BA all-business flight grounded by engine fault on second day

30.9.2009   (Times)

by Ginny Light

The new British Airways business-class-only flight to New York, which launched
to much fanfare yesterday, has been struck by an engine fault.   The problem left
the aircraft grounded at London City Airport for nearly two hours earlier today.

The flight has now taken off with a delay of one hour and 40 minutes, but the
problem will come as a blow to BA, which has done much to promote the new flight.

The service is only in its second day of operation, and the A318 aircraft is
carrying mostly travel press.

One of the journalists onboard is Business Traveller editor Tom Otley, who has been blogging on about his experiences.

The first sign of a problem came at around midday when Otley wrote:   “The captain
has just advised that the flight will now not be departing until 1430.     Details
to follow in a sec…”

He later added: “The part is one of the aircraft’s engine sensors which has been
delivered from Gatwick”, and   “It will take 30 minutes to fit, followed by an
extensive testing regime as it’s a major engine part”.

BA has told Times Online that the problem was “a minor technical fault with one
of the engines”, adding, “it takes time because once the part was replaced it
had to be inspected by the engineeers.”

He added that the passengers were not onboard during the delay.

“It was a one-off,” he told Times Online, “the timing is not terrific”.

BA hopes to succeed with its business-class-only service to New York where other
airlines have failed – among them MAXjet, Silverjet and Eos.