As the British Airways A380 aircraft touched down last week at Dulles, D.C. Internationalist caught up Sean Doyle, EVP of The Americas in the following Q&A (unedited).
DCI: Why did BA bring the A380 to the DC market? Aging 747? Competition?
SD: Washington DC is an important destination in the British Airways network. By nature of the industry sectors located in DC we know it is important to offer a superior, premium, experience and fast, efficient access to London and Europe. Washington was a Concorde route for us for many years and we are proud to be bringing one of our most innovative aircraft into the market again. This marks the first and only nonstop A380 service between the two nations’ capitals.
In regard to our Boeing 747s, we will continue the daily BA292 between Washington DC and London. Some of our much-loved Boeing 747 aircrafts are to receive a cabin refresh as well as state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems from next year. The refit will include a cabin interior refresh, bringing these 747s more in line with the airline’s newest aircraft. New seat foams will be installed in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus to increase customer comfort, and new style seat covers fitted to improve appearance and match those on the A380 and 787. Carpets and curtains throughout the plane will also be replaced to the new aircraft color palette.
The BA Lounge at Dulles remodeled in line with “The Galleries” at Heathrow Terminal 5
DCI: How does BA plan to engage and get involved with the DC community to promote its offerings?
SD: We have a broad marketing campaign in place to support the launch, including out of home and digital advertising as well as awareness-building through social media channels. We are also participating in Taste of DC this year, promoting our Height Cuisine approach to food and the new flavors to discover in London. All proceeds from our participation in the event will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington.