British Airways takes London Heathrow – Abuja route off sale from Wednesday 8 March to Tuesday 18 April 2017

British Airways has suspended sales of flights on its London Heathrow – Abuja route from Wednesday 8 March to Tuesday 18 April 2017.

The reason for this is that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is to close for essential repairs to its runway which is reported to have pot holes.

The airline has yet to announce how passengers already booked to fly to Abuja during the closure will be accommodated. One option is to allow passengers to change the dates of flights to outside the closure period, or to allow passengers to fly to another destination in Africa (but any onward transport would be at the passenger’s own expense).

According to press reports, the Nigerian Government has instructed airlines to operate flights to an alternative airport in Kaduna (some 200km north of Abuja) with onward road transport provided to Abuja. However, airlines will need to be satisfied that security arrangements for their passengers and crews are sufficiently robust.

There’s more detail on the background to the closure of the runway in this article from the Financial Times (subscription required).

The affected BA flight numbers are BA083 and BA082.

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British Airways suspends London City – Alicante & Madrid flights

BA CityFlyer Embraer at London City Airport

BA CityFlyer Embraer at London City Airport

British Airways is to suspend its twice daily London City – Madrid route permanently from Sunday 29 January 2017. The airline is to also not proceed with its planned seasonal London City – Alicante service this summer. This was planned to operate from Monday 26 June to Monday 4 September 2017.

No specific reasons have been given for the cancellation. However, it’s a reasonable assumption that poor commercial performance is the cause. BA has yet to announce which routes will operate in their replacement.

Affected passengers have the option of a refund or being accommodated on alternative BA flights to Madrid from London Heathrow (served by some 13 return flights a day) or Alicante from London Gatwick respectively (which operates up to twice daily at various times).

If you have not already been contacted you should contact either BA or your traval agent.

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British Airways publishes cabin crew strike schedules for Thursday 19 January, Friday 20 January, and Saturday 21 January

British Airways has today updated its schedules to account for its contingency plans following planned industrial action by “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow on Thursday 19 January, Friday 20 January and Saturday 21 January.

All flights from London City, London Gatwick and London Stansted will operate as normal.

All long-haul flights from London Heathrow are scheduled to operate as normal.

BA has cancelled a select number of short-haul flights. BA claims these cancellations represent 1% of its planned schedule. In the event that your flight is cancelled you should be offered an alternative flight on the same route, a rebooking to an alternative destination nearby, or a refund.

In the event the strike is called off (this is probably unlikely as no talks are currently underway) you should not be required to reinstate your original booking if you are rebooked on an alternative flight.

From a PR perspective BA is at pains to emphasise that the strike is having very limited disruption. Therefore, it has not published a list of cancelled flights. You can check whether your flight is cancelled by checking the Manage By Booking.

We have scanned BA’s schedules and we have identified the following cancellations so far. Please note this is not intended to be a definitive list and this may be subject to change. You should always check you booking directly at ba.com before finalising your travel plans.

Cancelled Flights – Thursday 19 January
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Unite calls for further strike action by British Airways London Heathrow cabin crew on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2017

Unite, the Union which represents BA’s “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow has called further industrial action for 72 hours on Thursday 19, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 January 2016. This follows industrial action on Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 January 2017.

BA will update its schedules for the days affected by the disruption on Monday 16 January and affected passengers should be notified by the airline.

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International Airlines Group selects four tech start-ups to join its “Hanger 51” innovation accelerator

International Airlines Group (“IAG”), the parent company of British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, has announced the names of four tech start-ups that will work with the group to develop new technology solutions for airlines and passengers.

This is all part of IAG’s tech accelerator Hangar 51 which it has developed with L Marks.

IAG received some 450 applications. 26 applicants were invited to attend a pitch day (video above) and the following four tech start-ups were selected:
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British Airways introduces Marks & Spencer “Buy On Board” catering from Wednesday 11 January

This Wednesday, 11 January 2017, marks a significant change to BA’s UK Domestic & EuroTraveller European short-haul flights to and from London Gatwick to London Heathrow.

The current offer of complimentary food and drink will be replaced by Buy-On-Board food and drink from Marks & Spencer. You can view the food menu and the drinks menu on the BA website.

Key points to note are:

  • Payment will only be accepted by credit card or Avios from your British Airways Executive Club account
  • Cash will not be accepted
  • To pay with Avios you will need to have the latest version of the BA app on your smartphone (it will show a barcode on the “My Account” screen of the app)

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Unite calls for strike action by British Airways London Heathrow cabin crew on 10 & 11 January 2017

Unite, the Union which represents BA’s “Mixed Fleet” cabin crew at London Heathrow has called industrial action for 48 hours on Tuesday 10 & Wednesday 11 January 2017.

Update Friday 6 January: BA has now updated its schedules for the days affected by the disruption.  Some flights from London Heathrow will be merged and you should check the guidance on ba.com and your flight details on the Manage My Booking tool to check if your flight is affected. 

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