Monday Briefing – 18 June 2018

Welcome to our weekly Monday Briefing on the main developments in air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday morning at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel

BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 18 June 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.

BA Grounds 7 Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft

BA has now grounded 7 of its 28 strong Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.

2 Boeing 787-8 aircraft have long been grounded. 5 Boeing 787-9 aircraft were grounded almost simultaneously a little over a week ago.

Rolls Royce also announced last week that checks may be required on “Package B” engines as well as “Package C” engines. BA has not made any public statements since the latest Rolls-Royce announcement. However, IAG CEO Willie Walsh has not hidden his dissatisfaction with Rolls-Royce and the latest announcement will not instil confidence.

We have summarised the impact on BA’s operations here. The Seattle Times has an excellent article on the broader industry issues affecting all aircraft and engine manufacturers.

Etihad Reviews Aircraft Orders

Etihad has announced a loss before exceptional items of USD$ 1.52 billion for 2017. This compares to a loss for USD$ 1.95 billion for 2016.

These headline figures are only for the airline’s core operations and do not include losses from exceptional items or investments. The group has of course been beset by its disastrous strategy of buying minority stakes in airlines, notably Air Berlin and Alitalia.

Etihad has already undertaken a number of network changes including the suspension of Dallas Fort Worth, Entebbe, Jaipur, San Francisco, Tehran, and Venice.

It is now reported to be in discussions with aircraft manufacturers to review its aircraft order book, which is substantial. Etihad has 21 Boeing 787-9, 30 Boeing 787-10, 25 Boeing 777X and 62 Airbus A350 wide body aircraft on order. Given recent network developments, it is likely that any new aircraft will only act as replacement for retiring aircraft. Therefore, it is implausible that a large number of these orders won’t be cancelled.
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BA Boeing 787 Cancellations June Update

Here is the latest on the impact of Rolls-Royce engine inspections on British Airways Boeing 787 flights at London Heathrow.

London Air Travel

BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways Boeing 787 flights continue to disrupted by additional maintenance to the Rolls-Royce engines of its Boeing 787 fleet.

Here is a summary of the issue as of Sunday 17 June 2018.

Background

Operators of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are required to comply with an Air Worthiness Directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.

It limits the scope of the ETOPS (“Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standard”). ETOPS allows twin-engined aircraft like the Boeing 787 to operate between 60 and 330 minutes’ away from the nearest airport that can handle a diversion of the aircraft.

This affects aircraft with Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 “Package C” engines. Rolls-Royce has also issued a statement on Monday 11 June 2018 advising that additional checks may be required on “Package B” engines. BA has not commented on the issue since the latest Rolls-Royce statement.

Continue reading “BA Boeing 787 Cancellations June Update”

BA Gatwick 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 Update

BA is progressively the number of economy seats on Boeing 777 aircraft at Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here is an update on the progress of the refurbishment.

London Air Travel

BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft
BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is now more than a third of its way through the refurbishment of its fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft at London Gatwick.

The refurbishment programme includes new seats in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus, new in-flight entertainment systems and cabin interiors. Most importantly of all, the seats in World Traveller are increased from 9 to 10 a row.

Please see here for images of the first refurbished aircraft which were unveiled on Monday 5 March 2018.

At the moment only three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft have been refurbished. As at Saturday 16 June 2018, three Boeing 777-200 aircraft (registrations G-VIIR, G-VIIX, G-VIIO) have been refurbished. A fourth aircraft (registration G-VIIP) was sent to Singapore for refurbishment on 9 June 2018. Each refurbishment takes around a month.

It is expected that the refurbishment of three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft will be complete by late October 2018. The refurbishment of four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft should be complete by late March 2019. Once the Gatwick fleet is complete, BA will then refurbish some Heathrow aircraft.

Seating Plans Of Refurbished Aircraft

BA has updated the seat maps on its website to include the new cabin configuration.

If you are flying on a 9 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 11 (40 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 12 – 14 (24 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 16 – 40 (3-3-3 configuration)

If you are flying on a 10 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 4 (32 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 10 – 16 (52 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 20 – 46 (3-4-3 configuration)
Continue reading “BA Gatwick 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 Update”

LOT launches London City – Warsaw

LOT Polish Airlines will fly from London City airport to Warsaw twice daily on weekdays and once a day on weekends from Monday 7 January 2019.

London Air Travel

LOT Polish Airlines Embraer E195 aircraft
LOT Polish Airlines Embraer E195 aircraft (Image Credit: LOT Polish Airlines)

LOT Polish Airlines (“LOT”) has launched a new route from London City to Warsaw.

The airline will fly from London City airport to Warsaw twice daily on weekdays and once a day on weekends. The route launches on Monday 7 January 2019. This will be the only direct route from London City to Warsaw.

It is of course possible to connect at Warsaw to many destinations in Central & Eastern Europe such as Vilnius, Kiev and Riga.

Flights will be operated with an Embraer E190 aircraft, which LOT has yet to take delivery of. LOT will offer three classes of service, economy, premium economy and business class, on this route.

LOT will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Warsaw up to three times daily, with the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Flights are on sale now at LOT.com

London City – Warsaw

Flight LO288 Depart London City 09:30 – Arrive Warsaw 13:00 (Daily, except Sundays)
Flight LO290 Depart London City 18:30 – Arrive Warsaw 22:00 (Daily, except Saturdays)

Flight LO287 Depart Warsaw 07:15 – Arrive London City 09:00 (Daily, except Sundays)
Flight LO289 Depart Warsaw 16:15 – Arrive London City 18:00 (Daily, except Saturdays)

The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 13 June 2018

The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America.

London Air Travel

Terminal 2, Dublin Airport
Terminal 2, Dublin Airport (Image Credit: Dublin Airport)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 13 June 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 BST.

Willie Walsh on Aer Lingus growth opportunities

International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh spoke at the IATA AGM last week and GTMC conference this week. At both events, Willie Walsh was keen to talk about the growth opportunities for Aer Lingus.

Whilst Aer Lingus may not be the largest member of IAG, by profit margin it is the star pupil of the group. In recent years it has added many new transatlantic routes including Miami, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Next year, Aer Lingus will take delivery of four of twelve Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft on order. This aircraft is a variant of the Airbus A321neo with a range of 4,000 nautical miles. Aer Lingus has invited US airports to express an interest in it opening new routes. Unsurprisingly, there has been a strong response from many airports.

It is expected that new routes operated by the Airbus A321 Long Range next year will be announced in the coming months, as well as additional frequencies to existing routes. This could well introduce new transatlantic routes to Europe, with the benefit of Customs & immigration pre-clearance in Dublin.

On a related note, there is still no word of any progress in Aer Lingus joining either the transatlantic joint-venture with American Airlines and BA, nor the Oneworld alliance.

As far as BA is concerned, it has traditionally announced one new long-haul route from London Heathrow to North America a year. The most recent ones being Austin, San Jose, New Orleans and Nashville. However, Willie Walsh did indicate that this was unlikely to happen this year.

BA Confirms Calgary Suspension

British Airways has suspended London Heathrow – Calgary for the winter season

As reported last week, BA has confirmed it has suspended London Heathrow – Calgary from Sunday 28 October 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019.

Full details of rebooking options are here. Passengers are entitled to a refund, or to rebook to an alternative BA destination in the US and Canada. BA has now also secured a rebooking agreement with United Airlines via Chicago O’Hare and other hubs in the US. Further rebooking options may become available in the next few days.

It is relatively rare for BA to suspend a transatlantic route from Heathrow, even for the winter season. The last suspension we can recall is London Heathrow – Detroit in 2008.

Also of note this week:

United’s first Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft enters service. (United)

Late Post Publication Updates:

[Reseved for updates during the day.]

The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday at 06:00 BST. If you have any comments, suggestions or tips then please drop us a line at mail [@] londonairtravel.com

Travel Media & Technology Bulletin – Tuesday 12 June 2018

Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel

"Print Tearing It Up" Somerset House, London
“Print Tearing It Up” Somerset House, London (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Hello and welcome to our weekly travel media and technology bulletin featuring the latest developments on media and technology around the world, published every Tuesday at 06:00 BST.

Local TV

In 2011, the then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt had an idea.

If Birmingham, Alabama could have a string of local TV stations, then why couldn’t Birmingham, England?

Even though local media in Britain was already under pressure with ITV cutting back on regional news bases and local & regional newspapers closing, Jeremy Hunt was convinced it would be a success.

As anyone who has ever visited the US and taken one step out of the East and West Coast states would know, a combination of culture, geography and politics means that individual US cities and states are radically different from each other. This is much more so than the nations and regions of the UK with power still relatively concentrated in Westminster.

The UK communications regulator OFCOM advertised licences for more than 30 local TV stations in the UK. The BBC, in the face of a hostile Government, was forced to pay tens of millions to fund its infrastructure. Not only that the BBC is required to buy content from local TV stations, regardless of whether it is fit for broadcast.

Most local TV stations have not delivered on their initial promises and have substantially reduced their hours of original programming. Many TV stations have fallen into the hands of one group, That’s TV. BuzzFeed has an extraordinary account of its working conditions at That’s TV and how it is gaming the system to secure funds from the BBC.

One station not mentioned is London Live. Owned by the proprietor of The Evening Standard, this channel launched in 2014 with grand promises of dedicated IPTV streams for London boroughs. Despite extensive cross promotion in The Evening Standard, it has had remarkably little impact. According to CityAM the channel is up for sale. Arguably, there is a place for a dedicated TV channel for London with someone with both the ideas and the resources to support it.

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Monday Briefing – 11 June 2018

Welcome to our weekly Monday Briefing on the main developments in air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday morning at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel

Her Majesty The Queen officially opens Gatwick on 9 June 1958; the North Terminal on 18 March 2018; Gatwick check-in area 1958
Her Majesty The Queen officially opens Gatwick on 9 June 1958; the North Terminal on 18 March 1988; Gatwick check-in area 1958 (Image Credit: London Gatwick)

Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 11 June 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.

Qatar Airways now operating for BA

Qatar Airways is now operating selected long-haul flights for BA.

It is operating all BA flights to Kuwait until 30 June / 1 July, Muscat until 20 / 21 August, as well as one of its two daily flights to Dehli, also until 20 / 21 August.

All flights are being operated by Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two class configuration. Qatar has sent three aircraft to Heathrow for these flights.

It is worth noting that since BA first published rebooking guidance for passengers, this has been updated.

Passengers in Club World can also fly to Kuwait and Muscat via Abu Dhabi on Etihad by connecting from a BA flight from London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi. Club World passengers due to fly to Delhi can also fly on Air India by connecting from one of BA’s own services from London Heathrow to India.

According to publicly available flight data, two out of ten BA Boeing 787-8 aircraft have been out of service for some weeks (Registrations G-ZBJD & G-ZBJE). At the time of writing, four out of eighteen BA Boeing 787-9 aircraft have not flown since at least Friday 8 June 2018 (Registrations G-ZBKC, G-ZBKJ, G-ZBJK & G-ZBKO).

The following flights also remain cancelled:

– BA280 / BA281 London Heathrow – Los Angeles until Thursday 5 July 2018
– BA278 / BA279 London Heathrow – San Jose until Sunday 17 June 2018
– BA5 / BA6 London Heathrow – Tokyo Narita until Tuesday 26 June 2018

Update: Rolls-Royce has this morning issued an update advising that a similar component issue to the one in “Package C” Trent 1000 engines has been found in some “Package B” engines. Therefore, precautionary checks will be carried out on these engines. This is likely to lead to further disruption.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh speaks at the IATA AGM

IATA held its Annual General Meeting together with the World Air Transport Summit in Sydney last week. It did of course generate a lot of headlines for the wrong reasons.

Although many airline CEOs were in attendance, as most of them lead public companies, they can’t actually say much beyond what they have already told their investors. IAG CEO Willie Walsh is always good value at a conference, expressing incredulity at Alitalia spending €7m on new uniforms whilst in administration.

The Centre For Aviation has published an interview with Willie Walsh as part of its daily publications during the event.

A couple of quotes of note on IAG’s bid for Norwegian and the Airbus A321 long range at Aer Lingus, which may ultimately be ordered by other IAG airlines such as BA:
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60 Years Of London Gatwick

To mark the 60th anniversary of the official opening of London Gatwick airport on 9 June 1958, we take look at key moments in its history.

London Air Travel

London Gatwick Check In Area 1958
London Gatwick Check In Area 1958 (Image Credit: Gatwick Airport)

Saturday 9 June 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of London Gatwick airport in its current form.

The airport first started operations on 6 June 1936. Her Majesty The Queen officially opened what is now known as the South Terminal on 9 June 1958.

In its 60 year history Gatwick has been the birthplace of Freddie Lakers’ “SkyTrain” service from London to New York in 1977 and Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight to Newark in 1984. It has seen easyJet grow from next to nothing to operating nearly half of all flights at the airport within the space of 20 years.

It has seen a near complete exodus of North American routes to Heathrow after EU-US Open Skies in 2008, only for Norwegian to launch routes many key American gateways. It has seen BA slash capacity at the airport by almost half at the start of this century, and to rebound in recent years.

Gatwick has also been home to many former airlines including British Caledonian, Dan-Air, GB Airways, Monarch, XL airways and Zoom.

Gatwick has also welcomed Heads of State to the UK including French President Charles de Gaulle in 1961 and US President John F Kennedy in 1963.

So let’s take a look back at the airport’s history over the past sixty years:
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BA and Fiji Airways Codeshare

British Airways is to codeshare with Fiji Airways from Singapore, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Fiji.

London Air Travel

Fiji Airways A330 (Image Credit: Oneworld Alliance)
Fiji Airways A330 (Image Credit: Oneworld Alliance)

British Airways is to codeshare with Fiji Airways from Singapore, San Francisco and Los Angeles to Fiji.

This follows an announcement that Fiji Airways is to join Oneworld under a new form of membership known as “Oneworld Select”.

Fiji Airways flies from Los Angeles daily, San Francisco on Thursdays and Saturdays, and Singapore on Mondays and Saturdays to Nadi International Airport.

The codeshare comes into effect from Wednesday 13 June 2018. The flight time is approximately 11 hours and 20 minutes from both Los Angeles and San Francisco and 10 hours from Singapore.

Flights are operated with Airbus A330 aircraft. Fiji Airways has a fleet of 3 Airbus A330-200 and 1 Airbus A330-300 aircraft in a two class, business and economy, configuration.

Fiji Airways and Fiji Link also have a fleet of Boeing 737 and ATR aircraft which serve a number of regional destinations such as Matei, Nausori and Savusavu.

Note these codeshares can only be booked when connecting from an international flight.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com
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BA suspends London Heathrow – Calgary for winter season

British Airways has suspended its daily service to Calgary for the winter from Sunday 28 October 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019.

London Air Travel

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)
British Airways has suspended its daily service from London Heathrow to Calgary for the winter season.

The last outbound and inbound flight operates on Saturday 27 October 2018. The service resumes on Sunday 31 March 2019. The affected flight numbers are BA102 and BA103.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellation. However, it is a reasonable assumption that unsatisfactory commercial performance is behind the decision.

BA started flying from London Heathrow to Calgary in December 2006, initially with a Boeing 767 aircraft. The route then changed to a Boeing 787 in July 2014.

Air Canada will continue to fly direct from London Heathrow to Calgary year-round.

Rebooking Options as at Wednesday 6 June 2018

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund.

Alternatively, passengers can also rebook to a date when BA is flying to Calgary.

Passengers can also rebook to an alternative BA destination in the US and Canada. However, any additional costs will be at your expense.

BA is in discussions with local airlines about rebooking arrangements. It is likely that further options will be announced in the next few days. Unless you would prefer a refund or to fly to another destination, we would recommend waiting until these have been confirmed before taking any action.

Passengers who need to change their booking should contact either BA or their travel agent.

Rebooking Options As At Tuesday 12 June 2018

BA has now secured a rebooking arrangement with United Airlines.

Passengers can rebook to Calgary by connecting to United Airlines from either Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston or San Francisco.

Clearly, unless you enjoy taking circuitous routings, Chicago O’Hare is the only logical option!

In all cases, passengers must connect from a British Airways flight from London Heathrow. As United Airlines does not offer premium economy, passengers booked in World Traveller Plus will be booked into economy on United Airlines.