BA promises expansion at London City beginning with Rome

British Airways is promising a major expansion at London City airport with a new six times weekly route to Rome and 4 additional Embraer aircraft in 2019.

London Air Travel » Italy

BA CityFlyer Embraer at London City Airport

British Airways has today, Wednesday 29 August 2018, signalled a commitment to a significant expansion at London City.

It is to launch a new route from London City to Rome from Sunday 11 November 2018. Flights will operate six times weekly with Embraer E190 aircraft.

The airline is to also acquire an additional four Embraer E190 aircraft in 2019. This will increase the number of aircraft based at the airport from 22 to 26. It is presumed that these aircraft will either be leased or acquired second hand as BA had allowed options for new aircraft from Embraer to expire.

This news comes just one day after CityJet announced it is withdrawing scheduled flights from the airport and is handing over its route to Dublin to Aer Lingus.

In terms of possible new routes, BA has previously suspended a number of routes at London City. These include Alicante, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Hamburg and Madrid. LOT is also due to launch Budapest and Warsaw in early 2019. TAP has also recently launched Lisbon and Porto.

As London City is closed for part of the weekend, it is likely these these new aircraft will also be used to launch new winter and summer seasonal routes from Stansted and other UK regional airports at weekends.

Full details of BA’s current route network at London City are available at ba.com
Continue reading “BA promises expansion at London City beginning with Rome”

BA launches new ski routes from London Heathrow to Grenoble & Turin

BA will fly from London Heathrow to Grenoble once a week from 2 December 2017 and Turin twice weekly on Saturdays and Sundays from 26 November 2017.

London Air Travel » Italy

British Airways Short Haul Economy Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has announced the launch of two new seasonal weekend ski routes from London Heathrow. BA will fly to Grenoble in France once a week on Saturdays from 2 December 2017. BA will also fly to Turin in Italy twice weekly on Saturdays and Sundays from 26 November 2017.

These are seasonal routes which will operate until late March 2018. Flights will operate from London Heathrow Terminal 5 and will be operated by Airbus aircraft in a two class, Club Europe and EuroTraveller configuration.

BA also serves Turin from London Gatwick and it is possible to “mix and match” different London airports, if convenient.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Heathrow – Grenoble

Flight BA384 Depart London Heathrow 11:55 – Arrive Grenoble 14:45
Flight BA385 Depart Grenoble 15:40 – Arrive London Heathrow 16:30

London Heathrow – Turin

Flight BA600 Depart London Heathrow 07:05 – Arrive Turin 10:10 (Saturday)
Flight BA600 Depart London Heathrow 06:50 – Arrive Turin 09:55 (Sunday)
Flight BA601 Depart Turin 11:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 12:05 (Saturday)
Flight BA601 Depart Turin 10:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 11:45 (Sunday)

Ground transport strikes in Italy Friday 16 June

Widespread disruption is expected to air and ground transport services in Italy due to planned industrial action on Friday 16 June 2017. 

London Air Travel » Italy

Widespread disruption is expected to air and ground transport services in Italy due to planned industrial action on Friday 16 June 2017. 

The following airlines have issued guidance to passengers. Due to the widespread nature of the industrial action there may also be disruption to ground transportation services. Continue reading “Ground transport strikes in Italy Friday 16 June”

Disruption due to Air Traffic Controllers’ strike in Italy on Sunday 28 May 2017

Air Traffic Controllers in Italy are due to take industrial action on Sunday 28 May 2017, which is likely to cause disruption to flights.

London Air Travel » Italy

Air Traffic Controllers in some regions of Italy are due to take industrial action on the afternoon of Sunday 28 May 2017, the weekend of the late May bank holiday in the UK.

The strike will take place between 1pm and 5pm local time. This is likely to cause disruption with delays and cancellations, albeit on a smaller scale than originally thought.  As a consequence the following airlines have issued guidance for affected passengers.

Please note that this page does not provide live flight information so any cancellations that will be listed are proactive cancellations made in advance, and do not necessarily include any delays/cancellations made on the day.

You can check live flight information on the websites of Gatwick, Heathrow and London City airports.
Continue reading “Disruption due to Air Traffic Controllers’ strike in Italy on Sunday 28 May 2017”

Uncertainty over Alitalia’s Heathrow routes as it enters administration

Alitalia has entered into administration, leading to uncertainty over its future at London Heathrow as its slots are owned by Etihad.

London Air Travel » Italy

Alitalia Airbus A320
Alitalia Airbus A320

As has been widely reported, today (Tuesday 2 May 2017) the shareholders of Alitalia (one of whom is Etihad) decided to put the airline into a formal administration process with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development.

This follows a decision by members of Alitalia’s trade unions not to accept a restructuring proposal which would have involved, inter alia, cuts to jobs and staff salaries and a restructuring of its short-haul operations. Had the restructuring plan been approved the shareholders would have provided new finance to the airline.

Under the administration process, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development will appoint a Commissioner which will manage the airline whilst it is in administration.

The Italian Government has approved the provision of a bridge loan which will allow Alitalia to continue operations for the foreseeable future.

If a buyer for Alitalia is found then Alitalia could continue in some form. However, a question will remain over its London Heathrow slots.

When Etihad acquired a stake in Alitalia in 2014, it bought all of its London Heathrow slots. These were valued at €60m. These are currently leased to Alitalia which uses them to operate five flights from London Heathrow to Milan Linate and Rome Fiumicino. (By comparison BA flies to Milan and Rome up to 10 and 6 times a day.) Whilst the precise terms are obviously commercially confidential it seems likely that these will revert back to Etihad at some point after Alitalia enters into administration.

Given that Scandinavian Airlines recently sold two London Heathrow slot pairs to American Airlines for $75million, Etihad could recoup some of its losses by selling them to other airlines or to expand its own network from London to Abu Dhabi. Either way, it is unlikely they will remain with Alitalia.

For further news on Alitalia’s situation we recommend checking Alitalia’s corporate website and the English language website of Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.

Air Traffic Controllers strike in Italy on Monday 20 March 2017

London Air Travel » Italy

Air Traffic Controllers in Italy are due to take industrial action over a period of four hours from 12:00 to 16:00 GMT on Monday 20 March 2017.

This is likely to cause disruption with delays and cancellations.  As a consequence the following airlines have issued guidance for affected passengers.

It is also understand the certain unions represent airport workers are also taking industrial action on Monday. As such, there may be disruption to some airport ground services.

Please note that this page does not provide live flight information so any cancellations listed are proactive cancellations made in advance, and do not necessarily include any delays/cancellations made on the day.

You can check live flight information on the websites of Gatwick, Heathrow and London City airports.
Continue reading “Air Traffic Controllers strike in Italy on Monday 20 March 2017”

BA launches Milan from London City & Stansted from late April 2017

British Airways will fly to Milan Linate from London City & Stansted from late April 2017.

London Air Travel » Italy

BA CityFlyer Embraer at London City Airport
BA CityFlyer Embraer at London City Airport

The merry go round of route changes at London City and BA’s gradual increase of weekend services at London Stansted continues with the launch of new year-round services to Milan, Italy from these two London airports in April.

The new routes to Milan’s Linate Airport will start from London City Airport on Monday 24 April 2017 and from Stansted Airport on Saturday 29 April 2017.

There will be two flights a day on week days and one a day at weekends from London City and two a week from Stansted.

Flights will be operated using Embraer aircraft in a two class Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy configuration. Note that at some point in the summer, BA will introduce its Buy On Board “M&S On Board” catering service on these flights.

BA also flies to Milan Linate (as well as Malpensa airport) from London Heathrow up to six times a day and it is possible to “mix and match” flights if convenient.

The addition of this route at London Stansted means BA now serves nine routes at this airport: Berlin, Faro, Florence, Geneva, Ibiza, Malaga, Nice, and Palma.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

Here’s the initial timetable at launch:
Continue reading “BA launches Milan from London City & Stansted from late April 2017”

Etihad to acquire five Heathrow slot pairs from Alitalia

As part of Etihad’s acquisition of a 49% stake in Alitalia, it will also acquire five London Heathrow airport slot pairs and lease these back to Alitalia.

London Air Travel » Italy

Alitalia Airbus A320
Alitalia Airbus A320

After a long period of negotiation, Etihad has finally announced a deal to acquire a 49% stake (the maximum allowed under EU ownership rules) in troubled European airline Alitalia.

Full details of the transaction can be viewed here.

Continue reading “Etihad to acquire five Heathrow slot pairs from Alitalia”