Here are some small items of news we’ve gleaned so far, principally concerning London Heathrow
As expected, BA will move out of Terminal 1 in 2015 and consolidate its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.
Work will also be underway to improve the experience for connecting passengers at Terminal 3.
All departures from Terminal 3 are now from boarding gates with coaching from remote stands eliminated.
Automatic check-in is to be introduced for domestic flights (this was trialled on some short haul routes some time ago).
Self baggage tagging at check-in and automated boarding gates are also to be introduced.
There is likely to be limited growth in BA’s long-haul network in 2015, beyond what new routes have bed announced, namely Kuala Lumpur.
The Boeing 767 is to be retired from BA’s long-haul fleet by 2016, to be replaced by the Boeing 787. A small number of Boeing 767s will operate in a short-haul configuration until 2018. This will then leave all short haul flights operated with Airbus A319/320/321 aircraft.
BA referred to its Oneworld alliance partner Qatar Airways and a potential codeshare partner in China providing growth opportunities. However, it has to be said these have been mooted for some time.
The presentation also included a section on Avios which is the currency used by the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus frequent flyer programme. It is also the name of a travel regards programme in its own right, formerly known as Airmiles. This is likely to be a growth area in the coming years with more potential airlines joining the programme, in addition to Meridiana Fly and FlyBe.
We’ll update this page further with any more points of interest from the presentations and Q&A session.
British Airways has today announced it is to launch a twice daily service from London Heathrow to Bilbao in the Basque region of Northern Spain.
Bilbao is currently served from London Heathrow by BA’s IAG sibling Vueling. It will move its four weekly flights to London Gatwick.
Flights launch on Sunday 29 March 2015.
BA’s flights will initially operate from Heathrow Terminal 1 and will move to Terminal 3 on Tuesday 30 June 2015.
London Heathrow – Bilbao
Flight BA466 Depart London Heathrow 09:20 – Arrive Bilbao 12:20
Flight BA468 Depart London Heathrow 16:05 – Arrive Bilbao 19:05
Flight BA467 Depart Bilbao 13:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 14:00
Flight BA469 Depart Bilbao 19:40 – Arrive London Heathrow 20:35
Whilst a popular leisure destination in its own right (Bilbao is of course home to a Guggenheim museum) we understand the service has been operated to attract corporate clients in the area to BA’s London network and cargo traffic from the port of Bilbao.
British Airways is to suspend its thrice-daily service from London Heathrow to Rotterdam from 28 March 2015.
BA has served Rotterdam since late 2012 and was one of three new short-haul routes announced shortly after BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, bought bmi. The other two routes were Leeds-Bradford and Zagreb.
BA has since launched a service between London City and Rotterdam and will continue to operate this route.
It’s a reasonable assumption that an unsatisfactory commercial performance is a reason for the suspension of the route. According to Civil Aviation Authority statistics, just over 8,000 passengers flew in both directions between London Heathrow and Rotterdam in September 2014, a fall of nearly 30% year on year. August’s numbers show a similar trend.
Affected passengers have the option of being rerouted on either a London Heathrow – Amsterdam flight or London City – Rotterdam flight.
Virgin Atlantic has commenced Boeing 787 passenger flights today (Tuesday 28 October 2014) with its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Boston.
Flight VS11 departed London Heathrow for Boston Logan International Airport shortly after its scheduled departure time of 17:35. Virgin also operated a test flight from London Gatwick to Atlanta on Friday 24 October, which is pictured below.
Whilst today marks the official launch of passenger flights for the Boeing 787, according to Airline Route the 787 will not operate from 31 October to 14 November to allow for crew familiarisation flights.
The replacement of quad-engine Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s at London Heathrow with the twin-engine Boeing 787 is cited as a significant step in restoring Virgin Atlantic to profitability, together with its nascent transatlantic joint-venture with Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic originally ordered 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with options for 8 aircraft and purchase rights for a further 20 aircraft.
It’s not often you hear of first class being added to BA’s London Heathrow routes. Indeed, it wasn’t long ago BA announced it was withdrawing first class from Cape Town, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Vancouver from later this month.
However, BA will be upgrading its single daily flight to Denver, Colorado (BA 219 and BA 218 return) from a three class Boeing 777 to a four class Boeing 747 from Sunday 29 March 2015.
This means that BA’s first class cabin will be available on this route and travellers in Club World business class will have the option of the popular 20 seat cabin in the “bubble” of the 747.
We’re not quite sure what has prompted this decision, other than that BA is the sole operator of the London Heathrow – Denver route and transatlantic traffic is buoyant at the moment.
Virgin Atlantic has announced the closure of “Little Red” short-haul flights from London Heathrow. Flights to Manchester will cease on Saturday 28 March 2015 and flights to Aberdeen and Edinburgh will cease on Saturday 26 September 2015.
British Airways completed its inaugural Airbus A380 flight from London Heathrow to Washington today, 2 October 2014, as flight BA217 arrived in Washington Dulles airport early this afternoon.
The launch of A380 services also coincides with the opening of a new “Galleries” lounge for business and first class passengers in Washington.
The lounge features a private dining area for First Class customers, pre-flight dining for Club World passengers, a bar with views of the airfield and shower suites.
Washington is the 2nd US city to be served by BA’s A380. San Francisco will be the next US city. BA also flies the A380 to Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Johannesburg. The A380 will also fly to Singapore from the end of October 2014.