London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 5 July 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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Provincetown, Cape Cod
Cape Cod (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 5 July 2021.

“It’s Time For New York City”

It was a week of transatlantic anniversaries last week.

Virgin Atlantic marked 30 years of operations at London Heathrow where it became the 2nd UK airline allowed to operate transatlantic flights at the airport. BA marked 75 years since BOAC operated its first commercial flight to New York City, via Shannon and Gander.

Next month, JetBlue will operate its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to New York JFK. Or at least it plans to.

And New York is certainly keen to welcome back visitors. The official tourism agency NYC & Company is rolling out a new $30 million advertising campaign “It’s Time For New York City”.

"It's Time For New York City" Advertising Campaign Poster
“It’s Time For New York City” NYC & Company, Advertising Campaign, Summer 2021

It was hoped that yesterday’s 4th of July public holiday in the US would mark a lifting of international travel restrictions for passengers from Europe. No so. And it’s likely to be a similar story for the Labor Day holiday.

Progress on opening a travel bubble between the UK & the US is said to be slow. This is partly because of concern over the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant in the UK; the number of organisations in the US government that have oversight of travel restrictions and that the AstraZeneca vaccine does not have regulatory approval in the US.

Calls for progress from both airlines and government are noticeably louder on this side of the Atlantic. Last week, Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith joined BA and Virgin Atlantic in urging for restrictions to be lifted.

Here in the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to hold a press briefing on the planned lifting of remaining restrictions in England from Monday 19 July. This was widely briefed to newspapers yesterday, with some suggesting that quarantine for passengers returning from “amber list” countries will not have quarantine on arrival.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 28 June 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 28 June 2021.

Gatwick Airport Confident BA Will Stay

Amid continued speculation about the future of BA at Gatwick, airport CEO Stewart Wingate is confident the airline will maintain a presence there.

This is at least as far as long haul flights are concerned. In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Stewart was quoted as saying:

It’s very clear to us that BA’s full intention is to continue flying long-haul routes from Gatwick, probably with a fleet of 14 or 15 aircraft

Many years ago BA did in fact look at transferring all Gatwick long haul flights to Heathrow, but the airport refused to entertain any possibility of negotiating a special deal on landing fees. This is likely to be a factor in BA retaining a presence at Gatwick.

As far as short haul flights for BA and its fellow IAG subsidiaries are concerned, much will depend on what slot alleviations are granted for the winter season.

Last week, Airport Coordination Ltd proposed a gradual lifting of existing slot waivers to allow for new entrants, particularly at airports where airlines have effectively withdrawn all flights.

ACL proposes that the current 80 / 20 “use it or lose it” rule is changed to 70 / 30 to allow for short notice cancellations.

Airlines that plan to hand back slots for the entire winter season should do so by no later than 31 August 2021. This should also be capped at 50% of their slot portfolio to prevent airlines temporarily handing back all slots for the season by default. Any remaining slots must be handed back no later than 4 weeks before their planned operation to benefit from alleviation.

The final decision on continued slot alleviations rests with the Secretary of State for Transport.

BA IT Outage

One benefit of a vastly reduced schedule for an airline is you can take your IT systems offline for maintenance.

Over the past few months BA has periodically taken ba.com down overnight for maintenance. Whatever work has been done didn’t prevent problems with BA’s reservations system yesterday evening. ba.com was also taken down entirely for just over an hour. Systems appeared to return to normal at around 22:00 BST.

BA Route Network Updates

BA continues to gradually reinstate a number of short haul routes. The airline should add the following routes at London Heathrow this week:

Monday 28 June: Amman, Paphos, Prague, Sofia

Wednesday 30 June: Zagreb

Friday 2 July: Lyon, Pristina and Valencia

Saturday 3 July: Bologna, Catania, Milan Malpensa

BA’s new codeshare with Loganair on London Heathrow to Teesside also comes into effect from Thursday 1 July.

At London City, BA CityFlyer returns to Ibiza and Menorca on Friday.

BA has also reinstated limited weekly flights from London Heathrow to Kuwait City and Johannesburg. Tokyo Haneda restarts on Friday 2 July.

As ever, this is all indicative and subject to change at very short notice.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 21 June 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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Sean Doyle, Chief Executive, British Airways
Sean Doyle, Chief Executive, British Airways (Image Credit: Aer Lingus)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 21 June 2021.

Sunday Times Interview With Sean Doyle

Corporate PR is all about setting out a narrative and, where necessary, getting your side of the story out first before someone else.

Virgin Atlantic used to the master of this. When the airline was in the ascendancy everything was presented through the prism of “bringing much needed competition to British Airways”.

When a business loses control of the narrative, it is hard to regain it. A case in point was BA’s botched implementation of Buy On Board on short haul flights in 2017.

As soon as national newspapers picked up the story, relatively trivial details such as the removal of flowers in Club World washrooms suddenly became newsworthy. Alex Cruz became a lightning rod for criticism and BA had to fight a rearguard action to try and change the story about the airline.

It has to be said that Alex Cruz didn’t always help himself. Negative stories about a possible removal of free hot meals in long haul economy could easily have been avoided if he’d simply said “We have no plans to do that.” rather than “We might do it.” There’s a reason why company executives are not allowed anywhere near a microphone until they’ve had media training from a former journalist.

If you read the interview with current CEO Sean Doyle in yesterday’s Sunday Times Magazine you’d be forgiven for thinking the airline was on the cusp of entering a new era with a focus on excellence and a premium experience for all.

This is all perfectly laudable but almost every initiative mentioned (Club Suite, expanded premium economy cabins, new in flight entertainment systems, catering by Do& Co, resolution of customer queries on “first contact”) were already in train under Alex Cruz.

There is no escaping the fact that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the airline’s financial health. Decisions will have to be made in the coming years that will determine the airline’s course for the rest of the decade.

This is not to play down Sean’s strengths – he is clearly very articulate and knows the airline extremely well.

But it is one thing for Sean to put a Concorde nose cone on a Terminal 5 lounge terrace. It will be a considerably harder feat to persuade a heavily indebted IAG to commit tens of millions of pounds to refurbish the Heathrow lounges, which they do need. Or to order Airbus A321LR & XLR aircraft to rebuild the long haul network.

Another big strategic decision will be the airline’s presence at Gatwick. Interest was reignited this weekend following a Sunday Telegraph report that BA may pull out of Gatwick entirely. Some six weeks ago, IAG CEO Luis Gallego said that group was reviewing its presence there. Quite way the Telegraph has picked up on this now, citing “industry sources” isn’t clear – unless it has been leaked to try and bounce somebody into action.

BA Route Network Updates

Staying with BA, the airline is due to launch its new routes from London City airport to Guernsey and Jersey this Friday 25 June.

At Heathrow, BA returns to Warsaw on Wednesday 23 June, Riyadh on Saturday 26 June and Newquay on Sunday 27 June.

The planned launch of new summer seasonal routes to Cluj-Napoca, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Riga has been pushed back to mid July and may well move again.

Over at Gatwick, BA has also recently restarted limited flights to Punta Cana.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 14 June 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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British Airways aircraft on the ground at London Heathrow Airport.
British Airways Aircraft At Sunset, London Heathrow

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 14 June 2021.

A Second Lost Summer

Ahead of the G7 Summit in Cornwall last week, all airlines operating flights between the UK and the US issued a joint statement calling for transatlantic travel between the two to be reopened.

Curiously, it was only BA and Virgin Atlantic that really promoted the statement. The actions of their US counterparts were much more muted.

This is possibly because they have a buoyant and a substantially larger domestic market – typically five times the size of their international markets – to keep them in business. Or perhaps they knew it would fall on deaf ears. Which it did.

The government is expected to today confirm at a press conference that the planned lifting of all COVID-19 restrictions in England on 21 June 2021 will be delayed by up to four weeks. It is a safe assumption that the “green list” will not be extended during this time.

The UK travel industry appears to have few friends in government at present. There are growing calls for the furlough scheme to be extended to April next year, which would cover the entirety of the winter season.

British Airways has also called for the government to provide further sector specific support with subsidies to cover the cost of maintaining grounded aircraft.

Meanwhile in Europe, according to Politico, the European Council is expected to today formally adopt a streamlined set of travel rules for EU Member States.

In what won’t be the last airline casualty of COVID-19, last week Air Antwerp, which flew between London City and Antwerp, confirmed it will not resume flights in August as planned. Its website is still live but the airline has stopped taking bookings.

As has been widely reported Aer Lingus Regional franchise operator Stobart Air suspended operations last week after a deal to sell the airline fell through. Full details of replacement flights covering its former routes are available from Aer Lingus.

South African Airways

The South African government confirmed last week it has selected The Takatso Consortium as the preferred Strategic Equity Partner for South African Airways.

The consortium will own 51% of the airline and the state will retain 49% ownership. The intention is to eventually list the relaunched airline.

The consortium comprises Harith General Partners, which invests in African infrastructure and owns Lanseria International Airport, and South African based aviation group Global Aviation which launched the local airline LIFT last year.

A due diligence exercise is now underway and once this is complete the consortium will outline plans for the airline’s route network, fleet, brand and global partnerships.

Staying with South Africa, Virgin Atlantic confirmed last week it plans to reinstate passenger flights from London Heathrow to Johannesburg on 24 June.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 7 June 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 London Heathrow
Singapore Airlines Airbus A380 London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 7 June 2021.

Travel Industry Reels From UK Government’s Volte Face

The UK travel industry is understandably reeling from the UK government’s decision last week to remove Portugal from the “green list” and not add any further countries.

Airline CEOs had made it clear months ago that they needed certainty and there are very substantial costs involved in preparing aircraft and crews for a return to service.

In terms of route network development this week, at London City BA CityFlyer is due to return to Palma de Mallorca and launch Gibraltar this Friday. At Heathrow, BA will return to Split this Friday.

Qantas Organised Crime Allegations

The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes (Nine Network Australia) have reported that an Australian federal intelligence operation code named “Project Brunello” has identified that up 150 staff at Qantas may have links to organised crime.

These employees are said to have used their “trusted insider” status at the airline to facilitate criminal activity. Qantas departments most vulnerable to infiltration are said to be its air freight division, and ground crew and baggage handling divisions.

One person who occupies a mid manager role at Qantas’ airport operations in Sydney is claimed to have links to criminal gangs and may have recruited criminals at the airline to facilitate the importation of narcotics into Australia.

Around 60 staff are said to have links to “serious drug offences” or “organised crime groups”.

Yesterday, Qantas issued a statement denying any knowledge of current investigations into organised crime at the airline.

Singapore Airlines Marks 50 Years’ Flying From London

Last week, Singapore Airlines marked 50 years of flying from London to Singapore.

It was on 3 June 1971 that Singapore Airlines’ predecessor Malaysia Singapore Airlines launched flights from London Heathrow to Singapore.

Flights initially operated three times weekly on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, departing at 13:10. These were operated with Boeing 707 aircraft, stopping en route at Rome, Bahrain and Mumbai. These were increased to daily from 1 April 1973, departing Heathrow at 14:10.

For a very brief period from December 1977, British Airways and Singapore Airlines operated a joint Concorde service from London Heathrow to Singapore via Bahrain. This cut the journey time from 15 hours and 25 minutes to 9 hours and 15 minutes.

Flights to Singapore had to use Indonesian airspace as Malaysia refused to allow the use of its airspace on environmental grounds. Flights were temporarily suspended after just seven days’ operation for over a year until Malaysia allowed use of its airspace in December 1978.

On 25 November 1983, Singapore Airlines upgraded its own route to a Boeing 747-300 aircraft four times a week. This aircraft featured an expanded Upper Deck, unique to Singapore Airlines and twice the size of other 747 aircraft, dubbed “BIG TOP”. This was used to accommodate the business class cabin with First Class and economy on the main deck. These flights were increased to daily from early 1984.

On 29 October 1984, Singapore operated the first non-stop flight from London to Singapore. Non-stop flights operated initially three times weekly, and increased to daily in 1985.

The 747 enabled Singapore to become a major hub for travel between Europe and Australia though it has faced increased competition from hubs in the Middle East.

Singapore Airlines has always prided itself on industry firsts and in March 2008 it was the first airline to operate scheduled passenger Airbus A380 flights from London Heathrow.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 31 May 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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London Heathrow Collage
London Heathrow Collage (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 31 May 2021.

Heathrow Airport Marks 75 Years

Heathrow Airport marks 75 years of civil aviation operations today.

Although the airport, then known as London Airport, traces its history much further, it was on 31 May 1946 it officially started passenger flights.

Like many aviation anniversaries of late, there is little cause for celebration.

It’s no exaggeration to say Heathrow’s fortunes have changed dramatically in the past 12 months. Two of its four terminals remain closed to passenger flights. There are scores of destinations on its route network that have not been served for over a year, and many may not be touched for another 12 months. It will be some time before we see 7 Airbus A380s a day flying to Dubai, or nearly 30 flights a day to New York.

In its early years, Heathrow replaced Croydon and Northolt as hubs for BA’s predecessor airlines British European Airways and British Overseas Airways Corporation.

The experience of its first passengers was radically different to now. Passengers would be bussed from the Imperial Airways Terminal and West London Air Terminal. These were rendered redundant by the opening of the now demolished Terminal 1 in April 1969 and the extension of the Piccadilly Line to Heathrow in December 1977.

The oldest terminal at the airport today is Terminal 3 which opened in November 1961 when it was then known as the Oceanic Terminal. This is eventually earmarked for demolition in favour of an expanded Terminal 2.

In its time Heathrow has witnessed many aviation milestones including the first passenger jet flight across the Atlantic, the arrival of Concorde and the Boeing 747, the launch of “Shuttle” services to UK regional airports, and Qantas operating non stop flights to Australia.

1991 saw significant change with the arrival of Virgin Atlantic. This was marked with Sir Richard Branson dressing as a pirate and covering a model BA Concorde with Virgin livery and declaring the airport “Virgin Territory”. It prompted a rapid deterioration in its relationship with BA.

American Airlines and United also replaced Pan American World Airways and Trans World Airlines as the two US airlines permitted to fly to the USA. The EU-US Open Skies treaty allowed what was then Continental, Delta, Northwest Airlines and US Airways transfer operations from Gatwick to Heathrow.

Some airlines have come and gone, notably the “friendly independent” bmi British Midland.

Whilst Heathrow remains highly sought after – every season new airlines seek to gain access – relations between the airport and airlines can be poor. The chaotic opening of Terminal 5 in 2008 exposed a dysfunctional relationship with BA. The airport has rightly criticised for its disastrous response to heavy snowfall in Christmas 2010, which prompted a radical overhaul of its image.

Whilst the airport and airlines are presenting a united front in campaigning for the lifting of travel restrictions, tensions will continue as Heathrow seeks to recover its financial losses due to COVID-19 and fund a third runway.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 24 May 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 24 May 2021.

BA Short Haul Additions

The relaunch of international travel last week was, in spite of a co-ordinated PR effort between BA and Heathrow, a fairly muted affair.

This was not helped by mixed messages from government ministers on the relative status of amber and green list countries. At the weekend Transport Secretary Grant Shapps confirmed that people should not be taking holidays to amber list countries, but is confident that the green list will be extended throughout the summer.

This weekend BA is due to restart short haul flights from London Heathrow to a number of destinations in Greece including Chania, Kalamata, Kefalonia, Preveza, Rhodes and Zakynthos.

BA also launches flights from Manchester and Newcastle to Faro. BA CityFlyer also starts services to Faro from Edinburgh and Southampton. BA will also operate a large number of flights this weekend from Heathrow and Manchester to Porto.

Breeze Airways

A new airline takes to the skies in the US this week. Breeze Airways will launch its inaugural route from Tampa to Charleston this Thursday, 27 May.

Founded by serial airline entrepreneur David Neeleman it aims to operate unserved city pairs across the US. Additional markets will be progressively added throughout June and July with the aim of operating 39 routes between 16 cities.

Flights will be operated by Embraer E190 & E195 aircraft. The airline also has 60 Airbus A220 aircraft on order which will be delivered from later this year.

Breeze has styled itself as “seriously nice” airline with fare classes branded “nice” and “nicer”. It will also introduce a dedicated premium cabin “nicest” on Airbus A220 aircraft.

In case you missed it:

JetBlue finally confirms its plans to launch flights to New York JFK at Heathrow from 12 August and Gatwick from 30 September. Time will tell whether it’s really worth the effort splitting such a small operation between two London airports. (London Air Travel)

Heathrow Airport is to open a dedicated arrivals facility at Terminal 3 for passengers arriving direct on flights from “red list” countries from 1 June 2021. This will eventually transfer to Terminal 4. (London Air Travel)

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London Heathrow Terminal 3 To Reopen On 1 June 2021

Heathrow Terminal 3 will reopen on 1 June 2021 with a dedicated arrivals facility for passengers arriving from countries the UK government has placed on its “red list”.

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Heathrow Airport At Night
Heathrow Airport At Night (Image Credit: Heathrow)

London Heathrow Terminal 3 will reopen on Tuesday 1 June 2021 with a dedicated arrivals facility for passengers arriving from countries the UK government has placed on its “red list”.

This follows criticism that passengers arriving from “amber” and “green” countries have faced long queues at the UK border and have consequently spent a long time in close proximity to passengers from “red” countries who are required to quarantine on arrival at a dedicated facility.

Terminal 3, along with Terminal 4, closed to passenger flights over a year ago as Heathrow Airport progressively consolidated all airlines at Terminals 2 and 5 in response to COVID-19.

It is planned that the dedicated arrivals facility will transfer to Terminal 4 as soon as practicable. This should then allow Terminal 3 to fully reopen to passenger flights so that airlines such as Delta and Virgin Atlantic can transfer all their flights back to Terminal 3.

At the time of publication there has been no comment from individual airlines as to how the new arrangement will work. It’s not clear whether aircraft will continue to arrive at Terminals 2 and 5, with passengers bussed to Terminal 3 to clear the UK border.

The dedicated arrivals facility will only apply to flights direct from “red list” countries, and not to passengers who have travelled indirectly via amber / green countries.

Passengers due to arrive from “red list” countries from 1 June 2021 are advised to check the latest guidance from Heathrow and the status of their bookings with their airline.

© Copyright London Air Travel 2021.

JetBlue Launches London – New York JFK

JetBlue will fly from London Heathrow to New York JFK daily from 12 August 2021. London Gatwick follows on 30 September 2021.

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JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Studio
JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Studio (Image Credit: JetBlue)

In one of the most widely trailed route launches, JetBlue has finally confirmed its plans to launch its first transatlantic routes to New York JFK.

JetBlue will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to New York JFK Terminal 5 daily from Thursday 12 August 2021.

Flights from London Gatwick (North Terminal) to New York JFK will follow on Thursday 30 September 2021.

JetBlue also plans to launch flights from London to Boston in the summer of 2022.

These routes will be operated with Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft. JetBlue has 13 of these aircraft on order with 3 to be delivered this year and a further 3 in 2022. In 2019, JetBlue also ordered 13 Airbus A321 XLR aircraft intended for routes to mainland Europe, originally due for delivery from 2023.

Mint Business Class

The aircraft will feature JetBlue’s latest “Mint” business class cabin featuring 24 Mint Suites and 2 larger Mint Studios in the front row of the aircraft.

JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Suite
JetBlue Airbus A321 Mint Suite (Image Credit: JetBlue)

The Mint Suite features a fully flat bed in a herringbone configuration and a sliding door for complete privacy. Passengers also benefit from a 17″ TV screen, a side table, stowage for laptops, shoes and small bags. The Mint Studio features a larger bed, TV screen and an additional side table.

JetBlue has not yet confirmed what departure and arrivals lounge facilities will be in place for passengers in London and New York JFK.

Core Economy Class

The economy cabin, dubbed “core”, features 117 seats in a 3 – 3 configuration. JetBlue promises a 32″ seat pitch and 18.4″ seat width.

This includes four rows of extra leg room seats. All food and drink is complimentary in economy with the option to “build your own meal” by ordering through your seat back TV screen.

Note there are three categories of economy fare (Blue Basic, Blue, and Blue Extra). Blue Basic fares do not include a free checked bag, nor advance seat selection.

All passengers will benefit from complimentary unlimited high speed WiFi. The in flight entertainment system will also include live TV – due to rights issues this is likely to be limited to global news channels.

What are JetBlue’s prospects of success?

Whilst JetBlue has made much of its intention to shake up the transatlantic market, operating long haul flights for the first time with a relatively small sub fleet of aircraft will not be without its difficulties.

Should JetBlue have issues with aircraft reliability, without sufficient backup arrangements in place, this could have a considerable repetutional impact.

It has to be said that the timing of the Heathrow flights are not particularly competitive with a late departure to New York and long aircraft downtime at Heathrow. There is also uncertainty as to whether JetBlue can secure permanent slots at Heathrow.

JetBlue’s move has already prompted a competitive response from US airlines. United has obtained remedy slots from BA to launch London Heathrow – Boston. If history is anything to go by, further competitive activity from US airlines are likely.

Full details on JetBlue’s plans for transatlantic services from London are available at JetBlue.com

As ever, in the current climate, flight schedules are subject to change at very short notice and passengers must ensure they comply with all pre departure and arrival requirements.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 17 May 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 BST.

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Aer Lingus London Heathrow
London Heathrow Terminal 2 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 17 May 2021.

Travel Restrictions From England Lifted

Today, Monday 17 May, marks the lifting of restrictions on outbound international travel from England. Passengers no longer need a legally permitted reason to travel.

Many will still find the prospect of a holiday a long way off and, to the frustration of airlines, the UK government continues to dampen expectations.

At BA, there is a modest increase in short haul flights from London Heathrow.

Reinstated routes from this week – assuming no last minute cancellations! – include Ibiza, Lanzarote, Madeira, Malta, Marseille, Mykonos, Naples, Palma de Mallorca, Pisa, Santorini, Tenerife and Toulouse. BA also returns to Chicago O’Hare this week.

At London City airport, BA CityFlyer returns to Glasgow from today and Faro later this week.

Virgin Atlantic is due to return to Montego Bay from this Wednesday.

Full details on the new rules and the traffic light system for arrivals in England are available on gov.uk

Dedicated Heathrow Terminal For “Red List” Flights?

There has been considerable controversy over the past week on the UK government being slow to impose mandatory quarantine on flights from countries with relatively high rates of COVID-19 infection.

It has been suggested in the past that Terminal 4 could be designated as a terminal for “red list” flights so arriving passengers do not mix with those arriving from amber and green countries.

Yesterday’s Sunday Times reported that Ministers are proposing that Terminal 2 could be designated as an arrivals terminal for “red list” flights.

This will introduce considerable complications. It would require Terminal 3 to reopen first. Airlines such as BA and Virgin will not relish having to split operations between terminals. A large number of other airlines currently operating from Terminal 2 would have to relocate to Terminals 3 and 5. Given the pressure a heavily indebted Heathrow is under to contain operating costs, it will not want to reopen additional terminals unless it has to.

Wide Body Short Haul Flights

Back to short haul travel in Europe, one of its few reliable pleasures is a flight on a wide body aircraft.

Due to limited scheduled passenger flights, airlines are operating selected flights with wide body aircraft for their cargo capacity.

Yesterday, BA started operating flights BA559 & BA560 between Heathrow and Rome Fiumicino on Sundays with Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

Other BA wide body short haul flights at Heathrow this month include:

BA430 & BA431 to / from Amsterdam on Wednesday & Thursday;
BA636 & BA637 to / from Athens on Friday & BA626 & BA627 on Sunday;
BA621 & BA622 to / from Larnaca on Monday & BA664 & BA665 on Thursday;
BA776 & BA777 to / from Stockholm on Friday; and
BA712 & BA713 to / from Zurich on Wednesday.

As ever, these are indicative and subject to change at very short noice.

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