British Airways has today announced it is to cancel its thrice weekly London Gatwick – Colombo service, which operated as an additional leg to its service to Male in the Maldives.
The last flight from London Gatwick will operate on 27 March 2015 and the last inbound flight will operate on 28 March 2015.
The Male service will also be suspended from the above dates until 25 October 2015, operating as a seasonal service only.
The affected flight numbers are:
BA2043 London Gatwick – Male – Colombo
BA2042 Colombo – Male – London Gatwick
At present, BA is offering refunds to affected passengers. BA has not yet confirmed whether passengers can be accommodated on partner airlines.
We would recommend affected passengers hold out for further information as there are likely candidates such as fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and SriLankan Airlines who can accommodate passengers and it does take time for airlines to formalise commercial arrangements.
Update 30 September 2014: BA has now published a commercial policy for affected passengers. Passengers booked to fly to Colombo have the option of being re-routed on BA’s London Heathrow – Mumbai flight with an onward connection to Colombo on Jet Airways.
Update 14 October 2014 BA is now offering an additional re-rerouting option for both Male & Colombo passengers with Sri Lankan Airways.
This does mark something of a setback in what has been an otherwise largely successful programme of long-haul expansion at London Gatwick over the past five years.
We surmise that the length of the flights (13 hours in total) and competitive pressure on fares may have had an impact on this decision.
No announcement has been made as to where else the aircraft released by this announcement may be used on the London Gatwick network.