Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 25 October 2021.
Air Passenger Duty Rise?
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is due to announce his budget this coming Wednesday.
As is par the course, selected tidbits are leaked to newspapers in advance. On Friday night The Guardian reported that the Chancellor is due to announce an increase in Air Passenger Duty.
This will be done by introducing a new higher band for longer range flights of more than 6,000 miles.
Currently, the reduced and standard rate of APD for flights longer than 2,000 miles is £82 and £180 respectively. This is due to increase to £84 and £185 from 1 April 2022.
Whilst the new band will not affect most destinations from London, further increases to the cost of flying will infuriate the airline industry.
Longer range flights can have relatively high volumes of Visiting Friends & Relatives traffic and are rarely taken on whim. This also comes on top of plans for substantial increases in passenger charges for airlines at London Heathrow.
Conversely, the Chancellor is reported to be considering reductions in APD for domestic flights to fit with the government’s “levelling up” agenda.
Winter Travel Season
The Winter Travel Season officially starts this coming Sunday, 31 October. This also coincides with the UK timezone “falling back” from BST to GMT.
At London Heathrow, a number of BA short haul routes end for the winter. These include Alicante, Bari, Catania, Chania, Corfu, Crete, Dubrovnik, Ibiza, Kalamata, Kos, Ljubljana, Mahon, Mykonos, Preveza, Rhodes, Santorini, Split and Thessaloniki.
BA will restart flights from Heathrow to Luxembourg. At London City, BA CityFlyer will restart Prague.
At Gatwick, BA is due to restart flights to Barbados, in addition to Heathrow. Providenciales will transfer to Heathrow, operating via Nassau.
On a related note, the legislation to enact another airport slot waiver for the winter season passed through Parliament last week.
In case you missed it:
BA reopens its own lounges in Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino. Geneva is expected to follow this week. (London Air Travel)
BA launches new codeshares with Kenya Airways. (London Air Travel)
Also of note this week:
Channel 5 sister channel 5Select airs “British Airways: Then And Now” on Tuesday at 22:00 BST. It’s not clear if this is just a re-edit (which Channel 5 are notorious for doing!) of a previous series “British Airways: 100 Years In The Sky”.
Advertising agency Uncommon, founded in 2017, is competing against the incumbent agency WPP to secure the BA advertising account. Whilst the days of big budget blockbuster TV advertising are long gone, as “New York. We’re Back” proved, there’s still scope for effective & well timed creative work. (Campaign Live)
On a related note, BA’s PR team has won Private Sector In House Team of the Year at the PR Week awards. (PR Week)
An extract from “The Incredible Life of Hubert Wilkins” by Peter FitzSimons. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
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