BBC2 goes behind the scenes at BA in “A Very British Airline”

London Air Travel

BA Boeing 747 approaching the coast (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Boeing 747 approaching the coast (Image Credit: British Airways)

After a long hiatus, the “behind the scenes” documentary of large public and private sector organisations has been back in fashion of late.

Over the past couple of years the BBC and others have gone behind the scenes at the London Underground, Claridges, First Great Western and East Coast Trains.

Now, it is British Airways’ turn to open itself to the cameras.

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Virgin Atlantic adds Atlanta & Delta adds Los Angeles in Heathrow shuffle

Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines have announced changes to their schedules between London Heathrow and Atlanta and Los Angeles as part of their transatlantic joint-venture.

London Air Travel

Virgin Atlantic & Delta Air Lines Aircraft (Image Credit: Delta Air Lines)

We have to admit to being a little surprised by this news.

Virgin Atlantic and Delta, partners together in a relatively new transatlantic joint-venture, have announced that they will swap flights between London Heathrow and Los Angeles and Atlanta from 26 October 2014.

Delta will take over one of Virgin Atlantic’s twice daily London Heathrow – Los Angeles flights. Virgin Atlantic will take over one of Delta’s thrice daily London Heathrow – Atlanta flights.

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BA suspends Heathrow – Agadir from 26 October 2014

London Air Travel

British Airways Tailfin (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)
British Airways Tailfin (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its twice weekly service from London Heathrow to Agadir from 26 October 2014.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellation. However, we assume that poor commercial performance is a factor.

This was a route inherited by BA from its takeover of bmi in 2012 and is one of many subsequent route cancellations.

These include Damascus (29 May 2012), Addis Ababa (10 June 2012), Dammam (16 September 2012), Bishkek, Khartoum (1 October 2012), Tehran (12 October 2012), Yerevan (13 October 2012), Amristar, Casablanca, Marrakech (28 October 2012) and Tbilisi (31 March 2013).

Affected passengers have the option of a full refund or flying to Marrakech from London Gatwick or Casablanca via Madrid. No direct alternative route is available.

Heathrow Express – Discounts, offer codes and promotions

One of the many frequent complaints about Heathrow airport is the cost of travelling to the airport by train from London Paddington.

Whilst there is the option of taking The Tube, the journey on the Piccadilly Line (best described as one long baggage carousel) is long, prone to delays and over-crowding. The carriages are ill-suited to carrying large amounts of luggage and the overland parts of the journey are anything but scenic.

That only leaves (until Crossrail opens in 2018 at least) the Heathrow Express from London Paddington to Heathrow Central (for Terminals 1 and 3 and interchange to Terminal 4) and Heathrow Terminal 5. However, at a cost of £20 for a single ticket or £34 for a return ticket for a 15-20 minute journey (and more if you buy on board!), it must rank as one of the most expensive train journeys per minute in the world!

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Qantas re-times QF9 & QF10 London – Dubai – Melbourne from 20 July 2014

London Air Travel

Qantas Airbus A380 at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
Qantas Airbus A380 at London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

A familiar sight for anyone passing through Heathrow during the day is a pair of Qantas A380s parked at a remote stand near Terminal 3.

Whilst providing those on a mundane business trip to Frankfurt or Geneva the opportunity to dream about going somewhere else, it serves as an illustration of the hard economics for Qantas of competing against Middle Eastern and Asian airlines in the London to Australia market.

Currently, Qantas’ twice daily flights to Australia depart late in the evening and arrive in the morning at London Heathrow meaning hugely expensive assets are left on the ground all day doing nothing.

From 20 July 2014, as part of a broader restructuring of Qantas’ network in response to a deteriorating financial performance, Qantas flights to Melbourne will be retimed from a late evening departure to an early afternoon departure.

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BA giving away free flights at London Victoria

London Air Travel

British Airways London Victoria
British Airways London Victoria

British Airways is giving away free tickets to destinations from its London Gatwick base in the Caribbean every 15 minutes at London Victoria railway station every day this week until Saturday 10 May 2014.

To be in for a chance to win you have to test your skills on an arcade-style game, with the highest scoring participants in 15 minute intervals winning tickets to the featured destination of the day.

The BA stand is located towards platforms 15-19.

From what we’ve seen the stand is popular, so do be prepared to queue for a short while if travelling to Victoria specifically for this.

Today’s (Friday) destination is Barbados. Wednesday’s destination was Saint Lucia and Thursday’s destination was St Kitts.

Full details of BA’s network at London Gatwick are available here.

See an Airbus A320 recycled in Kevin McCloud’s “Supersized Salvage”

London Air Travel

Channel 4 Logo
Channel 4 Logo (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

This is one, perhaps, for readers more interested in the hardware of aviation than the “softer” aspects of flying.

Tonight, 24 April 2014, on Channel 4 (UK), “Grand Designs” presenter Kevin McCloud will challenge a team of three engineers to recycle the entire contents of an Airbus A320 aircraft into reusable consumer products in Kevin McCloud’s “Supersized Salvage” (also repeated just after midnight on 4 Seven).
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Richard Wilson’s “Slipstream” is unveiled at Heathrow Terminal 2

London Air Travel

Richard Wilson’s new artwork ‘Slipstream’ was unveiled at Terminal 2 of Heathrow airport on today.

The aluminum sculpture is suspended 18 metres above the ground, weighs 77 tonnes and is 78 metres in length. It is inspired by the flight path of a stunt plane. The sculpture was commissioned by the consultancy FutureCity.

Terminal 2 opens on Wednesday 4 June 2014 and will be officially opened by The Queen on Monday 23 June.

Embed from Getty Images

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Flybe launches new routes from London City

London Air Travel

Flybe Bombardier Q400 aircraft
Flybe Bombardier Q400 aircraft (Image Credit: Flybe)

Flybe has this morning, 23 April 2014, announced it will set up a base at London City airport, launching new routes to Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness from Monday 27 October 2014.

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“Taste Of London” returns on 18 – 22 June 2014 but without BA?

London Air Travel

British Airways Tailfin, Airbus 318 G-EUNA (Image Credit Nick Morrish/British Airways)
British Airways Tailfin, Airbus 318 G-EUNA (Image Credit Nick Morrish/British Airways)

We’ve been prompted to write this in response to a large number of search enquiries for the annual Taste Of London festival which returns to its home in Regents Park from Wednesday 18 June to Sunday 22 June 2014.

For many years, British Airways has been a sponsor of this event and many members of its Executive Club frequent flyer programme have taken enjoyed BA’s hospitality in a dedicated tent for BA frequent flyers.

Unfortunately, it seems that BA’s relationship with the Taste festival has come to an end and BA does not appear to be sponsoring this year’s festival so as things stand at the moment there are no opportunities for discounted tickets or complimentary hospitality for BA frequent flyers at this year’s event.