LCY eyes Madrid route

17 Mar 2005 by business traveller

State-of-the-art 100-seater Airbus A318/319 planes could be operating at London City Airport in the not-too-distant future.

Richard Gooding, the airport's managing director, has revealed that plane manufacturer Airbus is keen for its A318/319 models to be cleared to use London City's short and restrictive 1,200-metre runway.

At present, almost all jet flights are operated by 95-seater BAe 146 jets but these planes have a limited lifespan as they are no longer in production.

"Flying the Airbus in is not a problem," says Richard Gooding. "The problem is what to do on the ground. The Airbus is larger and taller than the 146 and our apron space is designed for planes having a smaller footprint."

Gooding reckons that there's a 50/50 chance the Airbus will arrive at London City, assuming that certification is granted. 

It is not clear which airlines would use the A318/319 at London City but, should the plane arrive, it will be good news for passengers as these Airbuses have wider, smarter and quieter cabins. They can also fly further than the 146 putting Madrid (the route most requested by passengers, according to Gooding) and other longer sectors within range.

* Self-service check-in has proved a hit with BA passengers at London City. Airport MD Richard Gooding has revealed that 40% of BA passengers no longer queue at the counters. Instead they complete the process either online or by using a check-in machine.

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