British Airways has confirmed more details of its business class only operation from London's downtown airport, but the Big Apple choice is delayed
Although not due to be introduced until autumn 2009 British Airways has released more details of its eagerly expected twice-daily service between London City Airport and New York. What has not been established is the choice of airports at Big Apple, Kennedy or Newark, both owned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Flights will be operated by Airbus A318 aircraft, the largest plane that can take-off and land at London City Airport. The service - the only long haul flights to and from London City - will offer a one-cabin business class product with 32 seats. Customers will enjoy a specially designed personal onboard service that will include a flat bed and a dining service similar to that of British Airways' Club World business class. There will be a 15-minute cut-off for check-in and passengers can be expected to be landside in less than ten minutes of touchdown.
Due to the prevailing winds it is not possible for the A318 to operate direct both ways and a refuelling stop has now been confirmed westbound at Shannon on Ireland's Atlantic coast. Passengers will benefit from the existing special arrangement that allow travellers from Shannon to complete the USA arrivals checks at the airport. Whether the immigration authorities will actually come on board the aircraft during the short stopover remains to be seen, but with the small numbers involved it is a practical possibility.
New York is rather like London in that it has two large international airports. JFK (Kennedy) to the east of Manhattan is the larger in terms of worldwide connections and is the hub for BA's Oneworld partner American Airlines. It has in recent years been extensively rebuilt, but does not have direct rail connections to Manhattan, only a subway change at Jamaica station. Newark, to the west in New Jersey, and also known as Liberty International, is essentially the home of Continental Airlines, and is served by a monorail which links to Amtrack and a fast ride to Penn Station near Times Square.