British Airways is the largest airline at London City and London Heathrow airports. It also has a substantial presence at London Gatwick.
It is a subsidiary of International Airlines Group which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling who all have a presence in London.
BA is also a member of the Oneworld alliance and many of its fellow members such as American Airlines and Cathay Pacific have a substantial presence in London. BA therefore features very heavily on this site.
British Airways’ service from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires will operate via Sao Paulo from Sunday 28 March 2021.
The last non-stop service from London Heathrow to Buenos Aires is currently scheduled to operate on Friday 26 March 2021.
As a consequence of the stop for one hour at Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, the journey time from London Heathrow will increase from 14 hours to 15 hours and 40 minutes.
The flight numbers to / from Buenos Aires will also change from BA245 / BA244 to BA247 / BA246.
This is expected to continue until Sunday 31 October 2021 at the earliest. Long time BA flyers may remember that BA used to fly to Buenos Aires via Sao Paulo many years ago. A non-stop service to Buenos Aires is likely to return when economic conditions allow.
British Airways has cancelled outbound passenger flights from London Heathrow to Hong Kong until Friday 18 December 2020.
BA will continue to send aircraft to Hong Kong with cargo only. Inbound passenger flights from Hong Kong to London Heathrow will operate as normal.
According to a report in the South China Morning Post, BA has been banned by local authorities from operating passenger flights to Hong until Friday 25 December.
This is after it was found that four passengers who travelled on a BA flight to Hong Kong on Tuesday had COVID-19. Another passenger’s documents were not checked properly by the airline.
Whilst BA has been banned from flying to passengers to Hong Kong for two weeks and flights have been taken off sale until 25 December, at the time of publication the airline has only cancelled flights to Hong Kong up to Friday 18 December. This suggests that BA is seeking an alleviation.
British Airways has launched a string of new summer seasonal routes from Southampton Airport.
These will be operated by its subsidiary BA CityFlyer, whose principal base is at London City Airport. For the past five years, BA CityFlyer has operated seasonal routes at weekends from UK regional airports. This primarily due to the closure of London City airport at weekends.
Summer seasonal routes at London Stansted and Manchester airports are cancelled next summer.
Next summer, BA will fly from Southampton to Bergerac, Berlin, Edinburgh, Faro, Florence, Ibiza, Limoges, Malaga, Mykonos, Nice and Palma de Mallorca.
Return flights typically operate 1 – 2 a week from early – mid May up to 31 October 2020. As these return flights are often “nested” in return flights from London City, it’s a safe assumption that many of these routes will operate from London City next summer.
Southampton has always seemed a logical choice given BA’s catchment in the South East. BA CityFlyer is operating a relatively high number of routes compared other regional airports previously served. No doubt the closure of Flybe is factor in BA CityFlyer choosing to fly from the airport next summer.
As these are new seasonal routes, the exact frequencies, timings and operating dates may change over the coming months according to commercial demand. There if course the unknown factor as to what travel restrictions will be in place next summer.
British Airways will reinstate a number of long-haul routes at London Heathrow in December.
This follows the easing of lockdown restrictions in England in December which had prompted the airline to operate many routes on a cargo only basis during November. Frequencies are also increased on a number of other routes.
As ever, schedules are subject to change at short notice. There is limited visibility on flight schedules. Timetables indicate some long-haul routes may return at London Gatwick later in December. However, these have been postponed at short notice many times before.
British Airways’ franchise partner SUN-AIR of Scandinavia A/S has decided to suspend all scheduled flights until August 2021.
SUN-AIR, which operated routes from London City and Manchester to Billund, had been progressively delaying the resumption of scheduled flights.
It has now decided to suspend all scheduled flights until August 2021. These may restart earlier, but this will depend on a significant improvement on market conditions. This is likely to be only achieved by an easing of travel restrictions in Europe which in turn requires a widely available vaccine against COVID-19.
BA has recently reinstated scheduled flights from London Heathrow to Billund. Its schedules are of course subject to change in the coming weeks as countries in Europe reintroduce lockdowns and travel restrictions.
SUN-AIR also operates a shuttle between Manchester, Cambridge and Gothenburg on behalf of AstraZeneca which it will reinstate at its request.
British Airways has introduced a modified First Class cabin on its latest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
BA was due to take delivery of four new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this year. It has recently received the first of these aircraft, which bears the registration G-STBM.
As expected, this aircraft features a smaller eight seat First Class cabin. The First Class seat is largely based on the First Class cabin on Boeing 787-9 aircraft, but with the addition of sliding door for complete privacy. This follows the decision to add a door to BA’s new Club Suite on all aircraft.
The new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft is currently operating selected flights between London Heathrow and New York JFK (BA113 & BA114).
In total, the aircraft has 8 seats in First Class, 76 seats in Club World, 40 in World Traveller Plus and 136 in World Traveller.
Clearly, passengers will have their own views on the benefit of complete privacy versus being able to keep an eye on movements in the cabin, and not being out of sight of cabin crew.
BA had planned to refurbish its 12 other Boeing 777-300ER aircraft this year which were delivered to the airline between 2010 and 2014. This is to not only reduce the size of the First Class cabin from 14 to 8 seats, but also retrofit the Club Suite and “densify” World Traveller from 9 seats to 10 seats abreast.
More broadly, given the retirement of the entire Boeing 747 fleet and possible conversion of some four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft to three class, it is inevitable that First Class will be withdrawn from many routes in the medium term. The seating configuration of future deliveries of Airbus A350-1000 and Boeing 777-9 aircraft is also likely to be reviewed.
Sean Doyle has replaced Alex Cruz as Chief Executive of British Airways with immediate effect.
Sean was Chief Executive of BA’s fellow IAG subsidiary Aer Lingus. He knows BA very well, having previously held a number of senior management roles at the airline, including director, network, fleet and alliances.
Alex will remain non-Executive Chairman of BA for an interim period. These changes were announced today, Monday 12 October 2020, by new IAG CEO Luis Gallego who recently replaced founding IAG CEO Willie Walsh.
Alex has held the role of Chief Executive and Chairman of BA since April 2016, having previously been CEO of fellow IAG subsidiary Vueling.
There have been turbulent times during Alex’s tenure (though you could say that of almost every BA Chief Executive), notably the high profile IT power failure of 2017, the theft of customer data from ba.com in 2018 and an an industrial dispute with BA pilots which overshadowed the airline’s centenary celebrations in 2019 and public criticism over the planned restructuring of the airline post COVID-19.
On a more positive note, Alex oversaw the introduction of BA’s new “Club Suite” long-haul business class cabin, pre COVID-19 improvements to catering in premium cabins and the roll-out of a new lounge concept around the world. There is often a misguided view that when BA CEOs make unpopular decisions, any other CEO would act differently.
Many will speculate as to the reasons for Alex’s departure. It’s not unusual for a new CEO to make management charges. IAG do also like to move executives around the group. The fact that Alex is leaving immediately and has not moved to an alternative role in IAG suggests it was not voluntary. It was clear from Alex’s very well rehearsed recent appearance before the Transport Select Committee that it had been stung by criticism by MPs over the airline’s restructuring.
Sean Doyle has a full in-tray. In the coming months he will make decisions around BA’s fleet plans, route network and airline partnerships that will shape the future of the airline for the rest of the decade as it seeks to recover from COVID-19. Like his predecessors, Sean will have to make unpopular decisions that will put him under considerable public scrutiny.
The next major update from IAG is likely when it presents its third quarter results on Friday 30 October 2020.
British Airways has officially confirmed its route network from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports for October 2020.
Note: This article has been updated throughout the month as further changes are confirmed.
The airline has issued maps of its short-haul and long-haul networks, with associated flight frequencies. Full details are below. You can also download PDF versions of BA’s long-haul and short-haul route networks.
At London Heathrow, BA has in recent months added flights to Bahrain, Barbados, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Male, Newark, and Tokyo Haneda.
As far as short-haul is concerned, BA resumed flights in October to Brussels, Gothenburg, Luxembourg, Milan Linate, Stuttgart, Reykjavik and Valencia. Many summer seasonal routes come to an end.
Many Gatwick short-haul route continue to operate at Heathrow in October. These include Bilbao, Jersey, Kos, Lanzarote, Madeira, Naples, Porto, Seville and Tenerife.
At London City, BA will serve Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast City, Dublin, Amsterdam, Berlin Tegel, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Zurich, Nice, Florence, Palma de Mallorca and Ibiza.
The UK government has introduced restrictions on international and domestic travel from 5 November until 2 December. A very substantial number of flight cancellations for November and December are highly likely. BA is expected to all flights at Gatwick until December and operate a skeleton schedule at London City and Heathrow. BA will also close all of its London Heathrow lounges and the First Wing from 5 November.
Passengers who are flying must also ensure they comply with pre-departure and entry requirements. Links to country-by-country guidance and relevant forms are on ba.com
All routes are from London Heathrow unless otherwise stated. Many routes, particularly at Gatwick, do not operate for the whole of October.
CANADA Toronto – 7x weekly Montreal – 3x weekly (suspended during November)
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA New York JFK – 14x weekly Chicago O’Hare – 12x weekly Boston – 7x weekly San Francisco – 7x weekly Los Angeles – 7x weekly Miami – 7x weekly Washington Dulles – 7x weekly Dallas / Fort Worth – 7x weekly Seattle – 3x weekly Houston – 3x weekly Atlanta – 7x weekly (frequencies reduced during November) Philadelphia – 2x weekly Newark – Daily from 25 October.
CENTRAL & SOUTH AMERICA Sao Paulo – 7x weekly Buenos Aires – 3x weekly Mexico City – 4x weekly Santiago – 1x weekly from 7 November
CARIBBEAN Barbados – 7x weekly (Gatwick from 2 October & Heathrow from 17 October – frequencies reduced during November) Bermuda – 4x weekly (Gatwick) St Lucia – 5x weekly (Gatwick) Antigua – 5x weekly (Gatwick) Kingston – 3x weekly (Gatwick) Cayman Islands – 0.5x weekly (Heathrow)
The planned launch of a new route to Montego Bay from Gatwick is postponed to 12 December.
AFRICA Accra – 7x weekly Abuja – 7x weekly Lagos – 7x weekly Nairobi – 5x weekly Cairo – 7x weekly (flight number changes from 25 October) Johannesburg – 7x weekly Cape Town – 7x weekly
BA’s franchise partner in Africa Comair has suspended flights until December 2020 at the earliest. For passengers with domestic connections from Cape Town and Johannesburg, BA has secured a rebooking agreement with Airlink.
MIDDLE EAST Tel Aviv – 7x weekly Dubai – 7x weekly Kuwait – 3x weekly Riyadh – 1x weekly (delayed to 2 November) Bahrain – 3x weekly Amman – 1x weekly (from 25 October with short-haul aircraft)
SOUTH & CENTRAL ASIA Mumbai – 5x weekly Delhi – 7x weekly Bangalore – 4x weekly Hyderabad – 4x weekly Chennai – 3x weekly Islamabad – 7x weekly Lahore – 4x weekly (new route from 12 October)
INDIAN OCEAN Seychelles – 2x weekly (from 10 October) Male – 3x weekly (transfers to Heathrow from 16 October)
FAR EAST Hong Kong – 7x weekly (flight numbers change from 25 October) Singapore – 4x weekly (flight numbers change from 25 October) Tokyo Haneda – 3x weekly Shanghai – 2x weekly Kuala Lumpur – 4x weekly
British Airways has confirmed that it has suspended all short-haul flights at London Gatwick until Sunday 28 March 2021 at the earliest.
BA will continue to operate many Gatwick short-haul flights at London Heathrow for the winter season.
This was expected as many Gatwick short-haul flights were showing as operating at Heathrow throughout the winter season. Following a relaxation of “use it or lose it” slot rules for the winter season, BA can cancel flights at Gatwick without forfeiting slots.
At present, there is little visibility on short-haul flight schedules. BA Gatwick routes expected to operate Heathrow throughout the winter include Alicante, Bordeaux, Gran Canaria, Grenoble, Jersey, Lanzarote, Malta, Naples, Porto, Salzburg, Tenerife, Turin and Verona.
These flights will retain their original Gatwick flight numbers which begin with a 2. This means they may show on some websites as having been diverted.
BA will continue to operate some long-haul flights at Gatwick. At present, BA is operating limited flights to Antigua, Barbados, Bermuda, Kingston and St Lucia. Many routes are expected to return in October, including Cancun, Providenciales and Punta Cana. BA will also launch a new route to Montego Bay in October.
Please see here for BA’s full route network from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow airports for October 2020.