03 August, 2020

British Airways axes prestigious London City - New York JFK route

Photo British Airways
British Airways has decided to axe its special all-business-class service between London City Airport and New York's JFK, citing a downturn in business during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

A British Airways spokesperson said: "As we adapt to the decrease in passenger demand as a result of the Covid-19 global pandemic we can confirm that we will no longer operate our business class-only flights from London City to New York, JFK via Shannon."

The specially configured Airbus A318 with just 32 seats has been operating the route since 2009 and on the outbound sector, the flight operated via Shannon - where passengers cleared US customs and immigration.  The airline saw the importance of the route and even assigned it the former Concorde flight numbers of  BA1/BA2.
Photo British Airways
Photo British Airways

Dropping the service came as little surprise after IAG quietly slipped in that BA would retire the A318 baby bus fleet, with no fanfare or flurry as the group battles huge losses, despite taking vast amounts of government money and sacking lots of staff.   

The service was popular amount some in the business community, despite the enforced stop in Shannon,  mainly because of the weight take-off restrictions at London City meant the aircraft was not able to fly the whole journal without refuelling.  Although BA didn't offer the same business class seats on the A318 as it did on its other transatlantic aircraft and the A318s lacked personal IFE screens, it still managed to break even and turn a small profit for the carrier according to its operations department. Yet, nothing stays the same,  new special entry procedures sped up arrivals in New York, combined with a new business class offering on BA's other transatlantic fleet, the LCY service lost most of its appeal. 
Photo London City Airport

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