Tag Archives: British Airways

British Airways upgrades its Johannesburg first class lounge

British Airways has unveiled its latest lounge refurbishment in Johannesburg as part of its £6.5 billion investment for customers.

The lounge, based in O.R. Tambo International Airport, has undergone significant refurbishment with the new and improved space being converted into one large lounge with a dedicated boutique dining area for First customers. Guests will enjoy a warm welcome and a place to relax or work prior to their departure from Johannesburg to London Heathrow.

The carefully curated lounge follows a new design concept for the airline, which debuted in 2018, and features the very best of British and South African design, delivering a luxurious and contemporary look and feel.

The 880 square metre lounge can host up to 247 customers and offers a modern lobby bar area for socialising, a brasserie dining area and office space with ample work stations with power outlets. A peaceful, separate seating area with a mix of elegant armchairs and banquette seating is available for those who wish to recharge ahead of their journey with complementary magazines and newspapers.

Zoned areas in the lounge will enable guests to choose what area they would like to relax in depending on their mood, with a music system and bespoke playlist. Lighting has been carefully planned by zone and dimmable to reflect the time of day.

The new lobby bar, illuminated by brand new feature lighting, is stocked with a tempting display of spirits, beers and soft drinks together with a selection of fine wines. New kitchen facilities offer an enhanced dining menu of hot and cold options including Cape Malay curry, fresh seasonal salads, mezze, local charcuterie and Indezi river cheeses. First Boutique Dining offers a pre-flight a-la-carte menu carefully curated by the in-house chef, complemented by an extensive wine list.

Every detail has been carefully designed and we’ve created a space to meet our customers’ needs – whether they want to relax with a hot meal, work in peace or enjoy a drink at the lobby bar, the lounge will get their travels off to the best start.”

British Airways has this year completed the renovation of its First and Club lounges in New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements to the customer experience at check-in, which are currently underway. A brand-new, contemporary lounge has also been unveiled in San Francisco, spread across 665 square metres with fantastic views of the runway. Further investment is planned with a new British Airways lounge in Geneva, which is also set to open in 2019.

The refurbished Johannesburg lounge comes as the airline is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.  This year the airline has also introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access.


British Airways is testing driverless bag vehicles at London Heathrow

British Airways has made this announcement:

As part of its ongoing £6.5bn investment for customers, British Airways is trialling autonomous, emissions-free baggage vehicles at its home at Heathrow Airport, to help the airline further improve punctuality and depart every flight on time.

British Airways currently operates up to 800 flights a day to and from Heathrow, transporting around 75,000 bags back and forth between its baggage halls and aircraft.

Now, in what is believed to be a world first, the airline, in conjunction with Heathrow Airport and autonomous vehicle specialist, Aurrigo, is trialling driverless baggage vehicles, which are known as dollies.

Carrying up to 40 bags in one journey, the driverless dollies use the latest navigating technology to memorise the airfield to determine the shortest route to transport luggage. Unlike the current vehicles, the new autonomous dollies will depart for the aircraft as soon as each one is full, speeding up the aircraft loading process. In addition to improving operational efficiency, the trial also forms part of the airline’s wider environmental commitment to run an emissions-free airside operation.

British Airways’ Director of Airports, Raghbir Pattar, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve efficiency and modernise our operation to ensure that we are delivering bags to and from our aircraft on time and without delay.”

If successful, the dollies could transport customers’ baggage to and from the aircraft by 2021.

British Airways already operates emissions-free remote-controlled Mototok vehicles at Heathrow to pushback all of its short-haul flights and is trialling the devices for long-haul flights. These vehicles are powered by Heathrow’s 100% renewable electricity supply saving 7,400 tonnes of C02 every year compared to traditional baggage tugs. The airline also operates environmentally-friendly electric taxis to transport premium transiting customers between their arriving and departing flights.

British Airways reveals refreshed lounge at Milan Linate Airport

British Airways has made this announcement:

As Linate Airport in Milan re-opens, British Airways has unveiled its new, refreshed lounge look.

The Linate lounge, which is open to eligible customers travelling from today, includes a new look reception where customers will receive a warm welcome.

A brighter environment, new seating and powered hub tables in the new office layout provide the perfect working conditions, while those who want to make the most of their downtime can enjoy enhanced dining options including the introduction of hot dishes in the refurbished dining area.

Brand new British-made Boss armchairs, specifically designed for British Airways, are complemented by relaxing, decorative lighting by UK based Tyson lighting. Adapting the lounge design to the location, high quality Italian finishes are used, including terrazzo stone flooring and Carrara marble.

British Airways has this year completed the renovation of its First and Club lounges in New York’s JFK Terminal 7, along with improvements to the customer experience at check-in, which are currently underway. A brand-new, contemporary lounge has also been unveiled in San Francisco, spread across 665 square metres with fantastic views of the runway. Further investment is planned with new British Airways lounges in South Africa and Geneva, which are set to open in 2019.

The refreshed Linate lounge comes as the airline is investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, including the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat, fitting 128 long-haul aircraft with new interiors and taking delivery of 72 new aircraft.  This year the airline has also introduced its Club Suite, a new business class seat with direct aisle access.

British Airways makes first flight into Beijing’s new Daxing International Airport

British Airways has today (October 27) made its first flight into the new state-of-the-art Beijing Daxing International Airport. British Airways is the first international airline to do so since the airport – one of the most technologically advanced in the world – was officially opened last month.


The maiden flight, on a Boeing 777-300, arrived this morning at 09.15 local time.

British Airways will run a daily service between Heathrow and Beijing Daxing, with four cabins: First, Club World (business class), World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy).

British Airways customers arriving in Beijing Daxing are set to experience a range of innovations as they travel through the stunning new terminal building, including facial recognition and self-service biometrics at security, self-service check-in kiosks and baggage drop machines, a paperless journey from check-in to boarding, and real-time baggage tracking.

The terminal building also features numerous innovations aimed at maximising the use of natural light and limiting energy consumption. It is powered by photovoltaic solar panels and has a centralised heating system with waste heat recovery supported by a ground-source heat pump. It also has a state-of-the-art rainwater collection and water management system linked to nearby wetlands, lakes and streams to prevent flooding and counter the summer ‘heat island’ effect on the local microclimate.

Once customers have passed through security, they will have access to over 300 shops and restaurants and for those eligible access to two brand-new partner lounges operated by BCS and the East Pacific Group.

The 700,000m² airport was designed in partnership with British Architecture firm, Zaha Hadid Architects.

All photos by British Airways.

British Airways best seat – it’s an open and shut-her case

British Airways has called in an expert to give advice to all those amateur photographers whose perfect shot from an aircraft window is never quite right – and it could simply be because they are in the wrong seat.

Many air travellers like to capture the unique views from their vantage point thousands of feet in the air, but very often the perfect picture is spoilt by an aircraft wing or glare from the sun.

So British Airways invited top aerial photographer Jason Hawkes to take a flight from London City Airport to Edinburgh to document his journey in photographs and share some tips with his fellow travellers.

Jason, who usually specialises in photography from helicopters rather than jet aircraft, chose his seat carefully to ensure the perfect view from the Embraer 190 aircraft.

With two-abreast seating so a choice of window and aisle seats on both sides of the aircraft, all he needed to consider was what part of the cabin to sit in.  He chose window seats in row three in the front of the cabin to capture the perfect take-off shot over Canary Wharf and the approach over the North Sea into Edinburgh.

The result was a collection of picture perfect images of some of the most iconic landmarks of the two capital cities.

They included the famous dome of the O2 Arena and the 95-storey Shard building in London and the extinct Arthur’s Seat volcano, the commercial Calton Hill district and the Scottish Parliament buildings in Edinburgh.

Jason said: “I’ve spent the last 25 years of my working life hanging out of the sides of helicopters shooting aerial views all over the world. In a helicopter your first thoughts are safety, both for yourself and the pilot, and of course also for those below you on the ground.

“It was a very different experience altogether shooting from a British Airways aircraft, certainly the first time I’ve been offered such good coffee whilst I’ve been working! In the helicopter the doors are either taken right off or open, but in a standard aircraft the first thing you’ll have to deal with are reflections and glare from the window. So here are my top tips:

  • On this aircraft type row three worked best for me, I chose to sit in 3A for the outbound leg from City Airport and 3D for the return.  Try and ensure you sit towards the front or the back of the aircraft to get an unobstructed view.
  • To try and shoot without reflections the most basic tip of all is to ensure your lens is as close to the window as possible without actually touching it.
  • I always try and shoot in one of the “golden hours“, either the hour just after sunrise or the hour just before sunset, to get lovely warm light and long shadows to accentuate both the urban and natural forms of the landscape
  • If you are shooting images on take-off and landing, and have various lenses, I found anything between a 24mm and 70mm works best
  • If you can, set your camera or phone camera onto a shutter speed of 1/1000th of a second or higher this will ensure you get sharp images even if the aircraft is vibrating.
  •  If you have a DSLR you could also try using a polariser filter. A circular polariser filter only allows light rays that are traveling in one direction to enter the lens. It’s a great tool but is a little tricky to use if the aircraft is banking round, as you have turn the filter to get the desired effect.
  • You could also try a lens skirt or large rubber lens hood, which are both great for blocking out window glare
  • This is a really technical tip but one I would give in whatever situation you are working, set your camera to shoot in both RAW and jpeg. You’ll have to grade the RAW file yourself to get the most out of it, but it’s really worth the effort and gives you a huge amount of control over the final image that you could never get from a jpeg.  The standard iOS camera app for iPhone doesn’t support capturing RAW photos, so you’ll need to download a third-party app, such as Adobe Lightroom CC

British Airways to become first UK airline to offset carbon emissions on flights within the UK from 2020

British Airways Airbus A320-251N WL G-TTNJ (msn 8772) LHR (SPA). Image: 946744.

British Airways has made this announcement:

From January 2020, British Airways will become the first UK airline to offset carbon emissions on all its flights within the UK.

All customers flying within the UK next year on flights operated by British Airways will have the carbon emissions from their flights offset by the airline and invested in carbon reduction projects around the world*. These quality assured projects will include renewable energy, protection of rainforests and reforestation programmes.

The airline operates up to 75 flights a day between London and 10 UK cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Inverness and Jersey. British Airways’ domestic emissions total around 400,000 tonnes of C02 a year.

Today’s announcement comes as British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), became the first airline group worldwide to commit to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, contributing to both the UK Government’s commitment to a net zero carbon economy by 2050 and the United Nations’ objective to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. IAG’s emissions’ goal will be achieved through numerous environmental initiatives, including investing more than US $400m in the development of sustainable aviation fuels over the next 20 years.

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “British Airways is determined to play its part in reducing aviation’s CO2 emissions. To solve such a multi-faceted issue requires a multi-faceted response and this initiative further demonstrates our commitment to a sustainable future. It also follows our announcement to partner with renewable fuels company, Velocys, to build a facility which converts household and commercial waste into renewable sustainable jet fuel to power our fleet.”

While customers on UK domestic flights will not need to offset their emissions, those travelling further afield can also reduce their impact on the environment by using British Airways’ carbon offsetting tool. The carbon tool enables customers to calculate their emissions and then invest in carbon reduction projects including high quality forestry and renewable energy projects in Peru, Sudan and Cambodia**.

Using the tool, which can be accessed on https://www.pureleapfrog.org/ba/carbon_zero, a customer will pay around £1 to offset a return flight from London to Madrid, travelling in economy, while from London to New York in business class will cost around £15.***

* British Airways is investing in Verified Carbon Standard projects.

**British Airways’ offset scheme is operated through the airline’s partnership with not-for-profit organisation Pure Leapfrog. For more information on the carbon reduction projects, visit: https://www.pureleapfrog.org/ba

***While customers travelling on domestic flights’ carbon emissions are offset for them, customers flying outside of the UK can choose to pay to offset their emissions. Examples of pricing are shown below:

Journey Cost to offset
London to Madrid (economy) £ 1
London to New York (economy) £ 5
London to New York (business) £ 15
London to Los Angeles (economy) £ 8
London to Los Angeles (business) £ 24
London to Hong Kong (business) £ 26


Customers can find a link to the carbon calculator at https://www.pureleapfrog.org/ba/carbon_zero

Top Copyright Photo (all others by Airbus): British Airways Airbus A320-251N WL G-TTNJ (msn 8772) LHR (SPA). Image: 946744.

British Airways aircraft slide show (Airbus):


British Airways to launch flights to Antalya

British Airways has announced the launch of flights between London Gatwick and Antalya, Turkey. The summer route, which will operate on an Airbus A320 and run six times a week, commences on April 30, 2020, and is available to book from today.

The Antalya announcement comes as the airline adjusts its Gatwick schedule for Summer 2020.

Antalya is often described as the gateway to the Turquoise Coast with some of the most stunning landscapes in Turkey.  The beaches and crystal-clear Mediterranean Sea are perfect for sunbathing, swimming and water sports.

As well as the rolling landscapes and beaches, the region has two-thousand years of history with a range of spectacular temples and Greco-Roman ruins close by, as well as a bustling food and cultural scene.

The new route to Turkey complements a summer Gatwick service to Dalaman and year-round flights between Istanbul and Heathrow.

British Airways flies to more than 70 destinations from Gatwick, offering a variety of routes to suit both business and leisure travellers. The airline has refreshed its Boeing 777 fleet at London Gatwick with new generation economy (World Traveller) and premium economy (World Traveller Plus) seats. These seats have all new Panasonic in flight entertainment 10” screens in World Traveller and 12” screens in World Traveller Plus, offering four times more choice, including movies, television and audio programs. British Airways is investing £6.5 billion to improve its customer experience over five years, including new aircraft, new cabins, new catering, new lounges, WiFi, and even more new routes.