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February 6, 2015

January’s top stories: Snow shuts US airports, UK airports bid for £56m in funds

Nearly 7,000 flights were cancelled in the US ahead of a severe snowstorm approaching the north-eastern part of the country while UK airports were invited to bid for £56m in funding for new routes. wraps up the key headlines from January 2015.

By Priyanka Sunder


Edinburgh Airport maps out expansion with £50m investment

The UK’s Edinburgh Airport announced plans to expand its immigration and baggage reclaim facilities with an investment of £50m.

The expansion is expected to triple the capacity for bigger long-haul aircraft with the creation of a second immigration hall and baggage reclaim area, which will be built according to the new aircraft stands and air bridges.

The £50m investment is a part of the £150m programme announced by the Board of Edinburgh Airport in 2013, which is aimed at development.

UK airports to bid for £56m funding for new routes


UK airports and airlines were called to bid for up to £56m in funding for new routes over the next three years.

Of the total funding, approximately £17.5m is being made available to bid in 2015/16 and around £20m a year for each of the remaining years.

This start up aid will be made available through the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which was announced by the government in June 2013 for airports handling less than five million passengers a year.

Chinese regulators clear construction of $11bn airport in Chengdu

Chinese regulators approved the construction of a new $11.2bn airport in Chengdu to cater to escalating passenger traffic, marking the second massive airport investment within a year.

The new Chengdu airport will boast three runways and will be capable of serving 40 million passengers a year, in addition to 320,000 take-offs and landings annually, the Sichuan Daily reported.

Featuring a 520,000m² terminal complex, the airport will also be able to handle the world’s largest passenger aircraft such as the Airbus A380.

Dubai grabs world’s busiest international airport crown from Heathrow


Dubai International Airport surpassed London’s Heathrow in terms of annual international passenger traffic, which has now turned out to be the world’s busiest international travel hub.

During 2014, Dubai International Airport served 70.47 million passengers, compared with Heathrow’s 68.1 million.

The top market for growth in passenger volumes last year was Western Europe (1,192,831 passengers) closely followed by the Indian Subcontinent (936,449 passengers), Asia (716,180 passengers) and North America (432,597 passengers).

Aer Lingus board give thumbs up for €1.36bn offer from IAG

Irish airline Aer Lingus said that it is willing to accept a €1.36bn takeover offer from International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways (BA).

The board of directors of Aer Lingus had received a revised proposal from IAG, which is worth €2.55 a share, up from €2.40, and includes a cash offer of €2.50 a share and a dividend of €0.05.

The revised proposal is subject to how IAG proposes to address the interests of relevant parties, including Ryanair and the Minister for Finance of Ireland.

Australia approves Canberra Airport master plan


Canberra Airport’s 2014 Master Plan received the green light from the Australian Government, setting out the strategic plan for the next two decades.

The latest plan proposes to benefit from the airport’s new passenger terminal by focusing on the long-awaited launch of international flights by low-cost carriers from Canberra.

Deputy prime minister and minister for infrastructure and regional development Warren Truss said: "Canberra Airport boasts the nation’s newest passenger terminal and the commencement of international flights as outlined in the 2014.

Airports across north-east US shut down ahead of severe snowstorm

A total of 6,951 flights were cancelled in the US ahed of a severe snowstorm approaching the north-eastern part of the country.

It was reported that more than 2,000 flights within, into or from the US were cancelled.

The US National Weather Service expects the storm to bring more than 3ft of snowfall to several parts of the north-east, including New York City and Boston as it moves up the coast. Philadelphia should get 14in to 18in.

United Continental may outsource 2,000 jobs in 28 US airports


United Continental Holdings revealed plans to outsource 2,000 jobs in smaller US airports, in a move towards reaching its goal of cutting $2bn in annual costs.

The decision of the Chicago-based airline is likely to affect jobs in 28 airports, including Atlanta, Miami and St Louis.

The company is yet to take a decision on the airports and the number of employees to be affected by the move.

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