There is still a big question mark over how British Airways will operate for the next couple of months. IAG, BA’s parent company, has said that it intends to ground 75% of flights from April but that number was not broken out between Iberia, BA, Aer Lingus, Vueling and LEVEL.
On Wednesday I spoke to a friend who works at BA and he outlined the current thinking to me. This is NOT heresay – I have seen written confirmation of what is outlined below. That said, the situation is clearly moving quickly and this plan could easily end up on the back burner.
75% of the long-haul schedule will be cancelled
The ONLY long-haul aircraft which will be flying are the new Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 fleets – these are generally smaller aircraft and very fuel efficient, with the newest interiors
The entire A380, Boeing 777 and Boeing 747 fleets are to be parked. The 747 retirement plan has been accelerated and many of these aircraft will never fly again for BA.
The medium-term position of short-haul routes is not clear. A substantial number of services have already been cancelled but a core minimum is likely to remain if the Government allows.
Terminal 5C is to be closed. This will be used to park aircraft (there are 22 stands available).
Short-haul aircraft are already being sent elsewhere where possible. Aircraft are already parked at Glasgow, Southend, Norwich and Cardiff.
British Airways will leave Terminal 3, with all flights moved to Terminal 5. (There are separate rumours that Terminal 4 will be closed entirely and the 50 or so daily flights moved to Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.)
The Concorde Room lounge in Terminal 5 will be closed (this happened yesterday) and parts of the Terminal 5 check-in and security areas closed. We already know that the Galleries North and Terminal 5B Galleries lounges have closed.
As I said above, this plan may not survive a collision with reality, but as of a couple of days ago it was the current strategy.