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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

British Airways Delays Restart Of Routes At London City

British Airways has postponed to relaunch of many short-haul routes at London City Airport.

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BA Embraer E170 London City Airport
BA Embraer E170 London City Airport (Image Credit: British Airways)

As the UK government continues to play whack-a-mole with quarantine restrictions on inbound travellers, hopes of an orderly return to short-haul travel in Europe have been dashed.

BA’s subsidiary BA CityFlyer is currently operating a limited schedule from London City Airport.

This includes routes to Dublin, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The airline is also operating summer seasonal routes to Bergerac, Florence, Ibiza, Mahon, Nice, and Palma de Mallorca.

Seasonal routes to Mykonos, Quimper, San Sebastian, Santorini, Skiathos and Split are not operating this year.

BA CityFlyer had planned to reinstate many year-round routes from late August and early September. These have now been pushed back. The earliest dates for these routes are:

Amsterdam – Monday 5 October 2020

Berlin Tegel – Monday 7 September 2020

Dusseldorf – Monday 21 September 2020

Frankfurt – Monday 7 September 2020

Geneva – Sunday 4 October 2020

Milan Linate – Sunday 25 October 2020

Munich – Sunday 4 October 2020

Prague – Sunday 4 October 2020

Rome Fiumicino – Sunday 4 October 2020

Rotterdam – Sunday 4 October 2020

Venice – Monday 5 October 2020

Zurich – Monday 7 September 2020

Continue reading “British Airways Delays Restart Of Routes At London City”

British Airways Winter Long-Haul Route Suspensions

British Airways has suspended a number of long-haul routes from London Gatwick and Heathrow for the winter 2020 season.

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BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff
BA Boeing 787 at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has suspended a number of long-haul routes at both London Gatwick and Heathrow for the winter season as the airline expects to face significantly reduced demand well into 2021.

London Gatwick Suspensions

At London Gatwick, flights to Las Vegas and New York JFK have been suspended until Sunday 28 March 2021.

Passengers can seek a refund or rebook on to alternative services from London Heathrow. Any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at passengers’ expense.

Winter seasonal flights from London Gatwick to Cape Town are still currently showing in BA’s online timetables but have been taken off sale.

London Heathrow Suspensions

Turning to London Heathrow, Abu Dhabi has been suspended for the winter season from Sunday 25 October 2020. Flights are currently showing as operating in October, but this is subject to change.

Other BA routes to the Middle East such as Bahrain, Doha and Muscat currently show as operating throughout the winter.

On transatlantic routes, Pittsburgh is suspended for the winter. Flights are showing as operating in October but as the airport is not one of the 15 US airports designated by the United States Department of Homeland Security for eligible international passengers to arrive into the US, these are unlikely to operate.

Many of BA’s “thin” transatlantic routes such as Nashville, New Orleans and San Jose California are currently showing as operating in the winter but these will depend on travel restrictions being lifted. This seems highly unlikely before the US election on 3 November 2020. BA has already cancelled plans to launch London Heathrow – Portland.

Elsewhere, routes from London Heathrow to Durban and Osaka have been taken off sale for the winter, whilst still showing in BA’s online timetables, which is a likely precursor to their suspension.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund or to be rebook onto alternative BA flights nearby with connections on its codeshare and franchise partners such as American Airlines, Comair South Africa, and Japan Airlines.

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

As ever in the current environment, everything is subject to change at short notice.

British Airways Suspends London City – New York JFK

British Airways has permanently suspended its all business class service to London City airport to New York JFK.

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British Airways Airbus A318 Aircraft, G-EUNA
British Airways Airbus A318 Aircraft, G-EUNA (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has permanently suspended its all business class service from London City to New York JFK.

This was expected following the announcement by BA’s parent company International Airlines Group that it plans to withdraw its Airbus A318 fleet.

The route was suspended in March 2020 and was due to return from late October 2020. It has now been withdrawn from BA’s timetables entirely.

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. Alternatively, passengers can be rebooked on alternative American Airlines and BA services to New York from London Heathrow.

BA has suspended flights from London Gatwick to New York JFK and these are provisionally due to return from late October 2020.

In light of market conditions and IAG’s decision to take into account environmental considerations when planning new routes it is unlikely that BA will launch a similar service again.

New York JFK was the only long-haul route from London City airport. Start-ups such as Odyssey Airlines have expressed a desire to launch all business class routes from London City. These are unlikely to succeed without guaranteed support from corporate customers and business travellers who can be lured away from frequent flyer programmes of rival airlines.

What happens to BA’s fleet of two Airbus A318 aircraft isn’t clear. One is leased to Titan Airways. Both aircraft have been provided as security for a $750 million loan which means BA can’t sell or scrap them until the loan is repaid in May 2021.

Continue reading “British Airways Suspends London City – New York JFK”

British Airways Pilots Vote To Accept Pay Cuts

British Airways pilots have voted to accept a package of measures to mitigate against compulsory redundancies at the airline.

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British Airways Pilots pictured with the Red Arrows
British Airways Pilots (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways pilots have voted to accept a package of measures to mitigate against compulsory redundancies at the airline.

BA had proposed make up to 1,255 of its 4,300 pilots based at London Gatwick and Heathrow redundant with a threat in the formal Section 188 notice to “fire and rehire” pilots if an agreement could not be met.

Following negotiations between BA and its pilot union BALPA, a number of measures have been agreed to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies. However, it is expected there will be around 270 compulsory redundancies.

These have been accepted by BA pilots in a ballot by BALPA which closed today, Friday 31 July. The vote was 85% in favour based on an 87% turnout.

These measures include:

– Voluntary part time working, voluntary redundancy and voluntary secondments.

– A holding pool of the equivalent of 300 pilots who will continue to be employed on reduced pay and will resume flying as demand returns.

– These measures are funded by cuts to pilot pay which start at 20% and then reduce to 8% over the next two years. These cuts will further reduce towards zero over the longer term.

Whilst this situation is not what anyone would have wanted to see, it does seem like a reasonably pragmatic deal which softens the blow to BA pilots at risk of redundancy whilst giving BA some immediate relief to its staff costs.

It goes without saying that it hoped that compulsory redundancies will be minimised and those pilots not currently flying will be able to return to the skies very soon.

In terms of other BA workgroups, IAG confirmed this morning that up to 1,400 BA employees have left the company by way of voluntary redundancy.

Whilst BA and Unite remain some distance apart on negotiations to merge its three Heathrow cabin crew fleets into one, there has at least been movement by both sides and negotiations are underway.

BALPA issued the following statement on Friday evening:

Continue reading “British Airways Pilots Vote To Accept Pay Cuts”

British Airways Sells Art Works For £2.2m

Selected works from British Airways’ art collection have sold for £2.2 million at Sotheby’s.

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BA London Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals Lounge Concorde Breakfast Room
“Colour Down The Side” by Sir Terry Frost, R.A BA London Heathrow Terminal 5 Arrivals Lounge (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Selected works from British Airways art collection have sold for a total of £2.2 million by Sotheby’s.

The standout sale from the collection was “Cool Edge” by Bridget Riley. This was estimated to sell for up to £1.2m. It ultimately sold for £1,875,000.

The other 16 items from the collection sold for considerably less at £326,875 in total. However, most works did sell for well in excess of their estimates in brackets below.

Whilst £2.2m (before Sotheby’s commission and other costs) is a drop in the ocean compared to IAG’s weekly cash burn, the sale is symbolic as BA and its parent company does everything it can to conserve cash. With no prospect of air travel returning to normal until well into 2021, it is going to need it.

Here is a breakdown of the remaining sales:

“Grasshopper Portfolio” by Peter Doig £56,250 (£10,000 – £15,000)

“Colour Down The Side” by Sir Terry Frost, R.A. (pictured above) £47,500 (£20,000 – £30,000) 

“Sunglow” by Sir Terry Frost, R.A. £30,000 (£10,000 – £15,000)

“Scarlet and Bordeaux in Cobalt” by Patrick Heron £32,500 (£10,000 – £15,000)

“Valium” by Damien Hirst £27,500 (£5,000 – £7,000)

Eight Landscapes by Julian Opie £13,750 (£10,000 – £15,000)

“Garden 2” by Marc Quinn £7,500 (£5,000 – £6,000)

Continue reading “British Airways Sells Art Works For £2.2m”

British Airways & American Express Partnership Extended

British Airways’ partnership with American Express has been extended in a new multi-year deal announced by its parent company IAG.

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

British Airways’ partnership with American Express has been extended in a new multi-year deal announced by its parent company International Airlines Group.

American Express issues BA branded credit cards through which members can earn Avios points.

BA’s parent company, IAG, has announced that it has signed a new multiyear deal with American Express.

This operated through a separate division of IAG known as IAG Loyalty. As part of this, American Express will pay IAG £750m which is primarily a pre-payment for Avios points it will issue to members.

IAG CEO Willie Walsh did state during its full year results announcement that he had met with Mastercard a few times and they were “mad keen” to do business with IAG. This was no doubt a signal to American Express.

The advance sale of frequent flyer points to third parties is a device airlines use to raise funds. In 2009, American Airlines pre-sold $1 billion of AAdvantage miles to Citigroup. This comes at a time when airlines seek more ways to raise cash by using intangible assets. Yesterday, American Airlines announced it had taken out a $1.2 billion loan that was secured against its trademark and the internet domain name aa.com

IAG is due to announce its half-year results on Friday 31 July and will provide a further update on its finance raising plans then.

British Airways Extends Flexible Rebooking Policies

Passengers due to fly with British Airways up to 30 September 2020 can exchange the value of their ticket for a voucher for future travel.

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British Airways Tail Fins, London Heathrow
British Airways Tail Fins, London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

British Airways has once again extended its flexible rebooking policies for passengers due to fly with the airline in the coming weeks.

All passengers due to fly with the airline up to Wednesday 30 September 2020 have the option of exchanging the value of their ticket for a voucher. This applies regardless of when the booking was made.

The voucher will be valid for travel for completion in full by 30 April 2022. This policy until today, Wednesday 22 July 2020, applied only to passengers due to travel up to Monday 31 August 2020.

BA’s flexible change policy which allows passengers making bookings from 3 March 2020 to make changes to bookings without incurring fees has not changed. It currently only applies for bookings made up to 31 August 2020 for travel up to 30 April 2021.

Full details of this policy and guidance on how to claim a voucher are available on ba.com. Please read this page very carefully, including the terms and conditions for flight and holiday bookings, before taking any action. Once your original booking is cancelled it cannot be reinstated. These policies may be amended or withdrawn at any time.

BA is clearly not expecting any significant expansion in schedules before the end of September 2020. Please see here for details of where BA is currently flying.

If your flight is cancelled – these policy changes usually presage further flight cancellations – you are entitled to a full cash refund. However, you will need to call BA to do this.

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