Monday Briefing – 10 June 2019

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British Airways Airbus A350-1000, Toulouse
British Airways Airbus A350-1000, Toulouse

Welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 10 June 2019.

Airbus Prepares A321XLR Aircraft

The Paris Air show gets underway next Monday.

Airbus is widely expected to unveil its Airbus A321XLR aircraft, the latest variant of its largest single range aircraft. Bloomberg reports that American Airlines is considering this as a replacement for the Boeing 757. It is claimed Airbus A321XLR would be capable of flying from American’s principal hub in Dallas Fort Worth to Central Europe – where its presence is weak due to the lack of Oneworld alliance partners.

In the UK, American currently uses the 757 aircraft to fly seasonally from Edinburgh to Philadelphia. American has cut its presence at UK regional airports, notably Manchester, and this may help it reinstate previously suspended routes.

IAG has also been cited as a potential purchaser, but is likely to want to see how the Airbus A321LR performs for Aer Lingus first.

On an Airbus related note, every month it publishes an updated list of aircraft orders and deliveries.

Based on the update for May published last week, BA has reduced its orders for Airbus A320neo aircraft from 25 to 22 aircraft and increased Airbus A321neo aircraft from 10 to 13 aircraft. Based at London Heathrow, the Airbus A321neo has a capacity for 220 passengers, compared to 180 for the Airbus A320neo.

Staying with BA and Airbus, BA’s first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft emerged in its full Chatham Dockyward livery in Toulouse last week. The airline has not yet confirmed the exact delivery date to London Heathrow and will do so when Airbus gives one months’ notice. You will be seeing more of BA’s Airbus A350-1000 in production as Title Role Productions (who produced “British Airways: 100 Years In The Sky” for Channel 5 last year) have been filming in Toulouse for a forthcoming TV series recently.

The Boeing 747 Centenary Flights That Weren’t

There was a blip last week in what has so far been a well choreographed year of BA centenary celebrations.

BA has removed from its schedules three Boeing 747 flights to Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle on the day of its centenary, Sunday 25 August 2019.

BA described as coverage of these flights as “speculation”, a common form of non-denial denial. What exactly has happened behind the scenes isn’t known. However, the airline may have been deterred by negative coverage – written by some who really should know better – of the environmental impact.

UK Bank Holidays

The Government has announced that the next early May Bank holiday will be moved from Monday 4 May to Friday 8 May 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Alas, Prime Minister Theresa May did not feel inclined to give the UK an extra public holiday as parting gift.

In case you missed it:

After a delay, BA’s lounge in Geneva closes for refurbishment today. (London Air Travel)

Also of note this week:

Picking up the theme of climate change, Ernest Hemingway’s law of motion is that change happens gradually then at all once. Aviation’s impact on the climate has long been part of public discourse, but airlines are now becoming acutely conscious of public perceptions and the trend of “Flight Shame”. (Sydney Morning Herald)

One of the most cogent arguments you’ll read about why Britain needs HS2. (Independent)

American Airlines extends Boeing 737 MAX cancellations until 3 September 2019. (American Airlines)

How Qantas lands in Queenstown, New Zealand. (Qantas)

Meet Virgin Atlantic crew member Otis Dublin. (Virgin Atlantic)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

BA has announced that its BOAC retro-liveried Boeing 747 will be taking part in a fly past with the Red Arrows at Royal International Air Tatoo in Gloucestershire on Saturday 20 July 2019.

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