London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing provides a digest of air travel news from London and around the world.
Here is an archive of all our briefings from 2021:
18 January 2021. The UK imposes a mandatory quarantine on all inbound passengers. Remembering Eve Branson.
25 January 2021. Boris Johnson is to decide this week whether all inbound passengers should be required to quarantine at designated hotels.
1 February 2021. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic scale back their schedules in February. Lufthansa operates its longest non-stop flight from Hamburg to the Falkland Islands.
8 February 2021. The UK government prepares to introduce a mandatory hotel quarantine regime for travellers arriving from “red list” countries.
15 February 2021. As the UK introduces mandatory hotel quarantine for passengers from “red list” countries, BA CEO Sean Doyle writes to Boris Johnson asking for clarity on the lifting of lockdown restrictions.
22 February 2021. Airlines continue to lobby the UK government for a timescale for the lifting of restrictions to allow time to prepare aircraft and colleagues for a return to flying. IAG prepares to announce a significant annual loss.
1 March 2021 – Qantas illustrates how COVID-19 has transformed network and schedule planning for airlines.
8 March 2021 – Gatwick introduces drop off charges from today. Doubts as to whether Flybe could return to the skies. “Heathrow – Britain’s Busiest Airport” returns to ITV.
15 March 2021 – British Airways CEO Sean Doyle touts new routes to Europe and Asia as it hopes to rebuild its network this summer. Virgin Atlantic seeks to secure another £160 million of new finance.
22 March 2021 – The UK government starts to dampen expectations on the lifting of travel restrictions for the summer.
29 March 2021 – Alaska Airlines will join the Oneworld alliance this week. In spite of a global pandemic a number of new airlines plan to launch flights in 2021.
5 April 2021 – This week marks 30 years since United Airlines replaced Pan American World Airways at London Heathrow, with American Airlines & Virgin Atlantic also entering the airport, marking a significant upheaval in transatlantic travel. Also, some provisional BA long haul changes at Gatwick for the summer 2021 season.
12 April 2021 – “You might as well use the dartboard to do your strategic planning.” UK airline chiefs respond to government plans to reopen international travel this summer.
19 April 2021 – The owners of Flybe plan for its return to the skies. Vintage UK & US aviation footage from KinoLibrary.
26 April 2021 – How has British Airways’ fleet changed post COVID-19?
3 May 2021 – The UK government prepares to lift international travel restrictions. Virgin Atlantic reports heavy losses for 2020. South African Airways exits its business rescue process.
10 May 2021 – British Airways’ parent company IAG is reviewing the long term presence of the airline at London Gatwick airport.
17 May 2021 – British Airways reinstates many short haul routes as restrictions on international travel are lifted. Government ministers suggest a dedicated terminal at Heathrow for arrivals from “red list” countries.
24 May 2021 – BA continues to add short haul flights; Breeze Airways prepares to launch its inaugural flight.
31 May 2021 – Heathrow Airport celebrates 75 years of operations in civil aviation.
7 June 2021 – UK travel industry reels from government volte face on travel restrictions; allegations of organised crime activity at Qantas and Singapore Airlines celebrates 50 years’ flying from London.
14 June 2021 – British Airways calls on the UK treasury to subsidise the cost to airlines of keeping grounded aircraft in service. The South African government confirms its preferred Strategic Equity Partner for South African Airways.
21 June 2021 – British Airways CEO Sean Doyle tries to sell a positive vision for the future of the airline, but questions remain over its long term presence at Gatwick.
28 June 2021 – Gatwick airport is confident that BA will continue to operate long haul flights from the airport; BA suffers another IT outage and reinstates long haul flights. “The Long View” looks at the forced landing of a BOAC VC10 aircraft in Libya 50 years ago.
5 July 2021 – Progress on the reopening of transatlantic travel between the UK & US is unlikely to happen before September. Cathay Pacific unveils a new “premium travel lifestyle brand” Cathay.
12 July 2021 – Qantas long-haul pilots detail the significant impact the continued grounding of the airline’s international operations on their mental health. Finnair launches new long haul routes from Stockholm. A newspaper launches, dedicated to vintage airline maps.
19 July 2021 – The 25th anniversary of Trans World Airlines Flight 800.
6 September 2021 – BA reinstates routes to Montreal and Vancouver in anticipation of travel restrictions to Canada being lifted. BA CityFlyer reinstates Amsterdam, Dublin and Zurich at London City. Virgin Atlantic continues to explore a public listing.
13 September 2021 – The UK government prepares to relax COVID-19 testing requirements for passengers returning to England, and reform its traffic light system. Wizz Air circles easyJet as airline merger speculation rises.
20 September 2021 – Cathay Pacific prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary celebrations. South African Airways restarts passenger flights. Tensions rise between Heathrow and airlines over passenger charges and between the EU and Asia over “use it or lose it” slot rules.
27 September 2021 – Is this the end for BA short haul flights at London Gatwick? How an airport was once planned for London Kings Cross. Qantas considers whether to resume flights between London and Melbourne via Darwin or Perth.
4 October 2021 – BA and BALPA restart negotiations on short haul flights at Gatwick. IATA holds its AGM in Boston. Explore BA’s abandoned flight training centre at Cranebank, near Heathrow.
11 October 2021 – Singapore Airlines adds “Vaccinated Travel Lanes” flights at Heathrow; IATA Director General Willie Walsh criticises Heathrow for planned increases of passenger charges.
18 October 2021 – BA & Virgin Atlantic reinstate transatlantic routes ahead of the reopening of the US from 8 November; Alitalia ceases operations.
25 October 2021 – The UK government is reported to be considering increasing Air Passenger Duty on longer range flights. The winter travel season begins.
1 November 2021 – Qantas resumes flights between London and Sydney as Australia reopens its orders. IATA Director General Willie Walsh defends aviation’s approach to net zero emissions.
8 November 2021 – British Airways and Virgin Atlantic operate special flights to to New York to mark the reopening of the US.
15 November 2021 – Eastern Airways secures London – Newquay PSO route; Scoot Airways launched London Gatwick – Bangkok – Singapore.
22 November 2021 – Virgin Atlantic seeks to raise £400 million from its shareholders and creditors to get through the winter season.
29 November 2021 – As BA prepares to restart Airbus A380 long. haul operations, the UK government imposes tighter restrictions on arriving passengers.
6 December 2021 – Cyrus Capital is rumoured to want to sell Flybe; BA restores transatlantic day flights from New York JFK.
13 December 2021 – In our last Monday Briefing of 2021, BA adds Airbus A380 flights to Boston, Chicago O’Hare and Washington Dulles for the summer 2022 season.