This week: big U.S. week, Singapore gets bigger, Malaysia’s faux pas

It’s been a big week for U.S. airports, with two headlines, one economically related and the other based on some severe weather. Singapore’s Changi airport as well as Heathrow in London got into the news too. So did Malaysia’s KL airport but we bet they’d rather not speak about it.

Let’s start at the beginning of the week when the full force of the severe winter storms in the United States became visible. WCBV wrote that airports in the Northeast shut down Friday afternoon as a snowstorm of potentially historic proportions blew in. While JFK reopened on Saturday morning, Boston’s Logan airport (BOS) remained closed until late Saturday with flights only going back to normal on Sunday.

The other big American news this week was the on Wednesday proposed merger between American Airlines and U.S. Airways. Fox Business News then quoted a Fitch Ratings report saying that while consolidation is largely looked at as a plus for the industry, it is both good and bad for airports, weakening some hubs while strengthening others.“The central risk for the incumbent American hubs would be a major loss in connecting traffic, exacerbating the debt burden, and airline cost profile,” Fitch said. And, the report also claims that for the less-traveled hubs, mergers of this scale might mean less traffic, hurting the airport’s revenue stream.

Good news reached us this week from one of our favourite airports, Singapore’s Changi airport (which also is part of our world-first airport only trip on OutTrippin). Chanig (SIN) announced it’s investing more than $1 billion on a new terminal (T4) and other infrastructure projects to increase capacity, as reported by SmartPlanet. Changi said that passenger traffic is growing in the southeast Asian airport and it sees these projects as a way to “remain a major global aviation hub.” The new terminal, to be built on the old Budget Terminal site, will be a two-storey building with a height of 25 metres and a gross floor area of about 160,000 square metres. T4 will have a look, feel and ambience comparable to Terminals 1 and 2, was said in the airport’s press release.

Over in Europe Heathrow Airport (LHR) made headlines again this week when it’s published landing fee increases weren’t received very politely. The Telegraph wrote that Heathrow is at loggerheads with the major airlines after proposing to increase landing charges almost 6pc above the rate of inflation from next year. The article further said that British Airways, Lufthansa and Virgin Atlantic attacked the price increases, which could see landing costs jump from £19.33 per passenger at present to £27.30 by 2018.

And to finish off we’ve got a political embarrassment for you: According to ABC News Malaysian immigration authorities detained an Australian senator who flew into Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to speak with officials about upcoming Malaysian elections. “Senator Xenophon’s detention is a surprising and disappointing act from a country with which Australia routinely maintains strong diplomatic relations,” said Australia’s Foreign Minister Bob Carr in a statement.

That’s all we have for this week – safe travels!

[Photo from Flickr – Some rights reserved by josephdevon]