BA adds new routes and frequencies at London Gatwick

British Airways has increased frequencies on routes from Gatwick to Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote, Madeira, Malaga and Tenerife for summer 2018. It has also added new routes at Gatwick to Gibraltar, Mahon Menorca, and Palma Mallorca.

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

British Airways
British Airways “The hub without the hubbub” TV ad 1993

BA has started to firm up its new schedules at London Gatwick after the acquisition of more than 20 daily pairs of slots from the former airline Monarch.  This is equivalent to an extra 150 flights a week.

BA has had to move quickly as it is required to use the slots 80% of the time or risk forfeiting them.

In terms of immediate actions, BA has added extra frequencies on winter ski routes like Grenoble and Turin in February and March as well as Tenerife South in the February half-term.  It has also chartered aircraft and crews from Germania and Titan Airways to operate certain flights.  These are now showing as “Operated by ST” or “Operated by ZT” in timetables on ba.com  If you have an existing booking it should be clear in the Manage My Booking tool which airline is operating your flight.

Frequency increases on existing Gatwick routes:

In the peak summer schedule (late May to late September), BA has increased frequencies on a number of existing Gatwick routes compared to the previous year:

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BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 at Gatwick in 2018

In 2018, BA will increase the number of economy seats on some Boeing 777 aircraft at London Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here are details of the routes on which the reconfigured Boeing 777s will operate in 2018.

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BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft
BA World Traveller cabin on LGW based Boeing 777 aircraft (Image Credit: British Airways)

A little over 12 months ago BA announced that it would, to use its lexicon, “densify” a select number of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

In short, this means that the number of seats in the World Traveller economy cabin would increase from 9 to 10 a row.

At the same time, BA will also increase the number of World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and decrease the number of Club World business class seats. The refurbished Boeing 777s are expected to enter operation at London Gatwick in 2018.

BA's initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s - November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)
BA’s initial plan to reconfigure London Gatwick Boeing 777s – November 2016 (Image Credit: International Airlines Group)

Initially, up to 25 Boeing 777s will be subject to “densification”. However, you can be confident that the financial performance of refurbished aircraft and customer feedback scores will be monitored very closely.

How do I know if I will be flying on a “densified” Boeing 777?

BA has not yet updated its general guidance seat maps on its website to include the reconfigured Boeing 777s.

Update: Please see here for images of the refurbished aircraft which was unveiled on Monday 5 March 2018.

However, if you are flying on a 9 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 11 (40 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 12 – 14 (24 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 16 – 40 (3-3-3 configuration)

If you are flying on a 10 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 4 (32 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 10 – 16 (52 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 20 – 46 (3-4-3 configuration)
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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 » London Gatwick

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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Norwegian launches London Gatwick – Buenos Aires from February 2018

Norwegian will fly from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires four times weekly from Wednesday 14 February 2018.

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

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

Norwegian has announced yet another long-haul route from London Gatwick.  The airline will fly to Buenos Aires four times weekly from Wednesday 14 February 2018. This will be the airline’s first direct route from London Gatwick to South America.

As per other long-haul routes at Gatwick, the route will be served by Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two class configuration.

Continue reading “Norwegian launches London Gatwick – Buenos Aires from February 2018”

Norwegian launches London Gatwick – Singapore from Thursday 28 September 2017

Norwegian will fly direct from Gatwick to Singapore from Thursday 28 September 2017.

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

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

Norwegian’s aggressive expansion at London Gatwick continues with the launch of a new route from London Gatwick to Singapore Changi airport.

The route will launch on Thursday 28 September 2017. It will initially operate four times weekly, increasing to five times weekly from Monday 30 October 2017. The flight will be operated by the mainstay of Norwegian’s long-haul operations, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two class configuration.

Flights are on sale now at Norwegian.com

Today’s announcement is significant for two reasons:
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BA suspends London Gatwick – Lima from Sunday 29 October 2017

BA has suspended its direct route to Lima from Sunday 29 October 2017. It resumes on Sunday 25 March 2018.

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

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

British Airways is to suspend its London Gatwick – Lima route for the winter season from Sunday 29 October 2017. The route is expected to resume from late March 2018.

BA launched its route from London Gatwick to Lima in May 2016. No specific reason has been given for the seasonal cancellation. However, it is assumed the cause of cancellation is unsatisfactory commercial performance. The affected BA flight numbers are BA2239 and BA2238.

If your flight is cancelled you will be reaccommodated on Iberia’s daily service to Lima via Madrid from either London Gatwick or London Heathrow. However, do note that Iberia does not always operate its premium economy cabin between Madrid and Lima. Therefore, if you have booked to fly in World Traveller Plus on BA you may be downgraded to economy on Iberia. Iberia’s daily flight from Madrid to Lima (Flight IB6651 departs Madrid at 12:50pm and arrives in Lima at 17:35. Therefore, connections at Madrid should not be onerous.

Alternatively, you can be accommodated on American Airlines’ services to Lima via either Dallas Fort Worth or Miami.

Further options with partner airlines may become available in the coming weeks.

If you prefer you should be able to move your flight to a date when BA is operating the route. Alternatively, you are entitled to a refund.

Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.

Update: The route is scheduled to resume on Sunday 25 March 2018, operating three times weekly on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

The opening of new BA lounges at Gatwick’s South Terminal is delayed

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

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

There has been a lot of interest in the planned new British Airways lounges at London Gatwick’s South Terminal which, from today, is BA’s new home at Gatwick.

The lounges were planned to open today, Wednesday 25 January 2017. However, this has been delayed.

It is understood that construction work is complete and the official line from BA is that it is hoped that the lounges will open “soon”.

In the interim, passengers travelling in First Class on any flight and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party operated No 1 Clubrooms.

In addition, all passengers travelling to Jersey, New York JFK and Bermuda who are eligible for lounge access can use this lounge.  However, this will be subject to capacity constraints.

All other passengers who are eligible to access lounges (e.g. Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club cardholders) can use a temporary “Speedbird” lounge operated by BA.

If you are flying BA from Gatwick you should be handed a letter at check-in explaining these options.

It is obviously disappointing that the new lounges are not open today. However, the problems associated with its opening do not seem insurmountable.

Update 7 February 2017

It is understood that the new lounges have undergone a “soft” opening ahead of a formal launch.  However, not all facilities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed.  Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge.  If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February 2017

It is understood that the new lounges are now fully operational and all other temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.

Virgin Atlantic unveiles its new London Gatwick Clubhouse

Virgin Atlantic has opened a new Clubhouse lounge in London Gatwick’s North Terminal.

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

Today, 25 January 2017, sees a significant reorganisation at London Gatwick. easyJet has consolidated its operations in the North Terminal. 

To accommodate this move, British Airways has moved from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. Virgin Atlantic has moved from the South Terminal, its home at Gatwick since the airline first launched in 1984, to the North Terminal.

This move of course means new lounges for both BA and Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic has today opened its new Clubhouse in the North Terminal.  It is located on level 4 of the terminal, after security.

Lounge features include:

  • A marble bar offering complimentary drinks including bespoke cocktails from East London bar The White Lyan
  • A complimentary to order brunch menu featuring popular staples such as Eggs Benedict
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the airport’s apron
  • A woodland themed play area for younger travellers
  • A Clubhouse spa with a selection of complimentary treatments such as facials and paid for treatments such as wet shaves and massages.  The spa is open from 7.00am to 12:30pm

Here is the spa treatment menudining menu and cocktail menu.

First impressions are that the lounge looks bright, spacious and, at least when the weather’s good, the floor-to-ceiling window views should put passengers in the right frame of mind for a holiday.

Here are some official pictures released by Virgin Atlantic:

Passengers travelling in Virgin’s Upper Class cabin and Flying Club gold cardholders are eligible to access the lounge.

Virgin Atlantic flies from London Gatwick to Antigua, Barbados, Cancun, Grenada, Havana, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Orlando, St Lucia, Tobago and Varadero.

Finnair launches seasonal route from London Gatwick to Ivalo from Thursday 14 December 2017

Finnair is to launch a twice weekly winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Ivalo, Finland from Thursday 14 December 2017.

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

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

Finnair is to launch a twice weekly winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Ivalo, Finland from Thursday 14 December 2017.

The airline will fly from London Gatwick to Ivalo (Ivalo airport) on Thursdays and Sundays until Thursday 22 March 2018. The route then resumes on Thursday 13 December 2018.

Ivalo is the northern most airport in Finland. It is a small airport with just a few flights a day. Ivalo is a popular destination for winter sports, visiting Lapland and witnessing the Northern Lights.

Finnair also flies to Helsinki from London Heathrow, together with its codeshare partner British Airways, up to six times a day. It should be possible to “mix and match” direct flights from London Gatwick with indirect routings if that is more convenient.

Flights are on sale now at Finnair.com However, do note that it is only possible to book flights up to approximately a year in advance.

Finnair also flies from London Gatwick to Kittilä (Kittilä airport) on Tuesdays from 12 December 2017 to Tuesday 20 March 2018. The route then resumes on Tuesday 11 December 2018. Both routes are also codeshared with British Airways.

Here is a more detailed guide to winter seasonal routes from London.

Here is the initial timetable (which may be subject to change):

London Gatwick – Ivalo

Flight AY662 Depart London Gatwick 09:30 – Arrive Ivalo 15:00 (Thursdays)
Flight AY662 Depart London Gatwick 08:25 – Arrive Ivalo 13:55 (Sundays)

Flight AY661 Depart Ivalo 07:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 08:40 (Thursdays)
Flight AY661 Depart Ivalo 06:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 07:40 (Sundays)

The flight time is approximately 3.5 hours.  Ivalo is 2 hours ahead of the UK.

London Gatwick – Kittilä

Flight AY658 Depart London Gatwick 18:10 – Arrive Kittilä 23:35 (Tuesdays)

Flight AY657 Depart Kittilä 15:45 – Arrive London Gatwick 17:15 (Tuesdays)

BA introduces M&S “Buy On Board” from Wednesday 11 January 2017

London Air Travel » London Gatwick

British Airways partnership with Marks & Spencer "M&S On Board"
British Airways partnership with Marks & Spencer “M&S On Board” (Image Credit: British Airways)

This Wednesday, 11 January 2017, marks a significant change to BA’s UK Domestic & EuroTraveller European short-haul flights to and from London Gatwick to London Heathrow.

The current offer of complimentary food and drink will be replaced by Buy-On-Board food and drink from Marks & Spencer. You can view the food menu and the drinks menu on the BA website.

Key points to note are:

  • Payment will only be accepted by credit card or Avios from your British Airways Executive Club account
  • Cash will not be accepted
  • To pay with Avios you will need to have the latest version of the BA app on your smartphone (it will show a barcode on the “My Account” screen of the app)

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