Longhaul

British Airways is to increase its Cape Town flights from May 2014

BA will add three extra flights per week to its schedule from May to October which corresponds with Winter in the Southern Hemisphere taking flights up to 10 per week.

The change comes after South African Airways decided to halt its Heathrow-Cape Town service in August 2012 due to a lack of demand.

BA is currently operating a double-daily service between the two cities during the busy October to May summer season in South Africa.

Buy before you fly…

British Airways and Tourvest Duty Free have launched a ‘buy-before-you-fly’ service for long-haul customers, with the goods delivered direct to your seat when you fly on selected routes.

Christmas tree and presents copyright Amelia Lyons

Socks and soap on a rope I just know it..

British Airways customers will be able to pre-order from a selection of products, including top brands and travel exclusives, at highlifeshop.com

British Airways think that this will be welcome news to a number of travelers that accidentally leave presents at home.

The new service has been launched ahead of Christmas, one of the busiest times for onboard shopping, and BA say, with nearly a third (32 per cent) of customers revealing that they would consider buying their Christmas gifts on board flights.

The selection of gifts include; accessories, apparel, souvenirs, beauty, children’s gifts, cigarettes, confectionery, fragrances, gadgets, gifts, jewelry, liquor, sunglasses, watches and writing instruments.

In the run up to Christmas, the airline’s in-flight retail team have compiled their top gifts, for high flyers to buy in advance:

Boo, world’s cutest dog, £18 (save £3): Boo is a small plush Pomeranian dog with a funky haircut. He is loved by millions of people worldwide with his own Facebook page and book.

Swarovski Rocking Santa, £32 (save £7): Cute and playful, this adorable Santa wears a bright red outfit in Light Siam crystal.

Classic Mini Wireless Computer Mouse White, £35 (save £5): Based on the 60′s classic mini cooper, this is a fully functioning wireless executive gadget, computer mouse, featuring left and right click, scroll wheel and authentic design and styling.


Aviator Foldable Sunglasses, £155 (save £5): Ray-Ban Folding Aviator sunglasses bring an element of fun and space conservation to the iconic design. The tubular metal temples have a hinged curve that allows you to fold your sunglasses into a compact size that fits in a unique smaller Ray-Ban lens case.

Barbara Rihl Crossover bag London Chic £100 (save £25): This bold, graphic bag from Parisian brand Barbara Rihl combines a colourful travel-themed design with innovative pouches designed for travel.

Does any of this appeal to you? We would like to know what you think about in flight shopping, and pre-flight shopping?

BA posts its- “Where to be seen in 2014″ list.

By:
Published November 5, 2013, in Features, Longhaul, News

British Airways has compiled its top 14 destinations for 2014. From Britney in Vegas to football in Brazil, and the hidden ski slopes of Moscow to the bliss of the Greek islands – there’s something for everyone.

Claire Bentley, British Airways Holidays managing director, said: “… All eyes will be on Brazil with the World Cup taking place; we’re even planning extra capacity to fly out supporters. There’s also eagerly anticipated new flights to Texas, and top European destinations just in time for summer. For the adventurous traveller there’s still plenty to discover in destinations such as Johannesburg and Chengdu. We’re also upping services to popular destinations including Orlando, Ibiza and Marrakech.”

The top destinations for 2014 are:

· Austin, USA
The self-proclaimed ‘live music capital of the world’ is booming right now. From hundreds of live music venues to barbeque pits and gleaming shopping centres, as well a growing technology industry in the ‘Silicone Hills’. The Texan capital has drawn a young hip crowd thanks to the popularity of its South by Southwest festival. From March, British Airways will operate its new 787 Dreamliner on the route, with flights from £537 return.

· Johannesburg, South Africa
The imminent film release of ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ is a timely reminder of the social regeneration the country has undergone. There’s so much to discover in this vibrant country, from the Apartheid Museum to the world heritage site of the Cradle of Humankind, as well as game reserves and safaris. From February, British Airways’ A380 will operate the route, with flights from £637 return.

· Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Caiprinhas at the ready – revellers from around the world will descend on Brazil, for the ‘Copa do Mundo’, which comes to a climax in Rio on July 13. Despite its many cultural attractions, the reason to come in 2014 is to enjoy the party atmosphere and camaraderie among 25,000 British fans, cheering on Roy Hodgon’s men. British Airways flights to Rio de Janeiro start from £927 return in June.

· Albuquerque, USA
Thanks to its cult following, ‘Breaking Bad’ has put Albuquerque on the map and boosted local tourism. But there’s more to New Mexico than chicken shops and car washes – it boasts spas, golf courses, dormant volcanoes, hot air ballooning, ghost tours, sunshine 310 days a year, and of course tours from the programme! British Airways operates services to Dallas and Chicago, with connecting flights to Albuquerque with American Airlines, from £574.

· Leeds, UK
Just an hour’s flight away and you could be digging for Roman coins, visiting unique breweries and enjoying countryside walks – all in Britain. Boosted by popular TV including ‘Educating Yorkshire’ and ‘Downtown Abbey’, it’s no surprise that Yorkshire came third in Lonely Planet’s top destinations for 2014. British Airways flights to Leeds start from £94 return.

· Chengdu, China
In the next seven years, China will become the most popular tourist destination, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation. With high end hotels such as the Ritz Carlton and Six Senses popping up in Chengdu – now’s the time for intrepid travellers to discover this Eastern mystery. While many come for the giant panda sanctuary, British Airways flights have also opened up the possibility of onward travel to Tibet and the rest of China too. Flights start from £591 return.

· Las Vegas, USA
When you thought it couldn’t get any better, Britney Spears comes along and announces a two-year residency in Las Vegas. This isn’t the only new attraction – there’s the Aria Hotel and soon-to-open Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Plane Food’ at McCarran international airport. Three nights stay at the luxury Aria Hotel, including British Airways flights, from £967 per person, for travel 3-6 January.

· Santorini, Greek Islands
The romantic and magical island of Santorini is expected to be one of the airline’s most popular honeymoon destinations when it launches in May. The warm reception and great value for money still make Greece one of top holiday spots for Britons. British Airways offers seven nights at the four star Scorpios Beach Apartments & Studios with breakfast, from £399 per person in June, including flights from Heathrow.

· Glasgow, Scotland
Get among the Scottish spirit when the Commonwealth Games come to town on July 23. One of Europe’s most vibrant cities, enjoy a warm friendly welcome and good times. British Airways operates flights from Heathrow, Gatwick and London City, from £77 return.

· Oporto, Portugal
The historic town of Oporto is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance. Wine lovers have long enjoyed its charms and from March British Airways customers will be able to as well. A three-night break in Oporto, staying at the four star Mercure Porto Centro, including flights, start from £299 per person in June.

· Hong Kong, China
There’s still so much to discover in Hong Kong. From the rawness of Kowloon market, to the luxury of the Four Seasons Hotel, there’s something for everyone. Big in 2014 is the merging of venues, such as Duddel’s art-gallery-cum-restaurant, one of many collaborations to seek out. British Airways’ A380 superjumbo serves the route, with flights from £563 return.

BA posts its 14 top destinations for 2014

Just another day at the Four Seasons in Hong Kong

 

 

 

 

 

 

· Moscow, Russia
Russia may not instantly come to mind when you think of ski and snowboarding breaks, but the Sochi Winter Olympics has raised its profile as a serious contender for thrill seekers. Moscow is home to the centrally located ‘Three Hills’ resort, or take a quick connecting flight to Sochi with its ‘Rosa Khutor’ resort. British Airways flights to Moscow start from £229 return in February – connecting flights to Sochi are available using the airline’s codeshare partner S7 Airlines.

· Mykonos, Greek Islands
Launching in May, British Airways will start flights to the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. A great party destination for those that like their cocktails strong and evenings long. Enjoy seven nights at the four star Pelican Bay Art including breakfast, from £539 per person in June, with flights from Heathrow.

· Malta
Glorious weather, picture perfect beaches and the bustling nightlife of St Julian’s make Malta a firm favourite for the year ahead. Often used as a setting for Hollywood films, names such as Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt and Rachel Weisz have been spotted here. From March, British Airways operates a new service from Gatwick. Five nights at the five star Le Meriden St Julians, including flight start from £489 per person.

British Airways route to Zambia now closed.

By:
Published October 28, 2013, in Countries, Longhaul, News

The British Airways officially closed the Zambia route on Saturday after Having announced the route closure a month ago, yesterday 27 October 2013, saw the suspension of the tri-weekly service to Lusaka.

While the Lusaka route has been suspended the traffic in other countries by the British Airways has increased, and BA continues to serve East Africa with a daily service to Nairobi and a thrice weekly service to Entebbe, increasing to four times a week from the start of the summer schedule 2014.

Severe weather warning UK 28th October 2013

By:
Published October 27, 2013, in Gatwick, Heathrow, Longhaul, News

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.

‘Gig on a Wing’ event held to celebrate British Airways new A380 to Hong Kong features Leona Lewis

By:
Published October 25, 2013, in A380, Airports, Celebrity, Fleet, Longhaul, News

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.

Japan Ministry approves Finnair’s inclusion in the joint business between Japan Airlines and British Airways

By:
Published October 25, 2013, in Longhaul, News

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has granted anti-trust immunity to a joint business between Japan Airlines, Finnair and British Airways. (Finnair flies daily from Helsinki to Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.) This opens the way for Finnair to join the existing joint business between Japan Airlines and British Airways. The agreement will allow all three airlines to cooperate commercially on flights between Europe and Japan. British Airways operates from Heathrow to Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports and Japan Airlines daily operates from Tokyo to London and Paris Frankfurt and Helsinki.

Finnair plane flying from Japan

Finnair

The new joint business is expected to be launched next Spring. The addition of Finnair will further enhance customer benefits by providing better links between the EU and Japan, with more flight choices and enhanced frequent flyer benefits. In addition, this new joint business will allow the three airlines to cooperate on expanding their presence within, to and from this important and growing market.

The revenue-sharing agreement will strengthen the oneworld® alliance and enable it to compete more effectively around the world with other global alliances.

President of JAL, Yoshiharu Ueki, said “Amid the evolving Japanese aviation industry, the ATI will enable us to build a stronger value-creating relationship with British Airways and Finnair that can further benefit our customers as well as our business.”

Pekka Vauramo, CEO of Finnair, said, “We are glad we are now one step closer to starting the cooperation with JAL and British Airways to provide our customers with better connections between the EU Japan.”

Minstry-of-Land-Infrastructure-Transport-and-Tourism-of-Japan

Minstry-of-Land-Infrastructure-Transport-and-Tourism-of-Japan

Keith Williams, chief executive of British Airways said, “Today’s decision by the MLIT will benefit the customers of all three airlines by allowing us to explore ways to improve the connections between East and West.”

 

 

 

Willie Walsh blasts the transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin over A380 launch claim

By:
Published October 24, 2013, in Longhaul, News

IAG boss Willie Walsh was annoyed to learn that the new aviation minister had declared to the leaders of the aviation industry that the transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, was in Hong Kong launching British Airways’ new A380 superjumbo service. Mr. Walsh pointed out that not only was McLoughlin not on board the plane, he had not been not invited, and was not going to be allowed to take the credit.

A a conference on Tuesday Mr. Walsh stated: “The government has not done anything to launch our new services to China.”

 

British Airways A380 in air possibly  to China

The A380 in flight

In fact, he said, its policies on air passenger duty and Chinese visas were harming British aviation and business.

“It’s not happening. I’m not going to sit here and let the government take credit for something we are doing on our own without their support.”

This was in response to Mr. Goodwill announcing at the opening the Airport Operators Association conference in London which is the air industry’s major annual event that – “The secretary of state, Patrick McLoughlin, cannot be with us here today because he’s in China, promoting our interests.” “He will shortly be launching British Airways new A380 service from Hong Kong – and is coming back to the UK on that maiden flight.”

The lovely actress Thandie Newton models for British Airways

By:
Published September 17, 2013, in Longhaul, News

Thandie Newton models for British Airways’ first A380 to Los Angeles

Posted on Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Hollywood actress, Thandie Newton (Chronicles of Riddick, Fast and Furious) has launched the countdown to British Airways’ A380 taking off on its “Red Carpet” route.

The A380 superjumbo will depart Heathrow on its first long-haul flight on 24th September, headed for the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles.

Hollywood actress, Thandie Newton, said: “British Airways’ A380 aircraft is like a grand hotel in the sky. It’s luxurious and ultra modern. I feel particularly lucky because I make frequent trips to Los Angeles, and now even a long weekend to LA seems appealing, because the holiday begins as soon as you get on the superjumbo. Who thought travelling could get any more exciting?”

Looking lovely

Looking lovely

Well who indeed?

Thandie is pictured on the aircraft’s  staircase, which leads to the upper deck with Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus and World Traveller (economy) cabins.

Twelve A380s will join the British Airways fleet over the next four years as part of the airline’s £5bn investment in products and services for customers. The airline plans to have the aircraft  flying to Hong Kong from October 22 and Johannesburg from February next year.

Return fares to Los Angeles on the A380 start from £508 return in World Traveller (economy), £888 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), £2,092 return in Club World (business class) and £5,904 return in First.

British Airways offers a range of breaks in Los Angeles in the British Airways sale, with a choice of hotels. Three nights at the 3* Clarion Anaheim Resort starts from £549 per person or seven nights at the Andaz West Hollywood, flying on the A380 from £949 per person*. Both offers include return flights from Heathrow and room only accommodation, based on two people sharing for travel in November and December.

British Airways & Qantas deny spat-175

By:
Published February 6, 2013, in Longhaul, News

Both British Airways & Qantas have denied any ill-feeling exists between the airlines after the former announced it was ending a long-standing code-share agreement on flights between London & Australia. This agreement comes to an end on 31st March.

The news follows the announcement by Qantas last year that it had reached agreement with Emirates to code-share on flights between Australia & Europe via Dubai. In the past, Qantas & British had operated a joint service via Singapore which will now be discontinued. Qantas had previously suggested that any of its passengers who didn’t want to fly via Dubai could still fly with the airline on their stand-alone Singapore service and then connect with the British Airways flight – the announcement by the British flag-carrier that this will not be an option would seem to suggest that the two airlines aren’t quite singing from the same hymn-sheet.


For Qantas, whose proposed link-up with Emirates has not yet been approved by the Australian Consumer & Competition Commission (ACCC), the announcement is at best embarrassing and at worst (if the link-up is denied) altogether more serious. The airline has long been losing significant amounts of money on its flights to Europe and the new agreement was designed to both end this and allow the airline to focus more of its attention on the fast growing point-to-point Asian market.

Of course both British Airways & Qantas are part of the One World alliance and, although both airlines claim that they will continue to work together, it is hard to see just what form such co-operation will take.

The news has added relevance as, later this year, Malaysia Airlines joins the One World alliance (sponsored by Qantas ironically) and there have been suggestions that British Airways may decide that their best option is to enter a new code-share arrangement for flights to Australia via Kuala Lumpur. British Airways haven’t flown to KL for several years but routing flights via the Malaysian capital would allow it to free up capacity on flights to Singapore, their current stopping-off point on flights between London & Australia.