British Airways scraps its London to New York Speedbird 1 service

British Airways Airbus A318 G-EUNA at London City Airport (Aviation Media Agency)
British Airways Airbus A318 G-EUNA at London City Airport (Aviation Media Agency)

British Airways (BA/BAW) is scrapping its all-business class service from London City Airport to New York JFK with immediate effect.

The iconic Speedbird 1 and Speedbird 2 flights (BAW1/2) were originally used by the Concorde service to New York but shortly after Concorde was retired the airline launched the new service using two Airbus A318s.

Due to the length of London City Airports runway the flight couldn’t take off with enough fuel for the transatlantic crossing so it operated via Shannon in Ireland which also allowed passengers to clear customs ahead of arrival and as such it arrived into JFK as a domestic flight.

The flight was suspended in March as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

British Airways’ initially had two Airbus A318 equipped with just 32 business class seats. G-EUNB left the airline in 2017 leaving just G-EUNA to operate the service.

G-EUNA will now also be retired from the fleet after International Airlines Group (IAG), which owns British Airways, confirmed the A318 was “exiting” the BA fleet.

The news came from sweeping fleet changes following the group posting a loss of €1.3bn, its worst ever.

As a result, the Group will be reducing its planned aircraft deliveries over the next 2 years, for all its airlines, by 68 although it hasn’t confirmed how this will affect each airline.

About Nick Harding 1202 Articles
Nick is the senior reporter and editor at UK Aviation News as well as working freelance elsewhere. He has his finger firmly on the pulse on Aviation, not only in the UK but worldwide. Nick has been asked to speak in a professional capacity on LBC, Heart and other broadcast networks.