Airports

BA will be a regular visitor to Humberside International Airport this summer, after JetXtra.com reached a deal with British Airways to operate the flights to Alicante and Majorca.

JetXtra.com launched last year, using airline Volotea, will switch to BA.

This deal will now see a British Airways Embraer jet operating the weekly flights from Kirmington on JetXtra’s behalf, and will be the first time British Airways has operated regular flights to and from the airport.

The service will commence on 24th May.

A British Airways airplane carrying 202 people collided an office building while taxiing for take off at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport on Sunday, civil aviation authorities reported. Its right wing struck the building.

The 747-400 was preparing to fly to London Heathrow Airport and apparently took a taxiway that was not wide enough for its wingspan, said a South African Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokeswoman.

“This resulted in the aircraft’s right-hand wing impacting the office building,”.

The control tower “told them to take one taxiway and they took another one. They took a wrong one.”

The four people inside were inside the building, but no passengers or crew aboard the plane were injured.

No further information on the injured was immediately available.

A photo taken by a passenger from the cabin showed the aircraft’s giant wing wedged into a quarter of the length of the small building.

Harriet Tolputt, head of media for international humanitarian organisation Oxfam, posted the pictures to Twitter.

“BA plane crashes into building at J Burg airport. No one injured only the pilot’s pride,” she posted, complaining that first-class passengers were evacuated before the rest.

The Airports Commission this morning published an interim report into possible options to expand UK airport capacity

Three options were shorlisted, with the Boris Island being also mentioned as receiving further consideration. The final report is expected in 2015.

The three short-listed options (two of which relate to Heathrow) adding a third runway at Heathrow, lengthening an existing runway at Heathrow, and a new runway at Gatwick.

Stansted and Birmingham appear to have been ruled out at this stage, although they may be in contention in the more distant future.

Sir Howard Davies, said that the Commission’s analysis showed one net additional runway was needed by 2030.
He added that the capacity challenge is not yet critical, but it will become so if no action is taken soon.

The Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin made a statement to the House of Commons expressing his approval of the Airport Commission recommendations, stating the report “offers a clear recommendation that there is a need for a new runway capacity” in the medium term “to support continued competitiveness and prosperity”.

Flight delays today to persist until at least 14:00hrs

London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, and Dublin airports are amongst those affected, due to a technical issue at the Sandwick Air Traffic Control Centre. Passengers are experiencing flight delays and cancellations.

Heathrow Airport had cancelled 60 flights by 9:45am this morning.

Some long haul flights inbound will be diverted to continental airports.

When the issues are fixed there will be a further period of disruption while services are re-arranged.

For live information BBC News.

As at 10:30am the BBC reported that BA customers on cancelled flights will be able to claim a full refund or be re-booked on an alternative flight.

This from Routesonline:-

British Airways from 30 March 2014 is re-introducing Boeing 747-400 service on London Heathrow – Nairobi route, after a 6 years hiatus. The OneWorld member plans to operate a 747 instead of 777-200ER on this route in Northern Summer 2014 season.

Below is some information for you planespotters.

BA065 LHR1045 – 2120NBO 744 D
BA064 NBO2315 – 0555+1LHR 744 x256
BA064 NBO2340 – 0620+1LHR 744 256

News sources are reporting on a man who is 500lb who is currently delayed in the U.S. after visiting in order to obtain treatment for a hormone disorder. It is reported that BA, which flew him to the U.S. has refused to fly him home because of his size and his medical needs.

Kevin Chenais, aged 22, flew from France on BA to be treated at the world famous Mayo Clinic.

Mr Chenais and his parents are now staying at a hotel close to Chicago Airport, paid for by BA, and are now planning to catch a train to New York and then to return home on the Queen Mary II.

A BA spokesman said: ‘We will always try to accommodate someone if it’s possible and safe to do so.

‘Our customer service team worked diligently to find a solution and have exhausted all options.

‘Unfortunately it is not possible to safely accommodate the customer on any of our aircraft and the family has been offered a full refund.

‘The British Airways team has been in regular contact with the family, providing guidance and support as well as exploring other options for travel. BA has also provided hotel accommodation throughout.’

The Daily Mail reports today that a woman on a British Airways flight from Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport to Gatwick was trapped in the toilet during take off.

The report is that the plane was delayed, and as a result, left in a hurry with some passengers still standing (and one in the toilet) as the plane pulled back from the stand.

The Mail states: – “An air stewardess, who was strapped in her seat, was shouting from the back of the plane,” the passenger continued. “A young woman, aged in her early 20s, was trying to come out of the toilet. The crew screamed at her to get back inside as it was extremely dangerous. They only allowed the young woman out and to return to her seat once the aircraft had reached cruising height.”

Woman trapped in toilet on BA flight

Help! I can’t find the seat belt!

The passenger said the entire flight was full so she couldn’t imagine how the crew didn’t realize the girl, who had an aisle seat, was missing. “The crew were sat right next to the plane toilet, but obviously in their rush to depart didn’t check it.”

When the girl finally left the bathroom, she apologized to the crew as she returned to her seat. A passenger claims that a flight attendant told the girl “That was extremely dangerous.”

Poor thing, it must have been very embarrassing.

This from the British Airways website, as at 17:20 hrs UK time. (For the latest information from BA go to the BA website on the link here.)

“British Airways has complied with a request from Heathrow Airport to reduce its flying schedule on Monday 28 October as a result of the severe forecast storms. 

The airport has instructed all airlines using Heathrow to reduce their schedules in the following manner on Monday:
Between 0600 and 1100 a 20 per cent reduction in the schedule has been applied
Between 1100 and 1600 a 10 per cent reduction in the schedule has been applied
Between 1600 and 2230 a 5 per cent reduction in the schedule has been applied
All of the agreed cancellations for British Airways are from the European and domestic networks. Other flights, still shown as operating, may suffer from delays.
All British Airways long-haul flights into and out of London Heathrow are currently planned to operate as normal, albeit there may be some delays due to the poor weather.”

BA recommends checking the status of your flight before leaving for the airport.

Heathrow flights reduced 28th October 2013

Stormy weather predicted

As at the time of writing Gatwick Airport are also recommending checking the status of flights before leaving for the airport.  The Gatwick website link here.  Also check whether Gatwick Express, Southern Railway and First Capital Connect services are running. As at the time of this article there are reports that neither Gatwick Express or Southern Railway services will be running early morning.

It would be a good bet to check the status of your flight whichever airport you are leaving from.

Supermodel Georgia May Jagger, fashion designer Alice Temperley MBE, and singer Leona Lewis came together last night (24 October), to fly the flag for Britain, at the ‘Gig on a Wing’ event to celebrate British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo operating to Hong Kong.

Intended to showcase the best of British music, fashion, design and cuisine to an audience of local leaders in travel and entertainment, the event took place inside a hangar at Hong Kong International airport, with the A380 forming the centrepiece of the show.

Georgia May Jagger, daughter of Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger took to the stage with British Airways Chief Executive Keith Williams to close the evening, and said: “I’m so happy British Airways invited me to Hong Kong on their first A380 flight. The service, food and flat beds on the long haul flights are second to none and I always arrive feeling well rested. I love Hong Kong too and look forward to returning and spending more time in this great city”.

A380 gig on a wing bus

Gettin’ off the bus

British Airways’ ‘Gig on a Wing’ event launched with a fashion show by British designer Alice Temperley MBE. Fresh from showing at last month’s London Fashion Week, Alice showed guests to her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection from the award winning Temperley London collection. Models descended the steps of the A380 aircraft onto British Airways’ specially created ‘runway’ catwalk. Temperley, who has designed dresses for stars including Keira Knightly, Rihanna, Beyonce and The Duchess of Cambridge, said: “I was thrilled to be asked by British Airways to showcase my new Spring/Summer 2014 collection in Hong Kong and at such a unique and glamorous event. The people here really appreciate cutting edge design, fine tailoring and effortless style, very similar to that of British Airways new A380.”

This was followed by a live performance from former X-Factor winner Leona Lewis. Lewis performed tracks on a specially created stage, flush with the A380’s 261-foot twin-engine wingspan. Leona’s set included a cover of Lenny Kravitz’s “Fly Away”, her number one selling track “Bleeding Love” and “Come Alive”.

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Speaking after her performance, Leona said: “Performing on the wing of the British Airways A380 was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. After singing on top of a double-decker bus at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, I thought that would be a hard act to follow, but tonight’s ‘Gig on a Wing’ event was very special and unique”.

The gig on a wing A380 in the spotlight

The gig on a wing.

It was a truly swish event with the Langham Hong Kong providing guests with a very British affair, treating them to treats that included mini pork pies, Sunday roast and fish and chips canapés, followed by a true taste of home with an afternoon tea boasting a chocolate London bus, a marshmallow Big Ben and an Alice Temperley inspired vanilla shortbread.

This was complemented by Flower Duet cocktails. Luxury five star hotel, The Langham Hong Kong, is located in the heart of Kowloon.

British Airways Winter Schedule photo of a beach

This will look very inviting come December

British Airways’ winter 2013 schedule starts this weekend with a new winter sun route and increased frequencies to a selection of destinations.

The airline will launch weekly flights from Heathrow to Gran Canaria from October 26 and will increase the frequency of flights to Hot-spot Destinations. We think that Hot Spot Destinations this means destinations which are comparitively warm when compared to the UK in the winter.

British Airways Holidays packages to the Gran Canaria include seven nights at the 3* Club Maspalomas Bungalows from £299 per person for travel in January, including return flights from Heathrow and accommodation on a self catering basis. Alternatively, there’s seven nights at the 4* Paradise Lago Taurito Hotel from £459 per person for travel in January, including return flights from Heathrow and accommodation on an all-inclusive basis. Seven nights at the 5* Lopesan Costa Meloneras Resort is also available from £589 per person for travel in January, including return flights from Heathrow and accommodation only.

Lynne Embleton, director of strategy, said: “Gran Canaria is a fantastic destination for holiday makers, especially families, with over a half a million people from Britain visiting every year.

“We’ve had a really positive response to the destination since it went on sale, which we attribute to great prices on our British Airways holidays and the fact this is the only direct flight from Heathrow to the island.”

British Airways also report other changes to the winter schedule, from that of summer 2013, including increases from Heathrow to Chennai (five to six per week), Seattle (from seven to 10 per week), Miami (from 14 to 18 per week), Rio de Janeiro (from six to seven per week), Mexico City (from three to four per week), Tripoli (from three to four per week) and Freetown (from three to four per week).

Gatwick will also increase services to Marrakech (from seven to 10 per week) and Salzburg (from four to eight per week).

Mr. Davies, the head of the Airport Commission is considering 58 proposals,from runway extensions to developing green-field sites and aims to release an interim report in December. The target is for a final report in 2015, Davies said in his first current statements since his appointment.

The commission hopes to produce one option, and in addition to the proposals received, it is considering ideas that were not submitted to them such as connecting Heathrow and Gatwick with a high-speed rail link.

Do that now – we say.

Mr. Davies did say Heathrow and Gatwick may be allowed to build runways to meet expected growth in demand for air travel.

The background to this issue is that it is accepted as fact that flight capacity is approaching capacity at London’s airports, with Gatwick and Heathrow particularly pressed.

Heathrow Airport Ltd. submitted three plans to the commission, each capable of delivering extra flights at a cost of up to 18 billion pounds. The proposals would boost the number of people using the hub to 123 million to 130 million from 80 million today.

But Heathrow is located in an inconvenient location being positioned on potentially very valuable and useful real estate and with a flight path right over central and affluent (and influential) West London.

Boris Johnson would like to shut Heathrow completely and develop a new airport in the Thames estuary with an estimated cost of £65 billion. Boris would also propose to develop Stanstead Airport to the north of London into a hub. The obvious benefit if the Johnson proposal is the 1,220-hectare Heathrow site situated on prime West London land homes for up to 250,000 people.

Gatwick is the world’s busiest single-runway airport and has identified alternatives for constructing a new landing strip to the south of the existing one. Gatwick estimate that it could add a second runway for around 5 billion pounds, this would eliminate the need for a single U.K. hub.

So what will the future bring? Watch this space…

Regular Dreamliner 787 flights have commenced from Heathrow to Newark and Toronto. The service is currently as follows: -

BA Dreamliner flights from London

Source British Airways

British Airways To Launch New Daily Direct Flights To Malta From March 2014

Posted on Friday, October 4th, 2013

Sunseekers flying from Gatwick will have the option of a new summer holiday destination to Malta, with the start of a new direct flight with British Airways to the country’s Luqa International Airport.

Gatwick North Terminal

Patriotic Gatwick

BA announced a new daily service starting from March 30, 2014 in advance of the peak summer holiday season. Hand-baggage only tickets in Euro Traveller (economy) will start from just £55 one-way, including all taxes and charges. Seats in Euro Traveller for customers who chose to take a bag including all taxes and charges start at £67 one-way and in Club Europe (business) one-way fares start at £274.

The new Malta route will be served by a combination of Boeing 737 and Airbus 319/320 aircraft.

Peter Simpson, British Airways’ director Gatwick, said: “We are delighted to be launching this new route to Malta for Summer 2014 allowing us to return to the island, which we last served in 2009. We believe the convenient timings for the services will make the route attractive to tourists as well as those visiting friends and relatives.

British Airways’ holiday flights will be further boosted by more services from Gatwick to Salzburg, Naples, Dubrovnik, Marrakech and Catania during summer 2014.

Peter Simpson, British Airways’ director Gatwick, said:

“Expanding our leisure route network at Gatwick is fantastic news for British Airways customers, offering them even greater choice, along with our range of highly competitive fares, generous hand baggage allowances and great onboard service.”

British Airways seems set to gain a valuable additional slot at Heathrow after Irish carrier Aer Lingus wrote to its shareholders asking for permission to transfer the slot for an “agreed consideration”.

British Airways aircraft parked in front of Heathrow Terminal 5The slot in question is for a departure from Heathrow at 06:50 in the morning with an arrival back in London at 22:00. While Aer Lingus has stated that it cannot make money from the slot, British Airways, with its far greater range of destinations and aircraft, will easily be able to incorporate the slot into its schedule and, more than likely, add a new long-haul destination. While these particular slot timings would seem to preclude flights to the Far East, British Airways could use them to launch new or additional services to the east coast of the USA or even West Africa.


Aer LingusSlots at Heathrow are politically sensitive for Aer Lingus as, traditionally, they have been seen as a means of ensuring connectivity to London, the world’s leading financial and aviation centre. However, with the growth in importance of the Gulf states, and increased direct flights from Dublin to Dubai & Abu Dhabi, these links to London are perhaps not quite as important as they once were.

With Heathrow operating at just under 99% of available capacity, the only way that airlines can increase services at the airport is through a takeover of another airline (as with British Airways takeover of bmi in 2012) or by purchasing slots from another carrier. As airline takeovers are incredibly difficult (and near impossible between European and Non-European airlines) purchasing slots is pretty much the only genuine option. In 2008, following the Open Skies agreement between the US & EU, it is rumoured that Continental Airlines paid over $200 million for prime time slots at Heathrow. It is unlikely that British Airways will pay even a fraction of that amount to Aer Lingus however.

British Airways Terminal 5 Check-In

London City Airport is the city’s newest and most central airport. Opened in 1987, the airport is located in the old docklands area of the city, just 7 miles east of the City of London and even closer to the new financial centre around Canary Wharf.

The vast majority of British Airways flights from the airport are operated by BA City Flyer, a wholly owned subsidiary of the airline.

London City Airport

Convenience personified

With its 1 short runway and location close to the main financial centres of London, the majority of flights are to the major financial centres of Europe although leisure traffic is increasing. The sole long-haul British Airways flight from London City is an all-business class service to New York JFK.

The airport is linked to the City of London, Canary Wharf & Stratford amongst others by Docklands Light Railway with convenient connections to the London Underground and mainline train services.


Since 2006 the airport has been owned by a consortium led by Global Infrastructures Partners, the same company that owns London Gatwick.

Gatwick is located approximately 30 miles south of central London and is the UK’s second busiest airport as well as the world’s busiest single runway airport.

Gatwick has 2 terminals, North & South, with all British Airways flights operating out of the North Terminal. As British Airways’ secondary base in the UK behind Heathrow, the airline’s focus at Gatwick is primarily point-to-point (as opposed to hub) and leisure traffic. The majority of British Airways flights from Gatwick are short-haul flights to Europe and North Africa although there is also an important long-haul fleet that serves the leisure markets of the Caribbean, USA (Las Vegas), Mexico (Cancun) and Indian Ocean (Sri Lanka & Mauritius).


Gatwick is well connected by both coach and rail. The airport is served by Southern Railways from London Victoria via Clapham Junction & East Croydon as well as the Gatwick Express non-stop from Victoria. In addition, First Capital Connect provides through-trains to London Bridge & St Pancras in London as well as north to Bedford. First Great Western also operate services north-west to Redhill, Guildford & Reading.

Following its privatisation in 1986, Gatwick was part of BAA plc until it was taken over by Global Infrastructure Partners in 2009. In turn, GIP have sold stakes in the new business to investment funds from Abu Dhabi, Australia & USA. Since taking over Gatwick, GIP have undertaken a significant investment program in order to bring the airport up to date, improve the customer experience and better compete with London Heathrow. For British Airways passengers, the clearest example of this investment has been the opening of a brand new dedicated check-in area within the North Terminal.

Located approximately 14 miles west of central London, Heathrow is the UK & Europe’s busiest airport as well as the busiest airport in the world in terms of international passenger numbers. There are currently 4 operational terminals (1, 3, 4 & 5) with Terminal 2 set to re-open in 2014 after a complete re-build.


Together with its IAG partner Iberia Airlines, British Airways is the sole tenant of Terminal 5, Heathrow’s most modern terminal, which opened in 2008. Even after the opening of Terminal 5, capacity constraints mean that British Airways has had to operate additional flights from Terminal 3 while the takeover of BMI in 2012 means that the airline also now flies out of Terminal 1.

Although the majority of British Airways flights operate out of Terminal 5, (and pretty much all of its flagship routes) passengers should always check with the airline (both at the time of booking as well as close to departure) to verify which terminal their flight will operate from and to.

Getting to and from Heathrow is relatively easy. From London, travellers have the option of either the Heathrow Express (non-stop) or Heathrow Connect (with stops) from Paddington as well as the London Underground piccadilly line. There are also numerous coach and bus routes to Heathrow including Rail – Bus connections at Reading, Woking & Feltham.

Heathrow was part of BAA plc that was privatised in 1986 before being taken over by Spanish infrastructure company Grupo Ferrovial in 2006. In October 2012, BAA was renamed Heathrow Airport Holdings in order to reflect the overwhelming dominance of Heathrow within the old BAA. In order to pay down the debt required for the takeover, Grupo Ferrovial has also sold off significant stakes in the business to overseas partners from Singapore, Qatar & China. As a result, Grupo Ferrovial now owns less than 50% of the business.