British Airways Opens Refurbished Johannesburg Lounge

British Airways has opened its refurbished lounge at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

British Airways Lounge Johannesburg
British Airways Lounge Johannesburg (Image Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has reopened its lounge at O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg following a six month refurbishment.

The lounge follows a similar design brief to recently refurbishment lounges at New York JFK and San Francisco.

As with the San Francisco lounge, the two former Club and First lounges have been combined into one, with a dedicated pre-flight dining area and a la carte menu for First Class passengers.

The lounge also features a centrepiece bar, a self-service food station with hot and cold food options. These include local specialities such as Indezi River cheese and Cape Malay curry. There is also a wide range of seating with at seat power.

Food options for First Class passengers in the dedicated pre-flight dining area include seasonal soups; ricotta and pea filled conchiglie; steak sandwich with mustard and basil relish; and chocolate brownies.

The lounge can be accessed by passengers travelling in Club World and First Class as well as Silver and Gold members of the Executive Club, and Oneworld alliance equivalents.

The last remaining lounge refurbishment project for this year is the Geneva lounge.

British Airways Lounge Johannesburg
British Airways Lounge Johannesburg (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Lounge Johannesburg
British Airways Lounge Johannesburg (Image Credit: British Airways)
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BA Johannesburg Lounges Close For Refurbishment

BA is to close its lounges in Johannesburg for refurbishment from Thursday 23 May. The new lounges will open in October.

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

British Airways Galleries lounge, O.R. Tambo International Airport International Departures Terminal, Johannesburg
British Airways Galleries lounge, O.R. Tambo International Airport International Departures Terminal, Johannesburg (Image Credit: Oneworld alliance)

British Airways is to close its Galleries Club and Galleries First lounges in Johannesburg (O.R. Tambo International Airport) for refurbishment from Thursday 23 May 2019.

The new lounges will open in October 2019. It is not known what format the new lounges will take and whether BA will adopt the “Concorde Bar” format adopted in Dubai and Singapore, which is exclusively for ticketed First Class passengers only.

In the interim, First Class passengers will be able to use the Slow lounge. This lounge is used by BA’s franchise partner in South Africa, Comair. It is located after security, on the upper level of the international departures terminal.

Passengers in Club World, and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders in World Traveller Plus and World Traveller will be able to use the Aspire lounge. This lounge is located after emigration. Passengers are advised to follow directional signage to gates 7-30, passing through the duty free shop. The lounge is on the left just before the esclator to the International Pier.

Aspire lounge, O.R. Tambo International Airport International Departures Terminal, Johannesburg
Aspire lounge, O.R. Tambo International Airport International Departures Terminal, Johannesburg (Image Credit: Oneworld alliance)

Given this route is served by an Airbus A380 and an 86 Club World seat Boeing 747 that depart within two hours of each other in the evening, crowding is likely to be an issue.

This is the last lounge closure of the planned refurbishments for 2019. BA’s lounge in Geneva will close for refurbishment on Tuesday 28 May 2019. The San Francisco lounge is currently closed for refurbishment and should reopen this summer.

South African Airways cuts London Heathrow – Johannesburg

South African Airways is to reduce flights between London Heathrow and Johannesburg from twice to once daily from Friday 20 April 2018. Flight SA237 will last operate from London Heathrow on Thursday 19 April 2018.

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

South African Airways is to cut one of its twice-daily flights between London Heathrow and Johannesburg from Friday 20 April 2018.

Flight SA237, which departs London Heathrow at 21:00, will last operate from London Heathrow on Thursday 19 April 2018.

The state-owned (and reportedly loss-making) airline has taken the sting out of the announcement by saying that the one remaining fight (SA235) will be operated by a new Airbus A330-300 aircraft from Sunday 25 March 2017. This two class aircraft features upgraded business class seating (pictured above) with direct aisle access for all passengers. Currently, both South African Airways flights from London are operated with Airbus A330-200 aircraft.

South African Airways will be leasing its Heathrow slot pair to an as yet unnamed airline which does allow them to reinstate the flight if circumstances change.
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Iberia reinstates Madrid-Johannesburg from 1 August 2016

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

More signs of turnaround at British Airways’ International Airlines Group sibling Iberia. The airline is to reinstate its Madrid – Johannesburg route from Monday 1 August 2016.
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Iberia targets Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara, Managua, San Juan, Brasilia, & Asuncion

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

Iberia (Image Credit: Iberia)

Iberia is to examine opening new routes (and in some cases re-instating routes) to Tokyo, Doha, Johannesburg, Toronto, Guadalajara (Mexico), Managua (Nicaragua), San Juan de Puerto Rico, Brasilia and Asuncion (Paraguay) the airline announced today, 31 July 2015.

The routes are likely to launch in 2016 and 2017 and are subject to its parent company, International Airlines Group, placing orders for additional aircraft, including five Airbus 330-200 aircraft, with Airbus.  

IAG also hopes to order a further eight Airbus A350-900 aircraft as a replacement for Iberia’s existing fleet. An announcement could be made as early as next week.

The announcement is significant as it is further evidence of IAG’s turnaround of Iberia which has also seen the airline launch new routes to Medellin and Cali in Columbia.

That said, it has to be said it is somewhat unusual for an airline to announce a possible order for aircraft in advance of it being finalised. 

Nor do airlines normally give away much with regard to future route launches, for obvious competitive reasons (though negotiations with airports on landing fees could be a factor).

Of the routes mentioned Doha and Tokyo are noteworthy as these would be the airline’s only routes to the Middle East and Asia and would be the airline’s first step in making Madrid a global (rather than purely west bound) long-haul hub. We assume they would be supported by code shares with fellow Oneworld alliance partners Qatar Airways and Japan Airlines.  

It is noteworthy that Hong Kong and Singapore are not listed, particularly Hong Kong as it is the hub of fellow alliance partner Cathay Pacific.

The launch of more routes to Central and South America also cements Iberia’s position in this market. We are surprised not to see more North American destinations, but these are of course well served by British Airways.

Rebooking options for BA passengers booked to fly London – Nairobi

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

Following the fire at Nairobi airport in Kenya yesterday, British Airways has provided details of the options available to passengers whose flights to Nairobi have been cancelled, or are booked to fly to Nairobi over the next few days.

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BA adds Johannesburg to its network of Airbus A380 destinations

London Air Travel » Johannesburg

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

British Airways has confirmed that Johannesburg will join Hong Kong and Los Angeles in its network of destinations served by the Airbus A380.

BA will operate an A380 service on three weekly return flights from London to Johannesburg from 12 February 2014 and six weekly return flights from 10 March 2014.

Full details of the exact flights are on the BA website.

What all these destinations have in common is that no other airline operates a direct service from London using an Airbus A380 which provides some pointers as to what additional destinations may be served by the A380.

Update January 2018:

BA operates the Airbus A380 on both of its twice daily services from London Heathrow to Johannesburg until Saturday 24 March 2018. From Sunday 25 March 2018, flights BA55 and BA56 continue to be operated with the Airbus A380. Flights BA57 and BA54 are operated with a Boeing 747.