Entries in British Airways (25)


Nine BMI routes get BA numbers as integration proceeds

British Midland International routes flown between London's Heathrow Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL) and nine European and African destinations will acquire British Airways flight numbers tomorrow, as part of the integration process first announced late last year.  The nine routes affected will be those flown between Heathrow, and the BMI destinations of Agadir, Morocco; Basel, Switzerland; Bergen, Norway; Casablanca, Morocco; Hanover, Germany; Marrakech, Morocco; Nice, France; Stavanger, Norway; and Vienna, Austria.  According to British Airways, all departure and arrival terminals at Heathrow will remain the same, as will estimated departure and arrival times.

On April 19 this year, International Consolidated Airlines Group, led by former British Airways CEO Willie Walsh, bought BMI from Lufthansa.  BMI withdrew its membership in the Star Alliance last month.  British Airways is part of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Also, Virgin Atlantic will launch a four times weekly non-stop round-trip route between Heathrow and Vancouver International Airport (IATA; YVR; ICAO: CYVR) Thursday.  The route will operate in both directions on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.  According to results returned by the search engine on Virgin Atlantic's website, the route will be operated with the Airbus A340-300.  The flight is approximately ten hours long in both directions.

related story

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger (Nobember 29, 2010)

original stories

bmi flights changing to BA flight numbers (British Airways)

BMI to be 'integrated quickly' into British Airways (Airport Watch UK)

Virgin Atlantic Launch Flights to Vancouver (Virgin Atlantic)

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British Airways and Unite come to an agreement

Britain's highest-profile airline and its most popular trade union reached an agreement last week.  Unite the Union, which represents British Airways' cabin crew employees in labor negotiations, lifted its threat of "industrial action" (specifically strike action), a move which last year cost British Airways upwards of 7 million GBP every day (8 million EUR; 11.4 million USD) in its own estimation, and twice that amount in the estimation of Unite.  British Airways cabin crew employees still must vote, either for or against the settlement.  But according to a press release put out by Unite last week, union leadership has officially recommended that the employees cast their votes in favor of agreement.

Unite's General Secretary Len McCluskey characterized the agreement as one which "recognizes the rights and dignity of cabin crew, as well as the commercial requirements of the company."  McCluskey also cited the retention and restoration of certain travel bonuses and perks for cabin crew members, as a victory for Unite, and for the British Airways cabin crew employees it represents.

For its part, British Airways said in a press release last Thursday that it was "very pleased" at the resolution of the dispute, and at the indefinite shelving of any threatened industrial action.  The airline claimed "acknowledgement by [Unite] that the cost-saving structural changes we have made in cabin crew operations are permanent."

Following the announcement by the two sides, the Daily Telegraph held up the shareholders in the new International Consolidated Airlines Group, of which British Airways is a part along with Spain's Iberia, as the victors of these negotiations.  The Telegraph noted that the industrial action was only ever supported by 43 percent of British Airways' cabin crew employees, and that the travel perks for cabin crew members are actually conditional on "successful implementation over time of new procedures that govern the relationship between the union and the company."  Resolution, according to one writer at the Telegraph, "[ensures] that BA can be run as a business, and not a sinecure with wings." 

The New York-based Wall Street Journal however, speculated that neither party to these months-long negotiations can truly claim victory, "with [Unite] experiencing waning public support, while BA's brand has been tarnished."

British Airways was established in 1974 with the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  Unite the Union is a British and Irish trade union established in 2007, with the merger of Amicus the Union, and the Transport and General Workers' Union.

related stories

British Airways and cabin crew union adjourn without agreement (August 2, 2010)

Unite says it will strike through summer if demands not met (June 9, 2010)

Unite the Union begins strike series against British Airways (May 24, 2010)

The Unite strikes against British Airways are back on (May 21, 2010)

Unite is barred from going forward with BA strike action (May 18, 2010)

British Airways and cabin crew union are trying to avert strikes (May 12, 2010)

original stories

British Airways Statement on Agreement With Unite (British Airways)

Unite and British Airways reach agreement on cabin crew (Unite the Union)

IAG investors are the winners after BA's cabin crew dispute (Daily Telegraph)

British Airways, Unite Agree Deal; Strike Threat Lifted (Wall Street Journal)


British Airways and Iberia unite under one holding company

British Airways (BA) and Spain's largest airline Iberia officially merged under the holding company International Consolidated Airlines Group earlier today.  This move creates the second-largest European-based airline by some measures, and the third-largest by others.  Germany's Lufthansa was the continent's largest airline by most major measures in 2009.

The merger will give British Airways greater access to South America than it had previously, and Iberia will enjoy greater access to North America than it had previous to the merger.

The final shares of British Airways stock were traded on the London Stock Exchange late yesterday, according to The Guardian, a U.K.-based newspaper.  The merger is valued at a little more than 6 billion GBP (7.09 billion EUR, 9.59 billion USD).  Former British Airways CEO Willie Walsh will assume the same post at the new company.

related stories

BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger (November 29, 2010)

British Airways resolves Iberia merger concern over deficit (September 23, 2010)

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance (July 22, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original stories

British Airways, Iberia merger takes effect (Yahoo Finance)

British Airways trades for last time ahead of Iberia merger (The Guardian)


British Airways launches London-Chambéry winter service

Last Saturday, British Airways commenced a seasonal winter route between London City Airport (IATA: LCY; ICAO: EGLC) and Chambéry-Savoie Airport (IATA: CMF; ICAO: LFLB) in the French Alps.  The route is marketed toward leisure travelers, and will be operated four times a week by BA CityFlyer, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the United Kingdom's highest-profile airline.  The "brand new" Embraer 190 operated by BA CityFlyer will fly once in each direction on Sunday, Monday, Friday, and Saturday "until the end of March 2011," according to a post made several months ago to British Airways' official website.

British Airways says fares for the route start at 59 GBP one way (69 EUR).

original story (British Airways)


BA and Iberia respective shareholders both approve merger

Earlier today, shareholders in British Airways and Iberia Airlines voted "overwhelmingly" in favor of a proposed merger between the two European carriers which would create the third-largest airline in Europe.  Among European-based carriers only Lufthansa and Air France-KLM would be larger.  The resulting business entity will be called International Consolidated Airlines Group.  The London-based Daily Telegraph reported that Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways, would like to consolidate additional airlines within this new holding company in the future, and that this is the reason for the "bland" holding company name.

The merger is worth an estimated 5.7 billion GBP (6.76 billion EUR; 8.89 billion USD) and will be executed entirely with company stock.  According to the New York-based Wall Street Journal, shareholders of British Airways will receive a share of International Consolidated Airlines Group for every share of British Airways they own, and shareholders of Iberia Airlines will get 1.0205 shares of the new holding company for every share of Iberia.  Iberia reported on its website that five years from now, the new multinational corporation expects the airlines' combined efforts to produce 400 million EUR (337 million GBP; 526 million USD) annually in excess of the sum of the two airlines' individual expected revenues.

Both British Airways and Iberia are members of the Oneworld airline alliance.

Operational headquarters of the airline resulting from this merger will be in London, and corporate headquarters will be in Madrid.  Each city is the capital of its respective country.  Despite the move, the two merging airlines "will keep their separate brands and identities" according to the Wall Street Journal today.  The merger is scheduled to be officially complete on January 21 next year.  The Daily Telegraph noted solemnly that British Airways' individual ticker symbol would no longer be visible on the London Stock Exchange, as of January 24 next year.

Mr. Walsh, and Iberia CEO Antonio Vázquez Romero will hold a press conference at Madrid's Hotel Intercontinental on November 30, at 10:00 in the morning local time, according to Iberia's press release.

British Airways is the highest-profile airline headquartered in the United Kingdom, and was founded in 1974, from the merger of the British Overseas Airways Corporation and British European Airways.  It is based in the borough of Hillingdon in London.  Its largest hub is Heathrow International Airport (IATA: LHR; ICAO: EGLL).  It operates 239 aircraft (Airbus and Boeing) to destinations on all six permanently inhabited continents.  Company stock is currently traded on the London Stock Exchange, although the "BA" ticker symbol will be replaced by the ticker symbol for International Consolidated Airlines Group next January 24.

Iberia Airlines was founded in 1927, and is the largest carrier based in Spain, by number of passengers carried.  It is headquartered in Madrid, and maintains hubs at Barajas Airport in the Spanish capital (IATA: MAD; ICAO: LEMD), and also at Barcelona Airport in the northeast of the country (IATA: BCN; ICAO: LEBL).  It operates an all-Airbus fleet of 116 aircraft to 99 destinations in Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and South America.

related stories

British Airways resolves Iberia merger concern over deficit (September 23, 2010)

DOT grants anti-trust immunity to BA-Iberia-AA alliance (July 22, 2010)

BA-Iberia merger approved by the EU (July 14, 2010)

original stories

BA, Iberia holders approve merger (Yahoo Finance)

Iberia and British Airways shareholders approve merger (Iberia Airlines)

BA, Iberia Shareholders Back Merger (Wall Street Journal)

British Airways shareholder vote to trigger end of BA name on stock market screens (Daily Telegraph)