Aviation News

August 20, 2009

New British Airways London City (LCY) – New York (JFK) Club World Service Begins September 29th

ba-a318
British Airways will inaugurate their much anticipated—and somewhat controversial—”Club World” service between London City Airport and JFK Airport in New York on September 29th.

The new flights will operate daily (except Saturday, when LCY is closed) on the carrier’s two brand new Airbus A318 aircraft. Because of the short runways at London City, westbound flights will depart without a full fuel load, instead stopping at Shannon, Ireland (SNN) to top off the Jet-A, as well as to allow passengers to clear US Immigration and Customs.

Both aircraft to be used on the route are arranged in a unique, 32-seat all-business-class configuration with lie-flat seats. It is no coincidence that BA has assigned former Concorde flight numbers to signify the level of service aboard these flights.

The Shannon stop is scheduled for 40 minutes, which, combined with the comparatively slower cruise speed of the baby ‘bus, pegs the total block time at nearly 9 1/2 hours on the New York-bound leg, quite a bit longer than a BA 747 LHR-JFK flight. London City, however, allows travelers to check-in up to 15 minutes before the flight, compared to at least an hour at Heathrow. For travelers leaving from the Canary Wharf area of London, the central location of LCY also cuts significant travel time compared to the trek to LHR. Throw in the SNN immigration processing and westbound travelers may be able to make it to Wall Street in the same time frame as one of BA’s traditional widebody flights, albeit for a premium price.

This flight has been in the works for nearly two years now, with planning beginning long before the finance firms of Canary Wharf and Wall Street fell off a cliff in late 2008. BA ordered these aircraft specifically for this super-premium service, but these days there is a giant question mark as to whether BA can find 32 people—or even a dozen—willing to pay $10,000 for a round trip across the pond.

For JFK spotters, this should be a double treat: No one on this side of the pond gets to see British Airways Airbuses, and there are not currently any other A318s serving JFK. The early evening arrival time should allow enough sunlight for decent photos, especially during the summer months.

Schedule

BA001
ETD LCY 12:40
ETA JFK 17:05

BA002
ETD JFK 18:30
ETA LCY 07:05

In October, BA will add a second round trip.

BA003
ETD LCY 16:00
ETA JFK 20:25

BA004
ETD JFK 21:50
ETA LCY 50:25


  • concernedinnewham

    Firstly this idea is bound to fail. BA have already said that if this doesn't work that the planes will be sent to Dubai!
    Secondly London City Airport is not closed on Saturdays it's open from 6.30am until 1pm.

    If articles are going to be written to report the facts more than just the spin at least get some of you facts right.

    • Michael F

      Apparently the route is succeeding – reports are that they started turning a profit after less than 3 months of operation…

  • concernedinnewham

    Firstly this idea is bound to fail. BA have already said that if this doesn't work that the planes will be sent to Dubai!
    Secondly London City Airport is not closed on Saturdays it's open from 6.30am until 1pm.

    If articles are going to be written to report the facts more than just the spin at least get some of you facts right.

  • Michael F

    Apparently the route is succeeding – reports are that they started turning a profit after less than 3 months of operation…