British Airways celebrates a cracker of 2018
With 2018 drawing to a close, British Airways is celebrating flying high in the last 12 months with additional investment for customers now totalling £6.5bn. Here’s a recap of what’s changed at British Airways over the last year.
Network and new fares
In 2018 the airline offered its most extensive choice of flights in more than a decade, with more than a dozen new routes, including Marrakech, Durban, Nashville and the Seychelles. More new routes have been announced for 2019, including Charleston, Pittsburgh and Osaka.
Customers travelling light were able to take advantage of the airline’s new long-haul basic fare on routes to the US and around the world, with fares from £143. They can reduce this cost even further by using their Avios.
18 new aircraft for 2018
For 2018 British Airways introduced 18 new fuel-efficient aircraft to its fleet of almost 300 planes – including its 30th 787, plus A320 and 21neos, and Embraer for BA CityFlyer. The airline’s 767 fleet was retired to make way for more new aircraft, arriving next year.
Work continued at pace to refresh existing long-haul cabins – with all seats being equipped with state-of-the-art entertainment systems and direct access to power.
During 2018, British Airways began installing its industry-leading streaming WiFi on long-haul aircraft – all short-haul aircraft will be fitted with the system by next summer. This exciting development allows customers to use their own devices to live stream TV programmes and movies.
The airline’s website, BA.com, received a refresh and achieved record sales. There were enhancements for the hugely popular BA app, including adding Apple’s Siri voice service on the iPhone. A new reward app was also released to help British Airways’ Executive Club members discover new ways to collect and spend Avios – including selecting seats on flights, as well as spending on flights, car hire, hotels, excursions, etc.
The airline is focused on providing customers with a seamless and efficient journey through the airport. Throughout the year it continued to pioneer facial recognition airport technology. British Airways was the first airline to install biometric technology at Heathrow – enabling it to board domestic (UK) flights in half the usual time. It also began using the same technology to speedily board aircraft in Orlando, Los Angeles, New York and Miami.
Departing on time is important to customers, and as such, the airline became the first to introduce remote-controlled devices to push back aircraft, helping it to maintain its status as the most punctual of the three-big short-haul carriers flying from London, and reducing pushback delays by more than 70 per cent. Trials are now underway on long-haul aircraft.