American Airlines to move into T5
American Airlines were rumoured to be moving into Heathrow’s T5 even before the reshuffle of airlines at Heathrow first started. It then went very quiet for a while. It has now been announced that AA will move into the same terminal as British Airways on 7 July. What is not clear presently if this is permanent or not. My guess would be that this will be the case for quite a while. The days of the T3 lounge crawl may be gone for a long time sadly!
One advantage of AA moving into the terminal is that it provides more passengers and therefore more incentive for British Airways to reopen their lounges when the next stage of lockdown is eased around 4 July.
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Is BA ditching their B747s?
A Tweet appeared on Friday that has sparked rumours that British Airways may not return their Queen of the Skies, the B747 to the air.
This could mark the beginning of the final chapter of the B747 at BA, as today all training & recency for the 600 or so pilots was formally suspended.
I feel very lucky to have flown both the B747 Classic in the right hand seat & B747-400 as a skipper.
1971-2020 ? pic.twitter.com/cgodPIw15E
— Tim Byatt (@Tim_the_Pilot) June 19, 2020
The airline was due to retire all their B747s by 2024, and most airlines are now speeding up their retirement of older aircraft. Qantas has already retired its final B747 after the crisis started in March 2020. IAG said in its most recent financial report that they were ““Assessing further fleet reduction, including potential early retirement of B747s and A340s”
The other alternative is that BA don’t wish to operate the sim to train pilots on aircraft they don’t plan to use for a few months. As passenger loads are down, British Airways has been using smaller and more modern aircraft like the B787 and new A350s.