September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
BILLA, a well-known supermarket chain in Austria, has launched its own airline after witnessing a strong increase in demand for its travel agency services. Like many retailers, Billa has been looking to diversify its activities and in 1998 it established its own travel agency ITS Billa-Reisen. This simply operated as a minor arm of the business but, according to senior management, a strong up-turn in demand has encouraged the airline to grow into this new market. The airline has joined forces with German operator LTU, who are operating a single Airbus A320 under a wet-lease partnership and talks have already begun to possibly expand the fleet with a second aircraft by the end of the year. Billa is operating from various Austrian airports, serving destinations throughout the Mediterranean, and anticipates carrying over 100,000 holidaymakers during its first year of operation. Others in the retail business are understood to be looking at the option of following Billa into the airline business, so perhaps in just a couple of years we could soon be departing on holidays with Tesco Airways and Air Morrissons.