British Airways

British Airways has today announced that it will be offering daily flights between London & Hyderabad from 27th October.

Currently, British Airways operates 6 weekly flights between Heathrow Terminal 5 and Hyderabad so the additional service will allow it offer an entirely seamless to its customers. Flights are operated by 777-200s with a 3 cabin layout split between World Traveller, World Traveller Plus & Club World.

The new A380 British Airways World Traveller Plus cabin

Commenting on the news, Christopher Fordyce, British Airways Regional Commercial Manager for South Asia stated:  ”For British Airways, Hyderabad is truly a key market in our South Asian network. We have witnessed tremendous growth in the market since 2008, resulting in concerted growth in the outbound business and leisure tourism. Our customers from Hyderabad will now be able to enjoy daily service to the UK whilst enjoying British Airways’ unmatched inflight services and flying experience.”

In addition to Hyderabad, British Airways also flies to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai & Bangalore. Indeed the Indian market is now the second largest for British Airways, after the US, and still growing. There has been some talk, although not really from the airline, that British Airways would re-introduce flights to Calcutta although this seems unlikely.

Earlier in the year there was also talk of British Airways joining up with a local Indian airline (IndiGo was mentioned) to provide local connections although nothing further has been said about this. Most likely, with the losses sustained by the Indian airline market in general, British Airways has decided that an arms-length approach is called for.

Hyderabad

As predicted on this website, British Airways 3rd destination for the A380 will be Johannesburg in South Africa.

Flights will commence from Heathrow on 12th February and, initially, will operate 3 times a week before increasing to 6 times a week from 10th March.

Prices start from £872 return in World Traveller (economy), £1,382 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy), £3,274 return in Club World (business class) and £6,179 in First.

The A380 service will be incorporated into British Airways existing schedule and will therefore result in a significant increase in capacity. Although the airline has not yet indicated which aircraft the A380 will replace (both the 747 and 777 are currently used on the route) it seems almost certain that it will be the 747.

To celebrate the news of the new service British Airways invited rugby stars Chris Robshaw, Bryan Habana and Jean De Villiers (combined weight approx 300kgs) to tow the A380 (366,000kgs) down the runway at Manston airport in Kent.

British Airways A380 Launch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reports in the Arabian press suggest that Emirates, the airline of Dubai, is contemplating entering the transatlantic market.

While there is no suggestion that any decision is remotely imminent, even the mention of it must bring a cold shudder to both British Airways & Virgin Atlantic.

British Airways HeathrowFrom a near standing start, Emirates now flies 5 A380s a day between Dubai & Heathrow, three times a day from Gatwick, twice from Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham and once from Newcastle. From its hubs in the north of the UK alone, Emirates flew some 800,000 passengers last year.

Starting in October, Emirates will begin operating flights from Dubai to Milan and onwards to New York. Although current regulations currently prevent Emirates from carrying passengers between the UK & US, if this was to change it could have a massive effect on the UK aviation market.

With Heathrow already operating at near 100% capacity, Emirates would not be able to secure the necessary flights between the UK’s premier airport and the US. Outside of Heathrow however, there is still some spare slot capacity at London Gatwick and significant spare capacity at the UK’s regional airports.

Virgin Atlantic Aside from a few services between Gatwick and Las Vegas & Orlando, all British Airways flights to the US currently operate out of Heathrow. Virgin too operate the vast majority of their US flights from Heathrow & Gatwick with just a couple of seasonal services from Manchester & Glasgow.

With the Davies Commission currently looking into airport capacity in the UK, Heathrow and British Airways have jointly argued that the only solution is to increase capacity at Heathrow by building a 3rd runway. The Mayor of London disagrees with a new runway being built at Heathrow and instead wants a brand new, 4 runway airport built to the east of London.

Against this, regional airports and business leaders have, for some time now, argued against what they see as an entirely London-centric debate and sought to attract many more, direct, long-haul flights from the Midlands, North of England Scotland. Securing such flights from the likes of Birmingham & Manchester would, they argue, shift pent-up demand away from the south east and negate much of the need for new airport capacity in or around London.

If Emirates was to secure rights to carry passengers between the UK and US it could, in theory at least, flood the market with A380s (it will eventually have a fleet of over 90, by far the largest in the world) on flights between Dubai, Manchester & the US.

That is the theory, the reality is more complicated. Even if Emirates was granted permission to fly between the UK & the US, both New York & Chicago, its main targets, also suffer from capacity constraints and Emirates might not be able to secure the slots it requires. If it didn’t, is there really enough of a market for Emirates to fly passengers between Manchester and say Washington, Boston or Miami, especially on such large aircraft?

One of the reasons that British Airways stopped flying between Manchester and New York wasn’t a lack of leisure passengers; it was a lack of business traffic, especially at the front of the aircraft, the part where pretty much every airline in the world makes the majority if its profits. Nothing that Emirates can do will change this.

If Emirates were to secure traffic rights between the UK, and if they could gain the necessary slots in New York, and both are very big ’ifs’, there may be some mileage in offering flights between Manchester & New York. Beyond that, we don’t expect to see an armada of Emirates aircraft en-route to the US anytime soon.

** Update 26.07.13 – a statement this morning from an Emirates spokesperson reads as follows: “We have no immediate plans to operate a direct service between the UK and US.”

 

Emirates A380

 

 

Heathrow Airport has submitted new proposals for slightly lower charges at the UK’s busiest airport.

Due to its near monopoly position, the fees that Heathrow can charge airlines are capped by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) and set over 5 year periods. The currrent pricing regime ends in March 2014 and, earlier this year, Heathrow set out proposals that would have seen it raise its prices by RPI plus 5.9% over the 5 year period from 2014-2019.

A poll tax on flying

Willie

Not surprisingly, these proposals were met by howls of derision from airline groups, most vocally British Airways, who claim that Heathrow is already too expensive. Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways parent company IAG, submitted a counter proposal that charges at Heathrow should actually grow by RPI minus 9.8%.

Although Heathrow could easily brush off such a stark proposal from British Airways, it was unable to hide its dismay when, in April of this year, the CAA published its initial findings which suggested a cap in charges of RPI minus 1.3%. Only now, some 3 months later, has the airport responded with a counter-offer, this time of RPI plus 4.6%.

British Airways Terminal 5 Check-InAnnouncing their new proposal, the airport published the results of a survey of some 1,178 Heathrow passengers. In this survey, it is claimed, passengers said that they would rather see improved services and investment than lower fares. At the same time, Colin Matthews, CEO of Heathrow Airport Holdings warned that global investors would no longer be prepared to invest in Heathrow, or other UK infrastructure projects, if they were unable to make a fair return on their capital.

On Monday, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and other airlines operating to Heathrow again rejected Heathrow’s proposals for a rise in fees and reiterated their call for an overall reduction.

Ironically, this heated disagreement about airport charges, which net Heathrow some £1.3 billion a year, comes at the very same time that Heathrow and its major customers are in full agreement over the need for a 3rd runway at the airport.

The CAA will publish its next report in October.

Heathrow Terminal 5

Heathrow Terminal 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first of British Airways A380s made its first official appearance at the weekend as it took part at the Royal International Air Tattoo.

The tattoo took place at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire and involved the A380 flying in formation with the world-famous Red Arrows.

Captaining the aircraft was British Airways pilot Charles Everett although it was senior first officer Peter Nye who was at the controls. Earlier last week, the A380 and Red Arrows were seen practising for the show in the skies above Manston Airport in Kent where the aircraft is based for final training and trials.

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Commencing 28th October, British Airways will be adding additional flights from London City to both Madrid & Stockholm.

Both destinations are already served double daily from London City so both will be receiving a new, third service for the start of the winter season.

The new service to Madrid will depart London City at 12:50, arriving in Madrid at 16:10; the new flight to Stockholm will also depart and arrive at the same time.

These additional flights from subsidiary BA City Flyer are of course in addition to frequent services between Heathrow and Madrid / Stockholm.

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On Monday, the first of British Airways new A380s flew into Manston airport in Kent where it will be based for further trials and crew training.

British Airways has 12 A380s on order with the first aircraft set to enter into service between Heathrow & Los Angeles in September followed by flights between Heathrow & Hong Kong from October. Each aircraft carries some 469 passengers split between 4 cabins – World Traveller, World Traveller Plus, Club World & First.

Commenting on the arrival of the A380, Charles Buchanan, CEO of Manston Airport had this to say: “It’s exciting to think that Manston welcomed the first of our national flag carrier’s A380s, and that Kent saw the distinctive union flag tail-fin before Los Angeles and Hong Kong, the airline’s first routes for the new aircraft. We welcomed Prime Minister David Cameron recently when he officially opened the London Array wind farm and Manston’s potential did not go unnoticed. With the debate over the future provision of airport capacity in the south east currently raging, the decision by British Airways to use Manston for training graphically illustrates the capability, flexibility and capacity of the largest under-utilised runway in the region.”

Manston airport is located in south east Kent, close to the seaside towns of Ramsgate, Margate & Broadstairs, and was originally an RAF base. The long runway and relative lack of any other flights (KLM fly twice daiy to Amsterdam), together with its relative proximity to London, convinced British Airways that Manston was the ideal destination to base the aircraft for final testing and crew training.

Anyone at Manston yesterday would also have been lucky enough to also witness the arrival of 2 Red Arrows aircraft which briefly flew in formation with the A380 as a practise run for the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford on Saturday.

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Following the emergency landing of British Airways flight 762 at Heathrow in May, a number of passengers are now taking the matter to court.

The flight between London & Oslo had 75 passengers onboard and had to return to Heathrow after engine failure. An interim report from AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch) found that the cowels which cover the engines had not been securely fastened and had come off shortly after take-off.

Although the AAIB has not published its full report, all the evidence thus far points to faulty maintenance by a British Airways engineer as having been the root cause of the problem. This being the case, it is somewhat surprising to hear that the 9 litigants are preparing a legal case against Airbus, manufacturer of the affected aircraft, together with International Aero Engines whose engines were involved.

Law firm Stewarts Law LLP, who are representing the passengers, claim that there have been more than 30 similar cases and that the problem is therefore integral to the aircraft / engine.

There were no injuries resulting from the emergency landing so the claims being made are for psychological trauma.

british airways side of plane

 

 

Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways parent company IAG, has publicly stated that he doesn’t believe a 3rd runway will be built at Heathrow.

The combative Irishman was speaking at a public evidence session, part of the Davies Commission into UK airport capacity.

A poll tax on flying

Willie

Commenting on the issue Mr Walsh stated: “I suspect the recommendations by the committee won’t be acted on by politicians… I’m critical of the politics behind their decisions. This government gave no credible alternative to a third runway so BA will continue planning for the future on the basis of a two runway Heathrow.”

After the last Labour government gave the go-ahead for a 3rd runway at the UK’s busiest airport, the Conservative / LibDem coalition came to power with an agreement that no further runways should be built at Heathrow (which Labour too now agree with). Of course easy promises made in opposition (promises made largely because of the number of marginal, west London constituencies that lie under Heathrow’s flight-path) become more of a problem once in power. With Heathrow already operating at 99% capacity, and airlines, business groups and unions all calling for additional airport capacity, the government has done what all governments do……side-step the issue.

The Davies Commission, led by Howard Davies, one time Chairman of the Financial Services Authority (remember what a great job they did?) has been asked by the government to look into UK airport capacity and to report back in full in 2015, after the next general election. What was it Mr Cameron said about no more ‘dithering’?

The political situation takes on an added level of complexity because, in addition to Mr Cameron & Mr Clegg’s national political interests, on a purely London-level the Mayor, Boris Johnson, is one of the biggest opponents of further expansion at Heathrow. Could he too be mindful of his power-base in west London? Instead, he and his advisors have called for the buiding of a brand new, 4 runway, 24 hour airport to the east of London. Such an airport would clearly solve the capacity problem but would require Heathrow to close entirely, which in turn would devastate the local west London economy, requiring massive new investment, all at the same time that even more investment was required (probably £80 billion plus) to build the airport to the east of London and all the associated infrastructure – transport, housing, schools, hospitals etc. Thus far Mr Johnson has failed to explain who will be paying for this.

As far as British Airways are concerned, of course they would like additional airport capacity at Heathrow. Of course? With their 2012 takeover of bmi, British Airways now control almost 50% of the slots at the world’s single, most finacially lucrative airport. With no new runways, British Airways dominant position can never really be challenged, either by domestic airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, or large, foreign carriers such as those from the Gulf or USA. IAG might very decide that a secure, profitable, mid-sized British Airways will do very nicely thank you.

And the future for Heathrow? 2 runways, higher fares, more delays and less direct flights.

British Airways aircraft parked in front of Heathrow Terminal 5

Heathrow Terminal 5

 

 

With British Airways having just taken delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner, we take a moment to look at the cabin layout.

Thus far, only the smallest model in the 787 range, the 8 series, is in operation; that means that exact like-for-like comparisons are possible between the various airlines.

British Airways has 8 of the 787-8 series on order and all 8 will be configured with a 3 cabin layout consisting of 154 seats in World Traveller, 25 in World Traveller Plus and 35 in Club World.

The seating layout on a British Airways 787

 

The 787-8 series has a cabin interior width that is some 38cms wider than the Airbus A330 but 41cms narrower than the 777-200. In World Traveller, British Airways has opted for a 3-3-3 configuration, the same as for its fleet of 777s (and therefore affording less individual space). Only a handful of airlines have opted for the more spacious 2-4-2 configuration, including the 2 largest operators of the aircraft, ANA & JAL. The majority of airlines, including Ethiopian Airlines, United, LAN, LOT, Qatar Airways and Air India have followed British Airways with a 3-3-3 cabin. The only other UK airline to currently operate the 787, Thomson, also operate a 3-3-3 cabin but with 2 inches more legroom than British Airways!

Although there will be those who expected British Airways to opt for the more generous 2-4-2 configuration, to be fair to the airline it should also be pointed out that their 3-3-3 configuration on the 777, even the largest 300 series, is more generous than many airlines, Emirates included, who have opted for a 3-4-3 cabin.

In front of World Traveller, British Airways have a small World Traveller Plus cabin consisting of just 3 rows. Unlike World Traveller however, where the seating configuration is the same as the 777 series, passengers flying World Traveller Plus on the 787-8 will enjoy a bit more elbow-room with the 2-3-2 configuration contrasting with the 2-4-2 layout found on the 777.

At the very front, and taking up a fair share of the aircraft, is Club World. Here too the airline have diverged from the norm with a slightly strange seating configuation of 2-3-2, 1 seat less than the 2-4-2 found on both the 777 & 747. Losing 1 seat does provide a bit more cabin space although the passenger in the middle of the row of 3 might feel slightly odd. It also contrasts with a number of British Airways competitors who have opted for an even more spacious 2-2-2 cabin in business class.

Of course there is more to passenger comfort than just the seating configuration and one thing that all passengers on British Airways new 787 will appreciate is the  airline’s latest seating and in-flight entertainment in World Traveller & World Traveller Plus.

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With British Airways taking delivery of its brand new 787 & A380 aircraft last week, pretty much all of the attention was on the aircraft themselves.

What very people commented on, despite it being such a great success story for UK industry, was the airline’s choice of Rolls Royce engines to power both aircraft. The A380 is powered by 4 Trent 900 engines while the 787-8 series is powered by 2 Trent 1000 engines.

inFlighton787rollsroyce

The Trent 1000 in action

British Airways is at the start of  massive fleet investment program as its looks to replace its ageing fleet of 747′s and 767′s in particular. So far the airline has ordered 42 new 787s, 12 A380s, 18 A350s and 6 777s for delivery between now and 2021. Of these new aircraft, all but the new 777-300s will be powered by Rolls Royce engines.

Commenting on events last week, Eric Schulz at Rolls Royce had this to say:  “We are proud to power British Airways into a new era of passenger service. Our technology is helping to deliver better fuel efficiency and environmental performance on a new generation of aircraft operated by a valued customer.”

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British Airways parent company, IAG, has reported a significant increase in capacity and passengers carried compared to June 2012 although this increase is entirely down to the takeover of Spanish low cost carrier Vueling.

Stripping out the effects of the takeover, the pattern of trade remains the same at IAG – a small growth in passenger numbers at British Airways but steep declines at Iberia.

 

Group Performance1 Month of June Year to Date
2013 2012 Change 2013 2012 Change
Passengers Carried (’000s) 6,531 5,048 29.4%  28,858 25,721 12.2%
Domestic (UK & Spain) 1,695 1,160 46.1%  6,482 5,534 17.1%
Europe 3,094 2,142 44.4%  13,082 10,798 21.2%
North America 845 802 5.4%  4,127 4,057 1.7%
Latin America & Caribbean 341 388 -12.1%  2,064 2,317 -10.9%
Africa, Middle East & S.Asia 410 421 -2.6%  2,319 2,270 2.2%
Asia Pacific 146 135 8.1%  784 745 5.2%
 

Thai Airways last night announced that it was delaying the launch of A380 services between Heathrow & Bangkok.

A statement from the airline read: “Thai Airways regrets to announce that due to important technical modifications, the A380 will not be able to commence its operation on the Heathrow- Bangkok route as planned from December 1, 2013. Tentative operational date has been set on October 30, 2014.” Instead of the A380, Thai Airways will now operate one 747-400 and one A340-600 on the route.

thai a380

The airline has not elaborated on the exact ‘technical modifcations’ required but, considering that they already operate the A380 between Bangkok and both Paris & Frankfurt, one does wonder if we are being told the whole truth.

bangkok airwaysIt was only a matter of weeks ago that the airline announced the launch of A380 services between Heathrow & Bangkok and, at the time, we questioned whether British Airways had a future on one of the world’s most competitive routes. Since then however, British Airways have anounced a tie-up with Bangkok Airways which will allow passengers to connect onto onward flights to Chiang Mai, Koh Samui & Phuket.

Although British Airways has switched from a 747-400 to a smaller 777-200 on the route, the original service to Bangkok was a stop-over en-route to Sydney. The new service is a stand-alone flight to Bangkok and therefore very similar in terms of overall capacity (although there will be no First class).

Qatar Airways AircraftWhen Thai Airways first ordered the A380, many years ago now, it (together with Malaysia & Singapore Airlines) had a much higher share of the ‘Kangaroo Route’ between Europe and Australia / New Zealand and the new aircraft would have been seen as an ideal opportunity to strengthen its position in the market. What the airline failed to anticipate was the seemingly never ending growth of the Gulf carriers who in the last 10 years have become the new, dominant players.

At the same time, even Thai’s share of its own home market is also under intense pressure. Again, the Gulf carriers have taken a large share of traffic between Europe and Thailand, airlines such as British Airways have fought back and the arrival (finally!) of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner means that charter airlines such as Tui will be able to by-pass Bangkok entirely and launch direct flights between Europe and Phuket.

Is Thai Airways regretting ordering the A380?

British Airways daily 777 service to Accra

 

Does this grab you? British Airways is to trial a brand new, electronic baggage tag which, it is hoped, could soon replace the need for paper tags.

The new luggage tags have been designed by Designworks and simply require that the passenger scan the new baggage tag with their smartphone after checking-in; this then updates the baggage tag with the relevant flight details and an easy-to-read description.

Lewis Freeman, Designworks lead designer for the project, said: “This step into digital tagging of luggage is a huge leap forward enabling your luggage to become a connected object, providing a seamless experience for frequent travellers with British Airways.”

Thousands of bags are lost or delayed every year, often because existing paper baggage tags can become smudged or ripped, making the bar codes impossible to read.

 

lost luggage mountain

Lost luggage anyone?
Image courtesy of the BBC

As one of the biggest problems that airlines face, anything that can resolve, or least reduce, this problem will be eagerly anticipated.

British Airways bag tag

 

 

 

 

British Airways today welcomed the first of its 42 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its home base at Heathrow.

K65936The 787-8 series aircraft departed Paine Field in USA last night and arrived at Heathrow this morning where it was met, amongst others, by Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways parent company IAG. Commenting on the new arrival Mr Walsh stated: “The 787 is a tremendous, innovative aircraft which sets new standards for environmental performance and operating efficiency and I’m sure British Airways’ customers will love it. The 787 will become a mainstay of the British Airways fleet over the next few years.”

As we reported yesterday, the first two destinations to receive the new aircraft will be Toronto (from 1st September) and Newark (from 1st October). Flights onboard the new aircraft are now on general sale to both destinations.

The seating layout on a British Airways 787

British Airways has a total of 8 787-8 series aircraft on order, all of which will be configured in a 3 class cabin. The new aircraft is set to replace the airline’s ageing fleet of 767s, a mainstay of flights to the east coast of the USA and Canada.

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With British Airways soon to take delivery of both its brand new 787s and A380s, we look at the ‘forgotten’ addition to the airline’s fleet, the 777-300.

british airways 747For the last decade plus, British Airways long-haul fleet has been split between the 747-400 (just over 50 still in operational service), the 777-200 (just under 50 still in service) and 767-300 (21 in service). The 747s & 767s operate exclusively out of Heathrow while the 777-200 flies from both Heathrow & Gatwick and is split between 3 & 4 class configurations.

Many of these long-haul aircraft, but especially the 747 & 767, have been showing their age for some time now and are in need of replacement. British Airways placed orders for 24 Dreamliner 787s and 12 A380s in the mid noughties but delays to the introduction of both new models left the airline (like many others) having to alter their plans. Step forward the 777-300.

The Boeing 777-300 is a whole 10 metres longer than the 777-200 (longer even than the 747-400) and British Airways already has 6 aircraft operational with a further 6 on order. The existing 6 operational aircraft are set up in a 4 class configuration with 14 seats in First, 56 in Club World, 44 in World Traveller Plus and 185 in World Traveller; a total of 299 seats, the same as the airline’s low density 747-400. To the best of our knowledge, the next 6 aircraft will also have the same configuration.

Sating in Britsh Airways new World Traveller cabinThe 777-300 operates exclusively out of Heathrow and tends to be used on the airline’s most important routes (ie routes which can support First class) such as to Singapore, Sydney, Dubai, Hong Kong and selected US destinations. All 777-300s are equipped with the airline’s most up to date product across all 4 cabins. Passengers travelling in World Traveller & World Traveller Plus in particular will notice a significant difference between the seating and in-flight entertainment in the airline’s older aircraft with that provided on the 777-300. This new product will also be fitted on all British Airways new 787s and A380s as well as being retro-fitted to some of the airline’s 777-200s (but not those operating out of Gatwick).

British Airways A350 on order for 2017So will British Airways order any further 777-300s to add to its planned fleet of 12? The airline has some 120 747s, 767s and 777-200s to replace in the coming years and, so far, has ‘only’ placed orders for 78 replacement aircraft to be delivered by 2023 (42 787 Dreamliners, 6 777-300s, 18 Airbus A350s and 12 A380s). Even the largest Dreamliner, the 787-10 series, which British Airways ordered last week in Paris, doesn’t have the capacity of a 777-300; nor does the Airbus A350. British Airways could order additional A380s but we don’t feel that they will. With the failure of its extended 747-800 to win-over airlines, we feel that Boeing will soon proceed with a new, even larger version of the 777-300 (already known as the 777-x) and that British Airways will come-a-knocking.

777-300

 

 

British Airways is to launch flights between London City airport and Dusseldorf in Germany from 1st September.

Although British Airways have increasingly been promoting leisure flights out of London City (such as their new service to Granada in Spain), the airport is primarily used for business and Dusseldorf is one of Germany’s most important business centres.

Flights will operate up to 3 times a day (less at the weekend) using a Saab 2000.

Commenting on the new route, Luke Hayhoe, British Airways general manager at London City stated: “We have launched a number of new leisure routes from London City in the past couple of years. Now we are very excited to be going to a great business city like Dusseldorf which offers significant trade links with the city of London.”

British Airways A318 London City Airport

With British Airways taking initial delivery of its 787 Dreamliners in the next few days, it appears that Newark &  Toronto will be the first destinations to benefit.

To promote the new aircraft, passengers who book the introductory 787 fares on ba.com between 27th & 30th June will be entered into a free draw – the lucky winner earning 78,787 Avios points!

British Airways new 787-8 series aircraft have been fitted in a 3 cabin configuration split between World Traveller, World Traveller Plus & Club World, with a total seating capacity of 214 passengers.

The seating layout on a British Airways 787

New seating in British Airways New World Traveller cabinPassengers in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus will enjoy the airline’s brand new seating and improved in-flight entertainment featuring larger screens and a much greater selection of on-demand audio and visual programmes. Passengers in Club World will benefit from the most up to date Club World product with the only recognisable difference being the 3 seats in the middle as  opposed to the usual 4.

British Airways has ordered 42 Dreamliners in total, split between all 3 models – the 787-8, 787-9 & 787-10 – with at least 24 of the first 2 models set to be delivered to the airline before the end of 2017. Initially, the 787 will be used to replace the airline’s ageing fleet of 767s on existing routes (mainly medium haul routes) although, in the future, they may well be used to open up new destinations in Asia and South America.

On 4th July, British Airways will also take delivery of the first of its 12 A380s on order; this will make the airline the first in Europe (and second in the world) to operate both the 787 and A380.

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British Airways have released their latest video taken from this month’s Innovation Lab in the Sky.

The overnight flight from San Francisco to London on 12th June included 100 of the tech world’s leading innovators. Where will the next one take place – London & Africa?

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Following Delta’s purchase of 49% of Virgin Atlantic, the two airlines are determined to challenge the long held dominance of British Airways & American Airlines on flights between Heathrow & New York.

AMERICAN AIRLINES NEW LOOKAs with British Airways & American Airlines, the new Delta / Virgin Atlantic pairing is set to be granted anti-trust immunity which will allow the two airlines to co-ordinate slots and schedules as well as sharing revenue. The new joint venture is set to come into being in early 2014 and will be the first serious challenge to the British Airways / American Airlines partnership which accounts for around 50% of traffic between London & New York, the world’s single most important airline route.



 
Code sharing between Delta & Virgin commences on 3rd July with Virgin Atlantic placing its code on 91 Delta flights and the US carrier placing its flight number on 17 Virgin flights, including the new short-haul routes between Heathrow and both Edinburgh & Manchester.

Between them, the 2 airlines operate 23 daily flights between Heathrow & the US including 9 daily flights between Heathrow and New York JFK.

Delta’s President, Ed Bastian, has also indicated that they are seriously looking into new, direct flights between Heathrow & Seattle, a service that British Airways currently holds a monopoly on, although there was no indication of whether these flights would be operated by Delta or Virgin (we would assume the latter).

Virgin Atlantic