British Airways returns to Kuala Lumpur from 27 May 2015

British Airways has today announced it is to return to the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur from 27 May 2015.

BA will operate a daily flight from London Heathrow Terminal 5, initially with a four class Boeing 777 (this may change to Boeing 787).

Flight BA33 – Depart London Heathrow 20:15 – Arrive Kaula Lumpur 16:00

Flight BA34 – Depart Kuala Lumpur 23:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 05:25

The flight timings work well for the business traveller. BA and others have long argued that expansion at Heathrow will open up routes to the East, so it is good to evidence of this in action.

Kuala Lumpur is of course currently served twice daily by fellow Oneworld alliance partner Malaysian Airlines which has had some well documented problems of late and is currently undergoing a restructuring. There is no news yet on whether Malaysian Airlinesis to reduce capacity from London Heathrow. As BA and Malaysian do not have anti-trust immunity they would be prohibited from discussing/co-ordinating capacity and scheduling decisions on this route.

It’s noteworthy that BA has allocated a peak early arrival slot to this route, traditionally reserved for long-standing “trunk” routes such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Johannesburg, so it’s clearly expected to an important route.

There is also no news yet on any codeshares with Malaysian Airlines on regional routes from Malaysia which we expect will be important to sustain the route.

Flights are now on sale on

Finally, for various reasons, new routes to Asia tend to take a while to grow passenger traffic and BA has in the past offered special fares for new route launches such as Chengdu and Seoul, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for any special fares when launch date approaches.

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Air France London Heathrow – Charles de Gaulle flights disrupted by airline industrial action

Air France pilots are currently engaged in a week long strike, due to end on Monday 22 September. The strike has caused significant disruption to Air France operations, including London Heathrow – Paris Charles de Gaulle flights.

Today, Monday 15 September, four out of eight departures from London Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle we cancelled.

On Tuesday 16 September, all departures from London Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle have been cancelled.

On Wednesday 17 September, four out of eight departures from London Heathrow to Paris Charles de Gaulle have been cancelled (this has now increased to six as of Tuesday evening).

No flights on Thursday 18 September are currently showing as cancelled. This is likely to change over the coming days (Five out of eight flights are cancelled as of Tuesday evening, now increased to seven as of Wednesday evening).

No flights on Friday 19 September are currently showing as cancelled. (Six out of eight flights are now cancelled as of Wednesday evening.)

Air France has provided specific guidance on cancellation and rebooking options on its website.

In addition, real time flight departure & arrival information is also available on the Air France website.

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San Francisco is the next route to be served by British Airways’ Airbus A380

British Airways has today confirmed that its next new route for the Airbus A380 will be San Francisco.

This is the sixth BA destination to be served by the A380.

From April 2015, the A380 will operate on one of BA’s twice daily flights between London Heathrow and San Francisco, five days a week.

The A380 will operate as BA287 & BA286 to/from San Francisco to London on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The same flight on Tuesdays and Wednesdays will continue to be operated by a Boeing 747, as will the second daily service, BA 285 & BA284.

BA currently operates the A380 on selected flights between London Heathrow and Hong Kong, Johannesburg, and Los Angeles. The A380 is also due to fly to Washington from 2 October and Singapore from Thursday 28 October.

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British Airways launches new route from London City to Hamburg from 27 October 2014

British Airways’ expansion at London City airport continues with the launch of a twice daily service (excluding weekends) from the airport to Hamburg in Germany from 27 October 2014.

The route will be operated for BA by its Scandinavian franchise partner SUN-AIR using a single cabin (so no Club Europe business class) Dornier 328 Turboprop commuter aircraft.

Here is the planned timetable:

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Sunday Times Report: Virgin Atlantic to close “Little Red” London Heathrow routes to Manchester, Aberdeen, Edinburgh

The business section of today’s Sunday Times leads with a story (subscription required) that Virgin Atlantic is to close its “Little Red” domestic operation from London Heathrow to Manchester, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

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British Airways to upgrade 18 of its 46 Boeing 747-400 aircraft with new Panasonic in flight entertainment and “refreshed” economy and premium economy cabins

In our look at BA’s retirement plan for the Boeing 747-400 we remarked that many aircraft are beginning to show their age internally and are in need of refurbishment.

The good news is BA has today confirmed a refurbishment plan for its Boeing 747 fleet. But for only 18 out of 46 aircraft.

The refurbishment will include the installation of a new Panasonic eX3 (not currently used by the airline) in flight entertainment system which will offer substantially more choice and better reliability than the Rockwell Collins system currently used the 747, with up to 130 films and 400 TV programmes.

The 18 747s will also have “refreshed” interiors which will include new carpets, curtains and seat foam and covers for World Traveller economy and World Traveller Plus premium economy cabins.

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Virgin Atlantic suspends flights to Cape Town, Mumbai, Tokyo Narita and Vancouver in major network overhaul

Virgin Atlantic has today announced a major over-haul of its long-haul network, in what is arguably the single biggest chance to its network since the events of 11 September 2001.

Virgin’s year-round services from London Heathrow to Mumbai and Tokyo Narita will be suspended from 31 January 2015.

Virgin’s seasonal flights from London Heathrow to Vancouver and Cape Town will be suspended permanently from 11 October 2014 and 26 April 2015 respectively.

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