will expand and run terminals amid booming demand and ahead of the 2014 World Cup. The three airports include the nation’s busiest airport in Sao Paulo (IATA: GRU), along with those in the capital Brasilia (IATA: BSB) and in the city of Campinas in Sao Paulo state (IATA: VCP).

Then on Wednesday the Business Week reported that Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport (IATA: GRU – yes, it’s the same one that was privatized) opened a new terminal meant to handle as many as 5 million domestic passengers a year. According to the news, Infraero, the government agency that operates airports, said that the 85 million real ($49.4 million) terminal will handle domestic flights, which account for more than 60 percent of the passengers using the airport.

That leaves France with the bad news. And those news came from Air France on Monday when CNN reported that the French airline expected to cancel nearly half its “long haul” flights Tuesday because of a strike and more than a quarter of the carrier’s remaining scheduled flights are expected not to get off the ground. It of course happened as “planned”. AFP later reported that Air France said it expected its services to return to normal Friday. But, according to the article, the airline warned in a statement that there could be some delays as it worked to get its schedules back on track amid freezing conditions and snow in some parts of France.

That’s it – oh wait – there’s one more thing and it’s coming from our entertainment section: The Daily Mail got creative once more with one of its headlines on Wednesday when it wrote “Baby it’s cold outside! Victoria Beckham covers up daughter Harper in cute winter coat as they arrive in New York”. It’s not particularly the story of the century but hey we print anything that’s worth a good headline. Did we really just write this?

Have a great week everyone – delay free of course!

[Picture by Flickr showing Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport at dusk – Some rights reserved by rednuht]