Virgin Atlantic has commenced Boeing 787 passenger flights today (Tuesday 28 October 2014) with its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Boston.
Flight VS11 departed London Heathrow for Boston Logan International Airport shortly after its scheduled departure time of 17:35. Virgin also operated a test flight from London Gatwick to Atlanta on Friday 24 October, which is pictured below.
Whilst today marks the official launch of passenger flights for the Boeing 787, according to Airline Route the 787 will not operate from 31 October to 14 November to allow for crew familiarisation flights.
The replacement of quad-engine Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s at London Heathrow with the twin-engine Boeing 787 is cited as a significant step in restoring Virgin Atlantic to profitability, together with its nascent transatlantic joint-venture with Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic originally ordered 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with options for 8 aircraft and purchase rights for a further 20 aircraft.
It’s not often you hear of first class being added to BA’s London Heathrow routes. Indeed, it wasn’t long ago BA announced it was withdrawing first class from Cape Town, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Vancouver from later this month.
However, BA will be upgrading its single daily flight to Denver, Colorado (BA 219 and BA 218 return) from a three class Boeing 777 to a four class Boeing 747 from Sunday 29 March 2015.
This means that BA’s first class cabin will be available on this route and travellers in Club World business class will have the option of the popular 20 seat cabin in the “bubble” of the 747.
We’re not quite sure what has prompted this decision, other than that BA is the sole operator of the London Heathrow – Denver route and transatlantic traffic is buoyant at the moment.
Virgin Atlantic has announced the closure of “Little Red” short-haul flights from London Heathrow. Flights to Manchester will cease on Saturday 28 March 2015 and flights to Aberdeen and Edinburgh will cease on Saturday 26 September 2015.
British Airways completed its inaugural Airbus A380 flight from London Heathrow to Washington today, 2 October 2014, as flight BA217 arrived in Washington Dulles airport early this afternoon.
The launch of A380 services also coincides with the opening of a new “Galleries” lounge for business and first class passengers in Washington.
The lounge features a private dining area for First Class customers, pre-flight dining for Club World passengers, a bar with views of the airfield and shower suites.
Washington is the 2nd US city to be served by BA’s A380. San Francisco will be the next US city. BA also flies the A380 to Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Johannesburg. The A380 will also fly to Singapore from the end of October 2014.
We’ve seen speculation online recently, much of it completely unfounded it has to be said, regarding whether British Airways will follow other airlines (such as Delta) in changing its frequent flyer programme whereby points/miles are awarded solely by reference to the absolute amount of money spent with the airline, rather than the distance flown on eligible flights.