A few days ago, I wrote about the IAG Capital Markets day, an event primarily aimed at investors, but also of interest to passengers, provided you were happy to wade through the 126 slide PowerPoint deck.
On Monday, Alex Cruz, the CEO of British Airways, spoke at the World Travel Market in London, and made a few other interesting announcements that weren’t touched on in the capital markets day.
Firstly, British Airways is launching a new route to Figari in Corsica, from next summer, departing from Heathrow, once a week on Saturdays.
There were also a variety of product announcements including the promise of at seat power at every seat, as they refurbish their aircraft. This will be rolled out in conjunction with wifi, and in my view is essential. This is likely to be done at the same time as the add yet more seats to shorthaul aircraft. The A320 and A321 aircraft will have the cupboard removed on the A-C side and a plain bulkhead added instead, in order to fit an extra set of seats in.
For economy passengers, there was an acknowledgement that on long haul snacks would be improved and they would be returning a full second meal service, rather than the single fun size Mars-bar per passenger. On shorthaul they also want to do something for those very frequent travellers that find themselves down the back. What that turns out to be, remains to be seen.
Club Europe catering will also be revamped. Whilst the food on the “long” flights is actually pretty good, the offering on the shorter ones is pretty woeful. Below left, is the main course from one of these “long” flights and below right is all you get on a shorter flight.
As mentioned at the Capital Markets Day, the investment in Club World increases from £400m to £600m, however it’s not clear what that entails.
Finally, the Concorde Room in London also has new furtniture – there are a number of photos on this thread over at Flyertalk showing them in the wild. The photos in this article are from the official BA press release.
Whilst it’s great to see new furniture as some of the old items were in a frankly shocking state, I’m not a fan of the new aesthetic.
There seems to be no continuity in the brand, in the passenger journey, in the selection of items between the lounge and what’s on board the aircraft. There are so many different items, there’s simply no co-ordination or recognisable motifs.
Compared to the thought that Swiss have put into their entire end-to-end brand, I really think they’re missing a trick. This short video shows some of the attention to detail.