Monday Briefing: 8 January 2018

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Hello and welcome to our first Monday Briefing of 2018 summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.

US East Coast Weather

It has been utterly terrible few days on the East Coast of the United States with New York JFK bearing the brunt of delays and cancellations due to severe weather.

Both New York JFK and La Guardia airports were temporarily closed due to the severity of snow and ice. At New York JFK there have been very substantial delays to arrivals and departures due to frozen ground equipment and a lack of gates. (New York Times) Delta has cancelled in excess of 1,000 flights over the past week due to severe weather.

To top it all, on Sunday afternoon Eastern Time, a water main break at New York JFK Terminal 4 (home of Delta and Virgin Atlantic) caused the suspension of international flight arrivals (ABC7 New York) .

For the latest official updates on New York JFK see the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

BA’s Gatwick Expansion

We have started to see the first signs of BA’s expansion at London Gatwick following the acquisition of Monarch’s portfolio of slots, which amount to around an extra 150 flights a week.

Unsurprisingly, BA has added frequencies to existing routes and added flights to airports served by BA from other London airports. BA has also drafted in the services of Germania and Titan Airways to help keep its schedule in operation. Full details here.

The additional flights don’t yet account for even half of the extra slots. It is unlikely that it won’t be until Summer 2019 until we see the long term impact on BA’s network at Gatwick, particularly in the case of long-haul expansion.

Also at Gatwick this year, we expect to see BA’s “densified” Boeing 777s enter operation this year.

BA Club World

Rumours abound in the past week about BA’s new Club World seat.

Will be it a bespoke in-house design? Will it be an “off the shelf” seat? Will it be a variation of the existing yin-yang layout or a radical departure? Have we already seen the seat on other airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways? Who knows? The final design probably hasn’t been signed off yet. Those who will see the seat before it is made public (eg BA staff and a very select group of frequent flyers) will be bound by a Non Disclosure Agreement.

BA New York JFK First Lounge Closure

BA has closed its First Lounge at New York JFK for refurbishment until the summer of this year.

BA Gold Cardholders are invited to use the Galleries Club lounge in the interim. Passengers travelling in First Class can continue to use the Concorde Room as per normal arrangements.

Also published in the last week:

2017 – The Year In Air Travel In Review.

London’s new routes for 2018.

What to expect from BA in 2018.

What are BA’s plans to replace and refurbish its fleet?

Some stories you may have missed in the busy weeks around Christmas:

Emirates is to add a daily flight from London Stansted to Dubai from 8 June 2018. (Emirates)

International Airlines Group is to acquire certain assets of Austrian airline Niki which will be operated by a dedicated subsidiary of Vueling. (London Air Travel)

TAP Portugal is to add a six weekly flight from London City to Porto. (TAP Portugal)

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