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British Airways applies to wet lease three Qatar Airways A330 aircraft

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As cover for its troublesome Boeing 787-9 fleet, British Airways has applied to the CAA for permission to wet lease three Qatar Airways long-haul aircraft for the period of 1st June to 30th September.  A ‘wet lease’ is where the aircraft comes with crew.

There is no guarantee that the request will be granted.  My understanding is that BA has to show that there are no comparable aircraft available for wet lease within the EU.  Clearly BA pilots and cabin crew would only want the airline to use significantly lower-paid Qatar-based crew in exceptional circumstances.

The three aircraft involved are Airbus A330.

It is not clear what BA is getting.  Here is the ‘Our Fleet’ page of the Qatar Airways website but if you believe that then you will see that no A330 aircraft have fully flat Business Class seats.  That is not true.  In reality, most (all?) now have a fully flat seat in a 2 x 2 x 2 forward facing formation.

What IS certain is that there is no Premium Economy on these aircraft so anyone who has booked World Traveller Plus will have to accept a downgrade, a refund or a different flight.  As these aircraft will be used on flights departing in as little as three weeks, customers will struggle to find a replacement at a sensible price.

It is not clear at present which routes will use these aircraft.  As the Business Class cabin is small (5 rows) I doubt it will be a straight swap for routes currently flying the Boeing 787-9.  One option could be that the new aircraft go to Gatwick and are used on leisure routes, freeing up aircraft for use at Heathrow.

There is a little more information on FlightGlobal here.

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Comments (126)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Mark Smith says:

    O/T, just instructed my first marriott reward to SPG transfer, how long does this take from experience? Got an email confirming the transfer immediately and my Marriott account balance reflects the transfer but they arent showing in SPG…thanks!

    • Rob says:

      Log out, log in

    • KSB says:

      When I have transferred it usually takes around 2 days to show up in the other account

    • Stu N says:

      It should be instant.

      • Genghis says:

        I had to wait an hour or so last time of logging in and out for points to transfer from SPG->Marriott.

    • @andrewseftel says:

      Certainly it can be weird moving in the other direction (SPG->Marriott). In the past, I’ve managed to have two different (old and new) points balances showing on the same page. Must be a couple different Marriott systems under the hood. Was frustrating when I could see I had enough points for a redemption in my account, but the booking engine disagreed!

  • Stu N says:

    OT: Just got a new Amex credit card but the credit limit is only £1,000 so it is pretty much useless. It replaces one that had a £12k limit; I cancelled that a couple of weeks ago. Has anyone had any luck in getting limits reviewed straight away? If so, how?

    • Lumma says:

      Is it your only AMEX at the moment? When my new gold arrived it said I could move the credit from one of my other AMEX credit cards if I needed more

      • Stu N says:

        Thanks – might try that. I have another card with what I consider to be an excessive limit – if I could move some of that over that would be fine.

        • Lumma says:

          “included with your card you will find your new credit limit, which was assigned based on your existing credit with us. If you would like to adjust the distribution of your credit limits between your cards, please call us”

          From the letter, so I think you should be able to sort it

      • Polly says:

        Yes we moved credit from one card to another earlier this year. Amex great at this stuff.

        • Stu N says:

          Thanks both. If that wording was in my letter then I didn’t pick up on it. I will give them a call over the weekend.

  • KevMc says:

    O/T I got IC Ambassador in October/November (when they had their Black Friday sale). By January, I still hadn’t received my Free Night Certificate, so they sent me another one, which I have since used.

    Yesterday, the first welcome pack they sent me finally arrived in the post(!) with the original free night certificate. Does anyone have any idea what my chances are of this one being valid/honoured if I were to book using it?

    • Craig says:

      I’d be interested too, I’m in the same boat but haven’t used the first one yet.

      • Matt says:

        I have two vouchers too because of similar issues. I’m using the offer at the IC Barclay in 2 weeks, and I’ll be taking both vouchers. I’ll hand over the original voucher and if that works, I’ll assume that the second voucher will work on a future stay (although I’ll only book a stay where I can afford both nights just in case I run into trouble). I’ll report back.

    • Kevin says:

      I bought Ambassador in January and still haven’t had a certificate. Maybe I should chase it.

  • Andrew says:

    OT BITS.

    I’m looking at an Expedia package for an IHG trip. The hotel is one with a “resort fee”. I know I won’t earn IHG points on the room through Expedia, but should I earn points on the resort fee?

    • HAM76 says:

      If the rate doesn‘t qualify, you don‘t get any points on extra spend either.

  • Paul says:

    I think it will be unlikely to see the Qatar 330’s flying for BA, BA apply for CAA permission at the stage where they invite Qatar to make an offer.

    Just like the recent short haul wet leases, they applied to the CAA for Qatar, then never used them, likely due to price. Qatar don’t seem to be as desperate so not offering such cheap prices.

    Still possible though!

    • Lumma says:

      I thought they were used for short haul?

      • Paul says:

        They were used to cover the strikes, not the recent extra LGW slots, despite putting in a CAA application.

  • Stewart says:

    OT – trying to add a Radisson/Carlson account to my MR account to transfer some points across, and getting a ‘can’t add account at this time, try later or call’ message. Anyone had success adding a Radisson account recently? ie is it actually a temporary fault, or am I going to have to call anyway?


    • Mark says:

      I had this problem a year ago and had to call them. They sorted it OK – something to do with the membership no. not tallying with their records IIRC.

  • thehornets says:

    O/T: 500 free Marriott Rewards points for a tweet.

    Is back and folloes exactly the same process as used for the recent NFL promo:

    1) if you have not done so, connect your Marriott account to your social media accounts (and get some free points)

    2) Tweet a photo of an autograph hotel including the following:
    #MembersGetIt #ExactlyLikeNothingElse @autographhotels @MarriottRewards

    This should work one time and you should get an automated response quite quickly confirming your 500 points. You may also be able to retweet someone else’s for the same result.


    • Jonny says:

      thanks for the tip

    • Steven says:

      I looked on google for this as it wasn’t showing as an option on my Marriott Rewards page, it linked to Chripify who would connect Marriott to my social media. I read the terms which said:
      “This application will be able to:
      Read Tweets from your timeline.
      See who you follow, and follow new people.
      Update your profile.
      Post Tweets for you.
      Access your direct messages.
      See your email address.”

      I prefer my privacy… Is there another way to get the points?

      • Pangolin says:

        For this kind of thing I created a Twitter account that I don’t use for anything else apart from promos, etc.

    • Russell Evans says:

      Thanks very much – worked for me right away!

  • Arnold says:


    IHG have changed the style of the Ambassador voucher, IIRC last year’s didn’t include my name. Is this a ploy to block the resale market?

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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