Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 9 May 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.
WestJet unveils its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Canadian WestJet has unveiled the livery and cabin interior of its new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner features WestJet’s first business class cabin, which has fully flat seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, all with direct aisle access. WestJet also promises on-demand dining and a turndown service in business class. The aircraft also has a premium economy and economy cabin.
The design palette draws its inspiration from the Canadian landscape with a choice alpine lake blue in economy, aurora‑inspired tones in premium economy, and earth tones inspired by Canadian summers in business class.
The airline is due to take delivery of the first of ten Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from 2019. The routes on which it will operate have not been confirmed.
The new WestJet logo and livery unveiled today will also be progressively rolled out fleet wide. There’s more on a dedicated WestJet microsite.
WestJet’s initial foray into long-haul flights at London Gatwick did not get off to the best of starts with signifiant reliability issues with second-hand Boeing 767s. If these aircraft are deployed at London Gatwick it would make WestJet very competitive against BA and Air Canada.
BA inaugurates Nashville
BA’s inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Nashville took off last Friday 4 May 2018.
The route has been given a very warm welcome in Nashville. Judging by the amount of local press coverage and dignitaries on the inaugural flights, there is huge value attached to a direct route to Europe.
When BA says it flies to 26 cities in the US, this seems like a lot and it is significantly more than other European airlines. But when you look beyond the East and West Coast and Florida, there are still great swathes of the US without direct links to London or Europe.
BA has previously said that there are around five new US routes it would launch from London Heathrow with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. So far BA has launched four routes at a rate of one a year: Austin, San Jose, New Orleans and Nashville.
In terms of where BA may go next, there are still many cities without direct links to London to choose from: Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas, Pittsburgh and St Louis. BA seems to have a clear preference from staying from routes already served by Delta such as Minneapolis, Portland and Salt Lake City.
We should know in the next few months whether any more routes will follow in 2019.
American Airlines & BA Aircraft Swaps
American Airlines and BA are to swap aircraft on the London Heathrow – Dallas Fort Worth and Miami routes from Sunday 28 October 2018.
Currently, Miami is served by two AA and BA flights. Dallas Fort Worth is served by three AA flights and one BA flight.
BA will increase London Heathrow – Miami from two to three times daily, with the additional flight operated by another Boeing 747. BA will continue to operate an Airbus A380 daily in the winter season.
At the same time, American Airlines will move its daily Boeing 777-300 flight to Miami to Dallas Fort Worth, replacing BA’s daily 747 service.
The one downside is that BA tends to operate non-refurbished Boeing 747s on the Miami route and American Airlines’ Boeing 777-300 is particularly competitive for its business class and in-flight WiFi.
The revised timetable is on sale on Monday 14 May 2018.
American Airlines has detailed more extensive network wide changes this winter in this news release.
Norwegian increases London Gatwick – New York JFK
Norwegian has confirmed it will increase London Gatwick – New York JFK to three times daily from Sunday 28 October 2018.
It is not known whether this will be operated with additional aircraft or through cuts to other routes. Norwegian also launched its inaugural route from Amsterdam to New York JFK at the weekend.
Also of note this week:
Try to contain your envy as the World’s Most Extraordinary Homes visits Miami. (BBC iPlayer)
Late Post Publication Updates:
British Airways extends the cancellation of one of its daily frequencies to Los Angeles due to Boeing 787 Dreamliner issues to 30 June 2018.
Delta celebrates 40 years of flying from London. (Delta)
Fiji Airways has saught regulatory approval to codeshare with British Airways from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Nadi, Fiji. (AirlineInfo)
Iberia confirms that it will operate Madrid – Boston & Los Angeles year round.
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