“Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand”

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Better By Design - Shaping The British Airways Brand
Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand

We’ve long been fans of aviation branding and advertising so we’re really pleased to see another title from Paul Jarvis, curator of the British Airways Heritage Collection.

Paul has followed up his illustrated history of British Airways (published last year) with “Better By Design – Shaping The British Airways Brand”.

This is an illustrated guide to BA’s visual identity from its predecessor airlines BOAC and BEA to the BA of today. The book explores the evolution of advertising, aircraft interiors, on-board experience and crew uniform fashions, and how these have come together to shape not only the BA brand but the way we view commercial aviation.

The 160 page paperback title is published by Amberley Publishing which has a special pre-order offer (at the time of writing) of £13.79.

For an example of more recent work for BA, we suggest visiting the website of David Davis and Stuart Brandon who have worked on the most recent brand identity for the airline.

We have also taken a look of the evolution of BA’s television advertising in our look at BA’s most memorable TV advertisements.

ITV to go behind the scenes at London Heathrow

London Air Travel » Page 70

London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

The behind the scenes documentary shows no signs of running out of steam. We’ve lost count of the number of train companies, hotels and airlines that have opened themselves up to the cameras! ITV has now commissioned a three part documentary series on London Heathrow.

The documentary is being made by independent production company Raw TV. Production has been underway for some time, with the company actively seeking both frequent and nervous flyers late last year.

Of course, this is not the first time Heathrow has opened itself up to the cameras. The BBC ran “Airport Live” in 2013, as well as the long-running docusoap “Airport”.

We’ll provide an update with an expected transmission date as soon as we hear of it.

Update: Episode 1 of “Britain’s Busiest Airport” premiers on ITV at 9pm on Thursday 4 June 2015.  More from the ITV Press Centre.

BA Singapore lounge is closed for refurbishment

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Gwyneth Paltrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore
Gwyneth Paltrow at the Marina Bay Sands hotel Singapore (Image Credit: British Airways)

The BA lounge in Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport is currently closed for refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by late summer of this year.

In the interim, eligible passengers (eg those travelling in Club World business class, First Class, and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders) will be able to use the highly regarded Qantas Singapore lounge.

There was a time when BA and Qantas jointly operated a business and first class lounges in Singapore, but for reasons we do not know, the two airlines decided to move to separate lounges.

For completeness, we should add that, under Oneworld alliance lounge access rules, passengers eligible to use the BA lounge are also eligible to use the Qantas lounge in any event!

Finnair’s Airbus A350 aircraft is coming to Heathrow in October 2015

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Finnair Airbus A350 Business class cabin
Finnair Airbus A350 Business class cabin

When an airline introduces a new type of long-haul aircraft into its fleet, it is standard practice to undertake short-haul test flights. This is so pilots can undertake a sufficient number of take-offs and landings to fly the aircraft and cabin crew can become familiar with the layout of the cabins and galleys.

It is for this reason that Finnair will be bringing its brand new Airbus A350 to London Heathrow in October 2015 as part of a series of test flights across Europe.

The Airbus A350 is due to operate on the following flights between London Heathrow and Helsinki and flights can be booked now on Finnair’s website.

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Flight AY831 Helsinki – London Heathrow
Flight AY840 London Heathrow –Helsinki

Thursday 15 October 2015

Flight AY995 Helsinki – London Heathrow
Flight AY996 London Heathrow – Helsinki

Friday 16 October 2015

Flight AY995 Helsinki – London Heathrow
Flight AY996 London Heathrow – Helsinki

The aircraft features an entirely new cabin, including a business class cabin with aisle access for all seats. It is due to fly from Helsinki to Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok, Singapore and Hong Kong progressively from 25 October 2015.

We should sound a note of caution that schedules may change at short notice if there are teething issues. It is entirely within Finnair’s discretion to let passengers change flights if this happens, if the rules of your ticket do not allow any changes.

Heathrow proposes reduced charges for domestic flights

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

There was something of a surprise announcement that caught the media’s attention before the Easter break.

Heathrow airport announced that it proposes to reduce its charges to airlines for UK domestic flights by a third from £29.59 to £19.59 per passenger, with effect from 1 January 2017.

This follows the announcement ny Heathrow Airport last month of a route development fund to support up to nine new UK domestic routes.

The rationale for this is that the number of UK domestic destinations from London Heathrow has fallen substantially over the past 25 years and does not compare favourably to rival hubs such as Amsterdam. So Heathrow wishes to encourage many more UK domestic routes.

Will we see more UK domestic destinations from Heathrow?

Continue reading “Heathrow proposes reduced charges for domestic flights”

Virgin Atlantic Flash Easter Sale – Book by Tuesday 7 April 2015

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Virgin Atlantic aircraft at London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic has launched a flash Easter sale in all cabins and across its long-haul network for travel up to March 2016.

The sale has a very short window. Bookings must be made by Tuesday 7 April 2015.

Some cabins may not be on sale on some routes (Premium Economy to Dubai for instance). There are also excluded periods, such as the two weeks before Christmas 2015. A Saturday night stay is required and stop-overs are not permitted.

Also included in the sale are some routes from London Heathrow that are operated exclusively by Virgin’s transatlantic partner, Delta Air Lines, such as Minneapolis, Philidelphia and Seattle.

There are full details on the Virgin Atlantic website.

BA to close Gatwick First lounge at 3pm from Monday 13 April 2015

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

British Airways has announced that its First Class lounge at London Gatwick will close from 3pm each day from Monday 13 April 2015.

The lounge is one of two provided by BA at London Gatwick. The other being a Terraces lounge for Silver Executive Club cardholders and passengers travelling on flexible UK domestic tickets, and in Club Europe and Club World.

Patronage of the lounge has declined over a number of years. BA moved routes such as Dallas Fort Worth and Houston to London Heathrow many years ago. American Airlines withdrew from the airport after the 2008 Open Skies treaty removed restrictions on what routes BA and American could operate from London Heathrow.

Whilst the published rationale is that the last flight with a first class cabin departs from Gatwick shortly after 3pm (BA2233 to Bermuda) this moves seems driven by cost-cutting. Although it may not be the intention, coupled with other recent announcements such as removing seat selection on hand baggage only fares, this will be seen as part of a narrative of removing benefits from its frequent flyers.
Continue reading “BA to close Gatwick First lounge at 3pm from Monday 13 April 2015”

Delta moves Atlanta & Seattle to London Heathrow Terminal 4

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Delta at London Heathrow
Delta at London Heathrow (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

We’re not quite sure what has prompted this but the co-location of Delta and Virgin Atlantic flights in Terminal 3 has been partially reversed, with Delta’s daily flights to Atlanta and Seattle moved to London Heathrow Terminal 4.

As of today, 29 March 2015, the split of Delta operated flights at London Heathrow is:

London Heathrow Terminal 3

New York
Los Angeles

London Heathrow Terminal 4

Philadelphia (launches 8 April 2015)


Delta has since co-located all of its transatlantic flights with Virgin Atlantic in London Heathrow Terminal 3.

Virgin Atlantic begins closure of “Little Red” with suspension of Manchester

Virgin Atlantic’s has suspended its “Little Red” short-haul flights between London Heathrow and Manchester as of late March 2015. Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” will continue to fly between London Heathrow and Aberdeen and Edinburgh until Saturday 26 September 2015.

London Air Travel » Page 70

Airbus A320 aircraft in Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” livery

The winding down of Virgin Atlantic’s short-lived UK domestic operation “Little Red” has started with the London Heathrow – Manchester route now suspended, some two years after it first launched.

Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” operation will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh three and six times daily until Saturday 26 September 2015.

It’s also worth adding that holders of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can redeem their miles for Virgin Little Red flights from 7,500 miles. Flying Club members can also earn bonus miles on Little Red flights.

What will happen to the “Little Red” Heathrow slots?

Some of the slots used by Little Red were from Virgin Atlantic’s existing slot portfolio, so some will revert back to Virgin Atlantic.

Many of the slots (at least nine) were forfeited by British Airways as a consequence of the acquisition of bmi by its parent company, International Airlines Group.

The trustee appointed to oversee the release of slots has re-advertised the slots. The deadline for applications is 2 April 2015.

If there is no bidder, the slots will revert back to British Airways.

There are no obvious candidates for the slots. However, a potential candidate would be easyJet if it felt inclined to launch flights at Heathrow to support its increased targeting of the business market.

Flybe to suspend London City – Dublin from 31 May 2015

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

Flybe is to suspend its London City – Dublin route from 31 May 2015, a little over six months after Flybe opened a base at the airport.

Passengers have been offered either a refund or an alternative flight on Flybe. The London City – Dublin route is also served by CityJet and British Airways. The amount of capacity on the route is a likely factor behind Flybe’s decision.