Aviation News

June 14, 2012

In Possible Financing Move, British Airways Launches New Subsidiary to Operate Existing A318 Transatlantic Flights

The British Airways baby bus G-EUNA on final approach to New York's JFK Airport. (Photo by Kaz T)
The British Airways baby bus G-EUNA on final approach to New York's JFK Airport. (Photo by Kaz T)
British Airways is launching a new subsidiary called British Airways Limited.

Under a wet lease agreement with British Airways, the new company will operate BA’s existing premium transatlantic Airbus A318 service between London City Airport and New York JFK. It will have its own air operator’s certificate and has sought clearance to codeshare these flights with Oneworld partners Iberia and American Airlines.

The US Department of Transportation has already approved the major aspects of the transition though in a formality, has blocked American Airlines from codesharing on the flights until AA conducts a safety review of the “new” airline.

It seems British Airways Ltd. flights will not use the classic British Airways “Speedbird” callsign, but instead, “Gherkin,” likely an homage to the pickle-shaped skyscraper in London’s financial district.

This move by BA is thought to be linked to future financing, however BA has been reluctant to discuss its decision beyond saying that “We are in the process of exploring a variety of options related to potential new sources of finance,” a rep told Flightglobal.

The A318′s used on the service seat up to 32 people and land in Shannon, Ireland, enroute to New York City for refueling and for passengers to clear US immigration. Flights from New York to London operate without the stop.

The name British Airways Limited was last used by a company founded in the 1930′s. It eventually merged into British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC), which later merged with British European Airways to form the modern day British Airways.

Matt, founder and owner of the MCPCShowcaseHD Channel on YouTube is a keen aviation enthusiast. Having dedicated a lot of time and energy, Matt has now filmed over 500 videos of aircraft across the UK. Apart from filming he also enjoys the business side of aviation and now runs his own blog, which focuses on aviation related news and support pages for his YouTube Channel.