What To Expect From Airlines & Airports in 2020

Some of the major developments from airlines and airports around the world in 2020.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Berlin Brandenburg Airport Terminal November 2019
Berlin Brandenburg Airport Terminal November 2019 (Image Credit: Berlin Brandenburg Airport)

After running through the major developments for London’s two main long-haul airlines British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, here’s what you can expect from other airlines and airports around the world in 2020.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand will, sadly, leave London in 2020.

Its last remaining route from London Heathrow to Auckland, via Los Angeles, will be suspended from Sunday 25 October 2020. Air New Zealand will continue to serve London indirectly via codeshare partners.

Alliances & Joint-Ventures

The three major airline alliances continue to prove to be fragile constructs with limited allegiances.

LATAM will leave the Oneworld alliance in 2020 following Delta’s acquisition of a 20% stake in the airline, and it has no plans to join SkyTeam. Air Europa should also leave SkyTeam should IAG’s purchase of the airline go ahead. Again, there are no plans for the airline to join Oneworld.

On a more positive note, Royal Air Maroc will join Oneworld this year. Interestingly, following the launch of a new tier of membership known as “Oneworld Connect” with Fiji Airways as the inaugural member, no further airlines have been announced as members.

Aer Lingus should also finally receive regulatory approval to join the AA/BA transatlantic joint-business this year.

Berlin Brandenburg Airport

After a delay of no less than 9 years, Berlin Brandenburg airport will finally open on Saturday 31 October 2020.

Neither, BA, easyJet nor Lufthansa have yet to announce when they will move to the new airport. However, the latest update from Berlin Brandenburg says that Berlin Tegel will close for scheduled passenger operations on Sunday 8 November 2020.

As history has shown, new airport operations can be very difficult. Given the extensive delays and many design flaws identified at Berlin Brandenburg, there will be considerable scrutiny of its operational performance in the opening weeks.

easyJet

One to file under “should have been announced in 2019.”

easyJet was due to relaunch its frequent flyer programmes in 2019. This was one of two major initiatives, alongside the launch of easyJet Holidays which went ahead as planned. However, easyJet has gone very quiet on the relaunch of its loyalty programmes.

Finnair

Finnair continues its strategy of exploiting its geographic location to attract connecting traffic between Europe and Asia.

Its twice weekly service to Sapporo which launched on 15 December 2019 has now been extended to a year round service. Finnair will also launch a new summer seasonal service to Busan, South Korea from Monday 30 March 2020 and a new year-round daily service to Tokyo Haneda from Sunday 29 March 2020, in addition to its existing service to Tokyo Narita.

Flybe

Flybe will be officially rebranded as Virgin Connect in Spring 2020.

The airline has already substantially cut its UK regional network with a large number of routes suspended as the airline prepares to reduce its fleet. However, due to the time it will take to repaint aircraft, it will be some time before the Flybe name disappears for good.

Heathrow’s Third Runway

The Civil Aviation Authority is currently consulting on Heathrow Airport’s costings for a third runway, specifically the expenditure it will incur in advance of seeking final approval by means of a Development Consent Order to construct the runway.

The consultation closes on Saturday 28 February 2020 and the CAA’s decision should be known in the Spring. The outcome of this could have an impact on when the third runway will enter into operation. Initial estimates of 2026 now seem “optimistic”.

JetBlue

In 2020, we should learn of the London airport from which JetBlue will launch services to Boston and New York JFK.

Of course, by giving its competitors so much advance notice of its plans to launch transatlantic services from London, some have already made pre-emptive moves with Delta and Virgin Atlantic launching Boston and New York JFK respectively at Gatwick.

Continue reading “What To Expect From Airlines & Airports in 2020”

Airbus Unveils A321XLR Aircraft

Airbus has unveiled its newest single aisle aircraft, the Airbus A321XLR at the Paris Air Show.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Airbus A321XLR aircraft render
Airbus A321XLR aircraft render (Image Credit: Airbus)

Airbus has unveiled the latest member of its A321 family of aircraft, the Airbus A321XLR.

This will be the longest range single aisle aircraft in the world. Airbus plans for the aircraft to be available from 2023. It has a 15% longer range than the Airbus A321LR aircraft with a range of 4,700 nautical miles. Airbus has cited London – Miami and New Delhi as feasible routes – though established airlines in the UK will be looking at new destinations not already served by wide body aircraft. The aircraft is designed to accommodate 180-220 passengers.

There are attractions for airlines in that has a lot of commonality with Airbus A320 family aircraft, which is of course the workhorse of short-haul travel in Europe. Though, it remains to be seen how willing passengers will be spend nearly ten hours on a single aisle aircraft.

In terms of orders, the third party lessor Air Lease Corporation has signed a Letter of Intent for 27 of the aircraft at the Paris Air Show.  Middle East Airlines has also signed a firm order for four of aircraft.

Further orders may be forthcoming at the Paris Air Show this week. However, we would hazard a guess that many other airlines will want to see how the Airbus A321LR performs before committing to the Airbus A321XLR.

Airbus A321XLR aircraft infographic
Airbus A321XLR aircraft infographic (Image Credit: Airbus)

Flybmi Suspends Operations

Flybmi, formerly known as bmi regional, has suspended operations with immediate effect.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Flybmi aircraft
Flybmi aircraft (Image Credit: Fly bmi)

Flybmi, formerly known as bmi regional, has suspended operations with immediate effect.

The following statement was published on its website shortly after 18:30 GMT on Saturday 16 February 2019.

Press Release: 16 February 2019

British Midland Regional Limited, the East Midlands-based airline which operates as flybmi, has today announced that it has ceased operations and is filing for administration.

Flybmi operates 17 regional jet aircraft on routes to 25 European cities.

All flights have been cancelled with effect from today. Customers who booked directly with flybmi should contact their payment card issuer to obtain a refund for flights which have not yet taken place. Customers who have booked flybmi flights via a travel agent or one of flybmi’s codeshare partner airlines are recommended to contact their agent or airline for details of options available to them. Customers who have travel insurance should contact their travel insurance provider to find out if they are eligible to claim for cancelled flights and the procedure for doing so.

A spokesperson for flybmi said:

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made this unavoidable announcement today. The airline has faced several difficulties, including recent spikes in fuel and carbon costs, the latter arising from the EU’s recent decision to exclude UK airlines from full participation in the Emissions Trading Scheme. These issues have undermined efforts to move the airline into profit. Current trading and future prospects have also been seriously affected by the uncertainty created by the Brexit process, which has led to our inability to secure valuable flying contracts in Europe and lack of confidence around bmi’s ability to continue flying between destinations in Europe. Additionally, our situation mirrors wider difficulties in the regional airline industry which have been well documented.

“Against this background, it has become impossible for the airline’s shareholders to continue their extensive programme of funding into the business, despite investment totalling over £40m in the last six years. We sincerely regret that this course of action has become the only option open to us, but the challenges, particularly those created by Brexit, have proven to be insurmountable.

“Our employees have worked extremely hard over the last few years and we would like to thank them for their dedication to the company, as well as all our loyal customers who have flown with us over the last 6 years.”

Bmi Regional employed a total of 376 employees based in the UK, Germany, Sweden and Belgium.

Flybmi operated a fleet of Embraer 135 and 145 aircraft. It operated just one schedule route from London, Stansted to Derry. It also had a larger presence at UK regional airports, notably Bristol, as well as Newcastle and Aberdeen.

The airline was formerly a subsidiary of bmi British Midland. It was sold to private investors in 2012 when bmi was acquired by International Airlines Group from Lufthansa.

The operating company, British Midland Regional Ltd, is ultimately owned by Airline Investments Ltd. This company also owns Loganair which is not affected by this news.

This, along with the acquisition of Flybe by the Connect Airways consortium, is not good news for many UK regional airports. It points to considerable weakness in the market for point-to-point regional jet services. It does also mean the final end of the bmi name.

At the time of writing there hasn’t been a response from the Civil Aviation Authority. However, guidance should be available shortly in its website.

For passengers who have purchased flights that have been cancelled, the best advice is to contact your credit company for a refund. Rival airlines may also announce “rescue fares” in the coming days. A full list of FAQs has also been published at the foot of the Flybmi website.

Update 23:30 GMT Saturday 16 February

The Civil Aviation Authority has provided general guidance for passengers on its website.

Eastern Airways confirmed on its Twitter feed that its Flybe franchise service between Norwich and Aberdeen (which was operated with Flybmi aircraft) is not affected by today’s news and continues as normal with alternative aircraft.

Update 17:00 GMT Sunday 17 February

British Airways is offering special fares for Flybmi passengers who need to return home.

Fares are available between London and Aberdeen, Belfast, Billund, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Newcastle, and Oslo. These must be booked by telephoning BA directly and quoting your Flybmi booking reference.

These fares are available for travel up to Sunday 3 March 2019.

easyJet is offering a special fare between Bristol and Paris Charles de Gaulle for passengers who need to return home. This is available for booking up to Wednesday 27 February for travel up to Sunday 17 March 2019. Full details are available from easyJet.

Loganair has announced it is to takeover a number of former Flybmi routes:

Aberdeen to Bristol, Esberg and Oslo from Monday 4 March; Newcastle to Brussels and Stavanger from Monday 25 March. These will be available for booking at Loganair from Monday 18 February.

Update Monday 18 February

The accountancy firm BDO has been appointed administrators of Flybmi. Passengers should continue to follow guidance on the Flybmi website. Creditors and employees should follow guidance from BDO.

Airbus To End A380 Production

Airbus has confirmed it is to end production of the A380 aircraft in 2021.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 London Heathrow Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Airbus has officially confirmed that it is to end production of the Airbus A380 in 2021.

The announcement was made today, Thursday 14 February, as Airbus announced its financial results for 2018.

The Airbus A380 has been a presence at Heathrow for over ten years. It was on 18 March 2008, that Singapore Airlines flight SQ308 arrived at London Heathrow from Singapore Changi marking the beginning of scheduled A380 flights from London Heathrow.

Emirates Airbus A380 Heathrow Emirates Airbus A380 Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Emirates and Qantas soon followed at London Heathrow. As did Etihad, Korean Air, Malaysian Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Thai Airways, albeit with varying frequencies.

Emirates now operates up to 7 A380 flights from London Heathrow a day. It is is the largest operator of the A380 by some considerable margin.

Last year, it ordered 20 additional aircraft with options for 16 more. According to the Airbus order book for January 2019, Emirates had 109 A380s in service, with 53 aircraft to be delivered.

However, Emirates has now decided to reduce its order substantially by 39 aircraft in favour of 40 A330neo and 30 A350 aircraft.

Beyond Emirates, there has been little appetite to order more aircraft. Qantas officially confirmed last week that it will not exercise options to add to the existing 12 in its fleet. There has also been a notable lack of interest in second-hand aircraft.

Some airlines have also reduced A380 flights at Heathrow. Malaysian ended daily A380 flights last year, in favour of the Airbus A350. Qantas has switched one of its two A380 routes to a non-stop Boeing 787 Dreamliner service to Perth. Qantas is also studying next-generation twin-engine aircraft to fly non-stop from London to Sydney and Melbourne.

Whilst the A380 has been popular with passengers, efficiency rules and it seems clear that airlines see the future of long-haul travel is twin-engined.

British Airways Airbus A380 Heathrow British Airways Airbus A380 Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

This announcement by Airbus seems to have settled the perennial question of whether BA will order any more aircraft. It has 12 in its fleet, with options for 7 more. It’s clearly serving the airline well, with a year-round presence on routes such as Hong Kong, Johannesburg and Los Angeles. However, IAG CEO Willie Walsh has always insisted that the purchase price for new aircraft is too high. With production now due to end, there seems no prospect of an order.

London’s New Routes For 2019

Here are the new routes launching from London City, Gatwick, and Heathrow in 2019.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

New London Routes For 2019
New London Routes For 2019

A very Happy New Year to all our readers around the world.

We got new routes!

In 2019, we will see many new routes, and former routes from London reinstated.

By this time next year we may also know whether in three years’ time we will be able to fly to Sydney non-stop. Here’s a quick run through of new routes launching in 2019.

London Gatwick Long-Haul

Norwegian continues to reshape its London Gatwick network, launching Rio de Janeiro four times weekly from Sunday 31 March.

It will also swap routes from Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale and Oakland to Miami and San Francisco International respectively from 31 March.

Austin and Seattle will also resume following their winter seasonal suspension on Friday 1 March and 31 March respectively.

In theory, Norwegian is supposed to take delivery of the Airbus A321 Long Range this year and may announce more transatlantic routes but this is very much dependent on its overall financial health.

London Heathrow Long-Haul

Virgin Atlantic will transfer Las Vegas from Gatwick to Heathrow from 31 March.

Air China will transfer Chengdu from Gatwick to Heathrow from 31 March.

BA will return to Osaka after a near 20 year absence, four times weekly from 31 March.

American Airlines will launch a daily service to Phoenix from 31 March.

BA will return to Pittsburgh, four times weekly, from Tuesday 2 April.

BA will fly to Charleston twice a week from Thursday 4 April until Thursday 24 October. It’s relatively unusual for BA to launch a low frequency seasonal long-haul route, and if a success, this could presage more route announcements.

After a break of more than ten years, BA will fly to Islamabad three times weekly from Sunday 2 June.
Continue reading “London’s New Routes For 2019”

2019 – The Year Ahead In Air Travel

A look at the themes and trends that are likely to dominate air travel in 2019.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

2019 In Air Travel
2019 In Air Travel

After a look back at 2018, it’s time to turn attention to the year ahead.

Two certain events are likely to dominate in 2019.

The first is BA’s centenary celebrations.

The airline will officially celebrate its centenary on Sunday 25 August 2019. This will mark 100 years since the first scheduled international passenger service between London and Paris.

It can be said with confidence there will be a lot of PR activity in advance of this. The airline has already said there will be “100 acts of kindness” throughout the year as part of its “BA Magic” series. You can also expect a lot of in-flight service improvements in the first half of the year.

The second is that both BA and Virgin Atlantic will take delivery of their first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

Both airlines will be introducing entirely new Club World and Upper Class cabins respectively.

This is the first time both airlines will undertake a full redesign of their cabins since they each introduced fully flat beds. BA will be abandoning its patented “yin-yang” layout. Virgin is also expected to replace its current herringbone design.

It’s hard to envisage both airlines not going for something other than a forward facing 1-2-1 design. Though both will want to differentiate themselves in the market. Whoever comes up with the leading design, will Virgin let BA have the last word? Probably, not.

As events this year have shown, there is no shortage of willing entrants on the UK transatlantic market. JetBlue, subject to obtaining slots, may announce new transatlantic routes from Boston and New York to London.

Like JetBlue, WestJet is respected local brand. However, it’s entry into the transatlantic market a couple of years ago got off to a very difficult start, primarily due to the reliability of its Boeing 767s. Its competitiveness should improve significantly next year when it introduces the Boeing 787 with its first international business class cabin at Gatwick.

Qantas is also expected confirm next year whether it will launch non-stop flights from London to Sydney.

It is currently in discussions with Airbus and Boeing about placing an order for suitable aircraft. The launch of non-stop flights to Perth this year generated huge amounts of PR for the airline and has, at least as far as Qantas is prepared to say, has been a commercial success.

In terms of loyalty programmes, easyJet will be making another move onto BA territory by launching its first ever frequent flyer currency. Virgin will also relaunching its frequent flyer programme as it, subject to regulatory approval, launches a new combined transatlantic joint-venture with Air France-KLM.

The two big unknowns are Flybe and Norwegian.

Virgin Atlantic confirmed shortly before Christmas that it is still in discussions with Flybe. This does suggest that it is serious in its intent.

In theory, next year Norwegian is supposed delivery of yet more Boeing 737 MAX8 and Boeing 787 aircraft, and its first Airbus A321 Neo Long Range aircraft. However, it’s clear from an update shortly before Christmas that preserving cash is currently a priority. Norwegian will be selling aircraft – both existing and those yet to be delivered. Whatever happens next, the era of rapacious growth is simply over.

Things have gone very quiet regarding IAG and Norwegian. That is not to say there isn’t activity behind the scenes – it’s when there’s an impasse that there are leaks. IAG is not an organisation to shy away from hard work and would relish the “transformational” aspects of any acquisition, specifically in the Nordic region and at Gatwick. However, given the number of overlapping city pairs between IAG airlines and Norwegian, it’s hard not to see slot significant divestures being demanded by competition regulators.

2018 – A Year In Air Travel

A look back at airline trends over the past 12 months.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Airlines which ceased scheduled flights in 2018.
Airlines which ceased scheduled flights in 2018.

As 2018 draws to a close, it’s time for a customary look back at the year gone by.

It was a year of many airline failures. Some came and went in the UK market very quickly. Others will enter 2019 facing continued uncertainty.

Consolidation In Europe Has Some Way To Go

Over the past 15 years or so, legacy airlines in Europe have consolidated into one of Air France-KLM, International Airlines Group and Lufthansa.

easyJet and Ryanair have become the dominant low cost airlines.

After the failure of Air Berlin and Monarch in 2017, CityJet, once dominant at London City, suspended scheduled flying and now provides wet lease services only. Cobalt Air, Primera Air, and VLM Airlines failed.

Flybe is searching for a new owner. Finnair repeatedly indicates a desire to play its part in consolidation. There is some way to go yet.

Reykjavik Is Not Dubai

Iceland’s WOW air once had an ambition.

If Dubai could capture great swathes of connecting traffic between Europe and Africa and Asia, then why could Reykjavik not do the same across the North Atlantic?

The answer of course is what Emirates did at Dubai to great effect was provide passengers between Europe and Asia and Australia with scores of new one-stop connections that previously required two changes. And all in better comfort.

There are of course ample direct flights between most major European and North American gateways and many connection opportunities at better connected airports.

This did not deter WOW air which embarked on an aggressive expansion plan, launching many new US cities from Reykjavik. This now lays in tatters. It is rapidly shedding itself of aircraft and routes in the hope of securing a new investor.
Continue reading “2018 – A Year In Air Travel”

2019 New Year Airline Sales

Here are some of the leading airline sales for travel into 2019.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

2019 New Year Sales
2019 New Year Sales

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day.

Now that the main day itself is over, there’s at least some time to think about travel for the year ahead.

It’s a busy time for airline sales, so here’s our rundown of selected New Year sales by airline for travel into 2019.

Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand, which flies from London Heathrow to Auckland via Los Angeles, has special fares to Los Angeles across all cabins for booking until Thursday 31 January 2019.

Special fares are available from £329 in economy for travel between Wednesday 16 January and Saturday 23 March 2019, from £759 in premium economy for travel between Sunday 20 January and 23 March 2019, from £2,099 in Business Premier for travel between Monday 1 July and Saturday 24 August 2019.

All of these fares are available at Air New Zealand.

British Airways

BA’s sale for flights and package car hire/hotel deals is underway in all cabins across its network.

On short-haul, there are a good number of destinations available from £24 in EuroTraveller and from £99 one way in Club Europe.

There are a number of North America destinations available at less than £300 return in World Traveller including Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, Miami, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and Philadelphia. Many of these destinations are also available at around £700 return in World Traveller Plus.

In Club World, some of the best fares are Baltimore at £1,374 return and Nashville at £1,377 return.

And in First Class, Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles are available from £1,874 return.

The best way to see what is available is to use the low fare finder on ba.com and select your preferred region and class of travel.

There are also substantially more savings to be had if you buy a package flight with either car hire or a hotel with the added benefit of only having to pay a deposit at the time of booking.

Similar transatlantic fares should also be available from BA’s transatlantic joint-venture partner American Airlines.

BA’s sale ends on 31 January 2019. The full terms and conditions, including details of advance purchase requirements, blackout periods, minimum and Saturday night stays, are detailed at ba.com
Continue reading “2019 New Year Airline Sales”

A look at the Boeing 787-10 aircraft

A look at the latest version of the Boeing 787 as airlines take delivery of the Boeing 787-10.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Aircraft
Singapore Airlines Boeing 787-10 Aircraft (Image Credit: Singapore Airlines)

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is now a firm fixture in the fleets of many long-haul airlines from London.

The Boeing 787-8 has, with great success, opened up many new transatlantic routes such as Nashville and New Orleans and, from next year, Charleston and Pittsburgh. The Boeing 787-9 has established the first direct scheduled route between London and Australia, to Perth.

This year, airlines have begun to take delivery of the latest variant of the 787, the Boeing 787-10.

However, it’s not clear whether the 787-10 will be as revolutionary as its older siblings.

It’s a larger aircraft, with a length of 68m, compared to 57m for the 787-8 and 63m for the 787-9, but with the same height and wingspan. The most significant difference is that it has, based on official figures from Boeing, a shorter range of 6,430 nautical miles, compared to 7,355 nautical miles for the 787-8 and 7,635 for the 787-9. The total number of aircraft ordered is relatively small, 169 out of over 1,400 for the 787 in total.

Always one to pride itself on world firsts, Singapore Airlines took delivery of the first Boeing 787-10 in March of this year.

Singapore Airlines now has 7 aircraft, out of an order of 47. These operate in a two class configuration with 337 seats in total. It’s used on what the airline terms “regional” routes of less than eight hours from Singapore to Manila, Nagoya, Osaka, Perth and Tokyo Narita.

United Airlines has taken delivery of its first Boeing 787-10.

It has ordered 14 aircraft in total. It will operate on transcontinental flights from Newark to Los Angeles from Monday 7 January 2018. Next summer, it will progressively operate on transatlantic routes from Newark to Barcelona, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris Charles de Gaulle and Tel Aviv. United has yet to reveal interior images of the aircraft, but it will feature its “Polaris” business class seat as well as premium economy and economy cabins.

Etihad has very recently taken delivery of 2 out of 30 Boeing 787-10 aircraft. However, given its current financial situation, its fleet plans are likely to be reviewed.

British Airways plans to take delivery of 12 aircraft from 2020 to 2023, with the first six due to arrive in 2020. This will take its total number of 787s to 42, making it very close to the largest series of aircraft in its long-haul fleet.

BA is the only UK airline to have ordered the Boeing 787-10. Like the Airbus A350-1000, it is intended to replace the Boeing 747. The first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft to be delivered next year will not have First Class and will replace many 52 Club World seat Boeing 747s. As such, it is likely the Boeing 787-10 will have First Class and a higher Club World configuration to replace the 70 Club World seat Boeing 747s on routes such as New York JFK. It will of course feature BA’s new Club World seat.

Other airlines to take delivery of the Boeing 787-10 include Air France-KLM (though its new CEO has indicated that the fleet plans of Air France and KLM will be reviewed), ANA and Eva Air.

Airlines will be keen to showcase their latest cabins and advanced in-flight entertainment systems on the 787-10. However, with its larger size and relatively limited range, the Boeing 787-10 is likely to be a replacement for aircraft on many existing routes, rather than a gateway to new routes. The principal benefit seems to be its fuel efficiency and commonality with the 787-8 and 787-9.

For aircraft that will open up the next phase of new long-haul routes from London, we’ll have to turn to the Airbus A350 Ultra Long Range and the Boeing 777X which are currently under consideration by Qantas for non-stop flights to Sydney.

Supersonic – The Design And Lifestyle Of Concorde

“Supersonic – The Design And Lifestyle Of Concorde” looks at the design of Concorde by Air France & BA ahead of its 50th anniverary.

London Air Travel » New & Noteworthy

Supersonic, The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde, Lawrence Azerrad.
Supersonic, The Design and Lifestyle of Concorde, Lawrence Azerrad.

This week marked 15 years since Concorde completed its final commercial passenger flight.

On 24 October 2003, members of Concorde’s exclusive club of regular patrons such as the late Sir David Frost and Dame Joan Collins gathered in the Concorde Room at New York JFK. After a farewell speech from Concorde Captain Mike Bannister, they boarded BA2 for the final time, to land at Heathrow before the world’s media.

15 years on Captain Mike Bannister gathered with guests in The Design Museum earlier this week to mark the launch of a limited edition timepiece with Bremont.

Designed in collaboration with BA in advance of the airline’s centenary and the 50th anniversary of Concorde’s maiden flight in 2019, each watch features aluminium from one of BA’s seven Concordes, G-BOAB – pictured here at Heathrow. There are three editions, limited to 500 in total, which are handsomely priced from “just” £9,495 to £17,995.

A more affordable means of remembering Concorde is a recently published book “Supersonic: The Design And Lifestyle Of Concorde”.

It is written by Lawrence Azerrad who founded Los Angeles based design studio LAD Design and has gathered hundreds of Concorde related artefacts. The book focuses less on the engineering and the politics behind the Concorde, and more on the evolution of its marketing and the design of its cabin interiors and branding by both Air France and BA.

It features a foreword by Sir Terence Conran who, in conjunction with factorydesign designed the last Concorde cabin interior for BA and the Concorde Room in New York JFK and the former Concorde Room in London Heathrow Terminal 4.

At a time when there are forces at work determined to take the Western world backwards, Concorde does reflect a spirit of international co-operation and optimism about the future. It is unlikely that supersonic transatlantic travel will return. But progress remains in other areas. There are more US cities that can be reached directly from London then ever before. This time next year, we should know whether direct flights from London to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney could be launched.

Back to the book, Lawrence Azerrad will be in conversation with designer Sebastian Conran at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington on Friday 8 February 2019. Tickets are on sale now.

“Supersonic – The Design And Lifestyle Of Concorde” is published by Prestel Publishing and is on sale now.