BA to move Providenciales from Heathrow to Gatwick

London Air Travel

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

British Airways is to move its weekly service to Providenciales International Airport in the Turks and Caicos Islands from London Heathrow to Gatwick with effect from 29 March 2015.

The route is currently served by a weekly Boeing 767 service via Nassau in The Bahamas. When it moves to London Gatwick it will operate via Antigua, on a Boeing 777-200.

The timetable is:

Flight BA2157 Depart London Gatwick 10:45 Arrive Antigua 14:10
Flight BA2157 Depart Antigua 15:10 Arrive Providenciales 17:05

Flight BA2156 Depart Providenciales 18:35 Arrive Antigua 20:30
Flight BA2156 Depart Antigua 21:40 – Arrive 10:30 (next day)

We’re not sure what was prompted the move. It may simply be a more effective use of capacity. BA will continue to offer three classes of service (World Traveller Economy, World Traveller Plus Premium Economy and Club World Business Class) on the route.

ITV to go behind the scenes at Virgin Atlantic

London Air Travel

Virgin Atlantic aircraft at London Heathrow

Television channels do have a habit of moving in packs.

The BBC goes behind the scenes at John Lewis. Channel 4 follows with a documentary about Liberty.

ITV goes behind the scenes at The Savoy. The BBC follows with a documentary about Claridges,

The BBC goes behind the scenes at London Underground, Channel 5 follows with a documentary about First Great Western. As does Sky with East Coast Trains.

After shops, hotels and railways, the BBC turned to British Airways just a short time ago with A Very British Airline.

And now, Virgin Atlantic, never one to allow British Airways to have it all its own way or hog the limelight, has invited The Garden Productions to film behind the scenes at the airline for ITV.

Whilst details are scant at the moment, it is understood that the documentary will be shown later this year and likely subjects could include the launch of Boeing 787 operations.

Update May 2015: We understand that the documentary will be called “Virgin Atlantic – Up In The Air” and a transmission date is imminent.

Update June 2015: Virgin Atlantic “Up In The Air” will premier on ITV at 9pm on Tuesday 7 July.

BA launches London Gatwick – Fuerteventura from 13 December 2014

London Air Travel

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

British Airways will return to the island of Fuerteventura from December of this year, with twice weekly flights from London Gatwick.

Flights operate on a summer seasonal basis to Fuerteventura airport on Wednesday and Saturday.

Flight BA2700 Depart London Gatwick 14:30 – Arrive Fuerteventura 18:50 (Wednesday)
Flight BA2700 Depart London Gatwick 11:40 – Arrive Fuerteventura 16:00 (Saturday)

Flight BA2701 Depart Fuerteventura 19:35 – Arrive London Gatwick 23:45 (Wednesday)
Flight BA2701 Depart Fuerteventura 16:45 – Arrive London Gatwick 20:55 (Saturday)

Two points to note from this:

First, it’s a sign of return of growth by BA to Gatwick after a very long period of contraction in its short-haul network.

Second, it’s also an indication that future short-haul route launches at Gatwick are likely to be longer-range flights for holidaymakers rather than short-haul routes that are well covered by easyJet.

Flights are now on sale on ba.com.

BA adds 3rd daily Heathrow – Cape Town flight (for 9 days!)

London Air Travel

Cape Town
Cape Town (Image Credit: British Airways)

Cape Town has long been a popular leisure destination for UK holidaymakers, particularly in the winter months of the northern hemisphere.

BA currently serves the city ten times weekly during the UK summer season and twice daily during the UK winter season.

BA will now be adding a third daily flight for just nine days between 2 January and 11 January 2015 to meet high demand in the New Year.

These flights are:

Flight BA 45 Depart London Heathrow 16:30 – Arrive Cape Town 06:05 (first flight 2 January, last flight 10 January)

Flight BA 44 Depart Cape Town 09:15 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:00 (first flight 3 January, last flight 11 January)

It’s also worth noting that first class will be available on these extra flights. During the winter season, flights BA 43 and BA 42 will operate without first class.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

BA’s parent IAG orders 20 Airbus A320neo aircraft

London Air Travel

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

British Airways is not normally an airline to announce aircraft orders at aviation shows.

However, to co-incide with the launch of Farnborough Air Show, BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group (“IAG”), announced that it has converted 20 of 100 options to buy Airbus A320neo aircraft into firm orders.

This follows a firm order for Airbus aircraft for BA’s IAG sibling, Vueling, in August of last year.

These aircraft will be delivered from 2018 and will, ostensibly, be used to replace existing BA short-haul aircraft.
Continue reading “BA’s parent IAG orders 20 Airbus A320neo aircraft”

An update on London Heathrow terminal moves

London Air Travel

Aer Lingus London Heathrow
Aer Lingus London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Here’s a quick update on recent terminal moves at London Heathrow:

1. Heathrow has a new resident in the form of Avianca. The airline is now flying from London Heathrow to Bogota in Columbia four times a week.

Flight AV121 departs from London Heathrow every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 22:35.

Flight AV120 arrives at London Heathrow from Bogota every Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 14:40 (16:05 on Saturdays).

2. Aer Lingus has now moved all of its flights to Ireland from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2.

3. US Airways has moved its daily flights to Charlotte and Philadelphia from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3 to co-locate with its merger partner American Airlines and fellow Oneworld alliance members.

4. British Airways has moved check-in zones at Terminal 3. BA now uses Zone D, instead of Zone G. This is a temporary measure until February 2015.

Virgin Atlantic launches new Vivienne Westwood uniforms

London Air Travel

Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic officially launched its new Vivienne Westwood uniform collection for Virgin Atlantic pilots, cabin crew and ground staff at the Village Underground in London on 1 July.

The uniforms have been “road tested” by Virgin Atlantic staff for some months and feature sharp cuts and a tailored British look that is particularly flattering to slimmer frames.

The event featured a public appearance by Sir Richard Branson, Vivienne Westwood and a performance by Blondie.

Guests included Tallulah Harlech, Laura Bailey, Jade Parfitt, Mary Charteris, Kelis, Jasmine Guiness, and Matt Smith.

Embed from Getty Images

Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic launches new Vivienne Westwood uniforms”

Thai Airways & Turkish Airlines delay move to Terminal 2

London Air Travel

London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Things had appeared to be going well with the opening of Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 with United Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, and ANA now ensconced in the terminal and no sign of a repeat of the disastrous opening of Terminal 5 in 2008.

However, gremlins seem to have emerged.

There was a baggage system failure affecting passengers at Terminal 2 last week. For reasons we don’t entirely understand Terminal 2 is using Terminal 1’s baggage system.

And we don’t know if this is connected, but there have been very well publicised intermittent problems with the baggage system at Terminal 5 caused by software issues over the past few days.

To allow further testing of the baggage system, Thai Airways Turkish Airlines’ moves from Terminal 3 to Terminal 2 tomorrow (2 July 2014) has been postponed until Thursday 28 August 2014.
Continue reading “Thai Airways & Turkish Airlines delay move to Terminal 2”

American Airlines add 2nd daily London Heathrow – Charlotte flight

London Air Travel

American Airlines Aircraft at London Heathrow
American Airlines Aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

American Airlines is to add a second daily London Heathrow – Charlotte flight, reports the Charlotte Observer.

This was a route inherited from American Airlines’ merger partner, US Airways, which has operated on a daily basis.

According to the Charlotte Observer, the 2nd flight will launch on 13 September 2014. The second flight is not yet on sale. It is a reasonable assumption that the flight will be operating using a slot pair sold by Cyprus Airways.

The addition of this flight means it is unlikely that American’s transatlantic business partner British Airways is to launch its own direct service to Charlotte.

Update:

The 2nd flight is now on sale. Flight AA733 departs Heathrow at 14:25 and arrives in Charlotte at 18:20

BA launches London City – Dublin from 26 October 2014

London Air Travel

Sunset in Dublin, Ireland (Image Credit: British Airways)
Sunset in Dublin, Ireland (Image Credit: British Airways)

The London City – Dublin route is going to become significantly more competitive from 26 October 2014 when British Airways launches a five daily service between the two airports.

This route has traditionally been a mainstay of CityJet which operates the route up to 7 times a day. BA will also be completing against Flybe, a new entrant to the airport, which also launches this route at the time as BA.

There are two points of note from this announcement:

1. It shows a significant commitment by BA to Dublin.

Until two years ago, BA did not serve the city at all as it relied on codeshares with Aer Lingus. BA returned to Dublin after it inherited the London Heathrow – Dublin route from BA. From 26 October 2014, BA will operate up to 13 flights a day combined from London Heathrow and London City. BA is also moving London Heathrow – Dublin flights from Terminal 1 to 5 on the same day.

2. This puts more competitive pressure on CityJet.

This is the second occasion in recent times BA has launched a route at London City that has been well served CityJet, which was recently sold by Air France-KLM. The other route being Rotterdam. CityJet has withdrawn routes such as London City – Edinburgh and diversified away from London City, launching routes from UK regional airports, such as Cardiff.

BA is cancelling the London City – Aberdeen and London City – Stockholm routes to make way for this service and flights are now on sale on ba.com