A very Happy New Year to all our readers around the world.
There’s a lot to look forward to in 2018, so let’s start by taking a look at what new routes we can expect this year. No doubt many more announcements will follow in the coming months.
London Heathrow – Perth Non-Stop
This big headline is of course the launch of non-stop flights between London Heathrow and Perth from Sunday 25 March 2018.
With a flight time of nearly 17 hours, this route will test passengers’ appetite for “Ultra Long-Haul” travel. It may also presage, subject to aircraft technology, more direct flights between London and Australia in the 2020s.
Qantas has made much of the fact that it is looking to adapt in-flight service to the length of the flight so it will be interesting to see what emerges.
Ultimately, the success of the route will hinge on its technical reliability and financial profitability. The latter depends on sufficient year round demand from business class passengers who will be prepared to pay a premium for a non-stop flight.
This route will replace Qantas’ existing London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne flight. At the same time, Qantas will also replace London Heathrow – Dubai – Sydney with London Heathrow – Singapore – Sydney.
London Heathrow – Long Haul
BA continues its steady expansion of transatlantic routes with the launch of Nashville, Tennessee, five times weekly from Friday 4 May 2018.
BA also returns to The Seychelles, twice weekly from Saturday 24 March 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018.
United Airlines launches a daily flight to Denver from Sunday 25 March 2018.
London Gatwick – Long Haul
Norwegian continues its rapacious expansion at London Gatwick with the launch of Buenos Aires four times a week from Wednesday 14 February 2018.
Norwegian will also launch Austin three times weekly from Tuesday 27 March 2018 and Chicago O’Hare four times weekly from Sunday 25 March 2018.
BA will reinstate Las Vegas three times a week from Tuesday 27 March 2018 until Friday 26 October 2018. BA will also fly to Toronto three times a week from Tuesday 1 May 2018 until Friday 26 October 2018.
WestJet is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Halifax, Nova Scotia from Monday 30 April 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018. Flights will operate daily.
Qatar Airways will reinstate direct flights from London Gatwick to Doha from Tuesday 22 May 2018. Flights will operate twice daily.
London Stansted – Long Haul
London Stansted will gain a direct link to Dubai and Emirates’ expansive network as it launches a direct daily flight from Friday 8 June 2018.
Primera Air will launch daily direct flights to New York Newark from Thursday 19 April 2018, four times weekly flights to Boston from Friday 18 May 2018, three times weekly flights to Toronto Pearson from Saturday 19 May 2018, and four times weekly flights to Washington Dulles from Wednesday 22 August 2018.
London Heathrow – Short-Haul
BA will add three routes to its portfolio of summer seasonal routes. BA will fly to Almeria twice weekly from Tuesday 27 March 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018, Corsica once a week from Sunday 25 March 2018 to Sunday 21 October 2018 and Kefalonia twice weekly from Tuesday 15 May to Saturday 6 October 2018.
A very large number of seasonal routes will return. These include Brindisi, Corfu, Ibiza, Kalamata, Murcia, Mykonos, Pula, Santorini, Split and Zakynthos. However, Biarritz, Kos and Montpellier will not return in 2018. Please see here for our full guide to seasonal routes at London Heathrow.
Cobalt Air will fly from London Heathrow to Larnaca from Tuesday 27 March 2018.
London Gatwick – Short-Haul
Air Baltic will launch a twice weekly flight to Tallin from Tuesday 27 March 2018.
easyJet will launch new routes from London Gatwick to Ancona Italy and Nea Anchialos Greece from Wednesday 27 June 2018.
Elsewhere on easyJet’s London network it will launch London Luton to Dalaman, Genoa, Palermo, Reus and Thessaloniki; and London Southend to Bordeaux, Dubrovnik, Prague and Pula.
Although no new routes have been announced yet, expect an announcement from BA, and possibly other IAG group airlines, on new short-haul routes from late March following the purchase of approximately 20 slot pairs from Monarch.
Update 4 January 2018:
BA announces it will add new routes from Gatwick to Palma, Mahon and Gibraltar next summer.
It will also increase frequencies to Malaga, Alicante, Faro, Tenerife, Madeira, and Lanzarote.
London City – Short-Haul
TAP Portugal will fly six times a week from London City to Porto from Sunday 25 March 2018.
Aer Lingus continues its expansion of transatlantic routes from Dublin, launching Philadelphia from Sunday 25 March 2018 and Seattle from Friday 18 May 2018.
Vueling with suspend London Gatwick- Santiago de Compostela from Friday 23 March 2018. easyJet will fly the route on Wednesday and Saturday from Wednesday 28 March 2018.
Iberia Express will suspend London Heathrow – Asturias from Saturday 24 March 2018.
Delta will suspend London Heathrow – Philadelphia from Thursday 3 May 2018.