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British Airways marks 5th year of business class flights to NYC

British Airways recently celebrated its fifth anniversary of the launch of its business class flights between London and New York. This is the airline’s last surviving “business class only” service between the two destinations. The airline had to face severe criticism because of the massive gamble it played when it launched its premium service particularly during the recession.

Ever since the launch of its service from September 30, 2009, the airline has been operating twice-daily flights connecting Docklands’ London City airport with New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The airline has so far carried 200,000 passengers.

The launch of the flights between the two destinations was considered to be ill-timed as it took place just after only a year when the world economy faced turmoil with a sharp decline in the bookings of first class and business class tickets. This was the period when three business class-only airlines Silverjet, Eos and Maxjet had already collapsed.

The flight is advantageous for the passengers with only a 15-minute check-in service with only hand baggage, thus enabling the passengers to save the 1-and-half hour slog across London to Heathrow from Docklands.

The airline is operating the flight with the help of an Airbus 318 aircraft configured with a carrying capacity of only 32 passengers. The flight is conducted via Ireland’s Shannon airport enabling the passengers to clear U.S. immigration process from hear in advance and save time.

Abigail Comber, British Airways’ Head of Marketing, said that the airline is quite surprised and delighted to see the growing popularity of its business class-only London-New York JFK route. He said that it is a matter of great satisfaction that it’s five years now and the route is still going strong.

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