09 Aug Q&A with British Airways
British Airways launched nonstop flights between New Orleans and London in March 2017, and the flights are already expanding after instant success. NOLABA spoke with local account manager Eliana Thompson to discuss the impact on local businesses.
NOLABA: To what do you attribute the British Airways flight exceeding initial expectations? And are there plans to increase the frequency?
Thompson: This flight is a catalyst to keep the city evolving. In today’s global environment, you simply can’t ignore the opportunities for growth outside the U.S., and British Airways makes access to the global market only an 8.5 hour flight away. We are really pleased with how the service is performing, so much so that we’re increasing the service to 5 days a week, adding Tuesday to our current schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
NOLABA: How is British Airways working to grow corporate contracts in the South with these nonstop flights?
Thompson: British Airways is reaching out directly to the business community as well as utilizing regional and local economic development entities to reach agencies and corporations with headquarters in the region or an office in the area. For those based here, we want to learn about their travel needs and discuss the benefits we may be able to offer by flying with British Airways or one of our joint business partners – American Airlines, Iberia, Finnair and Japan Airlines. British Airways makes it easy for you to get anywhere in the world.
NOLABA: How has the flight impacted New Orleans’ international business relations?
Thompson: British Airways has several products that we offer our business clients to make their travel experience even easier and help them meet their bottom line. Business Extra is ideal for those companies just beginning a managed travel program. It offers a set discount that travelers can realize on any of our joint business partners and is completely free with no commitment. It also allows both the company and the individual traveling to collect points that can be used toward upgrades, lounge access and tickets. We also offer Executive Club, where there is a household account that allows customers to choose from three different cabins depending on their needs and budget. We also offer products that become more customized to the specific company’s needs and the routes they frequent.