London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 17 February 2020

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

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Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image
Qantas Airbus A350-1000 Aircraft CGI Image (Image Credit: Airbus / Qantas)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 17 February 2020.

Another weekend. Another UK winter storm. There are some continued delays and cancellations at London Heathrow this morning due to Storm Dennis and yesterday’s IT failure at the airport.

British Airways has extended its flexible rebooking policy. Passengers due to fly on short-haul flights to / from Heathrow today can rebook up to Thursday 20 February 2020. The latest guidance on the Heathrow IT issue is available from BA.

Qantas Project Sunrise

Qantas’ self-imposed deadline of 31 March 2020 to place an order for Airbus A350-1000 aircraft capable of flying from London to Sydney non-stop is not far away.

Two hurdles remain.

The first is regulatory approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority in Australia.

The second is negotiating an agreement with the Australian & International Pilots Association.

Negotiations appear to hinge on securing productivity and efficiency gains to make these ultra long-haul flights economically viable. These are now at an impasse.

In an e-mail to Qantas pilots from CEO of Qantas International Tino La Spina, which has been widely circulated, Qantas has threatened to create a separate pool of pilots to operate ultra long-haul flights:

“We will be left with no viable alternative but to have Sunrise flying performed by a new employment entity that can provide the cost base we need for this important business opportunity

“To be absolutely clear, this is not our preferred option. And we know that flagging this will not be well received by many of you. But we want to make sure you have all relevant information when you are weighing a decision.”

This would be a highly contentious move. It will be seen by pilots as a Trojan Horse to undermine the entire principle of collective bargaining.

Qantas does of course have form on playing hardball with its unions. CEO Alan Joyce famously shut down the airline at no notice to secure an end to a long running industrial dispute.

PriestmanGoode Rebrands Aegean Airlines

London is often seen as lagging behind other major cities in aviation.

Other hub airports have more runways and their growth is not impeded by public policy.

However, one area where London does lead is the number of agencies it plays host to who design the cabins and brand identities for many airlines around the world.

These include Factory Design, Tangerine, and PriestmanGoode. The latter’s latest project is a new brand identity and cabin interior for Aegean Airlines which was unveiled last week:

“British Airways 24/7” TV Series To Return

Title Role TV is currently filming a second series of “British Airways 24/7” for Channel 5.

The show promises “Access All Areas” to BA, albeit controlled by the airline. The first four part series, which aired in September 2019, can be watched online at Channel 5.

In case you missed it:

Alaska Airlines intends to join the Oneworld alliance from summer 2021 and AA will also launch London Heathrow – Seattle from March 2021. (London Air Travel)

BA, at very short notice and apropos of nothing, adds a summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to Newquay. (London Air Travel)

Eastern Airways launches London City – Teesside. (London Air Travel)

Virgin Atlantic reinstates London Heathrow – Cape Town. (London Air Travel)

Also of note this week:

Gatwick Railway Station redevelopment will result in temporary timetable changes from summer 2020. (Crawley Observer)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

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