Ebola: BA suspends Freetown and Monrovia

London Air Travel

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

As has been widely reported in the UK media, British Airways has suspended its flights from London Heathrow to Freetown and Monrovia from Wednesday 6 August until Sunday 31 August 2014 at the earliest, following an outbreak on Ebola in the region.

BA has provided details of rebooking and cancellation options for affected passengers.

Passengers are entitled to a full refund or to rebook their flights at a later date.

Alternatively, passengers can travel between London Heathrow and alternative BA destinations in Africa. These are Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana and Nairobi in Kenya. Any additional consequential costs must be met by passengers.

Update: Flights are now cancelled until 31 March 2015. BA is no longer allowing reroutings to Lagos, Abuja, nor Nairobi. Passengers booked to travel up to 31 December 2014 also have the option of an alternative routing to Freetown or Monrovia via Brussels on SN Brussels airlines.

Update: This route has since been suspended permanently

A tale of two routes: Heathrow to Austin, Texas & Chengdu, China

London Air Travel

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

The owners of Heathrow and Gatwick are currently campaigning for their respective airports to gain an additional runway (a third runway in the case of Heathrow and a second runway in the case of Gatwick) as part of The Airports Commission’s appraisal of the options for additional runway capacity in the South East of England.

The nub of Gatwick’s campaign under the banner “Gatwick Obviously” is that, as well as being able to secure a new runway at much less cost, additional capacity at Gatwick is essential to provide effective competition between Gatwick and Heathrow.

Key to Heathrow’s campaign for a third runway is that additional capacity is essential to secure links between the UK and international growth markets in Asia and elsewhere.

Continue reading “A tale of two routes: Heathrow to Austin, Texas & Chengdu, China”

BA to show “Soccer AM” & Premier League highlights

London Air Travel

BA World Traveller Cabin, Boeing 777-300 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways to show Sky Sports’ popular weekly Soccer AM on some of its long-haul flights from 19 August 2014.

The airline will also show weekly highlights of Premier League games from the 2014/2015 season of the Barclays Premier League.

Furthermore, from September, the airline will also show Red Bull’s archives of sport programming ranging from freestyle moto-cross and mountain biking, to surfing and underground cave explorations.

BA say the above programming will be on “some” long-haul flights. We infer this is likely to mean Airbus A380, Boeing 787, Boeing 777-300 and some Boeing 777 aircraft which have the airline’s more advanced Thales in-flight entertainment system.

BA moves to São Paulo Guarulhos Terminal 3 on Thursday 7 August 2014

London Air Travel

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways will move its daily flights from London Heathrow to São Paulo Guarulhos airport from Terminal 1 to the new Guarulhos Terminal 3 from Thursday 7 August 2014.

BA currently flies daily to São Paulo and will increase its flights to ten weekly from early September.

BA will share the terminal with its IAG sibling Iberia. Eligible passengers will be able to use a third party VIP lounge until a dedicated Oneworld lounge opens.

On a related note, we are expecting BA to announce a codeshare relationship with its relatively new alliance partner TAM airlines, but nothing has been forthcoming.

Aurigny Air Services launches London City – Guernsey

London Air Travel

Aurigny Air Services launches a direct flight from London City airport to Guernsey from Monday 8 September 2014.

The service will operate five times weekly, with flights departing London City to Guernsey every weekday at 09:15 and flights returning from Guernsey at 15:10.

The flight will initially be operated by a wet leased Fokker 50 aircraft until the airline secures appropriate aircraft for the route.

Aurigny Air Services also flies several times a day to London Gatwick and daily to London Stansted. Blue Islands also flies from London City to Guernsey via Jersey.

Update: This route has since been suspended.

London Heathrow – Tripoli cancelled indefinitely

London Air Travel

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

The Foreign Office is currently advising against all travel to Libya and encourages Britons in the country to leave.

This is in response to a high threat to foreign nationals from terrorist incidents such as kidnappings. BBC News is currently reporting on a fire at a fuel storage facility in Tripoli.

In response to the Foreign Office advice, British Airways has cancelled its daily flight to Tripoli until Tuesday 5 August 2014 at the earliest indefinitely.

Passengers booked to travel to Tripoli are offered a refund or travel to alternative gateway within 300 mile radius of Tripoli, or Cairo.

Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Initial seat plans published

London Air Travel

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic is readying for the launch of its inaugural Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight from London Heathrow to Boston on 28 October 2014.

Embed from Getty Images

Sir Richard Branson pictured in a mock-up of the Boeing 787, some seven years ago.

The airline has published a microsite detailing its plans.

Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner: Initial seat plans published”

Middle East Conflict: Rebooking options for Tel Aviv flights

London Air Travel

Following recent events in the Middle East, both US and a large number of European airlines had suspended flights to Tel Aviv on the basis of advice from regulators in the US and Europe.

The Federal Aviation Administration in the US and the European Aviation Safety Agency have subsequently changed their guidance.

British Airways continues to fly to Tel Aviv twice daily from London Heathrow. easyJet has resumed flights from London Luton and London Gatwick to Tel Aviv.

BA is allowing passengers booked to fly to Tel Aviv up to 25 July 2014 to rebook on any flight up to 7 August 2014. No refunds are available.

easyJet was also offering passengers the opportunity to rebook that but this seems to have been withdrawn.

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.