BA offers free Silver cards to Blue & Bronze Exec Club members

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Executive Club Cards
British Airways Executive Club Cards

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.

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BA moves Heathrow – Barcelona from Terminal 5 to 3 from Sun 26 October 2014

London Air Travel » British Airways

Barcelona, Spain, Sunrise, Sky
Barcelona Skyline at Sunrise (Image Credit: London Air Travel

British Airways has confirmed that all of its flights from London Heathrow to Barcelona (up to 8 a day) will move from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 from Sunday 24 October 2014.

The move is to accommodate the move of Belfast & Dublin flights from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5.

BA launches “day tripper” weekend tickets from London Heathrow

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

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.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

BA launches its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Austin

London Air Travel » British Airways

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

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.

Flights to Austin can be booked via BA.com or as codeshares via American Airlines.

BA adds Chennai to its roster of Boeing 787 destinations

London Air Travel » British Airways

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

British Airways continues to expand its network of Boeing 787-8 destinations as it takes delivery of further aircraft. Some 42 of them are on order in total.

The Boeing 787-8 is currently flying on selected flights from London Heathrow to Toronto and Newark.

From 24 October 2014, the aircraft will fly to Chennai daily. This currently served six weekly by a Boeing 777-200.

Also joining the list of 787 destinations later this year are:

Austin

A new route from 3 March 2014, initially five weekly.

Hyderabad

Replaces daily Boeing 777-200 from 30 March 2014.

Chengdu

Replaces current thrice weekly Boeing 777-200 from 5 May 2014 with five weekly 787 flights.

Philadelphia

Selected daily flights from 5 June 2014, replacing Boeing 767.

Calgary

Replaces daily Boeing 767 from 5 July 2014.

Singapore will be the fifth destination to be served by BA’s Airbus A380 from 28 October 2014

London Air Travel » British Airways

A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft takes off at London Heathrow airport.
British Airways Airbus A380 at take off, London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

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.

“Go Further To Get Closer” What airlines are fundamentally about

London Air Travel » British Airways

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!

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BA to move Heathrow – Belfast & Dublin flights to Terminal 5

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today confirmed that its flights from London Heathrow to Belfast City and Dublin airports (together making 12 return flights a day) will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5 from Sunday 24 October 2014.

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BA turns up the pressure on CityJet at London City

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Embraer E170 London City Airport
BA Embraer E170 London City Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has often been criticised in the past for failing to prove it can compete with rival airlines outside its base at London Heathrow, where it now commands nearly 50% of take off and landing slots. Witness how the airline withdrew entirely from regional point to point operations five years ago and, as reported yesterday, has ceded a significant share of traffic at London Gatwick to easyJet.

The one exception to this is at London City. Some five years ago CityJet, an airline with a complex history and structure, but now under the ownership of Air France KLM, dominated short-haul operations at the airport, with more than twice the share of take off and landing slots as British Airways.

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easyJet expands at Gatwick whilst BA seeks to regain lost ground

London Air Travel » British Airways

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

easyJet posted a good set of financial results last week solidifying its transition from an upstart low cost carrier to a mature pan-European short-haul airline.

The airline also announced a significant expansion at London Gatwick. This has been aided by its acquisition earlier this year of Flybe’s portfolio of slots at Gatwick which now gives easyJet nearly 50% of take off and landing slots at the airport.

New easyJet routes

In addition to recent route launches to cities such as Bergen and Moscow, next year easyJet will launch new routes to Brussels, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Jersey, Newcastle and Strasbourg. The airline will also increase frequencies by one flight a day on routes to Amsterdam, Bordeaux, Geneva, Inverness and the Isle of Man.

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