British Airways continues to surprise with its choice of new routes to occupy the 50 or so extra Heathrow slot pairs it has to fill following the purchase of bmi.
Following the launch of Leeds Bradford, Rotterdam, Zagreb and seasonal summer flights to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca, the airline has now launched a weekly return flight from London Heathrow to Las Palmas airport Gran Canaria from Saturday 26 October 2013.
Flights depart London Heathrow Terminal 5 and are operated with Airbus A320 aircraft in a two class Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy configuration.
The offer by International Airlines Group (“IAG”) to acquire the 54% of Vueling’s shares that it does not already own expired on Friday 19 April 2013.
The airline group initially made an offer priced at €7.00 per share which Vueling management chose not to recommend. IAG subsequently increased its offer to €9.25 per share. However, the minimum acceptance level was reduced to just 4.16% of Vueling’s capital to leave IAG with at least overall control of Vueling, if not 100% ownership.
Assuming the transaction completes this will be the second airline acquired by IAG since its formation in 2011 and the third member airline of the group (the first acquisition, bmi, being subsumed into British Airways).
Why is IAG so interested in Vueling and what does it have planned?
Whilst this is not the first long-haul order for Airbus by either BA or IAG, for Airbus this is still a significant long-haul order by BA as the A350-1000 aircraft is likely to form a major part of BA’s long haul fleet as a replacement for the Boeing 747-400.
When BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, bought bmi last year much was made of how the extra slots would enable BA to expand its long-haul network. So it was something of a surprise when last May BA announced it would launch new routes to Leeds-Bradford (initially 4 daily) and Rotterdam (3 daily) from 9 December 2012.
Neither are the most exciting destinations on the BA route network but both seem like a clear move to capture traffic from KLM.
British Airways has confirmed today that its (near) daily flight to Bangkok, BA9, will undergo a change of departure terminal at Heathrow, aircraft type and timing from the start of the Winter 2013 season on Sunday 27 October 2013.
The flight which currently departs from Heathrow Terminal 3 at 22:05 to arrive in Bangkok at 15:20 will transfer to Terminal 5 from 27 October 2013.
The operating aircraft will also a change from a four class Boeing 747 to a three class Boeing 777.
Furthermore, the departure time will change to 15:05, arriving in Bangkok at 09:20 and returning from Bangkok at 10:55 to arrive at Heathrow at 16:55. This is also the last BA operated long-haul flight to transfer from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5.
An 11 hour transatlantic flight from San Francisco to London in a passenger configured BA aircraft may not seem the most conducive environment for 100 thinkers to come up with solutions to the world’s problems, but BA thinks otherwise with the launch of Ungrounded.