What a busy week! We’ve found everything from awards to the world’s best airports, strikes in Europe to an incredible ground transport accident at a major U.S. airport in this week’s airport news from around the world. Here are what we’re going to cover in this episode:
- Singapore once again wins world airport awards
- London & New York single flight issues
- LAX baggage heist
- Germany on strike
- O’Hare’s train accident
Let’s start with some good news this week when on Wednesday the annual Skytrax World Airport Awards were announced. Like every year the World Airport Awards are the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry, voted by customers in the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. The winner this year – drum roll – was the same one as last year: Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN). Runner-up went to South Korea’s Incheon International Airport (ICN) and 3rd place was given to Germany’s Munich Airport (MUC). You can find the full list of awards which are given in over 60 (!) categories on the award’s website. So, were there any surprises? Not really, maybe in some of the less important categories. Judge for yourself.
Moving on to our “normal” round of airport issues from around the world: This week two important airports reported problems with one specific flight respectively: there was London’s City Airport (LCY) reporting a runway closure on Thursday after an engine blow up on a Geneva-bound Swiss Avro RJ100 plane with 74 passengers and 4 crew on board. According to The Guardian four people needed treatment for minor injuries and the airport closed for more than an hour.
In North America then, NY Daily News reported of a bird strike on a JetBlue Airbus A320 that occurred Friday morning local time, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The Florida bound plane landed safely 25 minutes later with all 142 passengers unharmed. As passengers left the gate they saw the bird carcass still lodged in the plane (photos on NY Daily News’ website).
We’re staying in the United States for the next story: On Thursday L.A. Times wrote about what officials believe is one of the biggest baggage theft operations in Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) history. They suspect at least 14 baggage handlers of stealing thousands of dollars in electronics, jewelry and other high-priced items. According to the article LAX police arrested six workers and detained an additional eight they suspect stole thousands of dollars in small but pricey items from baggage moving through the airport.
We were warned early in the week and then it really took place: Germany’s baggage handlers and maintenance staff at seven airports went on strike on Thursday. All major Germany airports were affected including the largest, Frankfurt airport (FRA). Deutsche Welle reported that Lufthansa cancelled 600 flights that day. The strikes stem from a larger dispute over a pay raise and talks aimed at settling the dispute are due to resume next week.
And with our final piece for this week we’re back in America where a train jumped tracks and hurt 32 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport (ORD) on Monday. According to CNN the eight-car train failed to stop at the end of the line when it arrived at the airport station at 2:52 a.m., a Chicago Fire official said. The lead car appeared to have climbed an escalator adjacent to the passenger platform. According to later reports the driver fell asleep during her shift.
That’s all for this week, safe travels!
[Photo from Wikipedia showing Singapore's T3]