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Bits: A380s to Iberia and Aer Lingus?, Qatar Airways raises stake in IAG

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News in brief:

Aer Lingus and Iberia to be A380 customers?

In this interesting article, Willie Walsh – Chief Executive of BA’s parent IAG – says that he is considering A380 aircraft for both Iberia and, as a one-off, Aer Lingus.

The last of the 12 aircraft ordered for British Airways will arrive next month and, back in January, Walsh also spoke of adding another 5-6 to the BA fleet.

Malaysia Airlines was looking to offload its A380 fleet of six aircraft.  These come with the Rolls-Royce engines which IAG is insisting upon in order to match the existing fleet.  This deal is now apparently off the table with Malaysia deciding to hold on to the planes.

Amazingly, Emirates is already planning to sell it first batch of A380s as being ‘too old’ but these are primarily GE / Pratt & Whitney powered.  Five early Singapore Airlines A380 aircraft with Rolls-Royce engines may also become available soon if, as is believed, Singapore does not renew their lease.

BA A380

Qatar Airways raises its stake in IAG

Qatar Airways announced yesterday that it has raised its stake in IAG, parent of British Airways, to 12%.

The airline had held 9.99% of IAG since last January.  Under European Union law, Qatar Airways is not allowed to buy more than 49.99% of IAG although there is no sign at the moment that it is interested in going that far.

Some commentators believe that Qatar is looking for ‘open skies’ slots in order to launch additional routes to the US and that Heathrow would be an obvious stopping point if BA can be persuaded to help out.

Comments (50)

  • Liz says:

    OT email just in from Curve confirming the bug has been fixed for online and CNP transactions.

  • mark2 says:

    OT
    I need to book a 241 soon and the 241 certificate is on my wife’s BAEC account but most of the Avios are in my name. Should I create a family account in BAEC? If so do I need to move the Avios to my BAEC account first? How easy is it to split the account afterwards?
    Alternatively, I could create an Avios joint account and then split it leaving all of the points in my wife’s name; would that be better?

    • Genghis says:

      Hi Mark. Is it you and your wife that want to fly using the 241? If so, create a BAEC household account (HHA) so your avios are pooled in the HHA. Then when you book a redemption, avios are taken from each individual avios account in proportion of the individual’s avios balance. Not too sure how easy it is to split afterwards – Avios accounts I believe are more fiddly.

      • mark2 says:

        Thanks Gengis. Splitting Avios accounts is very simple: you just download a form, complete, sign and return it and it happens quickly. You also have complete control over how the points are split.

        • Genghis says:

          OT but my MIL has a few thousand avios with no use for them. She lives in a different property to us. What’s the easiest way of transferring them to me?

          • harry says:

            She can temporarily live with you then it’s easy, just change her Avios address & add her to HH a/c.

  • Sussex Bantam says:

    Massively OT but – I took out an Economist subscription 12 months ago via the enhanced Iberia offer for 12,000 Avios IIRC. I want to renew but the current offer is only 4400 Avios.

    Anyone know how often the enhanced offer comes round ?

    • Genghis says:

      Not sure exactly but I signed up in Jan 16 for the 12k avios offer. A quick Google of ‘Head for Points Economist’ shows the offer was around in Nov 14 too.

    • mark2 says:

      Are you sure that you will get the points on a renewal?
      To make sure, I let mine lapse and took out a new one in my wife’s name.

  • zark says:

    Back to the A380 likes / dislikes. I have now flown BA A380 in business class 4 times and once seated I cannot tell the difference between being on an A380 or a 747. The business class seating layout and the actual seat used I think are exactly the same. Perhaps someone can correct me or point out what I am missing.
    However, for boarding and disembarkation, I have found that there are simply more people, so bigger queues for everything and what I find a particular nuisance is waiting for baggage on arrival: more people=more bags=more time.
    As a result, my preference is for anything BUT the A380 with BA long-haul.
    Cannot comment for the apparent excellent in-flight experiences with the likes of Qatar and Emirates which Raffles has described elsewhere, as I’m a regular Amex 2-4-1 long-haul Avios optimiser!

  • harry says:

    Going back to food on BA in Europe – I agree the sandwich & sweet bun thing are a waste of time – but the salad or veggie option is usually pretty good – at Easter it was a rather tasty cous cous/ Moroccan dish. And they can’t really spoil the booze, it might not be Champagne but of course the spirits are good, the beers are good & the wines are not too awful; coffee perfectly OK.

    I’d miss them!

  • harry says:

    O/T Amex – applied for Gold on Monday, cards arrived today – is this a record? 🙂

    Naturally for 22000 + 9000 bonus points.

    [Incidentally, DVLA are pretty good at turnaround on driving licence renewals – I did mine online 2 weeks ago, they used my passport photo (ie already held by Govt agency) and the new licence arrived 2 days later!

    For my hat-trick, last year my passport renewal was an amazingly fast turnaround, about 5 working days – pays to apply out of season and they just add on any spare months from the old one to your new 10 years validity.]

    • Genghis says:

      I thought you’d be a platinum, Harry? 35k+18k

      • harry says:

        I don’t actually like to game it that much with cards, ie I’ll not really churn the Golds, just time it to not pay £140 year 2. With platinum, to make it stack up I’d be obtaining, spending through then cancelling again inside a month (to reduce the fee) – & I’m personally not over-happy with that idea. I know that plenty here do that, no problem you reprobates 🙂 . I know others justify the fee with the insurance & PP benefits plus hotel status – I couldn’t do that either.

        • Talay says:

          Pretty much where I am on the Platinum debate. Still not using Gold either so should really rectify that for wife and myself 🙂

    • Callum says:

      Not “any spare months”, up to 9. (Not me just being pedantic! My passport will need to be renewed 2 years early as it’s almost full, but will only keep 9 of those months).

  • pauldb says:

    OT. I got sent some Tesco codes including
    XXJJHJ 500pts for £50 wine (by 22nd May)

  • John Wallace says:

    O/T. Whilst you are talking about CC . I am fairly new to generating avios via credit cards . I did take out a lloyds dual card 18 months ago and are still using for a very low amount of avios each month. Although I do spend 1K per month. I have read the curve discussions and think I understand the concept . So, my question is if YOU were going to apply for another Amex would it be BA PP or Amex Gold / Plat ? . Who has the best sign up deals at the moment ??? . Then I would need to open Curve also to ensure Amex can be used everywhere ??

    Thanks for the help !

    • Johnnycl says:

      Check out the April Credit Cards tab at the top of the page for the current offers. Personally I would go for the BA card now due to the extra points offer then move on to Amex Gold for a free 20k points in a couple of months.

    • mark2 says:

      IMO it depends whether you are going to aim for a 241. Remember that BAPP has a £195 annual fee including the first year. The sign up is about the same. Of course you can have the other once you have met the spend requirement.

      • Genghis says:

        To add to what’s already been said, depending where you want to go, a 241 is only good to go for if you already (or will) have a stack of avios

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