British Airways’ Route Network – October 2020

BA has confirmed its long and short-haul route networks from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports for October 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Airbus A350-1000 G-XWBA Aircraft, London Heathrow
British Airways Airbus A350-1000 G-XWBA Aircraft, London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has officially confirmed its route network from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports for October 2020.

The airline has issued a map of its short-haul and long-haul networks, with associated flight frequencies. Click here for short-haul and here for long-haul networks in PDF format. Full text extracts are below.

At London Heathrow, BA resumes flights to Bahrain, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Montreal, Riyadh, The Seychelles and Tokyo Haneda. BA also launches a new route to Lahore.

During October, flights to Male also transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow. BA will also begin to operate flights to Barbados and Orlando from both Gatwick and Heathrow.

At London Gatwick, during the course of the month BA resumes flights to Cancun, Grenada, Mauritius, Orlando, Punta Cana, Providenciales, St Kitts, and Trinidad & Tobago. BA also launches a new route to Montego Bay.

As far as short-haul is concerned, BA resumes flights in October to Brussels, Gothenburg, Luxembourg, Milan Linate, Stuttgart, Reykjavik and Valencia. Some routes such as Basel, Billund and Vienna remain suspended. Many summer seasonal routes also come to an end.

Many Gatwick short-haul route continue to operate at Heathrow in October. These include Bilbao, Jersey, Kos, Lanzarote, Madeira, Naples, Porto, Seville and Tenerife.

At London City, BA will serve Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast City, Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin Tegel, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Zurich, Nice, Florence, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza.

As ever, schedules are subject to change at short notice. Passengers must ensure they comply with pre-departure and entry requirements. Links to country-by-country guidance and relevant forms are on ba.com

Long-Haul Network

British Airways Long-Haul Network, London Gatwick & Heathrow, October 2020
British Airways Long-Haul Network, London Gatwick & Heathrow, October 2020.  Click here for PDF format. 

All routes are from London Heathrow unless otherwise stated. Many routes, particularly at Gatwick, do not operate for the whole of October.

CANADA
Toronto – 7x weekly
Montreal – 3x weekly

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
New York JFK – 14x weekly
Chicago O’Hare – 12x weekly
Boston – 7x weekly
San Francisco – 7x weekly
Los Angeles – 7x weekly
Miami – 7x weekly
Orlando – 7x weekly (Gatwick from 12 October & Heathrow from 25 October)
Washington Dulles – 7x weekly
Dallas / Fort Worth – 7x weekly
Seattle – 3x weekly
Houston – 3x weekly
Atlanta – 7x weekly
Philadelphia – 2x weekly

CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA
Sao Paulo – 7x weekly
Buenos Aires – 3x weekly
Cancun – 3x weekly (Gatwick from 17 October)
Mexico City – 4x weekly

CARIBBEAN
Barbados – 7x weekly (Gatwick from 2 October & Heathrow from 17 October)
Bermuda – 4x weekly (Gatwick)
Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – 2x weekly (Gatwick provisionally from 25 October)
Mauritius – 3x weekly (Gatwick from 15 October)
St Lucia – 5x weekly (Gatwick)
Antigua – 5x weekly (Gatwick)
Kingston – 3x weekly (Gatwick)
Montego Bay – 2x weekly (new route at Gatwick from 13 October)
Grenada – 2x weekly (Gatwick from 15 October)
Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago (POS) – 5x weekly (Gatwick provisionally from 25 October)
Trinidad & Tobago (TAB) – 1x weekly (Gatwick provisionally from 26 October)
Saint Kitts – 1x weekly (Gatwick provisionally from 28 October)
Punta Cana – 3x weekly (Gatwick provisionally from 27 October)
Cayman Islands – 0.5x weekly (Heathrow)

Note there are discrepancies between the route map and supporting text, so routes for the Caribbean should be taken as indicative.

AFRICA
Accra – 7x weekly
Abuja – 7x weekly
Lagos – 7x weekly
Nairobi – 5x weekly
Cairo – 7x weekly
Johannesburg – 7x weekly
Cape Town – 7x weekly

MIDDLE EAST
Tel Aviv – 7x weekly
Dubai – 7x weekly
Kuwait – 3x weekly
Riyadh – 3x weekly
Bahrain – 3x weekly

SOUTH & CENTRAL ASIA
Mumbai – 5x weekly
Delhi – 7x weekly
Bangalore – 4x weekly
Hyderabad – 4x weekly
Chennai – 3x weekly
Islamabad – 7x weekly
Lahore – 4x weekly (new route from 12 October)

INDIAN OCEAN
Seychelles – 2x weekly (from 10 October)
Mauritius – 3x weekly (Gatwick from 15 October)
Male – 3x weekly (transfers to Heathrow from 16 October)

FAR EAST
Hong Kong – 7x weekly
Singapore – 4x weekly
Tokyo Haneda – 3x weekly
Shanghai – 2x weekly
Kuala Lumpur – 4x weekly

Continue reading “British Airways’ Route Network – October 2020”

British Airways Cancels Gatwick Short-Haul To March 2021

BA will not operate any short-haul flights at Gatwick until Sunday 28 March 2021 at the earliest.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways, London Gatwick
British Airways, London Gatwick

British Airways has confirmed that it has suspended all short-haul flights at London Gatwick until Sunday 28 March 2021 at the earliest.

BA will continue to operate many Gatwick short-haul flights at London Heathrow for the winter season.

This was expected as many Gatwick short-haul flights were showing as operating at Heathrow throughout the winter season. Following a relaxation of “use it or lose it” slot rules for the winter season, BA can cancel flights at Gatwick without forfeiting slots.

At present, there is little visibility on short-haul flight schedules. BA Gatwick routes expected to operate Heathrow throughout the winter include Alicante, Bordeaux, Gran Canaria, Grenoble, Jersey, Lanzarote, Malta, Naples, Porto, Salzburg, Tenerife, Turin and Verona.

These flights will retain their original Gatwick flight numbers which begin with a 2. This means they may show on some websites as having been diverted.

BA will continue to operate some long-haul flights at Gatwick. At present, BA is operating limited flights to Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Kingston and St Lucia. Many routes are expected to return in October, including Cancun, Providenciales and Punta Cana. BA will also launch a new route to Montego Bay in October.

Please see here for BA’s full route network from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports for October 2020.

British Airways Reinstates Heathrow Long-Haul Routes

BA reinstates more long-haul routes at London Heathrow in October, including daily flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways will reinstate more long-haul routes in October as it gradually rebuilds its network at London Heathrow.

Routes that are confirmed as returning in October include:

Bahrain – 3 times weekly from 1 October
Cape Town -Daily from 1 October
Johannesburg – Daily from 1 October
Kuala Lumpur – 4 times weekly from 2 October
Montreal – 3 times weekly from 2 October
Riyadh – 3 times weekly from 1 October
The Seychelles – 2 times weekly from 10 October
Tokyo Haneda – 3 times weekly from 1 October

BA will also operate one-off flights to Grand Cayman on 1 and 15 October.

Passengers must comply with entry restrictions and route specific procedures which can include:

  1. Restrictions on entry based on citizenship and purpose of travel.
  2. Evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test.
  3. Completion and submission of a medical declaration before travel.
  4. Advance registration with overseas authorities.
  5. Some routes closing for sale up to 7 days before travel.
  6. Restrictions on transit passengers.

Links to country-by-country guidance and relevant forms that must be completed before departure are on ba.com

Some countries require forms to be completed and submitted to relevant authorities 24-72 hours before travel. Passengers who do not comply may be denied boarding.

Country guidance for UK travellers is also available from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. Guidance for passengers arriving in the UK is available from the UK government.

Details of airport and on board procedures for BA flights are available at ba.com

This means that BA’s long-haul network at London Heathrow in October should be as follows:

Continue reading “British Airways Reinstates Heathrow Long-Haul Routes”

Alex Cruz Appears Before Transport Select Committee

British Airways CEO Alex Cruz has answered MPs on the impact of COVID-19 on the airline and its plans for recovery.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Alex Cruz, British Airways CEO & Chairman, June 2020
Alex Cruz, British Airways CEO & Chairman, June 2020 (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways CEO & Chairman appeared before the House of Commons Transport Select Committee today, Wednesday 16 September.

Alex’s former boss Willie Walsh appeared before the Select Committee in May. IAG formally rejected the findings of the committee which criticised the airline for planning large scale redundancies and proposing changes to staff terms and conditions. Willie Walsh later branded their views “completely irrelevant” to The Sunday Times.  Alex Cruz also criticised their report as based on rumours and emotions and not fact.

Alex was the sole witness in the hearing. Those who are familiar with Select Committee hearings will know that there can be a fair amount of grandstanding by MPs. Today was no exception.

Alex was clearly well prepared for the hearing. This was, perhaps, in the knowledge that not only MPs, but also his new boss Luis Gallego, would be watching. At times it seemed like he was venturing from answering MP’s questions into advocacy. At the start of the hearing he was clearly trying to get ahead of their questions and criticisms. Alex was also far more politically attuned, with references to the airline’s role in a post-Brexit UK.

If you were to sum up the differences between the performances of Willie Walsh and Alex Cruz, Willie sounded like he had been briefed by IAG’s lawyers whereas Alex sounded like he had been briefed by BA’s PR team.

In terms of some of the main points:

Staff Redundancies

Alex criticised the decision by the GMB and Unite trade unions to wait some 73 days before engaging with the airline on negotiations on redundancies and changes to terms and conditions.

Alex was keen to emphasise the airline has gone far beyond the minimum statutory consultation in order to secure an agreement with the unions.

As of last Friday, 7,200 staff have already left the airline. The total number of redundancies is expected to be approximately 10,000. Unsurprisingly, the threat to “fire and rehire” has been lifted, which Alex maintained was there as a legal technicality to cover all possible outcomes.

Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing

Lack of passenger confidence in flying is considered a serious impediment to the recovery of flying.

Last week, BA flew 187,000 passengers compared to nearly a million in the same week of 2019. The airline is currently burning through £20 million of cash a day.

Alex criticised the government’s approach to imposing mandatory 14 day quarantine on arriving passengers from high risk countries at short notice without taking into account regional considerations. This is not only disrupting passengers’ plans but also its own operations.

BA has called for a trial of different COVID-19 testing regimes on the London – New York corridor to reduce the mandatory quarantine period to the minimum possible.

Continue reading “Alex Cruz Appears Before Transport Select Committee”

British Airways Adds Long-Haul Routes At Heathrow

BA will convert more cargo-only long-haul flights into scheduled passenger services from mid-September onwards.

London Air Travel » British Airways

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways is to reinstate a number of long-haul routes at London Heathrow in the coming days.

The airline will also launch a new four times weekly service from London Heathrow to Lahore from Monday 12 October 2020, complementing its existing service to Islamabad which has also increased in frequency.

The following routes will also return from mid-September onwards:

Africa
Abuja – Daily from Wednesday 16 September

Central & South America
Buenos Aires – Initially only on Friday 25 September
Mexico City – Twice weekly on Thursday 24 September

North America
Atlanta – Daily from Saturday 19 September
Grand Cayman – Only on 17 September, 1 October, 15 October
Houston – Three times weekly from Sunday 20 September
Philadelphia – Twice weekly from Sunday 20 September

Flights to Chicago O’Hare will also benefit from twice daily passenger flights on some days in late September.

Please see here for a full list of where BA will fly to in September.

Passengers are of course subject to entry restrictions. BA has provided a list of links to country-by-country guidance and relevant forms that must be completed before departure on its website.

Like other long-haul routes that have been reinstated at Heathrow, these have already been served by cargo-only flights. With airlines adopting a laser like approach to cash conservation, BA is likely to reinstate scheduled passenger flights where there is sufficient underlying cargo demand. There are few long-haul routes left where at Heathrow BA is operating only cargo flights such as Bangkok, Johannesburg and Kuala Lumpur.

bmi Heathrow Remedy Slots Subject To Legal Challenge

Airlines have been invited to apply for the bmi remedy slots at London Heathrow. However, this is subject to a legal challenge.

London Air Travel » British Airways

bmi British Midland Aircraft
bmi British Midland

You could be forgiven for thinking you had heard the last about the bmi remedy slots at London Heathrow.

For the uninitiated, when IAG acquired bmi British Midland in 2012, the European Commission approved the takeover subject to British Airways making slots available on certain overlapping routes where it considered that competition would be lessened. These were London Heathrow to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Nice, Cairo, Moscow and Riyadh.

Virgin Atlantic was first to snap up the slots, launching with great fanfare “Virgin Atlantic Little Red”. It flew, using aircraft leased from Aer Lingus, to Aberdeen and Edinburgh, as well as Manchester.

In spite of considerable speculation that Virgin Atlantic was going to pull off a clever ruse to convert the remedy slots to long-haul use, which was prohibited under the slot release procedure, it closed Little Red in 2015.

The slots reverted back to BA, and then Flybe launched routes from Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh in 2017. This was meant to herald the start of a significant domestic network at Heathrow. Whilst routes to Guernsey, the Isle of Man and Newquay did follow, Flybe collapsed into administration in now what seems like a lifetime ago, but was in fact only in March of this year.

Flybe handed the slots back to BA shortly afterwards, which were equivalent to 12 daily slots.

The slots have now been re-advertised by Mazars, which acts as a trustee, for the summer 2021 season. 41 weekly slot pairs are available, comprising 5 daily slot pairs, 4 additional slot pairs on Saturday and 2 additional slot pairs on Sunday. Interestingly, the advert comes with the following warning:

However, potential applicants showing interest are advised of the fact that the rights to these slots on offer are subject to an ongoing dispute and therefore may ultimately not be available for applicants or be subject to return by any successful applicant.

Continue reading “bmi Heathrow Remedy Slots Subject To Legal Challenge”

British Airways’ Africa Franchise To Restart In December

British Airways’ Africa franchise Comair plans to gradually resume flights from December 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

Comair Boeing 737 Aircraft
Comair Boeing 737 Aircraft (Image Credit: Comair)

British Airways’ franchise partner in Southern Africa, Comair, plans to resume flights from December 2020.

Comair has been in a business rescue process since early May. It had been required to suspend flight operations on 26 March due to lockdown in South Africa. The airline had also been suffering due to high debt levels, the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and non-payment of compensation by South African Airways.

Under a Business Rescue Plan published yesterday, Wednesday 2 September, the airline will be recapitalised. It will receive a financial injection of R500 million by a new investor in return for a 99% shareholding in the airline.

Comair will also require additional funding from lenders of R1.4 billion. This will comprise R600 million of new debt. Comair’s existing debts will be deferred to provide the remaining R800 million, with repayments deferred for 12 months and interest deferred for 6 months.

It is intended that Comair maintain its dual brand structure, operating as British Airways under a franchise and as Kulula. According to the list of creditors BA was owed R50,998,152 (~£2.2m) by Comair. As a consequence of the Business Rescue process, BA’s shareholding will be wiped out.

Comair aims to resume flight operations from December 2020 with a view to operating a full flight schedule by June 2021.

It is expected that Comair’s fleet will initially comprise 20 aircraft of which 17 will be Boeing 737-800 aircraft and the remaining 3 will be Boeing 737-400 aircraft.  This may ultimately increase to 25 aircraft and compares to a fleet of 27 aircraft before Comair suspended operations.

The Business Rescue Plan is subject to a vote by creditors and shareholders which will close on Friday 18 September.

Continue reading “British Airways’ Africa Franchise To Restart In December”

Where Will British Airways Fly To In September?

British Airways will continue to operate a limited network of short and long-haul flights in September 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)
BA Airbus A319 aircraft at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways will continue to operate a limited flight schedule during September.

Flights will remain concentrated at London Heathrow, with BA operating a small number of long-haul routes at London Gatwick and a limited short-haul schedule at London City.

In some respects the airline is taking a step backwards compared to July & August. Many summer seasonal short-haul routes end this month. Some year-round short-haul routes that returned in July and August are suspended for September. BA CityFlyer has also pushed back the return of many routes to mainland Europe until October and November.

It seems clear that until there is a meaningful relaxation of travel restrictions, or at least some consistent standards to allow business travel, schedules will remain reduced for some time.

As the airline’s priority is conserving cash, flights will only be reinstated when they can operate on a cash flow positive basis.

Below are the main changes up to the end of September. This article has been updated since publication and will be regularly updated throughout September.

For the most accurate live flight information, it is recommended you use the flight timetables and live flight status pages on ba.com

There may also be inconsistencies between online timetables and BA’s booking engine as some flights may only be offered on a one-way basis, or taken off sale some days before departure.

Also note that cancelled flights are still showing on some airport websites. BA is operating a number of cargo-only flights which may appear on some websites and apps under their regular flight numbers.

Travel & Entry Restrictions

Travel and entry restrictions vary by both country and region and can include:

  1. Restrictions on entry based on citizenship and purpose of travel.
  2. Evidence of a negative PCR COVID-19 test.
  3. Completion and submission of a medical declaration before travel.
  4. Advance registration with overseas authorities.
  5. Some long-haul routes (eg India & South Africa) closing for sale up to 7 days before travel.
  6. Restrictions on transit passengers.

BA has provided a list of links to country-by-country guidance and relevant forms that must be completed before departure on its website.

Some countries require forms to be completed, and submitted to relevant authorities where necessary, 24-72 hours before travel. Passengers who do not comply may be denied boarding.

Country-by-country guidance for UK travellers is also available from the Foreign Office.

Guidance for passengers arriving in the UK is available from the UK government.

Full details of new airport and on board procedures for BA flights are available at ba.com

Some flights may have specific requirements such as different check-in procedures, temperature checks, restrictions on hand luggage and additional Personal Protective Equipment.

BA Refund and Rebooking Policies

If your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund.

You will need to call BA to obtain a refund as this cannot be done online.

All passengers due to travel up to Wednesday 30 September 2020 have the flexibility to change their booking free of charge or exchange the value of their ticket for a Future Travel Voucher (redeemable by phone) or eVoucher (redeemable online).

These can be used as payment towards a new booking for travel up to and including 30 April 2022. More details of this policy are at ba.com Please note there are separate rules on the use of Future Travel Vouchers and eVouchers.

Passengers can check the status of their bookings using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com

London Heathrow

All BA flights are operating from Terminal 5.

BA has reopened its Heathrow departure lounges. A number of airport cafes and coffee shops have reopened. At Terminal 5, the Club Aspire lounge, Gordon Ramsay Plane Food and the Plaza Premium Lounge have reopened.

The food and beverage service on all flights remains limited. Here are details of the service for all cabins.

All other airlines at Heathrow, apart from American Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qatar Airways are operating from Terminal 2. Terminals 3 and 4 are closed for the foreseeable future.

London Heathrow – UK Domestic

BA is currently flying to Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Manchester, Newcastle and Newquay.

BA has permanently suspended Leeds Bradford.

Continue reading “Where Will British Airways Fly To In September?”

BA Long-Haul To Short-Haul Aircraft Route Changes

BA is to operate flights from Heathrow to Amman, Cairo and Moscow Domodedovo with short-haul aircraft from 25 October 2020.

London Air Travel » British Airways

BA Club Europe Seating
BA Club Europe Seating (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to operate flights from London Heathrow to Amman, Cairo and Moscow Domodedovo with short-haul configured aircraft from Sunday 25 October 2020.

These routes were, bar occasional short-haul substitutions, operated with medium-haul configured Airbus A321 aircraft with flat beds in Club World or Boeing 787 aircraft.

BA Airbus A321 Business Class
BA Airbus A321 Business Class (Image Credit: British Airways)

As a consequence of this:

  • First Class will not be offered. First Class passengers will be downgraded to Club Europe.
  • World Traveller Plus will not be offered, and passengers will be downgraded to Euro Traveller.
  • No in-flight entertainment will be available and catering will be offered in accordance with Club Europe and Euro Traveller standards.

First Class, Club World and World Traveller Plus passengers who do not wish to travel have the option of a full refund. Alternatively, passengers who do travel can make a claim for a refund of the fare difference.

All passengers have the option of moving to a flight on the same route with long-haul configured aircraft up to 14 days before the change of aircraft, to the extent they are operating.

The flight numbers will also change accordingly:

Amman: BA147 / BA146 to BA312 / BA313

Cairo: BA155 / BA154 to BA400 / BA401

Moscow Domodedovo: BA233 / BA232 and BA237 / BA236 to BA880 / BA881 and BA882 / BA883

As is standard practice when flight numbers change, passengers will be advised that their original flight has been cancelled and rebooked.

Passengers can check the status of their booking using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com and should contact BA if necessary.

Continue reading “BA Long-Haul To Short-Haul Aircraft Route Changes”

British Airways Relief Flights From Johannesburg

British Airways is operating one-way scheduled passenger flights from Johannesburg to London Heathrow in September.

London Air Travel » British Airways

London Heathrow Terminal 5
London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Whilst a return to scheduled long-haul travel is many months away, there are signs of progress in opening up air travel “bubbles” on long-haul routes.

BA has restarted scheduled passenger flights to India with return flights to Delhi and Mumbai, and one-way only flights from Bengaluru and Hyderabad to London Heathrow.

These routes have specific procedures for booking with flights to Delhi and Mumbai closing for sale 72 hours before departure.

BA has now made a similar move for South Africa. The airline will be operating special one-way only flights from Johannesburg on Sunday 6, Friday 11, Friday 25 and Sunday 27 September 2020.

These flights will leave Johannesburg in the morning, rather than the evening. The exact flight times quoted by BA differ from what is currently showing on ba.com Flights will be operated with Boeing 777 aircraft.

These flights close for sale 7 days before departure. Seats are offered for sale in World Traveller economy, World Traveller Plus premium economy and Club World business class at fixed prices. Passengers must ensure they complete the forms specified by BA in advance of travel.

There are also specific procedures for check-in, which takes place at the Garden Court Hotel at OR Tambo International airport.

Whilst passengers can connect from domestic flights in South Africa, BA’s franchise partner Comair has suspended all flights until November 2020.

More detailed guidance is available in a document BA has released for its travel trade partners.

Whilst these are only two one-off flights, it is hoped it is at least the start of progress between airlines and governments to reopen scheduled international travel in a secure manner.

Update Friday 25 September

British Airways will resume daily scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Cape Town and Johannesburg on 1 October 2020.

Please see here for BA’s route network for October 2020.