Willie Walsh faces tough questioning from MPs

Willie Walsh faced a series of questions via video conference from MPs at a Select Committee meeting this morning.

Walsh, Chief Executive of British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) was quizzed on a range of topics, including potential redundancies at BA, passenger refunds and how airlines will help combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Huw Merriman MP, Chair of the House of Commons Select Committee, orchestrated a number of questions from fellow MPs from all sides of the House and drew out significant comments from Walsh.

Among the topics covered were:

  • Potential redundancies among BA staff and the consultation process.
  • The refunds due to passengers for cancelled flights and rearranged bookings.
  • State aid accessed by airlines within the group, including a Spanish government-backed loan of up to €1bn and UK government aid totalling in the region of £300m.
  • The level of cash being burned by IAG during the coronavirus-forced cessation of services.
  • Press reports of IAG “buying” 200 aircraft from Boeing – a purchase Walsh explained had not been confirmed.
  • The actions airlines within IAG will be taking to protect passengers and staff from coronavirus.

We will be publishing further information on some of these issues later this week.

British Airways retrofits its first B777 with new Club Suite.

Following the successful introduction of its new Airbus A350-900 aircraft, British Airways has also now retrofitted its recently introduced Club Suite on a Boeing 777. The first B777 aircraft with the Club Suite will operate between London Heathrow and New York JFK, effective immediately. It will operate on flight BA173, departing Heathrow at 1120, and […]

It’s Back! Complimentary Upgrade to First With BA.

Effective immediately, book an eligible Club World return fare and receive a complimentary upgrade to First with British Airways.

You can upgrade to First, one-way on either the outbound, or the inbound part of the journey; simply purchase an eligible published semi-flexible R, D, or C class, or a fully flexible J class, Club World fare by 7 October 2018.

This offer is available on as many flights as you like when outbound travel is by 23 October 2018.

Upgrades are subject to availability on selected flights.

What’s more, you can also upgrade to First on some American Airlines operated flights to the US, Canada and Mexico too (when booked with a British Airways codeshare flight number).

And Another New Route From BA!

British Airways has announced another new route on its network by starting direct flights to Durban this winter.

The thrice weekly service will launch on October 29 2018, departing Heathrow at 1545 on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving into Durban’s King Shaka International airport at 0535 the following day. The return leg will leave the South African city at 0735 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, landing back into London at 1745.

The new route will be the only direct service between Europe and Durban, and will be served by a B787-8 Dreamliner aircraft.

Tickets start from £599 return in World Traveller, £1,214 in World Traveller Plus, and £3,199 in Club World.

New British Airways Service To Nashville.

Commencing on Friday 4th May 2018 British Airways started flying a new service between London Heathrow and Nashville.

BA is operating the service five times a week and will be the only airline to fly direct between Europe and the capital of Tennessee.

The route will be operated by a Boeing Dreamliner 787-8, with return fares in World Traveller starting from £749, £1196 in World Traveller Plus and £1,849 in Club World.

The flights will run on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with the BA223 departing from Heathrow at 1545 and arriving into Nashville airport at 1850, while the BA222 will leave Nashville at 2020, arriving in London at 1030 the next day.

BA Mixed Fleet Cabin Crew Strike.

Please note that the next round of industrial action being taken by members of British Airways Mixed Fleet cabin crew will begin on Wednesday 2nd August and run until Tuesday 15th August (inclusive).

All flights to and from London Gatwick, London City and Stansted will operate as normal. The vast majority of flights to and from London Heathrow will also operate as normal, however, some service (from Heathrow) will be affected.

Therefore, it is important that all passengers check in online and ensure that BA have your mobile phone number and email address in case they need to contact you.

We (GTM) will also contact any customers whose flights are affected the moment our systems receive notification from BA.

BA’s Terminal 7 @ JFK – Important Update.

GTM has been advised by British Airways that due to its JFK Terminal 7 transformation programme, there will be a delay for passengers passing through security at the terminal from 22 June 2017 to end January 2018.

This will affect all British Airways World Traveller and World Traveller Plus customers on flights departing after 17.00hrs. Therefore, BA is advising customers to allow an extra hour at the airport to ensure that they reach their gate on time.

This is due to the terminal improvement works which are taking place at Terminal 7, therefore, please heed the above advice and allow an extra hour at the airport to ensure that you reach your gate on time.

You can find out more about the work taking place at Terminal 7 by clicking here.

BA Releases Details Of New First Wing At Heathrow.

British Airways has today released the details of its new First Wing at Heathrow Airport which opens at the beginning of April.

The location and design of the new First Wing means that Gold card holders will no longer have to make the circuitous route around T5 in order to access the lounge.

The details released by British Airways today include several new features.

1. An exclusive entrance – the entrance to The First Wing is through a “scalloped steel and glass enclosure, with the centrepiece carrying the iconic BA coat of arms”.

2. A dedicated security lane – there is a new security channel and then a direct route to the Galleries First lounge and the Concorde Room.

3. Greater privacy – a specially-designed, curved, fluted wall, three metres high and 29 metres long, “keeps the area separate and private”.

4. More space for check-in – the First Wing check-in area is more than 250 per cent larger than before. It also has more seats including armchairs, marble-topped side tables and bespoke leather banquettes.

And if you need to do some last minute shopping before your flight, you can always enjoy the escalators down to the retail area, which you previously had to walk past in order to get to the Galleries First lounge – enjoy!

BA Introduces Club Europe On UK Domestic Flights.

British Airways are going to introduce Club Europe, their short haul business class product, to flights within the UK and are also replacing the current UK domestic service with their Euro Traveller brand as the economy cabin.

This change aligns their cabins across their short haul network and enables travellers connecting to or from a long haul destination to enjoy a consistent experience throughout their journey.

Tickets are now available to buy for travel from 1 April 2017.

BA / Unite Strike Update.

The Unite union which is representing British Airways’ Mixed Fleet cabin crew has now cancelled its threatened industrial action which was due to take place on Christmas Day & Boxing Day. As a result BA will be running its normal schedule.

A great result for BA’s customers and the travelling public!