August 3 2013

British Airways new ad, ‘A Ticket To Visit Mum’, was created to highlight the airline’s numerous flight options between India and North America.

The ad, created for British Airways by Ogilvy & Mather in New York, tells the story of Ratesh who moved from Mumbai to New York aged just 17 and who still pines for his mother’s homemade bhindi. Why send the meal to the boy when you can take the boy back to his mother so easily?





On Friday morning, British Airways flew its first fare paying passengers on the new A380.

British Airways daily flight BA 902 from Heathrow to Frankfurt, departing at just after 07:00, is usually operated by a somewhat ageing 767. Passengers arriving for their flight yesterday morning were therefore somewhat surprised to find themselves boarding the airline’s brand new A380.

Less than 150 passengers were onboard the flight, somewhat short of the aircraft’s 469 seating capacity, and only the downstairs section of the aircraft was utilised.

In keeping with other airlines, British Airways has opted to use the new A380 on a series of short-haul flights so at to familiarise crew with the new aircraft. These ‘test’ flights will continue throughout August and into September before the first scheduled flights commence to Los Angeles on 24th September. Following on from Los Angeles, British Airways will commence A380 services to Hong Kong in October and Johannesburg in early 2014. In total the airline has placed orders for 12 A380s.

British Airways chose Frankfurt for the test flight partly because the airport is already well used to receiving the A380 but also, one imagines, as a way of promoting itself in a key market.












The long awaited merger of American Airlines & US Airways appears to be inching closer to completion after the airlines agreed to give up two sets of slots at Heathrow.



The slots in question are currently used by US Airways to offer daily flights between Heathrow and Philadelphia. With the new merged carrier set to be part of the oneworld alliance, of which British Airways is a member, and with the British airline also flying between Heathrow and Philadelphia, EU regulators had demanded that the new merged airline relinquish the slots so as to maintain competition on the route.

What is less clear is who will take over the slots and whether they will be able to compete with British Airways on the route. With its dominance at Heathrow, and US Airways strong position at Philadelphia, British Airways will be able to offer passengers a huge number of onward connections at both ends, something no other rival will be able to match.

The most likely option is the UK’s only other longhaul airline, Virgin Atlantic, itself re-invigorated after Delta bought 49% of the carrier from Singapore Airlines. With Delta looking to strengthen its position in the transatlantic market, and slots at Heathrow at a premium, it is hard to see them resisting the opportunity to add Philadelphia to Virgin’s roster of east coast destinations.