British Airways has indicated that the suspension of one of its twice daily premium London City-JFK services could be permanent, after apparently getting rid of one of the two aircraft that operate the route.
The airline’s 09.50 London City-JFK flight will operate throughout this summer and into the next winter season, according to ba.com, but the second daily service, suspended last November, will not be reinstated.
BA operates the all-business class New York run from the Docklands airport using specially modified Airbus A318s. Because the flight cannot leave London City’s short runway with a full fuel load, the service operates via Shannon on the outward leg. Passengers disembark here and clear US Customs and Immigration, saving time on arrival in the US. The flight operates non-stop on the return to the UK.
In 2012, US immigration officials told the airline they would only provide staff at Shannon to cover one flight a day, meaning that passengers on the second daily service lost the benefit of pre-clearance. Despite this, the airline continued its second service until November last year.
The carrier has now indicated that the second frequency will be axed permanently, as one of the Airbus A318s used has reportedly been returned to a leasing company and will switch to Titan Airways to be used for executive charters.
A BA spokesperson declined to comment on fleet changes but said: “There are no plans to end the London City – New York route.” She added: “As with every route, we keep things under review.”