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LAX772LR
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BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 9:33 am

Just booked MSY-LHR-CAI-LHR-LAX in J for September, noticed that the A321Ns that BA has on their CAI flight only feature "Club Europe" (modified Y seat row with the middle seat blocked) as their premium cabin.

My questions are:
  • Was this a thing before Covid? IINM, didn't they use an A321 with Club World (2x1 actual J seats) to CAI and TLV beforehand?
  • Those were the ships integrated from BMI no? Are they still in that configuration, or have they been standardized to Club Europe?
  • If still around, how interchangeably does BA historically swap them with the C.E. A321Ns?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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vhtje
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 9:53 am

Hello from Cairo.

I flew BA400 yesterday. When I booked it, it was showing as a A321NEO. No, it wasn’t (and hasn’t been) the ex-BMI birds.

However, about a week ago, as travel restrictions on British travellers eased slightly, my seat changed when BA swapped equipment, and my flight yesterday was on a 788. However it remained a Club Europe service, at least in terms of catering (meaning: smaller meal, lower quality wines, less napery, no nuts with the pre-meal drink). We had pillows and blankets, but the mattress topper was not in evidence.

My return flight in two weeks has also been swapped to a 788.

The crew on yesterday’s flight were not the usual Cairo-based crew. I asked the CSD if the Cairo-based crew had been given the chop and she thought no, that they would be coming back. She said they were needed, as the UK-based crew were struggling with language.

In normal times, an A321 is too small for BA on this route, so when the pandemic eases, I expect BA to revert the flight to a long haul flight designation and service.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
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vhtje
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 10:01 am

According to the BA Source, the ex-BMI aircraft are all in storage.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
cedarjet
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 10:32 am

I flew on one of those fantastic Club World A321s from Beirut to London in January 2018. That route was their bread and butter, to meet the high expectations of rich Lebanese. Very high yield route. (See also: rich Russians on the Moscow to London route.) Ex British Mediterranean, hence the G-MED* registrations.

They were occasionally used as short haul subs. My very posh double-barrelled friend got one on a morning flight to Luxembourg. Upon entering the cabin he involuntarily exclaimed “holy f***!” much to the amusement of those in earshot.

Didn’t know BA have a Cairo crew base btw, that’s epic
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
seansasLCY
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 11:04 am

I think all the non-neo A321 are not in service now.

I flew in Club Europe to Stockholm on those exBmi A321 and it was a fantastic flight. Pax were clearly surprised and lots of comments by people saying they should have upgraded.

Cairo and some of these near East destinations were A321 before the pandemic (just with a proper Club World cabin). They are now A320 family with Club Europe.

If BA does have a Cairo base I can’t see it surviving long. I think most of BA’s foreign bases have gone now.
 
tonyflyboi
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 11:23 am

Hi guys
The ex BMI A321 are in storage rumour they are being standardised and removal of the flat beds
Most routes will go on to 787-8
As I write the CAI crew are still here just stood down
Going forward international crew will be CAI BAH PVG BEJ MEX BOM DEL MAA
 
BealineV953
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 1:15 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Just booked MSY-LHR-CAI-LHR-LAX in J for September, noticed that the A321Ns that BA has on their CAI flight only feature "Club Europe" (modified Y seat row with the middle seat blocked) as their premium cabin.

My questions are:
  • Was this a thing before Covid? IINM, didn't they use an A321 with Club World (2x1 actual J seats) to CAI and TLV beforehand?
  • Those were the ships integrated from BMI no? Are they still in that configuration, or have they been standardized to Club Europe?
  • If still around, how interchangeably does BA historically swap them with the C.E. A321Ns?


Of the ex-bmi 'mid-haul' A321s, three were re-configured for shorthaul use some time ago (G-MEDL, EDM and EDN).
Four are still in the 23J 131Y configuration (G-MEDF, EDG, EDJ and EDU).
All seven ex-bmi A321s are currently stored. The last time I checked they were all at Madrid.
When in service the mid-haul A321s frequently operate shorthaul services. At one time not too long ago they were scheduled on some shorthaul rotations, including - from memory - NCE and ARN. As well as that, as others have said, pre-lockdown they regularly subbed for shorthaul A321s.
Ever since childhood, when I lived within sight of London Airport, I have seldom seen a plane go by and not wished I was on it.”
With apologies to Paul Theroux - ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 3:02 pm

Flown a couple of those in the 2x1 config.
The single seat really is like Captain Kirks chair on the Enterprise.. only better.
As for returning to wide body ops, and CW catering, I would hold your breath..
Flight have been renumbered in to the Euro number range ie BA400/1…. Suggesting A CE product.
 
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vhtje
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 3:47 pm

seansasLCY wrote:
If BA does have a Cairo base I can’t see it surviving long. I think most of BA’s foreign bases have gone now.


From speaking to the CAI-based crew on previous flights, the Egyptian crew do CAI > LHR > [somewhere else Arabic-speaking in BA’s network] > LHR > CAI

They gat paid Egyptian wages, not British ones, so are a much lower cost compared to even Mixed Fleet. As I posted above, the CSD indicated n yesterday’s flight that the crew were struggling with the Arabic speaking passengers. I would expect the CAI-based crew to therefore return.
I only turn left when boarding aircraft. Well, mostly. All right, sometimes. OH OKAY - rarely.
 
concordeforever
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 11:05 pm

The Cairo flight will be operated by a 787 for the forseeable future, due to cargo loads, mainly fruit and veg for the UK supermarkets.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 23, 2021 11:48 pm

Thank all of you for the great info!
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Mon May 24, 2021 12:05 am

concordeforever wrote:
The Cairo flight will be operated by a 787 for the forseeable future, due to cargo loads, mainly fruit and veg for the UK supermarkets.

While the 787 is reflected in the scheds for May and June, it seems to revert to the A321N in July, and to an A320 in October.

Are these just placeholders for an unfinished summer schedule?
Or is this the anticipated actual fleet, as those 787s are likely to return to the TATL by the time summer begins (for example, both LHR-MSY and LHR-BNA are scheduled to return as 788s)?
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 2:47 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Was this a thing before Covid? IINM, didn't they use an A321 with Club World (2x1 actual J seats) to CAI and TLV beforehand?


Moscow also had A32S aircraft with actual Club seats instead of "Club Europe". 2x2 as far I remember!

Always wondered why Moscow got an actual club product while other Europe routes had a inferior setup.

Higher yields? That cant be right!
Mr.Kapoor's favorite poodle!
 
VSMUT
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 10:20 am

BawliBooch wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Was this a thing before Covid? IINM, didn't they use an A321 with Club World (2x1 actual J seats) to CAI and TLV beforehand?


Moscow also had A32S aircraft with actual Club seats instead of "Club Europe". 2x2 as far I remember!

Always wondered why Moscow got an actual club product while other Europe routes had a inferior setup.

Higher yields? That cant be right!


Simple. Rich and well paying oligarchs going to their second homes in London.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 10:57 am

BawliBooch wrote:
Moscow also had A32S aircraft with actual Club seats instead of "Club Europe". 2x2 as far I remember!

Most recently, they were alternating rows of 2x1 and 1x2.




BawliBooch wrote:
Always wondered why Moscow got an actual club product while other Europe routes had a inferior setup.
Higher yields? That cant be right!

Where on earth are you getting that idea from?

In addition to A32X, it wasn't uncommon to see BA fly 77Ws and 789s to DME for periods prior to Covid, because they could easily fill those massive premium cabins. Before that, the 763ER was a thing on LHR-DME for most of its time with BA.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 11:11 am

TUGMASTER wrote:
Flown a couple of those in the 2x1 config.
The single seat really is like Captain Kirks chair on the Enterprise.. only better.


It's the same seat Aer Lingus have for their business class, JetBlue Mint in the USA, Swiss also use it and others as well. It's not that uncommon, it's a commercially available seat and the airlines just change the fabrics and finishes to suit them.

I flew in the Captain Kirk throne seat with Aer Lingus. Fantastic by day, a bit thin in bed mode though!

LAX772LR wrote:
concordeforever wrote:
The Cairo flight will be operated by a 787 for the forseeable future, due to cargo loads, mainly fruit and veg for the UK supermarkets.

While the 787 is reflected in the scheds for May and June, it seems to revert to the A321N in July, and to an A320 in October.

Are these just placeholders for an unfinished summer schedule?
Or is this the anticipated actual fleet, as those 787s are likely to return to the TATL by the time summer begins (for example, both LHR-MSY and LHR-BNA are scheduled to return as 788s)?


I would say the schedule is set now.

Incidentally, as far as I am aware, all of the seven ex-BMI aircraft have been reconfigured with the standard BA cabin. People mentioned above that four of them have the old BMI configuration, but that is out of date information.

If you get any kind of A320 series aircraft, it will be the standard Club Europe configuration. Hope for a non-NEO, they have the best experience as they have the lovely Club Europe tray in the middle seat. These were not fitted to the Neo aircraft, because the addition of in seat power meant there was no space for table stowage any longer. I'd take the tray over in-seat power on the 1-5 hour flights these aircraft do any day of the week as the extra space is appreciated.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
debonair
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 11:17 am

LAX772LR wrote:
In addition to A32X, it wasn't uncommon to see BA fly 77Ws and 789s to DME for periods prior to Covid, because they could easily fill those massive premium cabins. Before that, the 763ER was a thing on LHR-DME for most of its time with BA.


The higher demand for a larger Business Class was, AFAIK, only one of several factors... BA couldn't compete against SU with their "real" BusinessClass" on their A330/B777 fleet on a "standard" A321. Also cargo played an important role to use larger aircraft.
 
jumpjets
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 11:55 am

debonair wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
In addition to A32X, it wasn't uncommon to see BA fly 77Ws and 789s to DME for periods prior to Covid, because they could easily fill those massive premium cabins. Before that, the 763ER was a thing on LHR-DME for most of its time with BA.


The higher demand for a larger Business Class was, AFAIK, only one of several factors... BA couldn't compete against SU with their "real" BusinessClass" on their A330/B777 fleet on a "standard" A321. Also cargo played an important role to use larger aircraft.



It was during a visit to Moscow by the then Prime Minister in 2011 that the upgrading of Moscow from a club Europe to club world service was announced by BA and for a time the four class Boeing 747 was used on one daily rotation. This was apparently ( at least publicly) to reflect increased demand following the good relations that existed between the UK and Russia. How times change.
 
VSMUT
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 12:29 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
TUGMASTER wrote:
Flown a couple of those in the 2x1 config.
The single seat really is like Captain Kirks chair on the Enterprise.. only better.


It's the same seat Aer Lingus have for their business class, JetBlue Mint in the USA, Swiss also use it and others as well. It's not that uncommon, it's a commercially available seat and the airlines just change the fabrics and finishes to suit them.

I flew in the Captain Kirk throne seat with Aer Lingus. Fantastic by day, a bit thin in bed mode though!


Not quite the same. It's an older seat from the same manufacturer, not without problems.
 
TUGMASTER
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 5:07 pm

Yep…. BD ordered the seat for their ex BMED 321’s. They ordered it after fanfare and good revues from LX . Same stable, all LH owned.
Believe the seats sat in the BD sheds at EMA for a while before fitting during the BA take over. Don’t believe the ex BMED 320’s were ever fired with the seats .
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: BA premium service to CAI; A321Ns with Club World still around?

Sun May 30, 2021 7:46 pm

ClassicLover wrote:
Hope for a non-NEO, they have the best experience as they have the lovely Club Europe tray in the middle seat. These were not fitted to the Neo aircraft, because the addition of in seat power meant there was no space for table stowage any longer. I'd take the tray over in-seat power on the 1-5 hour flights these aircraft do any day of the week as the extra space is appreciated.

Fortunately, it's schedule to be a NEO, as I'd value seat-power far more than a tray, on a 5hr opp. ;)
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil

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