BA to move to Gatwick South terminal in November 2016

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways today, 19 January 2015, confirmed that is to move its entire London Gatwick operation from the North terminal to the South terminal at an as yet unspecified date in November 2016.

The purpose of the move is to allow easyJet to consolidate its London Gatwick operation in the North terminal.

Gatwick Airport has confirmed details of the move.

BA will benefit from an upgraded check-in area and a new lounge facility for eligible passengers. BA has confirmed that a new lounge for eligible customers will be constructed in the North terminal.

As BA’s London Gatwick operation involves approximately 60 departures a day, we expect the move will take place in phases.

Perhaps what is more significant are easyJet’s ambitions once it consolidates operations in one terminal.

easyJet currently has 45% of departure and arrival slots at Gatwick, compared to just 16% for BA. Ten years ago, BA had 30% of departure and arrival slots, and easyJet had 13%.

easyJet has made a number of moves in recent years to move it closer to the traditional full service carrier model, such as offering allocated seating and fast track ground facilities.

The one thing easyJet doesn’t do is interline with other airlines (this is where an airline will transfer your bag to another airline’s flight on a connecting ticket). Nor does it codeshare with other airlines. Nor does it offer connections.

Currently, a passenger wishing to fly from say, Edinburgh to Tel Aviv via Gatwick would have to “self-connect” and buy two separate tickets (and hope for the best if things go wrong!).

If easyJet was to move to a traditional “hub” model offering connections and codeshares with other airlines, this could radically change its position in the market and that of London Gatwick. There is certainly precedent for a low cost carrier to do this, as Vueling does at its hub in Barcelona.

This would of course add cost and complexity to easyJet’s operation (which it may be keen to avoid) but connecting traffic could support many more routes from Gatwick.

One other point of note is that Aer Lingus, currently a takeover target for BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, also operates in the South terminal and a consolidation of operations may allow for greater co-operation between BA and Aer Lingus at Gatwick.

BA goes daily on Heathrow – Mexico City from 1 May 2015

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

British Airways Tailfin (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)
British Airways Tailfin (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)

After gradually increasing its weekly frequency on London Heathrow to Mexico City over the past few years, BA’s current five weekly Mexico service will become a daily service from 1 May 2015.

The timetable for the new daily service is:

Flight BA243 Depart London Heathrow 14:10 Arrive Mexico City 19:30
Flight BA242 Depart Mexico City 21:30 Arrive London Heathrow 13:55

BA currently flies to Mexico City five times a week, excluding Tuesdays and Saturdays. This increases to a six weekly service from April and a daily service from May.

We assume the increase in frequency is driven by a relaxation of the bilateral treaty between the UK and Mexico.

BA’s International Airlines Group sibling Iberia also flies to Mexico City via Madrid up to twice daily. Iberia also offers connections to a number of domestic destinations in Mexico with AeroMexico.

AeroMexico also fly three times weekly between London Heathrow and Mexico City. We have not seen any increase in frequency on their part, which may be due to lack of slots.

The extra BA flights are now on sale on ba.com.

Update: AeroMexico will increase its flights from London Heathrow to five weekly flights from 29 March 2015, flying from Heathrow on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. At the same time, with the exception of Saturdays, its departure time change will change from a mid-afternoon flight (14:45) to a late evening flight (22:30p). Exact times may very slightly by day.

Cyprus Airways Collapse: BA & Aegean Airlines add Heathrow Larnaca fights

Following the collapse last week of Cyprus Airways, British Airways and Aegean Airlines have not wasted any time in adding additional flights between London Heathrow and Larnaca.

BA has added an additional six weekly flights to its existing daily London Heathrow – Larnaca flight from Sunday 29 March 2015.

Aegean Airlines is also launching a daily flight between London Heathrow and Larnaca, also from Sunday 29 March.

Aegean Airlines Schedule (from 29 March 2015)

Flight A3773 Depart London Heathrow 20:45 – Arrive Larnaca 03:15 (ouch!)
Flight A3772 Depart Larnaca 16:40 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:40

British Airways Schedule (from 29 March 2015)

Flight BA664 Depart London Heathrow 07:10 – Arrive Larnaca 14:00 (excluding Saturdays, arrives 13:55 on Wednesday)
Flight BA662 Depart London Heathrow 11:45 – Arrive Larnaca 18:15

Flight BA665 Depart Larnaca 14:50 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:25 (excluding Saturdays)
Flight BA663 Depart Larnaca 19:25 – Arrive London Heathrow 22:10

Flights are on sale now on ba.com and Aegeanair.com respectively.

(H/T to airlineroute.net)

Which BA routes operate from London Heathrow with First Class?

Here’s a full list of long-haul BA routes from London Heathrow that operate with a first class cabin.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

British Airways, First Class, Airbus, A380
British Airways First Class, Airbus A380 (Source: BA Press Office)

We receive a lot of search enquiries regarding which British Airways routes operate with or without a first class cabin.

Whilst BA’s first class product is far from a market leading product in the air or on the ground, the network it covers is very broad.

It’s also a popular choice for members of the BA Executive Club to use their Avios and holders of BA branded American Express credit cards to use 2-4-1 flight vouchers. Many Silver & Gold members of the Executive Club can also find themselves upgraded from Club World on oversold flights.

The general trend in recent years has been for first class to be removed from routes. However, it has in recent times been restored to routes such as Denver and San Diego.

So we thought it would be helpful to compile a list of BA first class destinations. We have also compiled a separate list for London Gatwick.

Continue reading “Which BA routes operate from London Heathrow with First Class?”

BA to reintroduce First Class to Vancouver, Cape Town, Las Vegas and Phoenix

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

A few months ago it was announced that BA would stop offering first class on flights to Cape Town (selected flights only) and Las Vegas, Phoenix and Vancouver.

The reason for this was that even though the flights continue to operate with a four class Boeing 747 aircraft, these routes would be operated with aircraft that have not been fitted with the latest version of BA’s first class cabin.

Instead, BA would operate the old first class cabin as an extension of Club World business class.

As the airline continues to retire its older Boeing 747 aircraft, it is reintroducing first class on these routes with the assurance that all flights will operate with the latest first class cabin.

First class will return to Vancouver from Sunday 29 March 2015. First class will return to Cape Town, Las Vegas and Phoenix from Sunday 25 October 2015.

Continue reading “BA to reintroduce First Class to Vancouver, Cape Town, Las Vegas and Phoenix”

BA launches seasonal London City – Mykonos & Santorini

BA has launched summer seasonal routes from London City to Mykonos and Santorini for summer 2015.

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

Mykonos
Mykonos (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched two new summer seasonal routes from London City airport to the Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini from June 2015.

Flights to Mykonos operate four times weekly from Monday 29 June to Sunday 6 September 2015.

Flights to Santorini operate twice weekly from Tuesday 30 June to Friday 4 September 2015.

BA also flies to Mykonos and Santorini on a summer seasonal basis from London Heathrow, enabling passengers to “mix and match” departure and arrival airports.

Flights are on sale now on ba.com

BA launches joint rail & fly tickets with GWR

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

Having previously travelled onward from Heathrow to UK cities by train, we are well aware what a fraught experience it can be.

Aside from the hassle and expense of travelling from Heathrow to one of the mainline railway stations in Central London, there’s the added dilemma of either buying a flexible train ticket (some times at a cost of hundreds of pounds) or an advance train ticket for a specified train which, if missed, has to be thrown away.

Whilst Lufthansa and Air France have offered Rail & Fly tickets for many years, BA has only now announced joint rail & fly tickets with First Great Western and Heathrow Express (who both serve London Paddington).

From Friday 5 December 2014, passengers will be able to buy joint tickets for BA flights from London Heathrow to/from the following railway stations served by Great Western with a connection between Paddington to Heathrow on the Heathrow Express:

Bath, Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads, Cardiff, Exeter, Oxford, St Austell, Par, Plymouth, Penzance, Swansea.

Continue reading “BA launches joint rail & fly tickets with GWR”

BA ends 10% shareholder discount on 31 January 2015

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

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

Before the formation of International Airlines Group (IAG) in early 2011, British Airways offered shareholders (who held shares above a certain minimum) a 10% discount on BA flights booked with the airline.

It was very popular with private shareholders and a self-funding means of acquiring substantial savings for frequent flyers.

The future of the discount has been the subject of much speculation as it was never extended to other IAG airlines Iberia and Vueling. Nor was the BA discount ever offered to former Iberia shareholders or new shareholders in IAG.

Last month IAG announced its intention to resume dividend payments to shareholders after a long hiatus.

Following this, IAG has now confirmed that the shareholder discount scheme will end on 31 January 2015.

Here is the text of the e-mail sent to shareholders.

I am writing to advise you that from midnight on 31 January 2015 the shareholder discount scheme for former British Airways shareholders will come to a close.

Since the merger in January 2011 we have been reviewing the discount scheme. It was kept open to former British Airways shareholders, but it has not been available to former Iberia holders or new IAG shareholders. It has never been available to institutional shareholders, who own the majority of our shares.

After continuing with the discount for almost four years, with the recent announcement of our intention to resume dividend payments we feel it is the right time to close the scheme. We will of course continue to offer competitive prices via ba.com and hope that you will continue to support British Airways’ business.

However, you will still have the opportunity to book flights using the shareholder discount between now and midnight on 31 January 2015. Flights can be booked 355 days in advance.

Whilst we appreciate that this will come as a disappointment to some of you, in reality the take-up of the discount was extremely low and feedback from shareholders has been that they value a dividend more. We hope that in light of the dividend announcement you will continue to support us as a valued shareholder.

BA introduces pre-ordering of meals in Club World, First & WT+

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 38

British Airways Economy Catering (Pre-Paid Gourmet Meal)
British Airways Economy Catering (Pre-Paid Gourmet Meal)

British Airways is to introduce pre-ordering of main course meals for passengers travelling in World Traveller Plus, Club World and First Class on select long-haul flights departing London Heathrow from Monday 1 December 2014.

This move has been long anticipated. Indeed, it was originally announced a year ago.

At first, the option to pre-order meals will only be available on long-haul flights from London Heathrow to Dallas Fort-Worth, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Rio de Janeiro, Seattle and Vancouver.

Passengers will be able to pre-order meals from Tuesday 18 November 2014 via the Manage My Booking tool.

Update: This service has now been extended to flights from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Houston, Austin and San Diego for travel after 5 February 2015.

In addition, from 1 February 2015 pre-ordering of meals will be available on flights between London Heathrow and Atlanta, Denver, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary that depart after 1 March 2015.
Continue reading “BA introduces pre-ordering of meals in Club World, First & WT+”