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.
Canadian airline WestJet has today confirmed it is to launch summer seasonal direct flights from London Gatwick to no less than six Canadian cities: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, St John’s, Edmonton and Winnipeg.
Flights will operate from the week beginning Monday 4 May 2015 to the end of October 2015.
Flights to Vancouver will operate six times weekly, Edmonton will operate twice weekly, Calgary five times weekly and Winnipeg once weekly. Flights to Toronto and St. John’s will both operate once daily.
In total, this represents 28 return trips from London Gatwick total each week.
This represents a significant expansion in capacity between London and Canada, and significant competition to British Airways and Air Canada from London Heathrow and Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat from London Gatwick. This, combined with the expansion of Norwegian at London Gatwick means that the airport is carving out a niche for low cost transatlantic travel.
In the case of Winnipeg, WestJet’s service will also be the only direct route between the city and London.
All London flights, with the exception of flights to St John’s, will be operated by one of WestJet’s four Boeing 767-300ERW extended range aircraft.
Each Boeing 767 seats 262 passengers. The main economy cabin has 238 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. Passengers in the main cabin will be offered complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic drinks and the option to purchase hot meals. The cabin does not also feature seat back in flight entertainment. Instead, the aircraft will be equipped with WestJet Connect, the airline’s inflight entertainment and wireless connectivity system which can stream entertainment to your smartphone/tablet. Passengers are also offered one complimentary checked bag. However, seat selection fees will apply.
The aircraft will include a “Plus” premium cabin with 24 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and complimentary hot meals.
Flights are on sale now and to mark the launch, WestJet is offering special introductory fares which it claims are the lowest on the market for bookings made by Wednesday 16 September for travel between 6 May 2015 to 28 June 2015.
Iberia is to examine opening new routes (and in some cases re-instating routes) to Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia and Asuncion (Paraguay) the airline announced today, 31 July 2015.
The routes are likely to launch in 2016 and 2017 and are subject to its parent company, International Airlines Group, placing orders for additional aircraft, including five Airbus 330-200 aircraft, with Airbus.
IAG also hopes to order a further eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft as a replacement for Iberia’s existing fleet. An announcement could be made as early as next week.
That said, it has to be said it is somewhat unusual for an airline to announce a possible order for aircraft in advance of it being finalised.
Nor do airlines normally give away much with regard to future route launches, for obvious competitive reasons (though negotiations with airports on landing fees could be a factor).
Of the routes mentioned Doha and Tokyo are noteworthy as these would be the airline’s only routes to the Middle East and Asia and would be the airline’s first step in making Madrid a global (rather than purely west bound) long-haul hub. We assume they would be supported by code shares with fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines.
It is noteworthy that Hong Kong and Singapore are not listed, particularly Hong Kong as it is the hub of fellow alliance partner Cathay Pacific.
The launch of more routes to Central and South America also cements Iberia’s position in this market. We are surprised not to see more North American destinations, but these are of course well served by British Airways.
Air Canada Rouge, the leisure subsidiary airline of Air Canada, is to launch summer seasonal flights from London Gatwick to Toronto Pearson airport from 19 May 2016.
Flights will operate up to 7 times weekly.
Air Canada Rouge also flies between Toronto and Manchester and Edinburgh on a summer seasonal basis. Air Canada’s domestic rival WestJet also announced this month that it is to fly between London Gatwick and as yet unspecified destinations in Canada in summer 2016.
Air Canada Rouge flights will be operated by a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 24 Premium rouge seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 256 rouge seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.
Passengers travelling in the Premium rouge cabin have lounge access at the airport, a complimentary checked baggage allowance, complimentary food and drink and free use of a tablet for in flight entertainment.
Passengers travelling in the main rouge cabin have complimentary food and drink and can download an app to watch in flight entertainment on their smartphone or tablet. There is no seat back in flight entertainment.
We have no direct experience of Air Canada Rouge but we would offer the observation that 280 seats is a very dense seating configuration for a Boeing 767. By contrast, an Air Canada Boeing 767 with a traditional business class cabin has 211 seats. Such a dense configuration will have an impact on not only in seat comfort, but also at boarding, access to overhead locker space and washrooms etc.
Flights will be on sale at Fly Rouge from 2 July 2015.
Update: Here’s the timetable with convenient timings for the leisure traveller to maximise their holiday time.
Flight AC1925 Depart London Gatwick 12:00 – Arrive Toronto Pearson 15:00
Flight AC1924 Depart Toronto Pearson 22:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:15
Update (2): This route has been suspended from the 2018 summer season.
Canadian airline WestJet has announced it is to launch transatlantic services to Canada from London Gatwick in spring 2016.
The airline has yet to confirm which routes will be served (though Toronto seems an obvious choice) or any scheduling, pricing and product information, other than to say flights will be operated by Boeing 767-300 aircraft.
This will be welcome news for London Gatwick which has lost a number of transatlantic airlines to Heathrow over the past few years. It will undoubtedly use this as a case for a second runway at Gatwick.
One of the many things that are often lacking at airports in North America is a direct rail link from the airport to downtown.
Toronto is one city to gain such a link with the launch of the Union Pearson Express on Saturday 6 June 2015.
The new service will link Terminal 1 of Toronto’s main international airport, Toronto Pearson, with its main downtown railway station (Union Station), every 15 minutes with a journey time of 25 minutes on an elevated rail track. A return fare for an adult is CAD$53 (roughly £28).
British Airways completed its first long-haul passenger flight on the Boeing 787 yesterday, 1 September 2013, when BA93 departed London Heathrow Terminal 5 for Toronto Pearson airport.
The flight landed at approximately 14:55 local time and departed for London the same evening around 19:20 as flight BA92.
Flights to Newark on the Boeing 787 start on 1 October 2013. British Airways has yet to announce which destination will next be served by the Boeing 787. However, it is likely to be another transatlantic route currently served by a Boeing 767, possibly Philadelphia or Washington Dulles.
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