Monday Briefing – 27 May 2019

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Islamabad, Pakistan
Islamabad, Pakistan (Image Credit: British Airways)

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 27 May 2019.

BA Returns To Islamabad

BA returns to Islamabad this Sunday after a more than ten year absence.

BA had suspended all flights to Pakistan in September 2008 following the bombing of the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad.

In recent years BA has relied on codeshares with Qatar Airways to serve a number of destinations in Pakistan including Karachi and Lahore.

This is a relatively tentative return with three Boeing 787-8 flights a week. The route used to operate six times weekly with a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

It was clear from the route announcement last year that there had been discussions between the governments of the UK and Pakistan on restarting the route. It is going to be watched very closely, both in terms of commercial performance and any potential security issues.

Air New Zealand Aircraft Order

Air New Zealand has this morning announced a new aircraft order.

It has ordered 8 Boeing 787-10 aircraft, with options for a further 12 aircraft. These will be delivered from 2022 to 2027 and will replace 8 Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Air New Zealand also has 13 Boeing 787-9 aircraft and 7 Boeing 777-300 aircraft in its fleet.

Joint-Venture Struggles

There are more signs that regulators are taking a tougher stance against airline co-operation and joint-ventures.

More than three years ago BA, Iberia and LATAM announced plans for a joint-business on routes between Europe and Latin America. Regulatory approval, which was initially expected to take 18 months, has been granted by Brazil, Uruguay and Colombia.

Approval was also granted by Chilean Free Competition Defence Court late last year but was subject to an appeal by a consumer group to the Chilean Supreme Court. Last week, the court has denied approval for the joint-venture.

Meanwhile in Australia, the International Air Services Commission has issued a draft decision denying approval for Cathay Pacific to codeshare on certain Qantas flights from Australia to Hong Kong.

In case you missed it:

BA refreshes its Elemis spas at London Heathrow. (London Air Travel)

BA changes Club World seating charges. (London Air Travel)

BA introduces ability to pay for excess baggage with Avios. (London Air Travel)

BA launches a new online centenary archive. (London Air Travel)

BA to move Phoenix to London Heathrow Terminal 5 and San Diego to Terminal 3. (London Air Travel)

Virgin Atlantic relaunches London Heathrow – Mumbai to fill the void left by Jet Airways. On a similar note, KLM has also announced it will fly from Amsterdam Bengaluru from Monday 28 October 2019. (London Air Travel)

Also of note this week:

Heathrow Airport proposes an “Ultra Low Emissions Zone” for vehicles from 2022. (Heathrow)

Investors Chronicle recommends buying easyJet shares. (Financial Times)

London City airport is in talks with Transport for London on constructing a Crossrail station near to the airport. (New Civil Engineer)

Virgin Atlantic celebrates 20 years of flying from London Heathrow to Shanghai. This particular route launch was significant as Virgin, at a time when Sir Richard Branson carried significant political clout, was awarded traffic rights six years before BA. Virgin also celebrates 25 years of flying to San Francisco this month. (Virgin Atlantic)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

Public transport workers in the Netherlands are due to take industrial action on Tuesday 28 May 2019.

This will affect the availability of public transport to and from Amsterdam Schipol airport. Flybe has cancelled a number of flights to / from Amsterdam. KLM is warning of potential cancellations and has implemented a flexible rebooking policy.

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