This week: world’s best airport, 500 flights cancelled and a VIP’s African troubles

It’s been a rather busy week in airport news-land: There was an award given out to the best airport of the world, a storm cancelled nearly 500 flights in a U.S. city and a VIP got stripped of their status at an African airport to name just three of the many stories we received this week.

Let’s start with the award: As part of the 19th Passenger Terminal Expo which this year took place in Geneva, Switzerland, Skytrax recognizing the best airports in a number of categories with the most prestigious title of “airport of the year” eagerly awaited by the attending industry. Well deserved but without much surprise Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN) won this title this year. We say “without much surprise” as over the past years Hong Kong, Korea’s Incheon and Singapore airport have been exchanging the title between themselves with Hong Kong winning it eight times, Incheon twice and Singapore four times. Best European airport went to Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport (AMS) and the title of best North American airport went to Vancouver International airport (YVR). The biggest surprise was probably that London’s Heathrow (LHR) airport made it in to the top ten at number, err, ten. You can read more about the awards on the Skytrax award website.

Quite a scare had Bali’s Denpasar (DPS) airport this week when a Boeing 737-800 slid off the runway into the sea. Luckily, as New York Times reported, officials said rescuers pulled all passengers and crew to safety from the jet after it came to rest in shallow waters. The airline of the plane in question, Lion Air, is on a list of carriers banned from operating in the European Union because of lax safety standards, and its planes have been in several episodes over the last decade, including a fatal crash in 2004, reported the newspaper.

Over in the U.S. late winter storms caused some troubles for the Midwest this week as Fox News reported that Denver International Airport (DEN) said Tuesday that at least 465 flights have been cancelled after a storm produced blizzard conditions in parts of the state, where up to 20 inches of snow is expected in some areas. According to the article strong wind before the snow delayed flights up to 40 minutes Monday night, and some arrivals were diverted to Colorado Springs airport (COS).

And to round the news week off we found a little bit of airport gossip for you: Madonna, known for her music and her involvement in charity work, mainly the one in Malawi, which is the birth place of her two adopted children. The singer then made the news this week for being stripped off her VIP status at Malawi’s Kamuzu International Airport (LLW) as reported in The Independent this week. The action seems to have been part of an ongoing dispute between her and the African country’s president Joyce Banda. The article said that barely a week after [Madonna] returning, the singer has found herself embroiled in a bitter row with the President of the country where her two adopted children were born.

That’s all for this week – safe travels!

[Featured graphic based on Skytrax image, composed by LateDeparture. All rights reserved]