BA's Business Service May Expand

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British Airways nine-month-old experiment with a business jet-style service between the convenient London City Airport and JFK has apparently been successful enough that the airline is considering similar service to Boston, Chicago and Washington. The Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation says BA is reporting 75-percent loads on the New York route, which harkens to the golden age of aviation since it involves a fuel stop at Shannon, Ireland. That's because the biggest airliner that can squeeze into London City, sometimes referred to as a STOLport because of its 6-degree approaches, is an A318. These aren't the usual A318 configuration with cheek-to-cheek and knees-to-seat-ahead seating, however.

The aircraft have 100-percent 2x2 seating and the seats become 32-inch by 6-foot lie-flat beds. The fuel stop in Shannon actually turns into a bonus for the business crowd aboard because they can clear U.S. customs there while the tanks are filled for the remainder of the trip across the pond. Onboard internet, U.S. and British electrical outlets and 15-minute check-in for carry-on passengers are among the other amenities. BA is also touting the "anonymity" of the service for customers worried about the perception of private aircraft travel.