News in brief:
British Airways to take 4 A380’s from Singapore Airlines?
A couple of weeks I wrote about the amazing new First Class Suites being fitted to the new A380 aircraft being received by Singapore Airlines.
These new planes are replacements for the first batch of A380 aircraft taken by Singapore Airlines, which were on a lease which has now expired. The current version of the A380 is lighter and has more fuel efficient engines and it made sense to switch over to newer aircraft.
The German leasing company is now trying to find a new home for these older planes, and it has named British Airways as one of the parties ‘in discussions’.
This is likely to be an exceptionally good deal for BA. There is currently no second hand market, at all, for the A380. Malaysia Airlines tried to sell its fleet but ended up deciding to turn them into 700-seat ‘all economy’ aircraft to serve the Hajj pilgrimage market to Saudi Arabia. Any deal which is more profitable than stripping the aircraft – the engines could be used for spares and cost over $40m each – is likely to be taken.
The talk is of a six year lease for the planes. If we ask nicely, perhaps BA will leave the Singapore Airlines First Class Suites installed ….
Virgin Trains discounts
We’ve mentioned the Virgin Red app before. It is a smartphone app which brings together various different Virgin Group companies (Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money, Virgin Active, Virgin Trains etc), offering discounts and competitions.
This week it is offering 30% off Virgin West Coast and East Coast train tickets. All Virgin Red members can take advantage, it seems, although you can only make one booking at this price. The discount is valid against any First or standard class Advance ticket. There are no date restrictions.
Virgin Trains West Coast has also given us advance notice of a big Black Friday sale running from Thursday 23rd November to Monday 27th November. This will offer a 50% discount, but only for travel between Monday 18th December 2017 to Sunday 14th January 2018.
PS. Virgin Red always offers a 20% discount on West Coast tickets to new members. If you have redeemed this offer before, uninstall the app and sign up again using new credentials. You will see the 20% discount link back on the app home screen. I did this for my trip to Manchester this week.
Take the train and the plane …..
A reader sent me a link to this fantastic You Tube video clip which shows a world so far gone it is hard to believe that it happened during my own lifetime.
La Flèche d’Argent was a mixed transport service that combines plane and trains to travel from Paris to London. A Parisian could take the train from Gare du Nord to Le Touquet, then board a British Caledonian plane to Gatwick. The surprising bit, as you see in the video, is that the plane literally pulls up next to the train and it is a 30-second walk between one and the other!