PICTURE: BA's A318 performs first tests at London City

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British Airways' new Airbus A318 has conducted its first test flights at London City Airport, from where the carrier will launch its all-business service to New York.

The aircraft is pictured here operating on runway 27 at the downtown airport, a week after BA took delivery of the 32-seat twin-jet.

Crews are being trained to conduct the 5.5° steep approach to City, which has a declared available landing distance of 1,319m (4,330ft).

ba a318 lcy
 © Vic Abbott

BA is to begin the 'Club World London City' transatlantic flights to JFK on 29 September.

Owing to the short runway length, which creates payload restrictions, the A318 will make a 45min westbound technical stop at Shannon.

But passengers will be able to clear US immigration during the stop, whereupon the aircraft will depart to domestic arrivals at New York. The eastbound return will be non-stop to City.