“Use It Or Lose It” Slot Rules Waived For Winter 2021

Airlines flying from London airports over the winter season can reduce their schedules without risk of forfeiting airport slots.

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

Airlines operating from London airports can continue to run with reduced schedules over the winter 2021 season without risk of forfeiting their take off and landing slots.

Over the course of COVID-19 pandemic airlines have been granted a waiver of the 80 / 20 “use it or lose it” slot rules.

To benefit from the waiver airlines have to hand back slots they don’t plan to use so other airlines have the opportunity to use them. Slots could be handed back either before the start of the season or up to a set number of weeks before they were to be used.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 1 November 2021

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

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Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Pre Departure, London Heathrow Terminal 3, Thursday 14 November 2019
Qantas Boeing 787-9 Aircraft VH-OJA Pre Departure, London Heathrow Terminal 3, Thursday 14 November 2019 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 1 November 2021.

Australia Reopens To International Travel

Today marks the resumption of many scheduled international passenger flights to Australia. Sydney and Melbourne have reopened their borders to international travel without mandatory quarantine.

The first international flight to land in Sydney this morning was Singapore Airlines flight SQ211 arriving early at 05:21 AEDT. This beat the first scheduled arrival, Qantas flight QF12 from Los Angeles at 06:04 AEDT.

Qantas’ first scheduled flight to London in more than 18 months, QF1, departs Sydney at 18:30 AEDT today. After a refuelling stop in Darwin, it will arrive at London Heathrow Terminal 3 at 06:50 GMT tomorrow.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 25 October 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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Heathrow Airport At Night
Heathrow Airport At Night (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 25 October 2021.

Air Passenger Duty Rise?

The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is due to announce his budget this coming Wednesday.

As is par the course, selected tidbits are leaked to newspapers in advance. On Friday night The Guardian reported that the Chancellor is due to announce an increase in Air Passenger Duty.

This will be done by introducing a new higher band for longer range flights of more than 6,000 miles.

Currently, the reduced and standard rate of APD for flights longer than 2,000 miles is £82 and £180 respectively. This is due to increase to £84 and £185 from 1 April 2022.

Whilst the new band will not affect most destinations from London, further increases to the cost of flying will infuriate the airline industry.

Longer range flights can have relatively high volumes of Visiting Friends & Relatives traffic and are rarely taken on whim. This also comes on top of plans for substantial increases in passenger charges for airlines at London Heathrow.

Conversely, the Chancellor is reported to be considering reductions in APD for domestic flights to fit with the government’s “levelling up” agenda.

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BA Launches New Codeshares With Kenya Airways

British Airways has launched a new codeshare partnership with Kenya Airways covering 20 destinations from Nairobi.

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British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched a new reciprocal codeshare partnership with Kenya Airways.

BA will codeshare on Kenya Airways flights from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Nairobi to 20 destinations in Central and East Africa.

These include Douala, Zanzibar, Lusaka, Mombasa, Addis Ababa and Entebbe.

These can only be booked when connecting to / from BA operated flights between London Heathrow and Nairobi. BA currently flies to Nairobi four times weekly.

Kenya Airways’ flights within Africa are operated with Embraer E190 or Boeing 737-800 aircraft in a two class configuration.

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British Airways Reopens Lounges In Europe

British Airways has started to reopen its airport lounges in mainland Europe following their closure due to COVID-19.

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British Airways Lounge, Rome Fiumicino Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has started to reopen its lounges in mainland Europe.

The airline has, today Wednesday 20 October 2021, reopened its lounge at Rome Fiumicino airport.

It is understood from a public LinkedIn post from a member of BA’s lounge management team that the BA lounge Milan Linate airport will reopen on Friday 22 October.

British Airways Lounge Milan Linate Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA’s lounge at Geneva airport reopens on Friday 29 October.

British Airways lounge, Geneva airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 18 October 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
Provincetown, Cape Cod (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 18 October 2021.

BA & Virgin Rebuild Transatlantic Networks

Following last week’s news that the US will reopen to fully vaccinated visitors from the UK on Monday 8 November, both BA and Virgin Atlantic are rebuilding their transatlantic schedules.

BA will return to Newark from Monday 1 November. Las Vegas and Orlando follow at Heathrow on Monday 15 November. As does Tampa at Gatwick. BA also reinstates Orlando at Gatwick from Friday 19 November.

BA is also expected to reinstate Baltimore, Nashville and New Orleans from Thursday 9 December. San Jose, California, is currently suspended until Sunday 27 March 2022. There are currently no plans to relaunch Charleston, Pittsburgh or Portland.

Virgin Atlantic will restart flights to Las Vegas and Orlando on 8 November. Seattle and Washington Dulles will restart on 1 March 2022. Virgin’s transatlantic partner Delta also restarts Detroit today.

United, which last week announced a number of new transatlantic routes for next summer, is yet confirm whether it will go ahead and launch Boston from Heathrow.

Outside of the North Atlantic, BA has pushed back plans to restart Bangkok until 10 January 2022 even though Thailand is reopening to visitors. Qantas confirmed last week it will restart scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Sydney via Darwin from 2 November 2021.

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BA Schedules A380 Flights to Frankfurt & Madrid

British Airways will operate the Airbus A380 on selected short haul fights from London Heathrow to Frankfurt and Madrid in November.

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A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft takes off at London Heathrow airport.
British Airways Airbus A380 at take off, London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has scheduled the Airbus A380 aircraft on selected flights from London Heathrow to Frankfurt and Madrid in November 2021.

This is in advance of the planned restart of the Airbus A380 on long haul flights to Dubai, Los Angeles and Miami December.

This is being done for the purposes of crew familiarisation as the aircraft is brought back into service having been grounded for more than 18 months.

Timetables indicate that the A380 will operate the following flights from Monday 8 November until Thursday 2 December:

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BA Adds “Vaccinated Travel Lane” Flights To Singapore

From 19 October 2021, all British Airways services from London Heathrow to Singapore will operate as “Vaccinated Travel Lane” flights.

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British Airways lounge at Singapore Changi Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways lounge at Singapore Changi Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

From Tuesday 19 October 2021, all British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Singapore Changi Airport will operate as dedicated “Vaccinated Travel Lane” flights.

Passengers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not need to quarantine on arrival in Singapore from these fights.

Any passenger who does not meet all eligibility requirements will not be able to travel.

This does not affect any passengers flying in the other direction from Singapore to London Heathrow.

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British Airways Reopens US Airport Lounges

BA has reopened its lounges at Boston, Chicago O’Hare, Houston, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington Dulles airports.

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British Airways Lounge, Boston Logan International Airport
British Airways Lounge, Boston Logan International Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has reopened a number of lounges at airports in the United States ahead of the planned reopening of the US to fully vaccinated passengers from the UK in November.

Until this week only two BA lounges were open in the US. These were the Club lounge and Concorde Room at New York JFK Terminal 7.

BA has now reopened its lounges at these US airports:

Boston
Chicago O’Hare
Houston
Newark (opened 11 November)
New York JFK First Lounge
San Francisco
Seattle
Washington Dulles

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions not all lounge facilities may be available. The Elemis travel spa at New York JFK has closed permanently.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 11 October 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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AMOR, Robert Indiana, Philadelphia
AMOR, Robert Indiana, Philadelphia (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 11 October 2021.

Singapore Airlines Adds “Vaccinated Travel Lanes” Flight At Heathrow

Singapore Airlines has added a dedicated “Vaccinated Travel Lanes” flight (SQ317) from London Heathrow with effect from Tuesday 19 October.

This means that fully vaccinated passengers, subject to pre-departure application & testing requirements, do not need to quarantine on arrival in Singapore.

They were first introduced in September for travel on designated flights from Brunei and Germany to Singapore.

On Saturday 9 October the Singapore government announced VTLs would be extended to the UK with effect from Tuesday 19 October. Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United States were also added to the VTL programme.

The principal prerequisite is that vaccinated passengers must fly to Singapore on a designated VTL flight.

Passengers must still take a PCR test within 48 hours before departure to Singapore and another PCR test on arrival. No further PCR tests will be required in Singapore. Passengers must also have not visited a non-VTL country within 14 days of their flight to Singapore.

Passengers must also apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass through a dedicated portal.

Full details are available from Singapore Airlines. Guidance for all passengers to Singapore is available from the government SafeTravel website.

It is likely that BA will follow suit an introduce dedicated VTL flights. It should be added that BA does not have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to accept passengers flying on from Singapore to third countries, except for those connecting onto JetStar.

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