Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 15 October 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week.
New Gatwick Airport Masterplan
Gatwick is to unveil a new airport masterplan this coming Thursday.
Part of it has been selectively leaked to the press in advance – possibly to take the sting out of one of the more controversial aspects.
Gatwick proposes to bring its standby runway into permanent use for short-haul flights when a legal agreement preventing Gatwick from operating a second runway expires next year.
Gatwick has long campaigned for a second runway in the hope of attracting more long-haul airlines, particularly to Asia. It has had mixed success in this regard. Cathay Pacific has launched Hong Kong. Air China has launched Chengdu. China Eastern will launch Shanghai in December of this year. Gardua Indonesia however moved its service to Jakarta from Gatwick to Heathrow. Heathrow has also managed to secure new routes to Changsha operated by Hainan Airlines and X’ian operated by Tianjin Airlines.
The airport currently has a rolling five year investment plan, details of which are available from here.
New Aer Lingus CEO
Last week International Airlines Group announced that Stephen Kavanagh will step down as CEO of Aer Lingus on 1 January 2019.
Stephen will be succeeded by Sean Doyle, currently Director of Network, Fleet and Alliances at BA.
Aer Lingus has expanded its long-haul network significantly over the past three years under IAG. However, progress in other areas has been slow. It has still not yet joined the transatlantic joint-venture with American Airlines and BA. Nor is there any immediate prospect of it rejoining the Oneworld alliance. There has also been no growth in short-haul, which will not happen until Aer Lingus can satisfy IAG it can make a sufficient rate of return.
This is not the first time IAG has moved executives between airlines. Alex Cruz was of course CEO of Vueling before his appointment at BA. Carolina Martinoli, BA’s Director of Brand and Customer Experience, was formerly Marketing Director at Iberia.
Alex has certainly not had an easy time in his first two years at BA, However, Carolina Martinoli has certainly had much more success than her two predecessors Frank van Der Post and Troy Warfield, who both joined from outside the airline industry, at instituting change. Sean should bring a lot of experience from BA and an understanding of the inner workings of IAG.
For more than 30 years, the charity Dreamflight has raised funds to charter a BA aircraft to fly hundreds of disabled and seriously ill children to Orlando for a ten day holiday of a lifetime.
Yesterday, fresh from a four week refurbishment, a BA Boeing 747 departed a very wet Heathrow for Orlando under flight BAW1DF.
The children enjoy entertainment with special guests – this year Una Healy – in a BA hangar at Heathrow before boarding their flight. They are accompanied on their trip by representatives from Dreamflight, BA staff and a fully trained medical team.
There’s more on the charity’s work at Dreamflight.
In case you missed it:
No1 Lounges takes over Etihad’s London Heathrow lounge. (London Air Travel)
WestJet to fly its Boeing 787-9 from London Gatwick to Calgary in 2019. (London Air Travel)
The first of BA’s refurbished 52 Club World Boeing 747s enters service. (London Air Travel)
Our survey of the progress of roll-out of WiFi on BA’s fleet. (London Air Travel)
Late Post Publication Updates:
[Reserved for updates during the day.]
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