British Airways has confirmed that it will switch its daily service from London Heathrow to Beijing to Beijing Daxing International Airport from Sunday 27 October 2019.
Currently, BA flies daily to Beijing Capital International airport (airport code PEK). From Sunday 27 October 2019, BA’s entire operation to Beijing will transfer to Beijing Daxing International airport (airport code PKX).
The new airport opens on Monday 30 September 2019. BA’s Oneworld alliance partner Finnair has also advised that it will operate three flights a week to Beijing Daxing from Sunday 3 November 2019, in addition to Beijing Capital.
Currently, BA codeshares with China Southern on a number of domestic routes from Beijing. China Southern will be operating from the new airport, and passengers with connections should check their itinerary carefully.
British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Phoenix and San Diego will swap terminals with effect from Sunday 27 October 2019.
BA flights from Heathrow to Phoenix (BA289 & BA288) will move from Terminal 3 to 5. Meanwhile, BA flights from Heathrow to San Diego (BA273 & BA272) will move from Terminal 5 to 3.
Both routes will also change aircraft. Flights to Phoenix will be operated with the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner until Sunday 29 March 2020, when it switches to a Boeing 777-300 aircraft. This brings to an end a very long run of Boeing 747 operations to Phoenix. However, as this route has been operated with a 52 Club World seat Boeing 747, passengers will benefit from more modern cabin interiors and a guarantee of better of in-flight entertainment.
Flights to San Diego will be operated with a Boeing 747 year-round, having previously operated with a Boeing 747 in the winter and a Boeing 777-300 in the summer.
For passengers who are connecting at London Heathrow, there are different minimum connection times of 90 minutes for Terminal 3-Terminal 5 connections, and 60 minutes for Terminal 5-Terminal 5 & Terminal 3-Terminal 3 connections. Passengers with existing bookings should check carefully that their itineraries comply with minimum connection times and contact BA or their travel agent accordingly.
Passengers can check the status of their bookings using the Manage My Booking tool on ba.com
British Airways is to return to Dammam, Saudi Arabia, after a break of more than seven years.
BA will fly to Dammam daily from London Heathrow Terminal 5 from Sunday 1 December 2019.
The route will operate as a “tag on” to BA’s existing service to Bahrain. These have gone out of fashion in recent years in favour of direct flights or local codeshares. Readers may recall BA used to fly to Doha via Bahrain.
The route will be operated with a four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft and flights are on sale now at ba.com
BA previously flew to Dammam up until September 2012 after inheriting the route from bmi British Midland.
American Airlines & British Airways will jointly operate up to five daily flights between London Heathrow and Miami from Sunday 27 October 2019 to Saturday 28 March 2020.
The increase has been achieved by American Airlines reinstating a second daily flight for the winter season and BA maintaining a third daily flight it added last year.
It’s a route where you can certainly adopt a “pick and mix” approach as far as aircraft are concerned.
At the time of writing, American Airlines timetables are showing a Boeing 777-300 on both of its outbound flights from London Heathrow, but a Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 on the inbound flights. However, this may change. We have recently reviewed American Airlines Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 777-300 business class.
BA will operate the Boeing 747 on two flights and one flight with the Airbus A380.
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.
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)
British Airways is to return to Osaka after a near 20 year absence.
BA will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Kansai International Airport four times weekly from Sunday 31 March 2019.
Flights will be operated with a three class Boeing 787-8 aircraft. The flight operates from London Heathrow on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. It operates from Kansai International Airport on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
BA used to fly to Osaka via Tokyo Narita. However, the route was suspended in October 1998. Japan Airlines also used to fly direct from Heathrow to Osaka.
Kansai International Airport has only just restored operations to normal following more than two weeks of disruption after its facilities were flooded following Typhoon Jebi.
The route will be codeshared with Japan Airlines which, along with Finnair and Iberia, operates a joint-business with BA between Europe and Japan. It will also be possible to combine direct flights between Heathrow and Osaka with indirect flights via Helsinki on Finnair and Tokyo Haneda on Japan Airlines.
BA has also prepared a short PDF summary of the new route.
British Airways has suspended its route from London Heathrow to Muscat for the summer 2019 season.
Currently, the route operates five times weekly. The last outbound flight from London Heathrow, BA79, is scheduled to operate on Saturday 30 March 2019. The last inbound flight from Muscat, BA80, is scheduled to operate on Sunday 31 March 2019. At present, the route is due to return from late October 2019.
No reason has been given for the suspension. However, as the route is operated with a Boeing 787 a need to generate some slack in Boeing 787 schedules is likely to be a factor. The route was also subject to blanket cancellations during industrial action last year, which suggests it is one of BA’s more lightly loaded routes.
Oman Air will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Muscat twice daily.
At present, BA has not confirmed any rebooking options with other airlines.
However, it has long been standard practice for BA to only begin discussions after a route suspension has been announced. In addition, progressively more options become available over time. As such, we would recommend waiting a couple of weeks before rebooking to see what options are available. We will update this page accordingly as rebooking options become available.
Alternatively, passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a refund or should be able to rebook on an alternative date near to their original date of travel.
Affected passengers should contact BA or their travel agent.
American Airlines Codeshare
This route is codeshared with American Airlines under flight numbers AA6421 and AA6420.
Rebooking options for passengers who were due to travel on this flight as part of an itinerary booked through American Airlines (with a ticket number beginning 001) may have different rebooking options to those who have booked through BA (with a ticket number beginning 125). Affected passengers will need to contact American Airlines accordingly.
Rebooking Options – Friday 14 September 2018
BA has secured a rebooking option with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
In all cases passengers must connect to/from a BA operated flight between London Heathrow and Istanbul to connect to/from a Turkish Airlines flight between Istanbul and Muscat.
This is not ideal. London Heathrow – Istanbul is treated by BA as a short-haul flight, so First and Club World business class passengers will be booked into Club Europe with the same leg room as EuroTraveller. World Traveller Plus premium economy passengers will be booked into EuroTraveller.
Turkish Airlines also operates a two class service between Istanbul and Muscat so First Class and World Traveller Plus passengers will be downgraded.
Rebooking Options – Friday 21 September 2018
BA has secured a rebooking option with Etihad via Abu Dhabi.
Again, in all cases passengers must connect to/from a BA operated flight between London Heathrow and Abu Dhabi to connect to/from a Etihad flight between Abu Dhabi and Muscat.
Etihad operates a two class service between Abu Dhabi and Muscat so First Class and World Traveller Plus passengers will be downgraded. However, it is only a short flight of just over one hour.
These rebooking options are available for passengers travelling between 30 March 2019 and 1 November 2019.
British Airways has suspended its route from London Heathrow to Tehran.
The last outbound flight (BA153) will operate from London Heathrow on Saturday 22 September 2018. The last inbound flight (BA152) will operate from Tehran on Sunday 23 September 2018.
The route was relaunched in September 2016 having been suspended four years earlier. Whilst no reason has been given for the suspension, it is likely that the imposition of sanctions on Iran by the United States has had an impact.
This follows similar suspensions by Air France and KLM. Austrian and Lufthansa continue to fly to Tehran from Vienna and Frankfurt respectively. Iran Air will also continue to fly from London Heathrow to Tehran.
Passengers whose flights are cancelled are entitled to a refund or to change their dates of travel before the route is suspended.
BA is in the process of discussing rebooking options with other airlines. When routes are suspended it normally takes at least a few days for BA to secure rebooking agreements. In addition, options with more airlines tend to progressively become available.
As such, unless it is urgent, we would recommend waiting at least a week to see what rebooking options are available. We will update this page with rebooking options as they become available.
Update: Tuesday 28 August 2018
BA has secured a rebooking agreement with Austrian and Lufthansa via Vienna and Frankfurt.
In all cases, passengers must connect to/from a BA operated flight between London Heathrow and Vienna or Frankfurt. It should also be noted that Austrian does not operate a premium economy cabin on this route. This option applies for travel up to Saturday 30 March 2019.
Update: Wednesday 5 September 2018
BA has also secured a rebooking agreement with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul.
In all cases, passengers must connect to/from a BA operated flight between London Heathrow and Istanbul for travel up to Monday 30 September 2019.
Also note, not all of the above options may be available to passengers who have made bookings using Avios or group bookings.
British Airways is to launch a new direct route from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh from Tuesday 2 April 2019.
The airline will fly to Pittsburgh from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Pittsburgh International Airport four times weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Flights will be operated with the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in a three class, Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy configuration.
This will be the only direct route from London to Pittsburgh. Condor and Delta fly to Pittsburgh from Frankfurt and Paris Charles de Gaulle respectively on a summer seasonal basis. Wow Air also flies from Reykjavik year round.
BA previously flew from London Heathrow to Pittsburgh via Washington from May 1986 to June 1993. It was then operated from Gatwick until October 1999 using a US Air Boeing 767 aircraft and crew in BA colours.
This news continues a trend of BA launching one new transatlantic route from London Heathrow a year, all initially with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Previous route launches include Austin, San Jose, New Orleans and Nashville. All routes seem to have performed well, though San Jose was a target for tactical cancellations during recent Boeing 787 Dreamliner engine issues.
In terms of the prospect of further North America routes from London Heathrow, BA has previously said it expected to launch about five new routes with the 787. Any further route launches are likely to follow the trend of BA launching routes to cities not currently served by London, which rules out cities currently served by Delta such as Detroit, Minneapolis, and Salt Lake City.