BA to add flights from London City

UK national carrier, British Airways (BA), is set to further expand its operation from London City Airport with additional flights to Madrid and Stockholm.

BA Cityflyer will add a third daily flight to both cities starting from October 28, the beginning of the winter season. The move comes after BA said last month that it would launch a three-times daily service between London City and Dusseldorf. BA is also adding a new service from London City to Granada from July 25.

The additional services are both scheduled to depart London City at 12.50. The new return flight leaves Madrid at 13.25 to arrive in London at 14.40. The new flight to Stockholm Arlanda will leave London City at 12.50 and arrive in Sweden at 16.10. The extra return service departs from Stockholm at 13.30 and arrives in London at 14.55.

The existing two flights to Stockholm take-off at 0920 and 1840, while the other two flights to Stockholm Arlanda leave at 0930 and 1905.

‘The additional flights will both operate in the middle of the day, perfect timing for leisure travellers and giving even more choice for business customers,’ said BA.

Starting September 1, British Airways will also offer a three-times daily service operated by 50-seater Saab 2000 aircraft, leased from Eastern Airways in full British Airways livery. Flights will depart from London City at 0735, 1425 and 1855, with the return flights from Dusseldorf departing at 0635, 1315 and 1800.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways general manager commercial at London City, said at the time, ‘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.’

 

Dreamliner routes announced by BA

British Airways, a UK-based airline company, has announced the routes that it will operate initially using its newly arrived Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

The airline is to use the new aircraft on routes to Toronto in Canada and Newark in the USA, with the Heathrow to Toronto service commencing from September 1 this year, and the Newark service commencing one month later on October 1. The two routes currently operate Boeing 747, 767 and 777 aircraft.

When BA’s first new Dreamliner touched down at Heathrow yesterday, Willie Walsh, the chief executive of the company’s owner, International Airlines Group, was there to welcome it. He commented, ‘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.’

BA’s Dreamliners will each have the capacity to carry 214 passengers across three classes of travel: Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller. The company has a further 23 of the state-of-the-art aircraft on order, with 18 more optioned and likely to be confirmed, subject to shareholder approval.

Speaking on behalf of Boeing, Todd Nelp, vice president of European sales, said, ‘The delivery of the first of BA’s 787s is an exciting milestone for Boeing and British Airways. The 787 is the most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient commercial jetliner in its class. Its improved lighting, bigger windows, larger overhead bins, lower cabin altitude and cleaner cabin air will offer BA’s passengers an unparalleled flying experience.’

 

British Airways Increases Domestic Services for Winter 2012

British Airways has reported that the recent acquisition of British Midland International (bmi) airline has benefited it in strengthening its domestic service.

The airline, while unveiling its winter 2012 schedule, reported an increase of 32 percent in the number of seats to Scotland, against last year’s schedule. The new schedule is also offering new routes from London City Airport to Aberdeen, and from London Heathrow Airport to Leeds Bradford Airport, and Belfast Airport.

The airline is offering more flights and bigger aircraft to Scotland, adding around 27,000 more seats per week between London airports and Scotland destinations. The additional flights include two more daily flights between London Heathrow and Edinburgh, and two additional flights per day between London Heathrow and Aberdeen, as well as three daily flights between London City and Aberdeen.

New routes are also being offered from London Heathrow to Seoul (South Korea) and Zagreb (Republic of Croatia); from London Gatwick to Las Vegas (US) and Barcelona (Spain); and from London Heathrow to Bologna (Italy) and Marseille (France), which have been transferred from London Gatwick airport for the new season.

Keith Williams, the airline chief executive officer, said, ‘bmi’s integration into British Airways is really enabling us to grow our network as we promised, giving customers more flights to destinations we know they want to fly to.

We’re focusing on new routes such as Seoul, Leeds Bradford and Zagreb, more flights to popular destinations and creating more connections for the UK regions to our global network of flying.’

British Airways Passengers Favour Caribbean as Summer Holiday Destination

British Airways, a UK-based airline company, has announced that a recent poll of its passengers has suggested that the Caribbean tops the list of favourite summer holiday destinations.

The survey of passengers showed that while Caribbean holidays are becoming ever more popular, they are closely followed by destinations that include South Africa and Florida, in the US, and other favourite vacation destinations include London and the Maldives.

Respondents to the survey also chose ‘a relaxing beach vacation’ as their favourite kind of holiday, in preference to ‘romantic city-breaks’, ‘fun-filled family getaways’, or ‘an all-action adventure trip’.

British Airways organised the survey on its Facebook page.

Claire Bentley, the airline’s holidays managing director, said, ‘The thought of relaxing on a stunning beach, in the warm and friendly Caribbean is a real draw as the summer weather continues to be a bit of a letdown. Equally, South Africa is a real dream destination with Cape Town, Table Mountain and the Garden route all top attractions, while Florida is proving as popular as ever as an all-round destination with fantastic beaches, great attractions and weather.

We’ve had a great response to our Facebook poll which just shows how important holidays are to people.’

The airline is currently serving several Caribbean destinations with extra flights from London Gatwick Airport for the summer, in keeping with the increased demand for the routes. Service to Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua, in the Caribbean, have been increased to daily, and an extra flight a week has been added to Kingston in Jamaica. The airline is also offering three extra flights to Orlando, in Florida, US, for a total of 10 flights weekly.

 

IAG Sells BMI Regional to Sector Aviation

International Airlines Group (IAG), the UK-based parent company of British Airways, has announced the sale of its subsidiary, BMI Regional airline, to Sector Aviation Holdings, a Scotland-based holding company.

The sale was finalised for £8 million, and the transaction includes 18 of the airline’s Embraer jets that fly to 14 destinations in the UK and Northern Europe from UK regional airports, including Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and East Midlands.

IAG’s chief executive officer, Willie Walsh, went on record as saying, ‘This deal provides a future for BMI Regional and should secure around 330 jobs.’

IAG had acquired BMI Regional, a subsidiary of BMI, in April 2012 as part of its acquisition of the airline from Lufthansa, a Germany-based airline. Since then the company has called a halt to the operation of bmibaby, another BMI subsidiary, and has commenced the process of integrating BMI with British Airways, the company’s mainstream airline.

In 2011 the airline was awarded the honour of being ‘the UK’s most punctual airline’, for the seventh successive year, by flightontime.info, a company that tracks flight delays at UK airports. Currently, the airline is offering a choice of business and economy fares, complimentary in-flight food and drink,
lounge access to Business Class and Diamond Club members, and a charter service.

The sale remains conditional upon the approval of the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority, but is expected to complete within two weeks.

Sector Aviation is a consortium of businessmen including the team previously known as Granite Aviation, and Stephen and Peter bond who are also investors in Loganair.

European Commission Releases Statement on bmi Sale

The European Commission (EC), the executive body for the European Union, has released a statement defending its decision to approve the sale of British Midland International (bmi), an airline owned by Germany-based Lufthansa, to British International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways.

Earlier Virgin Atlantic, an airline subsidiary of UK-based Virgin Group, had announced its intention to appeal against the sale of bmi, although the sales process will not be affected by this appeal. Virgin Atlantic has claimed that the EC has approved the sale too quickly, and the 14 airport slots that BA are giving up at Heathrow airport, as a proviso of the £172.5 million deal, were insufficient to ensure healthy competition in the UK aviation market.

In a statement, the EC has clarified its stand by saying, ‘We are confident that the commitments proposed by IAG address all competition issues identified and we stand by our decision to clear the transaction subject to these conditions.

In this case, a decision was reached in 35 working days, which is not particularly fast. For example, out of 319 adopted merger and acquisition decisions in 2011, 98 percent were adopted within this timeframe.

Moreover, as described in our best practices guidelines, the commission held in-depth pre-notification contacts with the parties as early as November 2011, well before the notification took place on February 10, 2012.’

Virgin Atlantic will be able to appeal to the General Court of the EU within two months of publication of a full report by the EC on the sale of bmi to IAG.

British Airways takeover will lead to 1,200 job losses at BMI

The takeover of BMI buy the parent company of British Airways (IAG) will lead to a possible 1,200 job losses, the company announced today.

The takeover was approved by the European Commission in March 2012 after the Commission looked into the integration of the two airlines operations at Heathrow Airport.

Most of the job losses will be at BMI’s head office at Castle Donington in Derbyshire.  However, British Airways were keen to stress that up to 1,500 jobs have been saved by the takeover, including 1,100 cabin crew, pilots and engineers and up to 400 passenger service personnel at Heathrow’s Terminal 1.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said ‘BMI is heavily loss making and is not a viable business as it stands today. Our proposals would secure around 1,500 jobs that would otherwise have been lost. As we look to restructure the business and restore profitability, job losses are deeply regrettable but inevitable. We will work with the unions to explore as many options as possible and are already working with industry partners.’

He also said ‘This deal is good news for our customers and will offer new destinations, new routes and new schedules in due course. For customers with BMI bookings to or from Heathrow this summer, it is business as usual and customers can continue to book with confidence.’

BMI was previously owned by German carrier Lufthansa and had been losing over £150m per year before the takeover, carrying 3 million passengers per year and flying to 25 countries around Europe.

British Airways Parent Company Expresses Interest in Acquiring Portugal’s TAP Airline

The parent company of British Airways, the UK-based airline company, has expressed an interest in investing in TAP Airline, Portugal’s national air carrier.

International Airlines Group (IAG) is keen to acquire TAP Airline stock if the Portuguese government decides to sell the airline company, which has reported an operating profit for 2011 of EUR485 million. IAG also owns Spain-based Iberia Airline, and has currently entered into an agreement to acquire British Midland International from Lufthansa, a German airline company. The company is trying to strengthen its presence in the European airline market, and TAP Airline would appear to meet all of the required criteria.

The company is also searching for an airline to partner in China, as part of its Oneworld alliance, a global airline partnership.

The IAG chief executive, Willie Walsh, said, in the annual report to the company’s shareholders, ‘The only other airline we have expressed interest in is TAP Portugal, which may soon be privatised. TAP has an extensive network into Brazil and Africa, two strategically important markets for IAG. If privatisation goes ahead we would want to look more closely, but there’s no guarantee we would bid. Continuing to develop the Oneworld alliance also remains key. One weakness we need to address is the fact that, unlike our two rival alliances, we lack a domestic partner in Mainland China, which we think is a necessity. Consolidation is not just about takeovers and mergers. It’s also about forming the right partnerships for the new realities we face as an industry.’

IAG is also thought to be considering taking stakes in American Airlines and Japan Airlines (JAL). Both companies have had brushes with bankruptcy in recent times. American is still in chapter 11 bankruptcy and JAL came out of bankruptcy last year and could file for an Initial Public Offering.

British Airways Launch Winter Sun Holidays

Following the Indian summer we all enjoyed last week British Airways have launched a range of winter sun packages designed to help us escape the cold, dark winter nights, which are available to book until October 18th.

 

Destinations include: Barbados, Bermuda, Cancun, Grenada, Saint Lucia, St Kitts, Tobago, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, San Diego, St Pete’s and Clearwater, Tampa. If you’re looking for destinations closer to home holidays are available in Faro, Marrakech and Malaga. All will be available on various departure details until March 31st 2012.

 

BA.com have chosen to display average temperatures for these locations to get travellers in the mood to escape for some winter sun; along with live weather feeds for adverts and press releases will include weather forecasts.

 

During the winter months the Caribbean reaches a sizzling 32°C a range of seven night packages are available in Barbados to suit every traveller. The eco-friendly 3* Coconut Court Beach hotel offers excellent beachfront views and great value for money whereas the 3.5* all-inclusive Island Inn is a great hotel for those who don’t want to worry about spending money on holiday.

 

St Lucia is another stunning destination on offer this winter; the island is packed with palm-fringed beaches, towering volcanic Pitons and lush rainforests.

 

Heading to Mexico couldn’t be easier this winter with non-stop flights to Cancun, which will run three times a week. One hotel included is the all-inclusive 4.5* Occidental Grand Xcaret on the River Maya which is located close to the eco-archeological Xcaret Park.

 

For families head across to the US for some much needed fun in the sun with holidays in Orlando, the 3* Ramada Hotel Gateway in Kissimmee is a prime location situated near the theme parks. Alternatively get close to the action at the Disneyland Resort in Los Angeles with three night breaks available.

 

Short breaks closer to home are available in Marrakech where you can explore culture in the sun. Great value fly-drive packages are available to Malaga, a perfect location for those after a sun filled golfing break.

 

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh

BA let passenger know how to survive a plane crash – but it’ll cost them

Money can’t save you from a plane crash… but now it can give you a better chance of surviving.

 

Richer passengers will now be able to take part in a British Airways course. But only members of BA’s elite executive club will be given the opportunity by exchanging air miles for the training session.

 

The four-hour course costs around £125 and focuses on the aftermath of a plane crash.  According the research by the Civil Aviation Authority, its is after the crash that many deaths occur – people panic or freeze and cant undo their seatbelt.

 

The BA course will allow its members to practice using oxygen masks, escape slides and life jackets.

 

Andy Clubb, who runs the course for BA, told The Independent:

 

‘It makes passengers safer when travelling by giving additional skills. It dispels all those internet theories about the ‘brace position’ and it gives people so much more confidence in flying.’

 

‘With other passengers around them reacting in a positive manner to the instructions being given by the crew, the few passengers that might have frozen might follow those who demonstrate that they know what they are doing.’

 

Virgin Atlantic also have a similar course for £78m which also states its to help passengers in the event of a crash landing.