Hello and welcome to our Monday Briefing for the week beginning 28 May 2018, summarising the main developments in air travel over the past week, and a look the week ahead.
BA Winter Schedules
BA has started to update its schedules for the winter season, which officially starts on Sunday 28 October 2018.
The changes at Heathrow are detailed fully here.
In addition to changes in Africa below, Warsaw moves from Heathrow Terminal 3 to 5. Palermo is suspended for the winter. BA also returns to Moscow Sheremetyevo International Airport.
There has been a conspicuous lack of announcements at London Gatwick so far. We have detailed here known seasonal changes to long and short-haul routes.
BA has yet to announce how the 20 or so slots it has acquired from Monarch will be used beyond the end of September. It is known that some slots have been leased to other airlines, notably Qatar Airways which has now relaunched Gatwick – Doha. However, that still leaves a substantial number of slots to be used over the winter.
The mixed fortunes of BA in Africa
BA announced the suspension of another route in Africa last week: London Heathrow – Luanda is suspended from Thursday 7 June 2018.
Whilst BA has also announced the launch of a seasonal London Heathrow – Marrakech service, this latest news follows the suspension of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2012; Lusaka, Zambia in 2013; Freetown and Monrovia in 2014; and Entebbe, Uganda in 2015.
It also suspended a number of routes it inherited from bmi including Addis Ababa, Casablanca and Khartoum.
In South Africa, it’s a very different story.
Aided by the withdrawal of South African Airways and Virgin Atlantic from London – Cape Town, BA is the sole operator of the route from London Heathrow where BA can dispatch up to three Boeing 747s in the winter.
BA is also launching a new direct route to Durban. Not only that, BA also adding more flights to Johannesburg in the winter, with four weekly flights operated with a Boeing 787. This is on top of two daily Airbus A380 departures.
There are of course economic and geopolitical reasons behind many of these suspensions, but its network in the region is diminishing rapidly behind other European airlines. If BA ever follows Aer Lingus in ordering the Airbus A321 long range aircraft, this may change matters.
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