BA gifts new First Wing to ME fly­ers

Bri­tish Air­ways re­cently an­nounced a num­ber of in­vest­ment plans to en­hance Mid­dle East­ern cus­tomers’ ex­pe­ri­ence, the most im­por­tant be­ing the launch of its new First Wing at the Heathrow Air­port. Robert Wil­liams, Head of Sales for ME and Asia Pa­cific, tal

TravTalk - Middle East - - QUICK BYTES - SHEHARA RIZLY

Q Do share a lit­tle about Bri­tish Air­ways’ op­er­a­tions in the Mid­dle East.

We’ve com­pleted 85 years of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions in the Mid­dle East and the re­gion con­tin­ues to re­main ex­tremely im­por­tant to Bri­tish Air­ways. We are con­tin­u­ously mak­ing in­vest­ments in the di­rec­tion of en­hanc­ing our cus­tomers’ ex­pe­ri­ence.The air­line is set to launch 22 new routes in 2017, which will ex­pand its net­work of on­ward con­nec­tions for the United Arab Emi­rates and other Mid­dle East cus­tomers. In my new role, I will be re­spon­si­ble for manag­ing the air­line’s growth and devel­op­ment across Saudi Ara­bia, the United Arab Emi­rates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar, which are some of Bri­tish Air­ways’ most im­por­tant over­seas mar­kets.

Q What are you of­fer­ing to the Mid­dle East pas­sen­gers that oth­ers are not?

We wit­ness a high pref­er­ence for our premium ser­vices from across the re­gion. This is pri­mar­ily due to the unique fly­ing ex­pe­ri­ence that we pro­vide to our cus­tomers. One such ex­pe­ri­ence of­fered by us is the new First Wing at the Heathrow Air­port, which is im­me­di­ately avail­able for all the pas­sen­gers fly­ing first class with us. Flights from across the Mid­dle East land at Ter­mi­nal 5, Bri­tish Air­ways’ flag­ship ter­mi­nal, which is now home to its ex­clu­sive new ‘First Wing’ check-in area. Among the var­i­ous ex­clu­sive fea­tures, the First Wing in­cludes a ded­i­cated two-lane se­cu­rity chan­nel and direct ac­cess to the Gal­leries First Lounge and Con­corde Room for the first time. The new se­cu­rity lanes re­duce the num­ber of trav­ellers pass­ing through the cur­rent South se­cu­rity lanes, help­ing to speed up the checks and other for­mal­i­ties for the Club World cus­tomers too. A re­laxed seat­ing area is avail­able af­ter se­cu­rity check for the pas­sen­gers to gather their pos­ses­sions in an un­hur­ried at­mos­phere. The First Wing gives the first-class and Gold Ex­ec­u­tive Club cus­tomers far greater ex­clu­siv­ity, with a ded­i­cated com­bined checkin and Fast Track space.

Q What are you of­fer ing ‘new’ to the Mid­dle East pas­sen­gers?

We have re­cently an­nounced our in­vest­ment plans for our cus­tomers, which are pri­mar­ily cen­tred on pro­vid­ing ex­cel­lence in the premium cabins and more choice and qual­ity for all.

The first of these new in­vest­ments that is es­pe­cially for our cus­tomers in the Mid­dle East is the new First Wing at Lon­don’s Heathrow Air­port. It is de­signed to of­fer an ex­clu­sive ex­pe­ri­ence to our first-class, Ex­ec­u­tive Club Gold, and one-world Emer­ald cus­tomers through a new and im­proved check-in zone and direct lounge ac­cess. It has two new ded­i­cated se­cu­rity lanes, which are de­signed to make our premium cus­tomers’ jour­ney through the air­port quick and con­ve­nient, and it pro­vides direct ac­cess to the Gal­leries First Lounge and Con­corde Room to make the stay of the cus­tomers at the air­port much more re­lax­ing. Fur­ther, we have Ter­mi­nal 5 as our flag­ship home, which to­gether with the First Wing, sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves the air­port ex­pe­ri­ence for our premium cus­tomers.

In the com­ing months, the air­line will an­nounce the in­tro­duc­tion of new Club World cabins and self-ser­vice checkin, along with bio­met­ric board­ing gates. More up­dates over the last 18 months in­clude the open­ing of our pres­ti­gious new lounge at Con­course D in Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port. We launched direct ser­vices be­tween Oman and Lon­don Heathrow and Qatar and Lon­don Heathrow at the end of 2016 – these routes pre­vi­ously in­cluded one stopover. Ad­di­tion­ally, this year, we in­tro­duced the 787-9 Dream­liner on our Jed­dah route. The air­craft’s new-gen­er­a­tion first-class cabins have re­ceived pos­i­tive feed­back from all our so­phis­ti­cated trav­ellers in KSA.

We have Ter­mi­nal 5 as our flag­ship home, which to­gether with the First Wing, sig­nif­i­cantly im­proves the air­port ex­pe­ri­ence for our premium cus­tomers

Robert Wil­liams Head of Sales–Mid­dle East and APAC Bri­tish Air­ways

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