BA suspends London Heathrow – Calgary for winter season

British Airways has suspended its daily service to Calgary for the winter from Sunday 28 October 2018 to Sunday 31 March 2019.

London Air Travel » Canada

British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
British Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner (Image Credit: Heathrow)
British Airways has suspended its daily service from London Heathrow to Calgary for the winter season.

The last outbound and inbound flight operates on Saturday 27 October 2018. The service resumes on Sunday 31 March 2019. The affected flight numbers are BA102 and BA103.

No specific reason has been given for the cancellation. However, it is a reasonable assumption that unsatisfactory commercial performance is behind the decision.

BA started flying from London Heathrow to Calgary in December 2006, initially with a Boeing 767 aircraft. The route then changed to a Boeing 787 in July 2014.

Air Canada will continue to fly direct from London Heathrow to Calgary year-round.

Rebooking Options as at Wednesday 6 June 2018

Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund.

Alternatively, passengers can also rebook to a date when BA is flying to Calgary.

Passengers can also rebook to an alternative BA destination in the US and Canada. However, any additional costs will be at your expense.

BA is in discussions with local airlines about rebooking arrangements. It is likely that further options will be announced in the next few days. Unless you would prefer a refund or to fly to another destination, we would recommend waiting until these have been confirmed before taking any action.

Passengers who need to change their booking should contact either BA or their travel agent.

Rebooking Options As At Tuesday 12 June 2018

BA has now secured a rebooking arrangement with United Airlines.

Passengers can rebook to Calgary by connecting to United Airlines from either Chicago O’Hare, Denver, Houston or San Francisco.

Clearly, unless you enjoy taking circuitous routings, Chicago O’Hare is the only logical option!

In all cases, passengers must connect from a British Airways flight from London Heathrow. As United Airlines does not offer premium economy, passengers booked in World Traveller Plus will be booked into economy on United Airlines.

Rebooking Options As At Tuesday 19 June 2018

BA has also secured a rebooking arrangement with Alaska Airlines.

Passengers can rebook to Calgary by connecting to Alaska Airlines from Seattle

Again, passengers must connect from a British Airways flight from London Heathrow. As Alaska Airlines does not offer premium economy, passengers booked in World Traveller Plus will be booked into economy on Alaska Airlines.

In theory, in addition to the options above, passengers should be also be able to be accommodated on American Airlines. However, its flights to Calgary from the US are relatively limited.

WestJet launches London Gatwick – Halifax

WestJet is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Halifax, Nova Scotia from Monday 30 April 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018. Flights will be operated using a single aisle Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft.

London Air Travel » Canada

WestJet Boeing 737-800 MAX Aircraft
WestJet Boeing 737-800 MAX Aircraft (Image Credit: WestJet)

WestJet is to launch a new route from London Gatwick to Halifax in the summer of 2018.

The Canadian airline will fly from London Gatwick to Halifax, Nova Scotia (Halifax Stanfield International Airport) daily from Monday 30 April 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018.

Flights will be operated using the single aisle Boeing 737-800 MAX aircraft which, as pictured above, has a distinctive set of split winglets.

The aircraft has a single cabin with 168 seats. This includes three rows of WestJet’s premium economy cabin “Plus” in a 2-2 configuration (the middle seat is kept free). WestJet also promises 11 rows of extra-leg room seats with a pitch of 34 inches in a 3-3 configuration.
Continue reading “WestJet launches London Gatwick – Halifax”

BA adds Las Vegas and Toronto at London Gatwick

BA is to fly from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Toronto from summer 2018.

London Air Travel » Canada

Toronto, Canada
Toronto (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has today announced it is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Toronto and reinstate its London Gatwick – Las Vegas route next summer.

BA will fly to Las Vegas three times a week from Tuesday 27 March 2018 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018. BA will fly to Toronto three times a week from Tuesday 1 May 2018, also on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018.

Both Las Vegas and Toronto are served by BA at London Heathrow up to twice daily. BA has previously flown from Gatwick to Las Vegas.  However, the service was suspended last year. 

Toronto is BA’s first route from London Gatwick to Canada.  It is something of a surprise to see BA launch the Toronto from Gatwick, as it is not one of the stronger Heathrow routes due to a lack of presence by the Oneworld alliance in Canada.

However, there can be absolutely no doubt this is a move to take on the growth of low lost long-haul at Gatwick.  Las Vegas is served by Norwegian.  Toronto is also served by both WestJet and Air Canada Rouge.

Continue reading “BA adds Las Vegas and Toronto at London Gatwick”

Air Canada Rouge to launch seasonal London Gatwick – Vancouver

Air Canada Rouge will fly from London Gatwick to Vancouver three times on a summer seasonal basis from June 2017.

London Air Travel » Canada

Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300 aircraft
Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300 aircraft (Image Credit: Air Canada)

Over the past couple of years there has been significant growth in routes between London and Canada, notably with the launch of flights by Canadian airline WestJet this summer from London Gatwick to a number of cities in Canada.

Although WestJet’s entry into the long-haul market was far from smooth with significant technical problems with its fleet of 2nd hand aircraft, it is pressing ahead with its long-haul operation at London Gatwick.

Air Canada responded by launching flights operated by its budget airline Air Canada Rouge from London Gatwick to Toronto last year.

In the summer of 2017, Air Canada Rouge will expand its routes further, launching a direct route from London Gatwick to Vancouver.
Continue reading “Air Canada Rouge to launch seasonal London Gatwick – Vancouver”

BA withdraws First Class from Vancouver from Thursday 21 January to Monday 29 February 2016

London Air Travel » Canada

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

British Airways is to temporarily withdraw its First Class cabin from its daily flight from London Heathrow to Vancouver from Thursday 21 January to Monday 29 February 2016.

The airline will continue to operate the route with a Boeing 747.  However, the First Class cabin will be closed. 

The reason for this is that the route is being operated with a Boeing 747 that is not fitted with the latest First Class cabin

This is not the first time BA has done this. Readers may recall BA temporarily withdrew First Class from a number of routes including Cape Town, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Vancouver last year.

Affected passengers can either accept a downgrade to Club World business class or an alternative indirect routing to Vancouver via Seattle (with onward travel to Vancouver at the passenger’s expense) or another BA or American Airlines gateway in America (such as Dallas Fort Worth) with an onward connection on American Airlines.

Full refunds do not appear to be available.

WestJet confirms transatlantic routes from London Gatwick

London Air Travel » Canada

WestJet Boeing 767 aircraft
WestJet Boeing 767 aircraft (Image Credit: WestJet)

Canadian airline WestJet has today confirmed it is to launch summer seasonal direct flights from London Gatwick to no less than six Canadian cities: Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, St John’s, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Flights will operate from the week beginning Monday 4 May 2015 to the end of October 2015.

Flights to Vancouver will operate six times weekly, Edmonton will operate twice weekly, Calgary five times weekly and Winnipeg once weekly. Flights to Toronto and St. John’s will both operate once daily.

In total, this represents 28 return trips from London Gatwick total each week.

This represents a significant expansion in capacity between London and Canada, and significant competition to British Airways and Air Canada from London Heathrow and Air Canada Rouge and Air Transat from London Gatwick. This, combined with the expansion of Norwegian at London Gatwick means that the airport is carving out a niche for low cost transatlantic travel.

In the case of Winnipeg, WestJet’s service will also be the only direct route between the city and London.

All London flights, with the exception of flights to St John’s, will be operated by one of WestJet’s four Boeing 767-300ERW extended range aircraft.

Each Boeing 767 seats 262 passengers. The main economy cabin has 238 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. Passengers in the main cabin will be offered complimentary snacks and non-alcoholic drinks and the option to purchase hot meals. The cabin does not also feature seat back in flight entertainment. Instead, the aircraft will be equipped with WestJet Connect, the airline’s inflight entertainment and wireless connectivity system which can stream entertainment to your smartphone/tablet. Passengers are also offered one complimentary checked bag. However, seat selection fees will apply.

The aircraft will include a “Plus” premium cabin with 24 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and complimentary hot meals.

Flights are on sale now and to mark the launch, WestJet is offering special introductory fares which it claims are the lowest on the market for bookings made by Wednesday 16 September for travel between 6 May 2015 to 28 June 2015.

BA to fly the Airbus A380 to Vancouver from 1 May 2016

London Air Travel » Canada

A British Airways Airbus A380 aircraft takes off at London Heathrow airport.
British Airways Airbus A380 at take off, London Heathrow (Image Credit: Heathrow)

Vancouver is to join BA’s roster of Airbus A380 destinations from 1 May 2016 until 2 October 2016 as one of its daily flights to the Canadian city will be upgraded from a Boeing 747 to an Airbus A380:

Flight BA085 Depart London Heathrow 17:15 – Arrive Vancouver 18:40
Flight BA084 Depart Vancouver 20:50 – Arrive London Heathrow 14:00

This does mark the end of, temporarily at least, BA Boeing 747 services to Vancouver. The service will revert back to a daily Boeing 747 from 2 October 2016. There is no doubt that the Airbus A380 is a significant upgrade over the Boeing 747 in all aspects, particularly with regard to seating in World Traveller Plus, in-flight entertainment aircraft condition and overall cabin comfort.

Other BA A380 destinations include selected flights to Los Angeles, Washington, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Singapore, San Francisco and, from 25 October 2015, Miami.

For passengers looking to book specific A380 services we should note that schedules are subject to change and aircraft can also be substituted at short notice.

Update January 2018:

The Airbus A380 is next due to operate on this route from Tuesday 1 May 2018 to Sunday 30 September 2018. The route continues to otherwise operates with a Boeing 747.

Air Canada Rouge to launch London Gatwick – Toronto from 19 May 2016

Air Canada Rouge operates London Gatwick – Toronto on a summer seasonal basis.

London Air Travel » Canada

Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300 aircraft
Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300 aircraft (Image Credit: Air Canada)

Air Canada Rouge, the leisure subsidiary airline of Air Canada, is to launch summer seasonal flights from London Gatwick to Toronto Pearson airport from 19 May 2016.

Flights will operate up to 7 times weekly.

Air Canada Rouge also flies between Toronto and Manchester and Edinburgh on a summer seasonal basis.  Air Canada’s domestic rival WestJet also announced this month that it is to fly between London Gatwick and as yet unspecified destinations in Canada in summer 2016.

Air Canada Rouge flights will be operated by a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 24 Premium rouge seats in a 2-2-2 configuration and 256 rouge seats in a 2-3-2 configuration.

Passengers travelling in the Premium rouge cabin have lounge access at the airport, a complimentary checked baggage allowance, complimentary food and drink and free use of a tablet for in flight entertainment.

Passengers travelling in the main rouge cabin have complimentary food and drink and can download an app to watch in flight entertainment on their smartphone or tablet. There is no seat back in flight entertainment.

We have no direct experience of Air Canada Rouge but we would offer the observation that 280 seats is a very dense seating configuration for a Boeing 767. By contrast, an Air Canada Boeing 767 with a traditional business class cabin has 211 seats. Such a dense configuration will have an impact on not only in seat comfort, but also at boarding, access to overhead locker space and washrooms etc.

Flights will be on sale at Fly Rouge from 2 July 2015.

Update: Here’s the timetable with convenient timings for the leisure traveller to maximise their holiday time.

Flight AC1925 Depart London Gatwick 12:00 – Arrive Toronto Pearson 15:00
Flight AC1924 Depart Toronto Pearson 22:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:15

Update (2): This route has been suspended from the 2018 summer season.

WestJet to launch transatlantic flights from Gatwick

London Air Travel » Canada

WestJet Boeing 767 aircraft
WestJet Boeing 767 aircraft (Image Credit: WestJet)

Canadian airline WestJet has announced it is to launch transatlantic services to Canada from London Gatwick in spring 2016.

The airline has yet to confirm which routes will be served (though Toronto seems an obvious choice) or any scheduling, pricing and product information, other than to say flights will be operated by Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

This will be welcome news for London Gatwick which has lost a number of transatlantic airlines to Heathrow over the past few years. It will undoubtedly use this as a case for a second runway at Gatwick.

“Union Pearson Express” launches in Toronto

London Air Travel » Canada

Union Pearson Express Train Pearson Airport Station
Union Pearson Express Train Pearson Airport Station (Image Credit: Union Pearson Express)

One of the many things that are often lacking at airports in North America is a direct rail link from the airport to downtown.

Toronto is one city to gain such a link with the launch of the Union Pearson Express on Saturday 6 June 2015.

The new service will link Terminal 1 of Toronto’s main international airport, Toronto Pearson, with its main downtown railway station (Union Station), every 15 minutes with a journey time of 25 minutes on an elevated rail track. A return fare for an adult is CAD$53 (roughly £28).

Continue reading ““Union Pearson Express” launches in Toronto”