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 suspends London Gatwick – Las Vegas from Sunday 25 April 2016

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

Launched in late 2009 when the airline was still reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis, British Airways’ daily service from London Heathrow to Las Vegas was an instant success with capacity quickly added through an aircraft upgrade and, more recently an additional three times weekly service from London Gatwick.

The service from London Gatwick has now been suspended, with the last return flight operating on Sunday 25 April 2016. BA will continue to fly to Vegas at least once a day from London Heathrow.

Ostensibly, the route suspension is to allow the airline to launch a flight from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016.

Affected passengers should receive a notice of cancellation shortly and passengers will be accommodated on BA’s service from London Heathrow which operates up to 11 times weekly.

BA reinstates London Gatwick – New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 45

New York Skyline
New York Skyline (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways is to relaunch a daily service from London Gatwick to New York JFK from Sunday 1 May 2016.

The airline last flew between the two airports for a short period in 2008-2009 and the service was then ostensibly a “slot-sitting” exercise pending the launch of BA’s London City – New York JFK service.

The route will be operated with a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft with Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy cabins.

BA will be competing head on against Norwegian Air Shuttle which has a growing transatlantic network at London Gatwick including routes such as Boston, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.

The flight is being accommodated by the cancellation of BA’s thrice weekly London Gatwick – Las Vegas service and frequency adjustments on other routes.

The route will also be bookable as a codeshare with American Airlines, Iberia and Finnair.

Passsengers should also be aware that from January 2016 BA will have limited lounge facilities at Gatwick as its lounges will be closed pending its move to the South terminal in November 2016.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Gatwick – New York JFK

Flight BA2273 Depart London Gatwick 16:40 – Arrive New York JFK 19:30

Flight BA2272 Depart New York JFK 22:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:00

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

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 45

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 launches seasonal London City – Bergerac from May 2016

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BA CityFlyer Embraer at London City Airport

British Airways is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London City airport to Bergerac from Sunday 1 May 2016.

The route will initially operate to Bergerac airport three times a week (Monday, Friday, and Sunday), increasing to four times a week between Thursday 23 June to Thursday 1 September 2016.

As is par the course for seasonal London City routes flight times vary by day, but broadly speaking flights leave London City mid-morning and return from Bergerac early afternoon.

The route will be operated by a combination of Embraer aircraft owned by British Airways and a Saab 2000 aircraft which is operated under a “wet lease” by Eastern Airways.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com.

BA Gatwick lounges to close permanently in January 2016

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 45

London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

British Airways’ Galleries Club and First lounges in the North Terminal of London Gatwick airport are to close permanently in January 2016.

This move is to allow the redevelopment of the North Terminal which will see easyJet consolidate its London Gatwick operations in the North Terminal and British Airways move to the South Terminal in November 2016.

In the interim, BA passengers will have access to the No 1 lounge.  However details are scant as to what specific lounge amenities will be available on a complimentary basis to BA Club and First passengers.

BA has assured that a new lounge complex will be built in the South terminal. However, again, details are scant as to the format of the lounges and specifically whether there will be a dedicated First lounge for First Class passengers and Executive Club Gold cardholders, as is present in the North terminal.

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 unveils its Boeing 787-900 First Class cabin

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 45

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

British Airways has today unveiled its new first class cabin on the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner.

The eight seat cabin is an evolution of the first class cabin currently found on Boeing 747, 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft.  

To date, other BA Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft have operated without a first class cabin. 

Featuring just eight seats in two rows of 1-2-1 seats, the cabin is significantly smaller than the fourteen seat configuration found on most aircraft.

The seat itself is essentially the same.  However, elements surrounding it have been significantly modified.

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

Design modifications include a larger (and fixed) 23″ TV screen, a more accessible personal wardrobe and personal stowage, and a smartphone style seat control.  

Features found on other BA first class cabins, such as the seat side personal lamp and shaded window blinds have been removed.

Some readers may be disappointed not to see more radical innovation from BA. However, we expect that a lower destiny seating configuration or items that add additional weight to the aircraft will not be pursued unless there is a clear revenue benefit to the airline.

The Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner will make its debut on selected flights to Dehli from 22 October 2015.

It will also fly to Austin (currently a Boeing 787-800 route) from February 2016, Abu Dhabi & Muscat from 5 November 2016, Kuala Lumpur from December 2016 and San Jose (launches 4 May 2016).

The aircraft is likely to be used to replace Boeing 777 and 747 aircraft and, as per San Jose, open up new routes.

The airline has a total of 22 Boeing 787-900 aircraft in order, in addition to 8 delivered Boeing 787-800 and 12 Boeing 787-1000 aircraft.

BA opens new lounge at Singapore & premieres its “Concorde Bar”

London Air Travel » British Airways » Page 45

British Airways Lounge Singapore Changi Airport
British Airways Lounge Singapore Changi Airport (Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has opened its new lounge at Terminal 1 of Singapore Changi airport.

Designed by British design studio Graven the lounge features digital panoramic views of the Singapore skyline reflecting the time of the day outside.

Customers travelling in First Class will be provided with a passcode on entry to the lounge to access a dedicated “Concorde Bar”.

Continuing a trend of new BA lounges outside of London reflecting their local cities, the main lounge includes artwork from Singapore and British artists, including Simon Wee and Dr Brendan Neiland.

The main lounge seats 185 passengers. The Concorde Bar seats 41 passengers. 88% of seats have access to power for electronic devices as well as USB ports, and there is high-speed WiFi throughout.

The Concorde Bar features black Nero marble surfaces, European oak flooring and bespoke furnishings. Seating options including communal bar seating, private sofa corners and dining booths.
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