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

London Air Travel » Page 76

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+”

BA to fly the Airbus A380 to Miami from Sunday 25 October 2015

London Air Travel » Page 76

South Beach, Miami (Image Credit: London Air Travel)
South Beach, Miami (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways has confirmed that its London Heathrow – Miami route will be served exclusively by the Airbus A380 from Sunday 25 October 2015.

The A380 will operate twice daily, replacing up to three daily Boeing 747/777 flights.

The A380 currently operates on selected flights to Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Singapore, Washington, and, from April 2015, San Francisco.

There’s more information on BA’s A380 operations at ba.com. As this announcement has been made nearly a year in advance, we should sound a note of caution that further changes could be announced in the interim.

BA flights from London Heathrow to Miami are also due to move from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to 3 from 14 October 2015.

Update January 2018:

BA now operates one of two daily flights to Miami (BA208 / BA209) with the Airbus A380 in the winter season until Monday 30 April 2018. The route then operates with a Boeing 747 twice daily until Saturday 27 October 2018. The A380 then returns on Sunday 28 October 2018.

BA to restore long-haul flights at London Heathrow Terminal 3

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

As part of a wider set of terminal moves at London Heathrow and the consolidation of BA’s operations into Terminals 3 and 5, a number of long-haul BA flights are to move from Terminal 5 to 3 from Wednesday 14 October 2015.

These flights are Accra, Cape Town, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Nairobi, Phoenix and Vancouver.

Continue reading “BA to restore long-haul flights at London Heathrow Terminal 3”

BA flights to Amman, Beirut, Baku & Cairo move to Terminal 5 on Tuesday 30 June 2015

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

The opening of Terminal 2 at London Heathrow this year has resulted in a large number of airlines moving out of Terminals 1 and 3.

As a consequence of this, Terminal 1 is due to close next year and BA will also be consolidating its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.

A series of terminal moves will be taking place next year. As part of this, from Tuesday 30 June 2015 BA’s medium haul flights to Amman, Beirut, Baku and Cairo flights will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5.

From this date, BA will have no further flights from Terminal 1.

With the exception of Cairo, these routes were inherited by BA following the acquisition of bmi by its parent company International Airlines Group in 2012.

BA flights to Bilbao, Hanover, Luxembourg, Lyon & Marseille move to Terminal 3 from 30 June 2015.

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

The opening of Terminal 2 at London Heathrow this year has resulted in a large number of airlines moving out of Terminals 1 and 3.

As a consequence of this, Terminal 1 is due to close in 2015 and BA will be consolidating its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.

A series of terminal moves will be taking place next year.

As part of this, from Tuesday 30 June 2015, BA’s short-haul flights to Bilbao (launching 29 March 2015), Hanover, Luxembourg, Lyon, Marseille will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 3.

These routes will join existing BA short-haul routes from Terminal 3 which are Barcelona, Budapest, Gibraltar, Helsinki, Lisbon, Vienna and Warsaw.

Flights from London Heathrow to Rotterdam will not be moving as this route is being suspended from 28 March 2015.

An update on BA developments from IAG’s Capital Markets Day

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

International Airlines Group is holding its annual Capital Markets today, Friday 7 November 2014.

Whilst the presentations are very much aimed at the investor community (This is the full slide deck – all 144 slides!.) there are some useful updates for passengers.

Here are some small items of news we’ve gleaned so far, principally concerning London Heathrow

As expected, BA will move out of Terminal 1 in 2015 and consolidate its operations in Terminals 3 and 5.

Work will also be underway to improve the experience for connecting passengers at Terminal 3.

All departures from Terminal 3 are now from boarding gates with coaching from remote stands eliminated.

Automatic check-in is to be introduced for domestic flights (this was trialled on some short haul routes some time ago).

Self baggage tagging at check-in and automated boarding gates are also to be introduced.

There is likely to be limited growth in BA’s long-haul network in 2015, beyond what new routes have bed announced, namely Kuala Lumpur.

The Boeing 767 is to be retired from BA’s long-haul fleet by 2016, to be replaced by the Boeing 787. A small number of Boeing 767s will operate in a short-haul configuration until 2018. This will then leave all short haul flights operated with Airbus A319/320/321 aircraft.

BA referred to its Oneworld alliance partner Qatar Airways and a potential codeshare partner in China providing growth opportunities. However, it has to be said these have been mooted for some time.

The presentation also included a section on Avios which is the currency used by the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus frequent flyer programme. It is also the name of a travel regards programme in its own right, formerly known as Airmiles. This is likely to be a growth area in the coming years with more potential airlines joining the programme, in addition to Meridiana Fly and FlyBe.

We’ll update this page further with any more points of interest from the presentations and Q&A session.

BA launches Heathrow – Bilbao; Vueling moves Bilbao to Gatwick

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

British Airways has today announced it is to launch a twice daily service from London Heathrow to Bilbao in the Basque region of Northern Spain.

Bilbao is currently served from London Heathrow by BA’s IAG sibling Vueling. It will move its four weekly flights to London Gatwick.

Flights launch on Sunday 29 March 2015.

BA’s flights will initially operate from Heathrow Terminal 1 and will move to Terminal 3 on Tuesday 30 June 2015.

London Heathrow – Bilbao

Flight BA466 Depart London Heathrow 09:20 – Arrive Bilbao 12:20
Flight BA468 Depart London Heathrow 16:05 – Arrive Bilbao 19:05

Flight BA467 Depart Bilbao 13:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 14:00
Flight BA469 Depart Bilbao 19:40 – Arrive London Heathrow 20:35

Whilst a popular leisure destination in its own right (Bilbao is of course home to a Guggenheim museum) we understand the service has been operated to attract corporate clients in the area to BA’s London network and cargo traffic from the port of Bilbao.

Flights are currently on sale on ba.com

BA suspends London Heathrow – Rotterdam from 28 March 2015

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

British Airways is to suspend its thrice-daily service from London Heathrow to Rotterdam from 28 March 2015.

BA has served Rotterdam since late 2012 and was one of three new short-haul routes announced shortly after BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, bought bmi. The other two routes were Leeds-Bradford and Zagreb.

BA has since launched a service between London City and Rotterdam and will continue to operate this route.

It’s a reasonable assumption that an unsatisfactory commercial performance is a reason for the suspension of the route. According to Civil Aviation Authority statistics, just over 8,000 passengers flew in both directions between London Heathrow and Rotterdam in September 2014, a fall of nearly 30% year on year. August’s numbers show a similar trend.

Affected passengers have the option of being rerouted on either a London Heathrow – Amsterdam flight or London City – Rotterdam flight.

Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight to Boston

London Air Travel » Page 76

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic has commenced Boeing 787 passenger flights today (Tuesday 28 October 2014) with its inaugural flight from London Heathrow to Boston.

Flight VS11 departed London Heathrow for Boston Logan International Airport shortly after its scheduled departure time of 17:35. Virgin also operated a test flight from London Gatwick to Atlanta on Friday 24 October, which is pictured below.

Whilst today marks the official launch of passenger flights for the Boeing 787, according to Airline Route the 787 will not operate from 31 October to 14 November to allow for crew familiarisation flights.

The replacement of quad-engine Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s at London Heathrow with the twin-engine Boeing 787 is cited as a significant step in restoring Virgin Atlantic to profitability, together with its nascent transatlantic joint-venture with Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic originally ordered 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, with options for 8 aircraft and purchase rights for a further 20 aircraft.

Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural Boeing 787 flight to Boston”

BA relaunches Gatwick – Sharm El Sheikh from September 2015

London Air Travel » Page 76

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

BA will return to Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt from mid September 2015.

The airline will initially fly to Sharm El Sheikh initially twice a week on Monday and Thursdays, then increasing to thrice weekly.

This is by no means the first time BA will fly to Sharm El Sheikh. BA’s franchise partner, GB Airways, used to fly there in BA colours until it was acquired by easyJet.

BA then operated a long-haul Boeing 777 a few years ago, but a combination of brutal timings and the Arab Spring led to the route being cancelled in 2011.

BA will fly to Sharm El Sheikh using an Airbus A320, offering EuroTraveller economy and Club Europe business class, so no in-flight entertainment or flat beds in business class.

The good news is that the timings are quite agreeable for in the inbound and outbound flights. This is a typical timetable. The exact timings may vary throughout the season.

Flight BA2560 Depart London Gatwick 09:00 – Arrive Sharm El Sheikh 16:20
Flight BA2561 Depart Sharm El Sheikh 17:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 20:55

Flights are now on sale on ba.com