Soho House, a London-based network of private social clubs located worldwide, has filed to go public in the US, Sky News reported Friday.
The company this week filed confidential IPO paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Soho House could be valued at more than $3 billion (£2.1 billion), the report said, citing banking sources.
Soho House is aiming for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, eschewing a listing in London with Sky News noting that the company is majority-owned by Ron Burkle, a billionaire from California who is the part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team and co-founder of private investment firm Yucaipa Companies.
Soho House’s founder is Nick Jones, who opened the original location in the west end of London in 1995.
The company two years ago decided to raise capital privately instead of filing for an IPO, the report said.
The network includes 27 houses in 10 countries including the US, Germany, India, and in Hong Kong. It opened its first US-based house in 2003 in the Meatpacking District in New York City.
Sir Richard Lexington Sutton, one of the richest men in Great Britain, was found stabbed to death on Wednesday night, according to the local newspaper Dorset Echo.
The Dorset Police Department launched a murder investigation on Wednesday after finding the 83-year-old Baronet at his country estate, according to multiple reports from the media, including BBC News. Police were called to the scene by a concerned member of the public, according to the local newspaper.
Sutton was pronounced dead on the scene due to the stab wounds and an unidentified woman in her 60s, who is believed to be his wife, was airlifted to a local hospital. The police reported she remains in critical condition.
The police tracked a vehicle believed to be connected to the scene of the crime and arrested an unidentified 34-year-old man who authorities suspect is connected to the incident, according to a press release. The police said the suspect was known to the Sutton family.
Sutton was a high-profile hotel owner, known for his five-star hotels on Park Lane and Piccadilly in London.
The hotelier is listed as one of the country’s richest men on The Sunday Times Rich List. His net worth was valued at about $400 million and he placed No. 435 on the list of the nation’s 1,000 wealthiest residents, ranking above Mick Jagger and George Clooney.
Sutton was the 9th Baronet in the Sutton family and responsible for 7,000 acres of land across the country, according to the Dorset Echo.
A spokesman for the hotel chain Sir Richard Sutton Limited told the publication Sutton would be deeply missed.
“Sir Richard was passionately devoted to both his company and its people, setting the highest and standards for quality in the hotels, farming and property interests within the group,” the spokesperson said. “His loss will be felt by everyone within the company, those who worked with him, and his family who have lost an incredible individual. Our thoughts are with the Sutton family at this tragic time.”
The Dorset Police Department and Sir Richard Sutton Limited did not respond to a request for comment from Insider.
Deliveroo CEO Will Shu is a wealthy man after the food delivery firm he cofounded floated on the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
Shu, the largest individual shareholder at Deliveroo, is thought to have sold around 6.7 million shares when the market opened, at the opening price of £3.90 ($5.35), making $36 million from that transaction.
The value of his remaining 6.3% stake is not currently as high as anticipated, after shares in the firm tumbled as much as 30% on its debut.
At the time of writing, the drop has seen Shu’s stake in the firm plummet to a value of $474 million in the opening hours of trading, down $144 million from $618 million at open.
The company’s listing price range for the IPO was between 390 pence ($5.35) and 460 pence ($6.33). At the higher end of the range, Shu’s stake would have been worth as much as $729 million.
Shu’s stake will fluctuate throughout the day and its value could end up being higher or lower by market close.
Deliveroo’s IPO gave it an opening valuation of about $10.5 billion but it shed more than $2.7 billion in market value in its first hours as a public firm under the ticker “ROO.”
The company, founded in 2013 by Shu and his friend Greg Orlowski, has faced criticism from large investors and activists in the run-up to its IPO over its business model.
Deliveroo’s app allows consumers to order grocery and food on demand, and the firm relies on a network of gig-economy riders to ferry the goods out.
At least six investment firms, including Aviva Investors, Rathbones, Legal & General, and Standard Life Aberdeen, announced they wouldn’t invest in Deliveroo. Some cited both its lack of full-year profitability, and the threat posed to future profitability by its ongoing reliance on gig-economy riders.
“Deliveroo has gone from hero to zero as the much-hyped stock market debut falls flat on its face,” said AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould on Wednesday. “It had better get used to the nickname ‘Flopperoo’.”
London recorded zero deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday – the first time in six months.
The last time the UK capital saw a day with no such deaths – meaning deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test – was September 14, 2020.
The number of deaths recorded on Sundays is typically lower, which means that the daily death toll is likely to be higher again over the following days.
But it still demonstrates the change in the spread of the virus after a three-month-long lockdown and the UK’s aggressive vaccination campaign.
London was put into a new lockdown in December, after a new, more-contagious variant of the virus was detected as infections there started to surge.
The rest of the UK soon followed. Restrictions in the UK are now slowly easing, and groups of six people were allowed to meet outdoors in England from Monday.
The UK has also been one of the world leaders in vaccinations: More than 30 million people have now received at least one dose of a vaccine. The British government said on March 20 that half of all UK adults had received at least one shot.
The country’s vaccination strategy is targeting the oldest and most vulnerable first, with the intention of reducing the number of deaths as quickly as possible.
Both London’s mayor and the UK’s prime minister are warning people to be careful as restrictions ease, cautioning that the situation could still turn worse again.
Has COVID-19 changed the way the world will hook up?
It seems that way, according to Angelina Aleksandrovich, founder and creative director of Raspberry Dream Labs. Her company’s been busy building a rig and software so people who are apart can still enjoy intimacy. The time is right, she told Insider.
Companies like Aleksandrovich’s are positioning themselves for a future with rising remote intimacy, even with the end of lockdowns visible on the horizon. It’s one of a few competing visions of the post-vaccine future. Suitsupply, for example, launched an ad campaign this year featuring zero social distancing, with the tagline “The new normal is coming.”
In the future envisioned by Raspberry Dream Labs, some people may still be skittish about meeting new partners in person, even as the pandemic fades.The company’s rig is meant to give users who are apart a sense of being intimate, with immersive sounds, visuals, and scents. It also places haptic pulses on their bodies, giving them the sense of being touched. It’s still a prototype but eventually, users will be able to wear the rig and enter the company’s virtual platform, Raspberry Dream Land, to meet others, Aleksandrovich said.
The London-based company recently demoed the experience, hosting a weeklong event that celebrated sexuality, identity, gender, body, technology and futurism. It included talks given by artists and sex-tech proponents, who attempted to demystify cybersex, said its founder.
Now, Aleksandrovich said the company’s prepping for a public launch of Raspberry Dream’s platform. The company tested virtual reality hosting sites, but “faced enormous oppression” and censorship from the companies that ran them, Aleksandrovich said. So it’s building its own platform instead.
Aleksandrovich continued: “As in what the future hold for us: It holds total independence from censoring corporations and freedom of radical expression as we build our own social webXR platform – Raspberry Dream Land – where people can meet in the virtual world, go on the dates, attend events that would be censored elsewhere online, get playful and build meaning connections over the distance.”
Aleksandrovich said Raspberry Dream Labs was created as a hybrid of her formal training as an artist and her work at creative agencies, where she pitched VR experiences to big brands.
She hadn’t intended to start a company; her plan for the rig was just to create it as a one-off project. But she quickly found that she felt “better about myself doing something meaningful.”
“I’ve been interested in sex since my early childhood. But the lack of early age sex education and growing up in post-soviet eastern Ukraine didn’t help my curiosity,” Aleksandrovich told Insider.
After graduating from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, she built VR and immersive productions for brands. She mostly followed creative briefs, but also started pitching ideas about multisensory experiences, including scents and temperature control.
“But something that would’ve sounded like a great career was actually eating me from the inside,” she said. “I wasn’t feeling happy creating ‘brand experiences’ for brands I didn’t care for, just for the sake of being able to keep up with that life.”
In 2018, she was poking around through files on her computer, when she found a folder filled with stuff she’d made at art school. It was then that Raspberry Dream Labs was born.
“They made me feel very nostalgic and reminded me that I already found my passion, the subject of human sexuality,” she said. “All I had to do was act upon it.”
It operates in the same way as the cashierless 20 Amazon Go stores in the US – you go in, put the items in your bag, and wander back out.
I felt like the world’s biggest shoplifter, even when carrying Amazon’s green bag with “Just Walk Out” slapped on the side.
The whole shopping experience was hassle-free. There’s no dodging trolleys, speed-packing at the till or faffing with credit cards. You get billed after you exit the shop, although my receipt took two hours to come through so I didn’t know exactly how much I’d spent until then.
The location is only 2,500 square feet so it’s much smaller than a supermarket and it would be a struggle to do a weekly shop in there.
Overall, I was impressed at the organisation, cleanliness and efficiency of the store. What I didn’t like was the hundreds of cameras hanging from the ceiling, checking what was going into my bag. It had a dystopian feel.
The food wasn’t anything special, but what makes this store pop is its futuristic technology that means an effortless shopping trip.
Here’s what happened during my shopping trip to London’s new Amazon Fresh and what I bought:
The UK’s first Amazon Fresh store is located in Ealing Broadway shopping centre, West London.
My first thought when approaching Amazon Fresh was: why Ealing?
It takes over an hour on the tube to get from central London to Ealing. But the high street is home to some popular household names — the newest being Amazon Fresh.
The doors in the photo above are the exit to the store. The entrance is around the corner where I joined a line, downloaded the Amazon app and got directed by assistants in green jackets.
I visited around 14:00 p.m., just after the lunchtime rush, so the queue wasn’t very long. Considering the store has no tills, it noticeably cut down the waiting time.
As soon as you scan the QR code on the Amazon app, you’re timed. The receipt showed I was inside the store for a total of 17 minutes and 12 seconds.
To get into the store, you have to scan the QR code on the Amazon app, which opens the green barrier.
Amazon Fresh didn’t fail to give a good first impression. As long as you have the Amazon App downloaded, it’s a simple scan of the QR code and you’re in.
Customers can take their own bags or pick up the medium-sized, reusable Amazon Fresh bags for £1 ($1.40). There are no trolleys or baskets, which made the whole experience much smoother.
But as a pedantic trolley-stacker, shoving things into a bag and not visually having my food in front of me to organise proved a little difficult.
If you look up, you’ll see loads of cameras pointing at the shelves. They track every item that goes into your bag.
The main visual difference between Amazon Fresh and other supermarkets were the hundreds of cameras dangling from the ceiling. I felt like I was being watched, even though the cameras were just monitoring what was going into my bag.
On the flip side, it felt safe and secure. If the tech remains reliable, then shoplifting shouldn’t be a concern, as customers are tracked as soon as they enter the store via their Amazon account.
The cameras work in conjunction with weight sensors on the shelves to determine which items you’ve picked up.
Halfway around the store, I realised I was putting items into the bag in a very exaggerated manner to prove I was set on buying the product and had nothing to hide.
The aubergine masala was part of a takeaway deal of two mains and two sides for £10 ($14).
You can’t hand items to other people to put in their basket. You have to pick them up yourself.
It’s a solo shopping experience. If you pick up an item and pass it to another customer, the weight sensors and cameras will think you put the product in your bag so you’ll be charged.
Amazon Fresh sells a range of its own branded food, including pizzas, ready meals and fresh fruit and vegetables at competitive prices.
The retail giant sources its food from British suppliers. Unexpectedly, around one third of the store was taken up by Amazon’s own branded products. And it all looks great!
Prices are average but competitive. It’s £4 ($5.60) for a medium-sized pizza, similar to other UK supermarkets such as Tescos and Sainsbury’s. But Amazon Fresh offered good deals. For the two chicken breasts in the photo above and a side, it’s £5 ($7).
The store also had free-from, organic and vegan ranges, as well as lots of popular food brands.
Amongst all the Amazon food, there’s an Amazon Hub.
At the back of the store, you’ll find the Amazon Hub where you can pick up and return items that you’ve bought online from the retail company.
In the pharmacy section, there are coasters that you can take to the Amazon Hub to exchange for medicine.
What is usually a pointing game with a cashier behind a till, is now a case of picking up a coaster and handing it into the Amazon Hub to get drugs.
The alcohol is enclosed in a corner with a ‘booze bouncer’ checking people’s ID as they walk out.
The ‘booze bouncer’ welcomed me into the alcohol corner and proceeded to watch what I put into my bag — on top of cameras watching me. I picked up a beer and on my way out, she asked to check my ID.
When I asked her if I could take a picture of the alcohol section, she told me: “Of course, lots of people are doing that at the moment.”
Given that attractions are shut due to COVID-19, the store has become a tourist magnet. There were certainly more tourists than genuine shoppers roaming around in there.
It was also noticeable that everybody in Amazon Fresh was young. This begs the question of whether older people will have the technology to shop there.
You can even get an Amazon Fresh meal deal.
The meal deal section was huge. There’s a wide variety of meals, snacks and drinks on offer.
The meal comes at its standard price, then you add any drink and snack on top for £1. Some of the meals were really fancy, such as the lemongrass chicken and edamame mixed grain salad.
Behold Amazon’s ready-to-go hot food and bakery with fresh bread baked on site.
Amazon Fresh is ideal for that lunchtime food dash. There was a lot of ready-prepared food, perfect for city workers on the run.
Customers can make a cup of coffee for £2.30. Oat milk was also an option.
At the front of the store, there were two separate coffee machines, one for normal milk and one for oat milk.
The store itself was bright and vibrant with pop music. It felt exclusive.
Amazon Fresh was comparable to a high-quality UK convenience store, such as Waitrose. It was clean, tidy and there was lots to choose from.
The strangest bit was walking out without having to scan the items.
My receipt was emailed to me two hours after I left the store, which I became impatient for because I was eager to know whether the technology had charged me correctly.
It did — it logged every item in the order I put them into my bag.
Even casual Mint flyers will immediately notice the difference in the new product. Every seat offers fan favorites like direct aisle access and closeable doors that offer the utmost privacy, all in a residential-style designed suite.
The A321neo is one of JetBlue’s newest aircraft and can be found flying JetBlue’s longest routes including New York-Guayaquil, Ecuador thanks to its increased range and cost-saving economics. It’s also known for its quiet cabin and ultra-modern features like mood lighting.
The jet that will take JetBlue to Europe, however, has yet to arrive. The Airbus A321neoLR offers an even greater amount of range and JetBlue plans to pack it with even more business class suites to accommodate the near-endless supply of premium flyers on the route.
Here’s a sneak peek at the business class suites that will soon take JetBlue flyers to Los Angeles, London, and beyond.
The new Mint cabin on the A321neo is comprised of 16 business class suites arranged in a 1-1 configuration.
Each seat is angled in what’s known as a herringbone configuration, allowing the airline to fit more seats in the cabin while maintaining privacy. It’s an upgrade from the current Mint product as there are no paired seats in any row.
JetBlue offers two types of seats in the cabin. There’s the standard “Mint Suite…”.
And the larger “Mint Studio,” the cabin’s flagship seat.
The cabin has 14 Mint Suites spanning seven rows while the first row has the only Mint Studios, and they come at an additional premium.
Those that pay extra for the Mint Studio get an entire 22.7-square-foot cabin to themselves.
There’s more room to spread out, especially when the seat is in the lie-flat position.
JetBlue even installed a separate cushioned seat here so a companion can share the space.
Other amenities exclusive to the seat include a personal closet that can be used to store anything from a purse to shoes or a jacket. A small mirror is there to help freshen up after, say, an overnight flight to London
The in-flight entertainment screens in these enclaves are also the largest on the plane at 22 inches.
An additional tray table is built-in so companions can share a meal or get work done together. And if traveling solo, the table can also be used as simply an additional countertop to hold papers, a laptop, or food items.
The screen doesn’t extend all the way, however, so watching a movie together might difficult.
Standard seat amenities are also included like a tethered remote to control the in-flight entertainment…
A large countertop with individually-controlled lighting…
Wireless charging capabilities…
And a laptop holder under the screen, among other unique touches.
The regular suites are narrower but still comfortable and spacious when seated thanks to the suite’s curved walls.
For those that love looking out of the window, however, the angle of the seat makes doing that a bit harder as it requires turning one’s head at least 90 degrees.
Placed on each seat will be the standard business class amenities for the flight. A new service offering was just rolled out in November that includes a new partnership with the Delicious Hospitality Group, Tuft & Needle, Wanderfuel, and Master & Dynamic.
Among other items, passengers will get a pair of JetBlue-specific Master & Dynamic noise-isolating headphones…
Bedding kit from Tuft & Needle…
And a wellness kit from Wanderfuel.
Privacy-minded travelers at each seat can close the suite door for additional exclusivity.
A blue “do not disturb” sign can also be activated to let flight attendants know to skip certain passengers for the meal service.
All seats in the cabin were developed by Tuft & Needle, JetBlue’s new sleep partner, and double as mattress pads for when it’s time to sleep. Tuft & Needle also created the bedding that includes a “foot nook.”
Online reviews company Trustpilot has announced plans to list on the London Stock Exchange and raise $50 million, giving the UK capital a sizable technology listing as it competes with New York and Amsterdam for initial public offerings.
Trustpilot is seeking to take advantage of both strong demand for tech companies from investors and a boom in online retailing driven by the pandemic.
The Copenhagen-based company has already been boosted by the surge in online retailing, with revenues jumping 25% in 2020 to $102 million, narrowing its pre-tax losses to $12.9 million. Around 121 million reviews had been submitted through Trustpilot by the end of 2020, while the company had close to 20,000 subscribers using its paid service.
Trustpilot hopes its stock-market debut will give it a valuation of around £1 billion ($1.4 billion), according to a person familiar with the matter.
“With ecommerce making it more difficult for consumers to know where to place their trust and for businesses to earn it, Trustpilot is well positioned to facilitate the growth of the trust economy for years to come,” the company’s chairman Timothy Weller said in the statement announcing the intended IPO.
Chief executive Peter Holten Mühlmann said: “Today is a significant landmark in our development. We believe that an IPO of the business will allow us to continue the momentum of recent years, providing a platform to deliver new products to more geographies, and succeed in our vision to become a universal symbol of trust.”
Trustpilot’s plan to IPO in London is a boost for the UK’s main stock exchange, which has lost out in recent months to New York and Amsterdam when it comes to fashionable new listings.
New York has been at the centre of the boom in special-purpose acquisition companies – or SPACs – and is where the world’s biggest tech stocks are traded. Amsterdam has also attracted SPACs and has taken a growing share of European stock trading after Brexit.
Trustpilot plans a free float of at least 25% of shares. An over-allotment option could make another 15% available.
Remote working options have allowed many companies to keep going during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some companies even thriving as a result. However, this hasn’t been possible in all sectors with retail, hospitality, and healthcare among the most affected.
The expansion of remote working has led to labor inequalities in major European capitals including London, Paris, Madrid, and Berlin. Unemployment in the UK hit its highest level in five years last month and job offers have been harder to come by in all the cities and their countries. Meanwhile, remote jobs have thrived.
This is one of the major findings published in a report on remote working in European capitals, co-authored by OECD economist Lukas Kleine-Rueschkamp and the Indeed job portal’s chief research economist for the MENA area Pawel Adrjan.
Using data from the Indeed portal, they said: “Labour markets in these cities are being pulled apart in early 2021, with postings for higher-paid jobs performing better than those for lower-paid service jobs.”
Remote working as a factor of inequality
“The move to remote work is greater and more persistent in these cities than in other places and may be long-lasting,” the report said.
Major companies have recently extended their remote working policies, with Google planning to try and accommodate remote working indefinitely.
“Cities such as London have already experienced population declines,” Kleine-Rueschkamp and Adrjan added. They said that although it was unlikely that living in a major European capital would not have its perks after the pandemic, “the trends COVID-19 has initiated might weaken their appeal.”
Remote working does appear to be much more prevalent in major cities than in the rest of the country. Remote work increased 7.3% higher in Berlin than in the rest of Germany, and 5.4% more in Madrid than the rest of Spain.
Paris and London had smaller disparities but they were still notable. Remote working growth was 4% higher in Paris than in the whole of France, and 2.4% higher in London than the rest of the UK.
Remote job offers previously constituted 5% of the overall workforce in Madrid in 2020 but stood at 15.7% a year later. In the rest of Spain, the rate has increased from 4% to 10.4%.
The report attributes this phenomenon to the fact that “postings in occupations suitable for working at home, like tech, finance, law, and marketing, are most prevalent in big cities.” In comparison, the service sector is heavily affected by remote working and could be “scarred for a long time,” especially in London and Paris.
Fewer jobs available than before the pandemic
The OECD report revealed that job markets in European capitals had been seriously hit by the pandemic. London was the worst affected, with 41% fewer vacancies at the end of January 2021 compared to February 2020.
Paris and Madrid both had around 25% fewer vacancies than before the pandemic, while Berlin had 8% fewer. Paris was the only instance where the capital was worse affected than the rest of the country.
The report warned of the consequences of further decline in European capitals, as their economic growth tended to outstrip the rest of the country. In the years prior to the pandemic, “GDP per capita jumped more than 12% in these cities, almost 3 percentage points faster than national growth.”
At the height of the pandemic-related job market contractions, however, capitals were affected more than the rest of the country.
Job openings in London were 57% lower than before the pandemic, 48% lower in Madrid, 42% lower in Paris, and 26% lower in Berlin. The report noted that “for much of 2020, job openings in these cities were between five and 15 percentage points lower” than the rest of the country.
The report said large cities would “a difficult adjustment period for some urban workers,” adding that “the pandemic’s labor market effects may be temporary for some sectors, but, for others, they may last.”
Policymakers should support displaced workers and those at risk of redundancy by offering comprehensive skills development strategies tailored to local conditions,” the researchers concluded.
British Airways just dealt a blow to its premium customers as the airline is scrapping the all-business class aircraft formerly offered on the billion-dollar London-New York flagship route, Aviation Week reported.
The VIP-configured Airbus A318 aircraft was the only one of its kind in the British Airways fleet when its retirement was announced in July. The service boasted enhanced convenience and luxury to the business travelers that frequented the route and, with capacity for only 32 passengers, it was among the closest to a private jet in the airline world.
British Airways used the service to solidify its place as the route’s go-to premium carrier, replacing the Concorde as the crown jewel of the airline’s transatlantic offering. The smaller and more exclusive A318 service catered to the airline’s top spenders with a direct link between New York City and London’s financial district.
It was also a bucket list flight for many aviation enthusiasts since the A318 was already itself a rare aircraft on which to fly, let alone on a transatlantic journey and in an all-business class configuration. But the aircraft is no longer in British Airways’ fleet after being sent to be dismantled in the Netherlands, according to Aviation Week.
Take a look inside the most exclusive aircraft to connect New York and London since the Concorde.
Most people traveling between New York and London on British Airways before the pandemic found themselves either flying on a Boeing 747-400…
Or Boeing 777-200.
The two make up the majority of flights flying the $1 billion route between the two economic hubs but most don’t know about the third aircraft that flew British Airways’ top clients: the Airbus A318.
The smallest member of the Airbus A320 family, the A318 was a commercial flop for Airbus that only saw a handful of customers, mostly in Europe.
The aircraft is out of production and though British Airways was among the last and smallest operators of the type, it made the aircraft an icon in transatlantic aviation by flying it between New York and London.
While the thought of flying on a short-haul aircraft across the Atlantic may seem unappealing, there’s a catch to this aircraft in that it’s configured in an all-business class configuration.
Only 32 seats make up that sole premium cabin that’s spread out across eight rows.
And though small in size, this A318 had no shortage of comfort as all rows featured business class seats with fully lie-flat capabilities. These seats are not found on similar aircraft.
Amenities and features at each seat standard for business class included a plush pillow and blanket kit from The White Company….
Amenity kit from The White Company…
Foldable tray table…
Personal reading lamp…
110v AC power outlet…
And adjustable headrest.
Apple iPads were also distributed in lieu of seat-back entertainment screens.
Each row also had multiple windows for better views of the crossing during the day.
Though the standard in business class is now enclosed private suites which the A318 didn’t offer, a small divider separated the paired seats for an additional morsel of privacy.
Only three flight attendants serviced the passengers, providing a full business class meal service and drinks for the 3,000-nautical mile journey.
The seats were controlled via the armrest, with numerous customizable positions.
The lie-flat capability of the seats was ideal for the evening red-eye flight from New York to London, allowing business travelers to get a comfortable full night’s rest and head straight to work or meetings the next morning.
British Airways frequently saw passengers arriving in New York and London only to return within the next 24 hours, with the near downtown-to-downtown service allowing for a quick and luxurious in-and-out of the world’s top business centers.
While not the most modern business class product, the service as a whole made the Airbus A318 the aircraft of choice for those who could afford it when flying between London and New York.
And with only eight rows and 32 seats, the aircraft felt more like a private jet than a commercial airliner. Case in point, the flight before my visit in March 2020 only had five passengers on board.
As the aircraft couldn’t make it from London to New York nonstop – even with the reduced passenger load – it made a stop in Shannon, Ireland for fuel, where it also cleared US Customs and Border Protection.
Upon landing in New York, passengers onboard BA1 arrived in the terminal as they would if it were a domestic flight, with no further passport checks required.
British Airways only had one A318 in its fleet, G-EUNA, which solely flew this route.
Designed with business travelers in mind, the aircraft flew every day of the week except Saturdays.
It was intended to fill the gap left by the Concorde in 2003, with the A318’s first flight occurring in 2009.
G-EUNA flew the flag on British Airways’ flagship route wearing either the flight number BA1 or BA2 – depending on which direction it was flying – for 11 years before the coronavirus pandemic ended its tenure permanently in July.
Though not as fast as Concorde, the service was nearly every bit as exclusive, earning the nickname “Concorde’s baby sister.”