Welcome to return of London Air Travel’s weekly Monday Briefing after a summer break.
The September Issue
Today, Monday 6 September, is the end of the Parliamentary Recess in the UK.
It is also the Labor Day holiday in the US and Canada, effectively marking the end of summer and “back to work”.
It is traditionally at this time that airlines begin announcing their plans for the next summer season. There is much to do to get through the winter first.
Over the summer Mark Kleinman of Sky News broke the story that Virgin Atlantic is seeking a listing on the stock exchange to raise new funds. The Sunday Telegraph followed this up yesterday.
Talks are said to be underway with bondholders, creditors and lenders to secure their approval. There is said to be concern amongst some about Virgin Group ceding control of the airline and what may happen if it requires further financing.
It’s worth recalling that when Virgin Atlantic undertook a solvent recapitalisation last year, its worst case scenario was that travel restrictions would remain in place until August. It’s now expected that the US will not relax travel restrictions until at least late November this year.
BA Route Network Updates
In anticipation of the Canadian government relaxing travel restrictions for fully vaccinated passengers from Tuesday 7 September, BA returns to Vancouver on the same day.
Montreal follows five times weekly from Wednesday 8 September. Toronto also increases to three times daily on certain days from this week.
BA also returned to Nairobi on Saturday. Flights to Dubai increase to twice daily today.
Additional seasonal flights to Antigua and Saint Lucia at Heathrow ended on Saturday and will return on 18 December.
Short haul routes that resumed in the past week at Heathrow include Brussels, Hannover, Porto, Seville, Stuttgart and Vienna. Summer seasonal flights to Newquay ended for this year on Saturday.
At London City, BA CityFlyer restarted Amsterdam and Zurich yesterday. Dublin follows today. As does Geneva on Friday 10 September.
Also of note this week:
“The Big Travel Inquest”. The Times details a catalogue of UK government failures to support the travel industry during COVID-19 with bungled measures such as air bridges and traffic light systems. (The Times)
Deliveries of new 787 Dreamliner aircraft are likely to be delayed further until at least late October as Boeing is yet to agree an inspection regime with the Federal Aviation Administration. (Wall Street Journal)
A number of former Concorde passengers reminisce about the halcyon days of supersonic air travel. (The Club)
Virgin Atlantic brings back its in flight magazine Vera with Stanley Tucci on the cover and, according to Virgin, a new antimicrobial coating. The magazine is also available as a PDF download. (Virgin Atlantic)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
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