British Airways (BA), a UK-based airline, is looking to add more aircraft, new routes and extra frequencies at London City Airport as it seeks to strengthen its position as the airport’s largest airline.
The airline is strengthening its fleet next year with three new Embraer aircraft based at City Airport.
The London City networks route expansion will be effective by March 31, 2014, and includes five-a-day services to Rotterdam, four-a-week services to Florence, extra frequency on important European routes Amsterdam, Edinburgh and Zurich, as well as the introduction of an Embraer jet on the Dusseldorf route, replacing the current Saab turboprop. From March, British Airways will fly to 26 international, European and UK destinations direct from the Docklands.
Adam Carson, managing director of British Airways subsidiary, BA CityFlyer, said that the first two new 98-seat aircraft will join the fleet in May next year. When the third aircraft arrives there will be 17 aircraft in total, a mix of Embraer 170 and 190 jets.
The move by British Airways comes as London City Airport seeks planning approval for a GBP200 million expansion to accommodate up to 120,000 flight movements a year. The proposals will also allow the airport to double its passenger numbers to six million over the next ten years, and includes new aircraft parking stands, to accommodate larger aircraft.
Adam Carson said: ‘The growth of London City Airport will allow us to further grow our own business there.
‘Although London City was built primarily as a business airport we have seen a huge demand from our customers for more holiday destinations. We have seen growth in both the leisure and business markets and the two new routes we are launching reflects that. Rotterdam is obviously a very important business centre while Florence is the gateway to the beautiful region of Tuscany.’
Declan Collier, CEO at London City Airport, said: ‘This cements British Airways’ position as the biggest airline operating out of London City. A 27 per cent increase in capacity is very significant for the airport and will facilitate more choice and flexibility for passengers. The ability to increase short-haul services from London City will also help to free up capacity for long-haul flights at other capacity-constrained airports in the South East.’