British Airways London Heathrow Winter Schedule

Here are details of BA’s London Heathrow winter schedule from Sunday 28 October 2018 with details of new and seasonal winter routes as well as terminal, aircraft and frequency changes.

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BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

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.

Route Suspensions

BA’s daily service to Calgary is suspended 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.

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.

Continue reading “British Airways London Heathrow Winter Schedule”

BA officially joins TSA PreCheck®

British Airways is now officially participating in TSA PreCheck® programme which allows eligible passengers to undergo an expedited security screening process at US airports.

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BA New York JFK Terminal 7
BA New York JFK Terminal 7 (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways and the Transport Security Administration have today, Thursday 17 May 2018, officially confirmed that the airline is now participating in the TSA PreCheck® programme.

The TSA PreCheck® programme allows eligible members to go through an expedited security screening process at US airports when flying on participating airlines.

BA has in fact been participating in TSA PreCheck® for a while. Indeed, the BA press release issued today refers to the imminent launch of Nashville, which actually happened two weeks ago. However, for reasons unknown, an official announcement has only been made today.

Members of the Global Entry scheme for citizens of the UK and many other countries are eligible, as are US citizens and lawful permanent residents enrolled in TSA PreCheck®, NEXUS or SENTRI and Canadian citizens who are members of NEXUS.

Here is a comparison chart from the Department for Homeland Security to explain the differences between the different schemes.

You can enter your Known Traveller Number or Pass ID on the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

There are some limitations at the moment for BA passengers:

1. You must have a printed boarding pass, either at home or the airport. Mobile boarding passes are not yet enabled for TSA PreCheck®. You should have no difficulty whatsoever asking for a printed boarding pass at the airport even if you have checked in online.

2. TSA PreCheck® is not currently available at New York JFK Terminal 7 which is currently undergoing renovations.

Both should be available from summer this year. For the avoidance of doubt, TSA PreCheck® is not available at Heathrow or any other UK airport.

BA Doha Cancellations to September 2018

British Airways has cancelled its daily flight between London Heathrow to Doha until September 2018. Here are options for affected passengers.

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

Cancellation of London Heathrow – Doha

British Airways continues to cancel its daily flight between London Heathrow and Doha until for “operational reasons”.

BA123 is cancelled from London Heathrow to Doha until Friday 31 August 2018.

BA122 is also cancelled from Doha to London Heathrow from until Saturday 1 September 2018.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellations other than “operational reasons”.

It is understood that the Boeing 777 which operates this route is being used to cover other routes which use the Boeing 787 fleet which is currently undergoing maintenance to their engines.

A number of Boeing 787 flights to Los Angeles, San Jose California and Tokyo Narita have also been cancelled.

Given this route has been subject to very extensive cancellations over the past 12 months further cancellations, if not its complete suspension, are likely.

Continue reading “BA Doha Cancellations to September 2018”

BA opens new Aberdeen lounge

British Airways has opened a new lounge in Aberdeen, the second lounge after Rome to showcase its new lounge concept.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways lounge at Aberdeen International Airport (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)
British Airways lounge at Aberdeen International Airport (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)

British Airways has this week opened its new lounge in Aberdeen.

It follows a similar design aesthetic to its recently opened Rome Fiumicino airport. As with Rome there is a distinctly Scandinavian feel. It is a sharp contrast to the rest of BA’s lounge portfolio.

At 380 m2 in size, the lounge features a wide variety of seating options, with views of the runway. The centrepiece of the lounge is a self-pour granite topped bar. BA also promises food appropriate to the time of day.

The lounge also includes posters and art work from the airline’s collection and “The Long Winding Shores” by artist Maddie Rose Hills.

As is clear from the images below, there is no shortage of powerpoint throughout the lounge.

The new lounge is part of a rolling worldwide lounge refurbishment programme at BA.

Passengers travelling in Club Europe and Executive Club Silver and Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge. BA flies from London Heathrow to Aberdeen up to eight times daily.
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You can now use Avios to pay for seat selection on BA

BA Executive Club members can now use Avios to pay for seat selection on BA operated flights.

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BA World Traveller Cabin, Boeing 777-300 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

For airlines, charging for seating selection is the ultimate revenue raising exercise.

For passengers, the certainty of knowing where on the aircraft you will be seated can be of huge value. Whilst some can live the uncertainty. Others can’t bear it.

Not only that, beyond the initial IT expense, it costs airlines nothing to offer this service. All the extra revenue from seat selection charges goes straight to the bottom line.

BA has for nearly ten years charged for seat selection, except primarily for those travelling in First or Bronze, Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders.

It was one of a number of measures introduced when the airline was scrambling to survive the post-Lehman Brothers financial crisis. Although many balked at the idea at the time, not least charging to reserve a seat in Club World, it has survived.

From today, Tuesday 8 May 2018, you can now use Avios to pay for seat selection in whole or in part, instead of cash.
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BA launches London Heathrow – Durban

British Airways will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Durban three times weekly from Monday 29 October 2018.

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KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
KwaZulu-Natal South Africa (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched a new direct route from London Heathrow to Durban.

BA will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Durban (King Shaka International Airport) three times a week from Monday 29 October 2018.

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.

Flights will be on sale from 9 May at ba.com

London Heathrow – Durban (Winter Schedule)

Flight BA41 Depart London Heathrow 15:45 – Arrive Durban 05:35 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA40 Depart Durban 07:35 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:45 (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday)

BA Updates on Boeing 787 Dreamliner Engine Issues

BA has confirmed that its Boeing 787 flights are likely to be disrupted due to Rolls Royce engine maintenance requirements until August 2018.

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BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

IAG, the parent company of British Airways, provided an update yesterday, Friday 4 May, on the impact of a recent Federal Aviation Administration Directive on Boeing 787 aircraft with certain Rolls Royce engines.

This affects the ETOPS certification of the aircraft which determines how far they can fly away from the nearest diversionary airport.

At the time of writing, one Boeing 787-8 and one Boeing 787-9 aircraft has been out of service for at least a week. BA has 9 Boeing 787-8 and 17 Boeing 787-9 aircraft in service. Together, they represent about 20% of BA’s wide body long-haul fleet.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh has not hidden his dissatisfaction over the issue. Given that IAG is currently in negotiations with Airbus and Boeing over future long-haul aircraft orders, there will be even more pressure on Rolls Royce to resolve this.

London Heathrow Cancellations

Since mid-April a number of flights have been proactively cancelled on selected Boeing 787 routes from London Heathrow. This issue is going to continue until at least August of this year.

Routes that have been prone to cancellation include Baltimore, Luanda, Newark, Philadelphia, San Jose California, Tokyo Narita and Toronto Pearson.

DateFlight NumbersRoute
Wednesday 18 April 2018BA278 / BA279San Jose
Thursday 19 / Saturday 21 April 2018BA77 / BA 78Luanda
Monday 23 April 2018BA278 / BA279San Jose
Tuesday 24 April 2018BA184 / BA185Newark
Wednesday 25 April 2018BA228 / BA229Baltimore
Thursday 26 April 2018BA188 / BA189Newark
Friday 27 April 2018BA68 / BA69Philadelphia
Sunday 29 April 2018BA228 / BA229Baltimore
Monday 30 April 2018BA278 / BA279San Jose
Tuesday 1 MayBA92 / BA93Toronto Pearson
Tuesday 1 / Wednesday 2 May 2018BA5 / BA6Tokyo Narita
Wednesday 2 May 2018BA278 / BA279San Jose
Thursday 3 / 5 May 2018BA77 / BA78Luanda
Sunday 20 May 2018BA102 / 103Calgary
Monday 21 May 2018BA68 / BA69Philadelphia
Sunday 29 / 31 May 2018BA77 / BA78Luanda
Tuesday 12 June 2018BA188 / BA189Newark
Wednesday 13 June 2018BA228 / BA229Baltimore

Continue reading “BA Updates on Boeing 787 Dreamliner Engine Issues”

“British Airways: 100 Years in the Sky”

Channel 5 takes a look at 100 years of BA at 21:00 on Tuesday 1 May 2018.

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British Airways Boeing 737 in Landor livery
British Airways Boeing 737 in Landor livery (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways celebrates its centenary in 2019. The airline itself will no doubt be planning a lot of events to mark the occasion.

The official date of BA’s 100th anniversary is not until 25 August 2019. However, Channel 5 is well ahead of the game as it will take a look at the history of BA in a two part series “British Airways: 100 Years in the Sky”.

The first episode airs at 21:00 on Tuesday 1 May 2018 and will be available to watch on demand at My5 after broadcast.

The programme is produced by Title Role Productions whose related credits include World’s Wildest Flights.

There’s actually not much that has been released in terms of pre-broadcast publicity, beyond “The first passengers sat in wicker chairs with no toilets.” Also, it is not known whether BA has co-operated with the production, which would influence how much archive material has been available. Researchers were looking for contributors online earlier this year, which suggests the production turnaround is quite quick.

Postscript

Having just watched the first episode, Title Role has done a very creditable job at covering a very broad subject. There’s a lot of high quality archive footage and a good range of informed contributors including journalists, social and cultural historians and former staff of BA and its predecessor airlines.

BA to serve Union Hand-Roasted Coffee

British Airways is to serve an exclusive blend of Union Hand-Roasted coffee in First, Club World and its UK lounges from May 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Union Hand-Roasted Coffee on British Airways
Union Hand-Roasted Coffee (Image Credit: British Airways)

If we had one complaint about BA Club World above all else, it’s not the lack of direct aisle access for all passengers, it’s the quality of the coffee.

It has always been awful.

The coffee should improve considerably from May, as BA partners with London based Union Hand-Roasted Coffee to provide coffee in First, Club World and BA’s UK lounges.

It a dedicated blend developed by Union to account for changes in taste at altitude. The coffee is a medium roast blend sourced from Peru.

BA says the new coffee should be available by the end of May 2018, which suggests it may be rolled out progressively across long-haul routes.

There won’t be any changes to equipment on board aircraft which means that BA will continue to offer only filter coffee in Club World. BA will continue to offer a choice of latte, cappuccino, filter coffee and espresso in First. There are no changes in World Traveller and World Traveller Plus, nor on short-haul flights.

The coffee stations in the UK lounges will also be revamped as part of the changes (staff with tape measures were spotted at Heathrow last month).

We do have the opportunity to try out the coffee in Club World in June and will certainly report back.
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BA adjusts Boeing 787 schedules following FAA Directive

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Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)

As has widely been reported, operators of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are required to comply with an Air Worthiness Directive issued by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States.

The FAA Directive

The FAA Directive applies to operators of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with certain engine models manufactured by Rolls Royce.

It limits the scope of the ETOPS (“Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standard”). ETOPS allows twin-engined aircraft like the Boeing 787 to operate between 60 and 330 minutes’ away from the nearest airport that can handle a diversion of the aircraft. This Directive may be modified subject to remedial action by Rolls Royce.

Rolls Royce issued a statement on 13 April 2018 outlining which engines are affected. This has been acknowleged by Boeing.

The requirement for additional maintenance to Rolls Royce engines has been going on for some time and has impacted a number of airlines, notably Air New Zealand, Norwegian and Virgin Atlantic. All have leased in aircraft to cover some flights. BA has also cancelled its flight to Doha for an extended period of time to release aircraft for other routes.

BA has made no official statement on the impact of this directive on the airline. As such, it is not known how many of its aircraft are affected. However, as BA currently operates the Boeing 787 Dreamliner on a number of long-range routes to Asia and Latin America, it will inevitably have an impact on the airline’s operations.

BA may choose to substitute aircraft at short notice, or cancel flights as aircraft undergo maintenance.
Continue reading “BA adjusts Boeing 787 schedules following FAA Directive”