BA returns to Tehran from Thursday 14 July 2016

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British Airways Tailfin (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)
British Airways Tailfin (Image Credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways)

British Airways has today announced that it is to return to Iran with the launch of a six times weekly direct flight from London Heathrow to Tehran (Imam Khomeini International Airport) from Thursday 14 July 2016.

Flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5 and will be operated using a four class Boeing 777 aircraft (First Class, Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy). The flight will not operate from London Heathrow on Sundays.

That BA is launching the service using a twin-aisle long haul aircraft six times a week is clearly a sign of confidence that there will be strong passenger and cargo demand.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com.

This route is also currently operated by Iran Air on a 3x weekly basis. The last British airline to serve Tehran was bmi British Midland which operated the route until October 2012. It was suspended following the acquisition of bmi by International Airlines Group. bmi was later merged into British Airways.

London Heathrow – Tehran

Flight BA153 Depart London Heathrow 21:10 – Arrive Tehran 06:25

Tehran – London Heathrow

Flight BA152 Depart Tehran 08:35 – Arrive London Heathrow 11:10

BA launches London Heathrow – Kalamata & Chania

British Airways has added new summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow to Chania and Kalamata for the summer of 2016.

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

British Airways continues its successful strategy of operating summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow with the launch of a further two new routes to Greece.

BA is to fly twice weekly to both Kalamata in Peloponnese, the Southern peninsula of Greece (from London Heathrow Terminal 5) and Chania on the island of Crete (from London Terminal 3) from 30 April 2016.

Flights will operate with a two class Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy class service.

BA will also return to Corfu, Santorini and Mykonos from London Heathrow for the summer season. Flights to Corfu will increase from four to six weekly, and flights to Santorini will increase from three to four weekly.

Flights are now on sale at ba.com
Continue reading “BA launches London Heathrow – Kalamata & Chania”

BA reinstates London Heathrow – Inverness from Tuesday 3 May 2016

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

Good news for air travellers in the Scottish Highlands. Inverness is to regain a direct link to London Heathrow as British Airways is to reinstate a direct link between the airport and Inverness (Inverness airport) from Tuesday 3 May 2016.

BA had suspended the route on 16 November 1997, having previously flown to Inverness since 19 November 1968.

A single daily flight will operate from London Heathrow Terminal 5 using an Airbus A319 aircraft. The flight will operate in a single class domestic configuration.

Flight BA1468 Depart London Heathrow 09:55 – Arrive Inverness 11:30
Flight BA1469 Depart Inverness 12:10 – Arrive London Heathrow 13:40

Although not explicitly stated by BA, it’s likely that the re-opening of this route has been facilitated by the return of slots formerly used by Virgin Atlantic Little Red to BA and favourable commercial terms/assurances from Inverness airport and local businesses.

It is also worth noting that Air Passenger Duty does not apply on flights from Inverness to London Heathrow as flights from this airport are exempt from the tax. It will, however, still apply to flights from London Heathrow to Inverness.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

BA launches London Heathrow – Billund from 3 May 2016

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

British Airways has announced the launch of a new route from London Heathrow to the Danish town of Billund (Billund International Airport) from Tuesday 3 May 2016.

The airline will fly to the town that is famous for being the headquarters of Lego and the home of LEGOLAND Billund Resort 11 times a week from London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Flights will operate using a mixture of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft with a two class Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy service.

BA’s franchise partner SUN-AIR of Scandinavia will continue to fly from London City to Billund using a Dornier 328 jet.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Heathrow – Billund

Flight BA804 Depart London Heathrow 07:45 – Arrive Billund 10:25 Daily

Flight BA806 Depart London Heathrow 15:15 – Arrive Billund 17:55 Daily, except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday

Billund – London Heathrow

Flight BA805 Depart Billund 11:25 – Arrive London Heathrow 12:10 Daily

Flight BA807 Depart Billund 18:40 – Arrive London Heathrow 19:25 Daily, except Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday

BA launches seasonal routes from Heathrow to Biarritz, Menorca & Palermo

British Airways is to operate summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow to Biarritz, Menorca and Palmermo

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

British Airways continues its successful strategy of summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow with the launch of there new routes from 2016: Biarritz in South West France, Mahon on the island of Menorca and Palermo, the capital of Sciliy.

The airline will fly two times a week to Biarritz from Sunday 1 May, four times a week to Menorca from Friday 29 April 2016 and two times a week to Palermo from Saturday 30 April 2016.

All flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5. Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Heathrow – Biarritz (Biarritz Pay-Basque airport)

BA0382 Depart London Heathrow 16:25 – Arrive Biarritz 19:15 (Wednesday & Sunday)

BA0383 Depart Biarritz 20:10 – Arrive London Heathrow 21:00 (Sunday)
BA0383 Depart Biarritz 20:15 – Arrive London Heathrow 21:05 (Wednesday)

London Heathrow – Menorca (Mahon airport)

BA0494 Depart London Heathrow 16:10 – Arrive Menorca 19:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday)

BA0495 Depart Menorca 20:20 – Arrive London Heathrow 21:50 (Monday, Friday, Saturday)
BA0495 Depart Menorca 20:25 – Arrive London Heathrow 21:55 (Wednesday)

London Heathrow – Palermo (Palermo International Airport)

BA0610 Depart London Heathrow 15:15 – Arrive Palermo 19:10 (Saturday)
BA0610 Depart London Heathrow 15:20 Arrive Palermo 19:15 (Tuesday)

BA0611 Depart Palermo 19:55 – Arrive London Heathrow 21:55 (Saturday)
BA0611 Depart Palermo 20:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 22:00 (Tuesday)

BA upgrades San Diego; adding First Class & Boeing 777-300

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Ocean Beach, San Diego
Ocean Beach, San Diego (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways has announced it is to upgrade its London Heathrow – San Diego route from a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft to a four class Boeing 777-300 aircraft from Sunday 27 March 2016.

This is a significant upgrade for the London Heathrow – San Diego route, which will celebrate its fifth anniversary in June 2016.

BA will be offering First Class on this route for the first time since the route was reinstated as a direct route from London Heathrow and continues a trend of first class being added to routes, such as Austin and Denver.

Although, the overall number of seats on each flight will only increase from 275 to 299, there is a significant change in the profile of premium seating with the addition of 14 First Class seats, 8 additional Club World business class seats and 20 additional World Traveller Plus premium economy seats.

Passengers will benefit from BA’s new World Traveller economy cabins and new World Traveller Plus premium economy cabins.

Passengers in all cabins will also benefit from a much better in flight entertainment system which is more stable and features much more content. The seats in all cabins also have in-seat power sockets and a USB/RCA socket, enabling personal devices to be connected to the in flight entertainment system.

Update: BA has since changed the aircraft operating this route to a Boeing 747.

BA launches London Heathrow – San Jose from 4 May 2016

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BA Boeing 787-9 First Class IFE Screen
BA Boeing 787-9 First Class IFE Screen (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways is to launch a new route from London Heathrow to San Jose in California from Monday 4 May 2016.

The airline will fly daily to Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport from London Heathrow Terminal 5 using a four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner aircraft.

This route will be the only direct link between San Jose, California and Europe. It is consistent with the airline opening new North American destinations that are not served by any other European airline.  It is also the second new BA route after Austin, Texas to use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner from launch.

San Jose will be the fourth city in California to be served by British Airways after Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.  It is also one of a growing number of new transatlantic routes from London Heathrow following the launch of Salt Lake City by Delta.

BA’s four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner will feature 8 first class seats, 42 Club World business class seats, 39 World Traveller Plus premium economy seats and 127 World Traveller economy seats. 

 The Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner will debut on BA on London Heathrow – Dehli from 25 October 2015. The Club World business class and World Traveller Plus cabins will be as found on the current Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner. The World Traveller economy seat will be slightly wider and the First Class seat is expected to be a modified version of BA’s current First Class seat.

Flights will go on sale at ba.com from Thursday 27 August 2015.  The route can also be booked as a codeshare with American Airlines.

Based on the performance of other new BA transatlantic routes from London Heathrow in recent years (Las Vegas, San Diego and Austin) we expect it will perform strongly.

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

London Heathrow – San Jose, California

Flight BA279 Depart London Heathrow 15:15 – Arrive San Jose 18:05

Flight BA278 Depart San Jose 20:00 – Arrive London Heathrow 14:05

(Timetable is at launch, and may subsequently vary by season.)

Coincidentally, BA also launches a new route from London Gatwick to San Jose, Costa Rica (airport code SJO) on the same day which is not to be confused with San Jose, California (airport code SJC).

BA to suspend London Heathrow – Almaty (Kazakhstan) from 11 October 2015

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

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its thrice weekly flight from London Heathrow to Almaty in Kazakhstan from Sunday 11 October 2015.

The last flight (BA159) will depart from London Heathrow to Almaty on Sunday 11 October 2015. The last flight from Almaty to London Heathrow (BA158) will depart on Monday 12 October 2015.

This means London will lose a direct link to Kazakhstan.

The airline has cited commercial reasons for the suspension of the route. This route was inherited from the merger of bmi into British Airways in 2012. It joins a long list of former bmi Heathrow routes suspended by BA (Damascus, Addis Ababa, Dammam, Bishkek, Khartoum, Tehran, Yerevan, Amristar, Casablanca, Marrakech and Tbilisi).

Currently, affected passengers have the option of a full refund or taking an earlier flight whilst the route is still operational.

BA do say they are looking at re-accommodation options on other airlines. It normally takes at least a couple of weeks for these to be announced and we would advise waiting before taking any action.

Passengers looking at alternative options have the option of Lufthansa (via Frankfurt) and Turkish Airlines (via Istanbul). There are other options with lesser known airlines and hubs.

Update 28 July: BA is now offering affected passengers the option of a re-route on Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi up to 15 July 2016. Passengers should contact either their travel agent or BA directly to change their tickets.

BA to suspend London Heathrow – Entebbe (Uganda) from 2 October 2015

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

British Airways has announced it is to suspend its four times weekly flight from London Heathrow to Entebbe in Uganda from 2 October 2015.

The last flight (BA63) will depart from London Heathrow to Entebbe on 2 October 2015. The last flight from Entebbe to London Heathrow (BA62) will depart on 3 October 2015.

This means that London Heathrow will not have a direct link to Entebbe after the route has been suspended.

The airline has cited commercial reasons for the suspension of the route. It is likely that competitive pressure from Middle Eastern carriers are a factor. BA suspended Lusaka in 2013 and Dar es Salaam in 2012.

Currently, affected passengers have the option of a full refund, taking an earlier flight whilst the route is still operational, or taking an alternative BA flight to Nairobi (BA will not meet any onward travel expenses).

BA do say they are looking at re-accommodation options on other airlines. It normally takes at least a couple of weeks for these to be announced and we would advise waiting before taking any action.

Full rebooking options are detailed on BA’s trade website.

For passengers looking at alternative routes, options include KLM (via Amsterdam), Brussels Airlines (via Brussels), Emirates (via Dubai), Qatar Airways (via Doha), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi), Turkish Airlines (via Istabul).

Update 28 July: BA is now offering affected passengers the option of a re-route on either Etihad Airways via Abu Dhabi or Brussels Airlines via Brussels up to 15 July 2016. Passengers should contact either their travel agent or BA directly to change their tickets.

BA upgrades Heathrow – Austin to Boeing 777

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British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Class Cabin (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced it is to upgrade its recently launched London Heathrow – Austin route from a three class Boeing 787 to a four class Boeing 777 from Sunday 25 October 2015.

The announcement has been confirmed in a press release from the city of Austin.

This will increase capacity from 214 to 224 seats on each flight. This may seem a modest increase, but the difference is 14 first class seats, 13 additional business class seats, from 35 to 48, and 15 additional premium economy seats, from 25 to 40. The number of economy seats will actually fall from 154 to 122.

This continues the trend of very successful new transatlantic route launches by BA in recent years. At a recent investor update, International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh said he considered that there are three-five additional US cities BA could serve profitably, so we should expect to hear more new route announcements in the coming years.