London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 19 July 2021

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British Airways aircraft on the ground at London Heathrow Airport.
British Airways Aircraft At Sunset, London Heathrow

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 19 July 2021.

This will be our last weekly update before a break for the summer holidays. Our next planned edition will be published on Monday 6 September.

Some months ago there were widespread predictions that demand in the UK for summer holidays in Europe would be so great that BA would be despatching wide body aircraft from Heathrow to Palma de Mallorca.

Well on Saturday a wide body aircraft did land at Palma de Mallorca airport. But it was a Boeing 747-8 operated by Lufthansa from Frankfurt.

This was one of many predictions about this summer, along with the reopening of the US and new routes to Europe, that sadly did not come to pass. It is hoped that at least by September there will be more positive news.

Looking Ahead To August

Looking ahead to August, JetBlue should launch its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK on 12 August.

Air Canada will also reinstate flights from Heathrow to Montreal on 4 August. Last week, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave positive soundings about reopening Canada to vaccinated travellers later this summer.

IAG will announce its half year results on Friday 30 July. Management will no doubt be pressed again on their plans for Gatwick. This will no doubt be influenced in part by what slot waivers are announced in the coming weeks for the winter season.

BA Route Network Updates

With perfect timing, BA returns to Paris Charles de Gaulle at London Heathrow today.

Summer seasonal flights to Bastia are due to restart on Friday. Flights to Florence and Nice also restart at London City on Friday.

Twice weekly flights from Heathrow to Antigua on Wednesday & Saturday start this week. A weekly flight to St Lucia also launches on Saturday.

At Gatwick, BA returns to Providenciales and Grenada on Tuesday & Wednesday respectively, both from London Gatwick via Antigua. BA also returns to Montego Bay on Saturday.

You can keep to update with ongoing BA route network changes with our dedicated listings of short haul and long haul flights.

TWA Flight 800

This weekend marked the 25th anniversary of TWA Flight 800.

At 20:19 local time on 17 July 1996, a Trans World Airlines Boeing 747-100 aircraft, operating as Flight 800 departed from New York JFK bound for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. The aircraft had arrived from Athens earlier in the day without incident.

12 minutes after take off and 10 miles south of Long Island, the aircraft broke apart. All 212 passengers and 18 crew were killed.

Many eye witnesses reported seeing a missile strike the aircraft. Following a search and rescue operation 95% of the aircraft was recovered and reconstructed in a warehouse on Long Island.

A criminal investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation found no evidence of a terrorism. This did not satisfy many eye witnesses and conspiracy theories spread on the Internet. (USA Today)

A report published by the National Transportation Safety Board in 2000 attributed the cause of the accident to an explosion in the centre wing fuel tank. This was most likely caused by an electrical short circuit.

The reconstructed aircraft has remained in a warehouse in Virginia and has been used as a training facility for aviation safety. By agreement with the families who have been able to visit the facility, it has never opened to the public. The aircraft has been decommissioned this year and will soon be destroyed.

In addition to the video report from CBS News below, archive photography and video is available from CNN.

Also of note this week:

Virgin Atlantic reflects on its move back to Terminal 3 at London Heathrow after more than a year away. Emirates, Iran Air and MEA are also due to move to Terminal 3 on Tuesday 20 July. (Virgin Atlantic)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing will return on Monday 6 September 2021. You can follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the summer.

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