British Airways is the largest airline at London City and London Heathrow airports. It also has a substantial presence at London Gatwick.
It is a subsidiary of International Airlines Group which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling who all have a presence in London.
BA is also a member of the Oneworld alliance and many of its fellow members such as American Airlines and Cathay Pacific have a substantial presence in London. BA therefore features very heavily on this site.
It’s now two years since the parent company of British Airways, International Airlines Group, officially completed its purchase of bmi from Lufthansa.
The merger represented a major milestone in BA’s history and a significant shift in the balance of power at Heathrow, so it’s worth looking at what has happened to former bmi routes and the current state of play at Heathrow.
We have to admit for having known for some time that British Airways has been trialling in-flight WiFi on a single Boeing 747 aircraft.
However, as there has been no way of knowing whether this aircraft will be available on a specific flight (we understand this was intentional) the trial has not been particularly newsworthy.
Based on this an update issued by BA it seems the trial is now being targeted to a single specific flight. That flight is BA183 from London Heathrow to New York JFK. However, we cannot currently verify that this is case.
We’re not quite sure what has prompted this, but British Airways has today, 13 April 2014, e-mailed large numbers of members of its Executive Club who hold blue or bronze cards offering a complimentary Silver card (which affords privileges such as access to business class check-in desks and lounges) if they book a business class return from London to New York, subject to certain booking restrictions, in the next 90 days.
British Airways continues to battle to regain lost market share in the European short-haul market from easyJet.
The airline has today, 5 March 2014, announced a new fare enabling passengers to do “out and back in a day” trips to a number of short-haul destinations in the UK and mainland Europe on Saturdays and Sundays.
The lead-in return fares are £79 to Dublin and Geneva, £89 for Edinburgh and Rome and £99 for Vienna and Munich. These fares are available for booking now and we note that relatively short notice weekend fares for these destinations are significantly cheaper than others.
BA claim that these fares may be extended to other short-haul destinations in due course. We infer these fares are something of an experiment to help fill otherwise relatively quiet early morning and late night flights on weekends.
That said, this is a welcome innovation and certainly something we can see ourselves taking advantage of.
If the experience of “Hand Baggage Only” fares is anything to by, it should be extended across the network very quickly.
Today, 3 March 2014, at 12:35, a Boeing 787 operating as British Airways flight BA191 will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5. 10 hours and 25 minutes later it should land at Bergstrom International airport in Austin, Texas, completing the inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Austin.
Initially the service will operate five times a week, increasing to daily from 5 May 2014.
This is the first new transatlantic route launched by BA since Las Vegas in 2009 and San Diego in 2011.
It is noteworthy as this is the first route launched specifically for the Boeing 787 which has, to date, been used to either replace Boeing 767s on transatlantic flights or Boeing 777s on “thinner” Asia routes.
Although much has been made by BA and its parent company International Airlines Group that the Boeing 787 will aid the launch of new routes between London and Asia, we expect further transatlantic routes to by opened up by the 787, particularly because of the support provided by BA’s transatlantic joint-venture partner, American Airlines.
Not only do more routes give BA network strength against Delta and Virgin Atlantic, but also the Middle Eastern carriers who have only begun to scratch the surface of the North America market.
British Airways has today confirmed that Singapore will be the fifth destination to be served by the airline’s Airbus A380 fleet of aircraft.
The airline is currently operating the A380 on selected flights to Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. Washington will be added to the A380 network from September of this year.
The Airbus A380 will replace a Boeing 747 on three flights a week between London Heathrow and Singapore from Thursday 28 October 2014.
BA will continue to serve Singapore twice daily, with the second Boeing 777-300 continuing on to Sydney from Singapore.
It’s worth noting that BA has departed from its strategy of deploying the A380 on routes that are not currently served by the A380 from London Heathrow as the London Singapore route has long been served by Singapore Airlines’ A380.
BA has a total of 12 Airbus A380s on order, of which four have now been delivered to the airline. BA also has options for a further 7 aircraft (instincts tell us BA will probably maintain its order at 12 aircraft).
BA has released a promotional video for the A380 launch to Singapore on YouTube featuring a very excited Sex and the City star Kristin Davis:
Update January 2018:
BA now flies the Airbus A380 on one of its two daily flights between London Heathrow and Singapore (BA11 / BA12). The remaining flight (BA15 / BA16) which continues from Singapore to Sydney is operated with a Boeing 777-300 aircraft.
Some time ago we took a look at British Airways’ most memorable advertisements, spanning no less than four decades.
Whilst much has changed in that time, a common theme was that the most effective airline marketing focuses not on the hardware and mechanics of aviation, but what airlines are fundamentally about: bringing people together.
Last year, British Airways released a special “A Ticket To Visit Mum” video featuring a surprise reunion between a mother and son in Mumbai. And it has today, on Valentines Day, released a further video “Go Further To Get Closer”.
We would defy even the most weary hard-nosed traveller to be moved by these videos!