British Airways opens its new lounge at Singapore Changi airport and premieres its “Concorde Bar” concept

British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport

British Airways Lounge, Singapore Changi Airport

British Airways has opened its new lounge at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport this week.

Designed by British design studio Graven the lounge features digital panoramic views of the Singapore skyline reflecting the time of the day outside.
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British Airways launches new route from London Heathrow to San Jose, California from 4 May 2016

British Airways is to launch a new route from London Heathrow to San Jose in California from Monday 4 May 2016.

The airline will fly daily to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport from London Heathrow Terminal 5 using a four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft.

This route will be the only direct link between San Jose, California and Europe. It is consistent with the airline opening new North American destinations that are not served by any other European airline.  It is also the second new BA route after Austin, Texas to use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from launch.

San Jose will be the fourth city in California to be served by British Airways after Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.  It is also one of a growing number of new transatlantic routes from London Heathrow following the launch of Salt Lake City by Delta.

BA’s four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner will feature 8 first class seats, 42 Club World business class seats, 39 World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and 127 World Traveller economy seats. 

 The Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner will debut on BA on London Heathrow – Dehli from 25 October 2015. The Club World business class and World Traveller Plus cabins will be as found on the current Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner. The World Traveller economy seat will be slightly wider and the First Class seat is expected to be a modified version of BA’s current First Class seat.

Flights will go on sale at ba.com from Thursday 27 August.  The route can also be booked as a codeshare with American Airlines.

Based on the performance of other new BA transatlantic routes from London Heathrow in recent years (Las Vegas, San Diego and Austin) we expect it will perform strongly.

A PDF summary of the new route and San Jose’s location is available from British Airways’ trade site.

Flight BA279 Depart London Heathrow 15:15 – Arrive San Jose 18:05

Flight BA278 Depart San Jose 20:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 14:05

Coincidentally, BA also launches a new route from London Gatwick to San Jose, Costa Rica (airport code SJO) on the same day which is not to be confused with San Jose, California (airport code SJC).

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Delta Airlines to launch seasonal London Heathrow – Salt Lake City route from Sunday 1 May 2016

Delta Airlines continues its steady transatlantic growth at London Heathrow with the launch a new route to Salt Lake City in Utah from Sunday 1 May 2016.

The flight will initially operate on a summer seasonal basis. This will be the only direct flight from London Heathrow to Utah. Delta will also offer passengers connections to some 50 cities from Salt Lake City.

Flights will be operated with a Boeing 767-300 aircraft, with a two class (business & economy) service. Flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 4.

Flights are on sale now at Delta.com and Virgin Atlantic.com

Flight DL 51/VS 4019 – Depart London Heathrow 14:15 – Arrive Salt Lake City 18:07
Flight DL 50/VS 4020 – Depart Salt Lake City 20:10 – Arrive London Heathrow 13:30

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British Airways launches new route from London Gatwick to Lima, Peru from Wednesday 4 May 2016

Hot on the heels of the announcement of a new route from London Gatwick to Costa Rica, BA is to launch another new long haul route from Gatwick to Lima (Jorge Chávez International Airport) in Peru.

The route launches on Wednesday 4 May. Flights will initially operate three times weekly, departing on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.  

The route will be operated with a three class (Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, World Traveller economy) Boeing 777 aircraft.

This will be the only current direct route between London and Peru. BA’s Iberia sibling also flies to Peru from Madrid and passengers will be able “mix and match” direct and indirect flights operated by both airlines.

Flights are now on sale on ba.com

Flight BA2239 Depart London Gatwick 13:50 – Arrive Lima 20:25 (Weds)
Flight BA2238 Depart Lima 21:55 – Arrive London Gatwick 16:15 (Weds)

Flight BA2239 Depart London Gatwick 11:55 – Arrive Lima 18:30 (Fri, Sun)
Flight BA2238 Depart Lima 20:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 14:20 (Fri, Sun)

Flights will operate twice weekly, on Wednesday and Sunday, from 30 October 2016:

Flight BA2239 Depart London Gatwick 10:15 – Arrive Lima 17:55 (Weds, Sun)
Flight BA2238 Depart Lima 19:25 – Arrive London Gatwick 12:35 (Weds, Sun)

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British Airways launches new route from London Gatwick to San Jose, Costa Rica from 4 May 2016

British Airways is to launch a new direct route from London Gatwick to San Jose (airport code SJO), Costa Rica from Wednesday 4 May 2016.

Flights will initially operate twice weekly, increasing to three times a week from the end of October 2016:
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Iberia targets Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia, and Asuncion in long haul expansion

Iberia is to examine opening new routes (and in some cases re-instating routes) to Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia and Asuncion (Paraguay) the airline announced today.

The routes are likely to launch in 2016 and 2017 and are subject to its parent company, International Airlines Group, placing orders for additional aircraft, including five Airbus 330-200 aircraft, with Airbus.  

IAG also hopes to order a further eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft as a replacement for Iberia’s existing fleet. An announcement could be made as early as next week.

The announcement is significant as it is further evidence of IAG’s turnaround of Iberia which has also seen the airline launch new routes to Medellin and Cali in Columbia.

That said, it has to be said it is somewhat unusual for an airline to announce a possible order for aircraft in advance of it being finalised. 

Nor do airlines normally give away much with regard to future route launches, for obvious competitive reasons (though negotiations with airports on landing fees could be a factor).

Of the routes mentioned Doha and Tokyo are noteworthy as these would be the airline’s only routes to the Middle East and Asia and would be the airline’s first step in making Madrid a global (rather than purely west bound) long-haul hub. We assume they would be supported by code shares with fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines.  

It is noteworthy that Hong Kong and Singapore are not listed, particularly Hong Kong as it is the hub of fellow alliance partner Cathay Pacific.

The launch of more routes to Central and South America also cements Iberia’s position in this market. We are surprised not to see more North American destinations, but these are of course well served by British Airways.

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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.

  

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