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.

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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.]

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The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 6 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.

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American Airlines, Jet Blue, United, Virgin Atlantic Pride Logos (Respective Image Credit)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 6 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.

BA takes London Heathrow – Calgary off sale for the winter

British Airways has taken its route from London Heathrow to Calgary off sale for the winter season from Sunday 28 October 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019.

The airline has not officially confirmed the suspension. An official statement, with details for rebooking arrangements for affected passengers, should be released in the next couple of days.

The route launched in December 2006 with a Boeing 767 aircraft. It then switched to a Boeing 787 aircraft in July 2014.

BA does not have a local airline partner in Canada. Its codeshare partnership with WestJet ceased, for reasons never disclosed, in October 2016. In the absence of local codeshare partners, BA passengers would have to connect onto American Airlines’ services to Calgary from the US.

Primera Air cancels long-haul flights from Birmingham

Primera has cancelled its entire long-haul schedule from Birmingham International Airport for the summer.

Flights from Birmingham to Newark will be suspended from Thursday 21 June 2018. Toronto Pearson will not launch as originally planned on Tuesday 26 June 2018.

Whilst the finger of blame has been pointed squarley at Airbus for late deliveries of Airbus A321neo aircraft, this is indicative how hard long-haul operations are for relatively small airlines.
Continue reading “The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 6 June 2018”

The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 30 May 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.

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Delta Uniform May 2018
Delta New Staff Uniform May 2018 (Image Credit: Delta Air Lines)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 30 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.

New York Subway Upgrade

The New York Subway has had well documented problems of late, particularly with regard to derailments and ever increasing delays, to such an extent it has planned placed in a “state of emergency”

Whilst the Subway can claim to have the advantage of operating 24 hours day (thanks to it having twin tracks) and is more affordable than The Tube, it falls far short in many other areas.

The Tube has long accepted contactless payments. However, the Subway is still stuck with Metrocards which easily stop working. The Subway has only very recently installed countdown clocks on platforms. And why are there so few maps on the platforms? On the trains, driver announcements are inaudible.

The President of New York City Transit Andy Byford has in the past week issued a new plan “Fast Forward” to modernise the city’s transport.

The proposals include a signifiant upgrade to Subway cars and signalling systems. These were originally planned to take place over 40 years. It is now proposed these are done in 10. This is likely to involve the temporary closure of lines, something that we are of course familiar with in London.

Note that funding for this plan has not yet been confirmed and it is subject to approval by the Metropolitan Transport Authority.

As per an extensive investigation by The New York Times last year, the Subway is mired in local politics as it owned by New York City, but the MTA is overseen by the state of New York.
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The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 23 May 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.

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Robert Indiana "LOVE", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2013
Robert Indiana “LOVE” photographed at “Beyond LOVE” at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2013 (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 23 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.

United secures access to The Private Suite at Los Angeles

United has announced that it has secured access to a recently constructed private terminal known as The Private Suite for business class passengers flying between London Heathrow and Los Angeles international airport.

The Private Suite is operated at Los Angeles international airport by a third party, Gavin de Becker and Associates.

Departing passengers will have access to a dedicated private check-in, security screening channel and lounge, as well as private car transfer to their aircraft. Arriving passengers will have a private car transfer go through a private Customs and Immigration process and baggage reclaim. The food and beverage in the lounge itself actually looks quite modest.

The pricing and booking process is a little ambiguous, to say the least. The Private Suite will initially only be available through selected corporate travel booking desks and travel agents. It will eventually be able for purchase through the United website and app. Availability is also limited and on a first come first served basis.

United say they have negotiated a preferential rate with The Private Suite. However, to put this into context, the headline membership rate for The Private Suite is $4,500 per annum and the one-way fee for an international passenger is $3,000 for members and $4,000 for non-members.

It is worth adding that United is due to open a new Polaris lounge in Los Angeles airport later this year, which should impress. This service seems clearly aimed at passengers seeking privacy above all else away from the main airport terminal.

There’s more detail on the United website. London Heathrow also offers a similar service called Heathrow VIP.
Continue reading “The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 23 May 2018”

The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 16 May 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.

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KLM, Air France, Delta, Virgin Atlantic Tailfins (Image Credit: Delta Air Lines)
KLM, Air France, Delta, Virgin Atlantic Tailfins (Image Credit: Delta Air Lines)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 16 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.

Air France-KLM, Delta & Virgin Atlantic agree joint-venture

It was nearly twelve months ago that Virgin Atlantic announced that Air France-KLM was to acquire a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic from Virgin Group.

This transaction will leave Delta as the single largest shareholder in Virgin Atlantic and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group will cede control of the airline.

As part of this Delta’s respective transatlantic joint-ventures with Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic will be combined into one.

Air France-KLM and Delta have yesterday, Tuesday 15 May 2018, announced that all parties have now agreed commercial terms on the joint-venture. This will cover matters such as capacity planning and revenue sharing.

They will now seek regulatory approval from the European Commission and Department of Justice. It is likely that approval will be granted. Given there is no overlap of direct routes between the two joint-ventures, it is unlikely there will be much, if anything, in terms of remedies.

Once regulatory approval has been granted, Air France-KLM will acquire a 31% stake in Virgin Atlantic.

At a minimum, once the enlarged joint-venture comes into effect, you will see reciprocal codesharing and frequent flyer recognition between Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic.
Continue reading “The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 16 May 2018”

The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 9 May 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.

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WestJet Boeing 787 Dreamliner
WestJet Boeing 787 Dreamliner (Image Credit: WestJet)

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 cabin interior has been designed by London based design agency PriestmanGoode. The new logo and livery has been designed by Canadian agency Ove Brand.

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.

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The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 2 May 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.

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Bar at United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)
Bar at United Polaris lounge at San Francisco International Airport (Image Credit: United Airlines)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 2 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.

United Polaris Lounge San Francisco

It’s almost two years’ since United first announced its new business class brand Polaris. It was intended to encompass a new cabin, in-flight service and amenities, and upgraded worldwide lounges.

As has been well documented, things didn’t quite go to plan, principally due delays in retrofitting Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 aircraft with the new cabin.

United has sought to reinvigorate the Polaris brand and regain momentum with the official opening of a new Polaris lounge this week in San Francisco.

Set across two floors, the 28,000 sq ft lounge has seating for 440 passengers. Facilities include a dedicated dining room with table service, a staffed bar and all day bistro-style buffet. There are 19 different seating options in the lounge including United’s signature Polaris seat which features a privacy divider, an integrated table and personal lamp. There are also 8 shower suites and 5 private daybeds. The lounge also features art work from local artists.

United also promises to accelerate the retrofitting of the Polaris cabin with, on average, one aircraft will be added with the new seat every 10 days between now and 2020.

It should also be added that London Heathrow – San Francisco is one of the very few London routes with a good chance of experiencing the new Polaris seat. Flight UA949 from London Heathrow to San Francisco is operated with a Boeing 777-300 which is fitted with the new cabin.

United also expects to open new Polaris lounges at Newark, Houston and Los Angeles airports later this year.

North American Airlines and airports have not been known for leading the way in lounge facilities so it’s obviously encouraging, along with Air Canada’s new Signature lounge in Toronto and American Airlines’ new Flagship lounges, to see investment.
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The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 25 April 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.

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British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 25 April 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.

BA and Virgin Atlantic cancel Boeing 787 flights

A recent Federal Aviation Administration Directive on Boeing 787 aircraft with certain models of Rolls Royce engine is having an impact on flight schedules and operations for both BA and Virgin Atlantic from London Heathrow.

BA has cancelled select flights from London Heathrow to Baltimore, Newark and San Jose. It has also cancelled flights to Los Angeles, including one daily flight, for the entirety of May 2018.

Here are known BA cancellations in recent days:

BA281 from London Heathrow to Los Angeles, and the return BA280, is cancelled on Sunday 22 April 2018.

BA279 from London Heathrow to San Jose, and the return BA278, is cancelled on Monday 23 April 2018.

BA185 from London Heathrow to Newark, and the return BA184, is cancelled on Tuesday 24 April 2018.

BA229 from London Heathrow to Baltimore, and the return BA228, is cancelled on Wednesday 25 April 2018.

BA189 from London Heathrow to Newark, and the return BA188, is cancelled on Thursday 26 April 2018.

BA281 from London Heathrow to Los Angeles, and the return BA280, is cancelled for the period Tuesday 1 May 2018 to Thursday 31 May 2018.

Here are known Virgin Atlantic cancellations in recent days:

VS7 from London Heathrow to Los Angeles, and the return VS8, is cancelled on Sunday 22 April 2018.

VS45 from London Heathrow to New York JFK, and the return, VS46, is cancelled on Tuesday 24 April 2018.

There have also been some equipment changes to Virgin Atlantic flights. For example, VS107 from London Heathrow to Seattle has been operated with an Airbus A330 in recent days.

This issue has been affecting both airlines for some time, particularly Virgin Atlantic which has had to lease in aircraft, and is likely to run for some months.
Continue reading “The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 25 April 2018”

The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 18 April 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 » The Atlantic Update » Page 5

Los Angeles Proposed People Mover (Image Credit: Los Angeles World Airports)
Los Angeles Proposed People Mover (Image Credit: Los Angeles World Airports)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 18 April 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.

Southwest Airlines Incident

As has been widely reported, a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft has been involved in an incident.

Southwest Airlines Flight 1380, which was scheduled to operate from La Guardia New York to Dallas Love Field airport, made an emergency landing in Philadelphia after crew reported issues with the number one engine. There was one fatality.

As investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board is underway. Southwest Airlines is providing updates at its Newsroom.
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The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 11 April 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.

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American Airlines Boeing 787 (Image Credit: American Airlines)

Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 11 April 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.

American Airlines Boeing 787 Order

American Airlines has confirmed it has placed a new order for 47 Boeing 787 aircraft.

The order comprises 22 Boeing 787-800 aircraft which will be delivered from 2020 and 25 Boeing 787-900 aircraft which will be delivered from 2023.

The new Boeing 787-800 deliveries will replace the Boeing 767-300. The Boeing 787-900 will replace Airbus A330-300 and older Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

American Airlines has also cancelled an order for 22 Airbus A350 which was originally placed by US Airways. The two airlines merged in 2014.
Continue reading “The Atlantic Update – Wednesday 11 April 2018”