BA still set to fly long haul from London City

23.6.2009   (TravelMole)

British Airways is to go ahead with the launch of the first transatlantic flights
from London City Airport despite the economic downturn.

Flights go on sale tomorrow (Tuesday) with the first flights due to take off
on September 29.
The new all-business class service launches with a daily return to New York JFK
except Saturdays when London City airport is closed, increasing to two flights
a day from mid-October.
Weekend lead-in leisure fares at £1,901.10 return with business fares starting
at £4,912.10, rising to £5,625.10 for fully flexible.
The aircraft on the route 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 refuelling stop at Shannon in Ireland, where passengers 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

BA001 departs London City at 12.40 and arrives JFK at 17.05. BA002 departs JFK
at 18.30 and arrives at London City at 07.05 the following day.

BA003 departs London City at 16.00 and arrives at JFK at 20.25. BA004 departs
JFK at 21.50 and arrives at LCY at 10.25 the following day.

BA chief executive Willie Walsh 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 long haul 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."





What an environmental triumph: an aircraft built for 124 passengers, generating
(at takeoff from London City’s little runway) as much noise and greenhouse gas
as it would if fully-loaded, but carrying 32 if fully-booked.  
And as for landing a plane of that size at City – “interesting” is an understatement.
Steep approach with all the drag-inducers deployed, plenty of power (= noise)  as
well in case of go-around, and reverse thrust (lots of), when it hits the ground.  
Companies making carbon brake-stacks for aircraft will be  rubbing  their corporate
hands with glee because the planes will be using  plenty of those ……..