BA Extends Gold Upgrade Vouchers To American Airlines

Gold Members of the BA Executive Club can now use Upgrade Vouchers on American Airlines operated flights.

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American Airlines Flagship Lounge, Miami, Views of the apron
American Airlines Flagship Lounge, Miami, Views of the apron (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Members of the BA Executive Club can now use Gold Upgrade vouchers on American Airlines operated flights.

A Gold Upgrade For Two voucher is issued to Gold members of the Executive Club when they earn 2,500 tier points.

Two Gold Upgrade For One vouchers are issued when a member earns 3,500 tier points.

These can be used to upgrade a complete itinerary to the next cabin, subject to availability.

It was only possible to do this on flights operated by BA and its franchise partners. Any flights in the booking operated by other airlines would not be upgraded.

This is now extended to transatlantic and US domestic flights operated by American Airlines, including regional flights operated by American Eagle. This is regardless of whether the flight is sold by AA, or sold by BA as a codeshare.

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IAG Orders 50 Boeing 737 Aircraft

British Airways parent company International Airlines Group has ordered 50 737 aircraft from Boeing.

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International Airlines Group Tailfins
International Airlines Group Tailfins

British Airways parent company International Airlines Group has ordered 50 737 aircraft from Boeing.

IAG first signed a Letter of Intent to order up to 200 737 aircraft in June 2019.

The Airbus A320 series aircraft is the mainstay of the short haul operations of IAG airlines. There was a perceived need in IAG to introduce competition between Airbus and Boeing for short haul aircraft orders.

Whilst Airbus indicated it wanted to offer a rival bid, IAG has now converted its Letter of Intent to a firm order from Boeing.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 16 May 2022

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

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 16 May 2022.

Heathrow Passenger Charges Row

It was a year ago this week the UK government reopened international travel, albeit to a limited list of countries that did not require quarantine on return.

To mark the occasion the CEOs of BA and Heathrow Airport stood, as far as social distancing guidelines would allow, side by side before the cameras at Terminal 5 to herald the return of international travel.

12 months on, relations between Heathrow and its airlines are very different.

The Civil Aviation Authority is due to rule shortly on Heathrow’s passenger charges for its next five year control period, H7. The last control period expired on 31 December 2021. Before Christmas last year, the CAA allowed an interim increase from £19.36 to £30.19.

As Lufthansa was keen to point out in its annual results presentation this increase is, by some considerable margin, substantially higher than any other major European hub.

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BA CEO Sean Doyle Makes Management Changes

BA CEO Sean Doyle has made a series of senior management changes at the airline.

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Sean Doyle, Chief Executive & Chairman, British Airways (Image Credit: British Airways)

At the start of the year, BA CEO Sean Doyle announced a series of senior management changes to spearhead the airline’s recovery from COVID-19.

As has been well publicised the start of BA’s busiest travel season since the pandemic has been difficult. The airline has been beset by staff shortages, congestion at Heathrow Terminal 5 and sporadic IT issues.

During the first quarter results presentation of its parent company IAG last week, Sean maintained that the airline’s operational performance is improving.

IAG alluded to further senior management changes at BA. A second set of senior management changes in the space of four months have been reported today by the Financial Times.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 9 May 2022

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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Advertisement for American Airlines' Boeing 747 LuxuryLiner featuring Coach Lounge & First Class Lounge
American Airlines 747 LuxuryLiner Advertisement

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 9 May 2022.

American Airlines Marks 40 Years In London

American Airlines will shortly mark 40 years in London.

It was 40 years ago this week, on 13 May, that Braniff International filed for bankruptcy protection after suspending all flights the day before.

Founded in 1928, the heavily indebted airline expanded rapidly following the deregulation of the US aviation market in 1978. Braniff launched a daily service from Gatwick to Dallas / Fort Worth with its self styled “Big Orange” Boeing 747.

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British Airways’ First Quarter Results

IAG and BA set out their plans to ensure operational resilience at London Heathrow over the summer travel season.

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Side view of British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft registration G-XLEL.
British Airways Airbus A380 Aircraft G-XLEL (Image Credit: British Airways)

BA’s parent company International Airlines Group released its financial results for the first quarter of the year today, Friday 6 May 2022.

The numbers contain few surprises. IAG reported a loss of €754 million and expects to return to profitability from this quarter.

At the start of the year, IAG and BA had been selling a positive vision of the future to both investors and the wider press.

As has been well publicised, this has not turned out to be the case. Congestion and staff shortages at Heathrow have resulted short notice cancellations and disruption to baggage handling. This cost BA €50 million in lost revenues and additional costs in the first quarter.

IAG and BA management set out some of the steps taken to address these issues:

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Qantas Brings Forward Return Of Non-Stop Perth Flights

Qantas has brought forward its planned return of non-stop flights between London & Perth.

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Qantas Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner (Image courtesy of Qantas Airways)

Qantas is to bring forward its planned return of non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth.

Since Qantas resumed passenger flights between the UK and Australia all have operated non-stop to Darwin.

Qantas had planned to restore its non-stop link to Perth in June, at the same time as Airbus A380 flights to Sydney via Singapore.

This is now brought forward to Monday 23 May 2022. As before COVID-19, the flight will continue between Perth and Melbourne.

There have been reports of operational problems flying non-stop between Darwin and London, with passengers’ bags left behind in some instances.

Perth will also again a non-stop link to Rome shortly afterwards with a new seasonal Qantas service between 25 June and 6 October 2022.

At the time of publication, timetables on the Qantas website do not appear to have been fully updated. Inbound flights to London still show as operating from Darwin.

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Finnair To Operate BA Heathrow Short Haul Flights

Finnair will operate selected BA short haul fights from London Heathrow Terminal 3 throughout the summer.

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British Airways Galleries Club Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has called on its Oneworld alliance partner Finnair to operate a number of short haul flights on its behalf throughout the summer 2022.

This follows a similar move at Gatwick where BA has wet leased Iberia Express aircraft.

Finnair will operate selected BA short haul fights based at Heathrow Terminal 3. This will run from 3 May until at least 31 August.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 2 May 2022

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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Qantas May 2022 Aircraft Order (Image Credit: Qantas)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 2 May 2022.

Qantas Project Sunrise Airbus Order

Non-stop flights to Sydney are coming to London Heathrow from 2025 onwards.

Qantas has finally placed an order for 12 Ultra Long Range Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.

These will be delivered between mid-2025 and 2028. You can read full details of the Airbus A350-1000 order and its proposed layout and First Suite here.

Also announced today by Qantas is an order for 20 Airbus A220-300 aircraft and 20 Airbus A321 XLR aircraft. These will be delivered from late 2023 and 2024 respectively and will replace Boeing 717 and 737 aircraft.

A lot can happen in three years, but for Qantas CEO Alan Joyce this should cement his legacy of breaking one of the final frontiers of civil aviation and helping Qantas reassert itself after a decades of retraction on international routes.

The start of non-stop flights to Sydney from late 2025 should coincide with 90 years of passenger flights between the UK and Australia.

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From Twelve Days To Non-Stop In 20 Hours

How flying between the UK and Australia has evolved from the first flights in 1935 which took more than 12 days.

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Qantas Empire Airways Lockheed Constellation Aircraft VH-EAC, Sydney, 1947
Qantas Empire Airways Lockheed Constellation Aircraft VH-EAC, Sydney, 1947 (Image Credit: Qantas Airways)

Qantas will fly non-stop from London Heathrow to Sydney from 2025.

For Qantas this represents one of the final frontiers of civil aviation: non-stop flights to anywhere in Australia from the world’s major cities.

It will also mark 90 years of radical evolution of civil aviation between the UK and Australia.

From one flight a week taking 12 and a half days to up to four daily non-stop flights Australia in 20 hours, here’s how flying from the UK to Australia has evolved from 1935 onwards.

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