London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 25 November 2019

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Qantas Project Sunrise
Qantas Project Sunrise (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 25 November 2019.

Qantas Tells Airbus & Boeing To “Sharpen Their Pencils”

After Qantas’ much hyped non-stop flight from London to Sydney a little over a week ago, Qantas revealed at its annual investor day that it is not currently satisfied with bids offered by either Airbus or Boeing for new ultra long range aircraft.

Airbus and Boeing have submitted proposals for the Airbus A350-1000ULR and Boeing 777-8X aircraft respectively. According to comments made by Tino La Spina, Chief Executive of Qantas International, Airbus and Boeing have been told to “sharpen their pencils”.

The business case for non-stop flights between London and Sydney is also described by Tino La Spina as “almost there”. Though, the previous deadline of the end of this year for a decision now appears to be an aspiration.

New Qantas Singapore First Class Lounge

Qantas officially opens its new First Class lounge in Singapore on Monday 2 December 2019.

Qantas has teased some images on social media this weekend. The Qantas website advises that access to the lounge may be available to a limited number of customers ahead of its official opening next week.

Gatwick Slot Trades

A couple of relatively minor slot trades at Gatwick were confirmed last week.

TUI Airways has transferred 27 weekly slot pairs to BA for the summer 2020 season. It has been suggested that this may be to facilitate charter services to be provided by BA to TUI.

3 weekly slots have also been transferred from Thomas Cook to BA. These appear to be the return of slots that were previously leased.

The End Of The Annual Christmas Film?

For the past few years, the release of an annual Christmas film by the world’s largest airlines and airports has been a firm fixture in the calendar.

Aided by direct distribution channels on social media, WestJet was the pioneer of this genre. Heathrow has for the past three years run very successful campaigns featuring the Heathrow “bears” Doris and Edward.

It does now feel that every permutation of the theme of the surprise flight / reunion has been exhausted, and Heathrow has wisely decided to take a break this year.

Disruption Advisory

Disruption is expected to flights to Italy today due to a general strike.

BA has in advance retimed the following return flights to Italy today:

BA2608 London Gatwick – Naples – STD 08:50 New ETD 13:55
BA2609 Naples – London Gatwick – STD 13:30 New ETD 18:30

BA576 London Heathrow – Milan Linate – STD 09:20 New ETD 08:40
BA577 Milan Linate – London Heathrow – STD 13:15 New ETD 12:20

BA2688 London Gatwick – Genoa – STD 10:25 New ETD 14:25
BA2689 Genoa – London Gatwick – STD 14:10 New ETD 18:20

Other flights are likely to be delayed and may also be cancelled at short notice. easyJet has also given warning of delays and cancellations on flights to Italy.

Finnair is also advising of possible disruption today at Helsinki airport due to secondary industrial action called by the Finnish Aviation Labour Union following a dispute at the Finnish postal service, Posti. (Finnair)

In case you missed it:

BA reopens its refurbished lounge in Geneva. (London Air Travel)

BA and BALPA have reached agreement on a pay deal, which will now be subject to a ballot of BA pilots. (London Air Travel)

Also of note this week:

The Sunday Times interviews Guillaume Faury, CEO of Airbus. (The Sunday Times)

Behind the scenes with Virgin Atlantic’s former commercial manager in India. (Virgin Atlantic)

How well do you know your airport codes? (Virgin Atlantic)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

Transport for London has found Uber London Ltd “not fit and proper” to hold a private hire operator licence. (Transport for London)

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