Well, what can I say? For the first time in the history of the weekly LateDeparture airport news round-ups, I decide to take a leave of absence for a couple days. Plus – and this really was the big mistake – I decide to pre-write the news without a disclaimer of when it was written. Naively I thought, what can possibly shake up the airport world in the 3 days I’m away? Oh dearie-me, how wrong was I? One day into my leave (note, I didn’t even have any means of communication at all), the Australian carrier Qantas decides to ground its entire fleet worldwide. Thousands of passengers got stranded across the globe while Irish-born Alan Joyce – the airline’s CEO – bet on a solution to its ongoing, costly disputes with the unions. He got his way, even though they say it’s not yet entirely over, but further threats of future strikes from the unions are out of the way for the moment.
In Vancouver, Canada, 29 year old Jaeger Mah, won a contest sponsored by Vancouver International airport (IATA: YVR) to mark its 80th year. The airport invited anyone willing to living there to submit a video application and then let people vote for the best one. Mah won with 4,128 votes.
As another week comes to an end another weekly round-up of airport aviation news is due from us! There’s a bit of interesting follow up to do from last week’s news, news from a often forgotten continent and finally a three-letter-acronym that oftentimes makes news – this time it’s, well, juicy…
Decommissioned airports often become home to aviation unrelated occupancies as seen for example with Hong Kong’s famous old airport Kai Tak, which at one point was being used as a concert venue. In other times such airports can become a much needed infrastructure for humanitarian relief efforts as we have seen recently in the example of Thailand’s Don Mueang International Airport.
Another busy aviation related airport week has passed and with that news about missing cats, stranded passengers a new runway, the world’s worst airports and a frequent renaming of a US airport nicely filled our inbox. Let’s start chronologically:
Berlin Tegel (IATA: TXL) is a funny airport. It’s there where according to Wikipedia, Aviation history dates back to the early 20th century, when the Prussian airship battalion was based there and the area became known as Luftschiffhafen Reinickendorf. After that a lot had happened in the area (for further details refer to your history books) until in the 1960s the current airport took shape. And what a shape it took! Tegel Airport is notable (or funny as I called it) for its hexagonal terminal building around an open square, which makes walking distances as short as 30 m (98 ft) from the aircraft to the terminal exit.
With the pleasant memory of JetBlue’s dedicated Terminal 5 still in the back of my head (we wrote about it), Terminal 7 at JFK feels a bit claustrophobic upon entering. But it takes a lot more for me to give up. Surely there has to be more to the home of British Airways at JFK. Let’s have a more closer look:
Wow, what a busy aviation week this one has been! While 2,700 representatives from 300 airlines and 800 airports (BreakingTravelNews.com) gathered in Berlin at the annual ‘World Routes’ event, airports and travellers around the globe continued to work like clockwork. All of them? Not really, this week saw airports from Cairo to Sydney struggling through many problems.
Knowing that airlines put most of their efforts into the lounges at their home airport, I expected big things from the SWISS lounges at Zurich Airport (IATA: ZRH; LD hub page). SWISS – or Swiss International Air Lines – serves 72 destinations in 39 countries – most of them through its main hub in Zurich. The airline claims that because it is the airline of Switzerland (albeit owned by the Lufthansa Group), SWISS is the byword for traditional Swiss values. Surely you now want to know what those values are. Being Swiss myself, I want to come up with ‘attention to detail’, ‘high quality’ and ‘hospitality’. Others might add that the Swiss are known for staying on the fence and that they can be slightly boring. So, how do the SWISS lounges fit into this?