Some good news for British Airways passengers at London Gatwick. The airline has announced that, from the start of the Summer 2014 season on 30 March 2014, it will increase the frequency of flights on the following routes:
Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) increases from 2 to 3 flights a week
Antigua increases from 5 to 6 flights a week
Kingston increases from 3 to 4 flights a week
St Lucia increases from 6 to 7 flights a week
Orlando increases from 10 to 13 flights a week
The increase in frequency has been enabled by the addition of one more Boeing 777 aircraft, taking the number of Boeing 777s stationed at London Gatwick to 10. This is itself something of an achievement for BA at London Gatwick bearing in mind the number of slots that now need occupying at Heathrow.
It is a little disappointing that BA has not chosen to use the extra capacity to launch a new route, particularly to the East where BA has previously expressed the potential for growth in long-haul leisure routes from London Gatwick. However, there is a logic in adding frequencies to routes not served by daily flights to increase the number of outbound/inbound options for passengers.
Of note is the increase in flights to Orlando, which increase once again to 13 weekly and has historically been something of a stronghold for Virgin Atlantic. It is also interesting to note there has been no increase in flights from London Gatwick to Las Vegas which remain at thrice weekly, and complemented by daily flights from London Heathrow.
Hopefully the trend of steady growth in BA’s long-haul leisure operation at Gatwick is one that will continue.
It’s been over four months since Virgin Atlantic launched its short-haul operation from London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester and, so far, we have only anecdotal evidence to rely on to judge the performance of these routes.
International Airlines Group (IAG) has today confirmed that it has secured both firm orders and options for up to 220 Airbus A320 short haul aircraft for its subsidiary airlines British Airways, Iberia and Vueling.
Up to 120 of these aircraft are designated for its short-haul low cost carrier subsidiary Vueling. The new aircraft will enable Vueling to replace some of its existing aircraft and expand its network.
The Vueling order comprises 62 firm orders which include 30 A320ceo and 32 A320neo aircraft and options for a further 58 aircraft. The firm orders will be delivered to Vueling between 2015 and 2020.
Following the fire at Nairobi airport in Kenya yesterday, British Airways has provided details of the options available to passengers whose flights to Nairobi have been cancelled, or are booked to fly to Nairobi over the next few days.
British Airways has announced it is to suspend its thrice weekly London Gatwick – Tunis route from 27 October 2013.
No reason has been given for the cancellation, but unsatisfactory commercial performance is a likely reason and the route suspension is an indication of the ongoing commercial pressures BA faces in the short-haul market at Gatwick.
At this stage, passengers booked on services after 27 October 2013 only have the option of a refund or moving their booking to an earlier date, as there are no direct or indirect alternatives on BA.
British Airways has confirmed that Johannesburg will join Hong Kong and Los Angeles in its network of destinations served by the Airbus A380.
BA will operate an A380 service on three weekly return flights from London to Johannesburg from 12 February 2014 and six weekly return flights from 10 March 2014.
Full details of the exact flights are on the BA website.
What all these destinations have in common is that no other airline operates a direct service from London using an Airbus A380 which provides some pointers as to what additional destinations may be served by the A380.
Update January 2018:
BA operates the Airbus A380 on both of its twice daily services from London Heathrow to Johannesburg until Saturday 24 March 2018. From Sunday 25 March 2018, flights BA55 and BA56 continue to be operated with the Airbus A380. Flights BA57 and BA54 are operated with a Boeing 747.
As expected following the launch of a transatlantic joint-venture between Delta Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, Delta has today announced that it is to operate a direct flight from London Heathrow to Seattle from 30 March 2014.
British Airways took delivery of its first Boeing 787 today and the airline has confirmed that the first two long-haul routes to feature the aircraft are New York (Newark) and Toronto. This is the first of some 42 Boeing 787 to delivered over the next few years.
A daily Boeing 787 service will operate to Toronto from 1 September 2013 with a 2nd daily 787 service between 15 September and 25 October. A daily service to New York (Newark) will operate from 1 October 2013. Full details about the aircraft are on ba.com