February 17 will see the launch of scheduled business aircraft services linking Geneva, London and Paris. Club Airways is a private membership service that will market seats in Learjet 45s operated through Bombardier’s Flexjet Europe program at fares that will be roughly 50-percent higher than equivalent fully flexible business-class tickets.
In a move that drew groans from local politicians and airport authorities of small- and medium-sized cities across the British isles, British Airways has decided to cut 21 routes from its UK regional network and announced a complete withdrawal from its bases in Leeds- Bradford, in West Yorkshire, and Cardiff, Wales.
Club Airways, the members-only service offering business jet flights in Europe, has temporarily scaled back its operations as it scrambles to secure more financial backing. The Geneva-based company encountered a $1.4 million (€1.2 million) funding crisis in September when two of its four shareholders reneged on agreements to make additional investments.
British and French authorities were expected to issue ADs for the grounded Concorde supersonic jetliners on August 28, some 13 months after the July 25 fatal crash of one of the SSTs. Subject to final modification work being completed (see story on page 58), British Airways could resume Concorde commercial flights to New York later this month, with Air France expected to follow suit next month.
Introduction of A380 flights is being seen by Airbus as a precursor to “a new wave of orders” for the airliner. The European airframer’s Asia Pacific executive sales vice president, Edouard Ullmo, said earlier this year there likely would be a hiatus as prospective A380 operators considered the aircraft’s initial operations with Singapore Airways (SIA) before choosing between it and the Boeing 747-8I (or the smaller 777).
In Boeing’s estimation, the Middle East will become the third largest market in the world for jumbo-sized airplanes over the next 20 years.
Reports attributed to the captain of a British Airways Boeing 777 that sustained heavy damage when landing at London Heathrow Airport at about 12:42 GMT today indicate that the airplane lost all power before touching down short of Runway 27L. Flight BA038 inbound from Beijing reportedly touched down 1,200 feet short of the threshold and “almost 3,000 feet short” of the normal touchdown point for landing.
Still unable to comprehend the monstrous scale of the September 11 terrorist assault on the U.S., the international air transport industry got a swift taste of the disruption and chronic uncertainty that undoubtedly lie ahead. Business aviation–which some are now saying will become increasingly important as companies look for a safe and convenient alternative to airline travel–faced serious restrictions in the week following the attack.
Following recent restructuring, British Airways wholly owned regional subsidiary BA CitiExpress (BACE) “is on track to stop the bleeding,” but will need at least another year to meet profitability targets, company officials predict. The airline has made
Alteon, Boeing’s aviation training arm, last month opened a major facility at London Gatwick Airport. The 53,000-sq-ft facility will provide pilot and flight attendant training initially on simulators for the Boeing 737 and 757 and the Airbus A320. The center will also become the headquarters of Jeppesen UK and its international trip planning services.