London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing – 21 March 2022

Welcome to London Air Travel’s weekly briefing on air travel around the world, as published every Monday at 06:00 GMT.

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Airfield, London Heathrow Airport (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Welcome to London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing for the week beginning 21 March 2022.

The Summer Travel Season Begins

This coming Sunday 27 March, marks the start of British Summer Time and the summer travel season.

With many travel restrictions lifted, airports and airlines will be hoping for a return to normalcy. This is, of course, subject to economic and geopolitical events.

It remains to be seen whether all have sufficient resources to see themselves through the season. Some could be facing a long hot summer.

Here is a run through of some major route changes. Separate articles on BA at London City, Gatwick and Heathrow will follow later in the week.

In terms of airports, the South Terminal at Gatwick reopens this Sunday. As does Terminal 3 at Manchester. Heathrow aims to reopen Terminal 4 by July.

Turning to airlines, Air Canada will restart flights from Heathrow to Halifax, Nova Scotia on 1 May. Flights to Ottawa and St John’s, Newfoundland remain suspended.

American Airlines will move flights to Dallas / Fort Worth, Los Angeles and Miami to Heathrow Terminal 5 for the summer season. Seattle is suspended due to aircraft delivery delays.

Delta will reinstate flights from Heathrow to Minneapolis Saint Paul from 12 April. Salt Lake City follows on 7 June. Portland and Seattle remain suspended.

Finnair will operate Airbus A350-900 flights up to twice daily between Heathrow and Helsinki.

To Gatwick, Iberia Express will reinstate twice daily flights to Madrid from 27 March. Icelandair also returns to Gatwick from 25 March.

Loganair relaunches flights to the Isle of Man from London City & Heathrow from 18 April & 3 May respectively.

Also back at Heathrow, Qantas provisionally plans to restart non-stop flights to Perth from 19 June. Airbus A380 flights to Sydney via Singapore follow on 20 June.

United, aided by slots loaned by Air Canada, plans a significant increase in frequencies on many Heathrow routes including Denver & San Francisco this summer. It will also fly to Boston, using remedy slots from BA, from 15 April.

Virgin Atlantic will launch a new summer seasonal route to Austin on 25 May.

Vueling launches a string of new routes at Gatwick including A Coruña, Almeria, Granada, Malaga, Mahon and Seville.

WestJet will make its debut at Heathrow from 27 March 2022, flying to Calgary. Halifax and Vancouver return at Gatwick from 2 May 2022.

Also of interest this week:

The nominees for the 2022 Crystal Cabin Awards which include both new concepts and implemented designs are announced. (CNN Travel)

Finnair on the planning behind a return to flying over the North Pole after an absence of nearly 30 years. (Finnair)

Felipe Ángeles International Airport opens in Mexico City today. Intended to relieve congestion at Mexico City International, it replaces another airport scrapped mid way through construction. According to FlightRadar data, 8 flights will depart today. (Financial Times)

Direction of Travel releases its 4th edition of airline route maps in newspaper format, featuring Air India and Japan Airlines. (Direction of Travel)

News from London Air Travel you may have missed:

BA terminates its frequent flyer partnership with S7 Airlines, which remains a member of Oneworld for now. (London Air Travel)

Comair, BA’s franchise partner in Africa, restarts flights after the South African Civil Aviation Authority reinstates its operating licence. (London Air Travel)

IAG secures an exclusivity period of one year to explore a new deal to acquire Air Europa. (London Air Travel)

Late post publication updates:

[Reserved for updates throughout the day]

Hong Kong is to ease some travel restrictions from 1 April. A ban on flights from the UK & other countries has been lifted. The mandatory quarantine period for arrivals is cut from 14 to 7 days.

Qantas jumps on the non-fungible token (NFT) bandwagon. (Qantas)

British Airways offers refunds to some passengers who requested eVouchers for cancelled flights. (London Air Travel)

London Air Travel’s Monday Briefing is published every Monday at 06:00 BST. If you have any tips or stories please contact us. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news throughout the week.

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