BA confirms delivery dates for first Boeing 787 & Airbus A380 aircraft

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today, 10 June 2013, confirmed that is to take delivery of its first Boeing 787 aircraft on 26 June 2013, and a second Boeing 787 aircraft a day later. It will take delivery of its first Airbus A380 aircraft on 4 July 2013 at a special media event at Heathrow to celebrate the introduction of two new aircraft types to its fleet.

BA has previously confirmed that the Airbus A380 will operate the BA25/BA26 Hong Kong route and selected Los Angeles flights later this year. The airline has released seat plans for the A380 but has not revealed the full cabin specification for the aircraft.

BA is yet to confirm on which routes the Boeing 787 will first be deployed. However, it reasonable to assume that some of the first routes to receive the Boeing 787 will be transatlantic routes currently operated by the Boeing 767 aircraft which include Washington, New York Newark, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Calgary.
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Virgin Atlantic suspends London Heathrow – Accra from 23 September 2013

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Virgin Atlantic aircraft at London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic has today announced that it is to suspend its five weekly service from London Heathrow to Accra in Ghana from 23 September 2013, when the last service to Accra will operate.

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BA to codeshare with Bangkok Airways to Phuket, Koh Samui & Chiang Mai

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today confirmed that it is, with immediate effect, to offer codeshares with Bangkok Airways on flights from Bangkok to Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, and from Singapore to Koh Samui. These are three of the eight destinations in Thailand served by Bangkok Airways.

The move is not surprising. Both Bangkok and Singapore have previously acted as a “scissor hub” for British Airways and Qantas to provide onward connections to numerous cities in Australia. Although these codeshares between British Airways and Qantas are still in place, these are less competitive for passengers arriving from London. This is because Qantas has retimed its Australia bound flights from Bangkok and Singapore after ceasing to fly from London to Bangkok and Singapore.

BA has also downgraded the Bangkok route from a four class Boeing 747 to a three class Boeing 777 from 27 October 2013, indicating under performance on this route.

These codeshares can only be booked when connecting to / from a BA long-haul flight.
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London Heathrow Terminal 2 to open on 4 June 2014

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London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt
London Heathrow Terminal 2A Forecourt (Image Credit: London Heathrow)

Heathrow Airport has today confirmed that London Heathrow airport’s newest terminal, Terminal 2, will open to the public on 4 June 2014.

The new terminal will house all Star Alliance member airlines at London Heathrow. These include United Airlines, Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, SAS, Swiss and Air New Zealand.

The terminal will also house non-alliance members Germanwings, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, and Aer Lingus, as well as Virgin Atlantic’s new domestic operation, Little Red.

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Heathrow to offer free WiFi to all passengers from Saturday 1 June 2014

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London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Passengers travelling through all four of the current operational terminals at Heathrow will be able to access complimentary WiFi provided by the airport operator from Saturday 1 June 2014.

Access to the complimentary service is limited to 45 minutes a day. However, members of the Heathrow Rewards loyalty programme, formerly known as BAA Worldpoints, will be able to access the service for 90 minutes a day.

Registration for Heathrow Rewards is free and is clearly worth it just for the free WiFi.

BA upgrades Rio de Janeiro, adding First Class & Boeing 777-300

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Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (Image Credit: London Air Travel)
Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways has announced it is to upgrade its London Heathrow – Rio de Janeiro route from a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft to a four class Boeing 777-300 aircraft from Sunday 27 October 2013.

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BA confirms further changes to Gatwick short-haul for Winter 2013

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways has confirmed further changes to its London Gatwick short-haul timetable for the Winter 2013 season, which starts on 27 October 2013.

All of these changes involve decreases in flights for the winter season.

Flights to Amsterdam decrease by 4 flights a week.

Flights to Barcelona decrease from three times a day to twice daily.

Flights to Bordeaux decrease from twice daily to ten weekly, with the second daily flights not operating on Monday – Thursday.

Flights to Dubrovnik decrease from 3 to 2 a week, with the flight on Friday being cancelled.

Flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Jersey each decrease by 2 week, still leaving a good number of flights a week from the airport.

Flights to Genoa change from daily to five weekly, with no flights on Wednesday and Sunday.

There’s more detail on BA’s Gatwick routes on ba.com

IAG still intent on pursuing 100% ownership of Vueling

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International Airlines Group is clearly not satisfied with owning over 90% of Vueling.

Although this gives IAG full control of Vueling for all practical and accounting purposes, the airline group is clearly intent on having 100% ownership of Vueling. On Friday, IAG made a further offer for the remaining 9% of Vueling’s shares listed on the stock exchange in Spain.

As stated before, IAG has been coy about its intentions regarding Vueling, save for stating it will remain a separate subsidiary in the IAG group. However, IAG is clearly very keen on pursuing full ownership and control of the airline.

easyJet to expand at Gatwick as Flybe sells off slots

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

easyJet is to expand further at London Gatwick airport next year as Flybe has today announced it is to sell to easyJet its portfolio of 25 take off and landing slots at the airport for £20m.

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BBC2 to go behind the scenes at Heathrow with “Airport Live”

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Airport Live presenters, Dallas Campbell, Anita Rani, Dan Snow - (C) BBC - Photographer: Des Willie
Airport Live presenters, Dallas Campbell, Anita Rani, Dan Snow – (C) BBC – Photographer: Des Willie

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.