Air Belgium to operate Heathrow – Toronto for British Airways

Air Belgium is to operate one of British Airways’ daily flights from London Heathrow to Toronto from 9 June to 17 August 2019.

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Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft Air Belgium Airbus A340 aircraft (Image Credit: Air Belgium)

Air Belgium’s Airbus A340 aircraft will soon become a firm fixture at London Heathrow Terminal 5 for almost a year.

It is covering selected flights from Heathrow – Dubai until the end of March, and Heathrow – Newark from April to early June. Air Belgium will now also cover one of BA’s twice daily return flights from Heathrow to Toronto Pearson.

One return flight, BA93 & BA92 from London Heathrow to Toronto, will be operated by Air Belgium from Sunday 9 June to Saturday 17 August 2019.

The flight will be operated by an Air Belgium A340-300 aircraft.

The overall service standard should be similar to that of BA.

Rebooking Options

All passengers have the option of rebooking on to BA’s alternative return flights from Gatwick or Heathrow to Toronto (BA2271/BA2270 BA99/BA98) as close to your original date of travel as possible.

Full refunds are not available to any passengers, except First Class and Club World passengers, unless allowed by the original fare rules.

First Class Passengers

There is no First Class cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to business class and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will still have a First Class baggage allowance, earn the Avios and Tier Points of the First Class fare, and have access to First Class ground facilities such as the Concorde Room at London Heathrow.

Alternatively, passengers can request a full refund.

Premium Economy Passengers

There is no premium economy cabin on Air Belgium aircraft.

Unless passengers rebook on to an alternative BA service, they will be downgraded to economy and receive a partial refund of their fare.

Passengers will retain their original baggage allowance and Avios earning entitlement. Some passengers may also be upgraded to business class.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

American Airlines Codeshare

This flight is codeshared with American Airlines under flight numbers AA6207 and AA6210.

As American Airlines does not have regulatory approval to codeshare on BA flights operated by other airlines, AA passengers will have to rebook onto an alternative BA operated service between London and Toronto.

Sir Colin Marshall on “Putting People First”

The late Sir Colin Marshall on providing value and differentiated service in a commoditised market.

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British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways unveiled its “Landor” retrospective livery yesterday.

Introduced in 1984, that period from the mid 1980s to the late 1990s which spanned privatisation and strong financial performance, is often referred to as BA’s golden age.

That is true to a point. Of course this era pre-dates the rise of low cost airlines following the deregulation of aviation in Europe, September 11 2001, rising fuel prices and taxes, and the internet which made for easy price comparisons between airlines.

BA’s aggressive expansion in the late 1990s also led to it emerging from 11 September 2001 heavily indebted and it took nearly a decade for the airline to recover.

With that out of the way, it remains the case that this 1995 interview with Sir Colin Marshall from Harvard Business Review on delivering consistent high quality service in a commoditised market should be mandatory reading for anyone with the slightest connection to air travel.

Sir Colin Marshall, like BA Chairman Lord King, joined the airline from outside the aviation industry having been CEO of Avis in the US. Sir Colin Marshall oversaw BA’s “Putting People First” training programme. Designed by Danish firm Time Manager Inc, this was introduced in the same year as the Landor livery and involved a two day workshop for virtually all BA employees.

The crux of the interview is that it doesn’t shy away from acknowledging that air travel is a tough price sensitive market. But where airlines ultimately fly the same aircraft on the same routes at the same speed, differentiation on branding and perception of value is critical.

Whilst almost every service industry is now falling over itself purporting to provide an “experience” (often very contrived and scripted in actuality), in 1995, this was not the case.

Comments towards the end of the interview on industry consolidation and technology also proved to be very prescient.

On providing value in a commoditised market

You’re always going to be faced with the fact that the great majority of people will buy on price. But even for a seeming commodity such as air travel, an element of the traveling public is willing to pay a slight premium for superior service. They are the people we’ve been trying to attract and retain as customers. We don’t just mean people who fly business class, first class, or the Concorde. Many service companies ignore the fact that there also are plenty of customers in the lower end of the market who are willing to pay a little more for superior service.

It all comes back in the end to value for money. If you can deliver something extra that others are not or cannot, some people will pay a slight premium for it.

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BA Unveils Its Retro Landor Boeing 747 Livery

British Airways has unveiled the third of its retrospective aircraft liveries to mark its centenary year.

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British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, Dublin (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has officially unveiled the third of its retrospective aircraft liveries to mark its centenary year.

One of its Boeing 747s, aircraft registration G-BNLY, has been painted in the Landor livery.

The aircraft returned to London Heathrow this morning, Saturday 9 March 2019, having been repainted in Dublin over the past week.

The Landor livery was the second livery scheme introduced after the operations of BEA and BOAC merged under the British Airways brand from 1974. It replaced the the first livery designed by Negus & Negus.

The livery was designed by Landor Associates in San Francisco which was founded by the late Walter Landor who designed brand identities for Levi, General Electric and Fuji Film. This was in itself a controversial decision amongst British designers, but reflected BA’s global ambition and outlook.

Landor was introduced in 1984 at a time of significant change for the airline. Lord King had been appointed Chairman and Colin Marshall had been appointed CEO. Saatchi & Saatchi had secured the BA advertising contract. BA had started using “The World’s Favourite Airline” slogan. It had also introduced its “Putting People First” employee training programme.

The Landor livery cost $1million to design. Of course, it extended far beyond aircraft. It encompassed a complete redesign of BA’s visual identity. Landor Associates spent 18 months on the project, including 4 months travelling on the BA network to carry out a “visual audit” and conducting over 1,000 interviews.

The concept behind the Landor livery was an emphasis on precision. It wasn’t received with universal acclaim. Some British designers, perhaps expecting a modernist design, derided it as regressive and mediocre. Others mocked the inclusion of the BA crest on the tail fin.

This particular aircraft previously sported the Landor livery on its delivery to BA in 1993. The aircraft’s original name “City Of Swansea” has also been reinstated.

The aircraft carried the Landor livery until the introduction of the “World Images” tail fins from 1997, which unsurprisingly will not be the subject of a retrospective livery.

This aircraft will retain this livery until its retirement in 2023. It’s due to fly to Miami as BA211 today. There’s no way of predicting exactly on which routes this aircraft will operate. However, as a 52 Club World seat aircraft, it will regularly operate from London Heathrow Terminals 3 & 5 primarily on routes such as Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Miami, Phoenix and Vancouver.

British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, Dublin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, Dublin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY
British Airways Boeing 747 G-BNLY “City Of Swansea”, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Staff in Roland Klein and Julien Macdonald uniforms, London Heathrow
British Airways Staff in Roland Klein and Julien Macdonald uniforms, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Staff in Roland Klein uniforms, London Heathrow
British Airways Staff in Roland Klein uniforms, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways New First Class Dining & Amenities

British Airways is to introduce new menus, tableware and amenities to its First Class cabin from 31 March 2019.

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British Airways First Class Dining

Whilst many airlines have withdrawn international First Class altogether, it’s clear from BA’s most recent aircraft order that there is a future in the cabin for the airline. Albeit, it will have fewer seats with a smaller 8 seat cabin and operate on fewer routes.

One of the reasons why First Class has been withdrawn is that business class has adopted many of its features. BA is of course due to introduce a new Club World cabin later this year.

In advance of this, BA has announced that new bedding, amenities and dining will be introduced to its First Class cabin from Sunday 31 March 2019. As is to be expected from BA, there is an emphasis on working with British brands and manufacturers.

The new features include:

– New a la carte menus with bone china tableware designed by William Edwards (who supply many Five Star hotels), cutlery from Studio William, and Dartington glassware.

– A redesigned Afternoon Tea service.

– New foam and microfibre mattress topper and 400 thread count bedding, day blanket and bolster cushion.

– Loungewear, slippers, and amenity kit bags designed by Temperley London, with skincare products from Elemis.

– Meridian Audio headphones.

The roll-out will be complete by mid-April. This is a relatively short amount of time compared to the roll out of new catering and bedding in Club World last year.

From next year all London Heathrow long-haul routes will also be catered by Do&Co which should also be a significant improvement.

As with any change at BA, post-flight survey scores will be monitored closely to track customer reaction. Do make your views known if you receive a survey. Please see our guide to which routes operate with First Class from Gatwick and Heathrow.

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BA Unveils Retro British European Airways Livery

British Airways has unveiled the second of its retrospective liveries to mark its centenary year.

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British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has unveiled the second of its retrospective liveries to mark its centenary year, an Airbus A319 aircraft in a British European Airways livery.

The aircraft, registration G-EUPJ, returned to London Heathrow this morning having been repainted in Shannon over the past week.

British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, Shannon Airport
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, Shannon Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft in BEA livery (Image Credit: British Airways)

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British Airways Orders 18 Boeing 777-9 Aircraft

BA will take delivery of 18 Boeing 777-9 aircraft from 2022 to 2025.

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Render of British Airways Boeing 777-9 aircraft
Render of British Airways Boeing 777-9 aircraft (Image Credit: Boeing)

International Airlines Group, the parent company of British Airways, has ordered 18 Boeing 777-9 aircraft, plus 24 options, for the airline.

They will be used to replace 14 Boeing 747-400 and 4 Boeing 777-200 aircraft between 2022 and 2025, with 15 delivered by 2023.

Each aircraft will be fitted with 325 seats in a four class configuration. The approximate breakdown of seats by cabin is 8 First Class, 65 Club World, 46 World Traveller Plus and 206 World Traveller.

British Airways’ 777-9 aircraft will be powered by General Electric GE9X engines, notably not Rolls-Royce, where IAG CEO Willie Walsh has expressed his dissatisfaction with their performance over issues with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The announcement was made following IAG’s annual results on Thursday 28 February 2019.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said:

The new B777-9 is the world’s most fuel efficient longhaul aircraft and will bring many benefits to British Airways’ fleet. It’s the ideal replacement for the Boeing 747 and its size and range will be an excellent fit for the airline’s existing network.

BA is also due to take delivery of 4 Boeing 777-300, 18 Boeing A350-1000, and 12 Boeing 787-10 aircraft. It also has options for more Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 aircraft. Whilst it does not preclude further aircraft orders for growth, and a substantial number of aircraft are required to meet its parent company’s growth ambitions, this does effectively settle’s BA’s plans to replace the Boeing 747 by 2024.

International Airlines Group Fleet Plan - February 2019
International Airlines Group Fleet Plan – February 2019 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)

BA currently operates 46 Boeing 777-200 and 12 Boeing 777-300 aircraft as well as 30 Boeing 787 and 34 Boeing 747 aircraft. This order does make the Boeing 777 series, already the backbone of BA’s long-haul fleet, by far the largest aircraft type in its long-haul fleet.

BA Stansted Changes: Mykonos & Nice

British Airways has launched a new route from Stansted to Mykonos, whilst Nice has been suspended.

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London Stansted (Image Credit: British Airways)
London Stansted (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has made further changes to its summer seasonal schedule at London Stansted.

A few months ago we wrote of changes to BA’s summer schedule at London Stansted. Two further changes have been announced today, Thursday 21 February 2019.

Mykonos

BA will launch a new weekend service to Mykonos from 19 May to 29 September 2019.

BA2335 departs Stansted at 10:05 and arrives at Mykonos at 15:25 on Sundays. The return BA2334 departs Mykonos at 16:35 and arrives at Stansted at 18:35 on Saturdays.

Nice

This route was due to return from Saturday 4 May to 26 October 2019. It has now been suspended.

Affected passengers are entitled to a full refund. Alternatively, passengers can be re-accommodated on BA services to other London airports. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your own expense. Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

In terms of other summer seasonal routes, Berlin Tegel, Faro, Florence, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma will return this summer, albeit many routes will have reduced frequencies compared to previous years.

British Airways Suspends London City – Paris Orly

British Airways has suspended London City – Paris Orly from Friday 31 May 2019.

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BA CityFlyer Embraer Aircraft at London City airport
BA CityFlyer Embraer Aircraft at London City airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has suspended its route from London City to Paris orly from Friday 31 May 2019.

The route currently operates up to three times daily. It transferred from London Heathrow to City two years ago. This will mean there is now no direct route from any London airport to Paris Orly, nor any direct route from London City to Paris.

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

Alternatively, passengers can be accommodated on alternative BA services between London Heathrow and Paris Charles de Gaulle. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your own expense.

Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.

BA Unveils Its Retro BOAC Boeing 747 Livery

British Airways has unveiled the first of its retro aircraft liveries to mark its centenary year.

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British Airways Boeing 747 in BOAC Livery, Dublin Airport
British Airways Boeing 747 in BOAC Livery, Dublin Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has officially unveiled the first of its retrospective aircraft liveries to mark its centenary year.

One of its Boeing 747s, aircraft registration G-BYGC, has been painted in a BOAC livery.

British Overseas Airways Corporation, BOAC, was one of the two immediate predecessor airlines to BA. It merged with British European Airlines, BEA, before the formation of BA in 1974.

BOAC first operated Boeing 747-136 flights from London to New York JFK in April 1971. BA subsequently ordered Boeing 747-236 and 747-436 aircraft, and the latter were delivered up to 1999.

BA, together with BOAC, British Airtours and British Caledonian, have operated over 100 Boeing 747 aircraft in total, with a peak of 81 aircraft in service by the late 1990s. It is second only to Japan Airlines as the largest operator of passenger Boeing 747 aircraft in the world.

Strictly speaking, this is not the first time BA has unveiled a retro BOAC livery. One former BOAC Boeing 747 had a brief retro livery on one side of the aircraft immediately before its retirement.

There’s no way of predicting exactly on which routes this aircraft will operate. However, as a 86 Club World seat aircraft, it will regularly operate on routes such as Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Lagos, New York JFK, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco. It will fly to New York JFK as flight BA117 on Tuesday 19 February.

This aircraft will retain this livery until its retirement, which is currently planned for 2023, but may well change.

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£100 off BA long-haul flights for 5,000 Avios

British Airways is offering UK members of the Executive Club £100 off long-haul flights for for 5,000 Avios, up to 23:59 GMT Tuesday 12 February 2019.

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Avios Avios (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA has long offered the facility to reduce the cost of flights with a part-payment of Avios, the currency of its Executive Club frequent flyer programme.

This is rarely good value for money. However, BA has today, Friday 8 February 2019, once again launched a promotion whereby you can reduce the cost of any long-haul economy or premium economy return flight by £100 for 5,000 Avios.

The promotion only applies to BA operated flights and not codeshares. You can also reduce the cost of a one-way long-haul flight by £50 for 2,500 Avios.

The promotion applies to any long-haul economy or premium economy return flight booked from the UK up to 23:59 GMT on Tuesday 12 February 2019 for travel up to Sunday 30 June 2019.

The offer is available to all UK registered members of the Executive Club. It only applies to flights booked through ba.com or a BA call centre.

Up to 9 passengers per booking can benefit from the £100 discount for 5,000 Avios each. The discount must be selected at the time of booking.

This is a good value promotion for a number of reasons:

– There are lead-in economy return fares of around £300 to many North American destinations. This means you could secure an long-haul economy return flight for around £200.

– A family of four could benefit from a £400 discount to their holiday for 20,000 Avios.

– It’s probably one the best ways available to make use of a relatively small balance of Avios.
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