British Airways relaunches London Heathrow – Osaka

British Airways is to return to Osaka, Japan launcing a direct flight from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Kansai International Airport from 31 March 2019.

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Osaka Castle
Osaka Castle (Image Credit: Japan National Tourism Organization)

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.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Heathrow – Osaka

Flight BA19 Depart London Heathrow 14:20 – Arrive Kansai International Airport 09:50 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Flight BA20 Depart Kansai International Airport 11:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 15:50 (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

British Airways Suspends London Heathrow – Muscat

British Airways has suspended its route from London Heathrow to Muscat for the summer season. It now operates on a winter seasonal basis only.

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Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has suspended its route from London Heathrow to Muscat for the summer season.  The route now operates on a winter seasonal basis only.

Currently, the route operates five times weekly.  The last outbound flight from London Heathrow for the summer 2019 season, BA79, is scheduled to operate on Saturday 30 March 2019.  The last inbound flight from Muscat for the summer 2019 season, BA80, is scheduled to operate on Sunday 31 March 2019.

The route is due to return from Wednesday 30 October 2019.  It will then be suspended again from Sunday 19 April 2020 until Wednesday 28 October 2020.

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 in 2018, 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 year-round.

BA suspends London Heathrow – Tehran

British Airways has suspended its route from London Heathrow to Tehran from Saturday 22 September 2018.

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British Airways Logo
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

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.

Rebooking Options

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.

BA launches London Heathrow – Pittsburgh

British Airways is to launch a new direct route from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Pittsburgh, operating four times weekly from Tuesday 2 April 2019.

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Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh (Image Credit: British Airways)

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.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com Visitor information is available at Visit Pittsburgh. BA has also produced a summary brochure for the travel trade.

London Heathrow – Pittsburgh

Flight BA171 Depart London Heathrow 17:00 – Arrive Pittsburgh 20:15 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)
Flight BA170 Depart Pittsburgh 21:50 – Arrive London Heathrow 10:25 (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

BA suspends London Heathrow – Calgary for winter season

British Airways has suspended its route to Calgary for the winter season. It now operates on a summer seasonal basis only.

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

British Airways has suspended its daily service from London Heathrow to Calgary for the winter season.  The route now operates on a summer seasonal basis only.

The last outbound and inbound flight operates on Saturday 27 October 2018. The service resumes on Sunday 31 March 2019 until Monday 25 October 2019.

It then resumes again, initially four times weekly, on Sunday 29 March 2020 until Saturday 3 October 2020.  The affected flight numbers are BA102 and BA103.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellation.  However, it is a reasonable assumption that unsatisfactory commercial performance is behind the decision.

BA started flying from London Heathrow to Calgary in December 2006, initially with a Boeing 767 aircraft.  The route then changed to a Boeing 787 in July 2014.

Air Canada will continue to fly direct from London Heathrow to Calgary year-round.

Update May 2020

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, this route will not operate in the summer of 2020.

It is currently scheduled to return from Sunday 28 March 2020.

BA suspends Luanda from early June 2018

British Airways is to suspend its service from London Heathrow to Luanda, Angola, from early June 2018. The last outbound flight BA77 departs Thursday 7 June 2018. The last inbound flight BA76 departs Saturday 9 June 2018.

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British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
href=”https://londonairtravel.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/BA-Boeing-787-Dreamliner.jpg”> British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)[/
British Airways is to suspend its service from London Heathrow to Luanda, Angola, from early June 2018.

The route currently operates once weekly and is codeshared with Angola Airlines. It is the only direct route between London and Luanda. The last outbound flight BA77 departs Thursday 7 June 2018. The last inbound flight BA76 departs Saturday 9 June 2018.

No reason has been given for the cancellation and the period of notice is very short. The route has been subject to occasional cancellations in recent weeks due to maintenance requirements of BA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners.. The short notice period does suggest a degree of urgency to release a spare Boeing 787 for the summer.

It also has to be said that this development follows a number of suspended routes to Africa.

BA has previously suspended Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2012; Lusaka, Zambia in 2013; Freetown and Monrovia in 2014; and Entebbe, Uganda in 2015.

The main exception is South Africa where BA has recently announced Durban and an increase in flights to Johannesburg to 18 times weekly for the winter season.

If BA ever orders the Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft this may make some of these routes viable again. However, there is no sign of an imminent order.

Continue reading “BA suspends Luanda from early June 2018”

BA launches London Heathrow – Durban

British Airways will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Durban three times weekly from Monday 29 October 2018.

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KwaZulu-Natal South Africa
KwaZulu-Natal South Africa (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched a new direct route from London Heathrow to Durban.

BA will fly from London Heathrow Terminal 5 to Durban (King Shaka International Airport) three times a week from Monday 29 October 2018.

Flights will be operated with a three class Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

This is the only direct route between Europe and Durban. Emirates flies direct to Durban from Dubai. Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines also serve Durban via Johannesburg.

Although flights do not operate daily, it will be possible to connect to domestic BA services to/from Cape Town and Johannesburg on flights operated by BA’s franchise partner Comair.

This does solidify BA’s position on the London – South Africa market. BA is the sole operator on London Heathrow – Cape Town, to where BA can despatch up to three Boeing 747s a day in the winter. BA also operates up to two Airbus A380s a day on London Heathrow – Johannesburg, where South African Airways is cutting capacity.

One noteworthy difference to Cape Town and Johannesburg is that the return flight to London is a day flight rather than an overnight flight, which is obviously a matter of personal preference.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Heathrow – Durban (Winter 2019/2020 Schedule)

Flight BA41 Depart London Heathrow 15:55 – Arrive Durban 05:30 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA40 Depart Durban 07:30 – Arrive London Heathrow 17:30 (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday)

BA adds new amenities to Beijing, Shanghai, & Hong Kong flights

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New amenities for British Airways flights between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong
New amenities for British Airways flights between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

British Airways is to add additional in-flight amenities and services to passengers travelling between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Passengers travelling in World Traveller Plus and Club World will be offered slippers. Passengers travelling in all cabins will be offered Twinings green tea, the option of chopsticks for eating meals and bilingual menus.

In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly small changes. It’s also not unusual for BA to offer additional in flight amenities on certain routes for cultural reasons. Slippers have long been offered on flights to Tokyo and bilingual menus are common on many routes.

However, it does point to an effort to do better in China where BA has had mixed success. BA’s route from London Heathrow to Chengdu was suspended this month and BA faces very strong competition from Cathay Pacific on the London – Hong Kong route.

BA takes Heathrow – Abuja off sale from Wednesday 8 March -Tuesday 18 April 2017

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has suspended sales of flights on its London Heathrow – Abuja route from Wednesday 8 March to Tuesday 18 April 2017.

The reason for this is that Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport is to close for essential repairs to its runway which is reported to have pot holes.

The airline has yet to announce how passengers already booked to fly to Abuja during the closure will be accommodated. One option is to allow passengers to change the dates of flights to outside the closure period, or to allow passengers to fly to another destination in Africa (but any onward transport would be at the passenger’s own expense).

According to press reports, the Nigerian Government has instructed airlines to operate flights to an alternative airport in Kaduna (some 200km north of Abuja) with onward road transport provided to Abuja. However, airlines will need to be satisfied that security arrangements for their passengers and crews are sufficiently robust.

There’s more detail on the background to the closure of the runway in this article from the Financial Times (subscription required).

The affected BA flight numbers are BA083 and BA082.

Update: BA has subsequently decided to cancel all flights between London Heathrow and Abuja during the period of the runway closure.

Affected passengers have the option of a refund, rebooking on an alternative flight between London Heathrow and Abuja outside the runway closure (up to Friday 19 May 2017), or rebooking on an alternative flight to/from Accra or Nigeria within 7 days of the date of your original booking. However, if you choose the later option any additional costs such as ground transport or hotels will be at your own expense and will not be reimbursed by the airline.

Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.

BA to launch London Heathrow – New Orleans from 27 March 2017

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

British Airways is to launch a new direct route from London Heathrow to New Orleans in Louisiana (Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport) from Monday 27 March 2017.

This will be the only direct scheduled flight from New Orleans to London.

Flights will be operated from London Heathrow Terminal 5 using a three class Boeing 787 aircraft (Club World Business Class, World Traveller Plus Premium Economy and World Traveller Economy).

Flights will intially operate four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. However, we would not be surprised to see the route upgraded to a daily service in the future.

New Orleans is the third transatlantic route to be launched by BA from London Heathrow using the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, after Austin and San Jose, California.

The prospects of success for the route are strong. New Orleans is a popular tourist destination (notably for its Mardi Gras) as well as a popular choice for conventions.

Further transatlantic route announcements from BA are likely to come (albeit at a steady pace). And BA is likely to continue the trend of launching routes from cities that are not served by direct flights to London and/or Europe.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

BA has also produced a short PDF brochure for the new route.

London Heathrow – New Orleans

Flight BA225 Depart London Heathrow 15:40 – Arrive New Orleans 19:40

Flight BA224 Depart New Orleans 21:10 – Arrive London Heathrow 12:00