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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.