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British Airways Moves to Beijing Daxing.

British Airways has announced that its direct flights between London Heathrow and Beijing will move to the new state-of-the-art Daxing Airport from 27 October 2019.

With a massive 52,000m2 available for retail, food and beverage and service, facilities at Beijing Daxing will include over 300 shops and restaurants and for those eligible passengers access to a brand-new partner lounge.

The new airport is approximately 50km from both Beijing city centre and the Xiong’an New Area and only 80km from Tianjin. Transport connections to and from Beijing Daxing include four new highways, two new subway lines and a high-speed railway, which will carry customers to Beijing West Station in under 20 minutes. A new terminal station is set to open in the Lize Business District in the next few years.  Customers transferring to other flights will also benefit from its status as the only through check-in airport for foreign airlines in China.

Beijing Daxing, which is due to open in September 2019, will initially house four runways and one terminal building. In the future, it is set to include an additional three runways and a second terminal building, serving 100million customers each year. The move will also help British Airways to strengthen and develop its network through its codeshare agreement with China Southern Airlines, which will also be based at the new airport.

The London to Beijing route will continue as a daily service, operated by a Boeing 787-9 in the winter and a Boeing 777-300 in the summer, with four cabins: First, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller.

96 year-old war veteran gets back in the cockpit – with the help of British Airways

Former RAF pilot Frank Dell, 96, is usually found making his way through the hallways of his Bupa care home in Sydney. But, in his younger years, he was flying high over Germany in World War II, even carrying Royals, before joining British Airways as a commercial pilot.

Now, 45 years after his retirement, the airline has worked closely with Bupa to make one of his wishes come true, as Frank ventured back into the flight deck of an aircraft. The visit forms part of British Airways’ commitment to 100 acts of kindness across the world as part of its #BAMagic100 campaign, to celebrate its centenary this year.

Born in Hove in 1923, Frank grew up on the Sussex coast and joined the Royal Air Force in 1941, quickly rising to the role of Flight Lieutenant. His six years in the Royal Air Force were spent behind the controls of a De Havilland Mosquito flying over Germany during World War II.

It was a risky role, as Franks recalls:

In 1944, I lost a good friend of mine who also happened to be my navigator when our plane was shot down in Münster along the western edge of Germany near the Krupp armament factory.

It all happened so quickly. One minute I was in the plane at 28 thousand feet and the next moment I was in the fresh air.

Frank was confronted by some horrific scenes as he trekked through European countryside.

I was actually walking for four nights and didn’t link up with anyone until the fifth day. As you can imagine, I was incredibly worn out and tired.

Thankfully Frank survived the war and after leaving the RAF moved to Marlow in Buckinghamshire, where he raised two sons with his wife, Isabel. Keen to stay in the cockpit, Frank was quick to explore roles with other airlines after the war.

Being a pilot was beyond the reach of average people like me in terms of the cost. Then the war came along and paved the way for me to learn to fly.

When my time came to be released, there was no job for me in the air force, so I started with British European Airways. It was amazing to see how much pre-war flying and training came into the category of what we were doing then.

It was a great privilege to work for British European Airways and now, an incredibly proud moment to help them celebrate their 100th birthday and be back in the cockpit again.

Frank flew with British Airways for thirty years between 1946 and 1976, clocking up millions of miles and even carrying some well-known faces, including royalty.

I had no idea that 1976 was going to be my final year with British Airways, so I hit the jackpot by being able to fly a well-known Royal in my very last year of service. There’s something of an unspoken pilots’ agreement that you don’t talk about the people you’ve flown – especially at that level – but it’s a memory that I’ll treasure forever.

After retiring, Frank and Isabel remained in Marlow, though their son moved out to Australia. The couple followed in 2000 to be closer to their grandchildren and, after Isabel passed away, Frank moved into Bupa’s St. Ives care home in Sydney in 2018.

Reba Hatcher manages Bupa St. Ives care home in Sydney and says flying had been a major part of Frank’s life and has created many interesting conversations within the home.

Frank is such an inspiring role model to me, the staff, residents and visitors. It’s so important for us as carers to celebrate the lives and achievements of our residents and to shine the spotlight on what makes them so unique.

Reba got in touch with British Airways, who quickly picked up the idea as part of their #BAMagic campaign. With the two companies working together to arrange the visit, Frank soon donned his suit and tie before meeting pilots aboard a Boeing 777 at Sydney airport.

Reflecting on the day he said:

It’s been over 30 years since I was last in the cockpit, and I never thought I’d be here again.  While the technology has changed, there are so many things that have stayed the same, and it’s brought back some wonderful memories.

As British Airways lines up on the runway to celebrate its centenary, the airline’s Director of Brand and Customer Experience, Carolina Martinoli, shared Ms Hatcher’s sentiment.

As soon as we heard that former British Airways pilot, Frank wished to take a trip down memory lane, we wanted to do all we could to make his dream come true by visiting a flight deck once again.  We’re absolutely honoured to have people like Frank and all our customers and colleagues join us in celebrating our milestone 100th birthday this year.

To celebrate its centenary, British Airways has painted a number of aircraft in its heritage liveries, including an A319 in the colours of British European Airways (BEA), which is the airline’s short -haul predecessor that Frank used to fly for.

If you’re planning to take a flight on British Airways during their centenary year, please contact your GTM Account Manager.

British Airways touches down in Islamabad

British Airways today landed in to Islamabad as it began its first service between the UK and Pakistan in 10 years.

Crowds greeted the aircraft in Islamabad as both the Union Flag and Pakistan’s national flag were waved from the cockpit roof hatch. British Airways has officially opened an office in Islamabad for the airline’s local dedicated team, which is testament to the investment the airline is making in the country.

On board the first flight from London was Andrew Brem, Chief Commercial Officer at British Airways, he said:


Brem: The atmosphere on board our state-of-the-art 787 aircraft was spectacular

Today is a great occasion for British Airways as we resume flights to Islamabad after a decade.  The atmosphere on board our state-of-the-art 787 aircraft was spectacular, as was the warm welcome on the ground. British Airways has a proud history of flying to Pakistan – we first operated flights to Islamabad in 1976 – and we couldn’t be more excited to be back.

The International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP, said:

The relaunch of British Airways flights between the UK and Pakistan after more than ten years will be a major boost for trade between our two countries. It is no surprise that it is an iconic British airline that is the first western airline to fly return to Pakistan, a symbol of the strong and growing relationship between our two countries.

Fox: strong and growing relationship between our two countries

I congratulate the British Airways team, the British High Commission and the impressive efforts of the Pakistani government for making this happen. We are confident that British Airways will act as a catalyst to bring even more British companies to one of the world’s largest markets.

Flights will run three-per-week on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday from London Heathrow, operated using a three-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner with World Traveller (long-haul economy), World Traveller Plus (long-haul premium economy) and Club World (long-haul business class). 

British Airways’ Boeing 787 on arrival at Islamabad, celebrating with the Union Flag and the flag of Pakistan

British Airways’ long-haul flights include extremely generous hand baggage allowances – one large cabin bag with a small laptop or handbag – complimentary food and drink, online check-in and free seat selection 24 hours prior to departure. Customers landing in London can connect on to British Airways’ network which includes over 30 destinations across North America, with over seventy flights per day to the US through the airline’s joint business with American Airlines. Customers can also connect to over thirty countries in Europe.

Customers travelling can expect bespoke services to enhance the on-board experience including a halal meal option in every cabin, while the airline will also ensure sauces in every meal do not include alcohol or pork. As with any British Airways flight, customers can also pre-order a range of special meal options including vegetarian and vegan options.

British Airways is amid a £6.5 billion investment for customers, including the installation of the best quality WiFi and power in every seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.

For more information about flights to Islamabad – or any other destination on the British Airways network – contact your GTM Account Manager.

British Airways spreads its wings with limited edition Marmite

British Airways and Marmite have teamed up to create a limited-edition jar to celebrate the airline’s centenary, launching today, 1 May.  As Marmite is the most confiscated brand at airport security, the centenary jar is conveniently sized to fit within the liquid allowance.

For Brits travelling abroad, it is clear they cannot go without the British spread that has divided the nation since 1902. Based on data from London City Airport, Marmite is the most confiscated branded food item at airport security. Other branded items that did not make it past security are Harrods jams and spreads and Lyle’s Golden Syrup.
 


London City Airport donates the majority of confiscated food items to a local charity, Community Food Enterprise (CFE). Since the partnership started in April 2017, the charity has distributed three tonnes of items to 16 smaller charities in East London, to ensure the confiscated items can help vulnerable people locally.

The airport has seen deserted jars of Marmite increase 50% in the first three months of 2019, from four to six jars a day, and the airport forecasts it could seize over 2,000 jars this year alone. British Airways customers can now get their Marmite hit when away. 

The special edition spread will be exclusively available to customers on board all flights from today. The jar weighs 70 grams so if they do not get through it on holiday they can safely take it through security as it falls within the liquid restrictions.

It’s clear that customers like to enjoy their favourite brands like Marmite while travelling or when they’re abroad.  We work with some of the best of British to bring them to our customers on board our flights and now, in our centenary year we will have even more brands alongside Marmite that our customers can enjoy. 


Hamish McVey, British Airways’ Head of Brand and Marketing

British Airways will be releasing a series of centenary editions in partnership with British brands during its milestone year. Earlier this month the airline announced a partnership with Scottish craft brewers, BrewDog, who have created a transatlantic IPA for customers and in a world first brewed the beer on a flight. The airline has also partnered with luxury British watchmakers Bremont on the launch of a new limited-edition timepiece, featuring metal from one of the most famous and iconic planes in history – Concorde.

With 4.8 million passengers travelling each year through London City Airport, many of whom are returning to the continent or heading on holiday, it’s little surprise that Marmite is such a treasured item and demonstrates just how loyal Brits are to their favourite brands. Whether you love it or hate it, we’re looking forward to ensuring passengers can continue to get their Marmite fix. For any other liquids, pastes and gels over 100ml, it’s best to pack them safely in the hold.


Ian Cowie, Director of Customer Operations at London City Airport

Global Travel Management’s Scott Pawley with GTM’s anniversary craft ale, The Globe Trotter

Global Travel Management managing director Scott Pawley commented on the latest British Airways celebration product.

Everyone at GTM would like to wish British Airways a fun and successful centenary year.

Like British Airways, we recently celebrated an important anniversary. But, instead of just using the yeast extract by-product from the brewing industry, we went one stage better: we brewed our own anniversary ale, Globe Trotter.

So, whether you like your toast spread with Marmite, or you prefer to drink a toast of golden, bottle-conditioned craft ale, we’d like to say: cheers!

British Airways opens luxurious Club lounge at JFK

British Airways has opened its doors to the highly-anticipated new Club lounge at New York’s JFK airport.  It completes a £50 million investment, following the unveiling of a plush new space for First customers in autumn last year.  Customers at JFK Terminal 7 have also seen changes to the public areas and gate spaces to make them more appealing, welcoming and comfortable.

As British Airways’ flagship US lounge, the carefully curated space will play host to the hundreds of business and leisure customers that travel between New York and London on up to twelve Transatlantic flights a day.


Elemis JFK spa

Spread across 22,000 sq. ft. (spanning over half acre), the Club lounge is carefully laid out to offer designated areas that are designed to meet different customer needs. The new space includes elegant, relaxed seating areas as well as ample work stations with power outlets to maximise time in the office.  Other spots include an entertainment room with state-of-the-art entertainment and sound from Sony, and the reopened Elemis Spa offers a range of treatments to help travellers relax and recharge ahead of their journey.

For Club customers that plan to take advantage of their flat bed and luxurious White Company bedding on board, the new lounge offers the ultimate pre-flight dining experience with a brasserie-style dining room where travellers can enjoy freshly prepared dishes from an extensive menu or a range of smaller items chosen to allow customers to ‘grab and go’.


Quaich Bar

There will be a granite topped Quaich Bar, created in partnership with the Quaich bar at the Craigellachie Hotel in Speyside, Scotland. 

An experienced bartender will be on-hand at peak times to serve a full range of fine wines and cocktails such as the Broadway Copper Cup made with Copper Dog whisky, orange bitters and berries. 

An innovative new addition to the lounge is a BrewDog craft beer room, in partnership with the brand, a beer has been designed specifically for British Airways, named after its flight call sign – Speedbird 100. The beer is available on flights from tomorrow, 1 May.

JFK airport is like a second home to Heathrow so it’s great to mark the final step in our significant customer investment with the opening of our new Club and First lounges.

Every detail has been carefully designed and we’ve created a space to meet our customers’ needs – whether they want to relax and have a meal or enjoy a craft beer and catch up on the world news.


Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience

This is the third lounge to feature British Airways’ contemporary and luxurious design, following the lounge openings in Rome and Aberdeen last year.  It is part of the airline’s five-year £6.5 billion customer investment programme.  The airline is also bringing changes to its First, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins, delivering exceptional new restaurant-style catering from Do&Co, rolling out industry-leading Wi-Fi on board.  New routes already launched this year include Charleston, Pittsburgh and Osaka.


JFK Club Lounge


The First lounge at JFK opened in October last year after a complete renovation.  It offers an opulent bar and bespoke zones to provide different seating areas.  The kitchen features a boutique pre-flight dining service, and the state-of-the-art wine room offers an enomatic dispenser so that each glass of wine is served at exactly the right temperature and oxidized to the precise level.  The wine list has been expertly curated by London-based Borough Wines with a variety of wines from across the world, introducing customers to a range of new wines.

Customers flying in First and Club World can enjoy an enhanced check-in experience at the exclusive Premium Zone.  The First Wing and First check-in are also open to ensure a smooth start to the journey.

British Airways is the first UK airline to use biometric technology to board flights from the US

More than 250,000 British Airways customers have experienced a glimpse of the journey of the future by using their face as their identity to board a flight from the US in the last 18 months.

The introduction of new biometric facial recognition technology has transformed the airport experience for customers travelling from Orlando, Los Angeles and New York, JFK by streamlining the boarding process and halving the amount of time it takes to board an aircraft. 

The technology means that customers no longer need to present their passport or boarding pass at the departure gate – only when they check in and go through Security. Instead travellers simply look into a camera prior to boarding, wait for their biometric data to be verified and then walk onto the aircraft.

The commitment to this technology is part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers. British Airways was the first UK airline to use biometric technology to board flights from the US, working in close partnership with the US Customs and Border Protection to implement the technology, which has enabled the airline to hugely speed up its boarding process.

At Orlando, British Airways is boarding almost 240 customers in 10 minutes – becoming the first carrier to set up permanent facial recognition gates at the airport.

British Airways was also the first UK airline to use the technology on UK domestic flights. More than 3,000,000 customers have boarded an aircraft this way – with all domestic departures from Heathrow Terminal 5 now boarded biometrically.

For international flights, self-service boarding gates have now been installed at the terminal, allowing customers to scan their own boarding cards to gain access to their flight. It’s the first step towards biometric boarding on international flights from the UK.

Raoul Cooper, British Airways’ Senior Digital Design Manager, said:

We are continuing to pioneer the use of technology and automation to enhance the airport experience and ensure that our customers’ flights depart on time.

The airport of the future will be built upon biometric technology, from check-in and baggage drops to security checks and boarding.

These days, automation is a part of everyday life, as is biometric technology via our mobile phones.

We’re working with our technology partners and the US government to explore how we can use this technology in new and innovative ways to give our customers the stress-free, easy airport experience they tell us they want, while ensuring security is always our top priority.

Gatiwck to Milan on BA

British Airways to launch Gatwick – Milan route

Customers will soon be able to reach Milan from Gatwick with a year-round British Airways route to Milan Bergamo.  The six-per-week service launches on 1 September 2019.

Milano runway

Milan is Italy’s second city and is a renowned centre for art, commerce, design, education, entertainment, fashion, finance, healthcare, media, services, research and tourism.

Bergamo Airport is conveniently nestled between some of Italy’s most picturesque lakes and Milan.  The airport is 45km from the fashion capital.  And for customers wishing to extend their business trip and to enjoy an extended sunshine escape, Bergamo is the closest gateway to Lake Como and driving distance from Lake Garda, as well as the Franciacorta Wine Region. Bergamo also borders the Alps, providing access to a number of ski resorts during winter.

Adam Carson, British Airways’ Managing Director of Gatwick, said:

Milan Bergamo adds another exciting destination to our Gatwick network and is perfectly located for a city break, a summer visit to the lakes or even a skiing holiday in the Alps.

From Gatwick we fly to over 70 destinations as our network continues to expand we’re adding new routes designed to appeal to both leisure and business customers.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of GTM, said:

Flying from Gatwick enables BA’s Milan-bound passengers additional choice and convenience.  And, as Milan Bergamo is perfectly located for the sunshine of Lake Como and Lake Garda, it’s a great way to turn a purely business trip into a “bleisure” trip – something more people are asking us to arrange for them.

Seats are available to book from today with flights operating from 1 September, every day of the week apart from Saturday. Fares start from £25 one-way in Euro Traveller and £99 in Club Europe.  They can pick from a range of savings by destination and cabin while still collecting Avios and Tier Points on their bookings.

To book a flight to Milan from Gatwick, contact your GTM Account Manager. 

BRITISH AIRWAYS UNVEILS ITS NEW "CLUB SUITE" AND A350 AIRCRAFT

British Airways unveils its new A350 aircraft and the new business class “Club Suite”

British Airways has unveiled its highly-anticipated new business class seat – Club Suite – and confirmed it will arrive on the first of its A350 aircraft in July.

britishairways_21686246981997The airline’s sophisticated and newly-branded Club Suite offers direct-aisle access, a suite door for greater privacy and luxurious flat-bed seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Boasting 40% more storage, including a vanity unit and mirror, Wi-Fi, a 17″ or 18.5″ inflight entertainment screens, high definition gate-to-gate programming, and USB power; every aspect of British Airways’ Club Suite has been designed for today’s customer.

britishairways_21686326819237The A350 aircraft itself will also promote a feeling of well-being, space and calm due to its reduced noise levels, high ceilings and ambient lighting which is intended to compliment the time of day and outside light. Customers will leave their flight feeling rested thanks to higher levels of humidity and refreshed air as the cabin pressure is equivalent to an altitude of just 6,000 feet. There are also environmental benefits to flying on the state-of the-art A350 as 25% lower fuel burn significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

britishairways_21686811518381As well as a new 56-seat Club World cabin, the three-cabin A350 will feature the latest World Traveller Plus cabin (56 seats) with new furnishings including a plush new pillow and warm quilt, new amenity kits and an enhanced service and an improved dining experience. The World Traveller (economy) cabin offers 219 seats. Customers will also benefit from high-speed Wi-Fi, allowing travellers to browse the internet on their personal electronic devices.

britishairways_216861670122336The airline, which is marking its centenary this year, will roll out the new suites in a carefully managed programme designed to minimise disruption to customers.

britishairways_216861516615173During phase one, the first A350 aircraft will start some short-haul flying between London and Madrid to allow the airline’s teams to perfect their customer service delivery and familiarise cabin crew with the aircraft layout.

britishairways_216861889038722In phase two, from 1 October 2019, the aircraft will begin long-haul flying. During this period another three A350 aircraft will join the British Airways fleet and two Boeing 777 aircraft will also be retrofitted with the new cabin.

britishairways_216861743831200At the start of 2020 phase three will begin which will see British Airways rolling out its Club Suite on further long-haul aircraft across the network.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said:

The arrival of our first A350 featuring our new Club Suite is one of the most exciting developments in our £6.5 billion investment programme.

Each new suite has direct aisle access and comes with a personal door – design features which were incorporated as a direct result of the feedback we’ve had from our customers. We’ve worked hard to ensure every aspect of the Club World experience from the lounges we’ve refreshed, to the new gourmet menus from Do&Co on flights from Heathrow, and the luxurious bedding we’ve introduced from The White Company exudes the very British style and quality customers expect from us.

At British Airways we have one of Europe’s largest long-haul fleets and most far-reaching global networks, so it will take some time to make the cabin available to everybody. We hope that as more customers have the chance to experience it, they’ll enjoy travelling in it as much as we’ve enjoyed designing it.

Paul Baker, Global Travel Management’s Sales Director, said:

British Airways has invested significant time and money in producing the Clube Suite product.  It offers GTM’s clients with the things they tell us they want most: Wi-Fi, power sockets, flat-bed seats and more storsge. At GTM, we like to make sure we are offering the best-possible service to all business travellers.  And BA’s offering appears to be doing exactly the same.

As part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion investment for its customers, the airline is also delivering changes to its First, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller cabins, delivering exceptional new restaurant-style catering from Do&Co, rolling out industry-leading Wi-Fi on board and opening new lounges across the world.

Contact your GTM Account Manager when you want to book on First, World Traveller Plus or World Traveller on British Airways routes. 

BA invests in FIRST class product

First Class investments from British Airways

British Airways is set to deliver significant changes to the onboard product and service in its First cabin as part of its £6.5bn investment for customers.

The new look and feel, set to take to the skies from 31 March, will include new bedding, amenities and menus that would not look out of place in a five-star British hotel.

The airline’s First customers will be offered super-soft, sophisticated new male and female loungewear designed exclusively by luxury British fashion brand, Temperley London. The loungewear will be coupled with bespoke British Airways amenity bags, featuring Temperley’s “Star” design. The bags will be filled with products from No 1 British Skincare brand, ELEMIS, including products from the highly sought after ULTRA SMART PRO-COLLAGEN range. The amenity kit contains the essentials to cleanse, revive and hydrate.

The airline’s chefs have also designed new delicious A La Carte menus that focus on fresh seasonal ingredients of British provenance. The new menus will be served on elegant bone china crockery, designed exclusively for the airline by high-end British tableware designer William Edwards. The new tableware will be accompanied by contemporary cutlery from Studio William.

The airline will also be introducing a new signature afternoon tea service, showcasing the great British tradition of high tea. The menu will include a selection of sandwiches, delicate pastries and scones, as well as a wide range of tea infusions.

As part of the changes, British Airways is also investing in new Dartington glassware. Travellers will now be able to enjoy the airline’s fine wines and champagnes from sophisticated stemware, while soft drinks and spirits will be served from elegant cut-glass tumblers.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said:

As part of our £6.5bn investment for customers, we’re changing parts of the travel experience in our First cabin. Our teams of designers, chefs and customer service experts have carefully thought through the details we know matter most to our customers.

In this, our centenary year, we’ve sought out some of the best British designers and manufacturers to work with to ensure travelling in First with British Airways is an unforgettable experience.

The airline’s First customers will benefit from an improved turndown service for the perfect night’s sleep, thanks to new luxurious 400 thread count bedding, accompanied by a foam fibre mattress topper. Customers will also receive a stylish new day blanket and bolster cushion.

And those wishing to relax and enjoy the 1,000 hours of programmes available on the in-flight entertainment channels, can do so through high performance headphones crafted by Meridian, the British Pioneers of High Resolution audio.

British Airways announces a move to Terminal 8 at JFK

British Airways has announced it is moving to a new location in Terminal 8 at John F. Kennedy airport, New York.  The airline is investing in a new, improved terminal alongside American Airlines as part of a significant reinvestment by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Over the next four years, more than £250 million will be invested to recreate and customise the terminal, making it ready to offer British Airways’ customers an exciting, world-class experience every time they fly to New York.  Changes to the terminal will include new lounges, premium check-in areas and upgraded concessions.  The airline will remain in Terminal 7 until 2022.

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said

We’re excited to announce our move to Terminal 8, alongside American Airlines, our Atlantic joint-business partner.  Offering the best customer experience at JFK now and in the future is a top priority. We look forward to working with the Port Authority and American Airlines to continue building a world-class transatlantic travel experience in our new home from 2022.

British Airways is investing £6.5 billion for customers over five years, including new aircraft, new cabins, new catering, new lounges, WiFi, and new routes.