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.
British Airways has confirmed changes to its London Gatwick short-haul timetable for the Winter 2013 season, which starts at the end of October.
The changes announced for so far are relatively minor, but in the context of perennial uncertainty over the future of BA’s London Gatwick short-haul operation, that is no bad thing.
Flights to Salzburg increase from 7 to 8 a week, with an additional flight on Tuesday.
Flights to Paphos continue twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays until 29 November 2013. Flights currently operate four weekly in the summer season.
Flights to Marrakech increase from 7 to 10 weekly, with additional flights on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Note that each additional flight has a different departure and arrival time. Flight BA 2668 departs London Gatwick at 11:35 on Monday (returning 15:50), 06:45 on Wednesday (returning 11:00), and 06:55 on Saturday (returning 11:10).
British Airways has confirmed changes to its London Heathrow short-haul timetable for the Winter 2013 season, which starts at the end of October.
The changes are relatively modest and mainly concern small increases and decreases in frequencies on certain routes.
– Agadir increases from two flights a week to three.
– Basel increases from 21 to 26 flights a week.
– Amsterdam, Athens, Hamburg and Nice also benefit from small increases of 1-2 flights a week.
– Flights to Manchester reduce from 72 to 68 a week.
– Prague also reduces by five flights from 33 to 28 flights a week.
– Aberdeen, Barcelona, Budapest, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Frankfurt, Paris Charles de Gualle, Rome, Stockholm and Zurich also reduce by 1-3 flights a week.
The daily flight to Larnaca also reverts back from a night-time departure to a day-time departure from London Heathrow, with the flight from Heathrow leaving at 12:05 and returning to Heathrow at 19:40.
There are also timetable changes to Rotterdam with BA’s three daily flights moved to earlier times. There are also relatively modest changes to timings for BA’s twice daily flights to Bergen and Stavanger.
Summer Seasonal Flights
BA’s weekly summer Saturday flights from London Heathrow to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca also finish on Saturday 26 October 2013. The airline will continue to fly all year round to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca from London City airport.
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.
Here are a few new & noteworthy items for, today, Thursday 25 April:
What role do Europe’s small state carriers have to play? (FlightGlobal)
How British Airways is using IT to know more about its passengers and drive ancillary sales (Computer Weekly)
Aer Lingus to wet lease three Boeing 757 aircraft to operate new transatlantic services to as yet unspecified destinations in 2014 (Aer Lingus Corporate)
And a salutary reminder for airlines to never take for granted the operational challenges of airline mergers and their reputations for operational reliability United posts its Q1 results that are markedly behind its peers. (United Continental Holdings Investor Relations)