The BBC has announced that it is to go behind the scenes at London Heathrow airport next month with “Airport Live”.
Over four consecutive nights from Monday 17 June 2013 to Thursday 20 June 2013, the BBC will be live from the control tower and airport terminals of London Heathrow.
This is not the first time the BBC has done such an exercise. Many readers will no doubt recall the long running fly on the wall documentary “Airport”.
Whilst “Airport” was very much focused on the work of a small number of individual staff members and passengers’ stories, it seems that “Airport Live” will lean more towards the mechanics and challenges of the daily airport operation. The BBC promises unprecedented access to air traffic control, airport terminals and airport hangars, to monitor the entire airport operation through a combination of pre-recorded segments and live footage (though I assume certain areas are bound to be off limits for security reasons).
It is understood that BA will be actively participating in the programme. This is noteworthy in itself as BA has, in the past, not been known for being willing to open itself up the media.
When London Heathrow Terminal 5 opened a little over five years ago (the opening was a day many will never forget!), much was made by BA of the introduction of its “Galleries” lounge concept. At Heathrow, this comprises the “flagship” Concorde Room for first class passengers and Concorde Room cardholders, a Galleries First lounge for BA Executive Club Gold cardholders, three Galleries Club lounges and a Galleries Arrivals lounge for arriving passengers. The lounges were designed by what was then known as Davies & Baron. The lounges feature bespoke Osborne & Little patterns, bold statements such as horse lamps as well as more subtle art and design statements.
Iberia’s new CEO, Luis Gallego, announced a new leadership team for Iberia on Friday 10 May 2013. The number of directors reporting to the Iberia CEO has been reduced to nine. Of the nine strong management team, four are external appointments and the remainder are internal promotions.
On the morning of the announcement, as per standard protocol, it held a webcast for analyst and the question and answer session that follows provides a lot of useful insight into current strategic developments at the airline group.
Here is a summary of some points of interest from the call:
International Airlines Group (IAG) has just published its financial results for the first quarter of the year.
Once again, the results are a tale of two airlines with a stark divergence in the performance of British Airways and Iberia. IAG made an overall operating loss of €278 million. However, IAG had to also take another exceptional charge of €311 million in connection with the restructuring of Iberia. This is in addition to the exceptional charges and provisions IAG took at the end of 2012. The overall loss after tax for the quarter was €630 million.
British Airways has announced it is to launch a new, thrice weekly, route from London Gatwick to Larnaca.
The route launches on 30 June 2013 and will operate in addition to BA’s daily service from London Heathrow.
The flight operates on Sunday, Monday and Thursday. As is common for Garwick the flight operates at different times on each operating day.
Flight BA2674 departs at 08:35 on Monday (returning from Larnaca at 16:10), 14:40 on Thursday (returning at 22:05) and 09:25 on Sunday (returning at 17:00). The flight will be operated with a Boeing 737 aircraft.
From a network development point of view there are a couple of interesting points to note.
First this is another new London Gatwick route which, like Barcelona and Las Vegas, operates in parallel to Heathrow. In recent times London Gatwick and Heathrow have tended to maintain broadly distinct networks but the latest Gatwick routes are a reversal of this trend. Heathrow has also moved into Gatwick’s leisure territory with seasonal routes to Palma de Mallorca, Ibiza and Gran Canaria.
Secondly, this is a relatively long range route which indicates where BA sees growth in the difficult short haul market at Gatwick.