News Article | October 24, 2016
Chengdu was where British business would fly to and build trade links if only Heathrow was big enough, according to prominent backers of airport expansion. But less than three years after British Airways found a Heathrow slot to fly to the Chinese megacity, and on the eve of a decision to build a new runway, the airline has dropped the route because it is not commercially viable. BA launched direct flights to Chengdu, its fourth Chinese destination, in late 2013, and ran return flights five times a week. Even after having trimmed down the frequency and switched to a smaller, Boeing 787 plane, BA has confirmed that the service will end this January. Before it announced the new service, the lack of links to Chengdu had been highlighted by Heathrow and politicians as a major example of how capacity constraints at the airport were stopping Britain connecting to the world, especially to “emerging markets”. However, it now appears few people want to fly there. Launching Heathrow’s first submission to the Airports Commission in November 2012, the airport’s chief executive, Colin Matthews, said a lack of capacity was limiting Britain’s ability to connect to growing cities in emerging markets, such as Chengdu in China. Two months earlier, the lack of direct flights to Chengdu was highlighted in an intervention from senior Conservatives that prompted the then prime minister, David Cameron, to set up Sir Howard Davies’s commission and pave the way for expansion. In the opening line of an article demanding whether Cameron was “man or mouse”, MP Tim Yeo wrote: “What better way to kickstart Britain’s sluggish economy than by boosting trade with China? Perhaps with Chongqing, with 28 million consumers, many enjoying rising incomes. Or Chengdu, with 14 million.” A year before that, the then mayor of London, Boris Johnson, lamented the Chengdu-goer’s plight as he again argued for more runway capacity. “We are making it harder for British business people to get to the future megacities from London than from our competitor airports. If you want to fly to Chengdu … you can get there direct from one of London’s Continental rivals – but you can’t get there from Heathrow,” he said in a comment piece. In a statement, BA said on Monday: “We regret that we have decided to suspend the Heathrow to Chengdu route. We have a proud tradition of flying to China but despite operating this route for three years it is not commercially viable.” Willie Walsh, the chief executive of BA’s parent company IAG, has previously blamed the British visa regime for the disappointing traffic on the route. Aviation analyst John Strickland said: “I think what it shows is that China is not a mature aviation market outside the very established markets … But if you are going to allow a route to develop, you definitely need a hub airport like Heathrow where you can count on transfer passengers to support the point-to-point until the route reaches maturity.” A spokeswoman for the airport said a “degree of ebb and flow on demand on specific routes” was normal, adding: “The record shows Heathrow overall has gained and maintained new long-haul routes that are so critical for the British economy.” Destinations in emerging markets such as Vietnam and Indonesia were among the six long-haul routes added since 2010, she said. A spokesperson for Gatwick, which still hopes to beat Heathrow in building London’s next runway, said: “Lack of current connectivity to some markets – in China for instance – is less to do with capacity and more to do with lack of demand. When slots have become available, airlines at Heathrow have been consistently adding capacity on these profitable routes – such as North America and Europe – rather than use them for emerging markets.” BA’s 787 plane and Heathrow slot will be used to fly to New Orleans instead.
News Article | May 25, 2017
Norwich-based Broadland Housing Group is delighted to announce four new appointments to its board. -- Siobhan Trice and Samantha England join as tenant board members, while Chris Ewbank and Dr Simon Hibberd join as independents. All four have been co-opted onto the Board and will face formal election by shareholders at the AGM in September.Chris Ewbank will, subject to election by shareholders, succeed Jenny Manser as Chair in the autumn. Jenny has been interim Chair since last summer, when Alison Inman, who was elected Chair in 2015, had to resign from the Board due to ill health. Jenny is planning to retire from the Board at the 2017 AGM after 9 years of service to the Group.is the Chief Financial Officer/Senior Bursar of St John's College, Cambridge, responsible for the college's £525 million endowment, human resources, strategic planning, governance, regulatory compliance and fundraising. Before joining St John's in 2005, Chris was Chief Operating Officer of Rothschild's Asian Investment banking in Hong Kong, having joined Rothschild in 2000. Previously, he was an investment banker for Schroders in London, Singapore and New York. Chris qualified as a solicitor in 1988 and holds an MBA from INSEAD.worked as GP in Norfolk for almost 30 years, retiring earlier this year. As Senior Partner of his practice, Simon championed collaborative working across local health and social services; established the innovative social enterprise Breckland Care at Home, which provides almost 700 hours of personal care each week; and worked closely with the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group.is a Health and Social Care Assessor for NVQs at Babington Business College, Derby. She has spent most of her career in the field of health and social care, including roles as Service Manager for Leaf Care Services and Training Adviser for the YMCA. She is a member of her local Patient and Participant Group (PPG) and the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) for Norfolk Constabularyis the Business Officer for a local ecological consultancy, responsible for the organisation's general office management and financial reporting. She was previously Business Development Manager for Loddon Equestrian and Adnams plc. She has also worked as a Distillery Tour Guide and Contact Centre Coordinator for Adnams.Michael Newey, Group Chief Executive, commented: "We are delighted to welcome four new members to the Board. They bring with them diverse skills and experience that will further strengthen our governance and strategic planning. Siobhan and Sam will help us maintain our emphasis on ensuring that our services are fit for purpose for our residents; Simon will strengthen our focus on joining up housing with health and social care; while Chris not only brings his considerable chairing skills, but also his understanding and experience of funding markets at a time when we know we have to raise more debt to meet our ambition to grow our housing stock by 3% per annum. The Board and executive are looking forward to working with all four new members over the years ahead."
News Article | November 6, 2015
The owner of British Airways has announced that the boss of no-frills Spanish carrier Vueling will replace the outgoing chairman Keith Williams. Williams, who joined BA in 1998, will be replaced as executive chairman by Alex Cruz in April. International Airlines Group, formed through the £5bn merger of British Airways and Spain’s Iberia in 2011, also owns Vueling. The change is part of a broader executive reshuffle that will also see chief financial officer Nick Swift hand over to Steve Gunning, the chief executive of IAG’s cargo operation. IAG, led by chief executive Willie Walsh, announced the leadership change alongside multiple upgrades to its five-year financial outlook. Its return on invested capital target was raised from 12% to 15% and its operating profit is expected to hit an average of €5.6bn (£4bn) – up from €5bn – with profit poised to grow by 12% a year. It expects an operating profit margin of between 12% and 15%, compared with its previous target of between 10% to 14%. IAG previously announced that capital expenditure could reach €3bn per year but has since said it would not exceed €2.5bn. IAG also said synergies from the merger that created the group will reach €856m, more than double the prediction of €400m made when BA and Iberia revealed their plans in 2010. The upgrades come a week after IAG reported an £850m quarterly profit and announced a debut dividend. Analysts said IAG, which also includes Aer Lingus since a takeover was cleared in July, could steal a march on major European rivals such as Air France-KLM and Lufthansa. “We expect IAG to further decouple from structurally weaker peers,” said Jefferies analyst Mark Irvine-Fortescue. Shares in IAG were up 3% to 598p by noon on Friday.
News Article | September 24, 2013
The boss of Britain's biggest airline has accused Heathrow of ripping off passengers and employing too many overpaid staff, calling for the airport's chief executive to be replaced. Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways' parent company IAG, said the airport was planning to raise prices by £600m over five years while cutting spending on facilities. In a strident denunciation of the London airport's "abusive monopoly", Walsh said that Heathrow's boss, Colin Matthews, had been "pathetic" in trying to make a political argument linking higher airport charges to Britain's need for more overseas investment. With the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) scheduled to rule on the fees that Heathrow can charge airlines, Walsh warned the regulator not to be "hoodwinked" again, and to correct its mistakes of the recent past which Walsh said involved Heathrow being "grossly over-rewarded". Walsh said Heathrow's management seemed "incapable of running their business efficiently within a routine cost-control environment". He added: "What we see is an airport that has too many people; those people are paid too much." The CAA is due on October 3 to set fees that the airport can charge from 2014. It has proposed raising charges below inflation, at RPI -1.3%, over the next five years – a level some way below Heathrow's demands. Airlines led by BA, the airport's biggest customer, have demanded a real-terms cut of almost 10% after five years in which charges rose by RPI +7.5%. Walsh insisted the CAA was "not being robust enough". He added: "If the CAA does not take a stronger line on this it will continue to be inefficient and that will be at the expense of passengers." According to BA's calculations, increased landing fees will mean every passenger journey costs £7 more than the airline believes is reasonable. Matthews had provoked Walsh's ire by saying that lower charges gave no incentive for shareholders to invest and that Britain would not be able to attract foreign capital. Heathrow's major shareholders are the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, Singapore and China, as well as a Canadian pension fund and Spanish construction giant Ferrovial. Walsh said: "Passengers are paying more than they should and the benefits of that are going to higher-than-average rewards for the shareholders. "If Colin Matthews is incapable of running the airport and making the investment that's necessary, and requires an excessive return to justify that investment, then he should be replaced. "If he was the CEO at a listed entity and came out with the statements he's come out with, I suspect shareholders would take a completely different view because of the impact on the share price." Walsh feared the regulator was succumbing to external pressure to adjust its proposal in Heathrow's favour. "It makes London, certainly Heathrow, less competitive than the rest of Europe." He admitted BA could not leave Heathrow, but vowed to appeal if the CAA did not cut its charges. Heathrow has said that the CAA's current proposed charges would mean less maintenance of the airport, and the curbing of planned improvements to baggage facilities and other aspects affecting passengers. A Heathrow official said: "We have put forward plans for more than £400m of cost savings over the next five years. We want to continue the investment that has been improving Heathrow for passengers. "Airlines' proposals for 40% price cuts can't be achieved without risking under-investment and a return to the out-dated Heathrow of the past."
News Article | May 29, 2017
British Airways is working to restore its computer systems after a power failure caused major disruption for thousands of passengers worldwide. The airline is "closer to full operational capacity" after an IT power cut resulted in mass flight cancellations at Heathrow and Gatwick. Thousands of passengers remain displaced, with large numbers sleeping overnight in terminals. BA has not explained the cause of the power problem. So far on Monday, 13 short-haul flights at Heathrow have been cancelled. Heathrow advised affected BA passengers not to travel to the airport unless their flights had been rebooked, or were scheduled to take off today. Passengers on cancelled flights have been told to use the BA website to rebook. Chief executive Alex Cruz has posted videos on Twitter apologising for what he called a "horrible time for passengers". But no-one from the airline has been made available to answer questions about the system crash, and it has not explained why there was no back-up system in place. Cancellations and delays affected thousands of passengers at both Heathrow and Gatwick on Saturday. All flights operated from Gatwick on Sunday but more than a third of services from Heathrow - mostly to short-haul destinations - were cancelled. Passengers slept on yoga mats handed out by the airline as conference rooms were opened to provide somewhere more comfortable to rest. BA blames a power cut, but a corporate IT expert said it should not have caused "even a flicker of the lights" in the data-centre. Even if the power could not be restored, the airline's Disaster Recovery Plan should have whirred into action. But that will have depended in part on veteran staff with knowledge of the complex patchwork of systems built up over the years. Many of those people may have left when much of the IT operation was outsourced to India. One theory of the IT expert, who does not wish to be named, is that when the power came back on the systems were unusable because the data was unsynchronised. In other words the airline was suddenly faced with a mass of conflicting records of passengers, aircraft and baggage movements - all the complex logistics of modern air travel. BA said it operated virtually all scheduled long-haul flights on Sunday, but the knock-on effects of Saturday's disruption resulted in a reduced short-haul programme. "We apologise again to customers for the frustration and inconvenience they are experiencing and thank them for their continued patience." Ian Sanderson, one of the affected passengers who is stuck in transit in London, said he was "incandescent with rage" after being unable to rebook his flight, or speak to a member of staff. Speaking on Sunday evening, he said: "I've bombarded them with about 100 tweets in the last 24 hours. I know that's annoying but there's nothing else I can do. "We've tried to call them on the numbers they give and all we've got is the same recorded message which then cuts off at the end." Former Virgin Airlines spokesman Paul Charles said: "What seems remarkable is there was no back-up system kicking in within a few minutes system failing. "Businesses of this type need systems backing up all the time, and this is what passengers expect." BA is liable to reimburse thousands of passengers for refreshments and hotel expenses, and travel industry commentators have suggested the cost to the company - part of Europe's largest airline group IAG - could run into tens of millions of pounds. Shares in IAG listed on the Madrid stock exchange are currently trading down by about 3%. Customers displaced by flight cancellations can claim up to £200 a day for a room (based on two people sharing), £50 for transport between the hotel and airport, and £25 a day per adult for meals and refreshments. Consumer expert Franky Brehany said travellers stranded in a "high-value city" like London may be able to claim more and should keep all receipts. But he added that it might be harder for passengers to claim compensation, as BA may blame "extraordinary circumstances" - "like an act of God or force majeure" - meaning the airline would only have to reimburse hotel and food costs. Thousands of bags remain at Heathrow Airport, but BA has advised passengers not to return to collect them, saying they will be couriered to customers. The airline said there was no evidence the computer failure was the result of a cyber-attack. It denied claims by the GMB union that the problem could be linked to the company outsourcing its IT work. Gatwick Airport said it was continuing to advise customers travelling with British Airways to check the status of their flight with the airline before travelling to the airport. Are you a BA passenger currently at Heathrow or Gatwick airport? Email email@example.com with your stories. Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also contact us in the following ways:
News Article | May 26, 2017
British Airways and sister carrier Iberia are to levy a £8 fee on every fare booked on systems not using an NDC-led connection. The surcharge will come into force from November this year, the pair told agencies in a letter today (Friday), covering fares in all cabins and classes. Other channels that are exempt include its own website, airline sales offices and call centres, as well as the following channels: The fee is being set to recover “the additional costs applied” on existing distribution channels – namely the Global Distribution Systems. The announcement comes almost two years to the day since fellow European carrier Lufthansa unveiled its plan to add a tax to any booking made through Travelport, Amadeus and Sabre. The letter to agencies says: “Our distribution strategy is focused on providing an enhanced range of booking options to our partners. “We will continue to work with the GDS providers to distribute our content to our valued agency partners via existing solutions, however these systems and their traditional technology solutions currently carry significantly greater costs to BA and IB. “We are also continuing to work with the GDSs on potential NDC connectivity.” The threat of another major carrier joining suit has been mooted ever since Lufthansa’s move in 2015, with IAG-owned BA considered the most likely to move next given that a number of its executives had sat on the original IATA-led NDC committees. BA says to agencies that it appreciates the introduction of a fee “represents significant change for your business”, thus the four-month period before it goes live in November. The airline says the NDC standard “enhances the capability of communications between airlines and travel agents”, in particular regarding access to “full and rich air content”, “product differentiation” and a “transparent” booking process. Those that continue to book BA/Iberia tickets through traditional channels will be automatically charged as part of the ticket, with a line item noted in the fare quote. IAG family members, Aer Lingus and Vueling, are not affected by the changes. Speaking to Tnooz during Travelport’s recent first quarter 2017 earnings call two weeks ago, CEO Gordon Wilson said of the rumoured addition of a fee: “We have good faith talks going on and there’s nothing that they say they want to do which they can’t already do with Travelport. “If they have an NDC protocol we are quite happy to write to it to connect some or all of their content. “Surcharge would be a bad move and a retrograde step.” In a follow-up to agency customers this morning, Travelport’s managing director of agency commerce, Jason Clarke, says the move is “the equivalent of a travel agency APD [Air Passenger Duty] seeking to penalise consumers who enjoy the benefits of choice, efficiency and value by booking through the travel agency medium”.
News Article | May 28, 2017
Around a quarter of Sunday's flights set to depart from London's major hub before 10.00 pm (2100 GMT) were cancelled as the airline battled to contain the "knock-on disruption" to schedules, with aircraft and crews out of position around the world. British Airways said it was hoping to operate a near-normal schedule of flights from Gatwick, London's other major airport, and the majority of its Heathrow services. More flights left Heathrow as the day wore on, but most were operating with delays. Travellers also faced hold-ups at Gatwick, but no flights were cancelled. BA cancelled all its flights out of the two airports on Saturday after the IT failure, which shut down all of the carrier's check-in and operational systems and affected call centres and its website. However, it did not appear to be a cyber-attack, according to chairman and chief executive Alex Cruz, who said the root cause appeared to be a "power supply issue". Britain is still recovering from a ransomware attack that crippled crucial infrastructure earlier this month, including computer systems at the National Health Service. BA's outage came on a busy weekend in Britain, where Monday is a public holiday and many schoolchildren are beginning a week's holiday. "This has been a horrible time for customers, some of you have missed holidays, some of you have been stranded on aircraft and some of you have been separated from your bags. Many of you have been stuck in long queues while you waited for information," Cruz said in a video statement on Sunday. The airline advised passengers not to come to the two airports unless they had confirmed bookings, with disruption expected throughout the holiday weekend. Cruz warned that Heathrow terminals were still "very congested" and told passengers not to arrive too early, as they may only be admitted 90 minutes before their departure. The carrier said those unable to fly would be offered a full refund. An AFP photographer at Heathrow's Terminal 5 on Saturday said many travellers were waiting outside the departure area with their luggage in "chaotic" scenes. Tearful passenger Melanie Ware flew from Los Angeles to Heathrow for a connecting flight to Venice on Saturday for her honeymoon. She said that flight was cancelled, and another flight she rebooked for Sunday was also cancelled, while there was no sign or news of the couple's luggage. "British Airways has ruined our honeymoon," she told Sky News. "They're not helping us at all." Passengers were asked to contact the airline in order to locate their luggage, after many were forced to leave Heathrow without claiming their bags. The carrier said it was "extremely sorry" for causing inconvenience over the holiday period. British Airways has suffered other IT glitches recently, leading to severe delays for passengers in July and September last year. IAG, the parent group of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, earlier this month reported a 74-percent slump in first-quarter net profit to 27 million euros ($30 million), due in large part to a weak pound. Explore further: BA aims to restore normal flight service after IT failure
News Article | May 29, 2017
The embattled airline said it was cancelling 17 short-haul flights from Heathrow, Europe's busiest airport, but was aiming to operate a full long-haul schedule from the hub. It said it was operating a full service from Gatwick Airport. Tens of thousands of passengers were left stranded over a busy holiday weekend in Britain after BA scrapped hundreds of flights worldwide. The knock-on effects could continue for several days, with numerous flights still delayed. The airline urged passengers on Monday to check their flight status online before travelling to the airport in a bid to avoid scenes seen over the weekend when people camped out at Heathrow overnight. BA chief executive Alex Cruz told the BBC he would not resign over the disruption and said it had nothing to do with cutting costs. He said it had been caused by a power surge that had "only lasted a few minutes" but the problem was that the back-up system had then not worked properly. The GMB union, however, said the disruption "could have all been avoided" if BA had not cut hundreds of IT jobs in Britain and transferred the work to India. The airline said it was making "good progress" on restoring normal service. "As our IT systems move closer to full operational capacity, we will again run a full schedule at Gatwick on Monday and intend to operate a full long-haul schedule and a high proportion of our short-haul programme at Heathrow," a spokeswoman said. "We apologise again to customers for the frustration and inconvenience they are experiencing and thank them for their continued patience," she said. Cruz said that 75,000 passengers had been affected. "We know that there have been holidays interrupted and personal events that have been interrupted and people waiting in queues for a really long time," he told Sky News. "We absolutely profusely apologise for that and we are absolutely committed to provide and abide by the compensation rules that are currently in place." Some British media suggested Monday that BA could be hit with a bill of more than £100 million (115 million euros, $128 million) for compensation costs for stranded passengers' food and accommodation. BA cancelled all its flights out of Heathrow and Gatwick on Saturday after the IT failure, which shut down all of the carrier's check-in and operational systems and affected call centres and its website. Passengers were asked to contact BA to locate their luggage, after many were forced to leave Heathrow without claiming their bags in chaotic scenes that saw queues snaking out of the airports. Australian tennis player John Peers tweeted on Monday asking BA about his lost rackets, which he needs for the French Open. "I'm playing at @rolandgarros tomorrow. @British_Airways any chance you can find and send my rackets from London to Paris please....," he wrote. BA's outage came on a busy weekend in Britain, where Monday is a public holiday and many schoolchildren are beginning a week's holiday. British Airways has suffered other IT glitches recently, leading to severe delays for passengers in July and September last year. IAG, the parent group of British Airways and Spanish carrier Iberia, earlier this month reported a 74-percent slump in first-quarter net profit to 27 million euros ($30 million), due in large part to a weak pound. Shares in IAG on the Madrid stock exchange were down by about 2.5 percent in afternoon trading. Explore further: More Heathrow chaos as BA scrambles to recover from IT crash (Update)
News Article | May 12, 2017
CARROLLTON, Texas, May 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Headquartered in Sanger, TX Latham Stairs & Millwork, Inc. has been manufacturing high quality stair parts, mantelpieces, wood turnings and cedar products since the 90s. "When we contacted IAG about the business they were ve...
News Article | May 13, 2017
Tigard, OR, May 13, 2017 --( Agilyx is completing its styrene oil production plant in Tigard, OR and is focused on the rapid deployment of additional facilities in both domestic and international markets. The combined resources of Agilyx and IAG underpin the achievement of growth goals leading to the establishment of Agilyx as the sole producer of low-carbon styrene monomer. “We are very excited to welcome IAG into our development team. IAG brings a depth of expertise that will greatly advance the number of projects we have under development,” commented Joseph Vaillancourt, Chairman and CEO. Scott Arnoldy, Triten’s COO, stated, “IAG is excited to work with an innovative leader like Agilyx. This partnership creates a world-class platform to drive the rapid expansion of Agilyx.” About IAG IAG is a capital program management company engaged in partnership relationships designed to optimize business gains via deployed capital. IAG aligns with owners to craft custom project execution strategies that enable sustainable competitive advantage. IAG principally executes facilities for downstream, chemicals, midstream, and terminaling industries. Founded in 1994, IAG is a subsidiary of Triten Corporation and is headquartered in Houston, TX. About Agilyx Agilyx is an environmental technology and development company located in Tigard, Oregon that extracts value from difficult-to-recycle mixed waste plastic streams. The Company has developed the first full circle system capable of recycling polystyrene (packaging materials and consumer products etc.) into styrene monomer, which is then used to remake polystyrene (“PS”) products. The company also has a hydrocarbon recycling technology that converts mixed plastics to high quality crude oil. Agilyx is working with waste service providers, municipalities, refiners, and private and public enterprises to develop closed-loop industrial solutions for mixed waste plastics. To learn more please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Tigard, OR, May 13, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Agilyx Corporation announced today it is partnering with International Alliance Group (IAG), a subsidiary of Triten Corporation, to leverage its project development, execution, and construction management expertise in pursuit of Agilyx’s development plans. Agilyx is focused on scaling its polystyrene recycling technology platform domestically and internationally. This agreement complements the existing relationship Agilyx forged with Jacobs Engineering Group (“Jacobs”).Agilyx is completing its styrene oil production plant in Tigard, OR and is focused on the rapid deployment of additional facilities in both domestic and international markets. The combined resources of Agilyx and IAG underpin the achievement of growth goals leading to the establishment of Agilyx as the sole producer of low-carbon styrene monomer.“We are very excited to welcome IAG into our development team. IAG brings a depth of expertise that will greatly advance the number of projects we have under development,” commented Joseph Vaillancourt, Chairman and CEO.Scott Arnoldy, Triten’s COO, stated, “IAG is excited to work with an innovative leader like Agilyx. This partnership creates a world-class platform to drive the rapid expansion of Agilyx.”About IAGIAG is a capital program management company engaged in partnership relationships designed to optimize business gains via deployed capital. IAG aligns with owners to craft custom project execution strategies that enable sustainable competitive advantage. IAG principally executes facilities for downstream, chemicals, midstream, and terminaling industries. Founded in 1994, IAG is a subsidiary of Triten Corporation and is headquartered in Houston, TX.About AgilyxAgilyx is an environmental technology and development company located in Tigard, Oregon that extracts value from difficult-to-recycle mixed waste plastic streams. The Company has developed the first full circle system capable of recycling polystyrene (packaging materials and consumer products etc.) into styrene monomer, which is then used to remake polystyrene (“PS”) products. The company also has a hydrocarbon recycling technology that converts mixed plastics to high quality crude oil. Agilyx is working with waste service providers, municipalities, refiners, and private and public enterprises to develop closed-loop industrial solutions for mixed waste plastics. To learn more please contact email@example.com. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Agilyx