Well, BA uses a different catering company, Do & Co, on New York JFK from all other long-haul routes.
This review is also conducted on one of a handful of transatlantic day flights from the US to London Heathrow. Whilst these flights do necessitate an early start and a short day is lost to flying, it is infinitely more pleasant and relaxed than a red eye.
There’s no rush to get the seat fully flat after take-off. Nor any need for the crew to have to navigate the sometimes visible tension between those passengers who want to maximise every moment for sleep and those who want to sit back and enjoy the service.
It should also be said this particular flight only operated out of sheer luck. On the day of this flight, this was the only BA flight to operate between New York and London. All other flights were cancelled due to severe weather on the US East Coast. Had this flight departed a mere one hour later it too could have been cancelled. Continue reading “BA Club World Catering: New York JFK – London Heathrow”
The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 GMT, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America.
London Air Travel
Hello and welcome to the The Atlantic Update for Wednesday 21 March 2018, providing a weekly bulletin on developments on transatlantic travel between Europe and North America. The Atlantic Update is published every Wednesday morning at 06:00 GMT.
US East Coast Severe Weather
This is like Groundhog Day.
The US East Coast is once again set to be beset by severe weather today, Wednesday 21 March.
At the time of writing, American Airlines and BA have cancelled all flights from all London airports to Newark and New York JFK. BA has also cancelled some flights to Boston and Philadelphia. BA has also retimed some flights to Philadelphia and Washington Dulles.
Virgin Atlantic and Delta have cancelled all flights from London Heathrow to Boston and Newark and almost all flights to New York JFK.
United has cancelled and retimed some flights from London Heathrow to Newark.
Our weekly bulletin on the latest developments in media and technology around the world, as published every Tuesday morning at 06:00 GMT.
London Air Travel
Hello and welcome to our weekly travel media and technology bulletin featuring the latest developments on media and technology around the world, published every Tuesday at 06:00 GMT.
Facebook in the dock
Make no doubt about it, Facebook is in serious trouble on both sides of the Atlantic.
This follows revelations that Cambridge Analytica is alleged to have mined data from some 50 million unwitting users of the platform. This was done via a Facebook app thisisyourdigitallife designed by an intermediary that posed psychological quizzes to users that chose to download it.
Facebook announced late on Friday evening (US East Coast time) that it had banned Cambridge Analytica from its platform. On Saturday, it became clear why. In the face of threats of litigation from Facebook, The Observer and The New York Times ran stories from a whistleblower detailing how the data was used.
This was followed by more revelations by Channel 4 News about Cambridge Analytica’s conduct, based on undercover filming.
The UK Information Commissioner has announced it is to seek a warrant to access Cambridge Analytica’s servers.
As ever, it’s Facebook handling of the dispute that has drawn the most ire. Notably the lack of public comment from senior Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg. The New York Times reports that a senior executive, chief information security officer, Alex Stamos, is to leave the company over internal disagreements over how it should respond to its role in spreading disinformation.
Credit should go to The Guardian’s Carole Cadwalladr for her dogged pursuit of this story for over a year. Over this time responses have ranged from “Move along. Nothing to see here.” to very personal abuse.
There are some parallels with work of Nick Davies at The Guardian in investigating phone hacking at the News Of The World. Robust denials, a woeful corporate response, and The Guardian having to give its own material to rival news outlets in order for the story to gain traction.
This story clearly has a long way to go. Whilst it perhaps premature to say this is the death-knell for the platform, it has proved that Facebook is certainly not invincible. And whatever the final outcome, it is clear that the days of Facebook, Google et al all having the commercial benefits of a mass media platform, with none of the legal and moral responsibilities that come with it, are over.
Welcome to our weekly Monday Briefing on the main developments in air travel in London and around the world, as published every Monday morning at 06:00 GMT.
London Air Travel
Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 19 March 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.
Summer Schedule Changes
This coming Sunday, 25 March 2018, marks the beginning of the summer travel season (though the weather clearly thinks otherwise!).
The big headline is of course the launch of the first non-stop scheduled passenger service between London and Australia.
At 05:10 on Sunday 25 March, if all goes to plan, flight QF9 will arrive at London Heathrow Terminal 3 having completed a 17 hour and 20 minute journey from Perth. After eight hours rest, the aircraft will make its way back to Australia for a 16 hour and 45 minute flight back to Perth.
Qantas has made on secret of the fact it wants to launch more non-stop services to Australia and is actively inviting Airbus and Boeing to generate aircraft capable of doing so. As well as the technical capability of aircraft, the future of non-stop services to Australia will fundamentally depend on whether passengers are willing to pay a premium for a non-stop service when there are countless one-stop options.
At the same time, Qantas will also replace London – Dubai – Sydney with London – Singapore – Sydney. Qantas will continue to codeshare with Emirates on flights to Australia via Dubai, but will cease flying its own aircraft via Dubai. Continue reading “Monday Briefing – 19 March 2018”
As the 10th anniversary of the EU-US Open Skies agreement approaches, we take a look back at how it has reshaped transatlantic travel.
London Air Travel
Some ten years ago, air travel between London and the United States was governed by an archaic treaty known as Bermuda II.
Signed in 1977 as successor to an agreement signed after the Second World War, it placed restrictions on who could operate flights between the UK and the US, and from where.
Flghts from London Heathrow to the US were restricted to two US airlines. These were American Airlines and United Airlines, who had acquired traffic rights from Trans World Airlines and Pan American World Airways respectively. What were then Continental, Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways were forced to fly from London Gatwick.
From the UK, only British Airways and, from 1991, Virgin Atlantic could fly to the US from London Heathrow. Not only that, certain routes could not operate from London Heathrow. So BA had to fly to Atlanta, Dallas Fort Worth and Houston from London Gatwick. bmi which, at the time, held approximately 15% of Heathrow’s slots sat in deep frustration at being unable to fulfil its ambitions to fly to the US from the airport.
Some 30 years later, with negotiations no longer between London and Washington, the EU negotiated an Open Skies agreement the US. It officially came into force on 30 March 2008. Heathrow was opened up to all US airlines. And EU airlines could fly to the US from any airport in the EU.
However, access of European airlines to the US market and US airline ownership rules were untouched. They were officially parked into Phase II and remain so today.
As Virgin Atlantic reports a loss for 2017, we take a look at the competitive challenges facing the airline.
London Air Travel
Virgin Atlantic has reported a financial loss for 2017.
Bloomberg reports that the airline lost £28.4m before exceptional items.
This compares to a profit of £23m for 2016. This is Virgin Atlantic’s first loss after three consecutive years of profit. Passenger numbers fell by 100,000 to 5.3m.
Virgin has cited numerous causes for its loss
These are: The fall in the value of the pound following the 2016 EU Referendum result; disruption to flights to Florida and The Caribbean due to Hurricane Irma; and engine maintenance to its Boeing 787-9 fleet which has necessitated leasing in aircraft from other airlines.
These are made with some justification. Virgin is a “dollar short” company. It has more expenses than revenue in dollars which means it is exposed to a fall in the pound. One reason why BA’s parent IAG bought Aer Lingus is because it is a “dollar long” company.
Ever since British Airways introduced Buy On Board catering on its short-haul economy cabins at Gatwick and Heathrow in 2017, its CEO Alex Cruz has been adamant that it was only a matter of time before its major European network rivals followed suit.
To date, neither Lufthansa, nor Air France and KLM have done so. They have instead preferred to grow low cost brands such as Eurowings and Joon. In London, Eurowings has long taken over all Lufthansa flights to Germany, outside of its hubs in Frankfurt and Munich.