BA adds new routes and frequencies at London Gatwick

British Airways has increased frequencies on routes from Gatwick to Alicante, Faro, Lanzarote, Madeira, Malaga and Tenerife for summer 2018. It has also added new routes at Gatwick to Gibraltar, Mahon Menorca, and Palma Mallorca.

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British Airways
British Airways “The hub without the hubbub” TV ad 1993

BA has started to firm up its new schedules at London Gatwick after the acquisition of more than 20 daily pairs of slots from the former airline Monarch.  This is equivalent to an extra 150 flights a week.

BA has had to move quickly as it is required to use the slots 80% of the time or risk forfeiting them.

In terms of immediate actions, BA has added extra frequencies on winter ski routes like Grenoble and Turin in February and March as well as Tenerife South in the February half-term.  It has also chartered aircraft and crews from Germania and Titan Airways to operate certain flights.  These are now showing as “Operated by ST” or “Operated by ZT” in timetables on ba.com  If you have an existing booking it should be clear in the Manage My Booking tool which airline is operating your flight.

Frequency increases on existing Gatwick routes:

In the peak summer schedule (late May to late September), BA has increased frequencies on a number of existing Gatwick routes compared to the previous year:

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BA’s 10 abreast economy Boeing 777 at Gatwick in 2018

In 2018, BA will increase the number of economy seats on some Boeing 777 aircraft at London Gatwick from 9 to 10 seats a row. Here are details of the routes on which the reconfigured Boeing 777s will operate in 2018.

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A little over 12 months ago BA announced that it would, to use its lexicon, “densify” a select number of its Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

In short, this means that the number of seats in the World Traveller economy cabin would increase from 9 to 10 a row.

At the same time, BA will also increase the number of World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and decrease the number of Club World business class seats. The refurbished Boeing 777s are expected to enter operation at London Gatwick in 2018.

Initially, up to 25 Boeing 777s will be subject to “densification”. However, you can be confident that the financial performance of refurbished aircraft and customer feedback scores will be monitored very closely.

How do I know if I will be flying on a “densified” Boeing 777?

BA has not yet updated its general guidance seat maps on its website to include the reconfigured Boeing 777s.

However, if you are flying on a 9 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 11 (40 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 12 – 14 (24 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 16 – 40 (3-3-3 configuration)

If you are flying on a 10 abreast Boeing 777 you should see the following cabin configurations on the seat map for your reservation in the Manage My Booking tool:

Club World – Rows 1 – 4 (32 seats)
World Traveller Plus – Rows 10 – 16 (52 seats)
World Traveller – Rows 20 – 46 (3-4-3 configuration)
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BA adds Las Vegas and Toronto at London Gatwick

BA is to fly from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Toronto from summer 2018.

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Toronto, Canada
Toronto (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced it is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Toronto and reinstate its London Gatwick – Las Vegas route next summer.

BA will fly to Las Vegas three times a week from Tuesday 27 March 2018 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018. BA will fly to Toronto three times a week from Tuesday 1 May 2018, also on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018.

Both Las Vegas and Toronto are served by BA at London Heathrow up to twice daily. BA has previously flown from Gatwick to Las Vegas.  However, the service was suspended last year. 

Toronto is BA’s first route from London Gatwick to Canada.  It is something of a surprise to see BA launch the Toronto from Gatwick, as it is not one of the stronger Heathrow routes due to a lack of presence by the Oneworld alliance in Canada.

However, there can be absolutely no doubt this is a move to take on the growth of low lost long-haul at Gatwick.  Las Vegas is served by Norwegian.  Toronto is also served by both WestJet and Air Canada Rouge.

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BA launches winter seasonal London Gatwick – Nuremberg

BA is to launch a winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Nuremberg from 30 November 2017

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British Airways Short Haul Economy Cabin (Credit: British Airways)

BA has launched a new winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Nuremberg.

The flight from Gatwick to Nuremberg airport will operate for just five weeks from Thursday 30 November 2017 to Sunday 7 January 2018. The route is then scheduled to resume on Thursday 29 November 2018.

Flights operate four times weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday by an Airbus A319 aircraft in a two class (Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy) configuration.

As is often the case for BA short-haul flights at Gatwick, the precise flight times vary by both day and week. 

However, flights typically leave London Gatwick at around 4-5pm and return from Nuremberg at around 8-9pm. The flight numbers are BA2660 for the outbound and BA2661 for the inbound.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

BA suspends London Gatwick – Lima route from Sunday 29 October 2017

BA has suspended its direct route to Lima from Sunday 29 October 2017. It resumes on Sunday 25 March 2018.

London Air Travel » British Airways » British Airways London Gatwick

British Airways is to suspend its London Gatwick – Lima route for the winter season from Sunday 29 October 2017. The route is expected to resume from late March 2018.

BA launched its route from London Gatwick to Lima in May 2016. No specific reason has been given for the seasonal cancellation. However, it is assumed the cause of cancellation is unsatisfactory commercial performance. The affected BA flight numbers are BA2239 and BA2238.

If your flight is cancelled you will be reaccommodated on Iberia’s daily service to Lima via Madrid from either London Gatwick or London Heathrow. However, do note that Iberia does not always operate its premium economy cabin between Madrid and Lima. Therefore, if you have booked to fly in World Traveller Plus on BA you may be downgraded to economy on Iberia. Iberia’s daily flight from Madrid to Lima (Flight IB6651 departs Madrid at 12:50pm and arrives in Lima at 17:35. Therefore, connections at Madrid should not be onerous.

Alternatively, you can be accommodated on American Airlines’ services to Lima via either Dallas Fort Worth or Miami.

Further options with partner airlines may become available in the coming weeks.

If you prefer you should be able to move your flight to a date when BA is operating the route. Alternatively, you are entitled to a refund.

Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.

Update: The route is scheduled to resume on Sunday 25 March 2018, operating three times weekly on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

The opening of new BA lounges at London Gatwick’s South Terminal has been delayed

There has been a lot of interest in the planned new British Airways lounges at London Gatwick’s South Terminal which, from today, is BA’s new home at Gatwick.

The lounges were planned to open today. However, this has been delayed. 

It is understood that construction work is complete and the official line from BA is that it is hoped that the lounges will open  “soon”.

In the interim, passengers travelling in First Class on any flight and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party operated No 1 Clubrooms.

In addition, all passengers travelling to Jersey, New York JFK and Bermuda who are eligible for lounge access can use this lounge.  However, this will be subject to capacity constraints.

All other passengers who are eligible to access lounges (e.g. Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club cardholders) can use a temporary “Speedbird” lounge operated by BA.

If you are flying BA from Gatwick you should be handed a letter at check-in explaining these options.

It is obviously disappointing that the new lounges are not open today. However, the problems associated with its opening do not seem insurmountable.

Update 7 February 2017: It is understood that the new lounges have undergone a “soft” opening ahead of a formal launch.  However, not all facilities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed.  Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge.  If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February: It is understood that the new lounges are now fully operational and all other temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.

BA to open new lounges in London Gatwick’s South Terminal on 25 January 2017

In January 2017 there will be a significant re-organisation at London Gatwick.  easyJet will consolidate all of its operations in London Gatwick’s North Terminal.  In order to faciliate this move both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will swap terminals (BA from North to South and Virgin Atlantic vice vesa).

BA’s lounges in the North Terminal have long been closed due to construction work with passengers being required to use the No 1 lounges as an interim measure.

Details of what BA lounge arrangements there will be in the South Terminal for business and first class passengers and Silver/Gold Executive Club cardholders have long been anticipated.

BA has now confirmed some initial information (short of releasing final images of the lounge) for both check-in and lounge facilities.

For check-in and security:

  • There will be dedicated premium check- in area in Zone A of the terminal for Club Europe, Club World, First Class and Silver & Gold Executive Cardholders.  This will feature dedicated seating, power outlets and bespoke furnishing.
  • There will be a dedicated premium security facility on Level 3 of the South terminal.

As regards lounges:

  • Capacity for 477 passengers (which BA say is 40% larger than the former North terminal lounge)
  • A separate First Class lounge with upgraded seating, finishes and lighting (it is assumed that Gold cardholders will have access to this lounge as some recent BA lounge developments in Dubai and Singapore feature a “Concorde Bar” for passengers ticketed in First Class only)
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the runway
  • A “beautifully curved” staircase overlooking the main lounge
  • Full kitchen facilities in both lounges giving an upgraded food & beverage offering (details of menus are to confirmed)
  • A ‘kidszone’ room for children
  • Shower facilities

We will post images of the lounges as soon as they are released.

It is also worth mentioning that prior to the formal switch of flights on 25 January 2017 some flights will move in advance on a trial basis.

Update 25 January: Whilst the Terminal switch has taken place today, 25 January, the opening of the lounges has been delayed.  In the interim, passengers travelling in Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club card holders can use s temporary “Speedbird” lounge.  Passengers travelling in First Class and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party No 1 lounges.

Update 7 February: It is understood that both of the lounges have now undergone a “soft” opening.  However, not all facilities and amenities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed. Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge. If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February: It is understood that the new lounges are now fully open and operational and therefore the temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.