Aer Lingus to launch a new short-haul premium product “Aer Space” on selected European routes

Aer Lingus confirmed during the announcement of its half year results yesterday, Wednesday 29 July, that it is to effectively re-introduce business class on selected short-haul routes, in the fourth quarter of this year.

The new “Aer Space” product will offer full ticket flexibility, lounge access, priority boarding and luggage handling and complimentary food & drink (we don’t know if this includes hot food or alcoholic drinks).

The seat itself will be the same as economy but the middle seat will be kept free.  

There will also be no cabin divider between economy and “Aer Space” (this is so it doesn’t constitute a separate cabin for Air Passenger Duty purposes).

It is very similar to the “Excellence Fare” offered by Vueling and Germanwing’s “Best Fare”.

The routes on which it will be launched have yet to be announced but we expect that London Heathrow – Dublin will be one of the first.

We assume that passengers connecting to/from business class long-haul flights on Aer Lingus and its future IAG/Oneworld partners will be seated in the “Aer Space” seats.

  

Posted in Aer Lingus | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

British Airways to fly its Airbus A380 daily to Vancouver from 1 May 2016

Vancouver is to join BA’s roster of Airbus A380 destinations from 1 May 2016 as one of its (currently) twice daily flights to the Canadian city will be upgraded from a Boeing 747 to an Airbus A380:

Flight BA085 Depart London Heathrow 17:15 Arrive Vancouver 18:40

Flight BA084 Depart Vancouver 20:50 Arrive London Heathrow 14:00

This does mark the end of, temporarily at least, BA Boeing 747 services to Vancouver.

Other BA A380 destinations include selected flights to Los Angeles, Washington, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Singapore, San Francisco and, from 25 October 2015, Miami.

For passengers looking to book specific A380 services we should note that schedules are subject to change and aircraft can also be substituted at short notice.

H/T: airlineroute.net

Posted in British Airways | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

British Airways to introduce new boarding and hand baggage procedures to improve flight punctuality

Punctuality has been a perennial difficulty for British Airways.

Shortly before Terminal 5 opened in 2008, the airline suffered the ignominy of having the worst punctuality record of any European airline.

Once Terminal 5 bedded down, its punctuality proved radically. However, this has proved not to be permanent. The airline has experienced another deterioration in punctuality.

Whilst operating from London Heathrow can often be a cause of poor punctuality, the volume of hand baggage being brought on to the aircraft is cited in a lot of anecdotal observations about flight delays.

Punctuality, known to be very important to passengers travelling on short-haul in particular, is currently back in focus.

Following trials on selected routes, the airline is to introduce new boarding procedures and processes for hand luggage.
Continue reading

Posted in British Airways | Tagged , | Leave a comment

British Airways launches new route from London Gatwick to Valencia

BA continues its fight back at London Gatwick with the launch of a new service to the Spanish city of Valencia from Friday 6 November.

The route will initially operate four times weekly (increasing to six times weekly from late March 2016) and flights are on sale now on ba.com

Flight BA2794 Depart London Gatwick 09:00 Arrive Valencia 12:20 (Tue, Wed)
Flight BA2794 Depart London Gatwick 06:45 Arrive Valencia 10:05 (Fri)
Flight BA2794 Depart London Gatwick 09:00 Arrive Valencia 12:20 (Sun)

Flight BA2785 Depart Valencia 13:05 Arrive London Gatwick 14:35 (Tue, Wed)
Flight BA2785 Depart Valencia 11:10 Arrive London Gatwick 12:40 (Fri)
Flight BA2785 Depart Valencia 13:30 Arrive London Gatwick 15;00 (Sun)

Valencia is BA’s fifteenth Spanish destination with flights already operating to Alicante, Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Granada, Gran Canaria, Ibiza, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Mallorca, Menorca, Seville and Tenerife from a combination of London Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports.

Posted in British Airways | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

British Airways to suspend London Heathrow – Almaty (Kazakhstan) route from 11 October 2015

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its thrice weekly flight from London Heathrow to Almaty in Kazakhstan from Sunday 11 October 2015.

The last flight (BA159) will depart from London Heathrow to Almaty on Sunday 11 October 2015. The last flight from Almaty to London Heathrow (BA158) will depart on Monday 12 October 2015.

This means London will lose a direct link to Kazakhstan.

The airline has cited commercial reasons for the suspension of the route. This route was inherited from the merger of bmi into British Airways in 2012. It joins a long list of former bmi Heathrow routes suspended by BA (Damascus, Addis Ababa, Dammam, Bishkek, Khartoum, Tehran, Yerevan, Amristar, Casablanca, Marrakech and Tbilisi).

Currently, affected passengers have the option of a full refund or taking an earlier flight whilst the route is still operational.

BA do say they are looking at re-accommodation options on other airlines. It normally takes at least a couple of weeks for these to be announced and we would advise waiting before taking any action.

Full rebooking options are detailed on BA’s trade website.

Passengers looking at alternative options have the option of Lufthansa (via Frankfurt) and Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul). There are other options with lesser known airlines and hubs.

Update 28 July: BA is now offering affected passengers the option of a re-route on Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi up to 15 July 2016. Passengers should contact either their travel agent or BA directly to change their tickets.

Posted in British Airways | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

British Airways to suspend London Heathrow – Entebbe (Uganda) route from 2 October 2015

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its four times weekly flight from London Heathrow to Entebbe in Uganda from 2 October 2015.

The last flight (BA63) will depart from London Heathrow to Entebbe on 2 October 2015. The last flight from Entebbe to London Heathrow (BA62) will depart on 3 October 2015.

This means that London Heathrow will not have a direct link to Entebbe after the route has been suspended.

The airline has cited commercial reasons for the suspension of the route. It is likely that competitive pressure from Middle Eastern carriers are a factor. BA suspended Lusaka in 2013 and Dar es Salaam in 2012.

Currently, affected passengers have the option of a full refund, taking an earlier flight whilst the route is still operational, or taking an alternative BA flight to Nairobi (BA will not meet any onward travel expenses).

BA do say they are looking at re-accommodation options on other airlines. It normally takes at least a couple of weeks for these to be announced and we would advise waiting before taking any action.

Full rebooking options are detailed on BA’s trade website.

For passengers looking at alternative routes, options include KLM (via Amsterdam), Brussels Airlines (via Brussels), Emirates (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi), Turkish Airlines (via Istabul).

Update 28 July: BA is now offering affected passengers the option of a re-route on either Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi or Brussels Airlines via Brussels up to 15 July 2016. Passengers should contact either their travel agent or BA directly to change their tickets.

Posted in British Airways | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The European Commission approves International Airlines Group’s takeover of Aer Lingus

International Airlines Group’s takeover of Aer Lingus moved another step closer this evening after the European Commission gave formal approval of the deal.

It is subject to some conditions, known as “commitments” in order to assuage competition concerns of the European Commission.

These are:

1. IAG must forfeit up to five slot pairs at London Gatwick airport for use on routes between London and Dublin and London and Belfast.  One slot pair must be used for London – Belfast, two slot pairs must be used for London – Dublin and the remaining two can be used for either route.

2. IAG must offer rival airlines special prorate deals for passengers connecting from Aer Lingus short-haul flights to long-haul flights operated by rival airlines at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Amsterdam, Shannon and Dublin airports.  This is so rival airlines such as KLM and Virgin Atlantic can still offer passengers connections from Aer Lingus short-haul flights.
Continue reading

Posted in International Airlines Group | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment