BA starts new Chengdu service.

Yesterday British Airways began operating a new service to Chengdu in Sichuan province in Southwest China. The city has a population of over 14m inhabitants and is BA’s fourth destination in China after Beijing, Hong Kong & Shanghai.

The service took off from London Heathrow and landed in Chengdu this morning. The nose cone of the aircraft had been painted to look like a panda – how twee!

Delays at Heathrow for BA travellers

A baggage system problem has caused delays to British Airways passengers at Heathrow Airport.
Travellers were earlier unable to check in baggage at Terminal five (T5) due to a computer problem. The airport says the problem has been resolved, but some passengers face long queues and delays. BBC reporter Keith Doyle said there was a queue of about “500 people waiting to rebook flights”.
Simon Frusher, who was flying to New York, said: “There are now thousands of people with missed flights, as planes went on time.
“Huge queues now for rebooking… unsure as yet what flight we can get.”
An airport spokesperson said: “Our teams have now restored all check-in services and we have additional staff in the terminal to help passengers.”
Passengers were unable to check in baggage. The airport said passengers who wished to take hand luggage on board were unaffected, but others were prevented from checking in and unable to travel.
Mr Doyle said a separate area had been set aside for rebooking flights at T5, which operates British Airways flights.
A BA spokesman apologised for the inconvenience and said “all of our flights continue to operate as normal”.
The problems started at around 09:00 BST and were resolved by 11:30.

British Airways – First A380 Enters Service.

British Airways’ first A380 flew its first official longhaul service today with its inaugural flight to Los Angeles.

Five A380 services a week will now operate between London Heathrow and Los Angeles, increasing to a double daily service from 10 April 2014.

From 22 October, daily A380 services will start between London Heathrow and Hong Kong. Johannesburg is the third A380 destination, with services planned to start from 12 February 2014.

British Airways took delivery of its second A380 over the past weekend, with a third due next month.

Chinese Embassy Closure.

The Chinese Embassy in London will be closed from Tuesday 1st October to Thursday 3rd October inclusive. Please bear this in mind if you are soon to apply for a visa.

Mumbai Runway Closure.

Flights in and out of Mumbai airport could be delayed this winter, as the airport’s main runway will be shut for eight hours a day, except Sundays, for eight months starting from 28th October 2013.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has said that the runway will be shut from 9am to 5pm for construction of two new rapid exit taxiways at the airport. Although the second runway will be available for operations, it is not equipped to handle low visibility operations.

The closure of the main runway will result in aircraft taking longer routes while taxiing towards the runway for take off.

SAS Credits Offer.

Scandinavian Airlines Sytem (SAS) is offering companies the opportunity to earn SAS Credits this autumn.

Sign up between now and 31st October 2013 and provided that at least one return trip is made in any class of travel and your company will get up to 4% of the net ticket price back as a SAS Credit.

One SAS Credit is equal to £1, and the credits are valid for three years. Your credits can then be redeemed for flights and hotel stays with participating Radisson Blu and Park Inn hotels.

Credits can also be earned when staying with one of the aforementioned hotel chains. Please contact Paul Baker on 01483 227 369 for more information.

 

Customs workers strike causing delays at Brussels Airport for arriving passengers

Brussels Airport is reporting that an ongoing strike by customs workers is causing long wait times for arriving passengers at customs inspection areas.
Passengers can visit http://www.brusselsairport.be/en/alarm/40534/ for additional details as they become available.

British Airways – Upgrade To First Offer.

British Airways’ upgrade to First promotion is back again.

Book from today until 24th September and take advantage of much lower eligible Club World fares, which also include a complimentary upgrade to First. The offer continues until 12th November but at higher fares only.

All travel must be completed by 19th November 2013.

France – General Strike 10 September.

This afternoon it has been reported that the national general strike by public sector workers in France is going ahead tomorrow.

It is now understood that air travel will be impacted, however, to what degree is as yet unknown. Eurocontrol reports that air traffic routes may be reduced by 20 percent depending on staffing, but that will depend on the situation that develops through tomorrow.

According to the Director of Operations, there may be delays in the Brest area as early as this evening (Monday 9th September). From tomorrow delays of 25 minutes to two hours should be expected in the areas controlled by towers around Bordeaux, Reims, Paris, Marseille and Brest.

There are likely to be air traffic restrictions at Paris-Orly, Lyn and Marseille. As always, our advice to to check in online for your flight and ensure that your email address and cell phone number is in your booking.

Eurostar’s services are unaffected. For more information on SNCF’s TGV services please check www.infolignes.com

British Airways Starts New Service To Austin, Texas.

British Airways is to be the only airline to offer direct flights from London to Austin, Texas from next year.

Starting early March 2014, initially with five flights a week, before moving to a daily service on 3 May, the airline’s brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner, with its three-cabin layout, will serve the route to the Texan capital.

The summer 2014 schedule, which starts from 30 March, will see a number of increases in long-haul flying to a variety of destinations. Services to Ghana (Accra) will see an increase in frequency (from the start of the winter 2013 schedule), with an additional three flights per week being added.

Likewise, for next year’s summer schedule, services to Tel Aviv are being enhanced with the introduction of a wide-bodied Boeing 777, which replaces a narrow-bodied Airbus A321.