British Airways cuts London City

By David Flynn, September 26 2016
British Airways cuts London City

British Airways will cancel one of its two all-business class flights between London City and New York from October 31, 2016.

The BA3/BA4 Club World London City service, which British Airways promotes the flight as "like having your own private jet", is being axed due to reduced demand on the premium trans-Atlantic route.

The London City flights – which are favoured by executives due to the airport's close proximity to the CBD and The City financial district – rely on an Airbus A318 jet fitted with just 32 business seats which convert into flat beds.

British Airways will retain its flagship BA1/BA2 service, but trim the daily schedule by axing Saturday flights.

A unique part of the London-New York BA1 flight is that the relatively small A319 jet lands at Ireland's Shannon Airport to refuel, as it can't leave London City airport with enough fuel for the long leg to New York.

During the stop-over passengers are pre-cleared by US immigration so that they can enter the US classed as 'domestic' travellers, rather than having to join the long international arrivals queue at New York's JFK Airport.

The London-New York corridor carries just over four million travellers each year, but the route is susceptible to downturns in the business environment.

In 2008 the GFC triggered a long slump in jetsetting activity between the two major financial centres and Britain's recent decision to leave the European Union is also expected to cause a drop in trans-Atlantic business travel, especially on the banker-friendly London City service.

BA2 arrivals service remains

A spokesperson for British Airways also told Australian Business Traveller that the airline is "committed" to continuing the BA2 arrivals service in partnership with the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel at Dockland's New Providence Wharf, close to London City Airport, despite rumours the service would be withdrawn.

This allows travellers stepping off the ClubWorld London City flights to freshen up with a shower and enjoy a free breakfast, with optional garment pressing.

BA operates up to 12 daily flights to several airports around New York from London's Heathrow, Gatwick and City airports.

Also read: British Airways' new Airbus A350 Club World business class seat revealed?


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 445

I heard that the main reason for the axing of the BA3/4 service is that they could no longer provide the pre-clearance in Shannon, whereas they still can with BA1/2.

31 Mar 2016

Total posts 622


"I heard that the main reason for the axing of the BA3/4 service is that they could no longer provide the pre-clearance in Shannon, whereas they still can with BA1/2."

It's not a rumor but a fact which occurred since Oct2012.  Due to U.S. custom budget cut-back, no U.S. pre-clearance facility @ SNN is open to pax during the daily time slot when BA3's mandatory tech stop(i.e. refueling) occurs.

The U.S. custom cut back is actually sensible as the only commercial flight aside fm BA1 & 3 utilizing that facility yr-round is UA24.  Ground time @ SNN for UA24 matches well with BA1(Both in the morning) but not BA3(In the evening).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

03 Mar 2016

Total posts 9

I thought the reason BA3 & 4 were cut was because one of the aircraft needed maintenance (C check?) and as they have only two of these aircraft (A318, not A319) a service cut would be necessary.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Sep 2013

Total posts 1244

That's the reason I've heard too.

30 Aug 2013

Total posts 442

They are apparently due for their D checks which take 2 months each, so to do the 2 aircraft that operate the route would require 4 months of dropping one of the flights. I think theyre calling it 'cancelled' to test the demand on a single daily flight - if demand is there to warrant two flights they will bring back BA3/4 after the maintenance is done.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer - Chairmans Lounge

01 Sep 2011

Total posts 416

A week ago I took BA002 for 1st time and its fantastic, cant praise it enough, and it wasn't full. The negative was the dump of an airport that LCY is which was also 1st time for me. If you are leaving at LCY then no issue but if connecting its awful. At JFK chk-in they should let you know there is no lounge when asking if you wish to use the hotel facility. I didn't know there was no lounge. Will know for next time.

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