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Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 11 July 2022.
Farnborough International Air Show
After a four year absence the Farnborough International Air Show returns next week.
This is traditionally when airlines that like to show off their buying power unveil headline grabbing aircraft orders.
With Airbus recently securing significant orders from Qantas and 3 airlines in China, attention is focused on Boeing.
Boeing confirmed yesterday its 737-10 and 777-9 aircraft will be on display at the show, both on the ground and in the air.
Bloomberg reports Boeing is also close to agreeing with the Federal Aviation Administration in the US that it can resume deliveries of the 787 Dreamliner.
BA has 10 outstanding 787-10 aircraft, originally due to be delivered by the end of 2024. 5 of these aircraft are showing as registered (G-ZLBC to G-ZLBG).
American Airlines has suspended some international routes, including London Heathrow – Seattle, due to 787 delivery delays. The availability of these aircraft will clearly have an impact on network planning for both airlines in 2023.
Heathrow Terminal 3
Heathrow Airport has imposed a mandatory capacity reduction on airlines operating Terminal 3 today.
This follows intermittent baggage system failures in the terminal over the weekend.
Virgin Atlantic has advised it has cancelled three flights today:
VS231 London Heathrow – Austin
VS232 Austin – London Heathrow
VS302 London Heathrow – Delhi
BA has cancelled some early morning flights to Budapest, Gibraltar, Toulouse and Valencia, as well its flight to Austin.
Heathrow has insisted displaced passengers are not rebooked on to alternative services today, due to congestion in the terminal.
A quick reminder that tomorrow, 12 July, BA will move all long haul and most short haul flights from Terminal 3 to 5.
American Airlines will consolidate all of its flights at Terminal 3. Iberia will move from Terminal 5 to 3.
Willie Walsh On Heathrow
Staying with Heathrow, IATA Director General Willie Walsh appeared on Sunday Morning with Sophie Raworth yesterday.
As has been widely reported, Willie criticised his long time foe Heathrow for not being better prepared for the summer season. This drew an uncharacteristically punchy response from the airport.
Criticism was not just reserved for Heathrow. Willie was “surprised” BA has not confirmed all the flights it has cancelled for the summer. Willie was asked would he would have done things differently this summer if he was still running BA. The reply? “Maybe”.
Following high profile incidents of disabled passengers left on aircraft waiting for special assistance, Willie suggested responsibility for this should be transferred to airlines.
Also of interest this week:
There’s no such thing as a free flight. Qantas is accused of offering Australian journalists free international press trips to detract from operational issues in Australia. (ABC)
On that theme baggage handlers have spoken anonymously about staff shortages since Qantas outsourced its ground handling operation in Australia. (The Guardian)
From the archives: In 1962, Alitalia Flight 771 crashed near Mumbai while en route to Rome from Sydney. (Sydney Morning Herald)
News from London Air Travel you may have missed:
BA appoints René de Groot from KLM as Chief Operating Officer. (London Air Travel)
BA franchise partner SUN-AIR relaunches London City – Billund. (London Air Travel)
BA Heathrow ground staff strike cancelled. (London Air Travel)
Virgin Atlantic launches London Heathrow – Tampa. (London Air Travel)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
Heathrow, accused by BA of deliberately issuing downbeat passenger forecasts, says nearly 6 million passengers travelled through the airport in June. The airport has acknowledged that passenger volumes have at times exceeded the airport’s capacity to handle them. Heathrow says it is reviewing airline schedules after a recent slot amnesty and may require further cancellations.
British Airways has suspended London Gatwick – Manchester from Sunday 30 October 2022. The route, which operated as W pattern with Heathrow aircraft & crews, returned at the start of the summer season, having been delayed by a year.
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