Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 1 February 2021.
February Flight Schedules
It’s the first day of February and airline schedules and passenger route networks continue to shrink further.
At London Heathrow, BA’s long haul route network is largely limited to North America with flights operating to Barbados, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington Dulles.
In Central & South America, just Mexico City is served by BA. Similarly, Bahrain is the only destination in the Middle East.
In Africa & the Indian Ocean, BA is flying to Abuja, Accra, Lagos, Nairobi and The Maldives.
Limited flights are operating to Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi in India. BA also continues to fly to Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan.
BA short haul flights at Heathrow are limited to UK regional airports and a small number of cities in mainland Europe such as Paris Charles de Gaulle and Stockholm.
At Gatwick, limited BA long haul flights are scheduled to operate to Antigua, Bermuda, Cancun, Kingston and Saint Lucia.
Meanwhile at London City, there are just two BA return flights a week to Belfast City and Frankfurt respectively.
Back to Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic is operating limited flights to Atlanta, Barbados, Delhi, Islamabad, Lagos, Lahore, Los Angeles, Miami, Mumbai and New York JFK.
Where Did Passengers Fly In December?
There continues to be much attention in the UK media on Instagram Influencers who flew to Dubai in December.
According to traffic data for international routes for December 2020 Dubai was, by some margin, the busiest route at Heathrow with 130,110 passengers travelling in either direction. This is a decline of “only” 43% year on year.
The next busiest international route was Doha with 36,105 passengers, a decline of 72% year on year.
Measured year on year, the strongest performing routes were Abuja, Accra, Islamabad, Lagos and Lahore with declines in the range of 20% – 30%.
Madrid was the busiest international short haul route with 34,448 passengers, but still a decline of 71% year on year.
Lufthansa Operates Its Longest Non-Stop Flight
Yesterday, Lufthansa despatched what it claims is its longest ever non-stop flight.
Shortly before 21:30 CET flight LH2574 departed from Hamburg to Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands.
The Airbus A350-900 aircraft is carrying 16 crew and 92 passengers on behalf of the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) in Bremerhaven. The passengers will continue their journey to Antarctica on the research vessel Polarstern.
All passengers and crew had to quarantine at a hotel before the flight which will also carry its own ground crew and equipment to prepare the aircraft for its return flight on 3 February.
In case you missed it:
BA extends the transfer of most Gatwick short haul routes to Heathrow to late May 2021. (London Air Travel)
BA extends deadline for use of eVouchers and Future Travel Vouchers to April 2023. (London Air Travel)
“Use It Or Lose It” slot rules are waived at UK airports for the summer 2021 season. (London Air Travel)
Also of note this week:
The Times & Sunday Times Travel Editor Duncan Craig on travel writing post COVID-19. (The Sunday Times)
The Telegraph’s “Secret Pilot” on landing aircraft in low visibility. (The Telegraph)
Late post publication updates:
[Reserved for updates throughout the day]
London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing is published every Monday morning at 06:00 BST and updated throughout the day. If you have any tips or stories please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the week.