Bri­tish Air­ways soars high in ME skies

Com­plet­ing 85 years of suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tions in the Mid­dle East with its first flight touch­ing down in Shar­jah in 1932, the air­line has con­tin­ued to in­crease its fre­quency and cur­rently op­er­ates four daily flights from the UAE. An­ju­lika Dut­ton, Head of Sa

TravTalk - Middle East - - AVIATION -

Qfared

How has the year

for BA over the past eight months in the ME re­gion?

The Mid­dle East con­tin­ues to be an im­por­tant mar­ket for Bri­tish Air­ways. The car­rier has made sev­eral in­vest­ments across the re­gion in re­cent years and now of­fers di­rect ser­vices to London Heathrow from across eight coun­tries in the re­gion.

Some of these in­vest­ments in­clude the launch of the most-tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced air­craft in Bri­tish Air­ways’ fleet – the 787-9 Dream­liner – on its Abu Dhabi to London ser­vice and on its Jed­dah to London route. In 2016, Dubai be­came the sec­ond air­port to re­ceive Bri­tish Air­ways’ new con­cept of Con­corde Lounge glob­ally; launched at the Con­course D at Dubai In­ter­na­tional Air­port.

QCould you share the new mil­lion­pound in­vest­ment made by BA and how it would con­trib­ute to ME re­gion?

Bri­tish Air­ways’ on­go­ing in­vest­ments will di­rectly ben­e­fit cus­tomers from the Mid­dle East start­ing with the new First Wing in London Heathrow that opened in April this year. The multi-mil­lion-pound in­vest­ments to be rolled out across the air­line’s fleet in­clude £400m in Club World (long-haul busi­ness class), Club Europe on UK do­mes­tic ser­vices, new lounges, First Wing d i r e c t se­cu­rity and lounge ac­cess at Heathrow, Wi-Fi fit­ted on long-haul and short-haul fleets over the next two years, self­ser­vice check-in and bio­met­ric board­ing gates to speed up the air­port jour­ney. The air­line’s £400 mil­lion in­vest­ment in its Club World ser­vice in­cludes an en­hanced sleep and food propo­si­tion. Part of our in­vest­ment into Club World is our re­cent part­ner­ship with The White Com­pany who have ex­clu­sively, for Bri­tish Air­ways, de­signed a be­spoke, lux­u­ri­ously soft large pil­low and white cot­ton pil­low­case to en­hance cus­tomers’ com­fort. Cus­tomers will also be given a su­per-soft wo­ven blan­ket with satin trim and a spe­cially de­vel­oped lux­ury du­vet to im­prove their qual­ity of sleep, as well as a padded mat­tress cover giv­ing an ex­tra layer of com­fort. Qroutes,

Are there any new

part­ner­ships or en­hance­ments planned for BA? If so, please ex­plain.

Bri­tish Air­ways has launched over 30 new routes across the globe this year in­clud­ing di­rect flights to New Or­leans, Oak­land (Cal­i­for­nia) and Fort Laud­erdale (Florida) en­abling pas­sen­gers from the Mid­dle East to con­nect through London to a wide range of des­ti­na­tions across Europe and North Amer­ica. An ex­cit­ing route for trav­ellers from the UAE is our new ser­vice to Nashville. From May 2018, Bri­tish Air­ways will launch a five-aweek ser­vice from Heathrow, Ter­mi­nal 5 and will be the only air­line fly­ing di­rect be­tween Europe and the cap­i­tal of Ten­nessee. The flights will run on Mon­day, Tues­day, Wed­nes­day, Fri­day and Satur­day with the BA223 de­part­ing from London Heathrow at 3:45 pm and ar­riv­ing to Nashville Air­port at 6:50 pm, while the BA222 will leave Nashville at 8:20 pm and ar­rive into London at 10:30 am on the fol­low­ing day.

By 2017 end, there would be over $35 bn worth op­por­tu­ni­ties which, in turn, would reach up to $90 bn by 2020. Per­son­al­i­sa­tion played a key role as over 94% of trav­ellers wanted to choose their own ex­tras by spend­ing over $98 bn on air­line an­cil­lary ser­vices

An­ju­lika Dut­ton

Head of Sales Bri­tish Air­ways

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