British Airways is in the process of firming up its schedules for the winter travel season, which officially starts on Sunday 28 October 2018.
Here are details of schedule and terminal changes for London Heathrow. Further announcements are expected, particularly at London Gatwick where BA is yet to announce how many of the slots it has acquired from Monarch will be used in the winter.
Please note the details below are based on announcements by BA to the travel trade and our own enquiries on third party subscription services. Not all updates may be updated on ba.com at the time of publication.
New Long-Haul Routes
BA will fly direct to Durban three times a week from Monday 29 October 2018.
New Short-Haul Routes
BA will fly to Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport from Sunday 28 October 2018. More details here.
BA’s daily service to Calgary is suspended from 28 October 2018 until Sunday 31 March 2019. More details here.
BA’s weekly service to Luanda is suspended from Thursday 7 June 2018. More details here.
BA’s twice weekly service to Palermo is suspended from the winter season. Affected passengers can be rebooked on to Air Italy via Milan or Vueling via Rome or Barcelona. Note that neither airline offers business class to Palermo.
BA’s service to Tehran is suspended from Saturday 22 September. More details here.
Turin was planned to resume twice weekly from Sunday 16 December 2018 to Saturday 30 March 2019. However, the route has been cancelled. Passengers will be re-accommodated on BA flights from Gatwick.
Winter Seasonal Routes
BA will fly to Marrakech four times a week Thursday – Sunday from 28 October 2018 until Saturday 30 March 2019, complementing its existing service from Gatwick.
Salzburg resumes, four times weekly from Sunday 16 December 2018 to Saturday 30 March 2019.
Flights will be operated with a three class Boeing 787-8 aircraft.
This is the only direct route between Europe and Durban. Emirates flies direct to Durban from Dubai. Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines also serve Durban via Johannesburg.
Although flights do not operate daily, it will be possible to connect to domestic BA services to/from Cape Town and Johannesburg on flights operated by BA’s franchise partner Comair.
This does solidify BA’s position on the London – South Africa market. BA is the sole operator on London Heathrow – Cape Town, to where BA can despatch up to three Boeing 747s a day in the winter. BA also operates up to two Airbus A380s a day on London Heathrow – Johannesburg, where South African Airways is cutting capacity.
One noteworthy difference to Cape Town and Johannesburg is that the return flight to London is a day flight rather than an overnight flight, which is obviously a matter of personal preference.
Your children can fly for free on BA between London Heathrow and select UK domestic short-haul this summer.
BA is once again running its summer “Kids Fly Free” promotion. Children up to the age of twelve can fly for free with at least one adult on flights between London Heathrow and Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford and Newcastle. Unlike previous years, no destinations in mainland Europe are included in the promotion.
The promotion only applies to flights to/from London Heathrow and bookings in EuroTraveller economy. It does not apply to flights to/from London Gatwick or London City.
The offer is valid for travel from Friday 1 June 2018 to Monday 5 November 2018. with no blackout dates.
Flights must be booked by Sunday 13 May 2018, as per the attached PDF issued by BA.
Her Majesty The Queen had officially opened London Heathrow Terminal 5 just short of two weeks before its planned opening on 27 March 2008. Hundreds of passengers had volunteered to take part in pre-opening trials. The airline was at pains to emphasise that it had learnt the lessons of teething problems at Denver and Madrid. The baggage system had been put through its paces for months.
BA promised its frequent flyers that the terminal would be “So calm, you’ll simply flow through.” Such was BA’s confidence in its promise of “no queuing” the terminal didn’t even have a dedicated business class check-in at launch. A TV ad featuring fish swimming through the terminal was ready to air.
BA was the exclusive tenant of Heathrow’s first new terminal in more than 20 years and as the home to almost all of its Heathrow flights it would transform its presence at the airport.
On opening day, the then BA CEO Willie Walsh was to greet passengers arriving on the first flight at Terminal 5 from Hong Kong and usher in a new era for the airline.
Aer Lingus is to operate selected British Airways flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin and Hamburg. However, Aer Lingus will offer an economy-only service on this route, with no business class cabin.
As we reported earlier this month, BA has recently acquired a portfolio of slots at London Gatwick from the airline Monarch which suspended operations late last year. As BA is required to make use of the slots to avoid forfeiting them, its fleet of Airbus short-haul aircraft is going to quite stretched over the coming months as it scrambles to fill the slots.
A consequence of this is that BA has called on Aer Lingus, which is a fellow subsidiary of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, to operate selected flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin and Hamburg from early Feburary 2018.
At the outset, we should mention that this should not be confused with BA’s existing codeshare arrangement with Aer Lingus. BA has long codeshared on Aer Lingus operated flights from London Heathrow Terminal 2 to Dublin. These flights have the numbers BA59**.
BA flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Dublin to be operated by Aer Lingus
BA0824 London Heathrow – Dublin
BA0826 London Heathrow – Dublin
BA0828 London Heathrow – Dublin (certain days only)
BA0827 Dublin – London Heathrow
BA0831 Dublin – London Heathrow
BA0833 Dublin – London Heathrow (certain days only)
This typically represents two of up to eight daily return BA flights between London Heathrow and Dublin.
BA flights between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Hamburg to be operated by Aer Lingus
BA0962 London Heathrow – Hamburg
BA0969 Hamburg – London Heathrow
British Airways is to launch another summer seasonal route from London Heathrow, to the Greek island of Kefalonia.
BA will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Kefalonia twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays between Tuesday 15 May and Saturday 6 October 2018. Flights will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft in a two class, Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy configuration.
This latest route launches comes on top of recent announcements to Almeria and Corsica.
BA has also confirmed that summer seasonal routes to Ibiza, Mykonos, Oblia and Split will return next summer with increased frequencies. A large number of other summer seasonal routes will also return including Corfu, Kalamata, Murcia, Santorini and Zante. Three Heathrow routes that are not returning are Biarritz, Kos and Montpellier. Please see here for our full guide to summer seasonal routes at London Heathrow.
BA has undertaken, to use its lexicon, a “refresh” of its Concorde Room at London Heathrow Terminal 5.
There are no structural changes to the lounge as such. The basic layout and services in the lounge remain the same. The main changes are the reulphostering of furniture and changes to the layout of the terrace area with the addition of new sofas, day loungers and cabanas. And duck feet lamps.
A set of press images and video is below.
To quote those well known Australian cultural commentators Kath & Kim: “It’s nice. It’s different. It’s unusual.”
On related news, London Heathrow Terminal 5 has gained its second paid-for access lounge with the opening of a Plaza Premium lounge.The lounge is next to Gate A7 in the main terminal. The lounge is open from 05:00 to 22:00 daily. It promises views of the runway, showers, and a full bar and fresh food. No press pictures are available but Plaza Premium has built up a highly regarded portfolio of lounges at London Heathrow so it should impress. Continue reading “BA “refreshes” its London Heathrow Concorde Room”
BA has suspended another of its summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow: Kos.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund.
Passengers can also be re-accommodated on Austrian Airlines services from Vienna to Kos which operate up to three times weekly in the summer. However, the Monday service leaves Vienna at 08:05 making a same day connection in Vienna impossible.
Austrian Airlines does not operate a business class cabin on this route. So if you were booked into Club Europe you will be downgraded to economy. Passengers must also fly to Vienna on a BA operated flight for the connection to Austrian Airlines and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Saturday 29 September 2018.
This also only applies to passengers who have paid for a cash ticket. If you have booked a flight using Avios your flight will be refunded.
It is quite common for BA to announce more rebooking options in the weeks after a route is cancelled. Therefore, if the above options are not satisfactory it is worth waiting a week or so to see if any alternatives emerge.
Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.
BA has suspended two of its summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow to Biarritz and Montpellier.
These routes launched last summer. They were scheduled to resume from early May to late September 2018, but have now been cancelled.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. The following rebooking options are also available:
Passengers can rebook on to an alternative BA operated flight from London Heathrow to Bilbao or Toulouse or from London Gatwick to Bordeaux. However, any additional consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your expense.
Alternatively, passengers can be re-accommodated via Madrid on Air Nostrum which flies to Biarritz daily. This obviously involves an element of back-tracking. Passengers must fly to Madrid on a BA operated flight for the connection to Air Nostrum and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Saturday 29 September 2018.
Passengers can also be re-accommodated on Air France services from Paris Charles de Gualle and Paris Orly to Biarritz. However, note that Air France does not operate a business class cabin on this route. Passengers must fly to Paris on a BA operated flight for the connection to Air France and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Sunday 30 September 2018.
Passengers can be re-accommodated via Amsterdam on KLM which flies to Montpellier daily. Passengers must fly to Amsterdam on a BA operated flight for the connection to KLM and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Sunday 30 September 2018.
BA has not announced any re-accommdation arrangements on airlines that fly direct from London to either Biarritz or Montpellier.
Passengers can also be re-accommodated on Air France services from Paris Charles de Gualle and Paris Orly to Montpellier. However, note that Air France does not operate a business class cabin on this route. Passengers must fly to Paris on a BA operated flight for the connection to Air France and fly between Saturday 5 May 2018 and Sunday 30 September 2018.
Note that it is quite common for BA to announce more rebooking options in the weeks after a route is cancelled. Therefore, if the above options are not satisfactory it is worth waiting a week or so to see if any alternatives emerge.
Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.