BA adds Las Vegas and Toronto at London Gatwick

BA is to fly from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Toronto from summer 2018.

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

Toronto, Canada
Toronto (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced it is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Toronto and reinstate its London Gatwick – Las Vegas route next summer.

BA will fly to Las Vegas three times a week from Tuesday 27 March 2018 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018. BA will fly to Toronto three times a week from Tuesday 1 May 2018, also on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018.

Both Las Vegas and Toronto are served by BA at London Heathrow up to twice daily. BA has previously flown from Gatwick to Las Vegas.  However, the service was suspended last year. 

Toronto is BA’s first route from London Gatwick to Canada.  It is something of a surprise to see BA launch the Toronto from Gatwick, as it is not one of the stronger Heathrow routes due to a lack of presence by the Oneworld alliance in Canada.

However, there can be absolutely no doubt this is a move to take on the growth of low lost long-haul at Gatwick.  Las Vegas is served by Norwegian.  Toronto is also served by both WestJet and Air Canada Rouge.

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BA to fly the Airbus A380 to Chicago

BA is to fly its Airbus A380 between London Heathrow and Chicago from May 2018.

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft takes off at London Heathrow airport.
British Airways Airbus A380 at take off, London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways is to fly its Airbus A380 aircraft to Chicago O’Hare from Tuesday 8 May 2018.

This will be the first time the BA A380 has flown to Chicago.  BA will continue to fly to Chicago twice daily.

Currently, the route is operated by the Boeing 747 and 777. The A380 will be a significant upgrade over the albeit recent refurbished Boeing 747s which will continue to ply this route, particularly with regard to seating in premium economy and First Class.

A380 flights to Chicago are on sale now at ba.com. Please note that the operation of the A380 may be subject to seasonal adjustments.

The BA A380 currently operates on selected flights to Boston, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Singapore, Vancouver and Washington. It also operates to Miami in the winter months and Vancouver in the summer.

The latest addition to BA’s A380 network will be sourced from aircraft servicing its existing network.  BA has taken delivery of all twelve A380s it has ordered from Airbus.

The airline has options to purchase a further seven aircraft from Airbus but has not exercised them. Willie Walsh, CEO of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, has expressed an interest in leasing second hand A380s for BA and possibly other IAG group airlines, but nothing has come of this.
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Virgin Atlantic launches London Heathrow – Las Vegas for 2018 CES

Virgin Atlantic is to operate two special return flights between London Heathrow (departing on Sunday 7 & Monday 8 January 2018) and Las Vegas (returning Friday 12 & Saturday 13 January 2018) for the benefit of visitors to the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Upper Class Cabin (Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Upper Class Cabin (Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic is to operate two special return flights between London Heathrow and Las Vegas for the benefit of visitors to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018.

The flights will depart London Heathrow on Sunday 7 and Monday 8 January 2018 and will return from Las Vegas on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 January 2018.

Flights will be operated using Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner which features a larger Upper Class cabin as well as amenities such as in-flight WiFi.

These will complement Virgin’s existing Boeing 747 service between London Gatwick and Las Vegas and will compete BA’s own direct Boeing 747 services between London Heathrow and Las Vegas which can operate up to twice daily.

This new “pop up” route does point to Virgin being flexible with its schedule to take advantage of peaks in demand. The airline is to also launch a seasonal route from London Heathrow to Barbados in December 2017, which will again complement its London Gatwick service.

Flights are on sale now at VirginAtlantic.com

London Heathrow – Las Vegas

Flight VS961 Depart London Heathrow 11:15 – Arrive Las Vegas 14:00 (7, 8 January 2018)
Flight VS962 Depart Las Vegas 21:45 – Arrive London Heathrow 15:55 (12, 13 January 2018)

Norwegian launches London Gatwick – Las Vegas from Monday 31 October 2016

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Norwegian Air Shuttle continues its rapid expansion at London Gatwick with the launch of new direct flights to Las Vegas.

The airline will fly to Las Vegas twice weekly (Monday & Thursday) from Monday 31 October 2016.

This will be Norwegian’s 8th long-haul route from London Gatwick after New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, Boston, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico.

Norwegian will be competing against direct flights by Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and British Airways from London Heathrow.

On that note, the very rapid growth by Norwegian is not going unnoticed by either British Airways nor Virgin Atlantic.  We have already seen British Airways reinstate its London Gatwick – New York JFK route as an apparent competitive response.  We would not be surprised to see further activity by either airlines which both depend very heavily on transatlantic traffic for profitability.

Flights are on sale now at Norwegian.com and an initial scan of fares shows return trips being available for less than £399.

London Gatwick – Las Vegas

Flight DY7107 Depart London Gatwick 12:10 – Arrive Las Vegas 16:00 (Monday, Thursday)

Las Vegas – London Gatwick

Flight DY7108 Depart Las Vegas 18:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:50

BA suspends London Gatwick – Las Vegas from Sunday 25 April 2016

Launched in late 2009 when the airline was still reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis, British Airways’ daily service from London Heathrow to Las Vegas was an instant success with capacity quickly added through an aircraft upgrade and, more recently an additional three times weekly service from London Gatwick.

The service from London Gatwick has now been suspended, with the last return flight operating on Sunday 25 April 2016. BA will continue to fly to Vegas at least once a day from London Heathrow.

Ostensibly, the route suspension is to allow the airline to launch a flight from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016.

Affected passengers should receive a notice of cancellation shortly and passengers will be accommodated on BA’s service from London Heathrow which operates up to 11 times weekly.

Images and video of Virgin Atlantic flight VS43 to Las Vegas making an emergency landing at London Gatwick

As has been widely reported around the world today, a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 operating as flight VS43 bound for Las Vegas airport returned to London Gatwick after part of its landing gear failed to retract properly after take-off.

The aircraft made what Virgin Atlantic referred to as a non-standard landing after dumping fuel to reduce the landing weight of the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely at London Gatwick without the entirety of its landing gear fully extended. The aircraft remained on the runway at London Gatwick and passengers were safely escorted from the aircraft.

The incident was covered live in the UK on the BBC News channel and Sky News. Perhaps in part due to it being a relatively quiet period for news and recent aviation incidents, the incident attracted quite sensational coverage around the world (let’s not get started on CNN’s abominal coverage of Air Asia flight QZ8501!). The unfolding nature of the story lends itself to coverage on the rolling news channels and tales of instant heroism and, in their eyes, narrowly averted disaster, also play well in tabloid media.

Whilst this was no trivial incident and it must have been a source of distress for some passengers, considerable comfort should be taken from the fact that the crew were clearly well trained and prepared to handle such an incident.

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

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

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.

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

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

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.

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BA tactical long-haul cancellations during Winter 2014/2015 season

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

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

British Airways parent company, International Airlines Group, released its half year results last Friday.

The results were, overall, very positive. All three IAG airlines (BA, Iberia, and Vueling) reported increased profits year on year.

However, IAG, did sound a note of caution. The group will moderate planned capacity growth for the rest of the year with BA and Iberia in particular shaving off a couple of per cent of their growth.

In the case of BA, this will not be done by way of route suspensions or cancellations, but by tactical cancellations of flights during quiet periods.

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BA to stop First Class on Cape Town, Las Vegas, Phoenix & Vancouver from 26 October 2014

London Air Travel » Las Vegas

British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
Update December 2014: BA has announced that First Class will return to Vancouver from Sunday 29 March 2015 and Cape Town, Las Vegas and Phoenix from Sunday 25 October 2015. More details here

Many readers will know that, over the past five years, British Airways has been progressively updating its four class Boeing 777 and 747 aircraft with a new first class product.

The roll out on Boeing 777 aircraft has long been complete. Out of BA’s fleet of nearly fifty Boeing 747 aircraft, less than ten do not have the latest first class product. These aircraft are left with the Kelly Hoppen designed interior from the year 2000.

It is no exaggeration to say these cabins are showing their age and, in response, BA has by default offered 50,000 Avios to members of the Executive Club frequent flyer programme as compensation.

With number of 747s in BA’s fleet expected to fall to approximately thirty by 2018 and the last 747 due to retire after 2020, many of those aircraft that do not have the new first class cabin are likely to be retired over the coming year.

BA has now decided to stop selling first class on these aircraft and will instead offer a three class service, with business class passengers seated in the first class cabin (who will receive the standard “Club World” service) if there is the demand.

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