British Airways has ordered two Airbus A318 aircraft with which it plans to open an all-business transatlantic service between London City Airport and New York next year.

The Oneworld carrier says the A318s, the first of the type in its fleet, will be configured with 32 lie-flat seats.

BA will operate the flights to New York twice-daily. It has yet to give a specific starting date for the services but says they will commence sometime in 2009.

The connection will be the first scheduled service from London City to use the A318, which has been certified to conduct the steep approach to the downtown airport.


While BA has a dedicated London City operation, BA CityFlyer, the new premium flights will be operated by BA mainline.

This niche service will fly passengers between the hearts of the two largest financial centres in the world,  says BA chief executive Willie Walsh. The carrier will offer rapid check-in services in both cities.

BA has not stated which New York airport will be served. It operates eight times daily to JFK and thrice-daily to Newark from London Heathrow.

It has not given an engine selection for the A318s. BA operates nearly 70 A320-family aircraft and they are predominantly fitted with International Aero Engines V2500s, but only the Pratt & Whitney PW6000 and CFM International CFM56 are available on the A318.