Peeking into British Airways’ chic new A380

British Airways’ new video gives a sneak peek into the onboard refinement of their chic new A380. BA has twelve A380s on order to be delivered by 2016, and will receive with the first three aircraft to be delivered in July, September and November. Configured in a four class 469 seat layout with , BA’s A380 will be deployed between London – Los Angeles from 15 October and daily London – Hong Kong services from 15 November.

British Airways is likely to deploy its A380 to other destinations in Asia including Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore; in line with strategic moves to increase its presence throughout Asia, particularly mainland China. In support of this, BA has signed a codeshare agreement with Cathay Pacific to take affect from 31 March, the final day of the Qantas/BA Joint Service Agreement (JSA). BA will initially place it’s flight code on Cathay Pacific’s services from Hong Kong to Cairns, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

“The best refinements are those you hardly notice. Deceptive in their simplicity, you may not notice them at all. Truly great design steps aside, leaving you with a sensation, a feeling. This was our ambition when designing the interiors for our next generation aircraft. Soon, our A380s will fly between London Heathrow, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. We hope, when you step on board, you can’t put your finger on exactly what makes flying in them so pleasurable.

More than 90 years of experience has taught us how to get things right and our intention is to make sure – on every second of every flight – you realise how flying with us makes you feel.” – British Airways

Tally ho!

British Airways: “Down under’s not over”

There’s a great modernity about British Airways’ simple but stylish Australian newspaper advertisement. Taking a subtle, cheeky swipe at Qantas following the ending of the Joint-Service Agreement in favour of Emirates, British Airways is keeping calm and carrying on.

BA will upgrade all its Australian services to new B777-300ER aircraft from March 30, 2012. Timed to match the commencement of the Qantas Emirates partnership, the introduction of the aircraft with upgraded long-haul product, and BA’s shift of Australian services from London Heathrow’s T3 to its T5 hub marks another competitive upgrade in the fierce Australian international market.

The move is part of BA’s renewed focus on the Asia-Pacific region. BA will commence five weekly services to Seoul from next month, and three weekly services to Chengdu from September 2013. In addition, BA is likely to recommence schedules to Kuala Lumpur and Taipei, markets the carrier exited in 2001, as well as new services to additional cities in mainland China.

British Airways served Taipei from London and Hong Kong as British Asia Airways (英亚航空) until 2001. British Asia Airways was incorporated to overcome a now overturned Chinese Central Government policy prohibiting national carriers serving mainland China from serving Taiwan. Image: Daryl Chapman.

There is also nothing delicate about British Airways’ new oneworld push. For many years oneworld has been quiescent, foundering without a meticulous leader as Star Alliance has in Lufthansa. But the signs are this has changed, limited by expansion options at London Heathrow, British Airways and its parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) are making an active effort to engage and mold oneworld into an entity that supports BA’s sustainable growth and underlying business goals.

British Airways has already formed a comprehensive JV partnership with oneworld member and long-time Qantas partner Japan Airlines, and invited Qatar Airways to join oneworld in 2013/14. Could BA’s Asian focus see the airline engage Malaysia Airlines in place of Qantas to expand in South-East Asia?

A British Airways led quadruple entente would secure a network between Australia and Asia to Europe covering all major traffic paths via Northern and South-East Asia and through the Middle East. Image: GCMapper and Carry-ON.

Malaysia Airlines has much to offer BA, with a South-East Asian network, services to every major Australian city, and code sharing agreements with Japan Airlines, as well as oneworld members-to-be Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines already in place. To leverage this through an alliance or a comprehensive JV between the three carriers opens up incredible network and traffic flow options as the map shows. The grouping would be well placed to gain a formidable position in the growing high yield markets driven by Asia’s growing middle class, and provide substantial traffic feed into BA’s long haul network in Asia, and connections to BA short haul services across Europe.

oneworld is on the brink of change, and British Airways is now firmly at the helm. Tally ho.

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