VIDEO: Stunning views from British Airways A318 cockpit during steep approach into London City

British Airways has released a cockpit video showing the steep approach into London City Airport to celebrate the airline’s business-class only service completing 25 million miles – which the airline says is the equivalent to 100 trips to the moon or circling the earth 1,000 times.

Video © British Airways/Nick Morrish

The video shows British Airways Captain Karen Atherton and Senior First Officer Paul Riglar at the controls of one of the airline’s specially modified A318 aircraft which enable it to perform the special steep approach required at London City Airport.

Captain Atherton is one of only 27 British Airways Captains qualified to carry out this challenging landing. Only very experienced Airbus pilots at the airline can apply to fly on the route, and all must pass a rigorous extra training programme, involving simulator testing and route flying, before being accepted into the fleet.

Atherton said, “The views flying into London are breathtaking, and are a constant reminder of what an incredibly beautiful city it really is. The level of training required is demanding, and rightly so, but the flying is extremely rewarding. I have one of the best commutes home in the world, and it’s great to be able to share the experience with our customers with this video.”

Due to the airport’s proximity to Central London, and because of its slightly shorter runway, the A318 aircraft is specially modified to allow it to fly this approach, using spoilers on the wing to produce enough aerodynamic drag to maintain the approach speed.

The footage, filmed from the pilots’ perspective in the flight deck, can be seen above, or in a shorter time-lapse format here.