BA increases London flights from Edinburgh and Glasgow, expands Edinburgh lounge

British Airways (BA) is looking to increase flights to London City airport from Scotland, The Scotsman has reported.

Starting this summer, the airline will increase services from Edinburgh from eight to ten a day, with more expected from Glasgow. The move comes after rival, CityJet, cut the route, and BA became the largest airline at the Docklands airport.

BA executive chairman, Keith Williams, said the expansion would increase BA’s daily Scotland-London flights to 57. One in 25 of the airline’s total London passengers are on Scottish routes.

Mr Williams said: ‘London City is the business area of London and has become quite a big operation, where we are now the largest player. If the demand is there, we will equally fly more from Glasgow too.’

BA also flies from Aberdeen to London City, from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Gatwick, and from all three Scottish airports to Heathrow.

Mr Williams was in Scotland to mark completion of work on the 500th Airbus aircraft at its maintenance base at Glasgow Airport, and to open a new GBP1.5 million executive lounge at Edinburgh Airport, the report added.

The base is operating at full capacity and the hangar looks after 40 percent of the BA fleet. Each of the 112 aircraft are brought in for major servicing every 18 months, which involves up to 12 days’ work, including stripping down the cabin, engines and other parts.

Mr Williams said: ‘It is testimony to the expertise, professionalism and dedication of everyone at British Airways Maintenance Glasgow (BAMG) – past and present – that, after almost half a century, they continue to play a vital role in engineering at British Airways.

‘The safety, security and technical integrity of our aircraft are of paramount importance to British Airways, and the engineering function, including the work carried out at BAMG, is central to that principle.’

Tom Williams, Airbus’s vice president, programmes, said: ‘The 500th of British Airways’ fleet of single-aisle Airbus aircraft is a significant milestone and demonstrates the important role of the A320 family as the backbone of the company’s short and medium range fleet.’

Edinburgh Airport chief executive, Gordon Dewar, said: ‘The opening of this fantastic new lounge marks the single biggest investment by British Airways in a Scottish airport.’

BA’s Edinburgh lounge has been almost doubled in size to 730 square metres. The lounge was designed by Glasgow-based Graven Images and features artworks from Edinburgh School of Art.

London City is UK’s most punctual airport

London City Airport (LCY), the only airport based in London City, is the most punctual airport in the UK, the airport said, citing official statistics.

According to data released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), in the third quarter of 2013, LCY recorded the most on-time scheduled flights.

From July to September, 89 percent of all flights at LCY were on-time, within a 15 minute window. The average for scheduled flights across all 10 airports monitored was 79 percent.

The airport also recorded the shortest average delay for flights, at just seven minutes, compared to an average of 12 minutes.

The latest figures add to previous outstanding performances that have made LCY the most punctual airport for six consecutive quarters – since April 2012.

Darren Grover, chief operating officer at London City Airport said: ‘The hard work of everyone on the ground at LCY continues to set us above other UK airports and provide our passengers with the most punctual service in the country. Even more impressive is that we’ve achieved this when the airport has been busier than ever before – 2013 was a record year for us with almost 3.4 million passengers travelling through LCY.

We are consistently proving our reliability and efficiency and, coupled with the ease of access from central London and the short time it takes to get through departures and arrivals, it’s easy to see why more people than ever before are choosing to fly with us.’

A total of 3,381,000 passengers travelled through London City Airport in 2013, with over 60 percent travelling on business.

London City Airport (LCY) celebrated 26 years of operation in 2013. The airport, which presently operates 70,000 movements annually, has permission to increase its operation to 120,000 movements per annum – carrying 6 million passengers, which it expects to achieve by 2023.

London City Airport’s passengers to benefit from Bloomberg hub

Gobal business and financial information and news organisation, Bloomberg LP, and London City Airport (LCY), the only airport in London, have reached an agreement to install an immersive, technology-driven Bloomberg brand experience across the several physical and digital touch points within the airport.

Starting this spring, the first Bloomberg Hub will offer the news service and experience to nearly 3.4 million customers who pass through LCY each year. With nearly two thirds of those passengers travelling for business, it is claimed by the two organisations that the Bloomberg Hub will deliver relevant and timely news, data and travel information in Bloomberg’s characteristic elegant, engaging style.

Maureen McGuire, chief marketing officer, Bloomberg L.P, said: ‘The Bloomberg Hub embodies the Bloomberg brand: a dynamic, living network brought to life inside the airport. It is an innovative and exciting brand sponsorship, which goes beyond traditional advertising to deliver connectivity and valuable, up-to-the-minute news and data to business travellers. This is Bloomberg’s biggest brand initiative worldwide and reinforces our continued investment in London as a leading global financial centre.’

Matthew Hall, chief commercial officer at LCY, commented: ‘Time is money, and staying productive while in transit is of paramount importance to today’s business traveller. The Bloomberg Hub adds an innovative extra dimension to the airport’s core propositions of location, convenience and speed of transit, which are what makes LCY London’s business airport of choice. Bloomberg’s unrivalled provision of business-focused information and ancillary data will allow our customer base to complete their journey better prepared for what’s happening in the world.’

With more than 318,000 subscribers globally, Bloomberg provides data, news and analytics to decision makers in industries beyond finance through its Bloomberg Law, Bloomberg Government, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and Bloomberg BNA.

London City Airport donates £5,000 towards school music block

London City Airport (LCA) has made a £5,000 donation towards the construction of a new music block facility at Gallions Primary School.

The airport’s donation will help build a new standalone music centre at the back of the existing school building. Besides providing state of the art music facilities for children at the school, it will also become a hub for the development of local community organisations and arts projects.

Paul Jackson, head teacher at Gallions Primary School, said: ‘We believe that the arts can aid learning and are a vital part of a well-rounded education. Music has always been a specialism at the school, with many pupils going on to pursue a career in the industry.

The new facility will enable children and young people to learn with instruments and instruction that they would otherwise not have access to, helping them to develop new skills and interests that can help them in their academic, social and future working lives. We are very grateful to London City Airport for its generous donation.’

Declan Collier, CEO of London City Airport said: ‘Supporting education, providing training opportunities for local people and ultimately creating much-needed jobs in Newham and East London are key aims of our business.

This new facility and the benefits it will deliver are very much in keeping with our aims and we are therefore delighted to support the project, which will provide new learning and development opportunities for local children and adults.’

Construction of the music block is due to start in the summer for completion by January 2015.

The only airport situated within London, London City Airport (LCY) celebrated 26 years of operation in 2013. LCY serves around 3.4 million passengers (63 percent travelling on business) and 70,000 movements annually.

London City Airport donates £5,000 to Crisis

London City Airport has donated £5,000 to Crisis, a homelessness charity, to help individuals at risk this Christmas.

The gift will buy 300 beds for a homeless shelter in East London, providing a safe place for the vulnerable where they will also have access to support and advice.

Liam McKay, head of Community Relations at London City Airport said: ‘While passengers are flying through the airport to be with their loved ones, there are people on our doorstep who will be homeless this Christmas. Homelessness devastates lives and I hope our donation will go some way towards helping ease that devastation over the Christmas period and beyond.’

The donation comes as homelessness has been rising significantly in the capital – over 6,000 people have slept rough at some point in London during last year, a 62 percent increase in just two years.

Besides addressing the issue of homelessness by offering shelter and food, Crisis offers support and companionship during the holiday period. The charity launched its services in 1972, when hundreds of homeless guests were fed and accommodated in a small church in central London. In 2012, almost 3,500 guests enjoyed a range of comforts across nine dedicated centres, supported by some 8,000 volunteers.

The charity also works on helping the vulnerable towards a more positive year ahead. Guests receive healthcare and specialist advice on housing, work and benefits, as well as food, accommodation, entertainment and companionship.

Leslie Morphy, chief executive of Crisis, said: ‘Without the support of organisations like London City Airport, Crisis at Christmas simply could not happen, so a big thank you must be said for their generosity. This Christmas their donation will help hundreds of homeless people have the chance of a safe, happy Christmas and provide the opportunity for a more positive New Year.’

London City Airport celebrates ’50 years of Private Jet’

London City Airport is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the private jet in association with private jet booking service, PrivateFly.com.

As part of the celebrations, the airport is exhibiting the winning images from a recent photography competition launched by PrivateFly. The photography exhibition – 50 Years of the Private Jet – will be on show from November 28 at London City Airport’s main passenger terminal, in the upstairs departures area. Airport visitors can view the exhibition before security.

The exhibition will show the winners in the categories of Ground, Air, Detail, Speed and Crew. The judging panel was comprised of prominent names in aviation and travel photography, including Jessica Ambats, Craig Easton and Nick Meers.

Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly, commented: ‘We have launched this exhibition as a stunning, visual celebration of the private jet – an iconic symbol recognised as the pinnacle of air travel. It has been 50 years since the 1963 maiden flight of the Lear Jet in the USA and the next 50 will see many exciting innovations, from biofuels to supersonic private jets.

‘London City is the perfect location for the exhibition – Europe’s most efficient and impressive private jet airport, with a unique ‘heart of London’ location.

‘It’s a great opportunity to showcase private jet travel to a wider London audience.’

Darren Grover, chief operating officer at London City Airport, said: ‘We are proud to serve London’s business community, whether they fly by airline or private aviation. Private jets have been a very visible part of life at LCY since the Jet Centre opened in 2002, serving everyone from business people and politicians to celebrities and royalty. We are delighted to mark this milestone in private jet travel.’

BA adds services at London City

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.’

London City Airport celebrates 26th anniversary

In November, London City Airport (LCY] celebrates 26 years in business.

Her Majesty The Queen opened London City Airport on November 5, 1987, and it is the only airport actually based in London.

Over the past quarter of a century, the operation in London’s Royal Docks has registered more than one million flights, and close to 40 million passengers have passed through the airport. In 2012, LCY celebrated its millionth flight, 36 millionth passenger and 25 years of operation.

Based just three miles from Canary Wharf and seven miles from the City, the airport has become a favoured facility for business travellers, who represent 60 percent of total passengers using the airport. London City Airport continues to develop as an important London gateway, now serving 47 destinations across Europe, operated by 10 airlines, as well as a business-class only service to New York JFK.

Declan Collier, CEO at London City Airport, said: ‘We are delighted to celebrate this milestone, particularly as this year has been such a momentous one for LCY. We are on track to see our highest ever passenger numbers; we have added eight new routes and have submitted an application for planning permission to develop our existing infrastructure to enable us to create 1,500 new jobs, welcome next generation aircraft and double passenger numbers by 2023. The future looks very exciting at LCY.’

The airport is presently considering a development plan that would see the addition of seven new aircraft parking stands, the extension of the existing taxi lane to maximise use of the runway, the development of existing terminal buildings and the addition of a new, dedicated arrivals facility. The terminal forecourt would be developed, and plans are also underway for a new 250-room hotel. The development plans will create 1,500 new fulltime jobs and an additional 500 jobs during construction, LCY said in a release.

BA adds more flights from London City Airport for winter

British Airways (BA) has launched its winter schedule from London City Airport with additional capacity and frequency to some of the most popular seasonal destinations, City Airport said in a release.

On October 29, the airline launched extra flights to Madrid and Stockholm, bringing the total number of departures to three a day to both cities. New routes that were launched earlier this year to Dusseldorf in Germany and Granada in Spain will continue to operate through the winter. Winter sun seekers are also offered an extra three flights a week to Ibiza, taking the total to five. Flights to Palma will also continue through the winter.

The popular ski routes of Geneva in Switzerland and Chambery in France will restart on December 14. Snow sports enthusiasts can also fly on the new Granada service to the ski resorts of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Luke Hayhoe, British Airways general manager commercial, London City, said: ‘We are delighted to offer additional flights on these popular routes. We’re the only airline to serve Granada and Ibiza from the UK in winter, and we’ve had a really positive response from our customers .who will also be able to benefit from our new hand baggage only and semi-flex fares from London City.’

Additionally, British Airways has also introduced its hand-baggage only and new semi-flex fare options at London City Airport. Customers choosing the hand baggage-only fare can continue to take advantage of the airline’s hand luggage allowance and carry on a 56cm x 45cm x 25cm case, as well as a handbag or laptop bag.

The new semi-flex fare offers all the benefits of a standard fare, including baggage allowance and food and drinks, plus free booking changes on the day of departure from the same airport to the same destination, the provision to select a seat for free two days prior to travel, and no change fee prior to the day of travel.

All British Airways flights include free on-line check-in and seat selection 24 hours before departure. Customers also benefit from a speedy service at London City Airport, just 15 minutes from kerbside to airside.

BA offers ‘hand baggage only’ fares from Heathrow and London City

British Airways (BA), the UK’s national carrier, is planning to extend its ‘hand baggage only’ fares to short haul flights from Heathrow and London City, media reports have said.

The ‘no frills’ fares are available for purchase now for BA flights leaving on or after September 24 from Heathrow Airport to eight short-haul destinations including Stockholm, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome and Rotterdam, The Telegraph reports.

The airline had already introduced the ‘no frills’ policy on some short haul flights from Gatwick Airport in February, as part of efforts to keep up with budget airline easyJet. The hand luggage-only fares were initially offered on flights from Gatwick to Amsterdam, Dubrovnik, Jersey, Tunis and Turin, before it was extended to all short-haul services from the south London airport.

Meantime, Luton-based easyJet has taken a different route last week by launching an ‘inclusive fare’ that includes seat assignment and a checked- in bag in the ticket price.

According to the Daily Mail, the British Airways’ ‘no frills’ tickets are £10 cheaper than those including luggage check in charges. Fares for passengers travelling between Heathrow and Edinburgh with only hand-luggage will be as low as £37. Similar discounted tickets are also available on sale for flights from London City Airport to Amsterdam, Stockholm, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

All the new hand luggage-only fares will reportedly cost less than the previous lowest return fares for the same flights.

Robin Glover-Faure, British Airways’ head of short-haul, said: ‘The hand baggage-only fare at Gatwick has proved very popular with our customers so we’re now introducing it on a selected number of short-haul routes from Heathrow and London City.

‘If it proves as successful, we plan to roll it out across the whole short-haul network in the coming months.’

British Airways also launched a new ‘semi-flex’ ticket, which allows passengers to change their ticket on the day of departure for no extra fee. The ‘semi-flex’ fare will be available on flights between Heathrow and Amsterdam, Stockholm, Barcelona, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome, Rotterdam, Glasgow and Edinburgh.