BA considers other premium US routes from London City

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British Airways is considering expansion of its all-business London City flights to other destinations in the eastern USA, following the opening of New York services last September.

The carrier's chief executive, Willie Walsh, told ATI in London yesterday that the airline had received plenty of feedback suggesting other destinations - among them Washington and Boston - and stated that BA was looking at their potential.

But Walsh stresses that the all-business Airbus A318 service is only a few months old and, although it achieved a load factor of 75% in December, he is keen to ensure the operation is stable before embarking on expansion.

BA had looked at operating a City service to Dubai, he adds, but the runway length in London restricts the available range.

All-premium carriers Eos Airlines and Silverjet had both been operating, or preparing to operate, the London-Dubai route before the airlines collapsed in 2008.

While the City runway restriction forces a westbound stop of the BA A318 in Shannon, Walsh says that the ability to clear US immigration controls at Shannon enables the layover time to be put to use.

But this stop could not be justified in many other potential markets from City, he says, and even the New York interruption is not ideal: "We'd fly non-stop to JFK if we could."

BA's other all-premium carrier, the subsidiary OpenSkies, has just disclosed that it plans to operate to Washington from Paris Orly. The airline already serves Paris-Newark.