Monday Briefing – 23 April 2018

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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 23 April 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner Woes

Following a recent Federal Aviation Administration Directive limiting the ETOPS (Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standard) of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with certain models of Rolls Royce engines, it is not known how many of BA’s 26 Dreamliners are affected.

However, in the absence of any official statement from the airline, it is clear that it is beginning to have an impact on its operations.

There have been tactical cancellations of Boeing 787 flights to Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Jose (California). In addition, some flights traditionally operated with the Boeing 787-9 have been substituted with a Boeing 787-8.

As the Dreamliner represents about 20% of BA’s wide body fleet it should have the capacity to absorb any additional maintenance requirements. However, this could continue for some time.

There’s more detail in this article which we will update over the next week.

Alez Cruz interviewed by John Strickland

The Routes Online Europe conference is currently taking place in Bilbao.

BA CEO Alex Cruz will be interviewed by aviation consultant and media commentator John Strickland at 10am this morning. There will no doubt be plenty of comment on social media this morning.

BA sketches out plans for London Heathrow Terminal 3

BA has long had a presence of some sort at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

Whilst for the past ten years it has been overshadowed by BA’s flagship Terminal 5, in recent years it has housed growing number of BA flights including Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver.

As per the video above from David Rose, BA Senior Customer Manager at Terminal 3, BA has set out, very much in outline, plans for the terminal.

These include a new check-in zone in conjunction with American Airlines and, from later this summer, an improved flight connections experience for passengers connecting between BA and American Airlines flights.

The one glaring omission is BA’s plans for its lounges in Terminal 3. These are now nearly ten years old and fellow Oneworld alliance partners Cathay Pacific and Qantas have made significant investments in lounges in the terminal. American Airlines is also due to open a new Flagship First lounge soon.

Britain’s Busiest Airport returns to ITV

Britain’s Busiest Airport returns to ITV for its fourth series on 20:00 Wednesday 2 May 2018. (ITV Press Centre)

Produced by Raw TV, this series was filmed over four months from October 2017 to March 2018 and will include the inaugural Qantas flight from Perth to London Heathrow.

As par the course for these series, it relies upon the production devices of recurring characters, jeopardy and story-telling.

We did notice the Raw camera crews at Heathrow and will be watching to see whether our Airbus A380 departure was deemed sufficiently interesting to make the series, or ended up on the cutting room floor.

Heathrow: The Journey at The University of West London

Staying with Heathrow, a new exhibition documenting the airport’s 70 year history “Heathrow: The Journey” has opened at The University of West London in Ealing.

The exhibition is free and is open daily. The University also holds a dedicated archive of more than 800 artefacts from the airport’s history which can be visited by appointment only.

Afternoon Tea at Virgin Atlantic

Afternoon Tea, the meal that nobody who live in the UK actually eats (American journalists, please kindly note) but BA insists in foisting upon passengers in practically every cabin and lounge.

Virgin Atlantic will be introducing its own take on Afternoon Tea in collaboration with chef Eric Lanlard in its London Heathrow Clubhouse between 15:00 and 17:30. A selection will also be available in all cabins on board day flights later this summer. (Virgin)

Also of note this week:

Air France continues to be beset by industrial action today Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 April 2018, which has so far cost the airline €220m. Today Air France expects to operate 75% of flights. (Air France)

Austrian Airlines adjusts its brand identity to make it more visible on digital devices. (Austrian)

British Airways opens its new lounge in Rome Fiumicino (London Air Travel)

British Airways brings back its “Kids Fly Free” promotion for the summer. (London Air Travel)

British Airways continues to make small tentative steps to improve coverage of China by adding more Mandarin speaking cabin crew on flights to Beijing and Shanghai and ground staff at Heathrow. (BA Media Centre)

Monocle interviews Australian designer David Caon who has worked on a number of projects for Qantas, including the cabin interiors for its Boeing 787 Dreamliner which operate between London Heathrow and Perth. (Monocle)

The Economist says a planned takeover of Norwegian by IAG should not go ahead. IAG would dismiss this as “noise” and it has had to deal with competition issues many times before, but Governments and regulators can never be relied upon to be predictable. (The Economist)

SWISS begins to set out plans for its hub in Zurich. (SWISS Blog)

The Financial Times profiles the private members club Norn. (Financial Times)

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