Hong Kong earmarked for first BA A380
British Airways is lining up its first A380 service to Hong Kong next winter.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai last night, to mark the carrier's 80th anniversary flying to the Middle East, Chairman Sir Martin Broughton said: "It's not confirmed but my guess is it would be Hong Kong, although Madrid will probably be the test flight."
He said contrary to some reports, the carrier's superjumbo plans seem to be veering more east than west. "People keep saying New York, but remember we have the schedules there, so the bigger the aircraft, you reduce the schedule."
BA is due to receive its first A380 in July 2013 with further deliveries scheduled in September and November of next year (click here).
Airbus has fitted the four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines onto BA’s first A380 superjumbo, ahead of its delivery scheduled for July next year (click here).
At the public address in Dubai, Sir Martin said it is right at the "end of the process" of the bmi integration.
"We will operate 15% more flights in this year's schedule, and they include five destinations in central Asia which we intend to do with flatbeds in Club."
In a dramatic week in the Gulf, which has seen Etihad team up with Air France-KLM and Qatar Airways join Oneworld, Sir Martin said to survive in the airline industry partnerships are "critical", and parent company IAG is constantly looking at how it can become "bigger and stronger as a business".
"We are almost at the end of the end of the roll-out of the first cabin and the B777 refurbishment programme will complete by the first couple of months early next year," he said.
Responding specifically to Qatar Airways joining Oneworld, he said: "I think it's a fantastic move forward. It's the first time a major airline based in the Gulf is signing on to join one of the major global alliances. It will further strengthen our links with the region and allow more customers to connect with ease on our network."
Paulo de Renezis, Area Commercial manager for British Airways, added it will operate 68 weekly flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and the Middle East this winter. "The outlook for the first quarter is pretty positive," he said.
The highlight of the informal evening saw cabin crew dressed in the airline's uniforms, over the respective eight decades, walk over the bridge at the Madinat Jumeirah fort and take to the stage.
Earlier in the day, speaking at the press conference, Sir Martin said it "did not submit a bid" during the TAP privatisation process, and despite the Indian government relaxing its FDI rules, he said the airline was not interested in investing in the country's airline industry.
Special fares are available until October 31 for Middle Eastern travellers to coincide with the anniversary, covering first, Club World, World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and World Traveller (economy) and valid for travel before March 31. Fares from the UAE to London start from AED2,770 in World Traveller.
For more information, visit ba.com
Report by Dominic Ellis
AlexUpgrade77 - 11/10/2012 10:11
Hong Kong or Singapore would make sense given BA's competitors on both those sectors.
That said, the SIN crowd are probably 'over; seeing A380s given the number SQ operate. The wow factor wouldn't be there.
CX, on the other hand, are a formidable competitor to BA on LHR-HKG. And let's not forget Virgin Atlantic.
LAX would be a lost cause as neither the route nor the market expect it. NYC, as others have noted, is a frequency not volume destination.
So HKG would give BA the wow factor, especially given it would be the inaugural A380 service on that particular route.
TerryMcManus24 - 11/10/2012 11:11
Didnt I read that Thai International made its first flight with its spanking new A380 from Bangers to Honkers ..Yesterday.
Would have loved to have been on it.......that Thai Smile gets you.
C"Mon BA..... keep up......
ADD A COMMENT »
Swiss airline Darwin has opened a European base at Cambridge Airport, launching four new routes linking Amsterdam, Paris, Milan and Geneva with Cambridge — full story »
Little Red’s transfer traffic disappoints 20/05/2013
Virgin's Little Red is struggling to feed domestic passengers to and from Virgin Atlantic long-haul services at London Heathrow — full story »
Jetstar gears up for B787 launch 20/05/2013
Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar is the latest airline to start preparing to launch B787 Dreamliner flights, including deciding where it will fly — full story »