BA forges ahead with London City long haul
3 September 2009
British Airways will launch the first ever longhaul route from London City airport in September, despite the general aviation downturn. The airline has taken the decision to press ahead with the launch and set a September 29 date for the first flights. Tickets for the twice-daily service to New York JFK are on sale now.
The business class-only service will be given the airline's most prestigious flight number, BA001, previously used by Concorde until its retirement in 2003.
The aircraft on the City-New York service will be specially configured Airbus A318s, the largest aircraft that can be flown from the Docklands airport.
Fitted with just 32 seats, which convert to fully flat beds, the aircraft will fly across the Atlantic after a brief refuelling stop at Shannon in the west of Ireland, where customers will be able to clear US Customs and Immigration.
Return flights from New York will be non-stop, as the aircraft can use JFK's full-length runways and take off with sufficient fuel for the whole transatlantic crossing.
Willie Walsh, British Airways' chief executive said: "In the harshest trading environment airlines have experienced, we believe it is more important than ever to embrace the future and innovate. That is what this historic new route is all about.
"There is real enthusiasm from our customers for this project. This is BA at its best - stylish, British and ahead of the game. Reviving the BA001 flight number for the first longhaul route out of London City could not be more appropriate.
"Every aspect of this service has been designed to maximise convenience for customers to fly between the world's two biggest business centres - Wall Street and London's extended financial district in the City and Docklands.
"The UK's first web access on transatlantic flights means that customers can work and keep in touch with the office between London and New York via the email and texts. Above all the exclusive service style will bring the feel of a private jet to a business class cabin."
Key benefits include:
- Check in just 15 minutes before departure
- Dedicated departure gate with 'lounge' facilities
- Customs and Immigration clearance at Shannon, Ireland saving valuable time on arrival at JFK airport