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Technical problem forces BA plane to turn back

A British Airways' plane with more than 200 passengers on board has landed safely after having to return to London following a suspected technical problem.

Credit: PA

The Boeing 777 - flight BA49 - had left Heathrow Airport at around 2.35pm today bound for Seattle in the USA.

It reached a point north-west of Edinburgh when the cockpit crew made the decision to return to Heathrow.

The aircraft, carrying 218 passengers and 14 crew, landed at around 4.45pm.

Our highly trained pilots returned to Heathrow as a precaution after a suspected technical fault.

Our engineers will inspect the aircraft to determine what the issue was

We are using another Boeing 777 which is scheduled to depart at 9pm this evening. We are sorry for any delays to customers' travel plans, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.

– British Airways


Aer Lingus board signals approval for latest takeover offer

Aer Lingus's board has recommended an improved 1.36 billion-euro ($1.52 billion) takeover offer from the owner of British Airways, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the airline said.

Aer Lingus's board have recommended an approved 1.32 billion-euro takeover offer from the owners of BA. Credit: PA Wire.

The new proposal by IAG is its third in sixth weeks. It is worth 2.55 euros per share, up from a previous 2.40 euros, and includes a cash offer of 2.50 per euros share and a cash dividend of 0.05 euros per share.

Aer Lingus said its recommendation is subject to being satisfied with how IAG proposes to address the interests of its two largest shareholders; budget airline Ryanair and the Irish government.

BA 'working closely' with health authorities on Ebola

British Airways said it is "working closely" with health authorities in England and Wales after a passenger on a flights from Heathrow to London was diagnosed with Ebola.

Customers who flew from London Heathrow to Glasgow on BA1478 which departed at 21.00 on Sunday December 28 and have concerns should contact the special number, 08000 858531, set up by the Scottish Government.

– British Airways statement

"The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our top priority and the risk to people on board that individual flight is extremely low," BA added.

British Airways plane checked after 'technical issues'

A British Airways plane is being checked after its crew had to make two unscheduled landings in three days.

The British Airways plane suffered technical issues on two flights in three days. Credit: PA Wire

On Friday, the Boeing 777, flying from Heathrow Airport to Boston, USA, made an unscheduled stop at Shannon Airport due to a "suspected technical issue".

The same aircraft, carrying 220 passengers, had to be diverted to Shannon on its journey from Seattle to Heathrow on Sunday morning following a "minor technical issue".

The passengers were later flown to their destination on a replacement flight, while the plane was inspected.

A BA spokeswoman said: "Safety is always our first priority, and the aircraft diverted purely as a precaution."


BA launches pet-only TV channel for passengers

British Airways is to introduce an in-flight entertainment channel featuring cute cats and dogs.

The Paws & Relax channel, featuring cartoons as well as cats and dogs playing, is being launched on long-haul flights next month.

It is the latest unique launch from BA in recent months, after a new genre of "Slow TV", showing an unedited seven-hour Norwegian train journey, was introduced in July.

The in-flight show Paws and Relax features cats and dogs. Credit: PA
The channel will only be available on long-haul flights. Credit: PA
A British Airways air hostess holds a Staffordshire mix puppy at the launch of new 'Paws & Relax' channel. Credit: PA Wire

British Airways to stop flying in Iraq airspace

British Airways will no longer fly over Iraq. Credit: PA

British Airways has decided to stop flying over war-torn Iraq.

The decision came after America's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today issued a Notice to Airmen (Notam) "restricting US operators from flying in the airspace above Iraq due to the hazardous situation created by the armed conflict".

Another UK carrier, Virgin Atlantic Airways, had already stopped flying over Iraq, while other airlines which are bypassing the troubled Middle East country include Air France and Dubai-based Emirates.

BA had been continuing to use Iraqi airspace in recent days while reviewing its position on a daily basis.

BA uses Iraq airspace to reach such destinations as Dubai and Doha in Oman.

BA suspends Sierra Leone and Liberia flights over Ebola

British Airways has offered customers with bookings to Sierra Leone and Liberia to rebook their flights or request a full refund. Credit: Tim Ockenden/PA Wire

British Airways has temporarily suspended all flights to Sierra Leone and Liberia due to the Ebola outbreak.

The airline confirmed all its flights to and from the respective capitals of Freetown and Monrovia have been suspended until August 31 because of the "deteriorating public health situation" in both countries.

The safety of our customers, crew and ground teams is always our top priority and we will keep the route under constant review in the coming weeks.

Customers with tickets on those routes are being offered a range of options including a full refund and the ability to rebook their flights to a later date.

– British Airways spokesperson

BA boss: We fly over Iraq because we consider it safe

British Airways' boss said the airline will continue to fly over Iraq, despite other European firms diverting their planes amid heightened fears following the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA's owners International Airlines Group, told the Financial Times (£) he considered the airspace safe.

British Airways chief Willie Walsh said airline will continue to fly over Iraq. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

"We fly over Iraq because we consider it safe - if we thought Iraq was unsafe we would not fly over Iraq," he said.

BA had decided not to fly over Ukraine prior to the MH17 crisis.

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