London City Airport Launches Public Consultation

London City Airport has launched a consultation on plans to extend the airport’s operating hours, including all day on Saturdays.

London Air Travel

Aerial view of runway and taxiways of London City Airport.
London City Airport (Image Credit: London City Airport)

London City Airport has launched a consultation on plans to extend its operating hours, including all day on Saturdays.

The airport, which first opened in 1987, has long been a popular choice for passengers seeking to avoid the crowds of Gatwick and Heathrow.

Due to the airport’s location in London’s Royal Docks, it has a number of operating restrictions to limit noise for local residents and those who live under its flight paths.

These include:

  • Only 6 aircraft movements are allowed in the first half hour of operations, 2 between 06:30 and 06:45 and 4 between 06:45 and 06:59
  • A maximum of 400 aircraft movements a year for delayed flights are allowed between 22:00 and 22:30 Sunday – Friday and 12:30 and 13:00 on Saturday
  • An 8 hour night time curfew on all flights between 22:30 and 06:30
  • A 24 hour weekend closure between 12:30 on Saturday and 12:30 on Sunday
  • Limits on the number of flights at weekends and on public holidays
  • A maximum limit of 6.5 million passengers and 111,000 aircraft movements a year
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British Airways’ Parent Orders More Airbus Short Haul Aircraft

BA’s parent company International Airlines Group has ordered more Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

London Air Travel

Picture of British Airbus A320neo aircraft, G-TTNA, in flight.
British Airways Airbus A320neo aircraft, G-TTNA (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways’ parent company International Airlines Group has ordered more Airbus A320neo family aircraft.

IAG has today, Thursday 30 June 2022, converted options from a previous order into a firm order for 11 Airbus A320neo and 3 Airbus A321neo aircraft.

This is on top of an order in March this year for 6 Airbus A320neo & 2 Airbus A321neo aircraft.

These 22 aircraft will be delivered in 2024 and 2025. IAG has not stated which airlines in the group will receive them. They will be used to replace existing Airbus A320 family aircraft.

As with existing new Airbus A320 family aircraft the configuration will be standardised to enable aircraft to be moved around the group.

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American Airlines Moves Heathrow Flights To Terminal 3

AA flights to Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and New York JFK will move back to Terminal 3 from Tuesday 12 July 2022.

London Air Travel

American Airlines Cargo Operations, London Heathrow Airport
American Airlines, London Heathrow Airport (Image Credit: Heathrow)

The short notice rearranging of Oneworld alliance airline flights at London Heathrow continues.

To recap, BA is consolidating all long haul and most short haul flights at Terminal 5 from Tuesday 12 July, leaving a small number of routes at Terminal 3. To accommodate this, Iberia will move back to Terminal 3.

The final piece of the jigsaw is complete. American Airlines will also consolidate all London flights at Terminal 3.

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Iberia Moves All Heathrow Flights To Terminal 3

Iberia will transfer all flights from London Heathrow to Madrid from Terminal 5 to 3 from 12 July 2022.

London Air Travel

Iberia Airbus A350-900 Aircraft “Paco De Lucia” (Image Credit: Iberia)

Iberia will move all flights between London Heathrow and Madrid from Terminal 5 to 3 from Tuesday 12 July 2022.

This follows the move of a large number of British Airways routes from Terminal 3 to 5 on the same date.

Iberia has operated from Terminal 5 for over ten years following its merger with BA. This was intended to facilitate connections to BA’s long haul network and have all BA & Iberia flights to Madrid in one terminal.

It’s not clear if this is temporary to make space to allow BA to have as many flights at Terminal 5 over the summer or a permanent move. Iberia flights are showing as staying at Terminal 3 during the winter season.

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British Airways Heathrow Terminal Changes

British Airways has moved a number of routes back from Heathrow Terminal 3 to 5 from Tuesday 12 July.

London Air Travel

London Heathrow Terminal 5 Check-In Concourse
London Heathrow Terminal 5 Check-In Concourse (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has moved a number of short & long haul routes back from London Heathrow Terminal 3 to 5.

The changes have been applied today, Tuesday 28 June, with effect from Tuesday 12 July 2022.

The airline had made a number of route moves between Terminals 3 & 5 at the start of the summer season in March. Many of these have now been reversed.

It is quite unusual for BA to move routes during the middle of the season and at short notice. This is possibly due to congestion at Terminal 3 and schedule cuts which enable more routes to be accommodated at Terminal 5.

To accommodate the move American Airlines and Iberia will move back to Terminal 3 on the same date.

Note that the Heathrow airport website has not yet been updated with these changes.

Readers can keep up to date with the latest moves with a dedicated guide to BA at Terminal 3.

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Heathrow Forced To Cut Passenger Charges

The Civil Aviation Authority has proposed that Heathrow airport must cut it passenger charges by 2026.

London Air Travel

London Heathrow Terminal 5A, May 2020
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

The cost of flying from Heathrow is set to fall as the Civil Aviation Authority is to force the airport to cut passenger charges.

The CAA has set out its proposals on Heathrow’s passenger charges for its next five year control period from January 2022 to December 2026, known as H7.

The last control period expired on 31 December 2021. Late last year, the CAA allowed an interim increase of Heathrow’s maximum passenger charge from £19.36 to £30.19. This was a substantially larger increase than any other major European airport.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 27 June 2022

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

London Air Travel

British Airways aircraft on the ground at London Heathrow Airport.
British Airways Aircraft At Sunset, London Heathrow

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 27 June 2022.

The Summer Of Discontent

It was not long that ago summers at London Heathrow were known for strike action.

Back in 2003, the start of the school holiday summer getaway was thrown into chaos when BA ground staff staged wildcat industrial action. This was ostensibly over plans to introduce electronic swipe cards to clock on & off duty.

A year later, the airline had to issue a grovelling apology for short notice cancellations ahead of the August bank holiday weekend due to unexpectedly high levels of staff sickness.

And then in August 2005, BA ground staff walked out in support of workers sacked by its catering supplier Gate Gourmet.

After a period of relative stability, the prospect of summer strike action has reared its head again. Both GMB & Unite have secured strike mandates from BA ground staff over pay.

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British Airways Heathrow Staff Vote For Strike Action

BA ground staff at London Heathrow represented by GMB & Unite have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay.

London Air Travel

British Airways Coat Of Arms
British Airways Coat Of Arms (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways staff at London Heathrow represented by the GMB & Unite unions have voted in favour of strike action.

Around 700 GMB staff were balloted. They voted 95% in favour of strike action. The turnout was 81%.

A similar ballot of around 500 BA staff at Heathrow represented by the Unite union voted 94.7% in favour of strike action.

The dispute with BA is over pay. The unions claim that a 10% pay cut imposed on ground staff by the airline during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been reinstated. Check-in staff also not received a 10% bonus given to other BA staff.

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Virgin Atlantic Gains Heathrow Slots For Tampa, Florida

Virgin Atlantic has secured slots at London Heathrow for a new route to Tampa this winter.

London Air Travel

Tampa Cityscape
Tampa Cityscape (Image Credit: Visit Tampa Bay)

Airport Coordination Ltd, the body responsible for allocating slots at London airports, has published its first reports for the coming winter season.

Before going any further, these come with a number of health warnings:

  • They are not final, but do indicate which airlines want slots at Heathrow and for which routes.
  • Airlines may be allocated slots, but do not take them up. This can be for commercial reasons, or the slot timings are not suitable.
  • Airlines will make a number of route changes that do not feature in these reports.

All that said, here are some headlines:

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Airlines Given More Flexibility To Cancel Summer Flights

Airlines at UK airports will be given a waiver to cancel fights in advance without risk of forfeiting slots.

London Air Travel

London Heathrow Terminal 5A, May 2020
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Airlines flying from London’s airports have been given more flexibility to cancel flights due to staff shortages this summer.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic airlines were granted a waiver of “use it or lose it” airport slot rules. To benefit from the waiver airlines had to temporarily “hand back” any slots they don’t intend to use.

This summer season was meant to see the end of slot waivers.

Amid lobbying from some airports and airlines, there had been pressure to restore normal slot usage rules. This was to prevent airlines from hoarding slots and allow new entrants to secure new slots.

This summer airlines are required to use their slots for 70% of the season to avoid forfeiting them. There are special dispensations should new travel restrictions emerge.

As has been widely publicised, this summer has not turned out as planned. Many airlines have been forced to cut schedules due to staff shortages. Some, notably easyJet, have been criticised for short notice cancellations.

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