Category Archives: British Airways

Unique BOAC 747-inspired suitcases auctioned for flying start

British Airways has made this announcement:

To mark the retirement of its 747 fleet, British Airways and luxury travel brand Globe-Trotter have teamed up to create a limited-edition range of handmade carry-on suitcases which celebrate the spirit of the jumbo jet age. Taking inspiration from the airline’s iconic BOAC livery, which also adorned the final British Airways aircraft to retire in December 2020, the BOAC Speedbird suitcases have been handmade in England and incorporate the iconic ‘Gold Speedbird’ insignia and a precious fragment from a retired British Airways 747 aircraft.

To officially launch the range, two of these stunning suitcases are being auctioned via online auction platform bid_in’ to raise funds for Flying Start, British Airways’ global charity partnership with Comic Relief. Since the partnership began in 2010, British Airways has raised over £25million for the charity through Flying Start, reaching more than 824,000 people.

With bids starting at £2,000 per item, the BOAC Speedbird suitcases are set to become an instant collectors’ item. The pair were the only passengers on British Airways’ final 747 flight on 11 December 2020, which saw the airline’s heritage-liveried BOAC jumbo jet fly the short distance from British Airways’ engineering base at Cardiff Airport to its new permanent home in St Athan, South Wales. They have also been signed by the flight’s Captain, Richard Allen-Williams, British Airways’ Chief Training Pilot.

Hamish McVey, British Airways’ Head of Brands & Marketing, said: “We are thrilled to be working with Globe-Trotter to create this very special product, and through this unique auction raise money for vital Comic Relief projects across the UK and overseas.

“While it was the right time to bid farewell to our Queen of the Skies, the launch of these BOAC-inspired carry-on suitcases provides a perfect opportunity for someone to celebrate a bygone era of global air travel and own a piece of our history.”

The suitcases are made from high gloss vulcanised fibreboard with a metallic sheen for a pearlescent white shimmer, which is complemented by Navy leather trim on the corners and handles. The hand-painted ‘Gold Speedbird’ insignia adorns the exterior, while the 747 fragment decorates the interior. The range is limited to just 150 suitcases which will be available to order online from today and in Globe-Trotter’s flagship stores.

British Airways and Globe-Trotter have a proud history of collaboration spanning decades. During the 1960s, Globe-Trotter was the luggage brand of choice for BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) crew, who treasured them for their strength and durability. Former BOAC cabin crew member Hilary Farish inspired a popular Globe-Trotter luggage collection with a suitcase which was covered in stickers and marks from her extensive travels.

Vicente Castellano, Executive Chairman, Globe-Trotter, said: “We at Globe-Trotter could not be happier to collaborate with British Airways and support their important Flying Start programme.

“The commemorative BOAC case that we have created together, is the perfect celebration of travel and style – two values that have inspired the past and indeed the future of Globe-Trotter.”

 

BBC: COVID-19: More than 40 countries ban UK arrivals

From BBC:

“More than 40 countries have banned UK arrivals because of concerns about the spread of a new variant of coronavirus.”

Read the full article.

UK Government issued this statement:

COVID-19 travel guidance

Following identification of a new variant of the virus, international travel from your area may be increasingly restricted because of domestic regulations. Different rules apply in EnglandScotlandWales and Northern Ireland. For example, those in Tier 4 areas in England will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as work purposes. Follow all the rules that apply to you.

Other countries have closed borders, and may restrict movement or bring in new quarantine rules with little warning. Check our advice on things to consider, and be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. Also check if you need to self isolate.

British Airways issued this statement:

We are operating a reduced and dynamic schedule as we respond to the current situation.

Please check the UK Government website for the latest travel updates and any new restrictions for your destination.

If your flight is cancelled we will contact you, but please also check the status of your flight before travelling to the airport and ensure your contact details are up to date in ‘Manage My Booking’.

 

UK Prime Minister announces Tier 4: ‘Stay At Home’ alert level in response to new COVID variant

This is likely to affect air travel to and from the United Kingdom:

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, has announced tougher restrictions for large parts of South East England with a new Tier 4: ‘Stay at Home’ alert level.

The decision follows a rapid rise in infections attributed to the rapid spread of a new variant of COVID-19.

Based on preliminary modelling data, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread significantly more quickly and could increase R by 0.4 or more. New and existing data will continue to be analysed as we learn more about the variant.

As a result, the following areas will move from Tier 3 to Tier 4:

  • Kent, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey (excluding Waverley), Gosport, Havant, Portsmouth, Rother and Hastings;
  • London (all 32 boroughs and the City of London); and
  • the East of England (Bedford, Central Bedford, Milton Keynes, Luton, Peterborough, Hertfordshire, Essex excluding Colchester, Uttlesford and Tendring).

In Tier 4 the ‘Stay At Home’ message will be put in law. As previously, there will be exemptions – including travelling for work or education, for childcare purposes, and for exercise.

People should not enter or leave Tier 4 areas, and Tier 4 residents must not stay overnight away from home. Where people cannot work from home, they should still travel to work, for example in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

Non-essential retail, indoor leisure [such as swimming pools and gyms], indoor entertainment [such as cinemas, bowling alleys and casinos], and personal care sectors [such as nail bars, barbers and hairdressers] must all close.

Tighter social contact restrictions will also be introduced, meaning one person can meet with one other person in an outside public space. Rules on support bubbles and childcare bubbles will remain as currently, and communal worship can continue to take place.

For the clinically extremely vulnerable, the same advice as in November applies in Tier 4 areas. This says that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable, which includes people with certain types of cancer, people on immunosuppression therapy, and people with severe respiratory conditions, shouldn’t go to work and should limit time outside the home, and take exercise outside at less busy times.

The Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Advisor and Cabinet agreed that while no-one wants to impose these tougher measures, the new variant has significantly changed the current landscape and urgent action is needed to protect the NHS and save lives.

Throughout the pandemic, the evidence has shown that rising rates will lead to increased hospital admissions, risking intolerable pressure on the NHS in the toughest winter months.

There is no current evidence to suggest the new variant causes a higher mortality rate, that it affects vaccines and treatments, or that testing will not detect cases.

The Prime Minister also said that given the risk the new variant poses, the Christmas bubble policy will no longer apply in Tier 4.

For Tiers 1, 2 and 3, Christmas bubbles can continue with up to three households able to meet, but for one day only on Christmas Day.

The government is also issuing new travel advice. Although the new variant is concentrated in Tier 4 areas, it is present at lower levels around the country.

People under Tier 1, 2, and 3 restrictions should stay local. People should not travel into or out of Tier 4 areas and those in Tier 4 areas will not be permitted to travel abroad, apart from limited exceptions including work and education.

Tier 4 rules will be reviewed on 30 December, as part of the wider review of all restrictions.

Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty said:

As announced on Monday, the UK has identified a new variant of Covid-19 through Public Health England’s genomic surveillance.

As a result of the rapid spread of the new variant, preliminary modelling data and rapidly rising incidence rates in the South East, the New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) now consider that the new strain can spread more quickly.

We have alerted the World Health Organisation and are continuing to analyse the available data to improve our understanding.

There is no current evidence to suggest the new strain causes a higher mortality rate or that it affects vaccines and treatments although urgent work is underway to confirm this.

Given this latest development it is now more vital than ever that the public continue to take action in their area to reduce transmission.

British Airways partners with Zeroavia to speed up the switch to hydrogen-powered passenger aircraft

British Airways has made this announcement:

ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell powered flight at Cranfield in September

ZeroAvia’s hydrogen fuel cell powered flight at Cranfield in September

  • ZeroAvia recently completed the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-grade aircraft as it aims to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable aviation
  • Partnership with British Airways is part of parent IAG’s Hangar 51 tech accelerator program and reflects the importance the airline is placing on sustainability
  • Announcement comes in the week the airline retired its final 747 aircraft, four years earlier than planned, to make way for more fuel-efficient models

British Airways has teamed up with ZeroAvia, a leading innovator in decarbonizing commercial aviation, in a project to explore how hydrogen-powered aircraft can play a leading role in the future of sustainable flying.

The collaboration, which reflects the importance of sustainability at British Airways, will see ZeroAvia embedded in the heart of the airline. The team will work remotely alongside mentors and experts to explore the transformational possibilities of moving from fossil fuels to zero-emission hydrogen to power the airline’s future fleet.

In September 2020, ZeroAvia received global acclaim when it achieved a major technological breakthrough by completing the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered flight of a commercial-size aircraft, which took off from Cranfield Airport. The Piper M-class six-seat plane completed taxi, take-off, a full pattern circuit, and landing.

The partnership forms part of IAG’s industry leading Hangar 51 accelerator program, which works with start-ups and scale-ups from around the world, providing them with an opportunity to develop and test their products on real world business challenges on a global scale. At the end of the program, research and learnings from the process will be shared and the ZeroAvia and Hangar 51 teams will consider how the partnership will progress longer term.

Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, said:  “British Airways is committed to a sustainable future and  achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. In the short-term this means improving our operational efficiency and introducing carbon offset and removal projects, while in the medium to longer term we’re investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuel and looking at how we can help accelerate the growth of new technologies such as zero emissions hydrogen-powered aircraft.”

Louise Evans, Director of External Communications & Sustainability said: “We are very excited to partner with ZeroAvia and get a glimpse of a zero-emissions future using hydrogen powered aircraft. During the partnership, as well as assessing the environmental advantages of the technology, we will also be exploring the operational, commercial and customer experience improvements that can be achieved.”

Sergey Kiselev, ZeroAvia’s Head of Europe, said: “ZeroAvia’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to truly zero emissions flight and we believe hydrogen is the best way to quickly and practically achieve this. Earlier this year, we proved that passengers will soon be able to board an emissions free, hydrogen-powered aircraft for commercial services. In the years to come, we will scale that technology up to power larger aircraft over longer distances.

“We have found that in addition to improving the sustainability of flight, which is vital, hydrogen-electric technology has the potential to lower operating costs and improve the in-flight passenger experience. We are delighted to be working with British Airways, one of the world’s iconic airlines, and the Hangar 51 program to explore how hydrogen-electric aircraft can power the fleet of the future. That promising future is closer than ever.”

In 2021, ZeroAvia expects to further demonstrate the credibility of its technology at longer ranges and using larger aircraft. The company expects to achieve the commercialization of hydrogen-electric power for aircraft as early as 2023 with flights of up to 500-miles in up to 20-seater aircraft. By 2027, it plans to have powerplants in service capable of powering commercial flights of over 500-miles in aircraft with up to 100 seats and by 2030 more than 1,000-miles in aircraft with 100+ seats.

Both British Airways and ZeroAvia are part of the Jet Zero Council, a partnership between government and industry to drive forward the UK Government’s net zero-emission ambitions for the aviation and aerospace sector.

Final British Airways Boeing 747 arrives at its new home in Wales

British Airways made this announcement:

Today saw the very last British Airways flight of its iconic 747 (‘Queen of the Skies’) as it made its final journey from Cardiff Airport to its new home at eCube Solutions in the Vale of Glamorgan in South Wales, where it will be preserved to inspire future generations.

Wrapped in the BOAC retro ‘Gold Speedbird’ livery to mark British Airways’ centenary in 2019, the 747-400, registration G-BYGC, took to the air for the final time from British Airways’ engineering base at Cardiff Airport as flight BA747P, where it was waved off by engineers who for many years have proudly maintained the 747 fleet.

The aircraft flew around this scenic area of the Welsh coast before landing at the commercial airfield at Bro Tathan, the Welsh Government’s 1,200 acres business park in the Vale of Glamorgan, where it was met by an audience of invited guests including British Airways cabin crew, all of whom have fond memories of serving on board our jumbo jets. G-BYGC will be managed by eCube Solutions, the leading aircraft disassembly and end of life services provider based on the business park, to showcase the pre-eminent contribution the 747 fleet made to British Airways, and the love of aviation for the passengers who flew on them.

Since entering the British Airways fleet on 20 January 1999, G-BYGC has operated 11,049 flights and flown for 91,023 hours over nearly 45 million miles. Its last passenger flight was from San Francisco to Heathrow on 4 April 2020. The retirement of the British Airways 747 fleet has been brought forward several years as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ CEO, said: “This final 747 journey is a bittersweet moment for the many thousands of British Airways customers and crew who have flown the world on these Queens of the Sky over the last five decades.

“But while we will certainly miss their majestic presence in the skies above, knowing our last 747 will be preserved for future generations to enjoy at a new home in Wales gives us a great sense of pride and is a fitting end to this chapter of British Airways’ history.”

eCube Solutions Managing Director Peter Dunsford said: “eCube Solutions is delighted to receive the very last British Airways 747. This iconic aircraft has a lot of very loyal followers with fond memories and attachments to the aircraft type. As Europe’s leading provider for aircraft end of life services including component removal, disassembly and recycling, we strive to provide both airlines and aircraft owners with maximum value from a retired aircraft. We can assure everybody that this aircraft will continue to be utilized and enjoyed in many different ways for many, many years to come.”

The flight crew for this final journey were Captain Al Bridger, British Airways’ Director of Flight Operations, Captain Rich Allen-Williams, Captain Di Wooldridge and Captain Arun Sharma. They travelled with a pair of stunning limited-edition BOAC carry-on suitcases created by luxury travel brand Globe-Trotter to commemorate the final 747 journey. Taking inspiration from the aircraft’s iconic livery, the suitcases were handmade in England and incorporate the iconic ‘Gold Speedbird’ insignia and a precious fragment from a retired British Airways Boeing 747 aircraft.

Oxford researchers partner with American and British to analyze COVID-19 testing trial results

American Airlines, British Airways and oneworld® have teamed up with researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII), the University of Oxford,  in the review and analysis of survey data from the COVID-19 testing trial recently launched by the airlines and alliance.

The project ‘Trust, Testing and Travel, Technology Use, Traveller Knowledge and Compliance with COVID-19 Health Rules’, involves OII researchers analyzing aggregated, non-personal survey data from air travelers on their behavior and sentiment towards the trial testing regime.

The airlines and the alliance have created a task force to evaluate the results of the trial. The task force, comprising oneworld member airline representatives and independent medical experts, will work with Oxford Internet Institute, to consider the results and implications of the survey data from participants in the trial.

Professor Phil Howard, Director, Oxford Internet Institute, said: “The University of Oxford is already playing a leading role in the fight against COVID-19 with development of a vaccine. I’m delighted that researchers at the OII will be working to analyze and review survey data from this important trial so that we understand more about the options available for safer air travel.”

In a joint statement, American Airlines, British Airways and oneworld said: “We are pleased to be working with one of the world’s leading academic institutions to review the results of our testing trial passenger survey, which we hope will help provide governments on both sides of the Atlantic with the evidence they need to unlock travel and kick-start the global economy. Moving away from quarantines in favor of comprehensive testing programs has the potential to markedly boost customer confidence in air travel.”

Since the trial began on November 25, 2020, more than 500 customers have registered for the trial on select flights operated by American Airlines and British Airways, from the United States to London Heathrow (LHR). Many customers have expressed interest in having the testing trials expanded to more routes.

As a result, the trial has been expanded to include British Airways’ flight BA208 departing Miami (MIA) to LHR, and flight BA112 departing New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport to LHR.  This increases the total number of daily flights in the trial to five across four gateways, ensuring a comprehensive and wide ranging set of data from different parts of the United States.

Last hurrah for the BA 1984 Landor livery as G-BNLY arrives at Dunsfold

British Airways made this announcement along with photos:

One of British Airways’ last remaining Boeing 747-400 aircraft took to the skies for the final time this weekend, setting off for its new home at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey.

Adorned in the iconic Landor livery, the heritage Centenary jumbo jet – registration G-BNLY – departed from British Airways’ engineering base in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon.

Since entering the British Airways fleet on February 1, 1993, G-BNLY has operated 14,016 flights and flown for more than 122,358 hours over nearly 60 million miles. Its last passenger flight was from Cape Town to Heathrow on March 22, 2020.

Following its short journey to Dunsfold, where it will be preserved for future generations to enjoy, it performed a final fly over before being welcomed by a small crowd of enthusiastic spectators.

British Airways Boeing 747-436 G-BNLY (msn 27090) LHR (SPA). Image: 946275.

Above Copyright Photo: British Airways Boeing 747-436 G-BNLY (msn 27090) LHR (SPA). Image: 946275.

British Airways aircraft slide show:

Video:

Two permanent homes are found for the last two BA Boeing 747-400s to be retired

British Airways made this announcement:

British Airways’ Queens of the Skies will continue to inspire aviation enthusiasts across the UK for years to come, after permanent homes have been found for its remaining retro-liveried Boeing 747 aircraft – the last to leave the British Airways fleet.


Picture by: Stuart Bailey

The aircraft, registrations G-BNLY and G-BYGC, are this month due to depart from British Airways’ engineering base in Cardiff, where they will be waved off by the British Airways engineers who for many years have proudly maintained the 747 fleet. The pair were among several aircraft painted in heritage liveries to mark the airline’s centenary last year.


Photo Chris Bellew /Fennell Photography Copyright 2019

Adorned in the iconic Landor livery, used between 1984 and 1997, G-BNLY has been given a new lease of life as a permanent exhibit at Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey. It will join its sister 747, G-CIVW, which was retired in late October and features the current Chatham Dockyard livery.

G-BYGC, painted in the BOAC ‘Gold Speedbird’ livery used between 1963 and 1974, will make the short journey from Cardiff Airport to the Bro Tathan business park in the Vale of Glamorgan. It will be maintained as a heritage piece by aviation specialists eCube Solutions to showcase the pre-eminent contribution British Airways’ 747 fleet made to UK aviation.

G-BNLY and G-BYGC are the last two British Airways 747s to be retired, with G-BYGC being the final 747 to leave the British Airways fleet. The Negus-liveried 747, registration G-CIVB, was one of the last two 747s to depart Heathrow Airport in October and has also been found a permanent home at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire.

British Airways announced in July it was retiring its fleet of 31 747-400 aircraft that as a result of the devasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the airline and the aviation sector.

Video:

British Airways aircraft photo gallery:

British Airways opens its warehouse for purchase of holiday and flight items

For the first time in its history, British Airways has decided to unlock the doors to its warehouse this Christmas to give customers and aviation fans the unique opportunity to get their hands on items from British Airways aircraft which have circled the globe hundreds of times.

Although an at-home experience is no match for the real thing, customers and collectors can order bespoke British Airways inflight dining items such as William Edwards plates, soup bowls, cups, saucers and even a butter dish for reasonable prices, allowing them to create an authentic First Class flying experience at home over the festive period.

Those who want to take it a step further can pick up bread baskets, hot towels (which naturally arrive cold), hot towel plates, champagne flutes, coasters and even the Club World casserole dish. After they’ve dined in style, customers can relax in slippers and a day blanket which are also on sale, as they settle down to watch their favourite film or TV show on their at-home inflight entertainment system (their TV).

And for anybody looking for the ultimate Christmas gift, for a limited time there is the opportunity to purchase a piece of history with items such as aircraft trolleys and canisters taken from the Boeing 747, which British Airways has now fully retired.

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “This is an incredible one-off opportunity for people to bring the magic of flying with British Airways in to their own homes. We know that these special items will fly and we are delighted to be able to offer them in time for Christmas to give people the opportunity to make it memorable during a difficult year.”

Items will be available to purchase from whatabuy.co.uk/british-airways from Monday November 23, 2020. British Airways is encouraging customers to share photographs of themselves using the items in their own homes tagging @British_Airways and using the hashtag #BAathome.

British Airways stores 26 Airbus A320s at Palma de Mallorca

British Airways has placed into storage 26 Airbus A320 at Palma de Mallorca-Son Sant Joan Airport.
For this reason, the General Aviation ramp at PMI has been emptied of business jets.
Javier Rodriguez reporting from Spain. All photos by Javier Rodriguez.