16 MARCH 2020
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British Airways has cancelled its prestige operation from London City Airport to New York John F Kennedy International Airport. Prior to President Trump's announcement of a UK – US flight ban, the airline had already confirmed the route's demise, at least for the immediate future.
Using a pair of specially-adapted 32-seat all-Business Class Airbus A318s, the service initially provided a twice-weekdaily service via Shannon (for flight-deck changes and immigration), later reduced to a single flight. It was non-stop back and proved popular with a very small Canary Wharf elite.
The London City – Kennedy operation was introduced in 2008. IAG CEO Willie Walsh got the timing all wrong but the service highlighted London’s central area airport to a large new audience. Peak passenger numbers were 23,953 in 2014 dropping to 10,514 in 2018, due to a single aircraft operation by then. By that time, the US authorities were prepared to offer immigration pre-clearance at Shannon only for the late-morning service.
In March 2017, a Bombardier C100 (later becoming the Airbus A220) flew LCY – JFK non-stop with a dummy full payload. Any future for the route is expected with that aircraft. BA is looking at an Embraer replacement, and in the US, Delta is now an operator of the Airbus A220-100.
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