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.]
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