What are British Airways’ plans for the refurbishment and retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet?

We’ve received a lot of search enquiries of late regarding BA’s Boeing 747 fleet. We suspect this may be in part due to the condition of some of them! It’s an issue we have looked at previously and we thought we’d cover some of the most frequently asked questions:

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Finnair offers special business class fares to Beijing, Chongqing, Dehli, and Xi’an from £999

Finnair has today launched a business class sale for travel to Beijing, Chongqing, Dehli, and Xi’an via its hub in Helsinki.

Fares range from £999 to £,1399.

Bookings must be made by 5 March 2015 for travel between 7 April and 21 June 2015. There is also a minimum stay of either six nights or a Saturday night.

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Iberia Express launches London Heathrow – Palma Mallorca route

Iberia continues its steady expansion into the UK market with the launch of a new route from London Heathrow to Palma, Mallorca from 29 March 2015.

The flight operates from London Heathrow Terminal 5 daily.

Flight IB3615 Depart London Heathrow 20:30 – Arrive Palma 23:50
Flight IB3615 Depart Palma 17:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:15

BA also flies to Palma from London Heathrow. Flights operate daily. Times vary but flights typically leave late morning or early afternoon.

Flights are on sale now on and BA.com

BA also flies to Palma from London City. easyJet, Norwegian, Thomas Cook and Monarch also fly to Palma from London Gatwick.

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British Airways suspends London Gatwick – Gran Canaria route from 29 March 2015

British Airways was due to launch a twice weekly service from London Gatwick to Gran Canaria from 29 March 2015. However, for “commercial reasons” (we assume poor forward bookings), the airline is to suspend the route.

Passengers will be accommodated on either a new Iberia Express service from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Gran Canaria which launches on 30 March 2015 or BA’s Saturday service to Gran Canaria (also from Heathrow Terminal 5).

Alternatively, passengers have the option of flying to another nearby BA destination from London Gatwick (Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote), or via Iberia’s hub in Madrid. Alternatively, passengers are entitled to a full refund.

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British Airways launches new route from Cambridge Airport to Gothenburg

As we have remarked before, British Airways has long earned itself the moniker “London Airways” for the fact that it does not fly internationally from any UK city other than London.

The one exception are routes operated by its franchise partner Sun Air which flies from Manchester to Billund and Gothenburg.

Another new route launched by Sun-Air is Cambridge to Gothernburg. We know Cambridge strictly isn’t London, but many airports have been flexible in this regard!

This route launches on 2 March 2015 and operates once a day on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
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Vietnam Airlines launches direct flights from London Heathrow to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh from 30 March 2015

Vietnam Airlines will transfer its flights from London to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh from London Gatwick airport to London Heathrow from 30 March 2015.

The airline will fly to both cities twice a week.

London Heathrow – Hanoi

Flight VN54 Depart London Heathrow 14:45 – Arrive Hanoi 08:30 (Tuesdays, Fridays)
Flight VN55 Depart Hanoi 23:55 – Arrive London Heathrow 06:40 (Monday, Thursday)

London Heathrow – Ho Chi Minh

Flight VN50 Depart London Heathrow 14:45 – Arrive Ho Chi Minh 09:10 (Wednesdays, Saturdays)
Flight VN51 Depart Ho Chi Minh 23:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 06:40 (Tuesdays, Fridays)

Flights will arrive and depart from London Heathrow Terminal 4. Flights are currently operated with a Boeing 777 in a two class (economy and business) configuration

It is noteworthy that Vietnam Airlines has been able to secure an early morning arrival slot at London Heathrow – something which is vital to secure business traffic. These slots can trade for many tens of millions of pounds.

The loss of these routes will be a disappointment to London Gatwick, particularly when both Gatwick and Heathrow are campaigning for additional runway capacity. This move (which follows other long-haul scheduled airlines from Gatwick to Heathrow) supports the argument that long-haul airlines prefer Heathrow over Gatwick.

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London City airport receives planning permission to increase flight capacity by more than 50%

London City airport has received planning permission from Newham Council to make investments in its infrastructure to expand capacity at the airport.

London City airport say that additional runway capacity will enable larger aircraft to operate from the airport and enable the number of flights at the airport to increase from 70,000 to 110,000 (a cap imposed by Newham Council).

The development originally proposed by the airport included adding seven aircraft parking stands, extending the terminal building and building a new eastern passenger pier and a new passenger forecourt in front of the terminal building.
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