Monday Briefing – 12 February 2018

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.

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Lufthansa's New Livery (Image Credit: Lufthansa)
Lufthansa’s New Livery (Image Credit: Lufthansa)

Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 12 February 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.

London City Airport Closed

London City Airport is advising that, as at 00:00 GMT Monday 12 February, it is closed following the discovery of World War Two ordnance in King George V Dock which has resulted in the set up of an exclusion zone.

Lufthansa’s New Livery

Lufthansa officially unveiled its news livery last week.

Of course, its carefully choreographed tour of airports in Germany was upstaged by a leak of the new livery online. In comes a new shade of blue, a new corporate typeface and livery. The yellow has been removed from the tailfin and will be toned down across the airline.

At the moment, there is just one Boeing 747-8 (with flew to New York JFK on Friday) and Airbus A321 in the new livery.

Staff uniforms will be updated in April 2018. Frankfurt and Munich airports will be updated by December 2019. In-flight tableware and amenities will be updated between August 2018 and 2020. The actual rebranding of aircraft liveries will not be fully complete until March 2025.

The introduction of the new livery will be supported by a new brand advertising campaign. There’s more to explore on a dedicated Lufthansa microsite.

BA Magic

As it is Valentines Day this week, BA has released another BA Magic video

The release of a video is not surprising but what is noteworthy is ever more ambitious production values that move closer towards broadcast standards.

Singapore Airlines Documentary

Channel 4 (UK) takes a look at the design of Singapore Airlines’ latest first class cabin in “The World’s Most Luxurious Airline” which premiers tonight at 21:00.

The documentary is produced by Lion TV.

Norwegian launches Buenos Aires

Norwegian will launch its new route from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires on Wednesday 14 February, its first route from London to Latin America.

It is also due to launch Austin three times weekly from Tuesday 27 March 2018 and Chicago O’Hare four times weekly from Sunday 25 March 2018.

Norwegian’s latest traffic figures show it has little difficulty filling its planes. However, its results for the quarter to 31 December 2017 will be released on Friday 16 February 2018 and will show how this translates to profitability.

Air Canada Winter Olympics Video

Air Canada has released a video to mark the participation of Canada’s athletes in the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Narrated by Ryan Reynolds.

It takes a nation very at ease with itself to present to the world with both self-confidence and humility. Of course, there was a country that did that six and half years ago. Then B****t happened…

IAG and Virgin Atlantic trade barbs over London Heathrow

International Airlines Group’s CEO Willie Walsh fired another salvo in the direction of Heathrow airport last week.

IAG complained about the cost of capital expenditure at Heathrow and argued that third parties should be allowed to design, build and run terminals at Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic, never one to let BA and its parent have the last word, also issued a press release complaining about BA’s dominance at Heathrow, citing that more than 50 short-haul routes and many long-haul routes are operated exclusively BA this summer.

This is, to be generous, at bit disingenuous.

Many of these short-haul routes are summer seasonal flights which operate around twice a week and open up connectivity between many European destinations and the North Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic also had the opportunity to operate remedy slots made available as a consequence of BA’s merger with bmi. However, Virgin decided to end its Little Red at Heathrow.

Many long-haul routes operated exclusively by BA are ones that Virgin suspended (Accra and Cape Town). It can also hardly be claimed that the UK economy would be better off without direct links to many “thin” destinations like San Jose or Santiago. Virgin is also 49% owned by Delta Air Lines which has dominant positions at many US airports including Atlanta.

Heathrow Competition

Heathrow Airport is offering members of its “Rewards” loyalty programme the opportunity to win a Plaza Premium lounge pass for 2 for a year.

You can enter via your Heathrow Rewards account. Plaza Premium has built up a very credible portfolio of departures and arrivals lounges at London Heathrow, so this is worth taking the time to enter.

Also published in the last week:

BA Airbus A380 flights from London Heathrow in 2018

The status of the integration of Aer Lingus into IAG.

Also of note this week:

Which are the world’s worst airports? (The Economist)

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