Disruption due to strike by Air Traffic Controllers in Italy on Monday 20 March 2017

Air Traffic Controllers in Italy are due to take industrial action over a period of four hours from 12:00 to 16:00 GMT on Monday 20 March 2017.

This is likely to cause disruption with delays and cancellations.  As a consequence the following airlines have issued guidance for affected passengers.

It is also understand the certain unions represent airport workers are also taking industrial action on Monday. As such, there may be disruption to some airport ground services.

Please note that this page does not provide live flight information so any cancellations listed are proactive cancellations made in advance, and do not necessarily include any delays/cancellations made on the day.

You can check live flight information on the websites of Gatwick, Heathrow and London City airports.
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International Airlines Group to launch new low cost long-haul airline “Level”


After months of speculation, International Airlines Group (“IAG”) which is the parent company of Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling, has today confirmed is to launch a new low cost long-haul airline.

The airline is called “Level”.  This is the first new airline launched by IAG in its six year history.

The airline will initially be based in Barcelona.  It will launch on 1 June 2017 and its inaugural route will be Barcelona – Los Angeles which operate twice weekly.

Routes from Barcelona to Oakland California (three times weekly) will follow on 2 June 2017.  Barcelona – Punta Cana (twice weeky) on 10 June 2017.  Barcelona – Buenos Aires on 17 June 2017 (three times weekly).

The airline will intially operate with two brand new Airbus A330-200 aircraft with 239 seats in economy in a 2-4-2 configuration and 21 seats across three rows in premium economy in a 2-3-2 configuration.

In economy a seat pitch of 30″ will be offered with a 9″ personal entertainment screen.  Checked baggage, extra leg room seats and hot meals can be purchased in advance.  Food and drink, duty free goods, in flight comfort amenities such as blankets and pillows can be purchased on board.

In premium economy, a seat pitch of 37″ will be offered with a 12″ personal entertainment screen and noise-cancelling headphones.

Checked luggage (in addition to a free cabin bag), hot meals drinks and snacks, priority boarding, and in flight entertainment will be complimentary for customers flying in premium economy.

High speed internet connectivity will also be available for a charge for all passengers.

The availability of refunds and flight changes and seat selection will depend on the type of fare purchase in both cabins.

IAG promises one way fares economy from €99 and one way premium economy fares from €599.

Direct flights are on sale now at Flylevel.com

Connections will be available from Vueling’s short-haul network at Barcelona which, of course, operates from London Gatwick and Heathrow and a number of UK regional airports.  However, flights with connections need to be booked via Iberia.com

Members of the Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn Avios on all flights operated by Level.

The launch of Level is a clear competitive response by IAG to Norwegian which is launching new routes from a number of IAG markets in Europe.  We have already seen a number of moves such as the launch by BA of routes from Gatwick to New York JFK, Fort Lauderdale and Oakland.  BA is also planning to “densify” (that’s add more seats) some of its Boeing 777s to compete against Norwegian. We are likely to see further moves such as the launch of “unbundled” long-haul economy fares by Aer Lingus and BA.

As IAG have adopted a trans-national brand name, the airline will no doubt explore more routes from other European cities where connections from Vueling are available, such as Rome and Paris.  Looking at the branding and marketing materials, IAG is actively pitching this airline at a younger market than many of its existing airlines.  It will of course be interesting to see how this develops and whether it launches any routes from the UK.

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London Flight Cancellations due to severe East Coast USA “Storm Stella” weather on Tuesday 14 March

“Storm Stella” is expected to cause very severe disruption across the East Coast of the United States on Tuesday 14 March 2017.

As a consequence, a large number of transatlantic flights from London’s airports are cancelled on Tuesday 14 March.  Flights to New York, Boston and Philadelphia are most affected with widespread cancellations.  There are delays and cancellations to Baltimore and Washington as well.

Airlines have also implemented flexible rebooking policies for those who are due to travel to the East Coast of the USA this week.

If your flight is cancelled you should be entitled to a full refund or a rebooking to an alternative date.

Here is the latest information from airlines operating transatlantic flights from London on Tuesday 14 March.

As at 23:00 GMT Tuesday 14 March, transatlantic operations from London’s airports should return to normal on Wednesday 15 March.

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CityJet suspends London City – Rotterdam route from 1 May 2017

CityJet is to reduce further its presence at London City airport with the suspension of its route to Rotterdam from 1 May 2017.

The route, which operated up to four times daily and was codeshared with Air France and KLM is suspended from Monday 1 May 2017.  The last flights will operate on Sunday 30 April 2017.

This follows a number of London City route suspensions by CityJet which include Nantes and Paris Orly from Sunday 27 March 2017.

CityJet will continue to fly to Amsterdam, Antwerp, Dublin, and Florence year round. It will also fly on a summer seasonal basis to Avignon (from 19 May 2017 to 8 September 2017) and Toulon (from 8 April 2017 to 26 October 2017).

British Airways will continue to fly from London City to Rotterdam up to five times daily on weekdays.

Affected passengers should contact either CityJet or their travel agent.

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Expected disruption due to strikes by Air Traffic Control in France from Monday 6 March to Friday 10 March 2017

Air Traffic Controllers in certain regions of France are due to take industrial action at various times between Monday 6 March to Friday 10 March 2017.

The French Civil Aviation Authority has asked airlines to reduce their schedules accordingly.

This will cause delays and cancellations to flights to and from the UK that pass through French airspace, principally flights to and from France, Spain and North Africa.

Airlines are likely to minimise the impact of the strike by circumventing French airspace where possible.

The following airlines have issued guidance on rebooking options for passengers.

Please note that this page does not provide live flight information so any cancellations listed are proactive cancellations made in advance, and do not necessarily include any delays/cancellations made on the day.

You can check live flight information on the websites of Gatwick, Heathrow and London City airports.
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British Airways flight schedules during planned cabin crew industrial action from Friday 3 March to Thursday 9 March 2017

British Airways “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow plan to take industrial action over seven consecutive days from Friday 3 March to Thursday 9 March 2017.

BA has reviewed its schedules for all seven days of industrial action and has confirmed that:

  • All flights from London City, London Gatwick and London Stansted will operate as normal.
  • The majority of flights from London Heathrow will operate as normal with some flights merged and short-haul flights most at risk of cancellation.
  • However, there will also be a very large number of additional cancellations to short-haul services from London Heathrow to France, Spain and surrounding regions due to industrial action by Air Traffic Controllers in France

BA has not and will not publish a list of cancelled flights as it evidently keen to play down the impact of the industrial action.

Cancelled flights due to industrial action include the following (but this is not intended to be a complete list and does not include cancellations caused by strike action by Air Traffic Controllers in France):
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British Airways is now selling its “Club Europe” business class on UK domestic routes for flights departing from Friday 31 March 2017

British Airways Club Europe Cabin

British Airways Club Europe Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to introduce its “Club Europe” business class cabin on all of its UK domestic routes from Friday 31 March 2017.

Currently, all UK domestic routes operate with a single class configuration on board. From Friday 31 March 2017, all UK domestic flights will operate in a two class, Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy configuration.

(Note, BA’s official guidance says that Club Europe launches on Saturday 1 April, but ba.com is showing it as available from Friday 31 March.)

This means passengers in Club Europe will benefit from seating in 2-2, rather than 3-3 configuration on all Airbus aircraft from London Gatwick and Heathrow as well as complimentary food & drink (though this is likely to be limited given the relatively short flying times).
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