British Airways has announced it is to suspend its twice weekly service from London Heathrow to Agadir from 26 October 2014.
No specific reason has been given for the cancellation. However, we assume that poor commercial performance is a factor.
This was a route inherited by BA from its takeover of bmi in 2012 and is one of many subsequent route cancellations.
These include Damascus (29 May 2012), Addis Ababa (10 June 2012), Dammam (16 September 2012), Bishkek, Khartoum (1 October 2012), Tehran (12 October 2012), Yerevan (13 October 2012), Amristar, Casablanca, Marrakech (28 October 2012) and Tbilisi (31 March 2013).
Affected passengers have the option of a full refund or flying to Marrakech from London Gatwick or Casablanca via Madrid. No direct alternative route is available.
British Airways continues to battle to regain lost market share in the European short-haul market from easyJet.
The airline has today, 5 March 2014, announced a new fare enabling passengers to do “out and back in a day” trips to a number of short-haul destinations in the UK and mainland Europe on Saturdays and Sundays.
The lead-in return fares are £79 to Dublin and Geneva, £89 for Edinburgh and Rome and £99 for Vienna and Munich. These fares are available for booking now and we note that relatively short notice weekend fares for these destinations are significantly cheaper than others.
BA claim that these fares may be extended to other short-haul destinations in due course. We infer these fares are something of an experiment to help fill otherwise relatively quiet early morning and late night flights on weekends.
That said, this is a welcome innovation and certainly something we can see ourselves taking advantage of.
If the experience of “Hand Baggage Only” fares is anything to by, it should be extended across the network very quickly.
Today, 3 March 2014, at 12:35, a Boeing 787 operating as British Airways flight BA191 will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5. 10 hours and 25 minutes later it should land at Bergstrom International airport in Austin, Texas, completing the inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Austin.
Initially the service will operate five times a week, increasing to daily from 5 May 2014.
This is the first new transatlantic route launched by BA since Las Vegas in 2009 and San Diego in 2011.
It is noteworthy as this is the first route launched specifically for the Boeing 787 which has, to date, been used to either replace Boeing 767s on transatlantic flights or Boeing 777s on “thinner” Asia routes.
Although much has been made by BA and its parent company International Airlines Group that the Boeing 787 will aid the launch of new routes between London and Asia, we expect further transatlantic routes to by opened up by the 787, particularly because of the support provided by BA’s transatlantic joint-venture partner, American Airlines.
Not only do more routes give BA network strength against Delta and Virgin Atlantic, but also the Middle Eastern carriers who have only begun to scratch the surface of the North America market.
British Airways has today confirmed that its flights from London Heathrow to Belfast City and Dublin airports (together making 12 return flights a day) will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5 from Sunday 24 October 2014.
Ever since BA took over bmi 18 months ago, it has found itself returned to a situation it was in three years ago at London Heathrow. That is operating across three terminals in the airport (1, 3 and 5).
This is plainly undesirable from the perspective of both passenger experience and efficiency. Terminal 1 is unpopular for many reasons, not least the general condition of the terminal which is due to close in 2016.
BA has now confirmed that it will consolidate its operations in Terminals 3 and 5 from 2015. The new Terminal 2 will not be used by any Oneworld carriers.
International Airlines Group held its annual Capital Markets Day on Friday 15 November 2013. This is an event where a very large volume of financial and strategic material is presented to institutional investors and analysts. However, there are small items of news (more to follow) of interest to the public at large.
One concerns the London-Singapore-Sydney route. Ever since Qantas jettisoned its partnership with BA in favour of a joint-venture with Emirates there has been speculation as to whether BA would be able to continue to serve Australia directly.
Over the past few years, British Airways has operated summer seasonal weekend flights from its London Heathrow base to European holiday destinations.
Initially, these were charter flights for holiday companies and last year BA launched seasonal weekly flights to Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca. Both of these two destinations are to return to Heathrow next summer.
The use of Heathrow slots for summer seasonal flights ramps up a gear next summer as BA launches twice weekly flights to Faro (also operated from Gatwick), Malaga (also operated from Gatwick and London City), Mykonos, Porto and Santorini.
Flights to Oporto, Faro and Malaga operate from 30 March 2014. Flights to Mykonos operate from 3 May 2014 and flights to Santorini operate from 4 May 2014.
Although it may seem unusual BA is launching these routes from its main hub at Heathrow, instead of Gatwick which has served as BA’s main base for leisure flights over the past years, there is a logic in using Heathrow slots for such flights at weekends when business routes are relatively quiet. No doubt these routes are also supported by bookings from tour operators.
Quite a mixed picture for BA in Africa at the moment. Yesterday, BA announced that its route to Lusaka was being dropped and this followed the suspension of its route to Dar es Salaam earlier this year.
On a more positive note, BA is to increase flights to Accra from daily to 10 weekly from Sunday 27 October 2013. Furthermore, the daily flight will be upgaged from a Boeing 777 to a Boeing 747 from Sunday 30 March 2014. This is no doubt a competitive response to Virgin Atlantic withdrawing from this route.