BA is going to launch a service between City Airport and New York in 2009 and will offer a 15-minute check-in before flights in both London and New York.
The double daily service will use Airbus A318 jets, the smallest aircraft made by Airbus, which were certified last year to use the restricted short runway at City airport. BA said it had ordered two A318s, which would be equipped with only 32 business class seats, that convert into fully flat beds.
The convenience of City airport for the City and Docklands will undoubtedly provide a competitive threat to the all-business class services launched in the last couple of years by the start-up carriers Eos and Silverjet, albeit one suspects they will remain the cheaper option.
One wonders if paranoid bankers will dare travel on the service given that they are guaranteed to be surrounded by preying eyes/ears from competitors. Conversely, grabbing one of only 32 available seats will undoubtedly carrying some bragging rights over colleagues “forced” to travel to/from Heathrow.
I reckon that BA will find itself with full flights each day, but they’ll have to take care not to overbook given that there are no alternates in easy reach and these passengers are not going to respond well to being bumped. Likewise, any flight delays are going to leave passengers at City stranded.