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British Airways invests millions on reimagined and improved menus on flights from Gatwick

British Airways has made a multi-million pound investment in its catering on flights from London Gatwick, with “reimagined and improved” food across its short- and long-haul cabins.

Now available on all flights, the catering brings in new menus featuring new dishes and recipes as part of the airline’s £6.5bn investment for customers. The new food has a focus on provenance with the provider, Newrest, working closely with suppliers in the south of England to source the best quality ingredients.

Customers can enjoy the benefits across all long-haul cabins – World Traveller (economy), World Traveller Plus (premium economy), Club World (business) and First – as well as Club Europe (business) on short-haul. 

A range of Marks & Spencer products continues to be on offer to Euro Traveller customers.

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

This is the latest development in continuously improving our catering. We’re incredibly proud of this new offering, and we hope our customers enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed developing it.

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

British Airways flies to more than 70 destinations from Gatwick, offering a variety of routes to suit both business and leisure travellers. So it’s great to see an improved selection of great, locally-sourced food being served on routes from London’s second airport.

As part of its £6.5bn investment for customers, British Airways has refreshed its Boeing 777 fleet at Gatwick. So, as well as Panasonic in-flight entertainment on 10″ (World Traveller) and 12″ (World Traveller Plus) screens, offering more choice of movies, television and audio programmes, British Airways passengers now have choices from superbly-improved menus.

If you’re flying on business from London Gatwick, contact your GTM Account Manager.

British Airways rolls out First Contact Resolution Programme worldwide

British Airways is rolling out its First Contact Resolution Programme across every airport it operates to, following its successful launch at Heathrow last year.



British Airways is extending its First Contact Resolution programme to colleagues around the world following a successful roll out at Heathrow

First Contact Resolution empowers airport hosts to use their expertise, initiative and judgement to solve customer queries on the spot, without waiting for management approval. This allows them to provide instant solutions and peace of mind for customers and send fewer issues to Customer Relations colleagues. 

All staff worldwide are now being further empowered to use their skills and initiative to do the right thing for any customer at that moment.

Sumer Adlakha, British Airways’ Customer Service Manager in Delhi, Mumbai & Maldives said:  

The new approach has been welcomed by the whole of our airport team and our customers. It gives us the ability to own and resolve a problem without having to ask customers to call or email our Customer Relations team which is time-consuming for them. They’ve told us they love that our agents are using their own knowledge and skills to resolve issues and particularly enjoy the personal touch we are able to give in each situation.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Head of Airport Operations said: 

We’ve seen a fantastic response to the First Contact Resolution programme at Heathrow, which is about going back to basics and emphasising the age-old concept of ‘treating others as you would want to be treated’.  The roll out worldwide will provide consistency for our customers, giving everyone the unique and personal attention that they deserve, wherever they are in the world.



First Contact Resolution enables staff to assist and resolve any customer issue at the airport rather than refer travellers to Customer Relations teams

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

From time to time, travel plans go wrong. GTM is always on hand to help if plans need to be changed at the last minute. But sometimes passengers need the kind of immediate assistance that can only be provided at the airport. So it’s great that passengers know they can rely on the knowledge and skills of British Airways staff and that First Contact Resolution is being rolled out, worldwide.

The roll out of First Contact Resolution is a part of British Airways’ £6.5 billion investment in customer experience over five years. This includes taking delivery of 73 new aircraft including A350s and 787s, refurbishing long-haul aircraft with new cabins, introducing new, redesigned lounges, new dining across all cabins, new bedding and amenity kits for First, Club World and World Traveller Plus, best quality on-board WiFi for every aircraft and access to power at every aircraft seat.

The next time you need to fly on British Airways, contact your GTM Account Manager.

British Airways has become the first airline to use next-generation AI and video technology to improve punctuality

British Airways has introduced advanced neural networks, known as artificial intelligence, to its airside operation at Heathrow Terminal 5 to help its people ensure every flight departs safely and on time.

Currently, when customers disembark an aircraft, British Airways’ ground staff manually check and record the details of eighteen different activities that need to be completed before the plane can depart for its next flight – including thorough cleaning of the aircraft interiors, unloading and reloading of catering, luggage and cargo and refuelling. An issue affecting just one of these tasks has the potential to disrupt the entire process and delay the flight’s departure.


Customers flying from Heathrow Terminal 5 can expect a faster getaway as British Airways employs latest artificial intelligence and wearable tech for staff preparing aircraft to depart

Now, using a network of cameras set up around the aircraft stand by technology start-up Assaia, artificial intelligence is employed to compare live footage of the complex turnaround process with the proposed schedule. If the technology detects any issues that could put the aircraft at risk of a delay, an alert is sent to the manager in charge of the turn within seconds via a smart watch, informing them of the issue and empowering them to take action to get the flight back on track.

In this first stage of the trial, British Airways and Assaia have installed four cameras on three stands at Heathrow Terminal 5 and as well as reducing delays, the airline is also able to collect data on every aircraft turn to help make its entire operation more efficient.

British Airways’ Director of Airports, Raghbir S. Pattar, said:

British Airways operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow; we run a highly complex operation so efficient turnarounds are critical to ensure all 145,000 customers travelling through our home hub every day enjoy a punctual departure.

We are the most punctual of the major short-haul airlines flying out of London and our commitment to introducing the latest technology to complement our outstanding customer service is how we will maintain our position at the top. We’re excited to introduce even more smart, tech-based solutions in 2020.

Max Diez, CEO, Assaia International said:

Our entire team is really excited to be working with British Airways – an airline that is prioritising innovation and sees the value of AI-powered solutions. We’re eager to work with the airline to maximise the potential that the technology has to improve operations

Paul Baker, Sales Director of Global Travel Management said:

As part of British Airways’ £6.5bn investment for customers, this innovation is set to reduce one of the airline’s passengers’ biggest issues: punctuality. It’s great to see the deployment of innovative solutions that will improve the passenger experience.

Global Travel Management is a pioneer in the use of cutting-edge technology to improve our customers’ experience. So we know that the investments British Airways make in AI, as well as wearable tech, driverless airside vehicles and biometric technology will continue to make passenger journeys smoother, easier and more hassle-free.

To book flights on any British Airways route, worldwide and to secure the best fares, please contact your GTM Account Manager.


Intelligent software captures every moment from when aircraft arrive at the airport until they depart to help spot areas to improve punctuality

British Airways and Aston Martin gear up for take-off


British Airways customers experienced flying eleven miles high at twice the speed of sound, with Concorde halving the time of transatlantic crossing and flying faster than a rifle bullet. And now, in its centenary year, and on the anniversary of Concorde’s final flight, British Airways has announced a partnership with Aston Martin, and will celebrate with a limited-edition sports car that honours the supersonic aircraft.

The luxury British car manufacturer has created the DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition. Launching in October 2020, each vehicle will feature titanium from compressor blades that were used across British Airways’ supersonic fleet.


The iconic Aston Martin brand fuses the latest technology, exceptional hand craftsmanship and timeless design to produce models including the Vantage, DB11, Rapide AMR and DBS Superleggera. 

Each model will have a unique Civil Aviation Authority approved registration number and British Airways’ iconic Chatham Flag tailfin has been incorporated into the striking design. The exterior features a bespoke painted livery in the airline’s red, white and blue colours, and a black tinted carbon fibre roof emblazoned with Concorde’s streamlined silhouette. The paddle shifters will be made from the original Concorde metal and a Mach Meter graphic will be embroidered on the driver’s sun side visor; some of the many carefully judged design features that have been incorporated to celebrate the remarkable achievements of this aircraft.

Strictly limited to just 10 examples and priced at £321,350, all will be available to purchase exclusively from Aston Martin Bristol.

On November 26, 2003, Alpha Foxtrot, the last ever Concorde to be built, touched down for the final time at RAF Filton, which is just three miles from where the cars will be sold and home to one of the 10 Concordes that were made in Britain.

Parts of the proceeds from the sale of each individual car will be donated to the Air League Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches under privileged children how to fly and work in engineering. In June 2020, British Airways and Aston Martin Bristol, in partnership with the Air League Trust, will run a week-long scholarship programme for young people at Cranfield University – funded by proceeds from the cars.

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

Concorde was one of the most iconic designs of a generation and will always be a hugely important part of our heritage. In our centenary year we are thrilled to partner with Aston Martin, another British brand with an established history of exceptional design and engineering, and we hope to inspire another generation of aviators and engineers through this exciting partnership.

The bespoke inspection plaque will be signed by Alex Cruz and Aston Martin Lagonda’s CEO, Dr. Andy Palmer, before the limited-edition cars are handed over to their buyers next year.

The Aston Martin and British Airways Air League Scholarship programme will offer up to twenty 17 to 18-year-olds a five-day scholarship and up to 100 14 to 16-year-olds a one-day engineering experience.

British Airways New A350-1000 Now Flying to Madrid!

British Airways has now taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 which is currently operating on the London Heathrow – Madrid route to familiarise crews with the aircraft.

Should you wish to be one of the first passengers to fly on this plane before it begins operating long-haul routes (Dubai & Toronto, followed by Tel Aviv and Bangalore) this autumn, you can do so on either of the following flights: BA464 and BA465 during August.

This new aircraft is the first to feature BA’s brand new Club Suites, which marks a significant improvement on the current Club World product.

There will be no First cabin, however, the Club Suites will feature in a 1-2-1 layout, along with 56 WTP seats and 219 in WT.

The A350-1000  is the quietest of any twin-aisle plane and provides airlines with a 25% reduction in fuel burn.

GTM Two-for-One on British Airways premium cabins

British Airways has launched a sale offering a pair of Club World (business class) seats from just £2019 return.

There are a range of destinations available for £2019 return for two, including top US destinations such as New York, Miami, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Washington and Dallas. Further afield the £2019 fare for two will take travellers to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Other destinations are available for marginally more including Beijing, Hong Kong and Bangkok for £2998, Mumbai, Chennai, Lagos and Abuja for £2999, Antigua for £2305, Barbados for £2332 return and Toronto for £2399.

And there are deals to be had in other cabins too with two First class seats to New York and Miami respectively available from £3019.

Travel is for selected dates between 13 August and 30 September 2019 and customers need to book by 19 August.

Please contact your GTM Travel Consultant to take advantage of this fantastic short term offer.

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!