This week: a 20-hour airport drive, JetBlue expansion & more

Yep, it’s that time of the week again: we’ve got your summary of the past week’s airport news ready for you. This time we have, as almost every week, some strike news, however this week they come from two different countries. Then there’s an elderly couple’s long trip back from the airport and – drum roll – there’s more.

Let’s start with the “more” bit this time: First up Passenger Terminal Today informed us of JetBlue’s approved expansion plans for its JFK Terminal 5. Yep, it’s that terminal we praised so highly when we reviewed it last year. According to the article, the expansion, dubbed T5i, the new facility will add an extra 145,000ft2 on three levels to the existing terminal and will include dedicated gates to accommodate JetBlue international arrivals and handle wide-body aircraft operated by partner airlines. We surely can’t wait!

The second news bite we summarized into the “more category” came from Poland this week. There, Reuters reported via Yahoo! Sports that Warsaw’s new Modlin airport (WMI) will open just in time for next month’s Euro 2012 soccer championship but no airlines will land there until almost two weeks after the tournament ends in July. “We are an airport that is still under construction,” Modlin spokeswoman Magdalena Bojarska said on Wednesday. “We are ready for private planes. Normal flights will start from July. There will be no airlines until then.” Bad planning or just bad luck? Decide for yourself!

Then there were the two strikes: The first one affected Stansted Airport (STN) in London. On late Thursday, The Independent reported that baggage handlers and other ground staff at Stansted Airport are
to go ahead with a four-day strike over the Jubilee weekend (that’s this weekend) after talks failed to resolve a row over new rosters.

The second strike news came from Turkey where The Washington Post wrote that a strike and work slowdown at Istanbul’s main airport (IST) has forced Turkish Airlines to cancel more than 100 flights. According to the news ground handlers, technicians and other workers are protesting a government-proposed legislation that would ban future strike actions by aviation workers.

The final piece now comes from our home town, Melbourne in Australia where the local paper, The Herald, reported of the odyssey of an elderly couple as a simple drive to the airport turned into a 20-hour road trip and sparked a state-wide police search after they got lost on their way home. According to the article, Ivan and Catherine Fry, aged 86 and 84, reached the far eastern town of Bairnsdale while trying to return to their home in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs after dropping their son at Melbourne Airport (MEL) on Sunday night. The Police estimated the couple had travelled up to 500km as they drove through various towns before being found 8km from home on Monday. Well, we’ve always said the signage around Melbourne can be tricky at times, but this is taking it to new levels for sure!

Have a great new week everyone!