Posts Tagged ‘BA’


[IOL Travel] British Airways is to take on budget airline rivals by charging less if passengers travel with just hand luggage.

British Airways is to take on budget airline rivals by charging less if passengers travel with just hand luggage.

British Airways is to take on budget airline rivals by charging less if passengers travel with just hand luggage. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline said the cheaper fares – initially to be offered on flights from Gatwick to five destinations – will give passengers “more choice”.

Holidaymakers with luggage to check in will not pay more to compensate for the lower “hand baggage only” fares, BA insisted.

The move will be seen as an attempt to compete with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and easyJet.

Peter Simpson, BA’s director at Gatwick, said: “The introduction of our hand baggage only fare is all about giving our customers more freedom to choose the kind of flying they want. Many British Airways customers on Gatwick short-haul breaks choose not to check in a bag as they’re already taking advantage of our generous two-bag hand luggage policy.

“Those who still want to check in a bag will simply pay the same price they do now.” …..

Read the full story at IOL Travel…..


Daily Mail
21st Feb, 2013


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[Daily Mail] A British Airways flight was forced to make an emergency landing at a remote Canadian town after suspected toxic oil fumes were reported on the flight deck.

The co-pilot started to feel nauseous before unscheduled stop was made at Goose Bay, Newfoundland.

The co-pilot started to feel nauseous before unscheduled stop was made at Goose Bay, Newfoundland. Photo: Wikipedia

The Boeing 777, carrying 158 passengers from Heathrow to Philadelphia, made the unscheduled stop at Goose Bay, in Newfoundland, in temperatures of -30C after fumes started to cause eye and throat irritation halfway through the eight hour flight. The co-pilot also became incapacitated after he started to feel nauseous nearly half an hour later.

Oxygen masks were then required for the captain and first officer, so they could make the landing last Sunday, according to the Sunday Express.

The news comes just two weeks after the first picture was released of one of two top BA pilots who died within days of each other after complaining about being exposed to toxic oil fumes on passenger planes.

Last month it was reported Richard Westgate, 43, died after instructing his lawyers to sue BA for health and safety breaches days before fellow pilot Karen Lysakowska, 43, passed away.

Both claimed they had been poisoned by the fumes that can contaminate cabin air and which regularly force pilots to wear oxygen masks.

Read the full story at the Mail Online…..


Mail Online – James Rush
10 Feb, 2013



[Evening Standard] David Cameron was today told by the country’s top airline boss to “sort out” the chaos at Britain’s borders or face losing billions of pounds in business and tourism revenues.

Walsh: Sort out Heathrow queues or lose business and tourists

Walsh: Sort out Heathrow queues or lose business and tourists

Willie Walsh, head of the Inter-national Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, Iberia and Bmi, said delays at Britain’s major airports had worsened significantly because of cuts and poor management and had now reached “unacceptable” levels.

He said business chiefs were shunning Britain as a result and that it was pointless for the Prime Minister to travel round the world proclaiming that Britain was “open for business” when visitors were treated badly on arrival.

Mr Walsh’s attack came as passengers reaching Heathrow complained of being treated like a “bunch of slaves” after waiting up to three hours with passport control desks unmanned.

Some complained of spending longer in immigration queues than on their flights and of being left without food, water or adequate assistance. Others said they were “never coming back” because of the “nightmare” delays.

The problems add to mounting anger about queues that left thousands of travellers, including Formula One teams and TV historian Mary Beard, suffering delays at Heathrow this week. Immigration unions have fuelled the concerns by claiming waits of up to five hours are happening daily at airports and passengers are being “kettled” to cope with the queues.

In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Walsh said the problems were inflicting economic damage on the…..

Read the full interview at The Evening Standard…..


Martin Bentham
26 April 2012



[Independant] Simon Calder: End of the runway for BMI, but will passengers suffer?

What will it all mean for passengers – and staff?

What will it all mean for passengers – and staff?

BMI could be about to vanish. British Midland, as was, has done wonders for UK travellers. But by Friday the Heathrow-based part of its operation is set to become part of IAG and will be subsumed into BA. What will it all mean for passengers – and staff?

Remind me of the tangled history of BMI?

It wasn’t easyJet that opened up the skies of Europe – it was British Midland. Under Michael Bishop (now Lord Glendonbrook), the airline demanded the right to compete against the established “flag carriers” in the 1980s – first of all taking on British Airways from Heathrow to Belfast, Edinburgh and Glasgow, then expanding into Europe. It helped break the cartel that kept fares prohibitively high.

Sadly, for the past decade BMI has found it impossible to compete with no-frills airlines, and at present it’s losing £5 per second. Lufthansa, which is its very unwilling owner, has long been keen to offload BMI, and by Friday it should become part of IAG, the company that owns BA and Iberia of Spain.

Last week BA revealed plans for assimilating BMI that will see nearly half the 2,700 staff lose their jobs. How are the job cuts decided?

As is so often the case, it’s the back-office staff who will suffer most. BMI has the finest HQ in aviation, a stately home close to East Midlands airport called Castle Donington. But many of the functions carried out there, from marketing to finance, will simply be absorbed by existing BA departments with little room for staff to be tranferred. Survival prospects are highest for front-line staff at Heathrow – 1,100 ground staff, cabin crew, pilots and engineers will find that they are working on planes with a different livery.

If BMI is such a basket case – why is BA taking it over?

One word: slots. Because BA is already by far the biggest airline at Heathrow, it can extract the maximum value from the precious permission to take off and land at the world’s most congested airport. The takeover will win it an extra 56 pairs of slots a day, but BA is likely to surrender a quarter of those in return for the deal getting past competition regulators. That is not enough for Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic, who has vowed to fight the deal “in order to protect the millions of passengers who will see their options reduced by the takeover”.

What does it mean for passengers?….

Read this excellant study of Bmi’s takeover by Simon Calder at The Independant….


Simon Calder – The Independant
WEDNESDAY 18 APRIL 2012



Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is to launch a legal appeal against the British Airways acquisition of bmi from Lufthansa and demand that BA give up more slots at Heathrow.

Sir Richard Branson says the BA-bmi deal will mean less competition at Heathrow and lead to higher fares for passengers.

Sir Richard Branson says the BA-bmi deal will mean less competition at Heathrow and lead to higher fares for passengers.

Writing in today’s Sunday Telegraph, Sir Richard says that the deal will mean less competition at Heathrow and would lead to higher fares for passengers.

“One of the key aims of competition regulation is to protect the consumer from monopoly situations where companies can set whatever prices they like and stop investing in their product,” Sir Richard said.

“In this situation the public suffers, the industry suffers and the country suffers.

“That is why Virgin Atlantic will appeal the decision by the European Commission to wave through BA’s merging with bmi in just 35 working days.

“I truly cannot believe this directive and we will challenge every aspect of this process that, if allowed to stand, will undoubtedly damage the British airline industry for years to come.”

International Airlines Group, which owns BA, sealed the £172.5m deal earlier this year. The EC gave the purchase the go-ahead despite complaints from Virgin.

The EC did demand that BA give up some of its slots at Heathrow, remedies which Sir Richard said did not go far enough.

“This is the last big exchange of UK flying slots – 8.5pc of Heathrow’s total number – leaving BA with 54pc of all take-off and landing rights at the world’s busiest airport, while leaving its nearest British rival, Virgin Atlantic, with only 3pc,” he said…..

Read the full story at The Daily telegraph….


By , Sunday Telegraph Business Editor
9:30PM BST 14 Apr 2012



British Airways owner IAG has said its deal to buy the BMI airline from Lufthansa for £172.5m could result in the loss of up to 1,200 jobs.

BMI employs more than 3,600 staff, but reported a £153m loss in the year to 2010.

BMI employs more than 3,600 staff, but reported a £153m loss in the year to 2010 : Photo: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

The announcement came as BA began consultations with unions on plans to integrate BMI into its operations.

IAG, which also owns Spain’s Iberia, will gain 56 more slots at Heathrow airport as part of the deal.

The sale was announced in December and regulatory approval was granted by the European Commission on 30 March.

The deal is expected to take effect on 20 April, IAG said.

BMI employs more than 3,600 staff, but reported a £153m loss in the year to 2010.

Based in Castle Donington in Leicestershire, it operates flights to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

It has 8.5% of the landing slots at Heathrow, the UK’s busiest airport….

Read the full story as it develops at BBC News…


BBC News
12th April 2012



Hundreds of jobs at Gatwick Airport are under threat as part of a cost-cutting drive by British Airways, Sky News has learnt. 

BA has begun a consultation with trade unions over the proposals

BA has begun a consultation with trade unions over the proposals

The airline is to make 120 check-in and customer service staff redundant at the London airport, while 400 baggage handlers, drivers and loaders have been told that they will lose their jobs unless they transfer to a sub-contractor.

BA has begun a consultation with trade unions over the proposals, which the company says will enable it to compete better in the short haul market. The plans will see ‘ramp work’ such as baggage, de-icing and coaching operations and the arrivals baggage service outsourced to another firm.

At the same time, customer service roles will be combined to reduce the overall headcount of the division by about a quarter.

In a statement BA said: “[The plans] are part of a wide-ranging plan to build a stronger and more cost-competitive business and safeguard jobs for the future. “We hope to agree a proposal with the trade unions to offer anyone who works on the ramp a role with a new external supplier, under TUPE transfer legislation.

“We will do all we can to minimise the impact on people in the customer service teams, but it is likely there may be some staff reductions in this area and among the management team and support structure.”

BA is currently the only airline to operate out of Gatwick airport with its own ground staff….

Read the full story at Sky News….


Sky News
Wednesday April 11, 2012



British Airways’ parent firm has reaffirmed its interest in Portugal’s TAP airline if the country’s government sells the airline.

IAG CEO Walsh confirmed interest in buying TAP in IAG’s annual report which was published last week

IAG CEO Walsh confirmed interest in buying TAP in IAG’s annual report which was published last week

IAG, which also owns Iberia, is due to complete its purchase of Bmi from Lufthansa later this month which will increase its number of slots at Heathrow to more than 50%.

Chief executive Willie Walsh admitted IAG’s interest in buying TAP last yearas part of the company’s drive to further consolidate the European airline market and he reconfirmed this position in IAG’s annual report which was published last week.

“The only other airline we have expressed interest in is TAP Portugal, which may soon be privatised,” said Walsh in his report to shareholders.

“TAP has an extensive network into Brazil and Africa, two strategically important markets for IAG. If privatisation goes ahead we would want to look more closely, but there’s no guarantee we would bid.”

Another goal for Walsh is finding a domestic partner in China for the Oneworld alliance, which left it at a disadvantage to its major competitors – Skyteam and Star Alliance which already have Chinese member airlines.

“Continuing to develop the Oneworld alliance also remains key,” added Walsh. “One weakness we need to address is the fact that, unlike our two rival alliances, we lack a domestic partner in mainland China which we think is a necessity.

“Consolidation is not just about takeovers and mergers. It’s also about forming the right partnerships for the new realities we face as an industry.”

IAG has also been linked with taking potential stakes in fellow Oneworld members American Airlines and Japan Airlines (JAL).

Read the full story at Air & Business Travel News….


Posted Monday, 9 April, 2012 – 09:00
By Rob Gill



Virgin Atlantic is preparing to bid for the 12 pairs of Heathrow slots that will be freed up following British Airways’ takeover of bmi as Sir Richard Branson sets his sights on launching his first UK domestic flights.

Virgin, which currently holds 3pc of Heathrow slots, has long hankered after a foothold in the UK domestic market. Photo: Alamy

Virgin, which currently holds 3pc of Heathrow slots, has long hankered after a foothold in the UK domestic market. Photo: Alamy

The airline is calling on the European Commission to ensure the 12 slots are auctioned as one complete package to provide the “most effective” competition to BA-owner International Airlines Group (IAG).

IAG will dominate 51pc of Heathrow slots after the bmi deal completes on April 20, even though it agreed to relinquish 14 pairs of take-off and landing slots to satisfy European competition authorities. Of the 14 pairs, two are already leased to Russian airline Transaero, meaning only 12 would be available for use by a new entrant.

Virgin, which currently holds 3pc of Heathrow slots, has long hankered after a foothold in the UK domestic market. It failed on several occasions to buy bmi.

Julie Southern, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, said the 12 slots relinquished by IAG were a “wholly inadequate” remedy to increasing competition on certain UK and European routes but the airline would nevertheless be among the bidders. The auction process is expected to commence in several weeks’ time.

Ms Southern told The Daily Telegraph: “We will apply to take up all of the remedy. We think it is important that the 12 pairs of slots stay together. It’s only by flying those all together that you get effective competition.”

Read the whole story at The Telegraph here….


By Nathalie Thomas
08/04/2012



Hot on the heels of the news last week, that EU Regulators had approved the sale of Lufthansa owned beleagured airline BMI to British Airways, new codesharing details have been released just today.

BA to start codesharing on selected BMI services tomorrow 5th April 12: Photo: Alamy

Starting tomorrow (5th April 2012), British Airways have announced that codesharing will start on selected BMI services.

Codeshare routes, originating from London Heathrow

  • Yerevan, Armmenia
  • Baku, Azerbaijan onwards to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan & Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Tbilisi, Georgia
  • Almaty, Kazakhstan
  • Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • Beirut, Lebanon – Khartoum,

Codeshare flight number range is BA8050 – 8099, except those marked with ^ (BA7020 – 7029)
*BA is not offering codeshare service to Amman on bmi flight

Backround

Approval was granted by EU Regulators last week for the purchase of BMI by BA’s parent company IAG to proceed but conditions were inposed or offered. BA conceeded to teh sale of 14 Bmi slot pairs to it’s competitors. Completion of the deal is likely to conclude by 20th April.

Original route data from airlineroute.net


Chris Newman
4th April 2012