This week: More strikes, a bomb and a dangerous tourist attraction

Gee, what a busy airport week this one was! We’ve got news from Africa, Thailand, the Caribbean Sea and Canada covering a bomb, two strikes and a dangerous tourist attraction. Let’s piece them together:

First up, there’s hardly a week without any airport strike news these days. This week we received news from two different strikes that were both resolved but in very different ways. The first one took place in Canada where Air Canada’s operations got disrupted after a handful of flights were cancelled or delayed on Saturday morning following an illegal strike by pilots a day earlier that stranded thousands of travellers. Today CTVNews reported that the airline has resumed its full flight schedule after at least 75 flights were cancelled on Friday when about 150 pilots called in sick.

In Africa a strike by Kenyan airport workers this week ended very differently: After a strike by 1,300 airport workers over a pay increase the previous week, the Kenya Airports Authority said in a report by the BBC that striking workers who failed to return to work on Monday have been dismissed. The news report stated that the dismissals affected about 50% of those who were striking at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (IATA: NBO).

Now back to Canada where this week a Korean Air flight en-route from Vancouver (IATA: YVR) to Seoul (IATA: ICN) had to make an unscheduled landing at Comox Airport (IATA: YQQ) on Vancouver Island after a bomb threat was phoned into the airline’s U.S. call center, as reported by the Vancouver Sun. Apparently this was the second time this happened to the airline flying out of Vancouver.

When a powerful earthquake and aftershocks hit the coast of Indonesia earlier this week, many countries immediately issued Tsunami warnings that resulted in travel disruptions throughout the region. One example was Phuket Airport in Thailand (IATA: HKT) which was shut down on Wednesday with all flights being diverted to Krabi (IATA: KBV). Reuters reported that the airport was the reopened later that day.

Now for our final piece for this week’s round-up: If you are an airport enthusiast you immediately recall the visual picture when we say “St Maarten Airport”. Yes, it’s the one with the runway extending straight from a tropical beach (see title photo). On YouTube you will find countless videos of people filming themselves while an aircraft passes them only meters above. Some even try to hold on to a fence while jets depart in front of them. This week a video of a tourist trying exactly that and getting blown away went viral. The Huffington Post reported that airport officials at St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport (IATA: SXM) said they are now evaluating security measures to prevent future injuries to visitors.

With that we wish you all a good week and save travels – don’t get blown away!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by Angie Vo]