BA launches London Gatwick – Oakland from 28 March 2017

London Air Travel » California

British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick

British Airways has announced its third new transatlantic route in as many weeks with the launch of a four times weekly service from London Gatwick to Oakland California (Oakland International Airport) from 28 March 2017.

This follows the launch of Fort Lauderdale from London Gatwick and New Orleans from London Heathrow.

Flights will operate four times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) in the summer season and three times weekly in the winter season.

Flights will be operated with a three class Boeing 777 aircraft featuring Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy.

Oakland is BA’s fifth destination in California after San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose.

Like Fort Lauderdale, this route is also served by Norwegian from London Gatwick and there can be no doubt this is a competitive response to Norwegian’s growing network of long-haul routes to the USA at London Gatwick.

BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, clearly sees Norwegian as a major competitor that requires a strategic competitive response. Further announcements may be made by both BA and other IAG group airlines such as Iberia and Aer Lingus in the coming weeks.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Gatwick – Oakland

Flight BA2279 Depart London Gatwick 10:20 – Arrive Oakland International Airport 13:15 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA2279 Depart London Gatwick 11:25 – Arrive Oakland International Airport 14:20 (Tuesday)

Flight BA2278 Depart Oakland International Airport 15:05 – Arrive London Gatwick 09:25 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA2278 Depart Oakland International Airport 16:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:30 (Tuesday)

Aer Lingus returns to Los Angeles & Newark, launches Hartford

London Air Travel » California

As was widely tipped online, Aer Lingus has today announced it is to return to Los Angeles and Newark airports next year, and launch a new direct route from Dublin to Bradley International Airport in Hartford County, Connecticut. The latter route will be the sole transatlantic route from the airport.

Aer Lingus will fly five times a week to Los Angeles from Sunday 1 May 2016, and daily to Newark from Thursday 1 September 2016. Both routes will be operated by A330 aircraft. Flights for these routes are on sale now at AerLingus.com

Aer Lingus will also fly daily to Bradley International Airport from September 2016 and flights for this route are expected to go on sale 3 November. This route will be operated by a Boeing 757 aircraft.
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BA upgrades San Diego; adding First Class & Boeing 777-300

London Air Travel » California

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

London Air Travel » California

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).

Virgin Atlantic opens new Los Angeles Clubhouse

London Air Travel » California

Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Los Angeles
Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Los Angeles (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic has long been known for its distinctive, if relatively few in number, Clubhouse lounges. The flagship being of course its London Heathrow Clubhouse, with other Clubhouses in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Washington.

One notable absentee has been Los Angeles, in spite of it being one of Virgin Atlantic’s most important routes after New York.

Today, 28 April 2015, Virgin Atlantic has opened a new Clubhouse at Terminal 2. The lounge has been designed by Slade Architecture who also worked on the airline’s Newark and JFK clubhouses.

The 4,000 sq ft triangular shaped Los Angeles clubhouse offers views of the airport’s apron and Hollywood Hills. The colour palette is relatively toned down compared to other Virgin lounges, with extensive use of white. It is clearly inspired by the Californian outdoor lifestyle and climate.

The lounge is lined by a sculpted Corian and copper Flow Wall that features a copper lined bar. Lounge furniture includes Swan chairs by Arne Jacobsen, Walter Knoll Turtle chairs, classic Eames chairs, and a custom fabricated surfboard inspired counter by the windows that is sculpted from layers of bamboo.

At the apex of the lounge is a pre-flight dining area offering dishes from Hinoki & The Bird. The walls are lined with bamboo and the space features a video insulation by artist Diana Reichenbach.
Continue reading “Virgin Atlantic opens new Los Angeles Clubhouse”