BRITISH AIRWAYS today launches its business class-only flight – yours for a minimum of £1,900 a pop – from the City airport to New York.

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Flights that scrub out economy class passengers seem like a pre-recession example of bonus and Bollinger excess and sure enough, three business-class only airlines had gone belly-up by this time last year, but British Airways reckons the time is right to try again.

Making the City airport the executive service’s base is seen as the the secret to success, as its customers are thought likely to come from down the road in the Square Mile. Last year more than a quarter of BA’s clients came from the finance sector.

One snag is that the small plane – a 32-seat Airbus A318, pictured – necessary for Docklands airport means it can’t carry enough fuel to make it all the way over the Atlantic, so it’ll have to stop at Shannon in Ireland.

BA says the new flight will still be quicker for City types than the non-stop Heathrow route, after taking into account the time saved going via the City airport and the fact passengers will be able to clear US immigration at Shannon.

It’ll also be one of the few flights around on which you can use text on your phone.