Flybe has launched scheduled flights from London/Heathrow. The Exeter-based regional carrier introduced its first of 40 weekly connections from the capital to Aberdeen and Edinburgh on March 26, operated by its fleet of Bombardier Dash 8-Q400 turboprops.
Flybe CEO Christine Ourmieres-Widener said: “We are so pleased to confirm further our commitment to Scotland by offering even more flights to London with our two new routes from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow’s Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, giving passengers greater choice and linking them with our range of codeshare partners through our ‘One Stop to the World’ approach.”
Flybe’s arrival at Heathrow comes just two months after the airport reduced its charges for domestic passengers in a bid to improve regional connectivity.
The carrier gained access into the capacity-constrained hub via slots surrendered by British Airways’ parent International Airlines Group (IAG) following its 2012 acquisition of British Midland International. Under the terms of the deal, the European Commission ordered IAG to release 14 daily slot pairs, seven of which were to facilitate new competition between Heathrow and Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen. As a result, Flybe was not required to pay for these slots.
British Airways will launch seven new routes from Manchester Airport this summer as well as adding three new destinations to its Stansted operations.
From May, the carrier will begin seasonal services from Manchester to Alicante, Malaga, Ibiza, Palma, Mykonos and Nice. It will also introduce a weekly flight to London City Airport. All routes will operate once a week at weekends, with the exception of the Ibiza which will be three times a week.
Stansted will welcome new connections to Florence, Geneva and Nice as well as increased frequency on routes to Ibiza and Palma. Seasonal flights to Malaga and Faro will also return.
All flights will be operated using BA CityFlyer’s Embraer 190s.
Alex Cruz, British Airways CEO and chairman, said: “These are the destinations that our customers tell us they want to fly to so we look forward to a busy summer. In addition, the Thursday night flight from London City, in the heart of the capital’s commercial district, will provide commuters with a valuable air link back to Manchester, with the return flight to London City on a Sunday.”
Scottish carrier Loganair will operate flights in its own right for the first time in almost 25 years. The Glasgow-based airline will adopt a new tartan-themed livery from September 1 to coincide with the conclusion of its ten-year franchise agreement with Flybe. This follows a similar arrangement with British Airways, operated from 1993 to 2007.
“[This] announcement is a major milestone in the 54-year history of Loganair,” Peter Simpson, CEO of Loganair’s parent Airline Investments Ltd (AIL) commented. “Although Loganair has flown as a franchise carrier for larger airlines over the last 24 years, there is still a huge level of recognition and affinity for the Loganair name throughout Scotland and beyond. We believe the time is right for Scotland’s Airline to now spread its wings once again, and are delighted to be introducing a bold new corporate identity to accompany this important move.”
Loganair confirmed it is discussing potential opportunities to co-operate with Flybe beyond the end of the franchise agreement, while its codeshare agreement with British Airways will also continue.
Iberia has received regulatory approval to co-operate on services between Europe and Japan. The International Airlines Group (IAG) subsidiary has been granted anti-trust immunity (ATI) by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism and is now expected to join the existing joint business between oneworld partners Japan Airlines (JAL), British Airways and Finnair. The approval, announced on August 16, will allow the four carriers to co-ordinate fares and schedules, and share revenue on flights to and from Japan.
“We would like to thank the regulators for approving our ATI application for Iberia joining Japan Airlines, British Airways and Finnair in our current joint business between Japan and Europe,” JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki said. “This move will allow us to further strengthen our partnership with oneworld partner airlines, and will provide our customers with further benefits when travelling between Japan and Europe.”
The Spanish airline is expected to enter the joint business on October 18, coinciding with the launch of its thrice weekly service from Madrid to Tokyo/Narita.
Luis Gallego, President and CEO of Iberia added: “We are very happy to launch our non-stop flights to Japan as part of this joint business. We want to offer our customers more and better travel options and this will help us do so. We are also glad to contribute to the strength of the joint business and the oneworld alliance.”
British Airways (BA) has firmly embraced the Olympic spirit by applying special markings to a Boeing 747-400.
The jet, G-CIVA (c/n 27092), now bears the new name ‘VictoRIOus’ and will be used to fly Team GB and ParalympicsGB home from the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The aircraft also features a gold nose cone and ‘#greattobeBAck’ titles.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “We’re excited to be bringing the athletes home ‘happy and glorious’ following the Games! VictoRIOus is a very fitting name, reflecting the great pride we have for our sporting heroes, and is a great play on words too.”
British Olympic Association CEO Bill Sweeney added: “Though we are still deep in the middle of competing, one thing we know we will have had from start to finish and beyond is the incredible support of the Team GB fans, both in Rio and Great Britain and Northern Ireland. That support means everything to the athletes and for them to arrive home on board VictoRIOus and share their experiences with their family, friends and fans is very special; and we thank British Airways for arranging this special plane home on the 23rd.”
The aircraft will operate a special charter, flight number BA2016, from Rio de Janiero back to London/Heathrow on August 22/23 carrying Team GB, followed by a second service on September 20 with ParalympicsGB .
The name VictoRIOus was chosen by hundreds of Twitter users in a recent poll and was one of four short-listed entries selected by athletes and BA staff. These also included Gold Force One, Golden Hauls and Mission Accomplished.
British Airways has released a cockpit video showing the final approach its Airbus A318s make into London City Airport, to celebrate the carrier’s Business Class only service clocking up 25 million miles.
The footage shows the view from the cockpit as the jet passes over a series of London landmarks, such as The Shard, Tower Bridge and the London Eye. Captain Karen Atherton and Senior First Officer Paul Riglar are at the controls for the video.
Because of the airport’s proximity to Central London and its short runway, BA’s A318s are specially modified to allow them to fly the approach. The jets use spoilers on the wing to produce enough aerodynamic drag to maintain the approach speed. British Airways was the first airline in the world to take delivery of an A318 with steep approach capability and the carrier’s pilots have a specific, additional training certification to fly there.
Atherton is one of only 27 British Airways Captains qualified to carry out landings at London City. Only very experienced Airbus pilots can apply to fly on the route, and all must pass a rigorous extra training programme, involving simulator testing and route flying, before being accepted into the fleet.
Atherton, said: “The views flying into London are breathtaking, and are a constant reminder of what an incredibly beautiful city it really is.
“The level of training required is demanding, and rightly so, but the flying is extremely rewarding.
“I have one of the best commutes home in the world, and it’s great to be able to share the experience with our customers with this video.”
The twice-daily Club World service between London City Airport and New York/JFK has been operational since September 2009.
British Airways (BA) has revealed it is launching a new non-stop service between London/Heathrow and the Chilean capital Santiago from January 3. The route will become the carrier’s longest at 7,236 miles (11,645km) with a flying time of 14hr 40 mins, nearly an hour more than its current longest to Buenos Aires. This is BA’s first direct flight to Santiago, though it had previously operated there as a ‘tag-on’ to its Buenos Aires service between 1993 and 2000.
Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways said: “In recent years we have been increasing our services to South and Central America reflecting the area’s continued growth in both business and tourism. This year we’ve already launched flights to Costa Rica and Peru and the addition of Santiago will secure another important link between the UK and the region.”
The four times weekly flight – departing Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday – will be served by the airline’s newest aircraft, the four-class Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, complete with its revised First Class cabin. The carrier has taken delivery of eight of the stretched 787-9s to date, with a further eight due this year – the remaining five will following in 2018.
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) has completed the sale of London City Airport to a consortium of Canadian pension funds – Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, Borealis Infrastructure and AimCo – as well as Kuwait-owned infrastructure investment company, Wren House.
To continue reading this article, log in or subscribe to Key Multisite.