London City Airport announces major Departure Lounge upgrade

London City Airport has unveiled a major investment in refurbishing its departures area which the airport claims will enhance the customer experience for passengers and celebrate London businesses and brands.

Investment of £12m

30% more seating

Two new dining experiences

Newly-expanded duty free and retail space

Phased transition set for completion by Summer 2023

This news comes as the airport reaches 2.17 million passengers to date in 2022.

The airport is embarking on a £12m upgrade along with SSP, Lagardère Travel Retail and WHSmith, which will see more seating, two new stylish dining experiences, duty free expansion, new retail space, more washrooms and a brand-new look and feel throughout the departure lounge.  

The refurbishment, which is set to be completed by Summer 2023, will be carried out in phases with new food & beverage and retail units opening before old ones close, which London City Airport says will create a seamless transition for passengers using the airport.

It’s London: Lagardère Travel Retail will launch a tailored Aelia Duty Free Store including an ‘It’s London’ boutique.

The upgrade will increase seating by 30% (950 in total), with the creation of a new area in front of a brand new 200m² flagship WHSmith store in Autumn 2022, which will also boast an expanded and distinctively London product range, and one-stop-shop solution with books, magazines, health & beauty products, souvenirs, digital accessories, plus food and drink options.

The airport’s “City Bar & Grill” will be replaced by the new “Juniper” restaurant in Spring 2023, which will provide passengers with a greater level of service from a new bar area and full-service kitchen, plus an overall increase of 80 covers. In addition, the airport’s “Cabin Bar” will be replaced with a new SSP restaurant brand offering a new menu, greater levels of service and an overall increase of 20 covers.

The refurbishment will also see 98% of waste produced by construction be diverted from landfill and recycled. London City Airport’s partners will also support the airport’s ambitions to eliminate all single use plastics, to become a zero-waste airport and to be a London Living Wage Zone.

London City Airport Chief Executive Officer, Robert Sinclair, said: 

Whilst Covid has postponed our plans to build an entirely new terminal building, it has not diminished our ambition to invest in providing a London centric experience we know passengers want and have been waiting for.Our recovery in 2022 has been strong, and we and our partners, want to be ready to deliver an even better service in 2023 for even more passengers.

The airport, Lagardère Travel Retail, SSP and WHSmith are also committed to championing ‘Brand London’ and amazing products from across our capital. It’s especially pleasing that they also share many of the ambitions outlined in our Sustainability Roadmap.

Richard Lewis, CEO of SSP UK & Ireland said:

We are very excited to continue partnering with London City Airport and to be launching some of our newest concepts that our customers love. Soul & Grain has been created this year in response to our customers’ demand for fresh, balanced options available on the go and we’re very proud to propose a premium, nutritionally balanced menu alongside fantastic artisan coffee.

Spencer Sheen, Business Development Director, WHSmith Travel, said: 

We are delighted to be bolstering our partnership with London City Airport with the delivery of a brand new WHSmith store as part of the airport’s refurbishment investment. The store will provide customers with all the essentials for their journey and will include a tailored range of products offering a real sense of place in London for customers travelling through the airport. The opening of our new WHSmith store follows the launch of our new store from our world-leading technology retailer, InMotion, in the terminal earlier this year, which has received great feedback from customers.

Marion Engelhard, MD of Lagardère Travel Retail UK & Ireland said:

We are thrilled to be partnering with London City to bring our flagship Aelia Duty Free store as part of this terminal upgrade. This store will express a sense of London like no other through its thoughtful design and our distinct focus on local products and suppliers that brings the best of London to the airport.

Auction of A380 parts

On the 13, 14 and 15 October 2022, five hundred A380 parts will be auctioned by Airbus for the benefit of the Airbus Foundation and the AIRitage association.

These parts were selected following the deconstruction of MSN 13 by TARMAC Aerosave, partner of the auction. 

Lamps, the bar, stairs, handrails, trolleys, seats, paddles, and even the cockpit rescue rope: more than 500 items, mostly from the cabin of this emblematic aircraft, will be offered to enthusiasts at an auction to be held in Toulouse and on the Internet, under the hammer of Maître Labarbe. 

The vast majority of the parts come from the A380 MSN13, which entered service in 2008 and was meticulously deconstructed in 2021 by TARMAC Aerosave, the world leader in the sustainable management of aircraft end of life, from maintenance to recycling.

Bond Street Elizabeth line station to open on 24 October

The final Elizabeth line station will provide a new link to one of the busiest shopping districts in the UK with entrances at Hanover Square and Davies Street.

Bond Street’s Elizabeth line station will open on Monday 24 October, subject to final approvals. The opening of the station will further transform travel across London and the South East by providing a new link to one of the busiest shopping districts in Europe ahead of the busy festive period. 

The new station will relieve congestion at Oxford Circus station and make the area more accessible with step-free access from street to train. The Elizabeth line has seen more than 45 million journeys, and from Sunday 6 November will run to Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield via central London as a seven-day service.

From 24 October, two brand new, spacious ticket halls, with an abundance of natural light, will lead passengers to the 255-metre long Elizabeth line platforms. Both entrances feature columns which blur the line between interior and exterior spaces and help the station fit into its surroundings with the choice of materials: red sandstone at Davies Street, and pale Portland stone at Hanover Square.

The new station is step-free from street to train with two lifts, further enhancing accessibility on the Elizabeth line and across the TfL network.  The station will accommodate nearly 140,000 Elizabeth line passengers daily, contributing to an overall station capacity of 225,000 across the Jubilee, Central and Elizabeth lines. Bond Street will start with a train service every five minutes. There will be no service on Sunday 30 October, but from Sunday 6 November, trains will be every three to four minutes, seven days a week.

Beside the Bond Street station entrance on Hanover Square is Medici Courtyard which will become the first public courtyard to open in Mayfair for more than a century. This area of public realm was transformed by Westminster City Council as part of the Elizabeth line development in collaboration with adjacent property owners and developers.  

From Sunday 6 November, the lines from Reading, Heathrow, and Shenfield will connect with the central tunnels of the Elizabeth line – opening up new direct journeys across the capital and providing a huge boost to the West End as it continues to recover from the pandemic and gears up for the busy festive period. Customers from Heathrow, Reading and Shenfield will then be able to go directly to Bond Street without having to change trains at Paddington or Liverpool Street mainline stations.  

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Paddington’s Elizabeth line station in May to mark the completion of the new railway. During her visit, Her Majesty officially unveiled a plaque to celebrate the completion of the line named in her honour.  

Andy Byford, London’s Transport Commissioner, said,

When we opened the brilliant central section of the Elizabeth line earlier this year, I promised that Bond Street station would open this autumn and I am extremely pleased that Londoners and visitors will be able to use this magnificent station from 24 October.  

Bond Street was of course the station site that Her Majesty the Queen visited during construction in 2016 to mark the renaming of the railway in her honour. It was also our honour that Her Majesty graced us with her presence earlier this year to mark the completion of the railway.  

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said,

I’m delighted that the new Elizabeth line station at Bond Street will open on Monday 24 October. The latest stunning addition to this transformational line will give Londoners and tourists quick and direct access to the heart of London’s West End.

Millions have already travelled on the Elizabeth line, and the opening of a station at Bond Street will help draw people back on to our world-class public transport network, encourage people to make the most of the capital and support businesses across the city. It will also provide a new link to one of the busiest shopping districts in Europe as retailers anticipate the ‘golden quarter’ ahead of the festive period.

Transport Minister, Katherine Fletcher said,

The opening of Bond Street station next month is set to cement its status even further, enabling over 140,000 people to access one of the UK’s biggest shopping areas and the heart of the legendary West End, adding an expected £42 billion to the UK economy over the coming decades.

London’s transport system is its lifeblood and the £9 billion of Government investment which helped the Elizabeth line dream become a reality will transform the lives of millions for generations to come.

Adam Hug, Leader of Westminster City Council, said,

The opening of the new Bond Street station is fantastic news. Not only will it be more convenient for new visitors to take public transport into the heart of our city, it also offers the many local people who work in the area’s retailers and restaurants a quicker, cleaner route to and from work – linking our communities and making life easier.

We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone to the city.’

Virgin Atlantic to join SkyTeam

SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, and Virgin Atlantic have announced that the UK airline will join as SkyTeam’s newest member in early 2023.

Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance’s transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.

The alliance claimed that Virgin Atlantic customers ‘will benefit from a consistent, seamless customer experience, across 1,000+ global destinations. They’ll also have more opportunities to earn and redeem points across member airlines and access to a network of 750+ airport lounges, spanning six continents’.

Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members will enjoy significant benefits from the day of joining, with a global expansion of its loyalty offering. Virgin Atlantic Silver Card holders will be recognised as SkyTeam Elite Members, whilst the airline’s Gold Card members will become Elite Plus. This recognition provides a raft of benefits, including priority check in, baggage handling and boarding. Flying Club members will be able to take advantage of the benefits as soon as Virgin Atlantic officially enrols in SkyTeam, which is expected early in 2023.

Virgin Atlantic’s entry into the alliance builds upon the success of its transatlantic joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM, each already long established SkyTeam members. The four partners are co-located at London Heathrow’s Terminal Three, alongside existing SkyTeam members Aeromexico and China Eastern, providing customers with smooth airside transits and the most convenient connections times possible.

Walter Cho, SkyTeam Chairman said

Walter Cho

Virgin Atlantic is synonymous with innovation…

…and excellent service.

An iconic British airline with a global outlook that puts customers at the heart of its operations

– like SkyTeam and its members –

and we are delighted to welcome them into our alliance.

Kristin Colvile, SkyTeam CEO, said,

Kristin Colvile

As a member of SkyTeam, Virgin Atlantic will benefit from increased opportunities to expand its global network through partnerships and synergies: customers will have more ways to earn and burn miles while enjoying the service for which Virgin Atlantic is renowned. Virgin Atlantic shares SkyTeam’s values, caring for our customers, our employees, and the world in which they live, and we are excited to have them as part of the SkyTeam family.

Shai Weiss, CEO Virgin Atlantic, commented,

Shai Weiss: “2022 marks the year Virgin Atlantic gets back to its best for our customers and people and joining SkyTeam is an important milestone”.

At Virgin Atlantic we strive to create thoughtful experiences that feel different for our customers and SkyTeam shares that customer first ethos.

Our membership will allow us to enhance established relationships with our valued partners at Delta and Air France-KLM, as well as opening up opportunities to collaborate with new airlines.

It will enable a seamless customer experience, with an expanded network and maximised loyalty benefits.

Codeshare agreements are already in place with Aeromexico and Middle East Airlines with options for more codeshares to follow.

Interline agreements with all SkyTeam members are already in place, providing one touch point for all customers, creating a seamless journey on one ticket.

Virgin Atlantic flies to 12 destinations throughout the USA in partnership with Delta and Air France-KLM including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.  In May the airline launched a brand-new service to Austin, Texas and will start daily flights to Tampa, Florida from November. Virgin Atlantic also operates an extensive Caribbean portfolio including Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and The Bahamas.  Virgin Atlantic also operates services to Greater China, India, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.

SkyTeam members, Delta, Air France and KLM are already collocated at Virgin Atlantic’s home base at London Heathrow Terminal 3. Virgin Atlantic operates long-haul services from UK regional airports including Edinburgh and Manchester. The airline offers a comprehensive network to North America and the Caribbean in partnership with Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM, and also operates services to Greater China, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

British Airways and Qatar Airways form the largest airline joint business

Qatar Airways and British Airways have completed the latest phase in the expansion of their partnership, offering global connectivity between more countries than any other airline joint business.

The airlines have added 42 new countries to their shared network, including Italy, the Maldives, Norway, Singapore, and Sweden, giving passengers enhanced access between destinations in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Customers will now benefit from even greater choices in prices and schedules with options for direct flights as well as connections via hubs in London and Doha. This is all part of Qatar Airways and British Airways’ plan to “Move Further Together” by enhancing the joint network and providing passengers with the best of both airlines.

The expansion will enable seamless connecting journeys on single tickets through Doha and London, bringing the total number of destinations served by the two airlines to 185 across more than 60 countries. The complementary networks uniquely access dozens of countries that no other alliance or joint business provides. The partnership also ensures access to more cities around the world than ever before, continuing to support global trade, tourism, investment, and cultural connection.

Partnership:British Airways and Qatar Airways celebrate the latest milestone in the expansion of their joint business

Additionally, customers will have more freedom to engage with both airlines’ loyalty programmes, earning and spending Avios, their common currency. Customers are able to seamlessly link their Qatar Airways Privilege Club and British Airways Executive Club accounts to transfer Avios between the two, and combine balances to claim rewards offered by each programme. The collaboration also offers access to both airline’s exclusive lounges, and cabins to suit all budgets and needs, including British Airways’ new Club Suite and Qatar Airways’ award-winning Qsuite.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said,

The growing collaboration between Qatar Airways and British Airways shows our customers our common goal to offer an unparalleled network with unique benefits. Travellers can now experience the best in quality and service as they travel across our joint network.  The joint business between our airlines cements both Qatar Airways and British Airways as industry leaders, aiming to provide the utmost flexibility and unrivalled connectivity to our customers.

Sean Doyle, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for British Airways said,

This is a huge milestone in our long-standing relationship with Qatar Airways, an airline that shares our passion for customer service, choice and flexibility.

From idyllic holiday hotspots such as the Maldives and Thailand, to business hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong, we are pleased to open up the world as the travel industry continues to make steps towards its recovery.

British Airways said that co-operation on a small number of routes remains subject to pending regulatory clearances.

Delta revamps Premium Select

Delta Air Lines is introducing an improved “premium economy” experience.

Customers flying in Delta Premium Select, available on all trans-Pacific and most trans-Atlantic flights, will soon be treated to a refreshed and improved cabin experience, complementing the spacious seat design Delta’s Premium Select passengers already know.

Improved: Delta Premium Select passengers will soon be treated to a refreshed and improved cabin experience.

The new Delta Premium Select cabin features locally-inspired dining, premium hand-crafted amenities and more dedicated service touchpoints – while also driving social impact through the airline’s expanded Someone Somewhere partnership.

Mauricio Parise, Delta’s Vice President of Brand Experience said,

Delta Premium Select sits at the intersection of luxury and practicality – giving customers the opportunity to treat themselves to a more spacious seat and premium experience at a lower price point compared to our Delta One cabin. We continue to debut premium products designed for the future of travel, with differentiated offerings that give our customers the experiences they crave.

Delta Premium Select customers will enjoy an elevated dining experience that offers more options infused with local flavors. 

Mike Henny, Delta’s Managing Director of Onboard Service said,

At Delta, we know a good meal can make a great experience on Delta flights even better. When designing our Delta Premium Select menu, we reimagined our food and beverage offerings from scratch, and we’re excited to launch delicious new offerings that also highlight our premium service and culture of innovation.

Elevated experience: Delta Premium Select customers will enjoy an elevated dining experience that offers more options infused with local flavours.

In the past year, Delta has revamped its onboard dining experience to create a “people-first and values-led foundation”, including seasonal menus, more plant-based meals, local sourcing and new partnerships with small businesses, diverse partners and suppliers from across the globe. 

Delta Premium Select menu options will include meals like braised beef short rib with fingerling potatoes and dijon green peppercorn jus; Impossible™ Meatballs with polenta, pomodorini sauce and broccolini; honey harissa chicken thighs with jollof rice and stewed greens; and for dessert, mango mousse with mango passion fruit compote. 

Delta Premium Select customers will be served their main courses on bagasse plates made from sugarcane plant fiber, with linen tableware and napkins, silver flatware and glassware. And they’ll enjoy more dedicated service touchpoints throughout their flight, like a special ‘bubbles and bites’ moment, with sparkling wine, water and a special treat shortly after takeoff, as well as a premium snack basket. 

From October 2022, Delta will phase in new handmade amenity kits by Someone Somewhere featuring Grown Alchemist travel essentials and other premium essentials that make the journey more enjoyable.

Premium: Beginning in October, Delta will phase in new handmade amenity kits by Someone Somewhere featuring Grown Alchemist travel essentials and other premium items.

The new Delta Premium Select amenity kits will come in three new designs that Someone Somewhere artisans created exclusively for Delta.

Special for the month of October, select Delta flights leaving the US will feature a pink kit to honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month as part of Delta’s longstanding effort to support breast cancer awareness, research and education.

Customers will also enjoy specially-curated, natural skincare products by Grown Alchemist, a leading force in clean beauty. Customers can keep hydrated with vanilla watermelon lip balm, found in their kits, and refresh with a vanilla and orange peel oshibori hand towel, which will be handed out before the first meal.

Other premium amenities, including a memory-foam pillow, noise-cancelling headsets and plush blankets made from recycled materials, are also designed to make the in-flight experience more comfortable and relaxing.

Spectacular new gourmet dishes in Air France lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle

Air France is offering new culinary delights in its lounges at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport.

The Ducasse Paris teams have developed new dishes to be enjoyed in the long-haul lounges in terminal 2E. For the short and medium-haul lounge in Terminal 2F, Servair corporate chef François Adamski, Bocuse d’Or and Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF), has teamed up with the young and talented chef Chloé Charles to create gourmet dishes with a summer flavour.

Ducasse Paris in the long-haul lounges

In the long-haul lounges at Paris-Charles de Gaulle located in terminal 2E, halls K, L and M, customers can now enjoy the new “Burgal” signed by Ducasse Paris, a fully veggie and healthy alternative to the traditional hamburger made from locally produced French cereals and vegetables. It is composed of a vegan brioche bun, a vegetable and legume patty, a spicy vegan mayonnaise with pickles and an aubergine caviar condiment, and the recipe is compatible with all dietary needs.

Ducasse Paris also offers a salad and a signature condiment featuring unrefined produce and seasonings with no added fat or sugar. For dessert, a chocolate praline finger from the Manufacture Ducasse is offered, prepared exclusively for the company’s customers.

Ducasse Paris burgal
Ducasse Paris dessert

François Adamski and Chloé Charles in the short and medium-haul lounge at terminal 2F

In the short and medium-haul lounge in terminal 2F, Air France has teamed up with Servair corporate chef François Adamski, an undisputed emblematic name in French cuisine (winner of the Bocuse d’or and Meilleur Ouvrier de France), and the young and talented chef Chloé Charles at the forefront of responsible catering. Through this alliance, Air France is both illustrating its determination to take inspiration from the very roots of French haute cuisine, which it has supported since the company’s beginnings, and its ambition to promote the promising young talent behind today’s inventive cuisine with a view to transferring and sharing know-how. The two chefs are presenting new hot dishes, including a vegetarian offer, which will be unveiled progressively over the coming months for lunch or dinner.

Chloé Charles (left) and François Adamski

On the menu in September 2022 –

  • Smoked shrimp, tangy sauce and seasonal vegetables by François Adamski;
  • Shoulder of lamb with spices, reduced juice, semolina with candied vegetables by François Adamski;
  • Camargue rice sautéed and flavoured with West Indian spices and spring vegetable brunoise by Chloé Charles.

Before a flight or while waiting for a connecting flight, Air France welcomes its Business and Flying Blue Elite Plus customers in spacious and quiet lounges where they can relax and rest, eat or work in peace. In these privileged spaces, gastronomy is in the spotlight with a rich and varied catering offer, highlighting French cuisine. The culinary offer available in the lounges changes throughout the day.

In the spirit of French bistros, a large choice of hot and cold dishes is available at all times, with cocktails, simmered casseroles, pancakes for breakfast, etc.

Special culinary events are regularly organised.

A wine and champagne list presented by Paolo Basso, world’s best sommelier in 2013, is also available in the lounges.

A more responsible catering offer

Since 1 June, 2022 in its lounges at Paris-Charles de Gaulle – and by the end of 2022 on all its flights departing from Paris – Air France has committed to offering 100% French meat, dairy products and eggs, bread and pastries, as well as fish from sustainable fisheries. The airline offers a selection of fresh, local and seasonal products. A vegetarian offer is also available.

The company is also committed to recycling and eliminating 90% of single-use plastic on board its aircraft by early 2023. It also pays particular attention to the selective sorting and recycling of catering items. In accordance with French regulations, it also provides its customers with water fountains in its lounges to limit the consumption of single-use plastic.


Hans across the water…

Hans Airways has performed its formal ‘route proving flight’ over the North Atlantic for the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) aboard its newly re-registered Airbus A330-200, G-KJAS.

The proving flight on 31 August was a special occasion for Global Travel Management, as Director Natalie Pawley was among the guests on board, brother of the flight’s pilot, Captain Nathan Burkitt.

Two sets of flight and cabin crew, led by COO Captain Nathan Burkitt and Neeru Prabhakar, Manager – Cabin Safety and Service, operated the flight, whilst Simon Prower, Director of Ground Operations, focused on dispatch and logistics, with ground handling managed by Swissport.

With more than 100 guests on board, flight time was a little over two hours, flying along the west coast towards the North Atlantic and back to Birmingham Airport.

The previous day, 30 August, CEO and founder of Hans Airways, Satnam Saini proudly welcomed 55 guests made up of family, friends and airline partners, for a familiarisation test flight replicating a full-service offering. The A330, still a white aircraft, took off from Birmingham and made landings at Glasgow Prestwick, Doncaster, and then back to Prestwick, before returning to Birmingham Airport.

On the first leg, to Prestwick, he was joined by Senior Captain Graham Ness – one of the first pilots to join the company.

CEO Satnam Saini thanked STS Aviation Services at Birmingham Airport for working swiftly and enthusiastically over weekends to ready the aircraft for first flight – and praised all his team – who have, collectively, “contributed so much to making this day happen, a culmination of four years’ planning and shaping.“

Hans Airways performed its formal route proving flight for the CAA on 31 August.

The route proving flight for the CAA is the penultimate regulatory milestone in being able to start commercial revenue operations. On the award of its UK Air Operator’s Certificate, Hans Airways will apply to India’s equivalent regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for its licence to fly from India.

Hans Airways has ambitions to be the UK’s third long-haul scheduled carrier, operating a hybrid, affordable, full-service model. The airline intends to make Amritsar in Northern India its first destination from Birmingham Airport, and expects to be able to start flying in October 2022, (subject to licence approval).

Martin Dunn, Chief Commercial Officer said

This week was a very significant one in the Hans Airways’ journey. We are now really looking forward to pro-active engagement with the travel trade community.

The company is currently recruiting and looking to add 20 more cabin crew from its Birmingham, UK base.

Honour: Satnam Saini, CEO of Hans Airways (left), Natalie Pawley, Director of Global Travel Management (centre) and Captain Birkett, who stated ‘it is my honour and privilege to take the controls on our first A330 flight’.
Comfort: Natalie Pawley tried out the Economy Plus cabin facilities on board and later confirmed ‘they are among the very best premium economy seats’
Blank canvas: Hans Airways’ test flights were operated by the carrier’s newly re-registered Airbus 330-200, ‘G-KJAS’
Friendly welcome: CEO Satnam Saini greeted every guest onboard Hans Airways’ proving flights and was delighted that the experience was a positive one for every passenger.


British Airways September Sale

British Airways and British Airways Holidays have launched their September sale, with reductions made across a range of flights and holidays all the way into the summer of 2023.

Running until 20 September 2022, the sale offers discounts on travel across the globe, from Europe city-breaks to far-flung Caribbean getaways and 2022 winter sun trips to 2023 holidays-of-a-lifetime.

Return British Airways flights available include Heathrow to Dubai from £399, Gatwick to New York from £308, Heathrow to Miami from £339 and Heathrow to San Francisco from £397.

Those looking for far-flung holiday packages (flight + hotel) with British Airways Holidays can enjoy seven-night stays in Orlando from £429pp, the Caribbean from £599pp and the Indian Ocean from £919pp. Those in the market for a mini-break can jet off on three-night trips to Dubai from £439pp or New York from £449pp.  Two-night city breaks to destinations including Rome, Venice and Prague start from just £119pp.

Meanwhile in Europe, seven-night European favourites such as the Algarve are available from just £199pp, Lanzarote from £249pp, Tenerife from £259pp, and Cyprus from £329pp.

Executive Club Members can also now earn double Tier Points on flights taken as part of a package holiday, for travel up to 30 September 2023.

Travellers interested in exploring British Airways’ newest destination, Oranjestad in Aruba, can enjoy seven nights on the Caribbean island from £979pp. Flights begin on 26 March 2023, operating twice weekly from London Gatwick.

British Airways Holidays is also offering customers an additional saving of up to £300 on selected holidays, for a limited period. Those booking between 1 – 6 September 2022 can book a flight + hotel or flight + car holiday and make the following extra savings, on top of the September sale prices:

  • £300 extra discount with a minimum spend of £10,000 per booking (flight + hotel)
  • £200 extra discount with a minimum spend of £5,000 per booking (flight + hotel)
  • £100 extra discount with a minimum spend of £2,500 per booking (flight + hotel & flight + car)
  • £50 extra discount with a minimum spend of £1,250 per booking (flight + hotel & flight + car)
  • £25 extra discount with a min spend of £650 per booking (flight + car)

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, said:

We know that, more than ever, many of our customers are keen to ensure value for money. This sale offers a huge variety of flights and holidays at a wide range of prices, giving plenty of choice for those keen to get away. This is coupled with The British Airways experience, from generous baggage allowances to great quality food and drink on board. British Airways Holidays customers can also benefit from our low deposits and the additional protection that comes with our holiday packages, so they can book with complete peace of mind.

Emirates invests more than $2bn on ‘customer experience’

Emirates is investing more than $2billion to enhance its inflight customer experience, including a massive programme to retrofit more than 120 aircraft with the latest interiors, plus an array of other service improvements across all cabins, starting in 2022.

The President of Emirates Airlines, Sir Tim Clark, said,

Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers. Through the pandemic we’ve continued to launch new services and initiatives to ensure our customers travel with the assurance and ease, including digital initiatives to improve customer experiences on the ground. Now we’re rolling out a series of intensive programmes to take Emirates’ signature inflight experiences to the next level.

Emirates’ latest initiatives include:

  • elevated meal choices,
  • a brand new vegan menu,
  • a ‘cinema in the sky’ experience,
  • cabin interior upgrades,
  • ‘sustainable choices’, and
  • a generous approach to ‘the little touches that make travel memorable’

New Inspirations, New Menus

An award-winning team of chefs, a world-class catering team and a wide variety of suppliers have been assembled to design and deliver ‘the best fine dining experience in the sky’.

New menus will be served on select Emirates routes in First Class, featuring dishes such as pan-fried salmon trout with moqueca sauce and creole rice, roasted duck breast with orange thyme jus, steamed broccolini and fondant potatoes.

New menus will also be introduced to Business and Economy on 1 September.

Refreshed First Class menus

Purposefully Vegan Choices: 

Emirates’ new vegan menu is ‘carefully curated to cater to the growing numbers of customers pursuing this thoughtful lifestyle’.

Vegans, or anyone interested in a delicious and healthy plant-based meal, will enjoy handcrafted gourmet dishes such as pan-roasted king oyster mushrooms, flavoursome jackfruit biryani and sliced kohlrabi garnished with burnt orange.

Desserts are a decadent affair with choices of chocolate truffle cake with hazelnut, pistachio and gold leaf, or green grape tart adorned with candied rose petals, vanilla custard, and berry compote glistening with yuzu pearls.

First Class vegan menus

The Champagne and Caviar Experience

Emirates’ First Class experience has been upped a notch in 2022. Customers can now savour unlimited portions of Persian caviar as part of the ‘dine on demand’ service, with an exquisite pairing of the world-renowned Dom Perignon vintage champagne.

Champagne and caviar: Emirates is the only airline with an exclusive agreement to offer Dom Perignon on-board.

Cinema in the Sky

First Class customers can create a memorable movie moment on-board by ordering cinema snacks as they enjoy the 5,000 channels on Emirates’ ice inflight entertainment system.

The cinema snack menu includes moreish classics such as lobster rolls, juicy sliders, edamame, and salted popcorn, and can be ordered on demand.

All passengers can also curate their own ice experience before their flight, simply by browsing and pre-selecting movies or TV shows on the Emirates app, which can then be synced to ice the moment they board, maximising the seamless travel experience.

A Flight at the Movies: Emirates cinema snacks

Farm to Fork – Sustainable Supply Chain

Emirates’ customers departing on flights from Dubai can begin crunching on fresh greens harvested from Bustanica, the world’s largest vertical farm and newly-opened $40 million joint venture investment through Emirates Flight Catering.

Emirates is continuing to invest in sustainable operations and supply chains, seeking local food suppliers and farms wherever possible to serve the freshest produce on board.

Greens: multi-tier growing rack

Specialised Hospitality Training for Cabin Crew

Emirates has partnered with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne, one of the world’s top hospitality management schools, to craft the Emirates Hospitality strategy and encourage inspiring customer experiences.

Emirates Cabin Crew have already begun engaging in intensive training programmes focused on delivering the four service pillars: Excellence, Attentiveness, Innovation and Passion.

Top hospitality: Excellence, Attentiveness, Innovation and Passion

Upgraded Cabin Interiors in all Classes

The most significant investment is an extensive and record-breaking refurbishment of the aircraft fleet interiors, where cabins will be retrofitted with new or reupholstered seats, new panelling, flooring and other cabin features.

Benefitting all Emirates passengers, every cabin class will be refreshed and new Premium Economy cabins installed.

After the retrofit, Emirates will have a total of 120 aircraft offering Premium Economy seats – the only airline in the region to offer this cabin class, and enhanced interiors and features across all other cabins. With its first aircraft scheduled to roll into the Emirates Engineering Centre for retrofitting in November, planning work and trials have begun in earnest.

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management Sales Director said,

Emirates are setting a benchmark for inflight customer experience. Their $2bn investment will be the envy of many other airlines and their passengers will be treated to flights that are a joy.

The recent improvements to the Emirates Premium Economy service are proof that the airline knows exactly how, where and when to apply its investments. Premium Economy on Emirates is exceptional.

I am looking forward to seeing the results of Emirates’ investments in all cabins across the fleet’s 120 aircraft.

I know GTM’s customers will appreciate the difference.

Premium Economy; Emirates developed an exceptional Premium Economy service, enjoyed by many GTM customers already