London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 12 October 2020

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Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia, Qantas Sightseeing Flight Saturday 10 October 2020
Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia, Qantas Sightseeing Flight Saturday 10 October 2020 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 12 October.

The Qantas Flight To Nowhere

When it comes to inventive ways to raise cash during COVID-19, Qantas has been leading the pack.

Having sold off amenity kits and fully stocked storage carts to frequent flyers, on Saturday Qantas operated a “flight to nowhere” from Sydney to Sydney. Passengers on board the Boeing 787-9 aircraft for the 8 hour plus time were afforded views of New South Wales, Queensland and Uluru in the Northern Territory.

Qantas has released B-Roll footage of Saturday’s flight, a clip of which you watch here.

Whatever the interest may be for similar flights in Europe, airlines will have to resist pressure over environmental concerns. There would have been huge demand for final BA Boeing 747 flights from Heathrow before their withdrawal from the airport, which the airline did not offer.

Australia: Come Fly With Me

Staying with Qantas, next month the airline will celebrate its centenary which also marks the birth of civil aviation in Australia.

A new three part series “Australia Come Fly With Me” begins this week on SBS Australia charting the course of civil aviation in Australia and how it has reflected cultural and societal change. Judging by the trailer above, there’s no shortage of archive footage. Sadly, there’s no sign yet of this series being shown in the UK.

BA Long Haul Route Updates

A familiar pattern of some steps forward and some steps backward, as far as BA’s long-haul route network is concerned.

At Heathrow, BA restarted flights to The Seychelles on Saturday. BA launches a new route to Lahore today. BA will also transfer its route to Male from Gatwick to Heathrow on Friday. The restart of Riyadh, originally planned for early October, is postponed again.

Meanwhile at Gatwick, BA returns to Grenada, via St Lucia, on Wednesday. The return of a number of other routes including Cancun and Mauritius is postponed again.

BA has also postponed the planned launch of its new route from Gatwick to Montego Bay from 13 October to provisionally 12 December.

Also of note this week:

Norwegian has launched a formal consultation on staff redundancies at Gatwick. (City AM)

How major US airlines have pivoted towards leisure passengers. (Financial Times)

The impact of a collapse in tourism on New York City. (New York Times)

If you have sealed unused toiletries from airlines and hotels you can now donate these to charity via Beauty Banks Bins in over 100 Superdrug shops in the UK. (Beauty Banks)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

Sean Doyle has replaced Alex Cruz as Chief Executive Of British Airways. (London Air Travel).

London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing is published every Monday at 06:00 BST. If you have any tips or stories please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the week.

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