British Airways news: A350, routes, cabin crew training and more centenary news

British Airways Boeing 747's at London Heathrow airport showing the new Chatham Dockyard tailfin design Credit: NewsCast www.newscast.co.uk +44 (0)20 7608 1000 No archiving

British Airways A350 routes and news

It was confirmed at a recent Gold Guest list event in London that the A350 will start flying in July but as yet there is no confirmed date. This is expected to be revealed in the next few weeks as BA have said they will not be able to confirm exact details until around 30 days before delivery when the date is confirmed by Airbus. The A350 will operate on short haul first to allow for crew training and familiarisation. We don’t know the route yet but it is expected to be Madrid where BA already use wide-body jets daily.

Tel Aviv

Earlier this week we revealed the new routes for the A350 would be to Bangalore and Tel Aviv. Both of these routes seemed slightly odd choices but they have now confirmed the exact schedule. If you wanted to try the new Club Suite (read more here) then Tel Aviv would be a good choice if you want a cheap Avios redemption with a Club Suite costing 31,250 Avios one way + £261 tax and charges for off peak.

The schedule for Tel Aviv will start on 1 December 2019

  • BA163 London to Tel Aviv departing 8:55PM arriving 3:40AM (+1 day)
  • BA162 Tel Aviv to London departing 6:15AM arriving 9:40AM

From 1  January 2020 BA will fly to Bangalore (Bengaluru)

  • BA119 London to Bangalore departing 1:45PM arriving 5:00AM (+1 day)
  • BA118 Bangalore to London departing 7:00AM arriving 12:40PM

Flights to Bangalore cost from 62,500 Avios one way off-peak for Club World.

 

BA suspends two routes

Kiev short break weekend

Kiev

British Airways announced that it is suspending two routes from London Heathrow to Kiev, Ukraine and St Petersburg, Russia. The services are currently due to stop on 3 October 2019 but BA have yet to confirm that officially. So if you want to go with BA, you’d better be quick! I know that several people bought onward fares with Qatar from Kiev so hopefully, BA will be rebooking passengers onto other airlines.

You are also entitled to a full refund if you prefer. I would expect BA to get in touch shortly if you are affected. In the meantime, you can check the status of your flight in Manage my Booking on ba.com

You can read more about Kiev in this article by Claudio.

Cabin crew training

At the GGL there was also more clarity provided about the extra training that cabin crew will receive. We previously covered how Alex Cruz had announced that cabin crew would get more training in customer service. At that time it wasn’t clear if that was for all crew or just new recruits. It has now been confirmed that in addition to the two days annual emergency and refresher training, cabin crew will receive a third day of training to refresh their customer service skills.

Hopefully, this will go some way to addressing the inconsistency of the onboard service with BA. Although all airlines, even Qatar, experience this issue BA are definitely amongst the worst offenders for me. If only they could get all the crew up to the standards of the really great ones. I am writing this on the way to Vietnam and I had some amazing service in BA First on my A380 flight to Hong Kong. The minute the seat belt sign went off, David appeared with a glass of Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle without being asked! If anything the service was a little too good! Some parts of the middle of the flight are quite hazy…..

Cathay Pacific dining

I am actually writing this on board a Cathay Pacific flight and they for me are the most consistent airline for service. This is my 6th Cathay/Cathay Dragon flight in the last 6 months and the service has been pretty much perfect on every single flight. Perhaps BA need to look at how they manage to keep such good consistency of service!

 

British Airways to have a new livery?

British Airways BEA, BOAC, Negus, Chatam Dockyard and Landor liveried aircraft at Engineering, London Heathrow on 09 April 2019
(Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

BA now have 99 days to go to the official date of their centenary. The year has already brought a plethora of celebratory items such as retro liveries, beer, special offers and even BA Marmite. Alongside new uniforms designed by Ozwald Boateng, it is now rumoured that BA will be launching a brand new livery. This would not really come as a surprise given that the current one, Chatham Dockyard, has been around for 20 years in various guises. Watch this space……

6 Comments on "British Airways news: A350, routes, cabin crew training and more centenary news"

  1. I seem to remember reading (possibly here) that BA would be using the new A350 on the DXB route from October. Was this the original plan and has it now changed?

  2. ClaytonTheCruton | 18 May 2019 at 9:47 am | Reply

    BA handled the canx of Kiev and St Petersburg brilliantly( sarcasm). Got an email advising OB canx but giving no reason at all so we looked at alternative routing options then called BA. Or should I say tried. Had agents in india hangup on both myself and my partner as they didnt know what to do. Several hours later we get another email advising the rtn was now canx again with no explanation. Finally go through to someone in NCL who admitted they were told the sametime as we were and that BA hadn’t issued the rebooking guidelines to staff so he couldn’t rebook me onto the LHR-HEL-LED as it used Nordic Regional ( on a BA codeshare) but they weren’t alliance so even though it started on a BA ticket and Finnair metal he couldn’t book it.

    Going to leave it till Monday and feel sorry for the contact centre staff who were thrown under the bus by those in charge but my avios balance will certainly be getting a hefty bump by the time im done with them

  3. Hi Michele,

    For once I am happy to give BA credit for selecting Bangalore / Bengaluru (BLR) for the A350. Lots of travel blogs and sites have had negative criticism about this.

    The reality is that Bangalore is called the Silicon Valley of India. It is also the BPO capital of India. All of the US tech giants have presence there. Business executives from these companies fly from SFO or SJC via LHR to BLR.

    In addition, all the expatriate software engineers in Silicon Valley, many of them from humble backgrounds but now millionaires (say this with immense respect) are now learning to enjoy their money and travel in business class with their families more. For them, this route was a great thing when it was introduced and now they have the opportunity to experience a better business class on the LHR-BLR route.

    Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines compete for business from this target segment using their trans-Pacific routes and Asian hubs. Their aircraft to BLR are inferior by far, possibly the worst in their respective fleets, so they must be worried now.

    Full marks to BA for the introduction of the A350 to BLR. Takes my thoughts away from the constant shortage of LPGS on my flights to/from Singapore. For a moment.

    Have a good trip!

  4. Sorin Cioban | 18 May 2019 at 2:18 pm | Reply

    Regarding the A350 short-haul route, this was confirmed by BA as Madrid in their Club Suite press release in March.

    http://mediacentre.britishairways.com/pressrelease/details/86/2019_319/10846?ref=email

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