BA will continue to lease Air Belgium's A340

Back to Forum

Tagged: , ,

This topic contains 27 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  AMcWhirter 24 Oct 2018
at 13:40
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)

  • Alex McWhirter
    Participant

    BA has already operated Air Belgium’s A340 on the LHR-CAI route for two days earlier this month.

    This evening Aviation24.be is reporting that BA will lease the A340 between September 15 and October 4.

    It will operate BA’s daily LHR-AUH service.

    Air Belgium extends deal with British Airways; operating flights between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi

    BT Asia Pacific carried a piece about the A340 around the time it launched the Brussels South to Hong Kong route.

    Air Belgium’s inaugural Hong Kong flight finally takes off

    As at end June Air Belgium had three A340s in its fleet.

    Air Belgium’s third Airbus A340 has been entered in the Belgian register as OO-ABE


    DavidArnold
    Participant

    Hi Alex, l am a regular traveller on BA in F or CW to Abu Dhabi. I have not looked at recent fares but if Air Belgium has no First and had l bought a First fare during the period of aircraft change would l have received a refund on the difference from First to Club? Also how good is their Business product. Many thanks, Dave


    rferguson
    Participant

    Hi Alex, l am a regular traveller on BA in F or CW to Abu Dhabi. I have not looked at recent fares but if Air Belgium has no First and had l bought a First fare during the period of aircraft change would l have received a refund on the difference from First to Club? Also how good is their Business product. Many thanks, Dave

    Hey David this may be of help….a bloggers review of his Brussels – Hong Kong flight on Air Belgium. The A340’s are ex Finnair and still have the same seats – fully flat staggered J class many with direct aisle access. I would try and go for one of the ‘throne seats’ if travelling solo.

    Review: Air Belgium Business Class A340 Charleroi To Hong Kong

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    DavidArnold
    Participant

    Appreciate the advice and will look for the solo seats and luckily GCH so can choose the seats straightaway. Cannot wait to get the 787 back though!


    Alex McWhirter
    Participant

    Hello David, Re first to business class. I would have thought there would be an automatic refund for the price difference (between first and business class).

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    alainboy56
    Participant

    THere is an article in Abu Dhabi’s national Newspaper today headlined “PASSENGERS REELING AFTER BA SWOPS DREAMLINER FOR LOW-BUDGET AIRCRAFT.
    Do not bother to read it as its the usual twaddle full of mistakes.
    The B789 has not visited since 14/08 as I took a flight AUH-LHR on 16th Aug and a B772 had been subsituted, the crew told they had dead-headed down the previous day.
    The Air Belgium A343’s are ex Finnair so they are not ‘clapped-out’ nor that old.
    However there was one lady who was complaining that she had paid Dirhams 1965/- for her ticket and she was not happy????? Thats about 400 quid, so perhaps she has a got a low-budget aircraft comparable for her low budget fare.
    Another complained that she was looking forward to fly the Dreamliner and does not want to fly on a smaller plane.
    I could be wrong, but isn’t an A343 bigger than a B789? Its certainly bigger than a B788.

    I myself am flying on the 3rd October which is within this period, but as yet have not heard anything from BA, though there are no particular worries for me on this matter.
    However it does show a lack of Fleet management on the part of BA, useless numpties! they could have leased the usual QR A332’s (less thirsty than the gas guzzling A343’s) and because they are banned from AUH, swop it with a B772 from another trillion routes flying B772’s!!!
    Its a simple task for me it seems, but BA management also seem to want to make things difficult for themselves and also alienate Ms ‘Cheap Ticket’ from DXB (yes she was from DXB, but chose a flight ex AUH, as the fare was less – I wondered if she added in the taxi fare which is AED275-300 each way approx????).

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Andrew
    Participant

    Perhaps BA could have managed this better but I do feel for them as, because of their large fleet (comparatively) of 787s, they’re being hit hard by the type- (and industry-)wide RR engine issues.

    As to why they don’t lease the QR aircraft, if I recall correctly, they had to get special permission from the UK’s CAA to lease a non-EU aircraft which they only got because no EU-registered aircraft were available during the peak summer period. The fact they can and have leased the Air Belgium aircraft probably alludes in part to this regulation.


    rferguson
    Participant

    THere is an article in Abu Dhabi’s national Newspaper today headlined “PASSENGERS REELING AFTER BA SWOPS DREAMLINER FOR LOW-BUDGET AIRCRAFT.

    Do not bother to read it as its the usual twaddle full of mistakes.

    The B789 has not visited since 14/08 as I took a flight AUH-LHR on 16th Aug and a B772 had been subsituted, the crew told they had dead-headed down the previous day.

    The Air Belgium A343’s are ex Finnair so they are not ‘clapped-out’ nor that old.

    However there was one lady who was complaining that she had paid Dirhams 1965/- for her ticket and she was not happy????? Thats about 400 quid, so perhaps she has a got a low-budget aircraft comparable for her low budget fare.

    Another complained that she was looking forward to fly the Dreamliner and does not want to fly on a smaller plane.

    I could be wrong, but isn’t an A343 bigger than a B789? Its certainly bigger than a B788.

    I myself am flying on the 3rd October which is within this period, but as yet have not heard anything from BA, though there are no particular worries for me on this matter.

    However it does show a lack of Fleet management on the part of BA, useless numpties! they could have leased the usual QR A332’s (less thirsty than the gas guzzling A343’s) and because they are banned from AUH, swop it with a B772 from another trillion routes flying B772’s!!!

    Its a simple task for me it seems, but BA management also seem to want to make things difficult for themselves and also alienate Ms ‘Cheap Ticket’ from DXB (yes she was from DXB, but chose a flight ex AUH, as the fare was less – I wondered if she added in the taxi fare which is AED275-300 each way approx????).

    I think the seating in J is probably far superior to BA’s.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @andrew — but I saw a QR A330 at T5 as late as 19/08 in service for BA, and so now we are less than a month later. And its still officially high season.
    What UK CAA regulation that was waived in June/July/August cannot be overcome in September?? Especially as the aircraft have proven to be safe and regulated whilst flying for BA all summer.


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    However it does show a lack of Fleet management on the part of BA, useless numpties! they could have leased the usual QR A332’s (less thirsty than the gas guzzling A343’s) and because they are banned from AUH, swop it with a B772 from another trillion routes flying B772’s!!!

    BA would have kept the A332s if they could. I read somewhere (i can’t exactly remember what site, CAPA maybe?) that QR needed their A332s back. Remember these are the planes that they are ‘leasing’ to their very own Air Italy and those planes need a fresh coat of paint and freshened up interiors. Air Italy just launched service to Thailand and more new routes are to be launched in the coming weeks. So there are basically no widebodies to spare for BA.

    From what i’ve heard, service on Air Belgium is excellent. I’d rather have those J seats than what BA offers.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @LetsFlyNow – I don’t believe this is so, as QR had an A332 leased to MEA until last week, so that one is free obviously. They have, it is correct, repainted and delivered three A332’s to Air Italy whom are doing great business with across the pond from MXP to JFK with 80% plus load factors I read, so much so that AA have already begun to complain (US airlines just hate competition don’t they).
    QR have lost all their routes throughout the Gulf, so they have aircraft spare. Mainly single aisle A320’s agreed, but on the JED, RUH, DXB and AUH routes they were also using B788’s and other wide body types.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Leasing non EU aircraft is a more convoluted process requiring the airline to demonstrate no EU planes were available. Clearly that would be untrue as they were able to obtain the Air Belgium plane.

    As for with it didn’t happen before, well Air Belgium only cut its own routes back in September so the plane wasn’t available when the QR leasing was done.

    The other option is those Wamos Air antiques that Norwegian rejected. In fact there was an item on FT saying the load the other night was only 80 people so that long range 737 they have been leasing from Privatair would do.

    Anyway haven’t BA pretty much given up on GCC now? Doha stopped, Muscat stopping, Abu Dhabi outsourced. Hey ho.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @SimonS1 — Are BA stopping MCT? I did not hear/read that. However MCT has always had a low density market. Until last year. MCT was an extension of AUH route, then they separated it with DOH I think at first, and then on its own. Even in the busy days back in the eighties, it was a B747, but only a stop on the MEL/SYD/SIN to LHR flight, which is why I never took it hardly, as it was always full and often late.
    GF were a better bet, as even though they were stoppers in DOH, AUH or BAH,(even one routing I used to take was a stopper in CDG), but at least they started in MCT with a nice clean aircraft.
    BA in the mid eighties changed the B747 to a L-1011 starting in MCT, but which also stopped in KWI. That was when BCAL started running DC-10’s via RUH down to MCT.
    The point I’m making is that even in the good old days, there was never a big market out of MCT, so I am not surprised that they cannot compete with Oman Air.
    Another option for them other than WAMOS AIR, is Hi-Fly
    As I write this, the first AUH flight with the A343 of Air Belgium is en route.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Yep – last flight is 30th March. It is apparently seasonal cancellation for the summer but we will see if it is quietly buried after that.

    If Abu Dhabi loads end up in double digits too often that will go next. In fact I’m surprised Bahrain survives without the Doha leg.


    alainboy56
    Participant

    @SimonS1 – So why they don’t put on an old B744 and do a MCT/AUH/BAH-LHR flight? — a bit like the GF L-1011’s years ago

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls