British Airways is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Heathrow to Charleston, South Carolina.
The airline will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Charleston International Airport twice a week on Thursday and Sunday from Thursday 4 April 2019 until Thursday 24 October 2019.
Flights will be operated with Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft in a three class, Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy, configuration.
This will be BA’s 29th destination in the United States. It will also launch a new route to Pittsburgh from London Heathrow from April 2019. Together with American Airlines, BA will offer more than 70 flights a day to the US from London.
Nobody was expecting this
BA has launched many new transatlantic routes from London Heathrow with the Boeing 787.
However, this announcement is different. It is extremely rare for BA to launch seasonal long-haul routes from London Heathrow. New long-haul routes require a considerable amount of planning with arranging ground handling and catering. With only two flights a week, this is clearly aimed at the leisure market.
BA of course has access to considerable data through its joint-venture with American Airlines to identify possible new direct routes. BA is not an airline to adopt a “dart board” approach to route planning. It also goes without saying that Charleston would very much like this to be a year-round route. Its press release alludes to years of contact with BA to secure a long-haul route. It may well become a year-round route in time.
If this route is a success we may well see another tranche of low-frequency summer seasonal routes to the US from London Heathrow in 2020. Just in the same way that BA operates a large number of low frequency summer seasonal short-haul routes from London Heathrow.
Flights are on sale now at ba.com
BA has also produced a summary PDF for the launch. Note as this is a new seasonal route, flight schedules may be subject to change subject to commercial performance, particularly in the shoulder season.
London Heathrow – Charleston
Flight BA221 Depart London Heathrow 17:20 – Arrive Charleston International Airport 21:20 (Thursday and Sunday)
Flight BA220 Depart Charleston International Airport 22:50 – Arrive London Heathrow 11:50 (Thursday and Sunday)
Update March 2021
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, this route did not operate in the summer of 2020. It is now suspended permanently.