Virgin Atlantic Launches LATAM Partnership

Virgin Atlantic now codeshares on LATAM flights between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo.

London Air Travel

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Virgin Atlantic has launched a new codeshare partnership with LATAM Airlines.

Virgin Atlantic has placed its code on LATAM flights between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo.

Virgin Atlantic passengers will also be able to connect to 12 destinations in Brazil. These are Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Goiania, Recife, Salvador, Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Vitoria and Londrina.

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London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 17 January 2021

Welcome to London Air Travel’s first Monday Briefing of 2022.

London Air Travel

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

Welcome to London Air Travel’s first Monday Briefing of 2022.

BA Cuts Short Haul Schedules

Yesterday’s Sunday Times reported that the government is likely to remove the need for passengers returning to England to take a lateral flow COVID-19 test after arrival.

Airlines will welcome a reduction in the cost and complexity associated with travel. Testing requirements are one of many issues airlines are now dealing with, including staff shortages.

From the airlines’ part, restoring confidence in travel has to also come from them getting to a point where there is stability to their schedules and passengers can book flights without fear of repeated cancellations.

On that theme, a number of BA short haul routes are suspended from today until February. These include:

Basel – Until Thursday 10 February
Brussels – Until Monday 7 February
Inverness – Until Monday 28 February
Luxembourg – Until Monday 28 February
Marseille – Until Wednesday 9 February
Seville – Until Thursday 10 February
Verona – Until Friday 11 February

The airline has also extended the suspension of some routes including:

Bilbao – Until Sunday 20 February
Bordeaux – Until Saturday 26 March
Marrakech – Until Thursday 10 February
Pisa – Until Friday 4 March
Porto – Until Thursday 10 February
Rotterdam – Until Monday 28 February
Stuttgart – Until Monday 28 February
Zagreb – Until Monday 28 February

On long haul, twice daily services to Cape Town restart today. As do Airbus A380 flights to Johannesburg (BA57 & BA54).

This week, BA also suspends flights to Baltimore, Nashville and New Orleans until late April / early May.

Readers can keep up to date with the latest network changes with our dedicated guides to BA’s long haul and short haul networks.

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BA Relaunches London City – Barcelona

BA CityFlyer will relaunch summer seasonal flights to Barcelona from Sunday 19 June 2022.

London Air Travel

Barcelona, Spain, Sunrise, Sky
Barcelona Skyline At Sunrise (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways is to return to Barcelona at London City Airport with the relaunch of a new summer seasonal route.

BA’s subsidiary BA CityFlyer will fly from London City to Barcelona six times weekly, with no flights on Saturday, from Sunday 19 June to Sunday 4 September 2022.

This is one of many BA route changes at London City this summer.

A new route to Luxembourg will launch at the start of the summer season on Sunday 27 March 2022. Flights will operate up to twice daily.

At present, BA’s existing service from London Heathrow to Luxembourg will continue. As London City & Heathrow flight times are similar, this suggests that the route may transfer from Heathrow.

Also from Sunday 27 March, flights to Milan will transfer from Milan Linate to Milan Malpensa airport. These have been suspended since COVID-19.

BA CityFlyer will also launch a new weekly service to Thessaloniki from Saturday 18 June to Sunday 4 September.

Twice weekly summer seasonal flights launched in 2021 to Guernsey and Jersey will return between Monday 20 June and Friday 2 September. Flights to Gibraltar will not return this year.

A new route to San Sebastian should also launch on Friday 8 July, after a delay of two years.

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Cathay Pacific Reopens London Heathrow Lounges

Cathay Pacific has reopened its lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

London Air Travel

Cathay Pacific Business Class Lounge London Heathrow Terminal 3 (Image Credit: Cathay Pacific)

Cathay Pacific has reopened its business and First Class lounges at London Heathrow Terminal 3.

These have long been regarded as some of the best lounges at London Heathrow and certainly the best option for passengers flying on Oneworld alliance airlines at Terminal 3.

Currently, the lounges are open from 05:30 to 17:30 from Monday to Saturday and from 07:00 to 17:30 on Sunday. These should no doubt change when evening flights to Hong Kong restart.

Cathay Pacific has had well documented problems operating flights to and from Hong Kong with strict local quarantine requirements for its crews. The airline has also come under considerable political scrutiny in Hong Kong.

Whilst Hong Kong and much of Asia is likely to remain closed to visitors for some time due to “zero COVID” policies, the reopening of the lounges is welcome for all Oneworld flyers from Terminal 3.

Cathay Pacific’s Oneworld alliance partner Qantas also reopened its own lounge at Terminal 3 late last year.

Information on the lounge is available on the Cathay Pacific website. Details of all Oneworld lounges at Heathrow are available on the Oneworld alliance website.

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Virgin Atlantic Launches London Heathrow – Austin

Virgin Atlantic will fly from London Heathrow to Austin from Wednesday 25 May 2022.

London Air Travel

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Virgin Atlantic has launched a new route from London Heathrow to Austin, Texas.

The airline will fly from London Heathrow to Austin–Bergstrom International Airport four times weekly from Wednesday 25 May 2022.

Flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. It’s not immediately clear whether the route initially operate on a summer seasonal basis or year round.

The route will be operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

This is Virgin’s first ever route to Texas and its first new route to the US in many years. It is even longer since Virgin launched a destination in the US that is not a hub of its transatlantic joint business partner Delta.

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British Airways Suspends Bilbao

British Airways will suspend flights between London and Bilbao from Sunday 27 March 2022.

London Air Travel

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

British Airways will suspend flights from London to Bilbao from Sunday 27 March 2022.

Before COVID-19, BA flights to Bilbao operated from London Gatwick airport, having not long transferred from London Heathrow.

The route has more recently operated from Heathrow along with all other Gatwick short haul flights, but with brief periods of suspension. Indeed, no flights will operate from Saturday 8 January until Friday 4 February 2022.

The route will not resume at Gatwick when BA restarts short haul flights on Tuesday 29 March 2022.

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IAG To Abandon Purchase Of Air Europa

International Airlines Group has terminated its planned purchase of Air Europa, which was under review by competition authorities.

London Air Travel

Air Europa Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft
Air Europa Boeing 787 Dreamliner Aircraft (Image Credit: Air Europa)

International Airlines Group is to end its planned purchase of Air Europa.

The existing deal, as agreed in 2019, is to be terminated. The two sides are to explore “alternative structures” – though it is hard to envisage what be agreed to satisfy all of IAG, Globalia and competition regulators.

Willie Walsh’s Last “Transformational” Deal

In late 2019, IAG agreed to buy Air Europa from for €1 billion in cash.

As former CEO Willie Walsh would say this was intended to be a “transformational” deal. It was meant to solidify Iberia in Central & South America and make Madrid a “360 degree” global hub in Europe to rival Amsterdam and Frankfurt.

Air Europa was intended to be a subsidiary of Iberia and positioned as a “value carrier” in IAG in the mould of Aer Lingus. Although not confirmed at the time, it was likely that Air Europa would be rebranded to align with Iberia. Otherwise, IAG would have had no less than 5 different brands in Spain.

The deal was renegotiated in early 2021 with the purchase price reduced to €500 million and deferred until 2026.

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BA To Restart Gatwick Short Haul Flights

British Airways will restart short haul flights at London Gatwick Airport from Tuesday 29 March 2022.

London Air Travel

British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways is to restart short haul flights at London Gatwick Airport from Tuesday 29 March 2022.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic all BA short haul flights at Gatwick were suspended, apart from a daily flight to Glasgow. This operates as a “W pattern” flight as Heathrow – Glasgow – Gatwick – Glasgow – Heathrow.

BA has today, Tuesday 14 December 2021, confirmed its short haul flights network at Gatwick.

There are 35 routes, operated with a fleet of 18 Airbus A320 series aircraft. This is an initially smaller network than before COVID-19 and some Gatwick slots will be leased to easyJet.

The first routes will be Amsterdam, Larnaca, Paphos, Seville, Tenerife and Verona. Routes will be progressively added throughout April and May.

The new schedule includes many former Gatwick routes. As was par the course for BA at Gatwick, flight times vary by day.

There are also routes such as Athens, Berlin Brandenburg, Madrid and Milan Malpensa which were not immediately operated at Gatwick before COVID-19.

Some former Gatwick routes such as Genoa appear to be suspended.

These will all later transfer to a new airline company BA EuroFlyer Ltd. This does not yet have an Air Operators Certificate. It is possible that, like BA CityFlyer at London City, it will have its own flight number sequence, so there may be flight number changes when this takes place.

Some former Gatwick routes are expected to stay at Heathrow only. These include Algiers, Funchal, Jersey, Naples and Porto.

There are no UK domestic routes. These may continue to operate at Gatwick with Heathrow aircraft and crews.

At the time of publication schedule changes are still being made on ba.com. It may be a while before timetables are fully updated & accurate. The winter season schedule is likely to be considerably smaller.

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British Airways Relaunches London – Portland

British Airways has relaunched a new route from London Heathrow to Portland, Oregon from Friday 3 June 2022.

London Air Travel

Portland International Airport
Portland International Airport

British Airways has relaunched plans for a new route from London Heathrow to Portland, Oregon.

In late 2019, BA announced plans for a new route from London Heathrow to Portland from June 2020. After an initial delay, the route launch was cancelled due to COVID-19.

The route has now been put back on sale from Friday 3 June 2022.

BA has today also relaunched its route to Pittsburgh. The airline has also relaunched summer seasonal flights from Gatwick to New York JFK and suspended Gatwick – Las Vegas.

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British Airways Relaunches London – Pittsburgh

British Airways is to reinstate its route from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh from Friday 3 June 2022.

London Air Travel

Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to return to the city of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania on Friday 3 June 2022.

BA launched a new route from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh in 2019 after an absence of nearly 20 years. The city, along with a number of long haul routes, was suspended in 2020 due to COVID-19.

The route has now been put back on sale. The return of Pittsburgh was expected. BA had advised it aims to reinstate much of its pre-COVID-19 routes to North America by 2022.

BA has today also relaunched London Heathrow – Portland. The airline has also relaunched summer seasonal flights from Gatwick to New York JFK and suspended Gatwick – Las Vegas.

Flights from London to Pittsburgh will operate four times weekly from London Heathrow Terminal 5. These will be operated by Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft in a three class, Club World, World Traveller Plus and World Traveller, configuration.

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