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British Airways Showcases £7 Billion Transformation Plan at its First “In the Skies’ Event in London

British Airways has today unveiled a new website and mobile app, new seats, and free onboard messaging as part of the carrier’s £7.0 billion transformation plan.

British Airways Unveils a Range of Innovations as Part of Their £7.0 Billion Transformation Plan at the First ‘In the Skies’ Showcase in London – Courtesy British Airways

On Tuesday (March 5, 2024), British Airways showcased a series of new products and services at their first ‘In the Skies’ event in London.  As part of the airline’s £7.0 billion transformation plan, over 600 modernization initiatives are being rolled out, including a new website and mobile app, free onboard messaging, new short-haul seat, a new First Class suite and more. Other enhancements include multi-million pound cutting-edge technology systems featuring AI and machine learning that will help flights depart on time.  The carrier will also create 350 new jobs at London Heathrow (LHR), and deploy the first-ever Microsoft Connected Teams ground-to air customer care solution.

In Tuesday’s announcement, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle, said,

“We’re on a journey to a better BA for our people and for our customers, underpinned by a transformation programme that will see us invest £7bn over the next two years to revolutionise our business.  We’re going to take delivery of new aircraft, introduce new cabins, elevate our customer care, focus on operational performance and address our environmental impact by reducing our emissions and creating a culture of sustainability.  We’re also heavily investing in the development of a new website and app and are laser-focused on transforming our business and fixing any pain points for our customers.”  

From April 3rd, British Airways Executive Club Members Will be Able to Send Messages Free of Charge Using the Carrier’s Wi-Fi - Courtesy British Airways

As part of the airline’s investment program, British Airways will overhaul their digital user experience with a new website and mobile app offering more personalization.  The new website is in BETA testing and will offer a range of new features, such as empowering customers to self-serve if they wish, making changes to their itineraries online, rather than via the airline’s customer care centers.  Initial changes will begin to rollout by the end of 2024.  From April 3rd, British Airways Executive Club members will be able to send messages free of charge using the carrier’s Wi-Fi, regardless of the cabin they are traveling in.  The complimentary service will be available on all Wi-Fi enabled aircraft within two weeks of rollout. 

British Airways has also become the first airline to offer a Wi-Fi enabled onboard customer care solution to solve issues instantly, even at 35,000 feet.  Created expressly for British Airways by Microsoft, Customer care teams on the ground can now connect with cabin crew members across over 300 flights daily, allowing crew to help solve unexpected issues before landing at one of the airline’s over 200 destinations.  The company is also investing £100 million in AI, machine learning and automation across operations, driving improvements from bookings to baggage handling, and the ability to speed up departures and respond to disruptions.  New tools are helping to predict delays, analyze real-time weather, and evaluate aircraft capacity and customer connection data to allow teams to make agile, informed decisions.

As previously mentioned, British Airways is creating approximately 350 new roles at London Heathrow to improve the guest experience, and is also investing in new airport ground services equipment (GSE) such as baggage tugs and towing vehicles.  The carrier is also investing £750 million in IT infrastructure, with plans to move 700 systems and servers to the cloud by early 2025.

The airline has also revealed plans to open a brand new lounge in Dubai, with the original lounge relocating to a larger space at Dubai International Airport (DXB) later this year.  This will be the first lounge to feature British Airways’ new lounge design concept, followed by the opening of the Miami lounge in 2025.  The carrier has also announced plans to refresh lounges in Lagos and Seattle, following recent lounge refurbishments at London Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and 3, as well as in Edinburgh, Scotland.

British Airways' New Airbus A320neo and A321neo Aircraft will Feature New Seats and a New Cabin Design - Courtesy British Airways

Additionally, British Airways’ next generation Airbus A320neos and A321neos will feature new short-haul seats and cabin interiors, including larger overhead bins, with eight aircraft expected for delivery from May 2024.  The company is collaborating with the best British suppliers from England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the new short-haul Euro Traveller and Club Europe seats will reflect a modern, yet distinctly British aesthetic.  As the only European airline offering First Class between the UK and U.S., British Airways is also introducing a brand new, exclusive First Class suite, which is expected to debut at the end of 2025 into early 2026, as part of their Airbus A380 refurbishment program.

British Airways' Schedule From London to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur - Courtesy British Airways

Finally, British Airways has announced the addition of new and resumed routes across their extensive global network.  Flights from London to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur will restart in October and November, respectively.  The London Heathrow-Kuala Lumpur route will operate daily from November 10, 2024 with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner featuring eight First Class, 42 Club, 39 World Traveller Plus, and 127 World Traveller seats.  Three weekly flights between London Gatwick (LGW) and Bangkok will resume on October 28th with a Boeing 777-200ER featuring 32 Club, 48 World Traveller Plus and 252 World Traveller seats.  Additionally, flights to Agadir in Morocco will resume on March 31st, service to Abu Dhabi on April 20th, and new flights to Izmir, Turkey will commence on May 18, 2024.


Source: British Airways


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