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British Airways is to suspend its service from London Heathrow to Luanda, Angola, from early June 2018.
The route currently operates once weekly and is codeshared with Angola Airlines. It is the only direct route between London and Luanda. The last outbound flight BA77 departs Thursday 7 June 2018. The last inbound flight BA76 departs Saturday 9 June 2018.
No reason has been given for the cancellation and the period of notice is very short. The route has been subject to occasional cancellations in recent weeks due to maintenance requirements of BA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners.. The short notice period does suggest a degree of urgency to release a spare Boeing 787 for the summer.
It also has to be said that this development follows a number of suspended routes to Africa.
BA has previously suspended Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2012; Lusaka, Zambia in 2013; Freetown and Monrovia in 2014; and Entebbe, Uganda in 2015.
The main exception is South Africa where BA has recently announced Durban and an increase in flights to Johannesburg to 18 times weekly for the winter season.
If BA ever orders the Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft this may make some of these routes viable again. However, there is no sign of an imminent order.
Rebooking Options – As Of Wednesday 23 May 2018
BA has not yet announced any rebooking arrangements with other airlines.
However, it has long been standard practice for BA to only enter into discussions with other airlines to re-accommodate displaced passengers after the cancellation has been announced. We assume this is for competition law reasons.
It is likely that re-accommodation arrangements will be announced over the next couple of weeks. A number of European airlines fly to Luanda including Air France, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Lufthansa and TAP. If it is not urgent, we would advise waiting a couple of weeks to what options become available.
In the interim, passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund or to rebook onto an alternative BA service prior to the date of suspension.
Rebooking Options – As Of Friday 25 May 2018
BA has now secured rebooking arrangements with the following airlines:
1. Brussels Airlines via Brussels
2. Lufthansa via Frankfurt
3. TAAG Angola Airlines via Lisbon, Porto, Cape Town or Johannesburg
In all instances, passengers must connect via BA operated services to/from London. Note that Brussels Airlines does not offer First Class nor premium economy, Lufthansa does not offer First Class, and TAAG Angola Airlines does not offer premium economy on flights to Luanda.
If you are rebooked onto an airline that does not offer the cabin you were originally booked into, you will be downgraded to the next lowest cabin.
Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.
Rebooking Options – As Of Wednesday 30 May 2018
BA has now secured rebooking additional arrangements with the following airlines:
1. Air France via Paris Charles de Gaulle
2. KLM via Amsterdam
3. TAP via Lisbon
Again, in all instances, passengers must connect via BA operated services to/from London. Note that KLM and TAP do not offer First Class nor premium economy.