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This is now the busiest airport in the world … on Saturday



This is now the busiest airport in the world ... on Saturday

(CNN) – Anchorage Alaska International Airport does not have the Singapore Changi waterfall and razzmatazz or the eight Chicago O’Hare runways.

But this modest small airport – the same distance between New York and Tokyo – has recently experienced an unexpected increase.

It’s now the busiest airport in the world … at least on Saturdays, at least.

“Saturday is a busy day for cargo operations, which is our bread and butter, but also the slowest day for passenger services,” airport manager Jim Szczesniak explained via video call.

“So for example, on Saturday, May 2, we in Anchorage had 744 flight operations, while Chicago had only 579 and Atlanta only 529.”

Anchorage also briefly won the busiest title in the world on Saturday, April 25.

Over the world

The annual Airports Council International report on the world’s busiest airport, released earlier this week, produced a serious reading.

The corona virus pandemic means that passenger traffic is currently down by more than 90%, according to Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World. “The demand is very much.”

However, one of the fastest rising areas is cargo traffic, which is why the Anchorage Airport – at ordinary times, the fifth busiest cargo airport in the world – is on the rise.

“We are seeing an increase in demand for cargo capacity,” Szczesniak said. “And that’s mainly because a lot of supplies for the war against Covid in North America are produced in Asia.”

Anchorage is positioned for perfect geographical superiority, in what the airport says is a 9.5 hour flight time from 90% of the industrial world.

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Its location, literally at the top of the world, means that the plane “flies up and up [of the globe] to shorten the distance, “Szczesniak said.

“The advantage of Anchorage is that airplanes can fly with payload but only half are filled with fuel. They fly to Anchorage and then fuel back and then to their destination.”

Small airports that can

That reminds the story about Gander Airport in Newfoundland, which welcomed 7,000 passengers who were moved on 9/11, inspired the Broadway musical “Come From Away.”

“We use different airport areas to accommodate parking that we don’t normally do,” Szczesniak said.

The airport has recently hosted the heaviest aircraft ever built, the Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo plane, as well as several sporting giants – New England Patriots stopped here due to flying supplies between Boston and Asia.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, flight crews through Anchorage “minimize their ability to interact with Alaska,” Szczesniak explained. They use private transportation to and from the hotel and avoid mixing with ground crews.

Holiday destination

“Post-coronavirus, we think Alaska will become a popular tourist destination,” Szczesniak said. “You know, they told you to stay six feet away from people. In Alaska you can come here and enjoy a fantastic vacation and not within six miles of someone.”

There are about 60 glaciers within a 50-mile radius of the airport and the wildest US state is covered with extensive and protected national parks. There’s hiking, there’s fishing, there’s rafting and more; it is ideal for village adventurers.

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The airport is preparing to return passenger services by upgrading its cleaning program to Covid-19 ready-to-use standards, using all hospital level disinfectants.

At the terminal, they have added sanitation UV LED lights to the escalator handle. Szczesniak said, “When the handle moves through the machine, it will be blown up with UV light to kill all microbes, viruses, or bacteria that afflict them.”

$ 97 billion loss

At the time of our video call between London and Anchorage, there were 90 aircraft in the air headed from the British capital to the Alaska airport, according to the real-time flight tracking website Flightradar24.

“There are more planes in the sky now to and from Anchorage than in JFK and LaGuardia,” Szczesniak said.

The busiest airport in the world, the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, saw 110.5 million passengers in 2019. But in the first quarter of 2020, the Atlanta airport recorded 20.7 million passengers, down more than 18% from the same period last year.

The aviation industry faces a $ 97 billion reduction in revenue by 2020 and recovery is likely to be a slow and painful process.

The team in Anchorage is proud of their efforts in facilitating the transportation of medical supplies during this time of global need – but they hope that their time as record holders occasionally will be very short.

Marnie Hunter from CNN contributed to this report

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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