Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 12 November 2018.
And so it begins. Heathrow has released its third annual Christmas film, once again featuring Doris and Edward Bair.
You may well be thinking these ads are being released earlier this year. And that’s because they are. Two weeks in fact. With so many concurrent campaigns from consumer brands and retailers it is harder to cut through and easier for viewers to gloss over them all. There are of course only so many variations of the theme of Coming Home For Christmas that can even the brightest minds at the best ad agencies can come up with.
That said, Heathrow has to be given credit for how much it has improved its image that it can even run such a campaign. Consider this news clip from December 2010, which is akin to something from The Day Today. Demonstrating a complete lack of preparedness for winter weather and dysfunctional relationships with airlines, Heathrow was claiming the airport was operating normally after BA cancelled its entire flying programme, just as the airport was on the cusp of closure for days due to snow.
Finnair Celebrates 95 Years
Finnair celebrates its 95th anniversary this month.
The airline was founded as Aero O/Y on 1 November 1923. It has been known as Finnair since 1968. In recent years it has gained a niche as gateway to Asia with nearly 100 flights a week to the region. Taking advantage of its geographical location to offer fast connections between Europe and Asia, it has extensive coverage of China and Japan. It is also known for its close partnerships with Finnish design house Marimekko. Finnair also considers itself the official airline of Santa Claus.
Whilst Finnair has done better than most small European airlines to carve out a niche and remain financially strong, it has indicated a desire to play a part in European consolidation. However, there are no indications that the Finnish Government is willing to sell down its stake which would certainly be a condition of any bid from the likes of IAG.
Finnair’s in-flight magazine “Blue Wings” takes a look back at the airline’s history in the first of a five part series. (Finnair Blue Wings)
On a Christmas theme, Finnair is also offering special direct flights from Gatwick to Ivalo on Thursday and Sunday from Thursday 13 December 2018 until Thursday 28 March 2019 and Kittilä on Tuesday and Sunday from Sunday 16 December 2018 until Tuesday 26 March 2019.
BA Gatwick Boeing 777 Refurbishment Programme
BA took delivery of its sixth refurbished Boeing 777 last week.
This means BA is now roughly half-way through its refurbishment programme at Gatwick. Work should begin shortly on refurbishing four class Boeing 777s at Gatwick. BA is then likely to turn its attention to refurbishing Heathrow based Boeing 777 aircraft, which may involve the removal of First Class, or at least a reduction in First Class seats, on some aircraft.
A Flying Start
Over the past eight years BA’s charity partnership with Comic Relief “Flying Start” has raised over £20m. To mark the milestone, it has released a short film featuring comedian Matt Lucas.
In case you missed it:
BA trials access to PressReader (London Air Travel)
Flybe launches London City – Newcastle. (London Air Travel)
Also of note this week:
The candidates of The Apprentice (UK) are tasked with developing a brand identity for a new UK budget airline. (BBC iPlayer)
Turkish Airlines: flying the flag for President Erdogan (Financial Times)
Virgin Atlantic takes us behind the scenes of flight planning. (Virgin Atlantic)
Late Post Publication Updates:
[Reserved for updates during the day.]
International Airlines Group has been in discussions with the Spanish Government to ensure it continues to meet EU ownership laws post Brexit. (El Pais English)
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